World China, in global campaign, vaccinates its people in Thailand
1.4B but no more? China's population growth closer to zero
BEIJING (AP) — China’s population growth is falling closer to zero, government data showed Tuesday, adding to strains on an aging society with a shrinking workforce as fewer couples have children. The population rose by 72 million over the past 10 years to 1.411 billion in 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics announced after a once-a-decade census. It said annual growth averaged 0.53%, down by 0.04% from the previous decade.
BANGKOK (AP) — Chinese citizens living in Thailand began being vaccinated on Thursday as part of China's global campaign to inoculate its nationals living and working abroad.
The vaccines were donated by China to be administered to its nationals as Thailand slowly rolls out shots for its own citizens to contain a coronavirus surge that has sickened tens of thousands in the past two months.
It was unclear how many of the 150,000 Chinese citizens living in Thailand will be inoculated under Beijing’s “Spring Sprouts” program in this round of inoculations, but China recently donated 500,000 vaccine doses to Thailand. China has so far supplied millions of doses to the country.
China adds few babies, loses workers as its 1.4B people age
BEIJING (AP) — The number of working-age people in China fell over the past decade as its aging population barely grew, a census showed Tuesday, adding to economic challenges for Chinese leaders who have ambitious strategic goals. The total population rose to 1.411 billion people last year, up 72 million from 2010, according to the once-a-decade census. Weak growth fell closer to zero as fewer couples had children. That adds to challenges forThe total population rose to 1.411 billion people last year, up 72 million from 2010, according to the once-a-decade census. Weak growth fell closer to zero as fewer couples had children.
The Thai government has said it will vaccinate Thais before inoculating most other foreigners, regardless of risk factors or age.
Just over 2% of Thailand's 70 million people have received a first vaccine dose and about 1% have received a second. The government hopes to inoculate 70% of its people by the end of the year, but has been criticized for taking too long to start vaccinating.
Top counterintelligence official highlights foreign espionage threats
Orlando and "Intelligence Matters" host Michael Morell discuss espionage threats against the U.S. that have evolved in range and sophistication. © Credit: CBSNews cbsnews-intelligence-matters-podcast-horizontal-620x350.jpg Highlights Adversaries targeting private sector: "So, if you look back 20 years ago, what we were most concerned about was intelligence services targeting the U.S. government for classified information or targeting DOD technologies.
In downtown Bangkok, a Chinese volunteer with a white mask, transparent shield and blue gloves stood in front of a red banner reading “Spring Sprout Action” flanked by the flags of China and Thailand at a vaccination center.
A dozen people waited to get a cursory medical check as nurses, accompanied by a translator, gave Chinese-made Sinovac shots in another room.
“I am happy and proud to be able to get a vaccine on day 1 organized by my government,” said Zhang Xiaohong, 40, who runs a logistics company in Thailand. He said he believes the Chinese government cares about its people.
Qin Qing, a 39-year-old real estate broker in Bangkok, said she was a bit nervous before getting the shot and felt slightly dizzy afterward.
“I am grateful for my country and the embassy, and people who help to make it happen, from airline staff who fly the vaccines here and Thai medical workers," she said.
UN envoy asks Thai leader's aid in ending crisis in Myanmar
BANGKOK (AP) — The United Nations' special envoy on Myanmar met with Thailand’s prime minister on Friday as she continues efforts to end violence in Myanmar sparked by a military takeover in February. The envoy, Christine Schraner Burgener, told Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok that she hopes Thailand will find ways to work with Myanmar’s military to ease the unrest, the prime minister’s office said in a statement. The army’s seizure of power has been opposed by a broad cross-section of Myanmar's population, and the junta has responded with a violent crackdown that has cost hundreds of lives.
Thailand had largely contained coronavirus cases last year by closing its borders, enforcing mandatory quarantines and actively tracing contacts of those found to be infected. The measures devastated its lucrative tourism industry but kept the pandemic at bay, for the most part, until early April.
Then a surge that began in high-end nightspots in central Bangkok spread rapidly as people were allowed to travel during a mid-April national holiday.
On Thursday, health authorities reported 2,636 new cases and 25 deaths for a total of 119,585 infections and 703 deaths since the pandemic began. Of that number, 90,722 confirmed cases and 609 deaths have been recorded since April 1.
A partial lockdown in recent weeks has made limited headway in containing outbreaks, especially in Bangkok and in prisons.
The capital has been hit especially hard, with thousands of cases surfacing in slums, crowded low-income housing and camps housing construction workers.
Thailand has a population of about 70 million. More than 2.5 million are from neighboring countries, including Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Many are employed on construction sites and in factories.
Progressives warn Biden, Congress against fueling hatred with anti-China measures
Anti-war lawmakers and activists say depicting China as an existential threat fuels hatred at home while doing little to contain Beijing’s ambitions.More than 60 activist groups and at least four prominent lawmakers are stepping up their criticisms as the Senate pushes through this week a package of anti-China bills that enjoy backing from members of both parties and the White House. Any coordinated opposition could gum up the ongoing amendment process on the Senate floor, or throw a wrench in future efforts to reconcile the measure with the House’s slower-moving initiatives against China.
Chinese nationals are the most numerous foreigners living in Thailand who are not from neighboring countries. They are the only foreigners being vaccinated under the “Spring Sprouts" campaign.
Natapanu Nopakun, deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Thursday there are around 1.3 million legal migrant workers in Bangkok and its vicinity and more than 1 million illegal ones across the country. The Labor Ministry intends to inoculate them as well because their high mobility is a risk factor in curbing infections.
Another 200,000 foreigners — from Australia, Japan, Europe, the United States and elsewhere — are mostly professionals and retirees. For now, they can only obtain COVID-19 shots by traveling overseas and would face lengthy, expensive quarantines on their return.
Groups representing Americans living in Thailand sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week asking the government to supply some of the millions of unused vaccine doses available in the U.S. to inoculate American citizens in Thailand.
Japan 'Anxious' About Relentless Intrusions By China Near Disputed Islands .
Chinese government vessels have patrolled the waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands for 101 days in a row this year—10 days off the previous record of 111 set in 2020.Lawmakers with Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party are "anxious" about the frequency of China Coast Guard activity around the Senkaku Islands, a CCTV report said Wednesday.