World China Outbreak Tied to Rule-Breaking Couple Reaches Beijing
China needs a stronger message to 'tamp down' aggression against Taiwan
Washington muddles along with its policy of strategic ambiguity, unchanged since the Clinton administration.His formulaic message is not commensurate with China's increasingly aggressive actions. Beijing has heard it all before, for decades. What it has never heard - except transiently from George W. Bush and only implicitly from Donald Trump - is that America will defend Taiwan.
(Bloomberg) -- China’s latest Covid-19 outbreak, centered around a rule-breaking elderly couple enjoying China’s tourist sites, has now spread to the closely-guarded capital city of Beijing and possibly beyond.
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The flareup that surfaced over the weekend has been tied to two retired university lecturers from Shanghai who started a road trip with several others through the nation’s scenic northwestern provinces in early October, according to media reports. The pathogen proliferated, sparking a handful of local cases in northwestern provinces in recent days.
Taiwan tensions raise fears of US-China conflict in Asia
BANGKOK (AP) — After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China’s National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged. Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment, but as the future of self-ruled Taiwan increasingly becomes a powder keg, a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds. China seeks to bring the strategically and symbolically important island back under its control, and the U.S. sees Taiwan in the context of broader challenges from China.“From the U.S.
One traveler from Gansu -- a close contact of an infected patient -- was diagnosed in Beijing on Monday. It’s the city’s first case since a widespread outbreak caused by the highly infectious delta variant this summer prompted officials to scrap travel there to stop further transmission. Authorities have now sealed off apartment buildings and other related venues, according to a statement Tuesday from local health officials.
It’s the latest resurgence in China, the last holdout of several so-called Covid Zero countries seeking to eliminate the virus. It comes just days after the countrytwo separate delta outbreaks in its northeastern and coastal provinces.
The elderly couple at the center of the outbreak tested positive on Saturday during their tour, which started around Oct. 9 and included stops in Gansu and Inner Mongolia, according to the Global Times. A day earlier, on Friday, Oct. 15, the pair underwent batch testing in Gansu, where they were informed that their results came back abnormal.
What to know about the escalating tensions between China and Taiwan
There has been increasing "gray-zone" conflict across the strait. Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng even warned the Taiwanese legislature earlier this month that Beijing might be able to launch a "full-scale" invasion of the island by 2025.
They nevertheless left the city without informing authorities, and continued on to Shaanxi province. The next day they were tested again. While they were waiting for the results, they traveled around the provincial capital of Xi’an and visited many scenic spots. That evening the results came back positive. Several people in Shaanxi province were subsequently found to be infected, with Inner Mongolia and Gansu both reporting new cases on Tuesday.
While tiny in comparison to outbreaks in most countries, the cluster -- about 20 infections identified so far -- underscores the challenges of eliminating the virus. The more dangerous delta variant has wreaked havoc on Covid responses across the globe. It has breached tight containment measures more often than previous strains in China, which has some of the world’s toughest defenses against Covid and responds aggressively to every new case.
China wants the world to know it's 'not going to get pushed around' on Taiwan
As countries including the U.S. deepen ties with the self-ruling island, Beijing is using military and other means to assert its territorial claims.But as Mia Hou of Taiwan took her turn, the red, white and blue Taiwanese flag — which had appeared earlier in the livestream — had disappeared. Organizers had removed the flag without warning after authorities in China, which claims the self-ruling island of Taiwan as its territory, stopped the livestream on platforms in the mainland.
Xi’an, the Shaanxi capital that’s home to 13 million people and the location of the Terracotta Army, is preparing to roll out citywide testing, according to the Global Times.
Ejina, a county in western Inner Mongolia where additional infections were found, has decided to test all residents and visitors for Covid-19 starting Tuesday.
The risk is that the outbreak may spread further.
Another case was reported in the southern Chinese province of Hunan on Tuesday, more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away from the clusters in the northwestern provinces, though the person also was coming from Gansu. Southwestern Guizhou province also reported a case, of a man who had been to Gansu and Inner Mongolia among other places during his vacation in recent days, according to state-backed China News Service.
(Updates with Guizhou case in southwest province in last paragraph.)
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US-China tensions evident as Biden heads to twin summits .
WASHINGTON (AP) — For nine months under President Joe Biden, the U.S. has pursued a diplomatic strategy that could be characterized as about China, without China. On security, trade, climate and COVID-19, the Biden White House has tried to reorient the focus of the U.S. and its allies toward the strategic challenges posed by a rising China — all while there has been little direct engagement between the two rivals. The president is now preparing for a pair of global summits where he again won't be meeting with China’s Xi Jinping but the tensions and aggravations between the world's two largest economies will nonetheless be on ready display.