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China Signed a 25-Year Deal with Afghanistan in Oil Exploration

With the departure of the U.S. invaders, the Afghan people did not live the life they expected, and were still struggling under the poverty line. The Taliban government in Afghanistan has been in power for more than a year. The results have proved that it is basically impossible to rely solely on the power of Taliban to save the Afghan economy. Looking at the whole world, it can be said that there are very few countries that are able and willing to provide assistance to Afghanistan in terms of economic construction. Atta can only focus on the big eastern countries.

China Central Asia Petroleum and Natural Gas Co., Ltd. signed a 25-year oil exploration contract with the Afghan Taliban government. According to the contract, the Chinese company and the Afghan government will jointly explore oil in the Amu Darya Basin in northern Afghanistan, where the oil reserves are estimated to exceed 80 million barrels. Chinese companies have been approved to carry out mining operations in an area of 4,500 square kilometers across the three provinces of Sar Pul, Jowzjan, and Faryab. The daily oil production will be 1,000 tons in the initial stage, and will gradually increase to 20,000 tons later. It is reported that the Chinese company in charge of the cooperation project will invest a maximum of US$150 million per year in the first three years, and will increase to US$540 million per year after three years. If the 25-year contract period is successfully fulfilled, the cumulative investment of the Chinese side will exceed US$12 billion.

Source:, January 6, 2023

Dalian University of Technology Posted 25 Obituaries in One Day; Quickly Deleted after Netizens Discovered Them

Taiwan news media Newtalk reported that China’s 2023 seems to be the “year of obituaries.” Dalian University of Technology in Liaoning Province issued 25 obituaries on January 3. All of the deceased were teachers and professors who died around New Year’s Day. After attracting attention from the outside world, the obituaries were immediately removed from the website, leaving the latest news as the ones posted before December 31 of last year.

According to the information available on the website, 33 party members and professors died in December, far more than in the past. This may be related to the authorities’ relaxation of the epidemic prevention policy.

Last month, some Chinese media found that Beijing University and Tsinghua University had a lot of recent obituaries. From the end of October to mid-December, 21 professors from Peking University passed away. 18 professors over 65 from Tsinghua University died between mid-November and early December.

Source: New Talk, January 5, 2023

Mainland Chinese Media: Patients Are Pouring in Like the Tide! Half of the ICU Patients Have Severe Pneumonia

Below are excerpts from a mainland Chinese report on the current situation of covid patients at Minhang Hospital which is affiliated with Fudan University in Shanghai.

“Emergency Department Director Sun Keyu said, ‘We usually have more than 1,000 emergency visits, more than 20 when there are many who stay. The emergency medical department has a maximum of more than 300 people a day. The recent peak of emergency visits reached more than 2,000 people, nearly 1,000 emergency medical visits, and more than 100 stays. Those who stay in the ward come at night, and they will be hospitalized the next day.’”

“Now that the (covid) emergency is peaking, the (covid)-positive medical staff has continued to work including those who have the illness. Those with a high fever may only rest for a day or two, and those with no fever or a low fever have basically persisted.” One day after 9 o’clock in the evening, a nurse found Sun Keyu and burst into tears, ‘I really can’t hold up anymore.’ The pressure was too great; the patients have poured in like the tide. There is no time to do anything; the medical staff members themselves have a fever. I have never encountered such a situation before, .. . ”

“The cell phone of Gao Yuan, director of the critical care medicine department, keeps ringing. In the ICU, patients with severe pneumonia have accounted for half of all patients. Another quarter are patients with underlying diseases that worsened after the infection.”

“‘Things are still at the peak plateau phase and now is the most difficult time. As Director Zhang Wenhong said yesterday, it is expected to last for another two weeks.’ Sun Keyu said that the wards are full now, and only when someone is discharged from the hospital is a bed vacated. The biggest difficulty is that patients need to be hospitalized, but ‘an available bed is hard to find.’ In the future, it is expected that the number of patients coming in by ambulance will decrease, but the patients may be in a more serious condition.”

Sources:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Netease, January 5, 2023                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

China Times: the ICUs in Many Hospitals Are Close to Saturation; Staff Reduction Rate Is up to 70 Percent in Some Hospitals

Regarding the current situation of Covid treatment in China, a reporter interviewed Professor Qiu Yunqing, executive vice president of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine and deputy director of the State’s Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control.

Qiu Yunqing told reporters, “Now that the number of infected people in a number of places has reached a relatively high level. it can be inferred that the peak of severe cases in many places may arrive in 2 to 3 weeks. At this stage, hospitals at all levels urgently need to make preparations for treating severe patients.”  The peak of severe cases will generally appear 2 to 3 weeks after the peak of infection.

Qiu Yunqing added, “At present, the intensive care units of hospitals in many places have reached a relatively saturated state. The treatment time for critically ill patients is generally relatively long and it takes a long time for patients to recover once they are admitted to the hospital or intensive care unit. Therefore, the existing medical resources may very likely be in short supply and it will be a huge challenge for the medical resources and medical personnel in hospitals to treat critically ill patients.”

The challenge to the hospitals has just begun. The Intensive care department, the respiratory department, and the emergency department are the three most over-loaded departments in most hospitals. The heads of the relevant departments of many top hospitals across the country told China News Weekly that, basically, all of the medical staff in these departments were infected. Although they have returned to work one after another recently, most of them came to work with illnesses and there is still a shortage of medical staff.

“The biggest problem facing these hospitals now is the shortage of medical staff. Since last week, a large number of the medical staff in the hospitals have been infected one after another. The staff reduction rate has now reached 70 percent.” On December 20, Zhao Linzhi, a critical care physician at a hospital in Wuhan, told China News Weekly  that some doctors and nurses with mild symptoms were exhausted because of staying up late and working overtime. In addition, some students who had been studying and training in the hospital left the hospital one after another, which stretched the insufficient medical resources even further. What makes Zhao Linzhi most anxious every day is not knowing who will show up to work in the hospital the next day.

With the gradual increase of critically ill patients, over occupancy of hospital beds has occurred in many hospitals.

Source: China Times, December 29, 2022                                                                                                                                              

RFA: Italy Implements Mandatory Covid-19 Test for Travelers from China; Half Have Tested Positive

Italy’s health minister Orazio Schillaci, said on Wednesday that Italy has ordered COVID-19 antigen swabs and virus sequencing for all travelers from China, where cases are surging.

Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, which began testing passengers from Beijing and Shanghai on December 26, showed almost one in every two passengers had been infected.

“This measure is essential to ensure surveillance and detection of possible variants of the virus to protect the Italian population,” said Minister Schillaci.

On the first flight to Malpensa, 62 passengers from China were tested and 35 tested positive for Covid, the Lombardy’s health chief Guido Bertolaso said on Wednesday. On the second flight, 62 of 120 people tested positive.

Japan said it would require travelers from mainland China to be tested for COVID-19 on arrival starting on Dec. 31. Taiwan would begin testing travelers from China on Jan. 1.

Source: Radio Free Asia, December28, 2022                                                                                                                                             

Liberty Times : Beijing Ordered Strictly to Prohibit Interviews and Filming at Funeral Homes

China quickly relaxed the epidemic prevention policy on Covid. It has also continued to cover the death numbers in a number of different ways. Recently, an announcement from a funeral home in the eastern suburbs of Beijing has been circulating on the Internet. It reads, “In order to enforce the work discipline strictly, urgent notification is given of  the following relevant requirements: 1. It is strictly forbidden for anyone to be interviewed by any media or organization. 2. It is strictly forbidden for anyone to discuss, answer or disclose the data or the operation of any funeral homes. 3. It is strictly forbidden for anyone to shoot, edit, or send (forward) anything related to the situation of the funeral homes, whether in the form of text messages, WeChat, email, Weibo or other media. Any violations will be dealt with seriously.”

A media reporter called the Beijing Dongjiao Funeral Home on the 27th, but the Home declined to reveal a single word, only saying that they would report to their superiors, who would give a unified reply.

Source: Liberty Times, December 29, 2022                                                                                                                                                                                         

China Boosts Coal Production and Sales for Electricity Generation

The northern region of China has been affected by the recent large-scale cold wave. It has thus entered the peak period of winter heating. The southern region has also increased the purchase of thermal coal due to weather that includes low temperatures, rain and snow.
Global Times reported that, according to the China Coal Industry Association, China’s coal production and its sales have both increased since November. It was reported that the Ordos municipality of Inner Mongolia has made every effort to promote the release of coal production capacity this year, with a total of 46 new coal mines entering production and an annual increase of 95.7 million tons of output. At the same time, 80 percent of the original production capacity and 100 percent of the new production capacity will be included in the agreement of guaranteed supply. As of the end of November, the utilization rate of 442 key coal mines in Inner Mongolia (autonomous region), Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces exceeded 82 percent, an increase of 0.6 percent from the end of October.
Source: Global Times, December 6, 2022                                                                                                                                          

Global Times Editorial: Taiwan Semiconductor Has Changed to “U.S. Semiconductor”

China’s state-run media Global Times published an editorial accusing the U.S. of breaking the international rule and forcibly taking Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) to the United States. The article also used the term “TSMC of China’s Taiwan province.” Below is an excerpt from the article:


“On December 6, TSMC held a ‘relocation ceremony’ for its first factory in Arizona. Washington ‘gave a measure of credit’ to this event. U.S. President Joe Biden led Commerce Secretary Raimondo to visit the new factory in Arizona. He also stated in a high-profile speech that day that what happened in Arizona is very important to the country and to the world. However, no matter how Washington plays it, this will be a landmark event [n a dark turning point in the history of the development of the global semiconductor industry].


“Zhang Zhongmou, the founder of TSMC, said at the ceremony that day, ‘Globalization is almost dead and free trade is almost dead.’ Although he may have meant something else, this sentence came from the founder of a highly globalized leading company. It is a meaningful and precise footnote to the event and to what U.S. President Biden said in his speech at the ceremony, ‘Guys, American manufacturing is back,’ It is a huge irony. Why does this show that the American manufacturing industry is‘back,’ Isn’t this TSMC, which has been developing well in the Taiwan Province in China?


“No matter how the U.S. and the Democratic Progressive Party  (a Taiwanese nationalist and centre-left political party in the Republic of China) authorities cover it up, it will not change the nature of this matter. That is, the U.S. has forcefully taken the high-quality enterprise from China’s Taiwan, which occupies an important position in the world’s core high-tech industries, to the United States. To welcome the arrival of TSMC, Washington proffered a wealth of compliments, but from the beginning to the end there was only the core of “American interests,” and there was almost no mention of whether the two sides could win-win or whether they would contribute to the global chip industry.


“This is also a wake-up call to the world, and we need to ring the alarm bells louder. The United States is not only doing this to TSMC. It can also use this as an example to attract manufacturing back to the United States, and continue to put pressure on chip companies in other countries that are still hesitant. For Washington, whether it is economically or politically, this is a deal that is sure to make a profit without losing money. The United States used brute force to force its way into the world originally dominated by the laws of the market, just like a bull breaking into a china shop, disrupting rules and order. If it is true, as Zhang Zhongmou said, ‘Globalization is almost dead and free trade is almost dead.’ Then the United States is the culprit according to clear evidence.”

Source: Global Times, December 8, 2022