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Russia Quarantines Chinese Diplomat as Coronavirus Precaution

The Interfax news agency reported on Monday that Russian authorities have quarantined a Chinese diplomat as a safety precaution against the coronavirus outbreak, .

Consul General Cui Shaochun arrived in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday to take up his new post.  Russian foreign ministry official Alexander Kharlov was quoted as saying that he should stay at home for two weeks (the incubation period), .

Source: US News & World Report, February 20, 2020

CCP Loyalist Warns Chinese Students in Germany Not to Commemorate Wuhan Physician

Students in Berlin, Germany were gathering at Brandenburg Gate on February 9, 2020, to commemorate Dr. Li Wenliang, a physician in Wuhan, China who passed away two days earlier. Over a month ago, Li broke the news  that a new type of coronavirus had infected patients, but the police then penalized him. On January 3, China Central Television (CCTV), Beijing’s state-run television, broadcast the news that the Wuhan police had reprimanded Li. He was among eight people who alerted others about the virus on social media.

One student, loyal to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), issued a warning to other Chinese students who might attend the gathering. The person cried out, “Ab-so-lute-ly NO participation! This is a critical moment, everyone must exercise caution. Some murky forces are trying to make the most out of [the death of] Dr. Li. I have verified that the organizers have an anti-China background. Please spread the word. Don’t let those with ulterior motives take advantage of this occasion. To commemorate Li Wenliang is only an excuse. To make bloody gains out of the doctor’s death is what they want.”

It is apparent that this person (making this statement) has resources at his disposal to enable him to gather information about or keep dossiers on the event’s organizers.

Meanwhile, within China, given the outpouring of public grief and anger, People’s Daily, the CCP official newspaper, took the opposite approach of actively facilitating favorable actions taken regarding Dr. Li. The People’s Daily commentator cheered when a special team was dispatched to Wuhan to investigate any wrongs that was carried out against Dr. Li. Continue reading

Taiwan: Controversy about the First Evacuation Flight – February 3

After initially rejecting Taiwan’s request to evacuate its citizens who were trapped in Wuhan, China, Beijing sent a charter flight on February 3, 2020, to take 247 people from Wuhan to Taiwan. However, this first flight was full of controversies. [Editor’s note: A Chinascope briefing with a commentary on why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initially rejected the Taiwan evacuation request is worth reading, as its predictions exhibited a high similarity to what had actually happened.]

The following are the controversies.

Beijing, viewing Taiwan as part of its own territory, did not recognize the event as “Taiwan evacuating its citizens.” Instead, it just called the flight an “extra flight during the Chinese New Year.” It did not let Taiwan send a plane either, but used one from the mainland’s Eastern Airlines.

The original evacuation list had 244 people, but the actual flight carried 247. Upon arrival at Taipei, one of the three additional people, was tested and was confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus,

Taiwan authorities did not receive the list of people until the people were about to board the plane, which left them little room to verify who the people were and to confirm the urgency for their return compared to that of other people. To have a better control of the situation, Taiwan authorities postponed the next flight.

When they negotiated with Beijing, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council stressed a general principle on deciding on people riding on the first fight: Give priority to those who are on a short-term visit and lack a regular facility and means to live (e.g. hotels have to provide food or other services), those who have a chronic disease, and children, elderly, and those with weak immune capabilities. It also asked to exclude those who have been confirmed to have the coronavirus infection. Beijing agreed. However, the result was quite different. Among the first 247 evacuated people, there was not only a confirmed infected patient, but also a few dozen people who did not have Taiwan citizenship (many of them were the spouses or children of Taiwan citizens). However, many people who had a higher priority based on the stated terms weren’t able get on the plane.

The Kuomintang played a big role in making the evacuation happen, since Beijing rejected the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council’s initial request. The Kuomintang set up a seven-member group as a third-party channel to communicate with Beijing. The group talked to the Chinese Communist Party on a “party to party” basis and was able to establish the path for the evacuation.

A Kuomintang Central Committee member Xu Zhengwen collected the names of Taiwan citizens in Wuhan and worked on the first evacuation list. He criticized the Taiwan government, under the Democratic Progressive Party President, for putting people’s lives in jeopardy by postponing the next flight. However, many people blamed him for giving seats out as favors and ignoring the people who were in greater need. There were also questions about him holding many political titles from mainland China. One title, for example, was from the China Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification, an organization under the CCP’s United Front Department that aimed to reunify Taiwan and China.

The Kuomintang issued a news statement that its seven-people group was not involved in deciding the name list of the first flight, and that any of its party members whose words or actions interfered in the epidemic prevention would receive party discipline.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Continue reading

Taiwan: Commentary – Why Beijing Does Not Allow Taiwan to Evacuate Its Citizens

As many countries have withdrawn their citizens from Wuhan, Taiwan also wanted to evacuate its 300 citizens who are currently trapped in Wuhan. However, Beijing wouldn’t give the evacuation a green light but instead claimed that it will provide “special care” for them in Wuhan.

An Epoch Times article commented that there could be three possible reasons for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to do this:

  1. To keep the Taiwan people as political hostages in revenge for its defeat in the Taiwan Presidential election. The CCP supported the Kuomintang candidate, Han Kuo-yu, whose relationship with the CCP was much closer than that of President Tsai Ing-wen.
  2. To keep them long enough to make some of them catch the virus or even die. That could create a big backlash against Tsai’s government in Taiwan.
  3. To give their “red agents” an opportunity to gain political capital. These agents could come out as the heroic mediators who broker a deal between the two sides and bring the Taiwan people back.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: Epoch Times, February 1, 2020

Taiwan: Beijing Rejected Taiwan’s Evacuation Request – January 28

After the city of Wuhan imposed a lockdown on January 23, 2020The Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council contacted the mainland government about the option of evacuating Taiwan citizens from Wuhan. The Mainland China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, State Council didn’t give specific response. Its spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang stated on January 28 that, “Taiwan friends have received proper care. … The Hubei Taiwan Affairs Office and the Wuhan Taiwan Affairs Office will continue to provide care and support to the Taiwan people in Hubei, especially those in Wuhan.” Continue reading

Wuhan to Round Up All Suspected nCoV Patients

According to “Xiakedao,” a social media account that People’s Daily operates, on February 9, 2020, Wuhan stepped up its all-out campaign to round up every single one of the four types of suspected nCov patients.

The four types are: confirmed patients, suspected patients, those in close contact with the former two, and those who have a fever.

Total of 16,739 officials and employees from agencies and enterprises directly affiliated with the city government took part in the Feb 9 roundup. They joined existing residential community work groups to comb through the entire population of around 10 million. These work groups are conducting door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who need be isolated.

Sun Chunlan, the female Vice Premier of China’s State Council, who called for a “people’s war” against the fast-spreading virus, gave the order on February 6. Guangming Daily, the State Council’s official newspaper, issued a commentary on February 9 saying that it was of the utmost importance to quarantine these people centrally, so that the spread of the epidemic could be stopped. The commentary also acknowledged the lack of medical supplies in Wuhan, but it claimed that over 11,000 medical staff members have been dispatched to Wuhan from across China.

It is not yet clear what the total number of these four types of people will be. Earlier reports have indicated that there is a devastating environment in the large, new quarantine facilities that were converted from stadiums or exhibition centers. Continue reading

Stability Control: Central Propaganda Department Sent 300 News Reporters to Hubei Province

On February 3, 2020. Xi Jinping hosted a meeting with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo Standing Committee. At the meeting he stressed that they should “do a good job in propaganda education and public opinion guidance.” Such guidance should include “promoting in-depth publicity about the major decisions of the CCP Central Committee, substantially reporting the effectiveness of the joint (epidemic) prevention and control measures in different regions and different departments, vividly telling touching stories, telling the story well about China’s fight against the epidemic, and demonstrating the Chinese people’s spirit and the great power of unity and togetherness in fighting the epidemic.”

Zhang Xiaoguo, Director of the Information Bureau of the CCP Central Propaganda Department, said that the department sent 300 news reporters to Hubei Province, including the epicenter Wuhan.

The WeChat account “Reporters Station” said that the majority of these 300 reporters were from CCP central media. “Besides providing prompt, full-scale reports on the epidemic prevention and control, (they will) present positive stories on humanity to the public to strengthen the guidance of public opinion.” Continue reading

Public Opinion: Outpouring of Grief and Anger upon Death of Chinese Doctor Who Warned Others About Coronavirus

Li Wenliang, an eye doctor in Wuhan, China, was among the eight people (all physicians in Wuhan) who warned the public about the novel coronavirus. He passed away on the night of February 6, 2020.

According to a Chinese journal, people had been in critical condition when transferred to Wuhan Central Hospital on the afternoon of February 6.

BBC Chinese reported that the official Chinese media People’s Daily and Global Times, and a more outspoken news outlet The Beijing News all reported the passing away of 34-year-old Dr. Li at 9:30 p.m. February 6. However, within two hours, all these reports were deleted and could not be found online. Chinese media claimed that Dr. Li was still under recovery.

An outpouring of grief and anger appeared on China’s social media.

In what Al Jazeera called a “political resuscitation,” the Chinese authorities gave orders after Dr. Li’s heart had stopped beating to stop the resuscitation only to calm the public’s rage.

Al Jazeera‘s report was further confirmed by the People magazine and a number of online posts that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in charge of Dr. Li’s treatment refused repeated requests from rescuing physicians to put him on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and did it only when the higher up told them to do so. After Dr. Li’s heart stopped beating and the information was spread out, the CCP organization needed to soothe the public mourn and anger by putting the ECMO on to show they had tried everything possible and also to decide on the timing of the eventual announcement of Dr. Li’s death.

A blogger mourned on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter), “Those who tell the truth are arrested for spreading rumors and those who tell nothing but lies become the leaders.” Continue reading