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African Swine Fever Hit Chongqing and Has Spread through 14 Chinese Provinces

According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced on November 4 that a case of African swine fever broke out in a farm in Xingyi Town in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing. That pushed the number of provinces plagued by the epidemic to 14. The Chongqing farm reportedly has 309 pigs, among which three have died from the disease.

Although there were two cases of African swine fever in Shanxi Province in Northern China, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced on November 3 that another outbreak had been detected in Yangqu County of Shanxi. The involved Shanxi farmer is raising 47 pigs; 25 have been diagnosed with the disease and 7 have died.

Although China has taken many measures, the ever increasing number of confirmed cases shows that the epidemic has not been effectively contained. Outbreaks have been detected in 14 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions: Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Tianjin, Shanxi, Yunnan, Hunan, Guizhou and Chongqing.

African swine fever has an acute death rate of 100 percent. Although it will not infect humans, there is no vaccine to prevent it. Infected or dead pigs can only be culled, buried or treated with chemicals so as to prevent the spread of the virus.

Source: Central News Agency, November 4, 2018
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201811040125.aspx

China News: China Postal Services Banned Pork in Packages

China News recently reported that the China Postal Services just announce a ban on mailing pork in postal packages. This is part of the national plan to control the African swine fever, which is spreading widely across China. The announcement also included detailed organizational and human resource level accountabilities throughout the Postal Service’s management structure as well as the Communist Party structure. The Postal Service is also coordinating with other government branches like public safety, market monitoring and administration, inspection and quarantine, as well as customs. The plan is also to ban any pork import channels from suspicious African areas. All postal branches are required to establish emergency procedures with dedicated personnel. Emergency exercises are strengthened and should join the local governments’ overall exercises. Two-way communications mechanisms have also been standardized and set in place. All branches are stocking up on necessary supplies that the exercises and real-life emergency handling require.

Source: China News, November 2, 2018
http://http//www.chinanews.com/gn/2018/11-02/8666891.shtml

LTN: Chinese Job Market Faces a Cold Winter

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that the Chinese job market faces a very disappointing atmosphere. The national entry exam for government positions is posting only half the number of government jobs compared to last year’s number. Financial organizations and brokerage companies are enacting a hiring freeze across-the-board. The massive Chinese real estate sector is hiring nearly zero new staff. For example, the nation’s largest builder Wan Ke is hiring only 10 people in Beijing. The rapidly growing technology sector is also significantly reducing new hires. Some companies are even reducing the size of their current workforce. Well-known high-tech companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei are all reducing their positions for new college graduates. Tencent, NetEase, and Didi Carsharing (funded by Apple) are all laying off current staff. The entire Chinese job market is apparently declining.

Source: LTN, October 24, 2018
http://ec.ltn.com.tw/article/breakingnews/2590178

Guangzhou Metro Enabled Facial Recognition, Real-name Authentication, Upgraded Inspection of Carry-on Items, and Body Scanning

On October 26, China News reported that, starting on October 26, Guangzhou Metro has enabled facial recognition and real-name authentication, as well as upgrades in the security inspection of personal carry-on items and body scanners at multiple sites. It includes using Artificial Intelligence to identify dangerous goods, light wave security inspection channels, and facial recognition. Passengers need to download the official APP of the Guangzhou Metro in advance for real-name authentication and face collection, and enable the “Smart Security” function. The “face scanner” can be authenticated through the security check channel. The article claimed that, after the security check channel is activated, it can be implemented without the need for security personnel.

According to Radio Free Asia, the First Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security of China developed these facial recognition systems that pioneered in Guangzhou. They have been tested for many years. Two years ago, it was reported that “Facial Recognition Technology” has been used in anti-terrorism operations. This technology is a dynamic identification system that recognizes the identity of five people every second. The recognition speed is 200 milliseconds each time. The facial recognition system that the institute developed is called “Future-oriented.” It has high accuracy and builds functional identity management in the network world. An official said that, “facial recognition” technology is only needed when national security and public safety are involved, so it is expected that the “facial recognition system” will be used in the future in airports, subways, bus stations, and railway stations.

Last year, the Chinese authorities launched the “Skynet” monitoring system in urban regions and “Project Dazzling Snow” in rural areas. The tens of millions of monitoring probes cover almost all corners of China and are called “the most advanced monitoring system in the world.” The netizens teased that the official is treating the city like a prison. According to reports, the First Institute of the Ministry of Public Security of China was named the “national team for network security.” It conducted research on facial recognition testing technology as early as 2002. In the same year, it carried out regular evaluations of facial recognition products and created the application model for facial recognition in China.

Sources:
1. China News, October 26, 2018
http://www.chinanews.com/sh/2018/10-26/8660955.shtml
2. Radio Free Asia, October 26, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/ql2-10262018094621.html

Young People Are Lined Up to Make Wills

Although making wills is considered taboo in traditional Chinese culture, people in China have now lined up to make wills, possibly due to an awakening awareness of their private property rights. Hong Kong’s Asia Times reported that making a will appears to be trendy in China. Over 7,500 seniors have appointments with the China Will Registration Center in Beijing. Some of them have to wait for one year for their appointment. Meanwhile there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of young people over 30 years old making wills. The situation of their parents may be the reason for these young people to make a will. More and more young people designate parents as beneficiaries. They think it is better to leave assets such as real estate to parents than to leave them to others. In addition, another reason for young people to make wills is the high intensity of work pressure. They worry that, once they die from the stress at work, they have no guarantee to whom their property will be left.

Source: Sina.Com, October 27, 2018
https://news.sina.com.cn/o/2018-10-27/doc-ihmxrkzx4235846.shtml

New African Swine Fever Outbreak in Zhejiang Province

On October 22, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that, in the city of Taizhou in Zhejiang Province, a new African swine fever broke out on October 21.

At 17:00 on October 21, the Ministry of Agriculture received a report from the China Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center. The Zhejiang Provincial Center for Animal Disease Control and Prevention submitted samples to the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center, where it was diagnosed as African swine fever.

The sample that tested positive was from a breeding professional cooperative in Sanmen County in Taizhou City, in Zhejiang Province. The cooperative had 2,280 live pigs; 56 had died from the disease.

After the outbreak, the local authorities culled the pigs and conducted harmless treatment, disinfection, and other measures.

Sanmen County is located in the northern part of Taizhou City. Back in August, Yueqing, a city south of Taizhou was also confirmed to have had an outbreak of African swine fever.

Source: Central News Agency, October 22, 2018
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201810220257.aspx