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Thread: Coronavirus: the Chinese Political Angle

  1. #136
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    I understand that. But meat doesn't get you hepatitis, atleast I haven't come across anyone who did.
    Thing with meat isn't hepatitis. With pork its Trichinosis. This is why the jews & muslims avoided it.

    What kinds of problems are lurking when you eat other exotic meats.

    Unless they're well done i'd be wary.

  2. #137
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Debate over face masks ends, Hong Kong was right all along | SCMP | Apr 04 2020

    From the start, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the answer was, no. Masks should be worn by those who are sick, and medical and care workers, according to the global body. There was no need for people who are well to wear them.

    That position was adopted by countries such as the United States, Britain, much of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and Singapore. They emphasised frequent handwashing and social distancing, by keeping at least a metre apart from others in public places, and the need to save available masks for health care workers.
    I was surprised to see Singapore in the list

    Singapore, which had been steadfast in telling its citizens not to wear masks if they were not unwell, changed its stance as its confirmed cases crossed the 1,000 mark, with six deaths by Saturday morning, and will start distributing reusable masks to all households from Sunday.
    They've changed their stance as have the Americans. This is good news.

    The US administration debated and decided to change its advice on masks in recent days. On Tuesday, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN that the White House Coronavirus Task Force was discussing the issue.

    On Thursday, he indicated the advice would change and Americans would be encouraged to wear masks, saying: “Given the fact that we know that asymptomatic people are clearly transmitting infection, it just makes common sense that it’s not a bad idea to do that.”

    On Friday, Surgeon General Adams acknowledged that some would find the change in position confusing, but said it followed new information that infected people without symptoms could be spreading Covid-19.
    The penny drops.

    “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit,” said Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies programme, as recently as Monday.

    The WHO also made a U-turn itself, with Ryan saying: “We can certainly see circumstances on which the use of masks, both home-made and cloth masks, at the community level may help with an overall comprehensive response to this disease.”
    Yeah, you were just kidding earlier, RIGHT!

    One reason for the change of heart is that as Covid-19 ravaged countries like Italy and Spain, and spiked alarmingly elsewhere, experts noticed that communities used to wearing masks had recorded slower infection rates.
    This is one reason why China keeps its numbers down. Cannot be outside without some sort of mask. Even a bandana or scarf is acceptable.

    In Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, wearing masks in public is so widely accepted that those who leave home barefaced risk dirty looks or being told off. In Europe, the Czech Republic and Slovakia bucked the western trend, encouraging the use of masks by everyone.
    Compare with the US where earlier people would mock you and these days lecture you to donate your stash of masks to health workers. If its N95 or better.

    “Universal masking, as a package of anti-epidemic measures, including greater social distancing and hand hygiene, has been instrumental in keeping Covid-19 in check,” said infectious diseases expert Professor David Hui Shu-cheong of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
    These people know more than the WHO

    Wearing masks in public has been ingrained in Hongkongers’ collective psyche since the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic of 2003, and experts now believe the habit helped the city of 7.4 million keep its Covid-19 numbers down to 845, with four deaths as of Friday.

    Hong Kong also weathered the first wave of the outbreak with a flatter epidemic curve than many other places where infections have soared. Observers consider the Hong Kong numbers remarkable given its proximity to mainland China, where Covid-19 began, and its status as an international transport hub.
    So HK numbers are legit then ? With famous virus hunters like Gabriel Leung in their ranks why would people doubt what HK says.

    If HK is true then how far off are Beijing & Shanghai ?

    Singapore is encouraging its people to use reusable masks. The WHO emphasised on Friday that surgical masks should be reserved for medical professionals.
    Most people would prefer reusable as maintenance is simpler. How well they work over surgical is unknown though. Will definitely stop droplets though.



    Used masks are designated as hazardous waste. Even the garbage workers are in protective suits.

    Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) top microbiologist and an early proponent of wearing masks in the city, has described the case of a seven-year-old girl who resisted Covid-19 while her family members fell sick.

    In a study published in the medical journal Lancet, he said the family of six travelled to Wuhan, the epicentre of China’s Covid-19 outbreak, and the girl was the only one in the family who did not contract the virus. The reason: she wore masks throughout their trip.
    A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster | Lancet | Jan 24 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by From Lancet
    Patients 1–4 were symptomatic, and they only presented to our hospital (The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen) 6–10 days after symptom onset.

    For the two asymptomatic children (patients 5 and 6), patient 5 had ground-glass lung opacities identified by CT scan.

    Unlike patient 5, who was aged 10 years and non-compliant to parental guidance, patient 6, who was aged 7 years and reported by her mother to wear a surgical mask for most of the time during the period in Wuhan, was not found to be infected by virological or radiological investigations.
    That should clear all doubts once and for all. The seven yr old listened to her mother and wore the surgical mask all through the trip. The 10 yr old kid didn't listen.

    That study was published OVER TWO MONTHS back !!

    HKU’s Benjamin Cowling, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, said: “I am not clear why there is a different standard applied to use in the community, that face masks are really, really an important part of protection of medical workers – I agree with that – but somehow not effective at all in the general community because people don’t know how to wear masks properly.

    “If that’s really the case, the solution is to have a public education campaign, not to avoid recommending the use of masks.”
    Double standards

    There are other benefits in more widespread use of masks. Shan Soe-lin, a lecturer in public health at Yale University, said the sight of everyone in masks can stimulate behavioural change by signalling the seriousness of the pandemic and the need for protection.

    “It reduces stigma and encourages others to wear masks, which further amplifies the collective benefits,” she added. “People touch their faces an average of once every 2.5 minutes, which is a very hard, if not impossible habit to break. Covering your face keeps your hands away from your nose and mouth.”
    Suspect this is the reason behind the high compliance in my city.

    Yes it might panic people in the short term but that's a good panic because they go look for masks as well.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Apr 20, at 19:59.

  3. #138
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Why is Taiwan doing better than HK ? they had advance warning.



    Taipei tried to warn the WHO about human to human transmission AT THE END OF DECEMBER but were ignored because Taiwan is considered a LMAO! country

    The WHO Ignores Taiwan. The World Pays the Price | The Nation | Apr 04 2020

    I think its time Taiwan got some representation at the UN. Then they will no longer be a LMAO! country.

    The EU has recognised their contribution.

    As post–Cold War globalization fractures and right-wing nationalisms harden, the WHO’s deference to individual countries’ interests only risks widening divisions.

    Is it mere coincidence that at least two of the societies that have responded most ably to the virus—Taiwan, Hong Kong—are ones that the WHO doesn’t consider to be sovereign places at all?

    The coronavirus pandemic is already a profound tragedy. We can avoid further heartache by ending our reliance on a global health system that sees the world as competing states. Instead, we need to focus on creating bottom-up, transnational mutualism between health workers, researchers, and communities.

    At this point, sovereignty can’t save us—but solidarity might.
    Taiwan & HK did better without WHO's advice


    How Taiwan is containing coronavirus – despite diplomatic isolation by China | Guardian | Mar 13 2020

    In Taiwan, most residents carry on as normal, with offices and schools open. Many restaurants, gyms, and cafes in the capital, Taipei, are still bustling, although most premises will take temperatures and spray hands with sanitiser before allowing customers in.
    No problem with TAI restaurant.

    Tsai Ing Wen is sitting pretty after her handling of this crisis a few months after her re-election.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Apr 20, at 01:31.

  4. #139
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    So i've been challenged over the WHO's tweet that its not legit official bla bla so i found something better. A STATEMENT from even earlier. Jan 09

    WHO Statement regarding cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China | WHO | Jan 09 2020

    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less-severe disease, such as the common cold, and others more severe disease such as MERS and SARS. Some transmit easily from person to person, while others do not. According to Chinese authorities, the virus in question can cause severe illness in some patients and does not transmit readily between people.
    WHO does not recommend any specific measures for travellers. WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information currently available.
    But Taiwan ignored this ( from the Nation article in the previous post)

    Taiwan took action anyway. Before nightfall on December 31, the country decided to begin health inspections for all passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan.

    Two weeks later—amid continued reassurances from Chinese and WHO officials that there was no need for alarm—Taiwan dispatched two of its health experts to the city in Hubei province, where they found significant likelihood that the coronavirus was capable of human-to-human transmission.

    This virus, they reported on January 16, could be far more dangerous than initially assumed, noting that Wuhan’s local doctors were taking the disease very seriously as well.
    SO how credible are Taiwans figures now ? Looking more credible than less.

    Their screening was the earliest in the world.

    By the time Taiwan confirmed its first case of Covid-19 on January 21, the country was arguably more prepared than any other place in the world.

    It mobilized its Central Epidemic Command Center—a rapid-response agency formed in the wake of the 2003 SARS outbreak—to implement quarantines and conduct drills at hospitals.

    Citizens were asked to stay calm and assured that they would all be able to buy surgical masks, as production of the masks ramped up into millions per day. Soon after, Taiwanese masks were temporarily banned from export.
    WHO had an emergency meeting on Jan 22 with 21 other countries of which Taiwan was excluded. They did not decide at that meeting to call it a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern)

    They had another on Jan 30 where they did. SO why wait until Mar 18 to declare it a pandemic. This is the time the warnings to all countries should have gone out. But.....

    By the time the WHO finally declared a global health emergency on January 30, nearly 8,000 cases had been confirmed by Chinese authorities, hundreds of people had died, and the virus had surfaced in at least 18 countries outside of China.

    Still, the WHO struck a deferential tone. “This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China,” said Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    “On the contrary, the WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.”
    On what basis was this decision made !!!

    Contrast the WHO DG of today to the one in charge when the SARS outbreak happened back in 2003. Gro Bruntland did not mince her words in warning people and as a result the rest of the world never got to know about SARS.

    Then Trump started the China ban along with 21 countries. Again the WHO DG said it only increased stigma. Fauci at the end of Feb praised Trump's earlier decision but as we're seeing it did not come early enough. Taiwan was a month faster.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 04 Apr 20, at 22:05.

  5. #140
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Thing with meat isn't hepatitis. With pork its Trichinosis. This is why the jews & muslims avoided it.
    I always source my pork from known sources, who grow their pigs organically. I have also seen the worse effects of trichinosis in a man some 20 years back. Left eating pork for a while. Jews and Muslims don't avoid eating pork because of trichinosis, they avoid it because their religious texts say animals that sit on their hind legs are dirty and not fit to be hallalled.

    What kinds of problems are lurking when you eat other exotic meats.

    Unless they're well done i'd be wary.
    I am still alive. Exotic meats that I ate, and exotic meat markets in China are completely different. In my place, 1 exotic animal would be hunted and brought to the market and sold. In China, rows of exotic animals would be kept one above the another. So, if one is wounded, the puss/blood etc falls on the animals kept lower. Really unhygienic. Which is why I said regulations and hygiene is a must.
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  6. #141
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    I always source my pork from known sources, who grow their pigs organically. I have also seen the worse effects of trichinosis in a man some 20 years back. Left eating pork for a while. Jews and Muslims don't avoid eating pork because of trichinosis, they avoid it because their religious texts say animals that sit on their hind legs are dirty and not fit to be hallalled.
    There's more practical explanations than that

    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    The religious aspect is probably rooted in the discovery years ago that circumcision reduced disease in males, just as the danger of eating uncooked pork was prohibited by the ancients. It too often led to sickness and death by what we now know as trichinosis. Cultural habits persist even when they no longer serve any purpose.
    Why are muslims advised to avoid alcohol ? it dehydrates you. And that's the last thing you want in the desert.


    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    I am still alive. Exotic meats that I ate, and exotic meat markets in China are completely different. In my place, 1 exotic animal would be hunted and brought to the market and sold. In China, rows of exotic animals would be kept one above the another. So, if one is wounded, the puss/blood etc falls on the animals kept lower. Really unhygienic. Which is why I said regulations and hygiene is a must.
    Yeah but i'm talking about the stuff you ate. I imagine it would all have to be well done to be safe.

    Here's another from the past

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship View Post
    And bear meat MUST be cooked WELL DONE as they can carry trichinosis like pork.

  7. #142
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    There's more practical explanations than that

    Why are muslims advised to avoid alcohol ? it dehydrates you. And that's the last thing you want in the desert.

    Yeah but i'm talking about the stuff you ate. I imagine it would all have to be well done to be safe.

    Here's another from the past
    When I say that muslims and jews don't eat pork as they find animals that sit on their hind legs dirty, it is because a practising and educated muslim said so to me. Maybe it's the disease, but I am talking about religious texts.

    Hindu scriptures prohibit pregnant women from sitting under a tree at night. Why? Religious texts say that it is bad omen, that a ghost might possess the women or her child. Science says that at night trees release CO2, and it bad for both the mother and her unborn child.

    Ancient religious texts were compiled from observations over centuries, not science, but many observations were correct but not the reasoning given then.

    Who said anything about eating uncooked meat? My friends ate a rat snake last year when we went hunting for a deer. They grilled it.

    Steaks are mostly eaten rare or medium rare. Very few people like their steaks fully done, unless he's a Hindu and want the steak to be cremated, before eating it. Regulations play an important part. People when they eat it, they know that those are certified USDA prime.

    Go to a shanty and eat pork and one is likely to have trichinosis. Buy the same pork, cook it in your home well, and it's safe. Here, the meat source is the same, those from pigs we see roaming around eating garbage and even human sh!t.
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  8. #143
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Ancient religious texts were compiled from observations over centuries, not science, but many observations were correct but not the reasoning given then.
    That's JAD's point. There's good reasons behind and those reasons aren't always understood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Who said anything about eating uncooked meat? My friends ate a rat snake last year when we went hunting for a deer. They grilled it.

    Steaks are mostly eaten rare or medium rare. Very few people like their steaks fully done, unless he's a Hindu and want the steak to be cremated, before eating it. Regulations play an important part. People when they eat it, they know that those are certified USDA prime.

    Go to a shanty and eat pork and one is likely to have trichinosis. Buy the same pork, cook it in your home well, and it's safe. Here, the meat source is the same, those from pigs we see roaming around eating garbage and even human sh!t.
    Yeah, so i don't know what the cooking preferences are with the different kinds of exotic meat you have. That's why i pointed out well done.

    I prefer my steaks medium or even less. I love sushi which is raw. Not had any here though. It's not fresh and that matters big time with fish. When i was in NYC people used to say sushi is better for lunch than dinner because it more fresh. Veg sushi is what we get here and yeah, not the same thing unfortunately.

    More i think of it eating stuff raw appeals to me. Not safe for a lot of meat though.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Apr 20, at 03:32.

  9. #144
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    That's JAD's point. There's good reasons behind and those reasons aren't always understood.


    Yeah, so i don't know what the cooking preferences are with the different kinds of exotic meat you have. That's why i pointed out well done.

    I prefer my steaks medium or even less. I love sushi which is raw. Not had any here though. It's not fresh and that matters big time with fish. When i was in NYC people used to say sushi is better for lunch than dinner because it more fresh. Veg sushi is what we get here and yeah, not the same thing unfortunately.

    More i think of it eating stuff raw appeals to me. Not safe for a lot of meat though.
    Why do some people/cultures eat raw fish/meat (not culturally, but the food science behind it) as in Sushi?
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  10. #145
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Why do some people/cultures eat raw fish/meat (not culturally, but the food science behind it) as in Sushi?
    Taste ? that's how i'd like to eat all fish if i could.

    If it works. If its safe.

    Sushi has a lot of art in it. Preparation, presentation. Knives used.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Apr 20, at 04:17.

  11. #146
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Trichinosis in the US is very rare, couple dozen cases a year. Compare to China: 10,000?
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  12. #147
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Taste ? that's how i'd like to eat all fish if i could.

    If it works. If its safe.

    Sushi has a lot of art in it. Preparation, presentation. Knives used.
    No.

    Raw meat/fish/veggies stays in ones' stomach longer, and the person feels fuller for a longer period of time. It takes a lot of time and energy to breakdown raw food inside the stomach. Recommended, if you can be 100% sure that food is safe from contamination. Then, comes the taste part.

    Sushi is made with the best quality freshest fish, so it's safe. Doesn't mean, there cannot be food poisoning from fresh foods too. All it takes is a little bit of bad luck, and salmonella to cause stomach trouble. I suffered once from home cooked veggies, whole night I did trips to the toilet. There was immense pain, alcohol didn't have any effects. In the morning I felt a*a* raped. It can be that bad.
    Last edited by Oracle; 05 Apr 20, at 17:31.
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  13. #148
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    That's JAD's point. There's good reasons behind and those reasons aren't always understood.


    Yeah, so i don't know what the cooking preferences are with the different kinds of exotic meat you have. That's why i pointed out well done.

    I prefer my steaks medium or even less. I love sushi which is raw. Not had any here though. It's not fresh and that matters big time with fish. When i was in NYC people used to say sushi is better for lunch than dinner because it more fresh. Veg sushi is what we get here and yeah, not the same thing unfortunately.

    More i think of it eating stuff raw appeals to me. Not safe for a lot of meat though.
    Well done in my case means making a curry, which includes boiling the meat with spices, oil and water for a considerable amount of time. No chance of contamination. Again, doesn't mean, salmonella hasn't flown in with the air and made itself comfortable when the curry's resting and cold.

    I've picked up a habit from my late maternal uncle (PBUH). When I get/buy a free range chicken, I slaughter it. When marination's done, I take a small piece of breast and eat it. No idea why my late uncle (PBUH) used to eat it after marination uncooked. It's tasty. I never had any trouble with meat in my life TBH. It's just veggies with which I had an issue once.

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    Steaks are also raw. USDA prime steaks are cooked for how much time? 6-8 mins on either side, on a hot grill. This is medium rare, I'm talking about. If you have to eat steak medium, you better cook it the Indian way. You don't taste the richness of the meat when you cook it medium or well. It's all about how the meat is butchered, handled, stored, aged, handled, transported, handled, cooked and served.

    Go to any market. Buy anything - veggies/fish/meat. While meat has a standard price, veggies and fish prices will vary by how fresh they are.
    Last edited by Oracle; 05 Apr 20, at 17:33.
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  14. #149
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    China steps up western media campaign over coronavirus crisis

    The Chinese state is ramping up its English-language media campaigns in a bid to defend the country’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, highlight the failings of western governments, and raise China’s standing on the world stage.

    Photographs of Chinese aid – dubbed “facemask diplomacy” – arriving at Heathrow on Saturday including boxes labelled “Keep Calm and Cure Coronavirus” have been promoted to UK audiences by the Xinhua news agency. Some younger Chinese diplomats have used English-language Twitter, which is banned within China, to spread false suggestions that the virus may have been started by the west to discredit the Chinese state.

    Prof Kerry Brown, an associate fellow on the Asia-Pacific programme at the thinktank Chatham House, suggested the country was trying to turn a national disaster into a global triumph: “They’re trying to push back against some of the politicisation of this in America and to try to get control of the narrative before it spirals out of control.”

    China’s authoritarian single-party state, which is at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index and has faced recent claims of playing down its coronavirus infection numbers, has long complained of unfair coverage by western media and recently expelled many western journalists. In recent years it has invested enormous sums of money in its own English-language news infrastructure to project its image around the world.

    At the forefront of this response has been the state-owned English-language 24-hour rolling news channel CGTN, which recently began broadcasting from a new UK base in west London with a mission statement of “reporting the news from a Chinese perspective”.

    Although CGTN is facing ongoing investigations by the media regulator Ofcom over its impartiality and other issues around press freedom, its criticism of western governments is less overt than that of other state-backed news networks such Russia Today or Iran’s Press TV.

    Instead, in the past week the channel has broadcast a combination of inspiring individual stories about Chinese doctors saving lives against the odds during the coronavirus pandemic, videos of Chinese aid arriving in European and African nations, and footage of China’s economy already recovering from the lockdown – along with more unusual footage, such as film of an Ethiopian man who believed he could stop the infection by putting garlic up his nose.

    On Thursday afternoon, it aired a series of interviews with Chinese diplomats and medical workers across Europe, with a presenter introducing interviews on how “China’s experience fighting Covid-19 is proving invaluable to other countries trying to contain the crisis”.

    They also interviewed the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands who criticised western media for their coverage of coronavirus aid: “Do they really wish China to stand by? I believe public opinion in the west is appreciative of China and its help.”

    Lijian Zhao, a young Chinese diplomat who has been likened to Donald Trump for his outsized and aggressively nationalistic Twitter personality, has also spread links to conspiracy theory websites suggesting the virus may have been created by the US.

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    Zhao is among a group of so-called “wolf warrior” diplomats and state media accounts, named after a patriotic film from 2015, that have become more outspoken, especially in defending China’s role in the outbreak. Over the past year, more Chinese diplomats as well as the foreign ministry have joined Twitter, posting in English and promoting China’s perspective on issues from human rights violations in Xinjiang to the US-China trade war.

    The cybersecurity researchers Recorded Future said they had noticed a distinct shift in tone on Chinese-run social media accounts in mid-February, which sought to move the narrative “from China as the source of the pandemic to China as a global leader in its response”.

    In line with this approach dozens of branded articles from the Chinese state-controlled People’s Daily have appeared on the Daily Telegraph website under a lucrative sponsorship deal, with headlines such as “Why are some framing China’s heroic efforts to stop coronavirus as inhumane?” Many of these have been removed from the UK newspaper’s website in recent days, in a development first reported by BuzzFeed News.

    Chinese companies have also done their best to help. Huawei, the telecoms giant at the centre of a global tussle over 5G mobile phone equipment, has donated thousands of facemasks to the UK under the slogan “Together we support the NHS”. But while the move was applauded by the Apprentice host, Lord Sugar, to his millions of Twitter followers, the company has not promoted its role – potentially out of concerns of how the gift would be perceived.

    What is unclear is whether western audiences are being influenced by the Chinese material. CGTN’s viewing figures are not publicly recorded but unlike Russia Today it is not available on the main Freeview broadcast service, while the online audience for Xinhua’s UK Facebook page attracts very few interactions.

    Brown said there had been surprise in China at some of the negative reaction to donations of masks: “The Chinese complaint is when you sent aid for earthquakes in the past, we didn’t complain. It’s symptomatic of this cultural clash over news management.”

    He also said that current English-language campaigns by Chinese state-backed media outlets were still far too conservative in their approach compared with more effective and “insidious” propaganda efforts by nations such as Russia.

    “People bang on about Chinese influence in the media but it’s too obvious – it walks down the street on stilts with a big sign above it saying ‘government messaging’,” he said. “If they get good at it, we won’t know. When they get good at it we have a problem.”

    France has also become alarmed at attempts by China to use the coronavirus outbreak to project the superiority of its political system.

    In an internal note, CAPS, the in-house thinktank of the country’s foreign ministry, warned that China would take control of globalisation and future global governance in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak unless democratic states offered something better than sticking-plaster solutions once the crisis had ended.

    “Even if China cannot claim leadership similar to that which the United States would have assumed a few years ago, China is already occupying the field by making itself essential, even central,” it read.
    According to a news report I read online in TOI, the Chinese side requested the Indian side not to term the virus, "Chinese virus", for relations to be smooth. Well, relations are not smooth, and I don't understand why the Indian side would bend over and accommodate the Chinese, when these are the same people who back terrorist state of Pakistan.
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  15. #150
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    China Shouldn’t Make Our Drugs

    A country learns about itself in a crisis, and one revelation in the coronavirus emergency is that we can’t make our own penicillin.

    The first patient successfully treated with the antibiotic was a woman suffering from sepsis in a Connecticut hospital in 1942. Her treatment took up half the country’s supply. Yet in short order we figured out how to mass-produce the medicine, saving the lives of countless soldiers in World War II. Once, factories throughout the country made the stuff.

    But that was a long time ago. The last U.S. plant to make penicillin, a Bristol-Myers Squibb operation in Syracuse, N.Y., shuttered in 2004.

    What happened? According to Rosemary Gibson of The Hastings Center and author of the book China Rx, “Industry data reveal that Chinese companies formed a cartel, colluded to sell product on the global market at below market price, and drove all U.S., European and Indian producers out of business.”

    When European firms tried to sell their penicillin ingredients in China, they got a characteristic Chinese welcome: The government, Gibson writes, “imposed high trade barriers, charged astronomical fees for product testing, and held foreign firms to a higher standard than domestic ones.”

    Just like that — it’s not so easy to simply start up a penicillin fermenter — we were out of the penicillin-production business.

    The story of penicillin is the tale of U.S. dependence on China-sourced pharmaceuticals and active drug ingredients writ large.

    From 2010 to 2018, U.S. imports of pharmaceuticals from China increased 75 percent. China is the second largest exporter of drugs and biologics to the United States behind Canada, and our dependence is even greater, given that China is the source of the active ingredients of many drugs produced elsewhere. India, another major source of drugs for the U.S., gets about 75 percent of its active ingredients from China.

    China is a dominant force when it comes to generic drugs in particular, which account for the vast majority of medicines that American take. We rely on China for 90 percent of our antibiotics, and for drugs to treat everything from HIV/AIDS to cancer to depression.

    China is fully aware of its leverage. It notoriously threatened via its state-run media to cut off our supply of drugs (except fentanyl, of course) and plunge the U.S. into “the mighty sea of coronavirus.”

    Even if China weren’t a malign global competitor (it is), a remorseless dictatorship (it is), or a dishonest kleptocracy (it is), there would be risk inherent in having so many of our medications and their components coming from one country. We become vulnerable to any disruption of Chinese production, whether from disease, political unrest, or war.

    Beijing is a particularly nasty actor, but the coronavirus has demonstrated that even friendly nations will keep medical supplies from one other if it is in their self-interest to do so.

    It is only prudent, then, that the U.S. begin a national effort to produce more of its own medicines. It’s not as though China’s advantage in this area is the result of a policy of strict laissez-faire. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission attributes China’s success to “government subsidies, a robust chemical industry, IP theft, lax environmental protections, and regulations favoring domestic companies.”

    Unspooling supply chains that have developed over the course of the past two decades won’t be simple. The U.S. should create every incentive for drug companies to at least move out of China into other foreign countries, and ideally come back here (economic incentives clearly matter — when drug companies lost tax preferences to manufacture in Puerto Rico, many of them left for China). Eventually, federally funded health systems, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration, should buy only American-sourced pharmaceuticals.

    Prescient commentators have been warning of our growing dependence on China for medicines for years. After this, there’s no excuse for not fixing it.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

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