Xi "reappears"; Rush to implement concentrated treatment and quarantine in Wuhan

There are still no signs the outbreak is close to coming under control, and there are reports of more cities around China going into lockdown, though not to the extent Wuhan and other Hubei cities have closed down.

The latest the latest official figures on virus cases from Caixin:

24,421 confirmed cases in China;

493 deaths in China;

23,260 suspected cases in China

We are now seeing an intensified scramble to build and requisition more facilities in Wuhan to house thousands of suspected cases. Taoran Notes, which has been very active over the last few days writing on the epidemic, did not mince words about the absolute necessity of putting anyone with symptoms in Wuhan into concentrated treatment and quarantine facilities as the only way to arrest the spread of the virus. As Wednesday’s post 关注疫情防控 | 抓紧落实集中收治和隔离是压倒一切的事情 from Taoran Notes concluded:

如果不能争分夺秒地有效控制传染源,切断传染途径,疫情防控面临的难度很快就会急剧加大。

到时候受影响的,就不只是武汉和湖北,而是全中国。

因此,集中收治和隔离如果还得不到有效落实,往轻说是失职,往重了说就是犯罪。

这不是愿不愿意,应不应该的问题,而是必须完成的任务。

真的是没有退路了。

If we do not make every second count to effectively control the source of infection and cut off the transmission route, the difficulty of epidemic prevention and control will soon increase dramatically.

It will affect not just Wuhan and Hubei, but all of China.

Therefore, concentrated treatment and quarantine, if not effectively implemented, is at best a dereliction of duty, at worst a crime.

This is not a question of willing or unwilling, should or should not, but of necessity.

There really is no other way.

Caijing magazine reported that Wuhan government has been ordered to hospitalize all confirmed infected patients by midnight Wednesday and test everyone suspected of being infected the end of Friday. They really are in a race with time and so far they are behind.

So much for those rumors about Xi, as this newsletter discussed yesterday. Xi reappeared on the CCTV Evening News in a report on his meeting with Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia.

Premier Li Keqiang also met with Hun Sen.

There must be a very good air filtration system in the Great Hall of the People, as the reports on the Xi and Li meetings showed no one in masks.

Speaking of the Great Hall of the People, will the “Two Meetings” still meet in early March? Yunnan and Sichuan are the only provinces that have not yet held their provincial people’s congress meetings, but given the lockdowns across the country it seems risky to move several thousand delegates from across the country into Beijing in less than a month. Might they meet over video links?

This is a long issue, I recommend you click on the headline at the top of the email to read it in your browser. Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. The outbreak

武汉接到俩硬任务:检测全部疑似病例 收治所有确诊_新浪财经_新浪网

Caijing magazine reported that Wuhan government has been ordered to hospitalize all confirmed infected patients by midnight Wednesday and test everyone suspected of being infected the end of Friday. “The General Secretary (Xi) has said in the meeting the day before yesterday, those who failed to do this may be cut (sacked).”

“今天的会非常重要,不能有任何丝毫理解上的差误,如果出现任何问题,会追责,不是吓唬大家。总书记前天的会议已经提了,做不好要动刀子。”2月5日上午,在武汉市卫健委10楼会议室中一位发言人称。

《财经》记者独家获悉,当日上午,武汉市新型冠状病毒感染的肺炎疫情防控指挥部召开的会议(下称指挥部会议)中,要求各区在未来两天内,最晚至2月7日,完成武汉市所有疑似病例的核酸检测。除了疑似病例的检测,这次会议还提出争取在2月5日晚24时,收治所有确诊病人。

这两个任务,是上级对武汉提出的硬性要求,也是当前武汉对抗疫情中的两大难点。

Wuhan to build 8 more temporary hospitals - Xinhua

Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province plans to convert another eight existing venues, including gymnasiums, exhibition centers and sports centers, into hospitals to receive patients infected with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), local authorities said Tuesday.

Wuhan first converted three venues into hospitals Monday, with a total of about 3,400 beds.

So far, Wuhan has converted 11 venues into makeshift hospitals, with a total of over 10,000 beds. The conversion work on the 11 hospitals is expected to be completed on Feb. 5.

The sites, located in different districts of the city, will take in patients with mild symptoms caused by the coronavirus.

Wuhan Coronavirus Hospitals Turn Away All but Most Severe Cases  - WSJ $$

Jiang Rongmeng, a member of the Chinese National Health Commission’s team studying the virus, said inadequate medical resources in Wuhan were contributing to a higher mortality rate there.

“The medical resources in Wuhan, especially the ICU team, are not enough to deal with this severe treatment,” he said in an interview Tuesday with state broadcaster China Central Television. The death rate from the virus in the city is 4.9%, more than twice the nationwide 2.1%, according to the health commission.

Resource shortages raise risk of death, official says - China Daily

The mortality rate — total deaths as a proportion of the number of confirmed cases — is running at 2.1 percent on the Chinese mainland, down from 2.3 percent at the onset of the outbreak, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

In Hubei province, the death rate of confirmed infections averages at 3.1 percent, while in Wuhan, the provincial capital, where the disease first surfaced, the mortality rate is estimated to be around 4.9 percent, according to the commission.

After excluding infections and fatalities reported in Hubei, the death rate in 30 other provincial-level regions on the mainland dropped to 0.16 percent, according to Jiao Yahui, deputy chief of the commission's medical administration and supervision department.

A dire shortage of intensive care specialists and hospital beds has contributed to the higher mortality rate in Wuhan, Jiao said.

Coronavirus: severe cases up but ‘signs of faster diagnosis’ in China | South China Morning Post

A number of high-profile Chinese specialists, including epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan and Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, have predicted that this Sunday could be the peak of the outbreak.

中国工程院专家:尚无判断疫情传播高峰、拐点的依据_新浪财经_新浪网

Wang Chen, head of Chinese Academy of Medical Science said there is no evidence the epidemic has reached its peak. Wang also mentioned he and other top experts arrived Wuhan on Feb 1 and they noticed the biggest transmission source at the moment is the patients with mild symptoms but left unattended at home because there are no enough beds in hospitals.

Drop of new suspected cases sparks optimism - Global Times

China's National Health Commission on Wednesday said that 3,971 new suspected cases were confirmed as of Tuesday midnight in the mainland, with 1,957 in the epicenter of the outbreak, Central China's Hubei Province. There were 5,072 more cases on Monday (3,182 in Hubei) and 5,173 on Sunday (3,260 in Hubei).

The sharp drop on Tuesday is seen as a signal that strict control measures have gradually yielded positive results, Zhou Zijun, a public health expert at Peking University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"If new suspected cases continue to fall in the next few days, the inflection point [for the nationwide coronavirus epidemic] is expected in the near future," Zhou noted.

赵克志:强化责任担当为打赢疫情防控阻击战创造安全稳定环境

China’s ministry of public security held a meeting vowing to give first priority to “political security” and to “thoroughly prevent and harshly crack down on troublemaking and sabotage activities by hostile forces within and outside the border, so to resolutely prevent the spread of public health risk into the field of social stability”.

公安部要求,要始终把维护政治安全放在首位,严密防范、严厉打击境内外敌对势力的各种捣乱破坏活动,坚决防止公共卫生风险向社会稳定领域传导。

In Wuhan’s shadow, smaller coronavirus-hit Chinese cities scramble for medical supplies | South China Morning Post

Xiaogan mayor Wu Haitao said on Saturday that the whole city needed 32,300 tightfitting N95 respirator masks, 150,700 surgical masks and 8074 protective suits in the next five days.

Conditions are similar in Huanggang, a city of about 7.5 million to the west of Wuhan.

Huanggang and Xiaogan were the top two destinations for the five million people who left Wuhan before the city went into lockdown on January 23, according to migration data from Chinese search engine Baidu.

病死率连续2天超武汉,鄂州告急 - Global Times

Ezhou City in Hubei has a higher death rate than Wuhan, and is terribly lacking in medical infrastructure and supplies

杭州全市所有村庄小区单位实行封闭式管理 ; 南京市深夜发布通告:全面实施小区封闭式管理

Hangzhou and Nanjing issued notices saying all the residential areas will be put under “closed management”, which means the gates will be guarded by police officials and volunteers and no strangers will be allowed entry

Millions under ‘house arrest’ as Chinese cities scramble to fend off coronavirus - Inkstone

In Zhejiang, a coastal province some 350 miles east of Hubei, several cities have over the past week put limits on how many times people can leave their homes, among a flurry of improvised measures to curb public activities.

In at least four major cities, with a combined population of more than 30 million, only one member of a family is allowed to go out every two days. Some households are issued a passport-like document and are required to carry it with them to buy groceries or take a walk outside.

Fighting coronavirus is a people's war - Global Times

In order to fight the novel coronavirus, Chinese society has been more mobilized than it was during the SARS period. It has become an unprecedented public health war. An increasing number of southern cities [Wenzhou, Hangzhou, where else?] heavily plagued by the epidemic are on lockdown or in a similar state. Citizens there are required to stay at home and only one family member is allowed to go out to buy necessities every other day or longer. All people there have paid the price...

Everyone is faced with tests in this people's war. Let us all keep pace with the national mobilization rather than hinder the battle against the virus. We will eventually be awarded for jointly fighting the epidemic.

Community grid system helps China fight virus - Global Times

The community grid management system was first initiated at the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2013 for building a better, more efficient and modernized platform for social management and services. It was intended to divide populous urbanized areas into "grids," or various blocks and communities, to let high-tech digital platforms, social volunteers and local police jointly and actively find and handle social issues for the residents, so that the management and service over the whole society could be improved, news website people.com.cn reported.

Currently, as the whole country is fighting the coronavirus epidemic, the Global Times reporters learned from various provinces, cities and municipalities that the grid management system is playing a crucial and essential role in mobilizing different forces to better serve the patients, locate suspected infected residents, educate and help people to prevent infection, distribute medical materials and daily necessities, and maintain public order.

晋江男子隐瞒武汉经历频赴宴被监视居住,检察院提前介入 - 综合 - 新京报网

A man infected of the coronavirus in Fujian faces a charge of “endangering public security” after he lied about his travel to Wuhan and went to a large Chinese New Year banquet, said the local procuratorate. He transmitted the virus to a couple others and the government has to put more than 4000 people under quarantine.

China penalizes derelict officials in coronavirus fight - Xinhua

The discipline inspection authorities in China have strengthened supervision and taken strict measures to deal with unqualified and derelict officials during the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

China requires colleges, universities to offer online learning after semester postponement - Xinhua

According to a set of guidelines recently issued by the MOE, colleges and universities should make full use of all kinds of quality open online courses and laboratory resource platforms to organize online education activities.

Coronavirus: The billionaires and multinationals donating to fight the outbreak - Axios

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to give $100 million to help "strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics."

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and China's richest man, will commit $14.4 million through his foundation, designating $5.8 million for two Chinese government research organizations working on a vaccine.

中宣部调集300多名记者深入湖北和武汉进行采访_首页武汉_新闻中心_长江网_cjn.cn

Central Propaganda Department is sending 300+ journalists to Wuhan and Hubei for “frontline reporting.”

Wrestling Back the Agenda | China Media Project

The focus of the authorities is on controlling the source and then pushing reporting and framing by trusted Party-state media as “authoritative” information. The instructions are as follows:

Reports concerning the epidemic must take [information from] authoritative departments as the standard. Sources of articles must be strictly regulated (严格规范), independent reporting (自采) is strictly prohibited, and the use of non-regulated (非规范) article sources, particularly self-media (自媒体) is strictly prohibited. Without joint arrangements [with authorities], daring to use outside media reports is strictly prohibited. When distributing authoritative reports, the original meaning of the news must not be twisted, such as through “misleading headlines” (标题党). Pop-up means must not be used to push unregulated articles or information, unverified information and information that might have a negative influence. Do not render commentary on our global mobilization to purchase prevention and control materials, in order to avoid interference with our overseas purchasing work. Do not render commentary on the economic impact of the epidemic, resolutely preventing talk of the Chinese economy being undermined by the epidemic. On the extension of the Spring Festival holiday in various locales, do not collect [information], do not make comparisons, and do not relate this with hyping or commentary to the impact on economic development.

Opinion - Maria Repnikova | The Subtle Muckrakers of the Coronavirus Epidemic - The New York Times

Once a crisis seems like it could cause social instability — especially when public blame appears to shift from the local to the central authorities — the government starts reining in the media and tries to co-opt it into delivering a unified, official message. Even Hu Xijin, the editor of the nationalistic Global Times, has called out the Wuhan government for silencing whistle-blowers in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. On the other hand, some critical articles about the epidemic — though not necessarily the hardest-hitting ones — have already vanished from the internet.

Coronavirus: In China's Yangtze River heartland, fear and loathing on the road to Wuhan - The Washington Post

Those from Hubei have aired their despair about the fear and loathing they face. A woman told the Chinese newspaper Time Weekly that her housemates locked her out of her Beijing apartment. In the northern city of Shijiazhuang, neighborhood committees offered bounties of $280 to anyone who reported someone who had visited Wuhan. An apartment block in Shenzhen cut off water to force tenants from Hubei to register after returning to the southern city.

In Jiangxi's provincial capital, Nanchang, hotels asked guests to answer surveys asking if they had traveled to Hubei. A receptionist at a major international chain assured a visitor that there were no guests from Hubei in the building. "We've rejected them all," he said.

In Coronavirus, China Weighs Benefits of Buffalo Horn and Other Remedies - The New York Times

China is advising doctors to consider mixing Western antiviral drugs with traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of the coronavirus.

💭🦠 Six ways coronavirus will change our world - Exponential View


2. Xi “reappears”

Cambodian PM's special China tour demonstrates unbreakable friendship: Xi - Xinhua

Noting that the Chinese government and people are currently doing their utmost to fight the pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus, Xi said: "A friend in need is a friend indeed as the Cambodian people stand with the Chinese people at this special moment."

Xi said Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and his mother, former Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, had specially extended sympathy and support to the Chinese side.

Moreover, the Cambodian prime minister had expressed strong support to China on many occasions and even made a special tour to China on Wednesday, which demonstrated unbreakable friendship and mutual trust between the two sides and showcased the essence of building a community of shared future of the two countries, said Xi, adding China deeply appreciated Cambodia's such moves...

In the face of the epidemic, some countries have adopted some extreme restrictive measures, which are not desirable. What is more terrible than the epidemic is the panic itself, he [Hun] said.

CCTV Evening News report on the meeting - 习近平会见柬埔寨首相

[视频]李克强会见柬埔寨首相_CCTV

Hun Sen also met Li Keqiang. Li does not look sick either, as some of the rumors were claiming

Bold move by Hun Sen, wonder how he will be rewarded.

Comment: Xi also chaired a meeting of the Commission for Overall Law-based Governance of the CPC Central Committee, though the reports had no pictures of the participants.

Xi stresses law-based infection prevention, control - Xinhua

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater legislative, law enforcement, judicial and law observance efforts to strengthen the capacity to carry out law-based infection prevention and control.

Xi...made the statement when presiding over the third meeting of the Commission for Overall Law-based Governance of the CPC Central Committee...

Members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu and Wang Huning, who are deputy heads of the commission, attended the meeting...

Xi spoke of the need to improve legislation related to epidemic prevention and control, strengthen the building of supporting institutions and improve punishment procedures.

Laws and regulations on epidemic prevention and control and emergency response must be strictly enforced, risk assessment be improved and decisions be made prudently and in accordance with the law, Xi said.

He also stressed strict enforcement of law on prevention and control of infectious diseases and the regulation regarding its implementation, laws on wildlife protection and animal quarantine, as well as the regulation on public health emergency response.

Xi called for a severe crackdown on illegal activities and crimes ranging from resisting epidemic prevention and control efforts, assaulting medical workers, manufacturing and selling fake products, to rumor-mongering that undermines epidemic prevention and control efforts.

Comment: This was the top story on the Wednesday CCTV Evening News, but no images of the participants 习近平主持召开中央全面依法治国委员会第三次会议强调 全面提高依法防控依法治理能力 为疫情防控提供有力法治保障


3. Economic Impact

China Focus: Chinese cities on move to bail out epidemic-hit businesses - Xinhua

Starting on Sunday, cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao and Suzhou have rolled out policies to support small and medium-sized enterprises by reducing their burdens of loans, rent and social security payments.

The city of Beijing has extended the collection period of social insurance premiums to the end of July for companies in tourism, catering and other hard-hit industries, allowing them to delay their payment during the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Suzhou in China's major export province Jiangsu has asked banks to increase financial support to small and micro-enterprises. It also said small and medium enterprises leasing state-owned properties will have their rent waived for one month and halved for another two months.

Meanwhile, Suzhou, Shanghai and Qingdao have proposed to return half of the unemployment insurance premiums paid in the previous year to employers that do not lay off workers.

China releases tax exemption, loan policies to beef up coronavirus containment - Xinhua

The State Council, China's cabinet, on Wednesday released tax exemption and loan policies to support key enterprises to increase supplies for the novel coronavirus containment.

A State Council executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, called for efforts to secure the supply of key medical products and necessities of life.

Epidemic’s Nonhuman Toll May Be Many Chinese Businesses - Caixin

The nonhuman toll of the coronavirus epidemic may be many of China’s small and medium-sized businesses, even with the support of local governments that have cut taxes and rents, according to companies interviewed by Caixin.

Coronavirus freezes return of China’s migrant workers | Financial Times $$

“There is no way we will return to a normal labour market anytime soon,” said Li Cheng-hung, president of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland, a business group that includes tens of thousands of Taiwanese-owned companies all over China.

China’s home sales about to fall off a cliff as coronavirus forces shutdown in sales offices | South China Morning Post

At least 60 cities have banned property sales offices from opening their doors to the public to prevent contagion

China May Ease Shadow-Bank Crackdown to Bolster Slowing Economy - Bloomberg

Regulators over the weekend agreed to extend a grace period for banks struggling to meet a deadline on the most stringent shadow banking curbs. The central bank has turned on the spigots to calm concerns, and banks are being directed to boost lending, lower rates and extend repayment schedules in stricken areas.

Nike, Adidas Say Coronavirus Will Hurt Business in China - Bloomberg

Nike became the first big consumer company to cite impact from the virus on its business. Rival brand Adidas AG followed suit Wednesday, saying it has closed a significant number of stores in China and franchisees are doing likewise

Coronavirus to test just how reliant the world is on Chinese manufacturers, with Asia braced for shock wave | South China Morning Post

Some are sceptical as to whether manufacturing will resume as normal on Monday, given the virus is still spreading, albeit at a slower rate in recent days. Huge numbers of migrant workers are trapped in parts of China that are under an official lockdown covering more than 60 million people, while many others are in areas unofficially closed off by local officials.

Movies Premiere Online as Coronavirus Shuts Theaters - Caixin

Two films originally set for theatrical release during the Lunar New Year holiday in China instead premiered online amid calls to avoid public gatherings, as the country’s coronavirus epidemic, which has crippled many businesses, come as a boon to its video streaming industry.

Coronavirus Infects Display Panel Supply Chains - Caixin

Some of the country’s leading display panel makers operate their factories in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak. Since the city was locked down Jan. 23 for disease control, many of those manufacturers have been hit by supply shortages.

Chinese companies issue bonds for prevention, control of coronavirus outbreak - Xinhua

Zhuhai Huafa Group, Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and China Nanshan Development (Group) Co., Ltd. have completed the issuance registration of a total of 2.1 billion yuan (over 300 million U.S. dollars) of ultra-short-term financing bonds...

Huafa issued 1 billion yuan of ultra-short-term financing bonds, and 500 million yuan of the raised funds will be used to supplement the group's demand for liquidity funds following its donations to epidemic-hit areas and relief of rent for merchants affected by the epidemic

Foxconn sees full China production resuming late-February: source - Reuters

Taiwan’s Foxconn, which makes smartphones for global vendors including Apple (AAPL.O), has filed requests to reopen factories with Chinese authorities, the source said, adding that a full resumption was not possible until late February due to various travel restrictions imposed to curb the virus.

China aviation fuel sales down 25% in last week of Jan due to virus -source - Reuters

China’s aviation fuel sales were down a quarter during the last week of January as domestic and international flights fell sharply amid the spread of the coronavirus, a senior oil industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

China Wants to Patent Gilead’s Experimental Coronavirus Drug - Bloomberg

The Wuhan Institute of Virology -- based in the Chinese city at the center of the epidemic -- has applied for a patent in China for the use of the antiviral drug, known as remdesivir, in treating the ailment. The application was made on Jan. 21 together with a military academy, according to a Feb. 4 statement on the institute’s website...

“The good thing in having a patent is that it would lead to cross-licensing situations that give China more bargaining chips in negotiating the licensing fee with Gilead,” said Wang Yanyu, a senior partner at AllBright Law Offices in Beijing.

Coronavirus Could Be Worse for Chinese Banks than SARS: S&P – China Banking News

S&P an­a­lyst Ming Tan said in a re­search note that the ini­tial im­pacts of the coro­n­avirus “seem worse than Sars,” fol­low­ing the shut down of at least 15 cities in Hubei province where the dis­ease first emerged.

江苏老板因提前复工被拘5日,延长的春节假期是否强制执行?

A factory owner in Jiangsu was detained for five days for resuming production before the government-approved date. Local governments have installed these limits to delay the return of workers because of the epidemic.

丁一凡:疫情对中国经济影响有限,也不会成为某些国家的机会

Ding Yifan, a senior fellow with the State Council's Development Research Center, said the epidemic’s impact on Chinese economy is “limited”. He also suggested “some forces in the US” have been spreading rumors and panic in a hope to interrupt China’s development.

美国还有一些势力,想把中国遇到的各种问题都当作美国的机会。中国遇到的这次瘟疫也不例外。只要细心看看网上某些流言蜚语,就能发现有些势力在故意制造恐慌,散布谣言,生怕疫情会很快被阻断,中国的发展又恢复正常。


4. Frontline reports

重症科医生亲述:我们是怎样抢救危重病人的_政经频道_财新网

Caixin interviewed a Wuhan ICU doctor who said the authorities set the bar too high for confirming new coronavirus diagnoses an infected patient, that many medical workers have been infected, and he mentioned a pregnant woman died of the virus because his family couldn’t afford the medical bills and gave up. The government only announced later that it will pay all the medical bills.

Life on the Coronavirus Frontline for Wuhan’s Doctors - SixthTone

Hu is one of dozens of physicians in Wuhan who have been infected with the virus they are trying to contain, as medical staff struggle to protect themselves and their families while dealing with an ever-growing number of patients. More than 3,000 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Hubei, the province where Wuhan is located, on Tuesday alone.

The respiratory disease specialist’s first encounter with the outbreak came Jan. 8. His employer, the Third People’s Hospital of Hubei Province, reassigned Hu to the outpatient department, to help his colleagues deal with a sudden surge in fever and pneumonia cases.

Losing Track of Time in the Epicenter of China’s Coronavirus Outbreak - The New York Times - Chris Buckley

Traversing Wuhan by car and foot over the past two weeks has exposed the contrast between the clenched-smile optimism of government propaganda, and the sounds and sights of a city beleaguered by confusion, anxiety and frustrations.

China’s Students Battle Coronavirus From Behind Their Keyboards - SixthTone

The idea for the project came to Cui Xiaohui, a professor at Wuhan University’s Big Data and Cloud Computing Lab, after he and his students realized how badly hospitals — and especially those in the countryside — needed certain medical supplies. Though the students also want to develop online platforms to serve their local communities, they decided their first project should prioritize frontline medical workers, Cui told Sixth Tone.

Giving the Gift of Mobility in a City Locked Down by Coronavirus - The New York Times

Mr. Zhang, who wears a powder blue protective suit, face mask and goggles when driving, is not permitted to transport residents suspected of having the coronavirus. The ambulances are supposed to handle that. Most of his passengers are poor, elderly residents who don’t have children or whose family is outside Wuhan and can’t come home because of the quarantine.

確診名單外的死亡患者|新冠肺炎|深度|端傳媒 Initium Media

武漢當地一位殯儀館的工作人員對端傳媒介紹,僅22日一晚,未被確診、及時火化的遺體就達三十多具。大多數人的情況很相似——未曾轉到金銀潭醫院治療,沒有經過試劑盒檢查,醫院給出的死亡原因為:重症肺炎、病毒性肺炎、社區獲得性肺炎

Comment: Initium article from late January on a number of deaths in Wuhan in January from "viral pneumonia", but that were not tested for the new virus and so not counted


5. Travel

Cruise Ships in Quarantine off Hong Kong, Japan After Coronavirus Cases Discovered - Caixin

The announcement comes as the Chinese authorities said (link in Chinese) Monday they were looking the more than 4,000 passengers on a Jan. 19 to Jan. 24 trip from Guangzhou, Guangdong province, to Vietnam aboard another cruise ship, the World Dream. At least three of the passengers on that journey have tested positive for the new coronavirus

Planes Return Hundreds of Americans From China’s Coronavirus Epicenter - The New York Times

t was a second wave of American evacuations after an earlier flight arrived last week. Days in quarantine on military bases were expected as part of a strict and highly unusual protocol federal officials have put in place to slow the spread of the outbreak.

Thousands of Chinese Tourists Stranded in Bali After Flight Ban - Bloomberg

estimated 5,000 Chinese tourists

Brazil sending two planes to evacuate citizens from virus-hit China - Reuters

Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said 29 people, including four family members who are Chinese nationals, would be evacuated, as well other Brazilians who live outside Wuhan.

Passenger lies about having coronavirus, forces Canadian jet back to airport - Reuters

A Canadian man on a flight from Toronto to Jamaica falsely announced to passengers that he had the coronavirus, forcing the plane to return to the airport where he was arrested, police said on Tuesday.

Coronavirus outbreak: United, American suspend Hong Kong flights

‘It will start at midnight': Indonesia insists on travel ban despite China’s protest - National - The Jakarta Post


6. US-China

State of the Union: US confronted China on trade but relations are the best ever, Donald Trump says | South China Morning Post

“For decades, China has taken advantage of the United States; now we have changed that, but at the same time we have perhaps the best relationship we have ever had with China, including with President Xi,” Trump said.

疫情面前,有把衡量道义的尺子(钟声)

People's Daily Zhong Sheng attacks America and certain US politicians, including Sen Tom Cotton for being unhelpful and trying to take advantage of the epidemic

这是一场人类与病毒的较量。中国政府和人民冲在抗击新型冠状病毒感染的肺炎疫情第一线,谱写出感天动地的捍卫生命之歌。这也是立见是非高下的战场。一方面,国际正义力量与中国同心协力抗击疫情,述说着患难见真情的佳话,奏响了人类命运与共的时代乐章。另一方面,个别西方国家反应过度,西方一些政客甚至不惜践踏道德红线做起落井下石、借机渔利的大梦...

可是,就在世界卫生组织刚刚明确表示没有理由采取不必要的措施干扰国际旅行,不主张甚至反对对中国采取旅游限制之际,美方竟然率先将赴华旅行提醒提高到等同于一些战乱国家的最高级别,禁止美国公民前往中国,还禁止过去14天内曾赴华旅行的外国人入境美国。美方第一个从武汉撤出领馆人员,第一个提出撤出其使馆部分人员,第一个宣布对中国公民入境采取全面限制措施

Coronavirus outbreak exposes evil intentions of some American politicians - People's Daily Online

The success of the CPC has led to the destruction of some Westerners' hopes, so the rise of China under the leadership of the CPC is, of course, the greatest threat to American hegemony.

The truth is, no hegemonic order can last for a long time. The likes of Ross, Pompeo and Bannon know this better than anyone else. They are well aware of the limited opportunities and time window available to suppress China's rise.

U.S. Pushing Effort to Develop 5G Alternative to Huawei - WSJ $$

The plan would build on efforts by some U.S. telecom and technology companies to agree on common engineering standards that would allow 5G software developers to run code on machines that come from nearly any hardware manufacturer. That would reduce, if not eliminate, reliance on Huawei equipment.

Companies including Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc. and AT&T Inc. are part of the effort, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

“The big-picture concept is to have all of the U.S. 5G architecture and infrastructure done by American firms, principally,” Mr. Kudlow said in an interview. “That also could include Nokia and Ericsson because they have big U.S. presences.”

Trump administration to meet on Huawei export curbs after Pentagon pushback: sources - Reuters

The gathering, currently scheduled for Feb. 28, will bring together policymakers to hammer out differences after the U.S. Commerce Department withdrew a rule aimed at further reducing foreign shipments to Huawei Technologies amid pushback from the Pentagon, one of the people said.

The meeting, which is expected to include high-level officials from the Commerce, Defense, State and Energy Departments, is aimed at resolving disagreements over how best to approach the blacklisted Chinese company and the broader war with China over technological dominance.

Coronavirus: Chinese consul general in New York thanks NBA for its donation to help fight outbreak | South China Morning Post

Chinese consul general Huang Ping expressed gratitude to the United States, and especially the NBA, for providing support for China’s efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak that is spreading around the globe.

“While China is bravely fighting the virus, people from United States and all over the world are offering massive support in preventing and controlling this outbreak,” he said at a media briefing at the consulate in New York.

The U.S.-China “Phase One” Deal: A Backgrounder | U.S.- CHINA | ECONOMIC and SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION

This issue brief assesses the commitments undertaken by China’s government, and draws out their implications for the United States.

Opinion | China and America Can Compete and Coexist - The New York Times

Forget the trade war. If the gravest challenge of the 21st century is finding ways that China and the United States can coexist competitively, the real danger is that an unexpected incident might trigger a conflict that neither side has anticipated or could possibly control. The likeliest potential flash point is the South China Sea.

By Zhou Bo, a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army


7. Taiwan

Mainland steps up services for Taiwan compatriots amid virus outbreak: spokesperson - Xinhua

Taiwan affairs offices across the mainland have established working groups for epidemic prevention and control, and maintained close communication with Taiwan compatriots, businesses and associations, said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, during an interview.

Hubei to further assist Taiwan compatriots returning - Xinhua

A spokesperson of the cross-Strait affairs office of central China's Hubei Province on Wednesday said compatriots willing to return to Taiwan will receive further assistance.

Xing Junzhi, also deputy director of the provincial office, called on Taiwan authorities to fully consider the feeling of the compatriots in Hubei and their demands and strengthen cross-Strait cooperation to facilitate their travel as soon as possible.

Xing made the remarks after learning that Taiwan authorities refused pending charter planes that are scheduled to send more Taiwan compatriots back to the island on Wednesday and Thursday, citing limited admission capacity.


8. Hong Kong

Coronavirus: Hong Kong to quarantine all travellers entering from mainland China for 14 days as city’s leader invokes special powers | South China Morning Post

All travellers from mainland China entering Hong Kong, including local residents, would be required to go into quarantine for 14 days, the city’s leader said on Wednesday, as she also disclosed the government was setting aside a HK$10 billion (US$1.2 billion) fund to tackle the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus: Cathay Pacific asks all 27,000 employees to take turns on three weeks unpaid leave | South China Morning Post

CEO says situation faced by Cathay ‘just as grave’ as 2009 global financial crisis

U.S. Lawmakers Nominate Hong Kong Protesters for Nobel Prize - Bloomberg

In a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and James McGovern -- the Republican and Democratic heads of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China -- recommended awarding the prize to the “countless and often anonymous individuals [who] risked their lives, their health, their jobs, and their education to support a better future for Hong Kong.


Politics and Law

China's No. 1 central document prioritizes poverty relief, improving rural weak links - Xinhua Agriculture, rural areas and farmers' issues remain China's top priorities for the 17th consecutive year as this year's "No. 1 central document," released Wednesday, stressed poverty alleviation and improving rural weak links. As the first policy statement released by China's central authorities each year, the document is seen as an indicator of policy priorities. This year it urged efforts on two main tasks -- winning the battle against poverty and strengthening areas of weakness concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers, as the country strives to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects this year.// The document: 中共中央 国务院关于抓好“三农”领域重点工作确保如期实现全面小康的意见 and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Chanfu explains the document 韩长赋解读中央一号文件:抓好“三农”工作 确保全面小康

自治区召开疫情防控工作视频会议 陈全国出席并讲话 会议指出,疫情发生以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央高度重视,习近平总书记亲自指挥、亲自部署,多次召开会议、听取汇报,作出重要指示,充分体现了习近平总书记人民领袖爱人民的真挚情怀,充分体现了党中央对各族人民群众生命安全和身体健康高度负责的责任担当,为做好疫情防控工作提供了根本遵循。要认真学习贯彻习近平总书记的重要讲话重要指示精神,坚定不移把各项工作落实落细,坚决打赢疫情防控阻击战。

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Chinese military officials made secret visit to Cambodia weeks before mysterious drone crashed - Australian Broadcasting Corporation A high-level delegation of Chinese military mapping experts visited a Cambodian naval base in December, three weeks before a huge Chinese surveillance drone crashed in the adjoining province, according to a leaked document obtained by the ABC.

Thailand scraps China-led project to blast open Mekong River - Reuters Thailand has scrapped a Chinese-led project to blast rapids on the Mekong River that had been opposed by local people and environmental groups, a government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Canadian governments give Huawei millions in funding while debate rages over its 5G role | Vancouver Sun Canadian governments have provided millions in funding to Huawei and academic researchers collaborating with it, most of the grants designed to enhance the company’s 5G prowess, records indicate.

Epoch Times, Punished by Facebook, Gets a New Megaphone on YouTube - The New York Times The Epoch Times is one of the most mysterious fixtures of the pro-Trump media universe. It was started 20 years ago as a print newspaper by practitioners of Falun Gong, the persecuted Chinese spiritual practice. In recent years, the paper has made inroads into top Republican circles. Mr. Trump and his advisers have shared Epoch Times articles on their social media accounts, and last year, Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, sat for an interview with an Epoch Times editor. Representative Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, called it “our favorite paper.”

China's Xi may postpone state visit to Japan amid virus outbreak - The Mainichi Chinese President Xi Jinping may postpone an upcoming state visit to Japan to deal with a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 400 in his country, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

Europe in the Face of US-China Rivalry - Elcano The fifth edition of the ETNC report shows how US unilateralism and Chinese assertiveness have triggered a rethinking of the EU’s strategic landscape. Despite the differences between EU member states, its key finding is that all the countries analysed are in a similar position. They all consider the US their most important ally and they all depend on its military protection, but they also want to do as much business with China as possible.

Taiwan

Assuring Taiwan’s Innovation Future - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace This paper examines five pressing challenges to Taiwan’s innovation future and proposes an array of specific solutions to promote Taiwan-based innovation, better leverage partnerships with U.S. and other international players, and bolster Taiwan’s standing in the global marketplace.

Women’s Power Index | Council on Foreign Relations left out Taiwan and President Tsai

Biggest Buyout Fund in Taiwan Eyes Ageing Tycoons for Deals -Bloomberg The group, which says it manages about $2.3 billion in proprietary and third-party capital, may also strike one or two buyouts in Taiwan this year, after privatizing specialty chemical maker Jintex Corp. in 2019. More than one-quarter of 1.5 million small and medium-sized Taiwanese companies have at least two decades of history, and are likely to seek new ownership as their founders enter retirement. That’s according to CDIB Capital, whose president says it’s the right time for private-equity money to jump in.

Tech and Media

TikTok Eyes Larger Post-Super Bowl Marketing Push - WSJ $$ TikTok plans to increase efforts to promote its brand this year, particularly around large sports events, building on the ad it ran twice during Fox Corp.’s live stream of the Super Bowl.