Shanghai reimposed a ban on dining at restaurants in most districts, while a dozen local officials were punished for a management lapse at a quarantine hotel, as COVID-19 cases in China’s largest city, as well as in Beijing, continued to climb.
Shanghai on Saturday reported 29 local cases, including four linked to quarantine areas, while Beijing reported 65 cases, all linked to a cluster at a popular bar.
The two cities resumed mass COVID-19 testing as outbreaks emerged just days after they eased social curbs that had been in place for months. The quick escalation adds to concerns that China’s “zero COVID-19” strategy might send cities into repeated lockdowns and reopenings, threatening a sustainable economic recovery.
However, Chinese Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe (魏鳳和) yesterday praised the country’s virus policy, saying that China is one of the safest countries in the world with the lowest COVID-19-induced death rate.
In a speech to Asia’s biggest security conference in Singapore, Wei called China’s virus response a miracle and said that its success is a major contribution to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shanghai lifted its two-month lockdown on June 1, but on Saturday briefly locked down most of the city to undertake mass testing.
Restaurants were on Friday notified to suspend dining services, while takeaways and deliveries were still allowed, a local media report said.
The city’s worst outbreak began in March, in part stemming from lapses at a quarantine hotel.
A dozen officials from Xuhui District were dismissed from their posts or given warnings after malpractice in implementing quarantine measures at the time led to infections at Hua Ting Hotel, the Shanghai City Government said on Saturday.
They included a Chinese Communist Party secretary, the head of the district administration and two district vice governors, it said.
Beijing, which rolled back some of its curbs early this month, delayed a reopening for most schools planned for today. A new date has not been set.
POLAND-GERMANY RIFT: Warsaw’s response to Berlin over a NATO system that would increase the alliance’s involvement in the war came as Kyiv accused Russia of war crimes Anti-missile systems that Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, the Polish government said on Thursday, a proposal that is likely a nonstarter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine. Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrages of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. “It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies
AWAITING EXTRADITION: Daniel Duggan has been classified as ‘extreme high risk,’ has not been allowed to use stationery and has been denied treatment, his lawyer said The lawyer for a former US military pilot arrested in Australia and facing possible extradition to the US said that his client was wrongly classified as an “extreme high-risk” prisoner, and he had asked the attorney-general to release him. Former US Marines pilot Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested in New South Wales in October at the request of the US government, the same week the UK announced a crackdown on its former military pilots working to train Chinese military fliers. The US must lodge an extradition request for Duggan by Dec. 20 under a bilateral treaty, a Sydney court was told yesterday.
WARTIME DIPLOMACY: Zelenskiy met EU leaders and hosted the International Summit on Food Security, which included discussions on agricultural exports from Ukraine Fleeing shelling, civilians on Saturday streamed out of the southern Ukrainian city whose recapture they had celebrated just weeks earlier. The exodus from Kherson came as Ukraine solemnly remembered a Stalin-era famine and sought to ensure that Russia’s war in Ukraine does not deprive others worldwide of its vital food exports. A line of trucks, vans and cars, some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings, stretched 1km or more on the outskirts of the city of Kherson. Days of intensive shelling by Russian forces prompted a bittersweet exodus: Many civilians were happy that their city had been won back, but
Polish women have not been this angry for this long, and they are taking on the ruling conservatives. Incensed by remarks from the country’s most powerful politician, former Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who accused them of drinking excessively and keeping the birthrate low, many took the streets of Warsaw on Monday. It is a repeat of scenes from two years ago when hundreds of thousands of women marched against a near-total ban on legal abortions, in Poland’s largest public protests in decades. What is different this time is that the ruling party is facing the biggest challenge to its two-term rule before