Students Protest Covid Lockdowns at Elite Beijing University

A group of students at a campus of China’s elite Peking University protested strict Covid-19 lockdown requirements on Sunday, arguing that the measures were poorly communicated and unfair. The government quickly moved to censor videos and photos that spread on China’s internet. The students were upset that they were unable to order food and that they were required to isolate, while teachers and their families were allowed to leave the campus freely, according to posts on a school forum and one student. The authorities tried to put up a wall…

Shanghai to end Covid lockdown and return to normal life in June amid economic slowdown

Shanghai has set out plans for the return of more normal life from 1 June and the end of a painful Covid-19 lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks and contributed to a sharp slowdown in China’s economic activity. In the clearest timetable yet, deputy mayor Zong Ming said on Monday that Shanghai’s reopening would be carried out in stages, with movement curbs largely to remain in place until 21 May to prevent a rebound in infections, before a gradual easing. “From June 1 to mid- and late June,…

Dark week for journalism as four reporters killed around the world

Ten days before she was assassinated outside a Mexican convenience store, Yesenia Mollinedo noticed two mysterious stalkers following her on a motorbike. “We know where you live, bitch,” one of them warned the journalist, the director of an online news outlet called El Veraz (The Truthful One) whose motto is “Journalism with Humanity”. For more than a year, Mollinedo, 45, had been trying to shrug off what she hoped were empty threats designed to silence the stories she published about crime in the coastal town of Cosoleacaque. She repeatedly changed…

China’s struggle delights some – but should make us all nervous | Larry Elliott

China has been central to the story of globalisation over the past 30 years but now it is struggling. More than two years after Covid-19 cases were discovered in Wuhan, the world’s most populous country has yet to get on top of the virus. Draconian lockdowns have been imposed because China’s vaccines are less effective than those available in the west, and immunity levels are lower as well. Growth is slowing and not just because of the tough restrictions insisted upon by President Xi Jinping. Flaws in China’s economic model…

Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies

The British government ran a secret “black propaganda” campaign for decades, targeting Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia with leaflets and reports from fake sources aimed at destabilising cold war enemies by encouraging racial tensions, sowing chaos, inciting violence and reinforcing anti-communist ideas, newly declassified documents have revealed. The effort, run from the mid-1950s through to the late 70s by a unit in London that was part of the Foreign Office, was focused on cold war enemies such as the Soviet Union and China, leftwing liberation groups and…

Your Friday Evening Briefing

(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.) Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday. 1. Sanctions hit President Vladimir Putin’s former wife and his rumored girlfriend. Britain added Putin’s former wife, Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, and the woman long considered to be his mistress, Alina Kabaeva, to its sanctions list as the West deepened its efforts to combat Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A former K.G.B. operative, Putin has kept his personal life shrouded in secrecy, but the sanctions are lifting that veil. On the battlefields,…

It’s unprecedented for Dutton to label a Chinese spy ship sailing outside Australia’s territory an ‘act of aggression’ | Daniel Hurst

The defence minister, Peter Dutton, has called the presence of a Chinese spy ship off the coast of Western Australia “an aggressive act” but his department was far more sober in its assessment and international law experts have poured cold water on the claim. It is not the first time such Chinese vessels have been in Australia’s exclusive economic zone. So, given we are a week out from an election and the Coalition wants the narrative refocused through a “we live in uncertain times” lens, let’s put the politics aside…

The World Tries to Move Beyond Covid. China May Stand in the Way.

As the rest of the world learns to live with Covid-19, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, wants his country to keep striving to live without it — no matter the cost. China won a battle against its first outbreak in Wuhan, Mr. Xi said last week, and “we will certainly be able to win the battle to defend Shanghai,” he added, referring to the epicenter of the current outbreak in China. But pressure is mounting for a change to the zero-Covid strategy that has left Shanghai at a standstill since…

Chinese-speaking voters critical of Coalition’s ‘militaristic’ stance on China in lead-up to 2022 election, WeChat study shows

The Coalition’s muscular position toward China is not going down well with Chinese-speaking voters, while Labor is facing criticism over its more generous approach to humanitarian immigration, an analysis of WeChat audience comments reveals. The study of more than 3,000 political news stories and associated comments appearing on the Chinese social media platform, WeChat, has been undertaken by researchers at Monash and Deakin Universities over the past 11 months, including during the election campaign. It provides an insight into the Australian political news reaching Chinese speakers and how they are…

Elon Musk praises Chinese workers for ‘burning the 3am oil’ – here’s what that really looks like

How do you become the richest man in the world? In Elon Musk’s case, part of it involves making workers in China put in hours that would be unacceptable according to labor norms elsewhere. On Tuesday, the Tesla boss praised Chinese factory workers for pulling extreme hours while taking a shot at American workers. “There is just a lot of super talented hardworking people in China who strongly believe in manufacturing,” the billionaire said. “They won’t just be burning the midnight oil, they will be burning the 3am oil, they…

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