Tag Archives: China

Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park, Wuhan province, China at the weekend

Currently, the water park receives an average of 15,000 daily visitors during weekends, and is offering half-price discounts to some visitors, Hubei Daily reported.

The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan in December last year. As the original epicenter of the outbreak,

May you live in interesting times.



Wuhan hosts massive water park party as coronavirus concerns recede (CNN)

Pics: Hubei Daily

From top: Protest in Hong Kong in May; Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (top left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill (bottom right) on a video call with Belfast’s Chinese Consul General, Madame Zhang Meifang (right)

This morning.

Via The Irish News:

THE first and deputy first minister are alleged to have told a Chinese government representative they “understand and respect” Hong Kong’s draconian national security laws.

Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill are said to have given the endorsement in a video call with Belfast’s Chinese Consul General, according to the consulate.

Details of the virtual meeting emerged in a report posted in recent weeks on the Chinese Consulate’s website.


Madame Zhang also spoke about Hong Kong’s national security legislation, claiming it does not undermine the region’s level of autonomy or its residents’ freedoms.

The report added:

“Foster and O’Neill said that the Northern Ireland government cherishes friendship with China, understands and respects Hong Kong’s national security legislation, and sincerely wishes Hong Kong more prosperity and stability, and expressed that Northern Ireland is willing to further strengthen its cooperation with China in the epidemic.

“Mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of prevention and control, local cooperation, economy, trade and tourism will better benefit the people of both sides.”


In a single-line response, an Executive Office spokeswoman said: “Ministers held a courtesy call with the Chinese Consul General as part of their regular communications on areas of interest to the executive.


Chinese consulate claims Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill endorsed draconian Hong Kong security laws (The Irish News)



US residents in all 50 states reported getting the unsolicited seed packages…

Via The New York Post:

An Arkansas man who received one of the mysterious seed packages sent to thousands of US residents from China planted them on his property — and said the results are wild.

“We … planted the seeds just to see what would happen,’’ Booneville resident Doyle Crenshawn told local CBS-TV affiliate KSFM.

The plant is producing large white fruit from orange flowers that resemble those of a squash.

“Every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it, and they just started growing like crazy,’’ Crenshawn said.

Man plants mystery seeds from China — here’s what happened (New York Post)

From top: Protesters rally against China’s national security law, in Hong Kong, on May 27; Anthony Sheridan

Hong Kong belongs to the Chinese in exactly the same way as the Isle of Wight belongs to the British.

Here’s how Britain came to own Hong Kong. In the 19th century the British East Indian Company was making huge profits in the illegal smuggling of drugs [opium] into China.

This criminal activity did serious damage to the Chinese economy and resulted in widespread drug addiction among the population.

The Chinese authorities appealed to Queen Victoria to stop the drug trade, she ignored them. The authorities then offered to allow the merchants to trade in tea in place of opium but this too was rejected. As a last resort the authorities confiscated supplies of opium and imposed a blockade of foreign ships.

The British responded by going to war. They defeated the Chinese and in the subsequent peace treaty demanded and were given ownership of Hong Kong.

For the next 150 years Hong Kong was ruled from London through a British appointed governor, there was no democracy under British rule.

Hong Kong citizens were never happy with this lack of democracy and frequently rebelled. In 1856, for example, when a very limited form of democracy was suggested the Colonial Office rejected the idea on the grounds that:

‘Chinese residents had no respect for the principles upon which social order rests.’

The current Chinese dictatorship holds the exact same anti-democratic view.

Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong before the territory was handed back to the Chinese in 1997, is outraged by this anti-democratic policy.

Here’s some of what he had to say in  a recent article:

“The world simply cannot trust this Chinese regime. Liberal democracies and friends of Hong Kong everywhere must make it clear that they will stand up for this great, free and dynamic city.”

But Patten’s complaints are futile and hypocritical.

They are futile because China is now an empire and Britain a mere backwater on the world stage. They are hypocritical because the Chinese are not doing anything the British did not do during their occupation of Hong Kong.

And there’s another important point, Hong Kong is geographically and culturally part of China. Britain, on the other hand is nearly six thousand miles away from its former colony.

Let’s imagine a reversal of history. Let’s imagine that China was the most powerful empire in the world in the 19th century and went to war with Britain because it was prevented from selling illegal drugs to the British people. Let’s imagine that after defeat the British were forced to hand over the Isle of Wight to the Chinese.

Fast forward to the present day and the Chinese, having lost their empire, are forced by the British to give the island back.

How would the British respond if the former Chinese colonists, from six thousand miles away in Beijing, began to lecture London on how they should govern the newly liberated territory.

I think we know the answer to that.

China agreed to give some political and social autonomy to Hong Kong through a ‘one country, two systems’ policy for a 50 year period.

That a ruthless communist regime should actually honour that promise for nearly half that period is nothing short of a miracle. Again, if the situation was reversed, would the UK honour such an agreement, particularly if its political and commercial interests were threatened – highly unlikely.

And it is principally commercial interests that lie behind the, so far, relatively benign response by the Chinese government to events in Hong Kong. The city is an extremely rich capitalist money-making machine and China is fast becoming the most powerful and richest capitalist country in the world.

The Chinese government want two things, to continue sharing the wealth generated by Hong Kong but, at the same time, exercise total political power over its citizens. In a word – they want capitalism but not democracy.

And that policy is a carbon-copy of the policy imposed by the British during their undemocratic rule of the territory.

Anthony Sheridan is a freelance journalist and blogs at PublicEnquiry.

Hong Kong And Democracy (Anthony Sheridan, Public Enquiry)

Pic: Getty

Track of Aer Lingus flight from China carrying PPE equipment for Irish medical workers on Wednesday; video message from HSE CEO Paul Reid last night

This morning

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

Journalist George Lee spoke to presenter Audrey Carville about the personal protective equipment which the State has ordered from China as part of a €208million deal, the first batch of which arrived last Sunday.

Last night, Mr Lee indicated on RTÉ’s Nine O’Clock News that there were “some concerns” over the imported equipment and he said the HSE had started to tweak their specifications. He emphasised that the items work but are just not what Irish medics are used to.

It follows the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey claiming earlier this week that they had encountered problems with Chinese-made coronavirus testing kits and protective equipment.

This morning, Mr Lee and Ms Carville had this exchange.

Audrey Carville: “This is a huge issue for medical staff on the frontline. We know that supplies are coming in from China, George. Some staff are concerned about its suitability. It’s heavier and perhaps more robust than they are used to. We got a statement from the HSE last night.

“They said that some elements of the first batch from China were not ideal. They’re words. But may be usable if an alternative supply isn’t available. They went on to say that infection, prevention and control clinical experts from the HSE undertake product testing on all shipments to assess the quality and suitability and in this video message to healthcare staff last night, the Chief Executive of the HSE Paul Reid had this to say.

[Plays clip]

“I know the issue of PPE, personal protective equipment has been an issue of major concern. We have been in negotiations worldwide to secure a very significant order of over €200million and that delivery has started over the last few days.

“We are, however, engaged worldwide, to secure alternative stocks should these supplies not materialise to the extent that we expect. It’s a very competitive worldwide market but our procurement teams have done really well to secure what we have to date.”

Carville: “That’s Paul Reid in a video message on Twitter last night, George, what do you make of that?”

Lee: “Well, obviously, there are big issues. This was a huge order that was placed. It’s €200million worth of an order for personal protective equipment that had a global rush to try and find all of this stuff. It’s very hard to source it and the HSE felt that they were very lucky to be able to get such a massive amount. And in terms of the amount of order that they put in typically, they would spend €15million on personal protective equipment in an entire year.

“So, €60million has been spent already in a short number of months. But this was €208million so this is absolutely enormous.

“There was nobody on the ground, or could be on the ground with regard to checking the stuff in terms of what they were getting because it’s so difficult to get to China so they were checking all this material when it comes on the planes from China.

“The first one arrived on Sunday, it involves Aer Lingus flights coming form here, going to China, nobody getting off that flight, it’s loaded up and it comes back and it arrives in Dublin Airport, a 25-hour roundtrip and there are the order of 50 of those roundtrips involved in this massive order.

“Now I think there are five batches of material so this is an enormous amount of stuff coming and I think there was some disappointment when they saw some of the equipment because it wasn’t quite what the Irish healthcare workers are typically expecting so they have tweaked and adjusted the order as they’ve seen it.

There are obviously going to be issues and eyebrows raised when some people see the material I think,, the personal protective equipment. Because it’s different. But the number one thing that the HSE says is that this is World Health Organisation quality. It is, it is of the standard and it does work as protective equipment.

“It may need to be adjusted but the one thing we should say is that they have identified a secondary supply that they could use if needed which I think, a line of supply, if they can’t get sorted in relation to whatever the issues are on some of this material.

“It’s a big order and no doubt it’s a story we’ll hear a little bit more about as people see whether the equipment is what they’re looking for.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: “I Think That We Will Try Our Best”

How Long Is A Piece Of Nucleocapsid?

Top pic: Michael Kelly


Jervis Street Shopping Centre, Dublin 1

Scenes from the the launch of the first Irish branch of Miniso, the Chinese/Japanese lifestyle brand, with some obsessive fans queuing from 8am for the 11am opening

MINISO has over 3,000 stores globally and has already amassed a loyal following around the world for their quirky, low-cost household products and whatnot.



Pics: Richie Stokes



The tragic fallout after Chinese bike share companies – keen to cash in on the trend but massively overestimating demand – oversupplied the market with millions of bikes, leading to massive dandyhorse graveyards on the outskirts of many cities.

Shut up, Katie Melua.

MORE: China Is Still Sorting Through It’s Colourful Bike Share Gaveyards (The Atlantic)