Asia

Migrant workers walk to their villages through the Mumbai Pune highway during the lockdown in Mumbai and other parts of India on Sunday. (Rajanish Kakade/AP)

As of March 24, India’s 1.3 billion people are in a three-week lockdown in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave citizens only a few hours’ warning before announcing: “Every state, every district, every lane, every village will be under lockdown.”

India had already moved swiftly to restrict domestic and international air travel amid the outbreak of the virus that causes the disease covid-19. The government had suspended visas and quarantined passengers arriving from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France and Germany. Starting March 22, all international commercial flights were banned from landing in India until April 14.…  Seguir leyendo »

Funcionará la prohibición del consumo de vida silvestre en China

A partir del brote de COVID-19, que se sospecha surgió en diciembre de 2019 en el mercado Huanan de la ciudad de Wuhán, los promotores de la salud pública y los derechos de los animales han solicitado mayor escrutinio de los “mercados húmedos”, que son lugares donde se mantiene una amplia gama de animales vivos en estrecho contacto entre sí y con personas, se los sacrifica en el mismo sitio, y se los vende. Estos mercados tienen las condiciones propicias para la transmisión de nuevos patógenos entre especies, y se encuentran a lo largo y ancho de Asia, donde brindan apoyo a otras rubros, que van desde restaurantes y turismo hasta las prácticas de medicina tradicional.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace apenas un mes, China estaba al centro de la epidemia del coronavirus COVID-19. Cada día se informaba de miles de nuevas infecciones. Los hospitales estaban colapsados. La población moría de a cientos. Nadie podía salir de sus hogares. Pero el draconiano confinamiento ordenado por el gobierno parece haber funcionado: la enfermedad parece ahora bajo control. Y, aparentemente, las autoridades chinas han pasado por alto sus lecciones más básicas.

Para ver esto, vale la pena revisar cómo manejaron la crisis. Tras enterarse de que un nuevo coronavirus había surgido en Wuhan, en la provincia de Hubei, el primer instinto de las autoridades locales fue, como sabemos, suprimir la información.…  Seguir leyendo »

While the world is busy trying to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Chinese authorities last week pulled credentials from journalists at three major media outlets: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Post. What is particularly shocking about this retaliatory move, after the Trump administration took action against several Chinese Communist Party-controlled outlets, is that for the first time, those foreign correspondents are also barred from reporting from Hong Kong and Macau.

This is an unprecedented decision. For decades, Hong Kong has long been known as a bastion of press freedom in the region. With protections by independent courts and civil liberties enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law (equivalent to its Constitution), foreign media have been able to operate free from intervention from autocratic China.…  Seguir leyendo »

Will the coronavirus outbreak undermine the Chinese Communist Party’s rule? For China-watchers, this is a big question at the moment. Public health crises pose unique challenges to the Chinese government, not least due to the lack of free information flow and misaligned political incentives of central and local officials.

Some analysts believe this health crisis has revived political dissent. They point to new writings by intellectuals like political activist Xu Zhiyong, a legal scholar and civil rights advocate; and Tsinghua University law professor Xu Zhangrun, both of whom have criticized the government response to the outbreak and political injustice in general.…  Seguir leyendo »

A crowded marketplace in New Delhi on Thursday, after a 21-day nationwide lockdown had been ordered.

On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered 1.3 billion Indians to stay inside their homes for 21 days in an unprecedented bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

Soon after the first case of the coronavirus arrived in India in late January, India responded with restrictions on flights and screenings at its airports. Yet the country had more than 80,000 arrivals every day, mostly from Europe and the Gulf States, where the virus had spread. And across the country, millions of people live in proximity, in densely populated slums where access to health care is poor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nada hay nuevo bajo el sol. El autor de Qohéleth cinceló una expresión que tiene la fortuna de no parecer sacada de una charla sobre coaching. La frase resulta aplicable al coronavirus. Las nuevas rutas abiertas en el siglo XIII por exploradores italianos –Marco Polo fue el más célebre de aquellos pioneros– trajeron de Extremo Oriente, además de la seda y las especias, la peste negra, cuyo foco original hervía en China. Varias centurias más tarde, a través de una nueva Ruta de la Seda, llega otra epidemia. Pero no forcemos la analogía. Nada hace pensar que las consecuencias de la enfermedad del Covid-19 resulten similares a la plaga que asoló el Medioevo; las condiciones sanitarias de aquel mundo no guardan comparación con las de la actualidad.…  Seguir leyendo »

En momentos en que la crisis global del COVID-19 se acelera grandes áreas del planeta, el Primer Ministro japonés Shinzo Abe ha tenido que aceptar la dura verdad y, con sensatez, ha tomado esta semana la iniciativa de decir a la Dieta (parlamento) que es probable que haya que reprogramar los Juegos Olímpicos de Verano, que se realizarán en Tokio. Finalmente llegó a un acuerdo con el Comité Olímpico Internacional (COI) para posponer el evento hasta 2021. (EL COI se había planteado cuatro semanas para decidir qué hacer).

Hasta hace poco, era comprensible la reticencia de Abe a retrasar los Juegos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un ami indien m’apprend que chez lui on parle de «communovirus». Comment ne pas l’avoir déjà pensé ? C’est l’évidence même ! Et quelle admirable et totale ambivalence : le virus qui vient du communisme, le virus qui nous communise. Voilà qui est beaucoup plus fécond que le dérisoire corona qui évoque de vieilles histoires monarchiques ou impériales. D’ailleurs c’est à détrôner, sinon décapiter le corona que doit s’employer le communo.

C’est bien ce qu’il semble faire selon sa première acception puisqu’en effet il provient du plus grand pays du monde dont le régime est officiellement communiste. Il ne l’est pas seulement à titre officiel : comme l’a déclaré le président Xi Jinping, la gestion de l’épidémie virale démontre la supériorité du «système socialiste à caractéristiques chinoises».…  Seguir leyendo »

Considero al presidente de China culpable de ser el origen de la epidemia mundial del virus de Wuhan, el cual ha causado miles de muertes en todo el mundo y una recesión económica que asolará nuestro planeta durante varios años. En principio, los tribunales internacionales, como el de La Haya, juzgan solo los crímenes de guerra en el sentido estricto del término. Pero la epidemia mundial contra un adversario esquivo es una forma de guerra de naturaleza bacteriológica.

El tribunal que debería acusar a Xi Jinping podría añadir a su expediente el genocidio que se está perpetrando actualmente contra los uigures.…  Seguir leyendo »

China has reported fewer and fewer confirmed coronavirus cases over the past three weeks, culminating in a statement that Wuhan had seen zero new local cases for four days in a row, from March 18 to 21. Elsewhere in China, 46 new cases were reported on March 22, all but one attributed to travelers arriving from abroad.

What can we learn from Chinese statistics, and can we trust those numbers?

Numbers have long defined Chinese politics

Chinese officials pay particular attention to numbers, especially key statistical measures such as GDP growth, fiscal revenue and investment, which have long been core parts of the Communist Party’s system for evaluating officials.…  Seguir leyendo »

A lire les nouvelles des premiers jours du confinement en France, il semble que le monde ait basculé dans une nouvelle époque: l’Europe est l’épicentre d’une pandémie majeure, les Etats-Unis s’y préparent en ordre dispersé et la Chine, qui a contrôlé cette épidémie en quelques mois par des mesures massives, envoie son aide au reste du monde sous la forme de masques, de respirateurs et de médecins. La déclaration martiale du président de la République donne à ces premiers jours de «guerre» des airs de 1914: nous ne savons pas combien de temps durera la mobilisation, mais nous savons qu’elle a déjà commencé à bouleverser l’ordre du monde.…  Seguir leyendo »

With the coronavirus pandemic spiraling around the world, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are unlikely to go ahead as planned. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe all but threw in the towel at a news conference this week. He and various Olympic officials have repeatedly insisted that the Games will be held as planned in July and August, but this time he left the timing up in the air, suggesting he is resigned to a postponement. Then, on Thursday, NHK television broadcast Diet deliberations where Abe was pointedly questioned about exactly when the Games would be held, and again dodged the issue.…  Seguir leyendo »

Medical workers from outside Wuhan pose for pictures with a Chinese Communist Party flag at the Wuhan Railway Station before leaving the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday. (Stringer/Reuters)

It’s crucial for our health and safety that the United States push back against the Chinese government’s efforts to rewrite the history of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s also crucial we don’t fuel racism or stigmatize Chinese citizens or Chinese Americans while doing so. The key to accomplishing both goals is to separate the way we talk about the Chinese people from the way we talk about their rulers in Beijing.

President Trump insists on calling coronavirus “the Chinese virus.” His rationale for doing so is simplistic but technically accurate: Chinese officials are intentionally spreading the lie the virus may have originated in the United States to deflect blame from their own early failings.…  Seguir leyendo »

Volunteers waving the Chinese flag send off the China national emergency medical team at the Tianhe airport in Wuhan, China, on Tuesday. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

In early 1952, the three-year-old People’s Republic of China faced a public relations crisis in the middle of the Korean War. After agreeing to let prisoners of war decide where they wanted to go after hostilities ended, officials were dismayed to learn that more than half of the 170,000 Chinese POWs had opted not to return to mainland China, an embarrassing public rejection of the communist system taking root there.

Desperate to divert the world’s attention from the POW debacle, on Feb. 22, 1952, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, claimed that U.S. forces were waging biological warfare against China.…  Seguir leyendo »

Staff in protective suits accompany passengers outside a centralized facility for screening and registration near the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on Tuesday. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

The Chinese authorities are engaged in a full-scale effort to rewrite the history of the coronavirus epidemic. Some in the West might be tempted to dismiss the significance of Beijing’s propaganda efforts. But they shouldn’t. The ever-expanding campaign to obscure the truth about the origins and details of the virus is risking lives.

On Tuesday, during a State Department news conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Chinese Communist Party for hiding information and spreading false narratives about the coronavirus. He also criticized Beijing for its decision to expel all U.S. journalists from The Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal:

«The disinformation campaign that they are waging is designed to shift responsibility,” he said.…  Seguir leyendo »

A person walks through a quiet Times Square in New York on Monday. (Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The State Department pushed back last week on Chinese statements suggesting that the coronavirus originated with U.S. military personnel in Wuhan — rather than a live animal market in Wuhan. Lijian Zhao, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, posted statements to this effect on Twitter and Chinese social media, but offered no substantive evidence.

Last week, President Trump called the coronavirus a “foreign” virus. Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has repeatedly mentioned a debunked conspiracy theory that a Chinese bioweapons lab in Hubei created the virus.

As the United States and China apparently ramp up efforts to blame each other for the outbreak, the two governments responded to the coronavirus itself in one surprisingly similar way: Each government’s official response has been riddled with costly communication delays.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cancel. The. Olympics.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers insist that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games will go on. Even with widespread cancellations in European soccer, Formula One auto racing, and professional and collegiate basketball in the United States, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan vowed, “We will overcome the spread of the infection and host the Olympics without problem, as planned.”

While sports can create an escape hatch from the grit and grind of daily life, there is no escaping the fact that the coronavirus pandemic presents an extraordinary challenge that cannot be overcome with mere platitudes and prayers.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Washington, there’s a lot of talk about how the coronavirus crisis could increase the push for more economic decoupling with China. But the Chinese government is thinking about it in exactly the opposite way. Beijing is preparing to use the crisis to advance China’s economic strategy against us. We better start taking notice.

For three years, the Trump administration has been trying to pressure China to stop its economic aggression and unfair trade practices, using tariffs, negotiations and measures to protect U.S. industries. Beijing has hated this strategy from the start and only reluctantly struck a “Phase One” trade deal that addresses few of these issues.…  Seguir leyendo »

For decades following World War II, the free world has looked to the United States for democratic and civil guidance. So, when President Trump wrapped up his two-day visit to India in February and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s «religious freedom» following Hindu-Muslim riots in parts of the capital, it didn’t just feel like Indian democracy was crumbling further; it felt as though it had got the go ahead from a global superpower.

«We did talk about religious freedom, and I will say that the prime minister was incredible on what he told me,» Trump said while announcing a $3 billion trade deal with India at a press conference in New Delhi on February 25.…  Seguir leyendo »