Displaying items by tag: China
Until now, Hong Kong has enjoyed freedoms not allowed on mainland China. On 28 May, Beijing announced it will press on with a national security legislation on Hong Kong’s autonomy that overrides the ‘one-country-two-systems’ principle granted to Hong Kong in 1984. The bill will now pass to China's senior leadership. It could end Hong Kong's unique status and see China installing its own security agencies in the region for the first time. Thousands of protesters have been demonstrating against the bill and China’s new national anthem wording. Chris Patten, the last governor of the former British colony,says that China has betrayed the people of Hong Kong and the UK has a moral, economic and legal duty to stand up for them. Hundreds are in custody for unauthorised assembly. Chinese media reported police using tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannon. Washington has called the laws a ‘death knell’ for the city’s autonomy. See
The world's worst health crisis in a hundred years is not the best time for the WHO to lose its largest financial supporter. The Trump administration says the WHO ignored early warnings about coronavirus spread, took at face value Chinese efforts to downplay it, and failed to send researchers into Wuhan for vital investigation at an early enough stage. Unless WHO shapes up to better serve ‘American interests,’ it will stop funding them in 30 days. Some are asking ‘Is WHO in need of urgent reform, or is it imperfect but better than any current alternatives?’ Also, WHO refused to provide information directly to Taiwan - which is excluded from WHO membership - out of respect for China's wishes, putting millions of Taiwanese at unnecessary risk. President Xi has pledged up to $2 billion to help the WHO's global pandemic response efforts.
The Xingguang house church refused to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. On 3 May security officers burst into a house church gathering for worship. The men who were guarding the door were pinned down, and worshippers were forcefully dragged away. Calling the meeting illegal, the officers demanded that church members stop recording with their cell phones and then confiscated them. However, a short video clip has been made available Throughout the proceedings no warrant was presented. Some Christians were injured and one was hospitalised. Six of the worshippers were detained for several hours. The authorities issued an order officially banning their church gathering. Pray that the members of this church will find ways to continue encouraging one another and grow stronger in their faith.
On 11 May Wuhan reported six new coronavirus cases since lockdown was ended, raising concerns about a second wave. The people live in the same residential complex and were previously classified as asymptomatic - people testing positive for the virus and capable of infecting others while not displaying symptoms. Wuhan quickly drew up plans to test its entire population of 11 million people. All districts were told to submit details as to how testing could be done within 10 days. On 13 May China’s media reported that any major increase in numbers as a result of the new testing will raise serious questions over the accuracy and transparency of previous figures. Officials are being accused of covering up the severity of the virus in the earliest stages, and confusion over China's national figures has been created by several shifts in diagnostic and reporting procedures.
China filed a patent for a drug seen as one of the best potential weapons against coronavirus the day after Beijing confirmed coronavirus was transmissible to humans. The revelation that it moved so fast fuels concerns about a cover-up of the pandemic when it erupted and suggests that China’s understanding of the virus was far more advanced than the impression given in public. The chairman of the US foreign affairs select committee joined the growing global call for a full, independent inquiry into China’s role, saying, ‘It is quite clear there is an awful lot that we do not know about the emergence of this disease and the responses to it. We all need to learn the lessons of the outbreak so that the international community can respond better in the future.’ Leaked documents showed that China’s officials knew they faced an epidemic but delayed warning the public for six days.
The Australian government wants G20 countries to take action on wildlife wet markets, calling them a ‘biosecurity and human health risk’. It is not calling for a ban, but believes they may need to be ‘phased out’. Although wet markets sell fresh meat and fish, some also sell wildlife. It is believed that coronavirus began in a Chinese wet market selling foxes, wolf cubs, civets, turtles, pangolins, and snakes. Australia’s agriculture minister said, ‘A market like the Sydney fish market is perfectly safe. But when you add live exotic wildlife, it opens up human risks to the extent we have seen.. China itself reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health that a wet wildlife market was the cause of Covid-19. WHO said, ‘When these markets are allowed to reopen, it should only be on the condition that they conform to stringent food safety and hygiene standards’.
As coronavirus ravages the world, many are now watching Wuhan slowly emerging from 2 months complete lockdown - cautiously with masks and gloves moving about.
The world is now in an extraordinary and precarious situation watching what happens in Wuhan for a glimpse of what might lie in store for the rest of us.
Will there be a second coronavirus wave in Wuhan? Almost inevitably yes but how big a wave and are hospitals better prepared.
How will the Chinese government respond to this second wave after mismanagement and misinformation of the first outbreak? Will they keep damaging information secret.
A recent report on the number of ash urns stacked at Wuhan funeral homes put the true death toll over 40,000 not the official 2,500 deaths.
Pray for transparency in communication and sharing of strategies in China and across the nations in order to craft effective responses to unfamiliar challenges.
Pray for competence in the next phase based on honest experience and heaven’s wisdom (Job 6:24)
As coronavirus ravages the world, many are now watching Wuhan slowly emerging from two months’ complete lockdown - the population cautiously (with masks and gloves) moving about. The world is now in an extraordinary and precarious situation, watching Wuhan for a glimpse of what might lie in store for the rest of us. Will there be a second coronavirus wave there? Almost inevitably yes, but how big a wave and are hospitals better prepared? How will the Chinese government respond to this second wave, after its mismanagement and misinformation of the first outbreak? Will they keep damaging information secret? A recent report on the number of ash urns stacked at Wuhan funeral homes put the true death toll at over 40,000, not the official 2,500. Pray for transparency in communication and sharing of strategies, in China and across the nations, in order to craft effective responses to unfamiliar challenges.
Pastor Huang Lei leads a church in Wuhan. The coronavirus crisis makes it impossible for his church to have their usual gatherings, so they are meeting online. They are not just doing church, but being church. ‘First, we have more than 50 groups,’ he says. ‘Almost all the groups are meeting via the internet - praying, studying the Bible, sharing, witnessing, praising and worshipping. Of those 50, we have over 30 groups spending two hours every day to pray, worship, share and testify together. That’s far more frequent than our normal meetings. Of course, now we have more free time; everybody is staying at home, so that’s given us the chance to do this. But we usually have the group meeting weekly and now we’re doing this daily. Sometimes even more, so we are very grateful for that.’
The government wanted to install facial recognition cameras in Pastor Xiang En’s church sanctuary. When he refused they did it anyway and gathered the private data of church members so that they could target them. They will intimidate them with their jobs, their housing, and their children’s education to prevent them from going to church. Pastor Xiang said, ‘Hundreds of policemen raided our church, smashed our building, put the pastors on surveillance, and shut down the church.’ After his church was shut down the first sermon he preached was from Revelation 3:7-8: ‘I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.’ Pastor Xiang remains hopeful, despite the opposition his congregation faces. Many prominent mainstream churches and house churches in China continue to be shut down.