China GDP: Economy grows 2.3% in 2020 as recovery quickens – CNN

China’s economy grew more than expected last year, even as the rest of the world was upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: China GDP: Economy grows 2.3% in 2020 as recovery quickens – CNN

UK clamps down on Xinjiang labor camps, accusing China of ‘torture’

The U.K. has introduced new measures to root out the presence of alleged forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region in British supply chains.

  • China is accused of extrajudicially detaining over 1 million Uighur Muslims and other minorities in political re-education camps in the northwestern autonomous region, along with invasive surveillance, restrictions on Uighur culture and the use of forced labor.
  • Companies that fail to demonstrate adequate due diligence in ensuring their supply chains are free from forced labor will now be subject to fines, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced in the House of Commons.

Source: UK clamps down on Xinjiang labor camps, accusing China of ‘torture’

China Places Over 22 Million on Lockdown Amid New Covid Wave – The New York Times

The country is experiencing its worst coronavirus flare-up since last summer, testing the government’s success in subduing the disease.

When a handful of new coronavirus cases materialized this month in a province surrounding Beijing — apparently spread at a village wedding party — the Chinese authorities bolted into action.

They locked down two cities with more than 17 million people, Shijiazhuang and Xingtai. They ordered a crash testing regime of nearly every resident there, which was completed in a matter of days.

They shut down transportation and canceled weddings, funerals and, most significantly, a provincial Communist Party conference.

By this week the lockdowns expanded to include another city on the edge of Beijing, Langfang, as well as a county in Heilongjiang, a northeastern province. Districts in Beijing itself, the Chinese capital, also shut down.

Source: China Places Over 22 Million on Lockdown Amid New Covid Wave – The New York Times

Top NSA Official Tells British: China Leaked COVID | Newsmax.com

An aerial view shows the P4 laboratory (C) at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on April 17, 2020. ( Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

A whistleblower from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China has given the United States the “most credible” intelligence yet the global coronavirus pandemic was a “leak or an accident” in the lab.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus,” Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger told British parliamentarians in a Zoom call, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.

Source: Top NSA Official Tells British: China Leaked COVID | Newsmax.com

Chinese capsule with moon rocks begins return to Earth

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese space capsule bringing back the first moon rocks in more than four decades started its three-day return to Earth on Sunday.

The Chang’e 5 lunar probe, which had been orbiting the moon for about a week, fired up four engines for about 22 minutes to move out of the moon’s orbit, the China National Space Administration said in a social media post.

The craft’s lander touched down on the moon earlier this month close to a formation called the Mons Rumker, an area believed to have been the site of ancient volcanic activity. It collected about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of samples.

The return capsule is expected to land in northern China in the Inner Mongolia region after separating from the rest of the spacecraft and floating down on parachutes. The material would be the first brought back since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 probe in 1976.The rocks and other debris were obtained both by drilling into the moon’s crust and scooping directly off the surface. They may be billions of years younger than those brought back by earlier U.S. and Soviet missions, possibly offering insights into the moon’s history and that of other bodies in the solar system.China has set up labs to analyze the samples for age and composition and is also expected to share some of them with other countries, as was done with the hundreds of kilograms (pounds) brought back by the U.S. and former Soviet Union.China’s space program has a series of ambitious missions underway, including a probe en route to Mars. The Chang’e lunar program, named after the ancient Chinese moon goddess, has been operating the Chang’e 4 probe on the moon’s less explored far side for the past two years.Future plans call for returning a human to the moon and perhaps a permanent moon base. China is also building a space station to begin operating as early as 2022.

Source: Chinese capsule with moon rocks begins return to Earth

Liz Peek: Biden and China – 4 reasons he can’t be trusted to protect US from Beijing

China just landed a spaceship on the moon – the same China that Joe Biden, as recently as May, claimed represents “no competition for us.”

Robert Gates, secretary of Defense under President Barack Obama, has written that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Add underestimating China to the list.

LIBERTY VITTERT: BIDEN SHOULD HALT SALES TO CHINA OF US TECH USED TO PERSECUTE AND ENSLAVE UIGHUR MUSLIMS

While senator or vice president, Biden’s bad impulses – like opposing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden – had little impact. But, assuming he becomes president, his wrongheaded instincts will put our nation at risk, especially when it comes to dealing with China.

Biden’s inability to rein in an increasingly belligerent China starts with his naïve confidence in the United Nations, which has done exactly nothing to punish Beijing for its military aggressions, its widespread theft of Western know-how or its illegal crackdown in Hong Kong.

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Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned Biden in a recent briefing that China may well move to take back Taiwan, using its increased military capacity to shower “Taiwan with rockets.” He asked, “Are you really prepared to fight for Taiwan?”

Source: Liz Peek: Biden and China – 4 reasons he can’t be trusted to protect US from Beijing

Carbon Monoxide Leak Leaves 18 Dead At China Coal Mine : NPR

At least 18 people have been confirmed dead following a carbon monoxide leak inside a coal mine in southwest China, the nation’s Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Those killed in the leak were among 24 people who got trapped in the mine around 5 p.m. local time on Friday when “excessive levels of carbon monoxide” began to seep into the air, according to the state news agency. One person has been pulled from the mine and rescue efforts remain underway to save five others still inside.

The accident occurred at the Diaoshuidong coal mine in the city of Chongqing. The mine had been suspended and shut down two months ago, and at the time of the accident workers were inside to dismantle equipment. Investigators were working to determine the cause of the accident, according to Xinhua.

The Diaoshuidong mine was built in 1975 and since 1998 has been operated as a private enterprise with an annual capacity of roughly 120,000 tons of coal. In 2013, three people died at the mine following a hydrogen sulfide poisoning incident, according to Reuters.

Friday’s accident appeared an eerily similar replay to a September accident at the Songzao coal mine, which is also in Chongqing. At least 16 workers were killed after exposure to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

China, which is both the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, has now reported more than 100 coal mining accidents in 2020. In November, the government launched a year-long review of all working coal mines and coal-mining projects, focusing on infrastructure, risk prevention management and capabilities for emergency response and rescue.

Source: Carbon Monoxide Leak Leaves 18 Dead At China Coal Mine : NPR

China sends world’s first 6G test satellite into orbit – BBC News

China has successfully launched the world’s first 6G satellite into space to test the technology.

It went into orbit along with 12 other satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the Shanxi Province.

High-speed technology will be trialled, which will be one of the core elements of sixth-generation communications.

The satellite also carries technology which will be used for crop disaster monitoring and forest fire prevention.

The satellite is meant to trial new technology expected to be 100 times faster than 5G.

Source: China sends world’s first 6G test satellite into orbit – BBC News

China reports largest new cluster of coronavirus cases

China has reported its biggest cluster of asymptomatic coronavirus cases in nearly seven months — which it uncovered during a drive to test 4.7 million people after the discovery of a single infection.

Authorities in the Kashgar area of Xinjiang went into a partial lockdown almost as soon as a 17-year-old girl who works at a garment factory tested positive during routine weekly tests, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

By Sunday afternoon, more than 2.8 million residents had been tested — with the rest expected to be completed by Tuesday.

The initial results showed 137 positive infections, with another 26 by Monday, Xinhua said. All 163 infected were asymptomatic — the highest number since China began reporting such daily counts on April 1.

The infected teen’s immediate family all tested negative, even though the cluster of cases appeared to be based at a different factory where her parents work, the South China Post reported. Yet all 831 workers at the factory where the girl works all tested negative, the report said.

The scale and speed of the testing highlighted the dramatic push by China to stamp out the contagion. Earlier this month, the port city of Qingdao tested its entire population of 9 million after just 12 cases were detected.

While the pandemic originated in Wuhan, China claims to have had fewer than 100,000 cases and less than 5,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data — although its relatively low numbers have been met with skepticism.

Source: China reports largest new cluster of coronavirus cases

Newt Gingrich: China behaved horribly in coronavirus cover-up and is responsible for deaths around world | Fox News

China’s Communist dictatorship mismanaged the outbreak of the coronavirus and tried to cover it up, lying to the United States and the rest of the world.

Indeed, the Chinese government is largely responsible for a local outbreak in the city of Wuhan becoming the global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans and puts tens of millions more out of work.

But we still don’t know the exact origins of the virus. Did it come from a Chinese wet market or a laboratory? We also need to figure out what responsibility China should bear for the devastation the pandemic has caused and how to hold Beijing accountable.

Source: Newt Gingrich: China behaved horribly in coronavirus cover-up and is responsible for deaths around world | Fox News