China rules out SARS as cases of ‘mysterious viral pneumonia’ climbs to 59

Marje Pelayo   •   January 6, 2020   •   1629

(FILE PHOTO) A medical worker takes the temperature of people entering Shanghai at the toll gate of the Huning Nanjing-Shanghai Huning expressway, 06 May 2003. Chinese police and medical workers help prevent SARS by stopping coaches and cars to ask passengers to take temperature and fill in Health Declaration. | EPA-EFE/SHEN YU

PHILIPPINES – Health authorities in China on Sunday (January 5) reported that the number of individuals infected by the so-called ‘mysterious viral pneumonia’ has already climbed to 59, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

China however, said that the viral disease is not the contagious, flu-like virus dubbed as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that killed hundreds of people during an outbreak in 2002 to 2003.

Health authorities, likewise, clarified that the virus was neither the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or avian influenza.

The said viral pneumonia, whose origin and cause still unknown, has infected workers at a fresh seafood market in the Central China city of Wuhan, in Hubei province.

The Wuhan Health Commission, as cited by the WHO, said all patients are being treated in quarantine and none have died so far.

Also, no obvious evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found so far, the Commission said, but investigations are ongoing to identify any other cases or contacts of the disease.

Trump issues tough response to China’s treatment of Hong Kong

UNTV News   •   July 15, 2020

President Donald Trump, hardening his stance on China as he struggles to contain the coronavirus, said on Tuesday (July 14) that he signed a legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for the “oppressive” national security law it imposed on Hong Kong.

Acting on a Tuesday deadline, Trump signed a bill approved by the U.S. Congress to penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement Beijing’s new national security law in Hong Kong.

He said he also signed an executive order aimed at further punishing China for what he called its “oppressive actions” against Hong Kong.

It will end the preferential economic treatment Hong Kong has received for years – “no special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies,” Trump told a news conference.

“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” he said.

Taken together, the actions represented a further plunging of U.S. relations with China already strained over the global pandemic, China’s military buildup in the South China Sea, its treatment of Uighur Muslims and massive trade surpluses.

According to a White House fact sheet, the executive order includes revoking special treatment for Hong Kong passport holders.

The former British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with a law protecting freedoms of speech, assembly and the press until 2047.

The legislation Trump signed calls for sanctions on Chinese officials and others who help violate Hong Kong’s autonomy, and financial institutions that do business with those found to have participated in any crackdown on the city. (Reuters)

China firmly opposes US signing Hong Kong-related act into law

UNTV News   •   July 15, 2020

China firmly opposes and strongly condemns the U.S. move of signing the so-called “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” into law, said a statement released on the foreign ministry’s website Wednesday.

The U.S. vicious move of slandering the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and imposing sanctions has violated the international law and the basic norms governing international relations and is a gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs.

China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it, said the statement.

The enactment and implementation of the Law is completely in compliance with China’s Constitution and the Basic Law, ensuring sustained and steady progress of the principle of “one country, two systems” as an institutional and legal guarantee. It can safeguard China’s national sovereignty, safety and interests, as well as long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, therefore the law has been endorsed and supported by all Chinese people including our compatriots from Hong Kong, said the statement.

Hong Kong is China’s special administrative region and its affairs are entirely China’s internal affairs. No foreign country has the right to interfere.

China will make necessary responses to protect its legitimate interests, and impose sanctions on relevant personnel and entities of the United States, said the statement.

The U.S. vicious move of signing the so-called “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” into law will lead nowhere, said the statement.

To safeguard China’s legitimate interests, the Chinese side has made necessary response and sanctioned relevant U.S. personnel and entities.

The statement pointed out that China urged the U.S. side to correct its mistake as soon as possible, stop its move of signing the so-called act into law and interfering in China’s internal affairs, including Hong Kong affairs.

China will definitely give a firm response if the United States clings obstinately to the wrong course, said the statement. (Reuters)

Japan accuses China of pushing territorial claims

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020

Japan’s annual defense review accuses China of pushing its territorial claims amid the coronavirus pandemic and suspects Beijing of spreading propaganda and disinformation as it provides medical aid to nations fighting COVID-19.

“We’ve written some details about China’s persistent moves to attempt to alter the status quo surrounding the Senkaku Islands which is our territory,” said Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono on Tuesday (July 14).

The white paper approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday described “relentless” intrusions in waters around a group of islets claimed by both nations in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

In the South China Sea, it said Beijing was asserting territorial claims by establishing administrative districts around disputed islands, that forced countries distracted by the coronavirus outbreak to respond.

Japan sees China as a longer-term and more serious threat than nuclear-armed North Korea. Beijing now spends four times as much as Tokyo on defence as it builds a large modern military. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Akiko Okamoto)

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