P53-M misdeclared agri-products from China seized in Manila Port

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2019   •   625

MANILA, Philippines – Nearly P53 million worth of misdeclared agricultural products from China were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in the Port of Manila.

The BOC said the products that were shipped inside 16 containers arrived in Manila last August 8.

The shipment was consigned to a certain Shinerise Trading Service. It was initially declared as fishballs.

However, upon inspection of the containers, the BOC found that the shipment contains carrots and onions estimated to worth P40.1 million, broccolis worth P10.04 million, and P2.5 million worth of potatoes.   

The bureau has issued a warrant of seizure and detention against the said shipment.

The BOC also cancelled the accreditation of the Shinerise Trading Service and its broker was placed under investigation.

The confiscated agriculture products will be destroyed as these did not have necessary clearance as proof that these items are safe for public consumption, the BOC said. RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

U.S. will act to deny China access to Americans’ data, says Pompeo

UNTV News   •   July 14, 2020

The Trump administration will take steps to ensure the Chinese government does not gain any access to the private information of American citizens through telecommunications and social media, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday (July 8), when asked if the U.S. was planning to ban Chinese-owned app Tiktok.

Pompeo also praised U.S. technology giants Google, Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc for ‘refusing to surrender’ user data to the Hong Kong government and urged other companies to follow suit, after China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

Speaking two days after he said Washington was “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, Pompeo said the U.S. evaluation was not focused on a particular company but that it was a matter of national security.

“The comments that I made about a particular company earlier this week fall in the context of us evaluating the threat from the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said. He added that Washington was working to ensure that Beijing does not gain access to any private data or health records of Americans.

“So what you’ll see the administration do is take actions that preserve and protect that information and deny the Chinese Communist Party access to private information that belongs to Americans,” he said.

In his wide-ranging news conference, Pompeo also accused China of taking “incredibly aggressive action” in a recent clash with India over a disputed section of the nuclear-armed neighbors’ border, saying Beijing had a pattern of instigating territorial disputes.

On the night of June 15, Chinese forces and Indian troops fought for hours with rods and clubs, a dramatic escalation that left 20 Indian soldiers killed, with some falling to their deaths in the freezing waters of the Galwan river in the western Himalayas.

“The Chinese took incredibly aggressive action. The Indians have done their best to respond to that,” Pompeo said in a news conference at the State Department. “I’d put this in the context of General Secretary Xi Jinping and his behavior throughout the region, and indeed, throughout the world.”

His comments reflect the deep-running tensions between Washington and Beijing, which have been at loggerheads over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s actions in the former British colony of Hong Kong and a nearly two-year trade dispute between the U.S. and China. (Reuters)

(Production: Pavithra George)

Two missing, three injured in oil refinery fire in China

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020

A massive oil refinery fire in Longyan City of east China’s Fujian Province has left two missing and three others injured with one in severe condition, according to the local government’s report released at 21:30 on Sunday.

All injured victims were immediately taken to hospital.

According to the report, the cause of the accident is the hot weather which led to fire while a worker was operating a glycerinum storage tank at the Longyan Zhuoyue New Energy company, located in Tieshan Town of the city’s Xinluo District.

The fire lit up an area of 3,900 square meters as of 21:30.

All nearby residents have been evacuated to safety, while hundreds of firefighters brought in from across the province are continuing to fight the flames.

A local emergency response headquarters has been set up, with a total of 12 fire stations, 54 fire trucks and 202 firefighters dispatched to the rescue.

In addition, armed police, public security, forest fire control, militia reserve, medical workers, sanitation workers, emergency management personnel and other rescue forces also rushed to the scene, quickly organized the evacuation of the factory workers and the surrounding people, and implemented temporary traffic control.

According to the report, the main substances produced during the refinery fire included PM2.5, PM10, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, but no poisonous materials and cumulative pollutants.

By the time of the report, rescue is still underway. (Reuters)

China’s embassy in Kazakhstan warns citizens of pneumonia deadlier than COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2020

China’s embassy in Kazakhstan has warned its citizens on Thursday (July 9) to take precautions against an outbreak of pneumonia in the country that it says is more lethal than COVID-19.

It said in a statement on its official website late on Thursday that there had been a “significant increase” in cases in the cities of Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent since mid-June.

On Friday (July 10), however, Kazakhstan’s healthcare ministry branded Chinese media reports based on the embassy statement as “fake news”.

The ministry said its tallies of bacterial, fungal and viral pneumonia infections, which also included cases of unclear causes, were in line with World Health Organisation guidelines.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian declined to comment on the issue directly during a Friday (July 10) briefing in Beijing, instead referring media to “the relevant authorities in Kazakhstan”.

“China also hopes to obtain information on this,” Zhao said.

Kazakhstan, which imposed a second lockdown this week to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, has a tally of almost 55,000 COVID-19 infections, including 264 deaths. The number of new cases rose on Thursday to a daily record of 1,962.

On Tuesday (July 7), state news agency Kazinform said the number of pneumonia cases “increased 2.2 times in June as compared to the same period of 2019”.

In its statement, the Chinese embassy had said pneumonia in Kazakhstan killed 1,772 people in the year’s first half, with 628 deaths in June, including Chinese citizens.

It is unclear whether the said pneumonia it referred to was caused by a virus related to coronavirus or a different strain. (Reuters)

(Production: Shubing Wang, Fang Nanlin)

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