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    • China's luxury shoppers free to travel, but many buy locally
      on January 26, 2023 at 6:54 am

      SANYA - China’s scrapping of travel curbs in January is expected to revive demand in the global luxury retail market, but many consumers see more reasons to do their high-end shopping locally on the tax-free island of Hainan. On Wednesday (Jan 25), thousands of travellers in Hainan’s Sanya city packed the CDF Mall, a shopping centre dedicated to duty-free stores, where they stocked up on cosmetics and handbags while on break for the Chinese New Year Holiday. “The UK is quite far and it’s hard to buy tickets,” said Mr Yu Shunxiao, a student who said he used to shop at Harrods in London. “In Sanya, we can come and leave whenever we want.” In early January, following a broader nationwide relaxation of Covid-19 prevention policies, Beijing ended a longstanding requirement that all inbound travellers go into quarantine at a hotel immediately upon arrival. As a result, Chinese residents have rushed to travel overseas. On Trip.com, a popular ticket booking site, international flight ticket purchases shot up over 200 per cent the day after the policy change was announced. […]

    • Ji Chaoqun: Chinese engineer jailed for eight years for spying in US
      on January 26, 2023 at 6:20 am

      Ji Chaoqun was linked to Chinese efforts to get a hold of advanced US aviation and aerospace secrets. […]

    • Magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes western Sichuan
      on January 26, 2023 at 2:34 am

      An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 struck western Sichuan, China region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported on Thursday (Jan 26). The quake was at a depth of 60km, the EMSC said. […]

    • China says Covid deaths, severe cases have fallen over 70% since peak
      on January 26, 2023 at 1:47 am

      HONG KONG - Critically ill Covid-19 cases in China are down 72 per cent from a peak early this month while daily deaths among Covid-19 patients in hospitals have dropped 79 per cent from their peak, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday (Jan 25). The figures, published on the centre's website, come after a prominent government scientist said over the weekend that 80per cent of China's 1.4 billion population had already been infected, making the possibility of a big Covid-19 rebound over the next two or three months remote. China abruptly ended its strict zero-Covid policy in early December after three years and infections surged across the world's most populous country. While officials have said infections have peaked, some global experts have warned about the possibility of a surge in cases in rural areas less equipped to deal with them as millions of Chinese travel home for family reunions during the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday. The CDC said the number of critically ill patients in China peaked on Jan. 4 at 128,000 cases and fell to 36,000 cases by Jan 23. […]

    • China Covid: Coffins sell out as rural losses mount
      on January 25, 2023 at 10:03 am

      The BBC finds evidence of a mounting death toll from the virus that's ripped through villages. […]

    • Diner has close brush with death at hotpot restaurant in China after being served 'killer' octopus
      by Candice Cai on January 25, 2023 at 8:15 am

      Curiosity saved the cat, this time. A customer in China was rescued from the clutches of death after relying on his better judgment when faced with a strange-looking octopus at the dinner table. According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), the deadly blue-ringed octopus — one of the most dangerous sea animals — had somehow ended up being served at a restaurant in Guangdong, China. The toxic creature is described by multiple online sources as "small but deadly", with enough venom to kill 26 human beings in a matter of minutes, according to the Ocean Conservancy website. A photo which the diner posted to his Weibo account on Jan 16 showed several raw small octopuses on a bed of ice, ready to be added to a hotpot. […]

    • Tourists swarm gambling hub Macau over Chinese New Year after Covid-19 curbs dropped
      on January 25, 2023 at 6:55 am

      MACAU — The world's biggest gambling hub Macau has seen tens of thousands of tourists stream daily into its casinos and picturesque cobbled streets over the Chinese New Year holiday, a stark contrast to the dearth of visitors since 2020. Macau has seen a resurgence of tourists from mainland China since Jan 8 after the special Chinese administrative region dropped all Covid-19 testing requirements for inbound travellers from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Macau welcomed more than 71,000 visitors on Monday (Jan 23), the highest single day record since the pandemic, its government said in a statement late on Tuesday. "I come here to gamble, it's good to see people in Macau. It was lifeless during lockdown and not very good," said a man surnamed Lam, who travelled to Macau from Jiangmen in nearby Guangdong province in southern China. More than 94 per cent of visitors to Macau over the first three days of the Chinese New Year, Jan 21 to 23, came from mainland China and neighbouring special administrative region Hong Kong. Average daily visitor arrivals reached more than 51,000, a year-on-year surge of 217 per cent, the government said. […]

    • Michelle Yeoh: Chinese fans rejoice at Oscar nomination
      on January 25, 2023 at 6:42 am

      If she wins, Yeoh will become the first Asian woman to win Best Actress. […]

    • China: Northern city of Mohe reports coldest temperature
      on January 23, 2023 at 5:23 pm

      The northernmost city of Mohe has recorded temperatures of -53C, its lowest on record. […]

    • Chinese pray for health in Lunar New Year as Covid-19 death toll rises
      on January 23, 2023 at 3:05 am

      BEIJING - China rang in the Lunar New Year on Sunday (Jan 22) with its people praying for health after three years of stress and financial hardship under the pandemic, as officials reported almost 13,000 new deaths caused by the virus between Jan 13 and 19. Queues stretched for about one kilometre (a half-mile) outside the iconic Lama temple in Beijing, which had been repeatedly shut before Covid-19 restrictions ended in early December, with thousands of people waiting for their turn to pray for their loved ones. One Beijing resident said she wished the year of the rabbit will bring "health to everyone". "I think this wave of the pandemic is gone," said the 57-year-old, who only gave her last name, Fang. "I didn't get the virus, but my husband and everyone in my family did. I still think it's important to protect ourselves." Earlier, officials reported almost 13,000 deaths related to Covid-19 in hospitals between Jan 13 and 19, adding to the nearly 60,000 in the month or so before that. Chinese health experts say the wave of infections across the country has already peaked. […]

    • Lunar New Year: Chinese families meet for bittersweet reunions
      on January 22, 2023 at 12:46 am

      China greets the Lunar New Year with hopes of returning to normality - but also grief and loss. […]

    • China says Covid-19 outbreak has infected 80% of population
      on January 21, 2023 at 11:30 pm

      BEIJING - The possibility of a big Covid-19 rebound in China over the next two or three months is remote as 80per cent of people have been infected, a prominent government scientist said on Saturday (Jan 21). The mass movement of people during the ongoing Lunar New Year holiday period may spread the pandemic, boosting infections in some areas, but a second Covid-19 wave is unlikely in the near term, Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said on the Weibo social media platform. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are travelling across the country for holiday reunions that had been suspended under recently eased Covid-19 curbs, raising fears of fresh outbreaks in rural areas less equipped to manage large outbreaks. China has passed the peak of Covid-19 patients in fever clinics, emergency rooms and with critical conditions, a National Health Commission official said on Thursday. […]

    • Tibet avalanche kills 28 as search called off
      on January 21, 2023 at 4:23 am

      People remain missing, state media says, after Tuesday's disaster in south-eastern Tibet. […]

    • Death toll from Tibet avalanche rises to 28
      on January 21, 2023 at 3:24 am

      BEIJING — At least 28 people were killed in an avalanche in the city of Nyingchi in the southwestern region of Tibet, the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Friday (Jan 20). Rescue work at the scene is over, Xinhua said. Local authorities have sent a total of 1,348 people and 236 equipment to help excavate a rescue passage of 7.5 kilometres, Xinhua said. Fifty-three survivors were found, five of whom were seriously injured, Global Times reported, citing a local government official in the western Chinese region. The avalanche occurred on a section of road between Pai village in Mainling county and the exit of the Doxong La tunnel in Medog county at around 8pm on Tuesday, with people and vehicles stranded. With an altitude of nearly 4,500 metres, Doxong La mountain has steep slopes and Doxong La section of the road is rugged. The avalanche was triggered by strong winds as the weather gets warm, Xinhua added. ALSO READ: Freezing temperatures kill 78 people in Afghanistan […]

    • Chinese firm Catl to develop huge Bolivian lithium deposit
      on January 21, 2023 at 1:35 am

      Bolivia is rich in a metal vital for electric cars, and a Chinese battery maker will mine it. […]

    • Lunar New Year celebrated officially for the first time in California
      on January 21, 2023 at 12:17 am

      The state holiday is a gesture of solidarity amid a wave of anti-Asian sentiment and violence. […]

    • China plays down Covid outbreak with holiday rush at full tilt
      on January 20, 2023 at 10:36 am

      BEIJING — People across China crowded into trains and buses for one of its busiest days of travel in years on Friday (Jan 20), feeding fears of new surges in a raging Covid-19 outbreak that officials say has hit its peak. In comments reported by state media late Thursday, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said the virus was at a "relatively low" level, while health officials said the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital and with critical conditions was on the decline. But there are widespread doubts about China's official account of an outbreak that has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes since Beijing abandoned strict Covid-19 controls and mass testing last month. That policy U-turn, which followed historic protests against the government's tough anti-virus curbs, unleashed Covid-19 on a population of 1.4 billion that had been largely shielded from the disease since it emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019. Some health experts expect that more than one million people will die from the disease in China this year, with British-based health data firm Airfinity forecasting Covid-19 fatalities could hit 36,000 a day next week. […]

    • China says Covid-19 outbreak easing on eve of travel rush
      on January 20, 2023 at 5:31 am

      BEIJING - China said the worst was over in its battle against Covid-19 ahead of what is expected to be the busiest day of travel in years on Friday (Jan 20), a mass movement of people that has fed fears of a further surge in infections. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, who oversees China's virus response, said that the outbreak was at a "relatively low" level, state media reported late on Thursday, after health officials said the number of Covid patients in clinics, emergency rooms and with critical conditions had peaked. But there are widespread doubts about China's account of an outbreak that has overwhelmed hospitals and crematoriums since Beijing abandoned strict Covid controls and mass testing last month and unleashed the virus on its 1.4 billion population after protests against the anti-Covid policy. Some health experts expect more than one million people will die from the disease in China this year, with British-based health data firm Airfinity forecasting Covid fatalities could hit 36,000 a day next week. […]

    • Alvin Chau: Macau gambling kingpin jailed for 18 years
      on January 18, 2023 at 6:13 am

      Chau, a prominent figure in Macau's casino industry, was found guilty of illegal gambling. […]

    • China: Fans rejoice as Marvel films return after apparent ban
      on January 18, 2023 at 4:59 am

      After a long hiatus, two Marvel movies will screen in Chinese theatres in February. […]

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