As covid cases rise in Beijing and other Chinese cities, Biden administration makes “friend-shoring” moves toward India.
As China continues its restrictive Covid-Zero policies, Chinese citizens have found a way to complain while avoiding government censors.
They are leaving messages in Cantonese rather than Mandarin, the official language of bureaucrats.
…”We had to lock down in April, and then again in November,” one resident posted on Weibo, China’s restricted version of Twitter, on Monday – before peppering the post with profanities that included references to officials’ mothers. “The government hasn’t provided subsidies – do you think my rent doesn’t cost money?”
Other users left posts with directions that loosely translate to “go to hell,” while some accused authorities of “spouting nonsense” – albeit in less polite phrasing.
Such colorful posts are remarkable not only because they represent growing public frustration at China’s unrelenting zero-Covid policy – which uses snap lockdowns, mass testing, extensive contact-tracing and quarantines to stamp out infections as soon as they emerge – but because they remain visible at all.
Normally such harsh criticisms of government policies would be swiftly removed by the government’s army of censors, yet these posts have remained untouched for days. And that is, most likely, because they are written in language few censors will fully understand.
These posts are in Cantonese, which originated in Guangzhou’s surrounding province of Guangdong and is spoken by tens of millions of people across Southern China. It can be difficult to decipher by speakers of Mandarin – China’s official language and the one favored by the government – especially in its written and often complex slang forms.
There may be non-Cantonese speakers clamoring to learn the language soon. It turns out that despite all the praise heaped on China for its Covid-restrictions, record cases are now occurring in Beijing and other cities.
China reported 14,878 new COVID-19 infections for Nov. 12, including a record number of new daily cases in capital city Beijing, as well as in manufacturing hubs Guangzhou and Zhengzhou.
The new cases come as industrial activity in Guangzhou and Zhengzhou has been disrupted by restrictions aimed at controlling outbreaks.
The number of daily cases in China rose from 11,950 on Nov. 11, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday. Excluding imported infections, China reported 14,761 new local cases, up from 11,803 a day earlier.
Capital city Beijing reported a record 235 new daily cases, up from 116 the previous day, local government data showed.
It is being reported that U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will seek clarity on China’s plans to ease its pandemic restrictions when she meets on Monday with China’s central bank chief. The administration is also planning to strengthen ties with India in a “friend-shoring” move.
India’s membership in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) will make supply chains resilient between the Asian country and the United States and help the entire region, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Friday.
Yellen said strong trade and investment, and people-to- people ties make the bilateral economic and financial relationship a critical element to the partnership between the two countries.
“India’s membership in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, in efforts to make our supply chains more resilient, through what I call friend-shoring, are tightening those ties,” Yellen said on her first trip to India as U.S. Treasury Secretary.
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