China’s COVID vaccine fail
In the Seychelles, Chile, Bahrain and Mongolia, 50 to 68 percent of the population have been inoculated and all these nations have relied on vaccines from two Chinese manufacturers, Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech. However, all four ranked in the top 10 countries with the worst Covid outbreaks as of late last week.
This revelation undermines China’s vaccine diplomacy, which Beijing has prioritized in the developing world to win influence and commercial deals. China had previously celebrated the contrast with the U.S., which has been slow in allocating surplus vaccines abroad. Now, developing countries are likely to look increasingly to the West, and not to Beijing, for effective vaccines.
Hong Kong’s famous Newspaper “Apple Daily” is forced to close
The Apple Daily printed one million copies for its final edition, with Hong Kong citizens rushing out to buy the very last edition, generating long queues around the Fragrant Port. Magazines across the world have printed photos showing large crowds under the balcony of the headquarters who came to say goodbye.
The shutdown came in accusation of national security offenses and after the imprisonment of the owner, Jimmy Lai, and of its chief executive and editor-in-chief.
Source: The Guardian
China holds slimmed-down Belt and Road conference
On June 23, China held a virtual conference on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), titled the “Asia and Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation.” The meeting was hosted by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Two new BRI-themed initiatives were launched: the new “Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation” to boost international cooperation in vaccine research and development, alongside improving the vaccines’ global accessibility, especially in developing countries.
Second, the new “Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on Green Development,” which aims to boost cooperation among BRI countries in developing green energy and finance, alongside promoting green, low-carbon and sustainable development.
Source: The Diplomat
Chinese central bank said that it is going to reform its monetary policies
On Monday, June 28 the Chinese Central Bank released a statement addressing the issue of future monetary routes which said that new monetary policies are going to be flexible, targeted and appropriate, while keeping interbank liquidity reasonable, all to protect and consolidate post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
The People’s Bank of China declared that it is going to use re-lending, re-discounting and other monetary tools that would directly help the real economy, and at the same time it will try to increase the flexibility of the Yuan exchange rate to help the Chinese economy.
Beijing subway adopts anti-sexual harassment ads to educate public
The Beijing branch of the state-run All-Women’s China Federation is using audio-visual mediums at mass transit hubs in the capital in order to increase public awareness about sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has been a pervasive issue on the city’s public transportation network.
Currently, the organization is targeting the city’s subway stations — with an average of 13 million daily commuters — to educate the masses on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to prevent it from occurring. According to the organization the purpose is to encourage women to be brave and to take action when experiencing harassment.
Sources: BJwomen (original in Chinese), Sixth Tone
Xi Jinping held a video meeting with Russian President Putin
On the afternoon of June 28, President Xi Jinping held a video meeting with Russian President Putin in which he inaugurated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the “Sino-Russian Treaty of Good Neighborhood, Friendship and Cooperation”. President Xi said China and Russia will continue to join forces and move forward with determination.
Putin warmly congratulated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, saying that Russia loves the history of exchanges with the Communist Party of China and is willing to strengthen inter-party exchanges with the Communist Party of China.
Sources: 求是网 (original in Chinese)