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Top searches: China's 3rd white paper on the Taiwan question, COVID-19 in Hainan
The white paper is titled "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era"
Although the Taiwan question did not receive as much attention as it did the week before on Chinese social media (we are talking about almost all the top 10 searches are related to Taiwan during some days last week), people's interest in it and the actions taken by various parties are obviously far from over.
China on Wednesday published a white paper titled《台湾问题与新时代中国统一事业》 "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era" [See a story from Xinhua], which is the third one on the Taiwan question in the history of the People's Republic of China. The first two were issued in August 1993 (the 1992 consensus and February 2000. The white paper topped the search rankings on Twitter-like Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo on Wednesday. [SCMP:
As GRR counted, each white paper [Chinese] contains around 10,000 words. The 1993 white paper mentioned “和平统一” "peaceful reunification" 18 times, the 2000 version mentioned it 29 times, while the new white paper (2022) used the phrase 34 times. [The phrase was only counted when it's not in the headings. Please note that this is a very rough count, as words and phrases such as “和平” “peace”, "和平谈判” “peace negotiation” and some other ones which might be related to similar meanings were not counted.]
Nevertheless, Ginger River believes that it is a reflection of what was mentioned in the 2022 white paper “我们愿继续以最大诚意、尽最大努力争取和平统一。” "We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification," while it should be noted that “我们不承诺放弃使用武力，保留采取一切必要措施的选项，针对的是外部势力干涉和极少数“台独”分裂分子及其分裂活动，绝非针对台湾同胞，非和平方式将是不得已情况下做出的最后选择。” "But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities. In no way does it target our fellow Chinese in Taiwan. Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances."
Moreover, a popular anonymous China watcher on Twitter @Maoviews noted that the new white paper does not mention "Beijing will not dispatch troops or administrative personnel to the island [after reunification]" as in two previous versions.
GRR found that the 1993 version of the white paper mentioned that [统一后…台湾] "可以有自己的军队” Taiwan "could have its own military force" after reunification. The 2000 version did not mention it but said [统一后…] 中央政府不派军队和行政人员驻台 "Beijing will not dispatch troops or administrative personnel to the island [after reunification]" as the 1993 version did. Neither of the two sentences was mentioned in the 2022 version.
Meanwhile, in the press conference held by the Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday, the spokesperson Tan Kefei answered a question about whether or not the military exercises conducted near the island of Taiwan “is probably just a beginning”. [translated by GRR as below and does not represent the official version. You can also check a readout from Xinhua]
Q: According to media in Taiwan, after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) organized high-intensity live-fire drills in the airspace and waters near the Taiwan Island, with several missiles flying over the island, creating a de facto "blockade". This might just be the beginning, and Taiwan's squeezed strategic space may never be recovered. What is your comment on this?
A: The military operations of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) around the Taiwan Island acted as a deterrent against the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces' collusion with external forces in making provocations. And the operations were righteous and necessary countermeasures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The relevant exercises and training were open, transparent, professional, and followed domestic and international laws as well as international practice. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted presumptuously. Her rogue visit to China's Taiwan region was a flagrant provocation which caused damage to China's core interests. Her visit severely undermined the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) authorities relied on foreign powers and schemed "independence", which abandoned the safety and security of the people in Taiwan. Their act pushed Taiwan into the abyss of disaster. They will eventually be nailed to the pillar of shame in history!
China's complete reunification is a process that cannot be halted, and the time and momentum for solving the Taiwan question is always on the side of the force that advances the unification of China. For the sake of the wellbeing of people in Taiwan, we will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. But the PLA will leave no room for separatist activities of 'Taiwan independence' and external interference in any form. Ignoring the interests of the Chinese nation in exchange for gains of their own, the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces have embarked on a road of no return. Currently, cross-Strait relations are again facing two options that will lead to two different futures, the Taiwan authorities should make the right choice.
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Wednesday's top 10 trending searches on WeChat as of 6:00 p.m. (1000 GMT):
#1 The second trial of the Lao Rongzhi case will begin on August 18
The brother of defendant Lao Rongzhi said that her case will go to the second trial in the Higher People's Court of Jiangxi Province on August 18. In a former trial, Lao was sentenced to death for killing seven people, and other heinous crimes including intentional homicide, kidnapping and robbery. But she filed an appeal after the verdict. [A report by Global Times on the case during the first trial: Female serial killer in China sentenced to death after two decades on the run]
#2 China will not hesitate to fight back each time the US makes a serious provocation
"China will not hesitate to fight back each time the US makes a serious provocation that violates China’s sovereignty and interferes in China’s internal affairs. We will never allow our sovereignty and territorial integrity to be trampled and sabotaged." said the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in responding to Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan on Wednesday at the regular press conference.
#3 China successfully launches 16 new satellites with one rocket
China on Wednesday sent 16 new satellites into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the northern province of Shanxi. The satellites, including a Jilin-1 Gaofen 03D09 satellite and Yunyao-1 04-08 satellites, were launched by a Long March-6 carrier rocket at 12:50 p.m. Beijing Time and entered the planned orbit successfully. The new batch of satellites is mainly used in the fields such as commercial remote sensing and atmospheric imaging. -- Xinhua
#4 Shanghai reported no local COVID-19 cases for Tuesday (August 9)
Shanghai reported zero locally-transmitted and asymptomatic cases for Tuesday said the Shanghai Health Commission on Wednesday, which means it is the sixth consecutive day that Shanghai did not spot a single local case (starting from August 4).
#5 Voice from 70-year-old owner of Shangdong dumpling house in Taipei
The spokesperson and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying twittered a screenshot of a digital map of Taipei several days ago. “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei. Palates don't cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home,” she wrote.
Later on, reporters reached an owner of a Shangdong dumpling house who has claimed to operate for 50 years in Taipei. The 70-year-old owner said he came from the county-level city in East China's Shandong province. "I'm too busy with customers, why not chat for another time," he added.
#6 A passenger climbs over the platform screen doors and jumps onto the track
A passenger climbed over the screen doors of Chaoyangmen Station on Beijing Subway line 2 and jumped onto the track on Tuesday. The passenger died on the spot according to The Beijing News.
#7 Luzhou Fukang hospital got suspended
A video clip showing a PowerPoint slide of Luzhou Fukang hospital's internal meeting went viral online in recent days, according to guancha. The content of the slide includes "how to make patients line up to give us money" and "how to make patients stay for a long time." An official from the hospital confirmed the validity of the slide, adding that the file was made by a new employee with improper wording, which leads to the misunderstanding. The local Health Care Commission said on Tuesday that they have sent a special team to further investigate the matter. The hospital has been suspended.
#8 China clamps down on the hype of virtual currencies
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) took actions to clamp down on the hype of virtual currencies, following the Notice on further preventing and disposing of the risk of speculation in virtual currency trading《关于进一步防范和处置虚拟货币交易炒作风险的通知》. Internet platforms including Baidu and Weibo shut down over 1,2000 virtual-currency-related accounts on the basis of violating user protocols and cleaned up more than 51,000 pieces of information hyping the investment of virtual currencies. The CAC also reminded netizens to establish a correct investment value and enhance risk prevention awareness. It advised the public not to participate in virtual currency trading speculation activities in order to prevent personal property damage.
#9 Chinese private rocket company successfully completes three missions in a row
Chinese private company Galaxy Energy successfully launched a Ceres-1 rocket on Tuesday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China, marking the company's third consecutive success. This launch may be the milestone for China's private rockets to provide large-scale commercial services.
There are a number of private rocket companies in China, but only Galactic Energy and i-Space, another startup in Beijing, have succeeded in conducting orbital missions — spaceflights by a carrier rocket that deploy payloads into an orbit in outer space.
Tuesday's launch was also the first successful launch by the country's private space sector this year. CERES 1 is ideal for domestic and foreign clients seeking a small, cost-efficient launch vehicle to deploy mini satellites, designers said.
#10 Over 10,000 medical workers rush to help Hainan province
Over 10,000 medical workers from 19 provinces have been dispatched to support south China's Hainan province, an island renowned for vacations, to assist its fight against the recent COVID-19 flare-up, said an official in a press conference on Wednesday.
Guo Yanhong, an official with the National Health Commission's bureau of medical administration, said the outbreak in Hainan has spread silently for some time and due to the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant the epidemic situation in the province is complicated, severe and developing rapidly.
As the province's medical resources are below the national average, the commission has sent medical workers from around the country to help Hainan.
Almost 8,000 medical workers were sent there to conduct nucleic acid tests and as a result, the province has the capacity to evaluate 2.4 million nucleic acid test tubes daily, a total potential daily capacity of 24 million tests.
The commission also sent more than 2,000 medical workers to treat patients and almost 300 workers to handle epidemiological investigation and supervision, she said.
Authorities in Hainan reported 285 locally-transmitted confirmed cases on Wednesday, and 175 of them were spotted in the city of Sanya, a famous tourist destination with large beach resorts.
From August 1 to August 9, 1567 locally-transmitted cases and 848 asymptomatic carriers were identified all over the province. It is confirmed that the outbreak is caused by the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA. 5.1.3. This is also the first time that the variant was spotted in China.
The current wave of infections started when local fishermen traded with foreign fishermen without proper protection, according to the health commission of Hainan province.
Unfortunately, Hainan's unexpected outbreak occurred in the summer vacation, causing over 80,000 tourists stranded on the island province as the epidemic prevention policies tightened. But local authorities act quickly to send trapped tourists home, starting from Tuesday.
The epidemic prevention and control authority in Hainan announced at a routine press conference on Tuesday afternoon that the first batch of 125 tourists stranded in Sanya, known as the "Hawaii of China" and one of the most famous tourism destinations in China, took off from the Sanya Phoenix International Airport on a chartered flight at 4:28 pm, heading for their hometown in Xi'an. On Tuesday, the local authorities started to organize stranded tourists eligible for leaving to leave the city in batches by plane, and the first batch of tourists allowed to go were all evaluated and met the relevant epidemic prevention requirements.
According to the new regulations, in cities, counties and districts without an epidemic, if there are no positive cases identified in tourist groups or their hotels within a seven-day period, or individual tourists with no symptoms such as fever, dry cough, loss of smell or muscle soreness within three days, they can leave the province with two negative nucleic acid testing results within 48 hours.