China

US shoots down suspected Chinese spy balloon

 

The Department of Defence confirmed its fighter jets brought down the balloon over US territorial waters.

BBC reports China's foreign ministry later expressed "strong dissatisfaction and protest against the US's use of force to attack civilian unmanned aircraft".

Footage on US TV networks showed the balloon falling to the sea after a small explosion.

An F-22 jet fighter engaged the high-altitude balloon with one missile - an AIM-9X Sidewinder - and it went down about six nautical miles off the US coast at 14:39 EST, a defence official told reporters.

China's Covid-19 wave: Coffins sell out, crematoriums busy

We watched the skilled craftsmen as they carved elaborate decorations into the freshly-cut wood. Over recent months, they say, they haven't had time to stop.

One villager, a customer, said that at times the coffins have sold out. Laughing with a dose of the black humour you find in the area, he added that those in the funeral industry had been "earning a small fortune".

BBC reports there has been much debate about the real number of Covid-19 deaths in China, after the virus ripped through its megacities.

Ground breaking ceremony for $60 million sports complex in Tonga

Chief Guest and Prime Minister, Hu'akavameiliku thanked the Chinese government for their support.

"Having this facility of international standard will not only be beneficial to THS but to sports in general here in the Kingdom," he said at the event yesterday.

The Chinese Ambassador, Wang Baodang, said they were proud to be supporting a sporting nation like Tonga.

"Tonga is a nation of sport lovers," he said.

A statement said Chinese contractors arrived in Tonga three months ago to prepare for the construction of the $60 million plus sports complex.

Those who lost relatives to Covid-19 in China angry at failure to protect elderly

While her father was never tested, Ailia and her mother were both confirmed positive around the same time and she believes Covid-19 was a cause in his death.

As hundreds of millions of Chinese travel to reunite with families for the Lunar New Year holiday starting 21 January, many will do so after mourning relatives who died in the Covid-19 wave that has raged across the world's largest population.

China reports huge rise in Covid-related deaths after data criticism

A computational biologist says Covid-19 deaths in China may actually be up to ten times higher than reported.

University of Auckland Professor David Welch said given the country's population of 1.4 billion people, he expects cases and deaths are likely much higher.

"Looking at comparable countries, maybe Hong Kong or Japan, we'd expect hundreds of millions of cases in China by now.

"Assuming that say 1 in 1000 people who gets Covid - that's a very conservative estimate - dies, that adds up to hundreds of thousands of deaths."

WHO warns about China under-representing Covid deaths

The removal of most restrictions last month has led to a surge in cases.

But China has stopped publishing daily cases data, and has announced only 22 Covid deaths since December, using its own strict criteria.

"We believe that definition [of a Covid death] is too narrow," WHO emergencies director Dr Michael Ryan said.

Dr Ryan said China's figures "under-represent the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions, in terms of ICU admissions, and particularly in terms of deaths".

China Covid: Beijing criticises 'political' rules for its tourists

The US, India and the UK are among the nations that have introduced mandatory testing for arrivals from China.

BBC report the country has recently seen a surge in Covid cases following the easing of its strict controls.

And there are fears that cases and deaths are being vastly underreported.

China's last daily Covid update, on 24 December, reported fewer than 5,000 cases - but some analysts claim the daily caseload is already over two million, and could peak at almost four million this month.

Heavy fog ends in 200-car pile-up in China's Zhengzhou, one dead

The pileup took place on a bridge that was shrouded in heavy morning fog, which caused multiple vehicles to crash, according to state-owned The Global Times.

Photos from the scene show the long multi-lane bridge, stretching across fields and the Yellow River, strewn with vehicles crammed into each other. Cars, cargo trucks, lorries and other vehicles can be seen in the pileup.

CNN reports in videos filmed from the ground, the air is still thick with fog. One clip shows a truck sliding forward, crashing into several smaller cars, as sirens ring in the distance.

Fatal car crash involving over 200 vehicles in China

State media reports the crash was caused by heavy fog in the area.     

China Covid: Health expert predicts three winter waves

The country is seeing a surge in cases since the lifting of its most severe restrictions earlier this month.

The latest official figures appear to show a relatively low number of new daily cases.

However, there are concerns that these numbers are an underestimate due to a recent reduction in Covid testing.

BBC reports the government reported only 2,097 new daily cases on Sunday.