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Jian Shuo Wang
September 9, 2004
After tracking the situation of SARS in Shanghai and other places in China for sometime, I believe it is time make the following announcement and fight back against some false statement.
China is a great country – as it always is
Recently, more and more media pay much more attention on the dark side of China. It seems critizing the Chinese government on SARS is their full time job. Some even try to isolate China – it is definitely wrong. As a Chinese citizen, I cannot accept it.
Actually, the western media played a positive role in the case of SARS situation in China. I know that. My friends in U.S. told me that media is always pushy, which help the truth come out. The strong interntional pressure is a big factor for the recent changes in the battle against SARS. This is widely recognized by the people in China. I saw some wonderful posts in some BBS. They analysized the course of the situation and pointed out it should be the Chinese media who should have reported the situation, insteading of waiting for foreign medias. I want everyone to notice the change happened.
Before last Sunday when the Health Minister was sacked, the government did response slowly to SARS, so does the media. These days, as I have described in the previous entries, the government and the media have taken solid actions to fight against SARS – disinfection is going on almost everywhere in the city and the government has put 2 billion RMB funding to fight against SARS. I believe the government has shown the responsibility. I personally fully trust the government has the ability to overcome the difficulties the whole nation is facing.
United – tighter than ever
Maybe the outside world didn’t notice that the people my country have united tightly together now. SARS is a crisis in the history of China and the nation united to fight. I visited the BBS of Nanjing University – one of the hundreds of university BBS. Students are discussing the topic actively – there come about 2 – 4 posts for every single minute (11666 posts in 10 days). I am deeply moved by the stories they are telling.
- Doctors have devoted themselves to the SARS patients days and nights. Lots of them even got infected and some them died when saving others’ lives;
- Students are sending flowers and cards to those doctors and patients, encouraging them and pray for them;
- Organizations have denoted money or goods to help in various ways;
- People are claiming that they will overcome whatever difficulties to help prevent the virus from spreading.
- I even heard an online game company even opened their fee-based game server to the public, hoping to help keep people in their homes and reduce outting (heard from my friend, not confirmed).
This is the united nation of China. I don’t think the reporters of Times really understand how tough it is to fight against SARS when they repeated report the incorrectness of SARS figures.
I Love this country!
I strongly protest the statement about China on SARS.com
There are many very good website out there reporting accurate and helpful information like Tim’s SARSWatch.org, and Docbear’s SARS Daily Update. They show their professionalism and responsibility by providing updated and USEFUL information. However, there are some bad sites like sars.com. I was shocked to see the statement on http://www.sars.com. Why did they use the large red color to state “avoid traveling to Hong Kong and China” and even announced ” It even stated:
Traveling to China, Asia? Don’t forget to say good-bye to your friends & family.
What is SARS? SARS is a mystery illness causes severe acute Respiratory syndrome and can kill you real fast.
The only proprose of this site, as I can see, is to enhance panic and attack China and Asia. Getting a good domain name does not mean you can say whatever you want.
Be responsible. Refuse to spread rumor.
One of the best things of this blog is to have a group of people working together to collect and post useful information using the comment system of MovableType. I’d like to thank a lot of persons who stayed with us, commented on this blog and provided valuable information in this tough situation. They are: Mainlander, Caroline, Anna, Annie, Hao, Tim, Yo, Karp Boonthavi, Randy, etc (and many others). The information on prevention and proper use of equipments are exteremely useful for those seeking for protections.
Meanwhile, with more and more vistors coming to this site everyday, I’d like to call attention to everyone to continue to keep the high standard of posting and ensure the information we post are as accurately as possible. If there is any unconfirmed information, or sounds like rumor, please specify – “not confirmed” or “treat it as rumor only”. We are here to learn, to share, and to help. We don’t want to confuse people, dislead people, or even worse, causing panic among people.
Stay calm and healthy, my friends. Best wishes to you and to the country.
Note: The content modified a little after published by Jian Shuo Wang.
Wang Jian Shuo,
You are right about the frenzied media coverage of the SARS virus. In the mainstream US press, we usually hear very little about China. But recently, the SARS virus has been covered every day. The usual coverage involves an update on the number of infected and dead.
This is a disease that could have struck any part of the world, and is not the fault of the Chinese people or government. The media outlets are continually showing pictures of people wearing masks as a shock technique.
I’ve seen far better coverage of the virus here on your website than in any US media. Keep up the good work, and be proud of your country and your work on this site.
it’s great to hear that you’re standing by your country… it’s people like you that make your country strong. i on the other hand have decided to leave. i love xiamen but this sars situation has taken a toll on me physically and emotionally. i’m really upset about leaving but i’m risking a lot by being here. i hope this situation improves really soon. i’d like to come back and see more of China. my family and i leave on the 7th of May.
Every day 300 kids die from Malaria in Africa.Don’t expect the world to be rational. People are afraid from the unknown. Don’t forget the Y2K “disease”. Hysteria.Chinese authorities are conducting now a fierce battle against the SARS and the disease will vanish soon.
Yes, solidarity rather than selfishness is what we need at this time of crisis.
I think it is not of the global community’s interest to see the fall of China and of her leadership.
On the other hand, I believe objective news report that exposes the “dark sides” or “imperfections” of policy actions remains important. They will help perfect the actions and close any loopholes that will cause futher human lifes. Consider them as feedback for bug fixing and not cost to China’s image!
Don’t worry so much about images, let’s fight this SARS battle!
Will WHO announce its findings about Shanghai today? Last night on satellite tv I saw a little note on the bottom of the TV that said “WHO reports that Shanghai has been doing a better job preventing the spread of SARS”….
A few thoughts regarding SARS from a laowai in Shanghai:
– This is an amazing country and I am lucky to live here. People are wonderful — polite, interesting, helpful and in this situation with SARS I completely agree with you that they have been very courageous.
– There was a massive coverup of information regarding SARS in Beijing. This cannot be argued as it has even been admitted by the government. We have the WHO to thank for uncovering and warning all of the situation.
– Foreign concern regarding SARS is justified. Secrecy regarding SARS in China enabled it to spread throughout the world. This is not a purely domestic issue like tianamen square. If the Chinese government had been open with information, the spread of this disease could have been minimized from the beginning.
– Another fact: earliest cases of the disease are from Guangdong province in November, and not in late January as we are told by Chinese media. I travelled all over guangdong province working in December and January. The smell of vinegar in most buildings in Guangzhou in early January was obvious. My colleagues there were already talking about the mystery disease. Because of this secrecy, the disease slipped into Hong Kong and out to the rest of the world, without any warning. We all know the devastation that was caused in HK.
– 2 cases have been reported in Shanghai! Understanding what happenned in Beijing, Shanghai residence are feeling a bit panicky. I personally thing the actual number of cases in Shanghai is probably low (like less than 100), but it’s not 2. No one believes that. Saying there are only 2 cases severely hurts the credibility of the government.
– Foreign news media critical to the Chinese handling of this situation is being block on the internet. We are all used to this in China. Time Magazine, a very reputable news organization, has a few articles where they have interview CP officials and doctors in Shanghai claim that there are lots of unreported cases in Shanghai. Of course, http://www.time.com is blocked now. Here is a link to a Time article that someone has pasted on another website:
– Lots of untrue rumors are being spread throughout Shanghai as panic hits. Most of it you have to take with a grain of salt.
I agree with Jian Shuo Wang that this is a time for solidarity everywhere.
I am a little annoyed that TIME Asia is doing its third consecutive cover story on SARS. Concerns about the SARS situation in Shanghai notwithstanding, I feel that TIME should know when to move on. It is sad to see them cross the line to sensationalism.
In Hong Kong, The South China Morning Post has launched a campaign specifically to help buy protective suits for frontline hospital workers. They have raised HK$1.2m to buy 7 days worth of barrierman suits so far. That’s a pretty good start. It is also a good example what the English-language media can do to channel donations from multinational firms to a worthy cause. Is any organsation on the mainland doing the same?
As for SARS.com, it is just capitalizing on the traffic flow on ‘SARS.’ I doubt the owners even have a viewpoint on health issues. So don’t don’t help to publicize the website!!!
I agree this is no time to point fingers at any country or government. SARS is a global problem whether you like it or not. We are better off focusing on fighting SARS.
On the other hand, one shoudn’t be afraid of or offended by critism. After all, if the chinese media had uncovered and reported the real number of SARS cases ahead of the western media, TIME would have had no audiance on this subject.
Shr, thanks for agreeing on the points that pointing fingers on any counry is inproper. I also agree with you that the critism should be regarded as feedback and appreciated. It is the media’s reporting that helped the change in the government attitude and rosed awareness among people. I am not offended by the critism itself at all.
anna, you finally decided to go after weeks of waiting. :-) It may not be a bad decision. I believe China will overcome this crisis very soon and the country will be even clearer and better. Hope you, your baby and your family can return to Xiamen again. Best wishes!
Have you seen how the cabs in Shanghai are so shiny today?? Clean!!! Even the blue ones and the maroon ones are clean! The roads are swept so often! And of course spitting is now a 200rmb offense in Shanghai! Wow!
And what a beautiful day it is outside!
Yes! You know why? I will post the regulation of transportation administration to this site in the new entry soon.
Jian Shuo Wang,
When it comes to the SARS situation in Shanghai, I must say you are quite an optimist. But I guess one can either resign to the situation or look on the bright side. On second thought, there is no point in chasing after every bit of rumour about suspected cases at abc corporation or xyz kindergarten.
In my view, the government (and the state media) didn’t respond slowly to SARS — at least not in the national capital. Starting around 1 April, it was reported in the state media that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention began in earnest to publicize SARS prevention methods. A week later, CCTV began to broadcast SARS prevention information in the evening during prime time. That came as a big shock because there was limited reporting until then, and the focus was always on Hong Kong or Southern China. The final straw came on 10 April when it was announced in the English version of People’s Daily that 18 hospitals in Beijing have been getting ready to deal with SARS. It was about that time that rumours began to fly about…and finally the news broke last Sunday.
In Beijing, the official number of infections stood at 339 a week ago, and it increased day by day, until it reached 988 on Friday night. In fact, the government and the state media have responded in the best possible way — and definitely not too slowly — when it come to SARS. The delay in publicizing the facts was designed to minimize widespread panic until the health care system was better prepared to deal with it.
By contrast, the government in Hong Kong was wavering on each decision while the people (and the trashy tabloid newspapers) criticized them harshly every step of the way. Democracy (=rule by the mob) and press freedom can be overrated.
To look on the bright side, China has worked very hard to deal with SARS since it was made public — and was probably well on its way fighting it long before we knew it. I will not comment on the current state of affairs in Shanghai. But you must forgive some of us — living in masquerade for a month now — who are perhaps unduly skeptical.
In any case, I am very impressed with the speed with which new procedures have set up to clear all obstacles in every step of the way. As I said, one can either resign to the situation or look for the silver lining in every circumstances.
My last thought for the day: a piece from the local paper from yesterday compared the differences between doing the right thing and doing things right. It said that good leaders do the right thing (at the right time presumably) and good managers (take the extra time and efforts and patience) to do things right.
Wrong forum. I wrote this last post after reading your piece from 3pm today in ‘Daily Life – SARS Related II’
i’m so heartbroken about leaving china…. i love it here in xiamnen. hopefully we will be back by september. i’ll keep in touch.
On defending China:
It is indeed important to defend China at this time, I do on my own web site, yet one cannot avoid the embarrassment that China is suffering at the hands of this virus.
I disagree that this problem will go away soon, in fact I think it will get far worse soon. Otherwise, China will be very lucky to have escaped such a calamity.
Furthermore, showing China’s flag does nothing to defend China. Argue that it’s not as bad a problem, rather than just wave your flag.
I truly believe the U.S. media has really blown SARS out of proportion frightening many would-be travelers to China. They have made it sound like the Chinese government is to blame for the rapid expansion of the disease. Yet, a much higher percentage of people become infected with and die from malaria and influenza.
I have planned to visit China for quite some time and purchased my airfare and tour group tickets the day before SARS began being reported in the news here in the U.S. I still plan on coming (I arrive in Beijing on June 4). Yes, I am a bit worried but plan to take all the necessary precautions. I am not going to let fear of getting sick prevent me from seeing what I consider one of the most interesting places on Earth. The fact that some of my friends consider going to Beijing right now as similar as a vacation in Baghdad just increases my desire to go. At the very least, perhaps I can enjoy seeing such places as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City even more without so many other tourists.
I’ll also be visiting Xi’an, Suzhou, and Shanghai and it will be interesting to see firsthand how each city is dealing with SARS.
Hi Mark, welcome to Beijing and Shanghai. You made me LOL for the joike of “Going to Beijing right now as similar as a vacation in Baghdad”. It is not THAT dangerous. :-) Take precautions and enjoy your trip!
It is important to understand that the American news services do not represent the position of the Government or the position of the majority of Americans. They support the positions and interests of American labor unions as almost everyone in this business must be a member of an “AFL-CIO?affiliated labor union. It is the AFL-CIO that is the number one anti China organization in the west. The AFL-CIO opposes a strong and economically healthy China and works to prevent China from growing. In the US, most of the lies about China all come from the propaganda mills of this national labor union and its thousands of loyal affiliates. Other anti China organizations usually base thier arguments on the propaganda that comes from labor Unions. One of the major originators of bad news about China in the US can be found at http://www.laogai.org Look at some of the ridiculous articles found here and then lookup who the owner of this web site is and you will learn an important lesson about America that few people in China understand. Lazy reporters in the media regularly borrow these stories and they are found in the media again and again until most people think that with so much reporting on these ridiculous fabrications, it must be true. I do not tell you all of this just to talk. I hate these horrible evil people because of the horrible things that I know they do. It is important to know who the real enemy is.
Tom, that is the most ridiculous thing that’s been posted yet on this website. US and most other international media companies are free to present the news as they feel is correct. If the fabricate stories or incorrectly report news, they lose credibility, and no one believes them. I am not saying that mistakes are never made, but major foreign news media strives to bring you the truth. CNN, The South China Morning Post, The BBC etc would all lose their credibility and go out of business if they did not strive to tell the true. BTW, I would also included Time Magazine in that group.
Currently, I am a bit disappointed in coverage by some news companies like CNN, the BBC & SCMP. I feel that these companies are under-reporting the situation in China because they are well aware that if their reporting of China is too out of line with what is reported by Chinese government controlled media, they will be blocked by “The Great Firewall” of China. Time Magazine’s website is blocked for just this reason, and not for bad reporting of the current situation.
Zhao, I appreciate your response and I understand your thinking. Please remember that stories regularly appear in the US press regarding such things as “Man in China caught with a bible is sent to 20 years in prison” or about “Prison authorities put inmates to death to sell body organs.” There are many such stories reported in the western press and the get repeated over and over again leaving Americans with a very distorted view of China.
These stories frequently are seen first on sites like http://www.laogai.org, which is sponsored by one of the largest labor unions in America. Remember – every time a product comes into America from China, it is a product not made by an American union worker. The American labor unions are shrinking and their power is diminishing. Do not think for a moment that they are not considering the future impact of the continued growth of the industrial and economic strength of China.
I would appreciate hearing your opinion of where these (distorted) news stories originate and why they appear so frequently in the American Press. Either the western press is incorrect in reporting these stories or they are reporting facts. Which is it? If they are not being correct in their reporting of these stories, then where do you suggest these stories originate and why? Why does the American press hardly ever run stories that are positive about China? I personally believe that there are many positive things happening in China that the western press chooses to ignore. As an American, I am very bothered by this.
I would like to know your opinion regarding this.
I would also like to know why there are sites like http://www.laogai.org that are dedicated to defaming China in every possible way? Are you able to put some light on this? I am confident that you will have a thoughtful response.
Regarding media coverage of China,
It’s not so much misreporting, as it is fundamental misunderstanding.
I also feel that much of the coverage about China is fundamentally unfair. In particular are the issues surrounding government transparency and democracy. We have to remember that for many patriotic-leaning Americans, China is the counter-example to the American ideal out there, and so it is natural that there might be websites out there with ridiculous stories.
Yet at the same time, recently I think some criticisms are warranted. We have to remember that the entire world is struggling through getting past this disease, with all the economic problems they create, almost entirely because the Chinese government didn’t admit the seriousness of the situation from the beginning.
Remember, some of those criticisms as voiced through the media are what led China to open up quicker than it otherwise would have had the pressure not been applied.
I’m not saying China isn’t a great country. I wouldn’t have spent the years learning the langauge and living here if I didn’t think so. But if we’re arguing about media unfairness and how that somehow hurts China’s name (zhongguo de mingyu), we also have to admit that the media might be right about some of those criticisms as well.
A few suggestions:
(1) The New York Times (nytimes.com) and San Francisco Chronicle (sfgate.com) have been providing good overall coverage of SARS. Both of these are free. I have set up an alert for SARS-related news with NYTimes, and a link to the search page with The Chronicle.
NYTimes provides more comprehensive coverage. As always a few stories are biased or inane, but the number of articles kind of make up for it.
(2) Try news.google.com (beta version) and search for SARS. If you are familiar with google in general, then you understand why this may work better.
Propaganda exist in every country.
Some of the stories you have read may well be true. Some are not. Readers can always make their own judgement.
Try getting a slice of life in the the U.S. from a Singaporean newspaper and you’d think that you need to buy you kid a bullet-proof vest before sending him off to college.
Ridiculous? No necessarily. I went to a major university on the West Coast, and I had two Singaporean classmates who were car-jacked at gunpoint. I used to walk around campus clutching pepper spray in my hands. So there!
I’m in agreement with Zhao in that I think your conspiracy theory about the western press is a bit overblown. Perhaps labor unions are anti-China but this does not mean that they somehow have enough influence to make the press anti-China as well. I will add that I think the sentiment of labor unions stems from fear of change and lack of understanding. At the end of the day, the continued growth of China into a strong, economic power is extremely positive for the American economy and hopefully (wishful thinking) labor unions can come to understand that free trade is a win-win (yes, 2+2 can equal 5), if it only means a willness to change and adapt in the short-run.
But to answer your questions, if you look hard enough on the internet, you will find views about everything: that 9/11 was some sort of Jewish conspiracy to turn America against Islam, that there is a secret hangar in the New Mexico desert housing the bodies of aliens, that the Chinese government continues to underreport SARS cases, that the US press is under the control of the AFL-CIO, etc., etc. And depending on who you are, each one of these views seems credible to a different extent. So why does a site like http://www.laogai.org exist?
Well, unfortunately I cannot access the site. I don’t know whether this is due to the fact that I am on the other side of the Great Firewall, or what, but from its name I imagine it is about labor camps in China. So why do I think the site exists? Because labor camps existed and still exist in China and someone, perhaps someone who has lived through one, has a story to tell. If the stories may be in the interest of the AFL-CIO, does it follow that they must be untrue or distorted? Not at all. There are many dark spots (and many bright ones) in the history of China (especially in the last 50 years) and labor/re-educations camps certainly fall into the former category. Yet, few truly know what goes on behind the walls. But there are survivors or ex-guards with stories to tell and these stories are newsworthy. We, as intelligent human beings, can judge them for what we feel they are worth.
And I actually disagree with you that the reporting about China is unbalanced. SARS reporting aside (I’ll get to that in a minute), recent articles I have read range from the negative: the double-agent spy arrested for stealing secrets from the FBI, the US government citing China’s poor human rights record; to the mundane: China buying new planes from Airbus, the discovery of more Pandas in the wild which were previously unknown; to the positive: the cooperation the US and China have had in dealing with the N. Korea issue, China surpassing the UK to become the #5 trading nation in the world, S&P upgrading China’s debt rating.
Regarding SARS, I think it is very justifiable for the press to be critical of the handling of the situation in Beijing and without pressure from the international community, the official tally of Beijing SARS cases might still read 37. But I want to further criticize the way that Beijing has handled the release of information over the past week. I disagree with luo that this has served to minimize widespread panic but rather feel panic has not struck as hard anywhere else. It has been mass exodus out of Beijing. I’ve been between Guangdong and HK since February and I would say the mood here is one of great care, concern, and vigilance but nothing like the panic that my friends in Beijing (most of whom are leaving because of it) are describing.
The following is my opinion. Take it for what it is worth. When the news was blown last Sunday, it was announced in very clever fashion. There were 339 confirmed cases and 402 suspected cases in Beijing. It is my opinion that these were all confirmed cases but it would have looked very bad to go from 37 to 741 overnight. So, the government took to increasing the numbers by over a hundred a day until we reached the total today of nearly 1000. Somewhere along the way, they stopped reporting suspected cases or atleast I cannot find figures on Beijing suspected cases anymore. A sustained hundred a day is a rate of increase unseen anywhere else and has created a panic unseen anywhere else. If my hypothesis is correct, the past week has probably only seen about 250 new cases in Beijing or about 40 new cases a day. The government has indicated that there is no living area with mass infections like there were in HK. If this is true, I predict the rate of increase should stabilize next week. Again, this is pure conjecture.
Let me finish by saying that I am extremely pro-China. This is one of the most incredible countries in the world and I hold it very dear. But at the same time, I am not afraid to look at things I hold dear and point out what I believe to be areas that need to be changed. It is the great quality of open societies for their governments to be able to admit wrong, to be self-critical, to be unafraid of change. China has taken great steps towards an open economy over the past 25 years yet political reform has lagged. For it to achieve the success over the next century that many predict for it, political reform is a necessity. And if some good has come out of SARS, perhaps it is that the government now realizes it needs to open up and recognize that there are areas where change is needed. It is my hope that political reform does occur and perhaps the second half of this century will indeed be China’s to have.
I will retract part of my conjecture as I just saw the latest statistics for Beijing at 1,114 confirmed cases and another 1,191 suspected cases. That is downright frightening.
From my office, I am not restricted by the great firewall and can see the laogai website. Some of it looks like pure propaganda, but some things are not.
I think a major problem with Chinese media is that there is never debate. Whenever news items that are critical of China are published, they are never in turn critiqued by chinese media. The US Report on Human Rights abuses is a perfect example. Chinese media did not go through the report and refute the data that was presented but rather criticized the US for trying once again to interfere in Chinese domestics issues. In my opinion, every chinese person should know exactly what is in the report and Chinese media should be investigating to determine what is true. The biggest item in the report is that 2000 people are still jailed from the tianamen square event and none of them have ever had any sort of trial. Chinese State media won’t touch that one because it is true.
I would estimate (purely based on personal knowledge and general feelings) that about half of the information on that website (laogai) is pure BS. The issue for the Chinese government is that they cannot debate the detail of what is shown on the website because some of it is true, just as Tom explained above. The Chinese response is to hide it from the Chinese public.
Lujiaxi, I think if you want to publish information like that you should at least provide us a source (a weblink or at least the media source). Maybe I am wrong, but I think you just posted an unsubstantiated rumor. In this situation of panic and fear, you should be extremely careful about do such a thing.
Sorry. My source is MSNBC as well as ABCNews.com
I felt exactly the same at first…thinking the SARS infection figures in Beijing would stop at 1,000 or so.
With that said, it appears that not all the suspected cases will be confirmed. Many may be false alarms. For better or for worse, only 25 of 100 news cases came from the suspected case list on Saturday.
The good news is that the government has been quick to institute new protective measures, the quarantine of over 7,000 people, closing down entertainment venues. Doing more drastic measures now (closing down businesses) may be quicken the time to recovery.
I know I am a bit off-topic, but want to comment on the Airbus deal… French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin visited Beijing last Friday. To reward his country’s support for China during this time, contracts were signed in which six airlines agreed to buying a total of 30 planes from Airbus over the next few years. (There wer also some deals involving power plants. Not sure about the details though.)
Anyway, you know that Airbus and its American counterpart has been vying to get new contract with Chinese airlines for a long time. To reduce the cost of maintenance, most airlines like to stick with one manufacturer (preferably) and a few airplane models.
From People’s Daily on Monday morning, “President Hu talked over phone with US President George W. Bush on Saturday night… at the request of the US side.” Is the US trying to make amend? :-)
Thanks — sorry for doubting your info. That is really scary.
Luo, I think you are a bit naive. A jump from 877 to 1119 is increadible. If that percentage growth continues for a few more days, this will be a major catastrophe.
Sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. I was trying to be subtle. Okay… most people think that when the SARS infection figures in Beijing hit the magic 1,000 mark, it would slow down, but there is no sign of stopping so far.
In other words, I am as shocked and frightened by the implication of this as everyone else. :-( It is only that I was trying to be calm and rational, and not to spread panic.
What are the new statistics from Beijing today?
To 10:00 AM April 28, Beijing reports 96 cases and 3 death. 1199 in total.
No new data yet?
No new data in Shanghai!?? When are they going to update their methods of counting and announce those figures!?
I believe this is the latest.
Chinese Mainland Reports 3,303 SARS Cases
(summary) The Chinese mainland reported 202 new SARS cases as of 10:00 a.m. of April 29. The cumulative SARS cases rose to 3,303.
Beijing reported 152 new SARS cases and seven deaths from the disease. The number of cases in Beijing totaled 1,347. 83 SARS patients have been discharged from hospitals upon recovery and 66 have died.
Shanghai’s number is still 2. If it raises, it must raise very quickly. So may God bless Shanghai.
I admire my fellow American who is headed to Beijing in June, as I have long planned to travel to Shanghai later this month. However, I have to admit that my feelings are divided right now.
One the one hand, I read this board and feel reassured. On the other, I read the WHO and U.S. CDC reports along with the media coverage and become apprehensive.
One the one hand, I hope to see someone very special to me in Shanghai, someone whose affection I fear I may lose if I cannot see her. On the other, I think of my friends, colleagues and family who worry both about me and themselves should I do. Even the travel agency handling my visa application held it up because of fear of the virus. It was not until I did a lot of complaining, even some yelling, did they turn my application over to the Chinese Consulate.
So, as of right now, I am sitting tight, hoping for some good news out of China between now and May 19. Either way, I am thinking of all of you.
For overseas visitors who are looking to go to China this summer, the latest news from Thursday is that at least a dozen cities and provinces have imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on local residents as well as visitors coming from affected areas — for that, people have in mind Beijing, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia, but Guangdong and Hong Kong are probably on the blacklist, too. It is meant to be a deterrent, of course. Who would go to Xi’an or wherever only to be trapped in your hotel room for 14 days – and the bill goes to who?
All this may change, of course. But stay tuned.
Here is the latest news in Chinese from Mingpao.com and my poor attempt at translation.
English Summary : As of yesterday, four districts in Shanghai (Chang Ning, Xu Hui, Zha Bei, and Pu Dong) have begun to order travellers from SARS-affected areas to undergo a 14-day quarantine. But it has been confirmed today that Shanghai will relax the restriction for Hong Kong residents, who are visiting Shanghai mainly business travellers.
Mainwhile, nearby Zhejiang province has begun to require all travellers arriving by cars, trains, ships, and airplanes to fill out health forms and to take a temperature check. Health care workers will monitor the health conditions of Zhejiang residents returning from SARS-affected areas. Those arriving from areas with particularly high incidences of SARS will be ordered to stay home for medical observation for two weeks; non-local residents must stay at a designated hotel for 14 days of medical observation.
Other cities and provinces that have implemented similar policies include: Wuhan, Hubei province; Dalian and Shenyang, Liaoning province; Shijiazuang, Hebei province; Xi’an, Shaanxi province; Changsha, Hunan province; Nanjing, Jiangsu; Hainan province; Heilongjiang province; and Tibet.
2003/05/01, www. mingpao.com
What I meant to say is that, Shanghai is the only major port of entry that is not affected by SARS at the moment. For international travellers, you will need to steer clear of Beijing and probably Hong Kong throughout your trip to China in order NOT to be quarantined.
If Beijing (or Hong Kong) is the intended destination, you will find that quite a lot of international carriers have been reduced the number of long-haul flights for the time being.
Thanks Oscar. We all hope SARS will be over very soon. The first 20 days of May are critical for the epidemic situation. “It will be the turning point for both better or worse”, according to media quoting the doctor in Beijing Disease Prevention and Control Center.
JUST TO LET EVERYONE WHOS READING THIS KNOW THAT IAM ONLY 14!!!!!!!!……..and i live in Canada in a small town where there is almost no chinese people……….
china is definately the greates country in the world. even thought cananda is economically way more diversed than china it doesnt mean it is a better country. Where i live it is 300 km north of toronto but we hear bout SARs all the time here. when i was in grade 8 we went to wonderland in the summer, SARs is suppose to be over but other people who arnt from my school keeps on doging me……….. this made me fell what it must feel like to live in toronto…when white people just avoid u because of ur chinese face……
ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS THAT IAM PROUD I HAVE THIS FACE AND ILL NEVER BE ASHAMED!
I think the racial separation is always there, being in Canada you might slightly notice people keeping their distance but I must say the same thing happens in China. I recently went to Shanghai and I am hispanic, apparently I look like something they have never seen because people would just stare. Everywhere we walked we would be stared at.
What is SARS
It is quite true that this is a propoganda by the western media and it will continue since China is heading towards prosperity and becomes a big headache and rival to the American and European Economy. China may pass the west in many ways and they don’t want that. So, to sobotage that, they must create hurdles to stop that immense growth in Asia.
I am a student of economics and study the American, European, and Asian/Middle Eastern Markets. I found out that China’s Economy will surpass the west ten fold in the next few years. You can already see that it is buying big companies.
when you woe for something it will be worse, you should be happy and forget about everything and start out new.
I hope SARS ends soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!