China tries to flip the pandemic script, starring a ‘reborn’ Wuhan

first_imgThe PR blitz plays out daily in comments by Chinese officials and lavish state media coverage of a “reborn” Wuhan that trumpets China’s epidemic-control efforts and economic recovery while the United States struggles. “This testifies to Wuhan’s triumph over the virus and that (the city) is back in business.” It’s a common complaint in Wuhan, blamed by many business owners on lingering fear of going out in public and the widely expressed belief that millions who fled the city early in the pandemic have still not returned. The growing confidence was displayed at a Wuhan pool party attended by thousands of mask-less people last month that prompted overseas accusations of recklessness after images of the event went viral. “There are few places in the world today where you don’t need a mask and can gather,” a Chinese official, Lin Songtian, told the executives, implying that Wuhan was one of those places. Lost in this retelling, however, is that a wet market in Wuhan is widely believed to be ground zero for the pandemic. And memories of a subsequent virus cluster in May, which triggered a citywide effort to test millions, remain fresh. China countered that the party indicated the nation’s success in taming the coronavirus. “The economy has really declined. The benefit of even coming to work is questionable,” said Yi Xinhua, 51, who sells tofu from her stall at a Wuhan wet market. “Beijing wants the narrative to be: we handled it, we can help you handle it and (hopefully) we’re the first to have a vaccine that works,” said Kelsey Broderick, Asia analyst with Eurasia Group. “That’s really the only way China can come out ahead of the idea that a wet market in Wuhan started this crisis.” “Everyone is afraid the epidemic will return, you know? The summer is over, and winter is coming,” said Yi. The three-day Wuhan tour also included foreign media outlets and ended Saturday. “The fact that the US is not only not doing enough, but actually doing things that go against American interests, is a big help to China,” she said. WUHAN, China — China is recasting Wuhan as a heroic coronavirus victim and trying to throw doubt on the pandemic’s origin story as it aims to seize the narrative at a time of growing global distrust of Beijing. Face masks sag from the neck or are abandoned altogether. The city of 11 million — which suffered more than 80% of China’s 4,634 Covid-19 deaths — has come a long way since the pandemic’s grim early days, when a suffocating weeks-long lockdown rendered it a ghost town. ‘Absolutely safe’ No new local transmissions have been reported in months, traffic jams are back, shoppers cram malls, and al fresco diners gobble up the city’s signature spicy crayfish dish. The drive peaked in the past week as Chinese primary schools welcomed back students with considerable fanfare and Wuhan hosted executives from dozens of multinationals, from Panasonic to Dow and Nokia, on a highly choreographed tour of the central Chinese city. The drive indicates China recognises Covid-19’s damage to its brand and wants to leverage its relatively successful recovery to counter growing international challenges, analysts said. Blocks of tofu were neatly arranged by shape and size, but there few buyers — Yi says her sales are only half of the pre-pandemic level. “I think now Wuhan should be absolutely safe.” ‘Winter is coming’ China’s foreign minister suggested on August 28 during a European outreach trip that the virus might not have emerged in China. Many Wuhan citizens express persistent concern over an uneven recovery and fear of new outbreaks. It featured primary-school students performing traditional Chinese opera and ballet, a renovated food market presented as a model of sanitation, and a Yangtze riverfront cruise underneath a skyline ablaze with towering light displays referencing the virus recovery. But not everyone is taking a victory lap. “What risks can there be?” asked Wuhan factory worker Xie Ailiang while speaking to AFP. Wuhan employers complain online that the exodus has also reduced the local labour pool. The fumbling US pandemic response provides a clear opening, said Yun Jiang, director of Australian National University’s China Policy Centre. China faces foreign bitterness over the virus and an initial cover-up attempt by Wuhan officials, plus criticism of Beijing’s tightening grip on Hong Kong and generally more aggressive international posture. “We’ve recovered a bit. But if the virus comes back, we’ll be hit again.” (Philippine Star)last_img read more

Sessegnon set for Tottenham move with Onomah joining Fulham

first_imgSee also:Parker seals loan signing of brother-in-law Arter Tottenham are expected to complete the signing of Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham, with Josh Onomah moving the other way.Several top sides have been linked with Sessegnon in recent years but the north London club have always been the frontrunners to sign him – West London Sport revealed Spurs’ interest in the teenager three years ago.AdChoices广告The two clubs have been in discussions and Sessegnon, 19, is expected to finalise the move ahead of Thursday’s 5pm transfer deadline.Sessegnon, who has a year remaining on his contract at Craven Cottage, made his first-team debut for Fulham in August 2016, aged 16.He has made 120 appearances for the Whites, scoring 26 goals.Midfielder Onomah, 22, has Championship experience having had loan spells at Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.Click here to subscribe to West London Sport’s YouTube channel Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Carli Lloyd ‘definitely considering’ NFL career

first_img Thousands of women watch Iran national soccer team for first time Thank you to the @Eagles for having me out! Thanks to @JustinTuck @jake_elliott22 @MayorRandyBrown for the good time and tips!    #55yd pic.twitter.com/owZ16f46Th— Carli Lloyd (@CarliLloyd) August 20, 2019Lloyd, 37, plays at club level for NWSL side Sky Blue FC.The 2016 Best FIFA Women’s Player last month confirmed her desire to become a four-time Olympian at Tokyo 2020.However, she admitted those plans depend on the identity of Jill Ellis’ replacement as USA head coach. The United States national team veteran and longtime Eagles fan is nearing the end of a decorated soccer career and could swap the round ball for the pigskin in a bid to become the first woman to play in the NFL.Her personal coach, James Galanis, said an unnamed team had offered Lloyd the chance to kick in a preseason game, while Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen has volunteered his services help ease the transition. Related News Coleen Rooney, Rebekah Vardy embroiled in Twitter fightcenter_img Two-time World Cup winner Carli Lloyd will seriously consider pursuing a future career as an NFL kicker when she retires from soccer.Lloyd, 37, sent social media into a spin when she drilled a series of field goals, including one from 55 yards, while visiting a Philadelphia Eagles practice session in August. “The NFL gig has definitely been a hot topic for me,” Lloyd said this week at the Dick’s Sporting Goods fashion show. “It’s something that just completely took me by surprise, it went viral.”I’m definitely considering it. Right now I’m just going to focus on soccer at the moment but I definitely want to entertain the idea of potentially becoming the first female to kick in the NFL.”last_img read more