Tokyo Olympics, Japan, Japanese Hospital Doctors

Tokyo Olympics, Japan

'Impossible' to hold Olympics during pandemic, Japan doctors union warns

Holding the Tokyo Olympics safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage would be 'impossible', a union of Japanese hospital doctors warned on Wednesday.

14/5/2021 4:00:00 AM

'We strongly oppose holding the Tokyo Olympics at a time when people around the world are fighting the new coronavirus,' a union of Japan ese hospital doctors said in a statement.

Holding the Tokyo Olympics safely as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage would be 'impossible', a union of Japan ese hospital doctors warned on Wednesday.

China has moved to shore up ties in Central Asia through pledges for vaccines and connectivity under its Belt and Road Initiative, amid growing criticism in the West of Beijing’s repression in the neighbouring Xinjiang region. Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered to deepen regional cooperation on Covid-19 vaccines and the development of Chinese-funded infrastructure projects with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the second meeting with the grouping on Wednesday in Xian, in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province. The six countries also discussed building a “grand Eurasian passageway of interconnectivity”, new Chinese government scholarships for Central Asia, agricultural cooperation, playing a “constructive role” after the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, as well as cracking down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement that Beijing has blamed for violence in Xinjiang.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. In separate bilateral talks from Monday to Wednesday, Wang stressed the need to defend “non-interference in internal affairs” and the Central Asian countries’ foreign ministers said they supported China’s efforts in “safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity” and on the issue of Xinjiang, according to Chinese foreign ministry readouts. The meetings come as Beijing clashed at the United Nations on Wednesday with the US, Germany and Britain over concerns about its treatment of Uygurs in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, which shares a border with Tajikistan, Kyrgzystan and Kazakhstan. China has been accused of the arbitrary detention up to 1 million Uygurs and other members of ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang along with claims by rights groups of forced labour – claims the US and others have termed “crimes against humanity and genocide”. Beijing has denied these allegations, defending many of its policies as intending to counter terrorism and extremism in the region. Analysts say China’s overtures reflect its desire to further institutionalise multilateral cooperation with the five Central Asian countries. Four of the five are also members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a Chinese-backed Eurasian alliance that includes Russia, India and Pakistan. Zhao Long, a senior research fellow from the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said the US had also tried to strengthen cooperation with the five countries. “In its new Central Asian strategy, the US proposes to help countries in the area deal with other ‘malicious actors’ and avoid relying on other forces,” he said. “China can counterbalance the moves of the US through the institutionalised cooperation with Central Asian countries.” Srdjan Uljevic, senior lecturer at the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan, said the SCO may now take a back seat to the new multilateral format with the five Central Asian nations, noting that Japan, South Korea, the European Union, US, India and Russia all had similar formats. He said it was hard for the Central Asian countries – which depended on China economically and for vaccines – to criticise policies in Xinjiang. “They need investments and China is providing the investments, and it’s expected that they would adhere to this political goal that Beijing has when it comes to their own core interests,” he said. China says extremism must not be allowed to return to Afghanistan But while Beijing has stepped up its investments in Central Asia, there has been growing unease in the region over the expanding Chinese footprint. Polling from the Central Asia Barometer showed that while the governments in those countries welcomed closer ties with China, public opinion was mixed, with 30 per cent in Kazakhstan and 35 per cent in Kyrgyzstan viewing China unfavourably compared to single-digit unfavourable ratings for Russia in those countries. “There has been pushback, but I don’t see any other country stepping in and replacing China when it comes to Chinese economic engagement, and I don’t see central Asian leaders saying no to that engagement,” Uljevic said. Temur Umarov, an expert on China and Central Asia at the Carnegie Moscow Centre, said Russia – which has traditionally held strong influence in the region – did not see Chinese interests there as conflicting with its own for now. China had also shown an awareness of negative public sentiment in Central Asia, shifting from vast projects towards ones that created local job opportunities, he said. “For these countries, it’s a very difficult situation,” he said. “On the one hand, they have China, which is a dominant economic partner and growing power right across the border, and on the other hand, they have their own civic societies that are growing more and more dynamic and sceptical of relations with China, like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. “From their point of view, it will not be wise to criticise China because it will lead to certain economic consequences in the economic sphere.” What is China’s Belt and Road Initiative all about? Michael Clarke, associate professor at the Australian National University, said China had sought to boost its presence in Central Asia as the region was a critical source of natural resources – such as oil and natural gas – and a key transit zone for Chinese efforts to trade with Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The belt and road raised the stakes for Beijing to see a stable regional environment, to secure its investments and infrastructure as well as to secure Xinjiang, he said. “A big issue here though is a growing divide between elite or government views and public opinion, where the former remain at least publicly positively disposed to BRI and continued Chinese investment in the region and the latter increasingly sceptical about the benefits to local populations of BRI projects,” he said. Additional reporting by Rachel ZhangMore from South China Morning Post:China looks to Turkmenistan for more gas as it cuts Australian supplies‘Based on lies’: China demands UN meeting on Uygurs be cancelled, claiming political biasHow Xinjiang human rights controversy is souring relations between China and the WestChina, Pakistan reiterate commitment to infrastructure development programmeHow China can tighten its Belt and Road Initiative in Central AsiaThis article China offers vaccines, projects in bid to shore up relations with Central Asian neighbours first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.

They relied on Chinese vaccines. Now they’re battling outbreaks 13 new COVID-19 community cases in Singapore; NCID nurse among 3 unlinked infections Singapore cuts stay-home notice for new travellers from higher-risk places to 14 days; regular COVID-19 self-test required

19 hours agoSouth China Morning PostHuawei’s Meng Wanzhou opens new front in marathon extradition battle, seeking to admit new HSBC evidenceLawyers for Meng Wanzhou will open another front in her marathon extradition battle next month, when they seek to admit new evidence from HSBC that they believe will bolster their contention that the Huawei Technologies executive is the victim of an abuse of process. An application to admit the evidence will be made on June 7, and a hearing conducted on June 29 and 30, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes said at a case management conference in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver on Wednesday. The nature of the evidence has not been revealed, although Meng’s lawyers say the material is “copious”. The evidence is being provided as the result of a court ruling in Hong Kong last month, in which HSBC agreed to provide the material.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Meng, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been fighting against a US request to have her extradited to face trial in New York ever since she was arrested at Vancouver’s airport on December 1, 2018. New delay in Meng’s extradition case as technical problems thwart hearing She is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, thus putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the Middle Eastern country. She denies the charges. Meng, who attended Wednesday’s hearing by phone, was bound over until May 31 when another case management conference will be held remotely in accordance with pandemic precautions. She spoke briefly to confirm she would return to court in person on June 29. The court had originally been expected to hear final arguments in the extradition case this month. But Meng’s lawyers last month secured an adjournment to have those arguments heard in August instead, giving them time to assess the HSBC evidence. Canadian government lawyers representing US interests in the case have accused Meng of using delaying tactics. Meng extradition case thrown into turmoil as judge grants three-month delay Meng’s arrest triggered upheaval in China’s relations with Canada and the US. Two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, were arrested in China soon after her detention, and recently underwent closed-door trials for espionage. No verdicts have been announced, while Canada has said the men are victims of arbitrary detention and hostage diplomacy by China. Wednesday’s case management conference had been postponed last week due to technical problems with the remote hearing.More from South China Morning Post:Another unexpected delay in Meng Wanzhou’s marathon extradition case, as technical difficulties thwart virtual hearingHSBC, Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou settle Hong Kong case seeking documents as she fights extraditionDelaying Meng Wanzhou’s airport arrest until after border exam was not an FBI conspiracy, extradition hearing is toldReject Meng Wanzhou’s ‘exciting narrative’ of abuse, Canadian government lawyer tells extradition judgeThis article Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou opens new front in marathon extradition battle, seeking to admit new HSBC evidence first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.

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