Newly appointed US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has called on key Asian allies to work with the United States in the Indo-Pacific, part of efforts to boost defence ties in the region as its intense rivalry with China looks likely to continue.Austin, who was sworn in on Friday, did not name China but said the US opposed “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea” and reaffirmed to his Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi that the US military would respond to any attack on the Senkaku Islands under the US-Japan security treaty. The Senkakus are uninhabited islets in the East China Sea controlled by Japan but claimed by China and known as the Diaoyu Islands in Chinese.It was the first high-level phone call between Japan and America since US President Joe Biden took office and Austin urged Kishi to “strengthen Japan’s contribution to the role the alliance continues to play in providing security in the Indo-Pacific region”, the Pentagon said on Saturday.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.In a call on Sunday, Austin told South Korean counterpart Suh Wook that close cooperation between the two allies was important, and the two sides “affirmed the importance of maintaining the rules-based international order, and agreed to enhance cooperation on shared threats”, the Pentagon said.The two calls followed a phone conversation between new US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his South Korean counterpart Suh Hoon on Friday, when Sullivan said the South Korea-US alliance was a “linchpin” of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.The exchanges with America’s most important allies in Asia come as the Biden administration, in response to China’s geopolitical posturing, is moving to renew the US alliance network, which was hurt by former US president Donald Trump’s “America first” policy.While Austin is believed to lack experience in the Indo-Pacific, he has pledged to focus strategically on China and Asia. In his confirmation hearing last week he said mending alliances and focusing strategically on China would be high on his agenda. The retired four-star army general and former commander of the US military effort in Iraq is the first African-American to serve as defence secretary. Diaoyu/Senkaku islands disputeChinese observers said the calls suggested the Biden administration would seek to counter Beijing’s growing influence in the region through its alliance network.Chen Xiangmiao, an associate research fellow with the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Hainan, said Beijing could come under increasing pressure.“The pressure may not be limited to the military sphere but could extend to China’s relations with its neighbours in Southeast Asia, which are now a high priority in its diplomatic strategy,” Chen said. “The South China Sea may also become an issue in China’s bilateral relationships.”Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military commentator, said Washington may seek the support of more countries to isolate China.“It could target countries like Japan, South Korea, the UK and even Australia and India,” Song said.Military tensions between China and the US have continued to rise in the first few days of the Biden administration. On Saturday, the US Indo-Pacific Command said a US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt entered the South China Sea where it was “conducting maritime security operations, which include flight operations with fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, maritime strike exercises and coordinated tactical training between surface and air units”.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday said the US frequently sent aircraft and vessels into the South China Sea to “flex its muscles” and that this was “not conducive to peace and stability in the region”.According to the SCS Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank, a US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft left its base in South Korea and entered the South China Sea on Monday morning, while at least nine other American military aircraft were spotted over the South China Sea on Sunday.“It can be expected that during the presence of the aircraft carrier Roosevelt in the South China Sea, all kinds of US military aircraft activities will continue,” the think tank said on Weibo, China’s Twitter.Biden has not yet outlined his Indo-Pacific policy but earlier named long-time Asia expert Ely Ratner as special assistant to the defence secretary on China matters. Observers said the appointment was likely to mean a competitive approach to China.Earlier on Saturday, Austin also spoke with British Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and they “exchanged views on confronting strategic issues of mutual interest, including the Covid-19 response, concerns from a rising China, threats from Russia and ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan”, according to the Pentagon. Japan and Britain schedule security talks, aiming to counter China in Indo-PacificIn a move that could fuel tensions in the region, Britain has agreed for its Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group to take part in a joint deployment with the US military this year. A joint declaration signed last week enables the deployment of US Marine Corps and navy personnel and equipment – including a detachment of F-35B Lightning II aircraft and USS The Sullivans guided-missile destroyer – as part of a combined carrier strike group to be led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to the Pentagon.While details of the joint deployment are not clear, British defence officials, including former defence secretary Gavin Williamson, hinted earlier that the Queen Elizabeth would be deployed to Asia and the South China Sea.In 2019, Williamson said the region would be where China was “developing its modern military capability and its commercial power”. The comments angered Beijing, which warned London not to interfere in the region and said the South China Sea “should not become a battleground for big power competition, or a sea full of roaming warships”.Royal Navy amphibious assault ship the HMS Albion had sailed close to the China-claimed Paracel Islands in the contested waterway the previous year, a move Beijing called “a provocative action”.Chen said while is was likely the US would try to boost its alliances to apply pressure on Beijing, it remained to be seen how successful the strategy would be. He gave the example of South Korea, which may refrain from pushing Beijing on the South China Sea, especially given that China is the largest trading partner and closest ally of the North.Japan, however, saw China as a strategic rival and the waterway as a critical trade and energy supply route, so would be more likely to harden its position, he said.“China will have to step up efforts to stabilise relations with its [Southeast Asian] neighbours while pushing forward negotiations on the South China Sea code of conduct, because on this issue it is the countries in the region that really matter,” Chen said.The US has stepped up freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea in recent years to counter Beijing’s ambitions in the region, calling on allies to join it. Beijing has condemned the operations, saying they complicate the situation.More from South China Morning Post: * The JL-3: the new missile ‘raising the cost’ of a US fight with China * US-China relations: Washington urges Beijing to stop pressuring Taiwan after reports of airspace incursion * US-China tension: preventing war ‘relies on conversations between their militaries’This article China-US tensions: new American defence chief calls on Japan and South Korea to team up in Indo-Pacific first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Taiwan expelled nearly 4,000 Chinese vessels illegally dredging sand from its waters in 2020, authorities said Monday, a more than six-fold increase on the year before as Beijing seeks to heap pressure on the democratic island.
Filipino team Bren Esports went on an incredible run in the lower bracket on Sunday (24 January) and defeated Myanmar’s Burmese Ghouls in an epic seven-game grand finals.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 44 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore as of Monday (25 January), taking the country’s total case count to 59,352.
Should investors be concerned that these two prominent real estate companies have issued profit warnings? The post CapitaLand and CDL Both Announced Profit Warnings: Should Investors Sell? appeared first on The Smart Investor.
A former Chinese vice-premier urged the newly inaugurated United States President Joe Biden to “meet China halfway” to rebuild trust and restart dialogue to ease the “unprecedented predicament” of strained relations between the major powers.Zeng Peiyan, who served as vice-premier from 2003 to 2008 before becoming a top economic policy adviser in Beijing, said in virtual remarks at the Hong Kong forum “US-China Relations: The Way Forward” on Tuesday that the two sides needed to work to abolish trade tariffs, remove restrictions on people-to-people exchanges and cooperate on global leadership for issues such as pandemic control and climate change.“It was completely wrong to approach and manage Sino-US relations with such cold war mentality and ideological bias,” he said. “I hope that the US can take the opportunity to change its mentality and behaviour and meet China halfway so that we can engage rather than confront each other. To do that, first we need to build mutual trust by restarting and improving the multilateral engagement mechanisms between China and the US.”Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Zeng spoke at the event co-hosted by the China-United States Exchange Foundation and the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, a Beijing-based think tank that he chairs. He argued that the US’ strategic doubts and anxieties about the threat of a rising China had contributed to plunging relations in recent years.He said it was not inevitable for the two countries to fall into the Thucydides Trap, or the idea that war is a likely outcome when an emerging power threatens an existing major power.“Different social systems do not mean that China and the US will inevitably head towards confrontation,” Zeng said. “China has no intention of changing the US, let alone replacing it, and the US is unlikely to change China as it sees fit.” Joe Biden to work with allies to stop China’s ‘economic abuses’Zeng’s comments are a clear response to the hawkish approach to China from former US president Donald Trump’s administration over the past four years, notably from former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who said “free nations of the world” needed to triumph over the ruling Chinese Communist Party or be changed by China.Analysts forecast that Biden’s administration was likely to tone down some of the harsher rhetoric on China, but would seek to work with US allies and partners to grapple with the challenge of a more assertive China. But while Beijing is eager to reset relations with the new US government, observers have warned that the bipartisan political consensus in Washington has hardened against China, making a return to the China policy of former US president Barack Obama’s era unlikely.White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday said Biden would take a “multilateral approach to engaging with China”, including on evaluating the current tariffs on Chinese goods.“The president is committed to stopping China’s economic abuses on many fronts, and the most effective way to do that is through working in concert with our allies and partners to do exactly that,” she said.As the Biden administration is seeking to repair relations with US allies, Chinese President Xi Jinping told the World Economic Forum at Davos in a virtual address on Monday that attempts to “isolate, intimidate, decouple and sanction” others would “only push the world into division, even confrontation”.In a pre-recorded message at the start of Tuesday’s forum, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she hoped Biden’s government would improve the “sharply deteriorated” relations between Beijing and Washington to the benefit of Hong Kong.She also urged the new US administration to view the national security law – imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong in June last year in response to months of pro-democracy protests – fairly. Lam described Trump administration sanctions against her over the national security law as “totally unjustified” and praised the national security law for having “restored stability” to the city. Lam has admitted she no longer has a bank account because of the sanctions.“I hope the new US administration will view the national security law in Hong Kong in a fair manner,” she said. “Meanwhile, I and my 11 senior colleagues who have been sanctioned will not be intimidated. We will continue to steadfastly, dutifully and lawfully carry out our duties to safeguard our country’s national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”But Carla Hills, a former US trade representative under George H.W. Bush’s administration, told the panel differences between the countries on issues such as Beijing’s actions on Hong Kong and the South China Sea would not be easy to resolve. While Biden’s administration would seek cooperation with China on areas such as climate and world health, she said there would be competition where it was inevitable and confrontation when there was a crossing of red lines.“We will not see a swift removal of tariffs on China,” she said. “The political climate in the United States regarding China, both in Congress and with the American public, has darkened over the past year. He and his team will not want to appear soft on China.”More from South China Morning Post: * When President Biden gets tough on China, can US count on Vietnam? * China revamps trade negotiation team ahead of possible fresh talks with Biden administration * Will Joe Biden meet Xi Jinping? China awaits clues to future of US relations * Sanctions on China to remain even with Sino-US tensions set to ease under President Joe Biden: Hong Kong’s American Chamber of Commerce * How Mike Pompeo’s ‘genocide’ label for China over Xinjiang may set tone for Joe BidenThis article China-US tensions: meet us halfway to build trust and ease conflict, former Chinese vice-premier urges Biden first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Indian and Chinese troops fought a new brawl on their contested Himalayan border that left injuries on both sides, officials said Monday, highlighting the fraught state of relations between the giant neighbours.
In this weekly series, we’ll be bringing you the best play and the best game of each week, as well as a recap of all matches and standings in the DPC.
Frank Lampard expressed his disappointment at not being given time to succeed after being sacked by Chelsea on Monday, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel set to take over at Stamford Bridge.
Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey. Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July. France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
The United States has rejected Hong Kong’s request for a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Washington’s decision to label goods made in Hong Kong as “Made in China”.Hong Kong made a request at a meeting of the WTO’s dispute settlement body in Geneva on Monday, a trade source familiar with the meeting told the South China Morning Post.The Hong Kong government had confirmed earlier in January that it would file the request, after US authorities “failed to offer a substantive response” to a complaint filed to the WTO on October 30.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.At Monday’s meeting, the United States’ delegation said it was not in a position to support the panel request, given that it is currently transitioning to a new administration.In response, Hong Kong said it had taken the political situation in the US into account, but still considered it necessary to proceed with its panel request.Hong Kong’s delegation told the meeting that the measures were “blatantly discriminatory and fail to recognise that Hong Kong is a separate customs territory and a WTO member in its own right”.The representative added that it placed “unnecessary burden” on Hong Kong businesses, claimed that it caused “confusion and concern” to consumers and the markets, and undermined the “Hong Kong brand”.They added that rules of origin should not be used to “obtain a political end”, according to the source.It is common for recipients of complaints to reject panel formation requests at the WTO in the first instance, when such requests must be passed by consensus, with defendants effectively holding power of veto.But in the second instance, the requirement is flipped, with consensus against the panel’s formation required to block it. Hong Kong can now request an extraordinary meeting of the dispute settlement body, or wait for the next scheduled meeting of the body on February 22, at which point it is likely the request will be granted.The dispute arose after a July executive order signed by former US president Donald Trump, which ended Hong Kong’s special trading status in the eyes of the US. This executive order on “Hong Kong normalisation” was in response to Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong targeting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.In August, a notice appeared on the US Federal Register requiring that Hong Kong-made goods be relabelled as “Made in China” if they are to be permitted entry to US ports, a move designed to underscore the financial hub’s status as “just another Chinese city”. After some delay, this eventually came into effect in November.In a note filed with the WTO on January 14, the Hong Kong government laid out seven rules of the global trading architecture that it accuses the US of flouting. It is widely thought among trade scholars that the US will lodge a defence on national security grounds, as it has done in many previous cases.Some analysts were puzzled by the timing of Hong Kong’s request, with the documentation filed six days before the inauguration of new US President Joe Biden, and the official request and rejection coming five days after.“There is a new administration and a new US Trade Representative (USTR) coming in, and we know they are likely to move away from some of the unilateral measures of the past,” said Rambod Behboodi, a Geneva-based trade partner at law firm King & Spalding. “It would be usual to allow some breathing room and let things settle down. But this request will solidify the USTR position – now they have to take a stance on this, so it seems curious.”Biden has nominated Katherine Tai to take the USTR role, vacated by Robert Lighthizer, a staunch critic of the WTO. If confirmed, Tai is expected to build some bridges with the Geneva body, even if she is likely to maintain the push to reform many of its key functions.On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration was “not yet ready to engage in a debate” over how to restore the WTO’s Appellate Body, the final court of appeal which was effectively killed by Washington refusing to confirm appeals judges.One would think Hong Kong would be trying to ingratiate itself with the Biden administration, this does the oppositeBryan Mercurio, CUHKNonetheless, by requesting the case, Hong Kong is forcing the new US administration to take a position on the matter less than a week after the inauguration.“I am more than a little surprised at the timing – even if I am still sceptical whether it will proceed to a full panel. One would think Hong Kong would be trying to ingratiate itself with the Biden administration. This does the opposite,” said Bryan Mercurio, a trade law professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong.There was US$471 million worth of Hong Kong-made goods shipped to the US in 2019, the last available annual figure. This was 7 per cent of locally made exports, but just 0.1 per cent of total exports, most of which are re-exports sent to and from China.Nonetheless, a strong lobby has built up among the city’s business community in support of litigation in Geneva, with a host of manufacturing associations and chambers of commerce arguing it was a blow to brand and product reputation.More from South China Morning Post: * Hong Kong pushes WTO to form panel over ‘Made-in-China’ labelling row after ‘disappointing’ US response * Proud to be ‘Made in Hong Kong’, but factories replace labels to meet Tuesday deadline for Trump’s new rule * Hong Kong takes ‘Made in China’ label row with US to World Trade OrganizationThis article US rejects Hong Kong request for WTO panel over ‘Made in China’ labelling row first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
K-Pop fans have struck again. The "Impeach Biden Now" hashtag, launched by a Republican congresswoman from the state of Georgia, has been hijacked by fans of bands like Blackpink and BTS. From photos to GIFs to videos, all means were used to drown out the anti-Biden revolt ... so much so that the keyword topped US Twitter trends for Friday, January 22.
Indonesian authorities said that they seized an Iranian tanker and Panamanian tanker suspected of carrying out the illegal transfer of oil in their country's waters Sunday. The tankers — the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Frea — were seized in waters off Indonesia's West Kalimantan province, said Wisnu Pramadita, a spokesman for the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency.
Singapore's Court of Appeal on Monday (25 January) heard three challenges to Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men.
Venezuela said Monday that two Guyanese fishing vessels captured by its navy last week were caught "red handed" fishing illegally in Venezuelan waters, a claim rejected by its smaller neighbor.
Chinese chip makers should focus on developing advanced packaging technologies to overcome their weakness in nanometre process nodes, according to Chiang Shang-yi, the former TSMC R&D; director recently recruited by Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC).Chiang, SMIC’s executive director and vice-chairman, said future breakthroughs for the country’s integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing industry would come from advanced packaging techniques that can cram more circuits into smaller packages, a necessary requirement as Moore’s Law inches towards its physical limits.The remarks, Chiang’s first in public since joining the company in December, could signal a shift in focus at the Shanghai-based wafer foundry which has seen its prospects for closing the technology gap with much bigger rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) dimmed by US sanctions.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.Last year, Chiang resigned from a failed Wuhan chip fab, calling it a “nightmare” experience, and was recruited soon after by SMIC. After retiring as TSMC’s R&D; director, he stayed on to head up a speciality chip packaging business that was acquired by the Taiwan foundry giant.Chiang’s comments were made at the closed door China IC Conference earlier this month and first reported over the weekend by Moore News, a Chinese semiconductor industry website that was the official media partner of the event.SMIC did not immediately reply to a request for comment. What’s next for Beijing’s biggest chipmaking champion after US blacklisting?The appointment of Chiang triggered a boardroom clash at SMIC, with co-CEO Liang Mong Song, his former lieutenant at TSMC, threatening to quit after complaining he was not informed of the decision in advance. However, Liang is still with the company, according to stock filing posted on SMIC’s website.Chiang told the IC conference that he has been fascinated by the development of advanced packaging over the past decade and believes that the technology will be crucial in the post Moore’s Law era. In 1965 Gordon Moore, who would later co-found US chip maker Intel, predicted the number of transistors on an IC would double roughly every two years. Moore’s Law has held since despite many experts predicting it would hit a brick wallAnalysts said SMIC will need to combine IC packaging and wafer foundry expertise to remain competitive in the industry, especially after the US sanctions blocked its access to leading edge semiconductor manufacturing equipment from US and European suppliers.“SMIC is likely to develop both advanced [wafer processing] nodes and chip packaging,” said Eric Tseng, chief executive of Taiwan-based semiconductor analysis firm Isaiah Research.SMIC’s strategy under US sanctions may be to focus on mature processes but use advanced packaging technologies to boost the performance of its chips, Tseng said.Today’s most advanced chips are produced with the 5-nanometre manufacturing process. Only two companies – Samsung and TSMC – are able to produce 5nm chips in volume. Smaller nanometre process nodes are important, especially for consumer electronics products such as smartphones, because they boost circuit performance and reduce power consumption.Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at Shanghai semiconductor research firm ICwise, agrees that it would be pragmatic for SMIC to focus on older nodes amid the US restrictions because there is still robust demand for mature foundry services from China’s domestic semiconductor design companies.Chiang told the 400 industry delegates at the IC conference that the global semiconductor industry was facing bottlenecks in continuing to push ahead with advanced nanometre nodes given the huge investments required, coupled with the reduction in number of clients that require the most advanced chips.Only a handful of high-volume IC products would need to be made using advanced nodes, he said.A new wafer fab capable of 5nm production is expected to cost US$15 billion, twice as much as the earlier generation 14nm fabs operated by SMIC, according to data from International Business Strategies, cited by SMIC in its recent prospectus.Other speakers at the IC conference echoed Chiang’s view. “The single-minded development of advanced process nodes will be more difficult,” said Wu Hanming, dean of the School of Micro-Nano Electronics at Zhejiang University, adding that there was plenty of market potential for mature nodes.The so-called back end operation, also known as outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT), is the final stage in the highly complex chipmaking process and has traditionally been handled by specialist factories in Asia.This is not the first time SMIC has taken an interest in the packaging side of the industry. In 2014, it established a joint venture SJ Semiconductor Corp with China’s JCET Group, the third largest OSAT company after ASE of Taiwan and Amkor of South Korea. JECT’s sales accounted for 11.3 per cent of the global semiconductor packaging and testing market, versus 30.5 per cent for ASE and 14.6 per cent for Amkor, according to JCET’s 2019 annual report.Advanced semiconductor packaging is moving from substrate platforms to silicon wafers in a paradigm shift that is providing opportunities for foundry leaders like TSMC and Samsung Electronics, according to analysts.More from South China Morning Post: * China’s No 1 chipmaker SMIC gives ex-TSMC veteran top role, highlighting need for pragmatism amid push for home-grown tech * US blacklists about 60 more Chinese firms including top chip maker SMIC and drone manufacturer DJI * Chinese chip-maker SMIC reports record high revenue but warns US export curbs have delayed some equipmentThis article SMIC urges China’s chipmakers to embrace advanced packaging as Moore’s Law slows nanometre node progress and US sanctions bite first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
More than 25 million Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the United States since the pandemic began, Johns Hopkins University said Sunday, just days after President Joe Biden's inauguration.
A leading microbiologist is looking into how Covid-19 has spread in one of Hong Kong’s largest middle-class private estates, with the “chimney effect” possibly vertically transmitting the virus.Built in the early 1990s, Laguna City, in Lam Tin in Kwun Tong, is one of the city’s earliest large-scale private housing estates, consisting of 38 blocks and more than 8,000 residential units.Similar to Taikoo Shing, the estate is home to many middle-class families and professionals, overlooking Victoria Harbour.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.A partial evacuation order was issued for Block 5 on Monday after at least 10 cases had emerged in the building over the past two weeks, mostly in flat “E” across multiple floors.Two security guards at the estate have also been confirmed as carrying the virus, with one living on Reclamation Street in Yau Tsim Mong, which is also battling outbreaks.The district was home to 14 of the 73 new cases revealed by health authorities on Monday. Thirteen were discovered after more than 7,000 residents in one neighbourhood in Jordan were locked down and screened over the weekend.Leading microbiologist and government health adviser Professor Yuen Kwok-yung from the University of Hong Kong inspected the housing estate on Monday and said the security guard who lived on Reclamation Street might have brought in the virus.He also noted a family of four living in flat E on the 16th floor, all confirmed as infected, held a gathering on January 9 and at least one guest had been found to have the virus.The Department of Health has issued quarantine orders to all asymptomatic residents of E units and units combining with E units on all floors of Block 5, and is to transfer them to quarantine centres, while symptomatic residents would be sent to hospital. Hong Kong retail body predicts coronavirus-linked slump will continueYuen said the virus might be spreading through vertical transmission as six cases were tied to households in the E units on the 15th, 16th, and 17th floor.Although he found no “obvious gross leakage” in the building’s drainage system, residents in every E flat in the block would have to be quarantined as a precaution.“We feel that there’s a need to evacuate the residents in order to protect them, because they may be now exposed to infected aerosol which might be going up by the chimney effect in the lightwells or in the pipes,” he said.The Post has contacted Citybase Property Management, which manages Laguna City, for comment.Meanwhile, a resident surnamed Wong, who lives in Block 28, said there were multiple notices plastered near lifts and entrances around his block. They range from the management’s disinfection measures to home quarantine guidelines.“So far no one in my block has got [the virus],” he said. “I’ll be more worried if someone living there gets it.”Of the city’s latest cases, 69 were locally transmitted, while 38 were untraceable, and the remaining four involved arrivals from the Philippines, Belarus, Pakistan and India. More than 60 people also tested preliminary-positive.Eight involved residents in Sham Shui Po, including six who live in an area placed under tighter mandatory testing conditions, whereby a single case in a building triggers screening for all residents. Testing was ordered for two buildings on Yu Chau Street.A resident of Kin Ling Elderly Home on Ferry Street in Jordan was also confirmed as infected, forcing about 20 residents and up to six staff members into quarantine.“There is only one case so far and she is wheelchair-bound, so she usually does not leave the residential care home except for follow-ups or admission to hospital,” said Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable disease branch. “The source of infection may be from other staff, other residents or even visitors, but we still need to investigate.”Also among the latest cases was a traditional Chinese medical practitioner who works in Smiling Shau Kei Wan Plaza. One patient, a doctor with the Department of Health, tested preliminary-positive.Health authorities revealed three nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital tested preliminary positive. Three wards at the hospital have been closed for cleaning, and nine other nurses have been listed as close contacts.“We appeal to the Hong Kong citizens to try to avoid going to the accident and emergency department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital because of minor symptoms,” Dr Lau Ka-hin, a chief manager at the Hospital Authority, said.Separately, adult patients at the AsiaWorld-Expo community treatment facility could choose to receive traditional Chinese medical treatment in addition to Western medical treatment starting on Tuesday, said Rowena Wong, chief of the Hospital Authority’s Chinese medicine department.“Based on our observations and studies we obtained from mainland China, we believe that Chinese medicine can help relieve some symptoms of Covid-19,” she said.Compulsory screening will also be required at Block 6 of Tung Fat Building in North Point after infections were reported in two flats.Hong Kong’s coronavirus tally stands at 10,158 cases, with 170 related deaths. The latest fatality was a 94-year-old female patient who died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the early morning.Additional reporting by Chan Ho-him and Thomas ShumThis article ‘Chimney effect’ may be spreading Covid-19 at large private housing estate in Hong Kong, health expert says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Using crutches, Palestinian Mohamed Aliwa leaps from one concrete slab to another, determined that his missing leg won't stop him doing parkour, a sport that brings respite from grim reality in Gaza.
The alleged ringleader of Asia's biggest crime syndicate and one of the world's most wanted men has been arrested in the Netherlands, with Australian authorities pushing Sunday for his extradition to face trial.