Cheap Meals, Covid, and More, Week 3 Update

Cash-strapped urban Chinese youth salivate over cheap, filling meals – The China Project

On Xiaohongshu, a search for “dongbei hefan” brings up tens of thousands of posts that collectively have millions of views. They include a string of videos by user Dà Kāchā Rìjì (@大咔嚓日记), a food influencer in Tieling, Liaoning Province, who frequently films himself visiting small food businesses and street vendors in his city. In a video posted on December 28, he shows a cafeteria-style hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a variety of food plated in steel trays. For 14 yuan ($2), the content creator bought six dishes — a mix of vegetables and meat  — and two bowls of rice. “The main characteristics of dongbei hefan are huge portions and cheap prices,” he proudly states in the video.


China hits COVID peak, but Lunar New Year travel may cause a new wave – The China Project

On Saturday, China said nearly 60,000 people with COVID had died in hospitals between December 8 and January 12. 


V Shanshan, "Why are you Forcing me to Embrace Solidarity?" - Reading the China Dream

New Year’s for me means going to my relative’s funeral.
My uncle died yesterday.  He had some underlying health issues, but had been living with them for some years.  His quality of life was a bit reduced, but he was getting by and life was okay.  But then he caught covid and it was too much for him, and once he was invaded by this incurable virus, the effects of the disease took him away.
So I’m at my uncle’s funeral today, together with my loved ones.  I’m in no mood for New Year’s festivities.


Sun Liping, "What's Wrong with our Experts?" - Reading the China Dream

With the change in covid policy, experts have also become a target of derision and ridicule. Especially on social media.
The reason, of course, is obvious. Let’s take just one example:  will items used or touched by an infected person carry the virus, resulting in secondary transmission? A few days ago, I forwarded some information to a friend saying that toothbrushes and other things used by an infected person should be thrown away once they have recovered. My friend responded immediately, saying experts had already dismissed that as a rumor, and that even if the virus remains on something like a toothbrush, for instance, it is dead virus that isn’t transmissible.
But what if we had had this exchange a month or so ago?
At that time, epidemic prevention workers [“big whites/大白”] often forced their way into sick people’s homes to wantonly carry out disinfection. Clothes, bedding, and food inside fridges were sprayed—even precious antiques and artworks weren’t spared. How much property damage was caused in this way? How much disruption to people’s lives and psychological trauma resulted from this? Where were the experts then? Why did not even one person stand up and say that these items wouldn’t cause secondary transmission? Despite so many homes having been entered and disinfected, I’m sceptical as to whether experts ever provided any so-called scientific evidence for this practice.


CICIR analysis: The Path and Dilemma of U.S. Reducing Supply Chain Dependence on China (

U.S. policies generate visible external pressure on China and also influence China's policy choices. China's own flexibility and competitiveness should not be overlooked, however.

Pekingnology today presents an abridged translation of 《美国减少对华供应链依赖的路径及困境》The Path and Dilemma of U.S. Reducing Supply Chain Dependence on China published on the October 2022 issue of 《现代国际关系Contemporary International Relations, a periodical of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a major state thinktank.


Uyghurs condemn Islamic delegation to Xinjiang – The China Project

The follow-up visit began on January 8, 2023, when 30 Islamic scholars and experts from 14 Muslim nations did a repeat but slightly more curtailed junket. They went shopping in Ürümchi with Party officials, prayed with selected local Muslims at a mosque, and were treated to an exhibition on anti-terrorism, to counter the U.S. “smear campaign,” according to the Party mouthpiece the Global Times. To prove Uyghur culture was still intact, the visitors were treated to an evening of traditional music and chatted with local people. The rendering of a sample of the much-loved classic 12 Muqams, in a song and dance performance, “proved” to the Mauritanian delegate that “China is committed to protecting and promoting multi-ethnic culture in Xinjiang.”

The leader of the delegation, Ali Rashid Abudula Ali Alnuaimi, a former foreign minister of the UAE, who has visited Xinjiang several times, was unstinting in his praise for China’s counterterrorism measures. “In Chinese culture,” he told the Global Times, “there is no concept of targeting Muslims or the Islamic civilization.” …

Abdureqip Tomurniyaz, the president of the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, confirmed that “Muslims’ freedom of religion has been fully protected, and no one in the region has been treated unfairly due to their beliefs.” …

The 57-nation-strong Organisation of Islamic Countries never fails to dismay Uyghurs, desperate for support in their struggle against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).


Uganda scraps key railway contract with China – The China Project

“Chinese infrastructure development financing has indeed fallen precipitously in recent years, but I see this as more an evolution of BRI financing than a pullback,” said Eric Olander, editor-in-chief of The China-Global South Project.

“The Chinese have shifted their priorities away from larger, more costly infrastructure projects to smaller initiatives focused largely on energy, telecommunications, and logistics. These projects tend to be in the tens of millions, sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars, rather than billions of dollars,” Olander , told The China Project. “Take for example the $249 million China Exim Bank loan to Angola to build out the country’s broadband infrastructure as a great example of the kinds of projects Chinese policy banks are backing.

“This isn’t only a Chinese issue. Borrowing countries in Africa and the Americas have also conveyed to the Chinese that they are not in a position to take on billions more in debt, so this change from larger to smaller projects is really more of a mutual decision than a unilateral call from Beijing,” he added. “But this isn’t true everywhere around the world. While the Chinese have become more conservative in Africa and South America, for example, that is not the case for Southeast Asia and Central Asia, where the Chinese are still keen to build large connectivity projects like railways, dry ports, and seaports.”


Shanghai’s clinic for transgender children

The topic of transgender people has come into the public's view late in China. But more and more medical facilities targeting the group are gradually changing the landscape.

In 2017, Peking University Third Hospital opened a general transgender clinic in China. Pan Bailin, the founder of the clinic, also started a non-profit fund dedicated to supporting the transgender group in 2020. Moreover, in 2021 Shanghai opened China's first multi-discipline transgender clinic for children and teenagers, according to the Paper.


(6914) The 9th Annual Fish & Dragon Festival 2023 - YouTube

This unique blend of Chinese and Barbadian culture celebrates the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. It was streamed on January 16, 2023.


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This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous