Coming in 2023, Covid-19 Policy in China, and More, Week 49 Update

Coming in 2023


ABCF-ZISU Youth Forum, second session

The second session of the China-Caribbean Youth Development Forum, organized by young members of the Association for Barbados-China Friendship and students of the Zhejiang International Studies University (ZISU, Hangzhou, China), is slated for February 25, 2023. The inaugural ceremony for the Forum was held in hybrid form with an online audience in Barbados at 8pm on October 21, 2022, and a live audience at the same time (8am, October 22) at ZISU (see the screenshot above). The discussion at the inaugural session centred on the topic “The importance of university degrees for entering the workforce”. A full report on the discussion is in preparation, and will be posted at shortly. The second session, which will be virtual, will discuss practical steps that individuals may take to contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the protection of the environment. Details are being worked on by the organizing committee, and you may expect to see further announcements early in the New Year.


The Fish and Dragon Festival 2023

The ABCF and the Confucius Institute will contribute segments to the 2023 Festival, which will be held virtually for the third successive year. The programme, with cultural contributions from Barbados and China, will be streamed and broadcast on January 18, 2023. (The date is to be confirmed.) Details will be announced early in the New Year. You may take a look back at the virtual Fish and Dragon Festivals of 2021 and 2022 on the Central Bank of Barbados’ Youtube channel.


Exchanges magazine

A double issue of the ABCF magazine is planned for May 2023, to include articles prepared for the 2022 issue, which unfortunately we were unable to complete this year. New articles are in preparation, to add to those already received, and you are invited to send us articles for consideration to be included in the forthcoming issue.


(Almost) weekly updates

Updates of events, activities, news and commentary on China, the Chinese at home and abroad, China’s relations with the Caribbean and other items of interest will continue to be posted to and circulated to our mailing list on most weekends. The material is culled from a wide variety of informed sources which are not in often found in media outlets and social media sites frequented by Barbadians and Caribbean people. These sources include the New Yorker magazine, the New York Times, online commentary forums to which I subscribe such as The Conversation, Project Syndicate and The China Project, and online services that provide English-language transcripts of Chinese language articles, commentary and social media chat in circulation in China (Reading the China Dream, Pekingnology, Ginger River, and others).


Confucius Institute activities for 2023

The Confucius Institute is planning a series of activities in 2023 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Cave Hill campus and the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the University of the West Indies. They include: 

  • The Institute will be among the highlights of a planned the Cave Hill Campus tour. Visitors will be introduced to Chinese cultural activities and displays, and they will receive tokens of appreciation. The first tour expected in January 2023 on a date to be provided. 
  • Special activities to mark the founding of the Confucius Institute are planned for April 20, 2023. 
  • The Confucius Institute lecture is proposed for Friday, May 19, 2023. 
  • The Institute will provide displays in house. 
  • A video is being prepared to highlight the vision that led to the establishment of the Confucius Institute, the early years (2015 to 2018) and the Institute in action today teaching Chinese language and culture both on campus and in several institutions in the community.




Q&A: Director Violet Du Feng on ‘Hidden Letters’ and cross-generational resilience of women in China – The China Project

The China Project sat down with Shanghai-born, Emmy-winning independent filmmaker Violet Du Feng to discuss her latest documentary, Hidden Letters, which shines a light on how modern women in China keep alive the tradition of Nüshu, a coded, once-secret script emblematic of Chinese female empowerment and sisterhood.


What Chinese People Think of Their Government’s “Zero COVID” Policy | The New Yorker

The staff writer Peter Hessler taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in China from 1996 to 1998, and he has sent his former students annual surveys about their lives for nearly a decade. This year, he was interested in learning about their experiences under China’s uncompromising “zero COVID” policy. Of forty respondents, who are middle-aged and now working as teachers, “virtually nobody had had any personal contact with the virus, but virtually everybody was terrified of it, and yet they seemed relatively unconcerned about potential health effects,” he writes. “How could all of these things possibly make sense?” Most, it turned out, were worried about the logistical pains surrounding the virus—brutal lockdowns, constant testing, and a lack of mobility. Hessler’s survey provides a nuanced view of life in the country amid recent protests, and demonstrates how “zero COVID” has come to haunt every aspect of life for people in China—even when few people have actually contracted the illness. As one former student wrote, “The pandemic is just like a ghost.”


Top searches: China adjusts COVID responses; Pre-sale of blockbuster Avatar's sequel (

China keeps adjusting COVID-19 responses. The National Health Commission on Wednesday rolled out ten new measures, ranging from the relaxation of domestic travel restrictions to narrowing down the scope and frequency of nucleic acid tests. Local governments followed suit quickly. Both Beijing and Shanghai announced on the same day that people going to the cities no longer need three nucleic acid tests within three days. And Shanghai will no longer ban people who have stayed in Shanghai for less than five days from entering public places.


Consider joining the ABCF

If you share our conviction of the importance of a deeper understanding of China and building ties of friendship with the Chinese, please consider becoming an active member of the ABCF. The annual membership fee is BDS$100, which goes entirely to the maintenance of our website and supporting the association’s ongoing work. Information on membership may be found on the ABCF website at this link.

This will be my last update for 2022. Happy holidays and very best wishes for a New Year where friendship, collaboration and mutual understanding prevail.


This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous updates may be found at