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China not a dark totalitarian country as western media describes: Ai Weiwei

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Beijing: China is not a dark totalitarian country, a state-run daily said Saturday, stressing that “many elements from the developed world are taking root” in the nation.

“China is not the dark totalitarian country that some in the West described it as. Many elements from the developed world are taking root in China,” an editorial in the Global Times said.

The country is also facing new problems, it said, adding: “The theory that all problems will be resolved once China adopts Western systems does not make sense.”

The editorial appeared following Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s visit to Germany where he has “softened his tone towards the Chinese authorities”.

“After regaining his passport from authorities in July, Ai left for Germany.

“Ai said he was allowed to travel again with almost no restrictions, and he could also go back to China, and that the government told him he is a free person. Ai also said that he would not just criticize the government, but should also offer solutions.”

The Voice of America said Ai’s words have drawn criticism from Chinese dissidents, who referred to this as the “collapse of an idol”.

The editorial said that for a long time, Ai has been labeled by Western media as a maverick and a flag bearer who fights against the existing political system. “Ai has been benefiting from these titles, but in the meantime, he has also been hijacked by them.”

This time “Ai seemed to have broken out of the label of his role. He opened his heart to the media. It has surprised many, because he did not complain a lot about what he has ‘suffered’ in China, as the Western media expected”.

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New Virus Can Spread Through Human Contact: China

China: Possible That New Virus Could Spread Between Humans

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Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. VOA

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

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Commuters wear protection masks inside a subway train in Hong Kong, China. VOA

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn’t had any exposure to the market.

It’s possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it’s also possible that he infected her.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, Chuang said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities’ assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS is a type of coronavirus that first struck southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people. (VOA)