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World

U.S. Says Virus Can’t be Controlled. China Aims to Prove It Wrong.

The United States is hitting records in daily coronavirus cases. But China, the country first afflicted with the scourge, is having a different experience.Unlike the Trump administration, which has said it is prioritizing opening the economy while essentially giving up on controlling the pandemic, China moved aggressively to stop the virus. The result: China’s economy is growing and life there is returning to a semblance of normal, while the United States is struggling with a third wave of infections and the prospect of new restrictions.Economic growth in China has surged, hitting 4.9 percent in the latest quarter, and consumer spending has slowly started to recover. Residents are once again flocking into malls, bars, concert halls and hair salons, while schools, subways and offices are...

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World

China Aims to End Extreme Poverty, but Covid-19 Exposes Gaps

Xu Rudong, a farmer in eastern China, thought he had left poverty behind long ago. He turned a small plot of land into a flourishing field of leeks, selling enough to pay for luxuries like fish and meat for his wife and four children. He even had money left over to buy an electric scooter.Now Mr. Xu is once again struggling to pay for basic necessities like food and medicine. The economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has hurt his income, and severe flooding has devastated his crops.“We are poor, poor people,” Mr. Xu, 48, said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Wangjiaba, a village of 36,000 in Anhui Province. “We don’t eat meat anymore.”China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, is expected to declare victory in the next two months in a campaign to eliminate extreme po...

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World

Latest Clash Between China and Taiwan: A Fistfight in Fiji

TAIPEI, Taiwan — It was supposed to be a quiet diplomatic event at a stylish beachside hotel in Fiji.Instead, a reception hosted this month by Taiwan officials in Suva, the capital of Fiji, gave way to a fistfight between officials representing China and Taiwan, in the latest example of rising tensions between the two governments.Officials in Taipei and Beijing on Monday offered competing accounts of the altercation after reports about the clash spread widely on social media.They accused each other of initiating the feud and causing injuries. Taiwan said the Chinese government was trying to surveil its staff and guests. Beijing said its officials were carrying out normal duties, and complained that a cake at the event was decorated to look like Taiwan’s flag.At the heart of the issue is...

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World

China Locks Down Xinjiang to Fight Covid-19, Angering Residents

First came the notices that Chinese officials had declared a “wartime” state. Then the authorities started going door to door, sealing off apartments and warning residents to stay inside.The Chinese government in recent weeks has imposed a sweeping lockdown across the Xinjiang region in western China, penning in millions of people as part of what officials describe as an effort to fight a resurgence of the coronavirus.But with the outbreak in Xinjiang seemingly under control and the restrictions still in place more than a month after the outbreak there began, many residents are lashing out and accusing the government of acting too harshly.“There are no cases here,” Daisy Luo, 26, a fruit seller who lives in northern Xinjiang, said in an interview. “The controls are too strict.”Ms. Luo, ...

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World

In China, Where the Pandemic Began, Life Is Starting to Look … Normal

In Shanghai, restaurants and bars in many neighborhoods are teeming with crowds. In Beijing, thousands of students are heading back to campus for the fall semester. In Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged eight months ago, water parks and night markets are packed elbow to elbow, buzzing like before.While the United States and much of the world are still struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, life in many parts of China has in recent weeks become strikingly normal. Cities have relaxed social-distancing rules and mask mandates, and crowds are again filling tourist sites, movie theaters and gyms.“It no longer feels like there is something too frightful or too life-threatening out there,” said Xiong Xiaoyan, who works at a paint manufacturer in the southern province of Guangdong.Ms...

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World

As Relations With U.S. Sink, China Tones Down ‘Hotheaded’ Nationalism

For weeks, China fanned nationalist sentiment in its escalating war of words with the Trump administration. Now, it is toning down its message and calling for a truce, as President Trump increasingly makes Beijing a target in his bid for re-election in November.One after another, top Chinese diplomats have called for “peaceful coexistence” with the United States, forgoing their previous assertions that Beijing’s authoritarian system is superior. Hawkish scholars are now emphasizing prospects for defusing tensions, instead of urging China to challenge American military might. Journalists at state-run news outlets are limiting their direct attacks on President Trump, under instructions to take a more conciliatory approach.“There’s a reflection that we should not let nationalism or hothead...

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