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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "China"

Trump Administration to Block Chinese Airlines From Flying to the U.S.

Westlake Legal Group 03chinaflights2-facebookJumbo Trump Administration to Block Chinese Airlines From Flying to the U.S. United States Politics and Government United Airlines Trump, Donald J Transportation Department (US) Politics and Government Embargoes and Sanctions Delta Air Lines Inc Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Airlines and Airplanes

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it planned to block Chinese airlines from flying into or out of the United States starting on June 16, after the Chinese government effectively prevented U.S. airlines from resuming service between the countries.

The dispute stems from a March 26 decision by China’s aviation regulators that limited foreign carriers to one flight per week based on the flight schedules they had in place earlier that month. But all three American airlines that fly between China and the United States had stopped service to the country by then because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the Chinese government had effectively banned them from flying there at all, even though airlines from that country continue to fly to American cities.

As ground zero of the pandemic, China was the first country to see aviation grind to a halt this year. In January, American and Chinese carriers operated about 325 weekly flights between the two countries. By mid-Feburary, only 20 remained, all of them run by Chinese airlines.

The March decision became a problem only in recent weeks, as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines had hoped to resume flights to China starting this month. Both carriers appealed to the Civil Aviation Authority of China, but did not receive a response. The U.S. also pressed Chinese officials to change their position during a call on May 14, arguing that the country was in violation of a 1980 agreement that governs flights between the two countries and aims to ensure that rules “equally apply to all domestic and foreign carriers” in both countries.

China’s aviation authority told American officials that it was considering amending its rule, but it has not said “definitively” when that might happen, the Transportation Department said in a statement. “In light of these facts, which present a situation in which the Chinese aviation authorities have authorized no U.S. carrier scheduled passenger operations between the United States and China, we conclude that these circumstances require the department’s action to restore a competitive balance.”

Tensions between the United States and China have escalated sharply in recent weeks as the countries scuffle over the origin of the pandemic and China’s recent move to tighten its authority over Hong Kong, a semiautonomous city. With the presidential election just five months away, President Trump and his campaign have taken a much tougher stand against China, blaming its government for allowing coronavirus to turn into a pandemic and wreck the American economy.

In mid-May, the Trump administration expanded restrictions on Huawei, the Chinese telecom firm, and blocked a government pension fund from investing in China. Last Friday, Mr. Trump announced that he was beginning the process of ending the American government’s special relationship with Hong Kong, and that his administration would place sanctions on officials responsible for Beijing’s rollback of liberties in the territory.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 2, 2020

    • Will protests set off a second viral wave of coronavirus?

      Mass protests against police brutality that have brought thousands of people onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases. While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus. Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission.

    • How do we start exercising again without hurting ourselves after months of lockdown?

      Exercise researchers and physicians have some blunt advice for those of us aiming to return to regular exercise now: Start slowly and then rev up your workouts, also slowly. American adults tended to be about 12 percent less active after the stay-at-home mandates began in March than they were in January. But there are steps you can take to ease your way back into regular exercise safely. First, “start at no more than 50 percent of the exercise you were doing before Covid,” says Dr. Monica Rho, the chief of musculoskeletal medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. Thread in some preparatory squats, too, she advises. “When you haven’t been exercising, you lose muscle mass.” Expect some muscle twinges after these preliminary, post-lockdown sessions, especially a day or two later. But sudden or increasing pain during exercise is a clarion call to stop and return home.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


“The Chinese government has continually violated its promises to us and so many other nations,” the president said at the time. “The world is now suffering as a result of the malfeasance of the Chinese government.”

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China 2) Tom Tugendhat: The five actions that the Government must take to defend our interests.

Tom Tugendhat is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and is MP for Tonbridge and Malling.

The Government’s offer of residency to Hong Kongers if China’s new Security Law is imposed is welcome. Given the enterprise and energy of the people, they’ll benefit our country. But this response to Beijing’s authoritarian control is local. We need a global China strategy if we’re to confront the biggest challenge to the liberal world since the end of the Cold War.

From Australia to Zambia, Chinese officials and their connected companies are using every lever they can to attempt control. In Canberra, tariffs have been threatened as a punishment for speaking out; in Lusaka, debt traps are now leading to the probability of strategic asset seizures. Beijing is trying to build dependence, and obedience, into the global system, replacing the network of treaties and laws that have enabled mostly peaceful trade and competition for decades.

For Britain, this is a particular challenge. We’re at the heart of the existing model – our economy is built on it – and if we’re going to defend it, and other nations’ liberties, we’re going to need to do more than issue a few passports. This is going to require a whole of government strategy and determination to act.

There are five things our government can do to defend our interests.

First, remember what our economy is built on: knowledge. Our science and service sectors require people to succeed, and for that we need an open system of education that encourages freedom of thought.

Our universities have stimulated innovation, so that some towns in Britain register more patents than whole countries. Others are bigger tech hubs than EU states. But the freedom that has allowed us to prosper is under threat.

More than a third of the UK’s international students are from China, and the consequent reliance on foreign fees is exposing some of our institutions to pressure. Removing students or research grants has been threatened by Beijing to silence areas of study and influence all areas of university life. The government needs to help reduce the dependence on one country that has made this possible.

Students used to empower state censorship could also be threatened with removal – putting at risk the fees paid by China’s new wealthy, turning the pressure back on the regime. Diversifying students and changing visa requirements to encourage those from democracies like India to come would help regain the academic freedom that in some colleges has taken a knock.

That would also boost start-ups and promote the innovation sector, bringing up my second proposal.

Britain’s open UK economy was designed for a time when companies competed with better-run rivals, forcing everyone to improve. Today, state-backed entities with deeper pockets than any credit line is allowing national planned purchases to achieve strategic positions. UK firms that should be competitive are being asset stripped, ending their ability to compete or innovate.

China’s Communist Party is using state-owned enterprises to impose its concept of state capitalism through takeovers, buying up rivals to create monopolies, and using impossibly low state-loans to buy rivals or simply undercut competition and dominate markets that would otherwise be swarming with rivals. We’re seeing the erosion of markets.

That’s bad for innovation, but particularly damaging to the UK because other countries, from France to Japan, have introduced laws allowing their governments to step in, leaving us as one of the few still without the protections needed and, again, increasing our dependence on one country.

The third area should be to diversify our trade. Today’s choke points in our supply chains have caused Ministers to change policy, because offending one state could see their domination of the PPE manufacturing leave us without any. By tracing products from source, we should be able to ensure that our supplies come from more than one country and, working with others, we can reduce dependence on systems that we trust won’t use them for political leverage.

The international trade system started as a way for free, rules-based nations to deepen commercial ties and avoid dependence on, and influence by, the Soviet bloc. It became so successful that even the communists joined. But Beijing’s learned from glasnost, and didn’t allow economic openness into politics. Unlike their Soviet predecessors, Beijing’s communist princes have both cash and power.

The UK should lead a new trade initiative bringing together countries outside the main blocks. India, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea and many others are dependent on global trade, and would resist attempts to change it from a distributed network to bicycle wheel where all the spokes lead to a single hub.

We should work on bringing them together in a new T-20 – or however many dependable partners we can find – reinforcing the rule of law as the basis of international trade. Opening up to poorer countries would help unpick some of the debt traps China has been laying around the world.

The fourth aim of the UK should be to neutralise the Belt and Road Initiative. Not to end trade with China, but to reinforce global trade. Democracies sustain some of the poorest countries in the world through aid and trade, but it isn’t properly coordinated. Bringing together the strands not just from the UK but around the democratic world would help to cut the strings that see Beijing’s loans deliver UN votes or silence over abuses – before other countries are converted into property.

As the Sri Lankan port authority, Pakistani power sector, and Zambian mining operators are all discovering, those many loans aren’t meant to be paid back: the aim is ownership. Using our existing investment and granting access to global markets based on the rule of law would relieve dependence on single creditors, and tie nations into principles that naturally resist the authoritarian attempts of others.

The fifth area the UK should lead in is protecting electronic independence. Keeping trade flowing was the Royal Navy’s job for 200 years – today e-commerce is essential. Protecting allies is protecting ourselves, and that means investing in cyber infrastructure we can sell. Changing the decision on Huawei is only the first step. We need to develop our own systems to help others grow and innovate online.

This is a long game. We shouldn’t be aiming to defeat China, but to help it evolve. As the world’s broker, the UK wants China’s people to prosper. Hong Kong and Taiwan show this isn’t about changing China’s deeper culture, just the Communist Party’s ability to control its people by exporting its system by financial force.

Command economies give dictatorships some strengths, but democracies have deeper reserves of strength because the system isn’t constantly terrified of its people. That’s why we can out-wait Beijing, but to achieve that we need a strategy to sustain each other and ensure that we don’t sell out.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China 1) Our survey. 85 per cent of Party members support the Government’s Hong Kong passport rights extension plan.

Westlake Legal Group china-1-our-survey-85-per-cent-of-party-members-support-the-governments-hong-kong-passport-rights-extension-plan China 1) Our survey. 85 per cent of Party members support the Government’s Hong Kong passport rights extension plan. ToryDiary Taiwan Parliament Lord Ashcroft immigration House of Commons (general) Hong Kong Highlights Conservatives ConservativeHome Members' Panel China

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2020-05-31-at-10.18.34 China 1) Our survey. 85 per cent of Party members support the Government’s Hong Kong passport rights extension plan. ToryDiary Taiwan Parliament Lord Ashcroft immigration House of Commons (general) Hong Kong Highlights Conservatives ConservativeHome Members' Panel China

Not only has the Government offered extended visa rights to 350,000 British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong – opening up “a pathway to future citizenship”…

…But the Home Office has said that this pledge will apply to anyone eligible to apply for a BNO passport currently living in Hong Kong, of which there are estimated to be about 2.9 million people.

Now, some figures.  Annual gross migration to March last year was about 640,000.  Were all those 350,000 Hong Kong BNO passport holders to arrive at once, that would represent a rise in annual gross migration, were the 640,000 figure to remain roughly constant, of the best part of 50 per cent.  And an increase on the net figure of 240,000 of over a hundred per cent.   And that’s before one throws another 2.9 million people into the mix.

So given the sensitivity of the public to mass immigration – the second biggest factor in the 2016 EU referendum, according to Lord Ashcroft’s wake-of-poll mass survey – what’s the explanation for our Party member survey panel’s return above?  After all, Conservative activists favour lower migration.  And Tory MPs have a history of rebellion on easing migration from Hong Kong. Eighty or so voted against a citizenship extension in 1990.

Is the answer that those 350,000 are very unlikely indeed to come here in a single year?  Or that they would probably have other places to go to too, such as Taiwan (and so there’s no parallel with the Ugandan Asians)?

Or that most of them are judged unlikely to come at all, mirroring the behaviour of the previous 1990 generation? Could it be instead that the Hong Kongers are seen as “our people” – hard-working; family-orientated?

Do they think the move is a counter-thrust against China? Is immigration declining in salience as an issue among Party members, mirroring the same movement among voters post-EU referendum?  Is their stance becoming more liberal?  There is simply no way of knowing without futher survey questions or evidence from elsewhere.

Whatever else may be going on, one fact is surely incontrovertible: these are early days for public debate over Hong Kong and immigration.  For example, the Commons is yet even to debate the Government’s proposal, let alone consider a Bill.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Beijing Threatens Hong Kong’s Companies and Workers

HONG KONG — China and its allies are using threats and pressure to get business to back Beijing’s increasingly hard-line stance toward Hong Kong, leading companies to muzzle or intimidate workers who speak out in protest.

Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s former top leader, on Friday called for a boycott of HSBC, the London bank, because it had not publicly backed Beijing’s push to enact a new national security law covering the territory. “Neither China nor Hong Kong owes HSBC anything,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “HSBC’s businesses in China can be replaced overnight by banks from China and from other countries.”

Days earlier, a union representing financial workers filed complaints with Hong Kong financial regulators alleging that two Chinese banks had pressured their employees to sign a petition supporting the law. “Such behavior by a supervisor to compel employees to take political sides could be considered abusive,” the union wrote in letters to local officials.

Lawyers, bankers, professors and other professionals interviewed by The New York Times described a growing culture of fear in offices across the city. Employees face pressure to support pro-Beijing candidates in local elections and echo the Chinese government’s official line. Those who speak out can be punished or even forced out.

China and the United States are clashing over the future of Hong Kong, and global businesses are caught in the middle. President Trump on Friday said he would begin rolling back the special trade and financial privileges that the United States extends to Hong Kong after Chinese leaders pushed through the plan to enact the national security law, which critics fear will curtail the city’s independent judicial system and civil liberties.

Hong Kong’s success as a global financial hub stems from its status as a bridge between China’s economic miracle and the rest of the world. Now that balance is looking increasingly precarious.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167620722_94931d10-3153-4573-9427-a26524456ee3-articleLarge Beijing Threatens Hong Kong's Companies and Workers Politics and Government Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong Freedom of the Press Freedom of Speech and Expression Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Courts and the Judiciary China Boycotts Banking and Financial Institutions
Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

“We’ve seen a rapid deterioration in free expression in Hong Kong since the anti-government protests began,” said Jason Ng, a former lawyer for BNP Paribas, the French bank.


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    Understand the Current Hong Kong Protests

    Updated May 27, 2020

    • Where we left off

      In the summer of 2019, Hong Kong protesters began fighting a rule that would allow extraditions to China. These protests eventually broadened to protect Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. The protests wound down when pro-democracy candidates notched a stunning victory in Hong Kong elections in November, in what was seen as a pointed rebuke of Beijing and its allies in Hong Kong.

      Late in 2019, the protests then quieted.

    • How it’s different this time

      Those peaceful mass rallies that occurred in June of 2019 were pointed against the territory leadership of Hong Kong. Later, they devolved into often-violent clashes between some protesters and police officers and lasted through November 2019. The current protests are aimed at mainland China.

    • What’s happening now

      This latest round of demonstrations in Hong Kong has been fueled largely by China’s ruling Communist Party move this month to impose new national security legislation for Hong Kong.

      To China, the rules are necessary to protect the country’s national sovereignty. To critics, they further erode the relative autonomy granted to the territory after Britain handed it back to China in 1997.


Mr. Ng was punished by his former employer for writing his political views on his Facebook page, using the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” to complain about pro-Chinese demonstrators. The comments, which were later taken down, were heavily criticized in China’s state media and on the Chinese internet. BNP apologized and pledged to take immediate action. Mr. Ng then left the bank.

“There is this awful environment now,” said Mr. Ng, who has co-authored a book about the pressure in Hong Kong called “Unfree Speech.” “The whole banking industry, at least Chinese-funded banks, they face quite a lot of pressure from China.”

Something similar happened to Ka-chung Law, a high-profile economist at Bank of Communications, a state-backed Chinese bank. For two decades, Mr. Law said he never felt any topic was off limits.

Last summer, as violence flared, Mr. Law was told not to talk about the role that the political chaos was having on the local economy. It was a difficult proposition. He could see it was having a direct impact.

Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Then in early October, Mr. Law said, he emailed an article to his team that was critical of China and discussed ways in which the United States could punish Beijing economically. One of his bosses called him in.

The bank distanced itself from the article. Mr. Law’s note had come from his work email, therefore implicating the bank. “That day I was told, ‘This is your view,’” he said. “I was not the author of the article, but I didn’t want to argue.”

Mr. Law said he was told to resign. He did. “I don’t want to stay in that kind of environment,” he said, “and I don’t think I deserve to stay in the position if I keep my mouth shut.” The bank declined to comment.

The silencing of views different from Beijing’s on the protests can be both subtle and overt.

Gios Choong works for a Chinese state-backed company doing quarantine checks and quality control inspection at the Hong Kong border. When he first started out more than two decades ago, most of his colleagues were Hong Kongers, and the atmosphere was more open, he said. But in recent years, resentment built up as Hong Kong employees like himself were replaced with mainlanders.

These days, when conversation at work turns to the protests, managers label them as riots. Mr. Choong, who is a supporter of the pro-democracy protests, said he found it alienating.

“My boss said to me, ‘Why do they go out?’” referring to the protesters. “‘You eat from China. Your food is from China. The water comes from China. So why?’”

On the Friday before Hong Kong held district council elections in November, Mr. Choong’s manager approached him with a request. Vote No. 2, he was told. That was the number for the pro-Beijing candidate in his district. He voted for the pro-democracy candidate instead. The pro-democracy camp swept the election.

Increasingly, multinationals have found themselves in Beijing’s censorship cross hairs. The N.B.A. was thrust into the harsh spotlight last year after the general manager of the Houston Rockets wrote a message on Twitter in support of the Hong Kong protesters. State media acted swiftly in retaliation, canceling the broadcast of preseason games.

Coach, Givenchy and Versace have also been forced to apologize for selling clothes with designs that suggested Hong Kong was separate from China.

Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Ming-tak Ng, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, has witnessed firsthand the fury of ordinary Chinese citizens.

Until August, many of his weekends were devoted to teaching part-time M.B.A. students in the mainland. Then he was photographed at a protest with Jimmy Lai, the owner of a media group who is critical of China.

When his students saw it, they wrote to university officials to complain about Mr. Ng’s participation, requesting in a letter that the university delete “any information about him during the process of our study and in our graduation thesis” and threatening to boycott events where Mr. Ng was in attendance.

After discussing the situation with the university, Mr. Ng agreed to stop teaching at the Chinese campuses. “I don’t blame them,” Mr. Ng said. “In China, everyone is under a tightly controlled system. I appreciate that they did this to protect themselves politically.”

Christina Wu, a spokeswoman for the university, confirmed Mr. Ng’s change of schedule but said it was done “purely based on academic considerations.” She said the university did not delete any information about Mr. Ng.

This week, as Beijing pushed on with plans to implement its national security law in Hong Kong, pro-Beijing groups fanned out across the city in search of support. According to some local workers, their bosses helped in the effort.

Managers at Chiyu Banking Corporation, a local bank owned by Xiamen International Bank, sent a WhatsApp message to employees asking them to sign a petition, according to a complaint filed by the Hong Kong Financial Industry Employees General Union. Once they had done so, the complaint said, they were told to screenshot their signature and share it.

Similar instructions were sent to employees at Wing Lung Bank, according to the union. Workers at other banks said they had received similar messages, said Ka-wing Kwok, the union’s chairman, but the union was unable to verify them.

Chiyu Banking and Wing Lung Bank did not respond to requests for comment. Hong Kong regulators declined to comment.

“Such behavior caused a chilling effect among employees,” the union wrote in letters to the Hong Kong authorities.

“Employees could not help worrying that if they do not obey the instructions of their superiors, they might either be singled out by the company or their personal work performance evaluation would be affected in the future.”

Cao Li contributed research.

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Trump Moves to Strip Hong Kong of Special U.S. Relationship

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-trump-china-sub2-facebookJumbo Trump Moves to Strip Hong Kong of Special U.S. Relationship Xi Jinping United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Pompeo, Mike Kudlow, Lawrence A Hong Kong Foreign Students (in US) Executive Orders and Memorandums Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced Friday that his administration would end almost all aspects of the American government’s special relationship with Hong Kong, including on trade and law enforcement, and that it was withdrawing from the World Health Organization, where the United States has been by far the largest funder.

Speaking at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Trump voiced a range of grievances against China, angrily denouncing the country’s trade and security practices and its handling of the initial coronavirus outbreak.

As punishment, Mr. Trump said he would strip away Hong Kong’s privileges with the United States, ranging from an extradition treaty to commercial relations, with few exceptions.

“My announcement today will affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong,” he said, including “action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China.”

Mr. Trump’s announcement came largely in response to Beijing’s move this week to put in place broad new national security powers over Hong Kong. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he was reporting to Congress a determination that Hong Kong no longer had significant autonomy under Chinese rule. Mr. Pompeo had earlier called the new Chinese law a “death knell” for the territory, a global financial and commercial hub with special status under American law because, in theory, it has semiautonomy until 2047 under an international treaty that Britain and China signed.

Mr. Pompeo’s finding amounted to a recommendation that the United States should reconsider its special relationship with Hong Kong. A 1992 law says the United States should continue to treat the Beijing-ruled territory under the same conditions it did when it was a British colony.

Mr. Trump made clear on Friday that he no longer considered Hong Kong to be separate from China.

“China claims it is protecting national security. But the truth is that Hong Kong was secure and prosperous as a free society. Beijing’s decision reverses all of that. It extends the reach of China’s invasive state security apparatus into what was formally a bastion of liberty,” Mr. Trump said.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 28, 2020

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      More than 40 million people — the equivalent of 1 in 4 U.S. workers — have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic took hold. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


He said the United States would suspend the entry of some Chinese citizens who have been identified as “potential security risks.” He did not give details, but appeared to be referring to a move to cancel the visas of graduate students and researchers who attended Chinese universities with ties to the military.

The New York Times reported this week that American officials had decided to go ahead with the action, which would affect thousands of Chinese students, a tiny percentage of the total number from China studying in the country.

Mr. Trump also repeated past charges that China had mishandled the coronavirus outbreak and suggested that Chinese officials had knowingly allowed travelers to fly from Wuhan to other countries, including the United States, while limiting access from Wuhan to other cities within China.

It was unclear from Mr. Trump’s announcement whether he was issuing a formal executive order to end the special relationship with Hong Kong entirely. The administration can take piecemeal actions — for example, imposing the same tariffs on goods from Hong Kong that the United States does on products from mainland China — before taking that final, drastic step.

Alan Rappeport contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hong Kong Security Plan Is Approved, Tightening China’s Hold

Westlake Legal Group hong-kong-security-plan-is-approved-tightening-chinas-hold Hong Kong Security Plan Is Approved, Tightening China's Hold Lam, Carrie (1957- ) Hong Kong Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China Civil Rights and Liberties China

BEIJING — China officially has the broad power to quash unrest in Hong Kong, as the country’s legislature on Thursday approved a plan to suppress subversion, secession, terrorism and seemingly any acts that might threaten national security in the semiautonomous city.

As Beijing hashes out the specifics of the national security legislation in the coming weeks, the final rules will help determine the fate of Hong Kong, including how much of the city’s autonomy will be preserved or how much Beijing will tighten its grip.

Early signals from Chinese authorities point to a crackdown once the law takes effect, which is expected by September.

Activist groups could be banned. Courts could impose long jail sentences for national security violations. China’s feared security agencies could operate openly in the city.

Even Hong Kong’s chief executive this week appeared to hint that certain civil liberties might not be an enduring feature of Hong Kong life. “We are a very free society, so for the time being, people have the freedom to say whatever they want to say,” said the chief executive, Carrie Lam, noting, “Rights and freedoms are not absolute.”

The prospect of a national security law has prompted an immediate pushback in Hong Kong, where protesters are once again taking to the streets. The international community, too, has warned against infringing on the city’s civil liberties.

The Trump administration signaled Wednesday that it was likely to end some or all of the U.S. government’s special trade and economic relations with Hong Kong because of China’s move. The State Department no longer considers Hong Kong to have significant autonomy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, a condition for maintaining the trade status.

Clues on the coming security law can be found in earlier templates: a 2003 bill in Hong Kong that was thwarted by protests, and a law in another semiautonomous Chinese city, Macau.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172872987_10cfc5bf-bb0b-46ef-8b83-257e91fa8fdf-articleLarge Hong Kong Security Plan Is Approved, Tightening China's Hold Lam, Carrie (1957- ) Hong Kong Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China Civil Rights and Liberties China
Credit…Roman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock

Both contained broadly worded bans on sedition, subversion, secession and treason, while also enhancing law enforcement powers. The Hong Kong legislation would have allowed raids without warrants if the police believed national security would be jeopardized by waiting for a judge — the prospect of which drew vast crowds of peaceful protesters.

Both bills also made it easier for the authorities to win national security cases in court. The Macau legislation, for example, bars judges with foreign citizenship from serving on panels hearing national security cases. Hong Kong’s courts have long relied heavily on judges who have moved to the city from the British Commonwealth but retain passports from their home countries.

The legislation in Macau, a former Portuguese colony, has gone essentially unused for the past 11 years since its passage. The authorities there have preferred to take measures against occasional protests under statutes that attract less attention. But Macau’s government, unlike Hong Kong’s, has not faced a broad-based democracy movement that has attracted international sympathy.

Hong Kong’s political framework doesn’t offer much relief from the new law. The framework, specified in the city’s Basic Law and the Bill of Rights, provides broad protections for civil liberties. But a big exemption exists for the sort of national security legislation that Beijing is now drafting.

Both pieces of the framework draw on the language in the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The covenant has six different clauses allowing rights to be restricted if national security is at risk.

Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

“If you do not plan to engage in acts of secession, subversion, terrorism or conspiring with foreign influence in connection with Hong Kong affairs, you will have no reason to fear,” Tung Chee-hwa, who was the city’s chief executive at the time of the 2003 national legislation, said on Monday.

The process for drafting and enacting the new law is prompting concerns.

The Standing Committee of China’s legislature is writing the new rules on its own, without consulting Hong Kong experts. Once the legislation is written, the Beijing-appointed leadership of Hong Kong is required to put it into law immediately.

“Since this is the legislative work of the Central Government, I am afraid that there will be no public consultation in Hong Kong,” Mrs. Lam said on Tuesday.

Some pro-democracy lawyers have questioned whether Beijing’s process for issuing the law is constitutional. But Hong Kong designates the Chinese government as the final arbiter on constitutional questions in the territory.

The current plan for national security laws is considerably broader than the 2003 bill. For starters, it calls for a ban on terrorism.

Chinese officials have given no hint of how terrorism will be defined. But the same committee that will draft the Hong Kong rules issued antiterrorism laws in mainland China four years ago with very broad prohibitions.

Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Amendments in late 2015 to the mainland’s criminal law provisions regarding terrorism include long jail sentences for “whoever propagates terrorism or extremism by way of preparing or distributing books, audio and video materials or other items that propagate terrorism or extremism or by way of teaching or releasing information.”

The latest national security plan also widens the definition of subversion.

The 2003 bill was aimed at subversion against the “Central People’s Government.” That would have included government agencies under China’s cabinet, known as the State Council, said Albert Chen, a Hong Kong University law professor who advises Beijing on constitutional issues. But it is less clear whether it would have encompassed acts against the Chinese Communist Party.

By contrast, the new plan might, because it prohibits actions against “state power.” That term may include the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, Mr. Chen said, noting that the leadership is enshrined in the Constitution.

Tens of thousands of people, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, gather each year at Victoria Park on June 4 to commemorate those who died in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. They often shout slogans against the Communist Party.

Lau Siu-kai, a former senior Hong Kong government official who now advises Beijing, said that the new legislation might not ban such speech. But it would likely bar activities that were organized by “anti-Beijing political groups.” Hong Kong already has a law blocking groups that advocate independence.

Thursday’s resolution calls for the drafting of legislation allowing mainland Chinese security agencies to operate “as necessary” in Hong Kong. Mr. Lau said that this meant the Ministry of Public Security, China’s main police and border control agency, and the Ministry of State Security, China’s main spy agency, would be allowed to open offices in Hong Kong to conduct investigations and gather intelligence.

Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

But Beijing will still rely on the Hong Kong police and prosecutors to make arrests and charge offenders, he said. Mrs. Lam said that the Hong Kong police would remain “primarily” responsible for law enforcement.

The wild card in the new rules could be international pushback.

Mr. Lau said that if the United States took strong action, it would only reinforce Beijing’s concerns that foreign powers were using the city to undermine China’s national security. American measures may prompt the Standing Committee to write even more stringent legislation this summer, he added.

“If they push hard,” Mr. Lau said, “it may change for the worse rather than the better.”

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Hong Kong Has Lost Autonomy, Pompeo Says, Opening Door to U.S. Action

Mr. Pompeo’s action came just hours before China was expected to pass a national security law that would allow Chinese security agencies to take broad actions limiting the liberties of Hong Kong residents, many of whom have protested the proposed law and clashed with police officers.

The United States and China appear to be on a collision course over the future of Hong Kong, a center of global capitalism and symbol of resistance to the Chinese Communist Party. Relations between the two nations are at their worst in decades, and disputes have flared over trade, national security and the origins of the coronavirus.

President Trump’s foreign policy aides are discussing actions that would be among the harshest punishments taken against China over the past three years. The actions could have far-reaching consequences for global commerce and transform how Chinese and foreign companies operate, as well as upend the lives of many of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents, who have been under enormous pressure from years of political crackdowns.

Hong Kong has been a financial and commercial hub since late last century. China relies on the bustling city of ports and skyscrapers on the edge of the South China Sea for transactions with other countries. Many Chinese and foreign firms use Hong Kong as an international or regional base, and members of elite Communist Party families or executives with ties to them do business and own property there. Many companies also raise capital by listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Mr. Pompeo has said the security law would be a “death knell” for Hong Kong, which has had liberties under a semiautonomous system of governance that do not exist in mainland China, including freedoms of speech, the press and assembly, as well as an independent judiciary.

In recent days, protesters in Hong Kong have taken to the streets to voice outrage at the proposed law, only to be beaten back by police officers clad in riot gear and firing tear gas.

American diplomats said they called on Wednesday for a virtual meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss Hong Kong, but China blocked the move.

If it proceeds with punishments, the Trump administration could impose the same tariffs on exports from Hong Kong that it puts on goods from mainland China, said officials with knowledge of the discussions. Other trade restrictions that apply to China, including bans or limits on what American companies can sell to Chinese companies because of national security or human rights concerns, may be imposed on Hong Kong as well.

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers are discussing visa bans on Chinese officials who enact the law.

“I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997,” Mr. Pompeo said Wednesday. “No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”

“Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure,” he added. “But sound policymaking requires a recognition of reality. While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.”

Mr. Pompeo is the most vocal of a group of national security officials who advocate tough policies on China. Some of Mr. Trump’s top economic advisers prefer a more conciliatory approach to dealing with China, the world’s second-largest economy, and will likely urge caution. American corporate executives have said the administration should act with care.

Mr. Trump has rarely made any strong comments on the situation in Hong Kong, and he has praised Xi Jinping, the president of China, throughout his time in office, even insisting that they have a strong friendship. Mr. Trump has also been eager to promote a trade agreement he signed with China in January as an economic win for the United States. He wants to avoid jeopardizing that deal, even though Beijing is not meeting purchasing quotas mandated by it.

The president is keen to boost the U.S. economy, which has fallen into recession during the pandemic, ahead of the November presidential election.

But on Tuesday, when asked by reporters about China’s proposed national security law, Mr. Trump said he planned to act this week. “I think you’ll find it very interesting,” he said, adding that his response would come “very powerfully.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172871856_1c5f4d61-6dad-417b-859d-87923dc3f8ab-articleLarge Hong Kong Has Lost Autonomy, Pompeo Says, Opening Door to U.S. Action United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J State Department Pompeo, Mike Law and Legislation International Trade and World Market Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong China
Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The certification by the State Department is a recommendation on policy and does not itself catalyze actions immediately. American officials, including Mr. Trump, will now weigh what steps to take.

The United States is likely to choose specific areas in which to break off cooperation first with Hong Kong, including trade and law enforcement.

The president would need to issue an executive order to end the special relationship entirely, according to people familiar with the discussions. One possibility is for the United States to take piecemeal action over the next year before ending the special status if China does not change course, they said.

“We’re not hopeful that Beijing will reverse itself, but that is an option,” David R. Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, said of the Chinese government’s push on the national security law.

Britain handed Hong Kong to China in 1997, after the two nations reached an agreement on the colony 13 years earlier. In 1992, the United States passed a law that said the American government would treat a Beijing-ruled Hong Kong under the same conditions it had applied to the British colony.

In November, after months of pro-democracy protests and crackdowns by the police in Hong Kong, Mr. Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill requiring the State Department to provide an annual certification to Congress to help determine whether to continue the special relationship with Hong Kong.

That certification depends on a judgment by department officials of whether China was ceding enough autonomy to Hong Kong.

Susan Shirk, a former State Department official now at the University of California, San Diego, said that given the mandate from Congress, Mr. Pompeo had no choice on his assessment “once Beijing blatantly overruled the Hong Kong legislature with a new law that integrates Hong Kong” into the Chinese security state.

“Of course, the big losers will be the people of Hong Kong, not the politicians in Beijing or Washington who produced this predicament,” she added.

Mr. Pompeo’s announcement is certain to draw condemnation from Beijing, where the government is holding its annual legislative session this week. Officials announced details of the proposed law Friday, at the start of the session.

“If anyone insists on harming China’s interests, China is determined to take all necessary countermeasures,” Zhao Lijian, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a news conference earlier Wednesday in Beijing. “The national security law for Hong Kong is purely China’s internal affair that allows no foreign interference.”

Some American business executives are advising the Trump administration to tread carefully on changing the relationship with Hong Kong.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents American companies in Hong Kong, said in a statement Tuesday that it was “deeply concerned” about the proposed national security law. It asked the Chinese government to “peacefully de-escalate” the situation and preserve the semi-autonomy of the “one country, two systems” framework that, under the 1984 treaty between Beijing and London, is supposed to exist until 2047.

“We likewise urge the Trump administration to continue to prioritize the maintenance of a positive and constructive relationship between the United States and Hong Kong,” the group said.

It added that “far-reaching changes” to Hong Kong’s status “in economic and trade matters would have serious implications for Hong Kong and for U.S. business, particularly those with business operations located there who exercise a positive influence in favor of Hong Kong’s core values.”

Julian Ku, a law professor at Hofstra University, said the Trump administration had flexibility on which options to exercise.

“I would expect the president would act on some agreements, but not on others,” Mr. Ku said. For example, he noted, the administration might terminate the extradition treaty with Hong Kong, since the national security law makes fair adjudication less credible, or it could put Hong Kong under the same controls that limit American technology exports to China.

“But he might leave the visa waiver treatment that Hong Kong residents currently receive when coming to the U.S. alone for now,” he said.

Mark Williams, the chief Asia economist at Capital Economics, said Mr. Trump’s tariffs on imports from mainland China — which are paid by American companies — would not automatically extend to Hong Kong despite the new State Department assessment. But the cumulative effect of various actions would erode Hong Kong’s status as an international business center, Mr. Williams wrote in a note to clients.

“The irony is that in punishing Hong Kong, we wind up martyring it rather than saving it,” said Daniel Russel, an assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific in the Obama administration. As for diplomacy between Washington and Beijing, he said: “The brake pads in the relationship have worn very, very thin. And it’s hard to see this confrontation going anywhere except escalation.”

In Congress, Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida and a sponsor of the bill on Hong Kong that passed last fall, cheered Mr. Pompeo’s announcement.

“For years, the Chinese government and Communist Party have walked back on its commitment to ensure autonomy and freedom for Hong Kong,” Mr. Rubio said. “We cannot let Beijing profit from breaking the Sino-British Joint Declaration and trying to crush the spirit of Hong Kong’s people.”

On another front, the State Department plans to expand the list of Chinese state-run news organizations operating in the United States on which it has imposed new restrictions, including foreign employee quotas, American officials said. And the agency is watching to see if China will retaliate against American journalists in Hong Kong for the administration’s most recent round of visa restrictions against Chinese journalists. In March, China expelled American journalists from three news organizations, including The New York Times.

Michael Crowley and Ana Swanson contributed reporting from Washington, and Keith Bradsher from Beijing.

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Stocks Mixed as Politics Outweigh Recovery Hopes: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172869531_d20f2160-71ed-41f6-9f17-e10e1087141f-articleLarge Stocks Mixed as Politics Outweigh Recovery Hopes: Live Updates United States Economy Trump, Donald J Hong Kong Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China
Credit…Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Global stocks are mixed as political tensions outweigh recovery hopes.

Asian stocks were mixed on Wednesday as heightened rhetoric between China and the United States dimmed investor hopes.

Tokyo and South Korean markets were mildly higher at midday, but Hong Kong shares ticked lower and mainland China stocks were flat, despite a big rally on Wall Street on Tuesday.

Other markets reflected the indecision. Prices for U.S. Treasury bonds were mixed, while oil traded in a narrow range on futures markets.

The drop came after President Trump said on Tuesday that the United States could offer a strong response as soon as this week to China’s effort to strengthen its hold over Hong Kong, a semiautonomous former British colony that offers economic and civil liberties that the mainland lacks. The market uncertainty also came as police flooded Hong Kong streets in anticipation of public protests against Beijing’s plans to enact a national security law that will cover the city of about seven million people.

The worries offset growing optimism about the coronavirus recovery, as officials in the United States, Europe and Japan have in recent days taken steps to reopen their economies. On Wall Street on Tuesday, the S&P 500 index ended 1.2 percent higher.

Outbreak is easing, but China’s smartphone tracking apps may be here to stay.

Credit…China Daily, via Reuters

That raises questions about how they might be used. Companies and government agencies in China have a mixed record on keeping personal information safe from hacks and leaks. The authorities have also taken an expansive view of using high-tech surveillance tools in the name of public security. For now, Chinese authorities have set few limits on how the apps can be used.

Some people in China think the city of Hangzhou has gone too far. Officials in the technology hub are exploring expanding the health code to rank citizens with a “personal health index” that could include data like how much they sleep they get, how many steps they take, how much they smoke and drink and other unspecified metrics.

The proposal has met with swift criticism online in China. While the public can do little about surveillance by the central government, it has become increasingly aware of the potential for misuse by data thieves and nosy local officials.

“I know that in this age of big data, it’s so easy for those who control data to check and use personal information in a matter of minutes,” another author, Shen Jiake, wrote. But Hangzhou’s plan “crosses a line,” he said.

Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Wall Street shifts focus to reopening, and stocks rally.

Wall Street’s focus was on economic recovery Tuesday, and stocks rallied along with crude oil prices.

The S&P 500 rose more than 1 percent, with shares of companies most likely to benefit from the lifting of restrictions on travel and commerce faring well. Shares of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and other big carriers rose, as did Marriott International.

Oil prices have been climbing all month as the restarting of factories and resumption of travel raised expectations that demand would rise. On Tuesday, West Texas intermediate crude rose another 3 percent, and shares of companies in the energy industry, like Chevron and Halliburton, were also higher.

It’s been a turbulent period for stocks, with the S&P 500 alternating between gains to losses on a daily basis last week, as expectations for an eventual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic have squared off against the reality that the damage is still severe and likely to continue for some time.

News of progress on vaccine development — even if small scale and early stage — has been one factor fueling the gains.

Tuesday was no exception, after the biotech company Novavax said on Monday that it was starting trials of its vaccine on humans, with preliminary results expected in July. On Tuesday, the pharmaceutical giant Merck said it bought the rights to develop a potential drug that had “potent antiviral properties against multiple coronavirus strains,” and was also beginning work on vaccine candidates.

The reopening of businesses has been another. One largely symbolic opening on Tuesday was that of the New York Stock Exchange’s trading floor. A small number of traders returned to the floor, wearing masks and following social-distancing rules, the exchange said.

Shares in Europe and Asia were also higher as investors shrugged off negative news like rising tensions between the United States and China and the combustible political situation in Hong Kong. Instead, they focused on Japanese leaders gradually lifting emergency measures there, while European leaders have also moved to ease travel restrictions.

But any gains are susceptible to a sudden change in sentiment if the reopening plans result in new outbreaks or fresh concerns about the longevity of economic slowdown emerge.

China’s young workers struggle to find jobs, challenging Beijing.

Credit…Getty Images

Chinese leaders meeting since last week in Beijing have stressed their efforts to create jobs and get the country back to work. But surveys and interviews show many young workers are entering into the work force in the worst market in decades.

“When it was April and I still couldn’t start my job, I started to feel worried,” said Huang Bing, 24, who graduated last year from a prestigious Chinese drama school. Her new job, set to begin this past January, ended before it began.

“I began worrying that I may not be able to work this year at all,” Ms. Huang said. “I can’t just keep waiting.”

Online, young people despair over finding a good job, with many settling for something that pays less. Many others are reluctant to relent. “The graduates do not fully understand the market,” said Martin Ma, a human resources officer for a Chinese software company. “Their expectations are quite high.”

For the world, global growth will be hard to rekindle until China gets fully back to work. But the damage to the Communist Party could be long-lasting. It derives its political power from the promise of delivering a better life for the Chinese people, a promise that has become increasingly difficult to fulfill.

A distressed commercial real estate market beckons opportunistic buyers.

Credit…Elizabeth Weinberg for The New York Times

Hoping to take advantage of wreckage in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, investors are preparing to snap up commercial real estate at rock-bottom prices.

Long before states and cities closed businesses and issued stay-at-home orders, many real estate funds were stockpiling cash and waiting for a buyer’s market. Some have raised billions of dollars in the last several weeks.

As a result, investment firms are sitting on roughly $300 billion of equity ready for deployment, said Douglas M. Weill, a founder of Hodes Weill & Associates, a global real estate capital advisory firm in New York. “It’s a staggering amount of dry powder,” he said.

Every commercial property owner has its specific problems, but mom-and-pop landlords that own a handful of apartment buildings, retail centers or other assets are in a much more compromised position, said Sanford D. Sigal, president and chief executive of NewMark Merrill, a shopping center owner and manager in Woodland Hills, Calif.

“Very few small owners are equipped for this type of market,” said Mr. Sigal, who expected to collect about 57 percent of his May rent from tenants across some 70 properties in California, Colorado and Illinois. “I’ve seen more deals in the past week that were worth looking at than I did in the entire prior year.”

Catch up: Here’s what else is happening.

  • The stock trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange reopened on Tuesday, though at a reduced head count to allow space for social distancing measures to remain in force. Floor brokers and trading floor officials will be allowed back, while designated market makers — the specialist traders who buy and sell in order to “make markets” in certain securities — will continue to operate remotely.

  • Latam, the largest airline in Latin America, said on Tuesday it had filed for bankruptcy protection, the latest carrier to fall victim to the pandemic. The company, based in Santiago, Chile, said it had secured $900 million in financing from major shareholders, including the Cueto and Amaro families and Qatar Airlines, and that it would work with creditors to reduce its debt while it continues operating. Avianca, Colombia’s flagship airline and one of the world’s oldest carriers, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month.

Reporting was contributed by Carlos Tejada Mohammed Hadi, Joe Gose and Mary Williams Walsh.

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Coronavirus Hits China’s Economy, and Young Workers Suffer

Westlake Legal Group coronavirus-hits-chinas-economy-and-young-workers-suffer Coronavirus Hits China's Economy, and Young Workers Suffer Wages and Salaries Politics and Government Labor and Jobs Hiring and Promotion Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China

Ms. Huang, who graduated last year from one of China’s most prestigious drama schools, got an offer in December for her first job in show business, working for a company that books bands for bars in Beijing and Shanghai.

The coronavirus, which virtually froze China for weeks, brought that gig to an end before it began. Ms. Huang has picked up freelance film production and publicity work, but she has slashed her spending and is counting her money.

“When it was April and I still couldn’t start my job, I started to feel worried,” said Ms. Huang, 24. “I began worrying that I may not be able to work this year at all. I can’t just keep waiting.”

Relations with the United States are at their lowest point in decades and Hong Kong is seething with fear and anger, but China’s biggest problem by far is getting its people back to work. Millions of workers were laid off or furloughed while China battled the coronavirus outbreak. Many of those who kept their jobs have seen their pay cut and future prospects narrow.

China’s youngest workers in particular have entered perhaps the country’s toughest job market in the modern era. Many are reducing their expectations to take any job they can get. The pressure is about to intensify: Another nearly 8.7 million young college graduates are waiting in the wings this year.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172836252_21097480-a65d-494f-8005-4a36b2564d26-articleLarge Coronavirus Hits China's Economy, and Young Workers Suffer Wages and Salaries Politics and Government Labor and Jobs Hiring and Promotion Economic Conditions and Trends Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China
Credit…Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

For the world, global growth will be hard to rekindle until China gets fully back to work. But the damage to the Communist Party could be long-lasting. It derives its political power from the promise of delivering a better life for the Chinese people, a promise that has become increasingly difficult to fulfill.

Demonstrating the depths of the uncertainty, Chinese leaders meeting in Beijing since last week parted with precedent and declined to set an annual economic growth target. But they have unveiled other goals that detail their biggest worries, including cutting unemployment in the cities and taming food inflation, which has jumped because of outbreak-related supply disruptions and an unrelated swine disease.

Chinese leaders have acknowledged broader problems in the work force. China’s factory workers have been hit by the trade war with the United States. Service sector companies like online delivery firms are hiring, but these jobs offer low pay and high stress.

Last week, at the opening of China’s annual parliamentary session, Li Keqiang, China’s premier, cited both unemployment and the hundreds of millions of underemployed workers doing odd jobs with flexible hours and low pay. “We will make every effort to stabilize and expand employment,” he said.

Credit…Tingshu Wang/Reuters

To help, China’s top leaders pledged this weekend to “use all possible means” to create jobs, including a goal to create nine million new jobs this year. But many of its plans borrow from Beijing’s old playbook, which include spending on public works, funding wasteful state-run companies and keeping the financial sector supplied with new money.

Those tactics have proven to be less effective in recent years. Even when banks are pushed to lend to smaller businesses, China’s biggest group of employers, the borrowing burden is still too high for many companies. Spending on public works gets less bang for the buck than it once did, as China’s economy matures and as its work force becomes increasingly college-educated and office bound.

China’s current official unemployment statistics, while considered imprecise by many economists, nevertheless suggest the depth of the problem for young workers. The jobless rate for people between the ages of 16 and 24 totaled nearly 14 percent, more than twice the official figure for the nation as a whole.

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In forums online, young job seekers share their frustrations. “I’m about to cry,” one person recently wrote on Weibo, the popular Chinese social media service. “Finding a job is as difficult as finding a boyfriend.”

Many use words like “lost” to describe their state of mind. “I’ve exhausted all kinds of software for job hunting,” another person wrote. “Did not find a job! What more can you do!! I’m going to lose faith.”

Credit…Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Many of these job seekers have lowered their salary expectations and are choosing to focus their energy on finding job security at a state-owned company. While private firms are typically more popular, competition for jobs among them has become fierce, according to a recent survey of 3,000 university graduates by Liepin, a recruitment platform. Three-quarters of graduates said they expected to earn less than $1,100 a month, one of the lowest salary ranges in the survey.

Guo Minghao, a computer science major, won an internship in December. In January, as the outbreak erupted, it was rescinded. He has since interviewed at two dozen other companies that he considered sure bets for job offers. None came.

“For the first time, I felt for sure the impact of the epidemic environment had finally started to affect me,” Mr. Guo said, who added that his darkest moment was in March, typically the best time to look for a job.

Then, with the help of one of his teachers, he finally won an internship at a smaller company in the southern city of Shenzhen. But his friends worried that life in that modern, glittering city will be more expensive than the northern rust belt province of Heilongjiang where he went to school.

Mr. Guo considers himself lucky — his starting salary will be around $980 a month — which he said would be enough to cover basic expenses. He is confident that he can then turn the internship into a job and get a raise.

Credit…Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Mr. Guo’s friend, 22-year-old Lin Yuxin, is taking a different route. He decided against pursuing a job in a big city at a company like Tencent, the Chinese internet giant and ultimate symbol of success for computer science graduates. In today’s market, he figured, safety is more important than prestige, higher pay or career advancement.

“The larger private enterprises like Tencent, their probability of closing down might be something 0.00001, but it’s nothing compared to state-owned enterprises,” Mr. Lin said.


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  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 20, 2020

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      Over 38 million people have filed for unemployment since March. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


Chinese companies that are hiring can afford to be choosy. Recruits can choose from a larger pool of candidates, said Martin Ma, a human resources officer for iSoftStone, a software development company that has more than 60,000 employees and counts big foreign and domestic companies as clients. Starting salaries are lower.

“The posts available for graduates are all basic, and the salary isn’t too high,” Mr. Ma said. “The graduates do not fully understand the market. Their expectations are quite high.”

Ms. Huang, the drama-school graduate, was inspired by her parents to go into entertainment. Her mother had been an opera singer, of a style popular in southern China, and her father had been a musician in her troupe.

She attended the Central Academy of Drama, which boasts Chinese film stars like Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li among its alumni, and graduated with a dream of someday producing plays and performances of her own.

Credit…Thomas Peter/Reuters

The coronavirus upended those plans. She now lives on $500 on month, with half going to rent for her apartment in the commuter town of Yanjiao near Beijing, that she gets from savings, her family and from the cash gift she received during the Lunar New Year holiday in January.

“Many of my plans have been disturbed,” Ms. Huang said. “I also hesitate to place orders for many things I wanted to buy.”

Ms. Huang is considering whether she can pursue a master’s degree abroad. That route would require the world to shrug off its outbreak-era limits on travel, which seems far from certain anytime soon.

“Because of the pandemic, the whole world is in a disarray,” Ms. Huang said. “So I feel stuck in limbo.”

Coral Yang contributed research. Cao Li contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China’s Coronavirus Tracking Apps Stir Privacy Fears as They Linger

At the height of China’s coronavirus outbreak, officials made quick use of the fancy tracking devices in everybody’s pockets — their smartphones — to identify and isolate people who might be spreading the illness.

Months later, China’s official statistics suggest that the worst of the epidemic has passed there, but the government’s monitoring apps are hardly fading into obsolescence. Instead, they are tiptoeing toward becoming a permanent fixture of everyday life, one with potential to be used in troubling and invasive ways.

While the technology has doubtless helped many workers and employers get back to their lives, it has also prompted concern in China, where people are increasingly protective of their digital privacy. Companies and government agencies in China have a mixed record on keeping personal information safe from hacks and leaks. The authorities have also taken an expansive view of using high-tech surveillance tools in the name of public well-being.

The government’s virus-tracking software has been collecting information, including location data, on people in hundreds of cities across China. But the authorities have set few limits on how that data can be used. And now, officials in some places are loading their apps with new features, hoping the software will live on as more than just an emergency measure.

Zhou Jiangyong, the Communist Party secretary of the eastern tech hub of Hangzhou, said this month that the city’s app should be an “intimate health guardian” for residents, one that is used often and “loved so much that you cannot bear to part with it,” according to an official announcement.

Governments worldwide are trying to balance public health and personal privacy as they pull out the stops to protect their people from the virus. In China, however, the worry is not just about potential snooping.

The country’s leaders have long sought to harness vast troves of digital information to govern their sprawling, sometimes unruly nation more efficiently. But when computer systems have so much authority over people’s lives, software bugs and inaccurate data can have big real-world consequences. It is also far from clear that citizens are comfortable with their government knowing so much about them, even when the aim is efficiency and convenience.

“Epidemic prevention and control needs the support of big data technology, but this does not mean agencies and individuals can randomly collect citizens’ information by borrowing the name of prevention and control,” Li Sihui, a researcher at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, wrote in a recent commentary.

People in China sign up for the virus-tracking system by submitting their personal information, recent travel and health status in one of a swath of apps. The software uses this and other data to assign a color code — green, yellow or red — that indicates whether the holder is an infection risk. Workers posted outside subways, offices and malls stop anyone without a green code from entering.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_169044279_ca59529b-2309-445b-8efd-bd8c1d81c001-articleLarge China's Coronavirus Tracking Apps Stir Privacy Fears as They Linger Privacy Mobile Applications Hangzhou (China) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Computer Security China Ant Financial Services Group Alibaba Group Holding Ltd
Credit…China Daily/Reuters

The authorities have never explained in detail how the system decides the color of someone’s code, which has caused bewilderment among people who have received yellow or red ones without understanding why. The New York Times reported in March that one widely used piece of health code software collected location data and appeared to send it to the police, though it is unclear how the information was used.

In Hangzhou, where the system was pioneered, officials are exploring expanding the health code to rank citizens with a “personal health index,” according to a post last week on an official social media account. It is not clear how the ranking would be used. But a graphic in the post shows users receiving a 0-to-100 score based on how much they sleep, how many steps they take, how much they smoke and drink and other unspecified metrics.

The backlash was swift. “Doesn’t this brazenly violate privacy to surveil and discriminate against unhealthy people?” Wang Xin, a novelist, wrote on the social platform Weibo, where he has 2.5 million followers.

“I know that in this age of big data, it’s so easy for those who control data to check and use personal information in a matter of minutes,” another author, Shen Jiake, wrote. But Hangzhou’s plan “crosses a line,” he said.

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If the authorities have specific reason to hold onto health code data after the threat has passed, then they should make those reasons clear and obtain users’ consent, said Lei Ruipeng, a professor of bioethics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in an April interview with the state-run outlet Health News.

So far, no such mechanism has materialized.

China’s health codes first appeared in February, the joint products of local officials and tech companies, including the internet giant Tencent and Ant Financial, a sister company of the e-commerce titan Alibaba. Within weeks, codes were popping up across the country.

As armies of guards, workers and volunteers began to be posted throughout cities to check people’s codes, the apps became essential to daily life. They have even become an accidental tool for fighting crime.

The Hangzhou police announced this month that they had apprehended a man who had been on the run after committing a murder 24 years ago. Without a health code, he couldn’t work or find a place to stay, the police said. After wandering the streets for days, he turned himself in.

Chinese cities are now trying different ways of keeping residents glued to their virus apps. Shanghai wants its app to become a digital assistant for accessing local services of all kinds, not just medical ones. In the inland city of Xining, the software unlocks coupons to local stores as a way to boost the economy.

When seeing a doctor, for instance. Or when evaluating workers for jobs, like being a driver, that require physical fitness. Even when monitoring crowds at large gatherings.

Credit…Paul Mozur/The New York Times

Such readily accessible information could enable discrimination, however. Insurers could raise rates for people with red or yellow codes. Employers could deny jobs or promotions.

China’s internet regulator in February issued guidelines barring personal information collected to fight the epidemic from being used for other purposes. But it is not clear whether the same stricture would bind apps, like Hangzhou’s, that were created to combat the virus but then morphed into a more general tool.


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*********************/ .g-headline, .interactive-heading, #interactive-leadin, .g-subhed { font-family: “nyt-cheltenham”, georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; } .g-alert, .g-alert.g-body, .g-alert .g-body, .g-alert_link, .g-byline, .g-caption, .g-caption_bold, .g-caption_heading, .g-chart, .g-credit, .g-credit_bullet, .g-dateline, .g-label, .g-label_white, .g-leadin, .g-refer, .g-refer.g-body, .g-refer .g-body, .g-table-text { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; } .g-body, .g-body_bullet, .g-body_link { font-family: “nyt-imperial”, georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; } /* Light text */ .g-asset-leadin.g-caption_heading, .g-chart, .g-headline, .interactive-heading, .g-label, .g-label_white, .g-leadin, #interactive-leadin, .g-table-text { font-weight: 300; } /* Normal text */ /* Medium text */ .g-alert, .g-alert.g-body, .g-alert .g-body, .g-alert_link, .g-body, .g-body_bullet, .g-body_link, .g-caption, .g-credit, .g-dateline, .g-refer, .g-refer.g-body, .g-refer .g-body, .g-refer_link, .g-subhed { font-weight: 500; } /* Bold text */ .g-byline, .g-caption_bold, .g-caption_heading, .g-chart-header, .g-credit_bullet, .g-subhed, .g-table-heading { font-weight: 700; } strong { font-weight: 700; } /* Type Mixins
*************************/ /* MODULE : GUIDE */ /**********************/ .g-inlineguide-list-circle li { position: relative; padding-left: 1.75em; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-list-circle p, .g-inlineguide-list-circle div, .g-inlineguide-list-circle li { padding-left: 0; } } .g-inlineguide-list-circle li:before { position: absolute; content: “•”; top: 2px; left: 1em; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px; } @media (min-width: 600px) { .g-inlineguide-list-circle li:before { top: 3px; left: -1em; } } .g-inlineguide { background-color: #f3f3f3; text-align: left; margin: 30px auto; height: 380px; width: calc(100% – 40px); border-radius: 10px; transition: height 0.5s; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide { max-width: 600px; } } #truncate-content { transition: height 0.5s; height: 300px; } .g-inlineguide-container { margin: 0 20px 0px 20px; padding: 20px 0 7px 0; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-container { margin: 0 35px 0px 35px; } } .g-inlineguide-container-wrapper { height: 100%; } .g-inlineguide-bottom { display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -ms-flex-align: center; align-items: center; -ms-flex-line-pack: center; align-content: center; -ms-flex-pack: center; justify-content: center; top: 10px; } .g-inlineguide-content { position: relative; height: 300px; max-width: 520px; overflow: hidden; } .g-inlineguide-logo { margin: 0 0 10px 0; } .g-inlineguide-date { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 500; line-height: 25px; color: #666666; max-width: 600px; margin: 5px auto 15px; } #g-inlineguide-headline { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 700; line-height: 20px; max-width: 600px; padding: 0; } @media (min-width: 740px) { #g-inlineguide-headline { font-size: 16px; } } /* LINKS */ #g-inlineguide-id a { text-decoration: none; } .g-inlineguide a { color: #326891; text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 2px solid #CCD9E3; } .g-inlineguide a:visited { color: #333; text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 2px solid #ddd; } .g-inlineguide a:hover { border-bottom: none; } .g-inlineguide #g-inlineguide-headline a { color: #333; text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 0px solid #ddd; } .g-inlineguide #g-inlineguide-headline a:hover { border-bottom: 2px solid #ddd; } /* LIST */ .g-inlineguide-list-header { font-family: nyt-cheltenham, georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; font-weight: 500; font-size: 26px; line-height: 30px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-list-header { font-size: 30px; line-height: 36px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 10px; } } .g-inlineguide-item-list { font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: 500; } #g-inlineguide-item-list li { padding-left: 15px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 10px; } @media (min-width: 740px) { #g-inlineguide-item-list li { font-size: 17px; line-height: 24px; margin-bottom: 15px; } } #g-inlineguide-item-list li:before { color: #333333; margin-left: -15px; margin-right: 10px; top: 0; font-size: 16px; } @media (min-width: 740px) { #g-inlineguide-item-list li:before { left: 1em; } } ul.g-inlineguide-list { max-width: 600px; margin: auto; } .g-inlineguide-line-truncated { background-image: linear-gradient(180deg, transparent, #f3f3f3); background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(270deg, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0), #f3f3f3); height: 50px; border-bottom: 0.5px solid #dcddda; width: calc(90% – 70px); margin-top: -55px; position: absolute; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-line-truncated { max-width: 520px; width: 90%; } } /* viewport example
.g-element { max-width: 100%; @include viewport(‘small’) { // 600px max-width: 90%; } @include viewport(‘medium’) { // 740px max-width: 80%; } @include viewport(‘large’) { // 1024px max-width: 70%; }
}
*/ .g-inlineguide-truncate-button { display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -ms-flex-align: center; align-items: center; -ms-flex-line-pack: center; align-content: center; -ms-flex-pack: center; justify-content: center; margin: 10px 0 0 28px; } .g-inlineguide-truncate-button-text { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; margin-top: 9px; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 650; line-height: 28px; /* or 215% */ letter-spacing: 0.03em; text-transform: uppercase; color: #333333; background-color: transparent; } #g-inlineguide-expand-carat-transform { margin-top: 8px; width: 28px; height: 28px; margin-left: 3px; background-color: #F4F5F2; display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -ms-flex-align: center; align-items: center; -ms-flex-pack: center; justify-content: center; } .g-inlineguide-expand-carat-transform-show { transform: rotate(180deg); transition: transform 0.5s ease; } .g-inlineguide-line { border: 0.5px solid #dcddda; width: 100%; max-width: 600px; margin: auto; margin-top: 20px; } .g-headline-group{ display: flex; align-items: baseline; } .g-inlineguide-headline-carat{ margin-left: 6px; }

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated May 20, 2020

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      Over 38 million people have filed for unemployment since March. One in five who were working in February reported losing a job or being furloughed in March or the beginning of April, data from a Federal Reserve survey released on May 14 showed, and that pain was highly concentrated among low earners. Fully 39 percent of former workers living in a household earning $40,000 or less lost work, compared with 13 percent in those making more than $100,000, a Fed official said.

    • Is ‘Covid toe’ a symptom of the disease?

      There is an uptick in people reporting symptoms of chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions that typically appear in the winter on fingers or toes. The lesions are emerging as yet another symptom of infection with the new coronavirus. Chilblains are caused by inflammation in small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions, but they are usually common in the coldest winter months. Federal health officials do not include toe lesions in the list of coronavirus symptoms, but some dermatologists are pushing for a change, saying so-called Covid toe should be sufficient grounds for testing.

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How can I help?

      Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross, and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities.


Neither the internet regulator nor Hangzhou health officials responded to requests for comment.

In one county in Zhejiang Province, where Hangzhou is the capital, officials are extending the health code concept beyond public health, a possible sign of where this experiment in digitized social control might lead.

Recently, Communist Party officers in Tiantai County, near the city of Taizhou, were inspired to develop a separate tool they call the “honesty health code,” the local deputy director of operations, Qiu Yinwei, said by telephone.

The code represents party members’ degree of uprightness and diligence in carrying out party work.

“It’s about whether your party spirit is healthy, not whether your body is healthy,” said Xu Yicou, the party secretary of the village of Shitangxu.

Like the original health codes, the honesty codes come in green, yellow or red. For now, they are not generated by software on individuals’ phones. Instead, officials generate them based on their records about party members.

After the codes are printed out on paper, they can be scanned with a phone app to bring up more information. Party members with red codes face investigation and discipline, according to Zhejiang Daily, a state-run newspaper.

The paper this month told the story of Xu Xujiao, the party secretary of Youyi New Village. The local seniors’ association had misused public funds, the paper said, and as punishment, Mr. Xu’s honesty code was changed from green to yellow.

In response, he “promptly changed his thinking, corrected his attitude and devoted himself to his work,” the paper reported.

Before long, his code was green again.

Wang Yiwei contributed research.

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