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Chinese Government Declares New National Holiday

The year 2015 has a special meaning for Chinese People, as it has been 70 years since the end of the war. The Chinese Government Declares New National Holiday.

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The year 2015 has a special meaning for Chinese People, as it has been 70 years since the end of the war.

The Chinese government has therefore declared a new national holiday on September 3th this year, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War, that merged into WWII when China joined the Allies in 1941. This war, that is also called the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japan (中国人民抗日战争), ended in September 1945.

September 3th has been made into a holiday for the public to participate in the commemorations held by the central government and those organized by local departments in different cities around China. It follows directly after Victory over Japan Day on September 2.

According to the new schedule, Thursday, September 3th, will be observed as a national holiday, followed by two more days of vacation on Friday, September 4, and Saturday, September 5. Sunday, September 6, will be a make-up work day.

The State Council of China has pointed out that departments working in duty, security and safeguarding fields must be arranged well by in all places; they must prepare for unexpected big incidents, and proper measures must be taken to ensure all commemorations across the nation can be held smoothly.

The topic became trending on Sina Weibo (#9月3日全国放假#), with many netizens expressing their support for the commemoration and their joy with an extra free day. For some netizens, however, one day of commemoration is not enough: “I think that one day of commemoration is not enough to express our joy with the victory of war (..),” one netizens says*: “Aren’t August 15th [Japan’s surrender to the Allies in 1945] and September 18th [the Mukden Incident] also important dates? Won’t we commemorate them? I think we should have a holiday from August 15 until September 18, then we can really enjoy the happiness of peace..”

Tencent News published some historical pictures from the end of the war in 1945 China in the light of the news of the national commemorations this year.

 

Chinese crowds celebrating surrender of Japan on Victory over Japan Day.  (Photo by Jack Wilkes/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Chinese crowds celebrating surrender of Japan on Victory over Japan Day in Chongqing (Photo by Jack Wilkes, Getty Images).

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CHINA - SEPTEMBER 09:  After The Retreat Of The Japanese Army From Canton In China, The Soldiers Of The First Chinese Army Parade Victoriously In The Streets Of The City. 09/09/1945.  (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

The celebrations of the end of the Second World War did not last long everywhere, as the nation erupted in civil war. On this picture, you can see the army troops entering Guangzhou after the Japanese have left.

Chinese Americans on Mott and Pell Streets in New York's Chinatown celebrate the Japanese surrender on V-J Day, Aug. 14, 1945.  (AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons)

Chinese Americans on Mott and Pell Streets in New York’s Chinatown celebrate after learning that the Japanese have surrendered to the Allies, on Victory over Japan Day, Aug. 14, 1945 (AP Photo/Tom Fitzsimmons).

Crowds of joyous Chinese make a sea of hands as they wave their during Chongqing victory celebrations, after receiving the news that the Japanese in Chongqing surrendered (August 29, 1945). Many of them can be seen making the V- sign. (AP Photo)

Crowds of joyous Chinese make a sea of hands as they wave their during Chongqing victory celebrations, after receiving the news that the Japanese in Chongqing surrendered (August 29, 1945). Many of them can be seen making the V- sign (AP Photo).

circa 1945:  Residents of Shanghai buy flags of the United Nations to celebrate VJ Day, when the formal Japanese surrender was signed aboard the US battleship Missouri, in Tokyo Bay.  (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Celebrations in Shanghai: teahouses gave out free tea, merchants gave out free flags to celebrate the Japanese surrender (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images).

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October 1945: War correspondent Palmer Hoyt III (L) and his date Barbara Stephens, celebrating the Ken Pei ritual.  (Photo by Jack Wilkes/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

War correspondent Palmer Hoyt and his girlfriend Barbara Stephens, celebrating in Chongqing, October 1945. (Photo by Jack Wilkes/Getty Images)

Chinese crowds celebrating surrender of Japan on VJ Day, with some performing the Dragon Dance.  (Photo by Jack Wilkes/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Chinese crowds celebrate Victory over Japan Day in 1945, with some performing the Dragon Dance. (Photo by Jack Wilkes/Getty Images).

 

Featured Image:

Parade in Chongqing, Celebrations in China of Victory over Japan Day September 3, 1945: http://news.qq.com/original/tuhua/shengliri.html

*”我觉得吧,九月三日胜利纪念日当天放假并不足以表达我们对胜利的喜悦,以及对和平的祈愿,日本也很慢再着短短一天里吸取什么教训。而八月十五日和九月十八日难道不也是重要的日子吗?难道就不去铭记了?所以应该从八月十五日放到九月十八日,让我们在这一个月里好好感受和平的幸福与来之不易不更好吗~”

 

[box] This is Weiblog: the What’s on Weibo short-blog section. Brief daily updates on our blog and what is currently trending on China’s biggest social medium, Sina Weibo.[/box]

©2015 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Animals

‘Welcome Home, Molly’ – Chinese Zoo Elephant Returns to Kunming after Online Protest

One small step for animal protection in China, one giant leap for Molly the elephant.

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Following online protest and the efforts of animal activists, Molly has returned to the Kunming Zoo where she was born and where mother elephant Mopo is.

The little elephant named Molly is a big topic of discussion on Chinese social media recently.

The popular Asian elephant, born in the Kunming Zoo in 2016, was separated from her mother at the age of two in April of 2018. Molly was then transferred from Kunming Zoo to Qinyang, Jiaozuo (Henan), in exchange for another elephant. Over the past few years, fans of Molly started voicing their concerns online as the elephant was trained to do tricks and performances and to carry around tourists on her back at the Qinyang Swan Lake Ecological Garden (沁阳天鹅湖生态园), the Qinyang Hesheng Forest Zoo (沁阳和生森林动物园), the Jiaozuo Forestry Zoo (焦作森林动物园), and the Zhoukou Safari Park (周口野生动物世界).

Since the summer of 2021, more people started speaking out for Molly’s welfare when they spotted the elephant chained up and seemingly unhappy, forced to do handstands or play harmonica, with Molly’s handlers using iron hooks to coerce her into performing.

Earlier this month, Molly became a big topic on Chinese social media again due to various big accounts on Xiaohongshu and Weibo posting about the ‘Save Molly’ campaign and calling for an elephant performance ban in China (read more).

Although zookeepers denied any animal abuse and previously stated that the elephant is kept in good living conditions and that animal performances are no longer taking place, Molly’s story saw an unexpected turn this week. Thanks to the efforts of online netizens, Molly fans, and animal welfare activists, Molly was removed from Qinyang.

A popular edited image of Molly that has been shared a lot online.

On May 15, the Henan Forestry Bureau – which regulates the holding of all exotic species, including those in city zoos – announced that Molly would return to Kunming in order to provide “better living circumstances” for the elephant. A day later, on Monday, Molly left Qinyang and returned to the Kunming Zoo where she was born. In Kunming, Molly will first receive a thorough health check during the observation period.

Official announcement regarding Molly by the Henan Forestry Administration.

Many online commenters were happy to see Molly returning home. “Finally! This is great news,” many wrote, with others saying: “Please be good to her” and “Finally, after four years of hardship, Molly will be reunited with her mother.”

Besides regular Weibo accounts celebrating Molly’s return to Kunming, various Chinese state media accounts and official accounts (e.g. the Liaocheng Communist Youth League) also posted about Molly’s case and wished her a warm welcome and good wishes. One Weibo post on the matter by China News received over 76,000 likes on Monday.

Although many view the effective online ‘Save Molly’ campaign as an important milestone for animal welfare in China, some animal activists remind others that there are still other elephants in Chinese zoos who need help and better wildlife protection laws. Among them are the elephant Kamuli (卡目里) and two others who are still left in Qinyang.

For years, animal welfare activists in China and in other countries have been calling for Chinese animal protection laws. China does have wildlife protection laws, but they are often conflicting and do not apply to pets and there is no clear anti-animal abuse law.

“I’ll continue to follow this. What are the next arrangements? What is the plan for Molly and the other elephants? How will you guarantee a safe and proper living environment?”

Another Weibo user writes: “This is just a first step, there is much more to be done.”

To follow more updates regarding Molly, check out Twitter user ‘Diving Paddler’ here. We thank them for their contributions to this article.

To read more about zoos and wildlife parks causing online commotion in China, check our articles here.

By Manya Koetse

References (other sources linked to within text)

Arcus Foundation (Ed.). 2021. State of the Apes: Killing, Capture, Trade and Ape Conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

China Daily. 2012. “Animal Rights Groups Seek Performance Ban.” China Daily, April 16 http://www.china.org.cn/environment/2012-04/16/content_25152066.htm [Accessed May 1 2022].

Li, Peter J. 2021. Animal Welfare in China: Culture, Politics and Crisis. Sydney: Sydney University Press.

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China and Covid19

Fangcang Forever: China’s Temporary Covid19 Makeshift Hospitals To Become Permanent

China’s temporary ‘Fangcang’ shelter hospitals are here to stay.

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A new term has been added to China’s pandemic lexicon today: Permanent Fangcang Hospital. Although China’s ‘Fangcang’ shelter hospitals are, by definition, temporary, these healthcare facilities to isolate and treat Covid patients are now becoming a permanent feature of China’s Zero-Covid approach.

Over the past few days, Chinese authorities have emphasized the need for China’s bigger cities to build or renovate existing makeshift Covid hospitals, and turn them into permanent sites.

So-called ‘Fangcang hospitals’ (方舱医院, square cabin hospitals) are large, temporary makeshift shelter hospitals to isolate and treat Covid-19 patients. Fangcang shelter hospitals were first established in China during the Wuhan outbreak as a countermeasure to stop the spread of the virus.

January 5 2022, a Fangcang or Isolation Point with over 1000 separate isolations rooms is constructed in Baqiao District of Xi’an (Image via Renmin Shijue).

They have since become an important part of China’s management of the pandemic and the country’s Zero-Covid policy as a place to isolate and treat people who have tested positive for Covid-19, both asymptomatic and mild-to-moderate symptomatic cases. In this way, the Fangcang hospitals alleviate the pressure on (designated) hospitals, so that they have more beds for patients with serious or severe symptoms.

On May 5th, Chinese state media reported about an important top leadership meeting regarding China’s Covid-19 situation. In this meeting, the Politburo Standing Committee stressed that China would “unswervingly adhere to the general Zero-Covid policy” and that victory over the virus would come with persistence. At the meeting, chaired by Xi Jinping, the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee also declared that China would fight against any words or acts that “distort, doubt, or deny” the country’s dynamic Zero-Covid policy.

Life inside one of Shanghai’s Fangcang, photo via UDN.com.

Following the meeting, there have been multiple official reports and statements that provide a peek into China’s ‘zero Covid’ future.

On May 13, China’s National Health Commission called on all provinces to build or renovate city-level Fangcang hospitals, and to make sure they are equipped with electricity, ventilation systems, medical appliances, toilets, and washing facilities (Weibo hashtag ##以地级市为单位建设或者改造方舱医院#).

On May 16, the term ‘Permanent Fangcang Hospital’ (Weibo hashtag #永久性方舱医院) became a trending topic on Weibo after Ma Xiaowei (马晓伟), Minister of China’s National Health Commission, introduced the term in Qiushi (求是), the leading official theoretical journal of the Chinese Communist Party.

The term is new and is somewhat contradictory as a concept, since ‘Fangcang hospitals’ are actually defined by their temporary nature.

Ma Xiaowei stressed the need for Chinese bigger cities to be ready for the next stage of China’s Covid control. This also includes the need for some central ‘Fangcang’ makeshift hospitals to become permanent ones.

In order to ‘normalize’ the control and monitoring that comes with living in Zero-Covid society, Chinese provincial capitals and bigger cities (more than ten million inhabitants) should do more to improve Covid testing capacities and procedures. Ma proposes that there should be nucleic acid sample collection points across the city within a 15-minute walking distance radius, and testing frequency should be increased to maximize efficient control and prevention.

Cities should be prepared to take in patients for isolation and/or treatment at designated hospitals, centralized isolation sites, and the permanent Fangcang hospitals. The recent Covid outbreak in Shanghai showed that local authorities were unprepared to deal with the outbreak, and sites that were used as Fangcang hospitals often lacked proper facilities, leading to chaotic scenes.

A Fangcang Isolation Center in Quanzhou, March 2022, via People’s Daily.

The hashtag “Permanent Fangcang Hospitals” received over 140 million views on Weibo on Monday.

One of the Weibo threads by state media reporting on the Permanent Fangcang hospitals and the publication by Ma Xiaowei received nearly 2000 comments, yet the comment section only displayed three comments praising the newly announced measures, leaving out the other 1987 comments.

Elsewhere on Weibo, people shared their views on the Permanent Fangcang Hospitals, and most were not very positive – most commenters shared their worries about China’s Covid situation about the stringent measures being a never-ending story.

“We’re normalizing nucleic acid test, we’re introducing permanent fangcang hospitals, [but] why isn’t the third Covid vaccination coming through?” one person wondered.

“If there was still a little bit of passion inside me, it was just killed by reading these words ‘Permanent Fangcang Hospital,'” another commenter writes, with one Weibo user adding: “I feel desperate hearing the words ‘Permanent Fangcang Hospital.'”

“Building permanent Fangcang? Why? Why don’t you use the resources you’re now spending on normalizing testing to create more hospital beds, more medical staff and more medications?”

Another commenter wrote: “China itself is one giant permanent Fangcang hospital.”

“The forever Fangcang are being built,” one Weibo user from Guangdong writes: “This will never end. We’ll be locked up like birds in a cage for our entire life.”

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse, with contributions by Miranda Barnes

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Featured image via user tongtong [nickname] Weibo.com.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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