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False Alarm: 9 Strange “Emergency Calls” from China

China’s emergency number ‘110’ is supposed to be used when one needs urgent help from the police. However, some people call 110 with the strangest information and for the weirdest reasons. Here are nine real calls to 110 with very special ’emergencies’.

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READING TIME: 3 MINUTES, 55 SECONDS

 

China’s emergency number ‘110’ is supposed to be used when one needs urgent help from the police, for example when someone is in serious danger or when witnessing a crime. However, some people call 110 with the strangest information and for the weirdest reasons. Here are nine real calls to 110 with very special ’emergencies’.

January 10 is the national day for China’s emergency number 110. For this special occasion, the Chongqing Morning Post has picked a couple of “interesting” cases from the Chongqing 110 control center, causing astonishment amongst China’s netizens (#奇葩报警#) about the reasons for people to call 110. See the following real stories.


1

 

Case 1: Phone needs a top-up

 

Man: Hi 110, my mobile phone is running out of credit. Could you please call this number [xxxx] for me?

110: What is this number?

Man: It’s my friend’s phone.

110: Is your friend requiring help from the police?

Man: No, but could you ask him to top up my mobile credit for me please?

110: All right….

What happened afterwards: the 110 receptionist literally did call the guy’s friend and told him to top up his friend’s phone.

 

2

 

Case 2: Professional salvage

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help you?

Old man: I dropped my certificate of property ownership into a sewer by accident, could you help me to get it out please?

110: Please let us know your exact location. And by the way, is the sewer deep?

Man: No, but it is really dirty. Hurry up a bit! My certificate is sinking!

110: Please wait a moment and keep your phone connected, we will send someone.

 

3

 

Case 3: Get it out of my way!

 

Woman: Hi 110? There is a car in my way!

110: Please tell us the registration plate of the car and your location.

Woman: Registration plate? Yu [for Chongqing] … and something in English that I don’t know. It looks like vertical lines connected with a horizontal line. Looks like a staircase.

110: I guess you mean “H”

Woman: Yes! That’s right!

[Chongqing police notice: Please make sure you provide precise information when calling 110.]

 

4

 

Case 4: Bad joke

 

Girl: 110? I was raped!

110: Please wait a moment, keep your phone connected and we will send someone immediately.

What happened afterwards: when the police arrived on site, the girl who made the call was sitting in an Internet bar. She was playing cards with her friends online. By rule, the person who loses the game has to do something decided by the winner. She lost. Hence she made the call.

 

5

 

Case 5: I’m Here

 

Man: There is a car accident here, please come as soon as possible! [end of call]

110: Hello? Where about are you?

[Calling back] 110: Did you report a car accident just now? Where are you now please?

Man: How come you can’t even find this place here? It is here, just across the bridge! [hangs up again]

110: ……

[Chongqing police notice: please, say the district name first and then the place of event.]

 

6

 

Case 6: A ‘Massacre’

 

110: Hello ChongQing 110, how can I help?

Old Woman: Oh my god, things went terrible wrong! Many people were beaten to dead! So many!

110: Could you tell me more about the details please? And what is your location?

Old Woman: It is xxxxx [the location]

What happened afterwards: when the police arrived, it turned out to be nothing more than an ordinary argument and fight, where both sides only suffered minor injury.

 

7

 

Case 7: Unknown creature

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help?

Man: My pig just gave birth, and it delivered an “elephant”!

110: Could you give me more details please? Where about are you?

Man: I live in xxxx, I had a pig, which delivered an “elephant” just now.

110: All right, please keep your phone on, we will dispatch someone.

What happened afterwards: when the police arrived at the scene of the ‘accident’, the creature turned out to be just a little piggy with a long nose comparing to its siblings.

 

8

 

Case 8: Seasonal greeting

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help?

Old man: How come your guys at 110 are still working? It’s not an easy job, is it? I send you my holiday greetings! I wish you good health!

110: Thank you. How can I help please?

Old man: No, I am only calling to send my greetings.

110: Thank you.

[Chongqing police notice: it’s touching to send your thankful greetings, but in order to keep the telephone line clear for those who needs it, please only call 110 when necessary.]

 

9

 

Case 9: Free lift please!

 

110: Hello, Chongqing 110, how can I help?

Man: Hi, is that 110? Could you help me please? I need a taxi to xxx, but it is really too far and the fare is so expensive. Could you guys please give me a ride, so I can save some costs?

110: Did you lose any valuables?

Man: No, I didn’t. The taxi fare is just too expensive.

 

Conclusion: these are not the ways to call 110.

 

– by Fan Bai

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©2014 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

About the author: Fan Bai is a freelance translator and writer. Born and raised in China, she is now based in the UK.

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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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