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Japanese Authorities Accuse Chinese Tourists of Faking Accident

Weibo netizens are feverishly discussing a traffic incident involving a Chinese person that occurred in Kyoto, Japan. Because of the incident, Japanese authorities recently posted public announcements warning shopkeepers not to give in to Chinese tourists that demand money after an accident.

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Weibo netizens are feverishly discussing a traffic incident involving a Chinese person that occurred in Kyoto, Japan. Because of the incident, Japanese authorities recently posted public announcements warning shopkeepers not to give in to Chinese tourists that demand money after an accident. “Don’t be weak,” it says: “first call the police.”

One Japanese public announcement has made its rounds on   Weibo; it warns shopkeepers about Chinese tourists ‘faking accidents’ in order to get money from Japanese locals. When a picture of the announcement was posted by a Japan-base Chinese netizens, it soon became trending.

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The Japanese announcement mentions an incident that occurred in Kyoto earlier this year, on August 21st. A local female shopkeeper drove her car in the touristy Gion district, when an elderly Chinese tourist suddenly fell down right next to hear rearview mirror, screaming: “I’m in pain, I’m in pain! My foot!” The driver then called an ambulance, the note explains. Although hospital staff later concluded the Chinese tourist did not suffer any injuries, the Japanese woman was kept at the hospital for two hours talking to the Chinese family and their translator, who demanded 10.000 yuan (approximately 5280 RMB, 830 US$) from her. The woman eventually gave in to the pressure, and paid the full amount. “If a case like this occurs,” the note says: “Immediately call the police, even if you’re in the hospital.”

 

“Are Chinese people faking accidents in Japan to get money?”

 

As more details about the incident leaked on Weibo, it quickly became buzzing news, dividing netizens into two camps: those thinking it was really an accident, and those saying this was indeed a case of ‘faking an accident to get compensation’, a phenomenon that is called ‘pengci’ (碰瓷) in Chinese. The topic has become trending under the hashtag of ‘Old Chinese People Faking Accident in Japan” (#中国老人日本碰瓷# ).

Pengci’ (碰瓷) literally means ‘knocking over the porcelain’, and originally refers to being charged with breaking a pot that was already broken. It currently is used to describe a widespread fraud in China involving the deliberate crashing of cars or faking accidents and then demanding compensation.

Media expert Xu Jingbo analyses the case in his blog, writing that it might not necessarily be a case of ‘pengci’, but also of Chinese travellers’ ignorance when travelling abroad. “If you have an accident abroad,” he writes: “There are three don’ts: do not assault the offender, do not demand unreasonable compensation, do not hinder the offender’s freedom to move in any way. You can face legal action against you, so just handle these affairs in a reasonable way.”

 

“If the Japanese could deny the Rape of Nanjing, they could deny this too.”

 

Other netizens agree with Xu, with one person stating that: “If you hear this kind of news as a Chinese person, you should always first see if it is false or not before you spread rumours.”

The case has triggered many netizens to link the case to the ‘lack of patriotism’ amongst Chinese netizen and Sino-Japanese relations at large: “Why does everybody immediately assume a Chinese person has lost face in a foreign country, instead of supposing he was slandered by the Japanese? (…) If Japanese people could deny the rape of Nanjing, they could surely deny a little accident like this!”

 

“We should always first believe our fellow countrymen.”

 

Earlier today, a Chinese journalist thoroughly investigated the case. According to her report, this accident was not a case of ‘pengci‘, as the Chinese tourist was indeed slightly injured and did not deliberately fall. The announcement as posted by the Japanese authorities, she states, contain some serious inaccuracies.

Her report was reposted over 5550 times, with Sina and other Chinese media outlets now also reporting on the case. Family of the accident’s victim have also come forward to say they are “unhappy” with how the family has been discredited in the media, and providing evidence of hospital reports that this was not a case of ‘pengci‘.

Many netizens are angry with how the news has been reported by Japanese authorities, other netizens and the news: “We should always first believe our fellow countrymen,” they say.

By Manya Koetse

©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 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

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

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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China and Covid19

‘Hard Isolation’ is Shanghai’s New Word of the Day

In line with a new ‘hard isolation’ measure, the entrances of some Shanghai residential buildings were fenced up.

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While some Shanghai households have already endured weeks of isolation, a new word was added to their epidemic vocabulary today: ‘hard isolation’ or ‘strong quarantine’ (yìng gélí 硬隔离)

The word popped up on Chinese social media on April 23rd after some Shanghai netizens posted photos of fences being set up around their community building to keep residents from walking out.

“New word: hard isolation. Shanghai is rotten to the core,” one commenter wrote.

The word soon turned into a hashtag page where people started commenting on the issue of fences being placed around residential buildings, voicing concerns on what a fence around buildings would mean for fire safety, especially after online rumors suggested that there had been a fire at one community in Pudong on Saturday night.

An official document regarding the ‘hard isolation’ measure was also shared online on Saturday. It is dated April 23, 2022, and its source is the Pudong New Area Office for Epidemic Control.

The document states that in line with the guidelines for the city’s epidemic prevention and control, the division between areas or zones that are in certain risk categories should be ‘optimized,’ with those in the high-risk category requiring a ‘hard isolation.’ Security guards should also be on duty 24 hours a day at the entrance of the buildings.

Earlier this month, Shanghai adopted “3-level control measures” after its initial phased lockdown. It means that local areas will be classified as “locked-down,” “controlled” or “precautionary,” based on their Covid19 risk.

“Could we also put fences around the homes of Shanghai leaders?”, one person suggested, while others posted images from the Walking Dead to mock the situation.

In the hope of Shanghai soon tackling the Covid situation, not everybody disagreed with the decision to fence some buildings or communities in the Pudong area: “I don’t disagree with it, as long as there is always someone there to open the fence in case of fire,” one person stated.

Although having a fence around their building is currently not a reality for most in Shanghai, the online photos of some communities seeing their buildings being fenced up is a reason to worry for some: “It’s been 40 days, and now they start hard isolation? This actually scares me. Before we know it, it’s June.”

One Weibo user asked: “Why is it possible to implement this hard isolation now? Was this created by the same persons who also implemented the rule to separate children from parents at isolation sites?”

“I truly can’t imagine why some people thought this is a good idea,” others wrote.

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

By Manya Koetse

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

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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