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US Embassy Issues Christmas “Security Warning” to Beijing Foreigners

The US Embassy in Beijing has sent an email to US citizens over possible threats to foreigners around Christmas in Beijing’s Sanlitun area.

Manya Koetse

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The US Embassy in Beijing has issued an official notice over possible threats to foreigners around Christmas in Beijing’s Sanlitun area.

The Beijing US consulate sent out an email on December 24th to US citizens residing in China’s capital about possible security threats to foreigners in Beijing’s Sanlitun shopping area around Christmas.

The news was shared on Twitter by Sinocism’s Bill Bishop (@niubi), and was later also reported by media on Weibo. The American embassy in Beijing has issued the notice on its official website and its official Weibo account.

Sina’s news outlet Weitianxia writes on Weibo: “The American Embassy issues a “security warning” for foreigners around Christmas. The American embassy has released a statement on its official website that they have received news about possible threats targeted at foreigners around Christmas time in Beijing’s Sanlitun Area, telling US citizens to take care of their safety. Sina News has contacted the embassy to verify this news, but has not received an answer yet.”

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Sanlitun is a shopping and bar district in Beijing, popular amongst foreigners.

Many Weibo netizens are responding to the news of a possible threat. “Is the terrorist threat now also coming to China’s capital?” one netizen writes: “This problem is really enormous.”

On WeChat, texts and updates are shared amongst Beijingers. Many foreigners do not know what to make of the news, and some wonder if the threat is real is not. Some netizens ask why the American embassy would post such a notice, if there is no proof of a real threat.

“The people and the government should stay vigilant no matter what,” one netizen responds: “There are always large crowds of people around Christmas time. We should make sure that foreigners in China feel warm and safe here.”

Several people on Weibo and Twitter, such as @beidaijin, share pictures of military police near the Uniqlo at Sanlitun’s Taikooli shopping center.

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Although the possible threats are against “Westerners” in general, there have been no notices yet on the official Weibo account of the French embassy* in Beijing, nor on that of the German embassy. The British embassy posted an alert from its official Twitter account.
*Update 15:30 Beijing time: the French embassy has now also put up an offical notice on its website.

By 2 pm Beijing time, the notice on the Weibo account of the US embassy was shared over 4400 times, and received thousands of comments. Read the full notice by the US government here.

Chinese state media outlet CCTV posted on Twitter that Beijing has issued a yellow alert (黄色预警) for security in the city on and around Christmas.

By Manya Koetse

Pictures by author, 2015.

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

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Local News

Children of Hubei Medical Workers to Receive 10 Extra Points on High School Enrolment Examination

Hubei officials announced a controversial measure to reward frontline medical workers.

Manya Koetse

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Image via xjdkctz.com.

First published

Hubei authorities announced new measures on Tuesday to encourage and support the work of Hubei’s front-line medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

One of these measures, rewarding the children of medical staff an extra ten points in their zhongkao examination, became a somewhat controversial top trending topic on Chinese social media today.

The zhongkao is an important academic examination in China taken during the last year of junior high school, right before entering education institutions at the senior high school level. These enrollment examinations are held annually in June or July, depending on the region.

A good mark on the exam is of crucial importance for many students, as it will give them admission to their preferred senior high school, which then could have more profound effects on their education after high school and their further career.

According to the new policy, children of Hubei’s medical workers would be rewarded with ten extra points on top of their overall score for the exams if they take it. Since the exams are highly competitive, every extra point could mean a world of difference since it will mean leaving hundreds of other students behind you.

On Weibo, one announcement of the new measure published by Chinese news source The Paper received over 938.000 likes and more than 11.000 comments. Many Weibo users do not agree with the policy.

“It should be the medical workers themselves who are rewarded through promotion or a salary increase,” a top comment says: “It shouldn’t be their children who are rewarded.”

Although a majority of commenters say that medical workers should be given special rewards in these times of hardships, most also agree that rewarding their children in their exam results is not the way to go. “This only makes the exam system more unfair,” a recurring comment says.

With 610 million views at the time of writing, the hashtag “The kids of Hubei frontline medical staff will get extra 10 points on zhongkao score” (#湖北一线医务人员子女中考加10分#) is one of the most-dicussed topics on Weibo of the day.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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First published

In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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