A new strain of coronavirus emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. It has since spread across the world and upended the lives of millions of people.

Covid-19: China must not be complacent, top expert says
China still faces the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections, but another big outbreak is unlikely thanks to the country’s tight prevention and control measures, according to the country’s top respiratory disease specialist. “With our intensive follow-up monitoring procedures, the risks of a second wave [of coronavirus infections] exist but another peak is unlikely to occur [in China],” Zhong Nanshan said. Zhong, who heads a team of experts advising the Chinese government on the pandemic, said the authorities should not be complacent, with the coronavirus continuing to spread around the world. In addition, most people in China and East Asia had yet to develop immunity to the pathoge
Covid-19 blame game could scupper research, China’s top disease expert warns
The blame game between the US and China is putting important Covid-19 research at risk, according to China’s most renowned respiratory expert. Zhong Nanshan, 83 – who had a leading role in fighting the 2002-03 severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic and now advises the Chinese government on Covid-19 – said scientists around the world needed to team up to establish where the new coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, had come from. He said US epidemiologist Ian Lipkin, whom he had known since they worked together on the Sars outbreak, had approached him with a method to establish how the virus jumped to humans. But the work could be stalled for fear it would be distorted by political a
China’s top virus expert ‘shocked’ by US coronavirus death toll
A top respiratory disease expert in China has attributed the heavy fatalities in the United States from Covid-19 to a failure by policymakers to heed the advice of scientists. Zhong Nanshan, a prominent scientist who has helped lead China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, said the US performed admirably during the Sars epidemic 17 years ago but it was “completely different” now. “You can say that [the US] carried out very extensive screening or more screening than other countries … But the heavy casualties still shocked me,” said the director of China’s National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post. The US has rep
Chinese bat scientist says known viruses ‘just tip of the iceberg’
A Chinese virologist at the center of conspiracy theories over the coronavirus’ origin has publicly defended her work, saying it contributed to the fast identification of the new pathogen and would help protect against future outbreaks. Shi Zhengli – dubbed China’s “bat woman” for her research on coronaviruses in the mammals – told state broadcaster CGTN on Monday those studies had “enabled us to understand the cause of the unknown pneumonia a short time” after the first cases of the disease later named Covid-19 emerged late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Days after patient samples were obtained on December 30, scientists isolated the pathogen, believing it to be a new type
Here is how Hong Kong could begin to reopen its borders
A leading public figure in mainland China’s fight against the coronavirus has suggested that Hong Kong should ease its border restrictions to boost its sluggish economy.  Zhong Nanshan, a top Chinese infectious disease expert who is often called a “Sars hero” for his pivotal role in fighting the 2002-2003 outbreak, said a mutually recognized health system between the city and the mainland could enable cross-boundary travelers to skip mandatory Covid-19 quarantines.  In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post, Zhong also praised Hong Kong for its efforts to contain the new coronavirus and called for more cross-border interaction to reboot the city’s economy. “Hong Kong has do
China looks inwards as it plans for economic ‘worst-case scenario’
China is turning inward and looking to its domestic market, rather than international trade, to revive its economy in what has been described as preparation for a “worst-case scenario” that might see it decoupling from America and the rest of the West.   President Xi Jinping told dozens of top economic advisers in Beijing over the weekend that China was pursuing a new development plan where “domestic [trade] circulation plays the dominant role.” “For the future, we must treat domestic demand as the starting point and foothold as we accelerate the building of a complete domestic consumption system, and greatly promote innovation in science, technology and other areas,” Xi said in comments pub
Beijing abandons 2020 economic growth target
In a break with the past, the Chinese government will not set a target for its economic growth this year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday. The decision underscores the uncertainty facing the world’s most populous country brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and worsening US-China relations.  Li announced the decision during the opening session of China’s annual parliamentary gathering, which was delayed for two months due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  China has set a hard target for its gross domestic product growth every year since 1994. Li attributed the move to scrap the 2020 target to “the great uncertainty regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the world economic and trade environment.”
‘We are abandoned’: Chinese stranded overseas protest Beijing’s flight ban
Millions of Chinese citizens living abroad watched in distress as the coronavirus pandemic plunged their home country into crisis early this year, holding their breath until the virus was wrangled under control last month.  But even as life slowly returns to normal in China, the strict measures that helped the country contain Covid-19 are preventing some overseas Chinese from going home. Despite their willingness to pay for expensive flights and endure a two-week quarantine in a hotel, some Chinese citizens abroad are effectively blocked from returning home owing to China’s strict limits on the number of inbound flights.  The tough measures have triggered a collective outrage among the mostl
What you need to know about China’s record-high debt
China’s overall debt level is set to rise this year to a record as analysts expect China to be borrowing more money in the coming months to rescue its coronavirus-hit economy. But the economic fallout from the pandemic has raised concerns over the state firms and local governments’ ability to pay back those loans to investors, potentially triggering a financial tumble at home which could destabilize other markets around the world.  The South China Morning Post examines China’s debt, who owns it and why it matters. What is the nature of China’s debt?  Broadly speaking, China’s debt can be divided into domestic debt and foreign debt. China’s domestic debt, denominated in yuan, consists of thr
‘The public is still fearful of the virus’: Wuhan faces long road to recovery
When Kang Wei landed a job with the local government in Wuhan last month, he believed his luck had finally turned. “I thought it was under a government bureau and would last until the end of the year,” he said. The migrant worker in his thirties had left his home in Huanggang in the central Chinese province of Hubei last year, heading to the provincial capital Wuhan to look for work. He then spent two months under lockdown as the city fought the Covid-19 outbreak, before joining the long lines outside businesses in the city looking for work before landing a job patrolling farms and villages to look for illegal structures. But as it turned out, the job lasted only a week before it fell victim