The pandemic has dimmed Europe’s view of China, surveys suggest
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 48%: The percentage of Europeans who viewed China less favorably during the coronavirus pandemic.  Nearly half of all respondents to surveys in nine major EU countries said their views of China worsened during the Covid-19 crisis, the European Council on Foreign Relations said. The darkening view of China was the starkest in France and Denmark, where 62% of respondents said they saw the country more negatively since the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe in early 2020, according to data compiled by the think tank. A minority of respondents reported having a more fav
Coronavirus outbreak in France did not come directly from China or Italy, study says
The coronavirus outbreak in France was not caused by cases imported from China, according to a new study by scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Genetic analysis showed that the dominant types of viral strains in France belonged to a clade – or group with a common ancestor – that did not come from China or Italy, Europe’s earliest epicenter. Instead, the outbreak was caused by a locally circulating strain of unknown origin, the researchers said. The research was led by virologists Dr Sylvie van der Werf and Etienne Simon-Loriere. It was released on bioRxiv.org last week and has not been peer-reviewed. The findings highlight the difficulties governments face in tracing the source of
Chinese architects win unofficial Notre Dame design contest
Two architects from China, Zeyu Cai and Sibei Li, have won a global online competition seeking new designs for the Notre Dame Cathedral. Organized by GoArchitect, an independent publisher in the US, the contest was an unofficial effort to gather creative ideas to rebuild the cathedral’s spire and roof, which were destroyed by fire in April. The organizer had received 226 designs from 56 countries. GoArchitect is not affiliated with the French government. Winning the contest does not mean the selected design will be included in the official French reconstruction plan. But people in China celebrated the win. State-run newspaper China Daily congratulated Cai and Li, who are both working at the
China’s spies would like to add you to their LinkedIn networks
A Chinese intelligence agency used fake LinkedIn profiles to recruit French civil servants and business executives to spy for China, French newspaper Le Figaro has reported. With their business models built on gathering the data of billions of people and selling access to them, social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have become a fertile ground for clandestine intelligence operations. In recent years, American, German and British authorities have separately warned that the Chinese government is using professional networking service LinkedIn to recruit foreign nationals as spies for China. William Evanina, the US’ top counter-intelligence official, described China’s effor
China’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ opens at a French film festival, one year late
One year on, the Chinese animated film that's been likened to Pulp Fiction has been shown at one of the world’s biggest animated film festivals. The black comedy crime drama Have a Nice Day was withdrawn from screening at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival last year, at the request of its producers.  They had apparently yet to receive official clearance from Chinese officials to have their film shown overseas, but producer Yan Chang told the BBC that ”it has nothing to do with politics.” Now the film is back at the festival with a bang. That’s not to say it’s been a bad year for the movie, which played at the Berlin Film Festival, went on to a successful limited release in Ch