Li Wenliang intensive care bed after contracting the virus. He died.

A Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warnings about the deadly coronavirus outbreak has died of the infection, Chinese media say. Li Wenliang was working as an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital when he sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December.

The Chinese doctor who tried to warn others about the Wuhan coronavirus has died.

Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor working in Wuhan, raised the alarm about the novel coronavirus in December.


New Delhi, CPEC expanding to new sectors, says Chinese VP

Visiting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said the the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was rapidly expanding onto other sectors, while expressed the resolve that the two allies would continue to safeguard each other’s interests.

On the first day of his three-day trip to Pakistan, Wang on Sunday inaugurated a number of projects along with Prime Minister Imran Khan and the two leaders witnessed signing of several agreements, reports Dawn news.

Soon after his arrival at Chaklala airbase, Wang spoke at a meeting of “Friends of Silk Road” hosted by the Pakistan-China Institute.

Sharing his assessment of the progress on the CPEC and the recently launched second phase, the Chinese Vice President said: “CPEC has come a long way over the past five years… CPEC is rapidly extending to new priority areas including industrial parks and livelihoods.

“CPEC will produce new outcomes and lend new impetus to economic and social development of Pakistan and economic integration of the region.

“CPEC is a consensus that transcends political parties, regions and communities across Pakistan. It also enjoys the most extensive and strongest support in China.”

Recalling Pakistan’s support for China at “critical moments”,Wang said Beijing too had always supported Islamabad on its “core interests”.

“No matter how the international landscape changes, China and Pakistan will always stay iron brothers that trust and support each other,” he told the gathering.

Later on Sunday, President Arif Alvi conferred the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civil award of the country, on Vice President Wang to recognise his services in promoting Pakistan-China ties.


Science & Technology

Chinese Chang’e-4 mission uncovers secrets on moon’s far side

China’s Chang’e-4 mission, the first to land on the far side of the moon, is shedding light on one of the moon’s biggest mysteries, according to a new study. 

The study detailing its findings was published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, adding impact craters are how researchers can learn more about the moon’s evolution and how it formed, reports CNN.

Chang’e-4 landed in the Von Karman crater on January 3. Then, it deployed the Yutu-2 rover.

The rover’s purpose was to explore the South Pole-Aitken basin, the oldest and largest crater on the far side of the moon, which is 1,553 miles across.

Data samples collected by the rover on the basin floor indicated traces of olivine. Samples from deeper impacts within the basin revealed more olivine. Because basalt contains both, researchers theorised that the mantle could contain olivine and pyroxene equally, rather than being dominated by one.

The rover will need to explore more of its landing site to understand the mantle’s composition, but the first mission to the far side of the moon is already gathering crucial data.

Next, Yutu-2 will sample more material from the floor of the crater to determine its origin, and researchers are looking at the possibility of returning samples to Earth.

“Understanding the composition of the lunar mantel is critical for testing whether a magma ocean ever existed, as postulated,” said Li Chunlai, study author and professor of the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in a statement.

“It also helps advance our understanding of the thermal and magmatic evolution of the moon.”



Gokhale to meet Chinese FM, Azhar likely on agenda

India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale will be on a two-day China visit from Sunday to meet Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi where he is likely to discuss the issue of blacklisting Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar.

He will be visiting Beijing for regular consultation and is scheduled to meet Wang on Monday, an official at the Indian Embassy said here.

Gokhale’s visit comes at a time when Beijing is facing mounting international pressure to declare Azhar, wanted in India for grisly terror attacks, an international terrorist at a UN 1267 sanctions committee.

The top Indian diplomat is visiting China the same week when Beijing holds the second edition of the Belt and Road forum, which New Delhi is highly likely to skip over the issue of sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The issues of China shielding Azhar and India opposing Beijing’s ambitious connectivity project have caused frictions between the two Asian powers that already deal with a festering border dispute.

China’s repeated blocking of all the resolutions by India, the US, Britain and France seeking a ban on Azhar has frustrated New Delhi, which calls itself a victim of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

China is Pakistan’s closest ally.

Last month, China placed its fourth technical hold on the US-sponsored resolution to ban Azhar whose outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for a deadly terror attack in Jammu Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troopers in February.

Beijing’s move has tested Sino-Indian ties that had been on an upswing after the icebreaking meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

Beijing, however, last week said the issue of declaring Azhar an international terrorist was heading for “settlement” and warned the US not to push its own resolution at the UN Security Council.

China’s latest technical hold on the resolution at the UN 1267 committee prompted the US to go directly to the UN Security Council and move and circulate a new resolution at the agency.

This has angered Beijing which says the US bypassing the 1267 panel will complicate matters when “positive progress” on the issue has already been made.

Washington’s move has put Beijing in a bind as it might have to explain its stance at the UN Security Council if it vetoes the resolution. At the UN 1267 committee, a member can do so without explaining.

Gokhale will likely raise the matter with Wang, who is also China’s top diplomat.

Besides, it is also to be seen if India’s opposition to the Belt and Road forum will figure in the talks.

India is likely to skip for the second straight year China’s Belt and Road forum, a mega event that Beijing claims will be attended by the heads of 37 countries and over 100 international organisations.

The Belt and Road is a trillion-dollar project that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a network of highways, sea lanes and ports.

India opposes its key artery, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as it cuts through the disputed part of Kashmir held by Islamabad.

In 2017, India had boycotted the launch of the forum over the same issue.

In a press conference on Friday, Wang Yi appealed to India again to shed its inhibition on the CPEC, saying the project has nothing to do with the issue of Kashmir.

He said India joining the Belt and Road project will be a good choice for it.




Pak, Chinese ministers discuss Pulwama attack over phone

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to exchange views on the recent suicide attack in Kashmir.

Qureshi informed Wang about Pakistan’s stance on the attack and measures to deal with it, reaffirming the country’s sincerity and resolution to communicate with India and find out the truth of the incident, Xinhua news agency reported.

Qureshi said Pakistan’s position on maintaining regional peace and fighting terrorism will remain unchanged and it is willing to join hands with other countries to cooperate in this area.

In the phone conversation, Wang thanked Qureshi for his briefing on the issue. He said China supports Pakistan and India to resolve the issue through dialogue as soon as possible and avoid an escalation of the situation.

Wang called on both sides to collaborate on fighting terrorism and jointly safeguard the security and stability of South Asia.

Pakistan, Chinese ministers discuss Pulwama attack over phone



US Indian community holds anti-terror protests at Pakistani, Chinese consulates

Members of the Indian community have held protests outside the Pakistani consulates in New York and Chicago to condemn the February 14 Pulwama attack that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers.

In New York on Friday, the police stopped 400 protesters from approaching the consulate building and cordoned them off next to Central Park, across the avenue.

They protested peacefully for over two hours shouting “Vande Mataram” and “God Bless America” along with slogans denouncing Pakistan’s support for terrorism.

A delegation went to the consulate to handover a memorandum demanding “credible and visible” action against the perpetrators of the Pulwama carnage that was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 163 lives.

Overseas Friends of BJP-USA (OFBJP) President Krishna Reddy Anugula said that the diplomats at the consulate refused to accept the memorandum, which also asked for freedom for Kulbhushan Jadav, who has been sentenced by a Pakistani military court as a spy, and for handing over JeM chief Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted for 1993 terrorist bombings in Mumbai, to India.

On Thursday, community members held a demonstration at the Chinese consulate in Chicago against Beijing’s policy of protecting JAzhar from UN sanctions through its veto powers.

Jagdish Sewhani, the president of the American India Public Affairs Committee, and one of the organisers of the New York protest, said that his group was organising a nation-wide outreach campaign to members of Congress to sponsor legislation against Pakistan’s support for terrorism.

Members of his group and other Indians have been asked to call on their legislators or write to them seeking action against Islamabad, he said.

The Federation of Indian Associations organised a candle-light vigil in Woodbridge, Virginia, on Thursday to honour the Pulwama victims.

About 600 people, including Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac Councilwoman Nancy Drumm, attended the vigil.

Earlier in the week, OFBJP organised the screening of Bollywood film “Uri” to raise awareness of terrorism in the sub-continent. .

Across the US, Indian communities have held vigils and prayer services for the victims, including in Atlanta, Georgia; Naperville, Illinois; Sacramento, California’ and Houston, Stafford and Woodlands in Texas.

(Arul Louis can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @arulouis)