Authorities launch probe over Covid outbreak in Guangzhou

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A task force of municipal and provincial Communist Party disciplinary officials have been set up…reports Asian Lite News

Chinese investigators have set up a task force to investigate possible dereliction of duty among Guangzhou officials over the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus.

A task force of municipal and provincial Communist Party disciplinary officials have been set up, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported, citing a report in Southern Daily.

“[The investigation] will be held in accordance with regulations, party discipline and law to hold negligent senior cadres and officials to account,” the report cited Guangdong disciplinary watchdog notice as saying.

Beijing has enforced a zero-tolerance approach to COVID, and punishment to local officials for small outbreaks has become common practice.

Among the city’s 18 million people, 135 coronavirus cases have been reported so far in Guangzhou.

The latest mini outbreak of infection in Guangdong started in May, with most cases reported in cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Foshan.

In the wake of the outbreak, authorities in Guangzhou imposed more preventive measures.

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Preventing outbreaks is a priority for CCP leaders ahead of the party’s centenary in July and a key session next year that could see a leadership reshuffle.

Guangdong party boss Li Xi has been very visible in his efforts to quarantine arrangements.

Meanwhile, China on Sunday lambasted G7 unified position on Beijing, saying that the days when a “small” group of countries decided the fate of the world were long gone.

The comments were made by a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in London. The spokesman was quoted by an international news agency as saying: “We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries”, reported The News International.

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In its strongest rebuke of China, the G7 called for a fresh investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and urged China to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms” in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

The Group of 7 leaders ended talks in Cornwall, on the southwest coast of England, with direct and indirect references to China, highlighting the need to support democratic societies and to strengthen supply chains and support development in crucial technologies.

They supported a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, which was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, reported The News International.

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“We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led and science-based WHO-convened phase 2 COVID-19 origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China,” the statement read, referring to the World Health Organization. Britain, the European Union and the United States all made similar calls before the summit.

The group called on China “to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang and those rights, freedoms and high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law”.

The statement underlined “the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and based on the rule of law”, reported The News International.

“We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues. We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China seas and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions,” it said. (ANI)

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