China

China has approached a number of countries to discuss the possibility of easing border controls to allow some business travel to resume, part of broader efforts to restart economic activity stalled by the coronavirus pandemic.

China’s central bank has introduced a homegrown digital currency across four cities as part of a pilot program, marking a milestone on the path toward the first electronic payment system by a major central bank.

Chinese anticorruption inspectors are investigating a vice minister of public security, the latest probe of a senior official of the law-enforcement agencies central to President Xi Jinping’s increasingly hard-line style of governance.

Authorities in Wuhan, the coronavirus pandemic’s original center, revised the local death toll upward by 50%, publicly acknowledging for the first time that they had previously omitted many fatalities, including people who died at home.

Since the Cultural Revolution ended, China’s economy has notched up more than four decades of gains, enlarging the domestic economy by roughly a hundredfold and transforming the world. That winning streak has come to a grinding halt.

China’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first three months of 2020 compared with a year earlier, the first such contraction since Beijing began reporting quarterly gross domestic product in 1992.

Authorities in the coronavirus pandemic’s original epicenter have started testing for antibodies among thousands of people returning to work, and others without symptoms, to gain a clearer picture of immunity levels in the city and try to prevent a second wave of disease.

China’s imports and exports fell by smaller margins in March than in the first two months of the year as businesses there began to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but officials and analysts warned of a grim outlook as global economic activity collapses.

Allegations that authorities enforcing coronavirus measures are discriminating against Africans have stirred anger in their home countries, setting off a diplomatic row that threatens to undermine goodwill Beijing has built on the continent.

China will subject ventilators, surgical masks and other medical equipment to more stringent customs checks before exporting them, after some European countries complained about their quality.

Chinese doctors who have for months treated patients on the front lines of China’s fight against the new coronavirus offered a sobering assessment of the potential treatments, saying they hadn’t seen clear evidence that drugs such as chloroquine were effective.

Hundreds of people, some wearing full protective gear, thronged into Wuhan’s Hankou railway station early on Wednesday morning to catch the first trains leaving the city after authorities lifted its 76-day lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic’s original center.

Hong Kong residents are adamant that their widespread use of face masks from early in the coronavirus outbreak helped slow the spread of disease in an urban center directly in the path of the pandemic’s first wave.

Epidemiologists, U.S. intelligence sources and residents suspect Chinese authorities substantially undercounted coronavirus infections and deaths over the past several months.

China’s Communist Party said it is investigating for alleged wrongdoing an influential businessman who has been an outspoken critic of President Xi Jinping, signaling harsh punishment for the author who penned a scathing essay decrying the Chinese leader’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic is making a hard situation worse for China’s growing number of job-seeking college graduates, intensifying pressure on Communist Party officials who see steady employment as critical to maintaining economic and social order.

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