• Talks between foreign ministers of South Korea and China begin: South Korean foreign minister Cho Tae-Yul’s talk with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi marks the beginning of Cho’s two-day trip to Beijing. The talk addressed concerns in the Korea-China relationship, which Wang described as experiencing difficulties and challenges. Alongside this was the issue of the proposed Korea-Japan-China meeting, as well as other regional and global affairs. Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol’s implicit stance against the one-China principle, given his statement that the Taiwan issue is one of global significance, is often attributed to be the cause of this deterioration. The approximately 4-hour-long talk aimed to promote the stabilization of bilateral relations and achieve mutual reconciliation despite the Yoon administration’s current pro-USA stance. It was the first visit by a South Korean foreign minister to China in nearly two years.
  • Chinese spokesperson Opposes Taiwan’s Participation in the 77th World Health Assembly: The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson asserted that Taiwan’s participation in the 77th World Health Assembly will not be accepted. Wang Wenbin attributed Taiwan’s absence to the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) separatist position and stated that the one-China policy must be upheld consistently, leaving Taiwan with no legal basis to participate in the assembly. Chen Binhua of the Taiwan Affairs Office further stressed the necessity for the consistent adherence to the one-China policy and the policies of the World Health Assembly’s resolutions. The spokesperson attested that DPP authorities use public support for Taiwan’s participation in United Nations assemblies to advocate for a separatist agenda, attempt to undermine the one-China policy, and disrespect international authorities. Taiwan’s claim that its absence will form a “gap” in global anti-epidemic discussions and efforts was directly opposed. Wang and Chen stated that stated that the health concerns of Taiwan are taken care of by the Chinese Central Government which assumes responsibility for the people’s rights to healthcare.
  • China Releases 6-Step Proposal for Russia-Ukraine Conflict De-escalation: Foreign Ministry  on the third round of China’s shuttle diplomacy regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, visited Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to carry out a third round of visits after discussions with officials from Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Kazakhstan. Concerns about the possibility of an escalation in the conflict were raised to which China responded with a 6-point de-escalation proposal. The proposal states that the battle must not be geographically expanded any further, nor should the nature of the violence escalate to nuclear or bioweaponry. Attacks on nuclear facilities are also opposed. The proposal implores external parties to create conditions for direct communication and negotiation between the two sides. Wang Wenbin asserted that the exchange of prisoners of war would be a positive development in the de-escalation of conflict and stated that humanitarian and ethical efforts be increased to protect the rights of victims. Finally, the proposal calls for international cooperation on finance, food trade, transportation, and the security and infrastructure necessary for global industries to remain stable.
  • Chinese stock market rallies due to policy change: The Shanghai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock exchanges have begun to implement an adjustment which masks the real-time buy and sell transaction amounts and the total transaction amount associated with the purchase and sales of stocks through trading links with Hong-Kong. This policy will be executed in two phases, the first of which was implemented on May 13th, 2024. Authorities stated that this policy is consistent with the international practices in the stock market, and has resulted in a sustained increase in the prices of the market, with further profit expected. The change is starkly visible in brokerage apps, which are now beginning to change their display reflect the accessible data, including the total transaction value, which is released daily when the market closes, and the fund balance of the user. Reducing the frequency of trading information disclosure is intended to facilitate smoother market operations and ensure a fairer experience for investors, thereby attracting their investments.
  • Privately owned Chinese zoo under investigation for reported unsuitable habitats, leading to death of protected wildlife: Twenty Siberian tigers have reportedly died at Fuyang Wildlife Park in Anhui province. Since its opening in 2021, the zoo, privately owned by Anhui Qicai Wildlife Park Co., Ltd is claimed to have brought in animals despite the unfinished state of the habitats. The Yingdong District Forestry Bureau describes the construction process as rough and impulsive, with animals dying abnormally prior to the publication of the Siberian tiger’s deaths. Investigation into the zoo yielded China Philanthropist reporters with proof that the State Forestry and Grassland Administration refused Qicai Company a license for the breeding and display of wild animals. Data provided by Fuyang Tengfei Domestication Performance Co., Ltd shows that between October 2019 and March 2023, a significant portion of the wild animals exhibited died. This includes the ten adult Siberian tigers and ten tiger cubs, alongside two African lions, and three giraffes, with an undisclosed number of other animals such as black bears and macaques also deceased. The surviving animals' conditions are reported to be very poor, with cramped living spaces and minimal concern for animal hygiene and health. The park’s activities have been suspended for three days because of the Fuyang authorities opening an official investigation into the circumstances behind the death of the protected Siberian tigers.


  • McDonalds China under fire for accusations of tampering with time-labels and serving expired food: Netizens are outraged by a report by Beijing News that exposed two branches of the McDonald’s franchise for illegally relabelling and using expired ingredients, and reusing fryer oil beyond an acceptable limit. The undercover reporters discovered the issues at McDonald's Zhengzhou Excellent Agricultural Federation Restaurant and McDonald's Jinan University Restaurant. Similar issues have previously occurred in other branches, and McDonalds China has been infamous for its violations of food safety standards alongside a previous scandal involving rude and insulting customer service. The undercover reporters posed as employees, who were tampering with the time and day label to display a more recent date. The issue has been a trending topic on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, with several netizens speaking out about their own negative experiences with the brand. “The various systems of McDonald’s in the past are now beyond recognition” said one such netizen in response to the issue, referencing McDonald’s business strategy of quality, cleanliness, and value for money and its roots as a well-established chain. The tag used on Weibo to track the situation has received over 100 million views and triggered at least 8,000 discussion posts.


CCTV follows Mumbai storms tragedy: Netizens and news agencies are taking an interest in the Mumbai storms that have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries. China Central Television reported the collapse of an unauthorized advertising billboard in Ghatkopar onto a gas station. The incident caused significant property damage, the loss of 14 lives and injuries to about 70 more. The agency’s social media accounts followed up with updates online as new information and numbers were released by the Indian press. The tragic news has been uploaded to Weibo by multiple news agencies, and Chinese netizens have responded with prayers for safety and well wishes to the victims, alongside criticism of the authorities for allowing an unauthorized billboard to be erected in the city.

Prepared By

Aditi Dash is an undergraduate student of Literary and Cultural Studies at FLAME University. Her interests span the academic study of literature and art history, as well as anthropological concepts of culture and social behaviour.

CiCM 13th May 2024

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