Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #312 - Chinese Vaccines, Freedoms and Apps

Chinese propaganda influenced wokes can stop talking about Freedom of Speech. Its dead in China. Chinese vaccines are an embarrassing failure. And the Tiktok drama.

Image by Devanath from Pixabay

“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again


Value for life is part of the civilizational ethos. Some civilizational cultures have valued life and abstained from aggression and attacks outside. Others have made attacking and committing genocides their greatest objective. That is why slavery, colonialism, and genocides have been committed by one type of civilizational ethos repeatedly.

The Chinese civilization did have value for life as part of its culture. It had a meditative and spiritual ethos. That is why they were able to take Yoga and Dhyan and use it as Chhan and fashion the Indian martial arts into something truly useful in their own culture.

The Maoist genocide (revolution?) changed a lot for the Chinese. Including the value for life that was a strong part of its culture.

If we value our civilizational ethos, then that - value for life - is the most important thing to preserve.


1. Made in China vaccine effectiveness

Pakistan’s penchant for lies can only be matched by the Chinese establishment. So, as per some reports, China is vaccinating its citizens at an astonishing rate.

It took merely 9 days to vaccinate 100 million people! That’s over 11 million in one day!

That’s huge!

China is accelerating its speed in administering COVID-19 vaccines as daily vaccinations edged close to 14 million doses amid an epidemic flareup. The Global Times sorted out the official data and found that it took 25 days for total COVID-19 vaccinations to rise from 100 million to 200 million, 16 days to jump from 200 million to 300 million, and only 9 days for overall administered doses to go from 300 million to over 400 million. (Source: GlobalTimes)

Compared to this, India was vaccinating a record over 3 million a day by mid-May. (Source: HindustanTimes)

The trouble is that the adverse rate of the Chinese vaccines is quite high.

The incidence of adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines in China is 11.86 out of 100,000 doses, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) said on May 28. A total of 31,434 cases of adverse reactions were reported from Dec 15, 2020 to April 30 this year when 265 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered across the Chinese mainland, said China CDC. (Source: National Health Commission, China)

The common “low quality Made in China” refrain may be true of even the Chinese vaccines. Its vaccines have come under global scrutiny and they have shown to be failed.

Mongolia, for example, has vaccinated half it’s population already but the infections have increased by over 70%! The vaccine was Chinese.

Coronavirus cases are surging in Mongolia, where more than half the population is fully vaccinated, prompting a new focus on the effectiveness of its main vaccine, developed by China’s Sinopharm. Mongolia reported 1,312 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday as the country’s total infections neared 70,000, almost all recorded since January. New daily infections have risen more than 70 percent in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Source: New York Times)

Gulf countries - UAE and Bahrain - which had vaccinated its population with Sinopharm vaccine are now seeing an unprecedented surge in the cases. So they are going for the Pfizer “booster shots” for people who were vaccinated by Sinopharm.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have made the Pfizer/BioNTech (PFE.N), coronavirus vaccine available as a booster shot to those initially immunised with a vaccine developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). The Gulf states, which have vaccinated large portions of their populations, initially started inoculating residents and citizens with the Sinopharm COVID-19 shot before later introducing other vaccines. Bahrain is currently fighting its biggest wave of infections, while the UAE is recording nearly twice as many COVID-19 cases as it was seven months ago. (Source: Reuters)

One would remember how Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan had tested positive for COVID-19 after getting the first dose of Sinopharm. Well, not just the Prime Minister Imran Khan, but also President Arif Alvi, and Defence Minister Parvez Khattak had then tested positive for COVID after getting first the jab of Chinese vaccine Sinopharm (Source: LiveMint and NewsX)

2. Freedom of Speech in China

Earlier this month, a Chinese blogger had questioned the official version of the Chinese authorities on the clashes with the Indian forces in Galwan valley.

Qiu Ziming, 38, has been charged with “slandering martyrs and heroes” and is the first person to be jailed under amended laws dealing with defaming People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers under China’s criminal law. Qiu, an internet celebrity with 2.5 million followers on microblogging site Weibo, had posted a comment in February seen by the government as offensive, months after the Galwan Valley clash that left 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead. Qiu has been charged with commenting negatively on the four Chinese soldiers who died on the same day that China released the casualty figures for the first time since the June 16 clash. (Source: HindustanTimes)

He was arrested and thrown into jail.

Now, the top lawmaking body in China has passed new legislation that bans defamation of military personnel.

China’s top lawmaking body has passed new legislation banning the defamation of military personnel as the country seeks to bolster the standing of its armed forces. “No organisation or individual may in any way slander or derogate the honour of servicemen, nor may they insult or slander the reputation of members of military forces,” the draft legislation read, according to a report by the state news agency Xinhua. (Source: South China Morning Post)

That is the Freedom of Speech, China style.

3. TikTok and Security

In these days of social media tyranny, another strange situation has happened. The Chinese app TikTok is distorting people’s faces.

“That’s not my face,” Tori Dawn thought after opening TikTok to make a video in late May. The jaw reflected back on the screen was wrong: slimmer and more feminine. And when they waved their hand in front of the camera, blocking most of their face from the lens, their jaw appeared to pop back to normal. Was their skin also a little softer?  On further investigation, it seemed as if the image was being run through a beauty filter in the TikTok app. Normally, Dawn keeps those filters off in livestreams and videos to around 320,000 followers. But as they flipped around the app’s settings, there was no way to disable the effect:  it seemed to be permanently in place, subtly feminizing Dawn’s features. (Source: MIT Technology Review)

US President Biden has withdrawn the Trump era order to ban applications like TikTok but ensure monitoring is done on these apps and “make recommendations within 120 days to protect U.S. data acquired or accessible by companies controlled by foreign adversaries”.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday withdrew a series of Trump-era executive orders that sought to ban new downloads of WeChat and TikTok, and ordered a Commerce Department review of security concerns posed by those apps and others. (Source: Reuters)

The Chinese authorities have welcomed this action. And, that makes Biden’s action quite interesting.

Other things of note

UP Relief to daily wage earners: Aiming to provide relief to the poor suffering due to the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday transferred Rs 230 crore into bank accounts of 23 lakh daily wagers, a UP government statement. "Be it the dream of building a house, proper treatment for illness, cost of education or the need of financial help in any mishap, the state government is there with you at every step, Adityanath said on the occasion. (Source)

Millions of logins stolen: Hackers steal 26 MILLION logins for Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants as well as payment information from three million PCs with malware in the latest major security breach. Researchers discovered an unidentified malware that created a 1.2TB database of personal records stolen from 3.25 million PCs. Cybersecurity provider NordLocker discovered the malware database, which includes 26 million login credentials. The other firms whose accounts were targeted include eBay, Instagram, Netflix, Paypal, Roblox, Steam, Twitch, and Twitter. (Source)

Wokes and Writers: Now bogus social media outrage is making writers change lines in their books. The silly idea that a fictional character’s statements reflect an author’s actual beliefs is spreading and having consequences on the writing industry. (Source)

Angry wife cuts and fries Hubby’s penis: A Brazilian wife 'cooks' her husband's penis in a frying pan using soybean oil after killing him "in self-defense" and slicing it off when they argued about splitting up. Dayane Cristina Rodrigues Machado, 33, was arrested by police in Sao Goncalo. Her husband Andre was found in the Brazilian city lifeless, naked, and mutilated. The couple had been together for 10 years and shared two children together. (Source)

Ultrasound + Genetics to activate deep brain neurons: A team has developed a new brain stimulation technique using focused ultrasound that is able to turn specific types of neurons in the brain on and off and precisely control motor activity without surgical device implantation. The team, led by Hong Chen, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering and of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine, is the first to provide direct evidence showing noninvasive, cell-type-specific activation of neurons in the brain of a mammal by combining ultrasound-induced heating effect and genetics, which they have named sonothermogenetics. It is also the first work to show that the ultrasound- genetics combination can robustly control behavior by stimulating a specific target deep in the brain. (Source)

market corner: 10 quick bytes

  1. Organic farm exports jump 51% in FY21 - supplied to 58 destinations, mainly the US, the EU, Canada, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Israel and South Korea - more

  2. India's agriculture exports jump to $ 41 billion despite pandemic disruptions - more

  3. Medical debts bankrupt Indians already ravaged by coronavirus - more

  4. Future of work will be hybrid, says Chandrasekaran at TCS AGM - more

  5. India stands low at 55th spot in global annual housing price appreciation; Turkey on top - more

  6. Rules for home delivery of liquor in Delhi come into force from Friday - more

  7. Oil prices hits two-year highs on rising economic demand expectations - more

  8. Retail loan demand moving to smaller cities from young borrowers: Report - more

  9. SBI likely to transfer Rs 20,000 crore NPAs to National Asset Reconstruction Company - more

  10. IIT Madras to develop software to monitor maritime traffic - more

video corner: World’s Emptiest Nations.

Some of the travel vlogs are very informative. This one is about the nations with the least population densities. It is quite a revelation. Specifically about the African countries.

Do check this out.

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