Aug 24, 2021 08:12 PM

WHO Calls for Halt to Booster Shots, Taliban Announce Amnesty for Ex-President, Zhang Wenhong Cleared

Here is today’s ranking of the 10 most-read news stories in China, in economics, finance and current affairs, to help give you a sense of what’s trending in the Chinese language sphere.

Chinese social media users have been paying close attention to Hangzhou urging officials to clean up their conflicting business ties. They are also following the top epidemiologist Zhang Wenhong being cleared of academic fraud accusations, and how events are unfolding in Afghanistan after the Taliban's takeover of Kabul and China's role in the Central Asian country's power transition.

1. Communist Party chief in Hangzhou under investigation for corruption

Zhou Jiangyong (external source, in Chinese), Hangzhou city’s Communist Party chief, is under disciplinary review and supervisory investigation on suspicion of corruption by the State Supervision Commission of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, according to a statement released Saturday.

2. WHO head calls for two-month vaccine booster halt

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom (external source, in Chinese) on Monday called for a two-month moratorium on Covid-19 vaccine boosters to reduce global vaccine inequity and prevent the emergence of new coronavirus variants.

3. University clears Zhang Wenhong of academic fraud accusations

China’s elite Fudan University has concluded that the doctoral thesis of Zhang Wenhong “met all the criteria required at the time of submission,” and issued a statement on Monday exonerating the top epidemiologist from accusations of plagiarism, according to the local official newspaper Shanghai Daily.

4. Taliban announce “amnesty” for former Afghan president Ghani

The Taliban (external source, in Chinese) have announced an “amnesty” for former Afghan president Ghani, allowing him to return to Afghanistan if he wishes, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.

5. Booster shots could strengthen vaccine efficacy, expert says

China’s top respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan (external source, in Chinese) said Friday that China could reach herd immunity against Covid-19 by the end of this year if more than 80% of the population is fully vaccinated. Zhong cited a follow-up study on early stage Sinovac trials and confirmed that booster shots could strengthen the jab’s efficacy.

Zhong Nanshan. Photo: VCG

6. Taliban warns of consequences if U.S. delays withdrawal

The Taliban will not agree to extend the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops (external source, in Chinese) from Afghanistan and warned of "consequences" if the Aug. 31 deadline is not met.

7. Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid vaccine gets full FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (external source, in Chinese) on Monday fully approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. U.S. President Joe Biden called on the American public to be actively vaccinated.

8. Chinese embassy in Afghanistan reminds citizens to update personal information

The Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan (external source, in Chinese) has issued a number of security alerts, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday. Wang asked Chinese citizens in Afghanistan who have not yet reported to the embassy to update their current addresses, itineraries, and contact information for themselves and their relatives in China.

9. Officials in Hangzhou urged to clean up their conflicting business ties

The capital of East China’s Zhejiang province has launched a campaign to crack down on illegal government-business ties, urging local officials to examine their behavior and rectify their actions, the country’s top anti-corruption watchdog said Monday.

10. Tokyo's epidemic reaches “disaster” level as Paralympic Games begin

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (external source, in Chinese) said Friday that the Covid-19 outbreak in Tokyo has reached the "disaster" level and promised that Japan would take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of Paralympic athletes by making full use of the experience of the Olympics. The Paralympic Games will kick off on Tuesday in Tokyo.

Translated by intern reporter Chen Bingyi.

Caixin has not independently verified the veracity or accuracy of all of the headlines or stories.

The daily ranking of most-read news stories among Chinese people, about China and global affairs, is jointly provided to you by Caixin Insight and HANA Data, an artificial intelligence technology team.

The key indicators calculated on the list are based on mass data sourced from China’s mainstream social media platforms and online news websites. Click here for a detailed introduction of our methodology.

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