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Week of May 2, 2003

Week of May 2, 2003

The U.S. and China This Week


DOMESTIC: Submarine Malfunction Kills 70

According to Xinhua News, a Chinese submarine, identified as submarine 361, one of China's Ming Class subs, experienced a mechanical malfunction that resulted in the death of its 70 member crew. The submarine, reportedly not one of China's few nuclear vessels, was one of 90 submarines deployed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The accident was one the worst naval disasters in the history of the PLA, according to some sources. The last known accident of this scale being an explosion involving a Chinese destroyer off the cost of Hainan, which killed close to 100 people. In a telegram to family members of the lost crew, former President and current Central Military Commission Chairman, Jiang Zemin expressed his sorry at the loss of the sailors.



INTERNATIONAL: Beijing Still Dealing with SARS

Chinese and world health officials continue to battle against the spread of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). In recent days, Chinese officials have quarantined over 11, 000 people over the May Day holiday and have shut down entertainment and sports venues throughout the capital, any place where people may congregate and spread the disease.

SARS, the mysterious flu-like sickness that has spread rapidly first throughout Southeast and East Asia and North America, has reportedly killed almost 400 people worldwide. The disease, which is suspected to have originated in Guangdong, a province in southern China adjacent to Hong Kong, has quickly spread infecting over five thousand people throughout the world, killing over 170 in China alone. China remains the region where it has been most difficult to contain the disease, with deaths in Beijing, China's capital, already numbering over 70. Experts are still unsure if numbers have peaked. Other countries, including Canada and Vietnam, have successfully curbed the spread of the disease.

WHO officials have issued various warnings over the last several months advising against travel to SARS infected areas that have included Greater China, parts of Southeast Asia and Toronto. In addition, the Japanese embassy has called for all students in China to return home.




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The U.S. and China This Week
The U.S. and China This Week

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