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News from China
ECB launches US$820b 'pandemic emergency' bond-buying scheme
19th March 2020

 The European Central Bank on Wednesday announced a surprise 750-billion-euro (US$820-billion) scheme to purchase government and corporate bonds, as it joined other central banks in stepping up efforts to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus.

The so-called Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program comes just six days after the ECB unveiled a big-bank stimulus package that failed to calm nervous markets, piling pressure on the bank to open the financial floodgates.
The US$820-billion asset purchasing scheme will be temporary and be concluded once the bank "judges that the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year," it said in statement.
The decision came after the bank's 25-member governing council held emergency talks by phone late into the evening.
The ECB said it was "committed to playing its role in supporting all citizens of the euro area through this extremely challenging time."
"The governing council will do everything necessary within its mandate," it said, adding that the size of the asset purchases could be increased if needed.
It also said it stood ready to relax some self-imposed restrictions on bond purchases to potentially help countries like Italy whose bond yields have soared over the coronavirus panic.
Critics had in recent days slammed the ECB for not doing enough to support the eurozone compared to the drastic action taken by the US Federal Reserve.
But the immediate reaction from analysts was positive.
The ECB's latest medicine could be "a game changer for the euro area economy and credit markets" if it was accompanied by fiscal action from eurozone governments, Pictet Wealth Management strategist Frederik Ducrozet said.
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 19, 2020
China's Hubei reports single-digit new infections of COVID-19 for five days
16th March 2020

 Central China's Hubei Province reported four new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and 14 deaths Sunday, the provincial health commission said Monday.

All of the newly confirmed cases were reported in Wuhan, the provincial capital and epicenter of the outbreak.
The latest report brought the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the hard-hit province to 67,798.
As of Sunday, Hubei had seen no newly confirmed COVID-19 cases for 11 consecutive days in its 16 cities and prefectures outside Wuhan. The city of Wuhan has also seen single-digit daily increases for five days.
The province also saw 816 patients discharged from hospital after recovery on Sunday, bringing the total number of discharged patients in the province to 55,094.
Among the 8,703 hospitalized patients, 2,403 were still in severe condition and another 572 in critical condition.
The commission also said Hubei still had 18 suspected cases after ruling out two suspected cases but including two newly-added suspected cases Sunday.
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 16, 2020
Global COVID-19 pandemic's impact manageable for Chinese manufacturing: vice minister
13th March 2020

 The global spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak will have an impact on China's manufacturing sector but at a manageable level, said a vice minister of industry and information technology on Friday.

Given the trend of industrial globalization, the spread of COVID-19 contagions overseas such as in Europe and the United States will surely affect China's manufacturing sector, Xin Guobin, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told a press conference.
The level of the impact would be subject to how long the pandemic would last and the outcome of joint global response against the outbreak, he said, noting that the global transmission of the virus has gone beyond expectation.
But Xin said he believes the impact would be manageable, considering China's sound fundamentals of industrial development, massive domestic market and complete industrial chain.
The ministry will pay attention to the potential shock, strengthen communication with other governments and encourage production resumption to eliminate the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, he said.
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 13, 2020
Study recommends three to six eggs per week for adult Chinese
12th March 2020

 How many chicken eggs should one eat for a healthy diet? The latest research based on a long-term and large-scale investigation in China recommends three to six eggs per week for adult Chinese.

The current Chinese dietary guidelines recommend weekly consumption of five to seven eggs for adults. But the guidelines were mainly based on studies conducted in the United States and Japan, where disease constitution and dietary patterns are quite different from those in China.
In order to explore the associations of egg consumption and risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Chinese, researchers from China's National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and several Chinese research institutes analyzed the data from the project of Prediction for Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk in China.
The project includes 102,136 participants from 15 provinces across the country, and some research subjects were followed up to 17 years. When they enrolled, the subjects had no chronic diseases like CVD, tumors or kidney diseases.
Researchers reported in the online version of SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences that they found U-shaped relationships between egg consumption and the risk of having CVD and death among adults.
People who have a moderate egg consumption of three to six eggs per week have the lowest risk of having CVD and death. Both low and high consumption of eggs are associated with increased risks.
People who eat less than one egg per week have 22 percent more risk for having CVD and 29 percent higher risk for death than people who eat three to six eggs.
People who eat more than 10 eggs per week have a 39 percent higher risk of having CVD and 13 percent more risk for death.
Meanwhile, the researchers also found that among Chinese, higher consumption of eggs was significantly associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, in which the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart and the brain tissue can not get enough blood flow.
An elevated risk of hemorrhagic stroke which is caused by a rupture in a blood vessel was only found among participants with lower consumption of eggs.
The researchers said their study provides evidence to update the dietary guideline for Chinese and probably other populations with similar characteristics.
Chicken eggs are an affordable source of protein and other nutrients. Some studies have found a link between eating eggs and heart disease as they are also naturally high in cholesterol
Source: Shanghai Daily, March 12, 2020

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