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Serbia Purchases China’s Missile Defense System

Serbia has purchased a new generation of medium-range radar-guided surface-to-air missiles from China. The move is considered the latest sign of deepening cooperation between Beijing and Belgrade.

According to Reuters report on August 3, “the purchase of the FK-3 missile defense system was included in the state-run arms company Jugoimport SDPR’s annual report, submitted to the state Business Registers Agency last week and seen by Reuters.”

The FK-3 is an export version of China’s latest generation of HQ-22 medium-range air defense missiles, which first appeared at the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show.

“Jugoimport SDPR said it made 163 import deals with 31 countries for $620.3 million in 2019. The weapons purchases included armed drones from China and Europe’s first known purchase of the FK-3.”

The FK-3 air defense missile, which Serbia purchased has a maximum range of 100 kilometers and a shooting height of 50 meters to 27,000 meters. The source said that Serbia has purchased 3 sets of FK-3 systems.

“In late June, Serbia’s air force received six CH-92A combat drones armed with laser-guided missiles, the first such deployment of Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles in Europe.”

China’s state media Global Times said that this drone is mainly used for reconnaissance and surveillance, but it also has certain strike capabilities.

The Serbian military traditionally uses the technology of the former Soviet Union. In recent years, Belgrade has purchased MiG-29 fighter jets, missiles, helicopters, tanks and armored personnel carriers from Russia.

China has been pumping money into Balkan countries, mainly on soft loans, infrastructure and energy projects. Beijing sees Serbia as part of its “One Belt, One Road” initiative and an important springboard to enter the Balkans.

In April last year, the Chinese government stated that, under the framework of the “One Belt, One Road,” the cooperation between the two countries achieved remarkable results. In the past six years, until 2019, the bilateral trade volume increased by 55.7 percent; the number of tourists from China to Serbia has also increased significantly. 2018 saw more than 100,000 Chinese tourists; the total contractual value of infrastructure construction projects of Chinese-funded enterprises exceeded US$5 billion. In recent years, China’s construction in the western Balkans and issuance of preferential loans in the name of promoting the development of infrastructure has attracted widespread international attention. The European Union expressed its concern that Southeast European countries in the western Balkans might suffer from China’s “debt trap diplomacy.”

Source: Voice of America, August 3, 2020
https://www.voachinese.com/a/serbian-purchase-missile-defence-system-shows-ties-deepening-china-20200803/5528464.html

Samsung Closed Its Last PC Factory in China

Voice of America (VOA) Chinese Edition recently reported that, on August 1, Samsung announced  that it is closing its last personal computer manufacturing factory in China – Samsung Electronics Suzhou Computer. Over 800 employees may see their contracts end. The Suzhou factory was established in 2002. It is Samsung’s only laptop manufacturing factory in the world. Last year, Samsung closed its last cellphone manufacturing factory in China and moved to Vietnam. That closure had a major economic impact locally. Now Samsung has only two factories left in China. One makes LCD displays and the other makes DRAM memory chips. Experts pointed out that, in the past two years, with the trade war, the coronavirus pandemic, and the worsening U.S.-China relations, the global supply chain is rapidly moving out of China and moving to countries such as Vietnam, India and Mexico. The trend is especially clear for companies from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Europe. At the same time, China’s low labor cost advantage has been weakening as well.

Source: VOA Chinese, August 1, 2020
https://www.voacantonese.com/a/samsung-to-halt-production-at-its-last-computer-factory-in-hina/5526722.html

Global Times: India to Increase Troops along India-China Border

Global Times recently reported that, according to Indian media quoting anonymous sources, India plans to send 35,000 more troops to strengthen its military presence along its border with China. The reasoning behind the decision is that the Indian government found the probability of quickly reducing the tension between the two countries is getting lower. Although some recent negotiations cooled down the situation, yet there are still plenty of issues left that have not been resolved. This new decision of adding troops is expected to add a greater burden to India’s tight defense budget as well. Some Indian military leaders said it has been more than a couple of weeks with no improvements on the ground. A full disengagement between the two armies was not achieved. In the meantime, the Indian government just announced new trade sanctions and investment restrictions against China.

Source: Global Times, August 1, 2020
https://world.huanqiu.com/article/3zHoxhkYVWf

Three Major Portuguese Telecom Operators Refuse to Use Huawei 5G

Well-known Chinese news site Tencent News recently reported that all three Portuguese telecommunications operators, NOS, Altice and Vodafone, announced they will not use Huawei’s 5G technology in their 5G networks. This is the fourth European country, after Britain, France, and Italy, to refuse to use Huawei 5G. The three companies explained that the reason for their choice was purely technical. The decision was made despite an estimated total financial loss of 1.1 billion Euros and a no-risk conclusion of a government risk assessment. In the meantime, Huawei has lost its primary chip supplier TSMC, due to the U.S. ban based on the use of U.S. technology. It appears Huawei is slowly losing the entire European market. The latest data showed that the European company Ericsson has signed 99 contracts for 5G deployments. This achievement surpassed Huawei, making Ericsson the world’s number one 5G supplier.

Source: Tencent News, July 31, 2020
https://xw.qq.com/partner/standard/20200731A0UIIJ/20200731A0UIIJ00?ADTAG=standard&pgv_ref=standard

People Cheer as China Closes U.S. Consulate in Chengdu

On Friday July 24, after China announced the closure of the U.S. consulate general in Chengdu, China’s official media, including CCTV  began broadcasting live images outside the consulate on social media platforms. At the peak, more than 20 million people were watching. The state media showed images of trucks leaving the U.S. consulate, while the signs and nameplates on the outer wall of the consulate were being removed. Many people went to the consulate for a visit. Some of them held Chinese flags and tried to take a picture in front of the consulate. Dozens of police officers were stationed outside the consulate. They asked onlookers not to stay and tried to stop any provocative behavior. Fire trucks were also at the scene to prevent possible accidents. One man was taken into police custody because he was shouting, “China Add Oil (Go China)! I am a Chinese.” The police fined another man because he tried to light a fire cracker outside the consulate. When a bus with brown tinted glass left the consulate, the onlookers started booing. One 63-year-old man told Reuters that closing the consulate was a reciprocal action that China took against the US. Another video circulating online showed a man between 50 and 60 years old choked up. He said, “The U.S. should be a friend.” Many others were afraid to speak to the media and refused to be interviewed.

In this diplomatic war between the U.S. and China, Zhuang Zuyi, the wife of Jim Mullinax, the American consulate general in Chengdu, and a Taiwanese food writer was also accidentally involved. Zhuang often writes on Weibo about food and life in Chengdu and never hides her love for Sichuan province. She has performed on the street of Chengdu and has close to 600,000 followers on Weibo. Since the news of the closure of the Chengdu consulate, Zhuang’s social media account has been flooded with thousands of angry comments calling her “spy” and “Taiwan Independent.”

The US Embassy in China posted a video and wrote on its official Twitter account on Monday, July 27, “Today, we bid farewell to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. We will always miss you.” People commented that they appreciated the help from the US. They are hoping for a free China and are looking forward to the return of the consulate back in Chengdu in the near future.

Source:
1. BBC Chinese, July 27, 2020
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/world-53549963

2. Epoch Times, July 27, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/7/27/n12286212.htm

Former PLA Officer: CCP Will Collapse If China and the US Go to War in the South China Sea

Radio Free Asia reported that, in an interview with Yao Chen, the former CCP navy Command Lieutenant Colonel, Yao said that if China and the U.S. start a war in the South China Sea, the CCP will soon collapse.

According to Yao, the CCP’s military strength is far less than that of the US military. If the two sides confront each other in the South China Sea using their navies and air force, he estimated that it will take less than a day for the U.S. military’s F-35 stealth fighters to destroy the CCP’s navy and air force. He said that the U.S. policy toward China does not show it intends to occupy China’s territory, but the CCP’s current expansion in the South China Sea has touched the bottom line for the Western world, especially the U.S. Yao said that once the U.S. and China go to war in the South China Sea, there may also be a military confrontation on a border, such as the China-Indian border and a resistance from Uyghurs in Tibet and Xinjiang. Yao Chen also believes that, if the U.S. and China have a military confrontation, Japan and ASEAN countries would all support the U.S. As soon as the CCP launches its military force, it is expected that the whole world will stand up to resist China. Therefore, as long as the CCP starts a war, it will soon to collapse.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 31, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/war-07312020060431.html

China Raises Alarm over Expected Food Shortages

After severe flooding, about one-sixth of China’s land is soaked in water. Much of these lands serve as the main grain growing regions. Both China’s President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Hu Chunhua recently talked about food security [Editor’s note: meaning food shortages] The pandemic, flooding, the deterioration of Sino-US relations, and the complex international situation are all directly or indirectly affecting food security.

On July 27th, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua spoke at a national food security video conference. Hu asked that food production be strengthened and that China ensure that there would be no mistake about food security. China has a governor’s responsibility system for food security, an institutional arrangement that provincial governments are held accountable for the protection of arable lands and food production in the region.

When Xi Jinping visited Jilin province a week earlier, he also emphasized that safeguarding food security must be placed in a prominent position, and that one “cannot relax” to increase food production.

Among the flooded areas in the southern provinces, substantial parts are major grain producing regions. According to the official statistics, grain production in the summer increased by 0.9 percent. However, the autumn production is a huge challenge. Due to the floods in southern China, some areas may see a “destructive reduction in production or even a total crop failure.” An alarm over food security was raised as autumn grain production accounts for three quarters of the annual total.

Lujiang County, located in central Anhui province, bordering Lake Chao on the north and the Yangtze River on the south, is one of China’s first commercial grain production bases. However, the recent flooding has devastated the vegetable production in Lujiang. The latest statistics show that, as of July 23, the disaster had affected 83,400 mu (13,745 acres) of vegetables, and 55,400 mu (9,131 acres) saw no harvest, causing a reduction of 80,423 tons of production.

Source: World Journal, July 29, 2020
https://www.worldjournal.com/7069933

To Flex His Military Muscles Xi Jinping Promoted a Political Commissar to the Rank of General

Taiwan Liberty Times News reported that, according to an article Xinhua published, on July 29, Xi Jinping participated in a promotion ceremony that the Central Military Commission held. Xi promoted Xu Zhongbo, the political commissar of the PLA Rocket Force to the rank of general. Video footage from CCTV showed that Xu was the only officer at the ceremony accepting a promotion. The ceremony only lasted a little over one minute while six Central Military Commission members sat in the background with straight faces. In the photo that Xi took with Xu, Xi appeared to be preoccupied and did not seem happy. The report quoted a commentator from the Epoch Times who stated that, as domestic infighting and external pressure have been intensifying, Xi is using his appearances to show off his military power. In the past two weeks, Xi visited the following: On July 22-24 he went to the Siping War Memorial and the Changchun Aviation University in Jilin province. [Editor’s note: During his visit, Xi said, “We must defend the great socialist cause created by the party and pass it on from generation to generation.] A few days later, Xi used his military power to warn his opponent. [Editor’s note: On July 30, members of Central Politburo attended a group study session where Xi Jinping emphasized that “a strong country must have a strong army, and a strong army can ensure national security.”] The promotion of Xu Zhongbo appears have broken protocol because Xu was appointed to the political commissar position not too long ago. It seems obvious that, during this uncertain period, Xi has to make unconventional moves to show that his senior ranking officers are still loyalty to him.

1. Liberty Time News, July 31, 2020
https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/3245263
2. Xinhua, July 29, 2020
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/leaders/2020-07/29/c_1126300876.htm

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS: JULY 26 – AUGUST 1

1. The Trump administration is considering banning Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members from entering the U.S. The Chinese people’s response to this policy has been amazing!

2. Beijing has sent signals to and is preparing its people for the possibility that war is coming.

3. As Xi Jinping started taking over Tomorrow Holding, a gigantic Chinese conglomerate whose financial side of the business alone has over RMB 3 Trillion worth of assets, the powers behind Tomorrow Holding fought back openly in an actual public display.

4. The Chinese government’s fiscal deficit in the first half year increased significantly and the government bonds ran over the RMB 24 Trillion yuan red line.