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Chosun: Survey Showed the U.S. to be the Most Trusted Country in South Korea

South Korea’s largest newspaper Chosun recently reported in its Chinese Edition that Seoul National University’s Institute of Asian Studies published the “2021 Korean People’s Asian Awareness Survey Results Analysis Report” in the latest issue of “Asia Briefings.” The Institute commissioned the public opinion survey agency Korea Research to conduct a questionnaire survey on the favorability of 20 major countries including the United States, China, Japan, France, Australia, Germany, Thailand, and Vietnam. The survey results showed that, in  a multiple choice questionnaire, 71.6 percent of the respondents chose the United States as a “trustworthy country.” In contrast, Japan and China were selected by 13.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, ranking 19th and 20th among the 20 countries to become the countries least trusted by Koreans. The United States (69.2 percent) is the top country that “South Korea should cooperate with.” The proportions of those choosing China and North Korea are 6.9 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Japan (1.1 percent) is even behind North Korea. On South Koreans’ favorability (on a scale of 1 to 100) toward 20 major countries, the United States ranked first at 65.9, followed by Sweden (59.5) and Germany (58.1). Among Asian countries, Singapore (54.1) ranked highest, followed by Taiwan (51.3) and Mongolia (50.1). China (35.8) was 18th, North Korea (33.8) was 19th, and Japan (33.6) was 20th.

Source: Chosun, January 12, 2022
https://cnnews.chosun.com/client/news/viw.asp?nNewsNumb=20220156539

Global Times: Afghan Ambassador to China Announced Resignation

Global Times recently reported that, on January 10, the Afghan ambassador to China, Javid Kaim, announced his resignation on his personal Twitter. In a handover letter accompanying the tweet, he said he and some other embassy staff had not been paid for the past six months. According to the handover letter, he himself left the Afghan Embassy in China on January 2 this year. In the letter, he gave a brief introduction to the structure and planning of the Embassy. He said that he would use remote means to assist in the handover. According to him, most of the diplomats in China appointed by the former Afghan government left China after the Taliban entered Kabul on August 15 last year. Since “the Embassy has not received salaries from Kabul for the past six months,” Kaim said, they set up a committee to specifically address the funding issue. The letter also stated that he had settled all the salaries of local employees before January 20. Unpaid diplomats also received a sum of money to cover expenses in China. He said that, as of January 1, 2022, about $100,000 remained in the account of the Afghan Embassy in China. Kaim also mentioned that he had left the keys to five embassy cars in his office. All the doors of the Embassy were closed, except for a local operator who could answer questions. The door key was placed at the Qatari Embassy in China. At the end of the letter, Kaim said China was “well informed” about this. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had taken note of Ambassador Qaim’s remarks.

Source: Global Times, January 11, 2022
https://world.huanqiu.com/article/46MIXNigNVz

The Paper: Evergrande Moved out of Its Shenzhen Headquarters Building

The Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that the Evergrande Group has moved out of its Shenzhen Headquarters building and the “Evergrande Group” sign at the building has also been removed. According to sources familiar with the matter, Evergrande withdrew from the building in December 2021. Most of its working staff at the headquarters has moved back to Guangzhou to work. Sources revealed that, in order to cut costs, Evergrande completed the lease cancellation procedures quickly. However, based on the registration and filing information of commercial entities at the Shenzhen Market Supervision Bureau, Shenzhen remains the registered city for the Group. Evergrande officially moved its headquarters from Guangzhou to Shenzhen in mid-2017. At that time, its headquarters campus ground sat in the Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base. The location was in the Hongshuwan luxury residential area, which occupies the central area of the city of Shenzhen. By sales, the China Evergrande Group is the second largest property developer in China . It ranked 122nd on the Fortune Global 500.

Source: The Paper, January 10, 2022
https://m.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_16219349

Chinese Economist Banned from Weibo Due to Comments on Financing Childbirths

China has banned the Twitter-like Weibo account of Ren Zeping, an Internet celebrity, and a former economist in mainland China. Ren was also the chief economist for Evergrande China Group, one of China’s largest real estate developers, which is now mired in debt.

At the top of Ren’s Weibo account, the notice said he had “violated relevant laws and regulations.”

What had Ren posted on his Weibo account?

On January 10, 2022, Ren posted an article titled, “The Solution to Findings of Low Fertility — The China Fertility Report.” His article stated that the main reasons for low fertility are the high cost of raising children and high housing prices. Therefore to solve the low fertility rate, China must reduce the cost of raising children. Ren believes that establishing a fertility incentive fund may stabilize growth and boost domestic demand in the short term. It can improve the supply side, optimize the population structure, and help national rejuvenation in the long run.

In his post, Ren suggested that the central bank print 2 trillion yuan (US$314 billion) to support the birth of 50 million babies over the next ten years.

Why 2 trillion yuan? Ren explained that family social welfare expenditures related to childbirth incentives account for two to three percent of GDP in OECD countries OECD stands for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It is is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. China’s GDP is 110 trillion yuan, so Ren believes the incentive fund should be 2 trillion yuan.

Ren’s figure of 50 million childbirths for ten years is an estimate based on the assumption that 15 million babies are required annually to stabilize the population. There are about 10 million per year using the 2021 low fertility rate of 1.1 percent. So 5 million per year for ten years is 50 million in total.

Ren also urged the authorities to establish the fund as quickly as possible. “We must seize the time when we can still have children from those women born from 1975 to 1985 because they still believe that having more children is a blessing. He reminded that the post-90s and post-2000s generation would not want to discuss having a second or third child. Many people are not even willing to get married.

Why was he banned on Weibo? Some speculated that Ren might have hit a nerve with the authorities. The economic strategy proposed by Ren reflects an unspoken consensus among Chinese economists; that is, the regime’s economic model may have come to an end. The regime has tried to control the high housing prices. In the past, China’s inflation and debt risks were mainly absorbed by real estate. Printing money for more childbirths now would likely increase prices and be suicidal. It could push the Chinese economy further into a recession.

Source: sina.com, January 10, 2022
https://finance.sina.com.cn/zl/china/2022-01-10/zl-ikyakumx9364507.shtml

Pandemic: Xuchang Police Accused a COVID Testing Company of Spreading the Virus

On January 12, the  Xuchang Police in Henan Province published a short announcement. The police claimed that manager Zhang of the KingMed Diagnostics’ office in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province, “violated the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act and committed acts that caused the spread of the (COVID-19) virus or which had a serious risk of causing such a spread.” The police started an investigation into the case.

In early January, Xuchang found COVID cases in its affiliated city Yuzhou and locked down Yuzhou. Last month, it became the second city in the province to be locked down after Xi’an.

KingMed Diagnostics is the largest medical lab testing COVID-19 in China. By November 2011, it had completed 220 million COVID tests, which was the highest number among all labs in the world.  Zhong Nanshan, a communist regime endorsed COVID-19 expert doctor, who speaks for the government from time to time, created the company.

Since the police didn’t disclose what Zhang did, there were rumors on the Internet about what happened. One guess was that KingMed spread the virus and in the meantime collected money from the government for testing it. Another guess was that KingMed received many testing samples but couldn’t complete them in the required time-frame; then the manager reported the test results were ALL negative and discarded the samples that they didn’t have time to test. However, later the government found there were positives cases.

The next day, January 13, KingMed published a statement that the Zhengzhou KingMed office received the Xuchang City’s request to participate in the COVID testing. Zhang and five other people formed a supporting team and came to Yuzhou. They worked on the testing from January 2 to 9. The company’s statement also denied the rumors of “actively spreading the virus,” “faking test results,” and “hiding infection numbers.” The company said that it reserves the right to go after those who spread rumors.

Other postings on Chinascope:
Pandemic: Omicron Appeared in China and One More City Locked Down
Pandemic: COVID Spread to Henan and Zhejiang Province
Pandemic: Xi’an Locked Down

Sources:
1. BBC, January 13, 2022
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-59976287
2. China News Agency Finance, January 13, 2022
http://www.jwview.com/jingwei/html/01-13/457207.shtml

CNA: Taiwan Will Add One Billion Dollars to its Fund for Business with Lithuania

The Primary Taiwanese news agency, the Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, in order to strengthen its relationship with Lithuania, the National Development Council will not only set up a US$200 million investment fund for Central and Eastern Europe; it will do more. The Council just announced that it will provide a financing fund of US$1 billion to promote bilateral business cooperation between Taiwan and Lithuania through the two funds. The Council explained that the National Development Fund will supply the US$200 million Central and Eastern European Investment Fund. The Central Bank will provide the US$1 billion in financing to fund to the Export-Import Bank of China.  If the above-mentioned funds are not enough, the government can add more funding. In October last year, when the Taiwan economic and trade delegation visited Lithuania, Taiwanese companies and Lithuanian manufacturers held 240 talks leading to follow-up cooperation and development projects. When President Tsai Ing-wen spoke on New Year’s Day, she mentioned the launch of the “Strengthening European Links Program.” Taiwan will start with Lithuania, and will try its best to promote industrial cooperation and trade links that benefit both sides. As for when the two major funds can be launched, the Council revealed that budgets have been prepared and the administrative procedures will be completed soon. However, it is necessary to see whether there are administrative procedures to be carried out in Lithuania. “The idea is as soon as possible.” At present, many Lithuanian companies have expressed interest in areas such as the laser industry, the semiconductor industry, chip manufacturing and a number of others.

Source: CNA, January 11, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/202201115018.aspx

Wang Yi: As Long as China and Russia Stand Side by Side, the International Order Will Not Get into Trouble; Hegemonism Will Not Win

On December 30, 2021, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Radio and Television conducted a joint interview of China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi. Some of the questions and answers follow:

Reporter: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation. What significance do the roles of China and Russia, as two major powers, have on global strategic stability and development? How do you evaluate the current Sino-Russian relations?

Wang Yi: Both China and Russia are major countries with global influence. Strengthening strategic coordination and pragmatic cooperation between the two sides is of global significance and irreplaceable.

We set a “China-Russia example” for the global fight against the epidemic. The two sides have always stood by each other and are at the forefront of the world in vaccine R&D, production and external supply; we jointly oppose the stigma and politicization of the epidemic and virus traceability and lead the international community to unite and fight the epidemic in the right direction.

We contribute “China-Russia responsibility” to global governance. The two sides firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at the core and the international order based on international law. We jointly oppose interference in other countries’ internal affairs, unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction. We let the world see what a great power should be like.

We firmly believe that, as long as China and Russia stand side by side and deepen cooperation back-to-back, the international order will not run into chaos, the justice of the world will not fall, and hegemonism will not win.

Source: Sina.com.cn, December 30, 2021
https://mil.news.sina.com.cn/dgby/2021-12-30/doc-ikyakumx7306289.shtml

China Counters Western Media’s Reports about Xinjiang with Bulk Zombie Accounts on Twitter

On January 12, readers of the Telegram channel “Learning to Strengthen the Nation” reported that they had recently found a large number of zombie {1} accounts on Twitter. These accounts were seen to use the same unified text for Xinjiang-related political propaganda.

This unified text template reads, “I grew up in Xinjiang since childhood. The Xinjiang-related lies concocted by the anti-China forces in the United States and the West are pure fallacies. The lives of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang will not be affected by them.” Most of the publishers use English names. Their IDs are parts from the full English name combined with random numbers.

If you click on some accounts, you can see that both the number of followers and the number of fans fans are 0. The accounts were all registered recently and they all have typical characteristics of “zombie accounts.” A link is attached at the end of the content uniformly published by these accounts (http://www.oushinet.com/static/content/qj/qjnews/2021-12-07/917786853728727040.html), which leads to a European Times article. The article was originally from China News (https://www.chinanews.com.cn).

According to the official profile of the European Times, the newspaper is “the flagship daily of the European Times Culture Media Group, headquartered in Paris, France, and founded in January 1983.” Some netizens found that the official website server of the European Times is located in  the state of California in the USA. The website’s domain name has been registered with ICP in Beijing.

{1} Zombie accounts, are user accounts with no verifiable owner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Source: China Digital Times, January 12, 2022
https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/675729.html