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The CCP Party School Established a Center for Communication Studies

At a conference held in Beijing, the Central Party School of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a top political institution which trains CCP cadres, announced the establishment of the “Center for the Study of Chinese Civilization and the Chinese Path” and the “Center for International Communication Research.”

Xie Chuntao, vice president of the Central Party School, said at the meeting that the two centers were established to implement Xi Jinping’s ideas on the localization of Marxism, to promote Chinese civilization and to improve international communication.

Li Xiguang, a professor at Tsinghua University, pointed out that China should deepen cross-civilizational cooperation and dialogue with Eurasia and other like-minded countries around the world. Li suggested that through the joint efforts of thinkers, academics and media from non-Western countries, China should achieve “replacing the ideas of Western colonizers and Western imperialism with our ideas.”

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), October 3, 2022

Cambodia’s China-Built Expressway Opens to Traffic

Cambodia’s first expressway was opened to public use on China’s National Day and is free for one month. As a benchmark project of China’s “Belt & Road Initiative,” the 187-kilometer highway connecting the capital city of Phnom Penh and the southwest port of Preah Sihanouk cost $2 billion, and will reduce the driving time between the two cities from 5 hours to 2 hours. The project is a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract project, with a 50-year license and toll system.

Cambodia’s Khmer Times newspaper reported that South Korea’s Green Eco Energy once bid $536 million to build the project in November 2015, with a 35-year contracting period. In the same year, China’s Henan provincial government submitted a quote of $1.6 billion at the time of signing the MOU. It is not uncommon that Chinese companies often overbid infrastructure projects so that involved officials can take kickbacks.

According to the local Cambodian news network, at the end of October 2021, the Cambodian government forcibly demolished a number of residential buildings during land acquisition for the project, sparking outrage online.

The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the state conglomerate that undertook the construction of the Phnom Penh-Sihanouk Expressway, signed a contract with the Cambodian government in September to conduct a study and is set to start construction of the country’s second expressway in the middle of next year, It will link Phnom Penh to the Vietnamese border at Bavet City, and will have a length of more than 100 kilometers.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 28, 2022

IT Competition between China and the U.S. in Africa

During his visit to Africa, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States is financing a massive underwater fiber optic cable that will connect Africa to the rest of the world and provide fast communications between Africa and the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe. This will be one of the first projects under the framework of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), a project reportedly launched during the Biden administration with G7 leaders to counter China’s transcontinental “Belt & Road” initiative.

It is no coincidence that the American project is seen as a response to China’s Pakistan and East Africa Connect in Europe (PEACE) cable project. The cable will run from Pakistan to East Africa and then into Western Europe. In the second phase, the fast communication cable will reach South Africa and Singapore.

China has financed the construction of a sizeable communications technology infrastructure throughout Africa. These network technology and communication projects have put China in a dominant position in Africa. Huawei has completed or is building digital processing centers and has built cloud services in many African countries, including Zimbabwe, Senegal, Zambia, Togo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mali and Madagascar.

Source: Sputnik News, August 2022

Apple Is Very Glad to Make the iPhone 14 in India

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that Apple said, not long ago, that the iPhone manufacturers are “excited to produce the iPhone 14 in India.” In order to diversify the supply chain and avoid over-reliance on China, it is reported that Apple plans to transfer a quarter of iPhone production to India by 2025. J.P.Morgan Chase analysts said they believe Apple will move about 5 percent of the iPhone 14 production to India by the end of this year. The iPhone 14’s mass production progress in India this year is still about six weeks behind China, and it has generally been behind by a quarter or more in the past. Apple first started producing the iPhone SE in India in 2017. This April, Apple announced that it had started production of the iPhone 13 smartphone in India. Previously, some iPhones were assembled at Foxconn’s local Indian  factories, while others were assembled at Wistron’s Indian factories. Bloomberg revealed earlier in September that the Tata Group, a leading Indian company, is in talks with Taiwanese supplier Wistron, hoping to establish a joint venture to assemble Apple’s iPhones in India.

Source: NetEase, September 26, 2022

Caixin: September Manufacturing PMI Showed Significantly Weakened Market Confidence

Caixin just released its official Chinese Manufacturing PMI numbers for September. Caixin PMI is a well-respected economic indicator monitored globally by financial institutions. Caixin’s China Manufacturing PMI recorded 48.1 for last month, the lowest point in five months. Mainly affected by the rebound of Covid and its related government control measures, China’s manufacturing production and demand weakened in September and the industry’s prosperity continued to decline in the contraction range. The numbers dropped on both supply and demand sides. The surveyed companies reported that the Covid prevention controls have restricted production arrangements and supply chains. In particular, travel and business restrictions have led to setbacks in demand. Among the three major manufacturing categories of products, the output of the investment category declined the most, while the sales in the consumer goods category declined the most. Demand for Chinese-manufactured products in overseas markets has declined at an accelerating rate. The manufacturing employment index is falling into contractionary territory in September. Considering the decline in costs and sluggish demand, companies have generally cut prices, thus driving the factory price index to the newest low since 2016. The overall performance of the supply chain remains poor. In September, the manufacturing purchasing volume index and the raw material inventory index continued to decline below the line of prosperity and decline. At present, the main contradiction in economic operation lies in insufficient employment, sluggish demand, and unstable expectations.

Source: Caixin, September 30, 2022

Lianhe Zaobao: China Plans to Require Online Concerts to Be Licensed

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism has issued a draft of a new regulations about online concerts and performances. The plan will tighten up requirements for online live broadcasts and will mandate delayed live programs so that inappropriate moments can be blocked in a timely fashion. The planned regulations require that those engaged in the business activities of online performances (or programs) should apply to the local provincial cultural and tourism administrative department for an online cultural business license. To provide imported or international online performances, they should report to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for content review. They can provide content to consumers only after the content review has passed. For domestic online performances, the provider should report to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for record, within 30 days from the date of providing them to consumers. The plan also requires the online business to establish and improve the content management system, setting up a dedicated content management unit, and assign professional content reviewers to monitor the content as well as the consumer comments.

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) also reported that the licensing, content review and monitoring with delayed broadcasting requirements triggered a widespread criticism among Chinese netizens. With the Covid controls in place for the past three years, online performances and live programming became really popular among Chinese viewers. Many netizens complained, saying, “It will be too difficult just to listen to concerts.” “Live shows will no longer be live.” “Foreign enemy penetration is too strong. Why don’t we cancel everything.” and “As usual, gradually regulate first, then completely ban.”
(1) Lianhe Zaobao, September 26, 2022
(2) CNA, September 26, 2022

Tibetan Student Organization at Columbia Received Warning Letter from China; China Even Destroyed Posters

Columbia University recently saw the launch of Students for a Free Tibet at Columbia University, its first Tibetan student organization and an offshoot of the international organization Students for a Free Tibet (SFT). The association hopes to provide a platform for the students to communicate and engage in activities in solidarity with the people of Tibet who are under the oppressive rule of the Chinese Communist Party.

The organization has put up posters in several academic buildings, inviting students interested in Sino-Tibetan studies and Sino-Tibetan relations to learn about Tibetan culture and participate in campus activities. Examples include such as topics as Tibetan food, movies, and cultural festivals.

On Wednesday September 21, a number of SFT posters “disappeared.” In their place someone scrawled the words “Tibet is an inseparable part of the People’s Republic of China.”

A letter in Chinese appeared next to a poster at Columbia’s School of International Public Affairs (SIPA), warning students that, as Chinese, they should not tolerate but should back down from this “separatist act” and should not be silent or appeased. The letter also stated that SIPA adheres to the spirit of the UN, that the United States does not recognize Tibetan independence, and that students were urged  to say no to “separatist forces” and to protect their own country.

Sveta Li, one of the founders of SFT Columbia, suspected that the Chinese embassy was behind the incident and that the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) played the role of collecting information from the campus and reporting to the Chinese Embassy.

Li said, “Maybe there are individual students who are spontaneously patriotic, but I think it is more organized.  . . . The Chinese Consulate will certainly not see the emergence of a ‘Tibetan independence’ organization at such an American university.  . . . The Chinese Students and Scholars Association is funded by the Chinese Consulate, and this is a Chinese Communist spy organization.”

In 2017 when the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) invited the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetans, to speak at its graduation ceremony, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) organized a protest. At a memorial event of the Tiananmen Massacre on June 4 this year, also at UCSD, Chinese students violently tore down posters and sabotaged candles on campus.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 23, 2022

Over 5 Million Chinese Students Will Apply for Graduate Programs

As China’s enrollment examination for a 2023 Master’s degree has just opened for registration, it is estimated that the number of applicants will approximate or even exceed 5.2 million. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic and economic slowdown, many college graduates are considering further education as an escape from the tough job market.

Chinese students take a nationwide enrollment examination so as to apply for the Master’s program. Last year, the number of applicants for the 2022 Master’s program was 4.57 million. Li Lin, the director of the graduate programs at the New Oriental Education & Technology Group, a provider of private educational services in China, recently said that, out of the 5.2 million applicants, 1.3 million will be admitted. The number of applicants for the 2017 Master’s program was only 2 million.

According to the Ministry of Education, this year, the number of fresh graduates from China’s colleges and universities set a record, reaching 10.76 million. It is the first time that the number has exceeded 10 million.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), September 25, 2022