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China’s Premier: 600 Million Have a Monthly Income of US$140

China’s Premier Li Keqiang said at a press conference that China is a developing a country with a large population, with an average annual per capita disposable income of 30,000 yuan (US$4,213.30). There are 600 million people who have low and middle incomes, whose average monthly income is merely 1,000 yuan (US$ 140.40).

Li Keqiang added, “It may be difficult even to rent an apartment with income of 1,000 yuan in a medium-sized city.” Li promised to make people’s livelihood a high priority.

According to People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, a Chinese and foreign press conferences was held on the afternoon of the 28th, after the closing of the 13th National People’s Congress of China. It was when the media questioned Li Keqiang that he made the above remarks.

Li Keqiang said that the task of poverty alleviation is a “sophisticated commitment” that the CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping made to the entire society and that it must be completed as scheduled this year. Originally, there were 5 million people living in poverty. Under the impact of this epidemic, some more people may have fallen back to poverty, and the task of poverty alleviation has become even tougher.

Source: Central News Agency, May 29, 2020
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202005290046.aspx

LTN: For HK, China Is Betting on the International Community Staying with Lip Services Only

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that Beijing’s new HK National Security Law sent a shockwave across the world. However, Beijing probably did not make this decision casually or in a hurry. Instead, this could very likely have been a carefully calculated move based on the bet that Beijing may not pay a geopolitical price. The international community has frequently condemned Beijing’s rude and unlawful activities, but rarely did people see tangible action taken against Communist China as a meaningful punishment. While the whole world is busy dealing with the pandemic, Beijing has been knocking down fishing ships near Vietnam, attacking the newly elected Taiwanese president, and confronting Indian troops on India’s border in the Himalayas. Since President Xi Jinping came into power, China has stopped the model of quietly raising its soft power globally. China is now no longer a country that feels ashamed of being a dictatorship. Instead it is betting that the world will once again just do lip service and China will not face any real punishment.

Source: LTN, May 25, 2020
https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/3176756

RFI Chinese: The British Prime Minister to Reduce Huawei 5G Involvement to Zero

Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition recently reported that, based on British sources, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked his government to prepare a new plan, in the next three years, to reduce Huawei’s involvement in the nation’s 5G infrastructure development to zero. Several things triggered this new move. One was the increasing pressure from within the Conservative Party on national security concerns. The second was the British general public’s distrust of the Chinese government as a result of the widespread damage that the coronavirus caused. The earlier British plan of keeping a percentage of Huawei involvement had already disappointed Washington and cast a shadow on the intelligence-sharing among Western allies. The United States also accused China of subsidizing Huawei so it could eat into international telecommunication market shares. After Brexit, the British government has been negotiating with the EU to establish a new relationship and has also started talks with the United States for a new free trade agreement.

Source: RFI Chinese, May 23, 2020
https://bit.ly/2MawmGZ

Average HK Residents Responded to the New HK National Security Law

When the Mainland communist government introduced the Hong Kong National Security Law, the average Hong Kong local residents immediate response was to go to the banks in Hong Kong. According to Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition, as soon as the new law’s draft was submitted, foreign exchange stores across Hong Kong were immediately overwhelmed by customers converting HK Dollars to US Dollars. A typical exchange store could reach over US$1 million in cash exchange within one hour. British Pounds and Japanese Yen also ran out fast. Many customers of Chinese banks nearly emptied their money in HK Dollars and immediately opened US Dollar accounts in local branches of U.S. banks or Singapore banks. In the meantime, the major Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily reported that the locals took another immediate action to download VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps, which help users avoid being monitored by authorities. On May 21, Apple’s HK AppStore reported seven of the top ten downloads were VPN apps. The download volume was 120 times more than the previous day. Mainland China is well-known for its tight control over Internet access and most of the World’s popular social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, are blocked in China. Meanwhile, immigration service providers also saw a sharp increase in immigration inquires.

Sources:

(1) RFI Chinese, May 30, 2020
https://bit.ly/2XKXmC7

(2) Apple Daily, May 22, 2020
https://tw.appledaily.com/international/20200522/25YVFLSQXAKTJJ65PXYDQUMXBA/

Will Street Vendor Business Model Help China’s Economic Recovery?

“As the U.S. opened the era of private spaceship economy (SpaceX program), China restarted its street vendor economy.” These are popular words on China’s Internet lately. Facing the economic pressure from COVID 19, China recently loosened up its control over street vendors. In March, the Chengdu City Management Committee issued new regulations to allow residents or local businesses to setup vendor booths on the street. By May 21, the city had 2,234 temporary street vendors which created over 100,000 jobs and enabled 98 percent of the restaurants to re-open their businesses. Since then, a number of cities and provinces, including Shanghai, Gansu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hebei have followed their lead.

In 2005, China launched “civilized city” evaluation nationwide. In order to be recognized for their achievements while ensuring public stability, local municipal governments around China launched severe attacks on street vendors. There were numerous bloody incidents reported when urban administrators used violent force on street vendors. On May 27, 15 years later, the Office of the Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilization issued a new guideline and stated that street vendors will not be part of the measures for the civilized city evaluation. Meanwhile a number of official media also published articles to praise the street vendor model.

There were heated discussions online about this policy change. Some people commented that Beijing is obviously concerned about social and political stability and economic recovery, so they have to give the public some leeway. Some people said, ”Now it’s time to encourage street vendors. Obviously, we are not doing that well financially.” In the recent government work report the State Council issued, “protect” and “stabilize” are two key words that were frequently mentioned. China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s recent statement during the press conference at the People’s Congress was also shocking. Li said that there are 600 million people in China who only have a monthly income of 1,000 yuan (US$140) and can hardly afford rent in a mid-sized city. A recent report showed that due to COVID 19, 80 percent of the small and medium-sized factories in the Pearl River Delta region that used to rely on orders from overseas are facing order cancellation and most of them are staying idle.

Source:
Epoch Times, May 31, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/5/31/n12150806.htm
Xinhua, June 1, 2020
http://www.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2020-06/01/c_1126057426.htm

Stability Control: The CCP Uses the Police’ Big Data System to Identify Infection Suspects

The Epoch Times reported that, based on official documents that it received, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using the police’ big data system to help identifying people who are suspected of having the coronavirus infection. The police, called public security in China, has established its big data system based on monitoring Chinese people’s phone conversations, mobile apps, mobile payments, phone locations, and information extracted from other sources.

The document “Jilin City’s People to Test” on May 22 showed that 2,048 people in Jilin City, Jilin Province were suspected of having the coronavirus infection and needed to be tested. Among them, 1,006 were identified from the police’ big data system and many people are residents in other provinces, indicating the police’s big data system has been connected across different regions.

The document “Registration List of People to Test” from Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province showed 4,167 people to be tested. Of those, 3,255 were identified from the police’ big data system. However, the information about over 600 people from the police’ big data system was inaccurate (they could not find the person). This indicates the big data system is not yet very reliable.

A May 16 report from the Jilin Province Disease Prevention and Control Center showed that a patient could not recall his activities from April 29 to May 3. Therefore the authorities recommended using the police’ big data system.

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Medical Supplies: The Many Defects in “Made-in-China” Medical Supplies

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the China produced medical supplies, including face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), are widely scrutinized around the world. The following are a collection of reports from countries that found defects in these “made-in-China” supplies.

#1 U.S.: On May 8, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed 14 Chinese manufacturers to supply N95 face masks to the U.S., way below the 80 manufacturers that had done so previously. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) tested 67 types of imported face masks and found about 60 percent failed the U.S. required safety measurement. For example, a Chinese manufacturer whose export license the FDA had revoked, produced face masks that could only filter out 24 to 35 percent of the micro particles, way below the required 95 percent standard. (Central News Agency)

#2 U.S.: The State of Illinois spent nearly $17 million buying KN95 masks. An alert from the Illinois Department of Public Health said that the KN95 masks might not meet performance standards and counterfeit masks are “flooding the marketplace.” It recommended that agencies remove the KN95 masks that have already been received. (Fox News)

#3 Canada: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said that it had found that about 1 million KN95 face masks did not meet the requirements for the medical staff to be able to use them. Also, the city of Toronto announced that it would recall over 60,000 made-in-China face masks that had been provided to staff members at long-term care institutes. (Sing Tao Daily)

#4 Europe: On April 24, the Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Non-food Products, which the European Union had established, announced it had given the label of “Serious Warning” to four types of face masks that China made. The manufacturer of these four types of face masks had claimed that they met the N95/FFP2 requirement. (Central News Agency).

#5 U.K.: The Department of Health admitted that none of the 3.5million finger-prick tests ordered from mainly Chinese manufacturers in March passed accuracy checks. The Government wants its money back.

Netherlands: The Dutch health ministry recalled 600,000 face masks at the end of March because they did not fit and the filters were defective.

Spain: The government found 60,000 testing kits from China failed accuracy tests.

Slovakia: Prime Minister Igor Matovic said a million face masks from China were so inaccurate they should “be thrown straight into the Danube.”

Ireland: The Irish government issued an ultimatum to China after healthcare workers on the front-line found that 20 percent of the £176million-worth of PPE it had bought from China was unusable. (Daily Mail)

#6 Finland: The government of Finland said that the 2 million face masks it bought from China did not meet the requirements and thus were not suitable for hospital use. (Radio France International)

#7 Austria and Italy: At end of March, several million China-made face masks and PPE arrived in Austria. Part of the shipment was supposed to have been re-shipped to Italy. After Austria conducted tests, it found they didn’t meet the requirements. (Epoch Times)

#8 Australia: The Australian Border Force (ABF) officers have intercepted several deliveries of PPE that were found to be counterfeit or otherwise faulty. One law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, estimated the ABF had already seized 800,000 masks with a combined value of more than $1.2 million on the Australian market. (ABC)

#9 India: India cancelled an order for 500,000 testing kits from China because the accuracy rate of these testing kits was only 5 percent. (Epoch Times)

#10 Pakistan: Pakistan found out that the N95 face masks that China provided to them were made from women’s bras and were completely different from the CCP’s claim of “high-quality” face masks. Pakistan’s media were angry and said, “China cheated us.” (Epoch Times)

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Pandemic: Over 40 Percent of China’s Cinemas May Go Bust

According to a survey that the China Film Association released on May 27, 2020, the pandemic has had a severe adverse impact on the entire Chinese film industry. The survey was conducted in April, with questionnaires sent to select, mature, dynamic, and market-competitive cinemas. Four in ten cinemas may permanently close down. Since February, all cinemas have been in the red.

 

The survey showed that the national box office revenue for the first quarter dropped 88 percent year on year to 2.23 billion yuan (US$312 million). The cinemas with more than 2,000 seats saw the box office revenue decrease by 87.7 percent year-on-year. Those with 500-2000 seats by dropped 88 percent and smaller ones with less than 500 seats by 91.3 percent.

 

Over 90 percent of those surveyed were pessimistic about the short term prospects. Half believed that it will take at least 3 to 6 months to reach the same level as before the pandemic and 37 percent of the theaters believed that it will take more than half a year.

 

As many as 42 percent of the cinemas surveyed responded they are at risk of “closing the door.” Only 10 percent indicated that they may change hands and continue to operate. Finally, 28 percent said they are “waiting for the headquarters’ arrangements.”

 

The China Film Association estimated that if cinemas reopened in June and revenues gradually recovered to 90 percent of last year’s levels within six months, the box office revenue would be reduced by about 60 percent year-on-year for 2020.

 

In 2015, China surpassed the United States to become the country with the largest number of screens in the world, over 70,000 screens in 12,480 cinemas in 2019. Its annual box office revenue accounted for about a quarter of the world’s total. As of 2019, it was the second-largest film market in the world.  China has been the largest overseas box office for Hollywood and in 2019 contributed 5.4 percent to the growth of the global film industry.

 

Sources: Sina.com, May 29, 2020. 

https://ent.sina.com.cn/m/c/2020-05-29/doc-iircuyvi5682505.shtml?cre=tianyi&mod=pcent&loc=2&r=25&rfunc=100&tj=none&tr=25

Stability Control: Internet Bully to Fang Fang Supporters

Fang Fang, a Chinese novelist living in Wuhan, wrote a diary during the Wuhan lock-down. She wanted to publish her diary in Chinese, but no publisher would take it because of political concerns. Then she published it in English as Wuhan Diary. The diary recorded her life and did not have a strong message against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, many Chinese, led by the some CCP loyalists, criticized Fang Fang for being a traitor and defaming China.

These people not only bullied Fang Fang, but also any people supporting Fang Fang. Thus Fang Fang called these Internet perpetrators “Internet Hooligans.”

#1: Deutsche Welle reported that in April, several professors supporting Fang Fang were reported for political problems.

Professor Liang Yanping of Hubei University wrote an article to support Wuhan Diary. Fang Fang reposted the article. Some netizens dug out Professor Liang’s past posting on Weibo and claimed that she supported Hong Kong Independence (a bad action in the eyes of the Chinese people). This led to Hubei University’s setting up an investigation group to inquire into her case.

Poet Wang Xiaoni, a retired professor from Hainan University, wrote an article related to Liang Yanping and Fang Fang reposted the article. Then some people targeted Wang and claimed that she supported Taiwan Independence (another totally unacceptable deed to Chinese) and Hong Kong Independence. Hainan University said that they also formed an investigation group to look into her speeches.

The Internet bully also called out other Fang Fang supporters, including Liu Chuan’e, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Hubei University, Tan Banghe, Deputy Dean of the  College of Liberal Arts, Central China Normal University, and Jing Ya, Professor of Nanchang University. (Deutsche Welle)

#2: Recently, Lao Lishi, a former Olympic Diving Champion, has been running an online store. She received many curses for reposting one of Fang Fang’s Weibo posts. Fang Fang’s Weibo was in remembrance of the death of a nurse from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region who came to Wuhan during the coronavirus pandemic; and her Weibo was just quoting a Xinhua article.

This time, Lao fought back against the Internet bully. She posted, “I was accused of various things because of reposting a Weibo post. Some accused me of lacking education, some accused me of being brain retarded, some accused me of lacking judgment, some accused me of supporting evil, and some accused me of having no conscience. Ha ha, I am very happy because I have not lived the way you like. If I had to live the way you like, I’d rather jump off a ten-meter platform into a pool without water.” (Back China)

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World against The CCP: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Said Coronavirus Came from China

On May 25, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan has removed the emergency status for the entire country.

#1: Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that, at a press conference, when reporters asked about the escalation in the tension  between the U.S. and China during the pandemic, Abe answered, “China spread the novel coronavirus to the world; this is a fact.” He also stated that the U.S. is Japan’s only ally, that the two countries share the same basic values, and that Japan and the U.S. cooperate when responding to international issues. (Central News Agency)

#2: Liberty Times, another Taiwan media, reported that, on May 26, Zhao Lijian, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, criticized Japan, saying that its “(action of) blindly following politics should not be above scientific judgment.” However, a video of the press conference showed that Zhao was reading from a script without much enthusiasm. Zhao is a “fighting wolf” of the Chinese Communist Party who, a few months ago, launched a wave of attacks on the U.S. He blamed the United States for spreading the coronavirus to China. (Liberty Times)

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