On June 21, 2017, Global Times, also known as Huanqiu, China’s official newspaper, published a commentary on the United States’ policy changes toward North Korea after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college graduate, recently released from a North Korean prison.
Below are some of the key points made in the commentary:
- The fall of a young life is sad, but making important policies emotionally will result in immediate or potential costs.
- Currently, the overall mood of the United States is a little bit over agitated, though the United States has not yet issued any medical explanation of Otto Warmbier’s death.
- Beijing must be wary of the fact that Washington DC may exert greater pressure on Beijing to “work effectively” on the North Korean nuclear issues due to the death of Warmbier, “forcing China to make more commitments.”
- China has done what needed to be done in terms of trying to break through the deadlock on the North Korean nuclear issues. However, China will never play a role as one of “the U.S. allies.” If Washington DC enacts sanctions against some of China’s enterprises as a third party, China and the United States will be in disagreement.
- The North Korean nuclear issues are widely affected and very complicated. It is unrealistic for the United States to solve the problem quickly or even rely on China to solve the problem for the United States. If the American system is only capable of doing simple things, unable to handle complicated situations, then it is very likely that the Korean Peninsula will eventually explode, which will be sad.
- The Asia-Pacific region simply cannot now afford to face any major conflicts between the United States and China. The United States looks cool and confident on the surface; it is also very difficult for the US to handle disagreements between China and the U.S.
Source: Huanqiu, June 21, 2017
Liberty Times reported that the wealthy American investor Tim Draper announced that he has stopped investing in China or in any companies headquartered in China, due to difficulties in getting money out of China.
Draper is a famous investor from the United States. In the past, he successfully invested in Tesla, Hotmail, and Skype.
In the past few years, China has experienced a slowdown in economic growth and in money outflow. To reduce the pressure on Renminbi devaluation and save its foreign reserves that have been dropping rapidly, Beijing has taken a series of actions since November of last year to tighten the control of capital, preventing companies from sending money out of China.
Itamar Har-Even, the Co-CEO of Ion Pacific, a Hong Kong consulting company for investment banking and funds management, thinks that China’s capital control has hurt many companies’ global investment desires. He said, “We have spent a lot of time (thinking about) how to get money out of China.”
Source: Liberty Times Net, June 7, 2017
Guangming Daily published an article which stated that a new regulation that the China Security Regulatory Commission introduced is set to become effective on July 1. The regulation requires that investors fill out a survey on “Risk Tolerance Ability.” The sample questions include questions such as current source of income; educational background or work experience; and plans to utilize returns from the investments. Then the investors will be divided into the following five types based on their ability to take risks, and how conservative, cautious, stable, active, and aggressive they are. Securities will be divided into different levels based on the level of risk. Investors in each category will only be able to purchase securities that fit their category or any categories that are rated lower than theirs. The new regulations are said to “sell the right products to the right group of investors.” The article pointed out that the new regulation will affect 125 million investors and will likely mean that not every citizen will have an opportunity to participate in trading securities.
Source: Guangming Daily, June 20, 2017
On June 17, Radio Free Asia published an article reporting that Beijing has tightened its control over municipal employees traveling overseas. The rule no longer applies only to Party officials and military personnel but has also been expanded to include public servants as well as all management levels in State Owned Enterprises, especially in the banking industry. The purpose of the new rule is to prevent officials from taking their money overseas and fleeing China. The article quoted a comment from a businessman who stated that all of his friends had to turn in their passports. The regulation will not work on certain members of the elite class because they can use their connections to obtain fake IDs. The article stated that the restrictions on Party officials traveling overseas started over 10 years ago. Based on the evidence from criminal cases, it is quite common for the Party officials to own multiple Chinese passports or even foreign passports.
Source: Radio Free Asia, June 17, 2017
Radio France Internationale published an article explaining that, following the recent explosion outside a kindergarten in a suburb of Xu Zhou City in Jiangsu Province which killed 8 people and injured 65 people, the General Office and the Publicity Office issued an urgent notice to news media outlets. The notice requested that the media outlets must use only three official media as their news sources when reporting on the explosion. They must exercise strict efforts to monitor online and social media in order to stop and prevent potential “rumors” or negative comments. The article also stated that the seriousness of the explosion caught the attention of the leadership in Beijing. The Ministry of Education has ordered tightened security around school buildings. Some Kindergartens have even hired security guards who are armed with guns or preventive equipment such as batons, long forks, or spears. In addition, the article also quoted Bowen Press, which wrote that, “While China is facing a number of different hidden crises, its official news media will report extensively on incidents such as gun violence in the U.S. and the deadly London fire in the U.K. However, when it comes to kindergarten explosions or other domestic accidents, little news coverage can be found. That is incredible.”
The explosion took place at 4:50 pm on Thursday June 15. According to CCTV, the police have identified the suspect as a 22 year old male who made the explosive device at home and was killed at the scene. The suspect was reported to have dropped out of school due to psychological problems and then found a job close to the kindergarten. The police found the explosive material at the suspect’s residence and found the words “death,” “kill,” and “eliminate” written on his walls.
1. Radio France Internationale, June 16, 2017
2. Voice of America, June 16, 2017
Xinhua recently reported that the Communist Party Central Commission for Discipline Inspection recently released a report that showed “issues” it had found in the provinces of Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Yunnan and Shanxi. The Twelfth Inspection Round was a “random patrol” on provinces and central-government-owned companies that had been inspected before. There have been “random patrols” done in 12 provinces already, as part of the “look-back” initiative. The new round discovered that a wide range of issues that were discovered in the previous round had not been properly remedied. Most importantly, some local governments in Inner Mongolia and Jilin were found to be faking official economic data. This new round of inspection resulted in some additional government officials being put under further investigation.
Source: Xinhua, June 12, 2017