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China to Invest US$2 Billion in the Reconstruction of Syria

At the First Trade Fair on Syrian Reconstruction Projects (on July 9), Qin Yong, Vice President of the China-Arab Exchange Association, revealed that China plans to invest US$2 billion in Syria to establish industrial parks. The first phase will attract 150 enterprises to participate.

Syrian ambassador to China, Imad Mustafa, said that this is the first time that a Syrian reconstruction project fair has been held in Beijing. The hope is to build an important platform for Chinese enterprises to understand Syria and participate in the reconstruction of Syria.

The Syrian ambassador also said, “China, Russia, and Iran have provided substantial support to Syria during the military conflict. Therefore, it is these three countries that should play a major role in the reconstruction of Syria. If the work were to be carried out by other countries, even by those who participate in the damage to the Syrian infrastructure, it would be very unfair.”

“We learned the lessons from what happened (during the domestic war). We learned who our strategic partners are. Now we will not move closer to the West, but to the north and the east (referring to China, Russia and Iran).”

Source: Sina, July 14, 2017
http://mil.news.sina.com.cn/china/2017-07-14/doc-ifyiakur8888497.shtml?cre=milpagepc&mod=f&loc=1&r=9&doct=0&rfunc=49

Chongqing Held 11 Consecutive Important Meetings Following Sun Zhengcai’s “Disappearance“

Duowei reported that Chinese political star Sun Zhengcai’s “bizarre disappearance” caused quite a stir in Chongqing’s officialdom. Since July 15, when Chen Miner took office in Chongqing, the municipal committee has held 11 important meetings.

On July 19, Chongqing Daily reported nine of those important meetings.

On July 15, the CPC Organization Minister Zhao Leji announced that the former Guizhou Provincial Party Secretary Chen Miner replaced Sun Zhengcai as secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Party Committee. Chen Miner said at the meeting that (the new leadership) will resolutely support Xi Jinping’s core position, “have a firm political stance, and adherence to political discipline.”

On July 17 and 18, Chongqing held 10 meetings. Those present at the meetings, repeatedly brought up the issue of eliminating the lingering toxic influences from the (sacked) Bo Xilai, (the former head of Chongqing) and Wang (Lijun), as well as the issue of the reinspection report from the Central Leading Group for Inspection Work.

The inspection group pointed out that the problems in the official circles in Chongqing included “weakening of the party’s leadership, the promotion of cadres with problems,” and other related issues. It also specifically singled out the problem that the remaining impact of “Bo and Wang” has not been completely removed.

Source: Duowei, July 19, 2017
http://china.dwnews.com/news/2017-07-19/59826245.html

PLA Daily: Army’s Active Duty Member Count Was Reduced to 50 Percent in Military Reform

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily published an article on WeChat (a popular Chinese social media) under its WeChat account Jun Zhen Ping Studio, regarding the on-going military reform.

The article stated that, “After this reform, for the first time, the Army’s active duty member count dropped below one million. The Navy, Rocket Army, and Strategic Support Force all had increases while the Air Force stayed at the same level. The Army numbers about 50 percent of the overall military forces.”

Source: Chuansong.net, July 11, 2017
http://chuansong.me/n/1968026052724

Pan Asia Nonferrous Metals Exchange Is a State Ponzi Scheme

The Pan Asia Nonferrous Metals Exchange was once an attractive investment platform that the government promoted in 2011. Over 220,000 people invested a total of 43 billion yuan (US$6 billion) in it. However, in 2015, it turned out that it was a Ponzi scheme and most people lost their money.

Investors have repeatedly appealed to both the Yunnan Provincial government and the central government to request help in order to recover their losses, but, so far, the government has provided no response.

Recently, a video was posted on YouTube with edited video clips promoting Pan Asia from the China Central Television (CCTV). These showed that the government was responsible for crediting and promoting Pan Asia in its earlier years. The video clips showed CCTV’s vigorous introduction of the nonferrous metal exchange platform, broadcasting Pan Asia’s collaboration with CCTV, and promoting Pan Asia’s business.

Source: Radio France International, September 24, 2016
http://cn.rfi.fr/中国/20160924-泛亚诈骗:国家导演的庞氏骗局

People’s Daily: “The Borderline Is the Bottom Line!”

For the past few weeks, China and India have had a standoff in a disputed area between China and Bhutan.

The Chinese call the disputed highland region “Donglang” and the Indians call it “Doklam.” It is on the border between China and Bhutan. Bhutan is China’s only neighboring country that has not established a formal diplomatic relationship with China, mainly due to the border dispute.

Recently, China started building a road in the disputed area. India then sent its soldiers to block China from building the road.

An Indian brigadier-general said, “We didn’t fire. We only formed a human body wall to prevent Chinese from continuing its invasion.”

China’s Ambassador Luo Zhaohui said during an interview, “This is the first time that the Indian military crossed the predefined borderline to invade China’s territory, causing the military standoff.” “There is no disagreement between China and Bhutan that Donglang belongs to China. India has no right to intervene in Sino-Bhutan negotiations, nor does it have the right to advocate for territory for Bhutan.”

On July 7, People’s Daily’s official weibo account published a picture with the title, “The Borderline Is the Bottom Line.” The picture is the border map showing the area of China, India, and Bhutan. It shows Donglang is in China. It also shows an arrow pointing from India to China. The note read, “The Indian military illegally crossed the border to enter China’s side.”

{Editor’s note: According to an article published in War on the Rocks on July 13, 2017, when China initiated its road building, “(India) in ‘close coordination’ with a Royal Bhutan Army patrol approached the Chinese construction party and urged them to desist… (This) appears to be an attempt to wean Bhutan away from India.”}

Sources:
1. Weibo
http://weibo.com/p/100808b2f565c3e128dcf37ac2e69d40235183?k=界线即是底线&from=526&_from_=huati_topic
2. BBC, July 5, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/trad/world-40503298

BBC Chinese: China Seems to Be Planning to Ban VPNs

BBC Chinese recently reported, based on a number of media sources, that the Chinese government appears to have become much stricter on domestic Internet access control. The three primary Chinese communications companies have been ordered that, by February 2018, they must ban Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) on their Internet networks. VPN refers to the technology to form an encrypted secure channel to go across the public Internet. This is the primary technology for Chinese netizens to access the free Internet outside of China’s “Great Firewall.” It has been estimated that over 30 percent of the 700 million Chinese Internet users depend on VPN technology to break the government’s firewall to visit banned websites such as Facebook and Twitter. It is technically challenging to fully ban VPN usage. At the same time, it may also impact the international companies that use VPN technology for their secure connections to their headquarters’ networks for legitimate business purposes. The VPN ban will further limit Chinese scientists, researchers, and scholars from their day-to-day research work and their communications with foreigners in the same field. Experts expressed their belief that this recent VPN ban demonstrates the Chinese government’s desperation in its attempt to obtain tight Internet control.

Source: BBC Chinese, July 12, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/press-review-40580679

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