Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Indian government just announced its decision to exclude China’s Huawei and ZTE from its experimental 5G network project. In a press conference, a Chinese government spokesperson commented that China did notice such a report and that the Chinese government always encourages Chinese companies overseas to follow local laws and regulations. However, China also expects other countries to provide a fair, just and transparent business environment for Chinese companies. The spokesperson also suggested that the Chinese-India trade relationship is essentially a win-win situation and that the current relationship is satisfactory overall. He did not answer a question asking whether the Chinese government got in touch with the Indian government on this specific matter or not.
Source: Sina, September 19, 2018
According to an article from Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, in the last two or three years, the authorities launched a nationwide crackdown on Christianity in China. The locals were forced to take down crosses and the church pastors and believers were arrested. It is estimated that tens of millions of believers have been affected. In July and August 2018, the authorities in Henan and Anhui Provinces forced believers to abandon their beliefs, to promise not to hold on to their beliefs, and to pledge allegiance to the party. Recently, in Wenzhou City of Zhejiang Province, the authorities launched a “Religion Elimination Campaign” in schools and in hospitals. The students were asked to fill out forms giving their personal information, including about their parents and their religious beliefs. Teachers were also required to guide students to be careful in filling in whether their family members who are adults believe in a religion. This procedure was then used as one of the teachers’ annual performance assessment criteria. Members of the neighborhood watch committee were assigned the “political task” of printing the statement of their renouncing their religious beliefs and asking the individuals and their family members living in the assigned district to sign the form along with providing their finger prints. Then the party secretary of the local branch would sign the form and imprint it with official seal. The individual was also asked to take a photo or video when filling out the statement. All the records would be consolidated and filed with the local township. Meanwhile many Christian believers in Zhejiang Province reported that they were harassed and threatened. One individual from Ningpo disclosed that she was not allowed to attend Sunday family church gatherings and her job and family were used to threaten her. Another individual from Linghai said that there was an unusual power outage at one of the bible studies he went to. On a different occasion, someone left stinky garbage bags outside the home where the bible study was hosted so as to scare people away.
Source: Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, September 21, 2018
Central News Agency (CNA) reported that, on September 15, CCTV aired a news report in which it alleged that Taiwan Intelligence has been recruiting mainland students to be spies. The news report claimed that the Chinese national security agency recently organized the “2018-Thunder” project and “uncovered more than one hundred Taiwan spy cases, arrested a group of Taiwanese spies, and promptly cut off the Taiwan spy intelligence network with the mainland.” After the news broadcast, CCTV followed up with a “Focus Report” program which aired three cases in which students from the mainland were recruited to be spies for Taiwan. The program contains photos and “real names” of the “Taiwan Military Intelligence Bureau members.” One think tank member in Beijing told CNA privately that it is not surprising that the official media aired this type of program because of the ongoing tension between Taiwan and the mainland. Recently Al Jazeera aired a news piece about certain political groups in Taiwan that receive financial support from the mainland. Therefore CCTV’s coverage on mainland students spying for Taiwan can be viewed as a “reasonable” counterattack from Beijing.
Source: Central News Agency, September 15, 2018
China and the Vatican recently made a historical breakthrough in their relations. They reached an interim agreement wherein the Holy See acknowledged the seven bishops that the Communist China appointed. Analysts said that this is a victory for Beijing and will inevitably have an impact on the relationship between the Vatican and Taiwan.
Previously, the Pope did not recognize the bishops that the Chinese government appointed. Although this interim agreement does not mention diplomatic relations, it is generally believed that this will improve the relationship between Beijing and the Holy See. Since 1951, the two countries diplomatic relations have been severed. In recent years, Taiwan has been maneuvering on an increasingly difficult diplomatic stage. The impact is obvious. At present, the Vatican is one of Taiwan’s 17 remaining countries with diplomatic ties. It is the only one in Europe.
Some believers worry that the new agreement will cause Taiwan to lose the Vatican as its most important diplomatic ally. Many experts also agree with this view.
Jonathan Sullivan, director of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, described the accord as “a strategic move on China’s part; and a naive one on the Vatican’s.”
YING Fuk Tsang, a theology professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that Beijing will inevitably use all means to seek recognition from the Holy See. He said that if China succeeds, it will be a major blow to Taiwan’s diplomacy.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, the outspoken former bishop of Hong Kong, accused Vatican officials of “selling out” ahead of Saturday’s agreement. In a blog posted shortly after the announcement he raised concern over its impact.
The cardinal wrote, “What will the (Chinese) government say to Catholics in China? ‘Obey us. The Holy See is already in agreement with us?’”
Recently underground churches in China have been raided, bulldozers have torn them down, or they were asked to hang China’s national flag. Religious materials have been confiscated and the clergy has been pressured to reveal personal information about believers to the authorities.
An underground clergyman said that they were afraid because the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement did not mention any measures of protection that would be available for them and their followers. One priest said that believers “have doubts about the government’s sincerity.”
Source: Deutsche Welle Chinese, September 23, 2018
— Part I: Destroying the World Order —
Many people in the Free World have realized that the engagement policy with red China to induce transformation of its political system has not worked as expected. It is important to analyze the reasons further so that policy makers can design strategies that are more effective and will actually work. Continue reading
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) recently issued the Blue Book on the Chinese economy, which highlighted the low consumption rate as an issue of concern. On the heels of the publication, the official media reported that Beijing has given orders to “improve the consumption system and mechanisms, and further stimulate the residents’ consumption potential.”
The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council jointly handed out the “Opinion on improving the consumption mechanisms and further stimulating the consumption potential of residents.” It states that there are prominent institutional obstacles that restrict the expansion and upgrading of household consumption.
The opinion points out that key areas of the Chinese consumer market cannot meet the diversified demand from urban and rural residents effectively. The regulation authority has not adapted to the rapid development of the new modes of consumption. The quality standard system lags behind the need for escalated consumption quality and quantity. If the credit system and the consumer rights protection mechanisms do not play effective roles, the set of consumption policies cannot effectively support the rise in the residents’ consumption power.
As the CASS Blue Book reveals, China’s domestic consumption remains weak. The real growth rate of the per capita disposable income of the national residents in the first quarter of 2018 was 6.6 percent, far below the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate. The urban and rural consumption expenditures as a percentage of disposable income hover at a low level of 63 percent.
Source: Central News Agency, September 20, 2018