According to an article that Radio Free Asia published, Hong Kong University released the results of a recent survey reporting that the percentage of Hong Kong youths who acknowledged their identity as “Chinese” was only 3.1 percent, the lowest number in history. At the same time, the percentage of those who identify themselves as “Hong Kongese” was 65 percent, 3 percent higher than in the previous survey. The article quoted an interview with a few residents in Hong Kong. They felt that the political milieu and the livelihood in Hong Kong have worsened since its return to the mainland 20 years ago and that Beijing has never kept its promises. One professor from Hong Kong University said that Beijing constantly interferes with Hong Kong policy. Meanwhile Hong Kong youths are not happy with the uncivilized behavior that the tourists from the mainland display while they shop in Hong Kong or tour in foreign countries. The Hong Kong government didn’t bother to understand the dissatisfaction from the Hong Kong youths whose wish to have Hong Kong be independent continues to rise but is being suppressed.
Hong Kong University has conducted the survey once every two years since 1997. The “Chinese Citizen Identity” result was growing in the first 10 years from 1997 to 2006 but dropped sharply starting in 2008 and fell below 10 percent in 2012, two years before the “Occupy Central” movement took place.
Source: Radio Free Asia, June 21, 2017
Duowei News reported that the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television recently issued a notice to shut down audio-visual programs on websites including Sina Weibo (microblog) and iFeng because they “air programs that are against national policy on audio-visual political programs and their programs spread negative comments.” This is considered as escalation of further control of the online environment, especially self-media. The article defines self-media as blogs, microblogs, Wechat, and forums. Microblogs will take a big hit because of the policy and it may get more and more difficult for political topics that are discussed on these media to pass inspection in the future. The article said that it is very possible that other types of media might be impacted in the future as well.
Source: Duowei News, June 24, 2017
Radio Free Asia reported that, on Friday June 23, following a change in the internal coaching lineup when Liu Guoliang was removed as the chief coach of the Chinese national table tennis team, several male table tennis players suddenly announced that they decided to drop out of the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Platinum China Open which was held in Chengdu China from June 22-25. They cited that “they have no desire to compete because they missed their Coach, Liu Guoliang.” It was reported that the athletes were also banned from using any social media one hour prior to the announcement of the coaching line up. These athletes faced harsh criticism from the General Administration of Sports. Nevertheless, the news spread immediately over the social media. Even though the official sports channel CCTV5 closed its online commentary posting capability, by Friday evening, the news had been forwarded close to 20,000 times. Many people questioned why Liu was taken down from the Chief Coach post and some people directly criticized the Administration of Sports for its bureaucracy and letting “an amateur manage an expert”.
Source: Radio Free Asia, June 24, 2017
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