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Beijing Enforces Real-Name Registration on the Internet

According to new rules that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s highest Internet regulator, recently announced, starting on October 1, 2017, only users who have provided their identity information will be able to post online content or comments on the Internet. Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported on August 26 that the new rules aim to prevent the spread of views the state bans or which the law prohibits, that the circulation of such information has to be stopped immediately, and that measures must be taken for its removal.

The CAC website explicitly required that website operators will have to review comments on news stories before they can appear online. At the top of the CAC’s list of harmful information are: endangering national security, revealing state secrets, subverting state power, damaging national honor and interests, undermining national unity, spreading rumors or disrupting the social order.

On August 29, China’s state media Global Times published an article to defend the above provision. The article said, “Without real name authentication, one cannot function on the Internet.” The article also claimed that the vast majority of the people had widely accepted real name certification.

An analysis published at a Shanghai-based news and finance web portal, jiemian.com, expressed the expectation that online promotional activities will be curtailed. In recent years, online public relations companies have hired paid commentators to promote products. Some well-connected public relations companies even offer services to remove web pages that contain negative consumer reviews. CAC’s new regulation prevents commercial operations from generating massive favorable comments or from selectively removing unfavorable comments.

Sources:
1. jiemian.com, August 31, 2017
http://www.jiemian.com/article/1591415.html
2. Radio France Internationale, August 26, 2017
http://cn.rfi.fr/中国/20170826-大陆网民发表意见十月开始需用实名
3. http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2017-08/11188623.html
4. Cyberspace Administration of China website, August 25, 2017
http://www.cac.gov.cn/2017-08/25/c_1121541844.htm

CCP Wants Final Say in Foreign Company’s Operations in China

According to a dispatch from Beijing that the Taipei-based Central News Agency (CNA) published on August 24, executives from over a dozen major European companies in China met in Beijing last month to discuss the growing role the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays in foreign companies.

CNA cited reports from Reuters, among other news agencies, that people familiar with the discussion were concerned about President Xi Jinping’s emphasis on the CCP’s role in Chinese society, which has impacted the China operations of foreign companies.

China Daily, China’s official English-language newspaper, reported last month that it is a fact that CCP organizations have been established within companies in China. According to China Daily, out of 1.86 million privately owned companies, over 70 percent have a CCP branch unit in them.

Until recently, many foreign executives have regarded such an arrangement as symbolic. However, one executive who participated in last month’s discussion revealed that (the party) has exerted political pressure on some companies to give CCP representatives in the joint ventures the final say over business operations.

The executive said the company’s Chinese partner was pushing to change the terms of the joint venture to bring CCP personnel into management, to include the CCP organization’s overhead expenses in the company budget, and for the CCP secretary be named chairman of the board.

Source:
Central News Agency, August 24, 2017
http://www.cna.com.tw/news/afe/201708240405-1.aspx

Former Shanghai Mayor’s Role Highlighted in Xi Jinping’s Grand 1000-Year Plan

Ta Kung Pao, a Beijing affiliated Hong Kong daily newspaper, reported that former Shanghai mayor Xu Kuangdi was shown on CCTV, China’s state television, on February 23, interacting closely with Xi Jinping during Xi’s visit to the Xiongan New Area.

CCTV‘s footage was not publicly released until this past weekend, when Beijing announced the planning and construction of the area, which is said to be part of the 1000-year plan that Xi set forth showcasing “world vision, international standards, Chinese characteristics, and high goals.”

Xu Kuangdi currently serves as the chief advisor for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration. He was mayor of Shanghai from 1995 to 2001, and supervised the city’s transformation into a center for international investment and trade with the establishment of the Pudong New District.

According to Radio Free Asia‘s commentator Paul Lin, he was asked to resign from the mayor’s position to make room for Chen Liangyu, a favorite of then Party secretary general Jiang Zemin. In 2006, Chen was disgraced because of corruption charges and dismissed from all positions including being a member of the Politburo.

Xu, who held several academic positions before becoming mayor of Shanghai, recommended that the construction of the Xiongan New Area should focus on technological and innovative industries and that the region should attract high-end innovative talent and resources. The new district covers the counties of Xiong, Rongcheng, and Anxin and is currently a poor, rural area. Xu said it was chosen because the “low density of its population, the low level of development, and plenty of space for future growth.”

Sources: Ta Kung Pao, April 4, 2017
http://news.takungpao.com/mainland/focus/2017-04/3438214.html
Radio Free Asia, December 13, 2001
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/pinglun/72194-20011213.html

Ambassador Haley: Human Rights Are at the Heart of the U.N. Mission

On March 29, the Chinese edition of Voice of America (VOA) reported that the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N. Nikki Haley delivered a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Ambassador Haley discussed the United States’ goals for its term in April as president of the UN Security Council. She outlined her plans to highlight human rights.

VOA quoted Haley as saying, “In case after case, human rights abuses are not the byproduct of conflict; they are the cause of conflict or they are the fuel that feeds the conflict.”  “It might surprise many Americans to learn that human rights violations have not been considered an appropriate subject for discussion in the Security Council.” Haley observed, “Human rights are at the heart of the mission of the United Nations.”

Ambassador Haley mentioned the North Korean regime, which forces political prisoners to work themselves to death in coal mines to finance its nuclear program, and Syrian intelligence, which uses torture, including the deliberate systemic torture of children, to identify and silence opponents.

VOA noted that Ambassador Haley did not name China, where human rights lawyers and activists face large-scale suppression. However, the Telegraph reported on April 3 that “Russia and China are yet to approve Ms. Haley’s schedule, and as a result she has not been able to (get agreement to) a timetable for the events she wants to hold.”

“The United States is the moral conscience of the world,” said Haley, “We will not walk away from this role but we will insist that our participation in the U.N. honor and reflect this role.”

Sources:
VOA Chinese, March 29, 2017
http://www.voachinese.com/a/nikki-haley-20170329/3787255.html
Telegraph, April 4, 2017
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/04/nikki-haley-battles-get-human-rights-un-security-council-agenda/

 

Beijing Housing Authorities Tighten Regulations on Commercial Real Estate Projects

On March 27, Beijing Business Today, a daily newspaper affiliated with the Beijing Daily Newspaper Group, reported on its front page that housing authorities in China’s capital tightened regulations on commercial real estate projects.

Late Sunday, the city’s housing, urban planning, industry and commerce, and banking authorities released  an official statement that new commercial real estate projects — including those converted from office buildings to individual units — may be sold only to qualified enterprises, public institutions, and social organizations. In addition, the smallest unit for sale should not be less than 500 square meters.

Moreover, personal loans for the purchase of commercial real estate have also been suspended. The statement also said that second-hand commercial housing can only be sold to individuals who have paid their income taxes or social insurance for five consecutive years and have no houses under their names in Beijing.

Prior to this new round of strict tightening, commercial real estate converted for residential use has been a viable alternative given Beijing’s prohibitively high housing prices, despite the fact that the children of the residents are not qualified to attend school near where they live. In the past few years, 50 to 60 percent of commercially developed real estate has been sold to individuals for (residential) living.

Housing market analysts expect the new regulations will slow down the commercial real estate market significantly and reduce the number of units changing hands by over 30 percent.

According to 21st Century Business Herald, a Guangzhou-based national newspaper, the tightened restriction has the purpose of slowing down population growth in Beijing, as well as preventing a negative impact that the rising cost of office space will have on business activities.

Sources:
Beijing Business Today, March 27, 2017
http://www.bbtnews.com.cn/2017/0327/186746.shtml
21st Century Business Herald, March 28, 2017
http://www.21jingji.com/2017/3-28/2OMDEzNzlfMTQwNTU2OQ.html

Global Times: China Warns U.S. Bomber upon Its Entering ADIZ in East China Seas

Global Times, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People’s Daily, reported on its website on March 23 that China issued warnings to a U.S. bomber that had entered the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.

Global Times cited CNN reports that Chinese officials told the pilots that they were illegally operating in Chinese airspace and ordered the U.S. air force plane to leave. According to CNN, the US plane was flying 70 nautical miles southwest of South Korea’s Jeju Island.

Global Times quoted a U.S. Pacific Air Forces spokesperson as saying to CNN, “Pacific Air Forces did not recognize the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) when it was announced in November of 2013, and does not recognize it today.” The spokesperson also told CNN, “The ADIZ has not changed our operations.” 

Global Times did not mention the U.S. pilots’ response, in which they told Chinese air traffic controllers that they were conducting routine operations in international airspace and they did not deviate from their flight path. Nor did Global Times quote CNN’s mentioning that Japan does not recognize China’s ADIZ either.

Source: Global Times, March 23, 2017
http://world.huanqiu.com/exclusive/2017-03/10363742.html

 

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