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VOA: Newly Elected Hong Kong Executive Will Face Challenges in Carrying out Her Policies

VOA carried an article about the election on Sunday, March 26, for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive. The article noted that, based on its analysis, Carrie Lam, the newly elected Chief Executive will face challenges in carrying out her policies because Beijing wanted her to be in that position even though she was far behind in the polls compared to her opponent John Tsang. The article stated that the Hong Kong election is also called a “limited election” because a committee made the decision; it consists of 70 members of Hong Kong’s legislative chamber and a mix of professionals, and business and trade elites. The article said that Sunday’s end result was “just as expected” and “with no surprises.” Carrie Lam, former Chief Secretary for the Administration of the Hong Kong SAR Government, won the election after gaining 777 votes (out of a total of 1,163 votes cast). The other two candidates were John Tsang, the former Finance secretary, who also led in the public opinion polls and and Woo Kwok-hing, a retired judge. Tsang had 365 votes and Woo Kwok-hing had 21 votes. According to the article, at the last minute, Beijing worked hard to put pressure on the business committee members to convince them to switch their position. This made Carrie Lam’s votes a lot higher than expected. Leung Kwok-hung, a member of the Legislative Council, told VOA that Beijing controlled the election. He explained that, according to a number of major Hong Kong media, even though Carrie Lam was 20 to 30 percent behind John Tsang in the polls one week before the election, Carrie Lam still won. Leung told VOA, “She had Beijing’s support, which might work against her in Hong Kong if she plans to execute her plans.” Another independent legislator told VOA that Lam winning the election will force Hong Kong to split even further and she will have a hard time managing Hong Kong. The article said that Carrie Lam is also called “Leung Chun-ying 2.0” because she claimed that one of her reasons to enter the election was that she wishes to continue the policies of Leung Chun-ying the incumbent Chief Executive. The author also interviewed Joshua Wong Chi-fung, the student activist who serves as secretary general of Demosistō, who told VOA that Beijing has been manipulating the election and that therefore, in the future, it will have to face more resistance from Hong Kong’s youth.

Source: Voice of America, March 26, 2017
http://www.voachinese.com/a/hong-kong-election-/3782234.html

VOA: 2017 Will Be the Year for Xi to Shake off His Predecessors’ Control and Carry out His Plan

VOA published an article about Liang Hui (the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) which ended on March 15. It also quoted the comments that Douglas H Paal, Vice President for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, made predicting that Xi Jinping will play a greater world leadership role in 2017.

According to the article, Liang Hui ended quietly on March 15 partly because Xi does not want to make any changes prior to the 19th National Congress which will be held later this year. The article further indicated that Xi has further consolidated his power. It stated that 2017 will be the year for Xi to shake off the control of his predecessors while carrying out his plan.

The author also interviewed and quoted Douglas Paal’s comments. According to Paal, 2017 is the year that Xi Jinping enters into phase II of his era. Below is the translation of part of his comments:

“During phase I, Xi had to work with the people from various backgrounds in leadership. Those people had their own opinions. They represented the results of the negotiation between Xi and his predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin. They did not agree with Xi on the key issues including reforms and the policies that Xi has been promoting. I believe, during phase II, most of the members in the politburo standing committee and the central party committee will be his people who support his policy.”

“There are two issues that are worth noting. First, Xi might further reduce the number of members in the politburo standing committee, possibly from seven to five, in order to reduce the differences between the members. Second, the issue is how to retain Wang Qishan, a key supporter of Xi. Wang will be 69 in July. Based on an unwritten age limit policy for senior leaders, Wang has to retire from his current position. I think he will find a way to keep Wang Qishan as a consultant or in other roles within the politburo standing committee. The world will see this as a positive signal. Therefore this decision will benefit Xi.”

“In 2017, Xi Jinping will play a greater world leadership role. In January 2017, Xi spoke at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland and said that if the U.S. withdraws from its world leadership role, China is more than willing to replace it. There will be a “One Belt, One Road” forum to be held in May in Beijing. It will be the stage for Xi to show the world his foreign policy. Moreover, Xi will have a further political impact this year on the upcoming 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.”

“In the short term, Xi will have a positive impact on the world, but in the long run, it might not be the case. Once Xi gains political power, he will more actively protect China’s so called “national interest.” For example, if President Trump decides to impose a penalty tax on China and build trade barriers, Xi will be fully against it. He will also resist on issues such as the East and South China Sea and Taiwan.” {Editor’s note: While VOA reports Douglas Paal’s interview and quotes him, Paal’s exact wording could not be located in English.}

Source: Voice of America, March 17, 2017
http://www.voachinese.com/a/china-two-sessions-20170317/3770976.html

A Chinese Surveyor Detained for Comments Made Online

Sina.com published an article about a person who was detained for 5 days for his online posting. A few online comments on the article are translated below. According to the article, a person whose last name is Ye works as surveyor in Xi’an. Ye was on a work assignment in the Town of Tongmu in Xunyang County of An Kang City in Shaanxi. On March 9, Ye went to the Tongmu town hall to process some paperwork but he felt that the town personnel gave him a hard time. He then took a picture of the town hall building using his cell phone and shared the posting of the photos with his friends and asked, “How many years of a jail sentence would I get if I were to bomb the town hall building? I am thinking of doing it!” The article stated that, a few days later, the public security bureau of Xunyang County detained Ye for five days for “threatening to bomb and disrupting public order.”

Below is a list of comments posted in reaction to this article:
– I wanted to condemn his action when I read the title of the article but after I read the contents I chose to support his action.
– Here is a big question, “For whom is the power used?”
– Justice naturally inhabits man’s heart.
– I bet you his circle of friends turned him in.
– Why didn’t the article mention why he made those comments?
– He was just venting his anger, but now he might be transformed.
– I want to blow up the sun and let the earth be destroyed by pieces from the explosion. … How about asking the entire world to arrest me?

Source: Sina.com, March 17, 2017
http://www.sina.com.cn/midpage/mobile/index.d.html?docID=fycnpiu8966350&url=news.sina.cn/sh/2017-03-17/detail-ifycnpiu8966350.d.html

German Manufacturers Complain about Increase in Counterfeit Products Sold through Alibaba

According to an article that the Chinese Edition of Deutsche Welle carried, many German companies have complained about the increase in the number of counterfeit products made in China and sold through Chinese E-Commerce giant Alibaba. The article said that VDMA, an association of German companies in the engineering industry, conducted a survey which found that 28 percent of German equipment manufacturing companies, including Siemens and SKF, the ball and roller bearing manufacturer, were aware that their products had been counterfeited and sold through the e-commerce Alibaba platform. One manufacturer commented that “Alibaba is famous for providing a large number of fake products!” The article stated that the counterfeiting activities range from trade name infringement to unsafe fake spare parts and equipment, especially in regard to automotive products. One VDMA lawyer told Deutsche Welle that China is the major source of fake products but it has made progress in dealing with counterfeiting issues. However there has been little development on copyright protection issues. According to the article, Alibaba has initiated efforts to deal with the counterfeiting issues. In 2016, with assistance from Alibaba, Siemens branch in China successfully located 150,000 fake sockets and remote controls which were worth several million euros.

Source: Deutsche Welle, March 18, 2017
http://www.dw.com/zh/山寨太多德国制造业向阿里巴巴开炮/a-38006874?&zhongwen=simp

Chinese Think Tank Expert: Census Data in China Is Seriously Flawed

Duowei News carried an article about its interview of Huang Wenzhen, a senior think tank research fellow with the Center for China and Globalization. The article quoted a statement that Huang made during the interview. Huang stated that there is a serious flaw with China’s census data which has misled China’s family planning policy. According to Huang, the census data indicated that, in 2000, the birth rate in China had declined to 1.23 which was the lowest level in the world. Huang said that since the officials did not believe that number, they artificially raised the number to 1.8 which has been the official birth rate for the ten years from 2000 to 2010. He projected that the new born population will decrease by 500,000 to 800,000 each year over the next ten years and will incur a sharp decrease starting in 2030. Huang expressed concern about the economic impact that the decline in the population would have because he believes the Chinese population is the biggest advantage the country has in building up GDP. He proposed that people be held accountable since the census data in China has been “distorted” and “mixed up” for many years.

According to Duowei, the statement that Huang made contradicts what Wang Peian, the Vice Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said during the press conference that the National People’s Congress held on March 11. Wang stated that China will not face a population shortage in the next one hundred years and China will reach a peak of 1.45 billion in population by 2030.

Source: Duowei News, March 11, 2017
http://china.dwnews.com/news/2017-03-11/59804918.html

Official Document Shows Police Have Been Monitoring and Controlling the Protests against Lotte Mart

According to a news report that Duowei published, a photo image of a document that Cangzhou City of Hebei Province issued showed that the city officials have issued directives to monitor and control the protests against Lotte Mart, a Korean supermarket {Lotte gave up a golf course it owns in South Korea for deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system}. The document titled “assigned responsibilities to maintain stability in dealing with protests against Korea” requires that the local public and national security bureaus collect relevant information and conduct investigations of the protesters. The news report also mentioned that, based on the video tapes circulating on the Internet, police officers can be seen near Lotte Mart in Chengdu City of Sichuan Province maintaining security order while some of them have been dispersing the protesters near the Lotte Mart.

Source: Duowei News, March 12, 2017
http://china.dwnews.com/news/2017-03-12/59805010.html

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