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Shanghai Cracks Down on Relatives of Party Officials Who Conduct Personal Businesses

Duowei News published an article stating that, on March 1, People’s Daily published a front page article on how Shanghai is cracking down on the relatives of government officials because they run businesses and have launched enterprises. The People’s Daily article stated that, among 2,133 municipal level officials, relatives of 229 officials received the actions: the rules do not apply to 17 of them; 137 dropped out of the company business; 11 had their job transferred;  10 retired; 1 left the company; 3 were subject to serious disciplinary actions; and 50 signed written acknowledgements. The Duowei article noted that it is rare for a party official media to post local news on the front page. This could indicate that the issue of relatives of public officials conducting businesses has become a serious phenomenon, especially in Shanghai.

According to the People’s Daily article, In May of 2015, the Shanghai Municipal government introduced a regulation about the spouse of a public official or the children of public officials and their spouses conducting business. It specified that the spouses of the officials are not allowed to conduct business, while their children and the spouses of the children can’t have their own business dealings in Shanghai. Meanwhile, 20 percent of the officials who claim that their relatives have no business dealings can be sampled each year and subject to investigation. In 2016, it was reported that 182 out of 1802 provincial and department level officials in Shanghai received disciplinary actions. According to the Duowei article, the number went up in 2017, compared to 2016, which means that the scope of the investigation has expanded.

{Editor’s note: It is known that former President Jiang Zemin’s sons and grandsons are running businesses in Shanghai and have built a big commercial empire there.}

Duowei News, March 2, 2017
People’s Daily, March 1, 2017

Weibo Posting Exposed Chinese Youth League’s Involvement in Boycott Lotte Group

The Epoch Times, an overseas Chinese newspaper, carried an article that contained a screenshot of a posting taken from Weibo. The author of the posting stated that the Youth League of Hunan Province just issued a notice asking its Youth League members to “actively participate in the public opinion warfare against the Lotte Group in South Korea for its support of the anti-missile system (the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD). The posting stated that each youth league branch must submit no less than five commentaries or screenshots showing the forwarding of a specific Weibo posting to a given email address. Their participation in this warfare will be used towards their annual performance evaluation at the end of the year. According to the article, the official Weibo account of the Youth League of Hunan Province has issued a number of postings encouraging people to “boycott Lotte” and favor the Weibo postings that the Central Committee of the Youth League made. The article also quoted a couple of online comments. One questioned why the youth league uses taxpayer’s money to commit itself to something that brings no benefit to society; another comment stated that, “This is how the official public opinion is created.”

The tension between China and the South Korean government has been escalating over the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system that the U.S. is assisting South Korea to build. Although the project is reportedly aimed at assisting South Korea to defend itself from the North Korean missile threat, China claims that it will be a threat to China. On February 26, after the Lotte Group agreed to provide land to host the anti-missile system, over 20 Chinese citizens gathered in front of the Lotte Mart in Jilin Province holding banners to protest Lotte’s support for the anti-missile project. Soon after that, online postings asked people to boycott Lotte or any Korean made product. On March 1, the Lotte Group reported that its official site was hit by a cyber-attack.

{Editor’s note: Currently the screenshot of the posting can no longer be found online.}

Source: The Epoch Times, March 2, 2017

Liberty Times: Universities in Taiwan Must Sign “One China” Agreement to Get Exchange Students from the Mainland

Liberty Times published an article which expressed concern about the fact that universities in Taiwan are required to sign an agreement if they want to get exchange students from the mainland. In the agreement they have to promise that the university’s teaching materials will not involve politics or contain information opposing the “One China” policy. According to the article, even though the requirement violates the freedom of academic exchange, some universities in Taiwan still went ahead and signed the agreement. The article expressed the concern that, “The mainland may use the opportunity to enroll exchange students in order to exercise its control over freedom of speech and over the academic environment in Taiwan.” Shih Hsin University is one of the universities that was mentioned in the article. It has academic exchanges with over 50 universities and colleges in the mainland. However, since February 2015, three (mainland) colleges initiated the requirement for Shih Hsin University to sign the agreement. Shih Hsin didn’t disclose which those were but noted that there are 30 to 45 exchange students who come from these three universities each year. In addition the Liberty Times mentioned that St. Johns University also signed a similar agreement.

Source: Liberty Times, March 2, 2017

PLA Academies Undergo Restructuring

Wenxue City, an overseas Chinese media carried an article that Duowei News had originally published. The article quoted a news report from Sing Tao Daily which was published on February 26 on a recent meeting about the reform and restructuring that will take place within PLA academies. According to the article, the focus of the conference was to reduce the number of PLA academies by consolidating or downgrading a number of them. The recommendation included the following: those that are command Institutions and not related to the military need to be combined with the National Defense University while the PLA technical institutions would be combined with the National University of Defense Technology. Active faculty members are to be converted to non-active service civilian personnel. For academies under the army, 19,000 active duty staff members positions (including officers and soldiers) and 17,000 non-active PLA civilian staff are to be maintained. Sixty percent of the staff within the National University of Defense Technology will be converted to civilian post positions.

Source: Wenxue City, February 25, 2017

Xinhua Commentary: Trade Protectionism Won’t Solve the Problems the U.S. Faces

Xinhua carried a commentary that a professor from Fudan University wrote titled, “Trade Protectionism Will Not Solve the Problems the U.S. Faces.” The article said that, since Trump took office, he has publicly promoted “Buy American and Hire American.” He withdrew the U.S. from TPP and requested a renegotiation of NAFTA. These indicate that trade protectionism is on the rise and has become the latest unstable factor affecting the progress of the global economy. The article cited the following three reasons that trade protectionism will not solve the problems the U.S. faces. First, trade protectionism will harm the interests of the U.S. multinational corporations because they will lose the profits from trade while the foreign countries will lose on trade volume. Second, it will hurt the competitiveness of the U.S. economy because even though, on a short term basis, it will help the industries that are less competitive, it will also cause those industries to lose the motive to expand and advance in technological renovation. Therefore, they will become less competitive in the global market. Third, it will damage the future of the U. S. economy because the possible global trade war will seriously affect those U.S. companies that rely on exports. As the U.S. focuses on its own interests and becomes isolated and selfish, it will weaken the confidence of investors from the U.S. and around the world. Therefore it will not help U.S. economic growth in the long term. The article concluded that, if U.S. does not face its own domestic economy, political, and social structure issues but rather blames unfairness and an imbalance in international trade deals, it will not help to solve its own problems. Rather, it will hurt others as well as itself.

Source: Xinhua, February 26, 2017

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