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Chinese Consulate Prevented Passage of California State Resolution

According to news reports that Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America published, the voting on a California Senate resolution was cancelled and withdrawn after the members of the Senate received a letter from the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. According to the reports, SJR10 is a joint Senate resolution that Senator Joel Anderson introduced. It praises Falun Dafa adherents for their peaceful resistance to the persecution and torture over the past 18 years. The resolution also expresses support for U.S. Congressional Resolution 343, passed in 2016, which condemns the Chinese government for conducting live organ harvesting on Falun Dafa adherents in China. SJR10 passed unanimously in the California State Senate judiciary committee on August 30 and was expected to be up for a vote on the Senate floor on September 1. On that day, the members received an email from the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. The email denied the harvesting of Falun Dafa adherents organs in China and stated that the resolution would “seriously damage the relationship between China and California in the economy, trade, tourism and in other areas.” The news report quoted comments from Senator Anderson who said he was shocked that the Chinese consulate was able to have such a huge influence on a California State resolution and that the California state Senate has never failed to pass a resolution that condemns genocide in the past. A representative from the Falun Dafa organization in California said at a rally that while Falun Dafa adherents in China have lost the freedom to exercise their rights, the persecution of Falun Dafa has now extended overseas and that countless people are being deceived by the lies that the Chinese authorities spread.

Radio Free Asia, September 9, 2017
Voice of America, September 8, 2017

Three Percent of College Graduates Had to Start Their Own Business Due to Poor Job Market

According to a report that Radio Free Asia (RFA) published, new statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that, after graduation, three percent of college graduates in China start their own businesses. The rate is twice what it is in developed countries. The most likely conclusion is that these college graduates were forced to start their own businesses because of the lack of job opportunities. One economics professor in Beijing told RFA that the struggles that private companies have directly impact the job market for college graduates. Most of these college graduates have been forced to start their own businesses because they can’t find jobs. The Chinese economy has slowed down in recent years. Many private businesses face the challenge of high tax rates and the difficulty of getting a loan from state owned banks. Some of them have chosen to borrow money at a high interest rate and have ended up in a capital chain rupture.  The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security found that over half of the businesses that college graduates started failed within three years.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 8, 2017

Research Journal Publication Faces Censorship in China

According to an BBC article that Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publishing house, which has business dealings and a server in China, had blocked over 300 articles on its website in China under Beijing’s pressure. China Quarterly had published those articles, which included such topics as on the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Massacre; Tibet; and the democracy movement in China.

A  specialist on the economy from Beijing University launched a petition asking Cambridge University Press to stand up to China’s censorship. By August 21, over 300 had signed the petition. On the same day, Huanqiu published an article claiming that, in order for institutions from the West to enter China’s market, they must make necessary adjustments; and that there is nothing wrong with what Chinese authorities had done because they were just doing their job according to the law.

The BBC article quoted several Chinese scholars who were concerned that more foreign research journals will face the same fate, that the censorship is unfair to Chinese scholars, and that it will negatively impact research and study work about China.

On August 21, Cambridge University Press unblocked these articles after it received pressure from the academic community.

On August 22, Radio France Internationale reported that Cambridge University Press received a request from State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) to remove 100 online articles from the Journal of Asian Studies. The Journal of Asian Studies is a publication of the Association for Asian Studies and is headquartered in the U.S. In the statement published on its official website, the Association for Asian Studies expressed its concern over academic freedom and it is talking with Cambridge University Press about how to response to the request from SARFT.

BBC, August 21, 2017
Radio France Internationale, August 22, 2017北京施压-令剑桥出版社再撤学术文章

Beijing Is Determined to Clean up Chaos in the Financial Industry

According to a blog posted on Duowei, an opinion article that People’s Daily published on August 21 stated that Beijing has once again determined to increase oversight and scrutiny over the chaos in financial industry, especially in the area of high risk leveraged investments. The blog indicated that the cleanup effort could further affect a core interest group within the party. Starting this year, several private companies including Anbang, Hainan Airlines, Wanda, Fosun International, and Zhejiang Rossoneri Investment were the subject of different types of investigations, especially on the source of their capital as well as on acquisitions overseas. By the end of 2016, the combined capital of Anbang, Hainan Airlines, Wanda and Fosun International was over 4 trillion yuan (US$0.6 trillion). The blog quoted a source from the banking industry which indicated that, in the past two years, many companies used overseas buyouts to move capital overseas. Some of the buyouts were fake and hard to audit. The blog stated that the financial industry was flooded with party princelings who pocketed the profit, but when there was a loss, the people had to bear it. This became a classic model when Jiang Zemin was in power. It has enabled party officials to carve up the state’s assets for their own personal gain. The blog disclosed that during a central committee meeting last year, Xi Jinping used an unprecedented tone to condemn the corruption in the financial industry. In June of this year, Wu Xiaohui, Anbang’s chairman of the board was detained. Soon after that, Wanda issued a statement that it would keep the majority of its cash in China. At the same time, it started to sell off its real estate properties to pay back its bank loan.

Duowei, August 22, 2017

Administration of Foreign Exchange Introduced Measure to Validate Domestic Issued Bank Card Use in Foreign Countries

On June 2, the Administration of Foreign Exchange issued a notice stating that, starting September 1, domestic financial institutions must report transactions if a bank card is used overseas and if the total amount is over 1000 yuan (US$150). The measure serves to validate personal information when there is spending activity overseas and to prevent any illegal purchase activity. People’s Daily published an article on August 4 stating that, since the bank card has become an important method for money laundering or corruption activity, the start day for reporting financial activity when using domestic issued bank cards overseas has been moved up to August 21. According to the article, a large amount of cash has been spent overseas in recent years. In order get cash to use while traveling overseas, some Chinese tourists have worked with a store to create fake purchases of jewelry or watches. Then they get cash from the store instead. Some have sold bank cards to be used for cash withdrawals overseas. The spokesperson from the Administration of Foreign Exchange stated that implementing reports of overseas bank card transaction activity will prevent illegal bank card transactions. The financial institution needs to report and collect the data and there is no need for the card user to do anything different. The Administration said it will not affect personal use of the bank card and personal information is strictly protected.

1. People’s Daily, August 4, 2017
2. Xinhua, June 2, 2017

Duowei: Beidaihe Meeting Ended Quietly – China Is Free of the “Elder Statesman Politics”

According to an article that Duowei published, the outcome from the recent Beidaihe meeting or “summer summit” indicated that Beijing has finished the final stretch of the preparation that has been planned for the upcoming 19th People’s Congress. One unique phenomenon that materialized at this meeting was the “silence” that the elderly members of the Communist Party of China, who held substantial power during the 1980s and 1990s, displayed, compared to the 18th National Congress in 2012 when several of the elderly members made frequent appearances prior to the conference. The article quoted another Duowei article which stated that it was an indication that China (Xi Jinping) is almost free of “elder statesman politics.” However it does not mean that the elderly members are completely out of the picture. One example is Jiang Zemin, who had his 91st birthday on August 17. His health has always been a subject of the public’s attention. The article stated that one of the major agenda items to watch for in the 19th National Congress is the personnel changes and whether Wang Qishan, a member of the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee will still remain in power.

Source: Duowei, August 19, 2017

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