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More Fake GDP Numbers Reported in China

Xinhua reported that, recently, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Tianjin City revised down their 2016 GDP numbers. Inner Mongolia adjusted down its public budget revenue by 26.3 percent, or 53 billion yuan (US$8.5 billion) and industrial added value down by 40 percent, or 290 billion yuan (US$46 billion). Tianjin lowered its Binhai District’s GDP from the previous amount of 1 trillion yuan (US$160 billion) down to 665 billion yuan (US$106 billion), a cut of one-third.

These are the second and third cases in which local governments have revised the 2016 level they reported for GDP. The first to admit reporting an inflated GDP was Liaoning Province in early 2017, when it said that its GDP in 2016 actually went down 23 percent from the 2015 level.

It has long been known that China inflates its GDP. Cheng Xiaonong, a political and economic researcher, provided two reasons why the local governments are now willing to admit faking GDP:

First, Xi Jinping’s administration no longer uses the GDP growth rate to evaluate local officials. The newly appointed officials feel that they don’t have to carry the weight that the incumbent left them because they may not be able to make that fake number anyhow. If they cut down the previous year’s number, they can show a growth in their years.

Second, with a lower GDP, the local government can show the central government that they had less money and can request more financial help from the central government.

Sources:

1. Xinhua, January 21, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2018-01/21/c_1122289640.htm
2. Epoch Times, January 20, 2018
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/18/1/20/n10073822.htm

Apple Hands over Its iCloud Accounts to Chinese Servicer

Apple announced that, starting on February 28, it will hand over its iCloud service for Chinese customers to a Chinese company. The company taking over the service is one that the Guizhou Provincial government owns called Guizhou Cloud Big Data (GCBD). GCBD will be responsible for the iCloud operations serving customers in China and also responsible for legal and financial relations with those customers.

This has triggered many concerns over data privacy. Chinese companies are known to share customer data with the government, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Apple has given China-based users the option of deleting their data, but no option to store their data any other place.

The company TechCrunch found that, when the iCloud setting is set to China, the accounts to be handed over will also include “iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts.”

“One user did find an apparent way to opt-out. It requires such users to switch their iCloud account back to China, then sign out of all devices. They then switch their phone and iCloud settings to the U.S. Then, upon signing back into iCloud, their account will (supposedly) not be part of the migration.”

Sources:

1. People’s Daily, January 10, 2018
http://media.people.com.cn/n1/2018/0110/c40606-29755229.html
2. TechCruch.com, January 11, 2018
Apple’s China iCloud data migration sweeps up international user accounts

Sri Lanka Leased Its Territory to China

The Sri Lanka government leased its strategic port Hambantota on the Indian Ocean to China for 99 years as it was stressed because of the financial loans that China provided.

China has been providing financial loans to many countries in South Asia, Central Asia, and Africa, especially under its “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Sri Lanka owed Chinese State-Owned Enterprises a total debt of US$8 billion and was unable to pay the money back. Therefore, it resorted to leasing out its land in repayment of its debt.

Source: Duowei, December 14, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/global/big5/news/2017-12-14/60029716.html

Xinhua: Armed Police Will Be under the Sole Direction of the CMC

Xinhua announced that the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee published the “CCP Central Committee’s December 27, 2017, Decision on Adjusting the Control System of the Armed Police Forces.” The decision stated that, starting on January 1, 2018, the armed police will be under the sole direction of the Central Military Commission (CMC). It will no longer be under both the CMC and the State Council.

Duowei also reported that the armed police will go through a staff cut from 800,000 down to 400,000.

Sources:

1. Xinhua, December 27, 2017
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-12/27/c_1122175909.htm
2. Duowei, December 15, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/big5/news/2017-12-15/60029875.html

China Conducted the First Head Transplant on Dead Bodies

Italian Neurosurgery specialist Sergio Canavero said that his team has performed the first head transplant in China by taking off the head from a dead body and connecting it to another dead body. The surgery took 18 hours and was successful.

Ren Xiaoping, a Chinese Professor at the Harbin Medical University, performed the surgery.

Canavero said earlier this year that he plans to conduct a head transplant in two years. He said this will lead to “living forever,” where people transplant their heads to younger bodies which were cloned from their original bodies.

Arthur Kaplan, a professor at New York University, who is strongly against organ harvesting, vehemently opposes this transplant practice. “The head transplant talk is like (the talks) from Mengele.” “It will be very brutal and definitely will bring disaster.”

Josef Mengele was a German Schutzstaffel officer and physician at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp during World War II. He used live humans to perform experiments to “improve the human race.”

“Canavero’s team said that the first transplant might be done using the body of a Chinese organ donor, because there is a higher chance of getting a Chinese organ donor.”

However, there have been accusations that the Chinese government conducts live organ harvesting using Falun Gong practitioners and political dissidents.

Ethan Gutmann, a human rights defender and former adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, believes that there are 500,000 to 1 million Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in China and from 2000 to 2008, about 65,000 of them were already killed when the Chinese regime harvested their organs.

Source: BBC, November 23, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-42100245

China Will Host a Summit between the CCP and the World’s Political Parties

Xinhua announced that, from November 30 to December 3, China will host a Summit in Beijing that will include the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a large number of political parties from around the world. Xi Jinping will attend and give the keynote address at the opening ceremony.

Over 200 parties and political organizations from more than 120 countries have registered for the conference.

“This summit is the first China-hosted multi-country diplomacy event since the 19th Communist Party National Conference. It is the first time for the CCP to hold a summit which includes many different types of political parties from around the world; it is expected to be the most-attended summit of political party conferences. It has groundbreaking significance in the CCP’s history and also groundbreaking significance in the history of the world’s political parties.”

The summit has a symposium on the Spirit of the 19th CCP National Congress with the title, “The CCP and the World in the New Era.” It also has four parallel sub-forums on “Strengthening the Party’s Development: Political Party’s Challenge and Future,” “Build a Beautiful Country: Political Party’s Practice and Experiences,” “Construct the ‘One Belt, One Road’: Political Party’s Participation and Contributions,” and “Lead the Development of the Common Community of Human Destiny: Political Party’s Roles and Responsibilities.”

“Some foreign political party leaders will visit the CCP’s Party Central School. Before or after the summit, China will also hold the 3rd China-Africa Political Parties Symposium on Theory, the 2nd China-Central Asia Political Parties Forum, and the Tenth China-U.S. High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue.”

Source: Xinhua, November 24, 2017
http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-11/24/c_1122006619.htm

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