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Huanqiu: Do Not Boycott U.S. Goods

Huanqiu, which is a subsidiary under People’s Daily, published an article asking the Chinese people not to boycott U.S. goods. This represents a rare positional shift for Huanqiu, which, since last month, has taken a hard line against the U.S. on the trade war between the U.S. and China.

The article stated that the American media have claimed that China has an ultimate weapon against the U.S., which is to mobilize the whole nation to boycott U.S. goods. “However, it could be a trap to hurt ourselves.”

“There is no ‘winner’ in a trade war. Each party tries to minimize its losses. That’s why China does not want to have a trade war and also why many U.S. main-stream media are against Trump on this.”

“American companies are already tightly integrated into China’s economy.” “They also play an important role in China’s economic and technology development.” The article concluded that boycotting American companies and goods will hurt China’s economy and factories.

Source: Sina, April 22, 2018

Kim Jong-un Sees off Train Carrying Chinese Victims

A Chinese tourist group got into a deadly accident on April 22 when their bus fell off a bridge in North Korea. Thirty-two people died and two were injured. On the morning of April 26, North Korea sent a special train to carry the bodies of the dead and to take the injured Chinese back to China. Kim Jong-un went to the train station to see the train off. He stepped on the train briefly to greet the wounded people.

{1} China News, April 26, 2018
{2} The China Press, April 23, 2018

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.


1. Xinhua, January 21, 2018
2. Epoch Times, January 20, 2018

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.”


1. People’s Daily, January 10, 2018
2., 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

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.


1. Xinhua, December 27, 2017
2. Duowei, December 15, 2017

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