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Beijing City Encourages People to “Capture Spies”

Voice of America (VOA) reported that the Beijing Municipal State Security Bureau issued a regulation concerning, “Award Methods for Citizens to Report Spy Activities.”

“According to the regulation, citizens can communicate through a phone call, letter, or face-to-face reporting methods to ‘report spy activity to the Beijing Municipal State Security Bureau. If the clue is useful, those who report the information can receive awards ranging between 10,000 Yuan (U.S. $1,492) and 500,000 Yuan.’”

“However, this frightened many people who had experienced Mao Zedong’s time (the 1950s to the 1970s).”

“Mao promoted ‘anti-spy’ and ‘capture spy’ movements. During their peak time, thousands of spies from the U.S. and the USSR were ‘found’ and many families were torn apart. There was countless evidence proving that the then President of China Liu Shaoqi was a traitor and his wife was a strategic spy from the U.S.”

“After Mao’s death, the Communist Party obtained countless evidence that the previous thousands of spies were wrongfully indicted. Liu Shaoqi was not a traitor but rather a great leader of China and his wife was not a U.S. spy, either.”

Source: VOA, April 20, 2017

Did China Stop the VOA Interview of Guo Wengui?

China is reported to have interfered with a Voice of America (VOA) interview of Guo Wengui (郭文贵) and to cause VOA to stop airing its interview. Guo is a business tycoon who fled from China because he feared being arrested for bribing officials. Once he came to the U.S., on multiple occasions, Guo revealed the corruption of top level officials, including in the VOA interview.

The Chinese government has accused Guo of bribery and has tried to bring him back to China. After the VOA interview event, China aired a video recording in which Ma Jian, former Deputy Minister of State Security who had been taken down for corruption, confessed to receiving money from Guo.

On April 21, Lu Kang, the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received several questions from Western media about this incident:

VOA reporter: During his interview with VOA, Guo Wengui brought up some sensitive things about sensitive people, including Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan. Is what he said true? Do you have any comments? Also, China issued a Red Notice on Guo Wengui to Interpol just before the interview. Was it a coincidence or was it on purpose?

Lu Kang: For the first question, we have said that Guo Wengui was a criminal suspect under Interpol’s Red Notice. So if you choose to believe what he said, that’s your thing. We don’t believe it. For the second question, Interpol is the second largest international organization among governments, with over 100 years of history and 190 members. We trust that it is serious about what it does.

BBC reporter: Just another follow up, again a point of clarification on the question that was already answered before. The question is about the VOA interview that was stopped and was kept from proceeding. Am I right in assuming that you are saying the Chinese government was not involved in it whatsoever?

Lu Kang: I think the VOA reporter asked the question just now and I have clearly answered it.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter: The first one is to follow up on the previous question. It was reported that the Chinese embassy reached out to VOA and contacted them directly and asked them not to air the interview of Guo Wengui. So is that not the case? Can you confirm that?

Lu Kang: VOA itself did not ask this question. Why are you so interested in it?

{Editor’s note: Asia News reported, “Guo wanted to speak about corruption among China’s Communist leaders. Beijing got Interpol to issue an arrest warrant against him.”}

VOA, April 21, 2017
Asia News, April 22, 2017

North Korean Official Media Criticizes China

Several Chinese media reported that, on April 21, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s state media, published a commentary to criticize China. The article, titled, “Have the Nerve to Follow the Crowd?” did not mention China’s name directly, but it can be inferred to refer China.

The article stated, “Recently, a neighboring country of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) stayed quiet when the U.S. gathered an unprecedented military force around the Korean Peninsula and pushed the area to the verge of war, while it openly expressed the ‘taking of necessary actions’ against North Korea’s self-defense measures.

“That country even boasted that the DPRK would not (be able to) withstand ‘someone’s‘ economic sanctions and should re-consider how important (it is to maintain) the relationship with it. It could provide the needed support and help for North Korea’s security and economic development.

“On April 18, it claimed in its media that Pyongyang’s nuclear missile plan turned the U.S., its former enemy, into its collaborator.

“What should North Korea call it from now on? And how should North Korea treat it?

“North Korea’s soldiers and its people built its self-defense nuclear deterrent power at a great sacrifice in order to defend its national sovereignty. It is not for trade. …

“If it miscalculates the DPRK’s will, follows the other people, and insists on economic sanctions against North Korea, it may get some appreciation from the DPRK’s enemies, but it must prepare mentally for the disastrous consequences of (ruining) its relationship with the DPRK.”

Global Times, one of China’s state media, in its report, “North Korea Threatened to Sink the US Aircraft Carrier, Calling It a Plump Perverted Animal,” mentioned this article and referred to it as a criticism of China.

1. CanadaMeet, April 22, 2017
2. Huanqiu, April 24, 2017

Local Government’s Emergency Notice Regarding North Korea Leaked on Internet

As the tension resulting from North Korea’s nuclear tests intensifies, a local Chinese government posted a recent emergency notice on the Internet.

The Environmental Protection Agency of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, issued the notice on April 14. It stated:

“To all offices in concern,

Amid the possible impact and damage to our country’s environmental security and public health from North Korea’s sudden nuclear or chemical incident, following an order from the top and according to “Liaoning Province’s Preparation Plan for Emergency Response to North Korea’s Nuclear Environment,” from today on, our city is entering an emergency response state; all related offices should organize well the emergency preparation work and start emergency on-duty shifts. All primary leaders of the related offices must maintain high political sensitivity during this emergency work. The number one lead should be on call on a 24 hour basis and keep the communication channel open so that the emergency response work can be started at the first moment when an emergency response order is given.”

Source: Epoch Times, April 16, 2017

Chinese Scholar: The U.S. Is Likely to Use Force against North Korea in Three Situations

On April 13, the World Journal published an article citing comments on U.S. action in North Korea. Zhang Liankui, a professor at the Institute of International Strategic Studies of the Central Communist Party School, pointed out that, between now and the end of April, the U.S. is likely to use force to solve the North Korea problem. He listed three situations in which the U.S. might take action: one, North Korea conducts its sixth nuclear test; two, North Korea fires ballistic missiles; three, North Korea has an internal shakeout as a result of the U.S. pressure.

“In the first two situations, since the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier combat group is headed to the Korean peninsula, if North Korea conducts a nuclear test or fires a ballistic missile, Trump will look bad if the U.S. does not take action. The U.S. and South Korea will conduct a joint military exercise with live ammunition until the end of April, so it will be easy to carry out a real military action. After this period, it will not be as easy to re-mobilize the military.”

“Zhang pointed out that the U.S. has long prepared the military. Trump just needs an excuse. If Kim Jong-un misreads the situation and continues taking action, he could trigger a U.S. action to use force.”

April is a “high-risk period” since it has several important dates for North Korea. The next one is April 25th, the Army Day.

Yuan Zongze, Vice President of the China Institute of International Studies, said on April 12, “China does not want to see turmoil in Northeast Asia. Beijing’s bottom line is not to have war or turmoil at its door.”

Source: World Journal, April 13, 2017

Business Tycoon Cancelled Transaction Due to China’s Currency Control

Pan Shiyi, Chairman of the Board of SOHO China stated that his company had to cancel its plan to sell a property due to China’s currency control. Pan made the statement on March 23, at the SOHO China’s news conference to release 2016 financial data.

SOHO China is a large real estate developer in China.

SOHO China sold its SOHO Century Plaza in Shanghai for 3.3 billion yuan (US$ 470 million) on July 29, 2016, at 76,700 yuan per square meter. Pan said that the company would sell another three non-core business projects: Lingkong SOHO, Hongkou SOHO, and SOHO Tianshan Plaza.

SOHO China even reached an agreement on the price to sell Hongkou SOHO to a famous company. Pan planned to use the proceeds to buy an overseas investment. However, due to China’s currency control, the company realized that it could not exchange the Renminbi proceeds for a foreign currency in order to buy an overseas investment. However, in China, holding Renminbi is not as safe as holding real estate (Renminbi deflates but real estate prices keep rising). So his company cancelled the sale.

SOHO did not sell any of those three properties.

Source: The Paper, March 23, 2017

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