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Beijing Tries to Strengthen Its Ties with the Pacific Islands

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin announced on May 24 that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.  The visits will take place from May 26 to June 4. He will pay a “cloud visit” to the Federated States of Micronesia, hold a video meeting with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Cook Islands and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Niue, and host the second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Fiji.

China has recently disclosed that it signed a security treaty with the Solomon Islands, which includes police training,  a possible military exchange and setting up a naval base in the Solomon Islands for the People’s Liberation Army.

An intelligence officer for a U.S. ally said that Beijing is negotiating with Kiribati and at least one other Pacific island on a treaty similar to the Solomon Islands’ treaty.

1. People’s Daily, May 26, 2022
2. Radio France International, May 21, 2022国际/20220521-中国寻求与基里巴斯签协议-美澳担忧

Microsoft Bing Performs Political Censorship on Chinese Content in the U.S. and Canada

The Citizen Lab of the Munk School on Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, reported they consistently found that Microsoft Bing censors politically sensitive Chinese names and that, over time, their censorship has spanned multiple Chinese political topics. It consists of at least two languages, English and Chinese and applies to different world regions, including China, the United States, and Canada.

Microsoft has censored search results on its search engine Bing in China. The lab found that even in the United States and Canada, Bing censors sensitive words in Chinese on its autocomplete feature.

In 2021, Bing was found to have censored image results for the query “tank man” in the United States and elsewhere including queries about the 1989 Tiananmen Square Movement anniversary.

Source: Citizen Lab, May 20, 2022

The Connection between the LA Shooter and the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification

In a planned shooting, David Wenwei Chou (周文伟), 68, of Las Vegas, killed one person and injured five at a Taiwanese church in Los Angeles. The Orange County police called it a politically driven hate crime against Taiwanese. Chou strongly opposed Taiwan independence.

There are a few connections between the killer and the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification (中国和平统一促进会). That  was a semi-official organization under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) control. It served as a vehicle for the CCP’s united front work. Wang Yang (汪洋), a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee (the highest CCP decision making organ) and the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, serves as the Chairman of that organization.

In 2019, Chou attended the opening ceremony of the Las Vegas Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful National Reunification. He was a board member and spoke at the ceremony.

Before the killing, Chao mailed out a set of audio/image packages, titled, “The Diary of the Angle to Eradicate (Taiwan) Independence.” The recipients of his packages include Wang Yang, Qin Gang (China’s Ambassador to the United States), Hu Xijin (former Chief Editor of Global Times (Huanqiu)) and Wang Feng, the publisher of China Times (a Taiwan media which switched to a pro-CCP position after being bought by Want Wang Holdings which had a big business investment in mainland China), and some Chinese media in the United States.

Source: NTDTV, May 19, 2022

The Vatican Expressed a Desire to Keep the China-Vatican Agreement after the CCP Arrested Bishop Joseph Zen

The recent Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) suppression of freedom of speech in Hong Kong was that, on May 11, it arrested the 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen and three other people in Hong Kong. Cardinal Zen is one of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia.

However, the Vatican showed a weak response after the Cardinal’s arrest.

Cardinal Peitro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican, said they were sad about Cardinal Zen’s arrest but do not want this event to be viewed as a disavowal of the China-Vatican temporary agreement on the joint Bishop appointment.

People have been questioning the Vatican’s move in collaborating with the CCP. Who will the Bishops appointed jointly by the CCP and the Vatican be loyal to? To the CCP or to God?

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, May 14, 2022

The CCP Central Office Warned Retired High-Ranking Officials

On May 15, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Office published the “Opinions on Strengthening the Party Building Work of Retired Cadres” (“Opinions”)  to request retired officials to stand on the official CCP position and Xi Jinping’s leadership and not to express negative opinions.

The “Opinions” require the regulation and discipline of retired CCP officials to “better unite the majority of retired cadres around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core. The “Opinions“ require retired party member cadres, especially those who have held leading positions, to adhere strictly to the relevant disciplinary rules and further enhance their spirit of supporting the party and the awareness of party discipline.”

Xinhua also published an article titled, “The Head of the CCP Department of Organization Answered Reporters’ Questions on the Opinions.”

One question was, “What clear requirements did the Opinions have on strengthening the education and management of retired party member cadres?”

Th answer was, “… In terms of strict disciplinary rules, it required that retired party member cadres, especially those who have held leading positions, should adhere strictly to the relevant disciplinary rules, should not discuss the major policies of the Party Central Committee with their own opinions, should not spread negative political statements, should not participate in the activities of illegal social organizations, and should not use their former authority or position to seek benefits for themselves and others. (They should) resolutely oppose and resist all kinds of wrong thinking,  …”

1. People’s Daily, May 16, 2022
2. CCTV, May 16, 2022

Government: Xinhua to Foreign Companies: Endure the COVID Hardship for a “Better Future”

Xinhua published a commentary on foreign companies moving out of China. It acknowledged that many foreign companies are considering leaving China because of their concern that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) “Zero-COVID” policy impacts their normal business. It defended the “Zero-COVID” policy as the right measure for China and asked foreign companies to work with the CCP to endure the temporary hardship for a “better future.”

It appealed to foreign companies, “One’s vision determines the outcome. Is it better to focus on the immediate interests, worrying, wavering, and turning to the so-called ‘alternative options’ (of other countries to replace China), or to look far ahead, taking the long view, staying with the current course, and choosing to overcome the difficulties together with China and create a future together? (We) believe the wise entrepreneurs will make the far-sighted choice.”

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: Xinhua, May 12, 2022

Public Opinion: Hot Discussions on Shanghai Man’s Saying, “This Is Our Last Generation”

Recently an online video attracted many reposts and some hot discussions.

The video was about a Shanghai case in which a police officer, covered in a full COVID protective suit, came to take a resident to a quarantine location. The resident had tested negative for COVID but, according to the authorities, might have been close to someone who had COVID. The resident refused to go.

The police officer then threatened him and said that he would be punished for not following the authorities’ order and the punishment would implicate his parents and children as well. He said, “The punishment will impact all three generations of your family.”

The man answered, “Unfortunately, this is our last generation. Thank you!”

Public comments said that this showed how desperate and tragic the people in China have become. They cannot change the CCP’s actions and cannot control their own lives. Then they chose not to have children so that they won’t pass the same tragedy of living down to their children.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has deleted the video and all discussions about it.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 12, 2022

Leadership: “Unwaveringly Adhere to the Zero-COVID Policy”

Xi Jinping hosted the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Politburo Standing Committee meeting on May 5, 2022, to discuss the COVID strategy. People’s Daily reported that the meeting called for continuing Xi Jinping’s “Zero-COVID” strategy, unswervingly adhering to the general policy of “dynamically zeroing out” and resolutely fighting against words and deeds that distort, doubt, and deny our epidemic prevention policies.

The article said, “Practice has proved that our prevention and control policy is determined by the Party’s nature and purpose, our prevention and control policy has stood up in history, and our prevention and control measures are scientific and effective. We have won the Wuhan battle and we will definitely win the battle of Shanghai.” (Editor’s note: It might be a stretch to say that the COVID policy is determined by “the Party’s nature and purpose.” However, it indicates that whether to follow the “Zero-COVID” policy is whether to align oneself with the party. Thus the people who suggest to stop “Zero-COVID” and switch to coexisting with the virus are taking a wrong path from the Party.)

On May 7, The CCP Central Commission on Discipline Inspections supported this decision by publishing a commentary titled, “Deeply, Completely, and Comprehensively Understand the COVID Prevention and Control Policies Set by the Party Central Committee.”

The military also supported Xi’s position. On May 7, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily also published a commentary, titled “Unwaveringly adhere to the ‘dynamic zeroing out’ general policy.”

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. People’s Daily, May 6, 2022
2. CCP Central Commission on Discipline Inspection website, May 7, 2022
3. PLA Daily, May 7, 2022