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China Emphasizes Maintaining Stability during the Tiananmen 20 Year Anniversary

The Hong Kong China News Agency reported that all mainland media remained mute during the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. Chinese officials promoted maintaining social stability (Editor’s Note: that translates as no protests or petitions) to keep June 4 quiet. The report listed a few examples:

At end of the May, Liu Qi, Beijing City Party Secretary went to the Beijing West Train Station to check the implementation of the “maintaining stability” work there. On June 2, Zhang Gaoli, Tianjin City Party Secretary said that maintaining stability is a top priority and challenged the Tianjin officials to  make Tianjin the “safest” area in China. On May 31 and June 1, Wang Yang, the Party Secretary of Guangdong Province visited the maintaining stability pilot center for the township’s comprehensive appeals offices and stated that stability is the number one responsibility (for the government).

Source: Hong Kong China News Agency, June 4, 2009

Retired Military Officers Fight for Their Rights

China Human Rights Defenders reported that for the past few years, a total of 10,110 Corp or Division Rank Retired Cadres have jointly signed petition letters to the Central Military Commission, requesting that the problems of housing and other issues of unfair treatment of the 60,000 Corp or Division Rank Retired Cadres be solved. Many of them also went to Beijing to petition. Retired military cadres and soldiers have become a significant part of the defense of rights in China. Their defense of their rights takes various forms: 1. Open petition letters; 2. Demands for political reform, defending human rights, justice, a respect for life, and, in addition, requests for the same treatment as the soldiers on active duty; 3. Electing representatives for a dialog with military officials; 4. A vote allowing the deposing of current officials; 5. Direct resistance actions; and 6. Gathering petitions.

Recently, there have been demands for nationalization of the military. The Chinese Communist Party has been trying hard to suppress the demand. It also uses such methods as promotions, better benefits, or even allows military officers on active duty to be corrupt. However, it ignores the retired officers.

Source: China Human Rights Defenders, May 25, 2009

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease Spreading in China

Epoch Times reported on May 26 that, based on a reliable source, it may be concluded that an unspecified epidemic of either Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease (HFMD) or influenza A(H1N1) is widely spreading in China. Since March, people have placed many orders for first-aid equipment in China. Medical equipment used in ERs and on hospital wards is also in hot demand. The factories producing this type of equipment and the associated pharmaceutical materials are working overtime to fill the orders.

Source: Epoch Times, May 26, 2009

Adopting a Smart Foreign Diplomacy Strategy

Lianhe Zaobao in Singapore published an article by He Maochun, an International Relations Professor at Tsinghua University. He argued that neither of China’s hard power, soft power, or smart power is strong enough to make it a super power. Thus it should adopt a smart foreign diplomacy strategy to unify internal forces, align neighboring forces, and borrow far-away forces to counter Western countries’ pressure and containment.

He outlined six steps: 1. Develop a Greater China economic zone covering China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. 2. Humbly rejuvenate the Great East Asia Chinese culture zone (China, Korea, and Japan). 3. Strengthen the political and economic power of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. 4. Expand cooperation with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries. 5. Steadily move into Africa and Latin America. 6. Using the opportunity of fighting the global financial crisis with Western countries, try to resolve the following issues: stop arms sales to Taiwan; stop supporting the “separatists”; remove the technology and arms embargo for China; stop the “discrimination” against China’s overseas investments and protect the safety of China’s capital.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, May 28, 2009

Qiushi Journal: Stick Firmly to the Socialist Core Value System

Qiushi Journal, the publication of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee organs, published an article titled “Stick Firmly to the Socialist Core Value System.” The article stated that constructing the Socialist Core Value System is a major strategic mission for the CPC. The Socialist Core Value System consists of four areas: 1. Marxism as the leading theory; 2. Socialism with Chinese characteristics as the common goal; 3. A patriotism-based nationalist spirit and a spirit based on the times of revolution and opening; and 4. A socialist viewpoint of honor or disgrace.

The article argued that the Socialist Core Value System is the core of China’s cultural soft power and is a powerful ideological weapon to lead society. It’s the CPC’s ideological counter to the “universal value” promotion of Western-style freedom, democracy, and human rights and the attempt to replace the CPC’s leadership and socialism in China with the Western political system.

Source: Qiushi Journal, 11th Issue of 2009

China’s Bank Loan Risks Are Soaring

The credit rating organization, Fitch Rating, said that Chinese banks are taking huge risks in providing loans to support the government’s plan to stimulate the economy. In the first four months of this year, under the push of the government’s infrastructure development plan, Chinese banks offered loans in the amount of Renminbi 5,200 billion yuan (762 billion dollar), surpassing the 4,900 billion yuan total bank loans for last year. Aggressively targeting profits is another reason for the increase in bank loans.

The Bank of China’s quarterly report said that its supervising arm is following up on the actual usage of the loans. Fitch Rating’s interpretation is that the government has lost control of the loans; otherwise it would know where the money went. It also pointed out that as the assets quality at China’s banks starts to deteriorate, more problems will surface down the road.

Source: BBC Chinese, May 21, 2009

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