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All posts by RWZ

Global Times: British Ambassador to China Should No Longer Visit the Great Hall of the People

Global Times recently published a commentary on the fact that the Speakers of both the Upper and Lower Houses of the British Parliament announced a prohibition against the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang. Zheng has been prohibited from entering the British Parliament Building. This was at the request of several congressmen who China has sanctioned. Forbidding envoys of other countries from entering the parliament is an extremely rare move. It shows brutality, impulsiveness, and rule-breaking. If this restriction is enforced and continues, then China should take reciprocal retaliation against the British mission in China, and, in the future, the British ambassador to China should not be allowed to enter the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. In fact, there are no major conflicts between China and Britain. Even the conflicts surrounding Hong Kong have just been magnified. China and Britain are so far apart. China can neither threaten Britain’s security nor have a real power competition against the UK. The ideological differences are actually the easiest to shelve between countries. Britain is the “certain pawn” of the United States’ strategy to contain China.

Source: Global Times, September 15, 2021

LTN: Wikipedia Permanently Banned Some Chinese Users

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that Wikipedia imposed an unprecedented permanent ban on seven Chinese users for their login rights and another twelve users for their management and editing rights since they were suspected of reporting Hong Kong Wikipedia editors to the Hong Kong National Security Agency. Since the outbreak of the campaign against the revised draft of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance in Hong Kong in 2019, Wikipedia editors in Hong Kong and China have had political differences in their description of the situation in Hong Kong. After the HK National Security Law took effect last year, Wikipedia issued a statement that it will not share non-public user information with the Hong Kong government unless there is a clear legal requirement or an immediate life-threatening danger. Wikipedia is now banned in Mainland China.

Source: LTN, September 15, 2021

CBN: China-US Ocean Shipping Prices Soared Five Times

China Business Network (CBN) recently reported that, while in the peak season, China-US ocean shipping prices returned to more than US$20,000/FEU (a 40-foot standard container). At the same time, shipping giants like CMA CGM announced the freezing of freight rates. The global container freight index published jointly by the Baltic Exchange and Freightos showed, as of September 12, that the shipping prices of China/Southeast Asia – West Coast of North America and China/Southeast Asia – East Coast of North America continued to rise. Both exceeded the US$20,000 mark, which reflects a 500 percent increase, year-over-year. The shipping companies may not raise their price now, yet the possibility of a downward adjustment is also unlikely. Recent sales data showed that home furnishings and home audio-visual products are very popular in the US market. This translates into the risk that shipping prices may continue to rise during the fourth quarter. The freight price freeze does not necessarily include the additional surcharges, which has become a major burden for importers and exporters.

Source: CBN, September 12, 2021

Xinhua: Wang Yi Attended the First Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s Neighbors

Xinhua recently reported that, on September 8, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi attended the first meeting of Afghanistan’s neighboring foreign ministers. Wang said Afghanistan today stands at the crossroads of history. China, as a neighbor, should seize the critical time window of the transition and exert a positive influence on the changes in the situation. China agreed to institutionalize the Afghan Neighboring Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The first meeting was chaired by the foreign minister of Pakistan. The foreign ministers or deputies of Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan also attended the meeting. Right before the meeting, Dai Bing, Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations, said at the UN Security Council that the evolution of the Afghanistan issue shows that foreign military intervention will eventually end in failure. The hastily and disorderly withdrawal of a certain country’s troops from Afghanistan has caused Kabul to fall into chaos and turmoil, leading to a major humanitarian disaster.

Source: Xinhua, September 8, 2021

The Taliban Asked the U.S. to Release Afghanistan’s Frozen $10 Billion

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU) recently reported that the Afghan media quoted the Acting Minister of the Interior of the Taliban Provisional Government, Haqqani, as saying that the Taliban asked the United States to release Afghanistan’s frozen US$10 billion. Earlier, some news sources reported that the United States had frozen nearly $10 billion in reserve assets in the U.S. bank account of the Central Bank of Afghanistan. In addition, the Taliban also called on the United States to continue to supply Afghanistan with billions of dollars previously promised in aid. In the meantime, the Taliban asked the United States and the United Nations to remove the names of Taliban leaders from the sanctions list. The currently known assets of the Central Bank of Afghanistan include foreign exchange cash reserves, which are largely in U.S. dollars. The amount is around US$362 million. Afghanistan’s gold reserves are valued at about US$1.3 billion. Most of the reserves are stored in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Afghanistan government has other investments worth US$6.1 billion, which are mostly in U.S. long-term Treasury bonds and short-term Treasury bonds.

Source: Sohu, September 9, 2021

Global Times: Chinese Warships Must Speed Up their Appearance at Guam and Hawaii

Global Times recently posted an article with the author’s name Hu Xijin, the newspaper’s Editor in Chief. Hu offered a response to the recent U.S. Navy’s freedom of navigation mission in the South China Sea. The Southern China Military Theater announced its navy and its air force responded with a warning and a “drive-away.” Hu said there are disputes between China and the United States. However, international law does not give any country the power to use warships to forcibly break into and challenge the sovereignty claimed by other countries. The reason the U.S. dares to do this is that only it has the power to do so. However, “China is getting stronger.” Just telling this truth to the U.S. is not enough. China needs to take active actions. In the not-too-distant future, the U.S. will definitely see the People’s Liberation Army appear at its doorstep, like Guam and Hawaii. Hu expressed the belief that, sooner or later, there will be an accident in the South China Sea and it will happen between China and the United States. The United States is the greatest threat to peace in the South China Sea, and it may eventually ruin the peace there.

Source: Global Times, September 8, 2021

DW Chinese: Most Germans Support a Tougher Position against China

Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that Internationale Politik (IP) magazine under the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) commissioned a survey conducted by Forsa, a polling agency. The survey showed that 58 percent of Germans believe that, even if economic and trade relations with China will be affected, Germany should adopt a tougher policy toward China and pay more attention to defending Germany’s own interests. Around 17 percent of the interviewees supported a tougher position if economic and trade relations are not affected. Another 19 percent of the respondents opposed any form of hardline in principle. China is often criticized by the international community for its bad human rights record, especially on its suppression of Uyghur Muslims. However, Germany has strong economic and trade ties with China. In Germany’s current federal election, the China issue clearly occupies a more important role than in the past. The campaign strategy papers of all major German political parties have all covered their China policies in great length.

Source: DW Chinese, August 30, 2021

Lianhe Zaobao: China Ordered American Chamber of Commerce in Chengdu to Suspend Operations

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the Chinese authorities have instructed the American Chamber of Commerce in Southwest China in Chengdu to cease operations. The Chamber officially notified its members that, in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations, it ceased operations and “no longer engages in any activities in the name of the American Chamber of Commerce in Southwest China.” The relevant statement did not provide specific reasons why the Chamber of Commerce in Chengdu was suspended. Wang Xiaodong, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Southwest China, responded to the inquiry via WeChat that the Chamber of Commerce is discussing its registration and future directions with the local government. The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chengdu Chamber of Commerce is not affiliated with the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham).

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, August 31, 2021