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LTN: China’s “The Belt and Road” Plan Faces Many Real-World Challenges

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that China’s grand plan of “The Belt and Road,” which started in 2013, is now facing difficulties across the board. The US$1 trillion investment plan in 65 countries is being challenged in its implementation phase. Many processes have been disrupted by rebels, autocracy, political stability issues and legal challenges such as land ownership disputes. For example, The Jakarta section of the Indonesian high-speed railway hasn’t started construction since 2015 {when Indonesia awarded the rail project to China}. The construction of the railway from China to Singapore got stuck in Thailand due to labor movements. Debates over the high cost have slowed down the Laos section of the same railroad. The construction of the Cooperation Center at the border between China and Kazakhstan received complaints from the locals for benefiting only the Chinese. The new political leader of Kyrgyzstan has now stopped the railway from China to Uzbekistan. Even the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is being disrupted as rebels along the way have blown up natural gas pipelines and trains. Chinese engineers were also attacked.

Source: LTN, November 14, 2017
http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/2253376

Sinchew: China Ranked at the Bottom in an Internet Freedom Study

Singapore Chinese newspaper Sinchew recently reported that the well-known American human rights group Freedom House just released its annual global Internet freedom report. The report showed that the global degree of freedom on the internet had shown a decline for seven consecutive years. For three years in a row China was found to be the worst country in the world in terms of online information control. The Freedom House study included 65 countries, covering 87 percent of the global online population. The report pointed out that Internet information played an important role in the elections in many countries and that political messages were heavily manipulated around the world. In 2017, (this control) impacted elections in at least 18 countries. The governments of more and more countries are following China and Russia to hire online “commentators” to use the Internet to manipulate public opinion. More and more governments are quietly influencing and suppressing different opinions via social media and social discussion groups. The Freedom House study found that, among the 65 countries in the scope of its research, 30 governments implemented online information manipulation and monitoring. Some governments expanded their operations beyond their own borders.

Source: Sinchew, November 15, 2017
http://www.sinchew.com.my/node/1701486

Chinese Visiting Scholars Setup CCP Party Branch at UC Davis

According to an article Duowei News published, on November 4, seven Chinese visiting scholars at the University of California Davis campus formed a Chinese Communist Party branch office on campus. The Dalian University of Technology news website published the news first but then deleted the news from its website. The Duowei article reported that these seven visiting scholars are teachers from seven different universities in China who are either existing party members or probationary party members. The party secretary is one of the teachers from Dalian University of Technology School of Power and Energy. The other six teachers came from Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Dalian University of Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Jiangsu University, Nanjing Agricultural University, and Hohai University. The branch office vows to “continue to recruit new members; organize the group to study the latest party theory and ideology from China; resist the corrosive influence from the west; and enable the members of the branch office and other Chinese patriotic people to experience warm caring from the party office.” The branch office will recruit new members starting with the existing members to target their colleagues or neighbors. They will also have one group activity every two weeks. The branch office is currently under the management of the Dalian University of Technology in China, which recommended that the branch get in touch with other party organizations in the U.S. that the Chinese communist Party has set up in order to seek leadership in the U.S.

Source: Duowei News, November 19, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-11-19/60024426.html

Hong Kong Version of Taipei Universiade Documentary Covered Taiwan National Flag with Digital Mosaic

The Central News Agency published an article about covering the Taiwan National flag with a digital mosaic during the Hong Kong version of the Taipei Universiade documentary. The article pointed out that Hong Kong continues to follow the mainland’s strategy of demoting Taiwan’s status on the international stage. The Central News Agency article reported that, when a Taipei Universiade documentary that Taipei and the National Geographic produced was aired in Hong Kong, the Taiwan national flag in the documentary was covered with a digital mosaic. According to the Department of Taipei Tourism, the Hong Kong National Geographic channel applied the digital mosaic in order to “comply with local regulations.” The Department of Taipei Tourism stated that the change was unilateral and violated its contract agreement. It requested that the Taiwan National Geographic channel take legal responsibility for providing the necessary compensation or ensure that the correct version of the documentary will be replayed in Hong Kong. The Taipei Universiade documentary was first aired on the Taiwan National Geographic channel on October 31, followed by 43 countries including Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.

Source: Central News Agency, November 17, 2017
http://61.219.29.200/gb/www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/201711170220-1.aspx

Huanqiu: US-China Economic and Security Review Commission 2017 Annual Report Thrilled Overseas Anti-China Forces

Well-known Chinese news site Sina published an article that Huanqiu had originally carried. It reported that the 2017 Annual Report that the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission published “resulted in excitement among those who are hostile to China.” The article stated that the annual report came after Trump’s visit to China and has puzzled some mainstream media, politicians, and anti-China organizations. Trump not only didn’t criticize China but also had many positive exchanges with China. The article said that the annual report “painted China as the enemy of the U.S. and a malignant cell in the world. It provided counter-measures and absurd directions for U.S. media, politicians, and anti-China agencies to pursue in their work.” It called the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission headed by Carolyn Bartholomew the home base of “anti-China hostile forces.” It noted that Carolyn Bartholomew, who worked for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, has helped Pelosi draft many “anti-China” bills.

Source: Sina, November 16, 2017
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/nd/2017-11-16/doc-ifynwxum1766154.shtml

People’s Daily: China Needs More Higher Level “Opening Up”

People’s Daily recently reported that Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, mentioned in a speech that China must raise its level for its “Opening Up” long-term policy. Ning pointed out that the Chinese economic growth is now switching its focus from speed to quality, which calls for more exchange on the technology, capital, talent, management, and information level. Chinese competitiveness must improve to break out of the medium or lower level in the international value chain. China’s sustained growth depends on efficient development of the international market and the strength of innovation. Ning recommended that “Opening Up” on a higher level should include a balance between imports and exports, should encourage and help capable domestic companies to expand their international reach, should connect domestic regional development and international marketing, and should look inland and push more towards the west side of China.

Source: People’s Daily, November 12, 2017
http://finance.people.com.cn/n1/2017/1112/c1004-29640729.html

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