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Taiwan TV Hostess Counter-statement against CCTV Hostess Went Viral on the Internet

A video showing a Taiwan TV hostess counter a statement that a CCTV hostess made went viral on the Internet.

Following China’s recent announcement of 26 additional measures “to further promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait,” a CCTV hostess stated in her program that the future of Taiwan is national unity and the fate of Taiwan is connected with China. At the end of her program, she said, “Wanwan (meaning Taiwan), please come home.”

On November 6, during a live broadcast, Taiwan’s “Times News” political commentary host Chen Ningguan imitated CCTV’s tone and humorously responded, “Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is suffering from domestic violence. Please stop it. Both Xixi (Tibet) and Xingxing (Xinjiang) are under surveillance. Since Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is subject to domestic violence, Wanwan (Taiwan) does not want to go home. Wanwan (Taiwan) is scared to see what is happening to Xixi (Tibet), Xingxing (Xinjiang) and Xiangxiang (Hong Kong). Wanwan (Taiwan) likes Internet freedom and does not like to climb the wall (break through Internet censorship.) Wanwan (Taiwan) is not Zhongzhong (mainland).” Chen’s response draw heated responses on the Internet. Some people posted “Wanwan (Taiwan) has our own home even though we have some garbage from Gonggong (mainland) at home. Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is just like hell right now after it went back to the mainland. How does the mainland believe that Taiwan will be attracted back to the mainland?” One post said when “Gonggong (the CCP) is collapsed, Wanwan (Taiwan) will come home.”

Meanwhile many Taiwan politicians responded that they can clearly see the intent of the 26 measures that Beijing tried to introduce. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president responded that the mainland wants to influence the election in Taiwan and force Taiwan to accept the “one country two system” policy. Taiwan’s response is, “It is impossible.”

Source: Aboluowang, November 9, 2019

Malaysian Young Man Was Threatened for Complaining about Huawei’s Mobile Phone

A Tweeter’s story revealed that Huawei has tried to silence people when they talk about the problems Huawei phones are having.

Huawei launched its mobile phones Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro in Malaysia on October 3, 2019. A host who has a YouTube channel to evaluate mobile phones bought a Huawei Mate 30 Pro and surprisingly found that all Google software, including YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, and Play Store, did not work.

He posted a YouTube video to discuss the problem.

Then he posted another video on October 31, reporting that he received threats from Huawei. “Today I heard that (Huawei) was warning me. Huawei told me, ‘You’d better not talk about this. If you continue talking about it and continue ‘slandering’ Huawei, we can sue you.’”

He reported, “Maybe this YouTube (video) will be my last video.” The host warned the audience that Huawei might have the power to close his YouTube channel.

“I feel that Huawei is a villain. I didn’t do anything (against it). I just used the Huawei’s phone and found the issue. I asked for a solution. Why do you warn me like this? … I used to praise Huawei’s phones. …  When I received this warning, my heart sank. … That’s why many big media didn’t report about these problems from Huawei.”

The following are some reader’s comments on the posting:

Comments by “News Revelation”:

“To help people to recall: A Microblog celebrity (in China) questioned if the moon picture that Huawei claimed to be taken with its P30 Pro phone was edited in Photoshop. Then his company fired him because of pressure from Huawei. A few years ago, Huawei’s ad claimed its phone used a high-end memory card but a person reported on the Internet that his test found it was a low-end memory card; he was arrested.”

Comments by “The List of Guillotine”:

“A few months ago, a person posted on a Microblog that his Huawei phone exploded. Then his post was taken out and his account was deleted. You can only blame yourself and take the loss when you run into a problem (with Huawei’s phone).”

Comments by “Talk in Human’s Language”:

“Even people outside of China are warned. How mighty (Huawei is)! The patriots can boast about it now.”

Source: Twitter, October 31, 2019

China’s High-speed Rail: 12 Out of 18 Railway Bureaus in the Red

According to a November 4th report from mainland Chinese media China Business Network, China State Railway Group Company, Ltd. (China Railway, CR) for the first time announced the profitability of its subsidiaries. Out of its 18 railway bureaus, 12 are in the red.

The 18 bureaus are: Taiyuan, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an, Nanchang, Jinan, Hohhot, Qinghai, Guangzhou, Nanning, Urumqi, Kunming, Lanzhou, Beijing, Shenyang, Harbin and Chengdu. The most serious loss makers are the Shenyang, Harbin, and Chengdu Railway Bureaus. The net loss of the three subsidiaries in 2018 was 11.4 billion yuan (US$1.63 billion), 12.9 billion yuan (US$1.85 billion) and 12.8 billion yuan (US$1.83 billion) separately. In the first half of 2019, their losses were 6.7 billion yuan (US$0.96 billion), 6.5 billion yuan (US$0.93 billion), and 5.1 billion yuan (US$0.73 billion). The data shows that, in 2018, only the Taiyuan, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Nanchang Railway Bureaus were profitable.

The financials of the railway bureaus are related to a number of factors, including regional economic development, railway freight traffic, passenger traffic, and high-speed rail construction investment. For example, in terms of the construction of high-speed rail, not only is the initial investment huge, but the operation and maintenance costs are high. The report predicts that the situation of the large-scale losses of high-speed rail will continue in the future. China’s high-speed rail is currently the world’s largest high-speed rail network. As of September of this year, the total mileage has exceeded 30,000 kilometers, of which over 10,000 kilometers can operate with a speed of 300 kilometers per hour.

Source: Central News Agency, November 7, 2019

Bank Runs and Concerns about the Financial Standing of China’s Small Banks

On November 6, the Yingkou Coastal Bank in Liaoning Province had a surge of a large number of depositors withdrawing funds. The police department of the Yingkou area, in an attempt to reassure the customers about the bank’s financial standing, issued a statement on the same day. The bank run was caused by concerns about poor management and liquidity problems in small regional banks. The police statement said, “Due to the Internet rumors that the Yingkou Coastal Bank was deeply mired in a financial crisis, a large number of depositors went to the bank to withdraw their funds.” The police took a leader who was suspected of disrupting the public order back to the station for investigation and said that it would severely crack down on actions of “spreading rumors” and “making trouble.”

This is now the second bank run in China recently. After an executive of the Yichuan Rural Commercial Bank in Henan Province was taken away last week for investigation, panic spread among depositors, who rushed to the bank to withdraw cash.

According to a Reuters’ report earlier this year, as China’s economic growth has slowed to its lowest point in nearly 30 years, the government made a rare move by taking over an almost unknown Inner Mongolian Merchant Bank. It also bailed out the Jinzhou Bank in Liaoning province and the Hengfeng Bank in Shandong province. It thus has raised concerns about the financial realities of hundreds of small regional banks in China.

Source: Voice of America, November 6, 2019

The Epoch Times: CCP Relies on Heavy Lobbying in Europe

The Epoch Times recently reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has funded many think tanks and institutions and adopted savvy lobbying tactics across Europe in order to promote its agenda. However, the Europe Union (EU) has been watching the CCP’s actions.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Chairman and Founding Partner of Dezan Shira and Associates, which advises foreign investors on Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), reported, “China has devoted a large number of resources to lobbying the EU and influential persons connected with it.” “It has mapped out the entire EU structure and, via Embassies, managed to piece together a concise map of who is connected to whom and who is likely to be able to further China’s business interests.”

Beijing has also built up its lobbying experience in its investment push into Africa. In 2015, China bid on and won the Budapest-Belgrade railway project from Hungry and Serbia. China was likely to run it in the same way it ran the BRI projects. The EU then intervened, “insisting that the tender be monitored and subject to controls and regulations imposed from Brussels.” The EU’s involvement made it hard for Beijing to run the project as it desired. Therefore, Beijing adjusted its strategy and put more effort into lobbying the EU so that it could get more and better policy support and a green light for its business and other activities.

Malgorzata Jakimow, assistant professor of East Asian Politics at Durham University and Secretary of the Center for Contemporary Chinese Studies (CCCS), said, “China’s think tank networks are huge. They have been recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the predominant tool for soft power.”

A report that the lobbying watchdog, Corporate Europe, published in April noted, “Often, conferences and seminars held in Brussels with a China theme receive Chinese Government sponsorship.” The report also listed dozens of organizations and networks scattered throughout Europe that have substantial ties to China.

Charles Parton, a former British diplomat to China and a senior associate for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a defense and security institute, said that many Chinese-born academics in the West are cautious about what they can say because the CCP has control over the lives of their relatives back in China and over whether they can visit or return to China. “It would be quite dangerous for these people, for their health, and for their careers, to do anything but talk the party line.” Parton said he could think of one particular person who is frequently called upon to comment on the radio and speak to the media, but what he says is always purely the CCP Propaganda Department’s message.

Source: The Epoch Times, October 16, 2019

Huawei to Launch 5G Infrastructure in Southeast Asia

Agence France-Presse reported that China’s telecom giant Huawei is ready to launch 5G infrastructure across Southeast Asia. Zhou Mingcheng, Huawei’s VP for global public affairs, said at the ASEAN meeting in Bangkok on Sunday that China and the United States are engaged in a trade war, as well as a technological war. Zhou said, “We are here to support the 5G development in ASEAN countries.” The 10-members of ASEAN have a total population of more than 600 million. ASEAN countries hope to embark on the latest technology so as to become globally competitive in business, infrastructure, and transportation.

After Huawei set up a regional headquarters in Thailand in 2015, for three years in a row, Thailand has been the company’s largest destination for investments in Southeast Asia. From 2016 to 2018, Huawei won a total purchase order of US$2.09 billion in Southeast Asia. Although the United States has repeatedly issued security warnings against Huawei’s 5G network, traditional American allies Thailand and the Philippines, instead of paying heed, have been anxious to explore the superfast 5G network that Huawei has promised. In early February of this year, Thailand launched Huawei’s 5G test platform, Huawei’s first test platform in a Southeast Asian country. Global Telecom, the Philippines’ largest mobile telecommunications operator, already started to use Huawei technology this summer, launching the first 5G broadband service in Southeast Asia.

However, not all ASEAN countries like Huawei. Vietnam has chosen to side with the United States and has partnered with other companies, including Ericsson and Nokia.

Source: Voice of America, November 3, 2019