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Briefings

RFA: CCP Encourages Party Members to Invest in the Stock Market

Amid the stagnant, weak stock market, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently issued an order to encourage party members to invest in the stock market.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that, in the past, Beijing had discouraged people working in the government from buying stock. On June 24, however, Beijing asked them to invest in the stock market. The CCP Central Committee for Disciplinary Investigation’s (CCDI’s) website claimed, “The stock market is a main component of China’s socialist market economic system. For the staff members of the party and the government to invest their legally-obtained property in the stock market will support our country’s development. Party cadres can legally invest in legitimate stock transactions.”

People commented that this indicates that the CCP is desperate to inject money into China’s stock market and at this time they are looking at party members’ money. Some also pointed out that this gives the party members a money laundering opportunity so they can cleanse their illegal money.

Source: RFA, June 25, 2019
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/jingmao/ql1-06252019073624.html

Xinmin Evening News: China Had Record Low Marriage Rate in 2018

Xinmin Evening News reported that, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the national marriage rate in 2018 was only 7.2 percent, which is the lowest it has been in nearly 10 years. 2013 was the turning point and the marriage rate has been declining for five consecutive years since 2014. More developed regions had a relatively lower marriage rate. The marriage rate in 2018 in Shanghai was only 4.4 percent, the lowest in the nation. Zhejiang was 5.9 percent which was the second lowest, and the marriage rates in Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin and other places were also lower. Economists believe that the low national marriage rate in 2018 is closely related to the stronger independence of young people. With the improvement of the income level and the change of perspective about life, economically independent young people can have more options. They can maintain a relationship or they can live together but not get married. Therefore, many people believe that, while marriage is a need for a certain group of people, it is not for everyone, nor is it the only correct choice. While China’s marriage rate has hit a record low, the divorce rate has been climbing for 16 consecutive years. In 2002, only one out of seven married couples got a divorce. By 2017, the divorce rate was one out of every three marriages. One scholar pointed out that the imbalance between males and females is an important reason for the low marriage rate in the country. According to the sixth national census data, there were 154 million males aged between 14 and 27 in 2010 and 143 million females aged 12 to 25 in 2010. That means that a large number of males will not be able to get married when they reach the legal age for marriage, which is 22.

Source: qq.com, July 13, 2019
https://xw.qq.com/partner/hwbrowser/20190713A0NZQ5/20190713A0NZQ500?ADTAG=hwb&pgv_ref=hwb&appid=hwbrowser&ctype=news

LTN: Chinese Customs Stops Transport of Umbrellas and Helmets to Hong Kong

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that, according to various unverified sources and online communications, Chinese Customs ordered several shipping companies for online shopping sites to stop carrying yellow helmets, yellow umbrellas, flags, flagpoles, and banners (along with other demonstration supplies) that had Hong Kong as their destination. The ban took effect on July 11. This appears to be a new mechanism that the Mainland government came up with to undermine the on-going protests that the Hong Kong residents carried out. Even loud speakers and masks were banned. The Customs notification to the shipping companies used a very strong tone and warned that an “extremely serious punishment” may follow any violation. This news triggered a major wave of discussions in the online Chinese communities outside China. Many netizens suggested sending the goods to Taiwan first and then they could be shipped to Hong Kong. According to Hong Kong Economic Daily, the Chinese Customs actually issued the initial notification on June 27. However, the latest notification sounded more serious.

Source: LTN, July 12, 2019
https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/2851235

Taiwan Student under Investigation for Remarks Praising Japan and Supporting Taiwan Independence

Taiwan United Daily News reported on July 12 that Wuhan University recently launched an investigation of an exchange student from Taiwan for his “Taiwan Independence” remarks. Wuhan University said that it will weigh in on the investigation results and decide on its final decision. Ke Quanyao, who recently graduated from National Taiwan Normal University with a Master’s degree from the Physical Education program was accepted at Wuhan University as an exchange student. However a Weibo posting addressed to the university on July 11 claimed that Wuhan University has “recruited a student who worships the ‘Japanese Spirit’ and favors ‘Taiwan Independence.’” The posting also contained the offer letter Wuhan University issued to Ke Quanyao along with screen shots of articles posted on Ke’s Facebook page. The posting also claimed that Ke Quanyao does not agree with the “1992 Consensus” . . . and that he believes that Japan is his motherland and he hopes that Japan will unify Taiwan. It further stated that Ke is not suitable to be an exchange student in the mainland and that “I hope your school will consider it carefully.” In the statement Wuhan University issued, it wrote that Wuhan University is directly affiliated with the Ministry of Education and, according to the statement, “We welcome all Taiwan compatriots, overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese who support the one-China principle to study and exchange with Wuhan University”

China Times reported on the same day that Ke Quanyao had decided not to pursue his studies at Wuhan University as an exchange student. Ke told the Central News Agency that there is nothing he could do if people from the mainland broke the firewall to visit his Facebook page and take screen shots of his comments which were meant to be seen only by his Facebook “friends.”

Source:
1. United Daily News, July 12, 2019
https://udn.com/news/story/7331/3924498
2. China Times, July 12, 2019
https://www.chinatimes.com/realtimenews/20190712002798-260407?chdtv

China’s Automobile Market Saw a 9.6 Percent Decline in June

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), China’s domestic automobile market suffered a year-over-year decline of 9.6 percent. In the first half of 2019, the total automobile sales saw a year-over-year decline of 12.4 percent. CAAM expressed its belief that the full year outcome may turn out to show a negative growth. The Chinese automobile market has already suffered 12-consecutive-months of decline. The year 2018 was the first year in 28 years that the industry had a negative growth rate. The numbers showed that passenger cars had a better sales performance than commercial vehicles. The month of June showed that mid-duty commercial trucks had a year-over-year decline of 39 percent. CAAM called for a government intervention to stimulate consumer spending. Also in 2019, the government is expected to reduce the subsidy for new-energy vehicles by 70 percent. Even with the previous high subsidy, the new-energy vehicle profit margin remains very low, far less than for conventional vehicles.

Source: Sina, July 11, 2019
https://finance.sina.com.cn/stock/hyyj/2019-07-11/doc-ihytcitm1155583.shtml

Chinese Soldiers Crossed Indian Border to Prevent Tibetans from Holding Birthday Celebration for the Dalai Lama

Epoch Times reported that a group of Chinese soldiers recently crossed the border into India and tried to prevent local Tibetan residents from hosting an annual birthday celebration for the Dalai Lama.

According to Indian Economic Times, the incident occurred on July 6. At that time, about 11 Chinese soldiers wearing plain clothes were accused of crossing the line of actual control (the line of actual control is the de facto boundary between China and India), and entering the Indian-controlled Kashmir Ladakh area. At the time, the local residents were holding the 84th birthday celebration for the Dalai Lama.

Chinese government sources said that the Chinese soldiers only protested near the line of actual control, held a banner with the words “All activities to separate Tibet are prohibited,” and also did not cross the line. However, the residents of the Ladakh region of India refuted the statement. In a Facebook page that Urgain Chodon, head of Koyul Village, posted, she shared photos of the soldiers standing next to their vehicle and the five-star flag and banner. She said that the village residents have been holding birthday celebration ceremonies for the Dalai Lama for a number of years. This year, for the first time, Chinese soldiers crossed the border and entered 6 kilometers into India. Not only did they put up the five-star flag representing China, but they also told them that they could not put up the Tibetan flag, claiming that it was inciting the villagers.

This is believed to be the first large-scale invasion of Chinese soldiers since the confrontation between the Chinese and Indian troops in 2017.

Chodon questioned why these Chinese soldiers wouldn’t communicate their message with the Indian military. She said that she will write to Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister and Rajnath Singh, head of National Defense about the incident.

Source: Epoch Times, July 14, 2019
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/7/14/n11383617.htm