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CNA: Taiwan Society Remained Calm Despite the CCP’s Military Threats

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, Beijing announced military exercises around Taiwan from August 4 to 7 in response to the House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit from the U.S. Foreign media stationed in Taiwan observed that the Taiwanese society was calm as usual and could not feel the tense atmosphere. On the afternoon of the 4th of August, the Chinese Communist Party launched 11 Dongfeng series ballistic missiles in fractional waves towards the waters surrounding the northern, southern and eastern parts of Taiwan. The Japanese Defense Ministry presumed that four of the missiles flew over Taiwan based on five of the missiles falling into the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense pointed out that it was necessary to  grasp the launch dynamics immediately, activate relevant defense systems and strengthen combat readiness. A report from the Associated Press from Keelung pointed out that, despite the large-scale military exercises by the Communist army, the atmosphere in Taiwan society remained calm. A BBC reporter said that most of the people he interviewed did not believe that the Communist army was going to attack Taiwan this time. Another fisherman said, “They are just a group of bandits. These Communists only talk big and can’t do anything. We have been listening to their threats for 70 years.”

Source: CNA, August 5, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aipl/202208050124.aspx

UDN: Biden to Host Pacific Islands Leaders’ Summit at the White House

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that President Biden will host a summit of Pacific Islands leaders at the White House in September. Facing China’s growing influence, the U.S. looks to strengthen regional ties. The United States is making frequent diplomatic tours in the Pacific, seeking allies to confront an increasingly assertive China. Washington previously also announced plans to open new embassies in the Pacific. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Fiji in February this year, and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris recently delivered a landmark video speech to the Pacific Islands Forum. Sherman visited the Solomon Islands for a series of commemorations marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. After China signed a secret security agreement with the Solomon Islands in April this year, Western allies were alerted. The deal, which would allow China to establish military strongholds in the South Pacific, was the focus the U.S.’ concerns.

Source: UDN, August 6, 2022
https://udn.com/news/story/6813/6518106

China Times: UK to Build the Second Largest Rare Earth Refinery Outside China

Major Taiwanese news network China Times recently reported that, the British government stressed the importance of securing the supply chain for rare earth minerals, and is committed to diversifying the supply chain moving it away from market dominators like China. The UK unveiled a new key minerals strategy, and will begin construction of a rare earths refining facility in northern England. Rare-earth elements are used to make magnets to start electric car engines, power windows, and to operate offshore wind turbines and other high-tech devices. China currently accounts for 98 percent of the global supply. Europe and the U.S. have stepped up their efforts to reduce their reliance on China and create safe and independent supply chains for these critical minerals, so as to avoid a repeat of the supply chain crisis. The UK says the Pensana facility will be the second-largest refinery of magnet feedstock outside of China and is expected to begin operations by the end of 2023. The £145 million (approximately US$175 million) facility in Saltend, East Yorkshire, is supported by the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund and is expected to create 126 jobs. With the new strategy, Britain said it would further develop and build the skills base of its local workforce, while supporting domestic production and working with like-minded allies to diversify supply chains.

Source: China Times, July 22, 2022
https://wantrich.chinatimes.com/news/20220722900529-420201

Kenya Presidential Candidates Criticize Chinese Communist Party

The Kenya Presidential election will be held on August 9. The two leading candidates took positions to oppose Beijing’s expansion in Africa. China has invested in some major infrastructure projects in Kenya, including the high-speed rail, a highway, and others. The current Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta) adopted a pro-China policy, which trapped Kenya into owing China several billion dollars.

Source: VOA, July 29, 2022
https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-spotlighted-in-kenya-s-presidential-race-20220728/6678588.html

Chinese Government Organized Boycotts against Western Companies

Research by the Swedish National China Center found that, in the 13 years between 2008 and 2021, Chinese consumers initiated 90 boycott actions against foreign companies. Actually, the communist party is behind or is even directly organizing these boycotts. The foreign companies thus have become the victims of the communist party’s political game.

The “organized” consumer boycotts mainly target companies in North America, Europe, and Northeast Asia. American companies have been boycotted 27 times, Japanese and French companies each 11 times, German companies 8 times, and Korean companies 6 times.

For example, Beijing directly organized a boycott of Korean companies to punish South Korea for its plan to install the THAAD missile defense system. The communist regime also started the first shot, which Chinese consumers followed, on Marriott since Marriott did a survey listing Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao as parallel options to China. Beijing also directly started a campaign against “foreign companies attempting to split China.” It first asked foreign airlines to mark Taiwan as belonging to China and later spread the boycott wave to international fashion brands such as Coach, Versace, and Givenchy. Chinese consumers were stirred up and stopped buying these companies’ products.

Source: Epoch Times, July 24, 2022
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/22/7/24/n13787942.htm

Shanghai’s New Talent Recruiting Plan

Shanghai is openly recruiting 5,157 Post Doctors, with a maximum annual salary off 700,000 yuan (US$ 103,000) and a living subsidy. The median salary is 300,000 Yuan (US $44,000). Shanghai is not alone. Many Chinese cities are in the competition for the talents that have Doctors and Post Doctors status.

The U.S., U.K, and Germany are the top three countries that are Shanghai’s recruiting targets. This caused people to wonder whether this recruiting effort is a continuation of the infamous “Thousand Talents” program. The “Thousand Talents” program included some cases of participants stealing Western technology and giving it to China.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 29, 2022
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/kejiaowen/wy-07292022100754.html

JCCIC Demands Fair Treatment from Beijing’s Tightened Tech Control

he Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (JCCIC),  Which Japanese companies stationed in China have formed, published a position paper on July 29, expressing the wish that the Chinese government improve its business environment. As China tightens control over high-tech products and data processing, the JCCIC asked Beijing not to exclude foreign companies, but to treat them as fairly as domestic companies.

The paper asks for the permission of foreign companies to participate in the stipulation of high-tech-related standards and to disclose product information. Takashima Ryusuke, vice president of JCCIC and director-general for the Beijing Office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), who also participated in putting together the paper, stressed at a press conference that “one cannot set standards that treat foreign companies in a discriminatory manner.”

Noting that Chinese government procurement is dominated by domestically produced goods, Takashima demanded that, “imports (from Japan) be able to participate on an equal footing.”

China’s Personal Information Protection Law prohibits the provision of domestically collected data to foreign countries, but has yet to offer detailed regulations. Takashima said Japanese companies are concerned about the application of the law, and called for rules to be established and made public as soon as possible.

Source: Kyodo News, July 29, 2022
https://china.kyodonews.net/news/2022/07/fe1c8c42ee64.html

Before 2025, China’s Population Will Shrink

China’s National Health Commission (NHC), the country’s top agency overseeing the public health, has revealed that the total population will show negative growth during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). The statement was made in an article published in Qiushi magazine on August 1. Qiushi is the flagship publication of the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

According to the NHC’s 2021 survey, women of childbearing age continue to show a low desire to have children. The average number of planned childbirths per woman is 1.64, down from 1.76 in 2017 and 1.73 in 2019. The measure is only 1.54 for Chinese women born in the 1990s, and 1.48 for those born in the 2000s.

As population growth has slowed down significantly, the fertility levels have fallen, with the total fertility rate, or the average number of children per woman, dropping to below 1.3 in recent years. It is estimated that the population will fall during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).

NHC observed that the population distribution will show three major characteristics. First is a seriously aging society. It is expected that around 2035, the proportion of people over 60 years old will exceed 30 percent of the total population. Second is the smaller household size. The average household size will show a drop to 2.62 persons in the figures for 2020, a decrease of 0.48 persons compared to 2010. Third, there will be an uneven regional development.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), August 1, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202208010217.aspx