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Briefings - 3. page

Xinhua: China’s March Car Sales Continued to Slide

Xinhua recently reported, based on newly released CAAM (China Association of Automobile Manufacturers) data, that China’s March domestic automobile sales suffered a year-over-year decline of 5.2 percent. Passenger car sales declined by 6.9 percent. The market has been sliding for nine consecutive months. It is estimated that the automobile market will not recover in the first half of the year. Commercial vehicles saw a mild growth due to increased government spending. One special market characteristic worth noting is that domestic brands are losing market share. In March, domestic sales dropped by 16.4 percent, reaching a market share of 41.3 percent, which represents a 4.7 percent decline. Domestic brand SUV sales declined the most. They suffered a year-over-year decline of 13 percent. Foreign brands demonstrated more flexibility in promotions.

Source: Xinhua, April 13, 2019

Vietnam’s Largest Telecommunications Company Has Its Own 5G Plan

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Viettel, Vietnam’s largest telecommunications company has developed a plan to provide its 5G high-speed wireless services in 2021. The company announced that it has been investing heavily in developing its own 5G chips as well as its own equipment that will utilize the chips. Viettel, which has a military background, holds more than half of Vietnam’s high-speed telecommunications market. Most of its 4G technology came from China’s Huawei. However, Viettel decided to take a different approach for the 5G journey. The company decided to depend more on its self-developed technologies. It may also absorb some Western technologies. Viettel’s native design focused on the core 5G chipsets, but for establishing a nationwide network, a large number of different chips are required. Viettel may not be able to self-develop those immediately. The company may have to depend on Intel, Xilinx, Broadcom, Skyworks and Qorvo. In case its internal test results are not satisfactory, Viettel will sync with Washington by importing from Nokia or Ericsson, instead of Huawei.

Source: Sina, April 11, 2019

Sputnik: China Will Set Off an Upheaval in the World’s Meat Market

According to an article that Sputnik News published, U.S. Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) recently reported that, as China is unable to solve the African swine fever issue, African swine fever could drive up the global prices of protein since China consumes 40 percent of the pork in the world. China’s problem may also cause shortages in other countries’ food markets.

African swine fever is an acute viral infection in pigs that is not transmitted to other animals and humans. In August 2018, the African swine fever epidemic broke out in Liaoning Province for the first time and the virus spread rapidly to other provinces in China. Now Chinese officials have confirmed that more than 120 cases of African swine fever have been recorded in 30 provinces and autonomous regions. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly one million pigs have been slaughtered, but China has still failed to control the spread of the dangerous virus of African swine fever.

In an interview with Chinese media, Chinese agriculture minister Han Changfu reported that the African swine fever virus has been brought under control and the occurrence rate has decreased. From the beginning of 2019, only 23 new cases were recorded. However, the U.S. CNBC pointed out that the price of achieving this result was that healthy pigs were slaughtered. Many farms slaughtered all of their pigs because they were worried about the spread of African swine fever.

According to estimates from the Shanghai JCI Consulting Company, China’s pork production will be reduced by 16 percent in 2019, or 8.5 million metric tons, which will result in a pork shortage of around 7 million metric tons. Under the current conditions, a rise in pork prices will be inevitable. The issue of African swine fever has caused active discussions on Chinese blogs. One blogger whose name is “Tangshan Wangzi” wrote, “What happened to China’s pig industry? Take a look. People’s lives are ruined.” Another blogger named “Musalaisi” wrote, “African swine fever can be spread in a number of ways. Prevention is the key. Sterilization of tools is very important. Once this is over, the price of pork will definitely rise.” The blogger named “I am Lin Shu” wrote, “The production of Chinese pork has been cut back, but there is imported pork. Now the domestic pork prices are very bad.”

Washington hopes that China will once again increase imports of U.S. pork in light of the shortage of pork in China. According to Reuters’ data, 90 percent of U.S. exports of pork in 2017 were sold to China. After China imposed a 70 percent responsive tariff on US pork products in 2018, the US exports of pork products to China dropped by 55 percent.

Source: Sputnik News, April 12, 2019

CNA: South Korea Ranks First among Foreign Students Studying in China

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education of China, there were 492,000 foreign students studying in China in 2018. Among them there were 50,000 from South Korea which is the highest in the world; the second were from Thailand, Pakistan, India, and the U.S., each country had between 20,000 and 30,000 students studying in China. Among these foreign students, there were 60,304 people who had received scholarships from the Chinese government, accounting for 12.81 percent. The number of foreign students studying for a college degree was 258,122 or 52.44 percent and rest of them were there for training programs. These foreign students were studying at 1,004 colleges and universities in 31 provinces and autonomous regions across China, an increase of 3,013 people over 2017, with an annual growth rate of 0.62 percent. The regions include 88,786 people in Beijing, 61,400 in Shanghai, 45,778 in Jiangsu, 38,190 in Zhejiang, and 27,879 in Liaoning.

Source: Central News Agency, April 13, 2019

RFA: Former Peking University Security Guard Arrested for Producing Video Criticizing Xi Jinping

Zhang Pancheng, a former security guard at Peking University, went missing because he posted a video on the Internet last November criticizing China’s human rights situation and Xi Jinping for giving out generous foreign aid to 3rd world countries. Zhang’s friends and lawyers have recently confirmed that the authorities arrested Zhang for allegedly “Picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” According to Zhang’s mother, Zhang Pancheng has been held in the Xicheng District Detention Center in Beijing for more than four months. The family member received a notice of the arrest. An attorney that the Zhang’s family hired had gone the detention center to visit him. The lawyer told Zhang’s family that Zhang refused to admit he made a mistake, refused to write a letter of guarantee, and refused to sign the lawyer’s power of attorney.

In the video Zhang made, Zhang said: “I am a simple, ordinary Chinese, but I also have my dreams, my ideals, my self-esteem, and my rights as a person. In China under today’s totalitarian rule, no one has personal safety. A private entrepreneur could die any time and anyone could disappear for no reason. He (Xi Jinping) could give away $60 billion in foreign aid but did he go through any approval process? . . . One million innocent Muslim compatriots are being held. What crimes have they committed? Please release them and send them home immediately.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 10, 2019

Provincial Official’s Documents Revealed How Officials Work on Persecuting Falun Gong

Chinese Epoch Times published a few official documents from Liaoning Province that gave instructions on intensifying the work of “attacking” Falun Gong.

Yu Ming, a Falun Gong practitioner who recently escaped from China brought these documents out with him. Falun Gong is a mind-body exercise in the Buddhist school. It was introduced to the public in 1992 and, by the late 1990s had widely spread in China due to its teaching of the principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” and its effectiveness in healing illnesses and aiding fitness. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned it in 1999. The Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions (Central LGPDHR) is the leading CCP organ that manages the work against Falun Gong. The “610 Office,” so named because it formed on June 10, 1999, is the execution arm of this leading group.

These documents include:

1. “Pertaining to the Request for Instructions on Recent Work Arrangements on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions,” by the Liaoning Provincial LGPDHR, on July 23, 2013. The document mentioned that Li Dongsheng (李东生), the Director of the CCP Central LGPDHR, instructed, during his visit to Liaoning, that Liaoning needed to increase the intensity of its work on preventing and dealing with (Falun Gong) and to take all necessary measures to intensify the education and transformation of (Falun Gong practitioners), to dig deeper to (find and) attack them, and to contain the resurgence of the Falun Gong issue.

It stated that the Provincial LGPDHR would call for a work coordination meeting on July 24, 2013, with top officials from the Liaoning Provincial Public Security Bureau, the Provincial Procuratorate, the Provincial Court, Provincial Judicial Bureau, Provincial State Security Bureau, Provincial Internet Management Bureau, and also the corresponding offices in Dalian (the capital city of Liaoning).

The request was sent to Su Hongzheng (苏宏章), Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CCP Liaoning Provincial Committee, and Party Secretary of the Liaoning Provincial Political and Legal Affairs Committee; Pan Liguo (潘利国), Deputy Governor of Liaoning; and Wang Dawei (王大伟), head of Liaoning Provincial Public Security Bureau.

2. A notice without title, from the Liaoning Provincial LGPDHR, dated July 23, 2013. It was sent to secretary Qi to ask him to submit the drafted leader’s instructions on preventing and dealing with (Falun Gong).

3. “Comrade Liguo’s Instruction,” signed by Pan Liguo. It stated that each locality and each department must implement Li Dongsheng’s important instructions. The Public Security and State Security organs needed to maintain the high pressure (against Falun Gong), intensify intelligence collection, and intensify the struggle’s strength by adhering to the principles of “taking care of it early, or while it is small and attacking it whenever there is a sign.” Each local office must gather the information about stubborn Falun Gong practitioners and members of the “Quan Neng Shen” (another religion that the CCP called heretical) and fully utilize the current forced labor camp and resources, to push forward the intensified “transformation” work against them.

Source: Epoch Times, April 4, 2019