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Oriental Daily: White House Opposes Intel’s Plan to Increase Chip Production in China

Popular Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily recently reported that sources familiar with the matter revealed that the U.S. Biden administration rejected Intel’s plan to increase chip production in China on the grounds of security concerns. The world’s largest chip maker has proposed to use a factory in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, to produce silicon chips. The discussion was conducted in private. The production line may be launched by the end of next year, helping to ease global supply tensions. At the same time, however, Intel has been seeking federal assistance to strengthen research and production in the United States. Officials in the Biden administration strongly opposed the plan. The government is working hard to solve the chip shortage problem. It is especially working hard to bring the production of important components back to the States. Intel said its focus is on the continued significant expansion of its existing semiconductor manufacturing business. The plan is to invest tens of billions of dollars in new wafer manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Europe. A White House representative declined to comment on specifics but stated that the government is “very much focused” on preventing China from using U.S. technology, to develop first-class capabilities.

Source: Oriental Daily, November 13, 2021

Lianhe Zaobao: China’s 003 Aircraft Carrier Expects Earliest Launch Date to Be in February

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the U.S. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released its satellite image analysis, showing that the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard is completing the installation of the main external and internal components of China’s 003 aircraft carrier. Before the carrier sails into the Yangtze River, it only needs to install some additional items such as radar and weapon systems. CSIS estimated that the 003 aircraft carrier will be launched in about three to six months. Once ready, this will become China’s third aircraft carrier and the second domestically-made carrier. Unlike the first two, experts expressed the belief that the 003 model will use more advanced aircraft ejection technology, similar to the ejection system used by American aircraft carriers. According to Matthew Funaiole, senior researcher of CSIS China Project, the 003 carrier will be the Chinese military’s “first foray into a modern aircraft carrier.” This is a major step forward for China. However, all U.S. aircraft carriers are nuclear-powered. The Chinese 003 carrier is believed to use conventional steam-powered propulsion, which will limit its range.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, November 10, 2021

UDN: Hong Kong Refused to Renew another Foreign Reporter’s Visa

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that, under the new Hong Kong National Security Law, the Hong Kong government refused to renew another foreign reporter’s work visa. The British magazine The Economist issued a statement on November 12, saying that  Hong Kong government refused to renew the work visa of Sue-Lin Wong, a journalist based in Hong Kong. Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, also said, “We regret the decision of the Hong Kong authorities to refuse to renew the visa, and the authorities have not given a reason.” He is proud of Wong’s reports and calls on the Hong Kong government to maintain access to foreign media, which is critical to Hong Kong’s status as an international city. Wong’s reporting focused on social and political news in China and Hong Kong. Before joining The Economist, she was a reporter for the Financial Times and Reuters. The Hong Kong Immigration Department said it does not comment on individual cases. Since the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law last year, the Hong Kong government has rejected the work visas of many foreign journalists, including the Irish reporter Aaron McNicholas from the English media The Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), and Chris Buckley, a reporter from The New York Times. The government did not give the reason for the refusal.

Source: UDN, November 13, 2021


At a State Think Tank Conference, China’s Real Estate Companies Asked for Help

The Development and Research Center of the State Council is a policy research and consultation institute under the State Council. On November 9, it held a conference with several real estate developers and banks in Shenzhen in order to talk about the real estate situation in China.

At the meeting, a representative of the Kaisa Group (佳兆业集团) asked for help stating that the company is facing great difficulties, including a tight cash flow, a complete loss of investment capability, continuous credit downgrading, and the fact that Chinese banks’ have stopped providing loans.The Kaisa representative expressed that, without external help, the company may cause a chain reactions of work stoppage and unfinished construction.

(Editor’s Note: Several Chinese media, including the communist party controlled Ta Kung Pao in Hong Kong, reported this news, but they later removed their articles.)

Source: Secret China, November 9, 2021

Global Times: Hong Kong’s Anti-China Destabilizing Media Must Be Cleaned Up

China’s state-run media Global Times rejoiced over the resignation on November 1 of Zhong Peiquan as the editor-in-chief of the Hong Kong independent media Stance News (立场新闻). Global Times named Stance News as being an anti-China, Hong Kong-destabilizing media similar to Hong Kong’s “Apple Daily.”

The article said, “Over the years, the online media have often published biased or even fabricated reports on the SAR government and the mainland.” “In April, after the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law, Stance News published an interview with the then Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association Xia Boyil. Xia claimed that this was the first time that a Hong Kong court sentenced a ‘Peaceful Unapproved Assembly’ to prison, and declared that, “If citizens cannot vent their grievances through peaceful demonstrations, they may eventually turn to violence,” downplaying the actions of violent mobs. In May, Stance News reprinted an article entitled, ‘Looking at the Future of the Hong Kong Resistance Movement from the Experience of the Irish Resistance,’ which compared Northern Irish militants with the so-called ‘Hong Kong Resistance’  and encouraged the mobs to ‘make a last stand.’”

Global Times indicated that, “Even though Zhong resigned, he can still be investigated by law enforcement agencies for related criminal responsibility.”

It concluded with a comment published in Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily. “The clean-up of Hong Kong’s anti-China forces is just the beginning. Some of the opposition’s public opinion tools and media are still intact. They only managed to be more restrained after the fall of the Apple Daily. The article said that it is not enough to eradicate Apple Daily now. The soil of the media industry must be changed. ‘Some media must separate themselves from their history and be politically sensible.”

Source: Global Times, November 8, 2021

German Technologies Used in Chinese Warships

ARD Fernsehen, a German TV station, reported that one of its investigative programs, “The Munich Report” and the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag (“World on Sunday”) discovered the role that German technology has been playing on Chinese warships.

German manufacturers have developed and even built a sizable portion of the engines that power the Chinese Navy’s warships. The MTU Friedrichshafen, a manufacturer of internal combustion engines, and MAN, the French subsidiary of Volkswagen, are involved. One can find detailed information about the German engine and turbine manufacturer’s supplies to China in the publicly accessible database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). MTU is said to have been a regular supplier of China’s most advanced Brigadier III class destroyers until at least 2020. The supply comes through the circuitous route of licensed production in China. MAN and MTU assured the Munich Report and Welt am Sonntag that they have always complied with export control regulations. According to MTU, the business of delivering submarine components to China “completely stopped” after the Song-class submarines were equipped. The company “has never signed a contract with the Chinese Ministry of Defense or armed forces itself.” The engines installed in the Brigantine III-class destroyers, as SIPRI calls them, do not require an export license because they are so-called dual-use goods. That is, the engines can also be used for civilian purposes.

This year, the Chinese Navy is putting more of its Brigantine III-class destroyers into service. The most recent is the destroyer Kaifeng, which was unveiled in July on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

MTU and MAN can claim that their deliveries are permitted. The EU imposed an arms embargo on China after the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, but the embargo’s binding effect is limited. Sebastian Rossner, a Cologne-based lawyer and export expert, told Germany’s ARD public broadcaster, “Because the EU arms embargo on China was not formally decided in accordance with the European treaties, certain exports of ship engines may also be permissible (if intended for the Chinese navy).” He added, “If you want to change this, the EU must either amend the Dual-Use Regulation or formally impose an arms embargo.”

Source: Radio France International, November 7, 2021

China to Introduce New Security Regulations on Data across its Border

On October 29, the Cyber Administration of China (CAC), China’s Internet regulator, released a draft regulation on the security assessment for data “leaving the country,” aiming to further tighten controls on the cross-border flow of data.

The draft regulation proposes that data operators should conduct a risk assessment before sending data outside the country. The assessment should include the quantity, scope, type and sensitivity of the data, as well as the risk that the outflow of the data may bring to national security, public interests and the legitimate rights and interests of individuals or organizations.

After the Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing went public in the U.S. in late June, the CAC launched an immediate probe into the company and suspended its new user registration, citing “safeguards against national data security risks.”

The state media later claimed that the IPO of companies such as Didi in the U.S. would inevitably involve data leaving the country. The Data Security Law passed by China’s National People’s Congress in June prohibited them from providing domestically stored information to foreign law enforcement agencies.

According to the authorities, the draft regulation is based on China’s Cybersecurity Law, its Data Security Law, and its Personal Information Protection Law.

China’s Cybersecurity Law, which came into effect in 2017, already stipulates that critical information infrastructure operators shall store important data within China and shall conduct security assessments if they really need to provide it outside of China. The Data Security Law, which came into effect in September this year, specifies penalty standards for operators who provide important data outside of China in violation of the aforementioned provisions. The Personal Information Protection Law, which came into effect on November 1, stipulates that critical information infrastructure operators and personal information processors that handle personal information up to the amount specified by the state cyber authorities shall store the relevant personal information within China, and if they really need to provide it outside China, they must pass the security assessment conducted by the state cyber authorities.

That means that, several years ago, the Chinese government had already begun to regulate the way information processors stored data. It has also placed a higher threshold on the security assessment of data leaving the country.

The draft regulation stipulates several situations in which data processors should make a declaration of a security assessment to cyber authorities when providing data outside the country. 1) Outgoing data contains important information; 2) Data provided by operators that process personal information on up to one million people; 3) Data that contains personal information on more than 100,000 people or sensitive personal information on more than 10,000 people. The cyber authorities should complete the security assessment within sixty working days.

Source: People’s Daily Online, October 29, 2021

China Bans Flightradar24 as Espionage App

The flight tracking service website Flightradar24 uses the signal receiving device “ADS_B” to monitor aircraft and track real-time flight information around the world. Recently the service attracted the attention of the Chinese government, which calls it as a “spy tool.” The application can no longer be downloaded in China.

The Chinese government recently said that ADS_B devices can receive data from military aircraft in addition to real-time data from civil flights, allowing users to send data abroad. According to a report by China Central Television (CCTV), Chinese national security authorities have discovered that, since 2020 several foreign organizations have launched websites and used social media platforms to provide Chinese aviation fans with data receiving devices and other benefits. The purpose was to recruit volunteers to collect relevant data and send it overseas.

The ADS_B device, which Flightradar24 offers to its members, is used to monitor and collect flight data within a radius of more than 300 kilometers by placing it window side. With an Internet connection, the data can be transmitted outside the country.

Chinese authorities have studied the possibility of setting up about 300 ADS_Bs in China to monitor aircraft signals in the country’s airspace. The collected information would cover both civilian and military aircraft. Beijing city’s National Security Bureau said this poses a direct threat to military aircraft. Revealing their whereabouts could lead directly to failure with “incalculable consequences.” The authorities reportedly have launched investigations, picked up hundreds of illegal devices, and temporarily confiscated the equipment of aviation fans.

Flightradar24 was founded in Sweden in 2006 to provide real-time flight details, including basic flight information, the path of the flight, the altitude and the airspeed. In the past, media outlets would use the service to search for information about plane crashes.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 5, 2021