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Deutsche Welle: Internal Documents Showed Huawei Supplied Iran

Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that newly obtained Huawei internal documents showed that the company did supply Iran with banned goods such as computer equipment that the U.S. company HP had made. The documents, dated February 2011, are packing lists of items shipped to Tehran, which were pending clearance through customs. These represent very strong hard evidence that supports the U.S. government’s charges against Huawei. The listed equipment involved millions of dollars’ worth of spending on Iranian communications projects. Also in the packing lists were details of servers and switches, as well as U.S. software products from Microsoft, Symantec, and Novell. The volume of the goods reflected in the documents reached 340 standard containers. Huawei refused to comment on this matter, citing on-going legal proceedings. However, Huawei insisted that the company had committed no wrong-doing and followed all of the requirements regarding sanctions from the UN, the EU and the United States. HP did confirm that all its contracts banned these products from being exported to Iran.

Source: DW Chinese, March 3, 2020

RFA: Xi’s One Belt One Road Initiative Faces Major Issues

Radio Free Asia (RFA) Chinese Edition recently reported that, the symbolic China-Pakistan Corridor, which is a key piece of the One Belt One Road initiative, is now facing serious challenges. The problems lie in the Port Gwadar Project, which is a US$62 billion undertaking. Gwadar is the ending point of the China-Pakistan Corridor, which is located in Southwest Pakistan. The project planned to construct the port facilities, roads, railways, oil pipes, tens of factories and Pakistan’s largest airport. However, seven years after the project’s initiation, the airport construction hasn’t even started and the investment money has been late for three years and still counting. The industrial park south of the airport shows no sign of starting. The port now has only three berths and the only visitor to the port was the Pakistan Navy. The planned weekly cargo ships from Karachi are nowhere to be seen. Some experts think that the true objective of building the port was to establish a Chinese naval base named Jiwani. According to public records, the main challenge to the China-Pakistan Corridor is money. So far, the initiative has only completed less than one third of the project, costing US$19 billion. Pakistan has not been able to continue the construction work due to lacking further funding.

Source: RFA Chinese, March 4, 2020

The Government Is Taking over the HNA Group

The HNA Group, is a rapidly expanding airline and conglomerate in China. After the high-profile mysterious death of its Chairman, Wang Jian, in France in last year, the Hainan Provincial government has been leading its restructure.

The HNA Group announced on February 29 that its high liquidity risk that started at the end of 2017 continued and worsened in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus. Therefore, it requested to form the “Hainan Provincial Government HNA Joint Working Group” to coordinate and address the risk. The Hainan Provincial government has led the working group.

Key personnel in the joint work group are all from government offices or state-owned enterprises:

  • Director Gu Gang, Chairman of Hainan Development Holding Co., Ltd, which is directly owned by the Hainan Provincial government
  • Executive Deputy Director Ren Qinghua, Director of Management Committee of the Hainan Yangpu Economic Development Zone
  • Deputy Director Li Shuangchen, Deputy Director of the Central and South China Regional Administration, Civil Aviation Administration
  • Deputy Director Cheng Gong, Deputy Director of the Credit Management Bureau, China Development Bank.

The HNA Group also re-elected its seven-member board. Gu Gang and Ren Qinghua joined the board. While HNA Co-founder Chen Feng remained as the Chairman, Gu Gang became the Executive Chairman and Ren Qinghua became the joint-company CEO.

HNA Group Co., Ltd. is a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Haikou, Hainan, China. Founded in 2000, it is involved in numerous industries including aviation, real estate, financial services, tourism, logistics, and more.

People have been sayings that the HNA Group is connected with Wang Qishan.

Source: Stock Times, February 29, 2020

The Communist Regime Started Enforcing Stringent Restrictions on Online Contents

On March 1, 2020, China started to implement officially the “Regulations on the Ecological Governance of Internet Information Content” (“Regulation”) that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued on December 15, 2019. The Regulation has 8 chapters and 42 articles.

Radio France International published an article commenting that the Regulation was intended to monitor closely and fundamentally eliminate information detrimental to the authorities. It tried to control the information creation and publishing chain, including “creation, copying, and publishing.” It also bound the Information producer, the network information service platform, and the information consumer together to make them mutually monitor each other.

The strict regulation encouraged online information producers to produce, copy, and distribute contents that promote Xi Jinping Thoughts, publicize the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) s policies, promote socialist values, and help increase the international influence of CCP culture. To a certain extent, it tried to make the content producers undertake the work of promoting the CCP’s policies and propaganda.

Information inconsistent with the party’s guidelines and policies will be controlled, removed, and even “sanctioned according to the law.” For example, Article Six states: Producers of network content may not create, copy, or publish illegal information containing content that “endangers national security, leaks state secrets, subverts state power, undermines national unity,” “damages national honor and interests,’ “vilifies heroes,” or “spreads rumors.”

[Editor’s note: The Regulation was possibly a response to Xi Jinping’s instructions given on September 16, 2019, during National Cyber Security Awareness Week. Xi emphasized the importance of security and control and called for enhancing people’s happiness and security in cyberspace.]

1. CAC website, September 16, 2019
2. CAC website, December 20, 2019
3. Radio France International, March 1, 2020中国/20200301-中国最严厉网络审查标准出台-明天只剩下好消息了

Washington Passed the Taipei Act

Global Times recently published a commentary on the Taipei Act that just passed the House of Representatives in Washington, D. C. The commentary described the new bill as “brutal interference in China’s internal affairs.” According to James Francis Moriarty, Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, the move was to double the effort to help Taiwan step up on the world stage. Apparently, the U.S. is once again ignoring the “One China” principle it committed to. However, Taiwan is just a strategic chess piece for the U.S., and the Taipei Act is not a binding resolution. The language used in the bill is largely on the side of “should” rather than “shall.” Only hours after the House passage of the new bill, Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen went immediately to meet James Moriarty in order to thank him. Maybe, as a political gambler, she still has hope for the independence “vision” for Taiwan,.

Right after the Taipei Act passed the House, Radio France International (RFI) Chinese Edition reported on the fact that the bill went through with a sweeping 415 to zero voting result. The bill supported Taiwan to participate in more international organizations as observers. It also asked the Executive branch to punish those countries that took steps to significantly hurt Taiwan’s security and prosperity. As an example of the unfair treatment Taiwan received, Taiwan was excluded from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which caused a negative impact globally. The U.S. Senate already passed its version of the Taipei Act last year.

(1) Global Times, March 6, 2020

(2) RFI Chinese, March 5, 2020

LTN: China Responded to Bernie Sander’s Military Protection Promise on Taiwan

Well-known Taiwanese Newspaper Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders claimed that he would take military action to protect Taiwan if Mainland China took Taiwan by force. Sanders stated this position of his in a CBS 60 Minutes interview. He said he will “absolutely” take military action and he wanted to make this position clear to the world. The new spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, responded in a press conference. Zhao said that the Chinese government noticed Sander’s comments; however, Taiwan issues are Chinese domestic matters and foreign countries have no right to intervene. Zhao would like to urge American politicians to remain careful on this matter and avoid destroying regional stability. Zhao is new to the spokesperson position. He served in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 24 years and worked at the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. and in Pakistan.

Source: LTN, February 24, 2020

The Paper: British Retail Giant Tesco Exits China

Well-known new Chinese news site The Paper recently reported that the British retail giant Tesco just announce the sale of a 20 percent stake in Gain Land to China Resources Group (also known as CRC). Gain Land is a joint venture between Tesco and CRC. This 275 million pound deal marked the final exit for Tesco in leaving the Chinese market. From the beginning, Tesco’s Chinese venture did not do well. It changed its strategy later and partnered with CRC to continue with its 135 branch stores. Tesco has been retreating from major overseas markets, including Japan, the United States, and South Korea. It is also looking at exiting Thailand and Malaysia. Tesco plans to focus its business on Europe. The company said that the income from the Chinese CRC deal will be used for day-to-day operations.

Source: The Paper, February 26, 2020

BBC Chinese: Key Hong Kong Freedom Movement Leaders Detained

BBC Chinese recently reported that Hong Kong police just detained Hong Kong Next Digital Group founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, former HK Legislative Council Member and former Democratic Party Chairman Yeung Sum, as well as Lee Cheuk-yan, who is a former HK Legislative Council Member and current General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions. The Hong Kong government accused them of participating in an unauthorized gathering. Both Lee and Yeung said to the media that they were mentally prepared for the arrest and that the people of Hong Kong have the right to demonstrate, which does not need police approval. Lee also pointed out that there were a large number of people in the demonstrations. It is hard to understand why he was singled out. The Police claimed there was no political intent behind these arrests. All three gentlemen are currently on bail, pending court hearings in May. None of them were the initiators of the freedom demonstrations.

Source: BBC Chinese, February 28, 2020

Mongolia President Visited China and Was Quarantined after Returning Home

The President of Mongolia, Khaltmaa Battulga visited Beijing and met Xi Jinping on February 27, 2020. Battulga is the first foreign head to visit China after the coronavirus outbreak in China in January. Battulga, along with his Foreign Minister Tsogtbaatar Damdin and delegation met Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. Battulga donated 30,000 sheep to China.

Right after the delegation returned to Mongolia on February 28, the whole group was quarantined as a measure to prevent coronavirus infection.

Source: Apple Daily, February 28, 2020

PLA Aircraft Flew Near Taiwan on February 28

On Friday afternoon, February 28, a number of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft flew over the sea southwest of Taiwan, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said.

An unspecified number of Chinese H-6 bombers flew over the region before entering the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines. Soon after entering the Bashi Channel, the bombers returned to an unspecified base through the same route, the ministry said.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won re-election in January 2020, China has carried out an increasing number of drills near Taiwan .

On Feb 9 and Feb 10, China also dispatched Chinese J-11 fighters, KJ-500 early warning and control aircraft, and H-6 bombers on flight missions near Taiwan, the ministry said.

On Feb 10, several Chinese aircraft briefly crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered Taiwan’s airspace, but retreated to the western side of the line after Taiwan military dispatched F-16s and other military aircraft to meet them and issue radio warnings, the ministry said.

On Feb 12, the U.S. dispatched two B-52 Stratofortress bombers flying off Taiwan’s east coast, while an MJ-130J Commando II multi-mission combat transport plane flew over the Taiwan Strait.

On Feb 16, the U.S. sent the USS Chancellorsville south through the Taiwan Strait.

Source: Taipei Times, March 1, 2020