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Briefings - 4. page

Global Times: Taiwan Reunification Time Table Hard to Establish, but Mainland Cannot Wait Too Long

Global Times recently reported that the press interviewed Wang Zaixi, the former Deputy Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of Mainland China. Wang stated that the Taiwan Issue has its historic complications and that finding a resolution is pretty challenging. Thus, the reunification may take quite some time. It is fairly difficult to come up with a clear time table to reach that goal. However, the urgency should not just fade away. From what has been demonstrated inside the island, the possibility of a peaceful reunification is “slowly disappearing.” Wang expressed the belief that the current Taiwanese administration is “laying the groundwork” for declaring independence. He cautioned that the 1.3 billion Mainland Chinese people “will not allow” the reunification process to drag on for too long a time. If an agreement cannot be reached, a phased approach may be more realistic. It is also possible that the reunification can be achieved with “overwhelmingly high military pressure,” but without a full-blown war.

Source: Global Times, September 2, 2017

U.S. Unemployment Rate Seems to Be Beating Predictions

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, although U.S. economic growth can only be called “modest,” it seems the U.S. unemployment rate has, unexpectedly, been going down over the past seven months. The job market numbers saw growth in the last five months. The rate of job growth is double the required rate to sustain long-term stability. Even those who are not actively looking for a job have gotten “sucked into” the working population. The market analysts have been expecting a slow-down in job growth since the unemployment rate was already at a low level. Experts are trying to explain the “unexpected” good news for the U.S. job market. The generally agreed upon explanation is that there has been steady consumer spending, high expectations of results from of the Trump tax-cut, stable oil prices, and the growth of U.S. exports. However, according to Bloomberg, the latest unemployment statistics did not include the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Source: Sina, August 31, 2017

Chinese Private Sector Has Lost Billions in Venezuela

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, so far, based on the latest statistics, investors from China’s private sector have lost US$3 to US$5 billion in Venezuela. Venezuela is China’s biggest investment destination in Latin America. After years of an unstable situation in that country, most of the Chinese investments were already in deep trouble. Only some projects that resulted from government agreements are still enduring. Since it can no longer obtain loans on the open market, due to the recent Trump sanctions against Venezuela, that nation is sliding deeper into chaos. In 2007, China and Venezuela established the Joint Chinese-Venezuelan Fund. Over the past decade, the overall funds totaled around US$40 billion, with the investments focusing on infrastructure as well as economic growth. In 2010, China provided an additional US$20 billion loan to Venezuela to obtain a sustained oil supply. Most of the private Chinese investors did not participate in the projects that these funds financed. As of now, nearly all the companies in this category have completely withdrawn from that market. According to a 2015 study that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) did, Venezuela is the riskiest investment destination for China. It is worse that Iraq and Sudan.

Source: Sina, August 30, 201

Chinese General Comments on U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr.

At the time of the USS John S McCain’s collision with a non-military vessel near Singapore on August 21, the “Defense Times” program on China News Radio (CNR) interviewed Jin Yinan, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General.

Jin Yinan commented on Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command:

“I think all the soldiers around the world have a common trait: do well on you own duties; train well; and prepare well for war.  However, since Harris became the Commander of the Pacific Command, he has been indulging himself in politics. He has been eager to make (political) statements. That’s a big taboo. It means the military is interfering in political affairs. His interest is not on training or management, but rather on showing-off. (He) uses the U.S. power to protect the interests of his mother country – Japan (Editor’s note: Harris is the first Asian American to achieve the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and the highest-ranking Japanese American). Of course he still needs to protect the interest of his father’s country – the U.S. Harris is a completely political soldier. He has been keen on attending large international conferences and keen on making tough statements at those meetings. Yet he has ignored military management and training. So the time when he serves as the Commander of the Pacific Command is the time that the Pacific Command has the most problems.”

Source: PLA Website, August 24, 2017

Xinhua and Caixin Made Different Reports on Trump’s Speech

Two Chinese media, Xinhua and Caixin reported with much different attitudes on Trump’s speech made in Phoenix on August 22. The Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Department heavily controls Xinhua. It is the traditional mouthpiece of the state. Caixin is a relatively new media, commonly believed to have a close connection to Wang Qishan.

Xinhua Report: A Split America – Trump’s Speech at a Gathering Caused Controversy

In his near 80-minute speech, Trump spent about half of his time raging at the media. He defended his position on the violent incident in Charlottesville.  …

When Trump scoffed at the media, the audience booed. His supporters shouted, “CNN sucks!” The TV news reporter while shaking his head and sighing said, “This is the President we elected.”

Later Trump moved to immigration, the border wall and NAFTA. …

About 4,500 people said on Facebook that they participated in the protest event next to Trump’s gathering. Over 3,000 more people said that they participated in the anti-Trump event that a local immigration rights group had organized in downtown Phoenix.

After the gathering, the anti-Trump protesters clashed with the police. Police used tear gas on the protesters and smoke was everywhere. At least three protesters were arrested. No injuries were reported.

Afterwards, some U.S. media commented that Trump’s speech, “increased the split in American society.”

Caixin Report: “Trump Criticized the Media for Quoting Him out of Context and Threatened to Shut down the Government if Congress Does not Fund the Border Wall”

On August 22, Trump countered the external criticism (of his position on the Charlottesville clash) and criticized the media for quoting him out of context.

Trump said, “It’s time to expose the crooked media’s deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions.” “(A)nd yes, by the way, they are trying to take away our history and our heritage. You see that.”

Trump took out a few (copies of) his statements on Charlottesville’s violence incident and criticized the media for quoting him out of context.

“These are truly dishonest people. It’s not all of them. Not all of them. You have some very good reporters. You have some very fair journalists, but for the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people, and they’re bad people. I really think they don’t like our country.”

While he made those statements, the audience booed at and shouted at the reporter area, “CNN sucks! CNN sucks!” About 19 thousand people participated in the gathering. Many of them waved the banners of “Drain the Swamp,” “Make America Great Again,” and “Women Supporting Trump.”

Trump said that the media ignored his statement on unity. “Just like they don’t want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the White Supremacists, and the KKK.” …

Arizona is one of the states that strongly supported Trump during the Presidential election. A few hundred people gathered to protest Trump outside the rally. Phoenix’s Mayor, Greg Stanton, a Democrat, had asked the White House to cancel the gathering and warned about potential violence. However, in reality, the pro- and anti-Trump people didn’t have a direct confrontation that day.

1. Xinhua, August 23, 2017
2. Caixin, August 24, 2017
3. Time, August 23, 2017

CCP Wants Final Say in Foreign Company’s Operations in China

According to a dispatch from Beijing that the Taipei-based Central News Agency (CNA) published on August 24, executives from over a dozen major European companies in China met in Beijing last month to discuss the growing role the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays in foreign companies.

CNA cited reports from Reuters, among other news agencies, that people familiar with the discussion were concerned about President Xi Jinping’s emphasis on the CCP’s role in Chinese society, which has impacted the China operations of foreign companies.

China Daily, China’s official English-language newspaper, reported last month that it is a fact that CCP organizations have been established within companies in China. According to China Daily, out of 1.86 million privately owned companies, over 70 percent have a CCP branch unit in them.

Until recently, many foreign executives have regarded such an arrangement as symbolic. However, one executive who participated in last month’s discussion revealed that (the party) has exerted political pressure on some companies to give CCP representatives in the joint ventures the final say over business operations.

The executive said the company’s Chinese partner was pushing to change the terms of the joint venture to bring CCP personnel into management, to include the CCP organization’s overhead expenses in the company budget, and for the CCP secretary be named chairman of the board.

Central News Agency, August 24, 2017