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Deutsche Welle: German Automobile Industry Maintains Close Ties with the CCP

Recent research by the German Economic Institute (IW) showed that Germany’s direct investment in China in the first half of the year reached a historic high. Between January and June this year, German companies directly invested 10 billion euros (US $10 billion) in China. In the past, the half year record was 6.2 billion euros.

The German government authority, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs & Energy, is working to modify its China policy. It will tighten the guarantee for companies’ overseas investments.

However, Germany’s automobile industry is moving in the opposite direction. Former CEO Herbert Diess of Volkswagon insisted that China’s business is important to Germany. The Chairman of Daimler AG said that sales from China accounted for one third of Mercedes-Benz sales. On June 28, Audi and its Chinese partner First Automobile Works (FAW) officially kicked off a new energy vehicle project with an investment of over 35 billion yuan (US $ 5 billion) in Changchun City, Jilin Province. On June 23, the BMW Group launched its new plant “Rida Plant” in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. The project, costing RMB 15 billion, is by far the largest single investment by BMW in China’s market.

Source: Deutsche Welle, September 7, 2022为什么德国部分工业界同柏林对华政策唱反调/a-63044035

“Free Xinjiang” Blocked on Reddit – Netizens Criticize Tencent’s Possible Infiltration

A group of netizens set up a Chinese version of “Free XinJiang” on an American social media site, Reddit, to provide a platform for Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims and supporters to communicate in Chinese, and to upload reports and information on the Chinese Communist authorities human rights violations in XinJiang.

However, just within the first 23 hours after its creation, Reddit received a large number of malicious complaints that had been filed against this information on the Chinese Communist authorities’ human rights violations.

Tony, the administrator of the “Free Xinjiang” section, suspected that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), through its online army consisting of fifty-centers, had made these illegal “posts” and then filed these “complaints,” thereby triggering the shutdown of the channel. He also suspected that that since Reddit had been taking investments from Tencent since 2019, it had become an accomplice of the Chinese Communist Party.

In February 2019, Reddit announced that it had raised $300 million in Series D funding, half of which came from Tencent, the top Chinese internet company. In 2020, Tencent participated in Reddit’s Series E round of funding again.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 5, 2022

By 2027, China Faces Having a Shortage of Network Security Personnel of 3.27 million

China’s Ministry of Education recently issued a “White Paper on the Real-World Capabilities of Cybersecurity Talent,” The White Paper states that 34 universities in the country already have academic programs of cyberspace security in place. Still, by 2027, China will see a shortage of 3.27 million cyber security personnel, At that time, the annual production of college educated talent in this field is estimated to be only 30,000.

According to mainland Chinese media, the areas of high demand include the ability to conduct real-time attack and defense, to identify vulnerabilities, and to fill the needs of engineering and development.

A scholar at the Steering Committee of Cyberspace Security in Higher Education under the Ministry of Education said, “When we are attacked with the backing of a nation’s power, should we fight back? We should do what we should do as the government allows. From the perspective of talent training, at least we should do both the shield and the spear. We can only really safeguard our national security if we do a good job of both the spear and the shield.”

Source: China Central Television, September 7, 2022

RFA Chinese: WeChat Notified Overseas Users that Data will be Sent to China

Radio Free Asia (RFA) Chinese Edition recently reported that a large number of overseas WeChat users have been notified that, if they accept the WeChat service agreement, their personal information will be sent back to servers in China. Experts pointed out that WeChat once intended to set up domestic and overseas versions to avert any allegations of infringement overseas. The fact is, however, that WeChat has never stopped acting as the CCP’s censorship proxy. Jurists are calling on Western countries to legislate to ban Chinese apps to prevent the CCP from its long-arm intrusions. On September 6, WeChat users in many countries said that when they were about to read the content of their WeChat subscription, they suddenly received a prompt saying that once the overseas users activate the WeChat function, their personal information will be sent back to China for processing. Under international pressure and the requirements of privacy protection regulations, in September last year, WeChat “separated” into the domestic version of Weixin and the international version of WeChat. It then asked non-China-bound mobile phone users to re-sign the WeChat agreement to show that the company complied with the  laws and regulations of the host country. So now it has just torn off the original mask. Experts said that the Chinese government has always used WeChat in China as a tool to control society and censor speech, which is actually part of its establishment of China’s high-tech totalitarian control, and it has always used WeChat as a tool to export censorship overseas. The United States and other Western countries should consider and re-evaluate WeChat’s threats to national security, data security, personal privacy, etc. Western countries should pass legislation on Chinese apps, or even block Chinese apps, like India has done.

Source: RFA Chinese, September 7, 2022

China-Latin America Cooperation in Science and Technology Innovation

According to China’s official newspaper People’s Daily, the 2022 China-Latin America and the Caribbean Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation was recently held via video conferencing. More than 20 participant representatives from the science and technology authorities in Latin American and Caribbean countries participated online. During the forum, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the counterpart officials in Latin American countries signed memorandums of understanding on cooperation to accelerate the construction of sustainable food innovation centers. Participants expressed their willingness to continue to deepen the cooperation between Latin America and China in the fields of clean energy, digital technology, agricultural technology, and satellite communications.

The report mentioned the Sino-Bolivian satellite cooperation project and China’s Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine plant in Chile.

Source: People’s Daily, September 8, 2022

US Trade Representative: Tariffs on China Will Continue

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) said that the four-year-old tariffs on China will be extended. The reason for this decision is that the office has received hundreds of related requests from U.S. businesses. In the meantime, a tariff review process will follow. USTR Katherine Tai, the United States Trade Representative, has urged the maintenance of punitive tariffs on Chinese goods. She said she was reluctant to give up the leverage provided by the tariffs. Her attitude determines that it is difficult to cancel the US tariffs on China. In addition to the tariffs, more powerful trade measures are being considered, such as restructuring the high-tech industrial chain and restricting high-tech exports to China before making an investment. Recently, the U.S. government has been discussing a bill with Congress. It is an investment restriction bill that would require U.S. companies to disclose in advance which Chinese industries they may invest in  while establishing a system within the U.S. government that would empower the U.S. government to prevent directly any U.S. companies from investing in China. The reasons for the intensification of China-US trade tensions is that the relationship between the two countries is changing from trading partners to competitors. The Biden administration’s strategic positioning against China has undergone a fundamental change. The two world economic powers, China and the United States, are currently confronting each other in political, economic and security realms. After the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last month, the escalation of tension in the Taiwan Strait made the relationship between the two countries even worse.

Source: NetEase, September 4, 2022

Oriental Daily: Russia Bought Artillery Shells and Rockets from North Korea

The popular Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily recently reported that, according to newly declassified U.S. intelligence, the Russian Defense Ministry has purchased millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea, a move that shows that global sanctions have severely restricted Russian supply chains and forced Russia to turn to “excluded countries” for military supplies. According to British media, Russia only received the first batch of drones made in Iran very recently. Apparently, the U.S-led sanctions and export controls are hurting Russia’s ability to acquire military supplies. No details were provided about the North Korean deal on exact weapons, timing or size of the shipment. The transaction could not be independently verified at this time. Russia is expected to try to buy more North Korean arms in the future. North Korea has been seeking closer ties with Russia as European and Western countries have pulled out. North Korea even hinted at sending construction workers to help rebuild Russian-occupied territory in eastern Ukraine. North Korea’s ambassador to Moscow recently met with envoys from Ukraine’s Donbas region, two Russian-backed separatist territories, and expressed optimism about cooperation in the “field of labor migration.” North Korea is the only country other than Russia and Syria to recognize the self-proclaimed republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Source: Oriental Daily, September 6, 2022

Head of Xinhua News Agency: Actively Control Online Media So it Serves as the Party’s Mouthpiece

Fu Hua, Director of the Xinhua News Agency, published an article on September 2 in which he talked about building Xinhua into an international first-class media.

Fu stressed that Xinhua agency is a main component of the Communist Party’s news and public opinion work. Xinhua agency has been developing its power in news reporting, opinion guidance, public influence, and credibility on the mobile internet. “We will strive to build a new international first-class all-media organization, lead the online media, perform our duties as Chinas’ mouthpiece, eyes and ears, as the think tank of the Party Central Committee, and better carry out our mission of bearing the flag, uniting the people, promoting culture, and displaying China’s image.”

Fu said that facing the complicated international environment, Xinhua News Agency has put in a lot of effort to build up overseas social media accounts in order to increase its message to the world. The total number of fans of its overseas accounts is over 280 million and several celebrity news reporters’ accounts have more than one million fans. They have been able to tell China’s story, promote China’s voice, and promptly clarify and counter any attacks on China’s core interests.

1. Shanghai Security News, September 2, 2022,yw-202209-4950785.htm
2. China News Agency, September 4, 2022