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Merkel’s Weak Attitude Toward Beijing Criticized

The French newspaper Le Monde published an editorial on Wednesday, criticizing the European Union’s weak response after Beijing passed its rubber-stamp Hong Kong National Security Law. The newspaper cited Washington’s elimination of Hong Kong’s special status and the ban on arms exports, Canada’s suspension of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and the UK’s offering of citizenship to up to 3 million Hong Kong residents. However, the 27 EU countries have fallen into the trap of interdependent economic relations with China.

Le Monde pointed the finger at Germany, which has served as the EU’s rotating presidency since July 1. Germany finds it difficult to look beyond the economic cooperation that has been carefully woven with China for 15 years, which translates to an annual trade of over 200 billion euros between Berlin and Beijing. The Hong Kong people are disappointed with Merkel.

The newspaper also criticized France, which fears to damage relations with Beijing at the moment when it must fully reopen the economy after coming out of the epidemic. While not giving any details, on Wednesday evening, French Foreign Minister Le Drian assured the Senate that France would take countermeasures against the Hong Kong National Security Law.

Le Monde believes that since the emergence of the epidemic, Beijing has shown its true face. Xi Jinping’s China has transformed and become more aggressive in all respects without hesitation, including the usage of provocative rhetoric to support its policies and disparage the EU model. It has proven that Beijing has become the EU’s institutional opponent. The newspaper pointed out that China’s brutal approach in Hong Kong also poses a severe test for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. It proposes that the EU could at least suggest to the Hong Kong people that they would be willing to provide asylum to whoever wishes to escape from the authoritarian regime. If the EU wants to become a global actor and be respected, there is no other choice but to be tough when facing China.

Inside Germany, there has been much criticism of Merkel’s weak performance on the Hong Kong issue. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) criticized Merkel’s attitude towards China. Nils Schmid, a spokesman for the SPD’s parliamentary group, reminded Merkel that she should bid farewell to her outdated perception of China and face reality. Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), believes that Germany cannot betray its values.

Source: Radio France International, July 8, 2020中国/20200708-港版国安法-默克尔对北京小心翼翼受质疑

Belgium: Senate Passes Resolution Condemning the Chinese Regime’s Organ Harvesting Crimes

The Belgium Senate passed Resolution 7-162 on June 12, 2020. The resolution condemns the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s state-sanctioned organ harvesting from living prisoners of conscience, especially Falun Gong practitioners and Uighurs. Ten Senators sponsored the resolution. They introduced it on May 12; the Senate discussed it on June 8 and passed it on June 12. Several Senators spoke on behalf of their respective political parties and condemned the CCP’s live organ harvesting.

Senator Fatima Ahallouch said that in 2006, the Belgian Transplantation Association (BTS) noticed that China’s Transplant Assistance Center website became active on the Internet with the purpose of promoting rapid organ availability in China. The China Tribunal pointed out that the extremely short waiting times for transplantation in Chinese hospitals suggested that the CCP obtained organs illegally. Formerly imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners and Uighurs have testified that they were repeatedly forced to undergo medical examinations while in prison.

Source: Falun Gong’s Minghui.Org, July 3, 2020

China Times: Cambridge Considers Revoking Honorary Fellowship Awarded to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam

Major Taiwanese news network China Times recently reported that Cambridge Wolfson College President, Professor Jane Clarke, issued an announcement that the College paid strong attention to the series of events that happened after China passed the Hong Kong National Security Law. The College strongly supports human rights protection and freedom of speech. They are considering revoking the Honorary Fellowship that was awarded to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in 2017. Last November, three British Members of the House of Lords wrote to Cambridge, asking for the removal of Carrie Lam’s Honorary Fellowship title, citing her political “incompetence and aggressive approach.” Previously, Carrie Lam had taken short term courses at Cambridge. Her husband had a Doctor’s degree from Cambridge and both of her sons graduated from Cambridge.

Source: China Times, July 2, 2020

BBC Chinese: Boris Johnson Changes Position on Huawei to Avoid Supplier from Potential Enemy

BBC Chinese recently reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson changed his position on Huawei. With the Chinese communists passing the new Hong Kong National Security Law, the British government is reevaluating Huawei’s reliability in the British 5G network. Boris Johnson used to be open to allowing a partial Huawei presence in the British 5G communications market. However, in a recent press conference, the Prime Minister said he does not want to see any risk in the critical national infrastructure to be controlled by suppliers from potential enemy countries. Huawei has been working hard on the British market for the past 20 years. High ranking British officials have suggested recently that the U.S. sanction on Huawei may impact the feasibility of using Huawei equipment in the British 5G network. The recent new ban that the U.S. government  imposed caused Oliver Dowden, British Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to order an emergency review. Many Conservative Party members of parliament were against including Huawei in any part of the British 5G market. They believed they could rally enough votes if Parliament were to have another vote. However, they hoped the Prime Minister would change his mind before such a vote.

Source: BBC Chinese, July 2, 2020

Lianhe Zaobao: Intel Put Supplying Chinese Manufacturer on Hold

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that, in order to comply with the U.S. government’s new export restrictions, Intel has put supplying Chinese manufacturer Inspur Group on hold. Intel explained in an announcement that the move was solely to ensure that U.S. laws are followed. Inspur Group is China’s largest computer server manufacturer and is ranked number three in the world. It is a large customer of Intel’s and Inspur’s entire product line of families uses Intel processors. Intel’s decision formed a strike on Inspur’s future, causing its stock to fall five percent within a day. The U.S. Department of Defense established a 20-company list not long ago identifying Chinese companies either owned or controlled by the Chinese military. According to new U.S. regulations, these companies are banned from obtaining advanced U.S. technologies. The list includes both Huawei and Inspur. Inspur manufactures both traditional servers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) servers.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, July 3, 2020

Former Party Official Laid out Six Changes that China Should Be Prepared for in Facing World Challenges

On June 22, a former deputy minister of the CCP’s International Liaison Department published an article entitled, “Proactively Responding to Changes in the External Environment.” It was in the China Social Science News magazine that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences publishes.

The article laid out six changes for which China should be prepared. They are as follows: 1.) The deterioration of Sino-US relations and the full escalation of conflict; 2.) A decrease in external demand and the disruption of industrial supply chains; 3.) Adjusting to the new norms under COVID 19 and the long-term coexistence of viruses and humans; 4.) Detaching from the dominance of the dollar and disconnecting the Chinese Yuan from the dollar; 5.) The outbreak of the global food crisis; 6.) The resurgence of international counter-terrorism forces.

The article stated that China is facing unprecedented challenges and quoted Xi Jinping’s speech in which he stated that the CCP must “adhere to bottom line thinking and be mentally and physically prepared to deal with changes in the external environment.”

1., July 4, 2020議事廳/493885/中聯部原副部長-要做好中美鬥爭全面升級-人民幣與美元脫鉤準備

2. China Social Science Network, June 22, 2020

Swarms of Locusts Invaded Guiling City of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

On June 30, a video posted on Weibo and Twitter showed that, overnight, a large number of locust swarms invaded Quanzhou County, Guiling city of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Locust swarms destroyed the crops and covered over the farmers’ clothes. People posted comments stating that, judging by experience, this is the prelude to a large-scale outbreak of locust plagues. If it is not controlled in time, the consequences will be worrisome. Another post on Weibo reported that the locust swarms also spread to more towns and villages in Quanzhou County. It was estimated that it hit at least 100 acres of the farmland in the Town of Shaoshui and all of the crops were decimated.

The local official has not issued any notice about the locust swarms and Guiling City of Guangxi province was recently hit by flooding also.

Source: Liberty Times, July 2, 2020

RFA: Farmers Offered Incentives to Produce More Grain

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that according to a document the Chengdu Municipal Agriculture and Rural Bureau issued, farmers are being encouraged to stop producing fruit and cultivating gardens and to start producing rice grains instead. They are promised to receive 3,000 yuan (US$425) per acre in compensation if they switch. Local farmers said that the fruit and garden industries in Chengdu are well developed. The profits are more than several times or even tens of times more than the profit from growing grain. The same request was reported in Hubei province, but the farmers refused to make the change. The fact that the officials made such an advantageous request to the farmers suggests that the country could face grain shortage.

One resident from Chongqing city told RFA that China is facing crises and political turmoil. The Central Administration wants to put pressure on the US by stopping the import of American grains, but they are facing a grain reserve shortage at the same time. Chinese people can endure any adversity as long as there is a sufficient food supply, but if that supply can’t be guaranteed, then all the official measures to maintain stability could fail. There have been reports that, in a few state level grain reserve warehouses, sand was found under the grain. Last month, two local grain warehouse managers committed suicide. China is facing a severe grain shortage.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 2, 2020

Internal Document Revealed Irregularities in China’s Organ Transplant System

An internal document on China’s organ transplant system shows 21 major problems under 8 categories. The document is titled, “China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS) Data Verification Report (Zhejiang Province).” (The Report) covers the government’s COTRS data involving medical institutions in Zhejiang Province during the period from January 1, 2015, to April 13, 2018. Established in 2011, the COTRS is meant to be a national organ allocation mechanism for transplant, with organ donations from voluntary organ donors as the only legitimate source.

Of the problems discussed in the Report, livers and kidneys of unknown origin were used in transplants in Zhejiang. These accounted for 7.82 percent and 4.51 percent of the organs of illegal origin in the country.

The Report identified cases where the transplant occurred before the allocation and suspected distribution outside COTRS and manipulation of the flow of organs.

The Report found that the number of “special situation registrations” was too high, indicating that the hospital as an organ procurement organization (OPO) may have abused the procedure possibly involving a  suspected manipulation of the allocation process. According to the Report, “special situation registration” is only applicable to organ allocation outside the organ allocation system in order to prevent the waste of organs if a force majeure occurs during organ allocation.

The Report identified 135 cases where the OPO hospital tampered with donor data one hour prior to the distribution of the organ.

The Report discovered a large number of cases where the transplant hospital changed the recipient’s data one hour before the transplant. In some cases, new recipients were added to the waiting list and received the available organ. The Report considered these activities to be a suspicious manipulation of the flow of organs.

The Report found that about 10 percent of the livers disappeared without an explanation in COTRS.

Source: Epoch Times, July 3, 2020


Beijing Passed a Far-reaching Hong Kong National Security Law

On June 30, China passed the Hong Kong national security law, which went into effect immediately. The official Xinhua News Agency published the full text of the law. Four crimes now all carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The law is more far-reaching than most people expected.

A foreigner who exercises freedom of speech in a foreign country and advocates Hong Kong independence may be arrested in Hong Kong. As long as any of the “criminal acts or results” occur in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), it will be deemed to be a crime in Hong Kong. The law also applies to any Hong Kong permanent resident or a Hong Kong based company that commits a relevant crime outside of Hong Kong. For non-Hong Kong permanent residents outside Hong Kong, they are also punishable even if they commit the relevant crimes outside Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong national security law stipulates four crimes.

Separatism. The chief offenders are subject to life imprisonment or imprisonment of more than ten years. Active participants imprisonment may be between three and ten years, while others imprisonment will be less than three years.

Subversion. Any act of subversion shall be punishable by imprisonment of from less than three years up to life imprisonment.

Anyone who incites, assists, abets, or sponsors with money or other property the commission of the above two crimes can be sentenced to from less than five years to more than ten years in jail.

Terrorism. Those that cause significant losses can be sentenced to life imprisonment or imprisonment for more than 10 years. Lessor offenders may receive between three and ten years imprisonment. Propagating terrorism and inciting terrorist activities are also crimes and can be subject to imprisonment of less than five years or less than ten years.

Collusion with foreign countries or external forces endangering national security. Offenses include stealing, purchasing, and illegally providing state secrets or intelligence to foreign or overseas organizations and personnel. Offenses also include requesting relevant organizations or individuals to implement or conspire to implement, directly or indirectly accepting their instructions, control, and funding to support the implementation of five actions.

The five actions include conducting sanctions, blockades or other hostile actions against the HKSAR or China; manipulation and sabotaging of the elections, causing possible serious consequences; various illegal methods that trigger the hatred of the Hong Kong residents towards the central government or the HKSAR government that may cause serious consequences.

The HKSAR government will establish a new Committee for Safeguarding National Security (CSNSC), and Beijing will set up a corresponding Commission for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong (CSNSHK), headed by a vice minister of Public Security. For the first time, the national security law clearly stipulates that the CSNSHK, instead of the HKSAR, will exercise direct jurisdiction over the case under three circumstances: First, the case involves the intervention of foreign or external forces, making it difficult for the HKSAR to exercise jurisdiction; second, it involves a serious situation in which the HKSAR government cannot effectively implement the national security law; third, a situation where national security faces a major and real threat.

There are also other controversial stipulations in the national security law.

The work of the CSNSC is free from interference from any other agencies, organizations and individuals in the HKSAR government. The information is not disclosed and decisions made are not subject to judicial review.

The law emphasizes that neither the suspect nor the defendant shall be released on bail unless the judge has sufficient reason to believe that the suspect or the defendant will not continue to endanger national security.

The law stipulates that the Chief Executive of the HKSAR shall appoint a number of judges to handle crimes against national security. Anyone who has expressed words or committed deeds that endanger national security shall not be designated as a judge to hear national security criminal cases. During the appointment, if the judge has words or deeds that endanger national security, the qualification of the appointed judge will be terminated.

If there is any inconsistency between the local laws of HKSAR and the national security law, the provisions of the latter shall apply. The right to interpret the Hong Kong national security law belongs to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Source: Central News Agency, July 1, 2020