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World against the CCP: China Became the Target at the World Health Assembly

An article from Radio Free Asia stated that Beijing was isolated at the World Health Assembly (WHA) that was held on May 18 and 19, 2020. It mentioned several points:

1. A proposal, initiated by Australia, drafted by the European Union, and signed by 122 countries including Russia, Japan, and Nigeria requested an “independent investigation” into the origin and spread of the novel coronavirus. All 194 member countries, including China, voted yes and passed the resolution. The article commented that the reason the Beijing supported the resolution was that it changed its strategy after failing in a direct confrontation against the world. It will now join the investigation team, with the hope to alienate and instigate member countries and to muddle the investigation by changing the investigation site, the objectives, and the methods, to get itself out of having any accountability.

2. Xi Jinping promised to donate 2 billion dollars to the World Health Organization (WHO) in the next two years. John Ullyot, the Spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement that China’s commitment “is a token to distract from calls from a growing number of nations demanding accountability for the Chinese government’s failure to meet its obligations.”

3. The article also stated that, despite the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) global propaganda campaign, it has ended up being in a worsened situation of isolation. It mentioned a few things that the CCP didn’t anticipate:

  • The entire world, including countries that used to have a good relationship with Beijing, aligned with the U.S. (against the CCP) as one side.
  • Russia joined the alliance despite China’s offer of substantial financial support to Russia when it was boycotted by the U.S. and Europe.
  • African countries, who used to be the CCP’s good friends, jumped uniformly to the opposite side, with Nigeria being the leader and demanding 200 billion dollars in compensation. The African League also asked for compensation.
  • WHO Director-General Tedros had a dramatic change. He supported the “investigation” request and even proactively requested a review of whether to invite Taiwan to attend the assembly.

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Infection Count: Caixin Indicates That at Least a Half Million People in Wuhan Were Infected

A Chinese media, Caixin, reported that, based on an earlier sampling in Wuhan, 500,000 people are likely to have been infected with the coronavirus. Sina, an Internet portal in Chinese, republished the article. Both articles were soon removed.

According to the screenshot that people took, Caixin’s article stated that in April, Wuhan did a blood serum epidemiology sampling of 11,000 people and found 5 to 6 percent of the people tested positive. This ratio could be roughly taken as the ratio of people who have been infected. Therefore, given the 11 million population in Wuhan, at least half a million would have been infected.

Caixin is a Beijing-based media group providing financial and business news and information. It was founded in 2010 by Hu Shuli (胡舒立), who was known for her outspoken style.

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Diplomacy: Trump Said He Does Not Want to Talk to Xi Jinping

On May 14, in an interview with Fox Business Network, President Trump said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the disease and that the pandemic had cast a pall over his January trade deal with Beijing, which he previously hailed as a major achievement.

Trump said, “They should have never let this happen. So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”

Referring to Xi Jinping, Trump said, “But I just – right now I don’t want to speak to him.”

When he was asked about a Republican senator’s suggestion to deny visas to Chinese students applying to study in fields related to national security, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence, Trump replied, “There are many things we could do. We could do things. We could cut off the whole relationship.”

“Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion,” Trump said, referring to estimated U.S. annual imports from China, which he often refers to as lost money.

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Source: Reuters, May 14, 2020

World against the CCP: Pompeo Criticized CCP for Attempting to Steal U.S. Vaccine

On May 13, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that Chinese hackers and spies were using the coronavirus pandemic as a cover to shield their clandestine cyberattacks. The hackers attempted to steal research on the coronavirus, including the vaccine, the treatment, testing, and public health information.

On May 14, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced China for its hacking activities. “The United States condemns attempts by cyber actors and non-traditional collectors affiliated with the People’s Republic of China to steal US intellectual property and data related to COVID-19 research. The United States calls on the PRC to cease this malicious activity.”

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Source: New York Post, May 14, 2020

World against the CCP: U.S. May Break the CCP’s Great Firewall by November

To ensure that it can control the Chinese people’s thinking, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) built the Great Firewall to block the Chinese from accessing information on the Internet that it does not want them to be aware of.

On May 8, at Steve Bannon’s War Room program, Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, mentioned that “chances are substantial that we can take down the Chinese firewall before the November election.”

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Source: Tweeter, War Room Account on May 8, 2020

Leadership: Xi Jinping Went to Shanxi Province While Sidelining the Commander of Beijing Garrison

The People’s Daily reported that Xi Jinping went to Shanxi Province on May 11 and 12. During the trip, he visited the Yungang Grottoes, which was famous for stone-carved Buddhist sculptures. (#1, People’s Daily)

Chen Pokong, a political commentator on China’s affairs who frequently appears on Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, said that Xi’s trip was linked to the soft removal of Wang Chunning, the Commander of Beijing Garrison. (#2, YouTube)

Xinhua announced on May 10, that Zhang Fandi, the Political Commissar of Beijing Garrison replaced Wang Chunning as a Beijing Communist Party Committee Member and a Standing Committee Member. (#3, Xinhua)

In the Chinese Communist Party (CCP’s) structure, the People’s Liberation Army unit has two top leaders: a commander in charge of the military actions and a political commissar for political activities. One of them, from a local garrison, also serves as a member of the locale’s (provincial or municipal) communist party standing committee, which is the highest power decision-making organ in the locale.

Wang Chunning is a Lieutenant General. He became the Commander of the Beijing Garrison in 2016. In January this year, he took over the Beijing Communist Party Standing Committee Member position from Jiang Yong, then Beijing Garrison Political Commissar. Major General Zhang Fandi took over the Political Commissar position from Jiang Yong at the same time. Wang has served the Beijing Standing Committee Member for only four months. (#4, Beijing News)

In his analysis, Chen Pokong pointed out:

  1. The head of Beijing Garrison is extremely critical to Xi as it can control Beijing.
  2. Wang Chunning has a higher military rank than Zhang Fandi. In a normal situation, Zhang would not take over Wang’s Beijing Standing Committee Member position.
  3. This indicates that Xi Jinping no longer trusts Wang.
  4. Xi might do a soft removal of Wang, like what he did to Fu Zhenghua recently. Fu was the Minister of Justice. He was removed from the position of Deputy Party Secretary of Justice Ministry’s Party Committee on April 20, then removed from the Minister of Justice post on April 29, and then removed from the position of Deputy Director of the CCP Central Committee’s Office for the Rule of Law on May 5.
  5. When Xi took down Sun Lijun and Fu Zhenghua, he went to Shaanxi Province, probably to avoid the supporters of Sun and Fu, to take actions against him in Beijing. This time, Xi probably did the same thing: going to Shanxi Province while pushing out Wang Chunning. (#2, YouTube)

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Infection Count: Wuhan Plans to Test All People in Ten Days

There are signs that Wuhan faces the risk of a coronavirus recurrence.

On May 11, the Epidemiological Big Data and Epidemiological Investigation Team of the Wuhan Municipal Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Epidemic Prevention and Control Command Center issued an “Emergency Notice on Carrying out the City’s Novel Coronavirus Nucleic Acid Screening.” The notice informed the command center of each district of Wuhan that the government decided to carry out a “ten-day battle” on the nucleic acid screening for the coronavirus throughout the entire city. It advised that each district shall make arrangements to screen all people in its jurisdiction within ten days. (Editor’s note: This implies Wuhan needs to test 1 million people per day.  There are concerns as to whether China has that much testing capacity.)

Changjiang Daily, the newspaper under the Wuhan Party Committee, reported that on the same day, Wang Zhonglin, the Wuhan Party Chief hosted a video conference for the Wuhan command center. He said at the meeting, “(We) should have a deep understanding that ‘decisive achievement’ does not mean ‘decisive victory’ and ‘reducing the response class’ does not mean ‘reducing prevention.’ We can never take it lightly, care less, or slack off (on the coronavirus prevention and control).” (#1, China News Agency)

On May 8, Xi Jinping declared in a speech that “the war to defend Wuhan and Hubei has obtained a decisive achievement.” (#2, People’s Daily)

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Infection Count: Jilin City Locked Down Due to Coronavirus Epidemic

Amidst a recurrence of the Coronavirus, Jilin City in Jilin Province required a residential neighborhood to lock down.

#1: On May 7, Jilin Province reported an infection case in Shulan City, which is a subordinate city under Jilin City. On May 9, the Jilin government reported 11 confirmed cases in Shulan. On May 10, Shulan city adjusted to a high risk status of the coronavirus epidemic from medium risk. On May 11, the Shulan Mayor announced that Shulan “entered a war time state.” (Stock Times)

#2: Due to Shulan City’s coronavirus epidemic, Jilin City stopped all long-distance buses and chartered tour buses; the graduating high school students (12th graders) and graduating middle school students (9th graders) which had come back to school for classes were asked to stay at home for online classes once again; the plan to bring other high school students back to school were also postponed. Jilin City required all residential neighborhoods and villages to lock down completely; any person wanting to leave the city had to provide a negative result within 48 hours on testing that was conducted; all school activities were to be closed; all drug stores and clinics were not to sell fever-reduction drugs; all clinics were not to take patients with a fever and were directed to designated hospitals for treatment; all tour sites and movie theaters were to be closed; and all cafeterias were to be closed. (China Economic Net)

#3: Shulan City issued a notice to search for all people who went to Qinghua Public Bath from April 1 to May 6 and required them to perform self-quarantine at home for 21 days. The bath was near the residence of two infected patients. (Beijing News)

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World Against the CCP: Trump Administration to Pull TSP out of Funds Investing in Chinese Companies

On May 11, the U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and National Economic Council Chair Larry Kudlow wrote to U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia stating that the White House does not want the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a federal employee retirement fund, to have money invested in the stock of Chinese companies.

Secretary Scalia wrote to Michael Kennedy, the chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, sharing the Kudlow/O’Brien letter noting the two have “grave concerns with the planned investment on grounds of both investment risk and national security.” (#1, Stock Times)

TSP manages near 600 billion dollars of retirement money for several million federal employees including Congressmen, White House staff, and military staff. It plans to invest about 4.5 billion dollars in the Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Ex-U.S. Investable Market Index (MSCI ACWI ex-USA IMI). That index covers 22 developed and 26 emerging markets and consists of large, mid, and small-cap stocks from more than 6,000 companies, including Chinese securities.

The MSCI index fund controversy is that it includes “many firms that are involved in the Chinese Government’s military, espionage and human rights abuses,” which Senator Marco Rubio and other U.S. law makers have repeatedly pointed out. For example, AviChina Industry & Technology Ltd. is the listing company for the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) that develops manned aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, missiles, and other weapons systems for the People’s Liberation Army. AVIC and its subsidiaries have been the subjects of repeated sanctions for proliferation activities related to Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology (Hikvision), a state-run technology firm, provides tens of thousands of surveillance cameras throughout the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The cameras support the Chinese Communist regime in detaining over one million Uighur Muslims and other ethnic and religious minorities. (#2, Senator Marco Rubio’s website)

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Hiding Information: Did Xi Jinping Ask WHO to Withhold Information?

On May 8, Der Speigel, a German newspaper, cited a German intelligence assessment that, on January 21, Xi Jinping personally threatened the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The information said that when Xi talked to Tedros, Xi requested that Tedros not release human-to-human transmission information and delay the announcement of a public health emergency.

In a press briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, rejected this claim.

WHO also claimed that Xi Jinping and Tedros did not talk on January 21.

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