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Geo-Strategic Trend

CCP’s United Front Minister Meets Future Elite Thai Leaders Trained by China

On November 23rd, a high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official met with representatives of the “Thailand-China New Era Leadership Elite Training Program” in Beijing. The official, Shi Taifeng, is a CCP Politburo member and Minister of the CCP’s United Front Work Department. Shi promoted China’s ideology of the “China-Thailand Community for a Shared Future for Mankind” and the CCP’s “Belt and Road Initiative.” On the same day, Wan Lijun, Chairman of the CCP’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, also met with the visiting Thai delegation. Sahathai Maneechot, former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, expressed intention to strengthen close ties with the CCP’s Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and to collaborate on the CCP’s “Community of Shared Future for Mankind.”

The “Thailand-China New Era Leadership Training Program” started as early as 2018, initiated by the Chinese Association in Thailand. It is held several times a year, with high-ranking figures from Thailand’s political, military, business, and academic sectors participating.

At the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China in September of this year, China’s Premier Li Qiang announced the “Ten Thousand People Training and Seminar Program,” in which China will train 10,000 talents for ASEAN countries in the fields of governance, anti-corruption, and green development.

1. Epoch Times, November 25, 2023
2. Chinascope, September 15, 2023

Li Qiang Announced China’s Leadership Training Programs for ASEAN Countries

China and Saudi Arabia Sign Currency Swap Deal

According to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central banks of China and Saudi Arabia have signed a 3-year bilateral local currency swap agreement with a size of 50 billion Chinese yuan / 26 billion Saudi riyals on November 20. The agreement can be extended beyond 3 years by mutual consent. The goals of the agreement are to strengthen financial cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia, promote use of local currencies for trade and investment between the countries, and facilitate bilateral trade and investment flows.

The swap agreement was approved by China’s State Council and establishes a framework for the two central banks to provide liquidity in each other’s currency if needed to support trade and financial stability.

Source: Sputnik News, November 20, 2023

Oriental Daily Malaysia: Nepal to Ban TikTok

Oriental Daily, Malaysia’s most popular online Chinese-language newspaper, recently reported that Nepal said it would ban China’s TikTok app. According to the report, calls to rein in the app in had been growing, and “social harmony and goodwill were at risk” due to abuse of the popular video app.

TikTok has been partially or completely banned in some other countries, many citing security concerns. Local Nepalese media reported that Nepal registered more than 1,600 TikTok-related cybercrime cases over the past four years.

Nepal’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology said the decision to ban TikTok was made at a cabinet meeting. The Minister’s colleagues are working on the technical matter of how to implement shutting down the app. The Chairman of the Nepal’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that network service providers have been asked to block the app. TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nepal’s neighbor India banned TikTok and dozens of other apps developed by Chinese developers in June 2020, saying that they could harm national security and integrity. Another South Asian country, Pakistan, has taken action against the app at least four times because the government expressed the belief that TikTok’s content was “immoral and indecent.”

Source: Oriental Daily Malaysia, November 14, 2023

Taiwan Confirms Deployment of Supersonic Missiles That can Reach Beijing

According to Chinese news site Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU), Taiwan’s Chinese Academy of Sciences recently announced the debut of a supersonic cruise missile named Ching Tien. The missile was officially approved for development a few years ago and completed formal operational evaluation at the end of last year. The missile has entered the mass production stage, and the first batch of missiles has been deployed to the Taiwanese military’s missile command headquarters.

The Taiwan authorities expect to deploy 15-20 Ching Tien missiles on mobile launch platforms in northern and central Taiwan. The missiles are 14 meters long with a range of around 2,000 kilometers, sufficient to reach Beijing from Taiwan. With the missile’s deployment, the Taiwanese military now has a strategic weapon for medium and long-range strikes for the first time.

It is expected that mass production efficiency of this missile will further improve starting next year. Taiwanese authorities appear to be fully engaged in missile development activities, and the message is very clear: if the Mainland can use missiles to attack Taiwan, then Taiwan must also have the ability to attack Mainland China’s coastal and inland cities, including Beijing.

The new Taiwanese missile lacks the stealth penetration capabilities of some U.S. cruise missiles. Meanwhile, Mainland China’s military has already deployed a large number of air defense and anti-missile systems in the southeastern coastal areas, potentially providing some defensive protection against the new missiles.

Source: Sohu, November 18, 2023

Taiwan Investigates CCP Spy Network Targeting Retired Military Generals

Taiwanese authorities are investigating a case involving retired military generals implicated in espionage on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The investigation centers around suspect Zhu Kangming, who served as the secretary to Taiwanese Lieutenant General Jiang Weiguo (the brother of former Taiwanese President Jiang Jingguo). Zhu is accused of trying to help the CCP entice over 20 retired military generals to visit mainland China and accept the CCP’s hospitality.

It is reported that Zhu is a Hong Kong resident. Though he is not a retired military officer, he has connections with many important military leaders in Taiwan. From 2017 to 2023, he has continuously identified and introduced high-ranking military officers with certain specific ranks and/or in certain specific military branches, trying to persuade them to visit China or the United States for hospitality. These trips provided opportunities for the CCP’s United Front organs to contact, influence, and possibly recruit those officers, potentially convincing them to support the CCP’s “peaceful reunification” and “one country, two systems” ideologies.

Source: United Daily News, November 11, 2023

German Media: CCP’s Harassing Dissidents in Germany

German Media outlet Der Tagesspiegel (Daily Mirror) reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has extended its psychological terror tactics into Germany, targeting overseas dissidents. The report says that the CCP employs tactics such as tracking, hacking email accounts, silencing with hush money, and sending threatening emails with “bloody corpse photos.” For example, two Chinese state actors followed a Hong Kong activist when he went to have lunch with some German congresspeople, taking pictures of them openly so that they would know they were being followed. Another dissident reported that someone opened a porn account with her name on the social media platform X, leading male strangers to ring her doorbell almost every day; she also received rape threats and death threats. Another dissident received several dozen threatening calls in one day, and a scholar received threatening emails with photos of blood-stained corpses.

Source: Epoch Times, November 10, 2023

China Bullies Japan into Joining Ping Pong Tournament

A recent dispute within the China-Japan Table Tennis Association highlighted that the Chinese Communist Party can bully other countries over any matter. China plans to host the 2023 Mixed Team Table Tennis World Cup in Chengdu in December. Initially, Japan’s Table Tennis Association refused to participate in it, citing reasons including the absence of world ranking points and short notice (notice came out in August). Beijing responded by recalling Chinese players (a total of 14) who are playing in the Japanese Table Tennis League back to China. In the end, the Japan Table Tennis Association gathered enough players to participate in China’s competition. Soon after, the Chinese players resumed their playing in the Japanese league.

Source: Epoch Times, November 13, 2023

2023 World Association for Performing Arts Convenes in Beijing

A report in China’s state newspaper People’s Daily stated that the 2023 World Association for Performing Arts (WAPA) and the Beijing Forum for Symphonic Music launched in Beijing on November 13. Over 300 representatives from 187 international art institutions in 30 countries gathered to “discuss new developments and challenges facing symphonic activities worldwide.”

According to People’s Daily, WAPA is an international, professional, non-profit organization voluntarily formed by theaters, cultural groups, art schools, and other performing arts institutions. It is headquartered in Beijing with its secretariat at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA). WAPA aims to “build an open exchange platform to promote outstanding performing arts, strengthen technology integration, and encourage civilizational exchange and common prosperity.”

NCPA President Wang Ning, also the Chair of WAPA, said that the NCPA has long promoted cultural integration and Sino-foreign communication, and that the NCPA will continue working with global institutions to support WAPA in organizing activities and weaving “a spiritual bond of beauty and commonality in the global performing arts.”

Cormac Sims, Administrative Director of the British Royal Opera House, applauded WAPA’s initiative as “an important link between countries.” He looks forward to “making more progress together.”

WAPA regularly organizes forums on performing arts and symphonic music. The 2023 Beijing Forum for Symphonic Music has the theme “Seeking New Horizons, Sharing and Coexistence.” Discussions will focus on music education and audience expansion, contemporary symphonic music visions, and co-creation platforms. Artists and industry leaders will address symphonic music developments and promote global exchange and mutual understanding.

Source: People’s Daily, November 14, 2023