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Geo-Strategic Trend

Lianhe Zaobao: Multiple Chinese Exporters Fined for Forging Labels in Cambodia

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the U.S. authorities have caught and fined multiple Chinese exporters because they were found to have forged Country of Origin labels. These Chinese exporters shipped goods to Cambodia where they forged “Made in Vietnam” labels in the Cambodia Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone. This is in line with an earlier report that Vietnamese Customs discovered several cases of illegal labels designed to bypass the new U.S. tariffs. The U.S. Embassy confirmed this incident. The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone is located 210 kilometers west of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. It’s an economic development zone that Cambodia and China constructed jointly. It is one of the symbolic projects of China’s One Belt One Road initiative. According to the World Bank Group, the Cambodian economy saw a 7.5 percent increase in 2018 due to the strong growth of exports to the United States.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, June 20, 2019
https://beltandroad.zaobao.com/beltandroad/news/story20190620-965996

BBC Chinese: Former Interpol Chairman Meng Hongwei Pled Guilty

BBC Chinese recently reported that, according to the Chinese authorities, former Interpol Chairman Meng Hongwei pled guilty to the charge of accepting bribes. Meng reportedly admitted in a Chinese court that he accepted a total of US$2 million in bribes. This happened between 2005 and 2017 when he was a member of the Chinese Communist Party branch at the Chinese Ministry of Public Safety, and when he was serving the positions of the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Public Safety and the Director of the Chinese Marine Police Bureau. Meng was the first Chinese who became the Chairman of Interpol. His arrest was part of the large-scale anti-corruption movement that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pushing. Meng’s wife, Grace Meng, received French political asylum this May and claimed her husband’s arrest was solely based on political grounds. Meng resigned from his post as the Chairman of Interpol.

Source: BBC Chinese, June 20, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/world-48703362

Large Scale Rally in Taiwan to Say No to CCP “Red Media” and to Safeguard Democracy in Taiwan

According to Radio France Internationale, on Sunday June 23, a large number of Taiwanese gathered in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taiwan for a rally in protest against the infiltration of the mainland’s “Red Media” and to safeguard democracy in Taiwan. Chen Chih-han, a Taiwan Internet celebrity and Huang Kuo-chang, a Taiwan politician and member of New Power Party organized the rally. Despite the rainy weather, tens of thousands of people, many of whom were young people, attended the rally. In addition to voicing their opinions against “CCP totalitarianism” and the infiltration of the (CCP’s) “red media,” the organizers also called for the Taiwan government to impose necessary restrictions on issuing media licenses. Speakers at the rally vowed that Taiwan will not allow mainland media to influence Taiwan. Others criticized that, as mainland companies have entered the Taiwan market, they have also affected Taiwan’s Media. People in Taiwan should be on guard against the infiltration of the “red media.” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said earlier that the gathering expressed concern about the CCP’s infiltration into the media in Taiwan and she believed that it would also effectively raise everyone’s awareness.

Source: Radio France Internationale, June 23, 2019
http://cn.rfi.fr/20190623-%E5%8F%B0%E6%B9%BE%E6%B0%91%E4%BC%97%E5%A4%A7%E6%B8%B8%E8%A1%8C-%E6%8B%92%E7%BB%9D%E7%BA%A2%E8%89%B2%E5%AA%92%E4%BD%93%E6%B8%97%E9%80%8F/

Vietnam Tightens Inspections of Chinese Exports That Forge Vietnam As the Country of Origin

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that the U.S tariffs against China are creating a significant challenge for Chinese exporters. More and more Chinese sellers are using a third country route in order to get their products into the United States. This circumstance places heavy pressure on Vietnam since Vietnamese Customs is now seeing a flood of fraud on manufacturing origin certificates. The Vietnamese government announced new rules and has increased the level of its penalties on illegal trade activities. In order to keep its positive trend on a rapid growth of exports to the U.S., Vietnam increased the cost and tightened up the verification process for “Made in Vietnam” labels under the name of protecting the reputation of the label and the nation. According to the U.S. data, in the first quarter, Vietnam saw a year-over-year 40.2 percent growth in exports that are being sent to the U.S. This has made Vietnam the top country that sees the fastest trade growth with the U.S. No wonder Vietnam is now willing to do anything to please the United States.

Source: Sohu, June 13, 2019
http://www.sohu.com/a/320230420_99994729

Thai Government Sues Taiwanese Businessman for Assisting Radio Broadcast to China

Jiang Yongxin, a Taiwanese business executive working in Thailand, was accused of illegally engaging in telecommunications broadcasting. The Thai police sued him earlier this year and the second trial will start next week. Jiang denied that he was engaged in telecommunications broadcasting. The U.S. based Sound of Hope Radio said that the case was an example of how the Thai government has lost its judicial sovereignty because of China’s pressure.

In 2018, Jiang, who was working in Bangkok, rented a vacation home in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand. He loaned the house to a Taiwanese friend from Taiwan. The Taiwanese friend, a volunteer working for the hope of the U.S. based Chinese-language radio network Sound of Hope Radio, set up a short-wave device to broadcast Chinese language programs.

In January last year, the Thai police arrested Jiang. The first trial was held in February of this year. The second trial will start next week. Jiang has denied the charge of alleged illegal telecommunication broadcasting.

Jiang said that during the police interrogation, he discovered that the Thai information that police had came from the Chinese government. His Thai lawyer also said that the Thai police were under great pressure from China. “My lawyer told me that this is only a small case. The prosecutor did not intend to sue, but because of the pressure from the Chinese embassy, they had to file the charge.”

Sound of Hope Radio is a radio station that Falun Gong practitioners in the United States set up. It uses a shortwave radio to broadcast Chinese programs to China all year round. The station issued a statement on Tuesday urging the Thai government to release Jiang Yongxin. Zeng Yong, the president of the radio station, revealed that the network has hundreds of underground launching stations in China’s neighboring countries and regions. In recent years the Chinese government has exerted increasing pressure on those countries to close those underground launch sites.

Source: Radio Free Asia, June 12, 2019
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/shehui/xql-06122019152931.html

India May Join China and Russia against the U.S. out of Revenge

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to the Indian newspaper, the Deccan Herald, India is very upset about the U.S. cancellation of India’s GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) status. In response, India is prepared to “join China and Russia” to condemn the U.S. trade protectionist stance. The U.S. withdrawal of India’s GSP benefits was to take effect on June 5. This could impact over 2,900 Indian products that are exported to the U.S. The estimated trade volume on these products is around US$5.6 billion. According to Indian Business Today, the Indian government is going through internal processes in an official response, and the decision is expected by the end of June. India’s potential “revenge tariff” could start as early as June 16. However, that date can be delayed. India is planning to sign a joint announcement together with China and Russia during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, which is to be held in mid-June. Experts expressed their belief that India may not go too far against the U.S. since there are upcoming scheduled talks with the United States.

Source: Sina, June 6, 2019
http://dailynews.sina.com/gb/international/huanqiu/2019-06-06/doc-ifziyxsw7686345.shtml