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Geo-Strategic Trend

Samsung and LG Plan to Close Their LCD TV Factories in China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to South Korean media news, more early signs of the negative impact of the China-US trade war are emerging. Two large South Korean technology companies, Samsung and LG, are planning to close their LCD TV factories located in China, where their 40- and 50-inch LCD TV sets were manufactured for the U.S. market. The announced U.S. tariff on Chinese TVs will leave the two companies with no profit, or they may even suffer a loss. Insider sources said the two companies have almost reached final decisions on this plan. After the closures, the South Koreans will establish new factories elsewhere, such as Mexico. LG is constructing new factories in the United States too. TV sets made in China hold ten percent of the total TV output of these two companies. A Samsung official commented that, with a 25 percent tariff, there would be no way to continue production without a loss.

Source: Sina, April 16, 2018

Oriental Daily: Chinese Companies Suspected of Using Greek Port for Tax Evasion

The popular Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily recently reported via its online news site that Italian investigators said they are working with the European Union to hunt down Chinese criminal groups who have smuggled a large amount of goods into the EU via the Greek port of Piraeus to avoid an import tax and a product value-added tax (VAT). The Italian Central Anti-fraud Office pointed out that evidence showed Chinese criminals worked through their own companies in Piraeus to import counterfeit clothing and shoes. The Italian government estimated the loss reached tens of millions of Euros. The Greek government also started its own investigation. Piraeus is Greece’s largest port. Its largest shareholder is China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO). The Port of Piraeus is a strategic city in China’s “One Belt One Road” plan. Oriental Daily has been Hong Kong’s number one newspaper in circulation since 1976, with a record readership of over 3,100,000.

Source: Oriental Daily, April 21, 2018

RCI Chinese: China is Strongly Against Adding Labor Protection into FTA

Radio Canada International (RCI), Chinese Edition, recently reported that Lu Shaye, China’s Ambassador to Canada, said China stood strongly against the Canadian idea of adding any conditions to protect labor to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and Canada. Lu also commented that Canada’s position in NAFTA to protect Mexican workers could also result in increased unemployment in Mexico. Due to the fact that Canada asked conditions be added, such as environmental protection, equality of men and women, as well as labor rights protections, the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement between China and Canada remains highly uncertain. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could not convince the Chinese leadership to accept these protections. Lu also called for a “fair Canadian position” on the U.S.-China trade war. For decades, the Chinese Communist Party has claimed to represent the best interest of the Chinese workers, against capitalism.

Source: Radio Canada International, April 10, 2018


HKJA: Survey Showed HK Public Gave Low Score to HK Freedom of the Press

The Hong Kong Economic Journal, the city’s first financial newspaper, founded in 1973, recently reported that the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) released its annual report on the recently conducted survey on freedom of the press in Hong Kong. The city’s general public gave a score of 47.1 (out of 100), which is 0.9 points lower than last year. Professional reporters scored freedom of the press at 40.3. Over 70 percent of the reporters surveyed believed that the overall freedom of the press was worse than last year. Most of the people in the sample of professional journalists and in the sample population of the general public expressed their belief that the pressure from the Mainland government has been hurting Hong Kong’s freedom of the press. Several central government officials have pressured the local government and the local media to self-regulate when they report the news.

Source: Hong Kong Economic Journal, April 11, 2018

Global Times: In the Trade War, Russia will Become China’s Primary Food Supplier

Global Times recently reported that, according to Russian news media, voices from the Moscow Economic Forum expressed the expectation that China’s tariff hikes on American food would be very helpful in turning Russia into China’s primary foreign food supplier. The CEO of the Central Russia Development Fund observed that the China-U.S. trade war would be a “giant opportunity” for Russia, especially when global pricing for agricultural goods are increasing at the rate of 4.5 percent per year. Russia has a great potential to expand its agricultural output. The CEO of China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation International (COFCO Int’l) just visited Moscow a few weeks ago and had a formal discussion with the Russian Minister of Agriculture. COFCO International brought three investment projects to the table. China recently announced tariff hikes on 128 U.S. export goods as a counter to the U.S. tariff increases on foreign steel and aluminum.

Source: Global Times, April 4, 2018

Open Letter Denounced Chinese Communist Party’s Accusation that Australia’s Foreign Interference Bill Is Racist

On March 27, The Epoch Times reported on a bill on foreign interference that was introduced in Australia on December 7. A week ago, a group of Chinese scholars demanded that the Australian government withdraw the bill. The group claimed that the bill is a “threat to academic freedom. … The statement that a foreign force would interfere in Australia is over-the-top and is racist. … It could create hostility toward the Chinese population.” In responding to the demand, a group of 27 scholars in Australia published an open letter stating that the fact that the Chinese Communist Party is exercising its influence in Australia is unacceptable and warned that (those making the demand) are using racism as an accusation to end the open debate about the activities that the Chinese Communist Party has been conducting in Australia. The open letter included a list of espionage activities that the Australian government needs to be aware of and stated, “In recent years the CCP’s efforts to influence and interfere in Australia have become increasingly bold, including an overt agenda to influence Chinese communities in Australia. … The CCP seeks to position itself as the protector of overseas Chinese and drive a wedge between Chinese communities and the rest of Australia. … This debate is valuable and necessary.”

The scholars who signed the response include James Leibold, Associate Professor of Politics and Asian Studies, La Trobe University; Feng, Chongyi, Associate Professor in China Studies, University of Technology, Sydney; and Kevin Carrico, Lecturer, Chinese Studies, Macquarie University.

Source: The Epoch Times &, March 27, 2018

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