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Geo-Strategic Trend - 2. page

Three Major Canadian Telecommunications Companies Rejected Huawei

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that Canada’s two largest telecommunications providers, Bell Canada and Telus Corp., announced they will partner with Ericsson and Nokia for their core 5G networks. Both companies said earlier in the year that they would still use Huawei’s 5G technology. Experts expressed their beliefs that the latest development on the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou as well as the potential loss of U.S. government contracts changed the minds of these two companies. Another key Canadian telecommunications company Rogers Communications had already started its partnership with Ericsson in 2018. Thus all major Canadian telecommunications vendors have rejected Huawei for 5G, although the Canadian government has not finalized its decision on Huawei. Analysts agreed that these latest announcements will significantly ease the pressure the Canadian government has on combating the challenges from the Chinese government. Huawei supported Bell Canada’s latest decision and will continue to provide Bell with non-5G equipment.

Source: NetEase, June 3, 2020
https://money.163.com/20/0603/11/FE6N971S002580S6.html

Ouster of Pro-China Taiwan Mayor Topped the Search Results on Mainland Internet

Following his failed bid, early in January, to be the President of Taiwan, Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was voted out of office as the mayor of Kaohsiung city in Taiwan. The vote to recall him was held on Saturday June 6. He thus became the first Taiwanese elected official ever to be removed in a recall election. The voter turnout was 42.14 percent with over 939,090 voting Yea and 25,051 voting Nay. The number of Yea votes not only exceeded the minimum votes required, which was 574,996, but also surpassed the 890,000 votes that Han gained when he was voted into the position of mayor back in November 2018. On June 6, the news topped the search results on the Internet in the mainland. Mainland media including Phoenix, Sina, Global Times, CCTV, and The Paper broadcasted the breaking news. People started to post online comments such as, “This is the fate of two-faced person.” “It turns out that this is a democratic society. Our system is different. Although we have not experienced the election of our local leaders, after this time, we now realize what democracy is! The people can vote you in and vote you out!” “I am jealous! This is the advantage of having a vote. When an official does not rule for the people, he can be directly kicked out.”

Six months after Han became the mayor of Kaohsiung in 2018, he announced his bid to run in the presidential election. Han was criticized because he failed the people who had given him a chance to pull down the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan and because he advanced the mainland’s interest in Taiwan. Just as Zhang Boyang, deputy director of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party explained, “This is not just the people of Kaohsiung expressing their voices to politicians; it is also the people of Kaohsiung once again saying no to the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping.”

Sources:
1. Epoch Times, June 6, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/6/6/n12167052.htm
2. Radio Free Asia, June 6, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/gangtai/hcm-06062020124206.html

Serbia Suspected of Firing Son of Hao Haidong, a Chinese Soccer Star Calling for the End of the Communist Party

On June 4, 2020, Hao Haidong, a former Chinese soccer star and the nation’s top goalscorer, uploaded a video in which he and his wife announced a statement from the “New Federal State of China,” a movement that Guo Wengui sponsored, and which Steve Bannon (former executive chairman of Breitbart News) backed. In the video, Hao openly denounced the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and called for the removal of the regime. He said in the video, “Football in China is a reflection of the country … It’s not the players that make it worse, it’s the bureaucrats that damage the whole business by ignoring the rules.” Hao’s wife, Ye Zhaoying, is a former world badminton champion. Immediately after Hao’s action, the couple’s Chinese social media accounts were deleted, as well as their online profiles on major portals in China.

Guo Wengui, a wealthy businessman in exile (now living in the United States) is the leader of the “New Federal State of China.” He told the audience in a live broadcast on June 6 that Hao Runze, son of Hao Haidong, who was playing in a Serbian soccer league, was fired.

The retaliatory move does not come as a surprise. Tang Jingyuan, an anchor on New Tang Dynasty TV, a New York based Chinese language network, tweeted: “Serbia is highly pro-communist. Its president kissed the five-star flag (China’ national flag) in public when he welcomed the CCP’s medical team in March this year. The dismissal of Hao Runze was only a reciprocal gift from Serbia.”

Public sources show Hao Runze, 23 years old, is a professional soccer player.  At the age of 16, he scored his first professional goal after joining the Spanish League. Hao joined the Serbian Radnicki Nis club in February this year. One day before Hao Haidong’s declaration, Hao Runze scored a goal in the Serbian SuperLiga, the Serbian professional league for soccer clubs.

Coincidental or not, People’s Daily, the CCP’s mouthpiece newspaper, published a translated article from a researcher from the University of Belgrade, praising the CCP and its close relationship with Serbia. It also mentioned a few “Belt and Road” projects in Serbia: the Mihajlo Pupin Bridge which the China Road and Bridge Corporation had undertaken, the Kostolac Power Plant, which China Exim Bank had financed, and the E-763 highway, that the Shandong Hi-speed Group had built.

Source: Epoch Times, June 7, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/6/7/n12168584.htm

LTN: For HK, China Is Betting on the International Community Staying with Lip Services Only

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that Beijing’s new HK National Security Law sent a shockwave across the world. However, Beijing probably did not make this decision casually or in a hurry. Instead, this could very likely have been a carefully calculated move based on the bet that Beijing may not pay a geopolitical price. The international community has frequently condemned Beijing’s rude and unlawful activities, but rarely did people see tangible action taken against Communist China as a meaningful punishment. While the whole world is busy dealing with the pandemic, Beijing has been knocking down fishing ships near Vietnam, attacking the newly elected Taiwanese president, and confronting Indian troops on India’s border in the Himalayas. Since President Xi Jinping came into power, China has stopped the model of quietly raising its soft power globally. China is now no longer a country that feels ashamed of being a dictatorship. Instead it is betting that the world will once again just do lip service and China will not face any real punishment.

Source: LTN, May 25, 2020
https://news.ltn.com.tw/news/world/breakingnews/3176756

RFI Chinese: The British Prime Minister to Reduce Huawei 5G Involvement to Zero

Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition recently reported that, based on British sources, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked his government to prepare a new plan, in the next three years, to reduce Huawei’s involvement in the nation’s 5G infrastructure development to zero. Several things triggered this new move. One was the increasing pressure from within the Conservative Party on national security concerns. The second was the British general public’s distrust of the Chinese government as a result of the widespread damage that the coronavirus caused. The earlier British plan of keeping a percentage of Huawei involvement had already disappointed Washington and cast a shadow on the intelligence-sharing among Western allies. The United States also accused China of subsidizing Huawei so it could eat into international telecommunication market shares. After Brexit, the British government has been negotiating with the EU to establish a new relationship and has also started talks with the United States for a new free trade agreement.

Source: RFI Chinese, May 23, 2020
https://bit.ly/2MawmGZ

Average HK Residents Responded to the New HK National Security Law

When the Mainland communist government introduced the Hong Kong National Security Law, the average Hong Kong local residents immediate response was to go to the banks in Hong Kong. According to Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition, as soon as the new law’s draft was submitted, foreign exchange stores across Hong Kong were immediately overwhelmed by customers converting HK Dollars to US Dollars. A typical exchange store could reach over US$1 million in cash exchange within one hour. British Pounds and Japanese Yen also ran out fast. Many customers of Chinese banks nearly emptied their money in HK Dollars and immediately opened US Dollar accounts in local branches of U.S. banks or Singapore banks. In the meantime, the major Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily reported that the locals took another immediate action to download VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps, which help users avoid being monitored by authorities. On May 21, Apple’s HK AppStore reported seven of the top ten downloads were VPN apps. The download volume was 120 times more than the previous day. Mainland China is well-known for its tight control over Internet access and most of the World’s popular social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, are blocked in China. Meanwhile, immigration service providers also saw a sharp increase in immigration inquires.

Sources:

(1) RFI Chinese, May 30, 2020
https://bit.ly/2XKXmC7

(2) Apple Daily, May 22, 2020
https://tw.appledaily.com/international/20200522/25YVFLSQXAKTJJ65PXYDQUMXBA/

Taiwan Develops Humanitarian Assistance Program for Hong Kong Citizens

As Beijing pushed forward and imposed a new national security law on Hong Kong, Chen Ming-Tong, Minister of the Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), announced on Thursday May 29 that Taiwan developed the Hong Kong Humanitarian Assistance Action Plan in accordance with Article 18 of the “Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong & Macao Affairs.” The plan contains four principles: the government takes the lead; MAC is in charge of cross-agency collaboration; the government establishes and implements a legal entity; funding comes from the government’s budget.

Chen made it clear that Taiwan will adopt a two-part policy and treat Hong Kong citizens and the Hong Kong government separately. It will definitely not treat the Hong Kong people the same as it treats the people from mainland China. “Article 18 is for the Hong Kong people who want to come to Taiwan. For example, if a person is a financial professional or has technological talent and he wants to come to Taiwan, we have an overall plan to make it more convenient. The policy objective includes what happens after people come, how they deal with their resettlement, and how they take care of their lives. All of these are in this action plan.”

Chen added, “As the golden standard of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy has declined, we must have second thoughts. In the past we regarded Hong Kong as the third (independent) place in politics. Now, with Beijing’s imposition of the National Security Law, then, on the issue of national security, does the Hong Kong government carry out its own will or Beijing’s? Because the national security goal of Beijing is to unify Taiwan and wipe out the Republic of China, we have concerns about our national security. At this point, Article 60 applies to the future situation of the Hong Kong government. We must evaluate and may consider suspending part of the act if it jeopardizes our national security.” Article 60 of the “Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong & Macao Affairs” is a provision to enable Taiwan to respond when “any change occurs in the situation of Hong Kong or Macau such that the implementation of this Act endangers the security of Taiwan.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 28, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/htm/tw-guidelines-05282020063302.html

HKET: Polls Showed Strong Canadian Public Opinion against China and Huawei

Hong Kong Economic Times (HKET), the leading financial daily in Hong Kong, recently reported that, based on the latest polls conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, the number of Canadians with positive views about China reached a record low. Among the 1,518 people surveyed, only 14 percent viewed China positively. The same number was 29 percent six months ago. Around 85 percent of the sample expressed the belief that the Chinese government was not honest on reporting the status of the coronavirus. The poll also showed that 78 percent of the people were against allowing Huawei into Canada’s 5G network. At the same time, 88 percent said China could not be trusted on human rights and the rule of law. Only 11 percent of the people now believe Canada should focus on trading with China. This poll was designed to find out the Canadian public’s view about twelve key countries that are important to Canada. Ever since the Chinese government arrested Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, plus sentencing Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death, the Canadian public’s view on China has rapidly turned negative.

Source: HKET, May 14, 2020
https://bit.ly/2Ty0dxb

China’s Spy Activities in Belgium

The State Security Service, the Veiligheid van de Staat (VSSE), a Belgian state intelligence agency, recently spoke out about China’s spy activities in the military and scientific arena posing threats to EU security.

In October 2019, Belgium declared Song Xinning, the Confucius Institute president of the Free University of Brussels (VUB), as persona non grata, revoking his visa and banning his entry into the 26 European Schengen states for 8 years. During his ten-year tenure at VUB, Song had engaged in espionage activities for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and was regarded as “sabotaging national security.”

“As part of the ambitious ‘Made in China 2025’ project, which provides for rapid development of know-how in China itself, all available means must be used to import as much knowledge as possible into China,” the VSSE told the EUobserver, a not-for-profit online newspaper based in Brussels, when it was describing China’s goal of siphoning information from abroad. “These include formal knowledge transfer programmes, such as exchanges between researchers, joint ventures, and takeovers of companies. In some cases, China also does economic espionage.”

On May 7, the EUobserver disclosed some details of some confidential VSSE reports dated from 2010 to 2016, which stated that Chinese spies have targeted Belgian biological warfare and vaccine experts, British pharmaceutical giant and vaccine-maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Belgium and Belgian high-tech firms.

VSSE is also concerned about the China Belgium Technology Centre (CBTC), a Chinese-funded “smart valley” in Louvain-la-Neuve. It houses 23 Chinese and Belgian firms in the life sciences, IT, and high-tech manufacturing sectors, and will house up to 800 Chinese high-tech specialists and entrepreneurs when it is completed in late 2021. “And even if the CBTC itself was not a front for Chinese intelligence, it could be used by the MSS (Ministry of State Security) as a back door in the future, the VSSE warned.”

On May 15, the French newspaper Le Monde,  also reported on long-held VSSE suspicions that Chinese intelligence had installed surveillance equipment in Malta’s EU embassy in Brussels in 2007, when a Chinese firm renovated the building.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 15, 2020.
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/junshiwaijiao/cl-05152020125714.html
EUobserver, May 6, 2020
https://euobserver.com/science/148244

ABC News Chinese: China Banned Imports from Four Australian Meat Providers

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News, Chinese Edition, recently reported that China just announced a new import ban on four Australian meat providers, three of which are from Queensland and one from New South Wales. Most analysts expressed the belief that this new trade barrier is obviously retaliation against Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who insisted on an independent investigation into the source of COVID-19. The four companies banned are Kilcoy Pastoral, Beef City, Dinmore, and Northern Cooperative Meat. These four companies hold a 35 percent share of the total Australian beef exports to China, which is expected to be AU$3.5 billion (around US$2.25 billion) this year. The Australian government explained that the new ban is related to “highly technical” issues. Last month, the Chinese ambassador to Australia threatened that, if Australia were to investigate China’s handling of COVID-19, Chinese consumers might strongly resist Australian goods. Ironically, one of the companies, Kilcoy, is funded by Chinese investments. China is Australia’s largest trade partner.

Source: ABC News Chinese, May 12, 2020
https://www.abc.net.au/chinese/2020-05-12/china-trade-escalation-as-beef-farmers-are-targeted/12239690