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Geo-Strategic Trend - 3. page

VOA Chinese: Finland Is Investigating Some Nokia Phones That Send Data to China

Voice of America (VOA) Chinese Edition recently reported that the Finnish authorities are currently investigating the case of certain Nokia cellphone models that are sending sensitive user data to China without the phone owner’s knowledge. The Nokia 7 Plus manufacturer, HMD Global, admitted that there are bugs in the software. The Finnish authorities suspected that the cellphone vendor violated EU data privacy and protection laws. An assessment process is underway. According to NRK, the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company, one of the Nokia users told them that his Nokia 7 Plus cellphone has been connecting to and sending data to servers that China Telecom owned. HMD Global insisted that no data was shared with any other government. Some analysts expressed the belief that these cellphones were designed to sell in the Chinese market; however, some mistakes were made and they were sold in Europe. This event added uncertainty to the global 5G deployment war. Ericsson and Nokia are considered the replacements for Chinese vendor Huawei, since more and more countries are banning Huawei.

Source: VOA Chinese, March 22, 2019

Apple Daily: EU’s Naive Days about China Are Ending

Major Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily recently reported that European leaders met on March 21 to synchronize their position towards China. This is the first time the EU countries have gathered to deal jointly with China at the top level. The European Union intended to list China as one of its competitors. Some French officials even commented that the traditional EU members’ “naive” attitude towards China is ending. According to a document that Reuters obtained called, “EU-China: A Strategic Outlook,” the EU identifies China as an economic competitor in search of a technological leadership position. China is also a “systemic rival” in terms of its governing model. The EU has been complaining about the EU’s economic openness versus China’s different operating model, which has been in existence for some time now. As the second largest economy in the world, China should no longer enjoy the status of a developing country. The EU got a wake-up call just recently on China’s One Belt One Road program. The EU realized that China is throwing investments and loans at some EU members in exchange for influence. The Eastern Europe democratization could face a failure in light of this divide-and-conquer strategy from China.

Source: Apple Daily, March 21, 2019

RFA: Xinhua Published Three Editorial Articles Attacking Tsai Ing-wen

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that, starting March 18, in an unusual move, Xinhua published three editorial articles three days in a row attacking Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s President. Some Taiwanese scholars even wondered what it meant. If China cannot accept Tsai Ing-wen, does it suggest that China wants to deal with other candidates who favor more Taiwan Independence instead?

According to RFA, all three Xinhua articles targeted Tsai’s recent counter-measure proposal against Xi Jinping’s “One Country, Two Systems” policy for Taiwan. In one article it attacked Tsai’s interpretation that the “One Country, Two Systems” policy would destroy Taiwan. It also said that Tsai’s proposal that the “Republic of China Taiwan” is an unidentified new term has exposed her intention to keep the two countries separated as they are. Another article accused Tsai Ing-wen of having colluded with “foreign forces.” It claimed that Tsai’s government took the initiative to act as an anti-China pawn for external forces. It elevated the level of US-Taiwan exchanges, strengthened military cooperation with the U.S., offered to conduct “security dialogues” with Japan, and vigorously established a tightened military atmosphere in the Taiwan Strait during an interview with foreign media. In the third article, it stated that after the defeat in the recent election in Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen made a desperate attempt to protect her personal power even it meant that it would disrupt the peace in the Taiwan Strait.

According to a commentator in the RFA article, these editorials were published just days before Tsai Ing-wen’s scheduled visit to three countries in the pacific islands from March 21 to 28. Meanwhile whether Tsai will make a stop in the U.S. has become a key focus. In addition, the U.S. Taiwan Association and the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry have jointly launched the “Indo-Political Democratic Governance Consultation.” This has gained considerable attention from the mainland because it could enable the U.S. to interfere with internal Taiwan affairs.

Source: Radio Free Asia, March 20, 2019

Philippine Foreign Minister Visits China and Praises the Communist Party’s One-Party Rule

In Beijing on Wednesday, March 20, visiting Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. had a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website then published an article that quoted Locsin’s words stated when he was at that meeting. Locsin said that not a single country like China has brought hope to the world and that China’s unique institutional advantages and one-party rule have enabled China to bring about development achievements that other countries have not matched. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party has played an irreplaceable role. Historically, Western countries have oppressed developing countries through colonialism and imperialism. China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, while realizing its own development, has brought about the mutual prosperity of other countries.

After taking office in 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has consistently criticized Western countries, especially the United States, for interfering with his bloody anti-drug campaign. The Philippine government accuses Western countries of attaching conditions when providing aid, such as demanding respect for human rights, while China does not attach any human rights conditions.

Website of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 20, 2019

RFI: Wealthy Chinese Still Buy Luxury Homes in Australia Despite Cold Relationship between the Two Countries

Radio France Internationale reported that, in recent years, many Chinese people have moved overseas.  Australia is one of the more popular choices. According to the data, the number of “significant investment immigrants” (SIV) visas who invested 5 million Australian dollars (US$ 3.54 million) in Australia has been growing at an alarming rate. Since its opening in 2014, it has grown from 879 in 2015 to 2,022 in 2018; they were mainly Chinese.

According to Ken Jacobs, a real estate agent based in Sydney, in 2015, there were a total of 70 million Australian dollars (US$50 million) in real estate transactions and 61 million Australian dollars (US$43 million) in 2016. He said, “Chinese buyers are very decisive when they look for houses.”

Among the buyers of overseas real estate, about 22 percent of the overseas buyers in the Australian real estate market are from China. Although sales in 2018 have declined, Chinese buyers are still investing in Australia, which is one of their top choices in real estate.

In addition, many Chinese are willing to spend money to travel abroad, especially to the Andermatt region of Switzerland. According to statistics, among the tourists who have spent the night in the region, the number of Chinese tourists ranked the second next to the local domestic tourists. The CEO of the tourism development company in the area said, “We clearly feel that the interests of Chinese tourists are increasing.”

Source: Radio Free Internationale, March 20, 2019

China Economy: Suspension of Importation of Canadian Canola Is Normal Procedure

China Economy recently reported that Lu Kang, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented in a press conference on the decision to suspend the importation of Canadian canola. This was in response to the article that the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, published saying that the suspension had nothing to do with canola; rather, it had everything to do with pressing Canada on the Huawei CFO case. Lu said China recently discovered harmful pests multiple times in canola imported from Canada during the standard customs quarantine inspections. Chinese customs did communicate the decision to the Canadian authorities in a timely fashion. It is the Chinese government’s responsibility to safeguard the products sold to the Chinese consumers. China’s quarantine process is perfectly legal and normal, and it is scientific to weed out the potential risks.

Source: China Economy, March 12, 2019