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2018 China-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Media Forum

The 2018 China-Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Media Forum was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 19. The theme was “Deepening Media Cooperation and Supporting China – the LAC Community of a Shared Future.”

One of the topics of this forum was, “The role of the media in the pragmatic cooperation between China and Latin America.” Jose Juan Sanchez, president of Brazil’s CMA Group, said that the role of the media in bilateral cooperation is unparalleled. For a long time, the news in the Latin American region has basically come from Europe and the United States. This news is often filtered in advance, making it difficult for Latin American audiences to understand the truth of the events. “Now, the direct cooperation between the Chinese and Latin American media is getting closer and closer, and the people on both sides can get more and more first-hand information. This will undoubtedly contribute to the development of China-Latin America relations.”

Iary Gomez, general manager of the Costa Rican newspaper Diario Extra group, said that cooperation between China and Latin American media can promote cultural exchanges and enhance mutual understanding. The TV station under the Diario Extra group recently introduced two Chinese TV dramas. “They displayed Chinese culture, transformed people’s inherent perception of China, and achieved a big impact in Costa Rica.”

The China-Latin American and the Caribbean Countries Cooperation Plan (2015-2019) was formulated in January 2015. The plan mentioned that it supports the cooperation of the news media on both sides, encourages the exchange of resident reporters and joint interviews, and encourages the cooperation of influential online media from both sides in web portal development and new media capacity building.

Source: Xinhua, November 20, 2018

LTN: Morris Chang Met with U.S. VP Pence at APEC

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that, in the afternoon, after U.S. Vice President Pence made a speech to the full conference at APEC, Morris Chang, the Taiwanese representative to APEC, had a high-profile bilateral dialogue with him. This meeting became the highest ranking public official meeting in the history of the US-Taiwan relationship. The conversation focused on the world economy and trade topics. Pence mentioned after the meeting that he will bring back Chang’s suggestion of establishing a US-Taiwan free trade agreement to Present Trump. There have been rumors of a meeting between Chinese President Xi and U.S. Vice President Pence. However, that didn’t materialize. Morris Chang is a Taiwanese businessman and the founder, former chairman, and CEO of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s first and largest silicon foundry.

Source: LTN, November 17, 2018

Three Chinese Top Leadership Members Visited Singapore within Two Months

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Singapore on November 12. This was the first time in eleven years that the Chinese Premier came to Singapore. He had massive before and after media coverage on the issue of the continuation of China’s Reform and Opening-Up. Precisely 40 years earlier, on the same day, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore. In that same year, he later kicked off the Reform. Li’s mission also included the task of obtaining Singapore’s support to push the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) initiative. On November 7, only five days before Li, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan had just left Singapore. During his three-day visit, Wang emphasized that China was determined to “push China’s openness to a higher level.” Then, on September 19, China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng visited Singapore as well. His visit focused on Singapore’s role as the “Witness to China’s Great Reform” as well as the role or middleman between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is very unusual that three members of top China’s top leadership would visit the same country within two months.

Source: Sina, November 13, 2018

EBC: Apple Supply Chain Leaving Mainland China in a Large Wave

Major Taiwanese news media EBC recently reported that primary Apple Taiwanese suppliers, namely the “Seven Indicator Manufacturers” – Pegatron, Compal, Wistron, Flexium, Unimicron, Merry, and Catcher – are all lowering their ratio of dependency on Mainland Chinese factories. The manufacturing power is shifting to Southeast Asia. The key suppliers are currently working on overcoming a lack of skilled labor, establishing new factory locations, and coordinating with upstream material suppliers. For years these companies have been suffering from the Mainland’s labor shortage, from increasing labor costs, and from tougher environmental protection regulations. Now the US-China trade war has added significant weight to their decision making. The “Seven Indicators” cover a wide range of Apple product manufacturing components. Experts see the fact that all seven are moving out of the Mainland at the same time as a “historic move.” There have been many challenges in moving manufacturing out of China to foreign countries. The primary issue is that China has a massive talent pool full of hard-working people.

Source: EBC, November 11, 2018

Political Speech during Golden Horse Award Drew Opposition from the Mainland

During the 55th Golden Horse Award ceremony held on Saturday November 17 in Taipei, a political speech on Taiwan’s status and unity drew criticism and opposition from the mainland. In her acceptance speech, Fu Yue, the Taiwanese director of the documentary movie Our Youth in Taiwan told the audience that she hopes that one day her country (Taiwan) can be seen as a truly independent entity. This is her greatest wish as a Taiwanese. Later, in a speech that Tumen, an actor from the mainland, gave, he called Taiwan “China Taiwan.” Tumen won best actor in 2018 and spoke as a special guest,  Immediately following the ceremony the entire group of actors, actresses, and directors from the mainland packed up and left for home and were absent from the pre-scheduled awards dinner. The official Weibo account of the party’s youth league posted a picture of a China Map which had words imprinted on it which read, “China, nothing less! I deeply love this country.” The post has been forwarded over 3 million times including to a number of actors and actresses who attended the Golden Horse ceremony; it received over 20,000 comments. Meanwhile the Taiwan Minister of Culture wrote on her Facebook page and called Taiwan Asia’s most free, democratic, diverse, and enthusiastic country . . . and said, please remember this is Taiwan not “China Taiwan.” Currently the related information about the movie Our Youth in Taiwan has been taken down from the website on the mainland.

Source: Voice of America, November 18, 2018

China Continues Active Investment in “Belt and Road” Countries

On November 15, the spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said at a press briefing that China is continuing active investment cooperation with the countries along the “Belt and Road.” In the first ten months of this year, China made new additional investments in 55 countries along the “Belt and Road,” totaling US$11.9 billion, or a 6.4 percent growth on a year-over-year basis. The total contractual value of newly signed projects in the countries along the “Belt and Road” was US$80.91 billion, accounting for 48.1 percent of the total in the same period; the accomplished turnover of the new projects was US$65.33 billion, or 53.7 percent of the total.

In the first ten months of the year, Chinese investors conducted non-financial direct investment of US$89.57 billion in 4,905 overseas enterprises in 155 countries and regions, registering a year-on-year increase of 3.8 percent.

Source: Chinese Ministry of Commerce, November 15, 2018