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Geo-Strategic Trend - 3. page

LTN: Over 10 Million Chinese Emigrated in 2019

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that, according to the newly released IOM (International Organization for Migration) global report, in 2019, around 10.7 million people from China emigrated to foreign countries. China ranked number three in the world, after India and Mexico. The Report indicated that, in 2019, over 40 percent of the world’s immigrants came from Asia, mainly India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Most Chinese emigrants moved to the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia. By the end of 2019, there were over three million Chinese immigrants living in the U.S., the second largest number after Mexico, which has major illegal immigration issues. Education is the primary driver for the Chinese immigrants, whose average age got consistently younger over the past ten years. New York immigration lawyer Guo Jin explained that, from his experience, a lot of Chinese parents simply could not accept their kids getting brainwashed.

Source: LTN, December 26, 2020

RFA Chinese: Hong Kong Experiencing Unprecedented Wave of Emigration

Radio Free Asia Chinese Edition recently reported on multiple statistics that showed that Hong Kong is currently facing an unprecedented wave of emigration. In the past two years, more and more Hong Kong residents planned to emigrate. However, with the introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law, those plans are now actually turning into reality. In May, inquiries on Canadian immigration, HSBC offshore accounts, Citibank overseas accounts, as well as BNO (British National Overseas) passports have skyrocketed. Right now, the Hong Kong police are issuing a record-high number (during the pandemic months)  of Certificates of No Criminal Record, which is usually the last required step for emigration. Most of the people leaving are middle class residents. The wealthiest need more time to sell tied-up local real-estate and the low-income residents cannot afford the emigration costs. The first major emigration wave came after Hong Kong’s return to China, when most of those emigrating did so based because of a lack of confidence; many families only sent members like children overseas. This new round sees more situations of complete families fleeing. The biggest concern is still the worry about children being brainwashed.

Source: RFA Chinese, December 17, 2020

Kwongwah Daily: The U.S. Sponsored Mekong Dam Monitor Plan

Kwongwah, which is Malaysian-based, is the world’s oldest privately owned Chinese daily newspaper. It recently reported that the U.S. State Department sponsored the Mekong Dam Monitor Plan, which it just introduced. The Mekong River, also known as the Lancang River in China, is 4,350 kilometers in length and flows southward through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Plan will use satellites to track the Chinese dam water level of the Lancang River in the upper Mekong, as well as the water levels of the dams in the downstream countries. The Plan will also collect data on surface humidity in the region and the natural water flow volume of the Mekong River. All data will be shared with the general public. Scientists working on the Plan explained that the Chinese dams are carefully designed to maximize the power generation to supply Eastern China. Monitoring data showed the design did not consider the impact on the downstream countries. That impact affects a total population of 60 million people, who depend heavily on the Mekong for fishing and agriculture. China disagreed with this assessment. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China, established Kwongwah Daily 110 years ago.

Source: Kwongwah Daily, December 14, 2020

Wang Yi Said any Issues between China and the U.S. Can Be Discussed, including Taiwan

China Review News Agency published a “Quick Commentary” in which it stated that, on the 7th, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a video exchange with a delegation from the US-China Business Council’s Board of Directors. He put forth five suggestions on promoting the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations, including opening up dialogues at all levels and strengthening communication. He expressed that any question can be raised at the negotiation table, including strategic, overall, and long-term issues. Discussions could also start on specific issues to seek breakthroughs and solutions.

He pointed out that the new US government will come to power on the 20th of next month. Therefore, this is an opportunity for China and the United States to reverse or ease the tense relations from the past three years. In addition to Wang Yi, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, and Fu Ying, the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, also recently sent out messages to promote talks, calling for the promotion of Sino-US relations to be put back on track.

Wang Yi pointed out that any issue between China and the United States can be brought to the table for discussion. His attitude seemed quite proactive and open, showing that the Chinese side is confident and determined. He pointed out that any issue could be discussed, including Taiwan and that, in recent years, the Trump administration has frequently played the “Taiwan card.” As part of the U.S. policy to contain China and decouple from China, the Taiwan Strait is most likely to become a tipping point for China and the United States, and communication and control are urgently needed.

Many people expect that the new US government will not easily let go of the “Taiwan card,” but they do not rule out the gradual adjustment of policies under pressure from China. In the past, between 2005 and 2008, in the late Bush administration, China and the United States once formed a situation of joint control and containment of “Taiwan independence.” Now, China has more strength and determination to crack down on any external intervention and crack down on the separatist activities of those who favor “Taiwan independence.”

China’s side has taken the initiative to send out messages and appeals to promote talks, and it is also preparing for the opening of dialogues at all levels between China and the United States. Biden’s victory did bring a turning point for returning Sino-US relations to the right track and a resumption of dialogue between the two sides can be expected. Enhancing communication will make it possible for both sides to manage differences and to expand the convergence of interests effectively, which will be beneficial to the stability of the situation across the Taiwan Strait. [Editor’s note: This report, which was on a number of major Chinese media websites on Dec. 8, 2020, shows how confident Wang Yi is on Biden’s victory and on the Biden administration’s cooperation. This report can be no longer be found online but has been archived.


China’s Sanction of Australian Coal Backfires; Result: Electricity Shortage

China’s boycott of imported coal from Australia has affected many domestic industries. In order to save on coal consumption, places including Zhejiang and Hunan provinces have implemented restrictive measures on electricity usage.

Some netizens posted that they received messages that Yiwu city of Zhejiang province has started power rationing and blackouts. Small businesses and workshops in Yiwu have had their power cut off.

A trading company employee told Radio Free Asia that the electricity rationing measures have affected people’s lives: “Zhejiang is now rationing electricity of all enterprises and government entities. Despite the cold weather, it has been ordered to keep the heaters off until the indoor temperature is below 3 degrees Celsius. … It is probably because of Australian coal. Heaters do not consume lot of electricity, as not many Chinese people use heaters in the winter.”

Another netizen posted a message that in some cities in Zhejiang and Hunan, the traffic lights were turned off in the later part of the night.

The Hunan Provincial government recently issued a notice stating that the daily electricity consumption time slots are from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm and 16:30 pm to 20:30 pm. During these time slots, the landscape lighting in the province will be turned off and street lights will be dimmed. Communist Party and government office buildings will turn off the power on weekends. The situation may last until the 2021 Chinese New Year in February. No reason was specified for the power rationing.

Most export-oriented factories in Zhejiang province have received the “power cut and production reduction” notice. A supplier in Wenzhou city posted a notice showing that between December 15 and 31, high energy consumption enterprises are required to implement electricity rationing. During this period, the authorities will conduct 24-hour surveillance of the electricity consumption for production use. Factories that fail to follow the regulation will be forced to cut off their power and stop production for 20 days.

Australia is a major source of China’s coal imports.

Source: Radio Free Asia, December 16, 2020

RFI: Canada Is No Longer Training with the PLA

On December 10, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defense, said that Canada is no longer training with the Chinese military. Prior to this, James Bezan, Opposition Critic for National Defense, questioned why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would maintain such a relationship with China.

According to the Globe and Mail, the Trudeau administration invited the PLA to a joint military exercise at the Canadian Forces Base in 2019. The exercise was called off following the arrest of two Canadian citizens in China because Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s  Chief Financial Officer. Trudeau reportedly raged at the cancellation of the military exercises. For decades, the Canadian armed forces have participated in various joint and regional military exercises with more than 20 Pacific Rim countries. It is unknown whether Canada would consider a joint training with the PLA in the future. The statement that Sajjan issued stated that “our government always stands up for Canadians at home and abroad and this includes our relationship with China, but let me be very clear. We we do not train with the Chinese military.”

The disclosed document also suggested that Trudeau’s administration was concerned that China would take the cancellation “as a retaliatory move related to the Meng Wanzhou case” and it “could also damage Canada’s long-term defense and security relationship with China”

At the same time, the military exercise drew criticism from the Conservative Party. Michael Chong, the foreign affairs critic of the opposition Conservative Party, and James Bezan, the defence critic, said the documents showed a “stunning lack of leadership” from Trudeau and the Liberal government. They said in a statement, “Clearly, the Prime Minister and the Liberal ministers are more concerned about how Beijing might react than they are in defending Canadian interests. The Liberal government has become so timid that it can’t even say no to Chinese soldiers arriving on our territory.”

According to a disclosed memo, the U.S. Pentagon had already pressed the Canadian Armed Forces to rethink interactions with the PLA because that the PLA would benefit from it.

The Canadian Forces Base is located in Petawawa, Ontario, bordering the states of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Source: Radio France Internationale, December 12, 2020

EU Adopts its Own ‘Magnitsky’ Act to Sanction Human Rights Abuses

The European Union has agreed to enact a measure similar to the Magnitsky Act in America that will allow the 27 member bloc to sanction those responsible for human rights abuses.

The decision came at a meeting of the European foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday and will allow the EU to freeze assets and impose travel bans on individuals involved in serious human rights abuses.

The new framework is modeled after the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law named for investor and activist Bill Browder’s late attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian jail after uncovering a massive fraud scheme allegedly involving government officials.

The EU said in a statement that the move allows the bloc “to target individuals, entities and bodies — including state and non-state actors — responsible for, involved in or associated with serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, no matter where they occurred.”

Concretely, the 27 EU nations could ban targeted people from traveling in Europe and freeze the assets of both officials and “entities” such organizations, companies or banks. Europeans will also be forbidden from making funds available to them.

The sanctions would apply to acts like genocide, crimes against humanity, serious human rights violations or to abuses such as torture, slavery, extrajudicial killings, and arbitrary arrests. Other violations can be punished if they are “widespread, systematic or are otherwise of serious concern.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, December 7, 2020

Global Times: German Government Called Off Chinese Acquisition

Global Times recently reported that, in the name of national security, the German government prohibited the Chinese acquisition of a German satellite technology company IMST. IMST developed the critical components of Germany’s TerraSAR-X observation satellite. The acquisition would have resulted in intellectual property loss, which would have benefited the Chinese military. The German government also explained that this acquisition would also damage Germany’s “technological sovereignty” in the future mobile wireless communications field. IMST’s achievements benefited from government public funding. It is problematic to sell China a company funded by tax payer money. However, IMST plans to take this matter to court. The company is strongly against classifying IMST as a military supplier. IMST sold 22 percent of its voting rights to China in 2018. However, starting in 2018, the German government tightened the bar for government intervention from 25 percent to 10 percent of a company’s stake.

Source: Global Times, December 5, 2020