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Government/Politics

China Counters Western Media’s Reports about Xinjiang with Bulk Zombie Accounts on Twitter

On January 12, readers of the Telegram channel “Learning to Strengthen the Nation” reported that they had recently found a large number of zombie {1} accounts on Twitter. These accounts were seen to use the same unified text for Xinjiang-related political propaganda.

This unified text template reads, “I grew up in Xinjiang since childhood. The Xinjiang-related lies concocted by the anti-China forces in the United States and the West are pure fallacies. The lives of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang will not be affected by them.” Most of the publishers use English names. Their IDs are parts from the full English name combined with random numbers.

If you click on some accounts, you can see that both the number of followers and the number of fans fans are 0. The accounts were all registered recently and they all have typical characteristics of “zombie accounts.” A link is attached at the end of the content uniformly published by these accounts (http://www.oushinet.com/static/content/qj/qjnews/2021-12-07/917786853728727040.html), which leads to a European Times article. The article was originally from China News (https://www.chinanews.com.cn).

According to the official profile of the European Times, the newspaper is “the flagship daily of the European Times Culture Media Group, headquartered in Paris, France, and founded in January 1983.” Some netizens found that the official website server of the European Times is located in  the state of California in the USA. The website’s domain name has been registered with ICP in Beijing.

{1} Zombie accounts, are user accounts with no verifiable owner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Source: China Digital Times, January 12, 2022
https://chinadigitaltimes.net/chinese/675729.html

Minister of Finance: Plan to Live with a Tighter Budget

Liu Kun, China’s Minister of Finance published an article in the 12th issue of the magazine, “Organ’s Party Development Research,” calling on officials to work hard and be thrifty. It doesn’t matter if there is an ample or an insufficient budget, (officials) should always manage income and expenditure as a whole, truly spend the money where it most needs to go, and effectively put the requirement of living on a tight budget into practice.

Source: Sohu, December 29, 2021
https://www.sohu.com/a/512608562_115479

Qiushi Publishes Xi’s Speech at CCP Plenary Session

Qiushi, the flagship publication of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) central committee, recently released a talk that Xi Jinping gave at a meeting of the sixth plenary session of the 19th CCP Central Committee that took place in November 2021. Xi demanded that the all CCP members be loyal to the Party and that those who “run political gangs and interest groups inside the Party” should be disciplined without mercy.

Xi Jinping said that the “historical resolution” passed by the sixth plenary session emphasized the importance of the “centralized and unified leadership of the Party” which “requires the entire body of CCP members unite under the Party’s banner into ‘a piece of solid steel’ and move forward in unison.”

Xi added that the risks and challenges facing the CCP on its “new journey” will only become more and more complex and will even include unimaginable shock waves. “Different struggles . . . will accompany the whole process of achieving the ‘second century’ goal.” The second centenary goal is Xi’s ambition to build China into “a great modern socialist country in all respects” by 2049. That date is 100 years from the time of the 1949 revolution that put the CCP in power. The related first century goal, which was to double the 2010 GDP and double the 2010 income of both urban and rural residents by 2020 is about 100 years from the date of the founding of the CCP in 1921.

Xi concluded by saying that, at the centennial year of the Party, it is important to be vigilant, to look out for danger in times of peace, and to be on guard at all times against the possibility of the CCP becoming old and sick. “It should neither be slow to react to its own problems, nor be soft to fix them. Otherwise eventually the policies will die as the person-in-charge dies.”

Source: Qiushi, January 1, 2022
http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2022-01/01/c_1128219233.htm

China Mandates Qualification Exams for Performing Artists, Including Those from Taiwan

The Chinese authorities have introduced new rules to discipline the performing arts industry, requiring performing arts agents to pass a qualification examination by March of next year. This law also applies to Taiwanese who want to engage in the performing arts business in mainland China. The candidates must support the mainland “constitution” and exhibit good “political quality.”

On December 24, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a revision of “Measures for the Management of Performing Arts Agents.” It stated that the purpose of the new version is to further strengthen the management and regulation of performing arts agents and clarify the required professional qualifications.

The “Measures” specify how the qualification examinations are organized. They will be carried out nationwide on an annual basis; and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will then issue qualification certificates.

There are four prerequisites for the exam takers: 1) Citizenship in the People’s Republic of China. 2) “Upholding the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and exhibiting good political quality, business skills and moral character.”3) An education level of senior in a secondary school, or secondary professional school or above. 4) A natural person at least 18 years of age with full civil capacity.

The “Measures” provide that the regulation applies to “Chinese citizens of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region and residents of Taiwan in order for them to participate in the performing arts agent qualification examination.”

Source: Radio France International, December 26, 2021
https://rfi.my/81vx

China Restricts Christmas Gatherings and Bans Online Religious Messages and Fundraising

On Christmas Eve, Chinese government officials banned Christmas gatherings on the grounds of the epidemic. Meanwhile, five state agencies issued new regulations to prohibit online religious information and fundraising in the latest effort to prevent the spread of Western values.

Church gatherings to celebrate Christmas are restricted. The implementation differs in different places. Authorities at some locations may adjust the number of restrictions at any time. If a church has large events on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, it must report them and obtain prior approval from the authorities.

On December 20, 2021, Rong’an County Education Bureau in Guangxi Province issued a notice prohibiting any “Western Festivals” in primary and secondary schools. Some young people follow Western values and lifestyles, which Western developed countries promote in China using technology. “In accordance with the directives from higher authorities, the Rong’an Education Bureau decided to prohibit teachers and students from organizing any sort of “Western festivals” or celebrations on and off-campus.

Also, on December 20, five state agencies, the State Administration of Religious Affairs, the State Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of National Security jointly issued the “Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services.”

The new regulation, dated December 3, 2021, bans any organization or individual from uploading, publishing, forwarding, or spreading religious content on the Internet. No spiritual information may be provided in the form of text, pictures, audio, or video on websites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging tools, webcasts, or anything related.

“Overseas organizations or individuals and their organizations established in China shall not engage in Internet religious information services in China.”

The new regulation, effective on March 1, 2022, states that the religious groups with an “Internet Religious Information Service Permit” may only use their own websites, applications, forums, and other means, for spiritual information. The religious content must guide people to love the country and abide by the law when doing so. Further, the new regulation prohibits online fundraising for religious groups.

Sources:

1.)  Christian Network, December 22, 2021
http://www.jidunet.cn/article/44/59012.html

2.) Radio Free Asia, December 21, 2021
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/shehui/ql1-12222021035030.html

3.) China National Religious Affairs Administration, December 20, 2021
http://www.sara.gov.cn/bmgz/364755.jhtml

Xi Jinping’s Red Lines for Art and Literature

Recently, Xi Jinping drew some red lines for the art and literature in China. In addition to “spreading contemporary Chinese values and telling China’s stories well,” he instructed that art and literature should not take the “vulgar” route, and “cannot be tainted with the stink of money and be the slaves of the market.”

On Tuesday December 14, Xi, as well as other Politburo Standing Committee members, spoke at the congresses of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (CFLAC) and the China Writers Association (CWA), where he gave the above instructions to the delegates.

CFLAC is an umbrella organization composed of nationwide associations of writers and artists in various fields. Although CFLAC claims it is a non-governmental organization whose mission “is to unite and serve writers and artists, to train literary and art talents, and to promote the development and prosperity of literature and the arts,” It is under the direct leadership of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department. With a national, provincial, and city-level hierarchical organization structure, CFLAC aims to control millions of Chinese writers and artists so that their work toes the Party line. CWA is a subordinate organization of CFLAC.

At the congress, Xi expressed the hope that “the vast number of artists, remember their mission …  and make new and greater contributions for the comprehensive construction of a modernized socialist country and the realization of the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife and Vice President of CFLAC, was also sitting on the podium alongside other Politburo Standing Committee members.

Xi drew some red lines for art and literature work. “Literature and art should be popular, but should never be vulgar; be lifelike, but not promote unhealthy culture; be innovative, but not engage in strange and ridiculous things; it should be rewarding, but not be tainted with the stink of money or be the slaves of the market.”

Source: People’s Daily, December 15, 2021
http://politics.people.com.cn/n1/2021/1215/c1024-32308066.html