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Government/Politics

BBC Chinese: Former Interpol Chairman Meng Hongwei Pled Guilty

BBC Chinese recently reported that, according to the Chinese authorities, former Interpol Chairman Meng Hongwei pled guilty to the charge of accepting bribes. Meng reportedly admitted in a Chinese court that he accepted a total of US$2 million in bribes. This happened between 2005 and 2017 when he was a member of the Chinese Communist Party branch at the Chinese Ministry of Public Safety, and when he was serving the positions of the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Public Safety and the Director of the Chinese Marine Police Bureau. Meng was the first Chinese who became the Chairman of Interpol. His arrest was part of the large-scale anti-corruption movement that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pushing. Meng’s wife, Grace Meng, received French political asylum this May and claimed her husband’s arrest was solely based on political grounds. Meng resigned from his post as the Chairman of Interpol.

Source: BBC Chinese, June 20, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/world-48703362

Epoch Times: Mainland Banned “Politically Sensitive” Songs that Anti-Extradition Bill Protesters Sang in Hong Kong

The mainland banned a song a Hong Kong artist sang after he made a statement in support of the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong. Well-known singer Lo Ta-yu, who was born in Taiwan and went to Hong Kong in order to advance his career, recently held a concert at the Taipei Arena. During the concert on June 16th, Lo sang the song “Queen’s Road East” which was co-produced with Lin Xi, Hong Kong lyricist, in 1991. Because this song reflects the Hong Kong people’s sense of uneasiness in the face of the transfer of sovereignty, Beijing considers it to be politically sensitive. During the concert, Lo said the following words three times: There are “certain things you can’t rush.” Lo told the media after the concert that he was expressing his view about the anti-extradition bill protests. He said that he felt disheartened when the Hong Kong government used tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and Bean bag rounds to target the protesters. On June 19, Chinese netizens noticed that the song “Queen’s Road East” was removed from among the major music sites in the mainland including QQ, NetEase Cloud Music, Kugou Music, and Xiami Music. In addition, the mainland removed “Pearl of the Orient,” another song that Lo produced and also, “Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies” by Beyond, which thousands of protesters sang during the anti-extradition bill protest.

According to hk01.com, Hong Kong’s online media, “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Misérables was a song widely sung during the protest but it was banned in China. After hearing protesters sing his song, Herbert Kretzmer, who wrote the lyrics of the song wrote to the Daily Mail saying how humbling that his Les Misérables hit has helped (the Hong Kong people) to fight for freedom.

Source:
1. Epoch Times, June 23, 2019
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/6/23/n11341454.htm
2. Daily Mail, June 19, 2019
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7160409/How-humbling-Les-Miserables-hit-helped-fight-freedom.html

Epoch Times: CCP Launched Campaign to Eliminate “Worship of Foreign Things”

The Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development recently launched a campaign to stop the “worship of foreign things” and to require the locals to change the name of any location or any building that contained a “foreign name.” It has expanded across the mainland in regions including Guangdong, Ningxia, Shanxi, Zhejiang, Shandong, Sichuan, Fujian, Hainan, Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia. In Hainan province, it listed 84 areas that required a name change. One of those was the Vienna Hotel, which was named after the capital of Austria. The Vienna Hotels company raised an objection stating that the name was legally authorized in China. The hotel chain has 15 Hotels in Hainan and 2,500 hotels in the mainland. In Zhejiang province, an apartment complex named “Manhattan” and one called “Europe” were ordered to change their names. Moreover, in Fujian province, the government even tried to change the names of the historic mountains because the names sounded “odd.” A number of overseas Chinese media reported the news, calling it a “waste of money and resources” and stated that the campaign received wide criticism and resistance. Netizens in China also posted comments on the Internet. One posting said, “What about Alibaba? Isn’t this worshiping Arabian culture?” Others wrote “the cultural revolution is back!” … “If a foreign name needs to be changed, how about changing Marxism, Communism and the Communist Party because all of them came from overseas.”

Source: Epoch Times, June 23, 2019
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/6/23/n11341557.htm

Beijing Backs Hong Kong Chief Executive and Insists June 12 Protest Was a “Riot”

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a regular press conference on June 17. The mainland Chinese media has kept silent about the Hong Kong protests, but foreign media, Taiwan’s media, and Hong Kong’s media questioned the spokesperson at least five times. With regard to the fact that more than two million Hong Kong people took to the streets on June 16 asking chief executive Carrier Lam to step down, spokesperson Lu Kang said, “The Central Government gives full recognition to and will continue its firm support for the Chief Executive and the SAR government in carrying out their work according to law.”

Those at the June 16 parade also demanded an investigation into the responsibility of the Hong Kong police who fired guns and tear gas at the June 12 protesters and also that they retract the statement that the June 12 protest was a “riot.” The Central News Agency asked whether China still believes that the June 12 protest was violent or whether its position has changed. Lu said “the Central Government strongly condemns the violent behavior. We firmly support the police in lawfully punishing the perpetrators and safeguarding the rule of law, the social order, and the security in Hong Kong. You asked whether our position has changed. I can assure you that it hasn’t changed, not even a little bit.”

Source: Central News Agency, June 17, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201906170223.aspx

Chinese Military General Claimed that Hong Kong is the Worst Region in China

On June 12, a video of a speech given by a Chinese military general started to circulate on the internet. The video was taken during the 12th National Outstanding Teachers’ Development Forum that was held in Chengdu from November 5th to 7th, 2018. Xu Yan, a military general, professor at the National Defense University, and a “star Internet professor” wore his military uniform while giving the talk. The topic was the Battles of the South China Sea. In his speech, Xu used class analysis to explore the nature of the Hong Kong’s social structure, claiming that the people in Hong Kong are “the worst.”

When talking about the Hong Kong issue, Xu said that, when the Chinese Communists entered Hong Kong in 1997, he and the leaders of the Hong Kong troops participated in a study of the social situation in Hong Kong. He said that “the social foundation of Hong Kong was the worst in China. It is even worse than Taiwan. There are not many people in Taiwan who really oppose the Communist Party. Eighty percent of the local residents in Taiwan do not care about the Communist Party and 20 percent of them were there because of the national civil war.” According to Xu, there are three types of Hong Kong residents. The first type is the original resident who received a Hong Kong and British education. They therefore do not have much hatred for the mainland. The second type consists of people who escaped to Hong Kong from 1949 to 1950 after the CCP launched different movements on the mainland. This group is “the worst” and has an “implacable hatred” for the Communist Party. The last group are the refugees who fled to Hong Kong during the Great Famine of 1958 to 1961 and don’t have a good impression of the Communist Party.  Xu claimed that it was a big mistake that the CCP did not implement “decolonization” work in Hong Kong. [Editor’s note: In this instance the Chinese word “decolonization” means “to enable the party to exert control of the political, educational, social, and economic systems so as to correct the concepts, thinking, and value systems left over from British colonial rule.]  It was this problem in the Hong Kong students’ education that caused them to “riot.” “Their teaching materials should have been changed to the ones that the mainland uses.” Xu pointed out one big lesson. It is that, in Hong Kong, there was an over-emphasis on the “two systems,” but not enough emphasize on “one country.” He also said that, after the new chief executive, Carrie Lam, took office, two things went well. The first is that the three student leaders from occupy central were put in prison. The second is that, starting this year, the textbooks in Hong Kong will be changed to the ones that the CCP uses in the mainland.

According to Epoch Times, the “decolonization” that Xu mentioned in his speech has been the consensus of the Chinese authorities for some time. In 2016, Jin Yinan, Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at the National Defense University made similar remarks about a series of incidents in Hong Kong. Jin spoke about the key issues in Hong Kong. He said that these incidents occurred because “the work of ‘decolonization’ has not been done well.” The protests on the streets of Hong Kong are simply a “disgrace” to the CCP. He also said that the Hong Kong people who fled the CCP’s tyranny in 1997, when Hong Kong’s sovereignty was handed over, had committed an “evil deed.” Qiang Shigong, a Professor at Peking University Law School, said in 2015 that Hong Kong education has not yet been “decolonized.” For example, middle school education lacks modern Chinese history. He blamed this on the fact that there was no “decolonizing” work being done among Hong Kong’s political and cultural elite classes. In September 2015, at the forum on “Hong Kong’s Position and Role in the National Development Strategy” hosted by hundreds of Hong Kong political and business leaders, including the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Chen Zuoqi, President of the National Hong Kong and Macao Research Association also claimed that Hong Kong had not been “decolonized.”

Source: Epoch Times, June 13, 2019
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/6/13/n11320777.htm