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Government/Politics

The CCP Party School Established a Center for Communication Studies

At a conference held in Beijing, the Central Party School of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a top political institution which trains CCP cadres, announced the establishment of the “Center for the Study of Chinese Civilization and the Chinese Path” and the “Center for International Communication Research.”

Xie Chuntao, vice president of the Central Party School, said at the meeting that the two centers were established to implement Xi Jinping’s ideas on the localization of Marxism, to promote Chinese civilization and to improve international communication.

Li Xiguang, a professor at Tsinghua University, pointed out that China should deepen cross-civilizational cooperation and dialogue with Eurasia and other like-minded countries around the world. Li suggested that through the joint efforts of thinkers, academics and media from non-Western countries, China should achieve “replacing the ideas of Western colonizers and Western imperialism with our ideas.”

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), October 3, 2022
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202210030143.aspx

RFA Chinese: WeChat Notified Overseas Users that Data will be Sent to China

Radio Free Asia (RFA) Chinese Edition recently reported that a large number of overseas WeChat users have been notified that, if they accept the WeChat service agreement, their personal information will be sent back to servers in China. Experts pointed out that WeChat once intended to set up domestic and overseas versions to avert any allegations of infringement overseas. The fact is, however, that WeChat has never stopped acting as the CCP’s censorship proxy. Jurists are calling on Western countries to legislate to ban Chinese apps to prevent the CCP from its long-arm intrusions. On September 6, WeChat users in many countries said that when they were about to read the content of their WeChat subscription, they suddenly received a prompt saying that once the overseas users activate the WeChat function, their personal information will be sent back to China for processing. Under international pressure and the requirements of privacy protection regulations, in September last year, WeChat “separated” into the domestic version of Weixin and the international version of WeChat. It then asked non-China-bound mobile phone users to re-sign the WeChat agreement to show that the company complied with the  laws and regulations of the host country. So now it has just torn off the original mask. Experts said that the Chinese government has always used WeChat in China as a tool to control society and censor speech, which is actually part of its establishment of China’s high-tech totalitarian control, and it has always used WeChat as a tool to export censorship overseas. The United States and other Western countries should consider and re-evaluate WeChat’s threats to national security, data security, personal privacy, etc. Western countries should pass legislation on Chinese apps, or even block Chinese apps, like India has done.

Source: RFA Chinese, September 7, 2022
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/wechat-09072022123951.html

Head of Xinhua News Agency: Actively Control Online Media So it Serves as the Party’s Mouthpiece

Fu Hua, Director of the Xinhua News Agency, published an article on September 2 in which he talked about building Xinhua into an international first-class media.

Fu stressed that Xinhua agency is a main component of the Communist Party’s news and public opinion work. Xinhua agency has been developing its power in news reporting, opinion guidance, public influence, and credibility on the mobile internet. “We will strive to build a new international first-class all-media organization, lead the online media, perform our duties as Chinas’ mouthpiece, eyes and ears, as the think tank of the Party Central Committee, and better carry out our mission of bearing the flag, uniting the people, promoting culture, and displaying China’s image.”

Fu said that facing the complicated international environment, Xinhua News Agency has put in a lot of effort to build up overseas social media accounts in order to increase its message to the world. The total number of fans of its overseas accounts is over 280 million and several celebrity news reporters’ accounts have more than one million fans. They have been able to tell China’s story, promote China’s voice, and promptly clarify and counter any attacks on China’s core interests.

Sources:
1. Shanghai Security News, September 2, 2022
https://news.cnstock.com/news,yw-202209-4950785.htm
2. China News Agency, September 4, 2022
https://www.cna.com.t

China Continues Lockdown and COVID Control against Its Citizens Even During and After Earthquake

On September 5, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Sichuan Province in southwestern China. Nevertheless, and despite the imminent danger, local officials continued the strict COVID control measures and locked residents inside their apartment buildings.

The quake took place in Luding County and caused landslides involving both rocks and boulders. According to state media reports on September 8, the death toll so far has risen to 86.

China’s state media reported several aftershocks in nearby areas. The US Geological Survey also detected a smaller magnitude 4.6 tremor which hit eastern Tibet less than an hour after the initial quake.

Online videos showed that, despite the quake, local authorities stayed firm on the Communist Party’s COVID control measures.

One video showed that residents rushed downstairs in their apartment buildings, but only found the gate was locked and they could not get it to open.

Another one showed that a staff member guarding the gate argued with the people who wanted to get out, “Let me ask you, did the building collapse?” (meaning: if the building did not collapse, residents should just stay in it.)

A picture showed a notice posted for the residents: “Hello Everyone! An earthquake just took place. Please do not be panic. Please wear your mask and go upstairs back to your home. During the COVID control period, (you) should not go downstairs, take a walk, or gather into groups. Outdoor activities are prohibited. Thank you!”

When volunteers arrived on site to help with rescues, the first thing authorities did was to give them a COVID test.

Source: Epoch Times, September 5, 2022
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/22/9/5/n13817657.htm

 

Article Praising the Policy of Closing the Country from the World

The Chinese Academy of History, under China’s Academy of Social Science, recently published an article on “closing the country.” It set up a project team to research the foreign policy of two dynasties in China’s history: the Ming and the Qing. The team published this article, arguing that the policy to “close the country from the world” was the proper foreign policy at that time, or the right choice to deal with the Western countries.

The Chinese Communist Party has a tradition of using history to give hints about current affairs or policies. Many people questioned  whether this article is to reverse the “opening up” policy that the CCP has adopted since Deng Xiaoping’s time and instead move into a “closed country” stage.

Source: United Daily News, August 30, 2022
https://udn.com/news/story/7331/6575481

Attorneys In China Are Required to Sign Commitment to Practice That Endorses the Party’s Leadership

A local Commitment to Practice statement for attorneys was posted on the Internet. Attorneys are required to sign in order to practice law. The statement specified that the signee agree to five promises. The first promise is to “Uphold the guidance of Socialism with the Chinese Characteristics of Xi Jinping’s new era, to uphold the authority of the communist party’s central committee with Xin Jinping as the core and central leadership, and to endorse the communist party’s leadership.”

The second item is to follow the law for attorneys , attorney’s business ethics and practice disciplines, and other requirements for attorneys. The third to fifth items are to follow the regulations on attorney’s interactions with other legal professional, follow the management of the judicial administrative office and the attorney association, and to establish the right law practice ideas.

The exposed picture is said to be a local version. However, attorneys are saying different regions have similar commitment documents for them to sign and they all stress  following the party’s leadership.

Source: Epoch Times, August 29, 2022
http://cn.epochtimes.com/gb/22/8/29/n13813299.htm

UDN: China Makes Tech Giants Hand Over System Algorithms

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent and TikTok’s parent company ByteDance have handed over details of the online algorithms of some of their services to government regulators. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which oversees the Chinese Internet, released a list of 30 algorithms, for regulation purposes, that companies use to collect user data and promote content and services. Tech companies around the world keep their algorithms closely guarded as trade secrets, but in March, China announced  rules that force companies to hand over their algorithms to authorities using the reason that it will preventing them from misusing data. The new rules require that companies cannot engage in activities that could threaten national security or social stability or encourage excessive addiction. The regulations state that service providers must frequently self-assess to ensure compliance and submit records to the relevant Chinese authorities. China’s move to establish an algorithmic registration system is unprecedented. So far, neither the United States nor the European Union (EU) have implemented such regulations. Applicable internet businesses range from social media provider like Weibo to food delivery platforms like Meituan.

Source: UDN, August 17, 2022
https://udn.com/news/story/7331/6542508?from=udn-ch1_breaknews-1-cate4-news

Seventeen Ministries Issued Joint-Notice to Encourage Chinese to Have More Babies

China is facing a severe population drop. According to the China Business Network’s report, China had 10.62 million newborn babies in 2021, a significant decrease from the 18.83 million in 2016.

On July 25, seventeen ministerial-level agencies in China issued a joint notice to encourage Chinese people to have more babies. The agencies include the National Health Commission, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Chinese Communist Party, the Propaganda Department, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and the People’s Bank, to name just a few.

The notices mentioned the need to improve services for pregnancy, child health, education, job finding, and a number of other issues. It also stressed a need to increase childcare services and reduce its cost.

However, Epoch Times reported that many online responses to the notice stated that the real reason that people do not want to have a baby is not the lack of childcare services but the overall high cost of raising a child from birth to college.

Sources:
1. China National Health Commission Website, August 16, 2022
http://www.nhc.gov.cn/rkjcyjtfzs/s7785/202208/9247dd64744c42df9522c4fa2cb78e42.shtml
2. Epoch Times, August 17, 2022
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/22/8/17/n13804712.htm
3. China Business Network, January 17, 2022
https://www.yicai.com/news/101291490.html