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Government/Politics

Head of China’s Buddhist Association Resigned after Sexual Harassment Allegations

Radio France Internationale reported that the head of China’s Buddhist Association resigned on August 15 after his female disciples lodged allegations of sexual harassment against him. As a Communist Party member and head monk of Longquan Temple in Beijing, Shi Xuecheng has been accused of sexual misconduct against at least six female disciples. A 95 page long document shows the text messages and online chat records of his improper exchanges with the female disciples. China’s Buddhist Association said it will launch an investigation into the allegations. Shi is a member of the National Political Consultative Committee and has several million devoted Buddhist believers who follow him on WeChat. According to an Aboluowang article, Shi has close connections with high ranking officials, while the United Front Department manages him. After the sexual allegation scandal was exposed, any online postings containing words such as “Longquan Temple” or “Shi Xuecheng” disappeared from Sina Weibo. All that is left is Shi’s denial statement. An Epoch Times article quoted reports from an August 16 article in Hong Kong’s Sing Tao Daily which stated that the sex scandal had been brought to Xi Jinping’s attention. The Party’s United Front Department got involved in the investigation and ordered Shi to resign immediately to limit the negative publicity.

Sources:
1. Radio France Internationale, August 15, 2018
http://cn.rfi.fr/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD/20180815-%E6%B6%89%E6%80%A7%E4%BE%B5%E6%8C%87%E6%8E%A7-%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E4%BD%9B%E6%95%99%E5%8D%8F%E4%BC%9A%E4%BC%9A%E9%95%BF%E9%87%8A%E5%AD%A6%E8%AF%9A%E8%BE%9E%E8%81%8C
2. Aboluowang, August 15, 2018
http://www.aboluowang.com/2018/0815/1158813.html
3. Epoch Times, August 18, 2018
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/18/8/16/n10642832.htm

Beijing to Launch Patriotic Campaign to Target Intellectuals

According to Xinhua, recently, the Central Organization and the Publicity Department jointly published a notice to launch a “patriotic campaign” targeting intellectuals. The notice stated that the campaign is to “carry out the directions of Xi Jinping to unite the intellectuals with the party and the people and build a consensus among intellectuals to share the goals and the values for which the Party and the Country are fighting.” An RFA article calls the patriotic campaign another round of brainwashing campaigns because the authorities are most concerned about the criticisms that the intellectuals are making. For example, in recent months, the mainland intellectual community has continuously discussed China’s economic strength. Since the beginning of the year, it has been widely believed that China’s comprehensive strength can surpass the U.S. In recent months, however, more and more scholars have publicly stated that China’s economic strength appears impressive but lacks real value. Some people have even questioned Xi Jinping’s policy of governing the country.

Sources:
1. Xinhua, July 31, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-07/31/c_1123203383.htm
2. Radio Free Asia, August 2, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/ql2-08022018101541.html

Ministry of Finance to Expand Pilot Reform of SOEs to Implement Their Dominant Market Position

People Daily reported that the State Council recently issued, “Opinions to Implement the Pilot Reform of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs).” It plans to expand the SOE reform pilot program and form a replicated model for more SOEs to follow.

The Opinions focus on the following four principles:

First, to ensure that the party maintains the overall leadership of state-owned enterprises, to implement the legal status of the party organization within the corporate governance structure and to ensure that the party’s and the state’s policies on major decisions are implemented.

Second, to insist that the market plays a decisive role in resource allocation while better enabling the government to play its role in further implementing the dominant market position of the State Owned Enterprises.

Third, to focus on supply-side reforms to establish a complete operational guideline that enables SOEs to become stronger and better.

Fourth, to be firm in preventing the loss of state-owned assets and to build a monitoring and evaluation system.

The article also quoted directions that Xi Jinping gave during the 19th Congress on SOEs. Xi called for SOEs to improve an asset management system, optimize the economic model, make structural adjustments and strategic changes, enable SOEs to become stronger and better and grow to be competitive first class world companies.

Source: People’s Daily, August 1, 2018
http://finance.people.com.cn/n1/2018/0801/c1004-30184188.html

Epoch Times Opinion Article: The Reality that Xi Jinping Is Facing

Epoch Times published an opinion article titled, “The Reality that Xi Jinping Is Facing.” The following is a summary of the article:

For the Chinese Communist Party as a whole, one of the first and most important tasks for the leader in such a position is to preserve the wealth and interests of the few top level families and the interests of the members of the high-ranking power group.

However, the facts that Trump was elected president of the U.S. in 2016, and especially that the Sino-US trade war began this year, have touched the fundamental interests of those at the party’s top level. Trump’s trade policy toward China will ultimately fundamentally change China’s trade status and will greatly impact the interests of those families. From this point of view, if Xi Jinping cannot protect the interests of that group, then Xi will become their enemy and will be discarded. This is one of the reasons why Zhongnanhai has been in political turmoil lately and Xi Jinping is facing challenges.

Within the party, Xi Jinping’s political enemies are waiting. The Party’s interest group at the top level knows that, after the Sino-US trade war is over, they will lose access to the wealth they used to have. In itself, this will become sufficient reason for Xi Jinping to step down.

The Chinese Communist Party has no solution to the social crisis in China. This is the reality that Xi Jinping is facing today.

Source: Epoch Times, July 27, 2018
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/18/7/27/n10596622.htm

RFA: Chinese Residents Extremely Unhappy with Xi Providing Aid to Foreign Countries during His Visits

Radio Free Asia reported that Xi Jinping recently visited the Middle East and African countries and provided economic aid amounting to billions of dollars while he was there. It resulted in dissatisfaction among the general public in China. People felt that the residents who live in impoverished regions in China need more help. According to statistics, in the first half of this year, China provided low-interest or interest-free loans to foreign governments in the amount of 2.26 trillion yuan (US$330 billion) but it only allocated 800 million yuan (US$117 million) in funding to the 10 provinces in southern China that suffered from the flood disaster. At the same time, it was reported that Heilongjiang Province, whose pension insurance was losing 20 billion yuan (US$2.93 billion) announced that it would delay the pension payments. In addition, statistics showed an overall economic downturn in the first half of the year and a reduction in summer grain production. The article quoted one resident from Shanghai who told Radio Free Asia that he hopes that the U.S. will win the trade war. He said, “If the U.S. were to win the trade war, Chinese citizens would gain true freedom, democracy and human rights. The government would not inadvertently rob us of our property. We would live in a happy environment and would not eat poisonous and harmful products.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 26, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/junshiwaijiao/ql2-07262018092232.html

Apple Daily: Beijing Seems to Be Removing Publicly Displayed Xi Jinping Posters

Major Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily recently reported that a number of real estate management companies in Beijing received orders from public safety authorities to remove all publicly displayed Xi Jinping posters and other materials that have his picture printed on them. The background of this move was a recent incident in Shanghai. A woman poured ink on such posters and then the method spread. It was rumored that the order for removing the posters came from Xi himself. At the current economic crossroads when China is facing a trade war with the U.S., in addition to this latest poster removal order, multiple unusual things have occurred recently such as an increased number of reports on Premier Li Keqiang. A project to study the years Xi Jinping spent in a county named Liang Jia He was called off. Another noticeable fact was that, on the front page of the July 9th People’s Daily newspaper, no mention was made of Xi Jinping’s name in any of the headlines. This was the first time in five years.

Source: Apple Daily, July 13, 2018
https://hk.news.appledaily.com/international/daily/article/20180713/20448515

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