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Government/Politics

Epoch Times: China Increases Spying Activities Overseas

Epoch Times, an overseas Chinese media, published an article that summarized the spying activities of overseas Chinese as reported in the media of Japan, Germany, and the U.S. It quoted an article published on April 17 in Shukan Taishu magazine in Japan which claimed that there could be as many as 50,000 Chinese spies in Japan. The article stated that China has built a giant spy network in Japan using Chinese students, scholars, professional workers, waiters or waitresses, and massage therapists. According to the report, some female spies would marry members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces in order to collect information.

On April 17, Les Échos, (a newspaper that the article identifies as German) published an article stating that the Department of the Interior of Hessen Germany recently issued a warning that Chinese spies are active on Linked In and Facebook where they pretend to be scientists, government officials, consultants, or human resource representatives. They target German municipalities, army officials, diplomats, scientists, and college students. The warning also requested that any suspicious activities should be reported to the security agency in Germany immediately. It is reported that there are close to 600 Chinese companies and over 10,000 Chinese citizens working in Hessen.

Meanwhile Newsweek in the U.S. recently reported that the China’s security agency has constantly been recruiting American Chinese who work in defense, security agencies or highly sensitives industries to conduct spying activities. The recent trend shows that the recruitment has expanded to Americans. Typical examples include Glenn Duffie Shriver who tried to apply for a position with the CIA and Candace Claiborne who works for the Department of State. The Epoch Times article also mentioned that in a separate publication, it covers reports on how foreign security agencies monitor activities of Chinese student associations or overseas Chinese associations that have close ties with China, while arresting or deporting those who spy for China.

Source: Epoch Times, April 17, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/4/18/n9051300.htm

Xinhua: Eight “Red Line” Boundaries that Party Officials Are Forbidden to Cross on WeChat

Xinhua published an article which listed eight boundaries that Party officials shouldn’t cross on WeChat, a popular social media in China. The requirements include:
1) Providing irresponsible commentaries on the Party’s policies and causing damage to the Party’s unity
2) Spreading pornographic pictures and videos
3) Spreading Internet rumors
4) Accepting bribes through a WeChat “red envelope” account (a means of transferring money through WeChat)
5) Using a WeChat “red envelope” account to buy election votes
6) Leaking confidential national and company information
7) Conducting online WeChat business
8) Posting improper online commentaries

Source: Xinhua, April 16, 2017
http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-04/16/c_1120819130.htm

Duowei News: More Shakeups in Financial Industry Expected Prior to 19th Congress

Duowei News published an article reporting that, on April 9, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection took down two senior officials in the financial industry due to corruption charges: Xiang Junbo, Chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and Li Changjun, director of the Beijing branch of the Export–Import Bank of China. According to the article, the move is an indication that Beijing has reached its limit in dealing with financial disasters that have taken place in the past and which have caused quite an embarrassment. It has determined that, prior to the upcoming 19th National Congress, it will shake up the financial industry to ensure that it “maintains the same understanding as the Central Administration.” The article stated that the Chinese official media praised the Party’s determination in its anti-corruption effort. The Hong Kong media, however, indicated that these two individuals were targeted because it was their “inside job” in the financial industry which caused a number of financial disasters over the past years: the stock market crash in 2015 and the battle between Vanke and Baoneng over stock ownership in 2016. The article further explained that, “The analysis shows that reforming the Chinese financial market is no less complex than unifying ideology within the Party or reforming the military… it is expected that Beijing will launch an anti-corruption effort on an even larger scale to eliminate completely any inside dealings that are contrary to its direction.”

Source: Duowei News, April 10, 2017
http://china.dwnews.com/news/2017-04-10/59809773.html

Statistics Show More Party Officials Committed Suicide after 18th National Congress

Radio Free Asia carried an article which quoted statistics from Lianhe Zaobao a Singapore based Chinese language newspaper. The article pointed out that the number of Chinese Party officials who committed suicide grew significantly in 2014, which was the third year after the Party’s 18th National Congress held in October 2012. The article reported that, according to the statistics that the Chinese Academy of Sciences released, from 2009 to 2016, the number of Party officials who committed suicide was as follows: 21, 25, 22, 17, 10, 59, 50, and 39. While the article pointed out that in 2013, the second year following the party’s 18th National Congress, the number dropped to 10, it grew five times to 59 in 2014. Even though the number has decreased since 2014, it was still significantly higher than the numbers before 2012. Reports indicate that the corruption scandal and inadequate personal ability are blamed as the main cause for the stress which led to depression. The most common suicide choice was jumping off buildings.

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 10, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/Xinwen/8-04102017142950.html

Former Shanghai Mayor’s Role Highlighted in Xi Jinping’s Grand 1000-Year Plan

Ta Kung Pao, a Beijing affiliated Hong Kong daily newspaper, reported that former Shanghai mayor Xu Kuangdi was shown on CCTV, China’s state television, on February 23, interacting closely with Xi Jinping during Xi’s visit to the Xiongan New Area.

CCTV‘s footage was not publicly released until this past weekend, when Beijing announced the planning and construction of the area, which is said to be part of the 1000-year plan that Xi set forth showcasing “world vision, international standards, Chinese characteristics, and high goals.”

Xu Kuangdi currently serves as the chief advisor for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration. He was mayor of Shanghai from 1995 to 2001, and supervised the city’s transformation into a center for international investment and trade with the establishment of the Pudong New District.

According to Radio Free Asia‘s commentator Paul Lin, he was asked to resign from the mayor’s position to make room for Chen Liangyu, a favorite of then Party secretary general Jiang Zemin. In 2006, Chen was disgraced because of corruption charges and dismissed from all positions including being a member of the Politburo.

Xu, who held several academic positions before becoming mayor of Shanghai, recommended that the construction of the Xiongan New Area should focus on technological and innovative industries and that the region should attract high-end innovative talent and resources. The new district covers the counties of Xiong, Rongcheng, and Anxin and is currently a poor, rural area. Xu said it was chosen because the “low density of its population, the low level of development, and plenty of space for future growth.”

Sources: Ta Kung Pao, April 4, 2017
http://news.takungpao.com/mainland/focus/2017-04/3438214.html
Radio Free Asia, December 13, 2001
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/pinglun/72194-20011213.html

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