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Government/Politics

Party Branches Established in China’s Film and Television Production Center

Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang Province is China’s film and television production center; it is also known as China’s Hollywood. Temporary Chinese Communist Party (CCP) branch offices have been established in 11 cast teams that are currently filming TV and movie dramas. One of the party branches consists of the party members from the production, photography, editing, sound and explosion visual effects departments. Each of the 11 teams will conduct a regular study session on the party’s history and an understanding of the recent cultural and entertainment industry rectification directives from the central administration. Their goal is to further strengthen the party’s  leadership, plan party building activities and recruit more party members.

Source: China News, September 21, 2021
http://www.zj.chinanews.com/jzkzj/2021-09-21/detail-iharhwxc3213830.shtml

Beijing Plans to Lead the World in Human Rights Work

Although the world recognizes that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a poor record on human rights, the CCP does not view it that way. In its “National Human Rights Action Plan (2021 to 2025)” published on September 9, the CCP states that it plans to be active in helping the world manage human rights.

The plan listed the following as some of its goals for creating and implementing its action plan: “To participate actively in global human rights governance; to deepen (China’s) involvement in the work of the United Nations human rights mechanisms; to promote the construction of a fairer, more equitable, reasonable, and inclusive global human rights governance system; and jointly to build a community with a shared future for mankind.”

Source: People’s Daily, September 9, 2021
http://politics.people.com.cn/n1/2021/0909/c1001-32222401.html

HK01: Xi Jinping Said, “The Days When the Hong Kong Real Estate Tycoons Influenced Hong Kong Policy Are Gone

HK01 reported on September 21 that, in 2018, Xi Jinping made a clear statement in an internal meeting of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Hong Kong and Macau Coordination Group. He Stated, “The days of the Hong Kong business community influencing the Central Government’s policies on Hong Kong are gone.” A source familiar with the situation said that the “Hong Kong business community” actually refers to the real estate developers there.

The article also reported that the richest real estate tycoon invited key officers from the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong for a family banquet. The tycoon had all important members of his family attend the banquet. He explained (to one of the key officers) that his family’s comments during the anti-Extradition Law movement were not “sympathetic to the gangsters or the violence.” {Editor’s comment: This is likely referring to Li Ka-shing, who is Hong Kong’s richest man and also published a neutral-toned page in the newspaper regarding the Hong Kong protest. Some people felt his message was pro-Hong Kong protesters.}

The article mentioned that Reuters recently reported that Beijing requested Hong Kong real estate developers to solve the housing shortage problem. It stated, “The rules of the game have changed” and Beijing will no longer tolerate “monopoly.”

For a while, the CCP has not been happy with Hong Kong’s real estate tycoons. During the anti-Extradition Law protest, these tycoons remained silent. It was not until a mainland newspaper criticized them for not lining up with the central government that they start making statements to support the government’s actions to “stop violence.” In September 2019, the People’s Daily also blamed the Hong Kong protest on the real estate developers for making the housing prices unaffordable.

In July this year, Xia Baolong, the Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council (central government), stated that he expects the housing problem in Hong Kong will be greatly improved.

HK01 is a newspaper close to Xi Jinping’s group.

Source: HK01, September 21, 2021
https://www.hk01.com/政情/679198/01消息-習近平內部會議明言-地產商-左右治港-已一去不復返

45 NGOs Signed Open Letter Demanding Release of Zhang Zhan Who Is Jailed for Reporting on COVID Outbreak

On September 17, 45 non-governmental organizations, including Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International, sent a joint letter to Xi Jinping, demanding the release of Zhang Zhan. Zhang was jailed for reporting on the COVID outbreak and has been on a hunger strike since May 2020.

Zhang reported the outbreak when it was in its early stage in Wuhan. After Wuhan was locked down on January 23, 2020, Zhang went to Wuhan and reported on how the hospital was packed with infected people and piles of bodies were in the crematorium. On December 28, 2020, after a three-hour trial, Zhang was sentenced to four-years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Zhang’s family said she has lost a significant amount of weigh. She was hospitalized in early August. Despite her rapid decline in health, Zhang was sent back to prison. Reporters Without Borders said Zhang has been mistreated while in custody and her family had been barred from visiting.

China ranks 177th out of 180 countries and regions in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. The group says China has imprisoned the largest number of journalists in the world. At least 122 journalists are currently in prison.

The organizations that co-signed the open letter also include the Taiwan Journalists Association, the China Aid Association, Change China, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Freedom House, as well as many others.

Source: Voice of America, September 17, 2021
https://www.voachinese.com/a/ngo-coalition-urges-china-to-release-covid-19-reporter-on-hunger-strike-20210917/6232546.html

Xi Jinping: The Communist Party Must Firmly Lead All

On September 15, 2021, after several major government actions to control China, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping published a collection of the remarks he has made since 2012. The title in Qiushi magazine was, “Unswervingly Persist and Strengthen the Party’s Overall Leadership.”

Xi stated that the CCP must lead in the areas of the economy; politics; cultural, social, and ecological conditions; national defense and the military forces; the reunification [Taiwan], diplomatic work, the CCP’s party-building; and other areas of importance. Xi also said that the CCP’s leadership is the fundamental point of China’s political stability, economic development, national unity, and social stability, and there should not be even the slightest doubt about it.

Xi added further that China’s most significant national condition is the CCP’s leadership. History and the people have chosen the CCP. The CCP’s leadership is the essential feature and the advantage of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The fundamentals of governing China are the CCP’s  leadership and the Chinese socialist system.

Xi pointed out that the Communist Party of China is the ruling party. The CCP rules every aspect of China and is the supreme political leadership.

Xi said that upholding and strengthening the CCP’s leadership has a bearing on the future and destiny of the CCP and China. All undertakings are built on this foundation and rooted in this essential feature and this most significant advantage.

Source: Qiushi, September 15, 2021
http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2021-09/15/c_1127862367.htm

Leadership: Fantasia Holdings, a Business of Zeng Qinghong’s Niece, Is in Trouble

Zeng Baobao, the niece of Zeng Qinghong, owns Fantasia Holdings. Zeng Qinghong is a retired Chinese Communist Party (CCP) top official. He is former CCP head Jiang Zemin’s right-hand man, the Vice President of China, and a CCP Politburo Standing Committee member. He is still believed to have considerable political influence in China. Many media have reported him as heading a CCP faction that is against Xi Jinping.

Zeng Baobao established Fantasia Holdings in 1996. The company went IPO in Hong Kong in 2009. Its main business is real estate development.

Recently, Citibank and Credit Suisse gave a zero loan value to Fantasia’s notes, meaning that their private wealth management customers can no longer use Fantasia’s notes as collateral for loans. On September 14, S&P Global Ratings announced a negative outlook on the company and affirmed a “B” rating, as the company’s large foreign debt maturity will weigh on its financials.

Many real estate companies in China are facing cash flow problems. However, the fact that Fantasia Holdings is facing trouble may also carry a political message. It may mean that Zeng Qinghong is likely to be in bad shape. He is not able to save his family’s company.

Sources:
1. Liberty Times, September 7, 2021
https://ec.ltn.com.tw/article/breakingnews/3663843
2. Sina, September 15, 2021
https://finance.sina.com.cn/roll/2021-09-15/doc-iktzqtyt6156639.shtml

Cyberspace Administration Shut Down 1,793 Financial Commentators’ Social Media Accounts

On September 8, days after the Cyberspace Administration announced its plan to crack down on independent financial commentators for bad-mouthing China’s economy, it announced that it has identified 2,929 illegal accounts and suspended 1,793 of those accounts. Three of those suspended accounts had over one million followers including one account which had three million followers. The Cyberspace Administration also deleted over 40,000 “harmful postings.”

On August 27, the Cyberspace Administration had announced that it would clamp down on illegally collecting, editing and publishing financial information on commercial websites and self-media. China’s major social medial platforms WeChat, the Baidu Group, Douyin, and Kuaishou immediately announced that they would comply with the official policies and regularly publish their progress reports.

On September 9, the Shanghai Securities Regulatory Bureau released a preliminary report which stated that, as part of the crackdown effort, they have banned 3,187 audio files, films, and programs and closed 53 live broadcast studios.

Source: Tencent QQ, September 9, 2021
https://new.qq.com/rain/a/20210909A03MIN00

Global Times: In the Battle for Public Opinion, (China) Must Take Firm Control of Communication Network

China’s state media Global Times published an opinion article commenting on how China should win the discourse rights and change the current trend of China’s weak position in international public opinion.

The article stated that “Behind the battle of international discourse rights for public opinion is the battle for the global communication network.”

The article continued, “The ownership of the global communication network is the crisis of politics, news media and ideology. Although the focus of the United States on the current global strategic confrontation is gradually shifting to China, its main work on cyber-public opinion warfare is still to deploy globally and fight on multiple fronts. At the same time, the global data infrastructure is undergoing a new round of periodic turnover. In the global public opinion field, China still has opportunities.”

The article proposed that, “In the future, China’s main countermeasures in participating and leading the global communication network may include the following three aspects. 1). In the current era, the world data center is no less (in importance) than the world shipping center and the financial center were in the past. According to its Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China should further strengthen the 5G network. It should further enhance the construction of the 5G network, data centers and the new generation of infrastructures, including the communication network, emerging information technology, and the computing power hub. 2). China should systematically study the experience of the cultural order’s changes during the rise of the Western powers and the deep logic of the global communication network; it should construct a strategic toolbox and a strategic research subjects group, realize awareness of real-time trends of the global public opinion field, and provide advice on agile decision-making. 3). On the basis of the dual-cycle (domestic and exporting) format of China’s economy, we should build strategic core nodes of supply of culture and promote the re-balancing of the global media and cultural order.”

Source: Global Times, august 17, 2021
https://opinion.huanqiu.com/article/44Nu8ydreJ0