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Tencent Sports Interrupted Live Broadcast of NBA Game because of Taiwan National Flag

China Tencent Sports suddenly interrupted a live broadcast of an important NBA game on Saturday November 9. The reason was that a member of the audience was wearing clothing with the Taiwan national flag printed on it.

Tencent Sports announced on the subtitles that the interruption was because the broadcast quality of the game between Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers did not meet the broadcast standards and it had to switch from the live broadcast to cover the game that the Portland Trail Blazers was playing.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported that, afterwards, Tencent Sports reported the Heat’s game against the Lakers through subtitles only. More than 25 million people were said to have been watching the game at the time. Many fans posted questions in the Tencent sports discussion column asking what was going on.

The post-game highlights video posted on the NBA official website showed footage of an Asian man sitting in the first row next to members of the Heat who was wearing clothing that had the national flag of Taiwan printed on it. Since the live footage was from the NBA in the U.S., Tencent did not have control of the footage.

This is the first time that Tencent stopped the live broadcast of an NBA game following the instance of Rockets general manager Morey showing the support for the protesters in Hong Kong and triggering the first boycott of the NBA in China in early October. In that incident, CCTV and Tencent Sports stopped broadcasting the NBA’s China Tournament and almost all partners of the NBA in China stopped cooperating with NBA. Up until today, Tencent still has not broadcast all of the Rockets games.

Source: VOA Chinese, November 9, 2019

Beijing May Ask HK Government to Reintroduce Article 23

Article 23 refers to Article 23 of the Basic Law, which states that the Hong Kong Government “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.” In 2003, the Hong Kong Government made an attempt to pass Article 23. As the Hong Kong people doubted the motivation of the legislation, 500,000 people took to the streets in protest. Since then, the Hong Kong Government has not re-introduced the legislation.

On November 9th, Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, the official agency coordinating Beijing’s ties with Hong Kong, published an article entitled, “Adhering to and improving the ‘one country, two systems,'” in a way to interpret the decision out of the recently concluded Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. The article stated that Hong Kong’s failure to complete the Article 23 legislation under the Basic Law is one of the reasons for the intensified Hong Kong independence movement in recent years. Zhang emphasized the need to establish and improve the legal system for Hong Kong to safeguard national security. Liu Zhaojia, vice president of the National Hong Kong and Macao Research Association of China, an NGO based in mainland China, commented that, from the perspective of Beijing, many of the actions in the recent anti-extradition law protests involved separatism and external forces, in violation of Article 23. If it had already been legislated, Beijing believes there would be a legal basis for handling the ongoing situation in Hong Kong.

On the pan-democracy camp, Tanya Chan, a Legislative Councilor representing Hong Kong Island and also a founding member of the Civic Party, pointed out that the anti-extradition law movement has nothing to do with Hong Kong independence. Chan criticized Zhang Xiaoming’s words, saying they were pouring oil on the flames. Pressuring the Hong Kong government to push Article 23 legislation will only tear the society further apart.

Source: Central News Agency, November 10, 2019

Media: Why Did the CCP Politburo Study Blockchain

Recently, at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, Xi Jinping stressed that there should be a focus on blockchain technology. The CCP Politburo also held a group study on blockchain’s status and trends related to blockchain. Some media interviewed China experts on why the CCP is eying blockchain.

Deutsche Welle interviewed a senior IT practitioner in China who stated, “In fact, China has long been talking about digital finance. In 2014, People’s Bank (China’s Central Bank) created a group to research the feasibility of issuing digital currency. In January 2017, it officially established the Digital Currency Institute. Maybe it is to help People’s Bank launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).

Blockchain relies on 5G technology to provide fast transportation speed.

VOA interviewed an economics observer, “This policy is more for the political agenda. There are three reasons for the CCP to promote blockchain.”

First, the CCP wants to participate in this “de-centralization” technology early so that it can participate in and control the standard settings and data control areas.

Second, the CCP has the financial ambition to promote a national digital currency. It has been trying to promote China’s national digital currency via the Belt and Road Initiative so as to further compete with the U.S. for financial control.

Third, blockchain can be extended to finance, to supplying China, to manufacturing, and to military areas. Having a first mover advantage or having greater power in controlling and implementing these technologies will help the CCP to reach its ambition of world domination.

1. Deutsche Welle, October 28, 2019专访中共中央政治局为什么学区块链/a-51022583
2. VOA, October 29, 2019

Taiwan TV Hostess Counter-statement against CCTV Hostess Went Viral on the Internet

A video showing a Taiwan TV hostess counter a statement that a CCTV hostess made went viral on the Internet.

Following China’s recent announcement of 26 additional measures “to further promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait,” a CCTV hostess stated in her program that the future of Taiwan is national unity and the fate of Taiwan is connected with China. At the end of her program, she said, “Wanwan (meaning Taiwan), please come home.”

On November 6, during a live broadcast, Taiwan’s “Times News” political commentary host Chen Ningguan imitated CCTV’s tone and humorously responded, “Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is suffering from domestic violence. Please stop it. Both Xixi (Tibet) and Xingxing (Xinjiang) are under surveillance. Since Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is subject to domestic violence, Wanwan (Taiwan) does not want to go home. Wanwan (Taiwan) is scared to see what is happening to Xixi (Tibet), Xingxing (Xinjiang) and Xiangxiang (Hong Kong). Wanwan (Taiwan) likes Internet freedom and does not like to climb the wall (break through Internet censorship.) Wanwan (Taiwan) is not Zhongzhong (mainland).” Chen’s response draw heated responses on the Internet. Some people posted “Wanwan (Taiwan) has our own home even though we have some garbage from Gonggong (mainland) at home. Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is just like hell right now after it went back to the mainland. How does the mainland believe that Taiwan will be attracted back to the mainland?” One post said when “Gonggong (the CCP) is collapsed, Wanwan (Taiwan) will come home.”

Meanwhile many Taiwan politicians responded that they can clearly see the intent of the 26 measures that Beijing tried to introduce. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president responded that the mainland wants to influence the election in Taiwan and force Taiwan to accept the “one country two system” policy. Taiwan’s response is, “It is impossible.”

Source: Aboluowang, November 9, 2019

The Epoch Times: CCP Relies on Heavy Lobbying in Europe

The Epoch Times recently reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has funded many think tanks and institutions and adopted savvy lobbying tactics across Europe in order to promote its agenda. However, the Europe Union (EU) has been watching the CCP’s actions.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Chairman and Founding Partner of Dezan Shira and Associates, which advises foreign investors on Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), reported, “China has devoted a large number of resources to lobbying the EU and influential persons connected with it.” “It has mapped out the entire EU structure and, via Embassies, managed to piece together a concise map of who is connected to whom and who is likely to be able to further China’s business interests.”

Beijing has also built up its lobbying experience in its investment push into Africa. In 2015, China bid on and won the Budapest-Belgrade railway project from Hungry and Serbia. China was likely to run it in the same way it ran the BRI projects. The EU then intervened, “insisting that the tender be monitored and subject to controls and regulations imposed from Brussels.” The EU’s involvement made it hard for Beijing to run the project as it desired. Therefore, Beijing adjusted its strategy and put more effort into lobbying the EU so that it could get more and better policy support and a green light for its business and other activities.

Malgorzata Jakimow, assistant professor of East Asian Politics at Durham University and Secretary of the Center for Contemporary Chinese Studies (CCCS), said, “China’s think tank networks are huge. They have been recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the predominant tool for soft power.”

A report that the lobbying watchdog, Corporate Europe, published in April noted, “Often, conferences and seminars held in Brussels with a China theme receive Chinese Government sponsorship.” The report also listed dozens of organizations and networks scattered throughout Europe that have substantial ties to China.

Charles Parton, a former British diplomat to China and a senior associate for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a defense and security institute, said that many Chinese-born academics in the West are cautious about what they can say because the CCP has control over the lives of their relatives back in China and over whether they can visit or return to China. “It would be quite dangerous for these people, for their health, and for their careers, to do anything but talk the party line.” Parton said he could think of one particular person who is frequently called upon to comment on the radio and speak to the media, but what he says is always purely the CCP Propaganda Department’s message.

Source: The Epoch Times, October 16, 2019

RFA: China Shows Signs of Further Suppression of Religious Freedom

Radio Free Asia, (RFA)recently reported that China’s Zhejiang Province started implementing a new regulation on November 1. It requires that all domestic religious groups must “Sinicize.” This means that no foreign power can influence any religious locations or activities. Critics said the Chinese government frequently suppresses religious activities under the name of “collusion with anti-China forces.” This new regulation is only making things worse. The official Zhejiang provincial version of the regulation requires all religions to practice the Socialist Core Values. No individual or organization can intervene in the government’s legal, executive, or educational functions in the name of religion. The new regulation also requires the government to improve information systems that administer religious activities. No churches or priests in Zhejiang have accepted RFA’s requests for an interview.

Source: RFA, November 1, 2019