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Research Journal Publication Faces Censorship in China

According to an BBC article that Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publishing house, which has business dealings and a server in China, had blocked over 300 articles on its website in China under Beijing’s pressure. China Quarterly had published those articles, which included such topics as on the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Massacre; Tibet; and the democracy movement in China.

A  specialist on the economy from Beijing University launched a petition asking Cambridge University Press to stand up to China’s censorship. By August 21, over 300 had signed the petition. On the same day, Huanqiu published an article claiming that, in order for institutions from the West to enter China’s market, they must make necessary adjustments; and that there is nothing wrong with what Chinese authorities had done because they were just doing their job according to the law.

The BBC article quoted several Chinese scholars who were concerned that more foreign research journals will face the same fate, that the censorship is unfair to Chinese scholars, and that it will negatively impact research and study work about China.

On August 21, Cambridge University Press unblocked these articles after it received pressure from the academic community.

On August 22, Radio France Internationale reported that Cambridge University Press received a request from State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) to remove 100 online articles from the Journal of Asian Studies. The Journal of Asian Studies is a publication of the Association for Asian Studies and is headquartered in the U.S. In the statement published on its official website, the Association for Asian Studies expressed its concern over academic freedom and it is talking with Cambridge University Press about how to response to the request from SARFT.

Source:
BBC, August 21, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-41004248
Radio France Internationale, August 22, 2017
http://cn.rfi.fr/wire/20170822-北京施压-令剑桥出版社再撤学术文章

VOA: China’s SOEs in Hong Kong Openly Establish Party Structure

Voice of America (VOA) reported that China has recently taken off the veil and is openly establishing the Communist Party structure in its State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) that are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“From 2016 through July 2017, at least 32 of China’s SOEs listed in Hong Kong proposed to adjust their corporate governance structure to include articles that formally establish the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Committee within the company. It has become particularly obvious in the past few months.”

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) passed amendments to its by-laws in June 2017, including the following articles:

“According to the ‘Constitution of the Chinese Communist Party’ and the ‘Company Law,’ (ICBC decides to) establish the CCP’s organization (within the company).”

“The CCP Party Committee will have one Party Secretary, two Deputy Secretaries, and a few Party Committee members. The Chairman of the Board and the Party Secretary should be the same person.”

In their by-laws, other SOEs, including CITIC Securities, Sinopec, and other steel and energy companies, also defined the CCP’s leadership role in the company. These 32 companies have a collective market value of over US$1 trillion.

Since it attained power in China in 1949, the CCP has always firmly controlled China’s SOEs.

In 2001, shortly after China joined the WTO, China extended the CCP’s control to private companies. It required that any private company that had three or more CCP members as employees must establish a Party Branch or Committee within the company.

Walmart China and other foreign enterprises in China established CCP Branches around 2006.

Source: VOA, August 15, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-firms-in-hongkong-20170815/3986965.html

Duowei: Beidaihe Meeting Ended Quietly – China Is Free of the “Elder Statesman Politics”

According to an article that Duowei published, the outcome from the recent Beidaihe meeting or “summer summit” indicated that Beijing has finished the final stretch of the preparation that has been planned for the upcoming 19th People’s Congress. One unique phenomenon that materialized at this meeting was the “silence” that the elderly members of the Communist Party of China, who held substantial power during the 1980s and 1990s, displayed, compared to the 18th National Congress in 2012 when several of the elderly members made frequent appearances prior to the conference. The article quoted another Duowei article which stated that it was an indication that China (Xi Jinping) is almost free of “elder statesman politics.” However it does not mean that the elderly members are completely out of the picture. One example is Jiang Zemin, who had his 91st birthday on August 17. His health has always been a subject of the public’s attention. The article stated that one of the major agenda items to watch for in the 19th National Congress is the personnel changes and whether Wang Qishan, a member of the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee will still remain in power.

Source: Duowei, August 19, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-08-19/60007772.html

State Council Issues Guidelines on Overseas Investments

On August 4, the State Council published a guideline on its website about overseas investments. The Commerce Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Bank of China, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed the guideline. The guideline encourages investments that will promote international cooperation, improve research and manufacturing capabilities, compensate for the domestic energy shortage, and improve quality.

The guideline listed investment fields that the State supports: projects that promote the “one belt one road” and infrastructure construction in the region; the export of domestic high quality equipment and technology; the enhancement of cooperation with foreign high tech companies and those with advanced manufacturing technology; the setting up of foreign research centers; natural gas and resources exploration and the development, after careful evaluation, of economic benefits; advances in cooperation in agriculture and the launch of projects that have mutual benefits; and supporting qualified financial agencies to set up branch offices overseas.

The article also listed the areas that are limited in foreign investment: countries with which China does not have foreign diplomatic relations; regions involved in wars; real estate, hotels, movie theaters, or entertainment; sports clubs; investment funds that don’t have a specific project; and technology, environmental standards, energy indexes and safety regulations that do not meet the requirements of the investing country.

The areas that are prohibited in regards to foreign investment include military technology and products that are not approved by the State; technology, skilled products or those that are banned from being exported; gambling and prostitution; and investments banned in accordance with international standards or which endanger the nation’s security interests.

Source: Gov.cn, August 18, 2017
http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2017-08/18/content_5218665.htm

Duowei: China’s Politics Has Gotten Rid of the Shackle of Veteran Interference

The Chinese media Duowei, an online news publication that the Chinese government sponsors, published an article stating that China’s political “Beidaihe time” is nearing completion. The current incumbent high-level Chinese Communist Party leaders and many political veterans will also end this rare summer vacation model.

The article predicted that China’s politics today has basically gotten rid of the shackles of the “veteran politics” as compared to before the CCP’s 18th Congress when Communist veterans were the heavy weights and played an important role in decision making. The article particularly singled out Jiang Zemin as a bad example of “veteran’s political intervention.”

The article said, “The most typical case of Jiang Zemin’s “political intervention” was that during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China, the PLA senior officials said that they would like to consult the ‘old leadership’ and refused to listen to the directives of Premier Wen Jiabao who represented Hu Jintao and went to the disaster area as the commander-in-chief. Behind this embarrassing phenomenon was the influence of Jiang Zemin, who was in the position of Chairman of the Central Military Commission for an extra two years, and the long-term existence of the ‘Jiang Zemin Office’ until the CCP’s 18th Congress. It hindered Hu Jintao’s leadership.

“Jiang Zemin’s ‘political intervention’ meant that he didn’t want to let go of power while the country’s political situation was stable, and he interfered with the high-level personnel arrangements of the Chinese Communist Party when he should not have.”

Source: Duowei, August 14, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2017-08-14/60006885.html

Chinese Government Leaders Spoke at the 2017 Conference of the Global Overseas Chinese Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification in Italy

The 2017 General Assembly of the Global Overseas Chinese to promote China’s peaceful reunification was held on July 23 in Florence, Italy. The Italian Chapter of the China Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification organized the conference. The theme was, “Persisting in the 1992 Consensus and Promoting Cross-Strait Integration and Sharing the Chinese Dream.” Zhang Baowen, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Democratic League and Vice President of the China Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony.

Zhang Baowen pointed out that Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan compatriots and overseas Chinese are important forces to promote the development of cross-strait relations and promote the peaceful reunification of China. The Overseas Chinese Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification is an important link to uniting the compatriots at home and abroad and is the backbone of the global campaign of “anti-independence” and promoting unification.

The Chinese Ambassador to Italy, Li Ruiyu; the Deputy Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, Long Mingbiao; and the Vice President of the China Overseas Exchange Association, Jiang Yan, also spoke at the conference.

More than 1,000 people from the mainland government representatives, leaders of the Overseas Chinese Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification, local Chinese government representatives, and international friends from more than 40 countries and regions attended the activities.

At present, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan compatriots and overseas Chinese have more than 200 institutions and similar organizations in more than 100 countries and regions.

The Global Overseas Chinese Conference for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification is an important platform for the overseas “anti-independence” movement. Since 2000, there have been 17 such overseas conferences, three of which were held in the U.S. (2000 in Washington, D.C.; 2009 in Los Angles; and 2011 in Washington, D.C.).

Sources: Xinhua, July 24 and 25, 2017; zhongguotongcuhui.org.cn; July26, 2017
http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-07/25/c_129662597.htm
http://news.xinhuanet.com/2017-07/24/c_1121366249.htm
http://www.zhongguotongcuhui.org.cn/hnyw/201707/t20170726_11823901.html

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