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RFI: Introduction of Face Mask Law in Hong Kong Is Just like Opening Pandora’s Box

Radio France Internationale published an article on the Hong Kong government’s latest ban on face masks. According to the article, on the first day that Hong Kong government announced the ban on face masks, it met with protests from a large number of people who wear face masks at various locations. Many in Hong Kong accused the Hong Kong authorities’ latest decision in banning face masks to be “adding fuel to the fire.” People are concerned about how the authorities will respond and how the incidents will develop. There are also critics who say that Beijing is intensifying conflicts. On Friday and Saturday, there were protesters in Hong Kong everywhere. On Saturday protesters were wearing masks and participating in spontaneous unauthorized demonstrations. Despite the closure of the subway and the bus, the demonstrators managed to break the mask ban and once again showed the world the power of the how people can mobilize themselves. Some analysts believe that the Hong Kong government’s introduction of the law to ban face masks is just like opening Pandora’s Box. They expect the end result to be that it will only cause that social divide in Hong Kong to get worse.

Source: Radio France Internationale, October 5, 2019
http://www.rfi.fr/cn/20191005-%E6%B8%AF%E4%BA%BA%E8%92%99%E9%9D%A2%E6%8A%B5%E6%8A%97-%E5%8C%97%E4%BA%AC%E5%A6%82%E4%BD%95%E6%94%B6%E5%9C%BA

Canadian Media: Former Canadian Politician Sides with Beijing to Blame Hong Kong Protesters

A Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, reported that Michael Chan (陈国治) has repeatedly aligned himself with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) view to blame Hong Kong Protesters. Chan was a former Canadian MPP and Ontario cabinet minister. He served between 2007 and 2018 and was in charge of the province’s immigration and international trade.

Chinanews, a Chinese state-backed news site, recently interviewed Chan. He condemned Hong Kong protesters, claimed there is foreign force behind them, and applauded the Hong Kong police “for showing restraint during the crisis.”

“I have been thinking, why are these young people so radical, so passionate [and] committed to do these things? Also, why are there so many people?”

Chan said another party instigated and brainwashed the protesters. “If there were no deeply hidden organization in this, or deeply hidden push from the outside, there would be no way that such large-scale turmoil could happen in Hong Kong in just a few months.”

Chan also said the violence in the movement in Hong Kong has been severe and if there were similar unrest in Western countries, the police would have “already fired bullets toward the crowds.”

While protesters have accused Hong Kong police of an excessive use of force, Chan stated, “It is just the opposite.” He said the restraint and courage of the Hong Kong police should be praised.

This was not the first time Chan publicly supported China’s stand on the Hong Kong issue. Last month, Chan spoke at a rally in Markham, Ontario, expressing support for the Hong Kong police, the government, and Beijing.

Some Chinese Canadians said Chan’s remarks sound like the Chinese regime’s propaganda. “It’s very clear that he is not using Canadian values nor is he using the universal values of Western democracies in making all these comments. Rather, he abides by the values of the Chinese Communist Party. That is troublesome.”

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) worried that Chan might have been under Beijing’s influence in the past.

In 2010, a senior CSIS official met Ontario’s premier Dalton McGuinty to formally caution him about Chan’s conduct and the risk of foreign influence. McGuinty dismissed the concerns as baseless and kept Chan in the cabinet. The next Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne also dismissed the concerns.

Sources:
1. Chinanews, September 1, 2019
http://www.chinanews.com/ga/2019/09-01/8943837.shtml
2. The Globe and Mail, September 15, 2019
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-former-ontario-minister-sides-with-beijing-pins-hong-kong-protests-on/

RFA: Macao Installs Skynet System; Over 1,600 Facial Recognition Cameras to Be Installed by 2020

Macao has been installing the “Skynet” system in its public areas. The version being installed has a facial recognition function. About half of the total 1,620 cameras have been installed and the installation of the remaining cameras will be completed next year. Even though Macau’s Security chief claims that the Skynet system has a strict supervision mechanism, if there is an illegal act in the course of the operation, the law will punish the perpetrator. People are still concerned, however, that the government surveillance systems tend to be tools used to suppress dissidents’ voices and to violate the people’s freedom and their privacy. An article that Radio Free Asia published questioned whether the Macao of today’s world will become the Hong Kong of tomorrow.

According to the information from the Macau Police Headquarters, the local “Skynet” project is divided into four phases. The first to third phases were put into use in 2018. They involved 820 cameras. The locations include the areas around the entry and exit to customs, major roads, transportation hubs, tourist attractions, important facilities, and black spots in a number of districts. The final phase will be completed in the first quarter of 2020. It will be set up in a remote location that has security issues. The four phases will include a total of 1,620 cameras.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 20, 2019
http://https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/htm/Macau-surveillance-09202019110839.html?encoding=simplified

Hangzhou Sent “Government Affairs Representatives” to 100 Companies Including Alibaba

According to “Zhejiang Online,” the news portal of the Zhejiang Provincial Government, on September 20, Hangzhou City held a comprehensive implementation of the “New Manufacturing” mobilization meeting. The “New Manufacturing Plan” was released at the meeting.

As part of the New Manufacturing Plan, the Hangzhou Municipal Government will assign 100 officials to 100 large private enterprises such as Alibaba, Geely Holding, and Wahaha as “government affairs representatives.”

The Hangzhou Municipal Government explained that the purpose of the move was for the so-called “service-oriented enterprises,” “to coordinate different types of government affairs for enterprises,” and “to promote project implementation.”

Source: Sina.com, September 20, 2019
https://finance.sina.com.cn/chanjing/gsnews/2019-09-21/doc-iicezzrq7425544.shtml

Pass the Ideological Test or No Press Pass

The Media Oversight Bureau, under the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department, issued a directive on August 23 titled, “Notice regarding the establishment and certification of the news collection and learning organization on the ‘Study Xi, Strong Nation’ platform.” The notice specified detailed requirements for news organizations in order for them to apply for a new version of the press pass. The applicants must pass the training test of the mobile phone app the ‘Study Xi, Strong Nation’ platform before applying. The examinations included “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Important Speech on Propaganda and Ideological Work,” the Marxist view of journalism, journalism ethics and policy regulations, and news gathering and editing.

A group of news organizations will conduct a “pilot test” at the end of this month. The official examination will be held in the first ten days of October. If the first attempt fails, a makeup test will be arranged and there will be only one makeup test. In addition, all news organizations must set up a news collection and learning organization on the “Study Xi, Strong Nation” platform.

The Central Propaganda Department introduced “Study Xi, Strong Nation” (学习强国) earlier this year. It is a “theoretical study platform” for “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” and Xi’s speeches. There is a website and smart phone app version that the Alibaba Group developed.

Source: Central News Agency, September 18, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201909180177.aspx

Party Journal Republished Xi’s 2014 Speech: Copying Another Country’s Political System Will Ruin China’s Future

On September 16, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship publication Qiushi published a speech that Chinese President Xi Jinping gave five years ago. The speech emphasizes that copying the political system of another country will not work and will ruin China’s future. Xi gave the speech on September 5, 2014, at the 60th anniversary of the founding of the National People’s Congress of China. The whole speech focused on the superiority of the Chinese political system, especially the “People’s Congress representation” system, and the rejection of Western democratic politics.

In his speech, Xi said that the wrong choice of political path has led to many cases of social turmoil, divided nations, a regime change, and the death of people. Xi added that China is a large developing nation. “Holding onto the right path of political development” is a “major issue of fundamental and overall importance.”

Xi continued that to design and develop the national political system, one must adhere to the national conditions and the actual situation. Seeing that other countries have something and China does not, someone may think that “there is a deficiency and we need to copy it.” Seeing that China has something but other countries do not, someone may think that, “It is superfluous and has to go.” The two views are simplistic and one-sided and “are both incorrect.”

Xi mentioned that one needs to learn from the “beneficial results” of foreign political civilizations, but “we must not give up the fundamentals of China’s political system.” “Which model can we follow? Who can tell us what to do?”

Xi claimed that the key to developing a socialist democracy is to expand, instead of weaken, its advantages and special characteristics. One must persist in the “core leading role of the Party in controlling the overall situation and coordinating with all players.”

Source: Central News Agency, September 16, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201909160114.aspx