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Chinese Communist Party Membership Suspended for Staying Overseas over Five Years

The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party recently issued the new “Regulations on the Education and Management of Party Members of the Chinese Communist Party.” The Regulations consist of 10 chapters and 46 articles. They provide details on the basic tasks of party members, the main methods for daily management, the management of party membership and party organizations, as well as the supervision and discipline of party members.

It is worth noting that, in chapter 5, which is about the management of party membership and party organizations, the regulations stipulate that party members who have not returned to China due to long-term settlement abroad or studying abroad for more than five years are generally suspended from party membership.

In addition, in chapter 8, which is about information-based party member education and management, article 38 states that party organizations should educate and guide party members to discipline their online behavior. The party members should fight against erroneous cyber opinions and must not produce, publish, or disseminate information that violates the party’s disciplinary regulations and state laws and regulations.

Source: Central News Agency, May 22, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201905220258.aspx

CCP Hires a Canadian Lobbyist Firm to Promote Its Viewpoints

The South China Morning Post reported that Beijing has hired a Canadian lobbyist firm and that the staff members of that firm have been promoting the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) viewpoint without identifying their association with Beijing.

The Chinese Consulate-General in Toronto hired Solstice Public Affairs as its lobbyist last August. This hiring is special because it is the first federal lobbyist that China has engaged. “No other country appears to have engaged a private firm to provide such services in Canada. Diplomats typically undertake such services.”

Karen Woods (whose Chinese name is Wen Lin), a Senior Associate at Solstice, is also a co-founder of the Canadian Chinese Political Affairs Committee (CCPAC). Since the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, she has been appearing on TV and publishing lengthy pieces in Canadian newspapers.

Her 750-word opinion piece on The Toronto Star on December 18, 2018, stated, “[The] Huawei case has generated a dark cloud which is shrouding the psyche of many Chinese-Canadians.” She warned of a “new wave of ‘Sino-phobia,’” and grimly concluded that “in a West rebuilt on Cold War ideologies and McCarthyism, there is likely to be little space for Chinese-Canadians.”

In February 2019, Karen Woods and three other representatives of her CCPAC published another Huawei-themed op-ed in the National Post and associated publications, as an open letter to “Uncle Xi” Jinping. It contended that Chinese President Xi’s anger at Meng’s arrest was understandable but misplaced, and that if China wanted to “win over the hearts and minds of the West,” it should release Canadian detainees Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who are widely believed to have been arrested in retaliation.

Some people have pointed out that Wood’s views represented those of the CCP. However, she did not disclose her lobbying firm’s connection to Beijing when she published those articles.

The South China Morning Post believed that the “behavior of Solstice and its staff blurred the lines between outright lobbying, journalism, and private activism. In ways both crude and subtle, they have attacked critics and propelled viewpoints that often uphold Beijing’s talking points and interests on a range of subjects.”

Solstice hired Woods partly on the strength of her Chinese community activism, said Brockwell, a veteran political lobbyist who is Woods’ senior at Solstice. Woods and Brockwell have appeared together at Chinese consular functions in Toronto, including the welcoming ceremony for the new Consul-General, Han Tao, last August.

During his interview with the South China Morning Post, Brockwell said repeatedly, and in multiple contexts, that Karen Woods did indeed work for the Chinese consulate, although her op-ed articles were not part of that work. He acknowledged that articles that the Solstice staff wrote in their private capacities served simultaneously as “client development.”

Source: South China Morning Post, April 18, 2019
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3006638/how-chinas-canadian-lobbyists-blurred-lines-pr-journalism-and

CNA: Ministry Of Education Says to Rectify False Inflated Employment Rate of College Graduates

The Central News Agency reported that Chinese colleges and universities like to advertise that their graduates have a high employment rate, but many of the employment rates they report are false. The Chinese Ministry of Education recently issued a notice which disallowed universities from forcing graduates to sign employment agreements. In addition, they cannot withhold students’ diplomas because of their refusal.

Beijing News reported that the Chinese Ministry of Education stated that some colleges and universities require all graduates to sign an employment agreement or provide employment certificates, telling them that the employment certification will serve as a condition for a thesis defense or a diploma. This has seriously violated the rights of graduates. The Ministry also directed that, in the future, all schools must set up tip lines to prevent such fraud, and that the officials will also improve the verification mechanism.

This provision reflects the old problem of the false employment rates that Chinese universities report. A review of past reports from the mainland media reveals that the schools have managed to make the employment data of the graduates look nice when they face the pressure of employment, when new students are enrolling, or when cuts of certain programs are proposed. Some graduating students reported that the school stipulates that an employment agreement and a labor contract must be returned to the school by the end of May to prove that they have been employed. Some schools require that students must sign an agreement with the school and with the employer before they leave school. Although it is not a real labor contract, students are inexplicably considered “employed.”

This year, the number of graduates from colleges and universities in China reached 8.34 million. They are currently at the peak time for graduates to be signing employment contracts.

Source: Central News Agency, May 11, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201905110112.aspx

Beijing Daily: 4th Cross-Strait Media Summit Held in Beijing; Media Told to Promote Development of Cross-strait Relations

Xinhua reported that Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau, spoke during the 4th Cross-Strait Media Summit held in Beijing. Wang Yang reiterated the key messages that were expressed in Xi Jinping’s speech at the 40th anniversary of the publication of the “Taiwan Compatriots.” Xi made some major policy proposals such as adhering to the “1992 Consensus,” exploring the “two systems” for Taiwan, and enriching the practice of peaceful reunification. Wang also stated that it is unreliable to engage in “Taiwan independence” and rely on foreign forces. He stated that the pattern of cross-strait relations is developing and it is impossible for anyone to block it. The cross-strait media bear the social responsibility of safeguarding and promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

In the speech that Liu Jieyi, Director of the Central Taiwan Affairs Office and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council gave, Liu quoted Xi’s speech given on January 2 during the 40th anniversary of the publication of the “Taiwan Compatriots” as well. Liu further stated that cross-strait media workers are participants and promoters of the development of cross-strait relations. The media shall “reflect the voices and demands of the people on both sides of the strait to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, to guide Taiwan compatriots to think about their status and role in national rejuvenation, and constantly to consolidate the foundation of public opinion. The media must resolutely oppose Taiwan independence.”

The Beijing Daily Newspaper Group organized the media summit and the Want Want China Times Media Group from Taiwan co-hosted it. Close to 70 news media were present at the summit.

Source: Beijing Daily Group, May 11, 2019
http://www.bjd.com.cn/jx/toutiao/201905/11/t20190511_11101030.html

China’s Ministry of Education to Strengthen the Training of Ideology and Politics Teachers

As the Chinese regime continues to focus on the ideological work of students and of the young generation, the Chinese Ministry of Education has recently issued a document to strengthen the training of those who teach ideology and politics in colleges and universities. It even set the goal of creating dozens of “influential ideology and politics master teachers.”

The Xinhua News Agency reported that the document is titled, “The 2019 to 2023 Training Program for Teachers of Ideological and Political Theory Courses in Colleges and Universities.” The program proposes to build a strong team of teachers of ideology and politics using a number of channels, such as rotational theoretical training sessions, demonstration programs, specially funded projects, propaganda, and promotions. This plan clearly states that it is necessary “to train and create dozens of master teachers of ideology and politics who have extensive nationwide influence, hundreds of leaders with talent in teaching ideology and politics, and tens of thousands of outstanding teaching staff in the field.”

In addition, the Ministry of Education will also cooperate with other government authorities to set up a number of “research bases for college and university teachers of ideology and politics in the new era” in the infrastructure sector, such as high-speed rail, bridges, and ports, as well as the scientific and technological sectors, such as space and deep sea exploration. Within the next five years, ideology and politics teachers in all colleges and universities may be required to attend sessions in these bases.

Source: Central News Agency, May 6, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201905060302.aspx

Epoch Times: Taiwan Falun Gong Practitioners Denied Entry into Hong Kong

On April 26 and 27, the Hong Kong government refused to allow about 70 Taiwanese and Japanese citizens to enter Hong Kong. The Taiwan Affairs Commission solemnly protested to the Hong Kong government. President Tsai Ing-wen told the media on April 29 that the incident exposed the attitude of the Hong Kong government. She stressed that Taiwan would not accept it regardless of whether it is one country, two systems, or one country, one system.

On April 27, Falun Gong practitioners from Hong Kong held an anti-persecution rally to commemorate the 20th anniversary of “April 25th.” [Editor’s note: On April 25, 1999, 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered spontaneously at Zhongnanhai in Beijing to ask the government to stop its escalating harassment of Falun Gong practitioners. They had learned that, the day before, over 40 practitioners in the nearby city of Tianjin had been arrested and beaten. They also asked to be allowed an open environment for their practice.] In 2019 in Hong Kong, nearly 70 Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan and Japan were scheduled to participate in the April 27 event. However, after arriving in Hong Kong, they were refused entry. They held legal travel documents but were still denied entry and were forcibly deported.

In addition to the Hong Kong Government deporting Taiwan’s Falun Gong practitioners, 130,000 Hong Kong people took to the streets on Sunday to oppose the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said, “I feel that these things have happened repeatedly. For the Hong Kong people, the one country two systems is not the most desirable and acceptable solution. Whether it is one country two systems or one country one system, it is an impossible solution for us.” William Lai, former legislator in the Legislative Yuan from 1999 to 2010 called for international solidarity to defend universal values and support Falun Gong practitioners’ freedom of speech in Hong Kong.

Jian Hongzhang, President of Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association said that the actions of the Hong Kong Government were in violation of international norms and that the world should strictly condemn such actions.

Source: Epoch Times, April 30, 2019
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/4/30/n11223272.htm