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CCP’s Informant Culture Has Penetrated Hong Kong

A senior lecturer in journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University expressed that the informant culture that exists in Mainland universities, where students report teachers to the Communist Party, has been spreading fast in Hong Kong, particularly since the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement (OCLP) started in Hong Kong.

One indication is that the management in Hong Kong universities engages their counterparts from the Mainland universities. Those with close ties to the CCP are appointed to senior management positions in the Hong Kong universities. The intention is to control promotions in Hong Kong universities and thus see that they fall in line with the CCP.

Another indication is that students coming from the Mainland monitor lecturers in the Hong Kong universities. These students from the Mainland suddenly show interest in a lecturer and shower him with a lot of questions. They show an obvious increase in curiosity,  much more than normal students. Some even tape every class. Others have stated without hesitation that they are tasked with reporting regularly to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government (LOCP). There are a few who are made to do so and have no choice. Such students handle LOCP in a perfunctory manner.

While academic or research organizations recruit these informant-students, it is the CCP security departments that control these organizations. Often the informants are required to write reports for the CCP’s internal dissemination. On some occasions, they simply turn in the recorded tapes. Students join in because of the good pay as well as their belief that such activities serve the interest of the country. For that reason, they don’t think it is wrong to be an informant for the CCP.

Source: Epoch Times, November 21, 2019CCP security departments

New York University Shanghai Reportedly Teaches Pro-Government Propaganda Course

New York University Shanghai has disclosed that, since 2018, its students of Chinese citizenship have been forced to take a “civic education” course which covers the history of the Communist Party and China’s socialist path. According to the school, the course was opened at the request of the Chinese government and non-Chinese students are not required to take it.

The website of the U.S. online media VICE posted the syllabus of the course, titled “Marxism: Dissemination, Practice and Development.” It is an eight day, Chinese-speaking course running daily from 8:30 am to 5:15 pm. The course will not appear in the university’s public course catalog and the school will register students through WeChat. It includes a visit to the Longhua Martyrs’ Cemetery in Shanghai, commemorating the sacrifice of the “martyrs” in the Communist revolution. There is also a movie screening on the “development of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The school claimed that professors from NYU do not teach this course. It has been offered during the winter break and will not interfere with the students’ usual courses at NYU, nor will it affect academic freedom.

In recent years, Beijing has intensified its efforts to promote patriotic education, with an emphasis on fostering loyalty to the Communist Party among young people. In recent months, with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, the political atmosphere of Chinese universities and colleges has become tense. It has been reported that the Chinese government has mobilized students to monitor and report “radical” political views. Some teachers have been dismissed or subjected to discipline for expressing views not in line with the Communist ideology.

Source: Radio France International, November 22, 2019

A Canadian CSSA Lost Its Student Club Status for Reporting to Chinese Consulate

The Chinese Student & Scholar Association (CSSA) of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada was decertified and its club status was removed because it was monitoring college activities and sending information to the Chinese government.

On February 11, 2019, the university held a forum to support the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The CSSA, along with another four student associations, called that meeting an “anti-China lecture” and reported it to China’s Consulate in Toronto, CA.

Deutsche Welle obtained the Chinese students’ communication from WeChat, including their reporting to the Chinese Consulate and passing down the Consulate’s direction.

The WeChat records showed some students sent the forum’s video to China’s Consulate, some students went to the forum to create a disturbance, and some posted and sent a threatening request in order to find out the name of the son of the speaker at the forum.

The Chinese Consulate responded by asking Chinese students at McMaster University to report the case to their CSSA.

The student representative assembly at the university decertified the CSSA in September for a full calendar year, during which it will be denied club privileges such as being able to book a room and access to student union funding.

None of four other student associations that signed the February statement has faced disciplinary action. One of them testified in writing that it had signed the statement at the invitation of the CSSA’s then-president.

The CSSA filed an appeal. The university’s student union government rejected the appeal on November 3. It also passed a motion to oppose the CCP or the CSSA for trying to “directly or indirectly intervene in college political activities.”

Source: Epoch Times, November 5, 2019

Epoch Times: Australian Scholar Blocked from Conducting Research on WeChat

According to an Epoch Times report, a Chinese scholar received considerable resistance from his school when he tried to conduct a research project on WeChat.

James Jing, 39, a China-born Australian immigrant, came to Australia over ten years ago. He has been teaching at the Curtin University in Australia for 12 years. He is working on his PhD degree. For his PhD dissertation he chose the topic, “The Study of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Censorship System and Social Media Platform on WeChat.” However, he could not get any help from his professors.

Tencent, the company that developed WeChat, has sponsored several activities and projects at the Curtin University.

Jing felt that his academic life has been ended and that the main reason was the CCP’s influence. “I never thought that the CCP had extended its tentacles to the other side of the ocean.” “Curtin’s censorship and self-censorship (on behalf of the CCP) has created a blockage to certain extent. I think it will restrain the potential of its Chinese scholars.”

Jing also acknowledged that discussing this issue openly may result in consequences for him. Nevertheless, his conscience told him that he must go forward. He said, “I have come to the land of Australia and become an Australian citizen. I need to defend Australian values, just like the national anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair.’”

Curtin University denied that the school has adopted self-censorship.

Source: Epoch Times, November 11, 2019

Xi Jinping’s Strong Words Signal Harsher Measures on Hong Kong

On November 14, when attending the BRICS summit meeting in Brasilia, Xi Jingping made his position clear on the current situation in Hong Kong. As Xinhua News Agency reported, Xi said that the persistent violent criminal acts in Hong Kong have seriously trampled on the rule of law and the social order, seriously undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and seriously challenged the bottom line of the principle of “one country, two systems.” Stopping the violence, ending the chaos, and restoring order are Hong Kong’s most pressing tasks at present. Xi added that he will continue to support the Chief Executive firmly, to lead the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the law, to support the Hong Kong police firmly in their stern enforcement of the law, and to support Hong Kong’s judicial authorities firmly in punishing violent criminals. “The determination of the Chinese government to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and the interests of development is unwavering; the determination to implement the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ is unwavering; the determination to oppose any outside forces’ interference in Hong Kong affairs is unwavering.”

Hu Ping, an independent scholar living in exile in the U.S., told the BBC Chinese that Xi Jinping’s change of wording indicates that the central government’s means of dealing with the situation in Hong Kong is “clearer” and its posture “tougher.” He believes that the central government will control the situation “with more severe measures in the near future.” However, Hu believes that, at present, the central government will try its best to use the local police force to deal with street violence.

Regarding whether Beijing will dispatch the People’s Liberation Army to quash the chaos, Hu does not believe that will be the case for the time being. He said that considering that Hong Kong will hold local district council elections this month, a brutal crackdown would push the votes toward pro-democracy candidates. “Although the district council elections are low on the political hierarchy and less important, it would still throw the authorities into a defensive position.” .

Hu Ping said that Xi’s strong words also serve to warn the United States that even if the Congress passes the Hong Kong bill, its “actual effects are limited” in terms of containing China. “If the chaotic situation deteriorates to an intolerable level, the authorities may still resort to suppressive actions despite the risk of losing Hong Kong’s special customs status.”

Source: Xinhua, November 14, 2019
BBC Chinese, November 15, 2019

Chinese State Media: For Police to Fire at Protesters Is both “Reasonable and Legal”

In response to the Hong Kong police shooting the demonstrators at close range on November 11, the Chinese official media posted articles condemning the demonstrators and stressing that for the Hong Kong police to shoot was both reasonable and legal and followed the international standard.

People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, commented on November 12 that, when facing demonstrators’ violent criminal actions, attempts to grab guns out of the policemen’s hands, and the acts that might pose a danger to public safety, “police officers have no choice but to fire their guns, which is reasonable and legitimate.”

The comment claimed that (the authorities) should not let the demonstrator’s arrogance develop into a habit, and should “manage” (take actions) to stop the riots and the violence. It supported what the “bold head sheriff” Liu Zeji (from Hong Kong) stated on his Weibo on November 12, “Don’t think the policemen will never fire their guns. (Firing them) is the international standard.”

The CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee also claimed through its WeChat account “Chang’an Sword,” that shooting is the international standard. “When a mob attacks a policeman and tries to take his gun, if (the police officer) does not fire, what was the use of the gun and what was the use of there being a policeman?”

The Global Times published a commentary to encourage the Hong Kong police: “You are fighting on the front line, but you are not alone. You are not only behind the Hong Kong people who love Hong Kong, but also the people of the whole country. There are national armed police forces and troops stationed in Hong Kong . . .  the mobs can’t turn the sky.”

Sources: Lianhe Zaobao, November 13, 2019