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RFA: Lingnan University Graduates Protest during Commencement Ceremony

Radio Free Asia reported that, on November 22, Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, participated in the commencement ceremony that Lingnan University held. During the ceremony, a dozen students who were graduating with master’s degrees held up a banner and shouted several slogans. They said that the university should abandon its policy of automatically appointing the Chief Executive as the supervisor of the university. The Hong Kong government should drop the charges against the participants of the Occupy Central Movement. They also oppose the East Lantau Metropolis project which plans to build artificial islands in the waters between East Lantau Island and South Hong Kong Island. One protester told RFA that they chose to protest because they are Hong Kong residents; they care about Hong Kong’s development; and they hope to have a dialog with Carrie Lam. Another protester told RFA that they felt that, at Lingnan University, they are losing their freedom of speech.

In the speech that the President of Lingnan University gave, he said that some people challenge the political order of Hong Kong in the name of freedom of speech.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 22, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/htm/hk-student-11222018081312.html

Radio Free Asia: Beijing’s Internal Documents Ask: “Tighten Your Belts”

Radio Free Asia reported on November 22, citing its own sources, that the Chinese Communist Party recently distributed an internal document to mid-level and above government agencies, asking them to prepare for the worst situations due to the ongoing trade war. The document told Chinese officials to follow the leadership of the CCP and rely on China’s own efforts in order to overcome the difficulties.

Different sources also pointed to the increased social panic due to the deterioration of the economic situation. The document also predicted that some Chinese companies will close down, that the stock market and the property market will fluctuate, and that social conflicts will arise.

“A number of observers pointed out that the domestic economy has continued to deteriorate while pressure from home and abroad has increased. Despite personally leading the team, Xi Jinping failed to achieve anything at the recently concluded APEC summit. The government is feeling the pressure. At the same time, it also shows that Chinese officials are pessimistic about the upcoming China-US summit.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 22, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/trade-11222018063712.html

RFI: Peking University Authority Strengthened Internal Control over Students

Radio France Internationale reported that, in response to the “Me Too” movement against sexual assault cases in Peking University and students’ support of the Shenzhen Jiashi workers who want to form a trade union, Peking University has recently taken a number of measures to strengthen control over opinions expressed on the university campus. A document written on the Peking University party committee letterhead was recently circulated on the Internet. It said that the university recently established the “Inspection Office” and the “Office of Internal Control Management.” The document was circulated to all departments, signed on September 13, and published on October 29. According to the notice, the “Inspection Office” was established under the University Discipline Inspection Committee and will be responsible for inspecting daily activities around the campus. According to Reuters, in response to students at Peking University supporting the labor rights protection movement, the school warned all students on Wednesday, November 14, not to support the recent labor rights activities, stressing that students who “challenge” the law will take full responsibility themselves. Meanwhile on its official bulletin-board site, Peking University authorities posted the following announcement which stated that, “The school believes that most students are sensible, but if people around you spread rumors or express reactionary emotions, whether they are your teachers, friends, or alumni, they must maintain a firm position.” Harassment cases against university students who showed their support for those who want to form a workers union have also been reported, but the security office of Peking University denied that the incidents involved the currently enrolled students.

Source: Radio Free Internationale, November 14, 2018
http://rfi.my/3Kdh.T

Teachers in China Must Follow “Xi Jinping Thought”

The Chinese Ministry of Education recently issued ten guidelines on “professional behavior in the new era” for university, primary, and secondary schools and for kindergarten teachers nationwide. The Guidelines specified the standard for professional behavior and for a code of conduct for teachers. Still the top priority is to “strengthen the political direction, support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and adhere to Xi Jinping Thought.”

The official releases included the “Ten Guidelines for the Professional Behavior of University and College Teachers in the New Era,” “Ten Guidelines for the Professional Behavior of Primary and Secondary School Teachers in the New Era,” and “Ten Guidelines for the Professional Behavior of Kindergarten Teachers in the New Age.”

The guidelines emphasize that individual teachers have relaxed their self-discipline, failed to perform their duties conscientiously, have even seriously violated the moral standard for teachers, and have damaged the overall image of the teaching staff.

Although the Ministry of Education emphasizes that the guidelines differ for the teaching staff in universities, primary and secondary schools, and kindergartens, the top items of the three guidelines are the same. “Have a firm political direction; adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party; and implement the Party’s education policy. There will be no tolerance for speeches and for behavior that impairs the authority of the Party or violates the Party’s general and specific policies.”

Source: Radio France International, November 17, 2018
http://rfi.my/3LEK.T

Statements about Political Performance Review of College Entrance Examination Candidates Caused Uproar among Netizens

BBC reported that statements that college entrance examination candidates would be subjected to a political performance review have caused an uproar among netizens. On November 6, the Chongqing Party Committee’s “Chongqing Daily” published a report titled, “Registration for the Chongqing 2019 General College Entrance Examination Starts on November 7th; a Political Performance Review Is an Important Reference for the College Entrance Examination.” The report quoted the Chongqing Education Examination Institute as saying that the political performance review is one of the requirements for the 2019 college entrance examination. The results will be reflected in the comprehensive review of the candidate’s qualifications. Unqualified political conduct mainly includes “opposition to the four basic principles, poor moral quality, and illegal criminal conduct.” Those who fail the review will not be admitted to the university. After many mainstream media in China reported on this issue, the report caused an uproar on the social platform. Many netizens criticized that the “political performance review” is “turning back the wheel of history.”

In the early morning on November 9, the Chongqing Education Examinations Institute issued a statement on its official website to apologize, saying that it is not accurate to identify the “Ideological and Political Morality Assessment” as a “political performance review.” The examination institute also stated that the content of the “Ideological and Political Morality Assessment” for candidates in the 2019 Chongqing College Entrance Examination has not changed.

On November 12, a Duowei News article reported that following the announcement from the Chongqing Education Examinations Institute, the Fujian Education Examinations Institute had also issued a notice on November 9 stating that it will conduct an “Ideological and Political Morality Assessment” for candidates in the college entrance examination and make a comprehensive appraisal of the candidates’ political attitudes and moral character.” The notice specifically stated that candidates who made statements against the basic principles established in the Constitution or who participated in cult organizations would not be allowed to participate in the college entrance examination.

An online post titled, “Political performance review of your uncle” “政审你大爷” strongly criticized the practice of the college entrance examination. The post stated, “Many policies in this country are ridiculous.” “When collecting taxes, they never feel that our moral quality is bad and that there is no need for our dirty money, but when it’s time for our children’s college entrance exam, they dislike our children for their improper moral quality and don’t let them participate in the college entrance exams.” This post has since been deleted.

Source:
1. BBC Chinese, November 9, 2018 https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-46134585
2. Duowei News, November 12, 2018, http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2018-11-12/60097529.html

Communist Party Branch Invades Hong Kong Institutions of Higher Education

Apple Daily reported that an article circulating on the Internet commented that, in October, groups of Chinese judges who are studying for the master’s and a doctoral degree at the City University of Hong Kong not only set up a temporary party branch but also held a branch meeting. However, the official website of the China National Judges College, which first disclosed this significant information, was suspected of having deleted the posting after the incident caused a dispute. According to a number of Hong Kong media reports, the party branch office held a meeting on the afternoon of October 20. Thirty-nine party members and 11 non-party members participated in the meeting.

According to the CCP constitution, units with more than three Communist Party members must establish party branches. In recent years, the CCP has been advocating “setting up party branches while away from China.” Voice of America reported earlier that, on November 4, 2017, seven visiting scholars established a branch of the Communist Party of China at the University of California in Davis, but the organization was dissolved only two weeks later because it was in violation of U.S. law.

Source: Apple Daily, November 13, 2018
https://tw.appledaily.com/new/realtime/20181113/1465860/