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China Responded to Moody’s Lowering of China’s Rating

China.com recently reported that major international rating agency Moody’s just downgraded China’s sovereign credit rating and expected its financial strength to weaken. The Chinese Ministry of Finance immediately responded that Moody’s had overestimated China’s challenges and underestimated the Chinese government’s capability to expand domestic demand. The Ministry suggested that Moody’s did not fully understand that the so-called “local government financing platform” and the debt that state-owned companies had would not actually increase the government’s debt. China’s primary news agency Xinhua also published a long commentary faulting Western rating agencies “traditional intent” to downplay China’s credit. Xinhua pointed out that the U.S. government fined Moody’s for “messing things up” during the financial crisis. Analysts of large Chinese commercial banks generally supported the government’s position and expressed the belief that Moody’s recent move was just business as usual and the impact would be very limited and marginal. China’s primary newspaper People’s Daily published a commentary as well. China’s own rating agency Dagong International questioned Moody’s motive and the timing behind its decision – China’s data in the past six months had just started showing a tangible recovery.

Source: China.com, May 24, 2017
http://news.china.com/international/1000/20170524/30563029_all.html#page_1

Tianjin Forces Non-Public Companies and Social Organizations to Create Political Commissar Position

Tianjin’s Working Committee on Non-Public Economic Organizations and Social Organizations recently held a meeting to launch an effort to set up the (Communist Party’s) Political Commissar position in all non-public organizations and social organizations.

“The meeting emphasized that creating the Political Commissar position is a political task designed to enhance the Communist Party’s presence in social organizations. It requested that organizations that are real business entities complete this task by the end of June and all other organizations complete it by the end of this year.”

Tianjin Attorney offices plan to complete it by May 20. In 2016, there were 5,918 attorneys and 678 attorney offices in Tianjin. 2,038 attorneys were Communist Party members.

Many people expressed disapproval of this news. Beijing human rights attorney Cheng Hai said, “It cannot last. What will the Political Commissar manage? People’s minds? Attorneys are supposed to follow the law and be responsible to the law (but not to the Political Commissar).”

A citizen in Guizhou Province commented, “The law obeys the Party. (This move) clarifies the relationship between the law and the Party.”

Sources:
1. Peoples’ Daily, May 13, 2017
http://tj.people.com.cn/n2/2017/0513/c375366-30177346.html
2. China.com, May 19, 2017
http://news.china.com/domestic/945/20170519/30545130_all.html#page_2
3. Epoch Times, May 19, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/5/19/n9162824.htm

U.S. Scholars: Xi Jinping Is Likely to Take on Zeng Qinghong

Two U.S. China experts, Bill Bishop {author of the Sinocism Newsletter (http://sinocism.com/)} and Joseph Fewsmith {author or editor of eight books on China}, have predicted that Xi Jinping is likely to target Zeng Qinghong in his anti-corruption campaign.

They were also asked about their views on Guo Weigui, a Chinese tycoon who moved to the U.S. and has kept releasing information about the corruption of top officials. Guo has repeatedly mentioned that he has a good connection with “old cadres.”

Bill Bishop said that he thought Beijing felt there was someone behind Guo Wengui. “Very likely they believe (in my view) that it is Zeng Qinghong.”

Joseph Fewsmith stated that if there will be another top-ranking tiger to fall in China, Zeng Qinghong is the most likely candidate.

Zeng Qinghong was the right-hand of former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin. He served as Vice President of China and, previously, as a Politburo Standing Committee member.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 18, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/Guo-05182017100120.html

U.S. Government Helped a Chinese Dissident’s Family Escape Communist Control

China human rights attorney Xie Yang (谢阳) was taken into custody during the infamous arrest of human rights lawyers on July 9, 2015. At that time, the Communist regime in China detained hundreds of attorneys who defended people’s human rights. In March of 2017, his wife and daughter were able to escape China to come to the U.S. .

Xie’s wife Chen Guiqiu (陈桂秋) revealed to the public in January 2017, that Xie Yang was brutally tortured during interrogation while he was in detention. From that time on, the police retaliated against her and repeatedly harassed her.

On February 19, Chen Guiqiu and her daughter started their journey to escape from China. With the help of many people, they managed to come to Thailand. Thai officials arrested them in Bangkok on March 2. The next day the Thai judge decided to deport them. Thai officials showed them a video that over 10 Chinese officials were waiting outside of the prison to take them back to China.

At that critical moment, U.S. officials came to the prison. After discussing the situation with the Thai officials, they took Chen and her daughter to the international airport. The Chinese officials followed them to the airport. The U.S. officials, Chinese officials, and Thai officials had a stand-off at the airport for several hours. Eventually the U.S. Officials were able to take the mother and daughter to the U.S.

Bob Fu, a Chinese American pastor who founded “China Aid” to help Christians and other dissidents in China, was a coordinator who helped Chen Guiqui and her daughter to escape. Fu praised the Trump Administration for being very responsive and effective in helping them out.

Source: Voice of America, May 10, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/media-watch-xieyang-20170510/3846618.html

Wealthy Female Chinese Canadian Citizen Arrested in Beijing

Sun Qian (孙茜), a wealthy Canadian citizen was arrested in Beijing because she practices Falun Gong. In 2016, Sun and her husband ranked number 846 on the Hurun China Rich List. In 1997, they founded Leadman Biochemistry and the company went IPO in 2012.

Sun Qian started practicing Falun Gong in 2014 to cure the diseases that had bothered her for a long time, including depression, a frozen shoulder, liver necrosis, and cardiac arrest. Her diseases soon disappeared, so she continued practicing, despite the fact that, since 1999, the Communist Party had maintained a ban on the practice of Falun Gong in China.

Sun Qian was arrested in her Beijing home on February 19, 2017. Police ransacked her home for over eight hours and confiscated her Falun Gong books, cell phone, USB drives, printer, and computer. On March 28, 2017, the Beijing Number One Procuratorate authorized the arrest. The charge was, “Utilizing an evil religious organization to undermine the implementation of the law.”

Some legal experts pointed out that Sun didn’t commit any crime. Her arrest was likely due to the fact that someone who was against her reported her to police.

Sun obtained her Canadian citizenship in 2007. The Canadian government is working on rescuing her and getting her out of China.

Sources:

Epoch Times, May 7, 2017
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/17/5/7/n9114024.htm
Hurun, “China Rich List 2016”
http://www.hurun.net/en/HuList.aspx?nid=1037

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