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CCP Spokesperson: Population Counts; Chinese Netizens Think Otherwise

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dismissed the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and the European Union because their combined population accounts for merely 11 percent of the world’s total population. This contrasts with the CCP’s usual practice of using GDP as the yardstick to brag about its economy. As soon as this remark came out, it caused a wave of online ridicule.

On March 23, 2021, at a press conference on this subject, Hua was asked whether she was concerned that more countries would impose sanctions in a concerted manner. She issued a rebuttal, saying that the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union combined account for about merely 11 percent of the world’s population, while China has about one-fifth. Therefore, she stated that these countries’ voices are not the voices of the international opinion and that their position does not represent that of the international community.  She asked these countries to “take a good look at themselves.”

Her remarks did not appear to sit well with Chinese netizens.

“According to this statement, your Party’s population [Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members] accounts for less than one-tenth of the country, and it [the CCP] is not elected or authorized in any form. Yet, you still bark everywhere without shame on behalf of a billion people.”

“Does 11 percent of your one-fifth of the world’s population support you?”

“Then how dare the 90 million [CCP members] represent one billion people? Shame on you for representing the people of the earth and managing the earth.”

“The 90 million CCP members account for only 6 percent of the Chinese population. How can they say that they represent the Chinese people? Only a government elected by the people, with each person having one vote, is in a position to say that it represents the people and the opinion of the public.”

“1.4 billion Chinese are kidnapped as hostages. In this case, the number of hostages is needed to refute the rules of the civilized world. However, when it comes to education, medical care, and pensions, 1.4 billion people are worth nothing when pandemic relief funds are needed. Not even one penny has been given out. To put it bluntly, what is happening in China is that twenty or thirty evil cult leaders determine the fate of 1.4 billion people. The rogue regime never treats people as human beings, and they are all just hostages held under the gun.”

Analysts believe that the CCP statement “Europe and the United States do not represent international public opinion” has become the latest CCP propaganda to fool Chinese people. It may also reflect the retreat of the CCP’s propaganda. After it has failed to divide Europe and the United States, the CCP now declares that the public opinion of Europe and the United States do not count whatsoever.

Source: Radio France International, March 24, 2021

Disciplinary Actions against CCP Members Who Disagree with the CCP

On March 28, 2021, Xinhua reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued (trial) disciplinary regulations for 17 types of behavior that would be subject to disciplinary action.

The General Office of the CCP Central Committee’s notice distributing the regulations emphasized that disciplinary actions are an indispensable method for educating and managing cadres and an essential measure for the Party to maintain complete and tight control.

The regulation lists 17 types of behavior that are subject to disciplinary action.

The first is the failure to be in agreement with or taking positions on significant issues which are not consistent with the CCP. The second is “having doubts about ideals and beliefs, lacking in Marxist beliefs, engaging in feudal and superstitious activities that cause adverse effects, participating in religious activities in violation of the CCP’s regulations, or believing in cults.”

The third is “ineffective implementation, making choices, discounting, and making changes” when implementing the theories, strategies, and decisions of the CCP Central Committee, which result in adverse effects or severe consequences.

The fourth is a lack of courage to fight and an unwillingness to take responsibility when facing significant issues of right and wrong, major conflicts, and crises and difficulties, which result in adverse effects or serious consequences.

Others include failure to report personal matters such as leaving for overseas.

Source: The Central People’s Government of China, March 28, 2021

Epoch Times: Leaked Emails Confirm UN Gives Names of Dissidents to the CCP

According to an exclusive report from The Epoch Times, leaked emails proved that UN human-rights officials give the names of Chinese dissidents to Beijing before these dissidents are set to testify in Geneva against the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) abuses. Despite UN denials, the practice is viewed as “usual practice by all involved” and continues to this day. Beijing has used the names that the UN provided to prevent the dissidents from leaving China. At least one dissident died while in detention. These dissidents include those who are concerned about Tibet, Hong Kong, and the Islamic Uyghur minority in Western China. If the dissident has already left China, Beijing will frequently threaten or even kidnap and torture the person’s family.

One email from Sept 7, 2012, revealed that a diplomat from the CCP’s Mission to the UN in Geneva emailed a UN official to confirm if two names in the email were accredited and planned to attend the UN Human Right Council session. The first name was Dolkun Isa, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, which advocates on behalf of the Uyghur population of Western China’s Xinjiang region that is being brutally targeted by the CCP. One year after UN’s confirmation email, at the request of the CCP delegation, UN security attempted to remove Isa from the Human Rights Council chamber. On a separate occasion, CCP agents have shown up at Isa’s house overseas to try to get him to stop speaking out. The second person was Geng He, the wife of imprisoned Chinese human-rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, a Christian and author of a book about the severe torture the CCP subjected him to for his work defending people and for his beliefs. Gao suffered brutal torture because Beijing found out that his wife was planning to speak at the UN.

In a separate email, UN human-rights officials provided the names of four activists who were expected to attend the Human Rights Council.

In February 2020, The Epoch Times first reported the scandal and disclosed that it was UN whistleblower Emma Reilly who came forward and exposed the scandal but Reilly then faced retaliation. She is currently still employed by the UN but is under “investigation.”

According to Reilly, there is a systemic issue with the UN. It lacks supervision and external oversight. She is also deeply concerned about the close relationship between CCP agents and senior officials of the UN human rights council.

From 2013 to 2017, senior UN officials have been denying that the name sharing scandal ever happened. In January of 2021, a spokesperson for the UN was quoted as saying that the practice has stopped “since 2015.” However, in Feb 2, 2017, a press release from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) admitted that it was confirming identities of individuals being accredited to attend its human-rights event but not until “the accreditation process was formally under way, and until it was sure that there was no obvious security risk.”

Reilly disagrees. Transcripts from Reilly’s investigation case showed that Reilly challenged the UN and asked that it show evidence of the “security” check before handing over the names. None was provided.

According to Reilly, Beijing diplomats’ approach is a major violation of the UN’s own rules. If governments want to know who is attending UN human rights council, they are supposed to ask the plenary in front of other UN member states.

Reilly told The Epoch Times that the name sharing with the CCP continues to this day despite the escalating scandal surrounding the practice and the UN’s retaliation against her.

Documents obtained by Epoch Times revealed that some of the highest-ranking officials within the UN system have been involved in an effort to silence, discredit, and retaliate against Reilly because of her efforts.

Source: The Epoch Times, February 25, 2021

Think Tank’s New Academic Freedom Index: China in the Bottom Tier; Hong Kong Lower than Russia

The Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI), an independent non-profit think tank based in Berlin, recently published an update of the Academic Freedom Index (AFI), a measure that compares the state of academic freedom in countries worldwide.

The index is composed of five expert-coded indicators that capture key elements in the de facto realization of academic freedom: (1) freedom to research and teach; (2) freedom of academic exchange and dissemination; (3) institutional autonomy; (4) campus integrity; and (5) freedom of academic and cultural expression. A given issue is assessed by multiple, independent experts for each country in each year based on a pre-defined scale. Some 2,000 experts – typically academicians in the respective country – have so far contributed such assessments. The ratings of individual coders are aggregated into country-year scores for each indicator. In the dataset, the index is complemented by some additional, factual indicators, assessing states’ de jure commitments to academic freedom at (6) constitutional and (7) international levels, as well as (8) whether universities have ever existed in a given country.

The index for each country is a score between 0 and 1. For a global comparison of AFI scores, GPPI grouped 170 plus countries into five groups, assigning “A” status to all countries with an AFI score of between 1.0 and 0.8, “B” status between 0.8 and 0.6, “C” status between 0.6 and 0.4, “D” status between 0.4 and 0.2, and “E” status
between 0.2 and 0.0.

China, with a score of 0.082, remains one of the least academically free countries, along with North Korea, Cuba, and Syria, in the lowest rated E category.

Most of the countries with an A grade are European and North American countries. Belgium and Latvia, at 0.97 each, tied for the championship, followed by Italy with 0.969. The United States and the United Kingdom scored 0.901 and 0.915 respectively, also an A status.

Taiwan is ranked with an A grade with a score of 0.874, joined by South Korea, Nepal and Mongolia, making it one of the few Asian countries in the top tier. Japan was rated with a B grade this year with a score of 0.711, while Singapore fell into C with a score of 0.466.

It is interesting to note that Hong Kong is rated D with an index of 0.348, in the same level as Uganda, with a score even lower than Russia (0.374), Cambodia (0.381) and Vietnam (0.377).

Hong Kong’s Academic Freedom Index has dropped significantly by more than 0.15 points over the past five years. Other countries whose scores have fallen by more than 0.15 points in recent years include Brazil, Nicaragua, Zambia, Turkey and Colombia.

Source: Global Public Policy Institute, March 11, 2021

Global Times: 200 HK Officials Must Leave Due to Refusal to Sign Sworn Statement

Global Times recently reported that Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, Secretary for the Civil Service of the Hong Kong government, revealed on March 8 that around 200 Hong Kong government officials did not sign a Sworn Statement before the deadline of February 28, 2021. The Sworn Statement was imposed on all government officials not long ago. Patrick Nip Tak-kuen suggested those who refused to sign the Statement would have to leave. One of the main reasons that the Hong Kong government required the signature was that many government officials participated in social and political movements that disagreed with the leadership’s policies. The New Civil Servants’ Union announced its dissolution immediately after the government asked for their signatures, due to the need to protect member privacy. Currently there is not yet a report analyzing the profiles of the officials who refused to sign. The Bureau for the Civil Service is expects to report this matter to the Legislative Council in April.

Source: Global Times, March 9, 2021

Complete victory over Poverty or Tough Job Market, Workers Who Don’t Have Benefits, or Must Work Multiple Jobs

On February 25, Xi Jinping declared that China has made a complete victory in the fight against poverty. He called its poverty alleviation effort “a great glory of the Chinese People, the Communist Party and the Chinese Nation.” The official media have been actively promoting the poverty alleviation narrative prior to the two sessions. Ironically, at the press conference during two sessions, Premier Li Keqiang portrayed a much tougher job market in China. Li mentioned that there is a flexible employment workforce of 200 million that needs government support and that job creation is still among the top six stability measures in China’s macro policy this year.

On March 11, during a speech at the closing press conference of two sessions, Li told the press that China is facing a tough job market this year and there will be 14 million who will be new to the urban labor force, including a record high 9.09 million college graduates. In addition, China needs to secure jobs for the veterans and 278 million migrant workers. Also, there are 200 million flexible employment workers for whom the government needs to provide social security benefits and workers protection programs. The flexible employment workers refers to that part time or temporary workers, who don’t have benefits. Some of them have to work multiple jobs.

It is interesting that in 2020, during the press conference in the two sessions, Li told the press that even though China’s average annual income reached 30,000 yuan (US$4,609), there are still 600 million people who only make 1,000 yuan (US$154) a month. In mid-size cities, 1,000 yuan (US$154) may not even cover the monthly rent. After Li’s remarks during the two sessions in 2020, Li openly advocated the “street market” economic model throughout China, an indication that China’s job market was not doing well.

Li Keqiang’s comments about 200 million flexible employment workers is seen as a slap in the face for Xi Jinping’s poverty alleviation miracle narrative. Political commentator Hu Ping told the Epoch Times that the poverty standard in China is much lower than that of the international standard. If there are 600 million people who only make 1,000 yuan a month, China is far from poverty eradication. The poverty alleviation data is also questionable because it includes some fraudulent data.

1. Wenxuecity, March 12, 2021
2. Epoch Times, March 12, 2021

Golden Globe Winner’s Comments Triggered another Wave of Nationalist Sentiment in China

On February 28, Chloe Zhao won Best Director at the 78th Golden Globe for her movie “Nomadland.” Born in Beijing in 1982, Zhao became the second female director in history to win this honor and the first Asian director to win the Golden Globe after Ang Lee. People on the Chinese social media and the state media cheered and praised Zhao. People’s Daily even called her “the pride of China.” However, the praise quickly took a sharp turn because people found a couple of prior interviews Zhao had in which she was accused of making negative comments about China.

In 2013, Filmmaker magazine interview Zhao. When asked why she picked a Native American story for her first film, she stated, “When I was a teenager in China, being in a place where there are lies everywhere. you felt like you were never going to be able to get out. A lot of information I received when I was young was not true; I became very rebellious toward my family and my background.” In another interview with an Australian media in 2020, Zhao said, “The U.S. is now my country.”

People’s nationalist sentimentality exploded on Chinese social media. They started calling Zhao “anti-China,” or “traitor director.” On social media, they even called for a boycott of “Nomadland.” A research center affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences posted a comment on social media saying, “Let’s not praise Chloe Zhao for winning the Golden Globe Best Director just yet. First, we had better find out what her real attitude towards China is.”

On March 5, Sina Weibo took Nomadland down from its top search list. Chinese movie site “Douban” removed the Chinese version of the Nomadland poster and deleted its release date in China.

Back in 2017, a domestic produced movie, “Wolf Warriors 2,” which had a strong patriotism theme, was released. It set a record of over 5 billion (US$770 million) in box office revenue in China. The nationalist theme in the movie aligned perfectly with the CCP’s agenda: China is on the rise and is in conflict with Western ideology. There was no criticism of the movie in the news media. The China Film Bureau has extended the screening period to 95 days.

The CCP has always used patriotism as the official narrative for love of the party and support of its rule. Patriotism is often used in the context of nationalism when the CCP needs to incite xenophobia or suppress those who agree with western values.

1. Boxun, March 8, 2021
2., March 1, 2021