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Government/Politics - 4. page

Mainland Affairs Council: Beijing Interferes with Taiwan’s Election

On Monday October 22, Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau chief said in a Legislative Yuan hearing that the bureau had gathered intelligence that indicated the Chinese government had intervened in Taiwan’s election in the form of financial transfers.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang responded that such a claim was “a pure fabrication.”

In response to TAO, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) stated that, according to the provisions of the Political Contribution Law and the Criminal Law, foreign forces may not provide political contributions to Taiwan’s election candidates or to groups, and may not  intervene illegally in Taiwan’s elections. The Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice also stated that the judicial prosecuting authorities have investigated the relevant cases and that this Council does not express opinions.

MAC said that the government attaches great importance to and will fully safeguard the fairness and impartiality of the year-end elections. To this end, the election authorities and the police force have strengthened countermeasures to prevent external forces from improper intervention intended to undermine the operation of Taiwan’s democratic system.

MAC pointed out that the Chinese authorities used to use the cross-strait exchange platform to conduct United Front work to divide Taiwan and take advantage of any pre-election opportunities in order to make trouble. In the past, Beijing has used military exercises and harsh criticism in an attempt to interfere or influence elections. The Taiwanese people are very offended.

MAC appealed to mainland China asking it to face the cross-strait reality, respect and learn from Taiwan’s democratic electoral system, and not intervene in Taiwan’s elections and interfere in Taiwan’s internal affairs. The mainland should respect Taiwan’s democratic electoral mechanism and the people’s right to free elections.

Source: Central News Agency, October 22, 2018
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201810220349.aspx

Duowei News: Xi Jinping Speeds up Military-Civilian Integration – Opportunity for Private Businesses?

Duowei, the Pro-Beijing Overseas media, reported that Xi Jinping recently hosted the second National-level Military-Civilian Integration Development Committee meeting and delivered a speech. China has been pushing for Military-Civilian integration which promotes cutting-edge technology and talent exchanges between the military and private companies in order to enhance military strength and the competitiveness of private companies. The military-civilian integration development strategy was included in the report of the 19th National Congress and written into the Constitution.

The Duowei article stated that promoting the integration of military and civilian development means that the future development of China’s national defense industry will introduce the power of private capital, which will provide new opportunities for the future development of the military industry. According to the article, there are currently about 130,000 private high-tech enterprises in China, but only about 3,000 have entered the military field. The conversion rate of China’s military scientific research results is only 15 percent, far lower than the 40 percent rate in developed countries. Among the major enterprises that have obtained research and production licenses for weapons and equipment, private enterprises account for more than two-thirds. Meanwhile technical cooperation and the flow of talent between the Chinese military, military research institutes, and private high-tech enterprises are also surging. Private companies could have the opportunity to participate in the areas of National defense information, equipment manufacturing, and the development of new materials. The article concluded that the advancement of military-civilian integration could provide a different way of thinking in the current media speculation that Beijing is allowing “the state to advance and the private sector to retreat” or Guo jin min tui (国进民退).

Source: Duowei News, October 18, 2018
http://culture.dwnews.com/renwen/news/2018-10-18/60091829_all.html

RFA: The Last Private Think Tank Faces Shutdown

Radio Free Asia (RFA) published an article about Tianze, a private think tank that is facing shutdown in China. Beijing Tianze Research Institute is considered the last private think tank. It consists of liberal Chinese economists. For many years, the institute was registered under the name of the “Tianze Consulting Company.” On October 9, the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce notified Tianze that its license had been revoked because it conducted business that was “outside the scope of its business.”

During a hearing held on October 17, the lawyers representing Tianze questioned how the Beijing Industrial and Commercial Department misused the law. The charge regarding its business scope referred to the claim that the company launched business in education without prior approval. Tianze countered that they ran seminars but not schools. On the other hand, if the Department found that the business scope of the enterprise had changed and there was no industrial and commercial registration, in accordance with the regulations, it should first have issued a warning to require the enterprise to register. Only in the case of “serious circumstances” can they revoke the license. Also, during the annual inspection, the Beijing Industrial and Commercial Department never raised the issue.

The famous economists Mao Yuzhen, Zhang Shuguang, Sheng Hong, Wu Bin and others, and the Beijing Elephant Culture Company founded Tianze in 1993. It operates under the name of the Tianze Research Institute Co., Ltd. In 2005, it got in trouble due to the comments its members made in support of the reform of the property rights of  state-owned enterprises and in promoting marketization. In 2012 its business license was revoked.

Subsequently, the Tianze Research Institute continued to operate under the name of the Tianze Consulting Company. In January 2017, the authorities closed the company’s website claiming it failed to obtain a permit. At the beginning of 2018, the landlord of the house that Tianze rented forcibly took it back and the police welded the entrance door shut.

Currently, the Tianze Institute is still waiting for the final verdict. RFA called the Beijing Haidian Industrial and Commercial Bureau, but the no one ever answered the phone.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 19, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/xql2-10192018105407.html

VOA: Xi Jinping Calms Private Enterprises

VOA reported that, in recent years, private enterprises have been suffering a slowdown. On October 21, Xinhua published a letter Xi Jinping wrote, which stated that the Party’s consistent policy of supporting the development of private enterprises will not waver and any statements that negate and weaken the practice of the private economy are all wrong.

On October 21, Xinhua published a letter Xi Jinping wrote in response to some private entrepreneurs who were awarded for their contributions in a poverty relief campaign. In the letter, Xi acknowledged the historical economic contributions private businesses have made and stated that the “role of the private economy is unquestionable. Any statement or practice that denies or weakens the private economy is wrong.” Xi insisted that “supporting the development of private enterprises is the consistent policy of the Party Central Committee. This will not waver.”

According to VOA, a research report that China’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business released showed that the index of business conditions of Chinese private enterprises in August fell significantly from the previous month, from 55.6 in July to 49.8 in August, the worst performance in four years. The VOA article concluded that the current mechanism to “allow the state to advance and the private sector to retreat ” has caused private enterprises to be unable to have the same advantages as state-owned enterprises and has resulted in a large gap between the operations of these two types enterprise.

Sources:

1. Xinhua, October 21, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-10/21/c_137548892.htm

2. VOA, October 21, 2018
https://www.voachinese.com/a/xi-calls-to-protect-private-business-20181021/4622566.html

Beijing Scholar Teaches “Xi Jinping Thought” on edX

After the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, the authorities have been strongly promoting “Xi Jinping Thought” inside China, and are now exporting it to the U.S. On October 18, the website of Foreign Policy magazine published an article that Australian scholar Kevin Carrico wrote. “I was so excited to learn this August of a new course offered on the edX website, a U.S.-based learning platform: Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era—the official full name of Xi Jinping Thought. The instructor was none other than the Tsinghua University professor Hu Angang, known for his close links to senior government leaders and his claims that China has already overtaken the United States as the primary global superpower.”

edX is an online course provider that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University created.

Carrico said that, after paying a $49 fee, and providing a verified certificate with instructor professor Hu’s signature, he “was able to receive a final score of 100 across all the multiple choice quizzes.”

“The course’s promotional materials promised that learners would obtain ‘[s]ystematic and full knowledge of the {Chinese Communist Party’s} people-centered core concept,’ as well as a ‘deeper understanding of the socialist road with Chinese characteristics.’” Carrico explained about the contents of the course, “It is fair to say that China is a society different from Western society. Mainly, it has established a people’s society.” “Hu reminded us that the Chinese republic is the people’s republic, the national bank is the people’s bank, the police are the people’s police, and the army is the people’s army. But wait, there’s more. Hu proudly reported that Xi used the term ‘people’ 203 times in his report to the 19th Party Congress in 2017—more than any other term.”

Hu once said in his published research that China’s comprehensive national strength has completely surpassed the United States and it is ranked first in the world. It caused academic controversy after the Sino-US trade war.

A group of Tsinghua alumni signed a letter to the president of Tsinghua University in August. It criticized Hu Angang’s theory {about China’s surpassing the U.S.} as “misleading the national policy, as well as the general public, setting off alarm bells among other countries. It asked the university to fire him.

Source: Central News Agency, October 20, 2018
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201810200204.aspx

Public Appearance of Former Top CCP Leaders

A few retired former Chinese Communist Party {CCP} Standing Committee members have made public appearances recently in a number of different ways. Their unusual “public appearances” aroused some curiosity.

Wu Guanzheng, the former CCP Standing Committee member and Discipline Committee Secretary said, in a public article at the end of September, that he “was happy” after retiring and also mentioned {the need} to create more conditions for new talent to come into {leadership} positions.

On October 7, Wu Bangguo, the former CCP Standing Committee member, visited Feidong City in Anhui Province; according the local media there, the crowd “welcomed” him.

On October 11, Zhu Rongji, the former CCP premier, appeared at the advisory board meeting of the Qinghua University Management School. According to some media reports, the 90-year old Zhu appeared with a smile and looked like he was in good spirits.

On October 15, Li Ruihuan, another former CCP Standing Committee member, published an article online talking about his view of “the {correct} way to be a CCP official” and that “those who made {usually anonymous and often groundless or slanderous} complaints should not get into leadership positions.”

Source: Central News Agency, October 16, 2018
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201810160340.aspx