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Mainland Media Issued Apology for False Reporting of Meng Wanzhou Trial

Jiemian.com, a mainland online news media published a false report about Meng Wanzhou’s trial and had to retract the news and issue an apology. On May 27, the judge for British Columbia’s Supreme Court in Vancouver ruled that Meng Wanzhou, the former Huawei Chief Financial Officer met the threshold of double criminality and the U.S. extradition case would move forward. This means that after being confined for 544 days to her residence in Vancouver, Meng remains under house arrest. Ironically Jiemian.com, a financial news website in China, published an article at midnight on May 26 saying that Meng was acquitted and could return home in four days. The article was widely distributed in China for 12 hours until it published an apology and retracted the news. The court result of Meng Wanzhou drew heated discussion over the internet and made it the top search listed on Weibo. At the regular press conference on May 26, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, repeated the demand to free Meng in order to avoid further damage to Canada-China relations.

Source: Epoch Times, May 28, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/5/28/n12142060.htm

Supreme Court Report Boasted that China’s Business Environment Ranking Improved; the Quality of Judicial Procedures Ranks at the Top in the World

According to The Paper, on May 25, in the speech given at the National 13th National People’s Congress, Zhou Qiang, the president of the Supreme People’s Court, gave a report which summarized the department’s work. The report referenced the “Doing Business 2020” report that the World Bank issued. That report “measured the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.” Zhou’s report mentioned that China introduced a law to enforce business contracts, made resolving insolvency easier, and improved the transparency and predictability of the judiciary system. It also stated that the number of legal cases the court processed relating to business helped to re-enforce the fact that China is governed by the rule of law. Zhou claimed that the index from the report stated that the rank of China’s business environment has improved considerably, that the quality of the judicial procedure ranks at the top in the world,  and that China is the “World’s Best Practitioner.”

Source: The Paper, May 25, 2020
https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_7544167

Epoch Times: Mainland to Target Hong Kong Education System by Deploying Mainland Teachers to Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Security Law has been extremely controversial in Hong Kong and in the international community. One of the clauses in the Security Law requires the Hong Kong government to carry out a “national campaign to promote national security education.” In fact, Beijing has already been implementing “patriotic” brainwashing education in Hong Kong for years. The public records show that, as early as 2005, the mainland sent educators to Hong Kong to provide teaching guidance under the project called the “Mainland and Hong Kong Teacher Exchange and Collaboration Program,” The Hong Kong Education Development Fund financed the program. Each provincial capital in the mainland will take turns to send teachers to Hong Kong.

A recent notice that the Hunan Provincial Department of Education issued showed that teachers from local primary and secondary schools as well as kindergartens will be selected to go to Hong Kong and Macao for a one-year assignment of teaching and guidance on the condition that they have a firm political position, support the “one country, two systems ” policy, and love the country. According to the notice, during their stay in Hong Kong and Macau, the Hong Kong Education Bureau and the Macau Education and Youth Bureau will provide a living allowance and teaching and research fees of no less than 30,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$ 3,870) per month and will help with accommodation arrangements or provide rent subsidies. Their specific work will include “assisting” Hong Kong’s primary and secondary schools to “promote school-based curriculum development” and collaborate with teachers from Hong Kong kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools on “teaching research.” After this news came out, the link to the relevant report of the Hunan Provincial Department of Education was deleted.

In May 2019, the Hainan Provincial Department of Education issued a similar notice. The notice required that the teaching candidate must “have a firm political position and support the central administration’s policies and policies concerning the work of Hong Kong and Macao; and must be members of the CCP.”

In 2015 and 2016, the Shanxi Provincial Department of Education sent their teachers to Hong Kong. The candidates’ selection requirements were the same. They placed “possessing high ideological consciousness” at the top. They also stated that the Education Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will provide a monthly living allowance and teaching and research expenses of about 20,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$2,580) per month.

Beijing has always believed that the main reason that Hong Kong youths have continued to persevere and have resisted the mainland for many years is due to a lack of “patriotic education” and a “low communist ideology consciousness.” Therefore it has been trying to “reform” and influence the Hong Kong education system.

In 2012, Beijing led the Hong Kong government to launch a national education plan, distributing a booklet on the “China Model” to all primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong. The booklet praised China’s national conditions and called the Chinese government a “progressive, selfless and united ruling party.” It also described the American democratic system as a system in which political parties battle with each other and people’s livelihoods suffer as a result of it. The campaign drew criticism from all parties as being a brainwashing tool. In the end, this caused the rest of the planned courses to be suspended.

Source: Epoch Times, May 25, 2020
https://www.epochtimes.com/gb/20/5/25/n12135946.htm

Hong Kong Police Force Recruitment Ads at Overseas Universities Are Faced with Protests from Hong Kong Students

Recently, the Hong Kong Police Force issued recruitment advertisements at universities in Australia but they were met with protests from the Hong Kong students studying in Australia. The students, who consider the Hong Kong Police Force to be a criminal organization, were outraged that the Hong Kong Police Force could even post job advertisements at Australia’s top universities.

SBS World News reported that the Hong Kong Police Force put up two job postings for Trainee Inspector on the career page of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia. The job location is Hong Kong, with a monthly salary of 47,690 Hong Kong dollars (US$6,152).

Hong Kong students in Australia started making online protests immediately after the ads were posted. The Facebook group “NSW HongKongers” issued a joint petition on social media, asking the two universities to delete the Hong Kong police recruitment advertisements. NSW HongKongers also wrote a Facebook post and stated. “Similar recruitment advertisements have appeared on university websites all around the world. Many Hong Kong people believe that the Hong Kong police are working hard to recruit new forces from overseas students. In the past year, Hong Kong Police applicants decreased by 50 percent and more than 450 active police officers have opted out of the police force. The government has yet to respond to the Hong Kong people’s “five major demands.” The once highly respected Hong Kong Police Force has become just a branch of the CCP and will not truly serve Hong Kong and its people. Anyone with a conscience will not be willing to join. “Currently, after the students’ protests, the job postings were taken down from the university’s career opportunity pages.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the website of McMaster University, a public university in Ontario, Canada, has also published recruitment advertisements for the Hong Kong police. The recruitment advertisements there have also been withdrawn due to student protests.

Per information on the Website of the Hong Kong Police Force, the trainee inspector is the lowest inspector rank among the ranks of the Hong Kong police.

How Hong Kong police handled the large-scale demonstrations last year was widely criticized. Amnesty International alleged that police officers detained, beat and tortured arrested persons arbitrarily and used excessive force. The survey data showed that Hong Kong people’s confidence in the police has dropped to a record low.

Source: Secret China, May 17, 2020
https://www.secretchina.com/news/gb/2020/05/17/933510.html

Leadership: Xi Jinping Went to Shanxi Province While Sidelining the Commander of Beijing Garrison

The People’s Daily reported that Xi Jinping went to Shanxi Province on May 11 and 12. During the trip, he visited the Yungang Grottoes, which was famous for stone-carved Buddhist sculptures. (#1, People’s Daily)

Chen Pokong, a political commentator on China’s affairs who frequently appears on Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, said that Xi’s trip was linked to the soft removal of Wang Chunning, the Commander of Beijing Garrison. (#2, YouTube)

Xinhua announced on May 10, that Zhang Fandi, the Political Commissar of Beijing Garrison replaced Wang Chunning as a Beijing Communist Party Committee Member and a Standing Committee Member. (#3, Xinhua)

In the Chinese Communist Party (CCP’s) structure, the People’s Liberation Army unit has two top leaders: a commander in charge of the military actions and a political commissar for political activities. One of them, from a local garrison, also serves as a member of the locale’s (provincial or municipal) communist party standing committee, which is the highest power decision-making organ in the locale.

Wang Chunning is a Lieutenant General. He became the Commander of the Beijing Garrison in 2016. In January this year, he took over the Beijing Communist Party Standing Committee Member position from Jiang Yong, then Beijing Garrison Political Commissar. Major General Zhang Fandi took over the Political Commissar position from Jiang Yong at the same time. Wang has served the Beijing Standing Committee Member for only four months. (#4, Beijing News)

In his analysis, Chen Pokong pointed out:

  1. The head of Beijing Garrison is extremely critical to Xi as it can control Beijing.
  2. Wang Chunning has a higher military rank than Zhang Fandi. In a normal situation, Zhang would not take over Wang’s Beijing Standing Committee Member position.
  3. This indicates that Xi Jinping no longer trusts Wang.
  4. Xi might do a soft removal of Wang, like what he did to Fu Zhenghua recently. Fu was the Minister of Justice. He was removed from the position of Deputy Party Secretary of Justice Ministry’s Party Committee on April 20, then removed from the Minister of Justice post on April 29, and then removed from the position of Deputy Director of the CCP Central Committee’s Office for the Rule of Law on May 5.
  5. When Xi took down Sun Lijun and Fu Zhenghua, he went to Shaanxi Province, probably to avoid the supporters of Sun and Fu, to take actions against him in Beijing. This time, Xi probably did the same thing: going to Shanxi Province while pushing out Wang Chunning. (#2, YouTube)

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As Movie Industry Suffers Major Setback due to COVID 19, Administration Exerts More Influence

Radio Free Asia reported that China’s film and television industry suffered a significant setback due to COVID 19. The latest data shows that, since the beginning of this year, more than 6,600 film and television companies have closed their doors. The box office revenue will show a loss of 30 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion) this year. Some analysts believe that the central administration could use the opportunity to intensify censorship on the contents of the creations in the film and television industry, making it drift away and become distant from the rest of the world.

On April 29, Wang Xiaohui, executive vice minister of the Central Publicity Department, gave the film and television industry directives to produce films using the following three major themes: showing a moderately prosperous society, the 100th anniversary of the party, and the anti-epidemic effort which promotes positive energy. Wang said that the government will increase the support to the industry, actively coordinate the effort to reduce rent payments, provide loan discounts, and support the purchase and distribution of movie tickets.

On May 7, three video websites, Tencent Video, iQiyi, and Youku, together with six other film and television companies, jointly released an industry rescue proposal and vowed that the industry will produce contents that are “in line with party policy and provide audiences with products that document the lively life and great moments in this era.”

According to the comment quoted in the article, since the central administration has the ability to provide the funding, it now has more leverage to influence the content of the narratives for the movies that are being produced.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 8, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/jt-05082020101405.html

A Chinese University Professor Disciplined for Criticizing Karl Marx

Yu Linqi, a history professor at Harbin Normal University in the northeast province of Heilongjiang, was recently named and shamed for criticizing Karl Marx, the German philosopher whose theory is viewed as the founding ideology of Communist China. On Thursday May 7, the university responded by launching an investigation.

What put Yu at the center of the incident was his comments on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. He stated, “Why should the (Chinese Communist) Party’s admission oath include ‘never betray the Party’? The Communist Party is not a gang, and its pursuit is not self-interest. It should be a democratic, open and modern political party. One can apply to join the Party when its ideas and policies match his wishes and ideals. Once they don’t match, one can choose to quit, oppose, or even betray. It is irresponsible to blindly follow (the party).” Yu also mentioned that the world’s most successful abettor is (Karl) Marx.

The 50 Cent Army, Internet posters and commentators hired by Chinese authorities to flood social media with pro-government comments, made Yu a target and they fired a barrage of criticism and personal attacks at him.

In the past three years, there have been at least 10 cases of university professors being punished for their speech, including Tsinghua University law professor Xu Zhangrun.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 8, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/ql1-05082020060328.html

WeChat Users outside China Are under Political Surveillance

Evidence shows that communications among users with WeChat accounts registered outside China are under political surveillance. Moreover, according to a Citizen Lab report published on May 7, 2020, they are also being used to train the algorithms WeChat uses to censor and monitor China-registered users.

WeChat is a communication application released by China’s Tencent in 2011.  It is used by more than 1 billion people worldwide, and ranks the third-largest in the world, after Whatsapp and Facebook.

As with all social media in China, WeChat actively censors on its platform, including around politically sensitive topics and discussions related to the coronavirus pandemic. The censorship of users appears to be for accounts registered to mainland China’s phone numbers.

WeChat is required by law to share user data with the State government. Tests at the Citizen Lab showed that, for the first time, communications among non-mainland-China users are subject to surveillance.

Further, it has been demonstrated that such communications are also being used to train the algorithms WeChat uses to censor and monitor China-registered users. After documents and images containing politically sensitive content were sent solely among non-China-registered accounts, it was observed that, shortly thereafter, those files were censored for China-registered users.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 7, 2020
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/jt-05072020101223.html

CCP to Monitor Postings on Foreign Self-Media

Han Lianchao, a former employee of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a screenshot on Twitter of a notice from the Publicity Department of the party committee of the Beijing International Studies University. His comment indicated that the CCP will impose large-scale censorship and monitoring of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts overseas.

Below is the translation of the notice:

Notice to Collect Foreign Self-Media Account Setup by Student and Faculty Members

Based on the requirement from the Publicity Department of the City of Beijing, in order to do well in promoting China’s image overseas and to “Tell China’s Story Well,” we are here to collect foreign self-media account(s) that students and faculty members have set up. Below are the detailed requirements:

1. This requirement applies to all levels within the university and the affiliated schools, as well as the graduate research institute. Each unit should appoint one person to collect foreign self-media account(s) that students and faculty members have set up. It must have used the real name of each individual. There are two forms to fill out: a foreign self-media account collection form and a foreign self-media account collection consolidated form. Foreign self-media include but are not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Buzzfeed.

2. Each unit should forward the forms to the person in charge for signature and a stamp seal. The original signed hard copy of the consolidated form should be submitted to the university’s publicity department by April 21 at 5:00pm while the unit can retain the individual account collection form.

3. The foreign self-media account collection work starts effective immediately. If there are any questions, please contact our department for more information.

Contact: Ma Xianchao
Address: Room 230, Ming De Building
Telephone: 655778482

Communist Party Publicity Department
April 20, 2020
Attachment:
Beijing International Studies University Foreign Self-media Account Collection Form
Beijing International Studies University Foreign Self-media Account Collection Consolidated Form

Source: Twitter, April 25, 2020