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Social Stability

Caixin: Social Structure Study Found China’s Middle Class Collapsing

Well-known Chinese financial news media group Caixin recently reported that a recent professional social structure study called, “The Middle Class Transition Tier and The Edge Tier” found that 19.12 percent of China’s population is Middle Class. Of those, 73 percent are very close to the borderline that divides the Middle and the Lower classes. The study was based on a model established under the International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI). The sample size was 683,291 employed people who are between the ages of 16 and 64. In addition to the Middle Class, China has an Upper Class of 5.62 percent of the population and a Lower Class of 75.25 percent. In the Lower Class, 4.4 percent (of the entire Chinese population) was in the “Transition Tier” that is very close to the Middle Class line, and in the Middle Class, 13.9 percent was in the “Edge Tier” that’s slightly above the same dividing line. The entire population’s 13.9 percent is 73 percent of the Middle Class population. The study also found that the bigger a city is, the more people are in the Middle Class Edge Tier. In cities with more than 10 million residents, 25.35 percent of the city’s population is in the Middle Class Edge Tier.

Source: Caixin, April 17, 2017
http://china.caixin.com/2017-04-17/101079210.html

International Professional Journal Tumor Biology Retracted 107 Chinese Papers

Well-known Chinese financial news media group Caixin recently reported that the professional international journal Tumor Biology not long ago officially announced the retraction of 107 Chinese papers that had been published between 2012 and 2016, citing fraud that had occurred during the peer review process. The action was taken based on the recommendations that the global Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) had made. According to the publisher of Tumor Biology, Springer, the authors of these papers created fake email addresses using the names of specialists and experts in the field in order to provide positive reviews for these papers, without the knowledge of these specialists. The authors of these papers are from famous hospitals, universities, and institutes from several major cities in China. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the SCI (Science Citation Index) fraud that originated in China. Another example is, in 2015, the British journal BioMed Central retracted 43 papers, 41 of which were from China. Last year, Caixin sent undercover reporters to investigate the underground SCI fraud market and found that some Chinese journal networks that had ties with SCI member magazines actually conduct this type of fraud for profit.

Source: Caixin, April 21, 2017
http://china.caixin.com/2017-04-21/101081664.html

RFA: Internal Document Lists Baby Names That Are Banned for Uyghurs

According to an article from Radio Free Asia (RFA), a list of baby names has been circulating on the internet which are claimed to have a “separatist” or “religious” flavor and which the officials from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have therefore banned. According to the article, the violators could risk not being able to register their new born babies. RFA called a local police station in Urumqi and confirmed that there is an internal regulation on what to name new born babies. The police agency told RFA that the trained personnel at the residence registration office have the authority to approve or disapprove a name. The rights group for the Uyghurs in Munich Germany expressed concern over the escalation of the persecution of the Uyghurs in China.

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 20, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/shaoshuminzu/xl1-04202017100838.html

Duowei News: China Uses Social Media to Monitor Activities of its Own Citizens

An article that Duowei published shared the information on how WeChat spies on the activities of residents in China. The article said that the totalitarian government is always there to monitor activities of its citizens and the large sum of information collected on social media has made it easier for the government to exercise control. It also stated that Chinese authorities not only monitor public postings but also screen sensitive words on private messages and in chat rooms. In addition to WeChat and Weibo, the Chinese authorities are also capable of collecting chat conversations, using Chinese Skype versions called “Tom Skype,” as well as other types of applications. Meanwhile China is constructing a social credit system to monitor and analyze the activities and behaviors of Chinese citizen from economic, political, social, and living situations. The system is expected to be completed by 2020.  The article pointed out, “The difference between how the information collected from social media is used in Western democratic countries versus China is that there are legal regulations to protect the citizens’ private information in the West while Chinese authorities can access citizens’ private information based on the national security law and the new Internet security regulations.”

Source: Duowei, April 1, 2017
http://www.dw.com/zh/你好老大哥中国是如何通过app监控民众的/a-38249393?&zhongwen=simp

Xinhua: Citizens Who Report Tips on Spying Activities Will Receive a Monetary Award

Xinhua reported that, on April 10, the Beijing Public Security Bureau issued a notice which announced that it will issue a 100,000 to 200,000 yuan (US$14,485 to $28,971) award to any citizens who provide tips that will prevent spying activities that endanger China’s security. The notice listed a number of ways to report the tips, including telephone and mail. It also stated that the Public Security Bureau will ensure the confidentiality of those who provide tips while providing protective measures for those who might face risks to their personal safety. The notice also advised that those who provide fake or false information that endangers the safety of other individuals will be subject to legal responsibility.

Source: Xinhua, April 10, 2017
http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-04/10/c_1120783990.htm

South China Morning Post: Son Committed Murder to Save His Mom

The South China Morning Post carried an article about an incident involving a young man who killed the people who were harassing and assaulting him and his mother because she could not repay her debt which included interest at the rate of 10 percent per month. The article resulted in widespread attention on the Internet.

Su Yingxia, a businesswoman in Shandong Province was unable to pay back 135 million yuan (US$19.63 million) an amount which included interest that accumulated at the rate of 10 percent per month on money she borrowed from a private company. On April 14, 2016, 11 debt collectors surrounded her and her 22 year old son Yu Huan and harassed them for over an hour. The debt collectors hurled verbal abuse at them, slapped their faces, and beat them. The mother was sexually insulted in front of her son. According to the eye witness, after the police arrived at the scene, they told the debt collectors that it is fine to try to collect the debt but they can’t beat people up. Then the police just left. Realizing that the police were not going to do anything, Yu Huan grabbed a knife and stabbed four people. One of them died on the way to the hospital and three others were injured. On February 17, 2017, Yu Huan was sentenced to life imprisonment and is currently appealing his case.

The article also disclosed that both the owner of the private firm and the collector who was killed had connections with a gang organization. The private firm was registered in the name of a real estate company but in its operations it sold high interest rate loans and had a debt collection business in which it hired local unemployed people. After the incident, 22 companies in the region came up with over 100,000 yuan  (US$ 14,540) in donations to help Su Yingxia with her son’s legal fees because they had had similar experiences and were sympathetic about her situation.

There were over 250 comments posted about the article. People were sad and disappointed. Some expressed anger towards the police for failing to stop the tragedy. Some people praised the South China Morning Post for having the courage to be the first media to cover the story.

Source: South China Morning Post, March 24, 2017
http://www.infzm.com/content/123659

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