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RFI: China Having a Hard Time Achieving Its Goal of Air Pollution Control

Radio France Internationale (RFI) recently reported that serious air pollution continues to be a major challenge for the Chinese government. The central government asked 28 cities in Northern China to lower the air pollution particles by 15 percent between November and next March. However, the Chinese Minister of Environment Protection, Li Ganjie, admitted during his visit to a few northern provinces, that it will be “very challenging” to deliver on the pollution control goal within that time frame. Li reported that air pollution improvements have been slowing down since the beginning of the year. In some places, the process has even reversed. He emphasized that his ministry will be focusing on mounting serious pressure on local governments to enforce environmental protection laws and regulations. Based on recent monitoring data, 13 cities around Beijing saw worse air quality than at the same time last year. The official numbers that the Ministry of Environment Protection provided also showed that, in the first half of the year, 328 large cities across China suffered worse air quality compared to last year.

Source: RFI, October 5, 2017

Sina to Hire 1000 Weibo Supervisors

The BBC reported that social media Sina posted a notice that they are hiring 1000 Weibo supervisors who are responsible for reporting any pornographic, illegal, or harmful contents. According to the announcement, it is part of the effort to “increase the supervision of Internet users and to clean up Weibo’s online environment.” These supervisors will be rewarded with a 200 yuan allowance and Weibo membership. Each month, the top 10 performers will receive a prize such as an Apple cell phone, a domestic brand cell phone or a laptop computer. One professor from Hong Kong University told the BBC that the hiring of Internet supervisors suggests that relying on the existing internal Internet supervision or voluntary reporting mechanisms can no longer cover the increased heavy Internet traffic. The article quoted one Internet user who noted that the Weibo Supervisor is just like an online “Chaoyang Resident.” This refers to the active residents in Beijing who report “tips” to the police. Based on the numbers that the Legal Evening Newspaper reported in September, there are 130,000 registered “Chaoyang residents” in Beijing. Some of the active members can receive several hundred yuan in their monthly allowance. Other than Sina, another Internet search giant Baidu recently implemented an “online rumor detector” on its search engine, news, and post bar. If any contents are deemed to be a “rumor,” the user will receive an alert and the article will be reported.

Source: BBC, September 28, 2017

BBC Chinese: China Conscription Health Examinations Exposed Many Issues

BBC Chinese recently reported, based on government sources, that, according to data collected through the nationwide conscription process, a large number of candidates did not meet the lowest physical and health requirements for joining the military. Some cities even invalidated almost 57 percent of the applicants. On average, 20 percent of the candidates were overweight. Many candidates suffered liver issues and had eyesight problems. Studies of the conscription candidates showed that the poor health conditions were directly related to drinking alcohol and a large volume of soda, spending long hours on cellphones, and a severe lack of sleep. China’s soldiers used to be drafted mainly from rural villages, where people do heavy labor work in agriculture. Now more and more military candidates are from the urban population with most of the individuals enjoying a city life style. The studies also showed that, in the 1980’s, the Communist Party allowed the military to conduct business like commercial companies. Though that policy was called off a decade later, the entire military has been corrupted ever since. Now the physical quality of the Chinese military is a big national security concern.

Source: BBC Chinese, August 24, 2017

China News: University Dean Accused of Plagiarism after Copying Students’ Thesis

China News recently reported that Cai Jianchun, Director and Deputy Communist Party Secretary of Zhongshan Hospital at Xiamen University, Executive Deputy Dean of the Xiamen University School of Medicine, and winner of multiple national and provincial awards, was accused of directly copying his graduate students’ thesis for his own doctoral thesis. More than half of Cai’s doctoral thesis (in Polymer Chemistry and Physics) was a word-for-word copy of his students’ graduation thesis. Xiamen University said the university is currently conducting its own internal investigation. Cai also works at Fujian Medical University and some parts of his thesis were copied from students’ work of that University. Fujian Medical University refused to comment on this matter. Reporters have been trying to contact Cai using a number of channels of communication, but they could not reach him. Cai Jianchun is a very well-known oncologist in China.

Source: China News, August 10, 2017

Duowei: China Launched Internet Crackdown to Secure the Internet Prior to 19th National Congress

According to Duowei, a number of Internet security measures have been launched recently to ensure Internet stability prior to the 19th National Congress. On August 11, the Cyberspace Administration launched an investigation against Ten Cent Weixin, Sina Weibo, and Baidu Post Bar for alleged cases in which its users spread violent content, rumors, and sexually explicit material. Such acts violated the Internet Security Law that was introduced on June 1. Several Internet service providers including VeryCloud and EnHT Technology companies conducted a “one-key shutdown” drill in early August. The drill tested their ability to shut down Internet service immediately when they received an official notice. In addition to tightened control over VPNs, the central administration also issued a notice to its party members to exercise restraint over Internet activities to make sure no one spread information that damaged the party’s image or published commentary articles that contained politically sensitive topics.

Source: Duowei, August 11, 2017

Hurun Research: Wealthy Chinese Immigration Trend Is Growing

The well respected Chinese wealth ranking institute Hurun Research recently published its 2017 immigration report on the Chinese population with wealth over RMB 20 million (around US$3 million). The report showed that 84 percent of the surveyed sample worried about the depreciation of the Chinese currency, which is a 50 percent increase from the same number last year. The United States has been the top choice of immigration destination for the wealthiest Chinese for three years in a row. This year Canada surpassed Britain to become the second choice. Britain is now the third choice and Australia remains number four. In the United States, Los Angeles is the top destination city, followed by Seattle, San Francisco, and New York. The report found the primary drivers for immigration are education quality (76 percent) and environmental pollution (64 percent), followed by “ideal community environment” (53 percent) and “medical care quality (29 percent).” The report also shows that a long waiting list is the number one obstacle to those wanting to migrate, followed by language barriers. Balanced global wealth distribution and investment is a focal point for the wealthy population. This year, tight foreign exchange control is rapidly becoming a new major concern of these people.

Source: Hurun, July 15, 2017

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