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Guangdong Tops China’s “Stability Maintenance” Budget

The Hong Kong based newspaper Ming Pao published an article by Bruce Lui, a senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University. The Chinese government’s “stability maintenance” expenditure last year was 1.37 trillion yuan (US$200 billion). It is expected that the actual cost of “stability maintenance” this year will exceed 1.4 trillion yuan.

China’s official defense budget for 2019 is 1.19 trillion yuan (US$180 billion). Lui said that the phenomenon of the stability maintenance expenditure continuously surpassing military spending shows whether the Beijing authorities purpose “is mainly to prevent people or to prevent foreign enemies.” Although most of the outsiders think that these maintenance funds are mostly used in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Sichuan, as a matter of fact, according to past years from the China Statistical Yearbook, the top seven provinces in year 2017 in terms of “stability maintenance” spending were Guangdong, Jiangsu, Xinjiang, Shandong, Zhejiang, Sichuan and Beijing, .

Guangdong spent around 121.4 billion yuan (US$18.05 billion), about 11 percent of the national total, more than twice that of Xinjiang province.

Lui’s article said that, after Chinese President Xi Jinping took office, Guangdong has always topped the stability maintenance spending, with an average annual growth rate of 13 percent. In recent years, it has increased at a rate of about 20 percent to 30 percent, much faster than the spending in Xinjiang.

He believes that Guangdong’s huge stability maintenance costs relate to Hong Kong. For years Hong Kong’s stability maintenance fund has come out of Guangdong. Intelligence, national security, military and research personnel from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and even Zhuhai have been traveling to Hong Kong to collect all forms of intelligence and have launched operations. This has resulted in a constant increase in spending.

These personnel have exaggerated the situation in Hong Kong and the problem of Hong Kong independence so that they are able to obtain more manpower, material, and financial resources. “For those who can initiate a special project regarding Hong Kong independence, funds will be put in place.”

Lui pointed out, “Hong Kong people are deeply integrated into the Greater Bay Area. This area is not only an economic area, but also an important area for stability maintenance. Technology will keep you under surveillance without any trace.” “When Hong Kong’s people see the news of the Xinjiang Re-education Camp next time, can you think of some sort of “re-education camps” that are more expensive, invisible but more technologically advanced running around you?”

Source: Central News Agency, March 13, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201903130272.aspx

Global Times: South Korea Suffered Worst Smog in History

Global Times recently reported that, for the past few weeks, South Korea’s capital region has been suffering from the “worst smog in history.” On March 6, South Korean President Moon Jae-in asked his relevant government departments to get in touch with the Chinese government immediately for an emergency discussion on a response plan. The talk aims to minimize the impact of the smog from China, such as establishing a joint smog early alarm system. In addition, all three South Korean major political parties had an emergency meeting and decided to legalize the fact that smog is a national disaster. The spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign affairs commented that it is uncertain whether the smog originated from China or not. It is important to take a scientific approach to determine the cause of the smog. However, China is happy to cooperate with South Korea on that effort.

Source: Global Times, March 7, 2019
http://world.huanqiu.com/exclusive/2019-03/14484704.html?agt=61

CAS Antibiotic Pollution Map Revealed Concerning Facts

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu reported that a recent Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) study released a Chinese Antibiotic Pollution Map. The map revealed dangerous facts about the results of the industrialization of livestock farming. According to the study, tens of thousands of tons of antibiotics have entered the human population as well as the water and soil ecosystem in China. The pollution has covered the entire regular food chain including chicken, duck, pork, beef, and fish. From normal adults to new born babies, researchers discovered a wide range of antibiotics in their bodies, even if the individual was not taking any medicine at the time. This has resulted in widespread drug resistance issues across China. Illegal use of antibiotics across the industries of biotechnology, feed products, medicine manufacturing, and farming have developed the full cycle to deliver a large amount of antibiotics through the human digest system and the natural environment, such as rivers and even seas. Doctors have fewer and fewer options when treating diseases.

Source: Sohu, February 16, 2019
https://www.sohu.com/a/295162096_658124?sec=wd

China Internet “Clean-up Campaign” Shuts Down 490,000 Accounts in Two Months

The Central News Agency reported that, in the past two months, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission has closed more than 490,000 illegal accounts and thousands of websites. According to the article, as of February 25, a total of 44.37 million internet messages were cleared, more than 490,000 illegal accounts were closed, and 1,462 registered websites were removed.

Source: Central News Agency, February 27, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201902270380.aspx

Chinese Local Government Initiates “Wartime Mechanism” for Maintaining Stability during the CCP’s “Two Conferences”

China’s national “Two Conferences” (the National People’s Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) are coming again. The capital, Beijing, and other places have initiated stability-maintenance mechanisms. In addition to the usual double safety check for the trains traveling to Beijing, the express mail, and the interception of petitioners coming to Beijing, the  Political and Legal Committees started the “wartime mechanism” (of stability maintenance).

From February 22 to 23, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, spent two days in Tianjin, mainly to check the safety work relating to the “Two Conferences,” including high-speed rail stations, logistics transceiver stations, command center joint operations, and other places.

According to a report, Zhao Kezhi said, “We must deploy the ‘Capital Moat’ with the most thorough and the most stringent measures.”

In Xingyang City of Henan Province, which is more than 700 kilometers away from Beijing, the local Political and Legal Committee issued a notice announcing that, from February 22 to March 17, the City will adopt the “wartime mechanism” during the “Two Conferences.” It will also report on the situation of the “targeted persons” who are under control and on the “situation of groups of petitioners traveling to the provincial capital and to Beijing” on a daily basis.

Source: creaders.net, February 25, 2019
http://news.creaders.net/china/2019/02/25/2058713.html

Chinese Couple Fined for Having a Third Baby

Currently China allows couples to have two children and many local governments are also lenient about couples having a third child. However, recently, a couple in Shandong Province gave birth to their third child and was fined.

Wang and his wife, who lived in Chengwu County of Shandong, gave birth to their third child on January 5, 2017. The Local Health and Family Planning Bureau imposed a fine of 64,626 yuan (US$9,548) in social maintenance fees, also known as the fine for breaking the family planning policy.

Although the Wang couple could not afford the fees, the county court issued an administrative ruling in June 2018 to demand that the Wang couple pay the fees. On January 10, 2019, the court enforced the ruling by freezing all of the couple’s bank deposits. As of the enforcement date, the couple’s bank balance was only 22,957.68 yuan (US$3,392). This included the balance of 131.68 yuan (US$19) in a WeChat payment, which the court also froze.

The incident received much attention in cyberspace. One netizen said that the local government needs money. “This is the latest madness and whoever knows China will understand.”

Source: Central News Agency, February 12, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201902120359.aspx