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Arrest of Singer for Drug Use Linked to “Fengqiao Experience”

On November 26, 2018, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau arrested Chen Yufan, a Chinese actor and singer, for drug use and illegal possession of drugs. According to a Chinese media report, a group of common people in Beijing, or Shijingshan District precisely, tipped off the police and made the arrest happen. “This time, it was the Shijingshan masses that provided the clue. They are the new force that has gradually developed in grassroots social governance.”

Chinese media linked the arrest to the “Fengqiao Experience,” which the Chinese Communist Party advocated in recent years as a way to control Chinese society using the Chinese people.

The “Fengqiao Experience” originated during the Mao era over fifty years ago. In 1963 Mao Zedong launched a Socialist Education Movement (社会主义教育运动), also known as the Four Cleanups Movement (四清运动). In Fengqiao district, Zhuji county of Zhejiang Province, the communist cadres, instead of relying on the state and police apparatus, mobilized local people to “reeducate” and “reform” the “reactionary elements,” referring to landlords, wealthy peasants, counterrevolutionaries, and evildoers. Essentially, it was a way of having the Chinese people persecute the Chinese people. On November 20, 1963, Mao Zedong personally promoted the experience in Fengqiao district when he wrote, “The example of Zhuji raised here is a good one — other regions should follow this example, expanding the work through pilot programs.”

The “Fengqiao Experience” reappeared in official discourse starting in the 1990’s. In 2013, the CCP celebrated the 50 anniversary of Mao’s promotion of the “Fengqiao Experience.” Outside observers view it as Beijing’s response to the ever growing social unrest and instability, especially when the economic slowdown has limited the resources available for social control.

Source: The Paper, November 28, 2018

Radio France Internationale: Official Launched Expanded Self-Media Cleanup; 200,000 Social Media Accounts Closed

Radio France Internationale reported that, on November 12, the China National Internet Information Office launched the cleanup of “self-media chaos.” At present, more than 9,800 self-media accounts have been closed. The Information Office was reported to have had meetings with Tencent, WeChat, and Sina Weibo and issued warnings that the officials will continue to shut down accounts and delete articles that contain vulgar content, Internet rumors, plagiarism, and violations of the law. Both WeChat and Sina issued an official notice that they had launched self-inspection and taken actions to delete articles or close accounts in accordance with the regulations. At present 200,000 Weibo accounts have been closed.

Source: Radio France Internationale, November 13, 2018

African Swine Fever Hit Chongqing and Has Spread through 14 Chinese Provinces

According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced on November 4 that a case of African swine fever broke out in a farm in Xingyi Town in China’s southwestern city of Chongqing. That pushed the number of provinces plagued by the epidemic to 14. The Chongqing farm reportedly has 309 pigs, among which three have died from the disease.

Although there were two cases of African swine fever in Shanxi Province in Northern China, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs announced on November 3 that another outbreak had been detected in Yangqu County of Shanxi. The involved Shanxi farmer is raising 47 pigs; 25 have been diagnosed with the disease and 7 have died.

Although China has taken many measures, the ever increasing number of confirmed cases shows that the epidemic has not been effectively contained. Outbreaks have been detected in 14 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions: Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Tianjin, Shanxi, Yunnan, Hunan, Guizhou and Chongqing.

African swine fever has an acute death rate of 100 percent. Although it will not infect humans, there is no vaccine to prevent it. Infected or dead pigs can only be culled, buried or treated with chemicals so as to prevent the spread of the virus.

Source: Central News Agency, November 4, 2018

China News: China Postal Services Banned Pork in Packages

China News recently reported that the China Postal Services just announce a ban on mailing pork in postal packages. This is part of the national plan to control the African swine fever, which is spreading widely across China. The announcement also included detailed organizational and human resource level accountabilities throughout the Postal Service’s management structure as well as the Communist Party structure. The Postal Service is also coordinating with other government branches like public safety, market monitoring and administration, inspection and quarantine, as well as customs. The plan is also to ban any pork import channels from suspicious African areas. All postal branches are required to establish emergency procedures with dedicated personnel. Emergency exercises are strengthened and should join the local governments’ overall exercises. Two-way communications mechanisms have also been standardized and set in place. All branches are stocking up on necessary supplies that the exercises and real-life emergency handling require.

Source: China News, November 2, 2018

LTN: Chinese Job Market Faces a Cold Winter

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that the Chinese job market faces a very disappointing atmosphere. The national entry exam for government positions is posting only half the number of government jobs compared to last year’s number. Financial organizations and brokerage companies are enacting a hiring freeze across-the-board. The massive Chinese real estate sector is hiring nearly zero new staff. For example, the nation’s largest builder Wan Ke is hiring only 10 people in Beijing. The rapidly growing technology sector is also significantly reducing new hires. Some companies are even reducing the size of their current workforce. Well-known high-tech companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei are all reducing their positions for new college graduates. Tencent, NetEase, and Didi Carsharing (funded by Apple) are all laying off current staff. The entire Chinese job market is apparently declining.

Source: LTN, October 24, 2018