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New Regulation Prohibits Sale or Purchase of Foreign Publications through Taobao Online Platform

On March 3, Taobao, a popular Chinese online merchant platform which the Alibaba Group founded and which is similar to Amazon , released a notice about a new rule for online customers. The rule prohibits the sale or purchase of foreign publications through the Taobao platform. The provisions will be effective on March 10, 2017. The notice shows that all publications outside the mainland are regarded as foreign publications, including those from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and other overseas regions. In addition, those sellers who have licenses for publication businesses cannot post any advertising related to the sale or purchase of overseas publications.

Source: Sohu, March 5, 2017
http://news.sohu.com/20170305/n482408257.shtml

Will Chinese Veteran’s Petition to Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Weaken their Loyalty to the Regime?

Hundreds of Chinese veterans broke through the government’s containment at all levels on Wednesday and held demonstrations in front of the Beijing Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. They demanded a better solution to their resettlement problems. How can these soldiers be able to organize protest demonstrations of considerable size at the sensitive time before the 19th Congress when Chinese society is so tightly controlled? Will the difficulties that these Chinese veterans have weaken the army’s loyalty to the regime? What will be the impact on the turbulent Chinese society? To answer these questions, VOA invited a group of Chinese scholars to participate in a live discussion.

Yang Jianli, founder of the Human rights organization “Citizen Power” said that for veterans to safeguard their rights is not a new phenomenon. Over the past 20 years, veterans have gone to Beijing to petition three times a year on average. Petitions in the provinces and cities are countless. The Chinese Communist Party at the highest level has always taken military stability as the last guarantee of power. To this end, Xi Jinping has taken great efforts to clean up military corruption. Even so, the army is not necessarily stable.

Gao Wenqian, author of the book The Chronicle of Zhou Enlai, said that many veterans can successfully go to Beijing to petition. In China’s extremely tight stability-maintenance system, it is impossible not to keep the petition plan a secret without leakage. One cannot rule out the possibility that someone will deliberately leak the information and bring the veterans “troubles” to Beijing (in order to) vent their dissatisfaction with the military reform.

Famous political commentator and writer Chen PuoKong said that there is a possibility that, behind the scenes, Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption, military reform, and the disarmament of 300,000 military personnel caused dissatisfaction among the entire military. One cannot rule out that Xi Jinping’s enemies within the Party and the military intended to attack him by encouraging veterans to make trouble, to create difficulties for Xi, and to cause problems for this year’s Two Conferences or the 19th Congress.

Source: VOA, February 24, 2017
http://www.voachinese.com/a/ProandCon-20170224-Chinese-military-veterans-stage-protests-in-Beijing-over-pensions/3738523.html

In His Book, Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Discusses His Personal Experiences of China’s Judicial System

In doing research for his new book, Consideration of (Post-Communist) China’s Constitution, Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng reported a conversation that enlightened him about how government cadres are not subject to the law. A retired vice president from the Xinjiang High Court told him, “In our country, once the leader reaches a position at a certain level, he no longer needs the law. His power can solve all problems. Only those who are helpless would take the route of a lawsuit.” Continue reading

Chinese Government Asked Owner of App Showing Pollution Index to “Fix” It

Radio Free Asia (RFA) and the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily each reported recently that the Chinese environmental protection agency asked the owner of the mobile app “Air Matters” to “fix” the app so that it will not display the air pollution index numbers once they reach a certain level. The app displays air pollution index values based on officially released government data. However, the app did make it significantly easier for average citizens to obtain pollution level information. The app uses Chinese standard measures to display the data and it is also capable of interpreting the data using other standards such as the U.S., the British, and even the Indian standards. The Chinese authorities have been saying that it is “obviously unreasonable” to use a foreign standard to measure Chinese data. The event triggered a massive discussion online among Chinese netizens. Most posted comments such as, “The government is unable to fix the smog pollution over a long period of time; however, it can fix the app writer’s <ability> to show the pollution level very swiftly.” The government has subsequently also blocked any comments on this news.

Sources:
Radio Free Asia, January 9, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/app-01092017091756.html
Apple Daily, January 8, 2017
http://www.appledaily.com.tw/realtimenews/article/new/20170108/1030719/

After Chinese Acquisition, a German Company’s Branch in China Released Waste Acid

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, according to both Chinese criminal and civil courts, the Chinese branch of the famous German dyestuff and chemical manufacturer DyStar committed a crime when it released 2,698 tons of waste acid into a river without using the proper cleansing process. In 2010, China’s Zhejiang Longsheng Group acquired the DyStar Group. A Chinese management team then managed its Chinese Nanjing branch. In 2010, the branch stopped processing the waste acid. Instead, it subcontracted a third-party company to handle the waste; that company did not perform the job. The third-party company owner bribed the Chinese management team of DyStar Nanjing, who admitted participating in the destruction of physical evidence. After the courts ruled, the ultimate parent company, the Longsheng Group, hired a dedicated manager from outside China to upgrade the administration of pollution control.

Source: Sina, January 5, 2017
http://finance.sina.com.cn/chanjing/gsnews/2017-01-05/doc-ifxzkfuh5324320.shtml

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