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US-China Relations - 2. page

The U.S. Proposes New Restrictions on Visa Conditions for Chinese Reporters

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security posted a new proposed regulation in the Federal Register which plans to apply further restrictions to the visa duration for reporters from China to 90 days. Extensions will be allowed. The plan is currently in the process of public review. If the plan is implemented, Chinese reporters will have to leave the United States after 90 days unless the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves an extension. The new proposal does not apply to those with Hong Kong or Macau passports. The new plan was reportedly to enhance U.S. national security. In the recent years, the U.S. government has been “creating trouble” for Chinese media reporters. In 2018, the U.S. government asked the Chinese media branches in the U.S. to register as proxies of a foreign government. In February of this year, five Chinese media companies in the U.S. were classified as “foreign missions.” Later the U.S. government restricted the number of staff members for these five companies. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented that, maybe the U.S. government does not want the world to know how poorly they handled the pandemic.

Source: Sohu, May 9, 2020

The U.S. Is Looking at Tightening OPT Policies for International Students

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, right after President Trump suspended legal immigration for 60 days, the U.S. government looked at considering tightening up the policies for the international students to apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) after graduation. According to a recent Forbes article, the Trump administration may further restrict or entirely eliminate the temporary work opportunities offered by the OPT programs. It is possible that this new development may only apply to Chinese students. This report is not baseless. Acting U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said on the radio on April 27 that the OPT qualification for Chinese students will be the new target of the Trump administration. Restricting OPT for STEM majors has always been on the table.

Source: Sina, May 7, 2020

CNA: Hu Xijin Called for Adding Nuclear Warheads

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that Hu Xijin, Chief Editor of the Chinese hawkish CCP newspaper Global Times, called for a short term increase to 1,000 in the number of China’s nuclear warheads. This includes the need for at least 100 Dongfeng-41 intercontinental strategic missiles. The purpose of this proposal, according to Hu, is to suppress the U.S. strategic ambitions and impulses toward China. Based on the estimate made by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in June 2019, China has 290 nuclear warheads, thereby ranking number four globally. Hu said that China needs to reach the new level in a very short period of time. He predicted that, in the near future, China will need a very strong will to face the upcoming challenges. It must be backed by the Dongfeng and Julang (Giant Wave) families of missiles. The Julang family of missiles are China’s intercontinental submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). Hu said that people should not dismiss the usefulness of the warheads just because they are merely sitting there. He further explained, “These warheads are shaping the attitude of the American elites towards China, on a daily basis,”

Source: CNA, May 8, 2020

China’s Thousand Talents Plan Goes Low Profile

The Thousand Talents Plan (TTP), once a high-profile Chinese government project to attract overseas talent, is now on total radio silence. Ever since the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) started to pursue the scholars involved in TTP, Chinese authorities have mentioned little of the project in public. It is now even difficult to search relevant information on the Internet.

It was rumored that, as early as late September 2018, the Chinese authorities had ordered the official media to suspend the coverage of TTP. A document circulated on the Internet; the “Thousand Talents Plan Youth Project Review Working Group” authored it. It was affixed with the seal of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, which clearly ordained that “the wording of ‘Thousand Talents Plan’ should not appear in written notifications.”

China’s effort to keep a lid on the project is believed to be a response to the FBI’s probe into the TTP scholars that started in September 2018. The Thousand Talents Plan is a short name for “China’s Overseas High-Level Talent Recruitment Program.” In December 2008, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) decided to implement the program. In January 2009, the Talent Work Coordination Group, a task force underneath the CCP’s Central Organization Department, formulated the “Opinions on the Implementation of the Overseas High-level Talent Recruitment Program.” Over the next ten years, about 8,000 overseas experts were hired with high pay, most of them ethnic Chinese.

Searching the characters “千人計畫” (Chinese characters for TTP) on Baidu, China’s largest search engine, turns out very few results. If the search is done using simplified Chinese character, nothing can be found. The keyword is unsearchable on China’s social platforms such as Weibo. It is rumored that, since April this year, China’s cyber police has been filtering the keyword for TTP. However, searching with characters “中國海外高層次人才引進計畫” (Chinese characters for “China’s Overseas High-Level Talent Recruit Program”) will give some information. Sometimes one has to combine different words so as to find piecemeal data.

Source: Central News Agency, May 6, 2020

Global Times: U.S. Military Repeatedly Visited the South China Sea Region

Global Times recently reported that, not long ago, the U.S. Navy ship, the USS Barry DDG-52 destroyer “freely navigated” through the Paracel (Xisha) Islands without the permission of the Chinese government, which was considered illegal. Then the U.S. Navy USS Bunker Hill CG-52 missile cruiser again “freely navigated” the Spratly (Nansha) Islands. On April 30, once again the U.S. Air Force two B-1B strategic bombers flew from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota over the South China Sea region for a 32-hour long distance training mission. The U.S. military has, very recently, been entering Chinese territories repeatedly and even performed a joint exercise with the Australian Navy in the South China Sea. These moves are not making a positive contribution to regional stability and are proof that the United States is the one militarizing the South China Sea. The Chinese Military has been monitoring and issuing warnings to the U.S. operators.

Source: Global Times, May 2, 2020

Huawei Diversifying Supply Chain

China Times recently reported that, despite the news about the U.S. planning to expand the export ban on Huawei, Huawei commented that it can still purchase critical chips from South Korea’s Samsung, Taiwan’s MediaTek and China’s own Spreadtrum Communications, instead of U.S. suppliers. Huawei currently depends on Taiwan’s TSMC to manufacture chips designed by itself. However, some industrial observers suggested Samsung and MediaTek may not be allowed to supply Huawei with the expanded U.S. ban because they use U.S. technology. Huawei insisted it can still move forward and there are other opportunities in Japan and Europe for supplies.

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Chinese government just granted special permission to allow 200 Samsung technicians to come into China and enter a NAND chip manufacturer in the city of Xi’an to help on factory expansion.

(1) China Times, April 22, 2020
(2) Sina, April 23, 2020

Medical Suppies: China Imposed Restrictions to Stop the Export of Medical Supplies

The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to a U.S. State Department memo and information from businesses, China has imposed export restrictions to stop the export of medical supplies.

China implemented new export restrictions in April, requiring that its National Medical Products Administration certify its goods as a stamp of quality control. It has requested that some products, such as masks, be checked multiple times.

U.S. companies 3M, Cellex, Inc., Emory Healthcare, General Electric, Owens & Minor, Inc. and PerkinElmer, Inc. have been impacted by China’s export controls. Some companies have been able to get products shipped following negotiations with the Chinese government, while others remain in limbo.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2020

CCP Suspends Anti-America Propaganda on Wuhan Virus

On April 15, 2020, Minghui reported that, according to internal sources, the CCP Central Propaganda Department recently issued an “emergency notice” to media in mainland China to suspend the official CCP propaganda on the Wuhan virus immediately. Analysts interpret the notice as an indication that the CCP Central Propaganda Department is not willing to assume responsibility for the previous CCP propaganda guidelines.  It is believed that the notice was due to the claims filed against China and to the increased advocacy from the international community to hold China accountable for the cover-up of the pandemic.

According to the emergency notice, “brakes must be applied immediately” on all propaganda that advertises how remarkable the Chinese anti-pandemic effort is and how “inferior” the anti-pandemic efforts in foreign countries are. The notice also stated that this was “a painful decision made by its senior leadership based on the current situation.”

Analysts believe that the CCP Central Propaganda Department is attempting to avoid being a scapegoat in the future. Some experts believe that this may be the result of an internal rift and that the CCP will not change.

Since the outbreak of the Wuhan virus in January this year, the CCP has engaged in a major propaganda campaign setting off another anti-America wave, while doing everything it could possibly do to cover up that which allowed the coronavirus to become a global pandemic.

Source: Minghui, April 15, 2020 -403871.html

Apple Daily: U.S.-Taiwan Submarine Fiber Cable Approved

Apple Daily (headquartered in Hong Kong) Taiwan Branch recently reported that, with the coronavirus crisis deepening, the remote working model introduced a major increase of network bandwidth demand. The FCC just approved Google’s application to open the PLCN (Pacific Light Cable Network) fiber segment between California and Taiwan. This newly approved connection will allow fast communication between Google’s U.S. and Asian data centers. The PLCN segment between California and Hong Kong was not approved due to strong opposition from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). This decision ends the priority status of the Hong Kong fiber station. DOJ explained that the Hong Kong fiber channel may significantly threaten U.S. national security and law enforcement interests, since Hong Kong is getting heavier and heavier intervention from Mainland China. The DOJ position received strong support from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Since 2016, Google and Facebook have jointly funded the PLCN network. Taiwan has Google’s largest Asian data center (the other two are in India and Singapore).

Source: Apple Daily Taiwan, April 10, 2020