The Sunday when there was a two million people parade in Hong Kong opposing the extradition law has drawn widespread attention from the world’s media, but not from those in China. Although almost all major media such as the Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, and The Wall Street Journal gave significant coverage to the news, in mainland China the story is strictly prohibited. A netizen told Radio Free Asia that someone sent a parade video to his circle of friends in Beijing and another netizen immediately stopped it. In order to avoid the censorship, some netizens sent the Hong Kong parade pictures upside down.
In Yuncheng city of Shaanxi province, the local police summoned one netizen because he forwarded the parade pictures. The interviewee said, “The media in China is not allowed to report this. The person who forwarded the video was summoned (to the police station). I have a friend who was summoned for forwarding the videos. His phone was also confiscated.”
A civil rights activist in Changde city of Hunan province told RFA that the Hong Kong’s Sunday parade exceeded the 1.5 million people in 1989. The scene was touching. However, the mainland people can only see it when they use technology whose purpose is circumvention such as VPN.
Source: Radio Free Asia, June 17, 2019
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a regular press conference on June 17. The mainland Chinese media has kept silent about the Hong Kong protests, but foreign media, Taiwan’s media, and Hong Kong’s media questioned the spokesperson at least five times. With regard to the fact that more than two million Hong Kong people took to the streets on June 16 asking chief executive Carrier Lam to step down, spokesperson Lu Kang said, “The Central Government gives full recognition to and will continue its firm support for the Chief Executive and the SAR government in carrying out their work according to law.”
Those at the June 16 parade also demanded an investigation into the responsibility of the Hong Kong police who fired guns and tear gas at the June 12 protesters and also that they retract the statement that the June 12 protest was a “riot.” The Central News Agency asked whether China still believes that the June 12 protest was violent or whether its position has changed. Lu said “the Central Government strongly condemns the violent behavior. We firmly support the police in lawfully punishing the perpetrators and safeguarding the rule of law, the social order, and the security in Hong Kong. You asked whether our position has changed. I can assure you that it hasn’t changed, not even a little bit.”
Source: Central News Agency, June 17, 2019
Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that, according to data that the National Bureau of Statistics of China just released, in May, China’s industrial output saw a five percent year-over-year growth. However, this rate is the lowest it has been in 17 years, since February 2002. Apparently, this is a direct result of the trade war between China and the United States. Analysts expressed their belief that the cause of the lower growth was a massive stimulus package, which includes tax cuts, more debt, and government spending. The growth rate was lower than expected. The same data report from the Bureau of Statistics also indicated that, in May, government revenue suffered a negative growth. Experts expect the Chinese government to make more infrastructure investments in the near future.
Source: Lianhe Zaobao, June 15, 2019
On June 12, a video of a speech given by a Chinese military general started to circulate on the internet. The video was taken during the 12th National Outstanding Teachers’ Development Forum that was held in Chengdu from November 5th to 7th, 2018. Xu Yan, a military general, professor at the National Defense University, and a “star Internet professor” wore his military uniform while giving the talk. The topic was the Battles of the South China Sea. In his speech, Xu used class analysis to explore the nature of the Hong Kong’s social structure, claiming that the people in Hong Kong are “the worst.”
When talking about the Hong Kong issue, Xu said that, when the Chinese Communists entered Hong Kong in 1997, he and the leaders of the Hong Kong troops participated in a study of the social situation in Hong Kong. He said that “the social foundation of Hong Kong was the worst in China. It is even worse than Taiwan. There are not many people in Taiwan who really oppose the Communist Party. Eighty percent of the local residents in Taiwan do not care about the Communist Party and 20 percent of them were there because of the national civil war.” According to Xu, there are three types of Hong Kong residents. The first type is the original resident who received a Hong Kong and British education. They therefore do not have much hatred for the mainland. The second type consists of people who escaped to Hong Kong from 1949 to 1950 after the CCP launched different movements on the mainland. This group is “the worst” and has an “implacable hatred” for the Communist Party. The last group are the refugees who fled to Hong Kong during the Great Famine of 1958 to 1961 and don’t have a good impression of the Communist Party. Xu claimed that it was a big mistake that the CCP did not implement “decolonization” work in Hong Kong. [Editor’s note: In this instance the Chinese word “decolonization” means “to enable the party to exert control of the political, educational, social, and economic systems so as to correct the concepts, thinking, and value systems left over from British colonial rule.] It was this problem in the Hong Kong students’ education that caused them to “riot.” “Their teaching materials should have been changed to the ones that the mainland uses.” Xu pointed out one big lesson. It is that, in Hong Kong, there was an over-emphasis on the “two systems,” but not enough emphasize on “one country.” He also said that, after the new chief executive, Carrie Lam, took office, two things went well. The first is that the three student leaders from occupy central were put in prison. The second is that, starting this year, the textbooks in Hong Kong will be changed to the ones that the CCP uses in the mainland.
According to Epoch Times, the “decolonization” that Xu mentioned in his speech has been the consensus of the Chinese authorities for some time. In 2016, Jin Yinan, Director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at the National Defense University made similar remarks about a series of incidents in Hong Kong. Jin spoke about the key issues in Hong Kong. He said that these incidents occurred because “the work of ‘decolonization’ has not been done well.” The protests on the streets of Hong Kong are simply a “disgrace” to the CCP. He also said that the Hong Kong people who fled the CCP’s tyranny in 1997, when Hong Kong’s sovereignty was handed over, had committed an “evil deed.” Qiang Shigong, a Professor at Peking University Law School, said in 2015 that Hong Kong education has not yet been “decolonized.” For example, middle school education lacks modern Chinese history. He blamed this on the fact that there was no “decolonizing” work being done among Hong Kong’s political and cultural elite classes. In September 2015, at the forum on “Hong Kong’s Position and Role in the National Development Strategy” hosted by hundreds of Hong Kong political and business leaders, including the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Chen Zuoqi, President of the National Hong Kong and Macao Research Association also claimed that Hong Kong had not been “decolonized.”
Source: Epoch Times, June 13, 2019
Xinhua recently reported that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which is a branch of the Chinese State Council, just published a proposal seeking public comments. The proposed new regulation will restrict domestic personal information from flowing out of China. The new regulation will require a government security assessment before individuals can provide personal information to service providers outside of China. The CAC justified the new requirement in the proposal on the basis of national security. Among the personal information included are an individual’s name, birth date, national ID number, address, and phone numbers. The required government assessment is established at the province level. The scope of the new regulation also covers the information used in contracts involving foreign parties. Domestic Internet-based service providers that facilitate the process of moving domestic personal information outside should keep a good no-breach record and should establish a full history of activities that result in personal information being sent out for at least five years.
Source: Xinhua, June 13, 2019
Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that the U.S tariffs against China are creating a significant challenge for Chinese exporters. More and more Chinese sellers are using a third country route in order to get their products into the United States. This circumstance places heavy pressure on Vietnam since Vietnamese Customs is now seeing a flood of fraud on manufacturing origin certificates. The Vietnamese government announced new rules and has increased the level of its penalties on illegal trade activities. In order to keep its positive trend on a rapid growth of exports to the U.S., Vietnam increased the cost and tightened up the verification process for “Made in Vietnam” labels under the name of protecting the reputation of the label and the nation. According to the U.S. data, in the first quarter, Vietnam saw a year-over-year 40.2 percent growth in exports that are being sent to the U.S. This has made Vietnam the top country that sees the fastest trade growth with the U.S. No wonder Vietnam is now willing to do anything to please the United States.
Source: Sohu, June 13, 2019