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Media: Why Did the CCP Politburo Study Blockchain

Recently, at the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, Xi Jinping stressed that there should be a focus on blockchain technology. The CCP Politburo also held a group study on blockchain’s status and trends related to blockchain. Some media interviewed China experts on why the CCP is eying blockchain.

Deutsche Welle interviewed a senior IT practitioner in China who stated, “In fact, China has long been talking about digital finance. In 2014, People’s Bank (China’s Central Bank) created a group to research the feasibility of issuing digital currency. In January 2017, it officially established the Digital Currency Institute. Maybe it is to help People’s Bank launch the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).

Blockchain relies on 5G technology to provide fast transportation speed.

VOA interviewed an economics observer, “This policy is more for the political agenda. There are three reasons for the CCP to promote blockchain.”

First, the CCP wants to participate in this “de-centralization” technology early so that it can participate in and control the standard settings and data control areas.

Second, the CCP has the financial ambition to promote a national digital currency. It has been trying to promote China’s national digital currency via the Belt and Road Initiative so as to further compete with the U.S. for financial control.

Third, blockchain can be extended to finance, to supplying China, to manufacturing, and to military areas. Having a first mover advantage or having greater power in controlling and implementing these technologies will help the CCP to reach its ambition of world domination.

Sources:
1. Deutsche Welle, October 28, 2019
https://www.dw.com/zh/专访中共中央政治局为什么学区块链/a-51022583
2. VOA, October 29, 2019
https://www.voachinese.com/a/voaweishi-20191029-voaio-is-xi-blockchain-as-new-impetus-for-economy/5143899.html

Cambodia’s Anti-China Sentiment

China’s large-scale investment in Cambodia has won strong support from the Hun Sen government and has benefited some Cambodians as well. However, the influx of Chinese people and money has affected the lives of local people and caused dissatisfaction. People complain that the Chinese drive too fast and drink too much alcohol, that they do not respect Cambodians, and that they do business with Chinese only. NGO’s have put forth the criticism that the Chinese don’t care about human rights, the law, or the environment.

China’s influence has become a major issue for the Cambodian opposition party. Teav Vannol, chairman of the Cambodian opposition Candlelight Party, said that many Cambodians traditionally dislike Vietnamese because of the history of Vietnam’s invasion. Now they are even more unhappy with the Chinese.

China has become Cambodia’s largest investor, donor, and creditor. Many Cambodians worry that China’s “One Belt, One Road” project and the Cambodian government’s growing dependence on Beijing will make the country a vassal of China. Vannol observed, “If you go back to history, King Sihanouk drove out the Americans in 1965 and then China’s Chairman Mao became the big brother. You see what happened next. The war broke out in 1970. In 1975 Pol Pot and the Chinese Communist Party took control of the country, and you saw the destruction of Cambodia. This is my biggest concern. I am worried that history will repeat itself.”

A Cambodian government spokesman said that Cambodia’s constitution, diversity, and the existence of political parties that support the United States have determined that the country will not be completely tied to China. Cambodia must be a neutral and sovereign independent country.

Source: Voice of America, November 6, 2019
https://www.voachinese.com/a/anti-china-backlash-in-cambodia-caused-by-influx-of-chinese-people-and-money-20191106/5155286.html

China Seeks to Become a Space Superpower

China is considering the development of an economy outside of the Earth’s perimeter and is planning to establish an Earth-Moon economic zone by 2050. Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of the Ministry of Science and Technology, quoted Bao Weimin, director of the Science and Technology Commission of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), who said that China plans to build an Earth-Moon space economic zone by the middle of this century. Experts predict that China’s annual output in the zone may reach US$10 trillion. Bao said that the development of the space economic zone will not only bring about huge economic benefits, but it will change the current socio-economic model. CASC is the main state-owned contractor for the Chinese space program.

Bao added that China should develop a reliable and low-cost space transportation system between the Earth and the Moon. According to its plan, China will accomplish the basic technology development by 2030 and the manufacture of key transportation technologies by 2040. By the middle of this century, China may successfully establish a space economic zone.

Beijing plans to launch a Mars exploration mission in 2020 and a Mars landing in 2021. Science and Technology Daily quoted Zhang Yulin, former chief of the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), who said that the plan for the future development of China’s manned space flight is neither a simple moon landing nor a manned Mars exploration. Rather, it is to preempt an opportunity to steadily develop and utilize the Earth-Moon space via continuous technological breakthroughs and accumulation. In recent years, China has made rapid strides in the space industry, including a large number of lunar exploration research projects. China’s annual investment in space projects is as high as US$8 billion, second only to the United States.

Source: BBC Chinese, November 6, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-50320040

Taiwan TV Hostess Counter-statement against CCTV Hostess Went Viral on the Internet

A video showing a Taiwan TV hostess counter a statement that a CCTV hostess made went viral on the Internet.

Following China’s recent announcement of 26 additional measures “to further promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait,” a CCTV hostess stated in her program that the future of Taiwan is national unity and the fate of Taiwan is connected with China. At the end of her program, she said, “Wanwan (meaning Taiwan), please come home.”

On November 6, during a live broadcast, Taiwan’s “Times News” political commentary host Chen Ningguan imitated CCTV’s tone and humorously responded, “Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is suffering from domestic violence. Please stop it. Both Xixi (Tibet) and Xingxing (Xinjiang) are under surveillance. Since Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is subject to domestic violence, Wanwan (Taiwan) does not want to go home. Wanwan (Taiwan) is scared to see what is happening to Xixi (Tibet), Xingxing (Xinjiang) and Xiangxiang (Hong Kong). Wanwan (Taiwan) likes Internet freedom and does not like to climb the wall (break through Internet censorship.) Wanwan (Taiwan) is not Zhongzhong (mainland).” Chen’s response draw heated responses on the Internet. Some people posted “Wanwan (Taiwan) has our own home even though we have some garbage from Gonggong (mainland) at home. Xiangxiang (Hong Kong) is just like hell right now after it went back to the mainland. How does the mainland believe that Taiwan will be attracted back to the mainland?” One post said when “Gonggong (the CCP) is collapsed, Wanwan (Taiwan) will come home.”

Meanwhile many Taiwan politicians responded that they can clearly see the intent of the 26 measures that Beijing tried to introduce. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s president responded that the mainland wants to influence the election in Taiwan and force Taiwan to accept the “one country two system” policy. Taiwan’s response is, “It is impossible.”

Source: Aboluowang, November 9, 2019
http://www.aboluowang.com/2019/1109/1366924.html

Malaysian Young Man Was Threatened for Complaining about Huawei’s Mobile Phone

A Tweeter’s story revealed that Huawei has tried to silence people when they talk about the problems Huawei phones are having.

Huawei launched its mobile phones Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro in Malaysia on October 3, 2019. A host who has a YouTube channel to evaluate mobile phones bought a Huawei Mate 30 Pro and surprisingly found that all Google software, including YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, and Play Store, did not work.

He posted a YouTube video to discuss the problem.

Then he posted another video on October 31, reporting that he received threats from Huawei. “Today I heard that (Huawei) was warning me. Huawei told me, ‘You’d better not talk about this. If you continue talking about it and continue ‘slandering’ Huawei, we can sue you.’”

He reported, “Maybe this YouTube (video) will be my last video.” The host warned the audience that Huawei might have the power to close his YouTube channel.

“I feel that Huawei is a villain. I didn’t do anything (against it). I just used the Huawei’s phone and found the issue. I asked for a solution. Why do you warn me like this? … I used to praise Huawei’s phones. …  When I received this warning, my heart sank. … That’s why many big media didn’t report about these problems from Huawei.”

The following are some reader’s comments on the posting:

Comments by “News Revelation”:

“To help people to recall: A Microblog celebrity (in China) questioned if the moon picture that Huawei claimed to be taken with its P30 Pro phone was edited in Photoshop. Then his company fired him because of pressure from Huawei. A few years ago, Huawei’s ad claimed its phone used a high-end memory card but a person reported on the Internet that his test found it was a low-end memory card; he was arrested.”

Comments by “The List of Guillotine”:

“A few months ago, a person posted on a Microblog that his Huawei phone exploded. Then his post was taken out and his account was deleted. You can only blame yourself and take the loss when you run into a problem (with Huawei’s phone).”

Comments by “Talk in Human’s Language”:

“Even people outside of China are warned. How mighty (Huawei is)! The patriots can boast about it now.”

Source: Twitter, October 31, 2019

China’s High-speed Rail: 12 Out of 18 Railway Bureaus in the Red

According to a November 4th report from mainland Chinese media China Business Network, China State Railway Group Company, Ltd. (China Railway, CR) for the first time announced the profitability of its subsidiaries. Out of its 18 railway bureaus, 12 are in the red.

The 18 bureaus are: Taiyuan, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an, Nanchang, Jinan, Hohhot, Qinghai, Guangzhou, Nanning, Urumqi, Kunming, Lanzhou, Beijing, Shenyang, Harbin and Chengdu. The most serious loss makers are the Shenyang, Harbin, and Chengdu Railway Bureaus. The net loss of the three subsidiaries in 2018 was 11.4 billion yuan (US$1.63 billion), 12.9 billion yuan (US$1.85 billion) and 12.8 billion yuan (US$1.83 billion) separately. In the first half of 2019, their losses were 6.7 billion yuan (US$0.96 billion), 6.5 billion yuan (US$0.93 billion), and 5.1 billion yuan (US$0.73 billion). The data shows that, in 2018, only the Taiyuan, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Nanchang Railway Bureaus were profitable.

The financials of the railway bureaus are related to a number of factors, including regional economic development, railway freight traffic, passenger traffic, and high-speed rail construction investment. For example, in terms of the construction of high-speed rail, not only is the initial investment huge, but the operation and maintenance costs are high. The report predicts that the situation of the large-scale losses of high-speed rail will continue in the future. China’s high-speed rail is currently the world’s largest high-speed rail network. As of September of this year, the total mileage has exceeded 30,000 kilometers, of which over 10,000 kilometers can operate with a speed of 300 kilometers per hour.

Source: Central News Agency, November 7, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201911050298.aspx