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Chinese Intelligence Agents Are Monitoring Demonstrators in Germany

The German government disclosed that the Chinese authorities are monitoring and intimidating dissidents and demonstrators in Germany, including those who support the Hong Kong democracy movement. The German government pointed out that Chinese intelligence agents in Germany are playing a particularly significant role.

The above announcement was made in response to a question from the Alliance 90/The Greens. The Green Party asked in an inquiry: “Do the German government or the federal agencies know that Chinese institutions in Germany are trying to influence the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the personal rights of demonstrators?” The reply indicated that the German government is “informed” about Chinese authorities’ attempts to exert influence.

The German government further pointed out that a major focus of the Chinese intelligence bodies in Germany is to “monitor and oppose the movements that the Chinese authorities believe will challenge their ruling power and threaten national unity.” The German government also mentioned that it is the responsibility of the German states, not the federal government, to deal with such behaviors from China.

The Green party’s spokeswoman for human rights Margarete Bause called for the German government to take countermeasures. “Security agencies should protect people who are committed to fighting against the authoritarian regime and are in our country.” Bause believes that political and espionage activities against Chinese dissidents in exile or living in Germany should face consequences, “including the expulsion of those who have infiltrated our country and threatened the residents here.”

Katrin Göring-Eckardt, leader of the Green Party group, also pointed out to that the German government has admitted that many demonstrators in Germany are often obstructed. “Beijing’s long arm has reached into our country of the rule of law through its intelligence agencies, reached out to these demonstrators and posed a threat to them.”

Source: Deutsche Welle Chinese, September 13, 2019

CNBC Invited Host of the CCP’s Overseas Propaganda Network to Appear on U.S. Television

Liu Xin, the host of a talk show on the China Global Television Network (CGTN) was interviewed on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” The interview was then broadcasted on the U.S. cable network on September 3, to “provide the perspective of the Chinese” on the ongoing Hong Kong protests and the U.S.-China trade war.

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) mouthpiece China Central Television (CCTV) launched CGTN on December 31, 2016, to promote the CCP’s view overseas.

Liu made her name in the U.S. by attacking Trish Regan, the Fox Business Network host, who criticized China on the U.S.-China trade war. Trish invited her for a live debate on television, which turned out to be a “dialog” between the two hosts.

In CNBC’s interview, Liu called a portion of the Hong Kong protesters “rioters” and “offenders.” “We see the violence they are committing.” “We see the destruction they are inflicting on public property, and the interruption of the daily lives of the Hong Kong people, shutting down the metro and disrupting the airport.”

Liu didn’t mention how the police used brutal treatment against the protesters; nor did she mention allegations that they directly beat the protesters and supported gangsters in beating the protesters. She fell short of mentioning that Beijing has been ignoring the Hong Kong people’s appeals and taking a hard line position against them, which has caused the escalation of the situation.

On the trade war, Liu criticized the U.S. for raising tariffs on Chinese imports, saying that it’s “not the right direction for talks to resume.” “It really depends on whether the United States is able to show sincerity and to show good faith that it really wants to have a trade deal.”

Robert Spalding, a former National Security Council official and senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank Hudson Institute, told The Epoch Times that the CNBC interview was “bizarre.” He added that he has never seen a representative from Chinese state media be interviewed as a commentator on U.S. television.

Spalding said that Liu’s interview indicated that the Chinese regime was hoping [with the help of CNBC] to spread the CCP’s view to the world.

Source: The Epoch Times, September 4, 2019

CNA: State Council Urges Local Governments to Complete Issuance of Special Bonds by September

The Central News Agency in Taiwan reported that, to avoid a big economic downfall, the State Council of mainland China has urged local governments to expedite the issuance of special bonds, which the governments use to raise money for special projects.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang held an executive meeting on September 4. He announced that, in order to further increase investments, local governments must complete the issuance of special bonds by the end of September and allocate funds to those projects by the end of October.

These bonds are for projects on transportation, infrastructure development, and medical care areas, and are not allowed to be used for real estate projects or repayment of matured bonds.

Depending on the needs of major projects, local government can use the special bond quota planned for the year 2020 in this year.

Source: CNA, September 8, 2019

Question Raised about First Chinese Australian MP’s Relationship to Chinese Communist Party

Gladys Liu was born in Hong Kong in 1964. In May 2019, she became the first Chinese Australian woman to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives. . She went to Melbourne in 1985 and became an Australian citizen in 1992. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation disclosed on September 10th that the Chinese government website showed that from 2003 to 2015, she served as a council member of the Guangdong provincial chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association. In 2010, Liu also served as a council member of the Shandong branch of the association. The association accepts business guidance from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council. In 2018, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council was merged into the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, an agency dedicated to expanding the political penetration and influence of the Party.

In the face of questioning from Sky News, Liu said, “I don’t remember . . .” However, shortly afterwards, she issued a statement acknowledging that she had held an honorary position in the Guangdong chapter of the China Overseas Exchange Association in 2011, but said that there had been no contact with the organization since then. According to Australian media, Liu supports the Hong Kong democracy movement, but she refuses to call Xi Jinping a “dictator” and refuses to condemn the Chinese government’s actions in the South China Sea as being illegal.

Professor Clive Hamilton, a China researcher at Charles Sturt University, told ABC, “I think Parliament itself must now ask whether she is in breach of section 44 of the constitution, which disqualifies any member who owes allegiance to a foreign power.”

In 2017, Labor senator Sam Dastyari resigned from the Senate after being accused of receiving funding from Chinese political donors to support China’s foreign policy interests.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 11, 2019

IHS Markit: Hong Kong Economy Sees Its Biggest Decline in Ten Years

According to IHS Markit, a London based leading research and consulting firm, its recently released Hong Kong Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) shows that, in the month of August, Hong Kong’s business activity experienced its biggest decline since 2008.

The report pointed to the fact that Hong Kong’s business confidence has dropped to a record low. Pessimism continues to spread in major companies. The IHS Markit’s Hong Kong PMI, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, fell from 43.8 in July to 40.8 in August, the worst month since February 2009. In general, an index above 50 represents an increase in activity in the private economy, while below 50 represents a decline. The calculation of the index includes statistics on new orders, outputs, employment, suppliers’ delivery time, and inventory purchases.

According to IHS Markit’s PMI index, Hong Kong’s economy has been declining for 17 consecutive months. The number of orders that mainland China placed in Hong Kong has fallen sharply. Almost half of the companies surveyed said that orders from mainland China had decreased. They believe that the Sino-US trade war, the sharp depreciation of the renminbi, and the large-scale demonstrations in Hong Kong are the reasons for the decline in orders from the mainland.

Bernard Aw, an economist at IHS Markit, said the latest survey shows that the Hong Kong economy is shrinking at a rate of 4 percent to 4.5 percent. In August of this year, the output, new orders, and the export volume of Hong Kong companies fell sharply. In the history of the company’s compilation of the PMI index, which is more than 20 years, only the 2003 SARS epidemic and the 2008-09 financial crisis were worse than today.

Even worse, more and more companies surveyed believe that the situation will deteriorate even further in the next 12 months. According to IHS Markit, about one-quarter of companies in July were pessimistic about the coming year; in August one-third of respondents held a gloomy outlook.

Source: Deutsche Welle, Chinese channel, September 4, 2019

Head of State Media Group Meets with Heads of Reuters and Associated Press

Shen Haixiong, deputy head of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department and head of the China Media Group (CMG), met with Michael Friedenberg, President of Reuters News, and a leader of Associated Press, who attended the 2019 Belt and Road Media Community Summit Forum in Beijing on September 10. China Media Group is the most predominant state media company. It was founded in 2018 through the merger of China Central Television, China National Radio, and China Radio International.

According to the state media report, Friedenberg said that Reuters attaches great importance to the Chinese market, and attaches importance to the development of cooperative relations with CMG. He hopes to carry out all-round cooperation with CMG in financial reports and financial services, and improve the communication and feedback mechanism with CMG.

As reported by the state media, the AP leader said that the AP colleagues have witnessed the incredible rapid development in innovation and quality since the establishment of CMG. The Associated Press regards CMG as a partner and friend, while being neither a general customer nor a competitor. The Associated Press will support CMG’s objective and fair mainstream voice in the international public opinion arena.

Source: China Central Television, September 10, 2019