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A Major Japanese Business Group Attacked by Chinese Hackers

The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese national newspaper, reported that a Chinese group is suspected in the 2016 hacking of the computer system used by Keidanren, or the Japan Business Federation. Keidanren, a major Japanese business organization, consists of 1,281 companies, 129 industrial associations, and 47 regional economic organizations.

“The types of computer viruses used in the Keidanren attack as well as the external computer addresses to which information was secretly transmitted were very similar to those that turned up in a separate report” released in April 2017, compiled by the British defense company BAE Systems, the major consulting firm PwC, as well as the British National Cyber Security Center.

The Chinese hacking group is identified as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 10.

According to internal documents obtained by The Asahi Shimbun, in 2014, a Keidanren employee opened an email that had been sent to him with a virus. Consequently, malicious programs existed in communication systems and servers for two years, before an official announcement was made in November 2016 about the network break-in. The hackers could have read the information exchanged between Keidanren and the Japanese government, and then sent the information to overseas computers.

Keidanren’s computer system contained communications with government officials as well as a number of policy proposals.

While Tokyo is investigating this matter, in December, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked China to take measures against “APT 10.” China denied the allegation.

Source: Sputnik News, January 13, 3019
http://sputniknews.cn/china/201901131027343093/

CNA: Deputy Mayor of Xuzhou City Holds 46 Different Team Leadership Roles

On October 30, 2018, Xuzhou City of Jiangsu Province published an official personnel announcement but it quickly drew heated discussion on the Internet. On January 12, the personnel announcement was taken down from the city website. Meanwhile the city published a clarification statement on its Weibo account. Central News Agency reported that a personnel announcement for the deputy Mayor of Xuzhou City of Jiangsu Province showed that he sits on 46 teams as either the director or the team leader. The teams include development and reform, land and resource management, human resources and social security, statistics, production safety, pricing, finance, taxation, and government service management as well as many others. People on the Internet questioned whether he is even able to manage all of these responsibilities. Some people believe that such a phenomenon is actually a breeding ground for bureaucracy because the duties of the different ministries and commissions that are normally set up are fully capable of running. They therefore wondered why there is a need to create so many extra teams and offices. In the official statement the city published on its Weibo account, it clarifies that some special tasks involve a number of departments and require clear leadership to improve efficiency. All those agencies are temporary and there are no separate offices and there is no funding involved. All the agencies will be closed as soon as the deadline or certain conditions are met. The Central News Agency article mentioned that it is not uncommon for a party official to have dozens of titles. An official from Changshu City of Jiangsu Province holds more than 37 official titles and another official in Shanwei City of Guangdong Province holds 43 titles. The report stated that even Xi Jinping was the team leader of dozens of teams at one point in time.

Source: Central News Agency, January 12, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201901120169.aspx

The Paper: 1.12 Million Cadres and Workers Paired up with Uyghur Residents to Promote Theme of “National Unity and Family”

The Paper recently reported that, since October 2016, the party committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has been promoting the “unity” theme between ethnic Han and Uyghur residents. The program pairs up cadres or workers at all levels of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Uyghur families. The Uyghurs must allow the cadres to visit and live with their family for five days every two months in order to “form large-scale, full coverage, and multi-level exchanges between the different ethnic groups to achieve ‘national unity’ and bring the progress in Xinjiang to a new level.” It was reported that by the end of December 2018, there were more than 1.12 million cadres and workers paired with up to or more than 1.69 million Uyghur families. They have made a cumulative 57 million visits to these families and held more than 13 million events including many different activities under the theme of “national unity and family.”

Source: The Paper, January 3, 2019
https://m.thepaper.cn/wifiKey_detail.jsp?contid=2807286&from=wifiKey

Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

{Editor’s Note: Student informants are an institutional arrangement of the Chinese regime where the universities appoint students as informants to report to the school administration. Although on the surface the purpose is to collect information on academic activities, the student informants are the ears and eyes of the Communist Party authorities in the universities and are an important component of the university’s “ideological and political work.”

As early as the Cultural Revolution, the party committees at the universities organized the students to report on faculty members in their “battles against anti-party and anti-socialist gangs.” After the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, the regime systematically established student informants in key Chinese universities. In 2005, the arrangement was expanded to almost every university and even some high schools. Recent years have seen stories of student informants reporting on teacher’s so-called “reactionary” remarks. One example is Chinascope’s briefing: “Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance” {1}.

The article translated here is a guideline for hiring student informants. It is from the website of the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, an average university in China.} {2}

A Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

Article 1 This guideline is developed to mobilize the enthusiasm of undergraduate students to participate in the management of academic activities, (for the university), to provide a timely appraisal of information on academic affairs and management, and, further, to improve the quality of education.

Article 2 The Student Informant’ System is a system in which the Office of Academic Affairs, following particular standards and procedures, appoints undergraduate students to investigate academic activities, and collect and report teaching and management information.

Article 3 The criteria for selecting a student informant:

1. A love of the management of academic affairs, caring about the university’s teaching reform, and having a strong sense of service consciousness;
2. Being responsible, objective and fair, and is one who teachers and students trust;
3. Holds an excellent academic standing with an excess of capability;
4. Has good writing and verbal communication skills, has a strong sense of cooperation and is a team player;
5. Is familiar with the university’s regulations on academic activities and teaching management.

Article 4 In principle, each administrative class shall have one student informant with minimal personnel change. The selection process is as follows:

1. Each class recommends the candidate. After that, the college goes through a review and an approval process. The candidate must fill out the “Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Undergraduate Student Informant Registration Form.” After the university approves the application and it is stamped with the college’s official seal, it can be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.
2. The Office of Academic Affairs will then publicize the list of candidates on the university’s website. For candidates that receive no objection after this exposure, the University appoints them as the student informants and issues a letter of appointment.
3. The Office of Academic Affairs can directly renew the appointment of excellent student informants (skipping step 1 and 2).

Article 5 The term of the offer is, in general, one year.

Article 6 Student informants shall perform the following duties:

1. Collect and report issues in everyday academic activities, especially classroom teaching and academic management; make suggestions to and communicate with academic management;
2. Collect and report issues in teaching facilities, equipment and its management, and on the sanitation of surroundings;
3. Collect and report issues on exam schedules, exam methods, exam contents, exam ethics, and the performance of informants;
4. Collect and report issues in the selection and distribution of teaching materials, as well as settling accounts for teaching material payments;
5. Assist the Office of Academic Affairs in conducting classroom teaching quality evaluations;
6. Collect and report on other academic activities.

Article 7 Student informants shall perform their duties diligently, collect and report all kinds of teaching activities and academic management information at least three times each semester, fill out the “Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Teaching Information Feedback Form,” and submit it to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Article 8 At the end of each school year, the Office of Academic Affairs shall conduct a performance review of the student informants. After passing the assessment, the student informant can get two extra curriculum credits; for those who actively participate in the teaching management work with outstanding performance. The Office of Academic Affairs will issue the Excellent Student Informant certificate and offer an award.

Article 9 For those who are irresponsible and who fail to perform their duties as a student informant, they will be dismissed following the completion of the performance assessment.

Article 10 The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for the interpretation of this guideline.

Article 11 The guideline shall be effective on the date of issuance.

Enclosures:

1, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Undergraduate Student Informant Registration Form
2, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Teaching Information Feedback Form
3, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Student Informant Evaluation Form

Endnotes:
{1} Chinascope, Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance, October 1, 2018.
http://chinascope.org/archives/16286.
{2} The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law website, “Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law,” April 20, 2015.
http://jwc.zuel.edu.cn/2015/0420/c5866a5930/page.htm.

BBC Chinese: Huawei Poland Sales Manager Arrested in Poland

The BBC reported that the Polish Internal Security Agency ABW arrested a Chinese senior executive of China Telecom giant Huawei and a Polish engineer. They were accused of conducting espionage for Chinese intelligence. Polish public television station TVP reported that the Polish security department searched Huawei’s office in Poland on Friday January 11. The Polish public television station TVP mentioned in the report that the arrested Chinese executives were the sales managers of Huawei in the Polish branch, and the arrested Polish engineer Piotr D was a senior official who worked for the National Security Agency.
In addition to searching the Huawei office, the Polish National Security Agency also searched the office of another telecommunications operator, Orange, the latest employer of the arrested Polish engineer.

According to the Polish public television station, Wang Weijing graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University with a Polish major. He worked at the Chinese Consulate in Gdansk since 2006. Huaweie hired him in 2011 and he was sent to Poland to work in the public relations department of Huawei in Poland. In 2017, Wang became the sales manager of Huawei Poland, responsible for selling Huawei products to the public sector.

The Chinese official media reprinted the response of the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying that China is highly concerned that Wang Weijing was detained by the Polish Internal Security Bureau. The Chinese Embassy in Poland had already met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and asked Poland for an update about the case. However on January 12 Huawei fired Wang Weijing. In its statement, Huawei noted that Wang Weijing was arrested for “personal reasons” for allegedly violating Polish laws and “has adversely affected Huawei’s global reputation.” Huawei decided to terminate its employment relationship with Wang Weijing immediately.

At the same time, the Polish government said they are considering banning Huawei’s operation in the Polish market. Karol Okonski, head of network security at the Polish government, said they will make decisions in the coming weeks. He also said that any “decision on Huawei’s future in Poland” will be consistent with the EU and NATO, because Poland is a member of the EU and of NATO.

In addition, on the same day that Polish media reported the arrest of Wang Weijing, Scott Bradley, senior vice president of public affairs at Huawei Canada, announced his resignation. Earlier, the president of Huawei Canada said that the company “has no obligation to abide by Chinese laws” and (will) “never spy for the Chinese government.”

The arrest in Poland came after the arrest of Huawei’s vice chairman and chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Canada on December 1, 2018. Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei’s founder, was detained by the Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S.. The U.S. extradited Meng because of a suspected violation of Washington’s trade sanctions against Iran. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the incident seriously violated human rights and lodged solemn representations to the U.S. and to Canada.

Source: BBC Chinese, January 13, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-46837367

Scholar Cancels New Book Due to Censorship from State-owned Publisher in Hong Kong

Uganda Sze Pui Kwan, an associate professor at the Chinese Division of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, had to terminate cooperation with the Hong Kong based Joint Publishing for her new book because she refused to edit politically sensitive contents.

Kwan, who grew up in Hong Kong, originally planned to publish her new book, Global Hong Kong Literature: Translation, Publication, Communication, and Version Control were to be in Hong Kong.

According to a January 9 article that a Chinese University of Hong Kong scholar Wong Nim-yan, who is also Kwan’s friend, wrote in the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao, the contents included a mention of  ‘June 4’ and described the publishing situation in China during its reform and opening up the 80s and 90s. The publisher hoped the author would edit these items out herself. June 4 refers to the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989.

The state-owned enterprise Sino United Publishing, owns Joint Publishing with the Chinese’s government’s liaison office in Hong Kong as its largest shareholder.

Kwan will likely publish the book, uncensored, with the Taiwanese company, Linking Publishing.

Source: Central News Agency, January 12, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201901120202.aspx