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The U.S. Expanded Scope of Reviews to Include U.S. Students in China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, after they returned home, the FBI contacted some U.S. students who had graduated from China’s Yenching Academy at Beijing University. The Yenching Academy is an institute mainly for foreign students and around one third are from the United States and Canada. In the past two years, U.S. law enforcement agencies investigated five of the students, asking about their experience with Yenching Academy. Two students from West Point were not allowed to attend Yenching, although Yenching had accepted them. The FBI may be concerned about these scholars receiving Chinese financial sponsorship as they may be asked to help steal U.S. intellectual properties. The previous U.S. administration supported Yenching Academy and Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman Scholars program. Heather K. Gerken, Dean of the Yale Law School, expressed her serious concern about the FBI’s reviews and activities.

Source: Sina, August 9, 2019

Lianhe Zaobao: HK Chief and Justice Secretary Scored Lower in July Poll

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong just published its July poll on the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Chief Executive. According to the latest poll, Hong Kong Chief Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor scored at 32.9, which is a 4.6-point decline month-over-month. In the meantime, Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong’s Secretary of Justice scored at 24.1, which is also a significant low. This could be the result of widespread criticism of the recent police activities and the issues with the legal system. A few other key government officials suffered lower scores as well. On the overall poll for the Hong Kong government, 15 percent of the people surveyed were satisfied and 63 percent were dissatisfied. The poll also showed that 21 percent of the people experienced trust in the government while 53 percent of the locals no longer trusted the government.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, August 5, 2019

Sofreight: China Planning Tariff-Free Trial in Shanghai Free-Trade Zone

Sofreight, a China-based international freight information platform, recently posted an article in its news section indicating that the Chinese central government has been considering and is now planning to remove all tariffs in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. In the midst of a grand trade war with the United States, the Chinese government wants to position itself as the leader of free trade. The plan may be announced within this year at the earliest. According to the draft plan, foreign companies will not pay any tariff for cargo staying in the Zone, with a much-simplified customs process. Currently, normal tariffs still apply to cargo in the Zone with Chinese Customs still administering them. Today, to establish a company registered in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone, the process takes a few months, though the government claims it takes only five days. If the plan succeeds, it has the potential to be deployed to all of China’s free-trade zones. Neither officials in the Zone nor the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) responded to requests for confirmation or comments.

Source: Sofreight, August 6, 2019

NTDTV: Hong Kong Policemen Were Taped Replacing Uniforms with the Clothing of Protesters

According to NTDTV, during recent protests in Hong Kong, there were groups of gangsters in white or blue clothing attacking the protesters. Also among the protesters, some individuals were shouting and even acted like criminals. It was suspected that Hong Kong policemen or CCP undercover agents played these roles to make the protests seem to be “out of control” or more “chaotic.” Now, the suspicion has some evidence behind it. Some Hong Kong policemen were videotaped while they gathering in or around their police vehicles. They were taped changing out of their uniforms and into white clothing .

On Sunday evening, August 4th, some Hong Kong people took a video and uploaded it to YouTube. The video showed that, in the parking lot of the Ngau Tau Kok District Police Station, a police van marked “AM7113” on the top had the door open. A group of police officers gathered inside and around the police vehicle. On the left side of the van, several police officers took off their uniforms and replaced them with black or white clothing. During this period, several people in black were returning to the other side of the van.  [Editor’s note: At 0:27 two persons in black clothing with white masks walked to the van. One of them entered the van, while another with a cell-phone in his left hand and a flashlight in his right hand walked away. At 2:11, the same man returned to the van again.].

Another video on Twitter was taken at possibly the same location. It displayed at the end of the same police vehicle [AM7113], that several police officers, while at the back side of the vehicle were replacing their white clothing.

In addition to the AM7113 vehicle, there were still many police cars parked on site. The car numbers that could be seen included AM8052, AM8053, and AM8185. According to public information, the license plate numbers of the Hong Kong government vehicles started mostly with AM, while the police car numbers started with AM6, AM7, AM8, AM98 and AM99. AM7113 belongs to the Tseung Kwan O Police Station.

These videos caused a heated discussion on the network. Some netizens suspected that the police mixed into the demonstrators and that their actions gave the police their excuse for arresting demonstrators.

1. NTDTV, August 6, 2019
2. YouTube, August 4, 2019

3. Twitter, August 4, 2019

Overseas Chinese Organizations Leap Forward to Show Loyalty to the Chinese Government

While Beijing has been blaming the U.S. for masterminding the Hong Kong protests and ratcheting up its rhetoric against the movement, the official media also reported that the “international community” has been condemning the “violent protesters.” One article highlights a list of overseas Chinese organizations.

The article is titled, “The overseas Chinese community has expressed a strong voice, intensely condemning the violent behavior of sabotaging Hong Kong and supporting ‘one country, two systems.’” The article mentioned “over 50 representatives of overseas Chinese organizations in the U.K.” “over 10 overseas Chinese organizations in Southern California,” the Council of Newcomer Organizations (CONCO) in Canada, the Overseas Chinese Association in Bangladesh, 14 overseas Chinese organizations in Hungary, the General Association of Chinese Traders and Entrepreneurs In Madagascar, and a number of overseas Chinese organizations in Madrid, Spain.

The letter from “over 10 overseas Chinese organizations in Southern California” said, “Hong Kong matters are China’s internal affair. (We) resolutely oppose any foreign forces inciting the Hong Kong people to be against the SAR government and the central government, arbitrarily criticizing and interfering in China’s internal affairs. (We) hope that Hong Kong compatriots will open their eyes and cherish their hard-earned prosperity and stability and that you work with the Chinese people at home and abroad to contribute to the peaceful reunification of the Motherland and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Source: The Paper, August 12, 2019

Huanqiu Editorial: U.S. Slams Hong Kong Media

An official editorial from a China State media, Huanqiu (Global Times), attempted to rebut a statement that the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus made on August 8. Ortagus described China as a “thuggish regime” because it disclosed personal details about a U.S. diplomat who met student leaders involved in the Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Earlier, a China-controlled media, the Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao, published a photograph of a U.S. diplomat, identified as Julie Eadeh of the consulate’s political section, talking to student leaders, including Joshua Wong, in the lobby of a luxury hotel. It also published personal details about her family members.

“However,” said Huanqiu , “the U.S. State Department slammed the Hong Kong media on Thursday, and described the report exposing U.S. diplomat Ms. Eadeh’s past experience in instigating a ‘color revolution’ as ‘disclosing the personal information of U.S. diplomats.’ It attributed the media report to the [Chinese] government, and said that is what a thuggish regime would do.”

Huanqiu continued, “The Hong Kong media have the right to expose the situation of U.S. diplomats who are actively intervening in Hong Kong and to let people know what kind of people they are in order to form a more comprehensive understanding of the situation in Hong Kong. This is the duty of the media and the [Chinese] government has nothing to do with it.”

It concluded, “All this that the internal and external forces created is nothing but a phantom. With the strong support of the [Chinese Communist Party] Central Committee, the vast Hong Kong people who are patriotic and love Hong Kong will have the courage to stand up. The conspiracy will be shattered and the turmoil will be crushed. The time will come when the mob will be brought to justice.”

Source: Huanqiu, August 9, 2019