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Communist Party Branch Invades Hong Kong Institutions of Higher Education

Apple Daily reported that an article circulating on the Internet commented that, in October, groups of Chinese judges who are studying for the master’s and a doctoral degree at the City University of Hong Kong not only set up a temporary party branch but also held a branch meeting. However, the official website of the China National Judges College, which first disclosed this significant information, was suspected of having deleted the posting after the incident caused a dispute. According to a number of Hong Kong media reports, the party branch office held a meeting on the afternoon of October 20. Thirty-nine party members and 11 non-party members participated in the meeting.

According to the CCP constitution, units with more than three Communist Party members must establish party branches. In recent years, the CCP has been advocating “setting up party branches while away from China.” Voice of America reported earlier that, on November 4, 2017, seven visiting scholars established a branch of the Communist Party of China at the University of California in Davis, but the organization was dissolved only two weeks later because it was in violation of U.S. law.

Source: Apple Daily, November 13, 2018

Lecture of British Dissident Writer in Hong Kong Was Cancelled

The independent Chinese PEN member and Chinese dissident writer Ma Jian was scheduled to give lectures that were to be held in Hong Kong on Saturday November 10. The lectures were cancelled due to unknown reasons. Radio Free Asia reported that this is similar to the experience of the Chinese political cartoonist Ba Ducao, whose solo exhibition in Hong Kong got cancelled earlier.

Ma Jian was scheduled to attend two lectures on Saturday at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival held at Hong Kong’s Grand Pavilion, but he said on a social networking site on Wednesday that “due to unknown reasons” the two literary exchanges were cancelled. He also said that if the event address was changed, he would inform the participants, provided that he was not missing.

According to a Deutsche Welle report, the Hong Kong Grand Assembly explained that they do not want to see the big hall become a platform for any individual to promote their political interests, but will help the organizers to find a more suitable venue. Some in the general public expressed the belief that this was another public event cancelled for politically sensitive reasons.

Ma Jian was originally prepared, during the lectures, to publicize his new book, “The Chinese Dream.” This book is in response to the “Chinese Dream” that Xi Jinping proposed. The work describes “a country facing materialism and violent history.” The British Penguin Press evaluated the book as “creating a biting satire on totalitarianism.”

Many of Ma Jian’s works have been banned in the mainland, including the novel “Beijing Coma” which explores the background of the June 4th Tiananmen Square incident. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and have been published worldwide. In 2011, the Chinese government also banned Ma Jian from entering the country.

Earlier this month, the Chinese political cartoonist Badiucao (巴丢草)’s first international solo exhibition “Gongle” was also cancelled because the organizers claimed that the Beijing authorities threatened them.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 8, 2018

PLA Daily: Army to Transition into the Type Oriented toward a “Proactive Strategy”

On November 12, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily, the official voice of the Chinese military, published an opinion article titled, “Promoting the Transition of an Army into the Type Oriented toward a ‘Proactive Strategy.’”

“For a long time, the army has grown with the background of ‘active defense’ warfare, carrying out a ‘shield’ style of build-up and readiness. That is, the army has only passively responded when the enemy entered the country. This type of army is looking at the borders of the territory; its combat guideline is ‘defending the country and fighting against aggression.’ As history enters into the 21st century, the form of warfare is undergoing accelerated and profound changes. The development of the army must be based on the country’s strategic needs. It should have the courage to become the ‘backbone’ of information warfare and take the initiative to transition into the type that has a ‘proactive strategy.’”

“This strategy means planning and designing. It means to take the initiative, instead of relying on external forces, to make strategic plans and calculations. The army that has a ‘proactive strategy’ is in line with the trend of the evolution of the world’s military. It focuses on national strategic needs, works for the goal of ‘protecting its territory and its interests,’ proactively designs land warfare, and actively plans the development of a powerful modern new-type army.”

“Such an army has distinct characteristics: a strong sense of crisis, … a vast and broad strategic vision, … and a forward-looking land warfare design.”

Source: People’s Liberation Army Daily, November 12, 2018

RFA: Silicon Valley Said No to Wuzhen

Radio Free Asia (RFA) recently reported that the Fifth World Internet Conference was held in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, starting on November 7. Other than the CEO of Qualcomm, a U.S. chip maker, who attended the Conference and delivered a speech, no high-ranking officers from Silicon Valley showed up. Apparently, this was due to the trade war between China and the U.S. In fact, many of these companies were very upset about China’s continuous dishonest behavior, such as stealing intellectual property from them. This is one of the main triggering causes of the trade war. Some experts expressed the belief that it’s ironic for China, a country that blocks billions of netizens from freely accessing international websites, to host the international Internet conference year after year. Bill Xia, the President of a U.S. internet freedom product (Freegate) company, commented in an RFA interview that China has been hiding behind the ridiculous excuse of “internet sovereignty” to hammer freedom of speech and to apply tight controls over its own citizens.

Source: RFA Chinese, November 8, 2018

The Canton Fair Showed a 30 Percent Decline in Exports to the U.S.

Sofreight, a Chinese national logistics and shipping information site, recently reported that, when the 124th Canton Fair (also known as the China Import and Export Fair) closed, it showed a decline of over 30 percent, to US$279 million, in the level of exports to the United States. Also, in addition to the decline of U.S. buyer attendance, the attendance of buyers from other major economies also saw a significant decline. Compared to last year, European Union buyers declined by 3.93 percent, the U.S. buyers declined by 4.07 percent, and Hong Kong declined by 6.34 percent. The Canton Fair has historically been the primary barometer to measure China’s international trade health. The export level reflected in the Fair was in line with what was demonstrated in the recent Chinese export PMI numbers. In October, the Chinese export orders index under its PMI score reached the lowest point since 2016. According to a Fair internal survey conducted by the Zhejiang Province delegation among their own 4,690 companies that participated in the Canton Fair, over 60 percent of the companies have 10 percent or more revenue dependency on exports to the U.S. Around 15 percent of companies have over 80 percent dependency on U.S. exports. Around 66 percent of the companies surveyed expected an export decline of 10 percent or more.

Source: Sofreight, November 9, 2018

BBC Chinese: Asian Stock Markets Declined after China’s New Promises

BBC Chinese recently reported that the China International Import Expo (CIIE) started on November 5. In a keynote address, Chinese leadership made promises to open up the country’s domestic market and to lower tariffs. China intends to broaden its imports and strengthen the protection of intellectual property. In the next 15 years, China expects to import over US$30 trillion worth of goods and US$10 trillion worth of services. However, many experts pointed out that China’s promises lacked tangible action items and a clear timetable. The nearby Asian stock markets reflected the concerns of the analysts. Immediately after the CIIE opening keynote address, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.65 percent, while both the Shanghai Composite Index and the Shenzhen Component Index fell more than 1 percent. The Tokyo stock market fell 1.3 percent, and Singapore fell 1.8 percent. Right before the CIIE, these stock markets all increased due to the fact that U.S. President Trump commented positively on an on-going dialogue with China. However, the Chinese message appeared to be disappointing.

Source: BBC Chinese, November 5, 2018