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LTN: Wikipedia Permanently Banned Some Chinese Users

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that Wikipedia imposed an unprecedented permanent ban on seven Chinese users for their login rights and another twelve users for their management and editing rights since they were suspected of reporting Hong Kong Wikipedia editors to the Hong Kong National Security Agency. Since the outbreak of the campaign against the revised draft of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance in Hong Kong in 2019, Wikipedia editors in Hong Kong and China have had political differences in their description of the situation in Hong Kong. After the HK National Security Law took effect last year, Wikipedia issued a statement that it will not share non-public user information with the Hong Kong government unless there is a clear legal requirement or an immediate life-threatening danger. Wikipedia is now banned in Mainland China.

Source: LTN, September 15, 2021

CBN: China-US Ocean Shipping Prices Soared Five Times

China Business Network (CBN) recently reported that, while in the peak season, China-US ocean shipping prices returned to more than US$20,000/FEU (a 40-foot standard container). At the same time, shipping giants like CMA CGM announced the freezing of freight rates. The global container freight index published jointly by the Baltic Exchange and Freightos showed, as of September 12, that the shipping prices of China/Southeast Asia – West Coast of North America and China/Southeast Asia – East Coast of North America continued to rise. Both exceeded the US$20,000 mark, which reflects a 500 percent increase, year-over-year. The shipping companies may not raise their price now, yet the possibility of a downward adjustment is also unlikely. Recent sales data showed that home furnishings and home audio-visual products are very popular in the US market. This translates into the risk that shipping prices may continue to rise during the fourth quarter. The freight price freeze does not necessarily include the additional surcharges, which has become a major burden for importers and exporters.

Source: CBN, September 12, 2021

Four Incidents alerted Switzerland to Chinese Infiltration; Swiss Parliament Passed Bill: “Improving Relations with Taiwan”

On September 14th, the lower house of the Swiss Parliament passed the “Improving Relations with Taiwan” bill by an overwhelming majority. The bill will require the Swiss Federal Council to submit a report on how to deepen relations with Taiwan in the economic, trade, political, scientific and cultural fields.

Yan Minru, a Taiwanese writer who has lived in Switzerland for more than three decades, told Radio Free Asia that Taiwan’s success in combating COVID, coupled with four recent China-related incidents in Switzerland, alerted Switzerland to the infiltration from China and made them realize that they should start to support Taiwan.

Those four China-related incidents are described as follows:
1. During the Hong Kong protest, Zurich University of the Arts used an art exhibit to show support for Hong Kong protesters. The Chinese embassy pressured the university, telling them not to interfere with China’s internal affairs. The university insisted they had the right to freedom of speech and it would be unconstitutional if they gave in and cancelled the exhibition. Their position was well received by the media.

2. Gerber, a Ph.D. student at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, criticized China on twitter. His professor and adviser then received threats from some Chinese students. The university asked Gerber to find another adviser. Since Gerber studied China’s environmental pollution which is a sensitive subject, Gerber was unable to find a new adviser. He had to drop out of school and wasted three years of research work.

3. About two years ago, for about a year, the Swiss German-language weekly Le Monde published articles written by a former Chinese ambassador to Switzerland on a monthly basis. The articles were full of propaganda. New Zurich Daily later exposed that the articles were published through the process of trade involving a paid advertisement with the Chinese embassy.

4. A large number of Chinese were smuggled into Switzerland. The Swiss government allowed several Chinese officials to come to Switzerland to verify the status of the refugees. The process lasted for two weeks. The Swiss government even paid for the Chinese officials’ airfare, hotel accommodations, health insurance, and gave them a US$217 daily allowance. They even let these officials use the Swiss office facilities. It caused strong public opposition.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 15, 2021

Former Scientist at Canada’s National Laboratory Collaborated with PLA Major General

According to the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, a former scientist at Canada’s National Laboratory had a close, cooperative research relationship with a Chinese PLA Major General who was praised in China for developing a COVID 19 vaccine.

While working at the Winnipeg National Laboratory in Canada, Qiu Xiangguo collaborated with Chinese PLA general Chen Wei while doing Ebola virus research. Both of them published papers on their research results in 2016 and 2020. However, there was no mention in the research process or in the paper’s publication that Chen is a military major general and a virologist. She was described as a Ph.D. from the Beijing Biotechnology Research Institute.

Three Canadian scientists involved in the study said they did not know Chen’s true identity and that Qiu did not disclose her cooperation with the Chinese scientists either.

It was later confirmed that Chen is a major general in the People’s Liberation Army and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Xi Jinping praised Chen’s team for developing China’s COVID vaccine.

The first to discover the relationship between Chen and Qiu was Canadian writer Elaine Dewar, who was conducting an investigation into the origin of COVID 19. She found a close relationship between the National Laboratory in Winnipeg and the Wuhan Laboratory in China. She then documented the relationship in her recent book, “On the Origin of the Deadliest Pandemic in 100 Years: An investigation.”

Qiu Xiangguo and her scientist husband, Cheng Keding, were expelled from the Winnipeg National Laboratory in July 2019. They were fired in January 2020, but Ottawa would not comment on the reason.

1. Radio Free Asia, September 17, 2021
2. The Globe and Mail, September 16, 2021

China Buys Nearly a Quarter of the World’s Exported Whole Milk Powder

According to a Russian report, in 2020, China bought nearly a quarter of the total of all global exports of whole milk powder and in 2021, China has continued to expand its imports of whole milk powder. 

On September 14, 2021, the Agricultural Products Export Development Center of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture released a report. According to the report, the total exports of whole milk powder in 2020 was 2.745,900 metric tons. China bought 23 percent of those exports. 

From January to July 2021, China’s total whole milk powder imports increased by 34 percent from 455,000 metric tons compared to the same period last year. The total reached was 609,000 metric tons. New Zealand exported 561,000 metric tons to China during this period. 

In addition, the Russian report also mentioned that, in 2020, China bought 13 percent, 9 percent, and 4 percent of global exports of skimmed milk powder, butter, and cheese. The Russian government is currently negotiating with the Chinese government on the milk powder supply. Recently, on August 7, 2021, the two sides held talks on this issue.


Liberty Times, September 16, 2021

Xi Jinping: The Communist Party Must Firmly Lead All

On September 15, 2021, after several major government actions to control China, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping published a collection of the remarks he has made since 2012. The title in Qiushi magazine was, “Unswervingly Persist and Strengthen the Party’s Overall Leadership.”

Xi stated that the CCP must lead in the areas of the economy; politics; cultural, social, and ecological conditions; national defense and the military forces; the reunification [Taiwan], diplomatic work, the CCP’s party-building; and other areas of importance. Xi also said that the CCP’s leadership is the fundamental point of China’s political stability, economic development, national unity, and social stability, and there should not be even the slightest doubt about it.

Xi added further that China’s most significant national condition is the CCP’s leadership. History and the people have chosen the CCP. The CCP’s leadership is the essential feature and the advantage of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The fundamentals of governing China are the CCP’s  leadership and the Chinese socialist system.

Xi pointed out that the Communist Party of China is the ruling party. The CCP rules every aspect of China and is the supreme political leadership.

Xi said that upholding and strengthening the CCP’s leadership has a bearing on the future and destiny of the CCP and China. All undertakings are built on this foundation and rooted in this essential feature and this most significant advantage.

Source: Qiushi, September 15, 2021

Military: Huanqiu Report: “PLA Warships Appeared Near the U.S. Coast”

Huanqiu reported that the U.S. Department of Defense revealed, on September 12, that China’s warships appeared near the U.S. coast. The U.S. posted a picture which showed that, on August 30, the U.S. Coast Guard patrol ship USCGC Bertholf was conducting “close surveillance” of Chinese naval vessels entering international waters in the U.S. exclusive economic zone near the Aleutian Islands. The Chinese vessels included a Type 055 destroyer, a Type 052D destroyer, and a replenishment ship.

Though Huanqiu quoted a Chinese military expert as stating that “this might be a routine ocean-going training exercise and that there is no offensive implication,” the hottest comments in this article by the Chinese netizens overwhelmingly suggested that they view it as an answer to the U.S. naval ships sailing in the South China Sea. While Beijing claims the waters there to be China’s waters, the international community does not.

Some of the comments were:

“China’s freedom of navigation has begun, and the U.S. needs to get used to it!”

“Right, we should knock on the U.S. door to see if the American Empire is home.”

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! You Yankees can sail freely, why can’t China sail freely? This is the best answer to you Yankees.”

“It is to provoke (confrontation). So what!”

“It’s just free sailing. Chinese warships are brave adolescents who like to wander around to any location in their own territory. So what if you don’t like it?”

Source: Huanqiu, September 14, 2021

Leadership: Fantasia Holdings, a Business of Zeng Qinghong’s Niece, Is in Trouble

Zeng Baobao, the niece of Zeng Qinghong, owns Fantasia Holdings. Zeng Qinghong is a retired Chinese Communist Party (CCP) top official. He is former CCP head Jiang Zemin’s right-hand man, the Vice President of China, and a CCP Politburo Standing Committee member. He is still believed to have considerable political influence in China. Many media have reported him as heading a CCP faction that is against Xi Jinping.

Zeng Baobao established Fantasia Holdings in 1996. The company went IPO in Hong Kong in 2009. Its main business is real estate development.

Recently, Citibank and Credit Suisse gave a zero loan value to Fantasia’s notes, meaning that their private wealth management customers can no longer use Fantasia’s notes as collateral for loans. On September 14, S&P Global Ratings announced a negative outlook on the company and affirmed a “B” rating, as the company’s large foreign debt maturity will weigh on its financials.

Many real estate companies in China are facing cash flow problems. However, the fact that Fantasia Holdings is facing trouble may also carry a political message. It may mean that Zeng Qinghong is likely to be in bad shape. He is not able to save his family’s company.

1. Liberty Times, September 7, 2021
2. Sina, September 15, 2021