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Beijing Public Security Bureau Claims 5,000 Spy Tip-Off Calls Received in One Year

Huanqiu carried an article that Beijing Evening News originally published on April 10. The article reported that, in the year since the Beijing Public Security Bureau issued a notice to reward citizens for offering information about suspicious spying activities, the bureau has received close to 5,000 calls. The article listed examples of a few reported spying activities. One involved a former classmate from a foreign country trying to obtain confidential academic information. A second one involved a person who was overseas attending an academic conference. The person was asked to provide confidential academic information in exchange for a permanent residence status. A third involved a Chinese cab driver who noticed a group of foreigners conducting suspicious activity near a restricted military area. The article claimed that the tipping hotline has received an increased number of calls and the end results have been effective. A VOA article reported that the monetary reward could be as high as 500,000 yuan (US$80,000) for each occurrence. When a VOA reporter called the tipping hotline, the operator who answered the call declined to comment on how many of the tips were eventually validated.

Sources:
1. Huanqiu, April 10, 2018
http://society.huanqiu.com/article/2018-04/11820948.html
2. VOA, April 13, 2018
https://www.voachinese.com/a/4345272.html

Duowei News: Repositioning the Party and Religion; How Communist China Fights the War of Ideology

Duowei News published an opinion article on recent events related to religious affairs in China. First, Xi’s new administration placed national religious affairs under the management of the United Front Work Department. Then, on April 3, the Information Office of the State Council issued a White Paper titled, “China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief.” During the White Paper release conference, the Information Office claimed that, “The measure of the effectiveness of religious work is whether it can unite people with different religions with the party and the government and whether the religions in China are the ones with Chinese characteristics.” Finally, on March 30, the Bible was pulled from online stores in China. According to the article, with all that is taking place, it will be interesting to see how the communist party under Xi’s new administration fights the war of ideology and which side the Chinese people will choose: Marxism or a religious belief?

Source: Duowei News, April 8, 2018
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2018-04-08/60050593.html

Four Large Mobile News Apps Were Ordered to Terminate Their Services

Radio France Internationale reported that Cyberspace Affairs is enforcing tighter surveillance and control of online news sites. Recently four of the online news sites: Jinri Toutiao (Headlines), ifeng.com, news.163.com, and the ten cent news app were ordered to terminate their services due to a “standardization of communication order in accordance with law.” No specific violation was mentioned in the original official news article.

Source: Radio France Internationale, April 10, 2018
http://cn.rfi.fr/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD/20180409-%E5%9B%9B%E5%A4%A7app%E6%96%B0%E9%97%BB%E5%B9%B3%E5%8F%B0%E5%8F%97%E8%B4%A3%E4%B8%8B%E6%9E%B6%E5%AE%98%E6%96%B9%E6%8B%9F%E5%8A%A0%E5%A4%A7%E6%96%B0%E9%97%BB%E7%AE%A1%E5%88%B6

RFA: China Hires Neighborhood Administrators to Monitor Residential Neighborhood Activities

Radio Free Asia reported that China has divided neighborhoods into small blocks of about 15 to 20 households each and has assigned an administrator to manage each block. The neighborhood committee maintains close contact with the local police department and regularly reports “suspicious” movements going on in the neighborhood. Recently a hiring notice for the Residential Administrator of a neighborhood committee indicated that the administrators are required to know their assigned neighborhood, people’s housing situations, the basic infrastructure setup, the number of organizations in the neighborhood, the population and any potential risks. They also need to collect feedback from the residents and be prepared to assist and resolve conflicts. Each administrator is responsible for 15 to 20 families in the neighborhood. The administrators are also required to maintain confidentiality when going about their work.

A news report from last November showed that these administrators can make up to 5,000 yuan (US$796) a month. The money comes out of the stability maintenance fund.

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 10, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/ql2-04102018102215.html

RFA: Early Signs of Trade War Damage Are Emerging

Radio Free Asia (RFA) recently reported that, while the China-U.S. trade war has not seen the actual implementation of any tariff increases yet, significant early signs of impact on the Chinese market have started to surface. Three days after China’s announcement of the potential 25 percent tariff increase against U.S. soy beans, the price of China’s primary fodder raw material, “soybean meal,” increased by eight percent. This price point was nearly 20 percent higher than the price at the beginning of March. Data from multiple fodder manufacturers showed that the fodder price increased significantly a week before China’s soy bean announcement. This round of fodder price increase spread across most of the cultured species like pigs, poultry, and fish. Sources refused to disclose the degree of the price increases. The report covered the data provided by sources in critical food-supply provinces like Guangdong, Sichuan and Anhui. Some fodder companies have started adjusting their product formula. Observers expressed their belief that the Chinese government will allow the trade war damage to be passed on to the general public. Overall consumer product price increases are widely expected. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not respond to any calls from the reporter.

Source: RFA, April 7, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/trade-04072018102335.html

Global Times: In the Trade War, Russia will Become China’s Primary Food Supplier

Global Times recently reported that, according to Russian news media, voices from the Moscow Economic Forum expressed the expectation that China’s tariff hikes on American food would be very helpful in turning Russia into China’s primary foreign food supplier. The CEO of the Central Russia Development Fund observed that the China-U.S. trade war would be a “giant opportunity” for Russia, especially when global pricing for agricultural goods are increasing at the rate of 4.5 percent per year. Russia has a great potential to expand its agricultural output. The CEO of China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation International (COFCO Int’l) just visited Moscow a few weeks ago and had a formal discussion with the Russian Minister of Agriculture. COFCO International brought three investment projects to the table. China recently announced tariff hikes on 128 U.S. export goods as a counter to the U.S. tariff increases on foreign steel and aluminum.

Source: Global Times, April 4, 2018
http://world.huanqiu.com/exclusive/2018-04/11772949.html

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