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Beijing to Launch Patriotic Campaign to Target Intellectuals

According to Xinhua, recently, the Central Organization and the Publicity Department jointly published a notice to launch a “patriotic campaign” targeting intellectuals. The notice stated that the campaign is to “carry out the directions of Xi Jinping to unite the intellectuals with the party and the people and build a consensus among intellectuals to share the goals and the values for which the Party and the Country are fighting.” An RFA article calls the patriotic campaign another round of brainwashing campaigns because the authorities are most concerned about the criticisms that the intellectuals are making. For example, in recent months, the mainland intellectual community has continuously discussed China’s economic strength. Since the beginning of the year, it has been widely believed that China’s comprehensive strength can surpass the U.S. In recent months, however, more and more scholars have publicly stated that China’s economic strength appears impressive but lacks real value. Some people have even questioned Xi Jinping’s policy of governing the country.

1. Xinhua, July 31, 2018
2. Radio Free Asia, August 2, 2018

As Supplier of 40 percent of Pharmaceutical Raw Materials to Other Drug Companies, China’s Drug Quality Causes Concern

The vaccine safety problem that has occurred in China recently highlights the ineffectiveness of China’s drug regulatory system. At present, since China supplies 40 percent of world’s pharmaceutical raw materials, the international community has begun to question its drug quality. The Central News Agency reported that, in 2017, the value of pharmaceutical raw materials that China exported was US$29 billion. Their customers included Teva Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis. It is estimated that 80 percent of the pharmaceutical raw materials used by U.S. drug companies are sourced from China and India. In 2017, Chinese drug manufactures received 22 warnings from the FDA compared to 5 warnings in 2014. European Medicines Agency data reported that 10 percent of the pharmaceutical raw materials made in China failed its inspection. In July, European Medicines Agency and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings that antihypertensive drugs made in Zhejiang Province could cause cancer. In Beijing, the officials announced that hundreds and thousands of vaccines with quality issues were sold on the market and vaccine manufacturers were accused of forged production data. According to the FDA news website, in 2017, China joined the ICH (International Council for Harmonization) as its eighth regulatory member, pledging to transform its pharmaceutical regulatory authorities, industry, and research institutions gradually in order to implement the international coalition’s technical standards and guidelines.

Source: Central News Agency, August 7, 2018

Russian Newspaper Criticizes China’s “One Belt, One Road”

Russia’s newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper) recently carried a lengthy article that criticized China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy. The article stated that, the more actively China promotes the “One Belt, One Road” policy and the more money it puts in, the more local anti-China protests there are and the louder the anti-China slogans are.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a pro-government Russian daily newspaper, quoted from a Kazakhstan sociologist that, in 2007, only 18 percent of local people disliked Chinese immigrants. The figure rose to 33 percent in 2012. By 2017, as many as 46 percent of the local people hated Chinese immigrants.

The article stated that many people in Central Asian countries believe that China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative exhibits the intention to occupy Central Asia. People who hold this mentality are not only concentrated in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan where there is a strong anti-Chinese sentiment. Within a short 10 years, such an attitude has spread throughout Central Asia. It has expanded to different religions and different ethnic groups, becoming a very fashionable part of the public opinion in the region.

Anti-Chinese sentiment is also politicized. The elites in Central Asia have used anti-China sentiment as a tool and actively use it when battling for political power. In the future, political forces that oppose the ruling class will play the Chinese card to accuse the incumbents of selling out national interests. Anti-Chinese sentiment has even turned into a profitable business. Local politicians in Central Asia have learned to use this tool to make a fortune. In the near future, this “commodity” will also be sold internationally to any foreign geopolitical buyer.

The article also said that China’s implementation of the “Belt and Road” and its local business operations have destroyed the ecological environment of Central Asia and have become a hotbed for corruption. The Chinese people are very willing to hand over envelopes filled with money to local officials in order to solve problems, including tax issues.

The article quotes from analysts that China’s expansion of influence in Central Asia is seriously threatening Russia’s interests. However, it is still unclear whether the anti-China sentiment in Central Asia has links with Russia. China and Russia are fiercely competing for influence in Central Asia. China’s “One Belt, One Road” seems almost incompatible with Russia’s “Eurasian Economic Community.”

Source: Radio France Internationale, August, 6, 2018

Huawei Surpassed Apple to Become Number Two as a Cellphone Maker

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that, based on numbers from the U.S. research institute IDC, in the second quarter of 2018, Chinese communications equipment vendor Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world’s second largest cellphone manufacturer in terms of handsets sold. Huawei’s Q2 global handset shipment (54.2 million) is significantly more than that of Apple’s (41.3 million), and Huawei now has a global market share of 15.8 percent (versus Apple’s 12.1 percent). Samsung remains the top vendor in the same category but saw a 1.8 percent decline in sales, down to a shipment volume of 71.5 million, with a 20.9 percent global market share. Two other Chinese handset makers, Xiaomi and Oppo took the world’s number four and five positions. In Q2, Huawei did take the top leader position from Samsung in the Russian market. It set the goal to be the world’s number one cellphone maker in 2020.

Source: Sohu, August 1, 2018

Xinhua: The U.S. Plan of “Arab NATO” Faces Trouble

Xinhua recently published a commentary that offered an opinion on the planned mid-October Washington Leadership Summit which will include the U.S. and eight Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It appears the U.S. is planning to establish a NATO-like defense-oriented organization in the Arab world. However, this dream has three obstacles. First, these Arab countries have a lot of internal disagreements and they are not aligned with the U.S. vision and interests. Second, the relationship between the U.S. and the Arab “allies” is not all that good due to such facts as the U.S. often suspects them of having ties to terrorists. Third, it is very hard for the U.S. to apply control and limits to the function of an “Arab NATO,” especially regarding its relationship with Israel. It would be more realistic if the U.S. were not to  be a member of the organization and would not appoint its military commander. The bottom line is, the U.S. may have a lot to gain in terms of arms sales, but to turn this dream into a profit, it probably has a long way to go.

Source: Xinhua, August 1, 2018

Sputnik News: China’s Loans Saved Two South African Companies

On its Chinese Edition site, well-known Russian news agency Sputnik recently reported that the large amount of aid loans China provided South Africa during President Xi Jinping’s visit to that country will probably save two large South African state-owned companies, Eskom and Transnet. The South African newspaper City Press also reported that these two large companies will have significant relief from financial pain and will get their health back. In July, Eskom, as the national energy resource provider, just declared a financial loss of US$174 million and it will receive a US$2.5 billion loan from China Development Bank. Transnet, a major transportation company, will receive a large loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as well. According to South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Xi thinks China has significant special interests in Africa, especially in South Africa. President Xi will continue to provide aid to the region. Ramaphosa has been trying to save Eskom for many years. The company was deeply involved in political scandals during the time of the previous administration. Banks later stopped providing loans to Eskom.

Source: Sputnik Chinese Edition, July 26, 2018

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