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Malaysia Formally Shut Down Three Chinese Oil and Gas Pipeline Projects

The Malaysian online Chinese news site Seehua recently reported that the China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Company (CPP) officially announced that it received notification from the Malaysia government that three Chinese oil and gas pipeline projects (MPP, TSGP and Petronas) were formally closed. CPP respected the Malaysian decision, which is based on economic and financial reasons, and the two parties will discuss fair and reasonable compensation arrangements. These three projects all completed only less than 15 percent of the work but most of the payments had been made to China. Some projects are still under investigation. The Malaysian Ministry of Finance paused two of the three projects in July. The new Malaysian administration had delivered on over 20 campaign promises (around 35 percent) in its first 100 days in power.

Source: Seehua, September 12, 2018
http://news.seehua.com/?p=390964

China Chip Industry Uses High Pay and Benefits to Lure Taiwan Engineers

Deutsche Welle reported that the mainland chip industry uses high payments for labor and benefits to entice Taiwan engineers to work in the mainland. The engineers are promised double their current wages, eight free trips a year to visit Taiwan, subsidized tuition for their children to attend school, and a 40 percent housing allowance. Some engineers said that the amount of money they can make in the mainland would take ten years to make in Taiwan and that such an offer is hard to resist. A Taiwan recruiting firm estimated that, so far in 2018, over 300 senior Taiwan engineers accepted job offers from mainland chip manufacturers. Since 2014, after Beijing set up US$22 billion in funding for the chip industry, close to one thousand engineers from Taiwan have gone to work in the mainland. The number has increased as the U.S. China trade war escalated this year. Data that a research firm released projected that, by the end of 2017, China will have 400,000 professionals in the integrated circuit (IC) industry, which is still far short of the goal of 720,000 by the end of 2020. The mainland prefers engineers from Taiwan over Japan and Korea because there is no language barrier.

Source: Deutsche Welle, September 9, 2018
https://p.dw.com/p/34K09

Nanjing Cancelled a Western Play and Instead Hosted a Revolutionary Opera

The City of Nanjing cancelled “An Enemy of the People,” an 1882 play that Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote, which was originally scheduled to play on September 13 and 14. Instead Nanjing decided to host “The Legend of the Red Lantern” on October 4 and 5. It is one of the eight revolutionary operas created during the Cultural Revolution. The Central News Agency reported that the public questioned why the revolutionary opera was allowed but not Ibsen’s famous work and whether it was an indication of what the authorities wanted and what they are afraid of.

“The Legend of the Red Lantern” was created in the early 1960s. It is based on the period when China was fighting the Japanese invaders during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It describes the plot of three generations of anti-Japanese workers who are underground Chinese Communist Party members and it showcases the status of the party during the war. Many of the lines in the play such as “All have a bright heart,” “It is hard for the world to beat the Communists,” and “Blood debts and blood to pay” are familiar to many Chinese in the middle-aged and senior generations.

The official cancellation statement of “An Enemy of the People” cited technical issues, but, according to the New York Times, when the show was playing in Beijing, in one part, the cast asked the live audience to shout out their dissatisfaction. The exchange between the cast and the live audience included the audience members expressing their strong desire for free speech and their dissatisfaction with the government, with corruption, and with the financial scandals. The director of “An Enemy of the People” told the New York Times that he believed that the theater in Nanjing cancelled the show because they were afraid of a similar response and of potential liability.

Sources:
1. Central News Agency, September 15, 2018
http://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201809150127-1.aspx
2. New York Times, September 14, 2018
https://cn.nytimes.com/china/20180914/china-ibsen-play/zh-hant/

Outbreak of Foot-and-mouth Disease in Cattle in China

Since August, a total of 7 provinces in China discovered that they had pigs suffering from African Swine Flu, which continues to spread across the country. According to a September 14 report from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the O-type foot-and-mouth disease epidemic occurred in a herd of cattle that was transferred from Gansu Province to Xinjiang.

The official website acknowledged that on September 6, an inspection station in Xinjiang found that a total of eight cattle were suspected of having symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease when they were moved there from Gaotai county of Gansu Province.

On September 7, Xinjiang’s Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center gave a diagnosis of positive for the foot-and-mouth disease virus nucleic acid. The Chinese National Foot-and-Mouth Disease Laboratory confirmed on the 14th that the epidemic was an O-type foot-and-mouth disease epidemic.

The announcement said that, after the outbreak, 47 cattle that exhibited symptoms and others in the same herd were culled and treated. Gansu province has initiated a comprehensive investigation and emergency monitoring.

Source: Central News Agency, September 15, 2018
http://http://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201809150154-1.aspx

China-Russian Regional Cooperation Fund

The China-Russia Investment Forum held a meeting on September 15. Wang Feng, chairman of the China-Russia Regional Cooperation and Development Investment Fund, said at the meeting that the Fund has the potential for 100 some major projects including infrastructure and nuclear technology.

The total scale of the Fund is expected to be 100 billion yuan (US$ 14.6 billion), with a first phase of 10 billion yuan (US$ 1.5 billion).

The focus of the investments will be infrastructure, nuclear technology, the modern service industry, natural resources, clean energy, and agriculture.

The fund set up a policy steering committee which is composed of representatives from the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Central Bank. It provides macro guidance on fund investment operations, makes recommendations on key areas of fund investment, and coordinates and resolves major issues.

The initiative to establish the fund was part of the proposals made in the July 2017 Joint Statement between China and Russia on Further Deepening the China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination, as well as an explicit requirement of the joint communique of the 22nd China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting in November 2017. It is included in the list of results of the “Belt and Road” International Cooperation Summit Forum in May 2017.

In June 2018, the National Development and Reform Commission of China approved the establishment of the fund. Led by the China National Power Investment Group Co., the China National Nuclear Industry Group Co. and the China Overseas Development Association were among the founding sponsors. On August 21, 2018, the Fund’s General Partnership Company and the Fund Management Co., Ltd. were formally incorporated in Shenzhen. The investors in the fund in the first phase included more than 10 organizations, including state banks, state-owned enterprises, financial institutions, and local governments.

Source: Sputnik News, September 15, 2018
http://sputniknews.cn/economics/201809151026361106/

Chinese Communist Party to Enlarge its Footprint in the Internet Industry

On September 10, in Guangzhou, the Chinese Communist Party committee on the Internet industry held its launching ceremony and its inaugural meeting. Wang Shitong, a Standing Committee member of the CCP Guangzhou Municipal Committee and head of its Organization Department, proposed that, “It is necessary to shoulder political responsibilities effectively in order to strengthen the Party’s buildup in the Internet industry.”

According to Chinese media, as of the end of July, Guangzhou’s Internet companies had seen the development of 169 CCP organizations, covering 436 companies, of which 83 were newly established this year, an increase of 96.5 percent over the same period last year.

In addition, Guangzhou’s Internet sector has a total of 7,358 members of the Communist Party, including 3,267 members who are new to the party as of this year, a significant increase of 79.9 percent over the same period last year.

Party committees of the Chinese Communist Party have been installed in a few big name companies such as NetEase, iFlytek, UCWeb and Jingdong.

Source: Central News Agency, September 11, 2018
http://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201809110109-1.aspx

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