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People’s Daily: The American Trade Bully Is Harming the World

At midnight on Friday, July 6, the first day of the U.S. tariffs against billions of dollars of Chinese goods took effect. People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, struck back with an editorial.

The article made the accusation that, “The U.S. violated the WTO’s rules and launched the largest trade war to date.” It continued, “This (the U.S. tariffs) will not shake the foundation of China’s economic development, it will not weaken the confidence of the Chinese people in achieving the goal of ‘two hundred years,’ and it (the U.S.) will surely be hit back. However, the unreasonable arrogance carried by the trade hegemonism of the United States is quite damaging. It not only harms the interests of the enterprises and peoples of both countries, but also threatens the global free trade and multilateral system and hinders the pace of world economic recovery.

“The White House will not forget that more than half a century ago, China, suffering from war trauma and devastation, spoke out loud, ‘Blockade, blockade for eight and ten years, and all problems in China will have been solved.’ Today, as China is stepping toward the center of the World’s stage with strong national strength and moral appeal, will she allow the U.S. trade hegemonism to damage the core interests of the country and ask the people to make unprincipled concessions? Moreover, as a responsible power, China clearly understands that winning this trade war will make the U.S. see clearly that trade bullying has no future. We are thus defending the international economic and trade order. ‘If the war ends the war, the war is worth fighting.’ Without a bitter lesson, it is difficult for those who are blinded by self-interest to wake up and get back to reality.”

“The trade bully will never ever succeed!”

Source: People’s Daily, July 6, 2018
http://opinion.people.com.cn/n1/2018/0706/c1003-30132252.html

Communist Party Activities in Sino-foreign Joint Education Programs

In the online alumni group of a Sino-foreign joint university program in Beijing, news has been spreading about the university stepping up its political education. A former student, who became a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member during college, responded with a “thumbs-up” and said that some foreign teachers once forced their political views upon him and if such a thing were happening today, he would report the foreign teacher to the school.

Voice of America (VOA) did not specify the name of the school or the program, but did mention that the institution cooperates with many U.S. and U.K universities, adopts Western textbooks, and that most of the teachers are foreign. The Communist Party has been quite active in this institution.

In addition to recruiting Party members, the school organizes student CCP members and cadres to participate in “red education.” One year, they traveled to Jiangxi, the center of Communist movement during the revolutionary period from 1927 to 1949. They put on the uniform of the Red Army, carried a rifle, and symbolically walked a segment of the Long March of the Red Army.

One former student, Lin Yuzhou (a pseudonym is used per the interviewee’s request), is also a CCP member. Lin told VOA that she did not think that the content of Western coursework is in conflict with the ideology of the Communist Party. Lin believes that joining the Party is a “very glorious matter and offers a strong sense of belonging.” Many of her fellow students also wanted to join the Party and people’s motivation may be different. “Families or teachers may influence them or they may want to have more choices for their future in China. Government agencies or large state-owned enterprises may give priority to CCP members,” she said.

Staff members of a number of Sino-foreign cooperatively-run schools and institutions told the media that the CCP’s Central Organization Department and the Ministry of Education have, in recent years, been emphasizing the establishment of Party organizations in these schools. They also retain seats for Communist officials on the school’s management board. There are currently more than 2,000 Sino-foreign cooperative education projects in China, most of which are affiliated with local Chinese universities.

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, an overseas campus of the University of Nottingham, situated in the city of Ningbo in the coastal province of Zhejiang, is one of the few such universities which is an independent legal entity. On the first day that the campus was open, the school established its Communist Party Committee, with the Vice President as the deputy secretary of the Committee. On July 2, 2018, Stephen Morgan, who has served as Nottingham Ningbo’s associate provost since 2016, was removed from its management board for criticizing the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and for being a critic of broader party-backed initiatives in the university, but he has remained on the faculty.

A few days ago, in the Sino-foreign cooperative project where Lin Yuzhou has studied, there was a student CCP branch secretaries and overseas contacts training session. The Party secretary of the college asked these contacts to pay close attention to the ideological dynamics of overseas Party members and maintain timely communications with the college.

Source: Voice of America, July 2, 2018
https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-joint-universities-20180702/4463991.html

Xinhua: Over 270 U.S. Commerce Organizations Called for Restricting Presidential Tariff Power

Xinhua rapidly reported on the same day when over 270 U.S. commerce organizations, national and local, issued a joint letter to the U.S. Congress asking that new laws be established to restrict the presidential power to determine tariffs. According to Article 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the President has the power to start an investigation on imports to prevent damage to national security. President Trump ordered tariff increases based on the authorization of Article 232 and received widespread opposition both domestically and internationally. The commerce organizations were deeply concerned about the limitless potential of this tariff power, which may cause serious damage to the U.S. economy. The joint letter emphasized that the U.S. Constitution gave the Congress the right to administer imports and exports as well as tariffs. The congress should act now to ask the President to propose tariff plans for Congressional approval first, before their execution.

Source: Xinhua, June 26, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/2018-06/27/c_129901925.htm

Ministry of Defense: Renting Taiping Island to the U.S. Is a Dangerous Idea

Global Times recently reported that the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Wu Qian, commented at a press conference that the idea that the Taiwanese military could rent Taiping Island to the U.S. military was a very dangerous one. The comment was based on some media reports indicating such a possibility. Taiping Island is the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Taiwan currently controls the island. However, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam all have claimed sovereignty. Earlier reports suggested that some Taiwanese military think-tank provided the idea. The rental to the U.S. military would be under the name of humanitarian rescue missions. Wu Qian said the Chinese government is strongly against this idea and has the determination as well as the capability to defend China’s sovereignty. Taiping Island is the size of 70 soccer fields and is 860 nautical miles from Southern Taiwan. Currently Taiwan has around 200 troops guarding the island. The Taiwanese government later clarified that there was no such official plan.

Source: Global Times, June 28, 2018
http://world.huanqiu.com/exclusive/2018-06/12368593.html

RFA: Chinese Internet Surveillance Technology Can Reach Overseas

RFA reported that China has expanded its Internet surveillance technology overseas. Zhongkedianji Beijing Technology (http://www.zkdj.com), a big data firm in Beijing disclosed that a software it developed called “junquanyuqun” (http://junquan.com.cn) is capable of detecting more than 8,000 “sensitive” websites in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. In addition, it has established 18,000 information outlets in China which can monitor news, forums, blogs, microblogs, pictures, and videos. It can even collect information in 53 languages including English, French, Spanish, and the languages of ethnic minorities in China. According to the company’s website, the surveillance system can carry out public opinion analyses, information warnings, and hot spot analyses. It can collect negative public opinion, public opinion trends, briefings, analyses, forwarded information, and do statistical analyses for the government. It can monitor news, forums, blogs, Weibo, pictures, videos, QQ groups and it has search and documentation capabilities. According to YicaiGlobal.com, Zhongkedianji Beijing Technology was founded in 2007. Its customers include a wide range of industries such as state-owned enterprises, governments, military organizations, and private companies. Recently, in November 2017, it secured US$15.15 million in financing. The company is worth US$150 million.

The RFA article also reported that, during the recent 2018 Procuratorial Technologies and Equipment Exhibit held on May 15 in Beijing, a scanner that Beijing HiSign Technology Company developed could recover Facebook and Twitter messages that had been deleted from a mobile phone. Meiya Pico from Xiamen City claimed that their handheld scanner could break into a mobile phone within seconds to retrieve customer data. The RFA article reported that, because of the latest technological developments, overseas Chinese have become very concerned that they could be subjected to retaliation if they publish any opinions that criticize the Chinese government.

Sources:
1. Radio Free Asia, June 28, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/ql2-06282018100614.html
2. Yicai Global.com, November 24, 2017
https://www.yicaiglobal.com/news/big-data-firm-zhongkedianji-bags-usd15-million-round-financing-valued-usd150-million

Global Times: The U.S. Asked the World not to Buy Iranian Oil. How should China Respond?

Global Times recently published a commentary offering some strategic suggestions on how to respond to the U.S. position of asking the world to ban Iranian oil. The commentary started with the fact that most EU companies decided to stop doing business with Iran. However, China and India are the largest buyers of Iranian oil. The U.S. exit from the Iranian Nuclear Deal was in itself a betrayal to the promise the U.S. made as a government – or should people call it bullying. However just like other nations, China faces the choice of losing the profitable business with Iran or losing more business with the U.S. Global Times suggested: First, the U.S. position has no basis in international law – and China should not just agree. Second, China should not stick its head out to lead the opposition against the U.S. since China does not have the power to lead in such a case. Third, China should strengthen coordination with other large Iranian oil buyers to negotiate with the U.S. jointly. In a case of not touching China’s core strategic interests, China should avoid being recognized as “the leader of the united front-line against the United States.”

Source: Global Times, June 28, 2018
http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2018-06/12370186.html

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