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VOA Media on China Program: “Big Brother” Has Arrived

The VOA “Media on China program” published an article on China’s surveillance capability. It refers to how China is just like the totalitarian society in the fiction story 1984 written by George Orwell in which “Big Brother” monitors every move, spoken word, and thought of all members of society while it uses the same monitor to broadcast its propaganda. Below is a partial translation of the article:

In the western world the law often prohibits the government from launching surveillance of its citizen. The government is not allowed to arrest or sentence its citizens using information that has been obtained illegally. In China the government can use its resources to monitor or arrest its citizens. To many people, China is best known for its Internet surveillance efforts because the resources that the Chinese government has invested in Internet surveillance surpass those of any other country in the world. China has the capability of monitoring its citizens 24 hours a day because it has the largest surveillance network in the world. In 2017, there was one surveillance camera for every eight citizens; by 2020 there will be one surveillance camera for every two citizens. These camera heads are equipped with the capability of facial recognition. With the help of tech companies such as Ten Cent, the Chinese authorities control and screen a large amount of surveillance information. We Chat, which Ten Cent developed, assists the Chinese authorities in censoring sensitive political information or social media while sharing the customer’s information with the police. Meanwhile people can no longer remain anonymous online. Starting in 2013, when the Chinese authorities required that every cell phone should be under each citizen’s real name, every We Chat account had to be linked to a cell phone number.

Source: Voice of America, January 3, 2018
https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-big-borther-comes-20180103/4191187.html

RFA Commentary: What It Means When China Limits the Outflow of Currency

Radio Free Asia published a commentary reporting that the State Administration of Foreign Exchange recently issued a notice that, starting January 1, 2018, each year, a Chinese citizen, when in a foreign country, will only be able to withdraw 100,000 yuan (US$15,415) cash using a debit card or credit card that a Chinese bank has issued. They will also be limited to a cash withdrawal of 10,000 yuan (USD$1,541) each day and will be prohibited from using other people’s cards or letting other people borrow their card to withdraw the cash. The article said that the tightened cash policy is an indication that the Chinese economy may appear strong from the outside but it is weak on the inside. The article stated that forcing the “low end” population to leave big cities and to limit the cash flowing out of country, are both indications that China’s political climate is far more serious than what has been reported. The article said, “There was a prediction that the bubble in China’s economy might burst soon. Even though it has not happened yet, it could only be a matter of time and will catch people off guard because some of the real issues are being pushed aside and have still not been resolved.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 1, 2018
http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/commentaries/kl/com-01012018081148.html

Xinhua: “U.S. Priorities” and Trump’s “Addition and Subtraction” Policy

Xu Changyin, a researcher at the Xinhua News Agency’s Center for World Studies, said that the “adjustment” of U.S. foreign policy after Trump assumed office can be summed up as “addition and subtraction.” “Subtraction” is less responsibility for international obligations and less investment abroad. “Addition” is exporting more U.S. products, especially U.S. arms.

Internally, the “adjustment” that Trump provided can be summed up as “three minuses and one plus,” reducing immigration, reducing administrative expenses, cutting taxes, and increasing the national defense budget.

Xu Changyin said that it is noteworthy that Trump had in fact made some “adjustments” compared to his aggressive slogan, before taking office. For example, politicians and the media in the United States have strongly discouraged his desire to improve relations with Russia. An important goal of his improving relations with Russia was to contain China.

Not long ago, Trump made the first “National Security Strategy Report.” He explicitly listed China as a “strategic rival” of the United States. However, Xu Changyin believed that there is still room for the expansion of Sino-U.S. co-operation, especially in the economic field. Xu Changyin said that Trump, occupied with his “U.S. priority” mentality, is obsessed with the U.S. trade deficit with China. The possibility of a “trade war” has always existed.

Source: Xinhua, December 30, 2017
http://www.xinhuanet.com/world/2017-12/30/c_129779138.htm

Southern Weekend: How Do the Overseas Communist Branches of State-Owned Enterprises Operate?

Southern Weekend, a Chinese media headquartered in Guangzhou of Guang Dong Province, published an article detailing how China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) carry out the (Communist) Party’s activities in their overseas operations. Below are excerpts from the article:

In order to reduce conflicts with local laws and policies, all Chinese enterprises have implemented corresponding measures to carry out Party development work.

CITIC Construction Co. Ltd. has established the working mechanism for overseas Party development of “internal persistence, not being open to the outside, differential treatment from the outside, and effective operations.” China Railway Group Co., Ltd. stipulates that the Party development work of internal staff can be centralized and should start after working hours and after the non-Chinese staff have left.

“Our overseas party building activities follow the principle of five non-disclosures,” said Cao Haixia, director of the party office of the PetroChina Great Wall Drilling Company. The five non-disclosures are, “Do not disclose anything about the Party’s organization, do not disclose the identity of the Party members, do not disclose the Party’s title, do not disclose the Party’s activities, and do not disclose the party’s documents.”

Southern Weekend found that many state-owned enterprises have clearly stipulated in their regulations on the work of Party development that the overseas Party development work generally upholds this “five non-disclosure” principle.

The Southern Weekend reporter learned that, with the deepening of the internationalization of state-owned enterprises, how to design the system for the overseas party-development of state-owned enterprises has become an important issue for the organizational departments and state-owned assets management departments at all levels.

At the end of 2016, the Central Government General Office transmitted the document “The Guiding Opinions of the Central Organization Department, the Party Committee of the SASAC of the State Council, the Party Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Party Group of the Ministry of Commerce on Strengthening the Party’s Development in State Enterprises’ Overseas Operations. In April and May 2017, Beijing SASAC twice carried out overseas investigations of grass-roots Party development in overseas projects under municipal SOEs. They believe that upholding the Party’s leadership over overseas enterprises is a principle issue of fundamental and directional significance.

Source: Southern Weekend, December 7, 2017
http://www.infzm.com/content/131334

Sri Lanka Leased Its Territory to China

The Sri Lanka government leased its strategic port Hambantota on the Indian Ocean to China for 99 years as it was stressed because of the financial loans that China provided.

China has been providing financial loans to many countries in South Asia, Central Asia, and Africa, especially under its “One Belt, One Road” initiative. Sri Lanka owed Chinese State-Owned Enterprises a total debt of US$8 billion and was unable to pay the money back. Therefore, it resorted to leasing out its land in repayment of its debt.

Source: Duowei, December 14, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/global/big5/news/2017-12-14/60029716.html

Xinhua: Armed Police Will Be under the Sole Direction of the CMC

Xinhua announced that the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee published the “CCP Central Committee’s December 27, 2017, Decision on Adjusting the Control System of the Armed Police Forces.” The decision stated that, starting on January 1, 2018, the armed police will be under the sole direction of the Central Military Commission (CMC). It will no longer be under both the CMC and the State Council.

Duowei also reported that the armed police will go through a staff cut from 800,000 down to 400,000.

Sources:

1. Xinhua, December 27, 2017
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2017-12/27/c_1122175909.htm
2. Duowei, December 15, 2017
http://news.dwnews.com/china/big5/news/2017-12-15/60029875.html

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