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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

Internet Posting: As Foreign Companies Leave China Who Will Fill in Holes Left by 45 Million Lost Jobs?

A popular Internet posting titled “As Foreign Companies Leave China Who Will Fill in the Holes left by 45 Million Lost Jobs?” was circulating on overseas Chinese media sites. The original source has not been found. Below is a list of statistics and facts used in the article:
1. The following is a partial list of well-known foreign companies that have closed or are relocating manufacturing sites they have in China: Nikon, Nitto, Samsung, AU Optronics Corporation, Olympus, Omron, Adidas, Uniqlo, Foxconn, Intel, LG, and Nokia.
2. In November 2013, there were 57,200 foreign companies in China. By November 2016, there were 51,800 foreign companies in China, a reduction of 9.4 percent.
3. Fixed capital investment by foreign companies was at 214.6 billion in 2017 compared to 508.7 billion in 2011, a reduction of 57.8 percent in six years.
4. China made US$60.07 billion in investments overseas in 2011 vs. US$170 billion oversea investment in 2016. It shows that China’s investments overseas continue to grow.
5. Foreign companies account for less than 3 percent of the total companies in China, but they contributed over 50 percent of China’s foreign trade volume, 25 percent of profit and 20 percent of China’s tax income.
6. Regarding China’s foreign trade surplus in 2017, private enterprises and foreign companies accounted for 46.5 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively, and state-owned enterprises accounted for only 10.3 percent.
7. Foreign investment’s contribution to GDP: Guangzhou 62 percent of its GDP; Shanghai 67 percent, Shengzhen 70 percent.
8. One statistic suggested that in 2013, the number of people employed by foreign companies (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) reached a peak of 29.63 million. By 2014 and 2015, the number of employed persons was 29.55 million and 27.9 million respectively. By 2016, the number dropped to 26.66 million, a drop of 2.97 million in three years. China’s official number for direct employment by foreign companies in China, however, was at 45 million.
9. Three major reasons why foreign companies have left China: the real estate bubble, increases in operating costs, a decline in profit, and a devaluation of Chinese currency.

Source: Wenxuecity, August 2, 2018

RFA: Guangdong Lawyer Association Issued New Code of Conduct to Limit Lawyers’ Internet Activity

RFA reported that the Guangdong Lawyer’s Association issued an “Internet Code of Conduct for Lawyers in Guangdong Province.” The regulation specifies that the lawyers should “abide by the Constitution, must not deny China’s fundamental political system and basic principles, and must not endanger national security. The specific contents include the following things that lawyers can’t do: publish anything on the Internet that denies the leadership of the Communist Party of China; incite dissatisfaction with or opposition to the Chinese Communist Party and the government; initiate, support, or mobilize participation in organizations that endanger national security; publish political statements or articles that are unconstitutional; use the Internet to influence administrative, supervisory, judicial, and procuratorial organs on certain legal cases; disclose state secrets, trade secrets, and information pertaining to non-public trials; and they cannot use the Internet to publish false or distorted facts that will create social conflicts and affect social stability. The RFA article quoted comments that several dissidents living in China made. They stated that the Lawyer’s Association only serves the interests of the government and has been suppressing the freedom of the lawyers for a long time.

Source: Radio Free Asia, August 3, 2018

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