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Government Mouthpiece Assails Apple for Launching Hong Kong Map App

Apple, Inc. has re-launched a smartphone map app that can show where the Hong Kong policemen are located. The Chinese government’s mouthpiece, People’s Daily, published a critique of the map app saying, “The Chinese people, who have been victims of bullies throughout their history, . . . can’t bear having grit in one’s eye on the major issues of right and wrong.” (“can’t bear having grit in one’s eye” is a Chinese idiom, meaning cannot tolerate even a little bit)

The commentary started by saying, “The developers of the map provide navigation for ‘thugs’ without hesitation. Clearly, they have vicious intentions. The Apple Company would not shy away from approving the app so as to protect the ‘thugs.’ What are they up to?”

The article continued, “(Apple) chooses to approve the app back at the Apple Store in Hong Kong at this particular time. It is to open the doors for violent people who are ruining Hong Kong. Is it intended to be an accomplice?”

The commentary claims that “the map of the mob” is only an example. At Hong Kong’s Apple Music Store, there is also a “Hong Kong Independence” song. “Again, Apple’s series of moves is inexplicable and people have to think about the inner logic of their actions.”

The so-called Hong Kong independence song is the song “Glory to Hong Kong,” which is viewed by Hong Kong demonstrators as the theme song of the movement. Some people even call it the new “national anthem” of Hong Kong.

The article said, “The Chinese people who have been victims of bullies throughout their history have never been as united as they are today. (They) can’t bear having grit in one’s eye on the major issues of right and wrong.” “This kind of foolishness and recklessness will bring much trouble to Apple and Apple needs to think deeply.”

HKmap.Live App is the smartphone version of the website HKmap.Live. It can show the street blocks where the Hong Kong police are located. Apple once denied it, but later put it back in the Apple Store.

Source: Central News Agency, October 9, 2019

Cross-strait Marriages between China and Taiwan Down 80 Percent over 15 Years

Statistics from the Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior show that, since the opening of people-to-people exchanges in 1987 between mainland China and Taiwan, the number of intermarriages increased continuously until 2003, when it reached 34,109, accounting for 20 percent of the total number of marriages in Taiwan in that year. However, the trend reversed and declined, year by year, after that. By 2014, the number of newly cross-strait married couples fell below 10,000. In 2018, it was only 6,800. Over the past 15 years since 2003, the number of cross-strait marriages has shown a steady decrease.

According to the Taiwan based United Daily News (UDN), as a matter of fact, the cross-strait marriages already plummeted to 11,886 in 2004. The drop was probably due to the fact that, in 2003, the Taiwanese government Introduced a requirement for face-to-face interviews in order to prevent fake marriages.

The UDN report also mentioned that, among the cross-strait marriages, the percentage of Chinese women marrying Taiwanese men has gradually declined. In 2004, it was as high as 98.2 percent. In 2018 it fell to 87 percent. In contrast, the ratio of Chinese men marrying Taiwanese woman has gone up year by year.

Source: Voice of America, October 7, 2019

Prague to End Sister City Relations with Beijing

On Monday, October 7,the Czech Republic’s capital city of Prague decided to end the sister city relationship that it started with Beijing three years ago. After the current mayor Zdeněk Hřib took office, he requested that the “one China principle” term in the sister city agreement be removed. In response, China has repeatedly cancelled the Czech orchestra’s trips to China.

The city councilor of Hara, Kordová Marvanová, proposed the bill to end the sister city relationship with Beijing. She believed that the agreement of the sister city relationship should not contain a declaration of a political position. In addition, Prague should not support an authoritarian regime in this way.

In March 2016, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Czech Republic, the two countries signed a number of treaties and agreements, including the establishment of a sister city pairing between Prague and Beijing. The agreement stated that Prague was committed to abiding by the “one China principle” and recognized that “Taiwan is an inalienable territory of China.” It was the mayor of Prague, Adriana Krnáčová, who, at that time, pushed the agreement.

In November 2018, 37-year-old Zdeněk Hřib, a strong supporter of Taiwan, succeeded Krnáčová as the current mayor. Starting in January of this year, Hřib has called on Beijing to remove the “one-China” clause from the sister city agreement. Hřib visited Taiwan in March. Hřib said that Prague only wants to focus on cultural cooperation, not politics. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the riots in Tibet on March 10 of this year, many buildings including the Prague City Hall raised the snow lion flag of the Tibetan government in exile.

In retaliation, over the past six months, China has cancelled the itineraries of the Prague Philharmonic, the Pražák Quartet, the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Guarneri Trio Prague in coming to China. The cancellations caused dissatisfaction in the Czech Republic’s political and cultural circles. Last month, the Czech Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek summoned Zhang Jianmin, the Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic, to criticize the Chinese side for canceling the performance of the Czech orchestra as “seriously hurting China’s image.” Zaorálek said that bilateral cooperation can only be based on mutual respect, and China’s behavior is not in line with that. He was frightened that China would stop at nothing in order to force the outside world to accept its political views. Zaorálek added that if the Beijing authorities continued this behavior, the Czech Republic would stop the cultural exchanges with China.

Source: Deutsche Welle, October 7, 2019

Student Informs on Professor in China for Online Speech

Sun Wuhu, a professor at the School of Philosophy and Religion at Minzu University of China (MUC), recently published some comments on a WeChat group. The comments were considered to be “politically incorrect.” One of Sun’s students reported him and the incident caused heated discussions.

Screenshots taken from the WeChat conversation on Friday October 4 showed that a student asked Professor Sun, “Why are you so interested in politics?” The student then reminded him. “Don’t give inappropriate comments at inappropriate places.” The student also asked Sun to “take the lead to spread positive energy and don’t bring troubles to the group owner and the group.” Although Sun promised that he would take the warning, the group administrator and a student named Lei Zhenyu reported Professor Sun and removed him from the WeChat group. Sun also got his account suspended for one day.

The incident triggered heated discussions, as this was not the first case of students informing on teachers for their political comments.

Zhao Shilin, a retired professor at MUC and also a sponsor for a scholarship, said in a statement on Monday September 7 that there was a vicious incident in which a student reprimanded and attacked his professor. “For a long time, some students have conducted political defamation and informed on teachers.” “This is the biggest shame and the biggest failure of education.” Zhao also advised against awarding his scholarship to students who ratted on their teacher.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 8, 2019

Xinhua: Japanese Prime Minister Abe Promised to Improve China-Japan Relationship

Xinhua recently reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech to Japan’s congress that Japan intends to “start a new era” for the Japan-China relationship and to push for a “new stage” in that relationship. Abe also mentioned that, in addition to improving leadership level visits, Japan plans to expand exchanges on both the economic level and the youth relationship level. In his speech, Abe also discussed critical topics such as an amendment to the constitution, a consumer tax hike, and social security reform. The speech was delivered to the temporary congressional assembly, which ends on December 9. Abe just restructured his cabinet on September 11.

Source: Xinhua, October 4, 2019

Samsung Closed Its Last Handset Factory in China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Samsung announced on October 2 that it stopped its manufacturing work in the factory located in Huizhou, Guangdong Province. It is the last handset factory Samsung has in China. Samsung started to lay off its workers in the Huizhou factory in June and all manufacturing lines were closed by the end of September. The company used to have three factories in China. Samsung closed its Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) factory in April, 2014. The Tianjin factory was closed in December, 2018. This newly closed Huizhou factory was established in 1992 with an initial investment of US$190.7 million. Its monthly smartphone manufacturing capacity was 400,000. Samsung has been shifting its investments from China to Vietnam. In the past ten years, Samsung’s total investment in Vietnam grew from US$630 million to US$17.3 billion, with eight factories. Also, Samsung has its largest handset factory in India, producing 120 million handsets per year. Analysts pointed out that, given the growing cost of labor in China, Samsung has little reason to manufacture there.

Source: Sina, October 2, 2019