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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson: U.S. Is Liable for Its Fentanyl Problem

At its regular press conference on August 26, 2019, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang blamed the U.S. for its fentanyl problem. From the supply and demand theory, Geng indicated that the fault is the result of the U.S. demand. He argued that implicitly it is not the result of China’s supplying such a drug.

The question asked was: “US President Trump tweeted on August 23 that he has ordered American delivery companies to search for fentanyl in all packages from China and block any deliveries that contain such substances. FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service said they began taking measures to prevent drug traffickers from using their services following President Trump’s instruction. I wonder, what is China’s comment?”

Geng gave a lengthy answer, including the statement, “As laws of basic economics tell us, demand and supply come hand in hand. Supply dries up when there is no demand. In the U.S., people tend to abuse prescription painkillers. The American people, accounting for only five percent of the world population, consume as much as 80 percent of the world’s total opioids. The U.S. government can by all means intensify its efforts to reduce the demand for fentanyl.”

Source: China’s Foreign Ministry website, August 26, 2019

Chinese Communist Party Strengthens Grassroots Propaganda Work

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) released the “Regulations on the Propaganda Work of the Chinese Communist Party.”

The spokesperson for The CCP’s Central Propaganda Department said that, considering the new situation, some tasks are urgent. They include codifying the “important thoughts of General Secretary Xi Jinping on propaganda and ideological work and also the experiences and practices of the CCP’s long-term propaganda work, especially the work since the 18th CCP Congress.”

The spokesperson mentioned that the grassroots propaganda work is relatively weak. The regulation made the grassroots propaganda work a separate chapter. It clearly stipulates the propaganda work in enterprises, rural areas, institutions, schools, research institutes, streets and communities, and social organizations. For example, township (street) party organizations should specify one party committee member to be responsible for propaganda; village (community) party organizations should employ dedicated propaganda staff; state-owned and state-controlled enterprise party organizations should set up a propaganda work office. The party committee of a university should set up a propaganda department. The party organizations in enterprises with state shares, non-state economic organizations, and social organizations shall employ propaganda staff.

Party committees at all levels have been told to take the study and promotion of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, aka Xi Jinping Thought, as their primary political task.

Source: Central News Agency, September 1, 2019

Taiwanese Government Boycotts CCP’s United Front Work and its 70th Anniversary Events

On August 29, at China’s State Council Information Office’s press conference regarding the 70th anniversary of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) founding, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Li Qun said, “Artists from Hong Kong, Macao. and Taiwan who love the motherland and safeguard the ‘one country, two systems’ and the peaceful unification of the motherland will work with mainland artists to present a high-level evening gala.”

At a press conference on the same day, spokesperson Chiu Chui-cheng of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) of Taiwan called on the Taiwanese people not to become a target of the CCP’s united front work against the island.

Chiu said that five bills surrounding Taiwan’s national security have recently been amended. The government is not happy to see the general public going to mainland China to participate in activities with political implications. Chiu called on the Taiwanese people to consider their national dignity and the social perception and avoid violating the law. On July 3, iIn order to strengthen the regulation of current or retired public servants and military personnel going to mainland China, Taiwan passed articles 9 and 91 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. These articles will be officially implemented starting September 1. If personnel subject to the regulations obstruct the national dignity, they will be punished according to the law.

MAC believes that Beijing will use the anniversary activities to spread propaganda about the achievements of the regime and use large scale military parades to display new weapons to intimidate Taiwan and neighboring countries. Chiu emphasized that the Republic of China is a sovereign state, and Taiwan does not accept “one country, two systems.”

Source: Central News Agency, August 29, 2019

People’s Daily Weibo Account Quoted CY Leung’s Article on Hong Kong

Xiakedao, the Weibo account of People’s Daily, republished an article by Leung Chun-ying (CY Leung), who the Chinese Communist Party hand-picked as the Chief Executive of Hong Kong from 2012 to 2017. Leung argued that Beijing can use many forces, either regular or unconventional, to put down the Hong Kong movement.

CY Leung made the following points:

1. We need to have the right strategic judgment. The movement is no longer a peaceful demonstration. It is using violence and other illegal means to paralyze the society and create a regime change in Hong Kong. It will then make Hong Kong independent of China and the “subversion base” to replicate violence in mainland China.

2. We need to have the right strategic positioning. However the situation in Hong Kong is, nothing can change the fact that Hong Kong is part of China; nor can it change that China possesses tremendous political, foreign diplomatic, military, and economic power in the world.

3. We need to have strategic confidence. The Hong Kong government, pro-China politicians, and the business community must have confidence in the Central government and the Hong Kong government. They should not worry and surrender.

4. We need to have a comprehensive strategic plan. The Hong Kong government and the Central government have a whole set of political, administrative, fiscal, legal, and military tools, including many forces that they can use but have not yet used.

When it is necessary, besides the forces in Hong Kong, the Central government also has many more powerful forces outside. We should mobilize every regular and unconventional force inside and outside of Hong Kong and plan well the short, mid-term, and long term actions.

5. The Chinese idiom goes, “During a confrontation in a narrow passage, whoever is the bravest will win out.”

Source: Sina, September 01, 2019

China News: China Adding Six More Free Trade Zones

China News recently reported that China just announced the establishment of six more free trade zones in Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Hebei, Yunnan, and Heilongjiang Provinces. By now China has a total of 18 free trade zones and all coastal provinces are covered. The focuses of the free trade zones are different. However, this round of new zones mainly emphasizes transportation, high-tech, logistics, high-end manufacturing, health, biology, tourism, culture, and financial areas. Developing relationships with geographically nearby countries, such as South Korea and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, was also set as a priority. The new announcement also mentioned the importance of the experimental nature of the free trade zones as well as the necessity of risk control. Meanwhile, according to LTN (Taiwan), China’s first free trade zone, the Shanghai Zone, suffered the record of not being able to deliver on key promises such as the free flow of currencies.

Source: China News, August 27, 2019
Source: Liberty Times Network (LTN), September 2, 2019

Hong Kong’s Forum Server under Attack, Chinese Authorities Suspected Using Telegram to ID Protesters

Many of Hong Kong’s “anti-extradition law” protesters use a Hong Kong based online discussion forum, LIHKG, to mobilize and organize their actions. LIHKG announced around 6 am on Sunday that the “LIHKG has been under (un)precedented DDoS attacks for the past 24 hours. We have reason to believe that there is a power, or even a national level power, behind the organization of such attacks as botnets from all over the world were manipulated in launching this attack.”

“The enormous amount of network requests has caused Internet congestion and has overloaded the server, which has occasionally affected the access to LIHKG. The website data and members’ information have been unaffected.”

In addition, British media quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Telegram, a U.K. based instant messaging service, recently detected that Hong Kong or the mainland Chinese government may have uploaded a large number of phone numbers to the application, trying to identify the demonstrators using its matching function. Telegram software will automatically match the members of the communication group by phone number. The Chinese government only needs to ask the local telephone company to find out the true identities of the Telegram users. It is unclear whether the Chinese government has successfully identified the demonstrators.

Telegram is working on a fix to allow the users to disable the matching by phone number, so as to protect the privacy of Hong Kong protesters.

Source: Radio Free Asia, August 31, 2019