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The Second China-Made Aircraft Carrier Approaches Completion

Radio France International (RFI) recently reported, based on China’s official information, that China’s second domestically made aircraft carrier is about to be completed. Experts estimated that the carrier is not far from delivery to the Chinese Navy. Some Hong Kong media sources revealed that the new carrier is a model 002 instead of the previously rumored model 001A. It seems the new carrier is being constructed at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company. At the end of year 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Defense confirmed that the work on China’s second carrier had started. However, there is no additional information anywhere describing the differences between Model 001A and 002. It is not unusual for the Chinese Navy to have ship models that change during the process of construction. It happened before. The same company constructed China’s Aircraft Carrier that is currently in service, the Liaoning.

Source: RFI, August 21, 2017

Research Journal Publication Faces Censorship in China

According to an BBC article that Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publishing house, which has business dealings and a server in China, had blocked over 300 articles on its website in China under Beijing’s pressure. China Quarterly had published those articles, which included such topics as on the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Massacre; Tibet; and the democracy movement in China.

A  specialist on the economy from Beijing University launched a petition asking Cambridge University Press to stand up to China’s censorship. By August 21, over 300 had signed the petition. On the same day, Huanqiu published an article claiming that, in order for institutions from the West to enter China’s market, they must make necessary adjustments; and that there is nothing wrong with what Chinese authorities had done because they were just doing their job according to the law.

The BBC article quoted several Chinese scholars who were concerned that more foreign research journals will face the same fate, that the censorship is unfair to Chinese scholars, and that it will negatively impact research and study work about China.

On August 21, Cambridge University Press unblocked these articles after it received pressure from the academic community.

On August 22, Radio France Internationale reported that Cambridge University Press received a request from State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) to remove 100 online articles from the Journal of Asian Studies. The Journal of Asian Studies is a publication of the Association for Asian Studies and is headquartered in the U.S. In the statement published on its official website, the Association for Asian Studies expressed its concern over academic freedom and it is talking with Cambridge University Press about how to response to the request from SARFT.

BBC, August 21, 2017
Radio France Internationale, August 22, 2017北京施压-令剑桥出版社再撤学术文章

Beijing Is Determined to Clean up Chaos in the Financial Industry

According to a blog posted on Duowei, an opinion article that People’s Daily published on August 21 stated that Beijing has once again determined to increase oversight and scrutiny over the chaos in financial industry, especially in the area of high risk leveraged investments. The blog indicated that the cleanup effort could further affect a core interest group within the party. Starting this year, several private companies including Anbang, Hainan Airlines, Wanda, Fosun International, and Zhejiang Rossoneri Investment were the subject of different types of investigations, especially on the source of their capital as well as on acquisitions overseas. By the end of 2016, the combined capital of Anbang, Hainan Airlines, Wanda and Fosun International was over 4 trillion yuan (US$0.6 trillion). The blog quoted a source from the banking industry which indicated that, in the past two years, many companies used overseas buyouts to move capital overseas. Some of the buyouts were fake and hard to audit. The blog stated that the financial industry was flooded with party princelings who pocketed the profit, but when there was a loss, the people had to bear it. This became a classic model when Jiang Zemin was in power. It has enabled party officials to carve up the state’s assets for their own personal gain. The blog disclosed that during a central committee meeting last year, Xi Jinping used an unprecedented tone to condemn the corruption in the financial industry. In June of this year, Wu Xiaohui, Anbang’s chairman of the board was detained. Soon after that, Wanda issued a statement that it would keep the majority of its cash in China. At the same time, it started to sell off its real estate properties to pay back its bank loan.

Duowei, August 22, 2017

Administration of Foreign Exchange Introduced Measure to Validate Domestic Issued Bank Card Use in Foreign Countries

On June 2, the Administration of Foreign Exchange issued a notice stating that, starting September 1, domestic financial institutions must report transactions if a bank card is used overseas and if the total amount is over 1000 yuan (US$150). The measure serves to validate personal information when there is spending activity overseas and to prevent any illegal purchase activity. People’s Daily published an article on August 4 stating that, since the bank card has become an important method for money laundering or corruption activity, the start day for reporting financial activity when using domestic issued bank cards overseas has been moved up to August 21. According to the article, a large amount of cash has been spent overseas in recent years. In order get cash to use while traveling overseas, some Chinese tourists have worked with a store to create fake purchases of jewelry or watches. Then they get cash from the store instead. Some have sold bank cards to be used for cash withdrawals overseas. The spokesperson from the Administration of Foreign Exchange stated that implementing reports of overseas bank card transaction activity will prevent illegal bank card transactions. The financial institution needs to report and collect the data and there is no need for the card user to do anything different. The Administration said it will not affect personal use of the bank card and personal information is strictly protected.

1. People’s Daily, August 4, 2017
2. Xinhua, June 2, 2017

Xinhua News Analysis: U.S. Army Cyber Command to Upgrade; Cyber War Is No Longer a Future Concept

China’s state media Xinhua published a news analysis on U.S. President Trump’s announcement to elevate the U.S. Cyber Command to a Unified Combatant Command. It said that the upgrade of the U.S. military cyber command to the U.S. military tenth joint operations headquarters, a status equivalent to the U.S. Central Command and other major combat commands, means that cyber space is officially listed as the U.S. military’s fifth battlefield along with marine, land, air, and outer space. Thus the worrying trend of the militarization of cyberspace has been further exacerbated.

The article quoted a statement that the Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, Michael Rogers, made at a Congressional hearing in May, “Every conflict in the world now has a conflict in the dimension of cyber space. … A cyber war is not a future concept or a film scene. It has a real existence.”

The article stated in conclusion, “At the beginning of the establishment of the U.S. military cyber command, Commander Keith Alexander asserted that it would not promote the militarization of space in the military. Since then, however, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and other countries have announced the formation of cyber forces. Now the upgrade of the U.S. military cyber command is likely to trigger other countries to follow suit, thus further intensifying the arms race in cyber space.”

Source: Xinhua, August 18, 2017

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