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Xinhua Article Outlined the Criteria for the 13th CPPCC Member Selection

Xinhua published an article in which it outlined three criteria that the Central Committee would use in the selection of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) name list. The list of these criteria follows:
1) Emphasize the party’s leadership. Adhere to the requirement that “those who make a recommendation should be responsible for the recommended candidate.” Be specific about who can make the recommendation; all candidates that the organization nominates should effectively play a leadership role in the party organization. All units should make recommendations carefully and responsibly after collective research and on the basis of deliberation.
2) Conduct thorough communication and consultation
3) Apply a strict selection criteria to the candidates. Follow the standards and apply strict selection to the candidates who can pass the political and integrity test with positive reputations. Pay attention to candidates’ political and work performance, their images and reputations, as well as their performance as Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee members. Those who cannot pass the selection criteria cannot be selected as candidates.

{Editor’s note: Observers have pointed out that Song Zuying (宋祖英) who has been a member of the 10th, 11th, and 12th CPPCC, is not in the 13th CPPCC list. Song, 51, is widely reputed to have been involved in an extramarital affair with former CCP leader Jiang Zemin.}

Source: Xinhua, January 25, 2018

More Fake GDP Numbers Reported in China

Xinhua reported that, recently, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Tianjin City revised down their 2016 GDP numbers. Inner Mongolia adjusted down its public budget revenue by 26.3 percent, or 53 billion yuan (US$8.5 billion) and industrial added value down by 40 percent, or 290 billion yuan (US$46 billion). Tianjin lowered its Binhai District’s GDP from the previous amount of 1 trillion yuan (US$160 billion) down to 665 billion yuan (US$106 billion), a cut of one-third.

These are the second and third cases in which local governments have revised the 2016 level they reported for GDP. The first to admit reporting an inflated GDP was Liaoning Province in early 2017, when it said that its GDP in 2016 actually went down 23 percent from the 2015 level.

It has long been known that China inflates its GDP. Cheng Xiaonong, a political and economic researcher, provided two reasons why the local governments are now willing to admit faking GDP:

First, Xi Jinping’s administration no longer uses the GDP growth rate to evaluate local officials. The newly appointed officials feel that they don’t have to carry the weight that the incumbent left them because they may not be able to make that fake number anyhow. If they cut down the previous year’s number, they can show a growth in their years.

Second, with a lower GDP, the local government can show the central government that they had less money and can request more financial help from the central government.


1. Xinhua, January 21, 2018
2. Epoch Times, January 20, 2018

Apple Hands over Its iCloud Accounts to Chinese Servicer

Apple announced that, starting on February 28, it will hand over its iCloud service for Chinese customers to a Chinese company. The company taking over the service is one that the Guizhou Provincial government owns called Guizhou Cloud Big Data (GCBD). GCBD will be responsible for the iCloud operations serving customers in China and also responsible for legal and financial relations with those customers.

This has triggered many concerns over data privacy. Chinese companies are known to share customer data with the government, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

Apple has given China-based users the option of deleting their data, but no option to store their data any other place.

The company TechCrunch found that, when the iCloud setting is set to China, the accounts to be handed over will also include “iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts.”

“One user did find an apparent way to opt-out. It requires such users to switch their iCloud account back to China, then sign out of all devices. They then switch their phone and iCloud settings to the U.S. Then, upon signing back into iCloud, their account will (supposedly) not be part of the migration.”


1. People’s Daily, January 10, 2018
2., January 11, 2018
Apple’s China iCloud data migration sweeps up international user accounts

LTN: Freedom House Global Research Showed Low Score for Mainland China

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that the well-known freedom monitoring agency Freedom House just released its 2018 Freedom in the World report. Among 195 countries/regions, 88 were classified as “free nations.” However, the report indicated that the global degree of freedom has suffered a 12-year decline. With the full score of 100 points, Taiwan obtained 93 points, which is an increase of 2 points from last year. Japan scored 96 points and South Korea scored 84. According to the report, Russia got a score of 20, and Mainland China got only 14, which was even one point less than last year. The report indicated that the non-democratic nations are taking advantage of the weakened global trend to influence the international community. China even declared that it is showing the developing countries a “new road.” It appears China is seeking a true leadership role in the world. Signs are now visible that China is actively interfering with domestic politics in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Source: LTN, January 16, 2018

South Korean Duty-Free Stores Saw Record High Sales

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that South Korean duty-free stores experienced a major loss of customers last year due to the conflict with China on the issue of deploying the U.S. THAAD missile defense system. For example, in the month of November, Chinese visitors to South Korea declined by 42.1 percent. Chinese visitors were the primary buyers at duty-free stores; the headcount reduction caused major concerns earlier last year. However, last November’s nearly US$1 billion in duty-free sales set a historic high for November. This became a typical situation in almost all months last year and duty-free stores achieved their best sales records when having the lowest number of Chinese visitors. Analysts found that the high sales volume were supported by the Chinese proxy shopping channels, which allowed Korea-based agents to make purchases for their Chinese buyers when paid a small fee. The duty-free stores saw a significant increase in sales through these channels.

Source: Sina, January 13, 2018

China News: China’s Rating Agency Lowered the Sovereign Rating of the U. S. Dollar

China News recently reported that China’s rating agency, the Dagong Global Credit Ratings, just lowered the sovereign rating of the U.S. Dollar from A- down to BBB+. The outlook for the U.S. sovereign rating was marked as negative. Dagong explained that this move was due to the fact that the U.S. capability of paying back debts significantly weakened after the newly passed tax cut bill. The U.S. government’s credit is directly associated with the amount of tax it collects, which is the primary source for backing its debts. Dagong expressed its belief that the U.S. Federal government’s income will decline due to the tax cut, while defense spending and infrastructure investment will see massive increases. The U.S. deficit is expected to climb higher in the foreseeable future. Also, the promised upcoming U.S. interest rate hikes will further worsen the situation. The Chinese government certified Dagong’s rating qualifications.

Source: China News, January 16, 2018

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