2019

Hollow claims by US on caring about Chinese human rights

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an announcement on Monday in which he accused China of “abusing human rights” and smeared China’s resolute measures to maintain national stability in the late 1980s. He also criticized China’s anti-terrorism and crime fighting measures in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The US has stepped up its attacks on China on human rights issues simply because Washington’s trade war with China is proving to be invalid. Now, the US has decided to impose more pressure on China over human rights issues.

In fact, the US has no credibility to hold the moral high ground. Its accusations are nothing but empty talk from a high-pitched speaker. Pompeo’s statements will not be echoed in Chinese society. Instead, they will reaffirm the Chinese public’s belief that the Trump administration is hostile to China, and a friendly US government to China is probably just pie in the sky.

Chinese are convinced that the US government is trying to deprive China of its continued development and gains for its own benefit. In their opinion, it is supposed to be a zero-sum relationship between the two nations. It is well recognized that the rights of Chinese are mostly rooted in sustained national stability and development. The destruction of China’s stability and development is the ultimate deprivation of the rights of Chinese. The current US government is becoming the top hijacker of Chinese human rights.

Chinese are no longer so naive as to regard the US as a haven, or an impetus, for Chinese human rights. It’s not 30 years ago. The Trump administration always threatens to “replace the labor force in China with that in the US,” or in Southeast Asia. They celebrate every sign that could be interpreted as economic downturn in China. Is that sincere compassion for Chinese human rights?

When Washington announced the start of the trade war, it didn’t care about any negative impact a trade war may have on China’s stockmarket or potential losses it may cause for Chinese shareholders. The US would rather see bigger losses on China to bring the country to its knees. The trade war launched by the US put the welfare of Chinese people at risk. Meanwhile, the same group of US politicians put on another face and made accusations about China’s human rights, as if they really care about individual rights of Chinese people.

Under the campaign of “America First,” the Trump administration has utilized its policies to eliminate the opportunity for social and economic development in many countries that will lead to the improvement of human rights. China is facing perhaps the most vicious and most hypocritical US government since its reform and opening-up.

In examining cases of China’s so-called human rights violations raised by some US politicians, it is obvious that those cases often relate to Chinese dissidents. The purpose is to stir up political division within China in order to split the country. In other words, they are advocating specific rights so that they can disrupt China without taking any responsibility.

It is well recognized that the US vigorously pursues its self-defined human rights philosophy for vicious political purposes. Chinese are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of not accepting human rights issues raised by the US and not accepting US values for obvious political purposes. The improvement of Chinese human rights hinges on China’s continued economic and social development. Chinese know where to go and how to go, and do not need “teachers” that have vicious intentions.

Mr Pompeo, if you really care about Chinese human rights, please order the US State Department to lift the newly-added visa restrictions for Chinese students. Those students have made a lot of preparations for studying abroad, which signifies an important step in their lives. Refusing their visas tramples their individual rights. Secretary Pompeo, who has the power to set visa policies, would make great contributions to Chinese rights if he could lift those visa restrictions.

In other words, the US offers its commiserations for so-called human rights violations in China, yet in actions, it has been trampling on China’s human rights for years. It is time for Mr Pompeo and his colleagues to stop the self-contradictory moves.

Chinese vice premier stresses high-quality Yangtze River Delta integration

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng has urged efforts to push forward Yangtze River Delta integration, focusing on integrated and high-quality development.

While promoting regional integration of the Yangtze River Delta, efforts should be taken to break new ground in opening up, said Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, at a meeting Monday in Shanghai.

Han stressed institutional innovation to promote high-level opening up and reform, sharpening the region’s competitive edge in international cooperation.

He underlined efforts to accelerate new area building of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, optimize institutions and mechanisms to stimulate innovation among market entities, make breakthroughs in some key and core technologies, and enhance the transformation of scientific and technological achievements.

Han also called for building an integrated transport system and prioritizing environmental protection and green development.

China has made the regional integration of the Yangtze River Delta a national strategy. The area covers Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui.

The delta region takes up only one twenty-sixth of China’s territory and one-sixth of its population but creates almost one-fourth of the country’s gross domestic product.

China’s unreliable entities list a guardian of market order

By introducing an unreliable entities list targeting rule-breakers, China aims to ensure a reliable market environment for those who abide by the rules.

The Ministry of Commerce on Saturday outlined factors for consideration in listing unreliable foreign entities to warn market disruptors.

China will consider whether the foreign entity has adopted discriminatory measures on Chinese entities including a blockade or supply cut, whether the foreign entity violates market rules or contract spirit for non-commercial purposes, whether it causes actual damage to Chinese firms or related industries, and whether it poses actual or potential threats to China’s national security, according to the ministry.

The timely countermeasure is a rightful answer to the unjustifiable clampdown on Chinese entities and a strong defense of the rules-based multilateral trading system.

Some countries have imposed discriminatory measures such as blocking and cutting supplies on Chinese firms for non-commercial purposes. Putting a “national security” tag on such actions could not whitewash their fouls as abuses of long-arm jurisdiction measures and typical cases of state will trampling on market forces.

The legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies have been damaged, and the costs are being passed on to the global industry and supply chains as the world economy is highly interwoven. Many more companies and consumers could suffer losses.

Without a normal order, things could go terribly wrong. The unreliable entities list is also expected to deter similar breaches of international economic and trade rules as well as the multilateral trading system.

The best way to contain unreliable entities is to enforce the rule of law. When they are flagged, the rule-abiding firms can bypass the business landmine field.

The list also underscores China’s commitment to creating a better business environment. As China keeps widening its opening-up, it has also devoted great efforts to safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of both domestic and foreign companies.

China will keep making things easier for foreign companies that comply with laws and rules. The negative list for foreign investment is getting shorter and shorter, and legal protection of foreign investment is growing stronger.

By punishing rule-breakers, a stable, fair and sustainable order of trade between enterprises can be ensured and a reliable business environment maintained.

President Xi urges trash sorting habitChinese President Xi Jinping urged efforts to cultivate a good habit of garbage classification, which Chinese observers said is the most urgent, effective and enduring measure to sustain the practice in the long run.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in an instruction on garbage sorting, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The key to carrying out waste sorting is to strengthen scientific management, form a mechanism with lasting effects, and cultivate the habit of waste sorting, Xi said.

Chinese environment management experts on Monday hailed Xi’s speech which indicates the government’s readiness to deal with garbage sorting issues through long and solid efforts rather than simply pursuing instant but short-term results.

Luo Yameng, a Beijing-based urbanization expert, said a complete garbage classification and disposal system would be composed of three key stages: garbage classification dumping, classification transfer and classification disposal.

Failure of any stage would cost the whole system, Luo said.

“Developing residents’ habit of garbage sorting is the most challenging part, which takes time; and judging from Xi’s key speech, we can tell that the government is ready to focus on the process,” Liu Jianguo, a professor specializing in solid waste management at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times.

China has been stepping up efforts to build a national garbage sorting system in recent years, initiating pilot programs in 46 major cities to cover all prefecture-level cities before the end of 2025 with the basic garbage classification and disposal systems.

Beijing municipal authorities recently announced the roll-out of a compulsory garbage sorting mechanism in public areas, vowing to set up garbage sorting demonstration areas that cover 60 percent of the city.

Besides, incentives to encourage the practice of garbage sorting would be introduced, such as establishing a point management system and a credit account special for garbage sorting.

Regulations and incentives at the city level could contribute to building an atmosphere of promoting garbage sorting, but it cannot compare to public awareness and forming a good habit in terms of maintaining the effects in the long run, Liu noted.

Eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou and northeastern city of Changchun have also included the garbage classification into the textbooks at their elementary and middle schools as part of the national efforts.

A national survey report, which includes a total of 13,085 residents from 31 provincial regions, issued by the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in April shows that only 30 percent respondents considered themselves “good” or “very good” in the practice of garbage sorting.

Furthermore, 63.7 percent of the respondents complained that it was the “lack of garbage sorting bins in their residential compounds” that affected their garbage sorting behavior, according to the survey.

China issues warning over traveling to US

One day after China issued a warning over studying in the US, two of the country’s key ministries on Tuesday issued another alert over travel to the US, the latest measure to counter the negative consequences Chinese people are facing after the escalation of the US-initiated trade war, which has spread beyond broad economic measures to target the technology, education and tourism sectors.

US law enforcement departments have been increasingly harassing Chinese nationals in the US by questioning them as they enter or exit the country, as well as talking to them in their homes, Chen Xiongfeng, deputy director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a Tuesday press conference in Beijing.

Chen said that Chinese nationals traveling to the US and Chinese companies operating in the US should be on alert to their safety and take preventive measures, and should contact Chinese embassies if necessary.

Echoing Chen, Yu Jiannan, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said that according to information from Chinese consulates, the rate of crime, including theft, has increased recently in the US, so Chinese nationals should be cautious when traveling to the US and take preventive measures and be alert to their surroundings.

Chen said the travel warning was issued as Chinese consulates across the US have received a lot of complaints from Chinese nationals after they were harassed by American law enforcement departments.

The travel warning is also out of concern over the safety of Chinese nationals, Yu said, noting that the US, despite its position as a major travel destination for Chinese tourists, often experiences incidents of violent crimes which could threaten the safety of Chinese nationals in the North American country.

Twelve people died during the recent tragedy in Virginia Beach on May 31 US time.

The number of Chinese tourists to the US fell 5.7 percent in 2018 to 2.9 million. It was the first time since 2003 that the number of Chinese travelers to the US slipped from the previous year, the Associated Press reported in May.

Yu said that roughly 150 million trips were made abroad in 2018. Tourists choose destinations based on their own will and on the situation of the destination. “Undoubtedly, the most important factor people consider is safety. Chinese tourists will surely make wise choices and cautiously evaluate their travel destinations,” said Yu.

Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce’s International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times that the number of Chinese tourists to the US far outnumbered those traveling from the US to China, and the US tourism industry is heavily dependent on the rapidly increasing number of Chinese tourists, so a drop in the number of travelers will exert a heavy blow on relevant US industries.

It shows that the ongoing trade friction between the two countries has begun to hurt people-to-people exchanges in the two countries, Bai said.

An employee from a Shanghai-based travel agency, who asked for anonymity, told the Global Times that summer is the peak time for Chinese to travel to the US, but this year, more people have been consulting about safety and tightened visa policies in the US. Also, the number of tourists applying for US visas via their platform had also dropped drastically during this period of time.

Strong measures

Investigation into FedEx expected to be fair and just

Chinese authorities announced on Saturday that relevant department has decided to open an investigation into whether FedEx violated the legitimate rights and interests of its Chinese clients. Huawei recently revealed to the media that FedEx had diverted two parcels sent from Japan destined for an address in China to the US, and two others from Vietnam to Hong Kong and Singapore respectively were also diverted to a US address after delay.

Although FedEx claimed that these were “mistakenly routed,” public opinion has questioned that the US government is behind the unscrupulous acts by the American company. Such “mistakes” go contrary to the normal service standards of FedEx.

It is pertinent that Huawei has been under sustained persecution by the US administration. The four parcels mistakenly routed all have the final address in the US.

Notwithstanding that the FedEx moves were deliberate or just mistakes, they have posed threats to the technology company’s security interests and violated laws and regulations of China’s express delivery industry. It is fair as well as a responsibility of Chinese authorities to launch an investigation into FedEx.

The announcement of Chinese authorities was brief and did not point at public skepticism about FedEx or Huawei. This shows that the government will wait for and respect investigation results without rushing to any conclusion.

This is a responsible move. The US has without a shred of evidence alleged that Huawei poses a threat to its national security. It has not only cracked down on Huawei, but also forced its allies to boycott the tech giant’s products. In doing so, Washington has jettisoned the rule of law and brazenly violated the principles of international justice and commercial rules.

The US has been accusing without proof Chinese companies of being controlled by the government and telecommunication firms such as Huawei are gathering intelligence for China. However, relations between Washington and US companies are upending people’s understanding of the relationship between politics and business in the market economy.

The US is using its economic resources as political tool at will. Washington has imposed the most frequent and intense economic sanctions on other countries, and US companies have become political tools of the government. In a democratic context, US companies did not try to curb the abuse of the country’s economic leverage by the government, while only subjecting themselves to Washington’s actions.

People also have reasons to believe US intelligence organs have penetrated into some enterprises and their economic activities. In his 2014 book No Place to Hide, former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that US intelligence agencies routinely intercepted routers and other computer network devices and implanted backdoor surveillance tools, repackaged the devices and sent them on.

We suspect that the US is planting its own infiltration actions on Chinese government and enterprises. What the US alleged has never been on the mind of Chinese people and only recidivists can make up such stories.

It is believed that the Chinese government can handle the FedEx investigation in a fair and just manner. Although the incident took place at the peak of the China-US trade war, the investigation process should not be affected. It should be independent and comply with the law. This is the essence of law and is in line with the principles of China’s reform and opening-up.

China approves norovirus vaccine for clinical trial

Chinese authorities have greenlit a clinical trial for the world’s first tetravalent vaccine against norovirus, the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis.

The vaccine received the clinical research permit from the National Medical Products Administration on May 30, its developer, the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai (IPS) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced at a press conference Tuesday.

As the number one cause of acute viral gastroenteritis, the highly contagious and sometimes deadly norovirus infects about 685 million people worldwide annually and has increasingly emerged as a public health issue in China.

The vaccine, after four years of development, can theoretically prevent 80 to 90 percent of norovirus infections also known as “stomach flu,” said Huang Zhong, who leads the project at IPS.

The norovirus has long eluded the world’s vaccine development, as traditional strategies of inactivation and attenuation fail on the virus that cannot be cultured in vitro on a large scale. This was further complicated by the virus’ many genotypes, regional variations and its propensity to mutate, according to Huang.

The clinical trial is expected to last for five years before the vaccine can apply for new drug registration, which will benefit norovirus prevention in both China and abroad, said Tang Hong, researcher with the IPS.

US arms sales jeopardize cooperation, stability in Asia-Pacific

The US Department of Defense announced on Friday the sale of 34 surveillance drones to four countries in the South China Sea region – Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The sale seemed to be in line with the Pentagon’s newly released Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, details of which show the US’ goal of containing China. Reuters reported on Tuesday that “the drones would afford greater intelligence gathering capabilities potentially curbing Chinese activity in the region.”

However, if we take a second look at the manufacturer of those ScanEagle drones, Boeing Co, we can discern that the US does not necessarily mean to assist those allies in the South China Sea region, where China has been defamed by accusations of “behaving like a ‘bully,'” but to make money.

Due to the deadly crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jets, the aviation giant has seen the biggest slump in its share price since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, according to Time magazine. That a US company is suffering in the international market is too inconsistent with US President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy. Amid increasing tensions between China and the US due to the trade war, the Trump administration is happy to let US firms make money, especially if it also provokes China.

In light of this, if we look back at the US’ attempts to hit DJI, China’s leading drone manufacturer, we will not view these attempts as absurd as they first seemed.

Even though Trump has taken office, his business nature doesn’t fade. He will do anything as long as the US can make a profit and not be taken advantage of, despite sacrificing anyone else’s interests.

This is why he has started trade wars around the globe and sells US drones while cracking down on drones made by Chinese companies.

The US has been selling arms to Asia-Pacific countries, to which it is paying more attention. The arms sales will bind these countries to the US, because if you buy US equipment, it comes as a whole package, including support equipment and technical services. The US will make sure its equipment cannot be used in combination with technology from other countries. As a result, the buyers of US arms will eventually face a choice – either meet any demand of the US or have no other option to update their military equipment.

In its Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, the US described China as a “Revisionist Power.” Then on Saturday during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the US will not ignore China’s behavior in the South China Sea. By increasing arms sales to China’s neighbors, the US intends to provoke conflicts between China and those countries and jeopardize stability in the Asia-Pacific.

The US is subduing China while simultaneously selling arms in the region and establishing a security framework aimed at China. Asia-Pacific countries should be vigilant in case the US’ moves intensify the regional situation and seriously endanger regional cooperation – what they and China need most.

Stark warning

Over 100 years ago, 120 Chinese teenagers were sent to the US to study on the “Boxer Indemnity Scholarship” program offered by former US president Theodore Roosevelt, which became a landmark in the history of China-US people-to-people exchanges. Members of China’s first generation of returnees have helped to shape China’s modern history.

Since the country ushered in the era of reform and opening-up in 1978, a total of 4.58 million Chinese have gone abroad to study and 3.22 million of them returned, according to data released by the MOE.

The returnees from the US have made the ties closer between the two peoples and made significant contributions to the nation’s economic development and scientific progress.

However, the US has singled out Chinese students and scholars as a national security threat, casting a shadow over bilateral relations which have already been beleaguered by trade tensions.

Chinese analysts stressed that the warning is aimed at Chinese parents and students.

“China has been open and supportive to studying abroad. Now facing the tensions caused by the US, the warning is a gentle reminder to Chinese parents: Studying in the US will cost a fortune in time and money, and if their children cannot get a sound education, it will be a huge loss,” a Peking University professor told the Global Times on Monday on condition of anonymity.

It also reminds them that many schools with high quality education resources in other countries may be an option, the professor said, noting that the warning will affect US schools greatly as Chinese students are a prominent contributor to their finances.

He Weiwen, former economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco and New York, pointed out that the warning suggests that the trade war has already begun to affect the field of education.

“From trade to science and technology, and to education, it shows that the US is launching a war from its strategic concerns. It is obvious who is instigating trouble,” He said.

The US action has forced China to react and choose a more prudent attitude toward studying in the US, he said.

Thirty years on, Chinese youth more confident of country’s futur

The daily flag-raising ceremony took place in Tiananmen Square in downtown Beijing at sunrise on Tuesday, with thousands of local residents, tourists from other parts of China and other countries attending the ceremony and enjoying a peaceful and joyous early morning in the heart of the Chinese capital.

The Chinese national flag is also known as the Five-starred Red Flag, which for generations has evoked heartfelt patriotism in China with expressions like: “Born in New China. Growing under the Red Flag.”

Huang Bing, 26, a young Party member from Chongqing, arrived at the square at 3:30 am. He was by no means the first to arrive for the flag raising that started exactly at sunrise – on Tuesday, the sun rose at 4:47 am.

Huang said experiencing the ceremony in Tiananmen Square felt more sacred and solemn than the weekly flag raisings that he had attended in the past.

Even though Tiananmen Gate is surrounded in red scaffolding as restorations and renovations continue in advance of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in October, the enthusiasm and excitement of people attending Tuesday’s ceremony was obvious, as they kept snapping photos and selfies.

A young couple from Shanghai was seen teaching their son about the historical significance of Tiananmen Square and instilling him with pride and respect for the national flag as they waited for the ceremony.

The father, surnamed Zhou, 29, said he and his family were on vacation, and the ceremony was an important lesson in patriotism for his son, even though it meant crawling out of bed in the wee hours.

The boy’s mother, surnamed Liu, said “30 years from now maybe he will bring his children here to do the same thing. That will be 2049, the 100th anniversary of the founding of our country.”

She predicted a future full of opportunity and optimism.

Young parents like Liu and Zhao are the beneficiaries of a generation of stability in China. They grew up in an environment without chaos or conflicts, and have witnessed tremendous advances during the fastest period of development in the country’s history over the last three decades.

Compared with older generations, “the new generation under the red flag,” or the 1990s and 2000s generation, as seen on Tiananmen Square on Tuesday, is undoubtedly more confident, optimistic, patriotic and open-minded about the outside world.

The biggest star on the top left corner of Chinese national flag represents the Communist Party of China (CPC). Every Chinese knows this since childhood and as the new generation under the red flag, Chinese youth show stronger support to the Party and more approval of Marxism.

A survey conducted by the China Youth Daily in April covering 10,393 participants from 31 different provinces and municipalities with an average age of 27 shows that 87.6 percent approve of Marxism, with the approval rate among the 2000s generation – 89.3 percent – being the highest among the participants.

Those born in the 1980s had an approval rate of 88 percent, and the rate was 87.8 percent for those born in the 1990s, the survey found.

The latest data released by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee in June 2018 showed that among the 89.564 million Party members, 13.31 million are under 30 years old, and 1.78 million are students.

The current generation of Chinese youth grew up with Coca-Cola and Hollywood movies, but why do they have stronger support for the Party rather than becoming anti-Communist proxies to launch a “Color Revolution” just as some Western forces have expected?

Analysts believe that the approval rate of the CPC among the youth will continue to increase for at least three reasons: The powerful, successful and stable leadership of the CPC provides financial stability to the youth in a world with increasing uncertainty; the performance of the CPC from the 1990s to the present has convinced the youth that the Party is efficient and capable of self-correction; the current youth didn’t experience the poor and weak period, and they have a better understanding of the unstable and problematic parts of the outside world, while living in a stable and advanced domestic environment.