The Current Digest of the Chinese Press
Each week, The Current Digest of the Chinese Press presents the reader with a digestible collection of Chinese press materials, all in English. Selected articles cover a wide variety of topics, such as politics, international relations, security, economics, business, public health, environment, education, culture and more. The Current Digest’s mission is to provide the reader with a comprehensive, broad picture of the news published in China, be it domestic, international or related to other states of the Asia Pacific region. The Current Digest of the Chinese Press offers all readers, regardless of Chinese language ability, a much clearer and more robust view of the current Chinese reality and is a great addition to any English-language resource collection.
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Volume 9, Number 33 (August 10-16, 2020)
FEATURED NEWS STORIES
China Allows HK LegCo to Remain in Office
China and US Continue Sanction Fight Over HK Click here to read more
POLITICS & CULTURE
China to Enhance Support for Flexible Employment
State & Law
Chongqing Pilots Child Abuse Reporting App
Jimmy Lai Arrested Under National Security Law
FM Warns Foreign Press on National Security Law
Challenge to ‘One-China Principle’ Doomed to Fail
Wicked Motives Behind Provocative Taiwan Trip
Spirit of WWII Navigates China Through Trials
Beijing Staggers School Openings to Prevent COVID
Archaeology Applicant Unfazed by Controversies
Tackling Noise Calls for Efforts From All
Wuhan Lab Rejects Coronavirus Leak Allegation
Beijing Market to Reopen as Epidemic Wanes
Illegal Mining Threatens National Nature Reserve
Xi’s Vision of Eco-Protection Guides Development
Lake on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Takes a New Look
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & SECURITY
Pandemic Fight Should Not Be Hijacked
China Asks US to Change Course on Iran
China-Africa to Deepen Pandemic Cooperation
Europeans Slam Protectionism of US TikTok Ban
US Should Not Take Advantage of Asian Disputes
Pompeo, a Modern-Day Washington Pirate
Two Faces of US in Eyes of a Xinhua Correspondent
Expelled Chinese Journalist Believes in Friendship
Human Rights Cards Expose US Double Standards
No Obstacle ‘Insurmountable’ for China and US
Attempt to Revive Cold War Won’t Succeed
BUSINESS & THE ECONOMY
Foreign Economic Relations
Offline Trade Fair Forum for Global Cooperation
US Businesses Not Leaving China Market
Open World Economy Needed for Global Recovery
Inflation Rises in July, Propelled by Food Prices
Tourism Market Further Recovers
Digitalization Could Be Panacea for Retailers
Financial Industry in Smooth Operation
Housing Prices See Slower Growth in July
Adapt to Latest Industry Trends, Automakers Told
China Must Enhance Legislation to Stop Food Waste
Xi Calls for Ending Food Waste
Author: Xinhua News Agency
Hong Kong Postpones Legislative Council Election Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
Xinhua News Agency, July 31, 2020. Complete text:
Hong Kong – Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Friday [July 31] announced the postponement of the 2020 Legislative Council (LegCo) General Election of the HKSAR due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The election for the seventh-term LegCo members of the HKSAR, originally scheduled for Sept. 6, 2020, will be postponed for one year, Lam said at a press conference.
Describing the postponement of the LegCo election as a “hard choice,” the chief executive stressed that it was a decision necessary for curbing the COVID-19 outbreak, protecting public security and health, and ensuring the openness and fairness of the election. Hong Kong has seen a resurgence of COVID-19 outbreak since early July. A total of 1,852 additional COVID-19 cases were reported between July 8 and July 30, up 140% from the total number of cases recorded over the previous six months, she said.
Hong Kong is facing the most severe epidemic situation since January 2020, with a growing risk of a major outbreak, Lam noted. Under the current circumstances, if the LegCo election were held as scheduled, its openness and fairness could hardly be ensured, and the safety of voters, candidates and staff at polling stations and counting stations would be endangered, she added.
In a letter to the chief executive on July 28, the chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission detailed the public health risks of holding the election as scheduled, pointing out that 3 million voters casting their ballots at polling stations across Hong Kong on the same day would create an “exponentially larger infection risk.”
Lam said the postponement of elections has become a common practice around the world amid the pandemic. By mid-July, 62 countries and eight territories had postponed elections, according to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Lam noted, adding that Britain has postponed polls of the local and mayoral elections in England for a year to May 2021 due to the pandemic outbreak.
The chief executive had earlier submitted a report on postponing the 2020 LegCo election to the Central People’s Government. The Central People’s Government has replied that it supports the HKSAR Chief Executive in Council in making the decision to postpone the seventh-term LegCo election of the HKSAR for a year in accordance with the law in the interests of the public and based on the actual situation in Hong Kong.
Author: Xinhua News Agency
Washington Responsible for China’s Countermeasure Against Houston Consulate Closure
Xinhua News Agency, July 24, 2020. Complete text:
Beijing – The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday [July 24] informed the US Embassy in China of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the US Consulate General in Chengdu.
The ministry also made specific requirements on the ceasing of all operations and events by the Consulate General, said a statement issued by the ministry.
The measure is a legitimate and necessary response to Washington’s unjustified, abrupt and unilateral demand for Beijing to close China’s Consulate General in Houston, a US-style bullying and provocation that must be held accountable for the current tensions in bilateral ties.
The responsibility lies entirely with the US, which has seriously breached international law and the basic norms governing international relations, as well as the bilateral consular agreement, and deliberately undermined bilateral relations by launching another political provocation against China.
The US side claimed that it professed to “protect American intellectual property and American’s private information” by closing China’s Consulate General in Houston, but has failed to offer any concrete evidence to support its ravings.
Ironically, despite US notoriously poor track record of respecting other nations’ sovereignty, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus claimed that under the Vienna Convention, states should “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs” of the receiving state.
No wonder global media outlets, including the US ones, have raised questions about ulterior motives for the US provocative act. Quoting US Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, CNN reported that King was not aware of any “recent intelligence of particular Chinese activities, either with regard to our elections, or the whole confrontation between our two countries***that may have driven the decision.”
The responsibility lies entirely with the US, also because some US politicians have reached the point of hysteria in damaging US-China relations in recent years.
For the past few months, some senior White House officials have been stigmatizing China by politicizing the COVID-19 pandemic. The US side has also used its state apparatus to suppress Chinese companies on fabricated charges.
Washington has also targeted in a frenzy Chinese nationals within its border. Apart from its political crackdown on Chinese media outlets in the US, the US side has also targeted some Chinese students in America by threatening, interrogating, confiscating personal electronic equipment and even detaining them for no reason.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, the US side, well before this recent political provocation, has also imposed unwarranted restrictions on Chinese diplomats, and even searched diplomatic bags without permission and seized official articles.
The unilateral closure of China’s Consulate General in Houston is an unprecedented escalation by the US against China, and China has no choice but to counter it.
There are two motivations behind Washington’s anti-China campaign. One is that by lashing out at China amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, some US politicians, who have long been criticized for disastrous handling of the pandemic crisis and the mounting racial tensions in the country, are scrambling to shift the blame and smear China.
It also showcased some US politicians’ desperation to improve the falling poll ratings in the election year by stigmatizing China and politicizing bilateral ties.
By initiating and escalating provocation against China, some US politicians are endangering not only one of the most important bilateral relations in the world, but also the rules-based international order.
History has shown that a constructive China-US relationship is a win-win for both sides, and neither can afford the costs of full-blown confrontation. The onus is now on the US side to prevent bilateral ties from further deteriorating.
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Author: Xinhua News Agency
Market Fairness a Mere Pretext Used in Washington’s TikTok Ban
Xinhua News Agency, Aug. 3, 2020. Complete text:
Washington – The US government threatened to ban Chinese firm ByteDance’s TikTok video app on Monday [Aug. 3] under the pretext of maintaining a free and fair market as well as national security concerns, an excuse widely used to discriminate against Chinese companies and investment.
Speaking to reporters at the White House briefing, US President Donald Trump confirmed that he is open to a deal in which Microsoft Corp. or other US companies buys one of the world’s most popular video-sharing apps.
Trump set Sept. 15 as the deadline for TikTok to find a US buyer or face shutdown in the country.
The forced sale reveals Washington’s intentions to control the tech economy and runs counter to the principles of a free market. Furthermore, it violates the World Trade Organization’s principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination.
Free market fraud.
Since 2017, the US has investigated ByteDance over its acquisition of a social media app Musical.ly, which was fully rebranded as part of TikTok in 2018. Yet the White House has found no evidence indicating violation of any regulations by the Chinese company.
“We have faced all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political environment, collision and conflict of different cultures and plagiarism and smears from competitor Facebook.*** We strictly abide by local laws, and will actively use the rights granted by the law to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the company,” ByteDance has said in response to Washington’s threat.
“Chinese companies have been accused of incredible activities that have nothing to do with their commercial operations.*** It appears that Washington is using every opportunity to use non-market and extraterritorial methods and illicit techniques to elbow a strong high-tech rival out of the market,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in the weekly press briefing on July 23.
“The fate of the platform remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: Banning it would upturn fundamental principles of democracy,” wrote Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief of Wired, in the article The Rank Hypocrisy of a TikTok Ban on Monday.
“It’s a rare feat to upturn two such fundamental democratic values – free speech and free markets – at the same time,” Thompson said.
“And since TikTok is one of the only recent social media startups to compete with tech giants like Facebook, weakening TikTok could further reinforce what many argue is the monopolistic nature of the US tech economy,” said Shirin Ghaffary in a story posted by VOX Saturday.
National security lies.
“This is a purchase that wouldn’t be necessary but for the Trump administration’s hostility to Chinese ownership of any tech companies,” said Mark Lemley, director of Stanford University’s program in law, science and technology.
There isn’t “real evidence” that the app’s Chinese ownership presents a security threat, Lemley added.
“If a deal goes through (between Microsoft and TikTok), it would mark a dramatic intervention by the US government in private enterprise and alter the global technology landscape,” wrote Shelly Banjo and Dina Bass in a Bloomberg report.
Banning TikTok also “would likely be against the US’s commercial interests,” warned Samm Sacks, a senior cybersecurity policy fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center and New America, recently.
“It offers a blueprint for others around the world to think, ‘Maybe we don’t trust the way that Silicon Valley companies are handling our data, so let’s just ban them, too.*** If we are increasingly closed out of markets around the world and access to that data because we’ve helped create a blueprint for how to do it with China, I could see those same tools turned around on us,’” she said.
“There are also reasons to be skeptical of the motives of TikTok’s biggest critics,” said Kevin Roose, Tech columnist for the New York Times, in a story posted on Monday.
“Many conservative politicians, including Mr. Trump, appear to care more about appearing tough on China than preventing potential harm to TikTok users. And Silicon Valley tech companies like Facebook, whose executives have warned of the dangers of a Chinese tech takeover, would surely like to see regulators kneecap one of their major competitors,” he said, stressing that TikTok is not an urgent threat to America’s national security.
Outpouring of anger.
Washington’s TikTok ban has provoked outrage with a hashtag #savetiktok2020 created among about 70 million monthly active users of TikTok in the US. Videos with the hashtag #ban had more than 620 million views by Sunday night on TikTok. Many of the users have grown to depend on TikTok as a way to build a career in social media and earn a living.
Since September 2018, TikTok usage among adults in the US has increased exponentially, doubling and reaching 14.3 million in just six months, the third highest number of downloads in the world. As of April, the app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times worldwide on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
TikTok’s US job growth has already nearly tripled this year, going from almost 500 employees on Jan. 1 to just under 1,400.
“We’re not planning on going anywhere,” said TikTok’s US General Manager Vanessa Pappas thanking American users for their “outpouring of support” in a video posted on its official TikTok account after the ban.
“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do.*** We’re here for the long run. Continue to share your voice here and let’s stand for TikTok,” said Pappas.
For weeks, the Trump administration has repeatedly targeted TikTok citing concerns over the privacy and security of its American users. TikTok has denied the allegations and said it has an American CEO and that its servers reside in the US.
“TikTok has enabled the kinds of interactions that could never take place on the likes of Facebook and Instagram,” a group of nine TikTok creators with a collective 54 million followers wrote in an open letter to Trump on Sunday.
“Our generation has grown up on the internet, but our vision of the internet is going to require more than two gatekeepers. Why not use this as an opportunity to level the playing field?” they said.
A Morning Consult poll released in July showed that 33% of US adults opposed the ban, with the strongest opposition coming from adults between 18 and 29 years old.
In a statement published Wednesday, Kevin Mayer, former Disney executive who became the CEO of TikTok in May, said that “we are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda – our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy.”
“Without TikTok, American advertisers would again be left with few choices. Competition would dry up and so too will an outlet for America’s creative energy,” Mayer said.
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Author: Xinhua News Agency
Sanctioning US Individuals a Just Move to Safeguard China’s Interests
Xinhua News Agency, Aug. 11, 2020. Complete text:
Beijing – China on Monday [Aug. 10] announced sanctions against 11 US individuals with egregious records on Hong Kong affairs.
This is a necessary move opposing the US anti-China forces’ flagrant interference in China’s internal affairs over a long period of time. It is also a solemn move to safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.
The anti-China forces in the US have long been concocting rumors and fabricating accusations, blatantly meddling in Hong Kong affairs under the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy.
They supported and used anti-China “pawns” like Jimmy Lai Chee-ying to incite violence, undermine the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong and sabotage the city’s prosperity and stability.
The anti-China forces in the US have groundlessly smeared the national security legislation for Hong Kong and introduced the so-called US sanctions targeting officials of the central government agencies responsible for Hong Kong affairs and the HKSAR government. It exposed the hegemonic nature of these anti-China forces in the US.
The majority of Hong Kong residents are fed up with the US bullying and shameless acts. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that she and other officials targeted by the US “sanctions” have no fears.
The US lawmakers and heads of US non-governmental organizations targeted by China’s sanctions have egregious records on Hong Kong affairs. They have recklessly distorted and slandered the “one country, two systems” principle and flagrantly interfered in Hong Kong affairs.
The sanctions against them show that China will never back down on major issues related to China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.
The US side should face reality, be rational, put China-US relations in perspective and handle the relations correctly. Or it will surely face consequences if it refuses to correct its course and insists on taking more wrong steps.
The US must abandon its fantasy of remodeling China to US needs, stop its meddling in China’s internal affairs, and stop its irrational cracking down on China’s legitimate rights and interests.
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