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Media Reports Showed Signs of War Preparation in Northeast China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that Jilin Daily, the official government newspaper of the northeast province Jilin, published a full-page article explaining the nature of a nuclear war and the basic knowledge needed for self-protection. Jilin is the Chinese province that has the longest border with North Korea. When the press asked them, the local government officials replied that this was just the normal military knowledge that civilians should have. In the meantime, the Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily reported on its website that a leaked China Telecom internal document indicated its branch in Changbai County of Jilin Province has a detailed plan to establish communication services in preparation for five refugee camps. The setup work is underway and two of the sites had a very poor signal. Changbai County has a 260 kilometer border with North Korea and will be the Chinese county facing the biggest flood of refugees if there is one.

1. Sina, December 6, 2017
2. Oriental Daily, December 6, 2017

Sinopec Filed Lawsuit against PDVSA in the States

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that one of the branches of Sinopec (China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation) in the United States filed a lawsuit against PDVSA (Spanish: Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., English: Petroleum of Venezuela), seeking a US$23.7 million sales payment plus damages. The lawsuit was based on a 2012 contract to supply US$43.5 million worth of steel. Half of the delivered products were not paid for. Sinopec accused PDVSA of using a proxy company intentionally as it never had enough funds to make the purchase. It was in PDVSA’s original plan to take this approach in order to prevent Sinopec from obtaining reparations. The Chinese state-owned Sinopec is Asia’s largest oil refining and petrochemical enterprise; it ranked number five on the Fortune 500 World list in 2011 and in 2014.

Source: Sina, December 7, 2017

Xinhua: The Impact of the Trump Tax Cut Needs Attention

Xinhua recently published a commentary after the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Trump Tax Cut bill. The commentary started with expressing doubt as to whether the U.S. House and Senate will be able to consolidate their two bills into one in time for Christmas because there are “big gaps on many details.” The commentary suggested that no one should overreact to the Trump Tax Cut since Obama had already started the tax reform before Trump took office and that the U.S. middle class and below could get “angry” about the new Tax Cut that mostly benefits the wealthy. This could mobilize the base of the Democratic Party to vote. So it is questionable how big the long-term impact will really be. However, the commentator expressed the strong belief that the U.S. tax cut could really intensify a wave of “tax cut competition” across the globe, which will worsen the financial situation of many nations. The United States should not be the one to trigger double-taxation and disruption to global supply-chains. Instead, the United States should be the leader of international tax coordination.

Source: Xinhua, December 4, 2017

“One Belt One Road” Project Suffers Serious Setback as Neighboring Countries Withdraw

VOA recently published an article reporting that, in the past few weeks, Pakistan, Nepal, and Myanmar have confirmed their withdrawal from three major water and electricity projects which are worth US$20 billion. This has created a serious setback for China’s “One Belt One Road” project’s progress. Pakistan cited China’s tough financing terms as the reason for it to withdraw from the US$14 million Diamer-Bhasha Dam project. The Vice Prime Minister of Nepal announced the country’s withdraw from a water and electricity project worth US$2.5 billion because of the Chinese company’s violation of accounting rules. Myanmar announced last month that it has no interest in resuming the US$3.6 billion dam project it withdrew from three years ago. The article stated that even though there are political or economic reasons behind these decisions, these less developed countries are more and more clear that the these infrastructure projects that China initiated are too costly. When asked about the comments about Pakistan and Nepal’s withdrawal from the “One Belt One Road” projects, the spokesperson from China’s Foreign Affairs office said that he was not made aware of the news and China and Nepal maintain a good relationship.

Source: VOA, December 4, 2017

Beijing Officials Ask Hong Kong People to Acknowledge China and the Communist Party’s Rule of Hong Kong

According to an article VOA published, on December 4, China’s National Constitution Day, Beijing officials stationed in Hong Kong said that, “Hong Kong must respect and agree that its political system is under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, which is defined under the constitution. Hong Kong became a part of Red China after its return and it shares the same fate with the Chinese Communist Party.” The article stated that this is the first time in the 20 years since Hong Kong’s return that Chinese officials have made such a bare and direct statement about the relationship between Hong Kong and the Mainland. According to the comments from a retired professor from Hong Kong City University, Hong Kong people acknowledge themselves as Chinese and also recognize China but they don’t accept the rule of the communist party and can’t accept the statement that equates China with the Chinese Communist Party as one. He told VOA that “In Hong Kong other than a few of those establishments at the top who care for their power and interest and openly praise Beijing, most of the Hong Kong people are in fear of the communist party and don’t like what it does. Even for those in the establishment who praise Beijing, they feel concerned and unsafe that the Communist Party is invading Hong Kong and openly stating that Hong Kong is under communist party rule.”

Source: Voice of America, December 5, 2017

Westminster School to Set up Campuses in China and Agreed to Incorporate Political Ideology Course in its Curriculum

Central News Agency reported that the Westminster School, the well-known private boarding school from England, announced that it plans to open six campuses in China by 2028. The first campus will be set up in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, in 2020. It promised that it will use China’s basic education curriculum, including political ideology education courses, while incorporating curriculum from Westminster School for students in elementary and middle schools. It will then fully adopt English class requirements for high school students. These requirements will be compatible with the test standard in England. According to a report from Xinhua, Westminster School signed a contract agreement with HKMEGT, a Hong Kong education investment group. Its campus on the mainland will enroll students from 6 years old to 18 years old.

Source: Chinese News Agency, December 8, 2017

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