According to recent reports from the Swedish television station (SVT) and radio station Serige Radio, the Central Committee of the Christian Democrats (KD), a Christian-democratic political party in Sweden, decided to strip the party membership of a Swedish Chinese city councilor on the grounds that this person had generated propaganda to expand the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Sweden. Lydia Liu (Chinese name Liu Fang) was a KD member and a city councilor of Nacka in east central Sweden. The Swedish media reported that internal investigations showed that Ms. Liu’s attempt to expand the influence of the CCP was carried out in a way that harmed the reputation of the Christian Democrats.
In August this year, the “Konflikt” section of Swedish Radio reported that the Ms. Liu was implementing the CCP’s United Front strategy so as to exert influence on the political parties in Sweden, prompting them to turn toward the pro-communist position. That councilor had contacts with the staff of the United Front Work Department, a CCP organization dedicated to increasing the CCP’s influence around the world. The program also revealed that she held important positions in a number of CCP related organizations and actively promoted the CCP’s “Belt and Road” project in Sweden.
Secretary General of the Christian Democrats Peter Kullgren said, “According to our party constitution, we can dismiss members who have damaged or may damage our party’s image or reputation. Based on this clause, we made a decision to expel Ms. Liu.”
Source: Epoch Times, November 13, 2019
On November 14, when attending the BRICS summit meeting in Brasilia, Xi Jingping made his position clear on the current situation in Hong Kong. As Xinhua News Agency reported, Xi said that the persistent violent criminal acts in Hong Kong have seriously trampled on the rule of law and the social order, seriously undermined Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and seriously challenged the bottom line of the principle of “one country, two systems.” Stopping the violence, ending the chaos, and restoring order are Hong Kong’s most pressing tasks at present. Xi added that he will continue to support the Chief Executive firmly, to lead the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with the law, to support the Hong Kong police firmly in their stern enforcement of the law, and to support Hong Kong’s judicial authorities firmly in punishing violent criminals. “The determination of the Chinese government to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and the interests of development is unwavering; the determination to implement the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ is unwavering; the determination to oppose any outside forces’ interference in Hong Kong affairs is unwavering.”
Hu Ping, an independent scholar living in exile in the U.S., told the BBC Chinese that Xi Jinping’s change of wording indicates that the central government’s means of dealing with the situation in Hong Kong is “clearer” and its posture “tougher.” He believes that the central government will control the situation “with more severe measures in the near future.” However, Hu believes that, at present, the central government will try its best to use the local police force to deal with street violence.
Regarding whether Beijing will dispatch the People’s Liberation Army to quash the chaos, Hu does not believe that will be the case for the time being. He said that considering that Hong Kong will hold local district council elections this month, a brutal crackdown would push the votes toward pro-democracy candidates. “Although the district council elections are low on the political hierarchy and less important, it would still throw the authorities into a defensive position.” .
Hu Ping said that Xi’s strong words also serve to warn the United States that even if the Congress passes the Hong Kong bill, its “actual effects are limited” in terms of containing China. “If the chaotic situation deteriorates to an intolerable level, the authorities may still resort to suppressive actions despite the risk of losing Hong Kong’s special customs status.”
Source: Xinhua, November 14, 2019
BBC Chinese, November 15, 2019
Major Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Office of the Chinese State Council, published an article discussing how to “improve” the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement. Zhang declared that the Mainland government has ten rights in Hong Kong. These include especially the right to appoint the Hong Kong Chief Executive and the principal officials of the Hong Kong Government, the supervisory right over the autonomy of the SAR, and the right to issue commands to the chief executive. The Hong Kong Basic Law does not spell out the details of these rights of the Mainland central government. Analysts expressed the belief that, given the current situation in Hong Kong, Beijing is prepared to be serious in the exercise of these rights. It is widely understood that the right to issue commands to the Chief Executive will be used more frequently in the future since such commands cannot be challenged in Hong Kong’s local courts and (exercising this right) is faster than taking a legal approach. This right has been invoked before to invalidate the eligibility of some elected lawmakers (all of whom have been considered anti-Mainland), but not very frequently. Zhang’s article also indicated that the right to appoint major HK officials will be exercised “substantively.” It appears Mainland interference in the Hong Kong political landscape will be intensified in the future.
Source: CNA, November 11, 2019
In response to the Hong Kong police shooting the demonstrators at close range on November 11, the Chinese official media posted articles condemning the demonstrators and stressing that for the Hong Kong police to shoot was both reasonable and legal and followed the international standard.
People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, commented on November 12 that, when facing demonstrators’ violent criminal actions, attempts to grab guns out of the policemen’s hands, and the acts that might pose a danger to public safety, “police officers have no choice but to fire their guns, which is reasonable and legitimate.”
The comment claimed that (the authorities) should not let the demonstrator’s arrogance develop into a habit, and should “manage” (take actions) to stop the riots and the violence. It supported what the “bold head sheriff” Liu Zeji (from Hong Kong) stated on his Weibo on November 12, “Don’t think the policemen will never fire their guns. (Firing them) is the international standard.”
The CCP’s Political and Legal Affairs Committee also claimed through its WeChat account “Chang’an Sword,” that shooting is the international standard. “When a mob attacks a policeman and tries to take his gun, if (the police officer) does not fire, what was the use of the gun and what was the use of there being a policeman?”
The Global Times published a commentary to encourage the Hong Kong police: “You are fighting on the front line, but you are not alone. You are not only behind the Hong Kong people who love Hong Kong, but also the people of the whole country. There are national armed police forces and troops stationed in Hong Kong . . . the mobs can’t turn the sky.”
Sources: Lianhe Zaobao, November 13, 2019
On November 11th, Hu Xinjin, the Editor-in-chief of Global Times posted on his Weibo that he “absolutely supports the Hong Kong policeman in shooting down the mob that besieged him” and claimed that China’s armed police and the People’s Liberation Army can enter Hong Kong anytime to reinforce the Hong Kong police.
He called Hong Kong protesters “mobs,” and he described that incident as follows: “The policeman faced several thugs; he faced the threat of his gun being stolen and the threat of being beaten. He apparently warned the black masked mob that intended to steal his gun that they should not approach him, but they ignored his warning. The police officer fired back at these thugs on the scene and sent a clear signal to other mobs in Hong Kong. Their besieging the police would bear certain legal risks including being killed on the spot.”
Hu said that some Hong Kong and Western media focused on the policeman’s shooting and played down the mob’s crimes and how this type of report is disgusting.
He also said that he “wants to tell the police in Hong Kong not to be afraid of anything but to defend the rule of law in Hong Kong resolutely and in accordance with the law. You are fighting on the front line, but you are not alone. Behind you, there are not only the broad masses of Hong Kong people and the people of the whole country who love Hong Kong, but also the armed police forces of the country and the PLA troops stationed in Hong Kong. When necessary, they can enter Hong Kong any minute to directly reinforce you in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law. The mob can’t turn the sky upside down, nor can the Western forces. Hong Kong’s sky and earth do not belong to them.”
Source: Weibo, November 11, 2019
Major Taiwanese news network China Times recently reported that Chinese leading communications equipment company Huawei, which is currently under U.S. sanction, recently released its flagship smartphone Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G. Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has bragged on multiple occasions that Huawei can comfortably survive without using any supply of U.S. parts. International tech firm TechInsights recently published its tear-down analysis of the newly released Huawei flagship handset and found that, out of a total of 36 chips used in the phone, Huawei made half of them. The rest depended on foreign supplies, among which key components still rely on U.S. vendors. Critical parts are from U.S. suppliers like Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Cirrus Logic. TechInsights did notice that Huawei replaced U.S. DRAM supplier Micron with South Korean supplier SK-Hynix. However, the U.S. ban may also apply to SK-Hynix due to the amount of U.S. technology used in SK-Hynix products. Analysts expressed the belief that Huawei is currently sustaining itself based on its stock of U.S. parts. It is nearly impossible for Huawei to produce a smartphone without any U.S. technology.
Source: China Times, November 11, 2019