Monday, December 20, 2021

Xi Jinping wants Chinese artists and writers to practice ‘morality’. And a great editor quits


Xi Jinping wants Chinese artists and writers to practice ‘morality’. And a great editor quits

In this week’s Chinascope, we look at Xi Jinping telling writers and artists to practice “morals,” Global times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin resigns, Taiwan holds referendum and other major headlines from China – and the world.

China during the week

China tightens controls on the work of artists, actors and writers – and President Xi Jinping wants them to uphold ‘morality’

Xi’s attempt to reshape China took another turn this week when he instructed writers and artists to practice morality and build a “socialist cultural force.” Xi made the comments in his speech to the Federation of Chinese Literary and Art Circles in Beijing.

“Literature and art should be popular, but it shouldn’t be vulgar or kitsch. Literature and art want to thrive, but they must not become champions of bad habits,” Xi Jinping said during his speech.

Chinascope told you about state crackdowns on Chinese celebrities in a cultural crackdown that saw singer Kris Wu and pianist Yi Lundi fall. Another celebrity who has become top news in China is Hu Xijin.

The controversial editor-in-chief of State-run Global times (Huanqiu Shibao in Chinese) Hu Xijin announced on his social media accounts that he would be retiring.

“Lao Hu will be 62 after the New Year and will retire. I have completed the retirement formalities and am no longer editor-in-chief of Global times. I will continue to contribute to the development of the Global times and do my best for the news of the party, public opinion,” he said.

Lao Hu is the popular name of Hu Xijin on social media, meaning “old Hu”.

China Media Project, a known source of inside information about the Chinese Communist Party, reported sources that Hu had been removed. Although it is not clear why.

Hong Kong Tsingtao Daily reported that Global times will establish the post of president to “strengthen political orientation”. Another speculation that could explain Hu Xijin’s departure is the failed Peng Shuai campaign to show that all was well with her case. Peng Shuai is a Chinese tennis star who accused former Chinese politician Zhang Gaoli of assault and then disappeared. Global times was at the forefront of a mismanaged campaign related to the Peng case.

Meanwhile, winter in the Himalayas may seem calm, but the deadlock between India and China is far from resolved.

The People’s Liberation Army published propaganda images of a simulated nuclear, biological and chemical attack in Tibet. “A glimpse of the actual combat exercise of a joint brigade in the Tibet military region,” the article reads. An accurate analysis of the shared images published in PLA daily reveals that the exercise is not recent.

Foreign Policy Magazine citing senior US defense officials, reported that the Pentagon is concerned about China’s military build-up close to its border with India. That story was later updated with satellite images of the Chinese H-6 bomber at Golmud Airport in Qinghai Province.

The situation in Taiwan has also become tense and internal politics has become increasingly central to the US-China conflict. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan wants to strengthen ties with the US, but the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party is not.

Taiwan held a referendum on four topics: nuclear energy, pork imports, algal reef conservation and whether future referendums should be held along with national elections. Voters supported DPP’s stance on all four points in the referendum, with only 41 percent of eligible voters turning up at polling stations.

Pork imports are a sensitive issue that has polarized Taiwanese politics. The approved proposal would allow imports of pork from the US – under a trade deal – containing trace amounts of an additive called ractopamine. The KMT opposed the trade agreement.

Another topic of discussion in strategic circles is China’s ties to Russia. It has intrigued more and more experts as both countries have sought to challenge the international order led by the US and its allies.

President Vladimir Putin and Xi held a virtual summit on Wednesday and pledged to strengthen their ties. “While the world has undergone turbulent changes, relations between China and Russia have shown new vitality and energy,” Xi Jinping said at the summit.

Putin revealed that he will attend the Beijing Winter Olympics in person and will likely become the first leader to meet Xi in more than two years. Xi has not left mainland China since his state visit to Myanmar in January 2020.

Also read: China has 88 negative celebrity list as Xi doubles in third term

China in the world news

China’s breakneck progress with its hypersonic missile program has set alarm bells ringing in New Delhi.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said India should immediately develop hypersonic cruise missiles to “maintain a minimum of credible deterrence against its enemies”. Although Singh did not mention China in his speech, the timing of the comments suggests that the proposed hypersonic missile program was in response to recent developments.

The US and some allied countries view Huawei’s technology as cheap, but unreliable by cybersecurity standards. But Huawei is contesting the claim and has asked for evidence to prove the allegations. Over the past week, new evidence has surfaced to support the allegations.

The Washington Post revealed that Huawei has assisted multiple Chinese provinces in their surveillance programs. Aftershared the details of 3,000 internal PowerPoint slides, which outlined a surveillance program developed by Huawei with partner vendors.

Huawei’s troubles didn’t end with The Washington Post story.

Bloomberg later, sources said Huawei was responsible for “advanced intrusion” into Australia’s telecommunications networks in 2012. The report said Australian officials had notified the US of the breach and several national security officials received briefings from Australian and US agencies about it.

The flurry of revelations is not just a coincidence. The US has pooled its diplomatic resources to convince its allies and partners to cut ties with Huawei.

The UAE recently announced it has suspended talks on a $23 billion deal to buy 50 F-35s from the US. The source of tension between the UAE and the US is Abu Dhabi’s reliance on Huawei for its network requirements. The Joe Biden administration wants Abu Dhabi to remove all Huawei equipment and believes Huawei’s presence could leak sensitive data from the F-35 jet. Chinascope told you about a planned Chinese military facility in the UAE.

Huawei wasn’t the only Chinese company to hit the headlines last week.

The US Department of the Treasury and Commerce has collectively added more than 40 Chinese companies to the “Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Enterprises” Entity List and the US Export Entity List.

DJI and several other Chinese companies were added to the US Treasury Department’s list of entities to enable biometric surveillance of Xinjiang’s Uyghur minority. The Ministry of Finance’s “Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List” is a relatively new entity list that explicitly targets companies associated with the Chinese military or law enforcement.

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