Chinascope

(Editor’s Notes: There are multiple factions within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Xi heads one group. Jiang Zemin, the former CCP leader, has his own group. In the CCP structure, one Politburo Standing Committee member overseas the Hong Kong and Macao affairs. For the past two decades, that position has always been held by someone from Jiang’s faction, including Zeng Qinghong, Zhang Dejiang, and now Han Zheng. Han Zheng, former Shanghai Party Chief (Shanghai is Jiang’s base), has been the First Vice-Premier and a Politburo Standing Committee member since 2018.

Both Xi’s faction and Jiang’s faction control some Chinse media overseas. Xi’s faction has Duo Wei News (DW News) in the U.S.  and HK01 in Hong Kong, while Jiang’s group has Boxun in the U.S.

When reporting on an HK01 article, Radio France International (RFI) included a paragraph to explain the background of the media. It suggested that HK01 is close to Xi Jinping. HK01’s owner Yu Pinhai also bought DW News and moved its headquarters from New York to Beijing. Yu also owns a lot of theaters in China. {2}

The following from Xi’s media HK01 might convey some important political messages from the Xi camp.)

The article indicated that it is Han Zheng who directly manages the Hong Kong affairs.

The article said that Han went to Shen Zhen, the mainland southern border city next to Hong Kong, on June 30. “The CCP Central Committee paid special attention to Hong Kong’s July 1 march.” “It was the first time in the past several years that a top CCP leader came to the south for Hong Kong’s July 1 march. It reflects the attention that Beijing is paying to Hong Kong.”

“This is the second Shen Zhen trip that Han took within a month. Han came on June 12, after the police-protester clash. He met the Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam on June 14. The next day, Lam announced she would suspend the extradition bill.

“According to insider information, the CCP’s Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs is working at full speed to study the situation and propose responses. ‘Han Zheng happens to be in the front line to gather information; he may be able to make a quicker decision.’

“In the past, whenever there was a big event in Hong Kong, some top CCP leader would go to Shen Zhen to ‘supervise’ the work. In 2017, Zhang Dejiang, then President of the People’s Congress and head of the CCP’s Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, came to meet representatives of multiple parties and social groups from Hong Kong. Zhang stated that Carrie Lam was the only candidate that the Central government supported.”

Another article, published on July 5, said that Han Zheng had returned to Beijing and was going to reflect on the details of Hong Kong affairs. {4}

“Han Zheng, who is in charge of Hong Kong and Macao affairs went to Shen Zhen before July 1, to gather information at the earliest moment. He has returned to Beijing.

“However, though Han’s observation trip was complete, Beijing’s ‘surgery’ work on its Hong Kong policies has just started.

“According to information close to Beijing, Beijing’s top leaders were surprised by the ‘June wave’ in Hong Kong and worried about the situation there. The Hong Kong government is, of course, responsible (for the situation), but the whole working system over Hong Kong affairs, including the CCP Liaison Office in Hong Kong, the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, and the public security system, all need to reflect on the situation ‘because their ‘initial situation assessment’ reports were quite optimistic (in predicting the passage of the extradition bill). The result was completely different. What went wrong?’

“At least three areas need reflection:

“First, the youth work. Young people in Hong Kong were the main force this time. Reviewing and improving (Beijing’s) youth work is the most important task.

“Second, the unity problem. Wang Zhimin, head of the CCP Liaison Office in Hong Kong, criticized some politicians in the pro-Beijing camp. For their own publicity, they didn’t stay in the government, while some even acted against the government. The unity of the pro-Beijing group is another key area on which to reflect after the event is over.

“Third, the media. The pro-democracy group was able to use the social media platform to mobilize people far better than the pro-Beijing group did. ‘If in the future, (the government) does not take back media control, it will still be in a bad situation (like it is today).’”

Beijing’s Action: Block the Hong Kong Protest Information from Getting to the People in the Mainland 

Voice of America (VOA) Chinese edition, reported on June 22 that the CCP regime had completely blocked the information about the Hong Kong protest from the people in the mainland. Most of the Chinese people do not know what has happened in Hong Kong. {6}

“All Chinese media and major web sites have filtered out the protest. A college student in China, who used anti-blockade software to access websites outside of China, said that over 90 percent of his classmates and teachers did not know about it.

“The information blocking also created an ironic situation. Hu Xijin, the Chief Editor of Huanqiu, (Global Times), a subsidiary of People’s Daily, commented on his Weibo account that Hong Kong’s extradition bill was a just, legal legislation action and the Hong Kong’s protest was a malicious action by the Hong Kong opposition group that was under Western support.

“Some Chinese citizens responded that Hu was creating fake news as there was no official report on a Hong Kong’s protest.”

RFI reported on two official documents that issued a warning to prevent Hong Kong’s protest information from spreading to mainland China. {7}

The first document, titled, “Special Report of the Order from the Stability Maintenance Command Office,” was leaked on the Internet recently. It was about the speech that Zeng Xianjiang gave on June 12. Zeng is the head of the Criminal Investigation Group of the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Uyghur Automation Region.

“In his speech, Zeng mentioned that amid the escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war and Hong Kong’s protest on June 9, all local public security offices must resolutely prevent any ‘Hong Kong impact on the mainland’ and any ‘overseas impact on China.’”

The second document was an order issued by the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. RFI quoted the South China Morning Post which reported this document. It was about the speech of Xu Gansu, Vice Minister of Public Security, at a video conference on June 12.

“Xu said that the U.S.’ suppression (of China) had become the biggest external factor impacting China’s ‘political security.’ Given the ‘interference, plotting, and support’ of the U.S. and other Western forces, the Hong Kong opposition force held a large scale protest on June 9, which was quite impactful. ‘According to the information gathered, the protest will become even greater when (the Legislative Council) reads and votes on the extradition bill.’

“The order asked local public security offices to give their highest alert to the prevention of information from Hong Kong and foreign forces from spreading over the Internet and impacting the ‘political security’ in the mainland.”

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