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Mrz 19th, 2018 by Gao

国务院关于印发社会信用体系建设规划纲要(2014—2020年)的通知
State Council Notice concerning Issuance of the Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020)
(China Copyright and Media)

社会信用体系是社会主义市场经济体制和社会治理体制的重要组成部分。它以法律、法规、标准和契约为依据,以健全覆盖社会成员的信用记录和信用基础设施网络为基础,以信用信息合规应用和信用服务体系为支撑,以树立诚信文化理念、弘扬诚信传统美德为内在要求,以守信激励和失信约束为奖惩机制,目的是提高全社会的诚信意识和信用水平。 A social credit system is an important component part of the Socialist market economy system and the social governance system. It is founded on laws, regulations, standards and charters, it is based on a complete network covering the credit records of members of society and credit infrastructure, it is supported by the lawful application of credit information and a credit services system, its inherent requirements are establishing the idea of an sincerity culture, and carrying forward sincerity and traditional virtues, it uses encouragement to keep trust and constraints against breaking trust as incentive mechanisms, and its objective is raising the honest mentality and credit levels of the entire society.

Mareike Ohlberg, Shazeda Ahmed, Bertram Lang: Central planning, local experiments. The complex implementation of China’s Social Credit System (PDF; MERICS)

Even if the full vision of the system is not realized, the scope of this project is massive and will transform China’s legal, social, and economic environment significantly…
Several social credit pilot projects are already operational, testing new approaches of collecting data and using it to sanction undesirable behavior on a limited scale. These punishments offer unprecedented possibilities to surveil and steer the behavior of natural and legal persons and therefore would have far-reaching consequences if adopted nationwide.
National implementation is still at an early stage: many of the measures put in place are establishing foundations for sharing information between different departments of government…
The relationship between government and commercial actors will be a key factor to watch: Government agencies clearly depend on private companies’ technological know-how to roll out such a large-scale system. Conflicts and rivalry between bureaucratic and commercial players, however, could delay or even derail its implementation.

Mara Hvistendahl: Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking (Wired)

In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed: Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald’s, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see, had been largely replaced by two smartphone apps: Alipay and WeChat Pay. One day, at a vegetable market, he watched a woman his mother’s age pull out her phone to pay for her groceries. He decided to sign up.
To get an Alipay ID, Liu had to enter his cell phone number and scan his national ID card. He did so reflexively. Alipay had built a reputation for reliability, and compared to going to a bank managed with slothlike indifference and zero attention to customer service, signing up for Alipay was almost fun. With just a few clicks he was in. Alipay’s slogan summed up the experience: “Trust makes it simple.”

Anna Mitchell, Larry Diamond: China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone (Atlantic)

Imagine a society in which you are rated by the government on your trustworthiness. Your “citizen score” follows you wherever you go. A high score allows you access to faster internet service or a fast-tracked visa to Europe. If you make political posts online without a permit, or question or contradict the government’s official narrative on current events, however, your score decreases. To calculate the score, private companies working with your government constantly trawl through vast amounts of your social media and online shopping data…
The new social credit system under development will consolidate reams of records from private companies and government bureaucracies into a single “citizen score” for each Chinese citizen. In its comprehensive 2014 planning outline, the CCP explains a goal of “keep[ing] trust and constraints against breaking trust.” While the system is voluntary for now, it will be mandatory by 2020.

Adam Greenfield: China’s Dystopian Tech Could Be Contagious (Atlantic)

[T]he Chinese government has become convinced that a far greater degree of social control is both necessary and possible. It now has access to a set of tools for managing the complexity of contemporary life that it believes will deliver better, surer, and more reliable results than anything produced by the model of order from below.
Known by the anodyne name “social credit,” this system is designed to reach into every corner of existence both online and off. It monitors each individual’s consumer behavior, conduct on social networks, and real-world infractions like speeding tickets or quarrels with neighbors. Then it integrates them into a single, algorithmically determined “sincerity” score. Every Chinese citizen receives a literal, numeric index of their trustworthiness and virtue, and this index unlocks, well, everything. In principle, anyway, this one number will determine the opportunities citizens are offered, the freedoms they enjoy, and the privileges they are granted.
This end-to-end grid of social control is still in its prototype stages, but three things are already becoming clear: First, where it has actually been deployed, it has teeth. Second, it has profound implications for the texture of urban life. And finally, there’s nothing so distinctly Chinese about it that it couldn’t be rolled out anywhere else the right conditions obtain. The advent of social credit portends changes both dramatic and consequential for life in cities everywhere—including the one you might call home.

Rene Chun: China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech (Atlantic)

Dystopia starts with 23.6 inches of toilet paper. That’s how much the dispensers at the entrance of the public restrooms at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven dole out in a program involving facial-recognition scanners—part of the president’s “Toilet Revolution,” which seeks to modernize public toilets. Want more? Forget it. If you go back to the scanner before nine minutes are up, it will recognize you and issue this terse refusal: “Please try again later.”
China is rife with face-scanning technology worthy of Black Mirror. Don’t even think about jaywalking in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. Last year, traffic-management authorities there started using facial recognition to crack down. When a camera mounted above one of 50 of the city’s busiest intersections detects a jaywalker, it snaps several photos and records a video of the violation. The photos appear on an overhead screen so the offender can see that he or she has been busted, then are cross-checked with the images in a regional police database. Within 20 minutes, snippets of the perp’s ID number and home address are displayed on the crosswalk screen. The offender can choose among three options: a 20-yuan fine (about $3), a half-hour course in traffic rules, or 20 minutes spent assisting police in controlling traffic. Police have also been known to post names and photos of jaywalkers on social media.

Panama-Papiere
Apr 6th, 2016 by Gao

Matthias Müller: Sprachlos in Peking (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Staatschef Xi Jinping ist Korruption ein Dorn im Auge. Die Enthüllungen der «Panama Papers» wird er deshalb mit Argusaugen verfolgen. Auch Mitglieder seiner Familie nutzen jedoch «Briefkastenfirmen». …
Welche Chinesen Briefkastenfirmen gründeten, bleibt im Dunkeln. Deren Namen dürften für eine breite chinesische Öffentlichkeit jedoch keine grosse Überraschung darstellen. Im Fokus steht Deng Jiagui , der seit 1996 mit der älteren Schwester von Staats- und Parteichef Xi Jinping, Qi Qiaoqiao, verheiratet ist. Das Ehepaar war bereits 2012 in Visier westlicher Medien geraten, als die Nachrichtenagentur «Bloomberg» enthüllte, dass es über Vermögenswerte in Höhe von mehreren Hundert Millionen Dollar verfüge.

Huang Zheping: China’s elite—including Xi Jinping—are linked to offshore deals that hid millions of dollars (Quartz)

At least eight top Chinese officials are linked to offshore deals through associates, an investigation into 11 million leaked documents from one of the world’s largest offshore law firms shows. They include the brother-in-law of Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose offshore firms went dormant before Xi came into power, and the granddaughter of a former top leader who bought an offshore company for just $1.

Juliette Garside, David Pegg: Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility (Guardian)

The eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers.
The documents show the granddaughter of a powerful Chinese leader became the sole shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies while still a teenager. Jasmine Li had just begun studying at Stanford University in the US when the companies were registered in her name in December 2010. Her grandfather Jia Qinglin was at that time the fourth-ranked politician in China…
Also in the data are Hu Dehua, the businessman son of Hu Yaobang, the Communist party’s general secretary ousted in 1987…

Johnny Erling: Der Panama-Skandal erreicht Chinas Führung (Standard)
Panama Papers – The Power Players: Deng Jiagui | Li Xiaolin (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
Powerful force is behind Panama Papers (Global Times)

A huge leak of confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm alleged to have been a facilitator of money laundering for its clients has shocked international public opinion. Over 11 million documents were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. These documents have been reportedly investigated by some 300 global journalists for a year.
The Western media soon collected the most eye-catching information from the documents and leaders of non-Western countries have been scrutinized. Most media led with the allegations that a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin had laundered $1 billion. The Western media has opaquely described it as „Putin’s money laundering.“ …
The Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it. Information that is negative to the US can always be minimized, while exposure of non-Western leaders, such as Putin, can get extra spin.
In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West. In the long-run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations.

In den Medienberichten weniger prominent platziert:
Tsai Ing-wens Bruder hatte Beziehungen zu Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca (Radio Taiwan International)

Tsai Ying-yang, der Bruder der kommenden Präsidentin Tsai Ing-wen, hatte Beziehungen zur Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca. Das wird aus den kürzlich veröffentlichten Dokumenten der im Rahmen der Steuerhinterziehung genutzen panamaischen Anwaltskanzlei deutlich. …
Die Kanzlei [Mossack Fonseca] wurde 1977 von Jürgen Mossack, dem Sohn des Waffen-SS Rottenführers Erhard Mossack gegründet. Der US-Auslandsgeheimdienst CIA führte seinen Vater nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg für Spionagezwecke in Panama. Dort gründete der Sohn Jürgen Mossack die in die Schlagzeilen geratene Kanzlei zusammen mit dem panamaischen Anwalt Ramón Fonseca Mora.

Mia Lamar, Ned Levin: Five Things to Know About Hong Kong and the ‘Panama Papers’ (Wall Street Journal)

Hong Kong features prominently in a massive trove of documents allegedly leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., according to reports published by international media outlets…
Hong Kong Was Mossack Fonseca’s Busiest Office…
China Laws Help Drive Hong Kong Offshore Activity… Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which went public in New York in 2014 in a record-beating $25 billion offering, is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for instance.

Peter Wolter, Ernst Wolff: »Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt« (junge Welt)

Vom Skandal um die Panama-Konten profitieren in erster Linie die US-amerikanischen Steueroasen…
Es ist ganz offensichtlich ein Manöver der USA, sich selbst als weltweit beste Steueroase zu präsentieren. Wenn man die bisher vorliegenden Informationen über diese Panama-Papiere heranzieht, fällt auf, dass dort vor allem Gegner der USA angeschwärzt werden – die USA selber bleiben aber außen vor. Banken dieses Landes werden überhaupt nicht erwähnt, ebenso wenig Konzerne. Soweit ich weiß, werden auch keine Privatpersonen aus den USA genannt.
Das Interessante dabei ist, was nicht veröffentlicht wurde. Durch die Publizierung von Teilen dieser Papiere wird nämlich Druck auf Steuerhinterzieher aller Länder ausgeübt, ihr Schwarzgeld anderswo in Sicherheit zu bringen – niemand von ihnen kann wissen, ob nicht auch er in der Liste steht. Diese Leute werden sich vorsichtshalber eine neue Steueroase suchen: die USA. …
[Die USA] haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren – weitgehend unbemerkt von der breiten Öffentlichkeit – als neues Steuerparadies etabliert. Seit der Jahrtausendwende haben Regierung und Finanzkreise in Washington einen Krieg zum Beispiel gegen die Schweiz geführt: Deren Banken wurden genötigt, das Bankgeheimnis aufzuweichen. …
Parallel dazu wurden aber die US-Bundesstaaten Nevada, Delaware, South-Dakota und Wyoming als Standorte für derartige Konten etabliert. Dort gilt das Bankgeheimnis ohne Einschränkungen, den Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt. …
Natürlich ist es gut, dass einige dieser Schiebereien jetzt an die Öffentlichkeit kommen. Aber letzlich versucht doch nur ein Übeltäter, andere Bösewichte zu beschmutzen, um von sich selbst abzulenken. Die wahren Schuldigen am Finanzchaos, die ganz großen Firmen und die Finanzinstitute der Wallstreet, bleiben mit Sicherheit ungeschoren.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak (Craig Murray)

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

  • Ford Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment
  • Rockefeller Family Fund
  • W K Kellogg Foundation
  • Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Clifford Coonan: Panama Papers: China describes revelations about its leaders as ‘groundless’ (Irish Times)

Und anderswo:
Self-censorship sensed as Japan’s TV stations replace outspoken anchors (Japan Times)

Hosts Ichiro Furutachi of TV Asahi’s influential “Hodo Station” and Shigetada Kishii of the TBS evening news program “News 23″ will both be replaced in April. NHK, too, is considering pulling longtime anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya from its “Close-up Gendai” news and features program.
Furutachi has often been criticized by the government and its supporters for his commentaries…
Kuniya’s departure has long been whispered about as she is known for asking big-name politicians tough questions. However, she has survived until now.
Similarly, Kishii expressed opposition to contentious security bills before they cleared the Diet last September and called on fellow opponents to speak up.

Siegfried Knittel: Beschneidung der Pressefreiheit in Japan nimmt zu (Standard)

Journalisten beklagen ein zunehmend repressives Klima in Japan. Der Rücktritt dreier bekannter Fernsehmoderatoren sorgt für Unruhe…
Ins Blickfeld der ausländischen Presse geriet Furutachi, Macher der abendlichen Nachrichtensendung „Hodo Station“ des linksliberalen Asahi TV, im vergangenen Jahr, nachdem der Kommentator Shigeaki Koga in Furutachis Nachrichtensendung bekanntgemacht hatte, dass der Sender ihn auf Druck der Regierung zum Rücktritt gedrängt habe. Nun traf es Furutachi wegen seiner in „Hodo Station“ geäußerten Zweifel an der Verfassungskonformität der im vergangenen Jahr verabschiedeten Verteidigungsgesetze selbst.

Prinzchenkonten
Jan 24th, 2014 by Gao

R.G. hat diesen Link geschickt:
Christoph Heinzle: Die Prinzlinge und ihre Auslandskonten (NDR)
Dazu die Artikel in der Süddeutschen:
OffshoreLeaks (Süddeutsche)
Bastian Brinkmann, Christoph Giesen, Bastian Obermayer, Frederik Obermaier: Chinas Elite hortet Geld in Steueroasen / 中国秘密离岸避税港一一中国政府官员、太子党和富商如何为其资产避税 (Süddeutsche)

Chinas Machtelite wickelt offenbar seit etlichen Jahren heimlich und in großem Stil lukrative Geschäfte über Steueroasen ab. Auch nahe Verwandte wichtiger chinesischer Politiker steuern Transaktionen über anonyme Briefkastenfirmen in der Karibik. Das geht aus bislang vertraulichen Unterlagen – den sogenannten Offshore-Leaks-Daten – hervor.
In den Dokumenten tauchen neben dem Schwager des amtierenden Staatschefs Xi Jinping auch der Sohn, die Tochter und der Schwiegersohn von Ex-Premierminister Wen Jiabao auf. Der Name der Tochter des früheren Premiers Li Peng steht ebenso in den Unterlagen wie der Name eines Neffen zweiten Grades von Ex-Staatschef Hu Jintao. Selbst der Name eines der Schwiegersöhne des einstigen Reformers Deng Xiaoping findet sich in den Papieren. Zudem sind etliche Mitglieder des Nationalen Volkskongresses gelistet, genauso wie einige der reichsten Männer und Frauen des Landes sowie Führungskräfte staatlicher Unternehmen, die in Korruptionsskandale verwickelt waren.
Bei Offshore-Geschäften soll es gängige Praxis von Politikern sein, Firmen auf Namen von Angehörigen laufen zu lassen, um bei Enthüllungen nicht selbst mit diesen in Verbindung gebracht werden zu können. Auf Anfrage äußerte sich keine der betroffenen Politikerfamilien. Die Dokumente belegen auch, wie viel Mühe einflussreiche Chinesen offenkundig darauf verwenden, ihren Reichtum vor den Augen der Öffentlichkeit zu verbergen.

An der langen Liste der unter der Führung des ICIJ an den Recherchen beteiligten kann man die Größe des Projektes ersehen:

International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (USA): Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite / 中国离岸金融解密
Asahi Shimbun (Japan): 租税回避地、根を張る中国マネー 7千社が本土と関連
BBC (Großbritannien): Report reveals offshore dealings of China’s elite
CBC (Kanada): Offshore assets of China’s elite revealed in leaked records
Tiānxià zázhì / Commonwealth Magazine (Taiwan): 國庫十年流失三千億? / Taiwan’s NT$300 Billion Drain
L’Espresso (Italien): China Leaks: i soldi degli oligarchi nei paradisi fiscali
Global Mail (Australien): China’s Elite Master the Secret Offshore Cash Stash
Guardian (Großbritannien): China’s princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven
Le Matin (Schweiz): Comment Credit Suisse fait son nid en Chine
Ming Pao (Hongkong): 密檔證溫家寶婿擁BVI公司 轉售股份涉溫家好友 曾向摩通收千萬顧問費
Le Monde (Frankreich): OffshoreLeaks : révélations sur l’argent caché des « princes rouges » chinois / 机密文件披露中国精英的海外资产 两万多名中国内地及香港投资者在避税天堂注册公司
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (BRD): „Offshore-Leaks“: Steueroasen und Strohmänner
Nyusŭt‘ap‘a – Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (Südkorea): 시진핑 등 中 최고위층 일가 조세피난처 行
El Pais (Spanien): La élite del régimen chino oculta empresas en paraísos fiscales
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (Philippinen): Leaked Records Reveal Offshore Holdings of China’s Elite
Le Soir (Belgien): Chinaleaks: les secrets offshore de la Chine
SonntagsZeitung (Schweiz): Die Geschäfte der CS mit den Prinzlingen
Süddeutsche Zeitung (BRD): Chinas Elite hortet Geld in Steueroasen
Trouw (Niederlande): De rode adel gaat offshore

Im Oktober 2012 hatte die New York Times einen ähnlichen Bericht veröffentlicht:
David Barboza: Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader (New York Times)

Prozess gegen Bo Xilai
Sep 9th, 2013 by Gao

Edward Wong: In Trial Account, Chinese Ex-Official Strays From Script (New York Times)

In secret remarks on the final session of his trial, Bo Xilai, the fallen Communist Party star, denied on Monday that he had tried to upset the party’s selection of top leaders or grab extensive new powers for himself, according to a court observer’s written record of his closing statement.
That part of Mr. Bo’s statement, providing a glimpse of the power politics many believe were behind the purging of Mr. Bo in 2012, did not appear in court transcripts released …

Bo Guagua’s Statement (New York Times)

Ältere Artikel:
Tania Branigan: China indicts Bo Xilai for corruption (Guardian)

The 64-year-old’s case will be heard in Jinan, in eastern Shandong province, probably within weeks. …
Wu Qiang, a political scientist at Tsinghua University, noted: „We all know Bo’s trial resulted from the struggles between the different interest groups inside the party.“
He said that charging Bo with economic rather than political crimes suggested a deal because they were „using the way of handling a fly to handle a tiger“.

Reuters: Bo Xilai’s lawyer ’not allowed‘ to represent him during trial (Guardian)

Gu Yushu, a lawyer appointed by Bo’s sister, Bo Jieying, said on Thursday he would not be allowed to represent Bo during his trial, which is likely to open this month, as authorities attempt to close the door on China’s biggest political scandal in decades. …
The news of Bo being denied his sister’s choice of legal representation comes as Chinese police detained a supporter of Bo who had urged people to protest against the upcoming trial, underlining government nervousness about the case. …
„For such kinds of cases, who will act as lawyers are all arranged by the higher-ups,“ said He Weifang, a law professor from Peking University who has followed the Bo case. „Whoever acts as the lawyer will not affect the outcome of the trial.“ …
Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun, an aide to the Bo family, were both denied their choice of lawyers at their trials last year and had to accept government-appointed lawyers. Zhang was also jailed.

Reuters: Police in China arrest Bo Xilai supporter Song Yangbiao (Guardian)

Song Yangbiao, a reporter for the magazine The Time Weekly, was detained on Sunday on charges of „picking quarrels and causing trouble“, according to friends and supporters, apparently after using his Sina Weibo microblog to denounce the trial and call for an uprising to oppose it.

Janet Ong, Michael Forsythe: China to Probe Former Security Chief Zhou Over Graft, SCMP Says (Bloomberg)

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