■ Banking \nChina tightens rules, fines \nChina's banking regulator will be able to impose fines of more than 2 million yuan (US$240,000) on financial institutions who breach regulations, part of moves to bring the industry in line with international standards. Under new rules to standardize punishments for rule-breakers, the regulator can also impose fines of more than 100,000 yuan on individuals, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement on its Web site. The rules are effective from Feb. 1. The regulator's provincial branches will be able to impose fines of more than 1 million yuan, while sub-branches can set fines of more than 500,000 yuan. \n■ Trade \nCorning `did not dump' \nChina's Ministry of Commerce has determined that Corning Inc didn't "dump" optical fiber into the Chinese market, the company said Monday. The 16 percent dumping levies on imports to China, which were in effect since June 16, were removed from Corning products effective immediately. Corning said the Chinese ministry determined Jan. 1 that the difference between Corning's US and Chinese prices was less than the threshold for dumping. However, the ministry ruled that optical-fiber imports from the US, Korea and Japan collectively hurt the domestic Chinese fiber industry. \n■ Hotels \nJapanese firm buys Menzies \nA Japanese financial group said on Monday it had acquired British hotel operator Menzies, which runs 14 properties around the country, for ?120 million (US$228 million). Nikko Principal Investments Limited, the European merchant banking arm of Tokyo-based Nikko Cordial Corp, said it was buying the four-star chain as a potential acquisition vehicle. In a statement released in London, Nikko said it intended to build on Menzies' successful growth and to use it as "a platform for further consolidation in the UK hotel market." \n■ Flat Panels \nLargest OLED developed \nSouth Korea's Samsung Electronics said on Tuesday it had developed the world's largest organic light emitting diode (OLED) display panel for high-definition televisions. The 21-inch OLED panel outperforms existing liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in brightness, slimness and power efficiency, the firm said. Samsung, one of the world's top electronics companies, said its new OLED display panel, an upgrade on its own 15-inch product, uses technology that can be easily mass-produced on the company's existing LCD production lines. \n■ Surveys \nHK still most `free' economy \nHong Kong was ranked the world's freest economy yesterday for the 11th consecutive year by the US-based Heritage Foundation. The former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997, won the accolade in the 2005 Index of Economic Freedom put out by the Washington-based think tank. Singapore and Luxembourg were ranked second and third in the index, which is compiled by the foundation in collaboration with the Wall Street Journal. Hong Kong was praised by the foundation for its duty-free port, low level of government intervention, low inflation, low barriers to capital flows and foreign investment, and low level of regulation.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official