Asia Pacific Daily – Breaking News, Asia Pacific, World, China, Business, Lifestyle, Travel, Special Report, Video, Photo…

To download APD News app

1. Please scan the QR Code 2. Download and install APD News App

Strengthening Cooperation in Cultural and Creative Industries between Chengdu and Poland

CHENGDU, China, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Chengdu Municipal Government and China-Poland Economic and Cultural Exchange Foundation jointly hosted the "Chengdu-Poland Cultural and Creative Industries Matchmaking Meeting" at Park Lazienkowski, Warsaw on September 21, and they conducted in-depth communication and recommendation about the cooperation in cultural and creative industries. Fan Ruiping, Secretary of Chengdu Municipal Party Committee, introduced to the guests the status quo of Chengdu's development in various fields. He said that recently Chengdu has been committed to developing industries including animation and games, music and films, publication and media as well as cultural tourism so as to accelerate the construction of a famous world cultural city and world tourist destination city. Similarly, Poland has experienced a rapid development in cultural and creative industries in recent years and the games, music, visual arts and other industries are increasingly becoming the new cultural symbols of Poland. He thought that there is extensive cooperation space in a variety of fields between the two sides, including exploring a new integration mode of culture and tourism to co-establish a world tourist destination; joining hands to promote the development of cultural and creative products so as to co-build cultural and creative brands with a worldwide influence; teaming up to establish the We Media of cultural communication so as to enhance and deepen the people-to-people exchanges between the two sides.   Vitod Stepien, Governor of Lodz Province, Poland, introduced the development situation of the history, industry, culture and film of Lodz. He said that as the Poland has established its consulate general at Chengdu and the city Lodz has become an international friendship city of Chengdu, there is a close cooperation and communication between Lodz and Chengdu. He hoped that Lodz would continue to cooperate with Chengdu in areas of culture, academia, people-to-people exchanges, economy and trade so as to promote mutual development. During the meeting, Chengdu Radio & Television and Poland Television signed the Framework Agreement on Cooperative Filming the Chengdu-Europe Fast-Speed Railway Documentary and Chengdu Radio & Television also signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Performance and Communication with Poland Chopina Cultural Foundation. Six representative enterprises from Chengdu and Poland introduced their development in culture, arts, films, creative design, games and other industries respectively. About 40 relevant cultural organizations and enterprises also attended the meeting. View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/strengthening-cooperation-in-cultural-and-creative-industries-between-chengdu-and-poland-300525706.html

Russia-linked Facebook ads sought to exploit US social divisions: report

The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African American rights groups, including Black Lives Matter, and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign. The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics — also sought to sow discord among religious groups. Other ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton among Muslim women. These targeted messages, along with others that have surfaced in recent days, highlight the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another. The nature and detail of these ads have troubled investigators at Facebook, on Capitol Hill and at the Justice Department, say people familiar with the advertisements, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share matters still under investigation. The House and Senate intelligence committees plan to begin reviewing the Facebook ads in coming weeks as they attempt to untangle the operation and other matters related to Russia’s bid to help elect Donald Trump president in 2016. “Their aim was to sow chaos,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “In many ­cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout.” The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, said he hoped the public would be able to review the ad campaign. “I think the American people should see a representative sample of these ads to see how cynical the Russians were using these ads to sow division within our society,” he said. Schiff had not yet seen the ads but was briefed on them, he said, including the ones mentioning “things like Black Lives Matter.” The ads that Facebook found raise troubling questions for a social networking and advertising platform that reaches 2 billion people each month, and they offer a rare window into how Russian operatives carried out their information operations during an especially tumultuous period in U.S. politics. Investigators at Facebook discovered the Russian ads in recent weeks, the company has said, after months of trying in vain to trace disinformation efforts to Russia. The company said it has identified at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts. Facebook said this spending represented a tiny fraction of the political advertising on the platform during the 2016 campaign. The divisive themes seized on by Russian operatives were similar to those that Trump and his supporters pushed on social ­media and on right-wing websites during the campaign. U.S. investigators are now trying to figure out whether Russian operators and members of Trump’s team coordinated in any way. Critics say Trump, as president, has further inflamed racial and religious divisions, citing his controversial statements after violent clashes in Charlottesville and limits imposed on Muslim immigration. The previously undisclosed ads suggest that the operatives worked off evolving lists of racial, religious, political and economic themes. They used these to create pages, write posts and craft ads that would appear in users’ news feeds — with the apparent goal of appealing to one audience and alienating another. In some cases, the pages even advertised events. “The idea of using Facebook to incite anti-black hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice and fear while provoking extremism is an old tactic. It’s not unique to the United States, and it’s a global phenomenon,” said Malkia Cyril, a Black Lives Matter activist in Oakland, Calif., and executive director for the Center for Media Justice. Social media companies “have a mandate to stand up and take deep responsibility for how their platforms are being abused.” Facebook declined to comment on the contents of the ads being turned over to congressional investigators and pointed to a Sept. 6 statement by Alex Stamos, the company’s chief security officer, who noted that the vast majority of the ads run by the 470 pages and accounts did not specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or any particular candidate. “Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights,” ­Stamos said at the time. A Cold War tactic Moscow’s interest in U.S. race relations dates back decades. In Soviet times, operatives didn’t have the option of using the Internet, so they spread their messages by taking out ads in newspapers, posting fliers and organizing meetings. Much like the online ads discovered by Facebook, messages spread by Soviet-era operatives were meant to look as though they were written by bona fide political activists in the United States, thereby disguising the involvement of an adversarial foreign power. Russian information operations didn’t end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. After a lull in tensions, Russia’s spy agencies became more assertive under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin. In recent years, those services have up­dated their propaganda protocols to take advantage of new technologies and the proliferation of ­social media platforms. “Is it a goal of the Kremlin to encourage discord in American society? The answer to that is yes,” said Michael A. McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia who is now a director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. “More generally, Putin has an idea that our society is imperfect, that our democracy is not better than his, so to see us in conflict on big social issues is in the Kremlin’s interests.” Clinton Watts, part of a research team that was among the first to warn publicly of the Russian propaganda campaign during the 2016 election, said that identifying and exploiting existing social and cultural divisions are common Russian disinformation tactics dating back to the Cold War. “We have seen them operating on both sides” of an issue, said Watts, a fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. Microtargeting users When Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his college dorm room in 2004, no one could have anticipated that the company would become an advertising juggernaut worth almost half a trillion dollars — the largest online advertising company in the world after Google. Roughly a third of the world’s population now logs in monthly. As Facebook’s user base rapidly expanded, the company wrote the playbook for digital targeting in the smartphone era — and for the type of microtargeting that has become critical to modern political campaigns. The social network invested heavily in building highly sophisticated automated advertising tools that could target specific groups of people who had expressed their preferences and interests on Facebook, from newlyweds who studied at Dartmouth College to hockey enthusiasts living in a particular Zip code in Michigan. The migration from traditional personal computers to smartphones and tablets helped Facebook gain a major edge: The company pioneered techniques to help advertisers reach the same user on their desktop and mobile devices, helping Facebook grow sevenfold in value since it went public in 2012. Today, advertisers who want to target Facebook ­users by demographics or interests have tens of thousands of categories to choose from, and they are able to flood users with ads wherever they go on the Internet. Ads on Facebook have directly appeared in people’s news feeds since 2012. If a user “likes” a page, administrators of that page can pay for ads and post content that will then appear in that person’s news feed. Since the 2012 presidential election, Facebook has become an essential tool for political campaigns that wish to target potential voters. During the height of election season, political campaigns are among the largest advertisers on Facebook. Facebook has built a large sales staff of account executives, some of whom have backgrounds in politics, who are trained to assist campaigns in spreading their messages, increasing engagement and getting immediate feedback on how they are performing. The Trump campaign used these tools to great effect, while Clinton’s campaign preferred to rely on its own social media experts, according to people familiar with the campaigns. Aiming at swing voters Since taking office, Putin has on occasion sought to spotlight racial tensions in the United States as a means of shaping perceptions of American society. Putin injected himself in 2014 into the race debate after protests broke out in Ferguson, Mo., over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an African American, by a white police officer. “Do you believe that everything is perfect now from the point of view of democracy in the United States?” Putin told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program. “If everything was perfect, there wouldn’t be the problem of Ferguson. There would be no abuse by the police. But our task is to see all these problems and respond properly.” In addition to the ads described to The Post, Russian operatives used Facebook to promote anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim messages. And Facebook has said that one-quarter of the ads bought by the Russian operatives identified so far targeted a particular geographic area. While Facebook has played down the impact of the Russian ads on the election, Dennis Yu, chief technology officer for BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that focuses on Facebook ads, said that $100,000 worth of Facebook ads could have been viewed hundreds of millions of times. According to Yu, “$100,000 worth of very concentrated posts is very, very powerful. When you have a really hot post, you often get this viral multiplier. So when you buy this one ad impression, you can get an extra 20- to 40-times multiplier because those people comment and share it.” Momentum is building in Congress and elsewhere in the federal government for a law requiring Facebook and other Web companies to reveal publicly who bought political ads and the amount that was spent on their platforms. Newspapers, television stations and other traditional carriers of campaign messages already disclose such information. Watts, the Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow, said he has not seen the Facebook ads promised to Congress, but he and his team saw similar tactics playing out on Twitter and other platforms during the campaign. Watts said such efforts were most likely to have been effective in Midwestern swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan, where Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders had beaten Clinton. Watts said the disinformation pushed by the Russians included messages designed to reinforce the idea that Sanders had been mistreated by the Democratic Party and that his supporters shouldn’t bother to vote during the general election in November. “They were designed around hitting these fracture points, so they could see how they resonate and assess their effectiveness,” Watts said. “I call it reconnaissance by social media.” (THE WASHINGTON POST)

Russia-linked Facebook ads sought to exploit US social divisions

The batch of more than 3,000 Russian-bought ads that Facebook is preparing to turn over to Congress shows a deep understanding of social divides in American society, with some ads promoting African American rights groups, including Black Lives Matter, and others suggesting that these same groups pose a rising political threat, say people familiar with the covert influence campaign. The Russian campaign — taking advantage of Facebook’s ability to send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics — also sought to sow discord among religious groups. Other ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton among Muslim women. These targeted messages, along with others that have surfaced in recent days, highlight the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another. The nature and detail of these ads have troubled investigators at Facebook, on Capitol Hill and at the Justice Department, say people familiar with the advertisements, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share matters still under investigation. The House and Senate intelligence committees plan to begin reviewing the Facebook ads in coming weeks as they attempt to untangle the operation and other matters related to Russia’s bid to help elect Donald Trump president in 2016. “Their aim was to sow chaos,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “In many ­cases, it was more about voter suppression rather than increasing turnout.” The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, said he hoped the public would be able to review the ad campaign. “I think the American people should see a representative sample of these ads to see how cynical the Russians were using these ads to sow division within our society,” he said. Schiff had not yet seen the ads but was briefed on them, he said, including the ones mentioning “things like Black Lives Matter.” The ads that Facebook found raise troubling questions for a social networking and advertising platform that reaches 2 billion people each month, and they offer a rare window into how Russian operatives carried out their information operations during an especially tumultuous period in U.S. politics. Investigators at Facebook discovered the Russian ads in recent weeks, the company has said, after months of trying in vain to trace disinformation efforts to Russia. The company said it has identified at least $100,000 in ads purchased through 470 phony Facebook pages and accounts. Facebook said this spending represented a tiny fraction of the political advertising on the platform during the 2016 campaign. The divisive themes seized on by Russian operatives were similar to those that Trump and his supporters pushed on social ­media and on right-wing websites during the campaign. U.S. investigators are now trying to figure out whether Russian operators and members of Trump’s team coordinated in any way. Critics say Trump, as president, has further inflamed racial and religious divisions, citing his controversial statements after violent clashes in Charlottesville and limits imposed on Muslim immigration. The previously undisclosed ads suggest that the operatives worked off evolving lists of racial, religious, political and economic themes. They used these to create pages, write posts and craft ads that would appear in users’ news feeds — with the apparent goal of appealing to one audience and alienating another. In some cases, the pages even advertised events. “The idea of using Facebook to incite anti-black hatred and anti-Muslim prejudice and fear while provoking extremism is an old tactic. It’s not unique to the United States, and it’s a global phenomenon,” said Malkia Cyril, a Black Lives Matter activist in Oakland, Calif., and executive director for the Center for Media Justice. Social media companies “have a mandate to stand up and take deep responsibility for how their platforms are being abused.” Facebook declined to comment on the contents of the ads being turned over to congressional investigators and pointed to a Sept. 6 statement by Alex Stamos, the company’s chief security officer, who noted that the vast majority of the ads run by the 470 pages and accounts did not specifically reference the U.S. presidential election, voting or any particular candidate. “Rather, the ads and accounts appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights,” ­Stamos said at the time. A Cold War tactic Moscow’s interest in U.S. race relations dates back decades. In Soviet times, operatives didn’t have the option of using the Internet, so they spread their messages by taking out ads in newspapers, posting fliers and organizing meetings. Much like the online ads discovered by Facebook, messages spread by Soviet-era operatives were meant to look as though they were written by bona fide political activists in the United States, thereby disguising the involvement of an adversarial foreign power. Russian information operations didn’t end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. After a lull in tensions, Russia’s spy agencies became more assertive under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin. In recent years, those services have up­dated their propaganda protocols to take advantage of new technologies and the proliferation of ­social media platforms. “Is it a goal of the Kremlin to encourage discord in American society? The answer to that is yes,” said Michael A. McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia who is now a director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. “More generally, Putin has an idea that our society is imperfect, that our democracy is not better than his, so to see us in conflict on big social issues is in the Kremlin’s interests.” Clinton Watts, part of a research team that was among the first to warn publicly of the Russian propaganda campaign during the 2016 election, said that identifying and exploiting existing social and cultural divisions are common Russian disinformation tactics dating back to the Cold War. “We have seen them operating on both sides” of an issue, said Watts, a fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI agent. Microtargeting users When Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his college dorm room in 2004, no one could have anticipated that the company would become an advertising juggernaut worth almost half a trillion dollars — the largest online advertising company in the world after Google. Roughly a third of the world’s population now logs in monthly. As Facebook’s user base rapidly expanded, the company wrote the playbook for digital targeting in the smartphone era — and for the type of microtargeting that has become critical to modern political campaigns. The social network invested heavily in building highly sophisticated automated advertising tools that could target specific groups of people who had expressed their preferences and interests on Facebook, from newlyweds who studied at Dartmouth College to hockey enthusiasts living in a particular Zip code in Michigan. The migration from traditional personal computers to smartphones and tablets helped Facebook gain a major edge: The company pioneered techniques to help advertisers reach the same user on their desktop and mobile devices, helping Facebook grow sevenfold in value since it went public in 2012. Today, advertisers who want to target Facebook ­users by demographics or interests have tens of thousands of categories to choose from, and they are able to flood users with ads wherever they go on the Internet. Ads on Facebook have directly appeared in people’s news feeds since 2012. If a user “likes” a page, administrators of that page can pay for ads and post content that will then appear in that person’s news feed. Since the 2012 presidential election, Facebook has become an essential tool for political campaigns that wish to target potential voters. During the height of election season, political campaigns are among the largest advertisers on Facebook. Facebook has built a large sales staff of account executives, some of whom have backgrounds in politics, who are trained to assist campaigns in spreading their messages, increasing engagement and getting immediate feedback on how they are performing. The Trump campaign used these tools to great effect, while Clinton’s campaign preferred to rely on its own social media experts, according to people familiar with the campaigns. Aiming at swing voters Since taking office, Putin has on occasion sought to spotlight racial tensions in the United States as a means of shaping perceptions of American society. Putin injected himself in 2014 into the race debate after protests broke out in Ferguson, Mo., over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an African American, by a white police officer. “Do you believe that everything is perfect now from the point of view of democracy in the United States?” Putin told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program. “If everything was perfect, there wouldn’t be the problem of Ferguson. There would be no abuse by the police. But our task is to see all these problems and respond properly.” In addition to the ads described to The Post, Russian operatives used Facebook to promote anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim messages. And Facebook has said that one-quarter of the ads bought by the Russian operatives identified so far targeted a particular geographic area. While Facebook has played down the impact of the Russian ads on the election, Dennis Yu, chief technology officer for BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that focuses on Facebook ads, said that $100,000 worth of Facebook ads could have been viewed hundreds of millions of times. According to Yu, “$100,000 worth of very concentrated posts is very, very powerful. When you have a really hot post, you often get this viral multiplier. So when you buy this one ad impression, you can get an extra 20- to 40-times multiplier because those people comment and share it.” Momentum is building in Congress and elsewhere in the federal government for a law requiring Facebook and other Web companies to reveal publicly who bought political ads and the amount that was spent on their platforms. Newspapers, television stations and other traditional carriers of campaign messages already disclose such information. Watts, the Foreign Policy Research Institute fellow, said he has not seen the Facebook ads promised to Congress, but he and his team saw similar tactics playing out on Twitter and other platforms during the campaign. Watts said such efforts were most likely to have been effective in Midwestern swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan, where Democratic primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders had beaten Clinton. Watts said the disinformation pushed by the Russians included messages designed to reinforce the idea that Sanders had been mistreated by the Democratic Party and that his supporters shouldn’t bother to vote during the general election in November. “They were designed around hitting these fracture points, so they could see how they resonate and assess their effectiveness,” Watts said. “I call it reconnaissance by social media.” (THE WASHINGTON POST)

Top Stories

Belt&Road

Daily average of 20 enterprises settle down in Horgos

Some 4,894 enterprises settled down in the city of Horgos, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in the first half of this year, China News Agency reported. According to Chen Chen, an official from the city's Market Supervision Administration, 2,406 enterprises settled down in the city in 2016, representing a daily average of at least six enterprises. In the first half of 2017, that figure exceeded 20. These enterprises are placing much hope in the future of Horgos, a frontier city along the traditional Silk Road thanks to the remarkable achievements regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, Chen said. Constant media coverage had further promoted the city domestically and abroad. The city's beneficial investment policy is also a great lure for enterprises. Boshihao Group, a Shenzhen-registered firm that develops and produces robots, registered in Horgos at the end of last year, producing 2,000 robots in the first half of this year. "We are exploring the markets in central Asia as well as Xinjiang," said Min Jianbo, general manager of the Group's Xinjiang branch. "The Belt and Road provides great opportunities for us," Min added. (BELT AND ROAD PORTAL)

2017-08-10

Ministry of Commerce: further promote Belt and Road construction

Belt and Road construction made remarkable progress in the economic and trade sector in the first half of this year, while the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May achieved a series of important economic and trade outcomes. Commerce Vice Minister Qian Keming said recently that plans had been made to implement the agreements, turn the desire for promoting economic globalization into genuine actions, and push forward Belt and Road construction in scope and depth. An increasing number of countries and international organizations are coming to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. In May, China successfully hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which promoted Belt and Road construction to an all-time high, and created a strong motivation and much positive energy to solve current problems faced by many economies and boost economic globalization. Qian said achievements had been made in four aspects during the first half of this year. Firstly, trade cooperation was deepened. China actively expanded imports from Belt and Road countries, optimized the trade structure that was more open to each other and facilitated overall trade expansion. Secondly, investment cooperation was increased. China has continued to improve its policies and strengthen investment services, along with encouraging companies to invest in the countries along the Belt and Road routes. In the first half of this year, total investment in these countries was US$6.6 billion, with contracted projects worth US$71.4 billion, up 38.8 percent year-on-year. Thirdly, China continued to promote the construction of economic and trade cooperation zones in other countries. Chinese companies were encouraged to operate according to market requirements and to take development strategy, resources, market demand and other factors into consideration when building such zones. Fourthly, the construction of free trade zones was accelerated. At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech and announced a series of significant measures, while witnessing the conclusion of over 270 agreements. Xi also announced the nation would hold the first China International Import Expo in 2018. Qian said the Ministry of Commerce was now making preparations for it, hoping to draw worldwide participation. Meanwhile, the ministry would properly implement major foreign aid measures, support developing countries in their economic development and improve people's wellbeing, and properly implement the agreements with related countries and international organizations to deepen Belt and Road economic and trade cooperation and benefit more countries and people. (BELT AND ROAD PORTAL)

2017-08-10