Vol. II Issue. 27
CPC members exceed 82 million
02 July 2012
POLITICS AND SOCIETY
The number of Communist Party of China (CPC) members surpassed 82.6 million in 2011, up 2.9 per cent from last year, official figures showed. In 2011, around 3.16 million out of 21.6 million applicants were accepted to join the CPC, according to a statement released by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.
Female Party members numbered 19.25 million, accounting for 23.3 percent of the total. Members of ethnic minorities amounted to 5.56 million, with a share of 6.7 percent, the statement said. "The Party has been drawing more members from the forefront of work and production, and the scope and quality of Party members are both increasing," the statement said.
Source (s): China Daily, June 30, 2012
Harsher punishments for illegal foreigners
China's legislature has passed a new exit and entry law that stipulates harsher punishments for foreigners who illegally enter, live or work in China. The draft law was adopted at the five-day bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee that closed on June 30.
The law says foreigners must obtain valid identification documents when working in China, adding that foreigners may not be employed without valid employment certificates. According to the law, employers will be fined 10,000 Yuan (1,574 U.S. dollars) for every foreigner they illegally employ up to a maximum of 100,000 Yuan. Any monetary gain resulting from such employment will also be confiscated.
Source (s): Xinhua News Agency, June 30, 2012.
President on three-day visit to HK
Chinese President Hu Jintao began his three-day visit to Hong Kong, on June 29, to attend celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and witness the inauguration of the fourth-term government of the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Upon arrival, President Hu said that the central government is willing to work with the Hong Kong people from all walks of life to draw up the "valuable experiences" in carrying out the "one country, two systems" policy over the past 15 years for further development. President Hu held a meeting with Donald Tsang and told the outgoing chief executive that the central government fully recognized the work of him during his seven-year term of office. Under the leadership of Donald Tsang, the HKSAR government has performed its duty in accordance with law and worked in a practical and enterprising manner, President Hu said.
Source (s):Xinhua News Agency, June 30, 2012
SOE's warned over economic downturn
State-owned companies (SOE's) have been warned by China's state assets regulator to be ready for a period of downturn as double digit growth is expected to end after decades. According to deputy director of the State-owned Assets Supervision (SASAC), Shao Ning, "The SOE's need to fully recognize the severity and urgency of current situation, and make timely preparations to weather the upcoming storms and winters which will last for three to five years." After three decades of continuous high growth, a period of austerity is predicted to set in Chinese economy. The deputy chief highlighted the harsh conditions existing within and abroad and advised SOE's on importance of reducing costs and boosting efficiency. Such remarks were made at a working conference aimed to strengthen the management within SOE's. The largest three economies of the world is expected to remain in weak conditions, while the debt crisis in Europe is likely to shrink demand, driving global economy to a long-term depression, reports SASAC.
The current trend of downturn is highly unlikely to be reverted as long as government shifts gears from prioritizing growth to restructure economy, according to Xu Xiaonian, a renowned Chinese economist. Furthermore, he urges policy makers to stop using expansionary monetary policies to stimulate demand and start restructuring of economy. China International Capital Corp (CICC) reported a decline in China's GDP growth to 7.8 percent from previous 8.1 percent for 2011 and a cut to 8.3 percent from 9.3 percent for 2013.
Source (S):Caijing-English, 25 June, 2012
Unity in Europe: Chinese Firms
To aid and advise Chinese companies investing in Europe, an alliance of private sector companies is set to establish office in the continent. The Aigo Entrepreneurs Alliance is set to see its members move into London and Brussels in the coming months. There is a consensus among members of the alliance to reach out to other Chinese private companies that are seeking to expand overseas. By 2010, there were 13,000 domestic enterprises that had invested in 178 countries, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Outbound direct investment for 2011-15 is expected to register double digit annual growth of $ 560 billion. Jessie Tang, Partner at law firm Jones Day in Beijing said, "Chinese companies expanding overseas, apart from seeking trade opportunities, will also create jobs and help fend protectionist measures." The alliance seeks to supervise the members and ensure quality products.
Many of the companies seeking to move into European Market City, a business hub situated in between Brussels and Antwerp, are manufacturers. Large volume of its foreign exchange reserves, growing corporate demand for expansion, and deepening debt crisis in Europe are reasons behind china's growth in its Outbound Direct Investment. China, overcoming Japan and the United Kingdom in 2010 is the fifth largest global investor and the largest among developing economies. The alliance represents a new generation of Chinese entrepreneurs who value high tech innovation and brand-value creation.
Source (S): China Daily, 28 June, 2012
Power firms lose 15 Billion Yuan in 2011
On Thursday, Shanghai Securities News citing an annual report released by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) reported a loss of 15.1 billion Yuan ($2.37 billion) among five major power generation groups in China and a 26 percent drop in investment in thermal power across the country. The loss is linked with rising coal prices and increased financial costs, SERC reports
China power generating capacity and power grid scale are ranked among top in the world and remarkable achievements have taken place in optimizing electric source structures, according to the report. The installed hydropower capacity is at 230 million KW with an annual generation capacity of 690 billion KWH and the scale of wind power is at 45 million KW. The estimation made by SERC on total installed capacity is expected to exceed 1.1 billion KW by the end of 2012, and newly-added generating capacity is said to reach 90 million KW.
Source (S):China Daily, 29 June, 2012
China makes proposal for Syrian crisis
Ethiopia has been invited for the G20 summit even though it is a non-member. China and Ethiopia have enjoyed traditional friendship. In recent years, the two countries have maintained close political exchanges and dialogues. The two countries also enjoyed productive economic and trade cooperation. China has become Ethiopia's largest trade partner and main source of foreign investment.
Speaking at the Action Group on Syria meeting summoned by UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan, Yang said, "First, we should stick to the correct direction of seeking a political settlement." Political dialogue, he said, is the only practical way to resolve the Syrian crisis. Second, the Chinese foreign minister said, "We should give firm support to Mr. Kofi Annan's mediation efforts. China does not approve of setting a time frame or obstacles regarding Mr. Kofi Annan's mediation or the implementation of his six-point proposal." Third, Mr. Yang said all parties should truly respect the independent choice of the Syrian people. Fourth, Mr. Yang called on all parties to have a sense of urgency and at the same time remain patient in seeking a political settlement.
Foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain attended the meeting along with counterparts from regional powers Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar and Iraq. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton were also present at the meeting.
Source (S):Xinhua News Agency, June 30, 2012.
Vice-Premier hails cooperation with S. Korea
Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan has hailed close ties between China and South Korea, hoping that further cooperation would be conducted to boost the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership.
Mr. Wang noted that the two countries have been getting closer and seeing rapid growth in the fields of trade, investment and personnel exchanges since they established diplomatic ties 20 years ago. The two countries signed bilateral currency swap agreement in 2008, and inked a trilateral investment protection protocol with Japan earlier this year, Mr. Wang said. The two governments also started formal negotiations last month for the establishment of a free trade zone, he said, adding that he hoped the two sides make joint efforts to create better conditions for the bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation.
Source (S):Xinhua News Agency, June 28, 2012
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
China successfully conducts first manned space docking
In what is being considered as another step towards establishing a space station by 2020, China successfully conducted its first manned space docking. China had conducted its first ever unmanned space docking in November 2011. During the current mission, China sent three astronauts which included its first ever female in space, who successfully docked the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft with the Tiangong-1 space lab. The astronauts landed on Earth on June 29 after entering the space lab.
Source (S):The Wall Street Journal, June 18, Xinhua News Agency, June 18 and 29, 2012.
• Sadhavi Chauhan
• Priyanka Mehrotra
• Anurag Bhattarai
• Rahul Prakash