China Weekly Report | Vol. VII Issue 12

     Terra, Cota, Warriors, China Weekly, CWR

    Terra-Cota Warriors

    Source: Dennis Jarvis/CC BY-SA 2.0

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS

     Nepal, China begin first-ever joint military exercises

    China and Nepal began their first-ever joint military exercises on Sunday, a move likely to rattle India as Beijing boosts its influence in the region. Impoverished Nepal is sandwiched between China and India and has in recent years ping-ponged between the sphere of influence of Delhi and Beijing as the Asian giants jostle for regional supremacy. The 10-day drill in Kathmandu, dubbed “Sagarmatha Friendship 2017” referring to the Nepali name for Mount Everest, will focus on counter-terrorism, according to Nepal’s army. “This is in line with our efforts to hold joint exercises with countries that have diplomatic relations with Nepal,” military spokesman Jhankar Bahadur Kadayat said.

    Source: South China Morning Post

    Details emerge of ‘terrorism suspect’ arrest during armed raid in China

    Chinese state media have released rare details about the arrest in an armed raid of a suspected terrorist accused by the authorities of organising terrorism operations overseas. The suspect was said to have led over a hundred followers in Turkey, according to Chinese state television. The man was arrested as part of a special forces operation in Hainan province after a number of wanted suspects were found hiding in the city of Sanya waiting to flee China, the state broadcaster reported. The report did not mention the ethnicity of the suspects, but the arrests took place in December 2014 at a time when many Uygur Muslims from the restive Xinjiang region were leaving the mainland to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

    Source: South China Morning Post

    Naval forces save commercial ship from pirate attack

    Chinese naval sailors saved a Panamanian ship that had come under attack from pirates in the Gulf of Aden, the second such rescue mission this month, China’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday. The Frigate Hengyang of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s 25th convoy fleet received a distress call about 9:30 pm on Saturday, Beijing time. The call said the ALHEERA, an oil tanker, was under attack by five pirates and the ship requested help. Hengyang set out immediately and dispatched its shipboard helicopter to the area. The helicopter arrived and drove away the suspected pirates around 10:30 pm, the ministry said. The ship was deemed safe and continued its passage, the ministry said.

    Source: China Daily

    POLITICS & SOCIETY

    Seeking better job options, more Chinese students returning home after graduating

    More young Chinese studying abroad are opting to return home, many of them citing better job prospects in China. The government said this month that 82.23 per cent of students who studied abroad returned to China last year, up from 72.38 per cent in 2012. Wuhan-born Will Tong Chen was studying and working for 17 years in New Zealand, but returned to China four months ago, citing more opportunities due to a vastly larger economy. National Institute of Education Sciences researcher Chu Chaohui said returning students had more resources and better networks in China to look for a job.

    Source: South China Morning Post

    China launches reform of Chinese ‘green cards’

    China launched a reform of permanent residence certificates for foreigners, according to a reform plan issued by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS). The “foreigner’s permanent residence card,” known as the Chinese “green card,” will be renamed the “foreigner’s permanent residence identity card,” according to the plan. Like the identity cards used by Chinese citizens, foreigners’ identity information will be embedded in the chips of the machine-readable cards, which will be shared by railway and airline departments, hotels and banks. Approved by the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, the reform plan serves the nation’s talent development strategy and responds to social concerns. The reform also aims to provide foreigners easier access to public services in China, and the work is expected to be finished before June.

    Source: China Daily

    Xi urges strengthened party education campaign

    President Xi Jinping has called for further implementation of a year-long education campaign within the Communist Party of China (CPC) to strengthen Party discipline. Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in an instruction on the campaign, which focuses on the study of the Party Constitution and rules, as well as the speeches made by Xi, and calls for being qualified Party members. In the instruction read at a meeting, Xi noted that the campaign launched last year had achieved remarkable results. The campaign has helped with the strict management of the CPC and must be carried on, said Xi.

    Source: China Daily

    ECONOMY

    Why China’s start-ups are venturing overseas in full force

    While companies around the world compete for a slice of China’s populous consumer market, start-ups headquartered in Asia’s largest economy want to conquer not just the domestic field, but also to come out on top worldwide. It’s an ambitious move that analysts said will upgrade the country’s position in the global value chain. The trend comes as an increasing number of private companies, such as Alibaba and Tencent, are taking the lead in the latest phase of China’s “Going Out” – a policy initiated at the turn of the century to increase the country’s outbound investment by encouraging companies to go abroad. That is a shift from the earlier stages of the policy where state-owned enterprises and large Chinese firms extended their sales networks overseas or expanded their footprints through mergers and acquisitions. Those spending sprees included ChemChina’s takeover of Italian tyre maker Pirelli and Lenovo’s purchase of an IBM unit. In what could be a new chapter in the story of China’s spreading its economic influence globally, start-ups set their eyes internationally in the early stages of operations – even as their home market offers plenty growth opportunities.

    Source: South China Morning Post

    China’s first-quarter growth accelerates to 6.9%

    China on April 17 announced growth figures for the first three months of the year that beat market expectations, with expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) accelerating for the second straight quarter, to 6.9%. The GDP growth was better than the median forecast of an increase of 6.8% year-on-year in a Caixin poll of 10 economists and came after expansion picked up to 6.8% in the October-through-December period — the first acceleration in two years. “The Chinese economy is stabilizing and improving,” Mao Shengyong, a spokesman of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said at news conference releasing the figures. Industrial output, which gauges production at Chinese factories, mines and energy producers, rose 7.6% year-on-year in March, hitting the highest level since December 2014, when it was 7.9%, the NBS said. It was also well ahead of the median estimate of a 6.2% rise in a separate Caixin survey of 12 economists. Fixed-asset investment excluding rural households, a measure of state and private investment in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, infrastructure, education and other sectors, climbed 9.2% in the first quarter from the same period in 2016, the most robust since a growth of 9.6% in the first five months of last year, NBS data showed.

    Source: Caixin

    SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

    China’s first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 to be launched

    China’s first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 is to be launched into space between April 20 and 24, according to the office of China’s manned space program. The cargo spacecraft was transferred with a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket from the testing center to the launch zone in Wenchang, southern China’s Hainan Province, according to a statement from the office Monday. The transfer took 2.5 hours. “The completion of the transfer signals the Tianzhou-1 mission has entered its launching stage,” the statement said. Technicians have performed several tests during the assembling of the spacecraft and rocket since February. In the following days, technicians will continue testing the spacecraft and rocket, and inject fuel before the launch, it said. Tianzhou-1 is the first cargo ship independently developed by the country. It is expected to dock with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab and conduct in-orbit refuelling. The cargo spacecraft will also carry out space experiments, including one on non-Newtonian gravitation, before falling back to earth.

    Source: Xinhua

    Silk Road Robotics Innovations Competition 2017 launched in Xi’an

    Xi’an Jiaotong University held a publicity seminar on the Silk Road Robotics Innovations Competition 2017 on April 14. The event marked the official launch of the competition with its theme, “Bringing together the Intelligent Technologies and Leading Innovation along the Silk Road”. To uphold the spirit of the Silk Road and advocate science and technology innovations, the competition, sponsored by the Chinese Association of Automation and the University Alliance of the Silk Road and organized by the Shaanxi Science and Technology Department and Xi’an Jiaotong University, will be held in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, between May and June. The competition aims to guide university students and people from all walks of life in the countries and regions along the Silk Road to be deeply involved in intelligent robot technology and product research and development. The event will also boost exchanges among competitors and strengthen friendship in the younger generations. The competition will encourage university students in Shaanxi and members of the Shaanxi Robot Industrial Technology Innovation Alliance to actively participate in the event.

    Source: China Daily

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Cary Huang, “As North Korea tests US-China ties, Xi and Trump look to put the bilateral relationship first”, South China Morning Post, April 17, 2017

    Tammy Tam, “If Hong Kong can’t become ‘Asia’s Israel’, future may rest on leading role in Greater Bay Area plan”, South China Morning Post, April 17, 2017

    Li Haidong, “A good start to China-US relationship”, China Daily, April 13, 2017

    Yu Zhang, “Opinion: United’s Unfriendly Skies Outburst Spotlights Risky Earnings Obsession of Airlines”, Caixin, April 14, 2017

    Commentary: China remains powerhouse for world growth”, Xinhua, April 17, 2017

     “Interview: China could be world’s leading electric vehicle producer: expert”, Xinhua, April 14, 2017

    Contributors:

    • Sreeparna Banerjee
    • Pratnashree Basu

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