China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 18

    Control room of the Qinshan nuclear power plant

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    China says more talks needed to build consensus on nuclear export club

    China said on June 12 that more talks were needed to build a consensus on which countries can join the main group controlling access to sensitive nuclear technology, after a push by the United States to include India. China is seen as leading opposition to the US move to include India in the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), but other countries, including New Zealand, Turkey, South Africa and Austria also oppose Indian membership, according to diplomats. The NSG aims to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by restricting the sale of items that can be used to make those arms. India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with Washington, even though India has developed atomic weapons and never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact. A decision on Indian membership is not expected before an NSG plenary meeting in Seoul on June 20, but diplomats have said Washington has been pressuring hold-outs.

    Source: Reuters, June 12, 2016

    Collapse of high-speed rail deal is ‘blow’ for Sino-US ties

    The cancellation of a high-speed rail contract between a US company and a Chinese state-owned firm is a bad precedent that hampers bilateral cooperation in the field, according to state media. The claim follows the move last week by Nevada’s Xpress West to abort the deal it had made with China Railway International to build a high-speed railway linking Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The deal had been made before President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the US in September last year. Its collapse is the latest setback for Beijing in exporting its high-speed rail technology following problems with deals in Thailand, Laos and Venezuela.

    Source: South China Morning Post, June 13, 2016

    China-South Asia Expo to attract 5000 enterprises

    About 5000 enterprises from 89 countries and regions are to participate in the Fourth China-South Asia Expo in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the organiser said on June 11. The expo, to kick off on June 12, will have more than 3400 officials, entrepreneurs, scholars and representatives of international organisations, said Gao Shuxun, director of the executive committee of the expo.Co-hosted by China’s Ministry of Commerce and the provincial government of Yunnan, the six-day event will focus on international cooperation of industrial capacity, the building of economic corridors, and technology innovation and transfer, Gao said. Last year, the value of signed deals at the expo stood at nearly 25.2 billion US dollars. The organiser estimated that the volume this year could grow by at least 10 percent.

    Source: Global Times, June 12, 2016

    POLITICS AND SOCIETY

    Graft trials in absentia to strengthen cases against suspects who fled abroad

    China’s top anti-graft watchdog has called for fugitive officials suspected of corruption to be tried in absentia. Setting up trials in absentia – criminal proceedings in court in which the suspect is not physically present – would help China to better cooperate with other countries in hunting suspects, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website on Monday. China is actively seeking international cooperation in hunting down fugitive officials who have fled the country since the launch of President Xi Jinping’s nationwide graft crackdown in 2012. But Western countries have been reluctant to help in repatriating suspects, citing fears over China’s legal system and mistreatment of criminal suspects. Beijing has said it will push for anti-corruption efforts to be high on the agenda when it hosts this year’s G20 summit in September. The mainland’s criminal law does not cover trials in absentia. But in the past few years, academics and media commentators have called for such procedures to boost anti-corruption efforts.

    Source: South China Morning Post, June 14, 2016

    Education campaign to commemorate CPC anniversary

    A nationwide education drive will foster socialist core values in the run up to the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to a joint notice issued by seven organisations. The campaign, “Loving Party, Country and Socialism,” by the CPC Central Committee publicity department and Ministry of Education, among others, will showcase the sinicization of Marxism; new thoughts and strategies in state governance; and CPC practice in ruling the Party. Stressing that the 95th anniversary of the CPC is a major event in the country’s political life, the notice promised a campaign that would enhance confidence in the path, theory and system of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

    Source: China Daily, June 11, 2016

    ECONOMY

    Foreign investment up 3.8% from Jan-May; Services attract majority of funds

    Foreign investment in China increased 3.8 percent year-on-year from January to May to $54.19 billion, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in an announcement published on its website on Sunday. There were 10,871 new foreign enterprises established in the nation during this period, up 13.5 percent on a year-on-year basis, the announcement showed. Manufacturing attracted foreign investment of $15.52 billion, down about 3.2 percent. However, high-end manufacturing saw increased foreign investment, with $4.1 billion received during the period, an increase of 2.3 percent compared with the first five months in 2015. The MOFCOM also noted in the announcement that western regions of China attracted foreign investment at a rapid pace, with $4.1 billion investment implemented during the period, up 31.2 percent.

    Source: Global Times, June 12, 2016

    IMF urges China to tackle ‘high’ corporate debt immediately

    The International Monetary Fund’s second top official urged China to take immediate steps to tackle rising corporate debt or risk “dangerous detours” during the country’s transition to a consumption-oriented economy. “Corporate debt remains a serious — and growing — problem that must be addressed immediately and with a commitment to serious reforms,” David Lipton, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, said in the text of a speech to an economics conference on Saturday in Shenzhen. Premier Li Keqiang said in March that the country may use debt-to-equity swaps to cut the leverage ratios of Chinese companies. An IMF staff report in April said China’s plan to rid banks of bad loans could backfire, allowing debt-laden “zombie” firms to stay afloat and creating conflicts of interest for bankers.

    Source: South China Morning Post, June 11, 2016

    Economic restructuring offers new opportunities for college graduates

    Stable economic growth, continued progress in structural reform, and policies supportive of entrepreneurship and employment generation have offered new opportunities for college graduates. A survey conducted by education research company MyCOS Institute, released on Sunday, showed that the employment rate of college graduates in 2015 was 91.5 percent, basically flat compared with 92.1 percent in 2014 and 91.4 percent in 2013. Breaking the numbers down, 92.2 percent of university graduates and 91.2 percent of graduates from junior colleges and vocational colleges and senior high schools found jobs, according to the survey. To boost employment and sustain growth, which slowed to 6.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, the central government is modernizing the economic model, which will feature new systems and business models, promote mass entrepreneurship, and bolster the service sector. China now boasts more than 200 makerspace projects, 1600 business incubators, and 129 high-tech zones or science and technology parks, which help allocate resources and support innovative companies.

    Source: People’s Daily, June 12, 2016

    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

    Rise in telecom fraud rings alarm bells

    Telephone scams are a growing problem in China, with even financial experts falling prey to sophisticated schemes. For some victims, though, the consequences are far more severe than a simple monetary loss, as Zhang Yi reports. Last month, Fan Yin-gui hanged himself in a residential building in Qin’an county, Gansu province. He left no suicide note, just a cryptic messages crawled in dust at the scene: “My death has nothing to do with my wife, it is about swindlers.” The day before Fan took his own life, the 44-year-old received a bogus phone call, supposedly from the police, which led him to transfer 230,000 yuan ($35,000) to a fake bank account set up under the name of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. Fan’s death was one of a series of suicides linked with telecom frauds that have attracted national attention since the beginning of the year.

    Source: China Daily, June 15, 2016

    China to install tsunami detection buoys in South China Sea

    China plans to install tsunami detection buoys in the South China Sea and waters east of the Ryukyu Trench and Taiwan Island. They will be linked to international tsunami warning networks, providing early warnings for China’s east and south coasts and nearby countries, said Yuan Ye, director of the tsunami warning center of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), earlier this week. Some buoys have been installed west of the Manila Trench, which has the potential to generate a tsunami event in the South China Sea, Yuan said. Located along the earthquake zone of the Pacific Rim, China faces threats from regional and trans-ocean tsunami. In particular, those originating from the Nankai Trough and Manila Trench may seriously threaten the South China Sea.

    Source: China Daily, June 11, 2016

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Bryane Michael, Letter of the Law: The fine line in Hong Kong between freedom of speech and national security, South China Morning Post, June 13, 2014

    Alex Lo, There are good reasons why our young are rebellious and resentful, South China Morning Post, June 13, 2014

    Sanjeev Miglani, India plans expanded missile export drive, with China on its mind, Reuters, June 8, 2016

    Shannon Hayden, What China’s big nation complex means for the future of Asia, War on the Rocks, June 13, 2016

    Cathy Holcombe, China is changing in a way that will soon make us forget about the old economy, South China Morning Post, June 13, 2016.

    Sino-German ties prevail over radicalism, People’s Daily, June 13, 2016

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