China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 22

    POLITICS AND SOCIETY

    Xi tells CPC to "stay true to mission"

    Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has called on his comrades to "stay true to the mission" taken up by the CPC, 95 years ago. "One who wants to stride ahead should not forget the path that was trodden. No matter how far we will travel and to whatever bright future, we should not forget what we have done and why we set out to do it," said Xi, at a rally marking the 95th founding anniversary of the CPC in Beijing. He called on CPC members to "uphold the fighting spirit" of the Party's founding members and their commitment to the people.

    Source: Xinhua News Agency, July 1, 2016

    Tenth birthday of the world's highest altitude train line

    The Qinghai-Tibet railway celebrates its tenth birthday on Friday, since its second section, linking Golmud in northwest China's Qinghai province and Lhasa in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, opened to traffic on July 1, 2006. The 1142 km section, out of the 1956 km Qinghai-Tibet Railway, put an end to Tibet's inaccessibility by rail. Widely known as the longest railway with the highest altitude in the world, the line boasts the world's highest plateau permafrost tunnel-Fenghuoshan Tunnel at an altitude of 4910 meters,and the world's highest railway station- Tanggula Railway Station at an altitude of 5068 meters. Besides, the line is also known for having a 11.7 km bridge section named Qingshuihe Grand Bridge in Hoh Xil, northwest China's Qinghai province. Since July 1, 2006, this Railway has reportedly transported more than 100 million passengers traveling from and to Tibet and more than 500 million goods, helping the GDP of Tibet exceed 100 billion yuan ($15 billion).

    Source: China Daily, July 1, 2016

    Taiwan blamed for suspension of cross-Straits communication

    Taiwan side should take full responsibility for suspension of communication mechanisms between the Chinese mainland and the island, a mainland spokesperson said on Wednesday. Taiwan's current administration has not recognised the 1992 Consensus which endorses the one-China principle, shaking the political foundation for cross-Straits interaction, said An Fengshan of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office at a press conference. Suspended communication mechanisms include both the regular mechanism between cross-Straits affairs departments and the consultation mechanism between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF). Both operated on the basis of the 1992 Consensus. An said, "Peaceful development of cross-Strait ties since 2008 did not come out of the blue."

    Source: China Daily, June 29, 2016

    FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    SCO provides new paradigm for global security cooperation

     The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has turned 15 this month. The bloc is not only an effective regional economic cooperation framework, but a new paradigm for global security cooperation. The SCO takes a nonaligned, non-ideological and non-confrontation stance in regional and global issues. Member states respect diversity and resolve differences face-to-face, while supporting each other in common development. The SCO reflects a new view of security cooperation without taking sides and forging alliances, said Ruan Zongze, deputy head of the China Institute of International Studies. The organisation was founded in Shanghai in June 2001 and has kept expanding. It currently has six full members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — while India and Pakistan are in the process of gaining membership. Observers include Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey are dialogue partners.

    Source: Global Times, June 30, 2016

    Hague verdict irrelevant

    China will not accept any international arbitration decision involving its territory in the South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday after the arbitration court in The Hague announced that it will deliver a final decision on July 12 over a dispute filed by the Philippines against China. In a statement addressed to the media, The Permanent Court of Arbitration on June 29 said it had informed the parties involved it will announce its decision in the arbitration initiated by the Philippines against China on July 12. In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the case, and the Philippines' unilateral initiation of arbitration breaches international law. In 2013, the Philippines unilaterally filed compulsory arbitration against China at the Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague.

    Source: Global Times, June 30, 2016

    China, Russia, Mongolia sign economic corridor plan

    China, Russia and Mongolia signed a development plan on June 23 to build an economic corridor that will boost transport links and economic cooperation among the three neighbours. The plan comes after China’s President Xi Jinping said mainland companies had invested nearly $15 billion in countries participating in Beijing’s new Silk Road initiative in 2015 — up one-fifth from 2014. The plan was signed by Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent.

    Source: Xinhua News Agency, June 24, 2016

    ECONOMY

    Chinese yuan slides to five year low, pound slumps further in Brexit aftershock

    The People’s Bank of China on Monday cut the yuan’s fixing to the lowest level in five and a half years, while the British pound slumped further below $1.34 in Asian trade, hovering near its weakest level in 31 years, as Britain’s stunning decision to break up with the European Union continued to stir the markets. The PBOC set the yuan’s reference rate at 6.6375 per US dollar, down 0.9% from the previous fix, the biggest drop since last August. Offshore yuan in Hong Kong weakened to 6.663 per US dollar as of 10 am (June 27, 2016), down 0.4 percent from the prior session. Onshore yuan, which trades in Shanghai, also fell to 6.6218 per US dollar, weaker by 0.1 percent from the previous day.

    Source: South China Morning Post, June 27, 2016

    PM Li calls for enhanced coordination among all economies to address difficulties

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday (June 16) called on all countries to enhance coordination to jointly face up to difficulties and challenges. Li made the remarks when he met with Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum (WEF) founder and executive chair, in north China's Tianjin Municipality during the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2016, also known as the Summer Davos Forum. This year's forum carries the theme of ‘the fourth industrial revolution and its transformational impact’. This year's theme, which complies with the trend of a new round of scientific, technological and industrial reform, is conducive to extending perspectives and accumulate consensus for the transformation and upgrading of all countries' economic structures, Li said. He called on all countries to enhance coordination, work together to address difficulties and challenges, safeguard peace and stability, continue reform and innovation, stick to opening up and inclusiveness so as to realize a robust, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy.

    Source: Global Times, June 27, 2016

    AIIB delivers on promise to lead as new multilateral investment bank

    Details that have emerged of the operation and philosophy of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) show that it is meeting expectations to lead development cooperation as a new type of multilateral financial institution. Addressing the AIIB board of governors on Saturday, the bank's President Jin Liqun said that the bank is ‘now off to a strong start’ and has begun to deliver on its commitments to shareholders and the world on organisational performance and corporate governance. It unveiled the first four projects on Friday with approved financing totaling 509 million USD. The funded projects are a power distribution system upgrade and expansion project in Bangladesh, a national slum upgrading project in Indonesia, a motorway project in Pakistan and a border road improvement project in Tajikistan. The bank has set a target of lending about 1.2 billion USD in 2016. The AIIB was officially opened in January this year, six months after its founding members signed its articles of agreement in Beijing.

    Source: People’s Daily, June 26, 2016

    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

    China issues first orange alert of 2016 for rainstorm

    China's meteorological authority issued an orange alert, the second highest of the four-tier warning system, for storms across southern and eastern regions. It is the first time that the National Meteorological Center has issued an orange alert for rainstorms this year. In June, storms in the south and a tornado in eastern Jiangsu province killed more than 100 people. Over the next four days, parts of Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei and Hunan will be hit by torrential rain, the center said in a statement. Rainfall is expected to reach up to 400 millimeters in these areas, coupled with gales or thunderstorms. The center advised people living in the affected areas to take precautions against possible landslides and mud-rock flows while those living in mountainous areas should move to safe places in advance.

    Source: China Daily, July 1, 2016

    China expanding capacity of dark matter detector

    Chinese scientists are expanding the capacity of an underground facility designed to detect elusive dark matter particles. Scientists are still searching for evidence to conclusively prove the existence of dark matter, an invisible substance thought to account for over a quarter of the universe's mass and energy. The Jinping Underground Laboratory, which is 2400 meters under a mountain in Sichuan province, started operating in December 2010. It has a store of xenon, one of the few materials that interact with dark matter, and the cosmic rays that commonly interfere with attempts to observe dark matter generally cannot penetrate to such a depth underground. Xiao Mengjiao, a researcher at the laboratory, said he and his colleagues have started the second phase of their experiments.

    Source: China Daily, June 30, 2016

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    The way for China's ruling party to get stronger, Xinhua News Agency, July 1, 2016

    With civil code, China aims to realize rule of law, Xinhua News Agency, June 30, 2016

    Javier C.  Hernan’dez, China Suspends Diplomatic Contact With Taiwan, New York Times, June 25, 2016

    Shailaja Neelakantan, India and the NSG - What game was China really playing?, Times of India, June 27, 2016

    Joe Zhang, Why worries about a sharp slide in the renminbi are overblown, South China Morning Post, June 27, 2016

    China, Russia, Mongolia endorse development plan on economic corridor, People’s Daily, June 25, 2016

    Contributors:

    Pratnashree Basu, Ambalika Guha and Swagata Saha, Researchers, Observer Research Foundation.

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