MonitorsPublished on Mar 21, 2017
China Weekly Report | Vol. VII Issue 10


Chinese experts warn India against using Dalai Lama as bargaining chip

China on March 20 slammed the Indian government's invitation of the Dalai Lama to a Buddhist conference, with Chinese experts warning India against using him as a bargaining chip to solve disputes.  The Chinese foreign ministry expressed strong opposition to the Dalai Lama's participation in a Buddhism conference last week in India.  "We urge the Indian side to clearly recognize the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai clique, abide by its promises on the Tibet question, respect China's core interests and avoid further disturbances and harm to China-India relations," Hua Chunying, spokesperson for Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a daily briefing on March 20."Recently, India ignored China's solemn representations and strong opposition and insisted on inviting the 14th Dalai Lama to attend an international Buddhist conference organized by the Indian government," Hua said. The Dalai Lama and Indian Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the conference on March 17, the Indian culture ministry said in a statement. Source: Global Times

India cannot stop Silk Road plan, warns Chinese media

China's "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) infrastructure plan was receiving "broad global support" despite India's objections to the plan, Chinese state media said on March 20. This came after China's diplomats on Friday hailed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution which for the first time mentioned the OBOR, which envisages a land-economic belt to South and Central Asia and Europe, and a maritime "silk road" to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. India isn't among the countries that have backed the plan, as a key flagship project of the OBOR is an economic corridor through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). China is hosting the first OBOR summit in Beijing in May, with 20 global leaders and representatives from 50 countries and international organisations expected. India hasn't yet decided on its representation at the summit. Source: India Today


China’s ‘two sessions’ delegates surprisingly outspoken on Hong Kong this year

From the annual government work report to the musing of delegates on the sidelines, the topic of Hong Kong’s future has been inescapable at the “two sessions” in Beijing - the annual meetings of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). But this year, in a break from past practice, delegates with no official ties to the city have pushed ideas on how Beijing should approach the special administrative region and respond to calls emanating from some quarters for its independence. These delegates’ remarks are endorsed by Beijing, according to one expert, and using such proxies to put forward controversial ideas insulates the central government while still allowing it to convey its message. The “one country, two systems” concept, which ensures a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong and Macau, has seen very limited discussion, let alone challenges, from mainland officials, lawmakers and political advisors whose offices do not directly involve the city’s affairs since the handover in 1997. Source: South China Morning Post

China adds national pledge to curb housing prices in government work report

The Chinese central government has added a new line in the final version of its annual work report, pledging to curb surging property prices in big cities, as home prices in central Beijing rise to levels on par with Hong Kong. A day after the revised government work report was published, the Beijing municipal government announced new measures to discourage home buying, including raising down payments for most property deals for second home purchases to an unprecedented 80 per cent. The added pledge to curb housing prices was one of 78 revisions to the final version of the government work report since Chinese Premier Li Keqiang read the initial version to the National People’s Congress two weeks ago. Source: South China Morning Post

China’s smaller cities struggling with baby boom

China’s smaller cities have struggled to cope with a baby boom since the nation ended its one-child policy in 2015, demonstrating that it’s too early to further relax the new two-child ceiling. So says lawmaker Sun Xiaomei, who criticises calls for an immediate easing of the current two-child policy, and says her visits to small cities and towns showed her that already-stretched hospitals, paediatricians and kindergartens are finding it hard to cope with increased births. In one district in Sichuan province, a vaccination centre Sun visited was so crowded she wasn’t able to enter. In Ulan Hot in Inner Mongolia, a hospital didn’t have mobile beds to move women from the labour ward, and used wooden stretchers instead, she said. Demographers and others calling for an immediate lift of the two-child rule needed to “go to the smaller cities, go to check out the hospitals”, Sun, a professor at China Women’s University in Beijing, said on the sidelines of the annual National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting last week. “They probably draw conclusions simply from what’s happening in the big cities. Things are not as they have imagined.” Source: South China Morning Post


China to invest some social security cash in stock market

China’s social security reserve fund will invest a “relatively low” amount of pension funds into the stock market, as informed by the chairman of China’s social security fund agency. Lou Jiwei, the chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF), also sought to reassure workers and retirees of the safety of their nest eggs. Lou said on March 15 that the government will ensure that 95% of investment of provincial pension funds in financial markets, including deposit insurance products, bonds and stocks, will be profitable. This means “the proportion of pension funds invested in the stock market is relatively low,” said Lou, a former finance minister. Lou didn’t specify what percentage he would consider “relatively low.” But some workers and retirees have worried that their pensions might be at risk. In August 2015, the State Council, China’s cabinet, issued a regulation under which the NCSSF could allocate up to 30% of a provincial government’s funds into the stock market. Source: Caixin

China raises money market rates for second time this year

The People’s Bank of China raised its monetary market rate for the second time this year, and injected fresh funds into the country’s banking system, following the quarter-point rate increase by the US Federal Reserve overnight. The PBOC raised the reverse repo rate by 10 basis points on March 16, and injected 303 billion yuan (US$44 billion) of funds into 17 of mainland China’s financial institutions via the medium-term lending facility (MLF), setting the six-month MLF rate at 3.05 per cent and the one-year MLF at 3.2 per cent, according to a statement on the central bank’s website. The MLF tool was first introduced in 2014 to help commercial and policy banks maintain liquidity by allowing them to borrow from the central bank. The reverse repo, or repurchase, is a process whereby the central bank purchases securities from banks through bidding with an agreement to sell them back in the future. The PBOC conducted 80 billion yuan of reverse repos on March 16. Source: South China Morning Post


Scientist eyes commercial launch centre

Market value of space activities is expected to increase in coming years. China should build a space launch center dedicated to commercial missions, a senior scientist suggested. Hu Shengyun, a senior rocket designer at the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp's Fourth Academy, said that the existing launch centers - Jiuquan, Taiyuan, Xichang and Wenchang - are administered by the government and are tasked with serving State programs such as lunar explorations and manned spaceflight. "These government-run launch centers are well developed, but they are too busy to handle the increasing demands from the commercial space sector, and it is not uncommon that even a government-assigned mission has to wait for arrangements at those sites," said Hu, also a deputy to the 12th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature. "In addition, the management and operational methods of the existing centers were specifically designed for State-funded programs rather than commercial missions, so carrying out a lot of commercial launches would probably cause them problems," he added. Source: China Daily

Smart cities: Digital world unlocks door to the future

Traffic jams that clog up roads and slow down travel are the biggest problems many cities face. Rising incomes and growing aspirations convince many middle-income households to yearn for cars, which add to the problem. Hangzhou, one of the most connected cities in China, intends to solve traffic woes with the help of artificial intelligence. The city is teaming up with Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, to install a new smart-traffic management system. Using its AI and big data analytics capabilities, Alibaba Cloud is able to provide real-time traffic recommendations and travel routes based on video and image recognition technologies. A trial in Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan district last September yielded positive results. In areas that Alibaba Cloud was able to provide data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities, the traffic speed saw an 11 per cent increase. “By establishing the Hangzhou City Brain, the city is taking the lead in harnessing AI and deep learning technologies.” says Wang Jian, chairman of Alibaba’s technology steering committee. Hangzhou is also using smart digital technologies to provide its citizens with access to hospital appointments, parking lots and paying taxes. Source: South China Morning Post


Xu Lyushan, “Civil sector can boost PLA's modernization”, China Daily, March 20, 2017 Martin wolf, “China and the US: an odd couple doomed to co-operation”, The Financial times, March 21, 2017 Nate Brown, “The Communist Global Governance Takeover; China Set to Take the Leadership Role of the New Global Human Order”, Christian Truther, March 20, 2017 Alice Wu, “Another leadership election in Hong Kong, another bureaucrat in charge – and five more years of the same”, China Daily, March 20, 2017 Lawrence J. Lau,“From the economy to judicial reform, China is settling into a ‘new normal’”, South China Morning Post, March 15, 2017 Jianguang Shen, “Opinion: Unexpected Trade Deficit Reveals Strong Rebound in Investment Demand”, Caixin, March 15, 2017 Edward Tse, “Technology will change land use in Hong Kong – and it’s about time the government caught on”, South China Morning Post, March 14, 2017


  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Swagata Saha
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