MonitorsPublished on Feb 13, 2017
China Weekly Report | Vol. VII Issue 6


Army in Beijing stop providing paid services to civilians

Military forces in Beijing will no longer provide paid services, including medical treatment, education, scientific research, warehousing, publishing, and literature and art related services and products to civilians. The aim is to keep the military focused on their main task of fighting. The measure is part of a national campaign, proposed by President Xi Jinping back in 2015, to stop all compensable services offered by troops and armed police in the country within three years. Paid services for civilians have been backed by surplus military assets, and the income has been designed to enrich funds for troops, improve the efficiency of surplus resources, and polish the skills of military professionals. Economists say at present 90% of patients consulting military hospitals are civilians. But as business expanded, the armed forces found themselves pouring more and more energy into making money, which led in some cases to corruption and got in the way of regular training. Source: China Daily

Government websites improve information disclosure

Government websites has improved information disclosure on significant policies in the fourth quarter last year, according to a notice released by the State Council. This was part of the results of a recent checkup on government websites nationwide by the office for governmental information disclosure under the State Council General Office. The authorities sampled 7,535 government websites run by local governments and 71 State Council departments, accounting for 16 percent of the country’s government websites. Results showed 91 percent of these sites met basic standards for information disclosure, up by 9.5 percentage points from the first quarter of 2016. Results also showed that 97.2 percent of websites run by departments under the State Council were qualified to disclose information, as were 90.8 percent of local governments’ websites. And 97 percent of unqualified sites found in the checkup for last year’s third quarter were rectified or shut down, the notice said. Source: China Daily

China aims to relocate 3.4 million people in 2017 to tackle poverty

China plans to relocate 3.4 million people from poverty-stricken communities to more developed areas this year as part of its poverty reduction drive, according to government sources. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's economic planner, said 2.49 million people living in poverty had been relocated in 2016, meeting the target for the year. By the end of 2016, there were relocation projects in 22 provinces, which include housing, infrastructure and public services, Yang Qian, an official with the NDRC said. Local authorities are also exploring supportive industries, employment and social security for the relocated people. China has vowed to lift all of its poor out of poverty by 2020. Alleviating poverty through relocation is one aspect of the strategy. By the end of 2016, there were 45 million people living in poverty, many in areas without roads, clean drinking water or power. Source: China Daily


China to store all foreigners’ fingerprints upon entry

All foreigners will soon have to give their fingerprints upon entering China, with the new rule taking effect at Shenzhen’s airport. The move, aimed at improving border checks, would see China collecting the fingerprints of all foreigners aged between 14 and 70 entering the country, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website. The new regulation will start on Friday at Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, among other locations, before being gradually rolled out at all checkpoints across the country. The information would then be stored for official use, the statement said. It did not elaborate on whether the information would shared across ministries and other government agencies. Foreigners using diplomatic passports and visas will not have to provide their fingerprints. Chinese citizens from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were not considered foreigners, a Shenzhen border authority official said. Source: South China Morning Post

China expels South Korean missionaries amid missile defence tension

China has expelled 32 South Korean Christian missionaries, a South Korean government official said on Saturday, amid diplomatic tension between the two countries over the planned deployment of a US missile defence system in the South. The 32 were based in China’s northeastern Yanji region near the border with North Korea, many of whom had worked there for more than a decade, South Korean media reported. South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Friday it briefed Christian groups on the case of the missionaries, adding that they were expelled in January. The ministry advised the groups on the importance of complying with the laws and customs of the areas where they work, it said. In South Korea, China is widely believed to be retaliating against Seoul’s plan to host the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system of the US military, against the threat of missile attacks from North Korea. Source: South China Morning Post


China’s export machine powers ahead in January despite Trump threats

China’s trade continued to show signs of improved recovery in both domestic and overseas demand in the first month of 2017 – much better than had been expected after widely held fears of disruption caused by US President Trump’s protectionist measures. Exports of Chinese merchandise jumped 7.9 per cent in January compared with a year earlier in dollar terms, beating the Bloomberg consensus of 3.2 per cent. “The exports were largely driven up by the strong economic recovery in the United States,” Hong Hao, chief strategist at BOCOM International in Hong Kong, said. China was not the only beneficiary, Hong said, citing the export improvements of South Korea. “The increase was also helped by the previous yuan depreciation, he said. Exports to the US jumped 9 per cent in January compared with the same month last year, while imports from the US – the world’s biggest economy – jumped 27.3 per cent, according to customs figures. Macro data are usually distorted by the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January this year, but in February last year. Source: South China Morning Post

China may lift fiscal revenue growth target for first time in five years

China may raise its target for fiscal revenue growth this year for the first time in five years, an official document shows, although the goal remains fairly conservative in the face of slowing economy growth. The central government has “estimated preliminarily” that national fiscal revenue will increase 5% this year, according to the annual budget report of the Finance Department of the central province of Hunan, published on its website this week. Beijing normally establishes key economic goals for the coming year at the Central Economic Work Conference in December. These then must be approved by the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, at its annual meeting in March before being officially announced. But occasionally the figure appears earlier on provincial documents. The 5% target for this year’s national fiscal revenue increase, if approved next month, would be higher than 2016’s goal of 3% and will mark the first time the government has raised the figure since 2012. Source: Caixin


Manzhouli land port, linking China with Europe, grows in 2016

China's largest land port of entry and exit, Manzhouli, saw robust growth of freight trains linking China and Europe in 2016, mainly due to the Belt and Road Initiative. In 2016, 1,036 cross-border freight trains went through the port, an increase of 88.24 percent year on year, carrying goods worth 3.6 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Manzhouli Customs. A total of 774 outbound trains, mainly loaded with electronic products and parts, apparel, household appliances and daily necessities, were launched in 2016, nearly double the same period the previous year. A total of 262 inbound freight trains, carrying items such as auto parts, passed Manzhouli port, up 83 percent year on year. The port has become increasingly busy since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes. Source: Xinhua

Cyber security vital for brand protection, say Hong Kong firms in survey

Three quarters of Hong Kong firms view cyber security as critical to protecting their brand, according to a recent study. The global survey commissioned by cyber security firm CA Technologies and conducted by Coleman Parkes found that 42 per cent of Hong Kong companies have seen an improvement in business growth as a result of taking steps to tighten online security. Employee productivity went up an average of 42 per cent, while customer satisfaction jumped 35 per cent. Company efficiency also increased, with 41 per cent of firms reporting that they saw an improvement in operational efficiency. The survey, conducted last year, included more than 1,700 senior business and IT executives ning 21 countries and 10 industry sectors. “A good, identity-centric security strategy enables a business to be confident on delivering great customer experiences, whilst mitigating risks and protecting the businesses,” said SK Cheung, director of CA Technologies Hong Kong. Strong IT security measures are imperative as the number of cyber threats to Hong Kong firms continues to grow, the company said. Source: South China Morning Post


Li Fangchao, “Phasing out outdated practices through advocacy< style="font-size: 16px">”, China Daily, February 11, 2017 Alex Lo, “US policy report on China will fall on deaf ears”, South China Morning Post, February 10, 2017 Amitendu Palit, “US' withdrawal from TPP creates new challenges”, China Daily, February 7, 2017 Liu Xinyong and Zheng Xin “Economic Watch: China draws red line around vital ecospace”, Xinhua, February 8, 2017 Opinion: Making the ‘Second-Best’ Choice”, Caixin, February 9, 2017  “Xinhua Insight: A zoologist's fight to save man and monkey”, Xinhua, February 9, 2017


  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Swagata Saha
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