MonitorsPublished on Feb 22, 2017
China Weekly Report | Vol. VII Issue 7


Korean Peninsula set to be more volatile

The situation on the Korean Peninsula may become more unpredictable with North Korea’s economy expected to be hit hard by a Chinese ban on buying its coal, and as the United States and South Korea prepare for joint military drills. These could push the reclusive state into further provocations, observers said. The ban, announced on February 18 signals that Beijing is joining other nations in the region in the effort to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear missile development. The Ministry of Commerce said China would suspend all imports of coal from North Korea for the rest of the year, in accordance with existing United Nations sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programme. Source: Global Times

China, Afghanistan vow more cooperation

China and Afghanistan vowed to deepen cooperation on February 18. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the 53rd Munich Security Conference in Germany.  Both Wang and Ghani valued the development of the relations between the two Asian neighbors, saying bilateral ties have a solid foundation and grow in right direction.  China, Wang said, appreciated the firm attitude adopted by the Afghan government in its fight against the extreme terrorist group of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). China supported Afghanistan's reconciliation process and was willing to deepen cooperation with Afghanistan, Wang said. Ghani stressed that the Afghan government firmly opposes terrorism and will fight the ETIM terrorist force resolutely.The Afghan President also expressed his willingness to deepen cooperation with China in the areas like connectivity under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Source: Global Times

Beijing warns India over visiting Taiwan delegation

China has lodged a strong complaint with India over a rare visit by a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation, warning New Delhi to follow one-China policy and refrain from any official contacts with Taipei. Sharply criticising the visit, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shung said Beijing had lodged a “solemn representation” with New Delhi to not have any official contact with Taiwan. Beijing has always opposed any kind of official contact between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with China, he said. Geng spoke against any proposal to upgrade India-Taiwan ties, and warned India to be strict about following the one-China policy and be “prudent” about its ties with Taiwan. India has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The de facto Indian embassy in Taipei is called the India-Taipei Association and the Taiwanese maintain the Taipei Economic Cultural Center in New Delhi. A three-member parliamentary delegation from Taiwan arrived in India on February 13 for a three-day visit. The leader of the delegation, Kuan Bi-Ling, said Taiwan is “totally independent”. Source: South China Morning Post


Chinese President calls for broad-brush strategy on national security

President Xi Jinping on Friday called for an all-inclusive approach to national security to encompass areas ranging from politics to territorial integrity. At a meeting yesterday of the Communist Party’s National Security Commission, which Xi heads, the president also called for stronger efforts to prevent major industrial incidents. “The major task of national security work now and in the ­future is to cover areas related to politics, the economy, territory, society and the internet, among others,” Xi said. The meeting was attended by top party, government and military officials as well as Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang, two of the commission’s deputy heads. Xi also said efforts must be made to strengthen transport safety, fire prevention and the storage of dangerous chemicals to prevent big industrial accidents. Poor regulation and oversight have contributed to numerous major industrial accidents on the mainland in recent years. Xi also called for more materials, equipment, personnel, law and institutional support to be directed towards national security work. Source: South China Morning Post

Self-discipline focus of CPCC workshop

Provincial and ministerial officials attending a four-day workshop have been told to strictly practice self-discipline and safeguard the authority of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. During the workshop, which ended on Thursday, attendees sharpened understanding of various remarks by President Xi Jinping and of the comprehensive and strict governance of the Party. "Leading officials should strengthen their political capability, fortify their political ideals, uphold political direction, be steadfast in their stance and strictly observe political rules," Xi said at the opening session of the workshop on Monday. Such workshops date back to late in the last century and are now part of the CPC routine. In 1999, a financial seminar at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee was attended by provincial and ministerial officials. Source: China Daily

Prosecutors investigating hospital malpractice

Prosecutors in eastern China's Zhejiang and Shandong provinces are investigating recent hospital malpractice that caused infections, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate Friday. The procuratorate said that it had been closely watching the latest developments in the investigation and asked for early intervention by local prosecuting departments to help police objectively collect evidence. In early February, five people were found infected with HIV after a technician at Zhejiang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital reused pipettes on separate patients, according to Zhejiang provincial health and family planning commission. In Shandong, a total of nine patients were infected by hepatitis B in January after medical staff at the hospital's hemodialysis unit were negligent. Source: China Daily


China’s first mutual insurer opens

China’s first mutual insurer has opened in Beijing, representing a step toward the country’s goal of diversifying its insurance industry. Zhonghui Property Mutual Insurance, with initial working capital of 1 billion yuan ($146 million) from 12 founding members, will offer credit insurance to small and midsize enterprises plus short-term health and personal accident insurance, according to a statement published on the website of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). Zhonghui Property is one of the three mutual insurance associations that won approval from the CIRC in June. The other two, Xinmei Life Mutual Insurance and Huiyou Jiangong Mutual Insurance, are waiting for the commission’s final review before starting business, according to a source close to the CIRC. Xinmei Life will focus on long-term pension and health-insurance policies, while Huiyou Jiangong will specialize in insurance protection for the construction industry, according to the CIRC. Mutual insurance associations are set up with a cooperative structure and entirely owned and managed by policyholders. Source: Caixin

Hays survey expects more, better-paid Chinese jobs in 2017

Half of employers in China, 56 per cent, plan to raise salaries in 2017 by at least 6 per cent as signs emerge that the economy is on a firmer footing, an international industry survey revealed on February 17. Britain-based recruiting consultancy firm Hays says 45 per cent of Chinese employers expected to increase salaries between 6 and 10 per cent, the highest rises in Asia for the third year running. This year’s 56 per cent figure is unchanged from last year and compares with 63 per cent in 2015. About 49 per cent of employers in China expect to increase their permanent headcount, up five percentage points from a year ago. However, 11 per cent said they planned to cut their payrolls, down from 14 per cent, while 41 per cent said they expected headcounts to remain unchanged. The survey found 11 per cent of employers in China will be awarded more than 10 per cent rises, while 51 per cent of employees surveyed said they are expecting a rise more than that. Source: South China Morning Post


China open, active in technology cooperation

China will continue to be open and active in its technological cooperation on the world stage, the Ministry of Science and Technology said on February 16. In June, Beijing will host the Eighth Clean Energy Ministerial, followed by the Fifth BRICS Science and Innovation Ministerial in July, said Ye Dongbai, the ministry's director of international cooperation. In addition, dialogue on innovation and technology will be held with Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Israel and other countries this year to facilitate practical cooperation, Ye said. "International cooperation in science and technology can increase China's global influence, promote breakthroughs in scientific and industrial bottlenecks, and create a friendly environment to facilitate economic reform," he said. Beijing has established cooperative ties in science and technology with 158 countries and regions, inking 111 intergovernmental agreements, he added. It has also joined more than 200 intergovernmental organizations dedicated to boosting such cooperation, as well as sending 146 technology diplomats to 71 Chinese embassies and consulates abroad. Source: China Daily

2,000-year-old seeds found in ancient Chinese tomb

More than 100 plant seeds dating back 2,000 years have been unearthed from an ancient tomb in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, archaeologists said. According to the regional institute of archaeology, the discovery was made during the excavation of a civilian tomb, dating between the middle and late Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 25 A.D.) and early Eastern Han Dynasty (25 A.D. - 220 A.D.), in Dengkou County, western Inner Mongolia. The half-moon-shaped seeds were found on the east side of the female tomb owner's head. They gathered in a round shape with a diameter of eight centimeters. They look like modern pomegranate seeds, but archaeologists have not concluded what they are. A rusted bronze seal was also found in the same tomb. Further 18 single-chamber brick tombs were also unearthed. Scattered among sand dunes, the tombs were not well preserved, with most of their tops being exposed to air. Source: Xinhua

Didi Chuxing unveils international division as part of global push       

Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing company has restructured its business to include an international business unit as it eyes further overseas expansion this year. In a statement on February 17, Didi’s founder and chief executive Cheng Wei as well as Didi president Jean Liu Qing announced that the company establishment of its international business division will also allow it to explore “new models for internationalisation”. “In the next five years, Didi will grow beyond a mobility service to become the world’s leading automotive network operator and a leader in new transportation technologies, as we embrace and lead the transformation of the global transportation and automotive industries,” Cheng and Liu jointly said in the announcement. Following the acquisition of Uber China last year, Liu had stated that Didi aspired to be a global company, and may directly compete in markets where there are no strong local ride-sharing companies. Prior to merging with Uber China, Didi formed an alliance with ride-sharing companies in other regions, including Southeast Asia’s Grab, India’s Ola as well as Uber’s main US rival Lyft, in which all members agreed to share technology, local knowledge and business resources to battle Uber, which had entered various markets worldwide. Didi also poured US$100 million into Lyft, and invested in Grab and Ola. Source: South China Morning Post


  1. Jeffrey Ordaniel, “Beyond unilateralism in South China Sea FONOPs”, East Asia Forum, February 18,
  2. 2017Geeta Anand, “India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest”, New York Times, February 14,
  3. 2017Richard Wong, “Chief executive elections and Hong Kong’s political left”, South China Morning Post,
  4. February 14, 2017“High-price cigarettes sign that gift-giving corruption is back”, China Daily, February 17,
  5. 2017Shi Lei, “Financial Industry Faces ‘Inventory’ Problem in China”, Caixin, February 17, 2017“Politicizing
  6. economic affairs generates no fruit”, China Daily, February 17, 2017Martin Williams, “As attacks on climate
  7. science intensify, we must all work hard to protect our living planet”, South China Morning Post, February 17, 2017


  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • SwagataSaha
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