MonitorsPublished on Mar 08, 2017
China Weekly Report | Vol. VII Issue 8


China advocates ‘BRICS+’ model of open cooperation

BRICS members should launch more outreach dialogue to benefit more parties with their cooperation, foster a "BRICS+" model of open cooperation, and set up a more broad-based South-South cooperation platform for the common development of emerging market economies and developing countries, State Councilor Yang Jiechi said recently as he expressed China's expectations towards the bloc.  Yang made the remarks at the First Sherpa Meeting of the 9th BRICS Summit in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province on February 23. "The 2017 BRICS Summit will be held from September 3-5 in Xiamen in East China's Fujian Province," the councilor declared to the world at the meeting. The theme of this year's event will be "BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future." Source: Global times

China hopes Nepal could become member of B&R Initiative soon

Chinese Ambassador Yu Hong said on February 28 that China is hoping Nepal will soon become member of the Belt and Road Initiative. The ambassador made such remarks while addressing the 14th Annual General Meeting of the Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Nepalese capital. "China and Nepal are negotiating to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on jointly promoting the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. We hope Nepal will become a member of the circle of friends for the Belt and Road," Ambassador Yu said.  The ambassador said that as many as 100 countries have expressed their intention to support and jointly contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative while over 40 countries and international organizations of the world have signed cooperation agreement with China for jointly building the Belt and Road. Addressing the function, Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who is also in charge of finance, said the Nepal government wants to enhance economic relationship with China. Calling it a great opportunity for Nepal to enhance connectivity with China and rest of the world, former Secretary of Nepalese government Purushottam Ojha said Nepal can reap benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative. Source: Global times

Syria war: Russia and China veto sanctions

It is the seventh time Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to protect the Syrian government. China has also vetoed six Security Council resolutions on Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under an agreement negotiated between Russia and the US. The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad is accused of carrying out chemical attacks on its own civilians - a charge it denies. However, investigations by the UN and international chemical weapons watchdog have found that Syrian government forces carried out three chemical weapons attacks in 2014 and 2015. The resolution had been drafted by the US, the UK and France. It would have banned the sale of helicopters to Syria and would have led to sanctions against 11 Syrian commanders or officials, and 10 groups linked to the chemical attacks. Nine Security Council members supported the resolution, while three - China, Russia and Bolivia - voted against it. The final three members - Egypt, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia - abstained. Source: BBC


Calls for Hong Kong independence will lead nowhere, warns China’s premier

The Chinese premier Li Keqiang has for the first time publicly condemned the notion of Hong Kong independence in his annual work report, warning that the movement would “lead nowhere”. It was the first time “Hong Kong independence” has been mentioned in the annual government report delivered by the premier. Li also said that Beijing was committed to the principle of one country, two systems in Hong Kong and that the framework would be applied without being “bent or distorted”. Li’s comments came as he gave details of his work report to the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People on Sunday, which included the central government’s plan to develop a “city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area”. Hong Kong was rocked with controversy last October after two pro-independence lawmakers Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-Ching pledged allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation” and used an insulting term for China as they were sworn in at the Legislative Council. Source: South China Morning Post

China's top political advisory body starts annual session

China's top political advisory body started its annual session in Beijing, ushering in a political high season that will continue with the opening of the country's top legislature Sunday. Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, delivered a work report to more than 2,000 political advisors who gathered to discuss major political, economic and social issues in the world's most populous nation and second-largest economy.  Top Communist Party of China and state leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended the opening meeting at the Great Hall of the People. Source: China Daily

Supervisory body to strengthen fight against red tape, extravagance

The government will redouble efforts against extravagance and bureaucracy this year, head of China's top supervision authority said. Yang Xiaodu, minister of supervision, said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Fifth Session of the 12th National People's Congress that the authorities will boost measures against red tape and excessive spending. According to data issued by the disciplinary organizations in February, more than 300 department-level officials from central government bodies received disciplinary punishment in 2016. Of the 304, 126 were punished for violating the "eight-point" guidelines against bureaucracy and extravagance. "We'll also pay attention this year to lower-level corrupt officials, or flies, whom the public often complains about," Yang said. In addition, he said a pilot program of supervisory commissions has been established on a trial basis in Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces, adding that it contributes to accumulating experience for pushing forward the anti-graft legislation. Source: China Daily


Survey suggests dimming of China’s investment luster

Profit reinvesting in China by foreign and domestic companies operating in the nations factory-heavy south is forecast to fall this year, highlighting a possible waning of the Asian giant’s competitive edge, according to a survey by a U.S. business promoter. Planned asset purchases with profits from previous investments are projected to decline 4.12% in 2017 year-on-year to $12.57 billion among 230 firms — about 60% foreign-linked and 30% Chinese — responding to a survey released March 1 by the American Chamber of Commerce in South China (AmCham South China).The projection, based on the polled companies’ 2017 budget forecasts, contrasts sharply with an 8.79% increase in reinvestment planned by those responding to a similar AmCham survey last year. The latest findings were included in the 2017 White Paper on the Business Environment in China that detected “for the first time” a shifting of company funds from southern China to other markets, suggesting slippage for China’s competitiveness as a global investment target. Source: Caixin

Yuan falls to seven-week low as US dollar strengthens ahead of Yellen’s policy speech

The yuan fell to its weakest level since January 16, approaching the 6.9 threshold as the US dollar soared up ahead of Federal Reserve chairwomen Janet Yellen’s speech tonight. The onshore yuan in Shanghai fell 114 points or 0.2 per cent to 6.8982 against the US dollar by 10.15am. At one point it touched the lowest level since January 16, 6.8983. The offshore yuan in Hong Kong also slid to 6.8974 per dollar, down 87 points or 0.1 per cent. People’s Bank of China continued to set the yuan reference rate weaker, to its three-week low at 6.8896 against the US dollar this morning, down 87 points or 0.1 per cent. DXY, the US dollar index that tracks a basket of six rival currencies, stood firmly at its seven-week high, breaking above the 102 threshold. “Recent Fed speakers have made the March meeting more than ‘live’, in fact fed funds futures indicate that a March rate rise has become the market’s base case in only a few days, with the implied probability now at 90 per cent,” Michael Every, head of financial markets research for Asia-Pacific at Rabobank International. Source: South China Morning Post


China to launch space station core module in 2018

China will launch a space station core module in 2018 as the first step in completing the country's first space outpost, according to a senior engineer with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) on March 2. The core module of the space station, named "Tianhe-1" according to previous reports, will be launched on board a new-generation Long March-5 heavyweight carrier rocket, said Bao Weimin, director with CASC and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). It will be followed by a series of launches for other components of the space station, including two space labs, which will dock with the core module while in space, in the next four years or so, he said, adding that the space station will be completed around 2022. Assembly of the core module has already been completed and tests are currently under way, said Bao, who is in Beijing for the annual session of China's top political advisory body. Source: Xinhua

Young Chinese consumers driving online sales of imported products

The online shopping spree for imported goods is spreading to lower-tier cities in mainland China as younger consumers emerge as the main force for the upper end of retail consumption, according to an industry report. Last year, 56.3 per cent of new consumers that shopped at Tmall Global, the cross-border e-commerce platform of technology behemoth Alibaba Group Holding, were born after 1988, CBN Data and Tmall Global said in a recent report. In comparison, this age group accounted for 41.4 per cent of its existing consumers. The growth of younger consumers was more apparent in third- to fourth- tier cities than those in higher-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, the report said. Consumers from third- and lower-tier cities made up 31.4 per cent of new consumers while their share for existing consumers was 24.1 per cent. “Young Chinese consumers are showing an apparent preference for health-care and trendy products,” Liu Peng, general manager of Tmall Global, said in Shanghai on March 1. He noted that there had been strong growth in categories such as fresh food, red wine, pet products and daily necessities, besides the traditional enthusiasm for baby-care and health-care products. Source: South China Morning Post


Wang Ming , “Role of top political advisors in policymaking< style="font-size: 16px">”, China Daily, March 3, 2017 Zhuang Pinghui, “The official (and unofficial) reasons why China’s big shots are meeting in Beijing this week”, South China Morning Post, March 2, 2017 Wang Jin, “Why China's Influence Over North Korea Is Limited”, The Diplomat, March 2, 2017
  1. Raja Mohan , “Fruits of patience”, The Indian Express, The Times of India, February 28, 2017
Hu Shuli, “Editorial: Boosting Protections for Property Rights Is Need of the Hour”, Caixin, March 2, 2017 Spotlight: Growing foreign cooperation attests China's commitment to opening-up”, Xinhua, March 2, 2017 Liu Chang, Zhai Xiang and Cheng Zhuo, “China Focus: China's design innovations bring "New Culture" to life”, Xinhua, March 2, 2017


  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • SwagataSaha
The views expressed above belong to the author(s). ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content — blogs, longforms and interviews.