MonitorsPublished on Mar 14, 2017
China Weekly Report | Vol. VII Issue 9


Parliament delegates call for ‘warm bums’, less western influence, more local cuisine

Doubling China’s Lunar New Year break, labelling Chinese cuisine an “intangible cultural heritage” and restricting foreign influence in schools are among the patriotic recommendations made by delegates at this year’s meeting of the Chinese parliament. Many of the 3,000 delegates from across China currently in Beijing for the 10-day meeting of the National People’s Congress, came armed with proposals for the top leadership. The hundreds of recommendations have only a tiny chance of being adopted, as most of the real decision making takes place throughout the year during regular meetings of the Standing Committee, the apex of power in China. The NPC is seen largely as a rubber stamp group. But presenting ideas at the high-profile event gives delegates a rare chance to bend the ears of the top brass or simply raise the profile of their pet issue. Many of the proposals are imbued with patriotism, make recommendations for how to raise China’s international standing or focus on resolving the nation’s social issues. Source: South China Morning Post

Push to absorb Taiwan ‘is growing’ on mainland

Voices calling for legislation to reunite with Taiwan by force are ­rising on the mainland amid mounting cross-strait tensions, a top mainland Taiwan affairs ­adviser warned. Li Yihu, dean of Peking University’s Taiwan Studies Institute, said the mainland side saw Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen administration as trying to promote independence through tactical approaches, including culture and education and the appointment of pro-independence judges in 2019 to initiate constitutional interpretations. Before passage of the Anti-Secession law in 2005, mainland academics and NPC delegates had been pushing for a “national unification law” for a forced reunification with Taiwan. Premier Li Keqiang said in his policy report at the opening of the NPC session on Sunday that Beijing would “absolutely not accept anyone separating Taiwan from China in any way, shape or form”. Source: South China Morning Post

Top legislature begins deliberating civil law draft

National lawmakers will start deliberating the draft general provisions of civil law, which, if adopted, will bring the country one step closer to a long-absent civil code. With the draft submitted to the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, the country is nearing the end of its crucial first step toward a civil code: laying down basic principles. Last year, the draft went through three readings at the bi-monthly sessions of the NPC Standing Committee. It is rare for a draft law not to be passed after three readings. After the adoption of the general provisions, separate civil laws on property and contract, among others, will be integrated into a unified code. According to the legislation plan, the code will be enacted in 2020. Compiling a civil code, dubbed as "an encyclopedia on social life" which regulates personal and property relations, will help "better protect the people's immediate interests, improve state governance, maintain market order, ensure trading security, and promote the sound development of socialist market economy," says an explanation of the NPC Standing Committee on the draft. Source: China Daily


China offers fresh aid to Afghanistan to assist refugees

China on Thursday offered 100 million US dollars to assist the Afghan refugees and returnees and further boost bilateral ties with the neighbouring country. The announcement came as nearly 1 million Afghan refugees returned to their homeland within the past one year while nearly the same number was forced to flee their houses due to ongoing conflicts. The latest fund for Afghan refugees will be channeled through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and would be rendered to the refugees. Earlier on March 9 Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Yao Jing joined Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Affairs Sayed Hossein Alimi Balkhi and Fathiaa Abdalla, country representative of the UNHCR, to distribute assistance to more than 330 refugee families in eastern side of Kabul. Minister Balkhi expressed gratitude to China and other stakeholders for their assistance to the Afghan refugees and displaced families. Source: Global Times

India, Pakistan to become full SCO members

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is expected to officially embrace India and Pakistan as full members at the upcoming summit in June in the capital of Kazakhstan, the secretary general of the organization confirmed. The SCO Summit will be held on June 8 and 9 in Astana, when welcoming its seventh and eighth member nations would be a key item on the agenda, Rashid Alimov said, according to a post on the SCO Sina Weibo account on  March 8. Conflicts between India and Pakistan are expected to mitigate following their accession, Li Xing, director of the Eurasian Studies Center at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times. The non-military organization will connect countries through national strategies, such as China-initiated Belt and Road initiative, the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, as well as South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation which is led by India, Li said. Source: Global Times


Trade, investment with China benefit US: Ministry

Economic relations with China have brought substantial benefits to the United States, creating jobs and profits for US businesses, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on March 9. China is not the sole beneficiary of Sino-US economic ties, which are win-win by nature, MOC spokesperson Sun Jiwen told a press briefing. He noted that exports of goods from the United States to China had risen by an annual average of 11 percent in the past decade, making China its fastest-growing export market outside North America. From 2001 to 2016, US exports of services to China increased 15 fold, with the US service trade surplus rising 29 fold, he said. In addition, trade and investment with China supported roughly 2.6 million jobs in the United States in 2015, said Sun, citing statistics from the US-China Business Council. As of the end of 2016, non-financial investment in the United States by Chinese enterprises amounted to around $50 billion, which provided nearly 100,000 jobs across 44 states, according to Sun. Source: China Daily

China’s new credit drops to 1.15 trillion yuan

China’s broadest measure of new credit dropped in February from a record high a month earlier mainly because of intensified regulation over shadow banking and bond-market instability. Total social financing (TSF) — which includes conventional bank lending and other forms of financing such as bond and equity issuance, trust loans and entrusted loans — dropped to 1.15 trillion yuan ($166.3 billion) in February from a record 3.74 trillion yuan in January, according to data released March 9 by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). One of the main factors of the decline was the dramatic drop in shadow-banking financing. In February, net capital raised through these channels, including trust loans, entrusted loans and undiscounted bankers acceptances, was 51.6 billion yuan, according to central bank data. In January, shadow-banking fundraising was 1.2 trillion yuan. The drop in shadow-banking financing was mainly due to the stepped-up efforts by regulators to control the general credit risk exposures off-balance-sheet assets, said Wen Bin, chief researcher at China Minsheng Bank. Source: Caixin


Smart tourism plan to focus on digital technologies

The top tourism authority has introduced new initiatives to support transportation and promote digital technologies to ensure the travel and leisure industries keep pace with changing consumer trends and advances in technology. The China National Tourism Administration released its five-year plan on smart tourism on March 7, which states that all 4A and 5A-rated scenic spots in China will be able to provide online booking services, electronic tour guides and free Wi-Fi to all tourists by 2020. In addition, tour buses, cruise ships and scenic spots with large numbers of tourists will have real-time monitoring systems set up to address security concerns. Xue Yaping, spokesman for the administration, said the plan was drafted due to the changing habits of tourists. "China has entered a new era of mass tourism. By 2020, the number of overall visits made each year by Chinese tourists is expected to reach 6.7 billion," Xue said. According to the plan, digital technologies will be adopted to improve tourists' experiences, from smart hotels offering check-in via mobile devices to real-time collection of tourist data for tailoring personalized hotel or sightseeing services. Source: China Daily

Virtual reality flashes at China's 'two sessions'

Journalists covering the annual sessions of China's national legislature and top political advisory body are attracted by some virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) products. The products are on show at the ground floor of the hotel where the press center for the two sessions is located. The exhibition was set up by China Today Net Television, whose executive director Wen Zhi hopes to transform video reporting into VR reporting. "Chinese businesses may not have the technology of Western companies, but we can produce high-quality content," he said. "It is obvious that journalists are willing to try different kinds of media including text, video, audio and live online. VR should be the next step," Wen said. AR/VR industries are emerging in China. The eastern city of Nanchang launched a VR industrial base last year with an angel fund of 1 billion yuan (145 million U.S. dollars), and the VR firms will be supported by 10 billion yuan of investment. City mayor Guo An, a national lawmaker, acknowledges that VR could change people's lives like the Internet and smartphone. "We have established a complete industrial chain with more than 50 enterprises and organizations." Source: Xinhua


Alex Lo, “What Hong Kong really lacks is an effective leader< style="font-size: 16px">”, South China Morning Post, March 10, 2017 “US military remains dominant in Asia, but China is catching up”, The Times of India, March 7, 2017 Adam Cathcar, “Why North Korea doesn't trust China an inch”, NewZealand Herald, March 9, 2017 Yukon Huang, “Opinion: Beijing, Washington Face Similar Economic Challenges”, Caixin, March 8, 2017 News Analysis: China's economy poised to see enormous dynamism: experts”, Xinhua, March 9, 2017 The drawbacks of keeping cyberspace under lock and key”, South China Morning Post, March 9, 2017 Will Koulouris, “Interview: China's science and technology sector on the rise: expert”, Xinhua, March 6, 2017


  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Swagata Saha
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