MonitorsPublished on Mar 18, 2016
China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 10


Hong Kong sovereignty 'impossible', says China official

A senior Chinese official has said it is "impossible" for Hong Kong to become a sovereign state. It comes days after an article in a university newspaper called for the United Nations to recognise as Hong Kong as a separate country by 2047. Hong Kong has certain rights enshrined in its mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which came into effect in 1997 when the UK handed it over to China. It guarantees the "one country, two systems" principle for 50 years. Qiao Xiaoyang, head of China's parliamentary law committee, was addressing queries from reporters on Wednesday as the annual meeting of China's parliamentary National People's Congress drew to a close. Asked what he thought of calls for Hong Kong's independence, Mr Qiao responded saying it was "impossible" and asked: "How could Hong Kong be independent?"

Source(s): BBC, March 17, 2016

China opens water supply to drought-stricken Mekong countries

China said on March 16 it will release water from a dam on the Lancang river to help drought-stricken countries, including Vietnam, a move experts believe will significantly improve China's relations with Mekong river countries, as well as hasten a cooperation mechanism. The water will be released from March 17 to April 10 from China's Jinghong Dam, benefiting Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, Lu Kang, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs told a daily news briefing. The decision was made after Vietnam asked China to discharge more water from the hydropower station in Southwest China's Yunnan Province to help it overcome drought in the Mekong Delta, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Source(s): Global Times, March 16, 2016

China welcomes Azerbaijan as SCO dialogue partner

China welcomed Azerbaijan as a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).  Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in a meeting with his counterpart of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammedyarov on March 14, who signed a memorandum in Beijing with SCO Secretary-General Rashid Olimov marking the partnership.  Wang said he believed Azerbaijan would work with other SCO member states and observers to carry forward the Shanghai spirit.  The two sides also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on construction of the Belt and Road. Founded in 2001, the SCO consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers.

Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, March 15, 2016

China eyes maritime judicial centre

China will create an "international maritime judicial center" to help protect its sovereignty and rights at sea, China's top judge said on March 13. In a work report at the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress, Chief Justice Zhou Qiang said courts across China were working to implement a national strategy to develop China into a "maritime power." "(We) must resolutely safeguard China's national sovereignty, maritime rights and other core interests," he said. "(We) must improve the work of maritime courts and build an international maritime judicial center." According to the chief justice, some 16,000 maritime cases were heard by Chinese courts last year, the most in the world. The country is also home to the largest number of maritime courts in the world, he added. Earlier reports said some 225,000 cases involving over 70 countries and regions had been handled by China's maritime courts from 1984.

Source(s): Global Times, March 14, 2016


Hong Kong, Macau likely to be integrated with nine mainland provinces

The State Council has proposed a “9+2” strategy that will create an enlarged Greater Pearl River Delta zone with coverage of Hong Kong, Macau and nine southern mainland provinces in a vision that will deepen economic, social, technological and infrastructure integration, according to a guidance document it released on Tuesday.On top of Hong Kong and Macau, the nine provinces that will make up the mainland side of the “9+2” ning from the coastal east to the inland west include Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan. Collectively, the region covers a third of the population and one-third in economic output in China.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, March 15, 2016

Final session ends in agreement

The National People's Congress 2016 sessions closed on Wednesday, after deputies approved a number of important documents along with the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20). The documents include the Government Work Report, the central budget and work reports from the national top court and the country's top procuratorate. With the ongoing crackdown on corruption and an increased awareness of the rule of law, the work of the two judicial bodies - the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate - has received more support from the legislators. Fewer lawmakers voted against their reports than the previous year.

Source(s): China Daily, March 17, 2016

Chinese government adviser attacks rise in censorship

A Chinese university professor at the centre of a row over free speech has spoken out again about growing censorship. Last week internet censors purged an interview given to a leading Chinese magazine by Jiang Hong, a government adviser and academic. The magazine, Caixin, subsequently challenged the government over the incident, in a rare rebuke to the Communist party’s attempts to control the media. Days later an employee at China’s news and propaganda agency Xinhua criticised censors’ “crude” and “extreme” violations of online freedom of expression.

Source(s): BBC, March 16, 2016


China records sharp fall in new yuan bank lending

New yuan bank loans fell sharply on the mainland last month, amounting to less than one-third of January’s total, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) late on March 11. Aggregate social financing also shrank, the central bank said. After an all-time new bank credit high of 2.51 trillion yuan (US$386 billion or HK$2.99 trillion) in January, banks extended just 726.6 billion yuan in new yuan loans last month, while total social financing fell to 780.2 billion yuan – a sharp drop even when factoring in the Lunar New Year.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, March 11, 2016

China’s consumer price inflation rises 2.3%

China’s consumer price inflation rose higher than expected in February, thanks to a surge in food prices during the Lunar New Year holiday – but economists say the upward trend is unlikely to sustain. The producer price index extended its falling streak to 48 months – though at a slower pace – as manufacturing enterprises are still trapped in heavy debts and falling profitability amid sluggish demand. The consumer price index rose 2.3 per cent last month from the same month last year, hitting the highest since August 2014, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on March 10.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, March 10, 2016


Breakthrough in 'man-made sun' research

An artificial sun experiment developed by Hefei Institute of Physical Science of the Chinese Academy of Science, has successfully realized UHT long pulse plasma discharge at a temperature of more than 50 million degrees. As of January, the duration of the discharge was 102 seconds. This is the longest discharge at such a high temperature, which marks an important breakthrough in artificial sun research."An artificial sun can provide limitless clean energy through controlled thermonuclear fusion," said XuJiannan, a researcher at the China Academy of Engineering Physics.

Source(s): China Daily, March 17, 2016

Beijing seen as making improvement in curbing illegal online lending to housing market

Beijing got off to a successful start in its efforts to stem illegal fund flows to the sizzling property market as 17 peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms suspended loans for down payments on property.The suspensions come just two days after China’s central bank announced plans to crack down on illegal lending to homebuyers. According to, an online consultancy tracking operations of the mainland’s P2P companies, on March 17 companies halted lending to those who seek loans for down payments.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, March 15, 2016


  1. Andrew C Marshall, “Led by China, Mekong nations take on Golden Triangle narco-empire”, Reuters, March 17, 2016
  2. Michelle Price and Engen Tham , “Chinese hedge funds scramble as regulators clean up 'Wild East'”, Reuters, March 17, 2016
  3. “China Needs a New Commitment to Economic Reform”, Bloomberg, March 16, 2016
  4. Didi Kirsten Tatlow, “Delegates Endorse China’s 5-Year Plan but Resist Saying Much Else”, The New York Times, March 16, 2016
  5. Laura Zhou, “China’s gated communities: symbols of privilege reflect a history of exclusivity”, South China Morning Post, March 15, 2016
  6. Manish Bapna, “Golden opportunity to embrace green growth”, China Daily, March 16, 2016


  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Swagata Saha
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