MonitorsPublished on Jun 02, 2016
China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 18

< style="color: #0180b3;">FOREIGN AFFAIRS

< style="color: #163449;">China demonstrates great leadership to advance 2030 Agenda: Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on May 30 that China has demonstrated great leadership and made a remarkable commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  "I am pleased that China has pledged to eradicate poverty in the country by 2020, increase south-south cooperation, and focus on action to tackle climate change," Ban said in a recorded video statement for a symposium in Nyingchi, Tibet.  "China's 13th Five-Year Plan has integrated the 2030 Agenda in the country's overall social, economic and environmental planning," he said, "I welcome China's continued leadership to achieve the 2030 Agenda both at home and globally." The 2030 Agenda is a people-centered, universal, transformative and integrated plan. It recognises that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with economic growth and addressing a range of social needs, while tackling climate change. Source: Global Times, May 30, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">China, Bangladesh pledge to boost military exchange, deepen cooperation

China and Bangladesh on May 30 agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation during a meeting between visiting Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.  Bangladesh and China have long been working closely in various fields and the cooperation has yielded fruitful results, said the Bangladeshi Prime Minister. Bangladesh thanked China for supporting its economic development and national defense construction, said Hasina. Bangladesh is willing to further strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of economy, agriculture, infrastructure, among others, and jointly working on the building of the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, said Hasina. She expressed hope that the two armies would maintain the current positive momentum of cooperation and enhance cooperation and exchanges in all areas and levels so as to promote greater development of bilateral military relations. Source: Global Times, May 31, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">US Defence Secretary warns China against building ‘great wall of self-isolation’

China could be erecting “a great wall of self-isolation” with its increasingly provocative moves against its neighbours, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on May 27. Carter focused on the Asia-Pacific region during his commencement speech at the US Naval Academy. Carter said China wants and enjoys the benefits of free trade and a free internet, but sometimes chooses to restrict both. “The result is that China’s actions could erect a great wall of self-isolation as countries across the region — allies, partners and the unaligned — are voicing concerns publicly and privately at the highest levels, regional meetings and global forums,” Carter said. Source: South China Morning Post, May 28, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3;">POLITICS AND SOCIETY

< style="color: #163449;">Beijing tracks the elderly as they take buses, go shopping or visit the doctor

These days, when people over 80 in Beijing take a bus, see a doctor or spend money, their activities are digitally tracked by the government, as part of an effort to improve services for the country’s rapidly growing elderly population. The data amassed with each swipe of the multi-purpose “Beijing Connect” seniors card goes into a massive database of the elderly in the capital. City authorities hope the information will enable them to better cope with their burgeoning population of over-60s, which already stands at three million. Though geared toward the elderly, the programme demonstrates how China more broadly is using big data to better direct the use of government resources for the country’s 1.4 billion people. Source: South China Morning Post, May 30, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">Xi calls for better care of aging population

President Xi Jinping has called for better care for China's aging population. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks on Friday afternoon at a group study attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on the state and future of a graying society. He emphasised the importance of meeting the needs of the vast number of the elderly and solving social problems. With the world's largest number of senior citizens, China has improved elder care, Xi said. However, much remains to be done and there is a quite big gap between reality and elderly people's expectation of happy twilight years, he said. China has the largest number of aging population, thus careful handling of the issue holds a stake over the overall development of the nation and people's well-being, Xi said. Source: Global Times, May 29, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">Beijing’s warning to Taiwan if DPP shuns ‘one China’ principle

Relations between the mainland and Taiwan would face tension and turbulence if the island failed to recognise the “one China” principle, the mainland’s top official for cross-strait affairs warned a group of Taiwan business representatives in Beijing on Thursday. The remarks by Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, were Beijing’s latest in a series of blasts at Taipei since its Beijing-friendly Kuomintang government lost power to the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Yang Yujun, a defence ministry spokesman, said the People’s Liberation Army would “resolutely stem any form of separatist acts or attempts for Taiwan independence”. Source: South China Morning Post, May 26, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3;">ECONOMY

< style="color: #163449;">Beijing to push for G20 code on investment

Beijing aims to come up with a set of guiding principles for global investment when it hosts the G20 summit in Hangzhou in September. Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the goal on Thursday as he laid out the agenda for the summit. Analysts said the goal was part of Beijing’s efforts to position itself as a major international player reshaping rules in global trade and investment despite being excluded from deals such as the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership.Wang said there were roughly 3200 bilateral agreements on international investment and China would push for the G20 to define guiding principles for a global investment policy of its own. Source: South China Morning Post, May 27, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">SOE reform momentum to set tone for A-share market

When investors place their bets in the A-share market this week, one of the key factors they would weigh is the progress of the reform and restructuring of the country's loss-making State-owned enterprises, analysts said. Investors have been taking note of the stronger willingness recently expressed by the top leadership in Beijing to reform the SOEs, a top priority of the country's supply-side reform, as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang repeatedly stressed the significance of such reform over the past two weeks. Investors have shown increasing skepticism toward the Chinese stock market which lacked stimulus for a sustainable rebound as the average daily trading volume in the past week was extremely light at less than ¥400 billion ($61 billion). Source: China Daily, May 30, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">China's industrial profit growth slows down

Profit growth at China's major industrial firms slowed sharply in April, adding to concerns about growing downward pressure on the economy. Profits at industrial companies with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan ($3.1 million) totaled 502 billion yuan last month in April, up 4.2% year on year, compared with an 11.1% rise registered in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The firms' profits rose 6.5% in the first four months to more than ¥1.8 trillion. He Ping, an official with the NBS Department of Industry, attributed the slower profit growth in April mainly to poor performance of the electronics, electricity and auto industries, which dragged total industrial profit growth down by 7.2 percentage points. Sectoral performance was highly uneven. Oil refiners, coking plants and nuclear fuel producers' profits rose more than 80-fold during the January-April period. Ferrous metal mills' profits climbed 41.9% while coal miners saw their profits plunge 92.2% compared with the same period last year. Source: China Daily, May 18, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3;">SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

< style="color: #163449;">President Xi says China faces major science, technology "bottleneck"

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that the country faces a major science and technology (S&T) bottleneck and a big gap in innovation capacity. "The situation that our country is under others' control in core technologies of key fields has not changed fundamentally, and the country's S&T foundation remains weak," Xi said at a Monday S&T conference. In his speech, which was made public in full on Tuesday, Xi set the target of China becoming a leading power in S&T by the middle of this century. He noted that China is highly dependent on the import of high-end new materials and patented medicines, and China is advancing research in deep sea and space exploration. They are among a number of strategic areas in urgent need of breakthroughs. Source: Xinhua News Agency, May 31, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">Chang'e 5 lunar probe to land on moon and return in 2017

Artist's impression of the Chang'e 5 robotic lunar sample return craft China will send lunar probe Chang'e 5 to land on the moon and return with lunar samples in the second half of 2017, according to State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) on May 27. It will be the first time a Chinese probe to land on the moon, collect samples and return to Earth, and the third stage of China's lunar exploration endeavor, said the SASTIND. The first stage of lunar expedition was achieved by sending Chang'e 1, a circumlunar satellite, in 2007. China landed its first lunar probe Chang'e 3 on the surface of the moon in 2013. China is also planning to be the first country to land on the far side of the moon. That mission will be carried out by Chang'e-4, a backup for Chang'e-3, and is due to be launched in 2018, according to SASTIND. Source: China Daily, May 27, 2016

< style="color: #163449;">Satellite Programme could solve fundamental information security problem

China on May 28 announced the July launch of its first experimental satellite for quantum communication, a development that could ‘’fundamentally’’ solve the problem of information security in information transmission, the spacecraft’s creators claim. The launch will mark the world’s first instance of quantum communication through a satellite. China dispatched its first satellite to investigate dark matter in December and launched a retrievable microgravity satellite to research microgravity and the science of life in space in April. Source: Global Times, May 30, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3;">BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jonathang Chen, China and North Korea Seek to Mend Ties Tested by Nuclear Ambitions, Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2016 Wang Xiangwei, Countdown to G20: 100 days for China to take the international lead, South China Morning Post, May 29, 2016 Zhang Duo and Zhang Renping, Chinese law enforcement activities in its own territorial waters legitimate and justifiable, China Daily, May 27, 2016 Li Aixin, Patriarchal parenting has no place in modern world, Global Times, May 28, 2016 G7 summit proving to be self-serving and divisive, China Daily, May 27, 2016 Zhu Ning, Defaults a sign of growing maturity in China's bond market, Global Times, May 29, 2016 Hu Changshuan, Technological innovation is strategic imperative, China Daily, May 27, 2016

< style="color: #0180b3;">Contributors:

  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Ambalika Guha
  • Swagata Saha

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