MonitorsPublished on Sep 14, 2016
China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 31


China to ban religious profiteering

China is amending a religious affairs regulation to ban personal profiteering from religions. Religious groups, institutes of education and sites are all non-profit, and no individuals or organizations should divide up, occupy or embezzle their property and revenue, according to a draft amendment to the 2004 regulation, released on September 7 by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council for soliciting public opinion until October 7. No organizations and individuals are entitled to ownership nor rights of use of religious venues if they donate money to build the venues, and they may not gain "economic benefits" from the venues, the draft amendment reads. The amendment was made to "ensure citizen's religious freedom, safeguard religious and social harmony and regulate religious affairs." Religious groups are allowed to accept donations from overseas individuals and organizations, based on relevant regulations and without any conditions attached, it said, but donations exceeding 100,000 yuan (about 15,000 U.S. dollars) must be reported to local authorities for approval. Any unapproved acceptance of donations from home or overseas will be punished.

Source(s): China Daily, September 8, 2016

China says it has caught third of 100 most wanted graft suspects who fled overseas

China has bought back to the country one-third of those on its top 100 list of most wanted corruption suspects who have fled overseas, the ruling Communist Party’s top graft-buster said on September 6. China issued the list in 2014 of people subject to an Interpol “red notice”, the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant. Since then, 33 of those people have been caught, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a short statement. Over the past two years since setting up a team to chase graft suspects across the globe, the body has returned to China 1,915 people from more than 70 countries, along with 7.47 billion yuan (HK$8.7 billion), it said. It provided no other details. China has been trying to get increased international cooperation to hunt down suspected corrupt officials who have fled overseas since President Xi Jinping began a war against deeply rooted graft almost four years ago.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, September 6, 2016


Chinese combat troops face gunfire, diseases in South Sudan UN assignment

China dispatched an infantry battalion to South Sudan in 2014 for a UN peacekeeping mission, the first combat-focused Chinese battalion sent to one of the most dangerous conflict zones in Africa. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) told the Global Times on September 5 in a written interview that the battalion consists of 700 combat troops, while in the past, UN peacekeeping deployments were smaller, normally consisting of approximately 300 soldiers, and China previously only sent sapper or medical corps. Before South Sudan, Chinese UN peacekeeping forces' main missions were not combat-focused but tended to be supporting missions such as engineering, transportation, medical treatment and mine clearance, the MOD added. South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. It was founded in 2011, and has faced recurring bouts of civil conflict since then. The civil war has escalated into a serious humanitarian crisis. In a 2015 speech at the UN Headquarters in New York, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that China will contribute 8,000 peacekeeping personnel in the future, so "the battalion in South Sudan is a part of the promise."

Source(s): Global Times, September 7, 2016

China seeks to join ASEAN in dispelling interference, handling South China Sea issue

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on September 7 that China is willing to work with the ASEAN countries in dispelling interference, and properly handling the South China Sea issue according to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and dual-track approach. Li made the remarks as he was attending a meeting with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.  With the joint efforts from China and the ASEAN members, the situation in the South China Sea is moving towards a positive direction, and DOC has been proved an effective guideline in the region, he said. Presently, China is working with the ASEAN nations to formulate a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).Also at the meeting, the leaders have adopted the guidelines for an China-ASEAN hotline for maritime emergencies, and approved the application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, or CUES, in the South China Sea.

Source(s): Global Times, September 7, 2016

Uygur militant behind attack on China’s embassy in Kyrgyzstan

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have blamed Uygur militants in Syria for masterminding the suicide bomb attack against the Chinese embassy in the Central Asian country. A van exploded after ramming through a gate at China’s diplomatic outpost in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on August 30, killing the driver and injuring three local embassy employees. Police officers examine the broken gates of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, following the suicide bombing.  The suspected suicide bomber was an ethnic Uygur who held a Tajik passport in the name of Zoir Khalilov, Kyrgyzstan’s state security service said on September 6. Khalilov was a member of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the GKNB security service said in a statement which is also active in China.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, September 6, 2016


G20 in China, a new launch pad for global economy

In the past few days leaders from the world's 20 major economies reviewed how the international community saved the global economy from a financial meltdown in 2008. With the lessons of that incident in the not so distant past, policymakers at the G20 summit, held in the eastern city of Hangzhou on Sunday(4 Sept) and Monday(5 Sept), who oversee over 85 percent of the world's economic output, explored new ways to reboot global growth. Under the presidency of China, the single largest contributor to global growth, it's widely expected that China's development vision and experiences will help chart the course for the world economy. China hopes the Hangzhou summit will come up with "an integrated prescription to address both the symptoms and root causes so that the world economy could move along a path of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth," President Xi Jinping said while addressing the opening of the summit. Noting the world economy has arrived at "a crucial juncture," Xi said the growth momentum brought by the previous wave of technological progress is waning while the latest wave of technological and industrial revolution is yet to gather steam.

Source: Xinhua, September 6, 2016

Alibaba finance affiliate and UNEP form green finance alliance

An Internet finance affiliate of Alibaba Group, together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), have announced the formation of the world’s first green finance alliance for financial scientific enterprises. The announcement was delivered in Hangzou on September 5. UNEP and Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group said they will promote green finance and environmental protection initiatives by signing a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding. Erik Solheim, executive director of UNE, said that the agency would seek more partnerships and closer ties with businesses to better leverage their technological capabilities with the help of Internet finance knowledge and the experience of Chinesecompanies.The partnership comes just after China's State Council approved a setM of guidelines earlierthis month for implementing the national strategy for "ecological civilisation.

Source: People’s Daily, September 6, 2016

ASEAN to strengthen ties, seek global collaboration

Despite differences, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has the common goal of making the region economically stronger and seeking more collaboration with other countries and regions, officials said on Monday (5 September).ASEAN has achieved a lot in terms of economic integration and looks forward to more collaboration with other countries, including China, Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, minister of international trade and industry of Malaysia, told the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) held on Monday afternoon in Vientiane, Laos. The three-day summit, with the theme of "Operationalising the ASEAN Economic Community - turning vision into reality," will address issues such as free trade agreements, energy and infrastructure development in the region and technology. The ABIS features more than 400 companies across the ASEAN region. From January to February, China's trade with ASEAN countries reached $61.5 billion, accounting for 12 percent of its total trade, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. ASEAN members see China as a crucial market offering more investment and business opportunities, officials told the summit.

Source: Global Times, September 5, 2016


Scientists developing multipurpose stratospheric airships

Chinese scientists are developing a family of high altitude airships that can help with Earth observation, maritime monitoring and communication signal relays. Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences are working on the stratospheric airships, so-called because they are capable of conducting long-term operations in the stratosphere-the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of 20 to 50 km. According to the academy's development plan for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), which lists 140 research and development priorities, researchers are to develop key technologies and techniques for controllable stratospheric airships and perform flight tests before the end of 2020. "Our stratospheric airships will come in various sizes, and we have test-flown two of them already," said Wang Yuechao, director of the academy's Bureau of Major Research and Development Programs.

Source(s): China Daily, September 7, 2016

China’s ZTE eyes No 3 spot in European smartphone market

Shenzhen-based smartphone maker ZTE is focusing on sports marketing to increase its brand awareness in Europe and is designing products tailored to the European market as it eyes the No 3 spot on the continent. In Spain, which is one of ZTE’s largest European markets, the Chinese smartphone maker is already within the top 3 smartphone brands with close to 8 per cent market share for the month of July, beating US smartphone giant Apple, according to market research data provided by ZTE. The company registered only about 2 per cent market share in April last year. Samsung and Huawei rank No 1 and 2 respectively, with over 25 per cent market share each. To attract more European users, ZTE unveiled a new Axon 7 Mini smartphone during a launch in Berlin last week – a mid-range device costing €299 (US$334) that focuses on audio quality. ZTE partnered with audio technology company Dolby to incorporate hi-fi Dolby Atmos technology into the Axon 7 Mini, a feature it said was tailored specifically to the preferences of European consumers.

Source(s): South China Morning Post, September 6, 2016

China boosts microbe research

 China has helped elevate microbe research in the past few years, according to a report on microbial resources released on September 6. The report on China's microbial resource development was issued by the World Data Center for Microorganisms and the microbial resource and data center under the Institute of Microbiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences. The total number of microbial strains preserved and shared by China's 33 major microbial preservation centers is 182,000 at present, ranking fourth around the world, it said. Meanwhile, the number of theses in the field published in 2015 grew 17.8 times from 2001, said the report, adding cited papers are also on the rise. Microbe research is a rising field in bioscience and China should continue boosting the exploration and protection of its microbial resources, said Ma Juncai, director of the microbial resource and data center.

Source(s): Xinhua, September 6, 2016


Wang Xiangwei, “What happened to the billions of yuan seized in China’s anti-graft campaign?”, South China Morning Post, September 4, 2016

Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng, “The making of China's consumer society”, China Daily, September 5, 2016

Michael Clarke, “China’s Terrorist Problem Goes Global”, The Diplomat, September 7, 2016

Daniel Wagner, “China’s Zero Sum Vision Of The World”, Huffington Post, September 6, 2016

‘G20 can unlock global economic potential’, The Global Times, September 2, 2016

Neal Kimberley, ‘When it comes to the G20, China is in better shape than many’ South China Morning Post, September 6, 2016

Traditional Chinese medicine goes global’, Xinhua, September 6, 2016

Modern e-commerce shapes up in ancient city of Kashgar’, Xinhua, September 6, 2016


  • Sreeparna Banerjee
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Ambalika Guha
  • Swagata Saha
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.