MonitorsPublished on Feb 18, 2016
China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 7
FOREIGN AFFAIRS Beijing urges for US-North Korea talks China on February 15 urged the US and North Korea to meet and resolve their problems, as top Chinese and South Korean diplomats hold discussions in Seoul on Tuesday on tensions in the Korean Peninsula. "The focus of the nuclear issue on the peninsula is between the US and North Korea," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing. "We urge the US and North Korea to sit down and negotiate to explore ways of resolving each other's reasonable concerns, and to finally achieve the goal we all want." North Korea launched a long-range rocket on February 7 carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear bomb test. It said the launch was for peaceful purposes, but Seoul and Washington have said it violated UN Security Council resolutions because it used ballistic missile technology. North Korea's nuclear bomb test last month was also banned by a UN resolution. China, while frustrated with North Korea, said it does not believe sanctions are the way to resolve the problem and has urged a return to talks. Source(s): Global Times, February 16, 2016 China stands for common security, inclusive world order China stands for common security and calls for an inclusive world order, a Chinese official said in Munich on February 14.  China do not want to see the world divided again by exclusive military blocks, and opposes the repression by the US and other Western countries on China's political system, Fu Ying, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress of China, told a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference. The world needs to change and have an inclusive world order and framework, a common roof, to accommodate as much as possible the diverse interests, needs and ideas, she noted. The Munich Security Conference, an annual informal meeting on international security policy, focuses this year on the war in Syria, the refugee crisis, and the European security order. Source(s): Global Times, February 14, 2016 POLITICS & SOCIETY China issues guideline on government openness China's central authority has published a guideline calling for improved openness in government affairs at all levels. Issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, the guideline said openness in government issues is a basic feature of a government ruled by law. Openness should be the normal state, the guideline said, calling for stimulation of creativity and market vigor. Openness in government affairs will be significantly improved and public participation will be increased, said the guideline. It called for a system to make the decision-making process public and open to public opinion as well as the opinions of stakeholders, experts and media. Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, February 17, 2016 China to improve support for people with extreme difficulties China will improve its support system for people with extreme difficulties, according to a guideline on the issue released by the State Council on February 17. The guideline covers people who are either incapable of supporting themselves or whose caregivers are not capable, including senior citizens, physically challenged people and minors under the age of 16 whose caregivers are not capable. According to official statistics, there are over 5.8 million people who fit the description. "Without sources of income or the ability to work, basic care from family, and fitness, these people are indeed the neediest in our society today," said Zuo Ting, professor at China Agricultural University. Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, February 17, 2016 ECONOMY Police raid Madrid office of China's biggest bank Spanish police raided the Madrid offices of China's biggest bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), on February 17 as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering, the Interior Ministry said. The investigation by police, the Spanish tax agency and Europol involves funds handled by a criminal group acting in Spain which the Ministry says passed through the bank and were transferred to China. Over 100 police were involved in the operation, which saw the arrest of five ICBC directors, Europol said in a statement. Source(s): Reuters, February 17, 2016 China’s policy-makers promise economic stability Chinese policymakers emerged from the Lunar New Year hiatus with one collective message for nervous investors at home and abroad -- Beijing will put a floor under the slowing economy, keep its currency steady and ensure employment remains stable even as bloated industries undergo restructuring. The string of assurances comes ahead of two high-profile political events for China: a meeting of G20 finance chiefs in Shanghai later this month and next month's annual gathering of China's legislature - where the next five-year economic development plan will be finalised. Source(s): Reuters, February 17, 2016 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY In the hunt for extraterrestrials, 9,000 villagers lose their places More than 9,000 Chinese villagers are leaving their homes to make way for aliens — or for the possible echoes of them, at least. It is not a colonisation plan from outer space. The Chinese government is relocating the villagers as it finishes building the world’s biggest radio telescope, one of whose purposes is to detect signs of extraterrestrial life. The telescope will be 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, in diameter, making it by far the largest instrument of its kind in the world. It is called FAST, short for 500-meter aperture spherical telescope, and will cost an estimated 1.2 billion renminbi, or $184 million, to erect. The government hopes to complete it by September. Source(s): The New York Times, February 17, 2016 China plans more gravitational wave research The discovery of gravitational waves in the United States on February 11 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has encouraged scientists around the world, and China is also set to accelerate research. China's domestic gravitational wave research project "Tianqin," at Sun Yat-sen University has been awaiting government approval since July, according to Li Miao, dean of the University's institute of astronomy and space science in south China's Guangdong Province. At an estimated cost of 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) Tianqin will be carried out in four stages over the next 15 to 20 years, ultimately launching three high-orbit satellites to detect the waves. Source(s): People’s Daily, February 15, 2016 Laboratory test for Zika virus adopted in Shenzhen Laboratory test for Zika virus has been adopted in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, according to local authorities on February 10. Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau aims strict border quarantine checks having detected the country's first imported case of Zika virus on February 9. The patient, a 34-year-old male from Ganxian county of Jiangxi Province, had showed symptoms of fever, headache and dizziness on January 28 in Venezuela, before returning to his hometown on February 5 via Hong Kong and Shenzhen. He has been treated in a hospital in Ganxian and is now recovering. Shenzhen receives the largest number of land-entry passengers in China, with increasing number of returnees from travel and work overseas during Spring Festival holiday.\Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has asked pregnant women to avoid unnecessary trips to South America. Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, February 10, 2016 BIBLIOGRAPHY   Contributors:
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Swagata Saha
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