MonitorsPublished on Mar 14, 2016
China Weekly Report | Volume VI; Issue 9
FOREIGN AFFAIRS China urges diplomats and UN to boycott Dalai Lama in Geneva China has written to diplomats and U.N. officials urging them not to attend a Geneva event where the Dalai Lama will speak, reasserting that it opposes his appearance at all venues due to his "separatist activities". In a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday, China's diplomatic mission in Geneva raised objections about the presence of Tibet's spiritual leader on the panel of Nobel laureates, being held at the Geneva Graduate Institute. "Inviting the 14th Dalai Lama to the aforementioned event violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, in contravention of the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter. China resolutely opposes the 14th Dalai Lama's separatist activities in whatever capacity and in whatever name in any country, organisation or event," it said. The letter was dated March 8, the day that the event - being sponsored by the United States and Canada - was announced. Source(s): Reuters, March 10, 2016 China says Taiwan president-elect must prove does not back independence Taiwan president-elect Tsai Ing-wen must "prove" her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is not pro-independence before Beijing will deal with her, a senior member of China's largely rubber stamp parliament said on March 10. Beijing has repeatedly warned against any moves toward independence since January's landslide win by Tsai and her DPP in presidential and parliamentary elections. Tsai assumes office in May. While the DPP's charter calls for the island's formal independence, senior DPP leaders have not publicly stated that clause of late and Tsai has said she wishes to have peace with China and to maintain the status quo. Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week China would never allow the historical tragedy of Taiwan being "split" off from the rest of the country to happen again, warning the island against any moves toward formal independence. Japan ruled Taiwan as a colony for about five decades until the end of World War Two. China's last dynasty, the Qing, had ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after losing the first Sino-Japanese war. Source(s): Reuters, March 10, 2016 China's Belt and Road Initiative not expansionism The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative should not be seen as expansionism, but rather an open initiative, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on March 8.  "The Initiative is China's idea, but the opportunities it has created belong to the world," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the national legislature's annual session.  The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt that links China with Europe through central and western Asia, and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road connecting China with southeast Asia, Africa and Europe.  The Initiative is a response to the need for development and cooperation among Asian and European countries, and it shows that China is in a rapid transition from a mere participant in international system to a provider of public goods, Wang said.  In building the Belt and Road Initiative, China follows the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit, Wang said, noting that it is "an open initiative, not some form of Monroe Doctrine or expansionism."  More than 70 countries and international organizations have expressed interest in the Belt and Road Initiative, and over 30 countries have signed agreements with China to jointly build it. Source(s): Global Times, March 8, 2016 POLITICS & SOCIETY Five-year development plan endorsed by NPC committee The draft outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan on national economy and social development was endorsed by the National People's Congress (NPC) Financial and Economic Committee (FEC) at a meeting on Wednesday.The draft has been examined by NPC deputies as well as the FEC and related committees since it was submitted on Saturday to the NPC annual session.The draft outline for the years between 2016 and 2020 is well versed and feasible, said the FEC, advising it to be passed.The committee's review report will be submitted to the NPC session if the presidium approves the submission.The committee also endorsed the reports on the drafts of the 2016 national economy and social development plan and the 2016 central and local budgets. Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, March 9, 2016 Exports high on Li's agenda Premier Li Keqiang has encouraged Guangdong province to take the lead in introducing more Chinese brands and products to markets in developed economies such as the United States and the European Union.Praising the province for its 0.8 percent export growth last year, he urged the manufacturing powerhouse to further sharpen competitiveness.He made the remarks to about 160 deputies from Guangdong to the National People's Congress when he joined them for a panel discussion on Wednesday.Guangdong was at the forefront of the nation's reform and opening-up policy during the 1980s. Source(s): China Daily, March 10, 2016 PLA Navy buoyed by 3 new landing ships and wave of upgrades The People's Liberation Army Navy has commissioned three new landing ships with designs it said will improve amphibious capabilities. The three vessels, CNS Wuyishan, CNS Culaishan and CNS Wutaishan, were delivered to the East Sea Fleet at an unidentified naval port on Monday, the Navy said in a news release. It said the ships have a displacement of 5,008 metric tons and a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h). Compared with predecessors, the new design has a lower radar signature, which makes it harder to detect it at sea, and a streamlined design that helps speed up the loading of amphibious vehicles. The ships are armed with close-in weapons systems capable of hitting mid- and short-range targets, and include a flight pad that can accommodate a helicopter. Source(s): China Daily, March 10, 2016 EONOMY China to allow commercial banks to swap bad debt for equity stakes in firms China's central bank is preparing regulations that would allow commercial lenders to swap non-performing loans of companies for stakes in those firms, two people with direct knowledge of the new policy told Reuters. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the release of a new document explaining the regulatory change was imminent. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Non-performing loans (NPLs) surged last year as China's economy grew at its slowest pace in a quarter of a century. Source(s): Reuters, March 10, 2016 China’s bond market prepares to go global In a world where more than two-thirds of government debt yields less than 2 per cent, China’s interbank bond market sounds a dream — and it is about to open to foreigners. What they do with it will be a test of the struggle between bearish China views and the need for returns. At Rmb48tn ($7.4tn), it is already the third largest in the world, behind the US at $35tn and Japan at $11tn. China’s market is also roughly the same size as the rest of the emerging markets bond universe combined, according to Standard Chartered. And international investors hold less than 2 per cent of it. Source(s): The Financial Times, March 10, 2016 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Chinese scientists find Jurassic herbaceous angiosperm plant fossil Paleobotanists have found fossils of perhaps world's earliest herbaceous angiosperm plant from the mid-Jurassic period (more than 164 million years ago) in north China's Inner Mongolia. The finding was published on the latest English edition of Acta Geologica Sinica, an academic journal owned by the Geological Society of China. The plant -- Juraherba bodae -- was found near in the southeast corner of Inner Mongolia by professor Han Gang of the palaeontological center of Bohai University in Liaoning Province. Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, March 7 2016 China shuts down 28,000 illegal websites in national crackdown Fifteen million illegal publications were confiscated and 28,000 websites deemed pornographic or featuring other illegal content were shut down in China in 2015. The figures were announced by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications on March 4, reviewing its achievements. The campaign against online pornography and illegal publications will continue through 2016. Authorities will focus inspections in areas around schools to uncover shops selling publications such as obscene comics, the office said. Source(s): The Xinhua News Agency, March 4 2016 BIBLIOGRAPHY
  1. Qi XIe, “WeChat: Frenemy of Chinese Activists?”, The Diplomat, March 10, 2016
  2. Michael Forysthe, “Chinese Publication, Censored by Government, Exposes Article’s Removal”, The New York Times, March 8, 2016
  3. Ben S. Bernanke, “China’s trilemma—and a possible solution”, Brookings, March 9, 2016
  4. Owen Guo, “Awash in Empty Homes, China Asks Migrant Workers to Settle Down”, The New York Times, March 9, 2016
  5. The global impact of China's 13th Five-Year Plan”, The Xinhua News Agency, March 10, 2016
  6. Don't think twice about China, it's alright”, The Xinhua News Agency, March 9, 2016
  7. Stephen Chen, “Six Chinese technology projects that might change the world”, South China Morning Post, South China Morning Post, March 11, 2016
  • Pratnashree Basu
  • Swagata Saha
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