MonitorsPublished on Jan 24, 2017
China Weekly Report | Volume VII; Issue 3 |


China mulls force to check political loyalty of police, judiciary

China’s Communist Party is considering setting up a force of inspectors to check and ensure the political loyalty of the police, judges and prosecutors. The proposal comes months ahead of a major transition of power in the government at a party congress due to be held this autumn. All law enforcers must have “absolute political loyalty” and strictly abide by the political norms and disciplines of the party, a directive issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party said, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported late on January 18. The plan comes after an inspection report into the Ministry of Public Security last month called on the country’s police to eradicate the bad influence of the disgraced former security tsar Zhou Yongkang. He was jailed for life two years ago for corruption and leaking state secrets. Source: South China Morning Post

China to launch graft-busting super bureau next year

China’s national anti-graft super-body will be established next March, leaving the long-disputed anti-corruption campaign one year to fit into a legal framework. The country’s law-making body is scheduled to pass legal bills then on the National Supervision Committee, which will kick off the operation of the super body, and nailing down how it works, as well as their members are, according to an annual report of the party’s anti-corruption force. The new committee will integrate various government and prosecutorial anti-corruption departments with the Central Committee of Discipline Inspection (CCDI), which is a party organ. The passage is expected to take place during the National People’s Congress meeting next March, said the report, which was delivered two weeks ago and made public on January 19. The timeline will leave the party around a year to finally fit its anti-graft forces in a legal framework, making it accountable to the law. As the party’s spearhead of anti-graft efforts, the CCDI has been as effective as it has been controversial. Source: South China Morning Post

Senior Chinese official urges greater cultural, ideological progress

Liu Yunshan, a senior Chinese official, on January 20 called for greater efforts to boost cultural and ideological progress to support the country's development. Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said ideological education should be continuously advanced to improve the public and cadres' confidence in the country's path, theory, system and culture. Socialist core values and patriotism should also be continuously promoted, he said when addressing a plenary session of the Central Commission for Guiding Ethic and Cultural Progress. Liu, who is head of the commission, said that ideological and moral education among teenagers and youths should be advanced. Highlighting the importance of upbringing and family values in pursuing cultural and ideological development, Liu said leading cadres should take the lead in this regard. Source: China Daily


China extends hand to Bangladesh to augment agricultural production

Bangladesh has launched a China-aided project to augment agricultural production by using cutting edge technologies. The "e-village" project was launched in Dhaka on January 19. Bangladesh's Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University in association with the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League Party's research wing, the Center for Research and Information (CRI) and iSoftStone, a leading China-based IT services provider, will implement the nine-month pilot project at a village in Gazipur on the outskirts of capital Dhaka. Officials say through the project, rural village farmers will be introduced with the sensor device system so that can be updated with real time crop management, related information such as soil moisture, leaf wetness, diseases and pest identification. Source: Global Times

Silk Road extended

A freight train transporting containers laden with goods from China arrives at DB Cargo's London Eurohub rail freight depot in Barking, east London on January 19, after traveling from Yiwu in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. The first freight train directly connecting China to the UK arrived in London after a journey of 18 days and 12,000 kilometers. The PRC and EU uses standard gauge track of 1435 mm width. The Russian gauge track is 1520 mm width. Therefor the PRC trains cannot be used in Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. Additionally, only British Class 92 trains are allowed to operate in the Channel Tunnel. The British Class 92 trains are not allowed to operate in France. Therefore, it is impossible for the same train to travel from the PRC to the UK. Source: Global Times


China’s economy grows at 6.7% in 2016, slowest in 26 years

China’s economy expanded at a higher-than-expected 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, official data showed on January 20, driven up by a robust property sector and government efforts to restructure the economy. In 2016, the world’s second largest economy has seen a steady GDP growth of 6.7 percent to 74.4 trillion yuan ($10.8 trillion), the slowest pace of growth in 26 years but still within the official target, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The national GDP data is reliable, Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of National Development and Reform Commission and NBS Commissioner, said at a press conference in Beijing on Friday. China’s GDP in 2016 maintained “a medium and high-speed growth,” thanks to government efforts in restructuring the economy, said Ning. The industrial structure was optimised. In 2016, tertiary industry accounted for 51.6 percent of GDP, up 1.4 points from the previous year, NBS data showed.


Alibaba agrees to long-term partnership with IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and China's Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding on January 19, jointly announced a long-term partnership through 2028.Joining The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship program, Alibaba will become the official "Cloud Services" and "E-Commerce Platform Services" partner, as well as a founding partner of the Olympic Channel. The partnership was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with IOC President Thomas Bach, Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma Yun and CEO Daniel Zhang. The Chinese company will also try to set up a global e-commerce platform for Olympic stakeholders to engage and connect with fans seeking official Olympic licensed products manufactured by the Olympic parties' official licensees, and selected sports products, on a worldwide basis, the IOC said. Before Alibaba signed the partnership, there were 12 TOP sponsors, which are representative enterprises of countries and regions across the globe, such as the US-based Coca Cola and South Korea-based Samsung Group. Source: Xinhua


Premier stresses focus on research, innovation

Premier Li Keqiang pledged to grant universities and research institutions more independence in teaching and research, and to raise subsidies for graduate students pursuing master's degrees or doctorates, as part of efforts to boost basic research and innovation. The premier was speaking at a meeting on January 16 to solicit suggestions for the annual Government Work Report in March from representatives in the fields of education, science, culture, sports and healthcare as well as start-up businesses, according to a statement released on January 17. Li vowed to continue the national strategy of innovation-driven development and to fully implement a policy that gives universities and research institutes more room to make self-determined choices on classes and research. He also suggested increasing support for institutes by granting favourable policies and funds, and encouraging scientists to be deeply involved in basic research. Source: China Daily

China to launch electromagnetic monitoring satellite for earthquake study

China will launch a satellite this year to gather electromagnetic data that may be used in monitoring and forecasting earthquakes. According to China's earthquake administrative agencies on January 17, the satellite will be launched in the latter half of this year. Movements of the Earth's crust generate electromagnetic radiation which can be observed from space. By collecting data on the Earth's electromagnetic field, ionosphere plasma and high-energy particles, the satellite will be used in real-time monitoring of earthquakes and possible seismic precursors in China and neighbouring regions. The satellite will be China's first space-based platform for earthquake monitoring, providing a new approach for research. According to Shen Xuhui, deputy chief of the mission, it is designed to remain in orbit for five years and record the electromagnetic situation of earthquakes above 6 magnitude in China and quakes above 7 magnitude all over the world. Source: Xinhua

China’s Baidu hires Microsoft artificial intelligence expert as its new COO

Chinese online search giant Baidu has named former Microsoft global executive vice president Qi Lu as its group president and chief operating officer. Lu, a leading authority in the area of artificial intelligence, will be in charge of products, technology, sales, marketing and operations, effective immediately, according to a Baidu statement issued on January 17. “To achieve our goals, especially in artificial intelligence, which is a key strategic focus for the next decade, we will need to continue attracting the best global talent. With Dr. Lu on board, we are confident that our strategy will be executed smoothly and Baidu will become a world-class technology company and global leader in AI,” said Robin Li Yanhong, Baidu’s chairman and group CEO. Prior to joining Baidu, Lu served as Microsoft’s global executive vice president and led one of Microsoft’s three business units. He holds over 40 US patents and has authored many papers in his field. Source: South China Morning Post


Perry Lam, “Beijing has learned lessons of the past and is playing chief executive election with a poker face”, South China Morning Post, January 19, 2017 Tomas Casas, “China starting to write the 21st century narrative”, China Daily, December 20, 2016 Robert Daly, “Do We Want to Live in China’s World?” , China File,  January 19, 2017 Panos Mourdoukoutas, “Davos: China Isn't Ready To Tell The World About Responsive And Responsible Leadership”, Forbes, January 16, 2017 China won’t concede under trade war threat’ Global Times, January 18, 2017 Song Shengxia, “India should join China in promoting regional economic development in Nepal” Global Times, January 18, 2017 Charles Mok , “Plan to install surveillance cameras in all Hong Kong taxis is a gross invasion of privacy”, South China Morning Post, January 17, 2017


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