Tag Archives: Japan

China: Daily Scan, May 03, 2022

New yuan loans rise in Yangtze River Delta in Q1: Xinhuanet
May 3, 2022

New yuan loans in the Yangtze River Delta region stood at 2.83 trillion yuan (428.14 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, an increase of 349.5 billion yuan from the same period last year. The balance of loans in the region stood at 53 trillion yuan at the end of March, up 14.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the People’s Bank of China Shanghai Head Office. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 368 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases, 274 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
May 3, 2022

The Chinese mainland Monday reported 368 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 274 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission’s report Tuesday. Click here to read…

Shanghai reports 274 confirmed, 5,395 asymptomatic local COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
May 3, 2022

China’s Shanghai reported 274 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 5,395 local asymptomatic cases on Monday, the municipal health commission said Tuesday. Click here to read…

Govts, companies step up to help needy: China Daily
May 3, 2022

Governments, communities and major State-owned enterprises are helping people with special needs-especially seniors living alone, the sick and the disabled-to tide over the recent COVID-19 resurgence in Shanghai. Click here to read…

More Shanghai residents permitted outdoors: China Daily
May 3, 2022

About 60 percent of city’s population live in zones with no cases for 2 weeks. More Shanghai residents living in areas where zero COVID-19 community transmission has been achieved have been permitted limited outdoor activities during the five-day Labor Day holiday after declines in the city’s daily tally of new infections. Click here to read…

Makeshift hospital builds study and reading rooms: China Daily
May 3, 2022

The makeshift hospital at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai is committed to providing more guaranteed and diversified living needs for its patients. In the hospital, study rooms and reading corners have been set up to guarantee students’ needs and enrich patients’ daily lives. Click here to read…

Beijing to conduct three straight days of testing: China Daily
May 3, 2022

Beijing will require all residents living and working in 12 districts to take three consecutive nucleic acid tests on May 3, 4 and 5 to curb the COVID-19 epidemic and cut transmission, a senior official said on Monday. Click here to read…

US howitzer sale to Taiwan ‘halted,’ but mainland should remain alert over ‘advanced alternatives’: Global Times
May 2, 2022

The first deal approved by the Biden administration to sell $750 million worth of arms to Taiwan, including 40 155mm M109A6 medium self-propelled howitzers, has been halted by the US, Taiwan’s defense authority said. Click here to read…

World’s 1st Omicron-specific inactivated vaccine administered in China’s Hangzhou: Global Times
May 2, 2022

The first dose of COVID-19 inactivated vaccine specifically against the Omicron variant was administered on Sunday during a clinical trial in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, bringing hope to people in the regions hit by the highly transmissible variant. Click here to read…

An IT director is under criminal investigation for being involved in subversive activities, says Hangzhou state security bureau: Global Times
May 3, 2022

A man surnamed Ma was under criminal enforcement action, suspected of colluding with outside forces and try to subvert the state and split the country, the state security bureau in Hangzhou of East China’s Zhejiang Province said on Tuesday. The case is under investigation. The Global Times confirmed with related department about the man’s information and learned that his name has three Chinese characters. Reports on the man’s name of two Chinese characters are not accurate. Click here to read…

Liaoning aircraft carrier group passes through 1st island chain, ‘likely for routine drills’: Global Times
May 3, 2022

Led by the aircraft carrier Liaoning, a very powerful Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy flotilla reportedly entered the West Pacific via the Miyako Strait on Monday, in a move analysts said on Tuesday could be the carrier group’s first routine far sea drills of 2022. Click here to read…

Shanghai issues 43.5 million yuan in coupons for tech companies to tide over epidemic: Global Times
May 2, 2022

The Omicron-troubled Chinese metropolis Shanghai continued to push work resumption, as the city issued thousands of work resumption certificates and travel passes to workers, while rolling out policies to support local technological companies, officials disclosed on MondClick here to read…

Chinese carrier sails through waters near Okinawa, Japan says: Reuters
May 3, 2022

Eight Chinese naval vessels, including an aircraft carrier, passed between islands in Japan’s southern Okinawa chain on Monday, Japan’s defence ministry said in a news release. The ships, which included several destroyers, sailed between the main Okinawa island and Miyakojima, according to the ministry. Although there was no incursion into Japan’s territorial waters, helicopters on board the Liaoning carrier took off and landed, the ministry said. Click here to read…

Solomon Islands to supervise Chinese police operating there: Reuters
May 2, 2022

China’s police presence under a new security pact will boost the capabilities of the Solomon Islands but they will not use techniques seen in Hong Kong, the Pacific island country’s top diplomat to Australia said in a radio interview on Monday. Click here to read…

China backs Sri Lanka’s decision to work with IMF to restructure debt: Reuters
May 2, 2022

China supports crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s decision to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure its debt, Beijing’s ambassador Qi Zhenhong told Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry at a meeting on Monday. Click here to read…

Hopes dim on finding more survivors in Changsha: Taipei Times
May 3, 2022

Hopes of finding more survivors from the rubble of a collapsed commercial building in central China faded yesterday, at the end of a 72-hour “golden” rescue period identified by authorities. The building in Changsha City, Hunan Province — which housed apartments, a hotel and a cinema — caved in on Friday, sparking a massive rescue effort with hundreds of emergency responders. Click here to read…

The cloud of anti-Western nationalism hanging over China’s Communist Party congress: South China Morning Post
May 3, 2022

Generations of modern Chinese rulers have taken pride in China’s political system, touting its ability to transcend the ideological divides and partisanship that have plagued Western politics. Deng Xiaoping urged China “not to argue” so it could focus on economic growth. Hu Jintao called on the country to bu zheteng, or not to rock the boat with ideological debates.
But that approach is being tested this year with a polarised – and in many cases, ugly – debate on Chinese social media, on topics from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the virtues of China’s zero-Covid policy, to the efficacy of some kinds of traditional Chinese medicine. Click here to read…

Coronavirus: Shanghai adds 73 new Covid-19 cases outside quarantine zones, putting societal zero-Covid goal further out of reach: South China Morning Post
May 3, 2022

Shanghai’s daily new Covid-19 cases in unguarded zones rose for the second consecutive day, a worrying trend in the presumed low-risk zones that further clouds the outlook for any easing of the restrictions the mainland’s commercial capital has been living under since April 1. Local officials had hoped to confine infections within quarantined areas. Instead, the local health commission detected 73 cases in the “precautionary zones” – those that have not had an infection in the previous 14 days and their neighbouring areas – up from 58 a day earlier. Click here to read…

White House ties missiles used by Kyiv to its China competition bill: South China Morning Post
May 3, 2022

The White House has tried to shore up support for legislation that aims to boost domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing by linking it to US military aid for Ukraine. The Bipartisan Innovation Act (BIA), initiated by the Joe Biden administration, is mainly designed with China in mind, as Washington tries to reduce its dependence on foreign semiconductor chips. In an attempt to rally political support for the Act, Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing on Monday it was vital to US national security that the semiconductor chips used in the weapons sent to Kyiv should be made domestically. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 20, 2022

Xi stresses enhancing digital gov’t construction, advancing fiscal reforms: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday stressed efforts to enhance the building of a digital government and advance fiscal system reforms at and below the provincial level. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while chairing the 25th meeting of the central commission for deepening overall reform. Click here to read…

China’s top court to improve property rights protection for smaller businesses: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

China’s top court will further improve the property rights protection mechanism for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to address their concerns and provide a legal guarantee for high-quality socio-economic development. Click here to read…

Senior Chinese lawmakers meet amid legislative session: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

Senior Chinese lawmakers met on Tuesday during the country’s ongoing legislative session. The meeting of the Council of Chairpersons of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee was presided over by Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. Click here to read…

Chinese envoy says early conflict resolution key to ending humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

The fundamental way to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is to put an early end to the conflict, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Chinese ambassador to U.S. warns against using Ukraine crisis to mess up U.S.-China relations: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang has warned against using the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to mess up U.S.-China relations, saying that doing so serves no good to anyone now or in the future. Click here to read…

China to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

The Chinese government has decided to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka to help the country cope with the current difficulties, a spokesperson for China International Development Cooperation Agency said Tuesday. Click here to read…

Tesla’s Shanghai factory resumes production: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

U.S. carmaker Tesla’s Shanghai factory officially resumed production on Tuesday, with about 8,000 employees back to work thus far, the company has said. Affected by the latest COVID-19 resurgence in Shanghai, the Shanghai Gigafactory had suspended production for over 20 days. Click here to read…

China adopts law on futures and derivatives: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

Chinese lawmakers on Wednesday voted to adopt a law on futures and derivatives to better protect investors’ interests and develop the futures market in favor of the real economy. Click here to read…

China’s central SOEs record growth in R&D spending: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

China’s centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) spent more on research and development to boost innovation-driven development in the first three months of 2022, the country’s top state-owned assets regulator said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Chinese satellite obtains global gravity field data: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

China’s Tianqin-1 satellite has acquired the global gravity field data during its in-orbit operation, according to Sun Yat-sen University in south China’s Guangdong Province.
The satellite was launched in December 2019 to test the technologies of the space-based gravitational wave detection program “Tianqin.” The program Tianqin, meaning “harp in the sky,” was initiated by the university in 2015. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 2,753 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases, 2,494 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

The Chinese mainland Tuesday reported 2,753 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 2,494 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission (NHC)’s report Wednesday. Click here to read…

China to ramp up financial support for real economy: Quishi
April 20, 2022

China has rolled out a raft of measures to strengthen its financial support for the real economy, the country’s financial authorities said Monday. The country will ramp up financial support to relieve market entities in difficulties, ensure unimpeded flows in the economy and promote exports, noted a circular jointly released by the People’s Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Click here to read…

More measures to spur consumption: Quishi
April 20, 2022

China’s consumer goods market is expected to maintain growth momentum this year, fueled by the rising per capita disposable incomes of Chinese residents and more supportive policies to shore up consumption in the pipeline, amid headwinds from external uncertainties and a resurgence in domestic COVID-19 cases, experts said. Click here to read…

China meets 8 environmental targets: Quishi
April 20, 2022

China has fulfilled all eight obligatory targets for environmental protection in 2021, the Minister of Ecology and Environment, Huang Runqiu reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Monday. Click here to read…

Cities help Shanghai resume production, stabilize supplies: China Daily
April 20, 2022

Cities in the Yangtze River Delta region have been helping Shanghai resume production during the latest COVID-19 outbreak, according to the government of Shanghai. Cities in the delta region in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui have been working on a “white list” of key companies eligible to resume work to ensure production across the entire industry chain, Wu Qing, executive vice-mayor of Shanghai, said at a news briefing on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Online user locations identified to curb false information: China Daily
April 20, 2022

Chinese social media platforms announced recently they will display user locations based on Internet Protocol addresses in a bid to curb the spread of misinformation. The move started with Sina Weibo, which launched the feature in March, showing the IP address on profile pages of users. The feature cannot be turned off or disabled by users. Click here to read…

China to up its textile recycling capability: China Daily
April 20, 2022

China, producer of half the world’s textile fiber, has unveiled a guideline that aims to significantly beef up its capability to recycle textile waste, most of which is nonbiodegradable. Experts have lauded the initiative for its potential role in promoting low-carbon, circular economic development, saying it will contribute to the country’s ambitious climate and pollution targets. Click here to read…

Tough steps needed to cut COVID-19 transmission: China Daily
April 20, 2022

China has entered a new stage in its fight against the COVID-19 epidemic that calls for earlier detection and faster action to cope with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, said Ma Xiaowei, minister of the National Health Commission. Click here to read…

Suzhou takes action to stem spread of virus: China Daily
April 19, 2022

Suzhou in Jiangsu province has stepped up virus prevention and control measures while ensuring adequate food supplies in locked-down areas of the city amid the latest resurgence of COVID-19, according to local authorities. Click here to read…

497,214 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases reported in Chinese mainland since March: Global Times
April 19, 2022

China’s top health authority announced on Tuesday that a total of 497,214 locally transmitted cases have been reported in the Chinese mainland since March, affecting all provinces except Xizang autonomous region. Click here to read…

10 deaths in Shanghai spark concern over vaccination rate among elderly group: Global Times
April 19, 2022

Ten deaths of COVID-19 patients in Shanghai in the past two days are sounding alarms in the city, which has a relatively low vaccination rates among provincial-level regions in the Chinese mainland. For the country at large, it is also a strong reminder that the insufficient vaccination rate among the elderly is a towering obstacle to China’s move to ease COVID-19 restrictions, said epidemiologists. Click here to read…

China launches remote sensing on crops to forecast production and ensure food safety: Global Times
April 19, 2022

Chinese meteorologists launched monitoring and assessment services for winter wheat distribution across the country that is based on remote sensing satellite technology. The monitoring accuracy reached a resolution of 30 meters from space, and meteorology departments at the national, provincial, municipal and county levels have joined forces to promote such satellite technology applications, the Global Times learned from project insiders. Click here to read…

Chinese president to attend opening ceremony of BFA annual conference: People’s Daily
April 20, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) via video link on Thursday and deliver a keynote speech, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Wednesday.
Click here to read…

Hong Kong’s elite join leadership candidate’s campaign as Beijing watches: Reuters
April 20, 2022

Hong Kong’s sole leadership candidate John Lee has picked nearly 150 heavyweights, including the city’s richest man Li Ka-shing and other powerful businessmen and politicians, to join his advisory teams to show broad support for his bid. Click here to read…

U.S., Japan, Australia show concern over China-Solomons security pact: Kyodo
April 20, 2022

The United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are concerned over a security pact between China and the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, the White House said Tuesday, citing “serious risks” the move could pose to the region. Click here to read…

Volunteers step up to save at-risk pets in Shanghai: Taipei Times
April 20, 2022

With quarantine looming after a positive COVID-19 test, Shanghai resident Sarah Wang said that her first worry was who would look after her cat. China’s pursuit of “zero COVID-19” means anyone who catches the virus is sent to central facilities, sometimes for weeks, leaving their pets at the mercy of local authorities. Click here to read…

Economist Meng Fanli, 56, named Communist Party chief of China’s tech hub Shenzhen: South China Morning Post
April 20, 2022

A low-profile economist has been named to lead China’s southern tech hub of Shenzhen, after the city’s former Communist Party boss was promoted to provincial governor. The appointment of Meng Fanli, 56, was announced on Tuesday by the party in Guangdong province, state news agency Xinhua reported. He takes over from Wang Weizhong, who has been confirmed as governor of Guangdong after carrying out the dual role of acting governor and Shenzhen party chief since December. Click here to read…

Shanghai needs food, not TCM Covid-19 medicine Lianhua Qingwen: South China Morning Post
April 20, 2022

Chinese doctors raise doubts over the treatment’s effectiveness and question why millions of capsules were delivered to a city desperate for other supplies. The remedy is recommended in China’s national guidelines but doctors warn it could cause stomach and kidney problems in healthy people A leading neurologist in China has called for authorities to make it “very clear” whether traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Lianhua Qingwen is effective against Covid-19 before giving it precedence over food and other essential deliveries to people in lockdown. At least 8 million boxes of Lianhua Qingwen capsules have been sent to Shanghai in its battle against the Omicron variant, at the same time as many of its 25 million people are struggling to find fresh vegetables, rice and masks. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, March 11, 2022

Panchen Lama encourages Tibetan Buddhism followers to serve society, motherland: Xinhuanet
March 10, 2022

Monks, nuns and followers of Tibetan Buddhism should turn their religious belief into the driving force for building their hometowns, serving the society and the country, the 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, said during the annual “two sessions” held in Beijing. Click here to read more…

Documents to be put to vote at China’s annual legislative session: Xinhuanet
March 10, 2022

The presidium for the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, has decided to put a raft of documents to vote at the session’s closing meeting on Friday. Li Zhanshu, an executive chairman of the presidium, presided over the third and fourth meetings of the presidium held Thursday. Click here to read more…

Growth target of around 5.5 pct to generate output equivalent to medium economy, says Chinese premier: Xinhuanet
March 11, 2022

A 5.5-percent increase on the basis of over 110-trillion-yuan (about 17.4 trillion U.S. dollars) GDP in China today would generate the same amount of output equivalent to the size of a medium economy, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Friday. Click here to read more…

Chinese FM exchanges views on Ukraine issue with French, Italian counterparts: Xinhuanet
March 11, 2022

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine respectively with his French and Italian counterparts via video link. When meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Wang said the major consensus reached by Chinese, French and German leaders during a virtual summit held on Tuesday should be well implemented. Click here to read more…

Chinese PLA cooperates with militaries of over 50 countries in COVID-19 fight: Xinhuanet
March 10, 2022

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has played an active role in the global fight against COVID-19 while fully supporting domestic epidemic containment, a military spokesperson said Wednesday. Click here to read more…

China to step up rural highway construction: Xinhuanet
March 10, 2022

China will promote rural highway construction and further improve the country’s rural highway network this year, according to the Ministry of Transport. Last year, the country’s total investment in rural highways reached about 410 billion yuan (about 65 billion U.S. dollars). More than 160,000 kilometers of rural roads were reconstructed, data from the ministry showed. Click here to read more…

China boosts funding to address weak links in social welfare: Xinhuanet
March 10, 2022

China has provided 3 billion yuan (about 475.4 million U.S. dollars) from the central government budget to shore up weak links in social welfare and ensure people’s well-being, the country’s top economic planner said Thursday. Click here to read more…

Digital platform improves legislators’ work efficiency: China Daily
March 11, 2022

A digital platform has been launched to facilitate the work of national legislators by moving the processing of motions online. The platform was officially put into operation on Saturday, when the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress kicked off. Click here to read more…

University Party secretary deposed after COVID-19 campus outbreak, sparks heated discussion: Global Times
March 10, 2022

The secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) committee at a university was sacked on Thursday after an outbreak of COVID-19 was detected in the campus. This has shocked Chinese social media and aroused a heated discussion. Click here to read more…

17 officials from E China’s city punished for severe loopholes in daily epidemic prevention: Global Times
March 11, 2022

A total of 17 officials from the pandemic-hit Laixi, a city in East China’s Shandong Province, were punished on Thursday for severe loopholes in daily epidemic prevention tasks, especially their low alert and negligent attitude against COVID-19 in populated places like schools. Both the secretary of the city’s Communist Party of China committee, Zhou Ke, and the mayor of Laixi, Liu Ying, were severely warned by the Party disciplinary body. Click here to read more…

China’s ‘reasonable, appropriate’ defense budget boost contributes to natl security, world peace: military delegation deputy: Global Times
March 10, 2022

China’s defense expenditure has kept a reasonable, appropriate increase, and will contribute to safeguarding national security and world peace, a Chinese legislator from military delegation told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday. Click here to read more…

China to take counter measures if US moves to sanction Chinese firms, individuals: Global Times
March 10, 2022

China will firmly respond with counter measures if the US moves to implement sanctions on Chinese companies or individuals under the pretext of the Russia-Ukraine military conflict, which some US government officials have threatened, China’s Foreign Ministry said. Click here to read more…

Chip proposals flourish at two sessions as China aims for technology self-sufficiency: Global Times
March 10, 2022

Integrated circuit (IC)-themed proposals and motions have been all the rage during the “two sessions”, as eagerness grows over China’s push for semiconductors self-sufficiency amid the US-led tech decoupling. Click here to read more…

China ranks first in world in terms of outstanding green loans: Quishi
March 11, 2022

China’s outstanding green loans in yuan and foreign currencies hit 15.9 trillion yuan (about $2.5 trillion) by the end of 2021, the largest in the world and jumping 33 percent from the previous year, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The country issued 600 billion yuan worth of green bonds domestically last year, up 180 percent year on year, with outstanding green bonds reaching 1.1 trillion yuan. Click here to read more…

China may warm to Japan to tackle economic slump, but faces hurdles: Kyodov

March 11, 2022

China may try to cozy up to Japan in the short run to curb a possible economic downturn, as President Xi Jinping has been keen to secure a controversial third term as leader at the ruling Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress in fall. But Tokyo is unlikely to take a softer approach toward Beijing, with the two Asian powers recently at odds over China’s security challenges to Taiwan, its temporary detention of a Japanese diplomat and its unwillingness to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Click here to read more…

Matchmakers a turn-off, Chinese Web users say: Reuters
March 11, 2022

Proposals for matchmaking committees within unions and a drive to encourage more graduate students to have babies triggered a frosty reception on social media, as officials brainstormed ways to raise China’s plunging birthrate. Click here to read more…

China censors online Ukraine debate, bars calls for peace: Reuters
March 11, 2022

China’s censors, who quietly determine what can be discussed on the country’s buzzing social media platforms, are silencing views of citizens protesting against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the days after Russia’s Feb. 24 attack, comments on Chinese social media platforms Weibo, WeChat and Douyin broadly backed Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Many posts challenging that, or even advocating peace, quickly disappeared from view. Click here to read more…

TikTok nears Oracle deal in bid to allay U.S. data concerns-sources: Reuters
March 11, 2022

TikTok is nearing a deal for Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) to store its U.S. users’ information without its Chinese parent ByteDance having access to it, hoping to address U.S. regulatory concerns over data integrity on the popular short video app, people familiar with the matter said. Click here to read more…

China’s disciplinary enforcers shift focus from corruption to poor performance: South China Morning Post
March 9, 2022

China’s President Xi Jinping is increasingly using the Communist Party’s disciplinary mechanisms, best known for tackling corruption, to punish poor performance, a study has found. It said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had shifted from being a “fear-inducing machine” primarily focused on corruption to becoming a “behaviour modification machine”. Click here to read more…

Familiar barriers put China’s women scientists a long way from the top: South China Morning Post
March 11, 2022

The theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is “Break the Bias”, which asks us to imagine a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. In the second of a series of stories about gender equality in China, Holly Chik looks at why there are so few women in China’s top science institutes, and recent measures meant to bridge the gender gap.
By most measures Zhong Xuefeng is a success story. After completing a PhD overseas, she is now a professor at China’s Anhui Medical University. But the price she paid for that success has left her guilt ridden. Click here to read more…

China Daily Digest February 24, 2022

Senior CPC official meets Panchen Lama: Xinhuanet

Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official You Quan met with the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu in Beijing Wednesday. You, a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, extended Tibetan new year greetings to the Panchen Lama and all Tibetan Buddhism believers. Click here to read…

China launches digital working platform for lawmakers: Xinhuanet

February 24, 2022

A digital working platform designed to assist China’s lawmakers in better performing their duties was officially launched on Wednesday. The platform enables the full cycle of online processing of the proposals and suggestions put forward by deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, making available information on their receipt, handling and feedback. Click here to read…

National political advisors urged to conduct in-depth study of public issues: Xinhuanet

February 23, 2022

China’s top political advisor Wang Yang on Wednesday urged national political advisors to conduct in-depth study of issues concerning the fundamental interests of the country and the people, and to launch discussions and offer high-quality suggestions in that regard. Click here to read…

China urges all parties involved in Ukraine issue to exercise restraint: Xinhuanet

February 23, 2022

A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called on all parties involved in Ukraine issue to exercise restraint. “In the current context, all parties concerned should exercise restraint, and avoid taking any action that may aggravate tensions,” Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told the plenary meeting of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Ukraine. Click here to read…

China urges Japan to strictly discipline its diplomatic personnel in China: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

China has lodged solemn representations with Japan over the conduct of a Japanese diplomat in China, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks in response to a query on China’s temporary detention of a Japanese diplomat in Beijing this week. Click here to read…

China boosts support for export credit insurance: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

China is moving to step up support for export credit insurance as part of its efforts to spur the stable growth of foreign trade. Regulators should guide enterprises to make full use of export credit insurance policy tools and give full play to the role of export credit insurance in risk protection, according to a circular jointly released by the Ministry of Commerce and the China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. Click here to read…

Airbus delivers 142 commercial aircraft to China in 2021: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

Airbus delivered a total of 142 commercial aircraft to the Chinese market in 2021, Airbus China said Wednesday. China remained Airbus’ largest single-country market globally. Commercial aircraft deliveries in the country accounted for more than 23 percent of Airbus’ global deliveries in 2021, according to Airbus China. Click here to read…

China’s major shale gas field adds 19 new wells: Xinhuanet
February 24, 2022

The Fuling shale gas field in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality has put 19 new wells into operation this year, increasing the daily gas output by 1.06 million cubic meters, said its developer Sinopec, China’s largest oil refiner. Click here to read…

Document promotes rights protection: China Daily
February 24, 2022

It is essential to provide more care and stronger protection for women and children in rural areas while promoting village vitalization, as their spiritual demands are as important as their material needs, legal professionals said. Click here to read…

Russian, Ukrainian, French, UK embassies turn to Chinese Twitter-like Weibo for statements on Ukraine situation: Global Times
February 22, 2022

With the sudden announcement of Russia recognizing “the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR)” and “the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR)” as independent and sovereign states, the Ukraine Embassy to China released a statement concerning the issue in Chinese on Tuesday, bringing the issue to a top trending topic on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo. Click here to read…

How can US ‘gift’ to Nepal be delivered by ultimatum, asks Chinese FM: Global Times
February 23, 2022

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said China opposes “coercive diplomacy” and will support the Nepalese people to choose their own development path as always, during a press conference on Wednesday. Hua made the remarks responding to the controversy that the US urged Nepal to endorse the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) by February 28, a move that some experts believe will hurt Nepal’s national security and sovereignty if the pact is accepted. Click here to read…

China vows to keep property market stable, meet demand this year: Reuters
February 24, 2022

China’s housing minister pledged on Thursday to keep the real estate market stable this year and ensure genuine demand for homes is met, after a series of regulations aimed at reining in debt in the sector unsettled buyers and prompted a marked slowdown in the key property sector. Click here to read…

China calls for restraint in Ukraine, rejects the term ‘invasion’: Reuters
February 24, 2022

China reiterated on Thursday a call for all parties involved in the situation in Ukraine to exercise restraint and rejected a foreign journalist’s description of Russia’s actions as an invasion. Click here to read…

China temporarily detains Japanese diplomat while on duty: Kyodo
February 23, 2022

A Japanese diplomat in Beijing was detained temporarily earlier this week while on duty, with China arguing Wednesday that its action was justified because the official was engaging in inappropriate activity. Click here to read…

China’s yuan ‘trading like a safe haven currency’ as Ukraine crisis roils markets: Reuters
February 24, 2022

The yuan is standing out for its resilience as global markets reel from Russia’s attack on targets across Ukraine. While major stock markets tumbled, and currencies from the euro to the Korean won declined, the yuan is still hovering near a four-year high after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an operation to demilitarise Ukraine. Click here to read…

Party officials sacked in Inner Mongolia as local Covid-19 outbreak continues: South China Morning Post
February 24, 2022

A number of Communist Party officials in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region have been sacked for failing to contain their local Covid-19 outbreak. The ongoing outbreak prompted the dismissal of Wang Zhiqiang as secretary of the party committee of the disease control and prevention centre in Hohhot. He Lingling and Wen Yan, respectively deputy heads of the Hohhot districts of Tumut Zuoqi and Saihan, were also removed from their posts.
The northern region accounted for nearly half of the 85 local symptomatic cases that were announced nationally on Thursday. The authorities also announced 24 local asymptomatic cases and 189 imported cases, of which 101 were symptomatic. Click here to read…

China seeks action to end rising Ukraine crisis as Putin gives order for military operation: South China Morning Post
February 24, 2022

China urged action to stop tensions escalating over Ukraine and has called for a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis as Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a military operation in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. China’s envoy to the United Nations Zhang Jun did not mention Russia by name and he neither endorsed nor condemned Russia’s declaration of independence for Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions or Putin’s decision to send troops. Click here to read…

Ant Group NFT platform punishes 56 accounts for reselling digital collectibles, exercising caution: South China Morning Post
February 24, 2022

Fintech giant Ant Group’s non-fungible token (NFT) platform punished 56 accounts for participating in the resale of digital collectibles for profit, highlighting a fundamental difference between the blockchain-based products in mainland China compared with the rest of the world, where they have become speculative investment assets. The platform called Topnod, which was spun off from the digital wallet Alipay, said it firmly opposes the resale in any form of digital collectibles, the term often used instead of NFTs in China to dissociate them from cryptocurrencies, which Beijing has banned. Reselling these collectibles “often carries a risk of fraud and is prone to unhealthy speculation, which is contrary to the positioning of digital collectibles”, Topnod said in a statement on Tuesday. Click here to read…

China Daily Digest February 23, 2022

China outlines tasks to advance rural vitalization in 2022: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

China unveiled its “No. 1 central document” for 2022 on Tuesday, outlining key tasks to comprehensively push forward rural vitalization this year. As the first policy statement released by China’s central authorities each year, the document is seen as an indicator of policy priorities. Work on agriculture and rural areas has been high on the agenda for 19 consecutive years since 2004. Click here to read…

Senior official urges efforts to advance whole-process people’s democracy, rule of law: Xinhuanet
February 22, 2022

A senior Chinese official on Tuesday urged persistent efforts to develop whole-process people’s democracy and advance the rule of law in China. Wang Chen, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chief of the China Law Society, made the remarks while delivering a keynote speech at a legal science forum. Click here to read…

China appoints special envoy for Horn of Africa affairs: Xinhuanet
February 22, 2022

China has appointed Xue Bing, former ambassador to Papua New Guinea, as the special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Chinese FM holds phone conversation with U.S. secretary of state: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday had a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken congratulated China on the successful Beijing Winter Olympics and the Chinese athletes on their great achievements. Click here to read…

China to roll out supportive measures for SMEs: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

China will roll out targeted measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tide over difficulties, a senior official with the Ministry of Finance said Tuesday. As a major impetus for economic and social development, SMEs play an irreplaceable role in increasing employment, improving people’s livelihood and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, Yu Weiping, vice finance minister, told a press conference. Click here to read…

Chinese authorities say commercial banks must offer cash services: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

Any commercial bank that has physical outlets must provide cash deposit and withdrawal services, two authorities said on Monday. Despite the generally good quality of cash services nationwide, cash refusal occurs occasionally in the society and some banking institutions have shown a decline in willingness to handle cash transactions, according to a meeting held by the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. Click here to read…

China improves supervision of social insurance funds: Xinhuanet

February 23, 2022

China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has rolled out measures for administrative supervision of social insurance funds and to crack down on insurance frauds. Click here to read…

Chinese authorities act to protect minors from e-cigarette: Xinhuanet
February 23, 2022

Chinese authorities including the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the national market regulator have jointly launched a campaign to crack down on selling electronic cigarettes to minors as well as related crimes. Click here to read…

Online functioning of people’s courts in China to be streamlined: Xinhuanet

February 23, 2022

The online functioning of people’s courts in China is expected to see improvements, as a new set of relevant regulations will come into effect on March 1. The regulations were released by the Supreme People’s Court on Tuesday to support the people’s courts to handle lawsuits and conduct mediation and other judicial activities online, so as to improve the efficiency and quality of their services. Click here to read…

China vows more fiscal support for firms, local govts to cope with downward pressure: Global Times
February 23, 2022

China will scale up cuts in taxes and fees in 2022 on top of the newly added cuts worth 1.1 trillion yuan ($174 billion) last year and increase allocation of fiscal revenue to local governments to help offset their slowing revenues, officials from the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Tuesday, as the country firmly implements proactive fiscal policies for precision and sustainability in stabilizing economic growth. Click here to read…

HK to test all residents three times for coronavirus in March: China Daily
February 23, 2022

Hong Kong will launch a massive program in March to test every resident three times for COVID-19 in an effort to ferret out any infections in the community after the special administrative region reported 6,211 confirmed infections and 39 deaths on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Nation to boost forest and grass industry: China Daily
February 23, 2022

China aims to boost the annual output of its forest and grass industry to 9 trillion yuan ($1.42 trillion) by 2025, according to a five-year plan released recently by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. Click here to read…

Chinese vice premier stresses importance of national soil survey: China Daily
February 23, 2022

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Tuesday called for the successful completion of the third national soil survey to ensure food security. Hu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a meeting in Beijing specifying the tasks of the survey. Click here to read…

Robochefs whip up dishes in an instant: China Daily
February 23, 2022

At the canteen in the Main Media Center for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, hamburgers are made in 20 seconds, and Cantonese clay pot rice is ready as soon as customers scan a QR code.

About 10 different intelligent cooking machines developed by the Qianxi Robotics Group from Guangdong province stand ready to serve hungry visitors from around the world. “The use of catering robots has helped diversify the variety of foods we can prepare and has greatly increased efficiency,” said Zhong Zhanpeng, manager of the intelligent canteen. Click here to read…

China vows multiple measures to increase soybean, oilseeds production in 2022: Global Times
February 23, 2022

China will mull over multiple measures this year to increase production capacity of soybean and other oilseeds, including improving subsidy mechanism for soybean farmers, actively guiding farmers in Northeast China – a main production base – to expand soybean cultivation area and promoting advanced soybean-corn intercropping agricultural technology, Chinese agricultural officials said on Wednesday, after the release of the No.1 central document that focuses on food security. Click here to read…

Online collaboration systems win increasing popularity in China’s workplace: People’s Daily
February 23, 2022

Online collaboration, which costs less and is more efficient than the traditional way of working, becomes a new trend in China with the progress of digitalization in various sectors. Click here to read…

China’s child-rearing costs far outstrip U.S., Japan –research: Reuters
February 23, 2022

The cost of raising a child in China stands at nearly seven times its per capita GDP, far more than the United States and Japan, highlighting the challenges facing Chinese policymakers as they try to tackle rapidly declining birth rates, new research showed. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, February 11, 2022

Former Hangzhou Party chief arrested for suspected bribe-taking: Xinhuanet
February 11, 2022

Zhou Jiangyong, a former senior official in east China’s Zhejiang Province, has been arrested for suspected bribe-taking, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) said Friday. Zhou was formerly a member of the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and secretary of the CPC municipal committee of Hangzhou, Zhejiang’s capital city. Click here to read…

China urges U.S. to scrap additional tariffs, sanctions: Xinhuanet
February 10, 2022

China on Thursday urged the United States to remove additional tariffs, sanctions, and other suppressive measures against it at an early date. China has worked hard to promote the joint implementation of its phase-one economic and trade agreement with the United States since the deal came into force. It overcame multiple negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global economic recession, and disrupted supply chains, Gao Feng, spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, told a press conference. Click here to read…

China rolls out payment rules for TV series stars: Xinhuanet
February 10, 2022

China has released a development plan for the production of TV series, stepping up the regulation of the income distribution system and pay levels for performers.The plan, released by the National Radio and Television Administration, aims at promoting fair competition in TV series production, preventing vicious expansion of capital, and encouraging healthy interactions between capital and the development of the industry. Click here to read…

China to improve utilization of industrial solid waste: Xinhuanet
February 10, 2022

China aims to reduce the generation intensity of industrial solid waste in steel, nonferrous metals, and chemical sectors by 2025, and meanwhile significantly improve the utilization of bulk solid waste. Click here to read…

Housing policy looks to aid new urban residents: China Daily
February 11, 2022

China will not turn to the property sector for short-term impetus to stimulate economic growth this year, and will instead ratchet up efforts to address housing difficulties faced by new urban residents and young people, officials and experts said. Click here to read…

PLA holds simultaneous drills after US, Japan exercise near Taiwan island: Global Times
February 10, 2022

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently conducted simultaneous exercises in three major sea regions in a move experts said on Thursday displayed the Chinese military’s combat preparedness after the US and Japan held massive, troublemaking exercises along the first island chain near the island of Taiwan as the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics started. Click here to read…

China’s largest chipmaker SMIC to see more capacity after record sales revenue despite US crackdown: Global Times
February 11, 2022

China’s largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) said the company’s factory expansion is going smoothly and three projects, upon completion, will make its output increase, the group’s executive said on Friday, amid the ongoing US crackdown. Click here to read…

China records 200 million flexible workers: People’s Daily
February 11, 2022

The diverse new labor forms developed by the booming platform economy and sharing economy are offering new choices for young people in China. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China had recorded 200 million flexible workers by the end of 2021, nearly three times more than there had been in 2020. Click here to read…

China revises draft rules on data security for business sectors: Reuters
February 10, 2022

China’s industry ministry published revisions to draft rules on Thursday dictating how companies and localities should manage data, bringing more specificity to the country’s evolving data governance regime. Click here to read…

Tesla plans to locate China design centre in Beijing, city govt says: Reuters
February 11, 2022

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA.O) plans to place its China design centre in Beijing, a government document issued by the Chinese capital said. Tesla said in 2020 it planned to open such acentre in the country to make “Chinese-style” vehicles but has not said where it would be. Last year, Reuters reported that the studio could be in Shanghai, where its factory is located, or Beijing. Click here to read…

China’s singles put their hearts in the hands of the party: South China Morning Post
February 11, 2022

Slumping marriage and birth rates – and the knock-on effects of economic stagnation and an ageing workforce – are leading China’s Communist Party to increasingly act as matchmaker. Zhang Shaoge, 30, put his heart in the hands of the party when he attended an event organised by officials from the local youth branch. “It’s about time to date and get married at this age,” he said. Click here to read…

China’s family planning agency says it will ‘intervene’ in abortions for unmarried women, teens: South China Morning Post
February 11, 2022

China’s family planning agency says it will “intervene” when unmarried women and teenagers seek abortions and promote traditional values to encourage people to have more children, as it tries to reverse declining birth rates. In a plan outlining key initiatives for the year, the China Family Planning Association said the intervention to reduce the number of abortions was to “improve reproductive health”. It said a task force would be set up for education and communication projects in this area, but no further details were given.
The plan, released in late January, also calls for a pilot public health programmes to encourage Chinese to have more than one child. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, February 01, 2022

Chinese ambassador, U.S. business leaders vow to work for sound, stable China-U.S. ties in Year of Tiger: Xinhuanet
January 31, 2022

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang and U.S. business leaders said on Sunday that they will work for the stable development of China-U.S. relations in the upcoming Year of the Tiger. “In the coming year of the tiger, we must have courage and vision,” Qin said at an online reception for the Chinese New Year held by the Chinese Embassy. Click here to read…

China’s Tibet sees foreign trade up 88.3 pct in 2021: Xinhuanet
February 1, 2022

Foreign trade of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region surged 88.3 percent year on year in 2021, according to data from local customs. Tibet’s imports and exports exceeded 4 billion yuan (about 632 million U.S. dollars) last year, the customs in Lhasa, the regional capital, said. Click here to read…

China’s renewable energy capacity up in 2021: Xinhuanet
January 31, 2022

China saw steady growth in renewable energy capacity in 2021, data by the National Energy Administration showed. By the end of last year, the country’s installed capacity of renewable energy totaled 1.06 billion kilowatts, accounting for 44.8 percent of the total installed power generation capacity. Click here to read…

Xinjiang’s Kashgar opens 4 new int’l air cargo routes: Xinhuanet
February 1, 2022

The prefecture of Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region opened four new international air cargo routes in January in its efforts to further opening up, according to local authorities. These routes link Kashgar with the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Islamabad, Hungary’s Budapest as well as Liege in Belgium, said Kashgar Customs on Sunday. Click here to read…

Beijing 2022 builds platform for cultural exchange and mutual understanding, said SCO chief: People’s Daily
January 31, 2022

The Beijing Olympic Winter Games will not only provide a competitive stage for athletes from different countries and regions but also build a platform for cultural exchange and mutual understanding, said Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Click here to read…

Japan parliament adopts resolution on human rights in China: Reuters
February 1, 2022

Japan’s parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution on the “serious human rights situation” in China, and called Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government to take steps to relieve the situation, as the Beijing Winter Olympics loom just days ahead. Japan has already announced it will not send a government delegation to the Games, following a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott over concerns about China’s human rights condition, although Tokyo avoided explicitly labelling its move as such. Click here to read…

Dashed dreams for China Evergrande’s showpiece resort island: Reuters
January 31, 2022

The opening last year of the world’s largest artificial resort island, developed by China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) for nearly $13 billion, was the realisation of the ambitions of founder Hui Ka Yan, who sketched a design for the project himself. Click here to read…

China’s abuse of foreign reporters worsens: Taipei Times
February 1, 2022

The Chinese government is finding new ways to intimidate foreign journalists, their Chinese colleagues and their sources, and harassment has reached such a high level that at least six have left the country, a key report said yesterday. Click here to read…

China’s backing for global debt transparency crucial to contain Covid-induced stress in emerging markets: South China Morning Post
January 31, 2022

Bringing China on board is “critical” to promoting transparency in sovereign lending, according to a report by the Bretton Woods Committee, amid a rise in sovereign debt distress in emerging markets caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.The influential US-based non-profit group recommended in a report on Monday that a global consensus be developed around “minimum voluntary disclosure requirements” and ongoing reporting obligations for all sovereign lending. Click here to read…

Chinese scientists create AI nanny to look after babies in artificial womb: South China Morning Post
January 31, 2022

An artificial womb for fetuses to safely grow in, and a robotic nanny to monitor and take care of them. All within the realm of possibility, say Chinese scientists, in what could be a breakthrough for the future of childbearing in a country facing its lowest birth rates in decades. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, January 25, 2022

Xu Kunlin elected governor of China’s Jiangsu: Xinhuanet
January 23, 2022

Xu Kunlin was elected governor of east China’s Jiangsu Province by the provincial legislature on Sunday. The 13th Jiangsu Provincial People’s Congress elected the governor at its fifth session. Click here to read…

Former supreme court official expelled from CPC, office: Xinhuanet
January 24, 2022

Meng Xiang, former chief of the enforcement bureau of the Supreme People’s Court, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office over serious violations of Party discipline and laws, the country’s top anti-graft body announced Monday. Click here to read…

Former senior banking regulatory official expelled from CPC for power abuse: Xinhuanet
January 24, 2022

Cai Esheng, former vice chairman of China’s top banking regulatory body, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for grave violations of Party discipline and laws, the country’s top anti-graft body said in an announcement Monday. Click here to read…

Former deputy head of State Administration of Grain expelled from CPC: Xinhuanet
January 25, 2022

Xu Ming, former deputy head of the State Administration of Grain, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) over severe violations of Party discipline and laws, China’s top anti-graft body announced Monday. Click here to read…

Xi chairs CPC leadership meeting to review report, regulations: Xinhuanet
January 24, 2022

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Monday chaired a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. The meeting reviewed a report from the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau after the Standing Committee heard and discussed the work reports of the leading Party members groups of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Council, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, as well as the work report of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee. Click here to read…

China to leverage SMEs in enhancing industrial chains: Xinhuanet
January 24, 2022

China will improve support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and help them play better roles in reinforcing the industrial chains, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). In 2022, the country will incubate 3,000 “little giant” firms, which refer to promising small enterprises in their early stage of development, and focusing on high-end technologies, said the ministry. Click here to read…

China maps five-year plan for building modern distribution system: Xinhuanet
January 24, 2022

China’s top economic planner on Monday unveiled plans for a modern distribution system over the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). By 2025, China expects distribution costs to decrease and for the modern distribution system to become more efficient, meaning the sector will play a significantly larger role in the economy, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Click here to read…

Green, smart transportation sector seen as key objective: Quishi
January 24, 2022

China is looking to gain a competitive edge in the transportation sector during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) amid a larger drive to foster green, smart and high-quality development over the long run, officials said on Wednesday. Luo Guosan, director of the Department of Infrastructure Development of the National Development and Reform Commission, highlighted the imbalances and inadequacies in the development of comprehensive transportation, saying it is urgent to promote high-quality transportation development. Click here to read…

Officials urge action to address declining birthrate: China Daily
January 25, 2022

China’s birthrate will remain low, and negative population growth is likely in the coming years, but there is no need for excessive stress about the phenomenon, officials said recently. In 2020, the birthrate fell below 10 per 1,000 people (to 8.52) for the first time since records began in 1978, according to the statistical yearbook released by the National Bureau of Statistics in November. Click here to read…

China tests new engine,‘likely to power hypersonic aircraft’: Global Times
January 24, 2022

China on Monday conducted a test flight for a new engine that experts said could power China’s future hypersonic aircraft and near-space plane. The engine, developed by the Laboratory of Spray Combustion and Propulsion under School of Aerospace Engineering at Tsinghua University, successfully conducted a flight test on Monday morning, China Central Television (CCTV) reported. Click here to read…

Chinese auto maker BYD intensifies crackdown on corruption in 2021: Global Times
January 25, 2022

Chinese domestic auto maker BYD intensified a crackdown on corruption in 2021, with 28 suppliers and 94 employees being flagged for violating company regulations while another 22 people involved in seven cases were referred to public security authorities for investigation. Click here to read…

China intellectual voices opposition to Taiwan reunification by force: Kyodo
January 24, 2022

A former professor of Peking University in Beijing has issued a statement against a reunification of Taiwan with the mainland by force, in a rare move by a Chinese intellectual to openly challenge the government’s policy on the island. Zheng Yefu, a 71-year-old sociologist, warned that a military threat to Taiwan would prevent peaceful unification and could even lead to a war among nuclear powers including the United States, while emphasizing the importance of fostering anti-war public sentiment. Click here to read…

China ‘flexes muscles’ at US, Japan: Taipei Times
January 25, 2022

China on Sunday sent 39 warplanes — mostly fighter jets — into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in its second-largest single-day incursion, the Ministry of National Defense said. Thirteen warplanes entered the zone yesterday, it added. Click here to read…

China’s Tencent fires 70 staff, blacklists 13 firms in anti-graft campaign: Reuters
January 25, 2022

Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social media and video games company, on Tuesday said it fired nearly 70 staff over bribery and embezzlement incidents last year and named 13 companies it had blacklisted from future contracts. Tencent said in a social media post that it had also reported more than 10 people to authorities over their actions. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, December 24, 2021

China calls for joint efforts to combat terrorism: Xinhuanet
December 23, 2021

The international community should strengthen solidarity and join hands in fighting terrorism, a senior Chinese diplomat said. The lessons of the boomerang effect are still fresh in memory, and must be learned by heart, Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao said on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Second International Seminar on Counterterrorism in Beijing. Click here to read…

China escalates crackdown on fraudulent, fake online activities: Xinhuanet
December 23, 2021

China’s cyberspace watchdog has launched a targeted campaign to combat fraudulent online traffic, irregular public-relations activities and fake social-media accounts. The two-month campaign aims to tackle these interlinked issues, which infringe on the legal rights and interests of netizens, and disrupt the environment for public opinion and market order, according to a video conference of the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission. Click here to read…

Minister prioritizes stable growth for industrial development: Quishi
December 24, 2021

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has stated that stabilizing industrial growth in 2022 is its top priority, and it has urged efforts to promote the upgrading of manufacturing and facilitate digital and green transformations. Click here to read…

Work on shipyard in Shanghai for Chinese warships goes smoothly, to open in 2023: Global Times
December 24, 2021

Since its start at the beginning of the year, the construction of a new shipyard for a key Chinese warship builder has been going smoothly, and dock basin construction kicked off on Wednesday. The new site is expected to allow China to build a range of warships – including amphibious assault ships, amphibious landing ships and frigates – faster, better and more efficiently, observers said on Thursday. Click here to read…

China plans to boost railway technology advantages by 2025 with a 600km/h maglev system and vacuum tube trains: Global Times
December 23, 2021

China plans to boost its technology assets and R&D with a high-speed maglev system capable of reaching 600 kilometers per hour and high-speed trains in a vacuum tube, according to a five-year plan for railway science and technology innovation unveiled on Thursday by the National Railway Administration (NRA), the national railway regulator. Click here to read…

Ex-cyberspace official charged with abusing position, receiving bribes: China Daily
December 23, 2021

Peng Bo, former deputy head of the Office of the Central Leading Group on the Prevention and Handling of Cult-related Issues, who was charged with receiving bribes worth over 54 million yuan ($8.5 million), pleaded guilty in court on Thursday. The Wuxi Intermediate People’s Court in Jiangsu province held a public hearing of the case. Peng made his final statement in court. His sentence will be announced later. Click here to read…

China, South Asia friendship organizations boost mutual trust, cooperation: People’s Daily
December 24, 2021

With the theme of “Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development,” the 7th China South Asia Friendship Organizations’ Forum was held on Wednesday via video link to promote friendly exchanges between China and South Asian countries. About 140 participants from China and six South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Nepal, joined the event both online and offline. Click here to read…

Japan will not send govt delegation to Beijing Olympics: Reuters
December 24, 2021

Japan will not send a government delegation to next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, it said on Friday, a move that stops short of joining a U.S.-led diplomatic boycott of the Games, but one nonetheless likely to deepen tension with China. The boycott, driven by Washington and including some of its allies, has become another delicate issue for Japan, a close partner of the United States that also has strong economic ties to China. Click here to read…

China 2021 tech crackdown: once seen as the golden ticket, Big Tech has shed jobs and lost its allure among the young: South China Morning Post
December 24, 2021

This year will go down as a tough period for Chinese technology firms, as Beijing moved to exert control over the once-freewheeling sector. In the third of a four-part series, the South China Morning Post looks at how 2021 became a turning point in the development of China’s Big Tech companies. Xiang Zikui, a Shenzhen-based woman who works in the gaming division of one of China’s biggest internet companies, says she was shocked to hear about large-scale lay-offs at iQiyi, often dubbed China’s Netflix. Click here to read…

Loans for babies: Chinese province’s strategy to beat population blues: Reuters
December 23, 2021

Jilin in northeast China is offering married couples bank loans of up to 200,000 yuan ($31,400) if they have kids, joining other provinces in the roll-out of financial incentives to overcome a declining population. Certain small businesses set up by couples with two or three children will also enjoy exemptions and cuts in value-added taxes, the Jilin government said in a statement on ThursdayClick here to read…

Chinese scientists hail success of new hypersonic engine that military ‘did not think would work’: South China Morning Post
December 24, 2021

A new engine for hypersonic weapons, built using technology that the military did not believe would work, has successfully completed its first test flights in China, the team behind it has said. The scientists believe it will help China speed up large-scale production of hypersonic weapons at relatively low cost while maintaining high quality and performance. They said a new manufacturing method allowed them to make titanium alloy components that laboratory and real-world tests had found to perform far better than those made using traditional methods, allowing them to go straight from the furnace to the engine assembly line without further processing. Click here to read…

Global Developments and Analysis: Weekly Monitor, 13 December – 19 December 2021

Economic
Belt and Road sit-in at Pakistan port shows no sign of ending

A massive sit-in protest has engulfed the Pakistani city of Gwadar, home to the country’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative port project in the country, severely damaging prospects for more Chinese investment in Gwadar, experts say. The monthlong sit-in, led by Maulana Hidayat ur Rehman, a local political leader, has drawn thousands of people to the Give Rights to Gwadar Movement. The demonstrators, many of them women, are camped at the entrance to the Chinese-controlled port, where they listen to Rehman’s fiery speeches. The protest has generated headlines in Pakistan and touched off a debate in the media. The demonstrators are demanding an end to deep-sea fishing by trawlers in nearby waters, removal of security checkpoints in the city and freer trade with neighboring Iran. The port in Gwadar is the centerpiece of $50 billion in projects that make up the Pakistan portion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, known locally as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan acknowledged the protests on Dec 13, tweeting, “I have taken notice of the very legitimate demands of the hardworking fishermen of Gwadar. Will be taking strong action against illegal fishing by trawlers & will also speak to [the chief minister of] Balochistan.” Click here to read…

Spotlight on trade gateway as India hosts talks with Central Asia

An India-backed project to transform an Iranian port into a trade gateway to Central Asia is expected to be high on the agenda as New Delhi hosts annual talks with countries from the region on Dec 19. The foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will join the meeting, looking to push ahead with plans to energize trade and cooperation even as chaos in neighboring Afghanistan threatens to overshadow their economies. Analysts say India sees the meeting as a prime chance to promote trade to and from Central Asia through Iran’s Chabahar Port, which it has spent years helping to develop. India initially started discussions with Tehran on the port around 2003. But major progress came in 2016, when New Delhi announced during a visit to Iran’s capital by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that it would invest $500 million in a mega project to develop the site. The first phase of that was inaugurated in late 2017. Chabahar sits on the Gulf of Oman, to which India has direct maritime access. The port could also open opportunities for Indian companies in Iran itself and countries beyond Central Asia such as Russia. Under the first phase of the port contract, India is required to equip and operate two berths on a 10-year lease. Click here to read…

South Korea fights supply-chain risks with economic security team

South Korea is ramping up efforts to identify and mitigate supply-chain risks as shortages and restrictions at key exporters loom large over the country’s most important industries. To this end, South Korea will launch a center dedicated to economic security and diplomacy under its foreign ministry as early as February. The ministry in its 2022 budget has set aside 2.55 billion won ($2.16 million) for the center, slated initially to comprise about 10 researchers. Responding to “global shifts in supply chains,” the center will ascertain which parts and materials the country relies on imports and suggest ways for South Korea to diversify its supply, the ministry said. It will also place staff at South Korean diplomatic missions in strategically significant countries to conduct research. A similar team is expected to take shape under South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, South Korean news outlets report. It will work with the foreign ministry center to obtain and analyze timely information regarding countries that provide key materials. China accounts for 80% or more of South Korea’s supply in 1,850 materials, including rare earths. The U.S. comes next with 503, followed by Japan with 438. Click here to read…

Japan to require cyber defenses at infrastructure companies

Japan looks to require that companies in key infrastructure sectors such as finance, telecom and transport have plans for coping with cyberattacks, in response to a rise in such incidents globally. The government will urge corporate managers to take the lead in making organizational changes and devising these plans, in addition to ensuring that equipment is secure. Tokyo will spell out these steps by April as it makes the first full revision of the country’s key infrastructure action plan since 2017. The new rules, which focus on economic security, will take effect in fiscal 2022. Countries worldwide are scrambling to bolster defenses, viewing an all-hands-on-deck approach as necessary to deal with increasingly sophisticated attacks. Japan regards roughly 1,700 financial institutions as key infrastructure, according to official data as of the end of fiscal 2020. About 1,300 telecommunications operators, 22 railways and 29 utilities also would be covered by the new rules. The other sectors are airlines, airport operators, gas providers, government services, medical institutions, waterworks, logistics, chemicals, credit and oil. Japan’s cybersecurity plan previously has been part of government guidelines, but not legally binding. The anticipated revision will make the plan more effective, as measures would be clearly based on cybersecurity laws. Click here to read…

China’s central bank cuts benchmark LPR to 3.8% to bring down financing costs

China’s central bank decided to lower the benchmark loan prime rate (LPR) for the first time in 20 months, following a 50 basis-point universal cut in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) on December 15, in line with the policy guideline released by the Central Economic Work Conference to accelerate economic growth in 2022. The one-year LPR was set at 3.8 percent compared with 3.85 percent over the past 20 months, while the five-year LPR remains unchanged at 4.65 percent, according to a statement released by the People’s Bank of China on Dec 20. The central bank decision to trim LPR will reduce the financing cost of Chinese enterprises in order to better stimulate their vitality and stave off downward economic pressure at the end of 2021, analysts said. China has kept the LPR unchanged for 20 months. The last time that the country adjusted the LPR was in April 2020, when the one-year LPR was cut from 4.05 percent to 3.85 percent. The LPR is a lending reference rate announced monthly by the central bank, taking in account of 18 commercial lenders which submit a monthly quotation by adding a premium over the Medium-term Lending Facility rate. It is also seen as the de facto benchmark reference rate for lending by Chinese banks. Click here to read…

With US-China trade deal set to expire, insiders reveal what’s really happening behind the scenes

With the phase-one trade deal between the world’s two largest economies due to expire at year’s end, Chinese scholars say supply-side issues are an impediment to China’s ability to meet purchasing targets. Multiple sources in China also told the Post that the two countries have engaged in phase-one discussions at various levels and with more frequency than has been publicly disclosed. And before the Xi-Biden summit in November, they say, the China side vowed to “buy whatever the US can ship over”. But for now, China continues to lag behind in its commitment to buy at least US$200 billion worth of additional American goods and services, relative to the 2017 level, including US$162.1 billion worth of physical goods. China’s total purchases of US goods from January 2020 to October 2021 reached only 60 per cent of the pledged total, according to a report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE). Supply-chain disruptions, which intensified this year, have inevitably weighed on China’s imports of American goods, according to analysts. However, such disruptions have not been a determining factor, and neither is politics. For some products, China is more than willing to use its state power to stockpile amid volatility in the commodities market. But for others, China simply does not need, or is unwilling to buy, so much. Click here to read…

China and Russia to establish independent financial systems: Russian media

Russia and China have agreed to develop shared financial structures to deepen economic ties in a way that will not be affected by pressure of third countries following talks between the top leaders, Russian media outlet RT reported on Dec 15. The move will help both countries deter the threat of the US government’s long-arm jurisdiction based on the US dollar denominated international payment network, experts said. During the talks on Dec 15, top leaders of the two countries called for increasing the share of national currencies in mutual settlements and expanding cooperation to provide Russian and Chinese investors with access to stock markets, said Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy advisor, according to RT. Ushakov said that “particular attention was paid to the need to intensify efforts to form an independent financial infrastructure to service trade operations between Russia and China.” “We mean creating an infrastructure that cannot be influenced by third countries,” Ushakov added. The move appears to be Russian’s response to a series threats that the US could push to disconnect Russia from the Brussels-based SWIFT financial system as a form of sanctions, Li Xin, Director of the Center for Russian and Central Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times on Dec 16. Click here to read…

ByteDance overtakes Ant Group as the world’s most valuable unicorn, Hurun rankings show

TikTok-owner ByteDance surpassed Ant Group to become the world’s largest unicorn, with start-ups from the US and China continuing to dominate the landscape, according to the latest Hurun Global Unicorn Index. This is despite Chinese companies coming under regulatory scrutiny both at home and in the US. Of the 1,058 unicorns – start-ups valued at more than US$1 billion – globally as of November this year, China had 301 start-ups, the most after the 487 in the US, according to this year’s index released by Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute on Dec 20. Beijing-based ByteDance, whose flagship app TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users globally and is viewed as a serious challenger to Facebook, saw its valuation surge nearly 30 per cent to US$350 billion, from US$270 billion last year. Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding and operator of online payment platform Alipay, was valued at US$150 billion. The top 10 largest global unicorns made up 25 per cent of the overall value of the world’s unicorns of US$3.7 trillion, according to the report. Four of them were from the US, three from China, while Australia, UK and Sweden had one each. Click here to read…

Warnings about DJI drones over spying expand US-China tech war beyond tech giants Huawei, Tencent and ByteDance

On Dec 16, the Biden administration blocked American investment in the company, a year after President Donald Trump prohibited it from sourcing US parts. Now, lawmakers from both parties are weighing a bill that would ban federal purchases of DJI drones, while a member of the Federal Communications Commission wants its products taken off the market in the US altogether. In many ways, DJI has become the poster child of a much wider national security threat: The Chinese government’s ability to obtain sensitive data on millions of Americans. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been far ahead of the West in realising the importance of data in gaining both an economic and military advantage, according to Matt Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser in the Trump Administration. In the drone world, no firm is more prolific than DJI: The Chinese company commands more than 50 per cent of the US drone market, the FCC said in October, and research firm DroneAnalyst estimates it sells about 95 per cent of the unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, priced between US$350 and US$2,000 targeted at consumers. Click here to read…

China’s Growing Access to Global Shipping Data Worries U.S.

China’s expanding grip on data about the world’s cargo flows is sparking concern in Washington and among industry officials that Beijing could exploit its logistics information for commercial or strategic advantage. Even cargo that never touches Chinese shores often still passes through Beijing’s globe-spanning logistics networks, including through sophisticated data systems that track shipments transiting ports located far from China. Control over the flow of goods and information about them gives Beijing privileged insight into world commerce and potentially the means to influence it, say cargo-industry officials. With ports clogged globally and shortages plaguing many industries, shipping data has become an enormously valuable commodity. Foremost among China’s cargo-data systems is Logink, a digital network that links shippers internationally and describes itself as a “one-stop logistics information service platform.” Logink says it draws on a mix of public databases and information input by more than 450,000 users in China and at dozens of giant ports world-wide, including across the Belt and Road initiative, China’s trillion-dollar international infrastructure project, and as part of what Beijing calls the Digital Silk Road. Logink’s international reach highlights a field critical to the world economy where the West lags behind China. Digitization of cargo data has been a dream of shippers for years. Click here to read…

Turkish, Qatari companies sign MoU to operate 5 Afghan airports

Turkish and Qatari companies inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly run five airports in Afghanistan, including Kabul airport, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Dec 20. A Turkish delegation will travel to Doha on late Dec 20 to discuss the deal for operating the Afghan capital’s airport, and later they will head to Kabul together to have talks with the interim government of Afghanistan, Cavusoglu said at a press conference. “We will present joint proposals to the Afghanistan interim administration,” he noted. “If our conditions are met, we can operate the airports with Qatar. If the conditions are not met, there is no obligation for us to operate them,” he said. The Taliban group have taken control of Afghanistan after the U.S. forces withdrew from the country in summer. Click here to read…

Turkish lira hits turbulence as Erdogan cites Islam as reason for monetary policy

Turkey’s lira dropped further on Dec 20 before recovering slightly following a speech by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on state television that cited Islam as a reason for not raising interest rates despite a rapidly depreciating currency and rampant inflation. Erdogan has repeatedly called on the central bank to lower borrowing costs despite an annual inflation rate of more than 20%. Mainstream economists believe the outcome of Erdogan’s Islamic-infused experiments with the currency could result in consumer inflation reaching 30% or higher in the months ahead. However, in his remarks on state television, Erdogan insisted it was Islam that guided his decision in demanding the central bank keep interest rates low. He also promised aid to exporters and increased government contributions to pension funds. “As a Muslim, I will continue doing what our religion tells us. This is the command,” Erdogan said. At one point in Dec 20’s trading, the lira dropped more than 11% against the dollar to around 18.40, an all-time low, before recovering some of those losses later in day. Many Turks are struggling to afford basic goods and services. Click here to read…

Strategic
China, Russia eye supercharged energy ties as shield against U.S.

Russia and China appear to be making headway toward a new gas pipeline that analysts say would help both countries hedge against growing tensions with the West. On Dec 15, presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping held a video call in which they presented a united front on issues ranging from the U.S.-led AUKUS partnership, the Biden administration’s recent Summit of Democracies and NATO’s expansion to the east. Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, said the leaders also spoke about the Power of Siberia-2 project — a proposed mega-pipeline through Mongolia that could deliver up to 50 billion cu. meters of Russian gas to China annually. Just one day later, Putin hosted Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh at the Kremlin to discuss the progress being made on Power of Siberia-2 among other issues. Although Moscow and Beijing still have to agree on pricing for Power of Siberia-2 before construction can begin, industry watchers predict that the long-awaited pipeline will not only significantly boost Russian gas exports to China — which has faced severe energy shortages this year — but also reduce Moscow’s dependence on European markets and Beijing’s reliance on maritime routes controlled by U.S. warships. Click here to read…

Kremlin: Xi supports Putin’s pursuit of guarantees from West

Chinese President Xi Jinping supported Russian President Vladimir Putin in his push to get Western security guarantees precluding NATO’s eastward expansion, the Kremlin said Dec 15 after the two leaders held a virtual summit. Putin and Xi spoke as Moscow faces heightened tensions with the West over a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine’s border. In recent weeks, Western nations engaged in diplomatic efforts to prevent a possible invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin has denied harboring plans to storm its neighbor. Putin, meanwhile, demanded guarantees that NATO will not expand to Ukraine or deploy troops and weapons there. He told Xi on Dec 15 about “mounting threats to Russia’s national interests from the U.S. and the NATO bloc, which consistently move their military infrastructure close to the Russian borders,” Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said. The Russian leader stressed the need to hold talks with NATO and the U.S. on legally binding security guarantees, according to Ushakov. Xi responded by saying he “understands Russia’s concerns and fully supports our initiative to work out these security guarantees for Russia,” Ushakov said. He said Moscow’s proposals have been passed on to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, who visited Moscow on Dec 15 and met with Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov. Click here to read…

China welcomes US competition but is not afraid of confrontation, Wang Yi says

Beijing welcomes mutually beneficial cooperation and healthy competition with the United States but is not afraid of confrontation, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “China’s attitude is consistent and clear,” Wang said on Dec 20. “Dialogue is OK, but it should be equal; cooperation is welcome, but it should be reciprocal; competition is not harmful, but it should be healthy. [China] is not afraid of confrontation and will [persist] to the end.” The comments were made at a symposium in Beijing on China’s diplomacy, two weeks after the US hosted a democracy summit without China and announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China over the country’s human rights record. Noting that 2022 would be 50 years since former US president Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China that broke the ice between the two countries, Wang said on Dec 20 that Beijing and Washington should again work to achieve a thaw. The speech outlined China’s diplomacy priorities for the next year, listing the Olympics as the top item and briefly covering Beijing’s plans for its ties with Russia and European nations before turning last to US-China relations. Click here to read…

UAE tells U.S. it will suspend F-35 talks following Huawei unease

The United Arab Emirates has informed the United States that it will suspend discussions to acquire F-35 fighter jets, a UAE official said on Dec 14, part of a $23 billion deal that also includes drones and other advanced munitions. The sale of 50 F-35 warplanes made by Lockheed Martin to the UAE had slowed amid concerns in Washington over Abu Dhabi’s relationship with China, including use of Huawei 5G technology in the country. “Technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis led to the re-assessment,” the UAE official said in a statement to Reuters that confirmed a report in the Wall Street Journal. “The U.S. remains the UAE’s preferred provider for advanced defense requirements and discussions for the F-35 may be re-opened in the future,” the official said, adding there were discussions to “address mutual defense security conditions for the acquisition”. A person briefed on the negotiations said for several months sticking points between the United States and the UAE revolved around how the stealthy jets can be deployed and how much of the sophisticated F-35 technology the Emiratis will be allowed to take advantage of. Click here to read…

Japan Foreign Ministry to create senior post on Taiwan

The Japanese Foreign Ministry plans to create a senior position dedicated to Taiwan-related issues in fiscal 2022, reflecting Tokyo’s concern over rising tensions between Beijing and Taipei. The senior coordinator for Taiwan affairs will work under the ministry’s First China and Mongolia Division, according to a proposal presented to members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Dec 17. “We’re seeing a growing number of tasks related to Taiwan in national security, foreign policy and economic security,” Masahisa Sato, director of the LDP Foreign Affairs Division, said in announcing the planned role to reporters. “It’s a big step.” The official also will handle diplomatic issues tied to the East China Sea including the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands, which China claims as the Diaoyu. The proposal comes amid tensions in the Taiwan Strait. China repeatedly sends warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, raising concerns that Beijing may be rehearsing for a military invasion of the island. “It looks a lot like them exploring their true capabilities,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California earlier this month. Click here to read…

Chinese spies have penetrated Taiwan’s military, case documents reveal

For more than 20 years, Xie Xizhang presented himself as a Hong Kong businessman on visits to Taiwan. He now stands accused of having another mission: Recruiting spies for China. On one trip in 2006, Xie met a senior retired Taiwanese navy officer, Chang Pei-ning, over a meal, according to official documents accusing the pair of espionage. Chang would become one of Xie’s agents, the documents allege, helping him penetrate Taiwan’s active military leadership as part of a long-running Chinese operation to build a spy ring among serving and retired military officers. This comes amid a series of convictions for military espionage in Taiwan in recent years. Those cases reveal that China has mounted a broader campaign to undermine the democratic island’s military and civilian leadership, corrode its will to fight, extract details of high-tech weapons and gain insights into defence planning, according to senior retired Taiwanese military officers and current counterespionage agents, as well as former US military and intelligence officers with experience in Taiwan. Taiwan’s spy catchers are battling a campaign that has compromised senior officers at the heart of the island’s armed forces and government agencies, a steady stream of convictions handed down in the courts shows. Beijing has even penetrated the security detail assigned to protect Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. Click here to read…

U.S. defense bill triples Indo-Pacific fund and heads to Biden’s desk

Congress wants the U.S. military to further strengthen its posture in the Indo-Pacific region to fend off Chinese aggression. That was the message sent when the Senate passed the annual defense spending bill Dec 15, taking a more hawkish stance than the White House’s budget request from May. The bigger spending bill allows the Pentagon to build more ships and retire fewer. A fund specifically aimed at the Indo-Pacific was tripled from the year before. The $778 billion bill for fiscal 2022, up 5% from the prior year, cleared the House earlier this month and will be signed into law soon by President Joe Biden. Lawmakers’ hawkish tilt toward China was underscored by the $7.1 billion earmarked for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) — more than the $5.1 billion requested by the administration. The U.S. looks to disperse its Pacific forces along the “first island chain,” which spans Okinawa, Taiwan and the Philippines, as concentrating them in just a few locations risks leaving them vulnerable to a Chinese missile strike. The PDI will be used to ramp up construction and updating of base infrastructure and military facilities, as well as improve supply lines for resources such as ammunition and fuel. Part of the PDI funding is expected to go toward missile defense. Click here to read…

UN talks on killer robots fail

UN talks aimed at thrashing out rules on the use of fully autonomous weapons systems have stumbled on stiff opposition from countries that invest heavily in military AI, leaving a legal vacuum. On Dec 17, the sixth review conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) failed to arrange further negotiations on the use of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS). Parties to the convention merely agreed to continue discussions instead. Despite calls for an “ambitious plan” made earlier by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the five-day gathering in Geneva bore little fruit, after nations that are investing heavily in the development of ‘killer robots’ blocked a decision on the establishment of legally-binding rules. According to Reuters, citing unnamed sources, among the vetoing countries were the US, Russia, and India. A number of states and NGOs have expressed dismay at the lack of progress in Geneva. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and New Zealand Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford have pointed out the importance of developing new international laws regulating autonomous weapons. Click here to read…

Iran begins technical, security inspection of cameras to be installed in Karaj site

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Dec 19 began technical and security inspection of cameras which are to be installed at Iran’s Karaj centrifuge producing plant by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the AEOI announced. Iran had set three conditions for the replacement of damaged cameras in Karaj, which are “carrying out judicial and security investigations on the dimensions of sabotage, condemnation (of sabotage act) by the IAEA and technical and security inspections of the cameras before installation,” Kamalvandi told Iran’s state TV in an interview. “Iran’s voluntary act to issue a license to replace these cameras was not due to a new agreement (with the IAEA), but it was done after these three preconditions are met,” he said. On Dec 26, Kamalvandi said that following exchange of views between the AEOI and the IAEA, it was decided that the agency should cooperate duly with the AEOI to ensure that the cameras would not be used for acts of sabotage at TESA Karaj Complex, a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop in north-central part of the country. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said Dec 15 that reinstallation of surveillance cameras at the facility is an important development for the IAEA’s verification and monitoring activities in Iran. Click here to read…

Security Council extends mandate of team monitoring sanctions against Taliban-linked entities

The UN Security Council decided on Dec 17 to extend for 12 months the mandate of the team monitoring sanctions against individuals and entities associated with the Taliban, as well as other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan. Unanimously adopting Resolution 2611, the 15-member council directed the monitoring team to gather information on instances of non-compliance with the measures imposed in Resolution 2255, and to facilitate, upon request by member states, capacity-building assistance. It further directed the monitoring team to provide recommendations to the committee on actions taken to respond to non-compliance. The council highlighted the importance of ensuring that the monitoring team receives the necessary support to effectively, safely and in a timely manner fulfil its mandate. The council also decided to actively review the implementation of the measures outlined in this resolution and to consider adjustments, as necessary, to support peace and stability in Afghanistan. Click here to read…

Islamic countries pledge fund to stave off Afghanistan ‘chaos’

Islamic countries pledged on Dec 19 to set up a humanitarian trust fund for Afghanistan as, with millions facing hunger and a harsh winter setting in, Pakistan’s prime minister warned of chaos if the worsening emergency was not urgently addressed. The crisis is causing mounting alarm but the international response has been muted, given Western reluctance to help the Taliban government, which seized power in August. “Unless action is taken immediately, Afghanistan is heading for chaos,” Prime Minister Imran Khan told a meeting of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Islamabad. The trust fund, announced by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, will be set up under the aegis of the Islamic Development Bank. Allowing Afghanistan access to reserves frozen outside the country would be key to preventing economic collapse, participants in the meeting – which included representatives from the United Nations, United States, European Union and Japan – said in a statement. But it was unclear how much the fund would contain and the meeting did not provide official recognition to the Taliban government. Acting Afghan foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the government had restored peace and security and done much to address demands for more inclusiveness with respect for human rights, including the rights of women. Click here to read…

Pro-Beijing candidates sweep ‘patriots’-only Hong Kong vote amid low turnout

Pro-Beijing candidates swept to victory in an overhauled “patriots”-only legislative election in Hong Kong that was deemed regressive by critics, with turnout hitting a record low amid a crackdown on the city’s freedoms by China. The turnout of 30.2 percent was almost half that of the previous legislative poll in 2016, with the latest results showing almost all of the seats being taken by pro-Beijing and pro-establishment candidates. Some of these candidates cheered on stage at the central vote counting center and chanted “guaranteed win.” When asked if her political party lacked a public mandate given the low turnout, Starry Lee, the head of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) that won half of the directly elected seats, said the electoral revamp would improve governance. “I do not believe this (the low turnout) is directly related to citizens not agreeing with this electoral system. I believe it needs some time for people to get adapted to this system,” she told reporters at the vote counting center. The election–in which only candidates screened by the government as “patriots” could run–has been criticized by some activists, foreign governments and rights groups as undemocratic. Mainstream pro-democracy parties did not participate, saying they could not endorse any candidates for a poll that was undemocratic. Click here to read…

2,500 Myanmar villagers flee army troops into Thailand

Fighting between Myanmar government forces and ethnic guerrillas has sent about 2,500 villagers fleeing across the border into Thailand, a Thai army officer said Dec 17. The exodus was the biggest since April, when several thousand villagers from Myanmar’s eastern state of Karen fled to Thailand following airstrikes by Myanmar government forces in territory held by the Karen ethnic minority. They were allowed to stay for a few days then returned to Myanmar. The Karen are one of several ethnic minorities who have been battling for decades for greater autonomy from Myanmar’s central government. Fighting between the two sides is intermitten but heated up after the military in February seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. A Thai army officer in the western border province of Tak told The Associated Press that around 2,500 villagers from Myanmar had crossed the Moei River, which marks the border, since Dec 16 to seek shelter in Thailand’s Mae Sot district. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to release information, said Thai authorities provided the evacuees ― mostly women and children ― with humanitarian assistance including shelter and food, and tested them for COVID-19. Click here to read…

US announces new ‘special coordinator’ for Tibet

The United States named a new “special coordinator for Tibetan Issues” on Dec 20, who will be tasked with restarting dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China, as well as promoting “respect for the human rights” of Tibetans. By assigning the role to a high-ranking official – Under Secretary Uzra Zeya – the Biden administration was demonstrating its commitment to addressing Tibetan issues, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an announcement. While continuing to serve in her current role, Zeya will “promote dialogue between the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Dalai Lama, his representatives, or democratically elected Tibetan leaders”, Blinken said. The announcement will likely increase tension between the United States and China. President Joe Biden had been pressed to act after a bipartisan group from Congress wrote to him in mid-December, requesting that he meet with the Dalai Lama, 86, and press China to restart negotiations which ended over 12 years ago. China’s lack of interest in dialogue has led many observers to believe that Beijing is waiting out the Dalai Lama, hoping that the global movement he has built for greater rights in Tibet will wither away without the leadership of the Buddhist monk turned cultural iconClick here to read…

Erdogan seeks to boost ties at Turkey-Africa summit

Turkey is aiming to deepen economic and military ties on Africa, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks at a major summit of African heads in Istanbul and called for a seat representing the continent at the UN Security Council. Heads of state from 16 African nations, along with more than 102 ministers and representatives of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States are attending the summit in Istanbul. The Third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit follows a flurry of activity by Turkey aimed at boosting ties with the continent. In October, Istanbul hosted business leaders and dozens of ministers from African states for a summit aimed specifically at increasing trade. The same month, Erdogan visited Angola, Nigeria, and Togo. “One-point-three billion people live on the African continent, and it is not represented at the Security Council,” Erdogan said on Dec 18. “This is a huge, flagrant injustice. I am still excited and thrilled every time I visit the continent,” Erdogan said, adding that he had made more than 50 trips to the continent and visited more than 30 countries since 2004. “This summit is a testament to the fact that Turkey is interested in Africa and Turkey’s interest in Africa is not a temporary interest, it is a maintained commitment. Our African brothers and sisters are showing they are interested in better cooperation with Turkey.” Click here to read…

Biden administration puts North Korean nuclear issue on backburner

The North Korean nuclear issue appears to have lost priority with the U.S. government, which is focusing heavily on ending China’s control of global supply chains, cross-strait relations and other issues. As Washington shows signs of preserving the status quo with the Kim Jong-un regime, which has in recent years refrained from testing nuclear and long-range missiles, the issue, described as “unproductive,” is feared by some to remain shelved. In April, after its months-long policy review of the totalitarian state, the Joe Biden administration came up with a “calibrated practical approach” to North Korea’s decades-long nuclear problem. However, combined with Pyongyang’s nonresponse to U.S. overtures and U.S. refusals to offer enticements to engage the reclusive state, negotiations on denuclearizing the North have made little progress. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitted, Dec 17 (local time), that the U.S. “had not gotten traction in diplomacy with North Korea on that over the course of this year.” “The North Korean nuclear issue was already low on Biden’s agenda as the Kim regime has remained unresponsive to U.S. calls to return to the negotiating table,” said Shin Beom-chul, director of the Center for Diplomacy and Security at the Korea Research Institute for National StrategyClick here to read…

Medical
WHO sounds warning over fast-spreading Omicron

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Dec 20. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan added it would be “unwise” to conclude from early evidence that Omicron was a milder variant that previous ones. “With the numbers going up, all health systems are going to be under strain,” Soumya Swaminathan told Geneva-based journalists. The variant is successfully evading some immune responses, she said, meaning that the booster programmes being rolled out in many countries ought to be targeted towards people with weaker immune systems. “There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the briefing. “And it is more likely people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or re-infected,” Tedros said. Their comments echoed the finding of study by Imperial College London, which said last week the risk of reinfection was more than five times higher and it has shown no sign of being milder than DeltaClick here to read…

Novavax’s Covid-19 Vaccine Approved by EU

Novavax Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine was recommended for use by the European Medicines Agency, marking the first endorsement by a major regulator of a shot that uses an established technology. A scientific committee said the Novavax shot, dubbed Nuvaxovid, was safe and effective. The European Commission almost immediately granted conditional marketing authorization in the European Union. The approval applies to adults only. The endorsement broadens the EU’s Covid-19 vaccine menu to include a technology that is widely used against other diseases, including in some routine childhood immunizations, for example against hepatitis B. The use of a long-established vaccine technology may help overcome concerns among people who have been hesitant to take up shots so far. Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck said the authorization came “during a critical time when we believe having choice among vaccines will lead to increased immunization.” The shots also can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, averting the need for the freezers required for some other Covid-19 vaccines. The shot’s efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19 in clinical trials was around 90%, said the EMA. It is the fifth vaccine to win the endorsement of the EMA, and the first to use a traditional approach to vaccination. Click here to read…

S. Korea plans restrictions as it sets new virus record

Halting its steps toward normalcy, South Korea will clamp down on social gatherings and cut the hours of some businesses to fight a record-breaking surge of the coronavirus that has led to a spike in hospitalizations and deaths. Prime Minster Kim Boo-kyum confirmed the government’s intent to restore stricter social distancing measures during a virus meeting on Dec 15 as the country set another new one-day record in infections with 7,850 cases, the fourth time this month the daily tally exceeded 7,000. The country’s death toll is now 4,456 after 70 virus patients died in the past 24 hours, while a record 964 patients were in critical or serious condition. Officials previously said the country’s medical system could buckle if the number of serious cases topped 1,000 because it would greatly hamper hospitals’ ability to respond not only to COVID-19 but also to other medical conditions. The virus surge has been a rude awakening for South Korea, which significantly eased social distancing rules and fully reopened schools in November in what officials had described as a first step toward restoring pre-pandemic normalcy. Click here to read…