During his inspection tour from March 19th to 20th, Yu Quan, Secretary of the Central Committee of the CCP Central Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department, said, “The CCP must maintain its leadership when working with the religious people in China.”
According to Yu, it is necessary to guide religious people to interpret religious teachings in accordance with the requirements of the laws and regulations. [Local governments] must lead the religions in China with socialist values and make sure religions are in line with the socialist society.
Yu further stated that grassroots CCP organizations must effectively improve their ability to do a good job in religious work, increase their manpower working with religious people, and unite religious people around the CCP.
Source: People’s Daily, March 20, 2019
For years, debt-ridden Chinese local governments have been facing lots of fiscal challenges. During the recent “Two Sessions,” Wu Sufang, the Beijing city government’s Finance Bureau Chief asked for the central government to step up its support. On March 7, Wu publicly stated that Beijing is facing a “slowdown in the growth of its fiscal revenue,” and 2019 is the “tightest year for a balanced budget.”
Wu added that the centrally-administered state-owned enterprises and their branches, the financial industry, and high-tech enterprises are relocating (outside of Beijing). This is having a major impact on Beijing’s industrial growth and fiscal revenue.
An article in the official media pointed out that the primary reason for the difficulty with Beijing’s finances is the “cleaning up of Beijing’s migrant population.” Starting in late 2017, Beijing launched campaigns to evict the migrant population. The decline in Beijing’s population has led to the relocation of industries such as manufacturing, retail, wholesale, transportation, and warehousing. The consequence was that the GDP and the tax revenue decreased.
The second reason is the housing market. The central government’s crackdown on real estate speculation affected Beijing’s official land sales revenue and real estate investments have declined. The third reason is China’s effort to cut taxes to keep the economy from further going south.
Source: Central News Agency, March 19, 2019
In Beijing on March 18, Chinese General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Xi Jinping, presided over a symposium of teachers of school ideological and political theory and delivered a speech.
Xi emphasized that “young people are the future of the motherland and the hope of the nation. Our party is determined to be a great cause for the Chinese nation. It must cultivate generations of useful talents who will support the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system of our country and are determined to fight for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. On this fundamental issue, it must be clear and unambiguous. This requires us to educate and train the next generation starting in school, from the time they are children. It is necessary to open ideological and political theory courses in a step-by-step, spiraling-up manner in primary schools, middle schools, and colleges. It is an important guarantee for cultivating generations of socialist builders and successors.
Xi stressed that “when we run socialist education with Chinese characteristics, we must confidently develop ideological and political lessons, and use the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics to create souls. … The role of the ideological and political courses is irreplaceable. Teachers of the ideological and political classes shoulder very big responsibilities.
Source: People.com.cn, March 19, 2019
The population of nearly one-third of China’s cities is shrinking. This is based on a study that the research team at Tsinghua University in Beijing conducted between 2013 and 2016. The South China Morning Post said in a report that, through satellite, researchers had monitored the light density of more than 3,300 Chinese cities and counties.
Long Ying, a city planning scholar at Tsinghua University, led this study. Long said that the population of 938 cities in China has shrunk. This was more than any other country in the world. One interpretation of the results could be that the economic engine of nearly one-third of China’s cities is slowing down. Official statistics show that China is facing huge economic and demographic challenges.
Source: Central News Agency, March 19, 2019
Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in February, China’s domestic mobile phone market suffered a year-over-year decline of 19.9 percent. This is the lowest point in three years. China’s February handset shipment volume was 14.51 million; 96.4 percent were 4G phones. The 4G market declined by 20.2 percent, year-over-year. When combining January and February total sales, the year-over-year decline was 15.1 percent. Market analysts generally agreed that this is a clear sign that the Chinese mobile phone market has become significantly saturated. Before new technologies like 5G and foldable cellphones are widely available, growth seems to be very limited. In the first two months of this year, the Chinese market had 73 new mobile phone models. This was a year-over-year reduction of 42.1 percent. This means the mobile phone vendors are also taking a conservative approach and hoping new technology may bring new opportunities.
Source: LTN, March 12, 2019
China Economy recently reported that Lu Kang, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented in a press conference on the decision to suspend the importation of Canadian canola. This was in response to the article that the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, published saying that the suspension had nothing to do with canola; rather, it had everything to do with pressing Canada on the Huawei CFO case. Lu said China recently discovered harmful pests multiple times in canola imported from Canada during the standard customs quarantine inspections. Chinese customs did communicate the decision to the Canadian authorities in a timely fashion. It is the Chinese government’s responsibility to safeguard the products sold to the Chinese consumers. China’s quarantine process is perfectly legal and normal, and it is scientific to weed out the potential risks.
Source: China Economy, March 12, 2019