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PLA Academies Undergo Restructuring

Wenxue City, an overseas Chinese media carried an article that Duowei News had originally published. The article quoted a news report from Sing Tao Daily which was published on February 26 on a recent meeting about the reform and restructuring that will take place within PLA academies. According to the article, the focus of the conference was to reduce the number of PLA academies by consolidating or downgrading a number of them. The recommendation included the following: those that are command Institutions and not related to the military need to be combined with the National Defense University while the PLA technical institutions would be combined with the National University of Defense Technology. Active faculty members are to be converted to non-active service civilian personnel. For academies under the army, 19,000 active duty staff members positions (including officers and soldiers) and 17,000 non-active PLA civilian staff are to be maintained. Sixty percent of the staff within the National University of Defense Technology will be converted to civilian post positions.

Source: Wenxue City, February 25, 2017

Xinhua Commentary: Trade Protectionism Won’t Solve the Problems the U.S. Faces

Xinhua carried a commentary that a professor from Fudan University wrote titled, “Trade Protectionism Will Not Solve the Problems the U.S. Faces.” The article said that, since Trump took office, he has publicly promoted “Buy American and Hire American.” He withdrew the U.S. from TPP and requested a renegotiation of NAFTA. These indicate that trade protectionism is on the rise and has become the latest unstable factor affecting the progress of the global economy. The article cited the following three reasons that trade protectionism will not solve the problems the U.S. faces. First, trade protectionism will harm the interests of the U.S. multinational corporations because they will lose the profits from trade while the foreign countries will lose on trade volume. Second, it will hurt the competitiveness of the U.S. economy because even though, on a short term basis, it will help the industries that are less competitive, it will also cause those industries to lose the motive to expand and advance in technological renovation. Therefore, they will become less competitive in the global market. Third, it will damage the future of the U. S. economy because the possible global trade war will seriously affect those U.S. companies that rely on exports. As the U.S. focuses on its own interests and becomes isolated and selfish, it will weaken the confidence of investors from the U.S. and around the world. Therefore it will not help U.S. economic growth in the long term. The article concluded that, if U.S. does not face its own domestic economy, political, and social structure issues but rather blames unfairness and an imbalance in international trade deals, it will not help to solve its own problems. Rather, it will hurt others as well as itself.

Source: Xinhua, February 26, 2017

Global Times: Posting Marine Guards at New AIT Compound in Taipei Reveals U.S. Hegemonic Nature

Global Times, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People’s Daily, reported that a spokesperson from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council referred, on February 22, to the China foreign ministry spokesperson’s position regarding U.S. marines to be posted at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei. The AIT is the U.S. de facto diplomatic mission on the island in the absence of official ties. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, when answering a question on the AIT on February 17, stated, “China has always objected to U.S.-Taiwan connections through official and military channels.”

In an earlier commentary on February 17, Global Times reported that Stephen Young, a former director of the AIT, said Washington would send marines soon to guard the new compound.

Wang Jianmin, a research fellow with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said this move from Washington is a critical part of enhancing U.S.-Taiwan relations, but it would cause significant harm to Sino-U.S. relations. It would also negatively impact the already impaired relations across the Taiwan Strait.

On February 16, Wang told Global Times that the current Taiwan administration has been pushing pro-Japan and pro-U.S. policies. The U.S. takes this opportunity to enhance its military exchanges with Taiwan, so as to solidify its political commitment to Taipei. However, such a political commitment is itself a mistake. Offering special protection from one sovereign country on land within another sovereign country highlights U.S. hegemony.

Sources: Global Times, February 23, 2017
Global Times, February 17, 2017

In 2017, China to Stimulate Economy with 45 Trillion Yuan Investment in Fixed Assets

On February 17, China Times published an article discussing China’s investments to stimulate the economy. According to the statistics that each province has released, the total investment to stimulate the economy in 2017 amounts to more than 40 trillion yuan (US$5.82 trillion). Twenty-three provinces so far have announced their 2017 fixed asset investment targets. Taking into account the provinces that have yet not published their data, the total investment in fixed assets this year will be at least 45 trillion yuan (US$6.54 trillion).

In addition to the large provincial budget targeted for infrastructure investment, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also announced the latest progress on major investment projects. On February 15, NDRC spokesman Zhao Chenxin said at a press conference that in January, NDRC approved 18 fixed asset investment projects with a total investment of 153.9 billion yuan (US$22.38 billion). These projects are concentrated mainly in water conservancy, transportation, and energy fields.

Beijing Fushengde Economic Consulting Firm Chief, Economist Feng Delin, told the China Times reporter, “These investments are mainly to cope with the economic slowdown.”

Source: China Times, February 17, 2017

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