People’s Daily recently reported that Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, mentioned in a speech that China must raise its level for its “Opening Up” long-term policy. Ning pointed out that the Chinese economic growth is now switching its focus from speed to quality, which calls for more exchange on the technology, capital, talent, management, and information level. Chinese competitiveness must improve to break out of the medium or lower level in the international value chain. China’s sustained growth depends on efficient development of the international market and the strength of innovation. Ning recommended that “Opening Up” on a higher level should include a balance between imports and exports, should encourage and help capable domestic companies to expand their international reach, should connect domestic regional development and international marketing, and should look inland and push more towards the west side of China.
Source: People’s Daily, November 12, 2017
China News recently reported that, based on the newly released Ministry of Commerce international trade report, in the first half of this year, Chinese cross-border e-commerce trade volume reached RMB 3.6 trillion (around US$542 billion). This represents a 30.7 percent year-over-year growth. Among the RMB 3.6 trillion, RMB 2.75 trillion was the total for exports. International e-commerce has become the primary growth engine for China’s international trade. The Chinese government has established the strategy to support China’s international e-commerce industry so it will scale up, standardize, enhance industrial clustering, and be structured more properly. The Chinese strategy focuses on technology, logistics, business model innovation, and cooperation with foreign partners. The goal is to participate actively in forming the international standards and to blend into various international retail systems. Analysts expressed their belief that China’s plan can take good advantage of China’s manufacturing power to expand international sales channels.
Source: China News, November 7, 2017
Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported, based on Russian media sources, that representatives from the U.S. Navy were allowed to enter the Russian nuclear submarine Chakra, which has been serving in the Indian Navy under a long-term lease agreement. Earlier, the Americans had been allowed to visit the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (formerly named Admiral Gorshkov), which caused Russia to protest. However, it is India that owns the aircraft in its entirely. The Russians considered the Chakra entry to be a political gesture and questioned why the Indians created such an unfriendly incident. Some members of the U.S. Navy delegation were well-trained submarine experts. Observers expressed their concerns about any serious impact it might have on the on-going negotiations between India and Russia for a second submarine lease as well as the plan for the joint construction of fifth-generation fighter jets.
Source: Sina, November 10, 2017
Radio Free Asia (RFA) carried an article that stated that an article Xinhua published on November 5 clearly specified that the “Committee for the Inspection of State Affairs” is a political body, not an executive or judicial body. It stated that it is an organization that sits above the ordinary executive or judicial body and has the power that both the party and administration have. However, the RFA article stated that whether it can make a breakthrough in fighting corruption remains to be seen. The Xinhua article emphasized that, “It is necessary to have an accurate understanding that the ‘Committee for the Inspection of State Affairs’ is an anti-corruption governing body. It works with the Commission for Discipline Inspection and represents the Party and the nation to exercise supervisory powers. It is a political entity and not an executive or judiciary body. It should always make politics the top priority.”
Source: Radio Free Asia, November 6, 2017
According to an opinion article that Caixin published, the Ministry of Finance may need time to establish legislation and outline the requirements during property tax reform. The article reported that, currently, the tax rate, the limit of how much is taxable, and the amount collected varies in each region. Property tax reform will directly impact local tax revenue as well as the existing system of the municipal government that uses the land to derive its financial revenue. In a recent article that the Minister of Finance wrote following 19th National Congress, it specified that the property tax should be based on assessed value rather than the trading value, as has currently been adopted in Shanghai and Chongqing. Caixin reported that this is the first time the property tax base has been officially defined.
Source: Caixin, November 9, 2017
Deutsche Welle published an article titled, “Trump Can Tweet in China but Chinese Citizen Were Not Allowed to Comment.” The article stated that, during President Trump’s first visit to China, he tweeted several times giving thanks for the warm hospitality he received from China and from Xi Jinping and his wife. He also changed the background photo of his twitter account to a photo taken after he watched the Beijing Opera in the Forbidden City. China’s official news media and websites covered Trump’s tweets. For example, one article was titled, “Trump Ended His China Visit. He Sent 8 Twitter Messages and Changed the Background Photo Twice.” Meanwhile, Trump related postings on Weibo, together with the feature to comment at the bottom of the posted article, were blocked. An article that China Digital Times published stated, “It is not surprising to see that Weibo postings on Trump related topics were subject to Sina‘s inspection, but the inspection was purely targeting key words not the contents. For example, a posting sharing an article titled “US$9 billion in Trade” was deleted. Disabling the comment feature is part of the inspection. If a Weibo account contains a key word, the system will automatically shut off the capability to post comments.
One of the Weibo postings that was blocked was titled, “Latest Comments about Trump.” It read, “An American asked a Russian, “We can comment on our president in the U.S., but can you do the same in Russia? The Russian replied, “We can comment your President in the U.S. as well.” The American said … lesson learned.” Then the American asked a Chinese, “We can comment on our president in the U.S., but can you do the same in China?” The Chinese said, “We can also comment on your President in our country.” The American laughed and suggested, “How about you try it again.”
Source: Deutsche Welle, October 11, 2017