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China to Join Global Automatic Exchange of Information Effort in 2018

According to news.china.com, the Ministry of Taxation recently issued a notice that stated that, starting in September 2018, China will join one hundred countries to collect banking information on non-resident individuals or enterprises and will exchange the information with the tax authorities in the account holders’ country of residence. In return China will gain banking information on Chinese residents who hold bank accounts in foreign countries.  The effort is part of a global standard on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). The purpose of the program, which was launched in July 2014, is to reduce the possibility for tax evasion. According to the article, the Ministry of Taxation will come up with its own regulations based on the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Financial Institutions are required to change their work process and to complete a system upgrade to conform to the new requirements. According to the article, starting in 2017, individuals and businesses will be required to fill out their residence of taxation information when they open a new bank account.

Source:  news.China.com, October 17, 2016                                                                                                         http://news.china.com.cn/world/2016-10/17/content_39501405.htm

Guangming Daily: Party Committees to Emphasize Group Study

Guangming Daily published an article reporting that the Publicity Department and the Organization Department held a forum on the quality of the study sessions that a number of Party committee groups held and required that all levels of Party organizations are to host Party committee group studies that are more intense in order to improve the “personal quality and individual skill” of Party members when dealing with the new environment and with challenges. According to the article, an emphasis on the importance of group study has been lacking among a number of Party committee centers at different group levels. Some of them have followed a rigid formality but lack focus, which has severely impaired the quality of the group study. The article required that Party committee groups should elevate group study and make it a serious “political task” so they can adapt to change and advance forward.

Source: Guangming Daily, October 16, 2016                                                                                                                                     http://theory.gmw.cn/2016-10/16/content_22492343.htm

Hazardous Weather Conditions Have Resulted in a Loss of 50 Trillion Kilograms of Crop Each Year

According to an article in Guangming Daily, the statistics released during the recent World Food Day celebration in Nanjing revealed that the increase in the surface temperature in China is much higher than the global average. In addition, the weather’s hazardous conditions have resulted in a reduction in crop production of 50 trillion kilograms in China each year, 60 percent of which is from drought. The increase in the surface temperature in China is double the average in the world. This has resulted in increases in heat, drought, flooding, tropical storms, and smog pollution. All of these conditions have seriously impacted the production of agriculture in China.

Source: Guangming Daily, October 16, 2016                                                                                                                                   http://politics.gmw.cn/2016-10/16/content_22497162.htm

Attorney’s Treatment Gives Hint of Jiang Zemin’s Fate

<Editor’s Note: Zheng Enchong (鄭恩寵) is an attorney from Shanghai. He represented or advised around 500 families who received little or no compensation from the authorities when they were evicted from their homes during the urban redevelopment of Shanghai.>

In 2003, a group of those residents tried to file a lawsuit against the authorities because they did not receive adequate compensation, alleging the officials were corrupt. The officials involved included former Shanghai Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chief Huang Ju (黃菊), then Shanghai Party Chief Chen Liangyu (陳良宇), and then Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng (韓正). Zheng Enchong also claimed that sons of former CCP top leader Jiang Zemin (江澤民) were involved and were extremely corrupt.

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Xi Jinping’s Attitude toward Religious Issues

Earlier this year, Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, called for a religious work conference, which lasted from April 22 to April 23. The country’s highest ranking leaders attended. [1]

At the work conference, Xi proposed to unite religious followers and to resolve religious issues via guidance and with law-based means. His speech was considered a correction to a policy framework of “maintaining stability” and suppression during the years when Jiang Zemin was in power.

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Is Xi Jinping a Hawk on the South China Sea?

The International Tribunal at The Hague made an arbitral decision over the Philippines and China’s conflicting claims in the South China Sea dispute. It declared that China does not have grounds for its “historical claim.” It also found that the “islands” that China and Taiwan control are not “islands” and thus are not entitled to the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

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