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Duowei News: Central Administration is Extremely Dissatisfied with Municipal Government’s Slow Reform Progress

An article that Duowei News published disclosed that the Central Administration is extremely dissatisfied with the slow reform progress that local governments are making. The article quoted a former Deputy Director from the Finance Office who spoke at the recent Lujiazui Forum in Shanghai ( He claimed that in the past two years, the Central Administration has shifted its focus and made progress on financial crisis prevention. However, the efforts that the local governments and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are making are sorely lacking. Examples he listed included some municipal entities that resist the deleveraging measures that the Central Administration has launched; some can’t even pay back the interest on their debt, where the total debt at the municipal level is 40 trillion yuan (US$6 trillion). Meanwhile the SOEs are slow in reducing their excess capacity.

Source: Duowei News, July 10, 2018

Ministry of Publicity Issued Guideline to Minimize Impact of Realism Movie “Dying to Survive”

A successful movie release based on a true story called “Dying to Survive” became a box office hit in China. The story touched the general public but the Department of Publicity had to face some backfire. This realism film told the story of a Chinese leukemia patient who couldn’t afford imported cancer treatment drugs and was forced to turn to India to buy cheap generic drugs. He was then arrested and punished. The Douban film review website rated the movie 9.0. The movie made over 1.3 billion yuan (USD$200 million) in box office revenue in just four days after its release on July 5. According to RFA, the official’s initial intent was to set the timing of the movie so it was released right around the start of the trade war hoping to incite resentment among the Chinese public towards foreign governments and pharmaceutical companies for the high cost of imported drugs. Little did they anticipate the level of unhappiness among the general public in China about the high cost of medical care. They also did not anticipate that the Chinese people would understand that it was the Chinese officials and the medical system that caused the real problem of the high cost of drugs and medical treatment in China.

RFA reported that the Ministry of Publicity issued a verbal notice on Sunday July 8. The notice required that all media must follow the guidelines of “not interviewing, not reporting, not commenting, and not referring to the movie.” It also asked the official media to strengthen public opinion guidance, pointing to the criticism of foreign pharmaceutical companies, emphasizing that the Chinese government has imposed zero tariffs on imported anti-cancer drugs, and that the government is working hard to require foreign drug companies to cut their prices. The RFA article stated that it is the Chinese government that sets the price of drugs, especially of imported generic brand drugs. Even though it announced that, starting on May 1 of this year, it would not impose tariffs on imported drugs, the price of drugs still remains high.

Source: Radio Free Asia, July 9, 2018

People’s Daily Opinion Articles Attack U.S. for Launching Sino-U.S. Trade War

Since last Friday, People’s Daily has published a series of opinion articles on the Sino-U.S. trade war. Below are highlights from two of the opinion articles.

In the article it published on July 11, titled “Be wary of the ‘cold war trap’ that US unilateral protectionism has set up,” it attacked the U.S. “not only for seriously jeopardizing the safety of the global industrial chain and value chain, but also for hindering the pace of economic recovery. It (the U.S.) also brings the risk of sliding the normal world economic and trade pattern into trade protectionism and unilateralism in a ‘cold war trap.’” The article called out the following actions that the U.S. has taken in order to “expose the poisons the U.S. brings to international relationships.” It politicizes the trade issue; it has resumed the 232 investigation; withdrawn from the TPP, the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Iran Deal; it has openly violated World Trade Organization regulations and has used the investigation results from 301 to impose tariffs on other countries; it expanded the definition of national security and frequently seizes foreign investments in the high-tech field.

In a report published on July 9, titled “The U.S. ‘Zero Sum Trade Theory’ is a kind of evil that harms the world,” it claimed that the trade war the U.S. launched against China has drawn criticism from the international community. “The zero sum trade war game that the U.S. is playing is against the law. It not only impacts Sino-US economic and trade cooperation, but also brings great uncertainty to the entire world economy.” The article claimed, “Under its zero sum mentality, ‘America First’ is evolving into extreme self-interest.” The article stated that in 2017, the trade between China and the U.S. reached US$583.7 billion. It was 233 times what it was after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1979. The article further claimed that, “The huge Chinese market that the world values is increasingly becoming an important business growth point and profit consideration in the global strategy of U.S. companies. … Let other countries sacrifice their own core interests to pay for the unreasonable demands of the U.S. This is a backward and outdated concept of trade.”

1. People’s Daily, July 11, 2018

2. People’s Daily, July 9, 2018

People’s Daily: Opening Ceremony for 2018 Visiting of Young Sinologists Training Program Held in Beijing

On July 6, People’s Daily reported on the opening ceremony of the 2018 Visiting of Young Sinologists Training Program, which the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese and Foreign Cultural Exchange Center, and the Beijing Language and Culture University hosted jointly in Beijing. Thirty-eight participants from 34 countries participated in the program. In the first three days, the participants had classes and then were divided into groups to conduct two-weeks of research studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, the Beijing Language and Culture University, the Beijing Second Foreign Languages Institute and at other academic institutions based on their academic interests. After that, they are scheduled to travel to Guizhou Province to study the situation of the Chinese minority culture, the development of the ecological civilization and the development of contemporary science and technology. After the 21-day training program, these young sinologists will continue to stay in touch with their Chinese mentors and maintain communication on academic research and essay writing. The report stated that the Young Sinologist Training Program was launched in 2014. Twelve sessions have been held since then with 360 participants coming from 95 countries around the world. In 2018, for the first time, the Young Sinologist Training Program will have spring, summer, and fall sessions to be held in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Xi’an. The number of total participants is expected to exceed 200.

1. People’s Daily, July 6, 2018
2. China Studies, July 5, 2018

Chinese Embassy in the U.S. Warns Chinese Tourists That U.S. Is Not Safe to Visit

Epoch Times reported that, just days prior to the start of the U.S. China trade war, the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. issued a notice on its website stating that the U.S. is not safe and that there is a high occurrence of gun violence, robbery, and theft. It warned Chinese tourists that they need to be alert to suspicious people around them and to avoid going out at night. The notice reminded the Chinese tourists that, when they call 911, they must speak Chinese so they can receive Chinese language assistance and also, if they believe that the law enforcement officers have improper conduct or discriminating behavior, they should collect proper evidence so they can appeal the case. The notice also warned about high medical costs in the U.S. and the danger of natural disasters in the summer season.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, three million Chinese tourists visited the U.S. in 2017, the largest number next to Canada, Mexico, the U.K., and Japan.

Source: Epoch Times, July 3, 2018

Chinese Lawyers Required to Follow Party’s Leadership and Make Party Development Work Their Top Political Task

People’s Daily reported that, on July 1, during the ninth conference of the All China Lawyers Association, the Association passed a revision to its charter to recognize the party’s leadership over the Association and to strengthen the Association’s work of developing the party. Fu Zhenghua, the Minister of Justice participated in the conference. He expressed the requirements that “lawyers must make the work of developing the party their top political task” and that “lawyers must follow the Party no matter what happens.” On July 8, only days following the national Lawyers conference, the Beijing Lawyer Association took the lead and adopted a similar revision to its charter. The amended language reads as follows: Adhere to Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics as the guide, firmly defend that Comrade Xi Jinping is the core party’s authority and centralized leadership, and strengthen the party’s development work.

1. People’s Daily, July 2, 2018
2. Legal Daily, July 8, 2018

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