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Duowei News: More Shakeups in Financial Industry Expected Prior to 19th Congress

Duowei News published an article reporting that, on April 9, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection took down two senior officials in the financial industry due to corruption charges: Xiang Junbo, Chairman of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and Li Changjun, director of the Beijing branch of the Export–Import Bank of China. According to the article, the move is an indication that Beijing has reached its limit in dealing with financial disasters that have taken place in the past and which have caused quite an embarrassment. It has determined that, prior to the upcoming 19th National Congress, it will shake up the financial industry to ensure that it “maintains the same understanding as the Central Administration.” The article stated that the Chinese official media praised the Party’s determination in its anti-corruption effort. The Hong Kong media, however, indicated that these two individuals were targeted because it was their “inside job” in the financial industry which caused a number of financial disasters over the past years: the stock market crash in 2015 and the battle between Vanke and Baoneng over stock ownership in 2016. The article further explained that, “The analysis shows that reforming the Chinese financial market is no less complex than unifying ideology within the Party or reforming the military… it is expected that Beijing will launch an anti-corruption effort on an even larger scale to eliminate completely any inside dealings that are contrary to its direction.”

Source: Duowei News, April 10, 2017

Statistics Show More Party Officials Committed Suicide after 18th National Congress

Radio Free Asia carried an article which quoted statistics from Lianhe Zaobao a Singapore based Chinese language newspaper. The article pointed out that the number of Chinese Party officials who committed suicide grew significantly in 2014, which was the third year after the Party’s 18th National Congress held in October 2012. The article reported that, according to the statistics that the Chinese Academy of Sciences released, from 2009 to 2016, the number of Party officials who committed suicide was as follows: 21, 25, 22, 17, 10, 59, 50, and 39. While the article pointed out that in 2013, the second year following the party’s 18th National Congress, the number dropped to 10, it grew five times to 59 in 2014. Even though the number has decreased since 2014, it was still significantly higher than the numbers before 2012. Reports indicate that the corruption scandal and inadequate personal ability are blamed as the main cause for the stress which led to depression. The most common suicide choice was jumping off buildings.

Source: Radio Free Asia, April 10, 2017

Xinhua: Citizens Who Report Tips on Spying Activities Will Receive a Monetary Award

Xinhua reported that, on April 10, the Beijing Public Security Bureau issued a notice which announced that it will issue a 100,000 to 200,000 yuan (US$14,485 to $28,971) award to any citizens who provide tips that will prevent spying activities that endanger China’s security. The notice listed a number of ways to report the tips, including telephone and mail. It also stated that the Public Security Bureau will ensure the confidentiality of those who provide tips while providing protective measures for those who might face risks to their personal safety. The notice also advised that those who provide fake or false information that endangers the safety of other individuals will be subject to legal responsibility.

Source: Xinhua, April 10, 2017

Party Officials Criticized for Mispronouncing Words during Public Speech

A Duowei News article quoted an article from Jiefang Daily on March 30 which sharply criticized a number of party officials for mispronouncing words during their public speeches and said that the phenomenon resulted in quite a lot of laughter and jokes in China. Some of the officials were reported to have even repeated the same mistakes at several locations. These officials were criticized for poor language skills and knowledge while the people around the officials were reportedly too scared to make any corrections or to say “No” to certain of their bosses’ inappropriate behavior. As Duowei reported, the Jiefang Daily article questioned whether mispronouncing the words was simply mispronouncing the words or if it sent another kind of alarming signal.

Source: Duowei News, April 1, 2017

Duowei News: Four New Appointments at Provincial Level in One Day and More to Come

According to an article published in Duowei News, the recent power shuffling indicates that Beijing is building a foundation to prepare for the upcoming 19th National Congress in the second half of the year. On April 1, Beijing announced four major changes at the provincial level. They included a new governor for Hainan and Gansu provinces and a new Secretary of the provincial Party Committee for He Longjian and Shandong provinces. The article stated that, based on the statistics that Duowei collected, since January 2016, among 31 provinces, direct-controlled municipalities, and autonomous administrative regions in China, a new Secretary of the provincial Party Committee was assigned in 18 provinces and regions and a new governor was assigned in 28 provinces. As of April 1, there were only 8 Secretaries of the provincial Party Committee and 3 governors left that had not been changed. The article predicted that there could be retirements and other more “exciting and critical” changes to come.

Source: Duowei News, April 1, 2017

Xinhua: China to Set up Xiongan New Area Special Economic Zone in Hebei Province

Xinhua recently reported that the Central administration announced on April 1 that it will set up a new special economic zone in Hebei Province, 100 kilometer (62 miles) southwest of Beijing. It will be called the “Xiongan New Area” and will be situated in the region where Beijing, Tianjing, and Baoding are located. It will cover 100 square kilometers (25,000 acres) at the start of its development, grow to 200 square kilometers (49,000 acres) in the second phase, and 2,000 square kilometers (494,000 acres) in the final phase. According to Xinhua, Xi Jinping visited An Xing County in Hebei Province on February 23 and hosted a development planning forum during his visit. According to Radio Free Asia, Xiongan New Area will help to ease the population, transportation, and environmental stress in Beijing while promoting economic development in the inner provinces such as Hebei and Henan provinces. The Xiongan New Area will become the third special economic zone following the Shen Zhen special economic zone and the Pudong New Area in Shanghai.

Xinhua, April 1, 2017
Radio Free Asia, April 1, 2017

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