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Bangladesh Government Terminates Contract with CHEC and Adds CHEC to Its Black List

VOA reported that, according to The Daily Star of Bangladesh, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh told the reporter that Bangladesh has canceled the Dhaka-Sylhet road expansion project that was awarded to the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC). CHEC has been added to the Bangladesh blacklist for alleged bribery of a Bangladesh official and is forbidden from participating in any future projects in Bangladesh. CHEC is a subsidiary of the China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC) and is a star company in China’s “one belt one road” project. A news article from the Indian media The Print stated that there was also a dispute about the total amount of the project where CHEC proposed a cost that was twice the amount that the Bangladesh Highway Department estimated. The Dhaka-Sylhet road project is one of the US$2.1 trillion investment projects that Xi Jinping signed with Bangladesh when he visited in October 2016.

According to The Daily Star, this is not the first time that CHEC attempted to bribe Bangladesh officials. The CHEC’s last attempt at bribery cost the sons of two Bangladesh senior officials a sentence to six years in jail. China is the largest country to provide foreign aid to Bangladesh. Currently it has several other projects including a highway, an Industry Park, and a harbor expansion going on in Bangladesh. The Daily Star reported that the termination of CHEC contract does not affect these projects.

Source: Voice of America, January 19, 2018
https://www.voachinese.com/a/bangladesh-blacklists-20180119/4215741.html

Summary of the Recent Amendments to the Constitution

An article published on Haiwainet summarized the amendments to the constitution which were passed at the second plenary session of the 19th Party Central Committee held on January 18 and 19. According to the article, four revisions have been made since the first Constitution was adopted in 1954. They were in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004.

Below is a summary of the amendments made at the recent plenary session:
1) Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics was the result from the latest achievements of Marxism in China. It is 21st century Marxism and should serve as the guiding principal for the party and the nation to follow on a long term basis.
2) The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. We must uphold and strengthen the party’s leadership over all work.
3) Form “five developments” in “economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological civilization” by using the concepts of “innovation, coordination, greenness, openness, and sharing” to develop China into a Well-off Society by 2020, a basic socialist modernized nation by 2035, and a powerful modern socialist country by the middle of this century. At the same time, we also need to realize the great renaissance of the Chinese nation. It is of great significance to inspire and guide the entire party and the people as well as the people of all nationalities to make a concerted effort.
4) Adhering to the road of peaceful development, adhering to the opening-up strategy for mutual benefit, and promoting the development of a common community of human beings are of great significance in promoting the lofty cause of mankind’s peaceful development.
5) The reform of the state supervisory system is a major reform of the political system that is related to the overall situation. It is a major policy-making plan for strengthening the self-supervision of the party and the state. It is necessary to establish a law on an anti-corruption work organ under the unified leadership of the party; to establish a centralized, authoritative, and efficient national surveillance system; and to achieve the full coverage of all public officers exercising their public authority.

Source: Haiwainet, January 19, 2018
http://opinion.haiwainet.cn/n/2018/0119/c456317-31240914.html

Xinhua: Xi Vows to Apply Measures to Combat Corruption to Achieve Overwhelming Victory

Xinhua reported that, on January 11, Xi Jinping made an important speech at the second plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee. Xi analyzed the existing anti-corruption environment and vowed to continue to “fix the issue on the surface while looking for the root cause in order to achieve an overwhelming victory in combating corruption.” Xi listed the following six targeted areas:
1) Be persistent with zero tolerance on the anti-corruption effort and with 100 percent coverage. Where corruption is involved, apply restraint, pressure, and threats. Investigate both parties – those who offer and those who accept – bribes. Clean up past due corruption cases and minimize the increases in the number of corruption cases.
2) Change the focus of the anti-corruption effort so it shifts more towards the grassroots level and apply severe remediation on corruption cases among the officials who work closely with the general public.
3) Tackle gang organizations and the “protective umbrella” behind them.
4) Increase collaboration with international legal teams to threaten the corrupt criminals.
5) Make the officials fearful and conscious so they are afraid of corruption and don’t want to be corrupt.
6) Launch a reform of regulations and form effective systems to cut off the network among the interested parties while enforcing legal restrictions and supervision.

Source: Xinhua, January 19, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-01/19/c_1122281826.htm

Xinhua: Chinese SOEs Are “Big but Not Strong”

According to an article that Xinhua published, in 2002, only 11 Chinese companies made the Fortune Global 500 list, but, in 2017, 115 Chinese companies made the list compared to 132 U.S. companies. Most of the Chinese companies are from the bank, insurance, telecommunication, and electric grid industries while 60 percent of the companies were SOEs (state owned enterprises) and accounted for over 80 percent of the net capital and total income. However the article called these SOEs “big but not strong.” They lacked the ability to be competitive, especially in value creation ability. The article stated that the Chinese companies lagged behind in Internet, information technology, pharmaceutical, automotive, military, semiconductor, and chip industries when compared to the Western companies. Among those 109 Chinese companies on the Global Fortune 500 list, the Return of Asset rate was only 1.65 percent compared to 4.79 percent for the U.S. companies. Chinese SOEs are behind in the high end core technology and the spare parts industry and there are no companies that are even comparable with the Western companies in the pharmaceutical and semi-conductor industries. The article reported that the Chinese SOEs need to make breakthroughs in renovation and resource dependency and to rely less on core product imports while improving on brand position and quality.

Source: Xinhua, January 15, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-01/15/c_1122258015.htm

Aboluowang Commentary: Xi Jinping Is Unlikely to Make a Term Change during the Upcoming Central Committee Plenary Session

Aboluowang published a commentary article in which it reported that any speculation that Xi Jinping might push for a term change during the upcoming central committee plenary session might have come from Jiang’s faction for the purpose of creating negative media trouble for Xi.

According to the article, the second plenary session of the 19th Party Central Committee will be held from Jan. 18 to 19 in Beijing. The major agenda of the meeting will be to make small changes in the constitution. A number of different media outlets, including Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg News, and Mingbao speculated that Xi Jinping might want to incorporate a change in the term limit for the Presidency into the constitution because he has apprehended large number of corrupt officials and, during his term, has touched the core interest of Jiang’s faction. Once his term ends, he and his family could face danger. However, based on Xinhua’s report that there will be a small change made to the constitution during the plenary session, it is unlikely that a change in the term limit will be made this time. It is likely that some additional “Xi Jinping Thought,” which was added into party constitution last year, could be included in the constitution this time. The Aboluowang commentary suggested that the Chinese Communist Party always plays black box politics and there has been no defined rule regarding its succession plan. There can be many different forms if one wishes to stay in power, just as how Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin continued to exercise their influence after they stepped down from their post. Currently Xi’s control over power is not yet complete. It is unlikely for him to push for a term change and invite more trouble for himself. Therefore the faction that Jiang leads could have made up much of the speculation out there in order to create negative media trouble for Xi.

Source: Aboluowang, January 14, 2018
http://www.aboluowang.com/2018/0114/1054494.html

Shanghai Marriott under Investigation for Listing Taiwan, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet as Countries on its Website

In a recent news report, Duowei stated that the Marriott Hotel chain violated the Internet security and advertising law in China when it listed Taiwan, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet as countries. The Shanghai Huangpu District Internet Information Office has, currently, placed the Marriott under investigation. According to the report, on January 9, the Marriott issued an apology on its official Weibo account saying it was a system error. On January 10, the Shanghai Huangpu District Internet Information Office issued a notice stating that they have met with the representatives of the Shanghai Marriott twice and requested it to take down the incorrect information from its website and cell phone apps immediately to “eliminate the negative influence.” According to Duowei news, in addition to the Marriott, the official websites of other luxury brands, including Audi, Cartier, Hermes, Burberry, and Armani also listed Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as countries.

Source: Duowei News, January 10, 2018
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2018-01-10/60034755.html

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