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All posts by RWZ

Caixin: Social Structure Study Found China’s Middle Class Collapsing

Well-known Chinese financial news media group Caixin recently reported that a recent professional social structure study called, “The Middle Class Transition Tier and The Edge Tier” found that 19.12 percent of China’s population is Middle Class. Of those, 73 percent are very close to the borderline that divides the Middle and the Lower classes. The study was based on a model established under the International Socio-Economic Index of Occupational Status (ISEI). The sample size was 683,291 employed people who are between the ages of 16 and 64. In addition to the Middle Class, China has an Upper Class of 5.62 percent of the population and a Lower Class of 75.25 percent. In the Lower Class, 4.4 percent (of the entire Chinese population) was in the “Transition Tier” that is very close to the Middle Class line, and in the Middle Class, 13.9 percent was in the “Edge Tier” that’s slightly above the same dividing line. The entire population’s 13.9 percent is 73 percent of the Middle Class population. The study also found that the bigger a city is, the more people are in the Middle Class Edge Tier. In cities with more than 10 million residents, 25.35 percent of the city’s population is in the Middle Class Edge Tier.

Source: Caixin, April 17, 2017
http://china.caixin.com/2017-04-17/101079210.html

CNA: Northeast China Environment Monitoring Stations on Alert

The primary Taiwanese news agency CNA (The Central News Agency) recently reported that the Mainland’s Ministry of Environmental Protection sent internal orders to environment monitoring stations in Northeast China to establish 24-hour on-duty monitoring schedules for radioactive pollution signs. The scope of the internal orders covers the provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong. According to leaked internal information, the Chinese government expected the upcoming sixth North Korean nuclear test to be several times the scale of the fifth. There is a good possibility that the North Koreans may test some new technologies, which have a higher risk of failure. Also, over 200 high ranking military officials were called to report to the Northern Military Theater Joint Command Center. The Military Theater has already come up with several detailed combat plans to respond to the North Korean crisis.

Source: CNA, April 17, 2017
http://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201704170219-1.aspx

International Professional Journal Tumor Biology Retracted 107 Chinese Papers

Well-known Chinese financial news media group Caixin recently reported that the professional international journal Tumor Biology not long ago officially announced the retraction of 107 Chinese papers that had been published between 2012 and 2016, citing fraud that had occurred during the peer review process. The action was taken based on the recommendations that the global Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) had made. According to the publisher of Tumor Biology, Springer, the authors of these papers created fake email addresses using the names of specialists and experts in the field in order to provide positive reviews for these papers, without the knowledge of these specialists. The authors of these papers are from famous hospitals, universities, and institutes from several major cities in China. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the SCI (Science Citation Index) fraud that originated in China. Another example is, in 2015, the British journal BioMed Central retracted 43 papers, 41 of which were from China. Last year, Caixin sent undercover reporters to investigate the underground SCI fraud market and found that some Chinese journal networks that had ties with SCI member magazines actually conduct this type of fraud for profit.

Source: Caixin, April 21, 2017
http://china.caixin.com/2017-04-21/101081664.html

Adidas Moved More Manufacturing Work from China to Germany

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the sports product vendor Adidas decided to move a portion of its Chinese manufacturing work back to its robotic German facility, expecting reduced costs. Adidas entered China in 1997 for its manufacturing needs. However, starting in 2012, Adidas closed its Suzhou factory in Eastern China and began its strategy of leaving China due to increasingly higher labor costs. According to the International Labor Organization, the cost of labor in China has doubled since the year 2006. Compared to previous Adidas move-away directions, typically Southeast Asia countries, this time the manufacturing work moved to its home base in Germany, where automated robotic manufacturing lines only needed 160 people. Adidas is also developing equipment that can manufacture custom shoes right at their retail locations. In recent years, big-ticket brands such as Nike and New Balance have all focused on customization, which is not suitable for traditional labor-intensive factories. Another reason for Adidas to leave China was that German workers have much higher productivity. More and more companies are moving their manufacturing capabilities out of China. Adidas’ archrival Nike started its exit move in 2009. The same thing is occurring not just in the sports product category, but in the apparel industry as well, with brands like Zara and H&M. It seems China’s labor costs no longer matter.

Source: Sina, April 12, 2017
http://finance.sina.com/gb/economy/sinacn/20170412/23051585709.html

Apple Daily: PLA Lifted Readiness Level – Potentially Sending Troops to North Korean Border

One of the primary Hong Kong newspapers, Apple Daily, recently reported that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Northern Military Theater lifted its combat readiness level to Level Four. At the same time, part of the troops in the Middle, Eastern, Southern, and Western Theaters also lifted their combat readiness to the same level. The 40th Infantry Brigade from the Southern Theater, the 9th Armored Brigade from the Western Theater, the 3rd, the 196th, and the 77th Motorized Infantry Brigade from the Eastern, Middle, and Northern Theaters, respectively, were required to be prepared to deploy to the North Korean border. If the order is given, they may take four to twelve days to reach their designated positions. The number of troops totaled 25,000. Apple Daily reported based on information that the the China Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy released. A third party has not confirmed the information.

Source: Apple Daily, April 11, 2017
http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/realtime/china/20170411/56550531

Global Times: China Increased its Investments in Pakistan

Global Times recently reported that China has approved a proposal to increase its investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to around US$62 billion. When the project was first kicked off, the original investment level was US$46 billion. There was one increase to US$55 billion. Pakistani officials also revealed the information at an infrastructure investment conference. According to the Economic Corridor Plan, most of these investments will be spent in the areas of electricity generation and distribution. The newly approved additional investments will be directed to various different industries, including constructing industrial parks. At the same time, talks are still underway to include the City Ring Railway of Karachi within the scope (of its investments).

Source: Global Times, April 14, 2017
http://oversea.huanqiu.com/article/2017-04/10474542.html

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