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Global Times: Taiwan Reunification Time Table Hard to Establish, but Mainland Cannot Wait Too Long

Global Times recently reported that the press interviewed Wang Zaixi, the former Deputy Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of Mainland China. Wang stated that the Taiwan Issue has its historic complications and that finding a resolution is pretty challenging. Thus, the reunification may take quite some time. It is fairly difficult to come up with a clear time table to reach that goal. However, the urgency should not just fade away. From what has been demonstrated inside the island, the possibility of a peaceful reunification is “slowly disappearing.” Wang expressed the belief that the current Taiwanese administration is “laying the groundwork” for declaring independence. He cautioned that the 1.3 billion Mainland Chinese people “will not allow” the reunification process to drag on for too long a time. If an agreement cannot be reached, a phased approach may be more realistic. It is also possible that the reunification can be achieved with “overwhelmingly high military pressure,” but without a full-blown war.

Source: Global Times, September 2, 2017

U.S. Unemployment Rate Seems to Be Beating Predictions

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, although U.S. economic growth can only be called “modest,” it seems the U.S. unemployment rate has, unexpectedly, been going down over the past seven months. The job market numbers saw growth in the last five months. The rate of job growth is double the required rate to sustain long-term stability. Even those who are not actively looking for a job have gotten “sucked into” the working population. The market analysts have been expecting a slow-down in job growth since the unemployment rate was already at a low level. Experts are trying to explain the “unexpected” good news for the U.S. job market. The generally agreed upon explanation is that there has been steady consumer spending, high expectations of results from of the Trump tax-cut, stable oil prices, and the growth of U.S. exports. However, according to Bloomberg, the latest unemployment statistics did not include the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Source: Sina, August 31, 2017

Chinese Private Sector Has Lost Billions in Venezuela

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, so far, based on the latest statistics, investors from China’s private sector have lost US$3 to US$5 billion in Venezuela. Venezuela is China’s biggest investment destination in Latin America. After years of an unstable situation in that country, most of the Chinese investments were already in deep trouble. Only some projects that resulted from government agreements are still enduring. Since it can no longer obtain loans on the open market, due to the recent Trump sanctions against Venezuela, that nation is sliding deeper into chaos. In 2007, China and Venezuela established the Joint Chinese-Venezuelan Fund. Over the past decade, the overall funds totaled around US$40 billion, with the investments focusing on infrastructure as well as economic growth. In 2010, China provided an additional US$20 billion loan to Venezuela to obtain a sustained oil supply. Most of the private Chinese investors did not participate in the projects that these funds financed. As of now, nearly all the companies in this category have completely withdrawn from that market. According to a 2015 study that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) did, Venezuela is the riskiest investment destination for China. It is worse that Iraq and Sudan.

Source: Sina, August 30, 201

BBC Chinese: China Conscription Health Examinations Exposed Many Issues

BBC Chinese recently reported, based on government sources, that, according to data collected through the nationwide conscription process, a large number of candidates did not meet the lowest physical and health requirements for joining the military. Some cities even invalidated almost 57 percent of the applicants. On average, 20 percent of the candidates were overweight. Many candidates suffered liver issues and had eyesight problems. Studies of the conscription candidates showed that the poor health conditions were directly related to drinking alcohol and a large volume of soda, spending long hours on cellphones, and a severe lack of sleep. China’s soldiers used to be drafted mainly from rural villages, where people do heavy labor work in agriculture. Now more and more military candidates are from the urban population with most of the individuals enjoying a city life style. The studies also showed that, in the 1980’s, the Communist Party allowed the military to conduct business like commercial companies. Though that policy was called off a decade later, the entire military has been corrupted ever since. Now the physical quality of the Chinese military is a big national security concern.

Source: BBC Chinese, August 24, 2017

A Hunan Local Government Invalidated All Its Government Loan Guarantees Overnight

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the government of Ningxiang County of Hunan Province just officially announced that it invalidated all government guarantees to loans that the county government had issued since 2015. The county announcement referred to several policy orders that the central government recently released on prohibiting local governments from providing guarantees for companies seeking loans via financing platforms. For many years, central government policies did not allow local governments to borrow money from the financial market. However, many local governments worked around these policies by providing government guarantees to loans that the companies that work for the local governments had taken out. More and more local governments are taking similar steps like Ningxiang County of Hunan. However, analysts expressed the belief that the sudden invalidation of government guarantees is directly against the spirit of the contracts since the guarantees were part of these legally binding contracts. Many banks and other financing companies are asking for an early pay back of the loans.

Source: Sina, August 23, 2017

The Second China-Made Aircraft Carrier Approaches Completion

Radio France International (RFI) recently reported, based on China’s official information, that China’s second domestically made aircraft carrier is about to be completed. Experts estimated that the carrier is not far from delivery to the Chinese Navy. Some Hong Kong media sources revealed that the new carrier is a model 002 instead of the previously rumored model 001A. It seems the new carrier is being constructed at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company. At the end of year 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Defense confirmed that the work on China’s second carrier had started. However, there is no additional information anywhere describing the differences between Model 001A and 002. It is not unusual for the Chinese Navy to have ship models that change during the process of construction. It happened before. The same company constructed China’s Aircraft Carrier that is currently in service, the Liaoning.

Source: RFI, August 21, 2017

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