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In 2017, China to Stimulate Economy with 45 Trillion Yuan Investment in Fixed Assets

On February 17, China Times published an article discussing China’s investments to stimulate the economy. According to the statistics that each province has released, the total investment to stimulate the economy in 2017 amounts to more than 40 trillion yuan (US$5.82 trillion). Twenty-three provinces so far have announced their 2017 fixed asset investment targets. Taking into account the provinces that have yet not published their data, the total investment in fixed assets this year will be at least 45 trillion yuan (US$6.54 trillion).

In addition to the large provincial budget targeted for infrastructure investment, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) also announced the latest progress on major investment projects. On February 15, NDRC spokesman Zhao Chenxin said at a press conference that in January, NDRC approved 18 fixed asset investment projects with a total investment of 153.9 billion yuan (US$22.38 billion). These projects are concentrated mainly in water conservancy, transportation, and energy fields.

Beijing Fushengde Economic Consulting Firm Chief, Economist Feng Delin, told the China Times reporter, “These investments are mainly to cope with the economic slowdown.”

Source: China Times, February 17, 2017

In His Book, Chinese Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Discusses His Personal Experiences of China’s Judicial System

In doing research for his new book, Consideration of (Post-Communist) China’s Constitution, Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng reported a conversation that enlightened him about how government cadres are not subject to the law. A retired vice president from the Xinjiang High Court told him, “In our country, once the leader reaches a position at a certain level, he no longer needs the law. His power can solve all problems. Only those who are helpless would take the route of a lawsuit.” Continue reading

Chinese Military Experts Discuss New U.S. Administration’s Intention to Repress China in the South China Sea and Diaoyu Islands

Chinese military expert Yin Zhuo said, in an interview with CCTV, that the United States is trying to use the South China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands issues as a means to crush China. New U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis’s visit to South Korea and his scheduled talks with Korea Foreign Minister Yoon Boon-sik and Defense Minister Han Min-chou are to discuss such issues as the deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system, the deployment of U.S. strategic weapons to the Korean Peninsula, and strengthening the deployment of the Asia-Pacific strategic weapons. The intention is to target China. Yin expressed the belief that the United States is forcing China to meet the United States’ requirements in such areas as the economy, the world order, and on other issues.

Military expert Du Wenlong pointed out that the new U.S. Defense Secretary’s choice of South Korea as his first destination in visiting a foreign country is an indication of the two countries’ intention to strengthen their military alliance.

Du said that, for China, there is no room for negotiations on territorial and sovereignty issues, not to mention using them as a bargaining chip. China should let the world see its determination and also its ability <to safeguard its territory>. At the same time, China should display its own advantages and its expertise in the modernization of its national defense and the development of its weaponry to deal well with threats and to contain opponents.

Source: People’s Daily, February 4, 2017

China and North Korea Relations Warming Up Again?

Given the background of the U.S. and Korea working on the deployment of THAAD, relations between China and North Korea seem to be warming up.

During the 2017 <Chinese> New Year, on the 7th of <February>, the North Korea Foreign Ministry held a reception party for the Chinese Embassy officers in North Korea. Chinese Ambassador Li Jinjun and Embassy officials were invited to the reception.

At the party, representatives from both countries gave speeches. They stressed the friendship between China and North Korea that the leaders of past generations from both countries had cultivated and expressed the inclination to make concerted and continuous efforts to strengthen and develop friendly relations in the current complicated international situation.

On January 24, 2017, at the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, Chinese Ambassador Li Jinjun also held a reception party for the Chinese New Year. The North Korea Supreme People’s Assembly Standing Committee Vice Chairman Kim Yong-dae and more than 70 Korean leaders from different government departments of the Party, the administration, and the military attended the party. In their speeches, the two sides emphasized the value of China-North Korea friendship and the importance of strengthening cooperation.

At the event, the two sides stressed the importance and normalization of Sino-North Korea relations. Li Jinjun said that Sino-North Korea relations in 2017 still face challenges, but will usher in opportunities. Kim Yong-dae lauded the long history of the blood-born alliance and friendship between both countries.

Source: Duowei News, February 8, 2017

South Korea Stopped Issuing Visas to Chinese Lecturers at the Confucius Institute

According to information from the Justice Ministry of Korea, as of December of last year, the Seoul immigration Bureau suspended all E-2 visa extensions and the issuance of any new visas for Chinese lecturers at the Confucius Institute.

The Confucius Institute in South Korea started in 2004. For the past 13 years, it has never been a cause of controversy. The original E-2 visa issuance process is simple, and the E-2 visas are easy to obtain. Some observers pointed out that this is the South Korean government’s response to the clash involving China’s restriction on South Korea.

The Confucius Institute operates through a cooperation agreement between Korean and Chinese universities. The Chinese Ministry of Education selects the Chinese lecturers. The Chinese government pays their salaries.

The Chinese government funds the Confucius Institute. In terms of geographical distribution, there are 169 Confucius Institutes in Europe, 157 in the Americas, 110 in Asia, 46 in Africa and 18 in Oceania. After the United States (109) and Britain (29), South Korea (22) has the third largest number of Confucius Institutes.

Source: Korean Daily republished by Wenxuecity, February 7, 2017

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