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Angola to Become China’s Largest Supplier of Crude Oil

According to the recent statistics from General Administration of Customs, Angola is replacing Saudi Arabia as the largest oil exporter to China. In the first quarter of 2008, China imported 8.48 million tons of crude oil from Angola, a year-over-year growth of 55.1%, while the purchase from Saudi Arabia was 8.18 million tons, with a daily average of 0.68 million barrels. In the past 6 years, Saudi Arabia has been the leading provider of crude oil to China. In 2007, Saudi’s oil export was 26.33 million tons, or 0.528 million barrels. Although China is the second largest energy consumers around the world, it still heavily relies on coal as the main energy source. The crude oil consists 20% of the country’s total energy needs.

Source: Oriental Morning Post, April 23, 2008
http://epaper.dfdaily.com/dfzb/html/2008-04/23/content_52909.htm

Students in Hefei Confined to Campus Amid Government Concerns of Social Unrest

Hundreds of thousands of college students in Hefei, Anhui Province, have been ordered to stay on campus according to Boxun. On April 18, 2008 tens of thousands of students took to the streets protesting outside the French chain store Carrefour in Hefei. The momentum continued on April 19. On April 20, the authorities ordered that students must not leave campus, except for in the case of an emergency and with the permission of their instructors.

Earlier, President Hu Jintao reportedly directed the Minister of Public Security to rein in student protests following the showing of Paris residents’ support for the Dalai Lama and Tibetan monks. Hu’s move was viewed as signs of his concerns that the protests might get out of hand, as happened during the June 4th student movement in 1989.

Source:
Boxun.com, April 22, 2008
http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2008/04/200804220005.shtml
Aboluowang.com, April 20, 2008
http://www.aboluowang.com/news/data/2008/0420/article_46711.html

China and Iran to Reach Agreement on a US$16 Billion Natural Gas Project

China.com.cn reports that negotiations between China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and Iran’s national gas company are nearing the last stage of reaching an agreement on a US$16 billion natural gas project. This is the second big energy deal between the two countries in the last couple of months. According to the report, CNOOC will provide technical support and take care of factory construction, transportation, and sales for the exploration of the North Pars gas field of Iran. In return, China will be allowed to share half of the liquid gas produced. China will have the right to purchase one billion tons of liquid gas each year. The deal is effective for 25 years. Also reported by International Herald Leader (Xinhua), the United States has been applying pressure on China regarding the negotiations, but China is not afraid of the interference.

Source: China.com.cn, April 18, 2008, and Xinhua, April 22, 2008 http://big5.china.com.cn/economic/txt/2008-04/18/content_14973718.htm http://news.xinhuanet.com/herald/2008-04/22/content_8025512.htm

China’s 5th Generation Successors to Face Challenges and Tests in 2008

“To Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, the year 2008 is a year that is full of challenges and tests. It will determine their future as the 5th generation successors to the party. ” reported Oriental Daily, a Hong Kong based newspaper. Both Xi and Li are newly elected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party. As the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission, Xi is being pressed to handle the recent protest in Tibet as well as threats of boycotting the Olympics from the West. He is also tasked with managing Hong Kong and Macau affairs. Li, on the other hand, heads China’s economic development where the stock and real estate markets, as well as consumer confidence and agriculture, fall on his plate.

Source: Boxun, April 22, 2008
http://peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2008/04/200804221336.shtml

Asian Times: Is Wu Bangguo Replacing Li Peng as the Representative of Conservative Faction?

Asian Times reports that Wu Bangguo, Chairman of National People’s Congress, published an article in Qiushi magazine, a top publication of the Chinese Communist Party, with a hard-line stance. Wu states in the article that China will never follow the political system of Western countries, will never have multiples party to take turns for power, and will never adopt the “separation of powers” and parliamentary system. Wu’s article sets a tone that is in sharp contrast to the direction of executive system reform.

Source: Asian Times (Chinese), April 21, 2008.
http://www.atchinese.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48998&Itemid=110

China Loses Over 600 Billion Yuan (US$85.7 Billion) in Overseas Gambling Each Year

The most recent issue of Jiuding magazine (Macao) revealed that over 600 billion yuan (US$85.7 billion) goes overseas from China in casino, Internet, and underground gambling each year. The amount is 15 times that of the whole country’s welfare and sports lotteries in 2003. The number was quoted from data released by the Chinese Public Security Ministry. The article was widely posted on many Chinese websites including state media Xinhua and China News Agency.

Source: Xinhua, April 21, 2008 http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/gangao/2008-04/21/content_8018693.htm

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