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Briefings - 1059. page

China Plans to Launch 17 Satellites in 2008

Huang Qiang, secretary-general of the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, revealed on January 7, 2008, that China plans to launch 15 rockets, 17 satellites and its third manned mission in 2008. The launch of Shenzhou VII in October will include a space walk; it wil initiate a joint effort with Russia to explore Mars in 2009. The agreement between China and Russia was signed on June 27, 2007.

Source: Southcn.com, January 8, 2008
http://news.southcn.com/china/zgkx/content/2008-01/08/content_4303378.htm http://bbs.tiexue.net/post2_2344250_1.html

The Government Steps In to Curb Inflation

The price of basic essentials increased dramatically in China last year. Food prices climbed more than 18%, while the price of pork soared 50%. Families with low incomes, numbered in the hundreds of millions in China, spend between 30% and 50% of their income on food for the table. The Chinese government is stepping in to introduce heavy fines for retailers and producers if they increase the price of basic necessities.

Source: BBC, January 10, 2008
Chinese government website
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7180442.stm
http://wj.yaw.com.cn/Get/gzdt/154208428.htm

Warrant Issued for the Arrest of Reporter of Negative Article

The Public Security Bureau of Xifeng County, Liaoning Province, initiated a criminal investigation of a reporter from The Legal Daily for her “negative” report published on January 1, 2008, about the Party Secretary of the County. On January 4, 2008, the Xifeng police were dispatched to Beijing with a warrant for her arrest.

Zhu Wenna, a seasoned reporter of The Legal Daily, was advised by her employer on the afternoon of January 4, 2008, to go into hiding because 4 policemen from Xifeng County were looking for her. The police left Beijing on January 6, 2008, without Zhu Wenna.

Members of the media were appalled at the government’s bully tactics to silence the voices against local government and Party officials’ corruption and abuse of power.

The Legal Daily is a state-owned newspaper under the supervision of the China’s Ministry of Justice. The Legal Daily is the “mouthpiece of the Party” on political and legal developments, as its website states.

Source: Xinhua, January 8, 2008. 
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newmedia/2008-01/08/content_7382566.htm

Lower Domestic Product Standards Result in No Recalls inside China

VOA published an article that explored the reasons why there are no product recalls in China, while there have been constant recalls of China made products in other countries. According to Wang Hai from the Consumer Rights Group, one reason is that there is no recall system in China. Another reason is that the product safety standard, which is set by the manufacturers themselves, with little input from consumers, is lower than that in other countries. Moreover, the Consumer Rights Association is set up by the government and has only a limited ability to represent consumers. China is also lacking a 3rd party inspection agency that is independent from the existing ones run by the government. However, implementing the product safety policy may prove costly and the increased costs may result in many manufacturers not being able to survive.

Source: Voice of America, January 9, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-01-09-voa39.cfm

China’s National Defense Adopts a New Policy

In its January issue, the Mirror Monthly (Hong Kong) published an article titled, “China’s National Defense Adopts an All New Policy Of ‘Empower the Nation and Build Up the Military.’” The article reports the speculation about the “China threat theory.” It states that the Chinese military has ended its era of “endurance,” in which it let economic growth take the precedence. Thus military growth is naturally the next step. It is in line with the direction given by Hu Jintao in his report delivered at the Seventeenth National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to “grow the nation and military together.” The article used the GDP growth rate as the benchmark to justify the increase in military spending. It claimed that the military spending increase is far from meeting the existing demand and the western world ought to expect a larger increase in the future and shouldn’t be alarmed.

Source: Military China, January 8, 2008
http://www.milchina.com/Get/ping/010812165.htm

Hu Jintao: The Cultural Revolution was Ten Years of Internal Upheaval

“The Cultural Revolution was a ten-year-upheaval that brought tremendous defeat and loss to the party, the country and the people. China has lagged behind because of it. Only through the open door policy can China catch up and be equal with the rest of the world.” Hu spoke at a meeting held on December 17 in the Central Party School. Hu’s speech aimed at weakening the growing force that has been criticizing the open door policy due to the various social issues brought about since its inception 30 years ago. His speech further emphasized the direction of "following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics." Among the four generations of party top leaders, Hu is the only one who has openly shown his intolerance of the Cultural Revolution. His position is unlike that of his predecessors.

Source: The Dong-a Ilbo, Korea, January 2, 3008
http://china.donga.com/gb/srv/service.php3?bicode=060000&biid=2008010241398

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