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More Fake GDP Numbers Reported in China

Xinhua reported that, recently, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Tianjin City revised down their 2016 GDP numbers. Inner Mongolia adjusted down its public budget revenue by 26.3 percent, or 53 billion yuan (US$8.5 billion) and industrial added value down by 40 percent, or 290 billion yuan (US$46 billion). Tianjin lowered its Binhai District’s GDP from the previous amount of 1 trillion yuan (US$160 billion) down to 665 billion yuan (US$106 billion), a cut of one-third.

These are the second and third cases in which local governments have revised the 2016 level they reported for GDP. The first to admit reporting an inflated GDP was Liaoning Province in early 2017, when it said that its GDP in 2016 actually went down 23 percent from the 2015 level.

It has long been known that China inflates its GDP. Cheng Xiaonong, a political and economic researcher, provided two reasons why the local governments are now willing to admit faking GDP:

First, Xi Jinping’s administration no longer uses the GDP growth rate to evaluate local officials. The newly appointed officials feel that they don’t have to carry the weight that the incumbent left them because they may not be able to make that fake number anyhow. If they cut down the previous year’s number, they can show a growth in their years.

Second, with a lower GDP, the local government can show the central government that they had less money and can request more financial help from the central government.

Sources:

1. Xinhua, January 21, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2018-01/21/c_1122289640.htm
2. Epoch Times, January 20, 2018
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/18/1/20/n10073822.htm

Summary of the Recent Amendments to the Constitution

An article published on Haiwainet summarized the amendments to the constitution which were passed at the second plenary session of the 19th Party Central Committee held on January 18 and 19. According to the article, four revisions have been made since the first Constitution was adopted in 1954. They were in 1988, 1993, 1999, and 2004.

Below is a summary of the amendments made at the recent plenary session:
1) Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics was the result from the latest achievements of Marxism in China. It is 21st century Marxism and should serve as the guiding principal for the party and the nation to follow on a long term basis.
2) The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics. We must uphold and strengthen the party’s leadership over all work.
3) Form “five developments” in “economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological civilization” by using the concepts of “innovation, coordination, greenness, openness, and sharing” to develop China into a Well-off Society by 2020, a basic socialist modernized nation by 2035, and a powerful modern socialist country by the middle of this century. At the same time, we also need to realize the great renaissance of the Chinese nation. It is of great significance to inspire and guide the entire party and the people as well as the people of all nationalities to make a concerted effort.
4) Adhering to the road of peaceful development, adhering to the opening-up strategy for mutual benefit, and promoting the development of a common community of human beings are of great significance in promoting the lofty cause of mankind’s peaceful development.
5) The reform of the state supervisory system is a major reform of the political system that is related to the overall situation. It is a major policy-making plan for strengthening the self-supervision of the party and the state. It is necessary to establish a law on an anti-corruption work organ under the unified leadership of the party; to establish a centralized, authoritative, and efficient national surveillance system; and to achieve the full coverage of all public officers exercising their public authority.

Source: Haiwainet, January 19, 2018
http://opinion.haiwainet.cn/n/2018/0119/c456317-31240914.html

Xinhua: Xi Vows to Apply Measures to Combat Corruption to Achieve Overwhelming Victory

Xinhua reported that, on January 11, Xi Jinping made an important speech at the second plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee. Xi analyzed the existing anti-corruption environment and vowed to continue to “fix the issue on the surface while looking for the root cause in order to achieve an overwhelming victory in combating corruption.” Xi listed the following six targeted areas:
1) Be persistent with zero tolerance on the anti-corruption effort and with 100 percent coverage. Where corruption is involved, apply restraint, pressure, and threats. Investigate both parties – those who offer and those who accept – bribes. Clean up past due corruption cases and minimize the increases in the number of corruption cases.
2) Change the focus of the anti-corruption effort so it shifts more towards the grassroots level and apply severe remediation on corruption cases among the officials who work closely with the general public.
3) Tackle gang organizations and the “protective umbrella” behind them.
4) Increase collaboration with international legal teams to threaten the corrupt criminals.
5) Make the officials fearful and conscious so they are afraid of corruption and don’t want to be corrupt.
6) Launch a reform of regulations and form effective systems to cut off the network among the interested parties while enforcing legal restrictions and supervision.

Source: Xinhua, January 19, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-01/19/c_1122281826.htm

People’s Daily: Firmly Grasp This Promising Historic Opportunity

People’s Daily published a commentary on its front page calling upon China to take full advantage of the promising historic opportunity it has to realize the “Chinese Dream.” The article is a follow-up to the speech that Xi Jinping gave on January 5 at the seminar on studying and implementing the main ideas of the 19th CPC National Congress, where he stated that China is at a period of promising historic opportunity.

The commentary stated, “(This historic opportunity) is the inevitable change in the world over the centuries. In today’s world, ‘democratic deficits,’ ‘governance deficits,’ and ‘development pitfalls’ have come one after the other. Such issues as polarization between the rich and poor, terrorism, and climate change have been emerging constantly. The international political and economic system dominated by capitalism is displaying multiple disadvantages. The global governance system is undergoing profound changes. A new international order is being built. What’s wrong with the world? Where do humans go? These problems are distressing and confusing to politicians, scholars, and the general public all over the world. However, history has not ended. The practices in China have provided a completely new choice for solving the common problems of mankind. Today, as mankind is becoming a common community of destiny, the world has never been so concerned about China and so much in need of China. This has opened up a vast strategic space for us to adhere to peaceful development and gain advantages.”

“This historic period of opportunity encompasses all dimensions, not only in economic development but also in acceleration of the revolution in science and technology and industry, increasing the influence of Chinese culture. There are also more applause given to China’s wisdom and China’s programs. … From an internal point of view, China’s development has entered the stage of qualitative improvement after the accumulation of quantities and has progressed from a phase of rapid growth to a period of high-quality development. The Chinese wheels are now being driven out of the historical gorges and into the vast waters of the vast sea. From the perspective of the world, ‘a world of chaos’ is in stark contrast to ‘the orderly rule of China.’ The world’s eyes are moving eastward and the scenery of China has become the vision of more and more countries.”

Source: People’s Daily, January 185, 2018
http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2018-01/15/nw.D110000renmrb_20180115_6-01.htm

Aboluowang Commentary: Xi Jinping Is Unlikely to Make a Term Change during the Upcoming Central Committee Plenary Session

Aboluowang published a commentary article in which it reported that any speculation that Xi Jinping might push for a term change during the upcoming central committee plenary session might have come from Jiang’s faction for the purpose of creating negative media trouble for Xi.

According to the article, the second plenary session of the 19th Party Central Committee will be held from Jan. 18 to 19 in Beijing. The major agenda of the meeting will be to make small changes in the constitution. A number of different media outlets, including Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg News, and Mingbao speculated that Xi Jinping might want to incorporate a change in the term limit for the Presidency into the constitution because he has apprehended large number of corrupt officials and, during his term, has touched the core interest of Jiang’s faction. Once his term ends, he and his family could face danger. However, based on Xinhua’s report that there will be a small change made to the constitution during the plenary session, it is unlikely that a change in the term limit will be made this time. It is likely that some additional “Xi Jinping Thought,” which was added into party constitution last year, could be included in the constitution this time. The Aboluowang commentary suggested that the Chinese Communist Party always plays black box politics and there has been no defined rule regarding its succession plan. There can be many different forms if one wishes to stay in power, just as how Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin continued to exercise their influence after they stepped down from their post. Currently Xi’s control over power is not yet complete. It is unlikely for him to push for a term change and invite more trouble for himself. Therefore the faction that Jiang leads could have made up much of the speculation out there in order to create negative media trouble for Xi.

Source: Aboluowang, January 14, 2018
http://www.aboluowang.com/2018/0114/1054494.html

Shanghai Marriott under Investigation for Listing Taiwan, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet as Countries on its Website

In a recent news report, Duowei stated that the Marriott Hotel chain violated the Internet security and advertising law in China when it listed Taiwan, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet as countries. The Shanghai Huangpu District Internet Information Office has, currently, placed the Marriott under investigation. According to the report, on January 9, the Marriott issued an apology on its official Weibo account saying it was a system error. On January 10, the Shanghai Huangpu District Internet Information Office issued a notice stating that they have met with the representatives of the Shanghai Marriott twice and requested it to take down the incorrect information from its website and cell phone apps immediately to “eliminate the negative influence.” According to Duowei news, in addition to the Marriott, the official websites of other luxury brands, including Audi, Cartier, Hermes, Burberry, and Armani also listed Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as countries.

Source: Duowei News, January 10, 2018
http://news.dwnews.com/china/news/2018-01-10/60034755.html

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