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China News: Chinese Cross-Border E-Commerce Recorded Rapid Growth

China News recently reported that, based on the newly released Ministry of Commerce international trade report, in the first half of this year, Chinese cross-border e-commerce trade volume reached RMB 3.6 trillion (around US$542 billion). This represents a 30.7 percent year-over-year growth. Among the RMB 3.6 trillion, RMB 2.75 trillion was the total for exports. International e-commerce has become the primary growth engine for China’s international trade. The Chinese government has established the strategy to support China’s international e-commerce industry so it will scale up, standardize, enhance industrial clustering, and be structured more properly. The Chinese strategy focuses on technology, logistics, business model innovation, and cooperation with foreign partners. The goal is to participate actively in forming the international standards and to blend into various international retail systems. Analysts expressed their belief that China’s plan can take good advantage of China’s manufacturing power to expand international sales channels.

Source: China News, November 7, 2017

The Americans Entered Russian Nuclear Submarine in India

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported, based on Russian media sources, that representatives from the U.S. Navy were allowed to enter the Russian nuclear submarine Chakra, which has been serving in the Indian Navy under a long-term lease agreement. Earlier, the Americans had been allowed to visit the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (formerly named Admiral Gorshkov), which caused Russia to protest. However, it is India that owns the aircraft in its entirely. The Russians considered the Chakra entry to be a political gesture and questioned why the Indians created such an unfriendly incident. Some members of the U.S. Navy delegation were well-trained submarine experts. Observers expressed their concerns about any serious impact it might have on the on-going negotiations between India and Russia for a second submarine lease as well as the plan for the joint construction of fifth-generation fighter jets.

Source: Sina, November 10, 2017

RFA: Committee for Inspection of State Affairs Is a Political Body That Sits above the Executive and Judicial Body

Radio Free Asia (RFA) carried an article that stated that an article Xinhua published on November 5 clearly specified that the “Committee for the Inspection of State Affairs” is a political body, not an executive or judicial body. It stated that it is an organization that sits above the ordinary executive or judicial body and has the power that both the party and administration have. However, the RFA article stated that whether it can make a breakthrough in fighting corruption remains to be seen. The Xinhua article emphasized that, “It is necessary to have an accurate understanding that the ‘Committee for the Inspection of State Affairs’ is an anti-corruption governing body. It works with the Commission for Discipline Inspection and represents the Party and the nation to exercise supervisory powers. It is a political entity and not an executive or judiciary body. It should always make politics the top priority.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 6, 2017

Caixin: Property Tax Reform May Take Time to Implement

According to an opinion article that Caixin published, the Ministry of Finance may need time to establish legislation and outline the requirements during property tax reform. The article reported that, currently, the tax rate, the limit of how much is taxable, and the amount collected varies in each region. Property tax reform will directly impact local tax revenue as well as the existing system of the municipal government that uses the land to derive its financial revenue. In a recent article that the Minister of Finance wrote following 19th National Congress, it specified that the property tax should be based on assessed value rather than the trading value, as has currently been adopted in Shanghai and Chongqing. Caixin reported that this is the first time the property tax base has been officially defined.

Source: Caixin, November 9, 2017

Deutsche Welle: Trump Could Tweet in China but Chinese Citizens Were Not Allowed to Comment

Deutsche Welle published an article titled, “Trump Can Tweet in China but Chinese Citizen Were Not Allowed to Comment.” The article stated that, during President Trump’s first visit to China, he tweeted several times giving thanks for the warm hospitality he received from China and from Xi Jinping and his wife. He also changed the background photo of his twitter account to a photo taken after he watched the Beijing Opera in the Forbidden City. China’s official news media and websites covered Trump’s tweets. For example, one article was titled, “Trump Ended His China Visit. He Sent 8 Twitter Messages and Changed the Background Photo Twice.” Meanwhile, Trump related postings on Weibo, together with the feature to comment at the bottom of the posted article, were blocked. An article that China Digital Times published stated, “It is not surprising to see that Weibo postings on Trump related topics were subject to Sina‘s inspection, but the inspection was purely targeting key words not the contents. For example, a posting sharing an article titled “US$9 billion in Trade” was deleted. Disabling the comment feature is part of the inspection. If a Weibo account contains a key word, the system will automatically shut off the capability to post comments.

One of the Weibo postings that was blocked was titled, “Latest Comments about Trump.” It read, “An American asked a Russian, “We can comment on our president in the U.S., but can you do the same in Russia? The Russian replied, “We can comment your President in the U.S. as well.” The American said … lesson learned.” Then the American asked a Chinese, “We can comment on our president in the U.S., but can you do the same in China?” The Chinese said, “We can also comment on your President in our country.” The American laughed and suggested, “How about you try it again.”

Source: Deutsche Welle, October 11, 2017川普可以发推中国网民不许评论/a-41325378?&zhongwen=simp

Duowei: Trump Is More of an Arms Dealer Taking Advantage of Japan and South Korea’s Crisis

Duowei, a Beijing controlled media based overseas, published an article commenting on President Trump’s Asian trip. Below is an excerpt from the article:

“U.S. President Trump visited South Korea on November 7. During the welcoming ceremony of the Korean President Moon Jae-in at The Blue House Cheongwadae, Trump’s first concern was the issue of arms sales to South Korea, which he believed would help to reduce the trade deficit between the two countries. Two days before Trump was to visit Japan, he also demanded that Japan should purchase a ‘massive’ amount of weapons from the United States, including missiles and fighters. Trump’s demands on Japan and South Korea are ostensibly aimed at responding to the DPRK’s nuclear threat. Actually, all these efforts are aimed at increasing employment in the United States and changing the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Japan and South Korea. This was also evident during the first three stops of his Asian tour. Japan, South Korea, and China are the three targets of the Treasury Department for the manipulation of exchange rates. They are also Donald Trump’s three stakeholders on this trip to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue. “

“It can be said that Trump is very pragmatic to use the threat of the North Korean nuclear crisis to sell arms to U.S. allies. It is also {clear} from this point that Trump did not have any big strategic design for his trip to Asia. Instead, it is an extension of the principle of ‘the U.S. first.’ The White House stressed that Trump’s visit to Asia has three themes: the DPRK nuclear issue, the Indo-China Pacific region, and business trade. However, judging from Trump’s words and deeds during his visit, all three topics are ultimately related to ‘money.’ In other words, let allies give ‘money’ in return for their own safety. “

“All in all, the Trump, who is currently visiting Asia, does not look like a president. He looks more like a businessman who sells arms to the allies. However, as president, everything on his mind relates to how to cut down the foreign trade deficit and give an explanation to his diehard voters in order to ease the domestic pressure of governance.”

Source: Duowei, November 7, 2017

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