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Duowei: Five Major Problems of the People’s Congress

Wit the Fifth Plenary Session of the 12th National People’s Congress taking place in Beijing, Duowei published an article discussing the major problems of the People’s Congress.

One, what is its position or ranking in China’s political structure? Though the People’s Congress is the highest authority in the state power system, there is a “super power” above it. That is the Communist Party. The “People’s Congress is to ensure that the Communist Party’s propositions will manifest in the state via the legal process.”

Two, can it actually have the power of supervision? The Constitution specifies that Representatives of the People’s Congress can request hearings involving state officials. In reality, the Party’s Central Organization Department and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection appoint and remove officials, so the People’s Congress does not really have this power.

Three, when will it take back the power of taxation? Among the 18 types of taxes, the People’s Congress only established three. The State Council determined all of the others.

Four, how to improve representation? Officials and businessmen have taken a disproportionately higher number of seats. Representatives of the People’s Congress “do not represent people.”

Five, who can lead the reform of the People’s Congress? The head of the People’s Congress tends to be a “mild or cautious” person. “Xi Jinping has an urgent expectation for the reform at the People’s Congress. He obviously needs a much stronger and much more daring person to lead this ‘big reform.’” {Editor’s note: The current Chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress is Zhang Dejiang who is in Jiang Zemin’s camp and does not always agree with Xi.}

Source: Duowei, March 4, 2017

Taiwan’s Defense Minister Rejects the Idea of Installing THAAD

The Taiwan-based news portal China Times reported on March 5, 2017, that Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan reiterated Taiwan’s position of being against the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

During a session at the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense committee last Thursday, legislators asked Feng whether Taiwan would host the U.S. anti-ballistic missile system THAAD. Feng replied that Taiwan “should not be involved in other nations’ wars or make pointless sacrifices in conflicts between two global powers.”

The China Times‘ report noted that some people among the Pan-Green Groups recently expressed their hope that Taiwan would take part in THAAD. However, a retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) general on Mainland China said that the day Taiwan deploys THAAD will be the day to unify Taiwan by force. The Pan-Green Group got its name from the colors of the now ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

China Times quoted Feng as explaining the position of Taiwan’s military regarding weapons purchases. “In the past we directly bought fish, and now we hope to learn fishing — producing military airplanes and warships by ourselves.”

When questioned about his opinion on the South Korea’s decision to install THAAD, China Times reported that Feng said that the U.S., Japan, and South Korea formed the plan in order to force China to cooperate. Feng considered this an idea that “global powers” thought up and which, he believed, Taiwan should take no part.

Source: China Times, March 5, 2017

Duowei: China Has Made Big Progress in the Development of Laser Weapons

In a recent article, Duowei listed several laser weapons that China has developed and stated that China is at an advanced level in the development of laser weapons.

The “Silent Hunter” low altitude laser air defense system can send a laser beam, with 30 kw of power and a 4 km maximum height, to break through a 5 millimeter steel plate that is 1 km away. Its main use is to block unmanned aerial vehicle.

The “Low Altitude Guard” system can export 10 kw of power and block anything in a 2 km radius, 12 square km space.

China’s “Light Shield” system can emit laser beams to destroy low altitude planes and missiles.

The JD-3 laser active countermeasure system on the army’s 99A tank can paralyze the enemy’s sighting equipment or blind their personnel.

The small high-energy tactical laser equipment developed in 2008 can penetrate a 3 millimeter steel plate that is 30 meters away.

The “Light Electromechanical Information” magazine, that the Chinese Academy of Science published, claimed that China has five leading technologies in the laser field: laser materials, physical mechanism and imaging pattern of laser radiation materials, a one-time quick track and positioning system, high density energy reversible conversion carrier materials, and laser imaging technologies.

Source: Duowei, February 25, 2017

CPPCC Vice Chairman Criticizes China’s Online Review System

In a joint interview with the media in Beijing on March 1, Luo Fu, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), pointed out some of the problems that result from China’s online censorship rules.

Luo said that the speed of visits to overseas websites in China is becoming ever slower. This will greatly impact economic development and scientific research in China. It should garner a high degree of concern. Luo gave multiple examples that require attention. Some foreign university sites take more than half an hour to open; many domestic scholars and graduate students have to buy special software to get around the firewall for their scientific research needs. Some students in China cannot complete the relevant forms for online filing because they cannot open the university sites in foreign countries; some experts in China need to travel to Hong Kong on weekends or holidays and other places in order to visit overseas sites to research needed Information; some foreign enterprises in China also complain about the speed of visits to overseas websites. In recent years, some Taiwan delegations who visited the CPPCC also complained that there are a lot of websites they cannot normally enter while in the mainland. In addition, some well-known foreign search engines cannot normally be opened in China.

Luo believed that the main reasons for the problems are not enough bandwidth for an international port, limited online service providers, and online regulations that are too strict.

Luo’s interview was initially published on the CPPCC website and later withdrawn.

Source: Sohu, March 4, 2017

BBC Chinese: Wealth of Members of the Chinese Legislative Branch Increased

BBC Chinese recently reported that the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC) are having full sessions now in Beijing. According to the Hurun Rich List (Mainland China), an annual report that ranks personal wealth and is widely accepted in China, in the last four years the total wealth of those NPC and CPPCC members who are listed in Hurun increased by 64 percent. Their wealth reached RMB 3 trillion (around US$435 billion), which is higher than the GDP of Austria. The average annual growth rate of their wealth was 13 percent. That is double the growth rate of China’s GDP. According to Hurun founder Rupert Hoogewerf, his reports are based on public information and are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the “hidden wealth” of the individuals on his list. In the past several years, many people on the Hurun list were found guilty of illegal activities and were brought to justice.

Source: BBC Chinese, March 2, 2017

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