POLITICS & SOCIETY
Beijing dismisses Taiwan leader’s offer to help in transition to democracy
Beijing hit back at Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s offer to help mainland China transition to democracy, saying on Monday the values and ideas pushed forward by her party had caused chaos on the self-ruled island. The mainland’s Taiwan Affairs Office said only mainland Chinese had the right to speak on mainland affairs, while suggesting Tsai could better spend her time reflecting on “the widespread discontent” in Taiwan and the “reasons behind why cross-strait relations had reached an impasse”. Beijing distrusts Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party because it traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan. Beijing says the island is part of China and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.
Source: South China Morning Post, June 5, 2017
China to roll out local land reserve bonds
China will roll out local land reserve bonds this year to further standardize local governments’ financing behaviors, an official statement said Thursday. The move came after the country banned local governments from borrowing from banks to finance land purchases and preparations for property development last year. Provincial governments will be allowed to issue local land reserve bonds for their reasonable financing needs, according to the statement, which was jointly issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Land and Resources. By issuing the bonds, authorities will be able to plug leaks in the system of local financing platforms such as fake land transactions and land reserve capital embezzlement, according to officials with the ministries.
Source: China Daily, June 6, 2017
Xi to visit Kazakhstan, attend SCO summit, World Expo
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Kazakhstan from June 7 to 10, the Foreign Ministry announced. Xi is invited by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement. Xi will also attend the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the opening ceremony of the World Expo in Astana, Lu said.
Source: China Daily, June 6, 2017
BRICS Media Forum to be held in Beijing next week
The BRICS Media Forum, to be held in Beijing from June 7 to 8, will be attended by the leaders of 25 media groups from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The attendees will discuss topics including multimedia innovation for media development, as well as media outlets’ duty and social responsibility. The forum next week aims to improve the high-end dialogue platform for the mainstream media of BRICS countries, as well as advance innovation and promote fairness and justice of international public opinion. During the forum, there will be a BRICS Media Joint Photo Exhibition to show the development and cooperation achievements of BRICS. Proposed by Xinhua, the forum is jointly organized by the mainstream media groups of BRICS countries. China, which took over the BRICS presidency this year, will host the Ninth BRICS Summit in September in Xiamen, Fujian province.
Source: South China Morning Post, June 6, 2017
Wuhan cracks down on shared bike theft, damage
As city officials work with shared bike operators to bring order to streets that have become cluttered with thousands of colorful two-wheelers, police in the interior city of Wuhan have launched a new campaign to rein in scofflaws who damage and steal the vehicles. Wuhan police detained 11 people at the start of their campaign, which launched in the last week of May, according to a report in the Chinese edition of the official China Daily website. They warned 16 others, and distributed more than 20,000 educational brochures on the topic. Since launching last year, shared bicycle services have exploded in China, with millions of vehicles now on streets and sidewalks of most major cities. Unlike older municipal shared bike programs that require users to find and return bikes to specific racks, the new services use smartphone technology to let users unlock bikes wherever they can find them. Users then can lock bikes anywhere they can find space on completion of rides, and are charged a small fee for time of use.
Source: Caixin, June 5, 2017
Silk Road expo in Xi’an draws attention from the world
The 2017 Silk Road International Exposition and the 21st Investment and Trade Forum for Cooperation between East and West China (ITFCEW) kicked off in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on June 3. More than 300 overseas companies from across 42 countries and regions are expected to attend the five-day exposition, themed New Platform, New Opportunities and New Development. “It is quite useful for developing cooperation between countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative,” Dusan Bella, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary from the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Beijing, said. “The exposition in Xi’an turns President Xi’s vision in action, and builds bridges between people and businesses.” The five-day event will consist of major activities and exhibitions, including 20 high-level conferences and international forums – such as the opening ceremony of the 2017 Silk Road International Exposition and the Silk Road Economic Belt Forum for International Cooperation, as well as the 2017 Silk Road Qinling Forum and International Business Associations’ Roundtable Conference in Xi’an.
Source: China Daily, June 5, 2017
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Chinese shipbuilder delivers world’s first semi-submersible aquaculture support vessel
A China shipbuilding firm on June 3 delivered the world’s first semi-submersible aquaculture support vessel to Norwegian fish farming company SalMar ASA. The Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co Ltd of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation delivered the vessel at its dock in Qingdao in east China’s Shandong Province. The vessel, 110 meters in diameter and 69 meters in total height, weighs 7,700 tonnes and can resist powerful typhoons of up to 36 meters per second in speed. It can accommodate water for farming 1.5 million fish while maintaining a death rate of less than 2 percent. SalMar is one of the world’s largest companies for producing and processing salmon. Yan Jun, deputy chief engineer of Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co Ltd, said the vessel is the world’s first fully automated aquaculture support vessel. Its smart aquaculture system can release fish fry and perform feeding, environmental monitoring, cleaning and removal of dead fish.
Source: Xinhua, June 4, 2017
Successful digitalisation critical for future of Hong Kong economy
The specific technology innovations introduced by the digital revolution such as mobile, apps, “the cloud”, Big Data, and 3D printing, are shaking up businesses globally. The digital journey has passed a frontier into a land that no longer distinguishes between digital and business, as these are now unavoidably linked. However, in this passage a fracture is being revealed: top corporate leaders across the globe are insufficiently directing the digitalisation of their companies. For many of these leaders the impact of digital on their firm is at best confusing and at worst unclear. To support business leaders globally – executives and boards alike – in their effort to digitalise, the international business school INSEAD, in collaboration with the boutique business and marketing consultancy this fluid world, have issued a report, “Directing Digitalisation: 11 Guidelines for Boards and Executives”.
Source: South China Morning Post, June 2, 2017
Peter Guy, “Hong Kong remains stranded in the wake of mainland China’s post-Tiananmen growth”, South China Morning Post, June 5, 2017
Peter Kammerer, “Why Hong Kong will be following the Shenzhen model by 2037”, South China Morning Post, June 5, 2017
Choi Chi-yuk, “How China’s regional chiefs use Trump tactic in race for top”, South China Morning Post, June 3, 2017
“Feature: China-Germany economic cooperation blossoms”, Xinhua, June 1, 2017
Hu Shuli, “Editorial: Policymakers Need to Tread Carefully When Tightening Policy to Avoid Liquidity Crunch”, Caixin, May 30, 2017
Craig Addison “China is in the kind of technology bubble that helps local firms. Will it last?”, South China Morning Post, June 5, 2017
- Sreeparna Banerjee
- Pratnashree Basu