China imprisoning corrupt officials

China has been targeting corrupt officials

Su Rong has been removed from the Communist Party due to being charged for corruption and faces prosecution, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement on Monday. The institution that is in charge of anti-corruption states that the former vice-chairman of the parliamentary advisory body abused his position to receive “large sums of illegal bribes”, which resulted in “huge losses of government assets”. This has always been the major problem the Chinese government wherein officials take bribes in order to gain more money.

Su Rong was sacked from the Communist Party

Several papers, including the Beijing News and the Beijing Youth Daily, have noted the “strong-wording” used in the CCDI’s statement.The CCDI said some officials “blatantly accept bribes and confer official ranks for money” and “support and wilfully permit relatives to use their status to interfere in politics”.The Beijing News notes that the choice of some “fiery words” in the statement reflects the authorities’ determination to fight corruption. This could be seen from the past sentences made by the institutions wherein they continuously go after corrupt officials. However at times the motives are questionable whether or not the intention is to make the official accountable for their action. “The CCDI has sounded out what was on everybody’s mind, so now people have nothing much to add,” notes the editorial.The Beijing Times agrees that the choice of strong words was “deliberate to sound a warning” to other officials.Lyu Pin, a professor at the China Central Party School, however, tells the People’s Daily that despite the “high-pressure tactic”, lower ranking officials in some regions are “still turning a deaf ear” and some are even “getting bolder in their corrupt behavior”. Admitting that the fight against corruption is “complex and challenging”, the Communist Party’s flagship paper stresses that the authorities have “strategized their moves” for the year, “casting nets everywhere” to capture violators.

Images by CFI and Reuters

Super China

South Korea and China relations has been significantly improving

China has been able to develop an unlikely relationship with its neighbor South Korea. The alliance was formed allegedly as a way to prevent South Korea and Japan from being a strategic ally which will endanger the position of China. South Korea and Japan have been disputing over historical claims being done by each other. Newspapers discuss whether the outside world fears China, in response a South Korean documentary series which some Chinese commentators believe overestimates the big neighbor’s potential hegemonic power.

Super China was shown in KBS

Super China, a seven-part series produced by South Korean TV network KBS and broadcast in January, focuses on China’s economic might and the possibility of “Chinese hegemony”, the Chinese language China Daily notes, adding that some South Korean viewers appeared to be both amazed and worried about China’s rising power. However some people see that the documentary was a creation of the Chinese government in order to give out their propaganda. However Chinese internet users dismiss this apparent awe as “exaggeration”, “unbelievable” and based on “a hidden agenda of bias and misunderstanding”. This dismissal is questionable due to the fact that some Chinese internet users protecting the government are hired. There is a governing body solely operates to remove bad commentaries against the government.

But an article on Gucheng Net voices concern that “over-praising” is a sign that many foreigners are fearful of China.”This exaggerated praise is no good for China, no matter whether they are heartfelt or the product of a hidden agenda”, it warns.An article in the Chinese edition of the Global Times seeks to reassure foreigners that a powerful China will not threaten world peace.”Instead, it will be a positive influence,” it says, adding that China’s neighbors would feel “even more threatened by the influx of refugees and migrants if China, with its 1.3 billion people, remains poor and collapses”.

Images by Radio Free Asia and Youtube

Chairman of Han Long Group imprisoned

China executes mining tycoon

China has been known for its strict control over the media. They ensure that everyone would be giving out good comments to the state and not going against it. Those who attempt to break the rules are being censored by the state. China also wants to eliminate corrupt officials in order to improve its image to the citizens. China’s state-controlled print media declare that justice has been done after the execution of powerful Sichuan-based mining tycoon Liu Han.The former chairman of the Hanlong Group was sentenced to death in May for “leading mafia-style crime and murder”.He is reported to have had links to disgraced security official Zhou Yongkang, who is currently under investigation for breaching party discipline – often a reference to corruption allegations.Official media reports, however, make no mention of such links, and indeed refrain from any wider comment beyond welcoming news of Liu’s execution.”The dark evil ones face execution, justice has finally arrived,” trumpets the state news agency Xinhua.”This shows the total destruction of the mega-mafia organization, and also fully reflects the belief and determination of the central government to pursue rule of law and clamp down on the evil and illegal forces.”

Citizens await for the decision of the court over Liu Han

Liu Han and his associates were described as the “people’s enemy”. The agency quotes observers see this as a signal that the leadership’s ambitious legal and anti-corruption reforms are gathering pace. “There will be no ‘privileged citizens’ if we continue to strengthen the rule of law and improve the legal system where everyone can enjoy justice.”In contrast to the mainland Chinese media, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post openly connects Liu with Mr Zhou, describing him as an associate of the latter’s son.”While close ties between the business community and party officials are common in China, Liu’s case has exposed in surprising detail large networks of the rich and their uncertain role in political struggles,” daily comments.

Images by VOA news and Getty

Ageing Population Problem

One child policy has caused so many abortions

The one child policy has been implemented by China in order to resolve their overpopulation problem. Now China faces a different problem which is an aging population problem. This prompted for some newspapers round on a proposal that couples should have no fewer than two children to deal with China’s aging population problem.China relaxed its longstanding one-child policy in 2013 in response to lower population growth, allowing couples to have two children if either parent is an only child. This further increased the abortion of babies in China in order for couples to get away from the pending punishment given out by the government. It has also caused an imbalance on the gender of the country. It increased the population of men showing the high dis-proportionality against women. But the change has attracted fewer applications than expected, and the birth rate has remained stagnant.In response, a senior family planning official in northern Shanxi province believes the one-child policy should be fully relaxed, with all married couples being strongly encouraged have two children.

 

China is suffering an ageing population

The comments by Mei Zhiqiang, deputy head of the province’s family planning commission, sparked a heated debate in the papers and social media.While acknowledging the problem raised by Mr Mei, the Global Times strongly rejects his suggestion, arguing that the authorities need to learn the lessons of the past and use less coercive family planning measures.”It would be better to use encouragement and incentives that will be more easily accepted by the people” to promote the new aim of boosting the birth rate, a commentary in the paper argues.The Beijing News agrees, saying Mr Mei’s proposal is “a swing to another extreme” of birth control, insisting that the government has “no right to force the people to give birth”. For the Dahe Daily, the answer lies in easing the financial burden on married couples in order to encourage them to have a second child.

Images by Alamy and EPA

China’s migrant workers

China has so many migrant workers

Main newspapers support Chinese authorities’ plans to give permanent residency rights to migrant workers. The migrant workers have been considered an important part of the Chinese economy prompting the government to help them out. The current residency law makes it mandatory for migrant workers to seek temporary permits before they are allowed to work in another city. Most host cities do not allow such workers any access to social benefits. These benefits are crucial in order to make sure that their well-being is ensured. According to the public security reform plan released on Sunday, migrant workers will be allowed to hold permanent residency permits to help them have access to most benefits enjoyed by local residents, the official Xinhua News Agency reports.There was no exact timeline released by the government for the changes. The state-run news agency quotes observers as saying that the temporary residence registry system has “led to instability and unsettlement and is no longer suitable for today’s situation”.

Workers at Yangtze River

Public policy expert see that these changes would further improve the conditions of labor workers in the country. Peng Xizhe, public policy expert at Fudan University, tells the Global Times that the new system will “optimize the labor force by allowing workers to freely migrate across the country”.”The current system has provided convenience for the police in managing migrant workers. It has also been a source of income for the department. But it has not brought much benefit to the workers,” Hu Xingdou, a social science professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, adds.The Beijing News notes that the proposed changes have received positive feedback from the public. The editorial adds that the plan is significant because it aims to “bring equal rights for everyone”. However, it suggests that the departments in charge of social security and healthcare benefits need to follow up with welfare reforms for migrant workers.The Xinhua’s Economic Information adds that the reform has been planned to minimize the gap between urban and rural areas.

Images by libcom and Getty

Xi Jinping’s trip to United States

President Xi Jinping is set to meet President Obama in Washington

China’s state media welcome the recent announcement that President Xi Jinping could visit the US, voicing hope for an improvement in ties. This is a great opportunity to discuss possible economic agreement in order to further boost each country. US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on Friday that Washington had invited Mr Xi on a state visit later this year.A report in the Global Times’ Chinese edition thinks the trip will be a “significant expression of friendly China-US ties”. A commentary in the paper insists Beijing is not opposed to Washington’s much-trumpeted “pivot to Asia”, but adds that “stability in China-US ties is essential” for the success of the strategy.”Mr Obama understands this, so inviting Chairman Xi to visit is to an important step to ensure such stability,” says the article. China has been accused by the United States for trying to claim territories that are not really theirs. The meeting between two leaders will allow them to discuss the matter.

The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss US-China relations

While pointing out that major differences still exist, the China Daily urges both sides not to let these “stand in the way of improving bilateral relations”, and to be “aware of where to toe the line so as not to infringe upon each other’s core interests”.Although China last week protested against Mr Obama’s attendance at a prayer event with the Dalai Lama, the China Net news portal praises the US president for not directly meeting the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, saying this shows the White House does not want the Tibet issue to hurt relations.It adds that the invitation to Mr Xi demonstrates that Washington “clearly understands that Beijing is no longer a weak opponent”. But noting that the US has also invited Mr Abe to a state visit, the commentary adds that Washington is “still playing a balancing act between China and Japan”.”Long-term effort is still required to build up mutual trust between Beijing and Washington,” it concludes.

Images by Jason Reed and The Daily Signal

China’s oil reserve

Crude oil reserve base

The Chinese media supports the need to boost China’s oil reserves following comments by President Xi Jinping on the need to “safeguard the country’s energy security”.In remarks to senior officials on Tuesday, Mr Xi called for work to improve China’s oil reserve systems to be speeded up.He also urged close monitoring of the global energy market, the accelerated development of non-conventional forms of energy and reforms to gas, oil and energy pricing, according to the official news agency Xinhua. There would be a need for China to look for ways in improving their oil reserve systems for they are heavily reliant on it. The China Daily reports that China quickly ramped up crude oil imports for its strategic reserves last year, when world oil prices started to plunge.

China’s oil demand is high

Lin Boqiang, an energy expert with Xiamen University, tells the China News Service that the country needs to seize the opportunity of low prices to boost reserves, while working to increase its own influence over international oil prices.A commentary in the Haiwai Net, however, notes that the oil sector in China is monopolized by state-owned companies, leading to corruption, and suggests the state “loosen some of its grip” on the market. The continuous dipping of oil prices endangers the oil reserves. China is also concern in trying to reduce its reliance from oil. China has been looking for other countries producing it and not only relying to the main producers of oil. China has been protecting their oil-sources such as Nigeria. However the country is suffering from the increasing presence of militants in their country. This prompted China into giving out help in order to sustain the partnership between the two when it comes to oil. Nigeria’s economy heavily relies on oil. China would also need to try to reduce its usage of oil because of the need to reduce the pollution produced by the industries. It is still unclear how China would survive the scuffle but at the very least it looks favorable for them.

Images by China Daily and Ejinsite

China’s economic slump

China has been experiencing a slow growth for their economy

China has been suffering from a slump on their economy. They are trying to recover from the sudden decline of their trade. There have been some newspapers that focus on prospects for Chinese growth after figures that showed a 10.8% decline in total trade volume from a year earlier.According to the data released on Sunday, exports fell 3.2%, while imports slumped 19.7%, far worse than analysts’ expectations, reports say. Chinese newspapers are confident on China bouncing back from this decline and believe that it will be able to grow its economy again. The state news agency Xinhua highlights that the January data is a “routine decline” ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, which falls on 19 February this year.”The trade data always turns out discouraging at every year’s beginning because of the Lunar New Year,” Liu Xuezhi, a financial researcher with the Bank of Communications, tells the news agency.The pundit adds that “the data thereafter can reflect the real situation of China’s foreign trade”.

 

China needs to bounce back from the 10% decrease

Experts interviewed by the Global Times also blame the fall in exports on “seasonal distortions”.But the People’s Daily is concerned about the sharp decline in imports, saying this reflects weak domestic demand, and cautions that the outlook for global trade is “not too optimistic”. The fall could be due to the strong calling for for independence for Hong Kong, and urge the territory’s authorities not to tolerate such views. Protests have already been affecting the businesses in the area. According to the Global Times, some protesters waved the British colonial-era Hong Kong flag during a recent rally, hoping to “detach Hong Kong from China”. Condemning the “absurd rabble-rousing” of the “separatists”, the editorial says such an idea “stems from hostility against China and communism”.”They seemingly long to return to the colonial era,” the paper adds, urging the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong, as well as Hong Kong society, to “safeguard national security and not to tolerate such views”.

Images by Getty and Bloomberg

China’s military parade

China’s military parade

Newspapers have denied the allegations that China targeted Japan during its military parade. Several media outlets are abuzz with discussion about the parade after an article in the People’s Daily revealed that China will hold a ceremony to demonstrate its military might while marking the 70th anniversary of World War Two.The article says that the parade will “show China’s determination to maintain the post-war world order” and also prove to be a “deterrence force against Japan”. Describing the wide attention over the news as a “fuss” and “farce”, a China Daily article stresses that China is a “peace-loving country” and says the parade is “not aimed at planting hatred”.”China has no intention to taunt Japan by showing off its military might, even when Japanese politicians’ words and actions have intensified tensions in East Asia,” says the daily. The paper has been trying to protect any wrongdoings being done by the Chinese government. The paper reminds readers that Japanese politicians have attempted to “whitewash Japan’s war crimes in past years”.

China has been growing closer to South Korea

 

China and Japan are currently fighting over a territory, Senkakou Islands. Beijing also accuses Tokyo of glossing over its war actions.China’s papers have cast doubt over Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s sincerity after he pledged earlier this month that he would “express remorse” over wartime history.Echoing similar sentiments, experts tell the Global Times that the parade will “send a signal to Japan to not stray from the pacifist path”. A Global Times editorial expects the scale of the parade to be smaller than the National Day military parade held once every 10 years.A large-scale parade was last held in 2009, marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.”While the National Day military parade should keep an authoritative display of China’s defensive power… the anti-fascist parade must stress the interconnection between China’s military power and the determination to keep world peace,” it says.

Images by Joe Chan and China Daily

 

Media Diplomacy

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping set to meet in May

The relations between China and India have been improving due to the increase in economic activities done by both countries. The two countries have been benefitting from the economic growth the other is experiencing. In fact Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to visit China in May. The preparations have already started and Chinese President Xi Jinping met Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj. The meeting of the president and the foreign minister has been deemed by the media to be rare. This is because a top Chinese leader had never took the time to meet up with a visiting foreign minister ever before. Foreign Minister Swaraj also met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovas part of the RIC (Russia, India, China) group’s summit.

India and Vietnam improving their relations

The Xinhua News Agency saw the diplomacy being done by India as “pragmatic” and one which has the “intention to seek a balance”. India is known for attempting to increase its influence in the global arena. Xinhua Agency sees such pragmatic move of India is seen to be strategic. This move would allow India to branch out its networks aside from looking to Western countries. India has been trying to improve its relations with its neighbors. There are speculations that China has been insecure and anxious of the growing strength of India. However, the Chinese edition of the Global Times dismisses such assumptions. The meeting happened right after the clear display of good relations of United States and India when President Barack Obama visited India. India is also trying to branch out its relations to Southeast Asia. India had expanded their strategic partnership from energy and trade to defense and space. India views Vietnam as an essential partner for its Act East Policy. Vietnam is also trying to strengthen its position by trying to give reparations for the Vietnam comfort women.

Images by: Tibetan Review and MEA photo gallery