Updated 3rd January, 2017
Major events or changes, 2016
- Britain seeks special relationship with China
- China is upset with Trump for:
- telephone contact with president of Taiwan
- welcome to Dalai Lama
- talk of trade restrictions
- China (and US) sign Paris Climate Accord
- UK signs deal for China to assist in building nuclear plant at Hinckley Point
- China and India continue to fight over shared water rights
- China to participate in Indian smart city
- Law and order
- Coal & steel told to clean up actReview of out-dated regulations to reduce bureaucracy and be replaced by rule of law
- Other events
- China redefines new model army
Major political events or changes in 2015
- China building second aircraft carrier
- China boosted as it joins IMF
- Chinese railway companies to build railway from Las Vegas to LA
- China to build major highway in Liberia
- Angolans resentful of Chinese
- Improved pact with Russia
- Trade corridor with Pakistan
- New Silk Road by land and by sea
- Russia cooperates with China on Siberian oil
- Missile sales to Turkey
- Defence pact with Thailand
- Sri Lanka port land deal being reviewed by Sri Lanka’s new government
- Internal political events – changes
- Xi promulgates four comprehensives:
- Comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society
- Comprehensively deepen reform
- Comprehensively govern the nation according to law
- Comprehensively strictly govern the Party.
- Communist Party still growing
- Law and order
- Fewer crimes to be subject to death penalty
- Review of out-dated regulations to reduce bureaucracy and be replaced by rule of law
- 4m enjoyed legal assistance in 2014
- Death row inmate found innocent awarded major compensation
- 30,000 arrested for food & drug crimes in 2014
- Farmers’ rights affirmed in advance of rural reforms
- Ivory imports banned (for 2015)
- Legal reform deadline set
- Anti-corruption, austerity continues:
- Top judge being investigated
- Top general found to be corrupt, paid for promotions
- Top policeman thrown out of party
- Military tightens anti-corruption campaign – further investigations
- Major banker investigated; more to come in finance sector
- Top parliamentarian prosecuted
- Communist Party continues to grow, despite rasing standards
- Defence budget grows 10% lowest in 5 years
- Concern about Xi’s increasing ‘cult of personality’ moves
Major political events or changes 2014:
- Internal political events – changes
- Law and order
- Removal of nine reasons for death penalty
- Whistleblowers given some protection
- Fraud-busters set up
- Police go nationwide to counter vice
- Legal reforms, China wants less interfering in cases, fewer death penalty crimes
- National Security Commission set up: Why You Should Pay Close Attention to China’s Security Commission
- Anti-corruption, austerity; part of “mass line” campaign to get Party aligned with people, continues:
- Anti-graft teams to be set up in departments
- Economic fugitives tracked down and repatriated
- Cognac and other luxury goods 0ften used as presents (or bribes) sales down
- Civil servants who have moved families abroad are being targeted
- Senior generals charged; one expelled from CCP
- Reduced spending on banquets
- Judiciary punished
- Graft busters themselves under scrutiny
- China punishes 829 judges, court staff for corruption in 2013
- Crackdown on ‘ghost’ cities
- Seizes assets from family of ex-security chief
Significant reform since November 2013 initiation – November 2014
China’s leadership unveiled a blueprint for some of the most comprehensive economic and social reforms in nearly 30 years in November 2013.
Implementation since then has been slow but steady. China has eschewed riskier, game-changing reform but the incremental steps aim to reach enough critical mass to sustain momentum and help the world’s second-largest economy shift down fairly smoothly after decades of investment-fueled growth.
The following are some of the significant steps taken since the Communist Party Central Committee’s Nov 9-12 policy conclave:
Oct 16 – The top economic planner is considering tightening rules for bond issues, according to traders and a leaked document.
Oct 11 – The State Council says it will institute a resource tax on coal while eliminating other taxes to simplify the tax structure.
Oct 9 – China levies tariffs on coal imports in a move to reduce the country’s dependence on the polluting energy source.
Sept 9 – Domestic firms in many areas no longer require government approval to invest overseas but must register their investments with authorities starting Oct 6.
Sept 1 – The budget law is revised to allow local governments to issue bonds directly.
Aug 26 – China cuts on-grid prices of thermal electricity from Sept. 1 to reflect a fall in coal prices.
Aug 20 – The government cuts taxes on high-tech companies, abolishes the need for firms to seek approvals in 68 further areas and additionally allows lower levels of government to approve business projects in 19 other areas.
Aug 15 – China eliminates 21 approval processes for a list of industries and lower levels of government are given the right to approve certain projects in an effort to cut red tape.
Aug 12 – China will raise natural gas prices for bulk buyers and non-residential use from Sept. 1 in an effort to reform pricing.
Aug 4 – Foreign firms in China are allowed to use their registered capital to buy stakes in other Chinese companies.
July 15 – The state-owned enterprise regulator chooses six state firms to test out reforms expanding the role of private capital in China’s state sector.
July 14 – China loosens currency controls to make it easier for domestic companies and individuals to set up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for investments overseas.
July 2 – Banks are allowed to set their own exchange rates for the yuan against the dollar in over-the-counter deals with clients.
June 27 – Regulators lower the threshold for banks to enter the foreign exchange market and removes a layer of approvals.
June 25 – China gives the greenlight to three banks wholly funded with capital from private firms, to be the country’s first private lenders.
May 21 – The experiment for China’s first municipal bond market is launched.
May 21 – Private firms are invited to invest in 80 major projects in the energy, information and infrastructure sectors.
May 16 – Financial regulators tighten oversight of interbank loans.
May 16 – China sets up international energy trading center where crude oil futures will be traded for the first time.
May 15 – Securities firms get the go-ahead to expand into new businesses such as the online financial services market.
May 6 – State-owned enterprises to increase dividend payouts by 5 percentage points to up to 25 percent of their profits.
April 23 – Premier Li Keqiang says China will allow private investment in 80 projects in energy, information and infrastructure.
April 22 – Changes to the environmental law seeking stiffer penalties for polluters submitted to parliament.
April 11 – Chinese firms can invest up to $1 billion overseas without seeking approval, China’s top planner says.
April 10 – China allows cross-border stock investment between Shanghai and Hong Kong.
April 9 – The government relaxes price controls over non-public hospital services.
April 2 – The government says will fast-track some spending and cut taxes for small firms, as a way of supporting the weakening economy.
March 31 – Britain and China sign an agreement to set up a clearing service for offshore yuan trading in London. That follows a similar agreement with Germany.
March 24 – China simplifies review procedures for mergers and acquisitions.
March 21 – The securities regulator issues rules for a pilot program allowing listed companies to issue preferred shares.
March 20 – The foreign exchange regulator relaxes curbs on foreign investment in China’s stock market.
March 20 – PetroChina, China’s biggest oil and gas producer, is welcoming private investment into oil and gas pipelines in China, according to chairman Zhou Jiping.
March 20 – China lifts ban on equity financing for listed property developers after four years.
March 16 – China sets 2020 targets for urban population growth and registered urban residents.
March 15 – The central bank doubles the yuan currency’s daily trading band against the dollar.
March 11 – Development of 3-5 privately-owned banks to be tested in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Guangdong, bank regulator says.
March 11 – The cabinet outlines its healthcare reform plan.
March 7 – Loss-making solar equipment maker misses interest payment in China’s first domestic bond default.
March 5 – Premier Li Keqiang promises to wage a “war” on pollution and reduce the pace of investment to a decade-low.
March 1 -Simplified corporate capital registration comes into force. Government data later show 309,500 new firms were registered in March, up 46 percent from a year earlier.
Feb 26 – Beijing details pension reform that seeks to decrease urban-rural economic divisions before 2020.
Feb 21 – The central bank gives operational details for cross-border yuan deals made through Shanghai free trade zone.
Feb 20 – Sinopec Corp, Asia’s largest oil refiner, says it will sell up to 30 percent of its retail business to private investors in a multi-billion dollar revamp.
Jan 29 – The cabinet sets up a cross-ministry group to boost development of three service zones in Guangdong province.
Jan 22 – Six teams to supervise economic reforms are set up, with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in charge.
Jan 17 – China’s wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang became the first to implement changes to the one-child policy.
Jan 6 – The cabinet publishes guidelines strengthening regulation of off-balance lending.
Dec 11 – Beijing strips 82 powers away from central government ministries. Over 200 administrative approvals are set to be abolished or delegated to local authorities in 2014.
Dec 10 – New standards on performance ratings of officials break the obsession with growth and include such criteria as work safety, innovation, environmental and resource costs.
Dec 8 – The central bank sets guidelines for issuing of interbank certificates of deposit, a step towards allowing markets to determine interest rates.
Dec 4 – The government expands its value-added tax trial to rail transport and the postal service.
Dec 4 – The central bank announces details of financial reform test runs in the Shanghai free trade zone.
Nov 30 – The stock market regulator announces IPO reforms.
Nov 12 – Anhui province, which spearheaded land reform in 1978 announces pilot land reforms, including accelerating the development of large-scale farming, completing land use rights registration before end-2015 and simplifying land transactions.
Major political events or changes 2013:
- Xi and Li confirmed as President and Premier
- First Lady comes out (first time since Liberation in 1949)
- Premier gives speech in English (a first for Chinese leader)
- China declares: Air Defence Identification Zone ADIZ
- Intensified maritime territorial disputes, esp with Japan and Philippines
- Bo Xilai trial and conviction
- Anti-corruption, austerity; part of “mass line” campaign to get Party closer to people:
- Reducing officials’ perks
- Restriction in official cars
- Reduced extravagance – cognac; luxury brands; greeting cards; moon cake; fire-crackers
- Across-the-board halt to the construction of any new government buildings in the coming five years
- Reduced central government spending of 7.43 billion yuan (1.19 billion U.S. dollars) on receptions, vehicles and overseas trips last year, down 20 percent from previous year
- Even the PLA is not exempt
- Low key banquets for foreign VIPs like UK PM Cameron
China made or re-established relationships or alliances in 2015 with 131 nations; in:
- January: Costa Rica; Zambia; Uganda; Finland; Cameroon; Congo; Kazakhstan; Estonia; Indonesia; France. = 10
- February: Argentina; Mexico; Lithuania; Pakistan; UAE; Iran; Sri Lanka = 8
- March: Iraq; Thailand; Netherlands; Armenia; Australia; Zambia = 6
- April: Uganda; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; South Africa; Russia; USA; Pakistan; Indonesia; Algeria; Equatorial Guinea =10
- May: E U; Japan; Belarus; India; Ireland; Vietnam; Brazil; Colombia, Peru, Chile = 11
- June: Pakistan, Senegal; French Polynesia; Angola; Sri Lanka; Georgia; Myanmar, Maldives; Uzbekistan; Australia; Czech Republic; Poland; Belgium; USA; Brazil; France = 17
- July: Colombia; Laos; Finland; Mexico; South Africa; Japan; Vietnam; New Zealand; Nepal; Thailand; Venezuela; Malta; Indonesia; Scotland; Turkey; Malaysia = 16
- August: Singapore; Malaysia; Egypt; Vietnam; Cameroon; Nepal; Kazakhstan; Mexico = 8
- September: Laos; Papua New Guinea; Tajikistan; Belarus; Uzbekistan; Kyrgyzstan; Republic of Korea; Argentina; Vietnam; Ethiopia; Indonesia; USA; UK; Hungary; Romania; Nigeria = 16
- October: Thailand; North Korea; Cambodia; UK; Chad; Georgia; Poland; Indonesia; Bolivia; Moldova; Mongolia = 11
- November: Afghanistan; Vietnam; Singapore; Philippines; Mongolia; Turkmenistan; Chile; Turkey; Argentina; Mexico; Malaysia; Poland; Latvia; South Korea; Zimbabwe = 15
- December: Brazil; Japan; Somalia; Afghanistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Kazakhstan; Russia; Pakistan =9
China made or re-established relationships or alliances in 2014 with 167 nations; in:
- January: Cambodia; Ghana; Bulgaria; Peru; Mongolia; Gulf States; Belarus; France; Taiwan; India; France; Germany; Viet Nam = 13
- February: Fiji; Greece; Afghanistan; South Korea; Sri Lanka; Hungary; USA; Pakistan; Senegal; Afghanistan; Iraq; Vietnam = 13
- March: Saudi Arabia; UK; Poland; Cambodia; South Korea; Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and EU; Kazakhstan; USA = 12
- April: Israel; Namibia; Timor L’este; Myanmar; Laos: Australia; Brazil; Germany; Hungary; Syrian opposition leader; Malaysia; Cuba; Britain; Ghana; South Africa; Denmark; Brunei = 17
- May: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya; Taiwan; Iran; Turkmenistan; Bulgaria; Portugal; France; Myanmar; Kyrgyzstan; Russia; Kazakhstan; Switzerland; Azerbaijan; Turkey; Pakistan = 18
- June: Congo; Ukraine; Angola; India; Egypt; Denmark, Finland, Ireland ; Portugal; Russia; Afghanistan; Somalia= 12
- July: Sudan; France; Azerbaijan; Switzerland; South Korea; Germany; USA; Brazil; Argentina; Venezuela; Cuba; Bulgaria; Portugal; Indonesia; Myanmar; Laos; Canada = 17
- August: Egypt; Mauritania; at AEAN Summit (Vietnam; Korea; Myanmar; Malaysia; Thai, India); Hungary; Burundi; Uzbekistan; Mongolia ; Vietnam; Zimbabwe; Egypt; Czech; Turkmenistan; Turkey; Antigua & Barbuda; Croatia; Madagascar; Djibouti; Singapore; Croatia = 18
- September: Russia; Romania; Poland; Malaysia; Cuba; Tajikistan; France; Mongolia; Pakistan; Maldives; Sri Lanka; Zimbabwe; France; India; Indonesia = 15
- October: Italy, Jordan, Kenya; France; Zambia; Afghanistan = 6
- November: Indonesia; Pakistan; Iraq; Cambodia, Bahrain; Jordan; Australia; Finland; New Zealand; Nepal; Fiji; Slovenia; Columbia = 14
- December: Uzbekistan; Australia; Pakistan; Maldives; South Africa; Ireland; Tonga; Cuba; Kazakhstan; Serbia; Republic of Korea; Cambodia = 12