Posts tagged ‘Chongqing’

10/11/2016

China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo | Reuters

Chinese state media has warned the U.S. president-elect against isolationism and interventionism, calling instead for the United States to actively work with China to maintain the international status quo.

President-elect Donald Trump threatened to tear up trade deals and pursue a more unilateral foreign policy under his “America First” principle during a tempestuous election campaign.

But China and other foreign governments are uncertain how much of Trump’s rhetoric will be translated into policy because he has at times made contradictory statements and provided few details of how he would deal with the world.

Trump often targeted China in the campaign, blaming Beijing for U.S. job losses and vowing to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. The Republican also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. U.S. isolationist policies had “accelerated the country’s economic crisis” during the Great Depression, warned a commentary by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, though it added that “election talk is just election talk”.

The commentary also cautioned against any tilt towards intervention.

POTENTIAL PRAGMATIST

The Chinese media in the past have criticized the United States and other Western powers for intervening in Afghanistan and Iraq and meddling in international hot spots such as Ukraine.

“History has proven that U.S. overseas military interventionism causes them to pay disastrous political and economic costs,” the commentary said. Hillary Clinton was widely seen in China as the more hawkish of the two candidates, while some Chinese commentators saw Trump as a potential pragmatist on foreign policy. But Beijing fears the unpredictability of a Trump presidency as it seeks to maintain an equilibrium in Sino-U.S. relations while dealing with the daunting tasks of a reform agenda to combat a slowing economy at home.

A second Xinhua commentary published on Thursday morning said the new U.S. president and China should “jointly build a new model of major power relations”. That echoes the position of Chinese President Xi Jinping that says global powers should work to accommodate, not contain, a rising China in the international system.

‘SHOCK OF HERESY’

Trump’s victory was watched closely on the Chinese internet with the tag “Trump has won” becoming the most-searched term on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblog service, on Wednesday afternoon in Asia, well before the race was conceded.

Some of the posts agreed that Trump might be just the change agent the United States needs now.

The U.S. has chosen indeterminacy in order to create change,” according to a post by Tsinghua University professor Sun Liping on Thursday that has been shared over a thousand times. “When the usual, determined method has already been unable to solve the problems, then you need the shock of heresy instead.”

Chinese state media had previously said the U.S. election process reflects a troubled political system, and showed an increasingly divided, disillusioned and indignant U.S. citizenry. “This election has also made clear that the U.S. political system is already caught in a predicament,” a third Xinhua commentary said. “As for when it will exit this predicament, the answer is still unknown.” The Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling party’s People’s Daily newspaper, said Trump’s victory had “dealt a heavy blow to the heart of U.S. politics” but that he would be unable to make many changes in U.S. foreign policy.”

In an elite-controlled U.S., most of those holding power don’t support Trump. And U.S. allies across the world will pressure Washington to restrain Trump from isolationism,” it said.

Source: China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo | Reuters

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19/04/2015

Enforcing environmental rules: Saving fish and baring teeth | The Economist

ON TAKING over in February as China’s minister for environmental protection, Chen Jining said the country needed an environmental law that was “not a paper tiger” but rather a “sharp weapon with teeth of steel”. Early indications, among them the cancellation of a series of dam projects on the upper reaches of the Yangzi river, are that the former academic and university administrator intends to follow through on his fighting words.

State media have reported that the builders of the Yangzi’s Xiaonanhai dam—expected to cost 32 billion yuan ($5.1 billion) and to generate two gigawatts of electricity—were denied permission to continue because of the harm it would cause to a nature reserve that is the last remaining habitat for many species of rare fish. Work on its foundations began in 2012, but was halted while the environment ministry assessed the project. Two smaller dams on the same stretch of river were also rejected.

Activists in China welcomed the decision, saying it showed a new determination to enforce environmental rules. According to Ma Jin of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Chinese NGO in Beijing, the firms that applied to build the dams, led by the Three Gorges Project Corporation, had previously won permission for other dams that would endanger fish populations by arguing that the protected nature reserve near the Xiaonanhai project would guarantee their survival. That, he says, makes the project “particularly outrageous”.

via Enforcing environmental rules: Saving fish and baring teeth | The Economist.

28/01/2015

Car ownership tops 154 million in China in 2014 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China added a record 17 million new cars on the road in 2014 as car ownership reaches 154 million, said the Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday.

Strong demand for cars has helped the automobile replace the motorcycle as the main method of transportation. Cars made up 58.6 percent of total motor vehicles, a sharp rise from 43.9 percent five years ago.

The number of people obtaining driving licenses also ballooned from 219 million in 2013 to 247 million as of the end of 2014, said the ministry, adding 29.7 million drivers have fewer than one year’s driving experience.

Of the 35 cities which have more than one million cars each, ten have more than two million cars, including Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

The ministry said the number of passenger cars has reached 117 million, 90 percent of which are private cars. Beijing has the highest private car penetration, with 63 private cars for every 100 households, while the average is 25 private cars for every 100 households.

Carmakers have enjoyed strong sales over the years, with more middle-class customers placing orders for their first cars. But with frequent traffic jams, it is yet to be seen whether cars can still ride the booming tide in the years to come. More local governments have begun to limit car use, among them eight cities have quotas for new car plates.

via Car ownership tops 154 million in China in 2014 – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

26/01/2015

Govt sells off premium cars- Chinadaily.com.cn

The first group of premium government automobiles to be auctioned off amid the ongoing frugality campaign have gone under the hammer in Beijing.

Govt sells off premium cars

According to Zonto Auction, the 106 vehicles it sold on Sunday were from six central government departments including the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission and State Bureau for Letters and Calls.

The cars were without plates, which would have to be supplied by the purchasers.

A total of 505 bidders from around the country joined the auction, which brought in proceeds of 6.6 million yuan ($980,000).

The highest bid went to a Toyota cross country vehicle for 200,000 yuan.

Li Guanwen, 40, of Hebei province, bought a Skoda bus for 160,000 yuan.

“The market value of this bus is around 500,000 yuan,” said Li.

“I think the reform of official vehicles is a very good thing and is a very good approach to remind civil servants to cut costs and to serve the public well.”

In November 2013, public agencies were told to cut their vehicle fleets, as well as reduce receptions and overseas trips. The use of all vehicles, except those required for law enforcement, emergency duties and essential public services, were scrapped or severely reduced.

via Govt sells off premium cars[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn.

07/12/2014

China registers 92 million people in poverty – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China has identified 128,000 impoverished villages and 92 million people living in poverty, said a senior poverty alleviation official on Saturday.

According to Liu Yongfu, head of the State Council leading group office of poverty alleviation and development, poverty has declined substantially in China, but the country still has 832 poor counties and districts

About 116,600 work teams with 466,000 cadres were dispatched to the villages for poverty alleviation, he told a seminar in central China’s Hubei Province.

“Almost all underprivileged households have a cadre responsible for poverty alleviation work,” he said.

He pointed out that more work should be done to improve people’s lives in poor areas in all respects, including education, finance and housing.

He also disclosed that in 2015, China will help about 500 impoverished villages through tourism.

Li Jinzao, head of the China’s national tourism administration who attended the seminar, said that China has so far lifted more than 8 million people out of poverty by developing tourism.

Along with overall GDP growth targets, the government is focusing on raising the income of the country’s population with a current goal to double per capita income from the 2010 level by 2020. To expand the safety net for those in poverty, the national poverty line was increased from 206 yuan in 1986 to 2,300 yuan per annum in 2011 (33.5 to 374 U.S. dollars).

via China registers 92 million people in poverty – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

15/09/2014

Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts – China Real Time Report – WSJ

If you’re tired of walking behind someone who’s trudging along as they text, has this Chinese city got the sidewalk for you.

Last week, the city of Chongqing unveiled a lane specially designated for people who want to walk as they use their cellphones. “Cellphones, walk in this lane at your own risk” is printed in the lane in white lettering. The adjoining lane reads “No cellphones.”

On Monday, Weibo users reacted to the news with a mixture of amusement and scorn. “It’s such a lazy design. Shouldn’t the cellphone lane be placed [farther from the road]? It is not practical at all,” wrote one user.

Another dismissed the innovation, writing, “It’s just another imitation of foreign inventions,” the user wrote, referring to a similar experiment launched in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. “Besides, it seems only to be serving as a tourist attraction,” the user wrote of the road, which is located in a Chongqing tourist area called “Foreign Street Park.”

Still another wondered whether the road would make anything safer. “Is the goal here to encourage still more people to use their cellphones while walking?”

via Chinese City Launches Special Lane for Cellphone Addicts – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

08/07/2014

Transformers Breaks China’s Box-Office Record as Strategy Shifts – Businessweek

Hollywood long ago stopped asking if it will play in Peoria. Paramount Pictures (VIA), like just about everyone else selling mass-market products, wants to make sure it plays in Chongqing—and the studio’s latest film passed that test. Sometime this week the Transformers reboot will pass $222 million in sales at Chinese theaters, besting a record set by Avatar in 2010. The film, it’s worth noting, is a critical flop that barely topped such other recent blockbusters as Godzilla and Captain America: Winter Soldier in its home market.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Part of the success can be attributed to the sheer scale of the Chinese movie market. China’s total box office revenue last year surged 27 percent, to $3.6 billion, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Infrastructure is no longer a challenge for Hollywood’s efforts in the Far East. Transformers: Age of Extinction opened in 4,400 theaters in China, more than the 4,233 locations in the U.S. Paramount’s fighting robots are making more money on a per-theater basis in China as well.

The results are impressive, and they should be since Paramount went to great lengths to prime Chinese crowds to swoon for Optimus Prime and company. Four of the film’s actors were cast via a Chinese reality show, some of the action is actually set in the People’s Republic, and the Transformer’s marketing machine has been churning away in China for weeks.

via Transformers Breaks China’s Box-Office Record as Strategy Shifts – Businessweek.

13/06/2014

Poland-China train leaves the station on first trip – World – Chinadaily.com.cn

The first “New Silk Road” Yuxinou railway return train from Poland to China kicked off on Thursday, the Chongqing government said.

 

Starting in Chongqing, the 11,178 km Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe International Railway passes through Xi’an, Lanzhou, Urumqi , Russia, Belarus and Poland, finally ending in Duisburg, Germany.

According to the government, it takes just 16 days on average to transport goods from China to Europe by rail, much less than via the sea.

Xu Qiang, director of the Development and Reform Commission of Chongqing Municipality, said China launched the first train from Poland to Chongqing to enhance cooperation between China and Europe.

“It is an important landmark for our New Silk Road, which will strengthen China’s bilateral economic ties with the regions along the railway,” Xu said.

In recent years, Poland and China have formed closer ties in political and economic perspectives, said Jacek Zuber, chief of the Department of International Cooperation Ministry of Infrastructure and Development of Poland.

“Yuxinou railway is one of the most important cooperation projects to us, especially as the railway will bring great opportunities to our trade with China,” he said.

The first train will bring electronic products, auto parts and steel products to Chongqing.

via Poland-China train leaves the station on first trip – World – Chinadaily.com.cn.

08/05/2014

The Mystery Shrouding China’s Communist Party Suicides – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Being a government official in China is not for the faint of heart, the thin-skinned or the fragile of mind.

A recent state media report has reverberated online and in the Communist Party press by revealing that at least 54 Chinese officials died of “unnatural causes” in 2013, and that more than 40 percent of those deaths were suicides (in Chinese).

For some, those numbers raise questions about the burden placed on officials as a result of the Party’s anti-corruption crusade. But others see the recent rash of suicides as further evidence of the lack of political openness in China.

The latest victim was Xu Ye’an, the deputy chief of China’s national-level Bureau for Letter and Calls—the agency that handle petitions from disgruntled citizens. According to local media reports (in Chinese), Xu killed himself in his office, those the circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Then there was Zhou Yu, a senior police official in Chongqing and a major player in the anti-gang crackdown there a few years ago. He was found in a hotel room having apparently hanged himself (in Chinese).

There was also the deputy director of a neighborhood construction management office in a small city in Zhejiang province, who was responsible for overseeing building inspections at a time when an entire apartment building collapsed, was reported to have committed suicide in disgrace (in Chinese).

That Chinese officials have had to deal with pressure is nothing new.

A survey in 2009 found that more than 80% of Party officials reported psychological fatigue and mental imbalance (in Chinese). High-level officials even went so far then to tell the Party-run People’s Tribune about the “five ways to death” facing those who worked in the government: “without fortitude, you’ll scare easily; without a good physique, you’ll die from overwork; without capacity for liquor, you’ll die from drink; without a good disposition, you’ll be worried to death; without a good heart, you’ll die from being angry.”

What is different is that these strains on the rank-and-file appear to have gotten even more oppressive amidst Beijing’s demands that cadres labor harder, govern more effectively, and behave better. As one essay last week noted (in Chinese), the emphasis for officials these days is on “‘work, work, work,’ ‘assessment, evaluation, assessment,’ ‘management, management, management’.” Cadres, according to the author, now resemble “men used as beasts.”

via The Mystery Shrouding China’s Communist Party Suicides – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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09/03/2014

* With legal reforms, China wants less interfering in cases, fewer death penalty crimes | Reuters

China has curtailed the power of the ruling Communist Party’s Political and Legal Committee, a secretive body overseeing the security services, to interfere in most legal cases, scholars with knowledge of the situation said – a significant reform at a time of public discontent over miscarriages of justice.

Zhou Qiang, President of China's Supreme People's Court, attends National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

The move, which has not been made public by the party but has been announced in internal meetings, would clip the wings of the party’s highest authority on judicial and security matters.

Interference from the committee has led to many wrongful convictions, many of which have been widely reported in the press and even highlighted by President Xi Jinping as an issue that needs to be urgently addressed.

Part of a package of legal reforms, the move signals a willingness by Xi’s government to reform its court system as long as it doesn’t threaten the party’s overall control.

China’s highest court, the Supreme People’s Court, will delivers its work report to parliament on Monday, which could detail some of these reforms.

But the party would still have final say over politically sensitive cases such as those involving ethnic issues and senior politicians – like the disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, who was last year found guilty of bribery, corruption and abuse of power, and jailed for life – and would use the courts to convict citizens who challenge its authority.

via With legal reforms, China wants less interfering in cases, fewer death penalty crimes | Reuters.

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