Posts tagged ‘Development Research Center of the State Council’


China Unveils Blueprint to Upgrade Manufacturing Sector – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China unveiled an ambitious plan to enhance the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector by encouraging innovation and raising efficiency in an effort to boost economic growth. As the WSJ reports:

The blueprint, titled “Made in China 2025,” comes as China’s factories are struggling with sluggish demand, increasing competition from other developing economies and a slowing domestic economy.

The manufacturing sector is facing new challenges: bigger constraints from the environment and resources, rising labor costs and a notable slowdown in investment and exports, the State Council, or cabinet, said on the main government website Tuesday.

“The key to creating a new driver of economic growth…lies in the manufacturing sector,” it said.

The government vowed to boost 10 high-technology industrial sectors including robotics, aerospace, new-energy vehicles and advanced transport.

via China Unveils Blueprint to Upgrade Manufacturing Sector – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


China’s Animal Rights Movement Makes Gains – Businessweek

It’s getting a little easier to be an animal in China. The country’s fledgling animal-rights movement this week received a double boost, with a animal-welfare law in the works and a prominent zoo taking action to stop animal performances.

A tiger performs at Chongqing Safari Park in China

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Global Times, the tabloid affiliated with the official Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, reported that that the National People’s Congress is moving ahead on a plan to pass landmark legislation to protect animals, both in the wild and in captivity. Lawmakers have just completed a draft of the proposal, Chang Jiwen, vice director of the Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies under the Development Research Center of the State Council, told the newspaper.

There’s still a long way to go before the proposal becomes law: China’s parliament isn’t likely to take up the amendment until late in 2015. But given China’s track record, we should take progress wherever we can get it. Or, as the Global Times reported, “Shi Kun, director of the Wildlife Institute at Beijing Forestry University, told the Global Times that China has long been criticized for not treating wild animals humanely, but with legal recognition of animal welfare, the country should be able to make progress on curbing phenomenon like overtime performance by zoo animals and harsh living conditions for wildlife on farms.”

via China’s Animal Rights Movement Makes Gains – Businessweek.


A $6.8 Trillion Price Tag for China’s Urbanization – Businessweek

China has finally put a price tag on its massive plan for urbanization, and it’s a big one. The cost of bringing an additional couple of hundred million people to cities over the next seven years? Some 42 trillion yuan ($6.8 trillion), announced an official from China’s Ministry of Finance last week.

Shanghai's potential future development modeled at the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

“The flaws in the previous model, in which urban construction mostly relied on land sales and fiscal revenue, have emerged in recent years, and the model is unsustainable,” warned Wang Bao’an, vice minister of finance, on March 17. His comments came one day after China’s State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party released the “National New-type Urbanization Plan (2014-2020),” which aims to lift the proportion of Chinese living in cities to 60 percent by 2020, from 53.7 percent now.

A timely report issued by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council provides suggestions as to how to pay the big bill. Released today, Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive and Sustainable Urbanization, is the second joint effort by the two organizations, coming just over two years after the publication of an earlier report on economic reform called China 2030.

via A $6.8 Trillion Price Tag for China’s Urbanization – Businessweek.

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* Right thing to do comes with a price tag

Now we know why the Chinese government has been hesitant about correcting the rights of its vast migrant worker population. If the public expenditure required to turn a rural migrant worker into an urban citizen is estimated to be around 80,000 yuan ($12,664) in China, then the total for the estimated 230m migrant workers to be fully urbanised will cost some 3 trillion US dollars. A cost even China will find too large to handle in one go.

The Times: “100,000 … yuan is the estimated cost of turning a rural resident into a fully registered urbanite and providing them with all the healthcare, education and social security rights denied to China’s vast migrant worker population when they move to the cities.

Workers weld a standing on the roof of a building at the Guanyinqiao Pedestrian Street in Chongqing Municipality, China

Dangerously belated reform of China’s household registration — hukou — system may or may not be unveiled by Beijing this year. Clearly there is the political will, but officials mutter that the reform package is snagged on the details.

If that £10,600 estimate proves even close to reality (it’s a government estimate, so don’t expect too much from it) and if the reforms were tested initially on a limited basis to affect only 10 per cent of China’s overall migrant worker population, that would still cost about two trillion yuan (£211 billion). If the Government shouldered only a third of that (splitting the financial burden three ways with companies and employees), China would be paying more on this first blush of hukou reform than it is spending on its entire military budget.

But, according to the CLSA economist Andy Rothman, it would be money well spent. Grant migrant workers an urban household registration and all sorts of good things would happen. They would become consumers, they would become a more highly skilled and better-educated slab of workforce. They would be a less consistent source of social unrest.

For Beijing, it is painfully clear that foot-dragging on hukou reform is really not an option any more. If the Government flinches at the cost, the very considerable social implications or the politics of reform, China’s great urbanisation story could lurch from nice to nasty in short order. Miss the chance to reform and, at best, the whole programme of switching China’s growth model towards consumption stalls because tens of millions of migrant workers are forced to remain precautionary savers. They would remain unwilling to think of more than a small percentage of their income as disposable because, without an urban hukou, they are condemned to live without the protection of a welfare system.

At worst, the migrants create a permanent underclass in each of the 150 Chinese cities with populations of more one million. As the administration in Beijing knows well, this is not an underclass that could be relied on to behave itself: without reform, it will only grow angrier.

The problem, as usual, is one of scale. China’s 234 million migrant workers are unambiguously the backbone of the economy. Somebody has had to constitute an unlimited supply of labour and be prepared to work at a subsistence wage for the Chinese “miracle” to work at all. The migrants are those people. Migrant workers keep China’s factories humming, they cook, they clean, they funnel money from the cities to the countryside and, most symbolically, they built the place as 90 per cent of the construction industry workforce.

And the problem is that they all have mobile phones and internet access. Much though China would like to test out a bit of hukou reform on a smallish initial batch of 20 million people (equivalent to the population of Romania), as soon as that process began the other 210 million migrant workers (equivalent to the population of Indonesia) would start asking why some were receiving the blessing of urban residency and not others.

It’s an all-or-nothing game, unfortunately for Beijing, and that calculation of 100,000 yuan per person suddenly implies a £1 trillion burden for the State.”

via China in numbers: right thing to do comes with a price tag | The Times.

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