World Newsletter

30 Sept 2020



The central government's liaison office in Hong Kong warned on Tuesday against reported plans for unlawful activities on National Day, stressing zero tolerance for what it called reckless acts now that the National Security Law is in force.


The statement was issued after some social groups were reported to have instigated the public to take part in unlawful processions during the holiday and create trouble across the city.


A statement from the office called it "horrifying" that some radical activists were plotting to storm police stations on National Day and instigate others to buy firearms and bows and arrows to attack police.


Last week, police said they discovered online claims that protesters will cause rampant destruction to the city on National Day. Also, two people were being investigated for allegedly selling firearms online.


Publicly inciting subversion and attacking law-enforcement agencies and police officers are prohibited by the National Security Law and local laws and are brazen provocations, the statement said.


Earlier, police banned a National Day rally initiated by the Civil Human Rights Front, citing health and safety risks. It pledged to deploy sufficient manpower on that day and take resolute action to enforce laws.


The statement firmly supported steps taken by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and police to ensure peaceful and joyful holiday celebrations.


The office's statement also said that following an investigation, mainland police have collected enough evidence to proceed in a case involving 12 Hong Kong residents detained on the mainland. Police were applying for judicial approval to make arrests.


The 12 local activists, who had all been arrested in relation to last year's social unrest, were detained on Aug 23 by Guangdong-based China Coast Guard officials as they were trying to leave for Taiwan to seek political asylum. They were detained on suspicion of illegally crossing the border.


It has been reported that some Hong Kong people have claimed they were treated unfairly on the mainland and demanded mainland authorities transfer them back to Hong Kong for trial. The statement said the people who have spread such rumors are pushing residents to break the law.


"They are the ones who have been harming Hong Kong behind the scenes," the statement said.


The office said that after implementation of the National Security Law in the SAR, order has been gradually restored in Hong Kong.


It is hoped the public will be able to see through the plot by a handful of people to create problems in Hong Kong, the statement said. It called on people to jointly safeguard the prosperity and stability of the SAR.





The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's manufacturing sector came in at 51.5 in September, up from 51 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.


A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction. It is the seventh month in a row that the figure has remained in the expansion territory.


Commenting on the sustained expansion, NBS senior statistician Zhao Qinghe said the Chinese economy keeps recovering steadily with increasing positive factors as the country continues to advance the policies of balancing epidemic control and economic development.


In September, the sub-index for production stood at 54, up 0.5 points month on month, while that for new orders rose 0.8 points to 52.8.


With the steady recovery of supply and demand as well as the coming of the busy season for traditional manufacturing, enterprises' purchasing willingness is on the rise and market activities are increasing, Zhao said.


Wednesday's data also showed that the PMI for China's non-manufacturing sector came in at 55.9 in September, up from 55.2 last month.





n the post-COVID-19 era, China and the European Union, given the complex global economic situation, need to deepen economic and trade cooperation to not only promote economic growth in China and the EU, but also help global economic recovery and develop a new global growth pattern.


First, China should advance high-level opening-up to cope with the inherent certainties and uncertainties of economic globalization, by prioritizing trade in services. In fact, China has already taken measures to switch focus from trade in goods to trade in services. As a result, from 2014 to 2019, service trade increased from 3.7 trillion yuan ($542.21 billion) to 5.4 trillion yuan, with its share in the total increasing from 12.3 percent to 14.6 percent.


From goods and production factors to institutional opening-up, the shift signifies China's high-level opening-up, as it aims to integrate domestic and international rules, regulations, standards and management practices. For example, China has shortened its negative list for market access year by year. In 2020, the number of items on the negative list was reduced to 33, and that for pilot free trade zones to 30.


On June 1 this year, China announced it would develop Hainan into a free trade port, comparable to the world's best free ports, in order to set up a new platform for opening-up, facilitate trade and investment liberalization, and implement policies of "zero tariff, low tax rates and a streamlined tax system", while exploring administrative, legislative and judicial arrangements to promote highest-level opening-up through "integrated institutional innovation".


For China, promoting multilateral and bilateral free trade is a major task. China attaches great importance to economic and trade cooperation with the EU and, accordingly, it has been trying to finalize the China-EU investment agreement.


Second, China also needs to advance high-level opening-up to support the "dual circulation" development pattern. "Dual circulation", which is centered on the domestic economy (or "internal circulation") and aimed at integrating the domestic economy with the global economy (or "external circulation") in a bid to develop new advantages for China in global cooperation and competition, is part of China's economic upgrading and transformation.


"Dual circulation" is based on the analysis that China's economic upgrading and transformation will release the huge potential of domestic demand. For example, estimates suggest that in the next 10-15 years, the share of China's service sector in GDP will increase by at least 10 percent, the share of producer services in the entire service sector by 20-30 percent, and that of service consumption in the total by 10-15 percent.


Also, by 2035 urban and rural residents' service consumption is expected to increase to around 60 percent of their total consumption, and China's urbanization rate in terms of permanent urban residents will increase by 10-15 percent with the percentage of residents with urban hukou (household registration) rising by 20-25 percentage points.





China's largest maritime patrol vessel, which was launched in a shipyard in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Tuesday, is destined to help improve maritime traffic governance, officials said.


Haixun 09, built at China State Shipbuilding Corp's Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard, will be managed by the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration. It is expected to go into service next year.


The 165-meter maritime safety patrol vessel has a displacement of 10,700 metric tons and speed of more than 25 knots (46 kilometers per hour), said Yan Peibo, the ship's chief construction engineer.


It can sail more than 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 kilometers) at an economical speed of 16 knots and make voyages of more than 90 days.


The ship has a helicopter landing pad and a data center with multiple sets of satellite communication systems, including China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System. The ship's construction started in May 2019.


Haixun 09 is expected to serve as an important platform for law enforcement, emergency coordination and command and pollution prevention, the administration said in a statement.


It will help strengthen maritime traffic control and emergency support, ensure safe and smooth maritime transport and safeguard the country's maritime interests, said Cao Desheng, director of the Maritime Safety Administration of China.


It will also be an important tool for emergency management and cooperation in the global maritime safety sector, he said. Plans also call for expansion of the maritime patrol fleet capable of long-range, deep-sea operations by banking on technological innovation.


Haixun 09 has a smart engine room system capable of real-time monitoring of the main propulsion system and power generators. The ship also uses low-sulfur fuel and has a system to remove nitrogen oxides, often found in engine exhaust.


China currently has in service three maritime safety patrol vessels with a displacement of over 3,000 metric tons.





China will expand its coverage of affordable and convenient flu vaccinations and strengthen its contagious disease monitoring system as it enters the flu season, health officials said on Tuesday.


The State Council Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism released a work plan on Tuesday that guides efforts to control this year's flu season, requiring local authorities to lower vaccine prices for key groups−which include medical workers, children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases−increase the number of flu vaccination sites and lengthen their operating hours.


"We underscored in particular that vaccinating medical workers will be prioritized so as to reduce the risk of them transmitting the influenza virus to patients and ensure the smooth provision of services at hospitals," Wu Liangyou, deputy director of the National Health Commission's Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, said at a news conference on Tuesday.


Drawing from lessons learned in the fight against COVID-19, Wu added that multiple channels, including direct online reporting and reports from hospitals and media, will be used to help officials detect new flu outbreaks in a more accurate and timely manner.


"Both influenza and the novel coronavirus are dangerous respiratory illnesses that require similar containment strategies. The plan has thus called for implementing coordinated efforts to control them simultaneously," he said.


The work plan emphasized that demand for flu shots will be carefully evaluated and purchases, supply, transport and distribution will be closely monitored. Local medical institutions should also stock sufficient medicines and related materials in advance.



During the flu season, large indoor gatherings will be reduced or halted, it said, adding that health monitoring in key venues, including schools and nursing homes, will be stepped up.


China has effectively controlled the spread of the novel coronavirus, registering no new confirmed or suspected domestic cases for 44 consecutive days as of Monday.


However, a steady number of imported cases are reported daily, and the risk of seeing new clusters of infections remains, according to the commission.





A lighting ceremony of the Yellow River Tower was held on Tuesday in the Qilihe district of Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China's Gansu province, called "Lighting up the Yellow River Tower, showing the beautiful Lanzhou Night".


It is reported the completion of the Lanzhou Yellow River Tower has a positive impact and practical significance on inheriting and studying history and carrying forward the culture of the Yellow River.





As a result of the enormous efforts made by the Chinese government over the past decades, tremendous achievements have been scored in the socioeconomic development in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region with local people's livelihood being steadily improved, experts have said.


The third central symposium on work related to Xinjiang was held here on Friday and Saturday, during which Chinese President Xi Jinping called for efforts to build Xinjiang featuring socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and demanded law-based governance and long-term efforts to develop Xinjiang into a region that is united, harmonious, prosperous, and culturally advanced, with healthy ecosystems and people living and working in contentment.


Naeem Bukhari, chief executive of Pakistan's Human Capital Management Institute, said China's policy on Xinjiang is very positive, workable and productive, which has first established peace in the region and also changed its landscape with a number of infrastructure development projects and opportunities of employment, education and training.


China's policy has been proven very correct and has provided a solid foundation for Xinjiang's development to meet the demands of the modern era, Bukhari said.


People of all ethnic groups has a ever-growing sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security, he said.


When he visited Xinjiang, he saw people of all ethnic groups benefiting from economic development and living a happy life.


The commitment of governmental policies has made it possible to successfully create jobs and develop the region's economy, she said, adding that in this sense people's living conditions has improved, so does their sense of happiness.





The number of internet users in China had reached 940 million as of June, accounting for one-fifth of the world's total, according to a report on China's internet development released Tuesday.


The internet penetration rate in China reached 67 percent, about 5 percentage points higher than the global average, said the report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center.


Residents in 98 percent of China's poor villages had access to the internet through fiber-optic cables, said the report, noting that the urban-rural digital gap had been significantly narrowed.


Internet services such as online education, medical consultation and remote-office facilities have great development potential due to the influence of the COVID-19 epidemic, said the report, adding that the number of online-education users now exceeds 380 million.





The People's Bank of China, the central bank, will take more steps to ensure that its monetary policy mechanism reaches the desired target audience and boosts the real economy, while reducing financial risks, according to experts.


The PBOC said in a statement on Monday that China will "leverage multiple policy tools to substantially reduce the comprehensive financing costs" and deepen market-oriented reforms to further the decline in lending rates and guide financial institutions to strengthen support for the real economy.


The statement was issued after the quarterly meeting of the PBOC monetary policy committee, often seen as the yardstick for its policy directions during the last three months of the year. The experts said that the PBOC may also adopt a cautious stance on further interest rate cuts during the next few months.


Compared with the last version published in late June, the statement has removed the wording of "intensifying macro policy adjustment" and "effectively countering the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on economic growth".


It instead said the PBOC will work to achieve a balance of growth stabilization and risk prevention in the long run and stick with the strategic direction of economic structural adjustment.


Experts said the tweaked wordings indicate that the PBOC will factor in the side-effects of expanding broad-based stimulus in the last quarter of the year, such as increasing debt and inflating property bubbles.


This has made a policy rate cut less likely, especially one on the medium-term lending facility rate, they said.


"As the economy gradually stabilizes, the central bank will need to take care of the risks from rising debt when mulling the aggregate size of easing," said a report from China International Capital Corp, an investment bank.


The PBOC may continue to encourage commercial banks to lower their interest rates for savings, which will create more room for reducing lending rates, the report said.





Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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