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China Reform Monitor - No. 1212

Beijing overtakes New York in number of billionaires;
China wants patriotic education for all students, even those abroad

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
March 17, 2016

February 10:

According to a new directive sent to education officials, Chinese students, even those studying abroad, must be more devoted to the party. The Communist Party organization of the 
Ministry of Education, calls for “patriotic education” at each stage and aspect of schooling, through textbooks, student assessments, museum visits and the internet. The document demands that college students be instructed more thoroughly to “always follow the party” and be “clearly taught about the dangers of negativity about the history of the party, nation, revolution and reform and opening up, as well as of vilifying heroic figures. Organically instill the patriotic spirit into all subjects, curriculums and standards for primary, secondary and higher education in morals, language, history, geography, sports, arts and so on. Assemble the broad numbers of students abroad as a positive patriotic energy. Build a multidimensional contact network linking home and abroad — the motherland, embassies and consulates, overseas student groups, and the broad number of students abroad — so that they fully feel that the motherland cares. Guide youthful students to establish and maintain correct views of history, the nation, state and culture. Constantly enhance their sense of belonging to the Chinese nation.” 

[Editor’s Note: By the end of 2014, almost 1.7 million Chinese students were studying abroad, many of them in Australia, Britain, Canada and the U.S. In the 2014-15 school year, over 300,000 Chinese students were studying in the U.S., an increase of nearly 11 percent over the previous year,
 the New York Times reports.] 

February 22:

China has released an animated “rap” video on the Four Comprehensives, the overarching strategy for long-term development coined by President Xi Jinping in 2014. The 
video, produced by Xinhua News Agency, was translated into nine foreign languages, the official People’s Daily reports. The song explains how China will build a moderately prosperous society, deepen reform, advance the rule of law, and build the Communist Party of China. The three-minute video, features a girl asking a man to explain the strategy. A baby monkey pops in and out of frame in reference to the Lunar Year of the Monkey. "Prosperity and rule of law, Party building the key, reform for y'all," the chorus explains. "Everyone is equal before the law. Think your dad can protect you? No way!" The song ends with Chinese from various professions rallying behind the two major figures and joining in the chorus.

February 24:

"Defend herders’ rights, take away grazing land occupied by officials!" read the banner held by ethnic Mongolian herders gathered to protest outside the offices of the Haliut township government in Inner Mongolia, 
Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports. The protest follows a petition to the government on February 23. “We appealed to the regional government and even the central government in Beijing. Our demands are completely ignored," said one resident. The grassland is threatened by military bases and environmental destruction caused by mining. The local government's bureau of animal husbandry has also auctioned off some of the grazing lands under various pretexts. Authorities are promoting the urbanization of traditional ethnic Mongolian herding communities, offering lump sum payouts of 10,000 yuan per household. In recent decades, 160,000 ethnic Mongolians have been evicted from traditional grazing lands 

February 25:

Beijing has overtaken New York as the city with the most billionaires, 
BBC reports. Last year the Chinese capital welcomed 32 new billionaires pushing its total to 100 billionaires, compared with 95 in New York, and 66 in Moscow. Shanghai comes in fifth place. After gaining 90 billionaires China now has 568 billionaires, compared to just 535 in the U.S. China's billionaires boast a combined net worth of $1.4 trillion, or about the GDP of Australia. China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, has an estimated worth of $26 billion. There are now 2,188 billionaires in the world, a new record. 

February 26:

This week about 2,000 retired and disabled military veterans marched into Beijing and staged a protest outside the Central Military Commission in an effort to convince the government to pay their pensions. Police beat up the group’s leader and left him lying on the street, while more than 100 were taken into custody. "Our demands are that they should implement the payment of some of our pensions. The government should be paying them, but it keeps dragging its feet, and the payment never comes,” 
one retired solider told the RFA. To prevent them from taking their cases to Beijing, petitioners are often tracked by “interceptors” hired by their localities and held in unofficial "black jails," where they face threats, harassment and extrajudicial detention.

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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