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China Reform Monitor - No. 1254

China eyes closer ties to Iran post-sanctions;
Xi visits Bangladesh, pledges $24 billion

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
November 10, 2016

October 29:

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will sign a contract to purchase Littoral Mission Ships from China when he visits Beijing next week with dozens of government leaders and business people. The patrol vessels, which are primarily used for coastal security, maritime patrol and surveillance, can be equipped with a helicopter flight deck and missiles. The purchase, which would be Malaysia's first large defense deal with China, could include up to 10 Littoral Mission Ships at a cost of approximately $71.4 million each. Meanwhile, last week, Malaysia announced a $476.1 million cut to its 2017 defense budget, including a project to develop an amphibious corps with the U.S. Marines, 
The Japan Times reports.

Last December China came to Najib's rescue with a $2.3 billion deal to buy assets of scandal-hit state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Then, in July, the U.S. Justice Department filed lawsuits implicating Najib in a money-laundering scandal at 1MDB, which Najib founded and oversaw as chairman of its advisory council. They allege over $3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, some of which ended up with a “Malaysian Official 1," aka Najib. Najib denies any wrongdoing and said Malaysia will cooperate in the international investigations.

October 31:

China's top climate change negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, has condemned GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's call for the U.S. to back out of a global climate change pact, 
reports Reuters. In response to a question on how China would work with a Trump administration on climate change, Xie said: “The world is moving towards balancing environmental protection and economic growth. If they resist this trend, I don't think they'll win the support of their people, and their country's economic and social progress will also be affected. I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends." Trump has threatened to reject the Paris Agreement, a global accord of 200 governments to battle climate change. More than 80 Chinese negotiators depart next week for climate change talks in Marrakesh, Morocco form November 7 to 18.

November 1:

Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party would like a peace accord with the Communist Party of China (CPC), the party's chairwoman, Hung Hsiu-Chu, told China's “core" leader Xi Jinping at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, 
Reuters reports. Hung, once a presidential candidate, said the KMT would push for the 'institutionalization' of peaceful relations between the two sides and work for a peace pact. Xi told Hung and her delegation of KMT leaders that Taiwan's changing politics would not affect the meaning of the 'One China' principle, and that China's position on this issue will not waver or be blurred in the slightest.

[Editor's Note: Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has refused to commit to the 'One China' principle that Taiwan is part of China. The previous KMT administration had agreed to recognize the '1992 consensus,' which states that there is only one China, with each side having its own interpretation of what that means.]

November 3:

During his remarks at the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, China's “core" leader Xi Xinping said “a handful of senior Party officials, overcome by political cravings and lust for power, had formed cliques to pursue selfish interests." His comment came as he explained the meaning of the two newly adopted documents on Party discipline: the norms of political life in the Party under current conditions, and the regulation on intra-Party supervision. Xi highlighted prominent problems in urgent need of addressing that “have severely eroded the Party's ethical foundations, undermined its unity, and impaired the intra-Party political environment and the Party's public image." The official Shanghai Dailyreports that: “He pointed to the questionable faith and loyalty of some Party members, including senior ones, cited faults among such members, including lax discipline, detachment from the people, arbitrariness and inaction, acts of individualism, factionalism, the worship of money and violations linked to formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.' Xi said: “Nepotism and election fraud have endured while some Party officials sold positions of power and bartered promotions," and that “abuse of power, corruption and legal and disciplinary violations are spreading."

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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