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China Reform Monitor - No. 1255

Hong Kong erupts in protests again;
China says national carbon trading scheme coming in 2017

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
November 17, 2016

October 31:

China plans to launch a national carbon trading scheme in 2017, according to the country's top climate change negotiator, Xie Zhenhua. The scheme is on track and pilot programs have already traded 120 million carbon allowances with total transactions amounting to 3.2 billion yuan ($472.3 million), he added in
comments carried by Reuters. "It will take time for the market to be fully operational, but once it's operational, it'll be the largest carbon trading market in the world." 

November 2:

For the first time, South Korean coastguard vessels have fired machine guns against Chinese boats illegally fishing in Korean waters. There were no casualties reported from the incident. Last month the coastguard announced that it would pursue a"more aggressive" policy with Chinese trawlers. The order to fire came during a stand-off with some 30 Chinese boats illegally fishing near the South's Yellow Sea border with North Korea."They tried to ram our ships although we repeatedly warned them," said a South Korean coastguard official."I thought our officers would be in danger if I allowed any more resistance so we ended up using the crew service weapon," he said. Initially machine gun bursts were fired into the air, then crew were ordered to fire on the bows of the Chinese boats sailing directly at coastguard vessels. Two Chinese trawlers were seized in the clash, 
the Asia Times reports

[Editor's Note: In recent years there have been numerous clashes between the South Korean coastguard and Chinese fishermen. Seoul has been asking Beijing to stop Chinese vessels entering the South's waters to satisfy growing Chinese demand for seafood. Large steel boats that engage in bottom trawling – dragging a large weighted net across the seabed that sweeps up everything in its path – have become prevalent.]

November 3:

Chinese and Indian troops are engaged in a stand-off along their disputed border. People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops have entered an area near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to stop the Indian side from building an irrigation canal. Indian officials said that around 55 Chinese troops arrived and halted the project in an"aggressive manner," prompting the Army and about 70 Indo-Tibetan Border Police"to rush to the spot and stop the high-handedness of Chinese troops," 
the Times of India reports. PLA troops took positions along the LAC and demanded work be stopped because the Indians had not obtained Chinese permission for the project. The Indian side says that information about the construction only needs to be shared if it is military-related. A similar incident occurred in the area in 2014 when India decided to build a small irrigation canal and the PLA mobilized local villagers to protest.

November 6:

A massive protest in Hong Kong turned violent shortly after 8 pm when demonstrators attempted to storm a police barricade outside the Chinese government's headquarters and officers retaliated with pepper spray and batons. Police officers unfurled banners urging the protesters to stop charging or they would use force. After beating back demonstrators with their batons, the police used pepper spray, TIME reports. Still, the crowd continued to push against the metal grate, unfurling umbrellas — an icon of the Umbrella Revolution — to protect themselves. The scuffle was subdued, but as of 9:15 pm demonstrators occupied the streets around the Liaison Office.

November 7:

The aforementioned Hong Kong protest began peacefully earlier in the day when thousands of people marched across town to decry Beijing's decision this week to decide the fate of two pro-Hong Kong independence lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus"Baggio" Leung, who came to political prominence in the wake of the 2014 pro-democracy protests. On October 12, the pair refused to pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and instead swore fealty to the"Hong Kong Nation." On November 4, the Hong Kong government announced that Beijing would decide if the pair could take their seats. At a meeting with Hong Kong's representatives to Beijing, Zhang Xiaoming, Beijing's most senior official in Hong Kong, said China would"absolutely" not permit pro-independence politicians to serve as lawmakers, 
the South China Morning Post reports

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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