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China Reform Monitor - No. 1262

Xi wants universities to be ideological strongholds of CPC;
Taiwan president to make stopover in New York

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
December 22, 2016

December 5:

China will further reduce the size of the PLA, but place greater emphasis on "adjusting and optimizing" the navy and air force. President Xi Jinping said that China should "rationalize" its military's structure, particularly the ratio between different types of forces and develop new types of forces. The new effort will emphasis the most "pressing threats" to China related to Taiwan and the South and East China Seas,
the Apple Daily reports. In a front-page commentary, the official PLA Daily hailed Xi's remarks and called on the PLA to implement them. "This important speech by Chairman Xi has clearly stipulated the series of issues in military reform. It has great significance towards putting forward our overall mentality and strategy."

December 6:

China produces more of "almost every kind of pollutant" than any other nation and has put "unprecedented" pressure on the atmosphere, Wang Jinnan, chief engineer of the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning said in
comments carried by the South China Morning Post. China has not moved away from the "high investment, high emissions and high pollution" model, said Lei Wen, an official at the Ministry of Industry. The remarks come as severe smog has blanketed over 60 cities, including Beijing and Tianjin. China's national meteorological department has issued the highest pollution alert and forecasted stronger winds should soon arrive in the region and asked residents to "put up with it for a bit longer." The remarks unwittingly reflected how the government truly feels - tackle pollution with luck, the official Qianjing Evening Post reports.

December 7:

U.S. officials have agreed to permit Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to make a stopover in New York City next month en route to scheduled meetings in Guatemala and El Salvador. China hopes the U.S. “does not allow her transit, and does not send any wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces’,” read a statement issued by China’s Foreign Ministry. But a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said stopovers would continue “based on long-standing U.S. practice, consistent with the unofficial nature of our relations with Taiwan.” China fears that President-elect Trump will meet Tsai personally when she passes through New York City. If such a face-to-face encounter occurred “the relationship between China and the U.S. would hit rock bottom,” Professor Chu Shulong at Tsinghua University said in
comments covered by TIME magazine.

December 9:

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the country's universities to become ideological "strongholds" of the Communist Party,
reports the BBC. The universities must "serve the rule of the Chinese Communist Party" and "promote socialism." They must integrate "ideological work" throughout the entire process of education, Xi said. Xi told a party meeting on ideology in education that universities are "under the leadership of the Communist Party, and are socialist colleges with Chinese characteristics, so higher education must be guided by Marxism. Adherence to the Party's leadership is essential to the development of higher education in the country," adding that China should "build universities into strongholds that adhere to Party leadership." The state-run People's Daily newspaper printed Xi's speech in full on its front-page, alongside a front-page editorial urging party members to direct university ideology.

December 11:

A new generation of smartphone apps and online lending platforms in China are helping small investors leap legal and language barriers and put their money to work globally,
The New York Times reports
. These informal lending networks allows Chinese investors to fund overseas projects and largely bypasses banks and other traditional sources of funds. Mobile apps like Niuniu, Jimubox and Tiger Stocks allow investors to buy and sell foreign stocks from their smartphone. Online portals also allow investors to pool their money to buy a piece of international real estate around the world. Haitou360, a New York-based investment service with offices in China, aggregates investments from clients to buy loan packages from well-known American crowdfunding platforms like RealtyMogul and Patch of Land. Micai, a “robo-adviser” app that provides online investment services, has an investment threshold of $5,000. Wealth Migrate, a South African crowdfunding platform was introduced in China this year, has a $100 real estate investment product. The structure puts the onus on individual investors to make sure they comply with China’s ever tightening capital controls. 

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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