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China Reform Monitor - No. 1261

Beijing to stop all coal mining by 2020;
China eyes $2.2B cash-for-oil deal with Venezuela

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
December 21, 2016

November 23:

In 2016, Russia and China implemented military and technical contracts worth $3 billion, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained during a meeting with Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Yu Zhengsheng. He spoke at the 21st session of the Russian-Chinese intergovernmental commission on military and technical cooperation. "The sides achieved major agreements and signed a range of documents and deals. I have heard that the Russian defense minister attaches great importance to developing military and technical cooperation with China and makes huge personal efforts here. I also highly appreciate this," Yu said in
comments carried by Russia’s TASS news agency.

November 25:

China’s will invest an additional $2.2 billion in Venezuela in return for an increase in crude imports from an average of 424,000 barrels a day in the first nine months of 2016 to 800,000 barrels a day. The new agreements between China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela include increasing production in three joint ventures, rehabilitating oil wells in Venezuela, and building a refinery in China. “Our older sister China has not abandoned Venezuela in hard times,” Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said after a meeting in Caracas with CNPC chairman Wang Yilin,
the South China Morning Post reports. “The imperative is to ensure no disruption of oil flow. The political situation takes a back seat to the importance of oil production. Even if the opposition party takes power in the future, they’ll still need Chinese loans to pump out oil,” said Mei Xinyu at China’s Ministry of Commerce.

[Editor’s Note: By January Venezuela will owe China almost $19 billion. Between 2007 and 2015, China lent about $65 billion to Venezuela, which has been paid back primarily with oil shipments. In recent months, China has been talking with the opposition, which controls congress and wants to recall Maduro.]

November 30:

Beijing will stop all coal mining by 2020, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform has announced. In 2016, Beijing closed two coal mines with a total annual production capacity of 1.8 million metric tons. Coal produced in west Beijing's mountainous area has been a major energy source for the capital's economic development. Beijing's coal consumption in 2010 was over 26 million metric tons, with the number declining to about 12 million metric tons in 2015. In 2016, the central and the Beijing municipal governments have allocated more than 160 million yuan ($23.2 million) in subsidies to local coal miners. New industries will be developed to replace coal mining,
the official Global Times reports.

December 1:

A meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee presided over by General Secretary Xi Jinping has adopted new measures to standardize benefits for CPC and state leaders, such as offices, housing, and staff. The official statement hailed the new rules as "an expansion and upgrade" to the Party's eight-point guidelines against bureaucracy and extravagance introduced four years ago. According to the new rules: "The strict governance of the Party should start from officials, especially senior ones. Whatever you demand others do, you should first do yourself; whatever you forbid others to do, you should firmly forbid to yourself." Party and state leaders should vacate their offices in a timely manner after retiring. They should "travel without pomp," limit their vacations, have the right size of staff, not have vehicles exceeding standards, and strictly constrain their relatives and personnel. Relevant departments must draft detailed plans and implement the new rules “without compromise,”
the official CCTV reports.

December 2:

Taipei has welcomed a proposed new U.S. law that would allow senior U.S. military officials to visit Taiwan. But Beijing will not tolerate such “high-profile military cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S.,”
the Ming Pao reports
. “It conforms to the island's security and interests more for both sides to conduct their military exchanges through civilian groups in a low-profile manner."

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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