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China Reform Monitor - No. 1277

Taiwan wants to build first indigenous submarines;
China-Tanzania ties in the spotlight

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
April 5, 2017

March 16:

Premier Li Keqiang has reassured long-time Chinese lease-holders that their land leases will be extended automatically "without preconditions." 
The official Beijing Youth Daily said Li's remarks assure property owners that their houses will be theirs "permanently" and add "confidence" to the property markets. "Such automatic extension without payment conforms to the public's view. For many families, their houses are their largest asset. There will be suspicion that the government is competing for the public's wealth if they are forced to pay to renew their leases." Although the first leases, which were granted in 1990, will not expire until at least 2060, soaring property prices in China have raised concerns that mortgage payments may extend beyond that time, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports

March 20:

Police from Zhejiang have arrested 102 telecom and internet fraud suspects during a synchronized raid in 56 cities on March 13. In early February, Wenzhou City police discovered a fraud ring run by four Taiwanese that was recruiting in the mainland. Those enlisted were sent to countries like India, Cambodia, and Indonesia, where they solicited funds from unsuspecting citizens while pretending to be Chinese public security, legal, and judicial officials, the official Xinhua reports.

March 22:

The Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, the United Front Work Department, and the State Ethnic Affairs Commission are jointly offering a one-year program for 237 officials from “ethnic minority groups and underdeveloped western regions" to expose them “to the work practices of central departments." Participants will attend a three-day training course on “the essence of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, supply-side structural reform, the Belt and Road Initiative, and economic and social development concerning ethnic regions." After the course, the officials will be dispatched across 87 central Party and government departments and state-owned enterprises. “Since it began in 1990, the program has seen more than 9,000 ethnic minority and western region officials assume temporary posts in central departments," the official China Daily reports.

Following last month's announcement that Taiwan will develop its own new supersonic jets, President Tsai Ing-wen has signed agreements with a local ship building company and research facility to build Taipei's first domestic submarines, with the first vessels to be delivered in eight years. “Although it is unnecessary for Taiwan to build massive submarines because the Taiwan Strait is very shallow, Taiwan needs at least 10 submarines before they pose a useful deterrent. Taiwan should not aim to counter China's submarines, aircraft carriers, or other vessels. Rather, they should focus on stopping the Chinese military from landing the island," Wong Dong 
told the Hong Kong's Economic JournalThe official Reference News was among several official mainland outlets that dismissed Taiwan's plans to build its own submarines as an "illusion."

March 23:

Tanzanian President John Magufuli and CPC Politburo member Guo Jinlong have signed three grant agreements, 
Tanzania's Daily News reports
, including $300,000 for construction of the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, $20,000 for an “anti-narcotics campaign," and an undisclosed amount for a new police institute in Kilimanjaro. Guo delivered a message from CPC Secretary General Xi Jinping to Magufuli hailing the Tanzanian president for anti-corruption measures, strengthening the economy, and implementing reforms aimed at strengthening the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party. Meanwhile, Magufuli requested Chinese financing for a railway line from Morogoro to Dodoma, direct Air China flights between Beijing and Dar es Salaam, and more financing for transport infrastructure, industry, real estate, and agriculture. "I assure you that China will continue its cooperation with Tanzania in various areas including agriculture and industries," Guo said.

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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