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China Reform Monitor - No. 1280

China opposes Japanese missile defense proposal;
Major reshuffle or provincial party leaders

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
April 26, 2017

April 1:

There has been a major reshuffling of leaders in six provinces – Guangdong, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hainan, Gansu, Sichuan, and Shandong – in the lead up to the 19th party congress. The CPC Central Committee has named Liu Cigui, 61, who once served under President Xi Jinping's in Fujian, as Hainan party secretary, replacing Luo Baoming. Lin Duo, who worked for top graft-buster Wang Qishan when he was Beijing mayor, is the new Gansu party chief, replacing Wang Sanyun. Wang Sanyun and Luo were both key members of Hu Jintao's "Youth League faction," 
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports. Hebei provincial governor Zhang Qingwei, 55, has been named Heilongjiang party chief, and Xu Qin, 55, the Shenzhen party chief, is the new Hebei party boss. Fan Ruiping is the new party boss of Chengdu, Sichuan, succeeding Tang Liangzhi, 56, who will be promoted to head another province. Liu Jiayi has been appointed as Shandong party secretary, replacing Jiang Yikang.

April 2:

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has “joined hands with two other departments” to ban 1,879 online anchors from registering on live streaming platforms, closed 18 live streaming apps for broadcasting illegal content, and punished “a number” of app operators because they lacked a “mechanism to censor content,” the official Shanghai Daily reports. According to CAC: “A number of anchors spread illegal content, dressed in military or police uniforms or were scantily dressed and acted flirtatiously. Some anchors announced their WeChat or QQ accounts during live streaming to induce fans to engage in prostitution. The online behavior of the anchors violated relevant Internet information service or live streaming laws and regulations, offended socialist core values, and brought negative impact to the healthy growth of the young." 

[Editor's Note: In November, the CAC published a new regulation banning the use of live streaming to undermine national security, destabilize society, disturb social order, infringe people's rights and interests, and disseminate inappropriate content, including pornography. Service providers are now obliged to censor content before releasing it and have a system that allows them to immediately block improper live streams.]

April 5:

According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, perceptions of China among the American public have improved, although President Xi Jinping received largely negative ratings. Although 44 percent of poll respondents had a favorable opinion of China, 60 percent said they had little or no confidence in Xi to do the right thing in world affairs. SCMP reports China's economic strength concerned 52 percent of respondents, while only 36 percent were concerned about its military power. Sixty percent believed the large amount of American debt held by China is a "very serious" problem while only 44 percent saw the U.S. trade deficit as a very serious problem, down from 61 percent in 2012. Beijing's territorial disputes and designs on Taiwan are less concerning, with only 32 percent and 22 percent of respondents, respectively, considering the two issues "very serious." However, 58 percent said they would support the use of force against China to defend an Asian ally such as Japan. Americans are also concerned about Chinese cyberattacks, with 55 percent of respondents saying they are a serious problem. 

April 7:

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has proposed deploying the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system and the Aegis Ashore, a land-based variant of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not comment directly on the proposal but “lawmakers would not present such a proposal without prior consent by the prime minister,”
Kyodo news reports. "China is opposed to any country's act of using the (North Korean) missile issue as an excuse to compromise other countries' security and regional stability," said a spokesman from China's Ministry of National Defense. 

April 8:

While the Dalai Lama was visiting Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh – an area controlled by India but claimed by China – a small elite contingent of Indian and Mongolian troops began two weeks of joint military exercises codenamed “Nomadic Elephant” in nearby Vairengte, which houses the Indian Army's elite Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School. The Mongolian Army sent 9 officers and 36 special forces soldiers to participate, while the Indian Army sent 3 officers and over 40 soldiers. According to New Delhi, the joint training is intended to create a joint sub-unit comprised of troops from both armies that can operate in adverse conditions and enhance interoperability, 
The Hindu reports
[Editor's Note: Last December, China announced economic sanctions on Mongolia, including raising transit tariffs on Mongolian trucks, after the latter refused to cancel a visit by the Dalai Lama. During a visit in May 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a $1 billion credit line to Mongolia.]

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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