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China Reform Monitor - No. 1283

More Hong Kong democracy activists arrested;
Beijing cracking down on fake econ statistics, inflated growth

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
May 12, 2017

April 16:

Hotan county, Xinjiang has given 16 police officers and two members of the public 1.09 million yuan "for their contributions to preserving social stability," 
the official Global Times reports. The report did not mention what specific contributions were made, but it did quote county party chief Lu Boran saying that the sizeable reward was given to encourage more people to fight the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism. Meanwhile, 14 other cadres received punishment for "dereliction of duty" ranging from expulsion from the party and removal from office to demotion or judiciail investigation. Their wrongdoings were also not specified. 

[Editor's Note: Hotan prefecture, which administers Hotan county, where 96 percent of the 2 million residents are Uighurs, has witnessed two violent attacks in recent months. Eight people died in a knife attack in February and five were killed in a bombing in December. Earlier this month, 97 cadres in Hotan prefecture were punished for failing to properly monitor local residents, 
the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports

April 18:

China, Djibouti's biggest investor, is targeting the African country's tourism industry, SCMP reports. Last year a group of Chinese investors, accompanied by Djibouti's ambassador to China and a Chinese official, met with officials at Ras Siyyan between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. They have since returned three times and are financing a luxury hotel and a new airport on the peninsula. The costs have not been revealed but ongoing Chinese projects include a multibillion-yuan, multipurpose port, a modern railway linking Djibouti City with Addis Ababa, a road linking the capital with Lake Assal, and a cross-border water pipeline to bring in fresh water from Ethiopia. China's new naval base in Djibouti has also facilitated its economic engagement. "The Chinese military presence will serve to promote tourism and we believe that it will pay off. During their time here, military personnel can better discover the country, and then it will spread by word of mouth. I am convinced that the Chinese military will contribute to convey a positive image to their compatriots," said the director of Djibouti's Tourism Office.

April 21:

China Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced that it has "standardized" official names for six places in the disputed regions that India considers part of Arunachal Pradesh. The names reflect how "China's territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration," said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson. "Assigning invented names to the towns of your neighbor does not make illegal territorial claims legal. Arunachal Pradesh is and will always be an integral part of India," responded India's Ministry of External Affairs. The decision comes in the wake of the Dalai Lama's visit to the Tawang monastery earlier this month, which Beijing considers a provocation, The Hindu reports.
April 25:

China's National Bureau of Statistics has established "a law enforcement unit that aims to become a ‘sharp sword' against data fabrication," 
the official China Daily reports. Last year, the bureau investigated 15 major statistical violation cases, punishing more than 10 people in each case. "We will never tolerate statistical violations or data falsifications. There will be zero tolerance," bureau head Ning Jizhe said. According to the editorial: "Fake data are even more harmful to society than fake products, as they will distort the central government's judgment about economic realities and influence decision making." Liaoning falsified its economic data from 2011 to 2014 but after a purge of the provincial party leadership, in 2016 it reported a 2.5 percent drop in its GDP. Liaoning's 2.4 percent GDP growth rate is the lowest of those 23 provincial-level regions that have released first quarter regional GDP figures. 

April 27

Hong Kong Police have arrested nine pro-democracy activists in an ongoing crackdown. The arrests came a day after police arrested two pro-independence former lawmakers-elect, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung, for "unlawful assembly" after the courts disqualified them from office for changing the wording of their oaths of allegiance in October. The charges related to their unsuccessful attempts to re-enter the city's Legislative Council to retake their oaths. All nine activists arrested took part in a demonstration outside Beijing's Liaison Office on November 6 to protest its intervention in the oaths row. "The repeated use of vague charges against prominent figures in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement reeks of an orchestrated and retaliatory campaign by the authorities to punish those that advocate for democracy in Hong Kong," said Amnesty International's Hong Kong director. "This is a clean-up operation before the new administration [of chief executive-elect Carrie Lam] takes office on July 1," Derek Lam, of the opposition political party Demosisto 
told Radio Free Asia

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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