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China Reform Monitor - No. 1334

Making Chinese firms more ideological;

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
July 17, 2018

June 16:

In the small African country of Lesotho, two companies – Sigma Construction and LSP Construction – have co-written a letter to parliament registering their "serious concerns about the vast majority of construction projects being awarded to Chinese contractors" and warning that Lesotho will soon be a Chinese colony. The two companies accuse China’s companies of unfairly receiving contracts when local companies were better placed to undertake the work,
the Lesotho Times reports. "It is our opinion that there has [sic] been excessive and inexplicable awards by the state and parastatals of contracts to Chinese construction companies. We herewith urgently request your good office to investigate this situation. Chinese contractors employ very little, if any local skilled labour. The great majority of management, professionals, artisans and operators are all Chinese citizens. Chinese contractors invest very little, if anything in Lesotho. They import as much as possible from China and do not stimulate or add anything of great significance to the local economy." A consortium of 32 local construction companies also penned a similar letter claiming that: "The disproportionate award (of tenders to Chinese firms) seems to compromise the core values of integrity, transparency, fairness, accountability, service ethics, empowering of local employees and stakeholders. The awarding construction projects to non-local companies can only but cripple the ailing economy of the country and add to poverty and unemployment."

June 19:

Beijing is requiring all domestically listed companies to strengthen Party-building, both domestically and overseas. According to the new amendment, "companies should include Party-building work in their corporate statutes, and companies should integrate Party leadership and corporate governance,"
the official Global Times reports. "Leading companies in any country should take on social responsibility, including political responsibilities," said Dong Shaopeng of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. According to Dong Shaopeng, Party building is not just about developing Communist Party members within the companies or planning activities. "It's about letting outstanding people, those with good political awareness and good technical abilities, bring their talent into full play in the management structure and production chain of companies," he said.

June 21:

China's diplomatic offensive aimed at "flipping" the few remaining African countries with formal ties to the Republic of China (Taiwan) is nearly complete. Sao Tome and Principe severed ties with Taiwan at the end of 2016 after Taipei declined to provide the country with a $210 million aid package. Days later, the island nation, located off Africa's western coast, restored relations with China after a 19-year rupture. Last year, in order to get Burkina Faso to abandon Taipei, Beijing provided at least $1.5 billion in aid and offered the country support in building a rail link to Accra, the capital of neighboring Ghana. The last African holdout is tiny Swaziland, which Beijing hopes to flip in time for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) this Fall,
the Nikkei Asian Review reports.

June 22:

This year, China will break ground on a university specifically to train nuclear experts,
the official China Daily reports. The Tianjin city government has signed an MoU with China National Nuclear Corp to create the China Nuclear Industry University, which will offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, international academic exchanges and core technique research and development. China needs more and better trained nuclear industry professionals, said Wan Gang, president of the China Institute of Atomic Energy under China National Nuclear Corp. In 2016, the company recruited 2,300 graduates, but only 20 percent of them majored in nuclear industry-related fields. To fill the gap, the university will quickly develop its curriculum and faculty as it builds a campus. Earlier this month, Suzhou, Jiangsu announced the creation of an institute for the nuclear industry which is also backed by the company.

June 26:

Authorities in Xinjiang are rapidly constructing crematoria staffed by dozens of security personnel,
Radio Free Asia reports. Between March 2017 and February 2018, the Xinjiang government budgeted more than 10 million yuan ($1.52 million) to build nine "burial management centers" in heavily Uighur-populated areas throughout the region. Last July, an eight million yuan ($1.22 million) tender was issued for a center in Shaya county, Akesu prefecture, which is now under construction, while a crematorium in Kuche county is being expanded. The Urumqi city’s Saybagh district is hiring "50 security personnel with above average health, who are physically and mentally fit, and exceptionally brave." One staff member told RFA that among the corpses brought to his crematorium are those who died in "political re-education camps," where authorities have detained hundreds of thousands of Uighurs accused of harboring "strong religious views" and "politically incorrect" views since April 2017. "All I know is that they are expanding crematoria at the moment, but the policy regarding their use has not been implemented yet," he said.

Related Categories: Africa; China; China and East Asia Program

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