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China Reform Monitor - No. 1337

Beijing grapples with veteran affairs;
Indoctrinating Africa's reporters

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
August 15, 2018

July 1:

One of the first joint venture universities in China, The University of Nottingham–Ningbo, has removed its associate provost Stephen Morgan after he wrote an essay critical of the 19th CPC party congress. Party leaders at Nottingham–Ningbo objected to the renewal of Morgan's contract, claiming the essay embarrassed the university. Morgan had also criticized removal of so-called "sensitive" texts in courses,
the Financial Times reports. Last year, the Ministry of Education and the CPC Organization Committee issued regulations requiring the creation of party cells at foreign-linked universities and ordered them to include CPC cadres on their management boards. In April 2016, as students were preparing to take exams, Nottingham abruptly closed its School of Contemporary Chinese Studies in the UK.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: In 2003, in an effort to import overseas educational know-how and promote reform, China's education ministry approved new regulations encouraging universities to form foreign joint venture universities. The next year, Nottingham became the first to set up a joint-venture campus under the new rules, and since then more than 2,000 such programs have been established. Two years ago, however, Beijing put a moratorium on approvals for new joint venture campuses. Under Xi Jinping's leadership, universities have increase controls over foreign textbooks and introduced political coursework on subjects such as "Xi Jinping Thought."]

July 3:

Senior Chinese officials gathered for two emergency meetings after thousands of veterans took to the streets last month to demand better welfare benefits and an end to violence against them. At a conference in Hebei, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, security chief Guo Shengkun, and police chief Zhao Kezhi called on provincial officials to better administer veterans' services, including educational and training support. Delegates from 10 provincial level governments, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Hebei, Hunan and Guizhou, also shared their experiences on the "important political task" of managing veterans,
South China Morning Post reports. At the second meeting, this one of the newly created Ministry of Veterans Affairs, attendees were told to improve welfare for vets and set up an online complaints system. The two meetings followed a five-day protest in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu against violence towards veterans speaking out about their meager pensions. On June 24, armed police dispersed the thousands of protesting veterans.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The onus to care for China's 57 million former military personnel has fallen to cash-strapped localities. In April, the new Ministry for Veteran's Affairs was set up to better coordinate and administer services. Last October, thousands of veterans staged a mass protest outside the Central Military Commission in Beijing.]

July 5:

Nearly thirty media professionals from 28 African countries are participating in a 10-month training program organized by the China-Africa Press Center under the China Public Diplomacy Association. China-Africa cooperation has entered a new golden era, Nie Chenxi director of the State Administration of Radio and Television, told participants. Meanwhile, five Kenyan reporters are currently taking part in a different three-week training program in China. The training programs are intended to "allow participants to gain first-hand experience of China and its media landscape," "study the history and development of China's radio and television industry," and help African "reporters develop their operational skills and professional knowledge,"
the Philippine's Inquirer reports. During the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg, President Xi outlined said China would train 1000 African media professionals each year.

July 6:

Army chiefs from 50 African countries are in Beijing for the three-week security China-Africa Defense and Security Forum from June 26 runs until July 12. The delegates are discussing "a major military roadmap aimed at protecting Chinese interests in the continent as well as improving African's response to crisis situations,"
Kenya's The East African reports. The continental military cooperation plan is expected to be approved at the forthcoming Forum for China-Africa Cooperation Summit scheduled for September in Beijing. Under the agreement, Sino-African intelligence sharing, joint military training, and joint operation will be expanded.

June 7:

In the first three months of 2018, authorities in Xinjiang relocated 461,000 residents and by the end of the year will move another 100,000,
the official Global Times reports
. "Poverty alleviation in Xinjiang is more difficult compared to other places because Xinjiang also faces ethnic issues," said Yu Shaoxiang at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Learning Chinese is key to landing a job outside Xinjiang so the government is providing language training to Uighurs. "Organizing people to work away from home would help them better integrate with the rest of China [and] helps maintain regional security," Yu said.

Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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