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China Reform Monitor - No. 1346

"Sinicizing" religion in the PRC;
China's policies in Xinjiang draw ire abroad

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
October 10, 2018

September 10:

China's new draft civil code has dropped all mention of family planning, and the three offices responsible for implementing family planning policies have been removed from the National Health Commission's organizational structure,
reports Reuters. According to an official announcement, the commission still retains responsibility for "family planning management and facilitation work," and for the "improvement of family planning policy." It has created an office for "population monitoring and family development," which will "improve birth policy and organize implementation, and establish and improve the system of extraordinary family assistance for family planning." In March, "family planning" was cut from the commission's name as part of a sweeping reform of government departments.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: China has loosened its family planning policy as its population grays, birth rates slow and its workforce declines. In 2016, the government allowed urban couples to have two children, replacing a controversial one-child policy in force since 1979. As of 2017, people over 60 made up 16.2 percent of China's population, compared to 7.4 percent in 1950. China reportedly plans to scrap limits on the number of children a family can have by the end of 2018.]
September 12:

The newly elected Tehrik-e-Insaf government in Pakistan is renegotiating the terms of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). CPEC discussions dominated meetings during Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi's three-day visit to Islamabad. "The new leadership feels that the terms agreed by the previous government were heavily tilted in China's favor and they want to review that. The concerns were shared with Wang Yi and his team, and the new plans are under discussion, which would be acceptable to both parties," a Pakistani
government official told the Asia Times. Islamabad wants to avoid another IMF bailout, which requires China to revise existing loans agreements. Islamabad's criticisms of CPEC also include tax exemptions for Chinese companies, lack of transparency, and insufficient access to Chinese markets.

September 13:

China's National Religious Affairs Administration is preparing to ban all foreigners from using the internet to promote and preach religion in China,
the South China Morning Post reports. The draft regulation raises penalties for unregistered religious activities and all groups distributing religious information online will have to obtain a license from a provincial religious affairs department. "All sorts of religious groups have used the internet to preach. I think the new rules would finally regulate them," said Xiong Kunxin at Minzu University in Beijing. Eight months ago, administration director Wang Zuoan called for all religions in China to be to "Sinicized."

September 14:

About 150 Muslims have rallied in Mumbai, India to demand that China stop detaining Uighur Muslims in camps and political indoctrination centers,
the Washington Post reports. The protesters chanted "Down with China'" as they demonstrated outside a mosque after Friday noon prayers. An organizer, Mohammed Saeed Nori, accused China of detaining Muslims in camps and "snatching their religious freedom." China has tightened restrictions over the instruction of Islam and the Uighur language, and upwards of one million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities are being held in facilities that are being dubbed counter-extremism centers, the Saudi Gazette reports.

September 15:

The Taiwan Military Intelligence Bureau is "offering money, relationships and sex" to students at universities in exchange for confidential information,
the official China Daily reports
. "The intelligence agencies have been targeting the mainland and recklessly stepping up information collection and infiltration activities for some time. Taiwan authorities should immediately stop all espionage targeting the Chinese mainland to prevent further damage to the increasingly complicated Cross-Straits relationship," said a spokesman for the country's Taiwan Affairs Office. To thwart Taipei, Beijing launched operation "2018 Thunder," which has handled more than 100 spy cases to date. In one case, a student was paid about 45,000 yuan ($6,590) to provide an agent with about 100 pieces of information on science and technology related to national defense.

Related Categories: China; India; Southeast Asia; Taiwan; China and East Asia Program

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