China Digest

Hungarian version of Xi’s book praised

The Hungarian version of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China made its debut in Budapest on April 24, with leading officials there saying President Xi’s thoughts, proposals and visions in the book are useful to better govern their country.

“I do believe the leaders of many countries worldwide are reading this book to know more about the secrets of success of this fast-growing country,” Marta Matrai, first officer of the Hungarian National Assembly, said at the launch ceremony in the main building of the National Bank of Hungary.

Liu Qibao, head of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, who also is traveling to launch the book in Morocco and Greece, unveiled the Hungarian version with Matrai.

The Hungarian version is the 19th foreign language edition since Xi Jinping: The Governance of China was first published in 2014. More than 6.2 million copies have been printed worldwide.

It includes 79 speeches, articles and instructions by Xi from when he became general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in 2012 to June 2014.


US invited to be part of Belt and Road

China encouraged the United States to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, which it said has “opened the gate of opportunities” for US enterprises, China’s ambassador to the US said on April 24.

Cui Tiankai said at the International Finance and Infrastructure Cooperation Forum in New York that China hoped the US takes a proactive role and attends the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which is scheduled for May 14 and 15 in Beijing.

The Belt and Road is an open and inclusive platform for development and cooperation, not an arena for geographic strategy, he said in the keynote speech in New York, at the forum hosted by Bloomberg and the China General Chamber of Commerce.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the two components of the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aim to revive the ancient land and sea trade routes and boost interconnectivity between Asia and the rest of the world.


WeChat firmly rooted in daily life: Survey

WeChat, the ubiquitous messaging app, is being used for an ever longer period of time and is growing into a lifestyle choice embedded into daily activities and interactions, a new survey has found.

In 2016, one-third of WeChat’s 889 million monthly active users spent a solid four hours or more per day on the app, twice that of a year ago, according to Penguin Intelligence, a research arm of WeChat’s developer Tencent Holdings.

The average daily time spent is also up slightly, now at 66 minutes, surpassing that of Facebook’s average 50 minutes recorded last year.

And it is becoming more pervasive than ever, creeping into new aspects of life from offline payments to receiving newsfeeds.

A striking 92 percent of respondents to the survey said they prefer mobile payment over cash and credit cards when shopping in stores. 


Education for women a ‘noble pursuit’: Peng

Peng Liyuan, the wife of President Xi Jinping, said the education of girls and women is a “noble and significant” pursuit.

Providing women and men with the same opportunities to reach their full potential is a key to promoting social development, gender equality and sustainable development of society, to which education plays a crucial role, Peng said.

Peng made the remarks during an exclusive interview with the UNESCO Courier magazine.

She was invited in 2014 to become the UNESCO special envoy for the advancement of girls’ and women’s education by Irina Bokova, the organization’s director-general.

“Education equality includes equality for opportunity, process and results. What we fight for is to make sure that women have the same opportunities to go to school as their male counterparts, that they are treated equally in education and that they have the same access to higher education, employment and social recognition as men do,” Peng said. 


Xi, Trump discuss Korean situation

President Xi Jinping urged all parties involved to exercise “restraint” over the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula in a phone call with US President Donald Trump on April 24, their second such conversation for the month.

Xi said China firmly opposes actions that violate UN Security Council resolutions and added China expects all relevant parties to remain restrained and avoid taking moves that aggravate tension on the peninsula.

Only when all parties involved shoulder their duties and meet each other halfway can the peninsula’s nuclear issue be resolved swiftly and denuclearization be achieved, Xi said.

“We are willing to work with all parties involved, including the US, to jointly work for the peace of the Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and the world,” Xi said.

Sightseeing deck opens in Shanghai Tower
Shanghai Tower, China’s highest building, officially opened its sightseeing deck on the 118th floor to the public on April 26. In 55 seconds, after paying 180 yuan ($26), visitors can rise into the sky for a bird’s-eye view of the Shanghai cityscape.
The Top of Shanghai observatory, 546 meters above ground and surrounded by a glass wall, allows visitors a 360-degree panoramic view from the 632-meter tower, now the second tallest in the world.
Shanghai Tower, which announced trial operations in April 2016 after eight years of construction, stands in the heart of the Lujiazui Financial Zone in Pudong New Area. The majestic high-rise boasts 127 floors above ground and five floors below ground level.
The new tower joins the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Jinmao Tower and the World Financial Center in Lujiazui area, providing visitors with what has been billed as a unique “sky city” experience.
Ministries cooperate to protect lawyers’ rights
Chinese authorities will establish mechanisms to respond quickly to cases that harm attorneys’ professional rights, the Ministry of Justice said on April 26.
The All China Lawyers Association and 10 government authorities, including judicial organs and the ministries of foreign affairs, finance and commerce, have set up a joint conference to communicate and deal with such cases.
All provinces and regions will set up a similar mechanism before the end of June, Liu Fuchen, spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, said.
“We will use the platform to communicate with each other, conduct research and resolve some policy issues, as well as to coordinate on major cases and emergencies in a timely manner that infringe upon lawyers’ defense rights,” he said.
In recent years, a growing number of violations of lawyers’ legal rights have occurred, attracting a lot of public attention, according to the ministry.
Reviews of copyright patents speeded up
China’s intellectual property authority is making an effort to shorten the review time for patent applications, a senior official said on April 25.
“Last year, the average review time for a patent application in China was reduced to about 22 months, faster than the United States and the European Patent Office, and slightly slower than Japan and South Korea,” said Shen Changyu, head of the State Intellectual Property Office, during a State Council news briefing.
April 26 was World Intellectual Property Day.
The office aims to provide efficient review services to applicants, Shen said. Reviews on average took at least 25 months between 2006 and 2010. That was reduced to at least 22 months between 2011 and 2015, and then to no more than 22 months in 2016.
In the US, the review time is more than 25 months on average, and at the European Patent Office it is 26 months.
Business registration to become simpler
Many more certificates linked to business registration will be merged into one business license, helping enterprises to open and thrive more quickly, according to a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on April 26.
“We should focus on creating a globally competitive business environment and continuing business registration reform,” Li said.
A guideline approved by the executive meeting said that as a significant measure to boost supply-side structural reform and administrative reforms, the consolidation will further transform governmental functions and unleash the benefits of reforms.
Top leaders call for financial security
Top Chinese leaders on April 26 called for more efforts to ensure financial security, because such stability plays a key role in maintaining healthy economic growth.
Safeguarding financial security is a strategic and fundamental task in the country’s economic and social development, President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said at a group study for members of the Political Bureau, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Xi said the overall financial situation is in good condition and risks remain at a controllable level.
He said it is vital to put more effort this year into ensuring no systemic risks occur.
Xi’s remarks came after the nation’s top financial regulatory bodies rolled out a series of measures to more closely monitor the financial industry. 
High-speed trains to improve meal choices
China Railway Corp said that it will introduce more food suppliers and offer passengers more meal options on high-speed trains, after recent media reports bashed the overpriced boxed lunches provided on bullet trains.
The operator of the country’s high-speed railway system said in a statement on April 25 that it will build a “fair and open” online platform accessible to qualified suppliers, with a view toward letting passengers order meals directly.
The suppliers do not need to be companies subordinate to the 18 local railway bureaus, said the statement, which did not give a timetable.
The measure was announced after media reports criticized lunches sold on bullet trains as being too expensive, often between 40 yuan ($5.80) and 65 yuan.
The cheapest meal, at 15 yuan, is also available, but attendants often try to sell meals priced above 40 yuan.
Tianzhou 1 completes historic refueling
Tianzhou 1, China’s first cargo spacecraft, has completed the country’s first in-orbit refueling test with the unmanned Tiangong II space laboratory, the China Manned Space Agency said on April 27.
Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China’s manned space program, called the Tianzhou 1 mission a success.
The space agency said in a news release the refueling test was a major technology breakthrough and has paved the way for China to assemble and operate a space station.
The agency also said China has become the third nation to complete in-orbit refueling technology, following Russia and the United States.
As the first of the planned three in-orbit refueling tests for Tianzhou 1, it took five days and wrapped up at 7:07 pm on April 27.
Chinese FDI in US triples to $46b
Chinese investment in the United States in 2016 more than tripled from 2015 to $46 billion, with Chinese companies adding 1,300 new operations, according to a report.
Chinese-owned companies now employ over 140,000 people in the US, with companies increasing their presence in the South and Midwest “significantly”, though their investments are still most keenly felt in coastal economies. This is according to New Neighbors: 2017 Update, a report on Chinese investment in US congressional districts, released by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the Rhodium Group on April 25.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry, said that while the report is only from the US side, it did, from one perspective, prove that bilateral trade and investment are beneficial for both countries.

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