Drying tomatoes in Hejing County of Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Bayingolin, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 20 August 2017 [Xinhua/Que Hure]
Tomorrow, Sunday, October 16, the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China begins. The current Congress, with 2,296 delegates, will elect the new 360-person Central Committee, and this group will approve the list of members of the new 25-person Politburo and the Standing Committee members, the CPC’s top leadership body. The selection process for these last two bodies is usually based on small face-to-face meetings held in advance.
Among the goals that were set out at the 19th Congress in 2017 – and were met – were the elimination of extreme poverty (2020), GDP growth targets, advancement in technological development and innovation, and greater openness to foreign investment including the Foreign Investment Law (2019), among others. These five years also saw the introduction of new climate targets, carbon reduction policies, controls of monopolies and the irregular expansion of capital, continued efforts in anti-corruption, and the development of the Common Prosperity vision.
Dongsheng members have participated in several programs, discussing the Congress that is about to begin. Marco Fernandes did so in his biweekly participation in the program Bom para Todos, of TVT (in Portuguese), Tings Chak was in “Freedom Side” of BreakThrough News (in English) together with Rania Khalek and Eugene Puryear, and Gisela Cernadas in Barricada TV (in Spanish). We will be following all the events of the Congress on our social networks. You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Telegram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Also available is episode #8 of The Crane: An Africa-China Podcast. This time, Mika Erskog and Amadeus Musumali talk about some of the ‘Afronauts’ who dreamt of reaching the moon before the US & Soviet Union, the new Global North scramble for extraplanetary resources, and what practical steps African nations are taking around space cooperation projects with China.
– Dongsheng editorial collective
By 19 votes to 17, UN Human Rights Council rejects US-led proposal to open human rights debate in Xinjiang
In recent years, nearly 100 countries – with an absolute majority of Islamic-majority countries – have expressed support for China on issues related to Xinjiang, but experts remain cautious about the victory due to the narrow voting margin; China criticizes human rights instrumentalization for meddling in its internal affairs
Read mapping of recent votes on Xinjiang at the UN, by Qiao Collective, 07.10.2022
US announces new controls on semiconductor exports to China, aimed at stemming the rapid advance of Chinese artificial intelligence technology
Fearing loss of leadership in the sector, Washington aims to ban China’s access to chips with US technology produced in any country in the world, putting up to 30% of the total revenue of chip industry giants from the US and other countries at risk; experts say action may slow but not block China’s technological rise
Service sectors open to foreign investment in the cities of Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, as well as in Hainan province
Tourism and elderly care are added to the 12 industries in the pilot scheme in certain cities; service sector value-added accounts for about 55% of national GDP, about 20 percentage points less than developed countries, and foreign investment in the sector accounts for 70% of the total
Local governments offer discounts of up to 30% for group buying properties in a bid to revive the property market
Since June, over 20 cities launched programs to buy unsold properties, with discounts varying from 3% to 30% for multiple units purchased and many targeting state-sector workers; local governments rely heavily on real estate revenue and are under pressure to get the market moving again
Between January and September, land transactions of the 100 largest real estate developers (US$ 147 billion) accumulated a 51.2% inter-annual drop
However, the 130.2% increase in the value of land purchases by the 50 largest real estate developers in September brought hope to the sector; new property sales in 40 cities, meanwhile, fell 26% year-on-year during China’s weekly National Day holiday
Agriculture and Environment
Despite US sanctions, Xinjiang tomato products were exported to more than 80 countries in the first seven months of 2022 (US$ 256 million)
The region is not dependent on the US market – with Italy (almost 20%) and Russia (16%) as major importers – produces 80% of China’s tomatoes, and is the largest producer in the world (35% of the total in 2020); last year, US sanctioned Xinjiang tomatoes and cotton on allegations of forced labor, denied by Beijing
China orders world’s largest and most efficient compressed air energy storage (CAES) system in Hebei
The CAES costs less than lithium batteries, has similar efficiency to hydroelectric storage, and is expected to account for 10% of the country’s total energy storage by 2025 (23% by 2030); in September, the largest flow battery energy storage system also began operating in Dalian (Liaoning), with an initial capacity of 100–400MW
Science and Technology
Between 2012 and 2021, China moved from 34th to 11th position in the Global Innovation Index and approved 3.9 million new patents
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Shenzhen–Hong Kong–Guangzhou and Beijing are two of the top five global sci-tech clusters; US$ 307.7 billion in imports and exports of intellectual property rights were also generated
China launched first solar probe capable of observing the solar magnetic field and will share data collected with scientists worldwide
Kuafu-1 will conduct continuous solar observations for at least four years and also support space disaster weather forecasts; also this week, Chinese scientists discovered the presence of phosphorus in the water on Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth largest moon, which would make the existence of microorganisms possible
People’s Life and Culture
Over 200 million Chinese people work as freelancers, turning to flexible employment as unemployment reaches 18.7% for youth
Last year, 16% of fresh graduates – set to reach a record 10.76 million in 2022 – joined the self-employed in China; hit by pandemic and global economic downturn, young people have groups on social networks where they discuss how to reduce their expenses
Young Chinese people looking through employment advertisements [Xinhua]
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