This week, Tings Chak was again on Dispatches, Rania Khalek’s program on Breakthrough News. They talked about the current COVID-19 situation in China and the distortion of the Western media. You can watch it here.
Marco Fernandes talked to Radio Sputnik about rumors of an alleged attempt by China to set up a naval base in Argentina and what is at stake in China-Latin America relations now. Listen here (the interview starts at 1:36:08).
A new episode of our podcast The Crane is on the air. In this episode, Mika Erskog and Amadeus Musumali talk about the latest visit of China’s new Foreign Minister Qing Gang to Africa. Listen here.
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News on China will take a break for the Chinese New Year holiday. Our next newsletter will be sent out on February 4.
– Dongsheng Editorial Collective
US-Japan alliance for military expansion in the Indo-Pacific poses threat to peace in the region, experts warn
At a meeting between top diplomatic and defense officials from both countries, China was cited as the “biggest strategic challenge,” while the Japanese government will approve a record military budget of more than US$50 billion; the summit between Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was reportedly “very productive” over semiconductor export restrictions to China
China records nearly 60,000 covid-related deaths between December 8 and January 12
The average age of the victims in this period was 80.3 years old, with 90.1% of them over the age of 65. The country reached a peak in the number of severe cases of covid (128,000) on January 5, and is now prioritizing strengthening technical exchanges and cooperation on pandemic prevention and control with the World Health Organization
China managed to avoid the inflationary shock that affected most Western economies in 2022, with the consumer price index rising 2%
State food stocks, reduction of tariffs on coal imports, control of speculation, and subsidies to vulnerable populations are among the measures that have prevented strong increases in inflation such as in the US (6.5%) or the UK (10.5%); economists believe that inflation will be high in China this year, but still below that of the largest economies
South China Morning Post, 12.01.2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product increases by 3% in 2022 and reaches US$17.9 trillion
Industrial production grew 3.6% and the value of imports and exports increased 7.7%; the number of new jobs in urban areas exceeded 12 million, exceeding the target of 11 million, and the disposable income of urban families had a real growth of 1.9% and of rural families, 4.2%
National Bureau of Statistics of China, 17.01.2023
Science and Technology
China surpasses US in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research output and quality, with Tencent, Alibaba, and Huawei among the top 10 companies
Chinese articles on AI exploded from about 25,000 in 2012 to about 135,000 in 2021, with 7,401 articles from China among the most cited – surpassing the US by 70%; in another milestone, China became the first country to register more than 3 million patents in 2022
Agriculture and Environment
China’s soybean imports peaked in 2020 and will continue to decline gradually through 2030
Imports saw an 8.1% year-on-year drop through November 2022, amid Beijing’s efforts to ensure food security; China, which is the world’s largest importer of soybeans accounting for more than 60% of global trade, seeks to increase its domestic production by 40% by 2025
Corn-based ethanol fuel production may affect agricultural demands and, consequently, food security
China faces a shortfall in corn supply, and experts posit that more ethanol could be sourced from sugarcane, cassava, and corn stalks as it seeks to eliminate reliance on grain imports; more than 60% of the corn China uses is for animal feed and 20-30% is allocated for industrial use
People’s Life and Culture
For the first time in 60 years, China’s population decreases and stands at 1.411 billion in 2022
With a drop of 9.98% in births and a growth rate of -0.6 per thousand people, the country has 850,000 fewer inhabitants due to cultural changes, high costs of raising children, and economic slowdown; with a shrinking labor force, economic growth will depend more on increasing productivity
TV adaptation of acclaimed author Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem premieres in China
A 30-episode series has received praise online for being faithful to the original science-fiction novel that, because of its popularity, has generated offers for adaptation in various formats, including a Netflix version; critics claim that Chinese heroism differs from Western heroism by its focus on collective interests
Chunwan, the television gala broadcast for the Chinese New Year, is the most watched program in the world and is a tradition for the Chinese people
Both at home and abroad, millions of families watch the program that began in 1983 and became a Guinness World Record; it is currently broadcast in more than 170 countries and regions and seeks to expand in digital media to reach new generations
2022 Spring Festival Gala [CGTN]
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