Foreign Minister Qin Gang says if US continues to speed down the wrong path “there will surely be conflict and confrontation”
In his first annual press conference, Qin argued that developing countries should have greater representation in international affairs, as they have more than 80% of the population and more than 70% of global economic growth; on the sidelines of the Two Sessions, President Xi accused US of leading campaign to contain and suppress China’s development
Ethiopia turns to China for debt restructuring after getting no breakthrough via G20 initiative since 2021
A high-level Ethiopian delegation met with key Chinese financial institutions and creditors, including China Exim Bank, which from 2000 to 2021 lent much of the US$13.7 billion Ethiopia owes China; Ghana is also making progress in negotiations with the country to restructure a US$1.9 billion debt
Premier Li Keqiang announces 5% growth target for 2023 in a report at the National People’s Congress
In an exit speech, Li said the government aims to create 12 million urban jobs by 2023, keep unemployment at 5.5%, and promote income growth for urban and rural residents through different mechanisms; China will also double public investment in basic research in the next five years with the goal of building self-sufficiency in science and technology
Nearly 100 representatives from US sanctions targeted companies attend Two Sessions, signaling China’s push to strengthen the semiconductor industry
Seeking to make their supply chains more sanctions-resistant, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference introduced a new sector for the environment and natural resources; of the 5,150 delegates, just over 80 are billionaires, while the top executives of Big Tech did not attend the meetings
By 2023, the government forecasts growth in fiscal revenue of 6.7%, totaling 21.7 trillion yuan (US$3.1 trillion)
In a report to the Two Sessions, the government presented an inflation target around 3%; in order to avoid risks, a broad reform of the financial regulatory system was announced, with the creation of a “super-organ” to supervise the 400 trillion yuan (US$57.7 trillion) in banking and insurance assets in the country
With more than 700 million users in China, Douyin, the original version of TikTok, competes with Alibaba and Meituan in the e-commerce market
The app promotes online shopping to monetize traffic in China, while in the West, regulatory and logistical obstacles prevent the company from developing such a business model; outside China, the app has more than one billion users, but fights against attempts to ban it in the US, Europe, and Canada
Agriculture and Environment
The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference incorporated a new working group focused on environment and natural resources
The platform will facilitate dialogue and exchange of environmental proposals and policies among different sectors, which until now used to be scattered across several CPPCC groups; the group is composed of government officials, experts, academics, and workers from energy and chemical companies
Less developed regions and provinces in the west of the country supply renewable energy to large cities such as Beijing
The region-to-region matching system, used in the poverty reduction campaign to get developed areas to cooperate with undeveloped areas, is invested in the energy transition, as western areas are very rich in renewable energy resources; Beijing shifted 18 billion kWh of green energy from other regions in 2021 (720 million in 2013)
People’s Life and Culture
With consumption picking up, demand for labor and recruitment difficulties are increasing, especially in the manufacturing sector
China is experiencing a shift in the aspirations of workers with migrants preferring to work in their hometowns and young people avoiding low-wage, labor-intensive jobs; on the other hand, the new energy sector is also facing a shortage of skilled labor
Amid rising tension between China and the US, Chinese diplomats become social media celebrities
Online forums have thousands of posts related to one of the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin; since 2019, both Wang and colleagues Mao Ning and Hua Chunying have increasingly used their personal accounts to express the government’s positions
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has more than two million followers on Twitter
Dongsheng’s interventions and productions this week:
- Deby Veneziale co-authoring at Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research: Eight Contradictions of the Imperialist ‘Rules-Based Order’, as well as appearing on Global Times: Two Sessions: A Window to Understand China.
- Tings Chak on BreakThrough News: Two Sessions: What to Expect from China in 2023.
- Co-authored with Vijay Prashad, Mika Erskog in New Left Review’s “Sidecar”: Sovereign Africa?
- Marco Fernandes in Global Times: The Empire’s Losing Bet on Ukraine: Why Bombs and Sanctions Haven’t Crushed Russia.
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