No. 23 | 24.10.2020

On 19 October 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteers cross the Yalu River into Korea [Li Min / Xinhua]

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China passes Export Control Law as countermeasure to trade abuses by other countries and threats to national security

List of controlled items may include 5G and quantum technology, data, military/nuclear products and natural resources such as rare earths; law is seen as a response to recent US sanctions

China becomes a net importer of steel even with record domestic production in recent months (over 3 million tons/day)

For the first time since 2009 and reflecting economic recovery, China also hit record total imports in September (US $203.3 billion) and could be starting a new economic trend

China commemorates the 70th anniversary of resistance against US-led forces in the Korean War (1950-1953)

President Xi urged the country to carry forward the great spirit of the Chinese People’s Volunteers – 2.9 million soldiers fought and 197,653 died securing the 38th parallel against the militarily-superior US

National Politics

Government offers emergency injection of experimental COVID-19 vaccines to protect “key groups”, adhering to WHO regulations

Medical workers, custom staff and students going abroad given priority for injections; one of the four vaccine candidates under phase III trials was tested by 60,000 volunteers, showing no ill-effects

China passes first biosecurity law to prevent and control infectious diseases, strengthen national security and protect public health

Law will establish systems to monitor, prevent and respond to biological attacks and epidemics, improve management of laboratories and protect biodiversity

President Xi emphasizes importance of accelerating development of quantum science and technology alongside increasing efforts in domestic innovation

Though the US dominates the main field of quantum computing, China registered almost twice as many quantum technology patents in 2018 – leading in communication and encryption


China’s GDP grew 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter, resuming economic growth path with 0.7% in 2020 (US $11.8 trillion)

Increases in retail sales (3.3%), exports (10.2%) and fixed-asset investment (0.8%) in September strengthen Chinese recovery, but job market still poses challenges

Despite decoupling threats, foreign direct investment in China grew 25.1% year-on-year in September with a 5.2% growth in 2020 (US $107.2 billion)

Chinese outbound direct investment fell 0.6% (January-September), but increased 29.7% in Belt and Road countries (US $13 billion)

Disposable per capita income of Chinese people between January-September was US $3,549, with an actual year-on-year high of 0.6%

Urban income reached US $4,909, down 0.3%, while rural income was US $1,839 and up 1.6%, both in real terms

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Clean energy made up 21.8% of total energy consumption in 2019, an increase of 8.6 percentage points since 2012

Natural gas and biofuels are replacing coal in heating homes and solar energy already benefits 4.15 million rural households, improving air quality and generating 1.25 million jobs

China develops saline-alkali soil recovery techniques and achieve high productivity in rice cultivation in the Northeastern province of Jilin

Region’s 4.4 million hectares of unproductive soil can be turned into arable land and expand agricultural production; treated soils have produced about 10 tons/hectare

China’s top pork producers will invest US $7.59 billion to double output (12% global market share) and stabilize supply with government assistance

Reduced taxes and land acquisition costs as well as improved access to bank loan subsidies for small farmers (99% have <500 pigs) will help production recovery after 2019 swine flu

People’s Life and Culture

In world’s largest language preservation project, China collected ten million entries for 123 Chinese dialects and minority languages (2015-2019)

During opening-up period and resulting migration, standardized Mandarin was promoted as the common language for national unity and economic integration – now spoken by 73% of mainland Chinese, 90% in big cities

160 years ago, the English and French destroyed and plundered the Old Summer Palace in Beijing during the Second Opium War (1856-60) 

Tens of thousands of people visited the Palace ruins last weekend to remember the event symbolic of China’s “one hundred years of humiliation” by colonial powers

Ruins of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing [VCG Photo via CGTN]