No. 28 | 28.11.2020

Bilingual classes as part of poverty alleviation efforts in Wuying Miao Village, Guizhou, 2020 [Xinhua]

Subscribe: The digest is published every Saturday in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French. We launched our weekly video News on China in 60 Seconds. Click on the image to watch the video and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

National Politics

China meets poverty alleviation target in 2020 with 80 million people from 832 impoverished counties taken out of poverty since 2013

Goal was reached through various methods, including job creation, access to education, health, social security, housing and income transfer; Chinese poverty line in PPP is US $2.30/day (World Bank US $1.90)

China’s poverty alleviation success comes from bottom-up approach and active participation of Party cadre, according to UN representative

With thorough research, the government studies each area’s specific needs and, since 2017, sent 775,000 public servants to implement and monitor action plans in the poorest villages

Since 2018, US $50.2 billion in public health assistance helped relieve poverty for 10 million peasant families

China’s health insurance covers 99.9% of impoverished population (98.9 million) and reimburses up to 80% of medical bills; increased subsides and reduced price (-54%) of medicines and devices also reduced health burden

Science and Technology

China launches Chang’e-5 probe to collect lunar samples and deepen knowledge about the moon’s origins and composition

Mission lays groundwork for the construction of China’s future space station on the moon (2022-23) and explores use of lunar material for nuclear fusion power generation; the last lunar sample mission was by USSR in 1976

Chinese Beidou satellite navigation system is more efficient than GPS in 165 of the world’s 195 capitals

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Beidou’s 30 satellites (versus GPS’s 15) connect with thousands of inexpensive Chinese cell phones to ensure greater accuracy; China’s advances in ocean monitoring is challenging US hegemony over the internet 

China leads with 23% of global internet data flows, contributing to its edge in artificial intelligence and IT development

With 12% of global data flows, US attempts to isolate China in network infrastructure (“Clean Network”) hampers international cooperation areas such as writing code, pandemic control and the environment


At the G20 Summit, President Xi proposes creating a global health cellphone app to ensure international travel despite the pandemic

Negative Covid-19 test results would receive a “green light” similar to the mechanism used in China since February; Xi reaffirmed Chinese commitment to vaccine distribution and an additional US $2 billion in debt servicing relief for poor countries

China increases presence in Central Asia to promote regional security, while strengthening relations with Russia and Pakistan and diminishing US regional influence

Formed in 2001 as a security and counterterrorism alliance between China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (India and Pakistan joined in 2017), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is now expanding into economic cooperation

China expands security support in West Africa with focus on low-risk peacekeeping missions, while US withdraws support in region

The second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping budget (US $6 billion or 15%; US funds 28%) announced US $45.7 million for Sahel G5 nations; China has 8,000 standby troops while US has 6,000 in Africa


China’s January-October outbound direct investment (US $86.38 billion) decreased 3.2% year-on-year but increased 23.1% in Belt and Road countries (US $14.1 billion)

Value of new overseas contracts totalled US $176.3 billion (-4.4%), including US $40.48 billion in general construction and US $39.24 billion in electric power

Policymakers strengthened regulations on trust industry (US $3 trillion) to curb growing financial risks in shadow banking sector, amidst scandals and defaults

New requirements imply profitability history in last three years and net assets exceeded 40% of total after profit distribution; 23 companies were punished (nearly ⅓ of total) for violations in 2019

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

China filed over 612,000 agricultural patents from 2015 to 2019—the most in the world—although only 3% were international

Patents specialize in pest control and prevention, animal feed and nutrition, and plant fertilizers but experts encourage greater focus on developing international patents to protect intellectual property rights and increased crop genetics research and IT application

People’s Life and Culture

Guan Yu, the general who became a popular god of war and wealth, is celebrated 1,860 years after his birth

30,000 temples in 30 countries are dedicated to the Three Kingdoms-era (220-280 CE) warrior; characterized by loyalty and righteousness, Guan Yu was deified by China’s principal belief systems (Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism)

Thousands-year-old Hanfu traditional clothing experiences revival among post-1990s generation, encouraged by government to learn traditional culture

Since electrician Wang Letian first wore Hanfu publicly in 2003, the pre-Qing dynasty clothing of the majority Han ethnicity has grown into US $156 million industry (2018) with over two million enthusiasts

Subway workers dressed in Hanfu clothing in Xi’an, Shaanxi, 2020 [Zhang Yuan/China News]