No. 46 | 10.04.2021

Vaccination in northern city of Tianjin, April 2021 [Xinhua]

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Despite global vaccine shortages, China exports half of its total vaccine production (115 million doses)

Countries mainly in the Global South received vaccine donations (37) and approvals for use (70), while the UK has yet to export any vaccines; Chinese government accelerates vaccination in major cities and plans “vaccine passport” for international travel

Nikkei Asia, 05.04.2021
CGTN, 01.04.2021

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Middle East visit puts China as an economic, political and military alternative to the US for the region

China strengthens its position as a conflict-mediator between Iran and its Arab neighbors, increases regional oil imports, and also offers technology transfer (vaccines, telecoms, military); the first Arab-China summit is scheduled this year

Asia Times, 04.04.2021

Science and Technology

China’s FAST, the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, opens for international research (10% of total observation time)

FAST’s capacity to explore the universe quadruples US’s Arecibo, which collapsed last December in Puerto Rico; Chinese scientists already discovered over 300 pulsars and deepened their understanding of the Andromeda galaxy

SHINE, 31.03.2021

National Politics

Government approves merger and restructuring state-owned Sinochem and ChemChina, creating world’s largest chemical company

In 2019, ChemChina – which acquired Pirelli and Syngenta – recorded US $410 million net profits, and Sinochem US $2 billion; businesses range from chemicals to financial services, while Washington banned US investment in both SOEs for “military ties”

Nikkei Asia, 02.04.2021
Caixin Global, 01.04.2021

New Xiong’an city construction underway with over 160,000 people employed in 120 major construction and ecological projects

Announced in 2017, city is expected to relieve Beijing of non-essential functions (universities, hospitals, business headquarters, financial institutions), with 70-80% of its economy in high-tech and high-end industries, and 30% of its 1770km2 area forested

Xinhua, 01.04.2021


Chinese invest heavily in housing but increasingly in financial assets due to urbanization and international capital flow controls

Between 2004-19, property’s share in total wealth decreased (~80-64.4%) as financial assets – bank deposits, stocks, wealth management – increased (18.8-32.3%); high-risk investments expected to fall with slowing economy and aging population

Caixin Global, 03.04.2021

China must invest US $21 trillion and continue to increase its “green financing” sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060

Overtaking the US, Chinese issuers sold US $15.7 billion in green bonds (Q1 2020), but green finance (environmental protection, energy conservation, clean energy) comprises <1% of domestic bond market

South China Morning Post, 02.04.2021

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Despite shift to renewables and greener policies, China increased coal plants (38.4GW) faster than the rest of world (11.9GW) in 2020

Chinese banks increased coal financing (to US $222 billion, January-October 2020), but US and Canadian banks account for over half of global fossil fuel financing (US $3.8 trillion, 2016-20)

South China Morning Post, 03.04.2021

People’s Life and Culture

Not seen as a taboo, China’s youth increasingly talk about and plan for their death, especially post-pandemic

Under 30s comprise ⅔ of wills registered (70,000) in 2020, containing mostly real estate (71.5%) and virtual property (e-payment and online gaming accounts); 500 “death cafés” to openly discuss the subject were created since 2019

Sixth Tone, 03.04.2021
Qianjiang Evening News, 21.03.2021

During Qingming, or “tomb-sweeping” festival, Chinese people visit cemeteries and honor ancestors in 2,500-year-old tradition

Evolved from Hanshi (Cold Meal) Festival to honor Jie Zitui, a loyal official killed in a fire in 636 BCE, many people travel to hometowns and preserve traditions of outings, kite flying and shared meals

China Daily, 03.04.2021
Chinese Language Institute, 04.08.2021

“A Scene at Qingming Festival” by Feng Zikai [ChinaDaily]