No. 90 | 12.03.2022

Press conference of the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress, Beijing, 4 March 2022 [Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao]

Dear reader,

While the war in Ukraine continues, Beijing maintains diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, dialoguing with all parties, sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and criticizing sanctions against Russia. Meanwhile, China prepares for the possibility of increasing inflation due to skyrocketing commodity prices in the world market.

Last week, China held its most important annual political meetings, called the Two Sessions, which bring together the approximately 5,000 representatives of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, where the Chinese government’s main political, economic, and social proposals for the year are debated and approved.

Dongsheng editorial collective


President Xi calls for ‘maximum restraint’ to avoid Ukrainian humanitarian disaster in online summit with French President Macron and German Chancellor Scholz

China says it is willing to play an active role in negotiations with the EU, but opposes sanctions against Russia and says they could ‘drag down the world economy’; Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with French, Italian, and EU counterparts

South China Morning Post, 08.03.2022

Global Times, 11.03.2022

In the first two months of 2022, China’s foreign trade grows 15.9% year-on-year and jumps 38.5% with Russia, amid rising oil prices

China imports oil and other energy sources from Russia, while mainly exports machinery and household goods; China’s gasoline (30%) and diesel (15%) price hikes since January 1 set a 10-year high

Nikkei Asia, 08.03.2022

Caixin Global, 08.03.2022

Chinese exports grow 16.3% year-on-year (US$544.7 billion) and imports by 15.5% (US$428.75 billion) in January-February

With bilateral trade increasing 12.4%, the EU is again China’s biggest partner (US$138.34 billion, 14.1% of total), followed by ASEAN (+10.5%, US$137.67 billion) and the US (+9.7%, US $ 124.3 billion)

Global Times, 07.03.2022

Two Sessions

China announces lowest GDP growth target (5.5%) in decades, foreseeing tax incentives and increased infrastructure investment

The central government will allocate US$101 billion to investments and transfer US$1.55 trillion (+18% year-on-year) to local governments, prioritizing infrastructure, while reducing taxes by US$396 billion and creating 11 million jobs this year

China Briefing, 07.03.2022

Caixin Global, 07.03.2022

Premier Li Keqiang pledges to target human trafficking as members propose incentives for parenting at the Two Sessions

In the wake of the “chained woman” controversy, the government will crackdown on crimes involving kidnapping and trafficking of women with proposals including affordable housing for families with three children, free kindergarten for the third, and compulsory education against sexual violence

Sixth Tone, 07.03.2022

South China Morning Post, 05.03.2022

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

China could face one of the worst wheat harvests in history, while global wheat prices soar 30% due to war in Ukraine

Heavy rains in 2021 delayed planting of 1/3 of the wheat crop area and harvests are down 20%, while the country promises to increase production of soybeans and other oilseeds; world market price of wheat is already the highest in 14 years

Reuters, 06.03.2022

The Economist, 12.03.2022

Science and Technology

China’s Algorithm Law goes into effect to curb Big Tech’s power over public opinion and to protect gig workers of on-demand service platforms

Abuse through recommendation algorithms is seen as a threat to rights of internet users and national security; Chinese social networks shut down thousands of accounts that spread disinformation about the Russia-Ukraine conflict

South China Morning Post, 01.03.2022

Chinese space agency announces building of a space telescope, new Moon missions, and asteroid probe launch

In the next five years, China plans for three missions to deepen research and prepare grounds for a lunar station jointly built with Russia, telescope similar to US’ Hubble, world’s first-ever gravitational-wave detector, and Jupiter exploration research

Nature, 18.02.2022

People’s Life and Culture

From public diplomacy to popular culture, international users are turning to Weibo social media platform to reach Chinese audience

Platform has 573 million monthly and 249 million daily active users (December 2021) and launched international version in 2017, focusing on overseas Chinese-speakers; Ukrainian, Russian, French, UK, and US embassies have used Weibo regarding recent conflict in Ukraine

What’s On Weibo, 03.03.2022

Sixth Tone, 05.03.2022

Chinese women strive for economic independence, as gender wage-gap decreases and more women own homes (48.7% of total purchases in 2021), according to recent survey

62% of women are employed (46% globally), among the highest of major economies, but have 20% less money invested and earn 12% less than men (-5 percentage points from 2020); 21% of 2000 women surveyed purchased homes without family or spousal assistance

South China Morning Post, 08.03.2022

Yicia Global, 08.03.2022

Women in Central Business District in Beijing [EPA-EFE via SCMP]

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