No. 139 | 18.03.2023


Two Sessions

The Two Sessions concluded last Saturday, March 11, with some proposals for ambitious changes and the re-election for a third term of President Xi Jinping. One of the ideas running through the meetings was that of “high-quality development,” considered the “first and foremost” task in China’s modernization process.

The principle is understood as innovative, coordinated, green, open development for all, and besides guiding the debates, it inspired several concrete proposals by the more than 5,000 legislators and policy advisors who attended the meetings.

In this issue, we continue with a summary of the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Concurrent meetings received more than 13,000 proposals and suggestions focused on the steady, quality growth of the Chinese economy

Proposals ranged from real economy development and pollution control to accessibility to high-quality medical resources; after being elected, Xi Jinping emphasized that the country needs to implement a people-centered development philosophy, improve the income distribution system, improve the social security system, and basic public services

Xinhua, 13.03.2023

CGTN, 13.03.2023

New National Data Office will be charged with regulating the digital economy and implementing a national big data strategy, including infrastructure

New regulator to oversee key aspects of data governance and will also monitor data operations of big internet companies to prevent recent breaches like DiDi’s; new body will be under the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning authority

South China Morning Post, 07.03.2023

South China Morning Post, 08.03.2023

Congress approved the creation of the National Financial Regulatory Administration, aiming to ensure the safety and efficiency of the financial services sector

The body will take over all day-to-day supervision of the central bank’s financial holdings and financial services, except for the securities sector, and will also unify supervision of consumer rights protection; reformulation aims to allow the central bank to focus on the administration of two pillars: formulation and implementation of monetary policy, and macroprudential management

Caixin Global, 13.03.2023

The Ministry of Science and Technology will be restructured with the goal of technological self-sufficiency as the main challenge

The agency will manage less research funds to focus on policy formulation, which was a demand of the sector; a Central Commission for Science and Technology will be created, directly under the CCP and with greater authority than the ministry, which will be its executive body

Nikkei Asia, 15.03.2023


China’s mediation in historic deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia is welcomed by Persian Gulf countries and the UN

After seven years, countries will resume diplomatic relations in negotiations that Beijing had been secretly articulating; China’s non-hegemonic policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries has been well received in the region; in the tripartite declaration, the countries expressed their willingness to make every effort to improve regional and international peace and security

Global Times, 11.03.2023

China Daily, 15.03.2023


Weak foreign demand leads to a drop in China’s exports in January and February, which are down 6.8% year on year

High inflation in the US and Europe – to where exports fell 21.8% and 12.2%, respectively – is one of the causes; however, in February, China’s automakers exported 329,000 vehicles, representing an 82.8% increase compared to the same month in 2022

Nikkei Asia, 07.03.2023

CGTN, 10.03.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

In 2022, China planted 3.83 million hectares of trees and treated 3.21 million hectares of degraded grasslands

China has only 6.6% of the world’s vegetated area, but it accounts for a quarter of the world’s net increase in green areas and its forest cover rate is around 24%, or about 231 million hectares; this year, the government plans to increase forested areas by 3.2 million hectares, and plant and/or restore 3.46 million hectares of grass

China Daily, 13.03.2023

US beef exports to China exceeded Australia’s for the first time, with 192,000 over 185,000 tons in 2022

Annual US wine and cotton exports to China also surpassed Australia’s; Australia’s sales to China have plummeted in recent years amid rising tensions between the two nations and closer political ties between the Oceania country and the United States

South China Morning Post, 10.03.2023

People’s Life and Culture

China’s modern feminism is considered an integral part of the country’s construction and modernization

In the early 20th century, women demonstrated against the archaic practice of footbinding, and women’s armies were part of the 1911 revolution and the 1949 communist revolution, which encouraged women to enter the workforce in factories and agriculture; today, their concerns include gender-based violence, family, or maintaining their rights to land after marriage in rural areas

The World of Chinese, 11.03.2023

Maternity hotels modernize the zuoyuezi tradition, where new mothers must follow a set of rules for a month after giving birth

This is an old tradition whereby the mother is not allowed to leave the house, read, watch TV, or wash her hair or eat certain foods; maternity hotels do not abandon the tradition but offer an alternative to ease tensions with relatives who have stricter views

Sixth Tone, 13.03.2023

A maternity hotel in Wuhan, Hubei province, 2018 [Cheng Ying/VCG]

Dongsheng’s interventions and productions this week:

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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

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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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