China headlines Updated this week (Aug. 25th-30th)

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Today October first, the Communist National Day, marks the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

China’s State Council held a reception Sunday, where Party and state leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan, as well as over 1,200 guests from home and abroad, including Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, attended the reception at the Great Hall of the People, according to Xinhua.

Addressing the reception, Premier Li Keqiang said China will continue to comprehensively deepen reform and unleash and develop productive forces under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

Ahead of this meeting, President Xi Jinping paid an investigation visit to the North Eastern provinces from 25th-29th. Unprecedentedly in the past 40 years of CCP’s history, the itinerary of Xi’s visit was leaked overseas and made public before the tour. Accompanying Xi are his close ally general Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, and vice premier Han Zheng, a representative of the power group under former president Jiang Zemin.

At a time when communist China and America are at an economic war, Xi’s visit to the provinces of heavy machinery and agriculture has a lot to tell about his anxiety under pressure from both home and abroad.

According to Xinhua News Agency, on September 29th, while inspecting the 79th Group Army of the People’s Liberation Army, President Xi has stressed efforts to strengthen the military training and war preparedness of the armed forces and improve its capability to win wars.

After meeting with officers at the Group Army’s headquarters, Xi visited the training ground of an aviation brigade and looked delighted to hear about the innovation in command and coordination, battle strategy and equipment update.

He inspected the weapons and equipment of the armed forces and asked detailed questions about attack helicopters, after a speech with warning against any thought and behavior that strayed away from real combat, and highlighting the implementation of combat requirement throughout training and preparation.

Security talks planned for the coming week between U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and his Chinese counterpart have been cancelled amid mounting friction between the two countries.

September 27 Thursday, Xi shakes hands with workers during his visit to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Liaoyang Petrochemical Company in Liaoyang, Liaoning Province.

September 26 Wednesday, Xi visits China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Qiqihar Co. in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province.

September 25 Tuesday, Xi visits the farms and land reclamation administrative bureau of Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang Province.

President Xi’s care about agricultural and industrial production sends out a message that the country’s economy is facing serious difficulties. “It already has cracks, suggesting China’s economy could collapse,” even the state-run CGTV says publicly last week.

It is reported that two gauges of activity in China’s manufacturing sector worsened in September, reflecting the nation’s economic slowdown and fallout from the trade war with the U.S.

The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, fell to a 7-month low of 50.8 in September from 51.3 in August, but remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction for the 26th straight month.

In another development, Xinjiang Railway Station announced on Saturday that it has stopped selling train tickets to passengers departing its capital Urumqi until October 22nd. This breaking news has attracted widespread attention from world media, as Beijing was accused of jailing a million Muslims in the autonomous region.

According to Urumpqi Evening News, train tickets sales have been suspended in all Xinjiang train stations and will not be resumed by the 22nd of October and beyond. Trains to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities now only show train numbers, without schedule of departure time or arrivals. Online bookings have also been disabled.

Sources reveal that local Xinjiang government and the police have mobilized numerous buses to transfer detainees from re-education centers to train stations. There are signs that the government is transferring the jailed Uyghurs to secret places, trying to cover up the violation scandal.

Last two weeks, Chinese officials have denied the existence of arbitrary detention and enforced political re-education, instead saying that some citizens are being sent to vocational centres for minor criminal misdemeanours, and that all counter-terrorism measures have been carried out in accordance with the law, according to South China Morning Post.

Speaking at a US House of Representatives hearing last week, witnesses from academia and human rights advocacy said the Trump administration should pursue economic sanctions against Chinese officials, expose American companies providing Chinese authorities with surveillance technology and dispatch a congressional fact-finding mission to the region, among other measures.

One of the proposed sanctions identified one prominent potential target as Xinjiang Communist Party secretary Chen Quanguo, who took office two years ago, several months before the mass internment camps are believed to have been established in spring 2017.

Staff Editor

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