‘Management measures on scientific data’ issued by the State Council 2 April 2018, requires universities, research institutes and enterprises (article 9) to submit all scientific data generated by central or local state-funded research programs to scientific data centres (article 13) coordinated by ‘State Council science and technology administrative departments’ (article seven). These data centres will publish most data. There will be exceptions to this rule but criteria are unclear.
The tariff war shows no signs of easing. On 1 August, Trump threatened to increase previously proposed tariffs on US$200 bn of Chinese imports from 10 to 25 percent. In response, State Council announced four categories of tariff rates ranging from 5 to 20 percent on imports valued at US$60 bn, with date of implementation depending on US actions.
Beijing almost certainly went into the trade war confident of victory; in April, it feared that it was in a fight for hegemony but expected to fend off the challenge with a ‘make war to make peace’ strategy. This strategy offered the US bilateral carrots and sticks, counting on support from a global community equally shocked by Trump’s defiance of international trading norms. But as tariffs came into force in July, some Chinese commentators began to warn in public that the situation was worse than Beijing expected.
It’s August, and it’s time for a break. So pack centre stage, our annual culture special, in your beach basket and indulge in the voluptuous world of modern dance before you get back to worrying about the trade war.
Ministry of Ecology and Environment approved an ‘Agriculture and rural pollution control action plan’ on 23 July 2018, one of the agency’s seven major pollution prevention campaigns. Pollution is one of Xi Jinping’s ‘three tough battles’, and progress in agriculture, the primary source of pollution by volume, has lagged due to concerns over rural poverty.
The scandal of substandard vaccines allowed on the market in mid-July is causing uproar, and bio-pharma, one of eight strategic industry sectors, is in damage control. Was corruption a thing of the past? This was in doubt as leaders prepared for their annual summer networking at the Beidaihe seashore.
Defensive writing continues in response to questioning of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Beijing’s overly media-hyped and ideological framing of BRI was a serious error, writes Zheng Yongnian 郑永年 South China University of Technology Institute of Public Policy chairman.
The Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, the highest macroeconomic decision-making body, held its second meeting on 13 July devoted to enhancing innovation capacity and mastery of core technologies following pressure from economic slowdown and US sanctions on ZTE.
A draft amendment to the Personal Income Tax Law proposes a bold update to China’s income tax system. The current system is a patchwork of taxes on different types of income withheld at source. The draft proposes a system closer to common international models, in which the state will levy a single income tax, covering earned and unearned income, based on tax returns.
Xi Jinping sees ending poverty in China as a major test of socialist policy—and one he takes a great interest in supervising. Set at the low level of C¥2,300 per person per year, China’s poverty line is some 50 percent lower than the World Bank’s widely-used definition of extreme poverty. Pledging to raise the remaining rural poor up to this poverty line by 2020, Xi has made the campaign a whole-of-government priority.
Nearly a quarter of undergraduate-level-and-above China-foreign cooperative education programs will be shut down by 15 July 2018, according to Ministry of Education (MoE). In Heilongjiang alone, 100 programs—more than half of the province’s total—are on the list.
State Council unveiled the long-awaited 2018–20 air pollution plan on 4 July, replacing a previous 3-year plan that expired end 2017. Renewed focus on reducing transport sector pollution is a highlight of the plan, says Zou Ji 邹骥 Energy Foundation Beijing Office director.