Longgang 龙港 has become the first township to get upgraded to a county-level city.
The National People’s Congress passed the Resource Tax Law on 26 August, covering 164 mineral resources. Along with the Environmental Protection Tax Law, this new law is part of efforts to green the tax system.
As a direct expression of ‘reform of the global governance system’, a major topic of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy, Beijing is committing resources and diplomatic effort to sending more of its nationals to work at the UN and other multilateral agencies.
State Council announced a batch of six new free trade zones (FTZs) on 26 August. Each is tasked with a unique mission using local geographic and economic advantages.
Shenzhen again features prominently in state plans, which are to transform the city into a ‘socialist demo area’.
A State Council plan for Shanghai FTZ’s new Lingang area, released 6 August, aims to make it globally competitive. Upgrades include preferential market access, tax incentives and boost to quality of life incentives.
‘High-quality BRI’ was in the air in 2018, but did not become a prominent slogan until the Second Belt and Road Forum in April 2019. The basic aim, says Wang Yi 王毅 Minister of Foreign Affairs, is to make the initiative more sustainable and attractive for all involved.
The Q2 Politburo meeting acknowledged downward economic pressure and addressed new domestic and foreign headwinds. These include global economic slowdown, weak domestic manufacturing investment, and US-China trade friction. The meeting favoured planned domestic reforms, rather than short-term responses to trade conflict.
Exhortations to stay the course marked Party and government affairs on the eve of annual leadership meetings in Beidaihe. Xi Jinping 习近平 argues that as reform deepens, cadres must move forward steadily and bravely, and turn dangers into opportunities.
While weeks of intense criticism of the US were toned down following the China-US summit in Osaka, recently approved arms sales to Taiwan renewed tension.
Beijing seeks cutting-edge, but not disruptive innovation. While the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is conducting research on digital currency, it frets that the technology, especially Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra, may destabilise international monetary systems, says Wang Xin 王信 PBoC Research Bureau.