Evacuation from Yemen proof of military’s goodwill








BEIJING  |  2015-04-04 19:10:55


Evacuation from Yemen

proof of military’s goodwill


By Wang Zichen



When the Chinese naval frigate Linyi received applause from around the world for an out-of-area operation it conducted around the heart of the Middle East, it demanded reflection on the fear mongering that has too long been associated with the Chinese military’s emerging role in the international arena.

In an unprecedented move, the Linyi evacuated 225 non-Chinese citizens from 10 countries from conflict-torn Yemen. Chinese warships earlier rescued another eight non-Chinese nationals while evacuating Chinese citizens.

The operation was “very risky” and the fighting came close to the Chinese warship, a source was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying, adding that “the Chinese ship was in the right place at the right time.”

The Chinese military has long been a significant contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions, and recently sent army doctors to west Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak. In 2013, the navy’s state-of-the-art hospital ship, the Peace Ark, went to the Philippines after a deadly typhoon.

This week’s operation at the edge of one of the world’s most volatile hotspots came at the request of foreign countries and was based on the spirit of humanitarianism. It rightfully deserves credit, and is yet more evidence of the Chinese military’s growing contribution to world affairs. “It’s good to see China taking more of an interest in this,” one senior Western diplomat in Beijing was quoted by Reuters as saying. ‘ China has long pursued a national defense policy that is purely defensive in nature. Even in the Middle East, from which China imports a lot of oil, the country’s diplomacy has more often than not been described as “low-key.” The Chinese navy’s escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, which provided the Linyi for the evacuation, only came after UN Security Council resolutions were passed and aimed solely at combating piracy to protect civilian passage.

Nevertheless, the Chinese military and, notably, its anti-piracy efforts have often been cast in a negative light. With the five-star red flags hovering over them as they sailed to safety, the foreign evacuees saw otherwise.








BEIJING  |  2015-04-03 21:04:22

Who watches

the watchers?


By Li Huizi



Only when one is upright, can one ask others to be upright.

Like Caesar’s wife, the discipline agency and its inspectors themselves must be beyond reproach. The investigation of a senior Guangdong official at the very heart of the struggle against corruption shows that the day when even the agency itself is above suspicion is still a long way off.

Zhong Shijian was a force to be reckoned with in Guangdong Province, as deputy chief of the discipline inspection commission under the provincial committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), head of Guangdong’s supervision department and director of the corruption prevention bureau. Now He is suspected of “serious violations of discipline and law.”

Officials like Zhong are supposedly central to the anti-corruption campaign. The CPC’s discipline inspection commissions set the standard and commission officials should be exemplars of good conduct, working within and for the rules. Their roles are significant, even among Party officials.

However, it is inevitable that some wolves disguised as sheep are at large. After the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) decided to purify the group, 1,575 discipline officials were punished last year. Wei Jian and Cao Lixin, two senior CCDI officials, were removed from their posts last May.

No one is above the law and discipline inspectors are no exception. An anti-corruption agency is not a safe house. Discipline officials are not immune. They are subject to the same – if not more – pressures and temptations as any other officials.

It is inevitable that some inspectors will abuse their positions, doing untold harm the image of discipline authorities and the fight against corruption as a whole.

To address these problems, discipline officials must first of all conduct themselves honorably. They must be the yardsticks of discipline and morality.








BEIJING  |   2015-03-31 16:48:51


Judicial intervention

blacklist a deterrent

for “the vital few”


By Guo Likun



Meddling in judicial cases could cost Chinese officials their positions or lead to arrest after the government introduced a blacklist to hold those who do so accountable.

According to the new rules unveiled on Monday of March 30, judicial personnel are obliged to keep detailed records of interference, no matter who is involved or how. Violators whose interference leads to a wrongful conviction could face criminal penalties if their behavior constitutes a crime.

The rules serve to deter officials who lack respect for the law and believe their administrative power is superior.

China’s current drive to advance the rule of law aims to ensure the law can bring justice to every citizen.

Officials at all levels take heavy responsibility in advancing rule of law and doing so depends on those “vital few” people playing their role.

Independent exercise of judicial power is sacred. However, it’s not rare for Party and government officials to interfere in judicial activities in China.

Measures have been taken to prevent official meddling before, but were only applied within the judicial system. The blacklist was included in a broader legal reform package adopted by a key session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in October to broaden those measures.

The top court’s five-year plan for 2009-2013 vowed to set up a system to record illegal interference and increase supervision.

Overwhelming administrative power over judicial authorities at the local level, where their operations are financed by the local budget, often creates a difficult balancing act for those enforcing the law.

The ongoing overhaul of China’s judicial system will make it easier to reject interference by giving local courts more financial independence.

It also includes a clear definition of responsibilities in the new rules, which holds three different authorities accountable and ensures the blacklist will be carried out more effectively in practice.

Perhaps it is time now for the “vital few” to know where the “red line” is, shed their indulgence in power and act in awe of the law.








BEIJING  |  2015-03-30 23:45:05


Party discipline before law

a must in China’s overall plan


By Ren Ke



Stricter discipline for the Communist Party of China (CPC) does not mean superiority over state laws, but stricter governance of the officialdom makes a more favorable environment for overall work.

When inspecting central China’s Henan Province at the end of last week, Wang Qishan, head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), said the Party should be run strictly and “enforcement of Party discipline should be put before the enforcement of law.”

It is the first time that China’s top leaders mentioned putting discipline before law in enforcement, however, the idea is in line with the Party’s emphasis of discipline of laws when restraining its members.

Since the 18th National Congress of CPC in 2012, the Party has repeatedly stressed Party discipline is stricter than state laws. Some people question whether that means Party discipline is superior to state law.

It’s a misunderstanding, as all people are equal before the law, and Party discipline, which never conflicts with laws, requires officials and Party members to act in a more positive way.

The Party views its members as the vanguard of the working class and the Chinese people, so that they should receive stricter discipline over state laws as a matter of course, while laws are the bottom line for all individuals.

Practice shows that although many officials’ conduct was not illegal, they were often closely related to potential graft and corruption may develop if those acts are not contained.

For instance, China’s central authority in 2012 initiated a thrifty policy and in 2013 a mass-line campaign was launched to curb undesirable workstyles, including extravagance.

Extravagant banquets, excessive spending on public vehicles and official travel tours do not violate laws. However, many cases have showed extravagant lifestyles are a hotbed for corruption, while many immoral deeds, despite legal, seriously undermined the Party’s image and distance it from the people.

Wang said in Henan that strictly governing the Party can safeguard the other three missions for building China’s future, or the “Four Comprehensives” – comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepening reform, comprehensively advancing the rule of law, and comprehensively strictly governing the Party

Chinese President Xi Jinping in December first put forward the “Four Comprehensives” and later they became the overall framework for the current leadership’s work.

As the ruling Party leading the country toward prosperity with reforms, CPC’s role is vital in doing so. Comprehensively strictly governing the Party involves not only ant-graft work, but also capacity building.

Only by governing the Party with stricter discipline, can the authority improve its capacity in all work, eradicate all obstacles, vested interests on the road of reforms, take the lead to abide by laws and prevent officials from interfering judicial work.









BEIJING  |   2015-03-30 19:08:24


China signals 

open, win-win interaction

with new initiatives


By Li Huizi



China took the lead in regional diplomacy this weekend, calling for “a community of common destiny” for a new Asia and unveiling the plan for its belt and road initiatives.

The plan for the Silk Road economic belt and 21st-century maritime Silk Road promotes orderly and free flow of economic factors, efficient allocation of resources and integration of markets through better connectivity between Asia, Europe, Africa and adjacent seas.

The new initiatives signal open, win-win interactions in the international arena.

“A community of common destiny” can only be achieved through coordinated development and win-win cooperation, not one single country’s effort. Tangible progress has been made in preparing for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the launch of the Silk Road fund.

These initiatives could change the world political and economic landscape through development of countries along the routes, most of which are eager for fresh growth.

President Xi Jinping told the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) that only through win-win cooperation could the big, sustainable achievements that are beneficial to all be made. The old zero-sum game should give way to a new approach of cooperation.

Through the belt and road, the AIIB and the Silk Road fund, countries and companies are reconsidering their position and development strategies.

More opportunities will be brought about by the initiatives for both developed and developing economies. For instance, strengthening cooperation between Europe and East Asia promises great potential. The initiatives will fundamentally improve infrastructure along the routes and create new economic growth.

Previously, cooperation has met hurdles of a technical, financial or diplomatic nature. Xi’s plan will make cooperation smooth and efficient; people exchanges will be easier; and participants will see more benefit from globalization.

China’s development and pursuit of quality growth is benefiting the world. Countries along the belt and road are welcome to take a free ride on China’s economic development.

“The programs of development will be open and inclusive, not exclusive. They will be a real chorus of all countries along the routes, not a solo for China itself,” Xi told the forum. Enditem









BEIJING  |  2015-03-29 12:53:03


China remains a magnet

for foreign investment


By Wang Yaguang



Reports that China is losing its attraction as a major investment destination seem off the mark, as China remains a darling of foreign investors.

Although labor costs have risen and growth last year was a 24 year low, China knocked the United States off the top spot for foreign direct investment for the first time since 2003.

Political and economic stability, infrastructure development, healthy resource availability, productivity and a skilled workforce are all influencing factors.

No global company can afford to ignore China, as its economy, the world’s second largest after the U.S., is expanding steadily at a pace that outpaced major developed countries.

The government is pursuing growth driven by domestic spending and market forces, so that the economy is less reliant on exports and state-directed investment.

Many labor-intensive manufacturers may have chosen to relocate to lower cost countries, but this means that investment has shifted to more sophisticated sectors.

As the economy continues to prosper and evolve, industries such as healthcare, information technology, insurance and engineering, can gain a bigger foothold.

Labor costs have risen in developed coastal regions, however, this has opened up opportunities for interior provinces and smaller cities, where cots are lower.

The golden age for multinationals in China is not over, instead, enticing opportunities remain and more will emerge as reform measures begin to pay off; more market access and an improved regulatory environment will help ensure fairer competition.

What has changed for foreign investors is that easy money and easy opportunities may have started to fade. As the economy is restructured and the market matures, yesterday’s winners must adjust.









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