Yearender: New laws, regulations make difference for China in 2016

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — Several laws and regulations will take effect in 2016, and change the day-to-day lives of the Chinese people.

From allowing a second child and making it easier for migrant workers to settle down in big cities, to measures that make the stock market more stable and market-oriented, these new rules touch on the deeper problems facing the Chinese and will go down in history.


From the first day of 2016 the lives of tens of millions of Chinese couples will change when the amended family planning law takes effect,allowing all couples to have two children.

This historic move is part of efforts to balance the population structure.

Chen Li, who works at a public institute in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, has always wanted a second child.

“Thanks to the amended law, my husband and I can plan for another child. My daughter will have a younger sibling, and they can take care of each other,” said Chen, who is in her forties.

China’s family planning policy was first introduced in the 1970s to rein in the surging population. For decades, most urban couples were limited to one child, while rural couples were allowed to have two children if the first was a girl.

The policy gradually relaxed as a number of social problems arose. In 2013, China began to allow couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.

Guo Zhigang, a sociologist with Peking University, said around 35 percent of the population will be over 60 by 2050. “The new law will help balance the decreasing labor force and aging population,” he added.


The new year also brings good news for the 250 million migrant workers in cities, mainly from rural areas. They will be able to apply for residence permits that will give them better access to local public services from Jan. 1.

According to the new regulation, applicants must have lived in the city in which they are applying for residency for at least six months and either have a stable job, stable place to live or be studying.

Those granted the new residence permits will gain access to more basic public services, including nine years of compulsory education for children and basic health care. The new permits will also bring conveniences such as passport issuance and automobile registration.

“For decades, migrants have experienced inconveniences in places they work and live in because they are not locals,” said Wang Han, 31, a software engineer in Beijing. Wang came to Beijing in 2006 from the northeast province of Jilin.

Although Beijing has issued residence permits since 2003 for migrants who have made extraordinary contributions or those who are classified as urgently needed talent, Wang found it difficult to get one. “The regulation will ensure migrants have more equal access to social services received by local ‘hukou’ holders,” said Wang. In China, people with a city’s “hukou” enjoy better educational opportunities, employment support and social welfare.


China will introduce a circuit breaker next year in addition to the existing daily trading limit for individual stocks to ward off major swings in the country’s stock market.

Market gyrations during the summer this year ended a bull-run of Chinese stocks since late 2014 and wiped out trillions in market value.

The circuit breaker will force trading at exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen to suspend for 15 minutes if the Hushen 300 index falls five percent. Trading will halt for the rest of the day if the index plunges more than seven percent.

There were 25 days when the index fell over five percent between the beginning of 2014 and the end of October this year, including 11 days when the decline exceeded 7 percent, data compiled by Ping An Securities shows.

Meanwhile, new stock offerings on the domestic market will see less bureaucratic meddling as registration-based IPO rules will replace the approval-based listing process. The supply of new stocks will gradually increase and more companies can access fundraising through the stock market under more flexible listing requirements.

Under the registration-based IPO rules, regulators will only need to ensure thorough information disclosure for IPOs and let the market determine the value of new stocks rather than hand-pick companies for listing, a practice that has bred corruption among officials who get to decide on which company goes to market.


A new law on air pollution control will become effective on the first day of 2016. This new legislation was amended and passed this year amid worsening air pollution across China.

Beijing and its surrounding region in northern China were among the regions worst hit by smog containing hazardous air-borne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, known commonly as PM 2.5.

China has made similar legislation in the past, but existing regulation has been seen as increasingly outdated and less effective in reducing pollution.

The new law metes out tougher punishments to industries and seeks to curb air pollution at its root.

In the past, companies and organizations that failed to comply with legal requirements on air pollution faced fines of up to 500,000 yuan (around 80,600 U.S. dollars). That limit is gone in the new law, in the hope that reckless polluters will no longer be able to afford to pollute.

The new law also mandates that gasoline be produced at a higher quality and alternative energy used to reduce coal consumption.

Local governments will also be assessed and monitored over what they do to improve air quality. They have largely ignored environmental protection in the past in their growth-at-all-cost approach to economic development.  Enditem

Spotlight: China’s “supply-side structural reform” to solidify bedrock for sustainable development

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — China’s supply-side structural reform holds the key to its structural adjustment in the short term and will solidify the bedrock for the sustainable development of its economy in the long run, overseas experts have observed.

Marking a crucial year for China to comprehensively deepen its reforms, 2015 saw the birth of its development blueprint for the next five years amid a decelerated domestic economy and an unstable global one.

At a recently concluded key economic meeting in Beijing, the Chinese government pledged to take steps to push forward a “supply-side structural reform” in 2016 and beyond to support growth through new demand and productivity.

China’s announcement of a supply-side structural reform came at a critical moment, and is considered as an innovative move to guide the world’s second-largest economy under the “New Normal” and a proactive decision to make it internationally more competitive.


The choice of supply-side structural reform indicates that China does not intend to employ traditional stimulus measures, Ulises Granados, professor of international relations at Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology, told Xinhua.

It shows that China is seeking an innovative way to stabilize growth and adjust its economic structure with fresh ideas, thus trying to find a new path for its sustainable economic development, the scholar added.

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei said in a recent report that China’s push for a supply-side structural reform is markedly different from the massive stimulus policies used since the outbreak of the Lehman crisis that triggered the financial earthquake in the global market.

Under the “New Normal,” flooding stimulus measures would no doubt boost economic growth in the short term but not be able to increase potential growth with an ideal rate, while risking huge waste.

The International Monetary Fund said the decline of the global potential growth rate was the major contributor to the sluggish recovery of the world economy.

Figures showed that the average potential growth rate of the emerging economies between 2008 and 2014 was 6.5 percent, 2 percentage points lower than the level before the financial crisis.

As its population dividend dwindles and land resources become more scarce, China’s potential growth rate has also shrunk. However, this leaves room for a supply-side structural reform under the “New Normal” that aspires for more sound growth.


Further shifting China’s focus on the quality instead of quantity of the economy, a supply-side structural reform attaches more importance to structural adjustment and innovation in technology and the system in a bid to make the economic structure more efficient.

The Indian newspaper Economic Times paid attention to China’s reformative move.

“As the effectiveness of boosting growth on the demand side, the government has started to reform the supply-side to make effective use of production factors, including funds, resources, skilled workers, equipment and technologies,” it quoted China Daily as saying in a recent report.

El Pais, a Spanish newspaper, noted that China is attempting to shift its growth model from one dependent on exporting low value-added products and government investment to one driven by domestic demand, innovation and the service industry.

In addition, overseas experts have observed that China’s implementation of the supply-side structural reform also serves its long-term need of sustainable development as well as avoiding the “middle-income trap.”

According to the World Bank standard, China has already become a middle-income country, but a higher ranking requires the Asian nation to register a per capita GDP higher than 12,000 U.S. dollars and escape the so-called “middle-income trap.”

Data revealed that since 1960, out of 101 countries and regions which had managed to be categorized as middle-income economies, only 13 became high-income ones later.

Those that did not reach the high-income category had failed to achieve a technological breakthrough, make economic structural adjustments or innovate their systems. However, a supply-side structural reform may be the answer.

Peter Drysdale, economist and editor at the East Asia Forum at the Australian National University, was confident about China’s progress, describing its transition as “so far so remarkably good.”

Despite the massive size of the country, “China has enjoyed a faster transition to middle income than any country before it,” he said.  Enditem

China Focus: Chinese shares end 2015 with one pct fall

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended the year of 2015 with a decline of 0.94 percent amid shrinking turnover on December 31, closing at 3,539.18 points on Thursday.

The benchmark index went up 9.41 percent in the whole year of 2015 with the peak point at 5,178.19 points seen on June 12.

In 2015, the Index recorded an over five-percent intraday rise in three trading days and a more than eight-percent fall in five trading days, according to statistics from Shanghai Securities News.

Balance of intraday margin deposits in accounts for securities trading on Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses averaged 1.15 trillion yuan at the beginning of 2015 and it climbed to as high as 3.3 trillion yuan in the middle of the year. By December 30 2015, the accumulated trading turnover on the two bourses totaled 253 trillion yuan, over three times more than that in 2014.

The number of investors traded on Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges jumped from some 71 million yuan at the beginning of the year to 98.62 million yuan by December 30.

At earlier 2015, the balance of margin financing business on the two stock markets stood at some one trillion yuan and soared to a peak of 2.2 trillion yuan within the year. It went back to a bit over one trillion yuan at the end of the year.

China publicizes plan for national standardization system construction


BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — China’s cabinet, the State Council, has issued the Development Plan for National Standardization System Construction (2016-2020), according to the official website of Chinese government on Wednesday.

According to the document, China will basically complete the construction of a modern standardization system that supports national governance system and governance capability and has Chinese characteristics by 2020.

The main tasks of the development plan include optimizing standardization system, boosting standard implementation, improving standardization service capability, and strengthening international standardization work.

The development plan also includes specific plans for standardization in seven key areas, including agriculture and the countryside, manufacturing industry, service industry, social affairs, culture, government administration, and ecological protection, energy saving and emission reduction.

The development plan highlights ten key projects, including the agricultural product safety standardization project, the consumer goods safety standardization project, the energy-saving and emission-reduction standardization project, and the next-generation IT standardization project.  (Edited by Li Xiaoyu,

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Standardization Administration of China have jointly publicized the Guidance on National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System Construction (2015), the Xinhua-run reported.

The document clarifies the overall requirement, construction idea and content, and method of organization and implementation for building a national intelligent manufacturing standard system.

According to the document, the national intelligent manufacturing standard system will include five basic standards on foundation, security, management, examination and appraisal and reliability, respectively. Meanwhile, it will include key technological standards on intelligent equipment, intelligent factory, intelligent services, industrial software and big data, and industrial Internet.

The guidance is expected to remove the bottleneck in boosting intelligent manufacturing, which is related to data integration and interconnection. The guidance will be revised in every two or three years.  (Edited by Li Xiaoyu,


China to soon surpass U.S. to become top consumer of Chilean wine

SANTIAGO, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — “China will soon surpass the U.S. as the top consumer of Chilean wine,” Claudio Cilveti, general manager of Vinos de Chile, the country’s wine association, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

According to Cilveti, the sales of Chilean wine have grown by 43 percent in the last five years in China and should grow by around 30 percent in 2016, making the country the second-largest customer.

“Chilean wineries are currently seeing sales of 150 million U.S. dollars a year in China, which are set to reach 180-190 million U.S. dollars (in 2016),” he said.

“I believe that our sales to China can still greatly increase as this country is undergoing a cultural change,” said Cilveti.

According to Cilveti, Chinese people consume less than a liter of wine a year per capita, and he is expecting a change with a new economic model which prioritizes consumption in the country,

Cilveti, who was speaking during a conference on the future of Chilean wine, said that Chile is now the third-largest provider of wine to China, following France and Australia.

“This is a great opportunity as Chinese customers like having long-term relationships. Chilean wines have been warmly received and 25 Chilean wineries now have offices in the country,” he said.

Cilveti also attributed this success to the free-trade agreement signed between the two countries in 2006.

Source Xinhua,  editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson

China’s railway construction robust despite investment slowdown

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) — Investment in China’s railways in 2015 is still growing despite an economic slowdown.

China spent 820 billion yuan (126 billion U.S. dollars) on rail projects in 2015 and put more than 9,000 kilometers of new track into operation, meeting its annual targets of 800 billion yuan investment and 8,000 kilometers of new lines, according to China Railway Corporation.

With a newly completed high-speed railway track in the southern Hainan Province, China now has 19,000 kilometers of high-speed rail.

The fast growth of railway construction projects came at a time when the country is enduring continuous deceleration in the growth of fixed-asset investment. In the first 11 months of 2015, fixed-asset investment grew 10.2 percent year on year, slowing from 13.9 percent of growth seen at the beginning of this year.  Enditem


China’s foreign debt at RMB9.7318 trln by end Sept., SAFE

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Greenpost) — China’s foreign debt totaled 9.7318 trillion yuan or 1.5298 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of September, 2015, according to statistics released by State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) Wednesday.

The total comprised 33 percent or 3.2207 trillion yuan (506.3 billion U.S. dollars) of mid- and long-term debt and 67 percent or 6.5111 trillion yuan (1.0235 trillion US dollars) of short term debt, of which 49 percent was trade-related lending.

Categorized by debtors, seven percent of the total foreign debt or 666.5 billion yuan, equal to 104.8 billion U.S. dollars, was borrowed by the public sector; three percent or 259.9 billion yuan was borrowed by the central bank; 46 percent or 4.4758 trillion yuan was borrowed by banks; 31 percent or 3.0239 trillion yuan was borrowed by other departments; the remaining 13 percent or 1.3057 trillion yuan was direct investment or inter-company loans.

By debt forms, the total foreign debt consisted of 25 percent or 2.4367 trillion yuan in loans, 19 percent or 1.8111 trillion yuan in trade credits and advance balances, 25 percent or 2.4687 trillion yuan in currency and deposits, 16 percent or 1.5474 trillion yuan in debt securities, 1 percent or 62.4 billion yuan in SDR, 13 percent or 1.3057 trillion yuan in direct investment or inter-company loans and 1 percent or 99.8 billion yuan in other debts.

By currencies, 47 percent or 4.6161 trillion yuan of the debt was Renminbi-denominated and 53 percent or 5.1157 trillion yuan was foreign-currency-denominated, of which 80 percent was U.S. dollar-denominated, four percent Japanese yen-denominated, and seven percent Euro-denominated. (Edited by Duan Jing,

Source Xinhua,  Editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson

China to set up third-generation nuclear power company

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Greenpost) — Two Chinese nuclear power giants on Wednesday concluded a deal on a joint venture to promote China’s third-generation nuclear reactor design, Hualong One, in overseas markets technologies.

The Hualong international nuclear power technology company in Chinese, has a registered capital of 500 million yuan (77 million U.S. dollars), with  China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) each holding 50 percent of shares.

The Hualong One design is the country’s third generation of nuclear reactor design for safer and more efficient operations that will be widely adopted in domestic nuclear power projects.

The two companies began R&D for Hualong One in 2013. In May 2015, construction on a pilot project using Hualong One started in Fuqing, southeast China’s Fujian Province.

An agreement with Argentina was reached in November, guaranteeing the use of it in the fifth nuclear plant in Argentina, a key emerging market for Chinese companies.

In October, CGN and Electricite de France (EDF) signed a strategic investment agreement to build a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in the southwestern part of Britain.  Enditem

Source   Xinhua   Editor  Xuefei Chen Axelsson


China witnesses rural e-commerce boom: AliResearch report

HANGZHOU, Dec. 30 (Greenpost) — China has witnessed a boom of rural e-commerce with 780 villages each having online shopping transactions exceeding 10 million yuan (1.5 million U.S. dollars) in 2015, according to a report released by Alibaba.

AliResearch, the research arm of the Alibaba Group, issued the report on Tuesday saying that this was a surge of 268 percent year on year.

E-commerce prosperous villages are called “Taobao villages,” as business is mainly conducted via Alibaba’s trading platform Taobao. In addition to the transaction volume, a Taobao village should have more than 100 businesses, or at least 10 percent of households involved in e-commerce, according to AliResearch.

The 780 Taobao villages are located in 17 Chinese provinces and regions with Zhejiang, Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces having the most.

AliResearch found that rural e-commerce business clusters are taking shape in these coastal regions, where Taobao villages are modernizing thanks to encouragement from their local governments.

This year also saw the emergence of rural e-commerce in the northeastern, mid- and western provinces and regions of Hunan, Yunnan, Jilin, Liaoning and Ningxia, where Taobao villages appeared for the first time. Among them, 176 Taobao villages are in impoverished regions. Enditem

Editor    Xuefei Chen Axelsson