• Over 30 injured after subway train carriages separated in snow-hit Beijing: Beijing Subway issued an apology for a carriage disengagement incident on the Changping Line that injured over 30 people. The incident, attributed to a vehicle malfunction, led to a train splitting in the middle. Passengers were observed falling and experiencing back pain, as reported by social media users. Media visuals depicted individuals on the train floor amid partial lighting failures. Some commuters resorted to using emergency hammers to break train windows for potential escape. Firefighters were captured assisting an elderly passenger, while stranded individuals navigated through deep snow to vacate the area. Beijing Transportation Authority suspended services between Xi'erqi Station and Life Science Park Station on the Changping Line (northbound). The cause is under investigation, and Beijing Subway pledged to cover treatment costs for the injured. Beijing Subway confirmed that the undisturbed segments of the line continued to operate. The Chinese capital has experienced snowfall since Wednesday, leading to disruptions in train services and the suspension of schools.

  • China, Russia launch joint air patrol, alarms South Korea: On Thursday, the Chinese and Russian militaries conducted their seventh joint aerial strategic patrol since 2019, and the second in 2023, over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. The patrol reportedly included electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft, in addition to bombers and fighters. The move is seen as a routine effort to safeguard peace and stability in the region, according to China's Ministry of National Defense. The aircraft entered South Korea's air defence identification zone and Japan's Ministry of Defense Joint Staff reported the presence of Chinese H-6 bombers, Russian Tu-95 bombers, J-16 fighter jets, Su-35 fighter jets, and other aircraft types during the joint flight. Chinese military expert Song Zhongping emphasized that the addition of electronic countermeasure aircraft and patrol aircraft enhances reconnaissance capabilities for strategic deterrence. The joint patrols have become a regular feature since 2019, aiming to demonstrate tactical coordination and strategic deterrence. South Korea responded after eight military aircraft entered its air defence zone, while Japan scrambled jets over the Sea of Japan.

  • Xi Jinping inspects South China’s Guangxi: On December 14, Xinhua reported that Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, inspected Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping has visited the region of Bagui for the third time. Xi Jinping initially visited China-ASEAN Information Port Co., Ltd. to conduct on-site investigations related to economic and trade collaboration between China and ASEAN, as well as the development and application of information. Situated in the southwestern part of China, Guangxi serves as a crucial gateway and significant interface for interactions and collaboration between China and ASEAN nations. This year commemorates the 10th anniversary of the General Secretary's proposal to collaboratively build a more interconnected China-ASEAN community with a shared future. His emphasis on constructing the China-ASEAN Information Port reflects a thoughtful approach to enhancing cooperation between China and ASEAN while fostering increased openness to the global community. The second stop of General Secretary Xi's inspection took place at Panlong Community in Liangqing District, Nanning City. Established in June 2017, this community is situated in the central zone of the Nanning Area within the China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone. During the visit, one of the key focuses of the General Secretary was the enhancement of the urban community governance system, undertaking thorough field investigations multiple times. He stressed the need to advance the modernization of urban governance from the outset, emphasizing the proactive promotion of basic public service equalization and the creation of a 'people's city' conducive to both business and livability in the new era. The third stop was at a sugarcane base and a sugar company in the city of Laibin. He gathered insights into the entire process of sugarcane breeding, planting, and harvesting, as well as the overall development of the sugar industry. Along with this, another aspect of his visit was to enhance efforts for national unity. On the same day, Xi Jinping conveyed his congratulations in a letter on the occasion of the 50th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the U.S.-China Business Council.

  • China has surpassed the US in coffee outlets: According to a report by World Coffee Portal, China has overtaken the United States as the world's largest market for branded coffee shops in terms of outlets, marking a 58% growth over the past year to reach 49,691 outlets. This surge is driven by the rapid expansion of small-format and delivery-focused brands like Luckin Coffee and Cotti Coffee. Starbucks, with 785 new outlets in China during this period, is the second-largest operator in the country. The report underscores China's position as the fastest-growing coffee market in East Asia, reflecting increasing consumer demand and presenting significant business opportunities for domestic and international coffee companies. The growth aligns with the broader trend of consumer upgrading in China's expanding services sector, as evidenced by a 7.6% year-on-year expansion in retail sales in October.

  • China develops Xunzi AI for ancient book research: A research team from Jiangsu Province in East China has introduced China's inaugural Large Language Model (LLM), an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm employing deep learning techniques and extensive datasets for the analysis of Chinese ancient books. Named "Xunzi" after the renowned ancient philosopher, the LLM is tailored to intelligently process and interpret ancient texts. With a vast corpus containing over 2 billion Chinese characters, the model facilitates efficient summarization, and extraction of key information, and even generates grammatically compliant ancient poems. Led by Professor Wang Dongbo, the team from Nanjing Agricultural University has made this LLM open-source, available for free download and use, marking a significant advancement in the digitization of ancient Chinese literature.

  • New regulations on human organ donation and transplantation in China: Chinese Premier Li Qiang has approved new rules on human organ donation and transplantation, set to be effective from May 1, 2024. The updated regulations refine those established in 2007 to address evolving situations and ensure the healthy progression of organ transplantation. Emphasizing the promotion of organ donation, the rules aim to enhance and streamline procedures in alignment with the Civil Code's liabilities and penalties for malpractice in the field. Key aspects include better regulation of obtaining and distributing organs, technological applications, and qualifications for medical institutions and practitioners involved in organ transplantation. The new regulations also aim at the establishment of an efficient "green channel" mechanism for organ transportation along with regular disclosure of organ donation and distribution information to facilitate public oversight. It stipulates clear criteria for medical institutions and practitioners involved in organ transplantation, with strict access management. Further, provides standardised approval processes with regular evaluations of institutions' clinical application capabilities. The regulations ensure more adherence to ethical principles and clinical standards during organ transplantation to minimize risks and ensure medical quality. There are specific guidelines for the charging scope of organ transplant surgeries, cost-based charging for deceased organ procurement services, and strengthened financial management. These revisions aim to address contemporary challenges and uphold ethical standards, ensuring the Enhanced Management of Organ Transplantation Technology and the continued development of organ donation and transplantation in the country.



  • An inspiring journey of a wheelchair-bound couple in China - traverse country, climb mountains, victorious in dance contests: As Stephen Hawking has said, “Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” This has been proved by a disabled couple named Zhu and Fan, both facing life in wheelchairs, by their accomplishments. In 2009, Zhu Yujie's life took a challenging turn when, at the age of 20, he became paralyzed due to acute myelitis, a spinal condition. Despite this adversity, Zhu, along with his partner Fan Xiao, who also faces lower limb disabilities, recently achieved a remarkable feat by reaching the summit of Huangshan Mountain in Anhui province. This wheelchair-bound couple is known for their enchanting "wheelchair wedding" three years ago, which captivated hundreds of millions of online viewers. Travelling across China, from Beijing to Xiamen, Wuhan, and Mount Huangshan, they have embraced their adventures with determination. The couple, who also engage in wheelchair dancing and have received awards, find dancing empowering, boosting their confidence. Through their positive and passionate approach to life, their story serves as motivation for people with disabilities to embrace life fully and has resonated with countless others who follow their adventures on social media. Zhu expresses the couple's desire to inspire individuals with disabilities by sharing their own stories, aiming to instil confidence in others about the possibilities of leading a normal life. They've received many heartfelt messages from people facing similar challenges, with one touching note expressing gratitude for the inspiration provided by their wedding. The sender, who initially watched their wedding from a hospital bed, shared that after three years, they now step out confidently and positively, just like Zhu and Fan, expressing deep appreciation for the couple's impact on their life.


  • Xi Jinping visited Laibin City to gather insights on the development of the sugar industry. India has recently extended its restriction on export of raw sugar, white sugar, refined sugar and organic sugar. India is the highest producer and second largest exporter of sugar in the world. Indian policymakers must recognize that export restrictions indicate a significant supply shortage. Implementing frequent curbs complicates matters for foreign buyers and undermines India's reputation as a reliable supplier. The Indian government's focus on controlling sugar prices through export restrictions may not effectively address food inflation. While some argue that these measures aim to stabilize food prices and ensure ethanol production, the actual impact of sugar on inflation is minimal, with a CPI weight of just 1.36 percent. Restricting sugar exports may hinder the growth of cane crushing capacities, impeding future supply responses and complicating price management. Also, China being one of the largest sugar importers in the world, the decision of India might disincentivise China from importing sugar from India.

Prepared By

Sejal Dalvi is a Political Science graduate from the University of Mumbai and now pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy from St.Xavier’s College. Her research interests include International relations, Environment and sustainability and Urban governance. Her research papers have previously been published on NITI TANTRA. Her experiences, coupled with a genuine passion for research and addressing societal challenges, have solidified her commitment to policymaking.

CiCM 14th December 2023

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