• Former Guizhou Official sentenced to 11 years for bribery: The Intermediate People's Court of Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, delivered its verdict on Zhou Quanfu, a former first-level inspector of the Guizhou Provincial Department of Justice, in a high-profile bribery case. Zhou Quanfu was found guilty of accepting bribes and sentenced to 11 years in prison along with a fine of RMB 1 million. Additionally, all proceeds and interest from his illicit activities will be confiscated and turned over to the state treasury. During the trial, evidence revealed that from 2007 to 2018, Zhou abused his various positions, including roles within the Guizhou Provincial Public Security Department and the Bijie Municipal Party Committee, to provide unlawful assistance to individuals in matters such as company establishment and job adjustments. In return, he illegally obtained property totalling more than 16.89 million yuan. The Guiyang Intermediate People's Court determined that Zhou's actions constituted a severe case of bribery, warranting significant punishment under the law due to the substantial amount involved and the detrimental impact on society. The court's decision was based on a thorough examination of the facts, circumstances, and societal harm stemming from Zhou's criminal conduct.


  • Joint China-Myanmar crackdown nabbed 807 suspected telecom fraudsters: In a remarkable display of international cooperation, Chinese and Myanmar police have successfully apprehended 807 individuals suspected of engaging in cross-border telecom fraud. Among the captured suspects, 352 are Chinese nationals, who were handed over to Chinese authorities for further investigation, as announced by China's Ministry of Public Security on Monday. The joint crackdown marks the first instance of law enforcement collaboration between the two countries in the Muse area of northern Myanmar. The Ministry hailed this operation as a significant achievement in the ongoing efforts to combat cross-border telecom fraud, emphasizing the strong determination and unified stance of China and Myanmar in tackling this issue. The statement highlighted the Ministry's proactive approach in addressing the telecom fraud menace, citing continuous deepening of international cooperation with Myanmar's law enforcement agencies since last year. A series of joint operations have been conducted, resulting in the repatriation of approximately 48,000 Chinese suspects involved in such fraud schemes. Consequently, the statement noted a considerable increase in the incidence of telecom fraud targeting China in northern Myanmar.


  • Xi Jinping held talks with Indonesian President Prabowo: On the 1st of April, President Xi Jinping held a significant dialogue with newly-elected Indonesian President, Prabowo Subianto, at the Great Hall of the People, in the presence of the Foreign Minister Wang Yi. President Xi extended his congratulations to Prabowo on his election victory. Highlighting the decade-long cooperation between China and Indonesia, President Xi emphasized the pivotal role played by both nations in fostering comprehensive and rapid development. He also highlighted Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project as a symbol of high-quality collaboration between the two nations, propelling relations into a new era of mutual prosperity and shared goals. Xi underscored the importance of strategic independence, mutual trust, and win-win cooperation as the cornerstone of China-Indonesia relations. He mentioned that as major developing countries, both nations are committed to supporting each other's sovereignty and core interests while advancing common development and South-South cooperation. In alignment with the rapidly changing global landscape, President Xi advocated for the practice of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit to promote equitable multipolarization and inclusive economic globalization. Both leaders pledged to strengthen multilateral cooperation to safeguard the interests of developing nations, with a focus on enhancing China-ASEAN unity and an open regional architecture. Affirming Indonesia's commitment to the One-China policy, Prabowo expressed his government's unwavering support for deepening bilateral relations and aligning development strategies with China.


  • China plans to establish advanced manufacturing clusters for general aviation industry: The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced China's ambitious plan to construct several advanced manufacturing clusters for the general aviation industry across key regions including the Yangtze River Delta, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao, Chengdu, and Jiangxi. These clusters will encompass various aspects such as technology and product development, integrated innovation, and establishing industrial ecology. In March, there was a notable increase in investment in general aviation application scenarios nationwide, with Hefei in Anhui inaugurating a drone medical supplies transportation route. Additionally, GAC Flying Car successfully completed flight verification in complex low-altitude environments within Guangzhou CBD. By 2030, China aims to achieve large-scale applications in aviation emergency rescue, logistics, and commercial operations of urban air transportation. The country plans to establish more than 20 typical application demonstrations that can be replicated and promoted, along with fostering over 10 leading enterprises in the general aviation industry chain. This initiative is expected to create a trillion-yuan general aviation industry market. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology envisions establishing a new development model characterized by high-end, intelligent, and green development within the general aviation industry.


  • Head of Taiwan Affairs Office met former Kuomintang Chairman in Shenzhen: Song Tao, head of Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, engaged in discussions with Ma Ying-jeou, former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party, during Ma's visit to mainland China. Ma, leading a youth delegation, arrived in Shenzhen on Monday, where he was greeted by Song. In the meeting, Song reiterated the importance of upholding the 1992 consensus and opposing any "Taiwan independence" separatist activities or external interference, emphasizing the common Chinese identity shared by compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. He urged for active promotion of exchanges and cooperation in various sectors, advocating for the joint enhancement of Chinese culture and fostering closer ties between people on both sides, aiming ultimately for peaceful cross-straits development and national reunification. Expressing gratitude for Xi's greetings, Ma emphasized the familial ties between compatriots on both sides of the Straits, calling for increased exchanges and cooperation, especially among young people, based on the political foundation of maintaining the 1992 Consensus and resisting any push for "Taiwan independence."


  • Four-month Enforcement of Yellow River fishing moratorium begins: On April 1st, at 12:00, a comprehensive four-month fishing moratorium took effect along the entire stretch of the Yellow River, from the Ningxia section to its mouth at the sea. This move signifies a unified effort to safeguard aquatic ecosystems across the river's expanse. Simultaneously, in Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security, launched a specialized law enforcement campaign tailored for the 2024 Yellow River fishing moratorium. Under the directives issued by the concerned ministries, stringent enforcement actions against illegal fishing practices have been mandated. Fishery administration and public security entities at all administrative levels along the Yellow River have been tasked with bolstering surveillance and enforcement efforts. This includes intensified monitoring of key areas and heightened vigilance during critical periods, coupled with increased investment in law enforcement resources. The upper reaches and source areas of the Yellow River are slated for enhanced year-round management and enforcement, while the midstream and lower reaches will witness precise control measures targeting vessels engaged in illicit fishing activities, such as utilizing prohibited gear or employing electrotoxic methods. Moreover, the enforcement campaign prioritizes market supervision and standardized fishing practices. Close collaboration between fishery administration, public security, and market supervision agencies is advocated to trace the origins of illegal catches and curb unauthorized fishing under the guise of recreational activities.


  • China's highest-altitude hydropower station enters the grid: The No. 5 unit of the Maerdang Hydropower Station, situated in the upper reaches of the Yellow River, has commenced trial operation. China Energy Investment Corp. announced the successful connection of the unit to the power grid in Maqen County, Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, on Monday. Nestled at an altitude of 3,300 meters, the Maerdang Hydropower Station marks China Energy's pioneering venture into integrated clean energy facilities. It encompasses hydropower, solar power, and energy storage technologies, capitalizing on the abundant clean energy resources in China's western regions while catering to the energy demands of the eastern regions. With a total installed capacity of 2.32 million kilowatts, the station boasts four hydrogenerators, each capable of producing 550,000 kilowatts, alongside one with a 120,000-kilowatt capacity. Anticipated to achieve full operational status by the end of 2024, the station is forecasted to annually generate over 7.304 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. This substantial output will contribute to a reduction of 8.16 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 30,400 tons of sulphur dioxide emissions per year. Moreover, the station is poised to meet the electricity needs of approximately 1.825 million households, each consuming 4,000 degrees annually. Additionally, it is expected to curtail standard coal consumption by 2.56 million metric tons annually.


  • NPC Deputies submitted over 9,000 suggestions at Second Session: During the Second Session of the 14th National People's Congress, deputies submitted a total of 9,235 suggestions, criticisms, and opinions across various domains. The Representative Working Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, in collaboration with relevant entities, meticulously organized and comprehensively analysed these suggestions. They were subsequently forwarded to 213 undertaking units for lawful processing. Throughout the past year, deputies' suggestions from the first session of the 14th National People's Congress, totalling 8,314, were effectively handled with a focus on quality and efficiency. This year, 44.7% of the 9,235 submissions were related to "technology, education, health, and sports", "social and public affairs", and "development planning and comprehensive economy". These recommendations underscored priorities such as advancing new productive forces, refining the business environment, and enhancing elderly care services. Key supervision suggestions were highlighted for their role in promoting the implementation of deputies' proposals. The current Standing Committee is poised to intensify its supervision efforts. To this end, 20 key recommendations have been preliminarily identified. Each undertaking unit will strategically select comprehensive suggestions for focused processing, aiming to address specific issues and drive targeted progress. The General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress called for orderly progress, enhanced communication effectiveness, and timely completion of handling representatives' suggestions.



  • China's dating show star takes social media by storm: Zhao Mei, the 61-year-old star of China's viral dating show, has taken the internet by storm. Known as Wang Po, Zhao's unconventional approach to matchmaking has garnered her widespread attention on Douyin, amassing over 5 million followers in just 16 days. Unlike traditional matchmaking methods, Zhao's show encourages participants to express their preferences openly, fostering a more inclusive and pressure-free environment for young individuals seeking love. Operating from the historic central city of Kaifeng, Zhao's stage performances at the "Great Song Martial Arts City" theme park have drawn massive crowds eager to witness her matchmaking prowess. However, Zhao's rapid rise to fame has attracted its share of challenges. Imposter accounts have emerged online, seeking to profit from her popularity, while controversies surrounding some of her matches have sparked online debates. Despite the setbacks, Zhao remains committed to her mission of facilitating connections between unmarried individuals, urging fans to respect the authenticity of her show and refrain from creating unnecessary drama. On social media platforms, Zhao has been dubbed "the love magician of Kaifeng," with individuals flocking to her streams in search of potential partners. While her success rate in matchmaking is celebrated, her recent controversies underscore the pitfalls of overnight fame in the digital age.



(Kindly note that ORCA has re-oriented its India Watch section. The updated section will now assess how Chinese media and experts view Indian affairs, in an attempt to better understand China's perspectives on India) 

  • China highlights India's reliance on Chinese Photovoltaic industry amid policy changes: Chinese media reports have emphasized India's continued reliance on China's photovoltaic (PV) industry despite recent policy changes. The Indian government's reintroduction of the Approved List of Models and Manufacturers (ALMM) for solar module manufacturers since Monday has drawn attention of Chinese experts, who asserted that India's PV sector still requires support from Chinese exports due to capacity limitations and the technological advantages of Chinese companies. The temporary relaxation of safeguard measures in March 2023 led to an influx of inexpensive imports in India, prompting local manufacturers to scale down production. However, with the reinstatement of the ALMM, Indian manufacturers are expected to experience a rebound in sales and capacity. While experts acknowledge that ALMM will support India’s domestic manufacturers in the short term, it will not improve India’s overall productivity and renewable targets. Despite India's efforts to reduce module imports from China through measures like the ALMM, experts note that India's manufacturing capacity is insufficient to meet domestic and export demands. While acknowledging India's desire to promote domestic manufacturing through initiatives like "Make in India", Qian Feng (Director of research department at National Strategy Institute, Tsinghua University) caution that it often distorts market dynamics and hinder India's long-term productivity and clean energy goals. The coverage of this news in Chinese media reflects a closely comprehensive analysis of India's PV industry dynamics and China's pivotal role in supplying PV products to India. It underscores China's perspective on India's manufacturing capabilities and the challenges it faces in achieving self-sufficiency in the clean energy sector.

Prepared By

Shourjyadipta Roy is currently pursuing his Masters' in Political Science and International Relations from the Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University. He takes a keen interest in Chinese foreign policy, China's impact on the world and Chinese politics as a whole. He plans to pursue research in the near future.

CICM 1st April 2024

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