• Xi Jinping emphasizes overall development of Xinjiang: Xi Jinping upon his return from his visit to the BRICS summit, visited the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang where he took measure of the development work in the autonomous region. He was briefed on the matter by Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and the Party committee as well as government of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. He emphasized the need to unite and stabilize Xinjiang, promote cultural integration, improve living standards, and contribute to Chinese-style modernization. To achieve high-quality development and Chinese-style modernization, Xi Jinping emphasized the need for technological innovation, industry development, poverty alleviation, and rural revitalization. He further urged people to make efforts to strengthen the sense of community in China, develop emerging industries, and promote high-quality development. He also stressed the significance of party leadership and its role in strengthening party building.

  • China slams Taiwan over mainland travel plans: A spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs office slammed Taiwan's plan to ease restrictions on business and travelling groups from mainland China. She claimed that the plan would actually impose more limitations on cross-strait tourism and went on to label the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) approach as contradictory. The DPP announced intentions to permit travel from the mainland, which has been suspended since 2019. The plan includes allowing businesspeople from the mainland to apply for short-term visits for events starting Monday, and mainland residents to apply for entry from non-mainland locations starting September 1st. While Taiwan mentioned permitting mainland tour groups with an initial daily limit of 2,000 visitors, no specific restart date for group tours was given. Taiwan's tour groups could also travel to the mainland, with a 2,000-person limit based on reciprocity. The mainland spokesperson asserts that Taiwan's plan is, in reality, a tightening of restrictions and blamed the DPP for obstructing interactions between Taiwan and the mainland. The spokesperson also questioned the DPP's motives for restricting travel that was previously open for over 30 years.

  • Former head of winter sports authority under investigation: The disciplinary inspection and supervision team from the General Administration of Sport of China announced that the director of National Winter Sports Administrative Center of the General Administration of Sport, Ni Huizhong, was under scrutiny for violating discipline and laws established by the Party. The probe team was directed to act by the National Commission of Supervision and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China. This announcement follows previous investigations against other senior official such as former national football coach Li Tie who was charged with bribery, and top snooker players who were charged with match fixing.

  • China introduces measures to support housing industry: Amidst a reeling economy and a general slowdown, various government departments in China have introduced a series of measures aimed at mitigating against the country's property sector. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has come out in support of adjustments to mortgage lending policies and re-evaluation of the criteria for identifying first-home buyers. A recent joint circular from the ministry, the People's Bank of China, and the National Financial Regulatory Administration proposed that households without prior local property ownership should be considered first-home buyers when applying for mortgages. This policy is optional for cities to adopt and is intended to lower down-payment ratios and mortgage rates, reducing costs for home buyers and meeting housing demand. The Ministry of Finance, along with other government bodies, have extended tax incentives for residential purchases until the end of 2025. From 2024 to 2025, those who buy new homes within a year of selling old ones will receive refunds for personal income tax on the sale. The refund is based on the price ratio of the old and new homes. Homes sold and repurchased should be in the same city, and sellers must be new home owners.

  • China to halve stamp duty on stock trading: In a move to boost investor friendliness and improve ease of access, the Finance Ministry and State Taxation Administration announced that the stamp duty on stock trading will be reduced by half. The announcement will come into effect on August 28th, 2023. The decision follows China's commitment in July to revive its stock market, the second largest in the world, which has been struggling due to a slowing economic recovery and a property market debt crisis. China's economy experienced slow growth in the second quarter due to weakened domestic and international demand.

  • State Council targets medical manufacturing industry: China's State Council has approved plans to promote the high-quality development of the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries between 2023 and 2025. During an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Qiang, the focus was on increasing the supply capacity of advanced medicines, key technologies, and materials, and addressing weaknesses in high-end medical equipment production. The plan also emphasized upon supporting pharmaceutical research and development, encouraging the growth of leading medical companies, protecting traditional Chinese medicine's development, and improving domestic medical equipment. Additionally, the meeting discussed guidelines for affordable housing planning and construction, emphasizing quality, supporting facilities, and public services.


  • Social media abuzz with zombie dance by taekwondo team termed blasphemous by authorities: A Chinese taekwondo martial arts team faced consequences following a performance known as the "Zombie dance" at an international competition in South Korea. The team, hailing from Guangdong province in China, donned Qing dynasty costumes while executing taekwondo moves combined with zombie-like actions reminiscent of classic Hong Kong horror films. The Chinese Taekwondo Association criticized the performance, stating it tarnished the nation's image and disrespected Chinese culture. As a result, the association revoked the team's membership, barred them from national contests, and withdrew the coach's license. Online opinions varied, with some seeing it as harmless fun, while some saw this as a creative endeavour, some others supported the punishment to counter stereotypes.


  • India’s reliance on China for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) among other raw materials for medical production has been a major roadblock in India’s quest to reduce its dependence on China for both strategic and trade concerns. China used its dominant position in pharmaceutical industry during the Covid-19 pandemic to make huge profits for materials it exported many of which turned out to be sub-standard. A massive price hike in medical supplies made news recently in key imports from China with as much as 100% hike in crucial raw materials for which India is almost completely reliant on China. The levels of dependence has been termed as alarming with imports rising from 44, 708 crore in 2020-21 to 63,200 crore in 2021-22 , an increase of 41 percent.  India in its efforts to become self-sufficient recently in a mutual decision with the United States decided to collaborate on development of APIs and other materials necessary for vaccine production. Under the Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, production started on 22 APIs that are crucial for manufacturing life-saving drugs, the Department of Pharmaceuticals released 166 crore rupees to four selected applicants. Out of 51 projects that were selected for the production of 34 critical bulk drugs, 22 projects have been commissioned. Despite these incentives and push for manufacturing the progress has been slow, the PLI scheme was launched in 2020, since then India’s reliance on China has only increased exponentially. The project has seen concerns raised by pharma companies along the way, all the while the government is mulling plans to start a PLI scheme for manufacturing of basic chemicals in other petro-agriculture industries. Granted these plans take time to fructify but the speed with which the plans are progressing it will take a long time for India to reduce its dependence on China.

Prepared By

Alok has recently finished his M. A. In Politics with International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is currently a China Studies fellow at Takshashila Institution.

CiCM 26th-27th August 2023

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