• China’s Global Maritime Collaboration Rescues 19 Lives: Chinese maritime cooperation efficiently rescued 19 crew members, including 18 Chinese and one Vietnamese, from the Panamanian bulk carrier APOLLO TRIUMPH, which caught fire in African waters near the Mozambique Channel. This incident happened 100 nautical miles away from the coast with a water depth over 2000 metres. The distress call triggered a swift response from the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, coordinating with Mozambique and Madagascar for a search and rescue mission. Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng urged international collaboration, activating emergency response mechanisms. The AS CHRISTIANA vessel reached the scene at 2:00 am, successfully rescuing all crew members from life rafts, showcasing effective global maritime coordination.


  • World's Largest Ethanol Production Equipment Went Under Trials in China: China's Tanxin Technology Co., Ltd., under the Huaibei Mining Group, has initiated the trial of the world's largest ethanol production equipment in Huaibei City, Anhui Province. With an annual output of 600,000 tonnes, the equipment converts coke oven gas into ethanol, enhancing the value of coal and promoting low-carbon development in steel and petrochemical industries. Developed in collaboration with the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics and Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum, the technology is a significant step toward large-scale non-grain ethanol production, addressing China's demand and contributing to food security, energy security, and supply chain stability. Global ethanol market is presently dominated by the US and Brazil.


  • China Experiences Rapid Growth in Low-Altitude Economy: China is witnessing rapid growth in the low-altitude economy, particularly in the city of Hefei in Anhui Province. The low-altitude economy encompasses both manned and unmanned civil aerial vehicles and includes industries such as aircraft manufacturing, low-altitude flight operations, and related services. Anhui has taken the lead in low-altitude airspace management reforms, attracting companies specializing in innovative aviation solutions, including electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Shenzhen is also experiencing significant growth in the low-altitude economy, launching new drone routes and facilitating air taxi services. China's low-altitude economic sector has been identified as a strategic emerging industry, and regulations are being introduced to manage unmanned aircraft flights and ensure safety in drone operations.


  • Xi Jinping Addresses Central Foreign Affairs Conference in Beijing: China's Central Conference on Foreign Affairs, attended by Xi Jinping, highlighted historic achievements since the 18th CPC National Congress. Key points include the development of Xi Jinping's Thought on Diplomacy, promoting major-country dynamics, fostering global partnerships, advancing Belt and Road cooperation, and actively participating in global governance. Emphasis was placed on upholding principles, advocating independence, applying systems thinking, and rejecting power politics. The importance of a multipolar world and inclusive economic globalisation was underscored. It was said in that conference Xi Jinping's diplomatic thoughts will guide China's external work, focusing on strategic planning, innovation, and adherence to fundamental principles. Upholding CPC central leadership in foreign affairs and strengthening institutional frameworks were highlighted. The conference concluded with remarks from Wang Yi and presentations by officials from various departments.


  • Beijing Grand Canal Museum Unveiled: The Beijing Grand Canal Museum, inaugurated on December 27, is now open to the public. The Grand Canal, dating back to the Spring and Autumn Period, is a monumental ancient canal system comprising the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the Sui and Tang Dynasties' Grand Canal, and the Zhedong Canal. As the world's longest and largest ancient canal system, it holds immense cultural significance in Chinese history. The newly opened smart museum spans approximately 99,700 square metres and features exhibition spaces, social education areas, and cultural heritage restoration workshops. Celebrating its inauguration, the museum hosts exhibitions exploring the deep connections between the Grand Canal and Beijing, focusing on people, water, and the city. The core exhibition displays over 1,000 cultural relics and artworks, offering a chronological journey through the canal's development. Special and temporary exhibits highlight cities and landscapes along the Grand Canal. A notable feature is the earthquake prevention exhibition hall, showcasing seismic isolation bearing through a glass.


  • China Set to Overtake Japan as World's Top Automobile Exporter: As per the Kyodo news, China is set to become the world's top automobile exporter in 2023, surpassing Japan for the first time, with an expected annual export volume exceeding Japan's. The shift is attributed to Chinese manufacturers enhanced technical capabilities, particularly in the low-priced and high-quality electric vehicle segment. Japan, pushed out of the top spot for the first time since 2016, faces competition from China's growing prowess, supported by its government and fueled by increased exports to Russia amid the Ukraine crisis. China's robust performance includes notable growth in passenger and commercial vehicle exports, with the new energy vehicle segment experiencing a significant year-on-year increase." The surge continued into 2023, with the export of new energy vehicles gaining momentum not only in European markets but also making strides in Southeast Asia. By March, China had already surpassed Japan in automobile export volume for the first quarter, securing its position as the world's largest automobile exporter. The evolution of Chinese cars from inexpensive imitations to competitive and performance-oriented vehicles has reshaped the global automotive market, overtaking major players like South Korea and Germany, and ultimately surpassing Japan's automobile exports.



  • Chinese Christmas: People’s Liberation Army for Peace: In an unconventional Christmas narrative promoted by Chinese state media, the focus is shifted from Santa Claus to the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The People's Daily shared a video on Weibo, attributing a peaceful Christmas Eve to the hard work and protection provided by young PLA soldiers. The central message urges people to remember the end of the Korean War and pay tribute to China's soldiers instead of celebrating Christmas in a Western tradition. December 24 marks the conclusion of the Second Phase Offensive in the Korean War, where Chinese forces countered the 'Home-by-Christmas' campaign, reclaiming most of North Korea by 1950. The Battle of Chosin Reservoir is highlighted as part of this history, emphasizing the Chinese victory and its strategic significance. The alternative narrative is disseminated through various channels, including social media posts, mall banners, and LED signs on taxis. Christmas has gained popularity in China for its commercial aspects, but the celebration is viewed as foreign. Some popular bloggers emphasize remembering China's military heroes during this time. Hu Xijin, a political commentator, suggests that both Christmas Eve and the victory day of the Second Phase Offensive can coexist. He acknowledges the influence of global holiday cultures on each other and defends the right of Chinese individuals to celebrate Western holidays without facing criticism. Chinese netizens express various viewpoints on the Christmas debate, with some asserting the freedom to choose and celebrate both Christmas and Victory Day on December 24. The discussion reflects the evolving perceptions of holidays in a globalized era.



  • In 2023, China is poised to achieve a historic milestone by surpassing Japan and claiming the title of the world's leading automobile exporter for the first time. India is anticipated to secure the position of the world's third-largest automobile exporter, reflecting a remarkable growth trajectory. Economic trends, including rapid urbanization, rising incomes, and increased workforce participation, are expected to support this target. A report by Arthur D. Little highlights the potential for the Indian automobile industry to become a US$ 1 trillion export-driven sector by 2035. Global car manufacturers are increasingly focusing on India as an export hub due to the growing competitiveness of locally produced vehicles. Despite India's auto exports being behind Japan, the country's rising incomes are leading to a shift in consumer preferences towards more expensive SUVs and sedans. The move is seen as a strategic approach to leverage India's lower costs and extensive network of domestic component suppliers, potentially making it a key player in the global automotive industry. The Indian government, through initiatives like the Automotive Mission Plan and the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, aims to achieve long-term growth in the automotive industry while reducing emissions and oil dependence. Indian automotive companies, while not yet manufacturing leaders, are capitalizing on the opportunity to position India as a hub for producing cost-effective, high-quality products. To address existing limitations, India needs to enhance its production capabilities significantly. Similar to China, which leverages the complementary strengths of neighbouring countries, India should focus on building collective economic capacities with nations along its borders. Implementing fiscal incentives through the 'Neighborhood First Policy' can facilitate the expansion of India's manufacturing operations throughout South Asia.

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 28th December 2023

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