China sees rise in credit card fraud

China saw a slight increase in credit card fraud last year, according to data from the Supreme People’s Court.

The number of reported cases rose by 3.8 percent year-on-year between 2015 and 2016, the top court said on Wednesday, without disclosing exact figures.

About 80 percent of those prosecuted had purposely run up large credit card debts, while 18 percent had opened credit accounts using a false identity or used fake credit cards.

Half of defendants were accused of fraud involving sums ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 yuan ($1,500 to $7,500), while half were also unemployed, the data show.

The SPC said most defendants were male and that most cases were reported in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Liaoning.

Party system led by CPC celebrated

May 1 Slogans remembered as a seminal moment in Chinese history

Chinese political leaders have been commemorating a landmark event that preceded China’s party system 70 years ago.

Monday marks the 70th anniversary of the May 1 Slogans, a call made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee on April 30, 1948-as the country was in the midst of internal war-for noncommunist parties and people without party affiliation to convene a political consultative conference and found a democratic coalition government.

A meeting was held on Saturday in Beijing to mark the historic occasion, with an address by Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Leaders of the noncommunist parties and senior figures without party affiliation recently visited revolutionary sites in Hebei province to commemorate the May 1 Slogans.

The call made by the CPC Central Committee was an important event in the history of CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation system, said Zhu Jidong, research fellow with the Academy of Marxism of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Seven decades ago, the May 1 Slogans received an ardent, positive response from leaders of noncommunist parties through public statements, phone calls and meetings with CPC leaders, Zhu said.

It indicated that noncommunist parties and people without party affiliation began to openly and willingly follow the CPC’s leadership and embrace new democracy and socialism, Zhu said.

In September 1949, the first plenary meeting of the CPPCC was held in Beijing, marking the establishment of the CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation system.

At a joint panel discussion with political advisers in March, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, called the system a new type of party system growing from China’s soil and a great contribution to the political civilization of humanity.

Under the system, the CPC and noncommunist parties share fundamental interests and work together effectively, Zhu said, stressing that noncommunist parties are not an opposition group but consultants, aides and co-workers.

China’s party system unites all political parties and people without party affiliation toward a common goal, effectively preventing both the flaws of the absence of oversight in one-party rule and power rotation and nasty competition among multiple political parties, he said.

It pools ideas and suggestions through institutional, procedural and standardized arrangements, and develops a scientific and democratic decision-making mechanism, avoiding another weakness of the old-fashioned party system in which decision-making and governance, confined by interests of different political parties, classes, regions and groups, tear society apart, he said.

The 70-year history of China’s party system has demonstrated that it fits China’s reality and traditional culture, he said.

In his speech on Saturday, Wang Yang said it is necessary to unwaveringly uphold Party leadership and uphold Xi’s core status, as well as uphold the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee. He called on noncommunist parties to enhance their capabilities to perform their duties.

Zhu, the researcher, said: Both the CPC and noncommunist parties should not forget the original aspiration that drove leaders of older generations to forge this system.

Senior Chinese official urges improving quality of poverty alleviation

BEIJING – The quality and effectiveness of China’s battle against poverty should be enhanced, a senior Chinese official said Friday.

Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while presiding over a meeting of the State Council leading group on poverty relief and development.

Wang, head of the group, said that despite decisive advances made in the battle against poverty, there were still difficulties ahead.

He said poverty relief work must be improved by targeting problems, and stepping up precision on poverty reduction through optimizing tailored policies.

“Local authorities are encouraged to innovate pragmatic approaches in targeted policy execution,” Wang said.

China aims to complete the building of a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by 2020, which requires the eradication of poverty.

To achieve that target, China needs to lift more than 10 million people out of poverty every year.

Hand-over meeting of proposals made by political advisors held in Beijing

Zhang Qingli, vice chairman of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attends a hand-over meeting of proposals made by Chinese political advisors during the first session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing, capital of China, March 27, 2018. Xia Baolong, vice chairman and secretary-general of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, presided over the meeting. [Photo/Xinhua]

Party leadership highlighted in proposed Constitution revision

The second plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, is held in Beijing from Jan 18 to 19. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — Leadership of the Communist Party of China must be strengthened and upheld in all areas of endeavor, according to a communique released Friday.

The communique, issued after the second plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, underscored that leadership of the CPC is the essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the greatest strength of the system.

At the meeting, a proposal from the CPC Central Committee on revising the Constitution was adopted.

Adherence to CPC leadership is listed as a principle in revising the Constitution, according to the communique.

It also highlighted other topics on major theoretical achievements, principles and policies.

The document stressed that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and is the Marxism for contemporary China and the 21st century.

The Thought should be a guiding ideology that must be upheld in the long term by the CPC and the country, according to the communique.

The document highlighted a five-sphere integrated plan to promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social and ecological advancement, and the new vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development for everyone.

It also emphasized the goals of finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020, basically realizing socialist modernization by 2035, and building China into a great modern socialist country by the middle of the 21st century.

Following the path of peaceful development, pursuing a mutually beneficial strategy of opening-up, and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind are of great significance to the cause of peaceful development for humanity, according to the communique.

“The reform of the national supervision system is a significant political system reform that affects the whole landscape and a major decision to strengthen the self-supervision of the Party and the state,” said the document.

Under the proposed new supervision system, supervision will cover everyone working in the public sector who exercises public power.

Enriching major institutional provisions in the Constitution would play an important role in improving and developing the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, said the communique.

Security, stability called top priorities in Xinjiang

The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will step up border control measures this year to create a “Great Wall” along its 5,700-kilometer border to prevent the penetration of extremism, separatism and terrorism from abroad, the region’s chairman said on Monday.

“We will try our best to leave no gaps or blind spots in social security management and ensure the key areas remain absolutely safe,” Shokrat Zakir, the chairman, said as he delivered the government work report during the annual session of the 13th Regional People’s Congress, which kicked off in the capital Urumqi on Monday.

The region will step up security measures in key areas and border areas as well as enforce internet management to maintain social stability in Xinjiang, which remains complicated, he said. It will further rely on technology to enhance frontline border control and improve infrastructure in border areas, such as improving road conditions, he said.

“The overall social situation was stable in 2017, which has significantly made people feel safer,” he said. “We won’t allow separatism to stage a comeback and will ensure religious extremism never rises again from the ashes and terrorist attacks are doomed to failure.”

Xinjiang introduced a series of security measures in 2017, including setting up a network of police stations in all cities and townships to quickly react to any emergencies. The region has always been China’s front line against terrorism. The penetration of religious extremism has led to a number of terrorist attacks in recent years.

The regional government will continue to see maintaining social stability as its top priority in the next five years, Shokrat added.

The performance of the tourist industry has always been an indicator of the region’s stability. Stability has brought more tourists to Xinjiang, which is known for its diversity and varied scenery, he said. More than 107 million domestic and foreign travelers visited in 2017, up 32.4 percent from the previous year.

The regional GDP has grown to 1.09 trillion yuan ($167.8 billion) in 2017 from 753 billion yuan in 2012, with an average growth rate of 9 percent. Despite the economic growth, the unbalanced development between southern and northern Xinjiang remains obvious, Shokrat said.

Currently, there are 1.63 million people in southern Xinjiang living in deep poverty, which is about 86 percent of the region’s total poverty-stricken population. Poverty alleviation work in southern Xinjiang is very tough, he said.

Former regional political advisor expelled from CPC

BEIJING – Liu Jun, senior political advisor of South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for multiple offences.

Liu, former vice chairman of the Guangxi regional committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was found to have violated the Party’s political code of conduct and rules and undermined the investigation against him, according to a statement from the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) Monday.

The CCDI investigation found that Liu had flouted central authorities’ “eight-point rules” on austerity by frequenting private lounges and golf clubs and paying personal expense with public funds.

Liu refused to honestly confess his wrongdoings during the investigation, the statement said.

Liu also took advantage of his position to seek personal benefit, accepting gifts and money against the rules, and securing illegal gains for his son.

Based on CPC regulations on disciplinary penalties and relevant rules, Liu has been given penalties including removal from his administrative post, and being demoted to a non-leadership position at the deputy county level.

Liu’s illegal gains will be confiscated, it added.

Beijing warns Taiwan of ‘further action’

File photo shows Su-35 fighter jets are on a training. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Defense Ministry warned Taiwan separatists on Thursday that their secession efforts are “dead ends” and the Chinese military will take further action if they continue their “reckless activities”.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a ministry spokesman, made the remarks at a news conference following flights by multiple fighter jets, H-6K bombers and early warning airplanes of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force around the island of Taiwan on Thursday morning.

The training was aimed at improving the planes’ combat readiness and actual fighting capabilities above water, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, spokesman of the PLA Air Force, said in an online statement on Thursday.

“The treasure island is within the motherland’s embrace, and protecting our country’s beloved territory is a sacred duty of the Air Force,” Shen said, adding the Air Force has deployed many planes, including the H-6K bombers, to fly around the island since April 18.

In response to media questions about the flights, Wu said the training exercises are aimed at improving the Air Force’s ability to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Secession activities by Taiwan separatists is the biggest threat to cross-Straits relations,” he said.

“These activities undermine the fundamental interests of the Taiwan people, and our actions are targeting those separatists and their activities,” Wu said.

“If the Taiwan separatists were to continue their reckless activities, we’ll take further action against them,” he said.

When asked to comment about Taiwan’s military drills this month, Wu said the mainland will make sincere efforts to pursue peaceful unification.

“But I must stress that Taiwan secession efforts are a dead end,” he said, adding that “there is no way out” for Taiwan to confront the mainland militarily to resist unification.

Senior Colonel Ma Gang, a professor from the PLA National Defense University, said that Taiwan unification is a key part of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and efforts to split the island from China “go against the trend of history and the wishes of the Chinese people”.

“No country in the world will allow its territorial integrity to be violated by separatists and foreign powers,” he said. “The Taiwan separatists are becoming more arrogant recently. The Chinese mainland has exercised the utmost sincerity and restraint, but its patience is not limitless.”

He added, “If the secession efforts grow indefinitely, the PLA has no choice but to unify Taiwan through force as stated in the Anti-Secession Law.”

On Thursday, Wu also confirmed that the DF-26, China’s new intermediate-range ballistic missile, officially entered service in the PLA Rocket Force, and the Su-35 fighter jets China bought from Russia have entered service for the PLA Air Force.

The missile is completely designed by China, and is capable of rapid retaliation with nuclear warheads and mid- to long-range precision strikes using conventional warheads against land targets and large naval ships, he said.

The Su-35, built by Russia’s Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association, is one of Russia’s most advanced and well armed multipurpose fighter jets, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Wu also announced that the outfitting process and system calibrations for China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier, currently known as 001A, have been going smoothly. The ministry will announce the “good news”, referring to the ship’s first sea trial, in the near future, he said.

Xi vows to ‘exorcise evil of poverty’

ZHAOJUE, Sichuan — President Xi Jinping pledged to “exorcise the evils of ignorance, backwardness and poverty” during his visit to ethnic villages in Sichuan province in Southwest China.

While visiting homes of impoverished villagers of the Yi ethnic group who live deep in the Daliang Mountains of Zhaojue county, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called for efforts to win the battle against poverty.

He stressed that not a single ethnic group, family or individual should be left behind in the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects in China, asking local officials to make unremitting and down-to-earth efforts in poverty alleviation.

A Yi ethnic villager told Xi that she used to think that she was infested by some “evils” when she was ill in the past until she was told by village officials that the evils were just bacteria incurred by unsanitary lifestyle.

“Evils did exist in the past. They were the evils of ignorance, backwardness and poverty,” Xi said. “Once the people begin to lead a more civilized, healthier and better-off life, the evils are exorcised.”

“Would you like to sing?” Xi asked a 10-year-old girl after learning that she was fond of singing.

“Yes,” the girl replied and sang. Xi applauded and praised her good singing.

Before leaving the county, Xi, wearing Yi ethnic apparel, shook hands and said goodbye to the villagers.

In their ethnic language, the villagers expressed their thanks, New Year greetings and best wishes to Xi.

Modi on first visit to nation’s central area

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province on April 27, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is broadening his understanding of China by visiting yet another Chinese city.

Modi is expected to gain “a whole new experience” through his stay in Wuhan, the largest city in Central China, Vice-Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said at a news briefing this week.

Modi’s first visit to China after taking office came in May 2015, when he stopped in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, before moving on to Beijing and Shanghai.

The Xi’an trip became part of what has been dubbed “hometown diplomacy” between leaders of the two largest emerging economies.

In 2014, President Xi Jinping made a state visit to India, and Modi’s home state of Gujarat was the first stop. During the trip, Xi invited Modi to visit his hometown of Xi’an.

The Indian prime minister traveled to Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in Sept 2016 to attend the G20 Summit, and one year later to Xiamen, Fujian province, to attend the BRICS Summit, and met with Xi on the sidelines at both events.

Modi had also visited Guangdong province when he was chief minister of Gujarat.

Having set foot in eastern, southern, western and northern China, Modi is now adding Central China to the list with his visit to Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. The city is an important transportation hub for railways and inland waterways.

Companies in Wuhan have invested $2.04 million in four projects in India, and 1,312 Indian citizens were studying in Hubei province by the end of 2017, according to Hubei Daily.

After Wuhan, Modi will visit Qingdao, Shandong province, in June for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit.