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6.14 Foreign and security policies: Maritime rights and interests
6.18 Mega-projects: China’s South-to-North Water Transfer Project
Hubei’s provincial government closed 134 large-scale farms. The reservoir is a key source for the SNTWP because its middle route starts here.
2.6.2 Hong Kong’s political trajectory
In his speech, he stressed that anything that could “endanger China’s sovereignty and security” or challenge the central government in Beijing was “absolutely impermissible.” Calls for more autonomy from the central government have been gaining traction in Hong Kong since the Occupy Movement of 2014.
2.6.3 Constraints on democratization
The Hong Kong High Court ruled on July 14 that the oaths the four pan-democratic lawmakers took to be sworn in in October 2016 were invalid. Two lawmakers from the new party Youngspiration were previously disqualified. With the additional disqualifications, the pan-democratic bloc has lost its veto power in Hong Kong’s parliament. The disqualification follows a controversial interpretation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law by the National People’s Congress, which ruled that deviations from the standard oath should be punished with disqualification.
2.12 The military and politics
A jointly released document by the Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission called for a stronger cooperation between the military and civilian sectors to develop advanced weapon technologies (21 July). This strategy highlights China’s efforts to reduce barriers between the civilian and military sectors and to increase the role of market forces in its ambitious PLA reform program.
On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the PLA’s founding, China held a massive military parade at China’s largest military training base in Zhurihe in Inner Mongolia. Donning a camouflage uniform, Xi categorically said that the PLA is capable of defeating China’s enemies. China’s Ministry of Defense emphasized that all shown military gear was indigenously developed while half of it being displayed for the first time.
4.4 The political initiation and implementation of economic reform
The State Council announced a roadmap with a general outline of which targets China’s capabilities in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) should achieve by 2030. Guided by government finance AI industry should strengthen in areas including semiconductors, super computers, and software. With economic as well as defense interests involved in gaining technological leadership in the field, the government is also engaging with the countries tech companies.
A number of additional mixed-ownership reforms of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are in the pipeline following the initial implementation at China Unicom involving private sector technologic giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu. Plans have been drafted for mixed-ownership structure for China National Aviation Holding Co, Power Construction Corp of China, and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp.
5.6.4 The Internet and political communications
Citing internal sources, Bloomberg reported that Chinese government bodies had ordered China’s big telecommunications companies to fully block individual VPN use by February 1, 2018. According to Chinese media reports, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has denied issuing such an order, stating that only “unlicensed” VPNs were affected by regulations curtailing VPN use. While the exact specifics of this particular order remain unclear, Chinese government bodies have been moving more aggressively against VPN use in recent years.
5.7 Ethnic and religious groups
Party cadres should stick to atheist Marxism, otherwise they face the consequences of violating political discipline, said Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) in Global Times. His remarks indicate that cadres religious commitment is still a big problem with the party-state.