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Stimulating the vitality of digital economy

File photoIn this years Two Sessions, efforts have been stressed to accurately understand this new stage of development, fully apply the new development philosophy, and accelerate our efforts to foster a new development pattern to advance high-quality development.As is mentioned multiple times both in the 14th Five-Year Plan and the government work report, data, especially digital economy, is a heated topic, a focus, but at the same time, a challenge. To play out the new advantages of digital economy, we can start from the following three aspects.The first is to accelerate 5G new infrastructure projects for a solid foundation for the digital economy. It is recommended to moderate forward thinking and carry out advanced construction, to ensure new infrastructure for 5G new applications. It is essential to keep a balance in network resource allocation, reinforce the 5G network co-construction and sharing program, and promote co-construction and sharing of 700MHz spectrum resources which now should be considered as basic communication resources available to all.On this basis, we will be able to expand network coverage, eliminate the digital divide, and boost digital rural vitalization. At the same time, we should focus on key projects such as 5G Smart Winter Olympics, 5G on High-speed Rail, and 5G Silk Road to build flagship projects in new 5G infrastructure.The second is to comprehensively promote digital-intelligence synergy, and regulate the rational use and reasonable allocation of data and other production factors in digital economy. Data is the petroleum in the era of digital economy. It is recommended to build a suitable allocation system of property rights, fully play the role of technology in data subject rights, build infrastructure for data sharing, and promote digital economy to evolve towards digital-intelligence economy. It is also important to balance the data subject rights by strengthening supervision on antitrust and unfair competition.The third ...

Hong Kong will not be exploited by external forces

Western media have rushed to point accusing fingers as China's top legislature, the National People's Congress , began to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system. They have said the overhaul is a violation of the Basic Law and the "one country, two systems" principle.The democratic development of Hong

Women's leadership in the global recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

UN Women China Qinghai programme has benefited local women. (Photo: UN Women)Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and the theme for this year’s celebration is "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world." We recognize the tremendous contribution and leadership demonstrated of women and girls around the world in shaping our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a more sustainable future.A global review of the progress achieved towards commitments made at the Fourth World Conference on Women 25 years ago in Beijing, conducted by UN Women in 2020, reveals that no country has fully delivered on the Beijing Platform for Action, nor are they close to it. Globally, women currently hold just one-quarter of the seats at the tables of power across the board and are absent from some key decision-making spaces, including in peace and climate negotiations.This reality is despite the advances globally: there are now more girls in school than ever, fewer women are dying in childbirth, and over the past decade, 131 countries have passed laws to support women’s equality.However, progress has been too slow and uneven.The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is further exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and threatening to halt or reverse the gains from decades of collective effort – with data revealing that the pandemic will push 47 million more women and girls below the poverty line globally.We also witness new global challenges emerging from the pandemic, such as increased reports of violence against women trapped in lockdown throughout the world, forming a Shadow Pandemic. Women with disabilities facing further obstacles in accessing essential services. Women have lost their livelihoods faster, being more exposed to hard-hit economic sectors as they make up the majority of informal sector workers. Access to technologies have become a necessity, but the gender digital divide lingers, particularly in the least developed countries.But in respond...

Hong Kong should not miss opportunities given by 14th Five-Year Plan

Most of the opinions from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on the SAR in the 14th Five-year Plan have been accepted by the central government, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said on the evening of March 5. She said she was told by mainland officials that for a five-

Vibrant and visionary agenda for two sessions this year

The 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee kicks off its annual meeting on Sunday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, marking the start of this year's two sessions - the annual meetings of the CPPCC and the National People's Congress, China's top legislat

Pushing forward rural vitalization is extremely timely

I have been going to rural China for nearly 40 years. I have met the local officials who have collaborated with us in collecting data and implementing projects in Chinese rural areas. I have stayed in the homes and eaten meals with families who were farming in the 1980s, working in Township in Village Enterprises in the 1990s, migrating to the big cities to work in factories in the 2000s, and today who are deciding to come back to their villages or buy a home in the county seat and raise their families. All of them have a special story.(Photo: Scott Rozelle)But out of all of these, my favorite is when I meet the children. I meet them in the schools where we’ve been passing out glasses or providing nutritious meals as part of our experiments in trying to improve learning outcomes in rural schools. I also meet younger children in the parenting centers where we are trying to teach caregivers about modern ways of investing in young children to have them thrive in the future. The children are my favorite. It’s really why I’ve kept going back for these past two decades. It’s so important. They are often so needy. When you help them, they thrive.In the last 40 years, all the aspects of Chinese rural areas have changed dramatically, including income, state of mind, education, transportation, health and infrastructure. In the villages that I visited in the 1980s, all of the houses were made of adobe bricks or local lumber. There were no cement floors, no running water, and few people had a bicycle, much less a vehicle. Today, housing is so much better. This shows the rise in income and wealth of the people.However, it is the people that have changed as much or more. In the 1980s in many rural villages families had four to six children. That is before the one child policy took effect in rural areas, and the desire was to see them not get sick and grow up to be farmers. Today, over 95 percent of mothers or grandmothers who are holding a baby that is less than one year old say ...

Chinese people are CPC's greatest strength in governance

The "two sessions," annual meetings of China's top legislature National People's Congress and top political advisory body Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) recently kicked off in Beijing. To build China into a prosperous and happy socialist industrialized country was a gran

Development of Western region requires all-out national efforts

Employees of Schneider Electric Factory work on an assembly line in Xi'an, Shaanxi province in March, 2020.As the development plan recently unveiled by Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, indicates, the advancement of information, digital and environmental protection technologies,

Looking at Premier Li's annual government work report from a foreign perspective

The fourth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) opens at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 4, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)On the first day of the fourth Session of the 13th National Peoples Congress (NPC), Chinas top legislature, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gave the government work report for 2021. This is a very important report made during the Two Sessions as it sums up the governments work during the past year and provides an outline of what needs to be done in the future to realize the goal of transforming China into a fully modern, prosperous socialist country by 2035.Premier Lis report is not only widely followed in China but is being watched around the world. The following impressions summarize Premier Lis report from one foreign perspective.Any objective foreign observer who listens to Premier Lis talk will be struck by how China, under the most trying circumstances following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was able to win decisive victories on all fronts. Although confronted with a hostile foreign environment, China was nevertheless able to rally its people to defeat the novel coronavirus and recover economically. At the same time, it forged ahead with its poverty alleviation work and won a decisive victory fulfilling the pledge to lift all remaining people out of extreme poverty.Looking from afar, its been noted that Chinas control and containment of the COVID-19 pandemic within its own borders is unprecedented in the world history. Its ability to quickly respond and devise methods and strategies to prevent its spread provides invaluable lessons for the world in how to stem the spread of future potential pandemics.It has also been noted by many foreign observers that Chinas victory in the elimination of extreme poverty through targeted poverty alleviation is likewise unprecedented and provides a model for similar...

Hong Kong moves get international support

Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, July 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] A Chinese law expert has spoken of the need to improve Hong Kong's electoral system to ensure the special administrative region is governed by patriots. Han Dayuan, a professor at

How the Civil Code facilitates China's IP protection

The China National Intellectual Property Administration in Beijing, July 8, 2019. (Photo: CNIPA)The Civil Code of the Peoples Republic of China, considered a milestone legislation for both China and the world, has come into effect since January 1, 2021. The fundamental objective of the Civil Code is to facilitate the protection of peoples extensive civil rights and provide sufficient remedies for right holders whenever their rights are infringed upon.Apart from serving as a policy instrument for stimulating innovation, intellectual property (IP) rights have long been considered a significant category of private rights. The IP regime, thus, is deeply rooted in and closely related to the civil law system.With social and economic development, people have become increasingly vigilant about protecting their IP rights, viewing them as equally important as other traditional civil rights, such as life, property and freedom. As a civil code promulgated in the new era, the Civil Code has to respond to this trend properly for both private and public concerns. This is the reason it addresses the IP issue more vigorously than preceding civil legislations. Taking those concerning technical contracts into consideration, there are 52 clauses associated with IP rights, among which Article 123 and Article 1185 of the Code are purely IP-related clauses.Article 123 stipulates that the parties to civil legal relations enjoy IP rights in accordance with the law and lists them explicitly in respect of different objects, including works, inventions, trademarks, geographic indications and trade secrets. It is the declaration and confirmation of the civil law status of IP rights and links up the Civil Code with respective specific IP laws, such as the Copyright Law, the Patent Law and the Trademark Law.Article 1185 maintains that where any harm caused intentionally by a tort to the IP rights of another person has serious circumstances, the victim of the tort shall have the right to...

China's 'two sessions' demonstrate vitality of socialist democracy

The fourth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference kicks off at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 4. (Photo by Zhang Wujun/People’s Daily) The annual “two sessions” of China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congres

'Patriots governing Hong Kong' to return bright future to HKSAR

Hong Kong Miniature Exhibition 2020 is held in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, Dec. (Photo by Long Wei/People’s Daily Online) China's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), will deliberate a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Ad

Western media should investigate deaths and serious injuries related to Pfizer vaccine

An illustration shows vials of a COVID-19 vaccine and syringes with the logos of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech. Christian Daily, a Los Angeles-based media outlet, reported on Friday that according to a whistleblower, COVID-19 vaccinations from the Pfizer shots have res

Observer: Improving Hong Kong's electoral system important for developing high-quality democracy

The fourth session of the 13th National Peoples Congress (NPC) opened in Beijing on Friday. Wang Chen, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of NPC, explained a draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the opening meeting of the session.The explanation said that implementing the principles of “patriots governing Hong Kong” and filling up loopholes in the electoral system has allowed Hong Kong people to see hope for getting rid of their political conflicts, and let the world see China’s determination to ensure the sound and steady development of the "one country, two systems" policy and maintain Hong Kongs stability.It is the central government’s power and responsibility to lead the improvement of Hong Kong’s electoral system. The central government leads the improvement to ensure Hong Kongs democratic system will develop more smoothly in a healthy way. Hong Kong people have been tortured by endless political disputes and social divides for a long time, and they have long desired that the central government take action to solve these issues. This is for the welfare of Hong Kong. And it is a matter of internal affairs for China.However, complaints came from the outside world. Some Western politicians jumped to make indiscriminate accusations, and some public opinion organizations followed, quickly accusing China of "suppressing Hong Kongs democracy." The trick that turns things upside down reveals their ideological prejudice and ignorance of Hong Kong’s real situation. Who is the true defender of Hong Kongs democracy? Who is disrupting Hong Kongs political order, prosperity and stability? Slander cannot conceal the facts, and justice is in people’s hearts.To comment on an issue, we must first figure out the ins and outs, otherwise the comment will be likely to be preconceived and not take into account other vantage points. Britain had ruled Hong Kong for more ...

China's government work report impressive and visionary

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presented a government work report on March 5 during the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 13th National Peoples Congress.Much has already been written about the comprehensive details that he shared concerning Chinas many successes over the past year, especially with respect to containing the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring rapid economic recovery, so the present analysis will risk redundancy by reviewing all of them. Instead, this piece will focus more on the bigger picture of Chinas impressive achievements and its visionary plans for a truly win-win future for all. Containing COVID-19 was a miraculous achievement that was made possible by President Xi Jinpings leadership and direct involvement in this pressing task of global significance. The Communist Party of China, the countrys armed forces, and the Chinese people all contributed to this glorious victory, which in turn enabled China to bounce back faster and more effectively than many other places on earth. All the while, China succeeded in eradicating absolute poverty, which contributed to stabilizing its economic fundamentals and ensuring a subsequent GDP growth of 2.3 percent last year. This achievement made it possible for the Chinese government to set the goal of six percent GDP growth this year, which it is confident will be reached as the country continues to implement its new development philosophy of dual circulation.In connection with this, innovation-driven development will be prioritized in parallel with reducing taxes and other business costs. Administration will continue to be streamlined and power will increasingly be delegated for regulation. Environmental progress will continue apace, as will improvements in healthcare and education. The peoples intellectual and cultural needs will also be taken care of. Workers are seen working in a workshop of an automobile manufacturing plant in Qingzhou City, east Chinas Shandong Provin...

Function, role consolidation of HK Election Committee core of electoral system reform: expert

HK LegCo File photo:VCG A detailed draft decision to overhaul the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region electoral system was unveiled on Friday at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), laying out targets and principles for the imminent reforms, Wang Che

China's 2021 growth target signals shift to structural reforms

The Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Photo: VCG)China’s 2021 growth target signals the policy focus has shifted to structural reforms. The 2021 real GDP growth target is set at "above 6 percent", lower than the market consensus growth forecast of about 8.5 percent. This growth target means the governments policy focus is shifting away from short-term growth to longer-term structural reforms. Indeed, Premier Li said the growth target is "conducive to guiding all parties to concentrate on promoting reform and renovation and achieving high-quality growth". The government confirmed that it will continue to set annual growth targets in the next five years.The fiscal stance will normalize gradually. The governments budget deficit target will be reduced to 3.2 percent of GDP this year from 3.6 percent last year, while local government special bond quotas will be reduced slightly. We estimate these targets imply about a 50 percent withdrawal of last years stimulus measures. As a result, we forecast total fiscal spending will grow 8 percent in 2021, providing sufficient support to economy.Monetary policy will keep loan rates low and strengthen support to small and medium-sized enterprises. The government announced it will guide "a further reduction in the effective loan rates". Policy support will be targeted at SMEs and businesses still affected by COVID-19. In fact, the government targets a 30 percent increase of SME loans by big commercial banks. The annual average CPI Inflation target is set at 3 percent this year, which is a reasonable target given the current low inflation rates.The government is supporting innovation especially in the manufacturing sector. It envisages R&D spending will grow at least 7 percent per year in the next five years, and R&D share in GDP should increase further from 2.4 percent currently. The central government will increase its own spending on fundamental research by 10.6 percent in 2...

HK's electoral system reform to safeguard prosperity, stability

Photo taken on July 1, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square after a flag-raising ceremony held by the government of the Hong Kong special administrative region in Hong Kong. Yet the move to initiate reform in the SAR's electoral system to ensure that is the case has undeniably ruffled the feathers

China's eradication of extreme poverty a historic achievement

On Thursday last week, President Xi Jinping announced China had succeeded in eradicating extreme poverty.Children hold lambs in Pumaqangtang Township of Nagarze County in Shannan, southwest Chinas Tibet Autonomous Region, April 15, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)This is a historic achievement. China managed to bring more than 800 million people out of poverty in just four decades – about 100 million people since 2013, when President Xi announced the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2020.No other country can claim to have brought so many people out of poverty in such short period of time – basically less than two generations.However, as reminded by President Xi on several occasions, ending poverty is not the end, but just a step towards building a "strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and modern socialist society" – China’s long-term goal.China would still need to deal with several challenges in its pursuit towards a strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and modern socialist society.The following are in my view the three main priorities China would need to focus on in the years after 2020.First, sustaining poverty achievements.There is still a significant part of the population, particularly in rural areas, that is "above" but "close" to the poverty line. These people remain vulnerable to shocks, and they are at risk at falling or falling back into poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that while everyone can potentially be infected by the virus, it is the most vulnerable that are the most affected by the impacts of the pandemic. It is important to invest to increase and diversify the income generating opportunities in rural areas, enhance access to financial services – credit and insurance – to rural households, and expand the coverage of social protection and safety net programs to cover this segment of the population. By doing so, this group of more ‘vulnerable’ people will be more capable to cope with and recover from sh...

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