Posted inAustralia, China, North Korea, Northeast Asia, Oceania, Pakistan, South Asia

The Daily Brief for Friday, 26 May 2017

Kim’s rocket stars: After successful missile launches, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un often exchanges smiles and hugs with the same three men and shares a celebratory smoke with them. Ju-min Park and James Pearson write that the three are of great interest to Western security and intelligence agencies since they are the top people in the secretive country’s rapidly accelerating missile program.

China’s hypnotic pull: The allure of a China, where one sells one of something to every person in the country, can make otherwise sensible people act insensibly, argues Grant Newsham. This is because doing business in the People’s Republic of China, says Newsham, requires willingness to overlook dangers that in any other country would unnerve foreign investors and businessmen.

Duterte facing crisis: The Philippine leader says he will resort to any means necessary, including nationwide martial law, to counter the rising threat of Islamic State-linked militancy, reports Richard Javad Heydarian. Duterte is facing a security crisis after the Maute group, also known as the Islamic State of Lanao (ISL), laid siege to the city of Marawi, the largest in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

Australia-Chinese property surge: The majority of Sydney residents are opposed to foreign property ownership after a surge in Chinese purchases and skyrocketing prices. Helen Clark reports that a recent survey showed 55 percent of Sydney residents disagreeing with the idea that foreigners should be allowed to buy property, and by foreign the respondents meant mainly Chinese, who were the focus of the report.

Silk Road troubles: A fresh wave of terror assaults in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan has been carried out by militants determined to disrupt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. F.M. Shakil reports that in the last two weeks, thirty-eight people have been killed, scores more injured and now two Chinese workers have been kidnapped.

Posted inChina

China Digest for Friday, 26 May 2017

Stricter requirements on opening bank accounts

The People’s Bank of China imposed restrictions requiring banks to ensure that people can provide proof of identity before opening accounts in a bid to prevent money laundering, it said in a website notice. Banks must also ensure that its existing clients do not sell their accounts, which can be used for crimes such as bribery or phone scams, it said.

Commercial banks can offer treasury bond futures: Fang Xinghai

China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai says commercial banks will be encouraged to offer treasury bond futures as the next step in the development of the country’s market, Caixin reported.

Foreign investment limits eased in auto industry

Restrictions will be lifted on the limit of foreign stakes in automobile manufacturing businesses, including new energy vehicles, batteries and motorcycles, said the Ministry of Commerce in a Caixin report.

Ministry issues 1 billion social security cards

More than 72% of Chinese residents hold social security cards, with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issuing the 1 billionth one on May 25, Sina reported. Card holders can pay for 102 medical services in more than 90% of cities till the end of 2017 and can use it to make pension payments.

New entrants allowed to break state monopoly in oil-gas mining

Authorities will allow qualified firms to join the oil and gas mining industry to break the monopoly of state-owned enterprises, the Securities Daily reported.

Gasoline, diesel prices increase a fourth time this year

Xinhua reported that prices of gasoline and diesel had risen to 140 yuan per ton (US$20.30 per ton) and 135 yuan per ton, respectively, from May 26, which was the fourth increase this year.

Institutions must be fair in property lotteries, Nanjing warns

Nanjing warned notarial institutions to ensure fair practice in conducting lotteries for property sales such as verifying applicants’ names, said the Paper. The local government suggested early in May that developers use a lottery if the number of buyers exceeded the number of flats.

Five-day halt on factory output in Zhengzhou to reduce pollution

Zhengzhou ordered factories that make volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to stop production from 10am to 5pm over a five-day period from May 25 to cut ozone pollution, China News reported. Painting organic solvents outdoors will be banned from 8am to 6pm.

Industry shuffle to speed up in listed real estate firms

A report shows China Vanke, China Overseas Land and Investment and Evergrande Real Estate Group top the charts of listed property enterprises, the Securities Daily said. Analysts expected the industry reshuffle of listed firms to accelerate, it said.

Network Security Law to take effect in June

The country’s first Network Security Law will be implemented on June 1 to improve the legal system and society’s awareness on cybersecurity, the Economic Information Daily reported.