China. In October, the National Party Congress (NPK) was launched, which according to the Communist Party’s statutes formally appoints the members of the Central Committee, the Politburo and the party’s standing committee for the coming five-year term. According to Countryaah.com, this 19th National Party Congress reaffirmed a trend that has become increasingly apparent in recent years, namely that China has moved away from the collective leadership of President Xi Jinping’s representative, Hu Jintao. There is no doubt that Xi is the country’s unquestionable leader and when “Xi Jinping’s thoughts on socialism from a Chinese perspective in a new era” was entered into the Communist Party’s statutes, he was granted a status that only Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping had among Communist China’s leaders. The fact that Xi did not appoint a clear successor could be seen as confirmation of speculation that he intended to remain as the party’s secretary general and the country’s president even after the next party congress. In this case, this would be in conflict with recent practices, where the highest leader resigned after two terms of office. About 70% of the members of the Central Committee were replaced and only two of the seven members of the standing committee were left: Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Xi Jinping himself. Youngest among the new members is Zhao Leji (born 1957), who took over after Xi’s close associate Wang Qishan as head of the attention-fighting corruption.
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As the region’s most powerful nation, the Chinese regime had to deal with the tense situation caused by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. The balance between trying to keep North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in check without letting the US gain influence in the region was exemplified by two decisions during the first quarter of the year. In February, coal imports from North Korea were halted in line with new UN sanctions imposed due to North Korean missile tests. The following month, China responded to South Korea’s decision to erect a US-built robot shield with an order for Chinese tour operators to cancel trips to South Korea after March 15. North Korea was also an important topic of conversation when Xi Jinping visited US President Donald Trump on his Florida property in early April. In May, Beijing again protested against US missile defense systems being used in South Korea. In June, the United States imposed sanctions on the Chinese bank Dandong. The Americans accused the bank of laundering money for North Korea. The purpose of the sanctions was to put pressure on China to make it difficult for North Korea to finance its nuclear weapons and missile program.
At the end of June, the human rights activist and 2010 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xiaobo, was released after eight years in prison for so-called subversive activities against the Chinese state. The serious cancer patient Liu died just over two weeks later, 61 years old. A few days later, the founder of the human rights organization New Citizens’ Movement, lawyer Xu Zhiyong, was released. He was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to four years in prison. In October, Chinese authorities announced that the Swedish citizen, bookstore Gui Minhai, had been released. Gui, who has published politically sensitive books from Hong Kong, disappeared from his home in Thailand in 2015. In early 2016, he appeared in state-run Chinese television where he pleaded guilty to a several-year-old traffic accident. Gui was kept in secret custody in China until he was released.
In February, Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, formerly Hong Kong’s highest leader, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for malpractice. In June, Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong for the first time as president. The occasion was the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China from the United Kingdom. Prior to the visit, several democracy activists were arrested who planned events during Xi’s visit. In July, the issue was decided on four members who, in the previous year, refused to take their oaths correctly during the inaugural ceremony of the Hong Kong Legislative Assembly, LegCo. The four politicians, all of whom participated in the democracy movement in 2014, were disqualified by the Hong Kong Supreme Court. The following month, the news came that three of the leaders during the democracy demonstrations three years earlier had been sentenced to prison for between six and eight months. The prison sentences meant that the three were prevented from running for election in Hong Kong for the next five years. The verdict caused tens of thousands of people to protest on the streets of Hong Kong.
1949 People’s Republic of China
When the Communists came to power in 1949, they faced a gigantic task. China was one of the poorest countries in the world. The cultivable area was small compared to the population of 500 million. The country had been haunted by the chaos and war of a human age. The old system had broken down. The most important task initially was to get an administration working and to get the economy back on track. Food production came first.
In 1950, the Korean War broke out, forcing poor and depleted China into a new effort to prevent North Korea from being occupied by the United States and South Korea.
The reconstruction period was characterized by a cautious liberal policy, without the major structural changes. The capitalists who were not too compromised by cooperation with Chiang were allowed to continue their business. One of the reasons for this was that the Communists had no experience with the administration of major cities and industry. But the landlord’s rule was abolished. The land was distributed to the small and medium-sized farmers. The Communists had a wealth of experience to build on from the Soviets established in the 1930s and later from the liberated areas. These land reforms were already so extensive from Japan’s capitulation that any compromise with Chiang had been ruled out. Chinese politics in the reconstruction phase has many similarities to Soviet politics in NEP period, immediately after the victory of the Russian Revolution.
In 1952 the reconstruction was completed and the first five-year plan for the period 1953-1957 was presented. China was about to lay the foundations for a socialist society. During this period, some disagreement emerged in the management of the CCP about which strategy to follow. All Chinese leaders agreed that rapid economic growth and rapid industrialization were necessary. The two different strategies developed can be simplified as follows: 1. a centralized bureaucratic line where immediate economic growth should have the highest priority; 2. a more immediate revolutionary and political line where the key words were to rely on mass action and to place great emphasis on political awareness.
Different climates; Desert and steppe climate in Central Asia with extreme temperature differences. Continental cold winter climate in Manchuria.
Temperate climate in the area of the east coast. Subtropical and tropical climates in southern China. Typhoons frequent the south coast in autumn. Precipitation decreases from south to north.