China Joins the Arctic Council
Image Credit: Wikicommons (Creative Commons License)

China Joins the Arctic Council


Every week, The Diplomat’s editorial team scours the web to find the best material on all things China. From Beijing’s relations with its neighbors and growing military might, to a rapidly evolving economy and amazing arts and culture, we present a diverse grouping of articles for your reading pleasure.

Here are our top picks for this week. What did we miss? Want to share an important article with other readers? Please submit your links in the comment box below!

The CCP has dismissed Liu Tienan, deputy director of the powerful economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), from his ministry-level position over his “suspected involvement in serious disciplinary violations.” China’s media first announced Liu was under investigation on Sunday after allegations being made against him by a former mistress appeared on social media starting in last November. Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched an anti-gaffe campaign that he promised would target both “flies” and big “tigers.”

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Using the county-level city Leiyang, Hunan Province as a test case, the Economic Observer explores how urbanization is changing smaller cities in China.

The Information Office of the State Council released a white paper on Tuesday on the human rights situation in China in 2012. Here’s the full text, via Xinhua.

The People’s Daily quotes experts as saying that the yuan’s appreciation is reaching its upper limits, noting that “On Friday the central parity rate of the yuan hit 6.2016 against the US dollar after advancing to a record high of 6.1925 in the previous day. So far, the yuan's central parity has strengthened 881 basis points this year, while last year it gained 146 points.”

The world’s largest credit card company, Visa, hopes to begin a yuan-denominated business in China after Chinese regulators issue new guidelines for foreign companies to enter the domestic credit market.

China’s special envoy to the Middle East, Wu Sike, published an op-ed in U.S.-China Focus on Tuesday entitled “Leave Room For China in the Middle East Peace Process.” Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized that China would like to take on a greater role in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were visiting China.

China was one of six nations granted observer status at the Arctic Council during the body’s biennial meeting on Wednesday. The others were India, Italy, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

One of China's most beloved authors, Lao She's, private art collection was auctioned off on Saturday for US$27 million, the International Herald Tribune reports.

Human Rights Watch released a new report on Tuesday calling on the Chinese government to do more to protect the rights of prostitutes in China. Based on interviews with numerous women who work in the industry, the 51-page report “documents abuses by the police against female sex workers in Beijing, including torture, beatings, physical assaults, arbitrary detentions, and fines, as well as a failure to investigate crimes against sex workers by clients, bosses, and state agents.” The report also notes that many of the women working in the industry are rural migrants.


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