Some Monday China links:
China employs around 2 million people to police public opinion online CNN reports, citing a story from The Beijing News. That’s half a million more people than the 1.5 million troops in the People’s Liberation Army, according to official statistics.
Not surprisingly, then, China is ranked as “not free” in Freedom House’s annual survey of internet freedom in 60 countries, which was released last week.
Also from CNN, a look at Peking University’s (Beida) Class of 1977, which includes Bo Xilai and Li Keqiang.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters on Monday that he hopes Australia and China can conclude a free trade agreement within a year. Channel News Asia has the story. PM Abbott made the comment after holding a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Xi also held a meeting with a senior Taiwan envoy on the sidelines of APEC on Sunday, in which he warned that a political solution to the Taiwan-China spat couldn’t be put off forever. “The issue of the political divide that exists between the two sides must step by step reach a final resolution and it cannot be passed on from generation to generation,” Xi said on Sunday, according to The South China Morning Post.
Reuters reports that China has warned the U.S., Japan and Australia against using their alliance to intervene in disputes in the East and South China Seas. The warning came after the two Foreign Ministers and U.S. Secretary of State released a joint statement following a trilateral strategic dialogue.
Xinhua reports that smog in Beijing was impeding travel over the weekend during the end of the national holiday week.