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China

Jiang Zemin Appears, Squelching Death Rumors

Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese president and Communist party chief, made a surprise appearance in public Sunday for the first time since he was reported to be seriously ill– and possibly dead –three months ago. Mr. Jiang, who is 85 years old, took a seat on stage among other Chinese leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty imperial government in 1911. State-run China Central Television showed Mr. Jiang, who retired as party chief in 2002 and as president in 2003, waving and listening to speeches during the ceremony, although his hair seemed to have thinned and at one moment he appeared to be falling asleep. Mr. Jiang, who came to power after the military crackdown on pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square in 1989, failed to appear at a similar ceremony in July to mark the 90th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party’s founding, sparking widespread rumors that he was either dead or at the point of death. The Chinese government is extremely secretive about the health of its leaders, not least because the deaths or funerals of previous party chiefs have often been triggers for political unrest, including the Tiananmen demonstrations in 1989. Chinese censors suppressed the rumors about Mr. Jiang’s health online and forbade state media from reporting them, but at least one media outlet in Hong Kong –a former British colony which is allowed greater media freedom–reported that he had actually died in early July. The state-run Xinhua news agency eventually published a rare denial, quoting “authoritative sources” saying the reports were “pure rumor.” Although Mr. Jiang hasn’t played an active role in day-to-day decision-making since his retirement, he has still been consulted on major party decisions, copied in on many important internal documents, and permitted to write notes alongside them, according to Chinese and Western political analysts. Those observers say he and other retired leaders also have a say in the selection of the next Party Politburo Standing Committee – the top decision-making body – which is due to see seven of its nine members retire next year in the biggest shakeup in a decade. Vice President Xi Jinping, 58, has already been anointed as the next party chief and president through his promotion to a key military post last year, but other seats on the Standing Committee are up for grabs and will be decided through horse-trading and maneuvering between various interest groups. Mr. Jiang helped to promote several key allies to the 25-person Politburo and the Standing Committee to preserve his political influence after he was succeeded as party chief by Hu Jintao in 2002, according to political analysts. – Jeremy Page

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Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese president and Communist party chief, made a surprise appearance in public Sunday for the first time since he was reported to be seriously ill– and possibly dead –three months ago. Mr. Jiang, who is 85 years old, took a seat on stage among other Chinese leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty imperial government in 1911. State-run China Central Television showed Mr. Jiang, who retired as party chief in 2002 and as president in 2003, waving and listening to speeches during the ceremony, although his hair seemed to have thinned and at one moment he appeared to be falling asleep. Mr. Jiang, who came to power after the military crackdown on pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square in 1989, failed to appear at a similar ceremony in July to mark the 90th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party’s founding, sparking widespread rumors that he was either dead or at the point of death. The Chinese government is extremely secretive about the health of its leaders, not least because the deaths or funerals of previous party chiefs have often been triggers for political unrest, including the Tiananmen demonstrations in 1989. Chinese censors suppressed the rumors about Mr. Jiang’s health online and forbade state media from reporting them, but at least one media outlet in Hong Kong –a former British colony which is allowed greater media freedom–reported that he had actually died in early July. The state-run Xinhua news agency eventually published a rare denial, quoting “authoritative sources” saying the reports were “pure rumor.” Although Mr. Jiang hasn’t played an active role in day-to-day decision-making since his retirement, he has still been consulted on major party decisions, copied in on many important internal documents, and permitted to write notes alongside them, according to Chinese and Western political analysts. Those observers say he and other retired leaders also have a say in the selection of the next Party Politburo Standing Committee – the top decision-making body – which is due to see seven of its nine members retire next year in the biggest shakeup in a decade. Vice President Xi Jinping, 58, has already been anointed as the next party chief and president through his promotion to a key military post last year, but other seats on the Standing Committee are up for grabs and will be decided through horse-trading and maneuvering between various interest groups. Mr. Jiang helped to promote several key allies to the 25-person Politburo and the Standing Committee to preserve his political influence after he was succeeded as party chief by Hu Jintao in 2002, according to political analysts. – Jeremy Page

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Jiang Zemin Appears, Squelching Death Rumors

China

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The New Company Law brings substantial changes with implications for new and existing foreign invested enterprises and stakeholders. Foreign investors must assess if adjustments to existing structures

Despite recent economic challenges, many organizations’ China operations provide unparalleled access to one of the world’s largest and most competitive global supply chains. Over the past 30 years, a significant number of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have been established in China. As of the end of 2022, the number of FIEs operating in China had exceeded 1.12 million.

Compared to their domestic counterparts, FIEs demonstrate greater caution regarding legal revisions and are diligent in making swift adjustments. This stems not only from the closer scrutiny FIEs face from regulatory authorities but also from their commitment to compliance and maintaining a competitive edge.

Clearly, there has been a shift in China’s corporate regulations—from merely encouraging an increase in the number of companies to focusing on attracting mature enterprises and higher-quality investments. While the transition from a broad approach to a more refined one may cause short-term challenges, it ultimately benefits the company’s long-term development. By returning to the original intent of setting registered capital, it not only protects the interests of creditors but also shields shareholders from the operational risks of the company.

In China’s foreign investment landscape, while most FIEs exercise commercial prudence in determining registered capital—factoring in capital expenditures, operational costs, and setting aside surplus funds—some opt for higher registered capital levels to avoid future capital increase procedures. This typically involves lengthy document signing and registration changes, lasting 1-2 months.

Joint ventures (JVs) often impose stricter payment deadlines for registered capital in their articles of association to ensure both parties’ simultaneous contributions align with operational needs. Conversely, wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) tend to favor flexibility in payment deadlines, often allowing full payment before the company’s operational period expires.

Given these circumstances, despite the generally stronger capital adequacy among foreign companies compared to domestic entities, many FIEs could be affected by the new capital contribution rules.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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China

Foreign Tourist Groups on Cruise Ships Fully Permitted Visa-Free Entry in China

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China will allow visa-free entry for foreign tourist groups arriving by cruise ship at 13 ports along the coast, starting May 15, 2024. Visitors must stay with the same ship and in permitted areas for up to 15 days. This policy aims to boost tourism and facilitate high-quality development in the cruise industry.


China’s immigration agency announced that it will grant a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups to enter China by cruise at all cruise ports along the coast of China, starting May 15, 2024. The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within permitted areas for no more than 15 days.

Effective May 15, 2024, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) has officially implemented a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships. This progressive move aims to enhance personnel exchanges and foster cooperation between China and other nations, furthering the country’s commitment to high-level openness.

Under this policy, foreign tourist groups, comprising two or more individuals, who travel by cruise ship and are organized by Chinese domestic travel agencies, can now enjoy visa-free entry as a cohesive group at cruise ports in 13 cities along the Chinese coast.

The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within China for no more than 15 days. The eligible areas for this policy are coastal provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and Beijing.

Furthermore, to support cruise tourism development, seven additional cruise ports—Dalian, Lianyungang, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beihai—have been included as applicable ports for visa-free transit.

The recent implementation of the visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships is poised to have several significant effects. The policy will provide crucial support for the cruise economy and the overall cruise industry. By facilitating smoother travel for foreign tourist groups, it acts as a catalyst for high-quality development in this sector.

Additionally, under this policy, international cruise companies can strategically plan their global routes by designating Chinese port cities, such as Shanghai, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, as docking destinations. This move is expected to attract more cruise ships to Chinese ports, ultimately bringing in a larger number of international visitors to the Chinese market.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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China’s New Tariff Law: Streamlining and Standardizing Current Tariff Regulations

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China’s new Tariff Law consolidates import and export duties, clarifies rules for imposing counter-tariffs, and sets a December 1, 2024 effective date. It codifies existing practices on cross-border e-commerce and rules on the origin of goods into law, impacting trade relations.


China’s new Tariff Law consolidates rules on import and export duties that were previously implemented via several legal documents and makes important clarifications and additions to prior regulations. Among other changes, it stipulates provisions for the Chinese government to impose counter-tariffs on imported goods, codifying these powers into law for the first time. We outline all the notable updates to the China Tariff Law and discuss the implications for the country’ current trade relations. 

On April 26, 2024, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, adopted the Tariff Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Tariff Law”) after several rounds of revisions.

The new Tariff Law will replace the Import and Export Tariff Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, which fall under the purview of the State Council, and adopts many of its provisions.

Previously, Chinese law had not stipulated legislative powers to implement countervailing tariffs, although China was nonetheless able to impose counter-tariffs on trade partners through other means.

China’s new Tariff Law comes into effect on December 1, 2024.

China’s Tariff Law elevates several existing provisions and practices to the level of law. For instance, Article 3 of the Tariff Law clarifies the obligations of cross-border e-commerce platforms for tariff withholding and implementing consolidated taxation.

The Tariff Law also solidifies the rules and regulations on the origin of goods, stipulating that the application of tariff rates shall comply with the corresponding rules of origin. Although this has been previously implemented in practice, it is the first time this has been codified into law.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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