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China

‘Gaituguiliu’ causes division in Hong Kong

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Protesters carry umbrellas as they attend a demonstration in support of the city-wide strike and to call for democratic reforms in Hong Kong, China, 5 August 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon).

Author: Baogang He, Deakin University

Millions of people have recently marched through the streets of Hong Kong in protest against proposed amendments to the city’s Extradition Law. The upheaval has attracted significant analysis, but Hong Kong–mainland relations could perhaps be better understood from the perspective of ‘Gaituguiliu’.

Gaituguiliu refers to the traditional Chinese policy where the central government replaces the local rulers’ inheritance system with a central direct appointment system — a Chinese model of integration and grand union. This was facilitated through the use of Confucian culture and education. Gaituguiliu was practiced across many dynasties — in particular during the Ming and Qing eras — and can be seen as a ‘gene’ of Chinese civilisation. Variants of the policy can be seen today in Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

Hong Kong is theoretically governed under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. But Beijing has adopted the ‘Grand Union’ policy and has asserted its ‘overall jurisdiction’ — comprehensive power to manage and rule Hong Kong as per the official White Paper of June 2014. For over 22 years, Gaituguiliu has eroded the ideal of ‘one country, two systems’.

From the perspective of Gaituguiliu, Beijing’s resistance and opposition to direct elections is understandable. Gaituguiliu believers are sceptical about democratic autonomy and believe that China needs a new version of Gaituguiliu to accelerate the process of integration towards a single administrative system where the central government appoints local governors. Conversely, many Hong Kongers demand universal suffrage and believe in the value of democratic autonomy.

Gaituguiliu’s influence can be seen in numerous areas. For example, Beijing has set up various government institutions and agencies in Hong Kong and has increasing power and influence. The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong is heavily involved in the management of Hong Kong affairs. Even the Chinese Communist Party has established party branches and recruits members there.

China promotes patriotic education and Mandarin Chinese as requirements of Gaituguiliu. The five interpretations of the ‘Hong Kong Basic Law’ issued by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee have ensured unity within a diversified legal system. China’s military garrison in Hong Kong also guarantees a military base enforcing Gaituguiliu. The rise of China’s economy, especially following the recent construction of the Greater Bay Area region, integrates Hong Kong into the mainland economy.

At the social level, Beijing controls the entry quota of 150 mainland settlers into Hong Kong on a daily basis, with the number of mainland immigrants over the past 20 years having reached one million people — resulting in so-called ‘mainlandisation’.

Many Hong Kongers are disappointed and frustrated in the face of a continued intensification of Gaituguiliu and are defending their way of life and demanding democratic autonomy. In 2014, the 79-day Occupy Central Movement demanded the direct election of the chief executive. The election in September 2016 saw six young people without political experience elected as members of the Legislative Council.

Some of the younger generation that grew up in the period following Hong Kong’s return to China even advocate independence. From the democratic perspective, some Hong Kong youths do not see any hope of democracy under China’s authoritarianism.

The emergence and development of the Hong Kong independence movement is further accelerating the pace of China’s Gaituguiliu policy. Beijing is tightening its control over Hong Kong’s independence movement by elevating the ‘Grand Union’ as a core national interest and national security issue. The central government also intensified its Gaituguiliu process in response. The 2019 revision of the Extradition Law represents the legal process of expediting Gaituguiliu that inspired large-scale local protests.

The 2019 marches opposing amendments to the Extradition Law reflects the determination of the local movement to defend the autonomy of Hong Kong’s legal system and prevent Hong Kong from becoming another mainland city. One special characteristic of the demonstrations is the protest against symbols of China — the China–Hong Kong High Speed railway station and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government.

Among the Hong Kong local movement, there is a belief that new immigrants from…

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Canberra ties the knot with Washington

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Canberra ties the knot with Washington

Abstract

Australia has shifted its strategy towards favoring the United States over China due to increasing fear of Chinese power and the competitive Indo-Pacific environment.

The ‘riding two horses’ strategy adopted by Canberra over the past 25 years has shifted in favor of the US alliance to counter China’s growing power. Previous prime ministers sought to balance relations between China and the US, with Kevin Rudd aiming for ‘true friendship’ with China while also promising military intervention if needed. Tony Abbott’s approach was driven by ‘fear and greed’, and John Howard acknowledged the benefits of a relationship with both countries.

However, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed a desire to strengthen the US alliance and cooperate with China while also engaging in Australia’s national interest. This shift is evident in actions such as sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait and introducing legislation to facilitate the AUKUS security partnership.

The Indo-Pacific environment has become more competitive, leading Australia to prioritize fear over greed in its alignment. As China’s GDP continues to rise and may overtake the US by 2030, Canberra’s strategy is likely to continue favoring alignment with Washington due to the lack of a viable alternative for addressing its fear of China’s power.

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2024 China IIT Reconciliation: Appointment Through IIT App Opens on February 21st

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Annual IIT reconciliation for 2023 must be done from March 1 to June 30, 2024. Final tax settlement appointments must be made after February 21, 2024. The process involves checking and reporting on IIT paid and deducted in 2023 to calculate refundable or supplementary tax.


Annual IIT reconciliation for the year 2023 is required to be made during the period from March 1 to June 30, 2024. For those who need to make the final tax settlement between March 1 to March 20, they need to make an appointment after February 21, 2024.

On February 1, 2024, the State Taxation Administration (STA) issued the Announcement on Matters Relating to the Final Settlement of Individual Income Tax on Consolidated Income for the Year 2023 (the Announcement), clarifying matters related to the annual individual income tax (IIT) reconciliation for the year 2023.

Annual IIT reconciliation, or annual IIT settlement, is a process applied to individual taxpayers on their comprehensive income (an individual’s combined income of wages and salaries, remuneration from labor services, author’s remuneration, and royalties), to make sure their IIT paid in the previous tax year is accurate.

During the process, individual taxpayers will need to recheck their IIT paid and deducted in the tax year, calculate the refundable or supplementary tax payable, report to the tax authorities, and make the tax settlement.

In this article, we introduce key issues related to the annual IIT reconciliation in 2024 and the key changes as compared to previous years.

After the end of the year 2023, a resident individual is required to consolidate his/her four types of comprehensive income, namely wages and salaries, remuneration for personal services, author’s remuneration, and royalties obtained from January 1 to December 31, 2023, to compute the final tax payable amount. The taxpayer needs to deduct the prepaid tax amount in 2023 to obtain the tax refundable or the tax to be made up amount. Further, the taxpayer is required to declare to tax authorities for a tax refund or tax to be made up.

Tax Refundable or Tax to Be Made Up = [(Annual Comprehensive Income – RMB 60,000- Special Deductions – Special Additional Deductions – Other Deductions Determined Pursuant to the Law – Qualified Public Welfare And Charitable Donations) × Applicable Tax Rate – Quick Deduction] – Prepaid Tax Amount

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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The Year of the Dragon brings record-breaking travel and consumption during the 2024 Chinese Spring Festival

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The Chinese New Year holiday saw a remarkable recovery in the tourist industry, with travel numbers and revenues exceeding 2023 and pre-pandemic levels. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism reported unprecedented growth, showcasing the industry’s resilience despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


The tourist industry registered significant growth during this year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays, the first to be completely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the latest figure released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, both travel numbers and tourism-related revenues reached unprecedented levels, surpassing figures registered during the 2023 Chinese New Year while also surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels.

Rebound in domestic and international travels

According to the data released by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Sunday, domestic tourism registered a remarkable performance during this year’s eight-day celebration.

The data reveals a significant surge in domestic trips, totaling 474 million trips made across the country from February 10 to February 18, marking a notable increase of 34.4 percent compared to the same period in 2023. This figure attracted special attention as it was a 19 percent rise compared with that in 2019.

The surge in travel within the country was facilitated by traditional transportation models, such as railways, civil aircraft, and waterways. Additionally, this year there has been also an increase in travelers embarking on independent road trips, partially due to the current rise in popularity of electric cars in China. This trend was further encouraged by the government’s efforts to stimulate the purchase of these vehicles as a way to boost domestic consumption. To cater to this trend, provinces ensured the temporary deployment of additional recharging stations in service areas, ensuring a seamless travel experience for travelers.

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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