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China

China sent who to the UN?

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Chinese Vice President Han Zheng told the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday that the world should resist U.S. hegemonism, reject the use of human rights as a “political tool” and never doubt Beijing’s plans to reunite China’s mainland with the democratic island of Taiwan.

The mostly anodyne speech hewed closely to standard lines often repeated by China’s leaders and, in the end, was less notable for its contents than for who delivered them: a little-known figure on the world stage promoted to vice president only six months ago.

Han was left to deliver China’s remarks after both President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi opted to stay away from New York.

But the former Shanghai mayor showed he was well versed.

In a thinly veiled dig at the United States, Han said China “opposes hegemonism, power politics, unilateralism and Cold War mentality” and that “legitimate security concerns of all countries” had to be addressed, in apparent defense of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The vice president attacked what he said was “double standards” in international criticism of its human rights abuses. He said Beijing opposed, “in particular, the use of human rights and democracy as a political tool to interfere in the affairs of other countries.”

Almost like clockwork, Han then reiterated Beijing’s stance that  the democratic island of Taiwan is a renegade Chinese province.

“Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China’s territory since ancient times,” he said, adding no one in the world “should ever underestimate the firm resolve, strong will and the power of the Chinese people to safeguard their sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Moscow trip

Xi was not the only leader to snub the assembly, with French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, also staying away from New York.

Xi’s decision to not even send Wang, though, was all the more conspicuous due to where the foreign minister was instead: Moscow, on a four-day trip to meet with Putin, inviting him to visit Xi next month for a high-profile Belt and Road conference in Beijing.

In the weeks leading up to the U.N. General Assembly, there had been speculation that Wang might use a trip to New York to also meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited Beijing in June and extended an open invitation to Wang to make a return U.S. visit.

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Credit: Mary Altaffer/AP

But a senior Russian official said on Tuesday that Wang’s trip to Moscow was important for the new Russia-China axis opposing the Western world, according to a report in the Associated Press.

“Amid the campaign unleashed by the collective West that is aimed at the double containment of Russia and China,” said Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, “it’s particularly important to further deepen Russian-Chinese coordination and interaction on the international arena.”

Instead of meeting Wang, Blinken met with Han on Monday. The Chinese vice president seemed to tell reporters before the meeting that Beijing thought the United States could do more to thaw ties.

“We sincerely hope that the U.S. would take more concrete action to deliver on the common understanding between our leaders for the sound and steady growth in China-U.S. relations,” Han said.

Blinken, in diplomatic terms, called for more in-person meetings.

“From the perspective of the United States,” he said, “face-to-face diplomacy is the best way to deal with areas where we disagree, and also the best way to explore areas of potential cooperation between us.  The world expects us to responsibly manage our relationship.”

No facetime

Blinken is one of four Biden administration cabinet members – along with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, climate envoy John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo – to have visited Beijing since June, with no Chinese officials making the return visit so far.

Meetings between Biden and Xi – who have not met since last year’s G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, where they pledged to “responsibly manage” ties to avoid conflict – have also been postponed.

The pair were also expected to meet at this year’s G-20 summit in New Delhi earlier this month, but Xi chose not to attend. Biden said he was “disappointed,” but added that he was still “going to get to see him.”

Speculation has now shifted to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco in November, where the two leaders could meet on the sidelines if the Chinese president, who has so far this year only left China for trips to Russia and South Africa, decides to attend. 

Earlier this month, China’s spy agency hinted that a Biden-Xi meeting depended on the United States “showing sufficient sincerity.”

But there remains hope. Over the weekend, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with Wang in Malta while Wang was en route to Russia, reportedly to lay groundwork for a meeting. 

The White House called the meeting “candid, substantive and constructive,” said that it built off Biden and Xi’s meeting in Bali and added that it hoped for “additional high-level engagement” soon.

Edited by Malcolm Foster.

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China

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.

Read the complete article on East Asia Forum

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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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