With Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou now in office, Beijing appointed a veteran PRC diplomat, Wang Yi, to head the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. Wang replaced Chen Yunlin, who will now chair the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait, an organization created in 1991 to promote mainland-Taiwan relations.
China Market Intelligence
The PRC Ministry of Commerce recently released its 2008 Foreign Market Access report. The report, issued annually since 2003, reviews China's largest trading partners and includes country-specific information in three areas: bilateral economic and trade development, trade and investment regimes, and barriers to trade and investment.
The PRC Ministry of Education has estimated that roughly 5.5 million students will graduate from China's institutes of higher education in 2008, up roughly 13 percent over 2007. These fresh graduates may face uncertainty, however, as 1.44 million 2007 graduates--29 percent of the total for the year--had yet to find work by last autumn.
China's efforts to recover from the May 12 earthquake encountered new challenges in the form of strong aftershocks and evacuations in areas at risk of flooding, as a lake created by a landslide during the initial quake threatens tens of thousands of people in Sichuan. The official death toll from the quake has risen to 68,109 people, with 19,851 still missing.
The PRC government issued long-awaited instructions for the reform of the domestic telecom industry, and China's telecom companies announced a series of acquisitions to consolidate the number of domestic telecom players over the weekend. Post-restructuring third-generation (3G) licensing may lead to foreign investment opportunities in the historically restricted sector.
With the prospect of the passage of legislation on China's currency growing dimmer by the day, the US House of Representatives and Senate have shifted their China focus to trade enforcement bills.
The US-China Business Council (USCBC) held its Beijing China Operations 2008 conference on Wednesday, May 21. US Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt, Jr. gave the luncheon address, in which he discussed the past and future of US-China business relations as a tribute to USCBC's 35th anniversary.
China's relief efforts continue in the second week after the massive earthquake in Sichuan, with the death toll from the tragedy rising daily. China declared May 19-21 national days of mourning. The PRC Embassy in Washington, DC, made a condolence book available for the public to sign through Wednesday.
The US-China Business Council (USCBC) conducts an annual survey of its member companies on the opportunities and challenges they face in China's business environment. The results of the survey help prioritize the top issues for USCBC's reporting, advisory, and advocacy work in the United States and China on behalf of its membership.