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A Guide To Contemporary China

Young Chinese “Confident, Aspirant Responsible” Says Govt Paper

The government released its first nationwide official document recently, focusing on its youth. The document, titled “Youth of China in the New Era,” was published by the Chinese State Council Information Office ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China. The white paper said that young Chinese people in the new era are confident, aspirant and responsible. They wholeheartedly support the leadership of the Communist Party of China. With a global vision, they stand at the forefront of the times “bursting with commitment: pursuing lofty ideals with a firm belief in Marxism, communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics; full of patriotism, sharing weal and woe with the country and the people”.

Source: Global Times

Shanghai Lockdown Will Harm Auto Industry

In a social media post, He Xiaopeng, CEO of Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng, warned that production in all domestic auto assembly plants could pause unless key suppliers in Shanghai and surrounding areas figured out a way to re-open by May. Richard Yu Chengdong, head of Huawei’s consumer and auto division, expressed similar concerns in a WeChat post. “If Shanghai is unable to resume production by May, all of the tech and industrial players who have supply chains in the area will come to a complete halt, especially the automotive industry,” Yu wrote warning that “economic losses across these industries could be huge.” China is battling its biggest COVID-19 outbreak since early 2020, driven by the highly transmissible BA.2 version of the Omicron variant. Shanghai and northeastern Jilin province are the two regions logging the most cases. Both serve as major hubs for auto production, making up over one-fifth of the national output in 2020.

Source: Sixth Tone

China Introduces Private Pension Scheme

The government is rolling out the first private pension scheme in the latest effort to tackle the strains of an aging population. According to the World Health Organization, in 20 years, 28% of China’s population will be more than 60 years old, up from 10% today, making it one of the most rapidly ageing populations in the world. The new pension scheme means that individual Chinese can invest upto 12,000 Yuan or a little over $1,800 in private pension accounts. It is esttimated that on an average, Chinese have as much as 35,000 Yuan or over $5000 in investible funds at their disposal. The government will also offer tax incentives to encourage participation in the new system.

Source: People’s Daily & Agencies

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Carbonated Tea Helps China Techno Clubbers To Party Longer

Despite challenges caused by Covid, frequent crackdowns, and skyrocketing rents for venues, the live electronic music scene in China is alive and well, with local labels breaking boundaries and dozens of clubs across the country keeping the party going. Mate (pronounced mah-tay) soft drinks, canned, carbonated herbal beverages derived from a traditional South American caffeine-rich drink, help fuel the late-night mayhem. Mate is part of a number of beverages that have worked their way into the thick of China’s underground music community, especially in the burgeoning techno subculture, where some clubs stock up to 40 cases per month. People in the industry say one of the reasons that Mate is popular is that there are little to no drugs in China and clubgoers want something to keep them going. But a lot of young Chinese people don’t drink that much alcohol, Mate is popular. Since it resembles tea yet functions like coffee, the drink is a win-win for both Chinese club owners and techno lovers.

Source: Radii China

China’s First Archaeological Museum To Open To The Public

Construction of China’s first archaeological museum in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, home to the famous Terracotta Warriors, has been completed and will soon welcome its first visitors. With an indoor exhibition area of 5,800 square meters and an outdoor exhibition area of 10,000 square meters, the museum will have on display a total of 5,212 cultural relics, all unearthed from archaeological sites in the province. Nearly 90 percent will be exhibited to the public for the first time, such as the stone carvings first discovered at the Neolithic City of Shimao 4,000 years ago. “The column-shaped stone carving from the Shimao site features the image of a double-faced deity. Such stone carvings were rarely seen in early Chinese archaeological findings,” said Sun Zhouyong, head of the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology. According to Sun, the museum displays will follow the development of Chinese archaeology, with cultural relics exhibited together with background on the sites where they were unearthed, as well as archaeological interpretations. There will also be exhibitions focusing on three major archaeological sites, Yangguanzhai, Lushanmao and Shimao, to introduce the abundant remains of the capital cities during the Qin (221-206 BC), Han (202 BC-AD 220) and Tang dynasties as well as imperial mausoleums, tombs of nobles and commoners.

Source: CGTN

Rural Handicrafts Can Help Preserve Uyghur Culture

China is doing its best to create jobs in rural areas and one of the areas they have focussed on is handicrafts. Recently, six departments including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism jointly issued the “Opinions on Promoting Cultural Industry Empowering Rural Revitalization”, drawing a blueprint for cultural industry empowering rural revitalization from seven aspects. Handicraft is one of the focus areas. What is of no surprise is that one of the focus areas is in Xinjiang. According to authorities they have incentivised the Xinjiang Hami Traditional Craft Workstation which is now committed to revitalizing Uyghur embroidery. By introducing design teams and commercial orders, it has established a handicraft cooperation system that radiates to the vast rural areas. A group of villagers went out of the village and Hami to exchange and study in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and a group of leaders have now emerged. This will ensure the preservation of cultural heritage, ensure poverty alleviation and drive rural people to innovate and start businesses and thus become rich together.

Source: Xinhua