SwedCham China Insights for the Week of July 1 - July 5 , 2024

china insights

Top news of the week:

Communist Party of China on track for 100 million members by year’s end

1 July 2024

Membership of the Communist Party of China reached 99 million last year and is on track to reach 100 million by the end of 2024, but the rate of growth continues to slow, according to the latest official tally. In line with tradition, the data was released a day ahead of the July 1 celebrations to honour the party’s founding in 1921.Data shows membership is becoming more educated, whilst fall in younger membership slows; women and ethnic minority groups are signing up in greater numbers.


President Xi hails ‘unique’ links with Kazakhstan on a State visit

2 July 2024

President Xi Jinping hailed China’s long-standing “unique” ties with Kazakhstan as he arrived in the Central Asian country on Tuesday for a state visit. He also pledged an “in-depth exchange of views” on bilateral and international matters with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who received the Chinese leader at the airport in the capital Astana.


Shenzhou-18 taikonauts complete second spacewalk

3 July 2024

The Shenzhou-18 taikonauts on board China's orbiting space station completed their second spacewalk at 10:51 p.m. (Beijing Time) on Wednesday, according to the China Manned Space Agency.


Trans-Caspian international transportation route opens to enhance Central Asia's role as a key hub between East and West

4 July 2024

On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev presided over the opening ceremony of a road transport route to a Caspian Sea port via video link, bolstering Kazakhstan's efforts to improve its connectivity.


China calls for advancing consultation on EU's anti-subsidy probe into Chinese EVs

5 July 2024

China hopes that the EU will work with it in the same direction and show sincerity in advancing the consultation concerning the EU's anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Thursday.


Insight of the week:

As the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) convened that week in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, Chinese President Xi Jinping leveraged the forum to advocate for a multipolar global order amidst escalating tensions with Western nations. SCO, the Central Asian economic and security alliance, established by China and Russia in 2001, represented over 40 per cent of the world's population and was set to expand to 10 members that year with the inclusion of Belarus. During the summit in Astana, Xi engaged with his SCO counterparts to discuss developmental blueprints and build consensus on cooperation, aimed at bolstering peace and prosperity across the Eurasian continent and beyond.


The SCO facilitated China’s projection of influence, particularly across Central Asia and the Global South. The previous week, Xi emphasised the importance of “bridges of communication” between countries and sought to further position China as an alternative to the U.S. and its allies.


For host Kazakhstan and other Central Asian nations, the summit was an opportunity to deepen cooperation with larger, more powerful neighbours. Kazakhstan, for example, regularly engaged with both neighbouring Russia and China, while also fostering connections with the West, evidenced by visits that year from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron. On Thursday, Belarus officially joined the SCO, becoming its 10th member state.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi opted to skip the meeting, delegating his foreign minister to attend in his stead. Modi's absence was perceived by some as an attempt to downplay the summit's significance amid New Delhi's efforts to maintain a delicate balance in its foreign policy.

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