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China Reform Monitor - No. 987
China boasts of new ICBM, the DF-41;
Speculation Hu will seek “clean transfer” in CMC
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
September 10, 2012
Local traders angry about the influx and business practices of small-scale Chinese traders in Nairobi, Kenya have circulated anti-Chinese leaflets, staged a street protest, and petitioned the Office of Kenya’s Prime Minister. One Kenyan trader quoted in the Daily Nation newspaper said Chinese come “disguised as customers and ask for our prices, only to go back to their country and bring to the market the same products at a much lower price.” Another said: “Most don’t pay rent or city council levies. They are eating into our client base.” Protesters said Kenya’s government should enforce taxes on Chinese imports and traders and conduct studies on why they can sell goods cheaper than local traders. A statement from China’s embassy in Nairobi noted its efforts to “educate Chinese companies and citizens in Kenya to operate businesses within the law and live together in harmony with the local people.” It expressed concern over leaflets that “threaten both the Chinese business people in Kenya and the Kenyan people.”
[Editor’s Note: Small-scale traders in Dakar, Senegal; Lusaka, Zambia; Luanda, Angola; Maputo, Mozambique and many other African cities are contending with an influx of Chinese traders. Last month to protect local vendors Malawi passed a law restricting foreign traders to four cities and requiring a 250,000 Kwacha ($934) bank deposit marked for domestic investment.]
During a one-year crackdown on counterfeit and substandard food and drugs, China’s Ministry of Public Security has rewarded 12,000 informants more than 28 million yuan ($4.4 million) for providing information resulting in 185,000 criminal cases and the closing of 147,000 underground manufacturing or trading facilities, the semi-official Global Times reports. At an event publicizing the results, the ministry announced 18 cases, 228 arrests, and 500 million confiscated capsules related to the chromium-tainted drug capsule scandal exposed in April. Firms were making medicine capsules using industrial gelatin containing excessive levels of chromium. Authorities also closed and prosecuted manufacturers of reprocessed cooking oil.
On July 24 the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) strategic missile force, the Second Artillery Corps, test fired a state-of-the-art 10-warhead Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The military unit fired the missile toward the western desert thousands of miles from the Wuzhai Missile Test Center in Shanxi, the Chosan Ilbo reports. According to a military expert quoted in The Global Times: “The third generation ICBM equipped with multiple independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) is exactly the developing direction of the Second Artillery. Research is underway with the purpose of developing the next-generation ICBM that can hit targets anywhere in the world.” This is the first time state-owned media have acknowledged China is developing an ICBM equipped with multiple nuclear warheads that could defeat U.S. anti-missile defenses. The DF-41 has a range of 10,000-14,000 km, which would cover the entire U.S. Its predecessor, the DF-31, had a range of 7200-8000 km.
By 2020 China will use cloud seeding and other weather modification techniques to increase precipitation by 60 billion metric tons annually and extend the coverage of artificial hail suppression to more than 540,000 square km. The new system will manipulate cloud-water for agricultural production, emergency response, disaster relief and to prevent the disruption of major events. China used cloud seeding to prevent disruptions at the 2008 Summer Olympics, the official China Daily reports.
At the CPC’s 18th Party Congress Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is slated to become China’s next Premier, may also become a vice chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission (CMC), Reuters reports. To avoid internal rancor during the power transition outgoing President Hu Jintao offered a clean handover of the party, the presidency and the military to his successor, Xi Jinping. But in return he wants Li as vice chairman of the CMC, where he would oversee the 660,000-strong paramilitary People’s Armed Police (PAP) and protect Hu’s legacy in military affairs: moderation towards Taiwan and China’s territorial disputes. Two PLA generals will also be named vice chairman of the CMC, which oversees the PLA and the PAP. Jiang Zemin was CMC Chairman for two years after retiring as party chief and president.