On the eve of China’s annual parliamentary session — the National People’s Congress (NPC) — on March 5-16, Beijing announced plans to increase its military spending for 2007 by 17.8% to 350 billion yuan (US$45 billion), provoking immediate concern from Washington.
China’s much increased economic activities in Africa in recent years — investments in energy and natural resources extraction and loans to African governments — have provoked accusations that it is becoming a new neocolonial power in the continent.
Last November, Hu Deping, the deputy chief of the united front department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) central committee, called for a halt to the popular campaign that seeks to force mainland China’s new class of capitalists, most of whom acquired their initial wealth from embezzling the state sector, to return their ill-gotten gains for the public benefit.
On December 29, 2006, the 176-member standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC — China’s law-making body) lent its support to the draft of the proposed Property Law. Many fear this controversial law will help launder the enormous state wealth already appropriated illegitimately by corrupt Communist Party officials and their hangers-on, as well as encourage more such activities.
On November 6, quoting the Ministry of Public Security, the official Xinhua News Agency proudly announced there were only 17,900 “mass incidents” — Beijing’s term for mass protests — in the first nine months of 2006. Xinhua said it represented a drop of 22% from the same period last year.

More mass actions and workers' protests have erupted in China, releasing pent-up anger over further erosion of the workers' and peasants' living conditions. And the government has responded with severe repression. Up to 100,000 peasants

Four years ago the Chinese government sent in soldiers to clear Tiananmen Square of students, workers and other citizens who were demanding democratic reform. While the students and citizens sang the "Internationale", the army attacked. Hundreds

For increasing numbers of Chinese, Li Ning, a former Olympic gold medal gymnast and current business entrepreneur, stands as a symbol of China's new "enterprise culture". Together with other select sports stars, pop


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