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• China Premier Vows Protection for Farmers
• Chinese Premier Offers Taiwan Contact
• China to Build Two High-Speed Railways

China Premier Vows Protection for Farmers

2-14: In an effort to mollify violent conflicts in China’s rural areas, Premier Wen Jiabao has given his assurance that he would thwart any redevelopment takeovers of farmland. This matter has increasingly contributed to the clashes between the rich and the poor. The Chinese Parliament endorses the new five-year plan that would provide billions of dollars in aid to the rural countryside.

By law, the Chinese government owns all of the land. Spectators are wondering if the premier is suggesting that land can be privately owned, something that has not happened since the 1950s. However, he has avoided proposing anything new and avoided a reporter’s question about the possibility of privately owned land.

Chinese Premier Offers Taiwan Contact

2-13: Premier Wen Jiabao pointed a finger at Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian for attempts to pursue formal independence, blaming him for causing regional instability.

President Chen Shui-bian recently had eliminated a China-Taiwan unification council. In spite of the move, Premier Wen has offered official contacts with his party if Taiwan rejects its current attitude towards Taiwanese independence.

China to Build Two High-Speed Railways

2-13: On Monday China revealed plans for two railway projects with total costs estimated at $22 billion. The ambitious projects are for China’s second magnetic levitation (maglev) train and a high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai.

Faster and more convenient transportation by maglev seemingly makes Hangzhou a more attractive destination for foreign businesses. The city is presently a two-hour train ride from Shanghai’s major international airport.

Moreover, foreigners are excited by this news at the prospect of being suppliers. According to Deputy Railway Minister Sun Yongfu, the ministry plans to give at least seventy percent of their contracts on the projects to domestic suppliers.

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