Mar 06

China Watch Blog reports that Ma Jiantang, China’s top statistics official, on March 5 said he expected inflationary pressure to ease a little as the economy slows this year.

The China Daily quoted Ma as warning of a resurgence in inflation if the problem is not taken seriously. “We should by no means lower our guard [against inflation],” he told Xinhua on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session, which opened on March 5.

According to a government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the annual parliamentary session, the Chinese government set the full-year inflation control target for 2012 at 4 percent, unchanged from the target in 2011.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, well exceeded the government’s goal and shot up by 5.4 percent last year.

“Potential factors such as rising labor costs that push up prices are still there,” said Ma, director of the National Bureau of Statistics, which produces a string of economic data such as CPI and gross domestic product for the world’s second-largest economy.

“If not properly controlled, the inflation potential will turn into real risks for our economy,” Ma warned.

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Mar 06

China Watch Blog has learnt the Purchase Management Index (PMI) in Feb. 2012 was 51 percent, a 0.5 percentage point increase from January.

According to statistics issued by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) and the Service Industry Investigation Center of National Bureau of Statistics, by February, PMI has rebounded for three consecutive months.

The main leading indexes such as new order and purchasing volume have picked up obviously, which reflects that current market demand expands, production and business activities become more active and the overall manufacturing presents a steady upward trend.

In the 11 sub-indices, only the raw materials inventory index decreased and the remaining all rose in varying degrees compared to the previous month. Among them, the new order index, order backlog index and purchasing price index rose greatly, exceeding four percentage points.

Industrial production growth rebounded. This year, production index maintains a stable upward trend. It reached nearly 54 percent in February, the highest since last June. At the same time, raw materials inventory index decreased significantly, about 1 percentage point down compared to last month and to about 49 percent. The change trends of these two indexes signal that the current industrial production growth is picking up.

New export order index rose remarkably. The new export order index in February was about 51 percent, 4.2 percentage point up than last month and rising to over 50 percent for the first time since last August.

The development momentum of small businesses is getting better. Since the beginning of this year, the PMI of small businesses has picked up significantly, having ended the situation of run at lower than 50 percent for as long as eight months. The PMI last month was 52 percent; then rose further in February, reaching over 55 percent, more than 4 percentage points higher than the national average.

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Mar 06

China Watch Blog has learnt that Federal officials in New Jersey have announced charges against 29 people in what they say is a massive international counterfeit goods operation.

New Jersey’s U.S. attorney, Paul Fishman, was quoted as saying in an AP report that parallel international investigations resulted in arrests in New Jersey, Texas, New York and the Philippines, which are ongoing. The arrests were announced on March 1.

Fishman says defendants in the alleged rings attempted to smuggle US$325 million in counterfeit goods from China through the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal in Elizabeth. “The cost of counterfeiting is incredibly high — in the billions and billions of dollars lost to legitimate companies,” Fishman said.
More than two years of undercover investigations by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resulted in the indictment of 29 people, including 22 who were arrested in the U.S., one picked up in the Philippines and six still at large.

In addition to trafficking in counterfeit sneakers, boots, handbags and other items, authorities say the two overlapping criminal enterprises also trafficked in counterfeit cigarettes and crystal methamphetamine into the U.S. from Taiwan.

Fishman says the groups took counterfeit goods manufactured in China and shipped them to the U.S. for sale to wholesale and retail outlets.

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Mar 06

China Watch Blog has learnt that the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (BMPSB) is taking its latest efforts to crack down on crime to a new level through using information technology, as it will now accept the use of email for crime reports effective from March 1 in the Chinese capital.

A relevant official from BMPSB said that Beijing residents, who can now report information about criminal activity via email (bjdhce@vip.sina.com), should try to provide detailed information about criminal activity, including the time, place, process, and people involved.

Informants are expected to use real names and provide contact information when reporting crimes. All the reported information will be held in confidence to protect their legal rights and interests.

Informants should provide true information to the police, instead of fabricating information or libeling others, otherwise they will be punished in accordance with the law and even face criminal penalties.

People who provide information crucial to uncovering criminal plots or capturing suspects will be rewarded according to their contributions.

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