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Weekly News Collection

| 2017-09-28
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

REPORT
Domestic economy continues to stabilize, recover
The Chinese economy continued to stabilize and recover in August, according to a report released at a recent forum co-hosted by the National Academy of Development and Strategy and the School of Economics at Renmin University of China as well as China Chengxin Credit Management. All sectors made progress toward structural optimization. Retail sales of consumer goods realized a new growth point. The revival of foreign trade continued, greatly contributing to recovery. Wang Xiaosong, a research fellow of the National Academy of Development and Strategy, noted that China has been facing a complex international economic situation since 2017. He suggested that China play a bigger role in global governance by providing more international public goods, enhancing discourse power in international economic and trade organizations, promoting free trade agreements, and strengthening consultation and dialogue with major partners.

 

Western China maintains momentum of rapid growth
Recently, the School of Economics and Management and the Research Center for Economic Development in Western China at Northwest University, the Shaanxi Macroeconomic Research Institute and the Social Sciences Academic Press jointly published a blue book on the development issues of China’s western region. According to the blue book, during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), the region adapted to the economic new normal through reform and restructuring, and economic growth remained within a reasonable range. However, various problems were emphasized, such as an imbalance in industrial development as well as additional environmental and resource constraints. According to the report, the region will maintain rapid growth momentum during the 13th five-year period and is expected to build a modern industrial system driven by innovation to expand new space for economic development.

 

FORUM
Development index for free trade zones released
At a recent forum, the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics released an index that evaluated the development of China’s pilot free trade zones in Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian based on three indicators: confidence, innovation and influence. Zhao Xiaolei, director of the Institute of Free Trade Zones from the university, said that the index takes into consideration such factors as investment, foreign trade, finance and employment to measure comprehensive situation and explore development laws of the zones. Data showed that the index for free trade zones as a whole was at a high level of 80.39. The index for Shanghai Free Trade Zone was higher than the other three, but the gap is shrinking. Scholars suggested improving the legal system to further enhance economic influence of free trade zones.

 

VOICE
Nanjing Massacre research increasingly systematic
At a recent international seminar, experts and scholars analyzed trends in research on the Nanjing Massacre. Wang Jianlang, director of the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said research once focused on collection and exhibition of historical materials, but it has become increasingly systematic. In addition to verifying accounts of the atrocities and the number of victims, that research in this area now focuses on the reasons and repercussions as well as strategic, psychological and social factors involved, Wang said. Zhang Sheng, director of the School of History at Nanjing University, pointed out three major trends in recent years. Exchanges between the East and the West have increased. An interdisciplinary approach has been adopted, producing insightful results that offer different perspectives. There has been more communication between laymen and professional historians, Zhang added.