Economic and political reforms

Landmark US immigration bill clears key Senate hurdle

Immigration activists gather to pray on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Monday, before the Senate Judiciary Committee began work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions. Photo: AP

A sweeping overhaul of the US immigration system took a major step toward viability on Tuesday when a Senate panel gave bipartisan approval to a landmark bill offering a path to citizenship for millions.

Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, 4:16pm

US senators unveil immigration reform bill

Senator John McCain speaks to the media about the Senate's immigration reform bill at the US Capitol in Washington. Photo: AFP

A group of Democratic and Republican US senators on Tuesday unveiled long-awaited landmark legislation to remove the threat of deportation for millions of illegal immigrants and give them an opportunity to eventually become US citizens.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:08am

China must keep opening up to boost reform

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: Xinhua

From the start, China's reform and opening up have been two halves of a whole. Yet, in recent years, signs of "closed-door reform" have emerged and in some cases have been put into practice. This is why Premier Li Keqiang's renewed call to push for reform by opening up is notable.

11 Apr 2013 - 3:03am

Myanmar becomes a land of opportunity with political reform

More than one million tourists visited Myanmar last year and the number is expected to surge this year. Photo: Charlotte So

Joseph bought his US$50 Chinese Huawei cellphone and a SIM card from a government-run telecom operator two months ago. The SIM card cost him another US$250, compared with just paying a monthly fee for the service in Hong Kong.

3 Apr 2013 - 3:14am

Premier Li: strong, or just moderate?

Li Keqiang. Photo: Simon Song

The premier's news conference on the closing day of "the two meetings" is an important date on the calendar, not only for journalists but also ordinary mainlanders.

18 Mar 2013 - 5:28am 1 comment

What does the 'Chinese dream' really mean?

What does the 'Chinese dream' really mean?

Since the United States' founding in 1776, Americans have considered it an exceptional nation. Chinese, too, view themselves as exceptional with their connection to the celestial empire. Chinese "exceptionalism", however, diverges from the American concept. The political ideology of the US resonates with the Enlightenment values of democracy, freedom and individual rights. Meanwhile, China strives to preserve and perfect its exceptional nature based on the Confucian model of virtues.

14 Mar 2013 - 2:59am 4 comments

Breaking up the railways ministry would send the right signals

Liu Zhijun. Photo: AP

Finally, it seems the railways ministry may soon be restructured as part of a wider exercise by the Chinese government to streamline its ministries. Putting railway reform on the agenda of this year's meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will be highly significant.

7 Mar 2013 - 2:35am

Don't hold your breath for major reform plan at NPC meeting

Don't hold your breath for major reform plan at NPC meeting

This year's National People's Congress and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference meetings are important in the sense that a new government will be "sworn in". The new premier will take up his position, together with a whole new cabinet - following the forming of a new Central Committee, ministers are expected to be reappointed as well, with a five-year term ahead.

6 Mar 2013 - 2:51am

Can real reform take root in Qianhai?

Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen

Experts remain divided on whether Qianhai will meet its lofty goal of helping to transform today's China like the first special economic zones in Shenzhen and Zhuhai did 30 years ago.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:42am 1 comment

When China's collective vision meets America's individual voice

Xi Jinping, the new Communist Party chief, called for full adherence to the constitution, which guarantees free expression and rule of law. Photo: Reuters

The governing systems of the world's two largest economies are in crisis. As the United States has been grappling with a fiscal cliff, China faces a social cliff. Without major reform, both will falter.

4 Feb 2013 - 3:02am

Xi's 'southern tour' speech shows why women's rights must advance

Xi's 'southern tour' speech shows why women's rights must advance

A speech Xi Jinping made during his "southern tour" last month is being circulated within party ranks, veteran journalist Gao Yu said in an article published on the website of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. The full text of the speech has been posted online. If that is indeed the speech Xi made, then it is clear China has a new leader who is more conservative and more intractable than his predecessors.

4 Feb 2013 - 3:02am 1 comment

Global economy searches for a happy ending

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing for aggressive action to weaken the yen. Photo: AFP

Tthe current global economy feels like the beginning of the third and final act of a story, which begins in search of resolution. Policy uncertainty will be the chief issue facing the US; in Europe, Greece's ability to meet its obligations and the euro zone's attempts to regain growth will be important factors this year. For Asia, 2013 holds in store two particularly pivotal plot devices.

28 Jan 2013 - 3:04am

Sovereign wealth fund chief calls on government to respect law

Lou Jiwei may become finance minister. Photo: Bloomberg

"When we talk about governing the nation based on law, government departments must first govern themselves based on law," Lou, chairman of the China Investment Corp, told a forum held by the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges.

27 Jan 2013 - 5:33am 1 comment

Action needed on graft and economy

Chinese Vice president Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. Photo: AFP

For the nation's new leaders who came to power last month, the year ahead is critical for them to show a willingness to start afresh and establish their authority. This probably means they will have to set some tough and ambitious goals.

More importantly, the next year will have to be one of action for them after making some tantalising pledges over the past two months.

31 Dec 2012 - 5:37am

Follow the money along the road to ruin of Deng's vision

Deng aimed to cement rule by lifting living standards. Photo: AP

China has had a rough year with an international media that are in Woodward-and-Bernstein mode: it is following the money.

8 May 2015 - 9:46am