Since 2011, China has achieved the UN goal of
giving all children the opportunity to attend the
nine-year primary school. But conditions look different
in different parts of the country. In big cities, for
example, literacy is higher, and teachers are more and
more educated than in smaller communities. An important
goal for China's leadership during the 2010s has been to
better allocate resources and reach out with more
support for less fortunate.
In recent years, the government has strived for more
Chinese children aged 3-6 to attend preschool. The
compulsory compulsory school starts at the age of six,
when they first read a six-year lower stage and then a
three-year high school. Many then continue at a
three-year continuation stage (equivalent to a high
school) for another three years.
Country facts of China, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
But the differences between the city and the
countryside are large. In remote areas of the country,
students may be forced to walk several hours a day to
get to and from school. In the cities, the schools have
far more resources and a larger proportion of students
complete the compulsory school and move on to studies at
higher levels. It is also not uncommon for parents to
pay extra sneakily to allow their children to attend the
Literacy varies greatly between different parts of
the country; in Tibet, just over a third of the adult
population is said to be illiterate, while for example
the province of Jilin has a literacy rate of 96 percent.
Compulsory education should be free of charge, but
many schools are required to charge other school-related
fees. This means that some poor rural families are
forced to refrain from sending their children to school,
especially girls being placed outside. Rural migrants
have more difficulty accessing urban education and are
required to pay higher school fees in the private
schools to which they are referred.
The school students have a hard time with long school
days, many homework and tests. The government wants to
lighten the burden on the students and has decided that
schools must abolish their own entrance exams, which
many schools use in addition to the national exams that
all students need to pass in order to start in the
advanced phase and at the university. The government
establishes specialization and curriculum for the
schools in special ten-year plans. These are implemented
by the provinces and local administrations.
Vocational education is also of great importance in
China and is available at both upper secondary and
The proportion of young Chinese who acquire higher
education has increased. Competition in the entrance
exams to the best universities is extremely fierce. The
number of students has increased sharply in recent years
and new colleges and universities have started at a
rapid pace. At the same time, many Chinese - still
around 2 percent at the end of the 2010s - still choose
to obtain education abroad.
Since Xi Jinping took office as president in 2013,
the regime has tightened control over the ideological
content of higher education. University teachers who,
for example, express themselves critically about Mao in
teaching can get rid of their jobs and books that
advocate Western liberal ideas must not be included in
the course literature. In addition, Xi Jinping has
demanded that education strive to strengthen students'
loyalty to the party, the country and the people.
China's main higher education institutions include
Beida and Qinghua in Beijing, Fudan University and
Shanghai Jiatong in Shanghai, and Zhongshan in
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
89.1 percent (1997)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
95.1 percent (2010)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
12.6 percent (1999)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
12.6 percent (1999)
China denies oil supplies to North Korea
The government rejects accusations from US President Donald Trump who tweeted
that China was seized for shipping oil to North Korea, in violation of UN
sanctions imposed in September. Trump says he is "very disappointed". The data
comes from the government of South Korea and concerns about 30 oil deliveries
with Chinese and North Korean vessels since October. In a newspaper interview
with the New York Times, Trump suggests that trade measures may be needed
against China. The week before Christmas, the UN Security Council tightened its
sanctions further on North Korea. The decision was unanimous and was therefore
also supported by China.
China builds in the South China Sea
According to an institute in Washington DC (Center for Strategic and
International Studies), China has continued to build radar systems and other
infrastructure that can be used for military purposes on artificial reefs and
copper (including Fiery Cross Reef and Mischief Reef, Tree Island and Triton
Island) as belongs to the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South
President Xi and South Korea's president want better relations
At a meeting in Beijing between President Xi and South Korean President Moon
Jae-In, they agree on four principles to adhere to in the North Korean conflict:
war can never be tolerated, Korean peninsula should be nuclear-free, all issues
resolved through dialogue and negotiations and the aim is to improve relations
between the Korean states. Both leaders also expressed a desire to continue to
improve relations between China and South Korea, which deteriorated at the
beginning of the year in connection with South Korea's decision to set up the US
missile defense system THAAD to protect itself against possible missile attacks
from North Korea. Xi and Moon will also agree to start negotiations on extending
the free trade agreement between the countries to include the services and
finance sectors as well.
Criticism against US military ships visiting Taiwan
China accuses the United States of meddling in the country's internal affairs
after President Donald Trump signed a law allowing US and Taiwanese military
ships to exchange visits. Such visits have not taken place since 1979, when the
US broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Beijing believes that the new law
is contrary to the prevailing China policy.
Demonstration in Beijing against the migration of migrant workers
Hundreds of protesters take part in protests after Beijing authorities forced
tens of thousands of migrant workers to move from their houses on the outskirts
of the capital. Public protests are unusual, not least in Beijing, and the
state-controlled media does not report on the demonstration. The protesters,
including intellectuals and ordinary Peoples of the middle class, carry placards
stating that "forced movements violate human rights". The migrant workers who
have moved are from the country and are not registered in the capital under the
hukou system. After a fire started in a suburban area where many migrant workers
lived in November, the authorities launched a campaign. Migrant workers' housing
was reported to be illegal and did not maintain safety requirements.
China and Panama will start free trade negotiations
The governments of China and Panama announce that they will begin
negotiations on a free trade agreement in June 2018. Panama severed diplomatic
relations with Taiwan in June 2017.
China critical of investment agreement between the Philippines and Taiwan
After the Philippines and Taiwan signed a joint investment agreement, Beijing
protests, which believes that Taiwan belongs to China and therefore does not
have the right to conclude its own agreements with other countries.
China criticizes Australia
The Chinese government accuses the Australian government of creating
anti-Chinese sentiments in Australia and calls on the Australian ambassador to
bring criticism. The play comes after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
announced the day before that comprehensive reforms will be implemented to stop
attempts to infiltrate and influence foreign powers. In this context, Turnbull
cites "alarming reports" of Chinese influence attempts, including that the
Communist Party in China should have donated money to Australian politicians.
Hotline between China and Japan
At a meeting in Shanghai in early December, the governments of China and
Japan will agree to launch a direct communication channel between Japan's
self-defense forces and China's military PLA. The purpose is to avoid events
that may trigger a military conflict in the East China Sea. Ten years ago,
countries discussed the possibility of establishing such a channel, but the
issue was put on ice at the beginning of the 2010s after the conflict over the
Senkaku / Diaoyu archipelago worsened.
President Xi meets Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Despite criticism from the outside world against Myanmar's (formerly Burma's)
persecution of Rohingyans, the Chinese government and Xi Jinping continue to
show their support for Myanmar and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi. At a meeting
between President Xi and Aung San Suu Kyi in connection with an international
party conference in Beijing, Xi highlighted the good relations between the
Taiwanese activist receives prison sentence
Lee Ming-che is sentenced by a Chinese court to five years in prison after
propagating for multi-party systems and democracy on social media. Lee
disappeared in March in connection with a trip to China. The authorities there
eventually announced that he was taken into custody and that he was suspected of
social destruction. Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen strongly criticizes the
verdict and calls for Lee to be released immediately.
The supreme general commits suicide
Zhang Yang, who according to state media is suspected of corruption, is said
to have stood close to President Xi and was also a member of the Communist
Party's military top body, the Central Military Commission. Zhang and another
high-ranking military, according to media reports, were taken into custody by
the police in August.
Human rights lawyer is punished
A lawyer who has handled several cases related to human rights is sentenced
to two years in prison for incarceration. Jiang Tianyong lost his position as a
lawyer in 2009. He had defended among other Tibetan activists and practitioners
of Falun Gong. Jiang disappeared a year ago when he was investigating the arrest
of another human rights lawyer, Xie Yang.
Thawing between Japan and China
A meeting between Japan's Prime Minister Abe and President Xi in connection
with the APEC Summit in Vietnam will improve relations between the countries.
Both leaders must have exchanged visits to the countries and decided to
cooperate on the North Korea conflict.
Try to get closer between China and South Korea
In joint statements, the governments of South Korea and China express their
ambition that relations between the countries should return to normal. South
Korea's decision to set up the US missile defense system THAAD in the country
was met by fierce protests from Beijing earlier this year. China believes that
the system can be used to get information on Chinese defense capabilities and
that it is disrupting the regional security balance in the area.
No successor to Xi
The party congress ends after President Xi Jinping is re-elected as party
chairman. In addition, 70 percent of the members of the party's central
committee have been replaced. Five of the seven members of the standing
committee are replaced with new powers, while Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li
Keqiang remain. Among the new members, 60-year-old Zhao Leji is the youngest. He
takes over as head of the anti-corruption campaign after Xi's close adviser Wang
Qishan. However, none of the new members of the committee are seen by assessors
as likely successors to Xi, not least because of their high age.
Gui Minhai is reported to be free
Chinese authorities report to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that
the Swedish citizen Gui Minhai who has been imprisoned in China has been
released. But his daughter has not been able to get in touch with him and no one
knows where he is. At the same time, human rights organizations point to
examples where activists are alleged to have been released, but in fact have
been locked in other forms, such as house arrest. Publisher Gui Minhai was
arrested in Thailand in 2015 and brought to China. He ran a bookstore in Hong
Kong that published books with satirical depictions of highly regarded Chinese
politicians. In early 2016, Chinese state television channel CCTV broadcast an
interview with Gui Minhai in which he said he returned to China to serve a
penalty for involvement in a traffic accident many years ago (see also
Xi and his ideology part of the party statute
At the end of the party congress meeting, the members unanimously decide to
write "Xi Jinping's thoughts on socialism from a Chinese perspective in a new
era" in the Communist Party's Statute. In doing so, he is highlighted along with
Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, who are the only Chinese leaders who previously
had their names linked to their theories in the Charter.
The 19th party congress opens
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech that China has made great
progress with reforms and socialist modernization over the past five years. The
country is now facing a new era in which it can develop into "a successful,
modern, socialist country with a good economy - democratic, culturally
prominent, harmonious and beautiful." During the party congress, which lasts for
almost a week, members will be appointed by the party's central committee,
political bureau and standing committees.
"Banks to cancel transactions with North Korea"
According to US President Donald Trump, China's central bank has issued
guidelines to banks in the country to strictly comply with UN sanctions on North
Korea and not accept new North Korean customers and terminate transactions with
old ones. China's banks have previously been criticized for providing financial
services to North Korea, thereby contributing to the sanctions against the
country not having any effect. The details of the central bank's actions were
later diminished by Chinese government sources.
China and India withdraw troops
After a few weeks of tension between India and China, the open conflict seems
to have eased. India withdraws its troops, like Beijing, from the disputed
border region between China, India and Bhutan (see June).
Mass protests after imprisonment for activists
21th of August
Following the announcement of the new prison sentences against Joshua Wong,
Nathan Law and Alex Chow (see August 17), tens of thousands of
people are protesting on the streets of Hong Kong. Democracy activists criticize
the judicial process for being politically influenced. However, the Hong Kong
judicial authority indicates that the judiciary is independent. The judges are
expected to be appealed in the Hong Kong Supreme Court by the three activists.
Prison sentence for Hong Kong activists
Three of the leaders during the Hong Kong demonstrations in 2014 have been
sentenced to prison. The most known of them, Joshua Wong, will serve six months
in prison, while Nathan Law and Alex Chow are sentenced to eight and seven
months respectively. The verdict against Wong was a sharpening from a court
decision last year, in which he was sentenced to community service for
organizing illegal gatherings. According to current law, due to the prison
sentence, democracy activists cannot stand in elections in Hong Kong for the
next five years.
Corruption critic and lawyer Xu Zhiyong is released after serving a four-year
prison sentence. He was arrested in 2013 (see July 2013). Xu
was one of the founders of the New Citizens' Movement.
Four Hong Kong parliamentarians are suspended
The decision of the Hong Kong Supreme Court to disqualify four members of
LegCo is based on the fact that all of them swore their oaths during the
inaugural ceremony. All members have been active during the democracy movement
Liu Xiaobo dies
Human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who in 2010 received the Nobel Peace Prize
for his long fight for human rights in China, dies at the age of 61 after a
period of illness. As recently as June 2017, the then seriously ill Liu Xiaobo
was released from prison, where he served eight years of an eleven-year prison
sentence for so-called subversive activity against the Chinese state.
Border conflict with India is flaring up
Old border disputes get a new start when China begins work on an extension of
a road through the Donglang mountain plateau (called Doklam in India), located
in an area where China, the Indian state of Sikkim and Bhutan meet. Both Bhutan
and Beijing assert their right to the area where the Chinese road is to be
expanded. India opposes the expansion and sends troops to the area. India
supports Bhutan's claims in the border area. According to analysts, the Indian
government is concerned that, if the road is expanded, China will have increased
access to strategically important border areas for India.
US faces sanctions against Chinese bank
Before a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, the US government
faces sanctions against the Chinese bank Dandong, which it is accused of
laundering money for North Korea, against a Chinese shipping company and against
two Chinese nationals. The sanctions prohibit business dealings with companies
and individuals with US connections. The sanctions are intended to increase
pressure on China to limit North Korea's ability to fund its nuclear and missile
President Xi visits Hong Kong
President Xi Jinping is visiting Hong Kong for the first time to celebrate
that it is 20 years since the former British colony was handed over to China.
Several democracy activists who planned demonstrations have been arrested for
Liu Xiaobo is released
After spending eight years in prison, human rights activist Liu Xiaobo is
released, who in 2010 received the Nobel Peace Prize for his long fight for
human rights in China. Liu is seriously ill with cancer and will now receive
China shows Silk Road project
At the summit, China's extensive trade cooperation in the new "Silk Road" is
highlighted as "the project of the century". Over 29 countries are invited to
the meeting. President Xi Jinping promises to invest another $ 120 billion in
the project, which aims to connect the country closer to Africa, the rest of
Asia and Europe through a gigantic network of ports, railways, roads and
ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea
The ASEAN countries hold a summit in Manila, but avoids affecting China's
actions in the conflict in the South China Sea. According to a pair of diplomats
at the meeting, the Philippines, which is chairman country, should have been
pressured by Beijing not to raise the issue during the summit. However, a
spokesman for China's foreign ministry said at a press conference that it all
reflected that tensions had diminished.
Protests against missile defense in South Korea
Beijing is once again protesting sharply against the US missile defense
system THAAD being set up in South Korea. After the US military announced that
the system is ready for use, the Chinese government demands that it be removed.
From a Chinese point of view, the system is believed to disrupt the security
balance in the region and there is concern that it could adversely affect
China's missile capacity.
New aircraft carrier appears
The ship is the first to be built in the country and, according to army
spokesmen, is proof of the modernization that the country's fleet is undergoing.
The aircraft carrier designed as China's second aircraft carrier, Liaoning
purchased from Ukraine, is expected to be operational for only three years.
President Xi visits Trump
US President Donald Trump receives his Chinese counterpart in his residence
in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Both presidents discuss, among other things, the
conflict with North Korea.
China stops travel to South Korea
China orders Chinese tour operators to cancel trips to South Korea after
March 15. The order is a reaction to South Korea deploying a US-made missile
defense system (THAAD). About eight million Chinese tourists visited South Korea
Former Hong Kong leader convicted
Former Hong Kong senior leader, Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, is sentenced to 20
months in prison for malpractice.
Stop of coal imports from North Korea
The decision is a way for China to punish North Korea for recent missile
testing and is in line with new UN sanctions against Pyongyang. US new President
Donald Trump has criticized China for not doing enough to influence North
Continued low growth
The economy grew by 6, 7 percent in 2016 according to official statistics. It
is the lowest growth since 1990.