China Country Report
The Communist Party of China's 19th Party Congress saw the further consolidation of President Xi Jinping's power, although the new leadership composition also suggests careful maintenance of factional balance and significant remaining constraints. The return of Wang Qishan into China's political sphere signals Xi's continued reliance on his close circle of loyal supporters. China will probably continue a gradualist approach to structural economic reforms, combining cautious economic liberalisation in select sectors and regions with proactive market interventions.
The Chinese government plans to significantly increase connectivity across the country, including railways, expressways, and telecommunications. Mobile phone and internet penetration levels are high, approaching developed-world levels in major cities. Despite an ongoing crackdown, corruption remains a systemic problem. Foreign companies selling directly to Chinese consumers have been targeted for anti-trust investigations in the past, although no major new cases have been initiated since 2015. However, increasing regulation of VPN services, the recent cyber security law, and extensive censorship will increasingly affect foreign firms' ability to conduct business efficiently.
China officially claims that several hundred Uighurs have joined the Islamic State in recent years, but actual numbers are probably far smaller. The risk of terrorist attacks is small and restricted mostly to Xinjiang. Isolated attacks by Uighurs will target government officials and the police with knives and at most crude IEDs in Kashgar, Hotan, and Aksu. Additional security in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, further mitigates risk there, despite the greater number of potential targets.
IHS Markit does not anticipate any major military escalations in 2018 from the current pattern of occasional naval harassments. However, relationships between China and the US are likely to deteriorate under the administration of US President Donald Trump. China-Taiwan relations will probably worsen, leading to increased military activities near Taiwan. China's continued assertion of claims to most of the South and East China seas and construction of military facilities will continue to aggravate its neighbours. The recent completion of infrastructure on disputed South China Sea man-made islands incrementally increases interstate war risks between China and the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Land acquisition without full engagement of local stakeholders increasingly faces protests, especially in the slow-growing provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Sichuan. Given that the government is taking steps to mitigate a repeat of violent protests by making party officials more accountable towards environmental protection, future protests will probably be localised and less violent. The chances of protests, mostly in the form of marches and blockades, will remain high regarding major infrastructure construction, nuclear energy, mining, as well as oil and gas.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over nine months of age arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission and for travelers who have been in transit in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Japanese Encephalitis: Recommended for trips to rural areas of Yunnan, Guizhou, and Hainan provinces as well as Guangxi Autonomous Region.
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - for travel to Yunnan or Hainan provinces, mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin); for travel to the northeast of the country, chloroquine (sometimes marketed as Nivaquine).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
A relatively high risk of various natural disasters threaten certain parts of this vast country. Seismic activity is particularly common northwest of the Beijing, along the border between Shanxi and Hebei provinces, and in the autonomous regions of Interior Mongolia and Tibet. On May 12, 2008, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Sichuan province (center-west), causing more than 80,000 deaths and significant damage to infrastructure. Over the past ten years, China has experienced nine earthquakes with magnitudes at or above 7.6 on the Richter scale. Additionally, coastal areas can be hit with tsunamis triggered by earthquakes.
Heat waves are regular occurrences in the summer months; temperatures higher than 40°C (104°F) are often recorded in the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing, as well as in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Fujian provinces.
Starting February 2017, foreigners entering China could be subject to fingerprinting upon arrival. This measure will be put in place progressively at international ports and airports for international travelers between the ages of 14 and 70.
Security and travel conditions in the autonomous region of Tibet can deteriorate quickly due to protests and ensuing repression by security forces. Additionally, the issuance of visas required for travel to Tibet, where tensions are currently high (nearly 150 cases of self-immolation have been reported in recent years), is often restricted and may even temporarily suspended by the authorities, generally without warning.
A number of Western governments advise against travel to Xinjiang (formerly East Turkestan), a region strictly controlled by security forces.
It should be noted that since January 1, 2013, citizens of 45 countries can obtain a 72-hour transit visa in Beijing (at the airport) as well as in Shanghai (at Hongqiao and Pudong airports). These visas can also be obtained in Canton (Baiyun Airport) as of August 1, 2013, in Chengdu (Shuangliu Airport) as of September 1, 2013, in Shenyang and Dalian (Liaoning province, Taoxian and Zhoushuizi airports) as of January 1, 2014, at Guilin (Liang Jiang airport) since July 28, 2014, at Kunming (Changshui airport) since October 1, 2014, at Hangzhou (Xiaoshan airport) since October 20, 2014, and at Harbin (Taiping airport) since August 1, 2015.
This benefit is reserved for passengers who are traveling to a third country via China. In order to benefit from the measure, passengers must have a valid ticket for a third country, and, if applicable, a visa for this third country. Furthermore, when traveling to their third country destination, passengers must depart from the same Chinese airport they arrived at and do so within 72 hours of arriving.
In the northeast, the climate is continental: winters (November to April) are very cold and dry while summers are very hot and humid; it rains daily in the months of July and August. Sandstorms can strike Beijing in mid-April. The northwest is arid with cold and dry winters and very hot and dry summers. The climate in the south, where the rainy season lasts from June until September, is tropical; winters are mild and humid and summers are hot and rainy, often to the point of being stifling. In the center of the country, winters are cold and summers are very hot, even sweltering, and rainy, with high levels of humidity. Rainfall is the heaviest between June and September.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz