版权所有 - 中国日报�(ChinaDaily) China Daily <![CDATA[President: Games 'gathering of peace']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516967.htm President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday that China will strive to make the 7th Military World Games of the International Military Sports Council an international gathering of peace that encourage military personnel to compete on a fair basis and enable diverse military cultures to develop exchanges and mutual learning.

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China's first hosting of event has record number of participants, competitions

President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday that China will strive to make the 7th Military World Games of the International Military Sports Council an international gathering of peace that encourage military personnel to compete on a fair basis and enable diverse military cultures to develop exchanges and mutual learning.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while meeting with leaders of defense departments and militaries of participating countries as well as officials from the council who attended the opening ceremony of the games in Wuhan, Hubei province.

The meeting took place before Xi announced the official opening of the games. A total of 9,308 military personnel from 109 countries will participate in a record 329 events across 27 competitions in the host city of Wuhan over the next ten days.

Xi told foreign guests that this year's event uses the slogan "Military Glory, World Peace" to express the hope that athletes of different countries fully display the sporting spirit of tenacity and use the power of sports to dispel the shadow of war, promote communication between different cultures and bring people together in peace.

He described the Chinese military as "an active participant, a positive promoter and an important contributor" to international military sports. Since it became a council member in 1978, the Chinese military has been actively working with other members to participate in the competitions, host the games and develop exchanges and cooperation, Xi added.

The Chinese military stands ready, taking the games as an opportunity to advance the innovative development of international military cooperation, strengthen exchanges and communication with militaries of various countries, promote pragmatic cooperation in various fields and fulfill international responsibilities and obligations, Xi said.

He added that the country's military is also willing to work with other countries' forces to cope with common threats and challenges in the security sector, make greater contributions to promoting world peace and advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi expressed the hope that participants will see the games as a way to learn more about China and the Chinese military in the new era. He also welcomed participants to attend the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum, a platform for Asia-Pacific security dialogue, to be held in the capital from Sunday to Tuesday, to build up consensus and contribute more wisdom to safeguarding world peace.

The opening ceremony of the games took place at Wuhan Sports Center and began with a parade of delegations, a flag raising as well as oath-taking by representatives of athletes and referees.

This is the first time the games are being hosted by China. This multiday event has been organized by the council every four years since 1995.

The numbers of participating athletes and events are also the highest in the games' history, with many athletes being world champions or known entities in Olympic events.

Led by flagbearer Wang Zhizhi, head coach of the Chinese men's basketball team at the games, the Chinese delegation marched into the stadium last as the games' host country. China sent the largest-ever delegation to this year's games with 553 athletes, coaches and support staff. They will compete in all categories except golf.

Herve Piccirillo, president of the sports council, said in his remarks at the opening ceremony that athletes and soldiers share values of resilience, courage, teamwork and fraternity as well as a spirit of duty and service to country.

Piccirillo said this year's games will be historic in terms of scale, influence and excellence. The mobilization of such a large number of council members to join the games demonstrates shared values and friendship.

"In this uncertain world, we are sending a message of fraternity, solidarity, tolerance and friendship. Tonight, you are all ambassadors of peace in the world," he said.

Piccirillo said beyond these values is a spirit of peace and sharing and "that is the spirit that we want to bring everywhere in the world".

The ceremony also included an hourlong performance featuring Chinese civilization, culture and modern development.

The show featured high-tech elements including holograms to bring alive ancient scenes and figures. LED lights fixed around the stadium and at several levels interacted with moving images to provide the audience a multidimensional visual effect.

The main cauldron was lit by Liu Yudong, another hoops icon in China and currently the team leader of the men's basketball team at the games. The opening ceremony ended with the theme song of the games: Torch of Peace.

 

 

A huge dove is seen formed by people at the opening ceremony.Wang Zhuangfei/china Daily/li Ga/xinhua

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2019-10-19 06:29:49
<![CDATA[Major UK mobile firms reject full Huawei ban]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516966.htm Major United Kingdom mobile operators have come out against a full ban on Huawei in the country, and have asked the government to ensure that any decision to restrict the Chinese company is "evidence-based".

Network providers including BT Group and Hong Kong-based Three shared their views with a parliamentary committee on national security, which is currently carrying out an inquiry on British network infrastructure.

The UK is under pressure to join a boycott of Huawei led by the United States, which alleges that the company has and will continue to plant back doors that enable Chinese surveillance.

BT pointed out that the UK National Cyber Security Centre has not found or been provided with any evidence to support these claims.

"We would therefore urge the government to take a proportionate and evidence-based decision that maintains a competitive telecoms supply chain," BT said in a written statement.

BT said it has already agreed to omit Huawei equipment from core areas of its network, and also outlined outgoing work carried out by the NCSC and the UK Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre to ensure the safety and security of UK networks.

"We do not view a ban on using Huawei in access networks as a proportionate response, given the range of protections in place," BT said.

Huawei is a leading global supplier of telecommunications hardware, and the company's equipment is already in use throughout UK networks.

Last week, BT CEO Philip Jansen warned that the complete removal of existing Huawei units from British infrastructure would take around seven years.

And Three said that a ban on the company would significantly delay the UK launch of 5G.

"It is essential that any assessment of the supply chain, and any resulting policies, take a balanced view, are evidence-based and give the UK the best chance of realizing our 5G ambitions," Three said in a statement.

Mobile UK, which is the trade association for network operators EE, Telefonica, O2, Three and Vodafone, said a delayed 5G rollout would cost the British economy between 4.5 billion ($5.8 billion) and 6.8 billion pounds.

"The UK will also suffer in terms of lower inward investment and lost productivity gains through the stagnation of digital infrastructure," Mobile UK said in a statement.

The committee also heard from sources in favor of a ban, including Martijn Rasser, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

"Her Majesty's Government should not allow Huawei equipment on its 5G networks," Rasser said.

He outlined a number of concerns including "the company's opacity", Huawei's "relationship with the Chinese government", and "the general espionage risk associated with Chinese technology firms".

Despite pressure from the US, major economies in mainland Europe, including France and Germany, look set to work with Huawei on 5G.

In network security draft rules released on Wednesday, Berlin indicated that Huawei will be able to bid on German 5G contracts.

Huawei, which has long held that the US boycott is politically motivated, praised the German government.

"Politicizing cybersecurity will only hinder technology development and social progress while doing nothing to address the security challenges all countries face," Huawei said in a statement.

In May, French President Emmanuel Macron said he does not intend to ban Huawei.

"Our perspective is not to block Huawei or any company," Macron said. "France and Europe are pragmatic and realistic. We do believe in cooperation and multilateralism."

 

Liu Kang (second from left), chief representative of Chinese tech giant Huawei to the European Union, speaks at a public debate about internet security in Brussels on Wednesday. The debate was organized by the European Parliament.Zheng Huansong/xinhua

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2019-10-19 06:29:49
<![CDATA[IMF chief says Sino-US 'trade peace' needed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516965.htm China and the United States need to move from a "trade truce" to a "trade peace", International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Thursday as she called for efforts to ramp up the multilateral trading system amid slowing global economic growth.

In their latest round of talks that concluded in Washington on Oct 11, China and the US achieved "substantial progress" in areas including agriculture, intellectual property rights protection, technology transfers and mechanisms for dispute settlement. The US also suspended a tariff hike on $250 billion in Chinese imports that was set to take effect last Tuesday.

"I was encouraged by last week's announcements from the US and China. Our meetings this week are an opportunity for all parties to make progress in moving from a trade truce to a trade peace," Georgieva told reporters on the sidelines of the annual fall meetings of the IMF and its sister lending institution, the World Bank.

Georgieva, who recently said the cumulative effect of trade conflicts could shave about 0.8 percent from the global GDP, or a loss of around $700 billion by 2020, said she learned from the "very smart economists" at the IMF that "this truce as discussed" could shrink the impact and reduce the loss by 0.2 percent.

"That, of course, is good news but not good enough. What we need is to reach not just a truce. We need to have a trade peace," she said. "We need to go forward to a system that is enhanced and it is enforced, so we can see trade return to its role of an engine of the world economy."

In "Bridging Differences through Multilateral Cooperation: The Managing Director's Global Policy Agenda", a policy paper released on Thursday, Georgieva said escalating trade disputes, entrenched policy uncertainty and adverse geopolitical developments have taken a toll on confidence, investment and growth.

The focus must be on reversing tariff increases and finding lasting solutions to trade disputes, including by removing domestic distortions and strengthening the multilateral trading system, she said in the paper.

"I would stress that it is highly beneficial to bring forward trade, and that also means to candidly assess what is not quite right in today's trade system," she told reporters.

"The trading system we have today has served us well in the economy of the past. It does not quite serve us for the economy of the future, and we need to recognize that we will have to find a way as a world community to be more agile and adaptable in agreements we reach because the world will continue to change," Georgieva said.

The remarks echoed her speech on Oct 8, when she said the world needs a more modern global trading system, particularly to unlock the full potential of services and e-commerce, and every country must do more to help communities harmed by the dislocations associated with technology and trade.

"The key is to improve the system, not abandon it," she said in the speech.

The new IMF chief said she expected to visit China soon and that the global lender would continue to cooperate with China.

"I look forward to visiting China, and I know China has been for 40 years pursuing a pathway to reform. The IMF has been a partner of China in these reforms, and we will continue to do so," Georgieva said on Thursday.

Georgieva is expected to visit China within the coming two months, according to IMF sources.

At another news conference, David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, said global growth is slowing, investment is sluggish, manufacturing activity is soft and trade is weakening - a backdrop that makes the World Bank's goals of reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity even harder.

One in 12 people on the planet, or about 700 million people, still live in extreme poverty, Malpass said.

"We need fresh thinking to reignite growth," he said. "Well-designed structural reforms are needed to unlock growth and build the foundations for future prosperity."

Malpass said that it was a "dramatic development" that China pulled huge numbers of people out of poverty, and that the World Bank is evolving toward "new types of interaction" with China.

"The bank, historically, has had a 40-year relationship, or more, with China, in terms of the poverty programs and in terms of the market orientation of the economy," he said. "We continue to have that relationship."

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2019-10-19 06:29:49
<![CDATA[Xi stresses key role of industrial internet]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516964.htm

President Xi Jinping on Friday underlined the importance of enabling continuous improvements in the innovation capacities of the industrial internet.

Xi made the remark in a congratulatory letter to the 2019 Industrial Internet Global Summit, which opened Friday in Shenyang, Liaoning province.

Xi said that the new round of revolution in science, technology and industry is developing at an accelerating pace, and industrial internet technologies are continuously seeing new breakthroughs.

They have injected fresh momentum into the economic growth of all countries and offered new opportunities for integrated development of global industries, he said.

China attaches great importance to the innovative development of the industrial internet, and it stands ready to work with the international community to enhance the innovation capability of the industrial internet and push forward integration between industrialization and informatization on a broader, deeper and higher level, Xi added.

Themed "Empowering high quality and creating new momentum", the three-day summit has attracted over 100 leading experts and business leaders as well as over 100 enterprises, colleges and research institutions in the area of industrial internet.

Wang Zhijun, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said at the opening ceremony that the industrial internet is a key foundation and pillar for the fourth round of industrial revolution.

The development of China's industrial internet has seen positive progress, with a continuously refined policy system and accelerated efforts in integrated development and application, he said.

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2019-10-19 06:29:49
<![CDATA[Quarterly GDP growth rate slowest in 27 years]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516963.htm China's GDP growth slowed to 6.0 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the lowest quarterly expansion in 27 years. Yet the economy is still expected to meet its annual growth target as policy support strengthens, analysts said.

Growth in the July-September period was 0.2 percentage point lower than the second quarter, as a souring world economy and escalations in the ongoing trade tension with the United States hampered demand.

GDP growth came in at 6.2 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters, within the annual target range of between 6 percent and 6.5 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

Despite the slowdown, growth of China's economy during the first nine months is preliminarily estimated to be the fastest among all economies with annual GDPs over $1 trillion, said NBS spokesman Mao Shengyong.

The economy maintained overall stability in the first three quarters, but is under mounting downward pressure given the complicated and severe economic conditions at home and abroad, Mao said.

The authorities will "place stable growth and a reasonable range of economic development in a more prominent position", he said.

Monetary policy has relatively ample room to maneuver, Mao said, adding that overall price levels are still stable and pork prices will fall as supplies gradually increase.

The economy will remain stable in the fourth quarter, Mao said, citing the recovery in infrastructure investment and the slower contraction of automobile manufacturing and sales in the past two months.

"China's economic policy will still focus on stabilizing growth in the fourth quarter," said Cheng Shi, managing director and chief economist at ICBC International Holdings.

Monetary authorities are expected to step up reform efforts to reduce financing costs faced by the real economy, while fiscal policy may ramp up stimulus by not only allocating next year's special local government debt quota this year in advance, but by allowing issuance of debt in the fourth quarter, Cheng said.

Given strengthening policy support amid trade tensions, the economy may end its downward GDP growth trend in the fourth quarter and improve marginally, he added.

Negotiating teams from China and the US are busy working on the specific text of a trade deal, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Liu Chunsheng, an associate professor at Beijing's Central University of Finance and Economics, said an agreement between the world's two largest economies would give a considerable boost to the economy.

Liu underlined the importance of better putting into place tax cut policies - the key of this year's proactive fiscal policy.

"Reforms to optimize the taxation environment, such as simplifying procedures to receive tax benefits, could help revitalize private business, thus boosting investment and employment in both the short and long run," Liu said.

The total annual tax and fee reduction amount is expected to surpass 2 trillion yuan ($282 billion), higher than planned at the beginning of the year, according to an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday.

The meeting decided to carry out detailed measures to ensure a marked tax reduction on manufacturers and other important sectors, and to further clear unauthorized charges on enterprises.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 5.4 percent in the first nine months, compared with 5.5 percent in the January-August period, the NBS said. Investment in manufacturing remained weak, growing by 2.5 percent in the January-September period.

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2019-10-19 06:29:49
<![CDATA[Li says challenges to be confronted 'head on']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516962.htm China's economy achieved stable growth in the first three quarters, and the country can accomplish its targets for economic and social development for the year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.

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Advanced manufacturing seen as key for China to move up global value chain

China's economy achieved stable growth in the first three quarters, and the country can accomplish its targets for economic and social development for the year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.

The premier said in a meeting with executives from multinational manufacturers that major indicators of China's macroeconomy have remained within an appropriate range in the face of a complex global landscape.

"We will shore up our confidence while confronting the difficulties head on," he said.

The National Bureau of Statistics said China's economy grew by 6.0 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the slowest pace since the early 1990s. The country's GDP growth reached 6.2 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of this year.

China has set a target of maintaining its GDP growth between 6 and 6.5 percent this year.

Li said the sustained healthy growth of the economy will provide more opportunities for overseas businesses to make investments in China. Manufacturing is a fundamental sector for a country to achieve industrialization and modernization, he said.

China, as a developing country, is accelerating the development of its manufacturing sector, and it has become an inseparable part of the global value chain and a huge market for manufactured goods, he said.

Li said the government considers the development of advanced manufacturing to be a strategic measure, and it has rolled out steps such as tax and fee reductions, widened market access, fairer oversight and better protection of intellectual property rights.

The goal is to create an enabling environment to move the sector to the medium-high end of the global value chain and to achieve high-quality development, he said.

The development of advanced manufacturing requires further opening-up and cooperation, and China welcomes global businesses to use opportunities from China's expanded opening-up to increase cooperation and further explore the market, he added.

The executives are part of the international consulting committee on advanced manufacturing, a panel organized by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. They welcomed measures to cut taxes, reduce fees, streamline administration and step up the protection of intellectual property rights, according to a statement released after the meeting.

They also expressed hope for accelerating cooperation with China in promoting the upgrading and transformation of industries.

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2019-10-19 06:31:15
<![CDATA[Poll finds more recognition of nation's role in world]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516961.htm

More people are recognizing China's global role and expecting that the country will contribute more to world governance, according to a survey report released on Friday.

The poll, conducted from May to July 2018, asked 10,500 people from 21 countries in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Oceania and Africa to share their image of China.

About half of them agreed that China is a contributor to global development, up 9 percentage points from the previous poll, which was conducted in 2017. Respondents who shared this view took up a larger proportion, in both developed and developing country groups, than in the previous poll.

The survey, conducted by the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies under the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration and consultancy firm Kantar, also found that 65 percent agreed that China's international status and global influence will continue to grow.

Many interviewees shared confidence in China's growth, with 41 percent saying China's economy is growing at a rapid pace and 24 percent agreeing that the economy has entered a period of medium to high-speed growth.

The report said 66 percent gave a positive assessment of China's technological innovation capacity, with high-speed rail, supercomputers and manned space technology being China's best known technological achievements.

Regarding China's roles in global governance, the report said expectations for China in science and technology, economy, culture, politics, security and the environment were higher than in the previous poll.

Of about 9,600 interviewees who said they knew about their countries' relations with China, more than 70 percent agreed that the relations are very important.

About 1,300 people shared their views on China's proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and some 60 percent considered it positive for individuals, countries and global governance, the report said.

The report is the sixth of its kind the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies has released since 2012.

Gao Anming, deputy head of the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, said polls and research are an important means to comprehend the impression the international community has of China. They are necessary for efforts to enhance the construction of China's image, he said.

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2019-10-19 06:31:15
<![CDATA[Media dialogue promotes Sino-South Korean ties]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/19/content_37516960.htm

BEIJING - The 11th China-South Korea Media High-Level Dialogue was held in Beijing on Wednesday, with representatives from nearly 30 media organizations discussing the media's role in cultural communication and mutual learning between nations.

Guo Weimin, deputy director of China's State Council Information Office, told participants the office will continue promoting media, cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Kim Yong-sam, first vice-minister of culture, sports and tourism of South Korea, expressed hope that media from the two countries will cooperate to make new contributions to the development of bilateral relations.

Attendees agreed that media organizations should spread rational opinions, promote practical cooperation across the board and offer wisdom and strength for the healthy and stable development of the bilateral relations, officials said.

Established in 2009, the dialogue is aimed at boosting mutual trust and cooperation between the media of China and South Korea. The nations take turns hosting the annual event.

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2019-10-19 06:31:15
<![CDATA[HK address responds to public calls]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516748.htm

SAR govt turns attention to livelihood issues such as affordable housing

Social groups in Hong Kong said that this year's policy address by the special administrative region's chief executive has answered calls to remedy the problem of increasingly unaffordable housing and solve the deadlock in acquiring more land for public housing.

The two pressing social issues have been acknowledged in an effort to underpin the recent unrest in Hong Kong.

On Wednesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor proposed building more public housing units on private land and pledged to provide 10,000 units within the next three years.

The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong expressed confidence that the measures will help alleviate the current situation and rebuild people's confidence in the government.

The address was also welcomed by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which said the wide-ranging initiatives are expected to help Hong Kong's economy and society "ride through the current challenges and prepare for the future".

Peter Lam Kin-ngok, chairman of the council, especially welcomed the government's support for embattled small and medium-sized enterprises, which are suffering from the continued social unrest and economic uncertainties from the trade war.

The government offered a package of measures to support SMEs, such as providing funds for promotion and facilitating loans.

Peter Lam said he expected the initiatives to help them open new markets, including the Chinese mainland, and countries and regions that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Meanwhile, some groups called for the government to pay attention to problems not covered in the policy address.

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions called for more economic relief to front-line employees whose livelihoods have been undermined by the economic downturn triggered by monthslong anti-government protests.

In addition, the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers said it wants to ensure campuses are free of political disputes. It also suggested the government attach more importance to problems such as the shortage of teachers and the relatively low salaries of kindergarten instructors.

Also on Thursday, a question-and-answer session for Carrie Lam to answer lawmakers' queries about the address was suspended twice, and at least 10 opposition lawmakers were dispelled from the venue for improper behavior.

During the session, LegCo chairman Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen stressed repeatedly that many citizens look forward to learning more details of the address and lawmakers should take the chance to raise questions for their voters instead of causing disruptions.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Improved efficiency brings Jiangsu city great benefits]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516747.htm In Jiangyin, a county-level city in Jiangsu province, a company can now register and start operations within two working days.

People in the city can now get ownership certificates for real estate within four working days and licenses for construction within 40 working days - two ways the city has become one of China's most economically competitive counties.

"It took my company only 15 working days to get a license for construction," said Jin Ming, who works for Huaxia Construction Engineering Company.

"It was about seven days faster than before, and we just needed to go to the Jiangyin Government Service Center to finish the whole procedure.

"It greatly improved efficiency and saved us time," he said.

Jiangyin has made remarkable achievements. Its GDP in 2018 reached 380 billion yuan ($53.7 billion) with a year-on-year increase of 7.4 percent.

With an area of 987 square kilometers and a population of less than 3 million, the city has 11 of China's top 500 enterprises, 48 listed companies and 54 listed on China's National Equities Exchange and Quotations, also known as the "new third board".

Jiangyin ranked second among China's 100 strongest counties in 2019 in measures such as the economy, environment and incomes, according to a list recently released by CCID Consulting Group, a scientific research institution directly attached to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Its constant reforms in economy, culture and environment have further improved the local economy, social development and people's well-being.

In 2017, Jiangyin became the province's first pilot county-level city of "integrated reforms", which aimed to establish efficient government services, powerful social assistance and a convenient living environment.

Jiangsu province and the city of Wuxi, which has jurisdiction over Jiangyin, have allowed the county-level city to simplify procedures for businesses and residents and complete social work procedures on its own.

Chen Jinhu, Party secretary of Jiangyin, said that the reforms have improved people's well-being as well as the business and living environments.

"We're striving to establish a city with the fewest matters needing to be approved by government, the highest efficiency and the best investment environment," he said. "The per capita disposable income of Jiangyin's rural residents has ranked first in the province for 19 consecutive years."

"We have also made specific plans to improve problems that affect people's lives, including education, medical services and culture."

For example, by June, 208 villages in the city, benefiting more than 138,000 people, have been covered by its village-level medical insurance system.

Also, by using an app called Zui Jiangyin, residents can more easily perform certain tasks, including paying water bills and applying for certificates and patent registration.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Crackdown targets unsafe food, drugs]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516746.htm

Prosecutors and market watchdogs are pushing forward a joint campaign targeting unsafe food and drug products.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate, together with the State Administration for Market Regulation and the National Medical Products Administration, announced that the nationwide campaign will run until December.

At a news conference on Thursday, Zheng Xinjian, a senior prosecutor with the SPP, said that in the following months, the campaign will focus on cases in and around schools, food markets, planting and breeding production bases, urbanrural junction areas and logistics centers.

He said cases related to infant food and medicine and other difficult cases with bad social influences will also be the focus of the crackdown.

Zheng said that prosecutors will recommend heavier punishment for those involved in food and drug crimes, acknowledging that the cost of breaching the laws had been low in recent years.

Unsafe food and drug products have been a long-standing problem in China, and the number of crimes involving counterfeit food and drugs remains high.

According to the SPP, about 12,000 people were charged with producing or selling fake or substandard drugs or toxic food products last year, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2017.

As the issue concerns everybody's vital interests, the central leadership has attached great importance to it. President Xi Jinping has required that food and drug safety supervision should be strengthened with the strictest standards and the severest punishment.

An education campaign, with the theme "staying true to our founding mission", was launched throughout the Communist Party of China in June. It urged all Party members to keep firmly in mind the Party's fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people.

Since June, education activities for Party members, including seminars and lectures, have been held in the procuratorial organs at all levels. Zhang Jun, procurator-general of the SPP, urged all Party members at a meeting in June to put what they had learned into their work.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[E-commerce raises incomes, spirits in Northwest China farming community]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516745.htm "The sound of tape being torn is the most inspiring sound in our village," said Wang Jianfeng, the "first secretary" in charge of poverty relief in the village of Dahuaishu in Chunhua county, Shaanxi province.

The sound was coming from the village's e-commerce station, where villagers were using sealing tape to pack boxes of fruit just collected from farmland.

The packed fruit will be sent to customers all over China, covering 20 provincial regions.

Wang was a manager in the executive office of the Bank of China in Beijing and went to Dahuaishu to serve as the secretary of its Party committee in May 2018.

"When I first came to the village, I was amazed by the delicious cherries, which were not only red and big, but also juicy and sweet," Wang recalled. However, to his surprise, the fruit was difficult to sell because of the lack of a marketing channel, so it was sold to some local business people at a low price.

"As the 'first secretary' who came to help villagers increase their income, I ought to do something. E-commerce should be a good way to sell the fruit at a higher price and give people from other provinces access to it," Wang said.

After a year's preparation, on May 15, the e-commerce station in Dahuaishu started its business. Fruit, nuts and grains from the village could be sold anywhere in China through an e-commerce platform, such as Taobao or Gongyi Zhonghang, which was set up by the Bank of China to help with poverty alleviation.

The station also collaborated with express companies to improve delivery efficiency.

"SF Express is the fastest, and China Post can reach the most remote areas," Wang said.

Connecting with an e-commerce platform was more than enough to sell the village's products. But Wang also decided to build a brand for them to make the products distinguishable from others.

He asked an agency to design a logo for the e-commerce station with the elements of a tree, soil and a large, ancient cauldron used to cook meat. That's because Dahuaishu is where the nation's largest such cauldron - an artifact dating back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-771 BC) - was discovered.

"It's important to help villagers build their confidence," Wang said.

Hao Shimin, a farmer in the village, has seen success.

"Every time I see the logo on the mailbox, a sense of pride comes to my mind," said Hao, 68.

"In the past, I always worried about where to sell my cherries and even thought of giving up planting. But with the assistance of e-commerce, the fruit can be sold all over China, so I decided to plant more next year."

Earlier this year, Hao's wife had surgery for bone disease in her thigh, which was paid for with the 20,000 yuan ($2,800) he earned from selling cherries.

"Thanks to the e-commerce platform that helped me sell the cherries at a good price, my wife was able to have surgery in time," Hao said.

According to Wang, the Dahuaishu e-commerce station receives an average of 200 orders per day. From May 15, 2018, to the end of September, the station raked in 600,000 yuan.

Dahuaishu is not the only place in Chunhua where villagers are using an e-commerce platform to sell goods.

Xi Yijun, 45, who lives in Xijia village, lost his legs in an accident 20 years ago. He ran a little shop to earn a living, and his wife had to do all the farm work.

With the assistance of Gongyi Zhonghang, he began to help his wife sell their farm products.

"At the very beginning, I had no idea how sales would be," he said. "I wondered whether there would be anyone interested in the fruit planted by my wife. But things went beyond my expectations. The first day I ran the business, I got 21 orders, which encouraged me a lot.

"It is inconvenient for me to work without legs, and thus my wife had to do all the work, which made her really tired. There was a time I almost lost confidence in life.

"However, since I joined the e-commerce platform, our sales have become better and I could do all the work on a computer."

According to statistics released by the Bank of China, there are 328 people who live in Chunhua like Xi, who run their own businesses on the e-commerce platform.

"The reason for us to introduce them to e-commerce is not just to help them get rid of poverty, but also to assist with building confidence and expanding horizons," Wang said. "It is important to let them know that with reform and opening-up, Chinese people can do business in a more direct and convenient way."

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516744.htm Shandong

Senior official pleads guilty to taking bribes

Zhang Maocai, former senior legislator of Shanxi province, pleaded guilty to taking bribes of more than 72 million yuan ($10 million) on Thursday at Zibo Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province. From 2002 to 2018, Zhang made use of his various work positions in Shanxi to help others in enterprise operations, construction contracts, job promotions or transfers, according to prosecutors from Zibo. In return, Zhang illegally accepted bribes directly or through relatives from those he helped, prosecutors said.

Zhejiang

First license for trial drone delivery issued

China's first license to test run drone deliveries has been granted to Antwork Technology, a drone delivery company in Zhejiang province, by the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Drone deliveries can help expand coverage of logistics, reduce the pressure on traditional logistics services and cut labor costs. To ensure flight safety, 90 percent of the routes are over urban rivers, and the drones can also reduce their speed and change routes when faced with emergencies or extreme weather, according to Zhao Liang, CEO of Antwork Technology.

Beijing

Well-off families less willing to buy houses

China's well-off households reported a decreasing willingness to purchase housing in September, survey data showed. The index measuring willingness to purchase housing went down 2 percentage points, according to a survey conducted by the Bank of Communications last month. Some 1,843 well-off families, with annual household incomes ranging from 120,000 yuan ($16,900) to 240,000 yuan after tax, participated in the survey. The bank attributed the decreasing willingness to purchase housing to China's policies that are stabilizing housing prices.

Xinjiang

Urumqi airport expansion begins

Expansion of the Urumqi Diwopu International Airport in the capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region began on Wednesday. The airport, upon completion, is expected to handle 48 million passengers a year in its terminal area by 2025 and 63 million passengers a year in the flight area by 2030, the project manager Li Jiajia said. The expansion project, with a total investment of 20.1 billion yuan ($2.8 billion), includes a new terminal of 500,000 square meters, two runways of over 3,000 meters, an integrated transport hub of up to 92,700 square meters, a parking building of over 250,000 square meters as well as auxiliary facilities. The project is expected to be completed by 2023. The airport handled over 20 million passengers in 2018.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Pork production rebounds]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516743.htm

Ministry expects normalcy in 2020, but high prices to linger till Spring Festival

China's pork production capacity is expected to bottom out before the end of this year and return to normal in 2020 after a widespread, deadly pig disease that has devastated the country's hog herds for more than a year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Thursday.

Production at large-scale pig farms, which slaughter more than 5,000 pigs each year, has rebounded across the country, said Yang Zhenhai, chief of the ministry's animal husbandry and veterinary medicine bureau.

In September, there were about 44.5 million live pigs in such farms, up 0.6 percent from the previous month. The number of breeding sows also climbed by 3.7 percent to more than 6 million from August to September, according to Yang.

Increasing sales of pig feed last month also point to a positive momentum in overall pig production, the ministry said based on data collected from related enterprises.

"The rates of decrease in total pig herds and sow herds nationwide both slowed down significantly in September," Yang said, noting that both rates had been rising consistently from March to August.

However, Tang Ke, chief for market and economic information at the ministry, said in the short term, pork supplies in domestic market will remain tight.

Prices of pork are set to stay high until the 2020 Chinese New Year that falls on Jan 25 next year, he said, adding that newly released frozen meat as well as increased production of poultry meat will further help secure overall supplies.

China has reported 157 outbreaks of African swine fever as of Wednesday since the first case was detected in August 2018.

The latest outbreak was discovered in two vehicles transporting 48 pigs on an expressway in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in South China on Tuesday.

The disease's spread has rattled the domestic market of pork - the most commonly consumed meat in China - and resulted in price spikes since June, the ministry said.

To ease the tight supply, China has been expanding its purchase of pork products from overseas, including the United Kingdom.

According to UK customs figures, exports of UK pork to China were up 77 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2018. This was driven by an increased demand by China as a result of the swine flu outbreaks.

China is now the UK's single biggest export partner by volume, making up 20 percent of exports valued at 80 million pounds ($102 million) a year, according to the National Pig Association in the UK.

Growth in demand from China may also help soften the potential impact of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. The UK sends 55 percent of its pork exports to EU nations, and in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would face significant tariffs on pork exports to the EU of up to 45 percent.

"Given restrictions of exports of pork to the EU, the export trade to China is vital for the British pig sector," said Edward Barker, the pig association's senior policy adviser.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Reading course boast goes viral, stirs doubt]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516742.htm

Finding it too difficult to read all the reference books recommended by the professor? No worries. An education company in Beijing says it can teach students how to read and remember more than 100,000 words in minutes.

A video of students rapidly flipping through books in a reading competition - organized by a subsidiary of Beijing Xinzhitong Qiguang Education Technology in Yancheng, Jiangsu province - recently went viral on Chinese social media, with the course claiming to teach children how to read more than 100,000 words in one to five minutes.

The market regulation bureau of Dafeng district in Yancheng told Beijing Time on Wednesday that it has asked the training center to rectify its course promotion because it is one-sided.

According to a promotional poster seen in the video by news website PearVideo, the course teaches students a method called "quantum speed-reading". The course is for students between ages 10 and 16. After 72 classes, they should be able to read 100,000 words in minutes and recite what they have read.

The education center said that by flipping through pages quickly, images start to appear in a reader's mind to help them understand the content.

Beijing Youth Daily found training centers in Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhumadian offering similar speed-reading courses, priced between 6,000 yuan ($850) for courses lasting half a year to 260,000 yuan for life-term courses.

On social media platform Sina Weibo, a hashtag "education institute claims it's possible to read 100,000 characters in five minutes" had received 140 million views by Thursday, along with comments from doubtful internet users.

"I have invented a new reading method, too. By putting a book on my head during sleep, the knowledge flows right into my brain because the concentration of knowledge in the book is greater than that in my brain," one netizen commented.

Another one said: "I can learn all the knowledge in the books simply by running through the library. I do not even have to open the books."

Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing, said it is obvious that this kind of reading method lacks any scientific basis and is "completely nonsense".

However, some parents who are well-educated and financially comfortable still fall for these kinds of scams because they become irrational when it comes to their children's education and want them to be better academically than their peers, Xiong said.

"They think if their children take such courses, they will have advantages over others, but this kind of unscientific training method only harms their children's development," he said.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Aviators praise latest air force carriers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516741.htm Aviators of the People's Liberation Army Air Force said on Thursday that their latest aircraft - the J-20 stealth fighter jet and Y-20 strategic transport plane - are world-class and will tremendously strengthen the air force's operational capability.

Senior Colonel Zhang Weilin, commander of an unidentified air base that deploys J-20s, said at a news conference in Changchun, capital of Jilin province, that his unit has arranged many realistic air-combat exercises in which J-20s fought with each other or confronted other types of fighter jets to test its capabilities and tactics.

"The outcomes of these exercises have proved that the J-20 is outstanding in terms of situational awareness, electronic warfare and collaboration ability," he said. "It is fair to say that the service of the J-20 is accelerating the air force's transformation toward a modernized, strategic force and also helping it gain superiority in the global race for an aerospace force."

The J-20 is China's best combat plane and the world's third operational stealth fighter jet.

Lieutenant Colonel Feng Wei, commander of a Y-20 regiment, said at the news conference that an air force with strategic prowess must have abilities to carry out not only strategic strikes but also strategic power projection, a term used by the PLA Air Force that refers to long-range deployment of large numbers of troops and weapons.

"The Y-20 is the pillar to our strategic power projection capability," he said. "We have already conducted training over plateaus and open seas, and we are determined to extend our reach wherever our national interests are."

Captain Chen Siqi, a Y-20 pilot, added that the transport plane is a milestone in China's aviation industry because compared with all of its predecessors, the colossal aircraft is bigger, stronger, more intelligent and much easier to control.

The remarks followed a massive flight show in Changchun on Thursday morning. The show was part of the opening ceremony of a large, five-day open house hosted by the PLA Air Force at the Air Force Changchun Airport to mark the 70th anniversary of its founding.

General Ding Laihang, the air force's commander-in-chief, and General Yu Zhongfu, the force's political commissar, attended the opening ceremony.

The open house aims to show how the air force has developed and transformed over the past 70 years and also looks to display the efforts it has made to gain strong combat capability and strategic prowess, according to Colonel Zhang Shouhai, an officer at the PLA Air Force's Staff Department.

The event will include flight performances by 35 aircraft of 10 types in active service such as the J-20 and the JL-10 advanced trainer jet. A total of 71 ground weapons of 46 types of equipment are also on display.

It is the seventh large open house the air force has held since its first in 2011. The venue is permanently set in Changchun, a city historically significant to the air force.

In March 1946, the first flight school of the Communist Party of China's armed forces was set up in Jilin province's Tonghua, and was later moved to Changchun. The air force defines the school as its cradle.

The PLA Air Force was established on Nov 11, 1949, in Beijing.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Experts promote public science literacy at forum]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516740.htm Experts at the second World Conference on Science Literacy in Beijing, which concluded on Thursday, called for international science communities to collaborate and promote public science literacy and help achieve the sustainable development goals.

Wan Gang, president of the China Association for Science and Technology, said the two-day conference drew more than 600 science communicators and representatives from 28 countries and 35 science institutions worldwide to share their experiences and knowledge and forge a new consensus in improving public science literacy.

 

"Global issues that are affecting humanity's sustainable development are becoming more acute," he said. "Improving public science literacy is the basic component of ensuring scientific and technological progress achieving global sustainable development."

Scientific literacy is often defined as the ability to understand scientific ideas and incorporate scientific methods and thoughts to make better decisions in life.

Marielza Oliveira, director of the UNESCO office in Beijing, said her organization also highly values science communication because strong science literacy among the public can enhance a nation's talent pool and innovative capability, as well as help it achieve its sustainable development goals.

The world's scientific communities need to work together to promote global science literacy, especially in developing countries, she said. Women and teens are also key target demographics that should be encouraged to learn about - and possibly pursue a career in - science and technology.

In recent years, China has increased efforts to make science more accessible to the public, particularly in rural and remote regions. Last year, 174 science museums offered free admission, attracting around 48.7 million visitors.

Also last year, 1,538 vehicles carrying science exhibition packages toured the country. These science communication caravans conducted more than 217,000 science activities and served about 230 million people.

Lisa Bailey, senior exhibitions manager of the MOD. science museum at the University of South Australia, said communicating important science ideas to industries and the public is crucial for turning research into products that will have an impact on the world.

"I believe China expanding scientific outreach with science centers and museums is a good thing," she said. "It allows young people to experience science in an immersive and interactive way."

Jules Hoffmann, the Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 2011, said scientists must do more to engage and educate the public about basic research, dispel myths regarding controversial technologies and encourage youth to get interested in science.

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Top scientists outline key global challenges]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516739.htm Scientists from more than 10 countries and regions, including China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, have published a list of 10 scientific challenges critical to human social development for 2019 that will require joint effort from the global scientific community to solve.

The list of challenges was released during the first World Science and Technology Development Forum in Beijing, which concluded on Thursday. The issues mainly focused on health, environment and energy and was curated by a global editorial committee consisting of editors from journal publisher Elsevier and noted scientists around the world.

The list included issues such as preventing and controlling the mass outbreak of emerging infectious diseases; addressing the cross-boundary pollution of air, water and soil; and transforming and storing new energy.

Cai Ronggen, a theoretical physicist and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, called on scientists around the world to work together to seek solutions and solve these challenges, which are closely related to sustainable development.

"It has been proved by practice that the sustainable development of mankind cannot be solved independently by any country or organization," he said. "Global challenges need global solutions."

Anne Kitson, executive vice-president for health and medical science publishing at Elsevier, said the listed issues are related to the fundamentals of human existence and should be addressed by the global scientific community.

"China has always been incredibly strong in what I call physical sciences, such as energy and chemistry," she said.

For instance, China has made significant contributions in the solar energy industry by making the technology more available at an affordable price, she added.

Kitson said China has invested heavily in new energy technologies to support its urban development and reduce pollution.

"China has a very critical role in tackling these issues, and in some fields, it is really leading the way."

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2019-10-18 07:50:03
<![CDATA[Xi urges new efforts to fight poverty]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516738.htm

Approaching eradication of extreme privation to greatly bolster global battle

President Xi Jinping is emphasizing efforts to win the battle against poverty.

China should stick to its poverty alleviation target and make continuous efforts in the battle, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said on Thursday, National Poverty Relief Day.

The day was initiated by the State Council, China's Cabinet, in 2014.

China has nearly eradicated extreme poverty, an affliction for thousands of years. That is expected to contribute immensely to global poverty reduction, Xi said.

With the end of the battle near, he urged relief authorities at all levels to focus on bolstering impoverished people's access to basic public services, including compulsory education, healthcare, housing and safe drinking water, and make sure that all rural poor will shake off poverty on schedule.

Premier Li Keqiang said that authorities should strengthen relief measures, including fostering local industries, helping the poor get jobs and stepping up support for those relocated to new sites, so as to lift another 10 million people out of poverty by year's end and lay a solid foundation for establishing a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the end of next year.

A conference was held alongside the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum in Beijing on Thursday to mark National Poverty Relief Day and the 27th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The conference honored those who made huge contributions to the nationwide campaign to eradicate domestic poverty before 2021.

China has seen marked progress in poverty reduction in the past few decades, seeing the rural poor drop from 770 million around 1978 to 16.6 million by the end of 2018.

Since 2012, the central government has renewed the push to combat poverty, calling for local officials to adopt the targeted relief approaches tailored to local conditions, and with much success. More than 80 million people shook off poverty in the six-year period that ended last year.

Nicholas Rosellini, United Nations resident coordinator in China, said rapid economic growth is partly to be credited for change, but added that not all growth "will accomplish such a result". He said Chinese policymakers' constant attention to improving the rural population's lives lies at the core of what has made its economic growth so special.

"Of course, China has its spectacular cities, world-class highspeed rail, booming high-tech industries," he said. "But from the perspective of human development, the real China miracle has been the vast improvement in the lives of peasants across China."

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Nation will only become more open, premier says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516737.htm Premier Li Keqiang extended messages on Wednesday welcoming businesses from different countries, including the United States, to expand investment and win-win cooperation in China. He said China's growth is offering opportunities to the whole world.

The remarks came as Li met with a delegation of business leaders with the US-China Business Council, led by its chairman, Evan Greenberg, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Li said there are enormous business opportunities and potential in the Chinese market, given that China has a population of close to 1.4 billion people and its retail sector is still upgrading.

He reiterated that China will not put a stop to its opening-up. Instead, it will only become more open to the world.

"China has fully opened up its manufacturing sector, and the level of opening-up in services, including the financial sector, is being stepped up," he said.

He also reaffirmed the country's commitment to developing a world-class and market-oriented business environment that is governed by a sound legal framework.

"The intention is to level the playing field for all types of market players, whether domestic or foreign," he said.

He also vowed more stringent protection of property rights and intellectual property rights.

Li hailed the constructive role of the US-China Business Council, formed even before the two countries established diplomatic ties, in promoting bilateral relations and win-win cooperation.

The council was founded in 1973, six years before China and the US established diplomatic relations.

It is important for China and the US, the world's largest developing and developed countries, respectively, to maintain healthy and stable relations, which can benefit both parties and the whole world, he said.

He called on both nations to follow the consensuses reached by their presidents, advance a relationship featuring coordination, cooperation and stability and solve related problems through dialogue and consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

It is also important for both countries to take on a long-term perspective and keep their feet on the ground in pushing forward the growth of trade and economic relations on the right track, he said.

He expressed hope that US business leaders, including those with the US-China Business Council, will continue to play an active role in promoting the growth of bilateral ties and enable better understanding between the two peoples.

Greenberg, also chief executive officer of the Chubb insurance company, said this is an important period in US-China relations, adding that disengagement is not in the interests of either side.

"In our two nations' shared history, many important aspects would suggest cooperation and engagement have benefited both our nations," he added.

Other delegates also expressed the hope that both countries can seize the opportunity to achieve a substantial trade agreement.

 

Premier Li Keqiang, flanked at right by US-China Business Council Chairman Evan Greenberg, meets with council representatives at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.Feng Yongbin/china Daily

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Ministry: Purchases of US produce to be increased]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516736.htm

China plans to increase purchases of United States agricultural products based on the two nations' preliminary agreement outlined last week, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The countries' negotiating teams are in close contact to nail down the specifics, it added.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a briefing that since the start of the year, Chinese companies have imported some US agricultural products, which primarily included 20 million metric tons of soybeans, 700,000 tons of pork, 700,000 tons of sorghum, 230,000 tons of wheat, and 320,000 tons of cotton.

Gao said Chinese companies plan to increase the amounts based on the needs of the domestic market, without disclosing details.

Both negotiating teams are busy working on the specific text of a trade deal, Gao said. They are striving to finish an agreement as soon as possible in the spirit of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results, he said. Gao reiterated that China's aim is to end the trade war and remove all additional tariffs.

Wei Jianguo, vice-president of China Center for International Economic Exchange, a Beijing-based think tank, said homegrown firms plan to purchase more US agricultural products to satisfy ever-rising domestic demand. The move will also benefit US agricultural companies and farmers, he said.

Last week, China and the US made progress in several fields in the latest high-level trade talks, including agriculture and intellectual property protection, officials said.

Tang Ke, head of market and economic information at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said on Thursday that the talks last week in Washington showed signs of easing tensions, with "substantial progress made in the agricultural sector". Tang said China's soybean supply and prices have remained generally stable this year despite a steep decline in US imports.

China imported nearly 56.4 million tons of soybeans from January to August, down by about 9 percent year-on-year, Tang said. US soybeans accounted for 15 percent of imports, down 11 percentage points from last year, he added.

"However, the country has not recorded any major price fluctuations or severe shortage in its soybean market, thanks to promotion of a low-protein feed formula that reduces demand for soybeans and other types of oilseed, as well as diversification of soybean suppliers," Tang said.

"As domestic production of soybeans is picking up and more efforts will be made to diversify sources of soybean imports and expand purchases of substitutes, overall supplies in China are expected to be secure in the future."

The trade conflict has also lowered exports of Chinese aquatic products, which were worth around $13.3 billion from January to August, down 6.5 percent year-on-year, Tang said, adding that cotton prices had dropped in China last month, partially due to the trade conflict.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[China-built railway making inroads in Africa]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516735.htm Kenya has extended its landmark railway project by 120 kilometers, a move that is expected to significantly help the country's and Africa's economic takeoff.

The new line, linking Nairobi, the capital, with the resort town of Naivasha, was built using Chinese technology and standards, as was the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway.

Located in northwest Kenya, the project, dubbed Phase 2A, has buoyed Kenyans' confidence that the Chinese-funded infrastructure, built at a cost of about $1.5 billion, would accelerate regional integration and boost trade at a time the continent is implementing a free-trade zone agreement.

Analysts said the infrastructure, a critical segment of the Northern Corridor project linking the port of Mombasa with the Great Lakes Region's landlocked states, shows Kenya's determination to be an infrastructure hub. That would help strengthen the regional investment environment since it would significantly lower the cost of production and improve access to markets, they said.

Nyongesa Lemmy, a senior policy analyst at the Africa Policy Institute, a Nairobi-based think tank, said the government's move to couple the modern railway with an inland container depot and a 405-hectare special economic zone buoys the region's industrialization ambitions.

Besides decongesting the port of Mombasa, the efficiency of the railway network would facilitate faster and safer transportation of freight to and from the port, Lemmy said.

"I think one of the biggest challenges investors have been facing is a reliable transport system from the hinterlands to the port. Nontariff barriers such as unscheduled roadblocks have always resulted in delays in delivery of goods and have bred corruption. I think this would be one of the immediate benefits the region would witness."

While inaugurating the railway on Wednesday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said investments made by China in Kenya's infrastructure expansion indicate growing confidence in the country's ambitions. The government, he said, is therefore committed to developing conducive policies and a regulatory framework to further improve the investment environment.

An inland port near one of the train stations will become a distribution center in East Africa, with traders from Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo picking up goods and setting up offices there.

Kenya used to rely on a meter-gauge railway over 100 years old to Uganda as a major transportation line. The country is replacing it with a new standard gauge railway with Chinese financing of about $400 million, which would provide a seamless link to the corridor as countries in the interior start linking their modern railway infrastructure to Kenya's.

Rajneesh Bhuee, a consulting economist based in Nairobi, said the Nairobi-Naivasha project has already boosted cross-border trade.

The project, which crosses the Nairobi National Park and the Great Rift Valley, is expected to stimulate investments in manufacturing and tourism, the latter being Kenya's second-largest source of foreign exchange.

Wu Peng, China's ambassador to Kenya, said: "More businesses will benefit, more jobs will be created. Therefore, I believe the seeds of hope we sow today will definitely grow up in the near future."

 

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (center) waves to passengers on Wednesday taking the new section of standard gauge railway linking Nairobi, the capital, to the resort town of Naivasha.Simon Maina/afp
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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[British PM hails latest Brexit deal as 'great']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516734.htm

The long and winding road taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union with a negotiated divorce deal on Oct 31 traversed some bumpy terrain this week. But it appeared to be back on track on Thursday morning when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "We've got a great new deal that takes back control."

His negotiators were sitting across from their EU counterparts around the clock this week, seeking a deal for a tariff-free trading relationship, after the separation approved in a UK referendum in 2016.

But they had been stuck on border and customs arrangements for Ireland, where all sides want to avoid reestablishing a post-Brexit hard border between Northern Ireland, which, as part of the UK, would leave the EU, and the Republic of Ireland, which is a member of the EU.

The border was a flashpoint in the past for sectarian violence, and a lack of border infrastructure is demanded by the Good Friday Agreement, which has ensured relative peace in the region for 20 years.

The proposed deal and its solutions to the Irish border problem now need the approval of both the European Parliament and the British Parliament.

EU leaders will consider it at their summit on Thursday and Friday, and British lawmakers will give their views at a special Saturday session of Parliament.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the deal is a "fair and balanced agreement", and he has urged the European Parliament to support it.

But its approval by the British Parliament is far from assured.

The small yet influential Democratic Unionist Party, based in Northern Ireland, which has 10 seats in the 650-member British Parliament, said on Thursday it will not support the deal "as things stand", citing problems with mechanisms to avoid the Irish hard border.

The DUP's leader and its deputy, Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds, issued a joint statement on Thursday in which they said, "As things stand, we could not support what is being suggested on customs and consent issues, and there is a lack of clarity on VAT", the value-added tax.

"We will continue to work with the government to try and get a sensible deal that works for Northern Ireland and protects the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom," they wrote.

The DUP's opinion is crucial because many MPs in Johnson's ruling Conservative Party plan to vote in line with its wishes.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, also criticized the proposed deal, saying it looks "even worse" than the previous deal negotiated by former prime minister Theresa May, which was rejected three times by Parliament.

"This sell-out deal won't bring the country together and should be rejected," he said. "The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote."

If Johnson fails to get Parliament to support the deal on Saturday, he will be compelled to ask the EU for an extension of the exit date, from Oct 31 to Jan 31, something he said he would "rather be dead in a ditch" than do. However, the Benn Act, which won cross-party support in the House of Commons, requires him to do so.

The BBC's Europe editor, Katya Adler, said EU leaders were expected to give their opinion of the deal by the close of business on Friday.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Modern dance builds fan base in nation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516733.htm Rising number of enthusiasts are attracted to genre

When 56-year-old Xu Fenglan saw a photograph showing about 20 people wearing loose pants, T-shirts and sleeveless tops standing in circles stretching their arms and raising and extending one leg while keeping their balance, she was intrigued.

The photo, which she saw on the internet, was of a dance course called the Gaga class, a contemporary dance movement created by Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, formed in Tel Aviv, Israel, in the 1990s.

The class was initially designed for the troupe's professional dancers, but in the early 2000s, it opened to amateurs, offering sessions not only in Israel but around the world.

In August, the Gaga class came to Beijing for the first time and Xu decided to apply.

"I have loved dancing since I was a little girl. I learned various dance genres, such as ballet, traditional Chinese dance and Chinese folk dance, but I have never learned contemporary dance," said Xu, who is retired and lives in the capital.

"I could feel the energy of the people dancing together in the photo and I was curious."

On a sunny morning, she arrived at the Rose Bud, a spacious arts center in Beijing's 798 Art Zone, a popular destination for contemporary art in the city, and started a five-day course under the tuition of dancer-choreographer Madison Hoke from the United States. The course ran from Aug 17 to 21.

Hoke, who is from Fairmont, West Virginia, and graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, told course participants, "Listen to your body, be aware of others in the room, move silently, either barefoot or in socks, and never stop."

Hoke, who visited Beijing two years ago with the Sol Dance Company from Israel, started to dance at age 5 and has been a certified Gaga teacher since 2016.

"We encourage students to use rich imagery that stimulates the imagination while dancing. It's about the passion to move and it helps develop physical possibilities, like flexibility, stamina and efficiency of movement," she said.

Xu said: "The first day was hard. I had to learn to control my body and to improvise during the hourlong class with no breaks, which was physically challenging. The dance course was totally different to those I attended before, including instruction from the teacher, the music and the techniques.

"Gradually, I became aware of my physical weaknesses and listened to my body. I floated, shook, made circles and curves, which brought me freedom and pleasure. Toward the end of the class, I was a little sweaty, but not tired. There was a shared energy in the room and I felt great."

Xu was among 50 amateurs who joined the contemporary dance workshops in Beijing, held as part of the ongoing New Dance Festival. In its fifth year, the festival is staged by the Chaoyang Cultural Center and the Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater.

Since the latter was founded in 2010, the aim has been to attract increasing numbers of people to dance.

Luo Xiaoying, director of the theater, said, "Contemporary dance may not appeal to mainstream audiences in a big way, but we've built a fan base by taking our workshops to many communities and schools."

She added that this year, the festival invited Hoke to conduct one of the workshops because "her method encourages people to move, whether they are professional dancers or not".

Born and raised in Xichang, capital of Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Sichuan province, Luo, who is from the Yi ethnic group, practiced gymnastics at age 7 and learned to dance when she was 12. From 1994 to 2004, she studied dancing at Minzu University of China in Beijing, enabling her to access a variety of genres, including contemporary styles.

"Each genre has a system and follows strict rules. For example, a ballet dancer must have outstanding posture, whether dancing or not. When I had ballet classes, I had to imagine a straight line running through my spine," the 37-year-old said.

"But when I attended contemporary dance classes, I felt relaxed and open. I neither had to wear tight-fitting clothes nor listen to the same piece of music I'd listened to hundreds of times. I could move as I needed to move and move as I liked to move. I could choose the music I liked and dance the way I am."

After graduating in dance in 2004, Luo joined the Chaoyang Cultural Center and became a founding member of the Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater, which has staged nine original contemporary pieces and toured worldwide.

She remembers the first show at the theater nine years ago in Beijing, at which the audience was admitted for free.

"The audience, mostly elderly people, had no idea about contemporary dance. Unlike traditional Chinese dance dramas, which usually tell stories and portray characters, contemporary dance pieces are abstract. But we realized that the audience had lots to discuss about the dancers' figures and the demanding movements, which inspired us to offer them free dance classes as a way to build up a fan base for contemporary dance," Luo said.

In 2015, a contemporary amateur dance troupe was founded, supported by the Chaoyang Cultural Center and the Beijing 9 Contemporary Dance Theater. Thirty amateur dancers, ranging in age from 50 to 65, both male and female, stood out among more than 100 candidates.

When auditions were held, the only requirement was that candidates show their passion for dancing and their physical flexibility, Luo said.

At weekly classes, the amateur dancers learn about contemporary dance and rehearse pieces choreographed by dancers from the theater.

"Usually we dance as the teachers demonstrate the movements and we copy them. We want to strip away the stereotypes about dance that audiences have long held, while offering them a new perspective," Luo said.

Gao Wen, a 66-year-old amateur dancer living in Beijing's Wangjing neighborhood, took part in a weekend workshop given by Roy Assaf Dance, a contemporary dance company from Israel. Even though the morning was muggy but cold, this failed to deter a group of contemporary dance enthusiasts.

Gao is a member of the Xuan Feng Dance Troupe, an amateur group founded in 2007 by enthusiasts living in Wangjing. It comprises 21 female dancers with an average age of 58.

As the Israeli dancers demonstrated a piece entitled An Evening, Gao observed and danced in front of a mirror.

"It was the first time I had watched and experienced contemporary dance. I am still digesting the latest information about the genre, but I'd love to try more moves," said Gao, who has been dancing recreationally since she retired as a teacher at age 50 in 2004.

She said many retired people living in the neighborhood are committed to dancing because "it's where you can meet people and have fun altogether".

"Dance is a team effort and a great way of staying healthy. We cheer each other on when we perform, and we train for hours together. We also help each other when we learn new moves," Gao added. "We gain confidence and pleasure."

In the early 20th century, US dancer Isadora Duncan, who began ballet lessons at an early age and developed her own style, was considered the "mother of contemporary dance". She allowed the music to lead her movements naturally, without strictly abiding by ballet's rules of pointed feet and gracefully stretched arms.

In addition to Duncan, US dancer-choreographer Martha Graham is synonymous with contemporary dance. She founded her dance company and school in Manhattan, New York, in 1926 while basing her style on studying the body's movements, focusing on contraction and release.

Since 2016, Xin Ying, a Chinese dancer-choreographer based in New York and principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, has held workshops for amateur Chinese dancers in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan. In her courses, she has used "inner landscape", an improvisational practice, which she describes as discovering the relationship between physical movements and personal emotions.

"We focus on elements of contemporary dance, such as the movements of fingertips and the control of the back muscles, rather than advanced techniques," said Xin, who was born and raised in Yichun, Heilongjiang province, and has danced almost every day since she was age 6. In 2010, she applied to the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and passed an audition.

Xin said professionals are limited to their dancing experiences and habits, but amateur dancers, especially people with no background in dance, have no such restrictions.

"I met an 18-year-old woman during my workshop in Beijing who surprised me with her movements. She was so real and emotional, though her dance techniques were not professional," Xi said.

She added that Chinese audiences have been increasingly exposed to contemporary dance, with more leading troupes touring the country.

Willy Tsao was one of the pioneers who brought contemporary dance to China in the 1980s.

In 1979, Tsao, who was born in Hong Kong and educated in the US, founded the City Contemporary Dance Company, the first modern dance troupe in Hong Kong.

In 1991, he helped set up the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, the first professional company in the genre on the Chinese mainland. In 1999, he was invited to become artistic director of the Beijing Modern Dance Company, and in 2005, he founded Beijing Dance LDTX. "Your body is free" was the sole advice he gave to dancers.

"The first time I watched a modern dance show in Hong Kong in the early 1970s, it was performed by an American dance troupe at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and I was instantly hooked," Tsao recalled in Beijing.

"When I saw the show, I didn't know what they were doing, but I wanted to join them immediately and dance like them."

Tsao said contemporary dance is like a philosophical system, which delivers the personal emotions of the artists. It is unlike any other kind of dance form.

"When you watch a contemporary dance performance, it's like a conversation with the artist, rather than simply appreciating the beauty of dance," Tsao said. "Contemporary dance learners first have to change their views and aesthetics about dance and then learn to express themselves through physical movements."

At the annual Modern Dance Week, a festival held by Beijing Dance LDTX in both Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, and Beijing, international dancers stage works and enthusiasts can attend lectures and workshops. In July, the Modern Dance Week in Beijing attracted about 6,000 people.

In addition to professional dancers, it offers amateurs the opportunity to perform onstage, with each piece lasting less than 15 minutes.

"Compared with big-budget movies and TV shows, modern dance still represents a minority taste on the mainland," Tsao said. "But that's OK. We have a steady number of people who love contemporary dance and the figure is rising gradually."

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Xi applauds China-Arab states forum]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516732.htm Broadcasting, TV event helps promote new technology, business cooperation

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 4th China-Arab States Broadcasting and Television Cooperation Forum, which opened on Thursday in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

In the letter, Xi said he had announced the establishment of a China-Arab future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development at the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in July last year. He added that the friendly cooperation between China and Arab states has entered a historic new stage.

He called on the two sides to join in promoting integrated media development, building intelligent broadcasting and television media outlets and developing intelligent broadcasting and television networks so as to make greater contributions to boosting people-to-people ties between China and Arab states and advance the China-Arab states strategic partnership.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said at the opening ceremony that China is willing to enhance new technology and business cooperation in broadcasting and TV sectors with the Arab states, thus further advancing wider application of next-generation information technologies such as intelligent broadcasting and TV networks.

Sharif Badreddine, commercial director of Dubai-based MBC Group, said the forum provided a perfect opportunity to build bridges between China and the Arab world through exchanging content.

"We have already enjoyed several successful experiences, and we look forward to further exchange of content between China and the Arab world," he said.

"5G will change the way we consume content across all platforms, and China is one of the leading countries in 5G development. Audiences will adapt to new technologies, and 5G will bring forward a lot of new challenges such as redeveloping our content in audio and visual products to be accommodated with 5G," he added.

Badreddine said Arab audiences are especially interested in Chinese TV dramas depicting emotions and love, and big productions about China's ancient history, such as The Three Kingdoms.

The forum, with the theme "Deepening cooperation in collaborative communication and prospering content creation," drew over 300 officials, film and TV-related entrepreneurs and media from China and 14 Arab states for discussions on topics such as exchanges, content creation and building up capacity.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[President writes letter to high-tech zone gathering]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516731.htm

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter on Thursday to the 2019 Zhongguancun Forum, saying that China would like to actively cooperate in global innovation and share development achievements with the world.

In the letter, Xi said Beijing's Zhongguancun area has been making efforts to become an advanced science and technology park as well as a world-leading center of innovation.

He urged participants to hold in-depth discussions and exchanges and promote consensus and cooperation so that science and technology innovation can better serve people from different countries and contribute to global technological development.

The forum was first held in 2007. This year's forum is being held in Zhongguancun, a suburban area of the capital sometimes called "China's Silicon Valley". The event began 12 years ago with a commitment to promote innovation and development. Since then, it has become an open venue for scientific and technological experts from around the world to communicate and cooperate.

The 2019 forum - themed "Cutting-Edge Technologies and Future Industries" - began on Wednesday and ends on Friday. Around 1,200 business, financial and academic figures from 50 countries and regions - including the United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, France and Japan - are in attendance.

A number of parallel sessions began on Wednesday, covering topics such as artificial intelligence, 5G, industrial internet, brain science, financial technology innovation and intellectual property protection.

The opening ceremony of the forum took place on Thursday morning.

Edvard Moser, a Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist - who shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2014 with his then-wife, May-Britt Moser, and John O'Keefe - noted during the ceremony that China has experienced huge development in recent decades, especially in science and technology.

"There are two major reasons leading to those achievements," Moser said. "First, China has attached huge importance to fundamental science research. Second, China has a very open attitude about communication with other countries in science and technology."

Shing-Tung Yau, a US professor of mathematics at Harvard University, said that it's essential to make considerable investment in fundamental science.

"Nowadays, the internet and computers have huge capabilities in various sectors, including energy allocation, big data and transportation, all of which require improving computing power," Yau said.

An exhibition showcasing about 170 technology achievements was held during the forum. Among many high-tech products, visitors experienced the C919 flight simulator, a smart robot that can provide care for the elderly and robotic dolphins that can be used in water rescues.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Beijing slams US curbs on diplomats]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516730.htm

China urged the United States to correct its mistake and withdraw its decision to impose meeting restrictions on Chinese diplomats.

China is opposed to the US State Department's decision to impose "extra requirements and set up artificial obstacles" for Chinese diplomats conducting normal official activities in the US, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular news conference in Beijing on Thursday.

"The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations with the US side," Geng said.

The remarks came after US State Department officials said on Wednesday that Chinese diplomats in the US are now required to give advance notice of any meetings with state, local and municipal officials, as well as meetings at educational and research institutions.

Geng said China always supports US diplomats in their carrying out of normal official activities in China and provides them with necessary convenience.

"The so-called restrictions on US diplomats in China as claimed by the US side is just baseless," he said, and urged the US to provide support and convenience for Chinese diplomats.

The Chinese embassy in Washington said on Twitter that the "latest restrictions" on Chinese diplomats were in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

"So far, the Chinese side does not have similar requirements on US diplomats and consular officers in China," it said.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Military games to commence in Wuhan]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/18/content_37516729.htm Countries participating in the 2019 CISM Military World Games, which begin on Friday in Wuhan, Hubei province, have sent strong teams of athletes with many being world champions or known entities in Olympic events, according to the director of the games' executive committee on Thursday.

This year's games are expected to be "intensely competitive", said Major General Yang Jian.

The Wuhan games boast record high numbers of participants and events, with 9,308 athletes from 109 countries registered. They will compete in 329 events covering 27 categories, including a naval pentathlon, aeronautical pentathlon, shooting, swimming and basketball.

Sixty-seven of the athletes finished in first place at Olympic Games, world championships or World Cup events. Meanwhile, 118 were ranked among the top eight in their respective sports at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Of the five military-related activities, including the military pentathlon, parachuting and orienteering, 43 participants are defending champions from the last military games in South Korea four years ago.

Yang, who is also deputy director of the Central Military Commission's training management department, said China has placed great importance on the games and has the largest sports delegation with 553 members, including 406 athletes, who will participate in all categories except golf.

"All of the athletes in the Chinese delegation have received intensive training before the competitions. They have high morale and spirits and they will make sure to give their best performances and strive to achieve excellent results," he said, adding that based on the People's Liberation Army delegation's previous performances and experiences in international military sports events, Chinese competitors have certain strengths in categories including military pentathlon, parachuting, track and field, shooting, swimming and basketball.

"Athletes in other events have no fear of competing with strong opponents to earn honor for their countries and themselves, and we should show them respect," Yang said.

Twenty-five countries - including Russia, Brazil, France, Germany and Poland - have sent delegations of more than 100 members to the games.

The opening ceremony will be held Friday night, and Yang said many national defense ministers, military generals and officers from participating countries will be in attendance.

Up to 260,000 volunteers are serving at the games. Around 50,000 work directly for the games while others work around the city to help with visitor queries.

This is the first time that the games, first organized by the International Military Sports Council in 1995, are being held in China.

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2019-10-18 07:46:27
<![CDATA[Action plan released for pollution control]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516314.htm Measures designed to improve quality of air in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region

An action plan for air pollution control was released on Wednesday, setting specific targets to control air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas during autumn and winter.

The number of days with severe pollution should fall by 6 percent from Oct 1 to March 31, according to a plan released by several government agencies including the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and the National Development and Reform Commission.

The average density of PM2.5 - fine, breathable particles with diameters 2.5 micrometers or smaller - should drop by 4 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the plan.

The plan also sets a deadline to close down some outdated production facilities and suspend some highly polluted industry capacities in Tianjin as well as Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong provinces by the end of this year.

In Shanxi, for example, 1.75 million metric tons of steel capacity will be reduced, and outdated facilities that could produce 10 million tons of coke will also be shut down.

By the end of this month, local authorities and enterprises in those regions are expected to have drafted a specific plan, setting a clear target and timeline to improve production quality and enhance pollutant emission standards to meet pollution control standards.

According to the plan, pollutant discharging licenses for construction material and furniture enterprises should be released by December.

Steel manufacturers in Hebei are required to achieve an extra-low emission transformation of 100 million tons by the end of the year, while the target in Shanxi over the same time frame is 15 million tons.

Moreover, the plan also required those cities and provinces to conduct further environmental assessments on big factories and logistics companies within this month.

Thanks to joint efforts from multiple sectors, air quality over the country has been stable, Liu Youbin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said during a recent news conference.

From January to August, the average density of PM2.5 in 337 major cities across the country stood at 35 micrograms per cubic meter, the same as last year.

According to Liu, autumn and winter are the worst air quality periods in China, especially in the north, largely because of coal consumption for heating.

During the cool and cold seasons from 2017 to 2018, steel manufacturers in four major cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region were asked to suspend half their capacity.

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2019-10-17 08:05:51
<![CDATA[Military World Games torch comes to Wuhan]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516313.htm The torch relay for the upcoming 7th Military World Games of the International Military Sports Council arrived at its last stop on Wednesday in Wuhan, Hubei province, where the 10-day Games will begin on Friday.

The flame was passed along by 100 torchbearers through the host city's iconic East Lake Greenway.

The flame will be used to light a cauldron at the Wuhan Sports Center, where the opening ceremony will take place.

The relay began with Liao Hui, a gold medalist weightlifter at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, taking the torch from Jiang Chaoliang, Party secretary of Hubei province. Chinese hammer throw champion Zhang Wenxiu, a three-time Olympic medalist, was the last to carry the torch.

The 100 torchbearers consisted of Olympic champions, Military World Games participants, researchers, experts, soldiers and foreign representatives from the military sports council's member states.

Ma Xu, 86, a former military medical worker and airborne soldier, ran the 98th leg of the relay. She was the day's oldest torchbearer. In 2018, Ma donated her life savings of 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) to support the educational and cultural development of her hometown in Heilongjiang province.

The torch, which is 70 centimeters long and weighs 780 grams, represents peace, development and friendship, organizers said.

The torch-lighting ceremony for the Games was held in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, on Aug 1, which was the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army. The Nanchang Uprising, led by the CPC, took place on Aug 1, 1927, and is remembered as the founding of the PLA.

A total of 2,019 torchbearers, including 70 foreigners, participated in the torch relay through 27 cities and 16 military sites across the country.

Over 10,000 athletes from more than 100 International Military Sports Council member states will take part in the Games. The Chinese delegation, the largest sports group at the Games, includes a record of 553 athletes selected from the Chinese military who will participate in all the events except golf.

Twenty-seven sports (including two demonstration events) will be contested at 35 venues across the city - the largest number of events in the Games' history, with badminton, table tennis, tennis and men's gymnastics all making their debuts this year.

Organizers have said the Games will be "green", so only a small number of the venues are new, with most being renovated or temporary facilities. All construction was completed in just 27 months, with many of the venues located at local universities, where the public will have use of the facilities to ensure the Games' legacy.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-10-17 08:05:51
<![CDATA[Land reforms upgrade industrial structure, boost farmers' incomes]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516312.htm Editor's Note: Since December 2013, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has led a deep-think process to improve governance, remove institutional barriers and speed the implementation of new policies. In this series, China Daily explores the results of those efforts.

Land reform projects in Deqing, a county in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, have boosted farmers' incomes and helped industrial upgrading in the county.

The Central Leading Group for Deepening Reform approved pilot reform for commercial use of collectively owned construction land in rural areas in 2014. In all, 33 counties nationwide, including Deqing, were picked as pilot areas in 2017.

Experts said the project mainly targets nonresidential land, which avoids impacting the housing market, and by bringing more land into the market, the cost of acquiring land is reduced.

Since the launch of the program, 208 rural land slots have entered the market in Deqing, covering more than 106 hectares. These deals have generated combined transactions worth 422 million yuan ($60.2 million) and collective income of 339 million yuan, benefiting over 180,000 farmers, according to the Deqing county government.

"The rural land system reform is of vital concern for farmers. They cannot become bystanders, and their interests should never be neglected," said an official in charge of the project in the county, adding Deqing gave farmers and farmers' collectives the rights of participation, choices and decisions during the reform process.

So far, 160 village-level joint-stock cooperatives have been set up in the county. The cooperatives quantify and evaluate all operational land slots in the county, ensuring transparency and public participation in the project.

On average, 80 percent of the income from the pilot land reform is directly distributed to farmers and farmers' collectives, with the rest used for urban and rural infrastructure construction and environmental improvement, the county official said.

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2019-10-17 08:05:51
<![CDATA[Xi lauds Oct 1 fete as impetus for country]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516311.htm Celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China can serve as a strong impetus for people to press ahead in the new era, President Xi Jinping said.

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Celebrations boosted national morale, showed China's strength, president says

Celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China can serve as a strong impetus for people to press ahead in the new era, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while presiding over a recent meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

He said the celebrations fully showcased the country's glorious achievements over the past 70 years and displayed its national strength and military prowess.

The National Day festivities on Oct 1 greatly boosted the morale of the Chinese nation and strengthened various sectors, he said.

The celebrations created a mighty force as the whole Party, the whole military and the whole nation march toward realizing the first of the "Two Centenary Goals" - building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021, he said.

They also serve as a proud demonstration of the shared ideals of all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation toward realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, Xi said.

As the world undergoes major changes unseen in a century, the celebrations were a grand show for the nation - always standing firm in the East, becoming even more prosperous and even stronger, he added.

The celebrations, which involved large numbers of units and required extensive participation from all sectors of society, needed much preparation and arduous organizational efforts, Xi said.

The resounding success can be attributed to the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and joint efforts from the entire Party, military and nation, he said.

The celebrations displayed the patriotism of the public, and it is important to take the opportunity to strengthen the guiding role of patriotism in society, Xi said.

His speech was read out on Wednesday at a meeting to summarize the 70th anniversary celebrations at the Great Hall of the People.

While speaking with delegates to the meeting, Xi expressed his gratitude and encouraged them to make new contributions.

The celebrations included a grand military parade and a gala performance at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Oct 1.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[Nation's poverty alleviation inspires world economies]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516310.htm

A 20-day trip to China in August was inspiring enough for Cecille Aldueza-Virtucio to visualize a plan to improve her cooperative and help its farmers lead better lives.

The managing director of an egg cooperative in San Jose, Batangas, the Philippines, had a tight China schedule: attending lectures, taking field trips to agricultural cooperatives and garnering experience from Chinese experts on rural development and poverty reduction.

"If we follow some of the examples here, we can improve the lives of the greater Philippine people," Aldueza-Virtucio said.

A revelation from the trip, she said, was the importance of a beautiful countryside with a good living environment, and ensuring fair responsibilities for authorities, communities, the private sector and residents during the poverty-alleviation process.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 16.1 percent of Philippine families were living below the poverty line last year.

"President Xi Jinping has shown us how we can enable shared prosperity for all," she said. "When we return, we will act on some of the experience, and I will pilot it in my own municipality."

Aldueza-Virtucio was taking part in one of the more than 2,000 tours of this kind that the Chinese government arranges annually to share its experience in areas such as poverty alleviation and agricultural production.

Xi's pledge

The programs stem from Xi's pledge in a speech at the United Nations in New York in 2015 to provide 120,000 opportunities and 150,000 scholarships for citizens of other developing countries to receive training and education in China over the following five years.

China has reduced the number of rural Chinese living below the poverty line from nearly 99 million in late 2012 to 16.6 million by the end of last year, officials said. It has set a goal of lifting all impoverished rural Chinese from poverty by 2020.

In 2011, China set the poverty line for its rural population at a net per capita annual income of 2,300 yuan ($324). The poverty line has since been adjusted each year for consumer inflation.

China, the world's largest developing country, has shown strong commitment to South-South cooperation, scaling up efforts to help other developing countries attain food security and poverty reduction.

Xi said at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that China will support Africa in achieving general food security by 2030, work with Africa to formulate and implement a cooperation program on agricultural modernization and carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs.

China will provide 1 billion yuan in emergency humanitarian food assistance to African countries affected by natural disasters, send 500 senior agricultural experts to the continent and train young researchers in agricultural science and entrepreneurs in agribusiness.

Leaders and experts from many developing countries have seen China's success in tackling poverty as an important reference for their own efforts.

Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, expressed hope during a visit to China in April that his country might borrow from China's poverty alleviation experiences.

"The local successful practices reflect General Secretary Xi Jinping's idea of targeted poverty reduction and the Communist Party of China Central Committee's purpose of benefiting the people," he said while visiting a government relocation project in Fujian province.

"There is still a large poverty-stricken population in Laos, so we will bring China's poverty-alleviation experiences and measures back to our country," he told China Central Television.

Kakudi Kabemba Beaudouin, an agricultural expert from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said China and the DRC share a similar historical background.

"China has accumulated lots of experience in poverty reduction and agricultural development, which we hope can be transferred to our country," Beaudouin said during a study tour to China in August.

The DRC, in its bid to develop itself into an emerging market economy before 2030, must prioritize the development of agriculture in order to solve its food security problem.

"But we require a catalyst to achieve that. We look forward to a solution offered by China," he said.

DRC farmers have received agricultural equipment such as threshers, fertilizer spreaders and fruit harvesting machines through a cooperative program between China, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the DRC. China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs sent 13 experts to the DRC to share China's experience in poverty reduction and agricultural production.

Transferring expertise

Stanis Mbongo Mbantshi, a Food and Agriculture Organization project manager in the DRC's capital, Kinshasa, said Xi has come up with important insights into China's rural development and closing the urban-rural divide.

China's rural vitalization strategy, in particular, will serve as a reference for the DRC in balancing urban and rural development, Mbantshi said.

Alan Piazza, a former World Bank rural development economist, said other countries should note how China became the most successful country at poverty reduction in history.

"Because it's only when we understand how China achieved this poverty eradication that China's lessons can then begin to be transferred to other developing countries that so desperately need help," Piazza said.

"Many Western academics say it was all overall economic growth (that led to China's success in poverty reduction). But it was so much more than that," he said.

Piazza gave the example of China's national poverty registration program - a system that registers all rural households living below the poverty line. The measure, introduced in 2014, has played a key role in poverty reduction, he said.

Piazza said Brazil introduced a similar program inspired by China's experience, even though it was not easy for many other developing countries to establish similar programs.

It is important to put China's experience into context, rather than simply borrowing from it.

"China has extraordinary implementation capacity. When China decides they want to do this, it gets done," he said.

He added that the next step for China should be to share its expertise on poverty reduction in a more effective way.

"China has made sharing its experience on development an important part of its cooperation with developing countries," said Li Xiaoyun, a professor of rural development and poverty reduction at China Agricultural University.

He said that global poverty reduction efforts now face two major challenges.

The first is absolute poverty, a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.

And the second is relative poverty.

"China's targeted poverty reduction policy has provided important experience in this area," Li said.

The key is to eliminate factors that result in poverty, provide affordable healthcare, education and housing and develop industries that provide stable sources of income, he said.

Deng Zhengrui, an agricultural expert who participated in agricultural assistance programs for four African countries, said technical guidance offered by Chinese experts has directly helped farmers boost incomes.

In northern Namibia, Deng said Chinese experts were able to help farmers boost harvests of potatoes and other vegetables, which helped to significantly raise their incomes.

"What we brought with us was our technology, our experience and our ideas. We also worked together, lived together and ate together with our local partners to ensure our experience can be fully absorbed," he added.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[President meets with former NZ leader]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516309.htm President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that China welcomes all countries and their companies to seize the opportunity of its development to better realize win-win results.

He made the remark when meeting with John Key, a former prime minister of New Zealand, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The situation in the world is undergoing profound and complicated changes, Xi said. "China has an even stronger desire, not a diminished desire, to engage with the outside world," the president added.

China will stick to the path of peaceful development, and its door will be opened even wider to the outside world, he said.

Xi said that Key actively contributed to the China-New Zealand relationship when he served as the country's prime minister and that he hoped Key would continue to help enhance exchanges and cooperation between the two peoples.

Key congratulated the country on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, saying the celebrations on Oct 1 were remarkable.

China's development is an opportunity for the world, and history will finally prove Xi's vision and great leadership, Key said, adding that he believed the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Xi, will succeed.

Key also expressed his willingness to play an active role in promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between New Zealand and China.

Key served as the 38th prime minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016. He made seven official visits to China during his term of office.

 

President Xi Jinping meets with former New Zealand prime minister John Key at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.Feng Yongbin/china Daily

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[IMF lowers global growth forecast]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516308.htm The International Monetary Fund has further downgraded its expectations for world economic growth to 3 percent for 2019, the slowest pace since the 2008 global financial crisis. Analysts said the Chinese economy has showed resilience amid the global slowdown, with deepening reform and opening-up to refresh growth momentum.

The IMF calls for policymakers to undo trade barriers through durable agreements, rein in geopolitical tensions and reduce domestic policy uncertainty.

"Such actions can help boost confidence and reinvigorate investment, manufacturing and trade," Gita Gopinath, economic counselor and director of the Research Department at the IMF, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The forecast and suggestions were made in the quarterly World Economic Outlook update the IMF released at the opening of the annual IMF/World Bank meetings.

She said that global growth continues to be weakened by rising trade barriers and increasing geopolitical tensions. As a result, the IMF forecast for 2019 world economic growth is 0.3 percentage points lower than the April outlook reported.

"At 3 percent growth, there is no room for policy mistakes and an urgent need for policymakers to support growth," she said.

The outlook trimmed growth projections for both China and the United States, which have been locked since early last year in a trade conflict that is hurting business sentiment globally.

China's economy is expected to grow at 6.1 percent this year, 0.1 percentage point lower than the July prediction, while the US economy will grow 2.4 percent in 2019, down by 0.2 percentage points compared with the IMF's July forecast.

The two countries reported "substantial progress" in a new round of trade talks last week in Washington.

"We welcome any step to de-escalate tensions and to roll back recent trade measures, particularly if they can provide a path toward a comprehensive and lasting deal," Gopinath said.

If all the tariffs enacted by the world's top two economies in 2018 and 2019 were to be removed, that would boost global GDP by 0.8 percent by the end of 2020, she said.

Tang Jianwei, chief researcher at the Financial Research Center of the Bank of Communications, said the IMF's downgraded projection was broadly in line with his forecast for China's growth. Tang said he expected third quarter growth to land at 6.1 percent then for growth to edge down to 6 percent in the fourth quarter.

But with annual growth forecast to come in at above 6 percent, China still stands out among major economies, Tang said. "And as the country deepens reform and opening-up, economic growth will stabilize gradually. A lot of institutional innovations can be made to inject long-term growth momentum."

Tang cited as an example that China could reform the land system and release more land resources for property development, which would increase housing supplies, curb housing bubbles and guide more investment into the real economy.

In the near term, there is still the space and the necessity to strengthen macroeconomic policy support to counter downside pressure, Tang added.

The IMF has also downgraded its growth projection for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, citing "social unrest" as a factor. Hong Kong's GDP is forecast to grow 0.3 percent for 2019, versus 2.7 percent in the outlook released in April.

In answering a China Daily question regarding the impact of the sharp decline in foreign direct investment, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, deputy director of IMF's Research Department, said shrinkage of FDI among major economies last year occurred in investment in new facilities and in mergers and acquisitions.

"The potential for increased fragmentation to reduce the efficiency of production, to reduce productivity growth, is there," he said.

Zhang Tao, IMF deputy managing director, said the global economy is in a synchronized slowdown because slower growth is expected in nearly 90 percent of the world this year.

"However, we do not see recession in our baseline forecast for 2019," Zhang said. "We project global growth to rise to 3.4 percent in 2020, though this recovery is precarious."

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[US House bill on HK spurs strong protest from Beijing]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516307.htm The United States House of Representatives' passage on Tuesday of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 has sparked strong opposition from China, which said it will take countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

"If the relevant act were to become law, it would not only harm China's interests and China-US relations, but would also seriously damage US interests," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in an online statement on Wednesday.

Geng said that the US House ignored the facts and called black "white" by referring to serious crimes like arson, vandalism and assaults on police as issues of human rights and democracy.

"It fully revealed the double standards the US applies, the hypocrisy of some people in the US on human rights and democracy, and their evil intentions to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and contain China's development," he said.

He urged the US to clearly understand the situation, immediately stop advancing the act and stop meddling in Hong Kong's affairs, which are China's internal affairs.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the passage of the bill by the US House openly encourages opposition and radical forces in Hong Kong, tests the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" principle and tramples upon international law and basic norms governing international relations.

In the name of "human rights and democracy", some politicians in the US have attempted to undermine Hong Kong's role as an international finance, trade and shipping center, intimidated the just forces committed to stopping violence and ending chaos and provided shelter for violent extremists in Hong Kong, the statement said.

The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress also issued condemnations of the act on Wednesday.

Jon R. Taylor, chair of the University of Texas at San Antonio's department of political science and geography, told China Daily that the bill's consequences will likely be economic and cultural - with reduced opportunities for US investment and fewer US tourists.

Taylor said a stable Hong Kong serves everyone's interests, and the US should be concerned that the increasing acts of violence will only lead to greater chaos.

Mike Wong, vice-president of the San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace, said, "We oppose any interference by elected US lawmakers to spend US tax dollars to support the illegal protesting in Hong Kong."

Wong's organization is leading a petition calling on US lawmakers to end interference in Hong Kong and pay attention to domestic problems such as homelessness, inadequate healthcare, housing and gun violence.

Lawrence Ma Yan-kwok, chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation, said, politically, Hong Kong provides an angle for the US to make up a story or excuse to condemn China or possibly seek international condemnation. In addition, Ma said the act is a way for the US government to divert public attention from its own political or policy deficiencies.

Lia Zhu in San Francisco contributed to this story.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[E-cigarette companies mushroom in China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516306.htm Industry's potential attracts huge influx of capital

Beijing resident Chen Wei had smoked regular cigarettes for 15 years before turning to electronic ones 18 months ago.

Now, he has become a loyal fan of those with a blueberry flavor and has given up traditional cigarettes.

"I was introduced to e-cigarettes by friends," he said. " I tried them and found them just as good. Also, smoking them will not pollute the air as much as regular cigarettes do. I also like the taste."

In the past two years, e-cigarette companies have mushroomed in China, attracting a huge influx of capital as an industry with plenty of potential.

According to a report by Tsinghua University, e-cigarette sales in China reached 33.75 billion yuan ($4.76 billion) last year.

Using e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, is generally viewed as being potentially less damaging to health than tobacco, and can work as an alternative to help people stop smoking.

This view is supported by leading health agencies in countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Other observers, including some politicians and health experts in the United States, deny that it can help people to quit and say that it can also cause harm to health.

Most e-cigarettes in China use an electronic atomization system that contains nicotine. The cigarette transforms a liquid containing nicotine or spice solution into a vapor that can be inhaled.

To appeal to consumers, most brands tout the health benefits of e-cigarettes along with the variety of flavors available.

By Sept 19, more than 2,000 e-cigarettes companies had been formed this year, according to Chinese corporate information data provider Tianyancha. It also said that there are nearly 9,500 such companies in China, with about two-thirds of them based in the southern province of Guangdong.

Moreover, a large amount of capital has been invested to back the development of domestic e-cigarettes brands. Last month, the MOTI brand received financing of $50 million, while in July, the SSSO brand obtained $25 million in its first round of financing. Many other brands are also supported by invested capital, including RELX and Flow.

An estimated 90 percent of global e-cigarette production is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong.

Most e-cigarette products and accessories made in China are exported, while fewer than 1 percent of the country's smokers use such cigarettes, according to a report by the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute in Shenzhen.

Thomas Piachaud, director of consulting at global market research company Kantar, said the huge tobacco market highlights the "heavily ingrained nature" of smoking in China, and gives e-cigarettes a large pool of potential customers.

According to the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, there are about 350 million smokers in China, the world's largest producer and consumer of tobacco products.

Piachaud said, "Converting just 10 percent of smokers to e-cigarettes or (making them) dual users (e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes) could create significant category growth for companies on scales they would not be able to achieve in other markets."

Han Shaofeng, co-founder of the e-cigarette brand SSSO, which was founded last year, said the industry's development in China is still at a very early stage, but he believes that the number of e-cigarette users will increase, whether in the domestic or overseas markets. SSSO's main consumers are ages 20 to 35.

"Smoking e-cigarettes is convenient and doesn't bother others," he said. "Moreover, we have imported e-cigarette liquid from the United States that meets with US Food and Drug Administration approval, to make sure our products are safe."

Han said the company was also working to improve the taste of e-cigarettes by using innovative technology.

SSSO has set up a research and development base in Shenzhen to strengthen the brand and its quality control. Consumers are also attracted by the fashionable designs of its products.

Han said SSSO, whose products are mainly sold offline, has about 50 stores in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and in Shanghai, where consumers are more fashion-conscious. It aims to open 1,000 stores - 80 percent of them in China - with the remainder overseas, especially in Southeast Asia, he said.

The RELX brand began mass production in April last year, since when its output has risen by about 160 times.

Figures from consultancy Euromonitor show that in the first half of this year RELX led the market in China, with a 44 percent share.

By the end of this year, it aims to increase this to 70 percent. According to the company, by the end of August, it had opened more than 600 stores and its products were being sold in 43 countries and regions across the world.

Stefan Zhang, special assistant to the CEO of RELX Technology, said the brand's vision is to "create a better world by leveraging its advanced technology and design in an ethical way, and to use empathy to help adult smokers".

The company has invested millions of dollars in R&D, and boasts a laboratory with imported equipment and a team of scientists to ensure that all of its products comply with some of the strictest standards in the world, including those of the European Union, for e-liquid and vapor quality, he said.

RELX sells more than 20 e-liquid flavors across its four product lines, including a smart device that features a child lock paired with a companion app.

Zhang added that RELX's e-liquid nicotine concentrations vary from 1.8 to 5 percent.

Piachaud, from Kantar, said that while there are restrictions on advertising of e-cigarettes across many forms of media, "digital and social advertising" in China can spread word of mouth quickly and effectively. It also plays on the rising trend of customization and personalization in the country.

"A wide array of flavors can give an ever-changing experience to consumers who may have become bored with traditional cigarettes," he said.

Furthermore, the ability to alter the amount of nicotine can also help consumers to reduce consumption, give them more balanced choices and make them feel more in control, he added.

Many of the big players have not yet cemented their grip on China, and the market is poised to consolidate around just a few key brands.

"While this provides an opportunity, the lack of law and regulations to date has led to many safety concerns," Piachaud said.

In the US, e-cigarette companies are being scrutinized over two public health concerns considered by politicians to be related to vaping - underage use among teenagers and a series of lung diseases nationwide that have affected more than 1,000 people.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, 3.62 million middle school and high school students in the country were using e-cigarettes last year.

New regulations at different levels have been issued to stop the sales of various flavors that were attracting teenagers. On Oct 9, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba said it would stop selling e-cigarettes in the US, in line with the similar decision by Walmart.

China has also made progress in regulating the industry. In July, the National Health Commission said legislation is being planned to supervise e-cigarette sales as part of overall tobacco control efforts as use of the products rises among young people.

Mao Qun'an, head of the commission's planning department, said, "To reduce the prevalence of tobacco, we must prevent adolescents from trying it. But e-cigarettes can easily lure youngsters and turn them onto traditional tobacco later."

He said increased supervision of e-cigarettes is needed. They can cause harm to health, like conventional cigarettes, as the flavored vapor they produce contains toxic substances, and smokers can become addicted to the nicotine.

Some 0.9 percent of people in China were e-cigarette users last year, compared with 0.5 percent in 2015, according to a survey released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in May. The number of users in the country age 15 or older was estimated at 10 million, according to the survey.

Some cities have recently introduced legislation on e-cigarettes. In June, authorities in Shenzhen passed a regulation to add e-cigarettes to the city's smoking control list, banning their use in indoor public areas.

Han, from SSSO, said the US is aiming to stop companies who are making inferior e-cigarettes or targeting young people, and this measure is needed.

As for the upcoming new national standards and related policies in China, Han said this means that the "era of brutal growth" in the e-cigarette industry is coming to an end.

"Some manufacturers whose products are not up to standard will be eliminated, and the real competition in the industry will not officially begin until then," he said.

Zhang, from RELX Technology, said he believes the new regulations introduced by the government will be based on a full understanding of the industry, will help it to advance in a healthier manner and give entrepreneurs a proper chance to develop their business.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[Restrictions imposed in the US, but countries differ in their approach]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516305.htm

Two years ago, the e-cigarette market was viewed in the United States as an industry with the potential to wean millions of smokers off deadly traditional cigarettes and help improve public health.

However, in recent weeks, a series of restrictions has been imposed on e-cigarette companies in the US, the world's largest market for such cigarettes, due to concerns over underage use among teenagers and a spate of lung illnesses across the country that have affected hundreds of people.

Chinese e-commerce companies Alibaba and JD have stopped selling e-cigarettes in the US, in line with similar decisions by major grocery store chain Kroger and also Walmart, the world's largest retailer.

US investigators said nearly 80 percent of people that have illnesses caused by vaping were using products containing THC, the chemical found in marijuana that induces a "high". The US Food and Drug Administration also warned people not to vape THC or to buy such products sold on the street.

However, countries differ in their views toward e-cigarettes. For example, while they are banned in San Francisco, in the United Kingdom, they are actively encouraged as a smoking alternative by the National Health Service, according to Thomas Piachaud, director of consulting at global market research company Kantar.

A report by Public Health England said alternative nicotine-delivery systems, such as e-cigarettes, could play a major role in improving public health.

It said using e-cigarettes as part of attempts to quit smoking continues to help people attending such services in England. However, the proportion of such attempts using e-cigarettes remains very small at 4.1 percent.

The report said smoking and vaping trends should continue to be monitored and the industry's development needs guidance.

In China, legislation is being planned to supervise sales of e-cigarettes as part of tobacco control efforts as use of the products rises among young people.

Cheng Xueliang, secretary-general of the Shenzhen Electronic Cigarettes Industry Association, said standards for the industry should be established in all respects, including raw materials, production technology and quality control. It is also important to strengthen distribution management and to ensure that e-cigarettes do not reach minors.

Piachaud said it is difficult to predict where the market will go. If smoking e-cigarettes is found to have negative impacts on health beyond traditional cigarettes, and they lose their claimed status as the lesser of two evils, markets could move quickly to heavily regulate their purchase, if not ban them outright.

If the health impact is considered to be similar to that of traditional cigarettes, less serious or nonexistent, then the market has real potential to not only continue to grow, but to accelerate as the major players bet on capturing a share without the fear of heavy regulation, he added.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[President says openness will remain in science, technology]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516304.htm President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that China will continue to maintain an open and cooperative stance when pursuing scientific and technological progress, and will help facilitate high quality, efficient, fair and sustainable development.

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Cooperative stance called essential for resolving important global problems

President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that China will continue to maintain an open and cooperative stance when pursuing scientific and technological progress, and will help facilitate high quality, efficient, fair and sustainable development.

The world is experiencing a new round of a science and technology revolution and industrial transformation that will have a profound effect on global governance systems and the progress of human civilization, Xi said in a congratulatory letter to the opening of the 1st World Science and Technology Development Forum in Beijing on Wednesday. The forum runs for two days.

Science, technology and innovation are essential for solving key global issues and achieving sustainable development, Xi said. Therefore, China has and will uphold an open and cooperative attitude regarding science and technology.

China has also aligned its development strategy and national conditions with the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, hoping to achieve high quality, efficient, fair and sustainable development and thus contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind, he added.

The forum is organized by the China Association for Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. More than 400 experts and representatives from 18 countries and regions are participating in the event.

Wan Gang, chairman of the association, said scientific and technological cooperation is an important component and channel for enhancing mutual exchanges and learning between countries.

"It is our common aspiration to use science, technology and innovation to support the sustainable development of human civilization," he said.

Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the academy has established strategic partnerships with more than 90 institutions from 45 countries and regions. The academy has also trained nearly 5,000 scientists for countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Li Xiaohong, president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the academy will continue its extensive collaboration with other countries in artificial intelligence, quantum information technology, new nanomaterials, genetic engineering and other fields crucial for industrial transformation.

Daya Reddy, president of the International Science Council, said global challenges such as disaster mitigation, disease control and climate change require joint efforts and cross-industry, cross-disciplinary cooperation to be tackled efficiently.

"Science is a global public good," he said, adding that the forum allows scientists and policymakers to get a deeper understanding of science and technology and their role in finding new ways to address global issues.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[Lam: Sovereignty threats intolerable]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516303.htm Any act advocating Hong Kong's independence or threatening China's sovereignty, security and development interests will not be tolerated, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Wednesday.

In her 2019 Policy Address, Lam reiterated her commitment to adherence to the "one country, two systems" principle as Hong Kong finds ways to "emerge from the storm and embrace the rainbow" amid prolonged chaos across the city.

Lam said the principle has proved to be the best way to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong since its return to the motherland 22 years ago.

It is also the "common aspiration" of the country, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Chinese people to successfully implement the principle, she said.

"Despite the stormy times and overwhelming difficulties Hong Kong is experiencing, I believe that so long as we accurately adhere to the principle of 'one country, two systems', we will be able to get out of the impasse," Lam said.

She stressed the importance of safeguarding the rule of law, "a core value of paramount importance to Hong Kong", which is the cornerstone of the city's success.

She also called on all parties to take on their responsibilities to protect Hong Kong's institutional strengths developed by different bodies and organizations.

Lam's policy address comes as Hong Kong has been rocked by months of violent protests. In her speech, the chief executive put forward over 220 new initiatives to address the city's social and economic problems, with a key focus on land and housing. The initiatives also include measures on improving people's livelihoods and economic development.

Hong Kong lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee spoke highly of Lam's delivery of the Policy Address.

The nonofficial members of the Executive Council recognized Lam and her government's efforts to solve the city's deep-seated problems, saying Lam's policy address shows their concern for the people.

"We believe that the chief executive has the determination and capability to take forward initiatives that are beneficial to Hong Kong's economy and people's livelihoods. The Executive Council fully supports the government and will continue to offer its advice on the implementation of measures for improving people's livelihoods," said Bernard Chan, council convenor.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that it hopes the proposals laid out by Lam will start paving a path for recovery and reconciliation.

"While we welcome the measures that have been announced in the policy address, there is clearly a lot more work to be done in rebuilding Hong Kong and healing the divisions in society," Chamber Chairman Aron Harilela said.

"We hope that the measures set out in the policy address will be a firm step toward this objective."

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[China-Mongolia relations said to be on fast track]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516302.htm

The China-Mongolia relationship has embarked on a fast track and taken on an inspiring new look in recent years with concerted efforts from both nations, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

He made the remark when exchanging congratulatory messages with his Mongolian counterpart, Khaltmaa Battulga, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries.

In the message, Xi said China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers and Mongolia is one of the first countries that established diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.

Over the past seven decades, the two countries have been committed to friendly cooperation, jointly pushed forward the in-depth development of cooperation featuring good-neighborliness and friendship, and brought tangible benefits to the two countries and their people, he said.

The president also said that he highly values developing bilateral relations and stands ready to work with Battulga to achieve greater progress in pushing forward the China-Mongolia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Battulga said the partnership has achieved good development in all areas. It fully serves the interests of the two peoples and has contributed to regional peace and development, he said.

The Mongolian president said he is willing to continue to work with Xi in further consolidating and developing bilateral friendly relations as well as cooperation in all areas.

Premier Li Keqiang and Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaa Khurelsukh also exchanged congratulatory messages on Wednesday.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[New editions of Xi book launched in Frankfurt]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516301.htm FRANKFURT - The German and English editions of a collection of essays written by President Xi Jinping, titled Zhejiang, China: A New Vision for Development, were released in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

More than 200 people - including diplomats, officials, scholars and industry professionals - attended the launch ceremony.

The book contains 232 essays written by Xi as columns in the Zhejiang Daily newspaper between February 2003 and March 2007, when he was secretary of the Communist Party of China provincial committee in Zhejiang province.

The book reflects the origin and development process of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and the power of those thoughts is contained in every word and line, said Du Zhanyuan, head of China International Publishing Group.

Wu Ken, ambassador to Germany, said at the ceremony that publishing the book's German and English editions will allow more foreigners to understand the CPC's governing philosophy and the strategy and wisdom of the Chinese leader.

Martin Albrow, a fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, praised the articles as clear and closely related to society's grassroots, and said the book "provides a unique window on the processes that underpin China's renewal".

The Chinese version of the book was first published in August 2007 and reprinted in November 2013. Multiple language editions of the book are now jointly published by the Foreign Languages Press and Zhejiang People's Publishing House.

Xinhua

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[More changes friendly to foreign investors on way]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/17/content_37516300.htm

China will roll out more measures friendly to foreign investors, including further removing business restrictions and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses, to foster a more enabling business environment and attract overseas investment.

The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Meeting participants decided to open up more areas. Restrictive measures outside the national and FTZ negative lists on foreign investors' market access will be consolidated.

Restrictions will be lifted on the business scope for those foreign-invested banks, securities companies and fund management firms that are already operating in China.

Policies on foreign investment in the automobile industry will be refined, including giving equal treatment in market access to domestic and foreign-invested new energy vehicles produced in China.

"We must improve our policies and implement them well," Li said. "Promises made must be delivered. No failure is allowed."

It also was decided to further facilitate investment. The pilot reform to facilitate the payments of revenues under capital accounts will be introduced in more places. Foreign investment made to mainland companies will be eligible for equity investment by these firms. Participants urged protection of the lawful rights of overseas investors on an equal footing, and prohibition of forced technology transfers in any form. Business confidentiality of foreign investors will be protected, they said.

Where the law permits, government purchases will not be limited based on the ownership types of companies the government buys from. Stronger incentives will be given to local level government in attracting foreign investment. More comprehensive bonded zones will be set up in central and western regions.

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2019-10-17 08:03:16
<![CDATA[Civil service hopefuls prepare for exam]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515991.htm College graduates are being encouraged to work at grassroots positions as the annual national exam for selecting civil servants opened for registration on Tuesday, according to a release by the State Administration of Civil Service on Monday.

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Graduates are encouraged to apply for grassroots positions in remote areas

College graduates are being encouraged to work at grassroots positions as the annual national exam for selecting civil servants opened for registration on Tuesday, according to a release by the State Administration of Civil Service on Monday.

In 2020, the nation plans to recruit about 24,000 civil servants at 86 central agencies and 23 subsidiary institutions, the administration said, up from 14,500 vacancies in 2019's intake.

People can apply for the available positions until Oct 24, and the written examination will be held on Nov 24.

College graduates are encouraged to take positions in remote areas to support developments there.

Once they have gained experience, they can seek higher level positions. For those jobs, the administration prefers candidates with two years of working experience to optimize the staffing structure of central agencies and their affiliated institutions.

Required test scores or educational certificates will be lowered for candidates willing to apply to vacancies in remote areas with harsh conditions, according to the administration.

Vacancies offered by the State Taxation Administration, General Administration of Customs and Maritime Safety Administration remain the most attractive positions.

Xu Xiaodong, a 23-year-old from Shanghai studying finance who will graduate next June, said that nearly 30 percent of his classmates are applying for the examination this year.

"Most of my peers are applying for the exam because they want a stable job, as I do," he said.

"I also sent my resume to some companies, but if I pass the examination, I think being a civil servant is a better choice for me."

Political integrity will be a primary criterion, the administration said. Recruitment will also be based on the candidate's test scores, health and overall quality.

According to the administration, people who have been blacklisted for poor credit or those expelled from the Party are not allowed to take the examination.

Xinhua News Agency said that about 920,000 people took the national civil servant exam in 2018, down from 1.13 million in 2017.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Police in Kunming probe drowning death of female student, 18]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515990.htm

Police in Kunming, Yunnan province, said they have organized a special task force to investigate the death of an 18-year-old female student that sparked controversy and led some members of the public to question the credibility of local law enforcement.

According to a statement issued by the Public Security Bureau of Kunming on Monday, the special task force led by the deputy chief of the city's public security bureau vowed to investigate the case and examine preliminary efforts made by the police in Panlong district, where the death occurred.

On Sept 8, Li Xincao, a sophomore at Kunming University of Science and Technology, went out with her roommate, surnamed Ren, and two of Ren's male friends, surnamed Li and Luo.

After spending several hours at a bar that evening, according to local police, Li Xincao ran across the street and jumped into the nearby river.

After receiving a report of the incident, local police brought Ren, Li and Luo to the police station as suspects and questioned them further.

A body was found on the dock of a nearby lake on Sept 11, and after a preliminary forensics examination and confirmation from relatives, the body was identified as that of Li Xincao.

Li's cousin reported to the public security bureau on Sept 16 that Li was molested by the males before she drowned.

The case drew the public's attention on Oct 12 after an internet user claiming to be Li's mother posted a message on Sina Weibo, the biggest microblogging platform in China.

The mother said on Weibo that early on Sept 11, the Panlong police informed her that the cause of her daughter's death was suicide.

They said she agreed to jump into the river with others after they all finished drinking, but only she jumped and later drowned.

Later in the day, the mother posted a three-minute clip of surveillance footage taken at the bar. The clip showed Luo slapping Li Xincao's face twice.

The mother asked the police to perform an autopsy, which was completed by the forensics examination center of Kunming Medical University last Sunday.

The result has not been released.

Developments in the case will be posted in due course, police said.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Unmanned helicopter program nets first prize in collegiate competition]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515989.htm An unmanned helicopter program from a Tsinghua University team was awarded first prize at the 5th China College Students "Internet Plus" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, which was held from Saturday to Tuesday.

Once in production, this kind of helicopter can be widely applied in sectors such as firefighting and emergency rescue, according to Li Jingyang, leader of the team.

The second prize was awarded to a team from Zhejiang University, and the university also shared the third prize with a team from the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology of Indonesia and Zhejiang University of Technology.

Riding high on the goals and undertakings outlined in the nation's call to boost innovation and entrepreneurship, this year's gala, which gathered the cleverest brains from Chinese university campuses, lured 4.57 million students from across the nation to showcase their ideas in advanced fields such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and new materials.

The myriad research findings have the potential to be transferred from laboratories to the business sector.

Zhou Hongyi, CEO of 360 Security Technology and also a member of the jury, showed an appreciation for the student participants.

Zhou said investors and incubators could help them improve their business models and inventions to make them viable and successful in the business community.

The competition was initiated by 12 ministries, including the Ministry of Education, to echo the instructions of the State Council on deepening the innovation and entrepreneurship education reform in Chinese colleges and universities.

The event has been held for five consecutive years. So far, 9.47 million students and 2.28 million teams have participated in the competition since its inception.

"The competition has helped create a real Chinese model for innovation and entrepreneurship education among higher education institutions in China," Wu Yan, director of the Department of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, said at a news briefing on Thursday.

He added that the event has helped incubate a group of high-quality projects, giving intellectual support for the construction of an innovation-driven country.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Man gets prison time for subway indecency in Shanghai]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515988.htm A man convicted of compulsive indecency in a subway car in Shanghai was sentenced to six months imprisonment, Shanghai Jing'an District People's Court announced on Tuesday.

It was the city's first coercive indecent assault case in which the court issued a prison sentence.

The man, surnamed Wang, 34, sat closely beside a female minor on a subway car of metro line 8 for around five minutes on July 1, during which he touched the girl's breast by pretending to casually put his left hand on his right arm.

The girl moved to another seat to avoid the assault, but Wang kept following to harass her.

Wang later touched another woman's breast in the same way on the subway route. However, the woman confronted him and he was immediately arrested while trying to escape.

The court said the man's acts infringed on the victims' rights and caused public disorder.

Reports of sexual harassment on public transportation have been common.

Recent cases include a man who was accused of using his cellphone to secretly take pictures of a woman under her skirt on the subway in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, and a man in Beijing who sexually harassed a woman on a bus. Both were arrested thanks to the assistance of fellow passengers.

"Criminals in such cases are normally sentenced to detention due to insufficient evidence," said Ren Haitao, an associate professor of law at East China Normal University. "Victims often feel too ashamed to contact the police, and they avoid investigation."

A report by the public opinion monitoring office of People's Daily in 2017 showed that among the 40 news reports on sexual harassment incidents on public transport in the first half of that year, only 20 percent of the victims called the police. Around 27 percent shouted at the offenders, while most reacted passively, simply leaving their seats quietly or staring back.

"As such, criminals repeatedly commit crimes, which put passengers' safety at risk on public transportation," Ding Dehong, deputy dean of the Shanghai Jing'an District People's Court, was quoted as saying by local online news outlet eastday.com after the closure of the case.

"This new case will help deter those with similar criminal intent, help control the crime rate and urge more women to fight for their rights and safety," Ding said.

Ren said victims should act to protect themselves by taking photos or videos on mobile phones for critical evidence.

"Shouting for help from people around, including passengers, security guards or police, is also vital for arresting the criminals," he said. "Victims should also actively cooperate with the police in investigations."

Ren also noted new approaches could be explored by the government to prevent similar cases, such as launching women-only subway cars.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515987.htm Jilin

5 killed, 4 injured in bank building collapse

Five people have died and another four were injured after a bank office building collapsed on Monday morning in Jilin province, local authorities said on Tuesday. The building - a branch of the Baicheng Rural Commercial Bank, which was under renovation and had suspended operations - collapsed at about 6 am on Monday, trapping nine people. Five were confirmed dead as rescue efforts concluded around 3 pm on Tuesday. The four who were injured have been hospitalized and are in stable condition, authorities said. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Beijing

HIV transmission control plan unveiled

China has rolled out a plan for the control of HIV transmission in a bid to keep HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country at a low level. The three-year plan, made by the National Health Commission and nine other government departments, set a number of goals, including raising awareness of HIV prevention and control and educating people to avoid unsafe sexual behavior. The goals also include detecting and treating as many HIV infection cases as possible, curbing the rise of HIV transmission through sexual behaviors and eliminating mother-to-child transmission. An HIV prevention education program has been set up, focusing on enhancing individuals' awareness and strengthening the effect of education measures targeting residents, migrant populations, elderly people and groups at higher risk of HIV.

Youth-themed ecology awards to be granted

The selection of the winners of China's 9th Mother River Award, a prominent honor for individuals and groups for their contribution to promoting ecological conservation among youth and children, is underway, the organizer said on Monday. This year's award will be granted to no more than 100 winners in five categories, including model individuals, organizations and programs. The selection will reflect the new requirements and situations, such as promoting trash sorting among youth.

Gansu

Endangered species products seized

Customs in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province, said it has seized over 3 kilograms of ivory products and products from other endangered species from January to September. The goods, 56 items in total, included 21 ivory products weighing 786 grams, 10 antelope horns weighing 871 g and 25 items made of giant clams weighing 1.36 kg. An ivory product weighing 30.3 g was confiscated from a passenger who flew from Cambodia to Lanzhou, customs officials said. The Chinese government suspended imports of ivory and all ivory products in 2015 and ended commercial processing and sales of ivory at the end of 2017.

Shandong

Spice smuggling gang busted in Qingdao

Qingdao customs in East China's Shandong province has busted a gang that smuggled spices worth 220 million yuan ($31 million). The spices smuggled from India and Indonesia weigh more than 10,000 metric tons, customs officials announced in a statement on Monday. Qingdao customs received tips in April that a businessman surnamed Xu was suspected of smuggling spices from India. After months of investigation, customs police uncovered the smuggling ring and launched a raid in September, with eight suspects arrested.

Xinhua

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Inbound tourism bouncing back to new high, report says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515986.htm China's inbound tourism has revived since 2015 after experiencing a downturn in recent years, but its potential has yet to be fully realized due to a stringent visa policy, imperfect tourism facilities and a homogenization of tour packages being offered, according to a report released by the World Tourism Alliance and China Tourism Academy.

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Optimizing visa policy, travel services and transportation key to further boost

China's inbound tourism has revived since 2015 after experiencing a downturn in recent years, but its potential has yet to be fully realized due to a stringent visa policy, imperfect tourism facilities and a homogenization of tour packages being offered, according to a report released by the World Tourism Alliance and China Tourism Academy.

Previously, a report by the China Tourism Academy said that about 73 million inbound visits were made in the first half of 2019, generating revenue of nearly $65 billion, both marking a rise of 5 percent compared with the same period last year.

From 2009 to 2018, the nation's inbound tourism increased after its watershed moment in 2015, when the sector was on an upswing after experiencing a continued decrease over the previous three years, according to the joint September report.

That report said that in 2018, the inbound tourism market hit a record high with visits reaching 14 million, increasing 1.2 percent year-on-year.

Among the visitors to the Chinese mainland, people from the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao made up the majority during the 10-year period, accounting for over 74 percent of inbound travelers.

For example, in 2018, 74 percent of inbound visitors were from Hong Kong and Macao, and about 22 percent were from foreign countries including Japan, Australia and the United States, the report said.

Attractions highlighting Chinese traditional culture or history are among the most popular choices, including the Palace Museum, Tian'anmen Square and the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Bund in Shanghai and Emperor Qingshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum in Shaanxi province.

Du Jiang, general manager of the China National Travel Service Group headquartered in Haikou, Hainan province, said that China is ranked fourth in the number of inbound visitors thanks to its rich natural and cultural resources, as well as its improved travel services.

However, the nation's inbound tourism still faces problems that hamper its future development, according to the joint report.

The report said that a preferential visa policy for overseas travelers is urgently needed, and tourism-related facilities have yet to be improved. For example, ambiguous signs at attractions or highways may mislead foreign travelers.

In addition, some homogenous tour packages are not attractive enough to overseas visitors and require more creative products, the report said. Pollution also had a negative impact on the inbound tourism market.

According to the report, measures to optimize the visa policy, travel services and transportation are key to boosting inbound tourism.

Moreover, education is important as more qualified people are needed in the industry. Higher education in tourism-related disciplines and cooperation between universities and travel companies are encouraged to produce more talent in areas of travel agency management, hotel management and tour guide training, the report said.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Open house raises awareness of counselors office]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515985.htm The Counselors Office of the State Council and the China Central Institute for Culture and History hosted their first open house on Monday to raise public awareness of the advisory body and welcome cooperation from the world.

About 150 people, including ambassadors from 20 countries and representatives of six international organizations, participated in the open house.

By September, the office and institute had developed partnerships with about 90 governmental and nongovernmental think tanks in over 50 countries to conduct joint research.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the office, said Wang Zhongwei, head of the council.

"We came up with the idea of an open house to increase public knowledge in what we do here and encourage interactions," Wang said.

Appointed by the premier of the State Council, the counselors and researchers of the two bodies are influential scholars and academics who represent a certain field of study. Over the past 70 years, 243 counselors and 313 researchers have been appointed.

About 70 percent of the members of the two bodies are from democratic parties or have no party affiliation, according to Wang.

"It provides a unique channel for giving advice to the premier and government departments," Wang said. "The opinions of the counselors and researchers can even be directly sent to the premier."

"Counselors are all outspoken and dare to speak up," said Xu Xianping, a counselor who once served as deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Xu once advised the premier on pollution regulation along the Yangtze River. To protect the river, some departments proposed closing all chemical plants within a kilometer of the river.

"After the survey, we advised the premier that closings should be based on whether the companies meet environmental standards instead of just distance," he said.

Set up in 1949, the office carries out research, solicits public opinion and provides suggestions on the priorities of the national development commission, contributing to the democratic decision-making of the government.

Launched in 1951, the culture institute, which shares a space with the counselor's office, has organized cultural and historical studies and artistic activities, offering policy advice and fostering friendships with various groups in the cultural community.

 

Hu Peiyuan, a counselor at the Counselors Office of the State Council, signs books as he welcomes visiting diplomats and journalists at the office in Beijing on Monday.Zou Hong/china Daily

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[First taikonaut marks 16th anniversary of space trip]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515984.htm Yang Liwei, China's first man in space, said he was looking forward to setting foot on the moon.

He made the remarks on the 16th anniversary of his space flight aboard the Shenzhou V spacecraft on Oct 15, 2003, as cited by China Manned Space Agency.

"China has started to develop the key technologies related to a manned lunar landing," Yang said. "It would be exciting to see Chinese astronauts stepping onto the extraterrestrial body."

Yang trains every week and undergoes regular examinations.

"Like all the other Chinese astronauts, I'm ready for the nation's call," he said.

The success of Shenzhou V in 2003 made China the third country to acquire manned space travel technology on its own.

Yang recalled that some unexpected things happened during the country's first manned space flight. For instance, he encountered low-frequency resonance during the flight, which has the potential to harm internal organs.

"The feeling caused by resonance aboard the spacecraft almost killed me," Yang said.

After returning to Earth, Yang told space engineers about the problem, which was solved and avoided in later missions. From Shenzhou V to Shenzhou VI, more than 180 technological advancements were made.

In 1992, China started its manned space program with a three-step strategy.

The first step, to send an astronaut into space and return safely, was fulfilled by Yang.

The second step was developing advanced space flight techniques and technologies, including extravehicular activity and orbital docking. This phase also included the launch of Tiangong I, a transitional platform to test the docking technology, and Tiangong II, China's first space lab.

So far, China has launched 11 manned spaceships, one cargo spacecraft, Tiangong I and Tiangong II, sending 11 astronauts into space and completing the first two steps of the manned space program.

The next step will be to assemble and operate a permanent manned space station. The project is going well and the station is expected to be completed around 2022.

China is also selecting new astronauts for space station missions. The country will welcome overseas astronauts to work together with domestic astronauts aboard the station once construction is completed.

China's progress in space is a reflection of how strong the nation has become, and exploring space is a common cause of all mankind, Yang said.

The astronaut is eager to take part in activities that popularize science and spread his love for space.

"I hope more people can become astronauts," Yang added.

Xinhua

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Trans-Himalaya forum hails BRI cooperation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515983.htm

An international forum on Trans-Himalaya cooperation and exchanges was held in Nyingchi, in the Tibet autonomous region, on Tuesday.

Surrounded by picturesque forests and magnificent snow-capped peaks, the forum was held in the city's Lulang township, dubbed China's Switzerland, some 400 kilometers from the region's capital Lhasa.

The one-day event hosted guests from Nepal, Pakistan, Mongolia and Myanmar to discuss cooperation between Tibet and the participating countries under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

With the theme of Trans-Himalaya Connectivity, the forum is expected to help the region push forward efforts to become an important gateway to South Asia and to build the Trans-Himalaya economic zone to fully integrate it into the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jiang Jie, executive deputy chairman of the regional government, said Tibet, serving as a vital passageway to South Asian countries, has actively integrated itself into BRI construction. It not only continues to develop its traditional friendship, trade and cultural exchanges with neighboring countries, it has also taken steps to promote mutual benefits and foster further collaboration in the region.

"We will strengthen the connectivity of ports, highways, railways and airports and encourage more airlines to open more routes to jointly build a Trans-Himalaya connectivity network and deepen cooperation in the areas of trade, tourism, investment and livelihood," Jiang said.

Gobinda Bahadur Karkee, consul-general of Nepal in Lhasa, said Nepal and China are friendly neighbors linked by mountains, rivers and culture. He added that China is Nepal's second largest trading partner, and the volume of trade between the nations has been steadily growing.

"However, Nepal's trade deficit with China has also been growing," he said, adding in order to reduce Nepal's trade deficit with China, Nepal needs more favorable policies and technical assistance from China.

Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, Pakistan's ambassador to China, said as one of the earliest proponents of the Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan has always supported China and like-minded countries in strengthening international connectivity.

"People-to-people exchanges and contacts are a key component of the Belt and Road and provide the sustainable foundation for international connectivity," she said. "The goodwill between the peoples of Pakistan and China is the firm bedrock of the unshakable Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership for a Shared Future in the New Era.

"To enhance this vital aspect of our cooperation, Pakistan and China are celebrating 2019 as the year of Sister-City Exchanges."

Damdinsuren Davaasuren, state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, said that although Mongolia does not belong to the Himalayan region in a physical and spiritual sense, Mongolia feels closest to the region historically and culturally.

"We are delighted for the prosperous development of our eternal neighbor, the People's Republic of China, for its substantial contribution to the development and policymaking of the region, continent and the world," said Davaasuren, adding that the people of Mongolia highly value the achievements of China's development.

"Mongolia aims to actively participate in the projects to be implemented within the Belt and Road Initiative and take its part in the development of the region and the world," Davaasuren said.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Beijing draft: Either sort trash or fork over cash]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515982.htm Beijing residents may face a fine of 200 yuan ($28) if they fail to sort domestic garbage, according to a draft regulation unveiled on Monday.

The regulation, proposed by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management, will be submitted to the Beijing People's Congress soon. The regulation will be open for public feedback until Nov 13.

The regulation specifies that departments and people who produce household waste should be responsible for classifying garbage as kitchen waste, recyclables, hazardous waste and other waste.

Some large pieces of garbage, such as discarded furniture or household appliances, should be delivered to specific places, the regulation said.

For the express delivery and e-commerce industry, the draft law also called for companies to issue more electronic bills and use more recyclable boxes.

Companies that developed their business in Beijing should provide different sizes of packaging bags and eco-friendly tape, the regulation added.

Beijing has carried out pilot trash sorting projects since early 1998, when the Dachengxiang community in Xicheng district became the first neighborhood to classify garbage. At the end of 2011, the city published China's first domestic waste management regulation, which took effect on March 1, 2012.

In July, the capital's urban management authorities said the city will push forward its waste sorting legislation soon, without giving a specific date.

According to local authorities, Beijing produces nearly 26,000 metric tons of domestic waste every day, and 29 garbage disposal facilities are already operating at full capacity.

In 2018, the capital collected 9.3 million tons of household waste.

Citizens in Beijing welcomed the upcoming trash sorting but also raised concerns for the mandatory rules.

Wang Qingli, a 57-year-old taxi driver living in the capital's northwestern Shunyi district, said he looks forward to sorting trash.

"Especially during the winter, our family usually stores Chinese cabbage in bulk, resulting in lots of unused rotten leaves," he said. "It's better to throw them in a particular trash bin to prevent everything else going bad as well."

As a family of three, Wang said, they usually throw away one bag of domestic garbage a day.

"Actually, I am willing to sort out the garbage voluntarily every day after work when I get home, but the mandatory fines may make me lose motivation," he said.

"I hope there might be some bonus from the government to raise the enthusiasm of the public to sort trash, which might in return help implement the regulation," he added.

Ni Chenyang, a 27-year-old resident near Chaoyang Park, agreed. Ni said he is worried about the garbage collectors' living situations after the regulation takes effect.

"Currently many garbage collectors live in Beijing suburbs and collect trash to make a living, but when every citizen is familiar with trash sorting rules, they might need to find another way to make a living."

In July, Shanghai enacted a municipal regulation covering domestic waste management requiring every household and institution to sort trash into four categories: recyclable waste, hazardous waste, household food waste and residual waste.

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2019-10-16 08:13:18
<![CDATA[Foreign banks, insurers given broader access]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515981.htm

Greater opening-up in financial sector expected to stimulate vitality of domestic institutions

China is further opening up its financial sectors to foreign investors by loosening regulatory requirements and lifting business restrictions on foreign banks and insurance companies.

The State Council announced the revision of regulations on foreign banks and insurers on Tuesday. China relaxed market access rules for foreign insurance companies, such as removing requirements that companies that apply to establish foreign-invested insurers in China have a track record in the business of over 30 years and have a representative office in the country longer than two years.

The government also liberalized requirements on stakeholders that plan to set up foreign-invested banks in China and requirements on foreign banks that plan branches in the country.

Other revisions include allowing foreign banks to simultaneously set up branches as well as wholly foreign-owned banks - or branches and Sino-foreign joint venture banks - in China. Also allowed is expanding the business scope of foreign banks by lowering their branches' threshold of fixed-term renminbi deposits to 500,000 yuan from 1 million (to $70,610 from $141,220) per deposit.

"Revisions of the banking and insurance regulations will attract more market participants in both sectors, stimulate market vitality, push Chinese and foreign-invested financial institutions to improve their competitiveness and benefit China in regard of learning from advanced international ideas and experience," Liu Fushou, chief lawyer of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said on Tuesday. He said the commission will publish detailed implementation measures as soon as possible.

"The further opening-up of China and the establishment of a fair market environment will greatly help to promote full competition in the Chinese banking and insurance sectors, optimize the shareholding structure of related financial institutions, regulate shareholder behavior and form a rational and diversified market system," Liu said.

The new rules will provide more development room for smaller foreign banks, which have their own expertise in specialized areas, in China, he added.

The move received warm responses from international financial institutions. Jerry Zhang, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Ltd, said: "The new regulations will greatly relax requirements for foreign banks to enter the China market and expand the business scope of foreign banks. This is a huge inspiration to foreign banks, including Standard Chartered, and it will send a highly positive signal to global financial institutions and institutional investors."

CG Lai, CEO of BNP Paribas China Ltd, said: "The development is another positive step for China's financial market liberalization agenda. Foreign banks can continue to contribute to the overall development and deepening of China's market infrastructure and the expansion of global networks for clients, as well as a broader suite of products."

A senior executive officer of Mizuho Bank (China) Ltd said in a written note that the policies "will have positive effects on foreign banks in terms of their expansion of investments and business operations in China. It will provide opportunities ... for better development of foreign banks in the country".

Statistics from the banking and insurance regulator show that the assets of foreign banks and foreign insurers in China accounted for 1.64 percent and 6.36 percent, respectively, of the total assets of the Chinese banking and insurance sectors.

By the end of the second quarter, foreign banks had set up 41 locally incorporated foreign-invested banks, 116 branches and 151 representative offices in China. Foreign insurers had established 59 locally incorporated foreign insurers and 131 representative offices in the country.

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[Xi calls for speeding up innovation in marine tech]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515980.htm

President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for speeding up innovation in marine technologies, improving marine development capacity and fostering emerging marine industries of strategic importance.

He called for efforts to promote marine connectivity and pragmatic cooperation and actively develop "blue partnerships" among all countries.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a congratulatory message to the 2019 China Marine Economy Expo, which opened in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Tuesday. The expo runs through Thursday.

Xi stressed the need to strengthen pollution prevention and treatment in the oceans, protect marine biodiversity and develop marine resources in an orderly manner so that future generations will enjoy a well-preserved marine environment.

The expo is meant to be a platform for open and win-win cooperation for countries along the seas, Xi said. He said he hopes the expo's participants will deepen exchanges and cooperation based on the principles of mutual trust, mutual help and mutual benefit, and help people around the world share in development of the marine economy.

The expo, with the theme "Sharing Blue Economy Opportunities, Building a Shared Future", has attracted more than 450 organizations from China and abroad.

It includes forums covering sectors such as offshore equipment, renewable marine energy, oil drilling, biomedicine and shipbuilding, as well as events held by companies and other institutions to promote their services and invite investment. The expo, launched in Guangdong in 2012, is being held in the province for the seventh time.

China's gross oceanic product in 2018 exceeded 8.3 trillion yuan ($1.17 trillion), up 6.7 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

About 36.8 million people worked in marine-related sectors in 2018, the ministry said.

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[CPI rises to 3 percent, highest so far for 2019]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515979.htm China's inflation as measured by the consumer price index rose to 3 percent year-on-year last month, versus 2.8 percent in August, as tighter pork supplies continued to push up food prices, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

To avoid stirring inflationary pressure while bolstering growth, officials are expected to refrain from a massive monetary stimulus but to resort to structural easing and fiscal stimulus in the coming months, analysts said.

Food prices rose by 11.2 percent year-on-year in September, with pork prices soaring by 69.3 percent and contributing more than half of the rise in CPI, according to the NBS.

Other meat prices also rose in September - poultry by 14.7 percent, beef by 18.8 percent and lamb by 15.9 percent year-on-year - the NBS said.

Nonfood prices, meanwhile, registered a modest rise of 1 percent year-on-year last month, versus 1.1 percent a month earlier, pointing to weak demand.

From January to September, the CPI rose on average by 2.5 percent, below the 3 percent annual control target, NBS data showed.

The CPI may remain unchanged or edge down in October, but it also may rise to about 3.5 percent by the end of the year, said Zhang Yu, chief macroeconomic analyst at Hua Chuang Securities.

"Pork supplies are still declining with fallout from the African swine fever, and some breeders have become reluctant to sell in anticipation of higher pork prices," she said, adding that consumer inflation is expected to wind down starting from the end of January.

Policymakers will need to strike a balance between maintaining economic expansion within a reasonable range and containing consumer inflation in the fourth quarter, said Liu Chunsheng, an associate professor of international trade at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

"But the top priority should still be stabilizing growth," Liu said.

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, may rely more on structural easing measures such as targeted cuts in the required reserve ratio to support growth, instead of broad-based interest rate cuts that may push up money supply and price levels more heavily, according to Liu.

On the fiscal side, Liu called for better implementation of tax and fee cut policies. "More research should be done on how to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises reap the benefits of tax cuts," he said.

Raymond Ma, a portfolio manager at Fidelity International, said the government may introduce automobile tax cuts and subsidies for purchasing home appliances to support growth.

The producer price index, which gauges factory gate prices, dropped by 1.2 percent year-on-year in September, the third consecutive monthly decline and the steepest contraction since July 2016, according to the NBS. Weak PPI reflects sluggish demand in the world economy amid protracted trade tension between China and the United States during the past year and a half, analysts said.

In the US, the purchasing managers index indicated that the manufacturing sector contracted last month by the fastest pace since June 2009, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[CONCERTED EFFORTS SPUR NATION'S ECONOMIC ADVANCES]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515978.htm Planned system brought growth, set stage for later takeoff

China's remarkable economic growth can be attributed to the reform and opening-up drive launched in the late 1970s, economists say.

However, before embarking on this historic step, great efforts had been made to search for a way out of poverty and underdevelopment after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

At the time, the nation was poor and economically underdeveloped, with a vast number of people trapped in poverty. Economic output was basically stagnant from 1913 to 1950, with GDP growth averaging - 0.02 percent compared with the global average of 1.82 percent.

To shake off poverty and achieve rapid development, the newly founded PRC opted to build a centrally planned economic regulatory system.

Although the planned economy ended up throttling the vitality of labor and production and also failed to distribute resources efficiently, China nevertheless achieved much faster growth under it than before and built a relatively comprehensive industrial system that laid the foundation for its economic takeoff in the early 1980s.

From 1952 to 1978, China's annual GDP growth averaged 4.4 percent, slightly lower than the global average of 4.6 percent but much higher than the average from 1913 to 1950.

Cai Fang, economist and deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, "While accomplishing historic development achievements in the first 30 years after the founding of the People's Republic, China ignored the role of objective economic law and used central planning to replace a market mechanism, leading to such problems as a lack of incentive mechanisms for production and labor, low efficiency of resource distribution and an unbalanced structure of the national economy."

By the end of the 1970s, after the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), the economy had been pushed to the brink of collapse and people's livelihoods had been seriously affected, Cai said.

Policymakers were fully aware of the defects of the planned economic system and the difficulties the economy and people were facing at the time. As a result, they shifted focus to economic development and embarked on a new road - market-oriented reform - in an attempt to accelerate growth.

This road proved bumpy, but it paid off. By encouraging farmers to increase agricultural output through the household contract responsibility system, gradually liberalizing the State sector, allowing private enterprises to grow, and by welcoming foreign investors, China managed to achieve GDP growth of 9.4 percent from 1978 to 2018.

"The growth was unprecedented," said Cai. "It enabled China to catch up miraculously in 40 years."

Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China, said the nation was remarkable both for the speed and duration of its high-growth phase. "No other country has grown that fast for so long," he said.

Raiser said China's growth path was, to a large extent, due to its "unique" and "pragmatic" reform policies.

"Some of the ingredients of China's success are well-known," he said, referring to the country's favorable demographic conditions, high level of human capital and high savings rate that ensured heavy investment in infrastructure

"China experienced very rapid productivity growth, at least until recently, as pragmatic, pro-growth policies helped deploy its abundant capital and labor more productively, and this included rebalancing of State and market forces in resource allocation," he said.

China has maintained a strong and unique State role in promoting industrialization, urbanization and domestic market integration, Raiser said.

"Economic restructuring saw millions of Chinese move from villages to cities and from agriculture to more productive, wage-paying jobs in services and industry, mostly in the private sector," he added.

The country is now the world's second-largest economy, the largest exporter of goods and the second-largest global investor in terms of outbound direct investment value.

It is also the largest contributor to global growth, accounting for about 30 percent of the annual expansion of the world economy.

In the past four decades, China has also reduced the number of people living in poverty by 750 million.

The significance of the country's economic success lies not only in its contribution to global growth or poverty reduction, but also because it provides a model for other nations to learn from to improve their governance.

"Maybe the best lesson that countries can learn from China is that there are no one-size-fits-all development models," Raiser said. "Each country should carefully study the available experience and adapt policies to fit its own needs."

He said other nations may not have the same conditions for economic growth as China, such as high savings rates and solid human resources, and should therefore not blindly copy its model.

Unlike some countries, China has opted not to totally replace the government's role in resource allocation with that of the market. Instead, it has adopted a mixed system in accordance with its own conditions to reduce opposition to reform while ensuring high, market-driven growth.

Justin Yifu Lin, the former World Bank chief economist, said China's way of dealing with reform was a "pragmatic approach".

"The result achieved transition without tears," he said. "It was based on the government's recognition that big-bang reforms could be self-defeating. It was necessary to let private enterprises prosper wherever feasible, but to continue to support important State-owned enterprises while reforming them gradually."

In a speech in 2011, Lin recalled that around 1990, when the Chinese economy had been steaming ahead at an annual growth rate of 9 percent for 10 years, many scholars did not believe such momentum could be sustained for much longer.

But the country continued to grow at a similar pace for another three decades, with its average GDP expansion rate hitting 9.4 percent from 1978 to last year, the fastest in the world.

Cai, from CASS, said China's experiences in reform and opening-up and development, and its constructive suggestions for global development-oriented rule-setting and governance constituted "a contribution of public good to the world".

"China does not seek hegemony, nor does it export its development model, but its development, wisdom and plan are very important for the world," he said.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013 to enhance regional connectivity among many countries and regions through both overland and sea routes, is a telling example of how the country's "wisdom and plan" contribute to the world.

Thanks to efforts by China and other countries involved in the initiative, the BRI has strengthened economic cooperation in participating economies, helping them increase infrastructure investment.

Zhang Hui, deputy dean of the School of Economics at Peking University, said, "The Belt and Road Initiative can effectively promote the transfer of industries among countries with different industrialization levels to promote complementary industrial and trade development."

He said the initiative will not only promote industrial productivity in those countries, but help them strengthen their "soft power", such as technology, managerial knowhow and standards.

"The BRI idea comes from China, but the results benefit the whole world," Zhang said.

 

1. Farmers dry bamboo in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province.Zhu Haipeng / For China Daily 2. Rice is harvested in Jilin province. Xu Chang / Xinhua 3. A FAW Group workshop in Changchun, Jilin. Xu Chang / Xinhua 4. An amusement park in Chongqing does good business at night. Liu Chan / Xinhua

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[Ministry: China buying more US produce]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515977.htm Chinese companies have purchased 20 million metric tons of soybeans from the United States this year, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday.

China has also bought 700,000 tons of pork, 700,000 tons of sorghum, 230,000 tons of wheat and 320,000 tons of cotton from the US, he said at a regular news conference in Beijing.

Geng said Chinese firms purchased the US agricultural products in accordance with market principles in order to meet domestic market demand.

The country also plans to speed up its purchases of US agricultural products, he said.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that China had already begun making new agricultural purchases from the US.

Geng also said that China and the US hold the same position on reaching a trade deal. He commented when asked about the preliminary agreement reached between the two countries in the latest trade consultations, which concluded on Friday in Washington.

He confirmed that the two sides had reached a "substantial phase-one deal" as US officials had said.

He said that the deal bears great significance.

"It will benefit China, the US and the whole world. It is also beneficial to trade and peace," he said.

During the latest round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations, the two nations had candid, efficient and constructive discussions on trade and economic issues of mutual concern, according to a news release issued by the Chinese government.

The two nations also discussed arrangements for further negotiations and agreed to work toward making a final deal, it said.

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[The West has an inaccurate picture of China, leading economist says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515976.htm Leading economist Jin Keyu believes that as New China celebrates its 70th anniversary, it is demonstrating how a strong State can act to improve people's lives.

The 36-year-old associate professor at the London School of Economics said this stands in contrast to the West, where people have lost faith in governments being able to deliver.

"That is the critical difference between China and the rest of the world. It is the belief that the utilization of State capacity can improve the economy and better people's lives."

Jin said this is particularly important in China's new era under President Xi Jinping, who has placed particular emphasis on the country's political system delivering results for the "grassroots and the masses".

She said that in the West, despite standards of living falling for many people since the global financial crisis of 2007-08, governments are not seen as important players.

"People are against big government. They are against the notion of state intervention. This was not the case in the past where there was massive use of state capacity such as the post-war Marshall Plan. The role of the state also formed the thinking of founding fathers of the United States such as Alexander Hamilton."

Jin said people such as Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, who try to highlight weaknesses in the country's economy, fundamentally misunderstand the strengths of its system.

"It is a large apparatus where you have the kind of governance that can coordinate and move resources around to deal with problems. You don't have these problems of the Fed having to get agreement with the Treasury, as in the US," she said, referring to the Federal Reserve.

Jin has held a number of academic positions, is a regular commentator on the Chinese economy and is also writing a book on the country's political economy, which will be published next year.

Jin said many people in the West have a completely inaccurate picture of the lives of Chinese as the country marks its landmark anniversary.

"People in the West seem to regard well-being as whether you can post an inflammatory message on the internet or not. As a woman in her 30s, I have never felt safer than when walking the streets of Beijing alone. Security and safety are priorities as well as access to health and education."

Jin believes the new era is an important phase in the nation's development and also its role in the world with major projects such as Belt and Road Initiative, which she believes could transform global infrastructure.

"We have a massive infrastructure gap in the world, but no government - other than China's - is willing to step in and deal with one of the world's most intractable problems," she said.

Jin added that although everyone is focused on trade with the ongoing dispute between the United States and China, the biggest impact China is likely to have on the world is when it opens up its financial sector.

"We are stuck talking about trade, but it is just a one-time thing and will soon be over. What nobody really talks about is the impact China is likely to have on the financial world when it opens its markets. It will have major global significance."

Jin believes that with the new era Xi has brought a fresh dimension to China's global role.

"Before the new era, China's story (since reform and opening-up) was largely seen as an economic one. China now is much more clearly defined. The primacy of culture and national sovereignty has become much more clearly defined.

"What is also important is the capacity of the State to make people's lives better and to unabashedly embrace that concept."

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[Li inspects Shaanxi's business environment]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515975.htm

Premier says central, western regions well-suited for industry transfer process

Premier Li Keqiang has vowed greater policy support for central and western areas in undertaking the transfer of industries as he urged local authorities to further improve the business environment and optimize workforce quality.

Li made the remark during inspection tours of Xi'an and Xianyang in Shaanxi province on Monday and Tuesday.

China's industry transfer is going in two directions - either overseas or to central and western areas - said the premier as he visited an industry park owned by Chint Group in the province.

There is huge potential for China's central and western provincial areas, with their rich human resources, to participate in industry transfers, he said.

Li pledged more programs and multiple measures to connect provincial areas without access to high-speed railways as he visited a construction site of a railway project connecting Xi'an with Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

He urged efforts to push forward the development of programs that address weaknesses in western areas, saying that effective investment must lay the foundation for growth and improvement in living standards in the area.

Li also visited the chip foundries of Samsung (China) Semiconductor Co in Xi'an.

He said the Chinese market is huge, and its industries are being upgraded to the medium and high end of the global value spectrum which will give rise to enormous business opportunities.

China welcomes high-tech firms, including Samsung, to continue to expand investment in China, the premier said.

He also reiterated the country's commitment to strictly protecting intellectual property rights and offering equal treatment to all businesses registered in China, whether domestic or foreign.

The years of cooperation between Samsung and China showed that high-tech cooperation will bring about high value-added returns, he added.

The premier, while visiting an old neighborhood in Xi'an, highlighted the need to enable the participation of private investors during the renovation of such communities.

Renovation will not only improve living standards of residents, but will also help expand effective investment and consumption, he said.

The improvement in facilities should be coupled with better eldercare and day care to make the communities better places to live, he said.

Li met with young entrepreneurs at a startup community in Xi'an. He called for authorities to create a more enabling environment, with greater financing support and easier market access for innovative products and entrepreneurs.

 

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[HKSAR chief prepares for annual address amid potential for disruptions]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515974.htm Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she would emphasize the city's housing shortage in her annual Policy Address on Wednesday amid concerns about possible disruption by protesters.

Previewing the speech in remarks to reporters, Lam said she planned to deliver the address in the city's Legislative Council chambers, which were recently repaired after being ransacked by anti-government protesters on July 1.

"I'm sure you agree that the most important livelihood issue that a chief executive should address is housing and land supply," Lam said, adding that she would present a total of 200 new initiatives.

According to Lam, the 2019 Policy Address will put land and housing in the spotlight. She said that housing initiatives will respond to public calls to ameliorate deep-seated social and economic problems.

This year's address will also include a supplement detailing progress on earlier government programs since 2017 and will address challenges to implementation of government policies.

In another first this year, Lam said some bureau chiefs had unveiled new initiatives ahead of the scheduled address. In the past, all new measures were announced during the address itself.

The 2019 Policy Address will be delivered at Legislative Council chambers at 11 am on Wednesday.

Speculation had surfaced that the city's leader would opt not to deliver the address at LegCo for fear of possible obstruction by anti-government protesters. Responding to the speculation, Lam said that as chief executive, it was her duty to maintain frequent interaction with lawmakers. She also called for lawmakers' support.

As Lam stressed on different occasions that she and her administration would make all-out efforts in tackling the city's deep-rooted problems, different sectors have voiced their expectations for Wednesday's address.

Hong Kong political commentator Paul Yeung told China Daily that the delivery of the quality of life-centered Policy Address will be a good start for moving the city out of its current impasse.

Yeung, also a research officer at local think tank One Country Two Systems Research Institute, agreed with the government's move to prioritize housing and land supply, which he believes will be a fundamental solution for many deep-seated social and economic problems.

"Without assets, how can we call it (Hong Kong) our homeland?" Yeung cited a widespread saying among young people.

Another aspect he looks forward to is youth issues. Yeung said that the recent unrest has demonstrated the government has done an inadequate job in connecting with young people. Thus he hopes there will be more platforms and channels for youth to express their thoughts.

The city's largest labor union - the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions - staged a rally outside government headquarters on Tuesday hoping to get unemployment subsidies during these times of difficulty unparalleled in recent years as protracted violence has disrupted the city for four consecutive months.

They also urged the government to invoke the powerful Lands Resumption Ordinance to remedy the region's housing shortage.

The ordinance allows the special administrative region's chief executive to order the requisition of any land for public purposes. Compensation to the owner will then follow according to market value considerations.

China Daily

 

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor holds copies of her annual Policy Address before a weekly Executive Council meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday.China Daily

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[Producer touts film diplomacy as effective antidote to Sino-US spat]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515973.htm A Hollywood version of ping-pong diplomacy could help soften the strained United States-China bilateral relationship through the human interaction of filmmaking, said a veteran Hollywood producer.

"The US and China can win together and only together," said Chris Fenton - senior adviser to IDW Media Holdings and a trustee of the US-Asia Institute - who recently visited China with a US congressional delegation.

"Diplomacy resulting from bilateral cultural and commercial activities bonds the countries, regardless of the political environment. It creates cultural glue, helping to hold these two superpowers together," said Fenton, who produced or supervised 20 films, including Iron Man 3, Point Break, 47 Ronin and Looper.

Fenton said that during the delegation's 12-day visit to China, everyone they met with - including high-placed government officials - expressed "similar shock and awe" at how rapidly the bilateral relationship has deteriorated.

"Each side needs the other. Without resolving the trade dispute, nurturing civility toward one another and promoting proper channels of diplomacy, both sides will lose," Fenton said.

He said he saw a real willingness to continue to talk, whether on the national or local level in China.

"I find it amazing that almost every Chinese official we met with had spent time living in the US. Many had visited the US several times, and several also spoke English fluently," said Fenton.

Fenton said an antidote to current Sino-US tensions is what he calls "film diplomacy", which can bond the two cultures while also providing a blueprint for commercial success.

"The benefits start with the businesses, individuals and artists directly involved, resulting in a sort of upward chain reaction, eventually influencing each nation's leaders as the bilateral collaboration on films is such an amazingly exposed and talked-about form of art," he explained.

An example of film diplomacy can be found in 2011 when the film Looper was made. "The original script didn't involve China at all, but we found a very interesting way to incorporate China into the plot in a very constructive manner, and we were able to showcase the spectacular Pudong district of Shanghai. The Shanghai government was also heavily involved," said Fenton.

He acknowledged that it took a lot of convincing of filmmakers and different parties, but it was a "super collaborative effort and ultimately that cultural collaboration became commercial", he said. "Without the collaboration on culture, the film probably would not garner a theatrical release in China."

In April 2013, Fenton helped launch Iron Man 3 - the highest-grossing Hollywood film in China at the time. "That film alone took a fledgling market and goosed it with a massive injection of box office steroids, and it couldn't have been done without complete bilateral cooperation," he said.

Despite tensions in Sino-US relations, Fenton said there is a "somewhat healthy" trade between the two countries in terms of Hollywood films in China, with several examples being Marvel's Fast and Furious and Transformers franchises.

Additionally, there is still an expired Hollywood-import film agreement between the US and China, which needs to be negotiated and implemented, he added.

"We can lead by example and push each other to collaborate now. The positive shrapnel of a combined effort will most likely initiate dialogue for a new film agreement, too," Fenton said.

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[Military World Games ready for high-tech]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/16/content_37515972.htm The opening ceremony of the 7th CISM Military World Games will take place this Friday on a high-tech holographic stage in Wuhan, Hubei province, to give the audience an immersive experience, the ceremony's director said on Tuesday.

The event will for the first time use large-scale projection technology, integrated with lighting effects and LED display technology, to showcase the vitality of Chinese culture, said Li Jun, director of the ceremony, at a news conference in Wuhan.

He added the ceremony will utilize a deep fusion of culture, technology and a large stage display.

The ceremony will begin at 8 pm Friday at Wuhan Sports Center Stadium and end at around 10:10 pm.

It will consist of three parts. The first, about one hour long, includes welcoming routines such as emblem displays, a parade of athletes and flags entering the stadium, flag-raising, guest speeches and opening comments by athlete and referee representatives.

The second part features a performance that lasts 50 minutes and the third includes a torch relay and the lighting of the flame, which will burn throughout the games.

A two-hour warmup show will be held before the ceremony at 4:30 pm and will have 23 shows featuring regional and ethnic performances.

Li said the opening ceremony will narrate stories of military characters and culture in a poetic way that are interwoven into the context of Chinese civilization.

It will demonstrate Chinese history, ancient Chinese military culture and its contribution to global military affairs. It will also reflect the traditional Chinese military ideology that "the essence of using force is to stop violence" and convey Chinese people's pursuit of peace since ancient times.

He added that the high-tech elements used in the ceremony will help visually expand the stage's limited space and present a multidimensional visual effect and a 360-degree panoramic view by interacting with moving images.

An opening ceremony rehearsal was held at the stadium on Monday. Li said many people shared their feelings after watching it on social media and called it "overwhelming".

The games, organized by the International Military Sports Council, include 329 events in 27 sports including a naval pentathlon, aeronautical pentathlon, shooting, swimming and basketball competitions.

Nearly 10,000 athletes from more than 100 countries are expected to compete at the games, which end on Oct 28.

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2019-10-16 07:31:20
<![CDATA[Initial research on rocket ends successfully]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515646.htm The preliminary research on China's new generation of manned spacecraft-carrying rocket has concluded successfully, paving the way for the program's next steps, according to China Space News, the flagship newspaper in the country's space industry.

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Report says spacecraft carrier will be bigger, stronger than Long March 5

The preliminary research on China's new generation of manned spacecraft-carrying rocket has concluded successfully, paving the way for the program's next steps, according to China Space News, the flagship newspaper in the country's space industry.

The newspaper reported recently that the research results were reviewed and approved on Wednesday by the China Manned Space Agency, which governs the nation's manned space activities. Experts from the agency said the results will be adopted in the research and development of the new carrier rocket, which has yet to be named.

According to the report, the new rocket is being designed at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing. Its main body will be 87 meters tall, which means it will be almost twice as tall as the Long March 5, currently the biggest of China's rockets.

The gigantic craft will boast liftoff weight of about 2,200 metric tons, nearly triple that of the Long March 5. This will enable the rocket to place a 25-ton spacecraft in a lunar transfer trajectory, the newspaper said.

Next, researchers and engineers will enter the detailed design phase and will continue to improve the rocket's technical plan, it noted.

China is making a grand road map for its manned lunar programs. However, the maximum carrying capacity of any existing Chinese rocket on a lunar transfer trajectory - the gateway for spacecraft to the moon - is only 8 tons, which is just enough for robotic missions. To fulfill manned missions, Chinese scientists have to develop a mightier rocket to transport the country's new-generation manned spacecraft, the newspaper explained.

Hu Xiaojun, a rocket researcher at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, said earlier that over the long term the new rocket will be used in conjunction with the Long March 9 - a rocket that is also under development at his academy and that will be China's most powerful rocket - to transport construction materials to the moon for a permanent base.

Officials and space scientists have said that the nation has a plan to place Chinese astronauts on the moon and even establish scientific facilities there.

Xing Qiang, an independent researcher and founder of Micro-Rocket Union, a nonprofit space research organization in Beijing, said the overall design of the unnamed rocket - a 5-meter-diameter main body connected to several 5-meter-diameter boosters - will test Chinese researchers' expertise in rocket structure and control because such a design is subject to a lot of technological and engineering challenges.

"But it is necessary for China to develop a new rocket for manned missions because such a rocket will offer us a new option, besides the Long March 9, for future explorations to the moon or other deep-space destinations," he said.

"And compared with the Long March 9, it will have lower costs and can enter service earlier."

According to the designers' plan, a Long March 9 will be capable of lifting 140 tons of payload into a low-Earth orbit or a 50-ton spacecraft to a lunar transfer trajectory. The 100-meter colossal machine will also be able to ferry 44 tons of payload to a Mars transfer orbit.

If the research and development proceed well, the Long March 9 will carry out its first flight around 2030, space officials said.

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2019-10-15 08:18:52
<![CDATA[Cold air continuing its sweep southward]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515645.htm

North China will see warmer days after Tuesday as the cold air continues its way south, bringing cooler temperatures to some cities in southern regions.

Temperatures will see a slight jump in North and Northeast China, with lows in those regions climbing from 0 C to 5 C, according to China Meteorological Administration.

In Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Hebei province, temperatures will stabilize between 10 C and 20 C from Tuesday to Thursday.

During the period, cities along the Yellow River and some cities in South and Southwest China will officially step into a cooler autumn.

On Tuesday, the highest temperature in Shanghai, Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will be no more than 20 C. In Nanning, capital of Guangxi, the low will be below 0 C on Wednesday, according to the administration.

Some regions in Southwest China and cities along the Yangtze River will see their lowest temperatures so far this season. On Thursday, temperatures in Hefei, Anhui province, and Wuhan, Hubei province, will drop to 10 C.

Furthermore, rains will hit the majority of China in the next three days, especially in the northwest and southwest regions.

From Tuesday to Wednesday, heavy rain will batter north Sichuan, west Yunnan and north Hainan provinces, with precipitation between 25 and 70 millimeters, according to the National Meteorological Center.

On Sunday, cities in North China including Changchun, Jilin province, and Shenyang, Liaoning province, witnessed the first snowfall of the upcoming winter. In the majority of North and Northeast China, temperatures dropped by 6 to 10 C on Sunday compared to Saturday.

As temperatures drop, experts from the center reminded the public that to prevent getting a cold they should wear more clothes, do more exercise and open the windows to keep the air flow.

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2019-10-15 08:18:52
<![CDATA[Wuxi targets overloaded vehicles, use of gas]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515644.htm Wuxi, Jiangsu province, has ordered the strictest crackdown on overloaded vehicles and unsafe use of gas in public places in the city following an overpass collapse and a deadly gas explosion last week that shocked the whole country.

Huang Qin, mayor of Wuxi, said that the city will have "zero tolerance" for overloaded vehicles, and all large buses and vehicles transporting dangerous chemicals in or through the city will be checked.

"The two accidents fully exposed weaknesses and loopholes in the city's safety management work," he said. "We've learned a lesson and will make every effort to promote safety."

Insisting that safety development is the top priority, Huang urged all departments to scrutinize hazardous behavior, including overloading vehicles, drunken driving and motorist fatigue.

Moreover, a special effort will be launched soon to check all the city's restaurants to ensure safe use of gas. Other problems, such as fire hazards in tall buildings, large machinery in construction sites and facilities in amusement parks, will be investigated.

On Thursday, an overpass in Wuxi fell from its piers and tipped to one side, killing three people and injuring two. It flattened three cars underneath, and five cars on the overpass fell to the ground.

A preliminary investigation suggested the collapse was caused by overloaded trucks, local police said.

On Sunday, an explosion caused by a gas leak at a snack bar in the city's Ehu township claimed nine lives and injured 10.

Lou Qinjian, Party secretary of Jiangsu, and Wu Zhenglong, governor of the province, has ordered all of the province's 13 cities to implement similar strict inspections to ensure public safety.

On Saturday, the provincial public security department launched a 100-day special action to crack down on vehicles ignoring safety hazards. The department said that anyone breaking the law will be punished heavily or exposed in the media.

Huang Ming, Party chief of the Ministry of Emergency Management, has spurred all-out efforts to rescue those injured in the Wuxi gas explosion, and the ministry has sent a team to the city to investigate the accident.

Medical experts from across the province have been allocated to Wuxi hospitals to treat the injured. Each patient will undergo a specific treatment plan created by the experts, according to the Health Commission of Wuxi.

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2019-10-15 08:18:52
<![CDATA[DNA tests identify martyrs returned from ROK]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515643.htm

Using advanced sequencing technologies, China has established its first DNA database to identify unknown Chinese People's Volunteers martyred in the 1950-53 Korean War. This allowed the remains of six Chinese volunteer soldiers to be reunited with their families after more than 65 years.

During a ceremony last month at a martyr's cemetery in Shenyang, Liaoning province, the remains of the six martyrs were identified by family members and returned after a four-year investigation by researchers from the Institute of Military Medicine under the People's Liberation Army Academy of Military Science.

It was the first time that the identities of unknown martyrs of the Chinese volunteers were confirmed through DNA testing.

The six martyrs - Chen Zengji, Fang Hongyou, Hou Yongxin, Ran Xubi, Xu Yuzhong and Zhou Shaowu - were aged between 19 and 31 when they were killed in battle, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"We lost all connection with my brother in 1949 until we got word of his death in 1953," Chen Hushan, an 82-year-old Korean War veteran and younger brother of Chen Zengji, told China Central Television.

The family's only reminder of the elder brother was a photograph taken when he was 19. Chen said that he never expected his brother would come back home because so little was known about him.

"We are brothers and brothers-in-arms," Chen said. "It is a great honor to see him. After nearly 70 years, we are finally together."

The Chinese People's Volunteers fought side-by-side with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea army against the Republic of Korea and US-led UN forces between 1950 and 1953. Around 197,650 Chinese soldiers died on the Korean Peninsula during the war, which ended in a truce in 1953.

In the traditions of many Asian countries, the spirits of the dead cannot rest without a proper burial in a place appropriate to the family. Decades after the war, the absence of physical traces of the dead has driven many war-torn families to desperation, and some even sought help from ghost mediums to communicate with the underworld.

The ROK has repatriated 599 Chinese remains, most of which have not been identified by family members. Wang Shengqi, the researcher from the Institute of Military Medicine responsible for the DNA database, said his team has completed DNA analysis for 494 remains since 2015.

Identifying the dead through DNA sequencing is a challenge due to the remains being severely degraded and weathered, and yielding little to no useful bio-samples, he said.

Hasty wartime burials, mislabeling, unreliable records and time-consuming DNA sequencing procedures also complicate the issue.

However, Wang and his team eventually found a way to effectively extract tiny amounts of DNA from the remains and have stored the information in a database where it could be accessed easily by family members.

Still, verification by family members has proved to be another difficult task, since most of the martyrs died young and had no children, and the number of living relatives are dwindling by the day.

"It is a race against time," he said.

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2019-10-15 08:18:52
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515642.htm Beijing

Vice-president will visit Indonesia, Japan

Vice-President Wang Qishan, special envoy of President Xi Jinping, will attend the inauguration ceremony of Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Sunday in Jakarta at the invitation of the Indonesian government, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday. Wang will also attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan's Emperor Naruhito on Oct 22 in Tokyo as Xi's special envoy at the invitation of the Japanese government.

TV documentary on CPPCC to be aired

A four-episode television documentary series focusing on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will be aired on China Central Television starting on Monday. The documentary focuses on the history and development of the CPPCC over the past seven decades and includes many detailed historical materials to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the CPPCC.

Rules aim to refine public manners in city

Beijing will introduce rules to refine public manners, according to the Standing Committee of the municipal people's congress. A draft published by the municipal legislature has started soliciting public opinions in various areas of sanitation, public order, transportation, community life, traveling, internet and telecommunication. Spitting on the streets, seat hogging, walking in public with bellies exposed, throwing objects off buildings and other unseemly behaviors have been listed in the rules, with individual violators facing fines up to 1,000 yuan ($141).

Gansu

New African swine fever case reported

China has confirmed a new case of African swine fever in Gansu province. The disease was detected in a cooperative in Minxian county, Dingxi city. Among the 287 pigs in the cooperative, 265 were infected and died, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Sunday, citing a report from the China Animal Disease Control Center. Local authorities have initiated an emergency response to block and cull all affected pigs in the slaughterhouse and disinfect the venue. Transport of all pigs and related products out of or into the blocked region is forbidden, the ministry said.

Chongqing

Customs team up to speed clearance

Fifteen regional customs directly under the General Administration of Customs of China on Sunday inked a memorandum of cooperation in Chongqing municipality to support the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor construction. The corridor is a trade and logistics passage built by western Chinese provincial-level regions and Singapore. According to the memorandum, the 15 customs will facilitate clearance, promote industry development along the corridor, improve supervision and crack down on smuggling.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-10-15 08:18:52
<![CDATA[Jan-Sept trade up 2.8 percent amid conflicts]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515641.htm China's foreign trade maintained stable performance during the first three quarters despite trade friction with the United States, the latest customs data showed.

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Figure with markets related to BRI totals 6.65 trillion yuan, up 9.5% year-on-year

China's foreign trade maintained stable performance during the first three quarters despite trade friction with the United States, the latest customs data showed.

Looking ahead, the expansion of international trade will depend largely on the easing of trade tensions, which, left unresolved, may further dampen the global economy, according to officials and analysts.

Foreign trade of the world's second-largest economy recorded stable growth from January to September, expanding 2.8 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs announced on Monday.

China's total foreign trade volume reached 22.91 trillion yuan ($3.23 trillion) in the first nine months. Exports expanded 5.2 percent while imports dropped 0.1 percent.

Despite slower global economic growth and rising trade protectionism, China's foreign trade has remained resilient due to strong domestic consumption, expansion of private businesses, tariff cuts and market diversification, said Li Kuiwen, a spokesman for the administration.

Li predicted that China's foreign trade will remain stable for the year.

The country's trade with the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China's top two trading partners, hit 3.57 trillion yuan and 3.14 trillion yuan, respectively, in the first three quarters, up 8.6 percent and 11.5 percent year-on-year, according to the administration data.

In the same period, trade with the US dropped 10.3 percent to 2.75 trillion yuan.

The administration noted the substantial progress that negotiating teams from the two countries has achieved in their latest round of trade talks.

"The two sides have discussed follow-up arrangements and agreed to work together toward a final agreement. This will generate a positive affect on bilateral trade," Li said.

As for the next step, the administration is closely watching with other government departments, Li added.

The consensus on a preliminary agreement reached in certain areas will not only enable manufacturers, farmers and service sector providers from both sides to regain confidence, but will also be effective in rebuilding global value and supply chains, said Ma Yu, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Both countries must demonstrate more willingness to reach an eventual final result, said Lu Xiang, a researcher on Sino-US relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Trade tensions between China and the US heightened uncertainty and forced businesses to cut productivity and investments not only in the two countries, but also in other parts of the world, Lu said.

Jens Puttfarcken, president and CEO of Porsche China, said the current scenario in the global economy is creating some volatility and uncertainty, and businesses need to take actions to ease potential impact from these uncertainties as soon as possible.

"We believe that there is no alternative to global free trade," Puttfarcken said.

In the first half of 2019, Porsche delivered 42,608 vehicles to China, a year-on-year growth of 28 percent, leading the rest of its global markets. "Despite all the uncertainties, we are optimistic about our sales performance in China," he added.

Due to the China-US trade dispute, the World Trade Organization recently lowered its projection for global trade in goods to 1.2 percent for 2019 from its earlier prediction of 2.6 percent made in April. This would be the weakest growth rate since 2009.

Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that as trade friction did push some domestic and global companies to relocate their factories to India, Vietnam and other developing countries, China should be more proactive in further tapping markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The tendency will promote gradual 'going global' progress for domestic companies, helping diversify production origins, export markets and asset portfolios," Wei said.

China's trade with economies related to the BRI totaled up to 6.65 trillion yuan in the first three quarters of 2019, an increase of 9.5 percent year-on-year basis, which is 6.7 percentage points higher than the overall foreign trade growth rate during the same period.

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Personal exchanges cement Sino-US ties, envoy says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515640.htm Over the past four decades the China-US relationship has become too complicated to decouple, and many on both sides are determined to sustain it, a US diplomat and China expert told China Daily in a recent interview.

Using an iceberg as an analogy, Nicholas Platt, who accompanied US president Richard Nixon on his historic trip to Beijing in 1972, said in an exclusive interview on Oct 3 that private, nonstate links between China and the United States have grown exponentially in past decades.

They are kept intact below the surface despite the "jagged piece of ice" and "sharp edges" seen above the waterline.

"There may be people who want to decouple us, but there are a lot of people who don't, or people who've had relationships between" the two countries - organizations, companies, movie moguls, basketball players - who are in contact all the time and exchanging messages that "the governments don't even see", Platt said.

A China expert long before the 1972 trip, Platt was an eyewitness to two groundbreaking events in the early days of the bilateral relationship - the Nixon visit, a trip that led to the normalization of relations between the two countries, and the opening of the US Liaison Office in Beijing in 1973.

Platt was chief of the political section at the liaison office in 1973 and 1974. That was when he had the first taste of people-to-people relations between the two countries through casual conversations he had with locals as he biked around the city.

Platt said he bought a bicycle as soon as he arrived in Beijing and joined the millions of Chinese streaming through the city on two wheels.

"To my pleasure and delight", those people would start a conversation with him, said Platt.

" (They were) just ordinary laobaixing (civilians)," he said about those people. "We talked about movies; we talked about things that people knew about.

"This for us represented a kind of relief from the isolation of being a foreigner in China half the time," he said.

Platt introduced that lifestyle to fellow members of the liaison office and later recommended it to George H.W. Bush - the future president, who began serving as top US diplomat to China in 1974 - as the first thing to do in China.

A photo of Bush and his wife, Barbara, riding bicycles in front of Beijing's Tian'anmen Square in the mid-1970s, has become emblazoned in the memories of people in China.

"The private side of our (bilateral) relationship started to grow in 1973, and none of us had a clue as to how fast it would grow and what it would become," Platt said.

Even when the relationship faced challenges, "the private ties had become so strong in trade, in investment, in exchanges and so on and so forth, that they became the rationale for the relationship", he said.

"In certain areas like cultural exchange, the Chinese are welcoming and realize that this is one area in which both sides can agree, and there are not a lot of political blowbacks - so this is what I basically work on, and I find myself quite busy," said Platt.

He got involved in China-US cultural exchanges in 1973 when he helped facilitate a visit to China by the Philadelphia Orchestra - the first US orchestra to perform in China.

Platt accompanied the orchestra's 12th tour of China this year and saw an increased interest in Western and classical music, "fed by the growing affluence of the middle class", he said.

China values the links with the US, which makes Platt "less pessimistic" about the future of the bilateral relationship.

"Some of the China hawks think that you can pull this relationship apart, but I frankly don't think you can," he said.

"China is too big to contain, and the relationship is too complicated to decouple," said Platt, which "does not mean there are no issues between us".

He said most of the serious issues between the two countries are related to trade reciprocity.

"China has much more accessibility to the American economy than American firms have to the Chinese economy," he said, saying that was a cause of much friction.

"I think it's perfectly normal for people to react to something that is as big as China and growing as fast as China, to want to pay attention" to it, and to want to make sure that exchanges with it are fair, Platt said.

The solutions to problems between the two countries will enable China to move ahead and "help with our problems bilaterally", he continued, adding that this also gives him hope for the future.

With negotiators in the latest round of high-level trade talks between China and the US reaching a preliminary agreement, Platt believes that "the shape of a settlement is in place".

"I personally feel that the forces are in place at least to call a truce", as a settlement takes political will on both sides to materialize, he said.

"The situation is such that both sides are so intertwined that they can't really take major affirmative action against the other without hurting themselves just as much," Platt said.

Platt also opposes rhetoric that characterizes China as an adversary, saying the two nations need to cooperate to make things work, notably issues including climate change, terrorism and other significant global affairs.

"I have seen enough crises in our relationships in the past to know that we'll figure out a way of dealing with it over time," he said.

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[White paper: China will intensify cooperation to ensure food security]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515639.htm China will intensify international cooperation with other countries to jointly fight hunger and ensure global good security, said a white paper released on Monday.

The country will also continue to expand and diversify sources of food imports to balance its own food security, said the white paper titled "Food Security in China", released by the State Council Information Office.

China has successfully fed nearly 20 percent of the world's total population with just 9 percent of the world's farmland and 6 percent of the world's total freshwater resources, Zhang Wufeng, head of the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration, said at a news conference.

While China's population accounts for nearly one-fifth of the world's total, its food production accounts for a quarter of the world's total, according to the white paper.

Per capita grain output in China is 470 kilograms, a rise of 14 percent compared with 1996, and a rise of 126 percent compared with 1949, it said.

"We will continue the efforts to ensure China's food security so the rice bowl remains firmly in our own hands," Zhang said.

In the meantime, China has been intensifying international cooperation in food and agriculture and opening up its domestic food market, especially since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the white paper said.

Last year, China imported about 116 million metric tons of grains, including 88 million metric tons of soybeans, more than nine times the amount in 1996, it said.

The white paper also said that China will actively participate in global and regional food security governance, explore new models for international food cooperation and conduct comprehensive and high-standard international food cooperation.

"China will keep opening up and intensifying international cooperation in food and agriculture," said Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, adding that China is willing to share with other countries its experiences in improving food security.

"We hope to see hunger and poverty eradicated from the world as soon as possible," Su said.

By the end of 2016, China had helped more than 50 countries in Africa to carry out nearly 500 agricultural assistance programs, covering areas including farming, grain storage, agricultural machinery and agricultural product processing, according to the white paper.

Farmers harvest rice in Yongfeng, Jiangxi province, in September. Liu Haojun / For China Daily 

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Three share Nobel Prize in economics]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515638.htm The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer of the United States and Esther Duflo, who holds both US and French citizenship, "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".

Duflo became only the second woman to win a share of the award.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced it had selected them on Monday. Their prizes will be formally presented, along with those of other Nobel laureates, at a lavish banquet in Stockholm, Sweden on Dec 10, which is the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the industrialist and scientist after whom the awards are named. The king of Sweden will present the winners with medals, certificates and 9 million kronor ($918,000) in each discipline. A maximum of three people can share each prize every year.

The academy said it selected Banerjee, Duflo, and Kremer because of their research into the "daunting issue" of global poverty. It said they tackled the issue by breaking it down into smaller questions that could be better asked and answered. It said they looked into how best to improve the health of children by examining their education, health systems, agricultural approaches and access to credit.

The committee said: "Despite recent dramatic improvements, one of humanity's most urgent issues is the reduction of global poverty, in all its forms. More than 700 million people still subsist on extremely low incomes."

It said around 5 million children under the age of 5 still die of diseases that could be prevented annually and half of the world's children leave school without basic literacy and numeracy.

Duflo, 46, who is the youngest person to win the prize, said current turbulence in global economics can be traced back to a changing world order.

"I think we live in turbulent times where many individuals in rich countries are deeply concerned about their position in the world," she said. That anxiety is "at the root of much of the turbulence we are seeing".

Kremer conducted field experiments in the 1990s on how various interventions improved academic results for children in Kenya. Banerjee and Duflo conducted similar experiments in India.

Banerjee and Duflo are married and based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kremer is an academic at Harvard University.

The prize, which is officially known as The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, is generally thought of as the most prestigious award in the field of economics and has been presented annually since 1969. Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, it was not established in 1901 based on instructions contained in Nobel's will but was set up by Sweden's central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, to mark its 300th anniversary. It is, however, managed by the Nobel Foundation, along with the other Nobel Prizes.

As of 2018, 81 people had won at least a share of a Nobel Prize in economics. Richard Thaler of the US, who won the award in 2017, issued some inspiring advice for struggling students when he said: "I wasn't a great student. My thesis adviser famously said: 'We didn't expect much of him'".

The Nobel Prize in economics was the last in a series of Nobel Prizes for 2019 to be announced in recent days.

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Xuelong 2 sets sail for first journey to Antarctic]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515637.htm

China's second - and its first domestically built - research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, will set sail on Tuesday from Shenzhen, Guangdong province, for its first polar journey.

The ship will be a major part of China's 36th Antarctic expedition, which involves 413 scientists, researchers and support staff, and will make stops at two Chinese Antarctic research stations - Zhongshan and Changcheng - with members of the expedition team to conduct scientific operations on the largely frozen continent, according to Qin Weijia, director of the Ministry of Natural Resources' polar expedition office.

It will also make a port call in South Africa related to scientific cooperation projects, Qin told reporters at a news conference in Shenzhen on Monday.

The vessel's partner - Xuelong - will set sail from Shanghai on Oct 22 and join Xuelong 2 at Zhongshan for joint survey operations. Then the two icebreakers will separate and perform their tasks independently.

Qin said Xuelong 2 will return to China in late March while Xuelong will come back in mid-April.

"The participation of Xuelong 2 will make the 36th Antarctic expedition China's first polar mission carried out by two icebreakers and also the expedition performed at the highest technological level," said Sun Bo, deputy director of the Shanghai-based Polar Research Institute of China.

Zhao Yanping, captain of Xuelong 2, said: "The vessel employs a lot of technologies and functions that Xuelong does not have. Its service will extensively boost our country's research capability in polar regions."

He said that to prepare for the Antarctic mission, Xuelong 2 underwent a trial run in August in the South China Sea to test its equipment.

Xuelong 2 arrived in Shenzhen on Sunday afternoon from its home port of Shanghai and will be open to 1,200 members of the general public for tours on Monday and Tuesday.

Before the commissioning of Xuelong 2 in July, China only operated a single icebreaker - Xuelong - which was designed for cargo transportation rather than scientific research operations when it was built in Ukraine in 1993. Xuelong was purchased by China and converted into a polar research and resupply vessel. It has carried out dozens of scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Xuelong 2 was jointly designed by Finland's Aker Arctic Technology in Helsinki and China's Marine Design and Research Institute in Shanghai. Its construction began at Jiangnan Shipyard Group in Shanghai in 2016.

The vessel is 122.5 meters long, 22.3 m wide and has a displacement of 13,996 metric tons. With a maximum speed of 15 knots, or 27.8 kilometers per hour, the icebreaker can sail more than 37,000 km in a single voyage and carry out 60-day expeditions with 90 crew members and researchers.

With state-of-the-art design and advanced equipment, the icebreaker is capable of operating anywhere around the world.

Designers said the vessel can break 1.5-meter-thick ice at speeds of 2 to 3 knots, and can operate in temperatures as low as-30 C.

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Chinatown killings focus spotlight on New York's homeless]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515636.htm New York Mayor Bill de Blasio acted quickly after four homeless men were beaten to death earlier this month by an attacker wielding a metal pipe nearly 1 meter long in the city's Chinatown district.

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Appeal made for more affordable housing

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio acted quickly after four homeless men were beaten to death earlier this month by an attacker wielding a metal pipe nearly 1 meter long in the city's Chinatown district.

A fifth person was left seriously injured.

De Blasio said the city would provide additional social services for the homeless in the area and increase security measures.

"What happened shakes the conscience of who we are as New Yorkers," he said in a statement. "We are sending experts to the neighborhood to provide support during this difficult time and will continue to assess how to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future."

Randy Santos, 24, was arrested on Oct 6 by New York police and charged with murder and attempted murder. Police said Santos is homeless himself.

City councilwoman Margaret Chin, who represents Chinatown, called on the mayor to create more affordable housing specifically for the homeless.

"This senseless and devastating act of violence against the most vulnerable members of our community must serve as a wake-up call. We must do more than the bare minimum to help the tens of thousands of New Yorkers in our homeless shelters and on our streets," she said in a statement.

The killings shocked people and drew fresh attention to the homeless problem in the city of 8.5 million, where nearly one in every 121 New Yorkers is without a home, according to The Bowery Mission, which has served homeless and hungry people in the city since the 1870s.

Last year, there were 78,676 homeless people in New York, according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, followed by Los Angeles with 49,955 and 9,780 in San Francisco. HUD's figures are based on data reported by some 3,000 cities and counties nationwide.

While New York has far more homeless than Los Angeles, it has a much lower percentage of unsheltered homeless, 5 percent, compared with 75 percent in Los Angeles, HUD said.

Other figures illustrate the homeless situation in New York.

An outreach program to help the homeless expects to spend $126 million this year, including sending in 400 workers, according to a spokesman for the city's Department of Homeless Services.

More than 59,000 people live in shelters for the homeless, according to city officials.

In August, there were 14,806 homeless families with 21,802 children in the city, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.

In addition, the city places individuals and families in hotels. In 2017, New York's comptroller, a state cabinet officer, said about $530,000 was spent per day on the provision of hotel rooms. Last year, the city said it would spend $364 million annually over the next few years to house the homeless in hotels.

The Aladdin, a former hotel that now shelters the homeless, houses 300 people. Located just west of Times Square on West 45th street, it is just across the street from the Broadway theater area.

From 2015 to this year, the Department of Homeless Services provided more than $27 million to house homeless adult families in these premises, according to The Wall Street Journal.

But after a series of incidents involving residents - including stabbings, prostitution, gun sales and a murder - it will cease operating by the end of the year, the department said.

Homeless people living on New York's streets are a common sight. They lie strewn against storefronts on sidewalks in the luxury shopping area of Fifth Avenue and in Times Square, a popular tourist attraction. Some curl up in corners displaying handwritten signs highlighting their plight and shake empty paper coffee cups at passersby for spare change.

Then there are those who stay out of sight, finding shelter in abandoned buildings, under bridges and in subway tunnels, living with rats.

For many of the homeless, the subway system is the safest place to sleep, with trains and stations providing shelter that the streets do not.

The number of homeless on the subway has increased from 1,771 last year to 2,178, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is hiring 500 transit police officers to patrol subways and stations.

The authority acted after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo complained that people should feel safe on the subway, but often do not.

"A customer has a right - a rider has a right - not to be harassed, not to be threatened, not to be subjected to intolerable conditions. I've never seen it this bad," Cuomo said of homelessness in July. "Let's actually focus on helping the homeless, rather than political posturing."

Homeless people can be fined for committing minor offenses on the subway. But a one-year pilot plan launched by De Blasio, the mayor, seeks to change that by referring them to social services at a cost to the city of $1 million.

For many, living on the streets or elsewhere is preferable to city shelters, where they can face the threat of violence and robbery.

"I hate trying to find a place to sleep at nights," said Nicholas, 38, from New York, who declined to give his surname. "I won't go to the shelters because they're not good. They're dangerous. All the beds are right next to each other. You've got guys sleeping next to you who are on coke (cocaine). You don't know what they might do. I'm not going to those places."

He said he became homeless after losing his job 10 months ago. He started using drugs to cope with the situation, went to a treatment facility and got clean, but was then evicted from his apartment and ended up on the streets.

"Now I'm here - no coat, just the clothes on my back. I can't believe things got so bad," Nicholas said standing in the rain in Times Square with a makeshift cardboard sign that read: "Homeless and humiliated. I feel like I'm invisible. Just trying to raise $50 for a room, and if I'm blessed enough, a shower."

He said: "The way people treat you is bad. It's like you're not human. I have no family here. My mom is in Puerto Rico. What people don't realize, especially in New York, is that you can be one paycheck away from being homeless. It's that simple."

On 72nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, a homeless man in his 60s, who did not want to give his name, was rummaging through cans in the trash looking for food, when he pulled out a half-eaten sandwich.

He said he would not live in a shelter or anywhere else, even if offered such accommodations. "I've lived on the streets for 20 years. It doesn't bother me, even when it rains. It's nothing. It doesn't matter. What matters is we're all human," he said.

Like Nicolas, some of the homeless lost their jobs and then their apartments. Others became homeless after getting hooked on drugs or alcohol, according to the Department of Homeless Services.

Drugs have been the leading cause of death among homeless men in New York for the past three years and among homeless women for the past five, according to figures from the department. Overdoses killed 86 people in 2017, and 81 in the first four months of last year, up from 12 for the same time period in 2017.

D. J. Jaffe, executive director of the independent Mental Illness Policy Org, said those with a serious mental illness - such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - need to get immediate treatment.

"We need more hospitals. Some people need to be in a hospital. We need more group homes with on-site support. The mayor should focus on adults with a serious mental illness and not all others. That's the key. We're spending more and getting less," he said.

"We used to have a hospital-based system to treat the seriously mentally ill. Now we have a community-based system that won't accept those that are homeless, have a substance abuse problem or a criminal record. So, when community programs start excluding the most seriously ill, the only place people have to go is the streets."

The Coalition for the Homeless provides daily food, clothing, eviction prevention and crisis services for more than 3,500 homeless people, including children, in New York. While there is an extensive network of shelters across the city, there is insufficient permanent, affordable housing, the organization said.

Last year, 133,284 homeless men, women and children slept in premises provided by the New York City municipal shelter system, the organization said.

The mayor wants to open 90 new shelters by 2022, especially for men, and these would include mental health services. His administration has opened only 27 shelters to date, in part because residents in some areas have protested or even sued to block them from opening, fearing for their safety.

Giselle Routhier, policy director for the Coalition for the Homeless, said in a statement, "New York City and New York State must build enough deeply subsidized housing for homeless New Yorkers to match the scale of need."

Dozens of churches across the city also help the homeless. Some collect secondhand clothing for those in need, while others run soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters.

Arianna Fishman, media secretary for the Department of Homeless Services, said the city authorities and the department's street action teams were monitoring Chinatown closely.

Mental health outreach services for the homeless in Chinatown will be increased. Psychiatrists and clinicians from the city's Department of Health and its mental health program will perform street evaluations and provide substance abuse resources to the homeless, officials said.

As Chinatown residents sought to come to terms with the deaths of the four homeless men, a community vigil was held on Oct 8.

Omar Robinson, 50, who is homeless and lives on the streets near Chinatown, said he had met two of the men who died and even shared a drink with them. He described them as immigrants who were undocumented and could not work, so they lived in "misery."

A day after the murders, he said: "All of the homeless people are scared. They're fearful because it can happen to anyone. There's a lot of people out here with mental health and anger issues. Unless something is done, it will happen again."

Kong Wenzheng in New York contributed to this story.

 

A homeless man sleeps on the street in San Francisco, California, in August. Jeff Chiu / AP

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Three of four murder victims identified]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515635.htm Three of the four men beaten to death as they slept on the street in New York's Chinatown on Oct 5 have been identified by the authorities and residents.

They were an 83-year-old man from Hong Kong, a father who had a home but was described by his daughter as having fallen on hard times, and a self-described writer and minister.

Authorities have still to identify the fourth victim.

The first, Chuen Kwok, referred to by Chinatown residents as "Uncle Kwok", often accepted help from neighbors and slept in front of the same store every night, according to news reports. Those who knew him said he was quiet and never discussed how he became homeless.

The Ng Fook Funeral Home in Chinatown offered to cover the costs of his funeral.

The second man, Nazario A. Vazquez Villegas, 54, had a home, according to his daughter, but his fortunes had declined. No other information about him was available.

The third man, Anthony Manson, was often seen typing on his laptop in Chinatown.

The New York Times reported that Manson was a preacher who founded two nonprofit organizations in Mississippi to help the homeless.

His family, based in Chicago, told the newspaper they had no idea he was living on the street.

Karlin Chan, a Chinatown resident who often stopped to chat with Manson, told the paper: "I wouldn't call him a homeless guy. I would call him a wanderer."

Manson said he often left the city in the winter in search of warmer weather.

The report said he wrote extensively on his blog about homelessness.

On March 23, 2017, he wrote, "This is not some emotional trick to stir up people's hearts so they give blindly, nor is this a license for those who are homeless to do what they want because they are homeless.

"But rather to talk deeply about homelessness - that it needs order, and those who are homeless do have rights. And to loudly say that this is not a problem, yet it can be if it's not continually addressed, and, ... everyone's issues can be dealt with, because homelessness is not going away any time soon. It is a way of life for many."

China Daily

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Expansion of demand, new growth crucial]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515634.htm Premier Li Keqiang underlined the importance of expanding demand in the domestic market and fostering new growth points in the consumption of commodities and services as he presided over a symposium on the nation's economic performance on Monday.

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Premier says economic pressure makes action on reform, opening-up necessary

Premier Li Keqiang underlined the importance of expanding demand in the domestic market and fostering new growth points in the consumption of commodities and services as he presided over a symposium on the nation's economic performance on Monday.

At the symposium, held in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Li said the government must give greater priority to stabilizing growth and maintaining major economic indicators within an appropriate range.

Li said the economy is faced with mounting downward pressure, including domestic demand remaining sluggish. He also cited problems such as rising food prices due to changing demand and supply and a lack of economic growth momentum in some areas.

China's manufacturing sector shrank for a fifth month in September, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, while activity in the nonmanufacturing sector slowed slightly from the previous month.

Li urged greater strides in reform, opening-up and innovation to drive growth, saying that the fostering of new demand for investment and consumption must focus on improving living standards.

The resilience of economic growth must be further enhanced to withstand the downward pressure, promote stable growth of jobs and maintain the stability of commodity prices, he said.

Tax and fee reduction policies and measures to reduce financing costs should be implemented in full, and countercyclical macroeconomic policy regulation should be used in a flexible way, he said. Anticipatory adjustments and fine-tuning must be stepped up, he added.

Li also called for better use of special bonds issued by local authorities to drive private investment, with the construction of major programs set to be accelerated to boost effective investment.

The country's central and western areas will receive support in undertaking industry transfers, and more measures will be adopted to reinvigorate online and offline markets, he said.

Li highlighted the need to scale up reforms to streamline administration and improve government compliance oversight and services.

He called on authorities to prioritize efforts to raise the level of innovative development for industries, develop internet uses for industry and promote the upgrading and transformation of manufacturing.

Ensuring agricultural production during autumn and winter will be another priority, and more work will be done to stabilize the price of meat, vegetables and other daily necessities, he added.

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[HK police: Rioters try to kill officers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515633.htm The Hong Kong Police Force criticized on Monday what it called the violent acts of rioting mobs over the weekend, saying their behavior showed a clear intention to kill police officers.

The violence escalated from Friday to Sunday as rioters slashed an officer in the neck with a box cutter and detonated a homemade explosive device, for the first time, in an attempt to attack a police vehicle, police said.

Over the weekend, 201 people were arrested, including a 19-year-old student who was accused of slashing the officer in the neck on Sunday. The officer, who sustained a 3-to 4-centimeter long wound, remained in a hospital intensive care unit on Monday, police said in a media briefing. Surgeons repaired damage to a vein and nerve in his neck, police said.

The 19-year-old student was arrested on a charge of attempted murder, which carries a possible life sentence. Another person at the scene was arrested on undisclosed charges related to the attack, officials said.

Tang Ping-keung, deputy commissioner of police operations, said on Monday that violence in Hong Kong has escalated to a point that rioters are "aiming to take the lives of police officers".

The homemade bomb, remotely detonated with a mobile phone, exploded in a flower planter at the junction of Nathan Road and Fife Street in Mong Kok on Sunday, according to the superintendent of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, Suryanto Chin-chiu. A nearby police vehicle was the apparently target of the attack, police said. It was not damaged.

Twelve police officers were injured during operations against the citywide violence and vandalism, said Kong Wing-cheung, acting chief superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch.

Two police officers were assaulted with bricks, city officials said. No information was immediately available about the others' injuries.

Dozens of gasoline bombs were tossed at police targets, including a police vehicle and the Mong Kok Police Station.

Online posts have appeared calling for the murder of police officers. The posts, which were seen by reporters from China Daily and other media outlets, have included instructions on making gasoline bombs and where and how to stab officers.

Police officials have vowed resolute action to bring offenders to justice. They appealed to residents to distinguish fact from fiction amid what they called malicious online rumors against police officers.

In a written statement, a Hong Kong government spokesman expressed outrage at the continued violence, which the statement said has ruined the city's peace and order and jeopardized residents' personal safety.

"Radicals will never achieve their political demands by resorting to street violence," said Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, chairwoman of the New People's Party, calling the targeting of police "shocking" and "unacceptable to a civilized society".

In a social media post, Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and former chief executive of Hong Kong, urged opposition lawmakers to take a clear position against violence.

Lai Tung-kwok, former secretary for security, slammed the violence, which has brought life in the community to a standstill, and urged the city's residents to stand against the violence.

Legal experts from the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation issued a statement saying that the rioters' acts have been premeditated, organized crimes that under the law could lead to life imprisonment for the perpetrators.

China Daily

 

A man is assaulted by a pole-swinging assailant in a shop in Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong, on Sunday. Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Buddhists' UN forum promotes exchanges]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/15/content_37515632.htm

Representatives of Buddhist communities in China, the United States and Canada met at UN headquarters in New York to discuss efforts to build a community of a shared future for mankind.

The 2019 China-US-Canada Buddhist Forum was held on Saturday, the second gathering after an event in Canada in 2017. During the one-day forum, guest speakers shared views on how to expand the positive impact of the Buddhist communities in the three countries. Lectures and discussions promoted mutual understanding and learning between Buddhism and modern societies.

"The purpose of the United Nations corresponds with the common values and principles of all major world religions," said Venerable Master Yanjue, vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China in Beijing. "Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general, once said that when the world's major religious and spiritual leaders join hands to call for world peace, it will bring about a vision for peace in the new millennia."

The Buddhist tradition, with a history of over 2,500 years, advocates compassion, equality, tolerance and peace, Yanjue said.

"It has been endeavoring to fundamentally eradicate the prejudice and misunderstanding among people, providing effective and feasible solutions for various civilizations to coexist with and accommodate each other, and dissolve cultural conflicts between them," he said.

The world faces great changes, Yanjue said, adding that peace, development, cooperation and win-win situations are still main themes.

Given the circumstances, "the Buddhist circles of China, the US and Canada join hands to hold this Buddhist forum, conduct friendly exchanges and cooperation, practice their loving kindness and compassionate vows to devotedly maintain world peace, promote exchanges and mutual learning between human civilizations, and enhance the welfare of all beings", he said.

"This is of great significance to furthering religious and cultural exchanges and enhancing understanding, mutual trust and friendship between the people of the three countries as well as promoting cultural exchanges and mutual learning between the East and West and establishing a human community of common destiny," he said.

The forum's theme is "Enlightenment in the Human Realm: The Spirit and Practice of Chan Buddhism".

"We aim to explore the promotion and role of Buddhism in the context of a new era," said Venerable Master Mingyu, president of the American Buddhist Confederation. "It is our intention to reveal the contemporary bodhisattva spirit that liberating others and liberating oneself are one in the same."

Mingyu said through practicing the four great bodhisattva vows, "we can love and care for all beings. And we will surely write this chapter on contemporary Buddhism into the cultural histories of the United States, China, and Canada." A bodhisattva is a person on the path toward Buddhahood.

Representatives of the communities also explored the mission and responsibility of Buddhism in the global community of a shared future for mankind, propagated the spirit of enlightenment and freedom of Chinese Chan Buddhism, examined the historical context of Chinese Chan Buddhism, disseminated the experience of the propagation and spread the development of Buddhism.

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2019-10-15 08:18:07
<![CDATA[Friendship key in China's ties with Nepal]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515356.htm

Xi says he hopes to raise relationship to even higher level through state visit

China and Nepal agreed on Saturday to upgrade their relations to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring everlasting friendship for development and prosperity.

The agreement was reached and announced when President Xi Jinping met with Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

Xi said he came to Nepal as scheduled after Bhandari warmly invited him when they met in Beijing in April. He agreed with her that there is only friendship and cooperation between China and Nepal.

The two peoples have shared well-being and difficulty and have set an example for friendly exchanges between neighboring countries, Xi said, adding that he hopes to carry the traditional friendship forward and take the bilateral relationship to a new and higher level through his visit.

Xi called on the two sides to consolidate the political foundation of their relations and set the building of a community with a shared future as a long-term goal for the development of China-Nepal ties.

Xi said he has appreciated Nepal's firm adherence to the one-China policy and that China, as always, will support Nepal in safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two sides should build a pattern of all-around cooperation, a trans-Himalayan connectivity network and expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields, he said.

Noting that China just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xi said that the country will continue to deepen reform and expand opening-up so as to advance high-quality development.

A stable, open and prosperous China will always be a development opportunity for Nepal and the rest of the world, he added.

Bhandari welcomed Xi's state visit to Nepal, saying that the country is willing to learn from China's successful experience of development.

The Nepali president said she believes that the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, will realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, which will definitely bring benefits to Nepal and help promote regional peace, development and prosperity.

Noting that Xi is the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 23 years, Bhandari said the two countries' announcement of establishing a strategic partnership of cooperation will consolidate their traditional friendship, enrich their ties and usher in a new era for the Nepal-China relationship.

Nepal, she said, respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never allow any anti-China force to engage in anti-China activities in Nepal, adding that Nepal is willing to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and building of a trans-Himalayan connectivity network.

Bhandari hosted a welcoming banquet for Xi on Saturday evening at which the Chinese president said that his first visit to Kathmandu allows him to witness a country enjoying good governance and social harmony.

Xi called on the two countries to jointly build a new future for bilateral ties.

Bhandari said that Nepal and China always trust and respect each other and their friendship is unbreakable.

Besides, in a meeting with Nepal Communist Party Co-Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday, Xi said the CPC is willing to strengthen exchanges with the NPC.

He said the CPC would like to establish a regular exchange mechanism with the NPC to learn from each other's experience in party building and governance, and to build a new form of party relationship featuring mutual respect and learning as well as seeking common ground while shelving differences.

Dahal said that Nepal hopes to establish long-term cooperation with the CPC to learn from its successful governance experience.

On Saturday, Xi also met with Nepali Congress Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Nepali National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-10-14 07:46:18
<![CDATA[Chinese team aids restoration of quake-ravaged cultural site]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515355.htm Helping to restore a dilapidated ancient architecture in a foreign country requires not only the skills to deal with technical obstacles, but also to effectively communicate to resolve cultural and value differences.

This has been Guo Qianru's experience since 2017 in Nepal. Guo, 32, of the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, leads a team helping to rebuild the centuries-old nine-story Basantapur complex in Nepal's famed Kathmandu Durbar Square, which was designated as a United Nations World Cultural Heritage site in 1979.

A devastating earthquake in 2015 seriously damaged the complex, including the top three floors of the Basantapur Tower and parts on the sixth floor of the Bhaktapur Tower. Eighty percent of the walls were deformed and cracked, and many wooden components were damaged and scattered.

The project is the first cultural relics restoration China is assisting Nepal with.

To restore the temple's original structure and style, Guo has to go deep into the mountains to find the right materials, visit skilled local craftsman and invite them to help repair wooden sculptures, coordinate with different authorities in both countries, manage workers and guarantee safety on the construction site.

"At first, China and Nepal had some differences in restoration approaches - we insist on the principle of minimal intervention and retaining the old appearance of the temple wall, and Nepal hopes to restore the damaged parts with new replacements," she said.

To win over the Nepali officials, Guo's team built a sample wall, filling the gaps between damaged bricks with mortar, which would allow her team to protect the original brickwork, structure and temple components as much as possible. Nepal accepted the plan.

Differences of opinion can be narrowed down and resolved through sincere negotiation, Guo said, adding that the Nepalis have gradually recognized China's expertise in such projects.

The seven-member Chinese team is mainly responsible for technical guidance and construction management at the site while up to 200 Nepali workers carried out specific projects.

"During our restoration, we have gradually formed a good relationship with Nepali colleagues, which is a way to strengthen people-to-people exchanges," she said.

After more than two years' work, three of the temple's four damaged towers have been rebuilt, she said, and 80 percent of the remaining tower has been restored. The remaining work should be finished by the end of the year.

Sushil Kumar Lamsal, the deputy chief of the Nepali embassy in Beijing, said Beijing's support in restoring the Basantapur complex is a symbol of the age-old friendship between China and Nepal, for which the Nepali people express sincere appreciation and thanks.

Lamsal noted that both Nepal and China are ancient countries with a long history of cultural exchanges between them. The role of Nepali architect Arniko in China's art history, for example, is well-known. In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), he designed many temples, pagodas and Buddha statues in Beijing, including the iconic White Pagoda.

The role of Nepali artisans in painting frescoes in Dunhuang's Mogao Caves, though less known, is equally glorious, he said.

"So the preservation of the cultural heritage of our shared past is an important aspect of bilateral cooperation that carries on the continuum of our traditional friendship into the modern era," he said.

No doubt, the expansion of cooperation in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage will help deepen trust, understanding and mutual appreciation of each other's cultures, he added.

Guo's experience offers an example. After working and living in Nepal for more than two years, she said, she has begun to adapt to life there and understands the country's culture and customs.

Nepal is a country that combines religion and secular life, she said, and a little bit of "magic". It is a country with a peaceful environment and friendly people.

Cultural heritage is the carrier of culture and the common wealth of all mankind, Guo said. She added that in the process of aiding the reconstruction of cultural relics like the Basantapur complex, China spreads its technologies and philosophy to Nepal, while absorbing the culture and religion from the country.

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2019-10-14 07:46:18
<![CDATA[Mountain tunnel project irrigates farmland]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515354.htm On a perfect day for an outdoor celebration, thousands of people gathered at a ceremony in Surkhet, western Nepal, to witness the breakthrough of a 12-kilometer tunnel through the Himalayas on April 16.

Hu Tianran, the 33-year-old manager of the tunnel project, stood beside Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli when the latter ordered the excavation of the last 40 centimeters of the tunnel.

Hu, of Chengdu, Sichuan province, vividly remembers the moment the boring machine completed the work.

"I felt proud and excited. But more than that, I felt calm," he said recently. "We had been working hard for this for about four years. But when the moment actually came, what I thought about was the loads of work I would need to take on in the next stage," said Hu, an employee of a Chinese company that built the project.

The tunnel was made to transfer water from the Bheri River to the Babai River and provide irrigation for 51,000 hectares of farmland in the areas of Banke and Bardiya.

The water diversion will also feed a planned hydropower plant.

Helping address the uneven distribution of water resources in the Himalayan country and its need for electricity, the tunnel was Nepal's first project to use a tunnel boring machine.

With the 275-meter-long machine, made in Shanghai by a United States-based company, Hu's team finished tunneling through the mountain within 17 months, completing the project almost a year before the deadline.

That smooth progress, however, came only after the team's "preparation from scratch". Before the tunneling began, Hu and his coworkers spent two years building roads, a sand production line, a factory to make supports for the tunnel and other preliminary work.

With help from local authorities, including traffic police, the team overcame challenges posed by narrow, steep and sharply winding mountain roads to ensure machine parts arrived on time, Hu said.

As many as 140 local workers helped build the tunnel at the busiest time, the manager said, and after extensive training and work they became the first in Nepal who know how to operate and maintain a tunnel boring machine.

What was important for ensuring smooth cooperation between Chinese and Nepalese workers, he said, was "mutual understanding and respect", and "to seek common ground while working together".

Hu, who used to know little about Nepal, has spent most of the past four years there working on the tunnel project. It is the first foreign country he has worked in.

He said his work in Nepal now includes reviewing the tunnel project and consulting on similar projects. For him, building the tunnel has become a career high point and has helped him better understand the Nepali people.

"They are filled with vigor and aspiration for better lives. The country has great potential and is uniquely charming. I believe Nepal and its people will have a beautiful future," he said.

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2019-10-14 07:46:18
<![CDATA[Xi, Modi chart course ahead for new era]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515353.htm Informal meeting in India designed to build mutual trust between neighbors

China and India can create an even closer partnership in the new era, as the countries' leaders have reset relations through an informal meeting over the weekend in the coastal city of Chennai in southern India, officials and experts said.

President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of "overall, long-term and strategic" importance in their second informal meeting, Vice-Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told reporters after the meeting.

Xi called for building up strategic mutual trust between the two neighboring countries and defusing their differences through communication. He said the only correct choice is for the "Chinese dragon" and "Indian elephant" to dance together in ways that serve the interests of both countries.

Xi also called for earnest efforts to raise the level of military exchanges and security cooperation to enhance mutual trust between the two militaries and safeguard regional security and stability.

For his part, Modi said that in light of the uncertain international situation, maintaining stable India-China relations is positive and significant not only for the countries but for the world at large. He underlined the need to consider each other's major concerns and properly manage and control differences to prevent them from escalating into disputes.

The two leaders reaffirmed that both sides will remain committed to upholding peace and tranquility in the border areas, and will also jointly discuss and work out more trust-building measures, Luo said.

The second informal meeting came as some thorny issues have cropped up in bilateral ties, such as a boundary dispute and trade imbalance. It also took place at a time when the regional and international landscapes are undergoing complex changes.

Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said understanding each other's strategic purposes and properly managing differences are crucially important in the relations of the two neighbors.

Strengthening strategic communication helps build up mutual understanding and trust, which in turn helps defuse their differences and ultimately stabilizes bilateral ties, Ruan said.

The two leaders agreed to set up a new high-level mechanism for dialogues on trade and economic issues to further promote balance in cooperation.

China is keen to make investments in India, while India wants greater market access in China, as well as action by Beijing to address the trade imbalance. It has agreed to expand imports of rice and sugar from India.

Xi told Modi during their meeting that Beijing welcomes investment in China by Indian pharmaceutical and information technology companies.

Stanly Johny, an international affairs editor of The Hindu newspaper, wrote in an article that the avenues of economic cooperation between the two countries remain wide open. "They could come up with a plan to take economic ties to the next level, addressing mutual concerns," Johny wrote.

Both Xi and Modi emphasized the importance of having a rules-based global trading system, as well as cooperation between China and India on important regional and global issues - both being the pillars of emerging markets and champions of multilateralism.

Sujan R. Chinoy, a China expert and director general of the New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, said there is no denying the fact that India and China must work together to forge stable relations in which competition does not lead to conflict nor differences to disputes.

Noting the maturity of Sino-Indian ties, Chinoy said both countries are keen to deepen engagement and bring stability and predictability to their relations, and it's in the interests of the two peoples that there is greater trust and cooperation and deeper friendship at all levels.

The first informal summit between Xi and Modi took place in Wuhan, Hubei province, in April last year. That meeting helped ease tensions arising from the standoff between the two militaries in Doklam, in the border area, and rebooted bilateral ties. This time, they agreed to hold the next informal meeting in China.

Experts said the informal nature of the leaders' meeting will continue and deepen contacts at the highest level and guide the future trajectory of China-India relations.

 

President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet at the second India-China Informal Summit in Chennai, India, on Saturday. Wang Ye / Xinhua

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[Chinese Young Pioneers lauded on anniversary]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515352.htm

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the Chinese Young Pioneers, a national organization for Chinese children, on its 70th anniversary.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, urged the youths to grow up to become a new generation of people capable of shouldering the great task of national rejuvenation.

Extending greetings to the Young Pioneers, their instructors and staff members across the country on behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi said the CYP, under the Party's leadership, had made important contributions to passing on the cause of the Party and the people over the past 70 years.

The CYP should serve as a school for children to learn about socialism with Chinese characteristics and communism, as well as serving as a reserve force to build socialism and communism, Xi said.

Xi urged the youth to love their country, the people and the Party and to build noble ideals, foster good morals, study hard and build a strong body.

The whole Party and society should give high attention to the CYP's work, Xi said, asking Party committees and governments at all levels to create favorable conditions for the healthy growth of the young generation and the development of the CYP.

Founded and led by the CPC, the CYP currently has about 130 million members, from age 6 to 14.

Xinhua

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[President salutes Nepal, warns separatists]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515351.htm President Xi Jinping, making the first visit to neighboring Nepal by a Chinese president in 23 years, said on Sunday that China appreciates Nepal's stance of upholding the one-China policy and other core interests. He also said that any attempt by separatists to split China will be in vain.

Xi made the remark during a meeting with Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli in Kathmandu.

Those who engage in separatist activities in any part of China will be smashed into pieces, Xi said, adding that external support for separatists will be seen by the Chinese people as delusional.

During the talks, Oli reaffirmed his country's support of China in safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Noting that Nepal firmly backs the one-China principle, Oli said his country resolutely opposes any use of its territory to engage in anti-China separatist activity.

Xi called on the two countries to further connect their development strategies. China supports Nepal in developing its economy and improving its people's livelihoods, Xi said. He also emphasized the importance of jointly building the Belt and Road, saying the two countries should speed up the process of boosting interconnectivity.

The two countries should take improving cross-border roads into consideration, initiate a feasibility study for building cross-border railways, gradually open more ports, increase direct flights and enhance cooperation in telecommunication, Xi said.

The two sides should also make more efforts to promote trade and investment and push forward the China-Nepal cross-border economic cooperation zone, Xi said, adding that China would like to help Nepal develop hydropower.

The two countries should enhance people-to-people exchanges and promote communication in such areas as education, tourism and local government, Xi said. China will continue to offer a helping hand for Nepal's reconstruction after the devastating earthquake in 2015, he added.

Xi also stressed the importance of enhancing law-enforcement cooperation, fighting terrorists and crossborder crimes and jointly supporting multilateralism and free trade.

Oli congratulated Xi on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Noting that China has made remarkable progress in the past decades, he said China's development represents an important opportunity for Nepal.

Xi's visit was a historic moment for the development of Nepal-China relations, Oli said, adding that Nepal's people were excited to host the Chinese president.

Noting that Nepal and China are real friends and partners, Oli said that the two countries have always respected and supported each other with no interference in the other's domestic affairs.

After the talks, the two leaders jointly witnessed the signing of cooperation documents covering such areas as interconnectivity, trade, investment and border management.

Xi arrived back in Beijing on Sunday night, wrapping up his three-day South Asian trip, which also took him to India.

 

President Xi Jinping, accompanied by President Bidya Devi Bhandari of Nepal, greets crowds after arriving in Kathmandu, the country's capital, on Saturday. Xi's state visit marks the first by a Chinese president to Nepal in 23 years. Gao Jie / Xinhua

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[Forward steps in trade talks 'encouraging']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515350.htm The preliminary agreement reached between China and the United States in the latest trade consultations is "encouraging" and will pave the way for both sides to end the long-running dispute, experts and business leaders said.

A partial deal, if inked, doesn't mean the trade row has been settled once and for all. Enhanced efforts will be needed to address potential challenges in the future, they said.

Chinese and US trade negotiators made what was characterized as substantial progress in several fields, including agriculture and intellectual property protection, following two days of intensive talks in Washington.

"With our teams making progress on some parts of the agreement under consultation, it is important we address each other's concerns properly and make positive headway in other areas as well," President Xi Jinping said in a message to his US counterpart, Donald Trump.

Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Vice-Premier Liu He, said: "We very much agree that to get the China-US economic relationship right, it's something that is good for China, the US and the whole world, and we are making a lot of progress toward a positive direction."

Trump, when asked by China Daily after the meeting with Liu if he would put a stop to the seemingly expanding US blacklist of Chinese companies, said: "We will be looking at the blacklist, and we'll be making a determination as to which companies would be on that list."

Li Yong, deputy director of the China Association of International Trade Expert Committee, said the outcome of the latest round of high-level talks has once again proved that "there is no winner in the trade war, and cooperation is the only way out".

Li said the two sides have adopted a pragmatic and rational attitude, and their consensus in some areas will help them during follow-up talks.

The US-China Business Council said it is pleased that the US and China reached "a tentative phase-one trade agreement" on Friday, accompanied by a suspension of the prospective US tariff increase that had been set for Tuesday.

"This is an encouraging first phase," USCBC President Craig Allen said. "We await word on how implementation will be measured and in what time frame, as well as details on scheduling subsequent phases."

Zang Yueru, an analyst at the Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research, a think tank affiliated with the National Development and Reform Commission, said the substantial progress made in this round of consultations can mitigate confrontation and inject new momentum into global economic growth.

"However, work needs to be continued toward sealing a final agreement, and the deal needs to be comprehensive," Zang said. "It is critical for the two countries" not to be tempted to push too far.

"The previous changes and experience prove that there will always be differences of opinion."

Both countries must show their willingness to get a positive result, including removal of all the tariffs levied on each other over the past 17 months, to build a better foundation for future talks, Zang said.

Jackson Lee, country head of Fidelity International China, a global asset manager, said the company has been closely monitoring the development of trade frictions between China and the US. He said the company's long-term investment philosophy and approach remain unchanged: to find growth opportunities for clients based on active, bottom-up research.

Last week, the US blacklisted 28 Chinese entities for being involved in what it alleges are "human rights violations and abuses". China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday that China deplored the move, saying the accusations by the US side are merely made-up pretexts for interference.

Wall Street indexes jumped on Friday immediately after the conclusion of the talks between the world's top two economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average industrial average climbed 319.92 points, or 1.21 percent, to 26,816.59. The S&P 500 was up by 32.14 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,970.27. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 106.26 points, or 1.34 percent, to 8,057.04.

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[PLA Air Force event to showcase latest capabilities in warfare]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515349.htm The People's Liberation Army Air Force will host a five-day open-house activity starting on Thursday in Changchun, Jilin province, to mark the 70th anniversary of its founding.

Colonel Zhang Shouhai, of the Air Force's staff department, said at a news conference on Sunday at the Air Force's headquarters in Beijing that the activity will showcase achievements over the past 70 years of building, development and transformation and will highlight its efforts to attain strong combat capabilities and strategic prowess.

The activity will include flight performances of 35 aircraft of 10 types in active service, such as the J-20 stealth fighter jet, the H-6K long-range bomber and the Y-20 strategic transport plane. Some combat aircraft will perform dogfighting maneuvers, and paratroopers will demonstrate their special assault skills.

In addition, there will be themed exhibitions, public tours to Air Force facilities, pilot recruitment promotions and international aviators' exchange activities during the event.

All of the Air Force's aerobatic and parachute stunt teams - August 1, Red Eagle, Sky Wing and Blue Eagle - will take part in the event, Zhang said, noting that war heroes, decorated pilots and other distinguished figures in the Air Force will also participate.

Senior Colonel Dong Bida, also from the Air Force staff department, said that the J-20, China's best and the world's third operational stealth fighter, will perform six sets of flight maneuvers.

Colonel Huang Minglin from the Air Force's equipment department said at the news conference that 71 ground weapons and equipment of 46 types will be shown to the public.

This will be the seventh open house hosted by the PLA Air Force since 2011. A total of 1.2 million members of the public visited the previous six events, Zhang said.

In March 1946, the first flight school of the Communist Party of China's armed forces was set up in Jilin's Tonghua. It was later moved to Changchun.

Three and a half years later, the PLA Air Force was established on Nov 11, 1949, in Beijing, about one month after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

In another announcement, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, spokesman for the PLA Air Force, said at the news conference that electronic warfare capability has assumed great importance, and a new contest has been introduced for electronic operations units.

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[Travelers steering clear of the beaten track]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515348.htm Outbound tourists are increasingly switching focus to customized trips

After months of planning, a newlywed couple in Beijing is taking a honeymoon in Europe that they planned themselves.

"I have always wanted to go to Europe, traveling to France to see Paris - the city of love and romance," Yu Le, 29, said. "But we only had 10 days for marriage leave, so we decided to save it until the National Day holiday to spend more time there."

Yu and her husband Jia Moyao left home on Oct 1 for a 20-day holiday - mainly in France, Italy and Switzerland. Although it is their first visit to the continent, instead of joining a tour group, they decided to plan the trip themselves for a "fully customized experience".

Jia said while it is safer to visit mainstream destinations, a customized holiday allows time for "niche" activities and alternative routes. A keen amateur photographer, he wants to visit less popular but more scenic places, for example, Positano in southern Italy.

Known for its colorful buildings that nestle between mountains and the sea, the town on the Amalfi Coast draws thousands of tourists a year. "We want to go where the local people go (on holiday)," Jia said.

"It is also easier to take photographs in less-popular places. Just imagine how hard it is to get a satisfying photo among the crowds under the Eiffel Tower."

The couple was among millions of Chinese making outbound trips during the weeklong National Day holiday.

Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, or COTRI, said: "More Chinese travelers are pursuing special interests, which can involve hobbies such as golf, photography and dining. Other areas include health tourism and educational activities."

For Chinese outbound travelers, "activities and experiences are becoming more important than sightseeing and shopping", he said, adding that more people are traveling to "live like the locals".

This is especially true for Yu, the newlywed.

"I am the kind of person who can skip a meal or eat cheaply if I want to go somewhere that really interests me," she said. "I hope that with our limited time (in Europe), I will have more opportunities to speak with locals (to learn about their lives) - even just by talking to taxi drivers."

A report from Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency by revenue, said Chinese citizens would make 800 million trips at home and abroad during the National Day holiday. More than 60 percent of bookings on the agency's platform involve outbound travel.

Wendy Min, director of international affairs at Ctrip, said that instead of settling for the most popular destinations, Chinese travelers of all ages are now more willing to explore less-visited destinations for a "sense of uniqueness".

"Even when they go to mainstream countries, they will discover new routes," she said.

Europe was one of the most popular overseas destinations for Chinese travelers in the first half of this year, but emerging countries are also receiving more such visitors, according to a report by Ctrip and the China Tourism Academy, a think tank responsible to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Croatia, a relatively small but geographically diverse country in the northwest of the Balkans, topped the report's list of "dark horse" destinations. In the first half of this year, the number of Chinese visitors to the country rose by 540 percent year-on-year, the report said.

Destinations such as Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria also witnessed triple-digit growth.

Ctrip's Min said Croatia's increasing popularity is largely due to the fact that many scenes from the hit television series Game of Thrones were filmed there.

Min said Chinese travelers are now more focused on the quality of their trips, and increasing numbers have been traveling in small and private groups in recent years.

Last year, about 50 percent of Chinese outbound travelers chose to join a tour group, with others opting for private groups for more flexibility, according to a report by Ctrip and the China Tourism Academy.

Min said: "Private tour groups are for people who don't like to make plans or travel with strangers. They can also select the theme of their trip, with a focus on history, culture, fashion or nature, for example."

She said that as of the middle of last month, the average cost for an overseas private tour group with Ctrip during the National Day holiday was about 8,500 yuan ($1,200) per person, similar to that for a regular tour group.

"This is because travelers can set their budget, and the trip organizer can make adjustments accordingly to meet their demands," Min said.

Arlt, from COTRI, said that while Chinese travelers are willing to pay more, they expect better quality in return.

For Yu and Jia, the Beijing newlyweds, traveling by themselves gives them more freedom to decide where to go and to explore local lifestyles.

"I make my plans mostly based on information from online travel websites or social media platforms such as Xiaohongshu," Jia said, adding that he has also received recommendations from a friend who is an experienced traveler.

As of January, Xiaohongshu had more than 200 million registered users, according to market research company Daxue Consulting. The app started out as a platform for outbound Chinese travelers to share their shopping experiences, but later featured a wide range of content, with a focus on areas such as fashion, food and travel.

Arlt said the Chinese outbound travel market is developing so quickly that it is difficult for global tourism service providers to keep up with the trend.

Take social media, for example. He said that by the time one platform catches on with international service providers, another has already become more popular.

He added that international tourism destinations should adopt related products and services to cater to Chinese travelers.

Understanding the needs of different groups of Chinese travelers is also important, as age, place of origin and previous travel experience can all be important factors, Arlt said.

"The Belt and Road Initiative is very important and will focus more attention on less-visited destinations," he said. "Silk Road countries, such as Iran and Turkey, are also becoming more popular among Chinese travelers."

The number of Chinese visiting countries and regions taking part in the initiative is expected to exceed 150 million by next year, according to a report by Chinese travel website Mafengwo and the China Tourism Academy.

As of April, nonstop flights were operating between China and 45 BRI-related countries and regions, according to the Ministry of Transport. A total of 112 new flight routes have opened since last year to countries and regions involved in the initiative.

As of the end of April, more travel-friendly visa policies had been launched, with 131 countries and regions signing cooperation agreements with China. Of these, 52 waived the need for visas for Chinese travelers, or issued them on arrival.

Min, from Ctrip, said mainstream destinations will remain popular, especially as many travelers tend to revisit them if they can pursue special activities. "Tourism is a way of communicating and exploring things that one loves," she said.

Since 2013, China has been the source of the highest number of outbound tourists annually, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

COTRI estimates that the total number of trips outside the Chinese mainland will reach 400 million by 2030, with 150 million trips heading for Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan, and the remainder going farther afield.

Arlt said, "Outbound travel has become part of the lifestyles of many urban Chinese and it will certainly continue to grow in the coming years." He added that only about 10 percent of Chinese have a passport and can afford long-distance travel, "but in 10 years, this proportion will have doubled".

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[Laos sets out its stall to attract growing influx of visitors from China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/14/content_37515347.htm Siphone, a travel guide in Laos, is preparing his team to harness the opportunities resulting from increasing numbers of Chinese tourists visiting the country.

"Since 2016, we have been looking to collaborate and form partnerships with Chinese travel agents to help sell our products," said Siphone, who has only one name and is managing director of the travel company Lonely Tours in Luang Prabang, northern Laos.

Known as the "city of the Golden Buddha" Luang Prabang is the former capital of Laos, and since 1995 has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2016, China was the third-largest source of tourists to Laos, after Thailand and Vietnam.

Last year, an estimated 4.1 million tourists visited Laos, a year-on-year rise of 8.2 percent, according to the Laotian Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. Of this number, more than 800,000 visitors were from China, a rise of 26 percent on 2017.

This year has been designated Visit Laos-China Year 2019, and according to Vientiane Times, the Laotian government aims to attract more than 1 million Chinese out of an expected total of 4.5 million visitors.

A series of events and activities has been planned to appeal specifically to Chinese tourists. These include a Chinese culture week, Mid-Autumn Festival performances and meetings on tourism management between the two countries. Signs in Chinese have also been installed at popular tourist sites.

In the first half of this year, more than 2.2 million people visited Laos, a year-on-year rise of about 5 percent, according to the country's Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. Vientiane Times cited officials as saying this growth can be attributed to the tourism campaign.

Siphone, the tour guide, said the majority of his clients come from local and European markets, and Chinese visitors account for only about 2 percent of his business each year.

While conceding that the proportion is still very small, Siphone is optimistic about the growing number of Chinese tourists in Laos, and is hoping to increase cooperation with Chinese travel agents.

Zhou Tong, co-founder of Qyer, a Chinese travel platform for social networking and services, said Laos is attractive for Chinese visitors because of its "unique" tourism resources in all aspects, including religion, culture and nature.

For example, in Luang Prabang, the long-standing tradition of Sai Bat, or morning alms, is a must-see ceremony for tourists. Every morning, Buddhist monks dressed in saffron-colored robes walk barefoot through the ancient town, collecting sticky rice from locals and travelers lining the streets before dawn.

Zhou said, "Whether you choose to visit the golden Buddhist stupa Pha That Luang in Vientiane, take a walk in a forest or a boat trip to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the banks of the Mekong River, visitors will always have an unforgettable time in Laos."

In March, Qyer and the China Tourism Academy published an online guide for Chinese visitors to Laos as part of a tourism cooperation program linked to the Belt and Road Initiative. The guide has been downloaded more than 300,000 times.

Zhou said the initiative has provided new opportunities for the tourism industries in all countries taking part, adding, "Laos, as an important destination and a neighbor of China, has huge potential for developing its tourism industry."

By December 2021, a Sino-Laotian railway project, connecting the Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos with the capital Vientiane, is expected to be fully operational. Zhou said the 414-kilometer link will provide tourists with a new travel option.

In January, President Xi Jinping said he hoped the two countries would seize the opportunities brought by Visit Laos-China Year 2019.

Xinhua News Agency quoted Xi as saying these opportunities can expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and consolidate the public and social basis for building a China-Laos community of shared future.

Travel guide Siphone also expects significant opportunities to result from the new rail link. But he said a key challenge is that many tourists from China traveling to Laos rely on Chinese travel companies, leaving little scope for local travel agents and product suppliers to benefit from growth in this market.

Chinese visitors choose travel agents in their own country mainly due to language barriers and a lack of confidence in companies based in Laos, Siphone said.

Vientiane Times quoted Saleum Khamphengvong, vice-president of the Lao Association of Travel Agents, as saying the industry has a shortage of tour guides who can speak foreign languages, including Chinese.

But Siphone said travel companies in Laos actually have an advantage in providing quality services and products, based on their deep understanding of the local market, adding that trained Chinese-speaking guides are easy to find in the country.

"I think local travel agents in Laos should work closely with their Chinese counterparts in the future," Siphone said. "We are well prepared to provide services to tourists from China."

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2019-10-14 07:46:00
<![CDATA[XI AND MODI HEAD TO SECOND INFORMAL SUMMIT]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/13/content_37515179.htm Experts say 'strategic cooperation' can take Sino-Indian relations to next level

President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head to the coastal city of Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday amid expectations of a renewed leadership push to stabilize bilateral relations.

This second informal summit follows one held in Wuhan, Hubei province, last year.

Xi last visited India in September 2014.

Analysts in both countries said they anticipate that a range of topics- from hot-button issues to routine ones- will be discussed at this year's summit.

Chinese experts highlighted "strategic cooperation" as a way to take bilateral relations to the next level.

Li Li, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said, "During this summit, they (the leaders) will likely view bilateral relations more from a strategic perspective and its significance not just for China and India but also the world.

"When we look at China-India relations, we find some structural contradictions," she said, citing the border issue as one.

Li, who specializes in Sino-Indian relations, added that the consensus reached in Wuhan focused more on cooperation and better management of the border issue.

The format for this year's summit will likely be similar to that for the first, with personal interactions between Xi and Modi, and a lack of the ceremony or issuance of statements usually associated with high-profile formal government meetings.

Li said she expects the talks to be "free and comprehensive".

On Wednesday, the Indian Foreign Ministry said the Chennai summit "will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance".

China-India trade is set to reach $100 billion soon; cultural exchanges have increased; Chinese companies dominate India's mobile phone market; more Indians work in China in various sectors, including government scientific institutions; and the two countries are even talking of jointly addressing global development issues.

Talking more, not less

However, Sino-Indian relations are complex.

Einar Tangen, a commentator in Beijing on Chinese economic and political affairs, said bilateral high-level meetings could create a mechanism where there are fewer elements of surprise in the relationship.

He expects economic issues, including regional proposals such as the China-Nepal-India rail corridor, to be discussed at the summit.

Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor specializing in Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said India is expected to raise the trade imbalance issue, adding that the deficit has implications for government spending.

Tangen said information technology is an area that offers scope for synergy, adding, "IT is something that Xi and Modi could talk about."

China is at the forefront of not only technological development, but is also setting the agenda. "India has the technical manpower to help China with both hardware and software. This would breathe new life into India's tech industry" and create the jobs it wants and needs, Tangen said.

But to do business, "India needs to do more to familiarize itself with China- culturally, politically and legally."

Long Xingchun, a professor specializing in Indian studies at China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan province, said he expects the border issue, mutual connectivity and regional cooperation to be among the topics covered at the summit.

Larger roles

Western analysts have questioned the resilience of Sino-Indian relations, asking if the two countries can work together toward greater global security.

Zhang Guihong, director of the Center for UN Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that as long as territorial disputes remain unsettled, mistrust will always exist, but it is important to prevent the disputes from escalating into conflict.

"To build mutual trust, we need, bilaterally, to strengthen our economic relations and promote people-to-people contact, and, regionally, to deepen our cooperation in Southeast, Central and South Asian affairs and to jointly build an Asian community with a shared future for humanity," Zhang said.

Among the five permanent UN Security Council members, China is the largest contributor to peacekeeping personnel.

As large developing countries, China and India have similar goals, such as poverty reduction and cleaner air, but they need to do more to coordinate efforts at the UN on global issues such as climate change.

"I do not see any substantial coordination at the UN on this issue (climate change) but there is some coordination through BRICS and G77," Zhang said.

BRICS refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, while the Group of 77 at the UN is a coalition that now comprises 134 developing countries. There were 77 founding members.

Lu Yang, a research fellow with the Institute of BRI Studies at Tsinghua University, said China and India have "different understandings" of the Belt and Road Initiative, but this should not affect their "practical cooperation" on specific projects.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a good example of such cooperation, she said.

Sino-Indian relations have long been guided by pragmatism.

Li, from Tsinghua University, who is also deputy secretary-general of the World Peace Forum, a think tank backed by the Chinese government, said, "Developmental cooperation is pragmatic, but it doesn't mean that we don't want strategic cooperation."

Zhang said: "We need to define our relationship from the strategic perspective, with bilateral, regional and global dimensions. Similar to France and Germany in Europe, China and India should take the lead on multilateralism in Asia."

He added that cooperation on regional and global affairs would help to enhance mutual trust.

Ancient links

Mamallapuram (previously Mahabalipuram), a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern India known for its architecture, and the venue for part of this year's summit, is a seaside town that linked the two countries in ancient times, when India traded spices for silk with China.

Southern India has other connections with China. Bodhidharma, recognized as an early patriarch of the Shaolin monastic order that gave kung fu to the world, went from the region to Central China, and is said to have also contributed to the development of Chinese Zen Buddhism.

In 1938, Dwarkanath Kothnis, an Indian doctor, arrived in Wuhan on a mission to help the Chinese people during the Japanese invasion. He died in China and later became well-known in both countries.

In addition to the talks in Chennai and Mamallapuram, about 60 kilometers away, Modi will host Xi to lunch and dinner by the Bay of Bengal, according to Indian media reports.

Indrani Bagchi, diplomatic editor of The Times of India, said: "We are not just two big nations sitting side by side across the Himalayas. We are two ancient civilizations where statecraft was virtually invented."

The two governments recently emphasized culture as "a bridge", and this area will likely be discussed at the summit.

Cultural exchanges between China and India date to ancient times, said Tan Fei, a Beijing film critic who tracks the performance of Bollywood movies at the Chinese box office.

While the Chinese market has opened up for Hindi movies in the past three years or so, enthusiasm has waned recently.

"Bollywood should focus on the quality of movies, not the quantity. Too many of the same kind can lead to audience fatigue," Tan said.

In her 2017 book China-India Relations in the Contemporary World, Lu, from the BRI Institute, discussed India's "national interest and identity". She argued that the nation-building process in India has been more complicated than in China, owing to factors such as diverse languages, religions and ethnicity. As a result, India's policy priority has been "domestically oriented".

"Reflected in the present context of geopolitics, there is a gap between India's desire and capability to achieve the status in the world that can match the glory of a civilization state," she said.

Zhang described the current state of Sino-Indian ties as "coopetition," meaning "cooperative competition".

Li described the ties as "stable and predictable", drawing a parallel between the Chinese Dream and aspirations for a "new India".

Kondapalli, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, said India and China are driven by their top leaders, adding that while there is turbulence in relations, "the leaders can handle it".

Analysts gave a mixed response to the future for China-India relations.

Bagchi, the editor in New Delhi, said she has realistic expectations, adding: "It's a complex relationship. We will have good weeks and bad weeks."

Long, from South West Normal University, said he is cautiously optimistic and that a key outcome of last year's summit has improved mutual strategic confidence.

This year's summit will signal the direction in which Sino-Indian relations are headed.

satarupa@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-13 15:15:45
<![CDATA[China, India can continue to learn from each other]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/13/content_37515178.htm Until the advent of steamships, the fastest way to get to India from China was to go to southern India first and then proceed northward. This was because India's long coastline is mostly in the south, and the southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon seasonal winds blow over different parts of South India, making travel possible throughout most of the year.

In addition, the Himalayas, which even today are a formidable barrier between northern India and China, were almost impenetrable during ancient times.

As President Xi Jinping prepares to visit the ancient city and modern metropolis of Chennai on southeastern India's Coromandel Coast on Oct 11, it may come as news to many in China that Buddhism came to China not from northern India, where Siddhartha Gautama, who was called Buddha, or "enlightened one", was born, but through southern India, because trade routes from India to China depended on "trade winds". Many people claim that not just Buddhism, but Chinese kung fu itself was brought to China by the southern Indian monk Bodhidharma, though hard evidence is lacking.

Legend and some historical sources claim Bodhidharma was the third son of a king who gave up royal life, like Buddha, to become a monk. Even before Bodhidharma, trade between India and China was flourishing and the word cheeni for sugar in some parts of India may indicate its Chinese origins. Similarly, cotton went from India to China and led to prosperity in central China.

The Chennai area is called Tamil Nadu (Land of Tamils), and the kings from this area in ancient times not only allowed trade but often financed and participated in it. So the wealth of southern India and the southern Indian kings depended to a large extent on trade, and this made the kings and society in southern India outward-looking and more open to new ideas and technology.

This was not the case in the landlocked northern Indian plains, where the kings depended on land taxes and were mostly suspicious of trade and the outside world.

Given this schism between North and South India, it is not surprising that the "knowledge" industries predominate in South India, whereas the "heavy" industries based on coal and iron ore predominate in the North. Chinese company Huawei has a large research lab in Bangalore, not far from Chennai, and many of China's IT companies have a presence in South India, while many of the Indian IT companies present in China in the area of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, originated in southern Indian cities.

It is therefore appropriate that a Chinese president should be visiting Chennai for the first time in modern times.

As India seeks to emulate China, at least in the economic sphere, South India may have many things to learn from China and President Xi's visit.

Even as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), Chinese chronicles mention Huang Zhi Guo, which most historians regard as the contemporary town of Kanchipuram near Chennai.

The visit of famous Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang to India for 18 years (627-645) has been well documented. Xuan Zang definitely visited Kanchipuram. He says in his notes that "the land is fertile and crops flourish" and it "is a land of treasure teeming with flowers and fruits. The climate is warm. People are brave and staunch with moral integrity. They are deep in righteousness, well learned and noble-minded."

China and India have been trading and learning from each other for thousands of years, long before the European Renaissance. May that tradition continue as Xi visits Chennai.

The author is an entrepreneur focusing on Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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2019-10-13 15:15:45
<![CDATA[Jack Ma retains top spot on China rich list]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/13/content_37515177.htm The information technology sector is rapidly driving wealth accumulation among Chinese entrepreneurs, according to the Hurun China Rich List published on Thursday, as knowledge-intensive human capital gains traction in the country, experts said.

IT created China's top two billionaires and helped usher more business owners into the ranks of the richest individuals. Jack Ma, who recently resigned as chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, remained the richest individual on the Chinese mainland for the third time, with a net worth of $39 billion, according to the annual list, which was published for the 21st time.

He was closely followed by Pony Ma (not related to Jack), chairman and CEO of another IT behemoth, Tencent Holdings, whose net worth stood at $37 billion. Pony Ma replaced Xu Jiayin, chairman of property conglomerate Evergrande Group.

Xu came in third with $30 billion.

"Those who are able to adapt to the digital economy" are in a good position to enjoy wealth growth, said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.

The Hurun China Rich List includes everyone with a net worth of at least 2 billion yuan ($290 million). A total of 1,819 individuals made the list this year, 4 percent fewer than a year earlier.

The IT sector surpassed the investment sector to become the third-largest source of wealth for entrepreneurs on the list. Manufacturing remained No 1, but the proportion fell from 26.1 percent last year to 24.5 percent. Real estate, accounting for 14.8 percent, remained second.

"The changing industrial composition suggests China's human capital bonus is setting in," said Tang Yuejun, assistant professor of business administration at Fudan University's School of Management. "As Chinese companies grow sophisticated in corporate governance, they allow those with core technology capabilities and business acumen to exercise power and receive corresponding financial returns."

Unicorn companies - startups valued at over $1 billion - in areas such as facial recognition, drones, blockchain services and ride-sharing platforms, contributed 52 individuals to the list this year. In addition, 22 individual shareholders from 17 companies listed on the newly founded STAR Board - a Nasdaq-style board for tech companies - made this year's list.

Apart from the tech powerhouses, the Hurun China Rich List also saw an expansion in consumer sectors including foodstuffs, suggesting that the vast domestic market is poised to shore up growth amid global economic uncertainties, experts said.

Zhang Yong and wife Shu Ping of hotpot chain Haidilao doubled their wealth to $17 billion, propelling them into the top 10 for the first time. Haitian soy sauce chief Pang Kang saw his wealth grow by $4.5 billion to $12 billion.

Pig farmers Qin Yinglin and Qian Ying of Muyuan broke into the Top 20, after their wealth tripled to $14 billion on the back of selling 5.8 million pigs in a market when hog prices soared due to an outbreak of swine fever.

"Wealth accumulation in the food sector suggests investors see rosier prospects in the domestic consumption market amid uncertainties over China-US trade friction and overall lackluster performance overseas," said Jason Yu, general manager of consultancy Kantar Worldpanel.

"As lifestyles evolve over time, Chinese will spend more disposable income on food and dining out. Efforts to spur spending have started to pay off, and this sector is shaping up to be a more sustainable force to bolster economic growth."

hewei@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-13 15:15:45
<![CDATA[Experts defend law against face masks in HK]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/13/content_37515176.htm New rule legitimizes cause of protesters via preservation of their identity, analysts say

The claims that Hong Kong's recent but overdue law against face masks affects right to protest and violates its autonomy are ignoring facts and law practices, according to British and Australian analysts.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, put into effect the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation at the stroke of midnight on Friday night following months of escalating violence and vandalism by black-clad rioters.

Christopher Bovis, a professor of law at the University of Hull, pointed out the new law does not negate the right for peaceful demonstration, but "rather it ensures the right to associate, the right to protest and the right to demonstrate in a pluralistic and democratic system by legitimizing the cause of the protester and demonstrator through the preservation of his or her identity".

The mask, as a platform of anonymous demonstrations can easily lead to civil unrest and criminality, Bovis said, as the mask protects protesters by shielding personal identities and minimizing recurrent action by the government.

Salvatore Babones, associate professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, said, "When protesters start dressing up as soldiers, that (becomes a) problem. Protesters shouldn't be wearing gas masks (and) helmets and carrying weapons like baseball bats and wrenches. That's not how you protest."

Hong Kong has been engulfed in unrestrained levels of destruction, extreme levels of public disorder and senseless violence largely thanks to fully masked protesters going away unpunished because of hardship in identification.

As a measure of government intervention, Bovis said, "The anti-mask law appears to be necessary to maintain law and order in a system which has not experienced such levels of unrest." And "it is not unreasonable to justify the principle of transparency and accountability during the exercise of the freedom to protest and demonstrate".

Tom Fowdy, a UK-based political analyst who specializes in China and North Korea international affairs, said: "The fact that protesters are utilizing Hong Kong's legal system is a demonstration that the territory is overseen by the rule of law, irrespective of the result."

"This pours doubt on the claims of the protesters that the mainland is violating the region's autonomy," he said.

For months, the heavily masked protesters in Hong Kong are attacking local residents, posing risks to train tracks, ransacking public utilities, stores and restaurants at weekends, creating a fear of terror among residents and shutting down shops at busy streets.

"The law is overdue," said Martin Jacques, a British sinologist and senior fellow at Cambridge University's Department of Politics and International Studies. "Demonstrators should be accountable and take responsibility for what they do. Hiding behind a mask is the antithesis of responsibility. It is irresponsible."

"The Hong Kong SAR government is reacting in the way any authority in the world would in such circumstances," Fowdy said. "We must understand Hong Kong's legal system in the light of the fact that it's a British creation, rather than a product of China."

The emergency ordinance is derived from the 1967 riots in Hong Kong when trade unionists revolted against city authorities. It is the British who had endowed that in the legal system they had created in Hong Kong, he said. It was kept in force after July 1, 1997 and has been reviewed by the SAR's legislature on a couple of occasions.

The claim against its introduction "also seems to omit the fact that the anti-mask law is a very common legal procedure around the world," Fowdy said.

In a recent interview with BBC, Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK, described the ban as "timely and necessary" and said "the purpose of this face mask ban is to stop the violence, to restore order, and to deter further violence".

The ambassador highlighted that there is a need to separate peaceful demonstrators from die-hard radicals. "I think the Special Administrative Region government decided to introduce the ban because the situation has escalated to a dangerous level," he added.

Liu said he has confidence in the Hong Kong SAR government and believes this ban will help to improve the situation.

Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, one of those who helped to break the deadlock between China and the UK, said, "Violence in protest creates a risk for all. It needs to be put to one side."

Perry remains confident that Hong Kong can address the concerns of young people in Hong Kong arising from decades of separation from China.

"The successful development of the Greater Bay Area is the way forward to address these issues, but it is difficult to do that whilst violence remains," he said. "The young people are better advised to suspend their actions and give the Chief Executive time to work to produce progress."

However, Bovis also conceded that "the anti-mask law is bad for business" as "it creates a negative environment for Hong Kong's image of order and certainty, enterprise and investment".

Worse, it is the negative sides that are often highlighted.

"The Western media have a habit of portraying the authority in negative terms for addressing a situation they would otherwise not tolerate themselves," Fowdy said.

Contact the writers at prime@chinadailyapac.com

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2019-10-13 15:15:45
<![CDATA[County care sees Bengal tigers roar]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/13/content_37515175.htm Jian Zhong, a farmer in Tibet's Metog county, is yet to recover from shock after 12 of his cows were killed by Bengal tigers last winter.

Jian is among some of the farmers in the county affected by frequent tiger attacks. On a positive note, the tigers' presence is a reflection of the efforts of the local government in the preservation of environment and biodiversity in the region in recent decades.

"Despite a few local families suffering livestock loss, it's good to see an increase in wildlife population in recent decades," said 48-year-old Jian.

The local government has said it would pay compensation to his family.

The Bengal tiger is an endangered species found in some Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and China.

According to an estimate from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are about 2,154 to 3,159 Bengal tigers in the world.

Metog was connected to the outside world through a paved road in late 2013, and it is the last county in the country to be connected to the highway network. With few people in most of the surrounding areas, the county boasts a well-preserved environment.

In recent weeks, Chinese scientists obtained images of Bengal tigers from two of the 48 infrared camera traps set up in Metog late last year. It was the first time that Chinese researchers had captured the images of Bengal tigers.

Even as local residents have been frequently reporting tiger footprints and incidents of livestock being killed by predators in recent years, Metog county has been stressing on conservation efforts in the region.

As a designated authority to protect forests and grasslands, the county's forestry and grassland bureau has been playing a key role in environment and biodiversity protection.

Liu Zhen, an official of the bureau, said the bureau has taken some effective measures, including hunting ban, afforestation, and compensation to farmers who return land for forest, to protect flora and fauna.

"Thanks to total prohibition of hunting in these areas, the natural environment that the Bengal tiger inhabits has improved, resulting in an increase in the number of some medium and large species of mammals in recent years," said Liu.

"Animals found in these areas, including macaque, takin, or the large heavily built bovid, Indian muntjac, or the barking deer, boar, and goral, or the long haired goatantelope, are abundant prey for predators such as the Bengal tiger to survive and reproduce," said Liu.

Afforestation is another measure the county has been focusing on to deal with environment and biodiversity protection, with a total of 636 hectares of land having been turned into forest.

Providing jobs related to ecological protection to the rural residents is another key measure adopted by the county to protect environment. The county has 95 professional ecological public welfare forest protectors, and more than 2,000 rural forest patrolmen.

"Both the ecological public welfare forest protectors and the forest patrolmen have the responsibility of wildlife protection," said Liu.

The ecological public welfare forest protectors conduct patrols at least twice a week, while the rural forest patrolmen take turns to patrol areas surrounding their villages and roads, Liu said.

In 2018, each county resident received more than 1,454 yuan ($196) as subsidy for forest conservation efforts. The amount was raised to more than 1,518 yuan in 2019.

In 2017, the county spent 243,000 yuan for paying compensation to families whose livestock were killed by wild animals. According to preliminary statistics, more than 447,400 yuan was spent for livestock loss compensation in 2018.

"Livestock loss compensation helps to prevent local residents from hunting animals in revenge," said Liu.

Surveys and studies conducted in the county estimate that there are about three Bengal tigers in the county's three townships.

Thanks to these measures, the biodiversity and ecology continues to improve in the county, and it has provided more space for animals such as the Bengal tiger, said Liu.

palden_nyima@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-13 15:15:45
<![CDATA[HK aims to accelerate land take-backs]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/13/content_37515174.htm Use of seized, donated plots for public rental apartments to help address housing shortage

The plan by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's government to invoke the Lands Resumption Ordinance, and recent land donations by the city's largest developers, may signal that a more vigorous approach is being taken to solve the housing shortage.

On Sept 26, the administration announced it will take back 784 plots of private farmland covering 68 hectares in the northern New Territories for the first development phase of the Kwu Tung North New Development Area and the Fanling North New Development Area, in which 71,800 housing units will be provided when the area is fully developed.

Henderson Land Development, of which property tycoon Lee Shaukee is majority owner, confirmed that its three plots of farmland totaling approximately 10 hectares in Fanling will be seized for public rental apartments under the land resumption program. The land accounts for 2.3 percent of the developer's farmland reserves.

Michael Wong Wai-lun, the city's secretary for development, said on Sept 26 that the government will aim to take ownership of 400 hectares of private land under the Lands Resumption Ordinance over the next five years, signifying the government is accelerating the pace of resumption to enhance the city's land supply.

The ordinance empowers the government to take back private land only for an established "public purpose" such as public housing, or for the development of new towns or community facilities such as schools, parks, hospitals or welfare service buildings.

The SAR government has invoked the ordinance 13 times for public rental housing since Hong Kong's return to the motherland in 1997.

Observers say the government's latest moves signal that the administration will be more proactive in boosting the land supply compared with previous years.

"I think using (the Lands Resumption Ordinance) to increase the residential land supply is an effective way compared with land reclamation or developer-driven lease modifications/land exchanges, because it enables the market to predict the time frame of future land and housing supply more accurately," said Reeves Yan, CBRE Hong Kong's executive director and head of capital markets.

David Ji, Knight Frank's head of research and consultancy for Greater China, said, "If the government is successfully resuming agricultural land for affordable housing, it would help relieve part of the housing demand, as currently the waiting time for public housing is over five years."

However, Terence Chong Taileung, executive director of Chinese University of Hong Kong's Lau Chor Tak Institute of Global Economics and Finance, said that enhancing the supply of public apartments is not enough. He said the government should increase the proportion of public housing in its housing strategy and should bolster the turnover of public rental housing units so that more local residents can be allocated public rental housing units at a faster pace.

The city's home price index in August, as tracked by the Rating and Valuation Department, fell for the third consecutive month to 389.8, a monthly decrease of 1.4 percent and a cumulative drop of 1.8 percent from the peak level in May - narrowing the cumulative rise of property prices to nearly 8.5 percent in the first eight months.

Home prices in Hong Kong have rocketed over 200 percent in the past decade, driven by a limited land supply and large capital inflows from Chinese mainland buyers, frustrating many residents who cannot afford property.

The Hong Kong SAR's government and the city's major developers have recently faced blame for the SAR's soaring property prices.

"I do not think land resumption is an extraordinary measure, because the law has been in place for a long period of time," said CBRE's Yan. "It is up to the government discretion to use the ordinance to control the pace of land supply in order to address market demand."

Last month, New World Development, founded by tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, who died in 2016, announced the decision to donate approximately 28 hectares of agricultural land, accounting for 17 percent of the company's agricultural land reserves, to build public housing or related facilities as well as social or transitional housing.

NWD said the land offer has nothing to do with the recently proposed invoking of the Lands Resumption Ordinance, emphasizing that the company's move has been more than a year in the making.

Major Hong Kong developers such as HLD, NWD, Sun Hung Kai Properties and CK Asset Holdings are estimated to own a land bank of 1,000 hectares of abandoned farmland - equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the total 8,300 hectares of farmland.

"According to our estimation, more than 600,000 residential units can be built on those agricultural lands," global real estate advisory company Cushman & Wakefield said in response to a China Daily inquiry.

If the government first develops the farmland and builds infrastructure in the surrounding area, nearby brownfield sites - previously developed land that is not currently in use - would be released accordingly, Cushman & Wakefield added. It said the government can assist building infrastructure on the brownfield sites after land resumption.

Due to the fragmented ownership of brownfield sites, it can take years to convert such sites into residential land supply.

Last month, Sun Hung Kai Properties said it had between five and seven plots of land in areas already zoned for subsidized housing in Hung Shui Kiu and in the northern New Territories that could be offered to the government.

oswald@chinadailyhk.com

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2019-10-13 15:15:45
<![CDATA[Xi given warm welcome in India]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/12/content_37515092.htm Second informal summit with Modi expected to enhance mutual trust

President Xi Jinping arrived in Chennai on Friday for the second informal summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which analysts said is expected to enhance political trust between the world's two most populous countries.

The president received a warm welcome on his arrival, with local people holding up photos of the two leaders and waving the countries' national flags along the road.

More than 5,000 local students lined the route from the airport to the Chinese delegation's hotel, the Times of India reported.

Xi and Modi visited three iconic monuments - Arjuna's Penance, Pancha Rathas and the Shore Temple - at Mamallapuram, a tourist town famous for its stone carvings 60 kilometers south of Chennai. They took in a cultural program at the temple complex.

The two leaders sat on the lawn at the temple and exchanged views on development and cooperation. Modi hosted a private dinner for Xi at the temple complex after their talks.

Vikram Misri, Indian ambassador to China, said the two leaders are using a highly unusual format in holding such an informal summit, the second after a similar summit in Wuhan, Hubei province, last year.

"I don't think either India or China has this kind of mechanism with any other leader in the world for the leaders to meet informally and to speak and discuss without a set agenda," he said.

Despite the summit's relaxed nature, the ambassador said it is expected to provide direction to officials on both sides so they can "address better the issues that we have been dealing with over a long period of time".

In their first informal meeting last year, the two leaders reached the consensus that the differences between the two countries should not be allowed to turn into disputes.

"Both of us have to work to ensure that this consensus is fully respected," Misri said, adding that preserving peace and tranquility on the borders is crucial for the stable development of bilateral relations.

He said that both Modi and Xi are "very strong and very popular leaders", and they are fully capable of shaping the future of the bilateral relationship in a constructive and mutually beneficial direction.

India has made considerable effort to ease travel and visa procedures for Chinese tourists, and the country is expecting more Chinese travelers, he said.

"Last year there were 134 million Chinese tourists traveling abroad, but only 240,000 went to India. I think this number can easily be multiplied at least fivefold if not tenfold in just the coming few years," he said.

Misri also stressed the importance of India-China cooperation under multilateral frameworks such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and the G20.

India and China have similar concerns and some similar stances among global issues such as climate change, and the two countries have worked together constructively, he said.

"If we can speak on the basis of larger concerns between us, then it would be a significant voice that would be heard on the global stage, of two of the largest countries in the world working together," he said.

Misri highlighted their cooperation in setting up the New Development Bank under the BRICS grouping of nations. The bank, headquartered in Shanghai, is currently headed by Kundapur Vaman Kamath, former chairman of ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank.

The New Development Bank and the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are important contributions to development and investment finance, he said.

The second informal summit is expected to continue to guide the development of China-India relations from a strategic and global perspective, said Zorawar Daulet Singh, a fellow at the Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research.

It shows that both leaders hope for bilateral ties to develop steadily, and the second informal meeting is seen as carrying that forward, Singh told Xinhua News Agency.

 

President Xi Jinping walks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he arrives in Chennai, India, on Friday. Xi's trip, which extends into the weekend, includes a second informal summit with Modi and the first visit to Nepal by a Chinese president in 23 years.Xu Jingxing/china Daily

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2019-10-12 07:09:24
<![CDATA[China notes its 'utmost sincerity' in trade talks with US]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/12/content_37515091.htm As top Chinese and United States trade negotiators concluded their first day of talks on Thursday, US President Donald Trump said, "It's going very well."

Exactly how well had yet to be seen, as neither side had released a summary of the first installment of negotiations aimed at resolving a trade war that has been rattling stock markets, stifling international trade and weakening prospects for global economic growth.

Day One of the two days scheduled for the new round of high-level China-US trade talks was mostly closed-door meetings at the headquarters of the Office of the US Trade Representative, chaired by Vice-Premier Liu He as well as USTR Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Talks started early Thursday in downtown Washington, and as they continued into the afternoon, the negotiators sent for delivery of a takeout lunch.

Before the talks, Liu told US business groups that the Chinese team has come with "utmost sincerity" and willingness to carry out serious dialogue on issues of mutual concern, including trade balances, market access and investor protection, and push forward the negotiations to achieve positive progress.

In a meeting with US business leaders, Liu told Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, and Myron Brilliant, executive vice-president and head of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, that the trade relationship between the world's top two economies is vitally important. It has a strong spillover effect and global impact.

Businesses and consumers will suffer greatly with trade wars, which are not good for China, the US or the rest of the world, he said, according to a statement of the talks released by the Xinhua News Agency.

Allen and Brilliant said there are no winners but only losers in trade wars, and the business community in the US does not want additional tariffs, according to the statement.

Allen said both sides have demonstrated the ability to talk jointly about difficult issues and to resolve them.

"Now would be a good time to begin that process - the downward trends, the dynamics within the relationship, are of extreme concern," he said. "We have more than 40 years of investment in this relationship that we wish to protect and to expand."

He said he hoped an agreement can be reached "if not over the next few days, then hopefully, over the next few weeks".

"Now we have the ideal time to reach that compromise," he added.

Liu Chunsheng, an associate professor at Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics, said: "It's difficult to predict now whether a partial deal will be reached this time, but I do hope the two sides can come to a mutually beneficial resolution as soon as possible."

Liu added that a holistic perspective is needed when dissecting the yearlong China-US trade dispute. The trade row has not only influenced the world's two largest countries' sustainable growth but also dampened enthusiasm for investing globally and weighed on the world economy, he said.

 

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He gestures to the media between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (left) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin before the two countries' trade negotiations in Washington on Thursday.Zhao Huanxin/china Daily

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2019-10-12 07:09:24
<![CDATA[Removal of mutual fund foreign cap moved up]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/12/content_37515090.htm

China's capital market opening-up is gathering speed as foreign capital will be allowed to wholly own mutual fund management companies starting April 1, a year ahead of schedule, the top securities regulator said on Friday.

Foreign ownership caps also are about to be removed on futures companies and securities firms as of Jan 1 and Dec 1, 2020, respectively, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its website on Friday.

The CSRC will review foreign financial institutions' applications to establish wholly owned subsidiaries or raise share holdings in joint ventures, the commission said, adding that it will continue to advance capital market opening-up.

"The move shows that China's capital market opening-up is further accelerating with firm determination," said Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.

"This will help enhance the ability of capital markets to support China's economic transformation and boost cooperation between China and the rest of the world in the financial sector," he said.

Specifically, further opening up the mutual fund industry to foreign capital will increase and optimize the supply of mutual funds in China, reducing market volatility and helping the Chinese people better manage their wealth, Dong said.

China allowed foreign capital to take control of futures companies, mutual fund management companies and securities firms last year. In July, the office of the financial stability and development committee under the State Council, China's Cabinet, announced the full removal of foreign ownership caps in those sectors in 2020.

A number of foreign financial institutions have taken the advantage of the nation's opening-up policies since 2018. The CSRC has approved applications from Swiss bank UBS Group, JPMorgan based in the United States and Japanese financial group Nomura to take control of securities ventures in China, while US-based Goldman Sachs and Japan-based Daiwa Securities are seeking approvals.

"Foreign investment in the sectors of securities, asset management and insurance will see rapid growth in the next few years as China further opens up the financial sector," said Zhang Xiaotao, dean of the School of International Economics and Trade at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

China's asset management industry boasts a giant market and high growth potential, providing numerous opportunities for foreign financial institutions, Zhang said.

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2019-10-12 07:09:24
<![CDATA[President congratulates Cuba on election success]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/12/content_37515089.htm

President Xi Jinping on Thursday sent messages of congratulations to Cuban leaders on their country's success in holding an extraordinary legislative session of the National Assembly of People's Power and electing a president of the Republic of Cuba.

In the messages, sent to First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz and newly elected Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that for more than half a century, the peoples of China and Cuba have forged a profound friendship.

The two countries, Xi added, have become good friends, good partners and good brothers who treat each other with sincerity and mutual trust and share a common destiny.

Xi stressed that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Cuba relations and is willing to maintain close communication with First Secretary Raul Castro to jointly write a new chapter of China-Cuba friendship in the new era.

Xi also said that he is ready to make joint efforts with Diaz-Canel to continuously expand the breadth and depth of bilateral cooperation and push for steady and sustained development of bilateral relations.

Diaz-Canel was elected on Thursday to serve in the newly created post of president of the Republic of Cuba at the session. The 605-member National Assembly, considered Cuba's highest governing body, meets regularly twice a year and holds extraordinary sessions as needed.

He served as president of the Council of State and Ministers before this election, and he will be in office through 2023.

Diaz-Canel graduated in 1982 from the University of Las Villas in Cuba as an electronics engineer. He was appointed by Raul Castro in 2009 as minister of higher education, and three years later vice-president of the Council of Ministers in charge of education, science, culture and sports.

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2019-10-12 07:09:24
<![CDATA[Deeper integration of digital economy sought]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/12/content_37515088.htm President Xi Jinping on Friday called for fostering deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy to promote high-quality economic development.

Xi made the remark in a congratulatory letter to 2019 China International Digital Economy Expo, which opened on Friday in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province.

In his letter, Xi said the booming digital economy is profoundly transforming people's daily lives and production and will have a big impact on the world's economic and social development, the global governance system and the development of human civilizations.

Xi said China has paid close attention to the development of the digital economy. Guided by a new vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development that is for everyone, the country is accelerating digital industrialization and industrial digitalization to foster deep integration of the digital economy and real economy and high-quality economic development, Xi emphasized.

He also said he hoped that participants will deepen communication and cooperation during the expo and discuss and share ways of developing the digital economy to better benefit people all over the world.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, said at the expo's opening that the digital economy is becoming a key driving force for the development of emerging industries, the transformation and upgrading of traditional sectors and sustainable development.

More efforts are needed to build the next-generation information infrastructure, develop the innovative industrial internet, make breakthroughs in core technologies and pursue the integrated development of information technologies and manufacturing, Miao added.

The expo is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Hebei's provincial government and will last to Sunday. It includes exhibitions and a series of forums on topics such as the smart development of the Xiongan New Area in Hebei.

In 2018, China's digital economy reached 31.3 trillion yuan ($4.4 trillion), accounting for 34.8 percent of the country's GDP, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Seeing the blossoming new trend, Hebei province has adopted a series of policies to support the development of digital economy. Hebei's digital economy hit 1.04 trillion yuan last year, which was 29 percent of its GDP.

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2019-10-12 07:09:24
<![CDATA[Nation riding tide of changes in world order]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514977.htm Editor's note: Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is the fundamental guideline for China's diplomatic work in the new era. China Daily is publishing a series of stories to examine how Xi's proposals have become internationally accepted and made great contributions to world peace and human progress.

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China expected to play bigger role in global governance, multilateral system

Editor's note: Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is the fundamental guideline for China's diplomatic work in the new era. China Daily is publishing a series of stories to examine how Xi's proposals have become internationally accepted and made great contributions to world peace and human progress.

The world is facing challenges arising from the weakening role of international law and global governance. The United Nations is now "at a hard time" as its functions are being crippled. China can play a bigger part in strengthening the role of the international body.

These are key points Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev made in a speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing when he paid his first state visit to China last month.

Tokayev voiced his concerns over the current international situation, which, as was described by President Xi Jinping on many occasions, is undergoing profound and complex changes not seen in a century.

Xi said at the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs in June last year that the world is undergoing the most profound and unprecedented changes in a century.

One month later, Xi told business leaders at the BRICS Business Forum held in Johannesburg, South Africa, that the next decade will see faster changes in the international landscape and the international alignment of forces as well as a profound reshaping of the global governance system.

This is because a new round of revolution and transformation in science, technology and industries featuring artificial intelligence, big data, quantum information and biotechnology is gaining momentum, and the collective rise of emerging markets and developing countries will make global development more balanced and global peace more firmly based, Xi said at the forum.

However, he warned that, as unilateralism and protectionism are mounting, the international community has reached a new crossroads as "we are facing a choice between cooperation and confrontation, between opening-up and a closed-door policy and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach".

Xi's judgment about today's world reveals how China would respond to and guide the changes in the world pattern, said Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, in a signed article in Qiushi, the flagship journal of the CPC Central Committee.

Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said in the article that China has been actively offering its wisdom and solutions to guide the reform of the global governance system amid ongoing changes.

With promoting world peace and international cooperation in mind, Xi has been endeavoring to use multilateral platforms - such as the Group of 20 Summit, APEC Leaders' Informal Meeting, the United Nations General Assembly and the World Economic Forum - to advocate China's propositions on improving global governance.

The most important vision he proposed is building a community with a shared future for mankind, which is being increasingly accepted worldwide. In February 2017, the phrase was for the first time incorporated into a UN resolution by the 55th UN Commission for Social Development.

It has also been adopted by the UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, thus turning the Chinese concept into an international consensus.

Xi made it clear on various occasions that China follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in engaging in global governance, stands for democracy in international relations, maintains that all countries - big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor - are equal, and supports developing countries having broader representation and a bigger say in international affairs.

"We are deeply involved in international cooperation on climate change, anti-terrorism and upholding cybersecurity, (we) earnestly fulfill relevant international obligations and responsibilities and have made tremendous contributions to dealing with common global challenges," Yang said.

In a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency, Portuguese Communist Party General Secretary Jeronimo de Sousa spoke highly of China's defense of the UN and international law.

As some Western powers ignore and disregard the norms of international law, he stressed the importance of "action to affirm and respect the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, negotiated resolutions of international conflicts and the defense of world peace.

He said that while seeking its own development, China is actively promoting international trade and economic cooperation to develop equitable and mutually beneficial relations between the countries around the world.

During his state visit to France in March, Xi proposed the vision of global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits at a global governance forum attended by leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

He called for addressing the governance deficit on the principle that global affairs should be settled by the peoples of various countries through consultations, highlighting the importance of advancing the democratization of the global governance system.

Xi's propositions of the new development philosophy call for innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared economic growth. They also call for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security as part of his contributions to the theories of global governance, said Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng in a recent interview with The Paper.

Actions speak louder than words when China participates in global governance, Le said, adding that China is the second-largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping missions and is also the largest troop contributor among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Belt and Road Initiative

In recent years, China intensified its concrete efforts to participate in global governance by initiating platforms for international cooperation such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

By the end of August, 136 countries and 36 international organizations had signed cooperation documents with China on jointly building the Belt and Road. Since it started operations in January 2016, the AIIB has now grown to 100 approved members worldwide.

He Yafei, former vice-foreign minister and now a senior researcher at Renmin University of China's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, said in an article published in the Global Times that the BRI is an important part of the solutions China contributes to the world in dealing with the changing international landscape and innovating global governance.

High-quality construction of the Belt and Road will help boost new development of globalization with free trade being its foundation while strengthening the development of infrastructure facilities in developing countries, He said.

Though suffering difficulties and setbacks in recent years, the global governance process led by the UN is still ongoing. However, the voices of reform in the UN and other mechanisms of the global governance system such as the World Trade Organization are on the rise.

Pang Zhongying, an international relations professor at Ocean University of China's Institute of Marine Development, said the pullback of the United States from international organizations and treaties has weakened and even damaged the existing global governance system. However, countries including China and other emerging markets are striving to improve and consolidate the system.

The country remains committed to upholding the postwar global governance system. In the meantime, it supports necessary reforms of some mechanisms such as the WTO, Pang said.

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[Z-20 called one of world's best]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514976.htm The Z-20, China's first domestically developed medium-lift utility helicopter - declassified just 10 days ago - is one of the best of its kind in the world, according to project insiders at Aviation Industry Corp of China.

Chen Guang, vice-general manager of Avicopter, the AVIC helicopter branch in charge of the Z-20 project, said in Tianjin on Thursday that the Z-20 is a twin-engine, multipurpose helicopter designed and built exclusively by AVIC, adding that the aircraft is able to operate in many areas, and can fly in difficult weather conditions.

Powered by two advanced Chinese turboshaft engines, he said, the helicopter is mainly tasked with transportation missions but can be conveniently refitted for other operations.

Chen said every part of the Z-20 was developed and made in China.

Li Linhua, chief technology expert at AVIC's China Helicopter Research and Development Institute, said the Z-20 features a streamlined aerodynamic structure, new anti-icing technology and a cutting-edge control system.

"One of the helicopter's technological advantages is its fly-by-wire flight control system," Li said."The adoption of such technology substantially reduces the Z-20's overall weight and makes it easier to fly."

The Z-20 was unveiled during the grand parade in Beijing on Oct 1 celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Before the parade, pictures of the aircraft had been widely circulated on Chinese weapons websites, but AVIC had never officially confirmed its existence.

It was displayed on the ground and in the air at the fifth China Helicopter Exposition, which opened in Tianjin on Thursday. The aviation expo, co-hosted by the Tianjin municipal government, the People's Liberation Army Ground Force and AVIC, has attracted participation from 415 enterprises from 18 nations and regions, according to the organizing committee.

The expo is the first opportunity for the public to get a close look at the Z-20.

Fang Bing, a retired PLA National Defense University researcher, said the Z-20 will be one of the key elements in the PLA Ground Force's transformation because it is badly needed for carrying out high-mobility air and land operations.

"Air-enabled deployment of troops and weapons relies on utility helicopters such as the Z-20," Fang said.

"Besides conventional functions, they can also be equipped with weapons to conduct combat tasks. In addition to the Ground Force, the Z-20 will be useful in the PLA Air Force and PLA Navy as it is suitable for many tasks like search and rescue, special warfare and anti-submarine operations. It will be deployed in the military in large scale," Fang added.

Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of naval equipment magazine Modern Ships, said the Z-20 will significantly improve the combat capability of the PLA Navy's surface fleets.

"It is capable of fulfilling a wide range of missions that other Chinese helicopters have difficulty executing, including antisubmarine and anti-ship combat, signal relay for ship-launched missiles and special assaults," Cui said.

 

Two Z-20 medium-lift utility helicopters, the first of their kind developed and made in China, do a flyby at the fifth China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin on Thursday.Chen Xiao/for China Daily

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[Jack Ma retains top spot on Hurun rich list]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514975.htm The information technology sector is rapidly driving wealth accumulation among Chinese entrepreneurs, according to the Hurun China Rich List published on Thursday, while domestic consumption makes gains, experts said.

IT created China's top two billionaires and helped usher more business owners into the ranks of the richest individuals. Jack Ma - who recently resigned as chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group - and his family, remained the richest on the Chinese mainland for the third time with a net worth of $39 billion, according to the annual list, which was published for the 21st time.

He was closely followed by Pony Ma (not related to Jack), chairman and CEO of another IT behemoth, Tencent Holdings, whose net worth stood at $37 billion. Pony Ma, who ranked third on the list last year, replaced Xu Jiayin, chairman of property conglomerate Evergrande Group.

Xu came in third with $30 billion.

"Those who are able to adapt to the digital economy" are in a good position to enjoy wealth growth, said Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Rich List.

The Hurun China Rich List includes everyone with a net worth of at least 2 billion yuan ($290 million). A total of 1,819 individuals made the list this year, 4 percent fewer than a year earlier.

The IT sector surpassed the investment sector to become the third-largest source of wealth for entrepreneurs on the list. Manufacturing remained No 1, but the proportion fell from 26.1 percent last year to 24.5 percent. Real estate, accounting for 14.8 percent, remained second.

"The changing industrial composition suggests China's human capital bonus is setting in," said Tang Yuejun, assistant professor of business administration at Fudan University's School of Management. "As Chinese companies grow sophisticated in corporate governance, they allow those with core technology capabilities and business acumen to exercise power and receive corresponding financial returns."

Unicorn firms - startups valued at over $1 billion - in areas such as facial recognition, drones, blockchain services and ride-sharing platforms, contributed 52 individuals to the list this year. In addition, 22 individual shareholders from 17 companies listed on the newly founded STAR Board - a Nasdaq-style board for tech companies - made this year's list.

Apart from the tech powerhouses, the Hurun China Rich List also saw an expansion in consumer sectors including foodstuffs, suggesting that the vast domestic market is poised to shore up growth amid global economic uncertainties, experts said.

Zhang Yong and wife Shu Ping of hotpot chain Haidilao doubled their wealth to $17 billion, propelling them into the top 10 for the first time. Haitian soy sauce chief Pang Kang saw his wealth grow by $4.5 billion to $12 billion.

Pig farmers Qin Yinglin and Qian Ying of Muyuan broke into the top 20, after their wealth tripled to $14 billion on the back of selling 5.8 million pigs in a market when hog prices soared due to an outbreak of swine fever.

"Wealth accumulation in the food sector suggests investors see rosier prospects in the domestic consumption market amid uncertainties over China-US trade friction and overall lackluster performance overseas," said Jason Yu, general manager of consultancy Kantar Worldpanel.

"As lifestyles evolve over time, Chinese will spend more disposable income on food and dining out. Efforts to spur spending have started to pay off, and this sector is shaping up to be a more sustainable force to bolster economic growth."

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[Innovation urged to boost Greater Bay Area growth]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514974.htm

The fifth Greater Bay Area Conference on Thursday in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region focused on the concept of "Inclusive growth through innovation and sustainability" as well as regional integration.

The conference got underway with opening remarks from representatives of the two co-organizers - China Daily and the Silk Road Economic Development Research Center.

Keynote speaker Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, paid particular attention to the integration efforts required for the area to flourish.

Leung, a former chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR, highlighted the importance of policy innovation for greater integration of the Bay Area.

"Experiences over the past 41 years [since reform and opening-up began] have clearly demonstrated that we need to be bold to initiate change, to adjust to changes and to manage short-term pain. ... Forty-one years of reform on the Chinese mainland and 16 years of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement have plucked most of the low-hanging fruit," Leung said.

Zhou Li, an editorial board member of China Daily Group and director of China Daily Asia Pacific, stressed the need for greater professional and intellectual collaboration between Hong Kong and other parts of the bay area, especially in cross-sector business and healthcare.

"Hong Kong is going through a particularly critical time in its history. The test is to get key players to have confidence in it once again," Zhou said.

Joseph Chan Nap-kee, chairman of the Silk Road Economic Development Research Center, focused more on the growth and development aspects of the Bay Area as a whole.

Through two roundtable discussions on cross-border business opportunities and evolution of healthcare services, speakers regularly returned to the need for innovation while a luncheon dialogue addressed the subject, "Shenzhen as a pilot demonstration area: opportunities and challenges for Hong Kong".

There was also a keynote luncheon with Witman Hung, principal liaison officer of the Hong Kong, Shenzhen Qianhai Authority, and Guo Wanda, executive vice-president of the China Development Institute.

"The pilot demonstration area is about experimenting and opening up to Hong Kong and Macao for business," Hung said.

Guo said the new plan is not unlike the push over four decades ago to turn Shenzhen, Guangdong province, into a special economic zone, a push that launched China's opening-up.

He also noted that despite efforts to build the city into a world-class commercial hub, it is unlikely to replace neighboring Hong Kong because the two cities have completely different economic, social and legal systems.

"This would ultimately lead to competition and cooperation between two global cities," said Guo, who also urged both cities to continue pursuing innovation.

Guo said the pilot demonstration area is a "unilateral, not bilateral" way for the Chinese mainland to open up to its bay area partners - Hong Kong and Macao.

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[XI, MODI HEAD TO SECOND INFORMAL SUMMIT]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514973.htm 'Strategic cooperation' can take Sino-Indian ties to next level, experts say

President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet in the coastal city of Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday amid expectations of a renewed leadership push to stabilize bilateral relations.

This second informal summit follows one held in Wuhan, Hubei province, last year.

Xi last visited India in September 2014.

Analysts in both countries said they anticipate a range of topics - from hot-button issues to routine ones - to be discussed at this year's summit.

Chinese experts highlighted "strategic cooperation" as a way to take bilateral relations to the next level.

"During this summit, they (the leaders) will likely view bilateral relations more from a strategic perspective and its significance not just for China and India but also the world," said Li Li, a professor at Tsinghua University's Institute of International Relations.

"When we look at China-India relations, we find some structural contradictions," she added, citing the border issue as one.

Li, who specializes in Sino-Indian relations, said the consensus reached in Wuhan focused more on cooperation as well as better management of the border issue.

The format for this year's summit will likely be similar to that for the first, with personal interactions between Xi and Modi and a lack of ceremony or issuance of statements usually associated with high-profile formal government meetings.

Li said she expects the talks to be "free and comprehensive".

On Wednesday, the Indian Foreign Ministry said the Chennai summit "will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance".

China-India trade is set to reach $100 billion soon; cultural exchanges have increased; Chinese companies dominate India's mobile phone market; more Indians work in China in various sectors, including government scientific institutions; and the two countries are even talking of jointly addressing global development issues.

Talking more, not less

However, Sino-Indian relations are complex.

Einar Tangen, a commentator in Beijing on Chinese economic and political affairs, said bilateral high-level meetings could create a mechanism where there are fewer elements of surprise in the relationship.

He expects economic issues, including regional proposals such as the China-Nepal-India rail corridor, to be discussed at the summit.

Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor specializing in Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said India is expected to raise the trade imbalance issue, adding that the deficit has implications for government spending.

Tangen said information technology is an area that offers scope for synergy, adding, "IT is something that Xi and Modi could talk about."

China is at the forefront of not only technological development, but is also setting the agenda. "India has the technical manpower to help China with both hardware and software. This would breathe new life into India's tech industry" and create the jobs it wants and needs, Tangen said.

But to do business, "India needs to do more to familiarize itself with China - culturally, politically and legally."

Long Xingchun, a professor specializing in Indian studies at China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan province, said he expects the border issue, mutual connectivity and regional cooperation to be among the topics covered at the summit.

Larger roles

Western analysts have questioned the resilience of Sino-Indian relations, asking if the two countries can work together toward greater global security.

Zhang Guihong, director of the Center for UN Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that as long as territorial disputes remain unsettled, mistrust will always exist, but it is important to prevent the disputes from escalating into conflict.

"To build mutual trust, we need, bilaterally, to strengthen our economic relations and promote people-to-people contact, and, regionally, to deepen our cooperation in Southeast, Central and South Asian affairs and to jointly build an Asian community with a shared future for humanity," Zhang said.

Among the five permanent UN Security Council members, China is the largest contributor to peacekeeping personnel.

As large developing countries, China and India have similar goals, such as poverty reduction and cleaner air, but they need to do more to coordinate efforts at the UN on global issues such as climate change.

"I do not see any substantial coordination at the UN on this issue (climate change) but there is some coordination through BRICS and G77," Zhang said.

BRICS refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, while the Group of 77 at the UN is a coalition that now comprises 134 developing countries. There were 77 founding members.

Lu Yang, a research fellow with the Institute of BRI Studies at Tsinghua University, said China and India have "different understandings" of the Belt and Road Initiative, but this should not affect their "practical cooperation" on specific projects.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a good example of such cooperation, she said.

Sino-Indian relations have long been guided by pragmatism.

Li, from Tsinghua University, who is also deputy secretary-general of the World Peace Forum, a think tank backed by the Chinese government, said,"Developmental cooperation is pragmatic, but it doesn't mean that we don't want strategic cooperation."

Zhang said: "We need to define our relationship from the strategic perspective, with bilateral, regional and global dimensions. Similar to France and Germany in Europe, China and India should take the lead on multilateralism in Asia."

He added that cooperation on regional and global affairs would help to enhance mutual trust.

Ancient links

Mamallapuram (previously Mahabalipuram), a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern India known for its architecture, and the venue for part of this year's summit, is a seaside town that linked the two countries in ancient times, when India traded spices for silk with China.

Southern India has other connections with China. Bodhidharma, recognized as an early patriarch of the Shaolin monastic order that gave kung fu to the world, went from the region to Central China, and is said to have also contributed to the development of Chinese Zen Buddhism.

In 1938, Dwarkanath Kothnis, an Indian doctor, arrived in Wuhan on a mission to help the Chinese people during the Japanese invasion. He died in China and later became well-known in both countries.

In addition to the talks in Chennai and Mamallapuram, about 60 kilometers away, Modi will host Xi to lunch and dinner by the Bay of Bengal, according to Indian media reports.

Indrani Bagchi, diplomatic editor of The Times of India, said:"We are not just two big nations sitting side by side across the Himalayas. We are two ancient civilizations where statecraft was virtually invented."

The two governments recently emphasized culture as "a bridge", and this area will likely be discussed at the summit.

Cultural exchanges between China and India date to ancient times, said Tan Fei, a Beijing film critic who tracks the performance of Bollywood movies at the Chinese box office.

While the Chinese market has opened up for Hindi movies in the past three years or so, enthusiasm has waned recently.

"Bollywood should focus on the quality of movies, not the quantity. Too many of the same kind can lead to audience fatigue," Tan said.

In her 2017 book China-India Relations in the Contemporary World, Lu, from the BRI Institute, discussed India's "national interest and identity". She argued that the nation-building process in India has been more complicated than in China, owing to factors such as diverse languages, religions and ethnicity. As a result, India's policy priority has been "domestically oriented".

"Reflected in the present context of geopolitics, there is a gap between India's desire and capability to achieve the status in the world that can match the glory of a civilization state," she said.

Zhang described the current state of Sino-Indian ties as "coopetition," meaning "cooperative competition".

Li described the ties as "stable and predictable", drawing a parallel between the Chinese Dream and aspirations for a "new India".

Kondapalli, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, said India and China are driven by their top leaders, adding that while there is turbulence in relations, "the leaders can handle it".

Analysts gave a mixed response to the future for China-India relations.

Bagchi, the editor in New Delhi, said she has realistic expectations, adding:"It's a complex relationship. We will have good weeks and bad weeks."

Long, from South West Normal University, said he is cautiously optimistic and that a key outcome of last year's summit has improved mutual strategic confidence.

This year's summit will signal the direction in which Sino-Indian relations are headed.

 

 

 

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[Solomon Islands' ties create 'opportunities']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514972.htm

'China treats us as sovereign territory with equal rights,' prime minister says

It took the Solomon Islands 36 years to decide to establish diplomatic relations with China, and now it is the time to move forward to explore the great potential of the relationship, the Pacific island country's Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said on Wednesday.

Sogavare is on a six-day visit to China that ends on Sunday. The two countries officially established diplomatic ties on Sept 21.

Sogavare said in an interview that as a member of the United Nations, the Solomon Islands should respect United Nations Resolution 2758, which he said makes it clear that Taiwan is a province of China and not an independent country.

"We need to respect the territorial sovereignty of countries, and Taiwan is an integral part of the People's Republic of China," he said, adding that this is what has led his country to make its decision on diplomatic ties.

"We've been discussing that for a long, long time."

Sogavare said he thinks that China's economic growth will bring more opportunities for the world's development, and that "it would be stupid" for his country to miss such opportunities.

On Wednesday, China and the Solomon Islands signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly building the Belt and Road. Sogavare said during his meeting with President Xi Jinping on Wednesday that the Belt and Road Initiative is a proposal that will bring great opportunities to his country.

"It's just a process of implementing it now," Sogavare said. "We will be looking at the opportunities. We have a lot of proposals that we would like to put forward."

The prime minister said he appreciates that China maintains that countries big or small, rich or poor should be treated as equals in international affairs and develop state-to-state relations in accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which include such principles as mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty.

"While some other countries see us as very small, as needing to toe the line with them, China treats us as a sovereign territory with equal rights in the UN. We can talk on equal terms, no matter small or great," he said.

As a new friend of China, the prime minister said he has already started to read the book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China.

He said Xi's proposal to build a community with a shared future for mankind is "what was badly needed in the world today because people ceased respecting simple values."

"Xi is a very humble man. He comes up from a very humble beginning, and that's why he understands people right at the grassroots level and also understands issues at the international level. This country is blessed with a leader who has vision," he said.

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[Beijing blasts claim about foreign firms]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/11/content_37514971.htm

Beijing said on Thursday that it will, as always, welcome foreign businesses, including companies from the United States, to invest and operate in China, reaffirming its commitment to protect their legitimate rights and interests.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remark after Washington criticized what it called China's manipulation of US companies, alleging they were forced to abandon their values after comments on Hong Kong made by the Houston Rockets' general manager and remarks made by the NBA's commissioner.

The business environment for foreign investment in China has been improving, and the country has been one of the most popular investment destinations for foreign companies for many years, Geng said.

He said 97 percent of US companies in China reported profits in a survey. The results were reported in the US-China Business Council annual member survey, completed in June on 100 US companies.

"If we believe some US people's claims, are these American companies forced to give up their own values and have they all been manipulated by China?" Geng said.

China's policy of creating a sound environment for foreign investment will not change, he said.

Geng said China will continue interacting with the global community and welcomes foreign institutions and individuals to visit China for exchanges and cooperation.

Also on Thursday, addressing the city of Beijing's move to end sister-city relations and suspend all official exchanges with Prague, Geng said he hopes the Prague municipal government will soon realize and correct its mistakes and create conditions to resume bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

Prague's city council voted on Monday to cancel the partnership with Beijing, established in 2016, after it was unable to remove an article requiring its commitment to the one-China principle and stating that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, Reuters reported.

The Beijing Foreign Affairs Office said on Thursday that since November 2018, officials of Prague's new administration have repeatedly made wrong moves and improper comments on Taiwan and the Tibet autonomous region that bear on the core interests of China.

Geng said China has noticed that farsighted people in the Czech Republic, including President Milos Zeman, have condemned the wrong actions of Prague.

Geng said it is in the interest of both sides to push forward the strategic partnership between China and the Czech Republic on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.

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2019-10-11 08:24:22
<![CDATA[Xi's South Asia trip set to boost regional links]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514679.htm

India, Nepal talks to have long-lasting influence

President Xi Jinping's South Asia trip, which begins on Friday, will boost regional interconnectivity and strengthen China's ties with India and Nepal, a senior diplomat said on Wednesday.

Luo Zhaohui, vice-minister of foreign affairs, said at a news conference that Xi's first overseas trip after the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China will greatly influence bilateral and regional relations.

Xi was invited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. He will attend a second informal meeting with Modi in Chennai on Friday and pay a state visit to Nepal from Friday to Sunday.

Cooperation between the two most populous nations will not only be helpful to each other's development but also contribute to a more multipolar world and economic globalization, Luo said.

Calling China and India developing nations and emerging markets, Luo said that China-India cooperation will also jointly safeguard the interests of developing nations.

Xi and Modi held their first informal summit in Wuhan, Hubei province, in April last year. In that meeting, the two leaders were widely in agreement on bilateral and multilateral relations.

"During the two leaders' Wuhan summit, they had very good chemistry," Luo said.

Since then, China and India have pushed forward exchanges in all areas and properly handled their disagreements, Luo said. Bilateral ties developed steadily after the two leaders' first summit, he said.

In Chennai, Xi and Modi, without having set a formal agenda, will have discussions in an easy, comfortable atmosphere, according to Luo. The summit is meant to promote practical cooperation between the two countries and create a long-lasting influence on global and regional peace and stability, he said.

Luo said that Xi's state visit to Nepal is the first by a president of China to the South Asian neighbor in 23 years, giving it historical significance. Hailing Nepal as an important partner of China in building the Belt and Road, Luo said that the two countries have treated each other equally, practiced mutual respect and supported each other over decades.

During the visit, Xi will attend a welcoming ceremony and banquet hosted by Bhandari, meet with her, have a talk with Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, witness the signing of cooperation documents and meet with other leading officials of Nepal, Luo said.

Vikram Misri, India's ambassador to China, said frequent meetings help the two leaders develop a strong personal relationship and a very good understanding of each other's major priorities and concerns.

"The role of the two leaders is extremely important for the sound development of our relations," he said, noting that Xi and Modi met five times last year on different occasions.

B.R. Deepak, a professor at the Centre of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the Wuhan summit injected great momentum into people-to-people exchanges between China and India.

"I am sure that people-to-people contacts will be an important area that both the leaders will lay emphasis on," he said while talking about the Chennai summit.

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[Solomon Islands PM's visit called milestone]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514678.htm President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Solomon Islands is "a good thing that conforms to the trend of the times and benefits the people of both countries".

He made the remark when meeting with the Pacific island country's Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in Beijing.

Sogavare's official visit to China, from Tuesday to Sunday, comes after the two countries established diplomatic relations over two weeks ago.

Calling Sogavare's visit a milestone, Xi said that friendship never arrives late and the future of bilateral ties between China and the Solomon Islands will surely be promising.

Xi said that as the country is located within the extended area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the two nations should seize the opportunity brought by a memorandum of understanding on jointly building the Belt and Road, which was signed on Wednesday, to expand cooperation. He called on China and the Solomon Islands to further align their development strategies to help improve people's livelihoods in the Pacific island nation and its ability for independent, sustainable development.

China stands ready to work with the Solomon Islands in promoting cooperation and exchanges in all areas and making a good start in creating better bilateral relations, Xi said.

With the Solomon Islands becoming an overseas destination for Chinese tourists, Xi said, there will be huge opportunities for people-to-people exchanges, exchanges between local regions and tourism cooperation.

He also said that China welcomes the Solomon Islands' integration into the big family of China-Pacific islands cooperation and that it is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with the country within multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations.

China will also work with the Pacific island country to handle challenges such as climate change and safeguarding the common interests of developing countries, Xi said.

Sogavare said his country is very pleased to recognize the one-China policy and become the 179th country to establish diplomatic ties with China.

"My government and people have chosen to be on the right side of history," he said.

He also said that the Solomon Islands stands ready to conduct cooperation with China in such areas as trade, investment, agriculture and tourism in order to create a new future for bilateral ties.

Earlier on Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang met with Sogavare. Li said China always maintains that countries big or small should be treated as equals and that China appreciates the efforts of the government of the Solomon Islands in developing its economy and improving people's livelihoods.

China welcomes more competitive and high-quality exports from the Solomon Islands and also encourages qualified Chinese enterprises to participate in the construction of the country's infrastructure, he said.

After the meeting, Li and Sogavare also witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperative agreements between the two countries in such areas as diplomacy, economy, technology and education.

 

President Xi Jinping greets Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Wednesday. The two nations established diplomatic relations over two weeks ago.Feng Yongbin/china Daily

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[China ready to hit target in 2020 for emissions]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514677.htm

China has slashed levels of pollution from its thermal power plants over the past five years and is on track to meet a key emissions goal for 2020, according to a new study.

Researchers from China and the United Kingdom have determined that between 2014 and 2017, China more than halved power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. The three pollutants all contribute to the formation of smog, which is linked to health problems.

The team of researchers analyzed emissions from thermal power plants that burn coal, oil, natural gas or biomass to produce energy, with a particular focus on coal-fired power plants as these are major contributors to ambient air pollution.

According to the study, which was published in the journal Nature, levels of sulfur dioxide emissions in China fell from 2.21 million metric tons in 2014 to 0.77 million tons in 2017, a reduction of 65 percent.

Levels of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter also fell, by 60 percent and 73 percent, respectively, the study said.

The study suggested that China is on track to meet its target of a 60 percent reduction of pollutants across all power plants by 2020. The researchers used data on emission concentrations collected by China's Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems network, which covers up to 98 percent of Chinese thermal power capacity.

"This is encouraging news for China as well as for other countries wishing to reduce their power emissions," said Mi Zhifu, a climate change economist from University College London who co-authored the study. "Thermal power plants combusting coal, oil, natural gas and biomass are one of the major contributors to global air pollution."

"With coal being the most widely used fuel in China, cutting the number of thermal power plants within a short time frame would be challenging," Mi said. "The results of this research are encouraging in demonstrating that coal can be used in a much cleaner way to generate electricity."

The study was carried out by researchers from UCL and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with five universities in China, and was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Mi said the results demonstrated the technical and economic feasibility of controlling emissions from power plants, which he described as "an important step toward reducing the number of deaths attributable to air pollution".

China set its 2020 emissions target in 2014, when it introduced measures to renovate and upgrade existing coal-fired power stations.

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[MARATHON RUNNER AIMS TO BREAK TWO-HOUR BARRIER]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514676.htm Kenyan athlete poised for challenge in Vienna

Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge will be in illustrious company if he manages to run the first sub-2-hour marathon - a boundary of human endurance that has resisted every attempt to break it.

Success would rank alongside individual sporting achievements that include British runner Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile; Nadia Comaneci, from Romania, becoming the first gymnast awarded a perfect 10; Jamaican Usain Bolt sprinting 100 meters in 9.58 seconds; and Germany's Steffi Graf holding the world No 1 ranking in women's tennis for 377 consecutive weeks.

It would also sit comfortably alongside other incredible human efforts.

These include: the first free-solo ascent of El Capitan, the vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, California, by United States climber Alex Honnold; Austrian sky diver Felix Baumgartner's highest free-fall parachute jump 39 kilometers above Earth; and the first confirmed ascent of Qomolangma - known in the West as Mount Everest - by New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Nepali Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

Kipchoge, 34, who is regarded as the greatest modern-era marathon runner, holds the official world record time for the event of 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds, and also recorded a stunning 2 hours 0 minutes 25 seconds in Monza, Italy, in 2017 at an event organized by Nike, which was aimed at breaking the 2-hour barrier.

Kipchoge is unbelievably consistent, winning 11 out of the 12 marathons he has competed in.

With his record run in the Berlin Marathon last year, he cut a staggering 78 seconds from the previous best-ever mark, representing the biggest single improvement in the world record for the event for 51 years.

His next attempt - the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, tentatively scheduled for Saturday in Vienna, the Austrian capital, pending good weather conditions - will see the Kenyan attempt to overcome what is regarded as the last great barrier of modern athletics, to run 42.2 kilometers, or 26 miles 385 yards, in under two hours.

His best time, achieved on the Monza racing circuit, was not officially recognized because Nike, the event sponsor, used a lead car and about 30 elite pace runners.

The time he set fell only 25 seconds short, meaning he needs to only run 1 second faster each 1.6 km to break the two-hour barrier, which is well within his ability. The Ineos 1:59 Challenge will also not be an official record attempt, although breaking the barrier would be hugely significant.

The event is being supported and managed by United Kingdom petrochemicals giant Ineos, one of the world's largest manufacturing companies.

Ineos owns the license for cycling's Team Ineos, which it bought this year from Team Sky. Tour de France champion riders Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are in the Team Ineos ranks.

Ineos is owned by the UK's wealthiest man, Jim Ratcliffe, a keen sportsman who has competed in more than 30 marathons.

"Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest-ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time," Ratcliffe said in a statement.

"Nobody has been able to achieve this. It's not unlike trying to put a man on the moon. If Eliud runs 1:59, it will be the first time that any human has been able to break that barrier. We have a responsibility to ensure he is given the best chance."

After an extensive worldwide assessment process, The Prater, a landmark park in Vienna, was chosen by the organizers as the venue that will provide Kipchoge with the optimum conditions to write himself into the history books.

The attempt will be staged by running laps on a 9.6-kilometer course centered on the Hauptallee, a long, straight tree-lined avenue that runs through the heart of The Prater.

Each lap will feature Kipchoge running two 4.3km out-and-back stretches of the avenue, with turning points at the Lusthaus and Praterstern roundabouts at either end.

According to research, Vienna has the weather conditions in October for a consistent and optimum performance. In case of adverse weather, an eight-day window to hold the event up to Oct 20 has been agreed with the city authorities.

Team Ineos CEO Fran Millar spoke about the logistics of the challenge, the extensive preparations for the event and why Kipchoge was chosen.

"Eliud is in the prime of his career, 34 years old, and with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and other big-city marathons coming up, it felt like a 'now or never opportunity'," Millar said.

"We'll give him all the very best support we can, and we anticipate he will be in top form. Then, I think it will be down to whether he 'has it in the tank'.

Regardless of whether he achieves his target, the scale of Kipchoge's accomplishments is remarkable. For example, at the first Olympic marathon in Athens, Greece, in 1896, the winner only just broke 3 hours, finishing in 2 hr 58 min.

The possibility of failure is a key factor in such sporting endeavors, and the organizers have embraced this in their marketing. "With all sport - the excitement of it and why we love it - is that element of the unknown, the risk of it, the 'will-they-or-won't-they' factor," Millar said.

"Eliud's team speak immensely highly about him being an 'athlete of a generation'. He really is phenomenal."

Critics have seized on the planned use of a pace car to suggest that "marginal gains" are being exploited to push Kipchoge over the line by creating some kind of wind block. Millar said the sole purpose of the car is to fire a laser beam on the track to mark the sub-two-hour speed for the pace-setters.

"It was really important for Jim (Ratcliffe) and Ineos to emphasize this as a human endeavour, and not make it about science and technology," Millar said.

"It's important that while we assist Eliud and give him everything that he needs for a successful attempt, we don't want to make it into something that people question the credibility of. So, the laser, for example, is there to project the pace and to keep the pacers in formation. The car will keep a distance, won't provide an aerodynamic advantage and will be there primarily to give his split times.

"In terms of the course, we didn't want any downhill (sections) or any tailwinds, but we wanted a big-city marathon look and feel, so a city with the heritage of Vienna is fantastic. It's been a huge undertaking, and there are a huge number of components."

For pacing, Kipchoge will be accompanied by five to seven elite marathon and middle-distance runners.

None of them can match his pace for the duration of the event, so they will swap in and out and run with him for sections of just 5 or 10km. To keep him supplied with fluids, a cycle rider will draw alongside him as he runs.

Thousands of fans will cheer him on along the route, and the event will be broadcast worldwide, with many live feed agreements already in place.

Kipchoge, who has been preparing for his record attempt at his training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya, said he is confident that history will be made.

"I learned a lot from my previous attempt and I truly believe that I can go 26 seconds faster than I did in Monza two years ago," he said. "It gives me great pride to accept the challenge presented by Ineos. I am very excited to show the world that when you focus on your goal, when you work hard and when you believe in yourself, anything is possible.

"This time, I'm feeling superb and I know what will happen. I will break the two-hour barrier."

 

 

 

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[President seeks stronger Sino-Pakistani relations]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514675.htm

President Xi Jinping called on Wednesday for building an even stronger China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era through strengthening strategic coordination and pragmatic cooperation between the two neighbors.

Xi made the remark during a meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Xi described the two countries as "unique all-weather strategic cooperative partners". He said that, despite profound changes in the regional and international landscape, the friendship between China and Pakistan has always remained unbreakable and as solid as rock, and their cooperation has maintained strong vitality and kept expanding and intensifying.

China has always seen Pakistan as a priority on its diplomatic agenda, and Beijing will continue to firmly support Islamabad in the issues that relate to its core interests and major concerns, Xi said.

He underlined the need for the two countries to maintain much closer high-level exchanges and strategic communication as well as timely coordination of their positions on major issues.

Khan briefed Xi on his country's position on the current Kashmir tensions, and called for efforts to prevent the situation from deteriorating or even getting out of control.

He said Pakistan considers China's stance on the issue highly important and appreciates it for upholding a fair and objective position.

Xi expressed China's concerns over the situation. He said China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its lawful rights and interests, and hopes the parties will resolve their disputes through peaceful dialogue.

Speaking of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Xi said the unprecedented patriotic enthusiasm of around 1.4 billion Chinese people has built up the country's confidence in and determination for overcoming all difficulties in pursuing the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Xi also urged more effort in advancing the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor with higher standards to make it a model project for the high-quality building of the Belt and Road.

China greatly appreciates and resolutely supports Pakistan in its efforts to fight terrorism, he said, adding that both countries should strengthen communication and cooperation within multilateral platforms to jointly uphold regional peace and stability.

Khan commended the extraordinary achievements China has made over the past decades. He said Islamabad looks forward to working with Beijing to strengthen exchanges, coordination and cooperation, firmly pushing for the economic corridor's construction and jointly building a model of success in Belt and Road construction

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[Ultimate test puts body through its paces]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514674.htm

To break the two-hour barrier for the marathon, Eliud Kipchoge will have to summon his reserves of mental strength.

During a marathon, every part of the body has to perform at an extreme level, hour after hour. For example, the heart has to pump four times the amount of blood needed than at its usual resting rate.

Heat and sweat are produced by a runner to keep body temperature at between 36 and 38 degrees C.

A runner will typically produce three to six liters of sweat during a marathon. Proper hydration is crucial. Without it, heat loss will be reduced, heart rate will rise and fatigue set in. Energy is also essential to fuel the body, with glucose being the most efficient source.

However, the body can store only limited amounts of glucose, and without gels or sports drinks is likely to need to rely on fat after about 30 kilometers. But fat is a less-efficient fuel, hence many runners experience hitting "the wall".

During a marathon, athletes take about 40,000 strides. Each one places stress on the joints and muscles, leading to soreness and potential cramp.

Elite runners train to ensure they have a higher maximum oxygen capacity, so that more oxygen gets to their muscles.

Such runners operate at 75 percent of their maximum oxygen capacity, compared with recreational runners, who can only operate at 60 percent.

Elite athletes also train to ensure they have more efficient biomechanics, leading to improved running economy and a lower risk of injury. They even have more efficient tendons that store and release energy in a similar way to springs.

Anatomy is also a crucial consideration for such runners. Athletes with a smaller stature and lower muscle mass are more suited to distance running than those with a more muscular build.

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[Li restates need for green development]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514673.htm Premier Li Keqiang reiterated on Wednesday China's commitment to encourage low-carbon consumption and pursue green development by accelerating the shift in the country's growth model and improving economic structure.

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Premier says nation will foster new growth drivers at accelerated pace

Premier Li Keqiang reiterated on Wednesday China's commitment to encourage low-carbon consumption and pursue green development by accelerating the shift in the country's growth model and improving economic structure.

Li made the remark as he announced the official closing of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition in the city's Yanqing district.

China will foster new growth drivers at a faster pace, boost development of energy-saving and environmentally friendly industries and promote a circular economy, Li said.

He stressed the need to deliver greener and better lives to the people by resolutely tackling pollution and resolving acute environmental problems.

The country will continue to support and follow a multilateral approach and actively implement the Paris climate agreement, he said.

He added that the country will bolster exchanges and cooperation in ecological conservation and promote the sharing of best practices to help other developing countries, to the best of its ability, grow a green economy and realize sustainable development.

Faced with the daunting tasks of growing the economy, improving people's lives and enhancing environmental protection, China will stick to a holistic approach to pursue both high-quality economic development and environmental protection through reform and opening-up, he said.

Foreign dignitaries praised the success of the Beijing expo, saying that it has left behind a lasting legacy.

Vincent Loscertales, secretary-general of the Bureau of International Expositions, said the Beijing expo was probably the best horticultural expo in history.

The monthslong event enabled a combination of culture and tradition, showcasing the horticultural knowledge that Chinese culture has accumulated over the centuries.

"When you visit these gardens, what you get is a vision of this great country. I know some of the pavilions will be used in the 2022 Winter Olympics, but the legacy of the expo will go beyond that," Loscertales said, adding that the expo park will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Bernard Oosterom, president of the International Association of Horticultural Producers, also praised the expo.

"The Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition has been the best I have ever seen, and I think all the visitors and participants will recognize that."

The exhibition, which attracted participants from 84 countries and 24 international organizations, hosted nearly 3,300 activities and attracted 9.34 million tourists from home and abroad during its 162-day run.

 

Dancers perform at the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition in the city's Yanqing district on Wednesday.Kuang Linhua/china Daily

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[Scholar: Hong Kong's future in the balance]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514672.htm The demonstrators in Hong Kong risk jeopardizing the special administrative region's future as a vital hub in one of the most dynamic regions in the world, according to a leading China commentator.

Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order and a senior fellow at Cambridge University, said Hong Kong's position in the Greater Bay Area - a megalopolis which also comprises the Macao SAR, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and seven other Guangdong province cities - offers it immense opportunities.

"The opportunities are vast, and Hong Kong needs to be part of it. This is going to be the most dynamic regional economy in the world," Jacques said.

Beijing intends for Hong Kong to be the financial and trade center of the Greater Bay Area, which will be a technology and innovation center where 70 million people live. The development plan for the area was published by the State Council in February.

Jacques believes this is where the future of Hong Kong and also of many of those demonstrating should lie.

"The future of Hong Kong is as part of southern China. That is where it is, and that is what it is and that is what it has to embrace. The people need to think strategically about this and not defensively," he said.

Jacques believes that the demonstrators fail to understand this and that they cling to some false notion that vestiges of colonial rule offered them a better future.

"What I fear about these demonstrators is that they are nihilistic. What do they offer Hong Kong? They actually offer it destruction. They walk around with Union Jacks and American flags. Just what do they think they are doing?" he said.

Jacques said he fully supported the face mask ban imposed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Friday.

"The ban on face masks is entirely appropriate and overdue. Demonstrators should be accountable for their own actions," Jacques said.

He said Hong Kong and central government authorities have shown "considerable restraint" in handling the violence of the demonstrators, whose actions would not have been tolerated in the Western countries that somehow champion them.

The 217 environmental protesters arrested this week at the Extinction Rebellion attempted to close down London's streets. This is an example of how United Kingdom authorities deal with such issues, Jacques added.

"What if the Extinction Rebellion tried to close Heathrow, as the Hong Kong demonstrators did at Hong Kong International Airport? The British would have sent in a strong force and arrested them all. You cannot tolerate a nerve center of your country being disrupted like that," he said.

Jacques, who lived in Hong Kong from 1998 - just a year after the handover from the British - until 2001, said there is a tendency for some in Hong Kong to look westward rather than northward to the Chinese mainland, where their future lies.

"I found many in Hong Kong extremely ignorant about China and even looked down on people from the mainland because 20 years ago they were much richer," he said.

Hong Kong's GDP in proportion to the Chinese mainland has slumped from a peak of 27 percent in 1993 to less than 3 percent now.

Jacques believes that the Chinese mainland is being blamed for problems that are actually Hong Kong's own doing.

"Inequality of income and wealth in Hong Kong, which was always sky high, has got worse," he said.

He also believes the economy is in stasis, relying heavily on trade and financial services and not embracing technology like the Chinese mainland or similar-sized economies such as Singapore have done.

"While the Chinese mainland has kept reinventing itself, Hong Kong hasn't managed to do that. I mean, basically, what is Hong Kong? It is a financial center, it is tourism and it is a property market," he said.

He blames some of this lack of modernization on the British colonial legacy.

"The British legacy is not one of science and technology but of financial services speculation.

Jacques believes the model of "one country, two systems" established under the Basic Law of Hong Kong, is one that serves the SAR well and could not have been adopted by a typical Western state.

"China is not in its bones a nation state, but a civilization state. China has always had to accept a great deal of diversity across the country. Nation states such as in the West, where there is much greater homogeneity, would not be able to tolerate that difference," he said.

Jacques said the system has worked well because it allows for the flexibility for both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland to evolve.

"It is not one country on one hand and two systems on the other. It has its own dynamism where the two are in constant interplay, where the situation is not one of stasis."

Jacques finds it difficult to comprehend how Western media have covered the demonstrations in Hong Kong.

"The Western mentality has been 'three cheers' to the demonstrators, some of which have been really violent. They are like urban guerrillas. How can you support that behavior and have that attitude?" he said.

"I am not saying that you shouldn't hear them. A significant proportion are young people, so you have got to listen to them. You don't, however, have to agree with them."

Jacques believes the demonstrations are potentially hugely damaging for Hong Kong with the huge potential the Chinese mainland represents.

One of the next global megatrends over the next 20 years will be the opening-up of China's financial and capital markets, in which the SAR could have a major role.

"It is disastrous for Hong Kong. Shanghai will be the most important financial center for that, but China will need several financial centers and Hong Kong must be part of that - that and its role in southern China's development, where the potential is enormous, should be its future," he said.

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[US called on to end visa restrictions over Xinjiang]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514671.htm

Beijing urged Washington on Wednesday to revoke its visa restrictions on Chinese officials and stop interfering in the country's domestic affairs.

So-called human rights issues in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, alleged by the United States, do not exist at all, and they are just excuses by the US to interfere in China's domestic affairs, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news conference.

Geng's remark came after the US announced on Tuesday that it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese government and the Communist Party of China officials who it said were involved in "the detention or abuse" of Muslims in Xinjiang.

Shortly before that, Washington added 28 Chinese government and commercial organizations to its "Entity List" over what it called "human rights violations" in the region.

Xinjiang affairs are purely China's domestic affairs, in which no country has the right to interfere, Geng said.

"Whatever restrictions the US imposes on Chinese entities and people over Xinjiang-related issues, under whatever excuse, are a serious violation of basic norms of international relations and a serious intervention in China's domestic affairs. China is firmly opposed to that," he said.

The anti-terrorism and anti-extremism measures taken in Xinjiang are aimed at preventing extremism and terrorism at the source, and they are totally in line with Chinese law and international practices, Geng added.

The measures are widely supported by Xinjiang's 25 million people and have contributed to the international fight against terrorism, he said.

The US "disregards facts and is wantonly defaming China over Xinjiang-related issues", and it is disrupting counterterrorism efforts in Xinjiang and China's stability and development, Geng said.

Such moves are futile, and will "not, to the slightest degree, shake the firm will of the Chinese government and people to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and social development and stability", he said.

Regarding China's visa policy toward US citizens, Geng said China has welcomed US citizens from all walks of life to visit China, attend conferences and conduct exchanges in the country, and authorities have facilitated their visa procedures.

Geng urged the US to abandon its Cold War and zero-sum mentality, and "build bridges instead of walls" for bilateral exchanges.

In another development, Geng urged the European Parliament to withdraw its nomination of a separatist, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, for a human rights prize.

Ilham Tohti, a former teacher at Minzu University of China, was placed on the shortlist for the body's Sakharov Prize, according to Agence France-Presse.

The European Parliament is "whitewashing, under the guise of so-called human rights and freedom, a separatist who supports extreme, violent and terrorist activities", Geng said, adding that the nomination represents "profanity and ridicule of the rule of law and human rights".

The National Anti-Terrorism Leading Group Office also strongly condemned the US for interfering in China's domestic affairs.

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[Disruptions spread to campuses across HKSAR]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/10/content_37514670.htm

Educators in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday urged schools to strengthen campus regulations and make young people responsible for their behavior as violence and political wrangling flare up on school campuses.

The remarks came after a series of bullying and vandalism incidents erupted at secondary schools and universities this week.

Chan Wai-keung, a lecturer in social sciences and humanities at Hong Kong Community College, affiliated with Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was restrained in class by dozens of students on Tuesday for almost five hours because he voiced support for harsher penalties for violating the new anti-mask law. Students demanded he apologize, trained laser pointers on him and manhandled Chan.

On the same day, a group of masked black-clad radical protesters, including students in their uniforms, besieged PLK Yao Ling Sun College due to what they called the "unfair" punishment of two students who last week were involved in a brawl caused by different political views. Radicals vandalized the school's outer walls and threw debris onto campus grounds. Glass doors were also smashed.

Noting that tolerance does not mean indulgence, Ho Hon-kuen, chairman of the Education Convergence teachers group, said society should no longer turn a blind eye to violence, vandalism and any other illegal acts.

Schools must act when students behave inappropriately. They should deal with them in accordance with campus regulations, and stress the bottom line of the law and morality, Ho said. "Otherwise, it will give young people free reign and encourage violence."

The Education Bureau, schools, family and society all have a responsibility to say no to such malicious acts and reject politics on campus, Ho said.

He also called for a cross-sector joint statement that makes it clear that violence, vandalism and bullying will not be tolerated on or off campus.

Wong Kwan-yu, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, agreed with Ho. Usually, it should be enough for secondary schools in Hong Kong to regulate students with principles and policies, Wong said.

Schools are never an appropriate place for advocating political positions, he said, adding that if things get out of hand, school officials should be held responsible.

However, Wong said that most schools across the city are capable of dealing with such issues, so far as no more than 10 schools - out of the more than 500 in the city - have experienced political turmoil on campus.

Chris Lonsdale, a current affairs commentator who has lived in Hong Kong for more than 30 years, said one problem with the education system in Hong Kong is that society tries to protect youth from the consequences of their actions.

Those who adopt violence should be taken to task and punished for committing violence on campus, said Lonsdale, who works in the education sector.

"Anybody who wants the best thing for Hong Kong people and for people more broadly, should condemn violence, should not engage in violence, should not glorify violence and should actively start to look for ways to create bridges, conversation and dialogue where we can solve these problems," he added.

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2019-10-10 07:33:21
<![CDATA[China-Pakistan ties on strong footing, Li says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514372.htm Premier calls for greater alignment in both countries' development strategies

Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed China's staunch support for Pakistan in its efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and legitimate interests in a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on Tuesday.

China has always seen Pakistan as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and will support its efforts to push forward national prosperity and rejuvenation, Li told Khan, who is making his third visit to Beijing within a year.

The two nations are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and their bilateral friendship is built on strong foundations, he said.

Li added that the bilateral friendship is not attached with any terms nor does it target any third party, and it enjoys hearty support from both peoples.

He called on both nations to continue to deepen mutual strategic trust, expand pragmatic cooperation and conduct closer people-to-people exchanges so as to bring bilateral ties and cooperation to a new level.

China stands ready to continue to provide Pakistan assistance to the best of its capacities, he said.

Li also urged greater alignment in development strategies of both sides and continuous efforts to promote high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The premier called for further bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, economy, trade, finance and production capacity, as well as stronger steps to promote more balanced growth of bilateral trade.

Li also appealed to Pakistan to ensure the security of Chinese institutions and personnel in the South Asian country.

Khan, who will attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition on Wednesday, said Pakistan's economy is stabilizing and gradually recovering thanks to China's help and support, and this showcased the firm all-weather friendship between the two nations.

"An all-weather friend means helping a friend in need when you know your friend is in difficult times. China yet again stood with us," he said.

Pakistan is ready to work with China to expedite the high-quality building of the Belt and Road, and it attaches great importance to the construction of the CPEC and Gwadar Port, Khan said.

He also called on both sides to expand the volume of trade and investment and enable greater bilateral cooperation in energy, hydropower, nuclear power, railways and the agricultural sector.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a number of cooperative agreements in which China will help 50 universities in Pakistan build 100 smart classrooms and help the South Asian country build a desalination plant.

The two nations will also step up cooperation and exchanges in maritime law enforcement and the protection of cultural relics as part of the agreements.

Luo Zhaohui, vice-minister of foreign affairs, said at a news briefing after the meeting that both countries have reached broad consensus on the development of the CPEC.

"The two sides will focus on the expansion of the CPEC development to areas such as industrial cooperation, giving greater priority to the well-being of the people and extending the corridor to the western areas of Pakistan," Luo said.

The two nations reaffirmed their determination to fight all forms of terrorism, and China will support Pakistan in conducting its anti-terrorism campaign to the very end, he added.

 

Premier Li Keqiang welcomes Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan with an honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday.Wang Zhuangfei/china Daily

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[Blacklisting of Chinese tech companies slammed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514371.htm

The US government's decision to add eight Chinese technology companies to its "Entity List" will hurt the interests of their suppliers in the United States and hamper global cooperation on artificial intelligence, analysts said on Tuesday.

The comments came after the US Commerce Department placed the companies - including video surveillance powerhouse Hikvision and facial recognition technology leaders SenseTime Group and Megvii Technology - on a list banning them from buying components from US companies without special government approval.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday that China is strongly dissatisfied by and firmly opposed to the move, and he urged Washington to revoke the decision.

So-called human rights issues in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, as claimed by the US, don't exist, Geng said. He added that the US accusations against China are "total nonsense", and China will continue to take firm and powerful steps to maintain its sovereignty, safety and developmental interests.

Bai Ming, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the US government is expanding its blacklist to include more Chinese tech leaders, a move that will disrupt global companies' confidence in the US trade system and increase uncertainty in supply chains.

"Also, most of them are AI pioneers in China that consume tons of chips from US companies including Nvidia Corp, Intel Corp and others. These US suppliers will ultimately suffer from the ban," Bai said.

In May, Washington put Chinese tech company Huawei Technologies on the "Entity List", resulting in sales slumps among US suppliers such as Qualcomm Inc in the second quarter this year.

On Tuesday, the eight Chinese tech giants also voiced strong opposition to the ban, saying that the US government did not offer any factual evidence to support the accusations that they are implicated in human rights violations.

A representative of Hikvision said in a statement to China Daily that the company has been engaging with US administration officials over the past year to clarify misunderstandings about the company and address their concerns.

"Punishing Hikvision, despite these engagements, will deter global companies from communicating with the US government, hurt Hikvision's US business partners and negatively affect the US economy," the representative said.

AI pioneer iFlytek Co said in a filing that the ban will not have a big impact on its daily operations as most of its core technologies are domestically developed.

iFlytek also said the company already has backup plans to respond to such a ban and it can continue offering services and products to its clients.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of telecom industry association Information Consumption Alliance, said that after the Huawei restrictions Chinese tech companies have all devoted efforts to ensure the sustainability of their supply chains and they have the option of choosing products from domestic AI chip companies to replace those from US suppliers.

AI startup SenseTime Group Ltd said in a statement that the company will work closely with all relevant authorities to fully understand and resolve the situation.

"We have been actively developing our AI code of ethics to ensure our technologies are used in a responsible way," the statement said.

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[NATION MAKES IMPRESSIVE STRIDES ON WORLD STAGE]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514370.htm Observers hail significant progress in international arena

As New China marked its 70th anniversary with a spectacular military parade and major celebrations across the country, the world's second-largest economy's global role came under the international spotlight.

Under President Xi Jinping, the country is playing an increasingly significant role on the world stage.

Landmark initiatives such as the Belt and Road, unveiled in 2013, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which has 74 members worldwide, are addressing the global infrastructure deficit.

Xi has also been a strong champion of the benefits of globalization, as set out in his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2017.

His overarching philosophy for global cohesion is his concept of "a community with a shared future for mankind", with countries working together to find solutions to global problems.

Xi's commitment to eradicating poverty is seen as a model worthy of imitation throughout the developing world.

By the end of next year, the government is committed to ending extreme poverty in China in time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in 2021, when the country aims to be "a moderately prosperous" society.

China is also aiming to set the agenda on climate change with environmental technology becoming one of its flagship industries, and with the goal set by Xi of achieving a "Beautiful China" by 2035.

Wang Huiyao, founder and president of the Center for China and Globalization, an independent think tank based in Beijing, said the 70th anniversary is taking place at a time when China's economic and cultural soft power are at an all-time high.

"This is why the thinking behind the new era is so important. China has to reposition itself in terms of dealing with the rest of the world. The emphasis on a shared future for mankind, where there are shared interests, prosperity and responsibility, is the right course of action," he said.

Simon MacKinnon, chairman of Xeros Technology Group, a technology platform company in Shanghai, who witnessed Xi's speech in Tian'anmen Square, said China now has clear direction. "It (the speech) signaled again that China is committed to its own unique and long-term development path, planning decades ahead," he said.

Parag Khanna, an international relations specialist and author of The Future is Asian: Global Order in the 21st Century, said the ability of the State to deliver is increasingly impressive.

"What you see is this growing confidence in government capacity. You have seen this over the past 10 to 15 years, but particularly over the past five. This has happened while Western countries have turned inward and become more protectionist," he said.

Confidence in the government to deliver was very much in evidence during the National Day celebrations.

Jin Keyu, associate professor at the London School of Economics, said it is striking that Chinese people have confidence in their government, which is in marked contrast to their counterparts in the West.

"That is the critical difference between China and the rest of the world. It is the belief that the utilization of State capacity can improve the economy and better people's lives," she said.

Jin said that in the West, governments are not seen as important players, with their credibility weakened further by falling living standards after the global financial crisis of 2007-08.

"People are against big government. They are against the notion of state intervention. This was not the case in the past," she added.

Kishore Mahbubani, distinguished fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, said there was an acknowledgment that, despite the celebrations, China faced headwinds, particularly the ongoing trade dispute with the US.

The former diplomat said Xi's speech in Jiangxi province in May, in which he made clear that the Chinese must prepare for a new Long March, was indicative of that. The original Long March, from 1934 to 1936, laid the foundation for the CPC's eventual victory over the Kuomintang in 1949 and the foundation of New China.

"The metaphor of the Long March is very appropriate because we are approaching a more difficult economic environment, with global growth slowing, incomes not likely to rise as fast and an altogether different and more difficult environment," Mahbubani said.

Mark Leung, China CEO at global asset manager JP Morgan, believes some of the trade headwinds will be offset by the opening up of China's financial markets, which could be one of the global megatrends of the next few decades.

Overseas investors currently hold only 2.3 percent of China's equities and bonds, and this proportion is set to soar.

"For foreign investors, access to China's financial sector means massive potential growth. China has the world's second-largest equity market, worth $7.4 trillion, and the third-largest bond market, worth $12 trillion. China represents one of the largest opportunities for many of our clients," Leung said.

Rana Mitter, director of the University of Oxford China Centre, believes one area where China could now make a major contribution as it marks its 70th anniversary is on climate change, particularly with its 2035 target to clean up its own environment.

"This is where the world expects China to provide a clear big role, and it is an area in which its global reputation will be tested. People very much want China to play that role," he said.

"It has made major strides in addressing the climate change challenge by investing in technology. It is also the case that, because of the sheer weight of its own carbon burden, that it is also incumbent on China to make a particular effort. If it were to become the greenest economy in the world, that would be something of huge historical significance."

Those observing the anniversary celebrations in the developing world continue to see China as a role model.

Bukola Ogunsina, editor of the Sunday edition of the Leadership newspaper in Nigeria and a prominent African journalist, said initiatives such as the Belt and Road and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which has held two major summits during Xi's time in office, have had a significant impact on the continent.

"We can say that through the benefits brought about by these programs, roads have been constructed, rail transportation developed, with other (projects) under construction," she said.

One area where China has been transformed over the past 70 years is technology - tith the country emerging from being a backward agrarian society to the prospect of becoming a global leader in technology by 2035, one of the aims of the new era.

Edward Tse, founder and CEO of management consultancy Gao Feng Advisory, believes this can be achieved.

"Looking 16 years ahead, you can make a number of predictions as to what China is going to achieve in its new era, and you are talking about it becoming a leader in disruptive technologies like the internet of things, artificial intelligence and also, of course, in 5G, where it has already established a lead," he said.

Tse, author of China's Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, And Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business, said the strength of China's technological effort lies in how the central government is driving it from the top down.

"Local governments then become the glue to central government directions, incubating startups and giving them funding and creating this vast ecosystem, which also includes waves and waves of talented entrepreneurs," he said.

"You have got no other country operating like this. Yet you have this paradox where the West still thinks their way is the only way."

Wang, at the Center for China and Globalization, believes the country is now playing a role in the world that could not have been imagined in 1949.

"In its new era, it has a new confidence. It has demonstrated a commitment to globalization and wants to engage and partner with countries in a constructive but respectful manner," he said.

 

 

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[NBA condemned for 'free speech' excuse]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514369.htm Chinese observers condemned the National Basketball Association for applying double standards in defending "free speech" after a controversial tweet from an executive with the Houston Rockets basketball team.

The backlash to the now-deleted tweet of the team's General Manager Daryl Morey supporting protesters in Hong Kong is roiling the decadeslong relationship between the NBA and its biggest overseas market. Fans, observers and relevant organizations are questioning the league's support for Morey's tweet in the name of protecting "free speech rights".

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement released on Tuesday that the league's defense of free speech won't change, even with Morey's social media post widely considered in China as interference in the country's internal affairs.

"It's inevitable that people around the world - including from America and China - will have different viewpoints over different issues," Silver said in the statement issued before a preseason game in Tokyo. "The NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues."

Managing arguably the most-followed NBA franchise in China in large part thanks to its being the former team of legendary Chinese basketball player Yao Ming, Morey infuriated Chinese fans by tweeting an image that read "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong". That was a slogan often shouted by rioters during months of violent protests in Hong Kong.

Observers suggested the NBA has failed to recognize the seriousness of the matter in Hong Kong, where protests have increasingly grown violent and become a threat to China's territorial sovereignty.

"Silver and the league appear naive in this case and appear to be still not able to understand that they are applying double standards in handling the issue," said Su Qun, chief editor of twice-weekly newspaper Basketball Pioneers and a renowned sports commentator, on his Weibo account on Tuesday.

"They haven't realized so far that the boundaries for free expression regarding sensitive issues are different in China and the US. There are different taboos in other countries and cultures rather than just ethnicity, gender and religion in the US, which are nonnegotiable."

Hong Jianping, a sports communication researcher at Beijing Sport University, said: "Free speech should be respected and honored on certain conditions.

"There's nothing wrong with individuals expressing their opinions on condition that they have gained a full understanding of the matter. Unfortunately, it's not the situation in this case as they chose to speak not knowing what's really going on in Hong Kong," Hong said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also addressed the issue on Tuesday, saying the country's position over the incident is "very clear".

"It won't work if you exchange and cooperate with China but don't understand China's public opinion," he said in a news briefing.

Just two days ahead of a preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai, both China Central Television and internet giant Tencent announced on Tuesday that they had canceled broadcasting of two exhibition games between the teams, originally scheduled for Thursday in Shanghai and two days later in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. State-owned television network CCTV also said it will review all cooperation with the NBA.

The league also canceled a plan to send NBA legends and officials to a Shanghai primary school for a charitable donation ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.

Guangdong-based smartphone manufacturer Vivo, a presenting partner of NBA China games, on Tuesday joined a long list of Chinese sponsors - including sportswear brand Li-Ning and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank - by terminating business cooperation with the league.

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[New round of Sino-US trade talks to begin]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514368.htm

The planned new round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations is expected to cover a wide range of topics, with business and trade experts hoping the two sides will reach a speedy resolution amid weak global market sentiment.

At the US side's invitation, Vice-Premier Liu He will lead a delegation to Washington for the next round of talks on Thursday and Friday, said the Ministry of Commerce. Liu will meet United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the Chinese delegation will include officials from the ministries of commerce, finance, industry and information technology, and agriculture and rural affairs, as well as the central bank and the National Development and Reform Commission.

Yang Weiyong, an economics professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said the Chinese delegates' expertise will reflect to some extent the agenda to be discussed in the consultations.

Topics of discussions may cover trade, financial market opening-up, intellectual property rights and agriculture, Yang said.

"No matter how many obstacles that may stand in the way, I hope the two sides will seize the opportunity this time and create a win-win outcome," Yang said. "Both negotiating teams need to be flexible during the talks in order to work out a relatively comprehensive agreement."

Jens Puttfarcken, president and CEO of Porsche China, said the current scenario in the global economy is creating volatility and uncertainty, and businesses need to take actions to ease potential impact from these uncertainties as early as possible.

"For our part, we believe that there is no alternative to global free trade," Puttfarcken said. The German automaker delivered 42,608 vehicles to China in the first half of 2019, a year-on-year increase of 28 percent.

Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that while taking part in the high-level economic and trade talks, China needs to deepen reform, further opening-up and make changes.

Chen said she believes that China will continue to discuss the topics with the US in line with the direction of reform and opening-up, international rules and core national interests.

It is in the two sides' best interests to reach an agreement that addresses key issues such as market access, intellectual property rights and joint-venture technology transfers, said a report prepared by London-based global information provider IHS Markit.

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[Landmark date marks start of 'profound change in global order']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514367.htm The 70th anniversary celebrations demonstrate that China now represents a different version of modernity to that of the West, according to a leading academic.

Martin Jacques, author of When China Rules the World, one of the most influential books on the nation in recent times, said the world's second-largest economy had made clear it had a destiny of its own.

"It was a great moment for China. It marked that 70 years after the revolution, China has done brilliantly. It has dragged itself out of poverty, its standard of living is hugely greater than it ever was and it is now by far the most successful country in the world economically," he said.

The senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University insists that any idea that China had to become more Western to succeed now seems absurd.

"That was just hubris on the part of the West. China is a different sort of modernity, based on a different history and culture, and there is now no sign that it is going to move in that direction at all," he said.

Jacques said that since the global financial crisis of 2007-08, it is the West that has lost any sense of direction.

"The West is in big trouble. It is recognizably in serious decline. There is no easy way out for it. It has lost its sense of the future. China and the developing countries now are the crucible of a sense of the future."

Jacques, one of the United Kingdom's best-known left-wing thinkers, came to prominence as editor of Marxism Today, a popular political magazine in the 1970s and '80s.

He went on to be deputy editor of The Independent newspaper in the UK, and over the past decade or so has been a leading commentator on China.

He said it is not always understood in the West why 1949 is so important for China, ending as it did the century of humiliation that began with defeat to the British in the Opium Wars.

"The decline actually starts in the late 18th century, if not earlier, with the rise of Europe and the failure, even in the most advanced areas such as the Yangtze delta, to keep up economically," he added.

Jacques said there was nothing inevitable about Mao Zedong being able to turn this decline around.

"If you look at other great empires of pre-modern times, such as those of Rome and Greece, they were never able to return to their previous status in the world. So there was nothing inevitable about China being able to turn around its historical decline. This is the great achievement of the 1949 revolution," he said.

Jacques believes that is why Mao is such an important figure in Chinese history.

"What he achieved was extremely difficult and required ingenuity and leadership on his part. He understood that the revolutionary force in China was not the proletariat but the peasantry, and that showed an originality and imagination in his thinking."

A number of commentators, particularly some from the United States, argue the big changes came only after Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening-up policy in 1978 and the emergence of a private sector, but Jacques believes this is a fundamental misinterpretation.

"Deng could never have done what he did in 1978 without Mao. If you are asking me which was the greater achievement, it is no question that it was 1949," he said.

"He was building on the foundations which, above all, Mao was responsible for creating."

Jacques said Xi Jinping's report to the Communist Party of China 19th National Congress in October 2017, which launched the country's new era, was another major landmark in the nation's history.

"He was underscoring that the Chinese economy was not gravitating toward capitalism, that it was not going to end up as a Western-style economy or a Western-style polity, but it was going to remain profoundly different, remaining firmly in a socialist, rather than a capitalist, tradition," he said.

Jacques said New China's 70th anniversary has come at the beginning of profound change in the global order.

"The United States under Trump is rejecting the postwar order of which it was the architect, both rejecting multilateralism and advocating a new nationalist position, and thereby not taking responsibility for the global order," he said.

"China has been very pragmatic. It has been very gradualist and cautious and has not wanted to rip up the existing order. But things are moving much more quickly now and over the next 20 years there will undoubtedly be a new global order of some kind," he said.

Jacques believes the new order will be one where the West will prove to be less dominant.

"Europe is going to return to where it was before its rise in the 18th century, a place on the western end of the Eurasian landmass. It will engage more eastward. America, on the other hand, is going to become more divided and inward-looking and is in very serious decline," he said.

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[Regulation to boost climate for business]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514366.htm China will soon release a national regulation on improving the country's business climate by establishing a fundamental framework of rules to provide institutional safeguards for investment and business operations by all types of market players, domestic and foreign.

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Li leads State Council executive meeting to codify practices shown to be effective

China will soon release a national regulation on improving the country's business climate by establishing a fundamental framework of rules to provide institutional safeguards for investment and business operations by all types of market players, domestic and foreign.

A draft of the regulation was adopted on Tuesday at the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

In light of the needs of market players, the new regulation focuses on transforming government functions, draws on advanced international standards and seeks to codify experiences and practices proven effective in past reforms.

"Introducing this regulation now is critical for consolidating the outcome of our reform transforming government functions. It is also a key measure for tackling downward economic pressure and attracting more foreign investment," Li said.

Measures protecting market players are highlighted in the new regulation approved on Tuesday. They include the right of market players to operate independently and to have their personal and property safety protected, and for all types of market players to have equal access to factors of production and national policy incentives. They also include institutional arrangements such as a sound mechanism of punitive compensation for victims of intellectual property infringement.

Stronger efforts will be made in transforming government functions. Market access will be further widened. A national unified negative list for investment will be applied. Government at all levels are required to make public the time required to apply for permits and certificates, opening bank accounts and obtaining electrical service, and other needs in starting a business.

Officials also said administrative approvals will be further streamlined. Strict review and control will be put in place for any new administrative approval, the new regulation says, so that no new administrative approval will be created arbitrarily.

A prudent yet accommodative regulatory approach is to be used for emerging industries.

"Solid, clarified requirements must be made for starting businesses and for decoupling business licenses from operation permits, cutting the number of items requiring administrative approvals, market entry and exit, effective oversight and improving government services. All this will send out positive signals to the market and contribute to a good image internationally," Li said.

Government services will become more transparent, officials said. Without solid legislative support, administrative regulations won't be allowed to interfere with the rights and interests of market players. Administrative regulations won't be issued without hearing from market players and industrial associations.

"Our reform in streamlining administration and delegating powers is an important measure in building an enabling business environment. We still have large potential in this regard. To transform government functions in a transparent and fair manner also suits our efforts in further reform and opening-up," Li said. "The delegation of government powers must help deliver greater efficiency while the improvement of government oversight must help ensure fairness."

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[Lam says tough times ahead for HK]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514365.htm Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, cautioned on Tuesday that all sectors of the city will face a "chilly winter", as protracted violence has taken a heavy toll on the city's economy and people's livelihoods.

Before the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lam told reporters that the social unrest that has lasted for more than four months has created far-reaching societal effects.

Hong Kong is in "a very dangerous situation" now, she said, vowing to stem violence with the utmost resolution.

Attacks by rioters brought the city's railway network to an unprecedented standstill on Friday night and through Saturday.

As of Tuesday, MTR, the city's rail operator, provided only limited subway service, and transportation remained chaotic for a fifth consecutive day.

The continued violence also has hit the special administrative region's service industries, one of its economic pillars and the source of many grassroots jobs.

Retail, food and beverage, hospitality and tourism sectors have been particularly hard hit.

Fearing damage, many shopping malls have closed early in recent days. Retail sales saw a 25 percent year-on-year drop in August. Lam also said an Executive Council member from the food and beverage sector has said that mass layoffs, even shutdowns, are expected in local restaurants.

Tourists visiting Hong Kong in August, the usual peak season, dropped by 40 percent year-on-year. During the nation's Golden Week holiday from Oct 1 to Monday, also a peak time for tourism, visitors in Hong Kong were half the number recorded in the previous year.

Lam said the HKSAR government will cut fees and rents for affected industries and provide tax waivers and unemployment allowances to affected residents.

She also called for more supportive measures, especially from commercial property owners and developers, for hard-hit tenants.

Lam expressed hope that Legislative Council meetings will resume as scheduled on Oct 16 to deliberate stalled bills, including livelihood-related projects worth more than HK$100 billion ($13 billion).

On Tuesday, the LegCo announced that work to repair large-scale vandalism by rioters on July 1 is almost finished.

The damage, which extensively affected people's livelihoods and daily lives, also drew opposition from local residents.

A Hong Kong resident surnamed Lau, 45, who works in the service industry, said Hong Kong's tourism sector has taken a hit from the continuation of violent protests. She said the drop in tourist numbers has resulted in one out of four newsstands shutting down on a street where a friend of hers makes a living.

Most owners of the newsstands are in their 60s or 70s, which means it is hard for them to find a different job to support themselves, she said. While Lau said her friend has been able to keep his business afloat, the friend's income has dwindled, providing just enough to eke out a living.

Another resident surnamed Xu, who owns a business in the food and beverage industry, said his business earnings have been severely affected in recent months.

His company used to have monthly revenue of HK$4 million, but that has dropped to less than HK$1 million. Xu said most companies in the industry are seeing expenses exceed income.

The pressure from utility bills and rent has always been considerable in Hong Kong, but it now has become much worse, he said.

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[Beijing expo site will be center for ecological education]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/09/content_37514364.htm The Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition will hold its closing ceremony, themed "Ode to Harvest", on Wednesday in the city's Yanqing district.

The exhibition hosted nearly 3,300 activities and attracted 9.34 million tourists from home and abroad during its 162-day run. Eighty-six countries and 24 international organizations attended.

Premier Li Keqiang will attend the closing ceremony and deliver a speech on Wednesday evening, said Gao Yan, executive director of the expo's executive committee, at a news conference hosted by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.

Nearly 900 people, including foreign leaders and special envoys from five countries, international exhibitors, horticulture experts and journalists, will attend the ceremony, said Gao, who chairs the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Before the closing ceremony, Li will tour the China Pavilion with the foreign leaders, she said.

Beijing Expo 2019 exhibited more than 8,000 varieties of plants, including more than 820 species of fruit and Chinese herbs, said Wang Hong, vice-mayor of Beijing.

"It is the first time in horticulture expo history that the integration of horticultural techniques as a whole have been showcased," Wang said. "The expo also has vividly interpreted the concept of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature."

The expo park, at the foot of a section of the Great Wall, became home to 78 species of migratory birds. Berries to feed them were cultivated along the Gui River, which runs through the park, to enrich biodiversity.

The park, covering 503 hectares, has 14 different styles of gardens, created by top designers from around the world, to illustrate ideas for environmental development, said Zhou Jianping, deputy director of the Beijing Expo 2019 Coordination Bureau.

"We preserved more than 50,000 plants in the park during the expo. They will be a green legacy for the region," he said, adding that the main pavilions, such as the China Pavilion, use solar power, rainwater collection and drip irrigation to demonstrate approaches to recycling.

After the expo, the park will serve as an education center to display achievements in ecological civilization and convey the importance of nature, plants and environmental protection to the next generation.

Zhou said the park will become a tourist destination for Beijing residents. In less than half an hour, a high-speed train will take tourists from the capital's downtown to Yanqing district.

Facilities near the park, such as hotel accommodations, restaurants and other tourism-related establishments, are already in place to meet the needs of travelers, he said.

The park, as a legacy of the expo, will also be used to support the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, Zhou said. Yanqing will host several Winter Olympics events, including Alpine skiing, bobsled, skeleton and luge.

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2019-10-09 07:52:41
<![CDATA[Xi extends greetings to country's seniors]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514122.htm President urges elders in Macao to tell youths more about SAR's early days

President Xi Jinping called for carrying forward the spirit of "loving the motherland and loving Macao" when replying to a letter from 30 senior residents in the Macao Special Administrative Region ahead of the traditional Chongyang Festival on Monday.

To mark the event also known as the Double Ninth Festival, a day to respect the elderly that falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, Xi extended his greetings and best wishes in the letter dated on Sunday to seniors around the country.

Xi said that when he read a letter from 30 senior residents of an elderly care center of the Macao General Neighborhood Unions Association, he remembered meeting with them in Macao 10 years ago. He had visited the city in his capacity as vice-president.

"I'm happy to learn that you are passionate about public welfare activities and live a full and happy life after retiring," Xi said.

Saying they are of same generation as New China, Xi added that the seniors in Macao have witnessed tremendous changes that have taken place in the motherland over decades as well as the successful implementation of "one country, two systems" in Macao.

"You said in the letter you were proud of being Chinese, and I'm confident you represent the universal voices of all Macao people," he said.

Xi called on elderly people to continue to tell young people more stories about Macao before and after its return to the motherland, encourage young people to be actively engaged in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and join hands to build an even more beautiful Macao.

Xi visited Macao in January 2009, when the SAR was being affected by the international financial crisis. Despite his busy schedule during the two-day visit, he stopped by the elderly care facility.

Thirty seniors from the facility wrote to Xi recently, telling him about developments and changes Macao has undergone since it returned to the motherland in December 1999 and also expressing their strong sense of pride as Chinese, as well as their firm determination to carry forward the spirit of "loving the motherland and loving Macao".

It wasn't the first time that Xi had replied to a letter from senior residents at that elderly care center in Macao. Some two months after he visited Macao in 2009, he received a letter from a group of elderly people from the facility and replied on March 20, expressing the hope that they would uphold and carry on the patriotic tradition.

 

Seniors participate in a Chongyang Festival ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Monday. The event, also called the Double Ninth Festival, celebrates filial piety. Xu Yu / Xinhua

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[NBA exec's tweet over HK denounced]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514121.htm Chinese basketball fans and organizations have taken a strong stance against Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey's tweet backing protests in Hong Kong, which have grown increasingly violent.

With only days before the NBA tips off an overseas preseason game tour in Shanghai, Morey, the Rockets' general manager, infuriated Chinese fans by tweeting support for the protests in Hong Kong, which have led to vandalism and serious damage. The tweet has sparked criticism beyond the sport's circles in China and triggered related organizations to cut ties with the franchise.

During the Rockets' preseason trip to Japan on Friday, Morey tweeted an image that read "Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong".

That was a slogan often shouted by rioters during months of protests in Hong Kong, which were sparked by opposition to a bill to amend the special administrative region's extradition law.

Morey deleted the post after Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta distanced his organization from its GM's opinion, saying on Twitter that Morey doesn't speak for the Rockets. The team has had longstanding support in China for being the home of basketball Hall of Fame inductee Yao Ming from 2002 to 2011. Fertitta, however, later told ESPN that "everything is fine with Daryl and me".

The Chinese Basketball Association, now chaired by Yao, swiftly responded on Sunday, announcing it had suspended any exchange or cooperation with the Rockets and expressing "strong opposition" to Morey's "improper remarks regarding Hong Kong". The Chinese league has also canceled its four preseason games against NBA development league teams, including Rockets' affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers, originally set for Oct 19 and 20 in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.

The Chinese Consulate General in Houston issued a statement saying it was "deeply shocked" by Morey's "erroneous comments" and expressed "strong dissatisfaction". The consulate also urged the Rockets to "correct the error and take immediate concrete measures to eliminate the adverse impact".

Both China Central Television and the league's digital partner Tencent have announced a suspension of all broadcasting, livestreaming and news coverage of the Rockets, one of the most-followed NBA franchises in China, blocking it in its biggest overseas market.

The NBA, preparing for its preseason games between Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in Shanghai on Thursday and Shenzhen two days later, issued a statement on Monday through Mike Bass, its chief communications officer. Bass said the league understands Morey's views had "deeply offended many" in China, "which is regrettable".

"We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope that sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides," the statement said.

On Monday, Morey tweeted trying to clarify his original post.

"I did not intend my tweet to cause offense," Morey said. "I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives." He also said, "My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA."

Rockets star guard James Harden apologized to Chinese fans after practice in Tokyo. "We apologize. We love China," he said, standing alongside fellow All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook.

Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, who also owns the Nets, urged the league to learn its lesson on better understanding the history of China because repairing a hurt takes a long time.

"The one thing that is terribly misunderstood and often ignored is that 1.4 billion Chinese citizens stand united when it comes to the territorial integrity of China and the country's sovereignty over her homeland. This issue is nonnegotiable," the Chinese-Canadian entrepreneur wrote in an open letter posted on social media.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[Leaders' friendship helps boost relations worldwide]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514120.htm Editor's note: Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is the fundamental guideline for China's diplomatic work in the new era. China Daily is publishing a series of stories to examine how Xi's proposals have become internationally accepted and made great contributions to world peace and human progress.

On June 15, the 66th birthday of President Xi Jinping, he received surprising gifts - a big cake and some ice cream - from his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

The celebration took place in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, where the two leaders were attending the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia. It was their second meeting in just a week, following one at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.

The birthday celebration showed the close personal friendship between Xi and Putin. The leaders' countries celebrated the 70th anniversary this year of their establishment of diplomatic ties. Xi and Putin exchanged congratulatory messages last week.

In the past six years, Xi has made eight visits to Russia while Putin has visited China nine times. They also had over 30 meetings.

While Xi visited Vladivostok to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in September last year, Putin, dressed in an apron, showed him how to make a local type of crepes. He later invited Xi to taste the crepes with Russian caviar.

During his visit to Tianjin in June last year, Putin also learned from Xi how to make two kinds of Tianjin snacks - goubuli baozi (stuffed buns) and jianbingguozi (a large crepe with an egg, spices and fried dough sticks).

Developing personal friendships with other leaders is a prominent characteristic of Xi's diplomacy, and his friendship with Putin has greatly advanced China-Russia relations, according to Jin Yong, a professor of international relations studies at the Communication University of China.

China and Russia, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, also have enhanced coordination in regional and international affairs, which is of great significance to global peace and stability, he said.

According to State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, head-of-state diplomacy is the highest level of international communication and has irreplaceable effects and strategic value.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, Xi has been the chief architect of China's distinctive major-country diplomacy. He has been personally involved in the planning and conduct of head-of-state diplomacy.

Xi's leadership style and his personal charm have attracted lots of leaders from countries of different social systems and cultural backgrounds, and many of them have become Xi's good friends, Wang said at a news conference at the annual session of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, in March last year.

B.R. Deepak, a professor at the Center for Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi have established a friendly rapport during their formal and informal meetings.

In April last year, Xi and Modi had a highly unusual two-day, informal summit in Wuhan, Hubei province. The two leaders took a walk, tried two types of local tea, had talks on a boat and visited a museum.

Informal summits are helpful in establishing strategic communication between leaders, building consensus on certain issues and providing overall direction to bilateral relations, Deepak said.

He said that during the Wuhan summit, the two leaders agreed to issue strategic guidance to their militaries to bolster trust and mutual understanding. "They reached a consensus that differences between the two should not become disputes," he added.

Xi's diplomatic style has won respect from global leaders, and he has been feted many times with high-level receptions while visiting other countries.

When Xi visited Germany in March 2014 and July 2017, he and his wife, Peng Liyuan, received warm greetings from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband, Joachim Sauer.

Qin Gang, vice-foreign minister and then assistant foreign minister, told China Central Television in a program broadcast in 2017 that Sauer seldom attends public events, but he accompanied Xi during the two visits to show respect for the Chinese leader.

Juan Carlos Capunay, former Peruvian ambassador to China, said that Xi, through diplomacy at the presidential level, has consolidated the bonds that China has developed with other nations, especially in cooperation with reciprocal benefits.

"The foreign policy of President Xi has, as one of its core elements, the highest level of contact with leaders of countries beyond Asia," he said.

In September 2016, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, then president of Peru, visited China. It was his first visit to a foreign country after assuming presidential office. Just three months later, Xi made a state visit to Peru, right after participating in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Lima.

Xi's "sincere and friendly endorsement" made it possible for China to become the main market for Peruvian exports and the top investor in mining and other economic sectors, Capunay said. China is also one of the main contributors to the economic and social development of Peru, he added.

"The presidential diplomacy implemented by President Xi has helped different countries in the developing world integrate their economies into the global market and reap the benefits of international connectivity and integration," he said, adding that Xi's personal touch has been "well accepted by other leaders and governments".

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[Ties with six nations hailed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514119.htm

China's relations with Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland are facing new and even broader prospects in the new era, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi made the remark while exchanging congratulatory messages with the heads of state of the six European countries on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the nations. The congratulatory messages were released on Monday.

Xi said the six countries are among those that established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China the soonest following its founding on Oct 1, 1949.

He commended the development of bilateral ties over the past seven decades and underlined the need for the countries to work with China on jointly building the Belt and Road as well as opportunities for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries to bring their traditional friendship and cooperative relations to a new stage.

The six heads of state expressed hope that their countries would strengthen all-around exchanges and cooperation with China and value the traditional friendship with the country.

Premier Li Keqiang exchanged congratulatory messages with the prime ministers of the six countries.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[Tourism revenue reaches 650b yuan during 7-day holiday]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514118.htm

During the seven-day National Day holiday that ended on Monday, residents of Chongqing received text messages from the local public security bureau and tourism committee suggesting that they avoid popular scenic spots to ease traffic and make room for visitors.

Chongqing received more than 20 million Chinese and foreign visitors on the first four days of the weeklong holiday, according to the city's Culture and Tourism Development Committee.

But the city is not alone. China's domestic attractions saw about 782 million visits during the holiday, up 7.81 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on Monday.

Consumers' passion for spending also reached a fever pitch during the holiday, both in tourism and daily supplies, thanks to a growing desire for a better life and high-quality products.

Tourists' spending during the holiday reached nearly 650 billion yuan ($91 billion), an increase of 8.47 percent from the previous year, the ministry said.

Also on Monday, the Ministry of Commerce said that the combined sales of the retail and catering industries nationwide reached 1.52 trillion yuan during the holiday, up 8.5 percent year-on-year.

Lvmama, an online travel agency, issued a report on Monday saying travelers prefer high-quality tourism products and also open their wallets more freely in the evenings during the holiday because of their increasing desire and ability to spend.

Most attractive to travelers are group tours of no more than 10 people, with a driver, tour guides and good accommodations, the report said.

Lvmama also said it had seen an increase of 35 percent on travelers' spending at night - on such things as watching musicals at attractions - because of the increasing demand for more diverse experiences.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said nearly 45 percent of domestic travelers include such nighttime activities in their vacations.

E-commerce giant JD said revenues from outdoor sports products surged 412 percent year-on-year between Oct 1 and Friday, while sales of video content and games soared 183 percent from the same period last year. Spending on smartphones and electronic devices increased 90 percent.

Alibaba Group, another e-commerce giant, said that more than 3 million consumers bought Kweichow Moutai liquor on its Tmall platform during the holiday, with the total turnover of liquor rising 12 times from the previous year.

The company said about 40,000 Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs - a specialty dish in autumn - were sold in the first three days of the holiday at Hema Xiansheng, the Alibaba-owned online-to-offlines upermarket chain, and sales of king crabs skyrocketed 3,000 percent year-on-year.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[How China turned tide at Bandung conference]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514117.htm Zhou Enlai's pursuit of common ground for peace brought about unity, cooperation

Editor's note: In "Footprint", a series of stories recalling important examples of China interacting with the rest of the world, we follow the country's path over the past seven decades.

Despite relief at having narrowly escaped a death plot targeting him, premier Zhou Enlai was aware of the need to ease mounting tension inside a conference hall in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955.

Zhou was among representatives of 29 nations gathered in the Grand Hall of the Gedung Merdeka (Independence Building) on April 19 that year for the two-day plenary session of the First Asian-African Conference. He was leading a delegation from the People's Republic of China, which was founded in 1949.

Zhou had been scheduled to take a chartered aircraft to the conference, but changed his plans to attend urgent talks en route in Burma, which changed its name to Myanmar in 1989.

However, there was an explosion on board the aircraft and it crash-landed in the South China Sea northwest of Borneo on April 11, killing all 11 passengers heading to the conference, including eight Chinese, and five of the eight-member crew.

Sitting in front of a wall of flags from all the countries attending the conference, the chairmen of the event, Indonesian president Sukarno and prime minister Ali Sastroamidjojo, sensed the unease among the audience.

Some speakers in their general statements spoke favorably of colonial powers and the United States, which made its presence felt with a large press contingent. Skeptics openly accused New China of subversive activities against its neighbors and labeled communism "neocolonial".

In the 1950s, Asian and African countries faced harsh challenges, according to Joe Thomas Karackattu, assistant professor with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. In addition to rebuilding after World War II, nations emerging from Western colonization had to deal with the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. Some of these countries wanted nonalignment and idealism, but others sought to take sides.

Against this backdrop, Asian leaders started to seek a way to promote peace and cooperation. In April and May 1954, the prime ministers of Burma (U Nu), India (Jawaharlal Nehru), Indonesia (Ali Sastroamidjojo), Pakistan (Mohammad Ali Bogra) and Ceylon (John Kotelawala) met in Colombo, Ceylon's capital, and agreed to widen international cooperation to include newly independent African states. Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka in 1972.

They met again in December 1954 in Bogor, Indonesia, sponsoring the First Asian-African Conference, or Bandung Conference, to be held in Bandung the following year. The event was proposed by Sukarno.

When the conference began on April 18, 1955, Sukarno in his opening speech titled "Let a New Asia and a New Africa be Born", stated, "Our task is first to seek an understanding of each other."

His voice still reverberates through loudspeakers in the Museum of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, which exhibits a lifesize wax figure of Sukarno delivering the speech.

But divisive remarks and opposition to China on the first day of the conference appeared to be sidetracking the event.

Zhou and his aides acted promptly, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Instead of delivering his prepared speech, he had a written statement circulated. Explaining it later, he said, "The Chinese delegation has come here to seek unity and not to quarrel, to seek common ground and not to create divergences.

"All the Asian and African countries gained their independence from colonialist rule, whether these countries are led by communists or nationalists. We should seek to understand each other and respect each other, sympathize with and support one another, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence may completely serve as a basis for us to establish relations of friendship, cooperation and good neighborliness."

The Chinese move won widespread acclaim and was cited as a turning point for the conference's eventual success by Ali Sastroamidjojo, who later helped Zhou with dishes at a buffet. A picture of the pair at the buffet hangs on a wall at the Bandung museum.

Lai Hongyi, associate professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, credited Zhou's "skillful diplomacy" for helping China reach out to newly independent African and Asian nations.

A report in the US newspaper the St. Louis Post-Dispatch filed from Bandung in April 1955 and exhibited at the museum is headlined "Chou's Asian Politeness Proves Effective at Bandung." Zhou's name used to be spelled as Chou En Lai.

Hoo Tiang Boon, assistant professor with the China Program at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, considers the Bandung Conference "a coming out event for China", as the country's concepts of cooperation and friendship won popular support.

The conference became embroiled in heated closed-door panel discussions, and on April 23, Zhou expounded further on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence, proposing the use of "living in peace" as a substitute for "co-existence".

At noon that day, during a meeting with seven other nations, Zhou made a brief but profound statement. "The Chinese people will not wage war with the US, and the Chinese government is willing to sit down and talk with the US government," he said. The statement was aimed at addressing tension in Asia and the Taiwan question. Zhou's comments prompted an air of optimism at the conference and throughout the world.

When the Bandung Conference ended on April 24, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence were incorporated into the Ten Principles of Bandung in the Final Communique of the Asian-African Conference, and adopted unanimously. Sukarno said, "No task is more urgent than that of preserving peace."

The Ten Principles are displayed on boards at the museum in the languages of all the countries that took part in the conference.

They specify: respect for human rights and the UN Charter; respect for territorial integrity; equality of all races; nonintervention in the internal affairs of another nation; the right to self-defense; abstention from mandatory collective defense; nonaggression; peaceful settlement of disputes; promotion of cooperation; and respect for justice and obligations. They were among global documents incorporated in UN declarations in 1970 and 1974.

For Lai, the Bandung Conference "ushered in a new era for the global role of the developing world".

"This was probably the first time the developing world had asserted its new identity and voice to the major players in global politics and economy," he said.

The Bandung Conference marked the start of a new round of decolonization and intense promotion of cooperation among Asian and African countries. A display at the Bandung museum shows that in the following decade alone, 36 new nations emerged from colonial rule. A series of related conferences were held in Bandung and elsewhere to consolidate exchanges and unity between these countries.

Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the Indonesian People's Representative Council, said that certain countries in Asia and Africa have learned from cooperation with China, adding, "Economic cooperation is an important key for nonaligned countries' relations."

He said that in addition to carrying on the "Bandung Spirit" with solidarity, friendship and cooperation at its core, "it is expected that Bandung 1955 can develop into economic cooperation for the common good".

The communique issued at the conference recognized the urgency of promoting economic development in Asia and Africa, he added, and such collaboration could be extended to include historical, cultural and even religious approaches.

The Bandung Spirit continues to spread. In 2005, on the 50th anniversary of the first conference, leaders of Asian and African countries met in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, and Bandung to launch the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership.

During ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary in April 2015, President Xi Jinping told representatives from 109 countries that the Bandung Spirit remains relevant and potent, and the two "vibrant continents" of Asia and Africa could continue their time-tested partnership to build a more equitable and reasonable international order.

Xi joined Indonesian President Joko Widodo, former Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri - Sukarno's daughter - and others in restaging a 100-meter "historic walk" taken by Asian and African leaders in 1955 from the Savoy Homann Hotel to the Gedung Merdeka.

The walls of the hotel, which hosted Bandung Conference guests, are adorned with photographs of the leaders and there is also a guestbook with the signatures of Zhou and other key figures. The book is displayed in a glass case.

Ismet Inono, the hotel's director, said, "It is fascinating to have this kind of book so that everyone can see it."

Gedung Merdeka has become a major tourist attraction, with the Museum of the Asian-African Conference inaugurated there in 1980. College student Siti Nurhayati spent her summer vacation this year as an intern at the museum, which lies in the bustling center of the university city. "The museum is the pride of Bandung," she said.

Studying at Sunan Gunung Djati State Islamic University Bandung, she said her internship had enabled her to learn more about the Bandung Conference and Zhou Enlai.

"It's important for the younger generation to learn from the lessons of history," she added.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[Five Principles help nation to rise on the international stage]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514116.htm In late December 1953, during a meeting in Beijing with a visiting delegation from India, Premier Zhou Enlai first raised the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website states.

The Five Principles formally took effect with the Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between the Tibet Region of China and India, which was signed in Beijing on April 29, 1954, according to India's Ministry of External Affairs' publicity division.

In its preamble, the pact stated that the two governments had resolved to enter into the present Agreement based on the following principles:

i. Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

ii. Mutual non-aggression

iii. Mutual non-interference

iv. Equality and mutual benefit

v. Peaceful co-existence.

Siegfried Wolf, director of research at the South Asia Democratic Forum, a think tank in Brussels, the Belgian capital, said the principles served as the foundation for the relationship between China and India.

"The Five Principles were developed during the high point of the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai (India and China are brothers) spirit in 1954," he said.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru voiced his support for the Five Principles in a speech at the Colombo Conference held from April 28 to May 2, 1954, in Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka. When he met Zhou on June 28 that year, at the end of the Chinese premier's visit to India, they signed the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence into a joint declaration.

"The prime ministers reaffirmed these principles and felt that they should be applied in their relations with other countries in Asia as well as other parts of the world," the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said.

Similar comments appeared in a joint declaration between Zhou and Burmese Prime Minister U Nu on June 29, 1954, following Zhou's visit to the neighboring country.

But according to analysts, it was at the first Asian-African Conference - better known as the Bandung Conference - that the principles spread across continents, thanks to Zhou introducing New China's approach to international relations.

Wolf said incorporating the Ten Principles of Bandung in the Final Communiqué of the Asian-African Conference marked the "peak of the spirit" at the gathering, which aimed to create a fraternity of newly independent Asian and African countries.

Ho Tiang Boon, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said, "The key point here is that China has contributed its own ideas from the start about international relations."

A consensus that China's international relations should be based on the principles was evident among the country's leadership. When Chairman Mao Zedong visited Moscow, the Russian capital, in November 1957, he announced that China thought that all countries should promote the Five Principles.

His comments attracted attention at the United Nations on Dec 11, 1957, when a resolution on peaceful coexistence, introduced by India, Sweden and Yugoslavia, was adopted by the General Assembly.

Lucio Blanco Pitlo, research fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, a think tank in Manila, capital of the Philippines, said the principles later emerged as the core of the Non-Aligned Movement, whose founding in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, was "a repudiation" of the two competing ideological blocs during the Cold War.

They also brought China a new round of success in the international arena, raising the number of countries with which it had formal diplomatic relations from 23 at the end of 1955 to 50 by 1969, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lai Hongyi, associate professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, said, "This new relationship allowed China to be a core and influential nation in the developing world."

Senior Leader Deng Xiaoping, in his speech to the UN General Assembly in 1974, emphasized the Five Principles for international political and economic relations.

On Jan 17, 1975, the principles were officially written into the preamble to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and have remained as a diplomatic guide ever since, despite repeated amendments. By the end of July, they had helped the country to form diplomatic relations with 178 nations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Pitlo said it was China's determination to uphold the Five Principles that led to the country adopting a No First Use policy, which refers to a pledge not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare, unless first attacked by an adversary using such arms. China pledged the policy in 1964, becoming one of the first countries to do so.

The principles were included in a range of UN documents, becoming the basic norms governing international relations as well as the key basis for international law.

Pitlo said, "As China's rise impacts the world in many ways, the challenge of holding high the banner of the Five Principles will find greater resonance."

On June 28, 2014, at a meeting in Beijing marking the 60th anniversary of the principles, President Xi Jinping said, "China will firmly pursue friendship and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence."

According to Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the House of Representatives in Indonesia, China has been applying the principles to efforts to amicably settle maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

Alie recalled his talks with Xi in October 2013 in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in which Xi said disputes between China and several Southeast Asian countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights would be resolved through peaceful solutions.

Alie said Xi was also committed to stronger relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations through various means, such as expansion of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, maritime partnerships, cooperation in disaster prevention and mitigation, and joint law enforcement.

Joe Thomas Karackattu, assistant professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, said that although China has "already articulated the Five Principles as the basis of the Asian security order", it could use them to "create a sense of 'Asianness'" in international affairs.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[First violators of anti-mask law charged]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514115.htm HK govt condemns violence, vandalism taking place over 18 straight weekends

Two people have become the city's first offenders charged under the newly enacted anti-mask legislation in Hong Kong, which took effect on Saturday.

The law, which bans wearing masks at public assemblies, is aimed at deterring radical protesters from committing violent crimes with their identities hidden.

The man and woman appeared in the Eastern Magistrates' Courts on Monday morning to face one count each of violating the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation.

Both were released on bail but were required to surrender their travel documents, observe a curfew order and report in person to the police station every week until their cases are heard again on Nov 18 at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts.

Police have not disclosed how many arrests were made under the anti-mask legislation.

Influential figures in legal and political sectors expressed hope for a clear and unequivocal ruling in the first cases related to the new law.

Maria Tam Wai-chu, deputy director of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee, said she hopes the court's decision on the case helps deter violence and sends an important message to radicals that wearing masks during public gatherings will result in legal consequences.

The law was introduced essentially as a deterrent, Tam said, adding that she believes it will be effective as such.

Parents and teachers may also put pressure on young people and prevent them from violating the law, Tam said.

Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said that charging violators of the anti-mask law showed the government's resolve in stemming violence with more decisive and powerful actions.

In an interview with China Daily, Lau said he believes the court will make an appropriate decision in rulings on the first cases under the anti-mask law as the judgment is of concern to the public interest as it deters further violations.

Hong Kong was crippled once again by citywide rampaging by masked mobs over the weekend with riotous crowds in illegal assemblies blocking roads, vandalizing subway stations and smashing bank and shop windows at multiple locations across the city. The mobs set fires on streets, hurled gasoline bombs at police and attacked those who criticized their actions.

The Hong Kong government has condemned the violence and vandalism that have taken place for 18 straight weekends.

The government urged the public not to engage in illegal activities.

The city's police force also issued a stern statement condemning the rioters, calling their actions "completely lawless".

By taking the law into their own hands to attack bystanders, the mobs have overstepped the bottom line of a civilized society, the statement read.

On Sunday, a woman later identified as actress Celine Ma Tai-lo was beaten up for filming rioters' acts of vandalism.

The police reiterated that they would not tolerate violence and vowed to continue to take resolute enforcement action to maintain public safety and bring all offenders to justice.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[Country flirting with possible surplus of pandas]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/08/content_37514114.htm

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda now has more than 300 captive pandas for the first time.

It is home to 312 of the captive animals making the center the largest captive panda population in the world, according to the latest information released recently by the center in Sichuan province.

The head count means the center has been able to develop a self-sustaining and growing captive panda population with the ability to release them into the wild in order to enlarge the wild panda population, said Zhang Hemin, executive chief of the center.

Pandas are native to Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

As of November, the country had 548 captive pandas, according to the State Forestry and Grassland Administration.

In 1980, an agreement between the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Chinese government led to the establishment of the center in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan. The center is now the world's largest panda conservation and research organization.

Traditionally, visitors have not expected to see lots of pandas at the center. Wan Yongqing, a middle-aged panda fan from Beijing, said, "Since my childhood, I have been told pandas are an endangered species."

But visitors are pleasantly surprised when they visit the center thanks to the painstaking work of its researchers to solve the three main problems in breeding pandas in captivity - the short estrus, mating and nursing.

Through their work, the center has rescued the animals from the brink of extinction and built up the number of captive pandas there from a mere 10 to 312.

It used to be difficult for captive pandas to become ruttish and mate, and producing viable offspring has always been somewhat of a challenge. But from 1992 to 2006, our researchers solved all three problems, Zhang said.

With the world's largest captive panda population, the center no longer catches wild pandas for research. Instead, it sends captive pandas into the wild, he said.

Since 2006, the center has sent 11 captive pandas into the wild. Nine are still verifiably alive.

Tao Tao, then a 2-year-old male panda from the center, was released into the wild in the Liziping Nature Reserve in Sichuan in 2012. He was discovered in a tree a year later.

After a veterinarian tranquilized him with a dart, a blood test showed the panda was in good health.

Tao Tao weighed 42 kilograms when he was released. When he was found a year later, he had gained at least 10 kg.

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2019-10-08 07:58:50
<![CDATA[Xi, Kim laud sound, stable bilateral ties]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/07/content_37513967.htm President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that Beijing stands ready to join hands with Pyongyang in pushing forward the long-term, sound and stable development of their bilateral relationship.

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China-DPRK friendship weathers intl changes and becomes stronger, Xi says

President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that Beijing stands ready to join hands with Pyongyang in pushing forward the long-term, sound and stable development of their bilateral relationship.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark as he exchanged congratulatory messages with Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, over the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In his message, Xi extended warm congratulations on behalf of the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people, to Kim, who is also chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, and through Kim to the WPK, the DPRK government and the DPRK people.

China and the DPRK officially established diplomatic ties 70 years ago, which had epoch-making significance in the history of relations between the two parties and countries, Xi said.

The DPRK was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.

Xi said the China-DPRK traditional friendship has weathered international vicissitudes and changes over time under the care of successive leaders of the two parties and countries and joint efforts from both sides over the past seven decades.

It has enjoyed constant development, become even stronger and been supported by the people, he said.

He also said that the two countries have achieved fruitful results in exchanges and cooperation in various fields that have greatly promoted prosperity and progress in the cause of socialism in the two countries and played an active and important role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Xi stressed that the China-DPRK traditional friendship is a precious asset of two parties, two countries and two peoples. It is an unswerving policy of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop sound China-DPRK ties, he added.

He said he highly values developing China-DPRK ties and cherishes the mutual trust and friendship with Kim.

In June, Xi paid a two-day state visit to the DPRK, the first visit by the top leader of the CPC and China's head of state in 14 years. Before the visit, Xi and Kim had met four times in China since Kim first visited Beijing in March last year.

A series of important consensuses reached through the meetings have guided the bilateral relationship into a new historical era, Xi said.

In his message, Kim extended the warmest congratulations and sincerest wishes in the name of the WPK, the DPRK government and the DPRK people to Xi and through Xi to the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

The two parties and peoples of the two countries have always weathered all tempests while sharing weal and woe with each other in the course of defending and developing the cause of socialism and have written a history of great friendship, Kim said.

He said that the DPRK-China relationship has entered a critical period of carrying forward history and carving out a new future. It is the fixed position of himself, the WPK and the DPRK government to carry forward the excellent traditions of the DPRK-China friendship and to further develop overall prosperity and friendly and cooperative relations, Kim said.

Kim said he firmly stands together with Xi in strengthening and developing the DPRK-China friendship as desired by the people of the two countries, in steadily defending the cause of socialism, and in preserving peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and around the world.

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2019-10-07 06:52:57
<![CDATA[Innovation key to industrial upgrading]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/07/content_37513966.htm

Chinese industry has been following the path of technological innovation and opening-up for decades and will undergo even deeper and wider upgrades in the years to come, experts said.

The nation is now spearheading efforts to marry artificial intelligence with 5G for industrial applications, thus injecting new vitality into its sprawling real economy, they said.

Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology, the country's top industry regulator, said that 70 years ago China could only make basics like tables, teacups and flour. It could not make cars, airplanes, tanks or even tractors.

But now China has emerged as the only country in the world that ticks all the industrial category boxes under the United Nations' International Standard Industrial Classification. Boasting 41 industrial divisions, 207 groups and 666 classes of products and services, it has built up a modern industrial system and evolved into a global manufacturing juggernaut.

Currently, in each passing minute, China produces about 1,770 tons of crude steel, mines 7,000 tons of raw coal and ships more than 50 cars, 160 refrigerators, 460 air conditioners and 590 computers out of its countless factories.

In 2018, the country's industrial output topped 30 trillion yuan ($4.2 trillion), a dramatic shift from the 12 billion yuan output in 1952, data from the ministry showed.

"It's a miracle in human history that China has gone through industrialization in seven decades. In comparison, the process has taken developed countries hundreds of years," Miao said.

More importantly, with rising spending on research and development, Chinese enterprises have also made a string of breakthroughs in key technologies. For instance, China has unveiled the Jiaolong, its deep-sea manned submersible. The country also debuted its domestically built large passenger jet C919 and China has produced its most powerful supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight powered by domestically developed chips.

"Enterprises have made constant strides in improving their technological innovation capabilities that have become the fundamental driving force for sustainable development in China," Miao added.

The country has evolved from a follower into a global pioneer in a wide range of sectors including telecom, power generation and transmission equipment as well as high-speed railways, he said.

Official data show that China has so far contributed the largest number of patents essential to 5G standards in the world. The progress came after the country's mobile service subscribers hit 1.57 billion in 2018.

Qin Hailin, a senior industrial economy researcher at the China Center for Information Industry Development, said despite current challenges facing China's industrial economy, the country has sound manufacturing fundamentals and the government has made it clear that it will not scale back efforts to achieve industrial restructuring.

"The manufacturing sector is at a crucial stage amid an uphill battle and its growth will slow down to some extent. But as China cultivates innovation-driven growth, its real economy will become increasingly intertwined with the virtual economy and will move forward in a solid and sound fashion," Qin said.

In 2018, the market size of China's digital economy hit 31 trillion yuan, second only to the US.

"China's rapid advancements in digital economy and local companies' readiness to embrace cutting-edge internet, artificial intelligence, big data and cloud technologies will help expedite industrial upgrading," Qin added.

Qu Xianming, an expert at the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, said that as China pushes in-depth synergy of technological advances with economic and social development, innovation will contribute to an increasingly large part of the real economy.

"Industrial growth will benefit considerably from the strategy, which can motivate the long-predicted convergence of IT and other industries to boost momentum in China," Qu said.

A case in point is that Chinese tech companies are teaming up with a variety of industries - agriculture, automobile and healthcare - to explore possibilities of combining 5G and AI to revolutionize traditional sectors of the economy.

From conducting the world's first 5G-enabled brain surgery on a human, transmitting 8K ultra-high-definition TV content through 5G networks and piloting self-driving buses and cars, China is pioneering cutting-edge technologies for commercial use.

Yang Kun, an expert at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology - a Beijing-based research institute - said 5G enables data transfers at speeds at least 10 times faster than 4G, so it is possible to gather high-quality data quickly, which is necessary to ensure effective AI operations.

"AI applications have existed before the commercial use of 5G, but it is the superfast speed, gigantic computing capacity and massive device connectivity of 5G that will spawn the use of AI in more sectors and on a far larger scale," Yang said.

"China, as one of the world's largest IT and industrial markets, has an unrivaled edge in smart manufacturing," Yang added.

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2019-10-07 06:52:57
<![CDATA[Tech might help sustain shares in fourth quarter]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/07/content_37513965.htm Technology shares may lead Chinese equities higher to stand out among global financial assets in the fourth quarter, but uncertainties surrounding trade tensions with the United States may complicate any potential uptrend, analysts said.

"We continue to believe that emerging market equities in general are relatively attractive investments and that leading EM equities will be Chinese equities," said Daniel Gerard, senior multi-asset strategist at State Street Global Markets, a US-based global investment research and trading services provider.

"We expect a positive fourth quarter for China's A shares with a caveat," Gerard said. His forecast is predicated on further economic stimulus from Beijing, progress toward a Sino-US tariff resolution and global central banks' coordinated liquidity support that will manage to assuage any slowdown.

The caveat of this forecast mainly derives from possible twists and turns in the resolution of trade tensions, he said.

Technology firms have the potential of being outperformers among A shares given the sector's long-run strong prospects amid China's economic upgrading, Gerard said.

Near-term downside sector risks stemming from US tariffs and slower global growth, however, should be watched, he added.

Valuations of technology shares related to 5G infrastructure and consumer electronics are still "reasonable", considering the two sectors' foreseeable earnings growth over the next two years, said a Beijing-based portfolio manager who declined to be named.

Further monetary easing could be expected over the rest of the year, which will boost risk appetite and benefit high-growth tech firms, he said, adding that the opportunity window for adding exposure to the two sectors should open if the market sees downward adjustment.

During the July-September period, the Shenzhen, Guangdong province-based ChiNext - which is heavy with innovative and growth enterprises - rose 7.68 percent to 1,627.55 points, with subindexes tracking sectors of semiconductor and electronics rising 20 percent and 16 percent, respectively, according to financial information provider Wind Info.

Over the same period, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.47 percent to 2,905.19 points, after retreating from a 11-week intraday high on Sept 16.

The market retreat in late September partly reflected mild disappointment over cautious easing measures by the People's Bank of China, the central bank, and investors cutting exposure before the long National Day holiday, said Wendy Liu, head of China Strategy at UBS Investment Research.

Looking at the fourth quarter, investors are hopeful that the new lending reference rate will continue to decrease, which should help repair margins and potentially restore valuations of some stocks that face large interest expense payments, Liu said.

As the market reopens on Tuesday, investors will grapple with fluctuations in overseas stock markets over the holiday and await progress in upcoming Sino-US trade talks and third-quarter earnings results.

Recent overseas fluctuations are not likely to exert a major impact on A shares as the slide of US stocks was limited, said Ricky Zhong, a fund manager at iMeigu Capital Management.

US stocks tumbled in the first two trading days of October amid recession concerns and trade tensions between the US and the European Union. The market recovered later, with the S&P 500 ending the week 0.33 percent lower at 2,952.01 points.

Vice-Premier Liu He is about to lead the Chinese delegation to Washington for the 13th round of the China-US high-level economic and trade consultations in the week following the National Day holiday, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Ahead of the resumption of trade talks, the US administration was reported by Bloomberg to be considering policies restricting portfolio investment in Chinese equities. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNBC on Sept 30 that over half of the report "was highly inaccurate or simply flat-out false".

Such restrictions, if taken, may weigh on A-share investor sentiment in the short term but are not likely to cause any major disruptions considering the limited US holdings in A-share assets, said Dong Dengxin, director of Wuhan University of Science and Technology's Finance and Securities Institute.

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2019-10-07 06:52:57
<![CDATA[PLANT-BASED MEATS GAINING MARKET MOMENTUM IN US]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/07/content_37513964.htm Big-name franchises add new options to menus

It took a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in the United States just five hours to sell all its plant-based "fried chicken" on Aug 27, when the fast-food chain tested its first vegan product.

Named Beyond Fried Chicken, the new product, sold at a store in Atlanta, Georgia, was the result of a partnership between KFC and Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles company that produces plant-based meat substitutes.

It was the first time a plant-based chicken product had been sold at a national fast-food chain in the US.

KFC said it would examine the data and customer reactions from the single-store test before deciding whether to launch the product on a nationwide scale. In the meantime, a number of other major fastfood chains have added plant-based choices to their menus.

Burger King introduced its plant-based Impossible Whopper sandwich - the vegan version of its signature hamburger - at more than 7,000 locations in the US early in August for a limited period after testing it in selected areas for four months.

White Castle, Carl's Jr Restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory and Del Taco are among those who have joined this trend in recent years, with the vegan menus introduced by the big-name restaurant chains being just the tip of the iceberg for a dietary change that is sweeping the US.

Nina Gheihman, who is studying for a doctorate in sociology at Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, told the Harvard Gazette: "What this is, is the mainstreaming process. Especially in the past three to five years, veganism has really transformed from being this fringe animal rights movement into a lifestyle movement."

Plant-based protein shipments from distributors to food service operators increased by 20 percent last year, according to market research company NPD. Vegan menu penetration in the US has risen by 490 percent in the past decade, with more than 11 percent of the country's menus now featuring the word "vegan", according to research company Datassential.

Grubhub, a leading delivery platform, reported that its orders for vegan-friendly foods increased by 25 percent in the first five months of this year compared with the same period last year.

Consumers' increasing exposure to vegan choices in restaurants has expanded the customer base for plant-based foods, according to industry insiders.

David Portalatin, food industry adviser for NPD, said, "It's clear by the growth in plant-based protein shipments to food service and restaurant operators that this category has mainstreamed beyond those who choose a meatless diet."

A recent NPD survey found that 14 percent of US consumers - a total of 43 million - regularly use plant-based alternatives such as almond milk, tofu and veggie burgers, and 86 percent of these customers do not consider themselves vegan or vegetarian.

The rise of the plant-based foods industry is becoming evident. Sales of such foods grew by 11 percent in the past year, according to the Good Food Institute, significantly higher than the 2 percent increase in general US food sales.

GFI, which advocates a vegan diet, estimated that the retail market for plant-based foods was worth $4.5 billion as of April, and investment group UBS has projected the sector will grow to $85 billion by 2030.

Within the industry, plant-based milk has been the most-developed market, comprising 15 percent of total milk sales, according to information provider Nielsen. Sales of vegan milk in the US rose by 9 percent last year, with those for traditional cow's milk falling by 6 percent.

On the other hand, meat alternatives account for less than 1 percent of the total US retail meat market, according to GFI. Nonetheless, the growth rate has been exceptional, reaching 37 percent in the past two years.

Industry set to grow

By 2025, the meat substitute industry worldwide is expected to grow to $7.5 billion, according to a report by Allied Market Research.

Bruce Friedrich, GFI executive director, said the surge in plant-based meat sales was fueled by technological advances that changed the texture and taste of the products.

An innovative approach, known as "biomimicry", which replicates the biochemical composition and three-dimensional structure of meat with plant-based ingredients, using novel manufacturing techniques, can create the flavor, texture and overall experience of eating meat, Friedrich wrote in a report last year.

The approach started to spread about a decade ago, with new players such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods entering the market.

The two companies are leading the way among US restaurant chains in exploring vegan menus. Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger - plant-based products from both companies - can be seen in more than a dozen restaurant chains, including Burger King and KFC.

Beyond Meat posted revenue of $67.3 million in the second quarter of this year, a 287 percent year-on-year rise that beat expectations by more than $15 million.

Friedrich said: "It is clear from these results that the plant-based meat industry is gaining momentum and shows no sign of slowing. This is a market sector on fire."

Beyond Meat was the first plant-based alternative meat producer to list on Wall Street. Its stock surged by more than 160 percent on its market debut in May, the best performance by an initial public offering in nearly two decades.

Privately held Impossible Foods, which according to its CEO, Patrick Brown, has no plans to go public, has raised nearly $700 million in more than 12 rounds of funding, according to business information platform Crunchbase.

As of last year, investors had poured some $17.1 billion into the plant-based foods market, according to GFI, with $13 billion of this coming in the past two years.

While newer, smaller companies are fueling this growth, traditional food processors worldwide are showing increasing interest in joining the game.

Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the US, which invested in Beyond Meat from 2016 to April this year, said in mid-June it would launch its own plant-based product line.

Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, said in a statement, "Today's consumers are seeking more protein options, so we're creating new products for the growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein."

Alison Rabschnuk, director of corporate engagement at GFI, said, "Just as other meat producers have repositioned themselves as 'protein companies', Tyson recognizes that consumers are eating more plant-based foods, whether for reasons of health, environmental sustainability or animal welfare."

Nestle, based in Switzerland, and Maple Leaf Foods, headquartered in Canada, have both introduced vegetarian options, which have been welcomed by vegan advocates.

"We want to be clear that a rising tide will lift all boats here," said Friedrich, who argued that mainstream adoption of plant-based meat is a critical step in this food system transformation.

"Far from stealing market share or creating competition for a limited pool of consumers, the introduction to the market of the legacy meat and food companies shows that the plant-based meat sector is here to stay," he said.

By entering the sector, these companies are creating a bigger market and exposing plant-based choices to a broader consumer base, Friedrich added.

In US fast-food restaurants, the number of hamburgers sold in the year ending May was almost 30 times that for veggie burgers, whose sales rose by 10 percent, according to an NPD report.

Noelle O'Mara, Tyson Foods' chief marketing officer, said, "While most Americans still choose meat as their primary source of protein, interest in plant and blended proteins is growing significantly."

NPD said vegans and vegetarians are not major buyers of veggie burgers - only representing less than 10 percent of the market. However, 18 percent of the overall US adult population is trying to get more plant-based foods into their diets.

A survey last year by public relations company Mattson found that nearly one-third of the US population are "flexitarians" - normally keeping to a meatless diet but consuming animal products occasionally.

GFI's report said the increasing adoption of plant-based products by flexitarians has been one of the primary driving factors in the increased demand for such foods. For example, more than 70 percent of Beyond Burger's consumers are flexitarians.

NPD said the rising popularity of plant-based foods among customers of all kinds is fueled by a variety of needs, such as people wanting more protein in their diets, concerns for animal welfare and how meat products are brought to market, sustainability, and what consumers perceive to be healthier nutrition.

According to the World Resource Institute, animal-based foods are typically more resource-intensive and "environmentally impactful" to produce than plant-based foods, which use less soil and water, and produce fewer greenhouse gases.

Since 1990, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in the US have increased by 8.8 percent, according to 2017 data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which concluded that the system for managing livestock manure is a significant contributor to this. The agricultural sector has seen 57 percent growth in combined methane and nitrous oxide emissions, while such emissions in other sectors have remained relatively unchanged.

Walter Willett, a nutrition expert from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said on National Public Radio in the US: "I think if we really care about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit, we do need to shift toward a vegan diet. And the good news is that it's not just our planet that will be more healthy. We will be more healthy as well."

Health problems

Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, wrote in a report that researchers have associated red meat, especially that which is processed, with a range of health problems.

These include obesity, Type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, while long-term research shows that replacing red meat with nuts, legumes and other plant-based protein alternatives is associated with a decrease in such risks, according to Hu.

But the innovative plant-based foods now available, which are generally highly processed and rely on purified plant protein, have raised doubts over whether they are healthier options.

While products from Beyond Meat and Impossible Food contain no cholesterol, a high level of which could increase the risk of heart attacks, and are also lower in total and saturated fat than a beef burger patty, Hu said they have similar levels of protein and calories to a hamburger patty, and a higher sodium content.

Connie Diekman, director of nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement when Burger King tested its Impossible Burger patty in April, "If you want a plant-based alternative that has the taste of a burger, the Impossible Burger is your choice - but it comes with similar amounts of fat and calories.

"If you try to increase the amount of plant protein in your diet, this should only be part of a larger portfolio of alternatives."

The booming plant-based foods market has triggered action from traditional industries and even local legislation.

More than two dozen states in the US have introduced legislation to make it illegal for plant-based foods to be labeled "meat," "burger," or "hot dog," describing this as "misrepresenting and misleading".

The legislation is supported by traditional animal product producers. Mike Deering, spokesman for the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, said in an interview with National Public Radio in May, "Why try to mimic the traditional meat industry?"

Vegan food advocates spoke out against the bills and said they would limit sales of such products in some places and increase production costs.

Plant-based foods producers Tofurky and Upton's Naturals, along with advocacy organizations, have filed three lawsuits against the labeling laws in Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi, claiming they violate the First and Fourteenth amendments to the US constitution.

Jaime Athos, CEO of Tofurky, said, "When consumers choose plant-based foods, it is not because they are confused or have been misled; it is because they are savvy and educated about the health and environmental consequences of eating animal products."

 

A plant-based sausage is served in a bun.Richard Levine/ap

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2019-10-07 06:52:57
<![CDATA[Upgraded PLA forces make a big impression]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513936.htm China staged a stunning military parade in central Beijing on Tuesday, showcasing the remarkable strides made by the Chinese armed forces in recent years.

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Event highlights forward march of military reforms, defense systems

China staged a stunning military parade in central Beijing on Tuesday, showcasing the remarkable strides made by the Chinese armed forces in recent years.

The parade reflected the military's new structure, created through reforms starting in late 2015. The reforms were initiated by President Xi Jinping and represent the most thorough overhaul of the nation's defense systems in the past several decades.

About 15,000 officers and soldiers from the People's Liberation Army, People's Armed Police Force, reserve services and militia, including more than 100 senior officers with a rank of major general or higher, took part in the 80-minute parade in front of Tian'anmen Square, one of prominent symbols of New China.

It was the country's 18th military parade since the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949 and its 15th National Day parade.

Riding in a limousine before the procession commenced, President Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, inspected troops and weapons waiting along the eastern section of Chang'an Avenue.

Fifteen marching units of troops moved down the avenue on foot. Most of those were led by two major generals or rear admirals. One of the formations was composed of dozens of high-ranking officers, including commanders from the Central Military Commission and the PLA's five theater commands.

It was the first National Day parade for the PLA Strategic Support Force and the PLA Joint Logistic Support Force, which were established in recent years. It was also the first time China's peacekeeping troops have participated in a parade.

A total of 580 pieces of weaponry and equipment in 32 units followed the marching groups, putting on public display the nation's prowess in land and sea combat, air and missile defense, informational operations, unmanned tasks, logistical support and strategic strikes.

In the skies, about 160 fighter jets, bombers, early-warning and control planes, electronic reconnaissance planes, attack helicopters and other types of military aircraft in 12 units roared over urban Beijing, representing the country's air power.

All of the military hardware appearing in the parade was developed and built in China. Many of them had not been shown in public before.

Compared with previous parades, Tuesday's event highlighted the armed forces' enhanced capabilities in carrying out joint combat and logistical support operations, as well as space-and cyberspace-centered missions.

The groupings of troops and weapons were based on their roles and missions in joint operations on different battlefields, which were designed to raise participants' awareness of joint warfare, according to Major General Cai Zhijun, a senior official in the Central Military Commission's Joint Staff Department and deputy director of the Office of the Parade Leading Group.

The parade also displayed noticeable advances in the PLA's modernization work in recent years.

Many world-class weapons were unveiled to the public via the parade, including the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile, DF-17 hypersonic ballistic missile and Z-20 utility helicopter.

 

A group of soldiers holding 100 army flags representing PLA units with glorious histories rolls by for inspection during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in central Beijing on Tuesday. Liu Dawei / Xinhua

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[Gala caps anniversary in grand style]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513935.htm A grand gala marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China took place in Tian'anmen Square on Tuesday evening.

The epic spectacle of songs, dances and fireworks was a vibrant display that celebrated a nation and its people.

The gala began at 8 pm with soaring fireworks that formed the number 70 in the sky.

More than 60,000 citizens took part in the mass pageantry, which lasted 90 minutes.

"The participation of ordinary people was definitely a highlight of the gala," said Pang Wei, executive deputy director of the gala's organization department.

In addition to professional artists, Pang said, most performers are from different fields and range in age from 6 to 66.

"There were teachers, students, factory workers, farmers and others who joined the celebration," Pang said.

Among the roughly 40 classic and beloved songs performed at the event were many ethnic folk songs, signifying the 70th anniversary of the PRC as a festival shared by Chinese people of all ethnic groups.

"It is a festival for everybody," said Hao Liya, a 60-year-old retired worker from Beijing. "We are the people who have witnessed the country's development."

Hao was one of nearly 30,000 dancers divided into 10 large formations. Hers performed a ribbon dance, while other formations waved glowing sticks and other props.

"When I was young, my family was so poor that even fresh fruits were a luxury. We had apples on the table, but only for decoration, not for eating," said Hao, who also participated in the 35th National Day parade in 1984.

She said China's rise has given its people a much better life and future.

"When I was dancing to the song My Motherland and I, I had tears in my eyes," Hao said. "Over the past 70 years, there has been great progress for China and also a great progress for each of us."

Directed by Zhang Yimou, creator of the astonishing opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the gala's theme performance presented China's rise with massive synchronized displays of gymnastics and dance.

There were nearly 3,300 performers, each holding a portable screen, who changed their formation to display different images, including flying doves and a growing tree.

On a stage next to the themed performance area was a symphony orchestra composed of nearly 1,000 members from 16 central or local symphony orchestras, along with a choir consisting of 1,400 students. Pang, one of the gala's planners, said the joint performance of the orchestra and choir at this scale was a first for the world.

Ren Jianxing, a 20-year-old gala volunteer, said the majestic spectacle gave him confidence in the nation's future.

"The atmosphere at the gala parallels the condition of our country - energetic and prosperous," he said. Ren was among the 160,000 volunteers who assisted all celebration events. Most of the parade volunteers were 19 to 30 years old.

"The rapid development of our country gives young people like me many opportunities and a bright future," he said.

As a junior student majoring in intelligent transportation, Ren said one of the major achievements he has noticed is the change in transportation.

Living in the Beijing suburbs, Ren said that 15 years ago it took him and his family seven hours to travel to Tian'anmen Square to watch the flag-raising ceremony, but now the same trip takes less than two hours.

"Tian'anmen Square is always a sacred place for me, and I am standing here as part of this great gala," he said. "I am so proud."

 

Fireworks and a giant image of the Chinese national flag are displayed at the gala in Tian'anmen Square on Tuesday evening. Xu Jingxing / China Daily

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[High-tech feed takes show to theaters around country]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513934.htm Of China's 1.4 billion people, only a small proportion were lucky enough to see the grand celebration events in person on Tuesday in Beijing's Tian'anmen Square.

The next-best thing, however, was a high-resolution video and audio feed to selected theaters around the country.

For the first time, 4K signals transmitted via satellite carried the big show to 70 theaters, giving audiences a vivid experience on big screens that was almost as good as being there.

The feed provided an immersive experience for audiences using a breakthrough combination of ultra high-definition 4K television and film technologies, together with surround sound.

Most of the theaters were in big cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

On Tuesday morning, about 200 people viewed the celebration live through a 4K feed at Wanda Cinema in Beijing's Fengtai district.

At the Allstar Cinema in Guangzhou, Li Xiaoping, a 23-year-old student at South China Normal University, was visibly excited after watching. She had registered earlier, free of charge, via the cinema's WeChat account to watch the high-resolution broadcast.

"The theater's big screen and sound shocked me. It was like being in Tian'anmen Square," she said. "I witnessed the historic moment with about 100 other people, and I heard many of them say it was the most fantastic video they've ever watched. When the parade started, we all stood up, and I was proud when we sang the national anthem together."

She lives elsewhere but decided to stay in Guangzhou for the National Day holiday.

"I came to the cinema to celebrate the anniversary and enjoy the festive atmosphere," she said, adding that a squad of female soldiers impressed her the most as members of the armed forces passed by the square.

"The audience, including me, broke into applause several times," she said. "If such 4K live broadcasts can be done with more big events or festivals, that will be more fun."

For hundreds of millions of Chinese, watching TV at home was a more feasible way to share the festive mood.

A 22-year-old postgraduate from Yongzhou, Hunan province, who gave her surname as Zhang, said she was excited to see the new types of military equipment in the parade and took pictures.

Many people shared their happiness with short videos, pictures and texts on WeChat, the country's most popular social media tool, and Sina Weibo, an instant messaging platform.

Fu Yuhang, a deputy to the National People's Congress from Sichuan province, said her pride in being Chinese was greatly enhanced while watching the parade.

"We must be grateful to the earlier generations, and we should make more efforts to build our country into a more prosperous one," she said.

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[Massive parade showcases nation's progress]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513933.htm A massive parade on Tuesday morning showcasing China's historical achievements and the nation's great rejuvenation was lauded by audiences as a lesson on Chinese history and how far the nation has progressed.

Around 100,000 people and 70 parade floats glided through Tian'anmen Square.

The parade, themed "Jointly Building the Chinese Dream", lasted 65 minutes and was divided into five major parts, each dedicated to celebrating China's past and current leaders from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping.

The first part of the formation celebrated Mao and his thoughts, with Mao's giant portrait and parade floats portraying China's founding and the people who rallied around the Communist Party of China.

The second part celebrated China's reform and opening-up and its architect, Deng Xiaoping, with floats highlighting reforms in rural areas and the groundbreaking achievements of the country's special economic zones.

The third section celebrated former president Jiang Zemin, who formed the Theory of Three Represents and successfully advanced socialism with Chinese characteristics into the 21st century. A float named "One Country, Two Systems" followed Jiang's portrait, with compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan waving flags and cheering the nation's birthday.

The next section was devoted to former president Hu Jintao and his Scientific Outlook on Development. The formations that followed paid tribute to the solidarity of the Chinese people against major natural disasters, such as the major earthquake in Sichuan province in 2008. The next float highlighted the 2008 Beijing Olympics and China's athletes.

The last section of the mass pageant celebrated China's major achievements since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, as well as Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

A float on China's scientific and technological innovation followed Xi's portrait, showcasing many of the nation's top accomplishments, from high-speed rail to deep-sea submersibles.

Other floats featured the country's regional coordinated development strategies, rural vitalization efforts, the rule of law, ethnic unity, Chinese culture, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

The last float of the section was in the shape of a giant Chinese mythical bird, the kunpeng, signifying the soaring power that has driven the progress of the nation, followed by floats representing China's municipalities, provinces and special administrative regions.

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[XI JINPING AND CHINA'S NEW ERA]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513932.htm President Xi Jinping took his place on Tian'anmen Rostrum on Tuesday at a grand celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

It was there on Oct 1, 1949, that Mao Zedong announced the birth of New China. Over the past seven decades, the socialist country has blazed an extraordinary trail, rising from a "poor and blank" state to a major country on the world stage.

Xi, the first top Chinese leader born after 1949, is at the helm in a new era, steering the country through wind and waves to a brighter future.

Into new era

Xi was elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Nov 15, 2012.

The world at that time was transforming. The impact of the 2008 global financial crisis still lingered. Emerging economies were rising. And China, after overtaking Japan as the world's second-largest economy, had entered a critical period in its modernization.

Two weeks later, Xi proposed the "Chinese Dream" of national rejuvenation.

Soon after assuming the Party's top post, Xi addressed senior cadres with a lecture spanning the history of world socialism over the previous 500 years. He talked of how China had failed in its previous experiment with all other "isms" and directed cadres to unreservedly follow socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Party's authority was further emphasized in October 2017, with the establishment of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

Xi demanded full and strict governance over the 90 million-member CPC. To this end, he introduced an eight-point decision on how to improve conduct, rolled out stricter Party rules and regulations, and over the past seven years, launched four education campaigns to strengthen the Party.

"Every day, we brush our teeth, wash our faces, clean the house and do the laundry. For Party building, we must do the same," he said.

An unprecedented anti-corruption campaign has left no stone unturned. In the first five years of Xi's leadership, 440 centrally administrated officials - mostly ministerial-level or above - were punished.

"Xi and his colleagues preside over the world's largest and most successful Marxist-Leninist organization, and they are determined to ensure that it remains so," an article in Foreign Affairs magazine said.

In late 2016, Xi's core status in the CPC Central Committee and the whole Party was established. He was re-elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in October 2017 and Chinese president in March 2018.

During a visit to Italy this year, asked about how he felt about being Chinese president, Xi told President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Roberto Fico that governing such a huge country requires a strong sense of responsibility and hard work.

"I am willing to be selfless and devote myself to China's development," Xi said. "I will not let the people down."

Reform to the end

China aims to basically achieve socialist modernization by 2035 and build itself into a great, modern, socialist country by the middle of the century. Xi has said China today is closer than ever before to national rejuvenation, which is part of the Party's founding mission.

The Chinese economy surpassed 90 trillion yuan ($12.59 trillion) last year, cementing its place as the second-largest in the world. Between 2013 and 2018, it grew by 7 percent on average every year compared with just 2.9 percent for the global economy.

China has the world's most complete production chains. The output of more than 220 industrial products ranks No 1 in the world. China has laid down the longest network of high-speed rail tracks and sent a lunar rover to the dark side of the moon.

For the first time, a total of 129 Chinese companies made the Fortune Global 500 list this year, more than any other country.

The achievements can be attributed to people's hard work and deepened reforms. Unsurprisingly, reform and opening-up, introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, is regarded as a "social revolution".

Xi is committed to seeing this through to the end. In 2012, for his first inspection as the Party's top leader, he headed to the reform test bed of Guangdong.

Reform and opening-up is a "critical measure" concerning contemporary China's fate and there shall be no "pause" or "back-peddling", he said.

Reform under Xi is distinctive in its own right: it places more focus on quashing vested interests, emphasizes top-level design and underscores a systematic, holistic and coordinated approach. A far-reaching seven-year reform plan was adopted in late 2013.

Xi has presided over scores of leading group or central committee meetings on deepening overall reform. At the most recent, in September, 11 documents on reform plans and guidelines were adopted on topics ranging from private business support to plastic waste treatment.

Celebrated for his ability to connect with the people through language - Xi's often quoted maxims such as "do concrete work and take the lead", "a state thrives on practical work but wanes on empty talk" and "grab the iron bar hard enough to leave a mark" shed some light on how China has achieved so much in such a short period.

Xi drafted market-oriented reforms for State-owned enterprises and has supported the development of the private sector. In 2018, at an unprecedented private enterprise symposium, Xi said private companies and entrepreneurs are "our own people".

Innovation, too, has received support, with Xi once saying that vital, core technologies are something that China cannot obtain through "begging".

Party and State institutions are now more efficient and modernized. Red tape has been cut and governments at various levels have expanded online approval and one-stop services.

The country further opened up, from the expansion of the pilot free trade zones to fewer restrictions on foreign investment in the automotive and banking sectors.

Last year, at the first import expo in Shanghai, Xi mentioned opening-up 52 times in his 35-minute speech.

Thanks to reform and opening-up, China's investment environment has continued to improve.

According to the World Bank Doing Business 2019 report, China advanced to a global ranking of 46th, up from 78th in just a year. Moreover, China's consumer market is edging closer to becoming the largest in the world.

Despite trade and economic frictions started by the United States, China saw more than 24,000 new foreign-invested enterprises established in the first seven months of this year. Foreign direct investment inflows in actual use grew by 7.3 percent to reach 530 billion yuan.

Serve the people

Xi considers employment "pivotal" to people's well-being. He supports e-commerce and the new economy, which create jobs that never existed before.

Every day in China, about 16,500 new enterprises are established, and 40,000 people find new jobs in towns and cities.

In total, China has created more than 80 million new urban jobs over the past seven years, equal to the entire German population.

China now has the world's largest courier delivery service market, employing more than 3 million people, who send everything from meals to fridges around the country. Earlier this year, Xi paid a surprise visit to a tiny delivery station in Beijing and chatted with a group of deliverymen.

This closeness to the people is not a singular event. For the past seven years, Xi has spent time with regular people before every Chinese New Year: giving them festival gifts, observing festive traditions such as food preparation, and asking about their lives and welfare.

"CPC members must wholeheartedly serve the people," Xi often reminds Party cadres.

This connection with the people can be traced back to a time when Xi lived and worked in a remote village in Shaanxi province as an adolescent and young adult for seven years.

He has said that he understands the hardships of the people because he once lived in an impoverished corner of the country. He has been known to check the toilets and washrooms of ordinary homes, offer advice on garbage sorting, and show concern for students' poor eyesight.

In 2013, Xi put forward "targeted poverty alleviation" and set a goal to eliminate extreme rural poverty by 2020, a deadline that is 10 years earlier than the goal set by the United Nations.

Over the past seven years, more than 82 million Chinese people left poverty behind. Xi said extreme poverty "would be historically solved in the hands of our generation".

Kishore Mahbubani, a professor at the National University of Singapore, said the most outstanding achievement of China in the last 70 years had been the dramatic improvement in the living conditions of the people.

Reviewing China's long history, Mahbubani said even at previous peaks of glory, the bottom 50 percent of the population had to struggle to make ends meet. But today even low-income people have access to nutritious food, education, healthcare, housing, employment and even the ability to travel.

"There is no doubt that, in terms of the living conditions of the people, the past 70 years have been the best years in China's history," he said.

A shared future

China is increasingly connected to the world. In 2014, Chinese made over 100 million overseas trips. The country's outbound direct investment topped $120 billion, achieving a near equilibrium with foreign direct investment for the first time. More Chinese live, study and work abroad.

The expression "China is moving closer to center stage" now appears often in news reports. The topic of how to handle China's interactions with the rest of the world has become a major subject for the Chinese leadership.

In his first overseas trip as Chinese president in March 2013, Xi introduced the notions of "a shared future" and "a new type of international relations".

Two years later, Xi took the podium at the UN, expounding "a community with a shared future for humanity". He later elaborated that the desired world would be one that is safe, prosperous, open, inclusive, tidy and beautiful.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Xi, connects continents and oceans through trade and investment like never before.

The goal, contrary to what some people in the West claim, is to help more countries and regions enjoy the fruits of economic globalization through mutually beneficial results.

This reflects the kind of international relations envisioned by Xi - mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation.

A total of 136 countries and 30 international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China on the initiative. A study by the World Bank found that if implemented fully, the initiative could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty and boost global trade by up to 6.2 percent.

China is becoming a hub for joint consultation on global governance and development. Xi hosted world leaders in a series of global summits, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Beijing meeting in 2014, the G20 Hangzhou summit in 2016, the BRICS Xiamen summit in 2017 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Qingdao summit in 2018.

On the world stage, more Chinese have assumed top positions at international organizations, most recently the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. China's currency, the yuan, has been included in the International Monetary Fund's special drawing rights basket, and financial institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund have been set up.

China has become an indispensable force in resolving global and regional issues, from climate change, terrorism, wealth disparities and fair trade to peacekeeping.

This year, China became the second-largest contributor to the UN's regular budget after the US. China is also the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. A$1 billion China-UN Peace and Development Fund has been in operation since 2016.

"The CPC always regards making a greater contribution to humanity a mission," Xi said.

Fight for a great dream

Despite the achievements, the journey to national rejuvenation won't be plain sailing.

Last month, Xi told up-and-coming Party cadres at the opening of a Party school training session that a "great struggle" is needed to make the "great dream" a reality. The word douzheng (struggle) appeared nearly 60 times in his speech.

Xi said the risks and challenges facing the Party would only grow bigger and sometimes "there would be tempestuous waves beyond our imagination".

But Xi is a man who rises to challenges.

Facing the challenges of an economic downturn, Xi has proposed measures such as supply-side structural reform to shift the economy toward high-quality development.

Tough battles were also launched to forestall and defuse major risks, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, and prevent and control pollution.

Economic and trade frictions with the US are another struggle. China has taken the position that "it doesn't want a trade war but is not afraid and will fight one when necessary". Over the past year, Xi has met US President Donald Trump twice, first in Buenos Aires last December and then in Osaka, Japan, this June, taking important steps toward solving the issue.

On Hong Kong, Xi said making everything political or deliberately creating differences and provoking confrontation would not help. Instead, it would severely hinder Hong Kong's economic and social development.

Xi told Ho Iat-seng, incoming chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, in Beijing last month that "one country, two systems" has proved to be a workable solution welcomed by the people.

On Taiwan, Xi said: "We do not renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and a tiny number of separatists and their separatist activities for 'Taiwan independence'. It does in no way target our compatriots in Taiwan."

Xi pushed a sweeping reform of the armed forces, setting the "ability to fight" as the sole and fundamental criterion.

Chinese service personnel have taken up "protecting China's overseas interests" as an important mission. When turmoil rocked Yemen and Libya, Xi instructed operations to bring back Chinese nationals. A film based on this story smashed China's box office records.

Xi has warned that all sorts of struggles will last a long time. He and his team are aware of both the rapidly changing and increasingly complex environment abroad and the situations at home. China, he said, is still the world's largest developing country.

In May, Xi chose East China's Jiangxi province, where the Red Army began the Long March in the 1930s, to call for a new Long March.

Back then, the Red Army soldiers trekked about 12,500 kilometers across China, battling the harsh environment, the enemy and diversion within the Party. When they re-emerged victoriously in northwestern China, they continued the fight and won the revolution.

To Chinese communists, sacrifice and hardships are worthwhile for a glorious goal.

Xinhua

 

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, greets participants at a grand rally to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at the Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday. Li Xueren / Xinhua

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[Land weapons showcase Ground Force's modernization]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513928.htm The People's Liberation Army displayed a number of new land weapons at Tuesday's parade, showcasing the PLA Ground Force's latest achievements in modernization.

Among the ground-based hardware on display, the ZTQ-15 light tank, HQ-17A air defense missile system and an unidentified multiple rocket launcher were included in a parade for the first time.

Yu Shuo, an industry observer of land weapons, said that despite its light weight, the ZTQ-15 is highly mobile and has good self-protection measures. He said the light tank is mainly tasked with undertaking combat operations in mountainous regions or on plateaus.

It is equipped with specially designed fied engines that can handle the shortage of oxygen at high altitudes. Its main weapon - a 105 millimeter gun - is powerful enough to destroy all kinds of tanks likely to confront it on plateaus, he said.

"The ZTQ-15's overall capabilities are comparable to those of many main battle tanks," Yu said. "Specifically speaking, it is mightier than all tanks in the world except the top five main battle tanks."

Ge Lide, a defense technology researcher at PLA National Defense University, said that while the tank falls into the light-duty category, its combat capability is pretty strong, considering its firepower, mobility, defensive features and information capacity.

He said it is capable of moving through many kinds of tough terrain and should be able to outperform all other PLA tanks and armored vehicles off-road.

The HQ-17A, the PLA Ground Force's newest short-range surface-to-air missile, is tasked with escorting armored units.

Yu said the air defense weapon boasts a compact structure, state-of-the-art fire-control systems and good anti-jamming capability. It is mobile and can be rapidly deployed in combat.

"The HQ-17A and the PGZ-07 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun can work together to provide a reliable short-range air defense network for armored forces," he said.

Yu said the unnamed new multiple rocket launcher on display is larger, has a longer range and is more accurate than its predecessor, the PHL-03.

"The new model's rocket has a caliber of 370 mm and is likely capable of hitting targets more than 280 kilometers away from our artillery forces," he said.

"It can also be equipped with 300 mm rocket launch tubes, making it capable of firing 300 mm rockets, which means the new model will have a larger strike coverage."

The new weapon's deployment would enable the PLA Ground Force to take out targets deep into enemy lines, Yu said.

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[New aircraft give boost to operational capabilities]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513927.htm The People's Liberation Army has taken delivery of new bomber aircraft, multipurpose helicopters and cutting-edge drones that are expected to strengthen its operational capabilities.

The H-6N, the latest variant of the five-decade-old H-6 bomber family, flew over Beijing during Tuesday's parade in a thunderous public debut.

It is the first Chinese bomber able to refuel in flight, extending its operational range.

Wang Yanan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said it is not easy to add aerial refueling capabilities to large planes because a host of complicated technical modifications are needed, but it brings huge benefits to a bomber force.

"Normally a refueling-capable bomber can fly at least 30 percent longer than ones without this function," he said. "Similarly, such planes are able to stay in the air longer.

"Pilots of the H-6N don't need to give too much consideration to fuel in combat operations. They just fly the jet to a designated airspace to meet the tanker aircraft and can then continue with their missions."

Wang said the operational radius of the H-6N is about 50 percent larger than that of its predecessors.

Another airborne highlight of the parade was the Z-20 medium-lift utility helicopter, which aviation fans said will be a valuable asset to the PLA Ground Force and Navy.

"The Z-20 is set to fill a longtime void in the military's helicopter fleet," Wang said. "Previously, although we possessed the WZ-10 and WZ-19 attack helicopters, the absence of a suitable, Chinese-made utility helicopter hampered the military's ability to transport strike forces and carry out support operations."

The helicopter will mainly be used as a transport vehicle, but it can also be refitted to conduct attack, early warning, refueling or anti-submarine missions, Wang said.

Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of naval equipment magazine Modern Ships, said the Z-20 will significantly improve the combat capability of the PLA Navy's surface fleets because it is capable of fulfilling a wide range of tasks that other Chinese helicopters have difficulties executing, including anti-submarine and anti-ship combat, signal relay for ship-launched missiles and special assault operations.

In the unmanned aircraft section, the public's attention was drawn to an unidentified flying wing, apparently with stealth capability, that had never been shown to the public or reported by the Chinese media before the event.

According to the military, the drone is tasked with conducting reconnaissance operations deep in enemy territory to obtain high-resolution images about strategically significant targets.

Meanwhile, Wang said the appearance of the J-20 stealth fighter jet and Y-20 strategic transport plane during the parade indicated that such aircraft are being deployed in relatively large numbers.

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[Celebration of strength in unity shows future path]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513926.htm As predicted, among all the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, it was the large-scale military parade in Beijing on Tuesday that grabbed the world's attention. To some, it would appear to be the only thing that Beijing did to celebrate that momentous historical event. They simply watched it through their own ideological prisms and saw it as proof of the rising military might and geopolitical ambition of a country different from their own.

This was evident in the reports of Western media, which, ignoring the context, felt no qualms about using the occasion to hype up a "China threat" focusing on new weapons such as a "nuclear-capable missile designed to evade US defenses".

Yet viewed objectively, the grand ceremony in Tian'anmen Square actually provided the world with an opportunity to appreciate an entirely different picture and to hear a completely different message, as the country reflected on its past and looked forward to the future.

As President Xi Jinping said in his speech at the event, the founding of the PRC 70 years ago completely changed China's fate. The Chinese people stood up to put an end to their poverty and weakness.

The painful memories of the nation's humiliations at the hands of foreign powers and domestic turmoil over more than 100 years prior to the founding of the New China continues to fire the resolve of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups that such ignominy should never happen again. This purpose has not only spurred the hard work, vision and courage of the Chinese people throughout the 70-year history of the New China, but, more importantly, will continue to shape its future.

"No force can ever shake the status of China, or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward," Xi said.

But, although the country will not be cowed by threats or subdued by pressure, he assured the world that China remains committed to its path of peaceful development. While the nation will resolutely defend its hard-won independence and territorial integrity, the Chinese people cherish peace and will strive amicably to work with the people of other countries in pursuit not only of the nation's overdue rejuvenation but also a community with a shared future for all mankind.

Having suffered repeatedly from foreign bullying, the Chinese people have ingrained in their minds that invading, enslaving and colonizing other peoples, for whatever reasons and in whatever forms, are evil acts. And, despite the scaremongering of some about China's military parade, China remains committed to a new type of international relations based on equality and common prosperity. It does not pursue hegemony or seek expansion. It will never be subordinate to others, but neither will it coerce others into submission.

Having become a strong, comprehensive national power, it is in a better position than ever before to make greater contributions to humankind. Not only by shouldering more responsibility to help other developing countries improve their people's livelihoods. But also by actively exploring and applying a Chinese approach to upholding multilateralism, international peace and stability, and common development.

Over the past 70 years, China has integrated itself into the global community and made ever greater contributions to safeguarding world peace and boosting global prosperity through its development, and it will continue to do so.

It is the Chinese people's longing for better lives that has prompted the Communist Party of China to blaze the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, through which the nation not only continues to pursue its rejuvenation, but also further contributes to the well-being of the world.

While those who bear ill-will toward China have chosen to focus on the military hardware in the parade and tried to portray it as having aggressive intentions, Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, reminded those watching that the nature, purpose and character of the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police Force is to resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace.

What the event displayed is not aggressive intentions, but the pride China takes in its accomplishments and its awareness that unity is strength.

By coming together at this moment, wherever they might be, the Chinese people were able to reflect on what has been achieved over the past 70 years and look forward to the bright future of national rejuvenation.

Highlights of Xi's speech

-China's past has been inscribed in human history and China's present is being created by hundreds of millions of the Chinese people.

-China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development and pursue an opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit.

-We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind.

-Unwavering efforts should be made to achieve the "Two Centenary Goals" and to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

 

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviews the armed forces during the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday. Yan Yan / Xinhua

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[CHINA MARCHES ON]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513925.htm No force can ever shake the status of China or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

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President stresses further opening-up, peaceful development at National Day grand gathering

No force can ever shake the status of China or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the statement in his address at the grand gathering in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Standing at the Tian'anmen Rostrum in Beijing, where chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the PRC on October 1, 1949, Xi recalled the revolutionary forefathers and martyrs for their deeds in pursuing national independence and liberation, a stronger and more prosperous country and the people's well-being, and he rolled out a road map for the country to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Xi said that the founding of the PRC reversed the country's plight of poverty and weakness, of being bullied and humiliated for over 100 years since the advent of modern times, and that the Chinese nation has since embarked on the path toward national rejuvenation.

The past 70 years have witnessed great achievements of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, made through concerted efforts and arduous struggle, Xi said, and socialist China has firmly stood up in the East.

"On our journey forward, we must uphold the principles of 'peaceful reunification' and 'one country, two systems', maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, unite all China's sons and daughters, and continue to strive for the motherland's complete reunification," Xi said.

The president pledged that China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development and pursue an opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit.

"We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.

Xi urged the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force to always preserve their nature, purpose and true character as the forces of the people, and he emphasized that they resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace.

He underlined the importance of upholding the leadership of the CPC, ensuring the primary status of the people and adhering to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. He called for constant efforts to meet the people's aspirations for a better life and to keep making historic achievements.

China's past has been inscribed in human history and China's present is being created by hundreds of millions of the Chinese people, Xi said, adding that "China will surely have an even brighter future".

He called on all members of the Party and the armed forces and people of all ethnic groups to unite more closely, build on existing achievements and continue to better develop the country.

Unwavering efforts should be made to achieve the "Two Centenary Goals" and to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Xi said.

The "Two Centenary Goals" are to complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the CPC's centenary in 2021, and to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the time of the centenary of the New China in 2049.

Xi extended warm National Day congratulations to the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and all compatriots at home and abroad, and he expressed heartfelt gratitude to friends around the world for their caring and support for China's development.

Xi also reviewed the grand military parade and mass pageant on Tuesday in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the PRC.

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[Foreign viewers hail Tian'anmen events]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/06/content_37513924.htm The grand military parade and the pageantry staged as part of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday morning have been hailed by overseas audiences as awe-inspiring and sparking a sense of pride.

Over 200,000 people attended the grand gathering at the Tian'anmen Square, either participating in the military parade and pageantry or witnessing the events. The celebration was broadcast live on TV and the internet, garnering worldwide attention.

Naghmana Hashmi, Pakistan's ambassador to China, who attended the celebration, said the ceremony and the military parade was a sight to behold.

"It is a sign of a patriotic and proud nation that celebrates its milestones with so much excellence, pride and vigor. I have no doubt that the Chinese leadership, with the support of Chinese people, will continue to steer the country toward the fulfillment of the Chinese dream," she said.

She also hailed the speech made by President Xi Jinping at the grand gathering, saying that the sagacity and wisdom of the Chinese leadership was evident in the speech and it will be a source of inspiration for the whole world.

Dechen Gonpatsang Tulku, president of the Tibetan Association of North America, who also witnessed the events, said he broke into tears as the pageantry passed by.

"It made me feel so good. I've never watched a celebration that is so powerful and emotionally touching," he said.

Dechen Gonpatsang, a United States citizen and ethnic Tibetan, said the celebrations also evoked a sense of pride in him.

Chea Munyrith, director of the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, watched the live broadcast of the ceremony at his office in Phnom Penh.

He said that he marveled at the celebration events, and the pageantry showcased the arduous efforts the Chinese people have made over the past 70 years.

"Facts have proved that China's growth can benefit global growth, and China's reform and opening-up is being positively felt in many other places in the world," he said.

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2019-10-06 14:07:26
<![CDATA[Lab-grown diamonds shaking up the industry]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513916.htm Young consumers in China are taking a growing interest in cheaper, more accessible alternatives to mined gems

It sparkles and shines like a diamond from the Earth's mantle, but it's grown in a laboratory.

Lab-grown diamonds, which have been used for industrial purposes for decades, are now shaking up the $87 billion consumer market as cheaper alternatives to mined gem stones.

Replicating the process of how mined diamonds are formed, labs today use two major processes to grow diamonds - tigh pressure/high temperature (HP/HT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD), both of which are used to create an environment of extremely high pressure and temperature.

"Most industrial applications of lab diamonds are associated with their hardness, a characteristic that makes diamond an ideal material for cutting tools," said Han Xiaoping, chief researcher at industry and energy website china5e.com.

"More recently, many institutions and companies have started to consider diamonds for use in computer chips, satellites, and even 5G networks as they can be used in extreme environments. Nano diamonds, or diamonds with a size below 1 micrometer, also have the potential to operate at higher speeds while using less power than the silicon-based chips," Han said.

For years, lab-grown diamonds were commonly used in industries related to high-end manufacturing.

"Yet with technological advancements, many labs are now able to create gem-quality diamonds at lower costs," said Sun Lihua, a geologist at the Gem Appraisal Center of Peking University, China's leading institute that offers diamond grading services.

"Rapid technological improvements have allowed many Chinese labs to eliminate the presence of other elements that impact diamond quality, such as nitrogen molecules that make the stone look yellow and reduce its value," Sun said.

The cost of growing lab diamonds has also dropped by up to 90 percent in the past 10 years, according to a report from business analysis website ifanr.com.

Today, the cost of making a lab diamond is about 30 percent lower than that involved in mining a gem of similar size and quality, said Li Zheng, research manager at market research provider Leadleo Research Institute.

"Meanwhile, the time it takes to grow a 1-carat diamond is now five to eight days, much shorter than the time it takes to create a mined diamond, which can take billions of years to form," said Tang Bin, deputy director of the Gem Appraisal Center of Peking University.

"Aside from the fact that lab-grown diamonds are created artificially, rather than discovered under the Earth's surface, they are the same in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics," Tang said.

Cheaper, better, and more accessible - all these characteristics are making lab-grown diamonds a popular alternative to mined gems.

Although the consumer market for lab diamonds is only worth $150 million, taking up about 2 percent of the consumer market for all diamonds, industry predictions show it is expected to grow at 22 percent each year and reach $14.9 billion by 2035, taking up about 5 percent of the consumer market for all diamonds.

In 2018, De Beers, the world's largest diamond miner, launched its lab-grown diamond line Lightbox Jewelry. It charges about $800 for a 1-carat lab-grown diamond, which is much cheaper compared with $8,000 for a mined diamond.

Media reports said the move was to address a sales slump in mined diamonds as the industry struggles with economic uncertainties and the rise of lab-grown diamonds. Media reports show that sales of rough diamonds plummeted 44 percent to $280 million in the last week of August, compared with $503 million in the same period a year ago.

Lab-grown diamonds are also becoming more popular in China.

"With the post-1980 and post-1990 generations emerging as a major buying power, lab-grown diamonds used in jewelry will see an increasing presence," Li said.

According to Li, more consumers born in the 80s, 90s, and even millennials, are turning to lab-grown diamonds as they are cheaper than mined gems of similar quality, and marketed as eco-friendly and ethically sourced.

"Consumers from those generations are increasingly conscious of the environmental and ethical impact of their purchases, such as whether workers are fairly paid and the work is done in safe and environmentally friendly conditions, things that large corporations often fall short on despite promising to adhere to strict ethical and environmental standards," said Tang of the Gem Appraisal Center of Peking University.

Despite claims of lab-grown diamonds being eco-friendly, a report from Trucost, an analysis company under S&P Global, challenged this view. It pointed out that making and polishing a 1-carat diamond can produce about 511 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent compared with 160 kilograms for a mined gem.

However, the report was supported by the Diamond Producers Association, an organization formed by seven of the world's leading diamond companies.

"Even if that were true, it is worth noting that most chemical waste from producing lab-grown diamonds can be further managed within the lab. But for mined diamonds, it is another story," Tang said.

In China, where 90 percent of the world's lab-grown diamonds are produced, diamonds grown for the consumer market take up 3 percent of the total diamond market, according to a report from the Lead-Leo Research Institute.

Today, China makes 56 percent of the world's gem-quality lab-grown diamonds, outpacing India in second place, according to a report from South China Morning Post.

"The number is growing. Spurred by technological advancement and rising consumer demand, an increasing number of diamond labs in China are eyeing the consumer market by offering inexpensive products to a wider consumer basis," said Li.

Paul Zimnisky, a New York-based independent diamond market analyst, told South China Morning Post that "Chinese producers have been upgrading existing equipment to produce larger, better-quality synthetic diamonds for use as jewellery. China already has the infrastructure in place which allows for high production scalability of higher-quality synthetic diamonds."

Zimnisky also told Xinhua News Agency: "If even a fraction of Chinese production is upgraded to jewelry-quality diamonds, it would have a significant impact on the global supply."

China's major diamond producers, Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond Co Ltd and ZhongNan Diamond Co Ltd, are planning to produce lab-grown diamonds for jewelry lines, in addition to those for industrial purposes.

Henan-based Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond, whose lab-grown diamonds are widely used in the aerospace and equipment manufacturing industries, increased its investment in R&D by 14.4 percent to 535.2 billion yuan ($75.2 billion) last year.

The increased investment was to develop artificial intelligence in manufacturing, and to tap China's growing consumer market for jewelry lab-grown diamonds.

The company said in recent interviews that its technological advancements in diamond making, refining, and polishing, as well as its equipment, have allowed it to produce gem-quality diamonds in white, pink and blue.

General Manager Liu Yongqi said in previous interviews that the company is positive about the consumer market for lab-grown diamonds, and that it had attracted an investment of 4.57 billion yuan for its gem-quality lab-gown diamond project earlier in 2016.

Another leading diamond producer ZhongNan Diamond, also showcased its gem-quality lab-grown diamonds at a recent industry forum.

"Despite efforts from various entities, the development of China's consumer market for lab-grown diamonds is still at an early stage," said Li from the Leadleo Research Institute.

"There are still a lot of questions. For example, how do you grade the quality of a lab-grown diamond and set a price for it?"

Currently in China, mined diamonds are graded by carat, cut, color and clarity. But scales to evaluate a lab diamond's quality and value have not yet been set.

Although the globally acknowledged Gemological Institute of America has started issuing certificates for lab-grown diamonds, it only specifies that they are lab-grown without specific grades, Li said.

"Besides, some diamond retailers have been known to sell lab-grown diamonds at the prices of mined diamonds without telling consumers. This will have a negative effect on the industry. Industry standards and regulations are needed for the industry's long-term development," said Tang of the Gem Appraisal Center of Peking University.

In July, the Gems and Jewelry Trade Association of China launched a sub-association for lab-grown diamonds, a step that was considered significant for the development of the industry in China.

"Spurred by technological advancement and rising consumer demand, the industry is developing rapidly. Going forward, the industry will see improved regulations and supervision with the establishment of associations and institutes," Tang said.

 

An employee displays lab diamonds at a jewelry store in Beijing.Da Wei/for China Daily

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2019-10-05 06:49:44
<![CDATA[Producers step up research to tackle technical problems]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513915.htm For someone wearing a $8,000 diamond ring, color, clarity, cut and carat are what make the gem stone valuable.

But for some labs that grow diamonds in China, these are not the most important properties. Instead, high electrical resistivity, heat conductivity and hardness are what count. At least, these are what potential clients such as Chinese semiconductor companies are banking on.

China's leading lab-grown diamond makers, whose combined production takes up about 90 percent of the world's total, are stepping up research efforts by cooperating with research institutions to develop lab-grown diamonds as semiconductor materials, experts said.

"Many leading lab-grown diamond producers in China are working to tackle technical problems in the field, such as the ability to make a p-n junction in diamond, with tech support from academies and institutes," said Zhang Zengqi, secretary head of Shandong Mining Association.

A p-n junction is an interface between two types of semiconductor material.

Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond Co Ltd has teamed up with the Academy of Opto-Electronics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences for a diamond semiconductor project.

The project is still at the research stage and the company is seeking further cooperation across fields. To date, Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond takes up about 14 percent of China's total market share.

According to Zhang, diamond can be an ideal semiconductor material.

The thermal conductivity of diamond is 14 times that of silicon, currently the most common semiconductor material. The high thermal conductivity of diamond allows heat release, which can reduce the size of cooling systems required in electrical devices during power generation.

"Its heat conductivity would allow for smaller power devices with the same capacity, compared with silicon," Zhang said.

In addition, the electrical field resistance of diamond is 30 times greater than that of silicon, which can suppress power conversion losses, according to Zhang.

Such characteristics make diamond the ultimate material for use in semiconductors for electronic devices, the key for social infrastructure such as power grids, railways, and electric vehicles.

"Although diamonds are nonconductive, they can be doped using phosphorus and boron to increase their electrical conductivity," Zhang said.

So if diamonds are such good semiconductors, why are they not used more widely?

Mined diamonds are too expensive to use, but lab-grown diamonds, whose production costs are about half those of mined diamonds, are an inexpensive alternative.

"Lab-grown diamonds are much cheaper than mined stones, it only takes five to eight days to make a 1-carat stone, and more importantly, they are in abundant supply - companies can produce as much as the world wants," said Tang Bin, deputy director at the Gem Appraisal Center of Peking University, China's leading institute that offers diamond grading services.

Today, 98 percent of industrial-grade diamonds are grown in labs instead of being mined, according to a report by IZO Diamonds.

Yet lab-grown diamond production is growing at 7 percent each year driven by demand in industrial applications. According to a Transparency Market Research report, the lab-grown diamond market is expected to reach $29.15 billion by 2025.

China has become the world's largest lab-grown diamond producing country with its production accounting for 90 percent of the world's total, according to a report by industry analysis website ifanr.com.

A report from Xinhua News Agency shows that China has been producing more than 10 billion carats of diamonds annually for almost a decade, with most used for industrial purposes.

"A more important factor that hinders the development of diamond as a semiconductor material, lies in the ability to make a p-n junction in diamond. Such technical problems are what major diamond labs are working on," Zhang said.

According to Tang of the Gem Appraisal Center of Peking University, aside from Zhengzhou Sino-Crystal Diamond Co Ltd, ZhongNan Diamond Co Ltd, which takes up about 37 percent of China's total lab-grown diamond market share, and Henan Huanghe Whirlwind Co Ltd, which takes up about 26 percent of total market share, are also seeking innovative adaptations of lab-grown diamonds in emerging fields to move up the global value chain.

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2019-10-05 06:49:44
<![CDATA[Acquisition 'highlights goal of building global premium school network']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513902.htm Bright Scholar's recent acquisition of CATS Colleges demonstrates the Chinese international school operator's ambition to build a global network of premium schools, according to an industry insider.

David Newton, chief executive of CATS, said the acquisition is very different to Bright Scholar's previous purchases.

The largest operator of international and bilingual schools in China, Bright Scholar acquired CATS Colleges in a 150 million pound ($185 million) transaction in July. It had previously bought the Bournemouth Collegiate School, St. Michael's School in Llanelli and Bosworth Independent College in Northampton.

"The purchase of Bournemouth Collegiate School just over a year ago was the beginning of international expansion. St. Michael's and Bosworth College were additions to that, but these schools are slightly different to CATS, because the majority of the students are domestic," Newton said.

"Ninety-five percent of our students are international scholars who come to the United Kingdom or the United States to prepare themselves for university study, so we teach the GCSE(General Certificate of Secondary Education) A-Levels and university foundation program, and help the students gain admission to the best possible universities for them," he added.

CATS Colleges is an international school network focused primarily on international students, and has a globally integrated platform of campuses in the UK, North America and China.

In the UK, it has campuses in London, Cambridge and Canterbury. In China, it has one in Shanghai, and in the US, a campus in Boston. It also has an arts school in Cambridge, as well as 10 international language schools, with a diverse mix of students from 80 countries.

"If your ambition is to have a global network of international schools, then you just can't focus on a single country," Newton said. "So, I think CATS was a very interesting proposition to them (Bright Scholar), because we have schools in the US, the UK and in Canada, so now they have a solid base on which to build that global portfolio."

Another factor contributing to the successful purchase was economic incentive. CATS Colleges, part of the Cambridge Education Group, was owned for five years by the private equity company Bridgepoint.

"Private equity firms tend to hold businesses for between three and five years," Newton said. "From what I understand, Bridgepoint was approached by a number of interested Chinese parties specifically wanting schools businesses, so the decision was taken by Bridgepoint to carve out and sell separately the school division - CATS Colleges."

With Chinese investors showing a growing interest in private education in the UK, experts are warning that they should be wary of potential pitfalls.

Jack Yu, a senior adviser at the London office of international law firm King& Wood Mallesons, which has been active and instrumental in many UK-China school projects, said, "Above all, the approach to education ... and business between a British private school and a Chinese investor is fundamentally different.

"To succeed, an investor has to take a long-term view, and must be open-minded and prepared to adapt and listen to school heads, teachers, parents and pupils. This also applies to UK schools operating in China."

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2019-10-05 06:46:33
<![CDATA[China, Guinea share congratulatory messages]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513898.htm

President Xi says partnership will help build closer Sino-African community

President Xi Jinping and Guinean President Alpha Conde exchanged congratulatory messages on Friday over the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Guinea was the first sub-Saharan African country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

Xi said in his message that the two countries have long valued sincerity and friendship and supported each other despite the changing international landscape over the past six decades.

The China-Guinea relationship has become an example of Sino-African solidarity and cooperation, he said.

Xi said he highly values developing bilateral ties and cherishes the traditional friendship between the two countries.

He stands ready to work with Conde in seizing the historic opportunities offered by the joint construction of the Belt and Road as well as the prosperous development of China-Africa cooperation, he added.

Xi also said he is willing to work with Conde in consolidating friendship and mutual trust, deepening pragmatic cooperation and continuously pushing forward the comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Guinea.

This will better benefit the two countries and their people as well as bring positive contributions to building a closer Sino-African community with a shared future, he said.

Conde said in his message that the establishment of diplomatic ties between Guinea and China bears significant meaning for developing bilateral ties.

For a long time, the two countries have maintained a special relationship that serves as a microcosm of Africa-China friendly cooperation, he said.

The Guinean president said his country speaks highly of the Belt and Road Initiative and stands ready to work with China in implementing the results of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and promoting sustainable and deeper development of the comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Last year, Conde attended the 2018 Beijing Summit of the FOCAC and met with Xi ahead of the event.

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2019-10-05 06:42:34
<![CDATA[Patriotic blockbusters atop holiday box office]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513897.htm My People, My Country, a domestic film that celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, has been tops in terms of Chinese mainland box office revenue since it hit theaters on Monday.

Figures from Dengta, a movie data information platform from Alibaba Pictures, showed the accumulative total box office revenue of the movie reached 1.34 billion yuan ($187 million) on its fourth day in cinemas.

The film was released a day ahead of National Day. It is the seventh domestic film to exceed 1 billion yuan in box office revenues so far this year.

Together with another two domestic movies - The Captain and The Climbers - which also opened on Monday on the eve of the holiday, revenues for the three patriotically themed feature films reached 2.95 billion yuan by Thursday.

My People, My Country is made up of seven short stories and features seven directors led by Chen Kaige. It draws on important historical moments during the past seven decades, aiming to awaken the shared memories of Chinese people around the world.

The seven stories are about the founding of the PRC in 1949, the successfully explosion of China's first atomic bomb in 1964, the women's volleyball team winning gold in the 1984 Summer Olympics, the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics, the military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in 2015 and the successful landing of the re-entry capsule of the Shenzhou XI spacecraft in 2016.

Qin Yuan, 26, from Suzhou, Jiangsu province, booked her tickets two days before the film's screening and watched the film with her parents.

"I had watched several impressive trailers ahead of time so I decided to take in the full movie. The film's images are quite impressive and the stories very touching. My parents have even related to memories of some stories in the movie, such as the women's volleyball team victory," Qin said.

"The movie shows that ordinary people and the motherland are closely connected. These valued histories enable us to be more confident, and I am proud to be a Chinese and I am grateful to those who contributed to our country," she added.

The film has also appeared on big screens in over 100 cinemas in 54 cities across the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand starting Tuesday, according to CMC Pictures, a major international distributor of Chinese films and television content.

Qin also plans to watch another two domestic films - The Captain and The Climbers. She believes domestic movies are becoming increasingly alluring and she also knows about the actual events that inspired the two films, and wants to watch them on the big screen.

The Captain has ranked No 2 in the domestic market since Monday, with a total box office take of 1.07 billion yuan as of Thursday. It is adapted from the miraculous emergency landing of Sichuan Airline's flight 3U8633 after a broken cockpit window sucked a co-pilot halfway out of the aircraft in May 2018.

This was followed by The Climbers, which raked in around 540 million yuan as of Thursday. The film tells the story of a Chinese mountaineering team who reached the summit of Qomolangma - known as Mount Everest in the West - by way of the North Slope in 1960.

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2019-10-05 06:42:34
<![CDATA[HK adopts limits on masks to quell violence]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513896.htm

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Friday announced a ban on face masks at protests and assemblies in a bid to end the violence and vandalism that have gripped the city for nearly four months.

The legislation, introduced by invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, takes effect at the stroke of midnight on Friday night.

Anyone who wears a facial covering to hide his or her identity during a public meeting, public procession or illegal assembly will be held accountable for violating the ban, according to Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu. Violators will be subject to a maximum imprisonment of one year and a fine of HK$25,000($3,205).

But wearing a mask for occupational, medical and religious reasons will be exempted, Lee said.

The anti-mask law also empowers police officers to stop a person wearing a mask in public places and requires the removal of facial coverings. Noncompliance is an offense subject to a maximum jail term of six months and a fine of HK$10,000.

Announcing the legislation, Lam said the decision is a difficult but necessary one in the public interest.

As a responsible government, Lam said it is a duty to use all available means to stop the escalating violence and restore calm to society.

The government believes the law will serve as a deterrent against masked violent protesters and rioters and will assist police in carrying out law enforcement, Lam added.

But she stressed that although the ordinance carries the title "emergency", Hong Kong is not in a state of emergency.

"We are not proclaiming that Hong Kong is entering a state of emergency."

The nation's Hong Kong affairs authorities threw their weight behind the Hong Kong government's decision.

Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said in Beijing on Friday that the move is necessary and will help effectively stem violence and restore order in Hong Kong.

The move was also backed by the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR. In a statement, a spokesperson of the office expressed firm support to the SAR government in deterring violence by local legislation.

The much-anticipated legislation has been proposed by various sectors of society and supported by many after the city has endured masked protesters since early June.

Grenville Cross, an honorary professor of law at the University of Hong Kong and the city's former director of public prosecutions, said it is an important step to contain violence.

As traditional means haven't always been successful in deterring troublemakers in the past four months, "it is a welcome addition to the army of laws which the police have at their disposal in seeking to maintain law and order and dealing with those people who are seeking to disrupt our lives," Cross said.

Hong Kong's former secretary for justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie dismissed claims that the new law violates basic human rights.

"The ordinance is a reasonable restriction of the freedom of speech, of demonstration and of assembly. These kinds of freedoms are not unrestricted. They could be restricted for the purposes of national security, public security and public order," Leung told China Daily on Friday.

"It is very reasonable. And it does not affect your right of freedom of speech or demonstration so long as you do not wear the mask," she added.

Many other jurisdictions have similar laws.

The United States adopted an anti-mask law in 1845.

In 2013, Canada approved a bill forbidding people to cover their faces during unlawful assemblies. This offense carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

Wearing masks provides a sense of anonymity and makes people more likely to violate rules and norms, according to empirical data gathered by social scientists over the past few decades.

In 1979, Purdue University psychologists in the US examined how wearing masks affected the likelihood of children breaking rules by monitoring candy-taking behavior on Halloween. They found that about two-thirds of children wearing masks broke the two pieces of candy limit, compared with only one-third of those not wearing masks.

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2019-10-05 06:42:34
<![CDATA[Branding taking on increasing significance]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513895.htm As Chinese companies extend their reach abroad after achieving success at home, effective branding is shifting from a "nice to have" to a "business necessity" advantage amid overseas expansion.

To achieve genuine global influence, Chinese enterprises need to translate their tangible strengths - be they manufacturing scales or innovation capabilities - into soft power that is able to impress local consumers and make an impact on business operations, according to marketing experts.

A growing appetite for branching out overseas was clearly seen in a recent survey by global marketing agency Ogilvy of chief marketing officers (or the equivalent) of 40 high-profile Chinese companies.

The research identified the key drivers for Chinese enterprises' outbound expansion as "seeking new markets for growth, easing domestic competition and acquiring advanced technologies". But relatively few were driven to look overseas for branding reasons.

However, branding is increasingly becoming a game-changer in shaping consumer perceptions, especially as a growing protectionist sentiment looms over the global economy, said Chris Reitermann, Asia and China CEO of Ogilvy.

"I do think a lot of companies have underestimated the value of a clearly defined brand in getting people to understand who this company is, what this company does and what its values are," Reitermann said.

The transformed macroeconomic environment is pushing companies to shift from traditional merger and acquisition-based growth to more organic, green-field investment, and that makes a "clearly-defined brand" a necessity, he added.

Deng Delong, global president of Trout & Partners, which specializes in brand positioning, said he believes global distribution of assets will be conducive to the world economy at large. Deng also supports Chinese companies' goals of seeking new growth opportunities abroad.

But instead of recklessly expanding overseas, brands should first identify local needs, position themselves and prove their relevance, he noted.

"Especially against economic uncertainties, a strong and unique brand proposition will give companies unparalleled pricing power. This would put them in an advantageous position even amid trade disputes," Deng said.

Realizing the financial consideration of branding, many Chinese companies are taking a gradual approach by working with overseas partners to make an impact.

K-Boxing, a Chinese manufacturer of menswear, hosted three major garment shows overseas as it looks to tap into local industry players, supply chain partners and international media, said CEO Hong Boming.

"We don't want to just rush into the global scene before we are fully prepared, especially on the branding front," Hong said. "Branding isn't simply about helping sell products to a global audience. It's about conveying the brand DNA, concepts and our unique characteristics."

Other endeavors include teaming up with world-renowned design teams from Italy and the United Kingdom, and rolling out limited-edition, co-branded products in conjunction with Marvel, the global comic and movie brand behemoth, he said.

"To influence is to engage. And it's not a one-off campaign but something ingrained in our business strategy," Hong said.

While many Chinese companies have matured tremendously in their branding strategies, which is reflected in their adjusted setup of marketing functions, there is also increasing sophistication of business leaders in terms of their understanding of branding, Reitermann said.

However, a gap still lies in the discrepancy between the grand vision held by senior executives and various entities within the organization handling day-to-day business, he added.

"That's why it is so important to get the right management model in place and provide the right resources. Without proper resources, branding efforts will forever struggle to get off the ground," he said.

But Reitermann believed learning the value of brand building takes time: "It will probably take Chinese companies another 10 years to get there."

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2019-10-05 06:42:34
<![CDATA[CHINESE INVESTORS TARGET INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IN UK]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/05/content_37513894.htm Prestigious establishments purchased amid rising demand

Chinese investors have snapped up a number of prestigious independent schools in the United Kingdom in recent years.

They have swooped in amid rising demand among wealthy Chinese for an English-language education for their children.

The investors have also been encouraged by falls in the exchange value of the British currency.

In July, CATS Colleges, part of the Cambridge Education Group, was acquired by Bright Scholar in a deal valued at 150 million pounds ($185 million). Bright Scholar, the largest operator of international and bilingual schools in China, also bought the boarding school Bournemouth Collegiate School in southern England, St. Michael's School in the Welsh town of Llanelli and Bosworth Independent College in Northampton, a town in the English Midlands.

St. Bees, a 436-year-old independent school in Cumbria, northwest England, was saved by Full Circle Education, a group in Hong Kong, and reopened in September last year. Ipswich High School for Girls in eastern England was sold to Ipswich Education Ltd, backed by China's Wanda Group, which boasts assets of about 6 billion pounds. This year, the school accepted boys for the first time.

In 2015, Achieve Education Group, a Chinese-owned company, bought Chase Grammar School, a boarding establishment in Cannock, a town in the Midlands, and two years later acquired Abbotsholme School in Uttoxeter, near Cannock.

William Vanbergen, founder of BE Education in Shanghai, a leading international education services provider in China, and also chairman of Wycombe Abbey International Schools Greater China, said: "There are a few companies who believe they are buying a brand that can be scaled to China. However, this needs some careful thought as to how valuable a brand actually is, other than being a name. For example, does it have standard operating procedures and a plan to open and run multiple schools, or related experience of this?"

Julian Fisher, senior partner at the consultancy Venture Education in Beijing, said: "There is no doubt that Chinese companies want to control, and profit from, this entire 'pipeline'. Why simply be an agent for a UK school when you can buy it and generate revenue for more than a decade?"

He said the UK is world-renowned for its education and boasts some of the best schools and universities in the world, some of which have been operating for hundreds of years. "If managed well, private education is an incredibly stable long-term investment," Fisher said.

"Chinese education companies looking to expand abroad in accordance with the Go Out policy may feel more confident about their chances of long-term success if they have a well-respected British brand attached to their schools," he added.

Susan Hamlyn, director of the Good Schools Guide, a consultancy that helps parents decide on their children's education, said UK schooling is viewed worldwide as being of high quality.

"What makes it attractive is its liberal approach - more a case of intrinsic worth than just a means to an end via rote learning - as well as the soft skills that forward-looking educationalists acknowledge are crucial to developing a flexible and creative workforce," she said.

"Chinese investors recognize that the more they can establish footholds in genuine UK establishments, the better for them. Recruitment of native English speakers is a major problem for international schools. Chinese investors in UK schools can produce their own."

She said UK independent schools below the top rank are increasingly struggling financially. "It's a very competitive market; fees are now too high for many middle-class UK families, so desks and beds remain unfilled. Investment from abroad can be a lifesaver."

James Dahl, master of Wellington College in Berkshire, southern England, echoed Hamlyn's view, adding: "This can be seen as a positive for UK private and independent schools. Many smaller private and independent schools are struggling financially in the current climate, and Chinese investment can keep them afloat, continuing to offer a variety of options to parents.

"Such schools may also become more international with more boarding students from China, which also benefits all students by providing them with an international outlook."

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the Independent Schools Council, a nonprofit organization representing more than 1,300 independent schools in the UK and overseas, said, "The biggest expansion of overseas students coming to the UK in recent years has been from China.

"There were virtually no pupils coming from the Chinese mainland before 2000; now, there are over 9,500 such pupils at our schools."

According to the 2019 ISC census report, China remains the top source of overseas pupils in the UK, with 9,585 students - of which, 7,708 have parents living overseas while they study.

Lenon said this demonstrates the growing wealth in China, and also shows that Chinese parents who have sent their children to UK schools in the past 15 years have found them to be highly successful.

"Chinese children appreciate smaller class sizes, the greater individual attention they receive and the wider range of activities outside the classroom," he said.

The huge demand in China for a rounded education has seen rapid growth in leading UK schools setting up campuses in the country.

Fisher, from Venture Education, said that during the initial wave of school openings about 15 years ago, the private school market in China was relatively new and open to outside players.

"The second wave began in about 2015, and on both sides this has been a little more 'cynical', with UK schools receiving money and international outlets for their operations, while Chinese companies have gained valuable expertise and branding that would otherwise have taken many years to acquire."

The British Independent Schools in China: Annual Report 2019 by Venture Education showed there were 22 UK independent school campuses operating in China at the end of 2017. By the end of this year, the number is expected to have more than doubled, with 10 new campuses opening last year and a further 14 openings planned in 2019. Well-known UK schools such as Harrow, Wellington College and Dulwich College have all established footholds in China.

Dahl, from Wellington College, said the most important factor for UK independent schools establishing international branches in China is finding the right partner.

"A partnership in China facilitates a genuine link to a unique Eastern culture and a growing economic superpower. It provides a UK school with a tangible international perspective," he added.

Observers have warned that one of the main strengths of the best UK schools is their belief in a holistic education, and a challenge will be aligning this with Chinese parents and investors who are often more 'goal orientated'.

Fisher said, "It is clear that a number of UK schools in China are now dropping subjects such as the history of art and also psychology because ... the demands from students and parents for subjects such as math and physics are so high.

"For successful partnerships to emerge and flourish, both sides will have to learn the arts of empathy, patience and genuine cross-cultural collaboration," he added.

 

Students at Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou, Jiangsu province, walk across the campus on their way to the dining hall.Provided To China Daily

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2019-10-05 06:42:34
<![CDATA[World dignitaries laud Xi, China on anniversary of PRC founding]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/04/content_37513838.htm

Leaders of foreign countries and international organizations have sent a multitude of congratulatory messages to Chinese President Xi Jinping to convey their best wishes on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Extending warm congratulations, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that through a continuous deepening comprehensive strategic partnership between Indonesia and China, the two countries will create more chances for development so as to bring more benefits to the two countries and their peoples.

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn said that on the occasion of the anniversary, he would like to extend his sincere congratulations and kind wishes. He wished China prosperity and the Chinese people a happy life and good health.

Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga said that over the past 70 years, China has undergone rapid social and economic development, with hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty, and has become a responsible major country in the international community.

Expressing warm congratulations on the groundbreaking achievements China has made on its path to the comprehensive development of the country, Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari wished China greater achievements in realizing the country's "Two Centenary Goals".

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that China has attained great achievements in its development since the founding of the PRC 70 years ago. He said the Belarusians deeply cherish the friendship, mutual trust and respect between the two countries.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that China scored remarkable achievements under Xi's leadership, wishing the friendly Chinese people peace, safety, harmony and prosperity.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that China has undergone leapfrogging development in the past several decades, has scored great achievements unprecedented in human history and has emerged as one of the major countries of the world. The president wished the Chinese people happiness and good health.

Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said China has scored admirable progress over the past seven decades, adding that the world is expecting China to play a leading role in the world's key economic issues.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said China has built a national medical care system after 70 years of relentless efforts, and as a result there has been a remarkable improvement in the health and welfare of its people.

The WHO, he said, speaks highly of China's leading role in the global health sector and is ready to step up its cooperation with the nation to build a healthier, safer and more just world.

Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab said that the unprecedented achievements China has made over the past 70 years have not only benefitted itself but also offered the world a whole new development pattern.

He added that the forum will continue working with China to make greater contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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2019-10-04 07:37:26
<![CDATA[Xi, King Philippe hail birth of twin pandas]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/04/content_37513836.htm President Xi Jinping and King Philippe of Belgium have exchanged congratulatory messages over the birth of two giant pandas in the European country.

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Born in Belgium, offspring of Haohao and Xinghui symbol of Sino-Belgian ties

President Xi Jinping and King Philippe of Belgium have exchanged congratulatory messages over the birth of two giant pandas in the European country.

The twin cubs were born on Aug 8. Their parents are Haohao and Xinghui, 10-year-old giant pandas on loan to Belgium.

The birth of the cubs deserves joint celebration, Xi said in the message, adding that the cubs will write a new chapter in the beautiful story of friendship between China and Belgium.

Xi said he values greatly the development of China-Belgium ties, and hopes to work with King Philippe to push the two countries' all-around partnership of friendship and cooperation to higher levels.

King Philippe said the birth of the cubs was great news, and he greatly appreciates the nations' good bilateral cooperation in many areas.

China loaned Haohao, a female, and Xinghui, a male, to Belgium in February 2014 for a 15-year research cooperation program.

The giant pandas have been living at Pairi Daiza, a zoo and botanical garden in Brugelette.

In March of that year, Xi, who was on a state visit to Belgium, attended the opening ceremony of the zoo's panda house together with the Belgian monarch.

In June 2016, Haohao and Xinghui gave birth to a male cub named Tianbao, the first giant panda born in Belgium.

The number of giant pandas living in Belgium has risen to five with the birth of the twin cubs in August.

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2019-10-04 07:36:47
<![CDATA[China's giant domestic market seen as bulwark amid global economic woes]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/04/content_37513835.htm China will remain magnetic to foreign investment as its strong domestic market and steady progress in opening up buoy business confidence despite a globally subdued investment sentiment, according to experts and foreign senior managers.

Robert Aspell said what he sees when he looks at "disruptions" clouding the world economy - ranging from global trade tensions to uncertainty surrounding Brexit - are opportunities over the long haul. Aspell is president at Cargill Asia Pacific, a multinational agricultural firm based in the United States.

"As a private company, our family owners tend to think long term," he said. "We absolutely believe in the Chinese economy, and we are very, very confident about the direction where China is going."

The company is pouring $100 million into its Shanghai facility to boost "long-term growth plans" in China, Aspell said.

Cargill is one the foreign businesses that were among the signatories on 42 investment projects in Shanghai on Sept 16. The projects totaled $7.7 billion and covered a wide range of fields such as smart manufacturing, biomedicine and chemical engineering, officials said.

Across the country, 604 billion yuan ($89.3 billion) in foreign direct investment was recorded during the first eight months, up 6.9 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

This came despite rising instability that took a toll on global growth and investment. Global flows of FDI last year slid by 13 percent year-on-year to $1.3 trillion after US tax reform, according to the World Investment Report 2019 released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Over the same period, FDI flows to China increased by 4 percent to an all-time high of $139 billion, partly thanks to the country's elimination or relaxation of foreign ownership limits in automotive, power grids and other sectors, the report said.

"Despite recent tensions and uncertainties, no one can deny that China's sheer size is too big to ignore for any foreign corporation looking for growth opportunities," said David Wang, head of China economics at Credit Suisse.

China's potential in attracting FDI "remains substantial", he said.

The country's large middle-income population of about 400 million is growing rapidly and has great consumption potential, in terms of both the total amount and diversity of demand, said Zhang Xiaotao, dean of the School of International Economics and Trade at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

"Chinese consumers of different ages have different patterns of demand growth and upgrading, providing various opportunities for foreign businesses," Zhang said.

Home Credit, an international consumer finance provider, has been evolving its business in China to tap into opportunities associated with consumption upgrading.

"With forward spending for premium products and services gradually becoming a new norm for young people here, Home Credit aims to unlock new consumer finance scenarios based on the changing preferences and habits of millennials," said Roman Wojdyla, head of Home Credit in China.

The company has expanded its service categories from providing loans for mobile phone purchases to financing wide-ranging needs for a high-quality life, such as household appliances, travel, vocational education, fitness and beauty, Wojdyla said.

Given a strong domestic market, China's growth may hold up better than that of many other economies amid the global slowdown, giving the country an advantage in attracting foreign investment, said Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

The other engine propelling China's future growth in foreign investment is the deepening of opening-up, said Wang from Credit Suisse. "The ongoing effort to encourage foreign participation in key strategic sectors will generate substantial inflow."

On July 30, China's two shortened negative lists for foreign investment took effect, which eased foreign market access in agriculture, mining, manufacturing and various services sectors. This came after China announced 11 new measures to give greater foreign access to the financial sector in July, including asset management, pension fund management and currency brokerage.

The Foreign Investment Law, the fundamental law governing FDI that was passed in March, is due to take effect on Jan 1 and aims to better protect the legitimate rights of foreign businesses in China.

Yin Zheng, executive vice-president of Schneider Electric, said opening-up measures have added to the confidence of foreign companies to invest in China. The multinational company is based in France and provides products and services for the digital transformation of energy management.

"Schneider Electric has been in China for 32 years. It has experienced, benefited from and contributed to China's reform and opening-up," Yin said.

"This year marks the 70th anniversary of (the founding of) the People's Republic of China. With this as the starting point for a new journey, we will continue to support China's transforming and upgrading its economy," Yin said, adding that he has seen a growing number of Chinese clients desperate for digital transformation in industrial sectors.

"As China's advantage of low labor and rental costs fades, some foreign-funded manufacturers may exit the market. But at the same time, many high-tech companies are flocking to the Chinese market to grab opportunities related to industrial upgrading," said Zhang from the Central University of Finance and Economics.

China's FDI inflow is changing from being quantity-oriented to quality-oriented, adapting and contributing to the country's pursuit of quality growth, he said.

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2019-10-04 07:36:47
<![CDATA[US plans tariffs on $7.5b of EU goods]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/04/content_37513834.htm WASHINGTON - The United States plans to impose tariffs on a wide range of goods from the European Union after the World Trade Organization gave it permission to impose levies on $7.5 billion of EU exports to counteract subsidies to Airbus, the Office of the US Trade Representative said in a statement Wednesday.

In an arbitration decision announced earlier in the day, the WTO said that the amount is commensurate with the adverse effects suffered by Airbus' US rival Boeing in terms of lost sales and impeded deliveries of its aircraft.

Washington will begin applying WTO-approved tariffs on certain EU goods beginning Oct 18, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, while adding, "We expect to enter into negotiations with the European Union aimed at resolving this issue."

Although the USTR has the authority to apply a 100 percent tariff on affected products, at this time the tariff increases will be limited to 10 percent on large civil aircraft and 25 percent on agricultural and other products, the statement said.

Following the WTO arbitration decision, the EU released a statement from its trade commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, saying, "We remain of the view that even if the United States obtains authorization from the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, opting for applying countermeasures now would be shortsighted and counterproductive.

"Both the EU and the US have been found at fault by the WTO dispute settlement system for continuing to provide certain unlawful subsidies to their aircraft manufacturers.

"In the parallel Boeing case, the EU will in some months equally be granted rights to impose countermeasures against the US as a result of its continued failure to comply with WTO rules."

Airbus, meanwhile, said additional tariffs are "still avoidable." Airbus is hopeful that the US and the EU will agree to find a negotiated solution before "creating serious damage" to the aviation industry as well as to trade relations and the global economy, it said.

Airbus spokesman Clay McConnell said the France-based company was evaluating the list and its possible consequences.

"Airbus considers that the only way to prevent the negative effects that these countermeasures would create will be for the US and EU to find a resolution to this long-running dispute through a negotiated settlement before the tariffs become effective," he said.

US measures will not have exactly the same effect on different EU member countries, said Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies of Fudan University.

France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom subsidize Airbus' aircraft manufacturing, and those countries are also major targets of US countermeasures. For France, the US is aiming to levy more tariffs on Airbus and wines, while for Germany, the US is mainly targeting the automobile industry, Ding said.

Shen Haijun, a professor with the School of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics at Tongji University, told China Business Network: "The European Union suggested a negotiated settlement of disputes between the EU and the US, so that they may together face competition from the aviation industries of other countries.

"But the problem is, the aviation industrial players of other countries can't really stand as rivals to the US and Europe, given the current global aviation industry competition scenarios. The suggestion from the EU is more like something to mediate disputes and ease the situation, while the US is eager to crack down on the EU, and excuses can't really convince the US."

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-10-04 07:36:47
<![CDATA[LIVESTREAM STUDY GROUPS PUT STUDENTS IN A DIFFERENT CLASS]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/04/content_37513833.htm Scholars are banding together online to provide each other with inspiration and motivation

Turning on the light at 7 am in Tokyo, Chen Jingwen sat in front of her iPad and began her livestream on Bilibili, a popular online video-sharing platform based in China.

She was preparing for a Japanese-language proficiency test the next day and a postgraduate entrance examination later in the year.

Without introducing herself or saying hello to the audience, she put on her headphones and chose a Japanese audio clip from the huge collection on her phone.

The sound of pen on paper and the rustling of the turning pages sounded in the rooms of her viewers across the screen as they joined Chen's study group via the livestream. Occasionally "bullet comments", Bilibili's real-time audience feedback function, floated at the top of the screen saying, "Good luck for my exam tomorrow" or "Remember to take a break".

"The same quietness can be found in any study lounge. But the small talk and caring comments between me and my audience make me feel like I am studying with my classmates," Chen said.

Her livestreams, silent like a mime show, present quite a contrast to those found on other popular video-sharing platforms, where the hosts use a whole bag of tricks to entertain the audience - telling an occasional joke, singing and playing guitar or making hilarious dance moves.

However, in just a few months the number of followers of Chen's channel, called Watermelon's Study Room, grew from dozens to several thousand. Learning from various kinds of online videos and livestreaming platforms is becoming increasingly popular among the younger generation.

Statistics from Bilibili show that since the start of the year more than 18 million people - twice the number who took the gaokao, the national college entrance examination last year - have studied by watching videos or livestreaming on the platform.

The most popular hashtag on Bilibili for study-themed livestreaming videos is "Study with me". Last year, the platform broadcast 1.46 million hours of study scenes via livestreaming, and more than 1 million pieces of study-related livestreamed footage.

"Of all kinds of livestreams on the platform Study with Me garnered the longest number of hours last year," said Chen Rui, Bilibili's chairman and CEO, at the China Internet and Video Convention in November last year.

"The internet has become an ingrained part of the younger generation's lives. They not only entertain themselves via the internet, but it also allows them to reach out to peers with similar habits and create a new way of studying."

Companionship

Chen, a 21-year-old junior student at Tianjin University in North China started to livestream her studies after she arrived in Japan in July for a one-year exchange program. With few friends and feeling the exam pressure, she came up with the idea of establishing a virtual study room through a livestream in a bid to seek companionship.

In December, she happened to watch similar livestreams from South Korea on YouTube for the first time. She was impressed by the hosts, who had been studying for hours without any distractions, as well as the delightful design which overlay the on-screen content.

"I got into the habit of watching their livestream during my studies and found it was a great help in managing my time more productively. Since I now live alone in my apartment, I wanted to livestream myself to make more people enjoy a sense of company," she said.

On one side of her livestream page, she has set up a timer to divide her study period into 45-minute focus sessions followed by 10-minute breaks, as well as a checklist, which serves as a reminder to her and the viewers to produce a more efficient study experience.

Differing abilities

Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said there is no one-size-fits-all approach for effective learning. Everyone has different abilities, so it is important to determine what works for each student, especially when it comes to "digital natives" - people who have never known a world without the internet.

According to a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center, by the end of last year, the number of internet users in China hit 829 million, more than a quarter of whom were students. The country was also home to 397 million users of multiple livestreaming websites.

"The livestream, serving as an online student lounge, creates an ideal study atmosphere, with people displaying positive attitudes and offering mutual supervision," he said.

"Attention from the viewer forces the hosts to make a study schedule and steer clear of distractions and vice versa, which can help them stay motivated.

Wang He, a sophomore majoring in sociology at Guangzhou University, Guangdong province, found the cure to her procrastination thanks to the livestreams.

Like most of her classmates, Wang wanted to perform well in her assignments and papers. That basic requirement, however, turned out to be a huge challenge as she found it hard to begin tackling tasks.

"I experience a little bit of nagging pain and anxiety thinking about assignments I have to do, but not enough to do anything about it. I continue to put it off day after day for weeks. Suddenly, the day before the deadline, I have to write the report hours before it is due," she said.

As a die-hard fan of Bilibili, she ran into some of the Study with Me livestreams. She became fascinated with the stimulation from online strangers during study sessions, and began to participate in the "study party".

"To be honest, seeing others annoyed by all kinds of papers and tests helps me obtain some relief," Wang said. "But their diligence and self-control also push me on. The livestreams make it easy for me to forget about the finish line and help me to just concentrate on taking the first step."

Wang is planning to move out of her dormitory and rent an apartment next year. With her own space, she looks forward to starting her own livestream.

Zhong Binglin, president of the Chinese Society of Education, said: "Long periods of isolation in study can bring an enormous feeling of resentment. These feelings generate a strong sense of deprivation and resistance toward study. Having some role models as study partners, whether it's offline or online, will give you a more productive and enjoyable mindset."

Sense of responsibility

Chen has gained a lot of comfort and company from her livestreams, as she wanted. However, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and her personal time has been squeezed to the margins due to her strong sense of responsibility to take good care of her followers.

She became addicted and could not take her mind off the livestream. On the way to the campus and during school time, she couldn't help but check her viewers' comments and messages from time to time.

"If I traveled and went offline for several days, I would be worrying the whole trip that my absence would interrupt some people's study routines," she said, adding that some followers sent messages asking why she hadn't shown up, which made her feel even more pressured.

"I don't know if I will carry on livestreaming after I pass the postgraduate entrance examination, since the academic workload might take most of my time. I will be livestreaming as long as my schedule allows it. It's my audience - and they have been there for me when I was in need."

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2019-10-04 07:36:47
<![CDATA[Xi calls Sino-Russian ties example for world]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/03/content_37513755.htm The China-Russia relationship has achieved the highest level in major-country relations in terms of mutual trust, coordination and strategic value, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

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President: The nations have achieved highest level in major-country relations

The China-Russia relationship has achieved the highest level in major-country relations in terms of mutual trust, coordination and strategic value, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

Xi made the remark as he exchanged congratulations with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The former Soviet Union was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China the day after its founding on Oct 1, 1949.

In his congratulatory message to Putin, Xi said the Sino-Russian relationship has made significant contributions to maintaining world peace, stability and development.

Xi said that over the past 70 years, the two countries' ties have gone through an extraordinary path of development.

Thanks to concerted efforts, he added, China and Russia have set a good example for major countries and neighboring countries in developing a neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial relationship.

Particularly in recent years, under the joint guidance of Putin and Xi, strategic mutual trust between the two countries has been greatly enhanced, he said. The countries have provided each other with firm political support, made unprecedented progress in various areas of bilateral cooperation and had close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, he added.

During his state visit to Russia in June, Xi and Putin jointly announced that the countries would upgrade their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. Xi said they had embarked on a new historic journey in bilateral ties, which have gained fresh vigor and vitality and will have broad prospects.

Xi called China-Russia ties very important and said he stands ready to work with Putin, using the 70th anniversary as an opportunity to intensify the countries' relationship, which features mutual support and assistance, deepened synergy, a pioneering spirit and innovation, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

Xi said he is willing to work with Putin to jointly guide China-Russia ties in the new era to produce new achievements, advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and make even greater contributions to world peace and development.

Putin said bilateral ties have successfully stood the test of time. Highlighting fruitful bilateral cooperation in various fields, he commended the two countries' coordination in multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS group of nations.

Putin wished Xi health and success in his work, wished the people of China happiness, and said he expects to continue the enhancement of bilateral cooperation so the two sides will contribute more to world security and stability.

On the same day, Premier Li Keqiang also exchanged congratulatory messages with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev. The two nations agreed to deepen pragmatic cooperation and advance the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era with joint efforts.

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2019-10-03 07:33:22
<![CDATA[Stress on unity heartens Hong Kong delegations]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/03/content_37513754.htm

Encouraged by President Xi Jinping's emphasis on unity, development and strength on the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday, guests of honor from Hong Kong delegations expressed confidence this week over the development of the nation and the special administrative region.

"As President Xi said in his address to the world, there is no force that can shake the foundation of this great nation. No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation from forging ahead," said Wong Kwan-yu, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers.

"Despite the opposition camp and some radical members who want to mess up Hong Kong, they can never change the fact that Hong Kong is an integral part of our country," he said.

"The central government has shown its confidence in ensuring the full and faithful implementation of 'one country, two systems' in Hong Kong, and maintaining the city's long-lasting prosperity and stability."

Hong Kong Legislative Council member Vincent Cheng Wingshun, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said: "President Xi has pointed out a broad direction" for Hong Kong.

"This gives us confidence that Hong Kong can resolve conflicts, fight violent extremists and eventually ride out the storm, as long as we say a firm 'no' to violence with concerted efforts and start a peaceful dialogue under the rule of law."

Wong and Cheng were part of a delegation of 240 people, led by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, on a three-day trip to Beijing to attend the National Day celebrations.

Business heavyweights, professionals and award-winning athletes, as well as top officials and pro-establishment lawmakers were among the delegates. Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, accompanied the group as an adviser.

Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, joined a separate delegation for the celebration in Beijing.

The former Hong Kong chief executive said it was the fourth time he had seen the parade in the capital. He said having attended the events in 1984, 1999 and 2009, he has been able to see the nation's progress and the evidence of its glowing success story.

Leung said that this year he has been particularly impressed with the colorful floats and participation from Hong Kong and Macao. "These Hong Kong-and Macao-related elements add an interesting footnote to the fact that the two SARs are an inseparable part of our country," he said.

Bernard Charnwut Chan, convenor of the non-official members of the Executive Council, said: "President Xi's speech and Hong Kong-related elements in the parade mean so much to the city today.

"As Hong Kong is fighting its way through such a difficult time, the country and its people, as always, spare no effort to support the city in weathering the storm. I believe most Hong Kong citizens would share these special feelings with me."

Leung, citing Xi's address, added, "Taking advantage of 'one country' while benefiting from 'two systems', Hong Kong has what it takes to play a bigger role in our country's next stage of development.

"We should have every faith in that."

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2019-10-03 07:33:22
<![CDATA[Congratulations pour in from around globe]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/03/content_37513753.htm

Tuesday was a special day for Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, who normalized diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. The day marked the 70th anniversary of its founding.

Carter celebrated his 95th birthday on the same day, becoming the first former US president to reach that milestone.

"I share the same birthday with your great nation, though I am 25 years older," Carter said in his congratulations to President Xi Jinping on the eve of China's National Day.

Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai on Tuesday joined hundreds from the US and beyond in an outpouring of birthday wishes for Carter.

"Thank you, President Carter, for your kind words for #China. The Chinese people cherish your friendship and contributions to the relations between our countries," Cui said in a Twitter post. "Happy birthday to you, too."

Carter, who served in the White House from 1977 to 1981, said he had witnessed how the Chinese people suffered during much of the early 20th century and how China's transformation into the world's second-largest economy lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty in the last four decades, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"Rosalynn and I wish you great success in leading China," the former president was quoted by Xinhua as saying in the letter.

Carter and his wife Rosalynn also wished China "every achievement in its domestic harmony and prosperity and in its contributions to global peace and development".

Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, said the transformation of China as outlined in Xi's National Day remarks represents "the single most significant" development in Asia since his arrival there as a young diplomat in 1969.

"Over the last four decades, I have watched with fascination the economic and agricultural policy reforms that (have) brought such dramatic progress, particularly in reducing poverty," the former US ambassador to Cambodia said in an email.

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said China's remarkable development in the past seven decades could inspire many other countries.

In an exclusive interview in New York, Andersen congratulated China on its achievements and lauded its contributions and its leadership role in environmental protection.

"I'd like to congratulate China on its 70th birthday," she said.

"What strikes me the most is the remarkable development that the country has gone through, from being an impoverished, agrarian economy to being what it is today - a vibrant, global economy, the second-largest economy in the world, and commanding significant economic interests," Andersen said.

"This development shows very much that poverty is not something permanent," she said, which coincides with the rationale behind the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by all UN members in 2015.

China's development "shows that we can see countries rise into economic growth and wealth - it gives hope to many other countries", Andersen said.

Yevgeny Afanasyev, a senior Russian diplomat who had worked in China for five years, said the world is watching the celebrations of China's 70 anniversary.

"Now China is getting stronger, and I'm glad to see its rapid development," he said. "The leadership of the Communist Party of China is crucial to the nation, and the Party has led the Chinese people to solve various problems along the way to China's development."

Echoing Xi's remarks that China had produced amazing achievements through concerted effort and arduous struggle, Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of the Nippon Foundation and goodwill ambassador of the World Health Organization, said he congratulates China on that from the bottom of his heart.

"In the past 70 years, China experienced a very poor and difficult period and changed into a modern China that is so great today," said Sasakawa, who was born in 1939. "As a witness to this whole process, I sincerely hope that China will achieve greater development in the future as a leading force to promote world peace."

Masanari Koike, a former member of Japan's House of Representatives from Shizuoka prefecture, said that through Xi's speech, he could feel great pride in modern China's development and its bright future.

"Xi's speech also showed great confidence in the undisturbed solidarity of socialism with Chinese characteristics," Koike said.

Ivona Ladjevac, head of the Regional Centre "One Belt, One Road" at the Institute of International Politics and Economics in Belgrade, Serbia, said that while it is almost impossible to sum up 70 years of achievements in a speech of barely half an hour, Xi succeeded in doing it.

She said that Xi highlighted the root of Chinese greatness. All credit for the outstanding rise of China go to diligent Chinese people of all nations who nurture unity. Their sense of belonging to China as well the awareness of the importance of leaning on their own strengths are the most important spirit that has moved the development of China.

Ed Ratcliffe, head of advisory at the London-based public policy center Asia House, said: "In a relatively short speech, President Xi covered the origin story of the PRC, describing the steady but unstoppable progress from poverty to China's current global status."

Robert Biedron, member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament from Poland, said: "It's a very special day and a significant anniversary. Over the last 70 years China made a huge step.

"Today, China can be an inspiration for the world, Europe and Poland. Constantly growing its economy and the prosperity of a significant part of the nation, it is a symbol of Asia in 21st century."

Rajneesh Bhuee, a consulting economist in Nairobi, Kenya, said the Belt and Road Initiative is one of Xi's prime projects and has been focused on infrastructural development, especially on regional transportation and connectivity projects. Africa needs capital for its infrastructure development and the BRI is a building block with significant potential for intensifying China-Africa economic relations.

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said Xi has emphasized the importance of national unity and solidarity in achieving national rejuvenation. He stressed those points as key to China's experience.

The period of reform and opening-up has seen the unity and solidarity of the Chinese people. This has supported progress and development and created economic miracles, making China the world's second-biggest economy.

Aaron Rabena, program convenor at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress, a Manila-based foreign policy think tank, said Xi emphasized national rejuvenation because China wants to be in a certain position in history - a respected major power.

"For China to achieve that, China has to rise, to develop peacefully. It has to achieve this by avoiding war and conflict at all cost. And this includes internal conflict, with the need for internal stability," he said.

Charlene Cai in Washington, Ren Qi in Moscow, Wang Xu in Tokyo, Chen Weihua in Brussels, Angus McNeice and Wang Mingjie in London, Lucie Morangi in Nairobi and Prime Sarmiento in Hong Kong contributed to this story.

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2019-10-03 07:33:22
<![CDATA[PAYMENT PLATFORMS LOOK TO LURE OUTBOUND TRAVELERS]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/03/content_37513752.htm If you ever drop spare change, do you pick it up? The answer is most likely "yes".

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Digital tax refunds, fee settlements provide convenience for Chinese heading overseas

If you ever drop spare change, do you pick it up? The answer is most likely "yes".

However, every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are being left behind as cross-border travelers don't reclaim the value-added tax that is available to them.

According to data from SAP Concur, about 4 percent of global travel spending offers reclaimable VAT. Moreover, a recent study by Taxback International, a specialist in global VAT recovery and compliance, noted that up to $30 billion is going unclaimed annually in VAT recovery on travel expenses.

The primary cause boils down to the fact that overseas travelers don't want to go through the hassle of doing the paperwork required to get the money back, or they feel intimidated by the long lines at tax refund centers.

Today, for outbound Chinese tourists, the tedious refund process, the long lines for rebates and the seemingly endless wait for money to materialize are becoming a thing of the past, thanks to the aid of technology that simplifies the procedure.

The country's two largest mobile payment platforms are competing to offer streamlined refund services to tourists. Tax refunds now only take the blink of an eye, circumventing the need to fill in lengthy forms containing billing details, and the subsequent months of waiting.

Formed in partnership with Global Tax Free, Alipay, Ant Financial's payment tool and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, claimed that its new paperless mobile tax refund function launched last year was the first of its kind worldwide.

The system allows Chinese tourists to apply for and claim tax rebates with the Alipay mobile app. Users must remember to scan their tax refund receipts within 90 days of product purchase via the app to receive an instant refund in yuan.

Without filling out and submitting any paperwork, the unique function "will both save time and make it easier to claim funds... and skip in-city and airport tax refund counters", said Danny Chung, general manager of Alipay Korea.

Alipay first ventured into the tax refund business in 2013. Today up to 85 international airports support real-time tax refunds to Alipay accounts.

In a similar vein, WeChat Pay, the mobile wallet of the ubiquitous messenger app WeChat, has partnered with Swiss company Global Blue to offer an instant tax refund service for Chinese tourists departing from Madrid airport. Called We Tax Refund, the service is a real-time refund mini-program, which easily helps to refund users' money back to WeChat wallet. Up to now, it enables users to refund in 85 airports and three harbors in 21 economies.

Users can receive their rebates in yuan, sent to their WeChat wallet account immediately once their tax refund forms are approved. It is not a default WeChat function, but needs to be processed via a WeChat mini-program developed by the parent company, Tencent Holdings.

WeChat is also looking to offer instant refunds in-store overseas as it competes for a larger share of rising Chinese tourist spending overseas. For instance, Global Blue and WeChat Pay have joined forces to offer in-store refunds, which means that Chinese tourists no longer need to line up to get their tax refund forms processed at the airport.

Alipay spares no effort on that front. During the Oct 1 National Holiday, the company rolled out an in-store campaign where additional tax refunds may be worth up to 20 percent of the price tag.

The perks are available in 85 luxury stores across Europe, covering 15 iconic brands in cities such as Paris, Milan, Rome, Barcelona and London that the Chinese normally flock to, according to the company.

"Offering instant tax refunds provides convenience and may prove to be an effective tool in luring tourists to switch from traditional payment methods," said Michael Yeo, an analyst of financial and retail insights at the consultancy IDC.

Alipay and WeChat Pay are jostling for a larger share of the mobile payment segment as the domestic market nears saturation, dominated by the pair. According to market researcher Analysys, the combined duo accounted for around 94 percent of the nation's 47.7 trillion yuan ($6.7 trillion) third-party mobile payment market in the first quarter of this year.

Such proactive strategies are also fueled by the fact that China is the world's most advanced market in terms of mobile payment, and how the country is churning out the biggest source of outbound travelers who have the propensity to spend when they go overseas.

Last year, the Chinese made nearly 150 million outbound visits, a rise of 14.7 percent year-on-year. The country is the world's top outbound tourism market, the China Tourism Academy and online travel agent Ctrip said in a joint report in March.

The affluence of Chinese travelers is what merchants of all types are coveting. Therefore, making familiar digital transaction vehicles available to the group has shifted from "nice to have" to "a must", the report said.

For instance, of the 2,806 Chinese tourists who took part in a study by Nielsen and Alipay last year, 93 percent said they would be likely to increase their spending if mobile payment were more widely accepted.

"China has embraced mobile payments faster than any other country, and will continue to lead the global charge in this regard," said Vishal Bali, managing director of Nielsen China. "Mobile payment is on the rise globally, and will continue to support greater connectivity and efficiency across the commercial ecosystem."

According to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, making the payment feature available for a greater number of hotel stays represents a concerted effort by Marriott Group to earn revenue from Chinese overseas travelers, who spent an estimated $261 billion on their trips last year.

The international hotel chain entered into a partnership with Fliggy, Alibaba's online travel agent, and has since rolled out a number of initiatives to pamper Chinese guests, from enhancing Mandarin-language functionalities to specialized VIP member experiences.

Under an initiative called Post Post Pay, qualified Fliggy users can book hotels without a deposit, have a comprehensive wallet-free experience during their stay, and enjoy an express checkout service.

"As payment firms branch out beyond borders, the expanded demographic using digital wallets overseas reflects a natural extension of their 'default' payment habits from home to abroad," said Wang Pengbo, a payment and consumer finance expert at consultancy Analysys. That means businesses without digital apps and mobile payment options in place are likely missing out substantially on tourist dollars, he added.

Easier tax refunds backed by mobile payment tools are just the beginning: Global merchants need to dig out new ways to cater to multifaceted and fast-changing Chinese travelers, who are making the traditional stereotypes obsolete.

Chinese outbound travelers value word-of-mouth opinion via online channels. The younger generation of travelers, typically aged 20 to 24, relies heavily on mobile channels throughout their entire journey, from reading online reviews, planning trips and selecting payment options for discounts.

"Individualists are more likely than any other segment to complete their trip purchase on mobile apps, because their generation uses phones for most of their general purchasing and decision making," said Alex Dichter, a senior partner at McKinsey and lead author of a study on the changing profile of Chinese outbound travelers.

Meanwhile, a report by consultancy Coresight Research said: "Brands and retailers should engage with Chinese tourists online at every stage of their trip, in addition to conventional advertising. Encouraging Chinese tourists to share their experiences at retail outlets is more influential, as it directly reaches new potential customers."

Chinese tourists can use Alipay and WeChat Pay in many stores in Japan. Zhu Difeng / For China Daily 

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2019-10-03 07:33:22
<![CDATA[My father was right: We all need ceremony]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513710.htm

Editor's Note: Five China Daily journalists share their feelings, insights and observations about Tuesday's grand events in Beijing

I have no sense of ceremony. I thought I didn't need rituals in my life.

I don't celebrate birthdays, or wedding anniversaries. I didn't even have a wedding.

I told my father I don't need a noisy party to showcase my commitment, wearing a borrowed white gown that might have lipstick stains.

"But you must do something!" my father said.

I said we would exchange rings and vows in our studio apartment's small balcony, which we used as storage, with no audience.

"See! That's your ceremony, only a little different," my father said. "Everyone needs ceremony."

The need for ceremony was embedded deep in my father's DNA.

As far as I can remember, every Friday was movie night. When the power went out, which was very frequent when I was young, my family would have a candle night. All family members sat around a candle and talked.

When I was 9, my father insisted on taking a family boat tour along the Yangtze River from my hometown Chongqing to Shanghai.

"We are living by the great river. We should celebrate it by traveling along it," my father said.

During that 20-day boat trip, I wrote in my diary every day and ultimately decided to become a writer when I grew up. Now I have been working as a journalist for 10 years.

Back then, I thought my dad was one of those playful people who always liked planning something interesting.

But after he had a heart attack and passed away six years ago, I realized it was more than that. Those ceremonies, big and small, were important to him, and they serve as my best memories of him.

National Day is a big ceremony. It celebrates the rise of a nation, and more so, its people.

Every Chinese person will have a personal memory for this special date, especially for those who participate in the celebration events.

A fruit farmer told me that joining the celebration has been the most important experience in her life. She was one of 100,000 people in the grand parade marching past Tian'anmen Square. Themed "Farmland of Hope", her unit mostly consisted of farmers.

"My unit has more than 2,000 people. On television I was no more than a spot," she said. "But it is a stage our country gives to us farmers. This experience means a lot to me."

A schoolteacher told me he was part of the celebration for the 60th National Day, and he still keeps the invitation and props he used in the parade 10 years ago.

"Keeping souvenirs from that event is also a way to record my life. I have faced huge changes in my life in the past decade," said the teacher, who marched again in the parade on Tuesday.

"I am just an ordinary man, but in such a big event I feel connected to our great nation. I can feel the pulse of our country. It is very rare in my life and is very meaningful."

Covering the celebration was also a memorable experience for me. My colleagues and I arrived at the square before sunrise. How many times do you get to watch the sun rise on your face at Tian'anmen Square?

I will remember the grand parade and mass pageant, which showed the rise of the country and also reminded me of who I am and the condition of the world I am living in.

My father was right. Everyone needs ceremony.

Contact the writer at pengyining@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[Parade sparks memories of difficult life, inspires pride]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513709.htm

The most impressive part of the grand parade for me was when over 160 aircraft flew across Tian'anmen Square, causing flag-waving spectators to cheer. Some of the planes flew in formations making the number 70 in the sky, while others left trails of colored smoke.

This is in stark contrast to the scenes during the nation's founding ceremony 70 years ago. With only 17 planes participating in the parade, Zhou Enlai, the first premier of the republic, ordered some of the aircraft to fly across the square twice.

Seventy years is only a short period of time in the ancient civilization's long history, but the increase in the number of aircraft used during National Day celebrations is just a microcosm of significant changes hardly with a precedent in the history of mankind.

As the aircraft roared over my head, I couldn't help thinking about the changes I personally have experienced.

Born in 1986 in rural area of Weihai, Shandong province, I don't think I'm exaggerating when I refer to the changes over the past decades as "earthshaking".

A childhood scene played in my mind amid the celebrations.

I was standing on the edge of our farm watching my parents plow the land with the help of a cattle we borrowed.

My father found it hard to control the cattle. Wearing a frown, and with a red flush spreading from his face to his neck, he lost his temper and blamed my mother for her failure to offer help.

Another childhood scene, wheat harvesting, left another bitter memory. Bending over with a sickle in one hand, you had to cut the crop from the parts near the root one small bundle at a time.

There were only two electric threshers in my village of 600 households. Once the crop was reaped, every household had to wait around the clock for their turn to use the machines. I got so tired while waiting that sometimes I fell asleep on the wheat stack.

Now, those past difficulties have been made a lot easier thanks to the availability of advanced machinery. Wheat harvesting used to take us two days, but now it can be done in less than one hour with a wheat cropper.

What's more, the unpaved narrow two-lane road connecting our village to the outside world has been transformed into a six-lane highway. Few families in my village owned tractors in the early 1990s. Now, it's not unusual if some families own two cars.

Thinking of how far my village has come since I was a child, I just couldn't help taking pride in my country as I watched the parade. I sincerely believe that we will continue to strive forward and harvest even greater changes.

Contact the writer at houliqiang@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[Events are a time to recognize workers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513708.htm

Among the most eye-catching sights of the over 100,000 people attending the pageantry along the Chang'an Avenue was a group of express delivery workers riding electric bikes, blending in with sanitation workers and bus drivers.

They created one of the 36 formations for the pageantry, which was part of the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Farmers wearing straw hats created another formation, while construction workers wearing white helmets, a more than obvious identifying token, took their places in the stands to share in the joy of the celebration.

I heard cries of surprise from the crowds over the fact the above groups, perhaps the least vocal among all trades, were being invited to such a historic event.

Indeed, their work is so common and humble that some of us have never spared a minute to think about what our lives would be like without them. But that does not mean they are negligible.

Perhaps it is time for us to reconsider what the true meaning of a nation's anniversary is all about.

Yes, it is time to remember the heroes who have made extraordinary sacrifices, even their lives, for the good of the public and to recollect our past treasures in history for a better future.

At the same time, we cannot afford to ignore the unsung heroes or take them for granted.

Express delivery workers, sanitation workers and construction workers, a majority of whom are migrants from rural areas, have made tremendous contributions in making urban life so much better and work so much easier. Their contributions have long been undervalued.

However, steps have been taken to improve their situation.

As the country moves forward with its reform and opening-up, we have seen more cities scrapping household restrictions on migrant workers, which would enable more of them to have access to medical care and education as urban residents.

Just as President Xi Jinping put it during his meeting with representatives of the players and coaches of the Chinese women's volleyball team on Monday, greatness is bred from ordinary work.

The inclusion of those who hold the more ordinary jobs in society, such as express delivery workers, sent a clear signal that their contributions have never been ignored, and we as a nation, value efforts made by each individual.

Contact the writer at xuwei@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[China's display of its defense capabilities stirs emotions]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513707.htm

I had to calm down for a while after coming back from Tian'anmen Square where I witnessed a grand parade on Tuesday morning. I had to take some time to decide what I would put in this personal reflection and also alleviate my sleepiness.

The difficulty in my writing this log was not that I have nothing to say. On the contrary, I have many thoughts and feelings that I am so eager to share with you, my dear readers.

First of all, I hate to admit that I almost cried several times during the event.

Those who know me might guess that my emotions were stirred by the sight of valiant soldiers and advanced weapons, as they know that I am a reporter covering military affairs and defense technology and I have a deep affection for Chinese weapons.

Actually, the catalysts were the sight of the national flag being raised to the accompaniment of March of the Volunteers, the national anthem; the smiling faces of children who waved flowers in their hands as they proceeded westward in front of me; and tens of thousands of people singing Ode to the Motherland at Tian'anmen Square.

It is understandable that foreigners, especially those in the West, would find it hard to comprehend why patriotism is always popular in China - few of them have a native land that has suffered so much and for so long as my country has over an entire century. And few of them have witnessed and personally experienced the unprecedented rise of a continent-sized nation from ruins and rubble.

For a long time, I didn't understand why I had become a fan of powerful weapons when I was a little boy. And then I gradually realized that this fondness probably came out of a boy's unconscious desire for a strong homeland, which is capable of protecting him and his mom and dad no matter where they could be.

Therefore, I was touched seeing the children's cheerful faces and hearing my fellow compatriots' chorus of Ode to the Motherland. At the same time, I was really happy for the children and all Chinese since I know they can sleep soundly each and every night because there are always people safeguarding others in this country.

I always feel privileged to be able to make acquaintances with and report the stories of many decorated officers and soldiers as well as dedicated researchers, designers, engineers and technicians in the country's defense technology industry.

It is these people who work hard day and night and strive to overcome numerous hardships to create what you and I saw along Chang'an Avenue on the bright Tuesday morning. In my eyes, the weapons they produced represent not only China's military prowess but also a solid reassurance to the motherland's peace and prosperity.

Contact the writer at zhaolei@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[Float proves just how vital science, tech are to country]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513706.htm

On New China's 70th birthday, of all the parade floats showcasing China's historical changes since the 18th Communist Party of China National Congress in 2012, the one about science and technology was the first to meet the audience, and as a science reporter I thought to myself: what a time to be alive.

The float is intricately designed. It is a three-stage, rocket-like amalgamation that has the head of the Fuxing bullet train in the front, with China's most powerful supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight on top.

The rocket's body has sets of solar panels protruding like wings. It also serves as the foundation, carrying China's C919 passenger jet, Shenzhou rocket, Chang'e 4 moon rover and the Micius quantum communication satellite.

The tail consists of the Jiaolong deep-sea submersible, on top of which lie the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) and the Haima underwater remotely operated vehicle.

All these elements create a grand display of China's latest scientific and technological achievements ranging from space exploration to quantum physics. Placing the float at the forefront of all other recent accomplishments signifies how important science and technology are to the Party, the nation and the people.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of writing about most of the instruments featured, as well as getting to know many of the scientists involved. So when I got to see the float so prominently displayed, a sense of familiarity and pride rose in my heart.

Never have our scientific communities had such a blessed opportunity, and therefore such profound obligation to use their innovation and ingenuity to meet the challenges ahead and fulfill the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Many foreign scientists I interviewed told me that the most exciting development in their fields are happening in China. Indeed, China's scientific progress is moving at breakneck speed, and research by Chinese scientists is now frequently featured on the cover of top academic journals such as Nature, Science and Cells.

The scientific feats that China has recently achieved are awe-inspiring.

Last month, Chinese scientists announced they had tried to treat a man with leukemia and HIV using gene-edited stem cells. While the treatment did not rid the man of the AIDS virus, the report said it was a very promising step, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world's top medical journals.

In addition, the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a report last week on using big data analysis related to earth sciences to support the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals 2030, with a focus on eliminating hunger, providing clean water and sanitation, building sustainable cities and preserving lives on land and sea.

The report is one of the key documents representing China's growing efforts to pursue those goals. Its findings were submitted by the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the UN during the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York last week.

These accomplishments prove that Chinese scientists are not only capable of pushing scientific boundaries and tackling hard issues for the nation's socioeconomic development, they are also willing to collaborate and share its wisdom with the rest of the world for the common prosperity of mankind.

As science and technology progress, China is also acutely aware of its weaknesses and the potential issues these new technologies can bring. In recent years, the Chinese government has issued new guidelines on managing artificial intelligence and the use of genetic materials, as well as new policy and reform to support basic research, research ethics and global governance of cutting-edge fields.

Keeping scientific exploration within the boundaries of law and morality can be a tricky and daunting task. China knows it cannot tackle it alone and therefore is willing to collaborate with foreign partners. Such accumulation and sharing of knowledge could spark the engine that can transform China into a future scientific powerhouse.

About 40 years ago, Guo Moruo, the first president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told his illustrious peers in his final public appearance that the "most glorious spring for science in our nation's history is here."

His speech, titled "Spring of Science", opened a new chapter in China's scientific development. Now, some 40 years later, the spring continues.

Contact the writer at zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[Hong Kong guests inspired by mainland youths' vitality]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513705.htm Guests of honor from Hong Kong expressed pride in attending the National Day celebrations in Beijing, and placed high hopes in the special administrative region's involvement in the country's rapid development.

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Peaceful emergence of motherland will help SAR get back on track, say visitors

Guests of honor from Hong Kong expressed pride in attending the National Day celebrations in Beijing, and placed high hopes in the special administrative region's involvement in the country's rapid development.

Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, was impressed by the vitality of young people participating in the parade.

"What I have seen today is a country full of vigor and vitality, with young people forging ahead in high spirits. This presents a sharp contrast to young people in the Western world who feel confused and pessimistic about their countries' prospects and those lost sheep in Hong Kong who go around preaching violence," Lau said.

"The ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong can never stop the rise of our motherland. Instead, it is the peaceful emergence of our country that can get Hong Kong back on the right track."

In his speech before the parade on Tuesday, President Xi Jinping said that China would "uphold 'one country, two systems', and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao".

The remarks echoed the speech Xi delivered at a reception on the eve of the massive National Day celebrations, where he pledged unwavering commitment to the policies of "one country, two systems".

Xi told the reception he had every faith that "Hong Kong and Macao will prosper and progress alongside the mainland, and that the regions will embrace a brighter future".

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, former president of Hong Kong's Legislative Council said: "President Xi ... has already said the implementation of the Basic Law, the legal basis of implementing 'one country, two systems', must not be derailed or obstructed. It has to be implemented in its original intention.

"There has never been any deviation from this aim, and there have never been any statements or actions that contradict this objective," Fan said. "The welfare of Hong Kong people has been, and will continue to be, one of the major considerations of the central government."

Fan, who is also a former Hong Kong member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said what impressed her most about this year's parade is the "sense of unity among all the people in Tian'anmen Square".

"This is because we are one nation. What we strive for is prosperity, harmony, peace, and better living, not only for us, but for people all around the world," she said.

Hong Kong scientist Chan Chingchuen was also in Beijing to watch the parade. The world-renowned electric vehicle expert also observed the 50th and 60th anniversary celebrations.

He said this year's National Day celebrations were grander in scale and content. China's transformation from a poor agrarian society into an industrial powerhouse was a development miracle never seen before in the history of mankind, Chan said.

He added that Xi's speeches had "guided us to embark on a new journey for the next stage of national development".

Ashley Tse Hiu-hung, a member of the Youth Development Commission of Hong Kong, said under the "one country, two systems" policy, the city had what it takes to ride out the storm and head for a better tomorrow.

She said Hong Kong's young people should play a more proactive role as China charts its course for further development. "The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area - a hotbed of innovation - is where Hong Kong youth should be deeply rooted and making contributions," Tse said.

Wu Siu-kit, the youngest of 10 Hong Kong police officers invited to attend National Day celebrations in Beijing, said he was excited and proud to watch the parade.

Foreigners from Hong Kong were also thrilled.

Grenville Cross, former director of public prosecutions of Hong Kong, said he applauded the event as a "marvelous, extremely well-organized occasion".

Contact the writers at sophia@chinadailyhk.com

 

Compatriots from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan on the "One Country, Two Systems" float wave flags and acknowledge cheers as they take part in the parade at Beijing's Tian'anmen Square on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of New China. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

(China Daily 10/02/2019 page9)

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[Celebrators share hopes for the Greater Bay Area]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513704.htm

People from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions who joined the New China 70th anniversary celebrations in Guangdong province have expressed their hopes for the Greater Bay Area.

The building of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Belt and Road Initiative present unlimited opportunities for Hong Kong's development, said Yu Kwok-chun, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations.

The HKSAR should play to its advantages and actively integrate into the bigger picture of the country, Yu said.

"By capitalizing on the country's favorable policies, Hong Kong is set to make significant accomplishments in the Greater Bay Area," he said while attending a celebration in Guangzhou on Sunday.

Eric Fok Kai-shan, executive chairman of the Hong Kong Guangdong Youth Association, said he plans to establish bases for entrepreneurial projects in nine Guangdong cities in the Greater Bay Area. Fok also wants a Greater Bay Area elites' alliance established by the end of the year to enhance exchanges among youths on employment and entrepreneurial projects.

"In the past few years, we have held a lot of activities for exchanges in the hope of enabling youths from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to integrate into the building of the Greater Bay Area through culture, sport and some other events," said Fok, who initiated the first session of a Greater Bay Area youth soccer contest last year.

Lisa Lau, secretary of a residents' association in Macao, arranged an event there to watch the live broadcast of the grand parade in Beijing on Tuesday morning. She then traveled to neighboring Zhuhai city in Guangdong for the fireworks show.

She said Macao is a very small place and the Greater Bay Area has created abundant business opportunities for the special administrative region to build itself into a high-quality tourist destination.

Macao's elderly care and healthcare should also be extended to other parts of the Greater Bay Area, where more and more Macao residents have chosen to live. Lau's association started such work last year, and it has been well received by local residents, she said.

John Kam Hou-yin, a senior partner at Shenzhen Deepchain Technology Co, said he was excited to see the fireworks display in Shenzhen on Tuesday evening.

He said he was grateful he could celebrate with his countrymen in a city close to his hometown and hopes Hong Kong, which has been undergoing months of unrest, can restore order soon.

Kam, who grew up in Hong Kong, has been working between the city and Shenzhen.

He started his own firm in Shenzhen in 2017 and admits that as a middle-aged man, he feels stressed about changing jobs. But he firmly believes in the development potential of the region and is confident his startup will be a success.

He believes the future of the Greater Bay Area bodes well for him, especially in the supply chain services for construction projects.

Contact the writers at liwenfang@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[World leaders united in sending congratulations and best wishes]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513703.htm

Leaders of foreign countries and international organizations have sent congratulatory messages to President Xi Jinping to convey their best wishes on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that in the past 70 years, China had made remarkable progress, turning itself into one of the world's most dynamic economies and lifting 850 million people out of poverty, which is the greatest poverty-reduction achievement in history.

China is a major participant in the work of the UN and a pillar for international cooperation and multilateralism, he added, wishing the PRC greater glory in the future.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that the 70th anniversary was highly symbolic. Bach said under the leadership of Xi - who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission - China was entering a new era and embracing the future with full confidence.

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, he added, will not only present a modern China to the world, but also write a new chapter in China's Olympic history.

Vladimir Norov, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, said since its founding the PRC had made major achievements in areas such as the economy, culture, science and technology and people's livelihoods.

The Belt and Road Initiative, he added, had garnered extensive support from the international community, establishing a new platform for international cooperation and steering a path for building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Remarkable achievements

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, said the important occasion was a milestone for China, while noting the long-lasting friendship and solidarity between the African and Chinese people.

The relationship was a model to be proud of, he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his warmest congratulations. He said that over the past 70 years, China had made remarkable achievements in its economy, society and science and technology.

China, he added, enjoyed well-deserved prestige on the international stage and had played an important role in solving major global problems.

Putin said Russia and China were irreplaceable strategic partners. He added that he valued his friendship with Xi, and would continue to work closely with his Chinese counterpart to create more benefits for the people of both countries.

US President Donald Trump, congratulating the PRC on its 70th anniversary, wished the Chinese people peace and prosperity.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II said she was delighted to send congratulations on the occasion and hoped for happiness and good health for the Chinese people.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his country hoped to maintain and expand its partnership with China, which is not just in line with the two countries' interests, but also conducive to boosting bilateral cooperation to cope with global challenges.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella wished for a prosperous future for the "friendly Chinese people".

Pakistan's president, Arif Alvi, said that under Xi's "extraordinary leadership", China will continue to forge ahead on its historic journey of national rejuvenation.

Pakistan, he added, will stand with China as a reliable friend and partner.

Ancient civilizations

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said that as two major ancient civilizations and developing countries, India and China play an important role in the global political and economic order.

India-China relations are advancing with new vitality, he said, adding that he wished the PRC prosperity.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's leader Kim Jong-un said that under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people had fought tenaciously and had overcome tests and challenges over the past 70 years to bring epoch-making changes to China and greatly lift its overall national strength and international status.

The history of the PRC's great struggle had proved that socialism was the correct and inevitable choice of the Chinese people. The leadership of the CPC is the fundamental guarantee for the Chinese people's march toward victory, he added.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was the first president of Kazakhstan, said the 70th anniversary was an important milestone in China's drive to build a moderately prosperous society.

China, he noted, had kept pace with the times to push forward reform and opening-up, actively conducted constructive cooperation in the international arena and created numerous development miracles.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud extended to Xi congratulations and best regards on behalf of him, the Saudi government and people. He wished the friendly Chinese government and people continuous progress and development.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that in only 70 years, China, as a developing country, had made remarkable achievements and become a world leader in multiple fields, receiving broad recognition across the globe, especially from developing countries.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said that with political unity and stability, extraordinary development achievements, a strong leadership and a devoted people, the PRC had become a powerful country that had enlightened the world. He added that he and many others were delighted and encouraged by China's progress.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the founding of the PRC 70 years ago had placed China on a great journey. He noted that since the launch of its reform and opening-up policy, especially under the leadership of Xi, China had made great achievements in development and had become the world's second largest economy, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

Socialist construction

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong said that since the founding of the PRC, particularly over the past four decades of reform and opening-up, the Chinese people, led by the CPC, had made tremendous achievements, secured a moderately prosperous life and continuously lifted China's international influence and status.

He wished that China quickly build itself into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.

General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Central Committee and Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith said that over the past 70 years, the leadership of the CPC had been constantly consolidated. He added that socialism with Chinese characteristics had achieved comprehensive and remarkable results, which had strengthened Laos' resolve in promoting its own socialist construction.

Raul Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, said that under the leadership of the CPC, China had made great achievements in socialist construction. He said Cuba highly appreciates China's positive contributions to safeguarding international norms, promoting fairness and development, and maintaining world peace.

Miguel Diaz-Canel, president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba, said Cuba was ready to work with China to continue to consolidate their friendship and cooperation and promote development of bilateral relations.

Xinhua

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2019-10-02 07:35:07
<![CDATA[Celebration of strength in unity shows future path]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513692.htm

As predicted, among all the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, it was the large-scale military parade in Beijing on Tuesday that grabbed the world's attention. To some, it would appear to be the only thing that Beijing did to celebrate that momentous historical event. They simply watched it through their own ideological prisms and saw it as proof of the rising military might and geopolitical ambition of a country different from their own.

This was evident in the reports of Western media, which, ignoring the context, felt no qualms about using the occasion to hype up a "China threat" focusing on new weapons such as a "nuclear-capable missile designed to evade US defenses".

Yet viewed objectively, the grand ceremony in Tian'anmen Square actually provided the world with an opportunity to appreciate an entirely different picture and to hear a completely different message, as the country reflected on its past and looked forward to the future.

As President Xi Jinping said in his speech at the event, the founding of the PRC 70 years ago completely changed China's fate. The Chinese people stood up to put an end to their poverty and weakness.

The painful memories of the nation's humiliations at the hands of foreign powers and domestic turmoil over more than 100 years prior to the founding of the New China continues to fire the resolve of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups that such ignominy should never happen again. This purpose has not only spurred the hard work, vision and courage of the Chinese people throughout the 70-year history of the New China, but, more importantly, will continue to shape its future.

"No force can ever shake the status of China, or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward," Xi said.

But, although the country will not be cowed by threats or subdued by pressure, he assured the world that China remains committed to its path of peaceful development. While the nation will resolutely defend its hard-won independence and territorial integrity, the Chinese people cherish peace and will strive amicably to work with the people of other countries in pursuit not only of the nation's overdue rejuvenation but also a community with a shared future for all mankind.

Having suffered repeatedly from foreign bullying, the Chinese people have ingrained in their minds that invading, enslaving and colonizing other peoples, for whatever reasons and in whatever forms, are evil acts. And, despite the scaremongering of some about China's military parade, China remains committed to a new type of international relations based on equality and common prosperity. It does not pursue hegemony or seek expansion. It will never be subordinate to others, but neither will it coerce others into submission.

Having become a strong, comprehensive national power, it is in a better position than ever before to make greater contributions to humankind. Not only by shouldering more responsibility to help other developing countries improve their people's livelihoods. But also by actively exploring and applying a Chinese approach to upholding multilateralism, international peace and stability, and common development.

Over the past 70 years, China has integrated itself into the global community and made ever greater contributions to safeguarding world peace and boosting global prosperity through its development, and it will continue to do so.

It is the Chinese people's longing for better lives that has prompted the Communist Party of China to blaze the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, through which the nation not only continues to pursue its rejuvenation, but also further contributes to the well-being of the world.

While those who bear ill-will toward China have chosen to focus on the military hardware in the parade and tried to portray it as having aggressive intentions, Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, reminded those watching that the nature, purpose and character of the People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police Force is to resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace.

What the event displayed is not aggressive intentions, but the pride China takes in its accomplishments and its awareness that unity is strength.

By coming together at this moment, wherever they might be, the Chinese people were able to reflect on what has been achieved over the past 70 years and look forward to the bright future of national rejuvenation.

Highlights of Xi's speech

-China's past has been inscribed in human history and China's present is being created by hundreds of millions of the Chinese people.

-China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development and pursue an opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit.

-We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind.

-Unwavering efforts should be made to achieve the "Two Centenary Goals" and to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

 

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission, reviews the armed forces during the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday. Yan Yan / Xinhua

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2019-10-02 07:33:44
<![CDATA[CHINA MARCHES ON]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513691.htm No force can ever shake the status of China or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

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President stresses further opening-up, peaceful development at National Day grand gathering

No force can ever shake the status of China or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the statement in his address at the grand gathering in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Standing at the Tian'anmen Rostrum in Beijing, where chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the PRC on October 1, 1949, Xi recalled the revolutionary forefathers and martyrs for their deeds in pursuing national independence and liberation, a stronger and more prosperous country and the people's well-being, and he rolled out a road map for the country to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Xi said that the founding of the PRC reversed the country's plight of poverty and weakness, of being bullied and humiliated for over 100 years since the advent of modern times, and that the Chinese nation has since embarked on the path toward national rejuvenation.

The past 70 years have witnessed great achievements of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, made through concerted efforts and arduous struggle, Xi said, and socialist China has firmly stood up in the East.

"On our journey forward, we must uphold the principles of 'peaceful reunification' and 'one country, two systems', maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, unite all China's sons and daughters, and continue to strive for the motherland's complete reunification," Xi said.

The president pledged that China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development and pursue an opening-up strategy based on mutual benefit.

"We will continue to work with people from all countries to push for jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind," he said.

Xi urged the People's Liberation Army and the People's Armed Police Force to always preserve their nature, purpose and true character as the forces of the people, and he emphasized that they resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and firmly uphold world peace.

He underlined the importance of upholding the leadership of the CPC, ensuring the primary status of the people and adhering to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. He called for constant efforts to meet the people's aspirations for a better life and to keep making historic achievements.

China's past has been inscribed in human history and China's present is being created by hundreds of millions of the Chinese people, Xi said, adding that "China will surely have an even brighter future".

He called on all members of the Party and the armed forces and people of all ethnic groups to unite more closely, build on existing achievements and continue to better develop the country.

Unwavering efforts should be made to achieve the "Two Centenary Goals" and to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Xi said.

The "Two Centenary Goals" are to complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the CPC's centenary in 2021, and to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, and harmonious by the time of the centenary of the New China in 2049.

Xi extended warm National Day congratulations to the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and all compatriots at home and abroad, and he expressed heartfelt gratitude to friends around the world for their caring and support for China's development.

Xi also reviewed the grand military parade and mass pageant on Tuesday in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the PRC.

 

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2019-10-02 07:33:44
<![CDATA[Foreign viewers hail Tian'anmen events]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/02/content_37513690.htm

The grand military parade and the pageantry staged as part of celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday morning have been hailed by overseas audiences as awe-inspiring and sparking a sense of pride.

Over 200,000 people attended the grand gathering at the Tian'anmen Square, either participating in the military parade and pageantry or witnessing the events. The celebration was broadcast live on TV and the internet, garnering worldwide attention.

Naghmana Hashmi, Pakistan's ambassador to China, who attended the celebration, said the ceremony and the military parade was a sight to behold.

"It is a sign of a patriotic and proud nation that celebrates its milestones with so much excellence, pride and vigor. I have no doubt that the Chinese leadership, with the support of Chinese people, will continue to steer the country toward the fulfillment of the Chinese dream," she said.

She also hailed the speech made by President Xi Jinping at the grand gathering, saying that the sagacity and wisdom of the Chinese leadership was evident in the speech and it will be a source of inspiration for the whole world.

Dechen Gonpatsang Tulku, president of the Tibetan Association of North America, who also witnessed the events, said he broke into tears as the pageantry passed by.

"It made me feel so good. I've never watched a celebration that is so powerful and emotionally touching," he said.

Dechen Gonpatsang, a United States citizen and ethnic Tibetan, said the celebrations also evoked a sense of pride in him.

Chea Munyrith, director of the Confucius Institute of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, watched the live broadcast of the ceremony at his office in Phnom Penh.

He said that he marveled at the celebration events, and the pageantry showcased the arduous efforts the Chinese people have made over the past 70 years.

"Facts have proved that China's growth can benefit global growth, and China's reform and opening-up is being positively felt in many other places in the world," he said.

xuwei@chinadaily.com.cn

 

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2019-10-02 07:33:44
<![CDATA[Women volleyball team's spirit hailed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/01/content_37513548.htm

President Xi Jinping called for carrying forward the fighting spirit that the Chinese women's volleyball team has shown to build the nation into a sports power.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark in a meeting on Monday with the representatives of the players and coaches of the Chinese women's volleyball team. On Sunday, the team retained its crown with 11 straight wins in the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup in Osaka, Japan.

Xi congratulated the team on its victory and said it had brought glory to the motherland and the people.

The team's outstanding achievements have inspired enthusiastic patriotism in China, he said, and also enhanced national confidence and the sense of pride of all Chinese people.

Xi recalled the first world championship won by a Chinese women's volleyball team 38 years ago.

He said people love the women's volleyball team not just for the champions' victories, but for the unyielding spirit the team demonstrated in fighting for the glory of the motherland through united and coordinated efforts.

The spirit of the Chinese women's volleyball team represents the spirit of the nation in an era that strongly resonates with the utmost efforts made to fight for the rise of the Chinese nation, Xi said.

He stressed that building a modernized socialist country calls for overall strength in various sectors, and to secure the goal of turning China into a sports power, the fighting spirit of the Chinese women's volleyball team in the new era must be carried forward.

Xi expressed the hope that the team would keep fighting to make outstanding achievements in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

The Chinese women's volleyball players won their first major title at the Third World Cup in 1981 and went on to claim more top honors at the Olympic Games, the World Championships and the World Cup.

They won acclaim through the indomitable spirit they demonstrated in the match.

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2019-10-01 08:45:11
<![CDATA[Nation's heroes honored at solemn Beijing events]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/01/content_37513547.htm

The top leadership of the Communist Party of China and State led by President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, paid tribute on Monday to the heroes who sacrificed their lives for national independence and for the well-being of the people.

The other leaders included Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan.

Before the ceremony at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing, the leaders visited Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, the final resting place of chairman Mao Zedong. They bowed three times toward Mao's seated statue and paid their respects to his remains.

The event was held on Martyrs' Day, on the eve of National Day. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

More than 4,000 representatives from all walks of life gathered in front of the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tian'anmen Square, including elderly veterans and retired senior officials, relatives of martyrs, honorees of national medals and honorary titles, students and children.

A military band played trumpets to honor the martyrs. All participants sang the national anthem and then observed a moment of silence for the national heroes.

After a chorus of the song of Chinese Young Pioneers sung by more than 300 schoolchildren, 18 honor guards laid nine flower baskets in front of the monument.

Xi straightened the red ribbons on the baskets and led a group of senior officials in a walk around the monument in tribute to the heroes. Other attendees laid flowers on the monument.

The foundation stone of the Monument to the People's Heroes was laid on Sept 30, 1949.

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2019-10-01 08:45:11
<![CDATA[World can expect a more open, inclusive China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-10/01/content_37513546.htm

On this very day 70 years ago, the People's Republic of China was founded, initiating a time different in nature from the various dynasties in Chinese history.

While celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding, it is of particular importance to know why the past seven decades are special for this country and its people.

Seventy years are an instant in the more than 5,000 years of the Chinese civilization, but the past 70 years are special. Not least, because they have seen the founding of the New China, which has enabled the Chinese people to stand up and the nation to stand on an equal footing with other countries; the advance of reform and opening-up which has enabled this country to shake off poverty and become prosperous; and the start of a new era, in which the Chinese nation is finally becoming strong enough to realize its great rejuvenation.

Despite the Chinese nation's long history of civilization and past glory, the first generation of Chinese leaders who founded the New China knew that the country must have a political system suitable for its development and an appropriate path for it to progress.

Under their leadership and with the efforts of the Chinese people, the nation was dragged out of its dire straits after war and turmoil, and the privation of its people was basically ended.

But Rome was not built in a day.

Despite the confrontation of the two camps during the Cold War, self-reliance and hard struggle laid a solid foundation of heavy industry and agriculture for the country's further development.

Although it was not until the reform and opening-up policy was launched in the late 1970s that China found the right track for its economic integration with the world and for its sound and sustainable economic growth and social progress.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics has turned out to be the right model for China's overall development.

Reform and opening-up has dovetailed the country's economic growth with the trend of globalization, which has provided the country with what it needs for the development of a modern economy while the design of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the Communist Party of China has equipped China's development with the synergy and cohesiveness it badly needs for social and political stability.

China's per capita gross domestic product was only 119 yuan ($17) in 1952. By 2018, it had increased to 64,600 yuan. And China's total GDP now makes up nearly 16 percent of the world's total.

What this country has achieved in the past seven decades, especially after the reform and opening-up policy was adopted, points to the fact that had it not been for its integration with the world economy, China would not be what it is today - the world's second-largest economy.

Nevertheless, China is not a passive beneficiary of economic globalization. With its double-digit economic growth rate for more than 30 consecutive years, China's contribution to the world economic growth has been more than 30 percent for several consecutive years.

It is no exaggeration to say that China's development has already become an important part and a major driver of the world economy.

With an increasingly strong economy, China has never forgotten its mission as a responsible big country.

That explains why China has adopted concrete measures to open its door wider to the world, and has been doing what it can to pit multilateralism and free trade against the prevailing unilateralism and trade protectionism.

That explains why President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative, with which China intends to help many countries, especially developing countries, with their infrastructure construction for better connectivity, and which will hopefully promote balanced development of the world economy, from which more countries will benefit.

That also explains why China has proposed the development of an international community with a shared future, in which a fairer world order and better global governance will help more countries and more people share the fruit of world economic growth.

As a beneficiary of the globalized world economy, China has every reason to further its opening-up - to shorten the list of sectors that are not open to foreign investment, to implement a new law to facilitate foreign investment, to gradually open its insurance and financial sectors to foreign investment and so on.

When China and its people celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China, the world should be assured that it will have an even more open and inclusive China standing on the side of multilateralism and free trade.

]]> 2019-10-01 08:45:11 <![CDATA[Xi confers top honors on heroes, role models]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/30/content_37513320.htm National medals, other awards given to people who 'demonstrate with their actions that greatness comes out of the ordinary'

President Xi Jinping called on the Party and whole nation to remain as committed and hardworking as the heroes and role models who received national awards on Sunday.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark in a speech during the presentation ceremony for national medals and honorary titles.

Forty-two Chinese and foreign individuals were honored for their contributions to the country ahead of its 70th founding anniversary. The honorees include the "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping and Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou, who is credited with discovering the antimalarial drug artemisinin.

 

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presents a Medal of Friendship to Isabel Crook, a Canadian anthropologist and educator who was born in China in 1915 to a missionary family. Crook was the oldest awardee at the ceremony in Beijing on Sunday. Thomas Peter / Reuters

Xi conveyed his congratulations and respect to the heroes and role models who received the Medal of the Republic and honorary titles, and to foreign friends, who received the Medal of Friendship.

Noting that the people honored are outstanding representatives of all who have contributed to the cause of the Party and nation, Xi said their contributions will always be marked in history.

When people respect and praise heroes, more heroes will arise, Xi said, adding that the Party and State have always attached great importance to recognizing such people.

"Today, we honor these heroes and role models with the highest standards to promote their qualities of loyalty, perseverance and humbleness," he said.

Xi highlighted their loyalty to the cause of the Party and the people, their dedication to hard work for decades in fields where the Party and the people needed them most and their humbleness in making huge sacrifices in ordinary jobs without pursuing fame or self-interest.

"Heroes and role models once again demonstrate with their actions that greatness comes out of the ordinary," Xi said.

Adhering to firm ideals and convictions and working tirelessly to fulfill their role, every ordinary person can have an extraordinary life and every ordinary job can produce extraordinary achievements, Xi said.

He encouraged the awardees to cherish the honor and influence more people with their strong faith, belief and confidence.

Also, he said, "We have sincere gratitude for the recipients of the Friendship Medal for their contribution to China's development", adding that the Chinese people are willing to work with people of all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind and make the planet a better place.

Huang Xuhua, chief designer of China's first generation of nuclear submarines, delivered a speech at the ceremony on behalf of those awarded the Medal of the Republic.

Huang said the medal is not just for him but for everyone who dedicated their career to Chinese submarines.

"My colleagues and I have dedicated our whole lives to our motherland, and we have nothing to regret," he said, receiving warm applause from the audience.

On behalf of those awarded the Medal of Friendship, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn said all six foreign awardees are "indeed friends of China" who would like to contribute to friendship between their countries and China.

"Distance cannot separate true friends, who remain close even when thousands of miles apart," she said, citing the words of Zhang Jiuling, a renowned poet of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

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2019-09-30 08:07:54
<![CDATA[Threat to delist Chinese companies in US panned]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/30/content_37513319.htm If measures reportedly being considered by US officials to delist Chinese equities from exchanges in the United States were to take effect, they would likely have limited impact on Chinese investments but deal a heavy blow to investor confidence in financial markets in the US, experts said.

The US government is not contemplating blocking Chinese companies from listing shares in the US "at this time", Monica Crowley, spokeswoman for the US Treasury, told Bloomberg over the weekend, in response to media reports that Washington is considering removing Chinese companies from US stock exchanges.

The reports came as Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He is about to lead China's negotiating group to the 13th round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations. The meeting will be held in Washington in the week after the National Day holiday, which ends on Oct 7, the Ministry of Commerce said on Sunday.

Bob McCooey, chairman of Nasdaq Asia-Pacific, said on Sina Weibo on Sunday that the US exchange, where many Chinese technology firms such as Baidu and JD are listed, will always "be supportive of Chinese issuers" as part of its commitment to providing non-discriminatory access to all eligible companies.

The possibility of such measures being imposed in the future could not be totally ruled out, despite the denial by the US Treasury, because of the US administration's earlier swings in the protracted trade dispute with China, said Xue Yi, a professor of finance at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

"But such measures, if taken, would have only limited impact on Chinese firms and markets. I don't think it would make any economic sense for the US side," Xue said.

Chinese companies listed in the US - which are the outstanding performers in the country's fast-growing economy - would be welcomed by other bourses if they were forced to delist from US exchanges, Xue said.

"They may choose to relist on Shanghai's newly launched sci-tech innovation board, called the STAR Market, where they may raise more money than in the US, as domestic investors are generally more enthusiastic about their prospects. This would be a good chance for the STAR Market to jazz up its global influence," Xue said.

Delisting Chinese firms would not only pose barriers for US investors to optimize their portfolios but drastically undermine the reputation of the US as a champion of a free and open financial market, Xue said.

"If the US stock exchanges excluded Chinese companies, it would mean the exchanges could also exclude companies from other economies," he said, which would divert them from the US.

Bloomberg also reported on Friday that the US administration is considering blocking US government pension funds from investing in the Chinese market, as well as placing investment limits on Chinese companies included in stock indexes managed by US firms, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The report rattled US investors ahead of the resumption of trade talk between the world's two largest economies. The S&P 500 Index started to plunge after the report and ended 0.53 percent lower, at 2961.79, on Friday.

"Possible investment limits from the US administration will not change the trend of capital inflow into the China's A-share market," said Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.

The growing potential and low valuation of Chinese equities, coupled with the country's commitment to financial opening-up, have made Chinese equities increasingly attractive for worldwide money managers, Dong said.

The impact on sentiment may lead to short-term market fluctuations but can hardly hurt the long-term upward trend of the A-share market, as foreign money has never been, and is not likely to be, the main drive of any bull run in the domestic market, said Zhao Xudong, an independent market analyst.

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2019-09-30 08:07:54
<![CDATA[Major celebration events]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/30/content_37513318.htm Monday

President Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Communist Party of China and the State, will join representatives from all walks of life in placing flower baskets in Tian'anmen Square for deceased national heroes on Martyrs' Day, which falls on Monday. The event will be broadcast live.

Tuesday

Morning:

A grand celebration will be held in Tian'anmen Square, attended by President Xi and other leaders. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will deliver a speech.

The celebration will include an 80-minute military parade - the biggest in recent years - followed by a 65-minute pageant in which some 100,000 people and 70 parade floats will participate.

Evening:

A grand gala will be held at Tian'anmen Square with themed performances, shows and fireworks. It is scheduled to last about 90 minutes.

- China Daily

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2019-09-30 08:07:54
<![CDATA[Table tennis player gets a letter from president]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/30/content_37513317.htm President Xi Jinping encouraged youths from China and Papua New Guinea to make positive contributions to intensifying the two nation's friendly relations in his reply to a letter from a young table tennis player from the Pacific island country.

Xi recalled his visit to Papua New Guinea last year in the letter, which was dated Sept 19 and made public on Sunday, to Geoffrey Loi, a 19-year-old player. During that visit, Xi watched the training exercises that Loi and his teammates performed with their Chinese coach.

He congratulated Loi and his team on their performance in the Pacific Games, hosted by Samoa in July, and expressed hope for even better scores in the future.

Backed by the Chinese Table Tennis College of Shanghai University of Sport, the Papua New Guinea team won two silver medals at the Games, its best performance to date.

In his letter to Xi, Loi thanked him for supporting the development of table tennis in the Pacific nation. Loi told Xi that he loves Chinese culture and hoped for an even better future for bilateral ties.

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2019-09-30 08:07:54
<![CDATA[Belt and road reaches out to the world]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/30/content_37513316.htm Initiative fosters progress among key nations

Editor's note: In "Footprint", a series of stories recalling important examples of China interacting with the world, we follow the path the country has taken in the past seven decades.

Marzuki Alie, former speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, remembers well the day he hosted President Xi Jinping in Jakarta six years ago.

During his speech on Oct 3, 2013, Xi proposed jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road along sea routes that have borne goods and friendship to the people of different countries for many centuries.

"President Xi is the only foreign leader to give a speech in front of the chair and members of the Indonesian parliament," Marzuki said, adding that the address by the Chinese leader "was an exception as well as a privilege for us".

Xi's speech and talks with heads of the Indonesian parliament were memorable - especially the invitation to move forward together, said Marzuki, who served from 2009 to 2014.

"President Xi will not only continue to strengthen cooperation with Indonesia, but more broadly with ASEAN countries as well," he said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Marzuki said Xi discussed 12 important points during their meeting and emphasized five key components needed to share prosperity: building trust and sincerity; holding on to win-win cooperation; watching out for and helping each other; sticking to heart-to-heart exchanges; and being open and inclusive.

On Sept 7, 2013, at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, Xi put forward the concept of the Silk Road Economic Belt, underlining the need to strengthen connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people exchanges.

The concepts of the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road were later termed One Belt, One Road before evolving into the Belt and Road Initiative.

The BRI aims to enhance Asia's interconnectivity with Europe, Africa and other continents along ancient trade routes, exploring new driving forces for world economic growth and building a new platform for global economic cooperation. The World Bank estimates that BRI economies account for one-third of world trade and GDP, as well as more than 60 percent of the global population.

Marzuki said ASEAN members are strategically located on the BRI sea route.

In particular, Indonesia's Global Maritime Fulcrum policies can be synergized with the BRI. The Global Maritime Fulcrum vision, put forward by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, aims to take advantage of the island nation's geographical position to promote its strategic and economic development.

In addition to Indonesia, ASEAN members comprise Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

"From the start, Indonesia stressed that BRI projects must be driven by the private sector ... the role of the government (in the BRI) is only to facilitate," Marzuki said. He added that all projects that are parts of the initiative in Indonesia are carried out on a company-to-company basis, with business entities working directly on related programs.

"If Indonesia is able to optimize BRI collaboration, it will certainly benefit from it," Marzuki said. He added that the BRI complements the government's programs in developing interisland connectivity and infrastructure - something the country needs to diversify resources and maintain healthy economic development.

"If this connectivity is created, then greater investment will be attracted to Indonesia," he said.

He added that the country's ongoing Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project is a "highlight" for the people of Indonesia and "a barometer of China-Indonesia cooperation".

The project was given high priority by both Xi and the Indonesian leader after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in March 2015 between Indonesia's Ministry of State Owned Enterprises and China's National Development and Reform Commission.

Targeted for completion by mid-2021, the $6 billion rail link is regarded as a flagship BRI project. Connecting Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, with Bandung, the country's third-largest city, the 142-kilometer line will not only be the nation's first high-speed railway, it will also mark the first time that China's high-speed railway standards, technologies and equipment have been put to use on a line overseas.

The link is being developed by Kereta Cepat Indonesia-China, a joint venture formed by Chinese and Indonesian state-owned enterprises. According to Zhang Wei, China Railway Group's general manager for the project, more than 3,000 jobs are expected to be created for Indonesians as construction reaches a peak.

Infrastructure connectivity is high on the Belt and Road agenda, along with respecting the sovereignty and security concerns of all participating countries.

According to a report on the initiative's progress, published by China on April 22, BRI countries have made concerted efforts to build a comprehensive, multilevel and composite infrastructure framework centered on railways, roads, shipping, aviation, pipelines and integrated space information networks.

Examples of international economic cooperation corridors and links boosting countries' connectivity include the New Eurasian Land Bridge, and the China-Mongolia-Russia, China-Central Asia-West Asia, China-Indochina Peninsula, China-Pakistan, and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridors.

In Nigeria, the Abuja-Kaduna Railway, built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corp, started commercial operations on July 26, 2016. By Jan 11, the railway had served 1.23 million passengers. It is the first section of the standard gauge project between Lagos and Kano, the first such railway in Nigeria and West Africa.

A recent World Bank report showed that BRI transportation infrastructure projects have increased GDP for economies taking part in the initiative by up to 3.35 percent.

In addition to infrastructure, BRI connectivity has four other "pillars": policy coordination; unimpeded trade; financial integration; and closer people-to-people ties.

Key documents

Last year, 492,200 students from 196 countries and regions studied in China, with nearly 53 percent of them coming from 64 countries taking part in the BRI, Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to the BRI report published by China in April, the initiative has been incorporated into key documents of international organizations. For example, the BRI and its core concepts have been written into documents for the UN, the G20 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, among others.

The Digital Silk Road has become an important component of the BRI to promote cooperation on technology. Huge efforts have also been made to boost cooperation in specific areas such as intellectual property, tax, agriculture and law.

By the end of 2017, trade among countries and regions involved in the BRI accounted for 13.4 percent of the global volume and for 65 percent of that in the European Union, according to the Belt and Road Trade and Investment Index report released in May.

A report by global consulting company Deloitte said that over the five years to June last year, more than 82 trade cooperation zones were established in BRI countries, creating 244,000 jobs for the host nations.

People-to-people bonds are also an important BRI element, as the initiative acts as a platform to achieve Xi's vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

At China Railway Group's construction site for the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project, Chinese and Indonesian employees live together in workers' camps, with dormitories and canteens close by. Separate halal canteens and prayer rooms have been set up for Muslim workers.

Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, and more than 87 percent of its population of 260 million embrace the faith, according to the World Population Review.

"It is important that we fully respect Indonesian people's religion and culture," Zhang, the general manager, said. "Though we may have different religions, our friendship can still be deepened through cultural exchanges and communication."

Similarly, in Laos, the Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project operated by Power Construction Corp of China, is not only helping the landlocked country to become "the battery" of Southeast Asia, it is also passing on technologies to local people through a build-operate-transfer model.

As of the end of July, 136 countries and 30 international organizations had signed 194 BRI cooperation documents with China, according to the Belt and Road Portal, the initiative's multilingual website operated by the State Information Center.

In March, ahead of the Boao Forum for Asia, Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, said that the BRI is set to promote global cooperation, and under the initiative, any country or investor can implement a project, regardless of the location.

The AIIB, a multilateral development bank with headquarters in Beijing, has become one of the key platforms for building the BRI. Since starting operations in January 2016, the bank has provided $8.5 billion in loans for 45 projects in 18 member countries.

One of the bank's founding members is New Zealand. When meeting with Xi in April, the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had long supported the BRI.

The country is positioning itself to become a major strategic link under the BRI. In June, during the Building the Southern Link conference in Auckland, a spokesman for New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the nation is willing to play a bigger role in linking Asia with South America.

The Southern Link is a concept proposed by the New Zealand China Council in an attempt to build momentum for New Zealand better accessing resources and markets, along with BRI-based global cooperation.

Meanwhile, this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Brazil. During his visit to China in May, Brazilian Vice-President Hamilton Mourao said he hopes to connect his country's development plans with the BRI.

Brazil already has projects under construction that are linked to the initiative, such as Sao Luis Port in the country's northeast.

Hungary, China's largest investment destination in Central and Eastern Europe, has deepened its cooperation with Beijing in recent years.

Major projects in the European nation include the Hungary-Serbia railway, the Central European Trade and Logistics Cooperation Zone, telecom giant Huawei's largest logistics center outside China, and an electric vehicle factory for automaker BYD, among others.

In March, during Xi's state visit to Italy, the country became the first of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to sign on to the BRI. Giuseppe Conte, prime minister at the time, said he considered the BRI a historic opportunity for Italy and expected the country's participation to help tap the potential for bilateral cooperation with China.

Marzuki, the Indonesian parliamentary speaker, said, "For developing countries, it is difficult not to be tempted by the BRI."

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2019-09-30 08:07:54
<![CDATA[Key gatherings held in Beijing showcase ongoing global momentum]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/30/content_37513315.htm

The grand vision for the Belt and Road Initiative may have come from China, but its opportunities and benefits belong to the world.

President Xi Jinping, who proposed the BRI in 2013, has always promoted this principle, and world leaders have shown their commitment to it, as demonstrated by the strong support for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing in 2017 and earlier this year.

The first forum, held on May 14 and 15, 2017, was the highest-level conference on the BRI since the concept was proposed. More than 1,500 delegates from over 130 nations, including 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders, attended.

Marzuki Alie, former speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives, said, "I think the first BRI summit, held in 2017, and the second summit in April this year opened up great opportunities for various countries to get involved in the BRI."

If the first forum was a success, the second had even greater global resonance. Nearly 40 heads of state or government, along with another 6,000-plus top-level foreign delegates from some 150 countries and 92 international organizations, attended to show their support. Deals worth more than $64 billion were signed, while over 250 intergovernmental cooperation agreements, cooperative projects and multilateral cooperation platforms were signed or initiated.

At this forum, Xi announced that China remained committed to promoting broader and higher-quality opening-up.

"China will take a series of major reform and opening-up measures and make stronger institutional and structural moves to boost higher-quality opening-up ... We will plan new pilot free trade zones and explore at a faster pace the opening of a free trade port," Xi said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony on April 26.

On Aug 6, the State Council, China's Cabinet, announced an overall plan for the new Lingang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. The area is expected to become a cluster for international businesses, supported by the free flow of investment, trade, capital, transportation and employment.

On Aug 18, a guideline issued for Shenzhen, Guangdong province, the city at the forefront of reform and opening-up, said that by the middle of the century it is aimed to develop the southern coastal metropolis into a global model city for competitiveness, innovation and outstanding influence.

Initiatives such as these will add further impetus to the BRI.

Xinhua News Agency quoted Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen as saying on April 23 that the initiative is considered "the new engine for global economic growth". He added that the BRI has provided many benefits to Cambodia and all participating countries.

Swiss President Ueli Maurer said during the Second Belt and Road Forum that the initiative has created a new dimension for developing the world economy.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, meeting with Xi during the forum in April, said the BRI has helped promote connectivity and industrialization in Africa. He said Kenya was willing to deepen cooperation with China in fields such as infrastructure development to promote the initiative further in Central and West Africa.

In an interview with Xinhua in April, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan's first president, said the BRI had had "a tremendous impact on Kazakhstan", adding that there is the possibility of broader integration between the Eurasian Economic Union and the BRI to promote trade and mutual communication.

Established in 2015, the EAEU comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. In May last year, China signed an agreement with the bloc to cut trade barriers and facilitate economic activities. It was the first major arrangement on trade and commerce reached between the two sides, marking a new stage of enhanced cooperation.

Marzuki, the former Indonesian parliament speaker, said the two Belt and Road forums opened up great opportunities for countries to become involved in the initiative.

Martin Sieff, a senior fellow at the Global Policy Institute in Washington, said "The Belt and Road Initiative is vital to promoting peace and stability in two crucial regions of the world - Central Asia and Eastern Europe."

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, noted Xi's emphasis on high-quality development, free trade and people-to-people bonds, "all of which are sorely needed around the world".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who hosted a seminar about green growth at the Second Belt and Road Forum, said the BRI is a very important opportunity for the world to enhance the capacity to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and a key chance to launch green perspectives.

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2019-09-30 08:07:54
<![CDATA[China's ties with Prague offer much potential]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512993.htm This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Czech Republic, which is a good opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved and experienced so far.

Since the beginning, economic cooperation has been a natural part of our bilateral relations. During the 1950s, we offered agricultural assistance to China and helped the country in its industrialization efforts. We also exported equipment to China, especially for sugar refineries and distilleries.

The Czech Republic is one of the most economically successful members of the European Union, thanks to its geographic location. That has made the Czech Republic a favorable destination for foreign direct investment, with many Czech companies exporting their goods to Germany and other places in Europe. And we adhere to strict European quality standards.

China is one of our most important partners in business and economic cooperation. In terms of trade volume, China is our second-largest partner after Germany.

Trade between the two countries is mostly in machinery, transportation equipment and industrial products. We also cooperate in other areas such as aerospace, finance, healthcare, environmental technologies, mining and energy.

The Czech aviation sector has also been able to achieve major success in China.

In addition, cooperation in the health sector has been remarkable. It started with medical stays of Chinese children in Czech spas. We have had exchanges of doctors and medical staff. We also train Chinese emergency helicopter medical personnel and raise awareness among Chinese citizens about ways to provide first aid.

New opportunities have opened up with the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, in which the Czech Republic can offer its expertise in areas such as construction of sports infrastructure, especially ice rinks, and training in ice hockey or skiing.

Technological advancements and new scientific inventions have also provided new opportunities.

Over the years, we have mostly traded in goods. Now we can offer expertise in research and development. Not many exchanges have taken place in this area, and that is why we should further explore and enhance our cooperation in this direction.

The Czech Republic is a manufacturer of ultrahigh-resolution scanning electron microscopes that the company Tescan has been selling in China for years. Our nanotechnology research is world-renowned. We have also come up with nanofiber applications in areas such as water and air treatment, as well as other applications using nanostructures or nanoparticles that offer the highest level of air purification and anti-counterfeit protection.

Let's work together to improve the lives of our people and fulfill the strategic partnership between our two countries.

The author is Czech ambassador to China. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[Prada feels pinch, to shut HK store]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512992.htm Amidst the dwindling customer footfall, Italian fashion house Prada plans to close its 1,393-square-meter store at Plaza 2000 along Russell Street in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay district when its seven-year lease expires in June 2020.

Prada currently pays HK$9 million ($1.15 million) a month as rent for the space. In a rare move, its landlord Early Light Group offered to slash rents for the next tenant by a staggering 44 percent.

The fashion house's withdrawal from Russell Street, the most expensive shopping street on the planet outshining Fifth Avenue of New York City or Champs-Elysees of Paris, is an example of challenges the city's retailers are facing even as they desperately seek a solution.

As many as 481 out of the 7,400 shops have closed across Hong Kong's four core shopping districts, including Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Mong Kok in August, as three months of protests have rocked the city and given potential visitors reason for concern.

More than 600 shops will shut by next year in the four districts, a gloomy prospect that could drag retail rental charges down by as much as 30 percent, back to a level only seen a decade ago, according to the latest forecast from real estate agency Midland IC&I.

Causeway Bay, in particular, remains the worst-hit amid the drawn-out social unrest. Some 102 shops, out of a total of 1,087, were shut in the district in August, representing a vacancy rate of 9.4 percent, as data released by Midland IC&I on Sep 17 showed.

The vacancy rate in Causeway Bay is likely to climb to 11 percent next year, putting hundreds of workers out of work, as "the current chaotic situation is even worse than the 2003 SARS epidemic", warned Tony Lo, director of Midland IC&I.

Over the past two months, the closure of once-crowded branded stores in the district has no longer been big news. Prada is not the sole retailer that has been forced to call it a day.

Cosmetics retailer Bonjour will shut its 279-square-meter boutique at 8 Russell Street as early as November. The shop has been leased to jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook for HK$1.3 million a month, 19 percent less than Bonjour's lease of HK$1.6 million a month since 2015.

The landlord of a boutique at Percival Street 70 is said to have cut the rent by a whopping 55 percent to lease it to a drug and cosmetics brand for HK$200,000 per month. The landlord of a shop at Lockhart Road 500 is reported to have reduced the monthly rent by 33 percent to HK$800,000 for the next tenant, as the current lease is scheduled to expire by the year-end.

"For years, Causeway Bay has long been a magnet for shoppers worldwide and the summer is traditionally a peak season for retailers in the area," said Henry Jong, senior regional sales director of Centaline Commercial, a realty agency.

However, over the past 16 weeks, the district has been reduced to a battlefield over and over again, deterring visitors, dampening consumer sentiment and leaving shopping malls, brick-and-mortar retail stores and restaurants with no choice but to bear the brunt of the violent clashes," Jong said.

Over the weekend, Sogo department stores in the heart of Causeway Bay took the lead to close for the day as protesters gathered outside to launch a new round of rally. Many stores in the Times Square shopping center followed suit. There were no reports of damage inside the mall.

The crippling impact of protests is obvious. Retail sales in Hong Kong fell 11.4 percent in value in July from a year earlier, the biggest decline since February 2016. In August, visitor arrivals plunged nearly 40 percent from the previous year.

Last month, the Hong Kong Retail Management Association said it had written to all landlords, urging them to reduce rents by half for six months as a way to help the hard-pressed retailers - most of whom have seen sales drop more than 50 percent in August - to weather the storm.

"However, rent cuts of as much as 40 percent may not be enough to bring tenants back as they are adopting a wait-and-see approach before signing new leases," said Lawrence Wong, director of Sheraton Valuers, a real estate agency.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[Post-study work visa gives UK edge again]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512991.htm Universities across the United Kingdom have hailed the government's announcement that the two-year post-study work visa was being reintroduced for foreign graduates, though opinions of students from China, the largest source country for non-EU students in the UK, varied on the decision.

The change marked an end to a key policy made in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May. The policy required international students to leave the country within four months of completing a degree, which critics said led to an overall drop in the enrollment of international students and an outflow of UK-educated talent.

Andy Lockett, dean of Warwick Business School, welcomed the decision, saying, "The introduction of this longer post-study work visa is something universities have (been seeking) for a long time and will bring cultural and economic benefits to the UK.

"It will certainly make the UK more attractive for students, particularly if they want the opportunity to work in the UK," he added. "Although Brexit will pose challenges to overcome, the UK's universities and business schools have a world-class reputation and are key to the UK employing its soft power in a global economy."

Lockett said he believes the government's decision sends a clear message to the rest of the world that Brexit does not mean the UK is turning its back on the world. "Far from it - the country is very much open and welcoming to students from all over the world and wants to attract the brightest minds to its shores," he said.

The change will take effect for students who start courses in 2020-21 at undergraduate level or above. Under the new policy, there will be no cap on visa numbers, and graduates can apply for jobs regardless of their skills or the subjects they have studied.

As an international student who benefited from a post-study work visa before 2012, Marcia Vera-Espinoza, a lecturer of human geography at Queen Mary University of London, said she welcomed the decision to overturn the measure.

"International students and their families make great sacrifices to study their degrees in the UK, and post-study work visas recognize in part their massive contribution to the country's economy," she said.

"This measure, surely motivated by Brexit uncertainties and the UK's aim to position itself as a global outward-facing country after leaving the EU, recognizes at least on paper the massive economic contribution of international students, estimated to be more than 20.3 billion ($25 billion)," Vera-Espinoza added.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 458,490 international students were educated in the UK in 2017-18, with 319,340 coming from outside the European Union.

With the UK government's new plans to extend post-study work visas for international graduates from a few months to two years, Amelia Hadfield, head of politics at the University of Surrey, said, "There's additional scope to not only bring talented students to the UK, but to see them moving on to refine their skills in a range of jobs after graduation."

Hadfield conceded that a number of factors led to the change, one of which was that "the Home Office is working to overhaul its own image as a less-then-friendly gatekeeper to Britain after a number of plans went awry."

The number of Chinese students in the UK continued to surge even after the two-year post-study work visa had been discontinued.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in 2017-18, one-third of all non-EU higher education students were from China, or a total of 106,530.The number of students from China in 2017-18 was 27 percent higher than in 2012-13.

Some Chinese students said the announcement was such good news that they might consider getting another degree in the UK.

Kuo Xuan, 23, who just completed a postgraduate degree at King's College London and is back in China, said, "The resuming of the post-study work visa actually gives me the incentive to do a second master's program in the UK, and the additional two years of working time makes a second master's degree slightly more attractive to me."

Zhang Yishu, 23, who is taking a master's course at the University of Oxford, said the new policy presents a win-win situation and makes international students feel more welcome in the UK.

"Most of the students studying in Britain want to stay and work in the UK for a few years before going back to their home country," she said.

However, Dai Jiaben, 27, who studied for a master of science in management at the University of Manchester in 2017-18, said, "Although I am unable to benefit from the policy, as it only applies to students who start courses in 2020, it still would not affect my decision of going back to seek employment."

As Dai sees it, his heart is rooted in China, which he said offers better employment prospects with the country's rapid economic growth.

"I do not think the new policy would have had any influence of my career choice," Dai said.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[FM: Xinjiang shows way in fighting terror]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512990.htm Western countries slammed for discrediting measures taken by China against extremism

China's deradicalization measures in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have proved highly effective and are a crucial contribution to the international counterterrorism cause, said State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the United Nations on Wednesday.

Wang spoke about the preventive counterterrorism and deradicalization measures that China has been taking in western Xinjiang during a ministerial-level debate in the UN Security Council on cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security.

Such practices represent useful explorations in preventive counterterrorism and concrete steps in implementing the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, he said.

The regional government of Xinjiang has learned from other nations' practices how to advance preventive counterterrorism and deradicalization work in accordance with the law, Wang said.

It has curbed the rampant and frequent terrorist activities in the region and safeguarded the basic rights of more than 25 million Xinjiang residents, including the right to subsistence and development, he said.

For almost two decades, people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang suffered deeply from extremism and terrorism, Wang said on Tuesday while delivering a keynote speech during a dinner event in New York.

Several thousand cases of violent terrorism took place in the region since the 1990s, resulting in thousands of casualties, he said, while the past three years saw no such cases thanks to the measures taken in Xinjiang.

Significant economic growth has been achieved in the region with people's religious freedoms respected, Wang added.

The local economy has grown 80-fold since the establishment of the region around six decades ago.

The number of religious sites and clerical personnel also increased greatly during this time, and on average there is a mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, he said.

"A few Western countries, including the US, have been attacking and discrediting China's just measures out of political motives with disregard to the facts. China firmly opposes this, and their slander will not gain any recognition from the international community," Wang said on Wednesday.

The US representative, Jonathan Cohen, voiced concerns over the Xinjiang issues during the UN debate.

The Chinese side rejected Cohen's claims and urged the United States to stand with the Chinese people.

There must be no double standards or selectiveness in the fight against terrorism, Wang told the 15-nation council, and all terrorist activities must be resolutely challenged irrespective of who is behind them, when and where they take place or why they are initiated.

Counterterrorism measures shouldn't be selective, nor should any party take advantage of terrorist forces to pursue geopolitical gains, he said. And terrorism shouldn't be linked to any specific country, ethnicity or religion.

Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov echoed the point by stressing that using terrorist entities for political purposes was particularly unacceptable.

While the need is urgent to strengthen international efforts in combating terrorism, all cooperative efforts should be conducted without politicization, he said.

With cross-border cooperation a main theme in the debate, Wang underscored China's pledge to participate further in the international fight against terrorism.

International cooperation is the priority of the UN counterterrorism strategy, said Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general.

The UN is strengthening its cooperation with regional organizations such as the three who were present at Wednesday's debate - the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Guterres said.

The UN and the Security Council should take the core responsibility in the fight against terrorism, and individual efforts of member states should be promoted, with collaboration strengthened on national, regional and global levels.

Wang also alerted global leaders of the role the internet has played in the spread of extremist ideas and suggested major action against the spread of terroristic ideology online.

He also rebuked the "clash of civilizations" rhetoric and advocated dialogue between civilizations.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[US Congress slammed for interference]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512989.htm As bill on Hong Kong advances, Beijing says passage would further hurt Washington ties

Beijing expressed strong opposition on Thursday to approval of a Hong Kong-related bill by United States congressional committees, saying that any such move that undermines China's interests will be met with a vigorous response.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 confuses right and wrong in total disregard of facts and, if passed, would brazenly bolster violent radicals in Hong Kong and grossly interfere in China's domestic affairs, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in an online statement. He urged the US to immediately stop pursuing the act and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs to avoid further damage to Sino-US relations.

Geng said it is in line with the interests of all parties, including the US, that Hong Kong maintains prosperity and stability, as there are more than 1,300 US companies and considerable US investment in Hong Kong.

Passage of the act would only embolden violent radicals to further destabilize Hong Kong, which would jeopardize the interests of both China and the US, he said.

He warned that no one should underestimate China's determination to safeguard its national sovereignty, safety and development interests, implement the "one country, two systems" policy and safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

Since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland in 1997, policies including "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy have been earnestly carried out, and Hong Kong residents' rights and freedom have been fully guaranteed, Geng said.

In the past three months, the situation in Hong Kong has gone completely awry as radical forces and violent activists seek to disturb public order, destroy public facilities and assault and injure police officers with the support of external forces and anti-China disrupters in Hong Kong, officials said.

"All these acts went far beyond normal peaceful demonstrations and assemblies, trampled on social morality, violated the base line of the rule of law and challenged the bottom line of the 'one country, two systems' principle," Geng said.

He said the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs have persisted in reviewing and approving the Hong Kong-related act, disregarding the appeals of all sectors of Hong Kong society and the basic norms of international relations.

The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also issued statements on Thursday condemning the act.

At a daily news conference, Geng also opposed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act, which was approved on Wednesday by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Under the act, the US secretary of state could consider the expansion, termination or reduction of US foreign assistance to countries that "alter or downgrade official or unofficial ties with Taiwan".

The US should abide by the one-China principle and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, Geng said.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[Impeachment drama builds around Trump call with Ukraine president]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512988.htm The second day of the US presidential impeachment drama saw political spinning along predictable party lines.

A summary of a phone call that US President Donald Trump had with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on July 25 about, among other things, business dealings in Ukraine by former vice-president Joe Biden's son, was released a day after House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Democratic-led chamber was launching an official impeachment inquiry.

According to the summary, Trump told Zelenskiy that Attorney General William Barr and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani would speak to him about reopening a Ukrainian investigation into a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, for which Biden's son Hunter had served as a director from 2014 until April this year.

"What those notes reflect is a classic Mafialike shakedown of a foreign leader," said Democrat Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In a statement, Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said Congress must hold Trump to account for "his abuse of power", adding, "It is a tragedy for this country that our president put personal politics above his sacred oath."

Trump and Zelenskiy appeared together in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday and denied impropriety in the call, with Zelenskiy telling reporters, "Nobody pushed me".

Trump said Pelosi bowed to "radicals" in her party. "As far as I'm concerned, unfortunately, she's no longer the speaker of the House," he said.

In the call, Trump said: "The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great."

In the transcript summary, Trump never explicitly tells Zelenskiy that US aid was contingent on him investigating Biden, but Trump emphasized the importance of American support before pressing for action on Biden.

Zelenskiy thanked Trump for "your great support in the area of defense" and said he planned to buy military hardware from US defense contractors.

Trump told Zelenskiy: "I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair." Trump said he would have Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr call Zelenskiy.

"Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me," Trump said.

At a Council on Foreign Relations event in 2018, in recalling a trip to Ukraine, Biden said on camera: "And I had gotten a commitment from (then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko) and from (then-Prime Minister Arseniy) Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor (Viktor Shokin). And they didn't... Biden said.

"I said, 'Nah ...we're not going to give you the billion dollars.' They said, 'You have no authority. You're not the president.' ...I said, 'Call him'. I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars.'...I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.'... He got fired."

Shokin was soon voted out by the Ukrainian Parliament.

The prosecutor who replaced him, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Reuters on Friday that no wrongdoing was found on the part of Biden's son in his relationship with the energy firm.

The phone call occurred after Trump had ordered a freeze of nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine, which the administration later released.

The controversy arose after a whistleblower from within the US intelligence community filed a complaint relating to Trump's conversation with Zelenskiy.

The whistleblower was concerned that Trump was pressuring a foreign leader to take an official action that would help his 2020 re-election, according to a legal memo released by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

Twitter was filled with comments from leaders of the two major political parties on Wednesday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York, asked: "Does anyone think President @realDonaldTrump's conversation was in the national interest? Or was it in the president's personal, political interest? Every Republican, every one of them, needs to answer this question."

US Senator Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky, posted: "How is it okay for Vice President Biden or Democrat senators to threaten aid to Ukraine but somehow impeachable for a president to allegedly do so?"

If the inquiry leads to articles of impeachment in the House, a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate would follow on whether to remove Trump from office. A two-thirds majority vote in the Senate is required to remove a sitting president.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[Lawsuits seek to block Trump's immigration policies]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/29/content_37512987.htm Court actions underscore battle between federal and state authority

United States President Donald Trump's pledge to secure his country's southern border and end illegal immigration has been met with scores of lawsuits filed by attorneys general in states largely governed by Democrats.

At least 47 multistate lawsuits have been filed against the administration since Trump became president in January 2017, including seven related to illegal immigration. Other lawsuits have challenged Trump on state and local tax deductions, vehicle emission standards, the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Air Act and net neutrality.

The latter refers to the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

However, illegal immigration is the main flashpoint.

The lawsuits underscore the continuing battle between federal and state authority in the US constitutional system. Immigration is a federal issue and regulated under rules established in 1952 with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The US Supreme Court has consistently upheld federal jurisdiction of immigration and overturned attempts by the states to intercede, according to FindLaw, a legal information provider owned by Thomson Reuters.

Nineteen states, including California, New York and Massachusetts, plus the District of Columbia, filed suit last month to block a rule due to take effect next month that would permit the indefinite detention of families who enter the US illegally.

This rule would set aside the Flores Settlement, a 1997 agreement that imposed a 20-day limit on the detention of unaccompanied children. In 2015, this was expanded to include children traveling with their parents.

When announcing the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Federal Court last month, Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, said: "This new Trump rule callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children. It undermines a decades-old agreement reached in court by the federal government to prevent the unlawful detention of immigrant children."

Massachusetts' Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement, "This most recent attack on immigrant children is cruel, immoral and illegal, and we're suing to stop it."

Backlog of cases

Trump argues that the Flores Settlement creates an incentive for people and their children to cross the US-Mexico border illegally and ask for asylum.

Many people are allowed to enter the US pending a court hearing, but there is a backlog of about 850,000 cases, and about 450 judges to hear them. Few people show up in court when their case is called, creating what Trump calls "catch-and-release" enforcement.

In a research paper, John Daniel Davidson, a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, said the Flores Settlement has resulted in a massive surge in the number of families crossing the border to claim asylum - from fewer than 15,000 in 2013 to nearly half a million so far this year, a nearly 30-fold increase, according to US Customs and Border Protection.

"Nearly all these families - most of them from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador - have been released pending the outcome of their immigration hearings, a process that can take years," the paper said.

About 42,000 families, mostly from Central America, were arrested in July - about half the number caught in May.

The crush of people crossing into the US in search of a better life has overwhelmed immigration facilities.

If Trump wins in court and the new rule takes effect, he will face what appears to be the insurmountable problem of housing those detained.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has two family detention centers in Texas and one in Pennsylvania, with a total of 2,500 beds, Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of homeland security, said this month when he announced the proposed rule change.

The US Congress has allocated $2.8 billion to cover the cost of 49,500 beds for single adults. ICE currently holds about 55,000 illegal immigrants, with about 4.5 percent of them housed in family units, according to the agency.

Deal with Mexico

On Sept 11, the US Supreme Court granted a request by the Trump administration to fully enforce the new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the US-Mexico border.

The court said the rule, which requires most immigrants who want asylum to first seek safe haven in a third country through which they traveled on their way to the US, could take effect as litigation challenging its legality continues. The rule would bar almost all immigrants from applying for asylum at the southern border.

The US Supreme Court has consistently upheld federal jurisdiction of immigration and overturned attempts by the states to intercede, according to FindLaw.

A federal judge blocked enforcement of a 2010 law in Arizona that required local police to check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being in the state illegally. The federal government argues that a "patchwork" of different state immigration laws would create chaos and undercut existing legislation.

The Constitution's Supremacy Clause, found in Article VI, establishes federal law as the "supreme law of the land". The division of federal and state jurisdictions is balanced by the Tenth Amendment, which states," The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."

Public opinion polls

Efforts to control illegal immigration play out in this legal framework. Polling underscores the nation's divergence of opinion and shows the issue is far from settled.

In June, a Gallup poll asked, "In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?"

Thirty-seven percent of respondents wanted immigration kept at its current level, 35 percent called for a reduction and 27 percent wanted the level increased. Compared with a poll asking the same questions in January, the results showed a 3 percentage point drop in the number of those who want immigration increased and a 4 percentage point rise in the number calling for a cut, while the proportion of those who wanted it kept at the current level remained unchanged.

The Gallup survey did not ask about illegal immigration, but a poll conducted from April 22 to 25 by ABC News and The Washington Post did. Thirty-five percent of respondents termed illegal entry into the US "a crisis", 45 percent said it was a "serious problem, but not a crisis", while 18 percent said it was "not a serious problem".

When pollsters at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, asked in April if people arrested for illegally entering the US should be held in detention centers, 62 percent of Republicans agreed, compared with only 5 percent of Democrats.

The nation's views on illegal immigration are sometimes contradicted by separate polls.

In May, a poll by CBS and The New York Times found that 69 percent of respondents wanted to see illegal immigrants prosecuted and deported. But in June, a poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal found that 85 percent of respondents believed that deporting 10 million to 20 million illegal immigrants was not realistic.

'Pathway to citizenship'

Creating a so-called pathway to citizenship is hotly debated. Proponents argue that doing so would recognize that many people who entered the country illegally have set up homes and then had children, who automatically became citizens because they were born in the US. But according to opponents, such a program would reward illegal behavior and encourage others to break the law.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act, or IRCA, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, was intended to strengthen border enforcement, increase sanctions on employers who hired unauthorized workers, while creating legalization provisions for those who entered the country illegally.

At the time, IRCA was hailed as the most significant revision of immigration law since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which abolished a quota system based on national origin and created a policy centered on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled workers.

Has IRCA worked? In 1986, an estimated 3 million people were living in the US illegally. Current estimates place the number at 10 million to 20 million. Some employers apparently ignore E-verify, a federal program to determine legal eligibility to work in the US, as evidenced by recent ICE raids at chicken processing plants in Mississippi.

Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program will be argued before the US Supreme Court in November. The case centers on the legality of Trump's order to end DACA, not the legality of the decision during the era of President Barack Obama to allow hundreds of thousands of "Dreamers" - people who arrived illegally in the US as minors - to temporarily live and work in the country without facing deportation.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco said in a filing with the Supreme Court, "The cases concern the Executive Branch's authority to revoke a discretionary policy of nonenforcement that is sanctioning an ongoing violation of federal immigration law by nearly 700,000 aliens."

The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision in June or July.

'Public charge'

In August, New York joined Vermont and Connecticut in a lawsuit aimed at halting Trump's attempt to reject immigrants likely to become a "public charge" - relying on programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance, rather than supporting themselves.

When joining the case last month, New York Attorney General Leticia James said: "Under this rule, more children will go hungry, more families will go without medical care and more people will be living in the shadows and on the streets. We cannot and will not let that happen."

Barring intervention from the courts, the new rule will take effect on Oct 15. Reliance on public assistance would then be counted against those applying for permanent residence or citizenship.

Trump has called birthright citizenship "frankly ridiculous" because it confers citizenship on babies born to those who entered the country illegally. Last year, he said he would issue an executive order ending the practice, but did not follow through on this. Some of those opposing Trump's proposal said the Constitution prohibits him from taking such action.

North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper, a Democrat, this month vetoed a bill that would have required local and state police to hold illegal immigrants in their custody until ICE could pick them up for possible deportation. Critics said such action confers rights on illegal immigrants that citizens do not enjoy.

Trump's legal victories

Trump has said his proposals are "pro-American, pro-immigrant and pro-worker", and he has won a few rounds in the ongoing legal fights.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump could use about $2.5 billion in military funds to build another 160 kilometers of the wall along the US-Mexico border. In February, Trump declared a national emergency and sought to divert $6.7 billion from the military without congressional approval. Lower courts barred the transfer, but in July the Supreme Court set those decisions aside.

While he did not get the full amount sought, Trump tweeted: "Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law."

While liberal and conservative voters are sharply split on illegal immigration, elected representatives sometimes find common ground.

Senators Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, and Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, jointly proposed Operation Safe Return, a pilot program that would permit the deportation of immigrants within 15 days if their asylum claims are determined to be false.

"This pilot program would apply to families who aren't claiming 'credible fear'," which is the first threshold in seeking asylum," Sinema said last month when announcing it.

But a few are ignoring the courts and taking the issue to the streets.

On Aug 13, gunshots were fired at the ICE office in San Antonio, Texas, in what the FBI called a "targeted attack". No one was injured, but FBI agent Christopher Combs said at a news conference, "Had the bullets gone two inches (5 centimeters) in another direction, we would be here today talking about the murder of a federal official."

There have also been attacks on ICE offices in Tacoma, Washington, Aurora, Colorado, and Washington, the capital. So far, there have been no arrests.

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2019-09-29 08:45:22
<![CDATA[More ethnic unity urged across nation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512960.htm

President adds patriotic teaching should be priority

President Xi Jinping stressed the need to strengthen community spirit in the Chinese nation, calling on people of all ethnic groups to unite and strive together to achieve common prosperity and development to create a brighter future.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark Friday at a gathering to honor national role models in the area of ethnic unity and progress.

The history of China is a history about how all ethnic groups made concerted efforts to create, develop and consolidate the great and united motherland, Xi said, noting that a united and diverse Chinese nation - a legacy inherited from the past - is a great advantage for the country's development.

Xi said that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and the Chinese nation is now at its best period of development in modern times. He called on people of all ethnic groups to unite and strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Xi said all ethnic affairs must be dealt with according to the law and the legal rights and interests of all ethnic groups must be guaranteed. Cases and incidents involving ethnicity should be handled appropriately according to law, he said.

The president stressed that China should be on high alert for, and severely crack down on, all kinds of infiltration, subversion, destructive activities, terrorist incidents, ethnic separatist movements and religious extremism.

Practice has proved that only the CPC can realize the great unity of the Chinese nation, and only socialism with Chinese characteristics can unite, develop and bring prosperity to all ethnic groups, Xi said.

He also urged efforts to fully boost education of standard spoken and written Chinese in ethnic minority regions and improve cultural and scientific conditions of people from different ethnic groups.

Patriotic education for teenagers should occupy a more prominent position in order to enable love of country to be deeply rooted in the heart of every child, Xi said.

He underlined the importance of ethnic minority groups and ethnic minority regions joining the rest of the country in building a moderately well-off society in a comprehensive way, realizing modernization.

The achievements of China's reform and development should benefit the people of all ethnic minority groups in a more equitable way, he added.

Before delivering his speech, Xi granted awards to role models and groups. A total of 665 groups and 812 individuals were honored as national role models in the area of ethnic unity and progress.

mojingxi@chinadaily.com.cn

 

President Xi Jinping gives awards for ethnic unity and progress to individual role models and groups on Friday in Beijing.Li Xueren/xinhua

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[Medals, titles to be granted in Beijing]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512959.htm

President Xi Jinping will grant national medals and honorary titles to recipients at a ceremony to be held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sunday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, will also deliver an important speech at the ceremony.

Three types of awards, the Medal of the Republic, the Friendship Medal and national honorary titles, will be granted at the ceremony, said a statement provided to Xinhua News Agency on Friday.

The red and golden Medals of the Republic are awarded to individuals who made great contributions to the construction and development of the People's Republic of China, while the golden and blue Friendship Medals represent the long-standing friendship between the people of China and the rest of the world, the statement said.

The medals for recipients of national honorary titles are granted to those who made outstanding contributions in various fields and sectors.

The 10 am event will be broadcast live by China Media Group and on www.xinhuanet.com. It will also be rebroadcast simultaneously on major news websites including people.com.cn, cctv.com and china.com.cn as well as on news apps run by People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television.

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[Major industrial firm profits weaker]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512958.htm

Profits of major Chinese industrial firms shrank in the first eight months, leading to calls for further support for sectors hit by slowing orders and softening prices.

At the same time, some key industries and high-end sectors showed signs of rebounding profitability in the January-August period.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday that profits among major industrial enterprises slumped 1.7 percent year-on-year to 4.02 trillion yuan ($563 billion) in the first eight months, a similar decrease compared with the January-July period.

Specifically, profits of industrial enterprises above a designated size dipped 2 percent year-on-year in August, compared with a 2.6 percent increase in July.

Zhu Hong, an NBS senior statistician, said the decline in industrial profits in August was mainly affected by the slowdown in industrial production and sales, dwindling producer prices, a super typhoon that battered coastal China and other unfavorable factors.

Among the 41 industries surveyed, 28 sectors saw a year-on-year increase in total profits in the first eight months, while 13 sectors witnessed profit declines.

Zhu said some major industries and high-end sectors have benefited from a profit recovery in the January-August period including automotives, electronics, nonferrous metals, equipment manufacturing, high-tech manufacturing and emerging sectors.

Nonferrous metals posted 9.7 percent profit growth in the first eight months, 3.7 percentage points higher than that of the first seven months.

NBS data showed that January-August high-tech manufacturing and emerging sectors posted profit growths of 2.8 percent and 3 percent, respectively, 1.6 percentage points and 0.5 percentage point higher than that of the first seven months. Automotive manufacturing saw the decline in profit narrowing by 4.2 percentage points, Zhu said.

Tang Jianwei, chief researcher at the Bank of Communications' Financial Research Center, attributed the profit decline to weak factory activity and mounting downward pressure.

"As the producer price index declined for a second consecutive month in August, it's hard to see a significant jump in industrial profits," Tang said. "As a result, both fiscal and monetary policies will continue to emphasize countercyclical adjustment. First, fiscal policy should be strengthened and policies of cutting taxes and fees should be further implemented so as to lighten the burden on enterprises. Second, more efforts are needed to alleviate difficulties in accessing affordable financing to bring about substantial reduction in financing costs for the real economy."

Tang added that to ensure implementing the tax and fee reduction policy more thoroughly, the government needs to bolster support for enterprises that create more jobs and focus on innovation, such as small-scale businesses.

In the first eight months, profits generated by private companies and small enterprises jumped 6.5 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, the NBS said.

"As far as future trends are concerned, we may continue to face pressure from declining profits," said Mei Xinyu, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation. "Given the sluggish global economic growth and the ongoing trade friction with the United States, industrial enterprises are likely to see lower profit margins in the future."

Mei said that China should not resort to massive stimulus measures.

"Actually, a certain amount of pressure is necessary (to provide motivation) for some enterprises, which will help foster long-term sustainable development of our economic system," Mei added.

Tang said the future development of industrial companies depends on whether the economy will recover and whether large-scale tax cuts will actually benefit companies.

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[White paper outlines country's development]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512957.htm

A white paper issued by China on Friday reaffirmed the nation's commitment to never seeking hegemony, and called on all nations to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The white paper, "China and the World in the New Era", was issued by the State Council Information Office as the nation prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and minister of the State Council Information Office, said the document details the relations between China and the rest of the world to help the international community better understand China's development.

The white paper highlighted the country's achievements in various sectors over the past 70 years and stressed that while working hard to realize its own development, China has contributed a great deal to world peace and development.

In explaining the reasons for China's success, the document said the country has found and will continue to pursue the right development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics - a path based on China's actual conditions - and puts the people's interests first, promotes reform and innovation, seeks common development through opening-up and adheres to law-based governance.

The white paper noted that China's development is an opportunity for the world. "Comprehensive opening-up will create more opportunities for all countries to share the benefits of China's development," said the document, adding that the country is providing more public good to the international community as well as experiences for other developing countries.

As the world undergoes profound changes unseen in a century, the white paper called for building a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation while advancing economic globalization, safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core and promoting exchanges and mutual learning of different cultures to build a better world.

China will embrace the world in a more open and inclusive manner and have more positive interactions with the rest of the world, the document said.

Mentioning the relationship between China and the United States, the white paper stated China has no intention to challenge the US, nor replace it. It added cooperation is the only correct choice for the two countries, and a mutually beneficial relationship is the only path toward a better future.

Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said that the white paper answers the question of where China is headed after 70 years of development.

As the world is at a crossroads where economic globalization is challenged and protectionism and unilateralism are on the rise, the document provides the international community with China's solution about how China will shape the world and how it will interact with the rest of the world in the new era, Ruan said.

]]> 2019-09-28 06:13:13 <![CDATA[Xi extends condolences to France]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512956.htm

President Xi Jinping sent his condolences on Friday to French President Emmanuel Macron over the passing of the country's former president Jacques Chirac.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Xi expressed deep sadness over the former leader's passing and conveyed sincere condolences to the French government and people as well as Chirac's family.

Xi said in the message that Chirac was a world-renowned statesman and strategist, and also an old friend of the Chinese people.

The former French president made significant contributions to establishing the Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership, promoting China-European Union comprehensive and friendly cooperation and developing exchanges and mutual learning between East and West, Xi said.

Chirac also contributed greatly to advocating world multipolarization and multilateralism as well as maintaining global peace and stability, he added.

Xi said that the passing of Chirac is a heavy loss for France and the French people. The Chinese people also lost a good friend.

Xi stressed that he highly values the development of the Sino-French relationship and stands ready to work with Macron to write a new chapter of bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Chirac died on Thursday at the age of 86.

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[China backs Africa over peace, growth]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512955.htm

FM: United Nations Security Council must respect will of continent's people

China will continuously support Africa on its path to peace and development and will dedicate itself to fulfilling the aspirations of the continent's nations, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday at the United Nations.

Wang spoke about the future of China-Africa cooperation while hosting the ministerial meeting on cooperation between China and Africa on matters before the UN Security Council meeting.

Africa is a significant and trusted partner for China, Wang told his counterparts from Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa - current members of the 15-member council - and Niger and Tunisia, members-elect of the council.

Reflecting the positions of African countries, addressing their concerns and protecting their interests are central focuses of China's work on the council, Wang said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hailed the increasing cooperation between China and Africa.

"Over the past decade, the partnership between Africa and China to promote peace and security across the continent has grown rapidly and in multiple ways through China's engagement with Africa, Africa's own initiatives and ever closer UN-AU cooperation, including with regional organizations," he wrote in a letter, referring to the African Union.

Wang said that to improve cooperation within the UN Security Council, China and the council's African members need to highlight unity, negotiations, the independence of the African continent and development, Wang said.

With unilateralism being the biggest challenge for the current international situation, challenging basic rules of international relations and impacting the role of the UN, African countries and China should enhance their unity and stand together on the council, he said.

Wang said China developed a "three-plus-one" coordination mechanism with the African members of the Security Council starting in 2018, and suggested all make full use of it.

Negotiation has been a remarkable tradition in Africa, Wang added, and the continent hosts regional and subregional organizations that are experienced in mediating in the region. He also urged the parties to make good use of the UN's role in conciliating and peacemaking.

"The international community, the Security Council in particular, must shoulder its dual responsibility" in helping Africa build capacity and accumulate funding, Wang said in an address on Thursday to the full Security Council at its meeting on peace and security in Africa.

With African countries looking to the UN for sufficient, stable and sustainable funding support for AU-led peace actions, Wang called on members of the council to reach a consensus on the issue as soon as possible and take more concrete steps to help build peace and stability in Africa.

The council ought to listen to and respect the will of African peoples while dealing with hot spot issues, Wang said, as African nations and people know best about the problems in the region and have both the capacity and wisdom to solve all problems.

The continent on its own has developed strong and effective frameworks for addressing security challenges and threats, Naledi Pandor, minister for international relations and cooperation of South Africa, told the Security Council.

Wang also pledged to connect the Belt and Road Initiative with the AU's Agenda 2063, the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the development strategies of individual African countries to help them develop and ultimately eliminate conflicts.

"When it comes to helping Africa safeguard peace and security, China has never been absent," he said.

]]> 2019-09-28 06:13:13 <![CDATA[Beijing to dress up in its finest for anniversary]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512954.htm

Various kinds of displays have been arranged throughout Beijing to immerse the capital in a festive atmosphere as it welcomes the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Tuesday.

Large themed flower beds along Chang'an Avenue, cultural relics exhibitions in the Summer Palace and some reopened historical sites inside Beihai Park are ready for the celebration of National Day. The holiday runs from Tuesday to Oct 7.

Some 230,000 national flags have also been unfurled at government offices, parks and squares.

In Tian'anmen Square on Thursday morning, a long line of visitors gathered outside the north entrance waiting to see the decorations in front of the Tian'anmen Gate and Jinshui Bridge for the grand celebration.

Xing Qing, a 55-year-old Beijing native, snapped a photo south of the Jinshui Bridge on Tuesday afternoon. Xing, a former member of the Beijing women's soccer team, said she was emotionally connected to the city and can't wait to see the upcoming celebrations.

"I hope to record every moment before and during the National Day holiday in Beijing to collect them as memories for the next generation," she said.

A giant basket-shaped flower arrangement is also expected to be installed in Tian'anmen Square.

In Beihai Park, buildings constructed for the birthday of the mother of Emperor Qianlong (1711-99) opened to the public on Friday. The complex covers 16,653 square meters.

"It's important to show the capital's historical and cultural values to people during the National Day holiday after the buildings' renovation was completed," said Hu Tong, deputy director of the park.

Exhibitions and activities are also being planned at the Beijing Botanical Garden. Rare species of plants from around the world soon will be unveiled.

Beijing will be illuminated by landscape lighting for the holiday week, the city's urban management committee said. More than 40 spots at Olympic Forest Park, the CBD area and Sanlitun shopping area in Chaoyang district will be lit up with themed light shows.

A light show in Tongzhou district, the capital subcenter, started on Thursday night along a 11.4-kilometer-long grand canal landscape belt.

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[Nation's scientists support UN goals]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512953.htm

China will continue to support the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals 2030 by providing open, high-quality earth science data, research methods and Chinese solutions on major issues that may serve as a reference or inspiration for other countries, according to a new report published on Friday.

The report, Big Earth Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals, is one of the key documents representing China's growing efforts to pursue the goals. Its findings were submitted by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the UN this week during the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York.

In 2015, the UN adopted 17 economic, social and environmental goals crucial for the sustainable peace and prosperity of the planet and mankind. However, insufficient data, imperfect research methods and diverse local concerns are some of the biggest obstacles blocking the forward momentum of the goals.

To tackle these issues, the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the five-year Big Earth Data Science Engineering Project last year. The project is led by the academy's Aerospace Information Research Institute and includes more than 1,200 scientists across 129 research institutions, ranging from data sciences to environmental studies.

Zhang Yaping, the academy's vice-president, said the models and results from the project will provide valuable scientific and technical support for scientists and decision-makers.

"More countries, regions, organizations and companies are working together to realize the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals," Zhang said. "China has taken concrete steps - through science, technology and innovation - to march at the forefront of this grand undertaking. It will keep contributing to the global effort in meeting the new demands and challenges of sustainable development."

Guo Huadong, a researcher from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, said the latest report focuses on five goals that are closely related to earth science and can be studied using various satellite instruments and big data analytical tools.

The five selected goals are zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, life below water and life on land. "China can contribute to solving regional and global issues by providing reliable, updated data, new research methods and solutions for reference," Guo said.

For example, the environmental impact per unit of production in China has decreased since 2000 due to better farm management, but rapid urbanization is challenging this trend. Therefore, farm management and land-use planning must be better coordinated to ensure sustainable food supply in China, especially in urbanizing regions.

As for China's surface water quality, in 2016 and 2017, around 67.8 percent of surface water was within the I, II and III tiers of a five-tier water quality evaluation system, with tiers IV and V considered suboptimal.

Water quality in western China is generally better than that of the more populous eastern regions, hence future policy should focus on pollution source control and encourage scientists to collect standardized, unified and timely data tailored to local government needs.

The report also collected data on China's public transportation system, urbanization, cultural and natural heritage, PM2.5 air pollutants and the proportion of public spaces in urban areas, which can support comprehensive evaluation of sustainable development in Chinese cities.

The academy is also building the International Science Center for Big Earth Data and related infrastructure in Beijing's Huairou district, Guo said.

"Sustainable development requires a constant input of high definition, multidimensional data over a wide time period," he said. As this infrastructure falls into place, China will further improve its ability to sustain and support big earth data research to meet sustainable development goals, he said.

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[Celebrations will be seen live in theaters]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/28/content_37512952.htm

The public will be able to see live broadcasts of National Day celebrations held in Beijing in selected cinemas around the nation for the first time, event organizers said on Friday.

The presentation, At the Moment - Getting Together to Celebrate New China's 70th Birthday, will transmit the spectacular scenarios of the grand gathering, the military parade and pageantry, among the most significant celebrations for the 70th birthday of the People's Republic of China held in Beijing on Tuesday.

It is designed to provide an immersive experience for theatergoers through a breakthrough combining television and film technologies that will transfer live footage in the 4K ultra-high definition format through satellites onto big screens in theaters as well as transmit via 5.1 surround sound systems.

A total of 70 cinemas - including 16 theaters in Beijing and 15 in Shanghai, across more than 10 provinces and municipalities - will provide audiences with a visual and auditory feast.

The project is jointly organized by China Media Group, the country's largest broadcaster, and China Film Administration, the top regulator of the sector.

Shen Haixiong, president of the group, said the project exemplifies the group's efforts to use the most advanced technologies, which he called"5G network plus 4K ultra-high definition" and "8K super hi-vision plus artificial intelligence", to build a new strategic framework.

Camera operators from the group who will shoot and broadcast the National Day events were sent to make checks in the field and hold rehearsals six months ago, according to organizers.

Experts said the project will bring a change to the Chinese television and cinema industries.

xufan@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 09/28/2019 page3)

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2019-09-28 06:13:13
<![CDATA[Close contacts help prepare for trade talks]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512834.htm

Any agreement next month between Washington, Beijing to be only first step

China and the United States are "in close communication" and making preparations for achieving "positive progress" in their next round of trade talks in October, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

But analysts cautioned that even if an agreement is reached next month, it would only be the first step toward ultimately resolving major differences between the two countries, and the US must be consistent in implementing any agreement reached to ensure healthy bilateral economic relations.

"Our stance is always consistent and clear," said Gao Feng, a Commerce Ministry spokesman, adding that the US should "meet China halfway" and find mutually beneficial, win-win solutions through dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

Gao also stressed that Chinese companies have recently concluded significant purchases of soybeans and pork from the US in line with World Trade Organization rules and market principles. The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council will exclude these agricultural products from additional tariffs.

China made the move following the US announcement on Sept 17 that it was exempting over 400 categories of Chinese products from additional tariffs.

China has huge market demand for high-quality agricultural products, Gao said, adding that China and the US are highly complementary in the field of agriculture and have "broad prospects" for cooperation.

Analysts said that even if agreement is reached in the upcoming talks, its smooth implementation would hinge on the consistency of US policies.

Trade negotiations between the two countries are very complex, said Chen Dongqi, an economist at the National Development and Reform Commission's Academy of Macroeconomic Research. "Government officials from both sides are now coordinating among different government branches to lay the groundwork and settle details for the talks next month," Chen said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank, said both countries should be aware that reaching an agreement is only the beginning of the process. They should also continue to seek pragmatic solutions to end the prolonged dispute.

Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said, "More importantly, the US must ensure the consistency of its policies to avoid back-and-forth in trade talks and unnecessary political conflicts."

Indicative of the complex economic relations of the two countries, Washington announced on Wednesday sanctions on six Chinese entities and five individuals for business links with Iran.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the US decision. China always opposes "long-arm jurisdiction" and unilateral sanctions, as well as US bullying practices based on its domestic laws, Geng said.

Geng urged the US to immediately correct its wrong practices. China has taken and will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of its companies.

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[Xi encourages new contributions by Daqing Oilfield]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512833.htm President Xi Jinping called on Daqing Oilfield staff on Thursday to keep pursuing reform and innovation and push forward high-quality development.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark in a congratulatory letter to honor the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the oilfield in Heilongjiang province.

Oil workers and geologists found the oilfield after great hardship 60 years ago, opening a new chapter of historic significance in China's oil exploration and development history, Xi said in the letter.

Daqing, the city where the oilfield is located, got its name in 1979.

Over the years, Daqing's residents have remained hardworking and enterprising, generation after generation, and built the country's largest oil production center in a wilderness area, he said.

The oilfield's contributions are engraved on a monument to the motherland, with the spirit of Daqing and a model worker known as Iron Man becoming important parts of the great spirit of the Chinese nation, he said.

Iron Man was a nickname of Wang Jinxi, an oilfield worker who led Drill Team No 1205 and devoted his life to the development of the petroleum industry.

Xi called on the oilfield staff to stay true to their original aspirations, keep their missions firmly in mind and continue to give play to the Daqing and Iron Man spirit.

He expressed hope that the oilfield would make new and greater contributions to realization of the "Two Centenary Goals" of national prosperity and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

The State Council also sent a congratulatory letter, calling for the oilfield to continue to deepen reform, lower costs and improve efficiency to ensure the security of the country's oil and gas supply.

The oilfield produced close to 2.39 billion metric tons of crude oil in the past six decades.

 

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[US Congress slammed for interfering in China's affairs]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512832.htm

Beijing expressed strong opposition on Thursday to approval of a Hong Kong-related bill by United States congressional committees, saying that any such move that undermines China's interests will be met with a vigorous response.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 confuses right and wrong in total disregard of facts, brazenly bolsters violent radicals in Hong Kong and grossly interferes in China's domestic affairs, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in an online statement. He urged the US to immediately stop pursuing the bill and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs to avoid further damage to Sino-US relations.

Geng said it is in line with the interests of all parties, including the US, that Hong Kong maintain its prosperity and stability as there are over 80,000 US citizens living in Hong Kong, over 1,300 US companies and considerable US investment.

Passage of the act would only embolden violent radicals to further destabilize Hong Kong, which would jeopardize the interests of both China and the US, he said.

He warned that no one should underestimate China's determination to safeguard its national sovereignty, safety and development interests, implement the "one country, two systems" policy and safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

Since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland in 1997, policies including "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy have been earnestly carried out, and Hong Kong residents' rights and freedom have been fully guaranteed, Geng said.

In the past three months, the situation in Hong Kong, initially from the fallout over revisions to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, has gone completely awry as radical forces and violent activists seek to disturb public order, destroy public facilities and assault and injure police officers with the support and indulgence of external forces and anti-China disrupters in Hong Kong, officials said.

"All these acts went far beyond normal peaceful demonstrations and assemblies, trampled on social morality, violated the baseline of the rule of law and challenged the bottom line of the 'one country, two systems' principle," Geng said.

Geng said the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs have persisted in reviewing and approving the Hong Kong-related bill, disregarding the appeals of all sectors of Hong Kong society and the basic norms of international relations. The moves fully expose the vicious intention of some in the US Congress to propel Hong Kong into chaos and contain China's development, he said.

The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also issued statements on Thursday condemning the act.

Tam Yiu-chung, a former legislator in the Hong Kong SAR, said the bill's approval by the committees is expected to further harm already-tense Sino-US ties, which will in return bite into the US and global economies.

The committee approvals also may fuel unrest in Hong Kong, and the support of foreign forces may further egg on the rioters, propelling them to wreak greater havoc in society, he said.

To minimize the negative impact of the US move, Tam urged the SAR government and the central government to consider countermeasures. "We must make the global community aware of the hidden agenda of the US and the real situation of the Hong Kong SAR," he said.

At a daily news conference, Geng also opposed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act, which on Wednesday was approved by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Under the TAIPEI Act, the US secretary of state could consider the expansion, termination or reduction of US foreign assistance to countries that "alter or downgrade official or unofficial ties with Taiwan".

"The US established diplomatic relations with China 40 years ago, but now is preventing other countries from developing normal ties with China, which is unreasonable and contradictory," Geng said.

China urged the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, stop pushing review of the negative TAIPEI Act, and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, he said.

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[Former French president Chirac dies at 86]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512831.htm Jacques Chirac, the former French president, has died at age 86, his family announced on Thursday.

The center-right politician, who developed close ties with China and was a champion of a united Europe, was prime minister under socialist former president Francois Mitterrand for two years before being elected as the 22nd president, from 1995 to 2007.

He took France into the eurozone and survived an assassination attempt at the 2002 Bastille Day military parade, but his authority was undermined after the French rejected the proposed European constitution in a 2005 referendum. In 2011, he received a two-year suspended prison sentence for corruption during his time as mayor of Paris in the 1970s.

Chirac had close ties with China, having visited numerous times as president and also after his retirement, and was known as a great lover of Chinese poetry.

"Never in the long history of France-China relations have our communications been so close, our mutual trust so deepened and high-level contacts so frequent," he said before his final presidential visit, in 2006.

Chirac was famed for changing his position on major political issues, including European Union, leading to one of his nicknames, La Girouette, the weather vane.

Having been a Eurosceptic in earlier days, when his ambition earned him another nickname, Le Bulldozer, Chirac became a strong believer in European federalism. When the single European currency was launched in 1999, he said it was "much more than just a means of payment. It has a symbolic dimension. With it the Europeans will be stronger, more united."

Mina Andreeva, a spokeswoman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said, "Europe is not only losing a great statesman but the president is losing a great friend." She added that Juncker wanted to "pay tribute and honor his extensive lifelong work, and his legacy for France and the European Union will stay with us forever".

One reason for Chirac's support for a united Europe was as a check on the increasing influence of the United States, in particular regarding the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but his opinions were not universally popular, causing a split with then-British prime minister Tony Blair and upsetting the states of the former Eastern bloc that joined the European Union in subsequent years.

In 2005, Chirac supported the proposed new European constitution, which was rejected by the French in a referendum. He complained, "If you want to shoot yourself in the foot, do it, but after, don't complain. ... It's stupid, I'm telling you," seriously undermining his authority.

Bill Carmichael, leader of the International Public and Political Communication MA course at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, said Chirac leaves a significant but flawed political legacy. "I think he will be seen as a political change-coat who lacked any deep convictions. He became a champion of EU integration, but perhaps pushed the French people too quickly, leading indirectly to the rise of the more Eurosceptic National Front," he said.

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[HK chief: Dialogue seen as a must to bring change]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512830.htm Direct dialogues with Hong Kong's communities are not political stunts, but "a must" to help society change, the special administrative region's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said as she launched the first of the much-awaited open dialogues on Thursday.

A total of 130 participants, selected randomly from over 20,000 applicants from different walks of life, took part in the two-and-a-half-hour event at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai district.

Participants acknowledged Lam's effort to solve problems.

"Today is a first step," said a woman surnamed Choi who participated. "The government showed the goodwill to listen to the people. I think it is a very good start. I really miss the Hong Kong we were all familiar with. I hope peace will return soon in the city. And I also hope (the government's efforts) will also restore people's faith in Hong Kong, too."

In her opening remarks, Lam said the government is responsible for finding a way out for the city.

Having such a dialogue is not easy under the circumstances, she said. But, no matter how hard it is, the government maintained that direct talks should be launched, she said.

Thursday saw the first such dialogue since massive protests began in June, sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition law amendment bill.

Another participant, a middle-aged woman, said housing was her first concern. "I hope the government's allocation of resources will not disproportionately favor one particular demographic, such as a certain age group or single people."

Education also was a concern: "I hope the subject of Chinese history will be reintroduced at schools. It's important for everyone to know the history of their own motherland."

She also said she had three suggestions: that the government help people overcome the difficulties they face because of the prolonged social turmoil; that the violence and volatility be ended; and that the dialogue continue to engage the community to find solutions.

Also attending were Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip.

Lam conceded that rebuilding people's trust in the government is hard, but called Thursday's dialogue a positive first step.

"Hosting a dialogue is not for the sake of just having one. It is not a public relations stunt. There is a need for change, with the aim of making the Hong Kong that we all love better in every way."

The government hasn't listened enough to the public, Lam said. She said she hopes people understand that the government always has cared about Hong Kong's people.

She pledged more talks will continue to tackle deep-rooted problems. Lam also said, "We must act in accordance with the rule of law."

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[Lawsuits seek to block Trump's immigration policies]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512829.htm Court actions underscore battle between federal and state authority

United States President Donald Trump's pledge to secure his country's southern border and end illegal immigration has been met with scores of lawsuits filed by attorneys general in states largely governed by Democrats.

At least 47 multistate lawsuits have been filed against the administration since Trump became president in January 2017, including seven related to illegal immigration. Other lawsuits have challenged Trump on state and local tax deductions, vehicle emission standards, the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Air Act and net neutrality.

The latter refers to the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

However, illegal immigration is the main flashpoint.

The lawsuits underscore the continuing battle between federal and state authority in the US constitutional system. Immigration is a federal issue and regulated under rules established in 1952 with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The US Supreme Court has consistently upheld federal jurisdiction of immigration and overturned attempts by the states to intercede, according to FindLaw, a legal information provider owned by Thomson Reuters.

Nineteen states, including California, New York and Massachusetts, plus the District of Columbia, filed suit last month to block a rule due to take effect next month that would permit the indefinite detention of families who enter the US illegally.

This rule would set aside the Flores Settlement, a 1997 agreement that imposed a 20-day limit on the detention of unaccompanied children. In 2015, this was expanded to include children traveling with their parents.

When announcing the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Federal Court last month, Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, said: "This new Trump rule callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children. It undermines a decades-old agreement reached in court by the federal government to prevent the unlawful detention of immigrant children."

Massachusetts' Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement, "This most recent attack on immigrant children is cruel, immoral and illegal, and we're suing to stop it."

Backlog of cases

Trump argues that the Flores Settlement creates an incentive for people and their children to cross the US-Mexico border illegally and ask for asylum.

Many people are allowed to enter the US pending a court hearing, but there is a backlog of about 850,000 cases, and about 450 judges to hear them. Few people show up in court when their case is called, creating what Trump calls "catch-and-release" enforcement.

In a research paper, John Daniel Davidson, a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, said the Flores Settlement has resulted in a massive surge in the number of families crossing the border to claim asylum - from fewer than 15,000 in 2013 to nearly half a million so far this year, a nearly 30-fold increase, according to US Customs and Border Protection.

"Nearly all these families - most of them from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador - have been released pending the outcome of their immigration hearings, a process that can take years," the paper said.

About 42,000 families, mostly from Central America, were arrested in July - about half the number caught in May.

The crush of people crossing into the US in search of a better life has overwhelmed immigration facilities.

If Trump wins in court and the new rule takes effect, he will face what appears to be the insurmountable problem of housing those detained.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has two family detention centers in Texas and one in Pennsylvania, with a total of 2,500 beds, Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of homeland security, said this month when he announced the proposed rule change.

The US Congress has allocated $2.8 billion to cover the cost of 49,500 beds for single adults. ICE currently holds about 55,000 illegal immigrants, with about 4.5 percent of them housed in family units, according to the agency.

Deal with Mexico

On Sept 11, the US Supreme Court granted a request by the Trump administration to fully enforce the new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the US-Mexico border.

The court said the rule, which requires most immigrants who want asylum to first seek safe haven in a third country through which they traveled on their way to the US, could take effect as litigation challenging its legality continues. The rule would bar almost all immigrants from applying for asylum at the southern border.

The US Supreme Court has consistently upheld federal jurisdiction of immigration and overturned attempts by the states to intercede, according to FindLaw.

A federal judge blocked enforcement of a 2010 law in Arizona that required local police to check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being in the state illegally. The federal government argues that a "patchwork" of different state immigration laws would create chaos and undercut existing legislation.

The Constitution's Supremacy Clause, found in Article VI, establishes federal law as the "supreme law of the land". The division of federal and state jurisdictions is balanced by the Tenth Amendment, which states," The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."

Public opinion polls

Efforts to control illegal immigration play out in this legal framework. Polling underscores the nation's divergence of opinion and shows the issue is far from settled.

In June, a Gallup poll asked, "In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?"

Thirty-seven percent of respondents wanted immigration kept at its current level, 35 percent called for a reduction and 27 percent wanted the level increased. Compared with a poll asking the same questions in January, the results showed a 3 percentage point drop in the number of those who want immigration increased and a 4 percentage point rise in the number calling for a cut, while the proportion of those who wanted it kept at the current level remained unchanged.

The Gallup survey did not ask about illegal immigration, but a poll conducted from April 22 to 25 by ABC News and The Washington Post did. Thirty-five percent of respondents termed illegal entry into the US "a crisis", 45 percent said it was a "serious problem, but not a crisis", while 18 percent said it was "not a serious problem".

When pollsters at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, asked in April if people arrested for illegally entering the US should be held in detention centers, 62 percent of Republicans agreed, compared with only 5 percent of Democrats.

The nation's views on illegal immigration are sometimes contradicted by separate polls.

In May, a poll by CBS and The New York Times found that 69 percent of respondents wanted to see illegal immigrants prosecuted and deported. But in June, a poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal found that 85 percent of respondents believed that deporting 10 million to 20 million illegal immigrants was not realistic.

'Pathway to citizenship'

Creating a so-called pathway to citizenship is hotly debated. Proponents argue that doing so would recognize that many people who entered the country illegally have set up homes and then had children, who automatically became citizens because they were born in the US. But according to opponents, such a program would reward illegal behavior and encourage others to break the law.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act, or IRCA, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, was intended to strengthen border enforcement, increase sanctions on employers who hired unauthorized workers, while creating legalization provisions for those who entered the country illegally.

At the time, IRCA was hailed as the most significant revision of immigration law since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which abolished a quota system based on national origin and created a policy centered on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled workers.

Has IRCA worked? In 1986, an estimated 3 million people were living in the US illegally. Current estimates place the number at 10 million to 20 million. Some employers apparently ignore E-verify, a federal program to determine legal eligibility to work in the US, as evidenced by recent ICE raids at chicken processing plants in Mississippi.

Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program will be argued before the US Supreme Court in November. The case centers on the legality of Trump's order to end DACA, not the legality of the decision during the era of President Barack Obama to allow hundreds of thousands of "Dreamers" - people who arrived illegally in the US as minors - to temporarily live and work in the country without facing deportation.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco said in a filing with the Supreme Court, "The cases concern the Executive Branch's authority to revoke a discretionary policy of nonenforcement that is sanctioning an ongoing violation of federal immigration law by nearly 700,000 aliens."

The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision in June or July.

'Public charge'

In August, New York joined Vermont and Connecticut in a lawsuit aimed at halting Trump's attempt to reject immigrants likely to become a "public charge" - relying on programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing assistance, rather than supporting themselves.

When joining the case last month, New York Attorney General Leticia James said: "Under this rule, more children will go hungry, more families will go without medical care and more people will be living in the shadows and on the streets. We cannot and will not let that happen."

Barring intervention from the courts, the new rule will take effect on Oct 15. Reliance on public assistance would then be counted against those applying for permanent residence or citizenship.

Trump has called birthright citizenship "frankly ridiculous" because it confers citizenship on babies born to those who entered the country illegally. Last year, he said he would issue an executive order ending the practice, but did not follow through on this. Some of those opposing Trump's proposal said the Constitution prohibits him from taking such action.

North Carolina Governor Ray Cooper, a Democrat, this month vetoed a bill that would have required local and state police to hold illegal immigrants in their custody until ICE could pick them up for possible deportation. Critics said such action confers rights on illegal immigrants that citizens do not enjoy.

Trump's legal victories

Trump has said his proposals are "pro-American, pro-immigrant and pro-worker", and he has won a few rounds in the ongoing legal fights.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump could use about $2.5 billion in military funds to build another 160 kilometers of the wall along the US-Mexico border. In February, Trump declared a national emergency and sought to divert $6.7 billion from the military without congressional approval. Lower courts barred the transfer, but in July the Supreme Court set those decisions aside.

While he did not get the full amount sought, Trump tweeted: "Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law."

While liberal and conservative voters are sharply split on illegal immigration, elected representatives sometimes find common ground.

Senators Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, and Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, jointly proposed Operation Safe Return, a pilot program that would permit the deportation of immigrants within 15 days if their asylum claims are determined to be false.

"This pilot program would apply to families who aren't claiming 'credible fear'," which is the first threshold in seeking asylum," Sinema said last month when announcing it.

But a few are ignoring the courts and taking the issue to the streets.

On Aug 13, gunshots were fired at the ICE office in San Antonio, Texas, in what the FBI called a "targeted attack". No one was injured, but FBI agent Christopher Combs said at a news conference, "Had the bullets gone two inches (5 centimeters) in another direction, we would be here today talking about the murder of a federal official."

There have also been attacks on ICE offices in Tacoma, Washington, Aurora, Colorado, and Washington, the capital. So far, there have been no arrests.

 

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[Criticism of anti-terror efforts unfair, FM says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512828.htm

Wang: Past three years in Xinjiang saw no incidences of separatist violence

China's deradicalization measures in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have proved highly effective and are a crucial contribution to the international counterterrorism cause, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the United Nations on Wednesday.

Wang spoke about the preventive counterterrorism and deradicalization measures that China has been taking in western Xinjiang during a ministerial-level debate in the UN Security Council on cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security.

Such practices represent useful explorations in preventive counterterrorism and concrete steps in implementing the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, he said.

The regional government of Xinjiang has learned from other nations' practices how to advance preventive counterterrorism and deradicalization work in accordance with the law, Wang said.

It has curbed the rampant and frequent terrorist activities in the region and safeguarded the basic rights of more than 25 million Xinjiang residents, including the right to subsistence and development, he said.

For almost two decades, people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang suffered deeply from extremism and terrorism, Wang said on Tuesday while delivering a keynote speech during a dinner event in New York.

Several thousand cases of violent terrorism took place in the region since the 1990s, resulting in thousands of casualties, he said, while the past three years saw no such cases thanks to the measures taken in Xinjiang.

Significant economic growth has been achieved in the region with people's religious freedoms respected, Wang added.

The local economy has grown 80-fold since the establishment of the region around six decades ago.

The number of religious sites and clerical personnel also increased greatly during this time, and on average there is a mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, he said.

"A few Western countries, including the US, have been attacking and discrediting China's just measures out of political motives with disregard to the facts. China firmly opposes this, and their slander will not gain any recognition from the international community," Wang said on Wednesday.

US Deputy Representative Jonathan Cohen voiced concerns over the Xinjiang issues during the UN debate.

The Chinese side rejected Cohen's claims and urged the US to stand with the Chinese people.

There must be no double standards or selectiveness in the fight against terrorism, Wang told the 15-nation council, and all terrorist activities must be resolutely challenged irrespective of who is behind them, when and where they take place or why they are initiated.

Counterterrorism measures shouldn't be selective, nor should any party take advantage of terrorist forces to pursue geopolitical gains, he said. And terrorism shouldn't be linked to any specific country, ethnicity or religion.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the additional point that using terrorist entities for political purposes was particularly unacceptable.

While the need is urgent to strengthen international efforts in combating terrorism, all cooperative efforts should be conducted without politicization, he said.

With cross-border cooperation a main theme in the debate, Wang underscored China's pledge to participate further in the international fight against terrorism.

International cooperation is the priority of the UN counterterrorism strategy, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The UN is strengthening its cooperation with regional organizations such as the three who were present at Wednesday's debate - the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States - Guterres said.

The UN and the Security Council should take a core responsibility in the fight against terrorism, and individual efforts of member states should be promoted, with collaboration strengthened on national, regional and global levels.

Wang also alerted global leaders of the role the internet has played in the spread of extremist ideas and suggested major action against the spread of terroristic ideology online.

He also rebuked the "clash of civilizations" rhetoric and advocated dialogue between civilizations.

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[Additional sites to get protected status]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/27/content_37512827.htm

Another 762 places will be added to the list of major national-level protected historical and cultural sites, it was decided on Thursday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Attendees at the meeting approved the decision to identify the new sites as major historical and cultural sites protected at the national level. They are made up of historical and cultural sites - including ancient heritage and architectural sites, major historical sites and those featuring more contemporary architecture.

This application round began in July 2018. The symbolic and national significance of cultural relics was underlined during the selection process.

"For a country with a time-honored civilization, like China, it is important to strengthen the protection of cultural relics as a way of reinforcing historical memory. The key is to ensure that the basic principles of protecting cultural heritage are fully implemented," Li said.

Preserving the value and quality of cultural relics is key, while the originality and completeness of the relics should be maintained, it was urged at the meeting. The necessity to improve relevant laws and regulations, attract private sector participation, ensure effective protection, improve management and properly utilize valuable heritage sites that embody Chinese nation was also urged. Such efforts will help carry forward Chinese civilization and boost the nation's confidence and cohesion.

"Wooden structures, which feature prominently in China's cultural sites, must be protected and should employ modern technologies whenever necessary," Li said at the meeting.

With the latest 762 sites added to the list, the number of major national-level protected historical and cultural sites in China will reach 5,058. Many of these sites are located in Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, Zhejiang and Shaanxi provinces.

"Protecting cultural relics is the responsibility of the whole society. The private sector needs to be mobilized in this process, and public awareness of cultural heritage protection needs to be enhanced," Li said.

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2019-09-27 07:47:31
<![CDATA[Xi: Make airport into world-class hub]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512536.htm The Communist Party of China and the Chinese people possess the ambition and confidence to make continuous efforts for the fulfillment of national rejuvenation, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

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Leader encourages staff at opening of new Daxing facility

The Communist Party of China and the Chinese people possess the ambition and confidence to make continuous efforts for the fulfillment of national rejuvenation, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.

Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, announced the official opening of Beijing Daxing International Airport, the world's largest single-terminal airport, at the facility in the capital's southern Daxing district.

China will definitely achieve its goal of national rejuvenation, Xi said, adding that the people are the cornerstone of the country's development.

The president took a subway to the new airport, attended the opening ceremony and then spoke with representatives of workers who helped build the facility, along with employees.

"We are confident, and we have the ambition to work hard and march forward step by step," he told the workers.

The completion of the airport in less than five years fully demonstrates China's capability in engineering and construction, shows the nation's strength and proves the political advantage of the CPC's leadership and the socialist system, Xi said.

Beijing will also continue to develop its railway network, which is an effective way to address transportation problems in big cities, Xi said at Caoqiao subway station.

Xi said the new airport is a landmark project for the capital and is also a key project for the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Xi told workers in Daxing to build the new airport into a world-class aviation hub, demonstrate Chinese people's wisdom and strength to the world and display China's openness and inclusiveness.

At the opening ceremony, the Civil Aviation Administration of China awarded the airport its operating license.

With an investment of 450 billion yuan ($63.21 billion), the airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers annually by 2022 and 72 million by 2025.

The new airport, located 46 kilometers south of downtown Beijing, is designed to take pressure off the overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport in the city's northeast.

Xi's presence at the ceremony demonstrated the great attention the president pays to the coordinating development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, said Cai Qi, Party secretary of Beijing.

A video released at the ceremony said that the new airport is a "project that is directly planned and promoted by General Secretary Xi Jinping". It is a new gateway of China that displays the rise of the country and national rejuvenation, it said.

In February 2017, Xi paid a visit to the construction site of the new airport and stressed that the project is a new engine of the country's development.

 

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[FM: Global cooperation key to goal of sustainable development]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512535.htm

Stressing the importance of multilateralism and the central role of the United Nations, China's top diplomat voiced on Tuesday the country's support for global cooperation in achieving sustainable development.

"Development is mankind's eternal pursuit. Leaving no one behind is our shared responsibility," Wang Yi, special representative of President Xi Jinping, said at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the UN in New York.

The forum is a part of the two-day Sustainable Development Goals Summit held during the UN General Assembly.

Wang, state councilor and foreign minister, urged world leaders at the summit to take to heart the concerns of developing countries and ensure coordinated economic, ecological and social development to realize their sustainable development goals.

The 17 goals, adopted by all UN member states in 2015 as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, laid out a blueprint for global peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

"The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has opened a new chapter in development cooperation around the world," Wang said.

Effective measures are needed to deepen global partnership for further development, Wang added.

China has made its mark in facilitating global cooperation, and Wang said the country aims at promoting development for all through greater openness and collaboration and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The country will continue to pursue cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and scale up South-South Cooperation, he added.

China has also made achievements in its development. It has identified sustainable development as a fundamental State policy and is taking comprehensive measures to implement the 2030 Agenda, Wang said.

The country is now at a new starting point for development as it celebrates its 70th birthday, according to Wang, and it is committed to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by next year.

Wang highlighted the progress China has made in attaining sustainable development goals, notably fighting poverty, enhancing education, improving health conditions and promoting afforestation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a media interview on Tuesday that although the world is not on track to hit targets related to sustainable development, China has met several sustainable development goals ahead of schedule.

China expects to eradicate domestic absolute poverty by next year. In 2017, almost all primary and middle school students finished their studies in China, beating the global average, Wang said.

The country is extending medical insurance to the entire population, and its maternal mortality rate of 1.83 deaths per 10,000 live births in 2018 has achieved the goal a decade in advance.

New afforestation coverage in China accounted for 25 percent of the global total from 2000 to 2017, Wang said.

Despite China's achievements, it is still a developing country that "faces a big challenge of uneven and inadequate development and lags far behind developed countries", he added.

Better lives for 1.4 billion Chinese will be "China's biggest contribution to global development", he said.

The country is placing its people's well-being front and center and embracing a new development philosophy featuring high-quality development that is innovative, coordinated, green and open for the benefit of all, Wang added.

He said a parallel to the 2030 Agenda, which represents a dream for a better future for the world, is the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

"China will work tirelessly with the rest of the international community to realize the sustainable development goals for 2030 and bring a better future for all," he said.

The summit aims to lead to a Political Declaration of Heads of State and Government that provides political guidance on how to step up the pace of implementation of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development goals.

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[PLA Navy unveils its 1st amphibious assault ship]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512534.htm China's first amphibious assault ship was launched in Shanghai on Wednesday, bringing completion of the landmark project closer.

The People's Liberation Army Navy said in a statement that after a brief ceremony at an unidentified shipyard, water was pumped into the dry dock where the ship's hull was built, signifying that its major structure had been completed.

Participants at the ceremony - officials from the central and Shanghai governments, officers from the Central Military Commission's Equipment Development Department and the Navy, executives of State-owned conglomerate China State Shipbuilding Corp as well as the vessel's designers and construction workers - applauded as they witnessed the launch, the statement said.

The ship, whose name remains unknown - the military usually makes a warship's name public at its commissioning ceremony - was domestically developed and built, the Navy said. It will be capable of conducting amphibious combat and other tasks.

In the next phase, the Navy said, engineers will start outfitting and fine-tuning the vessel's equipment and then conduct mooring tests and sea trials.

Observers familiar with the Navy's hardware have pointed out that the new ship is the first among Type 075-class amphibious assault ships.

Foreign media reported it is being built at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a major builder under the China State Shipbuilding Corp.

Science and Technology Daily previously reported that the vessel will be about 250 meters long and 30 meters wide, and it will displace nearly 40,000 metric tons.

Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of industry magazine Modern Ships, said the United States, Britain, France, Spain, Italy and South Korea have already developed and built modern amphibious assault ships.

He said deployment of the Type 075-class vessel will extensively enhance the Navy's amphibious operational capability.

"Though we now have Type 071-class amphibious transport dock ships, they can only carry a limited number of helicopters that are far from enough for massive amphibious landing operations. By comparison, the Type 075 will be capable of carrying dozens of helicopters and a stronger force of landing craft, allowing the Navy to execute low-altitude, over-the-horizon deployment of a large number of troops," Cui said.

With Type 075-class ships, the Navy will be able to quickly conduct large-scale landing operations, Cui added.

Cao Weidong, a senior researcher at the PLA's Naval Research Academy, said the Type 075-class ship will mainly be tasked with transporting and landing troops and weapons in hostile territory via landing craft or helicopters, as well as providing air-fire support.

Such ships can play a leading role in anti-ship, ground target strikes and landing operations, greatly boosting the Navy's long-range amphibious capability, Cao said.

 

People's Liberation Army Navy officers attend the launch ceremony for China's first amphibious assault ship in Shanghai on Wednesday.Li Tang/for China Daily

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[Easing tensions to benefit Sino-US talks]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512533.htm

Positive signals of easing trade tensions recently sent by both China and the United States will create better conditions and reduce confrontation ahead of the high-level trade talks in Washington next month, trade experts said on Wednesday.

They made the assessment after official sources announced that China supports companies to continue purchasing a certain amount of US agricultural products, including soybeans and pork, in line with World Trade Organization rules and market principles.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council will continue to exclude certain agricultural products from additional tariffs, according to a Xinhua News Agency report that quoted the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce late on Tuesday.

The US government had recently exempted three lists of Chinese goods from additional tariffs, covering over 400 categories of products.

Because the Chinese and US economies are highly interdependent and play important roles in the global market, exchanging goodwill gestures is an important precondition and can certainly mitigate confrontation during the upcoming round of high-level economic and trade consultations in October, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing.

No one can afford to let the tit-for-tat tariffs go unchecked forever, Chen added.

Official Chinese sources also stressed that China has a huge market and the prospects for importing high-quality US agricultural farm products are broad, the Xinhua report said. China hopes the US will continue to meet China halfway and create favorable conditions for bilateral cooperation in agriculture and other sectors, according to the report.

Zhang Xiaoping, country director for China at the US Soybean Export Council, said that any amount of soybeans China buys from the US is not only good news for US soybean farmers, but also will benefit soybean processing plants and consumers in China.

"We hope that the mutually beneficial trade moves can help Beijing and Washington to end the trade dispute as soon as possible and put the bilateral soybean trade back on the right track," Zhang said, adding that farm trade will benefit industries and people in both countries.

His views are shared by Tom Vilsack, CEO of the US Dairy Export Council, who believes that it is time for the two nations to rebuild trust and business ties.

"We have long, strengthening cooperation with the Chinese dairy industry. This kind of cooperation can be reflected in mutual support during the difficult times and constantly closer friendship," he said.

Vilsack highlighted that the US dairy industry attaches great importance to cooperation with China and hopes to strengthen friendly business exchanges.

Affected by rising tariffs, China's total trade volume with the US fell 9 percent to 2.42 trillion yuan ($340 billion) in the first eight months of the year, compared with an 8.1 percent fall during the January-July period, the General Administration of Customs said.

China's demand for various agricultural products will continue to surge because its economy has become more dynamic and resilient, fostered by supply-side structural reforms, said Ding Lixin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

James Zhou, global vice-president of Louis Dreyfus Co, one of the world's major agricultural commodity traders, said: "We have seen major changes in the consumption sector with evolving patterns and steady expansion. For instance, over 400 million Chinese are middle-income earners."

Zhou added that the French company will invest more in enhancing its coffee, cotton and sugar business in China.

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[President praises deeds of role models]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512532.htm

President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of carrying forward the spirit of patriotism and dedication in order to create a powerful source of strength for realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark in his instructions read at a ceremony honoring the country's role models on Wednesday.

He expressed warm congratulations and sincere greetings to role models receiving awards and to the families of deceased role models.

Xi said generations have persistently striven for China's socialist revolution, construction and reform, and many have emerged as role models.

They dedicated their wisdom, blood, sweat and sometimes even their lives to pursuing the country's prosperity, national rejuvenation and better lives for the people, he said.

The president also called for efforts to publicize the meritorious deeds of role models and use their stories to inspire the Party and all Chinese people to carry forward the spirit of patriotism and dedication.

A total of 278 individuals and 22 groups were awarded the title.

Wang Huning, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, met the role models and families of the deceased ones.

Xi's instructions were read out by Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[Institute at forefront of infectious diseases fight]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512531.htm When explorer Li Huacan took a photograph of Sanji, a 15-year-old Tibetan girl, in 2015, the teenager's yellowing eyes and skin showed that she had a severe illness.

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Links formed with leading global institutions and companies

When explorer Li Huacan took a photograph of Sanji, a 15-year-old Tibetan girl, in 2015, the teenager's yellowing eyes and skin showed that she had a severe illness.

Li was in Qinghai province, kayaking down the Yellow River on a journey of more than 5,400 kilometers to its estuary in Dongying, Shandong province, which he reached in 234 days

Hailing from Qinghai, Sanji had the parasitic disease echinococcosis, which had blocked her gall bladder, causing bile to enter her blood. All she could do was tell her doctor the high degree of pain she was experiencing.

Li said the girl might only have had a slim chance of surviving.

The disease is little-known to most Chinese, but according to the World Health Organization, the country is estimated to have the highest number of such cases worldwide.

In nine western and northern provinces and autonomous regions, an estimated 50 million people are at risk from the disease, and about 170,000 of them are infected, according to a report published in 2017 in the Chinese animal health journal Zhongguo Dongwu Baojian on the epidemiology and spread of echinococcosis in China.

Widely prevalent in rural areas, the disease is caused by some types of tapeworm and is usually transmitted to humans from animals, especially dogs.

People can become infected if they have direct contact with animal hosts, or even by ingesting parasites' eggs in polluted food, water or soil.

Once the tapeworm enters the body, almost all the organs and tissues, such as the liver, lungs, brain and bones, will become damaged.

Echinococcosis is often expensive and complicated to treat. The drugs available on the market have multiple side effects and unreliable efficacy, while surgery is high-risk and costly.

Lu Manchun, chief operating officer at the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, or GHDDI, in Beijing, said: "Prevention is far simpler than treatment. However, due to poor medical conditions, local residents cannot be screened promptly, and when they are diagnosed, they have often entered the late stage of the disease."

Since last year, the institute has worked with the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, conducting a project that optimizes and tests new methods of experimentation to help improve research efficacy and develop new drugs to treat the disease.

In July, a similar cooperation project was launched by the institute and Qinghai University Affiliated Hospital in Xining, Qinghai province.

Lu said, "We have a lot of experience and knowledge of other parasitic diseases, and there is an urgent need to improve the health situation in rural areas, so we decided to choose echinococcosis as one of our research areas."

In 2016, the institute was jointly founded by Tsinghua University, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Beijing Municipal Government. It is run as a not-for-profit organization.

Lu, who joined the institute at the start, said everything it does is "unique and innovative".

In addition to parasitic diseases, it focuses on tuberculosis, malaria and intestinal diseases, which are widely prevalent in many less-developed countries.

Such diseases are usually difficult to cure, highly resistant to drugs, globally and regionally contagious, and can easily be neglected. Even if drugs are available, patients may not be able to afford them.

According to Li Yinuo, chief representative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Beijing office, there is a huge imbalance between the burden caused by infectious diseases worldwide and investment in ways to treat and prevent them.

Since the 1970s, some 1,500 new drugs have entered the market, but fewer than 20, or just over 1 percent, are for infectious diseases, Li added.

"Developing countries bear 90 percent of the world's infectious disease burden, but global investment in such diseases accounts for only 10 percent of that in drug research and development worldwide," she said.

Without fundamental changes or updates to existing drugs, parasites or germs in the human body will develop long-term resistance.

For example, research published in July in the monthly journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases showed that a widely-used frontline therapy has had a high rate of treatment failure due to multidrug-resistant malaria that has spread across Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Under such circumstances, Lu said the institute is trying to find innovative drugs that either aim at new target areas in the body, or to develop new mechanisms for existing targets.

It has established the "pipeline" process that covers different stages of developing a new drug, from early research to target validation, and then to first-phase clinical trials.

Thanks to the Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation's extensive global partnership network, the institute has cooperated with leading institutions and companies, such as the California Institute for Biomedical Research, the Medicines for Malaria Venture and United Kingdom pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

These collaborations have enabled it to build a global network for new drug research and development.

Lu said: "It usually takes organizations six to eight years to build a complete pipeline. But with help from the global network, GHDDI only spent two years completing this task."

To ensure the process works efficiently, the institute places different projects at varying stages of development in the pipeline. When something goes wrong - for example, a drug target proves to be toxic and cannot be developed, it is replaced by another project, ensuring that the testing continues.

Lu said the institute is trying to successfully hit a series of "milestones" for each project along the pipeline.

The variety of projects means that the pipeline is "versatile" and will eventually help produce drugs to treat multiple diseases, she added.

Located in Dongsheng Science and Technology Park outside the North Fifth Ring Road in Beijing, the institute has built a 6,000-square-meter world-class drug research and development center.

The center has established key laboratories for different stages of drug development. It is also equipped with sophisticated instruments and facilities to provide professional and reliable support for new drug development.

Lu said the institute considers itself a transitional platform for innovative drug development - somewhere between academia and companies.

Traditional institutions at universities focus more on basic research, such as discovering potential treatment methods, but less on converting these into actual products, she said.

"But the institute is oriented by the final product, which means a tablet that can go for Phase I clinical trials," Lu said. "If academia is conducting 'discovery science', then what we are doing is 'translational science' - paying more attention to the process from method discovery to preclinical study."

By comparison, pharmaceutical companies can carry out the entire process - from research to the development of new drugs.

However, since not all research results in pills being produced, it is highly likely that after thousands of trials just one study will succeed in becoming a safe and effective treatment for patients with infectious diseases.

"The whole process can be costly and time-consuming. And for a company seeking to make a profit, this is akin to investing in projects with high commercial potential," Lu said. But as a not-for-profit organization, the institute does not have to think too much about this.

Tsinghua University, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Beijing Municipal Government adopted a "public-private-partnership" model, also known as PPP, to establish the institute. All three are also on the institute's board.

Lu said Tsinghua University has academic research strengths and rich experience in implementing nonprofit research institutions. The foundation provides global resources, and the municipal government can provide various forms of policy support on talent recruitment and innovation.

Significant decisions at the institute, such as budgets, appointments of senior staff members and planning, must be reported to the board. At the same time, the organization retains a high degree of autonomy - for example, intellectual property belongs to the institute, rather than any of the board members.

"Establishing the institute was also a new application of the PPP model, because previous projects mostly centered on infrastructure construction," Lu said. "GHDDI is the only scientific research institution that is private, non-enterprise and foreign invested in China."

The organization's operating funds come from the municipal government, as well as institutions such as the Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lu said that this way, there is no need for researchers to think too much about input and output, just to focus on research and testing.

"We want to run the institute like a business, and hopefully earn some money from the final products in the future," she said. "But we will do this to provide medicine to patients at a reasonable and affordable price, not to make a profit."

However, the institute has encountered some problems.

For example, Lu said that as it is not part of the national research system, this means it does not qualify to apply for blood for scientific or national research projects.

But she said she is optimistic about the institute's development, and believes it will lead the way for similar organizations to emerge.

The institute is poised to introduce more pipelines that are closely related to global heath, such as research on hepatitis B.

"We also want to launch a research program on tuberculosis, and hopefully we can cooperate with hospitals and universities in Beijing," Lu said. "We not only care about global health issues, but also want to help solve domestic public health problems."

 

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[Research team head relishes his crucial role at Beijing laboratory]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512530.htm In a 6,000-square-meter research and development laboratory outside the North Fifth Ring Road in Beijing, Chen Shuo and his team are working on a project to develop a drug to treat tuberculosis, a chronic infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs.

Chen, the project's principal instigator, who is from Sichuan province and went to Shandong University in Jinan, was among the first group of researchers to work at the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute in July 2017.

He obtained his doctorate in School of Medicine at the Virginia Commonwealth University, United States, in 2000. Since then, he has worked for many research institutes, universities and pharmaceutical companies in the US, and also has his own laboratory and sponsors.

Sensing some negative trends in the antibiotics industry in the US, Chen left the country where he had lived for 22 years to join the GHDDI team to continue his research.

"There wasn't enough scope and funding in the US for me to make more significant progress in my field," he said.

"But this place (the institute) is very lively and innovative, and I can work on the topic I'm good at," said Chen, who focuses on microorganisms and antibiotics.

He led the institute's first project, successfully identifying a new drug target.

Chen, one of dozens of researchers recruited by the institute from around the world, said his team expects to see its work result in an actual product soon.

The institute has about 60 R&D team members, half of whom have overseas experience and 40 have doctorates.

Lu Manchun, its chief operating officer, said there is a preference for hiring senior researchers from large pharmaceutical companies, such as Pfizer, based in the US, and Novartis, headquartered in Switzerland. It also works with well-known research institutes, including The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Lu obtained her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and undertook postdoctoral research at Princeton University. She has rich experience of working in related fields.

"We also welcome those who have master's degrees or have just graduated from university, and will provide them with a platform to learn and grow, but this could be challenging for them," she said.

The institute plans to expand its research team to about 130 in the next two years.

"We'd like to invite those with the enthusiasm for science and an interest in the frontier development of healthcare," Lu said.

Chen said he enjoys his work at the "unconventional" institute, which has talented professionals from different areas of the world focused on global health problems.

"Infectious diseases will never disappear, so people like us will always be needed," he said. "Where there is pressure, there is motivation."

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[China-US relations come to 'crossroads']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512529.htm Foreign minister says 'decoupling' of two largest economies not sensible, realistic

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the "giant ship" of China-US relations is faced with two very different routes.

"One features calm seas and broad prospects, and the other is churning waters and raging waves," he said.

Wang spoke at a reception co-hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council. He is in New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Wang said mutually beneficial cooperation is the only right option for China and the US.

"There is a claim in the United States that the country has been 'ripped off' in its cooperation with China. Is that really so? Of course not," Wang said.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China as well as the 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations.

Wang said that in the past four decades, China-US relations have weathered many twists and turns but "steadily moved forward with progress beyond even the boldest imagination", he said.

"On the other hand, however, China-US relations today have once again come to a crossroads," he added, saying that "some people are using every means to depict China as a major adversary, marketing their prophecy that the relationship is doomed to fall into the Thucydides Trap, the 'clash of civilizations' trap, and even clamoring for a full 'decoupling' with China." The Thucydides Trap refers to a clash between a rising power and an established power that escalates toward war.

Wang said that over four decades, the China-US trade in goods surged by 252 times. A US-China Business Council report found that between 2009 and 2018, US exports to China alone supported more than 1.1 million jobs in the US.

Ninety-seven percent of US companies surveyed reported profits from doing business with China, and trade with China has saved US families $850 a year on average, the report said.

Wang said he thinks economic globalization, as the trend of the times, should not and cannot be held back. And issues between nations should be addressed by enhancing global governance through equal dialogue and consultation.

He said trade frictions have inflicted losses on both countries. He cited the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which estimated that due to additional tariffs imposed on the $250 billion of Chinese exports in 2018, US consumers would have to spend an extra $52.8 billion every year, or an average of $414 for each US family.

"Given the size of our economies and the level of interdependence, the so-called decoupling, or shutting the door to each other, is just like an attempt to build castles in the air. It is neither sensible nor realistic," he said.

China, the world's second-largest importer of goods and services, has the world's biggest and most promising market, with the largest and fastest-growing middle-income population, he said.

"Decoupling from the Chinese economy would be decoupling from opportunities, and from the future," Wang said.

Henry Kissinger, chairman of Kissinger Associates and former US secretary of state, said via video that at this moment, it is more important than ever to have a constructive dialogue between the two nations. "A constructive dialogue must respect the core interests of both countries," Kissinger said.

He said the two countries have different social systems, "but the two countries must also understand that conflict is not an option".

"Each of the sides will believe in the validity of their points of view, but the peace of the world cannot be achieved without a willingness to consider the point of view of other parties," Kissinger said.

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[National Day celebration details unveiled]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512528.htm Around 100,000 people and 70 parade floats will pass Tian'anmen Square on China's 70th birthday on Tuesday to showcase the nation's socioeconomic accomplishments, Zhang Ge, executive manager of the event, said on Wednesday.

The parade, using the theme "Jointly Building the Chinese Dream", will feature 36 formations and is divided into three main parts: the nation's founding, reform and opening-up and great rejuvenation, he said. It will last around 65 minutes.

More than 400 people from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Chinese compatriots from overseas and foreign friends will also participate in the parade, Zhang said.

"Many of them had to fly in to take part in the rehearsal. This shows their great love for China and its people, and we are very moved," he said.

Tian'anmen Square has been decorated with two giant red ribbons and 70 red lanterns, signifying the passing down of China's honorable traditions to future generations. Around 70,000 doves and 70,000 colored balloons will be released during the parade, he added.

The march will focus on demonstrating the historic accomplishments and changes achieved since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, as well as how the Party has united and inspired the people to make great progress and pursue a glorious future.

Xiao Xiangrong, chief director of the parade, said they hope to turn the event into "a flowing historical epic about China's rise from humble beginnings to being rich and powerful".

This year's performance aims to be more vivid and lively, with greater emphasis on improvisation and "letting people from various professions and walks of life tell their own unique stories", he said.

For example, some formations will focus on farmers, factory workers, students, delivery workers and others. "We want our performers to display genuine emotions and voice their true feelings for the motherland."

Zhang said the organizers of the parade have been moved by the genuine love for the country and Party shown by the performers. "They embody the true spirit of being free, vivid, jovial and lively, and this encourages us greatly."

At 8 pm on Tuesday, China will host a grand evening gala at Tian'anmen Square with theme performances, shows and fireworks, lasting around 90 minutes, said Pang Wei, executive deputy minister of the gala's organization department.

The theme performances are in four sections, including Ode to the Red Flag, We Walk on the Great Road, On the Field of Hope and Lead the New Era. Around 3,290 people will participate in the performance, which aims to present China's rise, she said.

The featured show also has four parts: The Great People and Their Magnificent Homeland, Jubilant People and Beautiful Landscape, New Era in a Brand-New World and Shared Happiness and Common Aspirations. Around 3,650 people will showcase unique cultural heritages from all around China, and up to 40 classic and beloved songs will be performed.

Xiong Zhuo, executive manager for volunteers, said more than 160,000 volunteers have joined to assist the nation's celebration, 10,000 of which are directly involved in the parade and the grand evening gala.

Most of the parade volunteers are young people aged 19 to 30, including many celebrities and influencers. "The smile of volunteers is the best business card for Beijing," Xiong said.

Huang Cheng, a representative of the volunteers, said she and other volunteers have been drilled extensively and are ready to help in the national celebration.

"We are very honored to be volunteering for this historic event," she said. "Although each of us is only responsible for a small task, it still constitutes a contribution to the overall success and glory of the nation, so all volunteers have been diligent and willing to do our jobs."

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2019-09-26 08:04:52
<![CDATA[Winners announced in global short video contest]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-09/26/content_37512527.htm

An awards ceremony for a global short video contest was held on Wednesday in Beijing.

The contest, @China, had over 430,000 short videos from 60 countries, including China and countries from North America, Europe, Africa, Oceania and the rest of Asia. The contest was launched on June 17.

The contest was supervised by the State Council Information Office and sponsored by People's Daily.

It was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The aim was to collect uplifting stories of individuals' interactions with China that display the achievements of reform and development in the new era.

After three rounds of review and taking online voting results into consideration, three videos shared the first prize: What do you think of China? by Adam Mcllmoyle