版权所有 - 中国日报�(ChinaDaily) China Daily <![CDATA[Battery-processors charged with preventing pollution]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492444.htm Heavy metals and other materials found in spent fuel cells can pose a risk to humans, animals and the planet. Hou Liqiang reports.

With more than 2 million electric vehicles on the country's roads last year, China is spearheading the global development of new energy transportation.

While the development has been praised in many quarters, the country's ambitious plans to promote e-vehicles, which will be implemented in a number of regions, will present environmental challenges because of the need to neutralize and dispose of large numbers of spent batteries.

Government-backed pilots to establish a system for the recycling of the fuel cells, which fall into the lithium-ion category and contain polluting heavy metals, have been put in place as authorities ratchet up preparations, and several regulations have been introduced.

Experts said the country urgently needs to upgrade its processing technologies, most of which are derived from traditional metal smelting industries, to address the challenges resulting from recycling. More-specific standards should be drafted and greater importance attached to green designs to facilitate the dismantling and possible reuse of spent batteries, they added.

According to the Traffic Management Bureau at the Ministry of Public Security, about 2.6 million new energy vehicles were registered nationwide last year, with more than 80 percent of them being powered by electricity. The bureau said the number of new energy vehicles has risen by an average of 500,000 annually in the past five years, and that trend will accelerate.

Plans have been formulated in many areas to promote new energy vehicles. For example, Hainan province has pledged to phase out sales of gasoline-powered vehicles on the island by 2030. On July 2, Shen Xiaoming, Hainan's governor, announced that starting this year all additions and replacements to public sector vehicle fleets, including buses and government cars, will run on clean energy.

Pressing problem

However, the batteries that power the vehicles have to be replaced once their storage capacity falls below 80 percent, while their service life ranges from five to eight years, depending on the frequency of charging. This means the batteries are retired long before the vehicles they power.

While several bodies have produced different estimates of the number of spent batteries that will require disposal, they all agree on one thing - they will arrive soon.

China Automotive Technology and Research Center Co estimates that 120,000 to 200,000 metric tons of batteries will be retired from 2018 to 2020, and the number will rise to 350,000 tons by 2025.

However, a report released last year by three expert bodies, including the Institute of Process Engineering at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, estimated that the number will exceed 400,000 tons by 2022.

Spent batteries can pose both safety and environmental risks. Though no longer useful, they still contain a charge, and the heavy metals in them, such as cobalt and nickel, along with organic matter and carbon materials, can cause pollution.

Zhang Tianren, chairman of Tianneng Group, one of China's largest battery manufacturers, said many of the spent cells could be used for power storage in the telecommunication sector if they are still in good condition.

However, they will still need to be disposed of sooner or later, and improper disposal could result in severe water and soil pollution.

"It is hard to restore soil that has been penetrated by heavy metals, even decades later," he said.

Sun Zhi, a researcher with the CAS institute, said the methods of extracting metals from spent batteries derive from traditional metal smelting industries, and while many companies have the requisite abilities, it is still a major challenge to extract all the resources and avoid pollution at the same time.

According to the institutes' report, many processing technologies can result in the release of pollutants that pose severe threats to people, water and soil.

One of the major challenges comes from the disposal of the electrolytic fluid that carries the electrical charge, because the present method generates wastewater or gas that contains fluorine, which can be harmful to human health.

Greener technologies

The report noted that China needs to develop greener, cleaner, more sustainable processing technologies especially for spent batteries.

Most of the systems consist of interconnected battery packs composed of multiple cells, but a lack of universal standards in the structure and packing of the cells poses a major challenge for processors, experts said.

According to Sun, it is difficult to use automated equipment to dismantle the battery packs because they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which raises costs. Moreover, as a safety measure, manufacturers usually insert resins into the packs to lock the cells in place during use, which adds to the difficulty in dismantling them.

"The efficient extraction of valuable metals from the cells is a crucial part of processing," he said, adding that the design of battery systems needs to be optimized to address challenges in the extraction process.

Because some spent cells or even entire packs could still be used to store power, Sun called for more attention to be paid to upgrading battery design to facilitate reuse.

Zhang, Tianneng's chairman, noted that extraction technologies are not cost efficient. "The cost of processing some types of battery is higher than the value of the recycled materials," he said.

There are different types of batteries, composed of different materials. The processing costs and the value of the recyclable materials they contain vary from battery to battery.

He added that China imports most of the lithium it uses, so the development of mature extraction technologies could help relieve the country's reliance on supplies from overseas.

Subsidies

Zhang called on the government to provide stronger, preferential tax policies to boost development of the sector, and said subsidies should be offered to companies or institutes that are tackling the hard issues in battery processing.

Wang Yi, vice-president of the CAS Institute of Science and Development, said authorities should pay special attention to minimum charging times during the batteries' service lives.

When authorities mull standards for minimum charging times, the environmental cost of a battery's entire life cycle, including disposal, should be calculated to ensure that new energy vehicles can play their expected role in environmental protection, rather than posing more risks, he added.

Early last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and five other government bodies published a guideline on management of the recycling and reuse of spent batteries.

The guideline was aimed at introducing an "extended producer responsibility" system in the industry, under which manufacturers will shoulder the responsibility of disposing of spent cells.

Meanwhile, a guideline the ministry published in July last year pledged to build a "traceability management system" that will cover every procedure related to batteries, from production to recycling and reuse.

Last year, pilot programs were launched in 17 provincial-level regions to explore a mechanism for the management of spent batteries.

Despite the challenges, Sun said he is optimistic about the future of the sector, and he expects China to play a leading global role, given that other countries have yet to see large-scale retirement of lithium-ion batteries.

"Many companies are paying attention to the sector, as are a lot of institutes. The government is also attaching great importance to it. Given this, we should be able to perform the task (of disposal) well. However, it will take time and we will need to bring the advantages offered by different sectors fully into play," he said.  

 

An employee of Jiangsu Zhihang New Energy checks lithium-ion batteries on the company's production line.Provided To China Daily

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2019-07-17 07:59:42
<![CDATA[Market may top $2 billion next year]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492443.htm A report compiled by three expert bodies, including the Institute of Process Engineering at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, suggests that the annual value of the nation's battery recycling sector is likely to exceed 15.6 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) next year.

Investor interest and funding have been so sensitive to the market potential that the processing capacity in the pipeline dwarfs the total output of new batteries.

Industry insiders say the government must introduce a high entry threshold to prevent excessive competition in a sector that may have to depend on subsidies to survive, and the crackdown on unlicensed processors needs to be intensified to ensure sustainable industry development.

Even though the battery-processing sector is still in the early stages, an unexpectedly large number of players plan to have a finger in the pie.

According to calculations released in December by Sun Zhi, a researcher with the Institute of Process Engineering, the combined capacity of the nation's battery-processing projects - the plans of which have been made public in the past two years - will reach 1 million metric tons.

That could see annual disposal of batteries with a total capacity of 300 gigawatt hours. However, China's installed capacity for battery production in the first 11 months of last year was only about 43.5 GWh, Sun said.

Tianneng Group, a leading battery manufacturer, has already started investing in the disposal sector.

It has confirmed that a plant with an annual processing capacity of 23,000 tons is scheduled to begin operations at the end of the year in Changxing county, Zhejiang province, where the listed company is headquartered.

Total investment in the project stands at 600 million yuan.

Zhao Haimin, general manager of Tianneng's Changxing operation, which is overseeing the project, said the company has been researching and developing technologies to process spent batteries for more than two years.

He said investors have hyped the industry via a large number of investment plans because of "the high importance placed on it by the government".

However, the sector is not a suitable one to hype, because it is "technologically demanding and has narrow profit margins", he added.

"Companies can make a profit processing ternary lithium batteries and other fuel cells that contain high amounts of cobalt, but disposal of other types of lithiumion battery is still not profitable."

While subsidies could be provided to encourage companies to process batteries that offer no profit, it would be better for the government to impose a high entry threshold to restrict the number of processing companies nationwide and prevent excessive competition, he said.

Development of the industry may also be hindered by competition from unlicensed processors, which pay no tax and spend little on pollution control.

By contrast, licensed processing companies pay value added tax at 13 percent when buying spent batteries, and the money they spend on pollution control can account for as much as 20 to 30 percent of their total costs, Zhao said.

Though large numbers of lithiumion batteries have yet to be retired, he said China has already seen lithium batteries used in laptops and cellphones taken out of use. The vast majority are not processed by licensed companies.

Zhang Wenyong, chairman of Tianjin Xinneng Renewable Resources, a company that plans to build a battery-processing plant in Tianjin, said he is investing in the sector because the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster boasts the largest number of e-vehicles in China, and because the sector is likely to be heavily subsidized.

He plans to start operations at the plant by processing 10,000 tons of spent cells annually to assess cost-control measures before moving up to 30,000 to 50,000 tons.

Control of costs will be a key factor in beating the competition, while price fluctuations of the main metals extracted from spent batteries could have a significant effect on the sector's development, he said.

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2019-07-17 07:59:42
<![CDATA[Heart and doors opened to homeless seniors]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492442.htm Every day Yu Xihui wakes up at around 4 am without the help of an alarm, starting her busy day by taking care of more than 30 homeless seniors she has "adopted" over the years.

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Woman who has taken in dozens of elderly people over three decades now faces her own health battle

Every day Yu Xihui wakes up at around 4 am without the help of an alarm, starting her busy day by taking care of more than 30 homeless seniors she has "adopted" over the years.

Located in the suburbs of Anda, Heilongjiang province, her 400-square-meter house has become a home for these seniors.

Yu, 55, calls it the Xihui Nursing Home, after her name.

Like other nursing homes, there are 10 rooms with three beds and a small TV set in each, a dining room and a public bathroom. The difference is that all the residents can live at the Xihui Nursing Home for free.

Over the past 30 years, Yu has adopted more than 100 homeless seniors and looked after them till they passed away.

She remembers the first time she took an old vagrant to her home in 1990.

"It was almost the coldest time of the year when I found him shivering under a straw mat on the roadside," she recalled. "Without enough clothing to keep him warm he appeared to have some frostbite."

When the old man told Yu he had no family to care for him and had begged for many years, she decided without hesitation to take him home. "He might have frozen to death if he stayed outside," Yu recalled.

After eating a bowl of hot noodles at Yu's home, the old man started to recover.

Yu said she could sympathize with the man's plight.

"Both of my parents died when I was 8 years old and I had experienced several years of the wandering life till I married in 1989," she said. "My new family gave me unprecedented happiness and warmth."

"At that time, I just hoped to give the poor senior a warm home," she said. "Fortunately, my husband gave me great support."

In the decade till the man's death, the young couple treated him as their father and also called him "dad".

After that first "adoption", Yu began to pay special attention to homeless seniors when she went outside.

She eventually helped a succession of homeless people and became famous in the small city. Some locals began to send homeless seniors to Yu.

"At one point we were assisting around 40 seniors. Almost all the seniors suffered different mental or physical disabilities, so it was difficult to take care of them and communicate with them," she said. "The daily expenses became another heavy burden for me."

To support the large "family", Yu's husband Xin Shichen quit his job as a sanitation worker in 1995. "He spent most of his time on various odd jobs, such as driving a tricycle, picking up recyclable waste," she said.

Yu was effectively working two full-time jobs. "After finishing my work in the nursing home, I would work in nearby hospitals doing work on the night shift."

However, the couple still struggled to earn enough money to pay for the seniors' food and clothing.

"I seldom bought new clothes and shoes for myself," she said. "To allow them more food I had one meal a day, and it's a habit that's lasted until today."

The situation got better in 2014 when local media began to report her story on the TV and in newspapers.

"Warmhearted people donated food, clothes, medicine and daily necessities to the nursing home," she said.

"Volunteers from the surrounding cities, such as Harbin, Daqing and Suihua came here, helping me do cleaning work, cooking and talking with the seniors."

In 2015, Yu spent 50,000 yuan ($7,275) on buying an old house and rebuilding it.

"Impressed by my story, the original owner agreed with my installment plan after signing a contract," she said. "And with the money I borrowed from relatives and friends I rebuilt the present house."

In order to help repay the debt, Yu's 28-year-old daughter has not married and hands over most of her salary from her job at a website to her mother.

"Since her birth, she has lived with the seniors and treated them as family members," she said. "But I feel quite sorry for bringing her this extra burden."

Over the decades, Yu has also helped dozens of homeless seniors go back to their homes.

"Every time I found a homeless senior I would ask for information and find their family members," Yu said. "I believe they would prefer to live in their own homes."

In the summer of 2011, Yu found an old woman wandering on a street in Anda.

"She seemed a little delirious and couldn't tell us where she came from," Yu said. "I took her home and began to post search notices with her photo in nearby cities including Harbin, Daqing and Suihua."

Three months later, a young couple came to Yu's nursing home and the old woman burst into tears as soon as she saw them.

The old woman regained her memory, telling them that 30,000 yuan she had with her was stolen when she was traveling on the train from Shandong to Harbin where her daughter lives.

The mental crisis triggered by the robbery made her get off at the wrong stop in Anda.

"I was so happy to see their reunion," Yu said.

Due to decades of strenuous work, Yu fell ill in 2015 and was diagnosed with severe heart disease.

She stayed in hospital for a month after heart valve replacement surgery and returned to her nursing home even though doctors repeatedly told her to take a good long rest and avoid working hard.

"I couldn't rest properly without thinking about these seniors," she said. "I must stay with them."

Unable to rest and recover, Yu's physical condition has grown worse and in March she was diagnosed with kidney failure. "I have told my husband and daughter that if one day I pass away they should continue my work," she said. "Here will always be the seniors' home."

 

Left: Yu Xihui (middle) has a meal with two of more than 30 seniors living in the Xihui Nursing Home in the suburbs of Anda, Heilongjiang province. Right: Yu cooks for the residents in the nursing home. Photos By Zhou Huiying / China Daily

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2019-07-17 07:59:42
<![CDATA[Farmer keeps art of bamboo balancing alive]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492441.htm On the wide, misty Xin'an River surrounded by lush green mountains, Fang Shuyun balances in the water on a bamboo pole. Wrapped in a rain cape and wearing a straw hat, he resembles a mysterious figure from a martial arts novel.

Fang, 54, is an ordinary farmer in Jiande, Zhejiang province, who does various temporary jobs to make a living.

But in his spare time he likes to practice the art of balancing on bamboo in water, a hobby he has enjoyed for almost 40 years.

"When I was little I always loved reading Chinese wuxia comic books," Fang said, referring to the popular martial arts publications. "When I was a teenager I saw an old lady practicing the art of standing on bamboo in water, and I was fascinated."

After the encounter, Fang spent more than three years trying to grasp the technique of keeping balanced while standing on a bamboo pole in the water. He only managed to master the acrobatic skill after falling countless times and getting cut frequently by the bamboo.

But Fang recently made a splash on the internet with his amazing skills.

The bamboo under his feet is about 8 meters long, with a diameter of 15 centimeters. For Fang, 167 centimeters tall and weighing 55 kilograms, the bamboo generates just enough buoyancy to keep him above water.

"When the wind blows, I usually just stand on the bamboo, and use a small bamboo stick to push the pole to help me flow into the river," he said.

The difficult art is often depicted in wuxia stories. In China, the most famous person with the skill is said to be Bodhidharma, an Indian Buddhist monk believed to have lived during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-581).

Legend has it that Bodhidharma visited Emperor Wu of Liang, a patron of Buddhism. The emperor paid little head to Bodhidharma's words and disagreed with his interpretation of Buddhism. So Bodhidharma left. But the emperor soon realized he was wrong, and sent people off to find Bodhidharma.

Noticing he was being chased, Bodhidharma picked a reed from the bank and threw it into the river. The reed was transformed into a boat and it carried Bodhidharma away, leaving the emperor behind with a feeling of regret.

In reality, however, Fang said he does not know much about martial arts, and that his ability to float on bamboo in the water mainly depends on the direction and power of the wind, and the current. The most important thing, Fang said, is to keep his feet firmly on the bamboo.

"As long as I keep my feet firm, even if there is a strong tide, I can still keep my cool on the bamboo," he said.

But it is not easy to stay cool. The bamboo's round shape means it rolls easily in the water, even if the water is still. On the Xin'an River, which has strong currents and is more than 10 m deep, the art of balancing on bamboo can easily turn into a mishap.

"You must keep your weight on the front foot and use the other foot to grasp the bamboo firmly," Fang said.

But after years of practice, Fang has mastered the art. These days, he can not only stand on the bamboo, but also do push-ups and even jump on the bamboo.

"This is my hobby, and whenever I float across the river with the bamboo I feel excited," he said. "I will continue to practice and hopefully I can find someone who is genuinely interested to help pass on the art."

Xinhua

 

Fang Shuyun crosses the Xin'an River on a bamboo pole.Weng Xinyang/xinhua

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2019-07-17 07:59:42
<![CDATA[Virtual reality helps training of Shanghai fire investigators]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492440.htm

In a college's virtual reality lab, a trainee investigator is immersed in a three-dimensional fire scenario based on a real blaze that happened at a residential block in downtown Shanghai last year.

A controller allows the trainee to explore and interact with the computer-simulated environment, such as opening a door or picking up an object from the ground.

The idea of using VR technology to train investigators came from Gu Yaoyao, a fire investigation expert with Shanghai's Fire and Rescue Bureau. Over the past nine years, Gu has participated in a host of investigations to help determine the origins and causes of fires and explosions.

"Investigations of such incidents require a systematic approach and knowledge of basic fire science," Gu said.

"VR technology simulates as many senses as possible, such as sight, hearing, touch and even smell, so it offers a safer and more economical solution for those beginning fire investigation work."

Gu works with a team of VR researchers from the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, who bring the artificial world to life.

According to one researcher surnamed Xu, the VR technology simulates entire fire scenarios, including how the fire was started and the reactions of the injured.

"We also have post-production experts and programmers to help us reproduce the scene," Xu said.

Xu added that they work closely with the Fire and Rescue Bureau to make sure that their VR training ticks all the boxes required by the program.

The first VR training program was conducted in August last year. Gu said the second program, expected to start before the end of this year, will include more interaction with fire witnesses to improve trainees' inquiry skills.

"With the help of VR technology, trainees can practice over and over. The more they practice, the better decisions they will make under pressure in a real case," Gu said.

"Advanced technology alone can't qualify someone as an outstanding fire investigator, as they should have deep knowledge and experiences to collect sufficient evidence. Only carefulness and being sensible and responsible can make a difference."

Xinhua

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2019-07-17 07:59:42
<![CDATA[Science helps lift counties out of poverty]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492439.htm Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have helped lift many rural areas out of poverty by supporting the local agricultural industry with advanced science and technology.

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Poor areas given technical resources to train skilled workers and officials

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have helped lift many rural areas out of poverty by supporting the local agricultural industry with advanced science and technology.

By the end of June, the academy had provided scientific assistance in 68 poverty-stricken villages in areas including Huree Banner in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Huanjiang Maonan autonomous county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Shuicheng county and Liuzhi special district in Guizhou province. It had helped 101,041 people in 27,966 households out of poverty.

The academy has set up a leading group, headed by the president of CAS, Bai Chunli, to coordinate all the work. Each poverty-stricken county was assigned one responsible research institute that helped introduce resources, scientific results and projects to the county, as well as train local technicians and officials.

"The academy had long made poverty alleviation efforts before, but although the overall GDP in that town or village was raised, it turned out that the increases were owed to those who were capable. Local farmers still lacked basic knowledge and techniques to make wealth," said Yan Qing, director of the science and technology development department of CAS.

He said the key should lie in improving the level of industrialization by better connecting farmers with enterprises.

In 2017, the academy sent teams of about 10 academicians and over 500 experts into rural towns and villages to carry out a comprehensive field survey and propose poverty-alleviation plans. The plans were tailored specifically to the local sectors and products where each area has advantages.

Based on the planning, scientists decided to focus on kiwis, animal husbandry and potatoes after taking into account the local technological needs and each institute's strength.

The potato, for example, is not only an important crop that helps ensure China's food security, it is also the staple food and main source of income for many poor mountain areas, said Zhong Naiqin, a senior engineer from the Institute of Microbiology, a CAS subsidiary.

Zhong and her team of researchers paid a visit to Shuicheng county in Guizhou province, where the cultivated area per capita was about 0.1 hectare. About 40 percent of the population was illiterate, and more than 36 percent were living in poverty.

Potatoes were the main crop in the county but suffered from serious pests and diseases that resulted in low yield, she said.

To solve the problem, Zhong and her team developed new fertilizers that helped crops absorb more nutrients, applied compound fungicide that curbed diseases and cultivated disease-free seed potato tubers.

In 2017, a company specialized in breeding seed potato tubers was set up, supported by technical guidance from the Institute of Microbiology and a local academician workstation. The tubers were then provided to small companies and cooperatives consisting of three to four poor households to extend the plantation.

Zhong said the production in some deeply poor towns and villages has increased by about 70 percent since 2017. The technologies also helped largely increase potato production in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region and Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

"As a national strategic force of science and technology, CAS has acted as the forerunner, practitioner and main force in alleviating poverty by using science and technology," Yan said.

"We will continue to give full play to our scientific strengths and make greater contributions to fighting poverty and implementing the rural revitalization strategy," he added.

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[Police say video alleging sexual harassment fake]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492438.htm

A video that went viral last week on Chinese social media that showed a woman from Maanshan, Anhui province, wailing about being sexually harassed and threatened with violence by a man surnamed Guo, turned out to be staged, local police said on Tuesday.

The woman, surnamed Pei, has been criminally detained by police for disorderly behavior, and the case is under further investigation, the police bureau of Maanshan's Huashan district said.

On Thursday, Pei posted a three-and-a-half minute video on Sina Weibo, sobbing and complaining that she had been receiving death and rape threats from Guo for half a year, and she hoped to ask netizens for protection because the police had turned a blind eye to the threats.

The local police said the video received more than 50 million views and spurred a massive online backlash against the police for dereliction of duty. The video and the Weibo account from which it was posted have been deleted.

The police bureau said it organized an investigation after the controversy broke and discovered that Pei was an online merchant who sold a fake bracelet for 1,000 yuan ($145) to Guo via WeChat in January.

After Guo found out the bracelet was only worth about a few dozen yuan, he tried to contact Pei to return the item and ask for a refund. But Pei declined Guo's contact attempts and blacklisted his phone number and WeChat account, so Guo used his friends' phones to call Pei.

The police found that the threats mentioned in the video, as well as claims that the local police refusing to deal with the case, were all fabricated by Pei. Nevertheless, the video has caused "severe negative social impact", the statement said.

Zhao Min, an actor, said on his Sina Weibo that he felt something was sketchy the moment he opened Pei's video. "First, Pei gave no evidence. The police not arresting people based solely on your side of the story cannot count as not doing their job."

The Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China said on its WeChat account on Tuesday that police and legal authorities are not tools to manipulate public opinions.

"It is the unshrinkable responsibility of the police and law enforcement to protect the safety of the people and society," it said, adding that it is despicable for someone to "take advantage of the police authorities for their selfish goals, toy with the emotions of millions of people and throw baseless shade at the police".

Last year, more than 12,000 police staff were injured during missions. Of those 12,000, 301 officers and 141 assistants were killed, it said.

"They have proved with their blood and lives that their paramount mission is to protect the interests of the people," the commission said.

"Those who are creating and spreading rumors will inevitably pay the price," it said. "Even if they received short-lived fame by mongering fear and anxiety, netizens will eventually stop buying into their chaos-inducing content."

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[Shandong's economic structure undergoing modern makeover]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492437.htm Following a planned explosion, a 150-meter-high smokestack that stood for 15 years at a traditional thermal power generation plant in Weifang, Shandong province, collapsed last Wednesday, making room for a new energy industrial park.

The park, which is designed to feature five new energy projects, is expected to be completed in 2025. Facilities related to the hydrogen fuel cell project, a major national science and technology undertaking, are under construction.

The park is part of the local government's efforts to upgrade its economic structure from traditional industries, such as heavily polluting chemical factories and coal-fired power plants, to new ones that are highly efficient and environmentally friendly.

Boasting rich resources, a long coastline and ample talent, Shandong has long ranked third nationally in terms of GDP, following Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, after the launch of reform and opening-up in 1978.

But the gap between Shandong and the other two provinces has widened in recent years due to its previous policies focusing on developing State-owned companies and heavy industries, which to some extent resulted in a lack of economic dynamism.

Last year, Shandong built China's first comprehensive pilot area of shifting economic growth drivers.

"We must take advantage of this opportunity (of the pilot zone) to eliminate old industries and establish modern and emerging industries such as modern agriculture and the high-end chemical, new energy and health industries," Liu Jiayi, Party chief of Shandong, said at a news conference on local economic and social development on Tuesday in Beijing.

In recent years, the province has been upgrading its heavy industries and making efforts to promote innovative industries.

Since 2016, Shandong has phased out outdated production capacities and upgraded five advantageous industries - including the chemical industry, agriculture, finance and tourism - and has fostered emerging industries, such as the new generation of information technologies, high-end equipment, new energy and new materials, modern marine, medical and elderly care, and health.

Statistics show that over 2,600 new enterprises in the high-tech sector were set up in Shandong last year, bringing the total number to 8,912.

Production of the branch of the Hangda new material enterprise in Zhucheng, Weifang, is in full swing. The branch, which mainly makes auto parts for new energy vehicles, was attracted to Zhucheng by the city's automobile industrial chain as well as the city's preferential policies on land use that enables the branch to be put into production quickly.

"Our technology can ensure a higher material utilization rate, which means 70 percent of the raw materials can be used for products, while the average ratio in this field is around 60 percent," said Zeng Deyuan, deputy general manager of the branch.

"The province has also forged a competitive edge on marine industries," Shandong Governor Gong Zheng said at the conference.

Located in the Bohai economic rim and sitting on the lower reaches of the Yellow River, Shandong boasts 3,345 kilometers of coastline, accounting for one-sixth of the country's total and providing Shandong with abundant marine resources.

Furthermore, one-third of Chinese academicians in the marine sector are working in Shandong.

"The output from the marine industries accounts for 20 percent of the country's total. Shandong is also the only province in China that boasts three ports that can handle 400 million metric tons of cargo each," Gong said.  

 

Visitors examine special productions of Shandong province, including seawater rice and maglev trains that can travel up to 600 kilometers per hour, during a promotional event of the province in Beijing on Tuesday.Zhu Xingxin/china Daily

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[3 online literature platforms punished over porn]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492436.htm Three popular online Chinese literature platforms that were found to have been spreading pornography have been ordered by China's top anti-pornography watchdog to rectify the situation.

The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications posted the order on its website on Tuesday and punished Jinjiang Literature, FQXS and Midu.

"All three enterprises must thoroughly clean up the problematic content during the rectification period and strictly review uploaded information to ensure that pornography won't be found and broadcast on their platforms," the office said in a statement.

The authority ordered Jinjiang Literature not to update content and develop business on its website and smartphone application for 15 days. The platform was also asked to announce the rectification on its website and app.

Under the order, FQXS has been prohibited from updating content and must stop developing business on its app for three months. FQXS should also post the rectification on its app.

Midu has been banned from updating content and conducting business on its website and app for three months, and should announce the ban on the website and app, according to the order.

When China Daily opened the three enterprises' apps on Tuesday afternoon, the announcement was seen clearly on the top of their front pages. The same announcement was also found on Midu's website.

But Jinjiang Literature had not informed users about the rectification on its website as of press time.

The anti-pornography office welcomed the fast development of online literature and appearances by online authors, saying in the statement that they contribute a lot to meeting peoples' cultural demands and enriching their lives.

"But some bad and pornographic information that is trying to harm the industry can still be found among online literature," the statement said. "Meanwhile, a few internet enterprises that lack reviews or even take the initiative to spread harmful content also damage the industry's environment and readers' interests."

The office said it has worked with other law enforcement departments to crack down more strongly against harmful information in online literature and fight problematic works with zero tolerance.

"We'll strengthen efforts to receive reports on online literature, give stricter reviews on works and expose problematic cases in a timely manner," it said. "For enterprises that do not correct problems after being alerted, we'll also issue reading advisory risks to readers in addition to punishments."

Since the beginning of this year, the office and other internet governance authorities have launched several campaigns and conducted regular inspections to fight online pornographic information. For example, the nation's Cyberspace Administration initiated a crackdown against online harmful content in January. By June 12, more than 110 million pieces of harmful information related to pornography, fraud and gambling had been deleted, according to the authority.

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492435.htm Golf crackdown has led to 127 course closures

A total of 127 golf courses across China have been shut down by authorities since 2011, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Tuesday, pledging to continue the government's rectification of misconduct. Fourteen were shut down last year for reasons such as violating laws or regulations to build new facilities, or refusing to stop unlawful construction projects. China launched a crackdown on golf courses in an effort to conserve water and land in 2011. Meanwhile, golf has often been linked with misuse of farmland and public corruption over the past decades. Though the central government decided in 2004 that no new golf courses should be built, new courses had emerged in some places.

Former UN rep named vice-foreign minister

Ma Zhaoxu, China's former permanent representative to the United Nations, has been appointed vice-foreign minister, according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ma is in charge of work related to international organizations and conferences, international economy and arms control. Appointed China's permanent UN representative in 2018, Ma bid farewell to the president of the UN 73rd session, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on July 8, according to the website of China's Permanent Mission to the UN.

10 armed policemen dubbed 'loyal guards'

China has honored 10 armed police officers and soldiers as "loyal guards" for outstanding performance. Among them are heroes who maintained stability and safeguarded people in emergencies, warriors who set records in numerous military competitions and role models who have helped the poor and needy. Selection of the loyal guards started in January this year, with their performance in undertaking missions, military training and war preparedness as major criteria.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[15 higher vocational schools graduate to university status]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492434.htm Educational institutions to start offering bachelor's degrees in the fall semester

Fifteen higher vocational schools have been upgraded to universities for the first time in China amid efforts to improve skills in the work force and expand employment.

The new universities, in 10 provinces, will be able to enroll students for bachelor's degrees in the new semester after the Ministry of Education recently approved their name changes.

Shandong Vocational School of Foreign Affairs has become Shandong Vocational University of Foreign Affairs, with the other new universities dropping school from their name including Shandong Vocational and Technical University of International Studies, Nanchang Vocational University and Guangdong Business and Technology University, the ministry said.

Sun Chengwu, president of Shandong Vocational University of Foreign Affairs, said it plans to enroll around 1,700 students in bachelor's degree programs spanning 10 majors in time for the new school year beginning in September.

The upgrading of the institutions from vocational schools to universities, which Sun said was a first for China, showed the government was attaching greater importance to vocational education, which was more focused on cultivating professional skills and helping students find jobs than on academic research.

Most time in vocational schools is spent preparing students for the job market, including teaching them practical skills and helping them find internships at different companies, he said.

"We have an employment rate of more than 97 percent," Sun said. "The students at our school have at least three job offers before they graduate, and they can make, on average, more than 4,000 yuan ($578) for their first job, no less than those students with bachelor's degrees in the province."

Upgrading the school to a university means it will be able to attract more talented students, who will have even better employment prospects, he said.

Tian Dequan, president of Shandong Vocational and Technical University of International Studies, said it plans to enroll 7,000 students for the new semester, 1,700 of whom will study for bachelor's degrees in 10 majors.

By upgrading to a university, the school will be able to attract more enterprises willing to cooperate in talent cultivation, he said, and more parents, who tend to look down on vocational schools, will be willing to send their children to the school so they can focus on learning the skills required for their future jobs, he said.

China has vowed to cultivate more quality laborers and skilled workers by reforming its vocational education system, according to a plan issued in February by the State Council, the country's Cabinet.

Under a trial system implemented this year, graduates of vocational schools and universities that mainly offer undergraduate programs in applied areas will be awarded an academic certificate and a vocational skills certificate.

In five to 10 years, operators of China's vocational education institutions, which are now mostly government-run, will be diversified, with more involvement from the nongovernment sector, according to the plan.

The Ministry of Education plans to increase enrollment in vocational schools by 1.15 million this year to help cultivate professional skills and boost employment, said Wang Jiping, head of the ministry's department of vocational and adult education.

The effort will favor high-quality vocational schools, disciplines in high demand and poverty-stricken areas, he said.

Vocational school graduates should enjoy the same treatment as their university counterparts in seeking employment, promotion and moving to cities, he said, adding that this would help more highly skilled young people realize their full potential.

As a key human resource in China's economic development, vocational schools contribute more than 70 percent of the new workers in manufacturing and emerging industries each year, he added.

The employment rate of graduates from higher vocational schools has surpassed that of university graduates for the past two years, according to a report based on a survey of 303,000 graduates from 30 provincial-level regions released by MyCOS, an education consulting and research institute in Beijing.

The employment rate for higher vocational school graduates reached 92 percent in 2018, 1 percentage point higher than that of college graduates, the report found. The employment rate of higher vocational school graduates was half a percentage point higher than that of college graduates in 2017.

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[Shanghai founds entrepreneurial training center]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492433.htm

Shanghai has founded the city's first school for entrepreneurship training as part of its effort to build itself into a scientific innovation hub with global influence.

Shanghai Entrepreneurship School, established on Tuesday by the Shanghai Technology Innovation Center and Shanghai Institute of Technology, aims to provide people who have business plans with the best resources, both theoretical and practical, in the city.

"One aim of the school is to promote a model of entrepreneurial education, which combines theory and practice rather than simply focusing on the former, and hopefully explore an approach to entrepreneurial education that can be replicated and promoted elsewhere," said Lu Min, a chief engineer at the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission.

By tapping into the Shanghai Institute of Technology's rich academic resources and the Shanghai Technology Innovation Center's up-to-date business experience, the school looks to offer systematic training programs regarding innovation and entrepreneurship for startups at different phases.

The programs will also include investment and financing resources and content about laws and regulations.

The school will set up training bases at many of the city's 600 business incubators and technology parks.

Availing itself of the Shanghai Institute of Technology's networking with foreign schools, the school will also offer students international training opportunities and short-term overseas study tours to enhance global vision, the school said.

Different courses will be introduced to university students who have business plans, startups at the initial stage, high-growth medium-sized and small enterprises, and those who are already performing strongly in the market, the school said.

The school will also introduce training courses for senior managers at incubators, technical brokers and technology transfer professionals.

"It's an effort to provide high quality service for startups with first-class vision of the entire innovation chain to better facilitate the high quality development of Shanghai's technological innovation and entrepreneurship," Lu said.

He said that technology-related entrepreneurship training occurs either at universities and colleges mainly through lectures by university teachers or at incubators and technology parks mainly through experience shared by business leaders and startups.

"But such a way of training usually separates theory from practice. For example, startups usually share from the perspective of separated single cases, so the content may end up fragmented and participants may find it hard to obtain systematic information," he said.

Chang Yan, general manager of Shanghai Innostar Biotech, a new drug safety evaluation and research center, said that the company is at a critical stage of strategic development. Chang, who will participate in a training course for startups that are already performing well, said that the center hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the country's and city's science and technology innovation policies and become more familiar with knowledge of the capital market through the course.

"We want to further enhance the companies' innovative capability and look forward to seeing more enterprises from the course be listed on the science and technology innovation board in the near future," she added.

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[Clean water projects a splash in Xinjiang]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492432.htm Raykhangul Abduklim was only 18 when tap water reached her home in the droughty county of Makit, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, 20 years ago.

That was when she ceased fetching water for washing, cooking and agricultural endeavors, which she had been doing mostly from nearby laoba, or makeshift reservoirs commonly seen in oases on the verge of the Taklimakan desert before the 1980s.

The facilities - spanning from 100 to 5,000 square meters - were an economical means of tackling water shortages in a region known for scarce rainfall and millions of poor farmers, but the problems loomed large.

During summer, the man-made ponds would become habitat for a wide range of organisms from frogs to mosquitoes, posing health risks for human drinkers.

"When you cook with water from laoba, you cannot finish the entire dish," said Raykhangul, who escaped poverty in 2016. "The remainder was a mixture of vegetables and sand."

Over the last two decades, local people's reliance on the primitive ponds have drastically declined thanks to the efforts of massive government-led campaigns that have brought treated water to hundreds of thousands of Uygur families.

The efforts received new momentum as the nation works to eliminate extreme poverty by the end of 2020. Water security is listed as a basic criterion for relief assessment, along with a minimum annual income of 2,300 yuan ($334) per person, safe housing and access to basic education and health service.

Figures provided by the local government show that in the last few months, 145 million yuan was pumped into projects aimed at further refining water quality to cope with ever increasing water consumption for hygienic purposes, such as showering and toilets.

Zhang Ming, deputy director of Makit's water resources bureau, said civilian water use has more than tripled over the last few years as flush toilets become common among local families.

"The money was also used to purchase equipment to reduce sulfate in drinking water, a major contributor to gallstones and other health problems," he said.

Makit was among many regions that have ramped up efforts to ensure rural water securities.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, China has built a water supply network that covers 940 million rural residents since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

About 86 percent of villages now have access to a centralized water supply, and 81 percent have tap water, the ministry said.

Despite the progress, more than 1 million people nationwide still grappled with water shortages by the end of last year. For regions with a centralized water supply, excessive fluoride, insufficient supply and other problems still exist.

To solve the water problems while eliminating poverty, the central government decided in June to provide 60 million rural residents with safe drinking water in about 17 months.

Tian Xuebin, vice-minister of water resources, while speaking at a news conference last month, said the ministry aims to give 800,000 poor farmers access to safe drinking water by the end of the year and pledged that supplies will reach all poor families by the end of 2020.  

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA[New airport approved in autonomous region]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/17/content_37492431.htm

China's top economic planner approved a new airport project worth 760 million yuan ($110 million) in Yutian, a remote county in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

"The construction of the airport, in line with the region's air transport development, will improve its emergency rescue ability, promote local social and economic growth and boost the development of tourist resources," the National Development and Reform Commission said on Monday in a statement on its website.

The central government will allocate 228 million yuan to the project, and the Civil Aviation Development Fund will invest 380 million yuan. The regional government will contribute the remaining 152 million yuan, according to the statement.

The airport is designed to handle 180,000 passenger trips and 400 metric tons of cargo annually. It will feature a 3,200-meter runway and a 3,000-square-meter terminal building.

Yutian county, on the southern edge of the Taklimakan Desert, is 1,300 kilometers southwest of the regional capital Urumqi.

Home to dozens of ethnic groups, Xinjiang has 21 civil airports, the most among provincial regions on the Chinese mainland. These airports handled 30 million passengers last year. But experts said that airport density is still low in Xinjiang since it covers about one-sixth of China's territory.

Li Xiaojin, a professor of aviation economics at the Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin, said that Xinjiang covers an area of over 1.6 million square kilometers with complicated geological conditions, resulting in high costs for road and railway construction, let alone high-speed railway. Comparatively speaking, building airports is more budget friendly.

"Xinjiang has unique and rich tourism resources, but the region is far from its market in the eastern region, which can't be solved by building more highways or railways. Instead, it has a strong need for the civil aviation industry and needs more airports to boost local tourism," he added.

Besides the Yutian airport, the region will continue preliminary work on eight other airports this year.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-07-17 07:59:08
<![CDATA['Forest schools' help nature education branch out]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492061.htm Since 2016, a growing number of parents nationwide have signed their children up for extracurricular nature classes during the summer and winter vacations, in the hope they will play with animals and plants rather than smartphones and iPads.

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Children nationwide are being encouraged to interact with the living world to foster eco-awareness and protection. Li Yingqing reports from Kunming, with Li Hongyang in Beijing.

Since 2016, a growing number of parents nationwide have signed their children up for extracurricular nature classes during the summer and winter vacations, in the hope they will play with animals and plants rather than smartphones and iPads.

The courses are usually provided by private companies, and the students' subsequent behavior and interests suggest that such classes can help them develop respect for nature and promote a sense of environmental awareness and stewardship.

Classes, usually held in forests and parks, often include treks through forests by day and night to observe animals in their natural habitats, and tracking and identifying them via the traces they leave during their daily lives. Students are sometimes encouraged to make artworks from organic materials.

The rising number of nature education institutions suggests that the sector is becoming increasingly popular nationwide.

Last year, about 400 nature educational institutions took part in a themed forum in Chengdu, Sichuan province, hosted by the China Nature Education Network - an alliance of 20 eco-groups and environmentalists - and the tech giant Alibaba. In 2017, about 170 institutions attended the forum.

However, a survey conducted by the network shows that while the sector may be becoming increasingly popular, it is far from prosperous, despite average weekly fees of 700 to 2,100 yuan ($102 to $305) per person.

Last year, of 398 institutions surveyed, only 215 made a profit, while 95 broke even, and the other 88 made a loss.

More than half the teachers surveyed had majored in management, education and biological sciences.

They said their main teaching tasks included showing children how to take part in outdoor activities, explaining natural science, promoting the idea of environmental protection, and teaching students about the relationship between humans and nature.

About 60 percent of those attending were primary school students, their parents and other family members, the survey showed.

Night treks

In January, Li Runyue, a primary school teacher from Kunming, Yunnan province, took about 20 students on a seven-day nature program in the Sun-River National Park in Pu'er city, Yunnan.

The program was organized by the Pu'er Red Panda Manor Forest Experience Center, a nature education facility for people of all ages.

Since it was established in November 2017, the center has offered a host of forest-based activities, including night treks, handicrafts, painting classes and tea ceremonies related to the renowned Pu'er brand grown in the area.

Li said her students, ages 8 through 9, had become more independent and less timid after they walked through a forest at night.

"Their task was to find insects hiding in the forest. The children were excited because they found many insects they had seen in their textbooks. After walking for two hours, we decided to turn off our flashlights and enjoy the moonlight," she said.

She noted that without the flashlights, the children felt their surroundings were quieter and their ears had become more sensitive to the sounds of nature.

They also bathed in the beautiful moonlight that silhouetted the trees and students. On the return journey through the woodland, the children loudly recited poems about the moon.

"After we returned to our rented cottage in the forest park, the electricity was accidently cut off. At first, the students were scared, and some even screamed. But they calmed down very quickly because they remembered the wonderful experience they had just had, which made them happy and gave them courage," Li said.

"Natural beauty is raw and harmonious, which can inspire children's artistic imaginations and improve their observational abilities. They can also learn that everything in nature is trying to grow strong, so they need to protect nature and love it."

Jiang Yalin's 9-year-old son was one of the students who took part in Li's night class. She said the boy's analytical abilities improved noticeably as a result.

"I registered him for the class because he showed great interest in biology, and I want him to develop this hobby into a career in the future. This course was instructive and effective. The teachers asked a series of questions before setting tasks, and the children needed to find the answers by themselves and then provide explanations from the natural world," Jiang said.

He Yiran, a teacher at the panda center, said the role of a forest educator is to gain an appreciation of nature, understand the diversity of living things and appreciate the greatness of life and nature by interacting with other people in the forest setting.

"Sometimes children like to catch bugs, but we persuade them to release them, and repeatedly emphasize the importance of environmental protection," he said.

Values

Luo Peng, founder of EcoAction, a nature education school in Beijing, who has a master's in biology from the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said her work aims to foster changes in values and mindsets.

She said that in addition to helping children learn about and respect different ways of living - including those of insects, animals and even different groups of people - the most important thing is to let them reflect on the effect humans have on nature.

"It's not enough to give them knowledge; we also need to provide discourse that teaches them moral values, such as how to think about the relationship between nature and humans," she said.

One of EcoAction's courses requires children to find living traces of wild pandas in Liziping Nature Reserve in Shimian county, Sichuan province. The children can search for the animals either via wireless radio (which is connected to GPS necklaces round the animals' necks) or by spotting their feces.

"Through the hands-on classes, we show the children how to protect pandas more easily. For example, some local residents poach rare species or cut down trees to make money, so developing tourism (thereby providing alternative income streams) may be a good way of solving this dilemma," Luo said.

"During the classes, we encourage the children to consider different ways of solving problems. Through this, they can understand that striking a balance between humans and nature is difficult, but important. We hope that one day in the future, when they become decision makers, they will take the environmental and ecological effects of their actions into consideration."

Luo started her company in 2013, and to date, she has received many "precious rewards", such as positive feedback from the students and reading their discussions on social media platforms, which makes her feel her work is valuable. In addition, one of her students chose biological science as a major at the University of Toronto.

Meanwhile, after attending a course in Wild Elephant Valley, Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, Yunnan, eight of Luo's former students made a public appeal to their peers and teachers at an international high school in Qingdao, Shandong province, to call for an end to animal shows in nature parks.

Luo said she hopes her efforts will encourage more young people to pay attention to the environment and ecological health.

"I think my original aim in starting the school will have been achieved if they learn how to respect nature, respect different groups and reflect on roles they can play in protection work. I hope that they can find the ways and wisdom to live harmoniously with nature in the future," she said.

 

Schoolchildren interact with a red panda at the Pu'er Sun-River National Park in Pu'er city, Yunnan province.Photos Provided To China Daily

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2019-07-16 07:53:32
<![CDATA[Sector requires investment and regulation, experts say]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492060.htm

Nature education requires greater regulation and investment, and schools and parents need to be more aware of the sector's importance, according to insiders and industry reports.

Luo Peng, founder of EcoAction, a nature education institute in Beijing, said some practitioners lack both professional qualifications and environmental awareness.

"The classes they organize cannot be called nature education, because they just popularize common knowledge, which makes no difference or sense," she said.

She added that some practitioners breach unwritten guidelines, and there have been several news stories about "teachers" who provided inaccurate information that resulted in children destroying nature rather than protecting it.

For example, in February, a self-styled insect expert led a team of children on a nature course in Madagascar.

However, he and the mother of one of the students were detained at an airport on the island after they were found to have concealed a chameleon and a lizard in their luggage.

Meanwhile, in October, an explorer who took a group of children on a trip to a tropical rainforest in Sumatra allowed them to deliberately tear the delicate wings of bats and hold wild bats, which not only injured the animals, but also posed a threat to the children's health.

Last year, a report by the Nature Education Network, an online group in China that organizes an annual forum for people in the sector, noted that the industry is relatively new and still needs time to find its feet.

"This is a promising industry, but also a fragile one. A few negative news reports can easily destroy the reputation and public trust that practitioners have painstakingly built," the report said.

"Lack of talent is the biggest bottleneck to the sector's development, followed by the problem of raising funds. The development of the industry urgently requires greater public awareness of nature education, professional research and policy support from the government."

According to the report, most nature schools are small-scale operations. Last year, only 14 percent of the 398 such institutions in China employed more than 20 staff members.

It added that many practitioners are over-reliant on personal experience or training courses and forums held by industry groups to improve their skills and knowledge. Moreover, many lack relevant professional and educational qualifications.

"This is because there are not enough related majors at universities and research institutes in China," the report said.

Other problems include safety concerns, copying each others' programs, brand infringement and damage to the environment and animals.

These factors can make parents, schools and society lose confidence in the sector, it added.

In November, the network released a self-discipline regulation of the nature education industry, aimed at promoting healthy development by connecting institutions and individuals in the field.

The regulation includes provisions such as respect for nature and intellectual property rights, and emphasizes the need to ensure children's safety when they come into contact with wild animals.

Chen Zhiqiang, the network's secretary-general, said the organization will continue to promote research on the development of the sector and the building of a talent-certification system.

"The level of development varies from place to place, and the problems encountered by nature education programs also vary," he said, speaking at the China Nature Education Forum in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in November.

"To solve the problem, it may be more effective to establish local networks as a way of promoting the sector's overall development."

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2019-07-16 07:53:32
<![CDATA[Cross-border e-commerce a trade priority]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492059.htm Customs pledges to maintain accommodating approach to sector

When Hangzhou Kaite Electrical Appliance, a producer of power strips, sockets and plugs, launched sales on online retail giant Amazon in the United States two years ago it was looking to boost its business.

Despite recent trade frictions, those hopes have been borne out, with cross-border e-commerce sales through Amazon now raking in $10,000 a day on average, company vice-president Ma Gaodong said.

The US market still accounted for 70 percent of the company's exports in the first half of this year, down from at least 90 percent two years ago.

"We expect the sales volume (through cross-border e-commerce) to double this year," said Ma, who is in charge of sales at Kaite, which is based in Jiande county, Zhejiang province.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, has made cross-border e-commerce a priority in its efforts to stabilize foreign trade.

At an executive meeting on Wednesday, it again called for efforts to accelerate the growth of the new business model. A week earlier it said more cities would be encouraged to launch cross-border e-commerce pilot zones, on top of the 35 existing zones nationwide.

The government has also decided to exempt retail goods exported from the pilot zones from value-added tax and to simplify the verification and collection of corporate income tax.

During an inspection trip to Zhejiang province last month, Premier Li Keqiang called for greater policy support and innovations in government oversight to shore up the growth of crossborder e-commerce.

He underlined the role of crossborder e-commerce in enabling more businesses to sell products overseas, saying the business model is a major trend for the future development of international trade.

China's foreign trade in the first half of the year increased by 3.9 percent year-on-year to 14.67 trillion yuan ($2.16 trillion), with exports growing by 6.1 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs said on Friday. Imports rose 1.4 percent during the same period, while trade with the US was down by 9 percent.

Customs administration spokesman Li Kuiwen told a news conference on Friday that the country is facing a series of challenges in achieving stable foreign trade growth.

However, he said most Chinese businesses remain confident about their prospects, and the country has sufficient policy tools and new measures to further optimize its foreign trade structure.

The customs administration will continue to adopt a prudent and accommodating approach in its oversight of the cross-border e-commerce sector, Li added.

Statistics from the administration show that the total volume of imports and exports from crossborder e-commerce reached 134.7 billion yuan last year, up 50 percent year-on-year.

Exports were up by 67 percent, and imports increased by 39.8 percent. The sector maintained doubled-digit growth in the first half of this year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Ma said the business model could give rise to a large number of startups.

"It frees us from the constraints of retailing chains overseas and enables us to sell our products directly to our customers," he said. "We can also pitch our new products more quickly."

Meanwhile, the streamlining of retailing procedures also gives the company more say in the pricing of products, he said.

Despite the higher tariffs on exports to the US, Ma said Kaite can still fine tune the price of its products to maintain an edge in the market.

The State Council meeting on Wednesday also came up with measures to make it more convenient to use yuan in cross-border settlement, which Ma said would protect businesses from fluctuating exchange rates.

Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Cooperation who focuses on the international market and trade policies, said the State Council has prioritized support to businesses in its latest measures to boost foreign trade.

"The key is to help businesses build their core competitiveness in the international market and to stimulate their vitality through the policies," he said.

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2019-07-16 07:53:32
<![CDATA[Government takes action on healthcare for poor and creates opportunities for graduates]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492058.htm Several ministry-level departments, including those for health, education, and human resources and social security, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Rural access to medical services improved

The National Health Commission will adopt measures to ensure all rural residents have access to basic medical services by the end of this year, it said on July 9.

The measures, part of the country's ongoing poverty reduction campaign, are designed to make sure all poor people, especially those living in impoverished areas, can enjoy basic medical services, He Jinguo, an official with the commission's poverty reduction office, said at a news conference.

The commission wants patients with common and chronic diseases to be able to receive diagnosis and treatment at healthcare institutions at the primary level, he said.

Around 14.35 million poor patients with serious and chronic diseases have received basic treatment and health management services, according to the commission. It added that poor patients only need to pay an average of about 10 percent of their total medical fees.

More residency rights for graduates

China has scaled up measures to help college graduates find jobs and start new businesses with measures to relax residency restrictions and facilitate the establishment of startups, according to a notice released on Friday.

The notice, jointly issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and four other government departments, said efforts will be made to expand employment channels for college graduates. Incentives will be offered to small and micro-sized enterprises if they hire people who have been unemployed for two years after graduating from college.

College graduates will no longer face restrictions in obtaining hukou - registered permanent residence - in non-first-tier cities, including provincial capitals, with the registration process for graduates to be simplified.

Agencies engaged in illegal activities, including those that post fake recruitment information and lure graduates into debt traps and pyramid schemes, will be targeted.

Training and internship opportunities will be expanded, and the government will help arrange internships for college graduates and unemployed young people, the notice said.

The authorities will also boost measures to encourage graduates to start new businesses and make it easier for them to apply for startup loans. Graduates will also be offered incentives to start businesses in their hometowns or in rural areas.

China is expected to see 8.34 million students graduate from college this year, 140,000 more than last year.

Inspections target summer schools

The Ministry of Education has launched a special inspection targeting wrongdoing by nonschool training institutions during the summer vacation.

Local education departments have been told to inspect all such institutions in their administrative areas, the ministry said on Wednesday.

It called for local authorities to accelerate the establishment of long-term oversight mechanisms and respond to public complaints in a timely manner.

The ministry has ramped up supervision of after-school training institutions in the past year in an effort to curb extracurricular programs that put children under too much pressure and cause unnecessary competition among students.

Pledging IPR for loans to be encouraged

The National Intellectual Property Administration said on July 9 that it will enable more small and micro-sized businesses to obtain financing by using their intellectual property rights as collateral.

Zhao Meisheng, an official with the administration, said at a news conference that financial institutions will be encouraged to establish and improve mechanisms for obtaining loans by pledging intellectual property to ease the financing difficulties faced by small and micro-sized businesses.

The banking sector will establish a credit approval system and interest rate pricing mechanism in line with the characteristics of IPR

Zhao said more businesses have obtained financing through pledges of intellectual property, easing capital constraints and accelerating the commercialization of their IPR. In the first half of this year, newly pledged patents and trademarks helped businesses obtain financing of 58.35 billion yuan ($8.48 billion), up by 2.5 percent year-on-year.

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2019-07-16 07:53:32
<![CDATA[Policy digest]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492057.htm State-owned equity to top up social insurance

The State Council has called for full implementation of its policies to reduce employers' contributions to social insurance schemes to lighten corporate burdens and ensure pensions are paid on time and in full.

In a statement released after an executive meeting on Wednesday, the Cabinet said social insurance funds are operating steadily and are able to ensure payments on time and in full, despite fee reduction measures.

The authorities must gain firsthand information on delivery of the policies and corporate feedback, and promptly address problems as they arise, the statement said.

China unveiled measures to cut corporate contributions to the social insurance scheme in March as part of tax cuts and fee reductions totaling 2 trillion yuan ($290.9 billion).

The statement said the measures delivered notable effects in the first half of the year, with companies' spending on workers' basic pensions, unemployment insurance and work-related injury insurance down by over 128 billion yuan.

The meeting also called for consistency in payment formats. The share borne by employers for workers' basic aged-care insurance must be kept at no higher than 16 percent.

For provincial areas with varying payment rates and bases, no policy adjustment will be made this year.

It also urged local authorities to shoulder their pension payment responsibilities and make sure no pensioners are left behind.

To make social security funds more sustainable, Cabinet members decided to roll out measures to replenish social security funds through the injection of State capital.

More transparency in budget management

The State Council has urged rectification of problems found during the auditing of budget enforcement and fiscal revenues and expenditures last year.

Local authorities and government departments must amend the problems, and report the amendments to the State Council before the end of October, the Cabinet said after an executive meeting on Wednesday.

The State Council also urged more transparency and constraint of power in budget management, adding that arbitrary spending must be phased out through the use of performance assessments.

As the government tightens its belt, more fiscal spending must be directed to ensure growth and public livelihood, and tax cuts and fee reduction policies must be implemented fully.

Legal aid coverage to be expanded nationwide

China will speed up the development of a public legal service system with measures to expand the reach of legal aid, according to a guideline published on Wednesday.

The guideline, jointly released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, set a target of developing modern public legal service system that is convenient, efficient and accessible in urban and rural areas before 2022.

Noting that public legal services are an important measure to improve people's living standards, the guideline called for efforts to establish public legal services in less developed areas.

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2019-07-16 07:53:32
<![CDATA[Guideline targets chronic illnesses]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492056.htm

By 2030, nation aims to raise healthy life expectancy by 'moderately great extent'

China plans to curb increasing rates of chronic illnesses and effectively prevent and contain the spread of key contagious diseases by 2022, according to a guideline issued by the State Council on Monday.

By 2030, the country will increase its average healthy life expectancy by "a moderately great extent" and align itself with high-income countries in terms of key indicators of health, the guideline said.

Deaths resulting from chronic, non-communicable diseases account for 88 percent of the country's mortality rates. These chronic conditions also contribute to more than 70 percent of medical burdens, according to Yu Xuejun, deputy head of the National Health Commission.

Among them, cardiovascular problems, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes have emerged as major threats to citizens' health in recent years, partially due to unhealthy lifestyles such as tobacco use, lack of exercise and poor health awareness, he added.

Meanwhile, critical contagious diseases including hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS continue to pose challenges to the country's prevention and control capability, Yu said.

"The guideline has specifically targeted these key health issues and aims at addressing them from the roots," he said at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office on Monday.

According to the guideline, the country will continue to push for early screenings and diagnoses of cancer and promote standard treatments of common tumors while boosting the capabilities of grassroots clinics and medical workers in central and western parts of the country.

Strengthened efforts will be devoted to research into new cancer treatments, as well as into accelerating approval procedures for urgently needed medications.

China aims to raise the five-year survival rate of all cancer patients to 43.3 percent by 2022 and 46.6 percent by 2030, the guideline said. The current rate stands at 40.5 percent, according to data released by the National Cancer Institute in January.

In order to further reduce smoking, the guideline calls for comprehensive measures, including altering its tax policies and pricing strategies as well as forming standards to govern packaging of tobacco products.

"Government officials, health workers and teachers should play a leading role in reducing tobacco use," the guideline said.

As China ramps up its efforts in environmental protection in recent years, the document also highlights the significance of creating a clean environment while combating and preventing pollution in improving the health of local residents.

It proposes setting up a surveillance and risk evaluation system that analyzes the dynamics between environmental factors and people's health status. Furthermore, it calls for effective measures to rein in diseases arising from exposure to pollutants.

China's central leadership published an outline in 2016 to guide the Healthy China 2030 Initiative, a national plan aimed at advancing public health services.

In order to ensure full implementation of the guideline, the State Council also released a notice on Monday that lays out organizational structures and assessment requirements. A committee headed by Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan has also been established to oversee its enforcement.

The committee has developed an action plan that specifies measures to be taken from 2019 to 2030 to promote the health of citizens. It addressed 15 key areas in the health sector, such as advocating knowledge of health, balanced diet and exercises, and specified the roles of individuals, families, social institutions and government bodies in pursuing goals in these areas, according to Mao Qun'an, head of the National Health Commission's planning and information department.

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Protection network set for snub-nosed monkeys]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492055.htm A protection network for the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey was established in this southwestern province on Monday, marking July 15 as the first Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey Day, drawing more public attention to the protection work.

As the province's first wildlife safety network, it aims to help protect the endangered species through efforts from the government and private groups.

The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) gets its name for its unusual nose - the nasal bones are absent and the nostrils are upturned. Young ones are born white but become gray over several months.

It was categorized as endangered in the 2003 red list of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The monkey is now under first class State protection in China.

Initiated by the Yunnan Forestry and Grassland Administration, the network currently has 13 members, including the Yunnan Green Environment Development Foundation, the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve, and the Nature Conservancy.

The network will be managed by local government sectors and welcomes efforts from nongovernment organizations, research institutes, civil groups and the public.

As one of the world most endangered primates, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is considered a bellwether species for biodiversity in the high-altitude region, according to Wang Weibin, deputy director of the Yunnan Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Since the 1990s, Yunnan has strengthened the protection of the species by cracking down on illegal hunting and smuggling and by designating about 480,000 hectares of land as habitat for the species.

In 2011, the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey Research Center was launched in Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve - its main habitat in Diqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Yunnan - to encourage research and cooperation between government sectors and research institutes as well as colleges.

As a result of those efforts, the population of the species has grown from 1,800 in 2005 to 2,600 in 2013, according to the administration, which is currently conducting a population survey that it will unveil later this year.

Although the monkey's protection has witnessed remarkable success in recent years, it also faces many challenges such as a lack of financial support, poor public education and the conflicts between habitat protection and local economic development.

Wang said experience from the protection work will also benefit other endangered wildlife in the region. He is looking forward to learning more creative protection methods through the establishment of the network and promoting those methods to save other species.

Cai Wucheng, deputy head of the Diqing government, said he hopes the network will encourage more young people to join in the wildlife protection campaign and contribute their creative methods.

"Through promoting sustainable and eco-friendly economic development, I believe more local people will take a more active part in the protection work," Cai said.

 

Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys cling to each other at the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve.Xiao Lin / For China Daily

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Beijing to extend waste sorting policy to individuals]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492054.htm

Beijing's mandatory garbage sorting requirements will expand from mainly company-and institute-oriented to individuals at residential communities, municipal officials said on Monday.

Sun Lu, deputy head of Beijing's waste sorting and treatment center, said it's highly possible that Beijing will introduce detailed laws and regulations for mandatory waste sorting for individuals by the end of this year.

"The waste sorting in residential communities is essential for the back end processing," he said. "The individuals who fail to practice accordingly will be fined."

There's also a measure under discussion that people in Beijing will have to pay a waste treatment fee according to the weight of the waste they throw out, he said.

Since 2017, Beijing has required all the central, municipal and district government administrations in the city - as well as supermarkets and social institutions - to follow the garbage classification regulations, which have achieved effective results.

According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management, the authority has checked and supervised 346,000 government administrations, institutions, supermarkets and companies since 2017. Since then, the authority has filed 13,400 cases and issued 15.15 million yuan ($2.2 million) in fines for improper garbage disposal.

The number of cases and scale of fines have been increasing in past years.

Fu Yong, deputy head of the urban management office in the Babaoshan area in Shijingshan district, said they have been checking companies and public institutes in their administrative region to follow the rules.

"Every year, companies in the region have to sign trash disposal contracts, and they should follow the classification rules accordingly. Otherwise, the sanitation departments will not collect their trash," he said.

In addition, the city government has asked each district to build at least one waste sorting demonstration residential community to conduct trash sorting within its area since 2017.

Now Beijing has 224 residential communities that are doing garbage sorting.

Wang Jian, a waste sorting supervisor at a residential community in Shijingshan district, said individuals can get points every time they dump garbage in accordance with categories including recyclables, kitchen waste, hazardous waste and other waste.

"They can use their points to redeem rewards like waste bins or bags," she said. "Once people get used to throwing waste by category, they will continue to do so even without a reward."

Li Weigang, an official with the waste classification and treatment department at Shijingshan district, said several State-owned enterprises - including Shougang Group, which used to be a major steel producer in the capital - have entered the waste treatment industry.

Companies' participation has helped authorities become familiar with garbage classification and treatment after sorting, which can assist with the plan's implementation in residential communities, he said.

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Xinjiang homes benefit from natural gas project]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492053.htm

URUMQI - A new natural gas network in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is making life for residents like Hazret Mamut much more convenient.

"I used to go to the gas station to change the fuel tank when it was empty, which used to take 10 minutes of riding an electric scooter," Hazret recalled. But now, he only needs to turn the knob of the stove and the flame is lit.

"Using natural gas costs less than 20 yuan ($2.90) every month for cooking," Hazret added.

Such convenience in Hazret's life is due to a natural gas project conducted by PetroChina, one of China's major oil companies.

Since the natural gas pipeline was put into operation in May in Wushi county in Aksu prefecture, Hazret's home, a natural gas network covering all prefectures in southern Xinjiang has been established.

Remote cities and counties in south Xinjiang have long suffered from poverty, an underdeveloped economy, extreme climate and a fragile environment. Urban and rural residents in this area mainly used firewood and coal as fuel, which was not only costly but had a negative impact on the environment.

To improve living standards, the natural gas project was launched in 2010 and has been operating since 2013. So far, more than 3,000 kilometers of pipes have been installed, providing natural gas to 42 counties and cities and benefiting over 4 million people in south Xinjiang.

"It saved me a lot of money," said Hawanisahan Jelili, who lives in Moyu county in Hotan prefecture. She said her family would spend nearly 3,500 yuan for heating by burning coal in winter, but that was reduced to 2,000 yuan after natural gas pipes were built in the county in 2016.

Almost 12 years ago, the city of Hotan began supplying natural gas. Since then, PetroChina's project has gradually stretched its network to more rural areas.

The project has supplied more than 33.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the southern areas of Xinjiang, improving people's lives and injecting vitality into the local economy and society.

Xinhua

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492052.htm Beijing

Book on development of New China published

A theoretical book on the development of New China has been published to offer readers an insight into the journey, achievements and experience of the People's Republic of China since its establishment 70 years ago. The book, which was compiled by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, outlined 12 key topics, including how China achieved its economic miracle, the strength of China's path and how the CPC works, according to its publisher.

Macao delegates arrive for talks about tourism

A delegation with 32 members from the Macao Special Administrative Region arrived in Beijing on Monday for a three-day visit. The group, led by Pansy Ho Chiu-king, secretary-general of the Global Tourism Economy Forum, is scheduled to meet various officials and tourism industry professionals to boost Macao's tourism and leisure sectors.

Zhejiang

Motorist who killed 5, injured 7, gets 6 years

A defendant surnamed Chen was sentenced on Monday to six years in prison by the Xihu District People's Court in Hangzhou for causing traffic casualties. The accident occurred around 7 pm on July 30 when Chen hit several pedestrians on a road with his SUV, killing five and injuring several others, according to the court. A police investigation showed that the accident occurred because he stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake when he intended to stop the vehicle.

Heilongjiang

Stolen rare trees found; three detained in theft

Police in Heilongjiang province have cracked the case of a theft of rare trees. Three people have been detained and another has been released on bail after more than 100 stolen Manchurian ash trees were found, according to the forestry police in Heilongjiang. Manchurian ash trees are under State protection.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Government curbs rise of net emissions]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492051.htm Land and forests have absorbed huge amounts of carbon dioxide from air

Net emissions of greenhouse gases in China rose between 2010 and 2014, though government actions have helped keep them in check, according to two recent reports from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

Greenhouse gases equivalent to about 12.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide were emitted in the country in 2014, but the land and forestry absorbed about 1.1 billion tons, making net emissions about 11.2 billion tons. That was up by 17 percent from 2010, according to a media release from the ministry on Monday.

The two reports - China's Second Biennial Report and Third National Communication on Climate Change - were submitted by the ministry to the secretariat of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in June.

"That China submitted the two new reports simultaneously shows China's proactive action in implementing its obligation as a party to UNFCCC and participating in global climate governance," the ministry said in the release.

Carbon dioxide contributed about 83.5 percent of the emissions, followed by methane with 9.1 percent.

To curb rising emissions of carbon dioxide, China has been reducing the share of fossil fuels in energy consumption.

In 2018, non-fossil fuels represented 14.3 percent of national energy consumption, up from 8.6 percent in 2010.

The target is to hit 20 percent by 2030.

The energy sector is the major contributor to methane emissions in China, accounting for 44.8 percent in 2014, while agricultural production activities were responsible for 40.2 percent of methane emissions, according to Xu Huaqing, director general of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

Though the contribution of methane has been shrinking, it is over 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the Earth.

China will limit total coal output to around 3.8 billion tons while promoting methane collection technologies in the oil and gas industry, he said.

The reports also show that the annual average temperature in China has been increasing since the middle of the 20th century.

Average annual precipitation is on the rise as well, though with big differences among regions.

While there has been a marked decrease in extreme cold weather events, more extreme hot weather events and an increasing number of days with extreme precipitation have been recorded.

These trends are expected to continue in most regions, according to the ministry.

The ministry said that the two reports will help promote the country's actions on climate and the transparency of its greenhouse gas emissions.

China will improve its work mechanism to mobilize participation from the government and social sector to fulfill its obligations, it added.

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Beijing promotes plan to create a more nighttime friendly city]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492050.htm

Beijing has rolled out a raft of measures to establish a group of nighttime landmarks, aiming to meet the growing demand of consumers in the capital late at night, according to a plan released on Friday by the capital's commerce bureau.

By the end of 2021, a bunch of nighttime business districts and living areas will be set up throughout the capital, which is expected to be featured as part of a world-renowned "Night Capital" consumer brand, said Sun Yao, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce. The capital's public transport lines will also extend their operating hours on Fridays and Saturdays from May to October every year, starting July 19.

Late-night canteens along major subway lines will be further developed, and the 24-hour convenience stores, bookstores and movie theaters in the capital's urban and rural districts will be expanded to spur the nighttime economy, according to Sun.

He said a nighttime consumption guide for the capital will be drafted, and measures to prevent potential economic risks at night will be established soon.

Some scenic spots in the capital will extend their opening times by one to two hours, according to the plan. A series of nighttime performances will also be carried out in famous tourist attractions, such as the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Olympic Forest Park.

Sun said the capital will at first place four landmark designations - the historical Qianmen Street and the nearby Dashilar area, Sanlitun, Guomao and Wukesong - on the list to build the night consumer brand.

The Tiantongyuan and Huilongguan neighborhoods in Beijing's northern suburb are scheduled to be among the first batch of nighttime living areas, he added. Local infrastructure and equipped facilities will be established in the communities.

According to Sun, since the beginning of this year, many districts in Beijing have introduced a series of measures to boost the transformation and upgrade of traditional business districts. Beijing saw nearly 1.1 trillion yuan ($159 billion) in market consumption from January to May this year, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 percent. Among them, service consumption amounted to roughly 632 billion yuan and the total retail sales of social consumer goods reached about 457 billion yuan.

The nighttime economy refers to business activities between 6 pm and 6 am in the service sector. Many other Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Tianjin, have introduced plans to boost their nighttime economy.

Beijing will extend operations of metro line 1 and line 2 for an extra one hour and 1.5 hours respectively, with the last trains departing after 12:30 am, according to the plan. Both lines run through some of the busiest shopping areas such as Wangfujing and Xidan.

Experts said that domestic scenic spots currently have much room for improvement in the quantity and quality of their nighttime offerings.

Yang Honghao, director of the China Tourism Academy Industrial Research Institute, said boosting nighttime tourism will encourage visitors to stay longer, which will further spur nighttime consumption.

"A good nighttime tourism brand should not only focus on lightning projects but also target brand building to fully consider the available resources in the city," he said, adding that the key functions of nighttime tourism should also be clarified to develop urban-oriented nighttime traveling offerings.

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Experts applaud tighter requirements for medical flights]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492049.htm Experts have welcomed the Civil Aviation Administration of China's release of specific requirements for operators of aeromedical services, saying they will help make rescue flights safer and more effective as demand for them increases.

The administration issued the requirements - which cover aviation safety practices, the functions and responsibilities of medical transport, crew qualifications, medical facilities and medical care procedures onboard - last year, but they were only released publicly last month.

The requirements say captains should have a minimum of 800 hours' flying experience, with at least 100 hours on aeromedical flights, and should also have emergency response and medical care training.

Zhang Bing, director of the general aviation department at the China Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology, said aeromedical services play an important role in providing medical aid and air transport for critically ill patients and the severely wounded in places lacking medical resources.

The 999 Emergency Rescue Center, which is affiliated with the Beijing branch of the Red Cross Society of China, said it has conducted over 500 medical rescue flights nationwide for critically ill patients since it introduced aeromedical services in 2010, with demand for such services doubling each year for the past three years.

Places with better medical resources, including Beijing, Chongqing, the Yangtze River Delta region and the Pearl River Delta region also have their own aeromedical services. The launch of the detailed requirements provides a blueprint for their rapid expansion nationwide.

"Air medical transports are highly effective medical interventions," Zhang said. "The specific requirements will help to improve the standardization of aeromedical work."

The operation of aeromedical flights is more complex than other civil aviation services because time, efficiency and standardization are even more critical on lifesaving missions.

"The service is unique in that it combines two major industries - aviation and healthcare," said Li Wei, deputy director of the general aviation department at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China. "It needs the airplanes to be well staffed and equipped with the most sophisticated skills, expertise, medications and equipment for the critically ill and injured patients and to continue patient care during transport."

The specific requirements will play a vital role in improving the quality and safety of medical treatment, Li said.

But he said there are still many obstacles to the development of aeromedical services, including their high cost and a lack of medical staff.

"The civil aviation department should make more favorable policies, such as streamlining procedures for route approval and charging lower airport service fees for aeromedical services in a bid to ease the burden on the public," he said, adding that it should also strengthen coordination with health departments to train more medical staff.

 

Medical workers transfer a patient in emergency conditions to the First Affiliated Hospital of Gannan Medical University for treatment at Ganzhou, Jiangxi province.Zhu Haipeng / For China Daily

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Han Kuo-yu wins KMT primary poll for Taiwan leadership election]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492048.htm

TAIPEI - Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu has won the Chinese Kuomintang party primary poll for next year's leadership election in Taiwan, the KMT announced on Monday.

Han gained 44.8 percent of the poll vote, the KMT said.

The KMT announced five candidates last month for the party primary of the 2020 leadership election. The others were Eric Chu, former mayor of New Taipei City, Chou Hsi-wei, former magistrate of Taipei county, Chang Ya-chung, president of the Sun Yat-sen School, and Terry Gou, Foxconn founder and chairman.

Gou got 28 percent of votes cast in the KMT's primary, which polls members of the public by telephone.

Candidates expressed their political views on television for three rounds, and the poll was conducted by five polling companies entrusted by the KMT.

The primary result will be submitted for approval at the KMT general congress. If approved, Han will face current Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, who is seeking reelection.

Han, 62, has enjoyed a stunning rise in the last two years, journeying from relative obscurity to his party's "presidential" candidate in a phenomenon that has been dubbed the "Han tide".

Han was a relative unknown until he seized the Kaohsiung mayoralty in local elections last year in a shock win. The southern city has long been a heartland for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

"Taiwan people have been living difficult lives in the past three years," he told reporters after the result was announced, urging his party to unite.

Gou had previously hinted he might run as an independent if he lost, a move that could split the KMT vote.

Xinhua - Afp

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[FAST scope to search for planets like Earth]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/16/content_37492047.htm

The largest and most sensitive radio telescope ever built will hunt for signals from alien life and search for extrasolar planets - or exoplanets, which have magnetic fields like our planet - within 100 light-years of Earth.

Astronomers from countries including China and France recently published their ambitious observation plan using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in the academic journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Li Di, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and chief scientist of FAST, said scientists are more concerned about habitable planets, which should have not only water, a suitable temperature and atmosphere, but also a magnetic field.

"The earth's magnetic field protects life from cosmic rays. There is a scientific occurrence in the sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth, in which the earth stops rotating. If that happens, the magnetic field would disappear. Without the protection of the magnetic field, the earth's atmosphere would be blown off by the solar wind. As a result, humans and most living things would be exposed to the harsh cosmic environment and would be unable to survive," Li said.

There are six planets in our solar system with a planetary-scale magnetic field: Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

"In our solar system, magnetized planets are strong radio sources," said Philippe Zarka, an astronomer from the Paris Observatory. "Radio detection of exoplanets is aimed at the physical characterization of exoplanets and comparative studies with solar system planets."

The first exoplanet was discovered near a pulsar by means of radio astronomy, but that was a very special case. All the other exoplanets found so far were discovered through optical astronomy or infrared imaging, according to Li.

Those discoveries have led scientists to believe that nearly all the stars in the Milky Way have planets revolving around them, and that there must be plenty of habitable planets.

"In our solar system, the high-energy charged particles in the solar wind and the electrons from some planets' moons would have interaction with the magnetosphere of planets, generating radio radiation," Li said. "All the planets with magnetic fields in our solar system can be found generating such radiation, which can be measured and studied by radio telescopes. But research on the planets' magnetic fields cannot be realized through optical and infrared astronomical observation.

"Do the exoplanets have magnetic fields? If so, they should also generate radio radiation under the influence of the wind of their parent stars," Li added.

Astronomers have been looking for radio signals from exoplanets but haven't discovered any yet.

"We want to try with FAST, which is the world's most sensitive radio telescope. If we can detect the radio radiation of an exoplanet for the first time and confirm its magnetic field, it would be a very important discovery," Li said. "If this observation window is opened, we would be able to study the laws of the magnetic fields of exoplanets and whether they are habitable in another aspect."

Most exoplanets have been discovered by the US Kepler space telescope. Those exoplanets are located more than 500 light-years from Earth.

In 2018, NASA launched a new planet-hunting satellite, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), to target exoplanets closer to Earth.

"If TESS could find a large number of exoplanets, and we also track them, the possibility of discovering exoplanets with magnetic fields will increase," Li said. "We are looking for exoplanets within 100 lightyears from Earth. Once such planets are found, it would be favorable for scientists to conduct a thorough study of them, and there is even a possibility for interstellar migration."

Xinhua

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2019-07-16 07:53:03
<![CDATA[Community program aims to provide faster, better-quality legal services]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491658.htm Authorities are appointing counsels to offer advice and clarify legislation to ensure rapid resolution of problems. Cao Yin reports.

Li Junying arrived at her residential community center in Beijing's Haidian district early on Tuesday morning to ensure she got a front-row seat at a lecture about the law relating to the allocation of family property.

The 56-year-old retired civilian worker for the military occasionally took notes during the 40-minute lecture. Afterward, she asked the keynote speaker, Ren Xuguang, an attorney with the Loyalty and Talent Law Firm in Beijing, for more advice.

"My family bought two apartments in the city, and one is registered under my name," Li told China Daily. "I went to the lecture because I need to know how the property will be allocated under Chinese law if I have a dispute with my family, and what I should know about property inheritance in the future."

She said the lecture had provided many answers and given her a better understanding of the law.

Holding such lectures and inviting lawyers to help solve disputes within communities is a major part of a project launched in May by the district's justice bureau, the Haidian Lawyers Association and several law firms. It aims to provide residents with easier access to legal services without needing to consult law firms.

About 82,000 households in the district's 57 communities, including the one in which Li lives, were the first to enjoy the project's services, while 30 attorneys were named as counsels to resolve legal problems within the communities.

The project is now also being used to implement a guideline issued by the central leadership and the State Council, China's Cabinet, last week. The document ordered government departments at all levels to improve adherence to the rule of law and to help solve disputes more effectively by accelerating the construction of platforms and systems to provide legal services.

The goal is to offer quick, convenient legal services nationwide by 2022, and also to ensure that a "community counsel" can be provided for every community or village as soon as possible.

"In addition to community counsels, we also hope every family will be covered by an attorney who will help solve their disputes," said Zheng Jinpeng, head of the office of justice in Haidian's Beixiaguan subdistrict.

Hu Guang, a judge at Haidian District People's Court, welcomed the use of more judicial resources to solve problems, especially in light of a rise in the number of domestic disputes in recent years. However, he was concerned about the selection process for community counsels and suggested the government should stringently review their performances to ensure they provide high-quality services.

Growing demand

After hearing Ren's interpretation of property allocation law, Li, the Haidian resident, contacted her local community committee, which had organized the lecture, to express her willingness to learn how to combat telecom fraud and how to solve disputes arising from online shopping.

"These things relate closely to my daily life. I must prevent them and protect my interests," she said.

Zhang Xiao, a college teacher who lives in the same community as Li, said it is essential for both older people and the younger generation to better understand the law and to gain legal tips that will help them avoid unnecessary disputes.

She attended the lecture on Tuesday because some members of her mother's family, such as her aunts and uncles, face a dispute related to real estate allocation.

"I wanted to learn more about the law and then better explain it to my relatives," the 40-year-old said. "Sometimes, we think we should be given legal support, but the law does not agree with that assumption. For example, when someone thinks he or she should inherit a large portion of real estate, but in reality he or she just gets a small part in accordance with the Inheritance Law, she added.

Both Li and Zhang said the lecture and Ren, the counsel, had provided access to legal professionals who could answer their questions.

"I hadn't spoken with a lawyer, and I didn't even know if I would be eligible for legal aid," Li said. "But now, if a matter is urgent, I can contact Ren quickly via her firm's hotline or its smartphone app. If the problem isn't urgent, I can contact the community committee and leave my problems with them, and wait for Ren's answers in her next lecture."

Greater professionalism

Under the project, attorneys named as counsels by a district's justice department must visit their assigned communities to give a free lecture and answer residents' queries at least once a month.

"These legal services can resolve domestic disputes, such as marital conflict, child custody and property inheritance, at the very start," said Zou Yamei, director of Li's community committee. "The earlier we get help from legal specialists, the better for the effective resolution of disputes."

Du Ying, Zou's colleague, attended Ren's lecture along with more than 50 residents. She also made notes as the lawyer analyzed various cases and explained a number of laws.

"Working as a community official means it is important for me to learn about the law," she said. "If residents argue and ask me to intervene, that knowledge will help me to avoid poor mediation and not mislead them."

Having been a community committee official for 10 years, Du has extensive experience of handling disputes. Despite that, "new government policies and updated laws mean I never stop learning", she said.

Zheng, from the Beixiaguan subdistrict justice department, agreed with Du, saying he regards the project as an opportunity for community officials to improve their ability to govern in accordance with the law.

He recalled a case several years ago in which a community committee was taken to court by a family after "a lack of familiarity with the law resulted in the committee providing an inaccurate custodianship document in a real estate allocation dispute".

"Now, community officials can ask the counsel's advice if they encounter issues they're not sure about. That should be encouraged and it will contribute to regulating their behavior in terms of governance," he said.

Information exchange

Hao Nongrong, a lawyer with the project who works for the Beijing Hongjian Renhe Law Firm, said she has benefited from providing lectures and answering residents' questions.

"Explaining the law to people and helping to solve their community disputes gives me great opportunities to better understand their exact legal requirements and unearth new legal problems that urgently need to be studied," she said.

"The exchange of that sort of information is more important than how much money I can earn by offering legal services."

Ren said: "Some disputes in communities can appear trivial, when in reality they are complicated. My professional qualifications will be improved if I can solve those problems more effectively."

To ensure more disputes can be resolved quickly, the firm has opened a phone hotline that can handle more than 40 calls a day. It follows on from a smartphone app that began operating earlier this year, which was designed by the firm to help residents find and appoint lawyers.

"The app and hotline aim to make it more convenient for people to access our legal services, and also allow us to identify new problems in legal practice," Ren said.

Concerns and Challenges

Zheng said that although a number of lawyers have shown a willingness to become community counsels and provide free legal services, "setting up a fund to support their efforts will be crucial to making the project sustainable".

Hu, the judge from Haidian District People's Court, said more research will be required to decide which lawyers should be selected to act as counsels, and the selection procedure will need to be refined.

At present there are no clear rules about who should play a role in the selection procedure, so Zheng's department and Ren's firm jointly assess the qualifications of attorneys involved in the project.

"That may affect the quality of legal services being offered and may not be entirely effective in resolving people's disputes," Hu said.

Guo Wencheng, Hu's colleague, suggested a third party should supervise the attorneys' work.

"Appointing community counsels or family attorneys is a good move toward building the rule of law, but it will be essential to strictly evaluate them and review their work," she said.  

 

Residents attend a pilot legal lecture at a community center in Beijing's Haidian district on April 15.Provided To China Daily

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2019-07-15 07:38:29
<![CDATA[Online platforms set to net more users]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491657.htm

In the next three years, China will promote more convenient and efficient legal services online, including consultations, legal aid and mediation.

A circular issued by the central leadership and the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Wednesday said the country is strengthening efforts to improve online platforms at national and provincial levels to offer more services and ensure more people can solve problems anytime, anyplace.

For example, in May last year, the Ministry of Justice began providing legal services via its 12348 website, which has more than 6 million registered users. Meanwhile, 170 million people have logged in to the site, according to the ministry.

The online platform has handled about 700,000 cases, and provided contact details for lawyers and consultations on 5 million occasions, it added.

In addition, people can use the platform to review laws, government regulations, judicial interpretations and concluded cases related to their specific requirements.

Given that most people surf the internet via smartphones, the ministry has integrated its WeChat accounts and smartphone apps with the platform to further diversify the services on offer and to provide easier access.

In addition, the ministry operates its 12348 hotline to help people who have difficulty using the internet platform, such as senior citizens, or those in rural areas who have limited internet access.

"It's good to see government departments, including the ministry, making better use of the internet to offer legal services, because it is a necessity in the modern era," said Xu Hao, a lawyer from the Jingsh Law Firm in Beijing.

"But users must be aware that although the services on these online platforms are free, they will only be offered basic services or general solutions to legal problems," he said, adding that many of the lawyers offering online consultations are recent entrants to the profession.

"In other words, it won't be possible to resolve complex cases on such platforms. People will still need to have face-to-face talks with experienced lawyers or senior legal professionals to access high-quality services," he said.

"The ministry will need to think about how it can attract experienced legal experts to work online. That will require more research and more studies, and people will have to be made aware that they will have to pay for these customized services."

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2019-07-15 07:38:29
<![CDATA[No reason not to be friends]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491656.htm Former State College mayor talks about her own experience on trade in China

Looking at a photograph taken with a Polaroid instant camera, one can hardly tell that the curly haired woman sitting on a train bunk bed with a silk fan in her hand is the same woman now in her seventies, with clean short hair wearing a pair of wire framed glasses.

It was in the summer of 1983 when Elizabeth Goreham made her first trip to China as the coordinator for Gray Tool Company, a small family-run business from Houston, Texas.

Her companion took that photograph when they were traveling by train from Daqing in Heilongjiang province back to Beijing. The train ride took them 48 hours, which was almost double the time they spent flying from Houston to Beijing, with stopovers in San Francisco and Narita, Japan.

In the 1980s, the train was a major mode of transportation for Goreham and her colleagues to travel to different places in the vast expanses of China.

"The American people had great desire to work with China at that time," Goreham recalled.

The Gray Tool delegation then was seeking to establish a joint venture with the Chinese to produce metal valves used in oil drilling. The company's equipment was required to protect workers from being poisoned by toxic gas when extracting the oil.

Goreham said the two-week trip brought them to Beijing and Baoji in Shaanxi province, and the Daqing and Shengli oil fields in "an effort to boost mutual trust for our cooperation".

Apart from the large amounts of time spent on train travel, Goreham also remembered the countless hours of meetings, cups of tea and negotiations on every detail for a possible cooperation deal.

Although an agreement was not reached due to an appearance of another competing company from the United States, the trip that August is still one of Goreham's most wonderful memories.

"There will always be challenges, but trade is essential for the relations between China and America," she said.

Following former US president Richard Nixon's historic visit to China, two-way exchanges between China and the US in various areas such as politics, the economy, science and technology as well as culture sprang up after the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1979.

According to statistics from China Customs, bilateral commodity trade volume between China and the US increased rapidly from $2.45 billion in 1979 to $17.49 billion in 1992.

"I feel the American and Chinese people just naturally like each other because of some similarities they have, such as the love for doing business," she said.

"The people of the two countries just have a feeling of connection."

At that time, Goreham also came up with the idea of getting into the metal scrap business with her Chinese partner, but later found out that more and more "Gorehams" had noticed similar opportunities in China's huge market and had already become successful in that area.

"Forget it," she said when recalling this at a cafe in State College. She was mayor of State College, a college town in Pennsylvania, from 2010 to 2017.

Going back to the United States with a good impression of the Chinese people, Goreham, who was in her forties then, returned to China in 1986 to take a three-month Chinese language course at the Beijing Language Institute, known as the Beijing Language and Culture University today.

"I practiced writing the strokes every morning," she said. "It was a good thing to learn a foreign language, but Chinese is really difficult."

Goreham can hardly remember the Chinese name she was given at the time, but she is sure that she loved all kinds of delicious Chinese dishes, with Kung Pao chicken being her favorite.

"Going to China really changed my life. I was deeply impressed by how strong the Chinese people were even though they lived a very simple life," she said.

Goreham also said that when China was a weak country in the past, it respected itself and now that China is becoming stronger, it is behaving in a humble way.

"I really hope that China and the United States can be friends and there is no reason not to be," she said.

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2019-07-15 07:38:29
<![CDATA[Lantern that lit the way for Long March]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491655.htm Riding on a red motorcycle from the county seat, 73-year-old veteran Yang Zhengyi, who just had a brush cut there, looked fresh and cool in gray.

The senior was in a good mood as his son and daughter-in-law, who work in town, were planning to bring his 6-month-old grandson to visit, and would also spend the weekend with him. Yang's home is an excellent summer resort as the dog days draw near.

With streams running in the front and back, Yang's old three-story wooden house in the Yutou village of the Dong ethnic group gets cool in the summers and warm in the winters. The village, located in Tongdao county of Central China's Hunan province, has a history of more than 600 years.

Yang has one thing that he has treasured for decades. It is an iron lantern with a glass shade handed down to him from his father Yang Zaineng. The lantern is now being showcased at Gongcheng Academy in the county seat.

Gongcheng Academy is the place where the leaders of the Communist Party of China held an urgent meeting 85 years ago. The meeting changed the course of an odyssey unequaled in Chinese modern history - the Long March.

From October 1934 to October 1936, the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army officers and soldiers, led by the CPC, left their bases in East China and marched through raging rivers, snowy mountains and arid grasslands to break the siege of Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang party-led forces. Some of them marched as far as 12,500 kilometers.

The military maneuver was a turning point in China's revolution, and the meeting was a pivotal event of the Long March since the Red Army abandoned its old route northward and decided to move westward from Hunan to Guizhou province in Southwest China.

In the 1930s, KMT troops came from time to time and press-ganged men in the village, Yang Zhengyi said. Bandits also came and harassed the villagers, who had to take their food and clothing and hide in fear in the nearby mountains.

Having heard that an unknown army was coming, the whole village except Yang Zaineng went into hiding. Yang Zaineng, then a strong man in his late 20s, stayed behind to protect his home village before the Red Army officers and soldiers arrived.

Yang Zaineng soon found that the Red Army soldiers acted differently - they left silver coins for the food and firewood they had taken from the village.

"My mom was a teenager at that time, and she saw that the Red Army soldiers had kept the roots of the vegetables they had cut to grow them again," said Yang Zhengyan, a 59-year-old woman in Yutou village. "When the KMT troops passed by, they uprooted the plants."

One night, a Red Army officer asked Yang Zaineng to lead the way to Guizhou for them. He agreed and walked ahead of them, making gestures since the soldiers could not understand the local dialect he spoke.

They walked several dozen kilometers along winding mountain paths. Yang Zaineng was about to return home when the officer stopped him and gave him a lantern, telling him to take it and light his way home.

It was a precious gift to the guide who had kept the lantern and passed it on to Yang Zhengyi - his youngest son - on his death, telling him to join the military when he grew up and to be like the Red Army soldiers.

Yang Zhengyi fulfilled his father's last wish and became an artilleryman of the People's Liberation Army at the age of 17. He returned to Yutou village and taught at a local elementary school after his retirement in the late 1960s. Yang Biao, Yang Zhengyi's younger son, followed in his footsteps and also joined the PLA.

Yutou village has become a popular tourist attraction. With its pleasant natural landscape, unique ethnic Dong architecture and handicrafts, along with touching stories of the Long March, the village has fascinated visitors from all over the country.

"When my grandson grows up, I'll tell him the story of the lantern," Yang Zhengyi said.

Xinhua

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2019-07-15 07:38:29
<![CDATA[Return of boars sends locals wild]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491654.htm Hoping to keep wild boars at bay, farmer Wu Yongtian has installed several loudspeakers around his farm in East China's Anhui province, with sounds of human voices, dog barks, gongs and drums blaring from them.

Wild boars were once common in the Dabie Mountains. However, due to increasing human encroachment and hunting on its habitat, its population plummeted in the past decade.

Hence, Wu had not clashed with the fierce beast and its tusks for a long time.

The Dabie Mountains stretch across the eastern and central provinces of Anhui, Hubei and Henan, and are home to various rare plants and animals.

As trees were an important source of fire and income, felling them was a common practice among villagers.

"We depended heavily on the forest. But as trees dwindled, wild boars became harder to spot," said Wu, who is from Qianping village in Jinzhai county.

With China's urbanization picking up steam, more people have left the mountains to move to cities. Vegetation recovered as no more logging was needed, and habitats were restored as human interference decreased.

However, wild boars have once again become familiar neighbors of the locals.

Bu Yongquan, former Party secretary of the village, said that there are 100 wild boars estimated to dwell within 660 hectares around Qianping village.

"Villagers from almost every household have spotted wild boars coming down from the mountains," he said.

According to Tao Hongjun, head of Mazongling forest farm, the policy of conceding farmland to forestry, and a rising awareness of animal protection have also contributed to the growing population of the State protected animal.

However, the rising boar population has strained relationships with farmers.

"They (wild boars) feed on only the best. Valuable herbs such as tianma and American ginseng that farmers grow are their favorites," Wu said. Tianma is an orchid that is traditionally used as a Chinese herb for the treatment of a number of illnesses.

Reports of wild boar attacks and highway accidents caused by the intruding animal have hit the headlines with increasing frequency.

Apart from loudspeakers, farmers have tried using firecrackers, scarecrows, kerosene and even human hair to keep the boars off their land, but to little effect.

"Sometimes, the loudspeakers even attract them to come nearer," Wu said.

To find solutions to the problem, local governments in the Dabie Mountains have come up with measures including organized hunting to scare the wild boars off and eco-compensation to make up for the farmers' lost incomes.

"I believe humans and wild boars will live in harmony again someday," Wu said.

Xinhua

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2019-07-15 07:38:29
<![CDATA[Farmers use livestreams to bring in more sales]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491653.htm Half a month ago, He Hesheng received a 4,000 yuan ($580) order for his peaches through a livestream.

For more than three decades, He and many of his neighbors have been growing peaches in the Xihua county of Central China's Henan province. Up till two months ago, all his peaches were sold to dealers before they were displayed for sale in supermarkets and open fairs.

The 43-year-old tried livestreaming for the first time two months ago and was extremely awkward.

"I just took some shots of the peaches and then talked about their origin, quality and the time taken for them to ripen," the farmer said. "I kept looking away and stammering in the video.

"The customers don't even know who you are. How can they trust you and buy your peaches?" he said. But now, he does it every day. In just one month, he sold more than 20,000 yuan worth of peaches. "Livestreaming rocks," he said, smiling.

He had thought of e-commerce before, but gave it up because it was "too complicated and time-consuming". However, livestreaming has made it much easier. He just needs to share details of his WeChat account with his customers and they can order directly from him.

"The customers will always transfer the money to me first and I will deliver the peaches the next day," He said. "They trust me and I should live up to that trust by sending them top quality products."

The younger people have even returned home during the peach harvest season to help sell the fruit. "The customers are from all over the country, and the farmers can make an extra 2 yuan per kilogram compared with selling them to the vendors," said Wu Dongliang, a local official.

Livestreaming has become a viable source of income as the industry experienced a boom in recent years. According to a report published by the China Internet Network Information Center, China had 397 million users on multiple livestreaming websites by the end of last year, and they have shown formidable purchasing power.

Over the past two months, there were three promotions organized through livestreaming in Xihua. One livestream, which was held in late June, attracted more than 245,000 viewers in two hours, bringing farmers thousands of orders worth over 2 million yuan.

"Xihua has many quality products and we hope they can reach more customers via modern media," said Hu Yongqing, a local official. "Our next move is to train 100 social media influencers in the next six months to better promote our products."

Xinhua

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2019-07-15 07:38:29
<![CDATA[Preservation of culture in capital is key]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491652.htm Beijing's downtown area is speeding up the preservation of immovable cultural relics as part of a campaign to better protect and utilize the city's cultural heritage amid rapid urbanization, a senior official in the capital said last week.

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Hundreds of works go on display in new exhibition center in renovated temple

Beijing's downtown area is speeding up the preservation of immovable cultural relics as part of a campaign to better protect and utilize the city's cultural heritage amid rapid urbanization, a senior official in the capital said last week.

Beijing Shichahai Cultural Exhibition Center opened to the public on Thursday in order to showcase the history and culture of the capital, a city with more than 3,000 years of history. The center is located in the Guangfu Temple, a Taoist temple dating back to 1459 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The temple has been given new life since residents moved out and buildings were restored. It is one of many ancient buildings around Shichahai Lake, an area packed with traditional Ming Dynasty courtyards that is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing.

Lu Yingchuan, Party chief of Beijing's Xicheng district, where Shichahai is located, said the district will strengthen renovation of the old town's appearance and functions to improve the quality of life and better protect cultural relics, a move in line with the ongoing application for World Heritage status for the city's central axis.

"We have specifically separated the cultural functions of each block in Xicheng, based on local characteristics, to better showcase the historical and cultural heritage," he said, adding that every block has, since May, had a duty planner responsible for street layout and planning.

According to the city's Planning and Natural Resources Commission, the duty planner is an independent third party who can provide planning, construction and management advice to help protect their area. The employment term for duty planners is usually four to five years.

Thanks to the duty planners, the work of relocating cultural relics in Xicheng district has progressed smoothly, the district government said, with 52 relocation projects completed so far.

Some of the halls in Guangfu Temple were destroyed by natural disasters during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and it was later occupied by residents. The local government moved them out in 2008 and discovered colorful murals from the Qing Dynasty during renovation work.

Bi Jundong, director of the Shichahai Lake street office, said the renovated Guangfu Temple, covering an area of 1,530 square meters, exhibits hundreds of works including paintings, calligraphy and replicas of study furniture from Ming Dynasty in six exhibition halls.

Bi said the cultural exhibition center has multimedia displays featuring digital sandboxes, mobile augmented reality and multi-touch screens to help visitors discover the area's traditions and culture.

Visitors welcomed the opening of the heritage site around Shichahai Lake.

Wang Hongxia, 55, who visited the center with friends on Thursday morning, said, "It's good for us to have access to authentic cultural heritage, especially near my community; previously, I could only walk by the door."

First created in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Beijing's original central axis was 3.7 kilometers long. It was extended during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Fourteen historical sites along the axis, including Qianmen Gate, the Forbidden City, Jingshan Park, the Drum and Bell towers, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, the Monument to the People's Heroes and Tian'anmen Square have been identified as key heritage sites.

The Beijing authorities earlier unveiled a development plan for the central axis from 2016 to 2035.

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491651.htm Guangxi

4 dead, 1 injured in house collapse

Four girls died and a boy was injured when a house collapsed in Lianren village, Du'an Yao autonomous county, in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Saturday, local authorities said. The children who died, ranging in age from 2 to 13, and the 5-year-old boy who was rescued were identified as the homeowner's children. It was raining when the house collapsed and the owner, surnamed Lan, was living in poverty, according to the local authorities. The reason for the collapse is being investigated.

3 killed, 1 still buried in cave-in at quarry

Three people were killed and another remains buried, with no signs of life, after a granite quarry collapsed in Cenxi, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Saturday, the local authorities said on Sunday. A fifth person also suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The accident at the Tianma quarry buried five people, the city's publicity department said. By 10:20 am on Sunday, rescue workers had pulled four people out of the collapsed quarry. Three were dead, while the fourth is in stable condition and receiving treatment in a hospital. Rescue workers are still searching for the fifth person.

Beijing

PLA conducts routine exercise off coast

The People's Liberation Army has conducted a regular exercise in waters and air space off the southeast coast, the Ministry of National Defense announced on Sunday. The exercise was a routine arrangement in accord with the annual plan of the Chinese military, the ministry said.

Yangtze River sees first flooding of year

The first flooding to hit the Yangtze River this year has occurred in its middle and lower reaches, with water heights exceeding the alarm level on Saturday morning, the Ministry of Water Resources said. Due to recent heavy rainfall, floods formed near Jiujiang and Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province, in the middle reaches of the river, with the water level in Jiujiang reaching 20.06 meters, 0.06 meters above the warning level, the ministry said.

Guangdong

Attempt to smuggle frozen food thwarted

Customs in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, have seized about 230 metric tons of frozen food and arrested three suspected smugglers, according to the General Administration of Customs. The smuggled frozen food, including chicken feet, chicken wings and pig intestines, was found in a boat. Some of the food had decayed because it was not stored in freezers during transportation. The case is under further investigation.

Xinhua - China Daily

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[Hainan free to create foreign education ties]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491650.htm World-class overseas universities are welcome to run schools in cooperation with Chinese institutions or establish independent educational services of their own in Hainan province on a pilot basis, according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Education and Hainan's provincial government recently.

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Island can link with institutions abroad, foster independent schools in pilot plan

World-class overseas universities are welcome to run schools in cooperation with Chinese institutions or establish independent educational services of their own in Hainan province on a pilot basis, according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Education and Hainan's provincial government recently.

It said the country will target the tropical island for international education innovation, deepen its educational reform in an all-around way and further open the sector to make Hainan a vivid example of open and innovative development of the educational sector.

Hainan, which is developing the country's newest and largest free trade zone, will be a national pilot area where a new, open system for running schools will be set up, in addition to a joint examination and approval mechanism for overseas joint ventures and cooperation projects, the circular said.

It added that as long as risks are controlled, the island province will be encouraged to set up international high schools and kindergartens on a pilot basis to implement international education.

The document also noted that when conditions mature, overseas engineering universities and vocational colleges will be allowed to run pilot schools independently in Hainan, which will also explore allowing leading overseas business conglomerates to develop educational services on their own.

The new policy also gives a green light to overseas institutions to establish independent Sino-foreign medical and health services in Hainan, according to the circular.

Furthermore, the pilot plan will encourage leading Chinese and foreign institutions of higher learning and scientific research centers to develop a cluster of higher learning institutions and synergetic platforms which will integrate production, teaching and scientific research in Hainan.

An education innovation consortium - which combines research branches, laboratories and incubation centers that focus on such key areas as ocean economy, tropical agriculture, healthcare, tourism and cultural innovation - will receive government support, according to the circular.

It noted Hainan will develop a modern educational governance system with negative lists, a transparent information service and sound credit management. By 2020, a modern education planning system will be initially formed. By 2035, a modern education system with Chinese characteristics and coordinated development of education at all levels will be basically formed.

The new policy encourages all social sectors to participate in running schools by means of contribution of capital, knowledge, technology and management, and says they will enjoy corresponding rights.

"The new policy, which is very open, bold and unique to Hainan, will create great opportunities for farsighted international education investors," said Wang Lin, dean of the International Tourism College, a joint venture between Hainan University and Arizona State University in the United States.

She said the talent introduction, training platforms and joint ventures to be established under the measures will bring strong support to the development of the China (Hainan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which is facing a serious shortage of talent.

With 50 percent of the major courses introduced from ASU and all major subjects taught in English by overseas faculties, the Haikou-based college - the country's first tourism JV education institution established in 2017 - is becoming increasingly attractive to Chinese students who expect an overseas education and a diploma from a foreign university, Wang said, adding all of the college's teaching is designed and managed strictly in line with ASU standards.

Wang Tiansong, president of the Sanya Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, welcomed the new policy on supporting development of Sino-foreign medical and healthcare institutions in Hainan, saying it "will be encouraging to overseas medical institutions".

He said Hainan had natural advantages, including its climate, and its traditional Chinese medicine resources were also effective and cheap, making the sector competitive.

"The natural means of treatment that are gradually favored by Western tourists promise to create bright prospects for cooperation in the island province's medical tourism sector," Wang said.

About 100,000 foreigners - mostly from Russian-speaking countries and northern Europe, as well as some from Canada, the US, Turkey and Iran - have received tailored TCM therapies that eased or cured their illnesses in Sanya since the hospital began its healthcare tourism in 2002, according to the hospital.

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[Teacher's verbal abuse of girl leads to his firing]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491649.htm

A middle school math teacher accused of verbally abusing a 13-year-old girl in class was criticized and fired by authorities in Shangluo, Shaanxi province, on Sunday after a recording of the incident sparked widespread fury online and an official investigation.

In a statement, the government of the city's Shangzhou district said it had confirmed the verbal abuse by the Shaanxi Shangdan Gaoxin School teacher, only identified as Wang.

The district's education bureau said that Wang's teaching credentials have been revoked and that he faces further punishment after an investigation.

The government said Wang's behavior amounted to a serious violation of the code of conduct for teachers, and that Wang, the school's administrators and the education authorities should take the matter seriously, reflect on the incident and apologize for the trauma sustained by the student in question.

The statement came less than a week after the parents of the girl posted up to 20 hours of recordings online that were secretly recorded by the girl while she was scolded by the teacher between June 14 and July 5.

The recordings show Wang called her a "dead person" and a "b----" in front of the class multiple times, and called her parents "stupid" in the presence of other teachers.

The girl told Huashang News, a local newspaper, on Wednesday that she had often been humiliated by Wang in public and suffered physical punishments including slaps on the face and pulling of her hair.

Wang acknowledged using the coarse language but denied the physical abuse accusations. He said the abuse was an overreaction to being let down by the student.

The local education authorities launched an investigation into the allegations on Thursday.

They said on Sunday they will hand down harsh penalties to Wang in accordance with follow-up investigations and launch a thorough review of related management flaws.

Psychological counseling and a school transfer will be arranged for the girl to minimize any harm. A yearlong campaign aimed at rectifying teachers' ethics will also be launched in the district this month.

Local media said the math teacher had apologized on Sunday in the presence of school administrators, local education officials and media, and had been pardoned by the student and her family.

"I will make every effort to help if you're in need of help in life and study in the future, and I wish to be pardoned," Wang was quoted by Shaanxi Television as saying.

Wang's colleagues said they were shocked by the recordings, saying Wang was dedicated to his job, local media reported.

They said Wang had been awarded honorary titles including district teaching master and the school's excellent head teacher.

China's Teachers Law forbids physically or verbally abusing students, with penalties ranging from dismissal to criminal charges.

Feng Xianying, a lawyer with the Yingke Law Firm in Beijing, said verbal abuse of students is punishable by the Education Law and the Law on Minor's Protection. "The acts could constitute crimes of insult and intentional injury if they lead to severe consequences in the children's growth," she said.

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[Ancient lotus blooms at Old Summer Palace]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491648.htm A lotus flower grown from a seed that had lain dormant underground for more than a hundred years bloomed at Beijing's Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan, last week.

The blooming lotus has attracted visitors and photographers eager to appreciate the beauty from the past and celebrate its miraculous rebirth.

In 2017, 11 lotus seeds were discovered at a pond in Yuanmingyuan during an archaeological dig. They had been underground for more than a hundred years, according to archaeologists' preliminary estimates.

Li Xiangyang, deputy director of Yuanmingyuan's administrative office, said it was the first time ancient lotus seeds had been discovered since archaeological excavation work began at the Old Summer Palace, and they would provide a reference for research on its culture and history.

In order to identify the exact age of the ancient lotus seeds, staff sent three of them to Peking University for carbon-14 testing, with the results expected in September.

Another eight lotus seeds were transferred to a research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Botany last year for experimental cultivation. Six sprouted, grew leaves and took root in the laboratory.

Institute staff member Zhang Huijin said the ancient lotus seeds had been hibernating because they were buried in peat soil with a low temperature, low humidity and little microbial interference. Their hard shells also helped prevent water and air from going in or out.

"Although we have awakened their growth, we still face difficulties in cultivation as ancient lotuses had a slower growth rate and later flowering time," Zhang said. "Besides, they cannot grow well in a pot."

In April, researchers decided to transplant four of the plants to a more natural growing environment in Yuanmingyuan's lotus pools. Staff at Yuanmingyuan designated four pools for the cultivation of the lotuses and took great care of them.

"We didn't expect the lotuses to grow so well after they left the greenhouse and came back to Yuanmingyuan," said Zhao Aimei, who works at the Old Summer Palace.

Zhang said that besides the ancient lotuses in Yuanmingyuan, the institute has also successfully cultivated ancient lotuses unearthed in other cities, including Dalian in Liaoning province and Kaifeng in Henan province. The oldest lotus to have been revived could date back 1,000 years.

Xinhua

 

A visitor takes a picture of a lotus flower grown from a seed that had lain dormant for more than a hundred years in Beijing's Old Summer Palace earlier this month.Du Jia / For China Daily

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[Online map pinpoints drowning dangers in Guangxi]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491647.htm

The education authorities in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region posted a map online recently, warning of high-risk drowning areas to reduce the number of children who die while swimming during the summer vacation.

More than 12,000 spots across the region have been highlighted on the map as drowning hazards, with 981 labeled "high risk".

The warning map is a part of a drowning warning system developed by the region's education department and Guilin University of Electronic Technology, according to Deng Guofeng, a professor at the university who was also in charge of developing the system.

The high-risk areas were mapped out according to a collection of drowning cases in past years that were reported by 3,625 schools in the region.

"Judging from the weather conditions and the distribution of drowning areas in the past, our system can now send warning messages to the school staff registered in the system so that they can have time to take precautionary measures," Deng said. Some senior teachers remain on duty during the summer holiday.

When temperatures and humidity are high, people are more likely to go swimming, increasing the chances that someone may drown, Deng said.

The system is also trying to collect information about students who go swimming without schools' or parents' permission so that it can send messages to their parents if they do so again.

"The system is not designed for schools exclusively, but also open to the public," Deng said. "Actually, we need more people to be involved to prevent drowning. The more, the better."

People can reach the system by searching for "gxxyaq" in WeChat, an account focused on Guangxi campus safety.

Deng said people can check the high-risk areas and add information about spots where people have drowned to the online system after verification.

"If people catch students jumping in the water, they can report it to the security staff through the system on their phone," Deng said.

Drowning is one of the main causes of students' deaths from accidents, especially when the rainy season begins during summer vacation, said Zhou Xianxing, director of the regional education department's campus security division.

"The system is necessary and helpful," Zhou said. "The local governments will patrol these places, check whether warning signs are set up, and ensure that a long pole for use in rescues is prepared."

Zhou said schools will also be able to take students to the spots where drownings have occurred for safety lessons, something that could not have been done before.

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[Child-friendly destinations hot among summer travelers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/15/content_37491646.htm

Family trips are on the rise this summer, with attractions that cater to travelers with children preferred, travel agencies said.

Also, theme parks with water-related entertainment programs and places featuring cooler weather are attractive to visitors seeking to avoid the summer heat.

Tuniu, an online travel agency headquartered in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, said 21 percent of people reserving summer tours this year were taking one child with them, while 10 percent were traveling with two children thanks to the relaxation of the family planning policy.

The agency said the summer holiday is "family time" for many parents, who choose to take leave to travel with their children. Theme parks or zoos featuring cute animals and entertainment are the most popular choices.

It said the top five destinations during the summer holiday are: Shanghai Disney Resort; Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, Guangdong province; Zhuhai Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Guangdong; Haichang Ocean Park in Shanghai; and Fantawild Dreamland in Wuhu, Anhui province.

In addition to the popular theme parks, cruises have also seen a boom this summer because they offer diverse activities for travelers with children.

Qi Xin, president of Wuhan Chunqiu International Travel Service, in Hubei province, said cruises have been successful at attracting parents.

"Cruises, in general, offer many entertainment options to the passengers on board, ranging from amusement corners and kindergartens to libraries, where parents can send the kids to be looked after by staff members if they want to spend some time together," he said.

Data from Lvmama, a travel agency in Shanghai, show that cruises are popular because they offer "one-stop services" where travelers can rest, relax and enjoy good food.

Reservations for cruises in June, July and August are up 17.8 percent year-on-year according to Lvmama, most of them made by families. Japan remains the most popular destination for cruise travel.

Destinations with cooler weather are also attractive to travelers during the summer holiday.

A report by Ctrip, an online travel service provider in Shanghai, said that Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has emerged as an attractive summer destination for domestic visitors. One attraction is the cooler weather to be found in nearby mountain areas.

The report said Urumqi's improved infrastructure and travel services have also helped make it one of the most popular domestic summer destinations this year. The others are: Shanghai; Beijing; Guangzhou; Kunming, Yunnan province; Chengdu, Sichuan province; Sanya, Hainan province; Xi'an, Shaanxi province; Shenzhen, Guangdong province; and Chongqing.

Many Chinese travelers are also choosing to venture abroad during the summer holiday, to places such as Japan, Thailand and Singapore.

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2019-07-15 07:38:01
<![CDATA[Domestically built icebreaker enters service]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491248.htm China's second - and the first domestically built - research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, entered service in Shanghai on Thursday.

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Xuelong 2 to bolster China's capacity in polar research and expeditions

China's second - and the first domestically built - research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, entered service in Shanghai on Thursday.

The ship was delivered to its user - the Polar Research Institute of China under the Ministry of Natural Resources - at a commissioning ceremony at Jiangnan Shipyard Group, which built the vessel.

The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the icebreaker's service will enable China to better support its polar research and expeditions.

The Xuelong 2 project was organized by the polar research institute. The ship 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 December 2016.

Both the Marine Design and Research Institute and Jiangnan Shipyard Group are parts of China State Shipbuilding Corp, a State-owned shipbuilding conglomerate.

Xuelong 2 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 up to 37,000 km in a single voyage and sustain 60-day expeditions with 90 crew members and researchers, according to China State Shipbuilding Corp.

Featuring a state-of-the-art design and advanced equipment, the icebreaker is capable of operating in any ocean around the world.

It is equipped with world-class oceanographic survey and monitoring apparatus, allowing experts to carry out research into polar regions' physical oceanography, biodiversity and atmospheric and environmental conditions, as well as conduct fishery resources surveys.

Wu Gang, chief designer of the icebreaker at the Marine Design and Research Institute, said the vessel is designed to break 1.5-m thick ice at speeds of 2 to 3 knots and can operate in temperatures as low as -30 C.

He said the vessel has good maneuverability and adheres to strict environmental protection standards. The designer also said it features user-friendly designs such as optimized cold-proof measures and sufficient storage space for fresh water.

Before the delivery of Xuelong 2, China operated a single icebreaker, Xuelong, which was designed for cargo transportation when it was built in Ukraine in 1993. Xuelong was purchased by China and converted to a polar research and resupply vessel. It has carried out dozens of scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

After the commissioning, researchers will test and fine-tune scientific instruments on Xuelong 2 before its first operation, the nation's 36th Antarctic expedition that has been scheduled for the coming months of this year, together with Xuelong, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Qin Weijia, director of the ministry's polar expedition office, said that Xuelong 2 is one of the world's best research icebreakers, noting its service will enable Chinese scientists to extensively extend their stay in polar regions and help the country narrow its gap with polar research powers like the United States.

According to Wu, Chinese researchers have begun design work on a next-generation icebreaker that will be more advanced than Xuelong 2.

He explained that the next-generation icebreaker will be able to break ice about 3-m thick and endure temperatures as low as-45 C.

China has been paying huge attention to scientific research and peaceful development in polar regions. It has conducted 35 Antarctic expeditions and nine Arctic expeditions.

The government has also published guidelines to support research and development of advanced ships for polar scientific and resource survey operations.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Rainy weather to end in south next week and then move north]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491247.htm Heavy rain that has battered South China for about a month will last till Tuesday and then move to North China.

The National Meteorological Center said on Thursday that for the next five days, there will be two more rounds of heavy rain in South China, especially in Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, with an accumulated precipitation of 100 to 200 millimeters.

Fang Chong, a chief forecaster of the center, said the subtropical high has remained in southern areas for a long time.

"From July 12 to 14, heavy rain of about 150 mm will move eastward to the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. For the next two days, it will go northward to Anhui province," he said.

"After July 17, rainfall in the south will decline and hot weather will linger in these areas. Meanwhile, rainfall will begin to increase in northern areas," he added.

Since the flooding season began in June, southern provinces have received seven rounds of heavy downpours with average precipitation of about 476 mm, up 51 percent compared to the same period in previous years, the center said.

The continuous heavy rain has caused natural disasters including landslides and flooding.

Twenty-two people have been killed by disasters caused by heavy rain in Jiangxi province since June, the local flood control headquarters said at a news conference on Thursday. Through July 9, the Ministry of Emergency Management has organized the rescue efforts of about 6,400 people stranded by floods nationwide.

More than 1.63 million people in seven provincial regions in southern China, including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region have been affected by the heavy rainfall, the ministry said.

About 1,600 houses collapsed, and 126,100 hectares of farmland have been hit by the floods, leading to economic losses of 2.69 billion yuan ($390 million).

 

A main road leading to Hengdong county, Hunan province, was submerged by floodwaters on Thursday. The levee of a nearby river had two bursts of about 50 and 30 meters on Wednesday, leaving several villages soaked. Yang Huafeng / For China Daily

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Science official expelled over graft]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491246.htm Chen Gang, a senior official with the China Association for Science and Technology, has been dismissed from public office and expelled from the Communist Party of China for a serious violation of discipline and law, the top anti-graft watchdog announced on Thursday.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement that the 53-year-old former secretary of the association's secretariat was found to have abused his power to build luxurious gardens for personal use.

Chen occupied luxury hotel suites for years without paying and accepted tourism offers that could have affected the fair performance of official duties, the statement said.

The CCDI said Chen is economically greedy and that he used his power for planning and approval to enrich himself and his relatives. His extravagant lifestyle and moral degradation have seriously tarnished the image of the Party.

Chen had failed to restrain himself after the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, when the central leadership stepped up its efforts to crack down on corruption, and he should be dealt with without leniency, it said.

The statement added that Chen has been expelled from Party and his office in accordance with relevant regulations and laws, stripped of illegal gains and will be handed over to prosecutors for suspected crimes.

Chen, who started his career in 1989 as a teacher at Tsinghua University, was appointed as a member of the CAST's Party Committee last year. He was placed under investigation in January.

China Daily

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[80% of villages have joined fight against pollution]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491245.htm More than 80 percent of villages in China have joined a national campaign aimed at fighting pollution and improving the living environment in rural areas, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Thursday.

In the first half of the year, more than 50,000 domestic garbage treatment facilities and 80,000 waste water treatment facilities were under construction in rural areas, said Li Weiguo, director of social affairs development department at the ministry.

More than 40 million metric tons of domestic garbage and 30 million tons of sludge in rural areas were properly treated over the past six months, he said. Li added that 4 million sections of broken walls were also removed in the period, significantly improving the appearance of many villages.

Initial statistics show that domestic garbage is now being effectively treated in more than 80 percent of all villages. The discharge of untreated sewage in rural areas has also seen great declines, he said.

As an important part of the overall effort, the upgrading of existing toilets, many of which fail to meet basic sanitary standards, has also made progress. More than 10 million toilet facilities in rural areas were rebuilt last year, 60 percent of which are now equipped with proper waste treatment equipment, he said.

In addition, construction work started in the first half of the year to upgrade another 10 million toilet facilities in rural areas, he said.

The government has been increasing investment to improve people's living environment in rural areas in recent years. The ministry has intensified efforts to work with related departments since last year, including allocating a special fund of 7 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) to promote toilet upgrading, Li said.

According to a three-year plan released by the State Council in February 2018, the living environment in rural areas will notably improve by the end of 2020. It aims for 100 percent implementation of domestic garbage treatment systems and sanitary toilets in more developed rural areas, and significant improvement in other rural areas.

Wang Yan, an inspector at the ministry's Planning and Finance Department, said the ministry has carried out various policies to support improvement of the living environment in rural areas. These include working with the Ministry of Finance to increase subsidies and finances to upgrade toilet facilities over the next five years, so all waste can be properly treated.

Another 3 billion yuan has been allocated to support 141 counties in the less developed west and middle areas of the country to assist them in improving living environment facilities, he said.

"The living environment in rural areas urgently needs improving for modernization of agriculture and rural areas, which is also an important part of the efforts to rejuvenate rural areas," he said.

Yu Fawen, a researcher in rural environments at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the living environment in rural areas has been long undermined by problems such as discharge of untreated sewage and garbage and a lack of sanitary toilets with basic facilities. This has become a major challenge for the rejuvenation of rural areas.

"Authorities should make detailed and customized plans on improving the living environment based on different conditions of different villages and avoid arbitrarily carrying out projects," he said. "The government should increase investment in improving infrastructure, while nongovernment organizations, enterprises and individuals should be encouraged to participate in the cause."

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Over 700 passengers ferried as new sea route opens between Pingtan, Taiwan]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491244.htm A direct sea route linking Pingtan off the east coast of Fujian province and Kaohsiung in southwestern Taiwan opened for its first trip on Thursday.

A ferry carrying 700 passengers to Kaohsiung took about 4.5 hours to cover 178 nautical miles, the Fujian Cross Straits Ferry Co said.

Now that the route has opened, irregular sailings will be carried out based on passenger numbers and the weather conditions. The ship sailing schedule will be released in time for the public to buy tickets, according to the company.

It is the third sea route carrying passengers from Pingtan to Taiwan. With the latest opening, Pingtan now has passenger routes linking it to northern, central and southern Taiwan.

A ship route from Pingtan to Taichung in central Taiwan was opened in 2011. Two years later, ferry services from Pingtan to Taipei in Taiwan's north began.

"Thanks to the short distance, there are speed and price advantages," said Chen Shanguang, a senior Party official in Pingtan. "Now there is a passenger ship running from Pingtan to Taiwan every day, which will boost tourism and trade on the two sides."

Zhang Siwei, manager of the business department of the ferry company, said transport in Taiwan is mainly concentrated in the north.

"People in the south have less transport options out of the island, especially in terms of ships, so the opening of the route will bring convenience to passengers in the south," Zhang said.

"Southern Taiwan is a major producer of agricultural and fishery products, which are mainly exported through Kaohsiung. The route will help to maintain the freshness of the exported products," he added.

Wu Chen-yen, from Kaohsiung, who has been working for a Taiwan-funded engineering company in Pingtan for seven years, said it was now easier for him to go home.

"Before I had to take three or four different means of transport to get home," he said.

"Many of my friends are also excited. I believe more residents in south Taiwan will take the ship to visit the mainland," he added.

Pingtan, an island off the coast of Fujian, is taking innovative measures to help Taiwan residents settle there.

Taiwan residents who take the ships and enter the mainland through the port need travel permits issued by mainland public security officials, and they can apply for the permits at the port.

From 2011 to this month, more than 900,000 passengers have been cleared for entry and exit in Pingtan, according to local border control authorities.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Draft rules aim to strengthen child protection]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491243.htm Stronger protection of toddlers and improved governance of child care services are contained in draft rules for the sector released recently by the top health regulator.

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Mistreatment could lead to blacklisting; better surveillance, alarm systems sought

Stronger protection of toddlers and improved governance of child care services are contained in draft rules for the sector released recently by the top health regulator.

A blacklist of institutions and individuals who have mistreated infants and young children will be established, and violators will be banned from the child care sector, according to the draft rules published by the National Health Commission, which are open for public feedback until Aug 8.

The draft, which will apply to nurseries looking after children under 3 years old, requires that surveillance and alarm systems operate around the clock in all areas children frequent.

"Security footage should be stored for no less than 90 days, and it is forbidden to stop recording or to alter or delete footage for no proper reason," it added.

The proposed rules come as the country's booming child care sector has been rocked by a string of child abuse scandals in preschools in recent years, which have prompted strong calls for improved oversight of the industry.

One high-profile case involved a day care center in Shanghai owned by travel service provider Ctrip. Eight employees were detained in November 2017 for physically abusing toddlers at the center and rubbing wasabi on their mouths and hands to intimidate them. They confessed to the offenses in court in September.

The new draft aims for a zero tolerance policy against assaults on children and calls for enhancing legal awareness among staff members at nurseries.

Children's health status should also be closely observed by workers and abnormalities reported to their parents or custodians.

If evidence of domestic violence is detected, the institution is required to report it to the police immediately, the draft says.

Demand for quality and affordable child care services has been growing in China, especially after the country adopted the second-child policy in early 2016 that allows a couple to have two children.

The National Health Commission said in May that there are about 50 million children in China under 3 years old.

To foster development of qualified nursery services, the commission has also published a set of draft standards for public comment that lays out specific requirements on facilities and staffing levels.

It requires that each institution set up separate zones for dining, sleeping, leisure activities and storage as well as restrooms and safe outdoor playgrounds. The average space for each child at a nursery should be no less than 3 square meters.

The draft encourages more attention be paid to children of migrant workers in urban areas, and both new and older neighborhoods are asked to provide enough child care resources for local residents.

Huang Kuangshi, a researcher with the China Population and Development Research Center, said that the two documents are likely to fill the regulatory void in the child care sector.

The national draft rules are expected to ease the pressure of child-rearing and complement policies relating to the country's family planning agenda, Huang said.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Probe to follow accidents, claims of shoddy rail work]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491242.htm Qingdao city government will launch a safety and quality inspection campaign of all its subway construction projects after two metro lines were hit recently by accidents and claims of substandard work.

All other major construction projects in the seaport city in Shandong province will also be inspected.

Authorities have set up three investigation teams since June 28 to screen all construction projects, including the labor subcontracts.

The inspections are focusing on risks related to improper construction methods, poor management and geological weaknesses.

A worker died last Thursday after a building collapsed at a construction site on the No 1 metro line, creating a 10-meter wide hole that the worker fell into.

On May 27, five workers were trapped and later lost their lives after another collapse at a construction site on the No 4 metro line.

A former contractor involved in work on the power supply for the metro project told local media last month that construction work was substandard and potentially hazardous.

The revelation led to the suspension of the general manager of the No 1 line.

Qingdao Vice-Mayor Liu Jianjun said the government was placing great importance on the investigation and had invited an academician to join the team to improve its professionalism.

"Besides that, we have garnered joint support from the departments of discipline inspection, public security, the procuratorate, the courts and the housing and urban-rural development authorities, as well as lawyers," Liu said in an interview with Dazhong Daily. "The investigation and inspection will be serious and thorough."

Zhang Jiangang, director of the Qingdao Emergency Management Bureau, said efforts were being made to ensure the ongoing investigations are conducted openly.

On Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency called for the Qingdao metro project to be open to close scrutiny.

The agency said there were a number of "thought-provoking questions" relating to potential safety hazards, unlawful acts and the two accidents that occurred in such a short period of time, as well as the issue of safety supervision from different parties including investors, builders and supervisors.

The Qingdao metro has four lines in service and is constructing another five to extend the network.

The No 1 line under construction is a major transport artery linking downtown Qingdao to Huangdao district with a tunnel section under the sea.

The No 4 line will link downtown Qingdao from west to east, passing through the European-style Shinan district to the newly developed Laoshan district.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Green, efficient shipping reforms planned to lift maritime sector]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491241.htm China will build a green and efficient shipping system to achieve high quality development of the maritime sector, a senior official said on Thursday.

"We will strive to realize high quality development in the sector, making China a world leading maritime powerhouse to prop up the nation's economic and social development," said Liu Xiaoming, vice-minster of transport, at the China Maritime Forum 2019 in Ningbo. The forum is a major event to mark the 15th Maritime Day of China, which fell on Thursday.

Due to its huge freight volumes and low transport fees, the shipping sector serves as the main transport method of international trade, providing pivotal support to the international industrial relocation and segmentation of production of global multinationals.

"So, pushing ahead with high development is vital. There is also an urgent need to lower costs during the process of global economic integration, thus enabling enterprises to allocate effective resources on a larger scale," he said.

Liu called for better innovation in the maritime service sector and the speeding up of application of technologies such as AI, 5G and the Beidou Navigation Satellite System to boost the development of smart shipping, to make China "a true shipping powerhouse globally".

Also on Thursday, a proclamation was jointly issued by the Transport, Foreign Affairs and Natural Resources ministries and other government agencies to call on maritime-related workers and professionals to work together in advancing the interconnectivity, high level openness and high quality development of the maritime Silk Road in the New Era.

China's maritime sector has seen significant advancement in recent years, with Chinese ports currently taking up seven seats among the world's top-10 largest ports in terms of handling capacity and containers throughput.

The scale of China's cargo fleet currently ranks second globally, with the average vessel three years younger than the global average, sources from the Ministry of Transport show.

Mao Jianhong, chairman of the Zhejiang Provincial Seaport Investment & Operation Group Co Ltd and president of the Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, said at the forum that the company will strive to introduce more foreign investors to make contributions in mineral, oil and other industries in the port area. Mao is also looking to attract more high value-added shipping service companies to the port, thus realizing mutually beneficial outcomes through the integration of port and shipping.

Annual cargo surpassed 1 billion metric tons at Ningbo Zhoushan Port in 2018, making the port the first in the world to exceed such volume.

The annual container count at the port has hit a record high of 26 million standard containers, ranking among the top three ports in the world.

By the end of 2018, the port had launched three new sea routes to raise its total to 246.

Wang Ying in Shanghai contributed to this story.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Shanghai still 4th in global port index]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491240.htm Shanghai maintained its fourth position among international shipping centers, following Singapore, Hong Kong and London, according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index published on Thursday.

The index was published at three global shipping centers in Shanghai, Singapore and London, according to Mark Jackson, CEO of the Baltic Exchange.

Jackson said the three cities are home to three of the world's greatest shipping centers, and each has its own strengths and specialization.

"The growth of China is reflected through Shanghai and the shipping industry," Jackson said.

Shipping service is the core factor for assessing the competitiveness of international shipping centers. Another list released on Thursday showed this year's top 10 port cities with the best shipping services are: London; Singapore; Shanghai; Hong Kong; Athens, Greece; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Mumbai, India; Hamburg, Germany; Houston, Texas; and New York-New Jersey.

"Although the global shipping business is growing at a slower pace, Shanghai maintains its steady progress toward building a global shipping center," said Cao Wenzhong, vice-president of the Xinhua News Agency China Economic Information Service.

Since the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index was launched in 2014, Shanghai's ranking has increased from seventh to fourth.

"Shanghai's development into a global shipping center cannot be realized without the deepened and integrated collaboration of the Yangtze River Delta region as a whole. It requires the region to take a bigger role for its global competitiveness and influence," said Zhang Lin, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission.

The index was published in Shanghai during the Yangtze River Delta Shipping Integration Development Forum to celebrate the 15th Maritime Day of China that fell on Thursday.

A union for shipping innovative development of the Yangtze River Delta region was created during the forum on Thursday. According to its initiative, the union looks to promote the integration of the shipping and port-related industries across the region.

Ten Chinese ports were listed on the index, which evaluates the world's 43 major shipping centers against criteria including three primary indicators of port conditions, shipping services and general environment.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Public legal services to be fully implemented by 2035]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/14/content_37491239.htm China is expected to establish a convenient, efficient and equitable modern public legal service system that covers both urban and rural areas by 2022, according to a newly issued document.

On Wednesday, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued a guideline on accelerating the construction of the public legal service in China.

According to the guideline, a public legal service system that matches the goal of building a ruleof-law country, government and society is expected to be fully implemented by 2035. By that time, the network of public legal service will cover all areas, the service mechanism will be improved and high-quality and an efficient public legal service will be guaranteed.

"In the long run, balanced development of basic public legal services would basically be achieved in China, and people's satisfaction with legal services and public trust in society would be significantly improved," said Li Mingzheng, the head of the Rule of Law Research Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

A more high quality public legal service will be supplied to ensure the service is available in all aspects of people's lives so the public can enjoy the convenience and efficiency of the services, said Jiang Jing, an inspector of the Public Legal Services Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

The ministry will also take advantage of the internet to establish new media platforms for popularization, Jiang said. "People will first need to be made aware of the existence and convenience of public legal services, and then they will prefer to use legal channels to solve disputes."

There are websites, hotlines and service centers offering public legal services around the country. From May 2018 to July 9, 2019, the Legal Services of China website was visited 196 million times. About 5 million people received legal advice and more than 750,000 free legal opinions were offered on the website.

The number of people who consulted the hotline 12348 in the first half of this year was 2.44 million. Furthermore, there are over 40,000 physical service centers around the country. More centers will be built this year, according to the ministry.

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2019-07-14 14:22:42
<![CDATA[Crawfish love drives chefs' salaries high]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/13/content_37491215.htm Graduates trained in cooking the crustaceans earn double the average

Almost China's national snack, people's strong love for crawfish has meant graduates who specialize in the dish can earn twice as much as others with college degrees.

Thirty-five graduates who studied how to cook crawfish - also called crayfish - for two years, obtained vocational degrees from Qianjiang Crayfish School in Hubei province recently.

Twenty-nine of them have already secured jobs with average monthly salaries of more than 10,000 yuan ($1,457) due to the large demand for crawfish chefs, said Wang Zhongqiu, a teacher at the vocational college. He added that the other six graduates decided to open their own crawfish restaurant.

According to a report by Mycos, an educational research company, the average monthly salary for college graduates in China was 4,624 yuan in 2018.

It is quite common for crawfish chefs with more than three years' experience to earn 30,000-50,000 yuan a month and the school plans to enroll another 200 students in crawfish-related majors this year, Wang said.

The school first introduced three majors related to the cooking, marketing and management of crawfish in 2017 and became the first and only college nurturing talent for the crawfish industry, he said.

"Apart from the three majors, it plans to open a new major in crawfish breeding. From raising baby crawfish, transporting them to the restaurant and finally bring the dishes to the table, we want to cultivate talent in all crawfish-related areas."

Despite the good pay, the work is onerous. Chefs have to work overtime and some have to cook hundreds of kilograms of crawfish each day, Wang said.

The peak season for crawfish is from March to November, so they will earn much less during the slow season, he added.

Huang Yu, 21, is a graduate from the crawfish school. He has opened a crawfish restaurant with his family in Yichang, Hubei province, his hometown.

His restaurant can accommodate several hundred people. He has hired several crawfish chefs, who can earn more than 12,000 yuan per month.

"Although catering is a highly competitive industry, I am optimistic about the restaurant's prospects," he said.

Yu Dashuang, another graduate from the school, found a job at a crawfish restaurant chain in Beijing in April. When he was interning at the restaurant, he could make 8,000 yuan a month. After he received his diploma, his monthly salary increased to around 15,000 yuan, he said.

China is the world's largest producer of crawfish, with annual production of around 1.13 million metric tons in 2017, according to a report by the bureau of fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Crawfish was the most popular dish ordered on consumer app Meituan-Dianping in 2017. Meituan reports that the crawfish market was worth more than $14 billion that year, which is about 4 percent of the total Chinese food service market.

"Eating crawfish is not only about its spicy and hot flavor. When friends gather at sidewalk snack booths in summer, it becomes communal eating with a fun atmosphere," said Wang Hao, a frequent crawfish eater in Changsha, Hunan province.

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2019-07-13 06:25:21
<![CDATA[Foreign student program causes stir]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/13/content_37491214.htm

Shandong University has apologized for the negative social impact caused by its buddy program that implies local female students will be selected to aid male foreign students who live and study at the school.

The university said in a statement on Friday that online comments on its buddy program aroused public attention recently.

Due to insufficient checks during the implementation of the program, the improper expression, "making friends with foreigners of the opposite sex" appeared on the application form, the statement said.

"We would like to express our sincere appreciation for people from all walks of life concerning the development of Shandong University, and be sincere about the criticism and suggestions of the vast number of netizens," the statement said.

The buddy program, which was introduced in late 2016, has not been reviewed properly, the statement said.

On Thursday, netizens strongly criticized the program after a Weibo posting said three local students, including women, had been selected to assist one foreign student.

The university denied the claim, but conceded the program had flaws because of insufficient reviews.

"The university will conduct an overall assessment on the buddy program to improve the program's performance," said the statement.

The buddy program aims to promote study and cultural exchanges between international and Chinese students, the statement said. Students who join the program carry out activities in teams and students are required to strictly obey its regulations.

The program, which matches students with common interests and hobbies, has been welcomed by both domestic and foreign students, the university said.

"The program is actually a win-win situation for both parties. It's the best opportunity for learning about new languages and cultures," Mohammad Rasheduzzaman, a student from Bangladesh studying at the university, said.

A temporary regulation published by the school's international affairs office in 2016 shows the longest time a student can join the program is one year.

After that the student has to present a written application to continue in the program.

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2019-07-13 06:25:21
<![CDATA[Search widens for girl taken by duo who were later found dead in lake]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/13/content_37491213.htm The search has intensified for a 9-year-old girl from Zhejiang province whose mysterious disappearance almost a week ago has grabbed hearts and headlines across the country.

Zhang Zixin lived with her paternal grandparents in Chun'an, the rural part of the province's capital, Hangzhou. She was taken from her home on July 4 by a couple who had rented a room in her grandparents' house for less than two weeks.

The couple told the grandfather that they wanted to borrow the child as "a flower girl for a friend's wedding in Shanghai" and promised to bring her back afterwards.

The family lost contact with the girl on the afternoon of July 7.

On the morning of the next day, the bodies of the couple, both aged in their 40s and from Guangdong province, were found in a lake a one-hour drive from the spot the last image of the girl was recorded at. Local police said it's likely that the couple committed suicide by drowning.

The girl was last seen with the two suspects in surveillance camera footage taken on Sunday night near Songlanshan Beach.

The couple were spotted by a camera three hours later in a taxi without the girl. The taxi driver recalled hearing no conversation between the couple over the hour-long ride, according to Beijing News.

Land searches since Monday around the area Zhang Zixin was last seen at have found no trace of the girl and efforts have shifted mainly to the sea.

A statement issued on Thursday evening by authorities in the province's Xiangshan county, said the search force had increased from 300 to 500 people, including police, fishermen and local residents.

The search area has expanded from 3.7 kilometers to 37 km with the help of drones, rescue dogs and speedboats.

The search will continue over the weekend, authorities said.

Zhang Zixin's grandmother said that the couple had been living in a motel next to her fruit store for two weeks before asking to rent a room. The offer was made in late June, soon after the couple saw the girl. The couple canceled their flights to leave after the grandparents agreed to the rental of 500 yuan ($73) per month, the grandmother said.

The girl had been living with her grandparents for years after her parents separated and each left to work in bigger cities.

The girl's father was in close contact with the couple as they took his daughter on the road, receiving videos and photos every day till Sunday afternoon. He called the police on Monday morning.

After the case sparked national attention, the mother fell under suspicion when she returned to Chun'an to sign divorce papers on Monday. The mother, who gave birth to the girl at the age of 17 and hasn't seen her daughter in years, said she knew nothing of the girl's disappearance till Wednesday, when a relative told her about it.

One of the suspects, surnamed Liang, had a son and daughter back in his hometown, but rarely visited or contacted them. The brother of the woman, surnamed Xie, said the couple had been living together for over a decade but never married.

Based on Liang's social media postings, the pair had traveled to 21 cities since March.

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2019-07-13 06:25:21
<![CDATA[Hospital successfully transplants kidneys from baby into woman]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/13/content_37491212.htm

Doctors in Hubei province have successfully transplanted kidneys from a prematurely born donor baby into a 47-year-old woman suffering from kidney failure.

The donor weighed only 1.3 kilograms, the lightest kidney donor ever reported, Wuhan Union Hospital said on Wednesday.

The woman, surnamed Wang, from Duchang county, Jiangxi province, was diagnosed with uremia in June last year and transplant surgery performed a month later.

Without the transplant, she would have had to rely on blood dialysis for the rest of her life.

The kidneys used in the surgery were from a baby born prematurely, whose parents decided to donate the organs after the infant died, the hospital said.

Following a year of follow-up treatment, the baby's kidneys, which were between 3 and 4 centimeters long when transplanted, have grown to 6.9 cm and 7.6 cm in the patient's body, closer to the usual size of 10 cm for an adult.

The two kidneys are functioning normally and Wang's health has recovered, the hospital said.

Transplant surgeries using kidneys donated by infants are very difficult compared with kidneys donated by adults. Generally, infants that weigh less than 5 kg are not considered as sources of organs for transplant surgeries abroad, the hospital said.

Wang Zhendi, a transplant surgeon in the hospital and the woman's doctor, said the blood vessels and ureter, a tube that carries urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder, are very thin in infants' kidneys. This makes precise surgery very difficult, with higher chances of post-surgery complications. It is also more difficult for such kidneys to function in an adult's body as they are not fully developed.

"The less the weight of the donor, the slower the kidney recovers functioning in the body where it is transplanted," he said.

Although an adult can survive with just one kidney, usually two kidneys are transplanted from an infant to improve the chances of a healthy outcome, he said.

The success of the surgery means sources for kidney transplant surgeries can be expanded to include infant donors. This will ease the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of patients with terminal kidney disease waiting for transplant surgery in China, the hospital said.

In Wuhan Union Hospital alone, more than 500 registered patients with kidney failure are waiting for suitable organs for transplantation, the hospital said.

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2019-07-13 06:25:21
<![CDATA[Draft rules aim to strengthen child protection]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490816.htm Stronger protection of toddlers and improved governance of child care services are contained in draft rules for the sector released recently by the top health regulator.

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Mistreatment could lead to blacklisting; better surveillance, alarm systems sought

Stronger protection of toddlers and improved governance of child care services are contained in draft rules for the sector released recently by the top health regulator.

A blacklist of institutions and individuals who have mistreated infants and young children will be established, and violators will be banned from the child care sector, according to the draft rules published by the National Health Commission, which are open for public feedback until Aug 8.

The draft, which will apply to nurseries looking after children under 3 years old, requires that surveillance and alarm systems operate around the clock in all areas children frequent.

"Security footage should be stored for no less than 90 days, and it is forbidden to stop recording or to alter or delete footage for no proper reason," it added.

The proposed rules come as the country's booming child care sector has been rocked by a string of child abuse scandals in preschools in recent years, which have prompted strong calls for improved oversight of the industry.

One high-profile case involved a day care center in Shanghai owned by travel service provider Ctrip. Eight employees were detained in November 2017 for physically abusing toddlers at the center and rubbing wasabi on their mouths and hands to intimidate them. They confessed to the offenses in court in September.

The new draft aims for a zero tolerance policy against assaults on children and calls for enhancing legal awareness among staff members at nurseries.

Children's health status should also be closely observed by workers and abnormalities reported to their parents or custodians.

If evidence of domestic violence is detected, the institution is required to report it to the police immediately, the draft says.

Demand for quality and affordable child care services has been growing in China, especially after the country adopted the second-child policy in early 2016 that allows a couple to have two children.

The National Health Commission said in May that there are about 50 million children in China under 3 years old.

To foster development of qualified nursery services, the commission has also published a set of draft standards for public comment that lays out specific requirements on facilities and staffing levels.

It requires that each institution set up separate zones for dining, sleeping, leisure activities and storage as well as restrooms and safe outdoor playgrounds. The average space for each child at a nursery should be no less than 3 square meters.

The draft encourages more attention be paid to children of migrant workers in urban areas, and both new and older neighborhoods are asked to provide enough child care resources for local residents.

Huang Kuangshi, a researcher with the China Population and Development Research Center, said that the two documents are likely to fill the regulatory void in the child care sector.

The national draft rules are expected to ease the pressure of child-rearing and complement policies relating to the country's family planning agenda, Huang said.

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2019-07-12 07:56:08
<![CDATA[Probe to follow accidents, claims of shoddy rail work]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490815.htm

Qingdao city government will launch a safety and quality inspection campaign of all its subway construction projects after two metro lines were hit recently by accidents and claims of substandard work.

All other major construction projects in the seaport city in Shandong province will also be inspected.

Authorities have set up three investigation teams since June 28 to screen all construction projects, including the labor subcontracts.

The inspections are focusing on risks related to improper construction methods, poor management and geological weaknesses.

A worker died last Thursday after a building collapsed at a construction site on the No 1 metro line, creating a 10-meter wide hole that the worker fell into.

On May 27, five workers were trapped and later lost their lives after another collapse at a construction site on the No 4 metro line.

A former contractor involved in work on the power supply for the metro project told local media last month that construction work was substandard and potentially hazardous.

The revelation led to the suspension of the general manager of the No 1 line.

Qingdao Vice-Mayor Liu Jianjun said the government was placing great importance on the investigation and had invited an academician to join the team to improve its professionalism.

"Besides that, we have garnered joint support from the departments of discipline inspection, public security, the procuratorate, the courts and the housing and urban-rural development authorities, as well as lawyers," Liu said in an interview with Dazhong Daily. "The investigation and inspection will be serious and thorough."

Zhang Jiangang, director of the Qingdao Emergency Management Bureau, said efforts were being made to ensure the ongoing investigations are conducted openly.

On Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency called for the Qingdao metro project to be open to close scrutiny.

The agency said there were a number of "thought-provoking questions" relating to potential safety hazards, unlawful acts and the two accidents that occurred in such a short period of time, as well as the issue of safety supervision from different parties including investors, builders and supervisors.

The Qingdao metro has four lines in service and is constructing another five to extend the network.

The No 1 line under construction is a major transport artery linking downtown Qingdao to Huangdao district with a tunnel section under the sea.

The No 4 line will link downtown Qingdao from west to east, passing through the European-style Shinan district to the newly developed Laoshan district.

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2019-07-12 07:56:08
<![CDATA[Green, efficient shipping reforms planned to lift maritime sector]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490814.htm China will build a green and efficient shipping system to achieve high quality development of the maritime sector, a senior official said on Thursday.

"We will strive to realize high quality development in the sector, making China a world leading maritime powerhouse to prop up the nation's economic and social development," said Liu Xiaoming, vice-minster of transport, at the China Maritime Forum 2019 in Ningbo. The forum is a major event to mark the 15th Maritime Day of China, which fell on Thursday.

Due to its huge freight volumes and low transport fees, the shipping sector serves as the main transport method of international trade, providing pivotal support to the international industrial relocation and segmentation of production of global multinationals.

"So, pushing ahead with high development is vital. There is also an urgent need to lower costs during the process of global economic integration, thus enabling enterprises to allocate effective resources on a larger scale," he said.

Liu called for better innovation in the maritime service sector and the speeding up of application of technologies such as AI, 5G and the Beidou Navigation Satellite System to boost the development of smart shipping, to make China "a true shipping powerhouse globally".

Also on Thursday, a proclamation was jointly issued by the Transport, Foreign Affairs and Natural Resources ministries and other government agencies to call on maritime-related workers and professionals to work together in advancing the interconnectivity, high level openness and high quality development of the maritime Silk Road in the New Era.

China's maritime sector has seen significant advancement in recent years, with Chinese ports currently taking up seven seats among the world's top-10 largest ports in terms of handling capacity and containers throughput.

The scale of China's cargo fleet currently ranks second globally, with the average vessel three years younger than the global average, sources from the Ministry of Transport show.

Mao Jianhong, chairman of the Zhejiang Provincial Seaport Investment & Operation Group Co Ltd and president of the Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, said at the forum that the company will strive to introduce more foreign investors to make contributions in mineral, oil and other industries in the port area. Mao is also looking to attract more high value-added shipping service companies to the port, thus realizing mutually beneficial outcomes through the integration of port and shipping.

Annual cargo surpassed 1 billion metric tons at Ningbo Zhoushan Port in 2018, making the port the first in the world to exceed such volume.

The annual container count at the port has hit a record high of 26 million standard containers, ranking among the top three ports in the world.

By the end of 2018, the port had launched three new sea routes to raise its total to 246.

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2019-07-12 07:56:08
<![CDATA[Shanghai still 4th in global port index]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490813.htm Shanghai maintained its fourth position among international shipping centers, following Singapore, Hong Kong and London, according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index published on Thursday.

The index was published at three global shipping centers in Shanghai, Singapore and London, according to Mark Jackson, CEO of the Baltic Exchange.

Jackson said the three cities are home to three of the world's greatest shipping centers, and each has its own strengths and specialization.

"The growth of China is reflected through Shanghai and the shipping industry," Jackson said.

Shipping service is the core factor for assessing the competitiveness of international shipping centers. Another list released on Thursday showed this year's top 10 port cities with the best shipping services are: London; Singapore; Shanghai; Hong Kong; Athens, Greece; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Mumbai, India; Hamburg, Germany; Houston, Texas; and New York-New Jersey.

"Although the global shipping business is growing at a slower pace, Shanghai maintains its steady progress toward building a global shipping center," said Cao Wenzhong, vice-president of the Xinhua News Agency China Economic Information Service.

Since the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index was launched in 2014, Shanghai's ranking has increased from seventh to fourth.

"Shanghai's development into a global shipping center cannot be realized without the deepened and integrated collaboration of the Yangtze River Delta region as a whole. It requires the region to take a bigger role for its global competitiveness and influence," said Zhang Lin, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission.

The index was published in Shanghai during the Yangtze River Delta Shipping Integration Development Forum to celebrate the 15th Maritime Day of China that fell on Thursday.

A union for shipping innovative development of the Yangtze River Delta region was created during the forum on Thursday. According to its initiative, the union looks to promote the integration of the shipping and port-related industries across the region.

Ten Chinese ports were listed on the index, which evaluates the world's 43 major shipping centers against criteria including three primary indicators of port conditions, shipping services and general environment.

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2019-07-12 07:56:08
<![CDATA[Public legal services to be fully implemented by 2035]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490812.htm

China is expected to establish a convenient, efficient and equitable modern public legal service system that covers both urban and rural areas by 2022, according to a newly issued document.

On Wednesday, the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council jointly issued a guideline on accelerating the construction of the public legal service in China.

According to the guideline, a public legal service system that matches the goal of building a ruleof-law country, government and society is expected to be fully implemented by 2035. By that time, the network of public legal service will cover all areas, the service mechanism will be improved and high-quality and an efficient public legal service will be guaranteed.

"In the long run, balanced development of basic public legal services would basically be achieved in China, and people's satisfaction with legal services and public trust in society would be significantly improved," said Li Mingzheng, the head of the Rule of Law Research Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

A more high quality public legal service will be supplied to ensure the service is available in all aspects of people's lives so the public can enjoy the convenience and efficiency of the services, said Jiang Jing, an inspector of the Public Legal Services Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

The ministry will also take advantage of the internet to establish new media platforms for popularization, Jiang said. "People will first need to be made aware of the existence and convenience of public legal services, and then they will prefer to use legal channels to solve disputes."

There are websites, hotlines and service centers offering public legal services around the country. From May 2018 to July 9, 2019, the Legal Services of China website was visited 196 million times. About 5 million people received legal advice and more than 750,000 free legal opinions were offered on the website.

The number of people who consulted the hotline 12348 in the first half of this year was 2.44 million. Furthermore, there are over 40,000 physical service centers around the country. More centers will be built this year, according to the ministry.

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2019-07-12 07:56:08
<![CDATA[Nonprofit leads crackdown on air pollution]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490811.htm Calling themselves the "Airmen", a group of young volunteers vows to bring back the blue skies by ferociously battling air pollution as grassroots inspectors.

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Social enterprise measures emissions with drones and data visualization

Calling themselves the "Airmen", a group of young volunteers vows to bring back the blue skies by ferociously battling air pollution as grassroots inspectors.

Founded in 2014, Airman Environmental Technology is a nonprofit social enterprise that carries out third-party monitoring and investigation of the industrial release of toxic pollutants, actively assists governmental inspections and provides advice for the green transformation of industries during China's war on air pollution.

In recent years, the team has conducted independent inspections in more than 90 cities throughout the country, pushing for more than 500 companies to rectify their production methods and implement reforms toward an environmentally friendly upgrade, according to the team's statement submitted for a SEE Award nomination, a privately funded prize for ecological achievements nationwide.

According to Zhao Liang, co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit, the Airman team first began their survey with no more than "a sense of smell, a pair of eyes and a cellphone with a real-time pollution detection app installed".

Gradually, they mastered advanced technologies to measure contaminants by employing drones and data visualization.

The team is regarded by local conservationists as one of the leading third-party air-quality assessor-advisors in the country, or "pollution detectives".

Zhao recalled waking up in an open field with his face covered in dark dust from the furnaces of a steel factory that he had been monitoring.

In 2014, many industries increased production activities at night when environmental inspectors were off duty, and volunteers had to stay up all night to carry out technical surveillance of the emissions.

Back then, heavy smog associated with coal, steel and winter heating industries in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region posed a grave threat to both human health and the environment.

In 2013, China launched the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in an attempt to crack down on industrial pollution, and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region now has more blue-sky days thanks to it.

In 2017, the Airmen joined a third-party expert team to look into an airborne sulfur dioxide pollution scandal in Linfen in northwestern Shanxi province. They later provided an independent report on the hazardous contamination based on UAV aerial filming and data processing technologies.

The investigation led to officials in Linfen being summoned by the country's top environmental body, and approval of new projects in the city were suspended. Linfen's mayor apologized for the lethal pollution, saying that he was "deeply sorry" and promised to take stricter action to reduce emissions.

In another case, the Airmen inspected and reported a steel plant in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, to the top environmental watchdog. The plant had been releasing industrial waste into the air and the Yangtze River.

Under governmental and public pressure, Jiujiang Ping Iron and Steel has gone through tremendous changes since then. It is now working on building an "ecological forest factory" and has applied for a 4A rating as a State-level tourist attraction.

While battling irresponsible polluters, the Airmen have also worked to raise public awareness of the consequences of air pollution, and have encouraged more people to take part in the surveillance and scrutiny.

Since 2017, the Airmen have organized a series of awareness campaigns, inviting every Chinese citizen to take photos of the sky from where they are standing and to share their images on social media, in an effort to draw greater attention to air quality.

Exhibitions of these photos are displayed across China, with the Airmen and local volunteers giving lectures and workshops on air pollution and the actions that people can take if they spot unusual industrial waste discharge.

The expert team also works with other charities to promote green lifestyle activities such as cycling, veganism and wildlife protection. The volunteers are often invited to give talks or host events in schools, teaching young children to care for the environment as "Airkids".

This year, the "defenders of the blue sky" have made ambitious plans to assist the central government in a new round of environmental inspections in the Fen-Wei mining region in Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces, as well as establishing long-term collaborations between the public and the government in cracking down on illegal industrial waste discharge and winning the war on air pollution.

 

A worker (right) with the Hainan Academy of Environmental Science explains how the automatic monitoring equipment works to students from Haikou High School at one of 59 air quality monitoring stations in Hainan province. Yuan Chen / For China Daily

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2019-07-12 07:56:08
<![CDATA[Domestically built icebreaker enters service]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490810.htm China's second - and the first domestically built - research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, entered service in Shanghai on Thursday.

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Xuelong 2 to bolster China's capacity in polar research and expeditions

China's second - and the first domestically built - research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, entered service in Shanghai on Thursday.

The ship was delivered to its user - the Polar Research Institute of China under the Ministry of Natural Resources - at a commissioning ceremony at Jiangnan Shipyard Group, which built the vessel.

The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the icebreaker's service will enable China to better support its polar research and expeditions.

The Xuelong 2 project was organized by the polar research institute. The ship 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 December 2016.

Both the Marine Design and Research Institute and Jiangnan Shipyard Group are parts of China State Shipbuilding Corp, a State-owned shipbuilding conglomerate.

Xuelong 2 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 up to 37,000 km in a single voyage and sustain 60-day expeditions with 90 crew members and researchers, according to China State Shipbuilding Corp.

Featuring a state-of-the-art design and advanced equipment, the icebreaker is capable of operating in any ocean around the world.

It is equipped with world-class oceanographic survey and monitoring apparatus, allowing experts to carry out research into polar regions' physical oceanography, biodiversity and atmospheric and environmental conditions, as well as conduct fishery resources surveys.

Wu Gang, chief designer of the icebreaker at the Marine Design and Research Institute, said the vessel is designed to break 1.5-m thick ice at speeds of 2 to 3 knots and can operate in temperatures as low as -30 C.

He said the vessel has good maneuverability and adheres to strict environmental protection standards. The designer also said it features user-friendly designs such as optimized cold-proof measures and sufficient storage space for fresh water.

Before the delivery of Xuelong 2, China operated a single icebreaker, Xuelong, which was designed for cargo transportation when it was built in Ukraine in 1993. Xuelong was purchased by China and converted to a polar research and resupply vessel. It has carried out dozens of scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

After the commissioning, researchers will test and fine-tune scientific instruments on Xuelong 2 before its first operation, the nation's 36th Antarctic expedition that has been scheduled for the coming months of this year, together with Xuelong, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Qin Weijia, director of the ministry's polar expedition office, said that Xuelong 2 is one of the world's best research icebreakers, noting its service will enable Chinese scientists to extensively extend their stay in polar regions and help the country narrow its gap with polar research powers like the United States.

According to Wu, Chinese researchers have begun design work on a next-generation icebreaker that will be more advanced than Xuelong 2.

He explained that the next-generation icebreaker will be able to break ice about 3-m thick and endure temperatures as low as-45 C.

China has been paying huge attention to scientific research and peaceful development in polar regions. It has conducted 35 Antarctic expeditions and nine Arctic expeditions.

The government has also published guidelines to support research and development of advanced ships for polar scientific and resource survey operations.

 

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2019-07-12 07:55:38
<![CDATA[Rainy weather to end in south next week and then move north]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490809.htm Heavy rain that has battered South China for about a month will last till Tuesday and then move to North China.

The National Meteorological Center said on Thursday that for the next five days, there will be two more rounds of heavy rain in South China, especially in Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces, with an accumulated precipitation of 100 to 200 millimeters.

Fang Chong, a chief forecaster of the center, said the subtropical high has remained in southern areas for a long time.

"From July 12 to 14, heavy rain of about 150 mm will move eastward to the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. For the next two days, it will go northward to Anhui province," he said.

"After July 17, rainfall in the south will decline and hot weather will linger in these areas. Meanwhile, rainfall will begin to increase in northern areas," he added.

Since the flooding season began in June, southern provinces have received seven rounds of heavy downpours with average precipitation of about 476 mm, up 51 percent compared to the same period in previous years, the center said.

The continuous heavy rain has caused natural disasters including landslides and flooding.

Twenty-two people have been killed by disasters caused by heavy rain in Jiangxi province since June, the local flood control headquarters said at a news conference on Thursday. Through July 9, the Ministry of Emergency Management has organized the rescue efforts of about 6,400 people stranded by floods nationwide.

More than 1.63 million people in seven provincial regions in southern China, including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region have been affected by the heavy rainfall, the ministry said.

About 1,600 houses collapsed, and 126,100 hectares of farmland have been hit by the floods, leading to economic losses of 2.69 billion yuan ($390 million).

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2019-07-12 07:55:38
<![CDATA[Science official expelled over graft]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490808.htm Chen Gang, a senior official with the China Association for Science and Technology, has been dismissed from public office and expelled from the Communist Party of China for a serious violation of discipline and law, the top anti-graft watchdog announced on Thursday.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement that the 53-year-old former secretary of the association's secretariat was found to have abused his power to build luxurious gardens for personal use.

Chen occupied luxury hotel suites for years without paying and accepted tourism offers that could have affected the fair performance of official duties, the statement said.

The CCDI said Chen is economically greedy and that he used his power for planning and approval to enrich himself and his relatives. His extravagant lifestyle and moral degradation have seriously tarnished the image of the Party.

Chen had failed to restrain himself after the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, when the central leadership stepped up its efforts to crack down on corruption, and he should be dealt with without leniency, it said.

The statement added that Chen has been expelled from Party and his office in accordance with relevant regulations and laws, stripped of illegal gains and will be handed over to prosecutors for suspected crimes.

Chen, who started his career in 1989 as a teacher at Tsinghua University, was appointed as a member of the CAST's Party Committee last year. He was placed under investigation in January.

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2019-07-12 07:55:38
<![CDATA[80% of villages have joined fight against pollution]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490807.htm

More than 80 percent of villages in China have joined a national campaign aimed at fighting pollution and improving the living environment in rural areas, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Thursday.

In the first half of the year, more than 50,000 domestic garbage treatment facilities and 80,000 waste water treatment facilities were under construction in rural areas, said Li Weiguo, director of social affairs development department at the ministry.

More than 40 million metric tons of domestic garbage and 30 million tons of sludge in rural areas were properly treated over the past six months, he said. Li added that 4 million sections of broken walls were also removed in the period, significantly improving the appearance of many villages.

Initial statistics show that domestic garbage is now being effectively treated in more than 80 percent of all villages. The discharge of untreated sewage in rural areas has also seen great declines, he said.

As an important part of the overall effort, the upgrading of existing toilets, many of which fail to meet basic sanitary standards, has also made progress. More than 10 million toilet facilities in rural areas were rebuilt last year, 60 percent of which are now equipped with proper waste treatment equipment, he said.

In addition, construction work started in the first half of the year to upgrade another 10 million toilet facilities in rural areas, he said.

The government has been increasing investment to improve people's living environment in rural areas in recent years. The ministry has intensified efforts to work with related departments since last year, including allocating a special fund of 7 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) to promote toilet upgrading, Li said.

According to a three-year plan released by the State Council in February 2018, the living environment in rural areas will notably improve by the end of 2020. It aims for 100 percent implementation of domestic garbage treatment systems and sanitary toilets in more developed rural areas, and significant improvement in other rural areas.

Wang Yan, an inspector at the ministry's Planning and Finance Department, said the ministry has carried out various policies to support improvement of the living environment in rural areas. These include working with the Ministry of Finance to increase subsidies and finances to upgrade toilet facilities over the next five years, so all waste can be properly treated.

Another 3 billion yuan has been allocated to support 141 counties in the less developed west and middle areas of the country to assist them in improving living environment facilities, he said.

"The living environment in rural areas urgently needs improving for modernization of agriculture and rural areas, which is also an important part of the efforts to rejuvenate rural areas," he said.

Yu Fawen, a researcher in rural environments at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the living environment in rural areas has been long undermined by problems such as discharge of untreated sewage and garbage and a lack of sanitary toilets with basic facilities. This has become a major challenge for the rejuvenation of rural areas.

"Authorities should make detailed and customized plans on improving the living environment based on different conditions of different villages and avoid arbitrarily carrying out projects," he said. "The government should increase investment in improving infrastructure, while nongovernment organizations, enterprises and individuals should be encouraged to participate in the cause."

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2019-07-12 07:55:38
<![CDATA[Over 700 passengers ferried as new sea route opens between Pingtan, Taiwan]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/12/content_37490806.htm A direct sea route linking Pingtan off the east coast of Fujian province and Kaohsiung in southwestern Taiwan opened for its first trip on Thursday.

A ferry carrying 700 passengers to Kaohsiung took about 4.5 hours to cover 178 nautical miles, the Fujian Cross Straits Ferry Co said.

Now that the route has opened, irregular sailings will be carried out based on passenger numbers and the weather conditions. The ship sailing schedule will be released in time for the public to buy tickets, according to the company.

It is the third sea route carrying passengers from Pingtan to Taiwan. With the latest opening, Pingtan now has passenger routes linking it to northern, central and southern Taiwan.

A ship route from Pingtan to Taichung in central Taiwan was opened in 2011. Two years later, ferry services from Pingtan to Taipei in Taiwan's north began.

"Thanks to the short distance, there are speed and price advantages," said Chen Shanguang, a senior Party official in Pingtan. "Now there is a passenger ship running from Pingtan to Taiwan every day, which will boost tourism and trade on the two sides."

Zhang Siwei, manager of the business department of the ferry company, said transport in Taiwan is mainly concentrated in the north.

"People in the south have less transport options out of the island, especially in terms of ships, so the opening of the route will bring convenience to passengers in the south," Zhang said.

"Southern Taiwan is a major producer of agricultural and fishery products, which are mainly exported through Kaohsiung. The route will help to maintain the freshness of the exported products," he added.

Wu Chen-yen, from Kaohsiung, who has been working for a Taiwan-funded engineering company in Pingtan for seven years, said it was now easier for him to go home.

"Before I had to take three or four different means of transport to get home," he said.

"Many of my friends are also excited. I believe more residents in south Taiwan will take the ship to visit the mainland," he added.

Pingtan, an island off the coast of Fujian, is taking innovative measures to help Taiwan residents settle there.

Taiwan residents who take the ships and enter the mainland through the port need travel permits issued by mainland public security officials, and they can apply for the permits at the port.

From 2011 to this month, more than 900,000 passengers have been cleared for entry and exit in Pingtan, according to local border control authorities.

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2019-07-12 07:55:38
<![CDATA[Beijing promotes closer human-animal coexistence]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490380.htm Authorities are working to overcome the effects of urbanization and help nature flourish. Xin Wen reports.

Early one morning in May 2011 at Beijing Olympic Forest Park, Zhang Yu turned his camera away from a flock of birds and watched as a hedgehog approached. It was the first time he had seen a hedgehog in the city.

The animal's cute gait and innocent features captured Zhang's heart immediately and he quickly took a photo of the fist-sized creature. Afterward, he began observing hedgehogs and tracking them down at night.

"In the following five years, I spent more than 100 nights in the park with a flashlight, searching for traces of hedgehogs, especially during summer and autumn. It's unquestionably the most lovable wild animal I have ever seen," said the 40-year-old illustrator at a magazine in Beijing that provides younger readers with information about nature and geography.

Untended land provides a perfect habitat for hedgehogs, and they usually rest and sleep on the edges of lawns, said Zhang, who has captured eight species of wild animal on photo or video in his 12 years in the capital.

"It's hard to imagine that animals live so close to the 21 million inhabitants of this bustling metropolis," he said.

According to the Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau, at the end of 2017, the city was home to more than 600 species of wild animal. They are scattered across eight suburban areas, with large numbers living in the downtown.

From the beginning of 2016 to the start of this year, the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, a government-funded organization established in 2001 to care for injured wild animals, treated 1,632 creatures from 137 species.

However, that number is dwarfed by previous totals. For example, from mid-2001 to the start of 2016, the center dealt with 35,486 wild animals from 11 species.

While birds accounted for the majority, the center also helped mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

Shi Yang, senior engineer and director of the center's wildlife rescue department, said Beijing's environment provides a range of habitats for wild animals.

"The city has great biodiversity. If we draw a circle that has Tian'anmen Square at the center, we have mountains, rivers and deserts within a 100-kilometer radius," he said.

Liu Yang, an associate professor with the School of Life Sciences at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong province, said large numbers of birds visit Beijing during their annual migrations.

"Many mountains in north and west Beijing provide great places for them to relocate to," he said, adding that wetlands and lakes offer wild ducks and other waterfowl suitable environments to rest, while former royal parks and ancient imperial buildings provide perfect habitats for other wild animals.

When he was growing up in Beijing, Liu loved the city's biodiversity. "When I was young, I could walk to the wilderness in less than 10 minutes and see lots of birds, insects and other creatures," he said.

Avian diversity

The Beijing Swift is a symbol of the capital's avian diversity, and a regular inhabitant of palaces, temples and ancient towers. A subspecies of the common swift, the bird - the only one in the world named for Beijing - was first recorded by British naturalist Robert Swinhoe in 1870.

Every April, it flies to Beijing to breed, before moving on to southern Africa in early August. It can cover up to 200 km per hour.

The bird has four short, forward-facing claws, and once they land, the chicks find it hard to get airborne again. On the ground, the bird is ungainly and slow, and it has to rest on walls so it can become airborne quickly.

"Therefore, it stays in the nest during the breeding season, and then flies almost all of its life," Liu said

The bird has breeding points scattered across the capital. In 2008, it could be found in nearly 40 spots, while last year, it appeared in more than 100 locations.

"That's because wild animals change their living habits according to different urban architecture and city development," Liu said, noting that some common swifts have been observed taking soil from plant pots, rather than using ground soil to build nests.

Changing habits

Many wild animals alter their habits to survive in the hazardous, ever-changing urban world.

According to a study by Stan Gehrt, a wildlife ecologist at Ohio State University in the United States, some coyotes in suburban Chicago stay within the city's boundaries to avoid hunters and trappers.

As such, Chicago is a major refuge for the animals, which have learned to cross roads and avoid traffic, based on speed and volume, the study shows.

That knowledge has led some scientists to propose that volatile environments such as cities may accelerate the evolutionary process to make a species smarter, meaning many urban animals can survive better than those in the wild.

'Dead hedges'

Beijing has sought new ways of helping wild animals and humans coexist more comfortably.

This year, to promote animal and insect life, the Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau plans to plant at least one Benjeshecken, aka a "dead hedge", in all the city's parks.

Dead hedges are made from materials left over from pruning, clearing or forestry activities. A ditch 4 meters long and 6 m wide is dug and filled with soil, stones and leaves. Native plants and the excess materials are then added to form an artificial barrier, which gradually becomes a beetle bank, providing food and shelter for small mammals and reptiles.

Shi, from the rescue and rehabilitation center, said he has shown the city authorities low-density, medium-sized bushes, and suggested gradually replacing the flat, mown grassland in parks with them.

Meanwhile, some NGOs have explored new measures to alter the city's environment. For the past two years, the Shan Shui Conservation Center, a nature protection organization, has monitored the varieties and numbers of butterflies in the Beijing Botanical Garden and Badaling National Forest Park.

Tan Lingdi, a project officer with the center, said butterflies are good indicators of ecological health because they are particularly sensitive to environmental changes.

"When there are many species of butterflies in one place, it indicates that the environment is pretty good and plant life is diverse," she said, adding that the center hopes to cultivate more food stocks for the butterflies so their numbers will rise.

Terry Townshend, founder of the Birding Beijing website, suggested establishing artificial nesting boxes across the city and engaging more schools and real estate companies in the construction process. Hundreds of boxes have been made and will soon be installed across the capital.

The British national, a common swift enthusiast, has also proposed building a "wild ring road" to connect several areas of wilderness in Shunyi district to provide a place for birds to rest during their spring and autumn migrations.

Urbanization

Despite the positive moves, the rapid progress of urbanization has seen suitable wild animal habitats shrink in large cities.

Liu, the professor, recalled that his middle school in Beijing's Haidian district was surrounded by paddy fields containing plants that provided habitats for birds and insects, and deer appeared occasionally.

In recent years, though, he has noticed a decline in food sources for wild birds, while the expansion of high-rise buildings and concrete yards has led to a lack of the soil many birds use to build nests.

"For example, many birds will not build nests in certain areas if they can't find food and territory, so they may not even come to the city anymore," he said, adding that the development of artificial lawns and greenery has also affected the lives of wild birds.

"We trim lawns and spray pesticides frequently to keep the city landscape in good condition, but we forget that wild animals may be affected."

Shi said that his wildlife rescue center treats a range of injured animals every season. In spring and autumn, migratory birds are the main focus of attention.

In early May, Eurasian woodcocks were frequently seen above Beijing. When flying to Northeast China to breed, they pass through the downtown and are easily distracted by the images of blue skies and white clouds reflected by the glass walls of high-rise buildings.

"They are likely to hit the glass curtain wall. If a bird is just knocked unconscious, we let it rest for a while. But these birds fly at high speed, so many die as a result of collisions," Shi said.

Some species, such as swallows, magpies and common kestrels, like to nest in the spaces between air conditioners and walls, and chicks sometimes fall from high nests and starve to death as a result.

Height is not the only problem, though. "If people don't notice the nests under air-conditioner ventilation pipes in time, the chicks may roast to death as a result of the high temperatures the machines produce," Shi said.

Moreover, the city is full of predators, especially cats, which hunt birds, insects and small mammals.

A 2013 study by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in the US showed that cats, either feral or pets, kill 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds in the US every year.

The study added that felines also kill about 20.7 billion mammals in the US annually.

Future plans

In a bid to promote protection, Zhang Yu, the hedgehog enthusiast, has plans to publish a book of the wild animals he has photographed in Beijing.

"Not only hedgehogs, but all the wild creatures I have watched in the city make me feel that I am not living in a metropolis but a wild field," he said. "I like to make friends with them, even those in my community yard, and it makes me happy every time I see those cute creatures."

 

Foxes play at the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, a government-funded organization that cares for injured wild animals.Zhu Xingxin / China Daily

 

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2019-07-11 07:39:26
<![CDATA[Center provides a haven for injured wildlife]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490379.htm The most impressive animal Xu Shuqun has seen during his 18 years at the Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is a black stork that arrived last year.

The 33-year-old senior rescue worker recalled that when he first saw the big black bird, he couldn't believe the smelly creature was a first-class nationally protected species.

The black stork was discovered one morning in Fangshan district.

It had swallowed a fishhook, and its intestines and stomach were torn and rotting.

"The bird was saved after a three-hour operation, and now it lives pretty well in the center's backyard," Xu said, adding that such scenes are common.

The facility is open 24 hours a day. If a call is received during the day, an ambulance is sent to collect the injured animal, but at night people bring them to the center themselves.

"We only have one ambulance, and by the end of last year, it had covered 70,000 kilometers," Xu said.

Some badly injured animals cannot be saved. For example, great bustards, a first-class nationally protected species, almost always succumb, either to their injuries or trauma.

"The bird is very timid, so it gets stressed very easily. The heart beat accelerates and blood pressure rises rapidly, and it finds it hard to return to normal later. All four that have been received by the center have died," he said.

Xu often feels distressed when he sees birds with broken wings or legs, or those that have eaten fish that have been poisoned by humans and introduced into ponds.

"I can't understand why anyone would want to hurt an animal - do they really find that fun?" he said.

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2019-07-11 07:39:26
<![CDATA[Energetic dance 'shuffles' across parks]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490378.htm As vibrant music echoed across a public square in Beijing, a group of people stood in lines to dance, tapping and moving their feet on the ground with swift heel-and-toe movement.

The dance is called the Melbourne shuffle, or shuffle dance, which originated in Australia in the 1980s. With energetic steps, it is becoming a new form of "square dance", occupying China's urban spaces from parks to plazas. It is also a popular exercise for many elderly and middle aged people to lose the kilos.

Han Gong, a 59-year-old expert in repairing musical instruments, joined a Beijing shuffle dance team in 2017. He said dancing daily in the public spaces has helped him fend off high blood pressure and loneliness.

"My belly used to hang over my belt but now it's flat," Han said. Previously, he had tried various exercises including running, but few lasted over a week. "I prefer group activities, and then luckily I found shuffle dance," he said.

In the beginning, Han felt embarrassed when people gathered round to look at him, but he changed his mind after seeing an obese man dance with ease. "I asked myself, 'Why not give it a try?'" he said.

Han started to learn from an online video and practiced in front of a mirror. After two months of practicing hard, he no longer "danced like a clumsy duck", but successfully blended in with the group.

"My shirt became drenched in sweat within half an hour," Han said with beads of perspiration dripping down his forehead. "Shuffle dance has reminded me about the importance of exercise."

Lin Xiuhong, 40, joined the same dance team a year ago. "My feet tingle when it is near 6 pm, which means it is time to dance," she said.

Now, there are some 50 members from all walks of life in Han's team, mostly elderly and middle aged. They change their dance routine at least once a week and are keen on introducing new skills and styles from the internet.

On China's video-sharing platform Kuaishou, there are about 37,000 videos related to the Melbourne shuffle. Related videos on another short-video platform Douyin, also known as Tik Tok, have been viewed over 560 million times.

The dance form has even been introduced to a number of primary and middle schools in the provinces of Gansu, Shandong and Jilin. Some restaurants even encourage their staff to learn the dance to attract customers.

In April, a video showing a primary school principal leading more than 700 students in performing the exotic dance in North China's Shanxi province went viral on the internet.

"The shuffle dance has aroused their interest in exercise," principal Zhang Pengfei said.

A shuffle dance competition debuted in northeastern Jilin province with 22 participating teams in May. Another performance will be held in neighboring Liaoning province in July. "Chinese people now have more choices for exercise such as yoga, hiphop and shuffle dance, and are increasingly enjoying the benefits of exercising," Han said.

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2019-07-11 07:39:26
<![CDATA[Kids of inmates, addicts to be labeled as orphans]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490377.htm

Designation will entitle such children to same benefits as others with no parents

China plans to view young children of prisoners or drug addicts as de facto orphans, as long as this applies to both parents.

The move entitles them to the benefits equivalent to parentless children starting next year, according to a guideline issued on Wednesday.

Experts say it is a leap forward in the protection of human rights and is expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of minors without actual guardianship.

Jointly issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Supreme People's Court and 10 other departments, the guideline defined children with both parents serving prison terms or undergoing drug rehabilitation for more than six months as de facto orphans. This puts them in the same category as children who have sick, disabled parents or parents who have been declared missing. Children with one imprisoned parent and one parent declared missing or deceased will also be placed under the category, the guideline said.

Those children will be entitled to basic living allowances equivalent to orphans, medical relief programs and assistance for schooling, it said.

The document also warned of punishments if parents with childrearing capacity pretend they don't have the capability with the aim of defrauding government welfare for their children. The guideline said law enforcement officers can revoke guardianship of parents defrauding child welfare, and civil affairs authorities can charge those parents child-rearing fees.

Parents suspected of defrauding the system intended for de facto orphans will be put on a blacklist and face joint punishments from multiple departments, ranging from financing to traveling.

While speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, vice-minister of civil affairs Gao Xiaobing said the guideline has filled a gap in the country's child welfare protection and is a crucial arrangement as China works to exterminate absolute poverty before 2021.

"Parents might commit crimes, but children are innocent," she said.

Gao noted the latest change is expected to help prisoners finish their prison terms with less worry and encourage them to behave well to try to get reductions in their jail terms, so they can take up guardianship responsibility again.

Figures provided by the ministry show China had about 500,000 de facto orphans, with many living under the care of grandparents or other relatives.

Some may have been entitled to benefits for low-income groups or impoverished families, but officials said there's no assistance tailored to the group, who are vulnerable to harm and could possibly follow the path of their parents.

Guo Yuqiang, head of the ministry's child welfare division, said the absence of guardianship, alongside financial hardship, could put such children at higher risk of psychological issues such as lack of confidence and inner security or extreme behavior.

"But not all the de facto orphans have those issues," he said.

To address the woes, Zhou Jiahai, deputy director of the Supreme People's Court's research office, said courts of all levels will ramp up efforts to offer necessary psychological counseling to vulnerable de facto orphans.

Legal education will also be strengthened for them, he added.

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[77,000 relocated after heavy rains soak south]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490376.htm About 1.63 million residents have been affected by heavy downpours and floods in South China, with about 77,000 resettled after the latest rainfalls, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Heavy rainfalls have swollen rivers in Chongqing municipality, Guizhou, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Sichuan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the ministry said.

The office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Tuesday sent four working groups to Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, and Guizhou to assist local governments in disaster relief work. That office and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration dispatched 50 rubber boats to Jiangxi to support their work. Floodwaters have inundated Jiangxi's Ganjiang River, a main tributary of the Yangtze River.

On Tuesday, the provincial emergency management department and water resources department raised the emergency response level from grade IV, the lowest level, to III. Hunan's provincial water resources department also raised its level from grade IV to III.

The Orange Isle, a tourist spot in Changsha, Hunan, has been shut because the Xiangjiang River has started to submerge it, exceeding the water warning level by 2 meters, according to the water resources department.

Since Saturday, eight cities in Guangxi have suffered from flooding. In Nanning, the capital, road signs were blown away by rain and wind, and water poured from an underground well into the middle of the road, the Guangxi Daily reported.

In Donglan county, cars were inundated by mountain torrents, and traffic officers were on standby to help with relief work.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, heavy rainfall will decline in the northwestern region and the south parts of the Yangtze River from July 11 to 12.

However, the southeastern parts of the Tibet autonomous region, northwestern parts of Sichuan and northwestern areas of Yunnan will still see heavy rainfall of 50 to 90 millimeters.

 

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[Man who attacked his former teacher and posted video of it gets 18 months]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490375.htm

A man who posted a video online of a revenge attack on his former middle school teacher was given an 18-month prison sentence by a court in Henan province on Wednesday.

Chang Renyao's assault of the teacher, who he nursed a grievance against for two decades, amounted to disturbance of public order, the court in Luanchuan county said in a statement.

China Central Television reported Chang will appeal his sentence to a higher court.

The case aroused public attention after a video of the attack went viral in December.

Chang had asked a man identified as Pan to record the beating in July last year when he saw his former teacher, surnamed Zhang, riding an electric bike and stopped him.

Chang insulted and slapped Zhang and punched his face, chest and stomach several times. More than 20 passersby watched the attack.

He later sent the video to his former classmates and it rapidly swept across Chinese social media.

Chang told the court during his trial last month that he attacked Zhang in revenge for physical punishment he received from the teacher 20 years ago for breaching school disciplinary rules.

The court said by venting his anger against Zhang and posting the attack, Chang had "seriously affected" the daily life of the teacher.

Chang's defense that it was a revenge attack for the punishment he received was dismissed by the court.

"The current evidence is sufficient to prove Chang had caused disturbances to society but cannot prove the victim's misconduct," it said. "Chang's dissatisfaction with Zhang can't be an excuse for his attack."

The court added that Chang further damaged Zhang by posting and spreading the video online, which "aggravated the case".

Under Criminal Law, those who disturb public order and affect others' lives, work or business operations by blocking their way or threatening, insulting or assaulting them can face up to five years in prison.

"The 18-month prison term is our careful decision and also a lenient penalty because Chang turned himself in and it was a first offense," the court said.

Ruan Chuansheng, a law professor at the Shanghai Administration Institute, said the sentence was reasonable as emotions, such as anger or holding a grievance, "cannot be released through an offense or violation".

"But the case also reflects that teachers and students need more understanding between each other when a conflict happens," he said, adding the best way to solve such problems is the rule of law.

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[Authorities look to boost protection of cruise ship passengers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490374.htm

The nation's transportation management authority is working to improve the marketing and management of cruise ship tickets to offer better protection to passengers.

Yi Jiyong, deputy head of the Water Transport Bureau under the Ministry of Transport, said they also want relevant parties to share passengers' information in advance to facilitate procedures such as customs and border inspection.

"China's cruise transportation market has witnessed a robust growth since 2006, currently becoming the world's second largest tourist source market," Yi said at a news conference in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday, ahead of Thursday's Maritime Day of China.

International cruise operators usually adopt chartered or bulk sale methods to market their cruise products through travel agencies.

However, such marketing methods have led to disputes and have had a negative social impact due to a vague understanding of rights and responsibilities among passengers, travel agencies and cruise operators, Yi said. To solve such dilemmas, the ministry launched a trial on international cruise ticket management in Shanghai last year.

It has also set up a cruise ticket management system to promote direct ticket selling and passenger information sharing.

A draft of the cruise ticket management system is currently gathering public opinions from home and abroad.

Yi also revealed that the water transportation authority has adopted a raft of measures to promote the development of green and smart ports, focusing on reduction of air pollution discharged by boats and ships while docking.

By the end of 2018, more than 3,700 shore power supply stations had been built in China, covering over 5,200 berths.

This year, a series of activities has been announced in Ningbo - including forums on high-quality maritime transportation development and a national yacht competition - to mark this year's Maritime Day of China.

The Maritime Day of China was initiated in 2005 to mark the 600th anniversary of the first ocean voyage of Zheng He, a navigator in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who made seven overseas voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa for cultural and economic exchanges with the rest of the world.

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[Alleged molestation of girl leads to billionaire's arrest]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490373.htm

The billionaire founder of a property firm in Shanghai was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of molesting an underage girl, local media reported.

The Putuo district people's procuratorate in Shanghai announced that it approved the arrest of a man surnamed Wang and a woman surnamed Zhou on suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl in late June.

The pair was detained by Shanghai police on July 3 after police received complaints from the girl's mother. Xinmin Evening News identified the man as 57-year-old Wang Zhenhua, then chairman of the board of Seazen - a real estate developer based in Shanghai and listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

It reported that the alleged crime happened in a five-star hotel in Shanghai on June 29, leaving the girl with injuries to her vagina.

The girl, who is from Shanghai's neighboring Jiangsu province, made a phone call about the incident to her mother, who was in Jiangsu. The mother contacted Shanghai police afterward, Xinmin Evening News reported.

The 9-year-old and a 12-year-old girl were taken to the hotel by Zhou, a friend of the 9-year-old's mother.

Zhou told the mother that she took the girl to Shanghai to visit Disneyland, according to the report.

Seazen published a notice on July 3 saying that the company's chairman Wang Zhenhua had been detained by police for personal reasons, and his son Wang Xiaosong was elected at a board meeting to take over.

On July 5, Seazen issued a public apology.

"As a listed company ... we feel deeply sorry for the pain felt by the victim and the victim's family who are caught up in the storm," the statement said.

The company said it was shocked about the alleged involvement by its founder in the incident. The incident triggered public rage, media rebukes and calls for a thorough investigation of Wang's possible involvement with other children.

The company's stock endured consecutive losses after the incident was made public.

The Putuo district police said on Wednesday an investigation is underway. It also encouraged members of the public to come forward with information.

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA['Super microscope' access in high demand]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490372.htm Facility has attracted dozens of research institutes from mainland, HK and UK

The China Spallation Neutron Source, a "super microscope" facility for studying the structure and movement of materials at the atomic scale, has conducted more than 100 experiments since opening in September.

The results will help scientists in fields ranging from creating better lithium batteries to making stronger steels, said Liang Tianjiao, deputy director of the Dongguan branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of High Energy Physics.

The 2.3 billion yuan ($335 million), 26.67-hectare facility in Dongguan, Guangdong province, has attracted users from dozens of research institutions from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Scientists have published nine papers based on the results of experiments at CSNS, with more under review and being prepared for publication, Liang said.

The facility first accelerates protons down a linear accelerator and into a rapid cycling synchrotron - a circular particle accelerator - which further speeds up the particles to close to 93 percent of the speed of light while compressing them into "bullet-like" pulses.

The pulses then collide with a tungsten target, creating chips, or "spalls", of neutrons that can be channeled into instruments where scientists can measure their interactions with materials at atomic scale.

Since neutrons carry no charge, they can easily penetrate test samples and only interact with their nucleus. Neutrons are also more sensitive to light elements such as hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, making them ideal for use in studying intricate materials such as proteins or polymers.

"Thanks to its safety, stability and efficiency, the demand to use CSNS is very high. We can barely keep up with the applications," Liang said.

He said engineers will increase the power of CSNS's proton beam from 50 kilowatts to 80 kW this year and possibly reach the designed power level of 100 kW next year. More power allows researchers to conduct scientific research more quickly on a wider range of materials.

CSNS has three neutron instruments in operation, which are used to measure the interactions between neutrons and test samples. Liang said the institute plans to design and build at least 16 new neutron instruments in the future, allowing more users to run more complex experiments.

"The results from the experiments will be invaluable in improving industrial capabilities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," he said. "They will also help solve many key scientific challenges that are limiting our industrial and socioeconomic development."

One example of a major application is improving the efficiency of lithium cell batteries.

"We can use the facility to examine how lithium ions move and change during charge and discharge, thus finding new ways to optimize and improve battery design at the atomic level," Liang said.

The ultraprecise results delivered by CSNS are also useful in making stronger steels, new superconducting materials, thin-film solar cells and new medicines.

China is the fourth country - following the UK, the United States and Japan - to master such technology. Switzerland has a different type of spallation neutron source, and European countries are teaming up to build a new facility in Denmark.

In late February, the institute and City University of Hong Kong launched a joint laboratory dedicated to expanding scientific cooperation in fields related to neutron scattering technologies.

They also agreed to build more neutron instruments for applications, train more talent and jointly improve research capabilities, Chen Hesheng, CSNS chief engineering director, said at the launch ceremony.

Liang said CSNS will continue to serve as a platform for global collaboration and allow scientists and companies from around the world to jointly make breakthroughs in basic sciences and industrial applications.

"The community of advanced neutron sources has a historical tradition of cooperation," he said. "If we can put aside our differences and work together, the opportunities for discovery are endless."

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[16 foreign teachers, students held on drug offenses]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490371.htm Sixteen foreign teachers and students from an international education company have been detained on drug offenses by police in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province.

Seven are teachers at the Xuzhou branch of the Education First company, and nine are students, police from the city's Quanshan district said on Wednesday.

Three Chinese accomplices have also been detained.

Urine samples from all 19 suspects, who were detained earlier this month, tested positive for illegal drugs, police said. One of the foreigners is also under criminal detention for a more serious offense.

Police refused to release further details of the case as it is under investigation.

A spokesman for Education First said it had noted the police report and will cooperate fully with the investigation.

"We prohibit our teachers from having or using any illegal drugs," said one director from the branch who asked to stay anonymous. "The teachers involved were suspended immediately. We have no tolerance for drug users."

The director said that teachers from other branches will be transferred to Xuzhou to ensure it functions normally.

He added that more training will be provided to its foreign employees to make sure that they understand China's laws and regulations.

Established in 1997, Education First has five centers in the city and more than 60 foreign employees.

The Xuzhou Education Bureau said it is investigating the case and will scrutinize all educational companies for illegal acts.

Wang Jin, a lawyer with Shanghai Zhongxia Law Firm, said that any foreigners using or selling drugs in China will be punished according to China's laws and regulations.

"Foreigners who use drugs for the first time may face fines and administrative detention. Those who keep a certain amount of drugs illegally may be sentenced from three years to life behind bars," Wang said.

"Those who smuggle, sell, transport and manufacture drugs will face criminal charges regardless of the drugs' quantity," she said. "They may be sentenced from 15 years in prison to the death penalty."

Zhou Xiaoyun, a lawyer with F&P Law Firm in Guangzhou, said if students of the educational company think that their classes have been affected by the drug detentions, they may be able to negotiate compensation from the company or file a lawsuit to protect their legal rights.

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[QR scan for hotel guests to check if sheets washed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490370.htm

Want to know if the bed sheet in your hotel room is washed? Scan the QR code on it.

A laundry base in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, became the latest one in the country to attach small chips to hotel towels and bed sheets they washed.

The chip, which is resistant to water and heat, can record the time when the sheet is washed. Hotel guests can access washing information by scanning a QR code on each item.

The technology has been used in several big cities as the sanitation of hotel facilities has drawn increasing attention from the public after a series of recent investigations online showed some hotels, even high-end ones, did not wash bed sheets. They just tidied them up and passed them off as freshly washed ones.

In Xi'an, Shaanxi province, about 50 hotels placed chips and printed QR codes on linens last year, according to the Xi'an City Express, a local TV program.

About 200 hotels have placed chips in their bedding in Beijing, but without QR codes because the technology is still being tested in the city, according to Pu Jinyong, manager of the Bluesky Qingke, a laundry base in Beijing.

"Chips in bedding can record the whole washing process, including washing, sterilization, eliminating alkali and ironing. All are automatic and monitored by cameras. By scanning QR codes, hotel guests can see the time of every operation," he said.

Pu, who got his technical experience from the United States and some European countries, said that China should catch up.

"In recent years, China began to increasingly focus on high-quality economic development," Pu said. "Chinese people would like better service. In response, hotels are competing in management and service, which has provided my company with a chance to develop the technology."

He said that it is not difficult to promote it nationwide because each chip can be used for about three years and its cost is low, accounting for about 3 percent of a hotel's budget.

According to the Hubei Provincial Development and Reform Commission, the government encourages use of the technology but does not enforce it.

A poll conducted on Sunday by the National Business Daily showed that 73 percent of 438,000 respondents support the laundry tracing system.

However, about 11,000 are still worried and would like to bring their own sheets and quilts when staying in hotels. Some of them said they still don't fully trust the technology and called for strict supervision from a third party.

Wu Yanmei, a bank clerk in Beijing, said that she would check the bedding every time she needs to stay in a hotel.

"I would judge by seeing whether quits and sheets have hair, stains and any trace that show they were used. And I would wear my pajamas to keep a shield from them.

"Tracing technology would help a little, but there is still a possibility for hotels to cheat and slack off. So I think that it is important for the industry to be self-disciplined, and punishment should be enhanced," she said.

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[Exchange program gives Hong Kong teenagers a sense of Shanghai life]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/11/content_37490369.htm Middle school students from Hong Kong wrapped up their six-day exchange journey in Shanghai on Wednesday, fueled by a well-rounded understanding of Shanghai's life, culture, history and technology development.

A total of 496 Hong Kong teenagers from 17 middle schools were split into six groups.

Beginning Friday, each group attended activities themed with Shanghai culture, innovation, history, technology, manufacturing and city planning.

"We hope to enhance the communication between Shanghai and Hong Kong students through the program, and Hong Kong teenagers can learn more about this metropolis and the rapid development of the country that it demonstrates," said Yao Cho-fai, chairman of Hong Kong-Shanghai Economic Development Association, one of the organizers of the program launched in 2018.

"Students will benefit a lot from the experience, which may lay a sound foundation for their future development across the nation," Yao said.

During their stay in Shanghai, some Hong Kong teenagers visited local families, tasted local cuisine and joined Shanghai middle school students in classes.

Activities also included graffiti creation, drawing and archery.

Students also visited science and technology enterprises and innovation parks in Shanghai and learned about Chinese traditional culture and art forms such as calligraphy, shadow play and pottery.

"It's impressive that Shanghai is such an inclusive and open city with a proper mix of modern and traditional culture, as there are many well-preserved historic sites along with skyscrapers," said Sun Yuen-ki, a Form 4 student from Tung Wah Group of Hospitals S. C. Gaw Memorial College.

"While walking along the street, we saw how clean the city is, which shows the effort that the city puts into greening and environmental protection," said Sun, who was visiting Shanghai for the first time. "I am grateful to have the opportunity to come here."

Wong Chuek-fung, a Form 5 student from Chinese YMCA Secondary School, said the visit to a manufacturing factory where guqin - one of China's oldest plucked string instruments, also known as a seven-stringed lyre - are made was one of his favorites. He said the trip allowed him to learn about this instrument and he was happy to be included.

"I love playing piano in Hong Kong and now I am also interested in this traditional Chinese instrument," he said. "I am amazed by the refined and delicate sound it gives off."

Students from Shanghai and Hong Kong also created graffiti on star-shaped artwork made from fiber-reinforced plastic during the program.

"This part is designed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in October this year, as stars are featured on the national flags of the country," said Mak Takchuen, vice-president of the Hong Kong-Shanghai Economic Development Association.

"It also represents students who are the 'future stars' that can contribute to the country's development," added Mak, who is also the chief leader of all the students.

Mak said some artwork will be in Shanghai and may be shown to the public at exhibitions during the celebration of the National Day in October.

Shanghai and Hong Kong students will keep the rest, "representing the close relationship between the young generations in Hong Kong and Chinese mainland".

"Many Hong Kong students exchanged their contact number with local ones. We are glad to see that they have become friends already," Mak said.

According to Yao, programs may be launched next year to welcome Shanghai students to visit Hong Kong.

 

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2019-07-11 07:38:59
<![CDATA[Outdoor activity trend drives higher accident rate]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490024.htm As more Chinese pursue an outdoor lifestyle, authorities are warning that the wilderness experience can cause injury or death as a result of animal attacks, a lack of experience or poor mental strength when people encounter difficulties or extreme weather.

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More Chinese are taking part in dangerous sports, but a lack of experience and low skill levels are causing problems for search and rescue teams. Zhang Yi reports.

As more Chinese pursue an outdoor lifestyle, authorities are warning that the wilderness experience can cause injury or death as a result of animal attacks, a lack of experience or poor mental strength when people encounter difficulties or extreme weather.

On June 10, rescue workers in the Qinling Mountains in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, located a missing hiker, surnamed Wang, after a search lasting more than 30 hours. When he was found, Wang was semiconscious, his face was covered with blood and his right eyelid had been ripped off, exposing the eyeball.

Wang had been attacked by a black bear after venturing into the wilds alone. A blow from the bear's paw caused him to roll into a fault below the bear's lair, and while he sustained several fractures, he was spared more attacks.

The scene was not unusual, according to Yang Junli, a member of the Qinling rescue team.

"More and more people are calling for assistance. In the past four years, we have rescued more than 300 hikers and climbers," the 50-year-old said.

According to a report by the Chinese Mountaineering Association, 350 accidents related to outdoor activities were recorded last year, a rise of 20 percent from 2017. They included 40 deaths and 115 injuries, while four people who were reported missing were never found.

Growing trend

In recent years, more Chinese have started to engage in challenging, high-risk outdoor activities, such as scuba diving, cycling across windswept, isolated plateaus and trekking through inhospitable wilderness.

In 2016, six government departments, including the General Administration of Sport, issued a guideline on outdoor activities in mountainous areas to promote the development of sports and better regulate the industry.

Activities such as climbing, hiking, camping and cycling, which take place in natural surroundings, including mountainous areas, focus on participation and are aimed at promoting physical and mental health, the guideline said.

It added that in 2016, about 130 million Chinese participated in outdoor sports in mountainous areas, and the number will continue to rise. The report also estimated that the scale of the outdoor sports industry in mountainous areas will reach 400 billion yuan ($58 billion) next year.

Wu Hong, 49, deputy head of the Nanping Mountainous Sports Association in Fujian province, said: "A growing number of people are enjoying outdoor activities because they can get close to nature and relieve the pressure of sitting in an office. These activities are different from traditional pursuits, such as taking a walk in the park or jogging, and they are more challenging because they usually take place in inhospitable places, so more skills and equipment are required."

Yang, the rescue team member, said: "Mountaineering and trekking have relatively low entry thresholds, making them more accessible to the public. That's more likely to cause people to let down their guard.

"As more city dwellers go hiking in the Qinling Mountains to enjoy the clean air and greenery, some tend to think it is an easy activity, but actually we see countless hikers getting lost and asking for assistance."

According to the CMA report, getting lost and falling from high ground were the main causes of accidents last year, and most of them occurred while people were climbing and trekking through inhospitable areas.

Mental fortitude

Wu, the climbing and hiking enthusiast, said commercial promotion has contributed to the surge in interest, but outdoor activities are not just about wonderful scenery as many ads suggest.

A lack of skills, equipment and planning, including checking routes and weather forecasts, can cause problems for careless hikers and even place them at risk, she said.

"People who encountered accidents tended to be those who acted on impulse and overestimated their own abilities," she added.

"Apart from the lack of basic skills and equipment, another indirect cause of death and injury is a lack of mental toughness. When faced with an emergency, such as extreme weather, animal attacks or losing one's bearings, many people are likely to break down psychologically."

In 2016, she set out on an inhospitable hiking route in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region with four people who had formed a team via a website for outdoor enthusiasts. During the trip, the team walked along cliff paths, gravel-covered slopes and snowcapped peaks, and also waded across 30 rivers.

The route - about 200 kilometers in length and at an altitude of up to 4,000 meters - was scheduled to take six to seven days, so each person carried enough food for eight days, along with tents and clothing. In all, each participant carried about 50 kilograms.

"When you begin to tire after hiking with a heavy load, it is important to maintain a strong attitude, because any accident may break you," Wu said. On the second day of the trip, a snowstorm blew up, so the team immediately donned thicker clothes and ate energy gels to maintain body heat.

"We had to eat the gels as quickly as possible, because if we got cold, we were likely to die. Inexperienced hikers tend to be mentally affected on such occasions and they can't control their hands and feet, so they cannot respond to problems quickly," Wu said.

Having started organizing weekend outdoor activities in 2006, Wu is highly experienced and has overcome many problems.

"Once, on a one-day climb of a tough mountain, a young woman on my team was so scared halfway that she burst into tears. On a different occasion, a very overweight man insisting on joining our hike, even though I advised him not to. In the end, he got too tired to keep pace with the group, which slowed us down a lot," she recalled.

Teamwork

"It doesn't matter whether you are experienced or a novice, it is important to be with a team. During the snowstorm on the Xinjiang trekking route, we worked together to get off the mountain. How could anyone survive in that situation without another person's help?" she said.

The day before the team started the trek, one member decided to tackle the route alone, and he left without telling anyone. Wu and her remaining companions completed the route on the sixth day as planned, but when she turned on her mobile phone she found a number of missed calls from the police saying the hiker who had set out alone had gone missing.

A month later, a body was found lying between rocks in a stream on the route. A DNA test confirmed the body to be that of the lost hiker, a 40-year-old swimming coach.

"It was such a shame. Hiking alone is risky, especially in the wild without a (phone) signal. Injuries such as sprained ankles are common, and partners can help each other," Wu said.

According to the Chinese Mountaineering Association's report, people who hiked alone or as part of a family group accounted for 68 percent of the accidents, while those who used professional agencies or experienced partners encountered fewer mishaps.

When recalling her trip across Xinjiang, Wu said that when her team finally reached the top of a mountain after walking though snow for six hours, they found a dead cow lying on the ground.

"Despite its covering of fur, it had just frozen to death," she said.

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2019-07-10 07:25:41
<![CDATA[Cycling on isolated plateaus is my passion]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490023.htm For the past 10 years I have been crazy about cycling on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Every summer vacation, I spend a month biking across the plateau.

In 2014, I set out on a cycle route with five other people in Ngari prefecture in the far west of the Tibet autonomous region. Our 2,000-kilometer route started in Lhasa in the east, passed through the northern part of the prefecture and ended in the west.

Dubbed the "top of the Roof of the World", the plateau, which has a small population, has no infrastructure and boasts incredible scenery. Travelers can see the snowy mountains heaped up, clean blue lakes, lots of animals - including sheep, yaks, donkeys and Tibetan antelopes - in the meadows by day, and clear, starry skies at night.

The high altitude and low level of oxygen make cycling extremely challenging. With a sharp temperature difference between day and night, and unexpected rain, it is easy for cyclists to lose body heat.

The route consists of dirt, and even rubble, paths, which have been formed over time by passing vehicles.

Animal attacks are a potential risk in the wild. One night, we had to camp near a forest where there were potential animal attacks, especially from wolves.

We found a house in a locked yard, but no one answered our calls from the gate. It was the time of the seasonal migration, so maybe the herdsmen had moved to another place for better water and grass.

We didn't want to intrude, so we camped outside. One of our group was very experienced and alert. He placed some hay bales alongside the wall and said that if an emergency arose, we could use them to jump into the yard and shelter in the house.

Luckily, we didn't encounter any wolves or other animals, though we could hear them calling.

Animal attacks remain a major cause of injuries on that route. Before the trip, we read online that a traveler had been bitten by wolves. The temporary "step" our companion built made us feel safer.

Despite the dangers, I will tackle another route in the same prefecture this year.

 

 

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2019-07-10 07:25:41
<![CDATA[Restoring the Great Wall's lost glory]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490022.htm After seeing its value in tourism, Ningxia locals have stepped forward to protect it

When Mao Zedong stood on top of the Liupan Mountains in China's northwestern Ningxia Hui autonomous region, the founder of New China said, "One who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a hero."

Today, the Great Wall in Beijing is one of the most symbolically significant and culturally important structures in China, attracting many tourists and researchers to visit it. However, the part of the wall that once impressed Mao has been neglected.

The Ningxia site of the Great Wall is one of the oldest wall relics in the country. This fortified structure bordered between the nomadic and farming civilizations in ancient times, and it was largely built across the region. However, over the past several hundred years, it has been badly damaged by climate change and human activity.

Following economic changes and social developments in the 20th century, the Ningxia locals started paying attention to the potential value of the Great Wall in historical studies and tourism. Hence, many "protectors" wanting to restore the lost greatness of the wall have appeared. Ma Jianjun is one of them.

Ma, a member of the Hui ethnic group, born and raised in Ningxia, developed a strong interest in history because of his passion for the Great Wall when he was young. Now, as the 52-year-old director of Ningxia's Conservation Center of Cultural Heritage, Ma has devoted himself to the restoration of the structure.

Since graduating with a degree in history from Minzu University of China in 1990, Ma has been working in heritage conservation. He started his career as a researcher at Guyuan Museum in Ningxia.

"Everything was just as I expected. I did not hesitate to take that job in the museum after graduation," Ma said.

"I am very pleased that the museum offered me a great chance to be with cultural relics every day as an archaeological researcher."

Ma spent 22 years in Guyuan Museum, and he participated in many restoration projects such as surveying and mapping the Ningxia ancient city, and the reinforcement, research and restoration of movable cultural relics from the Western Xia period (1038-1227).

In 2012, Ma was transferred to the regional museum in Yinchuan, capital city of Ningxia. A year later, he participated in the Great Wall restoration project.

The Great Wall in Ningxia was constructed over many historical periods between the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It has a total length of 1,038 kilometers. Most of what is left is from the Qin State of the Warring States Period and the Ming Dynasty.

"Unlike the Great Wall in Beijing, builders used rammed earth to build the wall and they made use of local materials. The height of the wall ranges from one to three meters high, with flanking towers protruding from the wall every 200 to 300 meters on average," Ma said.

In order to restore the ancient wall without changing its original state, Ma and his colleagues conducted countless experiments on the structure, materials and layers of the wall.

"Most members of our repair team were exhausted from tamping the earth again and again. We cannot allow large machinery, chemical products and additives to be used during the restoration in order to simulate the construction process of the ancient Great Wall as much as possible," he said.

Based on research and studies, Ma and his colleagues wrote a book about the ancient Great Wall in Ningxia in 2014. That same year, Ma took full charge of the restoration project when he became director of Ningxia's Conservation Center of Cultural Heritage.

"We plan to finish the restoration in 2035. As it is a major restoration project in our region, I felt pressure ever since I took over the 'mission', but I do believe in myself and our team that our effort and persistence will pay off," he said.

Currently, restoration of the Ningxia Great Wall has been carried out with construction teams stationed at most key sections, and more than a dozen key sites have been repaired.

"Every time I visit the Great Wall, I feel as if I am going through history and talking to people and things in the past," Ma said.

"Over the past few decades, I have been fascinated by the profound history and culture of my country through the study of historical relics."

 

 

A dilapidated section of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall stands near Xiamaguan town in Wuzhong, Ningxia Hui autonomous region.Photos Provided To China Daily

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2019-07-10 07:25:41
<![CDATA[AI improves prognosis for rural healthcare]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490021.htm In November, a patient in Hefei, Anhui province, went to a community health center and was diagnosed with heart arrhythmia by doctor He Qi.

But He strongly suggested the patient undergo a coronary angiography at a big hospital as his artificial intelligence medical assistant gave a different diagnosis.

The result showed that the AI assistant was correct. The patient was actually suffering from coronary heart disease.

The AI medical assistant, launched in March last year by Chinese AI firm iFlytek, is becoming an important partner for grassroots doctors making diagnoses in rural China.

With a strong learning capability, the AI system has mastered knowledge contained in 53 medical textbooks and 400,000 authoritative articles of medical literature. In August 2017, it passed the written test of the national qualification exam for clinical practitioners with excellent results that were better than 95 percent of the 530,000 candidates. It also continues to update itself with the latest medical knowledge.

"The application of AI medical assistants has significantly shortened the time and improved the success rate for grassroots doctors making diagnoses," He said.

Tao Xiaodong, CEO of iFlyHealth, said after being used in four counties and a district in Anhui, the AI medical assistant has made more than 1.5 million auxiliary diagnoses.

"It can help confirm more than 900 diseases at health centers at the grassroots level with an accuracy rate of 97 percent," Tao said.

As of March this year, the AI assistant has been used in almost 1,200 clinics and health centers across the country.

Technology has been reshaping the life of rural Chinese in many ways.

The diagnosis and treatment levels of clinics and health centers in rural China, especially at and below county level, have long been relatively inferior due to a lack of experienced doctors and advanced equipment. Patients, especially critically ill ones, often have to be transferred to higher-level hospitals.

As China deepens reform of its medical and healthcare system, a big challenge is to develop a hierarchical medical system to allow patients to have their first diagnoses done at the grassroots level. Technology can now help this become a reality.

After being X-rayed, Long Shixiang, 62, was relieved to hear that her broken bone had healed.

A native of Hongtang town in Yichun, Jiangxi province, she was able to receive all her medical treatment at her doorstep.

"It saved me a lot of money and trouble," said Long, who has to stay at home to take care of two granddaughters as both her son and daughter-in-law work out of town.

Just two years ago, it was impossible to get an X-ray at the local health center due to a lack of equipment and qualified medical practitioners.

"The equipment was too outdated to take clear X-rays and there were no doctors capable of giving professional diagnostic reports," said Fu Chunping, head of the local health center. "The patients had to go to the superior hospitals for treatment."

Chen Junkun, chief medical officer of JF Healthcare said: "X-rays play a major role in clinical diagnoses of many diseases, including fractures and various lung and heart diseases. It also is cost-effective."

The local government purchased X-ray machines for 27 health clinics in the district in 2017, but doctors were still nowhere to be found until technology came to help.

By collaborating with JF Healthcare, a company that specializes in providing online medical services with AI and remote interconnection technology, patients can receive their X-ray reports within 10 minutes. By uploading the X-ray film to a cloud platform, an AI system will conduct an auxiliary diagnosis and the X-ray will later be reviewed by qualified practitioners who will make judgments in 10 minutes.

JF Healthcare has now partnered with 1,019 grassroots hospitals in 12 provinces and autonomous regions including Jiangxi, Xinjiang, Hubei, Hebei, Guangxi and Yunnan. More than 20 million residents in rural areas can take advantage of the service.

By reading the diagnostic reports that are sent back, doctors at the grassroots level can also improve their treatment levels.

"Telemedicine is a new trend to solve the problem of poor access to medical services in rural China, and it is encouraged," said Liu Xiaohui, from Jiangxi province's Health Commission.

"The medical treatment at the grassroots level will be quickly improved and the residents in rural areas can enjoy better medical services with the help of AI and other advanced technology."

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2019-07-10 07:25:41
<![CDATA[New tech tackles soil contaminated with arsenic]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490020.htm For a few decades from the 1950s to the 1990s, Wenshan city in Southwest China's Yunnan province ranked first in terms of arsenic production in China.

Tao Guangfa, a 67-year-old villager, still remembers how people in his hometown used to be afraid of eating corn, rice and other crops from the fields and along a waterway around a local arsenic mine.

People even avoided herding around the arsenic mines for some time as grass for the cattle was poisoned due to soil pollution.

However, the latest technology is expected to reduce such concerns.

Chinese research institutions and enterprises have jointly developed a new technology with the aim of restoring soil contaminated with arsenic.

In the smelting process of nonferrous metals, heavy metals including lead, zinc, cadmium and arsenic may be found in various types of solid waste without proper treatment.

Though local arsenic manufacturers have all been shut down in recent years, arsenic residue in waste still continues to exist in mountains and gullies, affecting the environment and posing a health threat to locals.

The new technology on the remediation of arsenic contaminated sites on the plateau has recently passed expert evaluation.

Developed by the Yunnan Institute of Environmental Science, Kunming University of Science and Technology and Yunnan Investment Ecology, the technology improves the technical system of arsenic-containing waste disposal in cement kilns.

The researchers developed intelligent remediation equipment and an effective curing and stabilizing repair agent to provide key support in solving the arsenic pollution problem.

Based on preliminary research, Wenshan started a project on the disposal of eight arsenic slag sites with a total area of 6,130 cubic meters in May last year and completed landfill work on May 20 this year.

The project is currently in the final stage of ecological restoration, the local government said, adding that the contaminated soil is undergoing post-restoration treatment, which is expected to be completed in this month.

"Now, there's no need for us to worry about soil contaminated with arsenic," Tao said.

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2019-07-10 07:25:41
<![CDATA[Schools urged to cut burden of student work]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490019.htm Education Ministry wants a more comprehensive evaluation system

China will establish a more comprehensive evaluation system for schools and students to cut excessive workloads for primary and middle school students, the Ministry of Education said on Tuesday.

Local governments should not evaluate middle schools based on how many of their students go on to enroll at good high schools.

Instead, schools should be evaluated based on the quality of their teachers, efforts to cut excessive workloads for students and public opinions about their performance, Lyu Yugang, director of the ministry's basic education department said at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and State Council on Monday issued a guideline for advancing education reform and improving the quality of compulsory education.

It is the first guideline issued by the CPC Central Committee and State Council on compulsory education since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Lyu said students should be evaluated based on their moral, intellectual and physical grounding, as well as their interests, hobbies and work ethic, not just on their grades.

Zheng Fuzhi, vice-minister of education, said the ministry will continue to cut excessive workloads on primary and middle school students.

Excessive workloads harm the healthy development of students. However, he added that learning comes with difficulty and stress, so a certain amount of work is good for students.

"We need to improve the quality of classroom teaching so students do not need to work too hard after school," Zheng said. "Teachers should not teach ahead of the syllabus or increase the difficulty of classes."

After-school training institutions should not teach students material that is too advanced for their grade or anything outside the national syllabus, he said.

He also stressed that schools should not assign any homework for parents. "Homework is for students to reinforce what they have learned in class. Students should do their homework by themselves, not ask their parents to do it for them," he said, adding that teachers or schools that assign homework for parents will be seriously dealt with.

The guideline also demands high-quality and professional teaching personnel, proposing more training to strengthen teaching fundamentals and teachers' work ethic, as well as improved salaries and benefits.

Exam-free access to nearby primary and secondary schools should cover all school-age children, and schools are encouraged to promote the well-rounded development of students, the guideline said.

Zhong Binglin, president of the Chinese Society of Education, said compulsory education lasts nine years, which is the longest of all education stages with the most number of students.

Compulsory education lays the foundation for later stages of education and is crucial for cultivating a child's talents, personal qualities, integrity and knowledge, he said.

 

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Driver gets death penalty after killing six pupils]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490018.htm

A driver who plowed his car into students crossing the road last year, killing six and injuring 20, was sentenced to death by a court in Liaoning province on Tuesday.

The province's Huludao Intermediate People's Court publicly announced the death penalty for Han Jihua at 2 pm on Tuesday, saying his behavior resulted in the crime of endangering public security with a dangerous method, under Criminal Law.

The court also said Han's criminal act of driving into a group of students was premeditated, planned as a reaction to trivial problems including marital conflict and financial troubles.

At 12:18 pm on Nov 22, 2018, more than 60 students from the second elementary school of Jianchang county in Huludao were crossing the road in front of the school's entrance under the guidance of two teachers.

At that moment, Han, driving a black Audi A6 sedan, rammed into the crowd and then fled the scene. At 12:52 pm, he was detained by police. Six students were killed and 20 other people were wounded. Of the injured, 18 were children, according to the court.

The defendant pleaded guilty and had no prior criminal record, "but given that he planned the crash and his behavior brought great harm to the victims' families, we decided not to punish him leniently," the court said in a statement.

So far, there is no information on whether Han will appeal to a higher court.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA['Noticeable progress' in military games preparation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490017.htm Preparatory work for the 7th International Military Sports Council (CISM) Military World Games has been proceeding well, with participating Chinese soldiers undertaking intensive training for the event, organizers said on Tuesday.

The games will be held in Wuhan, Hubei province, between Oct 18 and 27. A total of 10,719 athletes from 105 CISM member states have registered to take part in the games.

Hu Yabo, executive vice-mayor of Wuhan and deputy head of the Executive Commission of the 7th CISM Military World Games, said at a news conference in Beijing that the games are an important international sports event and Wuhan is committed to making them memorable.

"We have been sparing no effort in the preparatory work for the games and have made noticeable progress," he said.

All of the 35 venues for the games have either been built or refurbished in preparation for the event. Construction or refurbishment of venues took only two years and three months to complete, Hu said, adding that they will be open to the public after the games.

Thirty-eight test events covering 27 sports have been conducted or are underway in Wuhan, and competition management committees have been actively getting ready for the games, according to the vice-mayor.

He added that accommodation and canteens in the Athletes' Village were completed and 98 hotels designated to host visitors and travelers had finished their preparations. The executive commission has recruited more than 240,000 volunteers to support event operations.

Organizers are pushing ahead with rehearsal performances for the opening and closing ceremonies of the games.

A torch will be lit on Aug 1 in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, where the People's Liberation Army was established. It will then be carried in a relay across 27 cities and 16 military sites, Hu said.

Hu also said that most of the tickets for the games will be low priced to benefit the public.

"The lowest price will be 10 yuan ($1.5) for each ticket and the highest will be 200 yuan. The average price will be 50 yuan," he explained.

Senior Colonel Guo Jianzhong from the Central Military Commission's Training Management Department, also a deputy head of the games' executive commission, said at the news conference that Chinese participants will take part in all sports except golf.

He said Chinese athletes are racing against time to prepare themselves for the coming games, and they cherish the opportunity to communicate and compete with their foreign peers.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Doctors resign over lack of subsidies; probe ordered]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490016.htm The National Health Commission has urged an investigation into the mass resignation of 36 village doctors in Henan province who claimed the local government is withholding their subsidies.

Song Shuli, spokeswoman of the commission, said at a news conference on Tuesday that the commission has ordered Henan Provincial Health Commission to immediately investigate the issue. "No matter where the problem occurred, it must be investigated thoroughly and immediately rectified," she said. "We will solve the problem and ensure the lawful interests of village doctors so they can provide better healthcare services to the vast number of residents in rural areas."

In a resignation letter signed by 36 doctors in Zhusha township, Tongxu county, dated June 28, the doctors said they have been facing increasing work pressure. Even though the central government had allocated funding for subsidies based on patient workloads, the county had withheld payment, the doctors claimed in the letter.

In a statement released on Monday, the county government said it had started an investigation following media reports and had spoken with all the 36 doctors.

The county denied the doctors' complaints that they had heavier workloads. But it admitted that some county departments had delayed paying the doctors' subsidies and promised to honor all of them before July 20.

China has intensified efforts in recent years to improve grassroots healthcare services to ensure universal healthcare coverage. However, a lack of qualified doctors in rural areas has been a major obstacle.

The number of doctors and other health workers in villages across China was 907,000 last year, a decrease of 62,000 compared with the previous year, according to the National Health Commission.

In contrast, the total number of health professionals in the country reached 12.3 million, an increase of 4.6 percent year-on-year, it said.

He Jinguo, chief of poverty alleviation at the commission, said a major problem for village doctors was the lower income compared with their peers in big hospitals in cities. Despite government subsidies for village doctors, doctors working in villages with smaller populations cannot get a big increase in salary as the subsides are based on the number of people treated by the doctors, he said.

"We do not require every village with a population smaller than 800 to have at least a health center. Rather, a health center can be set up for two such villages, so doctors in the center can provide services to more people and have higher income," he said.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[All poor rural areas to get basic healthcare access]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490015.htm

All residents in impoverished rural areas are expected to have access to basic healthcare services provided by certified doctors by the end of the year, the top health authority said on Tuesday.

Despite general improvement, healthcare resources are unequally distributed across China, said He Jinguo, who leads the poverty alleviation office at the National Health Commission, at a news conference. He said impoverished areas are the ones most lacking healthcare services.

By the end of last year, all 832 impoverished counties in China had at least one public hospital, and nearly 95 percent of all townships in these counties had at least one general practitioner. However, 46 townships still did not have a health center, and 666 township health centers still did not have at least one general practitioner or a practicing physician, he said.

The commission will continue efforts to improve healthcare services in impoverished areas by various means including increasing financing to village health centers to ensure their operation and encouraging cooperation between different areas so medical institutions in impoverished areas get more technical support from major hospitals in developed areas, he said.

These efforts have also helped residents in impoverished areas get out of poverty. The commission has worked with other departments to improve impoverished areas' access to healthcare services and reduce their medical expenditure in the past few years. About 6.7 million households that fell into poverty due to diseases have escaped poverty, He said.

Shan Xiangqian, Party chief of Anhui Provincial Health Commission, said a survey by the commission recently found 168 villages in the province do not have at least one qualified doctor in service, which is a major obstacle to ensuring healthcare services to all residents in these areas.

The province will take measures to solve the problem, including selecting doctors from major public hospitals so the volunteers will be dispatched to villages without qualified doctors to become chiefs of village health centers, Shan said.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Over 9,000 detained for disturbing rail operations]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490014.htm Over 9,000 people have been given administrative detention for disturbing railway operations in the first half of the year, the Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday.

Twenty-two people were detained for forcibly taking other people's seats on high-speed trains and 11 for blocking or pushing open train doors, according to the ministry.

On Monday, the ministry launched a special campaign to crack down on public safety issues that will last until the end of this year. Frequently reported problems including taking other passengers' seats, blocking train doors, smoking on high-speed trains, destroying railway facilities and obstructing police enforcement are the key targets of the campaign.

"We stand firm and have zero tolerance toward behaviors that affect the safety of passengers and the trains' regular operations," said Wang Hongsheng, the director of public security administration of the Railway Public Security Bureau.

Wang also reminded passengers to call the police when their rights and interests were infringed upon rather than remaining silent.

Bai Shaoqiang, vice-director of the bureau, said more experienced police will be deployed on trains and at railway stations.

"We will also collaborate with local public security organs and railway transportation enterprises to ensure the safety of passengers and the trains," Bai added.

From January to June, criminal cases and public security cases reported on railways across the country fell by 17 percent and 6 percent. Railway police have detained more than 30,000 wanted offenders, up 19 percent year-on-year.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Landmark birth employs gene screening]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490013.htm A woman who used preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to prevent congenital skeletal dysplasia recently gave birth to the world's first baby to be born under such conditions at the Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital.

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Nanjing hospital uses innovative tech to help woman bear a healthy child

A woman who used preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to prevent congenital skeletal dysplasia recently gave birth to the world's first baby to be born under such conditions at the Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital.

According to the hospital, the baby weighed 4.6 kilograms and was given a 10 Apgar score at birth.

The mother, surnamed Zhang, has tried for years with her husband to have babies. She had to have three abortions due to the fetuses' severe congenital spinal deformity.

In 2018, the couple went to Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Jiangsu province, for treatment. The hospital found that both of them are carriers of the BMPER gene mutation.

The mutation of the gene - BMPER - can lead to a rare autosomal recessive skeletal dysplasia called DSD (Diaphanospondylodysostosis). Patients exhibit severe symptoms including ossification, abnormal kidney structure and somite defects.

Ling Xiufeng, director of the hospital's reproductive medical center, suggested to the couple that the PGT technology could be used to screen out the mutation so that they could have healthy babies.

"In other words, the method is to fertilize the egg in vitro, test the fertilized egg without the gene mutation and implant the healthy embryos into the uterus," Ling said.

The center made a specific plan for Zhang, who had three healthy embryos out of the seven fertilized eggs that received genetic testing. One embryo was implanted successfully in her uterus and developed into a healthy baby.

"The PGT technology can greatly reduce the chances of having genetically defective babies by selecting normal embryos," Ling said. "The couples who want to have children, especially those with genetic diseases, should first take genetic tests to clarify the pathogenic genes.

"Then, PGT technology should be adopted to screen the chromosomes and genes to avoid birth defects and block the heredity of genetic diseases in the families," she added.

Zhang Junqiang, director of the center's embryology laboratory, said that the PGT technology has been used at the center for more than three years to help families with genetic and chromosomal diseases.

"Though prenatal examination and genetic testing are common in some countries, few Chinese couples have such tests before having babies," Zhang said.

"Recessive pathogenic genes are not unusual, and every person has such genes," he said. "It's important for people to have prenatal examinations."

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Chinese, German armed forces hold joint medical support drill]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490012.htm

The Chinese and German armed forces are holding a joint exercise on medical support that began on July 3 and will last until July 17 in Germany, in an effort to improve coordination in conducting international humanitarian medical missions.

The drill, dubbed "Combined Aid 2019", is the first-time a full unit of paramedical forces of the People's Liberation Army has visited Europe with real combat gear for a joint exercise, according to the health bureau under the logistic support department of China's Central Military Commission.

Most of the 91-strong Chinese delegation have had experience in major medical missions such as international peacekeeping, flood emergency rescue and earthquake relief, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The ongoing exercise is the second military drill on medical support held by Chinese and German militaries. The first was held in southwest China's Chongqing municipality in 2016, themed on a fictitious earthquake scenario.

The latest joint exercise will simulate an international humanitarian medical rescue mission where causalities are scattered in a location ravaged by infectious diseases like cholera.

The training will enhance joint command and control, treatment and evacuation of casualties and epidemic prevention and control.

It will also explore new concepts and practices in rescue missions. The goal is to improve the medical capabilities of the two military medical teams and build a foundation for future bilateral or multilateral humanitarian relief cooperation.

The Chinese team brought with it new medical equipment for the drill, including its latest field tent hospital system, armored ambulances and epidemic prevention vehicles. This equipment can be used to set up a second-class hospital on site and demonstrates China's latest developments in field medical technology.

In recent years, the PLA's paramedical forces have actively participated in foreign exchanges and cooperation, including its aid in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the "Peace Train-2018" joint humanitarian and medical rescue exercise in Laos and the establishment of free clinics with the Vietnamese army along the countries' borders.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Former top official gets life for graft]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490011.htm Zeng Zhiquan, former head of the Guangdong Provincial United Front Work Department, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday for accepting 140 million yuan ($20.3 million) in bribes.

According to the Intermediate People's Court of Fuzhou in Fujian province, from 2004 to 2017 Zeng took advantage of his positions as deputy director and director of the Guangdong Financial Bureau to help companies and individuals obtain land for development and construction projects.

In return, he accepted huge bribes.

He was given a lenient punishment after confessing his crimes and returning his illicit gains, the court said in the statement.

Zeng, a native of Guangdong, was born in 1963. He was appointed deputy director of the Guangdong Financial Bureau in 2003 and stepped up to the position of director in 2010.

In 2018, he took over as the head of the Guangdong Provincial United Front Work Department.

In July 2018, Zeng became the target of an investigation by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and National Supervisory Commission for "suspected serious violations of Party disciplinary rules and law". He was expelled from the CPC and removed from public office in January.

The probe found that "Zeng violated organizational discipline, refused to tell the truth when responding to the supervisor's inquiry, sought benefits for others and accepted money in official selection and appointment".

Other offenses included seeking benefits for relatives in business operations, engaging in business operations and accepting gifts and money, and making decisions in violation of regulations, the statement said. Zeng took advantage of his posts to aid others, and he is suspected of the crime of taking bribes, it said.

Zeng pleaded guilty in April's hearing and said he would not appeal.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Relocation of herders helps restore ecosystem around Xinjiang lake]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490010.htm URUMQI - Sitting in his spacious new house, Sarhtibek Haoslikhan is quite content with his life.

"I have spent half my life herding, and I never imagined living in a big house like this," said 48-year-old Sarhtibek.

Decades ago, many Kazakh people chose to settle near the Ebinur Lake in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The lake area was known for its abundant sources of water and grass, and the people thrived there.

But many years of herding coupled with the over-exploitation of underground water damaged the ecosystem.

The area later became one of the sandiest places in China and featured frequent sandstorms.

However, a government relocation program helped restore the environment there in recent years.

The program was launched in 2015, and 54 Kazakh families that were living within the Ebinur Lake Wetland National Nature Reserve were asked to move to Alataw Pass, a city about 40 kilometers away.

Despite the lack of electricity and tap water in the lake area, Sarhtibek and his neighbors were reluctant to move.

"We would love to live in a city, but we were simply worried," Sarhtibek said. "Herding was the only thing we could do. How could we survive after moving to a new place?"

To help ease their concerns, authorities arranged a series of support measures.

"We worked with authorities of Alataw Pass and provided the herdsmen with basic living allowances, houses and favorable policies in medical and educational areas," said Yao Shuyin, a nature reserve official.

The herdsmen were also invited to attend a series of training sessions organized by the local government to help prepare them for a new urban life.

In 2017, Sarhtibek sold all his cows and sheep and joined the first group of families to relocate from the nature reserve. Sarhtibek and his wife managed to find jobs, which guarantee a monthly income of more than 6,000 yuan ($873). More than 180 of Sarhtibek's neighbors followed suit.

The relocation program, which included the relocation of companies and artificial precipitation, helped restore the ecosystem in the nature reserve. These days, wild animals such as red deer and goitered gazelles can be seen in the area again. The lake's area has been expanding, too.

"I am just happy that the environment near the lake is getting better," Sarhtibek said.

 

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[National parks draft law could arrive by year's end]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/10/content_37490009.htm Authorities are speeding up work on the country's first law covering national parks with draft legislation expected by the end of the year, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said on Tuesday.

Last year, the administration invited experts and officials from several departments, including the ministries of justice and natural resources, to help in the drafting of the law.

"Due to a lack of relevant experience and the complexity of the lawmaking procedure, it has taken more time than we expected, but the draft will be unveiled by the end of this year," said Tang Xiaoping, deputy director of the National Park Management Office under the administration.

Tang also said the first draft of a national standard for the establishment of national parks was finished in June and is now at the consultation stage.

Nine major indicators will be introduced in the standard, including whether the region can represent certain ecological or geological conditions that typify China. Ecological safety requirements will also be included.

Since 2015, China has approved 10 pilot national parks covering more than 220,000 square kilometers across the country. Among the 10 are: the Giant Panda National Park, which includes parts of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces; the Qilian Mountains National Park in Gansu and Qinghai provinces; and the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. The pilot program will end next year.

"Evaluation of those pilot programs will then be conducted by a third party, and we will also inspect national parks construction work, including the relocation of local residents and the removal of commercial projects in the core protection areas," Tang said.

After the pilot program ends, the administration will reevaluate all the applicants and officially grant national park status to those that meet the standards.

Tang said unlike the United States, which gives equal weight to the recreation business and ecological protection, China's national parks will prioritize ecological protection.

Last month, the State Council unveiled a guideline to establish the mechanism of nature reserve areas with national parks as a major component. The guideline aims to provide systemic protection for natural ecosystems, relics, scenery and biodiversity, as well as safeguard the country's ecological security.

Under the guideline, national parks will have core protection areas and general control areas. Development and construction that could hurt the ecosystem will be prohibited, and those engaging in practices such as illegal mining, the discharging of pollutants and poaching will be punished.

"We will gradually introduce recreation business within general control areas in national parks and encourage environmentally friendly trips from the public," Tang said.

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2019-07-10 07:25:07
<![CDATA[Renovation helps Old City become new attraction]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489662.htm Visitors are flocking to the far northwest, attracted by the stunning scenery and ancient culture. Cheng Si reports from Kashgar, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Editor's note: This is the seventh in a series of stories focusing on the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, looking at developments in the economy, the cultural and business sectors, and poverty alleviation measures.

Zhang Saxia, who owns a juice and tea bar in Kashgar city, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, became hooked on the exotic city after paying an unscheduled visit in August 2017.

"My original plan was to travel around the region's northern areas to view the marvelous landscape, because several people close to me had warned that security in some of the southern cities was not very good, and that deterred me at the very beginning," said the Sichuan province native with a laugh.

"But curiosity won out. Kashgar was a total surprise to me when I arrived because what I saw was a strong exotic culture and friendly people. There was no hint of terrorism. Everything was novel to me at the time," the 27-year-old said.

After returning to Chengdu, Sichuan's capital, Zhang found herself yearning for the slower pace of life in Kashgar, so she quit her job and opened her bar early last year.

"Kashgar is famous for its mouthwatering fruit, while the cities in the region's interior are known for their fine teas, so I combined the two, hoping to bring a new taste to local people and travelers," she said.

Rich resources

Located on Xinjiang's western rim, Kashgar prefecture boasts rich tourism resources in terms of nature and culture, ranging from the Pamir Plateau to the Muztagh Ata, a snow-covered mountain range in Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county. Meanwhile, the Old City in Kashgar city has a history of 2,000 years and a vibrant culture.

These resources have revitalized the prefecture, and the deepened cooperation between China and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, along with the stable, secure society and rapidly improving travel services, have made it a new attraction for tourists.

Last year, tourism boomed in the prefecture, with the number of visits reaching 9.3 million, a rise of 54 percent year-on-year. The sector generated revenue of more than 9 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), a rise of 67 percent from 2017, according to the Kashgar Bureau of Culture and Tourism.

Gao Zhenduo, president of Kashgar Kunlun Travel Agency, who has worked in the sector for about 20 years, said the prefecture has a promising future, thanks to the development of tourism.

His company organized about 100,000 visits last year, while the first half of this year saw tourist numbers rise by 10 percent from the same period in 2018.

"Travelers have a wide range of choices here; the plateau, the snowy mountains and the night fairs with their delicious snacks," he said. "However, the tourists we've helped preferred Kashgar's Old City."

Zhang, the juice and tea bar owner, said, "The area has many beautiful places, but for me, and I believe many tourists, the Old City is the most attractive place because of its strong, exotic culture. I think it owns the city's soul."

A document released by the prefectural government said the Old City, which covers about 5 square kilometers, is booming after a renovation program started in 2010, which saw the construction of houses designed to withstand earthquakes and obsolete firefighting equipment replaced with modern tools.

According to the document, the central and regional governments provided more than 7 billion yuan for the renovation project, which was completed in 2015, in time for the region's 60th anniversary celebrations.

In a 2015 interview with Xinhua News Agency, Zeng Cun, who was governor of Kashgar in 2010, said the Old City is located in an active seismic zone and its dense population and old, unstable houses could hamper rescue work in the event of an earthquake.

Also in 2015, Anwar Tursun, mayor of Kashgar city at the time, told Xinhua that the renovation project combined the protection of cultural relics and the development of tourism across an area of 4.46 sq km.

He added that the traditional culture will be preserved by the development of tourism, while the rising number of people who visit to experience the local culture will bring higher incomes for both residents and the government.

The Old City - which the China Tourism Administration designated as a Five-A tourist attraction, the highest grade, in 2015 - is now a burgeoning commercial area, where residents have opened souvenir stalls in their spare rooms, and is a new landmark for Kashgar.

Cultural experiences

Gao, the travel agent, said Kashgar prefecture offers travelers a wide range of breathtaking natural scenery, along with cultural experiences linked to the area's ethnic customs.

"The Pamir Plateau in Tashikurgan is another popular attraction. It is the location of the Muztagh Ata and the Khunjerab Pass (a navigable route high in the Karakoram Mountains) on China's border with Pakistan," he said.

Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county, about 400 kilometers south of Kashgar city in the region's southwestern border area, was once a major crossing point on the ancient Silk Road. It is the traditional home of the Tajik ethnic group.

Zhou Hao, deputy director of the county's culture and tourism department, said tourism is set to become the largest source of income for local people, because sheep and cattle grazing will be prohibited from next year.

"We believe the development of tourism will bring the county a bright future. We are making great efforts to fight poverty, and we believe tourism can help improve the situation," he said.

He added that the county received about 770,000 visits from domestic travelers last year, generating revenue of around 140 million yuan, and facilities to accommodate tourists are improving all the time.

"We have about 3,000 beds available for travelers, from highly-rated hotels to homestays run by Tajik families. The development of tourism will not only help visitors to learn about the plateau and the Tajik people, but will also attract investment and bring better incomes for the local population," he said.

"For example, we arrange night fairs for tourists almost every evening, which attract an average of 1,000 visitors each time, bringing extra income to about 2,000 people."

Chen Yi, a 30-year-old visitor from Shanghai, was impressed with the highland views and the exotic culture on display in Kashgar and Tashikurgan.

"The most impressive part was not the marvelous landscape; the views are nice, of course, but the friendliness of the Tajik people touched me most," she said.

"Yesterday, some friends and I went to a restaurant run by a Tajik family. I was not used to the strong smell of the food, so I went outside to sit down and get some air. I was surprised when a very old lady, who seemed to be the mother or grandmother of the restaurant, came and gave me a hug."

Chen said she was taken aback by the elderly woman's warm approach.

"She held me tightly and patted my head, treating me like her little granddaughter. My heart melted as I felt the kindness she showed me," she said.

"I will never forget that hug or my experiences in Kashgar and Tashikurgan. The area is totally different to how I imagined it. The views and the people are both wonderful."

Zhou, from the culture and tourism bureau, said the county is making great efforts to become a "holistic tourism attraction", where everything is connected.

"In the future, we will emphasize snow-themed tourism and border tourism," he said, adding that a few problems will have to be solved before tourism can be fully developed.

"The county is still in a painstaking fight against poverty, and it will require more financial support from the central, regional and prefectural governments. Also, we need preferential policies to attract more investors," he said.

Tashikurgan aims to receive 2 million visits by the start of next year, when 3,500 local residents will be involved in the tourism sector, he added.

 

Tourists enjoy views of Baisha Lake, surrounded by snow-covered mountains on the Pamir Plateau in Akto county, Xinjiang.Li Jing / Xinhua

 

 

 

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2019-07-09 07:38:11
<![CDATA[Resettlement raises living standards]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489661.htm Impoverished residents of bleak backwaters in Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county have been relocated to Tati Kuli, a government-supported settlement that offers better conditions for farming and higher standards of education and healthcare.

The settlement in Kashgar prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, covers 980 square kilometers and is home to 1,418 people.

In the rural areas, people's lives were frequently disrupted by natural disasters, while the barren land, low levels of education and poor medical facilities made it difficult for them to escape poverty, according to the local government.

After moving to Tati Kuli in March last year, Gilmakha Kurbanjan joined a border patrol team.

"I used to live in a shabby house, whose weak structure made it unsafe in bad weather. Also, we had to collect water from a river, which usually took about two hours for a round trip," said the 25-year-old who used to live in the county's Ma'eryang town.

Before moving to the settlement, her family made a living by grazing animals, earning an annual income of 10,000 to 20,000 yuan ($1,450 to $2,900).

"Our lives have improved a lot. We now live in a clean house with free electricity and fresh drinking water," she said. "Our income has also risen since my father and I joined the border patrol team. We also do some handicraft work and plant highland barley with the help of the government. Last year, our income was about 60,000 yuan."

Long Xinxin, director of Tati Kuli settlement, said the relocation campaign was completed in May.

"Investment of 150 million yuan has been channeled into the campaign for infrastructure construction, such as houses, kindergartens, clinics and entertainment facilities," he said.

According to Long, the settlement boasts collective land, where the locals can plant highland barley, and handicraft workshops, where they can earn extra income by making Chinese knots.

Healthcare and education are also high priorities at the settlement. Aypnazar Qintimur, a physician who works at the newly built clinic, is impressed by the facilities.

"I used to ride a camel or walk to some outlying villages to see patients. I remember that it took me nearly a week to reach a patient in an isolated village, and his illness had worsened by the time I arrived," the 34-year-old said. "However, that won't happen again because the people have been brought here."

He said the clinic provides checkups and basic treatment.

"Though we can't offer the best treatment, we can help to transfer seriously ill patients to higher-grade hospitals in the county, giving them a better chance of survival," he said.

Mirgul Akhmihan, Party secretary at the kindergarten, has witnessed the great changes education has brought to the children.

She said preschool education was not available in the rural areas, and parents did not understand the importance of education.

"One child who moved here from a very remote village was afraid of attending the kindergarten at the very beginning, because he had no idea what it was," she said.

"But now, it is one of his favorite places because he has many friends here."

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2019-07-09 07:38:11
<![CDATA[Nature offered more protection]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489660.htm China has unveiled a guideline for improving the protection of nature reserve areas, with the aim of reaching world-leading management and preservation levels by 2035.

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Standard for recognition and management of national parks to be released next year

China has unveiled a guideline for improving the protection of nature reserve areas, with the aim of reaching world-leading management and preservation levels by 2035.

According to the guideline, released by the State Council late last month, a new mechanism for the management and protection of nature reserve areas, including national parks, will be built.

It is expected to provide systemic protection for natural ecosystems, relics, scenery and biodiversity, and also safeguard the country's ecological security.

The guideline calls for the establishment of a batch of national parks and a unified management system for the country's nature reserves - at all levels - by 2020. The next step will be the building of a protection mechanism, with national parks as a major component, by 2025.

"The guideline is a move by the country to advance sustainable development," a top official from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said in a recent interview.

According to the administration, China has established more than 11,800 nature reserve areas at different levels that are protecting 18 percent of the country's land and 4.6 percent of its territorial waters.

In a report delivered at the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017, President Xi Jinping said China would develop a nature reserves system composed mainly of national parks as part of the effort to build a beautiful China.

The primary purpose of establishing nature reserve areas is to protect a fragile ecosystem, which has been under constant attack from human activities.

In national parks, for example, development and construction that could hurt the ecosystem will be prohibited, and those engaging in practices such as illegal mining, the discharging of pollutants and poaching will be punished.

"But the overall planning of the country's nature reserve areas is imperfect and the management system also needs to be improved to keep pace with the rapid development of the country," the administration official said.

"The guideline marks a milestone in the country's comprehensively deepening reform on nature reserve areas. It will support China's overall ecological protection work and lay a foundation for our sustainable economic and social development."

Under the guideline, there will be three kinds of protected areas - national parks, nature reserves and nature parks - based on their ecological value.

Overlapping nature reserves or ecologically-connected areas that used to be managed separately by different departments will be integrated, with management and protection work enhanced, and the total area covered by the three kinds of protected areas will be no smaller than the previous areas.

The habitats of some endangered wild species and regions with representative geological conditions will be included in the nature reserves. Nature parks will be those regions holding natural scenery or relics with potential for scientific or cultural study.

National parks will be regions that can showcase typical Chinese ecosystems.

Since 2015, China has approved the construction of 10 pilot national parks covering more than 200,000 square kilometers across the country, including the Giant Panda National Park, which includes parts of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces; the Qilian Mountains National Park in Gansu and Qinghai province; and the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

In national parks, the strictest protection occurs within "red line" zones, a key government strategy putting designated areas under mandatory protection.

The pilot program will end next year and the administration will then release a national standard for the recognition of national parks and their management. By the end of next year, a batch of national parks under the new standard will be unveiled.

Last year, a research center for national park planning was established in southwestern China's Yunnan province in an effort to facilitate the protection of China's nature reserves.

With more than 70 researchers specializing in zoology, botany, wetland and nature reserve protection, and landscaping, the research center is building on work conducted by an institute that has been dedicated to national park research since the 1990s.

To simplify management, the guideline says each nature reserve area will receive uniform management from one administrative body, and management and control will feature a range of restrictions on human activities.

National parks and nature reserves will have core protection areas and general control areas. Human activities will be prohibited in the former and be subject to strict restrictions in the latter. Nature parks will be defined as regular control areas and be subject to less stringent restrictions.

The guideline includes several principles to guide protection work, with government departments to play a leading role and input from social organizations and experts from research institutes also welcomed.

It also emphasizes that the new mechanism will be formulated according to the law and the interests of the people. International experience will also be factored into the new mechanism.

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2019-07-09 07:38:11
<![CDATA[Duty-free sector and fire safety among issues addressed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489659.htm Several ministry-level departments, including those for finance, emergency management and health, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Regulation to ensure fair duty-free market

 

China will beef up oversight of duty-free shops at ports with measures to encourage fair market competition, according to a temporary regulation published on Thursday.

The regulation, issued jointly by the Ministry of Finance and four other government departments, said operators of duty-free shops must be decided through a bidding process, during which eligible businesses must be offered unbiased treatment.

The sustainable development of businesses must be taken into account during the selection of operators, and the variety of products they offer, in addition to liquor and cigarettes, will be an important factor.

Products sold at duty-free shops must be in line with the categories of products authorized by the General Administration of Customs, the regulation said.

Fire safety inspections ordered near campuses

The Ministry of Emergency Management has called for heightened efforts to reinforce fire safety inspections of rental housing units and businesses near campuses in the wake of several accidents in recent months.

In a notice issued with three other government departments on Wednesday, the ministry said problems such as a lack of fire control measures, failure to assume safety responsibilities and a lack of safety training were behind a number of deadly fires in rental housing in recent years that have each claimed at least 10 lives.

Meanwhile, businesses around campuses, such as internet cafes, games rooms and hotels, also pose severe fire hazards due to the large flow of people attracted to their commercial activities, it said.

Government departments must launch comprehensive fire safety inspections targeting rental housing units and business venues, the notice said.

Housing units accommodating more than 10 tenants that fail to ensure safe evacuation procedures must be shut down temporarily, and electric bikes that are illegally parked or charged inside residential buildings must be removed.

 

The notice also called for property owners and managers to organize fire extinguishing and emergency evacuation drills on a regular basis, carry out fire safety inspections, and keep firefighting equipment well maintained.

Psychological health of elderly a priority

The National Health Commission said on Thursday that it has launched a two-year pilot program to evaluate the psychological conditions of senior residents and improve the ability of health workers at the primary level to offer help.

The program, covering 1,600 urban communities and 320 villages, will conduct evaluations of the psychological conditions of residents age 65 and older to learn about the common psychological issues they face, said Wang Haidong, head of commission's department of aging and health.

Under the program, psychological assessments will be carried out on a voluntary basis, and interventions and suggestions for medical treatment will be offered depending on the results, he said.

The commission said the program has been prompted by an increase in mental problems among the elderly in recent years. More senior citizens are now part of the migrant population or have been left behind at home by their children, making them vulnerable to mental issues, especially when they catch chronic diseases or lose their spouses or friends, it said.

The program is expected to improve the ability of medical workers at the primary level to identify common psychological issues and offer corresponding help, Wang said.

 

Action plan to boost security of data

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on July 1 that it has launched a one-year action plan to boost data security, targeting data leaks and misuse by businesses.

The campaign will include checks on data security at all telecom companies, 50 major internet companies and 200 popular online applications by the end of October, the ministry said.

The plan calls for the establishment of an industry data security protection mechanism, with measures to develop data protection catalogs and formulate security standards in more than 15 industries.

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2019-07-09 07:38:11
<![CDATA[Two Fortune Global 500 firms face environmental inspection]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489658.htm

China Minmetals and ChemChina will join 6 provincial-level regions in probe

Two Fortune Global 500 enterprises will become the first State-owned enterprises subject to a high-profile central inspection on ecological and environmental protection, led by ministerial-level officials.

China Minmetals Corp, the country's largest metals and minerals group, and China National Chemical Corp - or ChemChina, the country's largest chemical enterprise - together with six provincial-level regions including Fujian and Hainan provinces and Shanghai will be subject to a one-month inspection, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a media release on Monday.

The latest inspection will aim to address outstanding ecological and environmental problems to improve environmental quality while promoting high-quality development, the release said. It said the probe, covered by the first batch of the second round of central inspections, will be launched soon but did not disclose the exact time.

It also said the inspection of State-owned enterprises will check whether the instructions of President Xi Jinping and other leading officials of the central government have been implemented and if they have adequately fulfilled their duties in pollution control.

The current status of longstanding problems related to ecological environment and the operation of long-term mechanisms for ecological environment protection put into place by these companies will also be scrutinized, it said.

Inspectors will also check to see whether environmental violations that were previously exposed have been addressed.

In 2018, China Minmetals ranked 109th and ChemChina ranked 167th among the Fortune Global 500 companies.

With eight listed companies, China Minmetals managed 1.86 trillion yuan ($270 billion) of assets by the end of 2018. Chem-China controls nine listed companies, according to the websites of the two Beijing-headquartered companies.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, an NGO, said many central SOEs make a great environmental impact as they, often with a large number of subsidiaries scattered in many regions, "have a very large scale of energy consumption and emissions". Their central government-controlled background, however, often creates obstacles for local environmental authorities to regulate them.

"The central inspection on ecological and environmental protection could help break these obstacles," he said.

Based on data his institute collected, some central SOEs also exhibit poor performances in environmental protection or fail to disclose environmental information as required, he noted.

He said he looks forward to seeing the inspection help push these central SOEs to make their environmental information public, which will facilitate public participation in environmental supervision.

According to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the new round of inspection will begin this year and last for four years. Inspectors will check whether violations they find in the first three years are rectified when they conclude their task in 2022.

While ministerial-level officials will work as heads of the eight inspection teams, vice-ministers of ecology and environment will be deputy heads.

In addition to central government-controlled companies, this round of inspection will also target central government bodies, instead of only inspecting local governments and companies as it did in the first round, the ministry said.

Over 40,000 companies received penalties of nearly 2.5 billion yuan, and 2,264 people were detained for environmental violations during the first round of the inspection from the end of 2015 to 2018. The inspection also helped address more than 150,000 environmental problems, according to the ministry.

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Shanghai issuing fines for incorrect trash sorting]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489657.htm Law enforcement officers in Shanghai have begun issuing fines for trash sorting violations after municipal regulations on domestic waste management were implemented this month.

A total of 190 fines were issued between July 1 and 6, Shanghai's Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau said on Sunday, adding that four waste transport companies were fined for not properly transporting the trash.

The bureau told the city's news portal Eastday that it will inspect a further 230 waste transport companies this month to ensure they are not mixing different sorts of garbage.

Zhang Yong, associate professor of environment sciences at East China Normal University in Shanghai, said different types of trash need different treatment measures. If food waste, which can be processed to make fertilizer or biofuel, is mixed with residual wastes, it requires extra work at the treatment center to sort it again, he said.

In August, the bureau will inspect 10 large-scale transport centers and 10 waste treatment facilities in the city.

Local media followed urban patrol officers as they inspected trash compression stations in the city on Sunday. At one small station in Yangpu district, they found kitchen waste mixed with other waste. The officers ordered station staff to correct the situation within three days, according to Jiefang Daily.

Li Zhongjie, deputy manager of Gaojing Environment Sanitation Company, which is responsible for trash transport in Baoshan district, said the regulation gives transport companies the right to refuse to collect waste if they find it has not been properly sorted.

"We will take pictures as evidence if we find the kitchen waste bins contain other trash," Li said. "We will notify the neighborhood's property management company to sort the trash before we come back to collect the trash. Otherwise, it will become our problem if our truck gets refused at the waste treatment center."

Last week, the urban management and law enforcement bureau focused on trash disposal as it dispatched 17,800 officers to conduct 9,600 inspections of trash stations in residential neighborhoods, hotels, shopping malls, hospitals and parks.

The officers stopped 6,704 people from improperly disposing of their trash and educated them about the four categories - residual waste, food waste, hazardous waste and recyclables.

Of the 190 fines that were issued, 15 were given to individuals while the rest were given to institutions.

The bureau added that 62.1 percent of the institutions received fines for not setting up separate trash bins, 35.8 percent for not disposing of trash separately and 2.1 percent for not properly transporting the trash.

According to the new regulations, individuals who do not properly separate their trash face a fine of between 50 and 200 yuan ($7 to $29), while institutions face a heftier fine that ranges from 5,000 to 50,000 yuan.

Peng Yanling, deputy director of the bureau, has said enforcement officers will first focus on education but warned they will punish those who ignore notifications for breaches of the regulation.

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Party, state reform effort helps China streamline government, military]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489656.htm

Since China's latest reform of Party and State institutions started in early 2018, the country has seen a systematic improvement of the Party's leadership, the government's administrative capacity, the armed forces' combat capability and mass organizations' vitality.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Friday attended a meeting reviewing the reform of Party and State institutions.

Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, called for consolidating the achievements in the reform, and modernizing China's system and capacity for governance at the meeting.

In the reform at the central level and of state organs, more than 80 departments underwent adjustment of their management, framework, duties and personnel, with more than 1.8 million people affected, according to official figures.

The CPC Central Committee had four coordinating organs removed while the State Council, China's Cabinet, had two removed. A total of 21 ministerial departments were dissolved.

The functions and structures of the institutions were profoundly streamlined. The CPC Central Committee, the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference optimized their arrangement of internal and subordinate departments.

The State Council enhanced its role in economic adjustment, market regulation, social management, public service and environmental protection, with long-standing problems of power overlap and segmentation solved.

Reform on this scale required a meticulous plan and detailed maneuvers.

One of the most complicated reform cases was the creation of the Ministry of Emergency Management, which integrated the functions of 13 departments. The new ministry was able to carry out its responsibilities around the clock in response to emergencies even before its formal inauguration.

To address long-term problems such as the absence of the proprietor of natural resources and overlapping responsibilities, the Ministry of Natural Resources was established, absorbing the functions of eight departments.

Five administrative law enforcement forces introduced in the reform integrated power from more than 30 law enforcement fields involving more than 1 million law enforcement personnel. They helped settle the problems of law enforcement being duplicated and reduced inconvenience caused to the public.

More than 160 laws and 230 administrative regulations were revised to facilitate the reform.

Through the reform, the systems to ensure the Party's overall leadership and the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee have been further consolidated.

The central leading groups for deepening overall reform, cyberspace affairs, financial and economic affairs and foreign affairs were upgraded into central committees. Meanwhile, two new central committees for comprehensive law-based governance and auditing were formed. The arrangements have enhanced the Party's leadership over major works as well as its decision-making and coordination abilities.

The reform also reinforced the Party's absolute leadership over the military through the restructuring of the armed police.

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Guideline spells out head officials' duties in disaster]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489655.htm Heads of local governments of all levels will be held accountable if their poor work ethic and lax attitudes lead to disastrous consequences while dealing with floods and droughts, the Ministry of Emergency Management said on Monday.

According to a guideline issued by the ministry's Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters to prepare for coping with weather-related disasters, local heads should clarify duties for different departments, guarantee enough funds and carry out solution plans.

To prepare for disasters, local heads should: supervise local authorities to build safety-related facilities and maintain them regularly; set up comprehensive disaster control grid systems in counties and villages where floods frequently happen; and ensure that there's enough money to maintain warning platforms, the guideline said.

After floods, drought or typhoon, top officials should quickly organize all parties to carry out disaster relief, including spurring health and epidemic prevention, restarting business operations as soon as possible and ensuring social stability, it said.

They also need to organize publicity education to enhance disaster awareness and risks, and to promote their initiative to participate in flood and drought control, the guideline added.

Up to Sunday, heavy rains hit most areas in South China and caused flood disasters.

Floods in Shunchang county, Fujian province, have damaged about 200 households and affected about 11,000 people. Electricity was cut off and roads were blocked by the flood, the Beijing News quoted the local publicity department as saying.

On Sunday, the meteorological bureau of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region issued a Grade-II response for torrential rain, the second highest in China's emergency response system. Maximum precipitation in Guangxi has reached 306 millimeters.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, this round of heavy rainfall in South China will end by Thursday.

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Chinese, Germans work to cut greenhouse gases from livestock]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489654.htm Chinese and German scientists are working together to try and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by the raising of livestock.

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Joint effort aims to develop technologies, innovative methods to reduce emissions

Chinese and German scientists are working together to try and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by the raising of livestock.

The scientists are developing innovative methods and technologies focusing on greenhouse gas reduction at three pilot farms, said Yang Hongjie, division chief for animal industry development at the National Animal Husbandry Services, which is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Two are cattle farms in Tianjin municipality and Hebei province, and the third is a yak farm in Sichuan province.

"Specific measures to improve the climate-related performance of the selected farms will be developed, and at least five innovative processes and technologies for reducing greenhouse gases and improving the environmental performance of these livestock farms will be identified and developed," he said.

The project, signed between China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Germany's Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, started in April and lasts until the end of the year. It is also part of a joint declaration on climate and agricultural cooperation signed between the two ministries in Beijing in May, Yang said.

"Reducing GHG emissions requires joint efforts by the international community," he said.

To carry out the project, experts from the two countries will conduct exchange programs, and some Chinese technical experts will receive training in Germany, Yang said.

After the project is completed, the results will be evaluated and positive outcomes may be promoted at other livestock farms in China, Yang said.

Wang Zongli, head of the National Animal Husbandry Services, which is responsible for carrying out the project in China, said intensified cooperation between China and Germany in agriculture in recent years has resulted in positive achievements. These include the promotion of superior cow species and the establishment of a number of facilities using Germany technologies to treat waste from pig farms.

"Agricultural and livestock production in China has been upgrading at an accelerated pace in recent years, creating higher demand for large-scale and green production of the industry," he said.

China has been improving its efforts in environmental protection in the agricultural sector while at the same time increasing total production.

Authorities will introduce more measures to promote green development of agriculture over the next few years. According to a national plan released last year, this will include reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, promoting treatment and utilization of livestock waste and restoring ecological environments in rural areas.

 

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Peace builders play role in Sino-Japanese friendship]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489653.htm TIANJIN/BEIJING - Even at the age of 100, Yang Enze, one of the founders of China's optical fiber cable communications system, has not stopped researching and teaching as a professor at Tianjin University.

Besides his pioneering achievements as the chief engineer of China's first optical communications project for practical use in the 1970s, Yang is also known as a survivor and witness of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

"I was admitted to Wuhan University in 1937, the year when Japanese troops attacked the Lugou Bridge, also known as the Marco Polo Bridge, on the outskirts of Beijing on July 7," the centenarian said, recalling the start of his academic study.

The incident marked the beginning of Japan's full-scale war against China during World War II and triggered China's resistance against the invasion.

Ahead of the 82nd anniversary of the incident that falls on Sunday, Yang said because of the war, his university in central China's Hubei province was relocated to the southwestern province of Sichuan to avoid enemy forces.

"Even in Sichuan, there were a lot of Japanese bombings, but none of the students missed any of the classes as long as there was no air-raid siren," he recalled.

"I have always kept in mind late Chairman Mao Zedong's words that it was Japanese militarists that were to blame for the war, not Japanese civilians," Yang said, noting that he still keeps in touch with many Japanese scholars.

He established the first optical communications laboratory in Tianjin in 1985, when he was invited to teach at Tianjin University. In Yang's career, he has made friends with several leading experts from Japan and remained friends with some of them.

Naomi Morita is a Japanese language teacher at Nankai University who also works as a consultant to the school's research institute of Zhou Enlai-Daisaku Ikeda.

"After becoming involved in the research of the friendship between the late Chinese premier and the Japanese philosopher, I wanted to search for the core factors that helped consolidate the friendship between them," Morita said.

She came to Nankai to pursue a master's degree in Modern Chinese and Chinese Literature in 2010 and has been there ever since. When she first arrived, she had trouble learning Chinese phonics. Now she can read and speak Chinese fluently, write beautiful Chinese characters and study ancient Chinese literature independently.

As a teacher, she feels frustrated that most of her Chinese students are more likely to be attracted by Japanese animation and games rather than Japanese literature. According to the school's statistics, nearly half the undergraduates in the 2019 class of Japanese majors chose to work in Japanese-funded enterprises or Japanese-related enterprises after graduation.

Morita said Japanese tourists who visit China are more likely to choose destinations like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

According to a report released by the China Tourism Academy, China received 2.69 million Japanese visitors in 2018, making Japan China's fourth largest source of foreign tourists. In the same year, Chinese made 9.06 million direct visits to Japan.

The academy released the report at the 2019 China-Japan Tourism Forum Dalian held on May 26, which focused on promoting winwin cooperation on cultural exchanges and tourism between the two countries.

China and Japan agreed to push bilateral relations to promote peace, friendship and cooperation at the Group of 20 summit, which featured the world's major economies in Osaka, Japan, in June.

"We keep the wartime memory not because we bear the hatred, but because we want the younger generations to cherish what they own today and move toward a better future," said 70-year-old Zhen Dong, who on Friday visited an exhibition on Beijing's past held at the Beijing Municipal Archives.

Zhao Hongwei, a professor with Tokyo-based Hosei University, said when it comes to bilateral relations between China and Japan, it is very important to promote the free trade agreement and expand the markets of both sides.

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Panda pigeon pair in Chengdu is world's heaviest]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489652.htm The world's heaviest panda pigeon pair has been born in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

According to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Ah Bao, a 9-year-old panda, gave birth to a male cub and a female cub at 7:41 am and 9:28 am on Saturday.

The two cubs weighed 211.6 grams and 209 grams, making them the heaviest recorded pigeon pair at birth, base chief Zhang Zhihe said.

Ah Bao, who had just given birth for the first time, tried for two minutes to hold one of the cubs and lick it like a dutiful mother, Zhang said.

Ah Bao was born in Atlanta Zoo in the United States in 2010, when the film Kung Fu Panda was a hit.

Her keeper mistook her for a male and named her Ah Bao, the male character in the film. When she was about to return to China in 2013, she was found to be a girl, Zhang said.

The average weight of a newborn panda cub is around 150 grams. It is rare for both of the twin cubs to each weigh more than 200 grams, he said.

The same miracle took place when the pigeon pair's father Ying Ying and his sister Ni Ni were born in 2008. Ying Ying and Ni Ni were also a pigeon pair weighing 206 grams and 202 grams.

Although the pigeon pair born on Saturday was only slightly heavier than Ying Ying and Ni Ni when they were born, the duo were five times as heavy as the famous "thumb girl" panda cub born on June 11.

Chengda, an 8-year-old female panda, gave birth to two female cubs in the base that day. One of the cubs weighed 171.9 grams and the other 42.8 grams.

Zhang said it was "less than one quarter of the weight of its elder sister and measured only two-thirds as long."

The smaller cub was about the weight of an average chicken egg.

Set up in 1987 with six sick and hungry pandas rescued from the wild, the Chengdu base is now home to 200 of the bears.

 

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Partnership with US drugmaker paying off]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/09/content_37489651.htm "All was lost for me except for the excruciating pain, but with the promising outcomes of this treatment, I feel hope again," said former rural teacher Huang Zhanying, who has been battling lymph cancer for about a decade.

Cancer cells had been eating at Huang's lymph nodes since 2009, even though she had endured chemotherapy, tried generic drugs and borrowed money to buy steeply-priced medicine from overseas. On New Year's Eve 2017, she slipped into a coma and was transferred to a large hospital in Beijing.

It was different this time. She enrolled in a clinical trial program featuring immunotherapy, an emerging cancer treatment that works by boosting a patient's immune system to target and kill tumors.

In about two months, her tumor had shrunk. Gradually, she recovered some of her appetite and regained strength. Huang is now able to travel alone from her home in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, to Beijing each month to continue the treatment.

Known as Tyvyt, the infusion that saved Huang's life is jointly developed by Innovent Biologics, a domestic biopharmaceutical company established in 2011, and Eli Lilly and Company, a drug manufacturing giant headquartered in Indiana, United States.

The treatment mainly tackles relapsed classic Hodgkin lymphoma. In China, the incidence rate for cancer in lymph nodes stands at about 6.9 per 100,000 people, and the classic Hodgkin's type accounts for about 10 percent of all cases, according to the National Health Commission.

In December, the innovative drug gained market approval from the National Medical Products Administration. Three months later, it was announced that Tyvyt would be sold at 7,838 yuan ($1,140) per 100 milligrams, less than half of the listed price for imported drugs with similar curative effects.

It is still considered a rare feat for Chinese pharmaceutical companies to succeed in developing innovative drugs or treatments.

For decades, domestic drug manufactures have been used to producing generic versions of foreign drugs, which make up about 80 percent of its market.

According to a report looking into sustainability in China's pharmaceutical sector, more than half of the innovative drugs worldwide have been created in the United States, followed by Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland, which have each contributed 5 to 10 percent. China is among the tertiary group. The report was jointly issued by several industry groups, including the China Pharmaceutical Enterprises Association in 2016.

Michael Yu, founder, chief executive officer and chairman of Innovent, had anticipated the challenge ahead when he started the company in 2011.

"It is universally acknowledged that it will take at least 10 years and $1 billion for a new drug to enter the market," he said. "In the early years of Innovent - a startup with limited financial backup - it was apparently a risky move to take the innovation route."

In 2014, an infusion sample from Yu's company - one of the prototypes for Tyvyt - drew attention from global companies for its advanced precision and effectiveness in reaching target cells. However, it was not until late 2015 that the Chinese business cemented cooperation with its US partner. Yu described the initial relationship as a melodrama of the poorboy-after-rich-girl chase.

"Eli Lilly and Company had sent an inspection team of 157 people and scoured every corner of our manufacturing facilities to avert risks that might disrupt originality and cause regulation issues," he said.

Yu was soon presented with a lengthy list of rectification requirements, mainly surrounding its manufacturing practice.

"Apparently, no cooperation is in sight if we do not meet the highest standards," he said.

Meanwhile, there were increasing doubts on whether the young company should stick to its original approach of inventing novel therapies.

"I had been working in the United States for more than 10 years. In the US, I was able to buy a wide range of products that are made in China, but there were no Chinese-made biomedical drugs," Yu said. He decided to take a leap of faith.

The company set out to transform and upgrade its manufacturing lines in 18 months. During the facility renovation, it missed the opportunity to accelerate the market approval of another generic drug.

"There is no denying that China has lagged behind some developed countries in terms of R&D into biomedicine, but it's unacceptable to always chase after key players in the industry," Yu said. "We should at least make all-out efforts to align ourselves with them."

Yu's perseverance eventually paid off. After striking a deal with the US company in late 2015, Innovent was able to collect sufficient funds to ensure smooth operations from basic research and development and clinical trials to production and sales.

"We are also exploring new methods of payment that would further cut down on patients' financial burdens; in the meantime, more than 20 clinical trial programs are underway to test Tyvyt's role in tackling other types of tumor cells," Yu said.

Like Innovent, domestic pharmaceutical companies are picking up the pace to address unmet medical needs.

According to the National Medical Products Administration, it handled registration applications for 115 types of innovative drugs developed in China last year, a rise from 112 in 2017 and 77 in 2016.

"The outlook is bullish for us," Yu said. "With the acceleration in approval process headed by the administration, more high quality and effective innovative drugs will reach patients in need sooner."

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2019-07-09 07:37:35
<![CDATA[Garbage-sorting games used to win over Shanghai's younger generation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489219.htm Authorities attempt get the waste-management message across via fun activities

As Shanghai prepared to introduce mandatory garbage sorting on July 1, games and toys that explored fun ways to spread information about the practice were used to encourage younger people to take heed.

A 15-second video of a virtual reality game went viral on Chinese social media during the run-up to the introduction of the new rules. In the video, players wearing VR headsets saw four different types of trash can in front of them, and they had to throw different types of garbage that appeared into the appropriate buckets to score.

The game debuted at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai at the end of last month. Although it was not the only VR game in the venue, visitors lined up around the booth to explore it because of the garbage-sorting theme.

"As a Shanghai resident, I am in great need of this game. Maybe I won't need to check how to categorize each piece of garbage on my phone while going through all my garbage every day if I play this game more often," said Zhou Zhou, a young Shanghai resident.

Some social media users in Shanghai have complained about the difficulty of sorting different types of garbage.

Wu Xia, founder and CEO of VitrellaCore, the company that created the game, said the idea was to provide an interesting way of learning about garbage sorting.

"It's simple and easy to understand. Residents can practice sorting garbage without actually going through their trash, and it is a more effective method than using paper materials when training volunteers," Wu said.

Categories of trash

Shanghai is widely promoting a mandatory garbage-sorting system that requires residents to dispose of trash at a fixed time and place. There is a designated garbage disposal site for every 300 to 500 households, where volunteers carefully check whether domestic waste has been sorted correctly.

Starting on June 1, the city enacted a set of regulations on the sorting and recycling of household garbage that require residents to sort trash into four kinds: dry refuse, wet trash, recyclable waste and hazardous waste. People who fail to comply can be fined up to 200 yuan ($29).

Wu said many streets and neighborhoods have expressed a willingness to cooperate, and the company hopes to launch VR games in more places for residents to play free of charge.

On Taobao, the e-commerce behemoth owned by Alibaba, sales of a garbage-sorting toy rose dramatically on June 30, the day before the new regulations came into force. The toy consists of four miniature sorting bins, with cards representing different types of garbage.

Most of the buyers were from Shanghai, and stocks of the toy almost ran out, according to a customer service representative.

Jiayou, a residential community in Shanghai's Jiading district, ordered several toys for its residents. "We hope to raise children's interest in garbage sorting," said Xing Minxia, Party chief of Jiayou community.

Mao Qing, director of a community cultural activity center in Changning district, said: "Most garbage-sorting volunteers are retirees, while young people are less involved. These innovative methods can win young people's hearts and make them feel that garbage sorting is fun rather than a burden."

Recently the residents have enjoyed a mobile game called "Race Against Time". Over 45 seconds, players are required to use a trash can to accurately catch garbage belonging to the can's category. Successful players can participate in a lucky draw.

Fan Weicheng, deputy director of the Shanghai Oriental Publicity and Education Service Center, the developer, said about 21,000 people have played the game since it was launched early last month.

"We often see seniors gathering around garbage-sorting information boards in residential communities, but young people are hardly ever there," Fan said. "We hope to involve more young people through mobile games."

Wu, from VitrellaCore, said his company's VR game will soon be launched on the Steam platform and Tencent's WeGame platform.

"There will be more types of garbage and more gameplay at a later time, but the core of the game will always be to teach people about garbage sorting in a fun way," Wu said.

Xinhua

Students at a primary school in Hefei, Anhui province, compete in a game to better understand garbage sorting.Liu Junxi/xinhua

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2019-07-08 07:40:59
<![CDATA[Collectors treasure trash for cash]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489218.htm A few years ago, collecting garbage was a bleak business for everyone involved. However, since trash sorting became an important practice in many parts of China, it is a promising sector.

Li Wanhai is a garbage collector for AiFenLei, a WeChat miniprogram engaged in online garbage collecting, sorting and recycling services.

Every day, the 57-year-old and three colleagues can receive around 40 online orders and collect 600 kilograms to 1 metric ton of waste from five large residential communities in Beijing's Changping district.

"The job is flexible and meaningful," said Li, who earns around 7,000 yuan ($1,000) per month.

AiFenLei employs 60 collectors, 60 supervisors, 30 sorters and 30 publicity officers, but when Li joined the company a year ago, after quitting his job as a driver for a ride-hailing company, there were just four collectors.

The ubiquity of smartphones provides great potential for incorporating waste sorting in the online world, and AiFenLei is one of a growing number of companies that have turned to online garbage disposal solutions.

"We are hiring more people involved in the industry to meet the growing demand," said Xu Yuanhong, the company's general manager.

Recently, China has been pushing hard to cultivate the garbage-sorting habit. According to the government, trash-sorting systems will be built in 46 major cities by the end of next year, and all cities at prefecture level and above should have built such systems by 2025.

Moreover, stricter garbage-sorting rules have yielded more job opportunities, and turned trash into cash.

Qiao Junsuo, a garbage truck driver in Beijing's Chaoyang district, is happy with his decision to quit his previous job - he was a taxi driver for 10 years - and is content with his monthly salary of 4,300 yuan, along with social insurance payments and a housing allowance.

"I'm glad to see that more and more people are aware of the importance of waste sorting, and I hope the authorities pay more attention to recycling. The booming industry means that I can earn more to raise my three kids," the 40-year-old said.

Qiao - one of about 80 garbage truck drivers in Chaoyang - usually drives to an incinerator in the suburbs once or twice a day, carrying 15 tons of waste each time.

Beijing generates nearly 26,000 tons of household garbage every day, about 1.1 kg per person, and the amount is rising, Sun Xinjun, head of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management, told a TV show recently.

"If garbage collection is not timely, there will be a huge impact on residents' daily lives," Sun said.

Shanghai's residents produced more than 9 million tons of household garbage last year, putting huge pressure on the environment and the city's sustainable development.

Many residents turn to online waste collectors for help. According to State broadcaster China Central Television, a waste collector in Shanghai can earn more than 10,000 yuan a month, depending on how much trash they collect.

In 2000, China began piloting garbage sorting in eight cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, plus Guangzhou and Shenzhen, both in Guangdong province, by installing waste bins on the streets. However, there is a still long way to go, even after nearly two decades.

According to a survey conducted by the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, more than 92 percent of the over 13,000 interviewees recognized the importance of garbage sorting for environmental protection, but only 30 percent thought they were doing "very well" or "relatively well" in disposing of household waste correctly.

Wu Shunze, director of the research center, said the government should take concrete measures and produce policies to promote garbage sorting, while the rising volume of garbage means trash-sorting businesses need more professionals, and it could take generations to form good habits.

Liu Jianguo, an environment professor at Tsinghua University, said garbage sorting is a long-term process, and step-by-step efforts will be required to tackle the problem.

Cheng Lu, He Xiyue and Qin Jing contributed to the story.

Xinhua

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2019-07-08 07:40:59
<![CDATA[New yak breed brings herders renewed hope]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489217.htm Scientists have spent years propagating the hornless species to improve livestock and livelihoods

Under the touch of petite scientist Yan Ping, a tall and powerful black yak, weighing more than 400 kilograms, becomes as obedient as a lamb.

Unlike other yaks, this one has no horns. It is a new breed cultivated by Yan and her team from the Lanzhou Institute of Husbandry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It is expected to help herdsmen on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as the "roof of the world", out of poverty.

Yaks without horns

It took more than 20 years for Yan's team, working with Datong Yak Breeding Farm in Northwest China's Qinghai province, to breed the Ashidan yak, which is named after the 4,380-meter Ashidan Mountain that looms over the farm.

"The Ashidan yak has no horns and a mild temperament, so it is easier to keep and feed in the stalls," Yan said.

"It is better suited for large-scale intensive breeding in the cold and arid alpine areas of China. We can make full use of feed resources in the alpine, semi-agricultural and semi-pastoral areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau."

Traditionally, yaks grazed seasonally on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Yan said that grazing, supplementary feeding and whole-house feeding can be combined to increase yak breeding for all seasons.

Naturally, about 6 or 7 percent of the yaks in Qinghai are born without horns and these were selected for the breeding program. Scientists identified the genes related to horns and cultivated the Ashidan yak using molecular breeding technology. Each Ashidan yak has a similar physique and appearance, and is genetically stable.

Under the same feeding conditions, the average reproductive rate of the Ashidan yak is 59.98 percent, which is 11.72 percentage points higher than that of local yaks, and the mortality rate is at 1.24 percent, 4.32 percentage points lower than that of local yaks, according to the research team.

The Ashidan yak was also bred to improve meat production. Close to 4,000 male Ashidan yaks have been introduced to Qinghai farms to improve livestock.

Statistics show that the average weight of the Ashisan yak at 18 months old is 92.77 kg, heavier than a local yak by 24.71 percent.

Motherly love

Yan, who has spent 35 years on the plateau studying yak breeding, is like a mother to the Ashidan yak. She also finds the animal pretty. "When the yaks walk, their long furs sway in the wind like a skirt," Yan said.

When Yan entered the Lanzhou institute in 1984, she was assigned to the yak research team. Since then, her first research subject has become her lifelong career.

At the Qinghai breeding farm, Yan saw yaks for the first time. Conditions on the farm were hard during the 1980s, with no electricity or running water.

Yan would spend more than half a year at a time on the farm, domesticating wild yaks, and making observations and measurements.

She stayed with herding families, and recorded the yaks' growth. She often trekked with the yaks for hours at altitudes of 3,000 to 5,000 meters.

She has lost count of the number of times the yaks had injured her, but she has never given up.

Over the past 35 years, Yan has left her footprints all over grazing areas in the Tibet autonomous region and the provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu.

Yan has also taught herders new techniques in building barns and replacing stud yaks, and explained the risks of overgrazing and overmilking.

In 2005, Yan led her team to cultivate the Datong yak breed, which has the genes of wild yaks.

"Yaks lived on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau before humans did, and Tibetans domesticated yaks 8,000 years ago. Yaks are the means of production and the totem of people on the plateau," Yan said.

"I study and love yaks because of their toughness, bravery and hard work, which are precious qualities. Yak breeding on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a long cycle of time-and energy-consuming research. We need the spirit of the yak to respond to the difficulties and challenges in our research."

New hope

The Datong yaks have been introduced to many pastoral areas in Qinghai, Gansu, Tibet and the Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, covering about 75 percent of all yak breeding areas in China. It also played an important role in improving husbandry on the plateau.

The Ashidan yaks will be introduced to more pastoral areas to provide another alternative for herders, increase their incomes and help alleviate poverty.

Long Chunhua, a herder of the Tu ethnic group in Qinghai, is raising more than 200 Ashidan yaks.

"My parents were herders. Most of the yaks they raised had long and hard horns. Those yaks were mainly raised free range, and were difficult to keep in stalls," Long said.

"But the Ashidan yaks are docile, grow faster and are easier to raise. Every year, they can bring us an income of 120,000 to 130,000 yuan ($17,440 to $18,900)."

At present, the number of Ashidan yaks cannot meet the demand. "We need to use molecular breeding and new reproduction technologies, extract potential functional genes of yaks, and improve propagation efficiency," Yan said.

The breeding of new varieties can prevent yak degeneration, improve production, promote scientific husbandry, and help herders shake off poverty, she added.

Xinhua

Ashidan yaks wander around a slope on Ashidan Mountain in Qinghai province.

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2019-07-08 07:40:59
<![CDATA[Rapid rise in delivery services sees a new boom]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489216.htm Too busy to spare time for small and trivial things that often consume your life? Concierge companies based in major Chinese cities will offer you a solution.

From walking the dog to grocery shopping, scheduling hospital appointments, delivering papers, making reservations at restaurants and babysitting, savvy business owners are eyeing busy urban dwellers to provide them with a wide range of services.

Errand runners, who are mostly part-timers, are now in big demand in major cities.

With just a cellphone and reliable transport to ensure timely delivery, 47-year-old Xu Xiaoli began her part-time errand business after she dropped her daughter off at school in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province.

Soon after she opened an app, an order popped up on Xu's phone. The app enables busy people in the city to pay errand runners like Xu.

The job can bring Xu a monthly income of at least 4,000 yuan ($580). "It is a business you can get into with a schedule that's flexible, and I can also take care of my daughter," Xu said.

Last year, the number of quick delivery service users in China reached 358 million, according to a report released by iiMedia.

The report stated that the number is expected to reach 400 million by the end of this year.

"In today's fast-paced world, more people are beginning to realize that time is expensive and the diversified and personalized quick delivery services make it more convenient and cheaper for people to 'pay to save time'," said Qiao Songtao, founder of UUpt, an errand company headquartered in Zhengzhou with over 1.6 million registered errand runners around the country.

"Seventy percent of errand runners have high school or junior college education or less, so the booming industry creates more job opportunities, regardless of gender or degree," Qiao said.

Wang Sixin, a professor with the Communication University of China, said that smartphones and mobile applications make quick delivery services possible.

The emergence of new business models has played a unique role in boosting employment in cities, Wang added.

Last year, a union platform was founded by the country's competitive delivery service players such as Meituan, UUpt and FlashEx, which is aimed at enhancing delivery efficiency based on shared resources.

Statistics show that the number of registered delivery service personnel on the platform has surpassed 5 million and their average daily earnings have reached 200 yuan.

"The job is both lucrative and rewarding," Xu said. "I have been working hard and life is getting better. It is all worth it."

Xinhua

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2019-07-08 07:40:59
<![CDATA[Artist dedicated to glass craft future]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489215.htm For 56-year-old Zhang Chunlin, a happy life cannot be realized without two things - glass and grinding wheels.

Wearing a leather apron, Zhang held a glass disc in both hands and placed it against a rapidly spinning grinding wheel used for carving designs into glass. The glass artist carefully controlled the angle and strength with his hands. About an hour later, a vibrant peacock appeared on the glass.

Zhang's Tianjin workshop is full of glass carvings, etchings and painted artwork. On a large piece of glass measuring 1-meter long and 60-centimeters wide, a carved lion "moves" its mane in the wind. The delicate artwork often draws admiring visitors.

"You cannot feel the traces of engravings when you touch the glass on the front side, as the image and characters are carved on the reverse side," said Zhang, adding that the back side would be coated with a layer of aluminum or silver as a mirror.

Zhang has been enthralled with glass art since he was a child. "My father was a local folk artist in glass carvings, and he often made exquisite glass works in our old shabby house," he said.

In 1979, Zhang worked as a glass carver in a mirror making factory. Before he finished his first glass carving, Zhang broke many pieces of glass.

As the edges of ground glass could be as sharp as blades, his hands were often injured. When this happened, Zhang would just grab a band-aid and continue to work.

Though the work is seemingly tedious and demanding, Zhang said he is satisfied and happy to dedicate himself to glass carvings.

In order to elevate their artistry, Zhang and his colleagues created many new grinding wheels of different shapes and sizes.

"From normal round grinding wheels to cam and triangular ones, we have made many improvements. These grinders are like paint brushes, which can create different patterns with various textures on the glass," he said.

In its heyday, nearly every family in China bought carved, etched or painted glass. They were used as decorative pieces on furniture such as wardrobes and wine cabinets, and were regarded as popular gifts for weddings and birthday parties. However, it has gradually lost its appeal in modern times.

Zhang sees these challenges and tries to keep glass art alive through various means.

Feathers are a common element in glass carvings of auspicious bird images like the red-crowned crane, which is traditionally considered a symbol of longevity.

Craftsmen need to grind many times to show the texture in the crane's feathers, so Zhang enhanced a grinding wheel to produce bird feathers in an easier and more vivid way.

With Zhang's efforts, glass carving was listed as one of Tianjin's intangible cultural heritages in 2017. In the same year, Zhang founded his own studio so as to pass down the glass carving art to younger generations.

However, young people still find the art daunting. To attract more people to love glass carvings, Zhang strives to lighten the art's image by integrating glass carving elements into household items that are used daily. These include goblets, tea sets and jewelry boxes.

"My father has not given up glass art even in his 90s," Zhang said. "It is his dream, and now it is mine."

Xinhua

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2019-07-08 07:40:59
<![CDATA[NGOs warned not to profit from poverty]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489214.htm Government takes aim at groups accused of abusing relief programs

More than a year after it stepped up oversight of local authorities' use of poverty relief funds, the central government is now targeting abuse of poverty relief programs by profit-seeking NGOs.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs, which oversees the operations of domestic NGOs, and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development issued a circular recently aimed at stamping out misconduct in NGOs' poverty reduction endeavors.

It criticized organizations that exploit such programs to enrich themselves and urged more transparency in the spending of funds raised from the public.

The circular also warned of serious punishment for NGOs that embezzle money from such programs and said those suspected of criminal offenses will be handed over to the public security authorities.

Despite the warnings, the two departments reiterated their support for NGO involvement in the campaign to eradicate absolute poverty nationwide by the end of 2020.

They will coach charitable groups to make full use of tax breaks tailored for relief funds, and will instill discipline in NGOs' relief efforts through annual checkups and evaluations, the circular said.

Qu Tianjun, a senior official who oversees nongovernmental participation in poverty relief, told a news conference in Beijing last month that government departments needed to ramp up oversight and thoroughly investigate suspicious NGOs.

Several recent cases of embezzlement of relief funds by government officials have sparked public fury.

One of the most high-profile scandals involved five officials from Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, who were sacked last year for embezzling poverty relief funds and dereliction of duty.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, the top graft watchdog, said all 15 townships in Zhangjiakou's Kangbao county had embezzled relief and agricultural funds and the county's disciplinary officials had failed to investigate the cases and accepted bribes.

To address such woes, the CCDI launched a three-year crackdown last year on officials who undermine poverty relief efforts.

But the misconduct seems to have spread to the nongovernment sector. Qu said more than 20 organizations have been reported to the central authorities for allegedly skimming money from funds raised in the name of poverty relief.

Cheng Wenhao, a chief researcher at Tsinghua University's Center for Anti-Corruption and Governance, hailed the new focus on NGOs, adding that governments need to encourage the timely disclosure of information to root out corruption.

"It's laudable for NGOs to get involved in poverty relief," he said. "But the prospect of corruption exists as long as one organization owns the resources."

The nongovernmental sector - including charitable groups and enterprises - has long been seen as possessing huge potential to help the government fulfill its promise of freeing China from absolute poverty by the end of 2020.

To harness the power of NGOs in poverty alleviation, the central government released a circular in 2017 encouraging them to play a bigger role in the fight against poverty and promised to provide financial aid for such undertakings.

Figures provided by the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that more than 680 national-level social organizations injected a total of 32.3 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) into relief projects last year, helping 5.81 million poor farmers.

Huang Ru, deputy director of the ministry's bureau for social group administration, said the figures show NGOs have become critical forces in relief work.

The ministry will continue to guide them and their programs to the poorest regions and strengthen efforts to prevent misconduct, she said.

lilei@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[Heavy rain heads south after battering north]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489213.htm Heavy rain will hit South China until Thursday after combining with strong winds and hailstones to batter North China on Saturday.

The China Meteorological Administration on Sunday also issued a grade-IV response for the upcoming rain. The grade-IV response for torrential rain, the lowest in China's emergency response system, means a 24-hour alert, daily damage reports and the allocation of money and relief materials within 48 hours.

He Lifu, chief forecaster at the center, said the rainfall in the south will be the heaviest since the flood season began last month.

"Areas with accumulated rainfall of more than 100 and 200 millimeters will be larger than in previous rounds," he said. "From June 7 to 10, precipitation in southeastern parts of Guizhou province, northwestern parts of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and northeastern parts of Hunan province will exceed 300 mm, and the maximum will reach 400 mm."

He said the main cause of the heavy rain in South China will be cold air from plateau areas meeting warm, humid air from southwestern China, with the rain spreading from west to east.

"In that case, rainfall will first be concentrated in southwestern China in provinces such as Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou," he said. "Afterward, it will gradually move to southeastern parts like the provinces of Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, as well as Shanghai."

He warned that soil will be loose as there has already been a lot of rainfall, and mountain torrents and mudslides are more likely to occur. Residents of Guizhou, Guangxi and Hunan should be especially cautious about the risk of flooding.

On Saturday, winds and rain hit northern China, with some regions battered by hailstones.

Lan Yu, a senior engineer at the center, said the weather was caused by a cold vortex that originated in northeastern China encountering warm, humid air in areas along Yellow River and Huaihe River.

"High temperature accelerates evaporation of the ground water, which provides favorable air conditions for severe convection," Lan said. "That's why this kind of weather always happens in summer.

"However, in dry areas like the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, it is rare because there's not enough water there."

The Anhui Meteorological Center issued a yellow rainstorm alert, the third-highest level, at 8:50 am on Saturday for the northeast of the province, including the cities of Huaibei, Suzhou and Bengbu, in the following six hours.

Heavy rain and hail started to hit Huaibei at about 11:40 am, with 37.5 mm of rain falling in an hour.

The center then raised the alert to orange, the second-highest level, at 2:30 pm, warning that rainstorms would hit Suzhou, Bengbu and Chuzhou in the following two hours.

Heavy rain and hail hit Tianchang in Chuzhou and parts of neighboring Jiangsu province in the afternoon.

Videos shot by residents showed hailstones as large as eggs hitting cars, roofs and windows.

Many residents said they had never seen such strong hail before.

In Fujian province, landslides were reported on Sunday in villages near the Wuyi Mountains due to heavy rain. No casualties were reported.

Contact the writers at lihongyang@chinadaily.com.cn

Residents wade through floodwaters in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Sunday. The city was battered by up to 216 millimeters of rain in just seven hours from 4 am. Two red alerts for heavy rain - the highest in a four-tier system - were issued.Li Hanchi / For China Daily

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489212.htm Shandong

Three anglers dead, one missing after boat sinks

The search is continuing for an angler who has been missing off the coast of eastern China's Shandong province since Saturday. Fifteen anglers fell into the sea when rough seas caused by a sudden storm hit two boats from which they were fishing at the Sime Darby Port in Weifang's Binhai district, according to the district information office. One of the boats sank. Fourteen of the anglers had been found by Sunday morning. One died at the scene and two others died in the hospital despite receiving emergency medical treatment. Weifang was hit by rainstorms and gales on Saturday.

Inner Mongolia

Forest fires break out in Hinggan Mountains

Two fires broke out in primitive forests in the northern part of the Greater Hinggan Mountains in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Sunday, local authorities said. Around 11 am, two fires were reported at the Xikouzi forest farm. The local forest fire brigade sent more than 150 firefighters to extinguish the blazes. As of 3 pm, the first group of firefighters arrived about 9 kilometers away from the site of the fire. They plan to march to the site to put out the fire, according to sources with the brigade. The size of the area that has been burned is yet to be estimated.

Gansu

Mogao Grottoes road damaged by flooding

The only road leading to the Mogao Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Gansu province, was damaged by floods, local authorities said on Sunday. From 10 am on Saturday to 9 am on Sunday, heavy rain hit the city of Dunhuang, where the grottoes are located. Rain triggered floods in the Daquan River, which runs in front of the grottoes. Cultural relics from the grottoes had not been affected by floods or rainstorms so far, said Luo Huaqing, deputy director of the Dunhuang Academy of China. The grottoes will open to tourists after the floods recede and road traffic resumes, Luo said.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[National events mark anniversary of conflict]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489211.htm Ceremonies keep spirit of resistance alive decades after war with Japan

Memorial ceremonies were held in many parts of the country on Sunday to commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the 1937 outbreak of the full-scale War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

In Beijing, a ceremony took place in front of the Museum of the War of Chinese People's Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi hosted the event, which was attended by more than 500 representatives of veterans and their relatives, students, soldiers, cadres and members of the public.

Student representatives recited poems about the war - Lugou Bridge Battle and Sing for the Motherland - with a choir singing songs. All representatives later presented floral bouquets and bowed in front of the relief sculpture in the main hall which depicts the nation's solidarity in the resistance.

The museum is staging an exhibition displaying more than 210 photographs and 240 artifacts recording moments in the war as captured in plays, poems, comics, movies and songs.

In July 1937, Japanese troops attacked the Lugou Bridge, also known as Marco Polo Bridge, on the outskirts of Beijing, marking the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China, as well as the beginning of nationwide resistance against Japanese aggression during World War II.

Zheng Fulai, an 88-year-old veteran, has served as a voluntary history guide to visitors to the bridge since 1951.

"Those martyrs are our role models. Remembering them is not to continue the hatred, but to remind us to be strong," he told China Central Television. "The incident bears witness to the history of suffering, but also reflects the great changes in the 70 years since the establishment of the People's Republic of China."

To commemorate the incident and pay tribute to those who fought in the war, memorial events were held in many cities across the country.

The Shanghai Songhu Memorial Hall for the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression held a ceremony on Sunday morning which was attended by more than 300 army commanders, community residents, schoolteachers and students. During the ceremony, the students recited poems and presented baskets of flowers in front of the monument to the unknown heroes to commemorate the martyrs and victims of the war.

Nanjing, where civilians were raped and massacred by Japanese troops, was another city deeply traumatized by the war. The Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders held several events on Sunday in memory of those who sacrificed their lives to protect the people and the country, attended by veterans and primary and secondary school students from various schools in Nanjing.

"I was only 12 years old when the Japanese troops came in the beginning of 1938. People were killed. My sister and I were the only ones who survived in the family," local veteran Wang Sheng told China News Service. "I joined the Eighth Route Army in 1940. Although the war was ruthless, and I was seriously wounded by bombs and became deaf in my right ear, I never flinched and I never regretted."

The Eighth Route Army was an army group under the command of the Communist Party of China that took part in the war of resistance.

Looking at the surrounding school children, Wang said he still remembers his general telling him to go back and liberate his hometown.

"Today I would like to tell you to cherish the peace and study hard," he told some of the children. "The responsibilities of safeguarding the country and maintaining the peace are now handed over to you."

Teachers and guides at the memorial hall also read letters that were written to families left by heroes in the war out loud together.

"These letters make me feel they are not distant heroes but ordinary people who have flesh and blood and feelings," a third-grade student from Nanjing Langyalu Primary School told China News Service. "I respect their sacrifice even more."

zhangyangfei@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[Country's first tropical diseases branch opens at hospital in Hainan]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489210.htm

The Second Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical University has launched China's first tropical diseases branch in Haikou, capital city of Hainan province.

It is expected to develop into a medical base for exchanges and cooperation with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to Wang Yi, president of the hospital.

In medical circles, tropical diseases are popularly known as "neglected tropical diseases" (NTDs). With about 40 percent of the world's population living in tropical and subtropical regions, integrated scientific research and treatment of tropical diseases are crucial, Wang said.

He said that in 2015, the United Nations set the goal of eliminating epidemics such as malaria and NTDs by 2030. However, global control of tropical diseases is facing new challenges as a result of globalization and the rapid movement of people around the world.

Some tropical diseases have become global epidemics. The outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome in 2003, H7N9 bird flu in 2013 and the Zika virus in 2015 highlighted the importance of global tropical disease control.

"Hainan is a tropical disease-prone area," Wang said. "The opening up of Hainan has increasingly led to exchanges with subtropical and tropical countries and regions such as Southeast Asia and Africa and a greater flow of population, which are bringing more tropical diseases to the island province from the outside world.

"We have opened the tropical branch in line with the regional characteristics of Hainan. We hope the launching of the NTD section will help establish a complete system for medical treatment and prevention of tropical diseases, relevant scientific research and the training of medical specialists in Hainan."

Wang added that provincial health authorities are very likely to grant approval for the hospital's clinical section to become a tropical diseases hospital later this year.

Du Yongguo, head of the tropical branch, said the new section, with nine doctors and 46 hospital beds, will provide treatment to patients with major infectious tropical diseases including malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis, dengue fever and others. In addition, the hospital will treat common tropical diseases in Hainan due to rickettsia infections including tsutsugamushi disease, typhus, infectious diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, tetanus, rabies and more.

"The doctors will also diagnose and treat noncommunicable tropical diseases and climate-related diseases such as heat radiation, tropical ulcers, cassava and mushroom poisoning and other diseases caused by tropical plants," Du said.

He said the new clinical section opened on Monday and received more than 20 patients in its first four days of operation, with more patients expected as people are informed about the new service.

Du added that his team will also conduct basic research on important pathogens and new infectious pathogens in tropical areas, including morphology, pathogenesis, genomics and proteomics, in addition to comprehensive prevention and control of important infectious tropical diseases.

Wang said, "We will take advantage of the Hainan Medical University as a platform and make good use of its resources to promote integrated clinical and basic research work on tropical diseases."

Hainan Medical University initiated an alliance for tropical medicine in October in response to the World Health Organization's call for strengthening tropical disease prevention and research and bolstering cooperation in tropical medicine between countries and regions taking part in the BRI. A total of 103 colleges and medical, scientific research and public health institutions from 30 countries and regions have joined the nonprofit international academic exchange organization, which is based in Haikou.

mazhiping@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[Volunteers lend a helping hand to Xinjiang patients]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489209.htm Experts from first-tier cities are helping to improve medical services in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region by giving free treatment, training and grassroots education.

Some come from Shanghai, where a project dubbed "silver age action" was launched by the municipal government in 2003 to encourage elderly experts to provide free medical services in Xinjiang for about two months every year. In the 16 years since it was launched, 382 elderly experts have taken part, benefiting more than a million people.

While medical treatment is the main focus, the project also covers nine other areas, including education, culture and psychological counseling.

Liu Hongdi, 69, used to be chief ophthalmologist at the Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Control Center. Now retired, she began working as a volunteer in Xinjiang for the eighth time last month as part of a team that includes 20 other elderly experts.

The average age of the volunteers is 64, and they are assigned to different counties in Kashgar and Karamay. In Karamay last year, four experts treated 1,925 patients and trained 370 local staff.

Liu said that every time she visits Xinjiang, it feels like home, and she has made many friends among local doctors and patients. This time she is working in Zepu county, Kashgar, treating complicated diseases, passing on her experience and knowledge and giving lectures to local doctors in major hospitals, villages and nursing homes.

In addition to the retired experts from Shanghai, many doctors who are still working are also lending a helping hand in Xinjiang.

Wu Rui, a doctor at the Third Hospital of Peking University in Beijing, has twice volunteered to provide free medical services in Xinjiang as part of a team organized by an All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

The federation arranged for a team of 13 volunteer medical experts to offer services in Xinjiang in June, providing free treatment for more than 1,000 people in local hospitals and nomadic settlements and giving lectures to about 18,000 medical workers in villages.

Wu said their volunteer work is down-to-earth and highly efficient.

"Once, in just two days, our team of four doctors made diagnoses and gave treatments to more than 100 patients, and also gave four lectures and performed two surgeries," she said.

Wu said that when she was treating members of the Kazak ethnic group in a village last year, she found many of them were anemic because their nomadic lifestyle made them susceptible to intestinal worms, which affected their ability to absorb nutrients. The team then decided to send anthelmintic medicine to village children every year.

While treating patients in Xinjiang, Wu has also discovered many problems are caused by a lack of knowledge about healthcare. For instance, some residents feed naan, a flat-bread that is a staple food in Xinjiang, to newborns, though doing so can cause suffocation. She wrote several articles to spread knowledge about such risks.

The doctors' work has been well-received by residents, with many saying they are grateful to have famous doctors from first-tier cities treating them and saving them time and money. Once the doctors have left Xinjiang, they can continue to prescribe medicine for patients with chronic diseases.

Local hospitals are trying to set up long-term, cooperative relationships with the expert doctors' hospitals to provide services such as training programs and long-distance joint diagnoses.

grace@chinadailyhk.com

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[Authorities dismiss dam safety rumors]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/08/content_37489208.htm

Chinese authorities have dismissed rumors on social media that the Three Gorges Dam is breaking and poses a threat to the local population, saying the dam's structural integrity is intact and its various functions are operating properly.

A team of safety experts from China Three Gorges Corporation, the dam's operator, said in a statement on its WeChat account on Saturday that the dam's structural changes since its completion in 2006 are in the millimeter range.

Various monitored safety factors are also well within their designed limits, and the dam is operating "normally, safely, and reliably", they said. The experts added that they have been closely monitoring the dam, which has more than 12,000 internal observation instruments embedded into its main body.

"Of all the high dams we have studied around the world, the Three Gorges Dam is one of the best in terms of the diversity of monitored safety factors and surveillance coverage, as well as the integrity rate of internal observation instruments and their automation level," the team said.

The tiny structural changes were normal and likely caused by periodic changes of the water level, temperature and the uneven distribution of gravity across the 185-meter-high, 2,309-meter-long dam.

The Three Gorges Dam - on the Yangtze River in Yichang, Hubei province - is the largest hydroelectric project in the world, with 26 hydropower turbogenerators. Last year, it was capable of producing 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, saving around 31.9 million metric tons of coal, the China Three Gorges Corporation said in late 2018.

Last week, a Twitter user posted satellite photos allegedly taken by Google Maps showing a deformed dam and warned the dam might break and harm people living downstream. The post eventually got reposted on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, prompting fierce rebuttals from netizens.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation recently used its Gaofen-6 earth observation satellite to take a high-definition photo of the Three Gorges Dam to debunk the rumors. The photo showed the structure of the dam is perfectly normal.

Satellite images could be malformed due to the influence of temperature, weather, the Earth's rotation and many other factors, People's Daily reported. As a result, many satellite images required additional calibration and data to be accurate.

In addition, China uses a different digital mapping coordinate standard - GCJ-02 - as opposed to the more commonly used World Geodetic System 1984. That means the algorithms used to calculate GPS coordinates are different, and this has a slight affect on the accuracy of final image results.

China's Surveying and Mapping Law says only government-authorized map makers can make maps in China. This is meant to protect the security of geospatial information for uses ranging from ecological protection to national defense.

zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-07-08 07:40:32
<![CDATA[Latest quake in Sichuan injures nine]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488920.htm Officials check residences after another major trembler hits region

Nine people were injured in the magnitude 5.6 earthquake which jolted Gongxian, a county under the administration of Yibin in Sichuan province, at 10:17 am on Thursday.

With a depth of 8 kilometers, the earthquake was felt by people in Yibin, 46 km from Gongxian, and the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu 277 km away.

"I felt the road shaking when I was standing on the bank of the Yangtze River with a delegation of visitors from outside Yibin," said Hu Jianjun, an information officer with the Nanxi district government of Yibin.

Soon after the earthquake, government workers headed for the quake zone, paying house calls to evaluate the damage to residential houses.

"Some houses which were damaged in the Changning earthquake on June 17 might be livable after reinforcement. But they might have been further damaged in the earthquake on Thursday and became unlivable," said Chen Housheng, deputy chief of the standing committee of the Yibin people's congress. As a scientist, Chen studied geology as a university student and was a leading official of the Yibin science and technology bureau.

The Changning earthquake killed 13 and injured 268 in Yibin, including four deaths and 128 injuries in Gongxian.

Yibin mayor Du Ziping said the June 17 death toll was not heavy thanks to the central government's poverty relief policy which resulted in the demolition of houses in danger of collapsing and the reinforcement of houses in need of repair.

Yibin has relied on its own funds as well as funds from the central government to build new houses for the poor whose dwellings were likely to collapse in resettlement areas.

Thanks to subsidies from both governments, a poor family paid only about 10,000 yuan ($1,460) to own a decent house with electricity, running water and natural gas.

Chen also ruled out the possibility that earthquakes were triggered by shale gas exploitation.

"Shale gas exploitation can only result in the shaking of the earth's crust and earthquakes below magnitude 3.0 with a depth of 3 to 5 km," he said.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Plethora of aftershocks normal, experts assure]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488919.htm As of Thursday morning, over 200 aftershocks had occurred in Yibin, Sichuan province, after the city was struck by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake on June 17. Experts said the frequency of aftershocks, though comparatively high, is still within normal range.

The special geological conditions in the region, which boasts no big seismological faults but many small and widespread ones, are to blame for the frequent aftershocks. Those small faults could have easily been made active after the major quake, the experts said.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, 225 aftershocks above magnitude 2 had been recorded as of 11 am on Thursday. The biggest one occurred at 10:17 am on Thursday in Yibin's Gongxian county. It was the fourth aftershock above magnitude 5.

"The frequency is within the normal range. The public don't need to panic," said Du Fang, director of the Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Forecast Research Center.

The June 17 earthquake, which claimed 13 lives, is the biggest ever recorded in Yibin.

Du said the possibility of another major earthquake in the region is small as there is no active big seismological fault within a 50-kilometer radius of the stricken area.

He said the earthquake and its aftershocks, though not high in magnitude, still resulted in some causalities and damage as their epicenters are close to the ground. Poor quality construction of buildings was also a contributing factor.

Yi Guixi, a researcher with the center, said Yibin could continue to be hit by aftershocks for an extended period of time because of seismic interaction among secondary faults.

"Generally, there has been a decline trend in the frequency," he said.

Du Bin, an official in charge of earthquake monitoring and forecasts, said Sichuan province has been accelerating the construction of its seismic intensity rapid reporting and early warning project. The project is expected to start operations this year.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[North China to get relief from heat soon]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488918.htm North China, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, has been hit by high temperatures over the past few days and the heat will last until the weekend, according to the National Meteorological Center.

The observatory has been continuously issuing high temperature warnings since late June, with a yellow alert released on Thursday morning saying that the provinces of Liaoning, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Henan, Gansu, the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area will experience high daytime temperatures ranging from 35 to 37 C.

Some parts may reach up to 40 C, the center warned, reminding at-risk people to avoid outdoor activities and take necessary action to seek relief from the summer heat.

Monitoring in Beijing showed that the national capital's first "high-temperature day" in July was Wednesday, as temperatures in most parts of the city surpassed 35 C. The city's highest temperature on the day was 41.4 C in Changping district which recorded 42.9 C on Thursday.

Meteorological departments in Hebei province issued a red alert on Wednesday, as high temperatures of more than 38 C occurred in many areas of the province. Red is the most severe weather warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

As the air grew hotter, land surface temperatures also went up. Surface temperatures in most areas of northern China soared to more than 50 C and even up to 60 C in some around 2 pm, the National Meteorological Center said.

The hot weather in recent days has made life difficult for many people. Li Dongjun, a housewife in Tianjin, said the high temperatures had prevented her from cooking meals for the family for at least three days.

"It only takes a few seconds for sweat to soak your clothes if you choose to cook on such days," said the 43-year-old, adding that she had ordered fast food - which could be delivered to her apartment - as an alternative.

Liu Jian, an employee of an international trading company in Beijing, said he has spent more money on refreshing food items such as ice cream and watermelon slices.

"I bought a quarter or a half melon almost every day over the past week," he said. "Ice cream was also a daily must on these days."

The good news for residents in North China is that the areas affected by high temperatures will become fewer starting from Friday. However, temperatures in southern Hebei, western Shandong, northern Henan, southern Shanxi, central-southern Shaanxi and southeastern Xinjiang will remain above 35 C.

Meteorologists said rain forecast for Saturday in most parts of North China is expected to bring relief from the hot weather. Only a few places in Henan, Shanxi and Shaanxi will continue to endure heat waves until they gradually disappear after Sunday.

 

As the temperature soars to about 39 C on Thursday in Beijing (left, below), people have made all out efforts to escape the heat. Some young tourists in Tian'anmen Square choose to hide under umbrellas (right), while others in Sanlitun area resort to ice cream (left, above).Feng Yongbin / China Daily; Hao Yi / For China Daily

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Shanghai teacher credentials improving]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488917.htm An international poll has revealed that almost all surveyed Shanghai junior high school teachers - more than 99 percent of those surveyed in the city - hold a bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, the city encourages teachers to have lifelong training to nurture more qualified staff for better teaching quality, experts said.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey report, released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on June 19, covered over 240,000 middle school teachers and school leaders in 48 countries worldwide. Shanghai was the only Chinese region involved in the survey, with around 4,200 junior high school teachers and principals from 200 schools selected to participate.

Experts said Shanghai junior high school teachers' academic qualifications have been improving over the past several decades. According to Zhang Yao, an English teacher at Shanghai Experimental School, most junior high teachers had obtained associate's or bachelor's degrees when she started her career in the 1990s.

"But now, nearly half my colleagues who teach junior high courses hold a master's degree or have embarked on one while working," she said.

"Schools need more qualified and educated teachers to nurture students in a better way and to positively impact students' attitudes and behaviors."

The 45-year-old Zhang was an example. She completed her postgraduate studies while working full-time and received her master's degree in education management at Shanghai Normal University five years ago.

She said higher education nurtures one's systematic thinking ability, which is a basic requirement to be a good teacher, although that's not absolutely true for every case.

However, Zhang added, there are also teachers without higher education experience that have the characteristics - such as the ability to maximize students' potential, exhibiting a strong work ethic and demonstrating critical thinking - that a good teacher requires.

"These qualities can also be achieved through training at work and years of job experience," she said.

In Shanghai, at least 99 percent of Shanghai principals have a bachelor's degree, the report said. But only 18.1 percent of them possess a master's degree or higher, compared to the OECD average of 66.3 percent.

Still, the survey found that Shanghai principals were better trained for their roles than those surveyed in other countries and regions.

Only 3.1 percent said they never received any training related to school management, teaching or instructional leadership, the lowest among all participating OECD countries and regions.

"Postgraduate study, for me, is the best training of logical thinking, research ability and leadership," said Li Baiyan, principal at Shanghai Jianping Experimental Middle School.

The 49-year-old Li received a master's degree in education at East China Normal University in 2012 and is pursuing a doctorate.

Li suggested young and middle-aged teachers and school leaders, if possible, pursue a higher degree to be better prepared for their future career and enhance their professional quality.

She also noted the city offers comprehensive continuous professional development cultivation through training programs customized for young and senior teachers and school leaders.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Educational Commission, a complete training system is accessible to teachers at local primary and middle schools, where thousands of courses covering teacher ethics, teaching skills and practices are available for educators.

The government also offers outstanding school leaders and teachers international exchange programs to visit and learn from overseas partner schools, universities and institutions.

"I expect more communication can be made between Shanghai middle school leaders and those in other regions," Li added.

"Effective professional training enhances teachers' job satisfaction, which is backed up by the data showing that 87 percent of Shanghai teachers said they benefited from training, higher than the OECD average (82 percent)," said Ding Gang from the institute for advanced studies in education at East China Normal University.

"Lifelong learning is something all educators should keep in mind, to constantly acquire new professional knowledge, skills and concepts in education," said Zhang Minxuan, who is in charge of the survey in Shanghai and director of the Research Institute of International and Comparative Education at Shanghai Normal University.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488916.htm Shanghai

Ex-shipbuilding official gets 12 years for graft

Sun Bo, former general manager of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday for taking bribes and abusing power. He was also fined 800,000 yuan ($116,000), according to a statement by the Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court. Between 2006 and 2015, Sun took advantage of his positions at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co to help others set up and run companies by cooperating with DSIC. Sun accepted money and gifts worth over 8.64 million yuan himself or via his wife, the statement said.

Shandong

Metro worker missing after building collapse

A metro worker was missing on Thursday after a construction site in Qingdao, Shandong province, collapsed, according to a post from Qingdao Metro's official WeChat account. The accident was caused by a building collapse that resulted in the creation of a 10-meter hole in the ground which the missing worker fell into, said the post, adding that search and rescue work is underway. No other workers were underground at the time of the accident.

Beijing

Campaign launched on safety of cultural relics

The National Cultural Heritage Administration and the firefighting bureau under the Ministry of Emergency Management have issued a circular to launch a campaign of fire hazard checks and rectification on cultural relics. The campaign, which starts this month and runs to mid-September, will cover the country's immovable cultural relics as well as collection and preservation sites such as museums and memorials, the NCHA said in a statement on Thursday.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Rescue effort ongoing after deadly tornado]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488915.htm Emergency workers free 210 trapped residents, set up shelter for over 1,000

The rescue operation was still underway on Thursday after a powerful tornado rampaged through Kaiyuan, Liaoning province, on Wednesday afternoon, leaving six people dead and 190 injured.

Rescuers were seen clearing debris from residential buildings and restoring electric power systems as the rare tornado suddenly struck Kaiyuan, which is under the jurisdiction of Tieling city in the northern part of Liaoning province, around 5:15 pm in Jingouzi town.

The tornado, packing winds of up to 83 kilometers per hour, swept through an industrial park and churned south, lasting about 15 minutes.

More than 9,900 residents were affected. The city began rescue efforts immediately and launched a level two emergency response plan, the local emergency management authorities said.

By Thursday, 10 rescue teams of over 800 people, including police officers and firefighters, had saved more than 210 trapped residents and arranged for more than 1,000 people to take shelter in four temporary settlement sites.

The National Health Commission sent an emergency medical expert team to the devastated city early Thursday to help treat the injured.

An expert team of nine doctors from Beijing who specialize in critical care medicine, orthopedics, neurosurgery, maxillofacial surgery and psychology began treatment in local medical institutions shortly after they arrived.

As of Thursday afternoon, 63 injured residents were still being treated at six local hospitals.

The Tieling Emergency Management Bureau said 30 plants and facilities were damaged in Kaiyuan industrial park, with 4,365 households affected.

Sui Xianli, acting mayor of Tieling, said various rescue efforts are underway, and authorities were urged on Thursday to carry out reconstruction work soon to ensure transportation and water and power supplies remain in operation.

The State Grid Tieling Electric Power Supply Company had set up 12 emergency repair teams to recover the electricity supply in affected areas.

It was expected that all civilian electricity would return to normal on Thursday, and enterprise electricity will be restored within three days.

The disaster also damaged more than 4,300 houses and flats, with many windows shattered and outer walls wrecked. In addition, about 100 hectares of crops were destroyed.

Many buses were toppled during the tornado, and the storm caused road collapses and interrupted public transport.

The Tieling Meteorological Service issued a yellow alert - the second-lowest level in a four-tier warning system - for strong winds and rainfall at 4:42 pm on Wednesday.

Video footage from the industrial park in Kaiyuan city showed some houses reduced to piles of rubble, felled trees, and debris from buildings scattered across roads.

A shaken business owner of a company in Kaiyuan industrial park, recalling the terrifying incident, said he clutched his wife and son as they crouched under a table when the tornado came roaring in. His son was injured by a piece of metal that hit his legs.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Twisters difficult to predict, experts say]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488914.htm Experts say that the tornado that hit Kaiyuan city, Liaoning province, on Wednesday, was hard to forecast with current detection equipment.

The tornado was formed by fierce convective currents brought by a cold vortex that originated in Northeast China and a cyclone that originated in Mongolia.

At 4:42 pm on Wednesday, Liaoning provincial early warning center issued a yellow warning signal of thunder and lightning in Kaiyuan city. It also forecast that in the next two to three hours, strong convective weather such as short-term heavy rainfall, strong winds and hail would occur.

Later at 5:25 pm, the meteorological observatory in Tieling city, which oversees Kaiyuan, issued an orange warning signal for hail in Kaiyuan that was expected to last one to three hours.

These warning signals were released to the public through mobile phone messages, Weibo and WeChat official accounts and the meteorological emergency broadcast system.

Zhang Bingchuan, chief forecaster of the provincial meteorological observatory, said that in extremely unstable thunderstorm weather, the atmosphere is more likely to be strongly convective.

He said that tornadoes belong to this kind of small-scale, strong and sudden convective disaster weather, which occurs and dissipates in a short time.

The areas where tornadoes occur are so small that current detection instruments cannot accurately observe them.

Lu Zhongyan, head of the Liaoning meteorological observatory, said that tornadoes tend to occur in wide and open spaces. However, the investigation is still ongoing about exactly where and how it happened on Wednesday.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, China doesn't have a warning system exclusively for tornadoes. Tornado warnings are sorted as strong convection weather.

It is also a technical difficulty for other countries to detect tornadoes accurately. In 2010, the error rate of tornado warnings was 70 percent in the United States.

The administration said that from 1991 to 2014, China had 43 tornadoes a year on average with Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces experiencing most, 5.5 and 4.8 times on average a year.

Spring and summer are tornado seasons. The number of tornadoes from April to August accounts for 92 percent of the entire year on average.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[60 airlines ready for Daxing opening]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488913.htm More than 60 domestic and overseas carriers including China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines plan to operate out of Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is preparing to begin operations, according to the airport authority.

The construction of the infrastructure for the new airport, which started in 2014, was completed on Sunday.

It is now getting facilities and equipment ready and is expected to begin operations by the end of September, the airport said in a news release.

China United Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Eastern, is expected to become the first airline to transfer its operations to Daxing airport from its current headquarters at Beijing Nanyuan Airport.

"China United will move its 60 airplanes to the new airport ... as well as more than 4,000 employees before the airport starts operation," said Wang Guangbin, deputy commander of China Eastern's Beijing bureau.

As for China Eastern, it will transfer 10 percent of flights serving Beijing Capital International Airport during the winter and spring and 80 percent of the flights starting from March next year, except for 46 daily flights between Beijing and Shanghai, Wang said.

By then, China Eastern will operate over 334 flights from the new airport on a daily basis, which will serve a network of 150 routes and 115 domestic and foreign destinations, Wang said.

Shanghai Airlines, another wholly-owned subsidiary of China Eastern, is also scheduled to finish transferring all its flights and employees before next summer to the new airport, according to the company.

China Southern, the country's largest airline in terms of fleet size, has built Asia's largest hangar, operational control center and aviation food production base at Daxing airport to better facilitate air traffic demands.

Wang Jianjun, head of the airline's construction work at Daxing airport, said 13 routes and 28 flights will be transferred to the new airport in late October.

The airline will deploy more than 200 aircraft with over 900 flights per day at the airport by 2025, he said.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, China Southern will have 40 percent of total airport slots at Daxing airport, followed by China Eastern with 30 percent and other airlines sharing the remainder.

Among the other airlines, Air China will have routes to domestic cities including Shanghai, Kunming, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Changsha, according to the company.

Helsinki-based Finnair will grow its operations in the country by operating three weekly flights to Daxing airport as of Nov 3, the company announced in a Twitter post.

With four runways, 268 airplane parking bays and a vast terminal building covering 700,000 square meters, the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers a year by 2021 and 72 million by 2025.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Guangzhou schools will start pilot AI courses in September]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488912.htm Guangzhou in Guangdong province will begin offering courses in artificial intelligence to primary and middle school students in September, education officials said on Monday.

The provincial capital's bureau of education is now selecting about 100 schools to feature the pilot AI courses and further promote intelligent education, it said in a statement on its website.

By 2022, all primary and middle schools in the city will have AI courses in their regular curriculum to help train and nurture AI talent for the city, traditionally a commercial hub.

"Guangzhou was chosen in May as a pilot AI education demonstration zone in the country for 2019, and promoting AI education among the city's primary and middle schools has become an important task for education departments in the months ahead," the statement said.

The Guangzhou city government has decided to give priority to the development of AI, information and the biopharmaceutical industries in the coming years, the statement said.

Peng Peng, a researcher with the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said AI is now the main global development trend in science and technology and represents the future.

"Piloting AI courses among primary and middle schools demonstrates the strategic and long-term foresight of the city government, as it will help train and nurture more AI talent for the development of the AI industry in Guangzhou," said Peng who is also director of Guangzhou PhDs' Research Association for Scientific and Technical Innovation.

He urged education and other departments to attach importance to promoting AI education among local primary and middle schools, adding it may bring new impetus to educational reform.

However, Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said AI courses should only be taught at schools after education and other relevant departments and teachers' committees have completed feasibility studies and teaching assessments.

"AI courses should not be rushed among primary and middle schools without seriously considering the needs of society for AI and the schools' teaching conditions," he said. "The AI courses would lack of quality and if they are blindly opened in the primary and middle schools."

Xiong said he hoped AI school courses would not become vanity or self-promotion projects. He added that it may be challenging to start a course that is not part of the core curriculum.

"It is difficult to open a new course among primary and middle schools when the course hasn't yet been included in gaokao, national college entrance examinations, and zhongkao, entrance examinations for senior middle schools," he added.

Xie Jiamin contributed to this story.

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Anti-poverty efforts encourage herdsmen]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/07/content_37488911.htm URUMQI - It is approaching 11 pm in the hinterland of the Pamir Plateau, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, but the last trace of sunset glimmers before the darkness that is about to shroud the area arrives.

After closing a sheepfold, Ezibek Yusupbek, a 70-year-old herdsman, returns to his yurt. Standing on tiptoe outside the yurt, Yusupbek hangs a lamp to keep wolves from getting too close.

This is Yusupbek's daily routine in the summer on the Laybulaq pasture where he grazes his flock of 50 sheep and 40 yaks. Every summer, he and his livestock travel 60 kilometers from his village in Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county to the pasture.

Along with Yusupbek, there are only four other herding families grazing on the pasture. The pasture may be quiet today, but it was once prosperous.

"Over 20 herding families used to bring their animals to graze here," Yusupbek says, with a bitter smile. "Now, I can't even find someone to chat with."

Many herdsmen in Xinjiang live in poverty due to the inaccessibility of their homes. Their income comes solely from herding.

Thanks to anti-poverty and relocation policies by the local government, many from Yusupbek's village have moved downtown. Three of Yusupbek's sons are married and have already relocated. His youngest, who also has an apartment there, has come back to the pasture after furnishing his new home.

"I am worried about leaving my old man herding on the pasture alone," said Murgul Yusupbek.

However, just like other young herdsmen, Murgul finds it hard to bear the tedium of simple work on the pasture.

He can't help glancing at his phone even though there's no signal.

Unlike his son, Ezibek Yusupbek has a strong emotional attachment to his flock and the pasture.

"Without the sheep and yaks, I feel like something is missing," he says.

Like his sons, he has a key to a new apartment in downtown Tashikurgan. But for now, Yusupbek is content with his yurt and his herd.

Fortunately for herdsmen who decide to stick with herding, the local government has implemented multiple policies to increase their incomes.

Individual herdsmen can put their livestock in a local cooperative which herds and breeds the animals collectively. This frees herdsmen from the landlocked pasture so they have time for other more lucrative work. In the meantime, individual herdsmen get dividends from the cooperative.

To help young herdsmen find jobs, the local government also provides vocational programs to train them to be cooks, electricians or construction workers.

Furthermore, the government gives various subsidies to herdsmen who stay. With these subsidies, herdsmen can downsize their flock. It helps to tackle overgrazing and generally better preserve the natural environment.

To take Ezibek Yusupbek as an example, he and his wife receive subsidies worth nearly 8,000 yuan ($1,160) each year. This is on top of their monthly pensions of 310 yuan.

All of this makes life on the pasture easier, but Ezibek Yusupbek knows that one day he will have to leave as his health deteriorates.

"I won't be here grazing two years from now," he says.

It's unclear whether the other four households will remain here. But what is clear is that, whether they stay or go, the herdsmen of the Laybulaq Pasture are going to have better lives in the future.

Xinhua

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2019-07-07 14:13:58
<![CDATA[Space station invites ideas on experiments]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/06/content_37488839.htm

'Innovative and original' suggestions must relate to science and technology

China Space Station has invited online applications from across the country for suggestions on science and technology experiments to be conducted onboard.

Scientists, as well as high school and university students, are welcome to submit project proposals in more than a dozen research areas, including space life science, fluid science and basic physics.

The online application portal officially opened on Monday and will run until Aug 31.

The invitation follows the announcement by the China Manned Space Agency in June of the first batch of nine international cooperation projects involving 17 countries to be conducted on the space station.

"The international collaboration is to let the international community pay attention to the China Space Station and use the station to conduct experiments for the benefit of mankind, while the domestic work is in the hope that Chinese scientists can use the station as a national space laboratory and achieve major scientific breakthroughs," said Zhang Wei from the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

According to Zhang, the selected projects must be closely related to space conditions such as microgravity and space radiation, and they must be "innovative, original and practicable". The application process for submissions will be opened every two to three years.

The space station is to be put into use around 2022 then stay in orbit for more than 10 years.

The core cabin is expected to be launched in 2020 with the other two experimental cabins, which constitute a complete space station, two years later.

"During that decade, the station can support thousands of projects so there is no limit to the number of selected projects, the more the better," Zhang said.

He said the station will serve as an advanced space laboratory equipped with experiment racks inside the cabins.

"For example, in terms of basic physics, we have prepared an ultracold atomic rack for studies on some special physical laws of ultracold atomic gases under temperature of near absolute zero."

The station also provides external platforms for experimental payloads that can support research on both astronomical and earth observations, and space physics outside the cabins.

Most of the experiments will be performed autonomously by experimental devices operated via automated controls or remote control from Earth. Astronauts will also assist in some operations such as changing batch samples.

Scientists deemed physically fit for the program will also have the opportunity to fly to space to conduct their own experiments.

Zhang said previous experiments conducted on the Shenzhou spacecrafts and Tiangong-2 space lab have proved valuable to science, but the number of experiments carried out in space was limited.

"With the space station in place, we can have hundreds, even thousands of roving experiments going on, which will greatly improve China's space research level," Zhang said.

zhangyangfei@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-07-06 07:31:49
<![CDATA[Lhasa records its first summer, as experts blame global warming]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/06/content_37488838.htm

Lhasa has recorded its first summer, which has raised concerns about global warming and also baffled locals accustomed to keeping warm this time of the year.

From June 25 to 29, the capital of the Tibet autonomous region, recorded temperatures equal to or above 22 C. According to China's definition of season division, the average temperature must meet the 22 C requirement for five consecutive days for summer to have started. It is the first time Lhasa has met the requirement since meteorological records of the city began in 1955.

According to the Tibet Meteorological Bureau, the region has seen high temperatures and little rainfall since the beginning of June. On June 24, Lhasa hit 30.8 C, the hottest day recorded in over six decades.

Shi Lei, deputy director of the Tibet Climate Center, said against a background of global warming, it was possible for a few cities to reach "the standard of summer" quickly.

"Lhasa reaching summer within a short period of time is an abnormal phenomenon, however, it cannot represent a universal trend," Shi said. "Lhasa still remains as a place with no summer. This definition of summer is only according to the metrological season division."

Lhasa resident Tenzin Nyandrak said he had always believed he was experiencing summer and had only heard recently there was an official definition for the season.

"In June, I felt really hot, but it's good that I could sleep without a thick blanket," he said. "Despite the days with abnormal high temperatures, it is still comfortable to live in Lhasa, and it is cool in the mornings and evenings."

According to metrological data, the city's average temperature in June was 13.7 C, which was 1.3 C higher than the average for the month, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Counties in the region also broke meteorological records for the hottest days, with Gonggar recording 31 C, Nyemo 30.1 C and Gyatsa 32.6.

The scorching weather coupled with lack of rainfall has had a negative impact on agriculture and livestock. The region's weather modification center working with the Lhasa city metrological office, implemented artificial rainmaking on Tuesday.

The average precipitation in Tibet for the five days from June 25 to 29 was down 30.8 percent compared with the same period in previous years, the lowest in the past decade, according to the bureau.

Huang Xiaoqing, deputy director of the region's climate center, said since June the region's temperatures had been affected by high atmospheric pressure and a strong airstream.

Apart from a few areas such as Nagchu and Nyingchi cities and the counties of Riwoche, Dengchen and Maldrogungkar, the rainy season has been delayed, reported the China News Service.

Contact the writers at palden_nyima@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-07-06 07:31:49
<![CDATA[Proposals for Greater Bay Area released]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/06/content_37488837.htm

The Guangdong provincial government on Friday released its suggestion paper on how to implement the outline development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Its three-year action plan to facilitate the overall development of the region into a world-class bay area was also released.

According to the paper, the Greater Bay Area will make a breakthrough in policy coordination and resources flow in the region by 2020, with the establishment of efficient systems among the authorities of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

The Greater Bay Area will become a first-class international bay area and a world-class city cluster by 2022, featuring science and technology innovation, optimized industrial structure, healthy resources flow and a beautified ecological environment.

The international bay area will develop into a high-class circle for living, working and traveling by 2035, according to the paper.

The action plan has nine chapters: optimizing development structure; building an international science and technology innovation center; establishing a modern infrastructure system; coordinating the building of a globally competitive modern industrial system; pushing development of ecological civilization; building a quality circle for living, working and traveling; accelerating a new pattern of overall opening up; jointly developing a regional cooperation platform, and, supporting policies and measures.

"The implementation suggestions and the three-year action plan are more like a construction design drawing and a task assignment paper for the development of the Greater Bay Area," said Zhang Guangnan, director of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Development Research Institute of the Sun Yat-sen University.

Zhang said the 2018-2020 action plan would be of great importance to developing regional economies and strengthening social and cultural interaction in the region.

"The action plan has outlined details on development of various sectors and industries in the region. Moreover, it has a clear vision of the future development of emerging industries," said Zhang.

According to the action plan, universities in Hong Kong will be encouraged to jointly open new facilities with their counterparts in Guangdong.

"In the past, there were lots of policies to support industrial cooperation in the region. More social, cultural, educational cooperation in the region are expected in the near future," said Zhang.

The three-year action plan followed the outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area, which was released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council in February.

It aims to develop the region into "a role model of high-quality development".

qiuquanlin@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 07/06/2019 page2)

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2019-07-06 07:31:49
<![CDATA[Around China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488547.htm Jiangsu

92 suspects detained for loan scheme

Police detained a total of 92 suspects from a major criminal gang involved in an unlawful loan scheme, which is worth more than 1.8 billion yuan ($264.7 million), in Zhenjiang late last month. Police started an investigation in early June when a woman, surnamed Liu, filed a report and an operation was launched on June 27. Earlier this year, Liu applied for a loan of 1,850 yuan from an online platform. A day after the date on which Liu's loan payment was due, she and her family members received computer generated naked photo composites of Liu through text messages, and she later sought police help. Liu also received many harassing phone calls threatening to punish her if she did not repay her loan on time. After the investigation, police detained several members of a major gang that was using such unlawful tactics to threaten locals to repay their loans.

People.com.cn

Liaoning

Senior well-liked for standing in trains

A 76-year-old man has attracted the attention of many passengers whenever he takes the subway in Dalian. Liu Zengsheng can be seen with a LED board across his chest, which reads "I need no one to offer me a seat". Liu said he is still in good health and can stand in the train carriage to enjoy the metro ride. He explained that many young people are very tired when they take the metro after a long day of work, so he does not want them to offer him their seats. The white-haired Liu is well-liked by many netizens nationwide after photos of him standing on the trains were recently published online.

Peninsula Morning Post

Zhejiang

Luxury car borrowed, damaged by greenhorn

A man, surnamed Zhang, who drove without a license has been detained for further investigation after his car ran into a guardrail in a Yiwu tunnel on June 27. The accident took place in the city's Shangxi township at about 9 pm when Zhang's car ran into a guardrail to avoid colliding with a three-wheeled motorcycle. The car, which is a white luxury model which Zhang borrowed from a friend, was seriously damaged, and damages were estimated to be more than 1 million yuan ($145,500). Zhang admitted that he has been attending a driving course and has yet to be granted a driver's license.

Beijing Youth Daily

Driver stops truck for overtaking him

The owner of an Audi car has been detained for dangerous driving after he forced a truck to stop on Longli Expressway and asked the truck driver to pay him 8,000 yuan ($1,160) in Songyang county on June 26. Traffic police arrived at the scene after the truck driver sought police help. The Audi owner said he was very angry and felt that he had lost face after his car with three other passengers on board was overtaken by the truck on the highway. Traffic police said the owner had committed the offense of dangerous driving and broke other traffic rules when he stopped the truck on the expressway.

Qianjiang Evening News

Shaanxi

Poison suspected to cause dog deaths

Local police have launched an investigation after receiving a report that six dogs were poisoned to death at a Xi'an housing estate in one week. One resident, surnamed Liu, said she brought her pet dog out for a walk one evening in the housing estate. However, she found her dog dead the next morning, foaming from its mouth. Liu said she had raised her dog for eight years and had formed a deep bond with it. Police found several pieces of meat suspected to have poison in them on the lawns of the Dongshangguanhu housing estate in the city's Tuanjie road.

Huashang Daily

Shandong

Gamer jailed, fined for stealing online account

A man was sentenced to nine months in jail for stealing an online game account which he had already sold to a fellow gamer for 9,000 yuan ($1,310). Xie Xiaoyan was also fined 10,000 yuan by the Qufu court. In a verdict given by the court, it stated that those who committed theft of virtual property can receive the same punishment for theft of real property as online accounts have value. Xie was detained by police on April 16 when his victim Mao Xueyan sought police help. Mao found Xie had stolen the game account that Xie had sold to him earlier, and then sold it to another gamer for 8,500 yuan.

Legal Daily

Con men cheat parent of over 90,000 yuan

Two con men, who cheated a father, surnamed Chen, of more than 90,000 yuan ($13,100), were recently detained in Jinan. Chen's hukou, or household registration, is not in the city, so he sought help from a con man, whom he met through a friend in May, to have his son admitted into a good school in the city. The con man, surnamed Zhang, lied to Chen that he was a retired local education official and said that he could help Chen's son get into a good local primary school if Chen paid him to bribe education officials and school principals. Chen later paid Zhang more than 80,000 yuan and bought him expensive wines and cigarettes. However, Chen sought police help when he was told by the school that his son had failed to meet the requirements for school admission. Zhang was later detained by police who discovered he was a con man after an investigation. After Zhang took Chen's money, he met another con man, surnamed Yang, who was supposed to help Zhang with his bribery task. However, Yang ended up cheating Zhang of Chen's money.

Legal Daily

Hubei

Grandpa criticized for subway pee show

A grandfather has been criticized by many locals and netizens for allowing his grandson to urinate on a subway train in Wuhan. The grandfather rebuffed other passengers who condemned his behavior, by saying that there was little he could do if the 5-year-old child wanted to urinate. Many locals and netizens said the man was not very cultured when photos of him were published online by one of the passengers. The metro company has promised to promote civilized behavior in publicity materials on the trains in the coming months.

Chutian Metropolis Daily

Chongqing

Man threw water, stones at police station

A man in his 30s has been placed in detention for two weeks as punishment after he was caught splashing water and throwing stones at a police station for his own entertainment. The incident took place in the early morning of June 26 when police found someone had splashed water and thrown stones into the courtyard of the city's Shuangfeng police station in Yubei district. The man escaped when the police came out to the courtyard, but was detained two hours later when police launched further investigations. The man admitted to having splashed water and thrown stones into the police station after visiting a cybercafe. He believed he would not be caught by police as he could run faster than them. Police said the man was punished for disrupting social order at the police station.

People.com.cn

 

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2019-07-05 08:03:07
<![CDATA[Latest quake in Sichuan injures nine]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488546.htm

Officials check residences after another major trembler hits region

Nine people were injured in the magnitude 5.6 earthquake which jolted Gongxian, a county under the administration of Yibin in Sichuan province, at 10:17 am on Thursday.

With a depth of 8 kilometers, the earthquake was felt by people in Yibin, 46 km from Gongxian, and the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu 277 km away.

"I felt the road shaking when I was standing on the bank of the Yangtze River with a delegation of visitors from outside Yibin," said Hu Jianjun, an information officer with the Nanxi district government of Yibin.

Soon after the earthquake, government workers headed for the quake zone, paying house calls to evaluate the damage to residential houses.

"Some houses which were damaged in the Changning earthquake on June 17 might be livable after reinforcement. But they might have been further damaged in the earthquake on Thursday and became unlivable," said Chen Housheng, deputy chief of the standing committee of the Yibin people's congress. As a scientist, Chen studied geology as a university student and was a leading official of the Yibin science and technology bureau.

The Changning earthquake killed 13 and injured 268 in Yibin, including four deaths and 128 injuries in Gongxian.

Yibin mayor Du Ziping said the June 17 death toll was not heavy thanks to the central government's poverty relief policy which resulted in the demolition of houses in danger of collapsing and the reinforcement of houses in need of repair.

Yibin has relied on its own funds as well as funds from the central government to build new houses for the poor whose dwellings were likely to collapse in resettlement areas.

Thanks to subsidies from both governments, a poor family paid only about 10,000 yuan ($1,460) to own a decent house with electricity, running water and natural gas.

Chen also ruled out the possibility that earthquakes were triggered by shale gas exploitation.

"Shale gas exploitation can only result in the shaking of the earth's crust and earthquakes below magnitude 3.0 with a depth of 3 to 5 km," he said.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Plethora of aftershocks normal, experts assure]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488545.htm

As of Thursday morning, over 200 aftershocks had occurred in Yibin, Sichuan province, after the city was struck by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake on June 17. Experts said the frequency of aftershocks, though comparatively high, is still within normal range.

The special geological conditions in the region, which boasts no big seismological faults but many small and widespread ones, are to blame for the frequent aftershocks. Those small faults could have easily been made active after the major quake, the experts said.

According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, 225 aftershocks above magnitude 2 had been recorded as of 11 am on Thursday. The biggest one occurred at 10:17 am on Thursday in Yibin's Gongxian county. It was the fourth aftershock above magnitude 5.

"The frequency is within the normal range. The public don't need to panic," said Du Fang, director of the Sichuan Provincial Earthquake Forecast Research Center.

The June 17 earthquake, which claimed 13 lives, is the biggest ever recorded in Yibin.

Du said the possibility of another major earthquake in the region is small as there is no active big seismological fault within a 50-kilometer radius of the stricken area.

He said the earthquake and its aftershocks, though not high in magnitude, still resulted in some causalities and damage as their epicenters are close to the ground. Poor quality construction of buildings was also a contributing factor.

Yi Guixi, a researcher with the center, said Yibin could continue to be hit by aftershocks for an extended period of time because of seismic interaction among secondary faults.

"Generally, there has been a decline trend in the frequency," he said.

Du Bin, an official in charge of earthquake monitoring and forecasts, said Sichuan province has been accelerating the construction of its seismic intensity rapid reporting and early warning project. The project is expected to start operations this year.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[North China to get relief from heat soon]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488544.htm North China, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, has been hit by high temperatures over the past few days and the heat will last until the weekend, according to the National Meteorological Center.

The observatory has been continuously issuing high temperature warnings since late June, with a yellow alert released on Thursday morning saying that the provinces of Liaoning, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Shandong, Henan, Gansu, the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area will experience high daytime temperatures ranging from 35 to 37 C.

Some parts may reach up to 40 C, the center warned, reminding at-risk people to avoid outdoor activities and take necessary action to seek relief from the summer heat.

Monitoring in Beijing showed that the national capital's first "high-temperature day" in July was Wednesday, as temperatures in most parts of the city surpassed 35 C. The city's highest temperature on the day was 41.4 C in Changping district which recorded 42.9 C on Thursday.

Meteorological departments in Hebei province issued a red alert on Wednesday, as high temperatures of more than 38 C occurred in many areas of the province. Red is the most severe weather warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

As the air grew hotter, land surface temperatures also went up. Surface temperatures in most areas of northern China soared to more than 50 C and even up to 60 C in some around 2 pm, the National Meteorological Center said.

The hot weather in recent days has made life difficult for many people. Li Dongjun, a housewife in Tianjin, said the high temperatures had prevented her from cooking meals for the family for at least three days.

"It only takes a few seconds for sweat to soak your clothes if you choose to cook on such days," said the 43-year-old, adding that she had ordered fast food - which could be delivered to her apartment - as an alternative.

Liu Jian, an employee of an international trading company in Beijing, said he has spent more money on refreshing food items such as ice cream and watermelon slices.

"I bought a quarter or a half melon almost every day over the past week," he said. "Ice cream was also a daily must on these days."

The good news for residents in North China is that the areas affected by high temperatures will become fewer starting from Friday. However, temperatures in southern Hebei, western Shandong, northern Henan, southern Shanxi, central-southern Shaanxi and southeastern Xinjiang will remain above 35 C.

Meteorologists said rain forecast for Saturday in most parts of North China is expected to bring relief from the hot weather. Only a few places in Henan, Shanxi and Shaanxi will continue to endure heat waves until they gradually disappear after Sunday.

 

As the temperature soars to about 39 C on Thursday in Beijing (left, below), people have made all out efforts to escape the heat. Some young tourists in Tian'anmen Square choose to hide under umbrellas (right), while others in Sanlitun area resort to ice cream (left, above).Feng Yongbin / China Daily; Hao Yi / For China Daily

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Shanghai teacher credentials improving]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488543.htm An international poll has revealed that almost all surveyed Shanghai junior high school teachers - more than 99 percent of those surveyed in the city - hold a bachelor's degree. Meanwhile, the city encourages teachers to have lifelong training to nurture more qualified staff for better teaching quality, experts said.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey report, released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on June 19, covered over 240,000 middle school teachers and school leaders in 48 countries worldwide. Shanghai was the only Chinese region involved in the survey, with around 4,200 junior high school teachers and principals from 200 schools selected to participate.

Experts said Shanghai junior high school teachers' academic qualifications have been improving over the past several decades. According to Zhang Yao, an English teacher at Shanghai Experimental School, most junior high teachers had obtained associate's or bachelor's degrees when she started her career in the 1990s.

"But now, nearly half my colleagues who teach junior high courses hold a master's degree or have embarked on one while working," she said.

"Schools need more qualified and educated teachers to nurture students in a better way and to positively impact students' attitudes and behaviors."

The 45-year-old Zhang was an example. She completed her postgraduate studies while working full-time and received her master's degree in education management at Shanghai Normal University five years ago.

She said higher education nurtures one's systematic thinking ability, which is a basic requirement to be a good teacher, although that's not absolutely true for every case.

However, Zhang added, there are also teachers without higher education experience that have the characteristics - such as the ability to maximize students' potential, exhibiting a strong work ethic and demonstrating critical thinking - that a good teacher requires.

"These qualities can also be achieved through training at work and years of job experience," she said.

In Shanghai, at least 99 percent of Shanghai principals have a bachelor's degree, the report said. But only 18.1 percent of them possess a master's degree or higher, compared to the OECD average of 66.3 percent.

Still, the survey found that Shanghai principals were better trained for their roles than those surveyed in other countries and regions.

Only 3.1 percent said they never received any training related to school management, teaching or instructional leadership, the lowest among all participating OECD countries and regions.

"Postgraduate study, for me, is the best training of logical thinking, research ability and leadership," said Li Baiyan, principal at Shanghai Jianping Experimental Middle School.

The 49-year-old Li received a master's degree in education at East China Normal University in 2012 and is pursuing a doctorate.

Li suggested young and middle-aged teachers and school leaders, if possible, pursue a higher degree to be better prepared for their future career and enhance their professional quality.

She also noted the city offers comprehensive continuous professional development cultivation through training programs customized for young and senior teachers and school leaders.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Educational Commission, a complete training system is accessible to teachers at local primary and middle schools, where thousands of courses covering teacher ethics, teaching skills and practices are available for educators.

The government also offers outstanding school leaders and teachers international exchange programs to visit and learn from overseas partner schools, universities and institutions.

"I expect more communication can be made between Shanghai middle school leaders and those in other regions," Li added.

"Effective professional training enhances teachers' job satisfaction, which is backed up by the data showing that 87 percent of Shanghai teachers said they benefited from training, higher than the OECD average (82 percent)," said Ding Gang from the institute for advanced studies in education at East China Normal University.

"Lifelong learning is something all educators should keep in mind, to constantly acquire new professional knowledge, skills and concepts in education," said Zhang Minxuan, who is in charge of the survey in Shanghai and director of the Research Institute of International and Comparative Education at Shanghai Normal University.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488542.htm Shanghai

Ex-shipbuilding official gets 12 years for graft

Sun Bo, former general manager of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday for taking bribes and abusing power. He was also fined 800,000 yuan ($116,000), according to a statement by the Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court. Between 2006 and 2015, Sun took advantage of his positions at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co to help others set up and run companies by cooperating with DSIC. Sun accepted money and gifts worth over 8.64 million yuan himself or via his wife, the statement said.

Shandong

Metro worker missing after building collapse

A metro worker was missing on Thursday after a construction site in Qingdao, Shandong province, collapsed, according to a post from Qingdao Metro's official WeChat account. The accident was caused by a building collapse that resulted in the creation of a 10-meter hole in the ground which the missing worker fell into, said the post, adding that search and rescue work is underway. No other workers were underground at the time of the accident.

Beijing

Campaign launched on safety of cultural relics

The National Cultural Heritage Administration and the firefighting bureau under the Ministry of Emergency Management have issued a circular to launch a campaign of fire hazard checks and rectification on cultural relics. The campaign, which starts this month and runs to mid-September, will cover the country's immovable cultural relics as well as collection and preservation sites such as museums and memorials, the NCHA said in a statement on Thursday.

China Daily - Xinhua

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Rescue effort ongoing after deadly tornado]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488541.htm Emergency workers free 210 trapped residents, set up shelter for over 1,000

The rescue operation was still underway on Thursday after a powerful tornado rampaged through Kaiyuan, Liaoning province, on Wednesday afternoon, leaving six people dead and 190 injured.

Rescuers were seen clearing debris from residential buildings and restoring electric power systems as the rare tornado suddenly struck Kaiyuan, which is under the jurisdiction of Tieling city in the northern part of Liaoning province, around 5:15 pm in Jingouzi town.

The tornado, packing winds of up to 83 kilometers per hour, swept through an industrial park and churned south, lasting about 15 minutes.

More than 9,900 residents were affected. The city began rescue efforts immediately and launched a level two emergency response plan, the local emergency management authorities said.

By Thursday, 10 rescue teams of over 800 people, including police officers and firefighters, had saved more than 210 trapped residents and arranged for more than 1,000 people to take shelter in four temporary settlement sites.

The National Health Commission sent an emergency medical expert team to the devastated city early Thursday to help treat the injured.

An expert team of nine doctors from Beijing who specialize in critical care medicine, orthopedics, neurosurgery, maxillofacial surgery and psychology began treatment in local medical institutions shortly after they arrived.

As of Thursday afternoon, 63 injured residents were still being treated at six local hospitals.

The Tieling Emergency Management Bureau said 30 plants and facilities were damaged in Kaiyuan industrial park, with 4,365 households affected.

Sui Xianli, acting mayor of Tieling, said various rescue efforts are underway, and authorities were urged on Thursday to carry out reconstruction work soon to ensure transportation and water and power supplies remain in operation.

The State Grid Tieling Electric Power Supply Company had set up 12 emergency repair teams to recover the electricity supply in affected areas.

It was expected that all civilian electricity would return to normal on Thursday, and enterprise electricity will be restored within three days.

The disaster also damaged more than 4,300 houses and flats, with many windows shattered and outer walls wrecked. In addition, about 100 hectares of crops were destroyed.

Many buses were toppled during the tornado, and the storm caused road collapses and interrupted public transport.

The Tieling Meteorological Service issued a yellow alert - the second-lowest level in a four-tier warning system - for strong winds and rainfall at 4:42 pm on Wednesday.

Video footage from the industrial park in Kaiyuan city showed some houses reduced to piles of rubble, felled trees, and debris from buildings scattered across roads.

A shaken business owner of a company in Kaiyuan industrial park, recalling the terrifying incident, said he clutched his wife and son as they crouched under a table when the tornado came roaring in. His son was injured by a piece of metal that hit his legs.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Twisters difficult to predict, experts say]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488540.htm

Experts say that the tornado that hit Kaiyuan city, Liaoning province, on Wednesday, was hard to forecast with current detection equipment.

The tornado was formed by fierce convective currents brought by a cold vortex that originated in Northeast China and a cyclone that originated in Mongolia.

At 4:42 pm on Wednesday, Liaoning provincial early warning center issued a yellow warning signal of thunder and lightning in Kaiyuan city. It also forecast that in the next two to three hours, strong convective weather such as short-term heavy rainfall, strong winds and hail would occur.

Later at 5:25 pm, the meteorological observatory in Tieling city, which oversees Kaiyuan, issued an orange warning signal for hail in Kaiyuan that was expected to last one to three hours.

These warning signals were released to the public through mobile phone messages, Weibo and WeChat official accounts and the meteorological emergency broadcast system.

Zhang Bingchuan, chief forecaster of the provincial meteorological observatory, said that in extremely unstable thunderstorm weather, the atmosphere is more likely to be strongly convective.

He said that tornadoes belong to this kind of small-scale, strong and sudden convective disaster weather, which occurs and dissipates in a short time.

The areas where tornadoes occur are so small that current detection instruments cannot accurately observe them.

Lu Zhongyan, head of the Liaoning meteorological observatory, said that tornadoes tend to occur in wide and open spaces. However, the investigation is still ongoing about exactly where and how it happened on Wednesday.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, China doesn't have a warning system exclusively for tornadoes. Tornado warnings are sorted as strong convection weather.

It is also a technical difficulty for other countries to detect tornadoes accurately. In 2010, the error rate of tornado warnings was 70 percent in the United States.

The administration said that from 1991 to 2014, China had 43 tornadoes a year on average with Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces experiencing most, 5.5 and 4.8 times on average a year.

Spring and summer are tornado seasons. The number of tornadoes from April to August accounts for 92 percent of the entire year on average.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[60 airlines ready for Daxing opening]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488539.htm

More than 60 domestic and overseas carriers including China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines plan to operate out of Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is preparing to begin operations, according to the airport authority.

The construction of the infrastructure for the new airport, which started in 2014, was completed on Sunday.

It is now getting facilities and equipment ready and is expected to begin operations by the end of September, the airport said in a news release.

China United Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Eastern, is expected to become the first airline to transfer its operations to Daxing airport from its current headquarters at Beijing Nanyuan Airport.

"China United will move its 60 airplanes to the new airport ... as well as more than 4,000 employees before the airport starts operation," said Wang Guangbin, deputy commander of China Eastern's Beijing bureau.

As for China Eastern, it will transfer 10 percent of flights serving Beijing Capital International Airport during the winter and spring and 80 percent of the flights starting from March next year, except for 46 daily flights between Beijing and Shanghai, Wang said.

By then, China Eastern will operate over 334 flights from the new airport on a daily basis, which will serve a network of 150 routes and 115 domestic and foreign destinations, Wang said.

Shanghai Airlines, another wholly-owned subsidiary of China Eastern, is also scheduled to finish transferring all its flights and employees before next summer to the new airport, according to the company.

China Southern, the country's largest airline in terms of fleet size, has built Asia's largest hangar, operational control center and aviation food production base at Daxing airport to better facilitate air traffic demands.

Wang Jianjun, head of the airline's construction work at Daxing airport, said 13 routes and 28 flights will be transferred to the new airport in late October.

The airline will deploy more than 200 aircraft with over 900 flights per day at the airport by 2025, he said.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, China Southern will have 40 percent of total airport slots at Daxing airport, followed by China Eastern with 30 percent and other airlines sharing the remainder.

Among the other airlines, Air China will have routes to domestic cities including Shanghai, Kunming, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Changsha, according to the company.

Helsinki-based Finnair will grow its operations in the country by operating three weekly flights to Daxing airport as of Nov 3, the company announced in a Twitter post.

With four runways, 268 airplane parking bays and a vast terminal building covering 700,000 square meters, the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers a year by 2021 and 72 million by 2025.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Guangzhou schools will start pilot AI courses in September]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488538.htm

Guangzhou in Guangdong province will begin offering courses in artificial intelligence to primary and middle school students in September, education officials said on Monday.

The provincial capital's bureau of education is now selecting about 100 schools to feature the pilot AI courses and further promote intelligent education, it said in a statement on its website.

By 2022, all primary and middle schools in the city will have AI courses in their regular curriculum to help train and nurture AI talent for the city, traditionally a commercial hub.

"Guangzhou was chosen in May as a pilot AI education demonstration zone in the country for 2019, and promoting AI education among the city's primary and middle schools has become an important task for education departments in the months ahead," the statement said.

The Guangzhou city government has decided to give priority to the development of AI, information and the biopharmaceutical industries in the coming years, the statement said.

Peng Peng, a researcher with the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said AI is now the main global development trend in science and technology and represents the future.

"Piloting AI courses among primary and middle schools demonstrates the strategic and long-term foresight of the city government, as it will help train and nurture more AI talent for the development of the AI industry in Guangzhou," said Peng who is also director of Guangzhou PhDs' Research Association for Scientific and Technical Innovation.

He urged education and other departments to attach importance to promoting AI education among local primary and middle schools, adding it may bring new impetus to educational reform.

However, Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said AI courses should only be taught at schools after education and other relevant departments and teachers' committees have completed feasibility studies and teaching assessments.

"AI courses should not be rushed among primary and middle schools without seriously considering the needs of society for AI and the schools' teaching conditions," he said. "The AI courses would lack of quality and if they are blindly opened in the primary and middle schools."

Xiong said he hoped AI school courses would not become vanity or self-promotion projects. He added that it may be challenging to start a course that is not part of the core curriculum.

"It is difficult to open a new course among primary and middle schools when the course hasn't yet been included in gaokao, national college entrance examinations, and zhongkao, entrance examinations for senior middle schools," he added.

Xie Jiamin contributed to this story.

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Anti-poverty efforts encourage herdsmen]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/05/content_37488537.htm URUMQI - It is approaching 11 pm in the hinterland of the Pamir Plateau, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, but the last trace of sunset glimmers before the darkness that is about to shroud the area arrives.

After closing a sheepfold, Ezibek Yusupbek, a 70-year-old herdsman, returns to his yurt. Standing on tiptoe outside the yurt, Yusupbek hangs a lamp to keep wolves from getting too close.

This is Yusupbek's daily routine in the summer on the Laybulaq pasture where he grazes his flock of 50 sheep and 40 yaks. Every summer, he and his livestock travel 60 kilometers from his village in Tashikurgan Tajik autonomous county to the pasture.

Along with Yusupbek, there are only four other herding families grazing on the pasture. The pasture may be quiet today, but it was once prosperous.

"Over 20 herding families used to bring their animals to graze here," Yusupbek says, with a bitter smile. "Now, I can't even find someone to chat with."

Many herdsmen in Xinjiang live in poverty due to the inaccessibility of their homes. Their income comes solely from herding.

Thanks to anti-poverty and relocation policies by the local government, many from Yusupbek's village have moved downtown. Three of Yusupbek's sons are married and have already relocated. His youngest, who also has an apartment there, has come back to the pasture after furnishing his new home.

"I am worried about leaving my old man herding on the pasture alone," said Murgul Yusupbek.

However, just like other young herdsmen, Murgul finds it hard to bear the tedium of simple work on the pasture.

He can't help glancing at his phone even though there's no signal.

Unlike his son, Ezibek Yusupbek has a strong emotional attachment to his flock and the pasture.

"Without the sheep and yaks, I feel like something is missing," he says.

Like his sons, he has a key to a new apartment in downtown Tashikurgan. But for now, Yusupbek is content with his yurt and his herd.

Fortunately for herdsmen who decide to stick with herding, the local government has implemented multiple policies to increase their incomes.

Individual herdsmen can put their livestock in a local cooperative which herds and breeds the animals collectively. This frees herdsmen from the landlocked pasture so they have time for other more lucrative work. In the meantime, individual herdsmen get dividends from the cooperative.

To help young herdsmen find jobs, the local government also provides vocational programs to train them to be cooks, electricians or construction workers.

Furthermore, the government gives various subsidies to herdsmen who stay. With these subsidies, herdsmen can downsize their flock. It helps to tackle overgrazing and generally better preserve the natural environment.

To take Ezibek Yusupbek as an example, he and his wife receive subsidies worth nearly 8,000 yuan ($1,160) each year. This is on top of their monthly pensions of 310 yuan.

All of this makes life on the pasture easier, but Ezibek Yusupbek knows that one day he will have to leave as his health deteriorates.

"I won't be here grazing two years from now," he says.

It's unclear whether the other four households will remain here. But what is clear is that, whether they stay or go, the herdsmen of the Laybulaq Pasture are going to have better lives in the future.

Xinhua

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2019-07-05 08:02:39
<![CDATA[Century-old industrial city joins modern world]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488056.htm Technology is helping Tangshan, Hebei province, foster emerging sectors and embrace the opportunities presented by 'intelligent production'. Wang Jinye, Wang Hongfeng and Li Laifang report for Xinhua.

With the head sheaves whirling on top of the derrick, the century-old No 1 pit at Kailuan colliery still lifts coal from deep underground. However, the icon of the old industrial city of Tangshan, Hebei province, is now a tourist site.

The shaft, which began operations in 1881 and is the earliest of its type in China, is located at the Kailuan National Mining Park, a symbol of modern industrial heritage that includes the country's first standard gauge railway track.

Culture and tourism are just part of the efforts being made amid the city's diversified development program.

Tangshan, to the east of Beijing, is one of China's oldest industrial bases, featuring the coal, steel and chemical industries. As the country deepens supply-side structural reform in search of high-quality growth, the coastal city is working to upgrade its traditional industries, cut pollution and foster emerging sectors through innovation, investment and integrated regional development.

Structural transformation

In the past seven decades, the Kailuan colliery has produced 1.67 billion metric tons of raw coal and 408 million tons of clean coal.

In recent years, the mine has been facing woefully inadequate resource reserves. "The transformation is pressing," said Zhang Yuliang, a senior executive with Kailuan Group.

In 2017, to promote structural transformation, the company decided to optimize and strengthen its backbone industries - coal, coal chemical and modern services - via advanced equipment and technology, and develop strategic emerging industries, such as new energy and new materials.

"The corporate research team has been developing new coal chemical products to push the industry chain toward the high-end," Zhang said.

The company has piloted intelligent mining with one unmanned working face, conducted mixed ownership reform of its subsidiaries, and gone global with a mine-related service business in India and Kyrgyzstan.

Last year, the company's revenue hit 76 billion yuan ($11 billion), with the coal chemical sector accounting for nearly 25 percent of the total. Meanwhile, profit soared by 146 percent year-on-year, while the logistics services generated revenue of more than 40 billion yuan.

As China made cutting overcapacity one of the major tasks in supply-side structural reform in late 2015, the provincial authorities ordered Kailuan to cut coal capacity by 18.55 million tons from 2016 to 2020 and reduce the workforce by 25,000 people.

"Kailuan encountered difficulties in the first two years of the reform. My salary was sometimes delayed," said Li Wei, who joined the company after graduating in automation from Hebei University in 2008 and is now in charge of the electrical and mechanical department.

"Today's Kailuan is quite different from the past, when my grandfather and father worked here. What it needs is not more labor, but technological innovation."

Intelligent production has also been promoted by HBIS Group Tangsteel, a large steel enterprise founded in the city in 1943. Designed to produce 1.8 million tons of finished products a year, the high-strength automobile plate factory has become a landmark project to upgrade products via intelligent manufacturing.

"We have made big efforts to push technological progress and the upgrading of products through investment and cooperation with institutes and universities," said Wang Lanyu, chairman of Tangsteel, a subsidiary of Hebei Iron and Steel Group, one of the world's largest steelmakers.

Last year, Tangsteel's output of high-end key products reached 5.7 million tons, accounting for 41 percent of its steel products, and the company made a profit of 2 billion yuan. Sales of steel for automobiles and home appliances jointly accounted for 26 percent of its total steel products.

"Through hard work, Tangsteel has developed from a steel plant that used to produce ordinary construction steel into a large, modern, high-quality steel base for automobiles and home appliances," Wang said.

New growth drivers

With a population of about 8 million, Tangshan is aiming to become a window city for economic cooperation in Northeast Asia, a new-style industrialization base in the Bohai Rim area and an important pivot of China's economic cycle.

In 2017, Tangshan became one of the country's first 12 cities, or economic zones, to act as demonstration areas for industrial transformation and upgrading.

Five emerging industries - including intelligent rail transit, robotics, electronics and intelligent instruments - are becoming new drivers of the city's economy.

Home to CRRC Tangshan, one of China's major high-speed train manufacturers, the city has established an intelligent rail transit industry alliance and an innovation and development center for the rail industry.

The combined annual output value of 56 robot manufacturing companies hit 6 billion yuan last year, or half of the total output value of the Tangshan Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone, according to an official with the State-level facility.

CITIC Heavy Industry Kaicheng Intelligent Equipment, which is located in the zone, aims to become a world-class specialist robotics manufacturing base. To that end, it makes more than 30 different robotic products.

"We invest more than 6.5 percent of our main business revenue in research and development every year to ensure our leading position in technology," said Lu Wentao, the company's general manager.

According to data from the Tangshan Industry and Information Technology Bureau, from January to April the added value of the five emerging sectors jumped by 31.9 percent, 20.7 percentage points higher than average growth in the city.

Chen Jingming, deputy head of the city's development and reform commission, said, "We take key emerging industrial projects as a booster for development."

In the first quarter of this year, Tangshan's GDP registered year-on-year growth of 7.8 percent, the city's highest Q1 rate since 2014.

"Tangshan is in an overlapping period during which traditional industries experience arduous transformation, while emerging industries are being fostered," said Zhang Gui, an expert on the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster at Hebei University of Technology in the northern port city of Tianjin.

"Technological innovation is the lifeline for the successful transformation of old industrial bases. Tangshan must embrace the new round of industrial revolution backed by the internet, big data and artificial intelligence."

According to the 2019 Global Cities Outlook report by A.T. Kearney, an international consultancy, Tangshan ranks as the world's 77th most-promising city.

The cargo throughput of Tangshan Port reached 637 million tons last year, jumping to third place among the country's coastal ports. In the first five months of this year, the port's throughput grew by 7.1 percent from the same period last year to reach 265 million tons.

As a new area of Tangshan Port, the Caofeidian port zone in Caofeidian district is booming.

It boasts two of the country's seven approved berths that can dock vessels of 400,000 tons. The port zone has 101 berths dealing with ore, coal, crude oil, liquefied natural gas and containers, and has handling capacity of 470 million tons.

With direct maritime trade routes to more than 70 countries and regions, Caofeidian is a new growth center for Tangshan, as well as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster. It has attracted significant investment and emerging industries from Beijing under plans to jointly build Caofeidian into a demonstration zone for integrated development.

Last year, the port area saw a logistics trade volume of 100 billion yuan, and the number is expected to double this year. The booming port area aims to become the world's largest logistics center for coal and ore.

From black to green

In addition to cutting industrial capacity in sectors such as coal and steel, Tangshan's resource-based companies have been urged to adopt new, advanced methods to cut pollution and attempt to realize green production.

From 2013 to last year, the city slashed nearly 80 million tons in iron and steel production capacity, dismantled and sealed off 147 converters and furnaces, and closed small polluting factories. The number of iron and steel companies in the city has been cut by one-third, from 58 in 2012 to 38 last year.

Over the past two years, in addition to achieving zero discharge of wastewater, Tangsteel has invested 2.7 billion yuan in a number of projects aimed at reducing emissions and saving energy, which has realized ultralow emissions in all production lines. The company also took the initiative in cutting carbon monoxide emissions.

"Tangsteel has been pursuing green transformation to realize green manufacturing," said Wang, the company chairman.

Last year, Tangshan's average density of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that can enter the bloodstream via the lungs, was 60 micrograms per cubic meter, a fall of 9.1 percent from 2017. This year, the city is targeting a 5 percent fall in PM2.5 density.

This month, a greening project, "The Tangshan Sea of Flowers" in Kaiping district, will open to the public as part of the city's efforts to restore the damaged environment and develop tourism.

Nanhu area in the downtown used to be an untreated mined-out area and a fetid garbage dump. After major restoration efforts, it has become a scenic park where visitors are admitted free of charge. Last year, it received 4.8 million visitors.

"We will make Nanhu an attractive and dynamic zone, and an emerging growth point to serve the city's strategic transformation," said Xue Shaojiang, an official with the Tangshan Culture and Tourism Group, a company devoted to the development of the city's tourism sector.

Wang Jianhua, Cao Guochang and Gao Bo contributed to the story.

 

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2019-07-04 07:00:52
<![CDATA[Seeking acceptance, belonging at the loneliness museum]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488055.htm Organizers hope to create a haven for people who feel alone, and remind them that there are others who feel the same way too

Located in one of Beijing's most active art communities, the loneliness museum is always packed and bustling. However, everyone who visits the museum claims that they are lonely.

Liu Jiawei, a 22-year-old university student, sat quietly opposite a fluffy toy bear and ate hotpot, went to the hospital alone, and took the last subway home. Learning to deal with loneliness after ending a long term relationship was a challenge for her.

"When you are used to being together with someone, you feel uncomfortable when both parties suddenly separate," Liu said.

The Torro Loneliness Museum, which opened two weeks ago at the 798 Art Zone, has reproduced several scenes in which visitors can immerse themselves and resonate with loneliness. Divided into 13 sections including an office at night, the last subway, a hotpot restaurant and a hospital, the museum displays over 1,000 stories of loneliness, with words of encouragement and ways to deal with being alone written on the walls and the stairs.

Despite its theme, it is not always a solitary journey at the museum. In a room with three stationary bicycles, strangers can ride them together to light up the bulbs on the wall, which form a sentence - "Loneliness comes together with love".

Liu pedaled the bicycle at full speed with two other girls. When the bulbs on the walls finally lit up, they laughed together even though they had never met before.

"I am always sad these days, but I felt very relaxed and happy just now," Liu said.

Han Yue, one of the co-founders of Torro, the operating company of the museum, said everyone feels lonely sometimes for different reasons.

Han's grandfather passed away from cancer early last year while Han was leading a tour group in Nepal.

"When I came back to an empty home, I took out my items one by one from the suitcase with tears dropping on them," said Han, recalling the loneliest time he had ever experienced. "I couldn't face the reality that my grandpa was no longer there."

It dawned on him that a single event or trip might not be enough for people to relieve their sadness or loneliness. Previously, their team - all of whom are age 30 or younger - has organized hundreds of activities including a color run, a music festival and desert trips for urban youth to gather and forget their loneliness.

Han and the four other team members hope to create a haven for lonely people to visit and for others to empathize with them.

With over 300,000 followers on social media, Torro published a post on collecting stories about loneliness, and over 1,000 of them flooded in from all over the country. Those stories from their readers became a source of inspiration for the museum, and they were printed out and displayed among the exhibits.

Liu Shiyu, a 23-year-old graduate student in Beijing, brought her camera to the museum to pursue her new hobby.

To Liu Shiyu, this generation of young people is different from their parents'. They worry less about their livelihoods, but face more interpersonal and social pressures.

"When I'm in a bad mood, I avoid reaching out to my friends, as emotions can be contagious and everyone is under a lot of pressure," Liu Shiyu said. "I don't even tell my parents because they may not understand."

Diaries, sports and museums like Torro's have become ideal ways to improve one's mood. "You can feel empathy at the museum. When you read the stories, you feel like you can connect with someone with similar emotions," graduate student Liu Shiyu said.

According to a report titled National Mental Health Development in China, published by the Institute of Psychology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in February, the national mental health index declines with age at the adolescent stage from ages 12 to 18, and gradually rises in adulthood from ages 18 to 55, indicating that people will experience a period of mental health downturn during their youth.

Han's team is currently negotiating to open loneliness museums at more places in other cities.

On Meituan, a Chinese online city guide like Yelp, the Torro Loneliness Museum scored a 4.8 rating based on 86 reviews. Although many people praised the design and concept of the museum, some questioned if it was just a commercial gimmick with fancy decorations and prosaic stories.

Guan Yutong, a psychological counselor in Beijing, said that when lonely people find similar lonely hearts in the museum, they may gain a sense of belonging and overcome loneliness. However, she was also worried that such an exhibition might create a lonely atmosphere and spread it to those who did not feel depressed initially.

By contrast, Fang Fang, one of the museum's curators, did not have such concerns. "People who come to work in big cities like Beijing can suddenly feel lonely and vulnerable sometimes," Fang said.

"We want to create a place for lonely people to relax, be recognized and accepted," she added. "The museum is not a pretentious setup that exaggerates people's pain. It reminds them that even though life is hard, there are thousands of people in this city just like them."

Xinhua

 

A visitor plays a guitar in one of the 13 sections at the Torro Loneliness Museum in Beijing.Photos By He Xiyue / Xinhua

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2019-07-04 07:00:52
<![CDATA[Bringing the charms of china to tourists]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488054.htm In one of the most popular tourist spots in the coastal city of Xiamen, in East China's Fujian province, a china painting store called 4928 Painting Hall in Zengcuo'an village was packed with visitors focused on painting white mugs, plates and vases.

Hou Yen-chih, the store's founder and owner, sat among them and occasionally gave the customers some guidance. It is his eighth year running a business in the Chinese mainland. Coming from Miaoli county in Taiwan, Hou took a chance in Xiamen by setting up a street stall and selling porcelain to passersby, after quitting his job as a manager at a listed technology company in Taiwan.

He came to Xiamen out of curiosity and expectation in 2011 - curiosity due to his little knowledge of the Chinese mainland market and expectation because he was told that he could earn more than 10,000 yuan ($1,450) a month. Hou's father, who ran his own business in Xiamen for 20 years, told him that a friend who sold porcelain at Xiamen's night market could earn that amount of money, which was pretty much the same amount Hou earned as a manager in Taiwan.

"After understanding the situation here, I was very interested in porcelain so I decided to start my own porcelain business," Hou said. "My thoughts were very simple at first, just to accumulate some money by running the street stall."

He rented a garage as a workshop and lived in a very old community. Apart from constantly working overtime, Hou also had to endure being separated from his wife and newborn daughter.

"I was only thinking of one thing. The market is huge here. If I didn't succeed and returned to Taiwan, others would think it was because of my lack of ability. I can't be a failure. I want to make my business better and bring my family over," he said.

Hence, Hou never stopped trying out different locations and marketing strategies, and figuring out his advantages in the market to attract more customers. After running the stall for a year, he gradually understood more about the market and began operating a wholesale porcelain factory.

However, running a standardized factory required more effort and it was far more difficult than running a street stall. Wishing to make his sales in a service-oriented way, Hou almost led the factory into bankruptcy in the second year.

"I was thinking in a Taiwan way. The management mindset that I had was not suitable for traditional porcelain wholesale, so I had to rack my brains to think about reform and innovation," he said.

In 2015, Hou paid a visit to Zengcuo'an village and was surprised by the number of people and bustling commercial atmosphere, prompting him to open a store for customers to create their own designs on the porcelain. As his store was located deep in the alleyway, Hou went to the village entrance every day and tried to convince tourists to come by telling them that the store was close to an ancient residence of the military department in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

"It helped me build up a reputation among tourists, and thinking back now, I think it had a lot to do with the courage I gained when I was running the stall," he said.

With the sheer numbers of tourists traveling to Xiamen and Zengcuo'an village each year, more people began paying attention to his little store and Hou said it has gained more than 10,000 fans in the three years since it opened.

As an entrepreneur from Taiwan, Hou said he would like to thank the government for establishing preferential policies so that his wife and child can settle down with him in Xiamen and that his child can attend a local public school, solving his biggest problem as he runs his business in the mainland.

People might think that he is just a salesman selling china, but Hou said that his products actually carry stories, emotions, hopes and most importantly - love.

"The slogan of the store is called 'Love China'. The first meaning of the slogan is that I am Chinese, and I love china and china represents our history," he said. "The second meaning that I gave is a meaning of love to tell the country, and even the world, the message that this is 'Love China', a China full of love."

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2019-07-04 07:00:52
<![CDATA[Yak Museum a labor of love for curator]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488053.htm Over 40 years ago, Wu Yuchu was trapped in a blizzard in the Tibet autonomous region.

It was 1977, two years after Wu had started working in Tibet. He and more than 50 other people had to hide in a mud-brick house while the blizzard raged. Temperatures outside dropped to -30 C, and food was running out. Hope seemed to be fading away.

When the rescue team finally arrived with yaks carrying lifesaving supplies, Wu immediately bonded with the beasts.

He could not have imagined that the bond would last for decades. Yaks saved his life, and he has spent most of his life promoting the animals.

"I have watched and studied them since then," Wu said. "I grew really fond of them, and I wanted to know more about the species."

His yak studies remained a hobby until 2014, when he became the curator of the Yak Museum in Lhasa, capital of Tibet.

With a total investment of more than 100 million yuan ($14.5 million), it is the country's only yak-themed museum.

"Now I see yaks every day, and I can tell more people about them," the 65-year-old said. He has even given himself a Tibetan name which roughly translates as "the old yak man".

As a Tibetan saying goes, "Where there is a Tibetan, there are yaks". The animal has been part of Tibetan life for centuries. They are used for food, clothing, incomes, labor and transport, and the animal is even a religious symbol.

For these reasons, Wu is warmly welcomed when he goes to collect exhibits from every corner of Tibet. Locals not only donate items when Wu visits their homes, but also trek from remote areas to Lhasa just to offer their help.

The museum has also received a donation of 86 items from a Nepalese businessman. Many of its exhibits have been shown in big cities like Beijing and Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

The Yak Museum is not only Wu's spiritual sanctuary, but also a place for the young people to learn about their ancestors' way of life and scholars to search for different perspectives.

"Of course, one of the most frequently asked questions is 'What does yak meat taste like?'" Wu joked.

Xinhua

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2019-07-04 07:00:52
<![CDATA[First typhoon of year disrupts flights, shipping in Hainan]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488052.htm

Mun batters island with wind gusts and rain, including 255 mm in Haiwei

Typhoon Mun made landfall on Hainan Island early on Wednesday morning, bringing heavy rain and winds and disrupting flights and shipping.

The first of the typhoon season, Mun hit Hele town, Wanning city, on the eastern coast at 12:45 am on Wednesday, with wind gusts of 65 kilometers per hour.

The storm dumped more than 100 millimeters of rain on 42 townships and districts and on 12 cities and counties in Hainan. Haiwei town in Changjiang county was inundated by 255 mm, according to the Hainan Meteorological Center.

Shipping on the Qiongzhou Strait, the channel between Hainan and the mainland, has been halted since noon on Tuesday.

Officials with the provincial authorities said all fishing boats had returned in advance to be sheltered from the storms. No casualties have been reported.

Flights at Meilan International Airport in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan province, and Phoenix International Airport in Sanya have been heavily affected. As of 9:00 pm on Tuesday, 32 flights had been canceled or delayed, according to a Xinhua report.

Mun continued to bring strong storms to Hainan Island and its offshore areas on Wednesday. Authorities issued orange rainstorm warnings - the second most severe in a four-tier system - to several cities and counties.

Mun moved northwest at a speed of about 15 km/h with little change in intensity. It crossed Hainan Island on Wednesday afternoon, then entered the Beibu Gulf and moved on to northern Vietnam, according to the local observatory.

As it is the peak tourism season in Hainan, local authorities have warned tourists to heed the latest forecasts and warnings and to be aware of personal safety at scenic spots.

Authorities said the impact of Mun will help cool the high temperatures of recent days, and the rainfall will replenish water in some reservoirs, ease local drought conditions and help crop growth.

The National Meteorological Center forecast that from Wednesday to Thursday, Mun would dump between 50 to 90 mm of rain and bring strong winds to other areas including the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Guangdong, Hunan and Fujian provinces.

China's National Climate Center predicts there will be typhoon activity from midsummer to early autumn, with the most expected in the fall. Compared to the past, their landfall and impact routes will be more westward and their intensity stronger. The south and southeast coastal areas need to take special precautions against typhoons, floods, gales and storm surges, the center warned.

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Villagers in northeast battle major floodwaters]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488051.htm

Continuous heavy rain has inundated 10,000 hectares of farmland with floodwaters in Xunke county, northeastern Heilongjiang province, according to the local government.

Persistent heavy rain starting last Wednesday has battered the county, affecting seven towns.

Though no casualties have been reported, the local government said about 10,000 hectares of cultivated land in nine villages were flooded, including 1,000 hectares in Zhanhe village, the closest to the Zhanhe River.

All roads in Zhanhe village were flooded, and water poured into villagers' houses, causing property damage.

"Work to recover the village has started with the joint efforts of about 170 rescuers and all the villagers, including restoring traffic, draining water and disinfection treatment," China Central Television reported on Tuesday. "It is expected to help the villagers resume normal life and work as soon as possible."

Dozens of vehicles and machines, including 10 pumps, were used in the rescue and relief work.

About 270 villagers in Zhanhe village returned home after the water dropped to a safe level on Monday, the local government said.

"At 7 pm on June 28, the water level of the Zhanhe River reached 97.51 meters, 1.41 meters above the warning level," the head of a local hydrological station, Dai Yunchong, told a local newspaper. "It recorded the highest water level since the establishment of this station in 1963."

"The flood has had a serious impact on the surrounding villages and their villagers," he added.

Villager Jin Wenhua said: "I planted 26,000 seedlings of ginseng around my house and I found all of them immersed in water when I returned. I was so anxious about the harvest being ruined."

"Thanks to the rescuers who came immediately with a pump, all the water has been drained after 24 hours' continuous work," she said.

Wang Hongdong, deputy director of the county's publicity department, said there are 123 rivers in Xunke, which makes the county more vulnerable to floods in the summer. "However, the floods usually recede rapidly," he said.

He added that detailed information about the disaster is still being collected by different departments.

"The flood may cause a degree of decrease of the crop yields, and the agricultural department is collecting information about agricultural insurance the farmers purchased and developing plans to recover their losses as much as possible."

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Beijing to clarify rules on residential waste sorting]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488050.htm Beijing will push forward its waste sorting legislation soon, and the newly revised regulation will clarify an individual's responsibility to sort domestic waste, a senior official said.

A municipal regulation in Shanghai covering domestic waste management had taken effect on Monday and required every household and institution to sort their trash into four categories: recyclable waste, hazardous waste, household food waste and residual waste.

Sun Xinjun, director of Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Management, said Beijing will follow suit soon without giving a possible date.

"If the garbage is not sorted, the resident may face a fine of up to 200 yuan ($30)," he said, adding that the penalty will be no less than Shanghai's garbage classification punishment.

Different from the four categories of separating trash in Shanghai, Beijing will use four other garbage classification standards: recyclables, kitchen waste, hazardous waste and other waste, according to Sun.

Some departments and public institutions in the capital have already implemented waste management. Beijing produces nearly 26,000 metric tons of domestic waste every day, and 29 garbage disposal terminal facilities are already operating at their full capacity.

In 2018, Beijing collected 9.3 million tons of household waste.

Environmental experts in Beijing welcomed the mandatory trash sorting implementation in Shanghai, saying it will serve as an example for the capital's upcoming revised regulation.

Chang Jiwen, deputy director of the Institute for Resources and Environment at Development Research Center of the State Council, said Shanghai's waste sorting will give reference to Beijing as the public's awareness has been greatly enhanced due to the implementation.

"Some citizens in Shanghai formed the habit of delivering the garbage to recycling stations every day, since the trash bins had been removed," he said. "Beijing can follow Shanghai's suit on mandatory household garbage sorting the same way."

Jiang Jianguo, a professor at Tsinghua University's School of Environment, said there are still lots of challenges if Beijing plans to classify residential garbage.

"Most of the residential garbage didn't have recycling value, but that trash makes up most of the public's garbage," he said. "How to restrict those through legislation remains a question to consider in the future."

Beijing has carried out trash sorting 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.

However, the implementation of trash sorting in Beijing hasn't gone well in the past decade, since mere encouragement is not enough for citizens to change their habits, said Hao Zhilan, director of the urban construction and environmental protection committee, at the Beijing's People Congress meeting at the end of May.

The previous regulations didn't give specific fines for households, companies or institutions that fail to sort their garbage properly.

Yuan Yiyu, a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said she started to learn garbage classification this month since the implementation of trash sorting in Shanghai largely drove her passion to learn waste sorting at college.

"I hope to use the garbage classification knowledge more in the future to help better protect our city's environment," she said.

 

Residents throw plastic bottles in a trash bin with detailed sorting instructions in Beijing last month.Wei Tong/for China Daily

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Principal admits to raping student, molesting 4 others]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488049.htm

Details of sexual assault allegations against the principal of a primary school in Huludao, Liaoning province, were revealed by Suizhong county's publicity authority on Tuesday.

The suspect, surnamed Wang, confessed to rape and sexual offenses against minors at the county's Shuikou Primary School. He has been detained on criminal allegations since June 1, the authority said.

It added that local prosecutors have taken over the case and are preparing an arrest warrant for him.

On May 31, a student at the Shuikou Primary School, accompanied by her mother, reported to the police that she was forced to have sex with the principal three times between March and November last year.

On the same day, four other students and their parents approached the police to accuse Wang of sexual misconduct.

Wang was immediately placed in custody and, after interrogation, confessed to raping the student who first reported him to the police and sexually assaulting other students. Further investigation into the case continues.

According to the authority, the suspect, 50, had been teaching at the Zhongxin Primary School since 1989 and was promoted to head the Shuikou Primary School in 1991.

Both the principal and the Party secretary of the Zhongxin Primary School of Gaotai, which oversees Shuikou Primary School, have been removed from their positions for their lax supervision and failure to report the scandal.

A teacher at the Zhongxin Primary School has been appointed as the interim principal since June 2.

Psychological counseling services were offered to the victims and their parents.

Separately, Shanghai police said on Wednesday that another man surnamed Wang, 57, and a woman, surnamed Zhou, 49, have been arrested on suspicion of molesting a 9-year-old girl in a hotel.

Local media Xinmin Evening News identified the man as Wang Zhenhua, chairman of the board of Seazen - a real estate developer based in Shanghai and listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. It reported that the alleged crime happened in a five-star hotel in Shanghai on Saturday, leaving the girl with lacerations on her vagina.

The girl, who hails from Shanghai's neighboring Jiangsu province, made a phone call to her mother, who was in Jiangsu, about the incident. The mother contacted Shanghai police, it reported.

The 9-year-old and another 12-year-old girl were brought to the hotel by Zhou, a friend of the 9-year-old's mother. Zhou told the mother that she took the girl to Shanghai to visit Disneyland, according to the report.

The report said Wang paid Zhou 10,000 yuan ($1,400) in cash after committing the alleged molestation.

China Daily

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Officials caught gambling amid gang sting operation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488048.htm

Three senior officials in Xixiang county in Shaanxi province were found gambling at a hotel by an anti-organized crime team while it was on a mission to arrest suspected gang members.

A national inspection team working on organized crime arrived in Shaanxi on June 3 and started inspection work. A squad working with the team went to Xixiang on June 13 for inspection.

But one day later, when the squad was in the county to arrest criminal suspects at a local hotel, they knocked on the wrong room door and discovered the three officials and a person named Tang playing mahjong on a working day.

The three officials are Xi Dongxing, head of the Xixiang Public Security Bureau; Wang Jianqing, chief procurator of the Xixiang people's procuratorate; and Qu Xiang, director of the natural resources bureau of Xixiang.

The amount of money that was being gambled was about 38,000 yuan ($5,500), according a statement issued by Xixiang government.

The four were detained for 10 days and fined. Furthermore, all the three officials were removed from their posts.

Xi and Wang were also both placed on one year's probation by the Communist Party of China.

Qu was also under investigation by the county's commission for discipline inspection and supervisory commission for other suspected disciplinary violations.

In January 2018, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council launched a three-year campaign to crack down on organized crime. Since then, 34 national teams headed by ministerial-level officials have been sent to 34 provinces and regions around the country to conduct inspections in three rounds. The inspections will be completed this month.

China Daily

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488047.htm Liaoning

6 dead, at least 120 injured by tornado

Six people were killed and at least 120 injured by a tornado that hit the city of Kaiyuan, Liaoning province, on Wednesday, China Central Television reported. The tornado, which formed at about 5:15 pm, had a speed of about 83 kilometers per hour and lasted about 15 minutes. The city's central hospital was reported to have received many wounded people. Houses and telecommunications were also damaged. Rescue operations are underway.

Gansu

Tubo Kingdom exhibit opens in Dunhuang

An exhibition on the Tibetan Tubo Kingdom (about 618-842) opened in Dunhuang, Gansu province on Tuesday. More than 120 cultural relics from nearly 30 museums and cultural institutions from China and abroad are on display, including silk products, gold, silverware and Buddha statues. The exhibition, which will run until Oct 22, presents how the Tubo people absorbed neighboring cultures between the 7th and 9th centuries.

Xinhua

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Experiment yields unique find in space]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488046.htm Chinese, Japanese scientists discover highest-energy photon ever observed

Scientists from China and Japan have spotted the highest-energy light particle ever observed on Earth, and they believed it came from one of the most mesmerizing celestial objects that has captivated poets and physicists alike since the 11th century - the Crab Nebula.

Capturing and studying these speedy space photons can help shed light on their mysterious origin and acceleration mechanism, leading to new revelations about the extreme conditions of the universe, scientists said.

The Tibet AS-gamma experiment, a China-Japan joint research project located about 4.3 kilometers above sea level in the Tibet autonomous region, has discovered 24 photons with energies above 100 trillion electron volts (TeV), one of which even registered a staggering 450 TeV.

These findings represent the first detection of high energy photons over 100 TeV and the highest ever recorded. "It is a milestone for super-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy," said Huang Jing, a spokeswoman for the project and a researcher from the Institute of High Energy Physics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The research results will be published later this month in the journal Physical Review Letters. The previous record energy level was 75 TeV, observed by the HEGRA Cherenkov telescope.

Huang said they believe these photons originated from the Crab Nebula, the remnant of a supernova that was observed in 1054 AD, around 6,500 light years away from Earth.

The stellar event was recorded in official histories of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in ancient China, as well as in Meigetsuki, a literary diary by 12th century Japanese poet Fujiwara no Teika.

In 2005, NASA's Hubble Telescope released the most detailed optical view of the entire nebula, calling it "the most interesting and well-studied object in astronomy".

However, since the discovery of cosmic rays - energetic, subatomic particles from space - in 1912, scientists have been baffled by how the universe can accelerate particles to close to the speed of light and make them travel for hundreds, if not millions of light years through space.

Scientists hypothesized that the high-energy cosmic rays might have generated from massive stellar explosions or black holes. "But one thing is now certain, and that is the Crab Nebula is the most powerful natural electron accelerator currently known in our galaxy," Huang said.

"The recent discoveries open a new window for the exploration of the extreme universe and are key to understanding the fundamental physics in extreme conditions," she added.

In 1991, scientists from the United States discovered the highest energy particle to ever reach Earth, a proton with 300 million TeV. They dubbed it the "Oh-My-God" particle for its mind-boggling speed and energy.

Visible light, for comparison, has just a few electron volts of energy. The Large Hadron Collider, the world's most powerful particle smasher, only has a maximum designed collision energy of 14 TeV.

While the Earth is being constantly bombarded with cosmic rays, it is still very difficult to detect a high-energy particle given interferences from Earth's atmosphere and other disturbances.

As a result, the Tibet AS-gamma experiment, jointly operated by China and Japan since 1990, built an observatory across an area of more than 65,000 square meters in high altitudes to reduce noise and improve sensitivity.

In 2014, scientists from China and Japan added new underground detectors that can suppress 99.92 percent of the cosmic-ray background noises. That addition, along with other innovative upgrades, led scientists to finally discover the high-energy photon they were looking for, Huang said.

Chen Yang, a professor of astronomy from Nanjing University, said with a deeper understanding of cosmic rays, scientists can increase the efficiency for space breeding, the process of improving crop species via mutations caused by exposure to extreme conditions in space.

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Top political adviser praises work of religious committee]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488045.htm

China's top political adviser, Wang Yang, met representatives from the China Committee on Religion and Peace on Wednesday and said the committee has become a window for the country to introduce its religious policies to the world.

"The committee has been actively introducing the real situation of religious freedom in China to the world," said Wang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"It has provided an important platform for the country's political advisory body to communicate with the world, and made positive contributions to creating an external environment conducive to China's development," he said.

Established in 1994, the China Committee on Religion and Peace is a nonprofit organization consisting of representatives from the five major religions in China - Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism.

The committee has about 100 representatives who are also members of the National Committee of the CPPCC, the country's political advisory body.

The committee is under the commission for ethnic and religious affairs of the CPPCC.

The committee aims to promote unity and harmony among religious groups and further exchanges and cooperation with religious circles around the world. It also wants to safeguard the unification of the country and strive for world peace and common prosperity.

On Wednesday, the committee reviewed its work report of the past five years and elected new board members. Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai, honorary president of the China Buddhist Association, was elected as committee president.

According to the committee's work report delivered during the meeting, it has actively helped China's social development, contributed to regional peace and stability, made progress in opposing violence and religion extremism and promoted human rights.

In the past five years, the committee organized 20 trips abroad and received eight foreign groups to improve its influence internationally, the report said.

It also organized two international meetings and signed three cooperation documents with other international organizations that promote peace among religions, it said.

The committee has always safeguarded the country's dignity and interests during international exchanges, especially when it involves Taiwan and Tibet issues, the report said.

Wang said the committee should continue to guide religions to better adapt to socialist society and find better ways to tell the world about China's religious stories so the country can be heard in religious circles.

He urged committee members to contribute to world peace and the building of a shared future for mankind.

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Food safety lock guidelines released]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488044.htm One year after creating the food safety lock, which has become popular nationwide, the Xuhui district Market Regulation Administration in Shanghai recently introduced guidelines on its use and manufacture.

Similar to a luggage tag and secured around a carrying bag, it has to be broken to be unlocked. The disposable lock is intended to guarantee that food is not tampered with during delivery from the restaurant to the customer.

"It's like putting a safety belt on the meal box," said Zhai Hengyao, an official with the district administration.

"But the problem is that the safety belt has been so popular that we have seen an increasing number of food business operators improvising with their own versions. So we think it's time to introduce guidelines and eliminate confusion."

After the administration introduced the food safety lock last June, with 50,000 free samples distributed to restaurants in its region, food delivery giant Meituan adopted it and has since had millions of its orders "locked" with the device.

The new guidelines require the locks to be made from recyclable plastic complying with the country's food safety regulations. They also suggest the locks be waterproof and be opened with an amount of force equivalent to that needed to unscrew a plastic water bottle cap, Zhai said.

The administration also said a recent internet market regulation proposal by eight central government departments, including the State Administration for Market Regulation and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, should be followed.

It calls for further regulation of the food delivery business and encourages the use of safety seals or locks.

"The whole nation has been investing so much to guarantee food safety from farms, to factories, to restaurants. Now it is important that the fruit of so much effort remains intact during the last kilometer to consumers' dining tables," Zhai said.

Tao Leijun, head of Shanghai-based Meituan delivery business, said "the lock can protect the rights of both consumers and delivery guys".

The company says consumers who find locks have been tampered with can reject orders.

Aside from the locks, the company has also given away 78 million pieces of tape to more than 1,000 companies.

As China's food delivery service increases in popularity, conflicts between consumers and deliverymen are rising.

In 2017, a deliveryman in Guangdong province was caught on a security camera in an elevator taking bites from a meal then spitting them back into the delivery box. He handed the meal to the customer as if nothing had happened.

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Students in earthquake will return to school in fall]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488043.htm

Students affected by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Sichuan province are expected to return to classrooms in September when the fall semester starts.

When the earthquake jolted Changning, a county under the administration of Yibin in Sichuan, on June 17, some 20,000 kindergarten, primary and middle school students were displaced because their classrooms were destroyed or damaged.

According to Yang Zhongcai, deputy secretary-general of the Yibin government, the government plans to reinforce slightly damaged school buildings and build new ones so that students can return in September.

About 50,000 houses were destroyed or damaged in the Changning earthquake zone. Of them, 15,000 were so badly damaged that they will be demolished.

"Another 12,000 slightly damaged houses will be reinforced," Yang said.

The Changning quake killed 13 people. Most of them perished after houses collapsed or building materials fell.

Yang said that reinforcement of slightly damaged houses will be completed in three months.

Construction of new houses for people whose houses were badly damaged in the earthquake and have to be demolished will be completed before the Spring Festival.

"So they can move to new houses for the most important festival of family reunion," Yang said.

A magnitude 4.8 earthquake took place in Changning at 12:26 pm on Wednesday.

No casualties were reported, and no houses collapsed.

Roughly 2,800 aftershocks in the Changning earthquake zone have taken place since June 17. The number of those wounded in the quake was initially put at 199. That number now stands at 286.

"One reason is that frequent aftershocks have injured more people," Yang said.

The quake resulted in the relocation of 80,000 people, 30,000 of whom lived in tents.

"Most of them no longer live in tents because they have sought shelter in relatives' and friends' homes," said Du Ziping, mayor of Yibin.

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[No matter how hot it gets, keep your shirts, shoes on]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/04/content_37488042.htm

Residents in Jinan, Shandong province have received a simple message from city officials: keep your clothes on no matter how hot it is.

The city's office of civic enhancement recently issued a notice to regulate public modesty during summer, especially those who go topless or barefoot in populous areas such as parks, squares, buses and scenic spots.

Residents are also advised not to swim, take showers or wash their clothes or feet at public lakes, the notice said.

Media outlets under the city's administration have been urged to set up special sections that expose people who go topless in public, it said.

Fan Lizhen, an official at the city's office of building a civilized city, said they have enforced a comprehensive regulation on public modesty since June 28.

Topless and barefoot citizens have been asked to put their clothes and shoes back on, and anyone who has refused to do so risks being exposed publicly. In extreme cases they will be fined, he said, adding that so far there has been no need to fine or expose topless citizens.

Tianjin issued a similar regulation in May that forbids public immodesty. People who are topless in public will receive a fine of 50 yuan ($7) to 200 yuan, the regulation said.

Local police in the city's Jinghai district issued a 50 yuan fine to a man surnamed Gu for being shirtless in public on May 17, the Paper.cn reported. Another man surnamed Zuo was also fined 50 yuan by police in Heping district on May 22 for immodesty, according to the Heping public security bureau.

Hu Guanghui, from Changsha, Hunan province, said it is common for men, especially middle-aged and elderly men, to be topless in public in summer.

When the sun goes down and people start eating night snacks and drinking beer with their friends, many men take their shirts off, with some displaying tattoos on their chest, the 45-year-old said.

"I don't think taking off one's shirt during extreme heat is uncivilized. It's just topless, not full frontal," Hu said.

Yu Ting, who works at a bank in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, said China has a tradition of modesty - pornography is forbidden, nudity in films is strictly limited and plunging necklines are a rare sight.

"I do not see why we should tolerate public nudity when we have such strict rules on nudity in films," the 29-year-old said.

People should be less forgiving on male nudity in public while taboos surrounding female nudity, public or private, are still very strong, she said.

A heat wave will hit China over the next 10 days, with temperatures in some areas expected to hit 40 C, the China Meteorological Administration said on Tuesday.

Parts of North China and the Huanghuai region will see hot weather lasting for four to seven days, three days more than the record during the same period in past years, according to the administration.

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2019-07-04 07:00:20
<![CDATA[Independent young women put their faith in bricks and mortar]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487551.htm Prospective bridegrooms in China used to complain that their potential mothers-in-law were the biggest drivers of rising residential property prices, because they insisted that their daughter's suitor should purchase an apartment before marriage.

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Single females are ignoring tradition and buying homes of their own. Yao Yuxin reports.

Prospective bridegrooms in China used to complain that their potential mothers-in-law were the biggest drivers of rising residential property prices, because they insisted that their daughter's suitor should purchase an apartment before marriage.

Traditionally, ownership of a house or apartment is believed to guarantee a happy marriage, and the groom has to bear the responsibility of buying one.

However, mothers-in-law are now shedding that reputation, because a departure from tradition has seen a growing number of single women buying apartments for personal use, often with the financial support of their families, but sometimes on their own.

After reviewing about 68,000 transactions in 12 first-and second-tier cities last year, Ke.com, a property listings website, found that about 47 percent of buyers on its platform ages 30 to 50 were women.

Song Yueping, a researcher at Renmin University of China's National Academy of Development and Strategy, doubts that is the whole picture, though, as there is still a wide gap between the number of male and female buyers, based on statistics from 2010 to 2016.

However, she conceded that more single women age 30 and older have been buying properties than their male counterparts. In 2016, 22.8 percent of single females age 30 and older bought homes, compared with 19.6 percent of single males in the same age group.

Li Yinhe, a sociologist and sexologist in Beijing, said the trend indicates that women with higher levels of education and income are becoming increasingly independent of men and marriage.

"Women now realize they have no need to marry to own a home and enjoy a good lifestyle, and it is better to rely on themselves," she said. "This has greatly challenged traditional customs and gender roles."

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in 1990 the average age of first marriage for Chinese women was 21.7 years, but by 2017, it was 25.7, and rising divorce rates have coincided with a decline in marriage rates.

It seems a growing number of women now consider marriage an option, rather than a necessity.

Li said a new interpretation of China's marriage law last year has prompted more single women to take action, because wives will not receive a share of any property bought by their husband before they married.

Luo Huilan, a professor of women's studies at China Women's University, said, "In the face of so many uncertainties, buying real estate can help ease anxiety and improve women's abilities to withstand future risks."

Before 2016, when the national family planning policy was amended to allow every couple to have two children, it was possible for single female buyers who were an only child to receive financial support from their parents, with rising household incomes serving as the base for the flourishing property market, she added.

So, why are a growing number of women buying homes before marriage? We spoke with three women to find out.

Tang Yusen

27, civil servant in Chongqing

Tang Yusen never thought her parents would treat her differently to her younger brother until she asked for some money to buy a home in 2016, when she had settled into a civil service job in her hometown, two years after college graduation.

In 2010, she started attending a first-tier university in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. She was so industrious that in addition to her chemistry major, she studied law at weekends to gain a second bachelor's degree.

"My mom told me there would be no financial support for me as a girl, but she fully backed the idea that if I bought an apartment it could be sold to my brother at a lower price when I married," she said. "I was shocked."

Tang's sister is fresh out of college, while her brother is in the third year of middle school.

She said she had always thought her parents, who own an agritourism business and earn a good income, would give their three children equal treatment.

Tang didn't decide to buy an apartment until her mother pushed her to save for a dowry after she complained that her salary wouldn't be enough to buy a home.

"Suddenly, I realized I only had myself to rely on," she said.

Tang had always wanted a home of her own, with a cloakroom, study and a movie projector. She said the lack of a sense of security prompted her to accept her first job, an unhappy experience as a math teacher, and that she wanted an apartment of her own as support.

However, no one was on her side. Even the night before she made the down payment, her boyfriend tried to dissuade her from buying her own home. He could not understand why she was so committed when he already had an apartment for them to live in after marriage.

"If there is a quarrel or even a divorce, you will find yourself with nowhere to go," Tang told herself. "Would you like to end up sleeping on the street?"

She was so determined that she threatened to break up with her boyfriend if he continued to raise objections. Now, they fully understand each other, and got married earlier this year.

With several thousand yuan in her bank account, Tang borrowed the down payment of about 60,000 yuan ($8,740) from a bank and a friend, and her father donated 10,000 yuan.

Given her mortgage and living expenses, Tang had little money for makeup or clothes in the early years after she bought her home.

"But I had never before experienced such a strong sense of belonging and security," she said.

She blames her insecurity on the rural environment she grew up in, as city people are born with property they will inherit from their parents or even grandparents.

Tang said having her own apartment means she will never have to live with her parents-in-law, something that is quite common among Chinese families.

"The conflict between daughters and mothers-in-law has lasted for thousands of years. I have no confidence of escaping it," she said. "The best way is to keep a distance."

She rejects the popular view, including from some women around her, that it is shameful for a woman to buy a home, as it indicates that no man wants her as a wife. Instead, if she has a daughter, she will definitely buy her a home.

"I hope my daughter could enjoy the freedom to pursue her dreams without worrying about having no support behind her," she said.

Xi Peiran

25, interior designer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province

Although she is not currently in a relationship, Xi Peiran has already prepared for the worst in marriage - when everything collapses and people battle for custody of the children.

Her remedy was to buy her own home.

Courts in China are inclined to grant custody rights to fathers, as they usually have better incomes and own the family home, so they can offer better support for the children. Women are usually at a disadvantage, as they tend to sacrifice their career and income to take care of the family.

"I won't lose custody of my kids because I don't have an apartment," Xi said, "I don't want to find myself left with nothing - neither home nor children. It's one of the best ways to protect oneself in that situation."

China's marriage law, which states that a wife has no right to a share of her husband's prenuptial assets, further prompted Xi to buy her own home.

The 25-year-old lives in a rented apartment she shares with her dog, three subway stops from her workplace.

The buildings are close enough for neighborly handshakes, and sunlight has no access to the balcony, let alone the rooms.

However, she has no plans to move into her own home in the next few years, despite the better living environment.

Instead, she rents it out for approximately 4,000 yuan a month, which pays her monthly rent of 1,500 yuan, and part of her monthly 7,000 yuan mortgage.

"This is the life that young people should have," Xi said.

It took two years to finalize the purchase. She had several options, so her parents traveled to Shenzhen from their home in Hubei province to help her make the final decision.

At about 40 square meters, with a bedroom, a kitchen and a bathroom, the apartment is worth 2 million yuan. The family made a down payment of 800,000 yuan, and Xi could have bought a bigger apartment for the same price, but the location - a 15-minute walk from the subway and with a good school nearby - matters more to her.

When she told her parents she wanted to buy a home in Shenzhen, they immediately said no, because property prices were too high for the average household to afford. Traditional values also stood in the way.

"They thought it was silly for a woman to give herself this extra burden, which should be shouldered by her husband and his family," Xi said.

She refused to give up. She convinced her parents that real estate was a good investment, and that the apartment would allow them to move to the south when they retired.

Xi rejects the notion that she should depend on a husband, saying she will refuse any financial support related to the apartment from her future partner to avoid property disputes if they divorce.

The 30-year mortgage means Xi doesn't feel free to change her job, and she is on a tight schedule to improve her income. Still, she doesn't feel that buying the apartment has restricted her, because she can move anywhere and still benefit from ownership of the apartment.

"I can rent it out or sell it for a villa in my hometown one day if I want to settle down at home," she said.

Liu Hui

30, translator in a bank in Beijing

Liu Hui had no plans to buy a home in Beijing until last year, when her landlord suddenly asked her to move out so he could sell the apartment she had lived in for three years.

She was happy in the apartment, and it was about 10 kilometers from the bank in the Central Business District where she works as a translator.

In response to Beijing's high property prices, and to avoid sacrificing her quality of life for a home, Liu rented an apartment after graduating from college in 2012.

She moved seven times in six years before she found an apartment she felt comfortable in.

"I am not the kind of person who will devote their whole life to a home or set it as a life goal," she said. "The apartment should work for me, not against me."

That's why she planned to buy a home only when it wouldn't undermine her quality of life.

However, her landlord's request prompted Liu to purchase a small apartment in the capital, as rising rents were catching up with mortgage payments. Her monthly rent had climbed to more than 5,000 yuan, compared with a monthly mortgage repayment of 5,800 yuan for her new home.

The Beijing hukou (household registration) that grants her permanent residence in the capital, and her stable income, also boosted her confidence in buying a property in the city.

In September, with financial support from her family, Liu bought a 40-sq-m apartment worth 2.6 million yuan in Chaoyang district. She now cycles 4 km to work.

Liu said her mortgage does bring some pressures, and she has reduced her spending on leisure and travel. For example, she now spends more spare time reading at home, where she feels at ease as the French windows provide plenty of light.

However, she conceded that buying the apartment had made her more insecure because the debt made her feel there were more uncertainties in her life.

"A sense of security shouldn't be tied up with a mixture of steel and concrete. It should come from within," she said.

Liu added that the stress of having a mortgage has motivated her to work harder to earn more and pay off the debt as quickly as possible. It has also given her a better perspective on the need to save.

Marriage has never been a necessity for Liu, who is adamant that the union should be built on love, rather than the traditional view that a woman is obliged to marry and start a family before a certain age.

"So, it's of great significance to please yourself and live your life well, no matter whether there is a partner or not," she said.

If she marries, she will expect her spouse to own a home and provide her with emotional and material support, and improve her quality of life.

"Otherwise, why marry him when I can live by myself?" she said.

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2019-07-03 07:29:07
<![CDATA[Young talent needed to inherit puppet craft]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487550.htm Master looks for apprentices to pass down art as current performers grow older

As the vibrant sound of string music and a powerful singing voice echo across the room, a strong young man beats a tiger to death.

This is a scene from the novel The Water Margin - one of the four great classical novels in Chinese literature - performed with shadow puppets by master Lin Shimin.

Coming from Gaizhou city in Northeast China's Liaoning province, Lin has been performing Gaizhou shadow puppetry for 41 years.

"Gaizhou shadow puppets have huge eyes, and you can tell if a puppet is a bad or a good guy simply from its appearance," said Lin, who is a fifth generation inheritor of the national-level intangible cultural heritage.

Currently, Lin is looking for young talent to inherit the art, but there is a shortage of young people willing to learn the traditional craft.

"Most performers in shadow puppetry troupes are above the age of 60," she said.

In China, shadow puppetry has a long history. Historical records from ancient China show that shadow puppet plays were first created by a Taoist during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) to console Emperor Wu, who was heartbroken after losing one of his imperial concubines. The Taoist made an image of the concubine from stone and projected it in a tent with candlelight. The shadow looked so vivid that it helped the emperor overcome his grief.

Over the next 2,000 years, the stone figures were gradually replaced with cowhide ones, and the tents with curtains. Performers then added drum beats and Chinese opera as accompaniment to the movement of the figures, and thus shadow play was born.

Shadow play went through a hiatus during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), but reemerged shortly after in the early 1980s, when the art was performed at marriage ceremonies, funerals and banquets in the rural areas.

However, Gaizhou shadow puppetry has a much shorter history. It originated in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and has unique local features. The music during the performance features a robust local singing style and a four-string musical instrument called sixianhu. The performers usually stand behind a curtain and control the puppets while singing lyrics using the local dialect and slang to depict historical stories, folklore or simply stories they make up.

Lin started learning the art from master Wang Shengtai in 1978.

"My master taught me in the day, and I practiced repeatedly at night," she recalled. "When he was performing, I would stand behind the curtains and watch closely so I could learn the techniques."

Lin also focused on making the puppets and collecting stories for the performances. In her studio, there is a shelf filled with scripts, many of which have yellowed with age.

"These were scripts from my past performances, but they're still so precious," Lin said. "When we were performing, we would look at the scripts and sing or 'rap' while controlling the puppets."

On Lin's desk, there are many puppets' "heads" made of donkey hide, which she created through a complicated process of carving, painting and tinting.

"Carving is probably the most difficult," she said. "You have to be extremely careful when using your strength."

Every time she performs, Lin also brings her half-finished donkey-hide puppet, so that she can share with the audience how the puppets are made after each show. "I not only want to bring laughter to the viewers, but also share about the things 'behind-the-curtain'," she said.

Beginning in the late 1980s with films and television series gradually becoming major sources of entertainment, the popularity of shadow plays waned and many performers changed jobs. However, Lin stuck with the art. In 1993, she created a shadow puppetry troupe with the money she earned from performing. She also scouted for apprentices to train new talent.

Her experience of more than 40 years has made Lin an influential figure in the industry. Last year, she and her troupe performed more than 120 shows. Most of the shows were charity events for senior citizens and children.

"Hopefully through my performance, people will get to know the ancient art," she said.

Lin also said that the craft is in dire need of young people.

"The youngest performer in my troupe is 51 years old," she said. "I hope that more young people will join us so the heritage will be passed on through the generations."

Xinhua

 

Lin Shimin (right) and other members of her shadow puppetry troupe stage a show in Shenyang, Liaoning province.Zhou Hong / For China Daily

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2019-07-03 07:29:07
<![CDATA[Courier security keeps drugs out of parcels in Guangzhou]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487549.htm After receiving a parcel, courier Wang Xiangjun would spend less than a minute verifying ID cards of customers, checking the items inside the parcel and uploading information to a system connected to local police authorities.

Wang's store, which has been open for three years, is located in an area inhabited by a large number of migrant workers in the Baiyun district of Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province. On the walls of the store, there are anti-drug slogans, pictures and signs telling people to register real-name information and to open parcels for checks.

It is a routine process repeated every day in thousands of logistic stores in the district, and Wang is among 38,000 local couriers who are anti-drug volunteers.

Over the years, the rapid development of the courier industry has brought not only economic benefits but also security risks. In Baiyun, the transportation of contraband goods and drugs was once common. Baiyun is known to be one of the largest logistic centers in China.

At the end of 2015, the district was listed by the China National Narcotics Control Commission as one of the areas with a prominent drug trafficking issue. Local police devised a system named Yundi'an, literally meaning "Cloud Courier Security", in 2016 to strengthen supervision of the courier industry.

Legions of couriers handle parcels with the system's mobile phone app, facilitating supervision of the entire express delivery business process.

"The strict management can reduce the outflow of drugs and other illegal goods, and also safeguard our own security," Wang said. "Customers have also gradually become accustomed to providing real-name information and opening parcels for inspections."

Every week, anti-drug volunteers like Wang spend one hour on training and security education organized by local police.

Before, Wang could not recognize any drug. Now, he can accurately identify the features of common drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy. He notifies the police whenever he finds any suspected drugs inside the parcels.

Police authorities in Baiyun have also set up a special brigade to patrol logistic stores and to step up supervision of high-risk groups.

In recent years, the internet and the courier service industry have become new channels for drug trafficking.

According to a report released by the commission last month, some suspects would sell and buy drugs and chemicals used for illicit drug manufacturing via the internet, and would use courier services to transport drugs without providing their real names.

Baiyun authorities have effectively curbed local drug trafficking after promoting the Yundi'an system among a large number of couriers.

Over the past three years, the system has helped police uncover more than 600 drug users and traffickers, 34 drug trafficking cases and seized 1.33 metric tons of drugs.

Last year, the local courier business had increased by 165 percent to 3.2 billion parcels, with drug-related cases in the sector falling by 93 percent.

A spate of measures, including the Yundi'an system, a smart door system and face-recognition technology, has helped tackle the once-prominent drug trafficking issue and improved social security, said Zhao Yanchun, deputy director of the Baiyun district public security bureau.

A total of 159 teams from home and abroad have come to Baiyun to learn of the area's experience. "We have come up with an anti-drug solution that can be replicated and promoted in the logistics sector," Zhao said.

Xinhua

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2019-07-03 07:29:07
<![CDATA[Airline aims global with foreign crew addition]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487548.htm For Peter Barbagallo, it was a major decision to move to Shanghai with his family to join China Eastern Airlines two years ago. Now, he said he is very proud of being a foreign pilot with the airline, and plans to live in Shanghai for as long as possible.

Coming from Brisbane in Australia, Barbagallo said there are a lot of differences working with the Shanghai-based carrier compared with his previous airlines in the Middle East.

"My local colleagues are friendlier, more welcoming, collaborative and inclusive ... We are like a family here. I am not a staff member ...I am Peter Barbagallo," said the 37-year-old pilot who currently flies between 70 and 80 hours a month. Most of his flights are domestic ones.

He said all the staff members look after each other, and that the environment is more personal, happy and relaxed here.

Barbagallo is one of some 70 foreign pilots working for the airline. According to Cai Hui, deputy general manager with the airline's Shanghai flight department, the foreign pilots come from 18 countries, including Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, the United States, France, Canada, Philippines, Singapore and Mongolia.

"Most of them are flying large wide-body aircraft including A330 and B777 for long haul international routes," Cai said. "In addition to their advantage with languages, foreign pilots are more familiar with the airspace, airports and flight environment of their own countries, which is another advantage when flying routes to and from their countries."

In the past few years, China Eastern has been exploring building a foreign pilot team of high quality. At the same time, the carrier is actively expanding its overseas team by employing more than 1,700 foreign staff members in 33 countries and regions.

As part of its efforts in building a "silk road" in the air, China Eastern has launched 126 flights to 42 cities in 19 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. Last year more than 6 million passenger trips were made by the carrier to countries and regions related to the initiative.

"The addition of foreign pilots has made China Eastern more diversified and internationalized, and it also encouraged our management and operations to quickly adapt to world class standards," Cai said.

Barbagallo's first job was flying a small airplane in Australia. He also had to work part time in a bar "pulling the beers" to earn enough money.

He believes the Chinese aviation industry is limitless as it has great potential for growth, the best technologies and tools, as well as continuous orders for new airplanes.

In the past two years, Barbagallo has been impressed by the Civil Aviation Administration of China and China Eastern's high level of professionalism, focus, and standards on safety. Flight efficiency has noticeably improved since he started working for China Eastern in June 2017.

Ever since he was a little boy, Barbagallo dreamed of becoming a pilot like his father. He got a private flying license at the age of 15, finished his commercial license in 2002 and started to fly small airplanes thereafter.

"I always wanted to do what my father did. Honestly speaking, I couldn't tell you what I would do if I wasn't a pilot. It's been part of my life for so long now," said Barbagallo, adding that his job is both satisfying and rewarding.

As the father of a 4-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, Barbagallo decided to expose his children to an international environment and help them master a second language.

"I think Mandarin is a very important language for them," he said. "If they can be fluent in a second language like Chinese, I think that will be an amazing advantage for them, for their prospects and for their careers."

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2019-07-03 07:29:07
<![CDATA[Heavy rain in south, heat in north persists]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487547.htm Hainan province braces for Typhoon Mun, first to make landfall this year

Heavy rainfall will continue to hit southern China for the first half of July after about 50 floods and geographic disasters were reported last month, while heat waves will remain in northern China, according to the meteorological official.

Liao Jun, deputy head of the disaster relief and public service department of the Chinese Meteorological Administration, said at a news conference on Tuesday that up until July 12, there will be more rainfall in southern regions than in previous years.

Precipitation could reach 100-200 millimeters in areas along the Huaihe river, the Hanjiang river, the western part of southern China and southwestern China. Rainfall in the northern part of the Yangtze River and part of South China will reach 300 mm, Liao said.

"Rainfall in these areas will be 30 to 70 percent more than that of the same period during normal years," he said.

South China's Hainan province issued an alert for a forthcoming typhoon on Tuesday and suspended all ferry services from noon in the Qiongzhou Strait.

Typhoon Mun, the fourth formed in the northwestern Pacific this year, is projected to make landfall in the eastern coastal areas of Hainan between late Tuesday and early Wednesday, packing winds of up to 72 kilometers per hour, becoming the first to make landfall in China this year. It will then pass through the island and strengthen before heading for northern Vietnam.

The administration issued a blue alert for the typhoon, the lowest level in China's four-tier color-coded warning system and warned that the island will be hit by gales and heavy rain from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Boats in the northeastern waters of the South China Sea and around Hainan have been ordered to return to harbors.

Liao said that to reduce the loss caused by natural disasters, it is necessary to strengthen the application of new technology to achieve accurate forecasting and early warning. Techniques such as refined analysis, intelligent grid forecasting and disaster risk warning for meteorological services should be enhanced.

Meanwhile, temperature for the next 10 days in northern China will be high and can reach 40 C.

"Since flooding season began, the average temperature nationwide is 14.2 C, 0.9 C higher than the historical average. It is the fourth highest in the same period since 1961," Liao said.

He added that the possibility of temperatures above 35 C will gradually increase. In some areas, there may be high temperatures and high humidity which will affect health as well as water and electricity supply.

Liao said that forest fire prevention in the Greater Hinggan Mountains is needed, especially for lightning strikes. And students who will be on summer vacation should pay attention to heat and rainfall which may cause floods and mountain slides while traveling.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

 

Pedestrians wade through floodwaters in Sanya, Hainan province, on Tuesday. Typhoon Mun brought torrential rains to the island.Sha Xiaofeng / For China Daily

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[T-union transport card use to expand to 260 cities]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487546.htm Getting up late in morning, Xu Ge rushed to the bus station. Though she tapped her transit card several times, the display still didn't show the cash balance as usual.

Just back from her home in Chongqing for the weekend, the 24-year-old accountant suddenly realized she mistook the Chongqing public transport card for her Chengdu one.

Xu moved to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, one year ago after landing her current job after graduation. But thanks to the high-speed railway, she usually returns to Chongqing to spend holidays with her parents.

As a fan of noncash payments, she eventually was forced to borrow money from passengers for the ticket fare.

"I always had to take two transit cards with me," she said. "But I saw news that the country is promoting a nationwide public transport card. I'm really looking forward to it coming to Chongqing."

Wu Chungeng, spokesman of the Ministry of Transport, said at a news conference recently that the China T-union transport card - China's nationwide public transit card, usable on all public transport systems including ferries, taxis, buses, bikes and subways - will cover 260 cities at prefecture level and above at the end of this year.

The integration of the transport card means that a passenger holding one card can ride buses or take subways in any of the designated cities without buying new cards and enjoy local preferential policies as well. Passengers can buy or change their local transport cards to T-union cards in line with local policy.

So far, the T-union card system has been installed in 245 cities with over 31.5 million cards in use, and 15 more will join the network within the year. Some tier-one cities including Shanghai and Chongqing still haven't joined the system yet, according to the ministry.

Yang Xinzheng, an expert at the China Academy of Transportation, said that transit cards were issued by local authorities who adopted different technical standards, making the integration of the program between cities in the same province difficult, let alone different provinces.

"It's always an extra expense to purchase a new card for people to take public transportation in different places. With the ministry promoting the T-union card since 2013, it saves time and money for the public," he said. However, he added that because the public transportation network is extremely massive and complex, it has taken time to reach full integration.

Beijing, for instance, is now upgrading and debugging its T-union card system, with its bus system temporarily only available for T-union transport cards from 50 designated cities, while its urban rail transit system accepts cards from 188 cities.

In promoting the card, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport announced on Tuesday that it will waive the fees - typically 20 yuan ($3) - to open a T-union card in mobile devices. Users of android smartphones and smart wristbands with NFC function may swipe their devices to pay for their public transit trips.

China expects to achieve integration of public transport cards in urban and rural areas by 2020 as a part of its nationwide interconnectivity plan.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Organized crime cases lead to 271 convictions]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487545.htm

Beijing courts have convicted 271 people for their involvement in 65 organized crime cases in the first-instance judgment from January 2018 to the end of last month, Beijing High People's Court said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Forty-six of them were sentenced to more than five years' imprisonment, and properties worth 127 million yuan ($18.5 million) have been recovered and confiscated or returned to victims, according to the high court.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee, in conjunction with the State Council, launched a three-year campaign in January 2018 to crack down on organized crime. One national inspection team finished a month of inspection work in Beijing on June 30.

Lan Xiangdong, vice-president of Beijing High People's Court, noted that to ensure the progress of the campaign, courts in Beijing will further strengthen the teams working on criminal case trials and promote the professionalization of trials related to organized crime cases.

Beijing has now set up 40 trial teams to deal with organized crime, Lan said. "We will put more effort into training the staff and set up a scientific assessment index system for the trials of gang-related cases."

The courts in Beijing will also reinforce the investigation of tipoffs about organized crime and improve the verification procedures of the information.

Lan also stressed that courts in Beijing will continue to carry out self-inspection activities to investigate whether the court officials are involved in gang-related crimes or act as a protective umbrella for criminals.

The high court also has set up a working mechanism with the discipline inspection team, sent by the Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Supervision Commission of Beijing, so that the inspection team can determine whether violations have occurred during trials on gang-related crimes.

The campaign this year is mainly targeting local officials who protect offenders and criminals. From last year until the end of July, 34 national inspection teams headed by ministerial-level officials will complete the inspection of 34 provinces and regions around the country to ensure the smooth process of the ongoing crackdown on gang-related crime.

Information sharing and transmission between municipal departments are also required in the campaign. As of the end of June, courts in Beijing have transmitted 397 clues to relevant departments including the commission for discipline inspection, the supervision commission and public security organs in every district for further investigation. Thirty-five cases have been filed based on these clues.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Official: Rural development won't harm environment]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487544.htm

Rejuvenation of rural areas in China will not be achieved at the cost of damage to the environment, a top agricultural official said on Monday.

"We cannot repeat our past mistakes to pollute first and then address pollution in the development of rural areas. We must follow a path of sustainable development," Yu Xinrong, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said.

Yu said the environment in some rural places was badly damaged during industrial development in these areas in the 1980s and such development will not be repeated.

While rural industries have sustained rapid development over the past few years, there were problems such as profit earning and comparatively slower development of industries compared to cities, Yu said.

Unlike in the past, environmental protection will be stressed and green agriculture will play a leading role in improving sustainability in the industrial development of rural areas, Yu said.

Authorities will guide green development of agriculture through the formulation and revision of national and industrial standards, including those on the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, he said.

The ministry will also take measures to encourage the establishment of a number of bases for green agricultural production, including grain and livestock farms, he said.

Moreover, the ministry will take further action to encourage the development of resource-conservation agriculture, including those that conserve water and land, and will not allow the development of high-pollution industries in rural areas, he said.

Yu made the comments at a news conference at the State Council Information Office while elaborating on a guideline released by the State Council on promoting the development of industries such as food processing, tourism and e-commerce in rural areas.

The guideline specified major tasks, including improving industrial clustering within towns, promoting integration between agriculture and other sectors and accelerating the development of green agriculture for sustainable growth. Industrial prosperity is a basis for rural rejuvenation, the guideline said.

The rural rejuvenation strategy, released last year, aims to reduce the gap between rural and urban areas and modernize China's agriculture and rural areas by 2035.

Yu Fawen, a researcher in rural development at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said with rapid urbanization many rural areas in China are facing increased risks of environmental pollution, which should be addressed while carrying out the rural rejuvenation strategy.

Rural areas face many challenges - lack of investment, inadequate infrastructure and insufficient governance in rural areas - in ensuring environmental protection while developing industries, he said.

"The government needs to increase investment in improving infrastructure in rural areas, and more efforts are needed to improve residents' awareness and participation in environmental protection in rural areas," he said.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487543.htm Beijing

Campaign to protect data security starts

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has started a one-year campaign on data security protection, targeting security risks including data leaks and abuse. The four-stage campaign aims to finish data security checks on all telecom companies, 50 major internet companies and 200 popular applications by the end of October, an action plan released by the ministry stated. According to a draft regulation released by the Cyberspace Administration of China in May, network operators must not force or mislead users to agree to the collection of their personal information on the pretext of improving service quality, sending customized push messages or developing new products.

Infectious diseases kill 2,022 in May

A total of 2,022 people died of infectious diseases on the Chinese mainland in May, official data showed. According to the National Health Commission, there were 937,741 cases of infectious diseases reported on the mainland in May. There were no cases of Class A infectious diseases - cholera and the plague - reported. A total of 326,524 cases were classified as Class B infectious diseases, resulting in 2,014 deaths. Viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea, as well as scarlet fever, accounted for 92 percent of these cases.

Ministry urges light homework for students

The Ministry of Education has urged reasonable homework assignments for primary and secondary school students during summer vacation to reduce their extracurricular burdens. This is to ensure that they will have a "safe, happy and meaningful vacation", the ministry said in a statement Tuesday. Schools should control the quantity of assignments and parents should be advised not to arrange excessive after-school tutoring for their children, the statement said. Regulations on extracurricular classes should also be tightened.

Hainan

High-speed commuter rail begins service

A high-speed commuter rail service was put into operation in Haikou, Hainan province, on Monday. The trains for the city's first high-speed commuter rail will operate at a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour along a 38 km-long route from the city center to the outer suburbs. With trains departing every 15 minutes between 6:30 am and 11 pm every day, the passenger rail transport service will benefit a large number of commuters who can complete a one-way trip in about half an hour.

Xinhua

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Green strategy needs refocus, official says]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487542.htm The top leadership's green development philosophy needs to be tailored to individual sectors to build on the success already achieved, a senior environmental official said.

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Detailed policies required for different sectors to push development philosophy

The top leadership's green development philosophy needs to be tailored to individual sectors to build on the success already achieved, a senior environmental official said.

Ren Yong, head of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment's Environmental Development Center, refuted suggestions that environmental protection hinders economic development.

"This can only be correct if people think of a certain company's interest in a short period of time," he said.

Ren said the country now needs to draft more detailed policies for different sectors to promote the green development philosophy and include green development requirements in its medium-and long-term strategic planning.

"That is to say, to regulate the manufacturing industry with requirements on ecological environment protection and resource conservation," he said, adding that more incentives, such as preferential tax arrangements, should be given to enterprises that did not waste resources or harm the environment.

Ren said that in addition to national standards stipulating minimum requirements, different regions could implement even stricter ones - tailor-made for different sectors - based on their economic development situation.

"China has yet to move forward adequately enough in research on the design of the standards system, and government bodies still have to make a lot more effort to promote progress," he said.

While compulsory measures could promote green development among manufacturers, they were not a good choice for encouraging green consumption, he said, adding that people's ideas about consumption needed to be transformed.

Ren said one good sign was that young Chinese were developing a preference for green products. A recent survey by e-commerce giant Alibaba found that Chinese aged 23 to 35 were willing to pay 30 percent extra for green products.

Incentives for the industry and consumers' willingness to buy green products will both help enhance the competitiveness of enterprises that offer green products and promote green and high-quality development, he said.

Evidence can be found at home and abroad to show that strengthening environmental governance promotes high-quality development, Ren said.

According to the Porter Hypothesis, framed by Harvard economist Michael Porter 28 years ago, strict environmental regulations can promote commercial competitiveness by encouraging efficiency and innovation.

Ren, who is also assistant secretary-general of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a government advisory body made up of Chinese and foreign experts and officials, said one example of the practicality of the hypothesis was the development of the Japanese automobile sector.

In the 1970s, research in Japan and the United States concluded that a more stringent exhaust emission standard would harm the development of the automobile industry.

Only Japan chose to upgrade it, he said, which led to Japanese cars becoming increasingly popular in the 1980s, while US manufacturers lost market share.

"The central leadership of China has a clear policy orientation to promote green and high-quality development," he said.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Organ donor sign-ups exceed 1.35m in China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487541.htm The total number of registered organ donors in China exceeded 1.35 million as of June 15, with the majority of them young people under age 30, statistics released on Tuesday showed.

By June 15, more than 24,000 people in China had donated a total number of 69,302 organs after death, said Zhao Hongtao, vice-president of the China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation.

Most of the donor registrations were made after 2014 following the establishment of a special online registration platform operated by the foundation.

The number of donors who registered online and through mobile phones exceeded 1 million as of Tuesday, according to the foundation.

Data showed those born after 1990 have become the majority of donors, accounting for 54 percent of the total, while those born after 1980 account for nearly 30 percent, Zhao said.

Huang Jiefu, chairman of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, said he was glad to see young people are more interested in organ donation. But despite the increasing number of registered organ donors, it is still far short of what is necessary for organ transplant surgeries in China, he said.

Greater publicity and education is needed so more people can learn about organ donation and become donors, he said.

The number of organ donors in China has increased rapidly in recent years. Last year, 6,302 people donated organs after passing away, a rise of 22 percent on the previous year. About 20,200 transplant surgeries were completed last year, a rise of 21 percent year-on-year, according to the National Health Commission.

Fan Jing, an official at the commission's Medical Administration and Supervision Department, said China has become the top country in Asia, and the No 2 country in the world, in the number of both organ donors and transplant surgeries performed.

In recent years, the China Organ Transplantation Development Foundation has intensified cooperation with major hospitals across China to promote organ donor registration.

On Tuesday, its registration platform was linked with the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, a major public hospital in Beijing, the foundation said.

People who have registered to become organ donors do not necessarily become donors and can revoke their registration at any time.

Chen Jingyu - vice-president of Wuxi People's Hospital, in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, and a prominent lung transplant surgeon, - said authorities have taken a number of measures to facilitate organ transplantation surgeries, which have resulted in more terminally ill patients being saved.

For example, different government departments, including transport authorities, have been improving cooperation in recent years to facilitate transport of donor organs so they get priority access to airplanes and are delivered to hospitals as quickly as possible in police cars, he said.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[TCM therapy attracting more foreign students]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487540.htm

Nguyen Viet Ha, a Vietnamese woman, has been studying in China for a decade. She obtained a bachelor's degree, followed by a master's, and the journey all started with her father's dream.

"It was my father's dream to learn traditional Chinese medicine, but he is too old to learn the Chinese language, so I came here to carry on his dream," Nguyen said.

She recently received a master's degree in acupuncture and moxibustion from the Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in eastern China. In recent years, more foreigners like Nguyen have developed a growing interest in TCM.

Moxibustion is a TCM therapy that consists of burning moxa sticks, rolled in dried mugwort herb, on particular points of the body as a counterirritant.

However, the treatment of traditional moxibustion is not very effective, and its use declined in the 20th century, according to Chen Rixin, a professor from the university.

Based on the theory of TCM, Chen led his team to conduct a systematic study on the phenomenon of heat-sensitive moxibustion and made some improvements that increase the effectiveness of the therapy.

Today, the improved method is widely used in China, and it also attracts foreign researchers and students.

In 2015, the university signed a cooperation agreement with a Portuguese college of traditional medicine on establishing the department of heat-sensitive moxibustion. Wider cooperation has been reached with educational institutes in Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Brazil and Argentina.

Since 2015, more than 100 foreign politicians from more than 20 countries have come to Jiangxi province to experience the culture of TCM, and the heat-sensitive moxibustion is a popular choice.

"The university promotes the cooperation with the Belt and Road countries on TCM education, treatment, research and industrial cooperation," said Yang Changxin, director of the university's International Cooperation and Exchange Office.

According to statistics from the university, there are 1,571 international students at the school. Many of them are studying TCM with western or local medicine and plan to combine both methods after returning home.

Erdene-Uul Khulan, a student from Mongolia, is one of them. After studying Mongolian traditional medicine in her hometown for six years, Khulan studied Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion for three years in Jiangxi.

"Doctors in Mongolia also use acupuncture, but the 'magic' technique of heat-sensitive moxibustion is unprecedented. I'm going to bring this knowledge back, and I'm sure it will help more patients," she said.

Xinhua

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Drone makes first postal delivery]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487539.htm A Chinese private company has begun working with China Post on a trial operation that deploys drones to transport cargo.

UVS Intelligence System, a privately owned drone-maker in Shanghai, said that a U650 cargo drone carried out China's first drone-based postal delivery on May 29, transporting about 200 kilograms of goods from Shanghai's Jinshan district to Shengsi Island of Zhejiang province's Zhoushan Archipelago in a 52-minute flight.

China Post confirmed that the operation was the first drone-based, cross-sea postal delivery in China.

According to UVS, the drone flew 110 kilometers at an average speed of 135 kilometers per hour during the operation.

Liu Jiandong, founder and chairman of UVS, said on Monday that China Post and his company chose the route between Shanghai and Zhoushan for the trial operation for two reasons.

"First, the Zhoushan Archipelago has a lot of islands, and transportation between them is underdeveloped, so the postal services are not so convenient there," he said. "Drone-based delivery is very suitable for them."

"Second, our drone is amphibious, and the entire route is above the sea, so we don't need to invest in infrastructure or worry about the safety of residents along the route," Liu explained, adding that the conventional method of delivering goods between the city and the island is by ship and usually takes two to three hours.

The company now has plans to open several delivery routes within the next two to three months with China Post along the country's eastern coastal regions and is waiting for approval from civil aviation authorities, Liu said.

He also said that mass production of the U650 is expected to start before the end of this year, and the company wants to make dozens of the drones each year.

Dubbed by UVS as the world's first unmanned, amphibious commercial aircraft, the U650 was developed based on Spain's Colyaer Freedom S100 amphibious ultralight aircraft, the intellectual property rights of which were wholly acquired by the Shanghai company, according to the company.

The 5.85-meter-long unmanned seaplane, made of carbon fiber, is able to stay aloft 15 hours with a cruising speed of 180 km/h and a flight range of 2,000 km. It is capable of takeoffs and landings from short unpaved airstrips, grasslands or water.

The drone can carry up to 250 kg of cargo, and its wings can also carry four payloads, such as inflatable life rafts. It carried out its maiden flight from waters in Central China in December 2015.

Almost all of China's large couriers, such as China Post and SF Express, as well as online retailing giant JD, have been investing in research and development on delivery drones for several years. Industry observers have anticipated that there will be many opportunities for drones to coincide with the rapid growth of China's online shopping industry.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Drug users benefiting from sports program]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/03/content_37487538.htm A sports-based program is proving successful in the rehabilitation of drug addicts in Shanghai, with improvements in their physical abilities and mental health.

The trial program at the Shanghai Gaojing Drug Rehabilitation Center and the Shanghai Qingdong Drug Rehabilitation Center started in January with 120 residents selected to take part after physical and psychological evaluations.

All the participants were under age 40, but only 30 percent were in "fine" physical condition before the sports training, said the Shanghai Drug Rehabilitation Administration.

Experts from several Shanghai universities designed the sports programs, which include aerobics, riding exercise bicycles, running, skipping rope and playing basketball. Individual and team sports are combined and run with optimal intensity.

Zhang Chen, who works in the life and rehabilitation department of the administration, said the participants exercise for 90 minutes three days a week. They jog and do light strength training on the other days.

"We tried to integrate different kinds of sports and teamwork so that the residents will enjoy the sports training," Zhang said.

"Most of them said they like the sports programs, and they are feeling better in terms of body coordination and memory and have a more pleasant mood."

Positive changes are already being seen. After three months, 60 residents were again tested for their ability to balance on one foot for more than 10 seconds with their eyes closed. Those who could complete the task increased from 25 percent to 37 percent.

Statistics from the center also showed the percentage of residents suffering from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as those holding hostile feelings, decreased from 18 percent to 8 percent.

"The sports training is intended to help the former drug users enhance their physical and mental health, as drug addicts usually suffer from damage to the brain and body and their physical balance and coordination are poor," said Zheng Wei, deputy director of the administration,

Studies have shown that physical exercise can regulate changes in neurotransmitters - including dopamine and glutamate - activate brain neural networks and assist drug addicts to reshape their nervous system and improve cognitive function. This helps reduce cravings for drugs, experts believe.

Virtual reality devices with eye-movement tracking systems were used to assess their cravings for drugs, the administration said.

Brain imaging was taken to examine their cognitive neurological functions. Metabolism and biochemical tests - conducted on blood, urine and bowel flora - were taken to verify their physical changes.

"These tests were designed to examine the effectiveness of sports on the resident from perspectives of body and mental health as well as brain function," Zhang said.

The pilot program may be extended to other regions in the country, the administration said.

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2019-07-03 07:28:38
<![CDATA[Each time it has been tested the CPC has emerged stronger]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486931.htm

MONDAY MARKS THE 98TH ANNIVERSARY of the founding of the Communist Party of China. China Daily writer Li Yang comments:

When the Japanese invaders took possession of a large part of China in the 1930s and 1940s, when the US-backed Kuomintang started the civil war to decimate the communists, when the Chinese economy faced extreme challenges in the 1960s, when the "cultural revolution" (1966-76) wrecked havoc on Chinese society, when the Soviet Union collapsed with other socialist states in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, many across the world predicted the demise of the Communist Party of China.

However, it emerged stronger from every crisis. Even the boldest prophet would not have foreseen a small party of not more than 60 members when it was formed in 1921 - when the country was ruled by many warlords with the help of external powers - would turn the national situation and in the process become the world's largest political party.

The CPC has lived with the pride and prejudice of some since day one. But China's remarkable economic growth and social development since its reform and opening-up have awakened more and more foreigners to the fact that, despite its uniqueness, the CPC is probably one of the most successful ruling parties in history.

It is under the Party's leadership that over 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty in four decades, and a war-torn semi-colony and semi-feudal country has been turned into the world's second-largest economy in seven decades.

Since the CPC's 18th National Congress in 2012, about 3.9 million people have applied to join the Party each year on average. The number of CPC members increased to more than 90 million by the end of last year, among whom more than 30 percent were born after the 1980s, and nearly half have college degrees, showing the vitality of the Party.

To satisfy the people's needs, which have become more diversified with the development of society and the economy, the Party has to constantly improve its ability to respond to the appeals of the people and the times through self-reform and even self-renewal, which has helped it maintain its vitality, and to stay close to the people. As a result, the number of grassroots Party organizations has increased from about 195,000 in 1949 to 4.61 million in 2018.

Almost all of the Party's operating models have resulted from and been tested by the changing times and actual national conditions, and their effectiveness and pertinence to China's realities have already been proved by the development of the Party and the nation.

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2019-07-02 07:29:17
<![CDATA[Law and order bedrock for Hong Kong's prosperity]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486930.htm

Following on from the earlier violence that erupted during protests against the proposed amendments to the territory's extradition laws, there were more clashes between police and demonstrators on Monday, when Hong Kong celebrated the 22nd anniversary of its founding as a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997.

The unrest is among those, particularly Hong Kong's youth, who feel unable to benefit from the SAR's development and excluded from its decision-making process - sentiments that have led to populist movements elsewhere - and those who are using these grievances and disturbances as a means to serve their own agendas and put pressure on Beijing.

In her speech at a flag-raising ceremony on Monday morning, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor acknowledged that her administration has to do more to grasp public sentiments accurately and pledged her government's work will be closer and more responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the whole community.

But that does not mean there will be any weakening of the "one country, two systems" framework that was established to smooth the return of Hong Kong to the motherland. That the SAR is an inalienable part of the PRC is a constitutional reality enshrined in Article 1 of the Basic Law.

Yet ever since Britain returned Hong Kong's sovereignty back to China, there has been one attempt after another to undermine law and order in the SAR and obstruct its healthy development.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman once again felt compelled to chide Britain on Monday for "flagrantly interfering" in Hong Kong matters and reminding it, and other countries, that the SAR's affairs are purely China's concern.

Under the framework of "one country, two systems", the central government remains steadfast in supporting the chief executive and the SAR government in governing Hong Kong in accordance with law.

Lam has said her government is setting no easy goals and avoiding no difficult tasks, which is bound to expose divergent opinions, as no society is homologous. But there can be no justification for the orchestrated outbreaks of violence, which are not condoned by any law abiding citizens.

Looking ahead, the only way for the SAR to sustain economic growth and maintain stability is to further integrate its own development into the nation's overall development, especially by playing its part in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Both development programs serve as practical platforms for Hong Kong to generate more growth momentum that can be translated into practical benefits for local residents.

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2019-07-02 07:29:17
<![CDATA[Special pardons reflect real spirit of rule of law]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486927.htm

The order on special pardons President Xi Jinping signed and issued on Saturday ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China epitomizes the principle of governing the country with both the rule of law and virtue.

This is the ninth special amnesty the country has granted to prisoners who have committed light crimes on the occasion of important national events such as National Day celebrations.

It has been a practice since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In 2015 when China celebrated the 70th anniversary of its victory against Japanese aggression, 31,527 prisoners were granted special pardons, which was of political and social significance to both minimizing the negative impact of crimes and the promotion of social and political stability.

The special pardons should not be and are not granted indiscriminately. Those prisoners who have made contributions to the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, to the founding of the New Republic, to the defending of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity or to the advancement of the country's major projects receive pardons. So do those who used to be on active service and received first class merit citations or higher-level awards.

Their receiving of special pardons gives expression to the necessary leniency the rule of law should display on special national occasions, and will also give them an opportunity to reflect on and atone for the crimes they have committed with what they can do for their country after receiving the pardons.

Those convicted of intentional homicide, rape, robbery, kidnap, arson, spreading hazardous substances, trafficking in narcotic drugs, organized violence, and crimes of endangering national security and terrorism, as well as embezzlement or taking bribes are denied the special pardons. So are those who have been convicted as principal criminals or recidivists of other organized crimes.

This has reflected the severity of the rule of law that must be retained for the maintenance of social stability and interest of the general public. Seriousness and strictness can never be overestimated in assessing whether such pardons are given to those who indeed pose no threat to social security and stability.

Strict legal procedures must be followed in doing the work so that the people's courts and procuratorates at all levels function as they should to make sure that pardons are given to those who deserve them. The granting of special pardons must be done with as great care and caution as possible. And the principle of fairness must be upheld in the assessment of whether particular prisoners should be pardoned.

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2019-07-02 07:29:17
<![CDATA[Visits to birthplace of CPC double for 98th anniversary]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486920.htm 6,000 people have come to memorial daily since June

Despite rain, the site of the Communist Party of China's first national congress in Shanghai has received visitors from across the country since early Monday, which was the 98th anniversary of the Party's founding.

The memorial has had about 6,000 visitors a day starting in June, nearly double the daily average number in the first half of the year.

People lined up in drizzle at The Memorial for the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at No 76 Xingye Lu, shortly after the memorial opened at 9 am.

The venue hosted the first National Congress in July 1921, when 13 Chinese delegates and two foreign delegates from Communist International convened. Delegates drafted the first program of the Party, proclaiming the founding of the CPC. The venue now holds a permanent exhibition of the Party history.

"Rain and wind cannot dull our enthusiasm for coming here. We planned a month ago to visit the birthplace of our Party today," said Li Yanmin, secretary of the Party branch at the Xun'an Law Firm in Jiangsu province. Together with five Party members, they set out at 7 am from Wuxi, Jiangsu, and drove two hours to Shanghai.

Li and his companions spent an hour at the memorial and recited the oath of admission to the Party at the Party flag in the entrance hall. "This is part of our branch's activity for the Party's thematic education campaign, 'Staying true to our founding mission'," he said.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a speech at a key meeting on May 31 to launch a campaign with the theme "Staying true to our founding mission" among all Party members. Xi said that seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is the Party's original aspiration and mission, and the fundamental driving force behind the heroic fight of generations of CPC members.

For Wang Bo, a Chinese teacher at a high school in Guangdong province, visiting the memorial bore a special meaning. "I became a Party member on July 1, 1997, when I was in college, and today marked the 22nd anniversary of my Party life," he said.

"I came to remind myself of the original aspiration of the Party, because there's no other place better than here for such reflection.

"Learning the history of the Party here at the museum, I felt deeply that serving the people wholeheartedly is what makes the Party thrive," Wang said.

Zhang Gonghui, a teacher at Chuzhou Vocational and Technical College in Anhui province, led a group of five student applicants for Party membership to the memorial. "They are studying the history of the Party, and they will head to Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, to visit the Red Boat tomorrow." In 1921, the first CPC National Congress reconvened in a red boat on South Lake in Jiaxing after it was interrupted by police in Shanghai.

To handle the surge of visitors, the memorial has added more guided tours from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. During the first six months of the year, the number of visitors reached over 600,000, officials at the memorial said.

"Our visitors are not limited to Party members. There are also many common people and foreign tourists," said Lin Xintong, a guide. "Some come out of respect, and some out of curiosity about how the CPC manages to govern such a big country.

"I always feel proud when my explanations help them better understand the Party's history and its founding mission, which is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenate the nation."

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[Nuke research school to break ground soon]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486919.htm China's first university devoted to nuclear research will break ground in September, with the construction expected to last until 2021 in the coastal area of Tianjin.

The city's construction authorities released the information on their website on Monday, vying for supervisors for the project.

A total of 675 million yuan ($98.1 million) has been allocated for investment in the construction area of 223,125 square meters, according to the website.

The new university will be located in the northern part of the China-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City - a landmark area jointly invested in by the Chinese and Singaporean governments that is part of the city's Binhai New Area.

A senior executive of the administrative committee of the Eco-City said that the university's construction has passed strict environmental protection assessment and will not harm the local ecology.

"It's a research place, and the public should not worry too much about the university's impact on the environment," the executive said.

The university will offer undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs and focus on research and international exchange.

The university will be located near the Teda Aircraft theme park and two communities, said an insider who has been to the area.

According to the administrative committee, a property developer under the China National Nuclear Corporation purchased the land with a total investment of 1.3 billion yuan last year.

The university is backed by the China National Nuclear Corporation, which has also supported other universities including the University of South China in Hengyang, in Hunan province, and the East China University of Technology in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.

Wan Gang, president of the China Institute of Atomic Energy under China National Nuclear Corp, said in a previous interview that the country has a critical need to foster and accumulate nuclear industry professionals and is urged to advance the training of researchers in the field.

The company announced plans to build a corporate university in 2011 because its two research organs - including a management personnel training institute and a postgraduate training organization, the China Institute of Atomic Energy - are insufficient for the company's growth, Wan said.

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[Malaysians educated on liver surgery]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486918.htm Training at Shanghai hospital will help doctors treat children back home

Sixteen doctors and nurses from Malaysia completed training in pediatric liver transplants at Renji Hospital, affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, on Saturday.

The two-week training course at China's largest liver transplant medical center - added to their experience of adult liver transplants in Malaysia - helped prepare them for such programs in their own country. The 16 medical professionals from the University of Malaya Medical Centre will officially begin conducting and participating in pediatric liver transplants at the hospital later this year.

"Renji Hospital is very experienced in liver transplants, including those for children. It boasts the world's largest number of pediatric liver transplants with a high success rate of surgery and long-term survival," said Yoong Boon Koon, head of Hepatopancreaticobiliary and liver transplant surgery at UMMC.

Renji Hospital has completed more than 1,800 liver transplants on children since 2006. In May, the hospital successfully operated on an 80-day-old boy, the country's youngest recipient of a liver transplant.

Yoong said last year the Malaysian hospital sent nearly 20 children under age 12 to receive liver transplants at Renji Hospital. "We still have some patients back in Malaysia who cannot afford to come here, and that inspired us to enhance our own surgical capabilities to help them," he said.

The 13 doctors and three nurses joined the medical team at Renji Hospital in operation rooms and intensive care units to observe preparation and surgeries and learn technical skills in post-surgery patient management. Yoong said each of them was assigned a mentor so that they could observe surgical procedures and ask questions.

"We observed more than 20 transplants during the two weeks, and the volume of surgeries was amazing. I don't think we could have had such an experience anywhere else in the world," he said.

Mira Edura, a nurse from the Intensive Care Unit of pediatrics at UMMC, said the Renji Hospital nurses tutored them on the use of medical instruments, patient management and dealing with side effects.

The team from the Shanghai hospital will travel to Malaysia to perform the first one or two pediatric liver transplants at the hospital and then supervise the Malaysian team during its initial surgeries, Yoong said.

"The need for such transplants is high in our country," he said. "We estimate that more than 20 transplants will be performed at our hospital per year after we launch the medical service."

Xia Qiang, vice-president and head of liver surgery at Renji Hospital, said that a 1-year-old girl became the first Malaysian child to undergo a liver transplant at the Shanghai hospital in 2014. Since then, 36 children from Malaysia have received successful liver transplants at the Shanghai hospital.

"This training is also intended to enhance friendship between the two hospitals and hopefully the two countries. And such undertakings will ultimately help children with end-stage liver diseases in Malaysia, Asia and the world," Xia said.

Yoong said: "Once we've mastered the skill, we'll definitely pass it on to other hospitals in Malaysia as well as in Southeast Asia. I believe that is also the idea of the Belt and Road Initiative - to promote collaborations between countries."

ZHOU WENTING in Shanghai

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[Prison staff punished for letting inmate tunnel out]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486917.htm

Sixteen people, including a warden and police guards from Xiliinhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, were punished for offering protection to a prisoner, the Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervisory Commission of the autonomous region said in a statement on Sunday.

The inmate, Xi Guijun, was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment for robbery in January 2002.

He was transferred to Xiliinhot Prison in September 2003.

During his stay at the prison, he was given special treatment by Zhao Qinglin, who was the prison warden at that time.

Xi even instructed other inmates to dig a tunnel to the outside. Zhao and police guards turned a blind eye to the digging.

In July 2005, Xi left the prison through the tunnel and caused a traffic accident in which one person was killed.

Fifty-two days after the accident, he and others in Xiliinhot committed a criminal act that led to one person being seriously injured.

Despite Xi's crimes, the prison fabricated meritorious service assessments to allow Xi to get his jail time reduced. While incarcerated, Xi was granted three commutations, shaving four years and six months off his sentence. He was released on November 2007.

In December 2018, the 16 people, including Zhao, were expelled from the Communist Party of China, removed from public office, demoted or dismissed. They were exempted from criminal liability because the statute of limitations had passed, the statement said.

In February this year, a court in Inner Mongolia sentenced Xi to 14 years behind bars for extortion of a coal mine.

China Daily

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[Diplomats urge China to tout forestry protection to tourists]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486916.htm Foreign diplomats have urged China to promote its wetlands and nature parks to more international tourists and educate them on what is being done to protect forests and grasslands.

They made the remarks on Friday after paying a five-day visit to Hulunbuir city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

"Over the last few days, I have seen your great work on wetland protection, management of natural reserves and development of forestry," said Manasa Tagicakibau, Fiji's ambassador to China.

"I was thinking China must have invested a lot in protection. So in order to get the return, my suggestion is that areas like Inner Mongolia should entice more international tourists to come."

Vitaly Fadeev, a senior counselor from the Russian embassy in China, said that Russia and China had enjoyed close ecological cooperation, and he hoped more was to come.

"Inner Mongolia has done a good job in ecology. I hope that these green areas are used to educate children to cherish and protect the environment. In addition to Chinese children, China can consider inviting Russian children to observe nature together," he said.

Sixteen foreign representatives from Fiji, Vietnam, Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Slovenia, Kenya, Uruguay and Montenegro took part in this visit.

Meng Xianlin, director-general of the department of international cooperation of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said the visit aimed to attract more international friends to learn about China's forests and grasslands.

"Through this visit, we aim to demonstrate practices of forestry and grassland ecological protection and restoration in China and share our experiences and models in ecological construction, and promote international cooperation and exchanges. We are glad to receive suggestions from diplomats and representatives across the world," Meng said.

The forest coverage rate in Inner Mongolia has increased over the past 70 years from 7.7 percent to 22.1 percent by March. The coverage of grasslands has increased from less than 30 percent in the early 2000s to 44 percent, according to the region's forestry bureau.

Lou Bojun, deputy head of the region's forestry and grassland bureau, said Inner Mongolia is the largest and most comprehensive ecological area in northern China.

"However, it has also been one of the provincial-level regions with the most concentrated desertification land, the most serious sand damage and the most fragile ecological environment. Since 2001, we have tried and achieved forestry upgrades of 667,000 hectares annually on average and planted more than 60 million trees," he said.

According to Meng, this was the third such visit by diplomats. In 2017, the administration organized diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations to visit the Hexi Corridor in Gansu province to learn about the sand control work. Last year, another group visited Shanxi province to see the construction of the Three-North Shelter Forest Program, which was launched in 1978 to plant trees in northern China.

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[Draft law may tighten adoption control]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486915.htm

China plans to forbid all de facto single people from adopting children of the opposite sex who are less than 40 years younger as part of the efforts to prevent sexual abuse.

Experts hailed the latest review of the draft civil code as necessary but added that insufficient government oversight lies at the root of the problem.

During the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee last week, Shen Chunyao, deputy director of the Constitution and Law Committee of the NPC - the top legislature - reported to the Standing Committee that de facto singles, described as married people whose spouses are either missing or lack the ability to consent to civil acts, should be disallowed from adopting children who are not sufficiently younger than the person seeking adoption.

At the session, the draft civil code was submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC for a second review.

Shen said the age gap rule only applies to single adopters in the current marriage section of the civil code and added that the revision is aimed at "protecting adoptees' legal interests".

Other proposed revisions include barring people from adopting if they have records that could hurt a child's development.

Chinese adoption law only allows adoptions by childless citizens over age 30 who demonstrate child-rearing capability and have no diseases that would make them unfit to adopt. The law went a step further to require single male adopters to be at least 40 years older than their female adoptees, but it has no such provision for married but de facto single adopters.

When rolled out, the proposed revisions in the draft civil code could make up for the insufficiencies in the adoption rules and could help prevent sexual abuse and other misconduct common in adoptions, according to Feng Xianying, a Beijing-based lawyer who focuses on family and marriage issues.

One such case involves a business tycoon in Zhejiang province named Shi Zengchao. In 2016, his foster daughter called police saying she had been sexually abused by Shi for eight years since her informal adoption at age 7.

Shi fled China after police intervention and is now among China's most-wanted fugitives.

Feng said legal provisions could mitigate such accidents, but the age gap rule alone is not enough to stem such abuses.

"The government's role should persist after an adoption is completed," she said, adding that authorities should get involved in the whole process of child-rearing to make sure children settle down in their foster families because doing so could help solve the root problem.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, a total of 97,819 adoptions were registered in China during the five-year period that ended in 2018.

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[New rules to better safeguard investors]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/02/content_37486914.htm

Securities and law professionals have welcomed two new judicial interpretations on securities-related crimes, predicting they will play a big role in protecting investors' rights and ensuring a healthy market.

The interpretations relate to fighting manipulation of the securities and futures market and the handling of crimes where people use undisclosed investment-related information.

Wang Tingting, associate professor from the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, said they would "help judicial authorities proceed with related illegal trading cases more accurately and efficiently".

The interpretations, jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, came into effect on Monday.

Market manipulation, where some investors artificially inflate or deflate prices to maximize their returns, "hurts prospects of the capital market as it dampens market efficiency in asset pricing and dents other investors' legitimate earnings," Wang added.

The interpretations aim to offer more protection for investors, ensure a healthy securities and futures market and further prevent financial risks, said Li Yong, presiding judge of the SPC's No 3 Criminal Division.

Chinese laws have rules against securities-related crimes, "but they sometimes lack details that make it hard for judges to solve new securities problems, such as those receiving illicit gains by using undisclosed investment-related messages," Li said.

He also hoped they would help solve a problem known locally as "rat trading".

Rat trading, called front-running in the United States and European markets, usually refers to the practice whereby fund managers use personal accounts to buy shares cheaply, then sell them at a profit after purchases from the funds they manage have boosted their value.

Li released court statistics that identified 112 cases of rat trading and securities and futures market manipulation over the past four years, which showed a rapid rise in the number of rat trading cases.

The interpretations also clearly distinguish whether cases can be categorized as "serious" or "extremely serious".

For example, if the amount of illicit gains reaches 1 million yuan ($145,000) or above, the case is deemed as serious, the interpretations said.

Unlike insider trading that mainly involves taking advantage of undisclosed information of a public firm, the interpretations state that messages that may influence securities or futures trading activities should be identified as "undisclosed investment information".

Liu Junhai, director of the Business Law Center at Renmin University of China, took the case of Ma Le as an example.

Ma, a fund manager, traded shares in 76 companies and gathered 1.05 billion yuan in illicit profits from "rat trading".

He was first sentenced to three years in prison with a five-year reprieve in 2014, but a year later, the top court changed the sentence to three years in prison for the seriousness of his offense.

Liu said the interpretations will give more confidence to investors, adding he was glad to see judicial documents governing the capital market were rolled out recently as the country stepped up efforts to create a law-based business environment.

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2019-07-02 07:27:51
<![CDATA[Better vocational education will help Made in China go further]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486466.htm

AT AN EXECUTIVE MEETING on Wednesday, the State Council, China's Cabinet, decided to increase the coverage rate and the amount of national scholarships and reimbursements for advanced vocational schools. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:

That is a positive move by the State Council as it will boost the confidence of vocational school students and encourage more people to opt for vocational education.

The domestic vocational education sector is to increase its student enrollment by 1 million in the 2019-20 school year, according to the national plan. Besides, the enrollment system will be further reformed so as to encourage more high school graduates, military veterans, laid-off workers, as well as migrant workers to apply for the schools.

By 2022, quite a number of higher education colleges will shift their education mode to applied education. A total of 50 high-level advanced vocational schools and 300 high-level professional training bases will be established, so as to push the domestic vocational education system to an advanced level.

By doing so, China has to a certain extent followed the good example of Germany, where about 25 percent of the youngsters go to colleges while the majority of young people go to vocational schools. As early as middle school, German youngsters face the choice of going to comprehensive middle schools or general schools. Those going to the former prepare to go to college, while those going to the latter prepare to receive vocational education. Both have similar income and promotion expectations. Blue-collar workers are as valued as their white-collar counterparts. That's essentially why Made in Germany has become so successful.

China can learn from Germany's example. When the State invests ample resources into the vocational education sector and ensures vocational education students have a promising future, more people will be willing to choose vocational education.

A better educated labor force can help build Made in China into a better and more well-known brand of the whole world.

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2019-07-01 07:34:06
<![CDATA[Greater Bay Area can be a boon for HK]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486464.htm Hong Kong has played a significant role in the Chinese mainland's economic development. When the mainland launched reform and opening-up four decades ago, Hong Kong merchants, with roots in Guangdong province, took the lead in investing in mainland projects, especially those in Guangdong. Which laid a solid foundation for Guangdong to play a pioneering role as a manufacturing base and lead the mainland's fast-paced economic and social development.

Statistics show Hong Kong has been the largest source of overseas investment for the mainland since the launch of reform and opening-up. Long-term investment through Hong Kong accounts for about 70 percent of the mainland's overseas investment. Hong Kong has also been a major destination for mainland enterprises seeking to "go global". In fact, the first destination for about 70 percent of mainland service companies' overseas investment is Hong Kong.

And thanks to its proximity to Hong Kong, Guangdong's imports and exports, which account for more than 25 percent of the mainland's total, increased from $1.6 billion in 1978 to more than $1 trillion in 2018.

Economic cooperation between Guangdong, and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions boosted the mainland's reform and opening-up, and helped it integrate with the global industrial value chain. In the past four decades, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have experienced two large-scale economic integrations, which have deepened their cooperation.

The industrial economy integration lasted from 1978 to 2003, during which a vertical division of labor was established wherein Hong Kong took charge of services while Guangdong focused on the production of goods, which made the Pearl River Delta region the "world factory". And Hong Kong transformed from an export-oriented manufacturing base to a global trading, financial and shipping hub.

The service economy integration began in 2003. For example, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement that promotes trade in service helped further integrate the service industries of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

In the meantime, the mainland's foreign trade increased with each passing year, especially after it entered the World Trade Organization in 2001, with its foreign trade dependence rate increasing from 34 percent in 2001 to 64 percent in 2006. The rapid increase of foreign trade in a relatively short time expedited the mainland's economic development and added to Hong Kong's prosperity.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, China decided to change its foreign trade-oriented growth model to one driven by domestic demand. As such, China's foreign trade dependence rate declined drastically from 64 percent in 2006 to 34 percent in 2017. Over the past 10 years, domestic demand has become the crucial force driving China's economic development. And while the country's per capita GDP surpassed $9,000 in 2017, per capita GDP of the under-construction Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area reached $22,000 and that of the Pearl River Delta region, $17,900, making it a high-income region according to UN standards.

Over the years, Hong Kong has played a liaison's role between the mainland and the world. By so doing, it has helped boost the mainland's foreign trade, and increased Hong Kong's GDP from HKD1.35 trillion ($172.74 billion) in 1997, the year it reunified with the motherland, to HKD2.85 trillion in 2017, registering an average of 3.8 percent growth per year, which is higher than the average growth rate of developed economies over the past 20 years.

But after 2008, Hong Kong failed to capitalize on the mainland's transition to a domestic demand-driven economy, perhaps because its enterprises and specialized service sector focus more on the global market. The fact that the markets of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao are separated might have also prevented Hong Kong companies from fully enjoying the dividends of the mainland market.

The trade row between China and the US has further squeezed the space for Hong Kong enterprises to expand abroad. As a result, an increasing number of Hong Kong companies are eager to explore the mainland's market, and more and more Hong Kong residents consider the mainland an ideal place for start-ups, innovation and business development.

That many Hong Kong-based companies have greatly benefited by investing in mainland projects suggests they can also benefit from the integration of the Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao markets. And since mainland enterprises are already looking forward to cash in on the integrated Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao market, the future of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area indeed looks bright.

So Hong Kong companies should play a bigger role in the country's overall development, in order to better cope with the fast changing global trade situation, especially because they can use the Greater Bay Area to their advantage to facilitate high-quality economic development.

The author is director of the Institute of Studies for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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2019-07-01 07:34:06
<![CDATA[All ethnic groups in Xinjiang fully enjoy human rights]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486461.htm China has taken comprehensive measures to protect and promote human rights across the country including the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Yet some Western politicians keep making outrageous remarks. The Chinese government has condemned such comments.

First, China values the basic rights of members of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. It has introduced a series of laws and regulations to protect their basic rights, including the Guideline on Women's Development in Xinjiang (2011-20), Guideline on Children's Development in Xinjiang (2011-20), Measures to Implement the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests in Xinjiang and the Regulation on the Protection of Minors of Xinjiang.

Second, both the central and Xinjiang regional governments have significantly increased investments in education, which reached 81.03 billion yuan ($11.77 billion) in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 14 percent, to promote the right to education of students from all ethnic groups. The 15-year free education plan implemented in Xinjiang makes the region the first in the country to provide free preschool, primary school, and junior and senior high school education for students.

Besides, Xinjiang has received 15.96 billion yuan of aid from other provinces and introduced economic cooperation programs worth 256.05 billion yuan to attract teachers and graduates to teach students in Xinjiang. And the fact that about 65,000 senior high school and secondary vocational school students have enrolled in colleges outside of Xinjiang in the past five years shows the Chinese government is creating more opportunities for Xinjiang students in other places in the country.

Third, people of all ethnic groups enjoy the right to use their mother tongue and characters or alphabet in school even though they have to study standard Chinese, as it is conducive to communication among people of different ethnic groups and promotes the development of all ethnicities. The government has also implemented regulations and policies to strictly protect the languages used by different ethnic groups.

For instance, the Constitution and the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language stipulates that all ethnic groups have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages. People in Xinjiang mainly use 10 languages, which are widely used in legislation, administration, education, publishing, broadcasting and television, internet and public affairs. Also, committees and research institutes for minority ethic groups' languages have been established to promote their standardization.

Fourth, people in Xinjiang enjoy freedom of religion according to law, and the Xinjiang government has constantly strengthened the regulation of religious affairs, by applying the principle of protecting the legal, preventing the illegal, curbing extremism and fighting crimes.

The introduction and revision of the Regulations on Religious Affairs in Xinjiang, and China's Policy and Practice to Safeguard Religious Freedom and the Fight Against Terrorism and Extremism and Human Rights Protection have further regulated the management of religious affairs and safeguarded people's freedom of religion and right to normal religious activities.

Xinjiang has not seen any terrorist activity in 29 months, and tourists made more than 150 million trips to Xinjiang in 2018, up more than 40 percent year-on-year. By providing people greater security and the region greater stability, the regulations and policies have strengthened human rights in Xinjiang.

China has consistently upheld development-oriented values and vowed to help build a community with a shared future for mankind to promote human rights through peace and common development. And its notable achievements in protecting human rights in Xinjiang have promoted the global human rights cause.

Ignoring these facts, some countries have been trying repeatedly to interfere in China's internal matters, although their own human rights records are terrible.

The double-standard will do no good to anybody, so some Western politicians should abandon their Cold War mentality, and view China's human rights record objectively, not through the prism of ideological bias.

The author is a professor at the School of Political Science and Public Administration, Xinjiang University. The views don't necessarily represent those of China Daily.

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2019-07-01 07:34:06
<![CDATA[Membership of CPC tops 90 million]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486457.htm The membership of the 98-year-old Communist Party of China has exceeded 90 million, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee said on Sunday.

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An average of 3.9 million people have applied to join each year since 2012

The membership of the 98-year-old Communist Party of China has exceeded 90 million, the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee said on Sunday.

About 34 percent of Party members were born in the 1980s and 1990s, and nearly half hold junior college degrees or above, the department said in a report released ahead of the anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1.

Women comprised 27.2 percent of Party members and people from minority groups 7.3 percent, data from the report showed.

In terms of jobs, about 28 percent of Party members are from the agriculture and fisheries sector, 7.1 percent are workers, 8.3 percent are personnel from Party and government sectors, 2 percent are students, and 20 percent are retirees, the report said.

The CPC had 90.59 million members at the end of last year, an increase of 1.03 million from the end of 2017, and 4.61 million primary-level Party organizations, up by 39,000, according to the report.

It has seen its membership grow from more than 50 when it was founded in 1921 to 4.49 million when the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, and now to more than 90 million.

Statistics show that about 99.8 percent of existing Party members joined the CPC after the PRC was founded, and more than 80 percent joined the Party after the third plenary session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, an average of 3.9 million people have applied to join the Party every year, with the annual number of members recruited remaining steady at about 2 million in recent years, according to the report.

Last year, the CPC recruited nearly 2.06 million new members, 72,000 more than in 2017.

Among those new members, about 850,000 were women, 44.9 percent held junior college degrees or above, and 80 percent were aged 35 or younger.

Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said, "The increase in membership means more people, especially younger generations, are interested in joining the CPC because they have seen the achievements that the Party has led people to gain.

"Meanwhile, as the country is moving to pursue quality development, the Party needs talent from different walks of life. The educational background of the Party members has seen a big improvement in recent years," he said.

The CPC was founded on July 1, 1921. From 1921 to 1949, it led the Chinese people to overthrow the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism and establish the PRC.

The CPC has led the Chinese people to develop the country into the world's second-largest economy and lift 700 million people out of poverty.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[Law on vaccine supervision includes tough penalties for producing fakes]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486456.htm

China's top legislature passed a vaccine administration law on Saturday that demands the "strictest" management by requiring a more effective whole-process supervision system and toughening penalties on producing and selling fake or substandard vaccines.

The law was adopted after the third reading at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which closed on Saturday.

The country's first legislation dedicated to vaccine management, it will go into effect on Dec 1.

According to the law, supervision of vaccines will cover the whole process, from vaccine development, production and distribution, to vaccination.

An electronic information system will be set up to make sure all information about vaccines can be tracked, including production and packaging information, the period of validity, the date of vaccination, and the identities of the medical workers who conduct vaccinations and the recipients. The records must be retained for at least five years after the expiration of the vaccine, according to the law.

To increase the transparency of the industry, vaccine license holders will be required to publish vaccine information on their websites in a timely manner, including product instructions and labels, official approval, recall information, inspections, punishment received and compulsory insurance coverage.

Aside from strengthening whole-process supervision, the new law also toughens penalties on the production and sale of fake or substandard vaccines. Those producing or selling fake vaccines will face fines of up to 50 times the value of the illicit products, while substandard vaccine makers or sellers will face fines of up to 30 times the value. Production and business operations will be suspended for rectification, and drug registration certificates and pharmaceutical production licenses could be revoked.

Meanwhile, criminal suspects involved in the production and sale of problematic vaccines will receive heavier penalties, the law said.

Jiao Hong, head of the National Medical Products Administration, said vaccines are different from other drugs because they concern public health and national security, and the purpose of the law is to guarantee the safety, effectiveness and accessibility of vaccines to ensure public health.

"The law is a special law made on the basis of the general principles of the existing Drug Administration Law and specifies the strictest supervision over vaccines," she said.

The law specifies harsher punishment for illegal producers and sellers of vaccines than for other drugs, she said, and it will help improve the quality of Chinese-made vaccines and enhance public faith in the safety of vaccines.

Yuan Jie, director for administrative law at the NPC Standing Committee's Legislative Affairs Commission, said the standing committee widely solicited public opinion over the past half year - including from vaccine producers, research institutes, prevention and control centers and health and drug authorities - and reviewed three drafts of the law before passing it.

Commission members visited six provinces and municipalities for site inspections and gathered opinions and suggestions from various sectors to ensure the quality of the law while pushing the legislation forward as quickly as possible, she said.

The law was drafted and submitted to the top legislature for a first review in December following a major vaccine scandal involving Changchun Changsheng Bio-tech, a major vaccine producer in Jilin province. An investigation team organized by the State Council revealed in August that the company had violated the law in the production of rabies vaccines for four years, including fabricating production records and using expired materials.

The top drug regulator later ordered the company to pay fines of 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), and its senior executives are under detention and are facing criminal punishment.

Following the incident, the authorities vowed to establish the strictest supervision of vaccines, including deterrent legislation, to ensure public health.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[Better global ties planned for software industry]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486455.htm

China will increase international cooperation in the software industry, no matter how the global situation develops, the nation's top regulator of the industry said on Sunday.

Xie Shaofeng, head of the informatization and software services division at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said foreign software enterprises have seen rapid development in China as local companies adopt their cloud services and software to accelerate digitalization.

In 2018, foreign software companies recorded combined revenue of around $194.6 billion in China, according to estimates by the China Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, a research institute affiliated to the ministry.

"Regardless of how the international situation changes, China's software industry will become more open to the global community," Xie said at a news conference in Beijing. "We welcome foreign enterprises to tap into China's growth opportunities, as software technologies are entering a new era."

Xie said industrial and manufacturing companies worldwide are attaching greater importance to building up their technological presence in software. German electronic engineering giant Siemens is now the second-largest software company in Europe, and the US new-energy vehicle maker Tesla has more than 400 million lines of computer code for its Model S electric car.

At such a critical juncture, it is increasingly important to further cross-border exchanges and communication, Xie said, explaining that favorable policies China has rolled out, such as tax cuts, also apply to foreign-funded software and semiconductor companies that comply with the nation's laws and regulations.

"China has also been an active participant and contributor to the global open-source software community," Xie said, adding that two of the five biggest contributors to the three most-applied open-source cloud projects are Chinese companies.

Chen Zuoning, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the commercialization of 5G will reshape how software is applied to different industries, with cloud computing expected to play a bigger role in boosting efficiency in corporate governance and factory production. International cooperation is needed to better adapt to such a trend.

Bill McDermott, CEO of German software and cloud giant SAP, called the Chinese market "the jewel in the crown" for the company in an earlier interview and said the company is doubling down on its presence here.

"I will not be surprised if China becomes our largest market by 2025, with local companies scrambling to upgrade their corporate management methods and factories with digital technologies," McDermott said.

The technology giant delivered its best results in the country in 2018 and promised in January to pour more resources into expanding its presence in the market for small and medium-sized enterprises and building up the local talent and infrastructure in China.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[Infrastructure completed at Beijing's new Daxing airport]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486454.htm Building of the infrastructure for Beijing Daxing International Airport, which started in 2014, was completed on Sunday, marking the start of the preparatory stage of the airport's operation, according to the airport authorities.

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Simulation exercises running for more than two months will now test facilities

Building of the infrastructure for Beijing Daxing International Airport, which started in 2014, was completed on Sunday, marking the start of the preparatory stage of the airport's operation, according to the airport authorities.

The main construction projects, including airline bases, air traffic control tower, highway, intercity railway, high-speed subway line and other supporting facilities, were completed on schedule and passed inspection by the Civil Aviation Administration, the airport said in a news release.

Guo Yanchi, chief engineer in charge of the construction work, said the planning and design for the new airport was guided by its positioning as an international hub airport and the traffic it is expected to handle.

The terminal was designed to shorten the walking distance for passengers and provide as many aprons for aircraft as possible at the same time, Guo said, adding that it is only 600 meters, or less than an 8-minute walk, from the center of the terminal to the farthest boarding gate in each wing.

"It's more efficient for the passengers than any other large airport terminal of the same size in the world," he said. "The airport is also the world's first to be designed with double-deck departure and double-deck arrival platforms."

The airport has also adopted green and energy-saving concepts to incorporate natural light and seamless steel structure in its terminal design, Guo added.

To offer a more refreshing travel experience, five ancient-Chinese-style outdoor courtyards - with the themes "Silk Garden", "Tea Garden", "Porcelain Garden", "Countryside Garden" and "Chinese Garden" - feature at the end of the five departure lounges for use by passengers waiting for their flights, he said.

The airport is now organizing six large-scale simulation exercises for all departments stationed there to test its facilities and equipment. The exercises, running over more than two months, will see over 500 flights and handle 51,000 passengers and 35,000 items of luggage, according to the news release.

"The airport will also have to conduct several more test flights - for example, flying in low-visibility conditions - before being put into operation," Guo said.

The airport, which is planned to open before Sept 30, will act as a second international airport for Beijing to relieve pressure from rising demand for air travel on Beijing's Capital International Airport.

By 2021, the new airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers a year. By 2025, that number is expected to grow to 72 million.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[HK marks anniversary of return with tech]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486453.htm Festive vibes spread across Hong Kong on Sunday with citywide celebrations to mark the 22nd anniversary of the city's return to the motherland.

Speaking at the launch of a three-day gala in Victoria Park that features high-tech and innovations - the largest celebration event happening in the city - Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government wants to promote innovation and technology.

It has invested more than HK$100 billion ($12.8 billion) in innovation and technology, Cheung said.

Apart from offering hands-on experiences with gadgets, the gala features music concerts, trendy culture, a food festival and a special area for young people to showcase their creative ideas.

The fiesta, which started on Saturday, had attracted more than 60,000 visitors up to Sunday afternoon. It was one of some 360 celebrations held by the Hong Kong Celebrations Association, which is made up of 40 social groups from various sectors.

The association estimated that more than 300,000 Hong Kong people would take part in them.

Brave Chan Yung, the association's acting executive chairman, said the festival aims to build a technology-friendly environment in Hong Kong, boost the city's science and technology development and provide a broad platform for Hong Kong youngsters.

People of all ages were seen snaking through the venue, event by event and booth by booth, to try out advanced high-tech products featuring virtual reality, 5G telecommunications and artificial intelligence.

Hong Kong resident Tsang Ka-hei, 22, was amazed by a mind-controlled robot invented by Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre.

Tsang, who had a go at controlling the robot, was awed by the advanced product and said he enjoyed the experience, adding that he had never seen such a device before.

In addition to the high-tech exhibition and food booths, music concerts by international and local pop singers are also being staged in the park every night during the festival.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, which Chan said would attract more people to spread the festivities throughout the city.

The array of celebrations will also broaden and deepen Hong Kong resident's knowledge about the nation, Cheung said on Sunday.

With the dual advantages given under "one country, two systems", Cheung said, Hong Kong has made great contributions to the country's development, while the nation's prosperity has brought benefits to the SAR.

Also attending the ceremony, He Jing, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said that a powerful nation will provide more opportunities for Hong Kong.

Apart from the celebrations held by social groups, many citizens opted for other places to celebrate the return of the city to the motherland - the three barracks of the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison in Shek Kong, San Wai and Ngong Shuen Chau. The barracks are expected to receive some 30,000 Hong Kong residents during the three-day open day event.

Visitors to the barracks can see combat performances and military demonstrations, as well as weapons and military equipment including armored scout cars and helicopters.

Unlike the two other barracks, Ngong Shuen Chau - the PLA's naval base in Hong Kong - opened to the public on Sunday. High school student Zhong Yaoyu felt excited to be stepping into the barracks for the first time.

"The soldiers are friendly and I am proud of the country," Zhong said.

On Monday morning, top SAR government officials and representatives from different sectors will attend a flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will then officiate at a reception to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's return.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[165,000 rally for city police]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486452.htm

About 165,000 people from all walks of life rallied Sunday to support Hong Kong's police, who have been experiencing a tough time as the continued protests over the now-suspended extradition law bill have morphed into growing provocations and insults against them.

During the three-hour gathering that started at Tamar Park at 3 pm, participants dressed in white and blue held placards reading "We support Hong Kong police!" and waved national flags despite heavy bursts of rain.

One of those at the rally, former commissioner of police Tang King-shing, said he was saddened by the recent protests against the force.

In the past two weeks, the police headquarters in Wan Chai has been besieged twice. Protesters were seen blocking the building's entrances, throwing eggs and bottles onto the building's walls and flashing lasers toward officers' eyes.

Tang said he was disheartened that the many years of effort by the police in maintaining order was being disregarded.

Lo Chung-mau, chief executive of the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, said he attended the gathering in the hope that Hong Kong's rule of law could be respected and cherished. He also said he hopes some citizens will reflect on whether their recent actions went against their original intention, which was to protect Hong Kong's freedoms and the rule of law.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[Marriage customs rule a relief in rural Hebei]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-07/01/content_37486451.htm

A pair of gloves and socks were all the betrothal gifts needed for a rural man in China to prepare for a marriage in the 1980s, but the gifts in modern times have evolved into huge amounts of money, putting great pressure on rural families.

"I took my wife home by riding a bicycle on the day I got married," said Shan Yinhe, a 55-year-old rural villager in Handan, in northern China's Hebei province.

A marriage ritual in the country's northern areas usually starts with the bridegroom picking up the bride in the morning from her home and bringing her to his home, both accompanied by families, relatives and friends. Then a wedding ceremony is held around noon.

Shan got married in 1988 in Nanduqi village in Feixiang district, about 400 kilometers southwest of Beijing.

Shan prepared a pair of brand-new gloves and socks for his bride's family, which were all he could manage but were enough for him to begin a happy marriage.

Three decades and two adult sons later, Shan began to feel stressed by the high cost of modern marriages.

At the end of 2017, his second son was about to marry his girlfriend, with whom he had been in a relationship for five years. Shan was gratified to see his son happy. But the happiness was accompanied by great pressure.

He needed to come up with a lot of money - 60,000 yuan ($8,722) as betrothal gifts for the bride's family - to pay for his son's wedding.

"It is local custom for the bridegroom's family to give money to the bride's family, but the amount has been mounting in the past few years," Shan said, adding that there is competition among villagers.

Although the amount was at a medium level compared with the cost of other marriages in Shan's village - where some have topped 150,000 yuan - the expense he bore was equal to about two years of his family's total income.

Shan earns 2,000 yuan a month as an accountant at the government of Tiantaishan town, which covers his village. He and his family also grow crops on 0.7 hectares of land, which can yield about 5,000 yuan each year.

An end to extravagance

"But I must borrow that money from my relatives and friends because all my saved money has been spent on building a new home for the young couple and buying new necessities for them, such as household appliances," Shan said.

Luckily, Shan had reason to celebrate because he was saved by a new rule.

Right before the wedding, a specific standard was established banning high-priced betrothal gifts, or caili in Chinese. Other extravagant customs, including holding grand wedding ceremonies or funeral rites as well as inviting an exorbitant number of guests and using lots of cars to pick up the bride and her relatives, were also prohibited.

The government of Feixiang district - which covers 265 villages, including Shan's, with a population of 410,000 - found the competition to see who could give the best betrothal gifts and hold the grandest wedding ceremonies had become a big headache for villagers.

Families of young women envied those who gave lots of money to a bride's family and held expensive ceremonies with many guests, said Cai Fuhai, Party chief of Nanduqi village.

They would ask parents of their soon-to-be sons-in-law for similar treatment, Cai said.

According to the standard, no more than six cars can be used for picking up the bride and her relatives. Previously, up to 40 cars would be used as part of a grand and impressive wedding ceremony.

Furthermore, guests are served a simple meal - a vegetable and meat stew, or daguocai in Chinese - rather than a meal with dozens of courses. Finally, group wedding ceremonies are encouraged and betrothal gifts are discouraged.

Families who obey the standard may enjoy benefits such as free physical examinations for parents and newborns at local hospitals. Pregnant women may also receive discounts for examinations during pregnancy, Cai said.

Families who do not obey the rules are required to make a self-critical speech during a meeting attended by villagers and local government officials. Those who refuse to make the speech and admit their wrongdoings are exposed on local television and other media platforms.

Villagers fall in line

According to the Feixiang district government, more than 1,000 families of young women have refrained from demanding betrothal gifts from their bridegrooms' families since 2017. About 100,000 households in the district have signed commitment letters promising to obey the standard.

Government statistics show that the cost of a wedding has been cut to less than 30,000 yuan, down by about 80 percent, and the current cost for a funeral is less than 5,000 yuan, just a sixth of the previous cost.

The reason for the high-priced betrothal gifts is because of the poverty pervasive in rural areas and the competition among different families, Pei Chunliang, a deputy to the National People's Congress, was quoted as saying last year by thecover.cn, a news website.

Pei, who is also Party chief of a community in Central China's Henan province, said some poor families hope to change their economic conditions by marrying off their daughters.

"To develop the rural economy and improve villagers' income will be the way to root out the trend," he said.

Some other provinces, including Henan and Gansu, have also established rules or standards regarding marriage and funeral customs.

In addition, there could be a nationwide crackdown on such extravagant customs after a suggestion on the development of rural areas released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council in February described such customs as unhealthy social trends.

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2019-07-01 07:32:50
<![CDATA[China, the Netherlands strengthen synergies]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/30/content_37486282.htm Premier Li Keqiang says cooperation between nations offers strong benefits

Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that China is willing to strengthen the synergy of development strategies and promote the two-way opening up with the Netherlands.

Li made the remarks while meeting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is making his fourth visit to China since taking office.

China would like to work with the Netherlands to create a fair, transparent and nondiscriminatory environment for enterprises from both countries and promote the sustainable growth of the global economy, Li said.

The Netherlands was one of the first Western countries to recognize the People's Republic of China, Li said, adding that relations between the nations have developed vigorously and cooperation has deepened in recent years.

China is willing to enhance exchanges with the Netherlands, consolidate political mutual trust, tap the potential of cooperation and push relations to a new level, he said.

As the Netherlands is China's second-largest trade partner in the European Union, he said that cooperation offers broad prospects.

Last year, the value of goods traded between the countries reached a record 584 billion yuan ($85 billion), Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Xu Hong said in an earlier interview.

Li called on the countries to advance cooperation in key areas including trade, investment, innovation, clean energy, agriculture and the third-party market to achieve mutual benefits.

Li also stressed that China attaches great importance to developing relations with the EU and firmly supports the process of European integration.

China would like to work with the EU to accelerate the negotiation of an investment agreement, reach the Agreement on Geographical Indications as scheduled and deepen cooperation in various fields, he said.

The two sides should jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, promote inclusive development and maintain peace and stability, he added.

Rutte said that as the international economy and trade face downward pressure, the Netherlands will strengthen cooperation with China and jointly safeguard the international order.

The Netherlands will also actively promote the development of EU-China relations, he added.

Last month, the Dutch government published a policy document entitled 'The Netherlands and China: A New Balance'. During Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok's visit to China last week, he said that the guidelines in that document offer an excellent basis for cooperation between China and the Netherlands in areas where it serves their mutual interests.

zhoujin@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-06-30 14:14:56
<![CDATA[5G tech experts eagerly sought after in job market]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/30/content_37486281.htm Companies in the communications field are scrambling for talent with 5G-related knowledge to help them get a foothold in the booming 5G industry, as qualified people remain in short supply due to the rather higher requirements for the positions.

Data cited from Zhaopin, an online recruitment platform headquartered in Beijing, shows that 5G-related positions offered saw an upsurge of over 800 percent year-on-year on its platform since January.

To lure talent, companies are offering more attractive benefits. For example, Zhaopin said that the salaries companies are offering to job seekers rose by 44.3 percent year-on-year, topping out at about 15,600 yuan ($2,300) per month from about 10,800 yuan last year. The number of job seekers in the area, as a result, increased by 151 percent since January compared with the same period last year.

The industry also helps invigorate communications science, making it the main pool for future 5G engineers. A recent report by Boss Zhipin, another online recruitment platform in Beijing, said that the talent required in the 5G industry share highly professional backgrounds in communications engineering and computing.

The platform said that companies in communications and network devices are the ones most eager for 5G talent, making up about 43 percent of all, followed by companies in the field of computer science at 17 percent.

Among the positions available in the 5G industry, five posts for engineers in communications research and development, telecommunications networks, core networks, optical communications and optical transmission are in greatest demand, the platform said.

Li Qiang, executive vice-president with Zhaopin, said that the booming 5G industry requires different talent during its development, and comprehensive capabilities are emphasized when recruiting these people.

"As to their professional competence, job seekers are required to have knowledge in network planning, big data and artificial intelligence," he said. "What's more, capabilities in management and communication are also essential."

However, Li said that qualified talent for 5G-related posts remains scarce because of the imbalance between companies' higher requirements and yet-to-be qualified job seekers.

According to Zhaopin, only 57 percent of its job seekers have ever worked for 5G-related industries.

"It's a two-way selection. What the job seekers consider is not limited to higher salary but the balance of their promotion and personal lives," Li said.

A report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology in early June shows that the industry will create over 3 million jobs by 2025, generating total revenue of about 35 trillion yuan during the period from 2020 to 2025.

chengsi@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-06-30 14:14:56
<![CDATA[Most adults with asthma unaware they are affected]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/30/content_37486280.htm

More than 70 percent of adults with asthma in China are not aware they have it, highlighting the urgency for improved diagnosis and treatment, new research shows.

Led by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the study estimated there are more than 45 million adults with asthma, with a rate of about 4.6 percent for men and 3.7 percent for women. Smokers are more likely to suffer asthma, and among nonsmokers, air pollution both outdoors and indoors can increase their risks of getting the disease.

"Asthma has become a major health problem that requires urgent efforts to be solved, and government health policies should make major respiratory diseases such as asthma a higher priority to improve prevention and control as soon as possible," said Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The study was based on surveys of more than 50,000 residents in 10 provinces and municipalities. A paper on the research was published in the international medical journal Lancet last week.

Asthma is a common disease, but surveys have shown many hospitals and clinics at the grassroots, especially in rural areas, lack adequate knowledge of it and cannot provide precise and standard treatment, Wang said.

Respiratory doctors at major hospitals should take the lead in promoting knowledge of asthma, he said.

"A tiered diagnosis and treatment system for asthma should be established so patients with common asthma can get diagnosis and treatment at grassroots facilities, while trickier asthma cases should be treated at medical centers," he said.

Zhou Jun, vice-president of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said the research will play a significant role in bringing awareness to respiratory diseases and improving the prevention and control of chronic diseases in China.

"It will provide an important scientific basis for the formulation of asthma prevention and treatment policies in China," he said.

Shen Kunling, a professor of pediatrics at Beijing Children's Hospital, said that in addition to the vast number of adult asthma patients, China also has around 10 million minors with the disease who also deserve attention.

National surveys done over the past three decades have shown the incidence of asthma among people under 14 years old in urban areas in China has been increasing by 50 percent every 10 years, she said.

In many cases, respiratory diseases among adults are connected with poor health conditions when they are infants, including premature birth and serious lung infections, so reducing the incidence of asthma among the whole population should start with children, she said.

wangxiaodong@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-06-30 14:14:56
<![CDATA[Police crack down on food safety violations, close illegal factories]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/30/content_37486279.htm Chinese police uncovered 4,500 crimes related to food safety and captured 8,500 suspects between January and May, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Thursday.

During that period, police destroyed 3,800 illegal factories and workshops manufacturing substandard, expired and counterfeit food and drugs, the ministry said.

"Food safety is a major issue of concern for people and can affect the physical health and safety of 1.3 billion people across the country," said Lyu Wuqin, director of the food and drug crime investigation bureau of the ministry.

"We will severely punish the suspects involved with food and drug-related crimes," he said.

According to the ministry, police used big data to research and evaluate cases and collected valuable clues in the past five months.

In addition, they worked closely with other departments to investigate food processing plants, restaurants and snack shops to uncover evidence and then capture suspects.

In May, police in Chongqing municipality smashed a major criminal ring that produced fake food worth 20 million yuan ($2.9 million), said Zhou Wei, a police officer from Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Police arrested 40 suspects and destroyed 10 workshops. They also confiscated 30,000 boxes of counterfeit healthcare products and other criminal documents, he said.

Through the investigation, police found the suspects used fake identities to claim they were the heirs of a famous doctor of Chinese traditional medicine. They also posted photos of fake medical licenses, clinics and equipment.

The suspects set up many workshops in the office building in Chongqing and conducted telephone consultations for patients, and they profited from promoting their fake healthcare products.

As part of efforts to fight such crimes, the food and drug crime investigation bureau was established in the Ministry of Public Security in May.

Recently, authorities stipulated "more serious penalties for such crimes if the circumstances are serious, such as affecting large numbers of victims or resulting in people's deaths."

A key part of the new bureau's work is attacking such crimes and compiling evidence for prosecutions involving fake food and drug products, according to the ministry.

"We will eliminate potential food safety hazards through conducting effective campaigns to increase people's sense of gains, happiness and security," Lyu said.

He said police will cooperate with other departments to pay more attention to meat products, edible agricultural products and counterfeit wines in places like shopping malls and supermarkets, as well as rural fairs and schools.

zhangyan1@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-06-30 14:14:56
<![CDATA[US military urged to cooperate with China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/30/content_37486278.htm The Chinese military hopes the United States can work with China to facilitate exchanges and cooperation, properly manage risks and differences, and allow the military-to-military relationship to become a stabilizing factor for bilateral ties, a spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

China has always attached great attention to developing healthy and stable China-US military relations, which is in the interests of both nations and the common aspirations of the international community, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang said at a news briefing in Beijing.

Ren made the comment in response to US Army Secretary Mark Esper taking over from Patrick Shanahan as the acting Secretary of Defense in mid-June.

"We hope the US side can work with China in fulfilling the consensus reached by both state leaders and maintain the general trend of nonconfrontational, mutual respect and win-win cooperation in military relations," Ren said.

Ren's response came after negative rhetoric and military action from the US military regarding China's strategic intent and the Taiwan question.

In early June, the Pentagon unveiled its new Indo-Pacific strategy that promised a stronger military partnership with Taiwan to pressure the Chinese mainland. Last week, a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol jet flew over the Taiwan Straits for surveillance and reconnaissance.

Ren said the People's Liberation Army resolutely opposes the strategy report's negative rhetoric regarding China. "Peace, development and win-win cooperation are the trends of the time," he said.

Any security strategy that goes against current trends and damages the interests of other parties for selfish goals "will not win hearts and is doomed to backfire", Ren said.

A strategy should also avoid prompting confrontation.

"History has shown confrontation is never the solution, consultation is," Ren said. "Increasing military presence, hyping up an arms race and pushing military confrontation will only make the situation more intense and undermine world peace."

When asked about US officials' claims that China was trying to reshape the global order and challenge US dominance in Asia, Ren said China has no intention of following the path of global hegemony or competing for dominance with the US.

"The world is big enough for China and the US to coexist," Ren said. "China resolutely follows the peaceful path of development, and it has always been a contributor to world peace and world order."

However, the Taiwan question is related to China's core interests and the national bond of the Chinese people, and China will not allow foreign countries to meddle in its domestic affairs, Ren said. The Chinese military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he added.

"We advise some US officials to recognize the situation, keep up with the times, abandon the Cold War mentality, respect basic facts, and return to rationality and common sense," Ren said.

"They should also stop hyping up strategic competition between China and US to mislead the world, the media and themselves," he said. Ren added the US should take concrete action to facilitate the healthy and stable development of China-US military relations and bilateral ties.

zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

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2019-06-30 14:14:56
<![CDATA[Xi urges bloc to promote cooperation]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486220.htm

President calls on BRICS countries to enhance unity, oppose protectionism

BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - should firmly support multilateralism and resolutely oppose protectionism, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi made the remark while attending a BRICS leaders' meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.

Noting that the current global situation is complicated and serious, Xi said that the world economy is growing overall, and at the same time, uncertainties are also clearly increasing.

BRICS countries should focus on their own issues and improve their capacity to address external risks, Xi said, adding that the five nations should strengthen unity and build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equality, justice and win-win cooperation.

Xi called on BRICS countries to enhance their strategic partnership and promote the steady progress of BRICS cooperation.

BRICS countries should enhance policy coordination under multilateral frameworks including the United Nations, the G20 and the World Trade Organization, Xi said.

Xi stressed the importance of BRICS Plus cooperation, saying that the five countries should pursue common development with other emerging markets and developing countries.

The five countries should firmly support multilateralism, maintain the international order on the basis of international laws with the UN at its core, pursue shared growth through discussion and collaboration, and oppose illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, Xi said.

Xi called for more efforts to promote cooperation in areas of economics, politics and security, and to boost people-to-people exchanges among BRICS countries.

The five nations should take part in global cooperation in innovation and make joint efforts to build an open, equal and nondiscriminatory environment to benefit all countries including emerging markets and developing nations, Xi said.

He called on the five countries to continue to support and help each other, strive for better lives for their peoples and make efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also attended the meeting.

They said the world is facing great uncertainty including the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, the destruction of international trade rules and the lack of inclusive development.

BRICS countries should enhance coordination, maintain multilateralism and the international trading system based on rules, and play a greater role in promoting common prosperity and global economic growth, they said.

The leaders agreed that BRICS countries should demonstrate the strategic value of unity and cooperation, safeguard the development rights of developing countries and increase the status of emerging markets in global affairs.

BRICS countries should enhance cooperation in areas including digital economy, energy and finance and promote the G20 Summit to focus on the topic of development and keep the promise of assisting Africa, they said.

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2019-06-29 06:53:00
<![CDATA[China, Russia, India to strengthen coordination]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486219.htm

Leaders of China, Russia and India agreed on Friday to uphold multilateralism and the international order to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world against the backdrop of growing unilateralism and protectionism.

President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to continue to strengthen trilateral cooperation when they met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.

During the trilateral meeting, they had in-depth exchanges of views about the current international situation and major regional and global issues.

Xi said that rising protectionism and unilateralism severely affected the stability of the global landscape and had a negative impact on the international order, and this greatly affects emerging markets and developing countries.

Beijing, Moscow and New Delhi should assume international responsibilities to safeguard their common benefits as well as the fundamental and long-term interests of the international community, he said.

The Chinese president urged the three countries to press ahead with multipolarization of the world and democratization of international relations, and called for observing the Charter of the United Nations and multilateralism.

He called for building an open global economy that favors better development of emerging market countries and developing nations, expanding trilateral cooperation in 5G technology, high technologies, connectivity and energy, and promoting liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.

The three countries should also stay committed to the reform of the World Trade Organization based on universal consensus through consultation to address the unbalanced and unequal development of the global economy, Xi said.

Saying a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security perspective should be upheld, Xi called for political dialogue to resolve hot spot issues, joint efforts to fight terrorism in all forms and a concerted campaign to cope with global challenges such as climate change and cybersecurity.

Putin said that under the current situation, the three nations should firmly remain committed to safeguarding the international system with the UN at its core and remain opposed to unilateral sanctions.

Modi said that upholding multilateralism, international laws and rules conforms to the common interests of the three nations. He underlined the need of trilateral communication in global governance reform, regional security and anti-terrorism.

China, Russia and India have made their united voices heard on major international issues through the leaders' meeting, Wu Jianghao, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Asian Affairs said at a news conference.

Given the uncertainty and instability of the global situation, Wu said the successful meeting between the three leaders - the second such gathering in seven months - has injected stability and positive energy into the international situation.

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2019-06-29 06:53:00
<![CDATA[President meets with foreign leaders at G20]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486218.htm Editor's Note: President Xi Jinping met with a number of foreign leaders for talks on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. The following are the highlights of the meetings.

South Africa

In a meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Xi said China will intensify political mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation.

The two countries should continue to support each other on issues related to their core interests and major concerns, Xi said.

He called for strengthening the synergy between South Africa's action plan in the next five years and the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the eight major initiatives China proposed at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

The two sides should also deepen cooperation in such areas as production capacity, infrastructure construction, human resource development, digital economy and high technology, Xi said.

China is willing to share with South Africa its experiences in poverty elimination to support it in realizing its development goals, Xi said.

Ramaphosa said South Africa values the comprehensive strategic partnership with China and wants to strengthen exchanges with China in governance experiences.

He said South Africa welcomes and supports Chinese companies, including Huawei, investing and conducting business in his country, and is also willing to have close communication and coordination with China within multilateral frameworks such as the G20 and BRICS.

Indonesia

While meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Xi urged the two countries to continue making efforts to open up new prospects for joint development and win-win cooperation as next year marks the 70th anniversary of their bilateral ties.

Xi said the two countries should step up the sharing of governance experiences and promote construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Corridor.

The two countries should jointly improve and upgrade bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

Xi noted that China is willing to carry out cooperation with ASEAN countries in areas like smart city construction and the digital economy to allow technology and innovation to be the driving forces for bilateral and regional development.

The spirit of building a new form of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind is in line with the spirit of cooperation the Bandung Conference advocated 64 years ago, Xi said.

The Indonesian president said he attached great importance to cooperation with China, and Indonesia would like to join hands with China to build the Belt and Road, deepen their trade relations and promote the construction of key projects.

Germany

China's promise to further its opening-up is by no means an empty pledge, and China welcomes German companies to continue to explore its market, Xi said when meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It is indeed necessary for China and Germany to keep communicating and coordinating with each other at a time when the international situation is getting increasingly complicated, Xi said.

China and Germany should transform competition into forces driving cooperation, and the two countries' companies and research institutes are welcome to cooperate in areas including self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence and 5G telecommunications technologies, he said.

China also hopes to work with Germany to conclude negotiations over an investment agreement with the European Union by next year and to start China-EU cooperation in free trade as soon as possible, Xi said.

Merkel said Germany hopes to strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation with China, and she looks forward to visiting China in the near future.

Germany hopes to discuss cooperation with China within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, actively promote the development of EU-China ties and work for an early signing of the EU-China investment agreement, Merkel said.

United Nations

While meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Xi said the Persian Gulf situation is sensitive and the region is standing at the crossroads of war or peace amid growing turbulence in the complex international situation.

He urged all parties concerned to remain calm, exercise restraint and strengthen dialogue and consultations to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.

Xi said the more complex and severe the situation is, the more the authority and the role of the UN should be highlighted.

The G20 Osaka Summit needs to take into full consideration global development needs and send a proper message to the outside world, Xi said.

As China appreciates Guterres' efforts in promoting international cooperation on climate change, Xi said the country will help produce positive results from the UN 2019 Climate Action Summit.

Guterres highly commended China's long-term contributions to advancing a political settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula as well as coping with climate change and promoting sustainable development.

The UN hopes China will play a bigger role in helping lead international affairs, and it remains committed to working with China to play roles in global governance, he said.

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2019-06-29 06:53:00
<![CDATA[Parties learn from CPC's experience]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486217.htm Foreign representatives given views of progress in rural areas of Henan

A series of events in Henan province, including discussions, seminars and field studies, are helping representatives from foreign political parties better understand the Communist Party of China and its successful experiences.

One of the purposes of the events, organized by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, aims to introduce to the outside world an ongoing education campaign themed "staying true to our founding mission" within the CPC, which started on May 31.

It has been the first time for the CPC to show how an education campaign is conducted within the Party to foreign political parties since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in late 2012.

As part of the events, a session was held in Zhengzhou on Thursday evening, and about 50 representatives from political parties in 19 countries attended the session, according to the organizer.

During the session, Song Tao, minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, talked about the ongoing education campaign.

He said this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the CPC has been the ruling party for 70 years.

"The purpose of the campaign is to ensure that the CPC stays progressive, pure and energetic, and to ensure that the Party receives support from the people," he said.

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has reiterated that seeking happiness for the Chinese people and striving for national rejuvenation are the Party's original aspiration and mission. He has also called for deepening the self-reform of the Party in the new era.

Song added that the CPC would like to push forward its own construction through more communication and mutual learning with other parties from around the world.

On Friday, foreign guests paid a visit to rural areas of Henan province to get a better understanding of how the CPC has revitalized these less-developed areas and lifted people out of poverty.

Somphanh Phengkhammy, vice-president of the National Assembly of Laos, said that his party has paid great attention to the CPC's "secret of success" and during this visit he got a better idea of the original aspiration and the mission of the CPC.

"The education campaign will help the CPC lead people nationwide to realize the goals set at its 19th National Congress," he said.

Simplice Sarandji, national executive secretary of the United Hearts Movement and former prime minister of the Central African Republic, said the CPC has many good thoughts, experiences and practices in governance, which could be applied to many developing countries.

"The CPC, which seeks truth from facts, is very innovative and has set a very good example for the newly founded United Hearts Movement," he said.

Sarandji added that the trip to Henan let him know that the CPC's secret of success is "always staying close to the people and serving the people".

Ricardo Rosas Romera, secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, said he believed the ongoing education campaign within the CPC is necessary and will help Party members, particularly officials, to look back into the Party's history and founding mission.

Knowing little about the CPC's history or founding mission before joining the trip, Romera said he believed the CPC was founded to safeguard social equity, serve the people and strive for social progress.

In this regard, the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party shares a lot of similarities with the CPC, he said.

 

Elia Tortolero (center), a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party senator, speaks at one of the seminars organized by the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Thursday.Chen Yehua/xinhua

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2019-06-29 06:52:34
<![CDATA[Premier: Cooperation key to climate battle]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486216.htm

The international community should cooperate better to tackle the challenge of climate change, and developed countries should provide financing and technological support for developing countries to adapt to the changing climate, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

Li said the need to tackle climate change is the consensus of the international community, a task that will also help China's economic restructuring and upgrading.

As the largest developing country, China has, based on its national conditions, actively implemented its national climate strategy, he added.

He said China stands ready to fulfill its international responsibility and obligation to help other developing countries under the framework of South-South Cooperation, especially those small island countries, to improve their capability of climate adaptation, he added.

Li made the remarks while attending the inauguration ceremony for the China office of the Global Center on Adaptation in Beijing, together with Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The international community must adhere to multilateralism and strengthen cooperation, and importance should be attached to both alleviation of the impact of climate change and adaptation to the changing climate, Li said.

He said developed countries should provide funding and technologies for developing countries so that they can join hands to implement the Paris agreement on climate change, reached in 2015, and accelerate the global steps needed to adapt to climate change.

Rutte said that the Netherlands and China have had positive cooperation with regard to tackling climate change, and the Netherlands will strengthen cooperation with other members of the Global Commission on Adaptation to promote exchanges of experiences and technologies in climate adaptation.

Ban, who chairs the commission, urged closer cross-border global coordination to push forward efforts in climate adaptation and achieve sustainable development.

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2019-06-29 06:52:34
<![CDATA[Athletes' needs will be focus of Games]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486215.htm

Beijing has stepped up preparations for an athlete-centered Winter Olympics in 2022 by adopting detailed proposals from ex-Olympians to optimize the Games' facilities and services.

Imagine needing to use the toilet just before a downhill skiing race while locating the nearest restroom at the bottom of the slope, or discovering a wardrobe malfunction on your dress minutes before the figure skating final but having no one around to fix it.

Such unexpected challenges can ruin athletes' Olympic experiences, so the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has taken action to avoid similar embarrassments happening here.

The Athletes' Commission of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, chaired by former champion skater Yang Yang, raised 49 proposals on Friday for Beijing and co-host city Zhangjiakou in Hebei province to upgrade facility functions, services and staff training at competition venues, athletes' villages and in the transportation system.

"Meeting the demands of participating athletes plays a big part in the success of hosting the Olympics, while attention to detail matters a lot in serving them to the best of our ability," said Yang, who won China's first Winter Olympic gold medal in the women's 500m short-track speedskating at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

The Athlete's Commission consists of 19 members, all former Olympics and Paralympics participants. It has been consulting Beijing 2022 organizers about accommodations, catering, transport and venue operations.

"The firsthand experience of this elite group of former champions has shed light on the complexity of hosting the Winter Olympics and the difference between the organizational work of the summer and winter Games," said Han Zirong, full-time vice-president of the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.

"Their suggestions have enlightened us on some details about services that we had no clue about before, which is critical for the Games' smooth delivery."

Some of the know-how include opening the access-free facilities at the village reserved for the Paralympics during the Olympics for potential use by athletes injured at the Games, customizing the carriage design on the high-speed railway for storage of oversized ski equipment and providing cloth-mending services at venues for outfit-special events.

Recalling her experience at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, Li Nina, a three-time freestyle skiing world champion, said the lack of accessibility at the athletes' village made her life tough.

"It was hard to imagine that they had only two wheelchairs available for all athletes in all the three villages," said Li, who tore a ligament on her right knee landing a jump in Sochi. "With all the access-free ramps not ready during the Olympics, going to the canteen up the stairs was the biggest challenge for me."

Zhao Hongbo, head coach of China's figure skating national team, welcomes talks with athletes to identify all potential loopholes in service and facility readiness.

"It's almost an everyday situation where skaters tear their outfits in training and competition. It's necessary to have some dressmaking volunteers serving at the Games," said Zhao, who won China's only figure skating Olympic gold medal with his partner Shen Xue at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

During a figure skating team competition at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games in South Korea, a hook on the back of skater Min Yu-ra's dress slid loose seconds into her performance, revealing her entire back to the audience and forcing her to adjust her routine.

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2019-06-29 06:52:34
<![CDATA[Shanghai to reduce single-use cutlery]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486214.htm

Restaurants and food delivery operators in Shanghai are required to stop providing customers single-use cutlery by default starting on Monday, and strict enforcement will take place accordingly, the municipal authority said on Friday.

Four kinds of disposable cutlery items - chopsticks, spoons, forks and knives - should not be provided in food services unless on the demand of customers, according to the Shanghai municipal market supervision and management bureau.

"The food service providers in the city are also the providers of cutlery, therefore they are responsible for reducing the use of single-use products at the source," said the bureau in a news release.

"The bureau will conduct special inspections on the implementation of the requirement, and those who still provide disposable cutlery by default will be punished," it said, adding that food service providers should post notices in dining areas to encourage customers to reduce the use of disposable cutlery.

Starbucks China has replaced plastic cutlery with stainless steel ones for in-house diners and issued an internal notice to stores in East China to comply with the requirement on limiting the use of disposable cutlery, according to news website ThePaper.cn.

FamilyMart, one of the major convenience store chains in China, responded to a China Daily inquiry that all their stores in Shanghai will still prepare disposable cutlery but will not provide any for customers unless they ask.

Food delivery operators, such as Eleme and Meituan, have already adjusted their apps so that people have to choose whether they want disposable cutlery.

The requirement is part of the city's first regulation on domestic garbage management, which was approved by municipal legislators earlier this year and will take effect on Monday.

Jin Lei, deputy director of the Shanghai municipal administration of culture and tourism, said all lodging service providers will no longer equip rooms with single-use toothbrushes, combs, razors, nail polishers, shoe wipers and loofahs.

Huang Rong, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal people's government, said different government departments have formulated 18 documents related to the implementation of the domestic garbage management regulation, including those on discouraging the use of disposable cutlery and room amenities.

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2019-06-29 06:52:34
<![CDATA[Helicopters to cut HK, Shenzhen travel time]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/29/content_37486213.htm A maiden helicopter flight between Guangdong province and neighboring Hong Kong was launched on Friday in Shenzhen, a move that will greatly increase travel efficiency between the economic powerhouse in South China and the special administrative region.

The cross-border helicopter flight would help cut travel time to Hong Kong from Shenzhen to just 15 minutes, according to Shenzhen Eastern General Aviation.

Usually it takes about three hours by land, given that crossborder customs clearance consumes a lot of time.

"Demand for cross-border flight service is increasing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, where a number of transnational companies have already developed huge overseas businesses," said Zhao Lin, chairman of Shenzhen Eastern General Aviation.

According to Zhao, the company is committed to building a faster transportation network in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by building up to 1,000 helipads within the next five years.

"The faster low-altitude flight network will expand to 500 kilometers around Shenzhen," said Zhao, adding the Greater Bay Area will be enabled with a 15-minute trip by helicopter within the next few years.

In addition to business travel, the cross-border helicopter flight will also be used for emergency medical service and tourism, according to Zhao.

"The Greater Bay Area has unique tourism resources - from Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor to Shenzhen Bay, visitors are able to have a perfect view of the cities," said Zhao.

Citing Huawei Technologies, which has developed great demand for overseas business travel because 70 percent of its business is related to the overseas market, Su Wei, deputy director of the civil aviation development of the Shenzhen transportation bureau, said more helicopter bases would be built.

The cross-border helicopter service would help increase business and social integration between Hong Kong and other cities in the Greater Bay Area, according to Su.

Helicopters used in the maiden flight are the Airbus 135 light twin-engine helicopter, which has a relatively big space and higher safety standard, according to Marie-Agnes Veve, general manager of Airbus Helicopters China.

"China is the most promising helicopter market in the world. We will introduce more models to the market," she said.

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2019-06-29 06:52:34
<![CDATA[Senior official lauds benefits of environmental inspection]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485833.htm Effort has helped transform industrial structure, addressed various problems

A senior environmental official has spoken highly of the role of central environmental inspection in promoting high quality development.

Zhai Qing, vice-minister of ecology and environment, said on Thursday the inspection had played a significant role in transforming the industrial structure by phasing out small polluters. He also noted the implementation of the central authority's philosophy of green development will be among things to check in a new round of the inspection that will be unveiled soon.

The new round, which will last for four years starting this year, will be extended to State-owned companies and central government bodies instead of only targeting local governments and companies as it did previously, Zhang said.

"The first group of inspectors have finished their preparation work and will embark on the inspection after the plan gets approved from the central authorities," he said, adding that the regions and institutions that will be covered will be made public.

Zhai said inspectors will check whether violations they found during the previous round are rectified as they conclude their task in 2022.

"The central environmental inspection has not only helped address a series of environmental and ecological problems but also has encouraged local governments to create new development concepts and has played a significant role in enhancing high quality development," Zhai said.

According to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, during the first round of the central environmental inspection - which was conducted from the end of 2015 to 2018 - over 40,000 companies received penalties of nearly 2.5 billion yuan ($363.5 million) for environmental violations.

More than 150,000 environmental problems that affect people's lives were addressed, and 2,264 people were detained.

Zhai said the inspection, led by ministerial level officials, has proved to be effective in promoting the transformation of the industrial structure and the optimization of industrial distribution.

In the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, for example, the local government has forbidden the introduction of projects with high pollution, energy consumption and emissions.

The Inner Mongolia autonomous region has implemented a principle that balances the amount of water needed of industrial development and the amount of water it has. The overdevelopment of industries with high water consumption has been curbed, he said.

"We deeply feel that the awareness of ecological and environmental protection has been increasingly strengthened since the first round of the inspection," Zhai said.

The vice-minister also vowed to crack down on one-size-fits-all approaches used by some local governments as a way to cope with the inspection.

Such approaches not only damage the interests of companies that abide by the law and regulation but also tarnish the image of environmental protection work, he said. Zhai cited an instance in 2016 in which a county government shut down all companies with emissions to improve the reading of local air quality, including all small shops that make steamed buns.

"We resolutely oppose such approaches. They will be seriously investigated once found," Zhai said.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[Roving prosecutors to begin checking prisons]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485832.htm

Teams of roving prosecutors will kick off prison inspections across the country starting Monday, China's highest agency for prosecutions and investigations announced on Thursday.

The round of visits follows a yearlong exploration of how to improve prison inspection methods, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said.

The reform is an attempt to better supervise prisons by adding irregular inspection tours to those conducted by inspectors stationed in prisons on a long-term basis.

Teams of prosecutors - sometimes joined by judicial administrators, safety supervisors and auditors - are expected to look at how a number of prison issues are being supervised. These include the handling of parole and commuting of sentences, a prison's capability to implement security and what is being done in regard to rehabilitation.

In the past, prison supervision was carried out mainly by staff from a fixed inspectorate carrying out daily inspections. There was a lack of job mobility, and some of the staff were stationed in the same prison for a long time. This meant they might become too close with the prison workers to perform inspections responsibly, said Liu Fuqian, an official of the procuratorate.

To tackle the problem, the SPP Party Committee started a pilot project in May last year under which outside teams of prosecutors conducted prison inspection tours.

"The members are new, not fixed, and the tour can be more flexible," Liu said.

As of May, prosecutors across the country have carried out 1,262 inspection visits to 452 prisons, identifying 7,238 problems and issuing 2,808 written procuratorial recommendations.

"The results are more fruitful than before, so the SPP decided to expand the work comprehensively from July 1," said Wang Shouan, another official of the procuratorate.

Wang said the reform also makes clear that inspections needed to focus on the prisons' efforts to rehabilitate inmates to become law-abiding citizens and reduce recidivism rates.

Liu said the pilot program also exposed some deeper problems in the system, including the fact that some prisons fail to offer psychological counseling and education courses.

In terms of punishments for offenders, some law enforcement authorities have different standards when it comes to parole and the commuting of sentences.

"Commutation and parole are both important ways to implement changes to penalties. Compared with commutation, parole is more conducive to maintaining the judge's authority and preventing re-offense," Liu said.

However, in practice, a lack of scientific and objective assessment of a criminal's personal risk and proper supervision after release meant the application of parole is still very low, Liu said.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[Poverty rate in Tibet drops sharply over 4 years]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485831.htm

GENEVA - The poverty rate in the Tibet autonomous region has dropped to 5.6 percent, down from 25.2 percent in 2015, with the number of people living in poverty decreasing from 590,000 to 150,000 over the same period, a Chinese expert said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a side event on China's human rights progress over the past 70 years at the 41st UN Human Rights Council session, Luo Bu, a researcher from the China Society for Human Rights Studies, told the audience that absolute poverty in Tibet is set to be eliminated this year.

According to the expert, more than 18,000 officials and professionals from provinces in other parts of China have been mobilized to work in Tibet to assist its development, helping implement more than 10,000 aid projects.

With total investment exceeding 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion), these projects have greatly supported the poverty alleviation drive and development in Tibet, the expert said.

Citing relevant statistics and surveys, the expert said that more than 97 percent of people of all ethnic groups in Tibet are satisfied with their living conditions and 97.3 percent have confidence in economic and social development.

"This is not only an objective fact, but also a great achievement in the development of the cause of human rights in Tibet," the expert said.

Xinhua

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[China, the Netherlands strengthen synergies]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485830.htm

Premier Li Keqiang says cooperation between nations offers strong benefits

Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that China is willing to strengthen the synergy of development strategies and promote the two-way opening up with the Netherlands.

Li made the remarks while meeting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is making his fourth visit to China since taking office.

China would like to work with the Netherlands to create a fair, transparent and nondiscriminatory environment for enterprises from both countries and promote the sustainable growth of the global economy, Li said.

The Netherlands was one of the first Western countries to recognize the People's Republic of China, Li said, adding that relations between the nations have developed vigorously and cooperation has deepened in recent years.

China is willing to enhance exchanges with the Netherlands, consolidate political mutual trust, tap the potential of cooperation and push relations to a new level, he said.

As the Netherlands is China's second-largest trade partner in the European Union, he said that cooperation offers broad prospects.

Last year, the value of goods traded between the countries reached a record 584 billion yuan ($85 billion), Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Xu Hong said in an earlier interview.

Li called on the countries to advance cooperation in key areas including trade, investment, innovation, clean energy, agriculture and the third-party market to achieve mutual benefits.

Li also stressed that China attaches great importance to developing relations with the EU and firmly supports the process of European integration.

China would like to work with the EU to accelerate the negotiation of an investment agreement, reach the Agreement on Geographical Indications as scheduled and deepen cooperation in various fields, he said.

The two sides should jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, promote inclusive development and maintain peace and stability, he added.

Rutte said that as the international economy and trade face downward pressure, the Netherlands will strengthen cooperation with China and jointly safeguard the international order.

The Netherlands will also actively promote the development of EU-China relations, he added.

Last month, the Dutch government published a policy document entitled 'The Netherlands and China: A New Balance'. During Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok's visit to China last week, he said that the guidelines in that document offer an excellent basis for cooperation between China and the Netherlands in areas where it serves their mutual interests.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[5G tech experts eagerly sought after in job market]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485829.htm

Companies in the communications field are scrambling for talent with 5G-related knowledge to help them get a foothold in the booming 5G industry, as qualified people remain in short supply due to the rather higher requirements for the positions.

Data cited from Zhaopin, an online recruitment platform headquartered in Beijing, shows that 5G-related positions offered saw an upsurge of over 800 percent year-on-year on its platform since January.

To lure talent, companies are offering more attractive benefits. For example, Zhaopin said that the salaries companies are offering to job seekers rose by 44.3 percent year-on-year, topping out at about 15,600 yuan ($2,300) per month from about 10,800 yuan last year. The number of job seekers in the area, as a result, increased by 151 percent since January compared with the same period last year.

The industry also helps invigorate communications science, making it the main pool for future 5G engineers. A recent report by Boss Zhipin, another online recruitment platform in Beijing, said that the talent required in the 5G industry share highly professional backgrounds in communications engineering and computing.

The platform said that companies in communications and network devices are the ones most eager for 5G talent, making up about 43 percent of all, followed by companies in the field of computer science at 17 percent.

Among the positions available in the 5G industry, five posts for engineers in communications research and development, telecommunications networks, core networks, optical communications and optical transmission are in greatest demand, the platform said.

Li Qiang, executive vice-president with Zhaopin, said that the booming 5G industry requires different talent during its development, and comprehensive capabilities are emphasized when recruiting these people.

"As to their professional competence, job seekers are required to have knowledge in network planning, big data and artificial intelligence," he said. "What's more, capabilities in management and communication are also essential."

However, Li said that qualified talent for 5G-related posts remains scarce because of the imbalance between companies' higher requirements and yet-to-be qualified job seekers.

According to Zhaopin, only 57 percent of its job seekers have ever worked for 5G-related industries.

"It's a two-way selection. What the job seekers consider is not limited to higher salary but the balance of their promotion and personal lives," Li said.

A report by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology in early June shows that the industry will create over 3 million jobs by 2025, generating total revenue of about 35 trillion yuan during the period from 2020 to 2025.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[Most adults with asthma unaware they are affected]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485828.htm

More than 70 percent of adults with asthma in China are not aware they have it, highlighting the urgency for improved diagnosis and treatment, new research shows.

Led by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the study estimated there are more than 45 million adults with asthma, with a rate of about 4.6 percent for men and 3.7 percent for women. Smokers are more likely to suffer asthma, and among nonsmokers, air pollution both outdoors and indoors can increase their risks of getting the disease.

"Asthma has become a major health problem that requires urgent efforts to be solved, and government health policies should make major respiratory diseases such as asthma a higher priority to improve prevention and control as soon as possible," said Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The study was based on surveys of more than 50,000 residents in 10 provinces and municipalities. A paper on the research was published in the international medical journal Lancet last week.

Asthma is a common disease, but surveys have shown many hospitals and clinics at the grassroots, especially in rural areas, lack adequate knowledge of it and cannot provide precise and standard treatment, Wang said.

Respiratory doctors at major hospitals should take the lead in promoting knowledge of asthma, he said.

"A tiered diagnosis and treatment system for asthma should be established so patients with common asthma can get diagnosis and treatment at grassroots facilities, while trickier asthma cases should be treated at medical centers," he said.

Zhou Jun, vice-president of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said the research will play a significant role in bringing awareness to respiratory diseases and improving the prevention and control of chronic diseases in China.

"It will provide an important scientific basis for the formulation of asthma prevention and treatment policies in China," he said.

Shen Kunling, a professor of pediatrics at Beijing Children's Hospital, said that in addition to the vast number of adult asthma patients, China also has around 10 million minors with the disease who also deserve attention.

National surveys done over the past three decades have shown the incidence of asthma among people under 14 years old in urban areas in China has been increasing by 50 percent every 10 years, she said.

In many cases, respiratory diseases among adults are connected with poor health conditions when they are infants, including premature birth and serious lung infections, so reducing the incidence of asthma among the whole population should start with children, she said.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[Police crack down on food safety violations, close illegal factories]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485827.htm Chinese police uncovered 4,500 crimes related to food safety and captured 8,500 suspects between January and May, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Thursday.

During that period, police destroyed 3,800 illegal factories and workshops manufacturing substandard, expired and counterfeit food and drugs, the ministry said.

"Food safety is a major issue of concern for people and can affect the physical health and safety of 1.3 billion people across the country," said Lyu Wuqin, director of the food and drug crime investigation bureau of the ministry.

"We will severely punish the suspects involved with food and drug-related crimes," he said.

According to the ministry, police used big data to research and evaluate cases and collected valuable clues in the past five months.

In addition, they worked closely with other departments to investigate food processing plants, restaurants and snack shops to uncover evidence and then capture suspects.

In May, police in Chongqing municipality smashed a major criminal ring that produced fake food worth 20 million yuan ($2.9 million), said Zhou Wei, a police officer from Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Police arrested 40 suspects and destroyed 10 workshops. They also confiscated 30,000 boxes of counterfeit healthcare products and other criminal documents, he said.

Through the investigation, police found the suspects used fake identities to claim they were the heirs of a famous doctor of Chinese traditional medicine. They also posted photos of fake medical licenses, clinics and equipment.

The suspects set up many workshops in the office building in Chongqing and conducted telephone consultations for patients, and they profited from promoting their fake healthcare products.

As part of efforts to fight such crimes, the food and drug crime investigation bureau was established in the Ministry of Public Security in May.

Recently, authorities stipulated "more serious penalties for such crimes if the circumstances are serious, such as affecting large numbers of victims or resulting in people's deaths."

A key part of the new bureau's work is attacking such crimes and compiling evidence for prosecutions involving fake food and drug products, according to the ministry.

"We will eliminate potential food safety hazards through conducting effective campaigns to increase people's sense of gains, happiness and security," Lyu said.

He said police will cooperate with other departments to pay more attention to meat products, edible agricultural products and counterfeit wines in places like shopping malls and supermarkets, as well as rural fairs and schools.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[US military urged to cooperate with China]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/28/content_37485826.htm

The Chinese military hopes the United States can work with China to facilitate exchanges and cooperation, properly manage risks and differences, and allow the military-to-military relationship to become a stabilizing factor for bilateral ties, a spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

China has always attached great attention to developing healthy and stable China-US military relations, which is in the interests of both nations and the common aspirations of the international community, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang said at a news briefing in Beijing.

Ren made the comment in response to US Army Secretary Mark Esper taking over from Patrick Shanahan as the acting Secretary of Defense in mid-June.

"We hope the US side can work with China in fulfilling the consensus reached by both state leaders and maintain the general trend of nonconfrontational, mutual respect and win-win cooperation in military relations," Ren said.

Ren's response came after negative rhetoric and military action from the US military regarding China's strategic intent and the Taiwan question.

In early June, the Pentagon unveiled its new Indo-Pacific strategy that promised a stronger military partnership with Taiwan to pressure the Chinese mainland. Last week, a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol jet flew over the Taiwan Straits for surveillance and reconnaissance.

Ren said the People's Liberation Army resolutely opposes the strategy report's negative rhetoric regarding China. "Peace, development and win-win cooperation are the trends of the time," he said.

Any security strategy that goes against current trends and damages the interests of other parties for selfish goals "will not win hearts and is doomed to backfire", Ren said.

A strategy should also avoid prompting confrontation.

"History has shown confrontation is never the solution, consultation is," Ren said. "Increasing military presence, hyping up an arms race and pushing military confrontation will only make the situation more intense and undermine world peace."

When asked about US officials' claims that China was trying to reshape the global order and challenge US dominance in Asia, Ren said China has no intention of following the path of global hegemony or competing for dominance with the US.

"The world is big enough for China and the US to coexist," Ren said. "China resolutely follows the peaceful path of development, and it has always been a contributor to world peace and world order."

However, the Taiwan question is related to China's core interests and the national bond of the Chinese people, and China will not allow foreign countries to meddle in its domestic affairs, Ren said. The Chinese military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he added.

"We advise some US officials to recognize the situation, keep up with the times, abandon the Cold War mentality, respect basic facts, and return to rationality and common sense," Ren said.

"They should also stop hyping up strategic competition between China and US to mislead the world, the media and themselves," he said. Ren added the US should take concrete action to facilitate the healthy and stable development of China-US military relations and bilateral ties.

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2019-06-28 07:31:03
<![CDATA[Cheaper loans to be available for small firms]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/27/content_37485628.htm

Economy expected to experience lift as more money released by banks

China will reduce real interest rates on loans for micro and small businesses and increase lending to the manufacturing industry to boost innovation and support the real economy, the State Council's executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.

"We will keep the prudent monetary policy neither too tight nor too loose, with anticipatory adjustments and fine-tuning as appropriate, to adapt to the shifting dynamics in the international and domestic markets," Li said.

It was decided that to keep liquidity reasonably sufficient, all the funds released by previous cuts in the required reserve ratio will be used for lending to private, micro and small businesses.

Market-oriented interest rate reform will be deepened to improve commercial banks' loan prime rate mechanism and better harness the rate's role in shaping the real interest rate. Banks will be urged to reduce lending surcharges to lower financing costs for micro and small businesses.

Small and medium enterprises will be supported in bond and note financing. Regulatory and evaluation methods for commercial banks regarding their financial services for micro and small firms will be refined. Financial institutions are expected to significantly increase their financial bonds issued for small businesses this year toward the target of no less than 180 billion yuan ($26 billion).

Comprehensive pilot reforms will be carried out on financial services for private, micro and small firms for three years to explore ways to expand lending to these businesses, lower their financing costs, improve the guarantee and risk compensation mechanisms and further innovate in financial services. The goal is to guide more financial resources to support smaller firms.

"We must use market-oriented reform measures to see that the real interest rate comes down and reforms the transmission mechanism. The purpose of these measures is to deliver concrete benefits to all market players, micro and small businesses in particular, and send a positive signal to the market," Li said.

The meeting also decided on steps to expand the use of intellectual property pledge financing and credit issuance for the manufacturing sector to support innovation, entrepreneurship and manufacturing upgrading. Banks will be guided to formulate separate lending plans and evaluation mechanisms for intellectual property pledge loans.

"We must step up the building of an intellectual property information platform. Intellectual property pledge financing may seem a minor business for financial institutions, yet in practice, it is of vital importance as it boosts entrepreneurship and innovation, and helps with the protection of intellectual property rights," Li said.

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2019-06-27 07:31:05
<![CDATA[Tighter control of poverty relief funds urged]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/27/content_37485627.htm

National auditors have called for government departments to better regulate poverty alleviation funds and build a mechanism to ensure the long-term benefits of the achievements.

Local governments have made great efforts in lifting people out of poverty in the past year, Hu Zejun, head of the National Audit Office, said while making an annual audit report to the top legislature on Wednesday. However, auditors had still found some irregularities, such as the improper use and management of the funds designated for poverty relief, Hu said.

For example, 46 counties were found to have spent 2.21 billion yuan ($319.6 million) of poverty alleviation funds on real estate development or urban constructions.

"We also found some funds and projects that had been planned to help the poor were actually not put in use," she told members of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

A total of 287 poverty alleviation projects in 69 counties, involving 375 million yuan, were left idle. Another 890 million yuan of poverty relief funds in 41 regions remained unused for more than a year, according to the report.

"Corruption and fraud still exist in the poverty alleviation sector," Hu said, adding that 187 officials in 39 counties made use of their work positions to improperly aid family relatives and friends or even embezzle the funds.

In addition, some local government officials were found doing superficial jobs, such as landscape improvement and building decoration instead of properly using the designated funds, the report said.

Forestalling and defusing major risks, carrying out targeted poverty alleviation and preventing and controlling pollution have been identified as the three major battles China must win in the coming years.

The report also identified problems that are impeding the country's efforts in commercializing scientific and technological achievements.

Hu said auditors randomly checked 69 scientific research institutes nationwide and found 32 of them made less than 10 million yuan in commercializing their research achievements between 2015 and 2017. Twelve of these institutes did not commercialize any of their research results.

Inadequate regulations and ineffective implementation are the main reasons behind the institutions' low success in turning academic achievements into commercial gains, she said.

Voluminous paper work and repetitive inspections are also hampering the efficiency of commercializing scientific and technological output, according to the audit report.

Zhang Zhihao contributed to this story.

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2019-06-27 07:31:05
<![CDATA[Draft law aims to revamp hazardous waste disposal]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/27/content_37485626.htm China plans to strengthen the governance of hazardous waste by making it mandatory for each region to plan adequate disposal facilities, which may help address the uneven distribution of such facilities across the country.

The draft amendment to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste was submitted to national legislators for deliberation as the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress kicked off its bimonthly session on Tuesday.

"The governments of provincial regions are required to draft planning for the construction of facilities and sites for concentrated disposal of hazardous waste and ensure that all such waste in their jurisdictions are disposed of adequately," said Li Ganjie, minister of ecology and environment, as he reported the amendment to legislators.

According to Li's ministry, roughly 40 million metric tons of industrial hazardous waste was generated in 202 major cities across the country in 2017. Qiu Qiwen, head of the solid waste and chemicals management department at the ministry, said at a news conference in March that the country's capacity for hazardous waste treatment in 2017 reached 75 million tons, 2.3 times that of 2012.

He said, however, that the capacity is "unevenly distributed" nationwide, which has lead to high disposal prices in some areas.

According to a 2018 report of Shanghai-headquartered NDRC China Envirunion of Strategic Engineering Industries, the price of incinerating hazardous waste was estimated at 2,000 ($291) to 5,000 yuan per ton from 2015 to 2016, with big price fluctuations among regions. The price, however, rocketed to 15,000 yuan by the end of 2018.

Wang Dongming, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, also suggested making construction of the disposal facilities mandatory for provincial governments.

"The draft only includes the government's responsibility in drafting plans, but not the construction. This is not adequate enough," he said in the session.

He also advised broadening market access to some extent so that more companies could enter the sector to enhance capacity for hazardous waste disposal.

Cao Jianming, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said he suggested making safety impact assessments mandatory for the construction of projects related to the storage, utilization and disposal of solid waste. Solid waste, especially hazardous waste, not only poses an environmental risk but also a risk to the public.

The draft amendment includes the establishment of an information-based supervision system that supports leveled and classified hazardous waste governance and could facilitate the sharing of data regarding the transfer of such waste.

Jiang Jianguo, a professor at Tsinghua University's School of Environment, said some of the transfer information at the grassroots environmental watchdog is recorded on paper, and it takes time for higher level environmental authorities to get the information. The information-based supervision system could help the environmental departments of a higher level get real-time information. "This will greatly improve the efficiency in hazardous waste management," he said.

In addition, the draft amendment said the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, along with other government bodies, will draft guidelines to strengthen the transregional transfer of hazardous waste. Those involved in such waste collection, storage, transportation, utilization and disposal will have to buy compulsory environmental pollution liability insurance.

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2019-06-27 07:31:05
<![CDATA[Tourism courts provide one-stop solutions for conflict]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484901.htm Low-level tribunals urge mediation instead of litigation, and provide convenient services for visitors. Cao Yin reports from Jinggangshan, Jiangxi.

Last month, Liang Jun, a judicial official in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi province, received a late-night phone call at home. After hanging up, he quickly drove a minibus bearing the logo "Tourism Court" to a restaurant near a scenic spot.

The call had been made by the restaurant's owner, who wanted to resolve an argument over a trivial matter between two groups of tourists.

To that end, he phoned a 24-hour hotline operated by Liang's "tourism and environment court" and also called the police.

After both parties had calmed down, Liang explained the relevant law and told them how much time and money would be involved if the case were brought to court. The dispute was solved via mediation a short time later.

The Jinggangshan People's Court established Liang's court to work with the public security authorities and tourist trade regulators to solve disputes. The model, established in 2016, has prevented much unnecessary litigation and helped boost tourism in the area.

"The police mainly deal with criminal cases and maintain order at scenic spots, and we mainly cover tourist-related financial disputes," Liang said. "In addition to case hearings, our job involves explaining the law and mediating in conflicts, and I believe we're better suited to it (than police officers)."

In his view, resolving disputes at the early stages to prevent them from becoming bigger issues is good news for local residents because litigation is sometimes a less-helpful solution. Instead, mediation has prevented many potential court cases, especially in light of a boom in "red tourism".

In recent years, China has stepped up efforts to promote red tourism, which revolves around visits to sites with significant revolutionary history.

Statistics from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism show that an average 800 million red tourism trips are made every year, and in March, 33,315 sites and memorials nationwide were designated as "revolutionary".

According to the provincial tourism academy, Jiangxi saw 471 million tourist trips in 2016, with 143 million, or about 30 percent, centered on red tourism in places such as Jinggangshan and nearby Ruijin city, acknowledged centers of early revolutionary activity by the Communist Party of China.

"We felt the rising number of tourists was sure to bring a surge in the number of disputes. So, about three years ago, we started working with other government departments to provide better legal services for visitors," Liang said.

Mobile court

Liang's tourism court has established legal stations in five major scenic spots in Jinggangshan, and the hotline number is posted in prominent places.

Every day, Liang and his colleagues travel back and forth between the scenic spots in the minibus resolving disputes between operators and tourists. Liang said the service is akin to a mobile court.

The interior of the minibus resembles a courtroom, where judicial officials sit in the middle and the two parties sit on either side. If no solution can be found through mediation, cases can be filed within 10 minutes because the vehicle is equipped with a printer and a fax machine.

The people's court in Ruijin has also established a lower court to solve tourist-related disputes, though it does not use a minibus.

"When we handle these disputes, we hope tourist agencies and scenic spot operators will be encouraged to regulate their management and services," said Deng Zeping, presiding judge at Yeping court, which is under the jurisdiction of Ruijin People's Court.

In the past two years, Liang's environmental and tourism court has successfully dealt with more than 30 cases, while its counterpart in Ruijin has resolved nine such disputes, according to statistics provided by the two courts.

"The number of court cases is low, because lots of disputes are resolved through mediation or the litigants drop their legal action after accepting our suggestions," Liang said. He added that the peak times are weekends and festive periods, such as the seven-day National Day holiday, when he can field eight or nine calls a day.

The disputes are mainly centered on contracts for tourism services or purchases, and compensation for personal injury. The services he and his team offer, including mediation and case filing, are provided free of charge.

Quick channel

"Our aim is to help tourists solve their problems before they leave Jinggangshan, because most are outsiders and they won't want to spend money traveling back to the city to attend court hearings," Liang said.

"To achieve that, we offer a 'quick channel' so tourists don't need to attend the court to resolve their disputes. Instead, their conflict can be resolved in the minibus."

In 2017, a tourist surnamed Wang was a beneficiary of the quick channel when his child broke a carving in a handicraft store during a family visit to Jinggangshan. Wang and the store owner were unable to agree on compensation, so Liang and his colleagues were contacted.

"The officials informed us of the regulations covering compensation and the responsibilities we both bore," Wang recalled. "They also outlined the disadvantages if I filed a lawsuit, such as the time and cost involved."

In the minibus, Wang accepted Liang's suggestion, and after mediation he paid the storeowner several thousand yuan.

"After all, we came to Jinggangshan for fun, not litigation," Wang said. "Thanks to the mediation service, we didn't miss any of our scheduled activities."

Deng, the judge from Ruijin, said: "The quick channel is not a green light for troublemakers, but if the two parties cannot agree, litigation is allowed. We want to end disputes before they start to stop them becoming aggravated. Also, as the mediation work is undertaken by court clerks and legal assistants, it leaves the judges with more time and energy to focus on complicated cases."

Professional team

There is an old saw in China: 'Turn to the police when you are in trouble.' However, sometimes that isn't a practical way of handling disputes.

"Compared with judges, we are not good at legal explanations, especially in cases involving financial matters," said Xiong Da, an officer at Ciping Police Station in Jinggangshan. He welcomed the help provided by Liang's team, saying it has assisted many tourists who asked for a judicial official to rule on their dispute.

"Under China's criminal law, it was hard to file some cases where tourists reported the theft of small sums of money. They always asked the operators of scenic spots to help them find the money or even refund it, though sometimes they had just mislaid the cash. I think, judicial officials are better able to explain each side's responsibilities in such cases," he said.

Zhou Jianhua, director of the Law Enforcement Department for Scenic Spots at the Jinggangshan Management Bureau, agreed with Xiong.

"Before, many tourists complained to us when they had conflicts with operators of scenic areas, such as those involving ticket prices or personal injury, but our lack of deep knowledge of the law meant we had difficulty explaining how much compensation they should receive," he said.

"Now, the officials on the scene can explain exactly how much should be paid, which gives tourists a point of reference if they choose to bring a lawsuit, and also reduces the burden on us."

Deng said: "When a dispute happens, the tourists want to know who is right, who should shoulder most responsibility and how much compensation should be paid. These questions need clear, quick and professional answers based on the law, which is the job of the judiciary."

He regards every successful mediation as a legal lesson for operators and travel agencies: "The more regulated the tourism market is, the fewer disputes will occur."

In 2017, he handled a dispute in which a laborer attempted to sue a scenic spot operator after sustaining a fracture while painting walls in the area.

Deng's investigations discovered that the injury had been caused by the laborer's own carelessness.

However, having taken into consideration the fact that the man's injuries required medical attention, and the efforts he had made to complete the job, Deng called the two sides together to explain their legal responsibilities. He suggested that they resolve the problem via mediation, rather than litigation.

"If the laborer had insisted on litigation, he might have lost the case, while the operator of the scenic spot would have spent a lot of time on the judicial process," Deng said.

He added that the laborer accepted his suggestion that the operator should pay him several thousand yuan in compensation and improve safety measures at the scenic spot.

Improvements

The promotion of red tourism has seen the gradual establishment of environmental and tourism courts in several cities in Jiangxi, including Meiling and Shangrao.

Statistics from China Tourism News show that nine such courts have been established in the province since 2017, and more than 80 percent of the cases they handled were resolved by mediation or by litigants dropping their cases.

According to Deng, Jiangxi High People's Court has ordered these lower-level courts to pay greater attention to mediation, and to simplify legal procedures when dealing with tourism-related disputes.

Given that some red tourism areas or routes can span several provinces, he called for experience of such solutions to be shared and for greater judicial research with courts in neighboring provinces, such as Hunan and Fujian.

"I believe the one-stop legal service is also what the tourists want," he said.

As the efforts of these lower-level courts have reduced the number of tourism-related cases, they plan to launch more studies on solving environmental problems, such as those related to ecological restoration and pollution, to further enhance the beauty of the province, he added.

 

Liang Jun (middle), a judicial official in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi province, provides tourists with legal assistance at a minibus that serves as a mobile courtroom at several scenic spots.Provided To China Daily

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2019-06-26 07:16:05
<![CDATA[Special benches improve quality of hearings]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484900.htm

In the past year, in addition to making efforts to promote tourism and protect the environment via improved legal services, Jiangxi province has encouraged courts to improve the quality and efficiency of financial hearings.

In October, Nanchang Intermediate People's Court in Jiangxi opened two specialized courts, one in Donghu district and the other in Xihu district, to deal with financially related civil suits, such as those involving credit cards, insurance, securities and loan contracts.

"The move is aimed at avoiding financial risks, boosting Nanchang's economy and dealing with the rise in financial disputes related to construction and development in the city in recent years," said Tao Ran, head of the financial court in Xihu. He said that more than 80 percent of financial disputes in the city occur in Xihu and Donghu, "so the establishment of these specialized courts to improve the efficiency of hearings is a must".

So far, the two courts have accepted 10,138 cases, and 8,770 of them have been resolved, according to a statement from the intermediate people's court.

Liu Yingsheng, Tao's colleague, said the financial courts have helped to speed up related case hearings and also contributed greatly to the regulation of financial entities in the local market.

"Before, if a single plaintiff - for example, a bank - accused a large number of defendants of the same thing, such as defaulting on loan repayments, it had to bring several lawsuits and many judges had to be appointed to oversee the separate cases. However, since the establishment of the financial courts, disputes such as these are 'packaged' - that is, all heard together in the same court - because the problems and the plaintiff are the same. That saves time for both plaintiffs and judges," he said.

Xiong Jun, from the Nanchang branch of China Everbright Bank, said, "Judicial officials at the financial courts often share tips on how to better resolve financial disputes, which influences our behavior when signing contracts with clients.

"The rising legal awareness has helped us reduce the number of unnecessary disputes and control the financial risks right from the start."

Liu said that by the end of the year, the financial courts will offer legal services 24 hours a day. They also plan to work with universities and financial entities to build internship bases for law students to deepen their knowledge of finance and their ability to handle disputes.

Cao Yin

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2019-06-26 07:16:05
<![CDATA[Seniors learn skills to stay connected]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484899.htm Classes teaching senior citizens how to use smartphones have been expanding rapidly at universities for the elderly in China on the back of strong demand.

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Classes cover use of messaging apps and how to take photos with smartphones

Classes teaching senior citizens how to use smartphones have been expanding rapidly at universities for the elderly in China on the back of strong demand.

Even though more senior citizens are ditching their old phones for smart ones, many still struggle to learn how to use new technologies.

Over the years, universities for the elderly have increased the number of classes teaching students how to use smartphones, which include using messaging apps, reading the news, taking photos and even online shopping.

Xie Yingzi, head of the publicity department at Hubei University for the Elderly, said it opened two classes in 2015 to teach students how to use smartphones.

Rising demand for smartphone instruction means the university now has 10 smartphone classes for 600 students and four photography classes for 140 students.

Zhu Huagen, president of Jianghan District University for the Elderly in Wuhan, Hubei province, said the school now has 11 classes teaching around 600 seniors how to use smartphones, up from two classes in 2015.

The senior citizens are really interested in the classes because they want to stay connected with their loved ones and not be left behind by society, Zhu added.

Chen Gong, who teaches smartphone classes at the Jianghan university, said, "The biggest challenge for us teaching senior students is that it is hard for them to learn new things, so we have to constantly repeat ourselves."

However, what they lack in memory, they make up for with strong interest and diligence.

"I usually show them how to use a specific application step by step," Chen said. "They closely follow each step and take down many notes in case they forget later."

One of the oldest students in Chen's class is 83 years old. Though he learns quite slowly and often makes mistakes, Chen said he still attends every lesson and now knows how to use the WeChat app to make video calls and send red envelopes.

Ai Hui, 56, is class monitor for one smartphone class at the university.

"They chose me to be the class monitor because I am one of the youngest students in class," Ai said. "I used to ask my daughter to teach me how to use smartphones, but she often got impatient with me as she was quite busy with work."

She has been attending the 90-minute smartphone classes once a week for a semester.

Ai said the teachers are very patient and students can ask them any questions at any time during the class.

"After one semester, I now know how to take pictures, use maps, buy train tickets, use Alipay and book hospital appointments online," she said. "It has made my life much more convenient."

Cheng Lianggu, 77, another student in the class, said communicating with his wife became much easier after he learned how to use WeChat. His wife is staying at their daughter's home to help take care of their granddaughter.

"I have also learned how to take pictures with the phone," Cheng said. "With more practice, I think I will be able to take stunning pictures."

 

Young volunteers teach seniors how to use smartphones at a community center in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, last year.Photos Provided To China Daily

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2019-06-26 07:16:05
<![CDATA[Snow leopard monitoring in Qinghai mountains proves value to researchers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484898.htm By analyzing six years of data provided by local herdsmen through continuous monitoring, Chinese researchers have mastered the dynamics of a fixed population of snow leopards in the headwaters of the Yangtze, China's longest river.

It is rare to continuously monitor a fixed population of snow leopards for more than three years.

The snow leopard is a Class I protected species in China, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies it as "vulnerable" in its red list of threatened species.

In October 2013, Peking University partnered with the Shan Shui Conservation Center in Beijing to carry out ecological monitoring training for herdsmen in Yunta village, Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, in Northwest China's Qinghai province.

Over the past six years, 14 trained herdsmen took turns to maintain the infrared cameras set up on the mountains every three months and submit the data to Peking University.

They monitored 23 adult snow leopards, helping researchers to find dynamic changes of the population caused by behaviors such as fighting for territory and migrating through corridors.

According to the findings, the number of snow leopards in the region increased steadily year after year, and nine healthy snow leopard cubs have since been born, said Chu Moyan, a researcher with the university.

Located at the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yunta village boasts a rich biodiversity.

Xiao Lingyun, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Nature and Society affiliated to Peking University, said wild animals can migrate quickly along rivers or across frozen rivers without being hindered during winter. There are signs that the region could be an important passage linking nearby snow leopard populations.

"The findings based on the herdsmen's monitoring are both valuable and effective," Xiao said. The researchers will continue to carry out in-depth research in the region, and push forward ecological monitoring training for herdsmen in the Sanjiangyuan, or Three-River Source, area.

Jagong Zala, an employee with the Shan Shui Conservation Center, said many local herdsmen became familiar with the wild animals living in the same area and had plenty of time for in-depth observations. Their analysis and discoveries based on scientific training and traditional experience can inspire researchers.

During the monitoring process, the herdsmen developed deep affection for the animals and gave every snow leopard a Tibetan name, such as Kurlha and Tsering Tsomo, meaning "Snow Lotus" and "Longevity" respectively.

"The monitoring work made me realize that we and the wildlife are all children of nature," said Tamdrin Pande, a Yunta herdsman. "We are sharing the same sky and earth. Only when the animals live well can we lead a good life."

Xinhua

 

Adult and juvenile snow leopards in Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Qinghai province.Xinhua

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2019-06-26 07:16:05
<![CDATA[Bionic bones strengthen future of orthopedic implants]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484897.htm Chinese researchers are designing bionic bones with improved biological compatibility and mechanical strength, which will bring new possibilities for future orthopedic implants.

Researchers from Northwestern Polytechnical University have spent more than 15 years developing artificial bones that are highly consistent with the composition, structure and mechanical properties of natural bones.

Bone defects are one of the most common conditions in orthopedics, and scientists have been exploring new methods to fabricate bone scaffolds to repair the defects.

Wang Yan'en from the university, which is based in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, said most bone implants are made of polymer and metals such as titanium. However, they lack biocompatibility and do not match human bones' mechanical strength, which can lead to abrasion and dislocation after they are implanted.

"If the implants cannot be well fused with natural bones, they may need secondary surgery," Wang said.

Wang's team used hydroxyapatite, a medical bioceramic material, to fabricate bone scaffolds. Wang said that though it is considered one of the most suitable materials for bone scaffold fabrication, bonding the powderlike material into a strong and robust scaffold remains difficult.

"Acidic binders used previously made the bone scaffold acidic, which adversely affected the environment for the growth of bone cells and brought agony to the patient after implantation," Wang said.

The team experimented with hundreds of different solutions to create a binder that would not only result in a strong and robust scaffold but also adapt to the biological environment. The research was published in the journal Polymer.

After researching the material, Wang's team also explored how to use 3D printing technology to make customized bone scaffolds. They cooperated with companies in developing 3D bionic bone printing machines.

Natural bones have complex internal structures, which require the printing system to boast special mechanical technology.

"With ultrafine droplet-spraying technology, the printing equipment can precisely regulate the proportion of printing materials, including the powder, the binder, the cell culture liquid and protein original fluid," Wang said.

The research team cooperated with the Air Force Medical University, which is also in the city of Xi'an, to conduct animal tests. After 3D-printed bionic bones were implanted in rabbits, they developed well in their bodies, with the bionic bones well-integrated with the natural bones.

Wang's team is also working on the 3D printing of skin, including sweat glands and hair follicles. "These technologies, with the potential for clinical application, may bring hope to patients with bone defects and skin damage," Wang said.

Xinhua

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2019-06-26 07:16:05
<![CDATA[Crayfish's popularity in Qianjiang spreads abroad]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484896.htm At an international food festival which recently concluded in Qianjiang city of Central China's Hubei province, crayfish emerged as an ideal ingredient for Chinese-Western fusion cuisines.

The event, which included investment activities, seminars and meetings on the e-commerce of aquatic products, attracted more than 200 enterprises from home and abroad.

"Crayfish can be adapted for both Chinese and Western cuisines, with which we can also innovate a lot of fusion food," said Ma Guangjun, principal of the Qianjiang Crayfish Vocational School.

"There were more than 100 types of food featuring crayfish at the festival, including baked crayfish with cheese and traditional Chinese dishes such as steamed crayfish, to satisfy various diners."

Native to North America, crayfish were brought to East China's Jiangsu province by a Japanese merchant in the 1920s or 1930s. About 30 years ago, crayfish appeared on the plains of Central China and villagers made the shellfish into a big business after they found it tasty.

Crayfish is one of the most popular foods in the Chinese market. As the largest crayfish producer in the world, China had more than 667,000 hectares of crayfish breeding areas in 2017, with an output of over 1 million metric tons, according to a report on the Chinese crayfish industry released last year.

"Students from not only across China, but also from Thailand, Malaysia and other countries come to Qianjiang to study crayfish cuisine with the increasing demand in the market," Ma said. "Some foreign students are planning to open crayfish restaurants in their own countries."

The city exported $150 million worth of crayfish to more than 30 countries last year, ranking first among Chinese cities. Related industries created 150,000 jobs and helped lift 20,000 people out of poverty.

The Qianjiang Crayfish Vocational School has signed a strategic agreement with Canada Achieve Group to send crayfish cooking experts to Canada.

"We will send our experts to train local talent in crayfish breeding and cooking in the next five years, and they will also send students to study at our school," Ma said.

Tony Elenis, president of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, also predicts of the cuisine's popularity in Canada. "Crayfish, as one of the most popular foods in China, will certainly be loved by many locals in Canada," he said.

Xinhua

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2019-06-26 07:16:05
<![CDATA[Anti-drug trial bearing fruit]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484895.htm Deep brain stimulation helps addict lower methadone intake by nearly half

The daily intake of methadone - which reduces withdrawal symptoms for people addicted to narcotics - fell almost by half for a patient with 30 years of drug abuse after undergoing two weeks of deep brain stimulation, said doctors at Ruijin Hospital, which is affiliated with the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine.

The deep brain stimulation, achieved through implanting two "chips" in the brain, is meant to help eliminate the patient's drug addiction.

Doctors responsible for the project said that after two weeks of stimulation, the addict's daily intake of methadone dropped from nearly 140 milliliters to 70 milliliters, close to the average amount that a patient uses if they're taking methadone every day. They added that the result at this phase was impressive.

The patient, who had unsuccessfully tried various means to abandon drug use, became a voluntary participant in the clinical trial that began a month ago. The trial's aim to suppress dependence on methadone is the first and the only of its kind in the country so far.

Surgeons drilled two small holes in his skull and fed two chiplike electrodes deep into his brain. They also put an impulse generator in his chest. Physicians can use the generator to make adjustments to the electrodes in the patient's brain with a pacemakerlike programmer.

Sun Bomin, director of functional neurosurgery, explained that addicts' repeated drug use is closely related to the reward system in their brains, which can generate pleasant sensations when they take drugs.

"The idea of the surgery is to target this specific brain area for deep brain stimulation and rid the addicts of the pleasure associated with drugs. The hope is that it will become easier for patients to decrease drug intake gradually," he said in an interview ahead of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking on Wednesday.

Research manager Zhang Chencheng said that doctors will make adjustments to the voltage, frequency and pulse width for each patient based on their conditions, such as their mood, anxiety and cravings for drugs.

Two drug addicts have been included in this pilot clinical trial - which aims to treat 12 patients in total - and their integrity, subjective desire to quit drugs and family support are key factors for enrollment.

Each patient will be observed in the trial for 12 months, Zhang said.

"Theoretically, their cravings will plummet within one or two months after the implant, and they can finally lose their desire for opioid drugs," he said. "Patients should also get relief from negative emotions and anxiety and see an enhancement in self-confidence."

Researchers said they focused on methadone as it is a legal substitute for opioid drug addiction in China as well as in many foreign countries, but many of the substitute therapy participants want to stop using it because of its side effects.

In addition to the opioid-focused trial, Ruijin Hospital has also been involved in a national clinical trial of deep brain stimulation to treat heroin addicts for two years. Hospitals in Chengdu, Xi'an, Guangzhou and Beijing have also been involved.

A patient with more than 10 years of heroin abuse earlier this month had the two electrodes implanted in his brain removed after the surgery two years ago.

Zhang said that the condition of the man, who is in his 40s and was the first patient in the pilot heroin clinical trial, was generally stable after the implant. He took drugs twice four months after the surgery and has not relapsed. Doctors had switched off the stimulation 18 months after the implant.

"The triumph in quitting drug use also helped him to develop a stable relationship," Zhang said.

Researchers said that deep brain stimulation was approved in Europe and the United States to treat patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder in 2009.

"Drug addiction is similar to OCD to some extent - doing what one doesn't want to do repeatedly," said Zhang, adding that the way of intervention and stimulation is the same as approved therapy in Europe and the United States.

Internationally, researchers in the Netherlands were the first to conduct a clinical trial for deep brain stimulation to treat drug addicts in 2012, but the research was halted because they did not enroll enough participants. Similar research is currently being conducted in Germany, Zhang said.

Du Jiang, a professor of addiction at Shanghai Mental Health Center, said that the surgery may be an ideal approach to help addicts if it eventually proves effective.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[Confiscations of marijuana tar 'on the rise']]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484894.htm

The smuggling of new types of illicit drugs, in particular marijuana tar, has increased significantly in the first half of this year, according to Tianjin Customs.

"The administration has cracked 27 cases of illicit drugs and 18 are related to tar from marijuana, accounting for 70 percent of the cases. The numbers of this new type of drug smuggling are on the rise," said Sun Xudong, director of the anti-smuggling bureau of Tianjin Customs.

The bureau has arrested 32 suspects and confiscated 48.8 milliliters of marijuana tar so far this year.

Zheng Xiaoyang, vice-director of the anti-smuggling bureau, said the marijuana tar is similar to the liquid used in e-cigarettes. It is inhaled in a similar way that e-cigarettes deliver liquid nicotine from a chamber.

"The tar is high in concentration and is easy to get people addicted to," said Zheng. He added that just one milliliter could last some users up to six weeks.

Sun said the smuggling and sale of marijuana tar is growing on WeChat and other social media networks. The transactions are completed online and the tar is often disguised in e-cigarette kits. "The criminals mail the tar hidden in other items, in particular in the liquid containers for e-cigarettes and bearing fake names."

He said in recent years, Canada and some US states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, which has contributed to the growth in smuggling cases.

The illicit drugs seized recently mostly came from North America. Biscuits and candies containing marijuana were also found by customs.

Li Ming, director of Binhai Airport Customs in Tianjin, said his office has strengthened its efforts to examine imported goods with advanced technologies.

In February, Customs found marijuana tar hidden in 13 packets of egg rolls. Following the discovery, police made arrests in Qingdao, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Shenyang.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[More than 210,000 addicts receiving treatment]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484893.htm At the end of December, about 214,300 drug addicts were registered in drug rehabilitation centers undergoing compulsory treatment, according to a Ministry of Justice report released on Tuesday.

Of those, 90 percent were male and those aged under 50 accounted for 88.3 percent, according to the report on China's drug rehabilitation situation.

The addicts' educational level was generally low and the drugs they consumed were mainly heroin and methamphetamine, it said.

According to the report, China has been developing new detox methods, including a virtual reality system that is used to simulate drug-craving cues in order to collect psychological data for assessment.

A sports-based method has also been used since last year, in which addicts are guided to form exercise habits to better regulate their emotions, it said.

Those who undergo compulsory treatment in isolated facilities are assessed as seriously addicted to drugs and unsuitable for rehabilitation in the community. They are subjected to treatment in closed facilities for two years.

By the end of last year, China had 370 compulsory drug detoxification centers, which have treated over 1.4 million addicts, the report said.

On Wednesday, an international forum on drug rehabilitation will be held in Kunming, Yunnan province, with 100 professionals and officials from 14 countries and regions, to discuss new technologies and methods applied in detox, the ministry said on Tuesday.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[Faulty vaccine makers to face heavier penalty]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484892.htm

Fines up to 50 times of value may apply; more public access to vial info proposed

Producers and sellers of fake or substandard vaccines will receive heavier fines under a new draft law submitted to the top legislature for review on Tuesday.

Companies will face fines of up to 50 times the value of the produced or sold fake vaccines, according to the draft vaccine administration law, which is under third reading at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

The previous draft, released in April, stipulated a fine of up to 30 times for such offenses.

Other offenses, including providing fake data while applying to authorities for product registration, fabricating production records and changing production techniques against regulations, will also result in fines of up to 50 times the value of the vaccines involved, according to the draft.

Meanwhile, such producers and sellers will face confiscation of illegal proceeds, raw materials, packaging materials and equipment. They also face revocation of production licenses, the draft says.

The draft also stipulates a fine of up to 30 times the value of the produced or sold substandard vaccines, compared with a fine of up to 20 times stipulated in the previous draft.

Executives and staff responsible for producing or selling fake vaccines will have their income from their companies during the period of legal violations confiscated, and additional fines of up to 10 times the income will be levied, the draft said. They will also be banned from the drug business for life and will be subject to detention by police for up to 15 days, in addition to possible criminal charges if they violate the Criminal Law, according to the draft.

In China, a draft law usually goes through three rounds of reading at the top legislature before being adopted.

The vaccine administration law was drafted and submitted to the top legislature for first review in December, following a major vaccine scandal involving Changchun's Changsheng Bio-tech Co, a major vaccine producer in Jilin province.

The company was found to have committed legal violations including fabricating production records and using expired materials for four years in the production of rabies vaccines.

Later, the company was ordered by the top drug regulator to pay fines of 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), with its senior executives under detention facing criminal punishment.

After the incident, authorities vowed to impose strict supervision on the sector, including deterrent legislation, to ensure public health.

In addition to harsher punishment, the latest draft also includes amendments such as allowing companies to authorize others to produce vaccines under approval of the National Medical Products Administration and improving transparency and public information about the vaccines to be sold.

Wang Yuedan, a professor at the Department of Immunology, Peking University, said increasing penalties to legal violators is necessary to deter violations in the vaccine industry.

"An upper limit fine of 50 times the value of involved fake products is a rational punishment," he said. "In countries such as the United States, companies may pay astronomical fines if serious consequences result from problematic vaccines."

In addition, allowing authorized production of vaccines can benefit vaccine producers as the measure can help improve the efficiency of vaccine production, he said, adding that more detailed regulations are needed to ensure the quality of vaccines produced under authorization.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[Draft measure could ensure sorting of household garbage]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484891.htm China plans to speed up mandatory household garbage sorting by writing it into law, a move hailed by experts who believe it will promote public participation - the biggest factor hindering sorting in the past two decades.

The draft amendment to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste was submitted to legislators for deliberation on Tuesday as the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress kicked off its bimonthly session.

Governments above county-level areas are required to accelerate the construction of garbage treatment systems with dumping, collection, transportation and disposal all done in a sorted manner. They should also draft charging standards for trash treatment and make them public after adequately soliciting public opinion, according to the draft amendment.

China launched its first pilot program for household garbage sorting in 2000, but it has yet to see marked progress. As the latest government effort, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development with eight other government bodies made public a circular on June 6, requiring more than 300 major Chinese cities to start garbage sorting this year.

According to the circular, all the cities must have compiled a plan to implement garbage sorting by the end of the year.

Liu Jianguo, a professor from the School of Environment at Tsinghua University, welcomed the draft amendment as it could help address low public participation, which is the greatest challenge in promoting waste sorting.

A report by Shenzhen-headquartered Vanke Foundation and Dataway, a market research and consulting firm in Beijing, late last year showed that 86.6 percent of interviewees think it's everyone's responsibility to sort garbage. But half the interviewees agreed that to some extent they failed to classify garbage because others did not.

The report was based on interviews with 3,627 residents in 17 of the 46 cities that the central authorities required in 2017 to separate hazardous waste, kitchen waste and recyclable materials by 2020.

"It's a must to have a legal guarantee to promote garbage sorting," Liu said, adding that the use of incentives to encourage public participation in garbage sorting has proved ineffective, so it needs compulsory measures to change people's behaviors.

Some cities have taken the lead in making garbage sorting mandatory through local legislation. Shanghai's first regulation on domestic waste management, which will take effect on Monday, covers reducing the amount of garbage produced at source, ensuring separate transportation of different kinds of garbage, improving the waste treatment facilities and promoting social participation.

The public should sort household trash into four categories - dry garbage, wet kitchen waste, recyclables and hazardous waste. Individual violators will face fines up to 200 yuan ($30), and companies and institutions will be fined up to 50,000 yuan if they do not follow the rules.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[Community correction holds hope for offenders]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484890.htm The country's first legal document specializing in community correction is being reviewed by legislators.

Community correction is designed to rehabilitate criminals who received relatively lenient punishments and to help them better integrate into society.

The draft was submitted to a bimonthly season of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, for first reading on Tuesday.

The draft clarifies community correction - a noncustodial sentence - is aimed at criminals who have won reprieve, been released on parole, placed under surveillance or allowed to temporarily serve their sentences out of prison.

It also stipulates judicial administrations will take charge of community correction, while courts, procuratorates and public security departments will coordinate their actions.

"Community correction is a crucial measure to punish offenders and promote the governance of the country," said Minister of Justice Fu Zhenghua while explaining the draft to legislators on Tuesday.

He said that a pilot program for the measure was launched in 2003 and was extended across the nation in 2009. In the past 16 years, the country had accepted 4.3 million offenders into the correctional program while discharging 3.6 million, he said.

So far, about 700,000 criminals are under community correction, he added.

Legal costs for a criminal under the community correction are just one-tenth of prison, and only 0.2 percent of those who went through the program committed crimes again, according to a statement from the ministry.

"The measure has played a positive role in maintaining social stability and safety, and it has contributed to building a country that follows the rule of law," Fu said.

Some basic rules had previously been written into the Chinese Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law, but the draft gives more specifics based on the previous program.

For example, it states that those responsible for community correction should have knowledge of the law and encourages social entities or enterprises to participate in the job.

It asks governments and relevant departments at or above county levels not only to offer places to aid and educate criminals under community correction, but to also organize social efforts.

"We also make clear supervision measures in the draft," Fu said. "For instance, officials responsible for community correction should take immediate action when discovering that criminals are out of control. Police should aid in the search for such criminals."

In addition, the draft offers a special section for juveniles that guides the community correction to protect and assist children.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[Larger number of female seafarers are creating waves in the industry]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484889.htm China has offered 3,600 places to women at maritime colleges since 2016 in an effort to boost gender parity on ships, the Ministry of Transport said on Tuesday.

The country has been making consistent efforts in educating and training female seafarers and is dedicated to improving gender equality in employment, said Cao Desheng, director of the maritime affairs bureau of the ministry.

According to the 2018 China Seafarer Development Report issued by the bureau, the number of female captains, officers and general seafarers is 239,000, accounting for over 15 percent of the country's total maritime staff.

The Day of the Seafarer, established by the International Maritime Organization and celebrated on Tuesday, is themed "I am on board with gender equality" this year. Cao said this year's focus stressed the importance of the value of women in the maritime field.

"Due to the labor intensive work on board, women had long been rejected for maritime jobs, especially the long-distance seagoing trips. But the country has been exploring and promoting gender equality on board since the founding of New China," Cao said. "The development in modern marine technology and automation systems have greatly reduced the workload and improved their living environment, which provided more opportunities for more women to seek their careers onboard."

A large number of female seafarers work on cruise ships and river vessels as attendants. Some are employed as chief officers on government ships operated by the bureau.

China had nearly 1.58 million registered seafarers at the end of last year, the largest number in the world, according to the bureau's report. The figure reflected a 6.2 percent year-on-year increase.

Shipping has played a significant role in China's economic development, responsible for over 90 percent of the country's foreign trade. Without qualified seafarers, shipping - the engine of global trade - could not function, Cao said.

"The average age of an international seafarer is 36 years old, with the coastal and inland river mariners being 43 and 46, respectively," he said, adding that the country should take more steps to make seafaring more attractive to young people.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[President's DPRK visit expected to lift tourism]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/26/content_37484888.htm

Tour operators and businessmen said they will seize opportunities as ties between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have progressed after President Xi Jinping's recent visit.

"The president's visit to the DPRK will definitely boost tourism," said Che Yinghe, general manager of InDPRK Travel Agency, a tourism company in Dandong, Liaoning province, that specializes in tours to the DPRK.

He said that in the past, many Chinese tourists worried that it might not be safe to travel to the DPRK, but the recent visit has shown the public that the country is stable and it wishes to promote peace and security.

"I believe the visit will not only boost tourism but also enhance exchanges," said Che, who has been busy organizing tailor-made tours for young students during summer vacation.

Senlinshan International Travel Service in Hunchun, a city on China's border with the DPRK and Russia in Jilin province, has seen a growing number of Chinese tourists visit the DPRK this year. It conducts up to 10 tours to the DPRK every day, each with 30 to 40 tourists, said Yang Jingang, general manager of the travel agency.

Meanwhile, border crossings between China and the DPRK in Hunchun have been open, even on weekends, for the past three years as tourism ties between the countries builds.

Mayor Zhang Jifeng said Hunchun will continue to boost the tourism industry and other service industries, develop China-DPRK cross-river tourist routes and establish a national tourism demonstration zone in 2019. The border city will strive to achieve growth of more than 15 percent this year in both tourist arrivals and tourism revenue, he said.

Zhou Linqing, who has specialized in cross-border trade with the DPRK since 2008, is also optimistic.

"Although sanctions imposed by the United Nations will limit areas of cooperation between China and the DPRK, there will be more business opportunities than before because our leader has said that China will enhance cooperation in economic development with the DPRK," said Zhou, who returned to Dandong from the DPRK on Saturday after a business trip.

In August and September, the UN Security Council imposed two sets of sanctions on the DPRK, looking to exert economic pressure. The sanctions banned the export of coal, iron, lead and seafood, and also limited imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products. Moreover, they prohibited DPRK nationals from working overseas. The council has passed a number of similar resolutions since the DPRK conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.

"China and the DPRK enjoy geographic proximity and profound friendship. I believe that we will go further in cultural exchanges," said Zhao Jide, director of the Institute of Ethnic Musical Instruments in Yanji, capital of Yanbian, the largest Korean autonomous prefecture in China.

The institute was established 20 years ago and is responsible for the research and development as well as the production and improvement of more than 40 kinds of Korean instruments including the long drum, vertical bamboo flute and gayageum, a zither-like instrument.

Zhang Leisheng, an associate professor of the Institute of Higher Education in Jilin University, said that China and the DPRK can promote exchanges for teachers and students, expand government-funded scholarships and invite outstanding Korean students to study in China.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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2019-06-26 07:15:39
<![CDATA[5G brings advanced healthcare to rural areas]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484410.htm Recent upgrades mean doctors can treat patients hundreds of kilometers away. Yuan Quan, Jing Huaiqiao and Quan Xiaoshu report for Xinhua.

Heart surgeon Guo Hui-ming has a prescription for what ails China's medical services: fifth-generation, or 5G, technology.

Guo works at Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital, a leading medical center in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

The facility is pioneering the use of 5G-assisted medical services that enable its specialists to help with delicate operations being performed hundreds of kilometers away.

About 80 percent of China's medical resources are concentrated in large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, and 80 percent of those resources are in big public hospitals, where patients flood in to see eminent physicians. That can lead to overcrowding and sometimes strains doctor-patient relations.

Guo believes telemedicine via superfast wireless technology will help tackle the problem by allowing more patients to receive high-quality treatment at clinics near their homes.

Remote guidance

Guo, 54, is a tech fan. He wears an Apple Watch and speaks Cantonese to Siri on his iPhone.

Two months ago, he made headlines by using 5G technology via a live video stream to direct minimally invasive heart surgery on a patient 400 km away.

During the four-hour operation, Guo, head of his hospital's cardiac surgery unit, sat in front of a big screen and gave instructions using a microphone and a 3D model of the patient's heart. However, he wore a suit and tie, not traditional surgeon's garb.

Guo said only four doctors in his team are capable of such surgery, but last year, the team performed more than 700 minimally invasive heart operations.

This sort of surgery is difficult, but demand is growing. Instead of a large incision, the operation is performed through tiny cuts in the patient's chest. Moreover, the surgeons don't saw through the breastbone, but operate between the ribs, which results in less pain and a faster recovery.

Before, Guo had to drive several hours to remote county hospitals to conduct operations, as well as seeing patients in Guangzhou.

"About 70 percent of my patients are from outside Guangzhou," he said.

Yu Xueqing, president of the hospital, likened its outpatients' hall to a crowded supermarket, because thousands of people pour in every day.

He said the congestion reduces patient satisfaction and increases the risk of infectious diseases, such as dengue fever. That's a major concern, because Guangdong experienced a serious outbreak of the rapidly spreading mosquito-borne illness five years ago.

For patients from distant rural areas, traveling while ill can be challenging and time-consuming. "Some died en route, unfortunately," Yu said.

In the recent past, telemedicine was mainly conducted via phone or video. It was not common, mainly because the poor technology led to unstable signals, slow transfer speeds and low definition, which made it impossible for doctors to oversee procedures remotely.

"Before 5G, we dared not conduct remote surgery," Yu said. "Even a time lag of just a few seconds between the devices and the surgeons could result in critical mistakes."

Improved services

With a data transfer speed at least 10 times faster than 4G technology, 5G has a time lag of just one-tenth of a second. It has helped to inject new vitality in county hospitals like the People's Hospital of Gaozhou in southwestern Guangdong, which performed more than 100 minimally invasive operations last year.

Although excellent at treating cardiovascular diseases, the hospital still lags far behind provincial hospitals in terms of quality of treatment. For a recent operation on a 41-year-old female patient, the Gaozhou hospital invited Guo to provide advice and guidance in real time through its telemedicine platform.

Sitting in an operating room in Guangzhou, a six-hour drive from Gaozhou, Guo used a video marker to highlight an area of the patient's body and told the lead surgeon to move the cutting point 3 centimeters higher to avoid damaging a nerve.

Without 5G technology, Guo would have had to freeze the image to draw, but the surgeon might have already moved on or been unable to see clearly, thereby missing Guo's instructions.

Local phone carrier Guangdong Mobile and tech giant Huawei have provided technical support for 5G surgery.

Two weeks before the operation, Guo's team used a 5G connection to build a 3D heart model using images provided via a computerized tomography, aka CT, scan, which produced a 360-degree view of the heart.

County hospitals are not capable of building 3D models. Previously, gigabyte-sized CT images had to be transferred between hospitals by hard drive or downloaded from the internet over several hours, but it now only takes a few minutes on the 5G network.

"We could see the (heart) deformities clearly. The 5G system helped to reduce errors and improve efficiency," Guo said, adding that he believes 5G will help medical staff in remote areas to master heart surgery faster.

A trainee has to practice at least 100 times before becoming a lead surgeon in a minimally invasive operation. In times gone by, local medical staff had few opportunities to learn from well-trained surgeons, and the county hospital only invited professionals from Guangzhou to help with operations four or five times a year.

The 5G-assisted services, which come at a lower cost than previous systems, can also help county hospitals attract more patients.

He Yong, chief surgeon at the county hospital in Gaozhou, calculated that such an operation would cost the patient 20,000 yuan ($2,900) if performed by local staff members, and another 10,000 yuan if specialists were involved.

However, if the patient chose to have the surgery in Guangzhou, the cost would rise to 40,000 yuan and the family members would have to make additional payments for accommodations and travel, He said, adding that surgery via 5G requires no extra payment.

More resources

Guangdong was in the vanguard of China's reform and opening-up in the 1970s and '80s, and today it is home to many leading hospitals and booming high-tech businesses.

The southern province is also a pioneer of China's healthcare reform, with efforts to develop a hierarchical medical system and internet-based treatment.

However, medical services in remote areas are still far from satisfactory, while many county-and township-level hospitals lack advanced equipment and well-trained staff.

Since 2017, Guangdong has invested 50 billion yuan to improve the healthcare infrastructure in underdeveloped regions, and has also encouraged large hospitals to provide assistance with training.

According to the provincial health authorities, the inpatient rate at county hospitals reached 83.5 percent last year. In Gaozhou, the rate is 90 percent, indicating that more patients now see doctors locally, rather than traveling to big cities.

He Yong welcomed cooperation with top hospitals through 5G technologies, but noted that county hospitals have to spend more on high-quality equipment. "It is still a challenge for us," he said.

In May, doctors with the Cancer Center of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou used 5G to remotely direct three operations in real time in Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Gaozhou.

Liu Zhuowei, vice-president of the center, said the move proved that 5G-assisted treatment is efficient.

Guo, the surgeon in Guangzhou, expects 5G to provide greater surgical safety, but the main advantage will be in having specialists from large hospitals assisting more junior colleagues elsewhere.

"I hope big hospitals will not be overcrowded, and we will have more time for research and treating critically ill patients," he said.

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2019-06-25 07:35:29
<![CDATA[Telemedicine provides remote help for patients]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484409.htm In November, a patient in Hefei, capital of the eastern province of Anhui, visited a community health center and was diagnosed with arrhythmia by He Qi, a local physician.

However, He strongly urged the patient to undergo a coronary angiography at a higher-level hospital because his artificial intelligence assistant had produced a different diagnosis.

The results showed that the AI was correct - the patient actually had coronary heart disease.

The AI medical assistant, launched in March last year by iFlytek, an information technology company, is becoming an important partner in assisting grassroots doctors make diagnoses in rural China.

With a strong learning capability, the AI system easily absorbed the information in 53 medical textbooks and 400,000 authoritative papers. It passed the written test of the national qualification exam for clinical practitioners with excellent results, beating 95 percent of the 530,000 candidates in August 2017. It also ceaselessly learns the most up-to-date medical knowledge.

"The application of AI medical assistants has significantly shortened the time it takes grassroots doctors to make diagnoses, and improved the success rate," He said.

According to Tao Xiaodong, CEO of iFlyHealth, the AI medical assistant has made more than 1.5 million auxiliary diagnoses since being applied in four counties and a district in Anhui.

"It can help confirm over 900 diseases at health centers at the grassroots level with an accuracy rate of 97 percent," Tao said.

As of March, the product had been applied in almost 1,200 clinics and health centers nationwide.

Technology is reshaping the lives of rural Chinese in many ways. The diagnosis and treatment levels at countryside clinics and health centers, especially those at or below the county level, have long been relatively low because of a lack of experienced doctors and advanced equipment. That has often resulted in patients, especially critically ill ones, having to be transferred to higher-level hospitals.

Reform

A large part of the ongoing reform of China's medical and healthcare system revolves around the development of a hierarchical system to allow patients to have their first diagnoses done at the grassroots level. Technology is helping to make this a reality.

After undergoing an X-ray, Long Shixiang was relieved to hear that her broken bone had healed. The 62-year-old native of Hongtang Town, Yichun city in the eastern province of Jiangxi, was extremely fortunate to receive all her medical treatment on her own doorstep.

"It saved me a lot of money and trouble," said Long, who had to stay at home to take care of two granddaughters because both her son and daughter-in-law work out of town.

Just two years ago, a lack of equipment and qualified practitioners meant it was impossible to get an X-ray at the local health center.

"The equipment was too outdated to take clear X-rays and there were no doctors capable of giving professional diagnostic reports," said Fu Chunping, head of the health center. "The patients had to go to higher-ranked hospitals for treatment."

Chen Junkun, chief medical officer of JF Healthcare, a company that specializes in online medical services with AI and remote interconnection technology, said: "X-rays play a major role in the clinical diagnosis of many diseases, including fractures and various lung and heart diseases. They are also cost-effective."

In 2017, the local government purchased X-ray machines for 27 health clinics in the district, but there still weren't enough doctors.

That's where technology comes in. By cooperating with JF Healthcare, patients can receive their X-ray reports in about 10 minutes. By uploading the X-ray film to a cloud computing platform, an AI system can conduct an auxiliary diagnosis, and the film will later be reviewed by qualified practitioners who will make a judgment within 10 minutes.

To date, JF Healthcare has partnered with 1,019 grassroots hospitals in 12 provinces and regions including Jiangxi, Yunnan, Hubei and Hebei, and the Xinjiang Uygur and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous regions. More than 20 million residents in rural areas have access to the service.

By reading the diagnostic reports that are sent back, doctors at the grassroots level can also raise treatment standards.

"Telemedicine is a new trend to solve the problem of poor access to medical services in rural China, and it is being encouraged," said Liu Xiaohui from Jiangxi's provincial health commission.

"Medical treatment at the grassroots level will be quickly improved and residents of rural areas will enjoy better medical services with the help of AI and other advanced technologies."

Xinhua

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2019-06-25 07:35:29
<![CDATA[Safe water for rural areas a priority]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484408.htm State Council encourages private sector participation in construction and maintenance of facilities

The State Council has laid out specific requirements to ensure rural residents have access to sufficient and safe drinking water.

At an executive meeting on Wednesday presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, it was decided that the construction of rural water supply projects should be enhanced to help 60 million rural people enjoy sufficient drinking water that does not contain excessive fluoride by next year.

As a result of China's efforts to guarantee water supply for rural residents, centralized water supply or tap water are now available to more than 80 percent of people living in rural areas, the meeting was told.

Yu Fawen, a rural environment researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the government has played a major role in making drinking water widely accessible in rural areas, but "there is a long way to go" to ensure drinking water security.

Yu said many rural areas lacked the funds or the professional staff needed to guarantee the smooth operation of water facilities. That could lead to the early breakdown of facilities, or leave them standing idle, resulting in insufficient water supply.

Liu Baohong, manager of the water supply industry center at the E20 Environment Platform think tank, said waterworks in rural areas were also relatively less capable of dealing with risks to supply.

Compared with those in cities, some rural waterworks were smaller and lacked professional operators, or did not have backup reservoirs, which meant they were unable to provide water during emergencies, such as when pipelines failed or when the reservoir was polluted, Liu said.

The executive meeting also decided there should be a reasonable water pricing and fee charging system for rural areas, and the private sector should be encouraged to participate in the construction and maintenance of water supply facilities in rural areas through public-private partnership arrangements.

Also, the central government and local authorities should grant subsidies to impoverished areas in Central and West China to help them maintain their drinking water security projects.

Liu said the decisions could solve the water facility maintenance issue, as the capital brought by private companies and the fees collected might make up for a possible shortage of funds from local governments.

But the fundamental solution, he said, lies in the development of industries, specifically green industries, such as tourism, to attract people to work and live in rural areas, where they would then use and pay for water.

To achieve that goal, "it is very important to implement the strategy of rural vitalization and channel more talent and capital to the countryside," Liu added.

In order to improve the quality of drinking water, the meeting called for strengthened protection of water sources for centralized water supply networks in rural areas.

On the sidelines of this year's two sessions in March, Minister of Water Resources E Jingping said the ministry is working with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment to regulate and protect water sources, Xinhua reported.

The Ministry of Water Resources had come up with a list of 12,000 rural water sources that need regulation and protection, E said.

Yu, from CASS, said the government is shifting the focus of its efforts from simply providing enough drinking water for rural residents to guaranteeing the quality of the water.

"Drinking water security for rural residents in China will no doubt keep improving," Yu said. "But the pressure to ensure water quality will also increase.

"Industrial pollution is still a serious issue threatening water sources. To tackle that, the government needs to invest lots of effort."

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2019-06-25 07:35:29
<![CDATA[Generic drugs, child welfare among key issues addressed]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484407.htm Several ministry-level departments, including those for health, civil affairs and education, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Commission publishes generic drugs catalog

The National Health Commission said on Thursday that pharmaceutical companies will be encouraged to develop 34 kinds of generic drugs, including those used in the treatment of AIDS and leukemia, to reduce the burden on patients.

The commission published the catalog of drugs the companies will be encouraged to develop, register and produce as part of efforts to cut the cost of drugs and ensure their supply.

It said it will publish the catalog every year, and generic drugs that have passed biological equivalence testing will be given priority in government procurement.

The 34 kinds of drugs, able to be sold after the expiry of their patents, were proposed by experts recommended by the commission and four other departments. Some of the drugs were in short supply in hospitals, the commission said.

Child welfare efforts to be stepped up nationwide

China will step up the construction of child welfare infrastructure and boost investment to better help children living in difficult circumstances, Minister of Civil Affairs Huang Shuxian said on Thursday.

Huang told a national work conference on child welfare that at least one institution for raising orphans and foundlings should be built in every city to provide healthcare and education.

He also urged greater efforts to develop relief centers for minors, adding that eligible child welfare institutions can open schools and kindergartens devoted to helping disabled children.

Civil affairs authorities at district or county levels must have institutions devoted to visiting and taking care of rural children left behind by parents working in cities and children in need of help, he said.

In counties with small populations, the authorities can merge their efforts with those of city-level child welfare institutions, he added.

Huang also called for local authorities to enable NGOs and volunteers to play a bigger role in providing care to children facing difficulties.

Ministry clarifies role of kindergarten supervisors

The Ministry of Education clarified the responsibilities of kindergarten supervisors in a guideline issued on June 18 as part of efforts to improve preschool safety and ethical supervision.

It said governments at the county, municipal and district levels must assign supervisors to every kindergarten in their administrative area so they can provide routine oversight of the institutions, and give instructions on issues such as safety, management and teachers' ethical standards.

In the case of an emergency or a major accident threatening kindergarten safety, supervisors must reach the scene quickly, supervise the emergency response and report the incident to higher authorities, the ministry said.

Kindergartens must fully comply with the requirements of supervisors as they assume their responsibilities and rectify problems they point out, it said.

Shoddy plastic surgeons to be blacklisted

The National Health Commission said on June 18 that evaluation of the social credit of plastic surgery institutions will be developed to boost government oversight and better protect the rights of consumers.

The commission said in an online statement that the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics has been asked to research the establishment of a social credit system that will see shoddy operators blacklisted.

The authority also vowed to help the public identify illegal beauty surgeons by requiring that medical institutions and doctors display their licenses and provide online verification through official health department websites.

The government will also improve its supervision mechanisms by stepping up coordination between departments and employ modern technologies, such as information technology, big data and artificial intelligence, to enable more efficient oversight, the commission said.

A yearlong crackdown on illegal beauty surgery launched in May 2017 saw the authorities handle 2,772 cases, with 139 handed to prosecutors.

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2019-06-25 07:35:29
<![CDATA[Policy digest]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484406.htm

Inspection mechanism for environmental work

China has established a mechanism for the inspection of ecological and environmental protection that enables routine oversight of provincial authorities, central government departments and State-owned enterprises, according to regulations made public on June 17.

The document, regulations on central inspection work of ecological and environmental protection, was jointly issued by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

It is aimed at solving prominent environmental problems and improving the quality of the environment and ecology and includes measures to ensure the authorities fulfill their political responsibilities on environmental and ecological protection.

The country will establish a central leading group for the inspection of ecological and environmental protection, with members comprising officials from the ministries of environment, justice, the National Audit Office and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, according to the regulations.

The inspections launched by the group will target areas and water bodies where the quality of the ecology and environment has deteriorated, and the sites of prominent cases of pollution.

They will also look into how problems reported by the public have been rectified and illegal interventions in law enforcement and judicial procedures dealing with environmental and ecological problems. The regulations, which came into force on June 6, also clarify the ways the inspection groups can conduct their work and how wrongdoers should be held accountable.

Call for better facilities in old urban areas

China will beef up efforts to improve facilities in old urban residential communities to stabilize investment and growth, the State Council decided at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The renovation of old urban residential communities, a major program in boosting public livelihoods and development, has been in line with public aspirations, a statement released after the meeting said.

The meeting called for efforts to effectively expand investment that could promote domestic consumption and avoid duplication of construction projects.

There are at least 100 million people nationwide living in old urban residential communities that require substantial upgrading, the statement said. It called for accelerated efforts to spell out the scale of renovation and the standards that need to be met, with pilot programs set be launched this year as a precursor to nationwide implementation.

The meeting also underscored the importance of clearly defining the responsibilities of local governments and respecting residents' needs.

The government will prioritize the upgrading of roads, and water, electricity, gas, and optical fiber networks, with elevators to be installed and parking lots built in communities where conditions permit, the statement said, adding that households will be offered incentives to upgrade facilities in their own homes.

The central government will roll out funding support to the renovation efforts, with financial institutions and local governments also encouraged to explore sustainable ways to increase financial support for the renovation of old residential communities, the statement said, adding that market-based approaches will be employed to attract private investment.

The government will encourage the development of services, such as elderly care, day care for children, and medical and domestic services in communities. The meeting also decided on measures to move forward with a new round of power grid upgrading in rural areas. The time it takes for enterprises to get electric power will be further shortened, the statement said.

Xu Wei

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2019-06-25 07:35:29
<![CDATA[Extravagant weddings and funerals face austere future]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484405.htm

Improved governance in rural counties puts stop to big spending by villagers

Unhealthy traditions in some rural areas - such as extravagance and waste in hosting weddings and funerals - have become obstacles to rural rejuvenation and must be eliminated, Han Jun, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said on Monday.

"We have conducted surveys in villages every year, and found giving gift money for various events has become the second biggest expenditure for many farmers, only next to food," Han said.

In some places, villagers tend to host extravagant events and compare with one another. Other times, a groom has to follow custom to give his fiancee's family so much money for the wedding that his family falls into poverty, he said.

"Cases of families falling into poverty due to marriage are not exceptions in some areas," Han said, adding that such customs have eroded poverty-alleviation efforts by local authorities. "Although farmers are strongly opposed to such practices, they feel it is very difficult not to follow suit," he said.

In a guideline released on Sunday, the State Council, China's Cabinet, called on various departments and local governments to lay a solid basis for the rejuvenation of rural areas, including promoting traditional virtues and eliminating bad customs such as extravagance in hosting events.

Party organizations were also prompted to intensify social security in rural areas, and improve legal governance and supervision of village officials to prevent corruption and improve the supply of public services in rural areas.

"It also requires support and participation from various sectors of society, including cultural workers, enterprises and volunteers, to be devoted to the development of culture in rural areas," he said.

In Feixiang district of Handan, Hebei province, authorities have been trying to reverse the trend of extravagance.

After consultation, villagers in all the district's 265 villages set standards for hosting weddings and funerals, including the number of banquet tables and cars, and procedures for ceremonies, according to Li Shuping, head of the district.

Village officials have been asked to take the lead and observe thrift in hosting such events, he said.

With these efforts, villagers' expenditures on various events have been greatly reduced, which has also won their applause, Li said.

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Police arrest 8, seize 200 kg of 'foxy methoxy' drug]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484404.htm

Shanghai police have cracked China's first major case of manufacturing and online selling of "foxy methoxy", a new type of illicit drug similar to crystal meth, municipal police said on Monday.

Details of the drug seizures were announced two days ahead of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on June 26 every year.

Two hundred kilograms of the hallucinogenic drug have been confiscated and eight suspects have been detained, according to the municipal police.

The nationwide case, which required collaboration with police departments from several provinces and cities, began in April 2018, when a whistleblower in Shanghai tipped off local police that someone had bought the drug online.

By September, an investigation team formed by Shanghai police managed to track down a man surnamed Qi, the owner of the online store, selling the drug from Northeast China's Liaoning province. Some 30 kg of the drugs, sent by Qi through express delivery services to his customers in six cities across the country, have been recovered. Another 60 kg of the drug were found at Qi's place in 19,800 packing tubes.

Within the same month, a manufacturing base responsible for making the drugs was located in North China's Hebei province. Run by a mother and son, the base was raided, with thousands of kilograms of chemicals and a number of tools that were meant to be used for synthesizing the drug seized. Also taken were hundreds of kilograms of half-made and complete products.

While the amount of popularly abused drugs, such as heroin and marijuana, confiscated by police has been in decline in recent years, the confiscation of synthetics - especially new types disguised as safe drugs with mild effects - has been on the rise. More than two-thirds of the illicit drugs seized in 2018 in Shanghai were new synthetics like the "foxy", according to the municipal police.

Foxy, otherwise known as 5-MeO-DiPT, has been prohibited in countries such as Germany, Japan and Singapore since the late 1990s. In China, it has been listed as a controlled substance by the country's National Narcotics Control Commission since 2015.

Addictive and toxic, excessive doses of the drug can result in agitation, hallucination and a variety of mental disorders.

Named colloquially as "rhino's drop" in Chinese, the drug is often advertised and sold online as a sex enhancer or body lubricant free of any side effects. Express deliveries have been widely used by dealers to send the drugs.

A report released by Shanghai Customs on Saturday found that smuggling has been replaced by postal services for drug trafficking. In fact, customs officials said 31 of the 32 drug trafficking cases cracked in 2018 employed postal services. The other case was uncovered during a passenger inspection.

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Smart pet care is trending among urban dwellers]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484403.htm

CHANGCHUN - Though Gao Yasong works more than eight hours a day, she can check on her furry baby anytime.

"With an automatic feeder and a pet camera, I can take care of my cat using my cell phone from afar," the 28-year-old white-collar worker said.

Intelligent pet toilets, automatic water fountains and wearable GPS trackers and collars - smart home products have been all the rage for pet owners in China in recent years.

"These high-tech products are my right-hand man, helping me take good care of my cat," Gao said.

Gao checked her cell phone during her lunch break and saw her pet cat turn over and fall asleep again. She then opened Taobao, China's e-commerce giant, to buy a smart cat bed with air conditioning, which she has had her eye on for a long time.

Thanks to flourishing e-commerce platforms, consumers can search the keywords such as "smart pet" and get results of products covering almost all aspects of pet-keeping, with prices ranging from hundreds of yuan to thousands.

A 2,500 yuan ($362) dust-free and self-cleaning cat toilet on Taobao sells about 500 units per month, according to the platform.

"Cat owners love it. It's like a new toy," read a comment by buyer Xuelimama. "With the self-cleaning machine, I don't have to worry about the smell of my pet when I come back from business trips."

Fueling the growth of household companions is a booming pet market in China.

An industry report by Goumin.com, one of the biggest online communities for pet owners in China, said the market value of the pet industry is estimated to reach 200 billion yuan in 2020.

According to the report, more than 73 million Chinese people in urban areas own pets, with people born after 1980 accounting for 75 percent.

"Most people with pets are young people busy with work, leaving many 'empty-nest pets' at home," said a pet store owner surnamed Zhang. "As pets are not their accessories but emotional companions, owners are willing to spend money buying these smart products."

The craze of intelligent pet care products reflects the change in pet owners' consumption habits. More people not only want to raise a pet but hope to raise them well, according to Li Zheng, vice-president of the school of economics at Jilin University.

"These products can also inject new impetus into the 'pet economy', driving the development of a series of industries," he added.

Xinhua

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Residences add cameras to record falling objects]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484402.htm

Six residential communities in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, installed special surveillance cameras earlier this month to monitor falling objects or objects thrown from heights, which has become a huge safety concern following several recent incidents across the country - two of which have lead to the deaths of two children.

The communities, located in Nanjing's Jiangbei New Area, have 12 groups of surveillance cameras installed on two sides of their high residential buildings. Each group contains three cameras with different angles that can monitor all windows above the third floor.

"Any objects thrown from heights will be recorded by the cameras," said Chen Qiaozhen, director of Xinjiang Yayuan, one of the six residential communities. "The times and routes of the objects falling to the ground will be tagged specifically."

According to Chen, the cameras will also automatically save the videos 30 seconds before and after the objects fall or are thrown from windows.

Zhang Ziye, who lives in the community, said the installation of the cameras has been welcomed by most residents.

"We were worried that the cameras might violate our privacy, but after visiting the surveillance room, we have found that they cannot record our indoor activities," she said.

Zhang said that no objects have been thrown from heights in the community since the installation of the cameras.

"Compared with the traditional way of preventing thrown objects from heights, such as installing protective nets and posting warnings, I think that installing cameras has turned out to be more effective," she said.

Falling or thrown objects, which have long been a concern nationwide, have sparked an outcry following recent incidents reported in Chinese media.

On June 19, a 10-year-old girl in Nanjing's Gulou district passed out after being hit by an object thrown by an 8-year-old boy. The girl was sent to the local children's hospital immediately for surgery and has been recovering in the intensive care unit.

On June 13, a 5-year-old boy in Shenzhen's Futian district was hit by a falling glass window and died three days later in hospital.

And on June 5, a 4-year-old boy in Jiangsu's Kunshan city was killed by falling glass weighing 100 kilograms.

"If the falls cause serious consequences, the infringers should bear civil liability for compensation," said Xie Renhai, a lawyer with Jiangsu Lutao Law Firm. "They may also may face criminal punishment for committing the crime of serious injury caused by negligence, or the crime of death caused by negligence."

In Hangzhou of Zhejiang province, a community also purchased 47 wide-angle cameras to cover all its buildings. Without violating the residents' privacy indoors, the cameras can identify anyone who throws even a cigarette butt.

The Big Data Center of Nanjing's Jiangbei New Area said more communities will install surveillance cameras if the installation in the six pilot communities proves effective.

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[IN BRIEF]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484401.htm Beijing

Three ex-officials indicted on graft

Three former provincial-level officials have been indicted on bribery charges: Miao Ruilin, former vice-governor of Jiangsu province; Xing Yun, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Inner Mongolia; and Qian Yin'an, former member of the Standing Committee of the Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China. Upon the designation of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, procuratorates in Qingdao, Shandong province; Dalian, Liaoning province; and Guangzhou, Guangdong province have filed indictments against Miao, Xing and Qian, respectively, the SPP said on Monday.

Community hospital standards issued

The National Health Commission issued a basic standard for community hospitals, requiring at least 30 beds be open for patients in each hospital, and the utilization rate for sickbeds be above 75 percent. A community hospital should offer general medical service, rehabilitation treatment and traditional Chinese medical services, according to the standard.

Cities see improving air quality this year

Air quality improved in Chinese cities in the first five months of 2019, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. Some 337 Chinese cities enjoyed good air quality on 80.3 percent of days from January to May this year, up 0.6 percentage points from the same period last year. Nearly 120 cities met the air quality standards, including 20 cities that joined this year, ministry data showed.

Qinghai

New African swine fever outbreak

China's agriculture ministry on Friday confirmed a new case of African swine fever in Qinghai province. The outbreak occurred in a village in Shihuiyao county, Ping'an district, Haidong city, with the viral disease infecting 32 pigs, 17 fatally, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said, citing a China Animal Disease Control Center report. Local authorities have initiated an emergency response to quarantine, cull and disinfect affected pigs. Transport of all pigs and related products out of or into the blockaded region is forbidden, the ministry said.

Xinhua - China Daily

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Early warning system helps quake victims]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484400.htm

App alerts users of real-time seismic activity, giving residents time to flee

Liu Qi, a young office worker in Chengdu, Sichuan province, heard his smartphone buzzing and saw a countdown begin from 69 to zero at 9:23 am on Monday.

A second later, he saw a pop-up on the phone reporting that seismic waves would arrive in 68 seconds. The pop-up also showed a magnitude 4.1 earthquake was taking place in Changning, Sichuan, and the epicenter was 257 kilometers away.

"As the earthquake did not cause any trembling in the office, I did not leave it," he said.

Liu had installed an early earthquake warning application on his phone from the Institute of Care-Life in Chengdu. When the phone started the countdown from 69, it meant seismic waves from the epicenter would hit Chengdu in 69 seconds.

Sixty-one seconds before the waves reached Chengdu on June 17, when a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Changning, local residents had received the early warning that seismic waves from Changning were impending through smartphones, radio, television, government microblog and special receiving terminals.

A real-time system providing warnings seconds after a quake can save lives because the warnings are transmitted via radio waves traveling faster than seismic waves. Radio waves travel at 300,000 km per second, while seismic waves travel at 3 to 6 km/s. Therefore, people in nearby areas may escape before seismic waves arrive, said Chen Huizhong, a senior research fellow with the Institute of Geophysics under China Earthquake Administration.

China only started attaching importance to early warnings after the Wenchuan earthquake, he said. That quake, a magnitude 8.0 temblor in Sichuan, killed 69,226 people in 2008.

After the Wenchuan quake, Wang Tun, a postdoctoral fellow of theoretical physics at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, set up the Institute of Care-Life to study the early warning system.

The institute succeeded in providing an early warning for a destructive magnitude 4.9 earthquake in Qiaojia, Yunnan province, in February 2013. It was China's first successful early warning of a destructive earthquake, Chen said.

Since then, Wang's institute has sent correct early warnings after 53 quakes above magnitude 4.5, including the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Lushan, Sichuan, in 2013; the magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Ludian, Yunnan, in 2014; and magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan, in 2017.

The institute's system - which has been installed in 31 provincial-level regions and covers 660 million people in an area of 2.2 million square kilometers - is the world's largest early earthquake warning network.

China is the third country to have an early earthquake warning system, after Mexico and Japan. In 2015, Nepal became the fourth country to own it after Wang's institute established it there 100 days after the magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake, which killed 8,699 people. The system covers one-third of Nepal.

The Nepal earthquake's epicenter was about 90 km from Kathmandu, the capital. People there would have been warned 18 seconds before seismic waves arrived had such a system been in place, and thousands of lives could have been saved, said Jiba Raj Pokharel, a leading official from the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology.

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[A taste of antiquity comes back from rubble]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484399.htm CHENGDU - The clear water of the famous Grape Well - which has a history dating back to the Three Kingdoms (220-280) - drained away just hours after the recent earthquake in Sichuan.

Only a few dead fish were left lying on pebbles at the bottom of the dry, shallow well, which got its name from bubbles that appear year round like clusters of grapes.

Standing among the crowd surveying the damage was Peng Changjin, a 56-year-old vendor who has run a snack bar beside the well for more than a decade, making and selling rice jelly in a variety of flavors.

He decided to sell the last 300 bowls of the "Grape Well rice jelly "he had made the day before. With a refreshing and delicate taste, the local specialty helps relieve the summer heat, and the secret behind its fame lies in the well water.

"When I was a child, I used to cling to my mom all day long for a bowl of rice jelly," Peng said, recalling the greatest joy of his childhood.

Business was good, and Peng could sell more than 1,000 bowls of rice jelly a day in peak seasons. People came from surrounding cities and counties every day, he said.

Food aficionados can find some 20 rice jelly snack bars along a single street in Shuanghe. As the industry develops, authentic rice jelly made with Grape Well water embraces modern logistics and appears in popular shopping areas across the country, including Beijing's Wangfujing and Chunxi road in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

The local government developed a farming area of about 133 hectares in 2017 to grow special grains for the rice jelly.

Fang Liang, a member of the township committee of the Communist Party of China, said that the estimated output value of the industry exceeded 500 million yuan ($73 million) last year.

The magnitude 6.0 quake that struck Changning county on June 17 killed 13 people, injured hundreds more and knocked down tens of thousands of houses. Approximately 250,000 people were affected.

After noticing the empty well, people bought out the supply of rice jelly almost immediately. But then a wonderful surprise came on the third morning after the earthquake, as water began filling up the Grape Well again, and was continuing to rise.

Experts found that water returned once cracks in the bottom made by the strong temblor filled up with accumulated soil.

"Although the water looks a bit muddy right now, it's sure to be clear again after a certain period of natural purification," said Qian Jiangpeng, deputy head of the Sichuan Institute of Geological Engineering Investigation.

There won't be any problem making rice jelly with the water after it's purified.

Reconstruction work in Changning is about to begin as relief and resettlement are still underway.

Upon the return of the Grape Well rice jelly, Peng had an idea to commemorate the rebirth of Changning and its people.

"I'm going to add the 'plain' flavor to my menu," he said. "It's a gift from nature, and we're starting over."

Xinhua

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Italian, Chinese police to jointly patrol tourist attractions in both countries]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484398.htm Italian police are joining their Chinese counterparts to conduct patrols in four Chinese cities from Monday to July 5.

The operation is expected to provide better public security services and raise the confidence of both countries' citizens when traveling.

Invited by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, the eight Italian policemen will carry out joint patrols of tourist attractions in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou.

During the operation, the Italian police officers will not carry weapons or police equipment, according to Chinese laws. They will cooperate with Chinese police to provide assistance and advice in handling safety problems concerning Italian tourists visiting China.

It is the third time that Italy has sent police to China for joint patrols since the first group came to Beijing and Shanghai in 2017.

In turn, China has sent three groups of officers to jointly patrol Italian cities. This September, the fourth group of Chinese officers will travel to Italian cities, including Rome and Milan, to assist their local counterparts with safety issues relating to Chinese citizens.

They will set up a hotline for Chinese nationals and visit local Chinese communities and Chinese-funded enterprises and institutions. They will also listen to the security situations and needs of Chinese to better protect their safety abroad, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

"The joint patrol manifests the great importance attached by the two governments to law enforcement cooperation and the close relationship between the two countries," said Tan Jun, a senior officer with the international cooperation department of the Ministry of Public Security.

He said such exercises promote mutual learning of law enforcement concepts, and friendship and understanding while maintaining the safety of tourists traveling in both countries.

Pan Xuhong, deputy director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau, said on Monday that the Sino-Italian relationship has continued to develop with more frequent and closer trade in recent years.

"As a result, people from both countries are demanding stronger cooperation in law enforcement to crack down on crimes and effectively protect their personal and property safety," he said. "We hope that the police from the two countries can further strengthen the exchange of law enforcement practice and better understand each other's legal systems and policing models."

Ettore Francesco Sequi, the Italian ambassador to the People's Republic of China, said this year's joint police patrol is very meaningful as the Sino-Italian relationship is at an important juncture.

He pointed out that President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Italy in March, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in April.

This year also marks the 15th year of the strategic partnership between the two governments, and 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries' diplomatic relations. The year 2020 will also be a joint tourism promotional year for both nations, he added.

"What we're celebrating today is unique and drives further the relationship between the two countries, "Sequi said. "There is currently no such two-way patrol project in the world, which also shows that our cooperation is very close and friendly."

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Shanghai middle school teachers top global survey in class efficiency]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/25/content_37484397.htm Middle school teachers in Shanghai are ranked among the best in the world for classroom teaching efficiency, according to a global survey.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey report, released on Wednesday, was conducted from 2013 to 2018 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It surveyed over 240,000 middle school teachers and school leaders in 48 countries worldwide, to make international comparisons and help develop and implement policies.

The study is believed to be the largest international survey concerning teachers and school leaders' working conditions and learning environments.

Shanghai was the only Chinese region involved in the survey. Around 4,200 junior high school teachers and principals from 200 schools were selected to participate, according to Zhang Minxuan, who was responsible for the project in Shanghai.

"The selected middle schools are at various levels and are different kinds from 16 districts, which in turn helped the survey give a well-rounded picture of the teaching situation in the city," said Zhang, who is also director of the Research Institute of International and Comparative Education at Shanghai Normal University.

The survey showed that Shanghai middle school teachers spent an average of nine hours on work every day, with a weekly average working time of 45.3 hours.

Shanghai teachers spent a much higher number of hours on class planning and preparation, communication with colleagues, grading assignments, tutoring students and professional development than the survey average. The survey found that Shanghai is one of the regions with the highest teaching efficiency. Shanghai teachers spend an average of 85.4 percent of class time on teaching activities, compared to the survey average of 78.1 percent.

However, Zhou Bin, dean of the college of teacher education at East China Normal University, noted that "it is a survey, not a competition or test, which means a higher percentage is not necessarily equal to better performance".

"Authorities and practitioners in the industry should carefully analyze the real facts behind the data which may reveal the advantages and, what's more important, the potential disadvantages of teaching in the city that can be further improved."

Zhou said that educators should be aware that if Chinese teachers spend too much time on teaching, they may ignore the importance of the involvement of students who should be encouraged to communicate and think independently.

Zhou's concern seems to be backed up by another survey result which showed that only 20 percent of teachers in Shanghai regularly give students assignments involving independent and critical thinking, compared with the OECD average of 28.6 percent.

With regard to teaching methods, over half the surveyed teachers reported they assigned homework that can be done via the internet or other technology. By contrast, the figure in Shanghai was only 24.3 percent.

"The comparative data demonstrates that Shanghai teachers need to empower themselves to rapidly master the ability of applying advanced technology to the teaching process," said Zhou.

"Electronic goods can be toys for entertainment for children, but they can also act as a tool for effective and convenient learning, intellectual development, and knowledge acquirement," he added.

The survey showed that teaching was the first choice of vocation for 86.6 percent of Shanghai teachers, far exceeding the average of 66.5 percent.

The average age of junior high school teachers in Shanghai is 39.4 years, 4.7 years younger than the average across the OECD countries. Shanghai middle school teachers said they have been teaching for 16.7 years on average.

Zhang said schools, governments and the community should work together to ease the pressure on teachers, boost their sense of belonging and work satisfaction, in order to attract more talented people to the teaching industry. He said this would help increase Chinese global competitiveness.

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2019-06-25 07:35:04
<![CDATA[Stability and new opportunities raising living standards]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483859.htm Facilities owned by companies from other parts of China have created jobs and improved people's livelihoods. Zhao Xinying reports from Urumqi.

Editor's note: This is the fifth in a series of stories focusing on the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, looking at developments in the economy, the cultural and business sectors, and poverty alleviation measures.

Having benefitted from poverty eradication measures in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Abdurehman Yimin is now helping more people in his hometown to improve their standard of living.

"I'm trying to expand agricultural production and offer some job opportunities to local people," said the 68-year-old farmer from a small town in Shufu county in southern Xinjiang's Kashgar prefecture.

"I'm also rebuilding three rooms of my house because I hope to open a supermarket to serve nearby residents," he said.

Abdurehman's family, consisting of his wife, two sons and two daughters, struggled with poverty for decades, living on an average annual income of just 5,000 to 6,000 yuan ($720 to $870) made by planting wheat and corn.

"At that time, we lived in a small adobe house where the roof leaked when it rained and dust flew indoors when the wind blew," he recalled.

Things started to change in 2014, when a series of poverty-reduction policies issued by the central government and local authorities came into effect.

Like many villagers in Xinjiang, Abdurehman received a subsidy from the local government. He rebuilt his shabby adobe home with bricks and installed modern conveniences such as a kitchen, a toilet and electricity.

He also bought some agricultural machinery, which helped to greatly raise crop yields.

Now, he plants wheat, corn and red dates, and can earn at least 15,000 yuan a year. Raising livestock, such as cows and sheep, can bring him another 20,000 yuan annually.

If the money earned by his children - some of whom are entrepreneurs, while others work for factories owned by the local government - is included, the family's total annual income exceeds 100,000 yuan, Abdurehman said, adding that the family was officially removed from a list of poverty-stricken villagers four years ago.

Erkin Tuniyaz, vice-chairman of the regional government, said 537,000 people from 513 villages in Xinjiang climbed out of poverty last year.

"More than 475,000 people in Xinjiang's urban areas found jobs with the government's help last year, and the registered unemployment rate was 3.3 percent."

That rate was lower than the national average of 3.8 percent.

Factories

In south Xinjiang's Hotan prefecture, at least 100,000 people found jobs last year, according to Erkin. About 500 companies from other provinces opened branches there to develop industries based on local resources.

As the social environment in south Xinjiang, where terrorists conducted attacks that killed and injured thousands of people, becomes increasingly safe and stable, more companies are opening facilities in prefectures such as Hotan, he said.

"This year, another 100,000 people in Hotan are expected to land jobs," he added.

In 2017, Beiwei Technology Group, a fungi-processing business headquartered in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, opened a factory in Lop county, Hotan prefecture.

Producing grow bags containing fungi spores and wood shavings that provide nutrition and support the growth of the spores, the company decided to set up a branch in Xinjiang because of the low costs resulting from the vast land and rich supplies of raw materials in the region, said Liu Minduo, Beiwei's vice-president.

For example, planting black fungus requires large areas of land, and Hotan has a wealth of land covered by saline-alkali soil. It cannot be used to grow crops and is usually left fallow, but black fungus can thrive in grow bags, rather than being planted directly in the ground, he said.

"In addition, the production of grow bags requires large amounts of wood shavings. Jujube and walnut, which have greater nutritional value than other types of wood, are ideal sources and can be found almost everywhere in Xinjiang," Liu added, noting that the company has contributed to the reduction of poverty in nearby communities since its arrival.

The company buys wood from local farmers for 300 yuan per metric ton, and has provided at least 120 jobs for local residents. It employs poor farmers to nurture fungi by giving them free grow bags, and it provides them with dividends after the harvest.

"So far, about 6,450 poor farmers in Lop county are engaged in fungi cultivation, with each receiving a dividend of 2,000 yuan a year," Liu said, adding that Beiwei is now expanding its operations to produce instant fungi (cooked fungi that can be eaten straight from the container).

"Our goal in coming here three years was to produce 100 million bags of instant fungi every year," Liu said. "If that happens, our business will be able to benefit more local people by offering them more job opportunities."

Free education

According to Erkin, to ease the financial burden of education costs the regional government provides access to high-quality education for all children, particularly those from impoverished families in southern Xinjiang.

It has invested about 12 billion yuan in education in recent years, expanding the nine years of free education (consisting of primary and junior middle school education) required by the central government into a 15-year system that includes three-years of preschool and three-years of high school education.

After years of effort, almost every village in southern Xinjiang now has its own kindergarten, providing local children with preschool education.

In a beautifully decorated classroom at a kindergarten just a few hundred meters from Abdurehman Yimin's home, scores of children danced as a radio played Uygur and Mandarin songs.

Nurbeye Kaisa, the kindergarten's director, said the small facility was built in 2017, thanks to government investment of 4 million yuan. Now employing 18 teachers, the kindergarten provides services for 180 children ages 4 to 6, all from the Uygur ethnic group that makes up the majority of the local population.

Parents send their children to the kindergarten in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon. The children can spend the whole day at the facility enjoying different kinds of courses or activities conducted in both the Uygur language and Mandarin, such as singing, dancing, painting, playing games and making cookies. They also receive two meals and a dessert every day.

"Despite their young age, most of the children can communicate with the teachers or with each other in the two languages," Nurbeye said.

"Before the kindergarten was built, the local children were either cared for by their aging grandparents or they accompanied their parents to work on farms or in factories, which meant their safety and health could not be guaranteed," she said.

"At the kindergarten, they can have classes, meals and rest regularly in a cozy environment, and it doesn't cost (the family) a penny," she said, noting that the annual 2,800 yuan tuition fee for each child is paid by the local government.

Abdurehman's youngest grandson attends the kindergarten. "Thanks to the kindergarten, my grandson has a very good time every day, and he learns a lot of useful things," he said.

Aybek Askhar in Beijing contributed to this story.

 

From left: Workers spin Atlas silk at a handicraft workshop in Jiya township, Hotan city, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region; a craftsman makes a musical instrument in Shufu county, Kashgar, Xinjiang. Photos By Wang Jing / China Daily

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2019-06-24 07:39:18
<![CDATA[BRI benefits from opening-up efforts]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483858.htm

On a highway in Horgos, drivers speaking different languages transport goods in and out of China. Meanwhile, China-Europe trains pass through customs from Kazakhstan, bringing vitality to the city that also thrived on the ancient Silk Road.

Positioned at the forefront of China's western areas, Horgos, a major land port in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has seen a robust increase in foreign trade. Last year, 2,055 inbound and outbound China-Europe freight trains passed through Horgos Port.

Xinjiang borders eight countries, and has a host of land ports involved in international trade on the ancient Silk Road. Authorities have expanded opening-up efforts in recent years as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

In January, Xinjiang's total foreign trade stood at 13.94 billion yuan (about $2 billion), up 11.7 percent year-on-year, according to Urumqi Customs.

Three comprehensive bonded zones, located in Alataw Pass, Kashgar and the regional capital Urumqi, saw their combined foreign trade value rise more than 40 percent year-on-year in January.

Last year, imports and exports between Xinjiang and 36 countries along the BRI rose by 13.5 percent year-on-year to about 291.5 billion yuan.

Behind all the prosperity is the BRI, which is gaining steam.

An international Belt and Road forum was held in Beijing in April.

It was attended by representatives from more than 100 countries, including about 40 government leaders.

The forum gave a boost to people-to-people connectivity among countries participating in the development of the initiative.

In recent years, China has signed 171 BRI cooperation documents with more than 150 countries and international organizations.

Kemen Noodle Manufacturing, a major trading company located within Urumqi's comprehensive bonded zone, exported products worth 163 million yuan last year.

"The company will further expand production under the dual advantages of preferential policies and shortened customs clearance times," said Wei Yujun, the company's deputy general manager.

The benefits derived from opening-up policies have extended beyond the economic sector.

In the past few months, many foreign officials and media delegates have visited farmers, artists and people involved in religious affairs to learn more about the region's opening-up efforts.

Senior diplomats from the permanent missions of eight countries to the UN Office at Geneva, Switzerland, visited Xinjiang from Feb 16 to 19 at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomats from Pakistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Egypt, Cambodia, Russia, Senegal and Belarus spoke with trainees at vocational education and training centers, interacting with clerics and other members of the public during their visit.

Enhanced communication has also strengthened emotional bonds between people from China and neighboring countries.

In recent years, a rising number of international students have pursued education in Xinjiang.

At Xinjiang Normal University, student Irbay Lahat, from Kazakhstan, is studying Chinese, calligraphy and martial arts with classmates from countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

"Learning Chinese will help me to find a better job in Kazakhstan," he said. "I want to pursue further education in another city in China after graduation."

Xinhua

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2019-06-24 07:39:18
<![CDATA[Winter Games to showcase sustainability]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483857.htm The 2022 Winter Olympics are going to cast new light on low-carbon development through the use of renewable energy, sustainable venues and green transportation, according to the organizers.

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Renewable energy to take center stage in preparations for 2022 Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics are going to cast new light on low-carbon development through the use of renewable energy, sustainable venues and green transportation, according to the organizers.

As China celebrated International Olympic Day on Sunday, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games unveiled its master plan featuring 18 measures to reduce carbon emissions before and during the Games. The initiative is expected to set new patterns for energy-efficient development beyond 2022 around the region.

The plan, which calls for low-carbon solutions in energy supply, venue construction and transportation, has been fully adopted for preparations for the 2022 Olympics and post-event design work, said Zhang Jiandong, vice-mayor of Beijing and executive vice-president of the organizing committee.

"We are on a mission to help address climate change while promoting sustainability, not just for the Games, but also for the whole region's benefit long after them," Zhang said on Sunday at an event held in Beijing's Horticulture Expo park to release the plan.

Olympic Day is celebrated annually on June 23 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games in 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris.

More than 1,000 Beijing 2022 organizers, sponsors and running enthusiasts participated in a mini-marathon at the park to mark the plan's release.

As a highlight of the plan, the 2022 Olympics - to be held in downtown Beijing, its suburban Yanqing district and co-host Zhangjiakou in Hebei province - will be the first Winter Games whose venues all use clean energy from renewable sources including solar, wind and biomass power according to the organizing committee.

Snow events co-host Zhangjiakou, some 200 kilometers northwest of Beijing, has been singled out by the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi for its clean energy resources in photovoltaic and wind power which could be transmitted to Beijing through a cross-regional grid system being deployed in the area.

"The pursuit of a low-carbon Winter Olympics in 2022 will see China pioneer a movement towards the cost-effective decarbonization of the world's greatest spectacles," Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of the agency, said in China last year.

In Yanqing, another mountain venue cluster for 2022 snow events, the construction of facilities - the national Alpine skiing and sledding tracks as well as an athletes' village - has been optimized to be able to use geothermal energy for indoor heating of over 1,000 square meters at each venue, according to property owner Beijing Enterprises Group.

An evaluation of plant and animal life was conducted before construction began in Yanqing, and over 25,000 trees have been moved to a new 53-hectare forest park from the mountain ridge where ski slopes and sledding tracks are being built, according to the 2022 organizing committee's Yanqing operation center.

"The protection of the environment is the bottom line of all Olympic projects, especially in this mountain area," said Zhang Suzhi, deputy director of the center.

All passenger vehicles used at the Games will be powered by new energy. Charging stations and hydrogenation stations will be installed for official vehicles in competition zones, according to the plan.

Clean-energy shuttles will be available to connect high-speed railway stations and spectator parking lots to all the venues.

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2019-06-24 07:38:49
<![CDATA[School focuses on teaching what comes naturally]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483856.htm Bat and Moth is a game designed by Joseph Cornell, one of the world's most revered nature educators, to help children understand through role-playing how hearing, instead of eyesight, is used by animals to locate their prey.

When Zhang Xinyu introduced the game in his school - Natural Campus, in East China's Zhejiang province - he soon found it was too simple for his students and replaced it with more complicated games where "kids might learn more than one thing from nature within a session".

Zhang, 42, is one of the first in the country to start a private institution focusing on nature education. He had spent most of his childhood in rural areas of eastern China's Anhui province.

"China has possibly undergone the fastest rate of urbanization in the past three decades in the world. For people like me, who grew up in the countryside and later relocated to big cities for work, there is a disconnection and a sense of loss," said Zhang, founder and principal of the campus, which he established in 2011.

After an outing to the suburban area of Hangzhou - the capital of Zhejiang province, where he had worked with an international advertising agency for years - Zhang quit his job in 2010 and rented a piece of land at Liangzhu, one of the most famous archeological sites in the Yangtze River Delta region, known as the archetype of China's prehistoric rice agriculture civilization.

"People often ask me how I could give up everything and begin my life in nature. The fact is, I don't see it as giving up. None of the possessions I earned from my previous work meant anything to me," Zhang said.

By combining the drawing skills acquired from working in the ad industry and extensive knowledge of flora and fauna gained during childhood, he managed to make a living from teaching while enjoying an idyllic life on campus, surrounded by lush mountains, trickling streams and a few small animals.

Parents of most of his early students, who range from 4 to 16 years old, learned about his school through a Sina Weibo account run by Zhang.

Today, his school has 18 full-time teachers and receives 1,000 or so children every year. Apart from children from across China, those from countries such as the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom take advantage of their summer vacations back home to sign up for the programs.

Parents pay about 4,000 yuan ($582) for a weeklong summer trip in the wild or a little more for a 10-session annual package for indoor natural education.

"We are not interested in turning the kids into walking encyclopedias of botany or biology," Zhang said.

The syllabus and extracurricular activities designed by his team are meant to "reopen the five senses of humans that have been very often shut down by concrete buildings and cement roads".

A report released in early May by consultancy firm iResearch and New Oriental - a Beijing-headquartered, New-York-listed private education services provider - found that in 2018, Chinese parents spent about 94.6 billion yuan on outdoor camps and trips not related to conventional school work or examination-focused content.

Nature education, along with music, art, science and military studies are among the most popular subjects that parents choose for their children to spend their leisure time, according to Wang Yin, an executive with New Oriental.

"The new generation of Chinese parents is different from their predecessors. They are highly educated, well-off and sophisticated," Wang said. "When it comes to the upbringing of their kids, providing a comprehensive education is as important as getting them into a prestigious university."

New Oriental, the largest educational services provider in China, started as an English-language tutoring school in the 1990s. It included nature education in its study program in recent years by working with biology and botany professors in the country.

Wang Ying, an accountant with a multinational company in Shanghai and the mother of an eight-year-old girl, doesn't see having her daughter exposed to nature once a week as complementary to school education, but rather, an essential part that has long been missing.

"School work involves the brain, but nature education touches the heart and trains the limbs," said Wang, who has signed up her daughter for Zhang's Natural Campus since 2017.

"My daughter used to be very shy. She would always remain silent for the first 30 minutes in a new environment. But during her first stargazing trip with the campus, she easily connected with dozens of children and teachers she had never met before and stayed up the whole night to learn about astronomy. I don't know how to explain it scientifically, but I think nature has a unique power to make people open up," she said.

 

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2019-06-24 07:38:49
<![CDATA[Police identify body buried at high school]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483855.htm

City official vows to pursue criminals behind unsolved 'major old cases'

Police in Huaihua, Hunan province, confirmed on Sunday night that a body found buried under a high school sports ground last week is that of Deng Shiping, a former member of the school's maintenance staff, who went missing more than 16 years ago.

Just after midnight on Wednesday, police dug up a body that had been buried under the running track at Xinhuang No 1 Middle School many years ago.

The remains retrieved were a skeleton and fragments of clothing, Huaihua police said.

The police said they discovered the body after an alleged member of a criminal gang, Du Shaoping, confessed during a crackdown on gang-related crimes in mid-April that he had killed a man surnamed Deng. Du said he murdered Deng in January 2003 and buried him under the sports ground.

As police investigate the case, the city's top official pledged the authorities will get to the bottom of "major old cases" and bring those responsible to justice.

Peng Guofu, Party chief of Huaihua, said on Friday that the authorities must get to the bottom of "major old cases" and bring those responsible to justice, no matter who they are, Huaihua Daily reported on Saturday.

Deng, in his early 50s, was in charge of quality control during the building of the sports ground.

He was targeted because he refused to ignore quality and embezzlement issues related to the project, his son, Deng Lanbing, said in a post on Sina Weibo.

Deng Lanbing, who was 15 when his father went missing, said the police had taken blood samples from him and other family members to help identify the body. Police said on Sunday a match was made using the DNA samples.

"Many have forgotten about my father, who may have been buried under the sports ground that the students have been playing on all these years," Deng Lanbing said.

Du was in charge of the construction of the sports ground. He is also the nephew of Huang Bingsong, the headmaster of the school at the time. Xinhuang county police said on Thursday that 10 people, including Huang, were put under police surveillance soon after the body was discovered.

Huang has now been placed under investigation by the local disciplinary authorities.

During the police investigation, two people who worked at the construction site said they helped Du bury Deng's body, Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to a petition letter recently drafted by Deng Lanbing, Du had threatened his father several times in public after his father complained the project was too expensive and had quality issues.

The letter was addressed to a central government work group supervising the local crackdown on gang crimes.

China launched a three-year nationwide campaign to eradicate criminal gangs in January last year.

Before the body was identified, Deng Lanbing wrote, "I want to know the truth more than anyone," adding that he had never stopped looking for his father.

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2019-06-24 07:38:49
<![CDATA[Dying to Survive, Hidden Man recipients of Dirty Ashtray Award]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483854.htm One of the most popular movies shown in cinemas last year has received a Dirty Ashtray Award from the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control for its rampant smoking scenes.

Dying to Survive, which depicted the dilemma of leukemia patients who have to rely on unapproved cheaper generic drugs to survive, received the award for having the longest tobacco-related footage in the movie - 16.8 minutes in total, accounting for 14.5 percent of the total length of the film, according to the association.

Hidden Man, a gangster movie, and the Drug Hunter, a TV series about confrontations between police and drug dealers, also received Dirty Ashtray Awards for their excessive tobacco-related scenes.

The results were based on monitoring organized by the association, which covered 30 popular films and 30 popular TV series broadcast in China last year.

The monitoring showed 87 percent of the films had tobacco-related footage, with an average total length of nearly 2 minutes for each film. One-third of the TV series had tobacco-related footage, with an average length of 3.6 minutes per series. Most of the tobacco-related footage appears in scenes at public places, offices and homes.

Xu Guihua, a senior adviser to the association and former deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that, as in the past, no director or producer came to claim their awards on Friday. But she believes such publicity will remind the film and television industry to take responsibility and reduce tobacco footage in their works.

Monitoring conducted annually by the association showed a decline in both the number of tobacco-related scenes and the total length of such footage in Chinese movies and TV series from 2007 until last year. TV shows had shown greater improvement, Xu said.

The average number of tobacco-related scenes for a film last year was 12.3, a decline of nearly 50 percent compared with 2007, she said.

"The changes showed progress in promoting tobacco-free films and TV series over the past years," Xu said. "But some works are still infested with tobacco scenes. We urge them not to produce works with such footage ... so adolescents will not imitate them and become smokers."

In an open letter released on Friday, the association called on the film and television industry to make greater contributions to tobacco control in China by producing more films and TV series free of footage depicting smoking so young people will not be tempted to take it up.

"Tobacco-related scenes in films and TV series are usually presented relating to fashion, beauty and maturity, which greatly impairs people's awareness of the harm of tobacco and plays an important role in luring adolescents to smoke," the letter said.

As the world's largest producer and consumer of cigarettes, China has 306 million smokers, with another 740 million - including adolescents and children - exposed to the harm caused by secondhand smoke. About 1.4 million people in China die from tobacco-related diseases each year, according to the association.

Hu Dayi, president of the association, said tobacco has become a major contributor to many illnesses such as heart disease, tuberculosis and cancer that are becoming major health threats to Chinese people.

The percentage of smokers to the total population in China has been declining at a low pace due to factors including a lack of knowledge about the harmful effects to smokers; the lack of quit-smoking services; and inadequate implementation of tobacco-control policies. The presentation of smoking in films and TV series is also a cause, Hu said.

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2019-06-24 07:38:49
<![CDATA[China, Russia, Mongolia meet to reinforce trilateral tourism ties]]> http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/kindle/2019-06/24/content_37483853.htm With the aim of deepening trilateral cooperation in the tourism sector, the Fourth Tourism Ministerial Conference of China, Russia and Mongolia was held on Sunday in Ulaanqab, a city in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Attending the event were Luo Shugang, China's minister of culture and tourism; Alexey Konyushkov, deputy head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation; and Ts. Tsengel, state secretary at the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism of Mongolia. They were joined by hundreds of representatives from the tourism, culture, academic and media sectors from the three countries.

Luo, who delivered the keynote speech, pointed out that tourism cooperation is such a vital part of the trilateral relationship that it plays an irreplaceable role in deepening friendship and understanding among the people of China, Russia and Mongolia.

According to Luo, the most noteworthy development in tourism since 2016, when the first ministerial conference was held, is that the number of mutual visits among the three countries is steadily rising.

In 2018, over 2.4 million Russian tourists visited China, a 3 percent year-on-year increase. The number of visitors from Mongolia to China rose 2.8 percent to over 1.9 million; the number of Chinese visitors visiting Russia hit 2 million, an increase of 21 percent from the previous year; and nearly 200,000 Chinese visitors were received by Mongolia, a 19 percent growth.

The statistics show the growing appeal of Russia and Mongolia as tourist destinations for Chinese travelers. They are also an indicator that tourism plays a pivotal role in trilateral friendship, Luo said.

Luo proposed five suggestions for future cooperation: deepening the integration of culture and tourism and crafting quality cross-border travel products; using tourism as an engine to boost the intensive development of other related industries such as transportation, catering and entertainment; upgrading travel services to