CHINA DAILY

Education, health fees among key concerns

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:59

China to legislate on preschool education

China will push for legislation on preschool education to provide a legal guarantee for the operation and management of such institutions, Vice-minister of Education Tian Xuejun said on Nov 30.

Tian made the remarks at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office regarding a child abuse case at RYB Education New World Kindergarten in Beijing that received widespread attention in November. He said the Ministry of Education was already doing research on the legislation.

"The ministry will also complete the requirements on qualifications of teachers engaged in preschool education and is considering formulating a code of ethics for them," Tian said.

He also said a plan is on the way to step up supervision of kindergartens and solve the problem of insufficient resources for preschool education. Tian said the case exposed the conflict between public demand for preschool enrollment and insufficient development of preschool education.

"It also showed that some local authorities and kindergartens still have problems of unsound management and failure to implement or fully implement regulations," he said.

Rural health fee increase explained in detail

The National Health and Family Planning Commission recently responded to public concern of newly increased fees for a new rural cooperative medical system.

Fees charged in the new rural cooperative medical system have recently been raised from 30 yuan ($5.5) to 180 yuan.

The NHFPC explained that while fees for individuals have been raised, government financial subsidies to individuals have also been raised accordingly in recent years from the previous 20 yuan per person to 450 per person. At the same time, the government has a comprehensive medical assistance system for those unable to afford such fees. Also, the reimbursement proportion for hospitalization costs for those in the new rural cooperative medical system has also been raised from 35 percent to 75 percent.

Anti-espionage law will help national security

The State Council issued a circular on China's anti-espionage law on Wednesday with detailed rules for implementing the law.

The circular explains several terms in the law, including overseas institutions and organizations, individuals, spy organizations, spy organization agents and hostile organizations. It was made clear that national security departments under the State Council will identify unacceptable behavior.

According to the circular, providing funds, venues and materials to spy organizations and individuals will be identified as helping them.

Conducting espionage activities in the territory, accepting overseas funds to endanger national security or connect them for spying activities will also be deemed as collusion.

Staff members at national safety departments are authorized to arrest and hunt criminal suspects, and their anti-espionage activities will not be interrupted by any other illegal actions.

It said that Chinese people and organizations retain the right and privilege to secure national safety, and their contributions such as providing clues about spying activities, collaborating with national security departments and fighting espionage activities will also be rewarded.

International group praises green revival

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:46

High-level advisory panel pitches 15-year pollution fight, but holds China up as model

A high-level international advisory body applauded China's efforts to improve the environment and suggested a 15-year strategy against pollution in a draft recommendation report on Monday.

China has made building an ecological civilization an important goal and has taken comprehensive measures to improve the environment. This has resulted in positive results, including improved air quality, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said when chairing the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high-level international advisory body.

Like Zhang, Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said he was impressed by China's tremendous achievements regarding its environment in recent years, in particular curbing much of the smog problem.

"China is capable of solving the environment problems themselves," said Solheim, the council's vice-chairman, adding the best practices taken by China could provide guidance to other areas facing similar issues.

His praise of China's approaches to move toward being an ecological civilization won wide support from other members of the environmental council, which includes senior officials and experts from home and abroad.

The council's draft recommendation presents highlights of the war against pollution in air, water and soil, and suggests the creation of a 15-year strategy that will be "focused on cost-effectiveness, synergies and ways to build public confidence about eventual results".

Ideally, the integrated rollout should be ready before 2020, to be in line with the 2035 pivot point, when China expects to be a "basic modern country", the draft said.

Solheim said he is confident that China can reach the 2035 goal to build a "beautiful China", considering the determined and effective efforts adopted in recent years.

Along with the longer-term strategy to curb pollution, council members suggested creating conditions for fair competition and incentives for green industries.

Based on the input from Monday's meeting, the advisers and their support teams will modify their proposal and provide a final version to the State Council through the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

zhengjinran@chinadaily.com.cn

Beijing, Moscow drill for potential missile warfare

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:41

China and Russia kicked off their second joint computer-assisted anti-missile drill on Monday, a move experts said could deter potential missile threats amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The drill began on Monday in Beijing and is expected to conclude on Saturday, China's Defense Ministry said on its website on Monday. "This is a practical measure in fulfilling the important consensus reached by both countries' leaders on deepening Sino-Russian antimissile cooperation," it said.

"It will strengthen Sino-Russian mutual strategic trust, improve anti-missile cooperation between the two militaries and has great significance in jointly dealing with regional ballistic and cruise missile threats," the ministry said.

The exercise does not target any third party, it said. "China and Russia oppose the development of global anti-missile systems. The two militaries will increase practical cooperation in anti-missile defense, and jointly safeguard Chinese and Russian security interests and regional strategic balance."

The goal of the exercise is to "jointly train for anti-missile combat planning and preparation, launch command and firing coordination," Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said in a news briefing in November.

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has been mounting since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November. DPRK media reported the missile could carry nuclear warheads and reach the continental United States.

Su Hao, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs Academy, said that it is crucial for China and Russia to bolster strategic trust and cooperate in anti-missile defense to protect their nations from potential threats.

zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

Memorial Day a time to 'remember', 'inspire'

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:39

A memorial service to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre committed during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) brought together hundreds of activists and members of the Chinese and other Asian communities on Sunday in San Francisco.

The memorial, organized by the Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition, the Committee to Promote Reunification of China, the Alliance for Preserving the Truth of Sino-Japanese War and Comfort Women Justice Coalition, has been held annually for the past 20 years with the aim of exposing the Japanese Imperial Army's war crimes and encouraging people to understand and never forget the dark chapter of history.

"The Japanese army blatantly violated international conventions and committed the extremely cruel atrocity in Nanjing, where 300,000 Chinese were murdered and one-third of the buildings were destroyed," Zha Liyou, acting Chinese consul general in San Francisco, said at the service.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, which was China's capital at the time, on Dec 13, 1937. It then began a slaughter that lasted more than 40 days. Tens of thousands of women were raped.

"Our stories are linked. The fate of over 400,000 women sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II is part and parcel of what happened during the Nanjing Massacre," said Judith Mirkinson, president of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.

She said the 20th century has been called the most violent century in the history of the world, and that one way to ensure peace in the 21st century is through truth and reconciliation.

"Reconciliation does not come without truth. So the Japanese government must acknowledge their crimes," she said.

"They must give justice to those few people who still survive from the Nanjing Massacre and to the memory of what happened there," she said.

From the time that Japan invaded Northeast China in September 1931, followed by a full-scale invasion that started on July 7, 1937, around 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or injured during the occupation, which continued until 1945.

To honor the victims and the survivors and to pursue justice and an enduring peace, the Chinese community worldwide joined hands this year to commemorate this historic event, which was designated by the Chinese government as National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.

"To remember the atrocities committed by the Japanese army during World War II does not mean to pass on the enmity but rather to remind people not to forget the history and inspire them to love peace," said Zha Liyou.

In 2015, the Nanjing Massacre was entered onto the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, a compendium aimed at preserving documented heritage of universal value.

liazhu@chinadailyusa.com

More military technologies targeted for civilian sector to boost economy

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:38

Greater integration will spur innovation and cultivate new engines of growth

China will strengthen innovation by developing high-tech industries with military technologies to boost military-civil integration, a move that aims to cultivate new growth drivers and boost the economy, said a recent State Council guideline.

This was one of the seven key tasks set by the guideline on deepening the military-civil integration in the defense technology industry, which was released by the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Monday last week.

The guideline targets sharing technological innovation bases and facilities between military and civilian sectors while more efforts will be made to apply military technologies to non-military areas.

 

 

The military integration will also focus on key areas such as space, cyberspace and maritime sciences, while private capital is encouraged to enter military industries, the document said.

The guideline was the latest move by the central government to promote the military-civil integration to widen military contract orders to civilian sectors and apply high-end military technologies for civilian purposes as part of the supply-side structural reform.

In June, the General Office of the State Council released a guideline on civil aviation development to open airspace less than 3,000 meters in altitude and other industries such as cybersecurity and satellite navigation.

Shi Haiming, an associate professor at the National University of Defense Technology, said the guideline brings benefits for both private and military enterprises while pre-entry approvals will be changed into post-entry reviews to streamline administration, except those linking strategic weapons.

Meanwhile, Shi said the guideline lowers the access threshold for enterprises to enter the field of weaponry equipment and will make the process more transparent.

The document also will further reduce institutional costs for private enterprise by building better platforms to promote military-civil integration, he said.

In fact, many developed economies are highly reliant on military-civil integration.

For example, the United States' airplane maker Boeing sells China civil aviation aircraft worth billions of dollars each year and is known for its high-end military aircraft. Many Japanese multinational companies such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi have a department to take military orders.

The integration is a worldwide trend to fully improve the national defense capability, said Jiang Luming, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army.

In countries such as the US, the United Kingdom and Germany, less than 15 percent of military technologies are solely for military purposes and more than 80 percent are used for civilian purposes, Jiang said.

Jiang said in October last year that China has about 290,000 national defense intellectual property rights not being used due to the previously separated military and civil industries.

For example, breakthrough technologies such as engines and aluminum alloy materials can help ease production overcapacity and transform China's economy, he said. These new technologies can essentially boost economic growth and national defense, Jiang said.

The military industry has the priority to apply cutting-edge technologies and also make breakthrough innovations, Lu Guangshan, chairman of the Avionics System Co under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, was quoted by Shanghai Securities News as saying.

"For example, virtual reality headsets were first used in helmets for fighter jets and my company has developed six civilian industries such as virtual reality, drones, robotics and smart wearing," Lu said.

Military companies are encouraged to work with local governments to promote their advantageous expertise and develop a large number of new high-tech industries, Long Hongshan, chief engineer at the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, told a news conference last week.

These new industries will play a vital role in promoting local economic growth and creating new employment opportunities, Long said.

Currently, 30 percent of products made by China's military companies are for military purposes and the other 70 percent for civilian purposes, he said.

In the future, high-tech industries will cover half of the military-related economy, Long added.

Dangerous stunts get thumbs-down from video platforms

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:36

Multiple social media and video streaming platforms will limit who can view videos that depict dangerous stunts - and may even prohibit such material - in an effort to discourage imitators.

In November, daredevil stunt climber Wu Yongning fell to his death while scaling a skyscraper in Changsha, Hunan province. Wu, 26, had more than 1.3 million followers on social media who regularly devoured his breathtaking videos and photos. He climbed with no protective gear.

Last month, Wu's account on Sina Weibo stopped updating, leading followers to worry about his well-being.

On Friday, Wu's girlfriend confirmed on social media that the "rooftop daredevil" had fallen and died.

"Today is Dec 8. It makes me think of Nov 8, the day that you left us, left this world," she wrote.

Wu's family also confirmed his death to Jiefang Daily, a newspaper in Shanghai.

Meipai, Kuaishou, Xiaohuoshan and other video platforms on which Wu posted content, expressed their condolences, according to ThePaper.cn. Platform representatives told the news outlet that China currently has no law regulating extreme stunt videos, but each platform will update its content policy to discourage imitators.

Kuaishou said Wu's account had been restricted - meaning that only the uploader can see it - in September because of its depictions of dangerous acts.

Xiaohuoshan said it will ban video livestreams of dangerous stunts because live interactions between the performer and the audience could be a distraction and lead to catastrophic results.

The platform also said it will respect the desires of Wu's family in dealing with the videos.

All of Wu's stunt videos on the three platforms had been restricted or taken down as of Monday. A cellphone video of Wu performing his last stunt and falling to his death on Nov 8, has also been taken down.

Wu was part of an informal community of young thrill-seekers around the world who engage in "roof-topping" - climbing to the top or to high ledges of buildings, often without a permit or protective gear, to take stomach-churning pictures and videos. The activity is generally illegal.

In January, an 18-year-old identified as Alexander Sh, fell to his death from Europe's second-tallest building - the 350-meter OKO Tower in Moscow. He was trying to take a selfie when he slipped and fell, Russian media reported.

zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

Taiwan's New Party vows to help improve relations

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:33

Delegation to Beijing reaffirms support for one-China, rejection of agitators

Top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng met with a Taiwan delegation representing the island's New Party in Beijing on Monday to discuss the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and how to achieve the "great rejuvenation" of the Chinese nation.

Yu praised the New Party's unbroken stance upholding the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle, since the party's establishment, as well as its peaceful approach to relations.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which was held in October, further clarified the guidelines and policies addressing Taiwan, Yu said.

In his opening address to delegates during the congress, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, called the one-China principle the political foundation of cross-Straits relations, and said that attempts to move toward "Taiwan independence" in any form will be defeated.

Taiwan will share development opportunities on the Chinese mainland, and its residents will enjoy the same treatment as mainland people as they pursue studies, start businesses, seek jobs or come to live on the mainland, Xi said in the address.

Yok Mu-ming, chairman of the New Party and head of the Taiwan delegation, said the party has firmly upheld the one-China principle and promoted peace.

The delegation also met on Monday with Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office.

Zhang and Yok agreed that the one-China principle must be upheld going forward, expressed firm opposition to separatist activities and vowed to make efforts toward peaceful relations.

Both sides agreed to establish and improve mechanisms of communication, share opinions on major issues in the relationship and promote exchanges and communication in all fields - especially between youth. They further agreed to create a constructive and convenient environment for the development of Taiwan youth on the mainland.

Zhang said cross-Straits relations have faced challenges because the island's Democratic Progressive Party has refused to clearly express support for the one-China principle, which led to the mainland suspending official communications with the island.

He said that a "Taiwan independence" force had recently stirred up the island, proposing the removal of Chinese mainland elements in a variety of fields.

"Its aim is to cut the historical ties between Taiwan and the mainland, reduce public awareness that Taiwan people are part of the Chinese nation and limit many cultural influences on the island," he said.

Some people advocating "Taiwan independence" have pushed for amending the law, and have proposed changing the island's constitution. "This shows that separatist activities and the group supporting 'independence' pose the most serious threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations," Zhang said.

He warned that people from both sides should be vigilant and firmly oppose such activities.

luowangshu@chinadaily.com.cn

Former Chongqing political official facing corruption investigation

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:28

Sun Zhengcai, the former secretary of Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, has been placed under investigation on suspicion of accepting bribes, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Monday.

According to the procuratorate, Sun has been placed under "coercive measures", which may include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

The investigation is underway, the procuratorate said in a statement released on Monday.

In July, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection launched an investigation into Sun for "serious violations of Party discipline".

The CCDI said in a news release that Sun betrayed Party principles and ignored the Party code of conduct and rules.

He was found to have seriously violated the CPC's eight-point code on frugality and maintaining close ties with the masses, seeking pomp, ostentation and privileges, according to the CCDI.

The CCDI said he was guilty of nepotism and seeking benefits in selection of officials. He was found by the CCDI to have leaked confidential Party information and seriously breached Party rules on integrity.

Moreover, he abused power and used his job to gain benefits for others, then accepted their huge bribes in return, either paid in cash or properties, the CCDI said. He was found to seek substantial benefits for his relatives' businesses and accepted valuable gifts, the CCDI said.

The anti-graft inspectors also accused Sun of bureaucracy and sloth in work and degradation and power-for-sex trades, according to the CCDI.

Sun totally deviated from the Party spirit and political requirements of senior officials, the CCDI said in the statement, adding that his misconduct betrayed the trust of the CPC Central Committee and the public, inflicting huge harm to the Party and the country with "extremely bad" social influences.

The CCDI transferred the criminal evidence involving his case to judicial authorities for further investigation.

In September, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee expelled Sun from the Party and dismissed him from public office.

China Daily - Xinhua

Satellite lofted for first Arab country

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:27

 

Algeria's first communications satellite is launched on Monday. JU ZHENHUA/XINHUA

A Chinese-made communications satellite became the first "export" of such a spacecraft to an Arab country when it was launched by China on Monday for Algeria.

A Long March 3B carrier rocket blasted off at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan at 12:40 am. It soared for about 26 minutes before placing the Alcomsat-1, the Algeria's first communications satellite, into geostationary transfer orbit, according to a news release from China Great Wall Industry Corp, the project contractor.

President Xi Jinping and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika exchanged congratulatory messages on Monday morning on the successful mission.

In his message, Xi said that the satellite project is an important manifestation of the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership. It has become a good example of space cooperation between China and Arab countries and will play a significant role in promoting Algeria's economic and social development, he said.

Xi said that Beijing is willing to work with Algeria to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, deepening the bilateral partnership so as to benefit the two countries and peoples.

Bouteflika said that Alcomsat-1 is a remarkable achievement in space cooperation between the two countries and reflects the deep traditional friendship between the two sides. Algeria is willing to work with China to strengthen cooperation, he said.

The satellite contract was signed in December 2013 between the Algerian Space Agency and China Great Wall Industry Corp, the country's largest space contractor in the international market.

Alcomsat-1 was designed and manufactured by the China Academy of Space Technology, part of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, based on the DFH-4 satellite platform.

With a liftoff weight of 5.2 metric tons and a designed life of 15 years, the satellite will be used for a wide variety of public services such as television broadcasting, emergency communications, remote education and satellite-based signal augmentation, according to Great Wall Industry.

Fu Zhiheng, vice-president of the company, said Alcomsat-1 is as good as Western communications satellites in terms of technology and capacity. He said there are other contracts between his firm and Arab countries, without elaborating.

zhaolei@chinadaily.com.cn

Water diversion project drives environmental improvements and provides new jobs for locals

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 00:57
Residents stroll through the streets of Ankang city, Shaanxi province. [Xinhua]

Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the start of operations of the central route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, a massive infrastructure program designed to transport water from the south of the country to the arid northern regions via three separate channels.

So far, more than 10 billion cubic meters of water have been carried to North China via the central route, benefiting more than 53 million people.

The environmental improvements that have resulted from protection efforts in the regions that supply the water-the provinces of Henan, Hubei and Shaanxi-have attracted investment and brought new job opportunities in green industries, including tourism and ecological agriculture, benefiting people in the areas that supply the water.

Xia Qinghua is one of them. The 43-year-old was employed in a small toy factory in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, for 12 years before he returned to his home, Chenjiawan, a village in Hubei's Shiyan city, in June.

He had long wanted to return, but was prevented by a shortage of jobs. However, the situation changed after Hubei Beidouxing Eco-agriculture and Forestry Co began investing in the area in 2014, lured by the cleaner environment.

"Great improvements have happened to the environment in my hometown. When I left at age 17, I had never seen an egret. Now, there are birds everywhere. They are beautiful," he said.

Though he earned more than 5,000 yuan ($756) a month in Shenzhen, Xia often had to work until 11 pm.

"The salary was good, but I felt lonely and helpless because I had no family around me," he said.

In 2011, he attempted to return to Chenjiawan, but the move wasn't successful. "There weren't many business opportunities in the poverty-stricken area at the time," he said. Xia had spent 50,000 yuan on a small truck and started a transportation business, but he lost his investment and was 20,000 yuan in debt after a year, so he was forced to return to Shenzhen.

After that, he only returned home once a year, for the Spring Festival holiday, and leaving his family was always a tearful affair.

"I remember very clearly leaving home on the evening of the fifth day of the Lunar New Year in 2013. My wife, my daughter and I cried in each other's arms. They all didn't want me to go," he recalled, tears glinting in his eyes.

Now, he works in the warehouse at a farm operated by Hubei Beidouxing, making about 2,000 yuan a month. Even though he earns less than he did in Shenzhen, Xia is much happier because he is close to his family and can care for his 70-year-old father, who is unwell. He supplements his income by leasing 0.5 hectares of farmland to Hubei Beidouxing, which brings in an extra 4,000 yuan a year.

The Danjiangkou Reservoir in Shiyan, Hubei province, is a source area for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. [Liu Jiao/For China Daily]

Li Wei, head of the farm, said the company rents 200 hectares of land from residents of three nearby villages, which have a combined population of about 5,000. While 500 villagers work on the farm full time, a further 2,000 are employed seasonally every year.

So far, the company has invested 280 million yuan in the farm, which has been in operation since 2014. However, the enterprise only became profitable this year; Hubei Beidouxing made more than 2 million yuan from the sale of fruits and flowers, and the farm attracts a steady flow of visitors who come to view the blossoms on the trees and pick fruit, he said.

The company has bought a number of vehicles to provide free transportation for sightseers. "The purpose of offering these services is not to make money. Instead, we hope to attract tourists and create business opportunities for people in local villages," Li added.

Some local residents have also started providing services in their homes, such as restaurants and guest rooms. In response to the rise in the number of visitors, Xia plans to provide tourist services too.

The most recent data is not yet available, but the Office of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project said that between 2011 and 2015 the central government invested more than 17 billion yuan in environmental protection measures in the area that supplies the central route.

Beijing and Tianjin, two of the prime beneficiaries of the project, have also invested a combined 2.3 billion yuan in 650 projects, including a number designed to protect the environment and develop ecological industries, such as eco-agriculture and tourism. The municipalities have also mobilized local businesses to invest 88 billion yuan in 118 projects.

People stroll on a walking path near an embankment of Hanjiang River in Ankang, Shaanxi province. [Shao Rui/Xinhua]

Marketing opportunities

Last year, Chen Guosheng returned to his hometown of Shiquan county in Ankang city, Shaanxi, which is also located in the source area for the water diversion project.

The entrepreneur was prompted to return by the rise in the number of business opportunities resulting from the improvement to the local environment.

"The improvements have resulted in a lot of high-quality farm produce, but the local farmers don't know how to market or sell the goods," he said.

In response, Chen's company, Shaanxi Baren Tourism and Culture Co, is building marketing channels, and has invested 20 million yuan to transform Zhongba, a small village, into a business hub.

His plan is that tourists will be able to visit for sightseeing and also learn how to make local delicacies, including tofu and cooking oil, using local farm produce and traditional facilities and methods. A trial has been in operation since Oct 1, while the village is being redeveloped.

Chen also rents 67 hectares of land, which he has turned into a tea plantation. The leaves grown on the plantation are highly rated by a tea merchant in Guangdong province, who has ordered a continuous supply.

Business opportunities are also being nurtured in Madeng township, Nanyang city, Henan, via a 1,667-hectare forestry project intended to restore desertified land in a mountainous area.

Two scenic spots are the township's main tourist attractions, generating annual revenue of 35 million yuan. Now, the local government is using the forestry project, which has attracted investment of 82 million yuan, to widen the area's appeal to visitors.

Cherry and Chinese cherry apple trees will be planted along roadsides to create attractive scenery, while pomegranates and walnuts will be cultivated to allow tourists to pick their own fruit, said Zhou Yushan, head of the Madeng government.

In 2009, the per capita income in the township was about 3,000 yuan, but this year the figure is double that thanks to the tourism boom. There are now more than 100 "farm resorts" in the township, according to Zhou.

"The environmental improvements are bringing more opportunities for the development of tourism. All nine registered impoverished villages in the township will be lifted out of poverty by the end of the year," he said.

Contact the writer at houliqiang@chinadaily.com.cn

Oldest Nanjing Massacre survivor dies at 100

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 00:32
Guan Guangjing, the oldest Nanjing Massacre survivor until his death on Sunday, works in his vegetable garden. [Xinhua]

The oldest survivor of the Nanjing Massacre died on Sunday, and fewer than 100 survivors remain, the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre said on Monday.

State leaders will attend a public memorial ceremony at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on Wednesday.

Guan Guangjing died at age 100 three days before the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims. He had been bedridden for six months because of heart disease and died at home from multiple organ failure, his 76-year-old son-in-law, who gave only his surname as Liu, said by phone.

Guan contributed verbal testimony to Irrefutable Evidences, A Memoir of the Lishui Bombing Caused by Japanese Invaders, published by Nanjing Press in November 2016. The book collected 31 survivors' oral accounts of the bombing in Nanjing's Lishui county on Nov 29, 1937, and took more than 1,200 lives.

He said in the book that he hid under a big rock during the bombing and witnessed his neighbors, including the four generations of a family surnamed Sun, being killed.

Guan later managed to stay alive by hiding wherever he could during the massacre, in which more than 300,000 Chinese were killed by Japanese invaders, when Nanjing, then China's capital, was occupied in December 1937.

Officials from the memorial hall said Guan narrated that he witnessed Japanese invaders killing people multiple times.

Guan is pictured showing his survivor identification and posing with his daughters. His oral testimony about his survival was published in a book last year. [Xinhua]

The National Memorial Day falls on Dec 13, and this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.

"Guan was an orphan before 1937 and had no siblings. Five years ago, his wife died at age 84," Liu said.

Internet users mourned for Guan after the memorial hall announced his death on Sina Weibo on Sunday.

The Weibo post said Guan used to be a barrel maker in Lishui county and lived a frugal life. He was always willing to help others and was highly esteemed in the local community, it said.

It also said his family donated several of his personal articles to the memorial hall, including a paper fan, a watch and a teapot.

Zhang Sheng, a history professor at Nanjing University, said only about half of the more than 90 survivors can express themselves clearly as most are older than 85.

Wu Lisong, a history lecturer at Nanjing University, said the public used to believe that the survivor's pain would pass but have come to realize that it lasts a lifetime.

"Some of them are stricken with fright when people wearing Japanese military uniforms appear on the TV screen, and some become irritable whenever people mention those years to them," said Wu, who since September 2016 has led a project collecting oral accounts from survivors.

"Neither an apology nor compensation can reverse the traumas to the victims and survivors, but we still must make clear the history, which may be a starting point of reconciliation," he said.

Contact the writers at zhouwenting@chinadaily.com.cn

AIIB loans $250m for Beijing coal-to-gas conversion

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 00:27
A worker installs gas pineline at a village in Anping township of Xianghe county, Hebei province, Nov 2, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank announced on Monday a $250 million loan for a natural gas project in Beijing, the bank's first such investment in China, to help cut coal use and improve air quality in the capital area.

The loan, also the AIIB's first corporate financing deal, will be extended to Beijing Gas Group Co to carry out coal-to-gas conversion projects that will enable rural households to use gas instead of coal for cooking and heating. The project will involve construction of natural gas distribution networks, pipelines and household connection facilities, the Beijing-based multilateral financial institution said in a statement.

Scheduled to be completed in 2021, the project will help China reduce coal use by about 650,000 metric tons annually through connecting about 216,750 households in approximately 510 rural villages to the natural gas distribution network, according to the AIIB.

China has been fighting pollution by adopting stricter environmental rules including coal-to-gas conversion plans to reduce emissions.

Jin Liqun, AIIB president, said the bank's first investment in China fits its mission of supporting members' green, sustainable development.

"China's commitment to reducing its reliance on coal will change lives and improve the environment, and that is why we are investing in a project aligned with that ambitious plan," Jin said in a statement.

Jin added that it will help China introduce sustainable infrastructure that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help stimulate one of the most important economic hubs in Asia.

The energy project funded by the AIIB could mean that the multilateral financial institution will offer more financing for environment-related infrastructure projects in China, an important member of the AIIB, said Zeng Gang, a financial researcher at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"Green financing in China will clearly be an important target for the AIIB," Zeng said. "It is reasonable that the AIIB is the provider of long-term financing with relatively low cost for such infrastructure projects, especially when Chinese commercial banks are facing greater liquidity pressure."

Li Li, energy research director at ICIS China, an energy consulting firm, said AIIB financing should be welcomed, but the nation should also boost investment in seasonal gas storage facilities, diversify import channels and improve the pricing mechanism to address potential shortages.

Discovering Yunnan’s Tibetan Plateau - A personal Shangri-La

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 00:09

 

Zhongdian street scene 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

High in the northwestern uplands of Yunnan lies a popular destination known as Shangri-La since 2001. When Bruce Connolly visited it in 1995, it was called Zhongdian. A town partly fulfilling Bruce’s Tibetan dream.

Basket and brush store 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Visiting Tibet, an ambition from schooldays, felt like an “impossible dream”. Even in 1995 it remained both difficult and expensive to even reach Lhasa. Infrastructure, particularly for individual travelers, was challenging.

Basket and brush store 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

In '95 I was "discovering" Yunnan's Lijiang before heading to Qiaotou (Hutiaoxiazhen). A spectacular location where the small Zhongdian River flows into the Upper Yangzi or Jinshajiang (Golden Sand River). Qiaotou, gateway to magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge, was fun. Over three days I would sit outside aptly named "Backpackers' Cafe", fascinated with passing heavy blue trucks, often with Tibetan script painted on their doors. The cafe owner pointed along the street saying "They are from Zhongdian, a mainly Tibetan area, just up the road!" A chance for me to experience a "touch of Tibet"?

Carrying children Zhongdian 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Next morning I boarded a bus to "Zhong Dian". The start of a journey, at times terrifying, as we climbed out from Qiaotou along a highway perched above a fast flowing river that villagers crossed via wire ropes. The road was bumpy and in places partly washed away by recent landslides - boulders fell towards the cascading waters. My fellow passengers were fascinating to observe - a representation of probably every ethnic nationality from northwestern Yunnan. Sitting beside me a maroon-robed Buddhist monk prayed with wooden beads.

Copper cooking pots 1995.[Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

The road climbed through dense alpine forest with little human habitation before emerging onto an extensive grassy plateau. Tibetans referred to the area as Gyaitang or "Royal Plains". We were 3,200 meters above sea level with amazing visual clarity. Rows of tall wooden frames carried drying corn cobs. Grazing goats, sheep and cattle were watched over by Tibetan herders. I had reached the Tibetan part of Yunnan.

Domestic house front 1995.[Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

The road would continue north skirting past Sichuan before entering Tibet and on to Lhasa. My destination however was much closer. Heading past increasing numbers of villages; white chortens surrounded by prayer flags rose alongside the highway. Rounding a bend there lay Zhondian. We had arrived safely at what for me would be "Shangri-la" for several days.

Grandmother and child at the market 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Tourism had not then taken off - airport and expressway connections have since opened up the area. In 1995 accommodation was limited. I booked into the surprisingly good Tibet Hotel offering great food with a menu in English! Zhongdian was increasingly expanding with low-rise concrete buildings; my hotel bordered the older town. Sadly around half of this unique neighborhood was destroyed by fire on January 11, 2014. Flames spread rapidly due to extensive use of wood within traditional construction. In ’95 large logs from local forests were piled up for future building work, or maybe for fuel? It was interesting to watch new homes being built - side walls mainly composed of whitewashed adobe brick but facades were of highly ornate wood. Buildings were large, some with upper floor balconies. At street level space was used for storage or converted into "walk-in" shops offering a fairly limited range of simple produce such as drinks, noodles, biscuits, household supplies along with personal items such as soap and toothpaste.

Household goods on display 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

For me, as I wandered around, Zhongdian was taking on the feel of a traveller’s dream, particularly around the semi-enclosed bustling central market. Hundreds of brass prayer lamps alongside circular mounds of yak butter sat on stalls along the sidewalk. Piles of unfamiliar varieties of mushrooms were there - apparently many were shipped overseas, particularly to Japan. Tibetan women wearing red or green headscarves pushed heavy black bicycles. Some carried children in back shawls.

Lama sitting outside Zhongdian market. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

It is important not to remember it through "rose-tinted spectacles". The town was still relatively isolated, it was just starting to open up. The older area, which was fascinating to wander through, felt like an interface between rural and semi-urban with cattle, pigs and dogs wandering around unpaved back streets. Like many older areas in China at that time, dwellings frequently had no running water. Even at the hotel I noticed my laundry being hand washed in a plastic basin. However it also felt like a place waiting to be discovered.

Preparing lunch at Zhongdian market 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

I could feel within me that the older area had the potential to become a "high-altitude Dali". Indeed combining Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian and much in between there was the making of excellent travel possibilities. Such towns were historically long connected. Known locally as Deqen, like other north Yunnan settlements, it was on the historic "Tea Horse Trail" where from the 6th century Pu’er tea was transported by packhorse from sub-tropical Simao up to Lhasa. Wandering around, looking at people in their heavy traditional clothes I would wonder how many could trace their ancestry back through the centuries. Older Zhongdian in '95 had the impression of a town where people never or rarely left.

Sitting at market foodstall 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

The market area was a constant source of interest and photo opportunities. Just sitting watching life in all its forms could captivate me for hours. Scenes so far removed not just from more developed eastern coastal cities but also from Kunming, the provincial capital. I was fascinated with headgear - not just the colorful range of Tibetan, Yi, Naxi and Bai ladies styles but also the men with wide-brimmed almost cowboy-style - useful with the strong sun on the grasslands. One elderly man wearing a knee-length brown suede coat contentedly sat smoking a long-stem pipe. Next to him a lama from the nearby monastery appeared deep in thought. Tibetans appeared clearly in the majority around this bustling commercial area, although with so many different dialects and languages there was the continual mixture of quite incomprehensible sounds. With the number of people thronging through the tight spaces between stalls, photography was challenging, often having the camera ready to fire in the hope of successfully capturing images of this moment in time. Every corner presented reasons to stop, stare and wonder what the utensils were used for such as tall copper pots that seemed to have come from a bygone age. Were they for cooking? I had never seen the likes before. Then there were the meat cleavers simply laid out on the ground - something safety regulations back home in Scotland would forbid, yet there they were spread out in public view. I did feel Zhongdian was a safe place - indeed there certainly felt harmony amongst the various ethnic groups I met.

Small temple above the Old Town of Zhongdian 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Food stalls were intriguing. While vegetables such as corn and potatoes were produced locally the large quantities of fresh fruits must have been trucked up from lower parts of Yunnan. Locals laughed as I tried to photo a table heaving with sheep heads - maybe what the copper cooking pots were for? Then there were the restaurant booths where cooking was through woks over wood-fired stoves.

Smoking long stem pipe 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

It was the constant sense of activity. While some Bai women sat having lunch at an outdoor eatery, a Tibetan grandmother with a young boy walked past alongside other heavily garbed women chatting profusely.

Traders selling mushrooms at roadside 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

So quickly I was realizing Zhongdian was a discovery where I could have spent a considerable amount of time, but that was a luxury in short supply. I knew I had to get every minute out of my remaining few days there.

Vegetable stall holder Zhongdian 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Walking initially was my preferred way of discovering Zhongdian. With very few cars on the streets most people got around by bicycle, small three-wheel farm pick-up trucks or by rather dated minibuses. Larger buses occasionally headed north out of town toward centers such as Benzilan, bordering Sichuan, but in 1995 unfortunately off-limit to foreign travelers. Indeed Zhongdain had only recently been opened-up. Being relatively compact a short walk would soon lead into the surrounding countryside. A hill rising a short distance to the north was my initial destination. However I had forgotten something - altitude! With the town itself mostly flat, walking proved no problem, but going up a small hill was unexpectedly challenging. However, reaching the summit covered with prayer flags the view was of the urban core: of countless whitewashed villages set amidst an expanse of green; of a distant lake and the nearby monastery. It was obvious there lay much more to discover about my personal "Shangri-la" with Tibet oh so close but still so far from me.
It was time to hire a bicycle!

Wearing a traditional wide-brimmed hat 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn] Wood used in building construction 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn] Wood-fronted house under construction 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn] Yak butter lamps 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

Xi: Uproot undesirable work styles

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:51

Fight to continue against hedonism, extravagance and other misconduct

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed that the fight against undesirable work styles should not be stopped. Xi made the remark in an instruction released on Monday in response to an article by Xinhua News Agency about new forms of misconduct.

The new forms of misconduct are, in their nature, old problems, said Xi, also president and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

In the instruction, Xi warned about the intractability and recurrence of undesirable work styles — formalities for formalities' sake, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance.

"The efforts to address such misconduct should not be stopped and the work to improve the Party's conduct and work styles should never end," Xi said.

Xi told Party and governmental departments of all localities and in all sectors to check their own performance in this regard and take concrete measures to rectify problems, especially the most prominent ones such as seeking excessive publicity but lacking solid practice and implementation.

He also asked leading officials at all levels to take the lead in the campaign.

The practice of formalities for formalities' sake should also be strictly avoided in the upcoming CPC campaign on "staying true to our founding mission," Xi said.

The Xinhua article pointed out that although the fight against undesirable work styles has yielded major achievements, problems still linger as some officials conduct perfunctory work in their research and inspections. Some Party and governmental agencies and their workers show false concern for the public without doing practical work to serve the people.

There are also problems such as local governments working for the attention of higher officials, rather than for the people's satisfaction, the article noted.

It also pointed out cases of officials dodging responsibilities as well as inaction, sloth, double-dealing and duplicity by some officials.

The general office of the CPC Central Committee has issued a circular asking all Party and governmental agencies to study and implement Xi's instruction with prompt action.

It called on them to carefully sift out new forms of undesirable work styles, resolutely correct them and make solid improvement in this respect.

Stressing that the upcoming New Year's and Spring Festival season will be an important point in the fight, the circular told authorities to resolutely prevent the return of misconduct and to consolidate and build on the advances made in implementing the central Party leadership's eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct.

XINHUA

Xi-style diplomacy brings China closer to world

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:39

BEIJING -- A China-style major-country diplomacy has taken shape over the past five years through the overseas trips by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The 29 visits to 58 countries and major international and regional organizations across the five continents have helped win Xi the title of "chief diplomat" of China.

The trips have enhanced a leadership role for China in global peace, security, governance and development, and promoted a better understanding worldwide of a Chinese vision and approach that includes win-win cooperation and efforts towards building a community with a shared future for mankind.

WIN-WIN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Xi's first foreign trip since he became Chinese president was to Moscow in March 2013, where he debuted his diplomatic approach.

"To keep up with the times, we cannot have ourselves physically living in the 21st century, but with a mindset belonging to the past, stalled in the old days of colonialism, and constrained by zero-sum Cold War mentality," Xi told an audience at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, while calling for building a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core.

Xi's six visits to Russia and more than 20 meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin on various occasions have lifted China-Russia ties to their best in history. The two countries together serve as an anchor for global peace and security.

"I believe that the model of bilateral relations that we have created should become one of the examples of civilized interaction between countries in the 21st century," Chairman of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said.

The principles Xi put forward of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation have helped stabilize China-US relations over White House leadership changes and consequent uncertainties.

Xi's exchanges with US President Donald Trump led to the establishment of new high-level dialogue mechanisms between China and the United States in a bid to promote global peace and security.

China-Europe relations have expanded with each of Xi's tours to the continent. China seeks a partnership with the European Union based on peace, growth, reform and mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. China's excellent relationship with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have largely eased Europeans' worries about China.

During the past five years, half of Xi's overseas visits were dedicated to promoting ties with China's neighbors, including the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism, the updated version of the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Area, and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, among others.

Meanwhile, cooperation with developing countries in Africa and Latin America has grown, with China's involvement in a number of infrastructure and development projects.

STRENGTHENING MULTILATERALISM

Xi's proposal to build a community with a shared future for mankind is a central pillar of multilateralism. The proposal shines light on China's diplomatic efforts over the past five years concerning individual states and regional and international organizations.

From the UN General Assembly, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meetings, to the Group of 20 (G20) forum and the BRICS summit which embraces Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Xi has reaffirmed China's commitment to economic globalization, UN-led multilateralism and global peace.

Globalization is falsely blamed for a sluggish global economy, high unemployment, a rise in trade protectionism, populism and isolationism, terrorism, the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East and the widening gap between rich and poor.

"In the face of both opportunities and challenges of economic globalization, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalization," Xi said in a keynote WEF speech in January.

He listed an innovation-driven growth, open and win-win cooperation, fairer governance as well as balanced and inclusive development as the way forward for the global economy. Multilateralism is the solution for global problems, and China has been a strong pillar of it.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind is embodied in the Belt and Road Initiative Xi proposed in 2013, which is aimed at building trade and infrastructure networks in countries along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

Moreover, the initiative's projects involving new railways, roads, and industrial zones in Asia and Africa are aligned with the development strategies of many countries and are being hashed out with the United Nations 2030 sustainable development goals in mind. The Belt and Road Initiative is perhaps the greatest gift China has ever offered to the world.

"In an increasingly interdependent and integrated world where countries form a community of shared interests, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation are the only viable option," Xi said at the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries during the BRICS summit held in September in Xiamen, China.

"Multilateralism is the solution for the global problems, and China has been a strong pillar of multilateralism," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. His predecessor Ban Ki-moon has called China "an indispensable partner for the UN's agenda."

China's continued support for the Paris climate change accord after the US withdrawal and its significant contributions to UN peacekeeping missions are also among its efforts to make the world a better place.

China to hold annual memorial for Nanjing Massacre victims

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 14:08

BEIJING - China will hold an annual memorial for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, in the eastern city of Nanjing Wednesday.

Leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the central government will attend the ceremony at a square in front of the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

The event will be broadcast live by media outlets including China National Radio, China Central Television, China Radio International, xinhuanet.com and major news portals.

On Dec. 13, 1937, Nanjing fell to Japanese invaders who went on a more than month-long slaughter of civilians. About 300,000 Chinese were killed, and 20,000 women raped.

In February 2014, China's top legislature designated December 13 as a national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

Beijing’s Haidian district halts removal of building signs

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:52

Urban management authorities in Beijing’s Haidian district have suspended the removal of signs and billboards from buildings, and have not made a decision when work would resume.

According to a notice released Saturday but only widely publicized Monday, Haidian district has ordered a stop to sign removal in the district out of concerns for workers’ safety in windy weather and the problems residents were having finding their way without the signs as references.

Removal work currently underway should be completed to ensure safety, the notice said.

The notice also stressed that in the future the removal and installation of signs should be carried out simultaneously.

The Beijing Commission of City Management launched a citywide campaign in December to limit the number and placement of signs on buildings in order to "create an urban skyline that is visually clear and bright".

The campaign was launched as part of the capital's urban plan for 2016 to 2035.

According to a notice from the commission, all signs and billboards attached to roofs must be removed. In addition, there can be only one sign with a building's name on the third story or higher, and the name should be the same as the one registered with planning authorities.

Each of the capital's 16 districts will launch an enforcement campaign, the notification said, and any failure by institutions and individuals to remove noncompliant signs will be noted on their credit record.

Signage must be removed by the end of December and the commission will inspect the capital "road by road" in January, the notice said.

The campaign has provoked heated discussion online. While some Beijing residents applauded the campaign, others worried that it would be difficult for them to find their destinations.

"Without signage, I experienced much difficulty in finding the destination in places I am not familiar with," said Shi Shunji, a resident of Haidian district.

In response to the concern, an unnamed official from the commission told Qianlong, a website operated by the city government, that they would work along with property owners to reinstall new signage "as soon as possible".

The official added that the campaign is not aimed at “stifling individuality” but to encourage property owners to design their signage within a "prescribed frame".

PLA Navy stations women on Nansha Islands for the 1st time

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:33

The People’s Liberation Army has sent 10 of its female members to join the garrison guarding the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea, according to the PLA Navy.

The first group of female members sent by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to join the garrison guarding the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea is seen in this picture taken on December 11, 2017. [Photo by Li Tang for chinadaily.com.cn]

The Navy said in a news release Monday afternoon that this has been the first time for female service members to be stationed on Nansha Islands, the country’s southernmost territories. They formally started working on Yongshu Reef from Monday.

The 10 women are officers and sergeants with an average age of 23. All of them have a university diploma, the release said, adding they have been assigned to a wide range of posts such as staff, communications and medical service.

The first group of female members sent by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to join the garrison guarding the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea is seen in this picture taken on December 11, 2017. [Photo by Li Tang for chinadaily.com.cn]

Zhang Jiahong, political commissar of the PLA Nansha Islands Garrison, was quoted by the release as saying that these female members will be sent back to the mainland every several months for rest to ensure their health.

Zhou Yaling, one of the women, said Nansha is more beautiful than what they had imagined. “There are airports, harbors, streets, hospitals and sporting grounds. All of them make the islands like a lovely city on the sea,” she was quoted as saying in the release.

Before them, there have been female PLA members on the islands but they were in short missions and still took orders from units that sent them there, the China Daily reporter learned.

Forum tackles urban problems for sustainable future

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:21

A forum tackling the more challenging problems in urban development gathered people in this area on Saturday to raise awareness of greener and more sustainable urban development.

Wang Yawei, board chairman of Shunxin Construction.

Attendees at the China Urban Development and Finance Forum, sponsored by Shunxin Construction, exchanged views on urban development that is "innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared by all", where government, enterprises and institutes can work together to achieve win-win results.

Wang Yawei, board chairman of Shunxin Construction, said his company will adhere to development that is "innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared by all" and push forward supply-side reform to grow sustainably. Wei Wuqun, general manager[please check to make sure my edit is more accurate] of Shunxin Construction Investment and Fund, said funding is one of the best solutions to urban development and state-owned enterprise reform.

Wang Zhongjie from the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design took Sanya of Hainan province as an example to explain the concept of "urban restoration", which has a goal of restoring the urban environment and the look of the city with its cultural connotations.

China Urban Development and Finance Forum in Beijing December 9, 2017

China is on an urbanization campaign to tackle overcrowded big cities and underdeveloped second- and third-tier cities and townships after the 19th Congress of the CPC.

The forum included two seminars on the balance between urban development and environmental resources and smart urban finance respectively. Representatives from pilot cities of urban restoration attended the seminars to share their experience and views.

Emojis frown on corruption

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:59

An emojis package highlighting the eight-point austerity rules has become a hit on the internet.

It was launched by China's top discipline watchdog to promote the spirit of austerity in an innovative way.

The package has 16 emojis, each promoting a specific idea, for example, opposing formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance, opposing privileges, forbidding improper allocation and use of official vehicles or reducing the number of meetings.

The emojis went viral after they were published on the website and WeChat account of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Nov 3.

The emojis package has been downloaded over 130,000 times on WeChat, and has been shared more than 500,000 times via the app, the CCDI said.

The package was launched to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the eight-point rules, which were issued by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Dec 4, 2012, aiming to reduce bureaucracy, extravagance and undesirable work practices of Party members.

The CCDI said that the launch was to consolidate and strengthen the implementation of the eight-point rules, and promote the spread of the spirit of austerity among people in an easily understood way.

An official from the CCDI told Beijing News on Dec 4 that they want to find innovative ways to convey serious subjects by making good use of modern communication.

"There's still room for the emojis to be improved in both quantity and quality," the official told the Beijing News. "They are far from covering all aspects of the eight-point rules due to their limited number."

China Discipline Inspection Daily said last week that the emojis were popular because China's anti-corruption achievements in the past five years have really won the deep support of the people.

Over the past five years, about 263,000 Party members who were found to have violated the eight-point rules have been punished, the CCDI said.

Suzhou police catch gang selling fake Herbalife products

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:43

Police in eastern China said on Monday they have smashed an operation that made more than 20 million yuan ($3 million) from selling fake Herbalife products.

After a tipoff from e-commerce giant Alibaba about suspect activity, police raided a four-story property in suburban Suzhou, Jiangsu province, on Nov 1 and found seven people packing up counterfeit goods.

Officers seized nearly 2 metric tons of raw materials, including protein powder and cookies, as well as labels marked Herbalife, a US brand specializing in weight management products.

Another five people were later detained in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, and Guangzhou and Zhanjiang in Guangdong province, for distributing the fake goods online.

All 12 were given criminal detention as punishment by the public security bureau.

Police said the ringleader, identified only as Ding, 36, had employed people in their early 20s from Guangdong to produce hundreds of cans of fake health food a day.

He had confessed to producing fake health foods between 2007 and 2009, but had dodged legal penalties, according to Wu Jianfei, a Suzhou police officer involved in the case.

One of his subordinates, surnamed Jiang, was caught back then and received three years in prison. However, on his release, he reunited with Ding and they started making fake Herbalife products and selling them for about 300 yuan a can, Wu said.

Ding told police he copied the texture and flavor of the Herbalife products with protein powder and cookies, as well as other food additives.

Police said samples of the fake goods had been sent for testing to see if they posed a health hazard.

Jack Ma Foundation pledges millions to boost rural education

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:32

The Jack Ma Foundation has pledged to spend at least 300 million yuan ($45 million) in the next decade to staff rural schools with qualified teachers.

The foundation unveiled on Monday its Jack Ma Rural Pre-Service Teacher Initiative, which aims to draw graduates from normal universities to countryside schools on a five-year program.

This is the foundation’s third initiative supporting rural education development.

For the first phase, starting Jan 21, the foundation said it will cooperate with universities in Hunan, Sichuan and Jilin provinces as well as Chongqing, and channel 100 graduates to villages in the four regions.

Each successful applicant will receive 100,000 yuan in addition to their salary, it said.

To encourage program fellows to stay in rural schools, the foundation has pledged to provide online and offline refresher courses, and allocate mentors to advise on teaching and career development.

New Party delegation from Taiwan visits mainland

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:21

The director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office met with a delegation from Taiwan's New Party on Monday to promote peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

Zhang Zhijun, the office's director, praised the New Party for promoting peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and recognizing the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle.

He said the visit came shortly after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and reiterated how the mainland will address issue of Taiwan by citing the report from the congress.

Cross-Straits relations have faced challenges because the Democratic Progressive Party, the ruling party in Taiwan, has refused to recognize the one-China principle, leading to a suspension of official communications between the mainland and the island, Zhang said.

He said the DDP had proposed de-Sinofication of the island, cutting ties between the mainland and Taiwan in culture, education and social fields.

"Taiwan independence" is an obstacle to peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, Zhang added.

Yok Mu-ming, chairman of the New Party, who led the delegation, described the visit as an "innovative trip". He cited the report of the 19th CPC National Congress, delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping, saying that the mainland respects the current system and way of life in Taiwan, and is ready to share development opportunities on the mainland with Taiwan compatriots.

He said that, as a Chinese person from Taiwan, he understood the mainland's status quo regarding development and direction by reading the report.

It is a shame that in recent years Taiwan has focused on stirring up conflict internally, while the mainland remains focused on growth and development and some Taiwan people prefer to place their hope in the mainland, he added.

The mainland has issued a series of favorable policies to help Taiwan residents study, work and live in the mainland.

"As a party, we are against 'Taiwan independence', promoting peaceful development and realizing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Yok said.

Liu Jieyi, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, also attended the meeting.

The eight-day visit by the New Party delegation will end on Saturday, according to An Fengshan, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

The visit aims to promote peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and advance the process toward the peaceful reunification of China and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, An said.

NGO helps epileptic boy realize racing dream in Zhejiang

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:49

An NGO helped an epileptic boy from eastern China realize his dream to ride a race car on an international circuit on Monday.

Yang Tao, 14, from Nantong, Jiangsu province, has had convulsions almost every four days since he was born and has to wear a helmet at all times to protect against head injuries.

He dropped out of school in the third grade of primary school and seldom plays with other children, usually staying at home.

Yet he has loved cars since he was little and long dreamed of racing them.
When workers at Childream, an NGO based in Hangzhou, learned about his ambition, they spent three months arranging for him to take a spin round Zhejiang Circuit in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province.

After some professional training on Monday morning, Yang rode in a car once driven by racing driver Jiang Tengyi and best-selling author and rally driver Han Han, traveling at speeds of up to 210 km/h.

"I felt like I was flying," Yang said afterward.

Xu Wenjun from Childream said, "Many NGOs offer financial aid to help children who are critically ill, but we feel it is equally important to give them spiritual support."

Six killed in Hebei bath house fire

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:39
A fire breaks out in a bath house on Sunday in Yongnian district of Handan, Hebei province.[Photo/Sina Weibo]

Six people were killed on Sunday afternoon in a fire at a bath house in Yongnian district of Handan, Hebei province, authorities said on Monday.

The fire broke out in a sauna in the Jinhai'an Bath Center at 13:51 pm on Sunday, according to a Sina Weibo post by the Hebei Public Security Department.

Two people died at the scene, and four died after being taken to the hospital, the post said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and those believed to be responsible have been detained.

The Handan government has sent out seven inspection teams to conduct citywide safety checks.

Residents mobilized to protect environment in Tibet

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:50

LHASA - Residents of southwest China's Tibet autonomous region have been mobilized for government-paid patrolling jobs to protect the ecosystem on the "roof of the world."

The regional environmental department said on Monday that the government has created 620,000 jobs for forest wardens, patrollers in water source conservation areas and wildlife preservation workers.

The department's figures suggested that since 2004, the regional government has spent 19.2 billion yuan (2.9 billion US dollars) to subsidize environmental jobs.

All 3 million Tibetan residents can volunteer to choose these jobs, and most of them opt to do the work part time, according to the department.

Purbu, 51, of Gyibo village in Xigaze city is a forest patroller responsible for reporting fire hazards.

The cargo truck driver just spent 1 million yuan to build a new house. He said the annual pay of 6,000 yuan for patrolling does not matter much to him, but he is willing to patrol in the winter, when the fire risk is high.

"We have depended on the forest to live for generations. The government pays to have it protected. How could we not do something?" he said.

The city's virgin forest, located 4,600 meters above sea level, yields abundant resources for farmers like Purbu.

Qiao Liwen, a 12-year-old primary school student in Lhasa, the regional capital, is among the youngest patrollers.

She and other students at Nanmuxiang Primary School pick up garbage on the street and throw it into a garbage classification and recycling station at the school, which they call the "Green Bank."

Israeli feels special connection to Harbin

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:45

A recent video about Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, has attracted much attention on the internet.

Yoav Vollansky (left) hugs a girl on the street in Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

In the video, a young foreign man walks around the city, giving big hugs to the strangers he meets on the streets.

Through this, he shows his love and gratitude to Harbin. Surprisingly, the foreigner can speak fluent Dongbeihua, or Northeastern Mandarin.

Yoav Vollansky, a we-media producer focusing on cultural communication between China and Israel, came to China seven years ago from his home country.

In September, he came to Harbin to produce a video about the special meaning the city holds to Jewish people.

“As I know, 90 years ago, there were many Jews who lived in Harbin and built a life here. While in other places around the world Jews had suffered discrimination and violence, the Chinese people have always accepted us and treated us as equals,” said Yoav. “I went to shoot a video that conveys this information as well as to personally thank and show my appreciation for that.”

“In my country, some young people know little about the history,” he said. “Therefore, I also hope my video can help more of them know about the city, which had been the homes of our older generations.”

Before coming, he asked some of his friends who came from the Northeast to teach him some Dongbeihua.

“To be honest, I didn’t know much of it before I came to Harbin, but I was always curious about it. I love Chinese dialects in general because they carry an interesting flavor that doesn’t always exist in Putonghua,” he said. “I always heard that Dongbeihua has lots of characteristics, and only when I started learning it I had a bit of a feel to it.”

Vollansky still remembers the first time he visited the city in 2015. “It was in the winter, so I had an opportunity to enjoy the famous Ice and Snow Festival and of course the pleasure of eating a popsicle in -20 C.”

“Hopefully I could learn more Donbeihua in the future. If anyone is willing to teach me, I’ll be happy to invite them to coffee here in Beijing,” he told China Daily.

Honor mobile phone leading in AI speed

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:36

Fiercely competitive smartphone market shifts focus from hardware features to virtual brainpower

Zhao Ming, president of Huawei's Honor Brand, delivers a speech at the launch ceremony for their AI phone Honor V10. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

Many commentators have deemed 2017 to be year one for the artificial intelligence smartphone as iPhone X and Honor V10 launched into the highly competitive but uniform cellphone market. So will an intelligent phone be the next great breakthrough?

The smartphone competition battlefield has shifted from pursuit of super-slimness, dual-cameras, fast-charging to full screen, yet none of these hardware features lies at the core of phone manufacturers' competitiveness, explained Zhao Ming, president of Honor – a phone brand of Huawei.

According to a China Academy of Information and Communications Technology report, cellphone shipments by domestic brands reached 3.19 million in October, down 15.4 percent year on year. Similar features and designs make domestic smartphone players swim in the highly competitive, margin-eroding "Red Ocean".

The smartphone market's future lies in the prospect that an intelligent handset can serve as a personal assistant for users’ daily lives, taking care of their needs and letting amateurs become masters, empowered by state-of-the-art AI technology.

Last month Honor launched its full-screen V10 smartphone with AI-enabled chipset in Beijing. The new handset promises fresh, exciting AI features; it supports face-unlock technology – the screen will light up automatically when the owner gazes at it.

The phone can identify 13 kinds of scene and improve parameters in photo shooting and video recording. The more consumers use the AI-empowered phone, the more data it collects. The handset in your pocket will know you better and function in a more nuanced way to make your life easier.

Younger appeal

Honor, launched four years ago in 2013, has thrived by taking advantage of its parent company Huawei's well-established name.

The brand, which sells its products primarily online, has issued several flagship phones which have been well-received by the market; it has become a pioneer in the intelligent phone field.

"We give unique identities to Huawei and Honor. Huawei Mate are our flagship phones that boast upscale business style, while many of the functions we put in Honor are appealing to young people," noted Zhao.

Highlights of the latest model include 30 sets of mobile phone WLAN co-broadcast music and optimizing performance when the users play the smash-hit game King of Glory.

The cost-effective internet business model has let the brand sell models to younger consumers at 1,000 yuan ($151) to 3,000 yuan.

Honor V10 is priced at 2,699 yuan for the 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage variant and 3,499 yuan for 6GB RAM/128GB internal storage variant.

AI speed revolution

The AI smartphone became a buzzword when iPhone launched its latest gadget, iPhone X. The iPhone X's "original deep camera" achieves facial recognition by sensing the depth of the user's face and modeling it with 300,000-point clouds to achieve high precision.

There is at present no consensus on defining an AI smartphone. But the growing consensus among researchers is that AI smartphones should have end-to-end capability from AI chips that can conduct AI processing on the mobile devices; an AI algorithm that enables deep learning; cloud services and an AI system.

Honor V10's Kirin 970 AI chip is designed to be used in smartphones. The Kirin 970 is custom-made to conduct such tasks as sorting images, translating text and understanding speech.

"It's a game with very few players," Zhao said.

In 2012, Honor began its AI research. Last year it released the first AI cellphone, Honor Magic. Honor V10 AI is a complete upgrade to Magic. Zhao said years of accumulation in this field had given Honor first-mover advantage.

"The Honor V10 we launched today has functions and capacity that no other phone can even achieve in half year," Zhao said with confidence in the launch.

Honor V10 uses EMUI8.0 AI system which based on AI 2.0. It switches context with homogenous multi-core. With revolutionary system, the fluency can be much improved.

"AI knows you better", "AI speed revolution" is integrated into Honor's campaign; Zhao thinks AI phones comprise the future market.

"For the past years, when we talk about the speed of smartphones, we are thinking about hardware. Yet the improvement in hardware has reached a bottleneck; even when the processing speed doubled, it brought negligible differences of fractions of seconds to users.

"The moment we had an idea in mind, we are already operating our phone, if we respond to such a request from the users' minds we can streamline the process significantly," Zhao said.

Taking the parameter camera setting as an example – using AI, people who have no knowledge of photo-shooting can snap pictures that mirror those taken by professional photographers.

"I think that is the beauty of AI smartphone, that you can be more engaged in many facets of life effortlessly," Zhao said.

Xi’an security guard dies trying to save suicidal woman

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:54

Police in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, are investigating the death of a security guard who tried to catch a woman who jumped from the 11th floor of a building, Huashang Daily reported on Monday.

The 43-year-old man, identified only as Li, had worked as a security guard for more than five years and was married with a 6-year-old daughter.

The woman, who lived on the 11th floor of the building, also died in the incident on Sunday.

Video footage shared online shows Li trying to stop the woman jumping at about 8:30 am. When she jumps, Li tries to catch her but is knocked over the side with her.

“Li was shocked when the woman jumped. Then he stretched out his hands to catch her, only to be knocked to the ground himself,” a witness said.

One of Li’s relatives said his parents and daughter had not yet been told of his death, and that his wife was staying with relatives.

Zheng Yumeng contributed to this story.

'Naughty' elephant damages two vehicles in SW China

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:44

KUNMING - A wild Asian elephant turned a highway in Southwest China's Yunnan province into its playground, damaging a minibus and a sedan Saturday afternoon.

According to forest police in Menghai county, an adult elephant walked near a parked minibus at around 6 p.m. and began hitting the windshield with its head. It then scratched itself against the bus, lingering until 8:30 p.m.

There were no passengers in the vehicle, and the driver was not injured and was taken away after the elephant left.

A sedan drove by at about 6:20 p.m. Seeing the elephant and the minibus, the driver turned back immediately and fled for about one kilometer before pulling over and leaving on foot.

However, when the driver came back at 7 a.m. on Sunday, the parked sedan had already been thrown down a slope by the elephant.

Chang Zongbo, spokesman for the forest police, said more staff from the police station and local forestry bureau have been dispatched to the area for monitoring and early warning.

Wild Asian elephants are under Class A protection in China, with a population of about 300, mainly scattered in Yunnan. With strengthened protection efforts for the environment and wildlife, the number of wild Asian elephants has been growing in recent years.

Algerian boy, 12, wins Shenzhen talent contest

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 06:51

A 12-year-old Algerian boy was crowned winner of the eighth Shenzhen Expats Chinese Talent Competition on Sunday.

Younes Bensebaa wowed judges with his recital of Nostalgia, a popular poem by Yu Guangzhong, to claim the top prize.

Aleksandr Vaskin, 11, from Russia, and 12-year-old Ahn Tae-hyeon from South Korea were both named runners-up.

The annual event, which promotes Chinese culture as well as exchanges between Chinese and foreigners in Shenzhen, attracted hundreds of entrants this year, organizers said.

After several heats, they were whittled down to 10 finalists from nine countries.

During the three-hour event on Sunday, contestants had to make a three-minute speech in Chinese, play a word-guessing game, and perform a talent.

One of the judges, professor Gu Xiaojin from Shenzhen University’s School of Communication, said the competition shows that Chinese culture is well-recognized among the city’s expats.

“They’ve learned about Chinese culture, blended into the culture, and will probably promote it when they return to their home countries,” he said.

The talent contest is organized by Shenzhen Daily and its English-language website, Eyeshenzhen, and is sponsored by the city’s foreign affairs office and information office.

Since its launch in 2010, the competition has become an important event among the expat community. Thousands of people have taken part, with some going on to become rising stars on Chinese TV.

Duke Kunshan starts search for bachelor’s degree students

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 06:51

Duke Kunshan University, a joint venture between Duke University in the US and China’s Wuhan University, has started to enroll its first class of undergraduate students.

The university — based in Kunshan, Jiangsu province — will launch its inaugural bachelor’s degree program in August, according to Li Hui, assistant to the university’s president, Liu Jingnan.

She said Duke Kunshan plans to enroll 175 students from 15 provincial areas, including Beijing and Shanghai, “with the total number including international students reaching 225”.

The four-year degree is based on liberal arts and sciences, and will allow students to explore a variety of subjects and build a broad base of knowledge in the first two years before selecting a major, Li said on Sunday.

“Designed by faculty from Duke University with input from Chinese higher-education experts, our curriculum develops deep subject matter expertise while integrating coursework from multiple disciplines, ensuring that graduates are well prepared for employment or advanced studies in their chosen field,” she said.

“Studying at Duke Kunshan will be much like doing so overseas. After spending years studying overseas, students may find it hard to stay there after graduation or find it hard to adapt to the rapid developments in their homeland.

“Yet studying at a university like Duke Kunshan will enable students to keep up to date with China’s development and gain an international perspective.”

Li added that courses will be taught in English and will be primarily conducted in small, discussion-based classes with a ratio of one teacher to 11 students.

Former Chongqing Party chief under investigation

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 06:13

Sun Zhengcai, the former Party chief of Chongqing, is being investigated on allegations of bribery, State prosecutors said on Monday.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate, the top prosecuting authority, said Sun has been placed under "coercive measures", which may include summons by force, bail and detention, and further investigation is under way.

Sun was investigated in July by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on suspicion of serious violations of Party discipline.

He was removed from his post as a deputy to the National People's Congress, the top legislature, in September and later expelled from the Party.

Top procuratorate investigates Sun Zhengcai

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 05:06

BEIJING -- The Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) of China announced on Monday that it has started investigation into Sun Zhengcai, former secretary of Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Sun, also former member of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee, was put under investigation on suspicion of accepting bribes.

The SPP has taken "coercive measures" against Sun, which may include summons by force, bail and detention, and further investigation is under way.

Xi stresses nonstop efforts to fight undesirable work styles

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 04:38
The Chinese characters read: Formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.


BEIJING -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed that the fight against undesirable work styles should not be stopped.

Xi, also Chinese President and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a written instruction on an article by Xinhua News Agency about new forms of relevant misconduct.

World's largest automated container terminal starts operation in Shanghai

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 04:20
The fourth phase of Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, the largest automated container terminal in the world, started trial operation on Sunday. As part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the system can operate completely unmanned.[Photo/Xinhua]

The fourth phase of the Yangshan Port will initially be able to handle 4 million TEUs after it enters full operation, which will help consolidate Shanghai port's position as the world's leading port.

So far, the equipment that has been put into trial operation includes 10 bridge cranes, 40 rail-mounted gantry cranes and 50 AGVs. The project will eventually be equipped with 26 bridge cranes, 120 rail-mounted gantry cranes and 130 AGVs.

Located at the South of Donghai Bridge, the fourth phase of Yangshan Deep Water Port covers 2.23 million square meters and has a 2,350-meter shoreline. [Photo/Xinhua] The fourth phase of Yangshan Deep Water Port starts trial operations on December 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG] Containers are seen at Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] Containers are seen at Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

China launches communication satellite for Algeria

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 03:33
China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, on Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

XICHANG - China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday.

The satellite was the first cooperative project in aerospace industry between the two countries. It will be used by Algeria for broadcast and television, emergency communication, distance education, e-governance, enterprise communication, broadband access and satellite-based navigation.

The satellite was launched 40 minutes after midnight by a Chinese Long March-3B carrier rocket, making it the 258th flight mission for the Long March rocket family.

China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, on Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, on Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese, Algerian presidents hail successful launch of communications satellite

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 03:18
China launches Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - President Xi Jinping and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika exchanged congratulatory messages on the successful launch of Alcomsat-1 in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday.

In his message, Xi pointed out that the project of Alcomsat-1, Algeria's first communications satellite, is an important manifestation of the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership, which starts a precedent in aerospace cooperation between China and Arab countries and will play an important role in promoting Algeria's economic development, improvement of its people's livelihood and social progress.

The year of 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Algeria, Xi said, adding that Beijing is willing to work with Algeria to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, promote the in-depth development of the comprehensive strategic partnership so as to benefit the two countries and two peoples.

For his part, Bouteflika said in his message that the successful launch of Alcomsat-1 is a remarkable achievement in aerospace cooperation between Algeria and China, which reflects the deep traditional friendship between the two sides.

Algeria is willing to work with China to jointly promote cooperation in various fields to achieve more results, he added.

Autopsy: Jiang suffered several injuries before the fatal stab

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 03:12
Jiang Qiulian, the victim Jiang Ge's mother, meets the press one day before the trial in Tokyo, on Dec 10. [Photo by Yao Wei/VCG]

Jiang Ge's autopsy report has been revealed, showing Jiang suffered five or six defensive injuries before the fatal stab, evidence against the accused Chen's claim saying Jiang fell down and died from the first stab. Jiang's neck had 11 or 12 stab injuries.

Jiang's mother cried bitterly many times when appearing at court.

Suspected killer of Chinese student denies it was premeditated murder

Chen Shifeng, the alleged killer of Jiang Ge, claimed he did not plan to kill the postgraduate student, reported ifeng.com on Monday.

On the first day of the trial, Chen said Liu Xin, the roommate of Jiang Ge, passed the fruit knife to Jiang Ge from the inside of the house and then closed the door right away. Jiang Ge rang the bell with the elbow several times but Liu Xin didn't open the door.

According to Chen, Jiang died from loss of blood. He said that Jiang fell down when he first stabbed her, but he defended his action saying "I didn't any motive to kill her when I first stabbed her."

He also said "the next nine stabs had no causal relationship with the first stab".

Chen remained calm during the trial.

According to reports, the mother of the victim did not attend the court hearing.

Alleged killer of Chinese student goes on trial in Tokyo

The trial of the alleged murderer of Chinese student Jiang Ge began at 10 am on Monday in Tokyo. It will last seven days and the verdict is expected on Dec 20.

Jiang Ge, a 24-year-old postgraduate student, was killed outside her apartment in Tokyo over a year ago after she was reportedly attacked by Chen Shifeng while trying to defend his former girlfriend Liu Xin from him.

The mother of the victim Jiang Qiulian has been in Japan for 30 days, with the purpose of petitioning for a death sentence for the accused. Jiang has accused Liu of being indifferent to the sacrifice of Jiang, sparking a heated online debate.

Liu Xin, the roommate of Jiang Ge, will appear in court as a witness.

Asia's tallest wooden pagoda destroyed

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 03:11
Flames and smoke billow during a fire at a wooden pagoda at Jiulong Temple in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, on Dec 10, 2017. The 16-story structure was said to be the tallest wooden pagoda in Asia. No casualties were reported in the incident. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. [Photo/VCG]

 

Flames and smoke billow during a fire at a wooden pagoda at Jiulong Temple in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, on Dec 10, 2017. The 16-story structure was said to be the tallest wooden pagoda in Asia. No casualties were reported in the incident. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. [Photo/VCG]

 

Flames and smoke billow during a fire at a wooden pagoda at Jiulong Temple in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, on Dec 10, 2017. The 16-story structure was said to be the tallest wooden pagoda in Asia. No casualties were reported in the incident. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. [Photo/VCG]

 

Fire crews work to put out a blaze that flattened a wooden pagoda at Jiulong Temple in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, on Dec 10, 2017. The 16-story structure was said to be the tallest wooden pagoda in Asia. No casualties were reported in the incident. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. [Photo/VCG]

 

Fire crews work to put out a blaze that flattened a wooden pagoda at Jiulong Temple in Mianzhu, Sichuan province, on Dec 10, 2017. The 16-story structure was said to be the tallest wooden pagoda in Asia. No casualties were reported in the incident. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. [Photo/VCG]

 

The wooden pagoda at Jiulong Temple in Mianzhu, Sichuan province. [File photo/VCG]

 

Guizhou:Western province looks to the future of big data

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:22

While located in the remote southwestern part of China, Guizhou leads the development of Big Data technology in recent years.

What makes Guizhou a leading role in Big Data industry?

On June 17, 2015, General Secretary Xi Jinping inspected the Guiyang Big Data Applied Exhibition Center, pointing out, 'The development of Big Data in Guizhou is a successful inevitability.' With investments in policy and technology, Guizhou will undoubtedly create more miracles in the future.

Dec 8 2017

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:00

We should target cutting-edge technology and mobilize prime resources to make breakthroughs in developing core big data technology."

Baby sitter held for abuse

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:58

A baby sitter who allegedly struck a baby multiple times in an elevator in Zhengzhou, Henan province, has been detained after a video of the assault aroused public outrage during the past week, local police said over the weekend.

The public security bureau on the city's Dongfeng Road posted a statement on Saturday evening verifying the suspect as a 42-year-old baby sitter surnamed Li. It said the woman is under administrative detention for assault.

"We received a report saying the woman hit the baby while taking an elevator in her community at around 6 pm on Tuesday," the police said in the statement. "We quickly came to the scene and controlled the baby sitter. Surveillance camera footage we obtained clearly showed her offense in the elevator."

Further investigation is underway, it added.

Information about the baby, including the age, gender and the health condition, were not disclosed.

Beijing News quoted a community management officer as saying on Sunday that the child is doing well. A neighbor of the family told the paper that the child is currently being cared for by a relative.

The case aroused intense public attention as the video, which showed the woman in the act of assault, spread online over the past week.

In the video, the woman, wearing a black down jacket, red pants and glasses, picked up the baby from another person on the 29th floor of the building. After the elevator's door closed, she first struck the crying baby's belly, followed by its head and back. Within one-minute in the elevator, she struck the baby 14 times, the video showed.

Many netizens, together with members of the Chinese media, expressed anger and forwarded the video to police, hoping the authorities would investigate the case and identify the woman.

Cases of baby sitters abusing infants have come to light more than once this year.

Last month, an official website in Shandong province reported that a baby sitter was given 14 days of administrative detention after she slapped a 1-year-old child. The baby sitter's company also paid 3,000 yuan ($453) in compensation to the child's family.

Chutian Metropolis Daily, a newspaper based in Hubei province, also reported in April that parents of a 2-year-old girl called police after they found that their baby sitter had assaulted the child-kicking her and pushing her down-when they were not home.

Hong Daode, a professor of criminal law at China University of Political Science and Law, said the punishment for such baby sitters depends on how seriously they hurt the child. "If the damage is severe, the offender may face criminal liability for intentional injury," he said.

If the harm is not great, administrative detention and compensation are the more common means of punishment, he said.

New era to bring chances, official says

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:54

The country is more open to the world and, as a result, more opportunities are expected to be created in this new era, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday at the seventh World Forum on China Studies.

More than 180 scholars from 34 countries and regions convened in Shanghai for the opening of the forum, which is themed "China in a New Era". The two-day forum brought voices of Chinese experts from across the globe on what the term "new era" means to the world and to China studies.

"There will be more opportunities created by China for the world development, and China's open door to the world will be wider," Jiang Jianguo, minister of the State Council Information Office, said in the forum's opening speech.

"The exchanges between China and other civilizations will be deepened, and China will make a bigger contribution to the building of a community of shared future."

The term "new era" was first brought up by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the 19th CPC National Congress, which concluded in October.

Xi said the country has ushered in a new era in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. He also pointed out that by the mid-21st century, China will develop into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful.

In his keynote speech, Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia and president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, recalled his first time to China 35 years ago. He said that few scholars and diplomats paid attention to the CPC's National Congress then.

"But now, almost everyone kept a close eye on it, and the reason is simple-China has risen," Rudd said.

"So the international community will want to know more and more about China's plans for the future."

Rudd further spoke about a long list of concepts ranging from ancient Chinese classics to modern Chinese political terms, and called on Sinologists to conduct research that can link ancient Chinese tradition to the modern mindset.

"I'm asked by international and political leaders around the world about what the rise of China means for them," he said.

"They are not just interested in a list of facts and figures, they want to understand the broader picture. And for that reason, Sinologists around the world have a responsibility to help paint that picture."

Do Tien Sam, former director of the Institute of China Studies at Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, said he had studied Xi's report to the 19th CPC National Congress several times and found he used the term "new era" 36 times.

"From my understanding, entering a new era means Chinese people will become better off and stronger," Do said. "Placing people at the center and serving the people will still be the main work of the CPC in the new era."
"I have studied China for more than 30 years, and I think the CPC's experience in running the country offers many lessons for Vietnam," Do said.

Wang Wen, executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, noted that current China studies in many ways lag behind practices in China.

China remains a safe place to visit for foreigners

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:50

With low rates of crime, civil unrest and racial violence, country is not a risky tourist destination, international report says

Foreigners celebrate at the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall in Huairou, Beijing, this summer. [Photo by BU XIANGDONG/FOR CHINA DAILY]


China is seen as one of the safest places in the world for foreign visitors, according to an international security report and anecdotal evidence from tourists, expatriates and overseas students.

In the new Travel Risk Map 2018, the country is listed as having a "low" travel risk, which means "violent crime rates are low, and racial, sectarian or political violence or civil unrest is uncommon".

The report, now in its eighth year, is compiled and released annually in a joint venture by International SOS, the medical and travel security services company, and global risk and strategic consulting firm Control Risks.

Since the safety situation in China has remained stable, its risk rating has not changed for many years, according to Tony Ma, client liaison director in China for the joint venture.

"We haven't noticed any dramatic, massive threats at present in China; terrorism or mass shootings or killings are generally absent," he said. "Kidnappings for ransom and extreme violent scenarios are also very rare."

China has become the fourth most popular destination for tourists worldwide, with more than 60 million trips made by people from other countries last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Maria Plaza Pelayo, 24, of Madrid, who arrived in Beijing a few weeks ago, said she was impressed by China's order and safety, which has made her feel much safer than in the United States or Turkey, where she also has visited.

She said she didn't feel like she was in any danger in Beijing, as she saw efforts from professionals, including volunteers on streets, police officers on patrol and security staff in the subways, to keep order.

Liu Hongbin, a professor of public order studies at People's Public Security University of China, said continuous joint efforts on fighting crime, the deployment of technological tools to track crimes and the inclusiveness of the Chinese culture, are all reasons for China's high safety level.

"The Chinese culture has been an integration of cultures of different ethnic groups in the long history of the country. People raised in such a diverse cultural environment do not hold discrimination or hostility toward people from other cultures, making people from other countries feel secure and comfortable," he said.

Armando Raphael Lydon Busquets, 20, of California, US, said he constantly heard gunshots, police sirens and similar noises back home.

"You'd see a lot of shady people, and it would always be in the local news about something bad happening with someone," said Lydon Busquets, a student at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Data from the Ministry of Public Security show that China has seen a stable number of gun-related crimes in recent years and the number of gun-related violent crimes, such as murder, robbery and kidnapping, has dropped sharply.

Between August 2016 and July, police cracked about 3,800 illegal weapons cases and firearms purchases and detained 25,000 suspects, the ministry said.

The ministry launched a campaign targeting gun-related crime in July, which will run through the end of the year.

Apart from gun-related crime, the number of other violent cases in 2016, such as homicide, arson and robbery, also declined 43 percent since 2012, the ministry said.

Cao Yin and Zheng Yumeng contributed to this story.

Coal to help relieve gas shortage

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:23
A man loads coal briquettes onto his tricycle cart at a coal process station in Tangxian in North China's Hebei province. [Photo/IC]

The Beijing city government has ordered an immediate restart to coal-fueled generators to ease the shortage of liquefied natural gas in northern China.

In a notice released on Thursday but only widely publicized on Saturday, the capital's City Management Commission confirmed that the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner, had ordered a restart of coal-fueled generators to reduce LNG consumption, Caixin magazine reported.

Three major power plants in Beijing confirmed that they had received the notice, Caixin reported.

To cut concentrations of PM2.5-hazardous fine particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less-28 cities including Beijing, Tianjin and cities in Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan provinces were to use electricity or gas for heating this winter, instead of coal, which is considered the main cause of the lingering winter smog.

However, as the heating season began, some people in these areas found their homes and schools freezing, mainly due to LNG shortages.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has told authorities to "ensure a warm winter" for the public rather than delay heating supplies in some northern areas due to natural gas shortages or unfinished projects.

Areas that have not yet completed conversion projects to replace coal with gas or electric heating can use coal or any other available measures, the ministry said in a circular released on Thursday.

The China Huaneng power plant in eastern Beijing had restarted one of its coal-fueled generators as of Friday night, with another ready for restart at any time.

Another two plants could also go into service if necessary, the source said.

In 2013, the capital began a gradual process to replace coal-fueled generators with equipment powered by natural gas. The city achieved its coal-free target in March this year.

The old generators at the Huaneng plant were held in reserve in case they were needed.

According to the commission's website, one of the coal-fired generators was used over the summer to cope with a spike in electricity usage for air conditioners during a heat wave.

Chengdu tops list as China's happiest city

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:15
Tourists visit Jinli, a traditional lane, in Chengdu, Sichuan province. [Photo/VCG]

Chengdu, in Sichuan province, came top this year in Oriental Outlook magazine's annual ranking of the 10 happiest cities in China.

Beijing and Shanghai, which both made it into the 2015 and 2016 lists, were pushed out by second-and third-tier cities.

Oriental Outlook works with the Liaowang Think Tank to do research for the ranking. This is the 11th consecutive year it has been published. More than 13.95 million people nationwide answered questionnaires evaluating 194 cities. There were 10 categories, including education, living quality, employment, environment and public security.

Wang Qiguang, deputy editor-in-chief of Oriental Outlook, said the list shows that urbanization in China has brought about significant improvements in small cities over the past five years, in areas including education, employment and medical services.

"The happiness of a city's residents depends on their living conditions, environment, and public services, and their perceptions of how they stand to benefit from the city's future opportunities," he said.

"In Chengdu, the high-tech industry has been a big provider of employment for the young, while in Hangzhou, the elderly have benefited from the growth of high quality medical services. People feel happy if they can see themselves as being valued and having a promising future," he said.

After Chengdu, the happiest cities in order were Hangzhou, Ningbo, Nanjing, Changchun, Xi'an, Changsha, Taizhou, Tongchuan and Xuzhou.

Tongchuan, Shaanxi province, appeared for the first time. The city used to depend on coal mining but has now remodeled itself as an eco-city promoting environmentally friendly industries such as village tourism.

Foreign minister: Diplomacy will focus on shared future

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:13

China's endeavor to foster a new form of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind will be the overarching goals of China's foreign policy in the years ahead, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang stated the goals in his keynote speech at a symposium on Saturday in Beijing about the global situation and China's diplomacy. The symposium, attended by diplomats and researchers, was themed on international developments and China's diplomacy in 2017.

Noting that the 19th CPC National Congress had charted the course for China's external relations, Wang said that China needs to create a more favorable external environment and stronger external impetus to create a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

"For China's diplomacy in the new era, we will take a longer and broader perspective and be even more open-minded and resourceful," he said.

The foreign minister reiterated that "war is by no means acceptable" in dealing with the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, stressing that the possibility of negotiation remains.

"China has put in more efforts and borne a greater cost than any other party in addressing the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue," he said, adding that China has implemented UN Security Council resolutions.

While talking about the Middle East, Wang said that China has always firmly supported the Palestinian people's efforts to restore their lawful rights.

"We support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the 1967 border," he said, adding that the status of Jerusalem must be determined through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of UN resolutions.

Mentioning that President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump have had three meetings and many letters and phone calls this year, Wang said that the two leaders' sound interactions have provided "a strategic anchor to what is the most complicated and consequential relationship in the world".

"China is willing, on the basis of mutual respect, to live peacefully with the American superpower. The US needs to understand and accept a China that is following its own path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, one suited to its own conditions," he said.

Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met five times throughout the year, and the China-Russia relationship has become a major cornerstone for world peace and stability, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation, Wang said.

Noting that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has become "the most popular international public goods program", Wang said that Chinese businesses have invested over $50 billion and created nearly 200,000 local jobs in countries that are participating.

China will prepare for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit to be held in Qingdao, Shandong province, in June and the first China International Import Expo in November in Shanghai, Wang said.

Sun Zhuangzhi, secretary-general of the SCO Research Center affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily that the selection of Qingdao as the host city reflects China's advocacy of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Qingdao has both land connections with Europe via railways and maritime connections with other countries, he said, adding that the city plays an important role in developing the initiative.

Zhou Shijian, a senior researcher on China-US trade relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said that the Belt and Road Initiative will promote global economic development and balance the north-south gap, which also will contribute to building a community of shared future for mankind.

The International Import Expo will be a good move for the country's diplomacy in 2018 because expanding imports will promote the economic development of China as well as improve relations with other countries, he said.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

Ontario marks Nanjing Massacre

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:00
A man leaves a flower at the Commemorative Day Ceremony for the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre held on Saturday in Toronto. [Zou Zheng/China Daily]

Ontarians from all walks of life marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre at a gathering in Toronto with a call for measures to prevent so atrocious a human tragedy from ever happening again.

Leading the call was Ontario provincial parliament member Soo Wong, who had proposed last month the motion to designate Dec 13 as Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day in the province.

Wong said as Ontarians remembered the victims of invading Japanese troops on Dec 13, 1937, she wanted to thank the 80th anniversary Nanjing Massacre Commemoration Preparation Committee for its unwavering efforts to remind the world of the atrocities.

The Japanese army bombed Nanjing and went on a murderous rampage through the city, then China's capital, killing Chinese residents and disarming soldiers in the following six weeks.

Lin Xingyong, one of the organizers and president of the Confederation of Toronto Chinese Canadian Organizations, said, "The Nanjing Massacre is a great sorrow and shame not only to Chinese people but also to all humanity".

Provincial parliament member Raymond Cho recalled that World War II had affected him as a child in South Korea.

"The Nanjing Massacre was a mass murder of Nanjing civilians and unarmed soldiers that happened in late 1937 to early 1938. And this fact, unfortunately, hasn't been told to the young generation; it's very dangerous," Cho said.

MP Shaun Chen said younger generations must learn about the massacre.

"It's our duty to teach our future generations the actual facts of this important history. We all need to work very hard so that there is never again another Holocaust and massacre on this planet," Chen said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said, "We grieved for those who suffered and lost their lives and their families and think about the things we have to do to ensure an event like this never happens again."

"The Nanjing Massacre has a profound impact on later generations, even 80 years later," he said.

Chinese Consul General He Wei said society's moral obligation doesn't stop at having the commemorative day.

"Remembrance is our duty out of a mission to protect each and every human life and to protect everyone's freedom and equal rights. Today we gathered together to commemorate this history, and I believe it will create new views and enhancement to promote mutual understanding and respect between different ethnic, religious and cultural communities."

The commemoration was not meant to prolong hatred, He said, but to help people draw lessons from history and consolidate their commitment to peace and a solid foundation for lasting peace in the world.

China well on track with air quality goals

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:48
People stroll in Beihai Park on a clear day in Beijing. [Photo/VCG] 

China has confidence in reaching its ambitious air pollution reduction goals as scheduled, based on data for the first 11 months, the environmental protection minister said on Sunday, crediting the scientific and comprehensive efforts taken in the past years.

The five major goals set by the national Action Plan Against Air Pollution in 2013 are likely to be achieved by the end of 2017, with a huge improvement in air quality in China, said Environmental Protection Minister Li Ganjie at the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development on Sunday in Beijing.

The council is a high-level international advisory body to gather foreign experts to promote China's sustainable development.

In the first 11 months, Beijing has seen the average PM2.5 concentration lowered to 58 micrograms per cubic meter, reduced by 35.6 percent from the same period in 2013, according to the Beijing Environmental Bureau.

Beijing has seen many blue days in December, with air quality staying at the good level, "and based on the data, we may see the annual average level of PM2.5 in Beijing lowering to around 60, maybe at 61 or 62," the minister said, adding that it's better than forecast.

He added that the reduction goal for Beijing-lowering PM2.5 level to 60-was considered more difficult compared with other goals, which worried him before.

Beijing is likely to attain its goal, so China has confidence it will reach the five major goals as scheduled, Li said.

The other four goals would be easily in reach if the good air quality level continues for the remaining days of the year.

In the first 11 months, the average concentration of PM10 in 338 cities nationwide was 20.4 percent less than the same period of 2013, and the goal in the action plan was 10 percent, Li said.

In addition, the average PM2.5 concentration in the first 11 months in three major industrial zones-the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River and the Pearl River Delta-has been at least 25.6 percent lower, easily exceeding the goal of at least 15 percent, the minister said.

The huge improvement in air quality was achieved based on the multiple measures including strengthened enforcement, scientific efforts, effective measures to reduce industrial emissions, vehicle exhausts, coal consumption, and other efforts in improving the economy, the minister said.

"The effective practices adopted in the past five years will continue to guide the air pollution control efforts in future," Li added.

China's effective environmental protection efforts, particularly in air pollution control, received praise from many foreign experts in environment from governments and international organizations who participated in the annual meeting.

Diane Regas, executive director of Environmental Defense Fund, a US non-profit organization, was amazed to see China fulfilling its commitment and was confident about further improvements based on the measures.

UN Environment said China has set an example for the rest of the world of sustainable development through green industrial policies, especially in areas of electric transportation, solar energy and the "sharing economy".

Artist couple build bridges between China and Russia

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:38

 

 

Anna Ganina gives a violin class to a student at the Hunan Institute of Science and Technology in Yueyang, Hunan province. [Cheng Si/China Daily]

 

Vladimir Ganin paints in his studio at the Hunan Institute of Science and Technology.

Vladimir Ganin, a 49-year-old Russian oil painter, and his violinist wife, Anna, have dedicated 15 years to teaching art education at the Hunan Institute of Science and Technology in Yueyang, Hunan province, witnessing China's development in the arts.

The couple came to the institute in 2002 at the invitation of the local government, after spending over a year at Jilin College of the Arts in Changchun, Jilin province.

"Changchun is too cold, even colder than Vladivostok, where the temperature can be -20 C in winter," said Ganin, laughing.

Anna added: "We made the decision together. Yueyang has a fantastic history and natural environment. It's a good city to live in."

The couple have been highlighted as a prime example of the foreign talent China is eager to attract-experts who can make an important contribution to the country's development.

In 2004, Ganin received the Friendship Award from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the highest honor given to expats in China.

Vladimir Ganin paints in his studio at the Hunan Institute of Science and Technology. [Cheng Si/China Daily]

In 2010, the Hunan government gave Anna the Xiaoxiang Friendship Award for her contribution to art education, as well as for promoting artistic exchange between China and his home country.

Traditional Chinese culture has become an important influence in Ganin's art. "China has many art styles, some of which can be used in modern arts, for example, clothes design," he said. "I also like Chinese characters. These pictographic words are really interesting."

In May 2015, Ganin was invited to a ceremony in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II, where he met with President Xi Jinping.

"I was impressed. Xi made speeches without any notes, and he remembered everybody present. Some Russian experts there had once worked with him, and he still remembered them," Ganin said. "He is modest, and I think he sets a very good example."

Ganin also paid close attention to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in Beijing in October.

"It was really impressive. President Xi said that the living standards of all Chinese people will be much better in 2025. It is the program for the future and for the next generation of Chinese. It's a great program."

Yueyang today is like a second hometown for the couple. Their 9-year-old son was born in the city.

"They can bargain at the market in quite fluent Chinese," said Chen Yu, director of the Hunan institute's International Exchange Office. "They are like locals."

Efforts continue to save endangered Chinese alligators

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:21

 

Workers carry an adult alligator from a feeding pool. [Wu Fang/China Daily]

 

On November 27, about 10,000 Chinese alligators were moved from outdoor feeding pools to their winter home at the National Chinese Alligator Natural Reserve in Xuancheng, a city in the eastern province of Anhui.

The reptiles, a Class I protected species that is endemic to East China, are coldblooded, so their metabolism and activity slow during winter, making them easier to handle. The animals, which are also known as Yangtze alligators, will eventually hibernate until spring, when they will be taken back to the outdoor pools.

The reserve, which has been based in the suburbs of Xuancheng since the 1980s, is home to more than 15,000 Chinese alligators, including newly hatched reptiles. It is the world's largest breeding center for the species.

"There are many human-bred Chinese alligators, but in the wild they are on the verge of extinction. There are barely 300 individuals, including some that were born in captivity, but later released into natural surroundings," said Wang Renping, head of the center's information department.

Though the center has made a great contribution to preserving the species from extinction, challenges remain, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified Chinese alligators as "critically endangered".

International attention

In November, four alligators bred at the center in Xuancheng were taken to Shizuoka, a city on Japan's Pacific coast.

They were the first to be sent overseas since 2006, when the practice was suspended because the center was in the process of changing its name and was therefore unable to obtain export certificates.

"To the best of our knowledge, the first Chinese alligators to be exported were sent to the United States in the 1950s," Wang said, adding that the reptiles were sent by the former Soviet Union because China and the US had not yet established diplomatic relations.

Sun Siqing, director of the industrialization office at the breeding research center, which is based in the national reserve, said: "Many zoos around the world are waiting for alligators bred at the center. Though the export of wild Chinese alligators is absolutely prohibited, exports of human-bred ones have been allowed since the 1980s."

Sun's department is responsible for large-scale breeding programs, the administration of tourism at the center, and exports, which are considered vital to helping the outside world learn more about the species.

In 1973, the International Union for Conservation of Nature added Chinese alligators to its Red List of Threatened Species. The animal's status as "critically endangered" means it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

As the most comprehensive inventory of conservation status, the list provides scientific information about species and subspecies at a global level. It is also aimed at drawing attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity, influencing national and international policies and decision-making, and providing information to guide actions to conserve biological diversity, according to the organization's website.

A breeder at the natural reserve displays a newly hatched alligator, on November 15. [Zhu Lixin/China Daily]

The breeding program in Anhui began in 1979, when the province's wildlife protection authorities captured 212 wild alligators and placed them under human supervision.

"The work was anything but easy; we had to learn how to feed them, to incubate the eggs, to feed the fragile newborn reptiles, help them live through the winter and assist them to produce offspring", said Wang, listing the difficulties the center had to overcome in the first 10 years.

The team's efforts didn't bear fruit until 1988, when human-bred alligators laid the first hatchable eggs, according to the 55-year-old, who has worked at the reserve since 1986 and was an alligator breeder until 2007.

In 2001, when an international seminar on alligator protection was held in Hefei, the capital of Anhui, it was decided that the reserve should release a number of alligators that had been bred in captivity to raise the number in the wild and provide better protection for the species.

So, in 2003, three alligators were released into the wild, quickly producing offspring.

Efforts and challenges

"Although the trial was successful, the practice was opposed by some rural residents, who believed the animals would threaten their safety and that of their livestock," Wang said.

Usually, Chinese alligators, which are mild-mannered and rarely attack humans, attain an adult length of just 1.5 meters and weigh 30 to 40 kilograms. They are fully armored, even across the belly which has more bones and is harder than other crocodile species, making the animal less valuable to poachers.

In 1981, the forestry authorities in Anhui established a team of experts from China and the US to conduct a three-month investigation into the alligators' living conditions.

After the survey, the team estimated there could be as many as 300 to 500 alligators in the wild, and though they were mainly found in Anhui, small numbers were also located in the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

"Nowadays, more than half of the human-bred alligators in China are in the reserve in Anhui, and most of the wild ones also live in the province. Only a few are found in neighboring Zhejiang," Wang said. In 1982, a 43,300-hectare provincial-level reserve was established to better protect the species, and was upgraded to national level the following year. A second study, conducted in 1985, showed that more than 400 wild reptiles lived in the reserve.

However, an inquiry launched by the reserve and the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1999 found that there were fewer than 145 alligators in the wild. In 2004, an investigation concluded that there were about 120 adult wild alligators in Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu-although it proved impossible to determine the number of newly hatched reptiles-with the majority located in Anhui. Meanwhile, a 2005 investigation in Anhui estimated there were 92 to 114 adult wild alligators in the province, along with 66 immature individuals.

Workers move Chinese alligators from outdoor feeding pools to their winter home at the National Chinese Alligator Natural Reserve in Xuancheng, Anhui province. [Wu Fang/China Daily]

"We estimate that there are now about 300 in the wild, including some that were bred in captivity and later released," Wang said, adding that the reserve has freed more than 100 reptiles since 2003.

In some years, the reserve released about 10 alligators, but this year the number is just six. "It depends on our ability to adapt certain areas and make them suitable so the alligators can live free from human disruption," Wang said.

"If we free more than the areas can sustain, given factors including sources of food, such as fish in natural water, the alligators' situation could get worse."

In 2009, Anhui's economic development resulted in the reserve being reduced to 18,565 hectares, and it now mainly covers Xuancheng and the neighboring city of Wuhu.

Practical problems

"Theoretically, a larger area would mean more alligators could find space in the wild, but on a practical level, it's very difficult. With a human population of 2.8 million in Xuancheng, it would be difficult to remove the residents and give the area over to the alligators," Wang said.

"There are still areas in the reserve that can be transformed to make room for wild alligators, but we need more time to make the adjustments."

According to the standard set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Chinese alligator will be classified as a critically endangered species until the number in the wild reaches 2,500.

"That means we still have a long way to go. However, if the reserve didn't exist, the alligators could have already disappeared from the face of the Earth," Wang said.

Contact the writer at zhulixin@chinadaily.com.cn

Water quality improvements visible with river chief system

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:10
Left: The Gujiadu River in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, was nearly blocked by mud during dredging in August last year. Right: The river in October after the dredging. It has become a place of leisure for nearby residents. SHEN BOHAN / XINHUA

China’s river chief system — in which government officials are assigned to take charge of protecting waterways in their area — is steadily being rolled out nationwide as part of a broad effort to prevent pollution.

The central government pledged in December last year that the system would cover the entire country within two years.

Now at the halfway point, river chiefs have been installed in the key Taihu Lake Basin, covering Shanghai and parts of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Fujian provinces.

More than 34,000 river chiefs have been appointed in the area at each level of government, according to the Ministry of Water Resources’ Taihu Basin Authority.

“We are assisting in the evaluation of the system by those provinces,” said Wu Wenqing, director of the authority. “The ministry will organize a third-party evaluation whose results will be submitted to the provincial river chief offices in January.”

The system had its beginnings at Taihu Lake, answering a crisis a decade ago in Wuxi, Jiangsu province.

Liu Xia, the vice-mayor of Wuxi, remembers it clearly.

Wuxi, on the northern shore, depends on the lake for its water supply. In the summer of 2007, large quantities of foul-smelling blue-green algae contaminated the local water supply for several days, affecting more than 1.5 million residents and sparking panic buying of bottled water.

“Wuxi officials and residents developed strong environmental awareness from that incident,” Liu said.

In response, the Wuxi government released water quality targets and assessment measures and appointed top city and district officials to be responsible for the water quality of 79 sections of waterways under city jurisdiction.

Those officials got the informal title “river chief”, and the system spread in Jiangsu and later to nearby provinces.

Because the river chiefs are usually highly placed in the local government or Party committee structure, they have an advantage in coordinating interdepartmental efforts to solve water problems.

Liu is river chief of the 9-square-kilometer Lihu Lake, which links to Taihu Lake. Her name and contact information are posted on a sign at the lake listing her as responsible for preventing water pollution.

“I come to inspect the lake every week,” Liu said. “The water quality has become so good that I’ve recently had to deal with many cases of illegal fishing reported by local residents.”

Wang Suxiang, deputy director of the Houqiao subdistrict, is river chief of three rivers in the area. He said he knew little about water pollution when he was appointed in 2009 but has since learned a lot. He summarized 10 common causes of declining water quality, including overuse of fertilizers and factory waste disposal.

Wuxi resident Ji Beilei, 33, said she could tell the water was getting better by sight and by the improved smell over the past decade.

“After the 2007 water incident, we installed a water purifier at home. At first, we had to replace the filter seven times a year, but now we only replace it twice,” she said.

Since 2007, the average water quality in Taihu Lake has risen from below Grade V, the lowest level of China’s water grading system, to Grade IV. More than half the lake’s 22 major feeder streams have reached Grade III, according to the Taihu Basin Authority.

Xi wants big data to make lives better

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 00:01

President also calls for tech firms to aid manufacturing, governments, security

Implementing a big data strategy to better serve the country’s development and improve people’s lives should be accelerated, President Xi Jinping said at a key meeting.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark at a collective study session of the CPC Central Committee’s Political Bureau on Friday.

“We should target cutting-edge technology and mobilize prime resources to make breakthroughs in developing core big data technology, and accelerate building an independent and controllable industrial chain, value chain and ecosystem of big data,” Xi said.

The president called for efforts to advance national big data strategy, improve digital infrastructure, promote integration and sharing of digital resources and safeguard data security.

The market should play a key role in the mission, and data must work as a bridge to integrate production, study and research, he said.

A group of pioneering companies and a varied and diverse talent workforce also should be established, he said.

Xi underscored the importance of building a digital economy with data as a key factor, highlighting the fact that research on and use of big data is indispensable in building a modern economy.

The internet, big data and artificial intelligence and the real economy all should be interconnected, the president said, adding that industrialization and the use of information should be integrated deeper.

Xi also emphasized the necessity of using big data to improve governance. A nationwide information-sharing platform should be set up with the use of e-government and smart city systems.

He also ordered efforts to improve internet governance and clean up cyberspace.

Xi urged a better use of big data in improving people’s well-being, calling for the advancement of “internet plus education”, “internet plus medical treatment” and “internet plus culture” to further ensure citizens’ equitable access to public services.

He called for solving problems, especially prominent problems that relate to people’s well-being, urging the widespread use of big data in areas such as education, employment, social security, medicine and the healthcare system, housing and transportation.

Big data also should be used extensively in implementing targeted poverty reduction and environmental protection, he said.

Efforts also should be made to safeguard and secure the nation’s data, Xi said, urging strengthened ability to protect crucial data resources, speed up relevant legislation and improve protection of data property rights.

Protection of technical patents, digital copyrights and individual privacy should be enhanced to safeguard people’s interests, social stability and national security, the president said.

He pressed for increasing research on international data governance rules and urged leading officials at all levels to intensively study big data and improve their ability to use big data in their work.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

Creative washrooms leading ‘toilet revolution’

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 08:23
A ladybug-like toilet in Xiangyang, Hubei province, on July 16, 2017. The ‘toilet revolution’, a national campaign to improve both the appearance and facilities in washrooms at tourist attractions, will boost new creative toilets in China. [Photo/Xinhua] A Qingdao public washroom looks like a ‘magic cube’ from the outside in this Nov 30 ,2017 photo. [Photo/Xinhua]  A tourist washes their hands in a “magic cube” public washroom at the Landing Stage in Qingdao, on Nov 30 ,2017. [Photo/Xinhua] A public washroom with Miao ethnic-style appearance in Xijiang Miao Village on Dec 5, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] A tourist charges her phone at a public washroom in Xijiang Miao Village, Guizhou province, on Dec 5, 2017.  [Photo/Xinhua] A public washroom in Zhouji Green Expo Garden, Nantong, Jiangsu province, on Dec 4, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] A newly finished water-saving washroom, which saves 1.5 tons of water per month on average in Hefei, Anhui province, on Nov 24, 2017. About 60 tons of water can be saved by 39 water-saving washrooms in this area.  [Photo/Xinhua] A ‘washroom temporary parking space’ lets passing drivers stop their cars to use the toilet in Weifang, Shandong province, Sept 15, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Official: Beijing sign regulations won't cause 'monotony'

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 08:13

New regulations of name boards in Beijing will not lead to "monotony" or affect the signage of time-honored brands, a city official has said.

The rule change in late September and subsequent enforcement campaign, which has seen many signboards removed from buildings, is not aimed at stifling character but to encourage property owners to design their signage within a "prescribed frame", according to an unnamed official from the Beijing Commission of City Management quoted by Qianlong, a website operated by the city government.

"Signage of time-honored brands would not disappear, and the signage across Beijing would not become monotonous," the official said.

The commission launched a citywide signage management campaign in December, which limits the number and placement of signs on buildings in order to "create an urban skyline that is visually clear and bright".

The campaign was launched as part of the capital's urban plan for 2016 through 2035.

According to a notice from the commission, all signs and billboards attached to roofs must be removed. In addition, there can be only one sign with a building's name on the third story or higher, and the name should be the same as the one registered with planning authorities.

Each of the capital's 16 districts will launch an enforcement campaign, the notification said, and any failure by institutions and individuals to remove noncompliant signs will be noted on their credit record.

Signage must be removed by the end of December and the commission will inspect the capital "road by road" in January, the notice said.

The campaign has provoked heated discussion online. While some Beijing residents applauded the campaign, some were worried it will be difficult for them to find their destinations.

A netizen named Cycy Lee didn't like the feeling of walking near buildings with signs over the roofs. "Some of the signs or billboards have been there for years and they may fall down," the netizen commented on Weibo.

Others are concerned about losing their way after losing sight of signage.

"Without signage, I experienced much difficulty in finding the destination in places I am not familiar with," said Shi Shunji, a resident of Haidian district.

In response to these concerns, the official said the commission would work along with property owners to reinstall new signage "as soon as possible".

"In future enforcement, we would have the new signage designed first and then replace the old, so we can shorten the void period and do not influence people's lives," the official said.

Over 1.1 mln sit China's civil servant exam

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 08:05

BEIJING - More than 1.1 million people took the National Public Servant Exam in China Sunday, a leap from last year's 984,000, marking the second time the number has hit the one million mark.

 

Candidates review materials before China's national civil servant exam in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province, on Dec 10, 2017. Approximately 1.6 million applicants qualified to take this year's exam, competing for around 28,500 available government posts. [Photo/VCG]

 

 

Over 28,000 positions are expected to be filled by the examinees, increasing by 1,472 from the previous year. Only one out of every 39 candidates is expected to get a government job this year.

This year's exam saw an increase of 76,000 compared to last year in the number of applicants for grassroots positions in difficult and remote areas, perhaps the result of the lower application thresholds for such posts, according to an inspector at the State Administration of Civil Service.

In contrast, the most popular position had more than 2,000 candidates this year, much lower than the number for the hottest position last year, which was pursued by 9,837 applicants.

The written exam is being held Sunday, and the results will be announced in January 2018, along with a list of candidates to advance to interviews in March.

Civil servant jobs are sought after by many Chinese as they offer a relatively stable career, making the exam one of the most competitive tests in the country.

Peng receives honorary Juilliard doctorate

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 08:05
Peng poses for a picture after obtaining the honorary degree. [Photo/ ccmusic.edu.cn]

Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping and a well-known soprano, received an honorary doctorate from New York's Juilliard School at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing on Dec 6, according to the official website of the conservatory.

Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi, who conferred the honorary degree to Peng, delivered a speech at the ceremony, saying that it is not only a recognition of Peng's accomplishment as an outstanding artist but also for her contribution to cultural exchanges between China and the United States.

Peng, an alumna of the Chinese conservatory, said at the ceremony:
"This is an honor not only for myself, but also for Chinese folk music. It exemplifies the increasingly closer cultural exchanges between China and the United States. I hope the cooperation between art schools and organizations of the two countries will be deepened in the future."

A traditional Chinese music orchestra from the conservatory and a string quartet from the Juilliard School performed during the ceremony.

China's first lady Peng Liyuan is welcomed by Juilliard School President Joseph W. Polisi as she arrives at the famous conservatory in New York City in September 2015. HEZI JIANG/CHINA DAILY

Peng's efforts of promoting communication between the Juilliard School and China date back two years, when she visited the school on Sept 28, 2015 while accompanying President Xi on his state visit to the US.

"Peng worked with one of our students who sang a Chinese folk song in Chinese. She is a musician and a music educator. It was a magical and unique moment to have the first lady with us," Polisi said in an earlier interview with China Daily.

During Peng's visit, Polisi announced the school will launch its first overseas campus in China, the Tianjin Juilliard School, scheduled to open September 2019.

The Tianjin Juilliard School will offer US-accredited full-time master's degrees in orchestral performance, chamber music performance and collaborative piano. It will also offer part-time programs for pre-college students, adult education and public performances.

In June, Polisi was in Tianjin for the school’s groundbreaking ceremony in the Tianjin Binhai New Area.

The Juilliard School, founded in New York in 1905, has trained some of the world's most well-renowned performing artists, including Van Cliburn, Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma.

The Juilliard School has enrolled students from China since the 1920s. Now, 30 percent of the students at the Juilliard School in New York are from outside the US and students from China form the largest single group of overseas students in the school. There are about 70 students from China at present, most in the music division.

Beijing's senior service centers reach 380

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 07:42

BEIJING - Beijing has opened 380 senior service centers as of November, including 230 built this year, the Beijing municipal government announced.

The senior service centers provide seniors with daytime care, emergency calls, cultural entertainment and psychological services. They also serve meals and help seniors keep healthy.

"As the aging population trend becomes more serious, elder care services are increasingly important for the government," said Wang Ning, deputy mayor of Beijing.

"Beijing should make great efforts to solve existing problems such as an inadequate amount and low level of service and imbalance between urban and rural areas," Wang said.

The aging population is becoming a social issue in China. According to a report released by the Beijing municipal government, by the end of 2016, the number of Beijing citizens above the age of 60 had reached 3.92 million, accounting for almost a quarter of the population, compared to 17 percent in 2006.

Applicants line up for China's civil servant exam

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 07:22
Candidates review materials before China's national civil servant exam in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province, on Dec 10, 2017. Approximately 1.6 million applicants qualified to take this year's exam, competing for around 28,500 available government posts. [Photo/VCG]

 

Examinees walk toward an exam site to attend China's national civil servant examination in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu province. [Photo/VCG]

 

Candidates walk toward an exam site to attend China's national civil servant examination in Nanjing. [Photo/VCG]

 

Examinees line up to enter an exam site for China's national civil servant examination in Hefei, East China's Anhui province, on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

 

A candidate studies before China's national civil servant exam in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province. [Photo/VCG]

 

Examinees line up to enter a civil servant exam site in Wuhan. [Photo/VCG]

Ma Long announces birth of son

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 07:14

Chinese table tennis world champion Ma Long announced Sunday his son has been born.

The 29-year-old posted a picture of two adult hands holding a smaller one via Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging site, with a simple caption: "Hello, brother!"

Ma tied the knot with his girlfriend of eight years earlier this year. His wife gave birth on Friday.

Ma defended his title at the World Table Tennis Championships in June and won the men's table tennis singles at the 13th Chinese National Games in September.

After a clean sweep victory in the men's singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ma became the fifth player to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cup. He joined Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner and China's Liu Guoliang, Kong Linghui and Zhang Jike in this achievement. Additionally, he became the first male player — and second overall —to have won every singles title in table tennis.

8 killed in South China fire

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 06:00

GUANGZHOU - Eight people have been killed in a fire in Haifeng county of South China's Guangdong province, local authorities said Sunday.

The fire broke out in a community in Gongping Township at 3:30 am Saturday. It was put out around 5:30 am, according to the county publicity department.

One person died at the scene, and one died on the way to the hospital. Another six died after being taken to the hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Students stage traditional Han-style show on bullet train

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 03:23
A student from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation poses for a picture in traditional Han costume on the D4252 train from Chengdu to Xi'an on Dec 9, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

More than 20 students from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation staged a fashion show in traditional Han costumes and train attendant uniforms Saturday onboard a train along the newly opened high-speed railway linking Xi'an and Chengdu.

The students, majoring as train attendants, were volunteers for the train carriage, themed on the style of the Qin and Han dynasties.

A student from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation poses for a picture in traditional Han costume on the D4252 train from Chengdu to Xi'an. [Photo/chinanews.com] Students from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation pose for a picture in traditional Han costumes on the D4252 train from Chengdu to Xi'an on Dec 9, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com] Students from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation pose for a picture in train attendant uniforms on the D4252 train from Chengdu to Xi'an. [Photo/chinanews.com] Students from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation pose for a picture in traditional Han costumes on the D4252 train. [Photo/chinanews.com] Students from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation pose for a picture in traditional Han costumes on the train. [Photo/chinanews.com] Students from Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation pose for a picture in train attendant uniforms. [Photo/chinanews.com]

China's civil service exam: Can you answer these questions?

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 01:58

 

Chinese examinees walk towards an exam site to attend the 2015 China national civil service examination in Nanjing city, East China's Jiangsu province, Nov 30, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Guokao, or China's national civil service exam, takes place on Sunday. It is China's national level exam to enroll government employees. It attracts a large number of candidates each year because government jobs, dubbed "iron rice bowls", mean guaranteed job security, steady income and benefits.

If you think your college exam was tough, then brace yourself for this. If you think your high school exam was nerve-wracking, then this would make you sweat from every part of your body.

It's China's national civil service exam, or guokao.

There are 135 multiple-choice questions that candidates have to answer in two hours, which means there's less than a minute to answer each question. But that's not all. The questions cover wide range of topics, including math, world affairs, language, and logic.

Now, before you start thinking that it doesn't sound that difficult, there's more. This is just one part. Apart from the multiple-choice test, there are three hours of essay writing.

All the tests are designed to comprehensively assess the candidates' abilities, including psychological potentials, ability to read, analyze and solve the problems.

So now that we have provided a taste of the test, how about dipping your toe into the actual thing? Here are some of the questions that civil servants slog through to get the coveted government job.

How about giving them a shot?

1.Observe the images below and pick out the right one that belongs to the blank or the group.

 

 

 

Hint: Each row has shared shapes. First row is round; second is triangle; third is quadrangle

Answer: B

2.Observe the images below and pick out the right one that belongs to the blank or the group.

 

 

 

Hint: From left to right, there're increasing numbers of small shapes in each image. 1. One round 2. Two quadrangles 3. Three candle-shaped images 4. Four trapezoids 5. Five triangles. The image with six small shapes will be the right answer.

Answer: A

3.Observe the images below and pick out the right one that belongs to the given group.

 

 

 

Hint: In the left, four images, it's the mirror image of number 1, 2, 3, 4. Hence we need to find the mirror image of 5.

Answer: C

4.Observe the images below and pick out the right one that belongs to the blank or the group.

 

 

 

Hint: Look at the image row by row from left to the right. The faces are turning 90 degrees one by one. Eyes are opposite from the first one to the second one on each row. The mouths are opposite from the second to the third on each row.

Answer: C

 

Candidates in Yangzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, review before last year's national civil service exam held on Nov 29, 2015.[Photo/IC]

 

What about an analogy question?

5. Which one is the wrong match between the idioms and economic terms?

A. Spilt water cannot be gathered up again – Opportunity cost

B. One nation can't have two queens – Complete monopoly

C. Entering a room full of fragrant orchids and getting used to the sweet smell -- Diminishing marginal utility

D. When the city gate catches fire, the fish in the moat suffer -- Negative external effects

Hint: Match the meaning of the idioms and the economic terms.

Answer: A

Now let's see how well you know about history.

6. What is the possible situation that can happen?

A. Greeks watch World Cup in the stadium when the Revolution of 1911 happened

B. Chinese college students listen to radio by semiconductor receivers during the May 4th Movement

C. During the Cold War, a Soviet cinema shows a color movie

D. During the Vietnam War, Americans can surf the internet on computers

Hint: You need to know about that period to make the call.

Answer: C

Are you already tired of all this? One last question to test if your instinct of language is good.

7. The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami showed humans the power of the nature. Although we have islands and submerged reefs as natural barriers to tsunamis, we need to be prepared for potential dangers. Sometimes the earthquake in the deep ocean does not cause any loss as the epicenter is far from the land, but the tsunami generated by the displacement of the water can cause huge damage. Tsunami waves can move at 800 km per hour in the ocean and can be several meters high. The main argument in the paragraph above is

A. Earthquakes and tsunamis warn people to pay attention to the ocean

B. Earthquakes and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean warn us to focus more on oceanography

C. Tsunamis generated by earthquakes can cause huge damages

D. Natural disaster is cruel

Answer: B

So, what was your final score? Were you able to crack some of the answers? If you got most of them right then you certainly deserve the 'iron rice bowl'. If you got few correct ones then start brushing up your knowledge by reading China Daily every day. If you found all the questions hard then just blame the education system.

China uncovers $967m of irregular local govt debts in Q3

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 00:48

BEIJING - China has uncovered irregular local government debts worth of over 6.4 billion yuan (about $967 million), authorities said.

Five local governments in Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Hunan and Hainan provinces had raised the sum of debts through irregularly offering commitment letters, according to an audit report in the third quarter by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The audit findings also showed that ten cities and counties in Yunnan, Hunan and Jilin provinces as well as Chongqing Municipality had inflated their fiscal revenues by a total of 1.5 billion yuan.

At the same time, around 800 million yuan had been recouped after auditors found that the Anji county in east China's Zhejiang Province had exaggerated the investment volume and borrowed the money from banks against relevant rules. Four people held accountable had been punished, the NAO said.

Man tricked into buying ghost money for 220,000 yuan

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 00:33

TAIYUAN - Police in North China's Shanxi province have seized three people who swindled a man out of over 220,000 yuan and tricked him into buying "illicit cash" which turns out to be ghost money.

Police in the city of Jinzhong said Saturday they also seized 16 phones and around 1 million yuan ($151,000) of fake notes.

The suspects, all from Anhui Province, confessed they have lured targets and sold fake notes or ghost money to them, fabricating the fake money to be cash involved in corruption cases, since the beginning of this year.

Police started investigating the case in late November when a man surnamed Zhang said he paid more than 220,000 yuan for "1-million-yuan illicit cash," which later he found to be ghost money, or joss paper which is burned as an offering to help the dead in their afterlife.

Further investigation into the case is under way.

Mongolian ethnic clothing weaves together tradition, innovation

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 00:28
Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com]

HOHHOT - Uyun poses and takes selfies with her friends backstage at a traditional ethnic clothing competition in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

"We made all these clothes by hand. It's a family thing and a tradition on the prairie," said Uyun, 55, who teamed up with her friends for the competition at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival held in the regional capital of Hohhot last week.

"As herders, we learned to make traditional Mongolian clothing as little girls," said Uyun, who is ethnic Mongolian from Hulun Buir City.

Temperatures in Hulun Buir can plummet to minus 40 degrees Celsius in winter.

"Only these, with lambswool lining, can help us keep warm," she said.

Uyun's friend, Ulangolwa, 53, said she taught her daughter the craft when she was young, and now the younger woman makes a living from it.

Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com]

First held in 2003, the annual event aims to promote and protect Mongolian clothing. During this year's event, a seminar was held to discuss the status, trends, and protection of ethnic clothing.

Designer Ma Yonghua, owner of a Mongolian clothing company in Xingan League, was among the attendees.

The 27-year-old used to be a nurse and switched to costume design due to her passion for Mongolian clothing and tradition.

"I persuaded my parents and sold my apartment to fund the company," said Ma.

Ma said she respects tradition in making clothing. For example, cloud patterns should only be embroidered on the collar, rather than on trousers, to represent clouds' position in the sky and show awe of nature.

"In making Mongolian clothing, one should follow standards and know both how and why," Ma said.

While preserving the old, she is also creating new things.

Ma is working on Mongolian-style school uniforms featuring ethnic elements, but in soft and stretchy modern materials, rather than traditional leather and silk.

"Only when children love our traditional ethnic clothing will we be able to protect and develop it," said Zhang Yanru with the region's tourism development commission.

Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com]

A competition for Mongolian-style primary and middle school uniforms was held for the first time during this year's festival, Zhang said.

In Xilingol League, the local government has established a "Mongolian Clothing Day" in Mongolian-language primary schools and kindergartens. On the day, students are encouraged to wear Mongolian clothing to school.

Courses on Mongolian clothing design and production are now offered in middle schools and vocational schools, said Uzhitunasun, director of the league's tourism development commission.

According to him, over 137,000 herders, or about a third of the population on the prairie in Xilingol League, still wear Mongolian clothing in their daily lives. More than 50,000 people in the league are engaged in Mongolian clothing production.

With a history of more than 800 years, Mongolian clothing was added to China's list of intangible cultural heritage in 2008. In 2012, the region issued a set of standards for making the clothing.

"Mongolian clothing is a symbol of Mongolians' nomadic life through history," said Zhang Yanru.

There are 28 Mongolian tribes in Inner Mongolia. Influenced by different climates, history and traditions, every tribe has unique clothing designs.

There is still a lack of designers of traditional Mongolian clothing, said Zhang Minghua, deputy director with Hohhot's tourism development commission.

Not many students majoring in costume design choose Mongolian clothing as their career, she said, "So we must encourage and train more students to do it."

Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com] Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com] Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com] Models present traditional ethnic clothing at the 14th Mongolian Costume Festival in the regional capital of Hohhot, Nov 27, 2017.  [Photo/chinanews.com]

Large Danxia landform discovered in NW China

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 00:00
Photo taken on Sept 27, 2017 shows the Danxia landform in Fugu county, Northwest China's Shaanxi province. Geologists in Shaanxi province have found a new Danxia landform, characterized by reddish sandstone features, thought to be the largest such site in the country. [Photo/Xinhua]

XI'AN - Geologists in Northwest China's Shaanxi province have found a new Danxia landform, characterized by reddish sandstone features, thought to be the largest such site in the country.

The S-shaped site, which features a rugged red landscape that emerged from river silt deposits dating back more than 99 million years, runs from Yulin city in the north of Shaanxi to the center of the province, the provincial land and resources department announced Saturday.

With an outcrop area of over 4,000 square kilometers, the landscape extends 750 kilometers from north to south and 10 to 70 kilometers from east to west.

The landform was found in September and October. Its bulk lies in several counties administered by Yan'an city.

Geologists said the newly discovered Danxia landform appears as groups of valleys and is different from those found in south China, which were inscribed collectively as a World Heritage Site in 2010.

Photo taken on Sept 27, 2017 shows the Danxia landform in Zhongji township of Shenmu city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province.  [Photo/Xinhua]

 

Photo taken on Sept 27, 2017 shows the Danxia landform in Ansai district of Yan'an City, Northwest China's Shaanxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

Photo taken on Sept 27, 2017 shows the Danxia landform in Zhidan county, Northwest China's Shaanxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

Photo taken on Sept 27, 2017 shows the Danxia landform in Zhongji township of Shenmu city, Northwest China's Shaanxi province.  [Photo/Xinhua]

Su Hui elected chairperson of Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:08

BEIJING -- Su Hui was elected chairperson of the central committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League at its 10th national congress, which concluded Saturday.

Su, 61, also serves as member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, and vice president of the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots.

She used to work at the Bureau of Finance and the Bureau of Statistics of Beijing.

Founded in 1947, the league is one of the eight non-Communist political parties in the Chinese mainland. It consists of Taiwanese living in the mainland.

The league will, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, firmly advocate the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Su said.

It will advance exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Strait and promote contact in fields such as business and commerce, medical care and culture in Taiwan to promote cross-Strait affinity, she said.

As a participating political party, the league will also contribute to completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects as well as national reunification and rejuvenation, she said.

Two injured snow leopard cubs rescued in Tibet

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:59

LHASA -- Two injured snow leopard cubs are recovering after being rescued in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

The felines, which are on China's top protection list, will be released when they can survive in the wild, according to their caretaker, Tangzhub Cering, with the forestry bureau of Biru County.

On Oct. 22, a herder in Biru found the injured animals when his sheep and cattle were grazing. He brought the pair to the bureau.

The veteran wild animal rescuer cleaned the wounds of the cubs, which were three months old at the time, and fed them fresh beef and skim milk.

"In the first two days, they neither drank nor ate. I was very worried," he said.

Now the cubs also eat eggs and fodder, and their feeding costs have been covered by the local government.

The pair was named Princess Snow Mountain and Prince Snow Mountain.

China is home to between 2,000 and 2,500 snow leopards, which are scattered in Xinjiang, Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and Inner Mongolia. Both the number of snow leopards and their habitat area in China account for more than half of the global total.

Photovoltaic project in Zhejiang starts power supply

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 12:54
Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2017 shows photovoltaic panels in Gulong Village of Hongqiao Township in Changxing County, east China's Zhejiang Province. The photovoltaic project, which covers an area of 485 mu (32 hectares) with an estimated power output of 19 million kwh every year, has started supplying power to local grid. [Photo/Xinhua] Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2017 shows photovoltaic panels in Gulong Village of Hongqiao Township in Changxing County, east China's Zhejiang Province. The photovoltaic project, which covers an area of 485 mu (32 hectares) with an estimated power output of 19 million kwh every year, has started supplying power to local grid. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2017 shows photovoltaic panels in Gulong Village of Hongqiao Township in Changxing County, east China's Zhejiang Province. The photovoltaic project, which covers an area of 485 mu (32 hectares) with an estimated power output of 19 million kwh every year, has started supplying power to local grid. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2017 shows photovoltaic panels in Gulong Village of Hongqiao Township in Changxing County, east China's Zhejiang Province. The photovoltaic project, which covers an area of 485 mu (32 hectares) with an estimated power output of 19 million kwh every year, has started supplying power to local grid. [Photo/Xinhua]

Intensive CPC training program to improve governance in new era

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 11:50

BEIJING -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) earlier this month launched its first training session for provincial and ministerial officials, also known as the "key few," since the 19th CPC National Congress concluded in October.

The program at the CPC Central Committee Party School is expected to train provincial CPC chiefs, governors and ministers in seven education sessions from December until April of next year.

The program aims to help these leading officials better study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as well as the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress.

Addressing the opening of the session Wednesday, Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, required officials to apply what they learn in implementing decisions and policies of the CPC Central Committee and urged a spirit of "driving nails."

"'Driving nails' refers to perseverance, precision, the ability and willingness to act right away," said an official taking the courses who was not willing to be identified.

The 89-million-member CPC is leading China toward a final victory in finishing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and building a great modern socialist country by the middle of the century, as detailed in a blueprint unveiled during its 19th National Congress.

"It (the blueprint) entails new responsibilities and achievements in a new era," said Professor Wang Yukai, with the Chinese Academy of Governance.

Such intensive training sessions are important for senior officials to gain a systematic understanding of the congress spirit, adapt to a way of thinking for the new era, apply new development concepts and better advance reform, he noted.

Under China's political system, provincial and ministerial officials play a key role in the country's governance. And policies can only achieve their designed effects once they are instilled into each level of governance.

For more than a decade, the CPC has arranged special education programs for provincial and ministerial officials, which are usually devoted to a significant strategy of the CPC Central Committee.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in November 2012, the CPC Central Committee Organization Department has directly sponsored more than 1,100 sessions at the Party School, with total attendance of more than 65,000 officials, including 7,180 at the provincial and ministerial level.

According to the agenda of the ongoing session, participants will study Xi's speeches and attend lectures and discussions.

Many heavyweights have been invited to give lectures, such as Chen Xi, head of the CPC Central Committee Organization Department, and Huang Kunming, head of the CPC Central Committee Publicity Department.

"The 'key few' are just like locomotives," said netizen "caogendaren" on microblog Weibo. "Only when the locomotives are heading in the correct direction can we ensure the train marches forward without deviation or derailment."

China-EU launch work on industry park plan in Shenzhen

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 02:00

China and the European Union have begun joint work on an industry park in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to boost their cooperation in the marine economy.

Land reclamation for the China-EU Blue Industry Park is underway in Baoan district and is to be done around 2020. By 2025, it will be fully operational, according to the Shenzhen Urban Planning and Design Institute, which designed the 1-square-kilometer park.

The plan was announced at the 2017 China-EU Blue Industry Cooperation Forum that opened in Shenzhen on Friday and will conclude on Saturday. Hosted by China’s State Oceanic Administration, the event is the first of its kind between China and EU, attracting nearly 300 Chinese officials, experts and company executives as well as more than 60 EU representatives.

The park is intended to facilitate international cooperation in marine industries and improve scientific and technological research on marine resources, said Zhang Zhanhai, head of the administration’s Strategic Planning and Marine Economy Department. The program was initiated by the Shenzhen government and has been endorsed by his administration and the EU’s Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

“The European side will spread information on the park among European enterprises and research entities involved in marine industries and will also recommend suitable partners to the park,” he said on the sidelines of the forum. “We hope it will attract companies with high-value products or advanced technologies.”

Plans call for the demonstration program to take advantage of Europe’s expertise in high-end intelligent marine equipment and Shen¬zhen’s high-tech manufacturing capacity to develop deep-sea submersibles, seabed robots and marine mineral exploitation devices for the international market. It will also combine their know-how in new marine energy, marine ecological protection and databases to strengthen their capability and competitiveness in the global market.

Wang Hong, director of the State Oceanic Administration, said China and the EU have been making joint efforts in governance, science and technology, environmental protection and disaster prevention and relief in marine sectors. They have made a lot of progress in these fields, he added.
It was decided at the 19th China-EU Summit held in Brussels in June that the two sides would strive to build a China-EU Blue Partnership.

 

Economic priorities set for next year

Sat, 12/09/2017 - 00:00

Resolving risks, targeting poverty and controlling pollution top agenda

China will make efforts to forestall and resolve major risks as well as push targeted poverty alleviation and pollution control next year, China’s top leadership agreed at a major meeting on Friday.

An overall plan should be made to prevent major risks, carry out targeted poverty reduction and control pollution, said a Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee meeting, presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

The meeting said the country should continue to implement its supply-side structural reform, stabilize economic growth, promote reforms and push forward opening-up next year, according to a China Central Television report.

China should contain the overall leverage ratio and raise the financial sector’s capability of serving the real economy to prevent and defuse major risks, the meeting urged.

“The meeting set a tone for China’s economic work and defined its major priorities for next year,” said Dong Yu¬ping, an economist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “The most crucial task is to control financial risks.

The overall leverage levels cannot be allowed to rise further, and the real economy must have access to adequate financing to ensure its health,” he said.

The meeting stressed stabilization of growth, which means China may face tough challenges next year if the global economy sours, said Liang Haiming, chief economist of the China Silk Road iValley Research Institute, a Beijing-based think tank. “Only by achieving stable growth can China become a leading engine of global growth next year.”

He said he expected that China’s GDP growth target for 2018, expected to come out in March, could be unchanged from that for this year, which is around 6.5 percent.

The meeting also urged acceleration of housing system reform and continued establishment of a long-term mechanism for managing the sector.

“The putting forward and implementation of the long-term real estate management mechanism has helped offset homebuyers’ anxiety caused by rapid housing price rises, and the mechanism will continue to have a major impact on the real estate market next year,” said Jenny Wu, senior director and head of residential with Cushman & Wakefield, East China, a real estate information and services provider.

On Wednesday, President Xi met with representatives of non-Communist parties and those without party affiliations to seek their advice on the country’s economic work.

“The essential feature of the economy at the present stage is that it is in a transitional period from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development,” Xi said.

Wu Yiyao contributed to this story.

Border soldiers defy chilliness in training

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 08:59

Recently, a military training under combat conditions was held among dozens of soldiers from North East China’s Heilongjiang provincial border defense troops. Even the temperature had dropped to -20 C, the soldiers shuttled in the forest freely and finished a series of training subjects excellently, which greatly improved their combat capabilities. 

[Photo by Xu Tao/for chinadaily.com.cn] [Photo by Xu Tao/for chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo by Xu Tao/for chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo by Xu Tao/for chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo by Zhou Yuliang/for chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo by Zhou Yuliang/for chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo by Zhou Yuliang/for chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo by Zhou Yuliang/for chinadaily.com.cn]

A glimpse of airline's kitchen

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 08:42

On Wednesday, the Jilin branch of China Southern Airlines invited local citizens to visit their large kitchen where various airline meals are produced. Visitors experienced the entire productive process of the food they have on the plane. The kitchen is divided into different parts for dessert, fruit, meat and hot food with extremely strict standards to guarantee the quality.

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

 

[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China turns space debris into in-orbit Internet of Things

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 08:19

SHANGHAI - Chinese scientists have turned the final stage of a launch rocket, which is discarded in space after sending a satellite into orbit, into a smart application platform by fitting it with intelligent chips.

A program carried out by Shanghai-based Fudan University installed several intelligent chips on the final stage of the Long March 4C rocket, which sent the Fengyun-3D satellite into orbit in November.

Fudan University's Zheng Lirong, the chief scientist of the program, said discarded rocket sections during space launches constitute the largest percentage of space debris. By installing multiple chip systems on the rocket, the team has established the initial stage of a space-based Internet of Things.

He explained that the launch rocket will jettison a section when it runs out of propellant in order to decrease the mass, and the final stage of the rocket is delivered to the orbit along with the payload.

"With these intelligent chips attached, space debris can be transformed into a low-cost science experiment and communication platform," he said.

Zheng's team has taken two years to develop the functional modules and hardware to make the "nanosatellites," with each set of the functional modules weighing less than 30 grams.

The team has named the intelligent chip system "Xinyun," meaning the cloud of chips.

Internet of Things solutions are already widely employed in daily life, ranging from wearable smart gadgets, driverless vehicles to GPS-tracked grazing. [ Zheng said current applications experience common problems such as data congestion and slow transmission speeds, especially in remote and underserved regions. With the development of the space-based network, these areas could be better served.

"The system can connect space, air, ground and oceans at a low cost. It can also be seen as a useful trial in tackling the unresolved problem of dealing with space debris," said Jin Yaqiu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and supervisor of the program.

Zheng said they are still testing the system's functions and analyzing the track of orbiting debris.

Hospital staff held on assault charges

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:55

Police in Zhouzhi county of Shaanxi province held 12 suspects for illegal detention of a reporter, who was assaulted by staff of a local hospital during an interview on pricey mortuary fees.

Meanwhile, Li Xinfang, president of the Zhouzhi county people's hospital and among the detained suspects, was dismissed from his post on Thursday, the county government said on its website Friday.

The Shaanxi Provincial Price Bureau said the alleged mortuary fee of 150 yuan each day is suspected to be against regulations.

The injured reporter from Shaanxi Broadcasting Corporation, Lan Zhitao, is now in treatment at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiao Tong University. He was preliminarily diagnosed with lumbar fractures and multiple traumas.

The issue was related to a woman who had been preserved in the mortuary for over two years. She died after giving birth to a boy at the hospital in 2015, and her family sued the hospital. This July, a court ordered the hospital to compensate her family with nearly 500,000 yuan ($75,552).

After the family received compensation through forced execution and asked for the woman's body from the hospital, they were told they should pay 102,000 yuan in mortuary fees.

After Lan reported on the case, the hospital claimed Lan failed to follow news ethics and his report was not balanced.

When he went to the hospital on Monday for follow-up reports, he was attacked by more than 10 hospital staff members, and was later shut in the mortuary for around 20 minutes.

Zheng Yumeng contributed to this story

Beijing pledges timely replacement of removed signs and billboards

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:46

 

A sign attached to a building roof is being removed in Beijing, Nov 22, 2017.[Photo/IC]

In response to complaints that a city-wide campaign of removing signs on buildings made it difficult for people to find their way, Beijing city management authority said on Friday that it would make sure resetting the signs will keep pace with removal.

An unnamed official with the Beijing Commission of City Management was quoted by Beijing News as saying that the capital has removed nearly 14,000 signs and billboards by Friday.

The city is limiting the number and placement of signs on buildings in recent days in order to "create an urban skyline that is visually clear and bright", and strengthen urban management. The campaign was launched as part of the capital's urban planning for the 2016-35 period.

However, some people complained that they cannot find their way to destinations after obvious signs on building were removed. Some shops and companies had to put up banners with their names or logos on, to replace removed signs and billboards.

The commission also said that it is making overall designs on community neighborhood, aiming to highlight their different features.

According to a notice from the commission, all signs and billboards attached to roofs must be removed. In addition, there can be only one sign with a building's name on the third or higher stories, and the name should be the same as the one registered with planning authorities.

Gov't platform to monitor bike sharing in Hangzhou

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:33

HANGZHOU -- Some 880,000 shared bikes in China's eastern city of Hangzhou will be monitored by a new collective platform, the city's transport authority said Friday.

The platform includes six systems, such as daily monitoring, credit evaluation and deposit management, the authority said, adding that some functions are still under construction.

Seven bike-sharing companies, including industry leaders Mobike and ofo, are taking part in the platform, with a total of 882,700 bikes under its unified management.

"Data will be made available to transport, urban management and traffic police," said Zheng Kai, transport authority spokesperson.

Scenic areas, metro stations and commercial districts are the key areas being monitored, Zheng said. The platform is aimed at increasing convenience for bike users without affecting traffic and the urban environment.

China's grain output climbs in 2017

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 07:30

BEIJING -- China's grain output saw a mild increase in 2017 as per unit yield climbed, official data showed Friday.

The country's grain output stood at about 617.9 million tonnes in 2017, up by 1.66 million tonnes, or 0.3 percent, compared with last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This was the second highest output in history, according to NBS statistician Hou Rui.

Grain planting area shrank by 815,000 hectares, while the per unit yield was up by 54 kilograms per hectare, or 1 percent year on year.

The growth in output came despite a reduction in output of high-yield grain, indicating progress in the supply-side structural reform in the agricultural sector, Hou said.

Facing an oversupply of corn and rising demand for soy and other grain varieties, many areas reduced corn planting in favor of soy and used some grain for feedstuff.

Corn planting area shrank by 3.6 percent, while that for beans increased by 6.7 percent in 2017, NBS data showed.

4 Chinese students win Rhodes Scholarships among 12,000 global candidates

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 04:23
Hou Yifan. [Photo/eastday.com]


On Saturday, four Chinese students passed a rigorous final round of face-to-face interviews in Shanghai and stood out from 14 final Chinese candidates to each earn prestigious Rhodes Scholarships for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.

Aiming to educate promising students from around the world, Rhodes Scholarships cover their total expenses at Oxford, equal to 30,000 pounds ($50,000) in every school year.

Over 12,000 students worldwide applied to be 2017 Rhodes Scholars. The four successful Chinese candidates are Mao Xiao, Li Yuhan, Cao Qitong and Hou Yifan.

The last name may already be familiar as Hou is a prodigy known as the “Queen of Chess”.

Born in 1994, Hou won the Women's World Chess Championship in 2010 for the first time and defended her crown in 2011, becoming the youngest chess player in history to twice win this competition. She won it again in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

While Hou has conquered the world of chess, she never lowered her academic standards.

The other three Chinese Rhodes Scholars were recognized for their superior studies in law, animal protection and computer science.

The application requirements of Rhodes Scholarships vary from country to country. In China, the final candidates are selected mainly based on their academic performance, English level and education background. The Chinese scheme is backed financially by sponsors including the Li Ka Shing Foundation, founded by Asia’s richest person – Li Ka Shing.

Famous Rhodes Scholars include former US president Bill Clinton, Grammy winner Kris Kristofferson and former US national security advisor Susan Rice.

Political advisors urge promoting drama of ethnic minorities

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 03:57

BEIJING -- China's political advisors met Thursday to discuss ways to inherit and develop drama of ethnic minorities.

The bi-weekly consultation session was chaired by Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Political advisors said drama of ethnic minorities is an important part of Chinese culture and plays a significant role in promoting national solidarity.

The government should strengthen its support to the development of the art with ethnic features in policy and finance. The government purchase of public cultural services should be enhanced so as to encourage drama groups to perform in communities, political advisors said.

They also suggest deeper research on the drama of ethnic minorities.

The consultation sessions are used by political advisors to study major issues with experts and officials.

Wu Weihua elected chairman of Jiusan Society

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 03:54

BEIJING -- Wu Weihua was elected chairman of the Central Committee of the Jiusan Society at its 11th National Congress, which concluded Thursday.

Wu, 61, is director of the national key laboratory of plant physiology and biochemistry, and director of the academic committee of China Agricultural University. He is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

"The Jiusan Society will, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, strive to contribute to securing victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realizing China's rejuvenation," Wu said, addressing the closing ceremony of the 11th national congress.

"The society should be developed into a participating political party of socialism with Chinese characteristics that is more firm in ideology, more solid in performing its duties and stronger in organization," Wu said.

The Jiusan Society is one of China's eight major non-Communist political parties. Founded in 1945, it is composed mainly of senior and mid-level intellectuals engaged in science, technology, culture, education, and medical and health work.

As of June this year, the society had 167,000 members, among whom 61 are academicians of CAS and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. More than 2,300 are deputies to people's congresses at various levels, and more than 11,800 are political advisors.

Dec 7 2017

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 03:44

It is the lofty ideal of mankind that everyone enjoys human rights to the full."

Xi congratulates conclusion of China-Switzerland Year of Tourism

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 03:23

BEIJING - President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the closing ceremony of the China-Switzerland Year of Tourism held on Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In his message, Xi said he made the decision to launch the China-Switzerland Year of Tourism together with his Swiss counterpart, Doris Leuthard.

Taking this opportunity, China and Switzerland held exchange activities and expanded personnel exchanges during the year, which enhanced mutual understanding between the two peoples and promoted bilateral communication and cooperation in such areas as culture, economy and trade, injecting fresh impetus to the development of China-Switzerland relations, he said.

The Chinese president stressed that people's involvement and support have been important foundation for the development of China-Switzerland relations.

He called on both sides to strengthen people-to-people exchanges and enhance practical cooperation, so as to keep consolidating the public foundation for the development of bilateral ties.

Big data begins to make a big impact

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:41
A visitor experiences virtual reality technology at the China International Big Data Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, in May. The expo was the first in the world to specifically use a big data theme,Photos By Yang Jun / China Daily

An industry park in Southwest China has become the nerve center of the burgeoning sector, as Yang Wanli and Yang Jun report from Guiyang, Guizhou.

Last year, after he completed a bachelor's degree in computer science in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in the north of China, 22-year-old Song Jian made a decision that sent him in a different direction to his classmates. He headed south and landed a job in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.

"The city is famous for beauties, and I thought I would definitely find someone to love there," he said, with a laugh.

Song did fall in love, but not with a person. Instead, his affections were engaged by big data - a concept that is spreading nationwide but hasn't yet been put into widespread practical use - through his work in the Chengdu branch of Youedata, a tech company headquartered in Beijing.

Early this year, Song moved again, this time to the company's offices in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province. Although he has left the bright lights behind by relocating to a third-tier city, he believes the transfer will provide a promising future.

The Guizhou government has taken the initiative to promote poverty relief through the use of big data. In the past three years, the mountainous province has been transformed into an innovation hub by the arrival of leading companies, including Apple, Alibaba and Hyundai Motors.

In the first half of the year, the money generated by data utilization in the province was 5.26 billion yuan ($794 million), a jump of 64 percent compared with the same period last year. It was first time the local sector had registered double-digit growth, according to statistics provided by the provincial government.

Guian New Area, an hour's drive from Guiyang, is a 1,795-square-kilometer industrial technology park that is home to more than 400 companies in the big data industry.

"The park concentrates the world's top enterprises in one place, which will provide more convenience for cooperation and the development of business opportunities. It also provides more possibilities for the future," Song said.

Driving force

With the support of the National Information Center, Youedata is responsible for the operation of six State-owned big data centers across the country, including one in Guiyang, and more than 100 big data companies have started operations in them.

Since its establishment in December last year, Guiyang Youedata has become a driving force in the city's big data sector, cooperating with local public sector companies to explore and use data resources. At present, the company is mainly focused on data-cleaning work.

"It's a process of desensitization; cleaning sensitive, security - and privacy-related items from the original data to produce information that can be further used for behavioral analysis or risk prediction," said Huang Xiaoyin, director of the company's integrated management office.

For example, phone companies have the names, ID numbers and phone numbers of all their customers, along with logs of their calls and text messages. Some of the information, such as consumption preferences or the frequency of phone use can be analyzed via big data to develop business strategies. However, the information must first be "desensitized" - which means all the names, ID numbers and addresses must be erased to protect customers' privacy.

According to Huang, 80 percent of the company's employees are experts in big data research and development, and they are young, mainly ages 22 to 40.

"Big data is bringing opportunities and vitality to this mountainous city, which is attracting more young talent from the province and neighboring cities seeking to further their careers," she said.

Dong Chuanye, deputy director of Guiyang Youedata, said the provincial and municipal governments have played leading roles in big data development, compared with authorities in many other cities.

In addition to special funding support, tax breaks and other policies, and free use of office space for five years, the government helps to promote business opportunities between the park's big data companies and potential customers through expos and conferences. In August, Guiyang will host the China International Big Data Industry Expo, which will be attended by several leading global businesses, including Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Oracle SAP and Tesla, he said.

The local government also provides strong support for the exchange and use of data, authorizing big data companies to access information collected by the government and other public sector bodies in the city. To date, 15,033 data dictionaries and 243 data sets from 51 sectors have been made available to authorized companies.

"This is crucial to the development of the big data industry. Data is the industry's blood. Without it, we couldn't survive, not to mention develop. In many other cities, data barriers still exist between different public sector bodies, but Guiyang has been a pioneer in breaking down those walls," Dong said.

Children watch a robot in action at the expo.

Better integration

To many Chinese, big data is still "high-tech jargon" that barely relates to their daily lives. However, residents of Guiyang have already been given a glimpse of the future, and big data is set to become better integrated with public services.

Illustrations of the uses of big data are displayed at the Guiyang Big Data Application Demonstration Center. For example, when some trucks were reported buried by a landslide in Guiyang after heavy rain, analysts used traffic flow records and photos taken by cameras along the highway to determine that three vehicles were in trouble, which proved to be the case when the recovery services arrived on the scene.

"Through news reports and free lectures provided by the government in the past two years, nearly all the public sector workers in Guiyang know, more or less, the importance of big data and how it will contribute to social development," said Liu Jun, 38, a local civil servant.

He noted that big data can also be used to satisfy public demand, such as information related to parking.

"If all public parking lots were registered, data analysis could indicate their number and locations on a smartphone app. That's just one way of using big data. I believe the future possibilities are limitless," he said.

Xu Ke, director of Guizhou Youedata's management department, said the biggest challenge is a lack of talent. "The education resources in Guizhou are limited. To speed up the development of the big data industry, we need more professionals. However, the quality of human resources in the province still lags behind that in metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai," he said.

Internships

Xu said the company has launched pilot training programs with professionals to provide training for its employees. It also provides internships for students at Guizhou Education University and sends experienced technicians to deliver lectures at the college.

Zuo Yu, dean of the College of Mathematics and Computer Science at the university, said the school launched a major in Big Data Technology and Utilization in 2014, and the first batch of students will graduate in July.

Five junior students are working as interns at Guiyang Youedata, while seven others are with another company in the park.

"Internships in those businesses prior to graduation can better train the students to meet the market demand," Zuo said, adding that the companies will employ nearly all the students placed with them when they graduate.

The major was a secondary choice for most students the first year it was offered, but this year, it was the first choice of every student on the course.

"People understand that the big data industry has a promising future. Next year, we will double the number of students on the course and encourage more talent from other cities and foreign countries to work or study here," he said.

Long-term care trial covers 38m elders

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:37

A pilot insurance program for seniors who require long-term care due to illness or disability now covers more than 38 million people in 14 cities, the top social security authority has said.

Four cities have already paid compensation to claimants, including Shanghai and Qingdao, Shandong province, and 300 million yuan ($45.3 million) was paid out to reimburse the costs of more than 400,000 long-term care services last year, according to Lu Aihong, a spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

On average, claimants are refunded 70 percent of their costs, which can help relieve many families of an economic burden, he said.

"We will promote the program in a proactive but steady way and will report on the experiences to improve the long-term care insurance system," Lu said.

The number of people age 60 or over continues to rise in China. According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, 16.7 percent of the population - 230 million people - were age 60 or over at the end of last year. The proportion is expected to rise to 17.8 percent by 2020.

In Qingdao, the proportion is greater. At the end of last year, 1.68 million people, or more than 21.3 percent of residents with hukou, or permanent household registration, were age 60 or over, according to the city government.

Qingdao launched its long-term care insurance pilot in 2012. It now covers about 8.2 million people, including elderly and disabled residents, as well as permanent residents and those without hukou.

Those in the insurance plan do not need to pay a premium if they have contributed, or continue to contribute, to the public medical insurance system. Residents receive different coverage depending on whether they live in urban or rural areas, and are employed or unemployed. Compensation payouts for the pilot insurance program also come from the public medical insurance fund.

Qingdao also became the first city early this year to include dementia patients in the program, benefiting about 200 people, according to the city government.

Ren, 89, was diagnosed with dementia in 2009 and is cared for at Chengyang Nursing Home. She often gets confused and loses her way, making it difficult for her daughter to care for her, the nursing home says.

Now she receives 24-hour care. More than 80 percent of the costs of accommodation and nursing are covered by the pilot insurance program, which means her family pays just 3,000 yuan a month, the nursing home said.

The Qingdao government said 500,000 seniors, including almost 100 diagnosed with dementia, have received 120 million yuan toward the cost of long-term care services. Currently, 160,000 seniors in the city have long-term care services covered by the insurance program.

Under the program, beneficiaries' average daily cost for a sickbed has been reduced from 56 yuan to just 4 yuan. By the end of last year, more than 600 people in Qingdao were receiving long-term care from nursing homes, most of which are privately run enterprises, city government data show.

 

 

Writing a New Chapter of International Human Rights Exchanges and Cooperation

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:19
Editor's note: With the convening of the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing on Thursday, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong expounds on China's international exchanges and cooperation on human rights. Saad Alfarargi, special rapporteur on the Right to Development of the United Nations Human Rights Council, delivers a speech at the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing on Thursday.Zou Hong / China Daily

I.

Facing profound transformation in the international environment, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has made insightful observations of the trends of the times and drawn up and implemented comprehensive, strategic and forward-looking plans, and as a result, great progress and development have been achieved in China's diplomacy. As an important part of China's diplomatic endeavors, international exchanges and cooperation on human rights have also registered remarkable achievements, opening up a new vista for human rights diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

First, we have made new breakthroughs in international human rights governance. Over the past five years, China has taken an active part in international human rights governance and worked for the establishment of a fair, just, reasonable and effective international human rights system. China has hosted a series of human rights related events, including the Beijing Forum on Human Rights, the International Seminar on the 30th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Right to Development, the South-South Human Rights Forum and the 16th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights. In his congratulatory letter to the opening of the Beijing Forum on Human Rights, President Xi Jinping noted that "there is always room for improvement when it comes to human rights protection", "China has embarked on a path for human rights development suited to its reality through combining the universality of human rights with China's specific conditions", and "China will unswervingly stay on the path of peaceful development and steadfastly advance human rights development both in China and in the wider world". These remarks chart the course for China's human rights development and provide guidance for China to fully participate in international human rights governance.

Through the Human Rights Council and other UN platforms, China has incorporated important concepts such as "a community of shared future for mankind" into Human Rights Council resolutions, and raised the visibility of the Belt and Road Initiative. China has worked for the adoption of resolutions entitled "Promoting the Right of Everyone to the Enjoyment of the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health through Enhancing Capacity-Building in Public Health", and "The Contribution of Development to the Enjoyment of All Human Rights", delivered joint statements on behalf of over 140 countries on "Enhancing Dialogue and Cooperation to Protect and Promote Universally Recognized Human Rights", "Realizing Development for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights" and "Promote and Protect Human Rights, Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind", among others, and held side-events and exhibitions, including those themed "Promotion of Human Rights: Role of Poverty Reduction" and "Progress of China's Human Rights". These proactive efforts have helped to enhance China's soft power and influence in international human rights arena by translating domestic governance philosophies into international consensus, and highlighting China's human rights practices as fine examples of international cooperation.

China was re-elected to the Human Rights Council by an overwhelming majority for the years of 2014-2016 and 2017-2019, making China one of the few countries that have won the elections four times. China was also re-elected as a member of the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations. Several Chinese experts currently serve on multilateral human rights committees, including the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. China's human rights achievements have gained more international recognition, and strengthened its influence in multilateral human rights agencies and its ability to shape the development and the rules-making process of the relevant agencies.

Second, we have taken new actions to uphold national interests and image. China has thwarted some countries' attempts to deliver joint statements against China and interfere in China's internal affairs in the Human Rights Council, and facilitated the adoption of its Universal Periodic Review report. China has played a constructive role in the meetings of the Third Committee, Human Rights Council and its affiliated mechanisms, resolutely refuted the unfounded accusations made by some countries and anti-China forces, and garnered greater understanding and support for China's human rights endeavors. We have upheld the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and adeptly used UN rules and procedures to make sure that we hold the high ground of morality and rules compliance in fighting anti-China forces, thus safeguarding China's national interests, sovereignty, security and dignity.

Third, we have registered new progress in fulfilling international human rights obligations. China participated in the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council, during which China elaborated on its achievements in promoting human rights, held candid and constructive dialogue with other countries, listened to their suggestions with an open mind, and accepted 204 (81 percent) of the 254 recommendations they had raised. This demonstrated China's open, inclusive and earnest attitude, and highlighted the policies, actions and measures carried out by the country to promote and protect human rights.

China completed the second periodic review of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which was hailed as "an exemplary review" by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In a positive, confident, inclusive and open spirit, China also received reviews on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, among others. In the process, China has established its reputation as a major country committed to improving people's well-being, honoring acceded agreements, and enhancing international cooperation.

Fourth, we have adopted new measures for international human rights exchanges. Over the past five years, China has conducted more than 50 human rights dialogues with Western and developing countries and actively and appropriately carried out cooperation with UN human rights agencies.

China has held 29 such dialogues with the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and other Western countries. China-US Legal Exchange and China-Australia Human Rights Technical Cooperation were also carried out. These efforts have deepened exchanges among government departments, judiciaries and academic groups, enhanced mutual understanding, effectively managed disagreements and offset the disturbances inflicted by the US, other Western Countries and anti-China elements under the pretext of human rights.

China has held human rights consultations with over 10 developing countries or regional organizations such as Russia, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Malaysia, the African Union, Pakistan, Belarus, Cuba, Laos, Sri Lanka and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China worked to put in place a regular meeting mechanism among BRICS countries' permanent representatives in Geneva. Through mutual learning and closer cooperation, the unity and coordination among developing countries has been strengthened, the united front for human rights endeavors expanded and our friend circle enlarged.

China has maintained constructive contacts with the UN Office at Geneva, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and others, and encouraged them to perform their duties in an objective and just manner and attach importance to the concerns of developing countries. China contributed funds to the Special Rapporteur on the right to development, invited the Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and three Special Rapporteurs including the one on extreme poverty and human rights to visit China, and received members of the Committee Against Torture, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and others. During these exchanges, China focused on its own agenda, demonstrated goodwill, enhanced trust, reduced misgivings, and helped international human rights agencies to view China's progress in human rights endeavors impartially and objectively.

Fifth, we have made fresh headway in increasing our say on human rights issues. China has released the National Human Rights Action Plan and the White Paper on Human Rights, and employed multiple channels such as photo exhibitions, interviews, news articles and briefings to fully and faithfully present China's understanding of and progress in human rights from different angles; China uses the Human Rights Council, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly and other important international platforms to express its unequivocal opposition to politicizing human rights issues and interfering in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, and to speak up for developing countries; China takes the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an opportunity to actively engage in international assistance. By 2016, China has provided a total of over 400 billion yuan ($60.5 billion) of foreign assistance and supported more than 120 developing countries in their efforts to follow through on the Millennium Development Goals. Parties involved highly commend China's relevant measures and regard them as support for international peace and development and contribution to the global human rights cause.

II.

The international "human rights deficit" is still prominent. There is a rising tendency toward politicizing human rights, double standards remain rampant, and certain countries still seek to interfere in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. There is still injustice, intolerance and instability in our world today, and global development remains unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable. To pursue the noble goal of "Human rights for all", "promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom" and build a community of shared future for mankind, we should make efforts in the following four areas.

First, advancing human rights with peace. Peace and security are the most important human rights. All parties should respect each other, conduct consultations as equals, resolutely reject Cold War mentality and power politics, and embark on a new path of state-to-state relations where dialogue and partnership prevail over confrontation and alliance. We should settle disputes and disagreements through dialogue and negotiation, take coordinated efforts to address traditional and non-traditional security threats and oppose terrorism in all its manifestations. The UN and other international organizations should leverage their influence and play their roles as the main channels for political mediation, conflict prevention, restoring peace and fighting terrorism, among others. The Third Committee and the Human Rights Council should give priority to large-scale human rights violations caused by armed conflicts and urge relevant parties to reflect on the root causes and avoid the tragedies from happening again.

Second, advancing human rights with development. Development is of paramount importance. For developing countries, poverty elimination and development pose pressing challenges and represent their fundamental needs when it comes to the issue of human rights. All parties should follow the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, take a development-based approach in implementing the 2030 Agenda, and advance sustainable development in environmental protection, health, education, employment, gender equality, disaster prevention and mitigation and other fields. Through joint efforts, we can blaze a trail for fair, open, comprehensive and innovative development. The international community should provide more financial and technical support for developing countries, prioritize the rights to survival and development, create conditions for the people in developing countries to share the fruits of development, and make sure that no one is left behind.

Third, advancing human rights with the rule of law. The rule of law is the fundamental guarantee for human rights. All parties should observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations, respect other countries' sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and the social systems and development paths they have chosen, uphold the authority of the international rule of law and ensure equal and uniform application of international law. Governments should continue to strengthen judicial protection of human rights, promote law-based governance on all fronts, ensure everyone is equal before the law and do justice to the role of the judiciary as the last line of defense to safeguard social fairness and justice. At the same time, measures taken by a country to maintain social stability and fight crime in accordance with law must be respected.

Fourth, advancing human rights with cooperation. There is no one-size-fits-all standard in the world. As an integral part of a country's economic and social development, human rights must be advanced in light of specific national conditions and people's needs. No human rights development path should be regarded as the only right choice. The international community should encourage countries to choose their own paths of human rights development and respect their choices. Countries with different paths of human rights development need to respect and learn from each other and make progress together. Multilateral platforms such as the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council should serve as bridges for dialogues and exchanges between countries rather than arenas where countries put pressure on others or engage in confrontation. UN human rights officials and the Human Rights Council's Special Procedures should perform their duties in accordance with their mandates and do more to promote cooperation and bridge differences instead of making futile efforts in naming and shaming and aggravating tensions. History has proven once and again that politicizing human rights and fueling confrontation will lead nowhere while only dialogue and cooperation offers the right solution.

III.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China marked the beginning of a new journey for China, a journey in which the Communist Party of China will lead the Chinese people in fully building a modern socialist country. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China will continue to hold high the banner of human rights, make consistent efforts to promote and advance protection of human rights, and break new ground for major country human rights diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in a new era.

We will stay committed to the "Chinese path" suited to our national conditions. We uphold both the universality and particularity of human rights, work to ensure that progress in democracy and betterment of people's lives reinforce each other, and strive for coordinated progress in peace and development, and have thus found a distinctive Chinese path of human rights development suited to China's reality. This demonstrates our confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China's successful practice has also provided more options for human rights protection in the world and offers a whole new alternative for countries and peoples who want to accelerate their development while maintaining their independence. China will continue to bear in mind its own national conditions, adopt a people-centered approach, give top priority to development, promote rule of law and derive impetus from opening-up. China will unwaveringly stay committed to the path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics in a new era, foster the Chinese concept of human rights featuring core socialist values, connect China's development with that of the world, and work to realize the Chinese Dream and build a community of shared future for mankind.

We will continue to play a "Chinese role" in global human rights governance. China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development, continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, forge a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, advance the building of a community of shared future for mankind and solidify the foundation of human rights protection. Following the principles of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and win-win cooperation, China will fully and deeply participate in global human rights governance, push for all parties to observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the principle of state sovereignty, respect each country's human rights development path, and help diversify the paths of global human rights development. China will promote unity, collaboration, communication and coordination among developing countries to safeguard the common interests of the developing world, build a human rights united front and advance democracy in global human rights governance. China will encourage countries to place equal emphasis on both the economic, social and cultural rights and the civil and political rights to realize balanced development of all types of human rights.

We will continue to make "Chinese contribution" to the international human rights cause. China firmly supports globalization, multilateralism and the international system with the UN at its core. China's efforts to carry out the Belt and Road Initiative with other countries, launch the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and set up the Silk Road Fund are all aimed to provide more public goods for the world and share the dividends of China's development with others. China will build the Belt and Road into a road of peace, prosperity, openness and innovation and a road connecting different civilizations. China will continue to provide other developing countries with assistance within its capabilities and earnestly implement the China-UN Peace and Development Fund, the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund and other important funds and projects, serving the interests of the Chinese people and the common interests of people across the world.

We will build on our achievements and strive for new progress. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China opened a new chapter for realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. China will forge ahead on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, continue to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress, further advance and protect human rights and better demonstrate the vitality of the path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics.

Court to identify child sex offenders

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:14

A court in Jiangsu province has become only the second in China to name sex offenders to ensure they are prevented from working with minors.

The identities of four men sentenced to prison last week at Huaiyin District People's Court in Huaian will be released online in a month, according to a joint statement from the court, police, prosecutors and local education commission.

All four were convicted of the rape or sexual assault of a child under 18.

One of the men, surnamed Zhang, was given three years in prison for abusing his neighbor's teenage daughter during the summer. He is a repeat offender and has served time previously for rape, according to the statement.

The convicts' names, ID numbers, photos and ages will be put on the websites and social media accounts of Jiangsu's judicial departments, it said.

The Huaiyin government will make it compulsory for institutions such as schools, kindergartens, children's hospitals and even zoos to access the website to screen job applicants for past sexual offenses.

"We'll issue an oral warning, even administrative punishment, on related institutions if they fail to do the background check and hire someone with past sexual offenses for jobs related to children," said Zheng Bing, deputy head of the district prosecuting authority.

This is the first time a court in Jiangsu has make public the ID information of convicted sex offenders of children, and the second nationwide.

Last year, the city procuratorate, court and police bureau in Cixi, Zhejiang province, jointly issued measures regarding public exposure of ID information of child sex offenders.

"Exposing information of child sex offenders is important in preventing them from committing such crimes again," Song Yinghui, a law professor at Beijing Normal University, told online news media thepaper.cn.

"Similar practices are found in many other countries, such as the United States and South Korea."

In the US, Megan's Law was passed in 1996 requiring states to establish systems for making registry information available to the public through community notification. In doing so, the law made photos, names and addresses of registered sex offenders available to the public via the internet and other forms of community notification.

Ruan Qilin, professor of criminal law at the China University of Political Science and Law, said a career ban for those who commit sexual assault on minors in China was stated in a 2013 judicial guideline issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the ministries of public security and justice. But enforcement takes a systemic approach, Ruan said.

Shanghai's Minhang district pioneered this in August when the district procuratorate set up a blacklist with other related government organs, prohibiting the hiring of former sex offenders in places such as schools and other jobs that have close contact with juveniles.

According to data from the Supreme People's Court, courts around the country heard 67,500 sexual harassment and rape cases from January 2014 to September of 2016, and children were the victims in 11 percent of the cases.

Zhou Wenting contributed to this story.

Ministry: Coal can be used to warm public

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:09

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has told authorities to "ensure a warm winter" for the public rather than delay heating supplies in some northern areas due to natural gas shortages or unfinished projects.

Areas that have not yet completed reconstruction projects to replace coal with gas or electric heating can use coal or any other available measures, the ministry said in an urgent circular issued on Monday, but publicly released on Thursday.

"In areas where the projects have been completed, the supply and price of natural gas and electricity must be kept stable," the circular said. "In the event of a supply shortage, priority should be given to civil use rather than industrial use."

The circular was sent to 28 cities - such as Beijing and Tianjin and those in Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan provinces - in areas surrounding the capital.

The ministry also said that whether local authorities have "ensured a sufficient and timely heating supply" will be a focal point in its supervision and inspection work on air pollution control.

Coal has long been burned for heating in northern China, a practice that is blamed for the lingering winter smog. The 28 cities are those included in an action plan released by the ministry in August. The plan asked these cities to cut concentrations of PM2.5 - hazardous fine particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns - by at least 15 percent year-on-year from October to March. Under the plan, 3 million households in the 28 cities will use electricity or gas for heating this winter, so massive reconstruction projects had started.

However, as the heating season began, many people in these areas found their homes and schools freezing due to unfinished projects or gas shortages. The total number of people affected is not yet known.

A man surnamed Cao from the China Huadian Corp thermal power plant in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei, said his company is helping transform heating facilities for a local company and the work could not be finished by the start of winter.

"To replace coal with clean energy for heating in all of Hebei is a huge project, and it takes time," he said.

With the increasing demand, the price of natural gas has surged. Domestic liquefied natural gas prices reached a record high of 9,000 yuan ($1,361) a metric ton on Dec 1 in some regions. The National Development and Reform Commission has coordinated with major natural gas suppliers to secure adequate supplies and stabilize prices. Hebei has issued an orange alert for natural gas supplies, suggesting a supply gap of 10 percent to 20 percent.

Largest amphibious aircraft set for maiden flight

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:03
An amphibious aircraft AG600 is displayed for the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong province, Oct 30, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

The world's largest amphibious aircraft, the AG-600, will carry out its maiden flight "very soon", according to Aviation Industry Corp of China, the plane's developer.

The State-owned aircraft giant said on its WeChat account on Tuesday that it held two meetings in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, from Friday to Sunday to review the quality and condition of an AG-600 that will be used in the first flight test.

Experts at the meetings unanimously agreed the aircraft is ready for a flight test, the release said. It noted that the test will take place "very soon", without giving a timetable.

China Aviation Industry General Aircraft, an AVIC subsidiary in Zhuhai, launched the AG-600 project in September 2009, aiming to fill the vacancy for an amphibious plane in China. The Chinese Navy once had a handful of SH-5 maritime patrol amphibious aircraft but has reportedly decommissioned all of them.

The company said it has received orders for 17 AG-600s from Chinese government departments and domestic companies.

The seaplane has a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 metric tons, an operational range of about 4,500 kilometers, and a size roughly comparable to that of a Boeing 737, which makes it the world's largest amphibious aircraft, surpassing Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 and Russia's Beriev Be-200, according to Huang Lingcai, AG-600's chief designer at China Aviation Industry General Aircraft.

He said the seaplane will play an important role in forest fire control, maritime search and rescue, personnel and supply transport to islands as well as law enforcement tasks on the sea.

The designer noted that it can fly a round trip between Sanya in Hainan province and the shoal of Zengmu Ansha, the southernmost point of China's territory, without refueling.

Powered by four turboprop engines, the AG-600 is capable of carrying 50 people during a maritime search-and-rescue mission. To extinguish forest fires, it can collect 12 metric tons of water from a nearby lake or sea within 20 seconds, information from the company shows.

Aviation industry observers said seaplanes are very suitable for maritime search and rescue because they can land both on islands and on the surface of the sea, and this advantage makes them flexible in use and gives them longer operation time compared with ordinary aircraft.

Eye drop company ordered to prove claims

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 01:56

A company accused of misleading consumers over claims its eye drops can cure cataracts has been ordered to complete a clinical trial to prove the product's effectiveness.

Zhejiang Shapuaisi Pharmaceutical Co, the manufacturer of Shapuaisi eye drops, a well-known brand in China, may also have to pull advertisements on TV and other media that promote the health benefits.

"Due to doubts raised by some doctors about the efficiency of Shapuaisi, ... the company should start a clinical trial as soon as possible and report the result within three years," the China Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday.

"Misleading and ambiguous advertising should be avoided," the authority added.

The move comes after an article published on a public WeChat account operated by Hanzhou Lianke Meixun Biological and Medical Co, which cast doubt on the product's efficacy, went viral on Sunday.

Shapuaisi-a phonetic translation of "sharp eyes"-includes celebrity endorsements in some of its advertisements, which claim that its eye drops can prevent and treat cataracts.

"Surgery is the best way to cure cataracts. There is no medicine that can prevent or cure them," according to the article, which cited a report on Blindness Prevention and Treatment, a website affiliated with the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The article also included the opinions of several Chinese doctors, including Cui Hongping, director of ophthalmology at Shanghai Dongfang Hospital of Tongji University.

Cui was quoted as saying the company had made use of people's fear of cataract surgery by misleading them to believe that the disease can be cured without surgery.

Cataract patients are mainly elderly people, who may lose their sight if the condition is left untreated, the article said. The company responded in an announcement on Monday, saying their products are safe and effective, and help to protect vision.

"Foreign research has proved the bendazac lysine in our eye drops to be effective in treating early stage senile cataracts," the company said without citing a source. However, in its ads, the words "early stage" are made so small that they are not easy to notice.

From January to September, the company said it spent 223.9 million yuan ($33.8 million) on advertising-accounting for 31.8 percent of its revenue-while its expenses for research and development only accounted for 2.16 percent.

Spending on advertising accounted for 27.1 percent of its revenue in 2014, 26.1 percent in 2015 and 26.8 percent last year.

In a statement, the company said it needed to increase publicity of the brand through advertising due to a limited number of product types compared with other pharmaceutical companies.

Innovation turns barren land green

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 01:04

'Father of hybrid rice' grows crops in barren saline-alkaline areas

A new technological breakthrough proposed by China's "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping has increased rice yields by nearly 20 percent on land considered too saline and alkaline to be useful for crops.

The techniques are expected to be used domestically and abroad, officials said on Thursday.

The aim is to improve saline-alkaline land so that it can be used to grow more rice, said Zhang Guodong, executive director of Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center in Shandong province.

The center has started building four demonstration centers, in the north and south of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in Daqing in Heilongjiang province and in Qingdao, each with over 66 hectares of experimental paddies. They would be used to determine the best ways to cultivate saline-alkali land, increase yields and reduce planting costs.

In September, the Qingdao demonstration center harvested four types saline-alkali resistant rice, with the highest yield reaching 9.3 metric tons per hectare, much higher than expected.

"One of the key steps to make it commercially viable is to cultivate highly resistant rice adapted to the environments of different saline-alkaline wastelands," Zhang said.

Zhang said the research center is likely to build five to 10 more demonstration bases over the next two to three years across China to develop the best way to promote the technology.

"The Qingdao R&D center also plans to use the new technology in countries of Southeast Asia and the Middle East," said Zhang, who added he could not provide details because negotiations are underway.

Yuan's new breakthrough, called the Four-Dimensional Optimizing Method, is designed to tailor-make different solutions for different soils, according to the 87-year-old scientist.

"One of difficulties is to get rid of salinity in the soil," Yuan said at the second session of International Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Forum in Qingdao on Thursday.

The forum attracted more than 300 experts, scholars and entrepreneurs from home and abroad to discuss saline-alkali tolerant rice.

Yuan said the only two solutions for boosting productivity are increasing the yield and expanding the planting area.

"Now it seems the latter is a more effective way because there are hundreds of millions of hectares of saline-alkali land in the world," he said.

"China alone has about 100 million hectares of saline-alkali soil, and that area is still increasing year by year. Rice is the first choice of crop for improving the soil," Yuan said.

He said he hopes global crop security issues can be effectively dealt with through further development of salinealkali tolerant rice.

"Rice itself has the biological function of reducing salt and is the preferred food crop for improving saline-alkali soil," said Ai Jichang, a government relations officer with the World Food Programme China Office.

"At present, more than half of the world's population lives on rice as a staple food. The comprehensive improvement technology for saline-alkali soil proposed by Yuan Longping's team is of great strategic significance for promoting integrated research and the commercial extension of rice improvement in saline-alkali soil, ensuring national food security," Ai said.

Xi: World should respect voice of developing nations

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 00:51
Foreign Minister Wang Yi (from left), Huang Kunming, head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department, and Tom Zwart, director of Vrije University Amsterdam’s Cross- Cultural Human Rights Centre, attend the South-South Human Rights Forum, which opened in Beijing on Thursday. The two-day forum attracted more than 300 officials and scholars from over 70 countries and
organizations. ZOU HONG/ CHINA DAILY

Xi: As human rights are formulated, every nation should be respected

The international community should respect and reflect the will of the people from developing countries as human rights are formulated, President Xi Jinping said, adding that establishing human rights worldwide cannot be achieved without the joint efforts of developing countries.

Xi’s comments were made in a congratulatory message to the South-South Human Rights Forum, which opened in Beijing on Thursday.

The two-day forum was convened for the first time and focused on the establishment of human rights for people in developing countries.

More than 300 delegates from over 70 countries and international organizations attended the forum, themed “Building a Community of Shared Future for Human Beings: New Opportunity for South-South Human Rights Development”.

People in developing countries, more than 80 percent of the world population, have made significant contributions to the development of human rights, Xi said.

Human rights can and must be promoted only in light of specific national conditions and people’s needs, Xi said, calling on developing countries to uphold both the universality and specifics of human rights and steadily raise the level of human rights protection.

The Chinese people stand ready to work with people in other developing countries and beyond to advance development through cooperation, promote human rights through development and build a community with a shared future, the president said.

Xi’s message read that following a people-centered development philosophy, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have always placed people’s interests above all else and worked hard to meet people’s desire for a better life and improve respect for and protection of the fundamental rights of the Chinese people.

The development blueprint outlined at the 19th CPC National Congress will give a strong boost to human rights development in China and make new and even greater contributions to the progress of mankind, according to the message.

 

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, addresses the opening ceremony of the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017.  [Photo/Xinhua]

 

The message was read by Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, at the forum’s opening ceremony.

The important thoughts on building a community with a shared future for humanity proposed by Xi offered Chinese wisdom and solutions toward a more fair and reasonable global human rights governance, said Huang, who also heads the publicity department of the CPC Central Committee.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who also addressed the opening ceremony, said China’s practice shows there is more than one way to protect human rights, and China respects other countries in choosing on their own paths of development and ways to protect human rights.

China has helped more than 800 million people escape poverty and provided jobs for 770 million people, according to Wang.

Yldiz Deborah Pollack-Beighle, foreign minister of Suriname, said the thought of building a community with a shared future for humanity reflects the shared aspiration of most countries and serves the common interests of the international community.

Human rights should not be politicized and discussed in a confrontational manner, she said, adding that the forum “brings together a group of like-minded countries and experts at an important juncture in time to enter into a new era of the human rights landscape”.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn

Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the opening ceremony of the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] Tom Zwart, professor of human rights law at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and the convener of the Cross-cultural Human Rights Network, delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Maldives sign FTA

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 00:13
President Xi Jinping and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen review an honor guard before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. The two also witnessed a dozen documents being signed. LIU WEIBING/XINHUA

China and the Maldives signed 12 documents, including a free trade agreement, to boost cooperation in such areas as economy, health, infrastructure and finance on Thursday.

The agreements and memorandums of understandings were signed as President Xi Jinping and visiting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen witnessed while at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

According to the documents, the two countries will enhance cooperation on jointly developing the Belt and Road Initiative.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is similar to Maldives' strategy of achieving economic progress by making use of its geographic advantages, Xi told Yameen, while expressing appreciation for the Maldives' proactive participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"China deems the Maldives as an important partner to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road," Xi said.

President Xi Jinping holds a welcome ceremony for visiting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two countries should seize the opportunities of signing the free trade agreement and the memorandum of understanding on jointly working on the Belt and Road Initiative, invigorate bilateral economic and trade cooperation, push forward cooperation on major projects and promote investment, finance and maritime cooperation, Xi said.

China hopes that the Maldives will continue to support regional cooperation with South Asian countries to promote the region's prosperity, Xi said.

Since establishing diplomatic relations 45 years ago, the two countries have treated each other equally, cooperated for win-win outcomes and supported each other on issues related to their core interests, Xi said.

During the meeting, Xi expressed gratitude for Yameen's congratulatory letter on the success of the CPC's 19th National Congress and his re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Noting his government attaches great importance to its relations with China, Yameen said the countries could enhance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is of great importance for China to set Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as an action guideline of the CPC Central Committee, he told Xi. "I am confident under the guidance of the CPC Central Committee with your excellency as the core, the Chinese people will move forward to achieve your centenary goals and build China into a great modern socialist country," he said.

President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st R) pose for group photos with Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (2nd L) and his wife at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017. Xi held talks with Yameen in Beijing on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang also met with Yameen in Beijing on Thursday.

Noting that China has been the largest source of tourists to the Maldives over the past seven years, Li said the two countries have great potential to cooperate in tourism.

China is willing to strengthen cooperation in areas of building infrastructure, civil aviation, trade and marine research, as well as in efforts to deal with climate change, Li said.

SW China police bust cross-border drug traffickers

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:50

KUNMING - Police in Southwest China's Yunnan province have cracked a cross-border drug trafficking case, detaining two suspects and seizing 208 kg of methamphetamine, authorities said Thursday.

The two men were caught in a police ambush as they drove in an unmarked black sedan to the city of Jinghong on September 29. Police found 299 packages of methamphetamine that weighed 208 kg in total in their car.

The police received reports in mid-July that a group of people contacted a Myanmar drug trafficking ring and planned to ship drugs to China. Then they set up an investigation team and sent inspectors to key border areas.

Further investigation is under way.

Lake protection a symbol of China's environmental aspirations

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:48

KUNMING - Although there are currently no tourists in Liyuan village in Southwest China's Yunnan province, guesthouses and restaurants along the paths stand ready to welcome guests.

The village, on the shore of Cibi Lake, the origin of the well-known Erhai Lake in the city of Dali, has been blamed for discharging waste water into the lake. Since March this year, 18 guesthouses have been closed and will only be allowed to reopen after installing a sewage treatment system.

"I didn't understand the closure at first, as we are still in the middle of our house loan. Government representatives came to talk to us several times," said Yang Xiaoli, a guesthouse owner.

"Now I understand. Although there are no tourists at the moment, in the long term, it will protect the environment which will attract more visitors," said Yang.

According to the report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October this year, China will adopt a holistic approach to preserving its mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, and grasslands, implement the strictest possible systems for environmental protection, and develop eco-friendly growth models and ways of life.

China will speed up prevention and control of water pollution, and take comprehensive measures to improve river basins and offshore areas, the report said.

Local government figures showed that the total discharge of waste water into Erhai Lake and its tributaries in 2016 increased by more than 50 percent from that of 2004. Among the main pollutants, those caused by restaurants and guesthouses grew at the fastest speed.

In March this year, Dali closed nearly 2,000 guesthouses and restaurants in a core area around Erhai Lake, showing the government's strong will to deal with water pollution.

Li Peijun, deputy head of Eryuan County which oversees Liyuan Village, said that as of April, a total of 589 guesthouses had been closed, and 221 of them in non-core areas had reopened to the public after a water discharge inspection.

Li said that waste water mainly comes from daily and agricultural use. It will be collected and processed by a purification system, then stored in a reservoir to be used for irrigating dry farm land and surrounding mountains.

In Dali's Gusheng village, all 439 households have installed a sewage treatment system.

In the beginning, villagers disliked the system but later began to understand and support it, said Party chief of the village, He Qiaokun, adding that the technical knowledge was provided by the municipal government and experts from Shanghai's Tongji University.

"Residents of Liyuan Village have increased their environmental protection awareness, stopped barbecues around the lake and littering," said Yang. "I hope I can reopen my guesthouse soon with the new sewage treatment system."

Eye drops maker told to carry out clinical tests, submit results in 3 years

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:39
[Photo/IC]

China Food and Drug Administration has urged Zhejiang Shapuaisi Pharmaceutical to start testing the clinical effectiveness of its controversial eye drops and submit results to the authority in three years, thepaper.cn reported on Wednesday.

DXY.COM, a popular medical advice website, recently posted an article via its official micro blog saying many patients did not seek proper treatment because of company’s adverts claiming its eye drops could prevent and cure cataracts.

In a notice published on its official website on Wednesday, the CFDA asked the Food and Drug Administration of Zhejiang province to ask the company to carry out tests on its bendazac lysine eye drop product named Shapuaisi.

The notice requires an evaluation report on Shapuaisi to be submitted to the center for drug evaluation in three years.

The notice also said that the advertisement of the product should be in strict accordance with the drug’s content. Exaggerations that may mislead consumers are not allowed.

"Currently there is no medicine that can effectively prevent or cure cataract," Cui Hongping, director of ophthalmology of the East Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Tongji University, told thepaper.cn. He said all eye drops and oral medicine available in the market, including Shapuaisi, are not effective to treat cataract.

Cui is one of the domestic experts that first questioned the effectiveness of Shapuaisi. In 2013 he published an article on social media criticizing the exaggeration and misguidance of Shapuaisi.

"Some cataract patients I know have kept using Shapuaisi for about two or three years, and their crystalline lenses are getting worse, from slightly opacious, to medium, and to serious. They came for surgery only after a minor disease became a serious one," said Cui.

He also said that operation is the only way to treat cataract.

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