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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is the lofty ideal of mankind that everyone enjoys human rights to the full."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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: 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.
Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing, Dec 7, 2017. [Photo/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.
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.
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."
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.