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CHINA DAILY

Man nabbed for abandoning bodies of 2 Chinese nationals in Japan

2 hours 29 min ago
TOKYO - A Japanese man in his 30s was arrested Friday on suspicion of abandoning the bodies of two Chinese nationals close to Tokyo, local police said. Two bodies were found stuffed inside suitcases abandoned in a mountainous forest near Tokyo on July 13. The bodies were later confirmed to be those of a pair of Chinese sisters living in Yokohama who went missing earlier in the month. Police has suspected the involvement of a man in his 30s based on footage obtained from surveillance cameras near the condominium where the two women lived. The Chinese embassy here has launched an emergency mechanism and met with Japanese police, requesting a full scale search since the women were reported missing. The embassy said it will continue to closely follow the development of the case and provide assistance for the relatives.

Six Chinese nurses awarded with Florence Nightingale Medal

2 hours 36 min ago

Six nurses from China received the Florence Nightingale Medal awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Friday. A total of 39 nurses from 22 countries won the award this year.

(From left to right) You Jianping, Yin Yanling, Yang Huiyun, Yang Hui, Li Xiuhua and Yang Li pose for group photos after being awarded with Florence Nightingale Medal. [Photo by Zou Hong/chinadaily.com.cn] 

The Chinese winners are Li Xiuhua from Beijing, Yang Hui from Shanxi, Yang Huiyun from Shaanxi, Yin Yanling from Jilin, Yang Li from the PLA General Hospital and You Jianping from the First Affiliated Hospital of Third Military Medical University.

The six have made contributions in different fields during their nursing careers including nursing education, infectious diseases and legislative progress for nurses' right.

Vice-President Li Yuanchao presented the medals to the six nurses.

President of the Red Cross Society of China Chen Zhu spoke at the ceremony, calling on healthcare workers and Red Cross staff to follow the example of the winners and continue promoting progress in healthcare.

 

Taobao wins landmark ruling

4 hours 50 min ago

The Shanghai People's Court of Fengxian District on July 20 ordered an online pet food shop to pay 120,000 yuan ($17,700) in compensation to Taobao after it was found guilty of selling fake Royal Canin cat food on the e-commerce platform. 

The Shanghai People's Court of Fengxian District orders an online pet food shop to pay 120,000 yuan ($17,700) in compensation to Taobao after it was found guilty of selling fake Royal Canin cat food on the e-commerce platform on July 20. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] 

The ruling is the first of its kind in China.  

The court ruled that the shop damaged the reputation of Taobao and demanded that the defendant, a man surnamed Yao, to pay the compensation within 10 days. 

Zheng Junfang, chief administrative officer of Alibaba, the parent company of Taobao, said that the company would continue assisting law enforcement agencies in weeding out counterfeit products on the e-commerce platform.

Established in 2003, Taobao has more than 500 million registered users and over 60 million visitors each day.

According to the court, Yao started to sell pet food on Taobao in 2015. The online platform and Mars, the multinational company which owns Royal Canin and a number of other pet food brands, later suspected that the cat food sold by Yao might be fake. Their suspicions were later confirmed by lab tests. 

On Oct 12, 2016, Yao was arrested by the police and the lawsuit was filed.

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, said before that his company loses five customers for each fake product that is sold on its online shopping platforms. Alibaba spends 1 billion yuan each year to run a special team of 2,000 people who work to eliminate fake goods from Taobao and Tmall. A total of 880 suspects were caught in 2016. 

In addition to the current lawsuit, Taobao has taken another two online shops to court for selling fake Wuliangye, a well-known Chinese white liquor, and counterfeit Swarovski wrist watches. 

The two cases were being heard in Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province, respectively. 

He Qi in Shanghai contributed to this story.

Sustainable infrastructure a problem in urbanization program

4 hours 50 min ago

New towns need to be created with infrastructural plans in place for the future, a senior official with the nation's top economic regulator said on Friday.

"Local governments need to have long-term sustainable plans improving infrastructure in step with an expanding population," Xu Lin, director of the development planning division of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during the international forum on sustainable urban development.

"The problem is many local governments' plans to build new towns with sole aim to get special construction funds," he said.

Xu was referring to China's urbanization program for building new towns with distinctive features, which are usually themed around a single industry such as high-end manufacturing or tourism.

Local governments are able to get financial and policy support once their plans are approved by the top authorities.

China plans to build 1,000 new towns by the end of 2020, but the central government has received twice the number of proposals from local governments than expected, according to Qiu Baoxing, former vice minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Xu suggests the local governments figure out how to feed the development needs of major city clusters where a large number of urban residents are expected to live.

The National Development and Reform Commission will finish compiling plans on the development of five interregional city clusters by the end of 2017.

China is expected to form 20 major city clusters by the end of 2020, according to the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-20).

Echoing his remarks, Li Tie, head of the NDRC's China Center for Urban Development, said the market should play a key role when building new towns.

He said the public and private partnership model should be promoted, because the profit-driven private sector will help improve efficiency and make sure that the new towns will not be damaged by heavy handed government intervention.

United Nations calls for risk attention

4 hours 50 min ago

China needs to pay high attention to fend off financial risks while promoting urbanization, according to a senior official with the United Nations.

Joan Clos, undersecretary-general of the United Nations, made the remark on Friday while at a panel discussion alongside the international forum on sustainable urban development, and said "China needs to find out sustainable financing plans to support long-term development while promoting urbanization."

"Mass urban sprawl inevitably involves real estate construction and land sales," he said.

"That may accumulate financial risks at the time when China has an overheated housing market."

Clos added the good news was that the central government also elevated the importance of fending off financial risks.

He said he suggested risk management should be added when evaluating the achievement of promoting urbanization of local governments.

The percentage of the population living in urban areas was at 57 percent by the end of 2016, and had a target rate of 60 percent by 2020, according to the 13th five-year plan(2016-20).

Beach goers impressed by sand sculptures

5 hours 40 min ago

Visitors take photos with the sand sculptures. [Photo by Mu Xuezhi/chinadaily.com.cn]

Twenty sculptures made of sand have become a tourist magnet at the Dalian Golden Pebble Beach National Resort in Northeast China's Liaoning province.

It took a team of sand sculptors about one month to mould the sand into characters and scenes from myths, legends, literature, movies and cartoons .

As a beautiful coastal city, Dalian is a favorite vacation spot for tourists from home and abroad.

A sand sculpture featuring Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea. [Photo by Mu Xuezhi/chinadaily.com.cn]

Some sculptors drew inspiration from myths. [Photo by Mu Xuezhi/chinadaily.com.cn]

A sand sculpture featuring dinosaurs. [Photo by Mu Xuezhi/chinadaily.com.cn]

A sand sculpture of Toy Story characters. [Photo by Mu Xuezhi/chinadaily.com.cn]

A Pirates of the Caribbean-themed sand sculpture. [Photo by Mu Xuezhi/chinadaily.com.cn]

Panda mother takes care of twin babies

5 hours 48 min ago

Ni Ni, a nine-year-old panda in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, holds the two newborn cubs. [Photo by Huang Xiangming/fo chinadaily.com.cn]

Ni Ni, a nine-year-old panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, gave birth to pigeon pair cubs at 5:48am and 6:33am on Thursday.

Unlike most panda mothers, where abandonment of one of two newborns occurs quite frequently and the mother ends up only taking care of one, Ni Ni has proven to hold both babies and feed them at the same time.

The first cub was born male and weighed 203 grams, and the second cub arrived female and weighed 91 grams. While there was a difference in weight, both cubs were considered healthy, according to base information officer Chen Cheng.

The mother panda, Ni Ni, and her brother, Ying Ying, were born on August 22, 2008, and were delivered weighing 202 grams and 206 grams respectively.

"It is rare for both panda from a pigeon pair to weigh more than 200 grams at birth," Chen said.

 

Ni Ni and her two newborn cubs. [Photo by Huang Xiangming/fo chinadaily.com.cn]

Golden path to success: Inner Mongolia 70th anniversary

8 hours 3 min ago

Due to the exclusive landscape, and geographic environment, horses have been playing an irreplaceable role in Mongols’ daily lives. [Photo/VCG]

Inner Mongolia, the first autonomous region established in China in 1947, is stepping into its 70th birthday this year.

These 70 years might seem harmonious; however, myriad innovations have been made.

Now, let us rewind the time and magnify the great leap manufactured in this unique region.

Inner Mongolia autonomous region is an inland plateau located in the northern part of China.

Due to the exclusive landscape, and geographic environment, horses have been playing an irreplaceable role in Mongols’ daily lives.

As the sayings: “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.” Horses serve as the riding tools for nomads, as well as racing horses on this piece of grassland paradise.

However, after the establishment in 1947, the nomadic way of living in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region crumbles gradually.

With the abundant supply of natural resources and enormous back up from the country, Inner Mongolia autonomous region has started to reform from a retrogress rural region into a developed autonomous region.

First of all, herders can now be able to raise animals in a more sustainable way, so as to protect grasslands. As a result, many herders settled down and live a stable life.

Inner Mongolia autonomous region is then developed into an extensive production base of coal with the second highest coal reserve of China. [Photo/VCG]

Inner Mongolia autonomous region has a rich supply of resources like urban minerals, cashmere and natural gas.

With the rapid economic growth of China, the exploitation and utilization of natural resources are enhanced.

Correspondingly, Inner Mongolia autonomous region is then developed into an extensive production base of coal with the second highest coal reserve of China.

Thus, the economic gross of the region boosted up from 537 million yuan ($79.40 million) to 1.86 trillion yuan over the past few decades, and the GDP per capita has even reached $10,000. This economic expansion well leaded the region to the peak of the country.

Aside from the economic development made, the region also implies effort on cultural aspects. As a major cradle of the Chinese civilization, Inner Mongolia autonomous region consists of a variety of different ethic groups.

Appealing Mongolian-style dance [Photo/VCG]

There was often discrimination among them in the past.

Therefore, China established policies, systems and laws featuring on the equality, regional ethic autonomy, unity and prosperity, in the aim in protecting all ethic groups.

Standing at the peak of China’s development, the 70 years of Inner Mongolia’s reformation can definitely prove the effectiveness under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.

With the continuous respect to the culture and adherence to the law, bright and prosperous future of Inner Mongolia can already be foreseen.

 

Lily Lei contributed to this story.

Big data reveal hottest cities in China

8 hours 3 min ago

A huge thermometer shows ground surface temperature amounting to 88 degrees Celsius in a scenic area in Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, July 9, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Turpan, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Haikou and Chongqing were China's hottest cities, according to data collected across the country in the past five and a half years.

Turpan in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is known as China's "heat pole". Six hundred and sixteen days in Turpan, hit 35 degrees Celsius or above during the past 2,006 days from Jan 1, 2012, to June 30 this year.

Fuzhou in Southeast China's Fujian province recorded 213 days' temperature of 35 degrees Celsius or above during the counting period. East China's Hangzhou and South China's Haikou both saw 206 days of 35-plus, or yellow alert of high temperature, followed by Southwest's Chongqing, at 182 days.

The data was added up by Sohu.com based on more than 70,000 pieces of figures from Weather.com.cn, the country's weather forecast portal. The calculation covered a total of 35 Chinese cities including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Turpan also reported 513 days of 37 degrees Celsius or above, followed by Chongqing at 98 days. As for 40 degrees Celsius or above, the highest red alert of temperature, Turpan had 267 days, with the second Hangzhou at 11 days.

On the contrary, Northeast China's Changchun and Hohhot, Southwest's Kunming and Lhasa, and Northwest's Xining posted none days of 35 degrees Celsius or more during the calculated five and a half years.

People use various possible ways to screen the sun in Haikou, Hainan province, June 5, 2017. Some areas in the province got a temperature of up to 37 degrees Celsius on the day. [Photo/VCG]

A staff member puts ice cubes by the side of a giant panda for it to cool off in a zoo in Chongqing, July 18, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

An alpaca cools off with a shower under the scorching sun at a zoo in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on July 13. A heat wave is sweeping across China with temperatures in many areas exceeding 35 degrees Celsius on Thursday. [Photo by Xu Kangping/ chinadaily.com.cn]

A rider goes on the road with all body parts covered to screen the sun in Fuzhou, Fujian province, July 20, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Shop blast leaves 2 dead, 55 injured in East China

8 hours 4 min ago

HANGZHOU -- Two people have been confirmed dead and 55 others were injured after a blast occurred in a shop near West Lake in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, on Friday morning, according to sources with local authorities.

The shop owner has been taken into police custody.

Among the injured, 12 people sustained severe injuries.

The blast happened at around 8:40 a.m. Billowing flames and strong heat shattered the glass of passing vehicles, including a bus, causing most of the injuries.

The fire has been put out, and all the injured have been sent for treatment in hospitals, according to the city's fire department. The provincial blood center has called on residents to donate blood.

Che Jun, the provincial Communist Party chief, demanded all-out efforts to treat the injured. He said a thorough investigation should be conducted into the cause of the blast, and that extensive checking is needed to rule out potential hazards that undermine public safety.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

The shop is located in the West Lake District, a well-known scenic area. The lake was used as the backdrop of a performance directed by Zhang Yimou as part of the G20 summit last year.

 

Camp bridges cultural divide

8 hours 11 min ago

Hungarian boy Fekete Marcell Zoltan is visiting China for the fifth time thanks to a youth summer camp which focuses on giving young people an authentic taste of Chinese culture.

Held by the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), the annual summer camp, named You and Me, in Beijing, provides an interactive platform combining courses and entertainment.

The summer camp started almost a decade ago since launched in 2008 and is sponsored by Hanban, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education, with the cooperation of local universities, organizations and institutes around the world.

Until now, it has attracted thousands of young people from across 22 cities in 17 countries during the past ten years.

"It happens to me every time I come to China, and brings me a totally different experience," Fekete Marcell Zoltan, a 15-year-old boy who studied Chinese for more than eight years before the 10-day trip, said.

He said he'd like to know more about China, how it is changing, and how China is changing the world.

"I don't want to skip any chance to get a deeper inside look at Chinese culture,"he added.

Seeing as Fekete has passed the Level 5 of the HSK Chinese Language Test for foreign learners, he can hold a conversation in Chinese without any language obstacles.

"I'll prepare to complete the highest level now, and if I had the chance, I want to stay in Beijing or Shanghai for further study," Fekete said hopefully.

Polish teacher Ogarek Marta Barbara learns traditional Chinese folk arts with a Chinese master in the cultural corner activity held by BFSU on July 20. [Photo/Song Jingyi]

As a part of the trip, Fekete will stay with a Chinese family in Beijing on this Saturday.

"Compared with studying Chinese in foreign countries, international students can learn a great deal when they spend time with Chinese people immersing in surrounding Chinese culture,"Ogarek Marta Barbara, a teacher accompanying the Polish students on the program, said.

Ogarek now works for the Confucius Institute in Krakow, the second largest city in Poland.

"The institute organizes Polish students to visit China every summer," she said in fluent Chinese.

A total of 17 Polish students participate in the program, with most visiting China for the first time.

"Something happened which makes students excited and surprised during the trip, they ask me a heap of questions every day," Ogarek noted.

"They didn't know much about China except Chinese food and kungfu. Through the well-scheduled trip, they will obtain a more vivid view of life in China than the internet gives them,"she said.

The summer camp program includes visiting places of interest, art appreciation and viewing folk customs, as well as attending the cultural corner and specially-prepared group activities without borders.

About 120 students from seven countries, who are either registered students at Confucius Institutes or students of primary and secondary school courses of Confucius Institutes attend the BFSU summer camp this year.

Hungarian boy Fekete Marcell Zoltan paints a panda in a Chinese painting lesson in BFSU on July 20. [Photo/Song Jingyi]

In a painting class on Monday, Adam Chimielecki drew a picture of a Chinese Panda.

Before coming to Beijing for summer camp, 18-year-old Adam has studied Chinese for two years, and said he had never tried to craft a Chinese painting.

Li He, an art teacher at the summer camp, said he designed lessons in accordance with an easy-to-difficult schedule.

"It's not easy to international students to grasp the essentials of wash painting in the limited period of time, from careful control of ink tone, unrestrained brushwork, and no unessential brush strokes," he said.

However, Li add students learnt the techniques well and their panda works are always beyond his expectations.

"By practicing more, the students learn faster," he said.

Adam said he has been crazy at reading Chinese masterpiece Art of War since he was a little boy.

He added he was also fascinated with Chinese traditional medicine under the influence of his father and fond of Chinese point of view of the world.

"Chinese people like to play tai chi or martial arts. They are pleasant, positive and polite," he said.

The summer camp is also an incredible experience to make more friends similar in age.

During the cultural corner activity, students from different countries share the most characteristic clothes, food and games with their global peers.

"They gather, talk with each other and listen to music," Margot Bremner, a teacher accompanying students from London for the third time, said.

"They get the freedom to meet more new friends without nationalities."

Just four days after this summer camp begins, another summer camp targeted on Confucius institutes from central and eastern European countries will have an opening ceremony at the BFSU campus.

"BFSU is one of the few major universities in the country that have the resources to teach less commonly taught languages, so it can help set up Confucius Institute in countries such as Hungary, Poland, Bulagria, Italy and so on," Zhu Qi, who works at BFSU Confucius Institute and in charge of the summer camp programs, said.

Bulgarian students exhibit some local food and items to audiences in the cultural corner activity held by BFSU on July 20. [Photo/Song Jingyi]

 

Students from London Confuious Lnititute learn how to make dumplings in the experiencing activity held by BFSU on July 20. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Lin Fengmian's works on display in Inner Mongolia

8 hours 55 min ago

A painting featuring young Lin Fengmian (right) and his teacher was showcased at the exhibition, Baotou, Inner Mongolia, July 8, 2017. [Photo/namoc.org]

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Inner Mongolia autonomous region, an exhibition featuring veteran artist Lin Fengmian’s art life was recently held in Baotou, Inner Mongolia.

Nineteen photos and portraits of Lin are being showcased along with 34 pieces of art by other painters.

Born into a poor farmer's family in Guangdong in 1900, Lin was the first president of the Chinese Academy of Art. He dedicated his whole life to art education and painting, and developed artwork with an unique style. The artist insisted on promoting new forms of art in China based on traditional Chinese culture, rather than simply replicating Western art.

Lin died in Hong Kong in 1991, at the age of 92.

Running until July 30, the exhibition aims to promote cultural exchanges between Inner Mongolia and Southern China.

A statue of Lin Fengmian and Qi Baishi(right). [Photo/namoc.org]

A painting featuring Lin Fengmian in France was showcased at the exhibition, Baotou, Inner Mongolia, July 8, 2017. [Photo/namoc.org]

Alxa League: A shining pearl in Northwest China

11 hours 23 min ago

The Badain Jaran Desert [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Alxa League, or Alashan in Chinese, is located at the western part of Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The league is the least populated region of Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Featuring an immense area and a sparse population, Alxa League boasts fantastic natural scenery without too much development.

You can experience totally different views here depending on the season.

Reputed as the “hometown of the camel”, the league has an abundant amount of two-humped camels and Cashmere goats.

The mysterious land is also a tourist paradise, attracting visitors with its brilliant ethnic culture, unique desert landscape and plentiful historical relics.

For tourists who are willing to go more out of their way, the Badain Jaran Desert is definitely a popular tourist attraction. Based on weather patterns, temperature and sight-seeing possibilities, the best time to visit is between June and October. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Measuring over 49,000 square kilometers, the Badain Jaran Desert covers a significant portion of the south-central part of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region as well as the northern part of Gansu province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A line of swans swim across the river with the endless desert in the distance. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

One of the three largest poplar forests in the world with mesmerizing autumn scenes sought after by numerous tourists and photographers. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Located in Ejina Banner of Alxa League, the natural poplar forest, covering an area of 450,000 mu, or 30, 000 hectares, is one of the only three of its kind existing in the world today and is designated as a state-level natural protection district and forest park. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

An aerial view of the Diversiform-Leaved Poplar Sightseeing District. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A herd of horses graze on the grasslands in the Alxa League. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Flocks of sheep graze on the red grasslands, with clouds hanging over the mountain in the distance. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Thousands of camels run in the Tengger Desert. The district is an exemplary spot for agriculture tourism and has four square kilometers of wetlands, featuring green grass, clean air and natural scenery, with main tourist attractions including carting, watching migratory birds, fishing, camel-riding in the desert, sand skating. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Several camels wander along the desert in the heavy snow. Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Heicheng Ruins Tourism District. Located in Ejina Banner of Alxa League, as an important part of Juyan culture covering a total area of 180,000 square meters, the district has the most complete and remaining ancient city ruins left over from Xixia country (1038-1227). It’s a famous scenic tourism spot with many unearthed cultural relics. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Guangzong Monastery, also called South Temple, is one of the most important lama shrines in Inner Mongolia, a place where the legendary Sixth Dalai Lama died. The monastery is 23 kilometers southwest of Bayanhaote Town (Bayanhot), and 70 kilometers from Yinchuan. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

An ancient tower stands along a mountain with heavy snow covering the massive desert. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Two killed, 55 hurt in gas explosion at Hangzhou restaurant

11 hours 34 min ago

The explosion occured at a restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on July 21, 2017.[Official Sina Weibo account of CCTV News]

At least two people were killed and 55 others injured in a gas explosion at a restaurant in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on Friday morning, according to the local government.

A witness said the explosion shook the nearby buildings, sounded like a bomb.

The injured had been rushed to the hospital. The fire has been under control.

The explosion occured at a restaurant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on July 21, 2017.[Official Sina Weibo account of CCTV News]

Tibet strives to make culture its pillar industry by 2020

12 hours 33 min ago

Tibet autonomous region has decided to make culture one of the region's pillar industries by the end of 2020, according to a press release of the region's cultural department on Thursday.

Tibet is enriched with various cultures, including traditional crafts such as thangka painting, Tibetan incense, Tibetan paper production, weaving, sculpture, carving and metal forging.

As one of the region's recent actions on culture preservation and development, the regional government issued a culture development plan for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) two months ago.

The preparations for the plan began in 2014 with support of the Ministry of Culture.

Zhou Hongyang, the deputy head of the Tibet Culture Department, said, "In the future, we will push the work of traditional cultural crafts with more opened mind and more pragmatic measures."

Zhou said the region will work on three key measures. First of which is respecting the dominant status of the tradition and culture inheritors, and carrying out activities of traditional crafts in daily life.

"The second is to formulate an implementation plan about the traditional cultural revitalization. The measures need to be detailed so as to make all levels of units to perform the work," said Zhou Hongyang.

Norbu Tsering, the director of the Culture Industry Office of Tibet Culture Department, said the region has added culture in the region's planning outline of social development and national economy throughout the next five years.

"Boosting cultural industry and striving to turn culture industry as one the region's national economic pillar industry by 2020," Norbu Tsering said.

"The region will improve the systems of Tibetan unique culture industry, modern cultural market."

More than one in two single women want property with marriage

12 hours 39 min ago

An independent apartment has become one of the preconditions for marriage, with about 57 percent of single women saying it's a requirement, according to a survey jointly conducted by dating website Jiayuan.com and China's biggest real estate broker Lianjia.

That's 16 percentage points higher than the number of single men who hold the same view, according to the survey.

For women who are the only child of their family, the figure jumped to 68 percent.

Some 69 percent of single women said their ideal husband-to-be would own an apartment prior to marriage, while only about 10 percent said they would be willing to live in a rental flat after getting married, an option unacceptable to more than half the female participants in the survey due to a perceived lack of security.

Single women tended to marry men who had property, and 14 percent of them said they would also require their future husbands to write their names on the property ownership certificate.

Some 48 percent of single women agreed it was acceptable for a newly married couple to live in a flat provided by the wife, compared with a figure of 18 percent among male respondents, many of whom said they did not want to feel dependent on their partner.

According to the survey, some 67 percent of couples broke up because they could not afford an apartment in Zhenzhou, the capital of Henan province, followed by Shanghai, with 64 percent, and Tianjin, with 63 percent.

More than half of the singles surveyed hoped they could have a three-bedroom apartment of 90-120 square meters as a wedding flat, but smaller flats with areas between 60-90 square meters were their actual selection because of housing prices, according to Lianjia.

Zhang Jiarui, an expert with Jiayuan.com, said similar values, emotional attraction and harmonious personalities should be more important factors for a marriage.

Kicking and sailing: Children learn new skills

13 hours 16 min ago

Kids learn traditional Chinese medicine under a teacher's guidance in Hengshui city, North China's Hebei province, July 19, 2017. The Sunjing School of Hengshui holds "Summer Camp of Traditional National Culture" during summer vacation. Kids learn traditional Chinese culture and enrich their vacation time with activities like wearing Han Chinese clothing and learning traditional etiquette. [Photo/Xinhua]

Two children practice swimming skills in Wuzhi county, Central China's Henan province, July 19, 2017. During summer vacation, children in China often take part in a range of fun and life-improving activities, such as sports, or arts classes, such as these dance classes in Wuzhi county in central China's Henan Province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Children play soccer in Wuzhi county, Central China's Henan province, July 19, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Kids learn traditional calligraphy under a teacher's guidance in Hengshui city, North China's Hebei province, July 19, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]

A girl practices acrobatics in a park in Suining city, Southwest China's Sichuan province, July 17, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The teacher helps a child learn about the knowledge of abacus in Hengshui city, North China's Hebei province, July 19, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]

Primary school students do soccer drills during the opening ceremony of a soccer summer camp in the branch of Beijing No 4 High School in Hohhot, capital of North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, July 20, 2017. A five-day international teenage summer soccer camp began in Hohhot on Thursday.[Photo/Xinhua]

Children learn how to sail under the guidance of professional trainers in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, July 19, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Girls learn to dance in in Wuzhi county, Central China's Henan province, July 19, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Children receive military training as special troops in Xinyu city of East China's Jiangxi province, July 20, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Privately owned museums to get aid, supervision

13 hours 29 min ago

The State will strengthen supervision of privately owned museums while also providing them with more support through favorable policies in taxation and subsidies.

The museums, opened by individuals or social organizations, are urged to adopt management councils and complete auditing systems, said Guan Qiang, deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Guan spoke on Thursday at a news conference in Beijing regarding a new State directive, released on Monday, encouraging the development of privately owned museums.

An investigation covering about 600 privately owned museums nationwide showed that three-quarters of them had not properly registered their collections as corporate properties, according to Guan. He emphasized that artifacts in such museums are not the personal property of the operators, but of the museum. Half of the museums also lacked proper financial management, he said.

"The rules and criteria of State-owned museums also apply to them," Guan said.

National guidance demands more rigid supervision from management boards in daily operations and decision-making. It also forbids board members or sponsors from removing collections if a museum closes.

"In that case, the artifacts will be transferred to other museums with similar goals," he said.

All museums serve the public interest, whether State-owned or not, Guan said.

Privately owned museums soon will be recognized as charity organizations so they can benefit from supportive policies such as preferential tax measures, subsidies for cultural industry development and reductions in operating costs, he said. The State will also help such museums obtain more support from their State-owned counterparts through joint exhibitions and training.

By the end of 2016, there were 1,297 privately owned museums on the Chinese mainland registered with cultural relics administrations, comprising about 26 percent of the country's museums.

"My individual ability is limited," said Fan Jianchuan, an entrepreneur who runs a museum complex in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. "We need the country to guide our long-term development in a right way. It cannot always rely on hobbies."

Of the total of 4,873 museums, more than 700 are rated as first-, second-, and third-tier museums nationally. But only 10 of those with the higher ratings, including Fan's, are privately owned, since the quality of such institutions as a whole is considered problematic.

Guan said 70 percent of the private institutions still focus on antiques, much like their bigger, State-owned counterparts. He said it would be better if they developed a unique focus in their collections, such as items related to folklore or modern art pieces, to complement State-owned institutions.

Severe pollution leads to discipline

13 hours 29 min ago

Some leading officials in Gansu province, from the provincial to the county level, have been held accountable for severe pollution and damage in the Qilian Mountain National Natural Reserve, the central government said on Thursday.

A statement issued by the general offices of the State Council and CPC Central Committee said other governments should consider the action a lesson to make environmental protection a priority and fully implement related measures.

A special inspection headed by the central government from Feb 12 to March 3 found long-existing pollution problems and damage in the Qilian Mountain National Natural Reserve had not been solved. The reserve dates from 1988.

Mining and exploitation activities inside the reserve destroyed the vegetation cover and eroded the soil. Fourteen mines were allowed to keep working after the central government banned the practice in 2014, the statement said.

Forty-two hydropower stations were operating in the reserve without necessary documents, and the excessive exploitation dried up some rivers.

Inspectors found some nearby companies discharged toxins excessively, severely polluting the reserve.

The central government said the severe pollution and damage were mainly caused by the poor performance of the province and city and county governments.

"The leadership did not give environmental protection sufficient attention. Then they did not make every effort to implement instructions from the central government," the statement said.

Yang Zixing, deputy governor, was given a severe warning within the Party. As a leading official in charge of environmental protection in the reserve, Yang failed to control illegal mining and other harmful activities.

Li Rongcan, Party chief of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu, and Luo Xiaohu, who was executive deputy governor during the inspection, received serious criticism and were summoned to have talks with disciplinary authorities. They were also ordered to make self-criticisms at meetings of the province's leading officials. Another eight senior officials also received punishments including dismissal and stern warnings.

To prevent similar problems elsewhere, seven ministries including the environmental protection and water resources ministries have jointly launched an inspection of all 446 national-level natural reserves since mid-July to last until year's end.

Inspectors will check human activities, especially mining, and encourage the public to take part in the supervision, according to a document from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Inspection results will be handed to the central government by the end of December and released to the public.

Monks chase Buddhism's highest degree

13 hours 48 min ago

A lama claps while debating during the seven-day preliminary examination for the Geshe Lharampa in Drepung Monastery in the Tibet autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Lamas seeking the religion's most-advanced academic title are judged by 20 examiners and 400 peers in preliminary tests

Ngawang Sogdoi, a 34-year-old monk in the Tibet autonomous region, is the most anxious he has ever been. On Monday, Ngawang, along with eight other candidates, began a seven-day preliminary examination needed to earn the Geshe Lharampa, the equivalent of a doctorate in his school of Buddhism.

Geshe Lharampa, which means "intellectual" in the Tibetan language, is the highest academic title in the Gelug school of Buddhism. Since 2005, more than 100 monks have received the degree in Tibet. Most of the degree holders are older than 40, making Ngawang one of the youngest candidates.

Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, where the preliminary test of the examination takes place, is crowded as usual. At Tsogchen (the Great Chanting Hall), candidates are tested by more than 20 examiners and 400 peers who can also raise questions.

The history of Lharampa goes back 400 years.

"It is the dream of almost all monks to reach such a level," said Ngawang, who became a monk at age 8, and started learning scriptures at age 15.

"I finished the Five Classics of Buddhism at age 28," he said. Ngawang's brother is also a Lharampa degree holder.

The Lharampa examination takes the form of debate, questions and answers. Ngawang is from Rato Monastery in Lhasa. He takes two examinations a year, but none are more demanding than the Lharampa exam. "It is a test of brains, physical strength, stamina and devotion to Buddhism," he said.

From July 11 to 15, the examination starts at 9 am and goes on until the afternoon each day. "The Geshe exam brings together high monks from many monasteries. I'm the only one from my monastery to take the exam. I have many things to worry about," Ngawang said.

Emphatic clapping during the examination conveys the intensity of the debate for outsiders, and it serves as a quick reminder for Ngawang to stay focused in his interpretation of Buddhism.

"If I give an answer that does not quite address the question, the examiner will clap his hands and sometimes speak up loudly to correct me," he said.

"Through the study of Buddhism, I have learned several ways to stay calm, and I am grateful for that."

Ngawang gets up at 6 am and spends nearly 11 hours each day learning scriptures and other lessons at the Rato Monastery.

"To prepare for such a high-level examination, I have had to put in extra work, and it is usually 1 am by the time I go to sleep," he said.

Drepung Monastery is not closed to visitors during the exam season, so tourists may observe the examination.

"Standing here, I can appreciate the long history of this monastery, and I am very lucky to see such a part of the Tibetan culture," said Franz, a tourist from Germany.

When Ngawang finishes the preliminary test, he will have to wait until April next year to take the final test at Jokhang Temple.

Last year, Ngawang also attended the High-Level Tibetan Buddhism College of China in Beijing to further his study.

His studies at the college will also earn him a doctorate in the academic field.

Ngawang traveled to Chengde in Hebei province as well as Tianjin and Shanghai during his studies in Beijing and speaks fluent Mandarin.

"My aim is to continue to study every single day. After the examination, I will return to my monastery. I'm a quiet person, and it's best for me to spend the rest of my life learning in the monastery," he said.

Xinhua

Ngawang Chodrak, a monk from Pashod Monastery in Tibet's Qamdo prefecture, undergoes the examination.[Photo/Xinhua]

Graft fight escalates in first half of year

14 hours 21 min ago

About 210,000 people have been disciplined by anti-graft agencies across the country in the first half of this year, an increase of nearly 30 percent over the same period last year, according to China's top graft-buster.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country's top anti-corruption body, published the results of disciplinary efforts in the first half of 2017 on Thursday.

Of those punished, 38 officials were at the provincial level-slightly fewer than the 41 punished in the same period last year.

The anti-graft efforts have achieved remarkable results since late 2012, when a nationwide fight against corruption began, said Zhuang Deshui, deputy head of the Research Center for Government Integrity-Building at Peking University.

The results show that the anti-graft system has worked and that no corrupt behavior escapes the notice of the authorities, Zhuang said, adding that the relentless effort and a zero-tolerance stance on punishing corrupt behavior have been validated.

According to announcements from courts at all levels, more than 30 officials at or above provincial level were convicted in the first half of this year, exceeding the total number convicted in 2016.

Among them, Zhao Liping, a former senior political adviser in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, was executed in May for homicide, firearms possession and taking bribes. He became the first government official at the provincial level to be executed since the big anti-graft push began.

Zhuang said the work of going after powerful "tigers" (senior officials) as well as lowly "flies" (grassroots government functionaries) has sped up. Putting the tigers into "cages" is a priority for law enforcement bodies, he said; therefore the sentences were comparatively intense in the first half of the year.

As "tigers" are sentenced to jail, lowly functionaries are also forced to face the music.

According to the CCDI's statement on Thursday, 129,000 people punished in the first half of this year were at the village level or worked in companies and other nongovernmental organizations.

Anti-graft agencies nationwide have also reported more than 320 cases in which lower government functionaries were held accountable for misconduct or dereliction of duty.

All of this is the result of a Communist Party of China ordinance on the accountability of Party members that took effect a year ago, said Du Zhizhou, deputy head of the Research and Education Center of Government Integrity at Beihang University in Beijing. Responsibility comes with public power, Du said.

Company developing a solar-powered drone

14 hours 23 min ago

Craft would be capable of staying airborne for a week, developer says

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, the nation's largest missile-maker, is developing a solar-powered unmanned aircraft capable of staying in the sky for a week.

The drone, which has yet to be named, will look much like a conventional fixed-wing plane and will be propelled by an electric motor and solar batteries. It will be able to operate for a week at an altitude of more than 20,000 meters, Ma Hongzhong, director of CASIC's Unmanned Aircraft Institute, said in an interview on Thursday.

The drone's wingspan will be about 25 meters and its maximum takeoff weight will be around 200 kilograms, he said, adding that the drone's first flight will be made soon.

Development started two years ago-a joint effort of Ma's institute and a research team from Europe, he said. He declined to provide details about the European partner.

"We are working with the European team to develop technologies and equipment for the plane. After the development is finished, my institute will be responsible for its marketing and sales," Ma said, adding that the State Oceanic Administration and the China Meteorological Administration have agreed to employ the aircraft for maritime emergency response and typhoon forecasting.

In the future, the drone will also be tasked with relaying communication signals and locating mineral resources because of its extended flight endurance at high altitude, he said.

Experts said there are no clouds at 20,000 meters or higher and the air at that altitude is stable, so the drone can take full advantage of its solar cells. As long as the solar power system works well, the aircraft can stay in the air as long as the controllers wish.

Ma said the institute plans to develop a series of solar-powered drones based on the first design. Future models will be larger and be capable staying airborne for a month, he said.

The China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics in Beijing has also developed a large solar-powered drone and is flight-testing it.

The United States and United Kingdom have already developed solar-powered drones capable of flying as high as 20,000 meters. The altitude record for such aircraft-29,524 meters-was set by the Helios Prototype developed by AeroVironment Inc in California, in August 2001.

Guangdong native to serve as acting mayor of Shenzhen

14 hours 28 min ago

Chen Rugui, former Party chief of Zhongshan, was appointed as deputy mayor and acting mayor of Shenzhen during a conference of the city's standing committee of the people's congress on Thursday.

Chen, born in Lianjiang in the western part of Guangdong province in 1962, will be the 13th mayor of Shenzhen and the 12th since the city was designated as China's first special economic zone, which officially kicked off the country's reform and opening-up in the late 1970s.

Chen, an engineer, will also be the first Shenzhen mayor in 27 years who was born in Guangdong. Previously, most of the mayors came from outside the province, including three from East China's Jiangsu province.

Shenzhen's mayoral office has been vacant for four months, following the transfer of Xu Qin, the former Party chief and mayor, to Hebei province. Xu is now deputy Party chief and governor of Hebei.

Wang Weizhong, former Party chief of Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, was appointed Shenzhen's Party chief in April.

Under Chen, Shenzhen is expected to further expand its cooperation with Hong Kong and speed up its economic integration with the special administrative region, according to insiders.

Chen is expert in economic, social and urban development and pays great attention to the construction of high-speed railways, intercity light rail, ports, highways, airports and related infrastructure projects to enhance the economic cooperation of cities in the Pearl River Delta, the insiders said.

"Chen will be able to develop his talent fully and help integrate Shenzhen with Hong Kong, Macao and other cities in the Pearl River Delta in infrastructure construction after he takes office," said Peng Peng, vice-chairman of the experts committee of South Nongovernmental Think-tank.

When Chen became the top official of Zhongshan, a prosperous city in the Pearl River Delta, in September, he urged greater cooperation between Shenzhen and Zhongshan and integration of his city into the economic development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Chen led a Zhongshan delegation to Shenzhen in February to study the experience of the city's innovation development and seek investment and cooperation with the special economic zone.

Zhongshan, hometown of Sun Yat-sen, the forerunner of China's democratic revolution, is also one of the major production bases and tourist destinations in Guangdong province.

Chen was executive vice-mayor and later deputy Party chief of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, before he took office as Party chief in Zhongshan.

When he worked in Guangzhou, Chen promoted economic ties between the southern metropolis and Hong Kong, along with infrastructure construction in the city.

WTO told of ban on imported waste

14 hours 30 min ago

China will block range of polluting materials, get tough on smuggling

China's environmental watchdog confirmed on Thursday that it has notified the World Trade Organization about a ban on the importation of 24 types of solid waste, which will take effect at the end of this year. It also said it will get tough on waste smuggling.

By the end of 2017, China will forbid the importation of certain waste plastics, vanadium slag, unsorted wastepaper and certain textile materials, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in its WTO filing, which was submitted on Tuesday.

"To protect China's environmental interests and people's health, we urgently need to adjust the imported solid wastes list, and forbid the import of solid wastes that are highly polluting," it said.

Guo Jing, director of international cooperation at the ministry, said at a news conference on Thursday that the ban is part of a campaign to tackle pollution.

"Some solid waste that could be used as raw material was imported to relieve the resource shortage in the country," Guo said. "Many problems from the imported waste, however, have been exposed with China's socioeconomic development. It not only contaminates the environment but also endangers people's health."

He said China will also get tough on the illegal movement of waste into the country.

Some countries transfer solid waste to other countries by various means, and "some even export illegally", he said-though it is against international conventions to export solid waste without the destination country's approval.

"Motivated by profits, some lawbreakers at home and abroad illegally export or smuggle solid waste into China, and some conceal waste among other goods imported into the country. This waste has resulted in many problems. We must crack down on this," Guo said.

He added that China will speed up the recycling of domestic waste because the Chinese public objects to imported waste.

The central government is stepping up the fight against pollution and environmental degradation, as decades of fast growth have saddled the country with air and soil pollution.

In April, a reform plan to improve the management of solid waste imports to protect the environment and public health was adopted by the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, a group led by President Xi Jinping.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection launched a monthlong campaign on July 1 targeting pollution caused by the processing of imported waste.

The ministry announced on Thursday that it had inspected 1,162 companies as of Monday, and 751 of them-or 65 percent-were guilty of environmental violations.

It also noted that inspectors had suggested placing all the violations on file for investigation and prosecution.

Bitten woman dies despite rabies vaccine

14 hours 46 min ago

Ma Hongzhou holds the death certificate of his wife, Long Xiuling, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on Tuesday. The certificate says Long died of respiratory failure and rabies.[Huang Lijian for China Daily]

The rabies vaccines administered to a 32-year-old woman in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, who died after being infected through a dog bite, were up to standard, according to local health authorities on Thursday.

Long Xiuling, who was bitten by a stray dog on her left ankle on June 20, received medical treatment the same day, including the vaccine and antibiotics, at Xi'an Central Hospital, a major hospital in the city, the Xi'an Health and Family Planning Commission said.

The doctor in the hospital's emergency department who treated Long also advised her to get four more doses of vaccine at intervals until July 18. Long received three vaccinations at the hospital, the commission said.

She suffered symptoms including numbness in her left leg, a sore back and frequent urination and went to the hospital on July 13 for treatment. She did not tell the doctors about the dog bite during that visit, and doctors did not diagnose rabies, the commission said.

Long went to Xijing Hospital, also in Xi'an, on July 17, where she was diagnosed with rabies. She was then transferred to Xi'an Eighth Hospital for treatment, where she died after attempts to save her life failed, the commission said.

The vaccines Long received at Xi'an Central were produced by a certified company and were properly stored and transported, which ensures their quality, the commission said, noting that they were purchased by the provincial disease prevention and control center.

Long went to Xi'an Central at 6:10 pm on June 20 for treatment, about an hour after she was bitten. Her left ankle had multiple bite marks, according to a statement released by the hospital. The doctor gave her treatment for rabies following procedures listed by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, including immediately giving a vaccination, the hospital said.

Cao Hualing, an emergency doctor at the hospital, said there might be several reasons for the ineffectiveness of the vaccine in Long's case.

"The level of virus in the stray dog may have been very high and may have infected Long's neurological system before she received the first dose of vaccine," he said. "Patients with low immune capacity may not be able to resist rabies." In such a case, the vaccine may not work, he said.

The chance of a patient developing rabies symptoms after proper vaccination is only 1 percent, but once a patient gets sick the disease can always lead to death, he added.

Standard treatment in China for dog bites is five doses of vaccine within 28 days. Rabies is incurable and can only be prevented by the vaccine, according to health authorities.

In the first eight months of last year, two people in Beijing developed rabies and both died. About 100,000 people received rabies vaccinations after being injured by animals, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.

Instrument makers dance to a traditional tune

14 hours 50 min ago

Asman Abula, Rehman's granddaughter, holds a model dutar.[Photo by ZOU HONG/CHINA DAILY]

Craftsmen in villages across West China are eager to maintain age-old skills and keep their culture alive, as Cui Jia and Mao Weihua report from Shufu county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

CUI JIA/MAO WEIHUA

Rehman Abdula is a quiet man, so when he speaks people know his words are important.

"It sounds good," he said, after listening to Memet Ali play a satar, a traditional Uygur instrument that resembles an Indian sitar. When Memet visited, Rehman was in the process of making the instrument at his house in Tuowankewukusake village, Shufu county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Memet, 30, is a Uygur musician who plays in a local band that specializes in muqam, a popular and famous genre in the music of the mainly Muslim ethnic group. A few weeks before his visit, he had commissioned Rehman to make him a new satar.

The 65-year-old craftsman had asked Memet to visit to see if he was happy with the half-finished satar before he started to paint and decorate the instrument. It usually takes about a month to make a satar from start to finish.

'Best of the best'

"He is the best of the best," Memet said, gently tapping the body of the 5,000 yuan ($740) instrument with a finger to check the sound. The hollow body was carved from a mulberry log by Rehman, using a small, homemade machete.

Like the other makers of traditional Uygur instruments in his village in southern Xinjiang's Kashgar prefecture, Rehman makes every piece by hand. He has no need for plans or drawings because all the measurements are in his head.

People in Tuowankewukusake are renowned across Xinjiang for their skill at making traditional Uygur musical instruments, an art they have practiced for more than 150 years. At present, 290 of the 570 families in the village support themselves by making and selling more than 50 different types of instruments.

The signature melodies of Uygur music, played on instruments such as the rawap, dutar, tembur and ghijek, can often be heard floating from behind the doors of village houses as craftsmen and their clients test the products.

Unsurprisingly, Tuowankewukusake is known far and wide as "the village of music".

Of the nearly 600 craftsmen in Tuowankewukusake, Rehman is hailed as the best because the instruments he makes always produce the purest, most beautiful tones.

"We can tell immediately if an instrument has been made by him. It feels as if the melodies penetrate deeper into your brain," Memet said.

As he hollowed out a piece of mulberry wood that would be transformed into a dutar, a type of long-necked, two-stringed lute, Rehman said: "I don't think my instruments are all that magical. I just want to make sure their sound doesn't pierce people's ears."

As the seventh generation of a family of instrument makers, Rehman was age 7 when he started following his grandfather around to find the best wood for their craft.

"My grandfather told me that a craftsman can only make a good instrument if he puts his heart into making it, instead of thinking about how much money it will fetch," he added.

"You have to inject life into the wood little by little," he said, repeatedly turning the log from left to right to search for the correct spot to land his machete.

After mastering the skills he was taught by his grandfather and father, Rehman first made a rawap on his own when he was 25. He sold the long-necked traditional instrument for 250 yuan.

Last year, he made what he believes to be one of the best rawap of his career so far. The instrument, decorated with tiny pieces of black yak horn and white cow bone, has a market value of about 8,000 yuan.

The instrument's stunning appearance prompted a man to visit Rehman's house and ask to buy the instrument, even though he couldn't play it. Rehman refused to sell.

Rehman Abdula carves a dutar in Tuowankewuk sake village, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, as his son Mamutjon carries a finished instrument.[Photo by ZOU HONG/CHINA DAILY]]

True power

"He only appreciated the external beauty of my rawap but he cannot play it to release its true power, which is to charm people with the sounds it makes," said the craftsman, who is still waiting for the special person, someone who is just right for the rawap.

Rehman is determined to pass on the family tradition. In fact, he regards it as his duty. His eldest son lives in Urumqi, the regional capital, where he runs a shop that sells the family's work, but Rehman three other sons are instrument makers in Tuowankewukusake.

Rehman has high hopes for his youngest son Mamutjon, because the 27-year-old craftsman exhibits all the passion he had when he was young. "He is a quiet man, too," Rehman said.

Memutjon made his first instrument on his own when he was just 22. He uses social media to advertise his work, and now earns about 10,000 yuan a month from his labors.

"Unlike me, my father is very confident and never hesitates to use force when carving the instrument from the wood," he said, as he watched Rehman making a dutar. "The instruments even sound louder when he makes them."

Adaptation

To further improve the quality of traditional Uygur instruments, Memutjon has studied the structures of guitars and violins. "The ghijek plays like a violin and also sounds like one, so I think understanding the violin will help me make it sound better," he said.

In fact, the current version of the ghijek is actually an adaptation based on the study of violins. The new version was introduced in the 1950s.

The changes were made by Duan Qiang, a composer, and Samat Abdula, a violinist in a People's Liberation Army art troupe based in southern Xinjiang.

According to Duan, 83, he and Samat realized that the old-style ghijek had a narrow range of tones, which meant its use was limited, even within Uygur musical settings.

In response, the then-19 year old and his partner upgraded the instrument using a number of features of the violin as their model, and introduced the new version to Xinjiang.

It is capable of carrying the melodic line in harmony with other Uygur instruments across a wide range of music.

Last year, Duan invited four instrument makers from Jiayi village in southern Xinjiang's Aksu prefecture to his workshop in Urumqi. He taught them how to draw plans for different instruments using detailed measurements.

Jiayi is also famous for instruments. About 105 of the 208 families in the village make a living from their craftsmanship. Now, Duan hopes they will try to standardize production of traditional instruments by following the drawings he has made.

The new approach may work for younger craftsmen, but Rehman has no plans to adjust his style of working. His eyes, hands and heart are all he needs to make the perfect instrument.

Tursunkhari Zunun makes a piece of traditional Uygur pottery.[Photo by ZOU HONG/CHINA DAILY]]

Old customs need injection of new blood

Aniwar Ali's house sits on the edge of a 40-meter-high loess platform overlooking the Tuman River in Kashgar city, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The traditional Uygur residential area, known as the High Platform Neighborhood, has a history of more than 1,000 years, and is a landmark in Kashgar's old town.

The loess-loosely compacted yellowish-gray sediment-that produced the platform is also the raw material Aniwar, 50, and his brother Wumar, 45, use to make traditional Uygur bowls and jugs. The brothers are the sixth generation of a family of renowned potters.

At one time, traditional Uygur pottery items were daily essentials, but in recent decades cheaper porcelain has begun to dominate the market. "Nowadays, only old men use pottery tableware," Aniwar said.

Gradually, the traditional craft lost its appeal, and most of the potters in High Platform relinquished their careers. Now, only two families, including Aniwar's, still make a living by producing pottery.

"Our main customers are tourists, so we have begun making smaller products that are easier to pack in their luggage," said Aniwar, sitting in the courtyard of his house surrounded by a display of his wares. "Some tourists said they will use our oil lamps as ashtrays and the small spice jars to store coffee beans."

During the peak tourist season in the summer, the brothers make about 4,000 yuan ($590) a month.

Uygur pottery is known for its unique hand-painted patterns and the signature color combination of brown, black, green and cream. The loess material helps keep the contents warm while the exterior remains cool to the touch.

The brothers still use wood to fire their kiln because they believe coal-firing will affect the glaze of the pottery.

"I don't know how long my family can keep the tradition going-neither my sons nor my brother's boys want to learn the craft because it is hard, dirty work. They want to go to university and become doctors. We are very worried," Aniwar said.

As a result, he decided to take apprentices from outside the family, including four Han Chinese students. "I will teach anyone who wants to learn to keep Uygur traditions alive," he said.

Tursunkhari Zunun is Aniwar's neighbor. As a pottery maker, he has the same concerns. "My three daughters are all married now and my son is a policeman, so it is impossible for them to carry on the family tradition," he said.

The 62-year-old craftsman has advertised for apprentices in local newspapers, and although he provides a modest salary, none of his trainees have stayed for long.

He also teaches students at vocational schools, but they prefer to learn how to make nan bread, a popular local delicacy.

"My pottery is primitive. It is made without the use of any modern technology," he said, stepping on a pedal that powers a belt-driven wooden wheel in his centuries-old workshop.

While he fears modern technology will make traditional pottery lose its earthy beauty, he understands that the craft desperately needs new blood and fresh ideas. "I can use the old methods to produce pottery with modern designs and make this ancient craft popular again," he said.

Although Tursunkhari's children will not inherit his skills, he has two young apprentices from South Korea. They have had studied in his workshop for two years. "I have given them Uygur names and they are my disciples," he said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

Shanghai Airlines brings back local dialect

15 hours 13 min ago

Shanghai Airlines has reintroduced cabin announcements in the Shanghai dialect on selected flights, following suggestions from passengers.

The prerecorded messages will initially be played only on flights from Taipei and Kunming, Yunnan province, to Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao international airports.

"We'll test the Shanghai dialect on these two services until the end of August," said Xu Mei, a manager in the carrier's passenger cabin services department. "If the feedback is positive, we may expand it to other flights."

The 60-second messages will be broadcast before takeoff and landing, she added.

Shanghai Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, operates about 350 flights a day to domestic and international destinations. It first introduced local dialect announcements in January 2012 but halted the practice without explanation a few years later. The return of the local language service appears to be an attempt by the airline to build its Shanghai brand, as well as to promote the city's image and its culture.

To make sure the dialect is spoken with genuine flavor and fluency, the airline invited Huju Opera performer Mao Shanyu to record the messages along with Lin Jiaqing from the airline's passenger cabin services department, both of whom are Shanghai natives.

"I have played quite a few characters, but this is the first time for me to be a chief flight attendant," Mao said.

"I always think the promotion of the Shanghai dialect is the responsibility of people from all walks of life. The decision to use it on Shanghai Airlines flights is helpful in displaying the city's enthusiasm and charm, and I am willing to be part of it," she added.

Questionnaires will be gathered from passengers after the flights, and their feedback will be reviewed before fine-tuning the service.

Broadcasts in the local dialect have been part of Shanghai's public transportation system for years. According to a staff member at Shanghai Ba-shi Public Transportation (Group) Co, passenger feedback has been positive.

Plan to put China in AI industry vanguard

15 hours 14 min ago

A school girl gazes at a robot on display at an expo in Zhengzhou, Henan province, May 27, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

China aims to build a 1 trillion yuan ($147.9 billion) artificial intelligence industry by 2030, as the country scrambles to lead the world in research and application of the cutting-edge technology, a new plan said on Thursday.

The national AI development plan, published on the State Council's website, detailed a three-step strategy to achieve the ambitious goal. It highlights China's determination to achieve breakthroughs in core AI technologies and accelerate its application in the manufacturing, service, agriculture and other sectors.

To achieve the goal, the AI industry in China is expected to exceed 150 billion yuan in 2020, putting the country on par with leading powers in the technology and its application. The current market size for China's AI industry was not disclosed.

The plan said more effort will be made to achieve breakthroughs in fundamental research and technologies. By 2025, China aims to more than double the 2020 target of its AI industry to 400 billion yuan. AI will be a major driver of industrial upgrading, widely used in manufacturing, smart city plans, agriculture, defense and other sectors.

Xiang Yang, an AI expert at the China Center for Information Industry Development, said the ambitious plan will motivate companies and universities to step up their research and development in AI.

"It will have roughly the same impact on industry as the government's Made in China 2025 initiative has had on the manufacturing sector," Xiang said.

Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts that AI-related industries will boost China's GDP by as much as 26 percent in 2030.

Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu, said China is highly likely to outpace the United States in the application of AI, as local companies scramble to experiment with new ideas and benefit from the country's huge user base.

The company plans to mass-produce its driverless vehicles within four years.

Gao Qiqi, a professor at East China University of Political Science and Law, said China is making rapid progress in AI and produces more science and technology papers and applies for more patents than other countries.

Anand Rao, an AI consultant at PwC, said initially North America would have faster productivity gains from AI than China because of its mature infrastructure. "But China will begin to pull ahead of the US in AI in 10 years after it catches up on both relevant technologies and expertise," Rao said.

 

Deepest subway station in works

15 hours 19 min ago

Passengers take long escalators to descend to Hongtudi station of Line 6 of the Chongqing Metro, which is about 60 meters beneath the ground.[Provided to China Daily]

Chongqing is about to break its own record for the deepest subway station in China.

The southwestern city, located in an area crisscrossed by rivers and mountains, is building train platforms 94.46 meters underground as part of the ongoing extension of the Chongqing Metro network.

Hongtudi station, which opened on Line 6 in December 2014, was already the country's deepest station at 60 meters below ground. Now, it is being pushed even deeper to connect with Line 10, which is under construction.

The extension, which is scheduled to open by the end of the year, will have high-speed elevators that drop 78.8 meters-about 26 stories-another national record, according to the city's transportation authorities.

Ninety-one escalators, China's largest escalator network, will be installed to move passengers between lines 6 and 10 and the surface.

To enter or leave Hongtudi station now, people need to take escalators with a 30-degree incline on a journey lasting three minutes and 15 seconds. The alternative is a stairwell with 354 steps.

Chen Limei, 30, a tourist from Hunan province, said she finds the station "magical".

"It's the first time I've taken such a long escalator, and it seems never-ending, one after another," she said. "It would be very interesting if we could take a slide from the top."

Some passengers complained that it wastes time to take such a long journey.

"These escalators are too long and slow, and the trip takes too much time," said a man surnamed Liu, 24.

The expansion of Hongtudi station will make it one of the deepest in the world. The world's deepest subway system is said to be the Pyongyang Metro in Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which has tracks more than 110 meters underground.

Arsenalna station on the Kiev Metro's Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska Line in Ukraine is 105.5 meters below the surface. Commuters have to take two escalators to the bottom, which takes up to five minutes.

The Admiralteyskaya station in Russia's St. Petersburg Metro system is 86 meters below ground.

Chongqing also boasts the highest overpass in the country, at 72 meters. From windows on the 22nd floor of a nearby building, people can look across at the overpass and see the traffic.

Li: Opening-up to grow, including service sector

15 hours 23 min ago

He Hongzhi, owner of a luxury car-washing shop, washes a car in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, on June 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Premier Li Keqiang vowed on Thursday to take measures to further open up China's market, including the service industry, while welcoming foreign investment to the country.

That will give Chinese consumers more alternatives, Li said when meeting with former New Zealand prime minister John Key in Beijing.

"You and I have been old friends since your term as the prime minister. You have made contributions to advance New Zealand's relations with China, and I hope you will continue your important role in advancing China-New Zealand relations," the premier said.

China will further efforts in building a fair business environment in which domestic and foreign companies are treated equally, continuing to make China the most attractive destination for investments, Li said.

Li said China's economic growth exceeded expectations during the first half of this year, with the economic structure having been prioritized and with greater contributions by the service industry and consumption. "Opening up to the outside world has been our fundamental policy, and China's door will be opened even wider," he said.

The premier added that China would like to work with New Zealand in developing their ties and cooperation, and contribute to the stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region.

Key said Li's visit to his country in March saw new progress in developing those areas. New Zealand and China are good friends and partners, and New Zealand positively regards the prospect of China's development while being committed to strengthening the partnership and cooperation, he said.

Key made a six-day visit to Beijing as prime minister in April 2016. Li, during his visit to New Zealand in March, met for talks with new Prime Minister Bill English.

The two countries opened negotiations in April on upgrading their free trade agreement. The second round of negotiations was held in Beijing this month, focusing on customs procedures, trade facilitation, e-commerce and agricultural cooperation.

In New Zealand, former officials have a strong influence, and Thursday's meeting can be seen as a step forward in bilateral ties, especially with additional negotiations, said Chen Fengying, a senior researcher on the world economy at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

In 2008, New Zealand became the first developed economy to sign a free-trade agreement with China, focusing on commodity trading and not including trade in services, Chen said.

"High-level interactions between the two countries have set an example for China's exchanges with developed economies," she said.

Quality exported food turns to home market

15 hours 27 min ago

More than 1,500 companies that once produced food to high standards chiefly for export are now selling products made to the same standards on the Chinese market, according to authorities that oversee quality.

More than 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion) of such products were ordered last year in China, according to the Certification and Accreditation Administration.

A campaign launched early last year encouraged the nation's food exporters to make products for domestic consumption using the same production processes as for overseas markets, to ensure the same level of quality.

The campaign covered 5,778 products, largely agricultural and other food products, with most producers based in Shandong, Guangdong, Fujian, Hebei and Liaoning provinces, the administration said.

For example, in Guangdong, 189 food export companies now sell more than 500 foods, including frozen snacks, seasonings, biscuits, nuts, meat and egg products at 4,130 stores across China.

The administration said other goods will be covered in the future to better meet consumer demand.

With the initiative, Chinese people may not have to go overseas to buy high-quality products that are actually made in China and exported-such as electrical pots and toilet covers-as has been the case in the past.

In the long run, the administration said, encouraging the same standards for exported and domestic goods can help improve overall food safety in China and boost consumption.

Qiao Yajun, operations manager at Longnan Changcheng Fruit Juice Co in Gansu province, which began selling its concentrated apple juice, its chief product, in China around 2015, said domestic sales now account for about 20 percent of its total sales.

Previously, the company, which is certified as a food exporter, only sold its apple juice outside China in 24 countries and regions, including North America and Europe, he said.

"The overseas market has not been performing well in recent years because of the economic downturn," Qiao said. "We hope our business can develop faster in the domestic market."

The company is promoting its products in the domestic market but faces challenges such as production costs that are higher than its Chinese competitors-because of its higher quality standards-and a lack of brand recognition in China, he said.

The apple juice, which has no additives under export standards, is packaged in 250-milliliter containers and sells for about 4 yuan per package-about 50 percent higher than many other similar products sold in domestic stores, he said.

"We have been participating in big trade exhibitions to promote our products," he said. "We are also planning to open an online store on major e-commerce platforms such as Tmall."

The Certification and Accreditation Administration said it will continue to provide guidance to export companies to promote sales in the domestic market.

China has nearly 20,000 certified companies that export food and agricultural products valued at more than $50 billion to more than 180 countries and regions every year, according to the administration.

The country strictly supervises the companies to ensure that the food meets both national standards and the standards of the destination countries and regions. For many years, virtually all food produced in China for export is up to standards, the administration said.

85 on trial for cross-border telecom fraud

15 hours 39 min ago

BEIJING - A total of 85 suspects stood trial in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday, in a cross-border telecom fraud case.

More than 70 suspects, including 44 Taiwan residents, were arrested in Kenya and extradited to China in April 2016, according to Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

The suspects pleaded guilty to cheating 185 victims on the Chinese mainland out of more than 29 million yuan (4.3 million U.S. dollars), the court said.

Thirty-five suspects were accused of carrying out fraud in Indonesia from June to November 2014 and the other 50 in Kenya from June 2015 to April 2016.

The suspects claimed to work for police, procuratorates or express delivery firms and called Chinese citizens, telling them their personal information had been stolen and they should pay money to protect their assets and prove they had not committed any crimes.

The court will announce the verdicts at a later date.

China's ice breaker sets sail for Arctic rim expedition

15 hours 53 min ago

A member of the Chinese scientific researcher team waves before boarding the research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", in Shanghai, July 20, 2017. China's ice breaker, the Xuelong, set sail on Thursday for the country's first circumnavigation of the Arctic rim. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHANGHAI — China's ice breaker, the Xuelong, which means "Snow Dragon," set sail on Thursday for the country's first circumnavigation of the Arctic rim, scientists said.

The ice-breaker departed from an exploration base in Shanghai early on Thursday. The journey is China's eighth Arctic expedition.

Lin Shanqing, deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration, said the expedition is another milestone in the country's polar exploration efforts.

"Usually, Arctic expeditions are carried out once every two years. Starting this year, we plan to increase the frequency of expeditions," said Lin.

The ship will travel 20,000 nautical miles in 83 days, with 96 members on board.

Captain of the vessel, Shen Quan, said that the Snow Dragon will travel the northwest shipping lane along the Arctic rim for the first time. The route has more ice than the northeast shipping lane.

Researchers will study navigation, marine bio-diversity, hydrology, biology, geology, chemistry and pollution around the Arctic. The Ukraine-built vessel, which was put into use in 1994, is mainly designed to transport supplies to China's research stations. It can break ice up to 1.2 meters thick. China has focused on cooperation and sharing information in polar research.

The Chinese National Arctic and Antarctic Data Center has provided data for more than 100 international projects and more than 10 countries.

Chinese scientific researchers bid farewell on the research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", in Shanghai, July 20, 2017. China's ice breaker, the Xuelong, set sail on Thursday for the country's first circumnavigation of the Arctic rim. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese scientific researchers board the research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", in Shanghai, July 20, 2017. China's ice breaker, the Xuelong, set sail on Thursday for the country's first circumnavigation of the Arctic rim. [Photo/Xinhua]

People wave to the scientific researchers on the research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", in Shanghai, July 20, 2017. China's ice breaker, the Xuelong, set sail on Thursday for the country's first circumnavigation of the Arctic rim. [Photo/Xinhua]

Photo shows the Chinese research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", in Shanghai, July 20, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]

Ten photos from across China: July 14-20

15 hours 58 min ago

Stuntmen put on a water ski show at a lake in Changsha, Hunan province, July 14, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

A "forest" of about 30,000 beer bottles in Qingdao, Shandong province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

People smear rice ash onto each other during the Hualian Festival in Qiubei county, Yunnan province, July 18, 2017. The Hualian Festival is an annual festival of the Yi ethnic group where people express best wishes by dabbing black rice ash on each other's faces for good luck. [Photo/VCG]

Two women sit in massage chairs in a shopping mall to avoid the summer heat in Shenyang, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

A woman holds her child while trying to shield herself from the scorching sun in Beijing, July 19, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

People lie on a cobblestone street to warm their bodies - a technique thought to treat illness - in Huaibei, Anhui province, July 19, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Jiangsu Grand Theatre lights up the Nanjing sky, July 16, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Harvesting of early-season rice has begun in Luofang township, Xinyu city, Jiangxi province, July 19, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

A smashed-up truck became stuck in the guard rail of an overpass in Zhengzhou, Henan province, July 17, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

A cyclist wades through a flooded street in Kunming, Yunnan province, July 20, 2017.[Photo/VCG]

China announces import ban on 24 types of solid waste

16 hours 13 min ago

BEIJING -- China will ban imports of 24 types of solid waste by the end of 2017 in a fresh move to reduce environmental pollution, an official said Thursday.

China has notified the World Trade Organization of the ban, which covers waste plastics, unsorted scrap paper, discarded textiles, vanadium slag and other kinds of waste, Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) official Guo Jing told a press conference.

Imported solid waste, some of which had been useful as raw materials in the past, has caused damage to the country's environment and public health, said Guo, who is in charge of international cooperation at the MEP.

According to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, which China has signed, exports of hazardous wastes and other wastes should not be permitted if the state of import does not specifically consent in writing, Guo said.

However, some traders both in and outside of China have illegally smuggled "foreign garbage" into the country for their own interests, giving rise to environmental woes, according to Guo.

"The problem of foreign garbage is loathed by everyone in China," he told reporters.

The Chinese government is stepping up the fight against pollution and environmental degradation as decades of fast growth have left the country saddled with smog and contaminated soil.

In April this year, a reform plan to improve management of solid waste imports was adopted, demanding a substantial reduction in the amount and types of solid waste imports.

The MEP launched a month-long campaign on July 1 to crack down on pollution in imported waste processing, with 420 inspectors selected from 27 provincial regions forming 60 teams to conduct full-scale examinations.

China's medium-sized and large cities imported 46.98 million tonnes of solid waste in 2015, down 5.3 percent year on year, according to MEP figures.

In 2014, the whole country imported 49.6 million tonnes of solid waste, with scrap paper, plastics and metal taking up large shares, according to the MEP.

Award-winning musical to hit Shanghai

22 hours 29 min ago

The Producer, a Broadway musical that has won 12 Tony Awards, will celebrate its China premiere at Shanghai Culture Square on Nov 1, followed by a three-month tour comprising 90 shows in 10 Chinese cities.

Produced by Sino-US joint venture SIIC Nederlander Culture Development, the show is based on a film of the same title by Mel Brooks in 1968 that tells of how a theater producer and an accountant who hatch a plot to get rich by overselling interests in a bad show which eventually turns out to be a huge success.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2001 and won a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards that year. It has since toured the world and spawned a musical film version that was released in 2005.

Bob Nederlander, producer of the show and president of Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment (NWE), one of the world's largest theater owners and musical producers, said that Shanghai has "very sophisticated audiences for musical" and that there has been overwhelming market enthusiasm for Broadway productions across China.

SIIC Nederlander Culture Development is a joint venture between Shanghai Industrial Investment Co (SIIC) and NWE, a family business of three generations spanning more than 100 years. NWE manages theaters and presents Broadway productions in emerging markets.

Nederlander added that the company will introduce one or more Broadway shows to China every year and bring an "authentic Broadway experience to Chinese audiences". The company will also be creating original Chinese productions for global audiences.

There are already a number of projects being worked on, though he declined to elaborate on the content.

The joint venture is also building a new theater in the northern Bund area in Shanghai. The SIIC Center Theater will be part of a new development by the SIIC that includes office buildings and malls. The 2,000-seat theater is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Award-winning musical to hit Shanghai

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 23:30

The Producer, a Broadway musical that has won 12 Tony Awards, will celebrate its China premiere at Shanghai Culture Square on Nov 1, followed by a three-month tour comprising 90 shows in 10 Chinese cities.

Produced by Sino-US joint venture SIIC Nederlander Culture Development, the show is based on a film of the same title by Mel Brooks in 1968 that tells of how a theater producer and an accountant who hatch a plot to get rich by overselling interests in a bad show which eventually turns out to be a huge success.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 2001 and won a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards that year. It has since toured the world and spawned a musical film version that was released in 2005.

Bob Nederlander, producer of the show and president of Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment (NWE), one of the world’s largest theater owners and musical producers, said that Shanghai has "very sophisticated audiences for musical" and that there has been overwhelming market enthusiasm for Broadway productions across China.

SIIC Nederlander Culture Development is a joint venture between Shanghai Industrial Investment Co (SIIC) and NWE, a family business of three generations spanning more than 100 years. NWE manages theaters and presents Broadway productions in emerging markets.

Nederlander added that the company will introduce one or more Broadway shows to China every year and bring an "authentic Broadway experience to Chinese audiences". The company will also be creating original Chinese productions for global audiences.

There are already a number of projects being worked on, though he declined to elaborate on the content.

The joint venture is also building a new theater in the northern Bund area in Shanghai. The SIIC Center Theater will be part of a new development by the SIIC that includes office buildings and malls. The 2,000-seat theater is scheduled for completion in 2021.

China's electric freight train gets EEU standard certification

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 21:03
BEIJING - China-Belarus No. 2 electric freight train has obtained the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) vehicle safety standard certification, CRRC Corporation said Thursday. It is the first time for a Chinese high-power AC drive electric locomotive to be allowed to enter the Eurasian railway market, the company said. The train was made by CRRC Datong, a branch of CRRC Corporation. "The EEU certification will enable the China-Belarus No. 2 electric freight train to run in member countries of the EEU, including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan," said Zhao Mingyuan, chief engineer of CRRC Datong. The certification tested a total of 52 machine parts, 348 functions, the train's radiation and ecological safety as well as electromagnetic compatibility, according to Zhao. The China-Belarus No. 2 electric freight train is characterized by its reliable technology, energy conservation, environmental protection and intelligent features.

Youth camp attracts international teens with Chinese culture

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 20:56

Teenagers from 23 countries participate in kung fu sessions on July 20 at the ongoing 13th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp. [Photos by Lin Chunyue/For chinadaily.com.cn]

The 13th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp is being held until July 27 in Shanghai. [Photos by Lin Chunyue/For chinadaily.com.cn]

Sponsored by the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Shanghai Youth Federation, the event hosts more than 150 teenagers from 23 countries this year. [Photos by Lin Chunyue/For chinadaily.com.cn]

Participants will take part in a series of activities, such as dragon boat racing, viewing Peking Opera performances and visiting the Shanghai Zoo, that are aimed at strengthening friendships between nations and enhancing cultural communication.[Photos by Lin Chunyue/For chinadaily.com.cn]

 

 

Premier Li says China to open wider to world

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 20:54
BEIJING - China will take measures to expand its opening up and offer a fair and convenient environment for both Chinese and foreign businesses, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday. Li made the remarks while meeting with New Zealand's former Prime Minister John Key. China on Monday reported a faster-than-expected 6.9 percent growth in the first half of the year. Li said China's economic structure had been optimized, and the service industry and consumption made prominent contributions to the country's economic growth. "China will open its door even wider to the world, and welcomes more foreign companies to invest in the country," Li said. He vowed to provide a fair, equal and convenient business environment for Chinese and foreign enterprises. Regarding China-New Zealand relations, Li said China hoped to work with New Zealand to maintain sound momentum for bilateral ties and cooperation, and to inject new vitality to the stability and development of both countries and the Asia-Pacific region. John Key recalled Li's visit to New Zealand in March this year, which facilitated new progress in bilateral relations and cooperation. Calling the two countries good friends and partners, he said New Zealand was committed to boosting friendship and cooperation with China, and confident for greater achievements of ties.

China issues guideline for developing artificial intelligence

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 19:04

The State Council issued an guideline on Thursday in developing artificial intelligence (AI), vowing to catch up world advancing levels in artificial intelligence technology and application by the year 2020.

The guideline vows to make artificial intelligence a key economic driving force for China by 2o2o, while its appliance can help greatly with improving people's livelihood as well as China's innovation capacity. It was also made clear in the guideline that China vows to become an innovation center of artificial intelligence by the year 2030.

Advancing the AI will bring China with new development opportunities, the guideline says, especially when China now faces a set of challenges of an aging population and development restricted by environmental resources. The AI industries are expected to improve public services in education, caring for the elderly as well as urban infrastructure, contributing in improving people's lives and social governance.

China aims for theoretical breakthrough in AI by the year 2025 in both technology and its application, so that AI can play a significant role in driving China's economic transition and industrial upgrading.

Industries that are expected to play leading role in the AI will be fully bolstered by strengthening technology transformation, especially in areas such as the internet of things, intelligent hardware and software, as well as smart robots. Industrial upgrading in areas such as smart manufacturing, connected farming as well as home automation (smart home) will be encouraged. It was singled out in the guideline China aim for an AI industry worth of over 150 billion yuan by 2020.

Contact the writer at zhangyue@chinadaily.com.cn

 

Ministry confirms launch date for key financial body

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 18:14

The launch ceremony of the Asian Financial Cooperation Association will be held in Beijing on July 24, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, eying its positive role in maintaining regional and global financial stability.

Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang released the information at a daily news briefing and congratulated the association on the scheduled ceremony.

Lu said China has been long committed to pushing forward communication and cooperation among regional financial institutions.

President Xi Jinping discussed establishing a platform to facilitate communication and cooperation among Asian financial institutions at the Boao Forum for Asia in March 2015. On a number of occasions since then, Premier Li Keqiang proposed setting up the Asian Financial Cooperation Association.

"We are pleased to see that the proposals made by Chinese leaders won active responses and strong support from financial institutions in Asia and other regions," Lu said.

The association, based in Beijing, was officially set up on May 11. A total of 107 institutions from five continents are founding members.

China expects the association to play an active role in "maintaining the stability of regional, and even global financial markets and promoting common development and prosperity in the region", Lu said.

Children dance to promote civilized travel

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:23

Traffic authorities in Handan, Hebei province, are promoting a special dance to help the public obey traffic rules, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Dozens of uniformed 10-year-old children dance to music with two policewomen on the zebra crossing in front of parked cars when the light turns red in Lianfang Street.

Publicity section chief, surnamed Cai, of the Zhuhe Brigade of Handan Public Security Bureau said that the brigade created the "wait for traffic lights dance" in cooperation with a local dance school.

"Children dance for 50 seconds on each zebra crossing and will move to another one when the green light is on," Cai said.

The police stand beside the children while they dance to protect their safety.

Cai said that Handan has launched an initiative to create a national civilized city. The Zhuhe Brigade promotes the dance to cultivate courtesy.

Some internet users criticized that it affects traffic and is unsafe for children to dance on the zebra crossings.

Cai assures that the traffic police make gestures to cars to get the drivers to pay attention to the children, and the dance does not impact traffic.

However, currently the dance is suspended due to the hot weather. The authority will decide whether to continue such activities in the future.

Xi'an rainstorm puts Terracotta Warriors under threat

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 16:00

The museum housing China's world-famous Terracotta Army was hit by flooding on Tuesday after heavy rains hit the ancient city of Xi'an.

Footage widely circulated online showed water flowing down stairs inside the Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum and visitors huddled together with their feet submerged.

A witness quoted by Huashang Daily said he feared the 2,000-year-old Terracotta Warriors, which are stored mainly in the No 1 exhibition hall, would be damaged.

The door to the hall was continually opened as a constant stream of visitors exited, which led to more rain flowing in, he said.

Staff members rushed to drain water from the hall using buckets and closed the doors to visitors. Their efforts ensured no damage was done to the cultural relics, the paper reported.

The museum, in the northern city's Lintong district, houses nearly 6,000 terracotta figures as well as the mausoleum of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China and founder of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

Peking University makes exceptional offer to top student

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:50

Peking University has lowered its admission threshold for a talented teenager, the Beijing-based thepaper.cn reported.

Ye Jianing, a high school graduate from Zhuji, Zhejiang province, has received an official admission letter from Peking University. Ye remains calm about the offer from the nation's top university as it had promised him a place in its School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science three years ago, and had said it would even lower the points required for admission by 200.

Born on June 3, 1999, Ye has shown a very high talent in Informatics Olympiad, winning numerous awards at the provincial and municipal levels. He also took gold at the Asia-Pacific Informatics Competition.

"Ye Jianing's grades are steady, he always ranks No.1 in class," Ye's mother Yu Jun says.

He has been outstanding in Mathematical Olympiad courses since primary school and focused on studying Informatics Olympiad in middle school.

He won first prize in the Informatics National League, an influential annual high-level national competition for young people, in his third year of junior high school.

Impressed with his achievements, Peking University gave him the offer when he was in his freshman year in senior high school.

Ye ranked 14th in the National Olympiad in Informatics in his second year of high school, winning exemption from the national college entrance examination.

Ye's mother attributes his excellence to family tradition and his conscientiousness. "I never watch TV. I read and study at home, his father is conscientious and responsible and has been an excellent employee for over 10 years. Nowadays kids are all smart, so only seriousness can make one stand out," Yu says.

Ye is clear about his future, hoping to do more research on advanced technology in the university and make contributions in the field of computer science in China.

But his mother hopes he will find romance amidst his studies. "I wrote him a message when he reached 18, expressing my hope that he would fall in love for the first time in the university."

Ye posted a group photo of his circle of friends when he returned from Japan after taking part in an academic exchange organized by the China Association for Science and Technology. "There's a girl in the picture; my mind is full of pink bubbles," she said.

 

China solicits opinion on procedures to formulate administrative regulations

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:39

BEIJING -- China has started to solicit public opinion on a draft regulation on procedures for formulating administrative regulations, a move to improve the quality of legislation.

The draft was listed in the State Council's legislative plan in 2017 and tagged as "an urgent project in comprehensively deepening reform," according to the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.

Experts and organizations may be invited or entrusted to participate in stipulating administrative regulations, said the draft, adding that regulation formulation departments should listen to opinions from related institutions, organizations and citizens.

Regulation formulation departments should publicize regulations for opinions, it said.

The draft said that legislative affairs organs of the State Council should increase supervision over the implementation of annual legislative plans.

The public may visit the official website (chinalaw.gov.cn) to submit opinions before Aug 20.

Giant panda fails to conceive from insemination at Taipei zoo

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 14:27

TAIPEI - A giant panda, Yuan Yuan, has failed to conceive after undergoing artificial insemination on March 17 with sperm from male Tuan Tuan, Taipei Zoo has announced.

The zoo said that the ultrasound and urinalysis and a previous blood test on the bear indicate no sign of pregnancy.

In addition, while zoo staff have said that the panda had exhibited behaviors associated with pregnancy, such as a loss of appetite, lethargy and reduced defecation, her symptoms began to fade on July 15, 119 days after she had been inseminated.

Yuan Yuan will return to her public pen after a few day's rest, according to the zoo.

Giant pandas have a low fertility rate because they are sexually inactive. Female pandas can only become pregnant once a year and have litters of two cubs at most. The gestation period usually lasts from 120 to 150 days.

The pair, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, were given as a goodwill gift to Taiwan by the Chinese mainland in 2008, both were born in 2004.

They had their first and only cub so far, Yuan Zai, on July 6, 2013, also by artificial insemination.

210,000 officials punished for discipline violations in H1

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 13:42

BEIJING -- The top disciplinary watchdog of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said that 210,000 people were punished for violating the Party code of conduct in the first half of 2017.

The figure was released Thursday on the website of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Among the punished officials, 38 were at the provincial level or ministerial level, more than 1,000 at the prefecture level, over 8,400 at the county level and 129,000 others from rural areas and enterprises.

In 2016, 415,000 people were disciplined for violating the Party's code of conduct and other irregularities.

Heavy rains submerge Kunming

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 13:30

Residents ride a motorcycle through a flooded road in Kunming, July 20, 2017. Many parts of the capital of Southwest China's Yunnan province were flooded Thursday after heavy rainstorms early that morning. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A resident wades through a flooded road with a bike in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

 

Residents move through the flooded streets on a raft in Kunming, Yunnan province, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

Workers pump water from a flooded road in Kunming, Yunnan province, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A woman rides a bike across the flooded road in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A road is flooded in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A parking lot is flooded in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A road is flooded in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A car is stranded in a flooded street in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

Residents put their shoes on after wading through a flooded street in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A tunnel is flooded in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

A woman wades through a flooded road in Kunming, July 20, 2017. [Photo/chinanews.com]

National Games embraces square dancing

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:23

Elderly people dance at a square in Chongqing. [Photo/VCG]

You might think square dancing is no more than a leisurely exercise for elderly people. Well, think again.

The popular exercise has been listed as a competition event in China's 13th National Games, the organizing committee of the Games announced on Tuesday.

The Games, to be held in Tianjin next month, allows teams to sign up and submit their dancing videos on its website. The winning teams selected through online voting will make it to the finals in Tianjin.

This year, the quadrennial National Games will include amateur competitors in events traditionally exclusive for professional athletes for the first time. Amateurs are allowed to take part in 19 events, including badminton, marathon and Chinese chess. In addition, eight events that involve online competition, including square dancing, will be open to ordinary people.

National Games embraces square dancing

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 11:23

Elderly people dance at a square in Chongqing. [Photo/VCG]

You might think square dancing is no more than a leisurely exercise for elderly people. Well, think again.

The popular exercise has been listed as a competition event in China's 13th National Games, the organizing committee of the Games announced on Tuesday.

The Games, to be held in Tianjin next month, allows teams to sign up and submit their dancing videos on its website. The winning teams selected through online voting will make it to the finals in Tianjin.

This year, the quadrennial National Games will include amateur competitors in events traditionally exclusive for professional athletes for the first time. Amateurs are allowed to take part in 19 events, including badminton, marathon and Chinese chess. In addition, eight events that involve online competition, including square dancing, will be open to ordinary people.

How CPC has strengthened Party in five years

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 08:17

Editor's note:

"To forge iron, one must be strong." When President and Party chief Xi Jinping first referred to this idiom in 2012, it was highlighted both within the country and around the world. Five years on, what has the Party done to make itself stronger to help the Chinese people lead a better life?

Faith as calcium supplement to mind

Ideology and faith are like calcium for communists' minds. We must strengthen ideological and political construction, and establish a correct world view, view of life and value set, which can act as a master switch.

— Xi addressing a videophone conference on plans for the second batch of the 'mass line' campaign on Jan 20, 2014

Huang Danian, a geophysicist who returned to China seven years ago from Britain and contributed greatly to deep earth exploration technology, died of bile duct cancer at the age of 58 in January. [Photo/Xinhua]

Huang Danian, a famous scientist who died at 58, is a latest role model that Party members and people look up to for inspiration. 

Huang, known for his expertise in deep earth exploration technology, studied and worked in the United Kingdom for 18 years before returning to China in 2009. In the ensuing years, he helped China soar in a number of technical fields, transforming the nation into one of the world's leaders in deep earth exploration.

Wasting no time, Huang holed up in his office working day and night, with only two to three hours of sleep a day, earning him the deserved title of "workaholic". Overtime working wrecked his health and he died of bile duct cancer on Jan 8.

Xi has asked all to learn from Huang's patriotism, professional dedication, indifference to fame and wealth, and fulfilling duties faithfully.

‘Driving in nails' spirit

We should embrace the 'driving in nails' spirit. We must diligently work and persist until the job is done. We must have the resolve and patience to follow the blueprint to the end and not start with a bang and end with a whimper or give up halfway through without finishing the job.

— Xi addressing the Second Plenary Session of the 18th CPC National Congress

Meng Rouyu, now a junior high school girl, waves in the fields on May 7, 2017 (R) and herself on July 16, 2012 in Nongyong village of Dahua county, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Thanks to its perseverance, resolve and the spirit of driving in nails, the CPC has succeeded in turning China into the world's second-biggest economy, the biggest trader of goods and the third-largest direct foreign investor, lifting China's per capita GDP to close to $8,000.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China has lifted on average 10 million rural people out of poverty every year from 2013 to 2016. The total number of people lifted out of poverty in both rural and urban areas during the period was more than 55.64 million.

As a percentage of China's total population, the number of poor people dropped from 10.2 percent in 2012 to 4.5 percent in 2016 as incomes in poverty-stricken areas rose more than the national average increased.

The CPC leadership

China's success hinges on the CPC...To do a good job of governing the country, we must first do a good job of governing the CPC, and that means governing it strictly.

— Xi addressing a ceremony marking the 95th anniversary of CPC's founding

The first Party unit consisting of online celebrity Party members was set up on Douyu, an online live streaming platform, on Jun 30, 2017. [Photo by Peng Nian/Yangtze River Daily]

CPC has 89.45 million members and grassroots Party units have increased to 4.52 million, according to a communique published ahead of the 96th anniversary of CPC's founding on July 1.

The growth rate of CPC membership has dropped while the structure of its members has improved since 2013 when the Party implemented a recruitment rule which stressed the quality of members while limiting the quantity.

Related: Graphic: CPC membership in numbers

Thorough cleanup of undesirable work style

Party officials should "look into the mirror, straighten the attire, take a bath and seek remedies." (Metaphorically refers to a requirement on Party officials for self-purification, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-progression)

— Xi addressing a campaign against undesirable work style in June 2013

A worker shows a farmer how to use a smart machine to give documents the official red seal at Wangyanzhuang community in Jimo city of East China's Shandong province, June 22, 2017. The machine, which was put into service recently, can complete the document sealing process within five minutes. [Photo/VCG]

"Mass line" refers to a guideline under which CPC officials and members are required to prioritize the interests of the people and exercise power on their behalf.

Based on arrangements made at the 18th CPC National Congress in November 2012, the campaign lasted 16 months starting from June 2013. But in terms of CPC's priority to cultivate closer ties with the people, as Xi said, it was just a start.

Through the campaign, official meetings were reduced by 586,000, almost 25 percent fewer than in the period before the campaign began.

Over 160,000 phantom staff members were removed from the government payroll and almost 115,000 vehicles taken out of illicit private use and returned to exclusive regular government affairs. Construction of 2,580 unnecessary official buildings was stopped.

Cage of regulations

Power should be restricted by the cage of regulations.

— Xi addressing a plenary meeting of the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Jan 22, 2013

A police officer salutes at a special Party class held at a CPC historical storytelling contest in Zhaotong, Southwest China's Yunnan province, Jan 8, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

To better the institution building of the CPC, various documents have been adopted since the 18th National Congress of the CPC.

A plan to deepen institutional reforms on Party building was approved by the Party's core leadership, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

At the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee last November, an updated norm of political life and a regulation on intra-Party supervision was approved. The two important documents were implemented in January 2016.

Related: Graphic: Facts about Party's new rules

Graphic: How intra-Party supervision is carried out

Hunting tigers, swatting flies

We must uphold the fighting of tigers and flies at the same time, resolutely investigating law-breaking cases of leading officials and also earnestly resolving the unhealthy tendencies and corruption problems which happen all around people.

— Xi addressing a plenary meeting of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Jan 22, 2013

A screenshot shows actor Lu Yi in a popular TV drama depicting China's anti-corruption campaign. [Photo/VCG]

Nearly 1.2 million people have been punished for violating CPC and government rules since November 2012. In total, 240 centrally administered officials have been investigated, with 223 receiving punishments, Wu Yuliang, deputy head of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said at a news conference on Jan 9, 2017.

By May 31, 2017, 3,051 fugitives, including 41 listed in an Interpol red notice, have been extradited or returned from more than 90 countries and regions since 2014, with assets worth about 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) recovered, according to the website of the CCDI.

Related: Graphic: Anti-corruption campaign in 2016

Chinese president calls for 'every possible effort' to solve grievances of petitioners

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:59

BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged officials to make "every possible effort" to solve public grievances.

He said officials must treat the handling of public petitions as important work in keeping abreast of public events, pooling people's wisdom, protecting the public interest and improving social solidarity.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks in a written instruction conveyed to the eighth national conference on petition work, which was held in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He urged Party committees, government agencies and officials to handle people's legitimate appeals lawfully, in timely fashion and in the local areas, address the root causes of issues, and build a stronger grassroots system.

The construction of the legal institutions and related systems for addressing public petitions should be improved, Xi said, calling for efforts to make petition work more forward-looking, systematic and targeted.

Speaking highly of petition work in recent years, the president said those handling petitions have helped solve large numbers of problems concerning the immediate interests of the people and played an important role in safeguarding the country's reform, development and stability.

Xi ordered Party committees to enhance leadership over the work, show support and care for those handling petitions, and build a high-quality team that are loyal to the Party, dedicated to serving the people and good at working with the general public.

At the two-day event, model individuals and units were awarded for their contribution to the work and certificates of merit were presented to those who had handled petitions for more than 25 years.

China has established a system to handle appeals and petitions from the public, including citizens seeking government redress in cases ranging from illegal land acquisition, social security, education, to healthcare and environmental protection.

China unveiled a set of reforms on the petition system in 2014, vowing to expand petition channels to facilitate public grievances, punish officials for malpractice and promote rule of law in handling petition cases.

As the reform has gone deep, remarkable progress has been made in the petition work in the past three years, with a steady drop in the number of petitions and improved public trust in the work.

Petitioners now have a variety of channels to file petitions, through hotlines, WeChat, mobile apps and other online formats. They can inquire and follow the development of their cases and give feedback on the handling by local petition departments.

According to guidelines issued by Chinese authorities in early 2014, officials are required to accept petitions in a face-to-face manner at intervals ranging from one day in six months for provincial-level officials and one day every week at township-level.

Those found to have showed indifference or hampered people's interests in petition handling, refusing or delaying petitions, will be seriously punished.

Local governments also improved the assessment of officials regarding the handling of petitions, by placing more stock in the effectiveness of settlements and petitioners' satisfaction with their cases.

To promote rule of law in handling petition cases, Chinese authorities issued another regulation that defines the responsibilities of the Party and state organs in handling petitions in October 2016.

Such agencies should ensure sufficient funding and personnel for dealing with petition letters and visits, and work to prevent and reduce conflicts that result in petitions, according to the regulation.

It highlighted supervision over the handling of petitions, stating that agencies should conduct at least one relevant annual inspection accordingly.

Officials will be held accountable if improper decision-making or neglect of duty cause major petition incidents or damage people's interests. Senior supervisors will undertake joint liability if their subordinates harm other people's interests.

Hong Kong plans rise of the virtual athletes

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:31

Fans cram into stadiums while millions of ardent viewers plug into the internet to cheer on avatars of geeky young stars battling it out on the screen, as Shadow Li reports from Hong Kong.

Players from across the globe participate in an e-sports competition in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.[Deng Fei/For China Daily]

Around 20,000 seats in the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles are taking a pounding from crazy fans. Four huge screens are erected on the stage like a crystal cube with one of the world's highest-paid DJs in the center. The screens light up with animated unearthly creatures and the crowd goes wild.

The stadium, home to two famous National Basketball Association teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, has been taken over by another competitive activity that inspires fanatical devotion-electronic sports, or to use its trendy moniker, e-sports.

World-class players of League of Legends, one of the world's most popular and top-grossing online battle video games, have captured the hearts of 43 million unique viewers, with a peak concurrent viewership of 14.7 million worldwide in the final of the 2016 LOL World Championship on Oct 29.

Two teams from South Korea, with members age about 20, fought for the world championship via their avatars. They didn't even have to try that hard to impress their die-hard fans; no fancy moves, at least in the real world. Standing with slightly stooped postures, the teenagers fueled the global adulation simply by flashing geeky smiles and offering slightly awkward waves to the audience.

E-sports "athletes" are the poster boys for the sector's sudden rise. What was a solitary activity in the dark corners of internet cafes and viewed suspiciously by some as an indulgence to keep an eye on, has blossomed into a sophisticated, multiplayer open sport that has the potential to suck in the entire post-1980s internet generation.

Hong Kong has been relatively slow in catching up, despite e-sports' burgeoning popularity in the Chinese mainland and South Korea, the world's leaders in the field.

It was not until February that the city's Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po used the term "e-sports" in official documents for the first time, recognizing it as "a form of international sports competition" with "economic development potential". The government tasked Cyberport, a "creative digital community" owned by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Co, with exploring the promotion of e-sports in Hong Kong.

Confronted with the huge market potential, Man Kin-fung, CEO of Global E-sports, a local e-sports company that owns PandaCute, the city's first female e-sports team, decided to take a headlong dive into the burgeoning industry.

The five members of PandaCute, an all-female e-sports team, display the flag of Hong Kong during an event in the city.[Photo provided to China Daily]

According to Man, the rapid growth of e-sports reminds him of the time Facebook first emerged. Man acquired a South Korean live-broadcasting platform, and through that acquisition, he became acquainted with a teenage girl nicknamed "Deer", who brought him into the e-sports world. Deer, a League of Legends enthusiast, wanted to build a five-member female team to play in a match hosted by a local internet cafe. Man became the catalyst for Deer to realize her dream, helping her team to win its first local title.

The five teenage girls quickly got used to the life of professional e-sports athletes. All too aware of Hong Kong's strained land supply and high rents, PandaCute's members approach their new roles as full-time jobs.

Although dedicated, their routine is mild compared with some places where e-sports teams are sent to boot camps to train, live in dormitories and remain isolated from the world before they make their debuts-just like budding pop stars.

The girls go to their office at about 10 am. They play e-sports on their own in the morning and then begin group training in the afternoon, including a team battle. Following this, they will review their battle strategies and failures. They usually call it a day at around 6 pm-sometimes 8 pm if they get carried away.

"I want to build a healthy image of e-sports players to combat the traditional misunderstanding of staying up all night playing video games immoderately," Man said.

Talking about e-sports obviously excites the 30-something "big kid", whose eyes sparkled as he spoke about the success of e-sports and future prospects.

A common notion is that e-sports players' professional lives are short, with reflexes said to be dulled by the time they reach age 25. But Man noted there are prospects for players who retire. The e-sports sector has spawned a bonanza, leading to a fully fledged industry chain to support related roles.

"They could be trainers, anchors hosting online live broadcasts and explaining games, game consultants, managers of e-sports teams, and so on," he said, though he added that just as in physical sports, athletes are not guaranteed a bright future after retirement.

The tech-based nature of e-sports also promises continuing growth, and unlike traditional sports it can reach remote regions and involve an ever-growing number of people.

"I foresee that in the near future, people will watch the League of Legends world tournament with virtual reality glasses and a 4-D experience," Man said.

He conceded that e-sports have not fully taken shape in Hong Kong because the ecosystem is incomplete, despite the high-speed development globally.

E-sports have made a name worldwide. In 2003, China listed e-sports as an official sport. Since then, the sector has taken off, with a market value of 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) last year. Viewership of matches in China has grown to 170 million, accounting for more than 50 percent of e-sports viewers worldwide. In April, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that e-sports will be an official medal sport at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, after being added as a demonstration sport at the 2018 Games.

The world has been wowed by the rapid development. According to Newzoo, an e-sports researcher and consultancy, by the end of the year nearly 190 million people will be employed in jobs related to e-sports.

Global profits from the sector should surpass $1 billion in 2019-more than double the figure in 2015.

Man Kin-fung, CEO of Global E-Sports, which promotes competitions for players.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Key juncture

With optimism spurred by the Hong Kong government's unprecedented move to list e-sports in official documents, Man suggested the authorities should make an even bolder move and set up qualification courses and scholarships for young aspirants seeking to train in South Korea and the Chinese mainland.

"The coming three years will mark a key juncture for Hong Kong to translate e-sports into a solid, profit-making, fully fledged industry," he said.

That isn't an optimistic or exaggerated view. On Nov 4, the National Stadium in Beijing, aka the Bird's Nest, will host the 2017 League of Legends World Championship, the game's seventh tournament. Playoff games will be held separately in Wuhan, Hubei province, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Guangdong province, from September.

The geographical proximity will almost certainly guarantee a flood of media coverage from across the border.

Hong Kong has picked up the signal, but it lacks a developed platform to nurture the city's game lovers, who are itching to have a go as professional players.

The city doesn't have its own professional matches to provide constant battle experience for local players, which is why its top player, Kurtis Lau Wai-kin, better known as Toyz-his game name-joined the Taipei Assassins e-sports team.

In October 2012, he was the first Hong Kong player to win the League of Legends world title as his team raked in $1 million in prize money after a battle with a South Korean team in Los Angeles.

That victory inspired Ryan Chow, formerly the best amateur player in Asia, to spend HK$2 million ($256,000) of his own money to start an e-sports company Cyber Games Arena with two partners to provide a platform for local players and even players overseas.

Long before e-sports was recognized as a sport, there was an earlier incarnation in Hong Kong. That was in the early 2000s, when internet cafes popped up across areas such as Causeway Bay, according to Chow, who is also president of the E-sports Association of Hong Kong. According to the government, the number of internet cafes has fallen by about 33 percent from more than 300 in 2002 to just 100 in 2014. At age 13, when they were in Form 1, Chow and his gaming friends were frequent visitors of internet cafes, despite the charge of HK$50 an hour.

Although they won an amateur Asian tournament when they were in Form 3, they had no way of progressing and had to shelve their dreams. But the love of gaming never went away, so the trio decided to establish Cyber Games Arena in 2013.

PandaCute attend the final of an e-sports competition for women in Ningbo, Zhejiang province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

In a groundbreaking move, the company forged ahead with Hong Kong's first E-sports Festival in 2015 by partnering with the Hong Kong Computer and Communications Festival, a pilgrimage event for geeks and tech enthusiasts. A HK$100,000 prize pool was offered for onsite e-sports matches.

The second E-sports Festival in August last year, which was heavily sponsored by tech companies, attracted at least 80,000 visitors during the four-day computer fair, creating a much-needed ripple of excitement for the already lackluster tech fair.

Cyber Games Arena had to start from scratch-finding sponsors, suitable kits for live-broadcasting and venues, among other things.

E-sports is picking up in Hong Kong, but the pace is still not comparable with that of other Asia-Pacific regions, which represent 47 percent of the $99.6 billion global games market, as revealed in the Newzoo report.

More sizable investments are expected in the mainland, with Tencent, the leading player in the gaming industry, building a gaming complex with a gaming university, a cultural and creative park, an animation park and a creative neighborhood in Wuhan.

Still, Hong Kong has the potential to make e-sports work, thanks to the city's easy visa application procedures, internet speed, linguistic advantages, resources and experience in hosting international events.

Cultivate talents

Chow proposed that Hong Kong should host international e-sports games and the city should improve its efforts to cultivate e-sports talents by changing the social atmosphere to make gaming more acceptable to the general public, especially parents.

Next month, the city will host the Esports and Music Festival Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom, Kowloon-the first e-sports open event held by the government-to attract visitors from across the globe.

The 2022 Asian Games will be a huge opportunity for Hong Kong to establish a foothold in the e-sports realm if it can send a local team to compete, Chow said.

Man said that as key cities in the Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou and Hong Kong can team up to consolidate the e-sports industry.

"We have the resources and talents, and the Chinese mainland has the land and venues to host e-sports matches in the Greater Bay Area. It is like 'a river is formed when water comes'," Man said, quoting an old Chinese maxim.

Sport aids development of disabled

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

 

Zhang Jie coaches the Special Olympics short-track speedskating team she founded in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang province.Photos By Wang Kai / Xinhua

Former skating champion helps students realize their full potential

Every time a team member calls her "Mother Coach", Zhang Jie gets a warm feeling inside.

"They are like my own children - they are my pride and joy," Zhang said.

The team consists of 26 members who have disorders including Down syndrome, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mental disturbance, intellectual disability or hearing disturbance.

During the 11th Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria in March, three members of the team won a total of four gold medals and two silver medals.

This achievement came just two and a half years after Zhang founded a Special Olympics short-track speed-skating team in Qitaihe in October 2014, which she decided to coach on a voluntary basis.

Zhang, 46, was born in Qitaihe, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, and began learning how to skate at age 8.

She went on to win a gold medal in the women's 3,000-meter short-track speedskating relay at the 1993 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Beijing.

"I always wanted to remain involved in skating and my dream was to become a coach after retiring," Zhang said.

To become a qualified coach, she chose to study at home and abroad after her retirement in 1995.

After obtaining a bachelor's degree from Heilongjiang University, Zhang continued studying nutrition and exercise rehabilitation in Japan, where she was awarded several professional certificates.

Zhang (fifth from left) and 13 members of the Special Olympics short-track speedskating team in Qitaihe.

While studying exercise rehabilitation of the disabled, she began to explore the idea of becoming a Special Olympics coach, and in 2014 was summoned back to her hometown.

"I still remember the smile on the face of the principal when I went to select athletes at Qitaihe Special Education School," Zhang said.

"He told me that he and the students' parents would do anything to help the students have the opportunity to enjoy sports in the same way as children without disabilities. His words were inspirational."

However, when the 26 team members lined up in front of her for the first time, Zhang realized the task she was faced with was going to be far more difficult than she had imagined.

Only five of the children, who all had hearing disabilities, were able to run.

Due to the poor receptivity and physical condition of the team, Zhang had to repeat every action countless times.

"During the process, I found that dedication, patience and love are much more important than sports technologies," Zhang said.

To get closer to the children, Zhang gave each of them a nickname. Sometimes in the training, she dressed up as different animals and told stories to the children.

"I wanted to show them that I am their coach, but also their friend," Zhang said.

"However, I felt guilty about not spending enough time with my daughter, especially during her senior high school entrance examination."

But her efforts paid off.

"All of the children made great progress, which surprised many of their parents," Zhang said. "The children's coordination improved and more important, they learned the importance of teamwork."

Over the past two and a half years, Zhang has taken a keen interest in the children's overall development, often visiting their homes and recording every detail about their progress.

"Seeing them grow as people has meant the most to me," she said.

"I helped them develop physically and mentally through skating, but I hope it also enabled them to realize their potential and build self-worth," Zhang said.

"We have recruited a new group of team members now and I believe sports can help their mental and physical development," she said.

"I hope to help children in need of exercise rehabilitation all around the country."

 

Pickpocket hunter dreams of world without thieves

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

Feng Liming, 37, is a retired soldier, but he often dresses like a woman when he is in public. He always carries a wig, a pair of sunglasses and a blouse with him so he can disguise himself to catch pickpockets.

"Today's bad guys have learned some anti-detection techniques, so I have to be able to transform my appearance to resemble a college student or a female office worker within seconds," Feng said.

He is known and feared by many pickpockets, robbers and drug users in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province.

Feng graduated from Shanxi's police vocational college in 2009, but failed to pass the civil servant examination three times, preventing him from becoming a police officer.

He worked other jobs instead, but never gave up his part-time pursuits as an anti-pickpocket volunteer.

Over the past 19 years, Feng has caught more than 1,200 suspects.

"If someone is breaking the law, I'm obliged to hunt them down until I catch them," he said.

When Feng was a high school student, he always wanted a mountain bike. His dream eventually came true, but the bike was stolen just days after he got it. "I wished for a world without thieves and felt the urge to do something about it," he said.

In 1998, Feng joined the military to "become strong and learn combat skills". One day in 1999, just after he got off a bus, he heard a cry.

A woman was shouting that her bag had just been stolen. She gestured toward a man riding a bicycle with a woman's bag hanging from the handlebars. Feng chased after the thief and shoved him to the ground.

Feng learned that the bag contained a large sum of cash to cover the woman's medical fees as she was seriously ill.

The experience inspired Feng to organized an anti-pickpocket team with his friends and colleagues. Before each mission, he would come up with a plan, detailing everyone's assigned position and duties.

His anti-pickpocket operations can be broken down into three steps: identifying, stalking and catching. Years of experience have given Feng and his teammates the ability to identify suspected pickpockets quickly.

In addition to catching thieves, he also tries to help those in need, and he once prevented a woman from committing suicide.

Criminals have left scars all over Feng's body. A pickpocket once sliced the blood vessels, nerves and tendon between two fingers on one of his hands. He had to undergo a minor operation involving a dozen stitches.

Feng's wife dares not walk with him on the street, fearing criminals might recognize him, and his child does not get much quality time with him. To make up for this, Feng spends all his spare time at home with his family.

"I was extremely worried about his safety at first. But I learned how good he is at this, and I convinced myself to rest assured, as he always comes home on time," Feng's wife said.

Early this year, he was asked to assist local police officers in handling cases, bringing him one step closer to becoming a real policeman.

"Catching pickpockets has become a lifetime habit for me - one I can't quit and don't want to give up," Feng said. "Whether I become a policeman or not, I will continue to do it."

Xinhua

Sleeping capsules shut down over fire risk

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

A sleeping capsule in Shanghai is dismantled on Monday. [Photo by Li Jing/China Daily]

Authorities in Shanghai have shut down newly opened sleeping capsules in office buildings, citing fire hazards and other reasons.

Similar to capsule hotels in Japan, the sleeping capsules showed up in three office buildings in Shanghai and in buildings in several other cities. They are designed to offer white-collar workers a space to take a break, day or night.

The clampdown in Shanghai came after suspensions of the service in Beijing and Chengdu, Sichuan province.

"Sleeping capsules are usually in a narrow space, where injuries or even death can easily result if a fire breaks out," said Li Min, an engineer in the firefighting division of Pudong New Area who helped inspect capsules in the New Shanghai International Tower on Monday.

"Smoke and poison gases can gather faster in these spaces. Sitting or lying down on the bed in the capsule could result in a relatively slow response to an emergency," she said. "It contributes to the difficulty of a fire evacuation."

Shanghai police also said the service was suspended because it did not get permission from fire departments or a license to run a hotel.

The capsules, developed by Beijing tech company Xiangshui Space, are equipped with electrical accessories including a lamp, fan and power sockets. People can get disposable bedding free, including sheets, pillowcases and blankets. Earplugs are also available.

Anyone can pay for a capsule by scanning its QR code. The capsules in Shanghai offer 24-hour service at 10 yuan ($1.50) for every half-hour during peak hours (11 am to 2 pm) and 6 yuan per half-hour at other times. The upper limit is 58 yuan per day.

Xiangshui Space's website was out of service on Wednesday, citing "system upgrading".

CEO Dai Jiangong told Beijing News on Wednesday that the company was "recalling" its products for an upgrade at the request of authorities in different cities. He was also quoted as saying that the company was not penalized.

The capsules were introduced as the sharing economy has boomed in China through products such as bicycles, umbrellas, chargers, cars and even basketballs.

In the case of the sleeping capsules, many netizens expressed concerns about hygiene, not fire hazards.

"I don't think it would meet health standards if no one tidied it up after it was used," one netizen wrote.

Another wrote: "High quality management is the prerequisite for the sharing business."

Cao Chen contributed to this story.

 

Report: Fewer hours spent on the job

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

People in Beijing are spending less time at work than they did 20 years ago but also less time on leisure activities, according to a new survey.

The average resident's work time was six hours and two minutes per day last year, a decrease of 27 minutes from 1996, according to the Annual Report on China's Leisure Development, which was released on Wednesday.

The findings are based on questionnaires completed by about 830 Beijing residents last year and more than 430 in 1996.

The survey also found that the average time respondents spent on daily necessities, such as sleeping and eating, increased by 82 minutes to 11 hours and 58 minutes.

The time spent sleeping rose by 43 minutes to eight hours and 58 minutes, while time for eating went up by 29 minutes to one hour and 56 minutes. Women tended to spend more time sleeping, both in 2016 and 1996, according to the report, which was compiled by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Tourism Research Center.

The change in how people spend their time arises from several factors, according to Wang Qiyan, director of Renmin University of China's Leisure Economy Research Center, who led the study.

"The development and improvement of science and technology has led to a surge in production efficiency, which enables people to work less and rest more," said Wang, a professor of statistics.

"In addition, after decades of continuous, high-speed economic growth since reform and opening-up in 1978, the economy has gradually slowed in recent years. And people have also changed to their own pace of living and tried to enjoy life."

The survey also found that housework, including shopping, cooking and tidying up, take up less time for Beijing residents than in the past, although the one hour and 47 minutes a day spent on housework last year is only five minutes less than 20 years ago.

Wang said the emergence of online shopping and the development of the logistics sector have provided more convenience to residents and contributed to lesstime for housework.

The wide use of electrical appliances, such as microwave ovens, as well as the increasing popularity of takeout food, has greatly reduced the time people spend cooking meals, Wang added.

zhaoxinying@chinadaily.com.cn

Serial killer pleads guilty to 11 gruesome murders over 14 years

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

Gao Chengyong pleaded guilty to killing 10 women and an 8-year-old girl over a period of 14 years across northern China, his lawyer said on Wednesday after a two-day trial.

The hearing was held behind closed doors at Baiyin Intermediate People's Court in Gansu province. The 52-year-old accused serial killer confessed to multiple charges of homicide, rape, robbery and mutilation of corpses, according to attorney Zhu Aimin.

"Gao confessed to all 11 murders," Zhu said by phone on Wednesday evening.

"He also apologized and gave three bows to the victims' families at the end of the hearing. He said it was his fault." Bowing is a traditional Chinese sign of respect.

"For one of the killings, I don't think there was sufficient evidence to prove he committed it, but for the other 10, the facts are clear," Zhu said.

The killings were carried out in Gansu and neighboring Inner Mongolia autonomous region between May 1988 and February 2002. Police said Gao followed his victims home and slit their throats.

The trial began at 9 am on Tuesday and ended at about 5:30 pm on Wednesday.

"My client kept calm and said no more in court than he did during previous interrogations," Zhu said.

The court was expected to sentence Gao at a later date. Death is one possible punishment.

The case was not open to the public because of privacy concerns over the female victims and the cruel nature of the killings, according to a judicial official speaking at a news conference on Monday.

The official also said the hearing was delayed for almost a year after Gao was arrested because the case was complex.

The case aroused intense public attention when the Baiyin police discovered evidence, including DNA, that identified Gao as the killer.

caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn

Political advisers call for better government-business relations

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

Senior Chinese political advisers have called for building better relations between the government and businesses to boost the country's private economy.

At a symposium organized by the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Tuesday, members of China's top political advisory body and representatives from all sectors of society - 31 altogether - gave their views about how to create a better environment for private companies.

China's top political adviser, Yu Zhengsheng, presided at the symposium. Senior officials from central government bodies also attended.

An initiative for a new type of government-business relationship was set in motion by President Xi Jinping in March last year. He urged government officials to engage in direct dialogue with private companies and offer services when they are in need of help.

Government officials have been instructed to maintain integrity in their relations with private companies and have been warned not to abuse their power for money.

Comments at the symposium addressed a number of issues.

"Private firms are prohibited from doing businesses in certain fields. They don't enjoy an equal position in the market with State-run companies," said Justin Yifu Lin, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC's National Committee.

Lin said many industries in China that are dominated by State-run enterprises have obtained a competitive edge through more than 30 years of rapid growth.

He suggested canceling protective subsidies for State-run companies and eliminating limited market access for private ones.

Liu Jipeng, a CPPCC member and an economics professor at China University of Political Science and Law, advised setting up a performance system for government to prevent corruption.

He suggested reducing the number of mediocre government functionaries, increasing salaries for outstanding officials and stepping up the supervision of public servants.

Participants also suggested offering more favorable policies - for example, simplified administrative procedures and lower taxes and fees - for private enterprises.

zhang_yi@chinadaily.com.cn

Officials questioned on Wuhan TV show

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

An official is questioned about his work by a reporter during the live television program Dianshi Wenzheng in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Tuesday night. [Photo by Jin Zhenqiang/China Daily]

Community response positive; people ask for more chances to raise issues

Lin Shuwen, appearing on live TV, blushed when he watched a short video of an elderly resident complaining about officials under his management.

The reaction of Lin, the Party chief of Hongshan district in Wuhan, Hubei province, was a highlight of a show called Dianshi Wenzheng - or Questioning Officials on TV - which aired this week from Monday to Wednesday.

Lin, one of 12 officials to appear on the first night, was asked to watch a prerecorded segment featuring Huang Julan, a 75-year-old resident in his district, who said she had struggled to obtain a document proving that she lives alone in order to get a subsidy for home-based care.

She said she had made more than 20 visits to various departments over two weeks, but still had not got the document.

"These officials didn't serve in the right way," Lin said, addressing a live studio audience of about 200 people. "Their attitudes are not correct."

The action quickly switched to Huang watching the show live in her living room, where she responded: "Don't give me words, show me action. Only then will I be satisfied."

Dianshi Wenzheng, which gives residents an opportunity to take up complaints with senior officials, started at 8 pm and lasted almost two hours on Wuhan TV. The show is aired once or twice a year and is now in its sixth year - although it was temporarily suspended in 2016 because of local flooding.

Each episode is themed. This week's installments focused on the working styles of grassroots officials, the treatment of four major water bodies and improvements in the city's environment.

Hu Jianming, deputy general manager of a property development company who was invited to participate in the program to offer commentary and analysis on Tuesday, said he did not expect it would get so much attention from his relatives and friends.

"I was called by at least five of my friends from outside Wuhan," he said. "I have a WeChat account, and although I never use it to contact my friends and relatives, I got more than 100 WeChat messages asking me about the program."

Supported by the local government, the program is seen as a way to promote positive change in officials' working styles and to help them understand their responsibilities.

Though speaking highly of the program, members of the public called on the local government to make questioning officials a regular practice.

"It is a good model that helps solve many problems related to people's livelihoods," said Zhang Zhuo, a professor of broadcast journalism at Wuhan University who participated in the program. "It is very difficult, however, for county, prefecture or provincial-level media to supervise governments that are at the same level."

Instead of being broadcast only twice a year, the program needs to be made regular and more in-depth to help solve more problems, she said.

She added that the public expectations of the media shouldn't be too high, because solutions to problems ultimately depend on the government.

The government should establish a long-term mechanism to help the public solve problems, said Zhou Zhe, 35, an engineering consultant.

"It's the most popular TV program in Wuhan, and everyone around me is discussing it," he said. "As a Wuhan resident, I surely hope it can help to make Wuhan better. I hope it will not become a program about only raising questions."

Contact the writers at houliqiang@chinadaily.com.cn

 

Big data to play role in better nutrition

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

Big data technologies will play a greater role in improving the health and nutrition of Chinese people in the next decade, a top health official said on Wednesday.

"We will promote the development of health and nutrition industries with the help of cloud computing, big data and the internet to provide customized services that are easy to access," Jin Xiaotao, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a news conference about a national nutrition plan.

"The public will have a brand-new experience of nutrition and health," Jin said. "They will enjoy more precise and customized guidance on nutrition and health in an environment of artificial intelligence.

For example, people can get up in the morning and get tips about their health, Jin said - how heavy a workload they can bear on that day and what they should have for lunch.

The commission is making plans to carry out the National Nutrition Plan (2017-30), which was released by the central government last week, Jin said.

The plan, which emerged amid various health challenges, including unhealthy lifestyles and an increase of nutrition-related diseases, sets targets for improving nutrition by 2020 and 2030.

The goals include reducing the incidence of anemia in pregnant women to below 10 percent by 2030 (from the 2015 level of 17 percent) and decreasing the percentage of children under 5 with stunted growth to below 5 percent.

The average daily intake of salt will be reduced by 20 percent by 2030 from current levels, under the plan, while growth of the overweight population will be noticeably checked.

Authorities will take measures to improve nutrition, including legislation, encouraging scientific research, cultivation of talent, encouraging the development of nutritious foods and promoting upgrades in the food industry, according to the plan.

"The plan is based on detailed surveys and pays particular attention to prominent nutrition problems," said Yan Weixing, deputy director of the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment.

"We also borrowed from successful international experience in the formulation of the plan," Yan said. "The goals are achievable with effort."

Jin said a national health data platform linking the platforms of all provincial regions in China has been established, paving the way for the mass development of more intelligent and customized health services.

The health industry in China, including the nutrition industry, is expected to reach $17 trillion by about 2035, accounting for about half of China's gross domestic product by then, Jin said.

wangxiaodong@chinadaily.com.cn

Drug prices negotiated downward

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

The prices of 36 expensive drugs - half of them for cancer treatment - are now covered by medical insurance, after the authorities negotiated substantial price reductions.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security negotiated with pharmaceutical manufacturers on 44 drugs and managed to cut prices of 36 of them to be acceptable for coverage by the medical insurance fund, Xu Yanjun, a fund management official at the ministry, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Compared with retail prices last year, prices of these drugs have decreased by 44 percent on average, he said. Five of the drugs are traditional Chinese medicines and 22 are imported Western medicines.

Half the drugs, including 15 Western ones, are used to treat six types of cancer, including breast, lung and liver cancer. For example, the price of 440-milliliter trastuzumab, which is used to treat breast cancer, went down by 69 percent to 7,600 yuan ($1,125), said Yan Qinghui, the ministry's deputy director of medical insurance.

He said the government chose the 44 drugs for negotiation after it found the medical fund couldn't afford them, even though they are greatly needed by the public due to their curative effects. They may be patented or produced exclusively by certain pharmaceutical companies.

"We hoped we could make full use of the advantages of the fund's group purchasing to include more drugs in the medical insurance directory," Yan said.

Prices of the drugs may be adjusted further when the contracts between the government and the manufacturers expire at the end of 2019, but they will also be subject to change if new medicines cause changes in exclusivity, he said.

Xu said two independent teams comprising experts with clinical, pharmaceutical, economic and medical insurance expertise evaluated the medicines, along with the medical insurance fund's capacity, before prices were set.

He added that the whole negotiation process, which took place on June 16, was videotaped for supervision checks.

Chen Wen, deputy director of Fudan University's Institute of Hospital Management Research in Shanghai, said, "It's a great innovation to bring a negotiation mechanism to the revision of the medical insurance directory this year.

"It's beyond doubt that price negotiations will play a bigger role in medical insurance."

The ministry's negotiations for the 44 drugs laid a good foundation for the establishment of a more regulated and complete negotiation mechanism, he added.

houliqiang@chinadaily.com.cn

Top fraudster in student's death gets life

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

7 gang members convicted; father says he'll tell daughter when visiting her tomb

The ringleader of a telecom fraud gang blamed in the death of a promising young student in East China has been sentenced to life in prison.

Chen Wenhui, 22, who also illegally obtained personal data, was among seven people sentenced at Linyi Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province on Wednesday. The others received prison terms of three to 15 years.

The gang cheated many victims out of a total of more than 560,000 yuan ($83,000) from November 2015 to August 2016.

More than 23,000 calls were made in which scammers posed as educational, financial or real estate officials.

"Their major targets were college-bound students," the court said in a statement on Wednesday.

The case took on national significance in August when one victim, Xu Yuyu, an 18-year-old university candidate from Linyi, died of cardiac arrest after being conned out of 9,900 yuan she had saved for her college tuition.

"The scam was devised by Chen, and Xu's death was linked to the anxiety created by his telecom fraud," the court said.

Chen and his gang called the student on Aug 19 and told her she would receive about 2,600 yuan in student aid after transferring her tuition into an account they provided.

She transferred the money. She had applied for student aid from a local educational authority two days before the scammers' call, according to the court. Her personal information was among more than 10,000 bits of information on people that Chen had illegally obtained online.

At a hearing on June 27, expert witnesses testified that Xu's death resulted from the great pressure and sadness she felt after being defrauded. The court said it agreed, given that "Xu was in good health and no problems were found in an earlier checkup".

Xu Lianbin, the student's father, said he was satisfied with the verdict. "I was nervous before the announcement. I plan to visit my daughter's tomb later and tell her about the judgment," he said.

Under Chinese law, Chen faced a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment because the number of calls made were deemed to be "extremely large" and the leading role he played was "extremely serious".

A judicial interpretation regarding the protection of citizens' information says Chen, of Fujian province, should also face a prison term of up to seven years for the information he illegally purchased.

"Considering these factors, as well as our country's requirement of strictly punishing telecom scammers, we sentenced Chen to life in prison," the court said.

Hong Daode, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law, said Chen's sentence is reasonable. "Some losses brought by telecom fraud cannot be recovered, and our judicial system calls for heavy penalties for defrauders whose offenses cause others' deaths."

The court also confiscated all of Chen's assets, and the others were fined from 100,000 to 600,000 yuan. None of those convicted, ranging in age from 20 to 30, have stated whether they will appeal the sentence, the court said

caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn

Serial killer pleads guilty to 11 gruesome murders over 14 years

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:10

Gao Chengyong pleaded guilty to killing 10 women and an 8-year-old girl over a period of 14 years across northern China, his lawyer said on Wednesday after a two-day trial.

The hearing was held behind closed doors at Baiyin Intermediate People's Court in Gansu province. The 52-year-old accused serial killer confessed to multiple charges of homicide, rape, robbery and mutilation of corpses, according to attorney Zhu Aimin.

"Gao confessed to all 11 murders," Zhu said by phone on Wednesday evening.

"He also apologized and gave three bows to the victims' families at the end of the hearing. He said it was his fault." Bowing is a traditional Chinese sign of respect.

"For one of the killings, I don't think there was sufficient evidence to prove he committed it, but for the other 10, the facts are clear," Zhu said.

The killings were carried out in Gansu and neighboring Inner Mongolia autonomous region between May 1988 and February 2002. Police said Gao followed his victims home and slit their throats.

The trial began at 9 am on Tuesday and ended at about 5:30 pm on Wednesday.

"My client kept calm and said no more in court than he did during previous interrogations," Zhu said.

The court was expected to sentence Gao at a later date. Death is one possible punishment.

The case was not open to the public because of privacy concerns over the female victims and the cruel nature of the killings, according to a judicial official speaking at a news conference on Monday.

The official also said the hearing was delayed for almost a year after Gao was arrested because the case was complex.

The case aroused intense public attention when the Baiyin police discovered evidence, including DNA, that identified Gao as the killer.

caoyin@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 07/20/2017 page4)

Beijing calls on US to ease trade rules

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:07

Vice-Premier Wang Yang urged the United States on Tuesday to loosen its "outdated" restrictions on high-tech exports to China so it can tap the vast Chinese market and reduce the bilateral trade imbalance.

Wang, who is in Washington for the first round of China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, said that as China upgrades its industries, there is a huge market for US exports of advanced technologies, key equipment and critical parts to China.

"Unfortunately, American businesses have not had their fair share of the cake due to outdated US regulations on export control," he told a luncheon attended by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and hundreds of Chinese and US business leaders.

Wang cited China's import of integrated circuits, which hit $227 billion last year, more than the import of crude oil, iron ore and primary plastics combined. But only 4 percent of China's integrated circuit imports came from the US.

If the US were to liberalize its export barriers against China to the same level applicable to France, the US trade deficit with China would drop by up to 34 percent, Wang said, citing a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace article.

The demand for high-quality US products and services is growing fast, according to Wang. The US-China Business Council predicted that US goods and services exported to China will double to $369 billion in the coming decade and rise to $520 billion by 2050.

"China's development and progress is a long-term certainty, which offers the most important external environment for foreign businesses to work with China," Wang said.

"I am sure any business with vision would value such a huge market, and any government with ambition would value cooperation with China."

He also stressed that cooperation is the only right choice for the two countries, a message expressed by several senior Chinese leaders. "The giant ship of China-US economic and trade relations is sailing on the right course," Wang said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news conference on Wednesday in Beijing that Wang's speech has sent three key messages: cooperation is the only right choice for China and the US; China's development has long-term certainties; and the Chinese market has huge potential.

Noting that it is natural for the two countries to have economic disagreements and friction, Lu said the two sides could properly handle disputes through dialogue with the principle of equal treatment and mutual trust.

Ross, the commerce secretary, described the China-US trade and investment relationship as "the most important in the entire world", saying "that relationship has brought benefits to both nations".

He applauded China's resumption of US beef imports after 14 years and described it as just a start, given the huge Chinese market potential.

"Even now, (although) we occasionally disagree on individual items, we have fundamentally shared objectives. So I am very hopeful about the opportunities through further success," Ross said.

Serious concerns about a trade war between the two large countries based on Trump's tough campaign rhetoric have dissipated dramatically the past few months, especially after the first summit between President Xi Jinping and Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, in early April.

At Mar-a-Lago, the two sides established a four-track comprehensive dialogue mechanism and agreed to work on a 100-day action plan, which was due on July 16. Both sides have so far spoken positively of the progress made within a relatively short period of time.

Contact the writers at chenweihua@chinadailyusa.com

 

Vice-Premier Wang Yang and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin talk before the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, where they discussed economic and trade issues in Washington.Yuri Gripas / Reuters

(China Daily 07/20/2017 page1)

Safety awareness vital for students overseas

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:07

Educators and security specialists have urged Chinese students overseas to hone their safety awareness after recent tragedies involving Chinese citizens abroad.

With suspect Brendt Christensen charged with kidnapping visiting scholar Zhang Yingying, alarm bells have been going off over the safety of students whose native country is the world's largest source of international students.

Cultural differences and an unfamiliar environment make it crucial that Chinese students studying overseas stay alert on potential security risks. Those already overseas and those planning to go abroad need to learn to protect themselves properly, consultants said.

"Without knowledge about their new surroundings, international students often don't have the same common sense about safety and self-protection that locals do," said He Chugang, general manager of the South China region at Amber Education, an overseas-study consultancy.

"Chinese students in particular have their own blind spots growing up in a very different cultural background," He said. "They should remain aware of potential threats such as strangers offering to free rides, or hanging out late in chaotic places and meeting strangers alone."

The disappearance of Zhang, a student from Fujian province at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, underlined He's con-cern. She disappeared on June 9 after climbing into a car allegedly driven by Christensen, the FBI said.

Over a month later, missing Chinese sisters Chen Baolan and Chen Baoling, graduates of a local vocational school in Yokohama, were confirmed dead by Japanese police. Their bodies, stuffed in suitcases, were found in a remote area. A Japanese man in his 30s is a suspect. He was caught on a surveillance camera at the sisters' apartment in Yokohama before they went missing, police said.

Such incidents should prompt families, schools and agencies to strengthen security education for students overseas, said Tian Wang, a consultant at Vision Overseas, part of New Oriental Education and Technology Group. "A vital lesson is to understand the general social environment of their destination countries, surroundings of apartments, colleges and transport hubs as well as the legal system," said Tian

Tian also said students should pay closer attention to safety notices issued by their schools through emails and participate in routine security drills.

"They might easily neglect those tips if not fully aware of the fact that real risks exist," he said.

China had 1.26 million students abroad as of the end of 2015 - 25 percent of the world's total, according to the 2016 Report on the Development of Chinese Students Studying Abroad.

Young Chinese should keep a low profile and avoid flaunting wealth abroad, said Wang Dawei, a crime researcher with the People's Public Security University of China.

sunxiaochen@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 07/20/2017 page3)

Night bus tours offered for the first time in Beijing

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:05

BEIJING - Two night bus tours will soon be available for the first time in Beijing for travelers hoping to discover the night life of the ancient Chinese capital.

Three antique-style buses will run two circle routes from Beijing's Qianmen tourist transport center from Sunday, the Beijing Bus Group announced Wednesday.

The eastern line will pass through many of Beijing's famous scenic spots including Chang'an Avenue, the Central Business District, Sanlitun and Guijie, a lively gourmet restaurant street, as well as Shichahai, one of Beijing's bar streets.

The western line will stop at the Beijing Exhibition Center, the Central TV Tower, West Chang'an Avenue and Ping'an Street. The Central TV Tower is a 405 meter-high tower that provides views over the city.

Two buses running eastward will leave Qianmen at 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with tickets costing 30 yuan (4.4 U.S. dollars) per person, while the westbound bus will depart at 7:30 p.m. with a ticket price of 100 yuan.

Students, children and seniors over 80 years old receive discounts or free tickets.

President Xi urges solid efforts to advance reform

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 07:04

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday called for solid moves to advance reforms.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at the 37th meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, which he heads.

All localities should be devoted to delivering reforms, shouldering their due responsibilities and making concrete and pioneering efforts, Xi said.

The group called for green and sustainable development of agriculture. Relevant departments should properly deal with the relationship between green development and ecological protection, grain safety, and raising farmers' income, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Agricultural development should be compatible with the environment and resources, and should stay coordinated with production and people's livelihoods to achieve sustainable growth.

The group urged the establishment of a national technology transfer system, with a focus on strategic industries of far-reaching significance. Technology transfer should play a better role in upgrading technological innovation and boosting economic and social development, the statement said.

Reforms should be made to promote corporate governance structures in public cultural institutions to improve management and services, and to inject vitality into these institutions, according to the statement.

Boards of directors should be the main form of corporate governance structure in these institutions, such as libraries and museums.

Representatives of the industry, professionals and people from all walks of life would also be invited to participate in the management of these institutions, it said.

The conference stressed efforts to enhance and improve people-to-people communication with other countries, emphasizing confidence in the path, theories, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

In an effort to raise the professional level of civil servants, the appointment system should be introduced in recruiting personnel to posts with special expertise requirements, according to the statement.

To protect consumer interests and ensure good quality is the bottom line, it said. The group called for the establishment of a safety monitoring and quick response system for imports and exports.

The meeting highlighted the importance of ensuring good quality drugs and medical equipment. The drug approval system should be improved to enhance innovation and research capabilities of medical businesses.

Regarding the national park system, the group urged priority to be given to ecological protection.

Legal protection and oversight should be put into place to establish a natural reserve system of which the national parks play a major part.

Since the third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee was held, a package of pilot reforms have been implemented. They are replicable and applicable, as a role model and a breakthrough in the comprehensive reform agenda.

Relevant departments should review the progress of the reform and correct the wrongdoing in a timely fashion.

To deal with difficult reform agenda, officials should push and track the reform progress in person. Pioneering efforts are needed to break major barriers and well implement the pilot reforms, the statement said.

Characteristic towns built to promote tourism, alleviate poverty

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 06:53

Tourists experience the school life of the 1980s in an education-characteristic town in Guantao county, North China's Hebei province, July 19, 2017. The county built some characteristic towns to promote tourism and alleviate poverty since 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Photo taken on July 19, 2017 shows the scenery of a characteristic town in Guantao county, Hebei province. The county built some characteristic towns to promote tourism and alleviate poverty since 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Villagers draw pictures with grain at a characteristic town in Guantao county, Hebei province, July 19, 2017. The county built some characteristic towns to promote tourism and alleviate poverty since 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Tourists visit a characteristic town in Guantao county, Hebei province, July 19, 2017. The county built some characteristic towns to promote tourism and alleviate poverty since 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Photo taken on July 19, 2017 shows greenhouses in a cucumber-characteristic town in Guantao county, Hebei province. The county built some characteristic towns to promote tourism and alleviate poverty since 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Photo taken on July 19, 2017 shows a maze in an education-characteristic town in Guantao county, Hebei province. The county built some characteristic towns to promote tourism and alleviate poverty since 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Keep eye to future, Xi urges

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 05:55

President Xi Jinping presents the PLA flag to Major General Deng Xiaogang, president of the National University of Defense Technology, at a ceremony on Wednesday in the Central Military Commission headquarters building in Beijing. LI GANG / XINHUA

Embrace tech, president tells military leaders

President Xi Jinping urged Chinese military institutions on Wednesday to recruit and train top-level professionals and to develop world-class theories and technologies.

Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said well-educated personnel, good theories and advanced technologies are essential to building a top-class military.

He said science and technology determine military combat capabilities so the People’s Liberation Army must make more effort in research and development and continue to boost innovation.

Xi made the remarks at a ceremony on Wednesday at the Central Military Commission headquarters building in Beijing that marked the establishment of the new PLA Academy of Military Science, PLA National Defense University and PLA National University of Defense Technology.

He presented the PLA flag to leaders of the three top military institutions.

The president asked the Academy of Military Science to adapt to new situations in research and development and to strengthen interorganizational and interdisciplinary innovation. He ordered the National Defense University and National University of Defense Technology to produce more commanders and professionals who are qualified for modern¬ joint operations.

This is the second time this year that Xi has publicly raised the importance of science and technology to the PLA. In a meeting with national legislators from the military in March, he said the PLA should take advantage of China’s achievements in science and technology to help modernize weapons and equipment.

The president told officers to look for, support and make full use of advanced technologies that can serve the military’s modernization and to assist the transfer of defense technologies to the business sector.

Wednesday’s moves seem to represent the completion of PLA’s reshuffling in its research and training system, which started at the beginning of this year. The reshuffling is part of the ongoing massive reform on China’s national defense and military, guided by Xi.

By the end of February, the PLA had 74 schools and an Academy of Military Science. Thirty-one schools were merged with others before the end of June. There are 43 military schools plus a new Academy of Military Science, according to information from the Defense Ministry.

The new Academy of Military Science, National Defense University and National University of Defense Technology have new leaders.

Lieutenant General Yang Xuejun is president of the Academy of Military Science. He was head of the former National University of Defense Technology since 2011. Yang specializes in supercomputing technology.

Lieutenant General Zheng He is president of the National Defense University. He was president of the former Academy of Military Science.

Major General Deng Xiaogang is president of the National University of Defense Technology. As an expert in aerodynamics, he served as vice-president at the university before the appointment.

Keep eye to future, Xi urges

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 05:55

President Xi Jinping presents the PLA flag to Major General Deng Xiaogang, president of the National University of Defense Technology, at a ceremony on Wednesday in the Central Military Commission headquarters building in Beijing. LI GANG / XINHUA

Embrace tech, president tells military leaders

President Xi Jinping urged Chinese military institutions on Wednesday to recruit and train top-level professionals and to develop world-class theories and technologies.

Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, said well-educated personnel, good theories and advanced technologies are essential to building a top-class military.

He said science and technology determine military combat capabilities so the People’s Liberation Army must make more effort in research and development and continue to boost innovation.

Xi made the remarks at a ceremony on Wednesday at the Central Military Commission headquarters building in Beijing that marked the establishment of the new PLA Academy of Military Science, PLA National Defense University and PLA National University of Defense Technology.

He presented the PLA flag to leaders of the three top military institutions.

The president asked the Academy of Military Science to adapt to new situations in research and development and to strengthen interorganizational and interdisciplinary innovation. He ordered the National Defense University and National University of Defense Technology to produce more commanders and professionals who are qualified for modern¬ joint operations.

This is the second time this year that Xi has publicly raised the importance of science and technology to the PLA. In a meeting with national legislators from the military in March, he said the PLA should take advantage of China’s achievements in science and technology to help modernize weapons and equipment.

The president told officers to look for, support and make full use of advanced technologies that can serve the military’s modernization and to assist the transfer of defense technologies to the business sector.

Wednesday’s moves seem to represent the completion of PLA’s reshuffling in its research and training system, which started at the beginning of this year. The reshuffling is part of the ongoing massive reform on China’s national defense and military, guided by Xi.

By the end of February, the PLA had 74 schools and an Academy of Military Science. Thirty-one schools were merged with others before the end of June. There are 43 military schools plus a new Academy of Military Science, according to information from the Defense Ministry.

The new Academy of Military Science, National Defense University and National University of Defense Technology have new leaders.

Lieutenant General Yang Xuejun is president of the Academy of Military Science. He was head of the former National University of Defense Technology since 2011. Yang specializes in supercomputing technology.

Lieutenant General Zheng He is president of the National Defense University. He was president of the former Academy of Military Science.

Major General Deng Xiaogang is president of the National University of Defense Technology. As an expert in aerodynamics, he served as vice-president at the university before the appointment.

Made in China 2025 gets boost from Li

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 05:55

China is strengthening the Made in China 2025 strategy with new national-level demonstration areas to spur the development of smart-, green- and service-oriented manufacturing.

The decision was made at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

One goal is to foster the development of emerging industries and upgrade traditional sectors by furthering the integration of manufacturing and the internet. Support policies for market-oriented reforms will be rolled out to ensure that businesses of all types can receive the same national treatment.

"We need to select some cities or city clusters in China's eastern, western and central regions for the demonstration areas. The key is to support their piloting in system and policy innovation, and to develop an innovative atmosphere and industrial clusters for smart manufacturing," Li said.

"We must enable the manufacturing sector to become smarter, greener and more service oriented to boost the transition from traditional to new growth engines and to keep the economy climbing upward," he said.

Made in China 2025 was first unveiled by the premier in his Government Work Report in 2015.

Two years later, the country has seen increasingly stronger industrial capabilities, smart manufacturing, innovation, product quality and branding. Average productivity was up by 38 percent for China's first 109 pilot projects in smart manufacturing, while operating costs dropped by 21 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Wednesday's meeting determined that the government will take advantage of a variety of government and industry funds to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, and to guide more social capital to support advanced manufacturing. In the demonstration areas, the government will offer stock incentives in State-owned enterprises.

The government will also further cut red tape and streamline approval procedures, improve the business environment and make bigger efforts to attract foreign investment. The use and protection of intellectual property rights will be strengthened, and government compliance oversight will be reinforced.

"Local authorities are highly motivated after the unveiling of the Made in China 2025 strategy. Many countries are also upgrading their manufacturing sectors right now," Li said.

"The Chinese economy has shown a buoyant momentum, but the weakness lies in the manufacturing sector, which requires rapid expansion. We need to focus our efforts on strengthening the sector, which is the foundation of the real economy," he said.

Li highlighted the importance of opening-up and international cooperation.

The meeting also decided to step up the development of innovation centers for manufacturing and technology and to establish a number of public service platforms for entrepreneurship and innovation.

The demonstration areas also will receive support in talent development, and encourage researchers and Chinese talent overseas to set up businesses in the demonstration areas.

Land supply in the demonstration areas will receive extra support, with pilot measures to transform old business and storage facilities, idle buildings and excessive commercial real estate into incubation centers for entrepreneurship.

The premier said funding support to the demonstration areas should be in line with market principles. The government should explore new paths of development, encourage competition, play an enabling role in building platform and drawing talented people, he added.

Zhu Sendi, a special consultant for the China Machinery Industry Federation, said the demonstration zones should be in either major cities or city clusters with strong manufacturing sectors. He helped draft guideline for the Made in China 2025 initiative.

By setting these zones as examples, the manufacturing sector can further integrate with new technologies, such as cloud-computing, big data and artificial intelligence, to evolve into new models, he said.

Traditional manufacturing can develop into smart, green and services-based manufacturing on the way to advanced manufacturing, the consultant said. That should be the way to elevate China's manufacturing industries and achieve the goal of becoming a competitive manufacturing country by 2025, Zhu added.

contact the writers at xuwei@chinadaily.com.cn

Students, teachers of Chinese origin tour Nanjing memorial hall

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 21:56

About 900 foreign students and teachers of Chinese origin visited the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre on Wednesday.

About 900 foreign students and teachers of Chinese origin visit the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre on Wednesday. [Photo by Cang Wei/chinadaily.com.cn] 

The students, who come from 16 countries and regions, read historical material on the hall's walls, viewed the mass grave and presented flowers in memory of the victims.

Zheng Tingting, a young woman from Madrid, said she was astonished when she visited the massacre memorial hall.

"I knew nothing about the Nanjing Massacre when I was in Spain," she said. "I think it's quite meaningful to know the facts about the massacre."

The students and teachers will go to 11 cities in East China's Jiangsu province in the next seven days to visit places of interest and learn about local culture.

They are attending a summer camp organized by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, the cultural department of Jiangsu province and the provincial Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.

Xu Jinrong, vice chairman of the provincial Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said that he hopes the students and teachers will learn more about Chinese culture after attending the summer camp and share that information with their friends when they go back home.

 

Xi calls for 'every possible effort' to solve grievances of petitioners

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 19:37

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged officials to make "every possible effort" to solve public grievances. He said officials must treat the handling of public petitions as important work to keeping abreast of public events, pooling people's wisdom, protecting the public interest and improving social solidarity. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks in a written instruction conveyed to the eighth national conference on petition work, which was held in Beijing Tuesday to Wednesday. He urged Party committees, government agencies and officials to handle people's legitimate appeals lawfully, in timely fashion and in the local areas, address the root causes of issues, and build a stronger grassroots system, Xi said. The construction of the legal institutions and related system for addressing public petitions should be improved, Xi said, calling for efforts to make petition work more forward-looking, systematic and targeted. Speaking highly of petition work in recent years, the president said those handling petitions have helped solve large numbers of problems concerning the immediate interests of the people and played an important role in safeguarding the country's reform, development and stability. Xi ordered Party committees to enhance leadership over the work, show support and care for those handling petitions, and build a high-quality team that are loyal to the Party, dedicated to serving the people and good at working with the general public. At the two-day event, model individuals and units were awarded for their contribution to the work and certificates of merit were granted to those who had handled petitions for more than 25 years. China has established a system to handle appeals and petitions of the public, including citizens seeking government redress in cases ranging from illegal land acquisition, social security, education, to healthcare and environmental protection.

 

HK 20 years on

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 17:41

President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor after she was sworn in as the fifth-term Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 1, 2017. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Chief Executive-elect of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region greets representatives, June 30, 2017. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

Soldiers march at a People's Liberation Army base in Hong Kong as part of events marking the 20th anniversary of of Hong Kong's return to the motherland, June 30, 2017. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

Racehorses are rehearsed at the Happy Valley Racecourse on June 28, 2017, to prepare for a grand raceday to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland on July 1. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

A banner in Lan Kwai Fong announces a party to be held on the night of June 30, 2017, the eve of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

Young people enjoy dating while an old lady collects wasted paper boxes in the nightfall at a business street in central Hong Kong, June 28, 2017. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

A Ding Ding Car(trolley bus) with over 110 years of history drives through the Causeway Bay in Hong Kong with its outside covered with modern advertisement, June 25, 2017. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

Children from an Upper Kindergarten class pose for graduation photos at Tamar Park, June 25, 2017. [Photo by Xu Jingxing/Asianewsphoto]

Taking the high road in Tibet

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 15:05

The Sichuan-Tibet highway — part of the vast National Highway 318 — passes through mountains more than 4,500 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of snowy peaks, grasslands, valleys and rivers.

Photographer Ju Chuanjiang captures the beauty of the area along a section of the highway running through Xigaze, Tibet.

Yaks and sheep graze in Ngamring county in the Tibetan Plateau. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

A view of the vast mountain range and golden rapeseed around the plateau. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

Clouds obscure snowcapped mountains at 5,400 meters in Nyalam county. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

Colorful sutra streamers can be seen on a mountain in Nyalam. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

The Sichuan-Tibet highway passes through the plateau at more than 4,500 meters above sea level in Nyalam. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

Light glistens on a lake in Ngamring. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

A mountain range rising more than 4,500 meters in Nyalam. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

 

Data of China's first X-ray space telescope to be open to global scientists

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 14:17

An artist's impression of the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT).

BEIJING -- China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, launched in mid June, is expected to start regular observation in November and its data will be open to scientists all over the world, say the main designers of the satellite's data system.

The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), dubbed Insight, transmitted to a ground station its first data on its second day in orbit. The data proved to be of good quality, and the telescope detected a gamma-ray burst 10 days after its launch.

HXMT carries a trio of detectors -- the high energy X-ray telescope (HE), the medium energy X-ray telescope (ME) and the low energy X-ray telescope (LE) -- that cover a broad energy band from 1 keV to 250 keV. It will help scientists better understand the evolution of black holes and the strong magnetic fields and interiors of pulsars.

"We will finish calibrating all instruments within the first five months in orbit before Insight starts regular observation," said Song Liming, deputy chief designer of the HXMT science ground segment and a scientist with the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Song and his team solicited observation proposals from scientists around the country last year, and drew up a one-year observation plan after evaluating 90 proposals from six CAS institutes and 10 universities.

"After starting regular observation, the telescope will spend 30 to 40 percent of its first year scanning the Galactic plane and the rest of the time on pointing observation," said Qu Jinlu, deputy chief designer of the HXMT science ground segment and a scientist with IHEP.

"We divide the galactic plane into 19 sky zones. It will take the telescope over two hours to scan each and about two days to finish the whole, if we don't count the time to avoid the sun," said Qu.

Insight will see recurrent or even periodic outbursts of known sources, and is good at searching for new sources that are transiently bright in X-rays.

"If the telescope detects a new source, we will assess its scientific value right away to decide whether it's worth a pointing observation," Qu explained.

Song said experts who have contributed to the HXMT project, both at home and abroad, and those who see their proposals adopted can access and use the observation data exclusively for one year, in line with international practice.

"After one year, the data will be open to everybody. Even middle school students will be able to download our data, if they are interested," Song said.

Song's team will build a calibration database and offer more than 300 data products.

"We will process the original data into products that are up to international standards, so that it's easy for scientists from around the world to analyze for further information, such as the energy spectrum or light curve," Song said.

Before joining the science ground segment, Song was researching the high-energy radiation of pulsars. "The biggest challenge for me was changing from a user to a designer," he said.

Song, like most domestic astronomers, relied on data from foreign satellites in his research, but had never thought how to build a data system.

"How do we make our data available to users? What kind of products shall we offer? We knew nothing when we first started setting up the ground segment," he said.

Song and his co-workers went abroad to learn by asking all kinds of "silly" questions. But sometimes, they had to figure out answers by themselves.

"For example, we had no idea where the background data of those foreign satellites come from, which forced us to study the problem from the very beginning," he said, "We got to know the whole structure and detailed procedures when building the science ground segment, which is our biggest achievement and will help us better support new satellites in future."

Chongqing runner attempts 111 half-marathons in summer

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:56

Wu Wenlai. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Southwest China's Chongqing is one of the hottest cities in China with the temperature often getting up to 38 C between July and September. It is not a good idea for outdoor activities in such extreme weather, but Wu Wenlai wants to challenge himself to run a half-marathon each day for 111 consecutive days.

Since July 1, the man has run the 21 kilometers 13 times. He usually runs alone in the afternoon and finishes the distance within two hours.

"I don't drink or eat when I am running," he said. "I like to run on the banks of the Yangtze River."

Wen's passion for the fitness activity is well-known in the local running community.

"I will do a physical check after I finish the task in July," he said. "If my knees are OK, I will continue the challenge."

His plan has attracted a lot of attention from runners all around the country. Many people have followed his activities on social media platform WeChat and encouraged him to realize his goal.

"As the days get hotter, many people quit running. I hope my actions can encourage more people to run in summer," he said.

Survey reveals high number of Taiwanese regret college major

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:56

TAIPEI -- Over half of the respondents to a survey in Taiwan said that they regretted their college major choice, a survey by yes123, a leading online recruitment site in Taiwan, showed.

According to the random sampling survey released Tuesday, conducted among 1,337 full-time white collar workers, 51.8 percent said that in hindsight they had chosen the wrong major. Nearly 30 percent said they realized their mistake when they began to look for work.

About 59.7 percent of the respondents indicated that they would choose differently if they could make the decision again, the poll showed.

Over 60 percent of the respondents said that their job did not relate to their chosen major, the study found.

Yang Tsung-bin, yes123 spokesperson, said that work experience and potential are the major factors that influence career paths.

Xinjiang students accepted into inland vocational institutes

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:55

URUMQI -- A total of 3,300 students from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will attend vocational schools in inland cities as part of a program to increase the number of skilled workers in the region.

Of the students, 88.5 percent are from agricultural or pastoral areas in Xinjiang, according to the student enrollment office. This year, 15,658 students applied for the program, 1,085 more than last year.

Beginning 2011, students from Xinjiang have been able to apply to courses at 33 vocational schools located in nine municipalities and provinces in the central and eastern regions.

So far, the schools have enrolled more than 18,000 students, of whom more than 9,000 have graduated.

High-speed train to reach Shanghai from Beijing in 4 hours

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:32

A "Hexie" bullet train stops at the Xuzhou station in Jiangsu province, Jan 3, 2014. [Photo/VCG]

Trains on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will be traveling at up to 350 kilometers per hour around this year's National Day, Beijing-based Caixin online reported.

The speeds of "Hexie" and "Fuxing" class bullet trains will both improve, and the time required for the G1 train to run between Beijing and Shanghai will be shortened by 49 minutes to 4 hours.

China Railway is currently preparing for the speed increases with multiple departments.

A China Railway Signal & Communication Corp member noted that staffers are testing tracks, train vehicles and signals.

China's high-speed rail system began to slow down from July 1, 2011. All the high-speed trains that could reach a top speed of 350 km/h were slowed to 300 km/h except for the ones running between Beijing and Tianjin.

He Huawu, chief engineer of the China Railway Signal & Communication Corp, noted that the decision to limit the top speed to 300 km/h was mainly based on operating and maintenance costs, which increase with higher speeds.

But there are always voices calling for more speed.

After the limit of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is boosted to 350 km/h, the Xuzhou to Xi'an section of the Lianyungang-Lanzhou passenger line, the Beijing to Wuhan section of the Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway, and the Shanghai-Hangzhou section of the Shanghai-Kunming passenger line will also increase train speed to that level.

The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is 1,318-kilometre long and connects two major economic zones in China, the Bohai Economic Rim and the Yangtze River Delta. Construction began on April 18, 2008, and the line opened to the public for commercial service on June 30, 2011. The rail line is the world's longest high-speed line ever constructed in a single phase.

Telecom fraudsters sentenced in student death case

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:54

Seven people involved in a high-profile telecom fraud case that led to the death of a university candidate were sentenced to prison at a court in Shandong province on Wednesday.

The principal criminal, Chen Wenhui, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of fraud and illegally obtaining personal information at the Linyi Intermediate People's Court. The other six criminals were sentenced to prison between three to 15 years.

The seven people cheated people out of money by posing as officers of educational, financial and real estate institutions in telephone calls made between November 2015 and August 2016.

One of the victims, Xu Yuyu, an 18-year-old student from Linyi, was called on Aug 19. She had applied for financial aid from a local educational authority two days before she received the phone call.

During the call, Zheng Xiancong, one of the criminals, told Xu that he was an educational authority officer and would provide her with about 2,600 yuan ($385) in student aid. Zheng asked her to contact the local financial authority to find out how to receive the aid.

Xu was given a number to call that connected her to Chen. Chen asked Xu to transfer 9,900 yuan in tuition fees into a bank account, adding that the student aid would appear in her student account.

After discovering the money was stolen, Xu and her father reported the theft to local police on the same evening. On her way back home, she died of cardiac arrest. Forensic experts said Xu's death was linked to the great anxiety caused by the telecom fraud.

Chen Wenhui said he obtained more than 10,000 pieces of personal information, including that of Xu, through QQ, an instant messaging tool.

 

HSBC Global Report: Parents in China will spend $100K on children's higher education abroad

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:07

Parents in China are willing to spend $100,000 on their children's higher education abroad, according to The Value of Education: Higher and Higher report by HSBC. Sixty percent are expected to spend on their children's undergraduate education and the other forty percent on postgraduate education.

The report said parents in China are the most financially prepared, with over half (55%) funding their child's education through savings, investments, or insurance, and over two-fifths (43%) through a specific education savings or investment plan, twice the global average.

According to the Ministry of Education, China sent 540,000 students to study abroad, and the trend is increasing. The report found that Chinese parents prefer for their children to receive a postgraduate education abroad (49%) more so than an undergraduate education (32%).

The report also pointed out that parents in the Chinese mainland are the most ready to make personal sacrifices to fund their child's studying abroad experience. About 1/3 said they have contributed less toward their own long-term savings or investments, which is 10% above the global average.

One-third of the parents in China said they have either drastically reduced or completely stopped leisure activities or holidays to pay for their children's education.

The report indicates that despite making these sacrifices, seventy percent still worry that they are not doing enough for their children, which is 13% higher than the global average.

The Value of Education is an independent consumer research report commissioned by HSBC to study global education trends. The latest report, Higher and Higher, is the fourth in the series and represents the views of 8,481 parents from 15 countries and territories.

Five years on: Roads bring country prosperity

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 09:17

Editor's note: China has greatly improved its road infrastructure since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China five years ago. The country now boasts the world's largest network of highways, which stretches 130,000 km and connects all regions above county level, with nearly all townships and administrative villages linked by roads.

Here, we have a look at some of the major projects completed in the past five years.

Beijing-Xinjiang Expressway - Longest highway that crosses desert

The Beijing-Xinjiang Expressway is one of the seven expressways connecting Beijing and other major cities under a national expressway plan. With a total length of 2,540 kilometers, it is the longest highway in the world that crosses desert. Once operational, it will cut more than 1,300 km off the journey from Beijing to Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in northwestern China. [Photo/VCG]

Shanghai-Chengdu Expressway - Linking Shanghai with southwest China

The 1,966-kilometer expressway was put into full operation in 2014. It links Shanghai with southwestern China's Sichuan province. An important part of the national highway network, the Shanghai-Chengdu Expressway connects the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Zone, the Three Gorges Reservoir area, and the Wuhan Greater Metropolitan Area. [Photo/Xinhua]

Beijing-Lhasa Expressway

With a total planned length of 3,718 km, the Beijing-Lhasa Expressway connects Beijing and Tibet autonomous region. The sections of the expressway from Beijing to Golmud, in Qinghai province, had opened to traffic by 2016. The Golmud-Lhasa section, which runs through permafrost soils on the Tibetan Plateau, remains to be built. [Photo/VCG]

Yaxi Expressway - Ladder to heaven

The Yaxi Expressway, which links Ya'an and Xichang in Sichuan province, opened to traffic in 2012. The expressway, also known as the ladder to heaven, stretches 240 km through the southwestern China province, forming part of the Beijing-Kunming Expressway. It crosses 12 seismic zones and several rivers and runs through rolling mountains, with 270 bridges and 25 tunnels along its route.[Photo/VCG]

Motuo Highway - Last county connected

In 2013, the Motuo Highway in Tibet was opened to traffic, connecting China's last county isolated from the national road network. The 117km-road runs through a 3-km tunnel cut out of Galongla mountain at 3,700 meters above sea level.[Photo/VCG]

China's first ecological overwater road

This road project opened in Xingshan county, Central China's Hubei province, in 2015. To protect forests on nearby mountains, the 4.4 km stretch of highway was built over the Xiangxi River in the Three Gorges Reservoir area. Bordered by green mountains, it is hailed as the country's "most beautiful road above water". [Photo/VCG] 

Derung highway - Smallest ethnic group linked

The Derung Highway was opened in Yunnan province in November 2014, linking the country's smallest ethnic group to the outside world. The Dulongjiang township, homeland of 70 percent of the Derung ethnic group in China, sits onthe southwestern border of the country. Before the highway was opened, access to the township was blocked by snow from October to late April. [Photo by Zhou Mingjia/Asianewsphoto]

Book-sharing a new draw for readers

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 08:14

A reader picks books at a sharing bookstore in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, July 18, 2017. The store – affiliated with Xinhua Bookstore, the country's largest book circulation and distribution network - allows readers to take books home free for reading after paying a 99-yuan ($15) deposit. It also gives a reader the bonus of one yuan once they return the book on time after reading it. [Photo/VCG]

A reader shows a book she borrowed and the mobile phone software she used to borrow the book. [Photo/VCG]

A reader scans QR code to borrow a book. [Photo/VCG]

A staff member of the bookstore scans the QR code on a book to input its information into a computer. [Photo/VCG]

An employee puts returned books in order. [Photo/VCG]

An employee shows a reader how to borrow books with the mobile phone software. [Photo/VCG]

Swimmers float in 'Dead Sea' in Dalian

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:40

People float on the surface of water with high amount of salt at a bathing beach in Dalian, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. The "Dead Sea", with the salinity above 23 percent, makes it easy for visitors to float. [Photo/Xinhua]

People enjoy themselves in the salt water at a bathing beach in Dalian, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

A woman reads while bathing in the salt water at a bathing beach in Dalian, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

People bathe in the salt water at a bathing beach in Dalian, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

People read while bathing in the salt water at a bathing beach in Dalian, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

People enjoy themselves in the salt water at a bathing beach in Dalian, Liaoning province, July 18, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Not 'small goal' to build hot word list

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:33

Screenshots of a show in which Wang Jianlin made the "a small target of 100 million yuan" remark.

Xiaomubiao

-"small goal" in English-was one of the hottest phrases in China last year, according to a new set of lists released by the State Language Committee.

Netizens began widely using the term after Wang Jianlin, the chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, described making a fortune of 100 million yuan ($14.8 million) as a small goal in an interview in August.

Although he used it to mean something that is easily achieved, people on social media used it more ironically to express a goal that is well beyond their reach or even impossible.

For example, someone might write, "Let me set a small goal, such as losing 40 kilograms," or "Here's a small goal: Find a job that pays 1 million yuan a year."

Lists of popular words and phrases based on an annual assessment of characters used by Chinese-language media were released on Tuesday by the State Language Committee, the department under the State Council in charge of the nation's language reforms.

Some 12,000 characters were used almost 1 billion times in the Chinese media last year, Tian Lixin, director of the Ministry of Education's Department of Language Application and Administration, said at a news conference.

Words including afagou (AlphaGo, the artificial intelligence program that plays the ancient game go) and Mobai Danche (the Chinese name for bike-sharing company Mobike) were included in a list of the top 10 new words that appeared in the media.

Others like changzheng jingshen (the Long March spirit), Nanhai (the South China Sea), tuo'ou (Brexit) and meiguo daxuan (the US presidential elections) were among the top 10 popular expressions of 2016.

Tian added that 73 percent of China's citizens were able to communicate in Mandarin in 2015, up from only 53 percent in 2000.

China has more than 50 ethnic groups, some of which have their own spoken and written languages.

Last year the ministry set a goal of increasing the proportion to 80 percent by 2020.

Laborer lifts heavy loads to build better life

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:07

Deng Shufang has worked on Emei Mountain in Sichuan province since last year. Photo By Li Xinfeng / For China Daily

In quest to support son, mother carries materials weighing 100 kg to the peak of Emei Mountain a dozen times a day

Empty-handed tourists find it challenging to trek the mountain path from the Jieyindian cable car station to the Golden Summit of Emei Mountain in Sichuan province.

The station and summit are 2,540 and 3,077 meters above sea level respectively.

However, Deng Shufang, 42, has to carry building materials such as cement, sand, steel and bricks from the station to the summit 12 times a day.

 

Deng uses a cane to prop up the load she is carrying while taking a short break on the mountain path. Photo By Li Xinfeng / For China Daily

Each trip, she carries a bamboo basket with 100 kilograms of building materials on her back, earning 24 yuan ($3.50).

Deng, a farmer in Huatou town in Jiajiang county, Sichuan, used to plant tea and crops, and could carry between 50 and 100 kg of grain in one go.

Because of her strength, a fellow villager introduced her to Emei Mountain in the second half of last year when a mammoth reconstruction project started at the summit.

The project, scheduled to be completed in 2019, will involve the building of a hall of the Goddess of Mercy, known as Guanyin in Chinese. A large amount of building materials have to be carried to the summit, said Wu Jian, a member of the administrative committee of Emei Mountain.

Before his recent retirement, Wu was an information officer with the committee.

After building materials are transported to the Jieyindian cable car station, they have to be taken another 1 km to the site of the reconstruction project on the summit.

There are about 200 laborers ages 20 to 60 who carry building materials to the summit and live in dormitories at the site.

"What is unusual about Deng is that she is female, but can carry more than most of the men," Wu said.

Life is tedious for Deng and fellow workers, but she is satisfied because of the money she can make. "I need money to support my son, who will soon enter second grade at middle school," Deng said.

Because of the relatively high income, her husband has also joined her in carrying building materials to the summit.

Their village is not far away from Emei Mountain.

But the couple had never visited the sacred Buddhist site, which was included in the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage List in 1996, before they started working on it.

Emei is a poetic term for "beautiful women" in Chinese. Spread over 154 square kilometers, the mountain offers a panoramic view of the landscape throughout the year.

The couple are happy to be able to work on the picturesque mountain, which many people are unable to have the joy of visiting.

After their son's summer vacation started in early July, they took him to the mountain so he could experience the stunning scenery.

With a cane to support her body, burdened with a bamboo basketful of building materials, Deng has to take a rest every two or three minutes on the mountain path.

Moved by her hardship and determination to support her family, some tourists offer her water, snacks and napkins to wipe away her sweat.

"It feels good to earn the respect of strangers through my hard work," she said.  

 

Deng shares snacks given to her by tourists with her fellow workers.Photo By Li Xinfeng / For China Daily

Together again after decades apart

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:07

On the day they were finally reunited, it had been 19 years since Ye Yong (not his real name) last saw his father.

The 25-year-old, who was abducted from his home in southwestern Guizhou province in 1998, stood watching the horizon, waiting for Liang Qiyou to appear.

Once Liang approached, the two hugged and wept.

"I have been missing you every minute and every second all these years," Liang said.

Ye now works at a restaurant in Shenzhen, southern Guangdong province.

He went to the city four years ago after being invited by the elder sister from his adoptive family, who runs the business.

He began the search for his biological parents in May by seeking help from a police station.

"Reuniting with my family has been my dream for years and when I learned that this is now a possibility because of DNA sequencing technology, I did not hesitate," he said.

Ye was lucky. Liang reported his son missing days after his disappearance and has repeatedly made attempts to find him, meaning his DNA was on file and easily accessible using the country's public security database system.

"If there was only DNA information for the son or the parent, the possibility of reuniting them would have been slim," said Lu Baolei, an official with Shenzhen's public security bureau, which carried out the search.

According to Lu, 23 abductees have been reunited with their families in Shenzhen this year.

Named Liang Jianshe at birth, Ye spent his early years in a village in Guizhou with his grandmother and younger sister, while his parents worked at a brick factory in distant Anhui province.

It was a rainy summer night in 1998 when Ye was snatched from his bed by three men as he slept beside his grandmother and younger sister, who was then only 1.

"It was about 3 am. We were all in a deep sleep. I didn't wake up and realize what had happened until I had already been carried out of the house. When I cried loudly, they threatened me with a gun," Ye said.

After being taken, he was transferred from person to person and transported in trains and cars before arriving at a village in Fujian province, where he was sold to a family.

"The trafficker lied to my adoptive parents and said that I was his own child. He pretended to be sad, saying he was reluctant to make the deal. They bought me for 10,000 yuan ($1,480)," he said.

Losing Ye was a huge blow to Liang and his wife.

"Telecommunications were underdeveloped at the time. We got the bad news several days later from a telegram my mother sent me and we rushed home immediately," Liang said.

The three men who took Ye were arrested a week after his abduction, but they did not know the boy's whereabouts as they had already sold him on to other traffickers.

"Every year, when our family had dinner together on the eve of Chinese New Year, we would put a bowl of rice and a pair of chopsticks on the table, hoping our son would come back," Liang said.

In his quest to find Ye, Liang moved around the country, taking work in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, as well as Shanghai. He estimated he spent more than 100,000 yuan looking for his son.

"We didn't give up. We always believed we would find him one day," he said.

According to official statistics, 756 child-trafficking cases were cracked in China in 2015. From 2013 to 2016, Chinese courts concluded 3,713 criminal cases involving the trafficking of women and children.

Doctors look to break public system shackles

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:07

Medical professionals are pushing for greater openness in the registration mechanism that can tie them to a single establishment for their entire career, as Yuan Quan reports for Xinhua China Features.

Editor's note: In the run-up to the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress, China Daily is reporting on a number of key projects of national importance that showcase the country's great improvements in crucial fields, such as recent reforms aimed at improving living standards and creating a moderately prosperous society by 2020. Today's report focuses on changes to China's medical system.

Despite appeals by his superiors, gynecologist Kang Kai was determined to resign from the hospital in which he had worked for nearly 20 years.

He said he left "for freedom and respect".

Kang, 45, worked at a leading public hospital in Chongqing, Southwest China. In the eyes of his colleagues and patients, the gray-haired doctor was eminent and respectable, but he describes himself as a slave: working around the clock, with just half a day off each week and "always ready for overtime".

As head of the gynecology department, Kang was responsible for dealing with hundreds of administrative inspections, meetings, medical disputes and studies that took up a huge amount of his time every year for no extra pay.

He also dealt with strained doctor-patient relations that could result in violence. Kang was even threatened twice himself.

"It was very disheartening," he said. "I didn't want to work that way."

In 2015, he moved to Beijing and became a freelance specialist, seeing patients at different hospitals, mainly private ones. Last year, uniting about 100 leading doctors nationwide, Kang set up Woyi, which means "fertile ground for doctors", China's first group for gynecologists.

He is one of a growing number of Chinese doctors offering their services outside the public hospital system where they made their reputations. "I feel like a fish swimming from a pond to an ocean," he said.

Imbalances

Giving doctors the freedom to choose where they see patients helps to tackle China's chronic imbalance in medical resources, according to Kang.

About 80 percent of the country's medical resources are found in big cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, and 30 percent of them are in big public hospitals, which are flooded with patients eager to see eminent physicians.

The process of seeing a doctor at a big hospital is a miserable one. The sick must line up overnight for tickets, competing with scalpers, whose prices can be 1,000 times the official fee.

The time a doctor has for each appointment is tight. Kang once saw as many as 80 outpatients a day, each for just 2 or 3 minutes. "It was the only way to get away from work at a reasonable time," he said.

Doctors grumbled about "being nailed to a chair all day" without even time for a toilet break, Kang said.

He admires how medical staff in the United States and Europe can work for more than one hospital, either public or private. Moreover, thanks to the hierarchical medical systems in those regions, patients can receive high-quality services at nearby clinics.

In China, medical staff and facilities are in great demand, so hospitals struggle to attract and retain good doctors. In 1999, a law was passed that required doctors to be registered with one hospital, which would be responsible for their pay, welfare and professional position until retirement.

Doctors who were not registered with a medical institution were often considered quacks.

The regulations began to be eased in 2009, when the State Council published a plan that allowed doctors to offer their services at more than one hospital. In October, the government released the Healthy China 2030 blueprint to "explore the practice of freelance physicians and doctor groups".

Regulations issued in March also supported doctors who want to run their own clinics.

Rising salaries

Kang said allowing doctors to register at more than one hospital gives patients improved access to treatment, and helps underpaid doctors earn more, because they can work at private hospitals, which offer better pay than the public system.

Patients have lambasted doctors in public hospitals for commissioning needless scans and other tests to make more money.

However, Kang pointed out that an appointment at a public hospital with an associate senior doctor, such as himself, would cost 15 yuan ($2.20) - less than a haircut - and he would receive a "negligible" share of that.

In private hospitals, a consultation costs 450 yuan, and he receives half of the fee.

Kang admits he had no idea how much a consultation should cost at first: "We left the decision to the market."

He used the example of a female doctor who often works late because her consultations last longer than those conducted by other colleagues. Even though her consultation fee has risen from 450 to 800 yuan, she still has many patients.

"Doctors wouldn't take kickbacks," Kang said.

High fees discourage price-sensitive customers, but Kang argued that patients see doctors much more quickly than they would in a public hospital.

University teacher Jia Hong gave birth this year at a private hospital in Beijing. The medical bill was 30,000 yuan, more than 10 times that in a public hospital, but she didn't care. "It's expensive, but it saves time, and I did not have to prepare a red envelope (a gift of money)," she said.

However, few doctors are throwing off their "shackles". By last year, just 3,000 doctors had applied for extra registrations, less than 5 percent of the total number in Beijing. In Jiangsu province, only 1,000 doctors have applied since 2010.

Public hospital administrators have mounted strong opposition to the move, because they fear doctors will take patients and profits to private hospitals.

Last year, two ophthalmologists made headlines after being fired from a leading public hospital in Beijing for "stealing patients".

Doctors now worry that public hospitals will extract retribution by affecting pay, promotion prospects and professional titles.

Many doctors who joined Kang's group were persuaded to abandon their move by their hospital bosses.

Lack of patients

Another problem facing freelance medics is the lack of patients. During his toughest period, Kang had just one patient a day.

Zhang Qiang, a leading vascular surgeon from Shanghai who became the country's first freelance doctor, also suffered a loss of popularity: "Before I quit the public hospital, I had about 200 operations to do, but when I ran my own business, only five patients followed me. It's really a big test for doctors."

According to Kang, China's top hospitals are all State-owned, and they have the most-advanced medical equipment and the best-trained medical staff.

"Despite offering all these services, doctors never learn, or need, to please their patients. After leaving public hospitals, they don't know how to compete in the market. We have to be nice to patients, because they are customers," he said.

Building brands

To reach the public, freelance doctors are taking to social media and apps to popularize medical science.

More than 2,000 healthcare apps are available to enable users to contact doctors either by instant message or phone. Their conversations are open to other users, who can assess a doctor's services and skills at a glance, rather than by researching their qualifications. Some have millions of followers.

"In the past, doctors waited for patients, but now we look for patients," Kang said.

While some experts predict that China will see an upsurge in the number of freelance doctors in the next 15 years, Kang said there's still a long way to go. "Few people would pay more to see a doctor at a private hospital," he said.

Moreover, online consultation comes with the risk of misdiagnosis or disclosure of personal information. Patients often become angry at high fees, leading to disputes at private hospitals, which still require government scrutiny and regulation.

Duan Tao, a former president of the Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital and now a freelance doctor, urged public hospitals to reduce workloads by canceling unnecessary administrative meetings and inspections.

"In a word, give time back to the doctors, and give the doctors back to the patients."

(China Daily 07/19/2017 page6)

A pioneering physician's freelance odyssey

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:07

Gong Xiaoming has a prescription for what ails China's health service: Set the doctors free.

The physician, who trained at the prestigious Peking Union College Hospital, has 15 years experience of working on the wards, and is highly regarded. In fact, the specialist in uterine fibroids once discovered that scalpers sold appointments for consultations with him for 3,000 yuan ($444), 400 times the official price.

"I should be proud," said the 45-year-old gynecologist.

However, in the winter of 2011, he was told a patient had waited overnight in temperatures of - 4 C to obtain a ticket for a consultation.

"I was shocked," Gong recalled. "How could patients suffer like that just to see a doctor?"

China's medical resources are extremely unbalanced: 80 percent of patients live in rural areas, but the best hospitals are concentrated in big cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai. Last year, an estimated 7 million patients from Hebei province alone visited hospitals in neighboring Beijing.

Gong admires his counterparts in the United States, whose patients have no difficulty accessing treatment. After visiting a clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, he said seeking treatment there was "almost enjoyable".

In 2013, Gong quit the public hospital system, where he worked as a contract doctor in hospitals in Shanghai and Shenzhen, Guangdong province. Last year, he went freelance and set up China's first gynecologist group, attracting more than 100 specialists as members.

Frustration

At school, Gong was shy and unsociable, but he was the top scorer in the national college entrance examination in his hometown in Zhejiang province. He followed his father's advice to study clinical medicine at university.

He began his career as a general practitioner, but was frustrated at dealing with so many patients with terminal illnesses. In response, he became a surgeon before moving into gynecology.

Gong earned his reputation by conducting a five-hour operation to save a young woman's uterus, removing 419 fibroid tumors individually. Other doctors had suggested a hysterectomy.

"I think about each patient's future," he said.

He now works in private hospitals where a consultation usually costs 420 yuan, about 60 times the official fee when he worked in public hospitals.

Some people have criticized Gong for "only working for the rich", but he countered by pointing out that doctors at private hospitals save patients hours of waiting, and more important, give more time to each consultation - at least 15 minutes.

"The doctors and the patients both benefit," he said.

Since 2009, government regulations have allowed doctors to register at more than one hospital or start their own clinics, but Gong has been a lonely pioneer.

By 2015, about 45,000 doctors had registered at more than one hospital, but only about 37 percent came from top public hospitals.

Those who hesitate to break away fear the loss of patients, because top public hospitals always have thousands more cases than private establishments.

"Chinese people prefer to judge doctors by the hospitals they work for," Gong said. "They trust public hospitals and trust the medical staff. So freelance doctors, who have been stereotyped as quacks in the past, have to compete in the market."

Internet medicine

Doctors must offer excellent services to please their patients, according to Gong, who established a website called China Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2000.

Initially, he used the site to share research and professional essays from overseas, but after he uploaded a video about a new method of treating postpartum bleeding, he received a message: "I saved a uterus today after learning about the treatment through your online video. Thank you very much."

That moment made Gong realize the huge power of the internet.

In 2012, he wrote an article in which he claimed that many women were diagnosed or even prescribed treatments for "cervical erosion", which is not a real condition in his opinion. He put the essay on Sina Weibo, where it was quickly reposted 33,000 times and garnered more than 4,000 comments.

He also has millions of followers on WeChat and other online clinics that share medical science and advice. He also offers two pregnancy apps.

Now, about 90 percent of his patients come to him through the internet.

The government is stepping up efforts to improve medical services. During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), medical consultations via family doctors will be encouraged, and the government will pilot a hierarchical medical system in 85 percent of China's regions. Medical competence at the grassroots level will be improved and more resources will be allocated for lower-tier institutions.

Gong and his team have also begun working with public hospitals in second- and third-tier cities, seeing patients and conducting surgeries at hospitals in the provinces of Hebei and Zhejiang.

Gao Xia, vice-president of the Zhangjiakou Women and Children's Hospital, said Gong's service not only attracts more patients, but also helps to train local staff: "Patients do not need to go to Beijing to see good doctors."

Every month, Gong flies to two or three cities, and even though his life is busier, he feels freer.

"I will keep working hard to improve healthcare in China," he said.

5 ex-officials under investigation

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:06

Su Shulin, former governor of Fujian province, has been put under investigation on suspicion of accepting bribes, the Supreme People's Procuratorate announced on Tuesday.

Su, also former deputy chief of the Communist Party of China Fujian Provincial Committee, was expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office on July 4 for corruption and violating the Party's code of conduct.

The SPP also announced an investigation into four other officials suspected of taking bribes: Yang Chongyong, a former senior legislator in Hebei province; Wang Yincheng, former president of People's Insurance Company of China; Zhou Chunyu, former vice-governor of Anhui province; and Cai Xiyou, former general manager of State-owned chemical maker Sinochem Group.

The five have been placed under "coercive measures", which may include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention or arrest.

Investigations into the cases are currently underway, according to the SPP.

Xinhua

(China Daily 07/19/2017 page5)

Soccer coaches, refs to get more training

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:06

Full-time, well-paid match officials would improve game, CFA says

Impressed by China's national soccer reforms, the game's continental governing body - the Asian Football Confederation - pledged more support on Tuesday for the training of coaches and referees to help the country realize its soccer ambitions.

As China rolls out a national blueprint to develop into a world soccer power, developments from grassroots promotion to league competition have intrigued Windsor John, the visiting general secretary of the confederation.

"We are very pleased about the reforms that have taken place in China. The growth in attendance and popularity of the Chinese Super League is a very positive image for Asian football," said Windsor, who is on his first official visit to China since taking the helm in 2015. "The performance of the CSL clubs has become the benchmark for other clubs in Asia."

Since the State Council, China's Cabinet, issued a soccer reform plan in early 2015, with the goal of becoming a strong soccer nation by 2050, investment in the league has surged and the level of competition has improved, highlighted by domestic champion club Guangzhou Evergrande's victories at the AFC Champions League in 2013 and 2015.

Still, the lack of enough qualified coaches and relatively poor officiating have been taking a toll. Windsor said the confederation is prepared to help.

"There are a lot of new programs we are talking about with the CFA," he said, referring to the Chinese Football Association. "One of these is referee training, which is critical to improving the standard of referees."

Following a plan unveiled by the confederation last week to professionalize referees as early as next year, the confederation is prepared to send officiating experts for exchanges and training events in China on a more regular basis, Windsor said.

Most of China's referees serving domestic leagues are part-time officials with jobs as college teachers or coaches.

A system in which referees would work full-time - and with decent income and transparent assessments - would improve the quality of the game, said Huang Shiwei, spokeswoman of the CFA.

A coaching convention with the CFA will be signed at the end of 2017 to authorize China to organize AFC-certificated coach training courses customized based on its own situation, Windsor said.

"As you embark on a big plan through 2050, you need a lot of coaches. This convention comes at a good time for China to start producing top coaches on its own, not relying on AFC's programs," he said.

sunxiaochen@chinadaily.com.cn

BRICS to beef up ties in science

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:06

BRICS countries will continue to strengthen multilateral exchanges and cooperation to promote science and innovation, according to a declaration signed during a ministerial meeting in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

The five member nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - agreed that innovation is one of the major driving forces for sustainable economic development, Wan Gang, China's minister of science and technology, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"Science, technology and innovation have played crucial roles in providing jobs, promoting structural reforms and market competition and tackling global challenges," he said. "BRICS nations have to strengthen the role of science and technology, facilitate multilateral science projects and people-to-people exchanges, and build frameworks for long-term projects and cooperation."

BRICS countries account for 42 percent of the world's population, 18 percent of the world's GDP, 17 percent of total research funding and 27 percent of all published science papers, Wan said.

"BRICS nations' strong role in global science development is becoming more evident," he said. "More multilateral cooperation and exchanges at all levels are beneficial in unlocking the scientific potential of each member nation."

BRICS nations will promote training and exchanges for young scientists, encourage young entrepreneurs to innovate and share their experiences, and support the role of female scientists in science and innovation.

China recently held the second BRICS Youth Scientists Forum in Hangzhou, and many great ideas emerged, Wan said. Some of the proposals from the forum will be incorporated into the BRICS summit scheduled for Sept 3 to 5 in Xiamen, Fujian province.

South Africa will host the next BRICS science and technology ministerial meeting.

Naledi Pandor, South Africa's science minister, said her country will build on the solid foundation of BRICS cooperation, and carry out the action plans agreed to at the Hangzhou meeting.

South Africa is now working with China to establish science parks, she said. "We would like to draw experience from China about building incubators because we believe this can lead to more innovation."

zhangzhihao@chinadaily.com.cn

Man dies in bus fire after setting it ablaze

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:06

A bus was set on fire after it arrived at a station in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, around 2:25 pm on Tuesday. A man identified by the driver as the one who started the blaze died in the incident, local police said.

The westbound No 13 bus caught fire at the station at the intersection of Beijing West and Dinggong roads, the city's public security bureau said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 2:40 pm. Except for the arsonist, all the passengers and the driver survived, the police said.

Passengers reported that the man boarded the bus with a container emitting an irritating odor, the police said. The driver told the bus company that it was this man who started the fire, which severely damaged the bus.

The identity of the dead man was being sought, local police said.

To prevent and better handle fires and other violent behavior on buses, security officers have been assigned to bus routes in many Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.

cuijia@chinadaily.com.cn

Japanese confessions of atrocities published

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:06

A selection of written confessions by Japanese war criminals after World War II has been published in book form in China, with most of the archives available to the public for the first time, the State Archives Administration said on Tuesday.

Japan surrendered unconditionally in 1945.

From 1950 to 1956, 1,109 Japanese war criminals remained in prison in Fushun, Liaoning province, and Taiyuan, Shanxi province. The book includes photocopies of their handwritten confessions and detailed records of their interrogations and trials. The documents serve as irrefutable evidence of Japan's heinous crimes against China during the war, the administration said.

The written confessions detailed crimes such as the killing, enslavement and poisoning of Chinese people. The prisoners also confessed to using bacterial and chemical weapons, conducting biological tests on live humans and setting up military brothels with sex slaves for the Japanese army.

The book includes confessions by 842 prisoners, compiled in 120 volumes. The first 50 volumes were published in August 2015.

The book, published by Zhonghua Book Co, comprises the original photocopied texts in Japanese, along with supplements, corrections, postscripts and the text of Chinese translations made at the time. English translations of abstracts are presented before each written confession.

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