China keeps its promise to follow WTO rules

The US has seriously violated the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and undermined the international rule of law and trade order as it provoked and escalated economic and trade frictions with other countries.

However, some US officials, who completely ignored the principles of the multilateral trading system, constantly distorted reality and accused China of breaking the WTO rules.

Facts are the most convincing proof. The arbitrary acts of certain people in the US have drawn widespread criticism from the international community and even all walks of life in the US.

China has always supported the multilateral trading system and opposed unilateralism and protectionism. It is widely acknowledged by the global society as a strong protector and builder of international rule of law.

No one can deny the fact that China has comprehensively fulfilled its WTO accession commitments.

The country has been a strong advocate of free trade since its accession to the WTO in 2001. It has substantially opened its market to the world, enhanced the transparency of its opening-up policies and honored its commitments on protecting intellectual property rights, shouldering its responsibility as a major country.

As of 2010, China had fulfilled all of its tariff reduction commitments, reducing the average tariff level from 15.3 percent in 2001 to 9.8 percent.

It cut the average tariff rate of agricultural products to 15.2 percent, far lower than that imposed by the WTO’s developed members (39 percent).

China aimed at further opening up the market. In 2018, the overall tariff level dropped to 7.5 percent. The country has shared its development dividends with the rest of the world, with the scale of foreign direct investment into China ranking first among developing countries for 26 consecutive years since 1992.

China has firmly observed and upheld the WTO rules, winning general recognition from the international community.

Since it joined the WTO, China has actively promoted trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, safeguarded the dispute settlement mechanism, and fully participated in the review of trade policies.

It has vigorously supported the integration of developing members into the multilateral trading system and firmly opposed unilateralism and protectionism.

China has followed the WTO rules and supported the multilateral trading system as promised through practical actions. Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of WTO, said that China’s role in the system had increased a lot since it joined the WTO.

Certain American politicians need to realize their incompetence in complying with the WTO rules, as the US always places domestic law above the international rules.

The US received 154 WTO complaints altogether, yet it failed to abide by the rulings made by the organization in 53 cases, legal experts pointed out. The country didn’t fulfill its obligations in more than half of the 11 cases where it was required to amend the federal law or state law.

Some people in the US have always applied the international law in a selective way. They wasted time and energy making up lies to fool both themselves and others, but their attempts are doomed to fail. They might as well face the reality and return to the right track to solve problems in a down-to-earth manner.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. China has always kept its promise to observe the WTO rules. In this respect, the US really needs to face itself and introspect a lot.

Beijing schools teach garbage classification on opening day

Ju Yueru, a waste sorting volunteer in her seventies, teaches students to fertilize plants with kitchen waste in the ecological garden on the school roof. (Photo/The Beijing News)

Nearly 100 schools in Beijing taught garbage classification during opening ceremonies of the new academic year on Sept. 1, to help children make better choices to better protect the environment, the Beijing News reported.

On the first day at Dongsijiutiao Primary School, Ju Yueru, a waste sorting volunteer in her seventies, taught students to fertilize plants with kitchen waste in the ecological garden on the school roof.

Using compost made from kitchen waste enriches not only the students’ knowledge about garbage sorting but also benefits the environment, said a school teacher who is undertaking experimental research on kitchen waste.

The cartoon image spokesperson of Beijing garbage classification showed up at the opening ceremony for Dengshikou School. Zhang Zixia, the student who designed the cartoon image, drew her inspiration from an octopus, symbolizing that everyone should lend a hand in sorting waste and protecting the environment.

The school waste-sorting pioneers, together with Yuan Rishe, an environmental volunteer, called on the students, teachers and parents to try to use recyclables, clear their plates to reduce kitchen waste and learn about classification to identify hazardous waste.

Beijing put the law on garbage control into force back in 2012. However, the implementation of trash sorting hasn’t gone well. The city is pushing forward its waste sorting legislation, clarifying an individual’s responsibility to sort domestic waste and imposing punishments for violations of garbage classification regulations.

Robot manufacturers focus on middle and high-end market

Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2019 shows domestic robots exhibited at the World Robot Exhibition in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

China’s robot market will be worth an estimated $8.7 billion in 2019, accounting for about 30 percent of the global robotics market, according to a report released by the Chinese Institute of Electronics.

However, domestic brands only occupy one-third of the industrial robot market, while foreign brands own a larger share.

To grab a bigger share of the market, Chinese companies are now developing technologies and manufacturing middle and high-end industrial robots.

Rokae company in China has been developing robots that could be applied to an area almost untouched by this technology. China is an important manufacturer of cutting tools, yet many foreign companies have not yet noticed the potential in the industry for robotic products, said Han Fengtao, Chief Technology Officer with Rokae.

The company developed a six-axis industrial robot that could imitate professionals and control its force precisely when sharpening ceramic and metal tools, ensuring the consistency of products.

The report pointed out that the priority for China’s industrial robot manufacturers is still to make breakthroughs in core technologies.

Core technologies include new materials, core components, control chips, operating systems and creative capabilities in areas such as autonomous learning, collaboration, control and algorithms, said Huai Jinpeng, a computer scientist.

The report said that domestic robot brands have been able to manufacture controllers independently with the cooperative efforts of the government, industry and scientific institutions.

Meanwhile, the intelligence of domestically-made service robots has increased dramatically, now able to compete with the global forerunners.

In 2018, sales of domestic brand industrial robots increased by 16.2 percent while those of foreign brands fell 11 percent from 2018.

 

Young people show new consumer preferences

(Photo/pixabay.com)

As the new semester begins, many freshmen are choosing to shop online for college necessities. Besides traditional digital products such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, young consumers also showed their preference for fashionable products.

Sales of segways and e-book readers skyrocketed two weeks before the start of term, while sales of eye and neck massagers doubled in the same period, according to data from Tmall, China’s leading online shopping platform.

Young people’s interest in fashionable products also manifests in culture and tourism. The recent hit TV series The Longest Day in Chang’an (now Xi’an in northwest China’s Shaanxi province) caused many young people to travel to the city.

They also grow fond of diversified and individualized cultural and recreational products. This age group is willing to spend money on various products that they like, such as video games, TV series, novels and music. Moreover, they prefer customized trips in small groups that provide better traveling experiences and suit their personal needs.

Growing up in the internet era, young people tend to shop online for fashionable and individualized products. Statistics show that a total of 847 million Chinese people used mobile phones to access the internet as of June 2019.

Combined with big data and cloud computing, mobile internet allows manufacturers to produce new products that suit the demands of young consumers, further driving economic growth, said Zhao Ping, director of the international trade research department of the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

E-commerce facilitates rural development

Villagers pack items they sold online in Qingyan, Yiwu. (Photo/Xinhua)

Expanding e-commerce promotes the sales of agricultural products and helps increase the income of rural farmers. Statistics show that the per capita disposable income of rural residents stood at 7,142 yuan in the first half of 2019, up by 8.8 percent.

China’s rural e-commerce has proliferated. The number of Taobao villages, each home to more than 100 online stores and annual e-commerce transactions of over 10 million yuan, has grown to 4,310, covering 250 million people in 25 provinces.

Last year, the total online sales from Taobao villages and towns exceeded 700 billion yuan.

Lizhuang town in east China’s Shandong province has 17 Taobao villages, which produce more than 80 percent of the country’s rope and netting. The internet connects local products with a vast market and allows the residents to work at home and make money.

The average age of residents in these Taobao villages is 35, compared with an average age of over 65 in the past when young laborers left their hometowns to find employment in cities.

More young people and college graduates now return to the countryside to secure jobs, bringing hope to the rural areas, said Ma Yun, the founder of e-commerce giant Taobao.

The rural areas have attracted more young people by improving the ecological environment, traffic and social insurance. Meanwhile, China rolls out incentive policies to encourage young people who had worked elsewhere to return home and start businesses online.

China’s first domestically-produced polar expedition cruise ship delivered

(ThePaper.cn/Yao Xiaolan)

Officially named Greg Mortimer, the first made-in-China polar expedition cruise ship was delivered to Sunstone Ships Inc., the world’s leading provider of expedition vessels, on Sept. 6.

After its delivery in Haimen in east China’s Jiangsu Province, the vessel will be transferred to Aurora Expeditions, an Australian operator that organizes Antarctic and Arctic cruises and other trips, and soon conduct a 12-day maiden voyage to the Antarctic region.

(ThePaper.cn/Yao Xiaolan)

Manufactured by China Merchants Industry Holdings Co. Ltd., the ship has a total tonnage capacity of 8,035 tons. It is 104.4 meters in length and 18.4 meters in width, with a capacity to hold 254 people on board. The boat’s construction started in March last year at the company’s Haimen base.

The vessel combines the functions of adventures and tourism, providing recreational activities for passengers like maritime adventures and water sports.

It meets high safety standards under extreme weather conditions and is designed to be able to return to the nearest port in emergencies, said Zheng Hehui, vice president of the company.

(ThePaper.cn/Yao Xiaolan)

(ThePaper.cn/Yao Xiaolan)

(ThePaper.cn/Yao Xiaolan)

Domestic aircraft completes mooncake-shaped route in a test flight

(Photo/huanqiu.com)

A prototype aircraft of Chinese-made C919 narrowbody passenger jet painted a flower-shaped mooncake in the sky while it was conducting a test flight on Sept. 7, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The next day, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (Comac), manufacturer of C919, said on social media that with the flight patterns, they hoped to send best wishes to the public for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

As the fourth prototype of Comac’s C919, aircraft 104 mainly undertakes flight tests on avionics system, taking-off and landing performance, automatic flight system, etc.

C919 aircraft (Photo/Xinhua)

This test flight, which happened in Dongying, a civil aircraft flight test center located in east China’s Shandong province, aims to test the lines of communication of the plane.

It was proven that the aircraft could receive stable navigation signals under various conditions that help the plane to land on the airport.

The pilots who carried out the test flight were Cai Jun, Xu Yuanzheng, Zhang Jianwei, and Ma Hongwei and the engineers involved in the mission were Ling Ning and Li Chang.

China assists Myanmar city with temple restoration

Thatbyinnyu Pahto before the quake. (Photo via Shaanxi Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage)

More than 400 temples in Bagan, an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar, were damaged in an earthquake on Aug. 24, 2016.

On Sept. 22, 2018, China signed agreements to assist Myanmar in the restoration of Thatbyinnyu Pahto, a 60-meter-high temple in the earthquake-stricken region.

The restoration work was mainly assigned to experts from Shaanxi Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and other heritage conservation institutes and organizations in northwest China’s Shaanxi province.

The Shaanxi experts have a lot of experience in restoring stone-structured buildings like Thatbyinnyu temple, said Zhao Qiang, director of Shaanxi Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.

The Shaanxi heritage conservation team arrived in Bagan shortly after the earthquake to do preliminary assessments and restoration work. They applied unmanned aerial vehicles and conducted 3D scanning to make a detailed survey and map of the temple.

Zhao recalled gray paints and patterns became exposed under the lime layers after investigation, indicating that murals may exist there. The staff members used specialized equipment to collect data about the paint composition, style and the density of the walls.

It is necessary to collect detailed information of any damage, as omitting any single piece of data would affect the restoration project, Zhao said.

Thatbyinnyu Pahto reinforced. (Photo via Shaanxi Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage)

He explained that the restoration project may last nine years due to the complicated work.

Zhao said they encountered many difficulties during the on-site construction. Since the experts couldn’t wear shoes in the temple according to religious customs, many got blisters on the soles of their feet because the temperature of the steps sometimes hit 63 degrees Celsius.

However, their efforts paid off. From April 22 to June 12 this year, Zhao’s team reinforced the Thatbyinnyu Pahto and completed the rescue work of the building to prevent further damage in the rainy season. Zhao said that the local cultural relics department and the public recognized their work.

With a unique architecture style and Buddhist culture, the Bagan towers were named a World Heritage Site on July 6, 2019.

(Photo via Shaanxi Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage)

Foreign companies invest more in Chinese market

Despite Sino-US economic and trade frictions, foreign enterprises have not retreated from China as some American officials predicted they would. Instead, many have increased investment in the Chinese market.

Thermos Fisher Scientific, an American biotechnology product manufacturer, signed agreements on Aug. 21 with Suzhou New District in east China’s Jiangsu province, to increase capital and launch a new business project in the city.

The temporary frictions will not hinder the company’s long-term development in China, said Syed Jafry, senior vice president of the company.

Pentair, a U.S.-owned water treatment company, invested a total of $16 million into the research and development of the Chinese market this year. Chen Xia, finance director, Asia Pacific, Pentair, said the company is positive about the potential of China and will continue to invest in the country.

China’s actual use of foreign capital maintained stable growth in the January-July period, with over 24,000 newly established foreign-invested companies.

The actual use of foreign capital exceeded 530 billion yuan, increasing by 7.3 percent year-on-year.

With a population of nearly 1.4 billion and the world’s largest middle-income group, China is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. To date, about 98 percent of the world’s top 500 companies have invested in China.

The country has optimized its business environment and furthered reform and opening-up to draw in more foreign companies. This March, its national legislature passed the foreign investment law to provide stronger protection for overseas investors.

Last year, China’s ranking in ease of doing business jumped to 46th place, up from 78th in 2017, according to a report released by the World Bank.

Chinese hybrid rice benefits the world

(Photo/Xinhua)

With high yield and superior quality, Chinese hybrid rice varieties have been introduced around the world, benefiting more people.

Hybrid rice started to go abroad in 1979. Back then, the ministry of agriculture presented 1.5 kg of hybrid rice seeds to the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, an American oil and gas exploration and production company. The yield of the hybrid rice was over 33 percent more than that of local varieties.

Since then, China has continued to work with the US on hybrid rice research. This year, hybrid rice accounted for 60 percent of the total rice area in America, said Yuan Longping, a pioneer in hybrid rice research who has been invited to the US several times to share the hybrid breeding technology.

The technology has since spread to more countries. The hybrid rice research center in central China’s Hunan province and a local agriculture company have jointly held nearly 100 international workshops on hybrid rice technology and trained over 10,000 technicians from around 80 developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Yuan said that to date, the overseas planting area of hybrid rice has exceeded 7 million hectares, with India owning the largest area of more than 2 million hectares.

Hybrid rice is produced by crossbreeding different varieties of rice. The average yield of hybrid rice is at least 20 percent more than that of regular rice, feeding 70 million more Chinese people annually, Yuan said.