Soldiers in Chinese-made mine-proof vehicle survives explosion

A Chinese-made mine-protection vehicle (File photo)

Soldiers in a Chinese-made mine-protection vehicle on May 31 survived an explosion equivalent to 30 kilograms of TNT in an armed action in Africa, according to a video posted by CCTV-2 on July 28.

Six soldiers inside the vehicle, which was designed by a team with an average age of only 31, were all sound and safe after the explosion.

China conducted its first bulge explosion test on the mine-protection vehicle on May 15, 2012, when a landmine equivalent to 24 kilograms of TNT was buried beneath the chassis and wheels of the vehicle. The vehicle was almost intact after the explosion and the devices installed inside to simulate human bodies all met safety index requirements.

China builds national park to drive revival of wild pandas

China is building a giant panda reserve spanning three provinces as part of efforts to boost the population of the endangered animals and help them mingle.

The reserve will cover 27,000 square kilometers, spanning Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces where giant pandas are mainly distributed.

The park will have a core area, protecting 66.8 percent of pandas that live in the wild in 67 current reserves across the country. According to a 2015 survey, there were 1,864 wild pandas in the country, while habitats covered 2.58 million hectares in 2013.

Thanks to China’s efforts to protect the endangered animals, the number of wild pandas has continued to grow steadily and their habitats have kept expanding in recent years.

China’s domestically-developed dredger marvels the world

China’s development of heavy-duty machinery has earned so much pride for the country in recent years. The self-propelled cutter-suction dredger, Tianjing or Sky Whale, is one good example.

The vessel is the largest cutter-suction dredger in Asia. Financed by Tianjin Waterway Bureau Limited under China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), the dredger is co-designed by Shanghai Jiaotong University and German company, VOSTALMG. It was built by China Merchants Heavy Industry (Shenzhen) Company Ltd.

Surrounded by steel frames and crane arms, the vessel’s deck is more like a construction site. The only thing that distinguishes it from a real construction site is its clean environment. People on the vessel are required to put on safety helmets once they step out of the cabin.

China has a long history of dredging, though modern technology has since replaced human labor.

Tianjing has been hailed as a mighty tool for island-building because of its strong excavation and hydraulic reclamation ability. According to a crew member, Tianjing can excavate 4,500 cubic meters of mixture from the seabed each hour – the equivalence of a 0.5-meter-deep pit and a standard soccer field size.

The reamer of Tianjing

Cuts rocks as easy as mud!

The vessel’s reamer has endowed it with powerful ability. The reamer is normally inconspicuous in pictures, but people will be astonished when standing right in front of it. The diameter of small reamers is 2.8 meters, while that of larger ones could reach 3.15 meters, said Wang Ming’an, former Tianjing captain and vice general manager of the Overseas Business Division of the CCCC Tianjin Waterway Bureau Limited.

It was learned that the unit price of the cutter tooth on the reamer, which is used for excavation, is 1,500 RMB ($223). Driven by a 4,200-kilowatt variable-frequency motor, the cutter teeth could excavate moderately- and highly-weathered rocks with compression strength as high as 40 MPa.

“Concretes can be easily ground by the reamer,” said Wang, adding that rocks are as soft as mud for the machine.
Powerful self-propelling ability, automatic dredging control system

In addition, the dredger has two other “killer skills”: powerful self-propelling ability and advanced automatic dredging control system. The cockpit located on the top floor of the vessel is the “brain” that realizes the two functions.

Covering an area of about 40 or 50 square-meters, the cockpit offers a strong taste of high-tech style that can easily be associated with the flight deck of a spaceship in a sci-fi movie.

The automatic dredging control system lies in the cockpit, integrating all operations in a 2-square meter station. The remote control is operated just by clicking the mouse or pushing the buttons. Crew members can even take a cup of tea while excavating, a staff on the vessel explained.

Positioning and self-propelling systems are on the two sides of the dredging control station. The staff member said that cutter-suction dredgers are not new as they have been widely applied in engineering dredging projects.

However, most of them are not equipped with self-propelling systems. They depend on other ships to mobilize to different work points. As Asia’s first self-propelled cutter-suction dredger, Tianjing can sail to any part of the ocean.

The cockpit of Tianjing

Export limitations

On May 25, China’s Ministry of Commerce limited exports of large-scale engineering ships. Without government approval, exports of cutter-suction dredgers with reamer power equal to or larger than 500 kilowatts, excavation depth equal to or larger than 15 meters, and installed power equal to or larger than 2,000 kilowatts, are not allowed anymore.

Wang said all CCCC Tianjin Waterway Bureau Limited vessels are subjected to the export limitations. He added that their vessels could work in foreign countries, but purchases are not allowed.

According to Wang, when the dredger arrives at a construction site, a key pile with a diameter of 1.8 meters is then laid and a transverse axis arranged on both sides of the ship bow.

An axle beam weighing 1,100 tons reaches out to press the cutter in case the latter rebounds after touching hard sand and rocks under the sea, Wang explained. Tianjing’s mud conveyance distance is 6,000 meters.

Moves forward like walking in water

Tianjing looks like a walking person in water as its main and supporting piles submerge in turns.

Crew members do not feel bored as Tianjing is equipped with facilities such as dormitory, playroom, fitness room, laundry, medical room and canteen.

The average age of the crew is 28 years old. Usually, these young people have to work 3 consecutive months before they are allowed to have vacation.

How to keep the food and vegetables fresh is a challenge. Li Yuelai, Tianjing political commissioner and deputy Party secretary of the CCCC, said most vegetables were damaged by wind and storm after some time.

Tianjing has made China’s dredging industry comparable to the world’s leading companies, said a CCCC staff. Before 2005, Chinese dredging companies largely relied on imported equipment and the country’s dredger-building technology was undeveloped as a result of foreign blockade.

The able dredger has so far taken part in many hydraulic reclamation projects, Li said, emphasizing that Tianjing has attracted the attention of some foreign engineers.

Besides Tianjing, China has also developed a more advanced self-propelled cutter-suction dredger named Tiankun. It has a designed production capacity of 6,000 cubic meters per hour and cutter efficiency of 5,000 kilowatts, a CCCC staff said.

Capable of evacuating 35 meters in depth with maximum conveyance distance of 15,000 meters, Tiankun tops the world in terms of long-distance delivery capacity and other capabilities. The research and development of Tiankun has promoted the transformation of the country’s dredge-building technology from “Made in China” to “Created in China.”

Yunnan national park wooden red pandas attract crowds

A man in Pu’er, southwestern China’s Yunnan province has made four wooden portraits of a red panda in a local national park, reported on July 28. The portraits have attracted a large number of visitors after the man sent them to the park as gift.

The painter, Luobimai, is a young man of Yi ethnic group. He was fascinated by the animal, Dudu, when he first visited the national park. Since keeping protected animals is illegal in China, he decided to draw portraits of the cute animal to express his admiration.

Though Luobimai has been a painting enthusiast since childhood, he has never learnt drawing. As a result, he went to the park everyday to observe Dudu and learn more about it from staff. After two continuous months, Luobimai began drawing on round wooden boards for fear that white paper might scare the animal.

The four Dudu portraits were sent to the lovely red panda as gift bearing good wishes of health and happiness. Meanwhile, the young man hopes that more people can take the opportunity to know Dudu and red pandas in general and make efforts to protect wild animals.

Hangzhou sports school hailed as cradle of Chinese swimming champions

Chen Jinglun Sports School, which is hailed as the cradle of Chinese swimming champions, once again attracted a great number of young swimming athletes this summer after one of its graduates, Sun Yang, won 2 medals at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.

Chen Jinglun Sports School, located in Hangzhou in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, was established in 1955. The school has cultivated many Olympic swimming champions, including Luo Xuejuan and Ye Shiwen. Sun Yang, another graduate of the school, has won a total of 12 world championships and ranks second in the world after U.S. athlete Michael Phelps in terms of the number of gold medals in world-class competitions.


About 1,300 students have been enrolled this year, 250 of whom will be selected to join the professional team after three rounds of training.

New university for study of liquor to open in Sichuan province

The campus of the university under construction

Another university that will study the science of liquor will be built in Yibin, Sichuan province, starting next month, according to

The Sichuan Education Department said the university is a joint project by Sichuan University of Science and Engineering (SUSE) and the municipal government of Yibin.

The university will have different research institutions, including the Research Center for Sichuan Liquor Industry Development and the Research Center for International Transmission of Sichuan Liquor Culture.

It will also have other departments as well as workshops for solid-state fermentation technologies, according to the report.

The SUSE campus will stay not be relocated to the new building for the liquor university in Yibin, according to authorities.

While the first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of August, the university will not officially operate until the end of this year, according to Yibin’s education bureau.

In October 2016, SUSE and the municipal government of Yibin reached an agreement to build a liquor university, with the goal of carrying out comprehensive strategic cooperation in industrial development, technological innovation, and other areas.

Local authorities and school officials have yet to finalize the official name of the university, but some suggest “Sichuan Liquor University.”

The state-owned Kweichow Moutai company is reportedly opening China’s first college for the study of liquor in Guangzhou province.




China to hold international airborne troops contest

The Airborne Platoon contest at the International Army Games will be held in Guangshui, central China’s Hubei province, from July 29 to August 12. Airborne troops from seven countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, South Africa, Venezuela, Morocco, and China, will participate in the event.

The contest is divided into three main parts. In addition to armored fighting vehicle and non-armored fighting vehicle battles, participates must compete in a parachute jump contest. A total of 13 events are planned.

Experts think IMF headquarters’ relocation to China likely

On July 24, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde said the organization’s headquarters could be moved to Beijing in 10 years if China and other major emerging economies continue to grow. Chinese experts think the relocation is likely for many reasons.

According to the IMF rules, the institution’s headquarters should be located within the territory of the largest economy among its member states. The organization’s headquarters has been based in the U.S. since its establishment in 1945. China has the third largest IMF quota and voting share after the U.S. and Japan.

The IMF managing director’s remarks about the possible relocation is a reminder to the U.S. that it should restrain some of its current policies, said Cao Heping, a professor at Peking University’s School of Economics.

Lagarde’s remarks also reflect her view of the global economy 10 years from now, said Song Guoyou, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Cao said there is no way that Hong Kong will become the next location for the IMF headquarters, though its position as an international financial hub has been consolidated. “The prime period for Hong Kong’s development has passed, and it could take another two or three decades before the city rises again.”

Cao said compared with Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai are very likely to become candidate cities for the IMF headquarters. Beijing owns the best environment for financial and science and technology innovation, while Shanghai is located in the economic-lively Yangtze River Delta Region.

A country’s economic aggregate and supporting policies determine whether a city becomes an international financial hub or not, Song pointed out. In this regard, Beijing or Shanghai is likely to become an international financial hub.

Song also said that Chinese cities should further unleash their global influence to become global financial hubs.

Forbidden City replica withstands 10-magnitude quake test

A video showing how a replica of the ancient Forbidden City palace can withstand a 10.1 magnitude earthquake went viral online.

The wooden model palace created by specialist carpenters is based on the world’s largest timber-frame architecture inside the Forbidden City, also known the Palace Museum.

From the video, a wooden replica with brackets called dougong, which supports beams and columns, showed its flexibility, even when the jolt measured 9 to 10-maginiute in a test carried out at a lab in Beijing.

The video is part of a documentary entitled “Secrets of China’s Forbidden City,” which introduces the history, scale, and functions of the Forbidden City.

It was the first seismic experiment ever performed on a model of an ancient architecture, according to a seismological expert stationed in the Forbidden City.

In its 600 hundred years of history, the Forbidden City has survived 200 devastating earthquakes, including the deadly Tangshan earthquake in 1976.

The video earned thumbs up and positive comments from netizens.

Disabled boy to play duet with Chinese top pianist Lang Lang

Zhang Yuanjun, a 23-year-old music lover who has cerebral palsy and autism, will perform with Chinese pianist Lang Lang in August in Shenyang, northeastern China’s Liaoning province.


Born with cerebral-palsy and autism, Zhang is reluctant to communicate with the outside world, but has a strong interest in music. Thanks to his mother’s efforts, Zhang not only can play piano, but can sing in various languages, including Italian, Russian, Hindu, and Arabic. His dream is to become a great pianist like Richard Clayderman.


Zhang started learning piano in 2012. After years of efforts, the talented man passed advanced piano exams, won first prize in a national piano contest, and even performed on China Central Television (CCTV). Now he has been invited to perform with China’s top-level pianist Lang Lang in Shenyang next month.