Tourist texting once again after dropping phone in Terracotta Warriors pit

A tourist who dropped her mobile phone into one of pits of the renowned terra cotta warriors was able to share the experience on social media thanks to the museum’s helpful staff.

The fumbling visitor to the 2,200-year-old site in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province admits she was not expecting to see her phone again after it slipped from her hand on Wednesday.

“The guide told me that once you drop it into the pit, it becomes a national treasure,” read the woman’s post on social media platform WeChat.

Accompanying photos taken from above show the phone had landed on a raised platform down Pit No. 3 of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Despite her guide’s pessimistic prediction, museum staff returned the phone the next day.

According to museum officials, employees had to wait until the museum closed to retrieve the phone because of the increased number of tourists at the site during the National Day holiday.

With millions of tourists visiting the site every year, dealing with visitors dropping items into the deep pits is a common problem.

“We have professionals that go into the pits and help retrieve lost belongings,” said the museum’s administrative director, surnamed Liu.

Source: Global Times

Xinjiang sees high growth

Authorities in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region announced an annual GDP growth rate of 9.3 percent since 2012, and experts said that the key is to strike a balance between economic development and stability in the region.

Xinjiang’s gross domestic product rose from 750.5 billion yuan ($112.7 billion) in 2012 to 961.7 billion yuan in 2016, an annual increase of 9.3 percent and 2.2 percent higher than the national average, according to a statement from the region’s development and reform commission on Saturday.

The region’s average per capita income has reached 40,427 yuan, the commission said.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), 5,587 projects worth 59.8 billion yuan have been implemented in Xinjiang, fueling the region’s economic and social development, it said.

“Xinjiang has been facing a complicated environment and pressure in recent years and its achievements since the 18th Party congress could instill confidence in the people of the region and unite them,” Shen Guiping, a religious expert at the Central Institute of Socialism in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Shen said that Xinjiang has been developing rapidly since 2012 thanks to measures including poverty alleviation and cooperation with other parts of China.

“The conferences on Xinjiang held by the Central Committee of the CPC have created a comprehensive path for Xinjiang’s development, together with the efforts of the local government and people of different ethnic groups,” Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Beijing’s Minzu University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Meanwhile the number of residents living in poverty dropped from 2.6 million in 2013 to 1.2 million in 2016, the commission said.

The Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday that the region raised 4.17 billion yuan in 2017 in relocation funds as part of its poverty reduction drive. The fund, up from the previous year’s 1.3 billion yuan, will be used to house 83,900 people being relocated to more developed areas from poverty-hit regions.

Xinjiang also raised the allowances of border residents. The average monthly subsidies for border guards on plateau areas have risen from 1,000 yuan to 2,600 yuan in the last five years.

According to a development plan released by the region’s education department, more than 98 percent of children will have access to three years of free preschool education. By 2020, all students attending kindergarten, primary and junior schools will be provided with bilingual education and students from ethnic minority groups will have a basic command of standard spoken and written Chinese.

Vital contributions

The region has also focused on building a core area for the Belt and Road initiative. By the end of 2016, the region had four comprehensive bonded zones, 15 first-class open border ports and 111 international transport lines shared with five neighboring countries, the commission said.

From 2012 to 2016, the region built 1,250.7 kilometers of railway, including 717 kilometers for high-speed trains. The combined regional railway network reached 5,868 kilometers.

The region produced 133 million tons of crude oil and 141 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the past five years and has provided energy resources to other parts of China, making the region increasingly vital to the national energy system, the commission said.

The trade volume of cross-border e-commerce in Xinjiang reached $1.22 million from July to September, the region’s customs office said Saturday. Some 176,000 items have been exported from Xinjiang since the region started cross-border e-commerce in July, Xinhua reported.

“Xinjiang continues to face the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as economic development and social stability affect each other,” Xiong said.

“Therefore, close dependence on the Party and people of different ethnicities to maintain stability is necessary,” he said.

The crackdown on extremism has made headway in recent years. To maintain development, it is necessary for all levels of governments in Xinjiang to stay away from extremist influences, Shen noted.

Source: Global Times


Two holidays in one see a record number of travelers

China’s eight-day National Day holiday is expected to see more than 700 million people journeys, equivalent to a tenth of the global population, according to official data.

This is an increase of more than 70 percent, in domestic travelers, over the 428 million trips of four years ago, in 2013. The number of domestic trips had already reached 663 million as of Saturday, the seventh day of the holiday, with tourist spending amounting to more than 549 billion yuan ($82.5 billion), according to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA).

National Day, on October 1, was combined with the Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, on October 4, and extended the normally week-long holiday to eight days this year.

Li Mingde, a former vice president of Beijing Tourism Society, in commenting on the holiday, told the Global Times Sunday, “Tourism has become a regular part of life for the Chinese over the years. After people stopped worrying about getting enough to eat, they started spending money on leisure activities.”

In both the cities and the suburbs, tourism has gone mainstream across China, as outdoor sports, museums, and other forms of amusement gain in popularity, according to the CNTA.

This year, fewer traffic accidents and less uncivilized behavior were reported during the holidays, a sign of how governments at all levels have been taking tourist safety and tourism quality more seriously, Li said.

Outbound tourism

For the period, more than 6 million Chinese were expected to travel abroad, according to Ctrip, an online travel agency. Since 2012, China has become the largest source of outgoing tourists, accounting for a large amount of global tourism, the CNTA quoted Zhu Shanzhong, the executive director of the World Tourism Organization, as saying.

In line with this, 65 countries and regions are providing visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to Chinese citizens and, during this year’s National Day holiday, 88 countries and regions received Chinese visitors, versus 68 countries last year, the CCTV reported.

One reason that more countries are making the visit easier for Chinese tourists is the huge consumer spending they bring, which helps the local economy, said Jiang Yiyi, director of international tourism development at the Beijing-based China Tourism Academy, in a talk with the Global Times on Sunday.

Ctrip data shows Thailand, Japan, and Singapore are the most popular holiday destinations for Chinese, while South Korea, this year, has seen a 7 percent drop in Chinese visitors.

This makes Southeast and Northeast Asia the favorite holiday spots for Chinese but, Jiang added, the political situation abroad also affects the choices of Chinese tourists.

High-speed economies

Meanwhile, China’s railways have certainly been busy hauling people around to tourist attractions or back home for a family reunion, the China Railway Corporation (CRC) said Saturday. The Chinese made about 105 million trips by rail after the travel rush started on September 28, and 40 percent of them were by high-speed trains.

China has the world’s largest high-speed rail network, with a total of 22,000 kilometers in all, the CRC says.

In relation to this, Li said high-speed trains are no longer a novelty to Chinese, and they have shortened the travel time and made holiday travel more comfortable and convenient.

Source: Global Times

Popular literature website recruits inspectors

One of China’s largest online literature sites has banned posts on politics and says it is looking for inspectors to review various website posts since Friday. said in an online message to all of its users on Friday that “all topics and posts involving politics and related news” are banned from all sections of the website in accordance with laws and regulations.”

The message also said that the site is hiring a number of inspectors to review politically related content on the website.

The website said in the message that the move aims to help “create a healthy Internet atmosphere and maintain online order.”

Anyone applying for the position must be above 20 years of age and “have political common sense” and be sensitive to online public opinions, according to the message, with preference given to Party members.

Other requirements include a registered forum membership and passing a politics and public opinion examination.

The new rule was proposed back in January, with a suggestion that posts violating the ban be removed from the website., which was established in 2003, has become a well-known site providing quality literature and scripts from a number of popular Chinese films and TV series, including You Are My Sunshine, which garnered more than 5 billion views.

Meanwhile, other forums have announced similar rules or rules on politics-related content, with Chinese sports website, saying that any comment or post related to politics or national history will be immediately deleted., one of China’s most popular social networking sites, has said that “information on politics and prominent politicians is not welcome” on the site.

Source: Global Times

Online chat hosts responsible for deleting comment under new rule

Starting Sunday, anyone administering group chats, such as WeChat and Sina Weibo, will need to be responsible for managing the group, according to a new national regulation on Internet group chat.

The regulation, from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), states that anyone administering WeChat, QQ and other Internet group chat must “inspect the conduct of group members and the information posted in groups so that it accords with the law, user agreements and online platform conventions,” according to the CAC website.

“Service providers and users of such online groups must promote socialist values and encourage a positive and healthy Net culture,” read the regulation.

A WeChat group host surnamed Liu told the Global Times that she and many other group chat hosts have been warning their members about the need to stop passing illicit content now.

“It’s reasonable for cyberspace regulators to strengthen their online investigation since Internet violence was getting rampant. Now, users will have to be more careful in sending group messages,” Liu concluded.

“The new regulation can serve as an alarm for all Internet users to show them that they need to be more cautious in posting comments,” Wang Sixin, deputy dean of the Communication University of China’s School of Literature and Law, told the Global Times on Sunday,

“In the case of those online service providers that used to turn a blind eye to illegal online comments, they’ll have to be more responsible for the illicit content and controlling their users now that the new regulations have come out,” Wang added.

Service providers will need to check the qualification of a group’s hosts by examining their real identity or credit rating, the regulation states, and that service providers need to enforce the real-name registration of all their users before they post any comment, but users can choose not to reveal related information on the user pages.

Qin An, the head of the China Institute of Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global times on Sunday that the real-name registration could still protect the online users’ need for virtual identity, while helping the country clean up its Internet world.

Qin said that the regulation complements China’s Cyber Security Law, while Wang adds that to make full use of the regulation, law enforcement officials also need to turn to China’s Criminal Law and related laws since the regulation does not specify penalties for violators.

Since the Cyber Security Law took effect in June, several net users have been fined or detained for posting illegal content via social media.

Last month, police in East China’s Anhui Province detained a man for five days for posting insults concerning traffic police in a chat group.

Sina Weibo has also announced in late September that it will hire 1,000 reviewers to closely watch the content on its platform to better regulate its content.

The 1,000 people will be responsible for detecting and reporting pornographic, illegal, or other harmful content to the administrator to help the company deal with illicit content more effectively.

Source: Global Times

Over 100 smartphone apps developed to help Party members remain loyal to CPC

Screen grabs show various smartphone applications for Party building (center), a quiz of knowledge about the Long March (left) and a game of shaking the phone to learn the Party constitution (right).

Every morning, civil servant Sui signs in to her smartphone, not to chat with friends but to report on an app.

She also learns a variety of knowledge about the Communist Party of China (CPC) on this app, developed specially to manage and train Party members around the country.

In addition to the local government in Hunan Province Sui is working for, an increasing number of Party-related organs are using mobile phone apps to monitor and evaluate the performance of Party members, and service providers say momentum is high with the approaching Party congress.

The apps not only provide online classes to learn Party doctrines, but also enable users to pay their CPC membership fees or socialize with each other. More importantly, the apps will help the CPC evaluate the performance of their nearly 90 million members in a visible, traceable and interactive manner.

The most basic function of these new apps is to provide materials for members to learn the Party constitution and its regulations, as well as to help Party members follow news about senior Party officials, app designers told the Global Times.

Among such materials, speeches from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, are the most popular.

Quizzes on Party building apps. Single choice: A Party member ( ) participate and defend himself when a Party organization discusses his punishment or assessment and other Party members defend him. A(has the right to) B(must) C(has no right to) D(cannot)

Single choice: Democratic centralism is a unity of democracy and centralism, which is a system based on ( ). A(the realization of the absolute leadership of the CPC) B(the realization of Party unity) C(mobilization of the Party’s enthusiasm and creativity) D(the realization of people making their choices)

Traceable evidence

For clients, one of the most favored functions of the Party-building apps is to evaluate users’ performance. Evaluation criteria includes users’ activeness on the app, such as how often they use the app, how many online classes they have taken and how frequently they signed up for online activities.

Whether Party members are learning the lessons in a timely and active manner can also be displayed on the apps, offering traceable evidence of their usage, Zeng Ying, a project director at the Fujian Huayu Education Technology Co, told the Global Times.

The project, named “China’s Good Party Member,” has developed more than 100 such apps for clients, with 8 million, or nearly 10 percent of all Party members in China, as its user base.

Some apps also provide tests on Party-related knowledge, such as “How Party members should act to avoid an unwanted work style?” The test results affect the evaluation of the user on the app, and also in reality.

An app designed for the China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co (CTCE) ranks its users on a monthly and weekly basis according to users’ learning habits and test results, Wang Shizhou, head of the organizing department at the CTCE, told the Global Times.

Those who fail, or perform poorly, on the tests will be criticized; good test result will earn users points which will earn them a higher ranking or can be used to exchange for rewards such as notebook or pens, said Wang.

A new version of the app is expected to enable users to vote for the company’s annual “Top 10 Best Party Members” among nearly 10,000 candidates, said Wang.

For companies like CTCE, whose staffers are mostly working at construction sites across China, it’s hard and costly to gather all employees at one site for a training or poll. “An app can effectively actualize that goal,” said Wang.

Such effectiveness has been hailed by Wang Tong, deputy head of the Party committee of the People’s Publishing House, which developed a popular app called “Party Member’s Schoolbag.”

The app has been used in remote areas, such as the Ngari Prefecture in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, in order to make it easier for the region’s Party members, who are scattered across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, to learn or hold conferences online, said Wang Tong.

“Party Member’s Schoolbag” is currently being used by 1,244 client organs, including the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, and also the CPC committee in Yan’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

Unsurprisingly, Party-building apps have been designed mostly in the color red, with logos usually designed in classic styles such as the “sickle and hammer” of the official Party flag. The apps are designed in a way to facilitate the actual work of Party members, as a majority of them are local government officials.

For instance, an app designed by the CPC committee in Laizhou, East China’s Shandong Province, introduces local agriculture specialties and tourist sites together with detailed contact information. The app aims to help Laizhou, where 70 percent of its 60,000 Party members are farmers, improve their local economy, according to Zeng.

Such apps, which require tens of thousands to several million yuan to develop and maintain, are mostly designed for CPC committees at different levels and for Party organizations at social units, such as companies or universities.

According to service providers, most of the apps are only available to download and use among members belonging to the same Party organization. Though a few Party-building apps are available from retail app stores, non Party-members may only log in as visitors to experience limited functions.

Mixed feedback

Many members-only apps also provide a channel for users to socialize with each other using functions similar to WeChat. They can search and “friend” other nearby Party members and organize online or offline activities via the apps.

With the approaching 19th National Party Congress, the need for such apps has rapidly increased along with people’s awareness of the significance of the meeting, according to Zeng.

As no members would like to be seen lagging behind in their Party-related work, such apps also place additional pressure on members to properly and timely show their loyalty and enthusiasm for the Party, Su Wei, a professor at the Chongqing Municipal Party Committee’s Party School, told the Global Times.

Though the effectiveness and convenience of such apps has been highly praised by developers and buyers alike, for Party members, the actual user experience of Party-building apps has received mixed feedback.

“It makes me feel motivated to spend more time and effort studying Party-related knowledge, as it gets shown in the app,” said Chen Lixia, a Party member from Central China’s Henan Province.

However, others are complaining that the apps, which are mandatory for Party members to download and use, are a burden for already overloaded members.

Functions such as paying membership fees reportedly do not always work properly or only support limited options to pay, while the activeness of users on the app is not always accurate, according to some Party members contacted by the Global Times.

“A user can simply pay someone else to get a better record of using the apps and answers to tests can be easily found online,” said Party member Sui.

“Using the Internet and big data to help with Party building is a trend and it brings more convenience for the management of local Party committees. However, it’s not a competition. The apps should avoid derailing from the purpose of Party building,” said Su.

By the end of 2016, China had a total of 89.44 million CPC members managed by 4.5 million Party grass-roots organizations. The country’s ruling party has put a premium on monitoring the work performance of its members.

Source: Global Times

Chinese navy medical ship treats hundreds of Gabonese patients for free

Hundreds of residents in Gabon are receiving free health care from the Chinese Navy’s hospital ship, the Peace Ark, which is currently on a medical mission in the country.

The Peace Ark arrived in Gabon on October 1, and provides locals free on-board medical and humanitarian services.

Denise Mekamne, minister of Public Health of Gabon, said that the number of patients is continually rising, and noted that Gabonese show strong interest in Chinese medicine.

In one inpatient ward, 8-year-old Mondjo is recovering from a six-hour operation that successfully separated his fingers.

“I’ve three children. Mondjo is the oldest. He was born this way. I have found many doctors but they were unable to perform surgeries. If we go overseas for surgeries, I can’t afford the cost,” said Mondjo’s father. “The Peace Ark saved my family.”

The 14-year-old Nzendong’s mother said she learned about China’s medical ship on television. After a physical check, Nzendong successfully underwent surgery.

So far, staff members on the Peace Ark have examined more than 3,000 Gabonese and performed dozens of surgeries in the country.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the Peace Ark is 178 meters long and has a total area of 4,000 square meters. It has 300 beds, eight operation rooms and seven health care offices. About 115 medical staff members work on board, most of whom have senior positions and come from the Naval Medical University.

Between 2010 and 2015, the ship sailed to Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania on medical missions. Some 29 countries and regions as well as 120,000 people have received free on-board services, Xinhua reported.

Nzendong’s mother (left) and another Gabonese woman dance with joy in the Peace Ark’s inpatient ward to celebrate Nzendong’s successful operation. Photo: VCG


Source: Global Times


China rising in arms trade

China has become a larger player in the global arms industry in recent years and exports have been shifting from low-end weapons to increasingly advanced ones, though the country applies strict rules to arms exports, experts said on Sunday.

Chinese arms sales have been surging in the past five years, according to an article published in US magazine the National Interest on September 27. During the period, the country’s exports accounted for 6.2 percent of the global weapons trade, an increase of 74 percent compared to 2007-11, the article noted.

In addition, China’s weapons exports have moved ahead of those from countries such as Germany, France and the UK, and it is now the world’s third-largest arms exporter, according to the article.

Pakistan, one of the main destinations for China’s arms exports, said on Saturday that the country’s navy has signed contracts to acquire an undisclosed number of frigates from China and is also planning to buy eight submarines from China, the Dawn reported, citing former naval chief Muhammad Zakaullah.

This comes as no surprise, given China’s growing capabilities in research and development (R&D) as well as production of advanced weapons, Li Jie, a naval military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“The days when China lagged behind other countries in weapons design and technology are over. Now we have independent R&D systems and are even ahead of other countries in some major areas such as submarines and aircraft,” he said, pointing to the new fighter jet, the J-20.

The J-20, a stealth fighter jet independently developed by China, has been officially commissioned into military service, Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MOD), was quoted as saying in a report by the Xinhua News Agency on September 28. The aircraft is the country’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet.

More advanced exports

At the same time as China’s rising capability in weapons development, there has been a shift in arms exports.

China’s exports in recent years have shifted from low-end weapons to more advanced items, such as modern tanks, submarines and unmanned aerial vehicles, Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“Also, China usually exports weapons to countries without strings attached, and it has adopted flexible payment arrangements such as loans, which makes the purchase of weapons easier for some countries,” he noted.

China exports weapons to 55 countries worldwide, covering Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, and many of its clients are developing countries.

Although China’s share of the industry has risen rapidly in the past few years, the US is still the largest global arms exporter, accounting for one-third of total exports, according to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in February. The US supplies arms to at least 100 countries around the world, and half of its exports are to the Middle East, the report noted.

“Compared to US military equipment, China’s exports have advantages not only in price but also in after-sales service,” Song said, noting that the country provides technology support and consultancy when selling weapons to other countries.

China also has “a better reputation in arms sales,” said Li, the expert. “For example, the US previously sold F-16 fighter jets to India, which are outdated and overpriced,” he added.

Also, China has further enhanced its competitiveness in the area of advanced weapons, according to Li. “The submarines sold to Pakistan are a good example, as is our self-designed, air-independent propulsion system,” he said.

Some of China’s advanced weapons have shown better-than-expected performance on the global stage compared to ones from major exporters such as the US and Russia. “For instance, China’s J-10 aircraft won’t be weaker than its US counterpart the F-16… Also the country’s Hongqi missile defense system has capabilities equivalent to the US Patriot missiles,” Song said.

However, the US and Russia have accumulated more real-time battle experience, particularly in the Middle East, according to experts.

Strict rules

“A major difference is that China exports weapons to maintain regional peace, but the US is fuelling instability,” Li noted.

China exports weapons based on three principals – to help enhance the client’s legitimate self-defense capability, not to jeopardize regional and global peace and stability, and not to intervene in the client’s internal politics – the MOD spokesman was quoted as saying in media reports on September 28.

On top of that, China’s weapons exports are in line with UN regulations, and are legal and responsible, the spokesman said.

Source: Global Times