Gansu old man creates miniature Fuxi Temple with 10,000 chopsticks

Wu Tianxiang, an old man in his 60s in northwest China’s Gansu Province, spent over 3 years creating a miniature Fuxi Temple, one of the most famous ancient architectural complexes in northwest China, with over 10,000 chopsticks and 400 walnuts, China News reported on March 20.

Wu paid much attention to details of his work, including the stone lions, little bells and flags, which resemble the real ones a lot. He also plans to create miniature sculptures of other scenic spots in the future.

83.3% of Chinese respondents call on tightening supervision on antibiotic use

Nearly 83.3 percent Chinese respondents are calling for strengthening supervision surrounding antibiotic use in consideration of widespread antibiotic misuse around China and the related potential risks, according to a poll recently conducted by China Youth Daily, Cyol.com reported on March 22.

The poll surveyed 2003 respondents, among which 67.1% and 51.2% suggested strict investigation regarding the abuse of antibiotics in medical institutions and the breeding industry, respectively. About 63.2% hope food and drug departments and hospitals will publicize knowledge on antibiotic use to the public.

Respondents say many Chinese people use antibiotics as a panacea without doctors’ prescriptions, and some pharmacies and clinics sell antibiotics to consumers without official prescriptions, making antibiotics easily accessible to the public.

Qiu Hong, a doctor at a Hebei-based public hospital, introduced that abuse of antibiotics impairs the microecological balance in human body, which can sometimes intensify infections. It may also induce bacteria resistance, resulting in treatment failure.

Wang Xuegong, vice chairman of China Pharmaceutical Industry Association also noted that abuse of antibiotics in the breeding industry will influence people’s health, as the antibiotics will after all enter the food chain.

Statistics show that in 2013, 162 kilotons of antibiotics were used in China, of which 52 percent were veterinary and 48 percent for humans.

Tmall Global plans to establish six global procurement centers


Alibaba-run Tmall Global plans to open six new procurement centers around the world to help overseas vendors better satisfy Chinese consumers’ needs for imported goods, Tmall President Jing Jie said on March 21, Beijing Business Daily reported.

The six centers will be established in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, as well as regions in North America, Europe and Oceania, Jing clarified at an annual global partners summit of Tmall Global held in Hangzhou.

At the summit, Tmall Global signed annual procurement plans with representatives from Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

The platform will also increase the use of bonded warehouses, which will store goods without imported duties until they are dispatched, with the aim of reducing the cost for vendors that are looking to get into the Chinese market, Jing disclosed.

Tmall Global already provides platforms for more than 18,000 brands from 74 countries and regions, according to statistics.

CPC centralizes foreign affairs decision-making power

The Communist Party of China (CPC) established a Central Committee for Foreign Affairs which analysts said further centralizes authority over diplomatic policy.

The CPC Central Committee has released a plan on deepening reform of Party and State institutions where a number of central leading groups, including those for foreign affairs, cyberspace affairs, financial and economic affairs have been made central committees, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Central Leading Group for Safeguarding Maritime Rights and Interests will be abolished and its work will be placed under the new Central Committee for Foreign Affairs.

“The procedures in foreign affairs decision-making will not change. However, by turning the Central Leading Group of Foreign Affairs into a central committee, the foreign affairs decision-making authority is further centralized,” Shi Yinhong, director of the Center for American Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

Shi said more members may be joining the committee and activities may be better planned.

China’s foreign affairs work is often carried out on a dual track. The Party’s International Department manages relations with foreign political parties, while the foreign ministry handles government-to-government affairs. The International Department is particularly instrumental in handling China’s relations with North Korea.

Tao Wenzhao, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday that a central committee is needed to oversee foreign affairs work that often spans different ministries and departments, and coordinate China’s increasingly complex foreign policy objectives.

With China’s increased international activities, many other ministries started getting involved in foreign affairs.

“With opportunities come challenges. The new committee may expand the scope of coordination between various government departments,” Shi said.

Traditionally, the members of the former Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs included a vice premier or a state councilor in charge of foreign affairs, foreign minister, defense minister, minister of commerce, minister of public security, among others.

Rising status

Without a fixed meeting schedule, the leading group would convene when a foreign affairs or a national security issue arises where each member would provide a different perspective and give his or her policy recommendations.

Its daily procedural work would be carried out by an office, including providing analyses on major national security or foreign affairs issues and processing foreign affairs-related documents from relevant Party and State agencies.

Since 2008, a state councilor in charge of foreign affairs would head the office, giving the councilor considerable sway in China’s foreign affairs policy-making.

Former State Councilor Yang Jiechi has been director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs since 2013 after Dai Bingguo. Yang was often seen accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping in his overseas state visits.

Yang became a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in 2017. In February this year, he visited the US and met with President Donald Trump during rising trade tensions between the two countries.

Analysts said the change from a central leading group to a central committee represents the rising status of foreign affairs in Chinese politics.

On Monday, Wang Yi was reappointed China’s foreign minister. He was also endorsed as a state councilor.

It remains unclear what role Wang will play in the new Central Committee for Foreign Affairs, but analysts said the dual posts may give the foreign ministry higher status in the Chinese political hierarchy.ntral Leading Group for Safeguarding Maritime Rights and Interests will be abolished and its work will be placed under the new Central Committee for Foreign Affairs.

“The procedures in foreign affairs decision-making will not change. However, by turning the Central Leading Group of Foreign Affairs into a central committee, the foreign affairs decision-making authority is further centralized,” Shi Yinhong, director of the Center for American Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

Shi said more members may be joining the committee and activities may be better planned.

China’s foreign affairs work is often carried out on a dual track. The Party’s International Department manages relations with foreign political parties, while the foreign ministry handles government-to-government affairs. The International Department is particularly instrumental in handling China’s relations with North Korea.

Tao Wenzhao, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday that a central committee is needed to oversee foreign affairs work that often spans different ministries and departments, and coordinate China’s increasingly complex foreign policy objectives.

With China’s increased international activities, many other ministries started getting involved in foreign affairs.

“With opportunities come challenges. The new committee may expand the scope of coordination between various government departments,” Shi said.

Traditionally, the members of the former Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs included a vice premier or a state councilor in charge of foreign affairs, foreign minister, defense minister, minister of commerce, minister of public security, among others.

Rising status

Without a fixed meeting schedule, the leading group would convene when a foreign affairs or a national security issue arises where each member would provide a different perspective and give his or her policy recommendations.

Its daily procedural work would be carried out by an office, including providing analyses on major national security or foreign affairs issues and processing foreign affairs-related documents from relevant Party and State agencies.

Since 2008, a state councilor in charge of foreign affairs would head the office, giving the councilor considerable sway in China’s foreign affairs policy-making.

Former State Councilor Yang Jiechi has been director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs since 2013 after Dai Bingguo. Yang was often seen accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping in his overseas state visits.

Yang became a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in 2017. In February this year, he visited the US and met with President Donald Trump during rising trade tensions between the two countries.

Analysts said the change from a central leading group to a central committee represents the rising status of foreign affairs in Chinese politics.

On Monday, Wang Yi was reappointed China’s foreign minister. He was also endorsed as a state councilor.

It remains unclear what role Wang will play in the new Central Committee for Foreign Affairs, but analysts said the dual posts may give the foreign ministry higher status in the Chinese political hierarchy.

Source: Global Times

CPC releases reform plan to strengthen its leadership

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee released a plan Wednesday to deepen reforms in Party and State institutions, covering many fields including law-enforcement, publicity, education, deepening reform, ethnic and religious affairs.

The CPC exercises overall leadership over all areas of endeavor in the country, and the reform is meant to strengthen the Party’s leadership in all areas and improve the structure of the Party organization, according to the plan.

The plan says that some State institutions previously under the leadership of the State Council have been dissolved or integrated into a new agency under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, such as the State Administration for Religious Affairs, Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, and Ministry of Supervision and National Bureau of Corruption Prevention.

“The core of this reform is to reinforce and strengthen the Party leadership, and adjust the political system of the Party-State management in China,” said Feng Yue, a political science expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

At the beginning of the opening-up and reform in the 1980s, China implemented reforms to partly separate functions between the Party and State institutions, which fit the requirements of that era, Feng said.

In the new era, however, China needs a strong and stable leadership to guide development and control the direction of reform, so strengthening the Party’s leadership in all areas is truly necessary, Feng added.

The reform will unite the forces of those institutions with overlapping functions and duties, and bring them under the Party’s leadership and management, said Wang Yukai, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance.

“The reform will largely and fundamentally reduce the cost of governance, and also improve efficiency,” Wang said.

‘Voice of China’

On publicity matters, the plan states that institutions responsible for the film industry and press and publication will be transferred to the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee from their original State administration.

Feng said that “this will concentrate the resources and authority to improve China’s influence overseas and promote China’s international image.”

Three major Chinese State-run media — China Central Television, China Radio International and China National Radio — will be combined into a new institution called the “Voice of China” in English, also under the leadership of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.

The four “Central Leading Groups” for comprehensive deepening of reform – financial and economic affairs, internet security, and foreign affairs – will officially become four committees.

“This will institutionalize and normalize the Party’s leadership in these crucial areas, and in future exchanges with other countries, committees are more formal than ‘leading groups,'” Feng said. The leading groups normally mean temporary institutions established for emerging issues, while committees are permanent institutions.

According to the plan, the functions and obligations of the Ministry of Supervision and National Bureau of Corruption Prevention will be integrated into the newly established National Supervisory Commission.

Three institutions, responsible for researching Party history and literature and translation and compilation work have also been merged.

Fan Lingzhi and Bai Yunyi contributed to the story

Source: Global Times

 

New technology adds spin to China’s waste management

A resident throws rubbish into a garbage sorting can in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi province, March 6, 2018. He will receive credits if he throws the trash into the right can, and the credits can be used to buy drinks, tissues and soaps. (Photo from CFP)

New technologies are accelerating China’s path towards a beautiful country by giving a pushing hand to waste management and recycling systems, as more Chinese residents have realized the importance of sorting their garbage.

Garbage classification has grown into a systematic program nationwide since the country launched a pilot project on refuse classification in eight cities in 2000.

Over the past years, under the guidance of the new development philosophy, local governments have developed an “Internet Plus recycling” model, which integrates internet technologies and garbage classification with the recycle of renewable recourse.

Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China established app platforms for information management of garbage classification.

Last December, Qingdao in east China’s Shandong province launched the first trial intelligent garbage sorting bin. The bin has helped raise residents’ awareness of sorting trash by giving credits to them according to the weight of their trash.

A ton of waste paper can be made into 850 kilograms of fine new paper, and a ton of used glass can be processed into a piece of glass that equals the size of a basketball court, signifying the importance of waste recycling.

Jinhua City in east China’s Zhejiang province launched a rural household garbage classification trial project in May 2014. Now, each household of the Suoyuan village, Jindong district in the city has two bins in different colors for garbage classification.

By the end of 2017, all the towns in Jinhua were covered by the project. The better environment has made lucid waters and lush mountains here become invaluable assets.

Workers reap over 200 tons of withered reeds on the bank of Taihu Lake in Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu province, Feb. 4, 2018. The reeds will be shipped to a paper mill in the city for paper production. (Photo from CFP)

In the first three quarters of 2017, the agritainment families in the city received 19.9 million person-times of visitors, with the total operation revenue reaching 1.44 billion yuan (about $229 million), up 15.2 percent and 21.67 percent year on year, respectively.

New technologies have strongly pushed forward trash recycling, for instance, in promoting ecological agriculture. In the past, crop straw was burned, but now the agricultural waste is used to generate power with the help of biomass power generation technology.

In animal breeding, technological tools are often used by keepers and enterprises to process animal waste into organic fertilizers or source of power and marsh gas.

Because of the growing popularity of green development philosophy among the public, as well as emerging new technologies, more progress will be made in building a beautiful China.

Op-ed: US to face consequences for attempting to undermine Sino-US political foundation

China has expressed its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition after US President Donald Trump on Friday signed the “Taiwan Travel Act” that encourages visits and exchanges between the US and China’s Taiwan at all levels.

The US has not only severely violated the one-China principle and the three joint communiques between China and the US, but also interfered in China’s domestic affairs.

By playing “Taiwan card” at this crucial moment of the China-US ties, the US intends to reap some unfair gains, but it will swallow the bitter fruit ultimately.

The Taiwan issue bears on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and touches China’s core interests. Chinese government has reiterated on plenty of occasions its firm resolution and determination in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity are indestructible.

China has also urged the US to avoid disturbing and damaging to overall bilateral ties by handling Taiwan-related issues properly and cautiously .It requires the US to stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way, and to never send wrong signals to the “pro-independence” separatist forces in Taiwan.

However, the US stubbornly continues to challenge the bottom line of the one-China principle with the “Taiwan Travel Act”. The ill-conceived bill, which seriously disturbs China-US relations as well as the situation across the Taiwan Strait, will never be accepted by the Chinese people.

The one-China principle, which has been recognized by the world, serves as the cornerstone to ensure the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The US has many times assured that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait serves its long-lasting interests, but continues to make slap-in-face by actions.

The US House of Representatives and the Senate have submitted dozens of Taiwan-related bills since 2016. Last July, the US State Department approved an arms sale to Taiwan, the first such deal with Taiwan since Trump took office.

Last December, Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2018 fiscal year into law, some clauses of which also encourage stronger military exchange between the US and Taiwan.

As an attempt to lift the ban on mutual visit exchanges between officials of the US and China’s Taiwan, the bill not only undermines China’s sovereignty, national integrity and security interests, but also harms the political foundation of China-US relations.

But facts will finally prove that the US will take equal or even worse consequences brought by any incorrect actions to damage the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Some politicians in the US, a place now penetrated by conservatism, isolationism and populism, are again trying to paint China as a threat. Some who hold twisted psychology or hegemonic mentality towards China’s prosperity still dreamed to “contain” China.

Such Cold War mentality does not work as it is unacceptable in the 21st century. Any Americans with political wisdom will draw the same conclusion.

Evan Medeiros, a former senior director for Asian Affairs at the White House’s National Security Council, and Ryan Hass, a former security advisor under the Obama administration, strongly recommended the Trump administration “steer clear of efforts to use Taiwan as a tool to put stress on China” in a signed article published previously.

One-China policy is uncompromisable. China has unshakable willpower to guard its bottom line on Taiwan issue, and unswerving determination to achieve the great cause of its peaceful reunification.

The Chinese mainland recently released a total of 31 new measures on economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan, receiving applause from Taiwan businesses and public.

It is an inevitable historical trend that China will march towards reunification, and any stupid attempt to resist it is doomed to be a waste of effort.

Attaching importance to its friendly cooperation with the US, China is always ready to develop a healthy and stable relationship with the US on a basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

What the US should do is to respect China’s sovereignty rather than flying a kite on China’s bottom line, and to seek to maximize interests of both sides by following previous consensus rather than turning back the wheel of history in an unwise way.

A sound and healthy relationship between China and US is conducive not only to the interests of the two countries, but also to that of Asia-Pacific region and the whole world.

Against such a backdrop, the US should get a clear understanding of the current situation, handle Taiwan-related issues properly and cautiously, maintain the overall China-US ties and the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait with concrete actions, and shoulder its responsibility as a major country.

Licensed memorabilia to be released for Paralympic flag handover

Chinese athletes compete in biathlon and snowboard on Mar. 16, the 7th day of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games. Chinese wheelchair curling team defeats the defending champion Canada on the same day. (Photo from the official website of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games)

Officially licensed memorabilia are released by Beijing to mark the special moment of Paralympic flag handover, as the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games came to an end on Sunday.

The resilient and perseverant athletes on the Paralympic games, in the past few days, have left a deep impression on global audiences.

Four products, including commemorative badges, bronze medals, silver medals, and mouse pads are scheduled to be unveiled by Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games on the same day of the flag handover on the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Games.

Commemorative badge of flag handover launched by Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

The badges, bronze medals and silver medals are limited to 2,022 units to ensure their collectible value.

The official licensed products are exquisitely produced to carry the spirit of the Paralympics. For instance, the limited badges, themed with sledge hockey, are made of alloy and colored through imitation hard enamel. The athlete on the badge can swing from side to side, which is a novel design to showcase the charm of the sport.

It is learnt that these Paralympics memorabilia is launched on Sunday at the official retail and online stores for the Beijing Winter Games.

Commemorative badge of flag handover launched by Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

Chinese wheelchair curling team defeats the defending champion Canada during PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games on Mar. 16, 2018. (Photo from the official website of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games)

The photo shows the first rehearsal of Beijing’s presentation on the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Paralympic Games. (Photo from mobile application of China Central Television)

Memorabilia to mark the special moment of Paralympic flag handover. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

Emblems of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. (Photo from People’s Daily Online)

The emblem of Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games is unveiled during the emblem launch ceremony for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 15, 2017. (Photo by People’s Daily Online)

Political meetings offer glimpse into China’s achievements in human rights development

A worker is producing photovoltaic parts at a factory in Jiujiang, eastern China’s Jiangxi province. The factory has helped build 217 power stations to reduce poverty, increasing income for 2,860 impoverished households. (Photo by CFP)

As China’s human rights development has become a focus on the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the figures and facts released during China’s ongoing annual sessions of national legislature and top political advisory body can offer a glimpse into the country’s achievements in this undertaking over the past 5 years.

Thanks to the huge economic and social progress in the past 5 years, China has made remarkable accomplishments in protecting the rights to survival and development.

China’s GDP has risen from 54 trillion ($8.5 trillion) to 82.7 trillion yuan ($13.1 trillion), registering average annual growth of 7.1 percent, said the report on the work of the government delivered at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

The country has moved forward in ensuring people’s economic, social and cultural rights as well. The country’s social old-age pension schemes now cover more than 900 million people, and the basic health insurance plans cover 1.35 billion people, forming the largest social safety net in the world, said the government work report, adding that life expectancy has reached 76.7 years on average.

Besides, China has given its best-of-all-time performance on poverty alleviation with a decisive progress. Over the past five years, more than 68 million people have been lifted out of poverty, including a total of 8.3 million relocated from inhospitable areas, and the poverty headcount ratio has dropped from 10.2 to 3.1 percent, according to the report.

The impoverished population of the country dropped to 30.46 million in 2017 from 98.99 million in 2012, which was equivalent to an annual reduction of 13.7 million. The report added that China will further reduce the poor rural population by over 10 million this year.

In terms of employment, the biggest concern for people’s livelihood, China managed to keep a low unemployment rate in the past five years. The work report noted that more than 66 million new urban jobs have been added, and China, with its population of over 1.3 billion, has achieved relatively full employment.

The unemployment rate in urban China stood at 3.9% in 2017, a record low since the outburst of the global economic crisis in 2008. The International Labour Organization believes that China’s employment policy is a great combination of modern employment theories, global experiences and China’s reality.

As a result of China’s all-round efforts to deepen judicial reform, judicial protection of human rights has been progressing as well.

Over the past 5 years, 31,527 prisoners were granted amnesty across the country, and a total of 2.67 billion yuan ($420 million) of judicial subsidies have been granted to victims who failed to get compensations to help them continue with their life, said the work report of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), adding that the number of juvenile crimes has been on a fall for 5 consecutive years.

Keeping to the principles of legality, judgment by evidence, presumption of innocence, and exclusion of unlawful evidence since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China has improved its defense system, established national judicial assistance system, and promoted judicial transparency, resulting in a significant improvement in the judicial protection of human rights.

A wide range of international exchanges and cooperation on human rights were launched by China as well. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said previously that with a full engagement in international human rights cooperation in the past 5 years, China has pushed for the establishment of a just and equitable international system for human rights.

Medical insurance can be settled through mobile payment service in some of Shenzhen’s hospitals since May 31th, 2016. Shenzhen is China’s first city to launch such pilot program. (Photo by CFP)

China has held more than 50 dialogues on human rights with over 20 developed and developing countries, enlarging its circle of friends to include as many countries as possible, according to the minister.

“China has made unprecedented achievements on human rights in the history, by lifting more than 700 million people, or over 70% of the world’s total impoverished population, out of poverty in only 30 years,” said Piotr Gadzinowski, chief editor of Polish newspaper Tribune and former member of the Polish parliament.

He said that the huge achievements, as well as the development path chosen by the Chinese people deserve respect from every country and government.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has given the answer to such remarkable achievements in his congratulatory letter to the international symposium on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations’ “Declaration on the Right to Development” on Dec. 4, 2016.

“For years China has put the people first during its development, increasing their benefits, ensuring the people are their own masters and supporting development in an all-round way,” Xi said in the letter, adding that these are both the starting points and the goals of development.

China has effectively safeguarded the people’s right to development and carved out a human rights development path with Chinese characteristics, he added.

China upgrades online complaint platform to better protect consumers’ rights

Mini app implanted in Alipay. (File photo)

China has upgraded its national internet platform of consumer dispute resolution 12315, enabling consumers to file and seek solution of complaints online in a more efficient way.

The upgraded version, introducing technologies from 5 tech firms including e-commerce giant Alibaba and navigation service provider AutoNavi, was launched on Mar. 15, which marked the annual World Consumer Rights Day.

Apart from the upgrading of official website and mobile application, the 24-hour service platform also launched a “mini app” implanted in Alipay, a third-party mobile and online payment platform under Alibaba, allowing consumers to protect their rights with just one click on their phones.

So far, the mini app has already offered a complaints-filing channel. Consumers can also check laws and regulations, as well as the basic information and geographic location of the operators they complain.

Users can find the mini app after entering the “city service” section or by typing “12315” in the search bar in Alipay, and then file a complaint or report infringement by typing the names of the targets. Those not clear about the registered names can also identify the targets via the map implanted in the mini app.

Front page of the 12315 mini app. (File photo)

In addition, users can ask the complained companies to deal with the disputes in less than 10 days at first, and if not satisfied with the results, the complaints will be transferred to local industry and commerce departments.

It is learnt that before the launch of the new platform, Alibaba has already established multiple pilot projects to protect consumers’ rights under the cooperation with Zhejiang administration for industry and commerce and Hangzhou municipal bureau for market supervision and administration.

In 2017, 92% of the consumers expressed satisfaction for the results of complaints given by Alibaba and the 12315 hotline. The efficiency of complaint processing has also been improved by over 50%.