Tourism enriches impoverished village, improves income

Tremendous changes have happened in Chixi village, southeastern China’s Fujian province after 30 years of poverty alleviation. Hailed as the “best village of poverty relief”, Chixi village has made an excellent path of gaining wealth while protecting ecology through tourism.

In 2017, the disposable income per capita of the village hit 16,641 yuan, 100 times of that in 1984; the per capita floor area rose to 38.5 square meters, nearly quintupling the 1984 figure. In addition, the number of impoverished households in the village has been reduced to 2 from 352 thirty four years ago.

“More than 3 decades ago, Chixi was a remote and impoverished village of the She ethnic group with a large proportion of seniors and juveniles in its population structure,” Du Jiazhu, the Party secretary of the village told People’s Daily.

He said General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping has given important instructions on reducing poverty of the village through a recent online chatting with the villagers.

After that, the village took tourism as its dominant industry and successfully increased income for the villagers. “We have achieved a giant leap from an impoverished village to a well-off one,” Du said.

In 2016, the village saw an inflow of more than 200,000 tourists, with a single-day number reaching 10,000 at most.

Taking good use of local advantages, Chixi village has attracted capital to develop tourism centered with the southwest slope of Tailao Mountain, a major senic spot around the village. Many villagers have been lifted out of poverty because of this.

The better the picture, the more memorable the graduation!

Chinese university students are taking creative photos to celebrate graduation. Take a look at these pictures that have already gone viral.

Chongqing:

Graduates dressed as players from famous computer game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds pose for photos on campus at Chongqing Electronic Information College in southwest China.

Guangzhou:

Well-dressed graduates walk on a red carpet on campus at Guangzhou University, May 10, 2018.

Nanchang:

Happy Family: Students take pictures with their parents, who they regard as the most important people in their lives.

Anhui:

Two graduates and their teachers pose for pictures on campus at a university in east China’s Anhui province. During the student’s military service, the school suspended recruitment to their major, making them the only students this year. Unlike other university photos, the two students sit in front of their teachers.

PLA Navy completes night carrier take off and landing

Video footage showing Chinese carrier-borne fighter jets taking off and landing on China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning was released on China Central Television on Thursday.

Carrier expert Li Jie told Global Times that the night landings marked a huge step in the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s push to gain full combat capability.

China is now one of the few countries in the world to have acquired such capability, and this was also the first time that state media in China confirmed this information.

Li said that night battles are a major constituent of modern warfare, and night landing is a critical standard to assess the capability of pilots of carrier-borne fighter jets, and the carrier themselves.

According to Li, night landing is a huge challenge for pilots since it is difficult for them to distinguish signal lights at night. Therefore, psychological competence is a crucial factor.

At least four to five pilots have successfully finished the night landing training, Li analyzed, predicting that more will train to form comprehensive combat units.

My daughter earns $25 an hour teaching Chinese: Jim Rogers

World-renowned investor Jim Rogers said in an interview that his daughter earns $25 an hour teaching Chinese.

“I told them to work. I thought they would work for McDonalds,” the businessman said, adding that his daughters barely speak English now.

Happy Rogers, the elder sister, currently teaches two little girls aged between 4 and 7 years old. The youngest, Bee Rogers, teaches two boys, which she said is a challenging job because boys can be troublesome.

Bee Rogers

Jim Rogers made the decision to have his two daughters immersed in Chinese language and culture because he has long believed China would be the most important country of the 21st century with Chinese language being the most important language.

He first visited China as a tourist in 1984 and made some local contacts. These experiences contributed to his growing vision of China’s future.

Chinese cuisine gaining popularity in Norway thanks to Chinese chef

A Chinese chef living and working in Norway has made a unique contribution to China-Norway civil ties by introducing fantastic Chinese cuisine to the Nordic country.

The Chinese chef Ma Lie has worked in the catering industry for over 50 years. He moved to Norway 28 years ago as a chef with an international catering company.

Not long after his arrival, he was invited to cook for the then Norwegian Prime Minister. Recalling this memory, Ma said the Prime Minister was quite satisfied with his food.

After that, Chinese cuisine gained huge popularity with the local people, and the Chinese restaurant industry soared.

Four years later, Ma opened his own restaurant in the capital city of Oslo. In order to further expand the popularity of Chinese food, Ma made various attempts to cater to the local people.

He kept traditional Chinese cooking methods, but adjusted flavors to suit the tastes of locals. “That is what really helps Chinese food keep a foothold in foreign countries,” he said.

Last year, Ma helped hold a Chinese food exhibition in Oslo, which was attended by multiple high government officials of Norway.

The event attracted a number of local citizens and achieved huge success. “We are not only enticing diners, but also introducing them to China,” Ma noted.

In his eyes, food is a window through which the world can look at China’s rich culture and its rapid development.

“China has stood up, grown rich and become strong. We overseas Chinese have the responsibility of introducing our country to the world,” he said.

China is now a popular destination for Pakistani overseas students

In recent years, China has emerged as a popular destination for Pakistani students seeking overseas study, as the two countries gradually enhance cooperation in trade, economy and infrastructure.

Around 22,000 students from Pakistan are currently studying in the country, according to the Pakistani Embassy in China. Approximately 2,500 new Pakistani students enrolled in Chinese universities last year.
In 2016, a total of 1,350 Pakistani students registered for the Chinese Proficiency Test at the Confucius Institute in Islamabad, more than double the previous year, said Zhang Daojian, the Chinese president of the institute. The figure rose to 3,600 last year, he added.
Pakistan has become China’s third largest source of international students, after South Korea and Thailand, moving up by 6 places since 2012.
The two countries’ traditional friendship is the first reason that Pakistani students choose to study in China. For most of the young Pakistanis, the friendship is not merely a political one, and students also have an affection towards China.
Visa facilitation and reasonable tuition fees have also contributed to the rising trend, said a Pakistani education consultant with 10 years of experience in the field.
A Pakistani student who decided against his original plan of studying in the west, instead opting for China, said the mastery of Chinese has become an advantage in Pakistan as the Belt and Road construction continues to expand its influence. He added that the competitiveness of Chinese diplomas is also on the rise since China has developed rapidly in various fields over recent years.
Moreover, the Chinese government has been offering scholarships and subsidies for students from Belt & Road countries. For example, nearly a quarter of all Pakistani students in China came on a scholarship. Furthermore, of all students that received a Chinese scholarship in 2016, 61 percent were from Belt & Road countries, 8.4 percent more than in 2012.
A Pakistani overseas returnee told People’s Daily that Chinese enterprises are playing a much bigger role in Pakistan’s economic and social progress today, and working for these companies is a way to help develop his own country.

More partners on board CCI Southern Transport Corridor

More partners have agreed to jointly develop the China-Singapore Connectivity Initiative (CCI) Southern Transport Corridor, which is expected to offer a shorter and more direct trading route between western China and Southeast Asia, China News reported.

Chinese provinces such as Sichuan, Henan and Hunan, alongside countries such as Poland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all expressed their wishes to help build the corridor at the 10th Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum & the 2nd China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor Development Forum, held in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on May 24.

An ambassador of the UAE to China noted that the UAE, with its superior geological position, hopes to connect Asian, African and Mediterranean countries with European countries as a logistics hub.

Building the corridor will bring major opportunities to both western China and ASEAN countries, said Ma Biao, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Wei Ran, an official of Guangxi, introduced that cargo is now transported through the trade route to 58 ports of 35 countries. The corridor has saved freights a distance of 1,000 kilometers and reduced the average travel time of cargo by 12 days.

Wei disclosed that 660 sea-railway trains, 100 freight trains and 500 cross-border highway transport vehicles will operate through the route this year, which is believed to bring huge market potential.

The corridor was designed to link western China to Southeast Asia through Chongqing, a municipality in western China and Singapore, and to connect the overland Silk Road Economic Belt with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Its construction has made substantial progress since the initiative was launched in 2017.

From poor to rich: A visit to a fishing village in southeast China

“In the past we lived on boats floating on the sea; now we live on land, working in peace and contentment.” The couplet hung above a square of Xipi village, Fu’an City of southeast China’s Fujian province is a showcase of the dramatic changes the locals have undergone over the past years.

Photo shows a shabby boat placed on the Xipi Village square. Photo by Liu Lingling

For a long time, the villagers had been living on boats throughout their life, which is why they were called the “Gypsies on sea”.

Without fixed residence, it was common at that time for a family of three generations to live on a same shabby boat that frequently needed repairs.

For the village secretary Liu Mingfu who spent his entire childhood on the boat, the deck was both his home and workshop. It was a place where he did almost everything.

“We had eight family members on the boat, and it was always rocking on the waves, so it was a dream of us to have a good sleep on land,” Liu recalled. “Having no fixed place to live, no insurance for the elderly, no school for the young and no easy access to medical care was what we had experienced.”

It was not until the 1960s that Liu and his fellow villagers started to move onshore. Great efforts have been made by the provincial government to implement welfare projects and relocate the fishermen since late 1990s.

The government took strong measures in the process, including offering free land for relocation, opening roads, electricity, water, communication and radio and television signals, and providing subsidies for relocated villagers.

Photo shows Liu Deren’s three-storey house. Like Liu, most villagers have moved into such houses. Photo by Liu Lingling

In a few years, 1,425 people from 349 households had been relocated. At the end of 2013, the fishermen finally bid farewell to their floating life after the relocation of the rest 137 households.

What followed the relocation was the urgent need to improve livelihood. To achieve that, Xipi Village forged a unique path of sea economy featuring aquaculture, seafood business and maritime transportation. In 2017, villagers’ per capita income reached 18,756 yuan ($2,936) from 850 yuan in the 1990s.

“Living in bigger houses with electronic appliances, we are contented with our life. The government organizes training on production techniques every year. We now live a totally different life,” villager Liu Deren said while showing the reporter around his house.

New focus on coastal FTZs

The Chinese government is re-shifting the focus of free trade zones (FTZs) back to coastal areas, which experts said can maximize the effects and influence of FTZs by taking advantage of the regions’ developed economies.

The government will further deepen the opening-up and reform plan for FTZs in South China’s Guangdong Province, North China’s Tianjin and East China’s Fujian Province, the State Council, the country’s cabinet, announced on Thursday.

According to several separate statements published on gov.cn, the central government website, the authorities will further develop the negative list mechanism for foreign investors, further ease market access and increase the opening-up scale in the services sector.

Tang Wenhong, head of the Department of Foreign Investment Administration under the Ministry of Commerce, said during a State Council press conference on Thursday that the government is now drafting two foreign investment negative lists, one for foreign investment into FTZs and the other for foreign investment in regions outside FTZs.

The FTZs will be granted more decision-making power in reforms, and a convenient, international business environment will be set up in the zones, according to the statements.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said that the central government is using the FTZs as “experimental areas” for domestic policies, particularly in terms of opening-up.

“If the policies are successful in the FTZs, they will be replicated outside,” he told the Global Times on Thursday.

In April, the government also announced a plan to set up an FTZ in South China’s Hainan Province. China has set up 11 FTZs so far.

Focus on coastal areas

The government has tried to take a balanced approach to FTZs in China by setting up some of them in inland cities, Dong noted.

In April 2017, the government opened seven FTZs, several of which were in inland cities in Central China’s Hubei and Henan provinces.

“Of course those FTZs have some beneficial effects for the local economy, but their development scale and influence is much weaker as a result of their relative geographical isolation,” Dong told the Global Times on Thursday. “For example, we have heard a lot about the Wuhan FTZ, but there has been little action.”

Zhou Yu, director of the Research Center of International Finance at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said coastal areas usually have more developed economies and financial systems, and also have more business related to overseas trade, providing “ripe conditions” for FTZ development.

Different roles

The statements also listed some detailed plans for expanding trade-related business in the Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian FTZs.

For example, the government will speed up the construction of whole car importing ports in Fuzhou and Xiamen, while the Tianjin FTZ is expected to strengthen cooperation with international ship management firms.

The government wants to give different trade roles to different FTZs, Zhou said. “Geographical advantages could provide a good reference for this. For example, the Guangdong FTZ can focus on trade business with Hong Kong and Hainan can develop tourism,” Zhou noted.

Source: Global Times

 

Dome using Hualong One technology installed in south China

A dome has been installed on the containment building of unit three at the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in south China, May 23.

The addition of the dome shows the construction project has now entered into a new phase of development in which the equipment is installed. Unit three uses Hualong One technology, a domestically developed third-generation reactor design concept.

Sources say the unit is almost 90 percent homemade, and showcases a combination of Chinese technologies in design, construction, testing and operation.

The dome was added eight days ahead of time, demonstrating China’s orderly abilities in building the domestically developed reactor, as well as the capability of its builder China General Nuclear (CGN), said chief director of the project.

CGN has built many projects using Hualong One technology in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia in recent years, and has also propelled mass construction of such projects within China.

Two units at the Fangchenggang nuclear power plant are already operational. They alone provide 15 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year for the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone.

CGN chairman He Yu said exporting a Hualong One nuclear plant will help 5,400 Chinese manufacturing enterprises, which in turn will elevate the influence of Chinese manufacturing and intelligent manufacturing.