China enhances business environment to entice foreign capital

A good business environment is like fresh air, that no foreign investor can resist. China, with its sincerity and ongoing efforts, offers foreign investors such air, trying to make its business environment attractive to foreign capital.

China used to rely on favorable policies to attract foreign investment, but is now working to increase its soft power.

The country has made its rules more transparent by aligning them with international ones. In 2018, it phased out automobile share-holding limits for foreign investors in special-purpose vehicles as well as new energy vehicles manufacturing, while those for commercial and passenger vehicles are set to be lifted in 2020 and 2022 respectively.

In addition, the new negative lists for foreign investors, currently in planning, will make China’s manufacturing sector even more transparent.

“The new negative lists will not only introduce China’s new measures of opening up in 2018, but also disclose its movements over the next couple of years,” said a related official with the National Development and Reform Commission.

China has already significantly broadened its market access to embrace more opportunity. On May 2, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission officially granted ICBC-AXA Life permission to set up an asset management business. It is the first joint-venture insurance and asset management company in China since the country proposed an acceleration to the opening up of the insurance industry.

Enhanced public service is another highlight of China’s movement to optimize the business environment. The replacement of review and approval by filing with the relevant authorities in cosmetics import is a great example.

“Such replacement not only simplifies the process, but also saves human time and resources for exporters, thus reducing cost in logistics and storage,” said a manager of Shiseido (China) Investment Co., Ltd.

This measure was implemented last May and has greatly reduced the import period of cosmetics from at least two months to only five days.

“With improvements to the business environment and the decrease in institutional costs, more and more foreign cosmetics companies have come to China for investment,” said an official with the market supervision and administration bureau of Pudong district, Shanghai.a

Now China’s Ministry of Commerce and related departments are working to further optimize the business environment. China hopes to join hands with each country to build a more reliable and open international economic system, to realize win-win cooperation and common development.

Ancient Afghan artifacts protected through Chinese exhibitions

For more than one year, Chinese museums have been displaying ancient cultural treasures from Afghanistan with the aim of protecting them before they are shipped to another country for exhibition.

The 2,000-year-old treasures belong to the National Museum of Afghanistan, which used to be home to over 100,000 cultural relics. But during wars from 1990 to 2001, the artifacts were severely damaged. To protect them, the Afghan government decided to relocate them, and it wasn’t until 2003 that they were retrieved by archeologists.

Since 2016, the treasures have been exhibited around the world, in countries such as France, Italy, the Netherlands, the US, Australia and Japan. 

In March 2017, they came to the Palace Museum in Beijing, China.

The stable social environment and sound museum equipment in countries such as China have made the Afghan side believe that bringing the treasures as part of a worldwide exhibition is a good way to protect them, said a person in charge of the current exhibition surnamed Li.

The treasures were scheduled to be shipped to another country after the three-month exhibition ended, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the original plan was cancelled.

Without the presence of another host country, the relics would have had to be sent back to Afghanistan where the situation is currently unstable, leaving their fate unknown.

To avoid the risk of the world cultural heritage items becoming damaged, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and the Palace Museum decided to keep the artifacts in the Palace Museum temporarily.

From there, the treasures have been respectively exhibited in southwest China’s Chongqing and Chengdu cities. In Chengdu, the exhibition was visited by 500,000 people in three months, which was one fifth of the total number of visitors recorded in 23 museums around the world.

On the opening day of the show on Feb. 1, Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, came to Chengdu to express his gratitude to the Chinese museum.

“The exhibition in Chengdu is a gift given to our Chinese friends. Even during such a difficult time, we’ve managed to protect our cultural heritage objects,” Rahimi said, adding that the Afghan archeological and cultural circles feel very proud that these representative cultural treasures are loved by the Chinese public.

To make this exhibition different from the previous shows in Beijing and Chongqing, Chengdu Museum highlighted the fate of the artifacts, and expressed its confidence in Afghanistan to walk away from war and chaos.

Now, more Chinese museums have joined the effort to protect the Afghan pieces. According to the plan, the items will be sent to Zhengzhou in central China, Shenzhen in southern China, and Hunan province in central China for exhibitions lasting until December.

Rahimi disclosed that Afghanistan still faces challenges to protect cultural relics, such as a lack of money, low level of technology and scientific research, and severe shortage of professional equipment and talent which restricts the restoration process.

The director hopes China and other countries will continue to help the Afghan people take care of these treasures.

Many Chinese institutions, such as Art Exhibitions China, are currently looking for willing cultural and exhibition organizations to offer shelter to the antiques. Even though hosting such exhibitions costs them money, they would prefer not to send the relics back to Afghanistan.

Liu Yuzhu, head of China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said efforts are underway to construct the first international cultural relics shelter in China. He encourages more state-level museums and cultural relics protection organizations to actively take part in the efforts and shoulder their international responsibilities.

Peak Sports wins design award in 3D printing

Peak Sports’ newly-launched 3D printed shoes Future 3.0. Courtesy of Peak Sports Photo: Courtesy of Peak Sports

Leading domestic sports brand Peak Sports won the Design Comes First Award following the competition’s finals at the Nanshan campus of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province on May 8. The competition was a part of the 3D Design Intelligence Award (DIA). Peak Sports beat out its competitors with the design of its running shoes Future 3.0.

DIA is one of the first international academic accolades awarded for industrial design in China. The competition offers a platform for assessment, promotion and cooperation in modern, innovative designs, which also accelerates the transition from creative ideas to production.

Design Comes First is divided into three categories: biological and medical treatment, material innovation and lifestyle. To compete, participating designers need to find innovative ways to combine 3D printing technology with their designs to achieve breakthroughs in the appearance, function, texture and weight of their designs.

When Design Comes First started in September 2017, 345 designs were submitted from applicants spanning 16 countries and regions. The number was then whittled down to eight finalists, including Peak’s shoes Future 3.0.

The shoe has a bionic structure, which makes it stand out from the crowd. Peak also introduced a new shoelace design, which makes it easier for users to lace up their Future 3.0.

As Peak edges ahead in 3D printing technology research and innovation, the company will come up with more iconic designs via this advanced technology for consumers to enjoy the benefits of the customized product.

Source: Global Times




China’s courier industry increases technological input

China’s express delivery companies are increasing their input into technologies, in a bid to speed up the transition from a labor-intensive industry to an intelligent one.

According to China’s State Post Bureau, 13.67 billion parcels have been delivered in the first 4 months of 2018, up 29.3 percent from last year.

Courier services were considered a labor-intensive industry in the past. However, with an increasing labor price, it’s natural that the industry wishes to apply new technologies to reduce costs.

Major listed courier firms handle more than 10 million parcels per day. ZTO Express, China’s largest express delivery company by market share, handles as many as 26 million items every day.

“The industry is expanding at a double-digit speed annually, which puts higher requirements on technology,” said Zhu Jingxi, vice president of the ZTO Express.

Automation and intelligentization are two major directions for courier companies. In the first quarter of this year, 94 percent of ZTO’s express sheets were made electronically available, and the company handled 36 percent more parcels with an increase of only 7 percent to its human workforce.

In addition, ZTO Express also released a research report on block chain technology, hoping to apply it to the logistics sector.

SF Express, which is the largest courier company by market cap, also sees technology as its core competitiveness. Its financial report said that its number of research personnel amounted to 2,800 in 2017, and the company invested 108 percent more on research than in the previous year.

The company has also made a blue print to employ drones, smart devices and Internet of vehicles to its delivery services. It was granted the first license for drones to drop off products this March.

“We can still see the couriers riding electronic bikes, but it doesn’t suggest

China’s new aircraft carrier ranks among world’s most advanced warships

China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier left a Dalian Shipbuilding Industry’s shipyard to begin its maiden trial at sea last Sunday.

China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier, which displaces 50,000 metric tons, leaves the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry’s shipyard in Liaoning province on Sunday.LI GANG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The new aircraft carrier ranks among the world’s most advanced warships, said Hu Wenming, chief of the new carrier program, during an interview with China Central Television (CCTV).

Hu, also the chairman of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, parent of the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, told CCTV that the construction of the vessel will further improve the country’s research and development regarding aircraft carriers.

According to Hu, most of the world’s medium-sized aircraft carriers, which have a displacement of 40,000 to 60,000 tons, are conventionally powered vessels, except for France’s nuclear-powered surface vessel Charles de Gaulle. China’s new carrier is in a leading position in regards to technology, he added.

Hu stated that a total of 532 suppliers were involved in the research and development of the new aircraft carrier, 412 of them without any military background, including SOEs, private enterprises, scientific institutions and universities.

Such integration of the military and non-defense enterprises not only facilitates the application of the country’s manufacturing and research abilities, but also in turn enhances the development of suppliers. The new technologies achieved will also be used in civil sectors, the chairman noted.

“We can say it proudly that we have acquired the most advanced technologies regarding ship-building,” Hu said.

Chinese air force releases new promotional video

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air force released a new promotional video on May 13, recapping the recent patrols of multiple aircraft including stealth fighters J-20, fighter jets Su-35 and bomber H-6K.

The video reveals the improvement of China’s air combat capability, and indicates the air force’s determination to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

World’s first Francois’ langur monkey twins welcomed in Guangzhou

Xiao Xiao, a female Francois’ langur monkey, met the public with her pair of mixed-sex twins at Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province, on May 13, 2018.

The new mother gave birth to the world’s first mixed-sex Francois’ langur twins last month. The twins were born with bright orange fur, which will turn black like their mother’s within two to three months.

The Francois’ langur monkey is one of China’s most endangered wild animals, and is noted as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.

The species are found in China’s Guangxi, Guizhou, Chongqing and Sichuan provinces, as well as the northeastern mountain areas of Vietnam.

New documentary looks to reveal the creativity of Chinese migrant worker poets

Demolition Mark, a Chinese documentary film focusing on working class poets in China, recently put out a call for donations in order to raise money needed for post-production. The director Qin Xiaoyu, a poet and critic, stated that he hopes crowd-funding will allow audiences to have a better sense of participation in the film.

‘Silent majority’

The film delves deeper into the story of several of the migrant worker poets featured in Iron Moon, an award-winning documentary directed by Qin Xiaoyu and Wu Feiyue and based on Qin’s anthology of Chinese migrant worker poetry.

“We would like to make an Iron Moon a trilogy. The films will feature poetry, but we will also incorporate relevant elements such as new rural construction and the coal and steel workers who were laid off during the implementation of China’s de-capacity plan,” Qin told US-China Today, a student-driven publication from the University of Southern California, adding that he hopes to use Demolition Mark to raise public awareness about these issues.

Iron Moon was screened over 4,000 times across more than 200 cities in China, and won the Best Documentary Award at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival’s Golden Goblet Awards.

The 2015 film drew global attention to Chinese migrant worker poets, many of whom have had to continually struggle with economic troubles and cultural prejudice.

For Demolition Mark, however, Qin focuses more on the extraordinary creativity of working class poets than hardships they go through.

“Since they are regarded as ‘the silent majority’ of society and are ignored, we hope this film will alter the stereotypical image that society has projected on them,” said Qin.

The economic reform and opening up of the 1980s brought an estimated 300 million rural migrants to booming cities such as Shenzhen or Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong Province, seeking manufacturing and construction jobs.

Common issues such as labor exploitation, lack of welfare protection and children being left to be raised by their grandparents have often led this group to be at the center of social and political criticism in China over the past few decades.

During the 1990s, their poems were only occasionally heard at small-scale poetry recitals or sharing sessions. As such they were not widely disseminated or popularized until the rise of the Internet after the year 2000 helped spread their pain and feelings of alienation far and wide.

Spreading the word

Xu Lizhi, a 24-year-old migrant worker who was going to be featured in Qin’s documentary, attracted global attention after he committed suicide at Foxconn, the electronics giant that produces the majority of the world’s Apple phones. After his death his colleague published his poems online.

In 2010 alone, the factory made headlines around the world as it witnessed 14 deaths among at least 17 attempted suicides that year.

Iron Moon was chosen to be the title of Qin’s documentary as it is a visual metaphor used in one of Xu’s poems:

I swallowed an iron moon

they called it a screw

I swallowed industrial wastewater and unemployment forms

bent over machines, our youth died young

I swallowed labor, I swallowed poverty

swallowed pedestrian bridges, swallowed this rusted-out life

I can’t swallow anymore

everything I’ve swallowed roils up in my throat

I spread across my country

a poem of shame

(Translated by Eleanor Goodman)

Xu represents the legion of Chinese migrant workers who pin their hopes on modern cities but end up being disappointed by grueling working conditions and poor wages.

Shocked by his death, labor groups translated Xu’s poems into English, gaining the attention of Qin, who published a volume of Xu’s poems.

Chen Nianxi, a 48 year old poet from Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, is another figure that Qin tracks throughout his two documentaries.

“Demolition Mark” was one of Chen’s early poems describing his life as a demolitionist. It was widely circulated online and earned him the nickname of “blaster poet.”

The blaster, who spent the past 16 years in and out of mining sites across Henan Province in Central China and Northwest China’s Qinghai Province and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, suffered a cervical spine injury in 2016 that forced him to quit his job.

Chen puts his own experiences of digging in gold mines into his poems. He has stated that he hopes his works can allow people to understand the hidden costs that lie behind the financial boom that China has enjoyed.

“We provided the most precious things to the world, but the world left us nothing,” he said in a speech at the New York University during his trip to the US with the documentary team.

During the US presidential election in 2016, he visited both slums and Trump Tower, which allowed him to feel a connection to migrant workers from Mexico who want to make a life in the US but have been rejected by US President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy.

“Trump said that China has stolen opportunities from the US manufacturing industry and that he would move some factories back to the US. I am very worried that this will result in a lot of Chinese workers like me losing their jobs,” he said in his speech.

Source: Global Times


Elderly golden snub-nosed monkey gives birth to her 7th child

A golden snub-nosed monkey named “Liu Yi” gave birth to her 7th child at Harbin North Forest Zoo in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, sources from the zoo disclosed on May 10.

Liu Yi got her name because she arrived in Harbin on June 1, 2005, the Chinese of the date being “Liu Yi”. Different from her birthplace in southwest China’s Sichuan province, Harbin is known for its high latitude and biting cold winters.

In 2007, Liu Yi gave birth to her first baby. The 19-year-old monkey’s age is equivalent to over 60 in human years. The birth of her 7th child made Liu Yi the record holder for oldest golden snub-nosed monkey in China to give birth to this many children at the such a high latitude.

Both Liu Yi and her baby are in good health. The baby monkey has just learnt to walk and already wants to be independent from its mom, so much so that Liu Yi now has to repeatedly pick it up and hold it in her arms.

Six of Liu Yi’s children now live with her, her second born is currently at a zoo in Nanjing in east China, sources from the zoo said.