Bridge expected to benefit more people in southwest China

(Photo/Xinhua)

The main arch of a bridge on the border of southwest China’s Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces was completed on July 7. Once opened, the bridge will make travel more convenient and help to alleviate poverty within the local community.

The construction began in 2016. Built across the Chishui River, the arch bridge measures 286.4 meters long with a span of 180 meters. With a total investment of about 59 million yuan, it’s designed as a two-lane, two-way bridge with sidewalks on both sides.

Since the construction site was located in a canyon scenic area, constructors had to lift the concrete 150 meters above the river with baskets so as to reduce damages to the vegetation, said Jiang Zhongqiao, project manager of Sichuan Road and Bridge Group, contractor of the bridge.

The bridge connects two poverty-stricken counties in Sichuan and Yunnan. Upon opening, it will take one minute to drive across the bridge from one province to the other, while the travel time beforehand was normally 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

This means it will be more convenient to transport Yunnan’s coal, Sichuan’s tobacco, and other economic crops outside of the mountains. Moreover, the bridge will boost canyon tourism, helping to get rid of local poverty.

Shanxi alleviates poverty through ecological restoration

A forest restoration in Luliang, Shanxi. (Photo/www.forestry.gov.cn)

North China’s Shanxi province has made progress in poverty alleviation through forest restoration.

Last year, the province lifted about 649,000 impoverished people out of poverty and reduced poverty incidence to 1.1 percent, down from 3.9 percent in 2017.

Shanxi has established more than 2,500 cooperatives to plant trees in poor counties. For each mu (about 667 square meters) of forest planted, the government will provide a subsidy of 360 yuan for the cooperative members. In each cooperative, at least 60 percent of members come from poor households.

Liu Yingming is a farmer who benefited from afforestation. Old and in poor health, it was impossible for him to secure a job in the city, so he had to do farm work at home. However, he couldn’t possibly support his family on his measly income, as his wife and mother were both in poor health and needed medical treatment.

The situation changed in 2017, when Liu was offered an opportunity to work in the village cooperative. Last year, his household was better off, with a total income of 21,000 yuan thanks to being a part of the cooperative.

To help more families shake off poverty, it is necessary to ensure that people in cooperatives always have work to do, said Zhang Yunlong, director of Shanxi Forestry Department. However, with the promotion of ecological restoration, the areas suitable for planting trees have been significantly reduced.

The government then encouraged poverty-stricken counties to restore farmland to forests for sustainable poverty alleviation. Last year, the 58 counties recovered 1.8 million mu of forest, providing job opportunities for 89,000 poor households.

In 2018, the forest area in Shanxi increased to 48.2 million mu, compared with 42.4 million mu in 2010. Ecological restoration helped 523,000 poor people achieve a steady income, with a collective increase of 1.1 billion yuan, said Liu Zhijie, director of Shanxi’s Poverty Relief Office.

SMEs become a major force in innovation

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for 99 percent of Chinese companies, hold 65 percent of innovation patents and 75 percent of enterprise innovations, and produce more than 80 percent of new products.

Endeavoring to innovate products to meet market demands, SMEs are now the major force in technological innovation, said Wang Jiangping, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The MIIT recently released a list of 248 outstanding SMEs, including PowerVision Technology Company.

The startup’s underwater robot, the PowerDolphin, could detect fish in real-time within 40 meters, aiding users to find the right time and place to fish.

Authorities have provided SMEs with a better business and innovation environment. According to statistics, more than 96 percent of the best 248 SMEs are spending an average of 7 percent of their sales income on Research and Development (R&D).

Ma Xianghui, head of the Bureau of SMEs under the MIIT, said the ministry would take practical measures to help SMEs launch more innovative and specialized products.

The ministry will also establish a punitive mechanism for violations of intellectual property to protect the rights of SMEs.

Commentary: Violence must be punished to safeguard Hong Kong stability

While people from all walks of life in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were immersed in festivities commemorating the return of Hong Kong to the motherland and the establishment of the HKSAR on July 1, in complete contrast, some protesters were storming the region’s Legislative Council on the other side of the city.

The violent acts severely challenged the rule of law in Hong Kong, jeopardized the social stability of Hong Kong and blatantly challenged the bottom line of “one country, two systems.”

No country or society should tolerate such acts. The central government resolutely supports HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the HKSAR government to exercise their duty, investigate and punish the violations, and protect social order and public safety.

The rule of law has always been a core value cherished by Hong Kong. The HKSAR and Hong Kong residents have always been admired for their law-abiding spirit, and such spirit should never be crushed.

A society ruled by law needs to accommodate different voices, but it does not mean that a few people can carry out illegal acts, nor that violent crime should be tolerated.

Laws are to be abided by, and law-breakers must be punished. Only by safeguarding the authority of law and defending the dignity of law can we ensure the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, as well as the stability of the country.

Hong Kong is a pluralistic society. It is not strange that there are disagreements or major differences on some issues. However, if people become too politicized over various issues, and create confrontations, they will seriously hinder the economic and social development of Hong Kong.

Politicizing and even demonizing the HKSAR government’s amending of related ordinances, creating social conflicts and inciting illegal activities have damaged Hong Kong’s reputation as an international business metropolis and hurt the vital interests and fundamental welfare of residents.

It should be emphasized that Hong Kong is a society that upholds the rule of law, peace, rationality and tolerance. To seek consensus and eliminate discord within the framework of the rule of law is the collective responsibility of all residents who genuinely love Hong Kong.

Harmony brings good fortune, while discord leads to misfortune. Hong Kong, despite its strong economic foundation, faces enormous challenges as the global economic pattern undergoes drastic changes and competition becomes fiercer. Therefore, administering Hong Kong based on the rule of law is of extreme importance.

To strongly condemn violence is the common aspiration of patriots and people who love Hong Kong, as well as a requirement to promote the rule of law and safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Rural industries accelerate revitalization of countryside

(Photo/Chinanews.com)

China’s rural industries have maintained strong momentum since 2012, Yu Xinrong, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said at a news conference at the State Council Information Office on July 1.

China’s grain production capacity has remained above 600 billion kilograms since 2012. The business income for the agricultural products processing industry and tourism industry has reached 14.9 trillion yuan and 800 billion yuan, respectively.

In addition, a total of nearly 7.8 million people chose to start businesses in rural areas.

However, problems still exist in rural industries, such as the lack of industry categories, weak industrial chain, and low quality and efficiency, Yu pointed out.

He said the ministry would work closely with relevant departments in the future and promote the implementation of various policies to support the development of rural industries.

In the future, efforts should be made to keep secondary and tertiary industries dependent on agricultural resources in rural areas and leave more jobs and profits in the hands of farmers, according to a guideline on promoting the development of rural industries recently released by the State Council.

Rural revitalization is expected to make huge progress in the next five to 10 years, with the added value of various industries accounting for a significantly larger proportion of the GDP of rural areas, said the guideline.

Software industry develops fast, faces challenges

China’s software industry is now at a crucial period of accelerating development and making significant breakthroughs. Last year, the business revenue of the industry reached 6.3 trillion yuan, up by 14.2 percent year-on-year, Chinanews.com reported on June 30.

The software industry is one of the economic sectors that have witnessed the fastest growth since 2012, said Miao Wei, minister of industry and information technology.

Last year, industry profits increased by 9.7 percent to 807.9 billion yuan. The growth rate was higher than that of national GDP (6.6 percent).

The software industry has also boosted the employment of high-tech talents. Last year, there were 37,800 software enterprises above designated size in China, with more than 6 million employees.

Despite the remarkable progress, the software industry still faces many difficulties and challenges, said Miao.

Chen Zuoning, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that China’s software industry is still weak in core fields such as large-scale industrial software and embedded software.

The structural shortage of talents is also a problem. Xie Shaofeng, director of the Information and Software Services Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that China should follow the examples of the United States, Japan and other countries by including software programming as a compulsory course in national education.

Miao said the ministry would boost integration of the software sector with other industries, and promote its use in emerging industries such as big data and artificial intelligence.

Beijing gets creative in stimulating night economy

An Ikea store is sitll busy at 11 p.m. in Beijing (Beijing News/Wang Lin)

Besides late-night karaoke bars and restaurants, shopping malls in Beijing are now encouraging customers to shop later in the day, in an attempt to stimulate the night economy.

Last weekend in Beijing, stores including Livat shopping center and IKEA opened until midnight for the first time this summer and offered discounts between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. to attract more consumers.

These stores advertised late-night sales through their WeChat accounts before the activity started. Livat even hired a Swedish performance team to play music in the mall to draw attention.

Compared with clothing brands such as Lily and Bershka, stores that feature simplicity, such as IKEA, seem to be more popular among customers during the late-night sales. Many customers rushed to buy the IKEA POÄNG armchair, sold for 199 yuan down from 399. It was so popular that the matching pillows were sold out for a short time.

Two more late-night sales will be held in Livat in July and August. Meanwhile, more restaurants will join the midnight campaign. Last summer, several restaurants in Heshenghui shopping center began to open until midnight over the weekend. Some will shortly begin to open 24/7.

Late-night restaurants alone won’t attract customers. Beijing tries to support these restaurants with recreational activities, such as dancing machines and karaoke facilities.

Beijing’s night economy policy started earlier this year. Statistics show that the city’s consumption from January to May reached 1.1 trillion yuan, up by 7.9 percent.

The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce recently said that it would work with relevant departments to upgrade business districts and cultivate nightlife to stimulate consumption.

Family of deceased eye doctor donate his corneas

Wang Hui (Photo/Beijing Evening News)

Wang Hui, a 32-year-old eye doctor at Beijing Tongren Hospital, passed away in the early hours of June 30. His family decided to donate his corneas as his last good deed to his beloved career and patients.

At around 10 p.m. on Saturday night, Lu Hai, deputy director of the ophthalmology department in Beijing Tongren Hospital, got a phone call from a colleague and learned that Wang had been sent to the emergency room in Beijing Chaoyang Hospital. Lu hurried there with his wife.

When they arrived, some colleagues were already there. The medics were doing their best to save Wang’s life in the emergency room. Wang’s parents were racing to Beijing from their hometown in Tianjin, and his wife was still in a state of shock.

According to doctors, Wang had a sudden cardiac arrest at his home that night, after suffering from a fever for six days.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, Wang’s parents arrived at the hospital. Unfortunately, after attempts to save his life for 3 hours, Wang passed away.

When the doctors put a white cloth over Wang’s body, Lu couldn’t believe it. “I’d rather believe that he just fell asleep forever,” said Lu.

All Wang’s coworkers in the ophthalmology department were distraught at the sudden loss of their colleague. Lu Hai said that Wang was hard-working, passionate and optimistic. He was named one of China’s Top Ten Resident Doctors by the Chinese Medical Doctor Association and was an outstanding doctor in his hospital.

“Wang was a humorous and eloquent person,” said Ma Xiaoli, a doctor in Beijing Tongren Hospital, who once took part in a popular science competition with Wang.

After Wang’s death, his wife decided to donate his corneas. His wife, who is also a doctor, believes that as an eye doctor, donating his corneas would be his last commitment to his patients.

Before the doctors took Wang’s corneas, Lu Hai said goodbye to Wang and thanked him for the joyfulness he brought to those around him. Lu promised Wang’s mother that they would find the most skilled doctor to do the transplant so that Wang’s corneas would be put to good use and help another person.

Wang Hui’s corneas are now stored in the cornea bank in Tongren Hospital and will be transplanted to another patient when they are needed.

Work together to push global development toward right direction

By Natsuo Yamaguchi

The G20 Osaka summit provides a great opportunity for major economies to show the entire world their determination to work together to defend multilateralism and promote world economy.

Both Japan and the international community are looking forward to the attendance of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Osaka summit. It is hoped that the summit will reach consensus on supporting the multilateral trade system and opposing unilateralism and protectionism, and push global economy forward.

Japan is a member of both the G7 and the G20. As far as we are concerned, the G20 involves more countries and the members are more representatives, which gives it some edges over the G7 in enabling different countries to communicate with each other and cope with the most important issues and challenges in the 21st century.

The G20 serves as an important platform for developed countries, emerging market and developing countries to gather together to facilitate benign development of world economy.

In the current world, innovation requires joint efforts of researchers from different countries and cultures. Through mutual learning and exchanges, people from different countries are able to make achievements in science and technology. As is proved, innovation needs to be conducted in an open environment.

In the face of emerging unilateralism and protectionism, it is necessary for the international community to look back on the world economic development after World War II so as to stay in the right direction of progress.

It is because of the free trade system and multilateral coordination based on equal dialogue that the world economy witnessed a rapid development after World War II. Therefore, the Osaka summit will continue to head in the right direction and defend multilateralism and the free trade system.

We can’t possibly defend the free trade system without the concerted efforts of different countries. China set a good example with the foreign investment law passed by the country’s national legislature in March which has met the expectations of overseas companies, and answers their concerns through the rule of law.

In recent years, China and Japan have established closer relations under the efforts of both parties. The prospects of the Chinese economy draw the attention of Japan.

China has a large population and market, leaving great potential for domestic demand.

The country, which is devoted to deepening reform and expanding opening-up, has constantly strengthened cooperation with neighboring countries including Japan.

We are very optimistic about China’s economic development. As two influential economies, Japan and China should seek closer cooperation. We believe that the two countries will get plenty of achievements in Belt and Road construction.

Sino-Japanese relations have experienced decades of ups and downs. No matter how the international and domestic environments change, the Komeito Party has always treated China with friendship and been committed to promoting political dialogue between the two countries. We will continue to do so in the future.

President Xi said that China and Japan are close neighbors separated by only a narrow strip of water, and the friendship between the two countries is rooted in our people. The future of the friendship between the two peoples liesin the hands of the younger generation.

While conducting inter-governmental exchanges, inter-party exchanges and exchanges between politicians, the Komeito Party will promote non-governmental exchanges and youth exchanges between the two countries.

With 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics around the corner, the Komeito Party willplay its unique role in promoting the exchange of sports, culture and youths between the two countries.

I really admire President Xi for his dedication to seeking happiness for the Chinese people and the revival of the Chinese nation as head of the world’s second largest economy.

(Natsuo Yamaguchi is the leader of Japan’s Komeito Party. The article is based on his interview with People’s Daily Japan correspondent Liu Junguo.)