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Mike Pence’s speech adds uncertainties to China-US relations: Young Chinese

US Vice President Mike Pence’s accusations against China’s domestic and foreign policies have made Chinese youths feel shocked and confused about how China-US relations will develop.

Mr. Pence said that competition does not always mean hostility, but regrettably, a big part of his speech embodied a kind of hostility. Pence’s speech was criticized by Taiwan writer and television personality Huang Zhixian, whose remarks were shared by many people.

China has never owed anything to the US, and China didn’t achieve its prosperity and stability today by invading or colonizing other countries, but by relying on the wisdom, sacrifice, and diligence of its people, Huang said.

Compared with the former president’s passionate speech about China-US relations, Mr. Pence’s words were an ignorance of the basic facts between China and the US and were full of pride and prejudice, said a middle-aged professor who listened to former US President Ronald Reagan’s speech in Fudan University years ago.

Pence’s history remarks are not the full story

In his speech, Mr. Pence talked a lot about “facts” on China-US relations. But they are not the full story, and a lot of them are against truth; therefore, they couldn’t enlighten people in an effective way.

Mr. Pence claimed that when China suffered through indignities and exploitations during the “Century of Humiliation,” America refused to join in. However, he didn’t mention that the US sent more than 2,100 people to join the eight-power allied forces to plunder China. The Americans were the first to climb onto the Tiananmen gate tower and at the time they even raised the American national flag.

The vice president said that in the aftermath of the Second World War, America ensured that China became a charter member of the United Nations, and a significant shaper of the post-war world. But he didn’t mention the fact that the US handed China’s administration over the Diaoyu Islands to Japan.

Mr. Pence also said that after 1949, China began to “pursue authoritarian expansionism”, and China and the US fought each other in the mountains and valleys of the Korean Peninsula. But he didn’t mention that it was the US that interfered in the Korean War and even involved China into the war. Our ancestors told us that they fought the Korean War to protect our homeland.

The US is not the savior of China

Mr. Pence said America brought China into the World Trade Organization (WTO), a move he thought China should feel grateful to the US. However, China’s accession to the WTO was a result of conquering numerous hardships and holding rounds of multilateral negotiations, not a gift from the US.

China’s efforts to join the WTO dragged on for 15 years, long enough to “turn black hair white”, said former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.

That Mr. Pence said China’s GDP has grown nine-fold, and it’s become the second-largest economy in the world over the past 17 years is the result of the efforts of all Chinese.

The vice president thinks the US’s trade deficit with China has made it “rebuild” the latter in the last 25 years. But he was avoiding the fact that the essence of free trade is willingness of both sides for trading.

The economic prosperity of the US is also attributed to fast-growing Chinese economy and the large consumer market in China. A report by the Deutsche Bank indicated that the US actually gained more benefits than China in doing business with the latter.

Double standards on China-US ties

In his speech, Mr. Pence said recently a Chinese naval vessel forced a US ship to maneuver to avoid a collision. But what he didn’t mention was that the US ship had sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Chinese islands in the South China Sea.

The US vice president said China seeks to militarize the South China Sea. But it is the US that has been carrying out military drills there, deploying many advanced weapons and continuously building new military bases there.

The US vice-president complained that China now spends as much on its military as the rest of Asia combined. But the 2019 US military budget reaches $700 billion, a historic high and more than other major countries combined.

Mr. Pence claimed that China now exerts pressure on Hollywood, American universities, think tanks, companies and even local governments, and uses economic, academic, public opinion and political tools to influence the US comprehensively.

But in the speech, he himself was interfering in China’s domestic and foreign affairs, and pointing fingers at China’s reform and opening up policy, “Made in China 2025” strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative.

In the speech, the US vice president said China’s social credit system aims to control virtually every facet of human life. But what he didn’t mention was that the social credit system construction has a history of more than a century in the US.

He said that China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections. This accusation is totally groundless.

Even the Trump administration’s secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen said on Oct. 3 that “We currently have no indication that a foreign adversary intends to disrupt our election infrastructure.” The US should reflect on how it created the Middle East unrest by using social media platforms.

It has become a concern that Chinese as a whole are being demonized in the US. Chinese studying or working in the US, even Chinese Americans, have to be very careful when they send an email to China because if not, they will be regarded as undertaking espionages in the US and will be attacked and excluded because of that.

British scholar Martin Jacques said that China reacted to the US provocative and invasive remarks with great patience and dignity, as well as a clear mind. If China responds to the US in the way it is provoked, the China-US relations will plummet sharply, which will bring severe damages to the world.

We are happy to see the US become great again. But this greatness is not based on outshining other countries, or on pressuring them.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of the Joint Communiqué between China and the US on establishing diplomatic relations. We Chinese youths believe the development of China and the US is mutually beneficial. By working together, the two countries will be able to create great positive power and benefit the development of themselves and the world.

China unveils first “firefighting” train

China recently unveiled its first “firefighting” train that can arrive at emergency sites immediately after the outbreak of fire, Global Times Online reported Monday.

The locomotive, customized from a flat container car, can run as fast as 120 kilometers per hour. It is equipped with a firefighting container and two can-type water containers, as well as a multi-functional high-pressure fog extinction device. In addition, the train also has a lighting system, warning lamps, alarm, grounding devices and basic hand tools.

The train responds quickly to emergencies, so as to improve the efficiency of firefighting or breakdown rescues along the railway.

Because it can shoot fire extinguishing media as far as 485 meters, the train is capable of putting out fires breaking out on a 16-car high-speed train.

In addition to firefighting, the train can also serve as a water supply device, offering water to trains running in remote and water-deficient areas. Besides, it can clean tracks, bridges and tunnels with the water containers and water torch it carries.

Chinese tourists travel to 1,000 global destinations during National Day vacation

Two Chinese tourists spending National Day holiday in the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland.

A report by Chinese travel services provider Ctrip showed that Chinese tourists have left their footprints on more than 1,000 cities in nearly 100 countries during the 7-day National Day vacation.

The report, issued on Oct. 8, indicated that Thailand ranked the hottest tourist destination for Chinese in this year’s vacation, followed by Japan, Chinese Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore.

According to previous data released by related Thai department, a total of 7.73 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in the first 8 months of 2018, growing 16.51 percent year on year. They created tourism revenue of 90.1 billion yuan ($13 billion) for the Thai government.

During the 7-day vacation, the number of Chinese tourists flying to the US saw a decline of 42 percent from a year ago, said travel fare aggregator website Skyscanner. By the end of this September, the total number of Chinese tourists visiting the US was down by 5 percent.

The decline was partly due to the ongoing trade war between China and the US, explained Liu Jiaming, a researcher with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China’s mobile payment service provider Alipay said that the per capita consumption of Chinese tourists on its platform saw an increase of 30 percent during the holiday.

However, a noticeable shift happened this year that more and more Chinese tourists tended to spend their money on in-depth travel experiences rather than shopping.

A tourist named Ye Qiu who went to France during the vacation said that the in-depth travel experiences, which allowed him to explore the exotic world, were of more significance for him than shopping.

Jiang Yiyi, director of the Institute of International Tourism Development under China Tourism Academy, noted that such shift showcased the upgrading of Chinese tourism.

Chinese tourism spending helps offset trade war effects: experts

Chinese people’s ever-growing appetite for travel could help offset the downward pressure brought by the China-US trade war, experts said on Monday.

During the weeklong holidays to celebrate the National Day, domestic tourism generated 599.08 billion yuan ($87.18 billion) in revenue, up 9.04 percent year-on-year, according to media reports on Monday.

Retail and food services spending in China amounted to 1.4 trillion yuan during the holidays, up 9.5 percent year-on-year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed on Sunday.

Experts said the National Day spending binge, especially on services such as travel, provides support for dealing with difficult external factors such as the China-US trade war.

Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC), China’s central bank, has said that the trade war could cut growth in the Chinese economy, but probably by less than 0.5 percent.

Based on China’s 2017 GDP data, 0.5 percent would amount to 413.56 billion yuan. That means the 9.04 percent increase in tourism revenue during this year’s National Day holidays, or 49.67 billion yuan, could offset some of the effects caused by the trade war, according to Global Times calculations.

Li Jun, a services trade expert with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the strong services sector consumption during the National Day holidays is a further demonstration of China’s resilience to external factors.

“China’s super-size market means it has more room for adjustments to cope with external effects. And the holiday spending binge is further proof that China should get through dangerous waters by focusing on raising domestic demand and improving consumption,” Li told the Global Times on Monday.

Spillover effect

Domestic tourism also boosts the Chinese economy in many sectors beyond retail and catering.

According to State-owned railway operator China Railway Corp, 130 million passenger trips were made during the period from September 28 to Sunday, up 10.8 percent from the comparable period last year.

And a total of 44 high-speed railway lines broke their single-day record for the number of passengers handled.

Yang Yong, dean with the School of Tourism at East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Monday that tourism can boost the real economy, especially as more Chinese people devote time and resources to travel.

Increasing investment in tourist attractions is also important, Yang said.

“One feature of this holiday is the fact that many sites chose to lower their ticket admission fees, which shows tourism asset owners are beginning to realize the huge spillover effect tourism has on the local economy,” Yang said.

The Economic Information newspaper reported on Monday that more government policies to boost consumption will be implemented during the fourth quarter this year.

Experts said that the benefits from this will provide further support for handling the trade war.

For instance, due to the domestic lack of high-end services in medical care, education and travel, Chinese people often spend their money on such services overseas and foreign economies get the spillover benefits, experts noted.

“The government is planning to channel some of this spending back home by deepening China’s opening-up and attracting high-end service providers to set up shop in China. This way, the domestic economy can get the spillover benefits,” Li said.

Overseas travel is still gaining in popularity. During the holidays, Chinese tourists visited nearly 100 foreign countries and regions, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by online travel agency Ctrip.

Tourists spend an average of 8,000-9,000 yuan per capita on such trips and Thailand and Japan remained the favorite destinations for Chinese tourists. However, the popularity of the US as a destination dropped from last year’s 5th spot to 10th, according to Ctrip.

Source: Global Times

Unemployment in California city declines sharply thanks to BYD’s auto factory

An employee works on an electric bus at BYD’s factory in Lancaster, California on Sunday. Photo: Ding Gang/GT

The unemployment rate of Lancaster, California has fallen from 24 percent to 4 percent since construction of a factory for Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD started there in 2013, said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris Saturday.

BYD has become a model and its arrival prompted more investment in the city. Parris made the remarks during a visit by a Chinese media  delegation to the city.

The mayor said that to facilitate BYD’s investment, he helped the company find factory builders, canceled all administrative fees, and eased administrative obstacles. Even Wang Chuanfu, CEO and president of BYD, joked that Parris was “insane” during a phone call between the two.

Indeed, Parris is not “insane,” and what he has done was based on his 10 years of experience as the mayor. He knows what the citizens really want and what it means to be in power. He said that he worked like a mayor of China, bringing the parties together and reaching an agreement through prompt consultations and negotiations.

The BYD factory in Lancaster, which was completed in 2017, is the largest electric bus plant in North America, helping BYD obtain top technology, market share and sales in the field of electric bus manufacturing in the region.

With an annual production of 1,500 electric buses, the plant sells its products to a wide range of customers in more than 30 states, including Stanford University and Facebook.

BYD has grown into a leading manufacturer of electric buses from a small company that sold cellphone batteries when it entered the US in 1999.

BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars. The factory in Lancaster has created nearly 1,000 jobs for the town of 160,000 inhabitants.

Though Lancaster is home to factories of renowned firms such as Boeing and Space X, BYD has become a new choice for locals thanks to the long-term and stable jobs it offers. Since the arrival of BYD, the crime rate of the city has dropped by 40 percent.

The mayor told the media delegation that one day, a stranger came up and shook hands with him. “Thank you for supporting BYD to build its factory here!” the man said. “I have a job. My two children also have jobs. One of them bought his first house.”

Parris noted that BYD has set a prime example of cooperation between countries with different cultural backgrounds.

He also expressed concerns over the possible negative impact on the cooperation that may be caused by Washington’s policies.

But he still looks on the bright side of China-US cooperation, saying confrontation will only lead to mutual losses.

Pierre Cardin’s Great Wall show showcases the French brand’s bonds with China

Models walk the Great Wall for the Pierre Cardin 2018 fashion show in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: Courtesy of Zhang Shuang

Nearly 40 years ago, French model Maryse Gaspard danced along the Great Wall dressed in a stunning gown during her first visit to China with Pierre Cardin.

A year earlier, in 1978, the French couturier became one of the first Western fashion brands to enter the Chinese mainland. The same year as Gaspard’s visit, Pierre Cardin also became the first foreign brand to hold a fashion show in the Chinese mainland after the country’s adoption of its reform and opening-up policy in 1978.

Now a manager for the brand’s women’s wear department, the 70-year-old Gaspard, still elegant and slim in an all-black suit, posed once again for the media on the Great Wall on Thursday after attending the Pierre Cardin 2018 show in Beijing earlier that day.

Dedicated to China

In addition to celebrating the brand’s 40th year in the mainland market, “the show is also dedicated to the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up,” Fang Fang, the brand’s chief representative in China and the event’s general supervisor, told media at a press conference after the show.

The fashion show took “Rouge de Cardin” as its theme.

“On the one hand, Rouge de Cardin is the brand’s symbolic color; on the other hand, the color red is often regarded as the representative color of China,” said Fang, explaining the meaning behind the theme.

Putting on display 40 classic collections from its Paris headquarters as well as 40 fashions from the 2019 Spring-Summer collection designed by Chinese designers, the show turned the 1,000-year-old meandering stone roads and battlements of the Badaling section of the Great Wall into a runway background.

Kicking off with women’s leather jumpsuits decorated with the brand’s classic geometrical patterns, the show also showcased a new men’s collection featuring loosely fitting shirts and jackets paired with skinny trousers.

The brand’s daywear collection included simple cut turquoise and dark green dresses and a series of men’s jackets made of space cotton and suede.

The highlight of the show was definitely the wedding dress collection, which showcased a layered dress worn by a ballerina who danced along the runway to late French composer Jules Massenet’s Meditation. Moreover, one of the wedding dress looks also featured an ivory white hat decoration inspired the Chinese conical bamboo hat, an element added by Cardin exclusively for the show.

Historical bonds

Still one of China’s most recognized foreign fashion brands, Pierre Cardin established its bond with the Chinese fashion industry decades ago.

Pierre Cardin, the chief designer for whom the brand is named, first gained a name for himself among the Chinese public via a 1978 black-and-white photo that showed the then 56-year-old designer dressed in a lengthy overcoat and a scarf walking down a street in Beijing with his hands in his coat pockets as Chinese onlookers dressed in classic Mao suits stare at him with eyes full of curiosity.

In late 1970s, the concept of “fashion” was still kind of strange to many Chinese during a time when dark blue and army green Mao suits dominate mainstream daywear.

The runway show held by the French designer the very next year at Beijing’s Cultural Palace of Nationalities, the first fashion show run by a foreign brand after the reform and opening-up, was a blow to the country’s aesthetic system, according to an article from the Beijing Digest.

“On a temporarily-built runway, eight French and four Japanese models brought by Pierre Cardin moved their hips as they walked the catwalk to pop music tunes. These tall beauties with their relaxed facial expressions and clothing with shoulder pads drew a sharp contrast to the Chinese audience members dressed in blue and grey clothing that sat looking at them breathlessly from below the stage,” wrote the article.

Forty years after the 1979 show – a time when colorful clothing, stylish designs and international fashion brands are no longer strangers to Chinese people – the French brand is still remembered as a symbol of China’s fast-growing fashion industry.

“The Great Wall show is very special as we wanted to retrace the footprints of the brand and of Mr Cardin, who climbed the Great Wall for the first time 40 years ago during his first trip to China,” said Fang.

“Hopefully the brand will continue to impact China’s aesthetic trends.”

Source:Global Times

Taiwan’s silly folly in aiding trade war

As the China-US trade war flares up, the island of Taiwan has decided to buy more soybeans from the US. It is reported that Taiwan will buy between 3.2-3.9 million tons of soybeans valued at up to $1.56 billion from Iowa and Minnesota in 2018 and 2019.

The moves by Taiwan are both pitiful and ridiculous. It is clear that Taiwan authorities have thrown themselves at the US and have become the only party to pick a side between Beijing and Washington amid their intense trade frictions.

Taiwan authorities did not do so out of nobleness, but because it has no bargaining chip in its relations with the US. It can only “pay tribute” to the US to win Washington’s favor and secure US’ promises to protect Taiwan’s “security.”

This is the extra cost that Taiwan needs to pay for the worsening cross-Straits relations due to its leader Tsai Ing-wen. If cross-Straits ties were to retain a more normalized state during the Ma Ying-jeou era, Taiwan could seek some kind of “equality” in its relations with the US or even strike a balance between the US and the Chinese mainland. But now, the Democratic Progressive Party can only kneel down to Washington.

In 2017, the Chinese mainland bought 30 million tons of soybeans from the US. If US farmers lose this business because of the trade war, what’s the use of Taiwan buying a few million tons? Taiwan authorities are eager to show their “loyalty” to the US, but US farmers will find it both laughable and annoying.

The population of Taiwan equals that of Beijing, and Taiwan cannot consume that many US soybeans. That Taiwan buys US soybeans is like buying arms and sending US money. But even arms won’t guarantee Taiwan security, let alone soybeans.

Taiwan’s security can only be secured through political means not military means. If Taiwan makes itself a pawn of external forces to oppose the Chinese mainland, it will lose leverage to gain security for itself and set itself adrift amid China-US competition.

Taiwan should also be clear that its trade surplus mainly comes from the mainland and amounts to tens of billions of dollars annually. The mainland will not interfere with Taiwan developing normal trade ties with other countries, but Taiwan should not exploit these ties to target the mainland. If Taiwan helps external forces hit the mainland’s economy, it will become a target of control by the mainland.

Taiwan is too small to afford to play this game of politics and geopolitics. Taiwan should try to seek balance among major powers rather than catering to the US while confronting the mainland. This should remain the fundamental political philosophy of Taiwan before the reunification of the mainland and Taiwan. It is time for Taiwan to have true self-reflection.

Source: Global Times

Colombian composes song in Chinese as gift to China

51-year-old Colombian Hector Palacio recently wrote a Latin American-style song in Chinese as a gift to China, a country where he has spent nearly half of his life.

The song “China is Good,” using a cheerful and catchy melody, expresses his love for the country.

Although the lyrics are simple and even contain some grammatical errors, Palacio’s sincerity still bestows a sense of inspiration to listeners.

Palacio came to Beijing to study in 1996, with a strong desire to have an exotic experience. However, his life in China was not as wonderful as first expected. He found the Chinese language and local food challenging, and it took him eight months to learn how to communicate in basic Chinese.

Palacio and Soto sing the song on the campus of Xiamen University.

“I stayed alone in my dormitory, feeling homesick every day,” Palacio told Xinhua News Agency, adding that this bitter beginning shows itself in his song.

Thanks to the friends he made in China, his life got better. As a sports fan, Palacio established a profound friendship with the people he met during soccer and basketball games, both Chinese and foreigners. It was this bond that helped him decide to stay in China. Of course, this part of his experience also found itself into the lyrics of his song.

In addition to Beijing, Palacio has worked in plenty of other Chinese cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, and many in southern China. What’s more, he even married a Chinese woman in 2012 and settled down in the country.

In winter of 2017, Palacio met Angel Soto during a football game in southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality. Soto, a musician from Colombia, invited Palacio to his studio after hearing the latter’s wish to make a song.

They also filmed a music video and uploaded it online. The video has now been watched nearly 30,000 times.

“The song is dedicated to China, so the name and story are all about the country. I hope that every Chinese person will enjoy the song, and know it’s a gift from a Colombian,” Palacio noted.

“I hope the song can be a bond linking China and South American countries,” he added.

FDI sees first net outflow in 4 years: report

According to a report published by the Organization for International Investment (OII), the US registered a foreign direct investment (FDI) of negative $8.2 billion in the second quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter’s net FDI of $63.7 billion, Xinhua reported on Sept. 27.

It was the first negative FDI figure since the second quarter of 2014. The drop in FDI indicates that transnational corporations have suspended potential investment in the US, no doubt due to the tariff policy on imports and other trade policies implemented by the Trump administration.

The report pointed out that FDI has directly driven the American economy forward. Transnational firms have created more than 6.8 million jobs in the US through building factories and running businesses there. They have also boosted technological research and development in the US.

The report said that the US remains an attractive investment destination. However, the global competition for FDI is becoming fierce as more countries race to position themselves as investment destinations.

WHO to document TCM information for global expansion

Foreign physicians learn massage at the TCM Hospital of Yunnan Province.

Details regarding traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) will be included for the first time in the 11th version of the World Health Assembly’s global compendium, which will be published next year, according to nature.com, Thepaper.cn reported on Sept. 27.

The compendium is also known as the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). The document categorizes thousands of diseases and diagnoses and sets the medical agenda for more than 100 countries.

The information will appear in Chapter 26 of the document, which states the categorization of traditional medicine. The chapter is set to be implemented by member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2022.

The inclusion of TCM information in the WHO document is the result of more than 10 years of hard work from TCM practitioners around the world, led by Choi Seung-hoon, the former traditional medicine adviser for the Manila-based western Pacific office of the WHO.

The WHO’s decision will help spread TCM around the world. Ryan Abbott, a medical doctor who has also trained in TCM and is a member of the Center for East-West Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the WHO’s decision in regards to TCM is a mainstream acceptance that will have a significant impact around the world.

The WHO has avidly supported traditional medicine, and TCM above all, as a step toward its long-term goal of universal health care. According to the agency, traditional treatments are less costly and more accessible than Western medicine in some countries.