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CHINA TO FACE KINDERGARTEN SHORTAGE IN 2-CHILD ERA: SURVEY

China’s implementation of a universal two-child policy will impose higher requirements on early education resources, resulting in a possible shortage of kindergarten spots,according to a survey by China Youth Daily. The survey estimates that kindergartens will be 110,000 spaces short of demand by 2021.

According to the survey, the two-child policy cannot reverse falling birthrate in the long term, but challenges like insufficient early education teachers will emerge in the short term. Early education demand will soar in 2019, placing stress upon kindergarten institutions, the survey said. Schools are advised to shift their focus to teaching quality between 2021 and 2035, as the effect of the policy will have slowed by then.

The report stated that China launched the two-child policy to reverse low birthrates and combat its aging population. However, a negative side effect of the decision is its impact on education resources. As the first group of students born after the enactment of the policy will come to school age in 2019, it is anticipated that the policy will have its maximum impact from 2019 to 2021.

Specifically, school-age children will increase by almost 6 million in 2019, 11 million in 2020 and then reach the peak of 15 million in 2021. After that, the number will fall back to 14 million in 2022 and remain at 12 million in both 2023 and 2024.

The report suggested that the Ministry of Education allocate resources based on predicted numbers. In addition, current education resources should be integrated to relieve the pressure caused by the two-child policy, and the quality of kindergarten teachers should be improved.

In a word, the growing disparity between the number of school-age children and relatively limited education resources remains a noticeable issue in China. It is only through the integration of education resources and the promotion of education quality that this problem can be solved, the report concluded.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

CHINA TO LAUNCH STANDARD ENGLISH ASSESSMENT SYSTEM

China’s Ministry of Education plans to launch a new English assessment system based on a unified standard, according to information disclosed at a recent seminar on language testing. The system would be deployed around the country.

There are approximately 300 million English learners currently in China. However, there is no universal standard for the many different kinds of English tests that exist. Experts believe that developing a standard English assessment system is of vital importance to the subject.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

32,000 PEOPLE GATHER TO WORSHIP ANCESTORS IN SHENZHEN

Approximately 32,000 people with the common surname “Huang” assembled in Shenzhen, Guangdong province to enjoy a feast at the Xiasha Culture Square on Nov. 13. A total of 3,200 tables were set up to accommodate the attendees, who came from 28 countries.

The purpose of the assembly, held annually since 1980, is ancestor worship. It is seen as an important event on both a local and international level. The “big bowl feast” that participants enjoyed consists of Cantonese cuisine served in large wooden, porcelain or metal basins.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

TWINS IN GANSU PLANT 70,000-SQARE-METER FOREST

A pair of 68-year-old twins has been planting trees in their Gansu province village for 48 years. Planting the trees one by one, the twins, named Xu Zhiqiang and Xu Zhigang, have turned a barren slope in front of their house into an evergreen garden. Many trees that grow in regions south of the Yangtze River have survived there.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

MAN CLIMBS ONTO CABLE-STAYED BRIDGE, CAUSES SEVERE TRAFFIC JAM

A man in his sixties climbed the cables of the Second Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, Hubei province on Nov. 12. Standing 30 meters above the deck of the bridge, the man threatened to jump. Police and firefighters sent for a ladder to coax the man down, but not before the incident caused a major traffic jam along several main streets, which lasted for over three hours.

Many people posted updates about the incident on social media. After rescuers communicated with the man, he eventually agreed to climb down the ladder. The rescue equipment occupied three lanes on the bridge, temporarily paralyzing the major transportation junction.

It was later discovered that, prior to his attempt over the weekend, the man had previously climbed the bridge two other times, deliberately causing a scene to draw attention to labor disputes. The other two incidents occurred in October 2012 and September 2013. The man was punished with five days of administrative detention after disturbing public order for the second time.

In addition to causing a traffic jam, many police resources were also dedicated to the man’s rescue. The official microblog account of the local police department released news of his punishment: 10 days of administrative detention for disturbing public order.

Qiu Hua, a lawyer from Hubei province, has called for competent authorities to provide more channels for people to resolve their complaints. In the meantime, people should find more reasonable ways of making their voices heard.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

HENAN SPERM BANK OFFERS FINANCIAL INCENTIVES FOR DONATIONS

A sperm bank in Henan province recently announced a policy that can grant up to 5,000 RMB ($732) in rewards to those who donate sperm, as the province is facing a shortage of donated sperm. The policy also promises to keep donors’ semen for 30 years free of charge, and to provide the donors with free reproductive health checks.

Following the implementation of the two-child policy, sperm banks across the country have announced shortages of sperm. But few men are willing to donate sperm, and, among willing donors, there are even fewer who are qualified, according to the head of the Henan sperm bank.

Statistics indicate that, compared with 5,446 men in 2014, the number of sperm donors dropped by half in 2015 and 2016 in the province in central China. Meanwhile, the rate of qualified sperm donors dropped from 24.32 percent in 2010 to 19.68 percent in 2016.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

ZHEJIANG VILLAGERS COMPLAIN ABOUT ‘UNREASONABLE’ RELOCATION

A number of people in Zhejiang province are questioning why they have to vacate their new apartments, in which most of them have lived for less than one year.

In August, the residents were asked to leave their houses by the end of November, at the request of the city planning department of Shengzhou. Their houses, which were built in the past few years by residents relocated from nearby villages using government subsidies,will reportedly be transformed into a high-end commercial and residential building,according to the deputy chief of the city’s planning department.

Even though each resident will be compensated with several million RMB, most are still reluctant to move out. Some call it “a waste of individual and governmental properties.”Using government compensation and personal savings to build and decorate new units, 1,820 residents moved into new apartments at the beginning of 2016.

Zhou Fuduo, a retired professor of Urban & Regional Planning, said that someone should take responsibility for the planning failure. He added that wasting resources is entirely avoidable if policies remain constant.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

XI JINPING HOLDS TELEPHONE TALKS WITH US PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP

On November 14, 2016, President Xi Jinping held telephone talks with President-elect Donald Trump of the US.

Congratulating Donald Trump on his election as President of the US, Xi Jinping said that since the establishment of China-US diplomatic relationship 37 years ago, bilateral relations have been continuously moving forward, which has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples and also promoted world and regional peace, stability and prosperity. Facts have proven that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US. At present, China-US cooperation enjoys important opportunities and tremendous potential. Both sides should enhance coordination, boost the economic development of both countries and global economic growth and expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples and push China-US relations for better development.

Xi Jinping pointed out that as the largest developing country and the largest developed country as well as top two economies in the world, China and the US need cooperation and there are a lot of things could be done through cooperation. Attaching great importance to China-US relations, I am willing to make joint efforts with the US to advance bilateral relations and better benefit the two peoples and people of other countries.

Donald Trump said that he appreciates President Xi Jinping’s congratulation on his election as President of the US. He agrees with President Xi Jinping’s view on US-China relations. China is a great and important country and its sound development prospect is remarkable. Both countries could realize mutual benefit and win-win results. He is willing work with President Xi Jinping to strengthen bilateral cooperation. He believes that US-China relations could certainly achieve better development.

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed to keep close contact, build a sound working relationship and meet at an early date in order to exchange views on the development of bilateral relations and topics of common concern in time.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

WANG YI AND FOREIGN MINISTER MEVLUT CAVUSOGLU OF TURKEY HOLD THE FIRST MEETING OF CHINA-TURKEY FOREIGN MINISTERS’ CONSULTATION MECHANISM

On November 13, 2016 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the first meeting of China-Turkey foreign ministers’ consultation mechanism with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey in Ankara. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relations and international and regional topics of common concern.

Wang Yi said that under concerted efforts of both sides, China-Turkey relations have presented a healthy, stable and positive development momentum in general in recent years. The two heads of state always view and manage China-Turkey relations from a strategic perspective, and both sides have enhanced mutual support on issues involving respective core concerns. As two major developing countries and important emerging economies, China and Turkey share tremendous potential and space in bilateral relations. Attaching great importance to its relations with Turkey, China is willing to make good use of the foreign ministers’ consultation mechanism to strengthen strategic communication and policy coordination between the two foreign ministries, comprehensively implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and constantly push forward China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations. Through the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative, we should fully tap the potential and advantages of both sides and make new contributions to achieving respective national development, revitalizing the Eurasian continent and boosting the progress of human civilization.

Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that in recent years, Turkey and China have maintained frequent high-level exchanges and close and effective consultations at all levels and in various fields, which plays an important role in promoting bilateral relations. Turkey-China strategic cooperative relations have been constantly enriched and deepened. Attaching great importance to developing relations with China, the Turkish side looks forward to further expanding bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, pushing forward cooperation in major projects and reinforcing exchanges and cooperation in education, culture, tourism and other people-to-people and cultural engagement areas.

Both sides agree to fully implement the consensus reached by both heads of state from their three meetings since last year and outcomes of the first meeting of the China-Turkey Inter-governmental Cooperation Committee mechanism, so as to push bilateral strategic cooperative relations for greater development. The two countries should deeply integrate the “Belt and Road” initiative with the Middle Corridor initiative, put forward new cooperation concepts and patterns and mainly advance large-scale cooperation projects including the East-West High-Speed Railway project, so as to realize early harvest and achieve common development. We should deepen cooperation in counter-terrorism and security, build political mutual trust at the fundamental level and provide a more solid foundation for bilateral practical cooperation. Both sides promise to firmly support each other’s efforts in maintaining national sovereignty, security and stability and never allow any events that could hurt the other country’s national security in their own territory. Both sides also agree to uphold the political settlement of regional hotspot issues and safeguard regional peace.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

WANG YI: PUSH CHINA-US RELATIONS FOR GREATER PROGRESS AT A NEW STARTING POINT

On November 13, 2016 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey jointly met the press in Ankara after the 1st meeting of China-Turkey foreign ministers’ consultation mechanism.

When asked whether China is in contact with US President-elect Donald Trump’s team, Wang Yi said that China and the US maintain close contact at all levels. To constantly develop and deepen China-US relations is the consensus of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party of the US. China is willing to continuously cooperate with the Barack Obama administration to ensure a smooth transition of China-US relations to the next term of the US government. Meanwhile, we are willing to communicate with Donald Trump’s team to constantly enhance mutual understanding and expand cooperation consensus. As President Xi Jinping said in his message of congratulation to President-elect Donald Trump, the Chinese side is willing to push bilateral relations for greater progress at a new starting point in the principle of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. This has charted the course for the future development of China-US relations. China is willing to make joint efforts with the US to this end.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)