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REVERED GINKGO TREE READY FOR VISITORS

The ginkgo tree king was “dressed” in yellow on Nov. 8 to welcome visitors from China and abroad in a scenic spot in Rizhao, Shandong province. This is the best time of year for viewing the tree’s beauty. The tree grows on Fulai Mountain near Dinglin Temple. It is praised as a “ginkgo king” and “living fossil.”

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

100-MILLION-YEAR-OLD FOSSILIZED WOOD FOUND IN SHANDONG

A piece of fossilized wood formed 100 million years ago was recently discovered in a village pond in Jiaozhou, Shandong province. The wood will serve as physical basis for the study of ancient local geography.

The fossil was uncovered during a renovation of the pond. According to one villager,named Han Xinzheng, he spotted a piece of wood that looked like fossil. Therefore, he scooped it up and brought it to someone who could confirm.

Weighing 1 kilogram, the fossil is as large as an average man’s palm, with a thickness of 7 to 8 centimeters. Compared with ordinary stones, the fossil is lighter. It has a resonance when knocked.

“Such fossils have been found in Jiaozhou before, but this piece is darker than ones we’ve seen previously,” said Wang Lei, president of a local museum. Wang said the fossilized wood is of great value for ancient geographical study, helping scholars to learn the climate,species variety and geological situation of the area during the time the fossilized wood formed.

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

RISKS IN CHINA’S EXCHANGE RATE AND PROPERTY MARKET WERE EXAGGERATED: PBOC

People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, said that stabilizing property prices at the sacrifice of the RMB exchange rate is undesirable, and vice versa. The PBOC believes that risks in both China’s exchange rate and property market have been exaggerated.

The central bank offered its explanation in the “China Monetary Policy Report of Quarter 3, 2016,” issued on Nov. 8. The report was a response to public debate over the government’s choice between depreciating the RMB against the USD, and managing the runaway housing market.

According to the report, monetary policy is restricted by international asset pricing and exchange rate in the open macro environment. With rapid economic development, China’s residential wealth, especially housing assets, has been growing at a high speed. It is estimated that the financial assets of Chinese citizens have been expanding over 20 percent each year since the late 1970s, while the expansion of housing assets is twice the speed of residential financial growth. Internationally, the rapid growth of stock assets tends to have a great impact on the economy, which is closely related to real estate.

The report said that to stabilize the exchange rate at the expense of the property market is to tighten monetary policies to eliminate asset bubbles, and to raise the exchange rate through high interest. However, the PBOC believes that such passive deleveraging is a hard process that comes with high risks, and the stabilization of the exchange rate will also be difficult to achieve.

Meanwhile, easing the monetary policy and backing property prices will further contort the economic structure and accelerate debt accumulation, which will make a structural adjustment a much lengthier and costlier process.

“Both measures have exaggerated the risks in their respective fields, and are not desirable,” the report concluded. The PBOC will maintain a prudent and moderate monetary environment, utilizing macroprudential policy to stabilize the financial system.More importantly, structural reforms must be carried out to boost market confidence and vitalize the economy, said the PBOC.

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

QINGHAI GOVERNMENT HALTS PLANS FOR TAMARISK TRANSPLANTATION

The government of Qinghai province said at a press conference on Nov. 8 that they have paused their plan to transplant a tamarisk forest, which is being removed for the construction of a hydropower station.

Previous media reports stated that the Yangqushui reservoir of the hydropower station will take up most of the habitat of the tamarix chinensis, a type of tree that can alleviate sandstorms, salinization and desertification. Tang Wanqing, the local government spokesperson, responded to public concerns about the transplant of the old trees,explaining that a protection plan for the trees will eventually be worked out.

The habitat of the trees takes up about 40.866 million hectares of Qinghai province, 5,133 hectares of which would be underwater after the reservoir is filled. Though 25 trees have been successfully transplanted, according to Tang, some experts still think such measures lack feasibility, and could lead to the trees’ death.

Tamarix chinensis trees have great ornamental, economic and medical value. The trees currently in question are much bigger and older than those in other areas.

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

ALIPAY, VIVO AMONG MOST FAVORED BRANDS IN CHINA: REPORT

Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy, recently released a report on the most favored brands of Chinese consumers. Data showed that Alipay ranks first and WeChat ranks second among the top 10 most relevant brands in the Chinese market. In electronics,Chinese local brand Vivo comes in 17th, leaving Microsoft and Apple behind.

Based on Prophet’s analysis, Alipay has completely reformed the idea of electronic financing. Alipay’s market share is up to 70 percent of the national electronic payments market. Its active users have reached 450 million, and the company’s average daily transaction volume has reached 175 million RMB.

Moreover, Prophet attributed the success of Vivo to its focus on China’s high-end market,rather than the low-end and low-profit part of the market, as its competitors emphasize.Samsung ranks 45th on the list, though its ranking may have been influenced by the recent incidents of explosions, according to a Chinese partner of Prophet.

Brand relevance is based on which brands are constantly in demand by consumers.Prophet interviewed nearly 10,000 Chinese consumers and selected the top 50 brands among 279 brands in 24 industries around the world. The criteria it used include customer obsession, pragmatism, inspiration and innovation. This is the first time that Prophet has reported on the Chinese market.

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

CHAMPION CATTLE WINS 50,000 RMB IN HUBEI ‘BEAUTY PAGEANT’

A total of 100 cattle took part in a two-day beauty contest beginning Nov. 5 in Enshi, Hubei province. Two champions were selected in the end, and each was given 50,000 RMB($7,380) in prize money. Prize money was considerable for the second- and third-place finishers as well.

The contest aims at promote the cattle-raising industry in Enshi. The city has reportedly made a five-year plan to boost its cattle industry. Enshi cattle, a provincial-level protected breed, enjoy a history of over 2,600 years.

To take part in the pageant, cattle were required to be purebred. Other assessment items include the cattle’s torso, chest, ribs and limbs, according to a cattle and yak expert.

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

BEAR SHOT DEAD AFTER ATTACKING VILLAGERS IN SICHUAN

Previous media reports said that a black bear in Liangshan, Sichuan province was captured alive, stripped and roasted by local villagers. A local authority refuted the rumor,saying that the bear was shot dead by police after it attacked villagers.

According to Sichuan’s forestry department, the bear was shot dead by police after it attacked locals on Nov. 2. Its body was then burned and buried, both to avoid spreading diseases and also to ensure that its carcass wasn’t dug up and sold.

Reports stated that the bear was a young adult with the capacity to attack and injure humans, judging from its size.

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

BEIJING TO REDUCE PM2.5 DENSITY BY 30 PCT

BEIJING, Nov. 9 — Beijing government has vowed that by 2020 the city’s annual average density of the fine particulate matter PM2.5 will have decreased by 30 percent.

According to the city’s environmental protection plan for the 2016-2020 period, which was approved Tuesday, the average concentration of PM2.5 will be around 56 micrograms per cubic meters in 2020, 30 percent lower than that of 2015.

The number of days with good air quality will be above 56 percent in 2020.

The city will further shift from burning coal to using gas, electricity and solar power. By 2020, the city will have removed all coal burning boilers and the proportion of clean and high-quality energy will be above 90 percent.

In addition, more cars with high emissions will be banned from the roads.

At the same time, the city will continue to address water and soil pollution. In 2020, the city’s total water use will be within 4.3 billion cubic meters.

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

2 FINLESS PORPOISES RELOCATED, ‘MARRIED’ TO OPTIMIZE POPULATION DIVERSITY

Two male finless porpoises were transported from Hubei province to Anhui province on Nov. 8. The porpoises will be “married” to local females after they adapt to their new environment. It is hoped that they will boost the genetic viability of the existing population in Anqing, Anhui province. The porpoises, which previously lived in a nature reserve in Hubei, were born in Jiangxi province’s Poyang Lake.

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