9th China Flower Expo to be held in NW China

The 9th China Flower Expo will open on Sept. 1 in Yinchuan, northwestern China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

According to a Monday press conference, the expo will present a highly integrated feast of ecology, culture, and technology.

As the first flower expo to be held in northwestern China, the event will share beautiful stories of the region with the country by introducing the unique drought-enduring plants and desert views in the expo area.

In addition, themed on the Silk Road, the expo will also serve as a stage for Ningxia to open itself to the outside world.

Flower associations from 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, as well as 14 branches of the China Flower Association, will attend the event.

The expo area will be altered into a free leisure park after the event.

China already a remarkable major power: Chinese Foreign Minister

China has already become a remarkable major power, said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during an exclusive interview with People’s Daily.

As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the world’s second largest economy and the biggest foreign exchange reserves, China has made remarkable progress in the past decades for which other countries have fought for hundreds of years, the minister remarked.

China is a developing country that has inherited a tradition of peace from its 5,000 years of history. Therefore, its diplomacy should reflect both its own characteristics and the need of times, Wang noted.

According to Wang, the country will always adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee, uphold the principle of win-win cooperation, and actively promote domestic development, while safeguarding the common interests and legitimate rights of the developing countries in the international community.

Speaking of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s thought on diplomacy, Wang noted that the country should stick to the major path of peaceful development and national rejuvenation, establish a new type of international relations centered on win-win cooperation, and create a community of shared future for mankind.

In addition, Wang added that China’s diplomacy also features advancement, creativity, and stability.

When asked about the achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang responded that China’s total trade volume in Belt and Road countries added up to $3 trillion from 2014 to 2016, with an investment of over $50 billion.

He said that the Belt and Road is a project to connect domestic and international development. Under the agreements with the Belt and Road countries and international organizations, China’s equipment, technology, investment, and standards will be further incorporated into the world, and its domestic development and transition will also embrace broader prospects.

The minister noted that China has established partnerships with about 100 countries, regions, and regional organizations, and these partnerships are different from traditional models of international relations.

According to him, these partnerships stress equality, and respect for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of each party. They have totally abandoned power politics, injecting new impetus for each country to join international affairs and promote democratic and law-based international relations in an equal manner.

In addition, peacefulness is also a characteristic of these relationships, Wang said. The country is committed to win-win cooperation rather than zero-sum games, focusing on common interests and prosperity.

Lastly, these partnerships feature inclusiveness, going beyond the differences of social systems and ideologies. They seek common interests and avoid mutual exclusion brought by bloc politics.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held five years ago, China’s diplomacy has achieved fruitful results in serving both national development and the people, he pointed out.

Wang continued that a batch of major cooperation projects of strategic importance have been facilitated under the efforts of the Foreign Ministry and over 200 of its embassies and consulates, and some major projects which had encountered obstacles have now been reinitiated.

In addition, China has always placed great importance on the safety of its overseas citizens, Wang said, adding that the consular protection ability of the country has been continuously improved, in a bid to better serve overseas Chinese.

China has evacuated its overseas citizens nine times in five years and dealt with nearly 300,000 cases of consular protection, including more than 100 major cases of kidnapping and attacks, the minister illustrated.

Most single Chinese males consider high ‘bride price’ unacceptable

Nearly 80% of single Chinese males consider high “bride price” unacceptable, according to an online survey by a Chinese match-making website.

The intolerance is more obvious among males in Beijing and Shanghai. These two cities, along with Hangzhou, topped the country in terms of “bride prices”, ranging from 110,000 to 200,000 RMB, or about $17-31,000.

A 30-year-old man surnamed He from Beijing said he understands the popular traditional custom. However, the skyrocketing cost has outdistanced his income, He said, adding that he believes his love is more important.

According to the report, nearly half of the respondents would take the origins of their dates into consideration. People in Shanghai lay the most importance on this factor, with a proportion of 56.25%. The report also revealed that people born in the 1980s consider this factor more important than those born in the 1970s and 1990s.

Zhang Shasha, a relationship expert, attributed this phenomenon to three major reasons. She said similar lifestyles reduce contradictions between couples, and it is also convenient to go back to their hometowns if they come from the same place. In addition, they could choose to settle in their hometowns if they ever decided to give up their careers in the metropolis.

Statistics show that Sichuan women are the most sought after as spouses for Chinese males, while men from Guangdong enjoy the best “sale” among Chinese women.

Eight percent of the female respondents said they have a strict standard for match-making, in which income, family background, and character are prioritized.

China’s tobacco consumption accounts for 44% of world’s total

China’s tobacco consumption accounts for 44% of the world’s total, said a recent report jointly issued by 37 organizations, including the Chinese Preventative Medicine Association and the Chinese Association of Tobacco Control.

China has seen 15 million new smokers in 5 years. As a result, it is urgent for the country to step up its efforts to control tobacco.

A nationwide adult tobacco survey issued in 2015 said that 27.7% of Chinese above the age of 15 are smokers, and the total number of smokers has reached 315 million.

According to the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint issued by the State Council, China aims to lower the proportion to 20% by 2030.

Experts believe that tobacco has become a global issue that threatens public health and brings serious consequences, and it’s a serious problem for China too. Smoking is a dangerous factor that causes major chronic non-infectious diseases, and these diseases account for 85% of the total deaths in China.

Though progress has been made, China has a long way to go before it can reach its goals set in the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint. It will be unaffordable for the country to pay for the economic and social losses if it doesn’t speed up the process of tobacco control.

Experts have called on the country to pass legislation to establish a smoke-free country and comprehensively ban public smoking. In addition, the experts believe that China should reduce tobacco advertisements, increase tobacco tax, and make smoking cessation a basic public health service.


China contributes to a third of world’s nanotech papers: report

China contributed to over 1/3 of the world’s total science papers on nanotechnology, and its patent applications accounted for 45% of the world’s total in the last 2 decades, said a white paper issued on Tuesday.

The white paper was reviewed by international science journal publisher Springer Nature, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and China’s National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, revealing the advantages and characteristics of nanoscience research in China.

The white paper said China produced over 52,000 papers related to nanotechnology in 2016, and the figure was only 820 twenty years ago. Back then, Chinese scientists contributed to only 6% of Science Citation Index (SCI) papers. Currently, the number of nanoscience papers produced by the country is twice as many as that of the United States.

In addition, China has become the largest country in terms of nano-related patent applications, with more than 200,000 patents applied in the last 20 years. The number of applications made by the United States during the same period was half of that of China, the white paper said.

Polymer synthesis and supramolecular compound are the two hottest fields for Chinese scientists in terms of patent applications.

The white paper, citing an expert interview, pointed out that catalysis technology and nanometer catalytic material will be the most prosperous fields for China. In addition, nanotechnology also enjoys a bright future, with wide application in energy and medical sectors.

Given its limited industrial influence, China must make more efforts to apply its research in the real world, the white paper noted.

China, India on right track

China’s foreign minister said Wednesday there is great potential for Sino-Indian cooperation as the two countries strive to mend ties torn by the recent border standoff and return to the track of cooperation.

India announced on Tuesday that its Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend next week’s BRICS summit in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian Province, a day after India pulled back its troops from the Chinese territory of Doklam.

“As two big neighbors, it is natural for some problems to occur as interaction increases. What’s important is that [the two countries] should put these problems in suitable positions, respect each other, follow the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and

properly handle [these problems],” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.

“We hope China and India could join hands to achieve mutual prosperity and make contributions to the peace and development of the world,” Wang added.

He did not confirm whether there will be a bilateral meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Modi at the BRICS Summit, but said such meetings depend on mutual intentions and whether there is enough time.

Xi will chair the BRICS Xiamen Summit from September 3 to 5. He will also chair the Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries on mutually beneficial cooperation for common development.

“Despite the border standoff, which is a bilateral issue, China and India have many common interests in multilateral and international cooperation. The cooperation interests outweigh our differences,” Qian Feng, an expert at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China and India have cooperated in fighting unjust and unreasonable treatment toward developing nations and in winning a greater voice against developed countries. The two countries have also cooperated closely on global issues such as climate change, counter-piracy, food security and counterterrorism, Qian said.

“Not only at the BRICS Summit, at the G20 and many other platforms, China and India have jointly pushed for reforms and a new global economic order. In these issues, Beijing and New Delhi often voice similar opinions,” Qian noted.

BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – is recognized as an important force in global governance. China holds the BRICS presidency this year.

Economic ties

China and India are two of the fastest-growing major economies. Even during the standoff, multilateral economic cooperation was not hindered.

On August 4, India signed a $329 million agreement with the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to finance the Gujarat Rural Roads Project. The project will reportedly improve rural road connectivity and accessibility to 1,060 villages in all 33 districts of Gujarat state, benefiting about 8 million people, the Economic Times reported.

“Although China and India have poor strategic mutual trust, domestic economic demands require cooperation. China needs India’s market, whereas India can see for itself that it cannot rely on the West on economic matters, such as infrastructure, which is China’s strong point,” Lu Yang, an assistant researcher at Tsinghua University’s Belt and Road Strategic Research Institute, told the Global Times.

She noted that economic demands were one of the reasons that drove the two countries to resolve the Doklam standoff.

In 2016, India’s exports to China dropped by 12.3 percent year-on-year to $11.75 billion, while India’s imports from China rose by 2 percent to $59.43 billion, according to information posted on the website of the Embassy of India in China. India’s trade deficit with China rose by 6.28 percent year-on-year to $47.68 billion last year.

In the first half of this year, India filed 12 cases against Chinese imports, sparking concern from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

Lu said that India’s anti-dumping cases against China have existed for many years and recently came under the spotlight due to the Doklam tensions.

“The cases were not necessarily driven by populist sentiment in India. For example, China exports many statues of Hindu gods to India, which was a blow to local Indian artisans. However, India’s underdeveloped domestic industrial system realized that many Chinese products are more competitive by nature,” Lu told the Global Times.

Lu’s opinion was echoed by Qian, who said a better solution for the trade imbalance and the anti-dumping cases would be for the two countries to adjust their trade structure through negotiations.

Source: Global Times

How tight is Xi Jinping’s foreign schedule? Planned to the minute, a documentary reveals

President Xi Jinping took this plane to visit 56 countries and orgnizations in the past five years.

Five years, 28 tours, 193 days, 570,000 kilometers. These figures are a sketch of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s foreign tours.

In the past five years, the President’s charter plane has carried him to 56 countries and major international and regional organizations in five continents. It is fair to say that there are few presidential planes in the world as busy as Xi’s plane.

The President’s tight schedule is often planned to the minute. “President Xi can be so busy he has no time to eat,” said Zhou Yu, a female translator for Xi.

“Once he had no time to have dinner. During a short transit between two bilateral meetings, his guard gave me a box of biscuits and told me to remind him to eat some so that he wouldn’t be too hungry,” Zhou recalled in the “Major-Country Diplomacy,” a six-episode political documentary series which hit Chinese screens starting Aug. 28.

China’s first seven months of foreign trade volume with BRICS countries up 32.9 pct

According to customs statistics, China’s total foreign trade volume with other BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa, reached 1.15 trillion yuan ($174.7 billion) in the first seven months of this year, up 32.9 percent year-on-year.

That figure was 14.4 percent higher than the country’s overall foreign trade growth in the same period. In the first seven months of the year, China’s foreign trade volume with Russia hit 321.88 billion yuan, up 32.5 percent year-on-year.

In the same period, foreign trade with India reached 326.66 billion yuan, a rise of 28.3 percent year-on-year, while foreign trade with South Africa reached 156.23 billion yuan, up 33.7 percent year-on-year. The country’s foreign trade volume with Brazil hit 343.69 billion yuan, a 37.7 percent rise on a year-on-year basis.

China’s food delivery market to hit $31 billion this year

China’s online food delivery market is estimated to hit 204.56 billion yuan ($30.7 billion) this year, marking a 23.1% annual growth rate, said the latest report by iiMedia Research Group.

China’s online food delivery market has grown rapidly since 2011, and is now one of the largest online-to-offline (O2O) commerce trends, together with online car-hailing services.

iiMedia said the market in China will see more than 300 million users in this year, a 17.6% year-on-year growth.

Analysts believe that online food ordering platforms will keep improving service quality and explore the demands of their existing customers in a bid to increase customer loyalty.

The report said that food delivery has become the third major style of dining, following cooking at home and dining out. Over 30% of the interviewees said they prefer to order food online on weekends even if they have time to cook. Forty percent said they use the service at least three times a week.

The report predicted that people who buy afternoon tea, late night snacks, and other high-priced non-dinner items will become an important sector due to their comparatively strong purchasing power.

(The article is also published on the People’s Daily Online)

Chinese government debt risks are controllable: report

The total assets of the Chinese government far exceeded the debt level from 2010 to 2015, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Aug. 24.

The report states that total assets stayed above 100 trillion yuan ($15 trillion) and total indebtedness increased from 40 trillion to 70 trillion yuan from 2010 to 2015, with social security insurance’s funding gap included. In 2015, total assets exceeded 125 trillion yuan, accounting for 180 percent of the year’s GDP.

The net assets of the Chinese government, with social security insurance’s funding gap included, was between 40 trillion and 50 trillion yuan in the same period, accounting for an average of over 80 percent of GDP, the report said.

Based on a conservative estimate, the report found the debt risks to be generally controllable. It also indicated that total indebtedness was growing fast and warned about accumulated debt risks.

(The article is also published on the People’s Daily Online)