More Chinese seniors attracted to online-shopping

An 80-year-old woman named Ge Yuqi is learning how to use social application WeChat with the help of a volunteer on January 16, 2018. (Photo by Shi Yucheng from People’s Daily Online)

Thanks to the popularization of smart phones and mobile payment , China’s e-commerce industry is now embracing new growth opportunities: senior citizens.

The consumption by the aged group on China’s e-commerce platform experienced a 78-percent growth year on year in the first half of 2017, the company said in a report. The sales of commodities from the elders surged by 61.8 per-cent from a year ago, higher than the average growth rate of the whole platform.

Statistics from China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba showed that nearly 30 million consumers aged 50 or above have reg-istered on its platform Tmall, and the average spending of those users in their 50s amounted to 5,000 yuan ($790) each year.

China is already an aging society. The country had more than 230 million people aged 60 or above at the end of 2016, 16.7 percent of the total population. The number is expected to rise further.

Volunteers help migrant workers buy train tickets ahead of the Spring Festival at a project site based in Shangzhuang township, Beijing on January 17, 2018. (Photo by Weng Qiyu from People’s Daily Online)

Though the young generations still constitute the majority of online-shoppers, an increasing number of middle-aged and seniors are joining in with the development of mobile internet and payment, popularization of smart phones, and the change in consumption concept.

In terms of online consumption made by middle-aged and aged group, the buyers are not always the users, since the seniors and their siblings often make online purchases for each other. In addition, healthy, fashionable and trendy prod-ucts are preferred by the group.

China-developed technologies, secret to outstanding performance of Fuxing trains

China’s first self-developed Fuxing bullet train, during the past Spring Festival travel rush, became the first choice for passengers in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou owing to its fast, smooth and comfortable traveling experience. The secrets behind its outstanding performance are the world-class technologies independently developed by Chinese engineers.

Foreign passengers take photos with the Fuxing bullet train. (Photo by Wang Chu from People’s Daily Online)

Years ago, it took a whole day to travel from Beijing to Shanghai on a train that runs about 100 kilometers per hour, recalled Kang Shunxing, vice director of ticket office at Beijing South Station. Since the “Fuxing” and some other high-speed trains started operation, passengers have been able to make a return trip between the two cities within a day, Kang added.

A test made by a passenger on the fast-moving Fuxing train showed that the plastic water bottle placed upside down can stand still though the train runs at the speed of 350 kilometers per hour (kph).

One secret to the fast speed and smooth experience on Fuxing trains lies in the gear case, a core component that can be used for a maximum of 30 years. Each gear in the Fuxing trains can run 24 million kilometers, which equals to the distance of circling around the earth for 600 times.

In a factory located in east China’s Jiangsu province that produces gear cases for the Fuxing trains, all the manufacturing and assembling processes are under data control so as to guarantee a high-level accuracy regarding the tightness of bolts.

The first batch of passengers get on the Fuxing bullet train on Sept. 21, 2017 when seven pairs of trains start running between Beijing and Shanghai at the speed of 350 kilometers per hour. (Photo by Wang Chu from People’s Daily Online)

Shaping remains the most important procedure of making a driving wheel, said Lu Yanlong, chief expert of vehicle manufacturing techniques in CRRC Qishuyan Locomotive & Rolling Stock Technology Research Institute.

The surface accuracy of gears is required to reach micron order, as small as one fiftieth of a hair, otherwise the meshing between gear teeth and lifetime of wear and tear will be affected, Lu added.

Fuxing, meaning “rejuvenation” literally, started operation in June, 2017. It’s a flagship China-made product as all the software used in the train was independently developed by Chinese engineers.

The digital screen inside “Fuxing” shows the train runs at the speed of 350 kilometers per hour. (Photo by Wang Chu from People’s Daily Online)

Some technologies adopted by Fuxing bullet train have been pace-setter in the world. Among the 254 standards of the core technologies used in the trains, up to 84 percent are Chinese-developed ones that are now followed by other countries.

China on the way to deeper reforms of Party and state institutions

The 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee issued a communique at the end of its three-day third plenary session, which concluded on Wednesday. According to the communique, the plenary session reviewed and adopted a decision by the CPC Central Committee on deepening reform of Party and state institutions as well as guidelines for the reform.

Deeper reform on Party and state institutions is a profound evolution in modernizing China’s system and capacity for governance, the communique said.

The 19th CPC National Congress proposed to move on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country, and made clear that the overall goal of deepening reform in every field is to improve and develop the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernize China’s system and capacity for governance.

The third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, convened four months after the conclusion of the 19th CPC National Congress, has drawn special attention. Previously, the third plenary sessions, aimed at studying reform agenda, were usually convened in the second half of the year over the past four decades.

The plenary session made clear that the goal of deepening reform of Party and state institutions is to establish a Party and state institutional function system that is well conceived, fully built, procedure based, and efficiently functioning.

Deeper reform will form a CPC leadership system that ensures the Party always provides overall leadership and coordinates the efforts of all involved, a law-based administrative governance system with clear functions and responsibilities, a world-class armed forces system with Chinese characteristics, as well as a sound work system of people’s organizations for bridging and serving the general populace.

The reform will also promote coordinated actions and resultant forces among the people’s congresses, governments, political advisory bodies, and supervisory, judicial and prosecutorial organs, people’s organizations, enterprises, public institutions, and social organizations under the unified leadership of the CPC.

Deeper reform on the CPC and state institutions will improve China’s governance level and capacity, the communique added.

A primary task of deepening reform of the Party and state institutions is to improve the system for upholding overall Party leadership in a bid to strengthen the CPC’s leadership in every sector, ensure its all-encompassing coverage and make it more forceful, according to the communique.

The institutional reform is a self-revolution, a profound change on national governance, a necessary requirement to strengthen the Party’s long-term governance capacity, and a prerequisite to build a modern socialist country and realize national rejuvenation, People’s Daily said in a commentary published on Thursday.

The newspaper admitted some existing challenges encountered by the Party and state institutions, such as defects in the structure and allocation of functions in some Party institutions, as well as unscientific duty division, unfulfilled duties and low efficiency of some state organs.

Besides, checks and oversight over the exercise of power in some fields need further optimization, and issues including abuse of power and influence peddling still exist, the paper added.

China escalates efforts to protect intellectual property rights

The recently unveiled guidelines for improving the trial procedures of intellectual property rights (IPR) cases in China have great realistic significance and far-reaching historic influence, a Chinese official told a press conference on Feb.28.

In February 2017, China’s first national intellectual property evaluation and certification center, State Intellectual Property Evaluation and Certification Center, opened in Beijing. (Photo by People’s Daily Online)

The guidelines will comprehensively advance the modernization of the IPR case trial system and capabilities, added Tao Kaiyuan, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC).

The guidelines are the first landmark guidance released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council for IPR case trail.

As an effort to protect IPR, the Chinese government has adopted policies and measures, improved laws and regulations and introduced tough rules since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in 2012.

The State Council, for instance, released a five-year (2016-2020) plan on IPR protection and application last January. The plan signified that China, with its rapidly growing capability to protect IPR, has gradually established a world-class system of laws and regulations on IPR represented by patent law, trademark law and copyright law.

To strengthen the creation, protection and application of intellectual property was also highlighted in the report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC.

By October 2017, China has established 24 IPR protection and aid centers. The country’s first national intellectual property evaluation and certification center, State Intellectual Property Evaluation and Certification Center, opened in Beijing in February 2017.

On Feb. 24, 2018, the first intellectual property court in northwestern China was established in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The court is a further enhancement of the specialized IPR case trial, following the establishment of such courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

IPR protection is a strong support for the country’s economic transformation and upgrade, and a solid foundation to create better business environment and open economy.

Statistics showed that 17,703 foreign-invested enterprises were established in China in the first seven months of 2017, up by 12 percent year on year. In addition, China has topped the developing countries for 24 consecutive years in terms of the scale of foreign investment attraction.

China’s extreme poverty rate to fall below 1% in 2018: World Bank

China is expected to continue its strong progress toward eliminating extreme poverty, the World Bank said in its latest report, projecting its extreme poverty rate to fall below one percent in 2018, based on the international poverty line of purchasing power parity (PPP) US$1.90 per day.

Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has lifted its villagers out of poverty by developing cultural industry. Such efforts include building cultural bases, staging art exhibition, setting up experience houses and others. (Photo by People’s Daily Online)

The report, subtitled “Towards a More Inclusive and Sustainable Development” ,highlighted China’s rapid growth has resulted in a decline in poverty “unprecedented in its speed and scale”.

In its new Systematic Country Diagnostic for China, the bank believed that the world’s second largest economy can secure more inclusive and sustainable development with coordinated reforms across a broad range of areas that maximize development impact and address its development challenges.

“Rapid growth was made possible by a wide range of reforms, which transformed a state-dominated, planned, rural, and closed economy to a more market-based, urbanized, and open economy”, the report said.

China’s transition to more inclusive and sustainable growth, according to the bank, will be underpinned by reforms of the country’s governance and institutions.

China’s real per capita income increased 16 times between 1978 and 2014, said the report, adding that this enabled its extreme poverty rate, based on the international PPP US$1.90 per day poverty line, to fall from 88.3 percent in 1981 to 1.9 percent in 2013.

Photo taken is the newly-built roads of Nanmen village, Heishan town, Wansheng Economic and Technological Development Zone of Chongqing. The roads, built at an altitude of 1,000 meters, accelerate the pace of the village to get out of poverty. (Photo by People’s Daily Online)

“This implies that China’s success enabled more than 850 million people to escape poverty,” it pointed out.

“China’s remarkable progress in reducing extreme poverty has significantly contributed to the decline in global poverty,” said Hoon S. Soh, World Bank Program Leader for economic policy for China.

The World Bank will continue to support China in its efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, he vowed.

More moviegoers in smaller cities boost China’s film market

Residents in third- and fourth-tier Chinese cities are contributing more to the rise of national box office sales, according to the latest statistics released by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China.

Cinemas in Deqing county, Huzhou of east China’s Zhejiang province are always in full house during the 2018 Spring Festival holiday as more citizens chose to watch movies with their families. (Photo by

During the country’s Spring Festival vacation from Feb. 16 to 21, a total of 143 million moviegoers nationwide contributed 5.694 billion yuan ($897 million) to the box office sales. The figures represented growth of 68 and 60 percent, respectively, over the same period last year.

A major contributor of the box office is young generations who returned home in third- and fourth-tier cities from metropolises and took their families to theaters.

The box office sales in these cities surged over the recent years, as a result of the giant leaps made by China’s film industry. It also signifies the cultural and recreational demands of young people in these cities.

Industry insiders explained that citizens in third- and fourth-tier, as well as smaller cities now have more spared time and power of consumption, allowing them to emerge as new backbone of the country’s recreational consumption as well as new target of cultural and entertainment enterprises.

A cinema in Hengyang of central China’s Hunan province is packed with audience during the 2018 Spring Festival holiday. (Photo from the official social media account of local news office)

These third- and fourth-tier cities have bigger market potential than the first- and second-tier markets which have already become saturated after years of fast development, they added.

Statistics up to February 2018 showed that China is home to 9,914 cinemas with 53,824 big screens. The distribution of screens in major and smaller cities is moving toward a balance, as the latter see more of them in recent days.

Currently, the numbers of county-level cinemas and screens account for 49 percent and 38 percent, respectively, of the country’s total. As a result, China’s film market, which mainly stayed in big cities before, has been expanded to more regions.

China to build first intelligent “super expressway”

Zhejiang, China’s eastern province will build the country’s first intelligent “super expressway”, the Department of Transportation of Zhejiang Province recently said.

A motorist tests the quick-charging service for electric vehicles at an expressway service area in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The service has nearly achieved full coverage in the province. (Photo by People’s Daily Online)

The 161-kilometer expressway, which is currently under construction, starts from Hangzhou and goes all the way to Ningbo via Shaoxing.

It was learned that the two-way, six-lane super freeway is designed to enable travel at China’s top speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour, and is projected to open to traffic before 2022 when Hangzhou hosts the 19th Asian Games.

Upon completion, it will be a green and safe expressway equipped with smart technology.

Industry insiders pointed out that the new intelligent expressway system will incorporate a comprehensive monitoring system as well as a warning system to maintain the safety of vehicles while increasing the average traffic speed.

The current average expressway traffic speed of Zhejiang is estimated at 90 kilometers per hour. Through the smart system and vehicle management, the intelligent freeway is expected to increase the average traffic speed by 20 to 30 percent.

In addition, the system is projected to support autonomous driving in the future by using Internet and Vehicles technology.

With the high-accuracy positioning, traffic-road synergy, and automatic driving systems, the vision of “accident-free” is expected to be eventually achieved.

Data shows that the number of new energy automobiles sold in China reached 777,000 in 2017, up 53 percent on a year-to-year basis.

The rapid development of China’s new energy automobile industry has increased demand for hardware, including charging devices.

The short-term goal of the super expressway is to offer charging services to electric vehicles through solar power and photovoltaic generation, as well as charging piles. Mobile charging will also be made possible on the super expressway in the future.

The freeway will give consideration to both innovation and economic applicability of new materials, making it possible to be duplicated, said Ren Zhong, deputy director of the Provincial Department of Transportation.

The first phase of the project in Ningbo will be started this year.

China concludes 14-year peacekeeping operations in Liberia

The fifth Chinese peacekeeping police team to Liberia withdrew from the peacekeeping area on Wednesday 28 February this year after finishing their missions, marking the end of China’s 14-year peacekeeping operations in Liberia.

Liberian President George Weah (second from left) shakes hands with a member of the fifth Chinese peacekeeping police team in Monrovia, capital of Liberia. (Photo by Zhao Xiaoxin from People’s Daily)

The Chinese police force was presented with the National Award certificate of Liberia by the country’s President George Weah, who also expressed gratitude to the Chinese peacekeepers.

According to United Nations (UN) resolutions, the team shall withdraw from the area as the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will end its term before March 30, 2018.

China has contributed the most peacekeepers among all permanent members of the UN Security Council. It has sent over 36,000 peacekeepers for 24 UN operations after it was first involved in such missions in 1990. As of now, 2,500 Chinese soldiers are still on peacekeeping fronts.

China remains the second largest contributor regarding financial support on UN peacekeeping undertakings following the US. Its expenditures account for 10.2 percent of the UN’s budget on peacekeeping between 2016 and 2018.

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China would join the new UN peacekeeping capability readiness system by taking the lead to set up a permanent peacekeeping police squad and building a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops, at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at the UN headquarters in September 2015.

The Chinese peacekeeping standby force registered at UN in September 2017. In the following month, the People’s Liberation Army ground force started to set up 19 peacekeeping standby troops of 6 types, including infantry battalions, peacekeeping sapper units, transportation detachments, guard teams, quick response units and helicopter units.

Why do giant pandas prefer bamboo to meat?

Chinese scientists have made progress in revealing more details of giant pandas’ feeding habits and why they eat different varieties of bamboos rather than meat although their teeth and the construction of digestive tube is similar to carnivores.

Wide distribution of bamboos in the wild and the easy access are two major reasons for giant pandas’ staple choice, according to Zhang Wenping, a researcher at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

In addition, bamboos contain more starch the species needs than other woody plants, Zhang said, adding that the starch content of different parts of the bamboo varies with the change of seasons, and giant pandas always choose the parts with the highest content correspondingly.

An analysis on their fecal also found that giant pandas are not able to obtain energy from celluloses, since their intestinal flora are incapable of degrading the celluloses in bamboo.

The research also proved that starch, hemicelluloses and pectin in the bamboo are the major sources of energy for giant pandas.

Bamboo shoots are the part with the highest starch and hemicelluloses content. They yield two crops a year at a time when giant pandas copulate.

The starch and hemicelluloses in the shoots can energize and put weight on giant pandas for their reproduction. The shoots, therefore, become a prioritized choice of the creatures during the mating season.

However, when winter comes, giant pandas begin to eat bamboo poles, as there is no bamboo shoot or tender leaves in the season, while the starch and soluble sugar content in poles reach the peak of a year.

The findings were published on the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal, an international flagship journal of microbial ecology, on Feb. 1, 2018.

Op-ed: Military blockbuster reveals China’s efforts in safeguarding world peace

Lighting the passion of Chinese people, the recently screened military blockbuster Operation Red Sea, a film loosely based on the evacuation of hundreds of Chinese citizens and foreign nationals from Yemen’s southern port of Aden during the Yemeni Civil War in March 2015, has attracted worldwide attention on China’s sense of responsibility to safeguard world peace.

Lines in the movies such as “The strong are invincible” and “The Chinese Navy will take you home” not only present the confidence of modern Chinese service personnel, but also show the pride of Chinese as citizens of a stronger country.

Even foreigners hailed the movie. Operation Red Sea, which tells the story of how the Chinese Navy’s elite special forces saved Chinese and foreign nationals in war and foiled a terrorist plot, is rightly a portrayal of the Chinese army’s sense of mission to guard world peace.

China has won a reputation from the whole world with its responsible actions like the escort missions to the Gulf of Aden that started a decade ago, the evacuation of Chinese and foreign nationals from Yemen in 2015, as well as the efforts made by Chinese peace-keeping forces in global destinations.

Confidence comes from China’s increasing national strength. The country has shaken off the weaknesses and confusion it had 120 years ago as the last century has witnessed how China stood up, grew rich and became strong. China is now marching towards the center of the world stage.

Excellent art reflects the times. Just as Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao pointed out, Operation Red Sea presents the Chinese Navy’s image and China’s national strength to the world.

The real stories behind the film tell more people China’s sense of duty when people around the world are facing common threats, refuting the “China threat” theory hyped by some foreign politicians.

The pirates and terrorist threats depicted in the movie are epitome of the security challenges confronted by today’s world where hard nuts come one after another. Against such a backdrop, the world needs more efforts from China.

“The current world, where regional conflicts and terrorist threats are frequently seen, is not peaceful,” said Alastair Reed, acting director of the International Center for Counter-Terrorism-the Hague.

“The international community requires more efforts to stop war, and in this regard, the stronger combat capabilities of the Chinese army will contribute to the rise of peaceful forces.”

Operation Red Sea is one of the recent military movies screened by China. Striking a chord, those films have not only shown an unwarlike but fearless image of the country, but revealed its confidence in its strength as well as courage to safeguard justice.

Russian news site Rossiya Segodnya commented that China, dreaming of building a strong army, has no intention of undermining interests or interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries.

The world will never forget the grateful tears shed by the Pakistani ambassador after Chinese army evacuated Pakistani citizens from Yemen, or the Chinese “angels in white” who brought hope to West Africa in the latter’s battle with the virus Ebola.

The world will never forget the Chinese escort fleets that have protected over 6,000 vessels, over half of which were foreign vessels and World Food Programme ships, in the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden and Somalia.

All these operations have manifested China’s sense of responsibility in upholding justice, safeguarding peace and ensuring security.

With stronger national strength, a more modern China is providing the world with more and more security.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has sent nearly 40,000 peacekeepers in total, outnumbering other members of the council.

China is living up to its promise of always being a builder of world peace by concrete actions. The country, for instance, established the China-UN peace and development fund, joined the UN peacekeeping capability readiness system and supported Africa’s peacekeeping capacity building.

It also promised to establish an international law enforcement institute under the Ministry of Public Security with the aim of training law enforcement personnel for developing countries.

“I’m a feather in the big world, but the feather also holds wishes for peace,” wrote He Zhihong, a Chinese peacekeeping policewoman who died in a peacekeeping operation in Haiti.

Now hundreds of thousands of “feathers” like He have united into a pair of strong wings, shouldering responsibilities for the world, and getting ready to embrace the hope for peace.