Number of pediatricians reaches 230,000 in China

The ratio of pediatricians per 1,000 children in China reached 0.92 in 2018, as the number of pediatricians rose to 230,000 from 154,000 in the previous year, data from the National Center for Children’s Health revealed.

The increasing number of practitioners has relieved the demand-supply mismatch of children’s doctors, Ni Xin, director of the center, was quoted as saying by the Economic Daily on July 29.

As of last year, China had 228 children’s hospitals and over 20,000 general hospitals had pediatric departments. 42 Chinese universities have opened pediatrics majors and 586 medical bases were established to train pediatricians.

In rural areas, by the end of 2018, 32,765 children with congenital heart disease received treatment, of which 84.9 percent of the expense was covered by the national medical insurance. 19,348 children with leukemia received treatment, of which 85.5 percent of the expense was covered.

China’s per capita consumer spending reaches 10,330 yuan in H1

Shanghai city (Photo/Xinhua)

China’s per capita consumer spending increased by 7.5 percent year-on-year to reach 10,330 yuan ($1,500) in the first half of 2019. Nine provinces and cities exceeded the level, including Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Zhejiang and Guangdong, official data showed.

Shanghai outperformed other regions with per capita consumer spending of 22,513 yuan. Beijing ranked second with 21,134 yuan.

Five of the nine cities and provinces are located in the southeastern region of the country, which has a relatively large consumer market. They have taken various measures to stimulate consumption.

For instance, Guangdong has released an implementation plan, which relaxed policies regarding public auctions and the lottery system to grant car license plates for those who want to buy cars in the provincial capital Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Consumers from the above provinces and cities spent money more on services such as catering and tourism. In the first half of the year, service consumption contributed to 70.4 percent of Beijing’s economic growth.

The strong purchasing power is related to the increasing per capita disposable income of the residents in these provinces. China’s per capita disposable income stood at 15,294 yuan ($4,165) in the first half of the year.

Chinese enterprise facilitates agricultural development in Brazil

China and Brazil have sought closer cooperation in agricultural technologies in recent years. In 2016, China’s Hunan Dakang International Food & Agriculture Company acquired a controlling stake in Brazilian grain company Fiagril Ltda, helping to facilitate agricultural development in Brazil.

In 2015, the soybean area in Amapá, a state located in northern Brazil, didn’t amount to 2,000 hectares, and the yield per hectare was only 1,980 kilograms, much lower than the nation’s average of 3,000 kg per hectare.

A manager with Fiagril explained that the soil in Amapá was not fertile and couldn’t produce soybeans on a large scale. To increase the soybean yield, the company developed chemical fertilizers based on local climate and soil conditions, while sending technicians to collect data about the land and crops to keep track of the planting process.

So far, the soybean area in the state has increased to 20,000 hectares, and the soybean yield stands at 2,880 kg per hectare. The company also enabled farmers to buy agricultural resources on credit so that the agricultural production could run more smoothly, the manager said.

Last year, Brazil produced 110 million tons of soybeans, becoming the second-largest producer of soybeans in the world.

Online food delivery platforms target elderly people

(Photo/Xinhua)

Online food ordering and delivery platforms are now in collaboration with restaurants to produce and deliver meals for seniors, as there is enormous market potential in this age bracket.

About 40 percent of seniors said they need healthy and nourishing meals in a recent survey conducted by the China National Committee on Aging.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China was home to 250 million people aged 60 years or above by the end of 2018, indicating the potential for online food ordering and delivery.

To make use of this opportunity, online platforms, such as Ele.me and Meituan, have teamed up with restaurants offering meal services for the elderly community.

Some cities have improved delivery services so that the food is sent to seniors customers in a timely manner.

For instance, Guangzhou recently released a guideline to guarantee that elderly residents can enjoy more efficient meal ordering and delivery services. The guideline requires urban planners to establish more delivery stations to reduce food delivery time.

The takeaway service has won the hearts of some seniors. A resident surnamed Zhang in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality said that by using her mobile phone, dinner would be delivered to her doorstep in a matter of minutes. Before she had access to these services, it took a lot of work for her to cook a meal while taking care of her husband, who uses a wheelchair.

Despite the growing market, restaurants struggle to make a profit because they sell meals at a relatively low price to attract consumers, and they pay administrative fees to the platform.

Tong Jingsong, a researcher with the China Research Center on Aging, suggested online platforms provide a set of services including food delivery, housekeeping and nursing care to help increase their profits.

German city introduces online payment to attract Chinese tourists

Stuttgart launched a project to encourage local merchants to cooperate with Chinese online payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay. (Photo/People.cn)

In 2018, Stuttgart, a city located in southwest Germany, launched a project to encourage local merchants to cooperate with Chinese online payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat Pay to help make travel more convenient for Chinese tourists.

So far, 75 merchants in the city have added mobile payment options, including Hotel Altbacher Hof and the CUBE restaurant.

The hotel introduced Alipay to bring convenience to Chinese tourists as well as help local people understand the advantages of e-payment, said the hotel’s general manager. The CUBE restaurant in the city center received 20 percent more Chinese tourists after it introduced Alipay.

Breuninger, a Stuttgart-based department store retailer, has introduced both Alipay and Wechat Pay to all 11 of its outlets. It’s crucial to adopt a more convenient pattern of payment for Chinese customers, as they account for 50 percent of the store’s foreign customers, explained the brand’s tourism marketing director.

An increasing number of Chinese tourists have visited Stuttgart in recent years. In 2018, the city received about 68,664 overnight Chinese visitors, up from just 10,000 back in 2001.

China exports more photovoltaic products

(Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese photovoltaic products saw a growing overseas market in the first half of 2019. The country’s export of photovoltaic products reached $10.61 billion, an increase of 31.7 percent compared with the same period last year. The export volume of battery chips exceeded that of the whole year in 2018.

The European market also showed signs of recovery. Exports of photovoltaic modules from China to major European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain and Ukraine increased significantly.

In the first six months of this year, the country’s production of silicon wafers reached 63 gigawatts, an increase of 26 percent year-on-year. The production of solar cells stood at 51 gigawatts, up 30.8 percent.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a research organization that provides insight and news about the energy sector, predicted that the global demand for photovoltaic products is expected to reach 123 gigawatts to 149 gigawatts this year.

Government acts to curb nearsightedness in children

(Photo.Chinanews.com)

Myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness, has become severe among Chinese children and teenagers in recent years, with more people being affected at a younger age. Last year, about 53.6 percent of children and teenagers had myopia.

The prevalence of severe eyesight problems is alarming, with 21.9 percent of high school students wearing glasses stronger than six diopters.

Excessive homework, insufficient outdoor exercise, and abuse or improper use of electronic devices are thought to be the major causes of myopia among Chinese children and teenagers.

The country has intensified efforts to prevent and combat nearsightedness among teenagers. It plans to reduce the overall myopia rate among teenagers by more than 0.5 percentage points per year from 2019 to 2030, according to a recently released health guideline.

The guideline requires schools to guarantee that students exercise for at least an hour a day at school, perform eye exercises regularly and read and write for no more than 40 minutes without a break both in the classroom and at home.

The Ministry of Education calls on parents to reduce the time their children spend using electronic devices to within one hour per day.

Chinese animations absorb traditional culture and attract global attention

“Prince Ne Zha’s Triumph Against the Dragon King” (Photo provided by JC Cartoon Art Museum) 

Chinese animations have adopted traditional cultural elements and attracted global attention thanks to their unique style.

Animators have combined traditional culture with animation since 1956, when Te Wei, then director of Shanghai Animation Film Studio, proposed that domestic animations should integrate national characteristics.

Wan Guchan, a veteran animator, applied the art of paper-cutting to create the cartoon “Pigsy Eats Watermelon” in 1958, the first of its kind in the country.

“Baby Tadpoles Look for Their Mother” (Photo provided by JC Cartoon Art Museum)

In 1960, the Shanghai Animation Film Studio introduced ink-wash paintings into its work “Baby Tadpoles Look for Their Mother”, China’s first ink-wash cartoon.

The animators created many excellent movies, many of which even won a reputation in the global market. The ink-wash cartoon “Feeling from Mountain and Water” received five major awards including Best Short Film at the 14th Montreal International Film Festival of Canada in 1990.

China’s animation industry has developed rapidly since the 1980s as the country furthered cooperation with international cartoon corporations. In 1985, the first Chinese-foreign joint venture that produced cartoons was established in China. Within the following eight or nine years, nearly 100 cartoon enterprises came into being.

“Feeling from Mountain and Water” (Photo provided by JC Cartoon Art Museum)

The booming industry stimulated the production of cartoons. In 2010, 220,000 minutes of animation were produced, making China the world’s biggest producer of TV cartoons.

In recent years, China has held cartoon exhibitions around the world to bring domestic works to the global market. This year, the country exhibited more than 130 animated cartoons in Japan to showcase the progress of China’s animation industry.

Belt and Road Initiative means opportunities for China-Malaysia relations: Ambassador

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian delivers an opening speech at the China-Malaysia Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation on July 29 in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) means opportunities for bilateral ties between China and Malaysia, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said on July 29 in his opening speech at the China-Malaysia Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation.

“Many Malaysian friends ask me what BRI means to China-Malaysia relations. To put it simply, it means opportunities,” Bai said at the forum, which kicked off on July 29 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital.

Malaysia is closely connected to the China-proposed BRI, said Bai, explaining that the country was an important stop along the ancient Silk Road, and that the story of China’s famous Ming Dynasty voyager Zheng He is still widely circulated in Malaysia today.

“Malaysia was among the first countries to respond to and support the BRI since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed it in 2013,” Bai said, adding that “BRI has brought opportunities for broader and closer pragmatic cooperation between China and Malaysia, and has served as an opportunity for better mutual understanding between the two peoples.”

Elaborating on specific goals and requirements in China’s plan to put forward the BRI promoting high-quality development, Bai said these goals and requirements will ensure that the future cooperation under the BRI will be carried out more solidly and smoothly, stressing that this will surely generate more tangible interests for the participants of the BRI including Malaysia.

“Boosting BRI construction is an important sign of sticking to and safeguarding openness, inclusiveness, and multilateralism. Malaysia has made its choices concerning such issues as the BRI, China-U.S. trade war, the 5G network and Huawei, which we highly appreciate,” said Bai.

“China and Malaysia both advocate free trade and multilateral trade systems, and have been committed to promoting the establishment of a fairer and more rational international political and economic order,” said Bai, noting that the two countries “have much in common and share many international partners that they can combine in efforts to surmount difficulties and pursue common development.”

Calling on China and Malaysia to promote all-dimensional friendly cooperation, Bai said more competitive Malaysian products are welcome to expand business in the Chinese market.

As one of the BRI-themed forum series on people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation between China and Southeast Asian countries, the China-Malaysia Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation was jointly hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia, and Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.

The forum was organized by China’s media outlet Global Times Online, and got the support of the Malaysia-China Business Council, LKK Health Products Group, National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, and the Confucius Institute at the University of Malaya.

Former Philippine President Arroyo: It’s fitting to call the Belt and Road Initiative ‘Globalization 2.0’

Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivers a keynote speech at the Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation held in Manila. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

It’s fitting that today scholars describe the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as “Globalization 2.0”, former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said in her keynote speech at Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation, which kicked off on July 26 in Manila, capital of the Philippines.

“I appreciate that China is now developing into a powerful advocate for safeguarding and developing an open world economy. This is significant in the face of the rise of anti-globalization in favor of old-style nationalism,” Arroyo said at the forum, which attracted over 200 dignitaries, experts and industry leaders from China and the Philippines.

“Scholars point out that ‘Globalization 2.0’ is more about investment, infrastructure and development rather than just trade in the old times”, noted Arroyo, who said that the BRI is “China’s broadest platform for collaboration and cooperation”.

Pointing out that trade and investments relationships, such as those governed by regional agreements, are like the software that provide a framework for world trade and investments, Arroyo added, “but we also need the hardware, and this is where the Belt and Road Initiative comes in to provide the brick and mortar infrastructures, without which international trade and investments cannot flourish.”

“The Belt and Road Initiative fits in very nicely with the Philippines’ ‘Build, Build, Build’ project,” said Arroyo, stressing that the Philippines can play a role in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and that “some China-funded infrastructure projects have already started in the Philippines.”

“From the point of view of the Philippines, as an economist and former president, I dare say that we would greatly appreciate and benefit from increased flows of capital and technology from China, in areas ranging from agriculture to digital advancements,” said Arroyo.

Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation held in Manila. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)

Aiming to promote people-to-people as well as economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between China and the Philippines, the Belt and Road China-Philippines Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation consisted of a main forum and three sub-forums on think tank and media dialogue, infrastructure cooperation, and culture and health industry cooperation respectively.

The forum was jointly hosted by China Public Diplomacy Association and Presidential Communications Operations Office of the Philippines, co-organized by Global Times Online and Confucius Institute at the Ateneo De Manila University, and supported by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc., Philippine Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce, and LKK Health Products Group, while the Embassy of China in the Republic of the Philippines also offered special support for the forum.

The forum held in Manila was the first stop of the Belt and Road-themed forum series on people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation between China and Southeast Asian countries. Each of the forums comprises of a main forum and several sub-forums on different subjects.