Boy carries younger brother in basket in below-freezing temperatures

A 9-year-old boy named Jijuejizhu carried his one-year-old brother in a basket down a steep and rugged mountain road in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Sichuan province on Feb. 2.

The boys were heading to their grandfather’s new home while their new home is being built. The temperature dropped to minus 11 degrees Celsius due to heavy snow. Behind the two brothers, their mother carried a heavy basket full of things.

They walked for 50 minutes in heavy snow before getting to the nearest bus station. Their village is 2,800 meters above sea level and 80 kilometers from downtown.

Most of their fellow villagers have been relocated to a new village near downtown. The houses were built by the local government in the national poverty alleviation campaign.

The family emerged from poverty in 2014. They have received a 30,000 yuan relocation allowance to build their house with Yi features. The 9-year-old boy has been arranged to study at a primary school in their new village.


China’s bike-sharing users peddled 30B km in 2017

Shared bike users in China covered 29.947 billion kilometers in 2017, reducing carbon emissions by 6.99 million tons, said a report issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Jan. 31.

The report said that by the end of December last year, 28.6% of China’s 772-million of the country’s online population have enjoyed the service.

According to Yu Jianing, an official with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the figure suggests wide acceptance of the sharing economy among Chinese citizens.

The Sharing Economy Research Center under the State Information Center forecasted that China’s sharing economy will maintain an annual growth rate of about 40% in the next few years. By 2020, the sector is expected to account for 10% of the country’s GDP, the center added.

Deliveryman invited to present suggestions to China’s top leadership

Deliveryman Li Pengxuan never expected that his suggestion about the country’s delivery industry could result in him being asked by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a talk in Zhongnanhai, the exclusive compound for top leadership.

At the symposium on Jan. 31, Li Pengxuan presented his advice regarding the draft government work report to the Premier with other representatives from all walks of life.

Li is a deliveryman in central China’s Shanxi province. Last July, he submitted his suggestion through “Share your thoughts with China’s Premier Li” on the official website of the State Council, saying he hopes the government will promote cooperation between the insurance sector and the express delivery industry.

Li’s hometown is one of the country’s best ten fruit counties, and his fellow villagers have become rich with the help of express delivery service, which helped the price of apples per 0.5 kilograms rise from 0.6 yuan to 2 yuan.

Last year, Li’s service station handled 120,000 parcels, among which 100,000 were fresh fruit parcels. But due to the vulnerability of the fruit and other issues during delivery, they have to sometimes compensate customers for damaged products.

Li said he earns 6-7,000 yuan per month, but he has to pay 3-4,000 yuan to the customers for broken parcels.

Though eager to solve the issue, Li never expected his suggestion to receive any response or to be dealt with. However, staff with the State Council website later contacted him and invited him to communicate with the Premier face-to-face in Beijing.

“Premier Li asked about my job and said we are working really hard. I was touched,” the deliveryman said.

The Premier said the country’s delivery industry is developing fast and well, and has become a very important sector to boost the domestic economy.

After hearing that Li comes from a township and works 12-13 hours a day, the Premier said the fact that the country’s delivery capacity tops the world is inseparable from grassroots deliverymen like Li.

At the symposium, Li reiterated his suggestion of promoting cooperation between the insurance sector and the express delivery industry, and proposed to implement policies, such as special travel permits for delivery vehicles.

The Premier said the government encourages and supports the development of new industries and business modes including express delivery, and has adopted measures to lower logistical costs.

“It surprised me that the Premier answered my questions one by one.” Li recalled. After answering his questions, the Premier asked government departments to follow the people-centered development concept, and work hard to guarantee smooth delivery of fresh products.

Walking out of Zhongnanhai, Li said he has more faith in the future of the country’s express delivery industry.

China offers better model for LatAm

China is taking a mutually beneficial approach to economic cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, while the US is seeking to preserve its dominant position in the region under its protectionist “America First” strategy, two Chinese experts said on Monday.

The experts, who specialize in China’s foreign trade and Latin America policies, were responding to recent comments from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who suggested that China’s economic and trade activities in South America are “new imperial powers” and that Chinese investment in the region would come at “a price.”

In a speech on Thursday ahead his first visit to the region as the top US diplomat, Tillerson said that “Latin America does not need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people. China’s state-led model of development is reminiscent of the past. It doesn’t have to be this hemisphere’s future.”

“Such accusations are completely baseless and ignorant of the facts,” Chen Fengying, an expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times. Chen pointed out that it is the US that has long viewed Latin America and the Caribbean as its backyard and has acted accordingly.

“If any country is taking advantage of Latin America, it’s the US, and it has been for a long time.”

In his speech, Tillerson alluded to China’s surging investment and trade cooperation with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, despite fast growth in recent years, Chinese investment in the region still falls far behind that of the US.

In 2016, even after taking mergers and acquisitions into account, China only ranked as the fourth-largest investor in Latin America and the Caribbean, after the US, the EU and Canada, according to the latest report on foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean from the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean released in August 2017.

Without mergers and acquisitions, China only accounted for 1.1 percent of foreign direct investment into the region, while the US accounted for 20 percent and the EU accounted for 53 percent, the report said.

This indicates that the US and the EU are far more eager to exploit Latin America and the Caribbean than China, Chen said.

Win-win model

The growth of Chinese investment in Latin America and the Caribbean has been boosted by a mutually beneficial model of bilateral cooperation, Guo Cunhai, deputy director of Latin American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

“If this was not mutually beneficial or not welcomed by countries in the region, there is no way Chinese investment could rise so fast,” Guo said. “Whether or not cooperation with China is beneficial for Latin America should be decided by people in the region, not by a US official.”

Tillerson in his speech warned against China’s model of economic development, saying “China – as it does in emerging markets throughout the world – offers the appearance of an attractive path to development. But in reality, this often involves trading short-term gains for long-term dependency.”

Guo said that China’s policy is clear: “We are seeking equal, fair economic and trade cooperation without any conditions or interference in the countries’ sovereignty or political issues.”

That is in stark contrast with the US model, which often comes with strict conditions and political interference, Guo said.

“Just look at this speech and others Tillerson gave during his trip to Latin America: It’s basically him telling Latin American countries what they should or should not do.”

Guo also said this kind of approach might be the reason why the US “has been so negatively viewed, not just in Latin America but around the world, and blaming China is not going to change that.”

Source: Global Times

China’s electromagnetic satellite a significant complementary to study of seismic precursors

China’s first seismo-electromagnetic satellite Zhangheng 1 launched on Feb. 2 is a significant complementary to the country’s ability in the study of seismic precursors, said Shen Xuhui, chief scientist of the satellite.

“China is one of the world’s worst-hit areas for earthquakes, featuring wide distribution, high intensity, and shallow focal point,” Shen noted.

Ground monitoring stations used to be the major devices for China’s seismic surveillance. The incapability of such stations in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the marine regions restricted the development of the country’s seismic studies, Shen explained.

Research shows that earthquakes can trigger variation of electromagnetic information across the globe. With broad coverage, an excellent electromagnetic environment, and strong dynamic information, the seismo-electromagnetic satellite will greatly improve the understanding of seismic precursors.

“The satellite can achieve real-time transfer of high-energy particles data, such as electromagnetic fields and ionized stratum, offering researchers stable and continuous support by big data,” the chief scientist said.

It will help record global earthquake cases and make earthquake inspections more likely, he added.

Researchers working in frigid weather at China’s northernmost observatory

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences are working in extremely cold temperatures at China’s northernmost space environment observatory. The observatory, located one kilometer north of Heilongjiang province’s Beiji Town, the country’s highest town, is a significant contributor in the study of space environment disturbances. The temperature at the observatory can reach as low as dozens of degrees below zero Celsius.

Night market in Hainan starts trial operation

The night market beside Hainan University, Hainan province, started trial operation on Jan. 31 after renovation, becoming a hot spot for night snacks. It has attracted a large number of locals and students from the university.

The market offers 300 stands and has created nearly 600 jobs.

China’s mobile payment users hit 527 million in 2017

China had a total of 527 million mobile payment users at the end of last year, up by 57.8 million from a year before, said a report released by the China Internet Network Information Center on Jan. 31.

According to a news conference held by China’s State Council Information Office at the end of last month, the country’s online payment transactions totaled 150 trillion yuan ($23.8 trillion) by October 2017, ranking first in the world.

WeChat Pay, one of China’s major mobile payment service providers, attracted over 800 million validated users by September 2017. The number of monthly offline payments was 280% higher than that from a year ago. In addition, WeChat Pay has seen more and more frequent users.

Insiders attribute the success of the innovative service to its unprecedented conveniences as well as promotions and expanding application scenarios that have helped it enlarge its user base.

Apart from the domestic market, the industry has also been more engaged in overseas expansion.

In 2017, Alipay, the online payment platform under e-commerce giant Alibaba, launched in 36 overseas destinations, benefiting hundreds of thousands of merchants. Overseas transactions surged by 306% in the last year when compared with 2016.

A report by accounting organization Deloitte said that China’s mobile payment industry is leading the world and the country is exporting its technologies to the developed world.

Amazon, eBay remove Chinese boy costumes featuring racist “slant-eye” images

Amazon UK and eBay UK removed Chinese boy costumes featuring racist “slant-eye” images after receiving immense backlash from social media users, reported on Feb.1.

According to Hong Kong media, the Chinese traditional costumes were modeled by white children pulling their eyes back in a “slant-eye” expression, a gesture often used to mock Asians.

The images exasperated many in the Chinese community, who reported the merchandise and demanded its removal from the sites.

“Once this listing was brought to our attention, we immediately removed the item and contacted the seller informing them that the listing violates eBay’s offensive materials policy,” eBay stated on Tuesday.

However, no further explanation was given on the reasons why these offensive images were allowed on the pages in the first place.

Amazon refused to apologize for the matter, but did remove the costumes from its site.

Amazon’s irresponsible statement implied that “it is acceptable to offend Chinese people,” said a net user, adding that she was shocked that Amazon used racist images to sell their products.

This matter was blatant racist advocacy, said another net user who demanded an explanation from Amazon.