China’s Salar de Uyuni! Chaka Salt Lake embraces its 2-millionth visitor

Chaka Salk Lake, nicknamed the Chinese Salar de Uyuni, embraced its two-millionth visitor in the year of 2017 on Aug. 23, chinanews.com reported on Wednesday.

The two-millionth visitor is a man from northeastern China’s Liaoning province. He later received a certificate of honor and a gift package from the tourist site.

According to legend, the salt lake in Wulan County, northwestern China’s Qinghai province, is home to 1,000 goddesses who bring good luck to people.

The lake covers an area of about 105 square kilometers. It has an average salt thickness of four meters and possesses a salt reserve of 450 million tons. The surface of the lake looks like a mirror in good weather, which is how it earned the name “China’s Salar de Uyuni.”

Apart from China’s largest salt water lake the Qinghai Lake and the Buddhist shrine Ta’er Temple, Chaka Salk Lake has become another major attraction in Qinghai for both domestic and overseas tourists.

An employee of the tourist site said that the reception of its two-millionth visitor marks a step closer to becoming a world-famous scenic area.

 

Wild pandas in quake-hit region of Jiuzhaigou appear unscathed

No panda has been found injured after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit the scenic area of Jiuzhaigou, home to 340 wild pandas, said Sichuan’s Forestry Department, two weeks after the natural disaster.

The information was released at a conference on post-quake reconstruction and environmental assessment held by the department.

According to an official of a local environment monitoring center, a total of 11 natural reserves are located in the disaster area, covering some 880,000 hectares, 10 of which are natural habitats for pandas. The 340 wild pandas account for 41.29% and 31.2% of the total figures of the province and the country, respectively.

The earthquake has to some extent destroyed their ecosystem, but fortunately there has been reported no injuries or deaths so far.

Academician Liu Baojun from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said the ecosystem will recover naturally over time and human-led restoration plays a subsidiary role.

Chinese investment in overseas real estate hit $16 billion in first half of year

(Chinanews.com/Chen Chao)

China’s total overseas investment in real estate hit $15.8 billion in the first half of the year, according to a report by the leading global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, China News reported on Aug. 23.

The report says that, in terms of investment categories, Chinese investment in overseas land development continued to grow in the first half of 2017, while office building investment dropped by 40 percent to $6.8 billion during the period on a year-on-year basis.

Among all overseas investment destinations for Chinese mainland investors in the first half of the year, Hong Kong ranked first with an investment of $5.4 billion, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom with investments of $4.2 billion and $4 billion, respectively.

Cushman & Wakefield predicted that investors from the Chinese mainland will still give priority to the three mature markets in the future.

The U.S. was also predicted to regain the top spot as the most favored overseas investment destination for Chinese investors in the long run.

In addition, real estate auctions show that nearly 30 pieces of land in Hong Kong will be open for bidding this year, which will be much attractive to investors from Chinese mainland.

A Japanese woman’s story of fighting for former Chinese “comfort women”

(The Beijing News/Peng Ziyang)

A young Japanese woman who has devoted nearly 10 years to the cause of promoting her government to admit its guilt about China’s “comfort women” and spreading historical facts about the group says she will proceed with the job no matter how difficult it is.

A lot of people regard “comfort women” as a proof of history, but few of them care about their mental state—are they happy, do they feel lonely and hurt? Well, Yoneda Mai cares.

The most heartbreaking journey

Mai does part-time jobs in Japan and lives on a very low income. She can barely buy herself new clothes, and most of her money is spent on visiting the seniors in Hainan province, southern China.

The 33-year-old had stayed in the province for three years to help the “comfort women” after she learnt about their stories in 2008. Though she later returned to Japan for health reasons, she still cares about the group and visits them in every summer and winter.

In recent years, her journey to Hainan has gradually become heartbreaking, because the seniors are dying one after another. In this year alone, three former “comfort women” in Hainan passed away.

She was very grieved when Huang Youliang, the last remaining Chinese survivor to file a lawsuit against the Japanese government for her suffering, passed away on August 12.

A different childhood

When she was three years old, Mai began to protest in the streets with her mother, a feminist. She grew up freely and only wanted to go to work upon high school graduation. It was not until she learnt about the Nanjing Massacre that she decided to go to university to study history.

Like Mai, most of the Japanese students barely learn the history about Japan’s war crimes, such as the Nanjing Massacre and the “comfort women.” Instead, they are taught that Japan is a victim of war.

The unknown knowledge has aroused Mai’s curiosity about the war, and her teacher suggested she go to university if she wanted to pursue truth.

Years later, she was admitted by a university and chose international relations as her major. There, she saw classmates from other Asian countries debate heatedly over former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to the Yasukuni war shrine. At first she was confused, but later felt ashamed for missing such an important part of her country’s history.

In 2008, Mai attended a trial in Tokyo when eight “comfort women,” including Huang Youliang, sued the Japanese government, demanding an apology. Their stories shocked her, and she decided to do something for them.

(The Beijing News/Peng Ziyang)

Go to China

The first thing she did when she came to Hainan was to join a folk organization called “Hainai Network,” founded by a group of Japanese lawyers.

In 2009, the Japanese court rejected the appeals of the “comfort women,” claiming that individuals have no right to sue the state. Mai was at the scene when three Japanese lawyers were summoned to announce the results to the senior victims. She saw some of them burst into tears.

Huang, the most persistent one, demanded an apology from the soldiers who had raped and tortured her, even though the Japanese government refused to apologize, Mai recalled.

In 2011, when Mai graduated from university, she came to Hainan to learn Chinese. With the help of a Chinese student, she found out the addresses of all the “comfort women” and has visited them ever since.

Now, she is close to the seniors and knows they are kind, lonely, and sensitive. They’ve been hurt deeply, but they still treat others nicely, even if they are Japanese.

(The Beijing News/Peng Ziyang)

Do not stop fighting

Apart from regularly visiting the seniors, Mai made a video to record the daily life of a senior and translated the local dialect into Mandarin and Japanese. Over the years, she has displayed photos and videos about the seniors and has held seminars across the world in a bid to raise awareness about the group.

In Japan, she repeatedly tells people that their current life is closely related to history and if they don’t learn from and reflect on history, they will repeat the mistakes. But she knows it is hard to change people’s attitudes toward “comfort women,” especially when that history and the Nanjing Massacre has been left out and witnesses are dying.

Sometimes she even wonders if she, a Japanese person, should visit the Chinese seniors and if her visits will do any good. “I will not stop this cause until the Japanese government apologizes. But if they do not, I will continue to go to China to accompany the seniors and tell them they are not forgotten,” she said.

Chinese universities, vocational schools offer majors in drone studies

(Chinanews.com/Liu Xin)

Many of China’s universities and vocational schools are now offering majors in drone studies to train talents in a rapidly growing industry, cankaoxiaoxi.com reported on Aug. 24.

Major Chinese universities, including Beihang University, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Northwestern Polytechnical University, all set up courses and training to cultivate talents in the scientific research and management of drones.

Yu Jianbin, a junior student majoring in drone aerial photography at Jinhua Polytechnic, said that he can earn 1,000 yuan ($150) for each photography task and more than 20,000 yuan a month by establishing his own studio.

Data shows that the export of Chinese drones hit 4.91 billion yuan ($737.6 million) in the first half of the year and the number of drone companies in mainland China has exceeded 300.

Drones are widely used for military operations, aerial photography, delivery services, and disaster relief efforts, as well as for data collection, and the sales volume of the aerial vehicles on a yearly basis in mainland China is projected to reach 290,000 by 2020.

Stronger mobile app supervision needed for better privacy protection: insiders

(file photo)

Insiders say that supervision on mobile apps’ privileges should be strengthened, as a large number of malicious apps are a threat to users’ personal privacy and property security by excessively accessing personal information, according to the overseas edition of People’s Daily on Aug. 23.

Accessing such personal information as the list of installed apps, mobile equipment identifier, and location information are necessary processes for the normal operation of apps.

However, a large number of copycat and pirated apps excessively access users’ personal information, posing a great threat to users’ personal privacy and property security.

More than a million (1,085,455) cases involving malicious mobile apps were reported in 2016, up 49.1 percent year-on-year, among which mobile users’ information theft was most serious. And over 2.05 million malwares were detected by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center in the same year, up 39 percent from 2015.

A report on privacy safety of Android mobile phones in China in 2016 found that 13 percent of non-game mobile apps obtained users’ location information and 9.1 percent of them obtained users’ contacts list.

Insiders pointed out that, as mobile apps are usually free to download, many internet companies try to gain by collecting users’ data for marketing purposes.

Statistics shows that China had 17 million mobile apps in 2016, covering various services, including chat, dinning, shopping, and travelling, so mobile users are faced with enormous risk of personal information leakage.

Although China regulates mobile apps by not allowing personal information including location, contacts, photos, and videos to be collected without users’ permission, some internet companies still violate the regulations.

Insiders suggest that, apart from raising privacy protection awareness, strengthening supervision and law enforcement efforts should be the fundamental solution to such problems.

New Chinese fighter pilots conduct solo night flight over South China Sea

(Photo/CCTV)

China’s newest fighter pilots of a naval aviation division of the South China Sea Fleet of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) successfully conducted their first solo night flight drill over the South China Sea, CCTV news reported on Aug.22.

The new pilots conducted competitive training exercises, including multi-fighter cooperative air combat, intercepts, and searching for and attacking targets at night over the South China Sea.

(Photo/CCTV)

“Night flights are important for round-the-clock combat missions. By making full use of the complicated natural battlefield environment of the South China Sea, we hope to build an air force composed of competent fighter pilots,” said Cui Meng, battalion chief of the naval aviation division.

The Chinese Navy training plan was based on research of night flights. The Navy also formulated a special implementation program and response measures in case of extraordinary circumstances ahead of the drill.

Beijing to build world-leading innovation center for robot industry by 2025

Beijing declared its strategic vision of building a global innovation center for the robot industry by 2025 at the ongoing 2017 World Robot Conference (WRC).

The WRC, a feast for both tech geeks and general visitors, kicked off on Aug. 23 in Beijing.

China is transiting from a major market of robot applications to an innovation base for the industry.

Sales volume of industrial robots in China has seen an average annual growth of 35% in recent years. A total of 72,000 industrial robots have been produced by the country in 2016, accounting for a quarter of the world’s total.

In addition, China is now leading the world in terms of voice and image recognition technologies, and has made major breakthroughs in the development of key components, such as controllers, servomotors, and precise reducers.

As the hotbed of China’s cutting-edge information technologies, Beijing has its advantages in the development of the robot industry. In 2016, the city’s revenue of software and information service industries totaled 728.76 billion yuan. Meanwhile, Beijing is also home to more than 240 AI enterprises, with 7,841 patents.

Beijing will take two steps to achieve its strategic vision. By 2020, the capital will have established 10 leading industry enterprises, 10 research and innovation centers, and 10 major industrial robot projects, raising revenue by 12 to 15 billion yuan.

For the second step, the city plans to forge a world-leading system of robotic technology synergy innovation, and complete the construction of the innovation center before 2025.

HIV positive students admitted to college face economic, psychological pressures

A total of 15 HIV infected students in Linfen, central China’s Shanxi province, have been admitted by colleges, but the economic burden and psychological stress are still barriers for their future academic life, China Education Network Television reported.

In June, 16 HIV positive students from the Green Harbor Red-Ribbon School in Linfen took the college entrance examination in a specially established examination room. Fifteen of them have been admitted to college so far.

According to Guo Xiaoping, principal of the school, two of them were accepted to universities and the rest to junior colleges. Guo said the students are quite satisfied with the results, since they don’t have access to good educational resources.

However, challenges still exist. Most are orphans, and expenses over the next couple of years are a severe problem for them. The Chinese Foundation for Prevention of STD and AIDS has expressed its intention to help the students economically.

Psychological stress will be the bigger issue. “I’m afraid that no one will want to make friends with me out of fear,” said a student named Cuicui. For students from the Green Harbor Red-Ribbon School, to leave their harbor might bring more troubles.

Guo noted that this special group is not expecting society to offer them favorable policies, and all they need is equal treatment from their teachers and schoolmates at college.