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.

Match made in canine heaven: Male dog ‘marries’ wolf in east China zoo

(Photo/iqilu.com)

A husky has been living in harmony with a pack of wolves in Dezhou Zoological and Botanical Garden in east China’s Shandong province since last year. Strange enough, the male dog is “married” to a wolf and they have a 4-month-old pup, iqilu.com reported.

Early in November 2016, the husky was introduced to 10 wolves for entertainment purposes, catching the attention of animal protectors. The zoo responded that the dog enjoys great respect amongst the wolves.

(Photo/iqilu.com)

To some extent, it has become a king, said Li Yanping, a breeder at the zoo.

The four-month-old baby wolf pup weighs more than 10 kilograms and looks both like a dog and a wolf. It is still too young to meet visitors, Li added.

 

First steel truss girder installed for China’s first cross-strait railway-highway bridge

The first steel truss girder of China’s first cross-strait railway-highway bridge has been successfully installed, said its constructor China Major Bridge Engineering Co., Ltd. (MBEC) on Aug. 22.

The bridge, located in Pingtian, Fujian, is the world’s longest cross-strait railway-highway bridge, and the first such bridge in China.

The lower level of the bridge has railway tracks on which bullet trains can run as fast as 200 kilometers per hour, while the top level is a six-lane expressway with a design speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

According to the chairman of MBEC, it is China’s most technically sophisticated bridge ever. The wave-current force taken by the bridge is over 10 times of that taken by regular bridges over inland rivers.

In addition, winds of force 7 or above blow for over 200 days out of the year and waves can reach a height of 10 meters, reducing construction time to less than 120 days each year.

The 1.35-ton steel truss girder was installed by a self-propelled floating level-luffing crane with dual arms developed by MBEC, Liu said.

He said that the installation of the girder has provided important technology parameters for the future construction of bridges and laid a solid foundation for superstructure construction.

Ford to establish new company with China’s Zotye to build electric vehicles

Ford Motor on Aug. 22 said in a statement that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with China’s Zotye Auto to establish a new joint venture for the development, manufacture, sales, and service of electric vehicles. Both firms will hold a 50-50 stake in the venture.

According to Zotye, the memorandum serves as an initial intention of cooperation for both parties, and is a guiding document for future collaboration.

Peter Fleet, group vice president and president of Asia Pacific at Ford Motor, said that electric vehicles will take a major share of the Chinese auto market, and Ford wants to be an industry leader that provides the most competitive production line for Chinese consumers.

Ford Motor estimates that a total of 6 million new energy vehicles will be sold in China in 2025, two-thirds of which will be electric cars.

However, the company did not disclose any details about the cooperation, such as brand name, car models, and production information.

Zotye said the venture will also engage in smart mobility services if allowed by law.

Ford Motor plans to make 13 electric models for global sales in the next five years. The company also plans to electrify 70% of its vehicles in the Chinese market by 2025.

There’s nothing wrong with being a patriot: Wolf Warrior 2 director responds to BBC

There’s nothing wrong with being a patriot, said Wu Jing, director of the Chinese blockbuster Wolf Warrior 2, in response to criticism by the BBC, who has called it a “nationalist action film.”

Wolf Warrior 2 has created a new box office record, raking in 5 billion yuan. By Aug. 18, 140 million people in China watched the film, surpassing the Titanic to become the most viewed film in a single market.

However, reports by overseas media have focused on words such as “nationalism” and “patriotism” rather than positive description.

Recently, the BBC published an article under the title of “Wolf Warrior 2: The nationalist action film storming China,” calling the move a story of nationalism.

However, the UK media outlet obviously made a mistake when translating a line in the film: “fanwozhonghuazhe, suiyuanbizhu.” It means anyone who attacks China will be dealt with, no matter the distance. But the author misinterpreted it as anyone who offends China.

The translation is no doubt misleading because the difference between “offend” and “attack” is obvious enough. People might be confused about the real intention of the movie when self defense is interpreted as retaliatory attack.

“That is the tagline for Wolf Warriors 2, the Chinese box office hit that is equal parts testosterone-fuelled machismo – think blazing guns, explosions, and tanks – and chest-thumping Chinese patriotism,” the article said further.

Nationalism has negative connotation in English, and it is often used to describe irrational reactions of blind arrogance.

When asked about this article during an interview, Wu responded in a serious manner: “I don’t care who you are, there’s nothing wrong with being a patriot because I’m Chinese.”

“Of course, people are entitled to their opinions,” he explained, questioning why some people are criticizing him for his patriotism.

AC-sharing service launched in South China

An enterprise in Shunde, Guangdong, started an air conditioning sharing service early August. The trial operation officially began on Aug. 8.

Similar to the shared bikes concept, users are charged a deposit of 3,000 yuan ($450) and an hourly fee of 1 yuan. It is estimated that it would take five years to recover the cost for a single air conditioner.

An air conditioner is installed after an order is placed on the mobile app. Users have three options: rent, extend, or return. The devices are ready for use if users scan the QR code and recharge their accounts.

The air conditioners are easy to install and control and can be returned at anytime.

According to the service provider, the main target is people born after 1990, because this group has a modern view of consumption and is gradually making up the majority of consumers.

However, most of the people said they would still take a wait-and-see attitude before using the service, since they believe air conditioners are a private home appliance and installation and removal are not very convenient.

Some business analysts are not so optimistic about the service either, who said that air conditioners are not suitable to be shared since they are not able to be rapidly circulated among users. In addition, air conditioners require maintenance, and there might be potential safety hazards.

Chinese Hawking! Boy with muscular dystrophy admitted to university

A Chinese boy with a progressive form of muscular dystrophy has been admitted to Hangzhou Dianzi University for his excellent performance in the college entrance examination.

Weighing less than 25 kilograms, Shao Zhenwei is not even able to hold a book, and he needs his mother for his daily life. After years of hard work, Shao has finally been admitted to university.

Now the boy is acquainting himself with AI and quantum mechanics, laying a foundation for his college life.

China has three trump cards to counter Trump administration’s trade probe: experts

China could take three countermeasures against the recent “Section 301” investigation initiated by the U.S. government, experts told Chinanews.com.

With growing trade friction between the two largest economies, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Commerce made a strong response on Monday, saying China strongly opposes unilateral and trade protectionism acts conducted by the U.S., and will take all appropriate measures to safeguard its legitimate interests.

According to the report, limiting imports from the U.S., reducing exports to the U.S., and unloading dollar assets would be the most effective countermeasures.

China is America’s largest export market behind the North America region, and also one of the fastest-growing export markets of the U.S. Uncle Sam relies heavily on China for trade.

Statistics show that the annual growth in exports from the U.S. to China averaged 11% in the past decade, almost twice the figure of Chinese exports to the U.S. Sixty-two percent of soybean, 14% of cotton, 25% of Boeing aircraft, 17% of automobiles, and 15% of integrated circuits produced by the U.S. have been shipped to China.

In addition, China is the second-largest export market of American agricultural products, buying 15% of the total export volume, according to U.S. government data.

Against such a backdrop, restricting imports of agricultural products and high-end goods would be a trump card for China as a counter action.

Marcus Noland, executive vice president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, once said during an interview that it would be destructive if China limits the imports of American soybean and aircraft.

In addition, being the largest export market of China, the U.S. enjoys the benefits of cost-effective “made-in-China” products.

According to data released by the US-China Business Council, trade with China has saved American families $850 in 2015 on average. Oxford Economics estimates that China’s low-price goods have resulted in a 1-1.5% lower price level in the U.S.

At a time when Americans are expecting Donald Trump’s new trade policy to improve the current situation, the bilateral trade conflict would be damaging, said Lian Ping, chief economist of the Bank of Communications. Even small losses are unacceptable, he added.

Besides, China regained the title of Uncle Sam’s largest creditor in June. America’s financial stability would be impacted if China unloads its dollar assets on a large scale.

However, these three countermeasures would also harm China. As Chinese officials have stressed, there is no winner or future in a trade war.

Because of the resilience and huge potential of the Chinese economy, the U.S. would be worse hit in the long run, said Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.

With a complete industrial system, China is the only country in the world that owns all industrial sectors listed in the United Nations industrial classification of all economic activities.

Once conflict deepens, America’s losses may not necessarily be less than China’s losses, noted Bai Ming, executive director of the Institute of International Trade of Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce.

Mutual benefit leads to win-win results. Only by the joint efforts of both parties can trade relations between the two countries be pushed forward in a healthy manner.

Homegrown aircraft carrier ahead of schedule

China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier is very likely to start its first sea trials in autumn, as its manufacturer announced that it will present key achievements as a tribute to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Corp (DSIC) of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the manufacturer of the Type 001A, posted details of a meeting on its website on August 18.

Hu Wenming, the head and Party chief of the CSIC who visited the DSIC in Dalian, northeastern China’s Liaoning Province, praised the DSIC’s work, saying the “key project” team has completed tasks ahead of schedule, according to the DSIC. Although the website didn’t mention the aircraft carrier, the photo shows that the meeting is of “the Party Committee Working Conference of 002 Aircraft Carrier” (002 is the code of the project).

“The DSIC will greet the 19th CPC National Congress by delivering key achievements on a special product in this special time,” said DSIC Chairman Liu Zheng, during a DSIC meeting on August 15 in Dalian, according to the company’s website.

Liu said all personnel working on the key project led by the CSIC will stick to the directions of Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, to provide world-class naval equipment for a world-leading navy.

The Type 001A is located in the DSIC’s shipyard in Liaoning Province.

The “special time” refers to the 19th CPC National Congress, which marks the opening of a new phase of China’s reforms. And the enhancement of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) navy’s combat capabilities is an important part of the country’s military reforms, Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Chinese experts believe the project’s next achievement will most likely be the sea trials phase.

Zhang Ye, a research fellow at the PLA Naval Research Institute, told the Global Times that if the Type 001A can start its sea trials before the event, which is the last stage prior to turning the warship over to the navy, it would mark a huge step forward in China’s development of a stronger navy.

China has successfully tested the Type 001A’s power system and the carrier will undergo a mooring test in September ahead of schedule, meaning that the ship’s power system is all set, and Zhang said he believed part of the mooring test has already started even during the power test, so the mooring test period could be shorter than expected.

More comprehensive test

The schedule for the sea trials will depend on how long the mooring test takes, Zhang noted.

The sea trials will include an even more comprehensive performance test, which would cover the propelling and communications systems under different maritime conditions, which would usually take two years, Zhang said. He added the trials would not be limited to a specific weather condition.

“The gap between the launch and sea trials of an aircraft carrier can take years. Progress depends on many factors, including funding, technological obstacles and the needs of clients. A new class of vessel normally requires more time, just like the Type 002 which is currently under construction in Shanghai, and will be very different from the Type 001 and 001A, but much more advanced,” said Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the Rocket Force.

“The Type 001A is an improved version of the Type 001 Liaoning, so the similarity and experience can largely speed things up,” Song said.

China has started testing the power system of its first domestically-built aircraft carrier, and hopes to begin a mooring test in September ahead of schedule, Hu Wenming, the CSIC Chairman who has chaired the research and development of the Type 001A, was quoted as saying on a China Central Television report. The Type 001A was launched in Dalian on April 26.

Source: Global Times