Encouraging! Chinese blind teenager enrolled by British top music college

Wang Zi’an, an 18-year-old blind teenager in Baiyun District, southern China’s Guangdong Province, was enrolled by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, one of the top music colleges in the United Kingdom, after several years of efforts, dayoo.com reported.

Like other applicants, Wang passed rigorous examinations before receiving his offer, and obtained a partial scholarship for his outstanding performance, said Liu Fei, an employee at the conservatoire, adding that only ten applicants from the Chinese mainland were accepted by the college this year.

Although Wang was born premature and diagnosed with amotio retinae at birth, he showed distinct musical talent when he was young. He started to learn to play the piano at the age of 4 and the viola at 13.

Without the ability to see, Wang had to spend more energy and time in practicing. Fortunately, he has made it.

Wang said that he will continue to study music composition and education and wants to be a music teacher and composer after graduation to help more people like him to realize their dreams.

Hyping ‘suppression theory’ misses the reality in Tibet: expert

Western media should set foot in China’s ethnic minority areas before making sweeping misjudgments of the country’s booming bilingual education in regions like Tibet, an expert warned Tuesday.

“Learning Putonghua and Tibetan is not contradictory. China is a multi-ethnic country and learning Putonghua could allow Tibetans to communicate with other ethnic groups and

know about the world outside Tibet,” said Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Minzu University of China in Beijing.

“Some Western media have been hyping the idea that Tibetan education is suppressed in China because they do not know the real conditions in Tibet,” Xiong said, noting that protection of culture and religion in Tibet was efficient.

The Tibet Autonomous Region completed the bulk of its mission of building a bilingual education system by 2015 after regional lawmakers in 2008 ordered that both Tibetan and Putonghua should be used during the region’s compulsory education that includes three years’ kindergarten.

At the 2017 university entrance exam, a total 19,851 high school graduates participated in the Tibetan language exam, or 70 percent of candidates in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China News Service reported.

“When I entered secondary school, I did not even know how to write my name in Chinese characters, but now there are many teachers teaching Putonghua in primary schools,” Abo, a thirty-something Tibetan resident who lives in a rural area near Lhasa, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Abo thought learning Putonghua useful and necessary as “times are changing and Tibet is developing rapidly everywhere.”

He did not feel learning Putonghua in school affected his Tibetan learning.

“We speak Tibetan at home. Many children cannot even speak Putonghua before school,” he said.

The ethnic textbook center of Northwest China’s Qinghai Province has compiled and translated more than 1,800 textbooks in Tibetan since the 1980s, amounting to 200 million words, the Xinhua News Agency reported last year.

The books cover 13 subjects including mathematics, English and arts. They have been used in more than 3,000 schools for 800,000 students in Qinghai, Tibet and nearby Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu provinces where Tibetans reside.

In the Hongqi Primary School in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai, Tibetan ethnic minority and Han majority students take six Putonghua and six Tibetan lessons a week, China National Radio reported.

“It is very meaningful to have Tibetan education, as language is the carrier and tool of culture and history,” said university professor Xiong.

All nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own folkways and customs, according to the Constitution of China.

Bilingual education is officially promoted in China. In the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, more than 300,000 students receive a bilingual education, mainly in Chinese and Mongolian, at 502 ethnic schools.

In Xinjiang, 78 percent of students in primary and middle schools receive a bilingual education, Xinhua reported.

Source: Global Times

Huawei says flagship smartphone will be made available in US unlocked

Chinese tech giant Huawei said on Tuesday that its flagship smartphone the Mate 10 will be sold in the United States through the open channel, The Paper.cn reported.

Huawei will release its new products and disclose information about when consumers can buy them on Jan. 9 (local time), the company announced.

The technology company said it has proved its high-tech capability in the US market over the past five years by promoting and selling high-end products in the market.

Huawei can bring better products, innovation, and user experience to US carriers and consumers, Yu Chengdong, chief executive of the company’s consumer business group, said earlier this year.

Huawei’s expected partnership with US carrier AT&T to distribute its phones in the United States appeared to have fallen through, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Toilets are for the people, not for the privileged: People’s Daily

Li Jinzao, head of China National Tourism Administration, said scientific planning should be used to build restrooms and so-called “five-star” restrooms will be banned, at a meeting held on Monday.

Li’s remarks came as a timely precaution against toilet extravagance in some parts of the country.

Five-star restrooms usually feature costly materials and elegant interior designs, as well as unnecessary luxurious items. They were built under the national “toilet revolution” campaign, which is being carried out to improve public services. But they betrayed the original intention.

The “toilet revolution” is intended to create a better public experience in both urban and rural areas of China. In the countryside, flush toilets were installed at farmers’ houses. In urban areas, more, higher-quality public restrooms were built. At scenic spots, unisex toilets were installed to satisfy more people.

“Five-star” restrooms, though small in number, brought multiple bad effects. Building the luxury toilets requires money and human labor, as does maintaining them.

People expect public restrooms to be clean and convenient and nothing more. Some officials have impulsively spent money on building “five-star” restrooms, and the extravagant toilets are a pure waste of money if they are just to showcase a place’s public facility improvement to superior officials.

Public toilets are for people in need, not for the privileged, nor for inspectors. The money used to build one “five-star” restrooms could be used to build a dozen common but useful ones, for the benefit of more people.

The “five-star” restrooms reflect the wrong work styles of some officials, who failed to learn and digest the real spirit of the “toilet revolution” and took a short cut or even a wrong way to execute the orders of their superior departments.

Though eye-catching, the “five-star” restrooms are also a result of neglecting common people’s needs.

According to Li, the “toilet revolution” will be further carried out across China to improve public services. More durable and convenient toilets should be built in line with local conditions. Playing tricks will do no good; the best way to do the work is always in a down-to-earth manner.

Rare 500-gram wild ginseng exhibited in NE China

A rare wild ginseng weighing 500 grams was recently exhibited in Changchun, northeast China’s Jilin Province, which, experts say, is the heaviest of its kind ever found in the world, China News reported on Jan. 8.

The ginseng was dug out in Lesser Khingan Mountains by a farmer in August 2017 and purchased by a Jilin-based company.

The giant ginseng is thought to be about 200 years old. Although its accurate value is unknown, it could be more precious than a 260-gram one that was auctioned at the price of 9 million yuan ($1.38 million) in Wuzhen, east China’s Zhejiang Province, in December 2017.

There are now dozens of kilograms of wild ginsengs in China and about 6 kilograms of such ginsengs are sold in the domestic market each year, according to statistics.

Due to its rarity and high medicinal and research value, the ginseng will be studied in order to develop new ginseng varieties.

China honors top scientists for world-class contribution

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) poses for a photo with explosives expert Wang Zeshan (R) and virologist Hou Yunde, winners of China’s top science award, at the National Science and Technology Award Conference in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 8, 2018. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

The National Science and Technology Award Conference is held in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 8, 2018. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

China on Monday announced the recipients of the State Preeminent Science and Technology Award which honors the country’s leading scientists for their contributions to scientific and technological innovation.

Explosives expert Wang Zeshan and virologist Hou Yunde received their award from President Xi Jinping at a grand ceremony in Beijing.

The award has honored 29 top scientists since it was established in 2000. The award is granted to no more than two scientists every year.

The award includes a 5 million yuan ($770,000) fund and recipients can decide in which scientific research project the money should be invested. The honorees can keep 10 percent of the fund.

Wang, 82, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and professor at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology, was known as the “King of Explosives.” He has spent more than 60 years researching the field of explosives, and successively overcame problems that dogged his peers worldwide.

Wang is known as a trailblazer for the country’s civilian and military application of explosives. His findings helped extend the range of China’s ballistic missiles and artillery by more than 20 percent.

Hou, 89, also a CAE academician, is designer of the China’s modern disease control and prevention system.

The system proved effective as it helped China control and end epidemic outbreaks including SARS and MERS, said Liu Dengfeng, an official with China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission, people.cn reported on Monday.

Despite his advanced years, Hou continues to work as the chief designer for the national HIV and hepatitis control project.

The recipients’ careers once again show the high and noble standard of the reward. The two recipients have made world-class contributions in their respective fields of research and made great contributions to humanity and society, chief executive of the domestic telecom industry portal cctime.com Xiang Ligang told the Global Times on Monday.

The average age of the 29 recipients is over 80.

“The judges are not prejudiced against younger scientists, but it takes time for scientific findings to reach a world-class level, which is the standard for the award,” Xiang said.

Xiang predicts scientists in their 60s or even 50s will soon be awarded the country’s highest honor.

Huge investment

China continues to invest heavily in scientific research with the Ministry of Science and Technology announcing it has allocated 13 billion yuan to scientific research and development programs this year, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

The programs consist of 40 major projects and more than 600 minor ones, covering four major fields including high-tech research, agricultural science and technology, and fundamental research, said the report.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times that such allocation reflects the country’s increasing emphasis on scientific research related to the enhancement of people’s livelihood, citing the country’s growing research budget on air pollution control and medical research.

Since 2016, China’s budget for deep-sea technology and equipment has also dramatically increased, showing China’s unprecedented determination to become a strong sea power, Zhu added.

Source: Global Times


E-commerce to help Tibetan agricultural products go global

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com recently signed a cooperation agreement with one of Tibetan’s largest agricultural enterprises to help Tibetan agricultural products go global, Xinhuanet.com reported.

According to the agreement, the enterprise will purchase high-quality local agricultural products including eggs, fruits, and vegetables, and then sell them to people around the world through the e-commerce platform provided by JD starting from 2018.

It will not only help the local products to go global, but also increase the sales volume, said Li Yujian, vice mayor of Shigatse in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

JD manager Wang Zhiqiang disclosed that the e-commerce platform has helped impoverished counties in China to sell a total of 15.3 billion yuan ($2.36 billion) worth of products by July 2016. With the platform, agricultural products in Tibet will have a broad sales prospect.

The cooperation will ensure a reliable source of the products on the platform and improve the sales volume of the products and farmers’ income, an all-win outcome for the local government, the enterprise, and the peasant households, Liu Yu, head of the company noted.

Chinese enterprise develops world’s first carbon fiber composite vehicle body

A Chinese enterprise has developed the world’s first carbon fiber composite vehicle body, which is 35 percent lighter than metal ones.

The Chinese state-owned enterprise, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd, has exclusive rights in developing and testing the carbon fiber composite body, making China a world leader in adopting the material in rail transit industry.

Due to its special physical characteristics, the car body is 35 percent lighter than metal ones, which can improve carrying capacity and reduce energy consumption and damage to circuits, according to People’s Daily.

The carbon fiber composite material also shows excellent performance under extreme conditions and severe environments.

In addition, owing to its extraordinary resistance to fatigue, corrosion, and ultraviolet aging, its service life can be more than 30 years.

Also, the body is more advantageous than metal ones in terms of insulation and vibration damping, which can reduce internal noise and vibration during operation, improving passengers’ comfortableness.