Sergey Manassarian (Photo/haiwainet.cn)
For nearly three years, Sergey Manassarian, as the Armenian ambassador to China, has visited many places in China and come to understand the various facets of Chinese society, especially the richness and diversity of Chinese culture.
The Armenian ambassador spends half an hour at mealtimes reading classical Chinese poetry and believes that traditional Chinese poems embody a variety of philosophies.
In fact, the ambassador’s affection for Chinese culture is a reflection of the popularity of Chinese culture in Armenia.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has brought China and Armenia closer to each other, said Manassarian.
The two countries have strengthened cooperation in culture, education and other fields in recent years. Many primary and middle schools in Armenia have set up Mandarin courses and universities have launched Mandarin majors.
Chinese has become the second foreign language in Armenia and is familiar to many Armenian youths.
In 2018, Armenia received a total of nearly 10,000 Chinese tourists while the number was only several hundred a few years ago, according to the ambassador.
The two countries even signed an agreement in May 2019 to waive visas for ordinary passport holders, in a bid to make it more convenient for people to travel between the two countries.
While China has remained the second largest trading partner of Armenia for a long time and Chinese enterprises have actively helped Armenia with the construction of local infrastructure, Armenia also hopes to introduce more products into China.
Armenia produces high-quality grapes and apricots, said Manassarian, adding that the country is developing food preservation technologies to bring more fresh local fruits to Chinese consumers.
Anji County, located in east China’s Zhejiang Province, has innovated the waste classification model and established a complete chain for the recycling industry.
Starting in 2003, Anji County has experimented with garbage sorting in rural areas, where garbage was collected from door to door and then all processed together in the county.
187 villages in the county have classified household waste and 98.7 percent of that waste is turned into harmless substances or useful resources.
Residents in urban areas are required to divide their waste into residual waste and household food waste. While household food waste is transported to and burned in power plants, residual waste is collected and subdivided by a garbage sorting service provider introduced by the county and then delivered to downstream companies for further disposal.
Anji County has taken various measures to deal with different kinds of waste. Kitchen waste is turned into fertilizers and industrial waste will be processed by professional companies and even turned into resources for downstream enterprises.
By disposing of 80 tons of industrial waste on a daily basis, the Jiahong renewable energy company could make a net profit of 1.2 million yuan every month, according to a manager of the company.
The county has also provided a total of over 100 million yuan in subsidies to encourage various parties to actively classify and dispose of their waste. For example, for each ton of kitchen waste and other waste a power plant burns, it could receive a subsidy of 195 yuan and 100 yuan, respectively, with the financial aid reaching 34.3 million yuan every year.
Luis Schmidt (Photo/Fu Yongchao)
While salmon, cherries and red wine from Chile find favor with Chinese consumers today, they were not so popular back in 1991, when Luis Schmidt, now Chilean ambassador to China, came to China for the first time and introduced home-made products to the Chinese people.
It seemed that Chinese consumers believed that those exotic products from Chile either didn’t suit their needs or were too expensive, said Schmidt.
Schmidt, however, still believed that with a large population, the Chinese market was filled with great potential.
It turned out that he was right. Today, China has become the largest overseas market of Chilean red wine and Chile is the largest source of fresh fruits for China.
The popularity of Chile’s red wine and fruits in the Chinese market is also a reflection of the progress of the Chinese economy and society.
“I really admire China for its achievements in the past 70 years, especially since its reform and opening-up in 1978,” said Schmidt, pointing out that China has become the world’s second largest economy and contributed over 30 percent to world economic growth.
Chile is the first Latin American country that has signed bilateral free trade agreements with China, and the two countries have since achieved leapfrog development in economic and trade cooperation.
Back in 2010, China only ranked tenth in terms of trade volume with Chile, yet it has now become the country’s largest trading partner, Schmidt pointed out.
Over 1.5 million Chilean people in the fruit business have benefited from trade with China and some farmhouses in Chile have been transformed into big companies.
Schmidt noted that the bilateral cooperation has expanded from fruits to services and investment, among others, which he thinks has brought more business and development opportunities for Chile.
He also believes that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will usher in a new chapter of bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, trade and investment.
China plans to launch a series of major projects related to space and the sea in 2020.
The country will launch the Chang’e-5 probe in 2020 to bring moon samples back to Earth and launch the Mars probe for the first time, aiming to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission. Meanwhile, the Long March-5B will make its debut this year to launch a space station module.
China’s manned submersible Jiaolong dives in the Yap Trench in the west Pacific, June 13, 2017. (Xinhua/Liu Shiping)
Chinese manned deep-sea research submersibles, Jiaolong and Qianlong, will be upgraded to better serve scientific deep-sea expeditions. At the same time, a new type of 10,000-meter-level manned deep-sea research submersible will be employed to contribute to deep-sea exploration.
There will also be rapid development in major scientific and technological infrastructure in 2020. Statistics suggest that over 50 scientific and technological infrastructure items have either been approved, are under construction or been put into operation in China, which will greatly support innovative research into basic science and engineering science.
By the end of 2019, China had built 126,000 5G base stations and 5G had been put into commercial use in 52 cities. Experts predicted that China will operate over 400,000 base stations and build a 5G network covering all its prefecture-level cities by the end of 2020.
For consumers, 5G mobile phones priced at about 1,000 yuan will be rolled out this year, down from the first batch launched in 2019, sold for over 10,000 yuan or several thousand, as insiders predicted.
In addition, it is believed that 5G will further integrate with AI, cloud computing, and big data and facilitate the Internet of Things. By 2020, intelligent connected vehicles equipped with self-driving technology will be applied in certain scenarios along with cross-industry cooperation.
China’s smart elderly care industry was worth nearly 3.2 trillion yuan in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of over 18 percent in the past three years.
It is predicted that the industry will exceed 4 trillion yuan in 2020.
As one important measure to tackle the issue of an aging population, smart elderly care providers aim to employ new technologies, such as AI, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, to provide services for the elderly.
To this end, China has strived to build an information-based system that uses technologies, including remote control, real-time location, and information interaction, to meet the needs of senior citizens.
Zhenping county, located in central China’s Henan province, has taken measures to develop the local economy though e-commerce platforms in recent years.
The county now boasts about 30,000 online stores and e-commerce enterprises, with the annual turnover exceeding 18 billion yuan.
To support e-commerce companies, the county has set up a fund of 20 million yuan to help them attract talents, publicize products and so on.
Meanwhile, Zhenping has trained 10,000 e-commerce professionals for the local industry by setting up related courses since 2019.
Zhenping, home to jade carving, has developed a business model of selling jade through live broadcasts. More than 2,000 jade carving enterprises are selling their products through both online and offline channels.
Shifosi town, a pioneer in the county’s jade business, has included live streaming videos in the local e-commerce hub to sell jade.
Over 200 enterprises have been introduced into the e-commerce base, with annual sales reaching 500 million yuan through live broadcasts.
By facilitating e-commerce businesses, Zhenping has helped a total of over 400 poverty-stricken households increase their income and shake off poverty, with Chaobei town in the county setting a good example by selling local sweet potatoes through online platforms.
Cui Yuzhu, a villager at Chaobei town, sold 18 mu (about 12,000 square meters) of sweet potatoes in 2019. One mu of land yields about 5,000 kg of sweet potatoes every year and brings an income of 5,000 yuan, said Cui.
Several provinces in China have recently reported their achievements in poverty alleviation in 2019 and their new goals for 2020 as the country aims to eliminate poverty this year.
On Dec. 23, 2019, the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China announced that the remaining 19 poverty-stricken counties and districts in the region had been lifted out of poverty.
By the end of 2019, 15 provincial-level poverty-stricken counties and 1,791 poor villages had all shaken off poverty, with the incidence of poverty dropping to 0.06 percent from the originally registered 5.4 percent, according to the Liaoning province in northeast China.
The government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region aims to lift the remaining 165,000 poor people and 560 poverty-stricken villages out of poverty and eliminate absolute poverty in 2020.
Jiangsu province caused a sensation when it announced that only 17 people from 6 households were living below the poverty line by Dec. 31, 2019. The data may change every day, but won’t fluctuate too much, according to the province’s poverty alleviation office.
By developing industries in deprived areas, relocating the poor and helping them gain employment, China attempts to guarantee people food and clothing and make sure that children from low-income families are guaranteed nine years of compulsory education, that the basic medical needs of poor residents are insured and the basic living conditions of the poor guaranteed.
In recent years, Georgia and China have built momentum in developing bilateral ties, coordinating and cooperating with each other while respecting each other’s interests.
The remarks were made by Archil Kalandia, Georgian Ambassador to China. According to him, with free trade agreements, the two countries have brought bilateral ties to a new level and set a good example for mutual cooperation.
An increasing number of Chinese companies are running businesses in Georgia, some of which have even gained a foothold in the Georgian market, said Kalandia.
China, on the other hand, is the third largest importer of Georgian wine, with wine imports reaching 6.95 million bottles in 2018, as pointed out by Kalandia.
Over 40 Georgian wine stores have opened in Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities.
The ambassador said the Georgian embassy in China is also actively promoting the folk music, traditional dance, history of wine-making and so on to help more Chinese learn about their local culture and tradition.
According to him, the Belt and Road Initiative enables Georgia to give full play to its geographical advantages and develop into a regional center for trade, transportation and logistics, thus promoting cooperation between Europe and Asia.
Georgia has been committed to facilitating the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route with other countries under the initiative, noted Kalandia.
The ambassador also praised China for its remarkable achievements in the past 70 years, attributing it to the down-to-earth work of the Communist Party of China, social stability and peaceful development.
China’s internet advertising market was worth 436.7 billion yuan in 2019, up 18.2 percent year-on-year, according to the latest report on internet advertising development.
Internet advertising via e-commerce platforms accounted for 35.9 percent of the total amount and ranked top while search engine ads followed with a proportion of 14.9 percent.
Revenues of advertising on short video platforms registered a notable rise of 43 percent to become the third-largest platform of internet advertising.
While technological innovation and the Internet of Things continued to expand advertising space, 5G is also believed to bring new possibilities to the field, experts noted.