Expert urges China to develop counter technologies after U.S., Australian hypersonic test flights

A Chinese military expert says China should develop counter technologies after the U.S. and Australia jointly tested at least one flight for their Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HiFIRE) programme.

As a major power, China should carry out research on hypersonic technology and invest sufficient capital and energy in the development of counter technologies, the expert explained.

According to the website, Nextbigfuture, the programme had at least one successful hypersonic flight at Woomera testing range in South Australia last week. The experiments were concluded on July 12, confirmed Australian Defense Minister, Marise Payne.

The report described HiFIRE 4 as a free-flying hypersonic glider designed to travel at Mach 8.

BAE Systems Australia, one of the researchers of the programme, claimed in a statement that “the successful flight trial [was] the most complex of all HIFiRE flights conducted to date.”

The $54m joint initiative involves the US Air Force, Boeing, the Australian Department of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Group, BAE Systems Australia, and the University of Queensland.

As a matter of fact, the flight is just a small part of the whole HiFIRE programme. The University of Queensland is involved in three flights in the programme. These tests will be known as HyShot, V, VI and VII.

HiFIRE is just the tip of the iceberg of the huge hypersonic research work by the U.S., said the military expert. The U.S. has conducted many experiments on hypersonic vehicles including unmanned research scramjet aircraft X-51, Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) and the crewless experimental hypersonic glide vehicle rocket glider, Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2.

These projects almost cover all theories, forms and technologies of current hypersonic vehicles. With a high engineering degree, their design parameters are leaders in the world.

Though foreign media described the vehicle as hypersonic “missile”, the expert explained that HiFIRE 4 is not a missile, and the HiFIRE programme is not conducted for weapons research. However, the expert pointed out that the data acquired in the programme will help the U.S. to develop hypersonic weapons.

The expert told Global Times that hypersonic technology is a strategic-level technique crucial for national security, and also one important for the development of aerospace. Thanks to their unpredictable flight routes and low trajectory, hypersonic weapons are very difficult to intercept, thus posing huge challenges for early warning systems.

As a result, the expert suggested that China develop its own counter hypersonic technology and invest sufficient capital and energy into it.

China is world’s largest renewable energy producer, consumer

China has become the world’s largest producer and consumer of renewable energy, with its carbon dioxide emissions reduced for two consecutive years, according to Spencer Dale, chief economist of the world oil and gas giant, BP, reported on July 12.

The chief economist made the statement at a press conference following the publication of the Chinese edition of the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

China is still the world’s largest energy consumer, occupying 23 per cent of global energy consumption. It has been the fastest growing energy market for 16 consecutive years, according to the economist.

The economist added that renewable energy, excluding hydropower, has grown at very fast pace, although it accounts for only 3 to 4 per cent of global share of primary energy source.

The review shows that petroleum is still the most important fuel in the world. The market witnessed some equilibrium by the middle of 2016 as petroleum consumption increased by 1.6 per cent last year, while production rose by only 0.5 per cent.

In addition, the review points out that production of natural gas in 2016 only rose by 0.3 per cent due to low prices.

Global consumption of coal saw another decrease in 2016, down 1.7 per cent from the previous year, indicating that the glorious times of coal consumption are gone. Although coal is still the core fuel in China, its consumption dropped from 64 per cent to 62 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

Shanghai mall provides “husband storage” facilities for shopping wives

Shopaholic women in Shanghai no longer have to drag their hubbies with them around the mall, thanks to the “husband storage” facilities recently offered in a Shanghai mall.

The “husband storage” facility is a glass box equipped with electronic devices such as monitor, computer and gamepad.

According to an employee with the mall, the facilities serve as rest station for husbands not interested in shopping. On the other hand, wives do not have to worry about their spouses who are always eager to return home.

A citizen surnamed Wu thinks the husband storage facilities are a good idea since he is not a shopping fan. The facilities provide men with space for entertainment while their women take their time in the mall, he added.

However, some users of the facilities also pointed out the shortcomings. A citizen complained about the poor ventilation, while another man said the control of the devices was not very satisfying.

Some women hold that men have their roles as shopping companions. They can carry the heavy bags, give directions, and more importantly, give advice. “Shopping for me will be boring if my husband is busy playing video games,” a woman said.

Currently, four boxes have been placed in free service at the mall for about a month. After optimization of the devices in the second half of the year, the facilities will be charged, mall officials said.

Cute red panda photos posted to promote animal care

A national forest park in southwestern China’s province of Yunan recently took photos of a red female panda named Dudu in a bid to improve public care for animals.

The photos have been viewed nearly 10 million times after being uploaded to the Internet. It is interesting to note that Dudu has “fallen in love” with a male red panda. The animal now pays more attention to its appearance since the “relationship” started as the frequency of her hair-combing has increased.

Presenting the human-like behavior of the red panda, the park said animal lives are as fresh as humans’. It hopes that visitors would show more love to the animals and not hurt them.

“Made-in-China” products marvel the world

A made-in-China three-fold shovel went viral after a video of it was uploaded online. The high quality of the shovel presented in the video attracted 2.55 million views and more than 3,000 comments.

It was learnt that the shovel has to go through 268 processes and 48 quality inspection checks before rolling off the production line. It has as many as 18 functions, including cutting, sawing, digging, shearing and clamping.

“Chinese military shovels put Swiss army knives to shame,” was the title of an article published by famous technology website, Gizmodo some months back.

Another Chinese knife has also marveled foreigners with its indestructible blade. It can split firewood, cut apart iron sheet and even penetrate bricks. Nevertheless, the wonder knife costs only $16!

Similarly, Chinese-made unmanned aerial vehicles are also doing quite well in the world. Wing-Loong aircraft expanded its market to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nigeria,etc. Meanwhile, the civilian drone, Phantom 2 Vision+, produced by Shenzhen-based industry leader, DJI, ranked third amongst the top 10 technological products appraised by Time.

In 2016, a man survived a gun robbery in Cape Town, South Africa after a Huawei P8 smart phone in his lapel pocket took the bullet for him!

Chinese smart phones by Huawei and Xiaomi are expanding their international drive with a new brand tag of “Made in China” as Samsung struggles to cope with competition and Apple experiences decline in revenue.

Chinese bike-sharing service provider, Mobike, recently entered the U.K. market, bringing a new option of travelling for local people. Chinese shared bikes have set a good example by making cities cleaner and healthier.

These are just a few of quality Chinese products at a time the country is glowing in the competitive global market with high-tech, reliable quality and good reputation.


Unique admission letters reflect changing times

Using attractive designs, handwritten calligraphy and augmented reality (AR) technology, Chinese universities are innovating acceptance letters to deliver their unique characters to freshmen.

Earlier this month, the Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) in Xi’an, northwest China, issued letters of acceptance to students using AR technology. It was the first AR-enabled university admission notice in China.

The admission letter using using AR technology

NPU embedded a virtual campus platform based on AR technology, thereby enabling students to view the university’s history and discipline characteristics in a different manner.

On July 12, Tsinghua University sent out its first set of admission letters with the book, The Story of Art, which the school recommends the recipients to read this summer. Last year, the school recommended Walden Lake and The Ordinary World.

The parcel sent by Nankai University includes an admission letter and a letter written by the school president encouraging incoming freshmen to learn from their predecessors.

The admission letter by Fudan University this year is accompanied by new-student guidance and a CD that includes the university’s songs.

An admission letter from the Nankai University

Today, university admission letters have become better-looking and contain more information. Besides confirming admission, China’s universities deliver their unique education theory, humanistic spirit and value pursuits.

In fact, admission letters strongly reflect the changing times, especially after the resumption of the college entrance examination or Gaokao in 1977.

53-year-old Dong (not his real name) took Gaokao in 1983 and was admitted by a teachers’ college. As telephones were not available at the time, Dong had to come to his high school again and again to check if he was admitted.

At the time, admission letters were handwritten and very simple. A middle school teacher in eastern China’s Jiangxi province recalls that in the 1990s, some letters were still handwritten. The letters were first sent to the high school before students were informed to go and collect them.

The first admission letter sent out in Sichuan province in 2017.


On-water court established in SW China

An on-water court has been established in Yunyang county, southwestern China’s Chongqing municipality in a bid to ease things for the community located at the center of the Three Gorges Reservoir region.

Consisting of a judge, secretary and bailiffs, the court has so far heard 287 cases since it opened in September 2010.


Concerned nations should get used to China’s naval presence in Indian Ocean: expert

Chinese naval vessels in escort mission (file photo)


“China should send more submarines to the Indian Ocean to make concerned countries get used to their presence in that region,” said Hu Bo, researcher with Peking University Ocean Strategy Research Center.

According to Indian English-language fortnightly news magazine, India Today, a Chinese attack submarine was deployed in the Indian Ocean for two months in late 2013. And another conventional power submarine appeared in the region in September 2014.

In response, China’s Ministry of National Defense said the two vessels were deployed to conduct anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.

Since 2008, Chinese vessels have increased their escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, said Li Jie, a naval expert. He added that it was reasonable for nuclear and conventional power submarines to participate in such missions given that they are China’s main battle vessels.

The Times of India reported that a total of 12 to 14 Chinese vessels appeared in high seas in the Indian Ocean in the past 2 months; meanwhile there were only 3 to 4 several years ago. In addition, 7 nuke submarines have entered the region so far, the paper said.

The ongoing 2017 Malabar naval exercise involving the U.S., Japan and India is drawing to a close, with more than 100 aircraft and 21 vessels participating in the drill.

Officials from the three countries all claimed in public that the objective of the drill was to cooperate on humanitarian aid and anti-piracy missions. However, India Today said that the drill was indeed a strategic message to China.

“Taking China as the imaginary enemy is a reflection of Cold War mentality,” Hu said, adding that the ocean is a global public product that does not come within the jurisdiction of any single country.

Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies with Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told that extension of military power was only a natural step taken by China to protect its national interests.

The geo-strategic position of the Indian Ocean has a profound influence on China’s national security and development, Zhao said, adding that sending vessels to the region was normal for the country.

Frozen Kingdom opens in northern China

Frozen Kingdom, an ice-themed summer resort set up in Luya Mountain, Shanxi provincein northern China, recently opened to the public, becoming popular this summer.

The man-made ice cave is a large-scale tourist project designed by a top international team and produced by well-known local and overseas ice sculpture masters at the cost of 27 million yuan.

The unknown civilization in Frozen Kingdom catches visitors’ curiosity and desire for exploration. Visitors can experience life and war in an imaginary lost civilization through entertainment facilities like ski trails, top-speed drifting and dinosaur fossils.

Migrant kids on summer vacation

Summer vacation lasts from early July to late August. This year, passenger flow is estimated to reach 42.42 million, with a year-on-year increase of 3.855 million and 10 percentage points. Like migrant birds, left-behind children are travelling to their working parents or hometowns.

Huang Kai shares instant noodles with his mother. They are heading to Xinjiang in northwestern China to see the father.

Wang Peng walks past the ticket entrance on the way to his hometown, Xi’an.

Zhou Xin plays with her baby brother. It is her first time to travel with the mother to meet her father in Qingdao.

Children play on phones in the waiting room of a railway station in southeastern China.

A girl and her brother eat ice cream as they wait to travel to Beijing to meet their grandparents.

Children play hawk and chicken while waiting for the train to travel back to their hometown, Chengdu, Sichuan province in southwest China.