China delivers 108 regional airliners to 18 countries in 12 years

A Chinese aircraft manufacturer has delivered 108 Modern Ark (MA) aircraft to China and 17 other countries in the past 12 years, injecting new impetus to the development of regional aviation, Xinhua News Agency reported on Sept. 27.

The MA series aircraft are regional airliners produced by China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The series has carried more than 10 million commercial passengers with a flight time of over 420,000 hours.

The aircraft were first exported in 2005 to a total of 18 countries along the Belt and Road in Africa, South America, Oceania, and Asia. The reliable operation of the MA series has earned the trust of local passengers, consolidating the friendship between China and these countries.

With the assistance of the aircraft, Zimbabwe and Tonga have eased transportation pressure and established their own civil aviation systems. The MA series also contributed to the rapid development of air transportation in Cambodia, Laos, and Nepal. In addition, the twin turboprop engine passenger aircraft MA60 even provided hope for the people in Nepal and Cameron after natural disasters.

Experts believe that the overseas operation of MA60 has not only achieved economic benefits, but also enhanced friendships. It is a beneficial exploration for the overseas expansion of China’s manufacturing, marking the maturity of the country’s civil aircraft development.

As the first domestically produced civil aircraft that has acquired the Standard Airworthiness Certificate, MA60 has boosted the manufacturing technologies and capabilities of China over years of development and operation.

According to Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation, the development of the MA series has also promoted talent cultivation for both China and its export destinations, training more than 3,000 civil aviation professionals, including pilots, technicians, and flight attendants.

Development of new energy vehicles depends on how far battery power can go: Industry regulator

The development of battery power will determine how far the development of new energy vehicles can go, said Xin Guobin, vice head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), at a conference about battery innovation in Beijing on Tuesday.

Xin revealed that to improve the reliability, stability, and security of high energy density cells will be the emphasis in the next phase of work. Enterprises will also be encouraged to develop solid-state batteries and other new technologies, Xin added.

According to Xin, China’s scale and shipment of batteries are both leading the world. He attributed the improvement of vehicle performances and competitiveness to technology development and cost reduction, saying the country’s industries are moving forward in a healthy direction and gradually gaining an edge in international competition.

China produced 64.5 billion RMB ($9.7 billion) worth of battery power in 2016, exceeding that of traditional lithium ion batteries for the first time.

Chinese consulting agency Shenzhen Gaogong Industry Research Co., Ltd. predicted that demand for new energy batteries will experience rapid growth in the next five years. It is estimated that the production of battery power in China will hit 141GWh by 2020, compared with 30.8GWh in 2016.

With the expanding market of electric vehicles, the amount of scrap batteries will surge in the next couple of years. China scrapped a total of 12,000 tons of batteries in 2016, and the figure is estimated to reach 248,000 tons in 2020.

Customized tours the new trend for Chinese tourists during National Day break

On Sept. 25,  a huge flower basket was installed at Tiananmen Square to celebrate the upcoming National Day.

Customized tours have become a new trend for Chinese tourists during the upcoming National Day break, which begins on Oct. 1, Chinese newspaper Workers’ Daily reported on Sept. 27.

According to forecasts by the China National Tourism Administration, around 710 million trips will be made during the 8-day vacation. More than half of those trips, or 54.3% of them, will be self-organized.

Family trips are expected to make up the majority of domestic tours. Cities with large theme parks and places with grasslands will see the most visitors, while museums, ocean parks, zoos, amusement parks, and cruise travel are the first choices for families.

According to a survey conducted by Chinese tour service provider Ctrip, 67% of those surveyed said they planned to travel during the holiday break.

China’s national flags were seen on a street in Chongqing on Spet. 19.

Compared with stereotypical group tours, Chinese tourists are now more willing to spend money to improve their experiences. Tour agencies are now competing with customized tour products that offer customers more in-depth experiences in terms of culture, food, and sports.

For now, at least, customized tours are still a novelty in China. With this service, tourists can arrange their trips according to their own needs and wants. Everything, from destinations and hotels to vehicles can be customized.

China set a new record in the first half of this year, seeing 2.5 billion domestic trips. The growth rate of tourism revenue is 2.28 times of GDP and 2.5 times of consumption per capita. Tourism expenditures from Chinese accounted for more than 1/10 of their total consumption.

People’s Daily Comments: Chinese volunteers making efforts to promote garbage sorting

(File photo)

Domestic waste has always been a headache for many countries. Traditional treatments, such as landfills and incineration, not only pollute the soil, water, and air, but also waste resources.

Because of this, the Chinese government has always been advocating for garbage sorting. The country’s volunteers and public service organizations have also been promoting waste treatment methods to raise public awareness, spreading the concept across the country.

For example, a volunteer called Chen Liwen from Nanyu Village in northern #China’s Hebei province has proposed a garbage sorting plan. After repeated attempts, her plan has been well accepted by local villagers.

By providing three separate trash cans to collect kitchen waste, recyclable waste, and other types of waste, Chen has made garbage sorting a habit for local villagers.

She established a composting plant to treat kitchen waste, greatly improving resource utilization through garbage recycling. In addition, she has raised 100,000 RMB ($10,586) through a public service organization as financial support.

Under her efforts, Nanyu Village has found a proper solution to garbage treatment. The improved ecological environment has also boosted local tourism and the local “bed & breakfast” industry.

With raised awareness for environmental protection, both the Chinese government and citizens have attached great importance to garbage sorting, such as the implementation plan for sorting domestic waste issued this year.

However, environmental protection is a systematic project that calls for comprehensive execution and participation. Chen is an overseas returnee. It is her vision and love for the environment that have encouraged her to join the public service organization and promote garbage sorting.

More and more environmentalists are emerging in China, hoping to make their own contribution to the development of environmental governance and ecological improvement.

China to introduce eIDs embedded in SIM cards

China is planning to embed personal identity information into SIM cards to better protect citizens’ private information, according to the country’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

Personal information leakage has become a serious problem in the era of Internet. According to incomplete statistics, some 6.5 billion pieces of personal information of Chinese citizens were leaked in 2016.

Electronic identification, or eID for short, is a secure form of online identity that is embedded in a smart security chip. The identity information cannot leak but can be accessed remotely.

When making transactions with SIM eIDs, citizens will no longer need to provide personal information, such as their names, address, phone number, and ID number, because online platforms will be able to verify the authenticity and validity of the eID.

The technology will greatly lower the risk of identity theft, protecting citizens’ rights to privacy, online transactions, and virtual property.

According to the Third Research Institute of the MPS, SIM eID technology is just getting started, and electronic identities will be of great use in the future in the self-service areas of immovable assets and food and drug inspection.

The technology will be applied to a real estate registration program in October in Haikou, capital city of southern China’s Hainan province.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

Chinese toilet seats take the Western market by storm

Wooden toilet seats made in southwestern China’s Guizhou province have become top selling items in Europe and the US, due to their creative and functional design, dongjingguizhou, a public WeChat account of Guizhou, reported on Sept. 25.

With over 5,000 designs, from reliefs to 3D designs, these top sellers made by a company in Guizhou are not only creative, but also environmental-friendly, using high-quality local raw materials like bamboo and straw stalks and bio-glues as binding agents.

Creative made-in-China toilet seats have been a chic in the European market, with annual sales of over two million sets. Those exported to Germany and Switzerland account for 80 percent of the total export volume.

The made-in-China toilet seats are also well-received in the American market.

The company adjusted the creative design into a functional design, as most Americans prefer useful furniture with simple-design decoration.

The US version features a 2-in-1 seat for both adults and children, and a built-in potty seat that secures magnetically onto the cover when not in use. To satisfy American consumers, it was improved with easy installation and whisper close.

Now, Americans buy more than 200,000 sets every year, and a research and design center and marketing company have been set up in the US.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)


Behind WeChat’s new loading photo is a story of China’s self-reliance in space technology

The loading page on the right uses a photo taken by the Fengyun-4A satellite

China’s popular mobile messaging app WeChat got a new loading page on Sept. 25, a satellite photo of the Earth showing Chinese territory. The photo was taken by the Fengyun-4A satellite, the first of China’s second-generation geostationary orbiting weather satellites. The previous photo was taken by a US satellite.

Why the change?

The move was aimed at commemorating the operation of the Fengyun-4A satellite, which took place on Sept. 25, said the State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).

The satellite has helped improve the country’s weather and climate forecasts. For instance, it was used to serve the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing in May.

Its successful operation allows China to become a leader in developing geostationary orbiting weather satellites, the SASTIND said in a statement.

China has eight weather satellites working in orbit. The Fengyun satellites are providing 81 countries and regions with effective weather data and have been widely used for weather forecast, disaster prevention, damage reduction, and scientific research.

Three firsts in the world

The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan province on December 11, 2016. It has achieved three firsts in the world. For example, it was the first to carry a hyper-spectral vertical atmospheric sounding payload, which could conduct a high-precision observation of atmosphere over China and neighborhoods.

It was also the first satellite in the world to carry radiometers, detecting instruments, and lightning instruments, as well as the first to use stationary orbit microwave detection in the frequency band of 425GHz.

The Fengyun-4A satellite is the first in China that can capture lightning, because of its onboard lightning mapping imager. The instrument can detect lightning over China and neighboring areas and take 500 pictures per second, scientists say.

By the end of 2017, the satellite will be an important player in the World Meteorological Organization Integrated Global Observing System, and make greater contribution to regional disaster prevention and risk reduction, according to a report

Fifteen years of hard work drives technological upgrades of domestic enterprises

Scientists at the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology spent 15 years on the development of the Fengyun-4A satellite. Over the past 15 years, the project has driven the technological upgrades of many private enterprises.

Fengyun-4 satellite (file photo)

Now, data sent back by the satellite is eagerly wanted by international meteorological organizations, because it can only be detected by the Chinese satellite.

“Data delivered by the satellite enables mankind to see, for instance, how cold air above the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau moves down and flows eastward to raise the hot air there, a process which used to be based mostly on theoretical speculation,” said Ding Lei, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who is also the chief designer of the Fengyun-4A’s detecting instrument.

Europe and the US have worked hard toward the goal only to suspend or change their plans due to technical challenges and high costs.

The satellite project has encountered a lot of difficulties. Some parts of the satellite were not produced domestically, so scientists had to work with foreign manufacturers, but they either refused to cooperate with or declined to sell their products to China.

For instance, it was not until 2009 that scientists found a domestic factory that could produce aluminum silicon carbide, a light but very hard material that was used to build the structure of the satellite. Now the technology is widely applied in the industry.

Other key parts of the satellite, such as woven carbon fiber composite, special test equipment, and long-life and high-performance grease, were also manufactured by Chinese enterprises.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

680,000 left-behind children in China now in custody of guardians

Some 680,000 Chinese children who had been left behind by their migrant worker parents working in the cities have been placed in effective custody of guardians as of the end of August, according to an office under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Most of the children are being taken care of by designated guardians or one of their parents who have been told to return for their children. China launched a campaign to improve care of left-behind children in rural areas in November 2016.

A total of 11,821 left-behind children who had dropped out of school have now resumed education, according to a recent conference held by an office under an inter-ministerial conference to protect left-behind children.

Police at all levels have helped a total of 125,377 left-behind children to obtain household registration, or hukou. They have also warned 90,822 parents for not fulfilling their parental responsibilities, and fined or detained 282 parents. Seventeen parents have been deprived of their guardianship by the courts.

The office has requested police and government at all levels to make further efforts for left-behind children by taking more targeted measures to make sure none of them are left without guardians.

The office also pledged to specially guide and examine guardianship implementation, household registration, and dropout rate control.

(The story is also published on People’s Daily Online)

Expert says not all gene detection products reliable, despite plunging prices

(File Photo)

Experts have pointed out that some gene detection products on the market are unreliable, even though the price has plunged since August due to fierce competition, reported on Sept. 26.

Gene detection companies like WeGene have reduced prices for their consumer products from 999 RMB ($151) to 499 RMB ($75.5) due to a price war since August.

A saliva sample of 2 milliliters is needed for results, which include ancestral analysis, genetic risks assessment, potential indicators, alcohol metabolism, and medication guidance.

Consumers are crazy to know more about their family history, and gene analysis is a reliable way to understand one’s ancestral origin, according to Chen Gang, co-founder of WeGene.

However, ancestral analysis is only theoretical and does not have guidance value, Chen Ke, a researcher at Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, pointed out, saying that there are more than 3,000 companies providing gene detection services of varying quality in the market.

Chen added that the popular practice of genetic testing for talent often misleads consumers, as the result only indicates a correlation rather than any specific talent.

“Talent gene detection might be possible in the future, but right now we lack the technology to do this,” said the expert.

The expert stated that, with scientific and technological progress, some tests like alcohol tolerance testing can be promoted.

Nonetheless, insiders emphasize that testing for inherited factors that put you at risk of developing certain diseases may not be accurate enough, and some results may cause mental stress.

If there are genetic diseases in a family history, whole genome testing, which costs approximately 7,000 yuan (over $1,000), is suggested for advanced interfere treatment, insiders noted.