Chinese carmaker Dongfeng developing autonomous vehicles

China’s carmaker Dongfeng Motor Cooperation is currently stepping up efforts to develop autonomous internet vehicles, said Ma Li, senior engineer of the company on Jan.24.

The very first model of autopilot vehicles of the company will be buses, Ma added.

According to him, Dongfeng autopilot vehicles are among the best in many unmanned vehicle competitions. “But it might take a while before the technology is applied widely,” the engineer noted, explaining that it calls for further efforts on the establishment of smart traffic management systems and correspondent traffic regulations.

The high price of autopilot vehicles is another factor that contains the market, Ma said.

Dongfeng will test its conditional automation buses in 2019.

Endorsement of B&R looms over China visit by UK’s May

Ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s trip to China this week, disagreements between the two countries over the Belt and Road initiative (B&R) have reportedly cast a shadow over the potential outcome of the visit, which has become an unavoidable issue in the bilateral economic and trade relationship.

The Chinese side wants the UK to give a formal endorsement of the B&R, which May has resisted doing, putting bilateral commercial cooperation at a certain degree of risk, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing anonymous government officials.

When it comes to the bilateral economic relationship, there is no way for the UK to avoid stating its attitude toward the B&R. China has made great efforts to promote the initiative as a significant opportunity to propel global development, so it clearly hopes the UK will take part in the initiative.

There is no denying that the B&R is a major initiative from which China benefits, but at the same time, it is clear that the initiative must achieve mutual benefits and win-win results for every participant if it is to be successful. Infrastructure projects along the B&R route will certainly give a big boost to economic development in Europe, which will also bring benefits to the UK.

Moreover, the B&R initiative also offers a great platform for product and technical cooperation among China and various European countries in terms of the construction of infrastructure projects. It also allows them to work together and explore new opportunities in third markets like Asia and Africa, which is also in line with the UK’s interests.

Some Western politicians and media organizations tend to view the B&R as a source of political leverage for China to seize the global leadership role, which is unnecessary paranoia. China has never had such an intention behind the B&R.

A formal endorsement from the UK for the B&R would be great, but there is no need for China to force the UK to do so. China has signed cooperative agreements with more than 80 countries and organizations under the framework of the B&R initiative, according to the Xinhua News Agency. China will surely continue its efforts to implement it, whether the UK supports it or not.

However, it should be noted that there is indeed a foundation and much potential for the two countries to jointly advance the initiative.

Source: Global Times


China to take measures to guarantee employment for 8.2 million graduates this year

China will see 8.2 million college and university graduates in 2018, which means more than 15 million people will join the workforce, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on Friday, China News reported.

Ministry spokesperson Lu Aihong told a press briefing that the employment of these graduates is closely related to the happiness of their families and social stability.

Lu said the ministry will prioritize employment of the group and work with related departments to guarantee full-time, higher-quality employment.

They will expand employment channels in multiple areas by guiding local departments to implement policies to facilitate employment and entrepreneurship and by creating multiple job opportunities for the graduates.

The ministry will also actively strengthen employment services and offer special support to graduates from poor families by making customized schemes for them and providing employment information and professional guidance to them.

Local economic data lowered for higher-quality growth

By Jan. 24, 12 Chinese provinces and cities have unveiled their targets for GDP growth in 2018, with all of them lowering or maintaining the growth from 2017, China News reported on Jan. 25.

Anhui, Xinjiang, Shanghai, Jiangxi, Beijing, Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Hunan, and other places announced the figures at their ongoing provincial-level legislative meetings.

The local economic data released have sent firm signals that China is moving toward high-quality development, analysts say.

The 2018 growth for Anhui was lowered from around 8.5 to above 8 percent, and Hubei from around 8 to 7.5 percent.

Tianjin saw a large drop from 8 to 5 percent due to last year’s economic slowdown. According to official data of Tianjin, the city reported a year-on-year growth rate of 3.6 percent last year.

Bu Xiaolin, chairwoman of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, expressed determination to abolish the work style of simply using GDP growth as a criterion to evaluate development in her government work report.

Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangxi, and Hunan all kept their 2018 GDP growth target the same as last year, planning to pay more attention to promoting high-quality and sustainable growth.

Jiuzhaigou to receive international aid for better after-quake recovery

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the management bureau of Jiuzhaigou tourist site in southwest China’s Sichuan province and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Jan. 25, to renovate the world heritage site after last year’s major earthquake, China News reported.

Under the framework, the IUCN will organize scientific research on the geographical conditions, eco-systems renovation, and optimization of the area, and offer intellectual support and technological guidance to the renovation project.

The IUCN will also help improve the monitoring system in the scenic area, support the area to apply for the Green List of Protected Areas under the IUCN, and make specific management measures for the scenic area.

The Jiuzhaigou scenic area was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Last August, the area was jolted by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. The country responded with a massive rescue and recovery effort.

Sri Lankan student goes viral for buying Chinese Television

A Sri Lankan student studying in China took home a TV produced by Chinese tech firm Xiaomi on Jan. 21. The photo of him and the TV at the airport went viral after it was posted on Chinese social media, Global Times Online reported.

It was a perfect reflection of the rise of Chinese-made products, said the comments below the post.

The student, who goes by the Chinese name Xu Yuan, has just graduated from a college in Yunnan province.

The student said that the 55-inch TV only cost 2,699 RMB ($422), while the price of a similar one in his home country could go up to 17,500 RMB.

For historic and economic reasons, home appliances are costly in Sri Lanka. Even after import taxes or fees, the Xiaomi TV is still cheaper than one bought in Sri Lanka.

Though it was not very easy to ship, Xu still chose to take it home to save money. He said he has been quite satisfied with it, and is planning to buy another one in China this May.

Chinese products have already shaken off the label of low-quality. More and more Chinese enterprises, including Xiaomi, are changing the image of “made in China” through their innovation and quality.

As a leading innovator of China, Xiaomi will enter the overseas market this year, said Wang Chuan, a senior manager of the company.

Eiffel Tower knockoff in China goes viral

Duplicates of Paris’ famous constructions in China recently went viral online because of a post on a foreign website titled: “Can You Tell the Difference Between China’s Fake ‘Paris’ and the Real One?”

The post was published by a French photographer named François Prost. In China’s eastern city of Hangzhou, he spotted a place named “Tiandu,” a commercial property where the Eiffel Tower and the Versailles are duplicated.

After taking photos of the authentic constructions in Paris, Prost made a comparison between the two and published it online.

The real estate developer in China specifically invited the renovators of the real Eiffel Tower to build the constructions. The whole project was completed in four months.

Some netizens felt it was disrepute to copy world-renowned architectures, while others believe that people should be more tolerable since the duplicates have brought these works of art closer to Chinese citizens.

Based on incomplete statistics, China is now home to two “Sydney Opera Houses,” three “Eiffel Towers,” six “Arches of Triumph,” and at least 10 “U.S. Capitols.”

Some foreign media once joked that it is possible to see Paris and Venice within half a day in China.

Though they have sparked debates and caused laughter, China’s copycat architectures have never stopped emerging. However, most believe that their continued emergence is not a good thing for China’s future architecture development.

Understanding ‘high gold content’ in Chinese economy

China’s economic growth pickup in 2017 was globally eye-catching, accompanied by improved quality, structure, and the continuous pursuit of innovation and openness.

The 6.9-percent GDP growth last year showed “high gold content,” the 80-trillion-yuan economic aggregate surpassed the total of the 5th to 10th largest GDP owners in the world. The answer sheet has won global attention during the ongoing 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

The high gold content is reflected in improving quality, efficacy, and structure. In 2017, the added value of industrial enterprises above the design above-scale increased by 6.6 percent. Growth rebounded for the first time since 2011. Consumption contributed 58.8 percent to the economy, 10 percent higher than five years ago. The scientific and technological contribution to the economy rose from 52.2 to 57.5 percent. The innovation-driven development mode has achieved marked results.

The rise in quality is seen in the deep promotion of the supply-side structural reform. During the structural transformation, the country worked hard to improve supply-demand relations and optimize the supply structure.

The results of the reform have dispelled doubts about whether the Chinese economy will see a hard landing and whether the supply-side structural reform will be effective to prevent financial risks.

A fairer business environment has been created to raise efficacy. For instance, the deleveraging of the economy has effectively prevented financial risks, and the optimum interaction between finance and industry has strengthened the real economy. Quality development was further guaranteed by abandoning data inflation in local GDP reports.

The rise in quality is seen in the deepening of economic innovation and sustainability. In 2017, the global innovation ranking placed China 12 positions ahead of where it was five years ago. Other areas of innovation such as the fast prevalence of mobile payments, the overseas expansion of shared bicycles, and the fast development of artificial intelligence (AI) have all helped China rise from a runner to a leader in these fields.

“From having the world’s largest trade volume finished by cashless ways to owning the fastest speed of big data calculation globally, from the world’s largest electric car market to the most advanced high-speed rail network, and from having the largest output of theses on AI to owning the world’s most advanced photovoltaic industry chain, China has broken the bottlenecks in many fields and become a leading runner in these fields,” the Financial Times reported.

The rise in quality is also seen in the constant expansion of openness and sharing of development. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech on globalization and openness to the 2017 WEF has again caught the world’s attention during the ongoing 2018 forum.

In China, provinces and cities like Inner Mongolia and Tianjin have proactively removed data inflation from their GDP targets, paving the way for high-quality development. And outside of China, the country welcomes people of all countries to embark on its fast lane of development. The two factors will set to push the country’s economy toward more progress.

Xi’s speeches spotlight global development path with China solution

With snow piled outside the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday ahead of the 2018 World Economic Forum, two people trudge out the glass door.

Themed “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” the 48th World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting is being held in Davos, Switzerland from Jan. 23 to 26.

“The 2018 WEF theme revives the concept of ‘a community with shared future for mankind’ put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping who attended it last year,” said the Executive Chairman of the WEF Klaus Schwab.

Xi delivered two critical speeches in Switzerland last January, which lined up with the world’s development course, reflected the voices of people around the world and had a global influence.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the opening of the 2017 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. Since Chinese President Xi Jinping made landmark speeches at the WEF in Davos and at the UN Office at Geneva a year ago, the idea “to build a community with shared future for mankind” has gained wider international recognition for offering China’s solutions to cope with global challenges.

His speech to the 2017 WEF on Jan. 17 was thought to have brought “sunshine” at a time when the world was experiencing a sluggish economy, anti-globalization, as well as uncertainty and volatility, Schwab said.

“It is true that economic globalization has created new problems, but this is no justification to write economic globalization off completely. Rather, we should adapt to and guide economic globalization, cushion its negative impact and deliver its benefits to all countries and all nations,” said the Chinese president.

To clear up confusion about globalization, Xi deeply expounded on the inevitability of globalization, emphasizing that all countries must have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of global markets in order to adapt to the trend. “Learning how to swim in the process” is the right strategic choice, Xi said.

On Jan. 18, 2017, the president talked about the past, present and future of mankind from a historical and philosophical view. “All countries should jointly shape the future of the world, write international rules, manage global affairs and ensure that development outcomes are shared by all,” he said.

China’s solution of “Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind” proposed by Xi outlined five great visions to be achieved: staying committed to building a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation, a world of collective security for all through joint efforts, a world of shared prosperity through win-win cooperation, and an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning, as well as making the world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development.

The proposals were warmly received by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said the UN is willing to work with China to push forward global peace and development and achieve the grand cause of building a community of a shared future for mankind.

“We should remember that 2017 dawned with President Xi Jinping’s speech to the WEF,” said Martin Jacques, a senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University, in his 2017 review.

“That was certainly a very important moment in modern international relations,” Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel, who listened to Xi’s speech in person, told People’s Daily.

More people come to realize that building a community of a shared future for mankind shows that human interests are changing from divided to interrelated against the backdrop of economic globalization, and it is in accordance with the common expectations of all countries for development.

“China has created a new possibility, which is to set aside the law of the jungle, abandon hegemony and power politics, go beyond the zero-sum game, and find a new and civilized path featuring cooperation, mutual benefits and joint efforts,” Martin Jacques said.

People are aware that the three critical issues pointed out in Xi’s speech needed to be effectively addressed, though the global economy achieved a robust periodical rise in 2017.

The three issues are: the lack of robust driving forces for global growth makes it difficult to sustain the steady growth of the global economy, inadequate global economic governance makes it difficult to adapt to new developments in the global economy, and uneven global development makes it difficult to meet people’s expectations for better lives.

According to data provided by the International Monetary Fund, in the past 30 years, about 53 percent of countries in the world have experienced widened income gaps, especially in developed countries.

The Gordian Knot in Western countries caused by the vicious circle of “income disparity-resentment-populism” is in urgent need to be cut.

Right guidelines are needed to lead right actions, in a world where the geopolitical divide is aggravated, posing serious challenges to international order, where some countries are putting their interests above others, where the willingness for international cooperation is declining, and where unilateralism is rampant.

“Our 2017 Annual Meeting took place against a backdrop of declining confidence in the power of international collaboration to solve the world’s challenges. President Xi’s intervention was very timely in this respect,” said David Aikman, the WEF’s chief representative officer in China, whose remarks are pretty representative.

“China has set an example for the world to think about which road to take it to the right future,” said the Financial Times describing the 2017 “China moment.”

China was an international sensation in 2017, with headlines such as “China won” frequently appearing on the covers of some global mainstream magazines. Some commentators said it was because the West has felt China’s sincerity to promote economic globalization and prosperity, and recognized China’s Xi-led leading role in global governance and were full of expectations for it.

During the past year, China has achieved remarkable progress in the promotion of building a community of a shared future for mankind and witnessed the inspiring success of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, China has signed cooperation agreements with 80 countries and organizations, and institutionalized capacity cooperation with more than 30 countries.

In addition, Chinese businesses have helped build 75 economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries along the Belt and Road, greatly improving trade liberalization and investment facilitation.

Over 6,000 people line up for Laba congee for good luck

About 6,600 people lined up for Laba congee, which is believed to bring good luck in the New Year, at Yonghegong Lama Temple in the early morning in Beijing on Jan. 24. The day marks the Laba Festival, a traditional Chinese festival held on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month.

An employee at the temple disclosed that they prepared the congee with more than 2,500 kilograms of ingredients, including rice, nuts, and various dried fruits.

Congee distribution has been a tradition of the temple for a long time. Some believe the porridge confers Buddha’s blessings.