“Chinese World” established around the globe: Russian media

China has established a “Chinese World” around the globe with its increasing influence, said a report published by Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Jan. 30.

China’s Spring Festival travel rush, also regarded as the largest human migration on earth, is one example that well illustrates the “Chinese World,” the report said.

The number of road trips is projected to reach 2.48 billion during the 2018 Spring Festival travel rush. The report believes that the figure should be halved, however, as most of the trips will be round trips. In addition, train trips are likely to top 389 million, and a record 65 million trips are expected to be made by air.

In addition, millions of overseas Chinese will also be on the move during the festival, visiting relatives and friends. For instance, a quarter of Malaysia’s population (about 7 million) is Chinese, and some might go to other Malaysian cities or Singapore during the festival.

According to statistics by the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, 12.4 million Chinese tourists visited Europe in 2017. That figure is expected to reach 20.8 million in 2022.

The report noted that China saw 129 million outbound tourists over the last year, accounting for about 20% of the world’s total. In addition, the total consumption of Chinese tourists in foreign destinations in 2016 was twice that of American travelers.

It is believed that language is not a key factor that unifies the Chinese community. Chinese in Thailand and Indonesia who do not speak Chinese are still a part of the “Chinese World.” China is a kind of civilization rather than a country, the report explained.

The report pointed out that the promotion of Chinese language is not a priority for Beijing, though learning Chinese has become a trend among many university students in the US and Europe.

China has established Confucius Institutes around the world, which teaches not only Chinese language but also Chinese philosophy. Moreover, the Chinese lifestyle has also been widely accepted, such as the noodle culture and Chinese cuisine.

The report attributed the formation of a “Chinese World” to the practical spirit of Chinese people as well as cultural characteristics.

If someone tries to duplicate the “Chinese path,” the nation would simply say: Every nation should follow their own unique path.

UK students, teachers give thumbs up to Chinese approach to math

On Jan. 26, both students and teachers from the UK gave thumbs up to Chinese math teachers after they finished giving demonstration classes at 10 public elementary schools in England.

The math teaching exchange program is one of the fruits of the Second Meeting of the China-UK High-Level People-to-People Dialogue in 2014.

More than 500 teachers from over 100 schools in both countries participate in the program, benefiting more than 1,000 students.

“The Chinese teachers let us do many exercises to ensure that everyone really understands,” a 4th-grade student said.

According to Sue Wilson, the principal of a UK elementary school, the math gap widens as the students grow older, and the UK teachers must focus more on the national teaching syllabus to cope with this issue.

Math textbooks from Shanghai are likely to be adopted by the UK elementary school system, said the UK’s Department for Education.

However, many UK teachers believe that there is still a long way to go before the Chinese way of teaching math makes its way into the national system.

Authority defends China-made down jackets as Chinese flood to buy Canadian Goose

China Feather and Down Industrial Association (CFDIA) recently defended China-produced down jackets following the buying spree of Canada Goose among Chinese citizens.

CFDIA Chairwoman Yao Xiaoman on Jan. 17 said that Canada Goose has set a good example for Chinese enterprises, but the domestic industry is not in a poor condition.

Canada Goose, a Canadian manufacturer of winter clothing with only $3 million annual revenue 12 years before, has transformed into a listed company with a market value of $9 billion, partially because of Chinese customers.

According to Yao, China is the world’s largest producer of feather and down, accounting for 70-80% of the global market share. In addition, it is also in a leading position in terms of feather and down manufacturing.

International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory and the Guangzhou Fibre Product Testing and Research Institute jointly conducted a test on 13 feather samples from China, France, Hungry, and Poland last August. The result may surprise you: the Chinese sample was the best quality.

In recent years, over 90% of domestically produced down jackets on the market meet high standards, Yao noted.

She attributed the high price of Canada Goose down jackets to its market position and Canada’s retail tradition. The brand never offers discounts in order to keep its image, Yao explained.

Compared with their Canadian competitors, Chinese manufacturers are not doing well in branding and marketing. “Domestic brands need to abandon price competition and focus on high-quality development,” Yao pointed out.

Currently, the domestic industry is still on a fundamental level, with a lack of power in general development, she said. To take the high-end market is not practical for Chinese manufacturers, but they can keep improving the quality to win more market share, the chairwoman suggested.

China has no plans to clone humans following success of monkey trial

Long-tailed macaques Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua

China has no plans to conduct human cloning following the success of its monkey trial, according to a report by Chinese newspaper Science and Technology Daily.

The recent birth of two identical long-tailed macaques – Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua – marked the first time primates have been cloned using the same cloning technique that made Dolly the sheep.

While the achievement was seen as a breakthrough, critics raised ethical concerns about the research and suggested it could ultimately lead to human cloning.

However, in order to suit the rapid development of biotechnology, China formed an ethical review system for scientific research in the 1990s. A committee has also been established in accordance with the request of ethical assessment of international projects.

In addition, a series of codes and regulations have been formed to guide scientific research, restraining and even closing those substandard projects.

According to a document issued by the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology in December 2003, human reproductive cloning is prohibited. Though therapeutic cloning is permitted, it must conform to the codes, the document said.

Regarding China as a “threat” reflects narrow-minded mentality

The Western countries have been busy depicting China as a “threat” this year, with changing rhetoric.

On Jan. 19, the U.S. Department of Defense published a summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which labels China as a “revisionist country” that poses security challenges to the United States.

In line with the NDS report, the U.S. media and think tanks expressed fear that their government is losing its dominance in Asia to China.

In addition to imposing protective tariffs on Chinese products, such as washing machines, solar batteries, and battery panels, the U.S. government also stated clearly that it will take action against China for the latter’s “intellectual property theft”.

And it is not just the United States. Germany has initiated EU legislation with France and Italy to strengthen monitoring of foreign direct investments into the European Union. The draft law is widely regarded as targeting China.

Matthias Machnig, state secretary in Germany’s economics ministry, reportedly said that it was urgent to police surging Chinese investment.

But their accusations and decisions against China are not accepted in their own country. The protective tariffs on Chinese solar batteries and battery panels are expected to shut the door on billions of dollars in investments in the United States, resulting in thousands of lost job opportunities.

Likewise, the European countries’ claim of “surging Chinese investment” is also a rejection of win-win cooperation and results. Previous acquisitions were often the result of European enterprises trapped in difficulty, which were in the end aided by the Chinese investment and the market advantages of the Chinese firms.

What should be a win-win situation has turned out to be otherwise. What happened to the confidence of the Western countries?

Times have changed. The world is undergoing a major transformation, and the international order is becoming fairer, more orderly, more balanced, and more inclusive.

However, this positive change has made the countries that place themselves above all others worried and anxious, fearing that they may lose their dominant positions in global affairs and their leading roles in technology to other countries such as China.

Behind their behavior is zero-sum mentality.

In sharp contrast to this, the world feels the warmth of the China-proposed concept of “building a community of shared future for mankind.” Just recently, for example, The New York Times reported that the real star at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, may have been China.

China’s influence was clearly felt during the forum, and its proposal of jointly building a community with shared future was also echoed by the whole world.

China is not an advocator of isolationism, but a supporter of cooperation. Twisting this beautiful vision into a threat reflects the narrow-minded mentality of some countries.

Chunyun travel season kicks off at Beijing Railway Station

Train No. 3603, an additional train running from Beijing to Chongqing, leaves Beijing Railway Station on Feb. 1. The train will travel 1,982 kilometers before arriving in the southwestern Chinese city. The 2018 Spring Festival travel rush, known as Chunyun, kicks off on February 1 and last till March 12. Railway authorities expect about 2.98 billion trips to be made during this year’s rush period.

Prestigious soldiers who guard the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse

On Jan. 30, the TV channel of 81.cn, the website of the People’s Liberation Army, released a video unveiling the demeanor of soldiers who guard the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

Each year, 40 soldiers stand out among nearly 1,000 of their peers to qualify to take part in training for the position. In the end, only about 11 will be recruited for the prestigious job, says Yang Zixuan, the platoon leader, who was born in 1990.

Like Yang, most of the soldiers were born after 1990. Though they are young, they have served the military for years. Huang Hanting, the squad leader, said the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse is a political place, so they have to be very careful when carrying out foreign affairs missions.

To practice for the activities, the soldiers would do the same pose for thousands of times to guarantee it is absolutely accurate. Some of them have even got injured during the training.

Besides routine training, they have to memorize more than 800 license plates, 20 kinds of certificates, and the national flags and ambassador numbers of over 100 countries, in order to make sure there are no mistakes during major foreign affairs missions.

As a result of the rigid training, they are dubbed “living computers.” From 1983 to now, the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse soldiers have carried out protocol missions during visits of more than 600 foreign state leaders and 2,700 foreign dignitaries.

Former US President Bill Clinton saluted the Chinese soldiers to show his respect and gratitude to them after wrapping up his visit to China in 1997.

Limited promise from Trump plan, Chinese firms ‘unlikely’ to get large slice of action

Chinese companies are unlikely to play a large role in the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan announced by US President Donald Trump, but analysts said that there are still contracts that they could bid for.

The comments came after Trump unveiled a large-scale infrastructure plan in his first State of the Union address on Tuesday (US time). The US president spoke of the need to rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment that our country so desperately needs,” he said.

The plan announced by Trump includes new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways, and any bill must also streamline the permit and approval process, getting it down to no more than two years.

“The Trump administration has focused on tackling the US trade deficit with China, and the bilateral trade order has been in a wobble since last year,” Wang Yongzhong, a research fellow at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

There will be more tit-for-tat escalation this year, the expert predicted, and as a result, “granting a large amount of infrastructure projects to Chinese companies seems unlikely,” he said.

When it comes to construction contracts in foreign countries, Chinese companies export both equipment and workers to construction sites abroad, Wang said.

“If Trump wants to win this trade-deficit battle, increasing imports to the US may become challenging,” he said.

China is willing to make joint efforts with the US to encourage Chinese enterprises to participate in US infrastructure construction, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said in a report published in May 2017. China’s infrastructure has late-mover advantages, as the scale of its highways, high-speed railways, subways, ports, tunnels and power grid all rank first in the world, the MOFCOM report said.

Infrastructure development in the US has fallen short of demand. Despite the efforts of Congress and some states, there is still a $2 trillion gap in terms of needed infrastructure, according to an annual report released by the American Society of Civil Engineers in April 2017.

In 2016, China signed a total of 1,319 contracts for projects in the US, with a total value of $4.3 billion, according to MOFCOM. Given the enormous scale of the US infrastructure market, the current market share of Chinese enterprises is relatively small, the report said.

Broader cooperation

Still, some Chinese firms that have localized their production in the US market have a positive view about Trump’s infrastructure plan.

“We have a 40,000-square-meter production base in the US and we manufacture, sell and support construction and material handling equipment such as crawler cranes and rough terrain cranes, so this massive infrastructure plan is good news for us,” Chinese multinational heavy machinery manufacturer SANY said in a note sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

Chinese firms with a track record of participation in infrastructure projects in the US and other advanced economies such as the UK and Canada would have strong credentials to pitch for such work, possibly as part of joint ventures with US firms that are also bidding for the projects, Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit, told the Global Times.

“Such joint ventures would also enable more cooperation between US and Chinese firms on other international infrastructure projects, such as China’s Belt and Road initiative projects in many developing countries worldwide,” Biswas said.

Other options

Due to the recent tightened scrutiny of Chinese investment in the US, the Trump administration is unlikely to approve a large amount of projects by Chinese firms, Wang noted. “But still, Chinese firms can bid for some small subcontracts,” he said.

Chinese firms could get contracts worth up to $15 billion as part of the massive plan, Wang predicted.

Chinese investors may have more ways to invest in infrastructure projects as contractors.

“For instance, Chinese investors could purchase US bonds or infrastructure bonds issued by the federal and local governments, or make equity investments,” said Liu Jianying, an associate fellow with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Source: Global Times

 

Keepers carry food to feed monkeys on snowy days

Keepers carry food for golden snub-nosed monkeys at a research base in Shennongjia Forestry District in central China’s Hubei province, Jan. 30. The female monkeys are pregnant these days, but due to the heavy snow, their food sources have become scarce. To help them get through the cold days, the keepers carry some 200 kilograms of food, including peanuts and sweet potatoes, to feed them every day.

McDonald’s employee suspected of making drinks with snow

A video circulating online showing a McDonald’s employee getting snow outside the restaurant on Mount Tianzi in Zhangjiajie, central China’s Hunan province, has made people wonder if the employee used snow to make drinks, ThePaper.cn reported.

The video photographer, surnamed Yang, said that he did not see the employee making coffee or milk with the snow, but some of his friends developed diarrhea after dining at the restaurant.

Yang said that the road closures caused by heavy snow should not be an excuse for the restaurant to do such things to its customers.

McDonald’s responded the next day on Jan. 31, calling the situation a misunderstanding. The snow dug by the employee was used for cleaning the restaurant, and not for making food or drinks, it said, adding that the restaurant will also get in touch with those involved as soon as possible.