China’s economic growth will remain within reasonable scope in 2019

Experts believe that China is able to maintain a stable economic growth in 2019 based on their evaluation of opportunities and challenges the country will face throughout this year.

The actual economic growth and potential growth of the country are generally consistent with each other, and the relationship between the core economic indicators is healthy, said Li Wei, head of the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Statistics indicate that China’s economy has increased by 6.5 to 7 percent for 15 quarters in a row since 2015.

The country has become more experienced in pushing for a resilient economy in 2019 despite the pressure it may face this year, Li said.

For the past 40 years, China has managed to keep an average annual growth of 9.5 percent, and in 2018, it met its designated 6.5 percent growth despite the changing global environment, standing among the world’s upper echelons.

Chen Wenling, the chief economist of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, attributed this long-term economic growth to the country’s coordinating macro policies, improvement of infrastructure, urbanization and the continuous emergence of labor force dividends, adding that they will continue to support long-term economic development.

Liu Jing, associate dean of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), said some positive changes have started to emerge in the macroeconomy, including government support for private enterprises and the implementation of related policies, the coordination of fiscal and monetary policies, as well as measures to reduce taxes and fees for enterprises and consumers.

HSBC projected that China is expected to bring its economy back to a reasonable and steady scope through stimulating domestic demand and injecting new impetus.

Standard Chartered said that China could use a number of methods to keep its economic growth between 6.0 and 6.5 percent, while Vanguard Group believes that it’s unlikely that the Chinese economy will experience a “hard landing,” forecasting that economic growth will stabilize between 6.0 and 6.3 percent under mild external impact.

7 million Chinese tourists will travel abroad this Spring Festival

Chinese tourists visiting the ruis of Ephesus in Turkey. (Photo/China.com.cn)

Chinese people will make about 7 million trips to 90 countries and regions during the upcoming Spring Festival, according to statistics released by travel services providers, Xinhua reported on Jan. 20.

According to online travel agency Ctrip, there are two main categories of overseas tourists in China – those who wish to escape the cold, and those who search for it.

More Chinese people are booking holidays to warm island countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Mauritius. However, Japan, the South Pole, and snowy northern European countries have also witnessed a spike in popularity among Chinese tourists.

Bookings and prices of overseas travel during the Spring Festival increased by 30 percent and 10 percent, respectively, according to Lvmama.com, a popular Shanghai-based tourism and leisure platform.

The statistics also showed that due to this price hike, about 330 million people are expected to travel within China. Tourists from humid southern Chinese cities such as Guangzhou are seeking out icy activities such as skiing and snow fishing, with many heading for the beautiful snow sculptures of northeastern China’s Harbin, according to statistics from tourist services providers.

They also found that museums and folk culture exhibitions are must-do activities for Chinese travelers.

Chinese enterprises represent 70 percent of global hydropower market

An aerial view of the Lower Sesan II Hydropower Plant in Cambodia (Photo/CRI Online)

China now ranks among the world’s most competitive countries when it comes to hydroelectricity, with overseas hydropower facilities distributed throughout more than 140 countries and regions, cpnn.com.cn reported on Jan. 22.

With their advantages in technology, human resources, and capital, Chinese enterprises represent 70 percent of the global hydropower market, said He Jiansheng, chief engineer of China Energy Engineering Group Co. Ltd.

It takes less money and time to build hydropower projects with Chinese technologies, He said, adding that Chinese banks such as the Bank of China and China Development Bank have provided loans for the construction of large-scale hydropower plants in Nigeria, Pakistan, Argentina, and Angola.

He said that Chinese companies have now invested more than 200 billion yuan in hydroelectricity projects in 40 Belt and Road countries and regions.

Zhang Ye, President of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, said Chinese companies built about 320 hydropower plants overseas with a total installed capacity of 81 million kilowatts.

JD completes first drone delivery in Indonesia

China’s e-commerce giant JD Group announced that it has completed its first drone delivery in Indonesia during the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 22.

The drone delivered donations to a primary school on the country’s Java island, in what was also JD’s first drone delivery in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia is a springboard for JD Group’s international strategy. JD Logistics, a business group under the brand, has established the largest e-commerce logistics network in the country, offering advanced logistics technology and supply chain management abilities.

The Group’s X Business Unit has also opened an unmanned supermarket in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, to provide intelligent logistics and services for residents.

Drones can reduce logistics costs and improve efficiency, said Wang Zhenhui, JD Logistics CEO. Focusing on aspects such as last-mile delivery, island logistics, emergency rescue, and poverty alleviation through agriculture, JD has conducted numerous flight tests. These drones will be widely used in Indonesia, a country home to more than 17,000 islands, Wang added.

Palace Museum uses technology to bring people closer to traditional festivities

Palace Museum uses technology to bring people closer to traditional festivities

On Jan. 23, the Palace Museum in Beijing unveiled a digital exhibition of the country’s various festive traditions in the lead up to this year’s Spring Festival.

The Palace of Heavenly Purity, or Qianqing Gong in Chinese, has opened its doors to visitors, leading them into a virtual world of festive activities, fireworks and stage plays.

The new experience will present traditional customs to visitors through modern technologies. As part of the exhibition, some cultural creative products will also be for sale.

Reservations can be made through the museum’s official online booking system. (People’s Daily Online/Yu Kai)

Chinese TV series gain popularity in Southeast Asia

Story of Yanxi Palace (Photo/China.com.cn)

The Chinese costume drama, Story of Yanxi Palace, the most Googled show on earth in 2018, has enjoyed widespread popularity in Vietnam, Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia, becoming the epitome of the popularity of Chinese TV programs in the region.

“Like in China, only two episodes will be streamed here every day. I always sit in front of my computer and can’t wait to watch the new ones,” said a Vietnamese online video editor who loves Chinese costume drama.

Chinese TV shows are also popular in the Philippines. The debut of the inspiring Chinese drama Feather Flies To The Sky was a hit on People’s Television 4 (PTV4), the public broadcasting network in the Philippines, with an average audience rating of 15 percent in the first three months. It was the first Chinese drama to be translated and dubbed into Filipino and then aired in the country.

Apart from geographical proximity and cultural affinity, the root causes of the popularity of Chinese TV series and films in Southeast Asia are China’s rapid economic growth and enhanced soft cultural power.

TV dramas are a window into Chinese society, by which the audience can catch a glimpse of social changes in the country.

TV series that focus on modern Chinese life such as We Love You, Mr. Jin and May-December Love 2 are also famous in Vietnam, said Pho Thi Mai, a Vietnamese sinologist.

“Each TV drama reflects the background of a specific era in China, and the leaps in living standards, from having access to basic material needs to moderate prosperity, and then to a better life,” she added.

These TV dramas are also a window into Chinese culture. Many of the values highlighted in Chinese TV series resonate among audiences in Southeast Asia, so that they can appreciate Chinese stories and gain an accurate and comprehensive understanding of China, said Chua Soo Pong, a Singaporean performing artist.

Third Chinese medical team arrives in Pakistan’s Gwadar to provide medical assistance


Third Chinese medical team arrives in Pakistan’s Gwadar to provide medical assistance
The third batch of the Chinese Red Cross foreign aid medical team, comprising of eight members, has now arrived in Pakistan’s Gwadar to provide humanitarian medical assistance.

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) and the Chinese Red Cross Foundation established the Belt & Road Fraternity Fund in February 2017 to carry out Belt and Road international humanitarian assistance.

The fund launched its first public welfare project, the China-Pakistan Fraternity Emergency Care Center, in Gwadar in 2017. Enterprises in China donated the center’s steel structure boardroom and medical equipment, and the RCSC selected medical personnel from its cooperative hospitals.

In September 2017, 12 medical staff members from the first batch of the medical team began their service, which lasted half a year. During their six months of service, they helped Pakistani residents and staff of Chinese companies in Gwadar.

The second batch also provided free medical examinations and health consultations for students, and medical training for over 100 members of staff in the port.

The center had received 2,302 Chinese and Pakistani patients by the end of December last year. It had also conducted 260 medical examinations for elementary students from a school built in Gwadar by China and the Gwadar Port Authority.

The most recent batch of medics consists of medical personnel from Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University, Beijing Red Cross Emergency Rescue Center, Obstetrics & Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University and project staff of the Chinese Red Cross Foundation. (People’s Daily Online/Shi Jiamin)

Firmly seize opportunities presented by China’s development

By Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos
Cuba’s relationship with China has been a focus of my work when I worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba for many years.

When I first came to China in 1999, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai was one of the few skyscrapers in the country. But as I revisited Shanghai in 2017, I saw a prosperous city, especially row upon row of marvelous skyscrapers in the Pudong New Area. I really admire Chinese people’s unremitting efforts to build a more prosperous and beautiful society.

I have visited many Chinese cities including Xi’an, Shenzhen and Chengdu, witnessing different natural and cultural landscapes in the country with a vast territory: the spicy Sichuan food, the magnificent terracotta warriors in Xi’an, people rowing across river ways in small towns in regions south of the Yangtze River, just to name a few.

I am delighted to see that traditional Chinese architecture and historical features are properly preserved, which fully reflects Chinese people’s respect for and protection of traditional culture.

China has made tremendous achievements during its reform and opening-up, lifting over 700 million people out of poverty. Cuba, as well as other developing countries, can learn from China’s experience in this regard.

China has also made great efforts to protect the ecological environment in recent years. The conviction that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets should be affirmed. Thanks to those efforts, China’s air quality continues to improve and pollution has been effectively controlled.

In 1960, Cuba took the lead among countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. In fact, exchanges between Cuba and China could date back even earlier when the first group of Chinese arrived in Cuba in June, 1847. More and more Chinese people came to Cuba in the 100-plus years since then.

With painstaking efforts, they have contributed significantly to social development and national independence of Cuba, becoming an indispensable part of the Cuban society. Each June, we organize activities to mark the arrival of the first group of Chinese people in Cuba.

Chinese culture also exerts imperceptible influence on Cuban culture. Today, Chinese food is loved by Cubans, and songs played by Chinese suona horn (a woodwind instrument) are often heard at carnivals in Santiago de Cuba.

Highly appreciating the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Cuba stands ready to constantly expand cooperation with China and carry out in-depth cooperation in infrastructure including network, communication and logistics under the framework of the BRI. In history, Cuba was once a part of the Maritime Silk Road.

The BRI advocates an approach of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, as well as the principle of mutual benefits and win-win results. Conducive to benefiting all participating countries, the initiative serves as a rare development opportunity for developing countries. We should firmly seize opportunities presented by China’s development.

(The author Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos is the Cuban ambassador to China)

Nang culture park contributes to poverty reduction in Xinjiang

Abdu shows a nang in the workshop. (Photo/Xinhua)

A cultural industrial park for Nang (Uyghur baked flatbread) opened in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region last year, lifting over 400 people from southern Xinjiang out of poverty.

22-year-old Abdu Salam is from Yengisar, a southwestern county in Xinjiang. He now works for a factory in the park, earning a salary of 3,000 yuan per month. In addition to earning money at the factory, he is also given the option to learn Chinese for free.

“I used to get up at 7 o’clock every morning to light the fire. I couldn’t leave the stove in case the temperature dropped. My face and clothes all turned black because of the smoke,” said Abdu.

Abdu explained that he never imagined he would work in a clean factory that produces nang. He plans to save money to buy a house in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, and get married there.

Adbu and his colleagues make between 6,000 and 7,000 nang each day. The local government helps to sell their products to supermarkets and grocery stores in Urumqi, as well as further afield via the internet.

Commentary: LV should not blame China for quality issues

(Photo/pixabay.com)

In Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang province, a man surnamed Wang recently purchased a Louis Vuitton (LV) bag but was quickly inundated with problems. He noticed the handle was losing its color, which rubbed off and stained when he wore a white shirt. However, LV headquarters in Shanghai attributed the issue to the Chinese climate.

Such a response reflects a lack of basic professionality at the LV Shanghai headquarters, which has not only disappointed its customers, but has also tarnished the image of LV as a high-end luxury brand.

As one of the most successful luxury brands in China, the LV group has made an enormous amount of money from the country. However, this recent scandal has hurt LV’s image, with public perception showing that LV lacks proper corporate ethics and doesn’t respect its customers.

Chinese consumers have become more rational when it comes to spending, and now consider product and service quality over a brand name. Therefore, to disregard customer rights entirely could see this brand doomed in the high-end market.

The government’s quality supervision department should also investigate quality issues promptly, and remind the LV group to put customers first.

Rome was not built in a day, and neither is a brand. We hope to see more luxury companies respecting their customers and becoming more competitive through quality and brand reputation.