Foreign companies invest more in Chinese market

Despite Sino-US economic and trade frictions, foreign enterprises have not retreated from China as some American officials predicted they would. Instead, many have increased investment in the Chinese market.

Thermos Fisher Scientific, an American biotechnology product manufacturer, signed agreements on Aug. 21 with Suzhou New District in east China’s Jiangsu province, to increase capital and launch a new business project in the city.

The temporary frictions will not hinder the company’s long-term development in China, said Syed Jafry, senior vice president of the company.

Pentair, a U.S.-owned water treatment company, invested a total of $16 million into the research and development of the Chinese market this year. Chen Xia, finance director, Asia Pacific, Pentair, said the company is positive about the potential of China and will continue to invest in the country.

China’s actual use of foreign capital maintained stable growth in the January-July period, with over 24,000 newly established foreign-invested companies.

The actual use of foreign capital exceeded 530 billion yuan, increasing by 7.3 percent year-on-year.

With a population of nearly 1.4 billion and the world’s largest middle-income group, China is one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world. To date, about 98 percent of the world’s top 500 companies have invested in China.

The country has optimized its business environment and furthered reform and opening-up to draw in more foreign companies. This March, its national legislature passed the foreign investment law to provide stronger protection for overseas investors.

Last year, China’s ranking in ease of doing business jumped to 46th place, up from 78th in 2017, according to a report released by the World Bank.

Chinese hybrid rice benefits the world

(Photo/Xinhua)

With high yield and superior quality, Chinese hybrid rice varieties have been introduced around the world, benefiting more people.

Hybrid rice started to go abroad in 1979. Back then, the ministry of agriculture presented 1.5 kg of hybrid rice seeds to the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, an American oil and gas exploration and production company. The yield of the hybrid rice was over 33 percent more than that of local varieties.

Since then, China has continued to work with the US on hybrid rice research. This year, hybrid rice accounted for 60 percent of the total rice area in America, said Yuan Longping, a pioneer in hybrid rice research who has been invited to the US several times to share the hybrid breeding technology.

The technology has since spread to more countries. The hybrid rice research center in central China’s Hunan province and a local agriculture company have jointly held nearly 100 international workshops on hybrid rice technology and trained over 10,000 technicians from around 80 developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Yuan said that to date, the overseas planting area of hybrid rice has exceeded 7 million hectares, with India owning the largest area of more than 2 million hectares.

Hybrid rice is produced by crossbreeding different varieties of rice. The average yield of hybrid rice is at least 20 percent more than that of regular rice, feeding 70 million more Chinese people annually, Yuan said.

US’s double standard way out of line

Some US politicians left no stone unturned to find a way to restrain China. Their recent activities in Hong Kong have not only exposed sheer hegemonism, but also showed the world their out-of-line double standard.

The escalating illegal violence has seriously undermined Hong Kong’s social order, economy and people’s life, distressing all residents who love Hong Kong and China.

However, certain US officials are still distorting the truth, calling the illegal activities “peaceful demonstrations” and claiming that the Hong Kong police repressed the protesters when they were actually enforcing the law in a restrained manner.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, repeatedly voiced her support of violent rioters in Hong Kong, who disabled main roads, demolished traffic lights, vandalized public property, hurled petrol bombs at police officers, committed arson, and possessed offensive weapons in Hong Kong.

In June, Pelosi called the demonstrations in Hong Kong “a beautiful sight to behold”, and in August, she made statements to support the protesters, calling rioters “courageous”.

Shortly after Pelosi expressed support for the radicals, black-clad and masked protestors damaged infrastructure and stores in the escalation of demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, the US.

The local police set up roadblocks on the streets and bridges and arrested at least 13 demonstrators. The US officials even considered defining the organizations involved in the conflicts as terrorist organizations.

This time, certain US politicians fell silent. They neither made irresponsible remarks about how American police officers enforced the law, nor praised violent acts as Pelosi had done.

This is a full display of double standard adopted by certain US politicians, who are accustomed to regarding violent activities taking place in their own country as true violence that must be cracked down on and that in other countries are merely a “sight”.

It is not just some American politicians who played double standard. Recently, US social media Twitter and Facebook have removed a large number of accounts, claiming that these accounts spread false news about Hong Kong demonstrations, were unfavorable for the demonstrators and affected the legality of their protests.

Twitter and Facebook have exposed the US hypocrisy on free expression. Even many foreign netizens have criticized the US social media’s bald-faced suppression of different opinions.

The US claims to be a country with free speech. In that case, any remark that doesn’t violate the law should be protected. So which law in the US have these accounts violated? Is the so-called freedom of speech only a privilege for those who hold the same voice as the government? Are different opinions not allowed to be expressed?

It is evident that some politicians in the US applaud the Hong Kong radicals for committing illegal violence, and attack the legal governance and solemn law enforcement exercised by Hong Kong government and Hong Kong police.

Ignoring the truth and telling lies, the US politicians used double standard to pursue their own benefits. For those benefits, they exerted themselves to facilitate color revolutions and provoke riots around the world. To satisfy their greed, they twisted the facts and made slanderous remarks about other countries.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. No one will be more concerned about the future of Hong Kong than the Chinese people.

The double standard held by some US politicians can only reveal their sinister intention of destabilizing Hong Kong in order to raise the wave against China.

We sincerely advise these people to stop meddling in other countries’ internal affairs. History will prove that they will only end up in failure if they have a finger in every pie. It will never work to stir up “color revolution” on China’s Hong Kong.

Using children as bargaining chips a conscienceless move by HK protesters

During the Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing march in Hong Kong on Aug. 25, the police arrested 36 demonstrators who repeatedly broke through the police cordon, including a 12-year-old boy who wore a mask and carried a 5-foot-long iron bar.

The next day, Li Chi-Lam, principal of Lingnan Hang Yee Memorial Secondary School, confirmed on social media that a student of the school was arrested on Aug. 25.

The news that a child was involved in an illegal gathering and even acted as a pioneer of violence put Hong Kong society into a state of shock.

In fact, several high school gatherings have taken place in illegal and violent activities in Hong Kong that evolved from the anti-extradition bill protests.

The children have been used as political bargaining chips and tempted into becoming pioneers of violence by some despicable people with ulterior motives, many Hong Kong citizens have said.

Those behind the scenes wish to incite more violence to destabilize Hong Kong and oppose China. To achieve their evil intentions, they don’t care about the future of children at all.

While deceiving children into causing chaos on the streets, the protesters haven’t allowed their own children to do such things.

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, one of the leaders of the Occupy Central movement that happened in Hong Kong in 2014 where protesters staged a mass sit-in to blockade Central District, for what they considered genuine universal suffrage, publicly stated that his whole family would participate in the campaign, except for his children under 18.

The same is true for the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong, as none of the children of head protesters marched on the streets, exposing the hypocrisy of the provokers.

Parents must tell right from wrong, see through the vicious intentions of the protesters, and protect their children from being deceived.

Radical protesters no different than terrorists

Bewitched by “Hong Kong independence” and “color revolutions”, the radical protesters in Hong Kong have engaged in all kinds of illegal and violent activities.

They assaulted the Legislative Council Building, besieged the agency of the central people’s government in Hong Kong and sullied the national flag and emblem.

The radicals collected and used explosives and other weapons. Not only did they lay siege to police stations and attack the police, they also made threats against the police and their families on the internet.

Meanwhile, they blocked roads and traffic; they committed arson and sabotaged public facilities. What’s worse, they smashed shops, destroyed personal property and even detained and beat innocent journalists and tourists.

Such practices exhibited a nature of terrorism, which is intolerable in any country or region and has to be restrained.

Under the ulterior motive of overthrowing the government, the fierce and aggressive force in Hong Kong has launched violent attacks, undermined social order, and endangered the physical safety of the police and the public, exposing its anti-human essence and causing great harm to society.

Whether to judge from China Counter-terrorism Law or from the internationally recognized definition of terrorism, the radical protesters are one of the same.

Supported by illicit funds and manipulated by foreign schemers, these people dressed in black, who colluded with Hong Kong independence upholders, are growing more extreme.

They may chant slogans of “democracy” and “freedom”, but the escalating violence is nothing but a slap in the face to the rule of the law.

Although protesters wore masks to cover their faces, innocent citizens have seen though their ugly intentions and the despicable schemes of the black hands behind them.

“Taiwan independence” forces as well as external hostile forces such as the US and Britain have conspired to destabilize Hong Kong. On the other hand, radical protesters have resorted to violence to deliberately cause chaos in the region.

Hong Kong is being pushed to the point of total disaster. It is time for order to be restored.

It is the only choice for Hong Kong to take measures to control violent radicals, to stop the violence and chaos and combat terrorism to protect the fundamental interests of the region.

Escalating trade frictions won’t solve anything

It’s not hard to find that voices different from Washington always occurred in American society every time the US government took actions to escalate trade frictions with China.

On August 28, Washington announced that it would impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods starting from September 1 and December 15, respectively. On the same day, an American free trade association consisting of more than 160 business organizations sent a joint letter to the US government, demanding that all the tariffs on Chinese goods be immediately postponed.

The race between rationality and irrationality has become a distinguishing feature of China-US trade frictions. After months of escalating trade frictions with China, what problems does Washington want to solve? How does it intend to solve them? Why does it refuse to come back on the right track? Washington’s moves have made the world confused.

It is common sense that threatening other countries with tariffs and escalating trade frictions is not conducive to the settlement of the existing trade and economic issues, but makes the road to an agreement more lengthy.

Washington started the trade war with China as some people regard the US trade deficits with China as an absolute threat and think it is fair trade only when US dollars flow in from China.

What happened to the US after it escalated trade frictions with China? The cost of the tariff increases has been passed on to American consumers. They are losing money from their pockets as they pay higher prices for the same goods.

The escalating tariff war, while it gets the attention, has masked a sharp decline not in China-US trade, but in Chinese investments in the US, according to an article published on the website of the Foreign Policy magazine.

Agence France-Presse pointed out that imposing tariffs on Chinese goods will not help the US resolve its trade deficit issue.

There is no winner in the trade war and blindly escalating trade frictions can’t solve the economic and trade problems. The plan of certain people in the US to force China into concessions by escalating trade frictions is doomed to fail.

China will not make concessions in the face of extreme pressure. It is an inevitable choice whether the US likes it or not.

Mutual benefits and win-win results are the right pursuit of the time. To deal with the economic and trade issues, China and the US must focus on their common interests and make sincere actions to solve the problems.

The two countries should effectively create conditions to conduct consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect, instead of walking further along the wrong road.

China always believes that negotiating and cooperating with a calm attitude is the right path to solve problems. Such rational manner has won favor from people in China, the US and even the entire world.

China ushers in a new era of service economy

The service sector accounted for 52.2 percent of China’s total GDP in 2018, which suggests that China has entered an era of service economy, according to a research group with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

(Photo/Xinhua)

Xia Jiechang, head of the research team, made the remarks at a recent seminar on the development and opening-up of the country’s service industry in the new era.

The service sector has become a pillar of China’s economy, Xia added, noting that the tertiary industry attracted 46.3 percent of the country’s workforce and 56 percent of fixed-asset investment.

This was attributed to the high priority China places on developing its service industry as it has issued several documents in this regard, including a paper on promoting quality and expansion of capacity in the housekeeping service sector published by the State Council this June.

The country’s service industry still has its shortcomings, such as shortage of private services in education, healthcare and elderly care, structural imbalance between supply and demand, and backward management system.

Data showed that the average government education budget for general junior school students in Shanghai was over 30,000 yuan in 2016, while the figure in central China’s Henan province was only 7, 811 yuan.

To pursue high-quality development of the modern service sector, China needs to improve its market environment, support policies as well as laws and regulations on the protection of rights and interests of investors, market access, credit systems and governance, Xia noted.

China enjoys coordinated regional development

China has made steady progress in implementing its coordinated regional development strategy, contributing to its stable and sound economic growth and high-quality development.

The strategy includes advancing development in the western region, revitalizing the northeast, energizing the central region, integrating the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt, the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and the planning and building of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

As a result, regional development has become more balanced. Calculated with constant prices, the average annual growth rate of per capita GDP in the eastern, central, western, and northeastern regions in China between 1953 and 2018 was 7.2 percent, 8.2 percent, 8.5 percent, and 6.1 percent, respectively.

Coordinated regional development is a crucial step to tap into development potential and foster growth drivers.

China will create a medium-high-end consumption market of nearly 500 million people in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), which will significantly expand the country’s consumption demands, according to a report issued by the Academy of Macroeconomic Research (AMR) under the country’s National Development and Reform Commission.

Zhang Yan, an associate researcher at AMR, said that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a world-class bay area, will play an important role in driving economic growth and scientific and technological innovation, adding that the country will build it into a global innovation hub.

To further promote coordinated regional development, China needs to work faster to remove barriers between urban and rural areas and enhance the level of equal access to basic public services to boost domestic demand, Zhang noted.

The country also needs to address the infrastructural gap between the eastern and western region that hinders coordinated development. To this end, support for the western region will be intensified to build more railways and graded highways and improve the internet penetration rate.

Beijing Daxing International Airport deploys service robots

A bird’s-eye view of Beijing Daxing International Airport. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Beijing Daxing International Airport has deployed 10 virtual robots and 10 physical robots inside its terminal halls, delivering excellent performance results during their trial operation, according to the airport.

To improve passenger experience, the robots will interact with passengers to provide help with flight information, services, airport facilities and other information on how best to pass through security.

With functions such as indoor positioning and autonomous navigation, the physical robots are able to avoid obstacles automatically. They can also interact with passengers and provide information, including important airport activities and news.

These service robots are the epitome of the newly built smart airport. Reports confirm that the airport has applied smart technologies to develop 68 systems on 19 platforms to improve its operational efficiency and quality of service.

Mobile payment vitalizes small and micro-businesses

(Photo/Zhang Guorong)

Driven by mobile payment, China’s small and micro-businesses currently show great vitality and potential, continuing to fuel economic growth.

A report released on Aug. 6 suggests that in the first half of 2019, 90 percent of street vendors saw a growth in sales after they introduced mobile payment options.

Frequency of consumption at market stalls increased by 30 percent, and sales rose by 2.5 percent, said the report.

These free digital payment tools reduce trading time and operating costs for the vendors. Alipay, a mobile and online payment platform, plans to cut total costs of at least 50 billion yuan for owners of small businesses in the next three years.

Alipay also introduced online payment discounts and enabled users to borrow loans on the platform to stimulate consumption.

Mobile payment allows the positive influence of small businesses to be recognized within the national economy, said Yu Fenghui, an adjunct professor with Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

China has a total of 100 million small and micro-businesses. They consolidate the foundation of national economic development as a part of the private economy, which contributes to over 60 percent of GDP.

Yu said it is essential to provide more digital business tools to cut costs and optimize operation for vendors so that they can play a more significant role in the digital economy.

570 million people in China now use their mobile phones to pay, 80 percent of whom pay by scanning two-dimensional barcodes, according to a report released by China UnionPay in January.