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Education, health fees among key concerns

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:59

China to legislate on preschool education

China will push for legislation on preschool education to provide a legal guarantee for the operation and management of such institutions, Vice-minister of Education Tian Xuejun said on Nov 30.

Tian made the remarks at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office regarding a child abuse case at RYB Education New World Kindergarten in Beijing that received widespread attention in November. He said the Ministry of Education was already doing research on the legislation.

"The ministry will also complete the requirements on qualifications of teachers engaged in preschool education and is considering formulating a code of ethics for them," Tian said.

He also said a plan is on the way to step up supervision of kindergartens and solve the problem of insufficient resources for preschool education. Tian said the case exposed the conflict between public demand for preschool enrollment and insufficient development of preschool education.

"It also showed that some local authorities and kindergartens still have problems of unsound management and failure to implement or fully implement regulations," he said.

Rural health fee increase explained in detail

The National Health and Family Planning Commission recently responded to public concern of newly increased fees for a new rural cooperative medical system.

Fees charged in the new rural cooperative medical system have recently been raised from 30 yuan ($5.5) to 180 yuan.

The NHFPC explained that while fees for individuals have been raised, government financial subsidies to individuals have also been raised accordingly in recent years from the previous 20 yuan per person to 450 per person. At the same time, the government has a comprehensive medical assistance system for those unable to afford such fees. Also, the reimbursement proportion for hospitalization costs for those in the new rural cooperative medical system has also been raised from 35 percent to 75 percent.

Anti-espionage law will help national security

The State Council issued a circular on China's anti-espionage law on Wednesday with detailed rules for implementing the law.

The circular explains several terms in the law, including overseas institutions and organizations, individuals, spy organizations, spy organization agents and hostile organizations. It was made clear that national security departments under the State Council will identify unacceptable behavior.

According to the circular, providing funds, venues and materials to spy organizations and individuals will be identified as helping them.

Conducting espionage activities in the territory, accepting overseas funds to endanger national security or connect them for spying activities will also be deemed as collusion.

Staff members at national safety departments are authorized to arrest and hunt criminal suspects, and their anti-espionage activities will not be interrupted by any other illegal actions.

It said that Chinese people and organizations retain the right and privilege to secure national safety, and their contributions such as providing clues about spying activities, collaborating with national security departments and fighting espionage activities will also be rewarded.

International group praises green revival

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:46

High-level advisory panel pitches 15-year pollution fight, but holds China up as model

A high-level international advisory body applauded China's efforts to improve the environment and suggested a 15-year strategy against pollution in a draft recommendation report on Monday.

China has made building an ecological civilization an important goal and has taken comprehensive measures to improve the environment. This has resulted in positive results, including improved air quality, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said when chairing the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a high-level international advisory body.

Like Zhang, Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said he was impressed by China's tremendous achievements regarding its environment in recent years, in particular curbing much of the smog problem.

"China is capable of solving the environment problems themselves," said Solheim, the council's vice-chairman, adding the best practices taken by China could provide guidance to other areas facing similar issues.

His praise of China's approaches to move toward being an ecological civilization won wide support from other members of the environmental council, which includes senior officials and experts from home and abroad.

The council's draft recommendation presents highlights of the war against pollution in air, water and soil, and suggests the creation of a 15-year strategy that will be "focused on cost-effectiveness, synergies and ways to build public confidence about eventual results".

Ideally, the integrated rollout should be ready before 2020, to be in line with the 2035 pivot point, when China expects to be a "basic modern country", the draft said.

Solheim said he is confident that China can reach the 2035 goal to build a "beautiful China", considering the determined and effective efforts adopted in recent years.

Along with the longer-term strategy to curb pollution, council members suggested creating conditions for fair competition and incentives for green industries.

Based on the input from Monday's meeting, the advisers and their support teams will modify their proposal and provide a final version to the State Council through the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Beijing, Moscow drill for potential missile warfare

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:41

China and Russia kicked off their second joint computer-assisted anti-missile drill on Monday, a move experts said could deter potential missile threats amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The drill began on Monday in Beijing and is expected to conclude on Saturday, China's Defense Ministry said on its website on Monday. "This is a practical measure in fulfilling the important consensus reached by both countries' leaders on deepening Sino-Russian antimissile cooperation," it said.

"It will strengthen Sino-Russian mutual strategic trust, improve anti-missile cooperation between the two militaries and has great significance in jointly dealing with regional ballistic and cruise missile threats," the ministry said.

The exercise does not target any third party, it said. "China and Russia oppose the development of global anti-missile systems. The two militaries will increase practical cooperation in anti-missile defense, and jointly safeguard Chinese and Russian security interests and regional strategic balance."

The goal of the exercise is to "jointly train for anti-missile combat planning and preparation, launch command and firing coordination," Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said in a news briefing in November.

Tension on the Korean Peninsula has been mounting since the Democratic People's Republic of Korea launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November. DPRK media reported the missile could carry nuclear warheads and reach the continental United States.

Su Hao, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs Academy, said that it is crucial for China and Russia to bolster strategic trust and cooperate in anti-missile defense to protect their nations from potential threats.

Memorial Day a time to 'remember', 'inspire'

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:39

A memorial service to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre committed during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) brought together hundreds of activists and members of the Chinese and other Asian communities on Sunday in San Francisco.

The memorial, organized by the Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition, the Committee to Promote Reunification of China, the Alliance for Preserving the Truth of Sino-Japanese War and Comfort Women Justice Coalition, has been held annually for the past 20 years with the aim of exposing the Japanese Imperial Army's war crimes and encouraging people to understand and never forget the dark chapter of history.

"The Japanese army blatantly violated international conventions and committed the extremely cruel atrocity in Nanjing, where 300,000 Chinese were murdered and one-third of the buildings were destroyed," Zha Liyou, acting Chinese consul general in San Francisco, said at the service.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, which was China's capital at the time, on Dec 13, 1937. It then began a slaughter that lasted more than 40 days. Tens of thousands of women were raped.

"Our stories are linked. The fate of over 400,000 women sexually enslaved by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II is part and parcel of what happened during the Nanjing Massacre," said Judith Mirkinson, president of the Comfort Women Justice Coalition.

She said the 20th century has been called the most violent century in the history of the world, and that one way to ensure peace in the 21st century is through truth and reconciliation.

"Reconciliation does not come without truth. So the Japanese government must acknowledge their crimes," she said.

"They must give justice to those few people who still survive from the Nanjing Massacre and to the memory of what happened there," she said.

From the time that Japan invaded Northeast China in September 1931, followed by a full-scale invasion that started on July 7, 1937, around 35 million Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed or injured during the occupation, which continued until 1945.

To honor the victims and the survivors and to pursue justice and an enduring peace, the Chinese community worldwide joined hands this year to commemorate this historic event, which was designated by the Chinese government as National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.

"To remember the atrocities committed by the Japanese army during World War II does not mean to pass on the enmity but rather to remind people not to forget the history and inspire them to love peace," said Zha Liyou.

In 2015, the Nanjing Massacre was entered onto the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, a compendium aimed at preserving documented heritage of universal value.

More military technologies targeted for civilian sector to boost economy

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:38

Greater integration will spur innovation and cultivate new engines of growth

China will strengthen innovation by developing high-tech industries with military technologies to boost military-civil integration, a move that aims to cultivate new growth drivers and boost the economy, said a recent State Council guideline.

This was one of the seven key tasks set by the guideline on deepening the military-civil integration in the defense technology industry, which was released by the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Monday last week.

The guideline targets sharing technological innovation bases and facilities between military and civilian sectors while more efforts will be made to apply military technologies to non-military areas.



The military integration will also focus on key areas such as space, cyberspace and maritime sciences, while private capital is encouraged to enter military industries, the document said.

The guideline was the latest move by the central government to promote the military-civil integration to widen military contract orders to civilian sectors and apply high-end military technologies for civilian purposes as part of the supply-side structural reform.

In June, the General Office of the State Council released a guideline on civil aviation development to open airspace less than 3,000 meters in altitude and other industries such as cybersecurity and satellite navigation.

Shi Haiming, an associate professor at the National University of Defense Technology, said the guideline brings benefits for both private and military enterprises while pre-entry approvals will be changed into post-entry reviews to streamline administration, except those linking strategic weapons.

Meanwhile, Shi said the guideline lowers the access threshold for enterprises to enter the field of weaponry equipment and will make the process more transparent.

The document also will further reduce institutional costs for private enterprise by building better platforms to promote military-civil integration, he said.

In fact, many developed economies are highly reliant on military-civil integration.

For example, the United States' airplane maker Boeing sells China civil aviation aircraft worth billions of dollars each year and is known for its high-end military aircraft. Many Japanese multinational companies such as Toshiba and Mitsubishi have a department to take military orders.

The integration is a worldwide trend to fully improve the national defense capability, said Jiang Luming, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army.

In countries such as the US, the United Kingdom and Germany, less than 15 percent of military technologies are solely for military purposes and more than 80 percent are used for civilian purposes, Jiang said.

Jiang said in October last year that China has about 290,000 national defense intellectual property rights not being used due to the previously separated military and civil industries.

For example, breakthrough technologies such as engines and aluminum alloy materials can help ease production overcapacity and transform China's economy, he said. These new technologies can essentially boost economic growth and national defense, Jiang said.

The military industry has the priority to apply cutting-edge technologies and also make breakthrough innovations, Lu Guangshan, chairman of the Avionics System Co under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, was quoted by Shanghai Securities News as saying.

"For example, virtual reality headsets were first used in helmets for fighter jets and my company has developed six civilian industries such as virtual reality, drones, robotics and smart wearing," Lu said.

Military companies are encouraged to work with local governments to promote their advantageous expertise and develop a large number of new high-tech industries, Long Hongshan, chief engineer at the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, told a news conference last week.

These new industries will play a vital role in promoting local economic growth and creating new employment opportunities, Long said.

Currently, 30 percent of products made by China's military companies are for military purposes and the other 70 percent for civilian purposes, he said.

In the future, high-tech industries will cover half of the military-related economy, Long added.

Dangerous stunts get thumbs-down from video platforms

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:36

Multiple social media and video streaming platforms will limit who can view videos that depict dangerous stunts - and may even prohibit such material - in an effort to discourage imitators.

In November, daredevil stunt climber Wu Yongning fell to his death while scaling a skyscraper in Changsha, Hunan province. Wu, 26, had more than 1.3 million followers on social media who regularly devoured his breathtaking videos and photos. He climbed with no protective gear.

Last month, Wu's account on Sina Weibo stopped updating, leading followers to worry about his well-being.

On Friday, Wu's girlfriend confirmed on social media that the "rooftop daredevil" had fallen and died.

"Today is Dec 8. It makes me think of Nov 8, the day that you left us, left this world," she wrote.

Wu's family also confirmed his death to Jiefang Daily, a newspaper in Shanghai.

Meipai, Kuaishou, Xiaohuoshan and other video platforms on which Wu posted content, expressed their condolences, according to Platform representatives told the news outlet that China currently has no law regulating extreme stunt videos, but each platform will update its content policy to discourage imitators.

Kuaishou said Wu's account had been restricted - meaning that only the uploader can see it - in September because of its depictions of dangerous acts.

Xiaohuoshan said it will ban video livestreams of dangerous stunts because live interactions between the performer and the audience could be a distraction and lead to catastrophic results.

The platform also said it will respect the desires of Wu's family in dealing with the videos.

All of Wu's stunt videos on the three platforms had been restricted or taken down as of Monday. A cellphone video of Wu performing his last stunt and falling to his death on Nov 8, has also been taken down.

Wu was part of an informal community of young thrill-seekers around the world who engage in "roof-topping" - climbing to the top or to high ledges of buildings, often without a permit or protective gear, to take stomach-churning pictures and videos. The activity is generally illegal.

In January, an 18-year-old identified as Alexander Sh, fell to his death from Europe's second-tallest building - the 350-meter OKO Tower in Moscow. He was trying to take a selfie when he slipped and fell, Russian media reported.

Taiwan's New Party vows to help improve relations

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:33

Delegation to Beijing reaffirms support for one-China, rejection of agitators

Top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng met with a Taiwan delegation representing the island's New Party in Beijing on Monday to discuss the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and how to achieve the "great rejuvenation" of the Chinese nation.

Yu praised the New Party's unbroken stance upholding the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle, since the party's establishment, as well as its peaceful approach to relations.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which was held in October, further clarified the guidelines and policies addressing Taiwan, Yu said.

In his opening address to delegates during the congress, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, called the one-China principle the political foundation of cross-Straits relations, and said that attempts to move toward "Taiwan independence" in any form will be defeated.

Taiwan will share development opportunities on the Chinese mainland, and its residents will enjoy the same treatment as mainland people as they pursue studies, start businesses, seek jobs or come to live on the mainland, Xi said in the address.

Yok Mu-ming, chairman of the New Party and head of the Taiwan delegation, said the party has firmly upheld the one-China principle and promoted peace.

The delegation also met on Monday with Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office.

Zhang and Yok agreed that the one-China principle must be upheld going forward, expressed firm opposition to separatist activities and vowed to make efforts toward peaceful relations.

Both sides agreed to establish and improve mechanisms of communication, share opinions on major issues in the relationship and promote exchanges and communication in all fields - especially between youth. They further agreed to create a constructive and convenient environment for the development of Taiwan youth on the mainland.

Zhang said cross-Straits relations have faced challenges because the island's Democratic Progressive Party has refused to clearly express support for the one-China principle, which led to the mainland suspending official communications with the island.

He said that a "Taiwan independence" force had recently stirred up the island, proposing the removal of Chinese mainland elements in a variety of fields.

"Its aim is to cut the historical ties between Taiwan and the mainland, reduce public awareness that Taiwan people are part of the Chinese nation and limit many cultural influences on the island," he said.

Some people advocating "Taiwan independence" have pushed for amending the law, and have proposed changing the island's constitution. "This shows that separatist activities and the group supporting 'independence' pose the most serious threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations," Zhang said.

He warned that people from both sides should be vigilant and firmly oppose such activities.

Former Chongqing political official facing corruption investigation

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:28

Sun Zhengcai, the former secretary of Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, has been placed under investigation on suspicion of accepting bribes, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate on Monday.

According to the procuratorate, Sun has been placed under "coercive measures", which may include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

The investigation is underway, the procuratorate said in a statement released on Monday.

In July, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection launched an investigation into Sun for "serious violations of Party discipline".

The CCDI said in a news release that Sun betrayed Party principles and ignored the Party code of conduct and rules.

He was found to have seriously violated the CPC's eight-point code on frugality and maintaining close ties with the masses, seeking pomp, ostentation and privileges, according to the CCDI.

The CCDI said he was guilty of nepotism and seeking benefits in selection of officials. He was found by the CCDI to have leaked confidential Party information and seriously breached Party rules on integrity.

Moreover, he abused power and used his job to gain benefits for others, then accepted their huge bribes in return, either paid in cash or properties, the CCDI said. He was found to seek substantial benefits for his relatives' businesses and accepted valuable gifts, the CCDI said.

The anti-graft inspectors also accused Sun of bureaucracy and sloth in work and degradation and power-for-sex trades, according to the CCDI.

Sun totally deviated from the Party spirit and political requirements of senior officials, the CCDI said in the statement, adding that his misconduct betrayed the trust of the CPC Central Committee and the public, inflicting huge harm to the Party and the country with "extremely bad" social influences.

The CCDI transferred the criminal evidence involving his case to judicial authorities for further investigation.

In September, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee expelled Sun from the Party and dismissed him from public office.

China Daily - Xinhua

Satellite lofted for first Arab country

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 16:27


Algeria's first communications satellite is launched on Monday. JU ZHENHUA/XINHUA

A Chinese-made communications satellite became the first "export" of such a spacecraft to an Arab country when it was launched by China on Monday for Algeria.

A Long March 3B carrier rocket blasted off at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan at 12:40 am. It soared for about 26 minutes before placing the Alcomsat-1, the Algeria's first communications satellite, into geostationary transfer orbit, according to a news release from China Great Wall Industry Corp, the project contractor.

President Xi Jinping and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika exchanged congratulatory messages on Monday morning on the successful mission.

In his message, Xi said that the satellite project is an important manifestation of the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership. It has become a good example of space cooperation between China and Arab countries and will play a significant role in promoting Algeria's economic and social development, he said.

Xi said that Beijing is willing to work with Algeria to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, deepening the bilateral partnership so as to benefit the two countries and peoples.

Bouteflika said that Alcomsat-1 is a remarkable achievement in space cooperation between the two countries and reflects the deep traditional friendship between the two sides. Algeria is willing to work with China to strengthen cooperation, he said.

The satellite contract was signed in December 2013 between the Algerian Space Agency and China Great Wall Industry Corp, the country's largest space contractor in the international market.

Alcomsat-1 was designed and manufactured by the China Academy of Space Technology, part of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, based on the DFH-4 satellite platform.

With a liftoff weight of 5.2 metric tons and a designed life of 15 years, the satellite will be used for a wide variety of public services such as television broadcasting, emergency communications, remote education and satellite-based signal augmentation, according to Great Wall Industry.

Fu Zhiheng, vice-president of the company, said Alcomsat-1 is as good as Western communications satellites in terms of technology and capacity. He said there are other contracts between his firm and Arab countries, without elaborating.

Water diversion project drives environmental improvements and provides new jobs for locals

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:57
Residents stroll through the streets of Ankang city, Shaanxi province. [Xinhua]

Tuesday marks the third anniversary of the start of operations of the central route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, a massive infrastructure program designed to transport water from the south of the country to the arid northern regions via three separate channels.

So far, more than 10 billion cubic meters of water have been carried to North China via the central route, benefiting more than 53 million people.

The environmental improvements that have resulted from protection efforts in the regions that supply the water-the provinces of Henan, Hubei and Shaanxi-have attracted investment and brought new job opportunities in green industries, including tourism and ecological agriculture, benefiting people in the areas that supply the water.

Xia Qinghua is one of them. The 43-year-old was employed in a small toy factory in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, for 12 years before he returned to his home, Chenjiawan, a village in Hubei's Shiyan city, in June.

He had long wanted to return, but was prevented by a shortage of jobs. However, the situation changed after Hubei Beidouxing Eco-agriculture and Forestry Co began investing in the area in 2014, lured by the cleaner environment.

"Great improvements have happened to the environment in my hometown. When I left at age 17, I had never seen an egret. Now, there are birds everywhere. They are beautiful," he said.

Though he earned more than 5,000 yuan ($756) a month in Shenzhen, Xia often had to work until 11 pm.

"The salary was good, but I felt lonely and helpless because I had no family around me," he said.

In 2011, he attempted to return to Chenjiawan, but the move wasn't successful. "There weren't many business opportunities in the poverty-stricken area at the time," he said. Xia had spent 50,000 yuan on a small truck and started a transportation business, but he lost his investment and was 20,000 yuan in debt after a year, so he was forced to return to Shenzhen.

After that, he only returned home once a year, for the Spring Festival holiday, and leaving his family was always a tearful affair.

"I remember very clearly leaving home on the evening of the fifth day of the Lunar New Year in 2013. My wife, my daughter and I cried in each other's arms. They all didn't want me to go," he recalled, tears glinting in his eyes.

Now, he works in the warehouse at a farm operated by Hubei Beidouxing, making about 2,000 yuan a month. Even though he earns less than he did in Shenzhen, Xia is much happier because he is close to his family and can care for his 70-year-old father, who is unwell. He supplements his income by leasing 0.5 hectares of farmland to Hubei Beidouxing, which brings in an extra 4,000 yuan a year.

The Danjiangkou Reservoir in Shiyan, Hubei province, is a source area for the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. [Liu Jiao/For China Daily]

Li Wei, head of the farm, said the company rents 200 hectares of land from residents of three nearby villages, which have a combined population of about 5,000. While 500 villagers work on the farm full time, a further 2,000 are employed seasonally every year.

So far, the company has invested 280 million yuan in the farm, which has been in operation since 2014. However, the enterprise only became profitable this year; Hubei Beidouxing made more than 2 million yuan from the sale of fruits and flowers, and the farm attracts a steady flow of visitors who come to view the blossoms on the trees and pick fruit, he said.

The company has bought a number of vehicles to provide free transportation for sightseers. "The purpose of offering these services is not to make money. Instead, we hope to attract tourists and create business opportunities for people in local villages," Li added.

Some local residents have also started providing services in their homes, such as restaurants and guest rooms. In response to the rise in the number of visitors, Xia plans to provide tourist services too.

The most recent data is not yet available, but the Office of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project said that between 2011 and 2015 the central government invested more than 17 billion yuan in environmental protection measures in the area that supplies the central route.

Beijing and Tianjin, two of the prime beneficiaries of the project, have also invested a combined 2.3 billion yuan in 650 projects, including a number designed to protect the environment and develop ecological industries, such as eco-agriculture and tourism. The municipalities have also mobilized local businesses to invest 88 billion yuan in 118 projects.

People stroll on a walking path near an embankment of Hanjiang River in Ankang, Shaanxi province. [Shao Rui/Xinhua]

Marketing opportunities

Last year, Chen Guosheng returned to his hometown of Shiquan county in Ankang city, Shaanxi, which is also located in the source area for the water diversion project.

The entrepreneur was prompted to return by the rise in the number of business opportunities resulting from the improvement to the local environment.

"The improvements have resulted in a lot of high-quality farm produce, but the local farmers don't know how to market or sell the goods," he said.

In response, Chen's company, Shaanxi Baren Tourism and Culture Co, is building marketing channels, and has invested 20 million yuan to transform Zhongba, a small village, into a business hub.

His plan is that tourists will be able to visit for sightseeing and also learn how to make local delicacies, including tofu and cooking oil, using local farm produce and traditional facilities and methods. A trial has been in operation since Oct 1, while the village is being redeveloped.

Chen also rents 67 hectares of land, which he has turned into a tea plantation. The leaves grown on the plantation are highly rated by a tea merchant in Guangdong province, who has ordered a continuous supply.

Business opportunities are also being nurtured in Madeng township, Nanyang city, Henan, via a 1,667-hectare forestry project intended to restore desertified land in a mountainous area.

Two scenic spots are the township's main tourist attractions, generating annual revenue of 35 million yuan. Now, the local government is using the forestry project, which has attracted investment of 82 million yuan, to widen the area's appeal to visitors.

Cherry and Chinese cherry apple trees will be planted along roadsides to create attractive scenery, while pomegranates and walnuts will be cultivated to allow tourists to pick their own fruit, said Zhou Yushan, head of the Madeng government.

In 2009, the per capita income in the township was about 3,000 yuan, but this year the figure is double that thanks to the tourism boom. There are now more than 100 "farm resorts" in the township, according to Zhou.

"The environmental improvements are bringing more opportunities for the development of tourism. All nine registered impoverished villages in the township will be lifted out of poverty by the end of the year," he said.

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Oldest Nanjing Massacre survivor dies at 100

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:32
Guan Guangjing, the oldest Nanjing Massacre survivor until his death on Sunday, works in his vegetable garden. [Xinhua]

The oldest survivor of the Nanjing Massacre died on Sunday, and fewer than 100 survivors remain, the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre said on Monday.

State leaders will attend a public memorial ceremony at the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders on Wednesday.

Guan Guangjing died at age 100 three days before the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims. He had been bedridden for six months because of heart disease and died at home from multiple organ failure, his 76-year-old son-in-law, who gave only his surname as Liu, said by phone.

Guan contributed verbal testimony to Irrefutable Evidences, A Memoir of the Lishui Bombing Caused by Japanese Invaders, published by Nanjing Press in November 2016. The book collected 31 survivors' oral accounts of the bombing in Nanjing's Lishui county on Nov 29, 1937, and took more than 1,200 lives.

He said in the book that he hid under a big rock during the bombing and witnessed his neighbors, including the four generations of a family surnamed Sun, being killed.

Guan later managed to stay alive by hiding wherever he could during the massacre, in which more than 300,000 Chinese were killed by Japanese invaders, when Nanjing, then China's capital, was occupied in December 1937.

Officials from the memorial hall said Guan narrated that he witnessed Japanese invaders killing people multiple times.

Guan is pictured showing his survivor identification and posing with his daughters. His oral testimony about his survival was published in a book last year. [Xinhua]

The National Memorial Day falls on Dec 13, and this year marks the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.

"Guan was an orphan before 1937 and had no siblings. Five years ago, his wife died at age 84," Liu said.

Internet users mourned for Guan after the memorial hall announced his death on Sina Weibo on Sunday.

The Weibo post said Guan used to be a barrel maker in Lishui county and lived a frugal life. He was always willing to help others and was highly esteemed in the local community, it said.

It also said his family donated several of his personal articles to the memorial hall, including a paper fan, a watch and a teapot.

Zhang Sheng, a history professor at Nanjing University, said only about half of the more than 90 survivors can express themselves clearly as most are older than 85.

Wu Lisong, a history lecturer at Nanjing University, said the public used to believe that the survivor's pain would pass but have come to realize that it lasts a lifetime.

"Some of them are stricken with fright when people wearing Japanese military uniforms appear on the TV screen, and some become irritable whenever people mention those years to them," said Wu, who since September 2016 has led a project collecting oral accounts from survivors.

"Neither an apology nor compensation can reverse the traumas to the victims and survivors, but we still must make clear the history, which may be a starting point of reconciliation," he said.

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AIIB loans $250m for Beijing coal-to-gas conversion

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:27
A worker installs gas pineline at a village in Anping township of Xianghe county, Hebei province, Nov 2, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank announced on Monday a $250 million loan for a natural gas project in Beijing, the bank's first such investment in China, to help cut coal use and improve air quality in the capital area.

The loan, also the AIIB's first corporate financing deal, will be extended to Beijing Gas Group Co to carry out coal-to-gas conversion projects that will enable rural households to use gas instead of coal for cooking and heating. The project will involve construction of natural gas distribution networks, pipelines and household connection facilities, the Beijing-based multilateral financial institution said in a statement.

Scheduled to be completed in 2021, the project will help China reduce coal use by about 650,000 metric tons annually through connecting about 216,750 households in approximately 510 rural villages to the natural gas distribution network, according to the AIIB.

China has been fighting pollution by adopting stricter environmental rules including coal-to-gas conversion plans to reduce emissions.

Jin Liqun, AIIB president, said the bank's first investment in China fits its mission of supporting members' green, sustainable development.

"China's commitment to reducing its reliance on coal will change lives and improve the environment, and that is why we are investing in a project aligned with that ambitious plan," Jin said in a statement.

Jin added that it will help China introduce sustainable infrastructure that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help stimulate one of the most important economic hubs in Asia.

The energy project funded by the AIIB could mean that the multilateral financial institution will offer more financing for environment-related infrastructure projects in China, an important member of the AIIB, said Zeng Gang, a financial researcher at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"Green financing in China will clearly be an important target for the AIIB," Zeng said. "It is reasonable that the AIIB is the provider of long-term financing with relatively low cost for such infrastructure projects, especially when Chinese commercial banks are facing greater liquidity pressure."

Li Li, energy research director at ICIS China, an energy consulting firm, said AIIB financing should be welcomed, but the nation should also boost investment in seasonal gas storage facilities, diversify import channels and improve the pricing mechanism to address potential shortages.

Discovering Yunnan’s Tibetan Plateau - A personal Shangri-La

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:09


Zhongdian street scene 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

High in the northwestern uplands of Yunnan lies a popular destination known as Shangri-La since 2001. When Bruce Connolly visited it in 1995, it was called Zhongdian. A town partly fulfilling Bruce’s Tibetan dream.

Basket and brush store 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Visiting Tibet, an ambition from schooldays, felt like an “impossible dream”. Even in 1995 it remained both difficult and expensive to even reach Lhasa. Infrastructure, particularly for individual travelers, was challenging.

Basket and brush store 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

In '95 I was "discovering" Yunnan's Lijiang before heading to Qiaotou (Hutiaoxiazhen). A spectacular location where the small Zhongdian River flows into the Upper Yangzi or Jinshajiang (Golden Sand River). Qiaotou, gateway to magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge, was fun. Over three days I would sit outside aptly named "Backpackers' Cafe", fascinated with passing heavy blue trucks, often with Tibetan script painted on their doors. The cafe owner pointed along the street saying "They are from Zhongdian, a mainly Tibetan area, just up the road!" A chance for me to experience a "touch of Tibet"?

Carrying children Zhongdian 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Next morning I boarded a bus to "Zhong Dian". The start of a journey, at times terrifying, as we climbed out from Qiaotou along a highway perched above a fast flowing river that villagers crossed via wire ropes. The road was bumpy and in places partly washed away by recent landslides - boulders fell towards the cascading waters. My fellow passengers were fascinating to observe - a representation of probably every ethnic nationality from northwestern Yunnan. Sitting beside me a maroon-robed Buddhist monk prayed with wooden beads.

Copper cooking pots 1995.[Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The road climbed through dense alpine forest with little human habitation before emerging onto an extensive grassy plateau. Tibetans referred to the area as Gyaitang or "Royal Plains". We were 3,200 meters above sea level with amazing visual clarity. Rows of tall wooden frames carried drying corn cobs. Grazing goats, sheep and cattle were watched over by Tibetan herders. I had reached the Tibetan part of Yunnan.

Domestic house front 1995.[Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The road would continue north skirting past Sichuan before entering Tibet and on to Lhasa. My destination however was much closer. Heading past increasing numbers of villages; white chortens surrounded by prayer flags rose alongside the highway. Rounding a bend there lay Zhondian. We had arrived safely at what for me would be "Shangri-la" for several days.

Grandmother and child at the market 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Tourism had not then taken off - airport and expressway connections have since opened up the area. In 1995 accommodation was limited. I booked into the surprisingly good Tibet Hotel offering great food with a menu in English! Zhongdian was increasingly expanding with low-rise concrete buildings; my hotel bordered the older town. Sadly around half of this unique neighborhood was destroyed by fire on January 11, 2014. Flames spread rapidly due to extensive use of wood within traditional construction. In ’95 large logs from local forests were piled up for future building work, or maybe for fuel? It was interesting to watch new homes being built - side walls mainly composed of whitewashed adobe brick but facades were of highly ornate wood. Buildings were large, some with upper floor balconies. At street level space was used for storage or converted into "walk-in" shops offering a fairly limited range of simple produce such as drinks, noodles, biscuits, household supplies along with personal items such as soap and toothpaste.

Household goods on display 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

For me, as I wandered around, Zhongdian was taking on the feel of a traveller’s dream, particularly around the semi-enclosed bustling central market. Hundreds of brass prayer lamps alongside circular mounds of yak butter sat on stalls along the sidewalk. Piles of unfamiliar varieties of mushrooms were there - apparently many were shipped overseas, particularly to Japan. Tibetan women wearing red or green headscarves pushed heavy black bicycles. Some carried children in back shawls.

Lama sitting outside Zhongdian market. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

It is important not to remember it through "rose-tinted spectacles". The town was still relatively isolated, it was just starting to open up. The older area, which was fascinating to wander through, felt like an interface between rural and semi-urban with cattle, pigs and dogs wandering around unpaved back streets. Like many older areas in China at that time, dwellings frequently had no running water. Even at the hotel I noticed my laundry being hand washed in a plastic basin. However it also felt like a place waiting to be discovered.

Preparing lunch at Zhongdian market 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

I could feel within me that the older area had the potential to become a "high-altitude Dali". Indeed combining Dali, Lijiang, Zhongdian and much in between there was the making of excellent travel possibilities. Such towns were historically long connected. Known locally as Deqen, like other north Yunnan settlements, it was on the historic "Tea Horse Trail" where from the 6th century Pu’er tea was transported by packhorse from sub-tropical Simao up to Lhasa. Wandering around, looking at people in their heavy traditional clothes I would wonder how many could trace their ancestry back through the centuries. Older Zhongdian in '95 had the impression of a town where people never or rarely left.

Sitting at market foodstall 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

The market area was a constant source of interest and photo opportunities. Just sitting watching life in all its forms could captivate me for hours. Scenes so far removed not just from more developed eastern coastal cities but also from Kunming, the provincial capital. I was fascinated with headgear - not just the colorful range of Tibetan, Yi, Naxi and Bai ladies styles but also the men with wide-brimmed almost cowboy-style - useful with the strong sun on the grasslands. One elderly man wearing a knee-length brown suede coat contentedly sat smoking a long-stem pipe. Next to him a lama from the nearby monastery appeared deep in thought. Tibetans appeared clearly in the majority around this bustling commercial area, although with so many different dialects and languages there was the continual mixture of quite incomprehensible sounds. With the number of people thronging through the tight spaces between stalls, photography was challenging, often having the camera ready to fire in the hope of successfully capturing images of this moment in time. Every corner presented reasons to stop, stare and wonder what the utensils were used for such as tall copper pots that seemed to have come from a bygone age. Were they for cooking? I had never seen the likes before. Then there were the meat cleavers simply laid out on the ground - something safety regulations back home in Scotland would forbid, yet there they were spread out in public view. I did feel Zhongdian was a safe place - indeed there certainly felt harmony amongst the various ethnic groups I met.

Small temple above the Old Town of Zhongdian 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Food stalls were intriguing. While vegetables such as corn and potatoes were produced locally the large quantities of fresh fruits must have been trucked up from lower parts of Yunnan. Locals laughed as I tried to photo a table heaving with sheep heads - maybe what the copper cooking pots were for? Then there were the restaurant booths where cooking was through woks over wood-fired stoves.

Smoking long stem pipe 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

It was the constant sense of activity. While some Bai women sat having lunch at an outdoor eatery, a Tibetan grandmother with a young boy walked past alongside other heavily garbed women chatting profusely.

Traders selling mushrooms at roadside 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

So quickly I was realizing Zhongdian was a discovery where I could have spent a considerable amount of time, but that was a luxury in short supply. I knew I had to get every minute out of my remaining few days there.

Vegetable stall holder Zhongdian 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Walking initially was my preferred way of discovering Zhongdian. With very few cars on the streets most people got around by bicycle, small three-wheel farm pick-up trucks or by rather dated minibuses. Larger buses occasionally headed north out of town toward centers such as Benzilan, bordering Sichuan, but in 1995 unfortunately off-limit to foreign travelers. Indeed Zhongdain had only recently been opened-up. Being relatively compact a short walk would soon lead into the surrounding countryside. A hill rising a short distance to the north was my initial destination. However I had forgotten something - altitude! With the town itself mostly flat, walking proved no problem, but going up a small hill was unexpectedly challenging. However, reaching the summit covered with prayer flags the view was of the urban core: of countless whitewashed villages set amidst an expanse of green; of a distant lake and the nearby monastery. It was obvious there lay much more to discover about my personal "Shangri-la" with Tibet oh so close but still so far from me.
It was time to hire a bicycle!

Wearing a traditional wide-brimmed hat 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/] Wood used in building construction 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/] Wood-fronted house under construction 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/] Yak butter lamps 1995. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Xi: Uproot undesirable work styles

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 13:51

Fight to continue against hedonism, extravagance and other misconduct

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, stressed that the fight against undesirable work styles should not be stopped. Xi made the remark in an instruction released on Monday in response to an article by Xinhua News Agency about new forms of misconduct.

The new forms of misconduct are, in their nature, old problems, said Xi, also president and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

In the instruction, Xi warned about the intractability and recurrence of undesirable work styles — formalities for formalities' sake, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance.

"The efforts to address such misconduct should not be stopped and the work to improve the Party's conduct and work styles should never end," Xi said.

Xi told Party and governmental departments of all localities and in all sectors to check their own performance in this regard and take concrete measures to rectify problems, especially the most prominent ones such as seeking excessive publicity but lacking solid practice and implementation.

He also asked leading officials at all levels to take the lead in the campaign.

The practice of formalities for formalities' sake should also be strictly avoided in the upcoming CPC campaign on "staying true to our founding mission," Xi said.

The Xinhua article pointed out that although the fight against undesirable work styles has yielded major achievements, problems still linger as some officials conduct perfunctory work in their research and inspections. Some Party and governmental agencies and their workers show false concern for the public without doing practical work to serve the people.

There are also problems such as local governments working for the attention of higher officials, rather than for the people's satisfaction, the article noted.

It also pointed out cases of officials dodging responsibilities as well as inaction, sloth, double-dealing and duplicity by some officials.

The general office of the CPC Central Committee has issued a circular asking all Party and governmental agencies to study and implement Xi's instruction with prompt action.

It called on them to carefully sift out new forms of undesirable work styles, resolutely correct them and make solid improvement in this respect.

Stressing that the upcoming New Year's and Spring Festival season will be an important point in the fight, the circular told authorities to resolutely prevent the return of misconduct and to consolidate and build on the advances made in implementing the central Party leadership's eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct.


Xi-style diplomacy brings China closer to world

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 06:39

BEIJING -- A China-style major-country diplomacy has taken shape over the past five years through the overseas trips by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The 29 visits to 58 countries and major international and regional organizations across the five continents have helped win Xi the title of "chief diplomat" of China.

The trips have enhanced a leadership role for China in global peace, security, governance and development, and promoted a better understanding worldwide of a Chinese vision and approach that includes win-win cooperation and efforts towards building a community with a shared future for mankind.


Xi's first foreign trip since he became Chinese president was to Moscow in March 2013, where he debuted his diplomatic approach.

"To keep up with the times, we cannot have ourselves physically living in the 21st century, but with a mindset belonging to the past, stalled in the old days of colonialism, and constrained by zero-sum Cold War mentality," Xi told an audience at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, while calling for building a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core.

Xi's six visits to Russia and more than 20 meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin on various occasions have lifted China-Russia ties to their best in history. The two countries together serve as an anchor for global peace and security.

"I believe that the model of bilateral relations that we have created should become one of the examples of civilized interaction between countries in the 21st century," Chairman of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said.

The principles Xi put forward of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation have helped stabilize China-US relations over White House leadership changes and consequent uncertainties.

Xi's exchanges with US President Donald Trump led to the establishment of new high-level dialogue mechanisms between China and the United States in a bid to promote global peace and security.

China-Europe relations have expanded with each of Xi's tours to the continent. China seeks a partnership with the European Union based on peace, growth, reform and mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. China's excellent relationship with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have largely eased Europeans' worries about China.

During the past five years, half of Xi's overseas visits were dedicated to promoting ties with China's neighbors, including the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism, the updated version of the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Area, and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, among others.

Meanwhile, cooperation with developing countries in Africa and Latin America has grown, with China's involvement in a number of infrastructure and development projects.


Xi's proposal to build a community with a shared future for mankind is a central pillar of multilateralism. The proposal shines light on China's diplomatic efforts over the past five years concerning individual states and regional and international organizations.

From the UN General Assembly, the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meetings, to the Group of 20 (G20) forum and the BRICS summit which embraces Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Xi has reaffirmed China's commitment to economic globalization, UN-led multilateralism and global peace.

Globalization is falsely blamed for a sluggish global economy, high unemployment, a rise in trade protectionism, populism and isolationism, terrorism, the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East and the widening gap between rich and poor.

"In the face of both opportunities and challenges of economic globalization, the right thing to do is to seize every opportunity, jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalization," Xi said in a keynote WEF speech in January.

He listed an innovation-driven growth, open and win-win cooperation, fairer governance as well as balanced and inclusive development as the way forward for the global economy. Multilateralism is the solution for global problems, and China has been a strong pillar of it.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind is embodied in the Belt and Road Initiative Xi proposed in 2013, which is aimed at building trade and infrastructure networks in countries along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

Moreover, the initiative's projects involving new railways, roads, and industrial zones in Asia and Africa are aligned with the development strategies of many countries and are being hashed out with the United Nations 2030 sustainable development goals in mind. The Belt and Road Initiative is perhaps the greatest gift China has ever offered to the world.

"In an increasingly interdependent and integrated world where countries form a community of shared interests, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation are the only viable option," Xi said at the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries during the BRICS summit held in September in Xiamen, China.

"Multilateralism is the solution for the global problems, and China has been a strong pillar of multilateralism," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. His predecessor Ban Ki-moon has called China "an indispensable partner for the UN's agenda."

China's continued support for the Paris climate change accord after the US withdrawal and its significant contributions to UN peacekeeping missions are also among its efforts to make the world a better place.

China to hold annual memorial for Nanjing Massacre victims

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 05:08

BEIJING - China will hold an annual memorial for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre, in the eastern city of Nanjing Wednesday.

Leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the central government will attend the ceremony at a square in front of the Memorial Hall for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

The event will be broadcast live by media outlets including China National Radio, China Central Television, China Radio International, and major news portals.

On Dec. 13, 1937, Nanjing fell to Japanese invaders who went on a more than month-long slaughter of civilians. About 300,000 Chinese were killed, and 20,000 women raped.

In February 2014, China's top legislature designated December 13 as a national memorial day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

Beijing’s Haidian district halts removal of building signs

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 04:52

Urban management authorities in Beijing’s Haidian district have suspended the removal of signs and billboards from buildings, and have not made a decision when work would resume.

According to a notice released Saturday but only widely publicized Monday, Haidian district has ordered a stop to sign removal in the district out of concerns for workers’ safety in windy weather and the problems residents were having finding their way without the signs as references.

Removal work currently underway should be completed to ensure safety, the notice said.

The notice also stressed that in the future the removal and installation of signs should be carried out simultaneously.

The Beijing Commission of City Management launched a citywide campaign in December to limit the number and placement of signs on buildings in order to "create an urban skyline that is visually clear and bright".

The campaign was launched as part of the capital's urban plan for 2016 to 2035.

According to a notice from the commission, all signs and billboards attached to roofs must be removed. In addition, there can be only one sign with a building's name on the third story or higher, and the name should be the same as the one registered with planning authorities.

Each of the capital's 16 districts will launch an enforcement campaign, the notification said, and any failure by institutions and individuals to remove noncompliant signs will be noted on their credit record.

Signage must be removed by the end of December and the commission will inspect the capital "road by road" in January, the notice said.

The campaign has provoked heated discussion online. While some Beijing residents applauded the campaign, others worried that it would be difficult for them to find their destinations.

"Without signage, I experienced much difficulty in finding the destination in places I am not familiar with," said Shi Shunji, a resident of Haidian district.

In response to the concern, an unnamed official from the commission told Qianlong, a website operated by the city government, that they would work along with property owners to reinstall new signage "as soon as possible".

The official added that the campaign is not aimed at “stifling individuality” but to encourage property owners to design their signage within a "prescribed frame".

PLA Navy stations women on Nansha Islands for the 1st time

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 04:33

The People’s Liberation Army has sent 10 of its female members to join the garrison guarding the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea, according to the PLA Navy.

The first group of female members sent by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to join the garrison guarding the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea is seen in this picture taken on December 11, 2017. [Photo by Li Tang for]

The Navy said in a news release Monday afternoon that this has been the first time for female service members to be stationed on Nansha Islands, the country’s southernmost territories. They formally started working on Yongshu Reef from Monday.

The 10 women are officers and sergeants with an average age of 23. All of them have a university diploma, the release said, adding they have been assigned to a wide range of posts such as staff, communications and medical service.

The first group of female members sent by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to join the garrison guarding the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea is seen in this picture taken on December 11, 2017. [Photo by Li Tang for]

Zhang Jiahong, political commissar of the PLA Nansha Islands Garrison, was quoted by the release as saying that these female members will be sent back to the mainland every several months for rest to ensure their health.

Zhou Yaling, one of the women, said Nansha is more beautiful than what they had imagined. “There are airports, harbors, streets, hospitals and sporting grounds. All of them make the islands like a lovely city on the sea,” she was quoted as saying in the release.

Before them, there have been female PLA members on the islands but they were in short missions and still took orders from units that sent them there, the China Daily reporter learned.

Forum tackles urban problems for sustainable future

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 04:21

A forum tackling the more challenging problems in urban development gathered people in this area on Saturday to raise awareness of greener and more sustainable urban development.

Wang Yawei, board chairman of Shunxin Construction.

Attendees at the China Urban Development and Finance Forum, sponsored by Shunxin Construction, exchanged views on urban development that is "innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared by all", where government, enterprises and institutes can work together to achieve win-win results.

Wang Yawei, board chairman of Shunxin Construction, said his company will adhere to development that is "innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared by all" and push forward supply-side reform to grow sustainably. Wei Wuqun, general manager[please check to make sure my edit is more accurate] of Shunxin Construction Investment and Fund, said funding is one of the best solutions to urban development and state-owned enterprise reform.

Wang Zhongjie from the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design took Sanya of Hainan province as an example to explain the concept of "urban restoration", which has a goal of restoring the urban environment and the look of the city with its cultural connotations.

China Urban Development and Finance Forum in Beijing December 9, 2017

China is on an urbanization campaign to tackle overcrowded big cities and underdeveloped second- and third-tier cities and townships after the 19th Congress of the CPC.

The forum included two seminars on the balance between urban development and environmental resources and smart urban finance respectively. Representatives from pilot cities of urban restoration attended the seminars to share their experience and views.

Emojis frown on corruption

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 03:59

An emojis package highlighting the eight-point austerity rules has become a hit on the internet.

It was launched by China's top discipline watchdog to promote the spirit of austerity in an innovative way.

The package has 16 emojis, each promoting a specific idea, for example, opposing formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance, opposing privileges, forbidding improper allocation and use of official vehicles or reducing the number of meetings.

The emojis went viral after they were published on the website and WeChat account of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Nov 3.

The emojis package has been downloaded over 130,000 times on WeChat, and has been shared more than 500,000 times via the app, the CCDI said.

The package was launched to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the eight-point rules, which were issued by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Dec 4, 2012, aiming to reduce bureaucracy, extravagance and undesirable work practices of Party members.

The CCDI said that the launch was to consolidate and strengthen the implementation of the eight-point rules, and promote the spread of the spirit of austerity among people in an easily understood way.

An official from the CCDI told Beijing News on Dec 4 that they want to find innovative ways to convey serious subjects by making good use of modern communication.

"There's still room for the emojis to be improved in both quantity and quality," the official told the Beijing News. "They are far from covering all aspects of the eight-point rules due to their limited number."

China Discipline Inspection Daily said last week that the emojis were popular because China's anti-corruption achievements in the past five years have really won the deep support of the people.

Over the past five years, about 263,000 Party members who were found to have violated the eight-point rules have been punished, the CCDI said.