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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.

zhaolei@chinadaily.com.cn

WWII memorials solemn reminders of war tragedy

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:14

Dec 13 marks the National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims, which is established to commemorate the 300,000 Chinese people killed by Japanese troops after the fall of Nanjing in World War II.

Memorial days were set up by governments of the war’s major belligerents to remember those who died or sacrificed themselves, and to remind people of tragedies caused by war. Here are ways different countries keep the memory of the wartime history alive.

People pay tribute to the victims of the Nanjing Massacre at the Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Dec 13, 2016.  [Photo/IC] A visitor reads an exhibit plaque at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial on Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan 27, 2014 in Oranienburg, Germany. [Photo/VCG]

Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan 27 marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It commemorates the genocide in which millions of Jewish people, Romani people, mentally and physically disabled people and homosexuals were killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during WWII. The event is observed in countries such as Poland, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow on May 8, 2012. [Photo/VCG]

Russia

Victory Day is a holiday on May 9 that commemorates the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War. The day marks the surrender of Germany in WWII on May 9, 1945. It is also celebrated in other former Soviet republics including Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine.

 

Flowers lie at the Soviet Memorial during a wreath-laying ceremony in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on May 8, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. [Photo/VCG]

Europe

Victory in Europe Day is celebrated on May 8 annually to commemorate the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s surrender, which marked the end of WWII in Europe. Celebrations are held in European countries, including the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Israeli soldiers stand at attention during the state ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day on April 23, 2017 at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. [Photo/VCG]

Israel

The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan – between late April and early May. The day marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, an act of Jewish resistance within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during WWII.

Survivor Victor Miranda wipes his eyes during the memorial ceremony commemorating the WWII attack on Pearl Harbor at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument on Dec 7, 2012 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. [Photo/VCG]

The United States

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually in the US on Dec 7 to remember and honor the 2,403 citizens of the US who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec 7, 1941.

Former ROK president Lee Myung-Bak attends a memorial ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Korea at the historic Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul on Aug 15, 2010. [Photo/VCG]

Korean Liberation Day

Korean Liberation Day on Aug 15 marks the day when Japan surrendered in WWII and Korea realized its liberation from the 35-year colonial rule of Japan. It is celebrated annually both by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea.

Citizens in Pyongyang put flowers in front of the statue of the late DPRK founder Kim Il-sung to mark the 66th anniversary of Liberation Day on Aug 15, 2011. [Photo/VCG] Religious leaders and guests attend the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore on Feb 15, 2017. [Photo/IC]

Singapore

Total Defence Day on Feb 15 is the national memorial day of Singapore to commemorate the anniversary of the surrender of the British to the Japanese on Feb 15, 1942, which was followed by three years and eight months of Japanese occupation.

A woman floats paper lanterns lit in remembrance for victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima on the Motoyasu River at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug 6, 2013. [Photo/VCG]

Japan

The National Memorial Service for War Dead is an event sponsored by the Japanese government to commemorate the victims of the WWII and its surrender on Aug 15, 1945, which it describes as “the end of war”.

Chinese, Russian and Indian ministers meet

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 14:57
Before the start of the 15th China-Russia-India trilateral meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj pose on Monday in New Delhi, where they discussed a range of issues and pledged to implement and strengthen outcomes of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. ADNAN ABIDI / REUTERS

China, Russia and India agreed to maintain regional security and economic architecture in the Asia-Pacific, according to a joint statement issued on Monday after the 15th trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries.

Maintaining regional security and economic architecture that is "open, inclusive and based on multilateralism and universally recognized principles of international law" is imperative for lasting peace and stability in the region, the statement said.

The three countries emphasized the need for coordination and cooperation in various regional forums and organizations such as the East Asia Summit to maintain regional peace and stability and to promote regional development and prosperity.

During the one-day meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj discussed a wide range of global and regional issues of common concern, according to the statement.

The three countries reiterated the importance they attached to cooperation and strategic partnership within BRICS.

"We will work together to implement all outcomes of BRICS summits to strengthen cooperation in economic, political, security and people-to-people fields, so as to usher in the second golden decade of BRICS cooperation," said the statement, while commending the China's successful hosting of the Ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen in September.

The three countries also attached special importance to the joint work within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, saying the SCO is an important instrument in promoting multilateral political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region.

Describing the Russia-India-China trilateral format as a platform to foster closer dialogue and practical cooperation in identified areas among the three countries, the joint statement said such cooperation is not directed against any other country.

"We wish to strengthen the trilateral dialogue for consultation and coordination on regional and global issues of mutual interest in the spirit of mutual understanding and trust," it said.

"Our cooperation is conducive to maintaining international and regional peace and stability, and promoting global economic growth and prosperity," it added.

XINHUA

Nanjing massacre remembered on 80th anniversary

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 10:58

A memorial service to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre committed by the Japanese military during World War II 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 civilians were murdered and one third of the buildings were destroyed," said Zha Liyou, acting Chinese consul general in San Francisco, at the service.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, which was China's capital at the time, on Dec 13, 1937, commencing 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."

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 Japanese 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. "It might be a comfort to the victims and those who sacrificed their lives that the Nanjing Massacre has been etched into the memory of the Chinese people and the world civilization."

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

liazhu@chinadailyusa.com

Young Chinese-Irish ballroom dancer goes international

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 10:10
Kerry Sui and Francis Carty perform on the dance floor at Blackpool Dance Festival in November. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Kerry Sui, a 10-year-old Chinese-Irish dancer, and her dance partner Francis Carty are set to compete in Italy and perform on Chinese TV after winning the British juvenile ballroom championship.

Kerry and Francis, who is also 10, won the British National Juvenile Ballroom trophy and took first prize last month in the juvenile Latin category at the Blackpool Dance Festival.

Kerry was born in Dublin and lives there with her parents, who emigrated from China. Her Chinese name is Sui Yuanjing. She started ballroom and Latin dancing four years ago and was partnered earlier this year with Francis, who lives in the English county of Shropshire.

The two were friends before they performed together and Kerry said their friendship is one of the best things about her dancing partnership with Francis.

Their hard work, under the guidance of teachers Laura O'Brien and David and Helen Truman, meant Kerry and Francis have seen quite a lot of success.

"When Francis is stressed, I can calm him down, because he hasn't really been in many big competitions, such as the nationals and internationals," Kerry said. "My mum said I have to guide him."

Francis said Kerry has a positive attitude and described her as always remaining upbeat.

And they both have a dance that they like the least: the tango.

"The tango is like an angry dance, you have to be sharp," Kerry said.

The dancers often visit each other's families and describe their friendship and their teachers' involvement as like being in a big family. She said a visit to China put a strain on the close bonds.

"I was in China for six weeks and there was a dance studio there where I would practice, but I felt lonely," Kerry said.

Francis described the time they spent apart as "horrible".

Kerry and Francis were training on Saturday in Wolverhampton, a city in England's West Midlands region, in advance of a competition in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday. The event was cancelled due to the heavy snowfall across parts of the United Kingdom.

The pair head to Italy in January for a competition, before jetting off to China to appear on a TV show.

Kerry Sui and Francis Carty perform on the dance floor at Blackpool Dance Festival in November. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Would-be suicide bomber sets off explosion in NYC

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:34
Police officers stand guard outside the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, US December 11, 2017 after reports of an explosion. [Photo/Agencies]

A would-be suicide bomber set off part of a homemade explosive device in a subway passage between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan during Monday's morning rush hour, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others, police said.

The injuries to two commuters and a Port Authority police officer were all non-life threatening, according to the New York Fire Department.

At a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio called the blast an attempted terrorist attack, and he said no other devices had been found.

The suspect was identified by police as Akayed Ullah, 27, a Bangladeshi native, who lived in Brooklyn. He was in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center.

Ullah acted alone, police said, and the device was reported to have gone off prematurely in the passage just 200 feet from the bus terminal at West 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue — one of the busiest transit hubs in the country — at 7:20 am, authorities said. Two commuters and a Port Authority police officer suffered minor injuries, officials said.

The device was affixed to Ullah's body with Velcro and zip ties, police officials said.

The explosion caused commuter chaos at one of the city's key traffic hubs.

"Our lives revolve around the subway," the mayor said. "The choice of New York is always for a reason, because we are beacons of the world. And we show that a society of many background and many faiths can work."

"The terrorists want to undermine that," he added. "They yearn to attack New York City."

"I'm glad I wasn't there. We were supposed to take a bus out at the time (when the accident happened), so I'm glad we waited," said Monica Gannon, who planned to take the bus back to New Jersey at this morning when the explosion happened. "We are stuck here. Now we are waiting for all this to be over and go back home."

"I was evacuated from the terminal after it (the explosion) happened. It was terrible, and I was so scared when I saw some people running,"said Alicia Carmona.

She said she was evacuated from the terminal after the explosion and to wait outside the bus terminal for about two hours.

Carmona said she planned to pick up her niece at LaGuardia Airport at around 9 am, but now she couldn't make it. "I was thinking to take the subway instead, but the nearby subway stations are closed too."

New York mayor Billl de Blasio (R) looks on as New York governor Andrew Cuomo holds a press conference in the wake of an explosion at the Port Authority in New York City, US December 11, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

UK and China allow more direct flights

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 09:15

The United Kingdom and China have agreed to raise the limit on the number of direct weekly flights between the two nations to 150 from 100. The UK government said the move was the first of several "open skies" deals struck in an effort to increase trade post-Brexit.

The deal follows an agreement in October 2016 to raise the limit from 40 to 100.

Such services are regulated internationally, typically through bilateral agreements that limit the number and type of flights.

Currently, despite the deal allowing up to 100 flights a week, there are around 60.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the new agreement is an "important part of preparing Britain" for its future outside the European Union.

"It just underlines that Britain will do well, regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations," Grayling said.

Several new services have been set up recently, including a direct route between Manchester and Beijing operated by Hainan Airlines, and China Airlines' renewal of a London-Taipei link.

Zheng Lei, director of the Centre for Aviation Research at the University of Surrey, said the UK government may be anticipating continued growth in the number of visitors from China. Between January and June, 115,000 visitors from China arrived in the UK, an increase of 47 percent on the same period in 2016.

"They are possibly expecting more demand," Zheng said. "And China is in the process of negotiating traffic restrictions with countries in continental Europe as well, including France. So, the UK is trying to get ahead and be more proactive."

Zheng said demand is what will ultimately lead to airlines and airports establishing new routes.

"Eventually, it's down to the airlines to decide whether or not to utilize the new traffic rights," he said. "If there is no demand, the airlines won't operate the route, otherwise they will lose money. Profitability is really the main concern."

Local authorities in several large UK cities, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Birmingham, have lobbied extensively for direct links with China.
Denise Hill, head of market strategy at VisitScotland, welcomed the news.

"The relaxation of restrictions on flights between China and the UK is great news and we are confident that, when this results in a reappraisal of the options open to them, airlines will be encouraged by the strong performance delivered by Scotland," Hill said.

Four injured in Manhattan terror-related explosion

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 08:23

Police said four people were injured as a device attached to a suspected bomber exploded prematurely at the New York Port Authority bus terminal in Midtown Manhattan during Monday’s morning rush hour.

The injuries were all non-life threatening and one of the injured was a Port Authority police officer, according to the New York Fire Department.

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill called the explosion a “terror-related incident”.

The suspect was identified by authorities as Akayed Ullah, 27, who lives in Brooklyn. He was injured as the low-tech device attached to his chest exploded in an underground passageway.

He was believed to act alone, said Mayor Bill De Blasio.

US President Donald Trump was briefed about the explosion this morning, according to the White House.

Bad weather causes massive travel disruption in Britain

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 07:18
A pedestrian walks through the snow in Greenwich Park, next to National Maritime Museum, London, Britain, December 10, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON -- Severe frost, rains and icy roads after heavy snowfall have caused major travel disruption across large parts of Britain on Monday.

On the "Black Ice Monday", called by local media, so far a quarter of flights at Heathrow have been cancelled and the Port of Calais has been closed as bad weather continues.

Flights were suspended at airports including Birmingham and Stansted, while other airports advised customers to check with airlines and leave extra time for journey.

The bad weather and hazardous road condition also forced hundreds of schools to close on Monday.

Highway England issued advice for drivers to check forecasts before they travel and to prepare "warm clothing, food, drink ... and a torch".

As temperatures fell to -12 degrees Celsius in some rural areas overnight, the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for ice across parts of central England and Wales

According to power suppliers, more than 140,000 homes lost power on Sunday amid heavy snow and high winds, and several thousand remain cut off on Monday.

The Met Office said the snow and ice would continue to hit parts of the UK till Tuesday.

An amber warning of snow came into force at 4 am (UTC) on Sunday, affecting Wales, the Midlands and parts of northern and eastern England.

Four injured in New York City blast, suspect nabbed

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 05:29
Police officers stand outside the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, US December 11, 2017 after reports of an explosion. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK -- Four people were injured in an explosion in a passageway near Times Square, Manhattan in New York City early Monday morning.

At around 7:20 am local time, a 27-year-old man, who had an improvised, low-tech explosive device attached to his body, intentionally detonated the device, injuring himself and three others, New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neil said at a press conference held near the scene.

O'Neil said police have identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah and have kept him in custody. He gave no further details about the suspect.

He added that the incident was captured on transit system video. A further review and witness interview is underway.

Police are calling for the general public to provide information about the suspect.

Authorities said three injured people had minor injuries such as ringing in the ear and headache.

 

Universities champion new ideas

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:14

 

Chen Xu (left) visits the Centre for Bio-inspired Technology in London. [Photo/China Daily]

Tsinghua teaming up with Imperial College London to support projects 

Tsinghua University and Imperial College London have launched a joint fund to support bold scientific ideas in their early stages.

The Tsinghua-Imperial Research and Innovation Fund brings together two of the world's leading research universities. It offers seed money to kick-start innovative research projects that show promise and need funding to progress.

Money will be aimed at small-scale experiments and the development of prototypes, and will enable academics and students from both institutions to collaborate and exchange ideas more easily.

The two institutions have invested an initial $300,000 into the program, to last for the next three years. If the fund succeeds, the universities anticipate increasing their financial support significantly.

The agreement was signed by Chen Xu, the chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, and Imperial's president, Professor Alice Gast, at Imperial's campus in South Kensington, London, on Friday.

Chen welcomed the close cooperation between the institutions.

"This initiative is the first real step for both Tsinghua and Imperial to implement the strategic partnership that was signed in October, pledging to explore further exchanges and interactions between students, staff, entrepreneurs, and senior leadership from the two world-class universities," she said. "The research innovation fund will be able to facilitate faculties from both universities to work on those issues that we face together, as a common challenge."

Gast said: "Imperial and Tsinghua have a shared ambition to support groundbreaking research and create successful partnerships. Both universities recognize the importance of bringing people together to exchange ideas and collaborate. This new fund will help our innovative academic staff to pursue ambitious collaborations and explore new areas of research."

The announcement coincided with the UK-China High-Level People-to-People Dialogue, which is a key pillar in the UK-China relationship. It provides a forum to celebrate ties between the two countries, and a platform to drive greater cooperation.

A similar seed-fund partnership was launched between Imperial and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. Early collaborations to receive funding under that scheme included projects looking at improving battery life and performance, and the development of computers that "think" differently.

Imperial is the United Kingdom's top academic research collaborator with China. Its researchers have co-authored more than 3,000 publications with their Chinese peers during the past five years. Imperial currently hosts 2,600 Chinese students-its largest demographic group, other than Britons-and 225 Chinese staff .

Welsh national side helping with Chinese soccer goals

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 02:02

Fans of the Welsh national soccer team have experienced some dizzying highs and disappointing lows in the last 18 months.

Fired by a talismanic generation of players that includes Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, The Dragons exceeded expectations to reach the semifinals of the UEFA European Championship in 2016.

It was the best result ever in a major tournament for the country of 3 million people that is part of the United Kingdom.

The team came down to earth in October when it failed to qualify for next year's World Cup.

"We missed a golden opportunity," said Jonathan Ford, the chief executive of the Football Association of Wales. "But, with the China Cup, we'll have some matches to basically reset the dials, take the team away, and get a fresh start."

On March 22, Wales will face China in the opening match of the second-ever China Cup in Nanning, in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The competition sees hosts China pitted against three invited teams. Uruguay and the Czech Republic will join them in next year's competition. Iceland, Chile, and Croatia played in the inaugural competition.

Holding international soccer tournaments on home soil plays into President Xi Jinping's plans to grow the popularity of the game in China and transform the nation into a footballing powerhouse.

And the invitees share a common trait; they have all punched above their weight in major tournaments.

"We spoke to Iceland and we spoke to Croatia about the tournament and both came back with very positive experiences," Ford said. "With the China Cup, you're going to attract bigger teams-China is ensuring that they will continue to improve by playing against teams that are better."

Ford previously worked as head of sponsorship at Coca-Cola, and took over as chief executive of the Welsh FA in 2009. He has since overseen what he calls a "modernization" of almost every aspect of the operation.

Forging ties with China is an important part of the development of Welsh soccer, he said.

"We've worked quite extensively with different people in China, and we are getting close to signing partnership agreements on coach development programs," Ford said."We do it because it will help us develop as a nation too."

He said the development of coaching is among the most crucial elements of China's plans to compete with the world's best soccer-playing nations in the coming decades.

"It is a lofty goal, and it's about going back to the very basics of football," Ford said."You need facilities, and the Chinese government is investing copious amounts of money to make sure those facilities are there. You need new people who want to play, and the good news is, of course, football is becoming more engrained within Chinese society. And you need coaches, and that's where they struggle at the moment. They don't have the coaches in order to improve the people. That's where other national associations like Wales, a world-class coaching nation, can help."

South San Francisco elects first Chinese-American mayor

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 22:31
File photo of Liza Lau Normandy. [Photo/ssf.net]

Liza Lau Normandy has been elected mayor of South San Francisco, the first Chinese-American to be elected in the city's 110 years history, according to World Journal.

The incumbent mayor Liza, 44, is the youngest one among the five city councilors of South San Francisco and one of the three Asian-American councilors, including the deputy mayor Karyl Matsumoto and an Indian-American one. The other two are white men.

Liza served as board president on the South San Francisco Unified School District Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2010 before she was elected into the City Council November 2013.

She was the first Asian-American elected to the School Board, was the second Asian-American elected to the City Council, and only the third woman to serve on the South San Francisco City Council.

Liza said her father was born in Guangdong province of China, and immigrated to Los Angeles when he was young, and her mother came from the Republic of Korea.

Asian-Americans account for 36 percent of the population of South San Francisco, a bay area city with diverse population amounting to 63,000, according to the official data released in 2010.

DaDong duck ready for New York opening

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 22:17
DaDong will opens its first overseas branch in New York on Monday, aiming to serve roast Peking duck as authentic as what’s offered in its restaurants in China. JUDY ZHU / CHINA DAILY

To acclaimed chef Dong Zhenxiang, it's all about the texture of the duck.

Dong, the founder, chef and owner of the celebrated DaDong chain in China, is getting ready to open an outpost in New York on Monday.

He wants to make sure the Peking duck served in Manhattan is as authentic as that in his 11 restaurants in China.

"The most important thing is to find and develop a type of bird as similar as possible to the birds we use in China," said Dong, who started the restaurant in Beijing in 1985. It now has nine outlets in the capital and two in Shanghai.

"The birds we use are very special - the skins are thin, and the meat is less fatty so that we can have the combination of the crispiest skin with succulent meat."

For that, he went to the American heartland.

Dong said he spent two years working with Maple Leaf Farms in Milford, Indiana to develop the specialized birds and a special kind of oven to cook at 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

In China, they use wood-fired ovens, but the fire code doesn't permit that at the Midtown location on 42nd Street at Bryant Park.

The three-story, 12,932-square-foot restaurant in The Cube Building, designed by George Wong Design, features a 3,785-sq-ft outdoor garden on the second floor and an 858-sq-ft outdoor terrace on the third floor. The entire venue can handle more than 400 guests.

When reservations were opened in October, 2,500 people tried to book a table within two hours. Prime dining times already are booked through the end of February.

DaDong's specialty, Subuni (crispy, not greasy) roast duck, will sell for $98, and half a duck will fetch $58, but the customers are not only paying to enjoy the food, they also will experience DaDong's "artistic conception of Chinese cuisine", also known as yijing cuisine, which sets DaDong apart from other Peking roast duck restaurants.

Yijing cuisine features an exquisite Chinese cultural interpretation to culinary creations - each dish is incorporated with the elements of artworks such as Chinese poetry, literature, painting and bonsai grooming.

DaDong New York also mirrors the interior decor of DaDong in Beijing, which adopts modern techniques to show the mood of Chinese ink and wash painting.

Dong said the restaurants' interiors were inspired by China's Suzhou Museum, which was designed by I. M. Pei.

The poems of Tao Yuanming (365-427 AD) are presented to reflect ancient Chinese literati and officialdom, considered a noble pursuit.

"I hope our New York customers could have a modern but classical dining experience at our restaurant," Dong said. "And we are lucky to be able to bring in five chefs from China to New York."

For the New York menu, 80 dishes have been chosen from DaDong's more than 200 dishes in China. In certain dishes, there might be a few slight changes to cater to New Yorkers' taste. The restaurant will also serve five different brands of baijiu, including the famous Maotai and Lu Zhou Lao Jiao.

"The traditional Chinese Beijing food is what DaDong represents; hopefully, we will educate the New York clientele to understand it with a New York-style service to help them enjoy the traditional Chinese food as well as enjoy the environment in New York," said Andy Xu, the executive chef of DaDong New York branch, who has worked for such esteemed New York kitchens as Cru.

Contact the writers at ruinanzhang@chinadailyusa.com

Algerian boy, 12, wins Shenzhen talent contest

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:51

A 12-year-old Algerian boy was crowned winner of the eighth Shenzhen Expats Chinese Talent Competition on Sunday.

Younes Bensebaa wowed judges with his recital of Nostalgia, a popular poem by Yu Guangzhong, to claim the top prize.

Aleksandr Vaskin, 11, from Russia, and 12-year-old Ahn Tae-hyeon from South Korea were both named runners-up.

The annual event, which promotes Chinese culture as well as exchanges between Chinese and foreigners in Shenzhen, attracted hundreds of entrants this year, organizers said.

After several heats, they were whittled down to 10 finalists from nine countries.

During the three-hour event on Sunday, contestants had to make a three-minute speech in Chinese, play a word-guessing game, and perform a talent.

One of the judges, professor Gu Xiaojin from Shenzhen University’s School of Communication, said the competition shows that Chinese culture is well-recognized among the city’s expats.

“They’ve learned about Chinese culture, blended into the culture, and will probably promote it when they return to their home countries,” he said.

The talent contest is organized by Shenzhen Daily and its English-language website, Eyeshenzhen, and is sponsored by the city’s foreign affairs office and information office.

Since its launch in 2010, the competition has become an important event among the expat community. Thousands of people have taken part, with some going on to become rising stars on Chinese TV.

Britain, EU could strike trade deal within a year, says Brexit chief

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 19:20

LONDON - Brexit Secretary David Davis said Sunday the odds of Britain exiting the European Union without a deal had dropped dramatically following an agreement both sides reached in Brussels on Friday.

In a Sunday media interview Davis said the deal struck by Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday was a statement of intent and not legally enforceable. Its aim, he said, was to move to the next phase of negotiations with EU negotiators.

Without the landmark progress made in Brussels, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would not have been able to recommend this week's meeting of the European Council to agree to talks on Britain's post-Brexit relationship moving to the next important phase.

Davis wants to secure a free-trade deal with no tariffs when it leaves the EU. In the interview he described it as "Canada plus plus plus" deal. This was a reference to a free trade deal struck between Canada and the EU, but Davis wants Britain's EU deal to include financial services included in the tariff-free area. This is seen as critical to protect a lucrative sector for Britain, particularly the City of London and the multi-billion dollar banking cluster in London, both a key part of the British economy.

Davis said he wanted a bespoke Brexit deal with the EU, saying: "We'll probably start with the best of Canada, and the best of Japan and the best of South Korea and then add to that the bits that are missing which is the services."

He also said he believes Britain and the EU can strike a substantive trade deal within a year.

Britain is also committed to keeping a frictionless and invisible border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, said Davis, adding a way would be found to achieve this in the event of a "no deal" Brexit.

Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, said in a Sunday interview said he wanted a partnership with the EU that retains the benefits of the European single market and the customs union.

May is scheduled to hold a formal meeting of her cabinet, comprising her senior ministers, within a few days to discuss the progress on Brexit talks. Britain has agreed a divorce deal of around 39 billion pounds (52.2 billion U.S. dollars) to leave the EU, but a final settlement will only be paid if a future trade deal is agreed by both sides.

China launches communication satellite for Algeria

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:33
China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, on Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

XICHANG - China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday.

The satellite was the first cooperative project in aerospace industry between the two countries. It will be used by Algeria for broadcast and television, emergency communication, distance education, e-governance, enterprise communication, broadband access and satellite-based navigation.

The satellite was launched 40 minutes after midnight by a Chinese Long March-3B carrier rocket, making it the 258th flight mission for the Long March rocket family.

China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, on Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] China launched Algeria's first communication satellite, Alcomsat-1, into a preset orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan early Monday, on Dec 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Nanjing massacre remembered

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:24
Representatives from the Chinese and Korean communities in the San Francisco Bay Area gather on Sunday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre committed by the Japanese military during World War II. LIA ZHU / CHINA DAILY

A memorial service to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre committed by the Japanese military during World War II 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 civilians were murdered and one third of the buildings were destroyed," said Zha Liyou, acting Chinese consul general in San Francisco, at the service.

Japanese troops captured Nanjing, which was China's capital at the time, on Dec 13, 1937, commencing 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."

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 Japanese 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. "It might be a comfort to the victims and those who sacrificed their lives that the Nanjing Massacre has been etched into the memory of the Chinese people and the world civilization."

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

Autopsy: Jiang suffered several injuries before the fatal stab

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:12
Jiang Qiulian, the victim Jiang Ge's mother, meets the press one day before the trial in Tokyo, on Dec 10. [Photo by Yao Wei/VCG]

Jiang Ge's autopsy report has been revealed, showing Jiang suffered five or six defensive injuries before the fatal stab, evidence against the accused Chen's claim saying Jiang fell down and died from the first stab. Jiang's neck had 11 or 12 stab injuries.

Jiang's mother cried bitterly many times when appearing at court.

Suspected killer of Chinese student denies it was premeditated murder

Chen Shifeng, the alleged killer of Jiang Ge, claimed he did not plan to kill the postgraduate student, reported ifeng.com on Monday.

On the first day of the trial, Chen said Liu Xin, the roommate of Jiang Ge, passed the fruit knife to Jiang Ge from the inside of the house and then closed the door right away. Jiang Ge rang the bell with the elbow several times but Liu Xin didn't open the door.

According to Chen, Jiang died from loss of blood. He said that Jiang fell down when he first stabbed her, but he defended his action saying "I didn't any motive to kill her when I first stabbed her."

He also said "the next nine stabs had no causal relationship with the first stab".

Chen remained calm during the trial.

According to reports, the mother of the victim did not attend the court hearing.

Alleged killer of Chinese student goes on trial in Tokyo

The trial of the alleged murderer of Chinese student Jiang Ge began at 10 am on Monday in Tokyo. It will last seven days and the verdict is expected on Dec 20.

Jiang Ge, a 24-year-old postgraduate student, was killed outside her apartment in Tokyo over a year ago after she was reportedly attacked by Chen Shifeng while trying to defend his former girlfriend Liu Xin from him.

The mother of the victim Jiang Qiulian has been in Japan for 30 days, with the purpose of petitioning for a death sentence for the accused. Jiang has accused Liu of being indifferent to the sacrifice of Jiang, sparking a heated online debate.

Liu Xin, the roommate of Jiang Ge, will appear in court as a witness.

Anti-nuclear weapon campaigner ICAN receives 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 18:12
Berit Reiss-Andersen (L), chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, hands over the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to Beatrice Fihn (R), leader of ICAN, and Hirsoshima nuclear bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow (C) during the award ceremony of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at the city hall in Oslo, Norway, Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

OSLO - The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at an awarding ceremony here Sunday, for its efforts to give new momentum to the process of abolishing nuclear weapons.

At the ceremony held at the Oslo City Hall, ICAN chief Beatrice Fihn, and Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, received a medal and a diploma of the award.

"ICAN is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons," said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, at the ceremony.

She said this year's prize follows in a tradition of awards that have honoured efforts against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and for nuclear disarmament.

In a joint Nobel lecture, Fihn called on all countries to help achieve "the end of nuclear weapons".

"The risk for nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War. But unlike the Cold War, today we face many more nuclear armed states, terrorists, and cyber warfare," Fihn said.

For her part in the lecture, Thurlow, 85, recounted her own experiences as a 13-year-old girl during the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug 6, 1945, in which eight of her family members and 351 of her schoolmates died. She urged efforts to "forever eradicate the threat of nuclear annihilation".

ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organizations from around 100 different countries, was formally launched in Austria in April 2007. Its main office is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

Beatrice Fihn, leader of ICAN, gives an acceptance speech during the award ceremony of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at the city hall in Oslo, Norway, on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG] Laureates and members of the Norwegian Royal Family arrive for the award ceremony of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at the city hall in Oslo, Norway, on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG] Norwegian King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Princess Mette Marit and Crown Prince Haakon attend the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony at City Hall in Oslo on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG] Member of the Nobel committee Tone Jorstad pushes the wheelchair with Hiroshima nuclear bombing survivor, during the award ceremony of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at the city hall in Oslo, Norway, on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG] Setsuko Thurlow, ICAN campaigner and Hiroshima survivor speaks at City Hall, in Oslo, Norway, Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG] US musician John Legend plays the piano during the award ceremony of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize at the city hall in Oslo, Norway, on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG]