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ZHAO Zhongxiang, a famous Chinese news anchor, television host and reporter, died at age 78 in Beijing yesterday.
He joined the China Central Television (CCTV) in 1960, becoming China’s first male television presenter.
Zhao was the first Chinese reporter to accompany Deng Xiaoping during his visit to the United States in 1979. He was invited to the White House during that trip.
Since 1984, Zhao hosted the Spring Festival Gala over 10 times, featuring a balanced and calm style. He also hosted some well-known shows like “Animal World,” “Human and Nature,” “Zhengda Variety Show.”
A MAN was sentenced to death by a Beijing court yesterday after being convicted for killing a doctor in a hospital where his mother was being treated.
The defendant, who was identified as Sun Wenbin, harbored a grudge and intended to retaliate as he was not satisfied with his mother’s treatment at the General Hospital of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the Third Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing Municipality was told.
Sun showed up at the emergency room of the hospital carrying a concealed knife at 6am on December 24 and repeatedly stabbed Yang Wen, a woman doctor who was on duty at the time.
Sun then called the police by phone to turn himself in. He was later arrested.
Yang succumbed to multiple injuries in her neck.
The court said in an open trial that the defendant had committed a grave case of murder crime for unlawfully depriving other’s life on purpose and should be punished according to law.
Despite Sun’s voluntary surrender, his act of intentional homicide is extremely cruel and has caused great harm to society, therefore he does not qualify for a lesser punishment, the court concluded.
Sun pleaded guilty in court.
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Chinese police cracked more than 7,200 criminal cases of online gambling and detained 25,000 suspects in 2019, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday. The police seized and froze more than 18 billion yuan (US$2.62 billion) of gambling-related money last year, a ministry official said.
Hong Kong police said yesterday explosives were found in Sheung Shui in North District and two female suspects had been arrested. Ten male suspects had also been detained since Tuesday for conspiring to make explosives, “possession of dangerous drugs” and “unlawful assembly,” Hong Kong police said on its official Facebook page. Police said that they were acutely concerned about the case and reiterated that the manufacturing and storage of explosives was extremely dangerous.
A BROADBAND communication satellite, developed by a Beijing-based company, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 11:02am yesterday.The satellite, the first of many from Beijing-based GalaxySpace, was sent into its planned orbit by a Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket.Deployed in low-Earth orbit, the satellite has a communication capacity of up to 10Gbps. Relative technological tests will be conducted on the satellite.GalaxySpace aims to build a LEO broadband satellite constellation and create a global 5G communication network.KZ-1A is a low-cost solid-fuel carrier rocket with high reliability and a short preparation period. The rocket, developed by a company under the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, is mainly used to launch LEO small satellites.Yesterday’s launch was the eighth mission of the KZ-1A carrier rocket.
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam yesterday called for the formation of a committee to look into the root causes of the ongoing unrest in the city. “We are inviting community leaders, experts and academics to form an Independent Review Committee. Preparation work is nearly complete,” she said, adding that the names of the panel members will hopefully be announced next month.Lam made the remarks at the Legislative Council while taking questions from local lawmakers. The chief executive said she was sad to see the “shocking” level of violence and destruction some radical protesters have brought to the island city.Since June, Hong Kong has been wracked by often violent anti-government protests that began as dissent against the now-defunct fugitive bill.“Numerous inaccurate reports and fake information circulated online have seriously damaged Hong Kong’s international reputation for peace, rationality, safety and lawfulness,” Lam said.She also said that she was worried about the city’s economy given the recent closure of several businesses, hoping that the economy could recover if social order returns back to normal.
Footage of a pair of giant pandas in the wild was released yesterday by the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province. The video clips, captured by an infrared camera, showed a panda mother and her 6-month-old cub in the Laoya Mountain about 2,800 meters above sea level.
China will change its military conscription from once a year to twice a year, starting from 2020, according to a statement from a teleconference on the recruitment work yesterday.Recruitment for the first half of the year will run from mid-February to the end of March, and the recruitment for the second half will run from mid-August to the end of September. Retirement for military personnel, therefore, will also change to twice a year, according to the statement. Conscripts shall serve in active service for two years, according to the country’s Military Service Law. The statement stressed that the total number of recruits will remain stable compared with previous years.
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Adhering to the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle is the unshakable foundation for the peaceful and stable development of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, a mainland spokesperson said yesterday.Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks at a regular press conference while asked to comment on remarks regarding cross-Strait ties made by Tsai Ing-wen, the Democratic Progressive Party candidate, following her win in Saturday’s Taiwan leadership election.Ma said “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces and their activities are the biggest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the greatest scourge to the interests and wellbeing of people on both sides of the Strait and must be resolutely curbed.The tide of the times — the cross-Strait situation moving toward peace and stability and cross-Strait relations continuing to move forward — cannot be stopped by any force or anyone, he said.“The future of Taiwan lies in national reunification and the wellbeing of the people in Taiwan hinges on the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” the spokesman said. “Taiwan is the Taiwan of all Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots, and Taiwan’s future is jointly decided by all Chinese people,” he added. The Chinese mainland will continuously promote cross-Strait exchanges in various fields, seek positive outcomes and solve difficulties of Taiwan compatriots in 2020, Ma said.Noting that the personnel exchanges across the Taiwan Strait remained stable at around 9 million last year, Ma said Taiwan compatriots’ expectations for strengthening cross-Strait exchanges stood in strong contrast with the restrictions imposed by the Democratic Progressive Party authority.The mainland authorities issued new policies last year, known as the “26 measures,” to provide more convenience for Taiwan compatriots to study, work and live on the mainland, said Ma. The Chinese mainland will never give up on the young people in Taiwan, he added.The mainland will continue to promote cross-Strait communication and carry out policies to enhance mutual understanding between the young people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.“Guided by the conviction that we are all of the same family, the mainland has rolled out a series of policies to provide Taiwan compatriots, especially young people, with equal treatment and development opportunities on the mainland,” Ma said.The trade volume across the Strait was US$207.06 billion in the first 11 months last year, Ma said, adding that the mainland approved 4,765 Taiwanese investment projects in the same period, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 percent.Ma also said the mainland’s actual use of investment from Taiwan hit US$1.52 billion in the first 11 months last year, up 26.8 percent from the year before, ranging from manufacturing to services.
Multinational companies exchanged their experiences on innovation, sustainability and corporate social responsibility at the “Innovation and Sustainability” 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Forum held by Shanghai Daily yesterday.The event aims to showcase various initiatives and cases of enterprises’ innovation and sustainable development, and contribute to the sustainable and healthy development of the city’s economy and society. A total of 30 companies were given the honor of Honored Partner of the 20th Anniversary of Shanghai Daily, including UFI Filters Group, 3M China, Bayer, JP Morgan China, Merck and Sabic.Twelve companies won Excellence Awards for Innovation 2019, including Corning, the State Grid Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company and LANXESS.Excellence Awards for Sustainability were given to 21 companies, including Covestro, Bright Dairy and Dow.Innovation awards are selected based on the city’s favorable investment environment factors (including policy, talent, market, capital, etc) in the construction of a “technological innovation center with global influence,” while taking into account the multinational enterprises’ actual development in Shanghai.Sustainability awards are chosen on the basis of multinational enterprises’ contribution to the city’s green development. Initiatives, methods, mechanisms and experiences of the award-winning companies will be shared among enterprises and promoted by media.Wang Liming, director from the Corning Research Center China, shared his experience on driving innovation through research and development. “Focusing on the most critical problems of the daily life and trying to find ways to solve them works in helping accelerating innovation,” Wang said.In the eyes of Dr Wang, air pollution is a tough and urgent problem and therefore innovative air purification systems were invented.Lin Renjie, head of Covestro’s material science center, shared Covestro’s experience on driving sustainability in the chemical industry. Replacing traditional fuel oils with biofuel and turning waste material into feedstock for production are feasible solutions.Luca Biagini, chief operating officer from UFI Filters Group shared his view on corporate social responsibility.“Corporate social responsibility is a self-regulating business model that helps a company be socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders and the public,” he said.Instead of setting a special time, Luca said, CSR should be treated as a daily mission, which means products should help the planet.Yang Jing, chief of the International Communication Division and Service Development Division of Shanghai Information Office, said: “Shanghai Daily has been a bridge connecting the government and multinational companies. Through the forum, we get to know the latest innovation and sustainability achievements by enterprises.“We also know that, besides striving for business success, they care about the society and help to tackle with difficult problems in the fields of low carbon, clean energy and healthcare.”
China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced yesterday the cancellation of the 2020 Lunar New Year Fireworks Display.“Having regard to public safety considerations, the Lunar New Year Fireworks Display originally scheduled to be held at Victoria Harbor on January 26 has been canceled,” the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the HKSAR government said.This is the third time since the unrest in Hong Kong started in June, 2019 that traditional fireworks displays were canceled due to concerns over public safety.The Leisure and Cultural Services Department earlier canceled the National Day Fireworks Display originally scheduled to take place at the Victoria Harbor on the evening of October 1, 2019 in view of the security situation and having regard to public safety.The well-known New Year’s Eve fireworks display over Victoria harbor held annually by the Hong Kong Tourism Board was also canceled for the first time in its 10-year history.
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Chinese procuratorates have stepped up efforts to punish offenders polluting the environment along the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced yesterday.Prosecutors in 11 provincial regions along the economic belt filed charges against 22,310 people for suspected crimes involving destroying environmental resources in 2019, up over 20 percent year on year, said Zhang Xueqiao, deputy procurator-general of the SPP, at a press conference.They approved the arrests of 7,084 suspects involved in such cases, an increase of 43 percent from the previous year, according to figures from a white paper on ensuring the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.Zhang said, citing the document, that 11 provincial procuratorial organs along the economic belt filed 30,212 cases infringing on the public interest related to the environment and resources in 2019.Official statistics also show that litigation helped deal with a total of 7,627 hectares of forests, farmland, wetland and grassland that had been polluted or illegally occupied.Prosecutors in the economic belt region helped remove hidden dangers and eliminate pollution across over 87,333 hectares of water source regions, and nearly 3,500 enterprises and farms, which cause pollution, were improved and rectified through filing cases.
China’s fast-expanding high-speed railway network is helping Wu Aiping, a 50-year-old worker in east China’s Anhui Province, reunite with his family sooner than ever.In the Spring Festival travel rush this year, the largest annual migration in the country, the travel time of Wu has been cut to nearly three hours from the previous 10 hours, thanks to a high-speed railway in his home city of Fuyang.“It used to take nearly 10 hours by train to visit my son working in the city of Wuxi in east China’s Jiangsu Province,” said Wu, who has been working in dozens of provinces across the country. “Now it’s really convenient to go anywhere.”As a major exporting city of labor, Fuyang, with a total population of about 10.7 million, exports about 3.5 million migrant workers to the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and other developed regions in China. In December 2019, the city was included in the country’s high-speed railway network.“It will be more convenient for me to travel between home and Hefei City where I am working not only during the travel rush but anytime since the opening of the high-speed railway,” said Xiong Zhuoxia, a 32-year-old migrant worker.“The passenger flow at Fuyang West Station can reach 43,000 people per day and the station is expected to receive about 28,000 passengers at the peak of the Spring Festival travel rush,” said Zhang Yuliang, head of the station. “We are confident in ensuring transport capacity and serving passengers well,” Zhang added.There will be 3 billion trips during the travel rush from January 10 to February 18 for family reunions and travel, slightly up from last year, according to a forecast from the National Development and Reform Commission.China plans to expand its high-speed railway network, already the world’s biggest, by adding 2,000 kilometers of new lines in 2020, according to the country’s railway operator.By the end of 2019, the country’s high-speed railway network stretched 35,000km.
Instead of studying at home or in a library for free, an increasing number of people in China are choosing to go to paid self-study rooms in an effort to improve study efficiency.Equipped with customized tables and chairs, adjustable lighting, air purifiers and quiet computer keyboards, these study rooms are attracting learners with their professional services and setups.“We aim to create an undisturbed learning space for people who are eager to study but cannot find ideal spaces,” said Wang Yi, founder of a 24-hour paid study room.“Over the past six months since we opened, the market demand is beyond expectation and we are opening branches to deal with the shortage of lounges,” Wang added.Tranquil and friendlyIn Shanghai, there are over 80 paid study rooms charging around 2 yuan (US$0.3) to 20 yuan per hour.To create a tranquil and friendly learning atmosphere, some rooms have low light to aid concentration, while some are sunrooms where customers can enjoy views from large windows. In addition, staff will help remind customers to keep quiet while in the study areas.Liu Kangcan is an owner of a paid study room which has over 8,000 members. Most of his consumers are white-collar workers aged between 22 and 30 who want to pass postgraduate entrance exams or get certain qualification certificates.“Fierce competition in the workplace motivates white collars to learn more. A quiet and professional learning space is needed,” said Liu. His study rooms also offer wake-up call services.“Seats are hard to get in public libraries and there are also a lot of distractions,” said Feng Jia, an employee in a financial media company who was preparing for a financial certificate examination. “At home, there were more distractions, such as mobile phones, snacks and pets.”“I did not have much time to prepare for the exam, so I must be efficient with my time. So, a paid study lounge is ideal for me,” said Feng.Yu Xuefeng, who recently quit his job, goes to paid study rooms almost every day.“I feel fulfilled when I learn something new. It is worth paying for a private and quiet study environment,” said Yu.Shanghai’s public libraries have encountered a rising number of library users.Pudong Library has about 3,000 reading seats. “Over 80 percent are occupied on workdays and it is almost impossible to find a vacant seat during weekends and holidays,” said a deputy director of the Pudong Library, surnamed Shi. “Sometimes, the steps of the library are even full of readers.” At the Shanghai Library, there are about 1,900 reading seats with tables and chairs and about 1,400 seats with no tables.The Shanghai Library receives around 3.6 million people annually, which breaks down to 5,000 to 8,000 on weekdays and 11,000 to 15,000 on weekends, according to Xu Qiang, director of the Shanghai Library’s reader service center.“People are lined up outside before we open every day. There are often quarrels and disputes over getting a seat,” said Xu.Shi said paid study rooms are a new model of learning consumption, different from the services of public libraries.As young people have more personalized needs, it is a supplement to the cultural facilities offered by the government.
Chinese police cracked 200,000 telecom and Internet fraud cases and captured 163,000 suspects in 2019, China Police Daily reported yesterday.The figures marked a year-on-year increase of about 52.7 percent and 123.3 percent, respectively. Police across the country registered 782,000 telecom and Internet fraud cases in total in 2019, down 3.1 percent from 2018.The public security organ participated in a campaign against cross-border telecom fraud with foreign police. In a three-year joint operation with Spain, 229 suspects, including 222 from Taiwan, had been handed over to Chinese police by 2019. Chinese police destroyed 90 overseas telecom fraud dens in 2019 in cooperation with police from Southeast Asian countries and arrested 4,276 suspects.The Ministry of Public Security alerted 1.7 million potential victims of telecom and Internet fraud.
THE death toll has climbed to nine last night after a bus fell into a hole caused by a road cave-in in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, according to local government.
Ten people are still missing. Local authorities said the identification process for the deceased is underway.
The cave-in happened at 5:36 pm on Monday, when a road section collapsed on the heavily-trafficked Nandajie Street in the city of Xining, the provincial capital. A public bus fell into the hole and an explosion ensued, local authorities said.
The hole stretched nearly 10 meters in diameter. Nearly 1,000 rescuers, 30 vehicles and two excavators have been dispatched to the site.
It’s not clear how many people were inside the bus when the cave-in occurred. The cause of the incident remains unclear.
CHINA has never been a currency manipulator, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said yesterday, adding the United States’ dropping its designation of China as a currency manipulator was in line with the facts and international consensus.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a press briefing when answering a question regarding the United States on Monday removing the currency manipulator label it imposed on China last summer.
Noting that the department assessed developments over the last several months with China and its currency practices, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that “China has made enforceable commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation, while promoting transparency and accountability.”
“China has never been a currency manipulator. The latest US conclusion is in line with the facts and the consensus of the international community,” Geng said.
Geng added that the latest International Monetary Fund assessment concluded that the yuan’s exchange rate level is generally in line with the economy’s fundamentals, objectively denying the claim that China is a “currency manipulator.”
China is a responsible country, Geng said, adding that, “We have reiterated time and again that we will not engage in competitive currency devaluation and we have not and will never use the currency exchange rate as a tool to address trade conflict.”
China will unswervingly deepen the market-oriented reform of the yuan’s exchange rate mechanism, continue to improve the managed floating exchange rate system based on market supply and demand and reference to a basket of currencies, and keep the yuan’s exchange rate basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level, Geng added.
Mark Sobel, US chairman of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, an independent think tank, said on Twitter that this is “good news,” calling the designation “blatant” and “errant” political act.
“China shouldn’t have been designated to start with,” said Sobel, who was the US representative at the IMF, and served as deputy assistant secretary at the US Treasury Department. He noted China’s current account surplus is small as a share of GDP, and there is “scant intervention.”
Amid heightened trade tensions, the US Treasury Department decided to label China a currency manipulator in August.
Millions of Chinese are traveling smarter, faster, more efficiently and more comfortably than ever before after one of the world’s largest human migrations began on Friday.The Spring Festival travel rush, which sees families and friends reunite around the country for China’s most important traditional holiday, began 15 days ahead of Chinese New Year on January 25.The high-speed rail link between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, co-host city of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in northern Hebei Province, opened on December 30.The travel time between the two cities has been greatly shortened and Zhangjiakou is now within Beijing’s one-hour economic circle, according to Li Shengwu, head of the Infrastructure Development Department of Zhangjiakou Development and Reform Commission.A core part of the “eight verticals and eight horizontals” rail network, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed service connects with the Zhangjiakou-Hohhot and Datong-Zhangjiakou high-speed lines, helping to reduce the holiday travel pressure in Beijing, eastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi Province and northern Hebei Province.Travel is becoming more efficient for travelers this Spring Festival, who are expected to make 3.6 billion trips during the period.Ticket sale is the first big test. The rapid technological development has accelerated online ticket sales and ticket checking.In the 2020 holiday rush, the daily ticketing capacity of the official 12306 online booking service will increase from 15 million to 20 million.Ticket checking is faster as e-tickets are quickly replacing paper tickets.The checking of e-tickets, a service now available at all high-speed railway stations, takes 30 percent less time compared with manual checking of paper tickets.Facial recognition technology has also been used in some stations to speed up the ticket checking process.Travel services are also becoming more intelligent with robot information services and intelligent storage facilities further improving travel efficiency.
Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner, also known as “reunion dinner,” at the Palace Museum during the Spring Festival has sold out, according to the People’s Daily. The dinner service is put on sale by the Corner Tower restaurant and will last from January 19 to February 8. The dinner combo is priced at 6,688 yuan (US$970) for 10 people and 680 yuan for each additional person. The menu has not been released but will include Chinese dumplings, as well as some dishes related to the history of the museum.(Xinhua)
Hong Kong’s strength and resilience have not been undermined in the face of social unrest and challenges in recent months, Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam said yesterday.While opening the 13th Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, Lam said Hong Kong’s core competitiveness and status as one of the world’s premier financial centers continue to be internationally recognized.Hong Kong was ranked third in the world in the Global Financial Centers Index last September, just behind New York and London. In December 2019, the International Monetary Fund reaffirmed Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center and regional trading hub, and one of the most open economies in the world.The chief executive spoke highly of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area development, saying the Greater Bay Area, with a population of about 70 million and a combined GDP equivalent of around US$1.6 trillion dollars, and its huge market potential, presented boundless promise for Hong Kong, particularly the financial services sector.“Coupled with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Greater Bay Area development will ensure long-term prospects for Hong Kong’s economy,” she said, adding that through the two national policies, Hong Kong will enhance its role as a business bridge between the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world.Lam said she is “confident that we will bridge our divide, that we will realize the common goal of a reunited community and a flourishing economy” through the concerted efforts of the HKSAR government and the people of Hong Kong.The two-day event was themed with “Redefining Growth: Innovation Breakthrough Inclusiveness.”
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