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COP26: China's Xi Jinping unlikely to attend, UK PM told

The UK has been warned the Chinese president is not likely to come, UK government sources say.

Source: BBC News - China | 16 Oct 2021 | 4:52 am(NZT)

Apple takes down Quran app in China

The popular Islamic app was removed in the country, after an official request.

Source: BBC News - China | 16 Oct 2021 | 1:50 am(NZT)

Hong Kong: Friendly beers lead to murder suspect's arrest

The man went on the run after he allegedly killed a taxi driver, in a case that gripped the city.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:07 pm(NZT)

Produce Pandas: The plus-size musicians making waves in China

As stars are criticised for being image-obsessed, more relatable celebrities have become popular.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Oct 2021 | 12:48 pm(NZT)

Ex-official charged with graft

A public prosecution has been initiated against Xie Changjun, former deputy general manager of major power producer China Guodian Corporation, over charges of bribe-taking, abuse of power, and seeking illegal benefits for relatives.Xie’s case was investigated by the National Supervisory Commission. Upon the designation of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate in the city of Handan, Hebei Province, it reviewed the case and filed it in the city’s Intermediate People’s Court.The prosecutors informed the defendant of his litigation rights, interrogated him, and listened to the defense counsel’s opinions.The indictment charges Xie with using the positions he held while working in power companies to seek gains for others and, in return, accept huge bribes.According to prosecutors, Xie had also taken advantage of his position to purchase goods from enterprises run by his relatives and friends at prices much higher than the market, causing heavy losses to national interests.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:08 am(NZT)

More seniors becoming Net-savvy

For Chen Yuzhen, a 65-year-old retiree in the city of Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu Province, there are three things she almost must do every day: watch short videos, browse online shops, and devour e-books.“I can watch so many funny videos on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok), and I can even buy fresh vegetables on e-commerce platforms. And as a big fan of novels, I find it so convenient to read books online,” said Chen.More seniors are embracing the digital world as mobile technologies, like smartphones and high-speed Internet services, are booming in the world’s second-largest economy.“You can stay up to date on the latest news, keep in touch with friends, and shop until you drop. It feels like your access to the world is at your fingertips,” Chen said, adding that elderly people like her are enjoying the benefits of being powered up and plugged in.According to a recent report released by the China Internet Network Information Center, the total number of Internet users in China had exceeded 1 billion as of June 2021. Netizens aged 50 and above accounted for 28 percent, a year-on-year increase of 5.2 percentage points.Chinese authorities have issued a series of policies to lower tech barriers for seniors. The State Council launched an initiative to help seniors bridge the digital divide in late 2020, introducing a set of measures to help the elderly better adjust to technological innovations.While the guideline requires relevant parties to keep non-digital services, it also encourages tech companies to tailor their products for seniors.The plan sets objectives for the 2020-2022 period focusing on seven types of services and scenarios frequently encountered by the elderly, such as healthcare, recreational activities, transportation, and civic services.Hardware and software manufacturers are rolling out new features to help older people access digital technology.Tech giant Huawei has introduced a “simple mode” service for its senior smartphone users and a smart voice assistant to create family-like companionship. Railway ticket reservation website has provided a text-to-speech service for seniors with failing eyesight.“Now the tiny font sizes on phone screens and physical difficulty in typing are no longer issues perplexing the seniors who like navigating the Internet,” said Cheng Kun, general manager of the input method business unit of iFLYTEK, an artificial intelligence and speech technology company in China.“While more seniors are dabbling in social media and absorbing a wealth of information, they are also easy victims for online fraud and theft,” said Wang Peng, deputy director of Jiangsu Communications Administration. Wang added that it is necessary to offer training programs for these “silver-haired surfers.”Jiangsu, home to more than 18 million elderly residents, is promoting activities to help them get familiar with smart devices. The capital city of Nanjing, for example, has opened smartphone training courses at over 700 elderly universities.“Being curious and keeping pace with the times will keep us forever young,” Chen Yuzhen said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:08 am(NZT)

Potala to open free for tourists

The iconic Potala Palace in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region will be open to the public free of charge from today to the end of 2021, as authorities strive to promote winter tourism.Tourists only need to make an appointment one day in advance on the palace’s WeChat account for entry, the resort’s management office said yesterday.The Potala Palace, located in the regional capital of Lhasa, was built by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century and expanded in the 17th century. The palace was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tibet.It holds a collection of invaluable scriptures, historical documents, and precious relics, including statues, paintings, and frescoes.The palace’s new move is part of the region’s “Winter Tourism in Tibet” program to promote tourism and push economic growth.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:08 am(NZT)

Female crew member among 3 astronauts set for space station

CHINA will send three astronauts to an unfinished space station tomorrow, including the first female crew member. They will stay at the station for six months. It will be the second of four planned crewed missions to the station, which is due to be completed by the end of next year. The first crew who served a 90-day mission aboard the main Tianhe core module of the space station returned in mid-September. The Shenzhou-13 spacecraft will be launched on a Long March-2F rocket at 12:23am tomorrow from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northwestern China, Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency, told reporters. Zhai Zhigang, 55, who performed China’s first spacewalk in 2008, will be the mission commander for Shenzhou-13, Lin said. Zhai will be accompanied by Wang Yaping, 41, and Ye Guangfu, 41. Wang will be the first female astronaut to visit the Chinese station. Zhai said the main challenges for the astronauts will include “more complex” spacewalks than previous missions and the extra physical and mental pressure of living in space for a longer period. But the crew “had the confidence and ability” to achieve their objectives and “live up to the great trust placed in us by the motherland and the people,” he added at a separate press conference yesterday. The mission, known as Shenzhou-13, meaning “Divine Vessel” in Chinese, will be Zhai and Wang’s second space mission and Ye’s first. It will set a record for the most time spent in space by Chinese astronauts. The ground team will optimize their menu and provide psychological support based on the monthly assessment of the astronauts’ status, said Lin of the CMSA. He noted that six months will be a regular duration for following Chinese astronauts to work and live in the space station. The Long March-2F carrier rocket is being filled with propellant, Lin said. “All systems conducting the Shenzhou-13 mission have undergone a comprehensive rehearsal. The flight crew is in good condition and our pre-launch preparations are in order.” The mission is expected to continue the work of the initial crew, who conducted two spacewalks and deployed a 10-meter mechanical arm. The Shenzhou-13 crew’s scheduled activities include up to three spacewalks to install equipment in preparation for expanding the station, verifying living conditions in the module and conducting experiments in space medicine and other areas, Lin said. The female taikonaut Wang will give a lesson while in orbit — for a second time. Wang earned the title of China’s first space teacher after delivering a televised science lecture to an audience of over 60 million schoolchildren during the Shenzhou-10 space mission in June 2013. She will also be the first Chinese female astronaut to carry out extravehicular activities. China began construction of what will be its first permanent space station in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of the station’s three modules. When completed with the addition of two more modules — named Mengtian and Wentian — the station will weigh about 66 tons. Lin said the two additional modules would be sent before the end of next year during the stay of the yet-to-be-named Shenzhou-14 crew.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:08 am(NZT)

Taiwan building fire kills at least 46

AN overnight fire tore through a building in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City yesterday, killing 46 people and injuring dozens of others in the island’s deadliest blaze in decades. The fire broke out in the 13-story, mixed-use building in the small hours early yesterday, according to officials, raging through multiple floors before firefighters finally got it under control. Pictures published by Taiwan media showed smoke billowing out of the building’s windows as firefighters desperately tried to douse the flames using extendable hoses. Kaohsiung’s fire department said it sent more than 70 trucks to tackle the blaze, which took four hours to put out. As daylight broke, the sheer scale of the fire became clear, with every floor of the building visibly blackened and most of its windows shattered. The fire department said the blaze “caused 41 injuries and 46 deaths,” with officials adding that most of the fatalities occurred on floors seven to 11, which housed residential apartments. Many of the residents of the 40-year-old building were elderly and lived alone in apartments as small as 13 square meters, local media said. The building had 120 residential units on the upper floors, as well as a closed movie theater, abandoned restaurants and karaoke clubs below them, local media said. Fire extinguishers had been installed last month, but only three per floor because the residents could not afford to pay more, the United Daily News newspaper reported. The fire appeared to have started on the ground floor. The United Daily News said that investigators were focusing on a first-floor tea shop whose owner reportedly fought with his girlfriend earlier on Wednesday. They had not ruled out arson, the newspaper said. Residents reported hearing a number of loud noises when the fire first broke out on the lower floors. “I heard many loud bangs — bang, bang, bang — on the ground floor and came down to investigate,” an unidentified man who lived in the building told Formosa TV. “That’s when I realized there was a fire and called the police,” he added. An unnamed female survivor, describing the scene on her floor, said: “When I opened the door to get out, the hallway was full of black smoke.” As night fell, police announced emergency services had finished searching the building with no further casualties found. Chinese mainland authorities have expressed deep condolences over the fatalities and offered sincere sympathies to the injured compatriots and family members affected. The fire looks set to be Taiwan’s deadliest in years. The last fire of a similar magnitude was in 1995, when 64 people perished inside a packed karaoke club. As an island frequently battered by earthquakes and typhoons, Taiwan has strict building codes and a generally good safety record. But there is often a gap between what the rules state and how safety standards are applied, especially in older buildings. Some of the highest death tolls in recent earthquakes have come when older buildings have collapsed, with subsequent investigations showing their designs were not up to code. Earlier this year 49 people were killed when a train hit a truck that had slid onto the tracks.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:08 am(NZT)

Man gets death for murdering his ex-wife

A CHINESE man was sentenced to death for murdering his ex-wife during her livestream, a court ruled yesterday, in a case that shocked the country and raised nationwide outrage over domestic violence. Amuchu, a 30-year-old Tibetan vlogger known on social media as Lamu, died after being doused in gasoline and set on fire by her former husband Tang Lu in September last year. She died of her injuries in hospital two weeks later. Amuchu divorced Tang, who had a history of violence toward her, the court said, in June 2020, only months before she was murdered at her father’s home. He was sentenced to death for intentional homicide by a court in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the southwest Sichuan Province. His crime “was extremely cruel and the social impact was extremely bad,” the court statement said, calling for “severe punishment” in accordance with the law. At the time, her death triggered an online outcry over the under-reported issue of domestic violence in rural communities. On Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, Amuchu posted videos of her daily life foraging in the mountains, cooking and lipsyncing to songs dressed in traditional Tibetan clothing. After her death, tens of thousands of grieving followers commented on her Douyin page, while millions of users on the Twitter-like platform Weibo demanded justice using trending hashtags. China criminalized domestic violence in 2016, but the issue remains pervasive. Around one in four married Chinese women have experienced domestic abuse, according to a 2013 survey by the All-China Women’s Federation.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 15 Oct 2021 | 5:08 am(NZT)

Lamu murder: Death sentence for popular Chinese vlogger's killer

The man set his ex-wife alight during her livestream, causing outrage across the country.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Oct 2021 | 12:59 am(NZT)

China: Key price measure rises at fastest rate on record

The country's manufacturers have been hit by power cuts and surging commodity costs in recent months.

Source: BBC News - China | 14 Oct 2021 | 7:38 pm(NZT)

Covid: New WHO group may be last chance to find virus origins

The World Health Organization unveils a new group to examine the emergence of the virus more closely.

Source: BBC News - China | 14 Oct 2021 | 9:53 am(NZT)

Official ‘took bribes’

Prosecutors have initiated a public prosecution against Wang Fuyu, former chairperson of the Guizhou provincial committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, over bribery charges.Upon the designation of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Tianjin First Intermediate People’s Procuratorate examined Wang’s case and filed it at the city’s first intermediate people’s court, the SPP said yesterday.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Desolate desert fuels highways to deliver power

On the western fringes of Maowusu, a major desert in northern China, rows of power towers stand on an area of about 26.7 hectares.Every day, nearly 100 million kWh of electricity is transmitted from the facilities to the eastern coastal city of Qingdao about 1,300 kilometers away.The infrastructure is part of China’s massive power network often termed “power highways,” built to transmit electricity from its resources-rich west to the more developed, power-thirsty east.The power highways use ultra-high-voltage transmission, the world’s most advanced power transmission technology. China is the first country to fully grasp the UHV technology and put it into commercial use.As the country is striving to meet its carbon commitment to peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, the power highways have seen increasing transmissions of electricity generated by green energy.In 2020, China’s 22 UHV power lines delivered 531.8 billion kWh of electricity, of which 244.1 billion kWh were generated from renewable energy sources, accounting for 46 percent of the total, according to a July report released by the National Energy Administration.China’s northwestern region is not only rich in fossil fuels but boasts abundant clean energy resources such as solar and wind power. The large areas of desertification land also provide space for developing power generation facilities.In recent years, the new energy industry has experienced explosive growth in the region.Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is an important supplier of the west-to-east power transmission program. Over the past 10 years, the installed capacity of Ningxia’s new energy power generation has increased 29 times from 850,000 kW to 25.74 million kW, local statistics showed.In the northwestern province of Qinghai, the amount of electricity produced using new energy resources has accounted for 61 percent of the total installed capacity, official data showed.In December last year, the world’s first UHV power line dedicated to transmitting clean electricity was put into operation in the province, stretching over 1,500km from Qinghai all the way to central China’s Henan Province. So far, the line has delivered more than 16 billion kWh of clean electricity to other parts of China.“The electricity transmitted through the line in one second is enough to meet an average household’s demand for two years,” said Li Binshan, head of the Qingnan converter station at the origin of the power line.At full capacity, the line can deliver 40 billion kWh generated by clean and renewable energy annually to regions including central China.That is equivalent to that produced by 18 million tons of raw coal, totalling 29.6 million tons of carbon dioxide.The trend for green power transmission is set to continue as China keeps up its capacity of clean and renewable power.Multiple UHV power line projects will be built in northwest and southwest China during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). They are expected to transmit 56 million kW of power.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

PLA exercise aimed against separatists

The recent exercise by the People’s Liberation Army targeted separatist activities seeking “Taiwan independence” and interference by external forces. It was necessary to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, a Chinese mainland spokesperson said. Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks after the Democratic Progressive Party hyped up the so-called military threat from the mainland over the PLA exercise across the Taiwan Strait. The DPP authority distorted the truth, said Ma, warning that it will only push Taiwan into a more precarious situation if it obstinately continues its wrongful actions. Responding to remarks made by the DPP leader who claimed that the two sides “should not be subordinate to each other,” Ma said that was touting the false “two states” theory. “The two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China, and the relations across the Strait are not state-to-state relations,” Ma said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Kunming developing green infrastructure to strengthen water supply

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) is being held in Kunming, where “sponge city” construction has helped ensure biodiversity — a concept replicated in other Chinese cities, especially Shanghai. Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, used to be a “City of Water” with its fertile Dianchi Lake and dense network of rivers, which were called the city’s “blood vessels”, in old times. At that time, Kunming was like any of the water towns in Jiangnan, regions in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. People in Kunming used boats for traveling throughout the city. However, later, due to Dianchi Lake’s decreasing water level, it ceded to the land and the Xima River, which became narrower and shallower, finally turning into an underground river. But now, with the Kunming government’s infrastructural efforts, more and more water appears in the city with rainwater collected and utilized to relieve the city’s water supply burden. Kunming’s work collecting and utilizing rainwater can be traced back to 2009, while its “sponge city” construction project officially began in 2016. “It’s an inevitable choice for Kunming to build itself a ‘sponge city’,” Xiong Guozhi, deputy head of the Kunming Water Resources Bureau, told Shanghai Daily. “Kunming is one of the cities in China that is most frequently short of water. The per capita water resources here are under 200 steres, which is far less than the national average. Since our urban population is large, the city has a great water supply burden.” Xiong said through the “sponge city” construction project, the use of rainwater can bring relief to the whole city’s water resource availability and help with preventing flooding. The project is referred to as the “sponge city” project in reference to the goal of increasing the city’s ability to retain water and maintain ample water resources in the future. So far, Kunming has almost eliminated dirty and odorous water areas, according to Xiong. A total of 621 buildings and residential communities, 181 roads, and 71 parks and green spaces have met the standards of the “sponge city” project. In Kunming’s Wuhua District, there are two “urban wetland” areas that connect rivers and introduce the “sponge city” concept to their water and greenery. At the area south of Jinchuan Road at the Chenjiaying Forked Gully, residents were seen wandering in an “urban wetland” with a “sponge park” and a winding artificial creek about 800 meters in length. As a spillway of the Ziwei Village Reservoir, which is located in the mountainous area upstream, the Chenjiaying Forked Gully has to handle the rain drainage in its neighboring places. To solve problems like heavy pollution, poor landscape design, and frequent flooding, the district water resource bureau decided to set up a “wetland” there to better maintain the environment and ecology in the area. The bureau had built a string of “rain gardens” there with a total area of nearly 19,000 square meters. Meanwhile, they planted various flowers which can bloom in different seasons, such as magnolias, jacarandas, and cherry blossoms. They also set up facilities like waterfront walking lanes, a boardwalk above the creek, and plazas for people to relax. Zhang Shihua, director of the bureau, said instead of a straight artificial creek with lower cost and workload, they built a curving eco-friendly one that is sloped so that it can allow aquatic plants and animals to grow better. “With the slope, the trees, bushes, and grasses can be connected into the body of water, which allows small creatures in the water to climb,” said Zhang. The wetland also purifies the reclaimed water from the reservoir and serves as a “green barrier” to reduce pollution. Zhang mentioned that two water quality tests showed that after being filtrated and precipitated several times, the level of water quality improved greatly. “The chemical oxygen demand dropped by 23.4 percent, ammonia nitrogen content reduced by 53.5 percent, phosphorus content declined by 61.6 percent, and that of the anionic surfactant fell by 50.8 percent.” Zhang said that most of the wetlands in Kunming are large lakeside ones. “What we did with the urban wetlands and water ecology restoration program is like scrambling for urbanization space,” he said. “Previously, construction was mainly for residential complexes and roads, and roadside green areas were just the landscape for people to look at. But now we let people come in and experience and interact with the ecology.” The other wetland is under the Puji Flyover with three ecological ponds placed in the green space with a total area of 3,500 square meters. Southwest of Cuihu Park, a belt-shaped park was built along the Xima River, which previously receded and became an underground river due to urbanization. The river was returned to the surface using a water restoration system. According to Zhang Yun, a guide at Cuihu Park, since functions like water circulation and self-purification don’t work very well in the 220-meter-long Xima River, they have taken measures to prevent the water from undergoing eutrophication, which means that the pollution from such sources as sewage or fertilized fields causes water to become high in organic and mineral nutrients. Employees formed an “underwater forest” system by planting more aquatic plants to create an ecological system. Then they set a submerged pump in the lower part of the river to pump water and release it in the upper portion to circulate. Near Cuihu Park, there are five sets of mosaiculture, referring to the horticultural art of creating giant topiary-like sculptures with bedding plants. Wen Cheng, an expert with the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, told Shanghai Daily that due to its geographical location Kunming often suffers some flooding in the rainy season. “And on the other side, the plain with seasonal flooding is also has the richest ecosystem and biodiversity. However, under the traditional urban development model, urban development and the ecosystem separate in space and cause the suspension of eco-hydrological progress.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Countries pledge to use policies to protect habitats

More than 100 countries pledged yesterday to put the protection of habitats at the heart of their government decision-making, as the Kunming Declaration was adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15). Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu declared the adoption of the declaration at the High-Level Segment of the first part of COP15 in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. “The declaration will send a powerful signal, showing the world our determination to solve the problem of biodiversity loss, and our stronger actions on the issues discussed at this high-level meeting,” Huang said. The Kunming Declaration is a political declaration and the main achievement of this conference. The declaration commits to ensuring the development, adoption and implementation of an effective post-2020 global biodiversity framework to reverse the current loss of biodiversity and ensure that biodiversity is put on a path to recovery by 2030 at the latest, toward the full realization of the 2050 Vision of “Living in Harmony with Nature.” World leaders also committed to increase the “provision of financial, technological and capacity building support to developing countries to implement the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and in line with the provisions of the convention.” The declaration took note of the theme of the UN Biodiversity Conference 2020: “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth.” Ecological civilization is a philosophy proposed by China. The document recognizes that main direct drivers of biodiversity loss remain “land/sea use change, overexploitation, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species.” It stresses the urgent need of integrated action to find the future path of nature and people, “where biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably, and the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources are shared fairly and equitably, as an integral part of sustainable development.” It declared that putting biodiversity on a path of recovery is a defining challenge of this decade, requiring strong political momentum to develop, the adoption and implementation of an ambitious and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework and putting forward the 17 commitments. “The Kunming Declaration details some of the key elements needed for success: mainstreaming, redirection of subsidies, rule of law, full and effective participation of indigenous people and local communities,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. With plant and animal species loss now at the fastest rate in 10 million years, politicians, scientists and experts have been trying to lay the groundwork for a new pact on saving biodiversity. In a previous agreement signed in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, governments agreed on 20 targets to try to slow biodiversity loss and protect habitats by 2020, but none of those targets was met.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Storm weakens after making landfall

Typhoon Kompasu, the 18th typhoon of the year, made landfall in south China’s island province of Hainan yesterday. The typhoon landed on the coast of Boao Township in Qionghai City at 3:30pm, packing winds of up to 118.8 kilometers per hour, according to the Hainan meteorological service. The typhoon is weakening after landing and is forecast to move across the southern part of Hainan before entering the Beibu Gulf early today. Typhoon Kompasu, coupled with a cold front, was forecast to bring heavy rains and strong winds to the sea and land areas of Hainan. Authorities in Hainan canceled all flights at major airports and suspended the local high-speed railway loop line service, as well as ferries across Qiongzhou Strait, which connect Hainan with Guangdong Province. The island province has adopted an emergency response plan to cope with heavy winds and floods, including suspending classes, work and markets, and closing tourist attractions. Guangdong has also taken precautions to safeguard residents’ lives and property. Schools, kindergartens, construction sites and tourist attractions in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan were closed down. Temporary traffic control was introduced along the fairway of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, and ships were banned from passing under the bridge. Hong Kong suspended classes, stock market trading and government services. Kompasu caused landslides and flash floods in the northern Philippines, leaving at least 11 people dead and seven missing, officials said on Tuesday.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Residents will not be affected by power cuts

China’s planning agency yesterday said electricity supplies will be high enough to heat homes in the country’s north during the winter, amid a nationwide energy crunch that has seen power cuts in some areas. Zhao Chenxin, who heads the National Development and Reform Commission, also said China would honor its carbon reduction targets even as it ramps up coal production to meet increased electricity demands. “All in all, we have the conditions, the resources and the capability to ensure the supply of heating for the winter,” said Zhao. While households will pay a standard price for heating and electricity, factories will pay within a range that is 20 percent higher or lower of that set price as part of an “optimized pricing system,” Zhao said. That is adjusted from the current ceiling of 10 percent and floor of 15 percent and aims to encourage industrial upgrades through the investment in more efficient technologies, Zhao added. Zhao said coal production was being increased along with natural gas, and energy reserves would be deployed to meet demand. Daily coal output has reached the highest since February at more than 11.2 million tons, while average coal stocks at its power plants can support about 15 days of use, according to an official from the National Energy Administration at the same news briefing. China’s electricity consumption went up 6.8 percent year on year in September, as the country’s economy further recovers, official data showed yesterday. Total power use came in at 694.7 billion kWh last month, the NEA said. In September, power consumption by the primary and secondary industries rose by 14.9 percent and 6 percent from a year ago, respectively, while that used by the tertiary industry jumped by 12.1 percent year on year. Residential power consumption saw a yearly increase of 3.7 percent last month. Zhao said there was no conflict between the uptick in coal production and China’s carbon control targets. “China has always honored our commitments for the goals we have set and we will do whatever we can to achieve them,” Zhao said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

More e-licenses

China will soon allow drivers in 110 more cities to apply for e-licenses, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.Starting as early as October 20, drivers in the 110 cities including Taiyuan, Shenyang and Harbin can apply for a digital license through an official mobile app.The digital licenses are valid across the country. China on September 1 started issuing digital licenses in the first batch of 28 cities.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Singapore presents blueprint to implement eco-friendly green plan

DESMOND Lee, Singapore’s Minister for National Development, said yesterday at the COP15 that during the COVID-19 pandemic, green spaces have of­fered respite and recreation away from crowded urban areas. At the same time, cities worldwide continue to grow rapidly and climate change continues to be a pressing challenge for everyone. “So it is impor­tant that we strive toward sustainable development and protect our biodiver­sity to keep our cities liveable.” In Singapore, they are taking active steps to do so, Lee said. This year, they launched the Sin­gapore Green Plan 2030, the na­tional movement for sustainable development. “As part of the movement, we are transforming Singapore into a city in nature,” he explained. “As a small, densely populated island city-state, Singapore does not have large areas outside our city where we can con­serve nature. So we are finding innova­tive ways to weave nature more closely into part of our urban environment.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

China showcases sustainable transport

The second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference will take place in Beijing from today to Saturday.Boasting remarkable achievements in transport infrastructure, China is working on further leveraging its transport prowess to facilitate sustainable development.With the transport conference approaching, it is significant to see how transport promotes sustainable economic and social development in China, which could be summed up in “5Cs” — comprehensive, convenient, clean, clever and creditworthy.Almost everyone coming to China will be impressed by its massive and interconnected transport system, covering facilities from high-speed trains to automated ports that enable passengers and goods to move across the country.By the end of 2020, the operation mileage of China’s high-speed railways exceeded 38,000 kilometers, accounting for over two-thirds of the world’s total, official data showed.China’s high-speed railway system has covered more than 95 percent of the cities with a population of over 1 million. Expressways have served more than 98 percent of the cities with a population of over 200,000 while 92 percent of prefecture-level cities have access to civil airports.Earlier this year, China unveiled plans to develop a modern, high-quality and comprehensive national transport network by 2035, featuring higher domestic and international connectivity, multi-channel access to major cities, and effective coverage of county-level nodes.“If you want to become rich, build a road first” is a popular Chinese saying, highlighting the role of transport in boosting local economies and improving people’s livelihood.Official data showed 2.36 million km of rural roads have been newly built or renovated in China since 2012, with the total rural road mileage reaching 4.38 million km, accounting for 84.3 percent of the country’s total.By 2020, China had 241 certified airports, up 58 from 2012.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Addict folk singer finds comeback unforgiving

Song Dongye, a Chinese folk song singer who was involved in drug abuse in 2016, published a long post to his Weibo account on Monday expressing his wish to make a comeback, which has since been widely rejected by netizens.Song expressed his anguish in the post that someone reported one of his latest live performances to authorities, which was later canceled, causing many staff and band members’ efforts to go down the drain.“It’s not easy to be a public figure. It’s known that people in the entertainment business are plagued with mental health issues such as depression. It’s the drug dealers who kill, not drug users.” Song said in the post.“If I’m forced to leave, I’ll hold out for my lawful rights to work until the end,” he added.Song was detained by the Beijing Police in 2016 for possession of more than 80 grams of marijuana. He then received 15 days of administrative detention.Many left comments in his post saying that he has not repented at all and that celebrities with a history of drug use should not be allowed to make a comeback.Who deserves 2nd chance?Following the event, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China published a commentary with the title “Should singers with a history of drug use be allowed to have concerts?”The Youth League explained that the singer Song shirked his responsibilities to the netizens and those who reported him, claiming that he has a right to work and that it should be allowed. In actuality, it’s not that people won’t allow him to work, but just not to make a comeback as a celebrity.Also, many official police Weibo accounts took a strong stand on the drug-using issue. China Police Online said if celebrities with a drug-using history can make a comeback, what about the narcotics agents who’ve lost their lives in the drug war?The police website said that narcotics agents have the riskiest and most dangerous jobs in the police force. More than 30 narcotics agents have been killed in the drug war since 2017.The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China issued a notice in September, which specified that celebrities with a record of using illegal drugs or visiting prostitutes are forbidden to make a comeback in any way.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 14 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Inflation: Price of top China soy sauce raised as costs surge

The announcement is the latest sign of inflationary pressures in the world's second largest economy.

Source: BBC News - China | 13 Oct 2021 | 5:03 pm(NZT)

Typhoon to make landfall in Hainan

Typhoon Kompasu, the 18th of this year, is forecast to bring strong winds and rain to southern parts of China. Kompasu was observed in the northeastern part of the South China Sea at around 10am yesterday, about 910 kilometers east of Wanning City, Hainan Province, packing winds with a speed up to 90km per hour at its center, according to the provincial meteorological administration. It will move westward at a speed of about 28kph toward the island province. The provincial flood, wind and drought control headquarters had upgraded its emergency response to level-III at 9:30am yesterday. The provincial meteorological authority said that the typhoon is expected to make landfall in the coastal areas from Wenchang City to Lingshui Li Autonomous County from the afternoon to the night today. Affected by both the typhoon and cold air, Hainan as well as the eastern and southern parts of Guangdong Province will be hit by heavy rain. So far, three ports in Haikou, the capital of Hainan, have suspended operation. Fishing boats have been called to return to port and outdoor activities have been halted. Hong Kong’s Observatory issued a number 8 typhoon signal — its third-highest storm warning — at 5:22pm, as the typhoon threatened the financial hub for the second time in less than a week. The order stopped ferries and many bus routes from operating, although the city’s subway system continued running. Schools had already sent students home earlier in the day ahead of the order, with many offices following suit.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Coal supply seen stable in rain-hit Shanxi

The coal supply of rain-ravaged Shanxi, a major coal base in northern China, will likely remain stable as most coal mines have fully resumed production. In Tashan coal mine under Jinneng Holding Shanxi Coal Industry Co Ltd, the largest coal enterprise in Shanxi, Cao Minxing, a miner on duty, is busy in the operating room. “I intended to take a holiday this month but was dragged back to work as we are stepping up production,” said Cao. Data from the local meteorological department show that from October 2 to 7, the average precipitation in Shanxi reached 119.5 millimeters, nearly fourfold the average rainfall in October. Days of continuous rain have caused floods that halted production, damaged roads, and interrupted power supply in many areas. The heavy rain will likely have a limited impact on coal supply in the province, said industry insiders. A total of 60 mines in Shanxi suspended production from October 1-7 due to heavy rainfall, said the provincial emergency management department earlier. “But most have resumed production. Only four were still closed due to flooding or road interruptions,” said Wang Qirui, head of Shanxi’s emergency management department, yesterday. “Most of the coal mines only suspended production for a short time, so the overall supply will not be affected,” Wang added. Official data show that from October 1-8, the average daily coal shipment volume in Shanxi only decreased slightly compared with the same period last year. The main reason was not rainstorms but the autumn maintenance of the Datong-Qinhuangdao Railway, a major coal transportation channel, which started three days earlier than last year. Many coal mines are also ramping up output to guarantee a stable coal supply. From October 4-9, Jinneng Holding added 64,400 tons of coal supplies to several power plants in northeast China. Another major coal producer, Huayang New Material Technology Group Co Ltd, sold 756,000 tons of coal during the weeklong National Day holiday, 133,000 tons more than the original plan.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

North China floods kill 15, 3 missing

CONTINUOUS rainstorms have left 15 people dead and three others missing in north China’s Shanxi Province, according to the provincial government. From October 2-7, Shanxi experienced the strongest autumn flood on record. Continuous rainfall has affected nearly 1.76 million residents in 76 county-level regions across the province, and 120,100 people have been relocated. About 238,460 hectares of crops have been damaged, 37,700 houses collapsed or were seriously damaged, causing direct economic losses of 5.03 billion yuan (US$780 million). As of 5pm on Monday, the disaster had caused the suspension of 530 high-voltage lines of 10 kilovolts and above, and 332,700 households lost power. Over 6,021 kilometers of roads were also damaged, resulting in the interruption of 32 sections of expressways, 72 highway sections and 3,238 rural road sections. As of Monday, 30 blocked sections of expressways across the province had resumed traffic, while 19 sections and 2,800 sections of highways and rural roads reopened. The power supply department dispatched a total of 12,948 personnel and 3,210 vehicles to repair the damaged facilities. Now over 95 percent of households that had lost power have resumed power supply.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 13 Oct 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Covid-19 vaccines: Has China made more than other countries combined?

China says it's provided more than half of all vaccines administered around the world so far.

Source: BBC News - China | 10 Oct 2021 | 12:20 pm(NZT)

China power cuts: Coal miners ordered to boost output, say reports

Millions of Chinese homes and businesses have been hit by power cuts in recent weeks.

Source: BBC News - China | 8 Oct 2021 | 7:43 pm(NZT)

Climate change: Tracking China's steel addiction in one city

The BBC travels to Wuzhou to see how cities are grappling with climate targets and a "build" mantra.

Source: BBC News - China | 8 Oct 2021 | 12:33 pm(NZT)

US deeply concerned over Taiwan-China tension

The US national security advisor speaks to the BBC with tensions between China and Taiwan at their worst in decades.

Source: BBC News - China | 8 Oct 2021 | 9:29 am(NZT)

Changing China: How Xi's 'common prosperity' may impact the world

China is changing who it prioritises as it grows its economy in ways that could affect us all.

Source: BBC News - China | 7 Oct 2021 | 12:07 pm(NZT)

China-Taiwan military tensions 'worst in 40 years'

Taiwan's defence minister warns of the risk of an accidental strike amid more Chinese aerial incursions.

Source: BBC News - China | 7 Oct 2021 | 12:24 am(NZT)

Evergrande: Investors kept waiting over 'major' deal

Two more Chinese property companies are causing concerns over their ability to repay their debts.

Source: BBC News - China | 5 Oct 2021 | 6:32 pm(NZT)

Rape claim sparks fury over China's work drinking

As public scrutiny of corporate misbehaviour grows, can business drinking be dropped forever?

Source: BBC News - China | 3 Oct 2021 | 12:09 pm(NZT)

China: Big spender or loan shark?

China hands out twice as much development cash as the US - mostly high-interest loans from state banks.

Source: BBC News - China | 29 Sep 2021 | 5:03 pm(NZT)

Xianzi: The #MeToo icon China is trying to silence

A court has thrown out a high-profile sexual harassment case. Can China's feminist movement survive?

Source: BBC News - China | 27 Sep 2021 | 1:03 pm(NZT)


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