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China celebrates colourful Lantern Festival

Villages and cities become a sea of bright light to mark the end of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Source: BBC News - China | 27 Feb 2021 | 7:08 am(NZT)

Govt moves to pass law to help save Yellow River

A law to improve the conservation of the Yellow River Basin ecosystems and promote regional economic development is being drafted amid efforts to strengthen the protection of the watercourse and prevent environmental hazards.The legislative work is on the agenda of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress this year and government departments are preparing the document, said Wang Fengchun, an official from NPC’s Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee.Similar legislation aimed at protecting other river basins across the country is also in the works, he added.Wang said that while environmental protection and green development are the top priorities in making such laws, “We will also take ecological and economic benefits into consideration to improve the green transformation of economic and social development in all respects in the river basins.”To ensure the laws can better respond to public concerns and solve environmental problems more effectively, he said lessons will be drawn from the drafting of the Yangtze River Protection Law — which was passed late last year — with a cross-department legislative team established and opinions solicited from more walks of life, both online and offline.Groundbreaking lawThe Yangtze River Protection Law was the first law in China made for a specific river basin.Aimed at promoting well-coordinated environmental conservation and avoiding excessive development, the law will come into force on Monday.As well as strengthening protection of the ecology of Asia’s longest river, the law will also restrict exploitation of shorelines and impose tougher punishments for a number of violations that cause environmental hazards in the river basin.Fishing, for example, will be banned in all of the Yangtze’s natural waterways, including in its main tributaries and lakes.Environmental authorities pledged to try their best to make sure the law can be implemented effectively.Ma Yi, head of the office for dealing with Yangtze River matters at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said they will guide local government departments in the implementation of the fishing ban, helping to save endangered species in the river.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

Official ‘took bribes’

Wen Guodong, former vice governor of northwest China’s Qinghai Province, has been indicted on suspicion of accepting bribes, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said yesterday Wen was accused of taking advantage of his various former positions to seek profit for others, and of accepting vast sums of money and gifts in return.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

2 die in factory fire

Two were killed and seven others were injured after a major fire erupted in a plant yesterday in Changle District in Fuzhou City in southeast China’s Fujian Province. The flames have been put out and the reason for the fire is still under investigation.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

Hi Mom! Laughter, tears in sensational movie hit

Audiences are cramming into Chinese cinemas to watch a sentimental comedy that has rapidly become one of the most popular films of all time in the country and marks a triumphant debut for its female director.Since its release a fortnight ago, Jia Ling’s “Hi, Mom” has become the fourth best-selling film ever in China with ticket sales of at least 4.3 billion yuan (US$670 million).If it continues its monumental success, “Hi, Mom” could become the highest-grossing movie ever by a female director.Jia, 38, also plays the lead role as the daughter who travels back to 1981, before she was born, and tries to give her mother a better life than the one she had.The film is partly biographical and an ode to Jia’s mother, who died in an accident when Jia was 19.“Mum, don’t go, don’t leave me,” Jia says in the film — dissolving many in cinema audiences into tears, even though it is for the most part a comedy.Chinese cinemas are largely back to normal after the country wrestled down coronavirus infections to a comparative trickle, and the film has given many a renewed appreciation of their mothers.“I have never thought before that my mum was also a young girl in the past,” said college student Yu Yanting.Thirteen-year-old Vittoria and younger sister Valeria, 11, were inconsolable after watching it with their mother.“I hope they will appreciate mummy more now,” said their mother Elaine, holding her two daughters close.Jia, who was one of the best-known comedians in the world of Chinese comedy, said that she was “tormented” when her mother died suddenly.But she hopes that rather than thinking of it as a sad film, audiences will appreciate her mother’s spirit and optimism.“Our mum’s love for us is like air — it is there since we were born, so we often ignore it,” Jia said. “But when we lose it, we experience a sense of suffocation and helplessness.”Film critic Jing Runcheng said that “Hi, Mom” has become an outlet for Chinese to let their pent-up emotions flow, and knowing it is based on a true story gives it an extra impact.“Chinese people are really introverted and not good at expressing their feelings,” said Jing. “You never imagine Chinese people will suddenly, after watching a movie or reading something, run to their mothers and tell them they love them. But after watching this film, it helps give you that opportunity.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)



Floating hotel is treading water

China’s first floating major hotel has been suspended by authorities over illegal occupation of maritime space.Located 500 meters off the coast of Dongshan Island in southeast China’s Fujian Province, Hi Sea Floating Hotel has attracted a robust following on social media for its unique design and unrivaled views.With rooms going for up to 7,800 yuan (US$1,207) a night, it has been fully booked until April.The Maritime Safety Bureau in Zhangzhou began investigating the hotel’s legality last November.The bureau ordered the hotel to suspend operations, which the owner surnamed Lin ignored.In 2018, Lin posted an article on the hotel’s WeChat account saying he wanted to build a cabin on the sea to get away from the crowds.The hotel has gone through several design and construction updates to ensure it is strong enough to withstand tidal currents and even hurricanes.Construction took 17 months, and the hotel was divided into three rooms that can accommodate up to 8 adults.The Maritime Safety Bureau fined the owner 10,000 yuan and ordered him to vacate the occupied sea space.Lin is applying for approval to reopen in March next year.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

Paralegal bit off HK cop’s finger

A Hong Kong man who bit off the tip of a police officer’s finger during a protest in 2019 has been found guilty on four charges.To Kai-wa, a 24-year-old paralegal, was charged for disorderly conduct in a public place, attacking police officers while they were on duty, inflicting grievous bodily harm and wounding with intent.He has been found guilty of intentionally wounding Detective Sergeant Keith Leung Kai-yip by fracturing his ring finger and tearing off the tip during a demonstration at New Town Plaza on July 14, 2019.He is also accused of assaulting two other officers during the demonstration.A judge ruled the bite was a deliberate act rather than a reflexive response.To is remanded ahead of sentencing provisionally scheduled for March 15.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

10 role models awarded with national honorary titles

MAO Xianglin The Party secretary of Xiazhuang Village in Zhuxian Town, Wushan County of Chongqing City, spent seven years leading people to build a road linking the mountainous region to the outside world. Bai Jingying Bai is an inheritor of Wangfu Embroidery and head of the embroidery industry-driven poverty eradication team in Horqin Right Wing Middle Banner in Inner Mongolia. She held many workshops to teach ethnic Mongolian embroidery to rural women. Liu Hu The director of the Water Conservancy Bureau of Jiashi County in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has been committed to bringing clean drinking water to the impoverished population and solve water shortages in the local area. Li Yu The academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences has spent the last 30 years researching the science of fungi and edible fungus engineering technology and industrialization in Jilin Province. Zhang Xiaojuan Zhang died at the age of 34 in a traffic accident on October 7, 2019. She was the deputy chief of the Zhouqu County’s poverty eradication program in Gansu Province and had visited every single household in 87 villages to help solve their difficulties. Zhang Guimei Zhang is a teacher who dedicated 40 years of her life to help and motivate young girls from impoverished families in the mountainous areas of southwest China’s Yunnan Province to pursue higher education. Zhao Yafu Zhao is an agricultural researcher who worked in the Chinese countryside for over 48 years, teaching farmers advanced planting techniques and helping them raise the yield and incomes.   Jiang Shikun The late former secretary of the CPC Committee of Qinglong County, Guizhou Province, was a pioneer in devising plans for targeted poverty eradication in the county and promoting rural tourism. He died of a heart attack in 2016 at the age of 46. Xia Sen The retired researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences promoted children’s education in poverty-stricken areas. She has sponsored 182 students from disadvantaged families to attend college. Huang Wenxiu The Party chief of Baini Village in Leye County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region helped 103 households shake off poverty during her tenure between 2018 and 2019. Huang was killed in a mudslide in 2019 while on the way to check on the villagers.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

China eradicated absolute poverty, says Xi

CHINESE President Xi Jinping announced that China has secured a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty. Xi said absolute poverty has been eradicated in the world’s most populous country, home to over 1.4 billion people. He made the announcement yesterday while addressing a grand gathering held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark the nation’s poverty alleviation accomplishments and honor model poverty fighters. With absolute poverty eliminated, China has created another “miracle” that will “go down in history,” Xi said. Over the past eight years, the final 98.99 million impoverished rural residents living under the current poverty line have all been lifted out of poverty. All 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 villages have also been removed from the poverty list. The country has met the poverty eradication target set out in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule. Combined with poverty-reduction results since the late 1970s, China is responsible for over 70 percent of the global reduction in poverty over the period, World Bank statistics have shown. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the success of China’s anti-poverty campaign, calling it “the most important contribution” to the global poverty reduction cause. “No country has been able to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in such a short time,” Xi said. At yesterday’s gathering, Xi presented medals, certificates and plaques to role models from the country’s anti-poverty fight. He also joined other Chinese leaders in presenting awards to individuals and groups for their outstanding achievements in the fight against penury. The recipients include villagers, Party members dispatched to villages to fight poverty, grass-roots officials and college researchers. Some of them were honored posthumously. Shi Jintong, a village Party chief in central China’s Hunan Province, accepted an award on behalf of his village. Shi’s village, Shibadong, is where Xi, during a visit in 2013, put forward the “targeted poverty alleviation” strategy that was instrumental in the success of China’s poverty eradication campaign. “I feel so honored to meet the general secretary again, yet I am confident at the same time as we have accomplished the task of poverty eradication,” Shi said. But not all anti-poverty champions lived to see this day. Over the past eight years, more than 1,800 people died fighting poverty on the front lines. Xi acknowledged these fallen heroes yesterday, saying that their sacrifice and contributions “will never be forgotten by the Party, the people and the republic.” Building on its victory in eradicating poverty, China is moving on to push for higher-level development in its rural areas. Shaking off poverty is not the finish line, but the starting point of a new life and new endeavor, Xi said, demanding efforts to consolidate poverty alleviation achievements and initiate a dovetailing drive of “rural vitalization.” China yesterday inaugurated a new Cabinet body on promoting rural vitalization, which was transformed from the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development. Xi said efforts must be made to prevent any large-scale relapse into poverty.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 26 Feb 2021 | 5:06 am(NZT)

China denies requiring anal swabs from US diplomats

US media claims diplomats were made to undergo anal swabs to test for coronavirus.

Source: BBC News - China | 26 Feb 2021 | 1:53 am(NZT)

China's Xi declares victory in ending extreme poverty

Some have questioned China's definition of extreme poverty as earning less than $620 a year.

Source: BBC News - China | 26 Feb 2021 | 12:01 am(NZT)

Chinese £3,200 budget electric car takes on Tesla

The mini electric vehicle being made by China's biggest carmaker is now outselling Tesla two to one.

Source: BBC News - China | 25 Feb 2021 | 4:20 pm(NZT)

China seeks US trade ties boost

CHINA is ready to strengthen exchanges with the United States in economic and trade fields, and carry out cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said in a press briefing yesterday. “I look forward to joint efforts with our US colleagues to follow the spirit of the phone call between the presidents of the two countries, stepping up communications, enhancing understanding, focusing on cooperation and managing differences to push bilateral economic and trade relations back on a cooperative track,” he said. China has always held that the essence of Sino-US economic and trade relations is mutual benefit and win-win results, Wang stressed, adding that cooperation is the only correct choice as the interests of both sides are deeply integrated. Despite the global trade slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trade between China and the United States has bucked the trend. Customs data showed bilateral trade of goods went up 8.8 percent in 2020 in yuan-denominated terms. China is the largest trading partner of the United States, and the bilateral trade and investment cooperation between the two sides has made positive contributions to their respective economic recovery, Wang said. “This fully demonstrates that economic and trade cooperation is a force that actively promotes the relationship between the two countries and brings tangible benefits to both sides,” he added. Meanwhile, China is making more efforts in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that evolved from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and spans a number of economies in Asia-Pacific and Latin America, according to the ministry. China is evaluating and analyzing the terms involved in the CPTPP. It has also done informal contacts with some of CPTPP’s 11 members, said Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen. The country plans to continue informal discussions with other members at the technical level to better understand the content of the agreement, Wang said. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in November that China will consider joining the CPTPP, and in December, China reiterated its goal during the Central Economic Working Conference. Also, China and the European Union completed the negotiation of a comprehensive bilateral investment agreement in December after seven years of talks. The China-EU agreement is a high-level, balanced, mutually beneficial and win-win agreement, which creates a lot of investment opportunities for companies from both sides. At present, the two sides are carrying out the review and translation of the text in order to sign the agreement as soon as possible.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Happy Frenchman loving Wuhan

Spending the weeklong Spring Festival holiday visiting relatives, setting off firecrackers, eating local specialties and lazing in the warm sunshine, Frenchman Balthazar Boyer was able to feel the familiar festive ambiance of Wuhan.“It was a very pleasant week off. This Spring Festival was completely different to the last one,” said Boyer, 39.Unlike last year, when he and his family spent the holiday anxiously in quarantine at home, they were delighted to celebrate together with family and friends this year, embracing normality in the megacity that was once hard-hit by COVID-19.Boyer, the general manager of a French company’s China office, has lived in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, for nearly 20 years. He settled in the city after acquiring his master’s degree in law from Wuhan University and marrying a local woman.Two weeks after Boyer and his wife returned to Wuhan from a family visit in France in January of last year, the city announced suspensions of public transportation as well as outbound flights and trains to fight the epidemic.Although the French government organized several evacuations for its nationals in Wuhan, Boyer and his wife chose to stay.“Why would we leave? Wuhan is our home,” said Boyer, adding that he was confident in the Chinese government’s response.That year, the family spent the Lunar New Year holiday at home, watching the news every day to keep themselves updated.“Balthazar’s birthday coincided with last year’s Spring Festival holiday, but we were in no mood for a celebration,” said Boyer’s wife, Hu Fan.No worriesThe couple’s anxieties and concerns gradually eased as they learned that medics nationwide were rushing to assist Wuhan, temporary hospitals were being built and infections were dropping. Their worries were also eased as their community organized group purchases to provide substantial daily necessities.“I received so many kinds of foods besides what was needed for our daily meals — I could even try to cook different cuisines,” said Hu.As Wuhan gradually regained its vitality, their lives also returned to normal. When Boyer resumed work, he required all his employees to maintain social distancing and wear masks at work.Although shadowed by the pandemic in 2020, his optoelectronics business was just as profitable as it was in 2019.Boyer and Hu geared up to celebrate the Spring Festival this year on February 12.“We thoroughly cleaned our house ahead of the festival, hoping to sweep away all the bad luck of last year and welcome the good luck of the Year of the Ox,” said Hu.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Huolala driver held over woman’s death

A driver for Huolala, a vehicle-hailing service provider, was detained by police after a woman jumped out of his van and later died from serious injuries, police said yesterday.The 38-year-old man surnamed Zhou claimed the victim, 23-year-old Che Shasha, jumped out of the moving van on her own accord on February 6 when she rented the van for house moving in Changsha, Hunan Province, thepaper.cn reported.The incident has grabbed national attention and rekindled concerns over the safety of car-hailing services, as Che’s family claimed the driver deviated from the navigation route three times.Zhou called police to report the incident at 9:30pm, The Paper reported.Che was sent to Hunan Aerospace Hospital for severe head injuries. She remained unconscious and died on February 10, the report said.According to Che’s WeChat records, she sent a message and an emoji in a chat group with her colleagues — appearing perfectly normal — just six minutes before jumping, according to the report.Che was said to be angry with the driver over his deviation from the navigation route and jumped out of the car, according to Che Xiqiang, her uncle, citing an unidentified police officer investigating the case, thepaper.cn said.Huolala conceded it hadn’t installed surveillance cameras in the vehicle. Huolala said the company bears responsibility for the incident and is deeply remorseful. It said it wasn’t aware until it was reached by police on February 8 and was slow to communicate with Che’s family. It vowed to add voice-recording functions on its app, improve safety functions and install cameras in more cars.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Tianwen-1 closer to landing on Mars

China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft has entered a temporary parking orbit around Mars in anticipation of landing a rover on the red planet in the coming months.At 6:29am yesterday, Tianwen-1 entered the parking orbit, with its closest point to the planet at 280km and the farthest point at 59,000km. It will take Tianwen-1 about two Martian days to complete a circle (a Martian day is approximately 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth), the China National Space Administration said.Tianwen-1, including an orbiter, a lander and a rover, will run in the orbit for about three months.The CNSA added that payloads on the orbiter will all be switched on for scientific exploration. The medium-resolution camera, high-resolution camera and spectrometer will carry out a detailed investigation on the topography and dusty weather of the pre-selected landing area in preparation for a landing.This follows the landing of the US Perseverance rover last Thursday near an ancient river delta in Jezero Crater to search for signs of ancient microscopic life.A successful bid to land Tianwen-1 would make China only the second country after the US to place a spacecraft on Mars. China’s solar-powered vehicle, about the size of a golf cart, will collect data on underground water and look for evidence that the planet may have once harbored microscopic life.Tianwen, the title of an ancient poem, means “Quest for Heavenly Truth.” Landing a spacecraft on Mars is notoriously tricky. China’s attempt will involve a parachute, rocket firings and airbags. Its proposed landing site is a vast, rock-strewn plain called Utopia Planitia, where the US Viking 2 lander touched down in 1976.Tianwen-1’s arrival at Mars on February 10 was preceded by that of an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates. All three of the latest missions were launched in July to take advantage of the close alignment between Earth and Mars that happens only once every two years.Tianwen-1 represents the most ambitious mission yet for China’s space program that first put an astronaut in orbit around Earth in 2003 and last year brought moon rocks back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Transport network guidelines released

CHINA has unveiled plans to build the country’s strength in the transport sector over the next 15 years, setting long-term goals for the industry, with the aim of developing a modern, high-quality and comprehensive national transport network. By 2035, the country’s transport network should be convenient, cost-effective, green, intelligent and safe, according to the guidelines jointly released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council. The transport network should feature higher domestic and international connectivity, multi-channel access to major cities, and effective coverage of county-level nodes, the guidelines said. China should be at the global forefront in terms of the quality, intelligence and green levels of transport infrastructure, they said. By the middle of the century, a modern, high-quality and comprehensive national transport network will be built in an all-round way, with a world-class transport infrastructure system, according to the guidelines. Amid efforts to optimize the country’s comprehensive transport layout, the total scale of the national comprehensive transport network will reach about 700,000km by 2035, excluding the mileage of overseas sections of international land passages, air and sea routes and postal routes. Among them, there will be about 200,000km of railways, 460,000km of highways and 25,000km of high-grade waterways, with 27 major coastal ports, 36 major inland ports, about 400 civil-transport airports and about 80 postal express-delivery hubs. China will work to build a national comprehensive transport-hub system that consists of integrated transport-hub clusters, hub cities and hub ports, the guidelines said, stressing faster construction of about 20 international comprehensive transport-hub cities and about 80 national ones. Calling for further integrated development of transportation with other industries, the guidelines also stressed efforts to empower transport infrastructure with new technologies and coordinate the development of intelligent connected vehicles and smart cities.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Sinopharm, CanSinoBIO seek nod for use in China

A UNIT of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and CanSino Biologics Inc (CanSinoBIO) have applied for public use of their COVID-19 vaccines in China, which if granted, would mean China has four locally developed approved vaccines. While China has yet to approve vaccines developed by Western drug makers, it has granted authorization to domestic products for use in select groups or by the wider public, which have also gained ground in developing countries battling a surge in coronavirus infections. Sinopharm affiliate Wuhan Institute of Biological Products said yesterday its vaccine has an efficacy rate of 72.51 percent against the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus, citing interim analysis of late-stage clinical trial data. The vaccine has already been given to limited groups of people at higher infection risk under an emergency vaccination program started in July. It is one of two candidates from Sinopharm that have entered Phase 3 clinical trials overseas. The other, developed by a Beijing-based subsidiary of Sinopharm, received public use approval in December. In a separate filing yesterday, CanSinoBIO said interim analysis of data from its multi-country trial showed its candidate one-shot vaccine, known as Ad5-nCoV, had a success rate of 68.83 percent at preventing all symptomatic disease and 95.47 percent at preventing severe disease 14 days after vaccination. This fell to an efficacy rate of 65.28 percent at preventing all symptomatic cases.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)



Wife paid for years of housework

A Chinese court has ordered a man to pay his former wife 50,000 yuan (US$7,700) as compensation for housework she did during their five-year marriage.Under a landmark civil code that seeks to better protect the rights of individuals, spouses can seek compensation from their partners in a divorce if they have shouldered more responsibilities — including housework.The woman, who did not work outside the home during the marriage, sought compensation for housework she had done after her husband filed for divorce at a district court in Beijing last year.The judge ruled in her favor, telling the man to pay 50,000 yuan for her labor.He must also pay 2,000 yuan a month to support their child, with other assets such as property to be divided equally.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 25 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Johnson rules out boycott of Beijing winter Olympics

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey tells Boris Johnson he must act over "genocide" of the Uighur people.

Source: BBC News - China | 25 Feb 2021 | 4:38 am(NZT)

China court orders man to pay wife for housework in landmark case

The landmark case has sparked debate as it shines a spotlight on housewives' unpaid labour.

Source: BBC News - China | 24 Feb 2021 | 5:19 pm(NZT)

True Xinjiang through the eyes of foreign visitors

Having visited China’s Xinjiang five times since 1977, Dogu Perincek, chairman of the Patriotic Party of Turkey, continues to be impressed by the changes.“Every time I visited Xinjiang, I could see a brand-new region,” Perincek said on the sidelines of an online briefing on the development of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.He is impressed with Xinjiang’s leapfrogging economic and social progress, as well as the effective protection of its diverse ethnic cultures. “Wherever you turn on TV in Xinjiang, you can find a channel showing programs in the local ethnic language.”The Turkish party leader is not alone to be awed by the changes in Xinjiang. Over 300 leaders of foreign parties and public figures from more than 80 countries and regions attended the online briefing held on Monday, shared their views on Xinjiang’s development, and dismissed rumors about the region once plagued by terrorism, extremism, and separatism.Solly Mapaila, first deputy general secretary of South Africa’s Communist Party, has also been to Xinjiang and was amazed by the local living conditions and various improvements. “All the lies that have been said about China, particularly about the region of Xinjiang, about elimination, are absolutely incorrect,” Mapaila said, adding that the end of absolute poverty in Xinjiang shows the efforts of the government and the Communist Party of China are “bearing fruit.”Official statistics showed that from 2010 to 2018, the Uygur population in Xinjiang rose from 10.17 million to 12.72 million, an increase of 25.04 percent.The growth rate of the Uygur population was not only higher than that of Xinjiang’s total population, which stood at 13.99 percent, but also higher than that of all ethnic minority groups at 22.14 percent, let alone the Han population’s 2 percent in the region. While dismissing rumors about Xinjiang, many foreign attendees voiced support and appreciation for policies that helped maintain Xinjiang’s stability and development.Kawa Mahmoud, secretary of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Communist Party/Iraq, said Xinjiang’s fight against terrorism and extremism is worth learning from as the region has posted steady and peaceful growth.Xinjiang’s anti-terrorism and anti-extremism efforts are built on the protection of freedom of religion and powered by pro-development measures.Sergey Sanakoev, president of the Asia-Pacific Region Research Center in Russia, attributed the sound social, economic and cultural developments in Xinjiang to socialism with Chinese characteristics, which puts the people’s well-being first.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 24 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

China’s free jabs for 53 countries

CHINA is exporting COVID-19 vaccines to 27 countries and providing free vaccine aid to 53 countries in need, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said yesterday. Wang said vaccine aid from China was delivered to Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Mongolia and Belarus, and that vaccine exports from China was sent to Serbia, Hungary, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Morocco, Senegal, UAE, and Turkey. Noting that most of the countries mentioned are developing countries, Wang said it is hoped that all capable countries will join hands and make positive contributions to support the international community, particularly developing countries, in overcoming the pandemic. China was the first country to pledge to make vaccines a global public good, Wang said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 24 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

China’s unique vaccination strategy works

It was all over quickly for a man surnamed Li in Beijing’s Dongcheng District.“It took only 15 minutes from registration to getting the shot,” he said.Li had just had his first COVID-19 vaccine shot. Since the Spring Festival, vaccination programs have been rolled out to residents across the Chinese capital, after key groups such as workers handling imported cold-chain products completed the two-dose vaccination.In Daxing District in southern Beijing, where sporadic cases were reported last month, more than 310,000 residents had received the vaccine as of Saturday.China follows a vaccination strategy that is different from that of many other countries. According to the National Health Commission, China aims to vaccinate the eligible population as widely as possible and gradually build an immune barrier within the whole population to control the epidemic.The vaccination is being administered first to key groups, then to high-risk groups and then the general population, as the vaccine’s production capacity increases.The limited initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines raises the question of how to prioritize available doses. In a study published in the journal Science last month, US researchers found that the infection was minimized when vaccines were prioritized to adults aged 20 to 49, but mortality was the lowest when the vaccine was prioritized to people over 60.Experts have pointed out that the vaccination strategy should consider epidemic situations and control goals.Shao Yiming, chief expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said China’s vaccination strategy is scientifically sound.In December, China officially launched a vaccination program for this winter-spring period targeting several key groups, including those engaged in handling imported cold chain products, customs officers, medical workers, and people working in public transport and fresh markets.The COVID-19 outbreaks in China over the past few months were related to key groups that represent no more than 20 percent of the country’s population, said Zhang Hongtao from the University of Pennsylvania. He said it is far better to get herd immunity in key groups in the first instance than to vaccinate the same number of people in the general population.As of February 9, China had administered 40.52 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to key groups, said NHC spokesperson Mi Feng at a press conference.Some reports recently warned of a potential immunity gap between China and other countries, given the limited number of infections in China.Feng Duojia, president of the China Association for Vaccines, said such a gap will not occur because China is promoting mass vaccination along with the global vaccination plan, and it may adjust the vaccination plan and strategy in accordance with the development of the epidemic.China has a good tradition of overcoming epidemics through vaccination and building an immune barrier for all people, Feng said. Through vaccination, smallpox was eradicated, polio eliminated, hepatitis B significantly reduced and measles controlled.It is understandable that some people may have questions and hesitations about COVID-19 vaccines in the beginning, but Chinese people have a high degree of awareness of public participation in solving health issues, and the public’s willingness to vaccinate will certainly become stronger and stronger with the popularization of vaccine science, Feng said.This has been proved by the smooth progress of the current vaccination program.Last month, Ning Yi, a professor from the School of Public Health of Peking University, said he saw no problem with the vaccination rate reaching above the level for herd immunity in China.Ning pointed out that the world should care more about underdeveloped countries. The future epidemic-control challenge is mainly related to imported cases from countries that cannot get enough vaccines.A reliable sourceLast week, China delivered batches of domestically-developed COVID-19 vaccines to several developing countries, including Mexico, Belarus, Senegal and Colombia.Chinese vaccines have become a reliable source for many developing countries to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.China’s expanding efforts to promote the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, especially in developing countries, have shown that China is fulfilling its commitments to make China’s vaccines a global public good. The Foreign Ministry, says China has provided vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries that have made requests, and has exported vaccines to 22 countries. China also decided to provide 10 million doses of its vaccines to the COVAX initiative to meet the urgent needs of developing countries.At least eight foreign heads of state or government have received Chinese vaccines and many countries have sent charter planes to China to transport vaccines, which is their vote of confidence in the safety and effectiveness of Chinese vaccines, said Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson.As vaccines are the ultimate solution to win the final victory over the virus, China has started early and made arduous efforts in developing COVID-19 vaccines, adopting multiple technological approaches and pooling national resources to fast-track the process.China has granted conditional market approval to two domestically-developed vaccines. It now has 16 COVID-19 vaccines undergoing clinical trials, six of which have entered phase-3 clinical trials.Local vaccine producers are also ramping up the production of vaccines to ensure global supply.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 24 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

45 blamed for deadly mine blast

A TOTAL of 45 people including 28 public officials have been held responsible for a gold mine blast that left 10 dead and one missing in the city of Qixia, east China’s Shandong Province. The accident was caused by the illegal storage and use of explosives and improper operation at the pithead, according to a report from the investigation team. The report also noted that Shandong Wucailong Investment Co, which owns the gold mine, and the city of Qixia had concealed and delayed the reporting of the accident. Jia Qiaoyu, the company’s legal representative, is being investigated for criminal responsibility. The cases against Yao Xiuxia, then secretary of the Qixia municipal Party committee, and Zhu Tao, then deputy secretary of the municipal Party committee and mayor of Qixia, have been filed for investigation by the public security organs over the delay and concealment in reporting the accident. A total of 22 miners were trapped underground as a result of the mine blast on January 10 in Qixia, under the city of Yantai. Eleven were rescued after being trapped for two weeks, and one remains missing.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 24 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

India-China dispute: Blogger detained for demeaning soldier 'heroes'

The blogger, who has 2.5 million followers, is just one of six detained for remarks on the border clash.

Source: BBC News - China | 23 Feb 2021 | 3:50 pm(NZT)

Huawei Mate X2 folding phone unveiled despite chip supply worries

The firm claims the edge against rival Samsung, but faces a dwindling stockpile of smartphone chips.

Source: BBC News - China | 23 Feb 2021 | 5:38 am(NZT)

Fresh red lines for medical research

China has revised a regulation on integrity and ethics in medical research, making clear the rules and red lines for relevant practices by medical researchers and institutes.The code, jointly revised by the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, stipulates the whole process of medical studies, covering everything from the project application through to the publication, review and appraisal of research results, should be subject to the integrity and good faith requirements.It also stresses bio-safety, including in research involving pathogens.The code also makes a fresh attempt at stemming scientific dishonesty in such research. Academic advisers and project leaders should be held accountable for any misconduct in projects to which they are a cosignatory. In addition to any personal negligence, they will also be held liable for any misconduct by others under their command.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 23 Feb 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Ladakh: China reveals soldier deaths in India border clash

It marks the first time China has disclosed its casualties in the deadly June 2020 incident.

Source: BBC News - China | 19 Feb 2021 | 6:27 pm(NZT)

China overtakes US as EU's biggest trading partner

China's demand for cars and luxury goods from Europe bounced back in 2020 as its economy recovered.

Source: BBC News - China | 17 Feb 2021 | 4:40 pm(NZT)

Hotel quarantine: What isolating in a hotel room is like

Under travel rules, Aaron has to spend three weeks in a hotel room in Hong Kong, and Jane is in a Sydney hotel for a fortnight.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Feb 2021 | 1:00 pm(NZT)

Covid: UK scientist defends WHO fact-finding mission to Wuhan

There has been criticism over the level of access to key data the team was given by the Chinese.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Feb 2021 | 4:23 am(NZT)

Covid-19: Chinatowns fighting racism and pandemic to survive

People have been avoiding Chinatowns since the start of the pandemic - and now they're struggling.

Source: BBC News - China | 12 Feb 2021 | 1:07 pm(NZT)

Clubhouse: The controversial chats that angered China's censors

It's hard for Chinese citizens to discuss sensitive topics online, but the Clubhouse app let them - briefly.

Source: BBC News - China | 10 Feb 2021 | 1:23 pm(NZT)

The exiles: Hong Kong at a crossroads

Pro-democracy protesters face a tough decision over continuing to fight or fleeing to the UK.

Source: BBC News - China | 30 Jan 2021 | 1:08 pm(NZT)










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