China News - 澳纽网Ausnz.net聚合新闻





The moment a woman was saved from rushing flood waters in China

It took rescue crews multiple attempts to reach the woman who was clinging to her car.

Source: BBC News - China | 25 Jun 2022 | 9:09 pm(NZT)

Two killed as Nio electric car falls from third floor office in Shanghai

Pictures show a gaping hole in the side of car maker Nio's Shanghai HQ, and a smashed vehicle below.

Source: BBC News - China | 24 Jun 2022 | 3:28 pm(NZT)

Tangshan and Xuzhou: Fury and questions over China's treatment of women

Two prominent cases of abuse have ignited a debate about misogyny among the country's young women.

Source: BBC News - China | 24 Jun 2022 | 11:51 am(NZT)

Brics summit: Members push for global clout amid Ukraine war

Leaders from India, Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa meet amid major shifts in geopolitics.

Source: BBC News - China | 23 Jun 2022 | 11:24 am(NZT)

Chinese man jailed for sexual assault of Alibaba employee on work trip

The woman was assaulted after being made to drink on a work trip, and then fired after going public.

Source: BBC News - China | 23 Jun 2022 | 2:36 am(NZT)



Hundreds of thousands evacuated as floods ravage southern China

Record rainfall sees floodwaters reach a 50-year high, triggering landslides.

Source: BBC News - China | 22 Jun 2022 | 3:18 pm(NZT)

US ban on imports from China's Xinjiang region takes effect

Officials believe many Uyghurs have been forced to work at factories in the landlocked territory.

Source: BBC News - China | 21 Jun 2022 | 11:38 am(NZT)

Hong Kong: Iconic floating Jumbo restaurant sinks

The Jumbo restaurant capsized in the South China Sea days after it was towed out of the harbour.

Source: BBC News - China | 21 Jun 2022 | 9:57 am(NZT)

BBC Africa Eye expose: Chinese man held over racist videos

He was filmed using Malawian children to make videos, some of which included racist content.

Source: BBC News - China | 21 Jun 2022 | 4:53 am(NZT)

Chinese tornado rips through buildings and power cables

A tornado has severely damaged buildings, cars and infrastructure in the southern Chinese city Foshan.

Source: BBC News - China | 20 Jun 2022 | 5:34 pm(NZT)

Ukraine war: Russia becomes China's biggest oil supplier

Chinese energy giants have been ramping up imports of heavily discounted Russian oil in recent months.

Source: BBC News - China | 20 Jun 2022 | 5:32 pm(NZT)

Fires burn through Shanghai chemical plant

One person dies in the blaze, which spews black smoke into the sky above China's largest city.

Source: BBC News - China | 18 Jun 2022 | 7:47 pm(NZT)

Hong Kong: New school books claim territory was not a British colony

The books assert China's claims of unbroken sovereignty over the territory despite the UK's long rule.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Jun 2022 | 11:47 pm(NZT)

Haze Fan: China releases Bloomberg staff member on bail

Haze Fan of Bloomberg news was held 18 months ago and accused of threatening China's security.

Source: BBC News - China | 15 Jun 2022 | 4:59 am(NZT)

Henan: China Covid app restricts residents after banking protests

Some residents in Henan province say they are being forced to quarantine following rare protests.

Source: BBC News - China | 14 Jun 2022 | 9:34 pm(NZT)

Taiwan: Are the US and China heading to war over the island?

The two superpowers have escalated their rhetoric in recent weeks - is a conflict on the horizon?

Source: BBC News - China | 14 Jun 2022 | 12:23 pm(NZT)

Stocks slide over global economy concerns

It comes as official figures showed that US inflation hit a more than 40-year high last month.

Source: BBC News - China | 14 Jun 2022 | 8:29 am(NZT)

Covid-19 in China: Shanghai getting used to 'new normal'

The city had been in lockdown for two months as China imposed its "zero Covid" policy on the population of 25m.

Source: BBC News - China | 9 Jun 2022 | 11:00 am(NZT)



Li Jiaqi: China Lipstick King sparks Tiananmen questions

Livestreamer Li Jiaqi is yet to reappear after an apparent reference to the massacre on his show.

Source: BBC News - China | 7 Jun 2022 | 8:35 pm(NZT)

China's plans to go to the Moon, Mars and beyond

China plans to put astronauts on the Moon and send probes to Mars and Jupiter. Why the grand plans?

Source: BBC News - China | 6 Jun 2022 | 11:01 am(NZT)

Cradles of civilizations eye full-spectrum interactions

The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Greece and China, two countries that represent two of the most ancient civilizations in the history of humanity. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that Greece and China are considered the cradle of Western and Eastern civilizations, respectively. Our two countries take great pride in their rich heritage and for that reason we share a deep respect for each other’s cultural traditions. Linguistic continuity, cultural traditions that are largely preserved unchanged to this day, and a deep interest in social, political and philosophical issues are some of our common dominant characteristics. At the same time Greece and China have embarked on an introduction of new ideas, new technologies and science all the while trying to maintain their long cultural traditions. Culture is a significant element that connects our countries, a cornerstone of our relations that forges strong bonds between our nations. 2021 was declared “Greece–China Year of Culture and Tourism” expanded recently into 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This “Year,” the first of its kind, gives the unique opportunity to both nations to discover and understand each other’s cultural heritage and contemporary artistic creation through simultaneous events linking culture with tourism. In 2021 a series of online events, such as scientific forums, film festivals, photo exhibitions and Internet teleconferences, were organized as the pandemic hindered our physical participation. At present, we really hope that in 2022 we will be able to overcome these obstacles and organize new events with the contribution of our Public Diplomacy Offices in the Greek Missions in China.Greece has participated in the Belt and Road Forum twice in the last five years in Beijing. A memorandum of understanding signed in August 2018 opened the prospect of advancing our bilateral relations in areas such as culture, education, media. Greece and China in the last 20 years have signed a series of cooperation agreements concerning, among others, educational and cultural exchanges, cooperation between the two countries’ national libraries, and cooperation about the translation and publication of classical and modern literary works. Greece and China have developed significant educational ties, concerning not only the teaching of Greek and Chinese languages in the two countries, but also remarkable cooperation in the domain of the academic and research communities of both countries. The Chinese language has been taught in Greece since 1991 in the Foreign Language Teaching Center (Didaskaleio) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, while the Confucius Institute — having established partnership agreements with the Economic University of Athens (2009), and later with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Thessaly — is offering Chinese language and culture courses in Greece. Educational as well as cultural exchanges are also strengthened via twinning between Greek and Chinese cities.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

It’s no longer ‘Greek or Chinese’ to keen learners

“To learn a language is to have one more window through which to view the world.”According to the Internet, it is a Chinese proverb about language learning, but Dai Yifan, a 20-year-old exchange student in Athens, disputes this.Similarly, 21-year-old Stamatis Karasavvidis says “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” isn’t Greek, though the Internet claims so.According to Karasavvidis, 21, one adage that is unmistakably Greek is:“It is all too Chinese to me.”The Greek student, who is studying Chinese for two years, says that is a common expression among Greeks when they don’t understand something.Some say the Internet has made it much easier to understand other cultures, while others argue it has increased cultural stereotypes and misunderstandings. Either way, it is always challenging to understand a culture that is different from your own, especially ones as ancient and complex as China and Greece.“We are two countries with rich histories and many similarities,” Krasavvidis told Shanghai Daily. “We should both learn more about one another since learning is one thing we share in common — ‘Γηράσκω ἀεὶ διδασκόμενος,’ or ‘Live to be old, learn to be old.’”Learning a language can undoubtedly be beneficial. Shanghai Daily spoke with Dai and Karasavvidis about the joys of language learning and the stereotypes they have worked to overcome.Q: What was the biggest change in impressions about Greece and China before and after learning the language?Dai: My impression of Greece was limited to its ancient history, such as Greek mythology and architecture, great Mediterranean cuisine and beautiful islands.Now I have learned more about modern Greece and its people. How do they celebrate holidays? What is their lifestyle? So, learning the Greek language has been an ongoing process for me to break stereotypes and discover the multi-layered charm of the nation.Before I came to Greece to study for a year, I thought Greek people were “lazy but enthusiastic” because they don’t like working. But then I discovered that many Greeks really love their work and even consider it a part of their life.Many Greek restaurant and shop owners see all their customers as their friends, so you can always find Greeks chitchatting in front of a shop or restaurant, even if they have only just met.I’ve also met a few Greeks who can speak a line or two in Chinese, which surprises me. For those Greeks who are really interested in Chinese culture, the depth of their knowledge and the level of their passion are equally fascinating.Karasavvidis: One thing that I really understood after I started learning the language is how different Chinese dialects can be. The first time I saw a wordlist of Shanghai dialect, everything was lost to me, even if I knew the words in Mandarin.Q: There is an increased partnership between China and Greece in recent years. Has that reflected in your own life? Is there more news about Greece and China? Do your classmates and friends pay more attention to the nation?Dai: My Chinese friends are definitely paying more attention to everything Greek, and my Greek friends, likewise, mostly about culture, tourism and trade. For example, many Chinese friends know more about beautiful Greek cities and islands now than Athens or Santorini.Greek yogurt skincare products are getting popular in China. And my Greek friends are very interested in Chinese e-commerce sites and street food.Karasavvidis: Due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in the local news coverage of China and the Chinese measures of combating it became a matter of debate among the Greeks, with many agreeing and supporting the measures that China took, while others consider the measure “too harsh.”Unfortunately, due to the influence of fake news in Greece, there are many misconceptions among many Greeks about China. But then, fortunately, there are many different views about China here. Some see it as a big country with a long history far away, while some are not able to see it correctly, and still many others admire and support its civilization and the socialist system.The vast majority of Greek people, with all these different views, see the Chinese people as friends!E-trade and the technology sector are things that definitely put China in the minds of the Greeks. Ordering directly from China on the Internet has become extremely popular. Many people also see China as a country with very strong job potential and the Chinese language as an important part of their CV.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

Dynamic new fields beckon as ties between Greek cities and Shanghai set to expand

Having spent two years in Beijing, where he was captivated by the Chinese capital’s rich architectural heritage, Vasileios Koniakos was not particularly excited at the prospect of working in Shanghai at first.That was, of course, until the city grew on him as he discovered its many facets.“Shanghai has something for everyone,” said Koniakos, who was appointed as the consul general of Greece in Shanghai in 2019.The diplomat described the city as a charming mix of old and new.Shanghai has long had sister-city ties with Athens and Piraeus, which has greatly facilitated cultural, educational and cross-border trade.The annual China International Import Expo has played a significant role in promoting Greek products to the Chinese market.One of the upcoming collaboration projects is the exhibition “Thalassa. The Sea in Greek Art from Antiquity to the Present,” Koniakos said. It is scheduled to open at the Shanghai Museum around mid-July.This year, China and Greece are marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.“Culture fosters understanding, friendship and solidarity. It promotes diversity, creativity and communication,” Koniakos told Shanghai Daily in a recent interview.He believes that Greece-China cultural relations are a major player in promoting bilateral cooperation.The consul general’s interest in Chinese history and culture is reflected in his Confucius-influenced Chinese name Kong Nige 孔尼舸. He believes the Chinese philosopher compares very well with the Greek thinker and scholar, Socrates.Q: When was your first trip to China?A: My first trip to China was in 2014 when I was posted at the Greek embassy in Beijing. I was always attracted by the idea of immersing myself in the culture of a country with a long history and a great future, and one so influential on the course of humanity. Then I went back to Athens, but I was just unable to shake off my overwhelming desire to return to China and to the very heart of its economy and driver of growth and innovation, which is Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta region.Q: How is life and work in Shanghai?A: After living in Beijing, a city with a millennia-long history and landmark ancient monuments, I wasn’t blown away by Shanghai when I first arrived here in 2019. But Shanghai grew on me as I learned more about its past, came to appreciate the beauty of its period architecture and its juxtaposition with modern architectural marvels, and met and made friends among its open-minded inhabitants, who were always eager to interact with foreigners and explore new opportunities.There is something for everyone in Shanghai. It has historically had a strong appeal to expats, and I am confident that once the city has triumphed over COVID-19, it will continue to do so in the future.Q: Any recommendations for locals to experience the Greek lifestyle here in Shanghai?A: Hellas House is the venue that best embodies the Greek lifestyle in Shanghai, offering a wide range of services ranging from traditional Greek cuisine to event planning in an authentic Greek setting.Q: Greece and China are two of the oldest civilizations in the world. How would you describe their similarities?A: Greece and China are two countries far away from each other in terms of geography but substantially close to each other in terms of cultural presence and creative interaction throughout the centuries. Greece and China are the heirs of civilizations that span millennia of continuous rich intellectual and artistic creation and are considered the cradles of Western and Eastern civilizations, respectively.The cultural relations between Greece and China can be considered a significant competitive advantage of bilateral cooperation. Cultural relations provide a wide range of fields that promote mutually beneficial progress and encourage the creative dialogue of the two ancient civilizations.Q: How many Greeks live and work in Shanghai? What work do they do?A: There are about 200 Greeks who live and work in Shanghai and are an important link between Greece and China. They work mainly in the shipping industry as well as in multinational companies, and some of them teach at universities. Moreover, two major Greek investments are based in Shanghai and in the wider area of jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Greece, namely the factory of Shanghai Hitec Plastics in Pudong, and the factory of Kleemann elevators in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province.Q: This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Greece and China. What are the next steps in bilateral relations?A: I strongly believe that the future of Greece-China relations has been built on solid foundations: the warm and sincere friendship between the Greek and the Chinese people, mutual respect, common understanding, and mutual benefit. To this end, I think that relations between Greek cities and Shanghai can be consolidated and integrated into the plans for the future, so as to expand the relations in new fields.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

It’s no longer ‘Greek or Chinese’ to keen learners

“To learn a language is to have one more window through which to view the world.”According to the Internet, it is a Chinese proverb about language learning, but Dai Yifan, a 20-year-old exchange student in Athens, disputes this.Similarly, 21-year-old Stamatis Karasavvidis says “The limits of my language are the limits of my world” isn’t Greek, though the Internet claims so.According to Karasavvidis, 21, one adage that is unmistakably Greek is:“It is all too Chinese to me.”The Greek student, who is studying Chinese for two years, says that is a common expression among Greeks when they don’t understand something.Some say the Internet has made it much easier to understand other cultures, while others argue it has increased cultural stereotypes and misunderstandings. Either way, it is always challenging to understand a culture that is different from your own, especially ones as ancient and complex as China and Greece.“We are two countries with rich histories and many similarities,” Krasavvidis told Shanghai Daily. “We should both learn more about one another since learning is one thing we share in common — ‘Γηράσκω ἀεὶ διδασκόμενος,’ or ‘Live to be old, learn to be old.’”Learning a language can undoubtedly be beneficial. Shanghai Daily spoke with Dai and Karasavvidis about the joys of language learning and the stereotypes they have worked to overcome.Q: What was the biggest change in impressions about Greece and China before and after learning the language?Dai: My impression of Greece was limited to its ancient history, such as Greek mythology and architecture, great Mediterranean cuisine and beautiful islands.Now I have learned more about modern Greece and its people. How do they celebrate holidays? What is their lifestyle? So, learning the Greek language has been an ongoing process for me to break stereotypes and discover the multi-layered charm of the nation.Before I came to Greece to study for a year, I thought Greek people were “lazy but enthusiastic” because they don’t like working. But then I discovered that many Greeks really love their work and even consider it a part of their life.Many Greek restaurant and shop owners see all their customers as their friends, so you can always find Greeks chitchatting in front of a shop or restaurant, even if they have only just met.I’ve also met a few Greeks who can speak a line or two in Chinese, which surprises me. For those Greeks who are really interested in Chinese culture, the depth of their knowledge and the level of their passion are equally fascinating.Karasavvidis: One thing that I really understood after I started learning the language is how different Chinese dialects can be. The first time I saw a wordlist of Shanghai dialect, everything was lost to me, even if I knew the words in Mandarin.Q: There is an increased partnership between China and Greece in recent years. Has that reflected in your own life? Is there more news about Greece and China? Do your classmates and friends pay more attention to the nation?Dai: My Chinese friends are definitely paying more attention to everything Greek, and my Greek friends, likewise, mostly about culture, tourism and trade. For example, many Chinese friends know more about beautiful Greek cities and islands now than Athens or Santorini.Greek yogurt skincare products are getting popular in China. And my Greek friends are very interested in Chinese e-commerce sites and street food.Karasavvidis: Due to COVID-19, there has been an increase in the local news coverage of China and the Chinese measures of combating it became a matter of debate among the Greeks, with many agreeing and supporting the measures that China took, while others consider the measure “too harsh.”Unfortunately, due to the influence of fake news in Greece, there are many misconceptions among many Greeks about China. But then, fortunately, there are many different views about China here. Some see it as a big country with a long history far away, while some are not able to see it correctly, and still many others admire and support its civilization and the socialist system.The vast majority of Greek people, with all these different views, see the Chinese people as friends!E-trade and the technology sector are things that definitely put China in the minds of the Greeks. Ordering directly from China on the Internet has become extremely popular. Many people also see China as a country with very strong job potential and the Chinese language as an important part of their CV.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

Cradles of civilizations eye full-spectrum interactions

The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Greece and China, two countries that represent two of the most ancient civilizations in the history of humanity. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that Greece and China are considered the cradle of Western and Eastern civilizations, respectively. Our two countries take great pride in their rich heritage and for that reason we share a deep respect for each other’s cultural traditions. Linguistic continuity, cultural traditions that are largely preserved unchanged to this day, and a deep interest in social, political and philosophical issues are some of our common dominant characteristics. At the same time Greece and China have embarked on an introduction of new ideas, new technologies and science all the while trying to maintain their long cultural traditions. Culture is a significant element that connects our countries, a cornerstone of our relations that forges strong bonds between our nations. 2021 was declared “Greece–China Year of Culture and Tourism” expanded recently into 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This “Year,” the first of its kind, gives the unique opportunity to both nations to discover and understand each other’s cultural heritage and contemporary artistic creation through simultaneous events linking culture with tourism. In 2021 a series of online events, such as scientific forums, film festivals, photo exhibitions and Internet teleconferences, were organized as the pandemic hindered our physical participation. At present, we really hope that in 2022 we will be able to overcome these obstacles and organize new events with the contribution of our Public Diplomacy Offices in the Greek Missions in China.Greece has participated in the Belt and Road Forum twice in the last five years in Beijing. A memorandum of understanding signed in August 2018 opened the prospect of advancing our bilateral relations in areas such as culture, education, media. Greece and China in the last 20 years have signed a series of cooperation agreements concerning, among others, educational and cultural exchanges, cooperation between the two countries’ national libraries, and cooperation about the translation and publication of classical and modern literary works. Greece and China have developed significant educational ties, concerning not only the teaching of Greek and Chinese languages in the two countries, but also remarkable cooperation in the domain of the academic and research communities of both countries. The Chinese language has been taught in Greece since 1991 in the Foreign Language Teaching Center (Didaskaleio) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, while the Confucius Institute — having established partnership agreements with the Economic University of Athens (2009), and later with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Thessaly — is offering Chinese language and culture courses in Greece. Educational as well as cultural exchanges are also strengthened via twinning between Greek and Chinese cities.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

Dynamic new fields beckon as ties between Greek cities and Shanghai set to expand

Having spent two years in Beijing, where he was captivated by the Chinese capital’s rich architectural heritage, Vasileios Koniakos was not particularly excited at the prospect of working in Shanghai at first.That was, of course, until the city grew on him as he discovered its many facets.“Shanghai has something for everyone,” said Koniakos, who was appointed as the consul general of Greece in Shanghai in 2019.The diplomat described the city as a charming mix of old and new.Shanghai has long had sister-city ties with Athens and Piraeus, which has greatly facilitated cultural, educational and cross-border trade.The annual China International Import Expo has played a significant role in promoting Greek products to the Chinese market.One of the upcoming collaboration projects is the exhibition “Thalassa. The Sea in Greek Art from Antiquity to the Present,” Koniakos said. It is scheduled to open at the Shanghai Museum around mid-July.This year, China and Greece are marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.“Culture fosters understanding, friendship and solidarity. It promotes diversity, creativity and communication,” Koniakos told Shanghai Daily in a recent interview.He believes that Greece-China cultural relations are a major player in promoting bilateral cooperation.The consul general’s interest in Chinese history and culture is reflected in his Confucius-influenced Chinese name Kong Nige 孔尼舸. He believes the Chinese philosopher compares very well with the Greek thinker and scholar, Socrates.Q: When was your first trip to China?A: My first trip to China was in 2014 when I was posted at the Greek embassy in Beijing. I was always attracted by the idea of immersing myself in the culture of a country with a long history and a great future, and one so influential on the course of humanity. Then I went back to Athens, but I was just unable to shake off my overwhelming desire to return to China and to the very heart of its economy and driver of growth and innovation, which is Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta region.Q: How is life and work in Shanghai?A: After living in Beijing, a city with a millennia-long history and landmark ancient monuments, I wasn’t blown away by Shanghai when I first arrived here in 2019. But Shanghai grew on me as I learned more about its past, came to appreciate the beauty of its period architecture and its juxtaposition with modern architectural marvels, and met and made friends among its open-minded inhabitants, who were always eager to interact with foreigners and explore new opportunities.There is something for everyone in Shanghai. It has historically had a strong appeal to expats, and I am confident that once the city has triumphed over COVID-19, it will continue to do so in the future.Q: Any recommendations for locals to experience the Greek lifestyle here in Shanghai?A: Hellas House is the venue that best embodies the Greek lifestyle in Shanghai, offering a wide range of services ranging from traditional Greek cuisine to event planning in an authentic Greek setting.Q: Greece and China are two of the oldest civilizations in the world. How would you describe their similarities?A: Greece and China are two countries far away from each other in terms of geography but substantially close to each other in terms of cultural presence and creative interaction throughout the centuries. Greece and China are the heirs of civilizations that span millennia of continuous rich intellectual and artistic creation and are considered the cradles of Western and Eastern civilizations, respectively.The cultural relations between Greece and China can be considered a significant competitive advantage of bilateral cooperation. Cultural relations provide a wide range of fields that promote mutually beneficial progress and encourage the creative dialogue of the two ancient civilizations.Q: How many Greeks live and work in Shanghai? What work do they do?A: There are about 200 Greeks who live and work in Shanghai and are an important link between Greece and China. They work mainly in the shipping industry as well as in multinational companies, and some of them teach at universities. Moreover, two major Greek investments are based in Shanghai and in the wider area of jurisdiction of the Consulate General of Greece, namely the factory of Shanghai Hitec Plastics in Pudong, and the factory of Kleemann elevators in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province.Q: This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Greece and China. What are the next steps in bilateral relations?A: I strongly believe that the future of Greece-China relations has been built on solid foundations: the warm and sincere friendship between the Greek and the Chinese people, mutual respect, common understanding, and mutual benefit. To this end, I think that relations between Greek cities and Shanghai can be consolidated and integrated into the plans for the future, so as to expand the relations in new fields.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

Greece, China celebrate 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties

The 5th of June 2022 will mark the 50th, or golden, anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Hellenic Republic and the People’s Republic of China. Obviously, both countries boast a much deeper past. Spanning over millennia, their histories are so long that 50 years initially may sound like an insignificant period.Yet, as changes occur more rapidly in contemporary times than ever before, 50 years has proven to be a long enough period for enormous changes to have taken place. We have all borne witness to these spectacular global transformations.But, let’s take a minute to think of Greece and China back in 1972 when the first diplomatic ties were established. At that time, Greece was under a military dictatorship which seized power in 1967, only to be overthrown in 1974. Following the restoration of democratic rule, Greece became the 10th member of the European Union in 1981.Membership of the EU helped the country modernize its state, ameliorate its infrastructures, strengthen its economy and accelerate social progress. Quite similarly, China was nothing like the country it is today back in 1972. Indeed, in the past 50 years, the world has watched China with admiration as it built a prosperous society, with its people enjoying higher standards of living, as hundreds of millions were lifted from poverty. Over this period, it has undergone a shift from a largely agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse. China’s incredible rise over the past half-century is one of the most striking examples of the impact of opening up an economy to global markets.Fast forward to the 21st century. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), rooted in the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, is an initiative that has added new meaning to the relationship between China and Greece and has opened up new opportunities for development of bilateral relations. In 2018, Greece was the first developed country in Europe to sign the Belt and Road Memorandum of Understanding and, later, I personally attended the large BRI teleconference under China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi held in June 2020. I should add that the “Road,” or sea route, involving Greece begins in Chinese ports, extends into the South China Sea and Indian Ocean and reaches Europe through the port of Piraeus.Due to its strategic importance as a gateway to the rest of Europe, the port of Piraeus is one of the Chinese bridgeheads on the continent. State-owned China COSCO Shipping first secured the right to operate parts of Piraeus in 2008. Greece, however, is not only Piraeus and I strongly believe that Chinese businesses should take a closer look at the country for potential investment.Apart from investments, trade also offers vast opportunities to further promote bilateral economic ties. Of course, we must acknowledge the enormous differences in scale between Greece and China and both sides should look for practical ways to reduce the trade deficit.As my contribution is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties, I would like to end this article with a particular reference to the China-Greece Year of Culture and Tourism that opened on September 16, 2021 and is also spanning into 2022. The opening ceremony was held at the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora, which was the commercial, social and political hub of democratic Athens during antiquity. Two statues were unveiled during the event, statues of men with a global impact over the past millennia: Confucius and Socrates. It is amazing that these two philosophers almost lived concurrently at opposite ends of the universe, missing each other by only nine years (Confucius died in 479 BC, while Socrates was born in 470 BC).We should take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic ties to focus even more on our common strengths, putting aside our differences. I think both China and Greece have proved that relations can grow amazingly through the adoption and implementation of mutually beneficial “win-win” cooperation projects. It only makes sense. This is truly the same face of human logic.(Kostas Fragkogiannis is Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

COSCO investment revives glory days of Greek port

With investment from COSCO Shipping, Greece’s largest port Piraeus is boosting its role as a hub in the rapidly growing trade between Asia and Europe.The Piraeus Port Authority, with majority owned by China COSCO Shipping since 2016, posted an annual turnover of 154.2 million euros (US$165.40 million) last year, up from 132.9 million euros in 2020.Under COSCO, that was a historical high for the port.“This amount was the highest level of profitability in the history of the PPA,” the company said.“Despite the difficulties we have faced due to the pandemic, our continued growth in turnover showed that we are a highly resilient company built on a solid foundation,” said Yu Zenggang, chairman of Piraeus Port Authority.It also jumped in world rankings of container volume from 93rd in 2010 to 26th in 2020, to become one of the fastest-growing container ports in the world and the top port in the Mediterranean.On the Saronic Gulf on the western coast of the Aegean Sea, Piraeus is Greece’s largest port and one of the biggest in Europe.In 2009, after the global financial crisis, Greece leased Piraeus’ docks 2 and 3 to COSCO for 35 years for 100 million euros a year.But after the Greek government-debt crisis started in late 2009, Piraeus was caught in a vicious cycle of terminal disrepair and workers’ strikes, and was on the verge of bankruptcy.That was when the Chinese government provided loans to the Greek government and encouraged Chinese companies to increase their investment.From 2012 to 2014, COSCO Shipping invested a total of 553 million euros to complete the construction of two terminals and for renovation projects, a full two years ahead of schedule .At the same time, the company made efforts to create local jobs. Aside from six Chinese directors, the rest of the approximately 2,000 employees of the port are all Greeks, including all construction workers.The company’s investment had also created nearly 2,000 direct jobs in various port services such as stevedoring, storage and logistics.“China has been investing in Greece in times when other countries shied away,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a Greek-Chinese business forum in 2019.“The investment by COSCO in the port of Piraeus is an example of how an important Chinese company was bold enough to invest in an important Greek infrastructure project, at a time when Greece was considered ‘uninvestable’ by many other countries,” the prime minister said.China’s top maritime freight company now owns 67 percent of the port, after the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund accepted COSCO’s binding offer of 368.5 million euros (then US$418.8 million) for a controlling stake in 2016 ­— 51 percent was acquired in 2016 while 16 percent of escrow shares were transferred in 2021.As part of that deal, COSCO in 2016 also promised to invest another 350 million euros over the next decade in infrastructure at the port.The Chinese ambassador to Greece said in that year that Piraeus was “a key link in the Belt and Road Initiative.”He also spoke of Greece’s potential to become a transportation hub in this part of the Mediterranean.Studies by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research, a leading Greek thinktank, and other Greek and foreign experts say COSCO’s development plan for the port will boost long-term revenue from the port to the Greek economy by 5.1 billion euros a year, as well as adding 125,000 jobs until the new concession agreement expires in 2052.By 2021, the company’s investment in Piraeus had created more than 3,000 direct jobs and more than 10,000 indirect jobs in Greece, bringing a cumulative direct social contribution of more than 1.4 billion euros to the local area.It also contributed 0.78 percent of Greek GDP in 2020.Xu Lirong, chairman of China COSCO Shipping Corp at that time (who is now retired), said when the company completed the second phase of its share acquisition in 2021 that it was aimed to further expand investment, increase its input of resources and launch new shipping routes to build the port into a regional logistics distribution center. And in the face the global pandemic, “we will stay on the path of dynamic and sustainable growth, while staying true to our vision of expanding Piraeus Port into the largest port in Europe,” PPA’s Yu said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 6 Jun 2022 | 4:10 am(NZT)

A green ‘Shangri-La’ in the heart of the city

THE Shanghai Expo Culture Park officially opened to the public on Saturday. The 2-square-kilometer park, in the heart of Pudong’s waterfront, has been dubbed “Shangri-La” in the midst of the city’s urban sprawl, offering urban residents a close getaway with verdant pathways, natural landscapes and classical gardens. Shanghai Daily reporter Fiona Li and colleague Alex Bushroe took a tour around the park and found something quite interesting.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 3 Jan 2022 | 5:05 am(NZT)

WHO chief warns of COVID ‘tsunami’

A COVID “tsunami” threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as record surges fuelled by the Omicron variant dampened New Year celebrations around the world once again.Governments are walking a tightrope between anti-virus restrictions and the need to keep societies and economies open, as the highly transmissible variant drove cases to levels never seen before in the United States, Britain, France and Denmark.The blistering surge was illustrated by a tally of 6.55 million new infections reported globally in the week ending on Tuesday, the highest the figure has been since the WHO declared a COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.“I am highly concerned that Omicron, being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as Delta, is leading to a tsunami of cases,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.“This is and will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers, and health systems on the brink of collapse.”The variant has already started to overwhelm some hospitals in the US, the hardest-hit nation where the seven-day average of new cases hit 265,427, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.Harvard epidemiologist and immunologist Michael Mina tweeted that the count was likely just the “tip of the iceberg” with the true number likely far higher because of a shortage of tests.But there was some hope as data indicated a decoupling of the number of cases and hospitalizations.“We should not become complacent,” top US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said, but “all indications point to a lesser severity of Omicron.”Millions around the world will again welcome a new year in the shadow of the pandemic, which is known to have killed more than 5.4 million people so far, with festivities dampened or canceled in many countries.Greece on Wednesday banned music in bars and restaurants to try and limit New Year’s Eve parties, with public events already canceled.The mayor of Mexico’s capital has canceled the city’s massive New Year’s Eve celebrations after a spike in cases.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 31 Dec 2021 | 5:24 am(NZT)

Hit animation flick bolsters intangible lion dance heritage

Chinese animation comedy “I Am What I Am” has caused a sensation by bringing lion dance to the big screen and injecting new vigor into this intangible cultural heritage.The movie has accumulated a high score of 8.3 points out of 10 based on more than 160,000 reviews on the review platform Douban since its release on December 17, with a total box office revenue of 157 million yuan (US$24.6 million) as of yesterday, according to box office tracker Maoyan.Unfolding from a brief introduction to lion dance, a centuries-old Chinese folk dance often staged for entertainment on festive occasions, the film follows an underdog teenager in Guangdong, south China, as he joins hands with two friends to pursue a dream against all odds — becoming the best lion dance performer.Reminiscing on his 10-plus years of life in Guangdong, the film’s director Sun Haipeng said the lion dance has been an indispensable part of local life. Whenever the beating of drums and clanging of gongs were heard, people rushed out to watch.The lion dance is one of the most widespread folk dances in China. In Chinese culture, the lion is regarded as a mascot, which can bring good luck.“This (lion dance) is a cultural activity combining traditional and modern elements. It is old but with vitality,” Sun said, adding that he always wanted to tell reality-themed stories through animation.Ordinary people“We brought the lion dance tradition to the big screen because we want more people, the young in particular, to establish emotions with traditional Chinese cultural elements,” said Zhang Miao, executive producer of the film.“We couldn’t help but shed tears as we watched the movie. It tells our story. We are ordinary people, but feel rejuvenated whenever we raise up the lion head,” said Zhao Weibin, a Guangdong-based inheritor of the lion dance.Zhao went to the cinema with dozens of his students dedicated to the lion dance. He has held out for dreams to promote lion dance among more young Chinese.“Bolstering intangible cultural heritage inheritance among the young is very important. The lion dance involves martial art, dance and music, which can strengthen their minds and bodies,” he pointed out.Currently, the lion dance has been introduced into 176 schools in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, covering nearly 20,000 students.“We must keep up with the times, and integrate modern elements like technology and fashion into the lion dance tradition. Thus, more young people will love it and be willing to learn and carry forward this traditional folk art,” Zhao said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 31 Dec 2021 | 5:24 am(NZT)

Xi’an delivers free groceries for residents amid strict lockdown

Authorities in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, have started delivering free groceries to residents amid a lockdown due to the latest COVID-19 resurgence.Many residents in the megacity, with 13 million people, received free food items provided by the local government on Wednesday. This latest measure is helping residents endure the lockdown.The city reported 155 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases for Wednesday, bringing the total number of local infections to more than 1,100 since the flare-up began on December 9.Xi’an imposed a citywide lockdown, effective last Thursday, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.To contain the outbreak more quickly, authorities in Xi’an upgraded control measures from Monday, ordering all residents to stay indoors and refrain from gathering except when taking nucleic acid tests. All motor vehicles except those used for COVID-19 control and supporting people’s livelihoods have been banned from roads.The curbs have curtailed access to daily necessities, with many people unable to go out to shop, leaving them dependent on deliveries.But the restrictions have caused a staffing crunch at companies involved in ensuring the delivery of supplies and the government was working to resolve the issue, according to an official.A Xi’an resident surnamed He said she tried to order groceries on the online app of Alibaba-backed supermarket chain Freshippo but could not secure many items, including potatoes and cucumber.The app posted a message under many items saying: “Delivery staffers are not available,” according to a screenshot provided by He.To ensure the supply of daily necessities, the city began preparing and delivering free essential food items on Tuesday night. A large number of people worked overnight preparing, packaging and delivering vegetables, meat and eggs so that the items could be sent to residents as soon as possible.With the help of four supermarkets and one farm produce market, the Qujiang New District prepared 130 tons of meat, 70 tons of eggs and 650 tons of vegetables for its 130,000 residents.“Each household receives 11 types of daily necessities, including meat, eggs and vegetables, which can meet their needs for three days,” said Wang Fan from the district’s pandemic prevention and control headquarters.Xincheng District resident Gao Yan was woken by an urgent phone call early on Wednesday morning, telling her to go downstairs to collect the free daily necessities.When Gao, 64, arrived at the entrance to her residential compound, she saw baskets of vegetables.“According to the standard of 20 yuan per person per day, vegetables are packed into large, medium and small packages to meet residents’ consumption needs for three days,” said Lu Hao, head of the Xiyilu subdistrict.Gao received her package, which included a 5-kilogram bag of flour, a small bottle of rapeseed oil and 10 kinds of vegetables. But as she lives alone, she told workers her package was too much and offered to share her items with the needy. She was assured that every household would receive sufficient supplies.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 31 Dec 2021 | 5:24 am(NZT)

152 new cases in China

The Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 152 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the National Health Commission said yesterday. Of the new local cases, 151 were reported in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province and one in Jiangsu Province, it said. Of the 151 new cases, 51 emerged through mass nucleic acid testing, and 99 were found among quarantined people in designated places. One case was detected when the person sought medical help, the Xi’an government said. Currently, the city has one high-risk area for COVID-19 and 58 medium-risk regions.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Chang’e-4 shows lunar water from meteorite

A CHINESE research team used data sent home by the Chang’e-4 probe to determine that a meteorite hit the moon about 1 million years ago, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences.The impact event is believed to be related to carbonaceous chondrites, a water-rich class of asteroids, according to Liu Yang from the National Space Science Center under the CAS. Liu was a corresponding author of the study.Yutu-2, the Chang’e-4 rover, encountered a small impact crater with a depth of 15 to 20 centimeters, and took detailed spectral measurements during the mission’s ninth lunar day.After analyzing the high-resolution remote sensing images and the hyperspectral data, researchers identified the materials around the center of the crater as remnants of an impact caused by carbonaceous chondrites.Previous studies have found carbonaceous chondrite fragments in lunar samples brought back by the Apollo program, but this is the first time carbonaceous chondrite impact remnants have been directly observed on the lunar surface by remote sensing, Liu said.Carbonaceous chondrites are thought to be among the oldest objects in the solar system and are rich in water and organic matter. Scientists believe that they are probably related to the origin of life on Earth.If a carbonaceous chondrite hits the moon, some of the water it was carrying could be retained on the moon, according to Liu.Previous study has shown that impacts are one of the main sources of water on the moon, along with volcanic eruptions and solar wind.The research team estimated that the impact event happened up to 1 million years ago — a short time compared to the moon’s geological time scale since its formation and roughly equivalent to a few minutes ago in a person’s lifetime.The team thus concluded that carbonaceous chondrite impacts are still providing water to the moon.The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Ancient ice-fishing lake gets a new life

about 5am, Ma Wenyan pulled on a thick cotton-padded jacket before he rushed to Chagan Lake, one of China’s largest freshwater lakes, with the temperature at a bone-chilling minus 30 degrees Celsius.Accompanying the 35-year-old fisherman was a herd of galloping horses, which help him pull heavily laden nets of fish out of the frozen lake in Songyuan City in northeast China’s Jilin Province.For centuries, fishermen and women living by Chagan Lake have kept alive the tradition of ice fishing — hand-drilling holes through the thick ice and lowering nets into the frosty waters. The technique has been listed as a national-level intangible cultural heritage.On Tuesday, a winter fishing tourist festival opened, marking the beginning of the golden season for winter fishing.Over 20 activities such as skiing competitions, nature watching and an ice dragon boat contest will be held during the annual festival, which runs through February 28.Yet mere decades ago, Chagan Lake was a very different place. It had dwindled to only dozens of square kilometers due to drought and overfishing.To restore Chagan to its former glory, the local government adopted a raft of measures such as diverting water from the Songhua River, planting vegetation and improving water quality. The lake now covers 500 square kilometers, and its fish resources have recovered. A growing number of tourists flock here to soak in the ancient ice fishing tradition.“The charm of ice fishing at Chagan Lake lies in keeping the fishing culture of our ancestors intact and carrying forward this tradition,” said Cao Baoming, a folk custom expert.Said Ma: “I believe Chagan Lake will only get better.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Ex-Jiangsu official faces graft counts

Wang Like, a former senior Party official in east China’s Jiangsu Province, has been indicted on charges of taking and offering bribes, harboring and conniving with mafia-like organizations, and forging identity documents, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said yesterday.Wang was formerly a member of the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China and head of the commission for political and legal affairs of the provincial Party committee.Wang’s case has been filed by the People’s Procuratorate of Changchun, Jilin Province, to the city’s intermediate people’s court.Prosecutors accuse Wang of taking advantage of his various posts in Liaoning and Jiangsu provinces to seek benefits for others, accepting huge sums of money and gifts in return.He was also accused of sheltering and conniving with mafia-like organizations in his role as a state organ functionary for an extended period. The SPP said the prosecutors had informed the defendant of his rights.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

5 overseas movies vie for awards

The China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday in the city of Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province, with foreign films joining the race for China’s top film awards for the first time.Five foreign films will compete for the best international film of the Golden Rooster Awards, including “The Father” featuring Anthony Hopkins and “Persischstunden,” a joint production of Russia, Germany and Belarus.The event, which ends today, will see nominees compete in 20 categories.The shortlist of 41 films from 185 entries includes the “Cliff Walkers,” a spy thriller directed by Zhang Yimou. Set in the 1930s in northeast China’s Harbin during the Japanese invasion, it Communist Party special agents as they test their wits on a secret mission.Other nominees for best film are “Chinese Doctors,” “My People My Homeland,” “Island Keeper,” “Sister” and “The Pioneer.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Tibet weather alert

Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region yesterday issued a red alert, the highest in the four-tier warning system, for snowstorms in some of its southern parts.Heavy snow will blanket the southern parts of both Xigaze and Shannan cities through 11am today, the regional meteorological bureau said in a statement.Some of these areas will see snowstorms accompanied by strong gales and sharp temperature drops afterward.Affected regions should be wary of icy road surfaces.Local governments should take precautions against the possible impact of the snowstorms on water and power facilities and people’s lives, the bureau said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Spring Festival rush

The number of passenger trips during the upcoming Spring Festival travel rush will rise sharply from this year.China’s largest annual travel rush will last from January 17 to February 25, Ren Zhuoli, an official with the Ministry of Transport, said yesterday.The number of trips will increase significantly from the 870 million in 2021, and may even surpass the 1.48 billion trips made during the 2020 Spring Festival.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)

Cultural sectors boom

China’s cultural and related sectors saw solid growth in 2020 despite COVID-19 shocks, official data showed.Before deducting the price factor, the sectors’ added value went up 1.3 percent from a year earlier to hit around 4.5 trillion yuan (US$705.2 billion) ­— about 4.43 percent of national gross domestic product, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.The cultural content creation and production sector gained momentum in 2020, with its added value logging an 11.1-percent year-on-year increase to 1.03 trillion yuan.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 30 Dec 2021 | 5:00 am(NZT)










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