Xi sends message of condolence to Trump
President Xi Jinping sent a condolence message to his United States counterpart Donald Trump on Oct 2 over heavy casualties caused by the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A gunman opened fire on a country music concert there on the night of Oct 1, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
In his message, Xi extended deep sympathy to the US government and people, profound condolences to the victims and sincere solicitude to those wounded, and said he wished for a quick recovery for the injured.
No casualties were reported among Chinese citizens visiting Las Vegas at the time of the shooting, according to a news release by the Chinese consulate general in San Francisco. The consulate general sent a team to Las Vegas on Oct 2 to check on possible casualties among Chinese.
World Bank increases forecast for growth
The World Bank on Oct 4 raised China’s growth forecast for 2017 and 2018, citing an improved external environment and strong domestic demand.
The bank now expects China’s economy to expand by 6.7 percent in 2017, up from an April projection of 6.5 percent and, for 2018, 6.4 percent instead of 6.3 percent.
“(China’s) GDP growth is revised upward in 2017 in light of better-than-expected performance in the first half of the year,” the World Bank said in its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update.
China’s economy grew at 6.9 percent in the first half.
The updated projection is part of a broader forecast for the region to grow 6.4 percent in 2017 and 6.2 percent in 2018, compared with the previously forecast 6.2 percent in 2017 and 6.1 percent in 2018.
PLA Navy ships make history with UK visit
After visiting the Belgian port of Antwerp and making a stop in Denmark, two naval frigates and a supply ship from the 26th Escort Task Group of the People’s Liberation Army Navy berthed at London’s Canary Wharf on Oct 2 at the start of a five-day goodwill visit to the United Kingdom.
The visit, which Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, described as history-making in the realm of China-Britain military relations, offered the British public and its military the chance to see first hand China’s growing military strength and its unremitting contribution to world peace.
Senior Captain Wang Zhongcai, who is also the fleet commander, said the ships will be open to the British public so people can get a better understanding of China and its Navy.
Newest submersible is a ‘deep-sea warrior’
China’s new manned submersible returned to port in Sanya, South China’s Hainan province, on Oct 3 after completing its first deep-sea testing in the South China Sea.
The new submersible is called Shenhai Yongshi, meaning deep-sea warrior. It reached a depth of 4,500 meters during tests while on a 50-day expedition trip on board the science exploration ship Tansuo-1.
“It is another great achievement for China in developing deep-sea manned submersibles,” said Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in a congratulatory letter.
“The submersible can be classified as one of the most advanced in the world,” he said in the letter. “This means China has become a nation capable of producing and testing its own massive deep-sea submersibles.”
Other countries that have developed deep-water technology include the United States, France, Russia and Japan.
Xiongan to focus on protecting environment
More than 70 percent of Xiongan New Area in North China’s Hebei province will be covered by water and trees, according to a leading official.
“We will not construct high-rise buildings, concrete jungles or glass walls in the new area,” said Chen Gang, director of the Xiongan New Area administrative committee.
He added that protection of the ecological environment will be regarded as a top priority during the construction process.
According to the development plan, announced in April, the area will cover about 100 square kilometers initially, but will be expanded to 200 sq km in the middle term, and rise to about 2,000 sq km in the long term.
Infrastructure, businesses and residential buildings will cover less than 30 percent of the total area, while the remainder will be home to forests and bodies of water.
Railways set record as millions take holiday
Chinese railways set a record in daily passenger traffic as more than 15 million trips were made on National Day on Oct 1, the first day of an eight-day holiday, and more than 113 million visitors flooded domestic resorts, the rail and tourist authorities said.
It is the year’s longest public holiday period as the Mid-Autumn Festival happens to coincide with the National Day holiday this year.
The estimate of 15 million trips was up 4.2 percent from the 14.4 million trips made on National Day last year, according to rail system administrator China Railway Corp.
On Oct 1, cars were stuck in kilometers-long traffic jams on expressways, and passengers waited in long lines at stations and airports. Large groups of tourists crowded into resorts.
Giant pandas arrive in Jakarta on 10-year loan
A pair of giant pandas from China arrived in Jakarta on Sept 28 on a 10-year joint research lease, making Indonesia one of the 16 countries and regions to host and help breed the endangered bear species.
The 7-year-olds landed at Jakarta’s international airport from Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province.
Cai Tao, a male bear weighing 127 kilograms, and female bear Hu Chun, weighing 120 kg, were transferred to a 4,800-square-meter panda park at Taman Safari zoo, located 75 kilometers south of Jakarta and 1,700 meters above sea level to ensure that the pandas are at a similar altitude to their hometown.
The pandas will be available for public viewing a month after the quarantine period.
DPRK firms and JVs ordered to shut down
China has ordered companies and joint ventures (JVs) from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to shut down within 120 days as it applies UN sanctions imposed following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test, the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce said on Sept 28.
Overseas Chinese JVs launched with DPRK firms or individuals should also be closed according to the sanctions from the United Nations, which did not give a deadline.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Sept 12 imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang, including limiting its oil imports, banning its textile exports and restricting overseas firms from hiring DPRK citizens.
Police liaisons help in criminal cases abroad
The 63 liaison officers from Chinese police forces sent to the nation’s embassies and consulates in 31 countries have played a key role in handling an increasing number of cases abroad involving Chinese people, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
The officers have worked with local police, assisting in 5,000 transnational cases and helping repatriate 1,349 fugitives over the past five years. They have significantly boosted international law enforcement cooperation in fighting crime and hunting fugitives. Their presence has helped better protect the interests of Chinese people who live or travel abroad, the ministry said.
“Little do people know that many Chinese fugitives listed on Interpol’s red notices turned themselves in because of the work of police liaison officers,” said Yu Yang, an officer with the ministry’s department of police liaison officers.
Red notices are requests to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending repatriation.
Quantum link connects Beijing and Shanghai
China launched a 2,000-kilometer quantum fiber link connecting Beijing and Shanghai on Sept 29, allowing unhackable communication between the cities.
This is the world’s longest and most sophisticated quantum link, and it will serve as the backbone connecting quantum networks in four cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Jinan in the eastern Shandong province and Hefei in the eastern Anhui province, said Pan Jianwei, China’s leading quantum physicist.
During the link’s launch in Beijing, Bai Chunli, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made video calls using the quantum link with scientists and government officials in Jinan, Hefei and Shanghai, congratulating them for their hard work.
Beijing issues 20-year development plan
A blueprint for Beijing’s development over the next 20 years has drawn three “red lines” to ensure the city becomes a livable and harmonious capital, according to the municipal government on Sept 29.
The development plan of Beijing (2016-35), which was approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Sept 27, saw more details released on Sept 29, with the city setting limits on its population, land for development, and land for ecological protection.
The city aims to hold its population to 23 million by 2020, with 10.85 million in the city’s six core districts. The number of registered residents now stands at 21.73 million.
The land used for construction will be reduced from 2,921 square kilometers in 2015 to 2,860 sq km by 2020, and be further cut to 2,760 sq km by 2035, it said.
Friendship Award goes to 50 foreign experts
Fifty foreign experts from 21 countries have received this year’s Friendship Award — China’s highest honor granted to a foreigner — for their contribution to the nation’s development.
Vice-Premier Ma Kai conferred medals on the winners at an award ceremony on Sept 29 in Beijing. He said that since late 2012, 3.35 million foreign experts have come to work in China, and they have played an active role in building a more modern nation.
Ma said China will adopt more open and effective policies to attract foreign talent, support their participation in China’s scientific research and safeguard their legitimate rights and interests. More rigorous efforts will be made to lure talent that China urgently needs, he added.
The award was launched in 1991, and so far 1,549 foreigners working in China have received the medal.
UN peacekeeping force completes registration
The 8,000-strong peacekeeping standby force that President Xi Jinping promised in 2015 has finished its registration process with the United Nations and will be deployed after training, the Defense Ministry said on Sept 28.
The force will include 28 divisions from 10 fields, ranging from infantry battalions and quick-response forces to helicopter and drone crews, said Wu Qian, the ministry’s spokesman, at a news briefing in Beijing.
“The standby force will train with United Nations standards, and be deployed to overseas peacekeeping mission areas at the appropriate time,” he said, adding that it will conduct combat-ready training and rescue missions in China before being deployed.
Two years ago, Xi told the 70th session of the UN General Assembly that China would join the UN capability readiness system, and set up a standby peacekeeping force of 8,000 troops.
Long March rocket lifts three satellites
China used a Long March 2C carrier rocket on Sept 29 to lift three satellites, as the nation resumes space launches after a major failure in July.
The rocket blasted off at 12:21 pm at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, successfully placing three Yaogan 30-1 satellites into orbit, according to a news release from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the major contractor of the country’s space programs.
Developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the satellites will be used to carry out technological experiments on the electromagnetic environment, the release said.