China Deigest

Build political trust, Xi tells Singapore PM 

Strengthening political trust between Beijing and Singapore and moving the relations forward are good for both sides, President Xi Jinping said on Sept 20.

He made the remark at a meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was on his first official China visit since 2013.

Keeping high-level contact is a good tradition to continue from the leadership of past generations and is the embodiment of close bilateral ties, Xi said.

“Beefing up mutual political trust and continuing to consolidate and develop bilateral ties are in line with the interests of both countries and their people and will also benefit regional and global peace, stability and prosperity,” the president said.

The two nations share a variety of interests, Xi noted. He proposed that both sides better align development strategies, enrich cooperation and also beef up civilian exchanges and do more to bond the two peoples.


Shanghai forum reflects on city’s growth goals

Shanghai needs and desires high-quality international workers “more than ever” as it works to become a global city of excellence, Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong said at a forum discussing the city’s master plan for the next two decades.

Ying’s comment came during the 29th International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai on Sept 17.

The council was initiated by Zhu Rongji, who was Shanghai mayor in 1989. It is an annual forum for global business leaders, providing strategic advice on the city’s development and growth. The membership has expanded from 12 representing seven countries to nearly 50 from 16 nations.


President calls for more security innovation 

President Xi Jinping has called for more systematic and innovative social governance, stressing the need to improve the capability to predict and prevent security risks.

Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was speaking on Sept 19 at a Beijing conference to award individuals and units that have made outstanding contributions to the public security governance sector in the past five years.

Since late 2012, people working in political and legal affairs have innovated social governance methods and dealt with large numbers of outstanding problems, making the general public feel safer, the president said.

The sense of security of the Chinese public has increased from 88 percent in 2012 to 92 percent in 2016, according to data released on Sept 19 by the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security, a central-level authority in charge of social governance in China.


Government moves to tighten dating sites

China moved a step toward helping people find love on Sept 18, with the issuance of a guideline governing dating websites.

Government bodies will coordinate to promote real-name registrations and authentication on dating sites and crack down on marital fraud and other crimes related to matchmaking services, according to the guideline issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

“It’s a common need of young adults and a big issue in life to fall in love and get married,” the guideline said. “The work related to young adults’ love and marriage will not only affect their healthy development but is also related to social stability and harmony.”


FM pledges to support sustainable growth

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China, which attaches great importance to sustainable development, has included “ecological construction” in its national development strategy.

Wang called on developing countries to fully participate in global environmental governance at a summit launching the Global Pact for the Environment at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept 19.

The summit was based on a French proposal for the global pact aimed at creating a binding international code of environmental law.

Wang said China supports strengthening dialogue and cooperation to address sustainable development issues, including environmental protection through multilateral platforms. 

“We have held innovation, coordination, green, open and shared as our concepts of development, and we have already incorporated ecological environmental construction into the national development strategy,” he said.


Cross-border zones to facilitate e-commerce 

China will set up more cross-border e-commerce pilot zones to facilitate trade and boost China’s global competitiveness, under a decision made at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Sept 19.

The meeting decided to extend the success of such zones to more cities with good infrastructure and strong trade and e-commerce development potential. The State Council set up the original initiative in Hangzhou, in East China’s Zhejiang province, in 2015 before it was expanded to another 12 cities, including Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, starting in early 2016.


Museum marks modern

China’s ‘darkest days’

A bell rang and a siren went off on Sept 18 at the September 18 Incident History Museum in Shenyang, in the northeastern Liaoning province, to remember the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression 86 years ago.

Behind the museum is an expressway linking Harbin in Heilongjiang province with Dalian in Liaoning province. More than eight decades ago, it was part of the South Manchuria Railway.

On Sept 18, 1931, members of the Japanese Kwantung Army stationed in Northeast China blew up a section of the railway and falsely accused the Chinese military of doing it.

Using the incident as a pretext, the Japanese launched their invasion of Northeast China. 

The bell was rung 14 times, representing the 14 years during which the Chinese people fought the invaders. The period has been referred to as the darkest days of modern China. 


Party’s constitution to 

be amended at Congress

The Communist Party of China is expected to amend its constitution at the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress in October by adding key theoretical viewpoints and strategic thoughts.

The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee deliberated and produced a draft amendment to the constitution at a meeting on Sept 18 presided over by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Appropriately amending the constitution at the National Congress based on new conditions and missions promotes the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and Party building, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The amended constitution should fully embody the latest Sinicization of Marxism, the new governance concepts and thoughts and strategies of the CPC Central Committee since the 18th CPC National Congress, as well as the fresh experiences in adhering to and strengthening Party leadership, and in strict Party governance, said the statement. 


Xi and Trump discuss Korean Peninsula

President Xi Jinping held a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump on Sept 18, and they exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula situation.

Xi stressed that he is glad to maintain regular communication with the US president on issues of common concern, according to a release from the Foreign Ministry.

China and the United States share a broad range of common interests, and the current exchanges and cooperation in various fields are gaining good momentum, Xi said.

The two sides should strengthen high-level exchanges and those at various levels, ensure the success of the first round of the China-US social and cultural dialogue as well as the first round of the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue and expand bilateral cooperation in various fields, Xi said.

Trump said it is satisfying that the two heads of state keep close contact and a good working-level relationship.


Chinese, Russian navies hold weeklong exercise

The Chinese and Russian navies kicked off the second stage of the Joint Sea 2017 drills on Sept 18.

The weeklong exercise was held in the Sea of Japan and, for the first time, in the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan’s Hokkaido Island, according to Vladimir Matveev, spokesman for Russia’s Pacific Fleet, who was quoted by Russian media.

It was also the first time the two navies have conducted joint submarine rescues and antisubmarine exercises involving multiple types of aircraft, vessels and military personnel.

The Chinese fleet utilized the missile destroyer CNS Shijiazhuang, missile frigate CNS Daqing, support ship CNS Dongpinghu, and submarine support ship CNS Changdao with the deep-submersible rescue vehicle Elar-7, according to the Defense Ministry.

The annual drills began in 2012 to strengthen cooperation and maintain regional peace and security.


University gives nod to Web publishing

Works by students and faculty that are widely shared online can now be recognized as having the same status as academic papers, according to guidelines issued by Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province.

New rules introduced on Sept 8 

state that only works posted or republished by mainstream media websites will be eligible. These can include original articles, audiovisual materials and animations.

Three levels of online works are covered by the new rule. Works published by the three major Party newspapers — People’s Daily, Guangming Daily and Qiushi Journal — with more than 20 reposts by mainstream media will be ranked as first-class academic work, while those published in other major media will be ranked as second or third class, according to the number of reposts. Sina Weibo, WeChat and major media apps are also among the platforms.


Mars probe set for launch around 2020

China is on track to launch its first Mars probe around 2020, and plans call for retrieving soil and rock samples from the red planet before 2030, said Zhang Rongqiao, the mission’s chief designer.

China aims to become the first country to conduct an orbital and surface exploration of Mars in a single mission, he said on Sept 20 at an international forum on lunar and deep space exploration in Beijing.

The Chinese Mars probe consists of three parts: Orbiter, lander and rover. 

The orbiter will collect data on Mars’ atmosphere, electromagnetic field, temperatures, surface landscape and other key scientific indicators, he said.

The rover, weighing around 200 kilograms, will focus on collecting surface data, as well as testing other equipment to pave the way for future sample retrieval missions between 2025 and 2030.


Ukraine project to boost aircraft engine capability

China is working with Ukraine on an industrial park to build aircraft engines, a joint venture expected to extensively boost China’s research, development and production capabilities in that area, according to project insiders.

Chongqing Skyrizon Aero-Propulsion Industrial Park, which broke ground in late 2015, will cover 5 square kilometers in the Chongqing Liangjiang New Area, and involves an investment of 20 billion yuan ($3.04 billion).

The industrial park’s investors are Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co, the only private aeronautical engine company in China, and Ukraine’s Motor Sich Joint Stock Co, one of the world’s largest aircraft engine manufacturers. In the park’s initial stage, they will jointly produce Ukrainian-designed engines there.

Later on, the companies will use the park to jointly develop and manufacture new engines, such as turboshaft, turboprop and turbofan models.


Ping-pong ‘diplomats’ reunite after 45 years

After 45 years, ping-pong athletes who took part in a series of historic exchanges between China and the United States in 1971 and 1972 reunited on Sept 18 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the first stop on the Chinese team’s visit to the US in 1972.

Liang Geliang and Zheng Huai-ying, the former world champions who played in the 1971 exhibition match in Beijing against the US ping-pong delegation, excitedly hugged and shook hands with Dell and Connie Sweeris, who were among the nine US players invited to visit Beijing back then.

They posed in front of a photo exhibition with highlights of the series that helped bring China-US relations out of the deep freeze, including the 1971 Nagoya World Table Tennis Championship in Japan, where the Chinese team invited Connie Sweeris and her teammates to play in Beijing. The invitation helped open the door for then-US president Richard Nixon’s visit to China in February 1972.

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