Trump’s trip to Beijing scheduled for Nov 8
United States President Donald Trump is scheduled to embark on his first state visit to China on Nov 8. It is a trip that both Beijing and Washington expect will bear bountiful fruit and lead to a new impetus in the development of relations between the world’s two largest economies.
Trump’s itinerary was announced by the White House on Oct 16. He will be the second US president to make a state visit to China in the first year of his presidency — Trump took office in January — following the November 2009 visit by then-president Barack Obama.
“On Nov 8, President Trump will arrive in Beijing, China, for a series of bilateral, commercial and cultural events, including meetings with President Xi Jinping,” said a statement released by the White House. It will be their third meeting this year.
Shanghai set to host WorldSkills contest
China was selected on Oct 13 to host the WorldSkills Competition in Shanghai in 2021 — an event it hopes will facilitate the building of a stronger team of skilled workers nationwide and enhance international exchanges in vocational skills.
Members of WorldSkills International voted in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to award the 46th WorldSkills Competition to the city.
President Xi Jinping sent a video message on Oct 13, before the vote, in support of China’s bid. He said on behalf of the Chinese government and people that he firmly supported Shanghai’s bid, and gave his assurance that the city will be ready to host a highly innovative and influential event.
Xi said the competition will promote international exchanges and cooperation in vocational skills, drive the Chinese people to take up new skills and provide an opportunity for China to contribute to development of global skills.
Foreign trade tipped to grow in coming months
China’s foreign trade will continue to grow in the months ahead as overseas demand for domestic products strengthens steadily, according to a spokesman for the country’s biggest trade event.
“More foreign buyers are expected to visit the Canton Fair as they look for innovative, quality products made in China,” fair spokesman Xu Bing said.
The Canton Fair, or China Import and Export Fair, which is widely regarded as a barometer of the country’s foreign trade, opened its autumn session on Oct 15 in Guangzhou, in South China’s Guangdong province.
The number of foreign visitors has increased steadily in the last three sessions, Xu said.
“China’s trade has consolidated its upward trend this year as the country’s efforts to optimize its industrial and trade structure have gradually paid off,” he said.
Chinese submersible sets endurance record
An underwater glider developed by Chinese scientists has set records for the country, working continuously for the longest time and completing the longest journey in a single mission.
Haiyi 1000, developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shenyang Institute of Automation, was recently lifted out of the South China Sea after completing its underwater mission to collect ocean data on a journey of 1,884 kilometers that lasted 91 days.
The new endurance mark doubled that achieved by past Chinese gliders and makes China the only country besides the United States with the ability to conduct ocean monitoring and surveillance lasting more than three months in a single mission, according to a report by China Central Television on Oct 15.
Hybrid rice delivers world record yield
A new world record for a single crop of rice was set in North China’s Hebei province this year by a hybrid strain that delivered an annual yield of 17.2 metric tons of rice per hectare of farmland.
The high-yield hybrid rice, called Xiangliangyou 900, was developed by a team led by Yuan Longping, who developed the world’s first hybrid strain in the 1970s.
Under a three-year test, the rice was planted on a 6.8-hectare field in Guangfu town, Handan. This year’s yield was the highest to date, according to Hebei Guigu Fertilizer Co, which cooperates with Yuan’s team in managing the field.
“This is the highest yield in the world, and much higher than the world average,” Yuan said on Oct 15 when this year’s yield was estimated. The global average is about 10 metric tons per hectare.
Passenger flights more punctual in September
Nearly three-fourths of passenger flights in September landed or departed on time, an official from the Civil Aviation Administration of China said on Oct 17, representing a significant improvement over the previous months.
Airports across the Chinese mainland handled 436,588 flights last month — including a record 15,323 on Sept 29 — with an overall punctuality rate of 73 percent, Zhang Chunzhi, Party chief of the administration’s operation and monitoring center, said at a news conference.
In August, 55 percent of flights were on time, while in July the rate was only 50 percent, figures from the administration showed.
The authority said 53 percent of the delays were caused by weather, and almost 27 percent by airspace congestion. Air-traffic control accounted for 7.8 percent of the delays.
The top three airlines for punctuality were Air Chang’an, Air Jiangxi and Joy Air.
Private companies to monitor water quality
Private companies have been put in charge of collecting and analyzing water samples for quality in a bid to prevent interference from local authorities, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on Oct 16.
According to a plan from the ministry’s China National Environmental Monitoring Center, starting this month third-party agencies will collect samples from rivers, lakes and reservoirs before delivering these to independent labs for random analysis.
The data on water quality will be directly uploaded to the center, which will then release the results to the public, the ministry said.
Previously, provincial and city environmental protection bureaus were responsible for the whole process.
The first independent national collection began on Oct 9 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.
China gains ground in ranking of research
Academic research papers from China garner the second most worldwide citations, after those from the United States but ahead of those from the United Kingdom, according to a new study.
The analysis was conducted by Amsterdam-based information and analytics company Elsevier and commissioned by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Citations are the way in which scholars give credit to other researchers and acknowledge their ideas. They indicate how seriously research is taken by other scientists.
Elsevier assessed the performance of the UK’s research base between 2010 and 2014 and compared it with seven other countries: China, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.
The analysis found that, in 2014, research papers originating in China accounted for 18.1 percent of all citations, a sharp increase from the 11 percent it had in 2010.
Central SOEs register record profits of $167b
China’s State-owned enterprises (SOEs) under central government administration posted a record high net profit of 1.11 trillion yuan ($167.6 billion) from January to September, due to more supply-side reforms, reducing the asset-liability ratio requirement and adding curbs on capital outflow.
The nine-month profits represent a year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent, with double-digit growth each month.
Among the 98 central SOEs monitored, profits of 56 grew by more than 10 percent and 31 surged by more than 20 percent, the country’s top regulator of SOEs said on Oct 12.
Shen Ying, chief accountant of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, said central SOEs are fostering new growth engines by expanding their footprints in strategic new industries and high-tech sectors, such as digital and green economies, artificial intelligence and new energy vehicles.
Nonfinancial ODI falls 41.9% to $78b
China’s outbound direct investment (ODI) from nonfinancial sectors dropped 41.9 percent year-on-year to $78.03 billion, between January and September, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Oct 17.
The drop in the country’s ODI during this period narrowed 3.9 percentage points from the first half of this year, indicating that China kept deploying more investment in manufacturing and modern service-related businesses in global markets.
Investment in leasing and commercial services, manufacturing, retail, and information-related businesses took 32 percent, 17.3 percent, 12.2 percent and 10.5 percent of the country’s total ODI, respectively, during the nine-month period, said the ministry.
Companies from China invested in 5,159 companies in 154 countries and regions from January to September and signed $168.2 billion in new contracts for overseas projects, a rise of 13.8 percent year-on-year.
US debt holdings see third straight increase
China’s holdings of US treasuries rose for a third consecutive month in August to the highest in a year on the back of rising foreign exchange reserves and expectations that the greenback may appreciate further.
The country’s total holdings of US bonds, notes and bills rose by $34.5 billion on a monthly basis in August to $1.2 trillion, according to data from the US Treasury Department on Oct 17.
Japan, which overtook China as the largest holder of US treasuries last October, cut its holdings by $11.4 billion to $1.1 trillion in August.
China’s foreign exchange reserves rose to their highest level so far this year in September to $3.11 trillion, marking a rise for the eighth straight month.
PBOC official expects yuan to be more stable
Yuan exchange rates will have a more stable foundation after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the market will have a bigger role in determining the currency’s value, a top central bank official said on Oct 18.
The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, has almost withdrawn its “regular” intervention in the foreign exchange market, Pan Gong-sheng, head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said.
“We can also see that the exchange rate is more market-driven and has been more stable recently,” said Pan, who is also a deputy governor of the central bank.
The central bank released a report on its website on Oct 17 saying that the bank will continually facilitate the yuan’s internationalization to reflect a more stable position in the global monetary system.
PLA releases rules on opening doors to public
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has published guidelines on how and when barracks of some units can be opened to the public, aiming to boost awareness on national defense.
The guidelines were made and published by the Central Military Commission’s General Office and have been put into effect.
The idea is to display the PLA’s “new images”, strengthen the public’s passion for the military and their respect toward service members, and encourage officers and soldiers to dedicate themselves to building a strong military, according to a news release from the office.
This is the first time the Chinese military has issued specific rules regarding open houses at its units. Previously, PLA units conducted such activities in accordance with their own plans and schedules.
Shanghai rehab centers use VR to help addicts
Drug rehabilitation centers in Shanghai have become the first in China to use virtual reality (VR) technology to help addicts, according to the city government.
Around 700 addicts in two of the city’s five rehab centers have been using a newly developed system since late September to help staff members understand the sufferers’ level of addiction and assist them to turn their lives around more quickly, the Shanghai Drug Rehabilitation Administration said.
Users wear a VR helmet with an eye-movement tracking system and then “walk into” scenes with drugs and other paraphernalia. Their eye movement, together with other biological indicators such as heart rate and skin conductivity, is recorded as an objective way to show their level of addiction.