Pledge to strengthen relations with Brunei
Infrastructure, health and defense affairs were among highlights of the cooperative documents signed following the meeting in Beijing on Sept 13 between President Xi Jinping and Brunei’s visiting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
During their meeting, Xi said the two countries should reinforce the exchange of governing experience, the synergy of their development strategies as well as pragmatic cooperation in various fields.
Both countries should strengthen cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, energy, halal food, agriculture, fisheries and the digital economy.
Hassanal, who is also the prime minister of Brunei, said his country supports the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to improve connectivity along the ancient Silk Road routes, and it will continue honoring the one-China policy.
Brunei welcomes Chinese enterprises making investments and developing business there, and the country is ready to further maintain high-level contacts with China and expand cultural exchanges.
Hassanal was making his second state visit to China — the first was in 2013.
Top financial leaders express faith in China
The leaders of key international organizations, including the World Bank, expressed their confidence in China’s economic restructuring and growth prospects on Sept 12 as the country pursues innovation-driven and sustainable development. They spoke during a roundtable dialogue in Beijing hosted by Premier Li Keqiang.
The dialogue, known as the 1+6 roundtable, is the second such event at which Li has hosted discussions with such financial leaders as World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and World Trade Organization director-general Roberto Azevedo.
The three other heavyweights were International Labour Organization director-general Guy Ryder, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development secretary-general Angel Gurria and G20 Financial Stability Board chairman Mark Carney.
The leaders focused on topics including the global economy, multilateral trade regimes, sustainable development and China’s economic restructuring.
Desertification battle still a priority: Xi
China will stick to its commitment to fight against desertification and further strengthen cooperation with all parties and international communities to make joint efforts for a better world, President Xi Jinping said in a congratulatory letter to a UN environment meeting on Sept 11.
The high-level segment of the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention to Combat Desertification was held in Ordos, North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, from Sept 11-13.
“Desertification is a challenge that is faced by all people, which also has a major influence on world development. We need to promote the principle of respecting and protecting nature. The environment should always be our priority,” Xi wrote.
He said it has been 21 years since the UN desertification convention took effect. Major efforts have produced significant changes but many people still suffer from the effects of desertification.
Diplomats vow to ensure ‘fruitful’ trip for Trump
The top diplomats of Beijing and Washington vowed that the two countries will work together to ensure United States President Donald Trump’s first visit to China yields “fruitful results”, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Sept 13.
In his meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington on Sept 12, China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi said Beijing is ready to work with Washington to make sure Trump’s state visit to China, scheduled for this year, attains positive outcomes.
The Foreign Ministry statement quoted Tillerson as saying Trump is very much looking forward to the state visit and to planning with President Xi Jinping the future development of the Sino-US relationship.
Trump is likely to visit in November, when he also is set to attend the US-ASEAN summit and the East Asia summit in the Philippines, Reuters reported on Sept 12.
Beijing will ‘never allow’ war or chaos
Beijing is calling for full implementation of the latest UN Security Council resolution on Pyongyang and said it will never allow war or chaos on the Korean Peninsula.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remark on Sept 12 after the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2375 the day before to respond to the sixth nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), conducted on Sept 3.
The resolution’s measures include limiting oil supplies to the DPRK and banning the country’s textile exports.
Also in the resolution, the Security Council calls for “a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation” and resumption of the Six-Party Talks. It underlines the need to “ensure lasting stability in Northeast Asia at large”.
New tourism alliance to have global impact
A newly established international tourism organization initiated by China is expected to push the global tourism industry forward and facilitate cooperation around the world.
Gino Andreetta, CEO of Club Med Greater China, said the World Tourism Alliance will play a leading role in the development of the world tourism industry.
Tokozile Xasa, South Africa’s tourism minister, said the alliance would connect the global tourism sector by offering a platform to cooperate and share the experience of developing tourism.
The World Tourism Alliance was set up on Sept 12 in Chengdu, in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, where the 22nd General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization was held.
Duan Qiang, the alliance’s newly elected chairman, said it was proposed by the China Tourism Association and is a nongovernment, nonprofit organization for tourism consultation and cooperation.
Israeli companies loom large at high-tech expo
More than 60 Israeli companies gathered in Mianyang, Southwest China’s Sichuan province, for a high-tech expo from Sept 7 to 9.
“It’s a record number of Israeli companies participating in any expo in China,” said Amir Lati, the consul general of Israel in Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital.
“As the co-host country for the 2017 China (Mianyang) International Science and Technology Expo, we have brought the firms for business-to-business cooperation,” Lati said.
The expo, the fifth annual event, was attended by 11 Chinese State-owned military equipment manufacturers and over 700 firms from more than 40 countries.
As a tradition at the event, a foreign country is highlighted as the guest of honor. This year it was Israel, which is marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of its diplomatic ties with China.
Nanjing named China’s first City of Peace
More than 100 scholars and history researchers from China, Japan and South Korea called for peace and mutual understanding in Nanjing, capital of eastern Jiangsu province, which became China’s first International City of Peace on Sept 9.
Ye Nanke, head of the Nanjing Academy of Social Sciences, said the city has set up international peace schools, peace communities and peace research institutes to educate the next generation.
“Nanjing plays a key role in peace education and international communications because of its history,” he said.
Some 300,000 Chinese people were killed by Japanese troops in the city over six weeks from Dec 13, 1937, in one of the most brutal massacres in modern history.
International Cities of Peace, a global nonprofit association dedicated to connecting, promoting and encouraging peace worldwide, approved the city’s application on Aug 31.
First joint China-Russia university opens doors
The first cooperative university between China and Russia officially opened its doors to students on Sept 13 in a sign of enhanced educational cooperation between the two countries.
The opening ceremony of Shenzhen MSU-BIT University, jointly run by Lomonosov Moscow State University, or MSU, and the Beijing Institute of Technology, or BIT, was held in Shenzhen, in the southern Guangdong province.
“China and Russia jointly setting up Shenzhen MSU-BIT University is an important consensus between me and (Russian) President Vladimir Putin,” President Xi Jinping said in his congratulatory letter, read by Vice-Premier Liu Yandong.
Education is an important driving force for national development and progress and also an important bond for promoting exchanges and cooperation between different peoples, Xi said.
Hefei bookstores use app to attract readers
Bookstores are using a new approach to get people to borrow and buy their books.
Ten bookstores formed a book-sharing program in Hefei, in the eastern Anhui province, after a trial that took place over a month and a half.
With a smartphone application and a 99 yuan ($15) deposit, a reader can borrow up to two books from any one of the stores and keep them for up to 10 days. An option to purchase the borrowed books is also available on the app.
“Readers just need to scan the QR code on the back of each book in the store to get everything done,” said Zhu Fei, a manager at Anhui Xinhua Media, a State-owned company that runs the bookstores. The Sanxiaokou Xinhua Bookstore launched the program on July 16.
“Since then, more than 20,000 people have borrowed more than 100,000 books through the app,” said Huang Zhen, an executive from Anhui Xinhua Media.
Prosecutors to step up hunt for graft fugitives
Prosecutors will strengthen intelligence sharing and joint investigation cooperation with the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) to hunt down corrupt Chinese fugitives who remain at large abroad, a senior official from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on Sept 13.
“We are working closely with our counterparts from anti-corruption departments of IAP members to expand law enforcement cooperation and improve the capabilities and effectiveness of agencies to catch the fugitives and confiscate their illicit assets,” Procurator-General Cao Jianming said.
Since October 2014, when prosecuting departments in China launched the special action to capture such fugitives and recover their illegal funds, 174 corrupt officials have returned to face trial, with 1.9 billion yuan ($291 million) confiscated with the judicial assistance of foreign agencies.
Cargo spacecraft passes fast-docking operation
China’s cargo spacecraft Tianzhou 1 completed an automated fast-docking operation with the Tiangong II space laboratory on Sept 12, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
Tianzhou 1 began its approach to the space lab at 5:24 pm and spent six and a half hours for the docking, which was completed at 11:58 pm, the agency said in a news release.
It was the third docking sequence between the two spacecraft and the first that was done with the fast-docking technology. The previous two dockings took about two days each.
The mission was intended to verify the cargo spacecraft’s fast-docking capability, which is important to the construction and operation of China’s space station, the agency said, adding that Tianzhou 1 will conduct a third refueling with Tiangong II before falling back to Earth.
UNAIDS asks China to make drugs in Africa
The head of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has called on China to boost prevention and control in Africa by encouraging the country’s drugmakers to open production hubs on the continent.
Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said the central government should use the China-Africa Development Fund to mobilize key pharmaceutical companies to invest in manufacturing hubs covering many African countries, which will help create a “viable and sustainable” market. At the same time, medicines for HIV and AIDS produced in China and used by Chinese should be prequalified by the World Health Organization for use in Africa, he added.
National Games bring sports closer to public
The 13th National Games in Tianjin, North China, concluded with a bang on Sept 8 after bringing the public closer to the athletic mainstream, with the country pledging to promote mass fitness through the quadrennial gala.
China’s determination on sports reform was highlighted by President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the opening ceremony on Aug 27 and Premier Li Keqiang’s participation in the Sept 8 closing ceremony, at which Li said: “I now declare the closing of the 13th National Games of the People’s Republic of China.”
After the torch was extinguished to signal the successful conclusion of the games, the National Games flag was handed over to Hu Heping, governor of Shaanxi, where the next games will be hosted in Xi’an, capital of the northwestern province, in 2021.