This is People's Daily Tonight, your new source from China.
State-owned oil majors increase efforts in oil/gas exploration
China’s three State-owned oil giants are stepping up oil and gas exploration to reduce China's reliance on oil and gas imports.
China National Petroleum Corporation said it would increase risk exploration funds to five billion yuan from the current one billion. Risk exploration refers to exploration that faces a high rate of failure but could lead to huge discoveries in oil and gas reserves.
China was 85 percent energy self-sufficient in 2018, compared to 90 percent in 2011. (Global Times)
Beijing's GDP exceeds 3 trln yuan in 2018
Beijing reported GDP of over 3 trillion yuan ($446.6 billion) in 2018, authorities said Wednesday.
According to the municipal statistics bureau, Beijing attained GDP of 3.03 trillion yuan last year, up 6.6 percent.
The city's new economy grew 9.3 percent to over 1 trillion yuan, accounting for 33.2 percent of the city's GDP.
The city's per capita disposable income also rose 9 percent to 62,361 yuan last year.
Consumption in the service sector reached 1.37 trillion yuan, up 11.8 percent, contributing 82.6 percent to the city's total consumption growth. (Xinhua)
US recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader as nation's 'interim president'
US President Donald Trump said the United States recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation's "interim president." This comes after Nicolas Maduro was inaugurated as president of the Latin American country earlier this month.
Trump added that the US would continue to use economic and diplomatic power to press for "the restoration of Venezuelan democracy."
Venezuela's incumbent President Maduro was elected last year and was sworn in as president on Jan. 10 for another six-year term. (Xinhua)
Trump says he’ll give address once shutdown ends
US President Donald Trump said Wednesday night he is postponing his State of the Union address until the partial government shutdown ends.
Following a high-stakes game of dare and double-dare, Trump conceded that "no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber" and that he was not looking for an alternate option after Pelosi served notice earlier Wednesday that he won't be allowed to deliver the address to a joint session of Congress next week.
Pelosi had taken the step after Trump said he planned to show up in spite of Democratic objections to the speech taking place with large swaths of the government shutdown.
Denied that grand venue, Trump promised to come up with some sort of alternative event. The White House scrambled to find a site matching the gravitas of the traditional address from the rostrum of the House to lawmakers from both parties, Supreme Court justices, invited guests and a television audience of millions. (AP)
Los Angeles teachers return to schools after reaching deal
Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers return to work Wednesday after voting to ratify a contract deal between their union and school officials. The deal ended a six-day strike at the nation's second-largest district.
The Los Angeles teachers headed back to work after Denver teachers voted Tuesday to go on strike after more than a year of negotiations over base pay.
The deal includes a 6 percent pay hike and a commitment to reduce class sizes over four years. (AP)
Jack Ma wants to bring e-commerce to everyone in the developing world
Jack Ma, co-founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, said he wants to reform globalization by bringing e-commerce to everyone in the developing world.
Ma made the remarks during a panel discussion with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at a session called Digitalizing Emerging Markets at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Alibaba has built a platform — Electronic World Trade Platform, which allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to build globalized businesses. (China Daily)
China to provide more efficient immigration services
And China aims to provide more efficient and convenient immigration services, after a record number of foreigners entered and left the country in 2018.
Immigration officials said the increasing number of people entering and leaving China has posed challenges for border control authorities, leading to simplified inspection procedures.
To provide more convenient immigration services to foreigners, Beijing opened two new centers on Wednesday. They offer visa, residence permit and permanent residency services. (China Daily)
And that's People's Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by David Nye and Zhan Huilan)