This is People’s Daily Tonight, your news source from China.
Xi to attend gathering marking 40th anniversary of Message to Compatriots in Taiwan
Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend a gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing Message to Compatriots in Taiwan, scheduled for Wednesday morning in Beijing.
Xi will deliver a speech at the gathering.
The event will be broadcast live by China Media Group and on Xinhua News Agency's website (xinhuanet.com). The event will also be rebroadcast simultaneously on major news websites as well as on news apps run by the People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television. (Xinhua)
Chinese, Russian leaders exchange New Year greetings
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged New Year greetings on Monday.
In his congratulatory message to Putin, Xi said that the year 2018 has a special significance in China-Russia relations, and both countries have smoothly completed their respective important domestic political agendas and opened a new era for China-Russia ties.
In 2018, the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination reached an unprecedented level with substantiated political dialogues and rapidly expanding two-way trade, Putin said.
Also on Monday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev exchanged New Year greetings. (Xinhua)
Shanghai subway line length extended to 705 km
The total length of operational lines in Shanghai were extended to 705 kilometers on Sunday with the trial operation of two extension lines, allowing the city to retain its claim to having the longest subway systems in the country.
The Line 5 extension and the second and third phase of Line 13, which both cover 16 km, went into trial operation on Sunday, cutting down the time between the downtown area and the suburbs.
According to a Shanghai urban rail transit plan (2018-2023), Shanghai will have 27 lines with a total length of 1,154 km. (Xinhua)
Merkel says Germany must fight for 'our convictions'
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said Germany must "stand fast, argue, and fight for our own convictions" and assume greater responsibilities at a time when multilateralism is coming under intense pressure.
In her New Year's address to Germans, Merkel said long-held certainties about international cooperation were being put to the test.
Global challenges including climate change, immigration and the fight against terrorism could not be solved by countries going it alone, she warned.
She also pledged to raise spending for humanitarian and development aid, as well as defence. (AFP)
Hangzhou to close smoking rooms in airport terminals
(File photo via Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport)
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport is to close all the smoking rooms in its domestic and international terminals starting from Jan. 1, 2019.
According to the city's Regulation on Smoking Control in Public Places, which will come into effect in January 2019, the airport terminals are non-smoking areas in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.
Currently, the airport has begun to set up new open-air smoking areas. The smoking areas along the carriageway outside the terminals will continue to be available. (Xinhua)
Singapore to raise minimum legal age for tobacco to 19
Singapore's Ministry of Health has issued a reminder saying that the minimum legal age for the purchase, use, possession, sale and supply of tobacco products will be raised from 18 to 19 years old on Jan. 1, 2019, the Straits Times reported on Monday.
The move is a part of Singaporean government's plan to progressively raise the minimum legal age for smoking, which will go up to 20 years old on Jan. 1, 2020, and to 21 years old on Jan. 1, 2021.
The ministry said retailers who contravene the law and sell any tobacco products to a person below the minimum legal age shall be liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of S$5,000 ($3,660) for the first offence and S$10,000 for subsequent offences. (Xinhua)
Philippine storm death toll surges to 6
The death toll from a storm that struck the Philippines shortly after Christmas rose to 68 with the number of fatalities expected to climb even higher, civil defence officials said Monday.
Fifty-seven people died in the mountainous Bicol region, southeast of Manila, while 11 were killed in the central island of Samar, mostly due to landslides and drownings, the officials said.
The weather disturbance locally named "Usman" hit the country on Saturday. While it did not have powerful winds it brought heavy rains that caused floods and loosened the soil, triggering landslides in some areas.
At least 17 people are still missing and more than 40,000 were displaced nationwide due to the storm. (AFP)
And that’s People’s Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by Ni Tao and Wang Xiangyu)