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Xi's Yunnan tour a big push for China's moderately prosperous society

BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- While Chinese families are preparing for the upcoming Lunar New Year, President Xi Jinping made an inspection tour in the southwestern province of Yunnan, an ethnically diverse province long stricken by poverty.Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits a village of the Wa ethnic group to extend his Chinese New Years greetings to the villagers in Qingshui Township of the city of Tengchong, southwest Chinas Yunnan Province, Jan. 19, 2020. (Photos: Xinhua)The message of his first domestic tour in 2020 is clear: The nation is making a final push to complete the building of "xiaokang," or a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and not a single ethnic group, family or individual will be left behind.During his tour, Xi traveled to Simola Wa Village, in the city of Tengchong, to learn about local poverty alleviation efforts, congratulating local villagers on shaking off poverty.Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits a village of the Wa ethnic group to learn about poverty alleviation efforts and extend his Chinese New Years greetings to the villagers in Qingshui Township of the city of Tengchong, southwest Chinas Yunnan Province, Jan. 19, 2020.The move echoed his reply in April of last year to a letter from people of the Dulong, one of Chinas smallest ethnic groups, in Yunnan. Xi congratulated them on their collective rise out of poverty, encouraging them to create an even better future.Dulong people have now all moved into newly built houses, and all of the six administrative villages have access to paved roads, 4G and radio and TV signals.The list of ethnic minority groups shaking off absolute poverty will continue to grow. However, eliminating poverty is not the end ...

China-Russia ties to deepen despite US wedge

(Photo: Xinhua)The National Interest on January 14 published an article - "As America Worries About China, Russia Eyes The South China Sea," saying "Russias presence in the South China Sea complicates the ongoing disputes between China and its neighbors over competing territorial claims" in the context of Russian resource exploration with the Philippines and gas projects with Vietnam.Russias cooperation with Vietnam and the Philippines can date back to the Soviet era, instead of moves directed at China. The article seemingly intends to sow discord between China and Russia, because the solid comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era is a bulwark against US antagonism for the two countries. Currently, US elites seek to undermine China-Russia ties.As a result, Washington often releases some messages or articles to drive a wedge between the two countries, claiming Beijing and Moscow are competing and have strategic disputes in regions such as the South China Sea and Central Asia. We should view such rhetoric with a rational mind.Take Vietnam as an example. Before the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union supported Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines to have an upper hand in its strategic confrontation with China. Their cooperation ranged from military to petroleum exploration.But Moscows present cooperation with Southeast Asian countries is mainly to meet its economic ends. Although strategic considerations behind Russias presence in the region cannot be ruled out, it serves Russias global strategy, instead of targeting China.Russias presence in the South China Sea will not aggravate territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, but the US presence has done that. The support the US has offered to Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam has far exceeded Russian support to these states.In addition to political rhetoric to bolster So...

US continues to intensify tensions with China over technology

(Photo: CGTN)China and the United States have just signed the phase one trade agreement, a development widely applauded by the international community. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, KristalinaGeorgieva, said the agreement will reduce the uncertainty that has dampened global economic growth. The American business community also commented positively on the agreement, largely because they have paid a hefty price for the "trade war." According to data released by the US Department of Commerce up to November 2019, US companies have lost 46 billion US dollars due to the tariff war staged by the Trump administration,of which 37.3 billion US dollars was attributable to the US-China trade friction.However, the phase one agreement has failed to eliminate global concerns about the "decoupling" between the United States and China. In particular, Washingtons "technological cold war" against China is escalating.The Trump administration plans to roll out new rules to tighten restrictions on the export of tech products to China. Under current regulations, the United States can block the export of many high-tech products shipped to China from other countries if US-made components make up more than 25 percent of the value. The US Department of Commerce has drafted a new rule that would lower the threshold only to 10 percent and expand the purview to include non-technical goods like non-sensitive chips and consumer electronics.Washington is also nervous about tech products imported from China and is on high alert. For example, the US Department of the Interior is planning to permanently ground nearly 1,000 drones due to the devices being made at least partly in China. The US believes that the risk of the drones being used by Beijing for spying was too high and theimagescaptured on their cameras could be accessed by Beijing.Moreover, the Trump administrations "targeted suppression" of ...

Transparency and cooperation are crucial to contain new coronavirus

People are seen wearing masks at Beijing Railway Station on Jan 21, 2020. As of 6 pm on Tuesday, there have been five cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection in Beijing. (Photo: chinadaily.com.cn)On Tuesday, Chinese health authorities confirmed the sixth death from the coronavirus which shares genetic similarities with the one responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome, and revealed that 15 medical workers in Wuhan had been infected, with one in a critical condition. The number of people known to be infected continues to rise with new cases still being reported.With the head of the Chinese government expert team saying on Monday that human-to-human transmission has been confirmed and the Spring Festival travel rush under way, in which hundreds of millions of people will be crisscrossing the country and traveling overseas for the holiday, it is widely expected that more cases, and even deaths, will be reported in the days to come.While the handling of the new SARS-like virus by local health officials in Wuhan, Hubei province, when it was first discovered last month, will come under scrutiny, that the virus was identified as a novel strain in just two weeks shows the marked progress the country has made in its ability to manage an epidemic compared with 17 years ago.The new coronavirus has already been classified in the same category as the SARS outbreak, meaning compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the disease and the potential to implement quarantine measures on travel, which shows that the authorities are prepared and resolved to safeguard peoples health.The World Health Organization has so far given a thumbs-up to Chinese efforts. It said earlier this month that it was "reassured of the quality of the ongoing investigations and the response measures implemented in Wuhan, as well as the commitment to share information regularly".And this commitment was reinforced by President Xi Jinping on Monday, when he stressed that in...

Observer: China takes concrete action to curb virus spread

Facing the spread of the novel coronavirus that caused cases of pneumonia in some major Chinese cities and other Asian countries, the Chinese government has taken concrete action to prevent large scale outbreaks of the respiratory epidemic ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.Wuhan Tuesday has strengthened the control of personnel entering and leaving the city. Local tourist groups are banned from traveling outside of the city, and the public security traffic management department will conduct random checks on private vehicles entering and leaving Wuhan to check whether the trunks carry live birds and wild animals.Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered resolute efforts to curb the virus spread and urged governments and departments at all levels to put the health and safety of the people first, especially during a time when China is experiencing huge mobility during the Spring Festival holiday. Transport authorities around the country have carried out strict measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Local governments rolled out strict prevention and control plans, while paying all efforts to treat the infected and timely releasing the latest relevant information.The countermeasures rose to the national level at an early stage. Experts assigned by the National Health Commission arrived in Wuhan to examine and verify the situation on December 30, 2019. On January 9, 2020, preliminary lab results showed a new type of coronavirus had caused the viral pneumonia in Wuhan. The National Health Commission then activated nationwide daily report mechanisms and supplied nucleic acid testing kits to strengthen the surveillance.The World Health Organization (WHO) received the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus shared by China, which according to WHO is of great importance for developing specific diagnostic kits. China has strong public health capacity and resources to respond to and manage respiratory disease outbreaks in addition to treating patients in ...

Truth presented on Xinjiang might not be enough to dispel Western bias

(Photo: CGTN)On January 20, the regional government of northwest Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region held apress conferenceon the educational situation in Xinjiang. The report presented a detailed picture of the students and schools circumstances on the ground.To solve the inconvenience created by the vast land between villages and towns, the regional government has been pushing for the construction of large numbers of boarding schools since as early as the 1980s. Parents who cannot manage to work and at the same time take care of their children on a daily basis are given the choice to send their kids to boarding schools on weekdays, and then they spend the weekend together. The official data shows that about 13 percent of primary school students and 45 percent of middle school students are enrolled in boarding schools now.However, for many in the West, these educational provisions could be distorted into a sin of the government. As said in the press conference, "boarding schools are not unique to China." There are boarding schools throughout the world, including in the United States. And yet, when it comes to China, the students are "reported" as being "forced to separate from their parents and suffered from trauma."Granted, there have been no shortage of rumors and accusations against government policies in the region. There are not-so-slight differences between online rumors, new stories and propaganda. Media should not be meshing the three together and publish articles based on personal biases and false information.A New York Times piece published last December is an exemplary in this peculiar category of "news reporting." Authored by NYTs China correspondent Amy Qin, the article titled "In Chinas crackdown on Muslims, children have not been spared" has been a combination of displays of the authors own perception of reality, support from disreputable sources and a di...

Trade deal may offer limited relief to Meng's release

China and the US signed a phase one trade deal as a substantial step towards the ending of the trade war which was launched by the Trump administration in early 2018. (Photo: CGTN)It has been reported that China raised the issues of US ban of Huawei from acquiring US technology and the detaining of the tech giants CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canada at the US request. It was also speculated that the US might use release of Meng as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China,Unfortunately, one has reason to believe that the trade deal will offer limited relief to Mengs release.Firstly, from purely legal point of view, the phase one trade deal did not make reference to Huawei or Meng at all. Given that federal criminal prosecutions are outside the scope of the agreement, no US concession on Mengs release is understandable, although Trump himself once said that he would consider make concession on Huawei should China agree to the US request on trade issues.Secondly, the behavior of the Trump administration has been consistent in dealing with China on the national security issue. As the US has clearly targeted China as a rival, it has been seen to spare no effort to contain China in the field of advanced technology.US State Secretary Pompeo had been persuaded relentlessly its allies and other countries not to use the Huawei products in their 5G networks. As a matter of fact, just before the signing of the trade deal, there were reports that the Trump administration planned to impose new rules barring sales of foreign-made goods to Huawei.While the current regulation subjects to the US jurisdiction the foreign goods with US contents of 25 percent and above, the reported rule is going to lower the local content requirements, thus tightening the restriction on Huawei in acquiring US technology.In this regard, it is useful to remind the consistent behavior is also accountable for that fact that no concessions were made by US negotiators on the Meng prosecution ...

Vigilance needed on coronavirus pneumonia

Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee, secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, says in a press conference on Monday that Hong Kong will implement three measures to combat the new pneumonia. (Photo: CNS photo)The city of Wuhan, Central Chinas Hubei Province, on Monday updated its report over the epidemic situation of the new coronavirus pneumonia. In the past two days, 136 new infections were confirmed in Wuhan, bringing the number of total infections in the city to 198 and the death toll to three. On the same day, two patients in Beijing and one in Shenzhen have also been confirmed to have been infected with the virus, and five suspected cases were reported in East Chinas Zhejiang Province. Suddenly, there was a sense of nervousness in the entire Chinese society.At this point, it is important for the public to remain calm, get the whole picture of the epidemic situation and analyze the situation objectively.Some people suspect that the government did not unveil all relevant information in a timely manner, like the situation in the early stages of the SARS outbreak in 2003. As the epidemic situation remains unclear and China has not entered into a state of mobilization, the Chinese government tends to issue the information in pursuit of stability and accuracy, instead of making predictions that could result in panic. But this is not like the situation in the early stages of SARS.This time, it is obvious that suspected cases are undergoing a process of confirmation and judgment. The related prevention is underway to control the spread of the pneumonia. In the age of social media, unofficial information has been spreading on the internet and competing with official information. Under such conditions, government agencies cannot hide information even if they want to.Western media have been covering the case more timely than those in China. The capability to strengthen timely information of major events in their early st...

Brexit and Megxit: Two modern stories

Following the announcement to step back as official members of the royal family on January 8, Prince Harry and Meghan reached an agreement with the family on January 18 whereby the couple would "no longer use their royal titles" and "no longer represent the Queen."Photo: CGTNBuckingham Palace stated that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are going to pay back some of the taxpayer money used to renovate their home Frogmore Cottage, and they will not receive public funds for royal duties – they will seek financial independence under their new brand.As Meghan was believed to be the driver of the decision, the event was dubbed "Megxit," a play on the other ongoing situation in the UK, Brexit.Intriguing enough, there are a number of parallels that can be drawn between these two events.As with Brexit, Britain is choosing to leave the EU; and with Megxit, the prince has been pushing for greater independence by choosing to leave Britain.More hilariously, as Harry and Meghan aim to split their time between the UK and Canada, the "Canada deal" is joked as remarkably similar to the Irish backstop plan: Northern Ireland in some aspects will stay within the single market after Brexit, which is akin to the couples "Super Canada-plus" plan to serve as a "half royal" – they will set up a charity to continue some royal duties.However, the two dramas can be quite different. For example, while most youngsters and liberals support the couples decision to leave the royal family, they were opposed to the UK governments plan to withdraw from the European bloc.Also, while Brexit represents a sharp break with a union, Megxit more or less strengthens a union – Canada has been part of the British Commonwealth, yet by choosing to live in Canada, Harry and Meghans decision would arguably inject some glamour to the already loose confederation of nations.Notwithstanding that there exists a good number of contrastin...

The West monopolizes and weaponizes human rights

Double standard is one of the instruments of international politics in the modern era. In many situations it defeats reason and logic. The rules established by the hegemony often serve exclusively its interests and those of its allies without taking into account and respecting others pursuits.Photo: CGTNAccording to international law, each country has the right to a sovereign domestic and foreign policy. If the policy of this country does not harm or pose threats to other countries, then interfering with what is happening in a sovereign country is a violation of its sovereign rights. Unfortunately, the hegemony in todays world politics has little regard for abiding by such rules.In this case, we are talking about the United States and China. With its economy strengthening day by day, China is now designated by Washington as the main target for pressure. And recently, Washington has criticized Beijing with renewed vigor.Judging by Western media, American politicians are losing sleep over the "violated rights" of residents in Chinas Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Until recently, this region, heavily inhabited by a Uygur population, distinguished itself from other regions of China by its harsh environment, low living standards, large percentage of illiteracy among the population and religious radicalization.With the strengthening of the Chinese economy, the central government increased its investment in Xinjiang. The implementation of social and educational programs spurred the regions development. New jobs were created, business was revived and the young generation managed to be dissuaded from radicalization through involvement in educational programs and employment.But none of this is the focus of U.S. politicians and media. Measures to raise the standard of living and intellectual development of the local residents are not taken into account. On the contrary, the Chinese governments policies are defined by the U.S. as a "vi...

Year of Rat is also Year of Kangaroo and Koala

As we step into 2020, we also step into a new 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The year 2020, according to the lunar calendar, is the year of shu. In English, it is simply the Year of the Rat (or Mouse).Tourists visit a lantern fair marking the Year of the Rat at Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai on Jan 13, 2020. (Photo: China Daily)But how did the humble little mouse get to lead the pack of the animals despite the presence of powerful animals such as the tiger and the dragon in the Chinese zodiac. One theory is that the mouse is the most versatile among all animals. A mouse can swim, run and climb. It does not fly, but it can climb to the top of the roof. In 2020, Japan will host the Summer Olympic Games. If there were an Olympic Games for animals, a mouse could be the triathlon winner.Mice and rats can feed themselves even during a famine due to their agility and mobility afforded by their versatility. China used to be a subsistence economy in which many accorded the top priority to food. Until recently, people greeted each other with the question,"Have you eaten rice?" This greeting seems to an outsider to be an invasion of privacy, but shows the genuine care a person has for a fellow human.While the world is seeing China as an increasingly affluent country, there are still many Chinese who live in poverty. For them, New Year resolutions probably do not include special diets to lose weight.As we start a new year, let us pay attention to the invisible masses of people who deserve the security of food, clothing and shelter. A countrys strength comes from the way its leaders and citizens care for the poor. Hence, the fight against poverty should continue to be relevant even in the new decade.The mouse may be the first animal in the Chinese zodiac as well as clever and intelligent (think of Tom and Jerry). But as a translator, I sometimes find the English terms mouse and rat reductive equivalents of the Chinese character of shu. The word shu is used in Chi...

Why Hong Kong is still a strategic financial hub for Chinese companies

(Photo: CGTN)According to this weeks report from Nikkei Asia, a total of four Chinese technology companies are considering a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The companies are the e-retailer JD.com, the search engine Baidu, the online travel company Ctrip and the online services company NetEase. The restaurant operator Yum China is also reported to be in talks for a secondary listing. JD.com, Baidu, Ctrip and NetEase are already listed on the Nasdaq while Yum China is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.The possible listing of these companies is expected to raise a total of 15 billion U.S. dollars and investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and China International Capital Corporation Limited are going to act as arrangers for the deals.Last November the secondary listing in Hong Kong of Alibaba marked the worlds largest initial public offering (IPO) in 2019 with a total subscription of nearly 13 billion U.S. dollars. Alibaba with that move decided not only to invest on Hong Kong opening a new funding channel but also to send a very powerful political message of faith in Hong Kong and of trust in the motherland.The decision of JD.com, Baidu, Ctrip and NetEase and Yum China for a secondary listing in Hong Kong is certainly incentivized by the successful move of Alibaba that with such a high-profile IPO opened gave an indirect message to other Chinese companies. The strategy behind this choice has to be considered, especially for companies that have not the size and the global influence of Alibaba, in the current political context where companies still need to navigate.This week the phase one deal between the U.S. and China has been signed sending a positive signal to the markets in terms of a renewed stability in the relationship between the two worlds biggest economies. The deal represents just a first step in fixing the trade disputes between China and the U.S. and it cannot be denied that there are st...

Prevent Wuhan virus for auspicious festival

Li Gang, director of Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says during a press conference on Sunday that the epidemic in Wuhan can be prevented and controlled. (Photo: Xinhua)Of the 62 identified cases of a new form of viral pneumonia that broke out in Wuhan, Central Chinas Hubei Province, two people died. And 681 of the 763 people who had close contacts with those diagnosed with the pneumonia have been released, with only 82 still under medical observation.Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention said during a press conference on Sunday that they had not ruled out the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission, but the risk of continued human-to-human transmission was low. The center also believes the pneumonia is preventable and controllable.Confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been found in Thailand and Japan. There have been suspected cases in Vietnam and Singapore, and 90 suspected cases have been reported in Chinas Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.Some analysts believe there may be people who are infected but have not been discovered or confirmed in other parts of the Chinese mainland.Wuhans pneumonia reminds many people of the SARS outbreak in 2003. There has not been a public panic like during SARS. This is probably because the pneumonia has not spread as seriously as SARS and its fatality rate is not as high.But the source and the transmission route of the new pneumonia in Wuhan are still uncertain. Research into the new coronavirus is still limited. Thus, it is a somewhat mysterious epidemic, which is the biggest reason why people are worried.The Spring Festival is coming and the movement of people on the Chinese mainland will peak. Preventing the spread of the Wuhan pneumonia will also face a test. The entire Chinese society should be vigilant but should not be in panic. We should make the upcoming Spring Festival happy and peaceful, and also pay close attention to every link wher...

The historical context of the 'one-China Principle', and why it won't change

Tourists enjoying the sunset in Taipei, Taiwan, China. (Photo: CGTN)After her re-election as Taiwans leader, Tsai Ing-wen held an exclusive interview with the BBC where she said China needs to "face reality" that "Taiwan is an independent country". This was later followed up with a U.S naval mission through the Taiwan Strait.It is not surprising given her victory that her position in advocating formal division from the Chinese mainland has been emboldened, following an election campaign which sought to purposefully whip up fear against Beijing and weaponize the events in neighboring Hong Kong. The central government emphasized nevertheless that their position has not changed.Why is this principle, known as the "one-China principle" so significant? And why does it matter so deeply to Chinas identity?The symbolism of reunification is a keystone of how China understands itself in its relationship with the past and the present world. With the country having suffered from division and disunity in times long gone with its sovereignty violated and disrespected, the contemporary Peoples Republic of China (PRC) has pursued a vision of "national rejuvenation" which seeks to build China as a modern country capable of sustaining its own sovereignty.This places emphasis on reversing the injustices of the past, shaping reunification as a staple of the countrys national identity. Given this, such a position on Taiwan simply cannot change.Western countries do not understand Chinas emphasis on national sovereignty, and repeatedly portray it as a form of aggression or ambition instead, refusing to take Chinas views on the matter seriously.However, the issue of Taiwan is not about "expanding China" where it does not belong, but instead "restoring China" in the view of reversing the challenges and division imposed on the country in times of old.Chinese discourse understands itself through the lega...

Online traders use emotion to make profits

(Photo: VCG)Have you ever read articles describing the plight of farmers who failed to sell their produce and hence appealed for more purchase? With the Chinese New Year approaching, e-commerce has stepped on the gas to market their products.A recent story circulated on social media said that around 750,000 kilograms of blood oranges were lying with farmers in a village of Southwest China Sichuan Province.The article, which has drawn widespread attention in China, portrays a miserable picture of the village - the majority of farmers are senior citizens; some of them are disabled, while others are in poor physical state and need to take medicines on a long-term basis.It said if the oranges are not sold, the farmers cant pay their medical bills, tuition fees for children, and cant buy gifts and other provisions for the Chinese New Year. It pleaded readers to lend them a helping hand.Many kind-hearted netizens said they took pity to the condition of the farmers and made purchases in tears. However, the truth was waiting to disappoint them.A Chinese media outlet, The Paper, reported that only around 10 percent of the article is true. According to local authorities, the story is fake. The e-commerce traders just treat people living in less-developed areas as tools to make a fast buck by deceiving consumers. Some netizens were really heartbroken and called the act a crime.My father was one of those netizens caught up in the web of deceit last year. He said, "Its terribly sad! I hope their great effort has not been in vain," after reading a story describing that jujubes were not selling in North Chinas Shanxi Province and so poor farmers could not afford their kids tuition fee and lived a miserable life.My father ordered 4 kilograms of the fruit at the rate of 30 yuan ($4.4) on Taobao, a flagship online retail platform of Chinas e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. He felt good after ordering the produce.Nevertheless, he felt he migh...

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