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Chinese netizens reluctant to see young actress staring in women’s volleyball team film

Chinese netizens raised doubts about actress Guan Xiaotong, pop idol Lu Han’s girlfriend, after reports said she would play the role of the former national female volleyball team captain in a new film, saying she does not represent the team’s spirit.

Once a world superpower in women’s volleyball, China was almost unbeatable between 1981 and 1986 when the team won two world championships, two World Cups and one Olympics.

Against the backdrop of China’s opening-up and reform, the Chinese took pride in their victories and were inspired by the “women’s volleyball spirit,” that represents hard work, unity and perseverance.

Hong Kong director Peter Chan will direct a film called “Chinese Women’s Volleyball Team,” based on a true story to express the team’s indomitable efforts to win honor for the country, the Wenhui Daily reported in May.

Gong Li, who was honored with the Women in Motion award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will play Lang Ping, the head coach of the women’s national volleyball team, the film’s producers said on Sina Weibo in May.

Many netizens hailed Gong’s appearance in the film and said they trust she would play the part well.

However, Guan, 21, who will reportedly play former caption Hui Ruoqi, 28, received doubts from netizens, saying that she lacks good acting skills and fighting spirit.

Guan, who was a child star, debuted as an actress in 2001, then made a name in 2005 in The Promise directed by Chen Kaige.

She is girlfriend of Lu Han, who was dubbed the “Chinese Justin Bieber” by foreign media and a member of South Korean top-tier idol group EXO.

IEEE lifts ban on Huawei employees

A major science publisher lifted a restriction Monday morning on Huawei employees, who were earlier banned from reviewing papers due to US sanctions on the Chinese firm. This reversal marked a major turnaround amid a raging tech war between China and the US, analysts said.

The New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) said in a statement on Monday that it has received the requested clarification from the US Department of Commerce on the applicability of these export control restrictions to IEEE’s publication activities.

According to the new statement, employees of Huawei and its affiliates may participate as peer reviewers and editors in the IEEE’s publication process, the statement noted. And all IEEE members, regardless of employer, can continue to participate in all of the activities of the IEEE.

The China Computer Federation (CCF), a major computer research body, welcomed the IEEE’s latest move. It said in a statement on Monday that it hopes the US association maintains academic neutrality and treat members equally.

CCF said it will resume cooperation with IEEE and its affiliates. It cut ties on Thursday with IEEE after the latter issued a ban on Huawei employees from peer review.

Under tremendous pressure from the public, IEEE changed its rhetoric, explaining that its initial more restrictive approach was to protect their members from legal risks, and now the risks have been addressed with clarification from authorities.

“In this battle, Huawei and Chinese academics are safeguarding the international standards and shared values of the science world, and the Chinese side has gained a victory,” Mei Xinyu, a veteran analyst close to the Ministry of Commerce, told the Global Times on Monday.

The global science and tech community cannot ignore the rise of Chinese scholars, especially after they have been contributing more to global scientific research, the analyst noted.

China has clarified its stance amid the escalating trade war with the US, which has already become a tech war.

For instance, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Friday it will soon release a non-reliable entity list, which will include foreign entities, individuals and companies that block and shut the supply chain or take discriminatory measures for non-commercial reasons.

“It’s also likely that IEEE is afraid of being included on the list,” Mei said.

Huawei did not comment when contacted by the Global Times on Monday.

The incident also showed the difference between IEEE and its affiliate Communications Society (ComSoc), as ComSoc was the one that rushed into a decision to restrict Huawei following the US ban, a source close to the matter, who preferred not to be named, told the Global Times on Monday.

“IEEE recognizes the importance of China’s contribution to scientific research and cooperation, so it timely adjusted its stance to play down the impact of ComSoc’s aggressive tone,” the source said.

Hainan denies lifting ban on porn, gambling

South China’s Hainan Province Sunday said that the local government strictly prohibits activities involving pornography and gambling in response to rumors that Hainan would lift its ban on pornography and gambling.

News that Hainan scrapped local regulations that forbid gambling and prostitution made headlines, with many speculating that the move would legitimize such behaviors in this “modern island.”

The legal committee of the Hainan Provincial People’s Congress (HPPC) said on Saturday that the regulations were scrapped because the new Public Security Administration Punishment Law already provides penalties on such illegal actions. And the previous punishment on those behaviors – reeducation through labor – was abolished in 2013, Legal Daily reported on Monday.

Hainan has strictly prohibited pornography, gambling and drug abuse in the island since it became a separate province in China in 1988, said the committee. The abolished regulations were passed by the standing committee of the HPPC that year.

The Hainan government voted Saturday to abolish 14 local laws and regulations, which included laws and regulations on pornography and gambling, Hainan Daily reported on Sunday.

Legal experts said this misinterpretation reflects certain people’s lack of legal common sense.

The abolition was just a routine work of the local government to make sure local laws and regulations are consistent with the current national legislation, and have no connection with removing bans on gambling and prostitution, Hong Daode, an expert on criminal lawsuits at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Monday.

Hainan received wide attention partly because of its target as a tourist destination and as the country’s pilot free trade zone. People misunderstood the meaning of “openness” for Hainan, Hong said.

Hopefully this event can help provide legal knowledge to the public, according to Hong.

US arms sales jeopardize cooperation, stability in Asia-Pacific

The US Department of Defense announced on Friday the sale of 34 surveillance drones to four countries in the South China Sea region – Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The sale seemed to be in line with the Pentagon’s newly released Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, details of which show the US’ goal of containing China. Reuters reported on Tuesday that “the drones would afford greater intelligence gathering capabilities potentially curbing Chinese activity in the region.”

However, if we take a second look at the manufacturer of those ScanEagle drones, Boeing Co, we can discern that the US does not necessarily mean to assist those allies in the South China Sea region, where China has been defamed by accusations of “behaving like a ‘bully,'” but to make money.

Due to the deadly crashes of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jets, the aviation giant has seen the biggest slump in its share price since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, according to Time magazine. That a US company is suffering in the international market is too inconsistent with US President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy. Amid increasing tensions between China and the US due to the trade war, the Trump administration is happy to let US firms make money, especially if it also provokes China.

In light of this, if we look back at the US’ attempts to hit DJI, China’s leading drone manufacturer, we will not view these attempts as absurd as they first seemed.

Even though Trump has taken office, his business nature doesn’t fade. He will do anything as long as the US can make a profit and not be taken advantage of, despite sacrificing anyone else’s interests.

This is why he has started trade wars around the globe and sells US drones while cracking down on drones made by Chinese companies.

The US has been selling arms to Asia-Pacific countries, to which it is paying more attention. The arms sales will bind these countries to the US, because if you buy US equipment, it comes as a whole package, including support equipment and technical services. The US will make sure its equipment cannot be used in combination with technology from other countries. As a result, the buyers of US arms will eventually face a choice – either meet any demand of the US or have no other option to update their military equipment.

In its Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, the US described China as a “Revisionist Power.” Then on Saturday during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the US will not ignore China’s behavior in the South China Sea. By increasing arms sales to China’s neighbors, the US intends to provoke conflicts between China and those countries and jeopardize stability in the Asia-Pacific.

The US is subduing China while simultaneously selling arms in the region and establishing a security framework aimed at China. Asia-Pacific countries should be vigilant in case the US’ moves intensify the regional situation and seriously endanger regional cooperation – what they and China need most.

Chinese scientists find 5 million tons of lithium deposits in Yunnan

Chinese scientists have found a major lithium deposit in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, estimated to contain more than 5 million tons.

There are approximately 40 million tons of proven lithium reserves in the world, the Xinhua News Agency’s Globe magazine reported.

A team led by research fellow Wen Hanjie from the Institute of Geochemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences found 340,000 tons of lithium oxide in a test site in central Yunnan.

They estimated the total amount of lithium to be in excess of 5 million tons. The lithium discovered is a new type in carbonate formation, the institute said on its website on Monday.

Lithium, a chemical element mainly contained in brines, pegmatite and clay, is viewed by some analysts as one of the most valuable metals in the first half of the 21st century.

The increasing reliance of the high-tech industry on lithium makes it an essential strategic resource for industrialized countries, analysts said.

The prices of lithium carbonate increased from less than 50,000 yuan ($7,236) per ton in October 2015 to 80,000 yuan per ton by the end of 2018. The value of the global lithium market is expected to rise from $60 trillion in 2017 to $100 trillion in 2025, the Globe magazine reported.

About 80 percent of lithium used in China from 2011 to 2015 was imported, Xinhua reported. The Institute of Geochemistry said on its website that it is urgently necessary for China to find new sources of lithium, as the country has abundant carbonate clay resources.

China files probe against FedEx to protect users’ rightsThis news was widely expected. On May 24, FedEx transferred two packages, from Huawei’s Japanese offices destined for China, to the United States. It also attempted to reroute two other packages from Vietnam destined for Huawei addresses in Asia to the United States. Although FedEx apologized afterwards, the company maintains the packages had been “inadvertently misrouted” and that the move was “not requested by any external party.”

However, since Huawei has now been added to the U.S. Entity List making it subject to export controls, can such mistakes truly be seen as coincidental?

Especially since U.S whistleblower Edward Snowden is on record as revealing the U.S. government does indeed have the ability to “intercept logistics.”

Whether the “misrouting” of FedEx items is a mistake at the operational level, or whether it is an example of cooperation with the “long-arm jurisdiction” of the US government, must be explained to the outside world.

According to the laws and regulations governing China’s courier service industry, package delivery companies are required to protect senders’ freedom of communication. They state that such companies shall not deliver, hide or open packages without permission, and under no circumstances should deliver the packages of clients to others. The Chinese departments involved have had serious talks with FedEx and have now legally filed an investigation.

As a courier company that has been operating in China for decades, FedEx has an obligation to cooperate with the Chinese authorities, which have the right to punish the company depending on the investigation results. The legitimate rights and interests of all Chinese enterprises and personnel in express delivery services shall be protected in accordance with the law.

China has introduced a system of establishment of an “entity list” of companies regarded as untrustworthy and will take any lawfully necessary legal and administrative measures against the entities listed. The FedEx investigation will set an example to other overseas companies, organizations and individuals who do not comply with Chinese laws and regulations.

China has a huge market offering huge potential profits. Foreign-funded enterprises are always warmly welcome to come forward, but only if they abide by China’s laws and regulations, follow market rules and the spirit of contract. No companies will be allowed to block or cut off supplies to Chinese enterprises for non-commercial reasons. The legitimate rights and interests of Chinese consumers may not be harmed. Only in this way can foreign-funded enterprises enjoy the considerable opportunities for development in China.

China-Russia synergy drives regional stability and development

China-Russia relations are cordial in all respects. The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries runs deep and has made substantial progress in recent years. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia will further consolidate the friendship between the neighbors.

By finding a proper way to get along, China and Russia have kept a stable and mature relationship, which has become a model for major countries. This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. These relations go back to the times of the Soviet Union, the first country in the world to recognize the People’s Republic of China after it was founded in 1949.

Over the past seven decades, the two sides have wound their way through confrontations, even bloody conflicts. Both countries have learned a lesson from history: Peace benefits both sides.

This is especially true today. Amid an overdose of hegemonism and unilateralism, stable and mature ties between Beijing and Moscow are strategically important to world peace, contemporary development, multilateralism and globalization.

Some disputes between China and Russia stemmed from ideological differences, others were about national interests, and yet some were caused by divergence in opinion or lack of communication.

However, both sides have stuck to a basic principle: cooperation on the basis of equality.

When disputes occurred, they sat across the table rather than pressuring each other to find a way out. In this way, tensions between Beijing and Moscow were eased and a healthy relationship was formed.

The way China and Russia treat each other is in sharp contrast with the methods of certain big powers fond of unilateralism and using hegemony to settle scores with other countries.

On May 29, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov said at the fifth China-Russia Think Tank Forum in Moscow that based on current cooperation, China and Russia will further promote the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) within the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Some Russian scholars were once skeptical of the BRI, but they changed their mind after doing more research and China clarified their doubts. Through consultation and communication, Russia began to understand that the BRI is conducive to the development of China and Russia, and will also benefit the wider region surrounding the countries.

The heated discussion about the collaboration of EAEU with the BRI in recent editions of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was the result of Russia changing its approach, which has manifested itself in mature Beijing-Moscow relations.

Both China and Russia are developing. Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of land area, China is the most populated, and the two share a long border. They are complementary in terms of the economy and thus it is only natural for them to strengthen economic links. Take cooperation in the energy sector as an example. A stable supply of petroleum and natural gas is important for China’s rapid growth, while Russia, by exporting energy resources, can earn foreign currency to boost development. The trade volume between China and Russia in 2018 reached $100 billion, the highest in history.

The political, diplomatic, economic and military cooperation between China and Russia are consistent with the long-term interests of their people and the world. Additionally, the two countries are stepping up people-to-people exchanges, thus further narrowing the cultural gap.

China-Russia relations and their cooperation mechanism are significant to both countries and regional stability and development. This new type of major country relations has been demonstrated under the framework of the BRI.

It is quite normal to have doubts and contradictions in global exchanges. Many problems can be properly dealt with through peaceful consultation and mutual understanding rather than suspicion and conflict.

China’s logistics services need to follow its manufacturing to expand overseasUS logistics giant FedEx, one of the world’s top delivery brands, has surprisingly – and repeatedly – mishandled Huawei’s packages. Regardless of whether there were any long-armed instructions behind the scenes, the incident should serve as an alarm bell to global companies about the safety of international delivery services.

Courier services are different from other logistics services. If core technical documentation, business tenders and other business intelligence are stolen or damaged during delivery, it may cause irretrievable losses. As such, express delivery companies generally attach great importance to credibility, with emphasis on safeguarding customers’ packages and information security. It would be shameless of a government to use state power to “hijack” corporate mail. Logistics is a basic link in the supply chain. Huawei may be able to switch to self-made chips after being cut off from US chips, but if something goes wrong with Huawei’s logistics, will it have any contingency plan?

At present, the international supply chain of consumer electronics products requires fast logistics like air delivery, but about 70 percent of the international delivery market in China is spread among the three major giants – FedEx, UPS, and DHL -with domestic courier companies like SF Express only accounting for a small share of China’s international logistics market due to a lack of overseas service networks and air transport capacity. China’s largest express delivery company SF Express has only 55 cargo aircraft, while FedEx, the world’s largest, has a fleet of 680, and UPS has more than 500.

Manufacturing is the soil that gives rise to the logistics industry, and the logistics industry is the guarantee for a strong manufacturing sector. However, during the past four decades, China’s industrial development has been characterized by structural problems of valuing production over circulation and valuing manufacturing over service, leading to the country’s relatively weak, small and scattered circulation services. Unlike Chinese manufacturers, most logistics companies are unable to tap the global market. China has maintained service trade deficits for 26 years, with transport and logistics being the industry with the second-largest deficit after tourism. Of course, a similar industrial imbalance also exists in other latecomer countries like India and Vietnam.

Without the guarantee of modern logistics, it is difficult for China’s manufacturing industry to move up the global value chain. In order to promote the joint development of the manufacturing and logistics industries, the National Development and Reform Commission in 2007 held the first joint development conference for the two industries. Yet the links between the two industries happen more at the domestic level, with little interactive development in going global. FedEx and UPS have worked with US tech giants like Microsoft and Google to explore the global market, thus staying strong together. By comparison, although China has well-known technology companies such as Huawei, ZTE, and DJI, it lacks the synergy effect from local logistics companies in terms of high-end logistics guarantees.

It is true that China’s manufacturers should adhere to the values of openness and inclusiveness instead of narrowly advocating that Chinese cargo be transported by Chinese companies, but they should also guard against possible harm from others. When it comes to the logistics of core technological documentation, information security, and strategic materials, Chinese logistics services should be the top choice. In the US, the first modern express delivery service was founded in 1839. It will take time for Chinese logistics services to play catch-up, and they should not be alone in doing it.

Overseas collaboration between Chinese manufacturers and logistics services should first be reflected by strengthened cooperation in supply and demand as well as the supply chain. China is the largest buyer of international express logistics services, and its big market should give it a bigger voice in the industry. With more outsourcing orders from Chinese manufacturers, Chinese logistics companies will have more opportunities to grow. The two sides can build overseas warehouses together so as to enhance the synergy effect in the international supply chain. Meanwhile, the collaboration between Chinese manufacturers and logistics services could also strengthen security guarantees and emergency logistics support in overseas markets. China’s private technology companies and express delivery companies have mostly grown up in a peaceful environment, with insufficient experience in crisis response. UPS, which was founded in 1907, has experienced World War I and World War II, while FedEx founder Frederick Smith participated in the Vietnam War. The advanced security systems and emergency logistics response of US companies offer lessons for Chinese companies.

China won’t wilt under US pressure

China on June 2 issued a white paper titled China’s Position on the China-US Economic and Trade Consultations, reverberating throughout international media and foreign entrepreneurs.

The paper has clarified the harm caused by the US-initiated trade war to the two countries and to the global economy as well, also revealed how the US poured cold water on attempts at consensus and went back on its commitments. More importantly, China has reiterated its solemn position. Many of my US friends also voiced support for China to obtain a fair and equitable consultation outcome in future trade negotiations.

The US has constantly imposed maximum pressure on China since it started the trade war. The paper listed three times when the US backtracked on trade deals, also a manifestation of US pressure. The US mistakenly anticipated that China would compromise under pressure, however, China has firmly adhered to the principle and bottom line, making such pressure in vain.

Drawing from recent statements made by organs of the Chinese government, including the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Commerce, China’s export-oriented enterprises and service industries are well-prepared for the trade war with the US.

China is able to withstand US maximum pressure, due to the country’s economic resilience, and Chinese people’s resolute determination. Suffering from a century of humiliation, the Chinese nation has been accustomed to such pressure, as shown in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, as well as the Korean War or the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. The unity of Chinese people is a vital reason for the country’s fundamental victory in history.

Surpassing India in terms of GDP growth in the first quarter of 2019, China has regained the position of fastest-growing economy. China’s foreign trade volume reached 7.01 trillion yuan ($1.01 trillion), an increase of 3.7 percent year-on-year. Economic stabilization and the rapid advance of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative indicate that China has prepared well for its future development.

I have done some research in certain regions with developed export-oriented enterprises, including South China’s Guangdong Province, East China’s Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province, and Shanghai. People’s judgment of the trade situation inside these regions has cheered me up. They believe that the more pressure the US poses and the more backtracks it makes; the more moral initiative China will have. Facing the extraordinary resistance of the Chinese economy, all tricks of the US hardliners will be exhausted.

In response to future potential shocks, local entrepreneurs have prepared under government guidance. Take a Guangdong company which exports electric welding torches to the US. It is now cutting costs through internal reforms and broadening its markets to Europe and Africa. To partly reduce dependence on the US, other manufacturers including those that make clothing, suitcase and bicycles are all preparing to diversify their markets.

I noticed that young workers in these factories are upset about the US, many saying that China must fight under pressure. The US maximum pressure has made China more united.

Although China is not willing to further expand the trade war into fields of finance, technology and even geopolitics, we must be prepared. The US has repeatedly violated the multilateral mechanism based on WTO rules. Due to the influence of hard-line hawks, the US is very likely to continue the trade war.

However, after the publication of the white paper, I believe an increasing number of countries and their peoples will stand up for justice. Time, morality and victory will eventually belong to China.

Chinese police bust drug factory inside abandoned petrol station

Police from North China’s Shanxi Province have busted a drug plant hidden inside an abandoned petrol station, seizing three suspects and 2.1 tonnes of raw materials for making drugs.

In January, police from Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi, got information about a drug gang and found a suspicious deserted gas station in Loufan County. They launched raids in late March.

Investigation showed that the three suspects illegally purchased large quantities of ephedra herbs, which is a major material for producing the methamphetamine, or “ice,” from north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and made drugs in Shanxi.

Many drug manufacturing equipment and around 278 grams of methamphetamines, 2.1 tonnes of solid raw materials, and 45 tonnes of residual solvents in the manufacture of drug substances were seized on the site.

China has taken a tough stance and stepped up efforts to crack down on drug crime.

Shanxi public security authorities said Tuesday that local police had seized more than 2.5 tonnes of drugs since a three-year anti-drug campaign was launched in May 2018.