2019

Beijing regulates bike sharing to improve bike usage

Shared bikes block the street in Haidian district, Beijing, March 18, 2017. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING — Beijing recycled 195,000 broken and abandoned shared bikes during a one-month campaign to regulate the industry in the city, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said Tuesday.

During the campaign starting on May 13, bike sharing companies dispatched over 2,000 maintenance staff and around 1,660 maintenance vehicles each day. Various districts of Beijing sent over 13,000 inspectors to more than 18,000 areas with a large number of bikes, such as subway stations and business areas.

Currently, a total of 85,000 shared bikes are parked around Beijing’s subway stations during rush hours, down 45,000 before the campaign was launched. Despite the plummeting number, bike-share trips have increased and bike use has become more efficient.

To further improve parking order, Beijing municipality has shared around 4,000 parking zones with bike sharing companies. Enterprises are being organized to pilot electric fencing.

Beijing will conduct a monthly assessment on the enterprises, based on which the number of bikes they can put into the market will be dynamically adjusted.

China’s bike-sharing business has grown rapidly. It has helped ease traffic jams and promote a healthy lifestyle, but also caused new problems such as random and arbitrary parking that created challenges for city management.

Beijing has registered nine bike sharing companies and more than 1.9 million shared bikes as of the end of April. However, active bikes only account for less than 50 percent, according to April statistics.

In September 2018, Beijing municipal authorities set a limit on the number of shared bikes in the capital as the industry continued to grow.

Xi says both sides across Straits are community of shared future

BEIJING — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has hailed both sides across the Taiwan Straits as a community of shared future that cannot be prised apart.

Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory letter, made public Wednesday, to the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland (ATIEM) on its 10th founding anniversary.

Former Anhui vice governor investigated for graft

BEIJING — Chen Shulong, former vice governor of East China’s Anhui province, is under investigation on suspicion of taking bribes, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) announced Wednesday.

Chen, also a former member of the standing committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Anhui provincial committee, has been placed under coercive measures, and further investigation is underway, the SPP said in a statement.

Coercive measures may include summons by force, bail, residential surveillance, detention and arrest.

Chen has been expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office for actions including superstitious activities, trading power for sex and accepting bribes, the CPC’s discipline agency announced earlier this month.

China supports innovation efforts of both domestic and foreign enterprises: premier

BERLIN — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Thursday that his country offers policy support for both domestic and foreign enterprises in their pursuit of innovation.

Li, who was in Germany for a two-day official visit, made the remarks at a bilateral forum on innovation cooperation, which is also attended by his German counterpart, Angela Merkel.

China follows the rules of the World Trade Organization and treats Chinese and foreign companies equally, said the premier, adding that Beijing is improving the negative list management system and cutting red tape so as to provide foreign companies an easier access to the Chinese market.

China started employing the negative list approach to foreign investment in 2013 in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), and expanded the trial run to four regions in 2015.

The negative list model adopted at the Shanghai FTZ is basically a catalogue of sectors in which foreign investment is restricted. To all those industries not on the list, overseas investors have equal access as their Chinese counterparts.

China’s widest steel bridge to be completed in late September

A view of the 1,345-meter-long New Shougang Bridge, to be the widest steel bridge in China. Its main bridge is designed to be 639 meters long and 54.9 meters wide. The main structure of the bridge was completed on Aug 1, laying a solid foundation for the bridge to open to traffic at the end of next month. [Photo provided by Shougang News Center/for chinadaily.com.cn]

Stolen property of 16 gold bars, 2.3 million yuan and $670,000 retrieved

Four suspects were arrested within 90 hours after a man reported the property stolen, said police in Haidian district. [Photo/IC]

Stolen property including 16 gold bars and more than 2.3 million yuan and $670,000 in cash was recovered on Thursday by Haidian police in Beijing, according to Beijing Evening News on Friday.

Four suspects were arrested within 90 hours after a man reported the property stolen, said police in Haidian district.

The case has set a record for the quantity and sum of money and gold, police said.

The man who reported the property stolen, Li Qiang (alias), called police on July 8 when he discovered the gold and cash had been taken from his basement in an upscale neighborhood near Yuanda Road in Haidian district, Beijing, the report said.

He said that his family had stored cash, gold and other valuable belongings in their basement since 2015.

They had over the past two years stored more than five million yuan in several cartons sealed with adhesive tape and stacked these packages in a corner.

The dollars were wrapped in a bundle of $100,000 with newspaper and stored in a separate carton.

The 16 gold bars weighing one kilogram each were put in two shoeboxes sealed with adhesive tape and placed on an iron stand.

The family last went into the basement in May to store a suitcase. When Li went to take money on July 8, he discovered the theft.

Police found the suspects after checking surveillance videos near the victim’s home.

The suspects are a 34-year-old man surnamed Li who had fled to his hometown Tangshan, Hebei province, a 36-year-old man surnamed Wang and a 33-year-old woman surnamed Liang.

The three suspects were arrested in Tangshan by a task force with help from local police on July 12, 90 hours after Li reported the crime.

Police learned after interrogation that the stolen items were hidden in suspects’ Li and Liang’s mothers’ houses.

Li confessed to his theft at trial, adding that on June 19 he drove into the victim’s neighborhood to look for targets.

When he found the cash and gold in the basement, he contacted his friend Wang and transported the stolen goods to Tangshan in two separate trips.

The suspects Li and Wang have been detained by Haidian police for suspected larceny.

The suspect Liang and her mother, Tian, have been detained for concealing the crime and income from such.

The case is under further review.

Ye Qian in Beijing contributed to this story.

Change in yuan rate calculation to ease ‘herd effects’

China is considering introducing a countercyclical factor to adjust the way it calculates the yuan’s daily reference rate against the dollar, according to a statement by the country’s foreign exchange trading system on Friday. Analysts said the move will help prevent excessive fluctuation of the currency.

The change in the method of setting the yuan’s daily central parity rate against the dollar will better reflect the market supply and demand, lessen possible herd effects in the market and help guide the market to focus more on macroeconomic fundamentals, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System said.

China’s foreign exchange market is prone to the habitual influences of irrational expectations and one-way market expectations can sometimes be exaggerated, failing to reflect the real relationship between market supply and demand, the statement said.

Although the US dollar index value has dropped sharply in recent weeks and China’s economic fundamentals have improved significantly, the yuan’s central parity rate, based on the existing rate-setting mechanism, has shown trends of depreciation that do not reflect the real economic fundamentals, the system said.

It did not elaborate on the technical details of how the countercyclical factor will be determined.

The main role of the factor will be redressing the abnormal changes in the foreign exchange rate of the yuan due to irrational market sentiment, said Chen Jianheng, an analyst at China International Capital Corp.

As seen in the yuan’s rate against the dollar since April, the deviation between the yuan’s closing rate and its central parity rate has been widening, with the closing rate most of the time weaker, said Chen. The introduction of the ‘countercyclical factor’ will help reduce that deviation.

Analysts also said China is entitled to make adjustments to the methodology of setting the yuan’s reference rate.

The move is understandable since China has adopted a managed floating exchange rate system, said Liu Dongliang, an analyst at China Merchants Securities. Against that backdrop, any technical adjustment is normal.

China, Vietnam to press ahead on trade initiative

State Councilor Yang Jiechi (second from right) and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (second from left) pose on Monday in Beijing at the steering committee on cooperation meeting.Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily

Nations will manage differences, plan for official visits by leaders

China and Vietnam on Monday vowed to push forward with the Belt and Road Initiative and maintain stability at sea.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh spoke during the 10th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee on Cooperation, which they led jointly. Minh is on a China visit from Sunday through Tuesday.

Yang asked both nations to take efforts to ensure successful visits of their leaders to each other’s countries this year.

In January, Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, paid a four-day official visit to China. The two sides had “a candid exchange of views” on maritime issues, according to a communique.

Yang said on Monday that Beijing and Hanoi should raise the quality and level of cooperation and forge a solid basis of public opinion for friendship.

The two leaders agreed to plan this year’s work, with “deepening high-level interaction” as the main focus.

They vowed to jointly push forward development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the two economic corridors linking China and Vietnam and the Beibu Bay economic zone, as well as cooperation in fields including investment, capacity, infrastructure and cross-border economic cooperation zones.

They also agreed to “properly manage and control differences and maintain maritime peace and stability”, according to a news release issued after the meeting.

Minh said his country attaches great importance to comprehensive and strategic cooperation with China.

The China-Vietnam Steering Committee on Cooperation was established in 2006. Its last meeting was in Hanoi in June.

Song Yinghui, an expert on Southeast Asia studies with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said relations between Beijing and Hanoi have improved since last year.

“Now, against the background of a gloomy global economy, China and Vietnam, as two fast-growing economies, have strong appeals for bilateral cooperation,” she said.

In the steel industry, for example, Vietnam needs China’s equipment and technique, Song said.

According to official Vietnamese figures, China has become the country’s largest exporter, with imports from China reaching $11.9 billion in the first quarter this year, an increase of 12.3 percent from a year earlier.

29th National Book Expo attracts thousands with speakers, forums

Two hours after the 29th National Book Expo opened in Xi’an’s Qujiang International Exhibition Center on Saturday, 200 sets of two-volume thriller The Longest Day in Chang’an were sold out.

Facing constant queries about the book, publisher China South Booky, a subsidiary of China South Publishing& Media Group, rushed to have 500 more sets sent by air to Xi’an.

By 9 pm on its first day, the book expo in the capital of Shaanxi province had drawn more than 101,000 visitors and sold 104,700 copies, according to the organizers.

Readers, especially younger ones, were not deterred by the summer heat from seeking out favorite books and having a chance to see beloved writers, including China’s first chief scientist of the lunar probe project, Ouyang Ziyuan, and veteran writer Jia Pingwa, a native of the province.

Ouyang brought speeches and a collection of the four-volume Chinese Children’s Encyclopedia of Space to the expo.

The scientist has gained a considerable following by popularizing science through hundreds of lectures nationwide.

“There’re no aliens or other ‘things’ as legends say on the dark side of the moon, where Chinese lunar probe Chang’e 4 is working,” Ouyang said on Saturday during a Readers’ Conference.

“China is willing to share what we found with the world and work for our shared future,” he said.

About 1,200 publishing organizations have brought 200,000 titles and will present hundreds of book-related events and forums during the four-day expo, which continues through Tuesday.

As the book expo is one of the most important publishing and reading gatherings in the country, the organizers extended the venues to 66,000 square meters, and offer free admission and services until 9 pm each day.

This is the second time Xi’an has hosted the expo – the first was in 1998. Two other Red cities with strong revolutionary tradition, Yan’an and Tongchuan, have been sub-hosts.

“We see the expo as presenting a grand gift to the celebration of 70th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China, representing publishing industry and people related,” said Liang Yanshun, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

“Here, in one of the Red bases where our great revolution started, we’re expecting a quality development of publishing in the new era, and to cater to people’s greater needs of spiritual life with high quality,” Liang said.

Party-themed books are focal points, while children’s books are drawing the most visitors.

The expo is presenting many new releases in science for young readers, and traditional culture and Chinese heroes from ancient times to present are also featured.

Tech-combined publishing and the convergence of multiple media with publishing were hot topics in a forum on Sunday.

“It’s time for publishers to take proactive moves, instead of waiting passively,” Liu Xiaokai, a senior publishing official, said at the forum.

Other expo highlights include the many writers and artists native to the province. Among them, Jia Pingwa, who usually keeps a low profile, spoke at the expo.

“I’ve been writing for more than 40 years. In between, I left my home township to settle down in Xi’an. Here I got a clearer view of my hometown. I frequently return to my hometown, where I’ve been observing and writing about the whole country, and the world,” Jia said.

Xi’an being the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, the city invited 34 countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to showcase books at the expo.

Sinologist Giray Fidan of Turkey, once the other end of the Silk Road, brought his version of Sun Tzu: The Art of War translated from Chinese into Turkish.

Fidan said it has been reprinted in Turkey 14 times.

“It’s a bestseller because more Turkish people are yearning to know more about China and its culture,” he said.

How panda center overcame its breeding rut

Photo taken on July 25, 2019 shows giant pandas at the “Giant Panda Kindergarten” in the Shenshuping base of China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas in Wolong, Southwest China’s Sichuan province. Eighteen giant panda cubs born in 2018 had a birthday party Thursday in Shenshuping base. All of the 18 cubs are to turn one year old between June to September. [Photo/Xinhua]

This summer, the world-famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province has been flooded with visitors, many of them school children on holidays accompanied by their parents.

The tranquil forest bases of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda located across Wenchuan county, Dujiangyan and Ya’an cities, Sichuan, have also witnessed a sharp rise in the number of tourists this year.

Last year, there were 548 pandas in captivity worldwide. A total of 285 were in the bases of the conservation and research center, the largest facility of its type in the world, and 184 at the Chengdu panda base.

The successful programs are the result of more than three decades of hard work and research in Sichuan.

In the early 1980s, tourists had to visit the Chengdu Zoo if they wanted a glimpse of a panda.

The Chengdu panda base was not set up until 1987, while the conservation and research center had only one base located in inaccessible mountain terrain in Wenchuan county. In 1987, the Chengdu panda base had only six pandas, all rescued from the wild, while the conservation and research center had 10.

The sharp increase in the number of pandas in Sichuan has been largely due to researchers’ painstaking efforts to solve panda breeding problems.

Zhang Hemin, executive chief of the conservation and research center, said “it used to be difficult for captive pandas to become ruttish and mate and for their cubs to survive”.

Researchers did not understand the pandas’ habits. Thinking they preferred a solitary life, they kept each panda isolated in a tiny den. As a result, the pandas became depressed and had difficulty becoming sexually excited.

Researchers provided captive pandas with more opportunities to interact. Pandas were placed in dens with members of the opposite sex so they would become familiar with each other’s smell, in an attempt to encourage mating.

Wild pandas are active for many hours each day.

To encourage them to move around in captivity, the researchers placed biscuits in their dens in hard-to-get-to locations. They also gave the pandas frozen fruit which they had to handle in order for it to thaw, Zhang said.

Many newborn panda cubs also died because of abandonment. Fifty percent of all newborns are twins, but the mother usually only cares for one. Researchers would take a deserted baby and feed it milk. The researchers would then from time to time switch it with the favored cub so the mother unwittingly supported both.

Researchers also emulated the mother’s behavior in other ways, including cleaning and grooming the cub, Zhang said.

“With the three primary obstacles hindering the breeding of captive pandas now overcome, a selfsustaining and growing panda population has been ensured,” he said.