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New rail line to Europe opens doors-as Xi sought in 2014

There’s a new rail route to ship goods from Zhengzhou to Europe, building upon an earlier route-and encouragement from President Xi Jinping during a visit in 2014 to turn Henan province into a transportation and logistics hub that can serve the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train, which has had service to Hamburg, Germany, since 2013, now can transport goods to and from Munich, Germany. The Hamburg line generally serves Eastern Europe and Russia while the new line to Munich which launched service last month, serves Western Europe, officials said.

On May 10, 2014, Xi traveled to Zhengzhou’s rail hub and spoke during his inspection tour of Henan province.

Xi called for the transformation of Henan, located ideally in Central China, into a national transport and logistics hub linking the north and south while connecting the east and west to take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative.

An Chunlei, 35, a train driver who drove the first Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train, said he still felt excited to recall the moment he shook hands with Xi. His hand was warm and powerful, he said.

Xi’s inspection encouraged many people, including me, said Yang Wenjun, vice-president of Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co Ltd. My colleagues were proud of working for the Zhengzhou-Europe International Block Train. It serves both Zhengzhou as a modern comprehensive transportation hub and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Since its launch in 2013, the Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train had completed 784 one-way trips through July and delivered cargo with total value of $4.08 billion, according to Zhengzhou’s bureau of commerce.

The service began with one trip per month to Hamburg and gradually built up to daily trips in August. Its shipments come from a radius of 1,500 kilometers.

The 10,214-km Zhengzhou-Hamburg line services companies in Europe and Russia. The new Munich line service businesses in France, Italy, Spain and Austria, Yang said.

Munich in the south of Germany also has an industrial area, home to well-known enterprises such as BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, which benefits the imports of those brand automobiles into the Chinese market aboard the train, Yang said.

Helmut Vollmers, managing director of EMONS Multi-transport Gmbh, explained, The transit time is cut to nearly 12 days, compared with 35 days in the past by ship.

EMONS is a German company that has been working with Zhengzhou International since 2016.

He said goods such as auto parts and clothes coming to Henan province from other cities across China were sent to Hamburg, where his company dispatched them across Europe.

Besides nearly 1,300 types of goods being shipped to Europe from China, more and more global suppliers are providing shipments for the return trip.

There are more than 50 foreign companies joined in, providing more cargo for the online and offline stores in China, and the new line’s launching also formed an important supplement for the freight, Yang said.

The Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train so far has made eight one-way trips to Europe and six return trips to Zhengzhou, packed full with merchandise.

Li Yuan, 34, a Shenzhen resident who lived in Germany for six years, said he preferred the imported cars along with more and more imported goods flooding into Henan.

Contact the writers at qixin@chinadaily.com.cn

CPC documentary examines reforms ahead of congress

China started to air a 10-episode political documentary on Monday on State media to showcase the progress achieved by the Communist Party of China during the past five years amid its ongoing efforts to comprehensively deepen reform.

The CPC Central Committee organized the filming of the documentary, carrying the reform through to the end. The first episode was broadcast on the China Central Television and its new media outlets on Monday evening.

Topics of the documentary series include the economy, politics, social management, Chinese culture, environment, the armed forces and the Party’s self-governance.

The documentary highlighted President Xi Jinping’s important speeches and his new thoughts on the governance of China. It focuses on the achievements made by the CPC in deepening reforms since the Party’s 18th National Congress in November 2012. Xi was elected as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the first Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee.

The CPC is going to hold its 19th National Congress later this year. Analysts said the political documentary will be helpful to make the congress a success, as it could encourage the whole Party and the public to make continuous efforts to deepen reforms and strive for the realization of the Chinese dream of a great rejuvenation of the nation.

Since Xi became general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, reform has emerged as a hallmark of his administration. His first trip outside Beijing as the general secretary was to Guangdong province in late 2012, which has been at the forefront of China’s decadeslong reform and opening-up drive.

Xi headed the Central Leading Group for Deepening Overall Reform, established in late 2013. The group has had 36 meetings so far to discuss a wide range of issues, including poverty alleviation, healthcare, employment and education, all aimed at improving people’s lives.

Zhang Zhuoyuan, a senior economic researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the public has high expectations from the Central Leading Group because China’s reforms have entered the deep water zone, which needs more of a push from the top leadership.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of public administration at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that by broadcasting the political documentary the CPC has sent a signal that comprehensively deepening reforms will continue to be the main task of the Party in the coming years.

In the past, China’s reform mainly focused on the economic area. The reform has become more comprehensive since the Party’s 18th National Congress, covering all areas with institutional building, he said.

The CPC faces lots of uncertainties and challenges, both domestically and internationally, he said, adding that only through deepening reform will the Party resolve the problems successfully.

Xi’s Kazakhstan trip carries on ‘Silk Road Spirit’, charts new chapter

ASTANA – The just concluded trip of President Xi Jinping to Kazakhstan adds impetus to the building of the Belt and Road, cements the bond among countries for the community of shared future and opens up broad prospects for peace and prosperity in the region, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.

Xi left Astana on the same day for home after a state visit to Kazakhstan, where he attended the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

This is Xi’s first foreign visit after he presided over the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and also a major diplomatic activity of China in the Eurasia region, Wang told the press.

This tour embodies the ‘Silk Road Spirit,’ which features peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, he noted.

ELEVATING CHINA-KAZAKHSTAN TIES TO NEW HEIGHT

The relationship between China and Kazakhstan has witnessed rapid development since they established diplomatic ties 25 years ago.

In Astana, Xi held talks with his old friend, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, to take stock of the achievements the two countries have made and to chart the course for future cooperation.

This trip marked Xi’s third state visit to the Central Asian country and it has been the 16th meeting between the two leaders since 2012.

Noting that the political mutual trust has reached an unprecedented height, Xi said China is willing to build a stronger community of shared interests and shared future with Kazakhstan, and hopes the two countries can be good neighbors, friends and partners forever.

Xi and Nazarbayev agreed to maintain close high-level and institutional exchanges, respect the two country’s choices of development path and policies in accordance with their respective national conditions, support each other’s efforts in safeguarding their core interests, and jointly address the challenges to regional security and stability.

On Thursday, Xi, accompanied by Nazarbayev, visited the Chinese national pavilion of the Expo 2017 in Astana and attended the opening ceremony of the Expo. Xi’s attendance shows support not only for the Kazakh side in organizing the event, but also for Central Asia countries in pursuing development and seeking growing international standing.

RUC congratulated on 80th anniversary

President Xi Jinping on Tuesday extended congratulations and greetings to faculty, students and alumni of Renmin University of China as the university marks its 80th anniversary.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks in a congratulatory letter conveyed at an event celebrating the anniversary in Beijing.

The Party and the country are at a crucial stage at present, Xi said.

Never before have we had such a pressing need for higher education, and never before have we so required scientific knowledge and talent, Xi said.

The president encouraged RUC to use its 80th anniversary as a new starting point in becoming a world-class university with world-class disciplines.

As the first accredited university set up by the CPC, it has always adhered to the leadership of the Party, the guiding status of Marxism, and the mission to serve the Party and the people, Xi said.

Xi spoke highly of the university’s achievements in humanities and social sciences and appreciated its efforts to train talent for the country’s revolution, construction and reform. He asked the university to carry on these fine traditions and make new contributions to higher education, China’s two centenary goals and achieving the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong read Xi’s congratulatory letter at Tuesday’s celebration.

RUC can be traced to Shaanbei Public School, founded in 1937 in a CPC revolutionary base in Shaanxi province. It became the North China United University, and then North China University. On Oct 3, 1950, it was restructured and renamed Renmin University of China.

Premier Li extends congratulations to May’s second term

Premier Li Keqiang has sent a congratulatory message to Theresa May on her re-election as prime minister of the United Kingdom.

In the message, Premier Li appreciated May’s commitment to developing ties with China since taking office in July last year. He said China and the United Kingdom are two influential countries in the world. China has attached great importance to the bilateral relations. He was glad to see high-level exchanges becoming closer and more frequent, pragmatic cooperation widening and people-to-people exchanges actively promoted.

The government is willing to take the opportunity of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the China-UK diplomatic relations to further boost pragmatic cooperation, the premier said.

Premier Li also welcomed May to visit China this year and attend an annual meeting of prime ministers between the two countries.

7th plenary session to set agenda

Gathering will be of great importance heading into congress, experts say

A key meeting to be held by the Communist Party of China in Beijing on Wednesday will lay the foundation for the Party’s upcoming 19th National Congress a week later.

The Seventh Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, which is the CPC’s most important conference ahead of the 19th National Congress, will highlight the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping as the core and the Party’s new thoughts of governance over the past five years, analysts said.

During the session, the members of the 18th CPC Central Committee — mostly senior officials from Party organizations, government agencies, State-owned enterprises and the military — will discuss the report to be delivered by Xi at the 19th National Congress, which starts on Oct 18.

The members also will discuss the amendment to the Party’s Constitution and the report to be delivered at congress by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, the country’s top anti-graft watchdog.

Li Chengyan, head of Peking University’s Center for Anti-Corruption Studies, said that the seventh plenary session is of great importance, as it will make preparations for the Party’s 19th National Congress.

The plenary session will discuss the reports to be delivered at the Party’s 19th National Congress, he said.

In the past, the CCDI report was submitted directly to the CPC National Congress after the CCDI’s plenary meeting approved it.

The commission said the procedural change reflects respect for the Party’s Constitution, which stipulates that the CCDI works under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee.

A total of 2,287 delegates elected from more than 89 million Party members will elect the new CPC Central Committee and new CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection during the congress.

The plenary session is going to fully affirm the work of the 18th CPC Central Committee in the past five years, which is of great significance for the success of the 19th National Congress, Li said.

The plenary session will review the decisions made by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to expel corrupt former senior officials from the Party, he added.

Yan Jirong, a professor at the Peking University School of Government, said that the purposes of the seventh plenary session include reaching consensus on major decisions.

The CPC Central Committee has made great achievements in setting up agencies and procedures, fighting graft and adjusting policy in the past five years, and the newly elected committee will focus more on constructive issues after the national congress, which is meaningful for the fulfillment of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, he said.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

Xi chairs meeting reviewing report on eight-point frugality code

BEIJING — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Monday chaired a meeting reviewing a report on the implementation of the eight-point frugality code in the past five years.

The report focuses on the efforts of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in implementing the eight-point frugality code, which was introduced in 2012, and the political bureau’s role in leading the Party to improve work styles.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the eight-point rule has been important in safeguarding the Party’s authority, enhancing its cohesion and tightening the flesh and blood ties between the Party and the people, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The statement also asked leading officials at all levels to take the lead in overcoming formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance, saying that efforts should be made to address both symptoms and root causes of unwanted work styles.

The meeting, held by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, also studied a draft work report by the 18th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection to be submitted to the upcoming 19th CPC National Congress.

It revealed the practices and explorations, achievements as well as experiences of discipline inspection departments at all levels in comprehensively promoting strict Party governance under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee.

The statement called for upholding the leadership of the Party, promoting clean governance, and deepening the anti-corruption battle to pave way for achieving the two centennial goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Vice-governor of Liaoning probed

Liu Qiang, vice-governor of Liaoning province, is under investigation on suspicion of seriously violating Party discipline, according to a statement from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
He is the first sitting senior official to be probed for suspected graft since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October.

Last year, Liaoning made headlines around the country as its economic growth declined by 2.6 percent yearon-year.

The province was also criticized for electoral fraud in connection with a leadership change in the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Committee of the CPC in 2011 and the election of deputies to the National People’s Congress in 2013.

Liu was born in February 1964, in the province’s Faku county. He first served as a technical worker, deputy general manager and general manager at the Fushun Petrochemical Co, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp, from 1987 to 2002.

In March 2002, he was promoted to be a member of the Standing Committee of Fushun and then served as the city’s mayor and Party chief.

In 2013, he was appointed vice-governor of the province. According to the Liaoning government website, he was responsible for industry, science, technology, quality and technical supervision.

Two other senior officials appointed in 2013, Wang Yang and Zheng Yuzhuo, both former deputy heads of the Standing Committee of the Liaoning Provincial People’s Congress, have also been hit with corruption charges.

The Liaoning provincial inspection team examined Fushun from July to September this year.

Zhu Lin contributed to this story.

China vows steps after US launches probe into aluminum trade

A worker at a production line of Nannan Aluminum Co Ltd in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Photo/China Daily]

China will take necessary measures to ensure Chinese aluminum companies’ legal rights, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday after the United States decided to launch for the first time in more than 20 years self-initiated, anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against common alloy aluminum sheets from China.

The announcement came after the US Commerce Department launched the investigations on Tuesday covering more than $600 million worth of imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China.

Wang Hejun, head of the trade remedy and investigation bureau at the Ministry of Commerce, said such anti-dumping duty investigation against the aluminum sheet China exports was the first time in 25 years that was self-initiated by the US Department of Commerce instead of the local industrial association.

“It is a rare case in the history of international trade and has sparked strong dissatisfaction in China,” he said.

“The aluminum industries in the two countries are complementary to each other and the trade of such products are two-ways,” Wang said. “Disturbing normal trade activities of aluminum will harm interests of both sides.”