China, Egypt join hands to convert desert into cooperation zone

China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (People’s Daily/Zhou Zhou)

China-Egypt Suez Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, located along the Suez Canal Corridor of Egypt, has become a flagship project of China-Egypt cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) after 10 years of dedication from Chinese enterprises as well as the efforts from the Egyptian side.

The site of the cooperation zone, which used to be a desert, has turned into a new industrial park with large numbers of factories and clean streets.

Now, new construction materials, high and low-pressure equipment, petroleum devices, and machinery manufacturing are four major industries in the cooperation zone, and some of the enterprises there have become a leading force for Egypt’s industrial development. Apart from bringing huge economic benefits, they are also improving technical levels of related industries for the country.

The cooperation zone, located near the Red Sea, covers 1.34 square kilometers and another 2 square kilometers are under the plan. Now, it has attracted 80 enterprises with an actual investment of over $1 billion. It has also achieved more than $1 billion in sales and paid taxes to the country’s government totaling 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($57 million).

China Jushi Co., Ltd, a giant producer of fiberglass, is one of the earliest enterprises that came to the cooperation zone. As the only production base of fiberglass in Africa, the company has created trade volume of over 100 million Egyptian pounds in both upstream as well as downstream industries Furthermore, they have earned $180 million through export for Egypt during 2017.

Last year, Jushi’s new production base, which is able to produce 200,000 tons of fiberglass per year went into service, making Egypt the world’s third-largest fiberglass producer.

Workers in a workshop of Jushi?Jushi Co., Ltd(People’s Daily/Zhou Zhou)

Zhang Yuqiang, president of the company, attributed the success of their projects in Egypt to the BRI as the strategy has significantly boosted China-Egypt industrial cooperation and development of Chinese enterprises.

Except for promoting regional economic development, the cooperation zone has also created job opportunities and offered vocational training for local people.

Reports confirmed that the cooperation zone has directly created over 3,500 local jobs, and drawn more than 30,000 people to work in related industries.

“We only have 25 Chinese workers, and the remaining 350 staff members are all Egyptian,” said Wang Shaijian, vice president of the Egyptian branch office of China Hengshi Foundation Co., Ltd. specialized in manufacturing fiberglass fabrics.

He introduced that after receiving various kinds of training from the Chinese side, the local workers could not manage production on their own.

A man surnamed Walid, who came to Hengshi after graduating four years ago, has grown into an experienced workshop director. He said that his life has been greatly improved since he started working there and his salary has been raised several times over the years.

“We hope to exchange with our Egyptian friends and help them in aspects of technology and management as much as we can although Chinese culture and Egyptian culture vary from each other,” said a staff member from Jushi.

Mahfouz Taha, former vice chairman of Suez Canal Economic Zone, said that the cooperation zone is important for building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It has driven the infrastructure development in Egypt and has become a prime example of Egypt-China economic and trade cooperation.

“The BRI has closely bonded the two peoples as well as economic and cultural development in the two countries. We hope to see China and Egypt conduct more cooperation under this framework moving forward,” he added.

Northwest China’s Gansu Province home to more wild pandas

(Photo/Chinanews.com)

A natural reserve in northwest China’s Gansu Province now sees more wild pandas thanks to its environmental improvement.

Baishuijiang Nature Reserve in south Gansu is home to the most significant number of wild pandas in China, according to He Liwen, director of the giant panda management office under the reserve’s administration.

A recent survey indicated that 110 wild pandas live in the reserve, which is now the second largest habitat for pandas among China’s 65 related reserves.

The administration has implemented a sound system for monitoring wild animals in the reserve in recent years. Video clips showing wild pandas “dating” or even foraging at local villages were also revealed recently. The monitoring indicates that wild pandas in the reserve now enjoy a broader range of activities.

Local people’s active participation in the protection also contributes to the rising population of wild pandas in the reserve.

Giant pandas live mainly in the mountains of Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

Folk artists gather at a fair in China’s Henan

Folk artists gather at a fair in China’s Henan

About 1,336 folk artists from across the country gathered in Majie village, Baofeng County in central China’s Henan province for a folk art fair which kicked off on Feb. 17, 2019.

The Majie Quyi Fair is held each year after the Spring Festival. This year, about 250,000 people visited the fair, and 460 booths were established for the folk artists. The Majie fair has a history of 700 years. In 2012, it was awarded the title of “world’s largest folk art fair” by the World Record Association.

Beijing’s Forbidden City lights up at night to celebrate Lantern Festival

A photographer tries to capture the dream. Photo: Li Hao/GT

For the first time in 94 years, the largest, best-preserved brick-andwood palace in the world opened at night on Tuesday.

To celebrate the festival on the 15th day of the first month in the Chinese Lunar calendar, the Forbidden City was lit up with giant red lanterns and projections of ancient paintings in a Chinese New Year-themed exhibition.

The grand palace cluster offered an experience that echoed down the centuries like a new year’s celebration in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) imperial court of old, in concert with the happiness of reunion of the traditional Chinese festival.

Masterpieces such as Along the River During the Qingming Festival were projected on the tile roofs, giving visitors a feeling like walking through time. They also enjoyed a pipa, or Chinese lute, performance by the China National Traditional Orchestra.

The design team smartly integrated high technology lighting with the principles of cultural relic preservation. They formulated multiple schemata in an attempt to minimize the damage from illumination to the ancient buildings.

All tickets sold out, but the museum made sure to invite pioneers and representatives of industries including couriers, sanitation workers, firefighters, People’s Liberation Army soldiers and armed police to see the lights and enjoy the scenery. Many who couldn’t get tickets huddled outside the ruddy royal walls.

“It makes me excited to see the Forbidden City at night for the first time,” said Xue Ying, a volunteer security coordinator invited in for the view.

“It’s totally different from its view in the daytime. The Palace Museum is solemn in the daytime, but quite dreamy at night that makes me love it more.”

Public excitement crashed the online registration system that only allocated a limited number of free entry passes.

The festival attracted thousands to stay up overnight to grab a chance at sampling the interior night view of the mysterious palace.

The lantern festival show was reported by Chinese media as part of the Palace Museum’s ongoing efforts to explore more innovative means of connecting with the wider public and the illuminations lent a diverse charm and a new face to old relics.

Global Times

The light show starts at the Meridian Gate, or Wumen, the southern and largest gate. Photo: Li Hao/GT

 

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/19 23:17:53

Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products net 1.5 billion yuan in 2017

Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products (Photo/Chinanews.com)

The sales volume of the Palace Museum’s cultural and creative products hit 1.5 billion yuan in 2017, Shan Jixiang, curator of the Palace Museum, said on Feb. 17.

Addressing a forum held at Yabuli town in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province, Shan added that the museum’s sales volume in 2017 exceeded the income of 1,500 of China’s A-share listed companies.

The success of this time-honored museum can be mainly attributed to its innovation, and the successful operation of its store on Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce platform, and new media including its WeChat official account.

The Palace Museum has witnessed rapid growth in cultural and creative products, which have gained increasing popularity in recent years. Statistics show that the museum increased 195 kinds of cultural and creative products in 2013, 265 in 2014 and 813 in 2015. By the end of 2016, it had developed a total of 9,170 kinds of cultural and creative products.

The other reason behind the Palace Museum’s success is the broad prospects for China’s cultural and creative industry. The added value from China’s cultural and creative industry hit about 3.5 trillion yuan in 2017, accounting for 4.2 percent of the country’s GDP.

China has highest use of smart speakers

China has the highest use of smart speakers, said a report based on a survey covering 22,000 consumers from 21 countries by Accenture, the largest global management consulting services provider.

77 percent of the interviewed Chinese consumers have used smart speakers, the highest in the world, 27 percentage points higher than the global average, according to the report.

Thanks to the independent voice-command virtual assistants installed on smartphones, 56 percent of Chinese consumers have decreased their frequency of setting notifications, playing music and using other functions on their phones. 97 percent of the interviewed Chinese consumers said that they were satisfied with the smart speakers.

The consumers expect their digital voice assistants to be able to complete more complex tasks such as restaurant booking and virtual medical consultation. The integration of smart speakers and home appliances with higher information transparency is also in their vision.

However, safety concerns, recognition accuracy and privacy issues remained three major bumps smart speakers may face in future development. 34 percent of Chinese consumers said they didn’t know which aspects of their personal data was used.

Yu Hongbiao, managing director of electronics and high technology industry of Accenture Greater China, said that to improve customer loyalty, enterprises need to stay abreast of the time, keep informed of about user needs as well as build more trust with them.

Chinese constructor builds “bridge of hope” in Cambodia

(Zhao Yipu/People’s Daily)

A “bridge of hope” is being built in Cambodia by Chinese firm Shanghai Construction Group under China’s concessional loan.

The bridge, connecting Kampong Cham province and Tbong Khmum province of Cambodia across the Mekong River, will greatly shorten the commuting time between the north central and eastern regions of the country, and that is why it is called a “bridge of hope” by locals.

Reports confirm that there are currently only two bridges between Stung Treng province and Tboung Knmum province. People living far from these two bridges are left with no option but to take devious routes or ferry boats to cross the river.

The one under construction between the two existing bridges is of great significance for the transportation and economic development of Cambodia’s north central region.

The 1.1-km bridge is now under construction along with an 8.3-km connecting road by Shanghai Construction Group. Since 2004, the company has helped Cambodia build 1,758 kilometers of roads and six bridges stretching for 6,779 meters in total.

The Cambodian government and people are full of expectations regarding the bridge, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, said Zhang Huaming, executive manager of the project.

“This bridge is the hardest one to build though it is only 1,131 meters long. It is more demanding for us to set pilings here as this place has complex hydrological and geographical conditions, an unstable riverbed and thick layers of sand. Our efforts would all be in vain if one single piling went wrong,” said Hua Chunfang, a project manager with 13-years working experience in Cambodia.

“Now, the Chinese project and hard-working Chinese staff are enjoying high reputation among the Cambodian people. Such kinds of compliments were based on the fact that we made a lot of personal sacrifices,” added Hua who stayed at the construction site for 12 Spring Festivals, China’s most important family reunion holiday.

The positive working attitude of the Chinese has also pepped up Cambodia workers. “I have learned a lot from Chinese technicians who are very strict with the project quality. We have to make sure all test data are accurate,” said Takole, a Cambodian lab staff.

“Chinese technicians are sincere in helping us to build our home. I am proud of having such colleagues,” Takole added.

China’s help for Cambodia in infrastructure construction has not only improved local people’s lives but also promoted the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is estimated that Cambodia’s construction industry will achieve a 14-percent growth in 2019, according to studies.

“China’s help could really be of use to Cambodia. We all could see the tangible results,” said Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Cambodian Prime Minister, when inspecting the bridge project.

Prak Sokhonn, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Cambodia-China friendship and cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative would surely deliver fruitful results for social and economic development in both countries and make contributions to building a prosperous and harmonious community for a shared future.

Cooperate to solve economic and trade disputes

Chinese President Xi Jinping praised the important progress made in the new round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations in his meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Feb.15.

It was the first time in months that the Chinese President met members of the US team who came to China for trade and economic talks. The meeting proved that the early-stage trade and economic talks have made positive results. It also pointed direction and injected new impetus to the development of bilateral economic and trade relations in the next stage.

Cooperation is the best choice for both sides and there are principles for cooperation. In retrospect of the China-US trade talks, the head-of-state diplomacy has always set the tone for the negotiations.

On Dec. 1, 2018, President Xi met with his US counterpart President Donald Trump in Argentina. In less than a month, the two heads of state held a phone conversation. The important consensus reached between them to push for mutually beneficial and win-win agreement that benefits the world is driving the two countries to solve disputes step by step.

The outcomes of the just-concluded high-level economic and trade talks once again proved that cooperation would lead the two countries forward. Guided by the consensus reached between the two heads of state, as well as the spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, both teams worked actively to maximize common interests, reached consensus in principle on major issues, held specific discussions about a memorandum of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues, and had in-depth communication on topics of common concern including implementation mechanism, moving forward in solving the disputes.

Such outcomes conform to the common expectation of both sides and that of the international community.

China and the US are inseparable, and cooperation creates win-win results while confrontation leads to lose-lose scenarios. A China-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability serves the fundamental interest of the two peoples.

Days ago, seventeen American former politicians and renowned experts on Chinese studies released a report in Washington D.C., calling on the federal government to find solutions to disputes through dialogue and consultation and stressing that China-US hostility harms the interests of both sides.

Former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said that the US and China must recognize their common interests in a constructive relationship and take responsive actions, for the current economic interests and for the future of mankind.

China has been deepening reforms and expanding opening-up in planned steps, delivering multiple favored policies to foreign enterprises.

A series of eye-catching figures have showcased the vitality of the Chinese market. In 2018, the total import and export volume of goods exceeded 30 trillion yuan. In January 2019, the total import and export volume of trade in goods increased by 8.7 percent year on year. During the Spring Festival holiday, China’s catering and retail sectors’ income hit one trillion yuan, and the network transactions of China Union Pay exceeded one trillion yuan.

All these have injected confidence into the world to work for common development with China. The international community has witnessed that China is always sharing its development opportunities with people of countries around the world, including the US.

Stable profits are created as long as we look at the bigger picture. Economic and trade cooperation is carried out under the bigger framework and the guidance of the major tone. The only choice bearing positive significance for the two sides is to seek common ground while putting aside differences, take a long-term perspective and push for cooperation.

The two rounds of trade and economic talks held two weeks apart both made important progress, based on which, the Chinese and US teams will continue the talks in Washington soon. We hope the two sides maintain the good momentum for negotiations and strive for consensus within the timetable set by the two heads of state, so as to promote long-term and stable development of China-US trade relations and benefit the two peoples and people around the world.

Confucius Institute Director devotes to China-Mongolia cultural exchanges

Photo courtesy of?Confucius Institute at National University of Mongolia

When Chimedtseye Menerel, Mongolian director of Confucius Institute at National University of Mongolia, firstly arrived in China for Chinese studies at Beijing Language and Culture University in 1986, he could probably have envisioned his future closely bonded with the Chinese language, culture and literature.

Chimedtseye, also secretary-general of China-Mongolia Friendship Association, has spent nearly three decades on the translation of the Chinese classics collection Four Books into Mongolian. Now, he is about to complete his works.

“The translation is my gift for the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Mongolia and China,” he said in a recent interview with People’s Daily.

Chimedtseye started studying Confucianism, the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, in the 1990s, and was soon attracted by the charm of the philosophy, he introduced. This experience later inspired him to translate the Four Books into Mongolian.

He firstly started from the Analects, a collection of sayings and ideas attributed to Confucius and his contemporaries in the Four Books. Taking him seven years to finish, the Mongolian version of the Analects has been reprinted for five times after its initial publication in 2004.

“I need to understand the Chinese classics myself if I want Mongolians to understand.” Upholding such a principle, he started translating the Chinese military treatise the Art of War. In order to be precise enough, he referred to 12 Chinese versions of the Art of War published by different publishing houses, as well as English-Chinese bilingual editions.

So far, Chimedtseye’s works have been collected by the Mongolian national library and adopted by multiple colleges and universities as a compulsory course.

Except for translating the Chinese classics, Chimedtseye has been running between China and Mongolia for academic conferences and social activities to push forward bilateral cultural exchanges.

He believes that the Confucius Institute at the National University of Mongolia, serving as an important platform for language teaching, has played a significant role in deepening Mongolia-China cultural exchanges and has become a bridge between the two peoples.

“China’s development has brought significant opportunities for all other countries in the world, especially its neighboring countries. I wish for a new chapter of Mongolia-China friendly cooperation,” he added.

Commentary: Turkey’s double standards on anti-terrorism lead to lose-lose results

China resolutely opposes the claims made by Turkey’s foreign ministry on the situation in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the nation’s policy toward the region.

In a statement released earlier, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy alleged that Uyghur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit had died in custody. He also called the vocational training centers in Xinjiang a “great shame for humanity.”

The accusations are contrary to the facts and were created out of thin air. China has lodged serious representations to Turkey over its extremely wrong and irresponsible remarks.

The vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang are a big nationwide effort to unite and educate the people who have committed crimes there. It is an effective way to save these people from becoming victims of terrorism and extremism.

Multiple UN reports on global anti-terrorism have pointed out that education and employment are vital to preventing and eliminating terrorism. The vocational education and training centers are a way to realize the UN concept.

Terrorism and extremism are common enemies of human civilization and the international community. Since the 1990s, terrorists, separatists, and extremists at home and abroad have plotted and committed thousands of violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang.

Such criminal activities severely jeopardize regional peace and stability, harm the atmosphere for progress and solidarity, and sabotage the basic human rights of all people in Xinjiang.

Since the vocational education and training centers were launched some 25 months ago, no violent terrorist attacks have been reported in Xinjiang.

Mohammed Hosnie Shahiran Ismail, counselor of the Malaysian embassy in China, visited some of the schools in January 2019. He said the trip refreshed his understanding of Xinjiang, adding that the situation is different from what the Western media has portrayed.

A Turkish reporter said the vocational education and training center he visited was a place for people to receive treatment and education to improve themselves and become better persons.

Facts speak louder than words and a just cause enjoys abundant understanding. China’s efforts and achievements in its Xinjiang policy is adding value to the global fight against terrorism and extremism.

Samia Fakhry Mansour, editor with Egypt’s weekly publication, said that de-extremization is a challenge for the whole world and that China’s vocational education and training centers are a good way to save more people who are affected by extremism, adding that the Chinese experience is worth learning from for other countries.

It is an undeniable fact that the social situation in Xinjiang is stable, that the economy is developing fast, that the livelihoods of the people living there are improving, and that all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live in harmony. As a country with various ethnic groups, Turkey is also threatened by terrorism. Adopting double standards on anti-terrorism would lead to lose-lose results.

China hopes to see the Turkish side reflect on its behavior, correctly understand China’s policies and efforts, and take concrete actions to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between our two countries.

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