June 2019

Top Chinese, U.S. music schools team up for contemporary music institute

The Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SHCM) and Berkeley College of Music (BCM) on Friday announced the establishment of a joint training school to nurture contemporary music talent in China.

The Shanghai-based SHCM-BCM Contemporary Music Institute is the first Chinese-U.S. cooperation project of its kind. It will provide music education, training, research, production, and organize summer camps and concerts for up-and-coming musicians.

The institute will also host the studios of 2017 Pulitzer-winning Chinese-born composer Du Yun and music producer Chang Shilei.

Chinese Musicians Association Chairman Ye Xiaogang will serve as the honorary president of the institute.

Cargo plane crashes in Nepal’s Qomolangma region, killing pilot

Photo taken on May 27, 2017 shows a scene of rescue operation at the crash site of a cargo plane near Tenzing Hillary airport in Lukla near Mount Qomolangma, located in the eastern district Solukhumbu, Nepal. A pilot died and two crew members were injured after a cargo plane of Goma Airlines crashed while landing at the Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla near Mount Qomolangma on Saturday afternoon, authorities confirmed. The 9N-AKY aircraft crashed as it was trying to land at the airport, which is often regarded as the most dangerous airport in the world. (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma)

A pilot died and two crew members were injured after a cargo plane of Goma Airlines crashed while landing at the Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla near Mount Qomolangma on Saturday afternoon, authorities confirmed.

The 9N-AKY aircraft crashed as it was trying to land at the airport, which is often regarded as the most dangerous airport in the world.

Lukla, located at an elevation of 2,800 meters, is the gateway to the world’s highest peak Mount Qomolangma located in the eastern district Solukhumbu.

“The aircraft crashed just a few meters away from the runway at 1:56 p.m. (local time),” Yogendra Kunwar, chief of the Lukla airport, confirmed to Xinhua over phone.

Following the crash, the rescue operation was carried out immediately by the team of the Nepal Army, police, a rescue team of Goma Airlines and the locals.

Dev Kumar Kathayat, a Nepal Army official who joined the rescue operation, told Xinhua: “The aircraft crashed just in front of my eyes after it entered into the clouds near the runway. We rescued all of the three crew members within an hour of the incident.”

Captain Paras Rai was pronounced dead at hospital at 3:20 p.m. local time while the co-pilot was reported to be in critical condition.

Though it has been speculated that the crash occurred owing to bad weather, the exact cause is yet to be identified.

Since the spring climbing expedition falls in April and May, the Lukla airport has been receiving up to 105 flights in a single day.

Around 40 expedition teams comprising 371 climbers from various countries have taken the permit to scale the world’s highest peak this season.

Xi says BRICS cooperation will usher in new “golden decade”

Chinese President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with the heads of delegations from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa who are in Beijing to attend the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Beijing, capital of China, June 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that BRICS cooperation would be more productive and usher in a new “golden decade.”

Xi made the remarks when meeting with the heads of delegations from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, who are in Beijing to attend the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the meeting, which also included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh.

Xi extended congratulations on the success of the meeting and thanked other BRICS members for their support.

He said that BRICS countries faced the common task of safeguarding domestic stability and development, creating a favorable international environment and working to make the international order more just and equitable.

“The BRICS cooperation is an innovation, which transcends the old pattern of political and military alliance and pursues partnerships rather than alliances,” Xi said.

“The BRICS mechanism surpasses the old mindset of zero-sum game and practices a new concept of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation,” he said.

He said that the cooperation mechanism fitted the needs of the five nations as well as the historical trend.

“The BRICS cooperation mechanism has been in existence for 10 years and BRICS members have focused on development, which not only benefits the people in the five countries but also offers a recipe for the world to address food and security problems,” Xi said.

“BRICS countries are a community of shared interests and future,” Xi said.

He urged the countries to give full play to the win-win spirit and jointly contribute to the development of the organization.

Xi called on all countries to continue to prioritize development, follow multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations.

“As long as we think and work toward the same goal, the BRICS cooperation will be more productive and usher in a new golden decade,” the president said.

The five countries’ share in the global economy increased from 12 percent to 23 percent in the past decade while contributing to more than half of global growth.

To help finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, China co-founded the BRICS New Development Bank in 2014 with its headquarters in Shanghai.

It became fully operational in 2016 when the bank approved loans involving financial assistance of over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for projects in green and renewable energy, and transport.

The heads of delegations thanked China for promoting BRICS cooperation as rotating chair, saying the BRICS is an emerging and promising mechanism.

They said all members should closely collaborate and jointly address global challenges, expressing confidence that the BRICS cooperation would further enhance the well-being and prominence of the BRICS.

They said their countries would work with China to strengthen BRICS cooperation and support China in hosting a successful BRICS summit in Xiamen in September.

China’s fruitful economic cooperation with Italy, Monaco, France

Italy, Monaco and France are the three legs of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first overseas trip this year.

Xi’s state visits from March 21 to 26 are expected to boost the economic ties between China and the European countries.

Here are some facts and figures revealing the growing vitality of trade and investment between China and the countries as well as broader economic exchanges.

— Bilateral trade between China and Italy hit a historical high of 54.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. China is Italy’s largest trading partner in Asia, while Italy is China’s fifth largest within the European Union.

— Italy had invested 7.21 billion dollars in 5,937 projects in China by the end of last June.

— Chinese investment in Italy has exceeded 11 billion dollars, mainly in the spheres of energy, high-end manufacturing, chemicals and sports.

— Chinese tourists made a total of 1.8 million trips to Italy last year. Italy issued 15 percent more visas in China in 2018.

— According to a recent report by the China Tourism Academy and the travel agency Ctrip, Italy was the second most popular European destination for Chinese tourists.

— The volume of trade between China and Monaco surged 794.8 percent year-on-year to 127 million dollars between January and September 2018.

— Monaco had invested 3.59 million dollars in 24 projects in China as of last August.

— China has vowed to deepen cooperation with Monaco in environmental protection, climate change, clean energy, low carbon and wild animal protection, under the Belt and Road Initiative.

— Bilateral trade between China and France exceeded 60 billion dollars in 2018, also a historical high.

— China was the largest Asian trading partner of France as of last September, while France was China’s fourth largest in the EU.

— Two-way investment between China and France was also robust. French companies had invested 17.49 billion dollars in 5,647 projects in China as of November 2018, while China’s investment in France reached 330 million dollars in the January-November period.

— French investors in China prefer the energy, automobile, aviation, telecommunication and chemicals sectors.

— China is one of the largest sources of tourists to France with a total of 2.3 million trips in 2018, an all-time high. French products, such as luxuries, cosmetics, food and liquor, have been popular among Chinese consumers.

TCL net profit up 30 pct in 2018

China’s leading home appliance manufacturer TCL Corp. posted a 30.2 percent year-on-year rise in net profits for 2018.

In its annual financial results filed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, TCL said the net profits attributable to its shareholders reached 3.47 billion yuan (517 million U.S. dollars) last year.

Meanwhile, its revenues rose 1.6 percent year-on-year to 113.36 billion yuan.

Over the past more than two years, TCL has sold and closed 63 non-core businesses to restructure itself into a high-tech industrial conglomerate, it said.

Last year, its display panel subsidiary Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co. Ltd. generated 27.67 billion yuan in revenues and earned 2.32 billion yuan in net profits.

Shares of TCL fell 0.26 percent to close at 3.82 yuan Wednesday.

Xi’s Central Asia trip cements neighborhood friendship, regional cooperation

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L, front) and other leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries and observer states, as well as representatives of regional and international bodies, head for group photos during the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visits to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan opened a new chapter for building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday.

During the five-day trip, Xi also attended the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek and the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe.

It was a visit of cementing good neighbourliness and friendship, of jointly building the Belt and Road, of promoting the Shanghai Spirit, and of guiding Asian countries’ cooperation, Wang said.

CONSOLIDATING RELATIONS

China and Central Asian countries, including Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, are connected by mountains and rivers and have a shared future, Wand said.

Xi’s state visits to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, he added, demonstrated the close friendship between the heads of state and the high level of China’s ties with the two countries.

As the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, China and Central Asian countries are confronting common development and security challenges, and need to build closer cooperative relations to better safeguard their respective and common interests, Wang added.

He noted that both in Kyrgyzstan and in Tajikistan, the heads of state signed a joint statement on further deepening their countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership, drawing a new blueprint for the future development of bilateral ties.

At the SCO summit, Xi called for concerted efforts to build the regional organization into a model mechanism of regional cooperation against the backdrop of the complicated international situation.

Xi’s vision drew positive responses from other participating leaders, Wang said, adding that they also agreed to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, promote cooperation in such fields as security, economy and people-to-people exchanges, safeguard the principles of international relations, support the construction of an open world economy, and jointly push for greater development of the SCO at a new starting point.

At the CICA summit, Xi envisioned an Asia featuring mutual respect and trust, security and stability, development and prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, as well as cooperation and innovation.

Xi’s idea, said Wang, represented a broad consensus on the future development trend of Asia, enriched the connotation and denotation of the CICA, and provided both philosophical and directional guidance for regional cooperation.

PROMOTING BRI COOPERATION

At the two summits, Xi called on member states to implement the consensus reached at the Second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) for International Cooperation and further synergize the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and their respective development strategies.

Central Asia is where the BRI was initiated, Wang said, adding that Xi’s visits to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan once again showed that China is taking concrete actions to push forward the Belt and Road construction at a higher starting point.

As the two countries are among the earliest supporters of and participants in Belt and Road cooperation, their cooperation with China has yielded fruitful results, noted the state councilor.

In recent years, China has signed cooperation documents with a vast majority of member and observer states within the frameworks of the SCO and the CICA to jointly build the Belt and Road, Wang said, adding that their development strategies have been gradually aligned, and that the results of the cooperation have continuously emerged.

During his attendance at the SCO and CICA summits, Xi held in-depth exchanges of views with other leaders on how to implement the important achievements of the second BRF, promote regional interconnectivity, and bolster development and cooperation, and they reached extensive consensus, Wang said.

That, he added, has injected new impetus into the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road.

SAFEGUARDING MULTILATERALISM

The SCO and the CICA are both important platforms for China’s diplomacy, Wang said.

During his visit, Xi pointed out that as a member of the Asian family and a responsible major country in the international community, China will steadfastly pursue a peaceful development path, and will never seek benefits at the expense of others.

China, added the president, will stick to opening-up and all-win approaches, share development opportunities with other nations, uphold multilateralism and safeguard the international order based on international law.

He reiterated that China will continue to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order, and push forward the construction of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

Xi’s viewpoints gained understanding and support from all other parties, Wang said, adding that it is generally agreed that Xi’s ideas are closely related to the current situation, offer answers to key questions, reflect firm self-confidence, and demonstrate China’s high sense of responsibility on international affairs.

The Central Asia tour, said Wang, was a major move by China to promote global partnerships, Belt and Road cooperation, and world peace and stability, and achieved expected goals and fruitful results.

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Law enforcement gains transparency

A system will be established for governments at all levels to publicly disclose their administrative law enforcement moves, which will be recorded on video to boost transparency and clean governance, a recent State Council guideline said.

The document, released by the central government on Thursday, aims to improve the enforcement of administrative laws, better safeguard people’s legal rights, and preserve the government’s credibility.

It stipulates that information on government work should be unveiled to the public before the announcement of new policies on the enforcement of administrative laws.

Administrative law enforcement officials should clarify their identities when performing their duties and law enforcement verdicts should be made public within a certain period of time.

In addition, administrative law enforcement should be recorded and documented in all regions, in text and audiovisual media, keeping track of law enforcement proceedings, investigations, evidence collection, and auditing. These recordings should be systematically filed to keep a close eye on the process of law enforcement.

For example, all law enforcement actions that concern people’s personal freedom, health and property, including compulsory demolition, will be recorded on video, with the recordings kept for evidence.

A review and approval mechanism for major administrative law enforcements will be introduced. Governmental departments should examine and review important cases before decisions are released. In cases that fail to pass the examination and approval procedure, the departments will have no right to make related decisions.

More efforts should be made to digitize administrative law enforcement by using big data, cloud computing and other technologies to establish comprehensive e-platforms for management and supervision.

New measures to boost employment

A job fair holds in Huai’an in Jiangsu province, Oct 13, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Li emphasizes supportive actions at State Council executive meeting

China will take targeted measures to further boost employment, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Friday.

Employment momentum has remained steady this year, and the number of urban jobs created in the first three quarters has surpassed the government’s target for the whole year, meeting participants said. Yet with a complex environment at home and abroad, there still is considerable pressure on employment, and the nation will continue to give priority to creating jobs and implement a more proactive employment policy.

“Employment creation is the primary mission of economic development and a fundamental livelihood issue for the people,” Li said. “As we are still expected to face considerable employment pressure in the coming year, we must prepare well and take precautionary measures as much as possible, which may include giving local governments and businesses more flexibility in employment policies.”

Employment incentives also were decided on.

Companies that minimize layoffs will be eligible to have half of their unemployment insurance expenses reimbursed through reduced fees.

Startups will get more jobs support through such measures as government guaranteed financing. Private businesses and medium, small and micro businesses are major job providers and should be given priority in employment policy incentives, meeting participants urged.

As of Jan 1, groups eligible for internship subsidies will be expanded from college graduates yet to land jobs to jobless youths aged 16-24. The jobless will be encouraged to take part in skills training programs, and those who graduate from these programs will get training subsidies.

Needy jobless people will be given allowances or relief on a temporary basis, or be covered by subsistence allowances.

In an effort to reduce corporate burdens and expand employment, it was also decided that the policy of reducing the combined unemployment insurance contribution rate from 3 percent to 1 percent will continue beyond its previous deadline of next April.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said 11.07 million new urban jobs have been created in the first nine months, 100,000 more than the same period last year. The surveyed urban unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent in September, down by 0.1 percentage point year-on-year.

Nations share green practices at intl meeting

Li Ganjie, China’s ecology and environment minister, speaks at the closing ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development in Beijing, on Nov 3, 2018. [Photo by Chen Zebing/chinadaily.com.cn]

The Annual General Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development provides a positive platform for countries to share experiences and practices in protecting ecosystems and promoting low carbon and green development, participants said on Saturday.

“It serves as a communicative platform for China and the world in the area of environmental development, a coordinated platform for building up ecological civilization, and an innovative platform for improving a global environmental governance system,” Li Ganjie, China’s ecology and environment minister, said at the meeting’s closing ceremony.

The policies recommended at the meeting are valuable to global sustainable development and applicable for the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he added.