August 2019

Public opinion invited for China’s top journalism awards entries

BEIJING – The full list of entries for the 29th China Journalism Awards, a top press prize that honors outstanding journalism works, was published online on Friday for public comment.

The All-China Journalists Association (ACJA), a non-government organization that presents the awards, said remarks on the entries can be delivered via telephone calls, fax, mail or email to the awards office of the ACJA until July 12.

Any reports of regulation violations by the awards entries will be verified and dealt with in accordance with regulations, the ACJA stressed in a statement.

It added that after the process to select winners for the awards concludes in late August, the preliminary results will be released online to solicit public opinion.

Body of missing girl taken by tenants found at the sea

This surveillance image shows Zhang Zixin and the two tenants who took her away. [Photo/WeChat account: pinganchunan]

The body of the missing girl taken by two tenants in her home in Hangzhou was found at sea in Shipu county, Ningbo, at around 3 pm on Saturday, Metropolitan Express reported.

A member of the search and rescue team said a person fishing at sea found the body near Yushan Island, 30 kilometers away from the girl’s last known location.

“I just got the news that my daughter has left the world and gone to heaven. We don’t have chance to be father and daughter in this life. I hope she will be my daughter in the next life and I can take care of her,” the girl’s father wrote on a social media account.

The 9-year-old girl, Zhang Zixin, had lived with her grandparents in Qingxi village in Chun’an county of East China’s Zhejiang province. The two tenants, surnamed Liang and Xie, took the girl away on the morning of July 4, saying they would attend a wedding ceremony in Shanghai. On July 7, they didn’t return home as promised and lost contact with the family. On July 8, the couple committed suicide in Ningbo, a city in Zhejiang. The girl was nowhere to be found.

The girl’s resident card was found along the Xiangshan coastline in Ningbo by search and rescue staff on Wednesday night, Qianjiang Evening News reported.

Resident card issued by Hangzhou authorities can be used to travel on buses and subways or to access social security services or in libraries and parks.

Hundreds of people including Xiangshan police and civilian rescue teams have taken part in the search on the sea and nearby mountains.

As more details of the case were dug out by domestic media, people found it hard to understand the motive of the tenants.

They arrived in Qingxi village from South China’s Guangdong province in the middle of June and stayed in a 7 Days Inn for half a month.

Starting from June 29, they rented a room at the girl’s grandparents’ house. They acted politely and nicely, usually inviting the whole family to have dinner together and bought snacks and toys for the girl.

Later, they said they would go to Shanghai to attend their friend’s wedding and wanted to invite the girl to be the flower girl and tour the city with them.

The girl’s father, who works in North China’s Tianjin, didn’t agree when the grandparents asked for his opinion. The girl and the two tenants persuaded the grandmother and got the nod.

They left on July 4 and promised to return on July 5. On July 5, they told the grandfather they couldn’t get train tickets back. On July 6, they told the grandmother that they still couldn’t get train tickets. On July 7, the grandfather warned that they would contact the police if they didn’t come back. Their mobile phone was powered off and the grandparents lost contact with them on July 7.

The girl’s father contacted Liang on July 4 upon learning that the grandparents had let the girl go. Liang sent him photos and videos of the girl. He also saw the girl’s photos on Liang’s WeChat Moments. He got suspicious when he found Liang deleting his WeChat Moments. When he asked Liang where they were, Liang first said Xiamen, then Ningbo, then Wenzhou.

The girl told his father that they were in Xiangshan at noon on July 7 when they talked by mobile phone. The father said her emotional state was stable.

At 6 pm on July 7, Liang said his charger was broken and the mobile phone was going to power off. The father proposed that he would pick the girl up by car but was rejected. He asked Liang to take a taxi back and he would pay for it. Liang accepted and then his mobile phone powered off and they lost contact.

The girl’s father said they didn’t ask him for money when he urged them to bring the girl back.

On July 8, the family reported the case to the police.

Surveillance video shows that the girl appeared at a hotel door in a scenic spot in Xiangshan county in Ningbo at 5:25 pm on July 7. The two tenants and the girl appeared on a road in Xiangshan county at 7:18 pm. At 10:20 pm, the two tenants appeared on surveillance video without the girl. At 11:01 pm, they took a taxi and left.

In the early morning of July 8, the corpses of the two tenants were found at Dongqian Lake in Ningbo. The two were tied together by clothes, according to Metropolitan Express.

The Beijing News contacted the taxi driver. The driver said they got off at a crossroad near Dongqian Lake scenic spot. During the one-hour ride, they didn’t speak to each other.

Liang, a Guangdong native, had left his hometown for 15 or 16 years. His relatives didn’t know what he had been doing for these years. He had a boy and a girl with his ex-wife. The children hadn’t seen their father for 10 years.

Xie, a Guangdong native, had borrowed a lot of money from her siblings previously and lost contact with them since then, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

Political advisers stress rural culture in session

A consultation session themed on strengthening basic public cultural services in rural areas was held on Tuesday by the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Top political adviser Wang Yang addressed the meeting, saying the construction of public cultural services in rural areas is an important content of implementing the country’s strategy of rural revitalization and building a socialist spiritual civilization.

“We need to put the people first and adapt measures to local conditions,” said Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the CPPCC National Committee.

He said a system of public cultural services that covers a wide range of areas should be built to give a new look to rural culture.

About 110 political advisers attended the Tuesday session, with 28 giving speeches on various topics and raising suggestions.

They made positive comments on the remarkable achievements made in the construction of basic public cultural services in rural areas and also pointed out some shortages, including lack of cultural resources and talent at the grassroots level.

Wang Rulin, a member of the standing committee of the CPPCC National Committee who headed a team to Hubei, said the survey found farmers’ rights to enjoy basic cultural services can be generally guaranteed.

But there are still problems in terms of personnel, finance and equipment, Wang said, adding the work needs cooperation from many departments instead of just cultural ones.

“We should bring into play local cultural talents in rural areas,” he said. “They know what kind of cultural services and products farmers like and need most.”

Officials from six government sectors responded to questions put up by political members.

In April, three teams of political advisers mainly from the cultural field went to Hubei and Guizhou provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region to conduct surveys on the construction of public cultural services in rural areas.

Cycling on isolated plateaus is my passion

Feng Xukai, a 49-year-old teacher from Fujian province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

For the past 10 years I have been crazy about cycling on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Every summer vacation, I spend a month biking across the plateau.

In 2014, I set out on a cycle route with five other people in Ngari prefecture in the far west of the Tibet autonomous region. Our 2,000-kilometer route started in Lhasa in the east, passed through the northern part of the prefecture and ended in the west.

Dubbed the “top of the Roof of the World”, the plateau, which has a small population, has no infrastructure and boasts incredible scenery. Travelers can see the snowy mountains heaped up, clean blue lakes, lots of animals-including sheep, yaks, donkeys and Tibetan antelopes-in the meadows by day, and clear, starry skies at night.

The high altitude and low level of oxygen make cycling extremely challenging. With a sharp temperature difference between day and night, and unexpected rain, it is easy for cyclists to lose body heat.

The route consists of dirt, and even rubble, paths, which have been formed over time by passing vehicles.

Animal attacks are a potential risk in the wild. One night, we had to camp near a forest where there were potential animal attacks, especially from wolves.

We found a house in a locked yard, but no one answered our calls from the gate. It was the time of the seasonal migration, so maybe the herdsmen had moved to another place for better water and grass.

We didn’t want to intrude, so we camped outside. One of our group was very experienced and alert. He placed some hay bales alongside the wall and said that if an emergency arose, we could use them to jump into the yard and shelter in the house.

Luckily, we didn’t encounter any wolves or other animals, though we could hear them calling.

Animal attacks remain a major cause of injuries on that route. Before the trip, we read online that a traveler had been bitten by wolves. The temporary “step” our companion built made us feel safer.

Despite the dangers, I will tackle another route in the same prefecture this year.

Feng Xukai spoke with Zhang Yi.

World’s heaviest panda pair born in Sichuan

[Photo/Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding]

According to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, Ah Bao, a 9-year-old female panda in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, gave birth to a male and female cub at 7:41 am and 9:28 am respectively on Saturday.

The two cubs weighed 211.6 and 209 grams respectively at birth, being the heaviest panda twins at birth in the world, base chief Zhang Zhihe said.

The average weight of a newborn panda cub is around 150 grams. It is rare for both pandas in a pair to weigh more than 200 grams, he said.

Ah Bao was born by Chinese pandas in the United States in 2010, when the film Kung Fu Panda was a hit in the country.

Her keeper mistook her for a male cub and named her Ah Bao, the male character of the film. When she was about to return to China in 2013, she was found to be a “girl,” Zhang said.

Flight makes emergency landing to save a passenger

Staff members of China Eastern Airlines help the ill passenger to a hospital in Tokyo, Japan, July 16, 2019. [Photo/China Eastern Airlines]

A China Eastern Airlines flight had to discharge 45 tons of fuel in the air to make an emergency landing at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan to help a passenger receive medical attention on Tuesday.

Flight MU587 took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 11:42 am, flying above the Okhotsk Sea around 4:16 pm when the passenger, 63, called flight attendants because he had physical discomforts.

Flight attendants found the passenger was suffering from symptoms of hemoptysis and tachycardia. They then launched the necessary emergency measures and offered oxygen inhalation.

Staff members also broadcast the need for a doctor’s assistance. A Chinese doctor and two US doctors responded to offer help, taking first-aid measures and measuring the passenger’s blood pressure.

However, the passenger’s situation was deemed unstable, and the flight crew decided to inform and land at Narita International Airport. To ensure safety for an emergency landing, the plane had to discharge part of its fuel to reduce weight.

The Tokyo airport and local emergency department made preparations for the plane’s arrival immediately after receiving the message. The plane landed safely at 6:19 pm.

The passenger promptly received medical treatment at a hospital in Tokyo and safely recovered. The flight was rescheduled and left to continue the journey, according to China Eastern Airlines.

Staff members of China Eastern Airlines help the ill passenger off the plane in Tokyo, Japan, July 16, 2019. [Photo/China Eastern Airlines]

Chinese art exhibition opens in the US

A painting of artist Zhang Hongtu, one of the displayed works in the exhibition. [Provided to China Daily]

An exhibition showcasing Chinese landscape art, shanshui, will open Thursday in Connecticut, the United States, bringing Chinese ink paining and contemporary experimental art to an American audience.

In the exhibition at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, 11 contemporary Chinese artists will show their approaches to Chinese landscape art.

Other Chinese culture programs during May and April at the museum include the Chinese Landscape Rethought Artist Symposium, Chinese Brush Painting Workshop with Eva Leong, and Curator’s Talk with Dr Yibing Huang.

The exhibition will open at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum Thursday with a reception.

For more information, see www.lymanallyn.org.

Shanghai hotels stop offering disposable toiletries

[Photo/VCG]

SHANGHAI — Starting Monday, hotels in Shanghai are requested to stop offering disposable toiletry kits unless customers ask, amid efforts to reduce waste and pursue green development.

Hotel guests are encouraged to use and reuse recyclable daily consumables during their stay, such as toothbrushes, combs, bath sponges, razors, nail files and shoe polish.

The move is stipulated in a set of regulations on garbage sorting and recycling that went into effect in Shanghai on Monday.

Under the new regulations, most household plastic wastes should be sorted and recycled. The city also encourages individuals and companies to reduce their use of disposable plastic products.

Kunlun Jing An hotel is one of those that answered the government call by not offering disposable toiletry kits unless asked.

The new measure by Shanghai’s hotels will help reduce plastic waste since plastic is the main material used in disposable hotel toiletry kits, the hotel said.

“Shanghai is taking a lead in the country to combat plastic waste,” said Gerd Knaust, general manager of Kunlun Jing An hotel. “Hotels, as a window of the city, should make contributions to sorting and recycling garbage and encourage more customers from around the world to lead an eco-friendly life.”

The hotel has informed its potential customers of the change via online and offline channels.

“It is a good thing to reduce waste in daily life,” said Zhang Wei, 40, from east China’s Shandong Province who checked in the hotel for a business trip. He brought a reusable toothbrush after being informed by the hotel in advance.

At least 6.5 million sets of disposable toiletry kits are estimated to be used every day if the occupancy rate is 50 percent for the 13 to 15 million hotel rooms across China, said Du Liangliang of the Hotel Business Unit of Ctrip, China’s leading online travel agency.

“If hotels across the country follow suit to not offer disposable toiletry kits, it would be a significant step towards reducing the amount of waste,” Du said.

China’s famous Baotu Spring faces spewing crisis

Tourists crowd the Baotu Spring scenic area during the Qingming festival, or the Tomb-sweeping Day holiday in Ji’nan city, east China’s Shandong province, April 5, 2018. [Photo/IC]

JINAN — The groundwater level of China’s well-known Baotu Spring touched the warning mark of 27.6 m, which has plunged it into a spewing crisis, local water authorities said on Tuesday.

Baotu Spring is regarded as the finest of the 72 springs in Jinan, known as the “City of Springs” and capital of eastern China’s Shandong Province.

Due to high temperatures and little rainfall, the famous artesian karst spring has plummeted, with groundwater levels falling 7 cm from the previous day to 27.58 meters on June 15, before slightly going up to the warning mark on Monday.

Rainfall has brought the most direct impact. Statistics show that the accumulated precipitation of the city this year has been cut by almost two-thirds to 74.9 mm on average, compared with 215.9 mm in the same period in 2018.

To protect the springs in Jinan, the city has been taking a series of methods to improve natural water supplies and ecological restoration, said the city’s bureau of water affairs.

Real-time red alerts will be issued every time the groundwater level of Baotu Spring drops to 27.6 m, which then trigger a top-level emergency plan. Measures taken by various departments are required to replace water sources and limit water use.

Baotu Spring began to experience seasonal hiccups in the early 1970s and had once dried up for a 926-day period. It has been gushing for more than 15 years since September 2003 when it started to spout again after 548 days of being shutoff.

China, Japan, South Korea committed to open world economy, free trade: joint declaration

TOKYO – China, Japan and South Korea on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to building an open world economy and vowed to further promote free trade.

The three sides made the pledge in a joint declaration issued after a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Tokyo. The last meeting of this kind was held two and a half years ago in Seoul.

The three sides, whose combined gross domestic production accounts for more than 20 percent of the world’s total, said in the declaration that they are aware of the important role they play in promoting world prosperity.

They said they also recognize the importance of free and open trade and investment to achieving growth, and remain committed to liberalizing their economies, fighting all forms of protectionism, and improving business environment.

They pledged to work together to strengthen the rules-based, free and open, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system underpinned by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The trio said they welcome discussions in the WTO on today’s challenges facing international trade, including those in the fields of e-commerce, investment facilitation, as well as micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.

They also emphasized the importance of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade agreements that complement and strengthen the global trading system.

We reaffirm that the Trilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is an important way to deepen our economic and trade cooperation and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in East Asia, and will serve the common interests of the three countries, said the statement.

The three nations, it added, will make greater efforts to realize a comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial FTA, and will speed up negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Also, they agreed on the necessity to build an intellectual property (IP) system that values creative ideas and allows fair competition, adding that they look forward to further development of trilateral IP cooperation.

Meanwhile, they vowed to make maximum use of science and information technology to promote economic growth and social welfare and address global issues.

In addition, they stressed the importance of collaboration in the field of communications, including 5G mobile services and global roaming, to promoting mutual exchanges and cooperation.

The trio also agreed to explore 3+1 cooperation to promote sustainable development in the region and beyond by sharing their development experiences and deepening practical cooperation in various areas.

The three countries reached consensus on the significance of holding the trilateral leaders’ meeting on a regular basis, and said they are looking forward to the next meeting, which will be hosted by China.