Procurators asked to fight organized crime with rule of law

BEIJING – The Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) has asked procuratorates across the country to help fight organized crime by using rule of law.

The SPP has issued a notice asking procuratorates at all levels to step up punishment on gang crime and its protective “umbrellas” in the country’s latest campaign against organized crime.

Procurators should severely punish the organizers, leaders and core figures of gang crime while lessening penalties for first-time and occasional offenders and the underaged, the notice said.

“The fight against organized crime should be precise and ruthless with real effect,” it said.

It also asked procuratorates to guarantee that each case would be properly handled in accordance with facts, evidence, procedure and the application of law, and that they can withstand the test of law and time.

Procurators should also step up coordination with other departments, such as establishing a mechanism to rapidly transfer problems to discipline inspection and supervision authorities, the document said.

Dog walking banned in Beijing city parks

[Photo/China Daily]

Complaints about pets roaming freely and owners not cleaning up lead to rule

Beijing authorities have forbidden the walking of dogs in city parks in a recently published municipal regulation, sparking heated discussion from the public.

The Beijing Gardening and Greening Bureau published a blacklist of uncivilized behaviors in public parks, adding activities such as walking pets, making loud noises, digging wild vegetables or fishing.

There have long been complaints that some dog owners don’t tie up their dogs in parks, putting visitors in danger. Owners’ refusal to not clean up their dog’s droppings have also annoyed many park patrons.

As a result, the bureau included walking dogs on their blacklist.

To ensure the effectiveness of the blacklist, the authority has posted the regulation in obvious positions in all parks, and around 1,000 volunteers will watch for violations.

Liu Jianhua, leader of the volunteer team, said they will try to persuade visitors who fail to obey the regulation to not do anything to harm the park environment.

The regulation has triggered discussion among the public, especially pet owners.

“I feel like I have become inferior to others since I started raising my dog because there are too many restrictions and limits for dog owners,” said Liu Zhe, who lives near Yuyuantan Park in Haidian district.

Liu, 30, said his residential community has also forbidden walking dogs in order to prevent them from biting people.

“I cannot walk my dog on roads, nor the residential areas,” he said. “I usually walked my dog in the park near my home. Sometimes, I run with it, which makes me feel good. Now, I cannot take it to the park. I don’t know where I can be with my dog except at home.”

In developed countries such as the United States and many in Europe, dogs play with people in parks, on roads and pretty much everywhere, Liu said.

“I envy them so much,” he said. “Dogs are real friends there.”

However, not all residential communities forbid walking dogs. Many communities in Beijing have set up facilities for dog owners to put their dog droppings.

Li Wen, a 22-year-old white-collar worker, said it’s a bit too strict to ban all dogs from parks.

“There are many different types of dogs,” Li said. “Some big, dangerous dogs should not be taken into the parks because there are many kids and old people in the parks. However, some dogs are not aggressive at all.”

Despite the opposition, there are voices that support the regulation.

Du Meilian, 63, who has retired and now is taking care of her 2-year-old grandson in Beijing, said that while she thinks there doesn’t need to be a full ban on dogs, the dog owners’ behavior should be more regulated to avoid danger.

“I always keep a distance from dogs when I am with my grandson,” she said. “It’s understandable that the government wants the parks to be safe for every visitor.”

Xi to address foreign ministers of Arab countries

Xi Jinping speaks at a national conference in Beijing. [File photo/Xinhua]

President Xi Jinping will address the opening ceremony of the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum on Tuesday, bringing China-Arab cooperation to a new stage, Chinese experts said.

The meeting, to be held in Beijing, will be attended by nearly 20 foreign ministers from Arab states as well as Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

“China-Arab cooperation is an important part of developing countries’ efforts to safeguard multilateralism amid a rising trend of unilateralism,” said Dong Manyuan, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies.

The meeting offers a chance for China and Arab states to discuss ways to address challenges brought by the current regional and global situation, he said.

Li Guofu, a Beijing-based expert on Middle East studies, said the gathering of senior Arab officials in China shows the high expectations Arab states attach to cooperation between the two sides as the countries pursue economic and industrial development.

“Economic cooperation and joint development of the Belt and Road are highlights of China-Arab cooperation,” said Sun Degang, deputy director of Shanghai International Studies University’s Middle East Studies Institute.

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by Xi in 2013, it has received positive responses from Arab states and successfully linked up with their individual development strategies, Sun told People’s Daily.

Nine Arab countries have signed agreements with China on jointly building the Belt and Road. China is the second-largest trading partner of Arab nations, with two-way trade volume increasing from $36.7 billion in 2004 to $191.35 billion last year.

According to Li, the meeting is expected to achieve concrete results and provide a direction for China-Arab cooperation in the future.

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Destruction of unique alpine plant draws criticism

Rheum nobileis not an endangered plant and is a common traditional Chinese herb familiar to local people in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture. [Photo provided to]

A man who destroyed a unique alpine plant in the mountains of Yunnan province triggered public outcry after he showed off his actions on social media.

On the video-sharing platform Douyin, a man in a black coat recently posted a video in which he pulled out a plant that looked like a large stem of lettuce, tore its leaves and threw them away.

The plant was later identified as Rheum nobile, also known as the Sikkim rhubarb or noble rhubarb, a giant herbaceous plant native to the Himalayas, from northeastern Afghanistan to Nepal and China, which thrives in the alpine zone at an altitude of 4,000 to 4,800 meters.

After the video spread on the internet, the public responded with strong criticism.

“His behavior is horrible. Destroying such a unique plant is shameful and should not be imitated by more people,” the Weibo user Shinning Ruby commented.

According to Gu Yourong, a botanist who denounced the incident on his Weibo account, the man saw and ate the plant on his way through Langdu village in Yunnan.

In an online conversation posted by Gu, the man told Gu he didn’t know it was a rare species and that local people have enjoyed the stalk for its sour flavor for a long time. The man apologized to the public.

According to a police officer from Shangri-la in Yunnan’s Deqing Tibetan autonomous prefecture, the man voluntarily surrendered himself Monday, but he will not face punishment because the plant isn’t under State protection.

Although it has a very distinctive appearance, Rheum nobileis not an endangered plant and is a common traditional Chinese herb familiar to local people in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture, according to the officer, who refused to be named.

As a member of the buckwheat family, Rheum nobilecan grow up to 6 feet in height, making it easily the tallest plant for miles around, according to Song Bo, a scientist from Kunming Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He said Rheum nobileusually blooms in June or July after five to seven years of growth, and the creamy yellow petal-like leaves torn by the man were actually a cluster of its flowers arranged on the stem. The plants die in September. In China, the plant can be seen in Yunnan and Sichuan province.

“Once its petals are destroyed, the plant will die without producing mature seeds,” Song said. “Rheum nobilehas well-developed roots, which can be as long as 2 meters. It has a strong ability to conserve water and soil. The local government should strengthen public education about its protection among local people and tourists.”

China’s State-protected wild plant list, containing more than 200 species, was jointly released by the Ministry of Agriculture and former State Forestry Administration in 1999. The list does not cover Rheum nobile.

According to Gu, a number of wild plants not listed are still threatened due to overuse, such as wild Dendrobium officinale, a type of orchid.

“Apart from public education, updating the protection list is urgently needed as a crucial step to guarantee law enforcement,” he said.

Quotable quotes on China’s major-country diplomacy: Promoting development

Editor’s Note: China is rolling out a major documentary series on its diplomatic principles, practices and achievements over the past five years. The English-language version of the program is now also available on TV and online. To help audience better understand Chinese diplomacy, Xinhua is releasing a variety of reports that include anecdotes, quotable quotes, facts and figures.

BEIJING -The following is a selection of remarks on promoting development made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

China will continue to contribute to global development… We are ready to share our development experience and opportunities with other countries… We will open our arms to the people of other countries and welcome them aboard the express train of China’s development. (Xi’s remarks in Davos, Switzerland in 2017)

Economic globalization was once viewed as the treasure cave found by Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights, but it has now become the Pandora’s box in the eyes of many. (Excerpts from Xi’s keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland)

The world is confronted with a thorny problem. Who is able to give an answer? At Davos, President Xi directly answered the questions on people’s minds and systematically elaborated China’s position on economic globalization. (Remarks of Li Baodong, China’s vice foreign minister)

Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. (Excerpts from Xi’s keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland)

Chinese leaders extend Spring Festival greetings

President Xi Jinpingdelivers a speech to a festival reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – President Xi Jinping, on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese people Wednesday.

Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered a speech to a festival reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, greeting all Chinese on the mainland, in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and abroad.

The reception was presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. Other senior leaders, including Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhang Gaoli, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng, were also present.

Ancient jade ware discovered in Hubei

WUHAN – Archeologists have recently discovered jade ware that dates back over 4,000 years at a site in Central China’s Hubei province, local authorities said Monday.

Jade battle-axes, an astronomical instrument and a tube, dating back to between 4,600 to 5,100 years ago, have been unearthed at the Mulintou site in Baokang county.

Besides jade ware, other items including human skeletons, stoneware and pottery have also been found at the site.

“A jade battle-axe was considered as a symbol of power. The astronomical instrument also indicated owners of the tombs were high-level people,” said archeologist team leader Da Haobo.

Fang Qin, curator of the provincial museum, said that the new findings are crucial for the study of the funeral customs of the Qujialing culture, a late Neolithic culture discovered in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

China tightens up regulation on live-streaming

People, who are called “hosts”, speak to their audiences through live video streaming platforms. [Photo/China Daily]

Chinese authorities will enhance regulation of live-stream services, the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications (NOAPIP) said Monday.

A notice was jointly issued by six departments, namely the NOAPIP, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the State Administration of Radio and Television, and the State Internet Information Office, said a NOAPIP statement.

The notice clarifies the responsibilities of live-stream service providers, network service providers and application stores.

Live-stream service providers should complete the Internet Content Provider (ICP) filing, gain certificates for news services, online shows and live streams, and report to local police within 30 days after a show is broadcast.

The notice requires service providers to better implement real-name registration of live-stream viewers, blacklist live-stream anchors who violate the regulations and enhance supervision of live-stream content.

The live-streaming industry has been highlighted in operations targeting online pornographic content launched since February.