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Palace Museum, Huawei work together to build digital museum

The Palace Museum in Beijing signed a strategic agreement with Huawei on March 15 to build a more digital, informationized and smart museum.

The Palace Museum (Photo/Chinanews.com)

Under the agreement, Huawei will connect the Palace Museum with 5G technology, build a smart zone within the museum and hold artificial intelligence (AI) contests at the museum.

The Chinese telecom giant will use innovative technologies such as 5G, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to advance the Palace Museum’s goal of becoming a first-class global museum.

The cooperation with Huawei has drawn the museum closer with technology, said Shan Jixiang, the museum’s curator.

Shan envisions a high-tech-backed Palace Museum that presents visitors faster network speeds, high-definition video content, as well as an instant display of information about ancient buildings and cultural relics on display in the Palace Museum.

With the support of 5G technology, the museum will also be able to monitor the storage, restoration, transportation and exhibition of cultural relics, invite cultural relic doctors and archeologists from around the world to conduct remote consultations on cultural relic restoration and archeological investigations.

The AI technology is also expected to provide a more comprehensive platform for student education, Shan said.

Chinese ministers respond to key issues at the Two Sessions

Chinese ministers have responded to a number of key issues during interviews at the sessions of the country’s top legislature and political advisory body.

Journalists conduct interview at the Ministers’ Corridor of the Two Sessions (Photo/Chinanews.com)

1. Medicine, health care, and elderly-care

Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission

To build medical service centers in 500 counties, making sure that 90 percent of diseases caught by rural residents can be treated directly in the counties.

Hu Jinglin, head of the National Healthcare Security Administration

To include more life-saving medicines into the country’s medical insurance system, and lead the fight against insurance fraud as a top priority.

Zhang Mao, chief of the State Administration for Market Regulation

To strictly manage the market and punish manufacturers and sellers of fake products, until fake products are phased out from the market entirely. It will be a long-term task to regulate the market of medical care products.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Han Changfu

This year, toilets will be upgraded in 30,000 villages, or 10 million households.

Minister of Culture and Tourism, Luo Shugang

To take only two more years to solve the restroom shortage and improve sanitation.

Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Zhang Jinan

To make sure that pensions are paid in full and on time. The country has decided to continue to increase the basic retirement pension in 2019.

2. Housing, transportation and communications

Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Wang Menghui

To take great efforts to cultivate and develop the rental market, with a focus on providing homes for new residents. This year, the ministry will carry out a garbage-sorting campaign in cities above prefecture level.

Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei

Chinese mobile users will get to enjoy complete number portability by the end of 2019, and the average unit price of mobile Internet will be reduced by more than 20 percent.

Head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Feng Zhenglin

To maintain the on-time rate of flights to above 80 percent, and make sure that food provided at airports is of the same quality and price as is offered elsewhere in the same city.

Minister of Transport, Li Xiaopeng

To remove cross-provincial tollgates on expressways in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and major provinces in northeast and southwest China this year.

Minister of Natural Resources Lu Hao

To implement the reduction of time required for immovable property registration. The ministry is confident that they will complete this task together with relevant departments.

3. Culture, technology and education

Minister of Education, Chen Baosheng

To release a guideline for reduction of the amount of schoolwork.

Minister of Science and Technology, Wang Zhigang

To work with relevant departments to combine the contract system of scientific research funds and the reforms to streamline administration and delegate powers, improve regulation, and optimize services.

Liu Yuzhu, head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration

Boundless energy is needed and apathy is unacceptable in museum protection, and opinions on the implementation and development of museum reforms will be enacted within the year.

Gou Zhongwen, director of China’s General Administration of Sport

To implement The Overall Plan of Chinese Soccer Reform and Development with unswerving effort, enhance youth training and assist leadership change of the Chinese Football Association.

Head of the State Intellectual Property Office, Shen Changyu

To further reduce the trademark review period to five months, actively cooperate with the NPC in revising the Patent Law and establish a punishment system for infringement.

4. Economy, finance and investment

Minister of Finance, Liu Kun

To fully implement the plan to cut 2 trillion yuan worth of taxes and fees for enterprises.

Wang Jun, head of the State Administration of Taxation

To welcome and actively cooperate with relevant departments in the implementation of tax and fee reductions and supervise in a concrete and forceful manner, so that the favorable policies yield good results.

Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan

To renovate and upgrade a group of pedestrian zones, optimize distribution patterns of convenience stores and implement a unique action plan to promote efficient delivery services in urban and rural areas.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China

It’s an attainable goal that large-scale commercial banks will grant 30 percent more loans to small and micro businesses.

He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission

To lower market access for private investors, and help them solve problems such as the difficulty to finance.

Xiao Yaqing, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council

To work to ensure that all targets set for SOE are realizable this year, unveil a supervision and management list and devote energy to promoting mixed-ownership reform and diversification of equity.

Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Yi Gang

The bank governor believes that the market-driven RMB exchange rates will make the Chinese yuan a desirable currency that can be used freely.

5. Ecology, environmental protection, poverty alleviation

Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development

To work hard to lift 10 million people and 300 counties out of poverty.

Ecology and Environment Minister, Li Ganjie

Efforts should be made to bring down PM2.5 concentration, reduce the number of heavily polluted days, improve air quality, and create more blue skies for the people to enjoy.

Minister of Water Resources, E Jingping

To regulate 12,000 sites of rural water sources and visit at least 3,000 villages, in a bid to provide clean water for 60 million rural residents who have difficulties in accessing drinking water.

Ni Yuefeng, head of the General Administration of Customs

Initiate the Blue Sky 2019 campaign this year to resolutely crack down on foreign garbage smuggling.

Zhang Jianlong, director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration

To further improve the system and mechanism of pilot national parks, and make sure the lives of people living within the parks are undisturbed and improved.

6. Judiciary and foreign affairs

State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi

To encourage Chinese enterprises and citizens to guarantee interests with legal weapons; to upgrade the 12308 smartphone app, and to make mobile payment available in overseas Chinese embassies and consulates.

Minister of Justice, Fu Zhenghua

To use the most stringent regulatory measures and the most strict punishment to promote the continuous improvement of food and drug safety.

Minister of Veterans Affairs, Sun Shaocheng

The law on the welfare of military veterans will be submitted to the top legislature for deliberation in the second half of 2019.

Tong Jianming, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

To promote the establishment of mechanisms such as grading punishments of juvenile criminal cases and critical prevention through a particular department set up last year to deal with cases involving minors.

Jiang Bixin, vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court of China

To correct wrongful convictions, and protect the rights of entrepreneurs and private enterprises by law.

China’s outbound tourism ranks first in the world

Chinese tourists visiting the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey. (Photo/China.com.cn)

Chinese people made about 150 million overseas trips last year, up 14.7 percent compared with the previous year, according to a report jointly released by the China Tourism Academy and online travel agency Ctrip, Chinanews.com reported recently.

In 2018, China became the source of the largest number of outbound tourists in the world.

Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, the US, Russia, Australia, Italy, the UK, France, Germany and Spain were among the top 20 most visited countries among Chinese travelers, the report indicated.

Last year, 10 countries emerged as new destinations favored by Chinese people, including Myanmar, Serbia, Laos, Argentina, Spain and Cambodia.

In 2018, Chinese mainland tourists spent $120 billion overseas, with the average consumption per person per trip hitting 5,400 yuan.

The report revealed the top 10 shopping destinations for Chinese mainland tourists were Hong Kong, Dubai, Osaka, Macao, Tokyo, Paris, London, Singapore and Kyoto.

An expert with Ctrip’s outbound travel studies said that due to consumption upgrading, Chinese people are now more willing to spend money on high-quality overseas travel experiences.

Dai Bin, president of CTA, said China’s overseas travel market has maintained a growth rate of above 20 percent over the past 10 years, and this double-digit growth is expected to continue in the future.

China’s emerging first-tier cities become talent magnets: report

China’s three emerging first-tier cities – Hangzhou, Wuhan, and Chengdu, are becoming strong talent magnets, witnessing a huge inflow of talented professionals, said a report published Wednesday.

The report, released by Chinese online job-hunting platform Zhipin.com, said the net outflow rate of talents from first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, to emerging cities and provincial capitals was 0.61 percent from January to February 2019, 0.08 percentage points higher than that the same period last year.

Wuhan and Xi’an have also become attractive destinations for the labor force over the past 20 months thanks to their favorable policies, geographical advantages, and high investment in technology, the report indicated.

Industries including pharmacy and medical services, artificial intelligence, internet of things and 5G technology saw the highest demand for professionals.

In many cities, there is not much space left for new talents in industries such as the internet, education, finance, and professional services, but senior personnel in these sectors is still in high demand.

Data released by Zhipin.com showed that the average expected salary in new first-tier cities rose to 7,799 yuan ($1,162) in the first two months of this year, 5 percent higher than that in the same period of 2018.

China to establish e-sports commission for better industrial management

The Internet Society of China (ISC) announced that it will establish an e-sports commission at a meeting held at Tsinghua University on March 2.

The tasks of the e-sports commission were detailed at the meeting, which was held together with an e-sports summit themed with “e-sports and smart economy”.

Guests show their signatures and handprints at the ISC meeting, March 2, 2019. (Photo by Xu Zijian from Xinhua News Agency)

The commission will assist competent authorities to enhance management of the e-sports industry, promote the combination of e-sports and national education strategies, guide favorable and sustainable development of e-sports industry in China, and prepare for smart city construction.

It will also integrate industrial resources, organize relevant enterprises and institutions to carry out e-sports activities, and publish industrial data and surveys.

Other tasks of the commission are conducting domestic and international industrial communication and cooperation, participating in global e-sports policy making and setting international standards and specifications.

“Enjoying sound development in China, e-sports are creating high economic benefits,” said Song Mao’en, deputy secretary-general of the ISC.

Now the commercialization and internationalization of the industry have been put on the agenda, to accelerate the “bringing in” and “going global” process of the industry, Song added.

At Asian Games held in Jakarta last year, e-sports for the first time had a presence at a major sporting event. Team China took the first-ever gold medal of e-sports at the event, delivering an outstanding performance by winning a total of 2 gold medals and one silver medal at the games.

Visitors experience e-sports products at China Cyber Games Summit, May 31, 2018. (Photo by Fan Jiashan from People’s Daily Online)

According to the 2018 China E-sports Development Report, China had 250 million e-sports gamers in 2017, more than half of the global total. China’s e-sports market value reached 5 billion yuan ($746 million), and was still rising.

In 2016, China’s Ministry of Education listed “e-sports and management” as a college major, marking the official inclusion of the training of professional e-sports personnel in the country’s higher education.

32.6 percent of Chinese gaming enthusiasts said they were willing to take jobs in the e-sports industry, and nearly a quarter of parents voiced support for their children in this regard.

Two sessions, a window for world to explore synergetic development with China

The two sessions, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC), have become a “must-do” for global China experts to explore the country’s development trend and observe the indicators of China’s relations with the world.

“Will China still serve as the engine of global economy as it places more importance on high-quality development?” “How will China keep contributing to global development against the complicated international situation?” “What signals of further opening up will China release to promote globalization?”

More and more questions about the country are being raised in the international community, as China has just raised the curtain of this year’s two sessions.

What signals will the two sessions release this year? The answer lies in the data of China’s development.

The Chinese economy expanded to over 90 trillion yuan ($13.45 trillion) in 2018, contributing nearly 30 percent to the global economic growth. As a country with nearly 1.4 billion people, China has over 400 million middle income earners, nearly 900 million laborers, and more than 700 million employees.

The large size of the economy, the broad market, the continuously upgrading consumption demand, and the powerful productivity all inject confidence and resilience to China’s economy, making the country a favorable destination for global investors.

A British expert noted that China not only boasts the large size of the economy, but also the strong connectivity of its economic ecology.

According to a recent report on China’s business environment released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, 62 percent of the organization’s member enterprises viewed China as a global priority for investment.

Nobody wants to be absent from China’s development, as it is a country where miracles always happen. A Brazilian journalist who stationed in Beijing said what China has acchieved in the last 14 years normally took a century for other countries to accomplish.

A Spanish chess instructor who has visited China for times noted that in 1990s, even sci-fi writers were not able to predict the explosive growth of vehicles in China. “China’s transition in technologies, society and education is probably the fastest in all the countries ever established in human history,” he added.

Such remarks by foreigners authentically reflect China’s magnificent development.

The first-ever 5G coverage at the press center of the two sessions has drawn wide attention from global media. After China sent its Chang’e-4 lunar spacecraft onto the dark side of the moon, German newspaper Die Welt commented that China was demonstrating the greatest renaissance is history.

In sectors such as clean tech, AI, smart manufacturing, fintech, and information and computer technology – amongst others – China has been driving global innovation, said Policy Forum, a platform for policy discussion run by the Australian National University.

What triggered the global attention on China are not the country’s outstanding achievements, but also the key it holds to development and its tireless efforts to march toward the future.

In today’s world, the malfunction of western democracy is frequently happening, resulting to mounting populism, failures of election politics, intensifying opposition of political parties, and fragmented political patterns.

Faced with such rising governance crisis, many people have sensed the need to make policies from new perspectives, even in the western world. Casting their eyesight eastward, they found China’s two sessions a window through which they can learn Chinese wisdom and acquire new enlightenment.

By observing the general trend, focusing on the big picture and devoting to practical work, China is showcasing excellent governance capability and its leadership in steering development, offering significant reference for the development of other countries.

Humphrey Polepole, ideology and publicity secretary of Tanzanian ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, remarked that China has set a good example in national governance for Tanzania to learn. China has continuously fulfilled its people’s appeals and wishes under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and the progress of the country also comes from the support of its people, he noted.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and also a decisive year for the country to achieve its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

In this critical year, the international society is expecting to find out how the world can develop together with China, and seek for confidence and enlightenment to tackle challenges through Chinese philosophy and wisdom.

Online Tree-planting Campaign Popular in China

A child plants a sapling under the help of his parents at a park in Lianyungang, eastern China’s Jiangsu province, Mar. 3, 2019. (Photo by Si Wei, People’s Daily Online)

More and more Chinese citizens are contributing to China’s forestation efforts with the help of online platforms, as the country hastens its steps to green its land and seek environment-friendly development.

Wuhan, capital city of central China’s Hubei province, has been encouraging voluntary forestation for years. It makes creative attempts by organizing tree-planting campaigns under the themes of charity, environmental protection, birthday parties, family reunions and public services.

Different from previous years, when the tree planters had to register and pay for saplings in person at designated spots after got information from radio, television and newspapers, the voluntary planters now can register and get saplings free-of-charge via online channels like website and social media platforms.

The certificate of honor for voluntary tree planting has also transferred to electronic version from hard copy.

The convenient and professional online platforms have given a boost to the citizens’ aspiration to plant a tree. In 2018, over 50,000 residents in the city registered to be a planter via online platforms, the highest in history.

After the municipal government published this year’s planting plan on Feb. 22, the saplings soon ran out of quota due to the passion of the citizens. According to the arrangement, 21 spots in 15 districts were designated as planting areas.

Citizens in Chongqing municipality plant trees, Mar. 4, 2019. (Photo by Chen Xingyu, People’s Daily Online)

“Over 100 saplings were claimed in just seconds”, said citizen Wei Wenfang, adding that it was lucky for her son to have successfully claimed one.

Wei said that she was motivated by a piece of TV advertisement on voluntary tree planting in 1999, and her family’s tree planting tradition has lasted for 20 years.

She still kept several old photos of her family in front of a platanus orientalis sapling they planted 20 years ago, when her son Wu Jiahao was only 5 years old. The little boy has grown up, and the sapling is now a tall tree towering by the street.

Wuhan is not the first Chinese city to green land with help of online platforms. After China launched an internet platform of voluntary tree planting, 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities including Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Anhui, Shaanxi and Hubei have started pilot programs under the “Internet Plus” drive by opening their respective online platforms.

Online registration for tree planting also offers a solution to address the challenges faced by large-scale campaigns, which usually cost a lot but ended with low survival rate since most of them took place in areas far from the cities due to the reduction of urban land.

Ecological progress has been made one of the integral components of the development strategy for socialism with Chinese characteristics together with economic, political, cultural, and social progress since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2012.

Photo taken on Aug. 28, 2018 shows blossoming crape myrtles and maples dressing up a hill at Yueliangpo village, Huaying, southwest China’s Sichuan province. The city has made huge efforts to green its landscape and finally recovered its hills with forests, bringing a turnaround to its desertification. (Photo by You Qing, People’s Daily Online )

The CPC is the first political party, especially ruling party in the world to include ecological progress in its guideline. China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization.

According to data collected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the US, since the turn of the new millennium to 2017, the earth’s green leaf area increased by 5 percent, which was equivalent to the area of the Amazon rainforests.

China was the source of over a quarter of the increase in green leaf area, ranking the first in the world, the statistics indicated.

China to see more smart restaurants

A robot delivers food in a restaurant in the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

More Chinese companies are now opening smart restaurants in a bid to attract more customers, including famous hot pot restaurant Haidilao and e-commerce giants JD and Alibaba.

Haidilao opened its first smart restaurant in October 2018 to entice more customers, where a wall-length screen, QR code games, and an automatic reservation checker greet customers.

Inside the restaurant, a number of screens display cherry blossom forests, snow-capped mountains and shooting stars.

Robotic arms pick out the correct dishes from a constant temperature warehouse in the kitchen, and cute little AGV (automated guided vehicle) robots whiz around the restaurant to deliver orders to customers. The RFID chip, located on the bottom of plates, records food information to help the restaurant identify expired food.

Technological progress, high labor costs, and greater service demands are behind the popularity of smart restaurants, said Fen Enyuan, vice chairman of China Cuisine Association.

Application of robots and intelligent technologies can cut costs, improve efficiency and attract customers as the catering industry faces challenges in operating efficiency and customers’ changing needs, said Tang Siyu, head of JD X future’ restaurant.

Experts also pointed out that the smart catering industry is not just about cooking robots and AGV robots, which are both still in the initial stages of development.

China becomes world’s second largest country of organ donation and transplant

China becomes world’s second largest country of organ donation and transplant

(Photo/Xinhua)

China has become the world’s second largest country of organ donation and transplant in 2018, Wuhan Evening News reported Thursday.

By the end of 2018, China recorded 21,000 cases of posthumous organ donation and more than 60,000 transplant operations, with over 58,000 major organs donated, according to the country’s health authority.

Further data from the China Organ Donation Administrative Center showed that more than 992,000 voluntary organ donors had registered across the country by the end of January this year.

In 2018 alone, China saw more than 6,300 posthumous organ donation cases with 182 qualified hospitals conducting 20,201 organ transplant operations, an increase of 21 percent year on year.

Huang Jiefu, director of the China National Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, said that China would cover transplants of major organs such as kidney, liver and heart with health insurance before 2020.

German promotes traditional Chinese acupuncture in local community

Gunter Coles, the second director of European Penzel Academy in northwestern Germany’s Lower Saxony, who had dedicated over 20 years of his life to promote traditional Chinese acupuncture, was a real ambassador linking the traditional Chinese medicine with the western world.

The European Penzel Academy was founded by William Penzel, who invented Penzel Acupuncture Massage (APM), a technique that integrates traditional Chinese acupuncture, massage and reflex therapy. He was motived to do it to save his wife who was suffering from liver disease.

Following the footsteps of his predecessor, Coles finally developed the European Penzel Academy into a center that has trained over 65,000 doctors, physical therapists and naturopaths specialized in APM and has opened branch offices in 25 countries across the world.

“Though Coles passed away more than a year ago, he is still a legend in the local community,” said Matthias Wiemann, the current director of the academy.

Coles was a district manager of a public insurance company in 1974, a secured job that paid him decent salaries. However, he later gave up the “job for life” and chose a completely different path.

Out of curiosity regarding traditional Chinese acupuncture, he went to the European Penzel Academy and received in-service study for eight years. When his company tried to persuade him to quit his “hobby”, Coles decided to quit the job and continued his study of medical science.

After acquiring naturopathy licenses, he officially became the head of the European Penzel Academy.

“Though APM was invented by Penzel, it was developed from the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM),” said Coles. In this regard, he spared no efforts to localize TCM theories, in a bid to make them more acceptable to westerners.

To help students and patients better understand how APM works on human bodies, Coles compared the network of blood vessels to a lighting system and acupuncture points to control switches.

“I told them that acupuncture and massage could unblock the running of blood and body energy just as how switches control the lighting to ensure everything goes fine,” he explained.

Coles developed a chart teaching method to present basic elements and theories of TCM as specific explanations like graphs and numbers are more acceptable to westerners. Under his guidance, the European Penzel Academy compiled over 100 books and textbooks, introducing basic TCM theories with the most understandable expression for westerners. These materials further expanded the influence of TCM in the local community.

Coles also made a rule in the academy that their medical services would be free if patients didn’t show obvious signs of improvement after three sessions of treatment. “The rule comes from my faith in the traditional Chinese acupuncture,” he said.