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Cultural tourism brand of Xinjin stands out at creativity event

"Huayang Xinjin", the cultural tourism brand of Xinjin district in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, drew much attention at the eighth Chengdu Creativity and Design Week recently held in Chengdu.The event, sponsored by the Chengdu city government, covered a total exhibition area of 33,000 square meters this year. It attracted more than 600 organizations engaged in creative design, bringing in over 14,000 design works.Xinjin district set up a booth at the exhibition area during the creativity and design week to promote its rich cultural resources and unique natural tourism resources. All kinds of cultural and creative products with Xinjin elements were displayed at the booth.During its efforts to build the district into an "all-for-one tourism" destination, the local government has gradually formed a unique cultural tourism brand called "Huayang Xinjin". "Huayang" literally means rippling blossom, referring to the beautiful natural and cultural environment of the district.Xinjin has been upgrading its holiday homes and nongjiale, or farm homestays, to welcome visitors. A series of intellectual properties (IPs) featuring pear blossoms, freshwater fish, and micro-films were created, attracting an increasing number of people to the district for a brand-new consumption experience.As one of the venues for the 31st Summer World University Games to be held in Chengdu from June to July in 2022, the Water Sports School of Sichuan province in Xinjin will host the rowing event of the Universiade.The district will rely on the Water Sports School of Sichuan province to build water sports resorts, mountain sports bases and leisure sports parks, as well as professional venues for A-level water sports events such as rowing and kayaking, said local officials.It will also host internationally renowned sporting events for water sports, mountain sports, and bicycle races, and create sports consumption areas to further boost the development of its tourism industry.The officials said they will also upgrade its outlets project into a version 3.0 experiential shopping park to provide people with a high-quality consumption space. The outlets project in Xinjin, which opened in December 2019, has gathered more than 280 mainstream international brands, including Gucci, Prada and Versace.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

Tailor-made environment ripe for entrepreneurship and good living

A vibrant city in South China's Sichuan province, Chengdu is described as a destination of dreams by entrepreneurs due to its advantages in innovation, inclusive culture and living environment.Fu Qiang, chief technology officer of Chengdu Fiture Technology, said he co-founded the company with his partners in 2019 after working for high-tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Tencent.Fiture provides smart fitness solutions to its customers via its operating model that combines hardware, content, service and artificial intelligence. So far, the company has more than 1,100 employees.Last year, Fiture launched its iconic Fiture Magic Mirror during the Double Eleven shopping festival.According to the company, it looks like a normal dress mirror. But it is designed to broadcast fitness courses on its surface and allows owners to exercise with online coaches via Wi-Fi and an app on their phones. The product is equipped with a sensor, which can trace a user's behavior and give him or her feedback.To date, the company said it has sold more than 10,000 of the mirrors. The product beat its peers on the sales list of Tmall from January to August."We found that Chengdu's business environment benefits entrepreneurs. It is competitive in the cost of starting a business and has a high capital utilization rate," Fu said. The technological innovation environment in Chengdu has improved in recent years, which provides companies with a sound development space, Fu said.Engaged in the AI industry, Fiture has gained policy support from the local government, he added.Chengdu is home to a group of universities and colleges, which provide skilled people for innovative enterprises. And the city is also attractive to non-local talent, Fu noted."Our company has hired many talented people from abroad or out of town due to Chengdu's policy support for talent attraction," he said.Zhang Rui, chairman of Raydiculous, a high-tech company engaged in AI robot and intelligent equipment production, said the founding team moved from the United Kingdom to Chengdu to start business as a result of a cooperative project with the city.Chengdu provides high-tech businesses with great opportunities and application scenarios, Zhang said.In September, Raydiculous launched its tailor-made AI robot for the 31st Summer Universiade, which is to be held in 2022 in Chengdu, at an event organized by the Chengdu science and technology bureau and the Chengdu sports bureau.The Universiade is a world comprehensive sports event to be held in western China. It was held in Beijing in 2001 and in Shenzhen in 2011.The robot is designed based on the 31st Summer Universiade mascot, Rongbao. Resembling a panda, it is capable of intelligent services including pandemic prevention and emergency action, according to Zhang.In addition, the robot can translate multiple languages and give intelligent guidance. It is installed with infrared temperature measurement equipment, which can service a large number of people. The robot is also equipped with a first-aid kit and defibrillator for emergencies.After more than two years in Chengdu, Raydiculous has more than 40 employees and has developed five series of more than 40 kinds of robots, according to the company. It is currently applying for a loan offered to high-tech companies.To support high-tech businesses, Chengdu has established a whole financial service chain that combines loans, investment, subsidies, insurance and bonds, according to the city government.At present, its loan and investment service sectors have been offered to all listed companies in Chengdu, playing a role in boosting the growth of local high-tech companies.In the first half of this year, Chengdu has collaborated with financial institutions to launch a series of fintech products. They include loans for talents, technological achievements and research and development, as part of the effort to provide technological companies with targeted financial services.Apart from the business environment and policy support, Chengdu is a livable city for entrepreneurs."Chengdu gives entrepreneurs a strong sense of belonging," said Ouyang Qinghan, deputy general manager of XpowerIt Tech.Chengdu has experienced great changes in innovation and has an improved living environment, Ouyang said.The construction of parks in the city has brought people a sense of happiness, he added.Yang Yanjie, general manager of Unittec, a high-tech company, has to go on business trips to many cities. But there is no city like Chengdu that can ensure good quality of life at a busy working pace, Yang said. People can enjoy a comfortable life after a day of tiring work, he added.Winning a series of honors, such as one of the best cities for talents and one of the most attractive cities in China, Chengdu now has 5.56 million highly skilled workers. The city has attracted 540,000 talents with a bachelor's degree or above since it launched a new talent policy in 2017.During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), Chengdu will carry out its project for supporting people in innovation and startups, giving priority to its talent cultivation, according to the city plan.The beautiful scenery at Xinglong Lake in Chengdu is just one example of the city's fantastic natural environment. CHINA DAILYA woman exercises in front of an intelligent mirror developed by Chengdu Fiture Technology. CHINA DAILY(APD)

Technological supremacy reigns in Chengdu

Local government rolling out slew of supportive policies to transform city into an innovation hubChengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan province is accelerating its development driven by technological innovation.Qitan Tech, founded in Chengdu in 2016, is in the DNA sequencing business. DNA sequencing is the process of determining the exact sequence of bases found in a DNA molecule. The technique is used to learn about the genes or genetic material that make up an organism.Through years of research and development, Qitan Tech launched China's first nanopore-based single molecule gene sequencer, which has made its mark in the field of new-generation gene-sequencing technology in China.Different from the mainstream next-generation sequencing technology, it has broad prospects for future applications due to its advantages of long-read capability, portability, direct-sequencing ability and the real-time output of results."The application scenarios of the nanopore-based sequencing technology are manifold and beyond our imagination," said Xie Dan, one of the founders of Qitan Tech.In the area of public health, the technology is helpful because of its small size. This helps end the dependence on laboratory-based testing. Testers can be brought to the frontline at anytime and anyplace to solve problems.As a technology-driven enterprise, Qitan Tech has built up an interdisciplinary R&D team, the company said. At the moment, it is applying for nearly 40 patents and copyrights.Altogether the company has more than 200 employees. Covering studies of proteins, chips, circuits, software, algorithms and other disciplines, R&D personnel account for more than 75 percent of the workforce."As a company engaged in biomedicine, the benefits brought by Chengdu's industry supporting facilities and business environment are clear," Xie said. He added that Chengdu is rolling out policies to foster a number of scientific and technological innovation-driven enterprises.The city is continually introducing policies to provide resources, funds and infrastructure. And it is improving the business-support system, so that startups have no concerns and can focus on their R&D, Xie said.According to Xie, the nanopore-based gene sequencer by Qitan Tech is a cutting-edge technology. Its development involved the integration of different disciplines and required a group of well-educated talent with a multidisciplinary background.Chengdu has gathered a number of first-class universities in the fields of biomedicine and electronic information, such as the Sichuan University and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.This has made the city home to a large number of talented individuals.In April, Qitan Tech's first production base with a unique process and certificate in a good manufacturing practice, or GMP, was launched in Chengdu Tianfu International Bio-town. It is scheduled to be complete and start operation by the end of this year.Xie said that the company will continue to invest in the R&D of medium and high-throughput models to provide choices in accordance with customers' application scenarios. At the same time, it will upgrade current products.Traffic congestion is a common issue in major cities.A Chengdu company said it will bring an on-demand "special air bus" into public life to solve travel problems.On Sept 22, urban air traffic pioneer Volocopter joined hands with Aerofugia-a subsidiary of Geely that is engaged in unmanned aerial vehicles-and launched a joint venture in the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.The joint venture will be responsible for the production and market operation of Volocopter's products in China. It plans to help launch urban air transport within three to five years.Chengdu will be one of the first cities to test the project.The company's launch is in accordance with the general plan of Geely Technology's aviation sector. The launch is also a chance to explore the Chinese market by relying on the foundation of the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, said Jing Chao, president of the joint venture.In addition to the two innovation-driven companies, there are a handful of similar enterprises in Chengdu, as the city is making every effort to boost high-level scientific and technological innovation.Thanks to this, a large number of high-tech enterprises and cutting-edge scientific and technological achievements have mushroomed in the city.In 2020, there were 62 city-level and above technology business incubators and spaces launched, with some 6,000 high-tech enterprises registered in total. The revenue of the city's high-tech industry has hit a 1-trillion-yuan ($154.5 billion) scale.In the first half of this year, a total of 4,891 national-level science and technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises were registered in Chengdu, up 11.9 percent year-on-year. The collective revenue of the high-tech industry in the city achieved a 20-percent rise in this period.Behind the enhancements of Chengdu's innovation strategy, the city government is rolling out policies for the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing Twin-City Economic Circle. It hopes to build itself into a national-level scientific and technological innovation center.In terms of incubating core technologies, Chengdu will support scientific research to focus on the bottlenecks in the industrial chain and promote the joint efforts of research teams from universities and industries in core technologies, especially in some key industries such as biomedicine, big data and unmanned aerial vehicles, officials said.From left: Chengdu Science City is to be built into a cradle of new technology, new industrial forms and new business patterns. Tianfu Laboratory is a science and technology base for Sichuan province to develop its technological innovation strength. An employee of Qitan Tech works at the company's lithography workshop. CHINA DAILYThe Chengdu Innovation Research Institute of Beihang University in Chengdu Science City, which is home to a group of top colleges, universities and scientific research institutions. CHINA DAILY(APD)

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6-year-old girl dies at Colorado amusement park

A 6-year-old girl died at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado after riding the Haunted Mine Drop ride, according to the Garfield County coroner's office.Garfield County Coroner Robert M. Glassmire announced the death of the girl Monday, saying her name won't be released to give family members time to tell others.The child died Sunday with park employees administering first aid following her riding the Haunted Mine Drop ride.She was at the amusement park on vacation with her family.The sheriff and coroner's office are investigating the circumstances around her death with an autopsy scheduled with the coroner's office forensic pathologist this week."Out of respect and concern for all parties involved, we will not have further comment until all details have been confirmed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved," the park said in a statement on Facebook.The park closed Monday and will also be closed Tuesday.(MSN)


Taliban claim complete control of Afghanistan's Panjshir

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Monday said the group had "completely conquered" and taken control of Panjshir province, the last area in Afghanistan being held by resistance forces."Our latest efforts to bring peace to the entire country succeeded as the Panjshir province is completely conquered and came under control of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," Mujahid wrote on Twitter. Mujahid said Taliban attacked and eliminated scores of resistance forces in Panjshir on Sunday night, while dozens fled after Taliban advances in the mountainous valley. In the meantime, the opposition or the so-called National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) led by Ahmad Massoud denied the Taliban's claims of seizing the valley. "Taliban's claim of occupying Panjshir is false. The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight," a media section of the NRF tweeted.   Panjshir is the last province in Afghanistan uncontrolled by Taliban since the U.S. troops pullout from the Central Asian country in late August. (XINHUA NEWS AGENCY)


Insightsmore >>

A rare triumph of U.S. bipartisanship

After months of negotiations, the United States Senate recently passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Passed by a vote of 69 to 30, it was an impressive display of bipartisanism at a time of deep polarization. While there are still challenges ahead – in particular, disagreement over the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint that was subsequently passed by the House of Representatives along party lines – the approval of the infrastructure bill offers a useful case study of what makes bipartisan deals possible.The U.S. has a long history of bipartisanship, from the Great Compromise of 1787 to Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society initiative in 1965 to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As the late Senator John McCain proved in 2017, when he defended the Affordable Care Act from efforts by his fellow Republicans to repeal it, even one or two defectors from a party can prove transformative.But such defections are difficult to come by in a deeply two-party system in which the two sides at times seem like they live in a different reality (as is true of climate change or voter fraud). In such a context, crossing the party line can be perceived as a betrayal, threatening transgressors' position within the party and hurting their re-election chances.A cornerstone of modern political science is that political actors behave rationally. Simply put, people will not initiate, join, or support any action that would undermine their own well-being. Given this, a policy can win bipartisan support only if it simultaneously advances the interests of both sides.So, what do America's two main parties want? Republicans tend to support unbridled competition, with the expectation that markets will naturally reward people in the ways they deserve and provide for people in the ways they need. Democrats argue that public intervention is crucial to correct imbalances and protect the disadvantaged.Public infrastructure investment is thus a more natural cause for Democrats. But while Republicans might not like the idea of large-scale public investment generally – they prefer tax cuts to spending increases, and would prefer lower social spending – they do recognize that the private sector depends on public infrastructure, from roads and bridges to internet service. They might not like entitlements, but they do want the economy to run – and their constituents to keep voting for them. That means meeting certain basic needs.A construction project to add three lanes to the I-95 Rappahannock River Crossing in Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S., April 6, 2021. /GettyThis is one way that leaders achieve what the political scientist John Conybeare called "leadership surplus." After competing with other potential leaders for ascendancy, they "maximize their surplus or profit by providing collective goods against taxes, donations, or purchases promised in the election process."Another way to accumulate a leadership surplus and pass broadly beneficial legislation is to find areas of common interest and show the other side how their priorities overlap. Moreover, leaders must sustain bipartisan buy-in while negotiating the details. For example, even if both sides see the need for modern, functioning physical infrastructure, progress can be stymied by disagreement on how to pay for it.Republicans, at least when they are out of power, express concern about the growing budget deficit, which would ostensibly increase the tax burden on future generations. But this introduces an ideological constraint that has little merit: standard economic theory holds that future generations' welfare depends on the total national resources left to them, not on their resources minus their tax obligations.Of course, Modern Monetary Theory would take this a step further, stating that a country like the U.S. can accumulate virtually unlimited amounts of debt. Of course, this remains controversial – and certainly unconvincing to U.S. Republicans. But the standard view is enough to demonstrate that investing in resources like infrastructure will bolster long-term welfare, regardless of the size of the public debt. It is the politician's job to make the case to ideological opponents in language that is most convincing to them.There are also other means of securing bipartisan support for a policy or bill. Consider so-called pork barrel politics: the practice of slipping a localized project into a budget, in order to secure a particular legislator's vote. This is often considered to be an abuse of the political system, not least because such provisions might have little to do with the legislation to which they are attached.But, while doling out pork can certainly be wasteful, it can also be a practical tool for enabling progress in delivering public goods. Rather than condemning the practice outright, we should ask whether the benefits of the main legislation are enough to justify the tacked-on provisions. One might describe this as political leadership on the ground.In an ideal world, perhaps such provisions would not be needed. But there is nothing ideal about U.S. politics, as years of congressional paralysis clearly demonstrates. The bipartisan vote for the infrastructure bill in the U.S. therefore should be commended. One hopes it serves as a reminder to both sides that, as contentious as the political climate gets, common ground can be a rewarding place.(CGTN)


The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the grave miscalculations

Although the U.S. has completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the worst ever miscalculation by the U.S. administration and policy makers has led Kabul to this fate. Since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, we have witnessed two bomb blasts in Kabul, killing 200 people, including dozens of U.S. service members.President Joe Biden has always been a proponent of ending the "endless war" in Afghanistan, but the manner in which the U.S. withdrew is terrible, and there will be repercussions for years to come. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is the worst of all the previous ones, including Saigon 1975.Following the Kabul bomb blasts carried out by ISIS-K on August 26, the entire picture resembles more to the incident that took place in Beirut 1983, when a bomb blast killed hundreds of U.S. service members in the U.S. Marine Corps barracks just before the withdrawal.It was clear from the start that the U.S. is going to leave, but the withdrawal could have been more systematic and planned in order to avoid what's happening now. At present, its total chaos and a looming humanitarian crisis clouds the region. There are a few grave miscalculations by the U.S. administration that led the entire region into the grip of sheer uncertainty.First of all, the entire war on terror in Afghanistan lacked clear vision. United States came to Afghanistan with a vague plan, blurred objectives and strategy. It started off with a hyper-military adventurism, exaggerated data, lack of understanding of the ground realities and indigenous culture, dependence on the military power and overlooking the reconciliation signals during the initial years of this war.The counter terrorism was the focus of this war but drastically it shifted to counter insurgency. U.S. came to fight the Al-Qaeda, started fighting the Taliban and then left the country at the hands of Taliban again. As soon as the Kabul fell into the hands of Taliban, thousands of prisoners were released. This untimely and an unplanned U.S. withdrawal has created security havoc in Afghanistan and for the region, and it may witness an unprecedented amount of violence if not timely managed.The site of a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 18, 2021. /XinhuaBesides, the ISIS-K in Afghanistan also got active even before the complete withdrawal. Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others are regional threats and somehow they nourished during the realm of the U.S. The unexpected Taliban takeover gave a huge legitimacy to the jihadi mindset, which is more violent and prone to terrorism.The recent events have stimulated the jihadist victorious narrative for generations to come, and it's not going to stop here, keeping in view the leftover high-tech weaponry and the huge security fractures threatening the entire region.Unfortunately, dozens of top policy research institutes and think tanks in the West couldn't provide one single practical solution to this dilemma in 20 years. Somehow, many Western scholars and institutes have got it quite wrong due to their inability to understand the ground realities of the indigenous Afghan society. It took two decades to realize that there is no military solution to the Afghanistan problem.Moreover, Pakistan's point of view wasn't considered and taken well throughout this time. Pakistan's stance remained the same that Afghanistan requires a political solution which should be Afghan owned, with the involvement of all the stakeholders. Somehow, Pakistan was left out of the entire withdrawal and transition phase.The over-confident Biden administration didn't consult Pakistan and other partners to maintain peace and move towards a steady withdrawal. Rather it became a clandestine operation, leaving behind a huge mess, knowing the fact that Pakistan will suffer from the consequences of this hasty pullout, more than any country.This longest war in U.S. history is an absolute failure of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan. Even after spending billions, losing thousands of lives, United States is bound to accept that this war required a thorough political solution involving all the stakeholders, which should be Afghan-owned and Afghan-backed.Two decades of war damaged regional peace and stability, and destroyed the very fabric of the Afghan society. Thousands of civilians and soldiers died for an extremely unfruitful war, innocent people will bear the brunt of the miscalculations committed by the policy makers and the repercussions of this whole misadventure will resonate for years to come.(CGTN)


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Venezuelan government signals 'partial agreements' with opposition

A top Venezuelan official signaled on Saturday that talks between the government and the opposition in Mexico City aimed at resolving the country's long-standing political crisis have yielded "partial agreements." "We have been working mainly on partial agreements, especially those related to serving the people of Venezuela," President of Venezuela's National Assembly Jorge Rodriguez, who was leading the government delegation, told reporters. But officials provided no information on the nature of the agreements and a source in the opposition delegation told AFP that "so far nothing has been agreed." Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in July agreed to enter into political dialogue in Mexico with the opposition on three conditions, including that all the participating political sectors renounce violent plans, all U.S.-led sanctions against Venezuela cease immediately, and the radical right-wing opposition recognize the authority of all Venezuelan state institutions.The government is "very attentive" to all the economic guarantees that have been "wrested, blocked, stolen, withdrawn from the people of Venezuela," Rodriguez said, adding that Maduro seeks a partial if not total lifting of sanctions in exchange for concessions to the opposition.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with members of his cabinet in Caracas, Venezuela, August 20, 2021. /CFPThe main opposition alliance headed by Juan Guaido reversed course this week when it announced that it would end a three-year election boycott and take part in mayoral and gubernatorial polls in November. Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) said on Friday that the ongoing talks are an expression of the country's sovereignty and independence."Dialogue, political understanding, peace, diversity and pluralism define these negotiations," the CNE said in a statement, noting that they are "essential values" of Venezuela's national life.Venezuela was thrust into a deep power struggle in January 2019 when Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly that was controlled by the opposition at the time, proclaimed himself "interim president" of Venezuela, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. The United States, which supported Guaido, expanded sanctions on Venezuela.Previous rounds of negotiations between the government and the opposition held in recent years have failed to resolve the crisis in the Latin American country.(CGTN)


Uganda Airlines announces tough COVID protocols

Uganda Airlines has announced new tough COVID-19 restriction measures.Beginning September 3, 2021, all travelers irrespective of vaccination status or country of origin will be required to arrive with a negative PCR test done not more than 72 hours prior to travel.The airline also announced that the travelers will "be required to undergo mandatory testing at their own cost upon arrival.”Uganda has thus far registered 120,075 positive novel coronavirus cases and 3,023 deaths.A total of 1,376,986 persons have also been vaccinated against COVID-19.(CGTN)


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14 killed in jihadist attack on Nigeria military base

Jihadists killed 14 security personnel and civilians in an attack on a military base in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Wednesday, security sources told AFP.Suspected Boko Haram fighters in trucks fitted with machine guns launched a dawn raid on the army base in the town of Damboa, sparking intense fighting.Sources said six soldiers, four police officers and two members of a government-backed militia were killed along with two civilians."We lost six soldiers in the attack while six others were injured," a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.The officer claimed 13 insurgents were killed by a fighter jet as they fled the area.The leader of an anti-jihadist militia said the civilians who died were among more than 50 local residents hit by shrapnel after rocket-propelled grenades fired by the jihadists hit nearby homes.Nigeria's decade-long jihadist insurgency has killed 36 000 people and displaced two million others inside the country, and spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.The United Nations has complained of a surge in violence in the conflict zone in recent weeks.Anger has been growing among local residents about the army's failure to stem the attacks despite repeated claims from officials that the insurgency has been defeated.(CGTN)


One dead, multiple injured shot near skate park in California

A 23-year-old male was shot dead and five others were injured following a shooting at a party near a skate park in Tulare County, California, late Wednesday night, ABC News reported citing local police.The conditions of the other shooting victims are unclear, including a 7-year-old girl who is suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said at a press conference.Police said a "solo suspect shooter" walked up to the party and fired multiple rounds.(CGTN)


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'Breaking Through' leads China's highly-anticipated sports films

Though the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics have just ended, there are plenty of Chinese sports films on the horizon promising to keep the athletic spirit alive. One of the most anticipated productions is Breaking Through, based on China's national speed-skating team at the 2002 Winter Olympics.Directed by Wang Fangfang and produced by heavyweight actor and director Xu Zheng, Breaking Through, starring Meng Meiqi and Xia Yu, tells the story of how China clinched its first Winter Olympics gold at the 2002 Games, held in Salt Lake City, Utah.Inspired by true events, the film follows speed-skater Yang Yang, whose performance in the women's 500 meters short-track race made her the first Chinese athlete to win a gold medal at a Winter Games. It was a bellwether year for the country, which went on to achieve its historical best, bringing home two golds, two silvers and four bronzes.In preparation for her role, Meng, a renowned pop idol, spent months training as a speed-skater and had to film in some of the coldest climes of northeast China. According to co-star Xia, who plays the national team's coach, Meng went so far as to put a rock inside her ice skates, determined to embody all the pain and sacrifice of her character.Breaking Through also benefitted from a group of speed skating professionals and coaches who participated in the production, which wrapped up in May.The film's release date is set for Feb. 1, 2022, which is both the Chinese Lunar New Year – generally the start of the most profitable movie season of the year – and mere days away from the Feb. 4 opening of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.Besides Breaking Through, there are a number of other sports films in the pipeline. Some of the high-profile projects include Ping-Pong of China, set to start production early next year, and Song Haolin's synchronized swimming picture Water Boys, which was scheduled for an Aug. 13 release but has since been delayed over COVID-19 concerns. Jimmy Wan Chi-Man's Zero to Hero, a biopic about So Wa Wai, Hong Kong's first Paralympic athlete to win gold, recently announced its Chinese mainland release, Sep. 4.For years, sports films have been a popular genre in Chinese filmmaking, evidenced by Peter Chan's highly-acclaimed Leap, a multi-generational story about the struggles of the Chinese women's national volleyball team from 1981 to 2016, which went on to gross 836 million yuan.(中国网英文)


China steps up protection of intangible cultural heritage

China has rolled out new measures to strengthen the protection of the country's intangible cultural heritage (ICH).Efforts should be made to bolster the ICH census and recording system, said a guideline released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council.To this end, the country plans to carry out a nationwide census, accelerate archives digitalization, and apply modern technologies to ICH recording.China also aims to improve the system of ICH inheritors, according to the guideline. Evaluation and dynamic management are emphasized.The guideline supports a rational utilization of ICH. It encourages the integration of ICH into tourism on the premise of effective preservation.Efforts to spread and popularize intangible cultural heritage should be stepped up, according to the guideline.Efforts to promote ICH exchanges and cooperation with other countries and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan are encouraged, according to the guideline.The guideline also has stipulations about financial support to ICH protection. Governments at and above the county level are asked to include funds for ICH preservation in their budgets. Other measures include targeted subsidies, interest discounts for loans, and tax incentives.(中国网英文)


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Lang Ping steps down as head coach of Chinese women's volleyball team

"Finally the mission is accomplished. First stop, Suzhou. I'm going to sweep the tomb of my late mother, who passed away due to health issues last year."Lang Ping posted her farewell letter on Chinese social media on Wednesday, announcing her retirement from the position of head coach of the Chinese women's volleyball team.The volleyball legend, dubbed "Iron Hammer" from her days as an athlete, witnessed the Chinese team pocketing all five major titles from 1981 to 1986, including the World Championships, the World Cup, and the Olympic Games, and her successors topping the world ranking in 2018, following their crowning moment in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is widely recognized as a legend in the sport, as she was at the center of all these glorious times, as a super spiker, then head coach.The past year has posted challenge on Lang and her girls, adjusting themselves for the delay of the Tokyo Olympics caused by the novel coronavirus, whilst Lang herself suffered the loss of her mother a year back, according to the letter."My love for the sport compensates the tiredness from this bumpy road. Everything was to gain, and nothing to lose, despite all the defeats, victories, (and) ups and downs that were inevitable when one chooses such a career. As I look back on my life in volleyball, I feel content and joyous, and cherish what I have had."Team China play against Team Japan in the women's volleyball World Cup final in Osaka, Japan, November 16, 1981. /CFPLang rose to international prominence as early as 1981, when she was entitled MVP (most valuable player) at the women's volleyball World Cup, with the Chinese team winning gold.She first became Chinese women's head coach in 1995, then again in 2013, in between she coached overseas in Italy and the U.S., and won the European Championships and Olympic silver. In 1996, Lang led the Chinese team to a second-place finish at the Atlanta Olympics, but struggled to repeat the dominance she and her teammates once had.The Chinese women's volleyball team clinched Olympic gold in 2004 under Chen Zhonghe, but soon went into a phase of rebuilding, winning bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and slipping to fifth in the London edition.2015 marked the rise of Chinese women's volleyball team again, when they defeated Team Japan 3-1 in the World Cup final. One year later, the Chinese women surprised top teams including hosts Brazil to take the top spot on the podium in Rio Olympics.Team China wins the women's volleyball gold medal at the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 20, 2016. /CFPIn 2019, they reaffirmed their No. 1 status in the women's volleyball after winning all eleven matches at the World Cup.The year 2020 was much anticipated by athletes, coaches, and fans alike, but ended in dismay for many after the Tokyo Olympics organizers announced the postponement in March. The Chinese squad struggled with super spiker Zhu Ting's wrist injury which eventually partially contributed to the team's early exist in the Games.Lang, however, announced that she would retire after Tokyo games long before it happened, using up the gas in her tank in hope of a successful Olympic campaign where they finished ninth.Former Chinese women's volleyball team captain, Rio gold medalist Hui Ruoqi commented on Weibo, China's twitter-like social media platform, "Best wishes to Coach Lang. You've done your part." Such appreciation flooded Lang Ping's personal account and the official account of the China Volleyball Association.In Lang Ping's hopes for the Chinese sqaud, the spiritual heritage should last in the generations to come. "Stay forever young, Chinese women's volleyball team!" concluded Lang. (CGTN)


Mbappe stays with PSG as Ronaldo completes United switch

Real Madrid failed in their attempt to sign French striker Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint Germain (PSG) on the final day of the transfer window as Cristiano Ronaldo completed his move from Juventus to Manchester United.Multiple media reports in Spain said Real offered transfer fees ranging from 150 million euros ($177.14 million) to 200 million euros ($236.18 million) for the World Cup-winning forward, whose contract with PSG would expire at the end of the current campaign.A source close to PSG said the club had no intention of selling one of their key players in a year in which they are targeting Champions League success.Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United poses after signing for the club in Lisbon, Portugal, August 31, 2021. /CFPManchester United announced last week that they had reached agreement with Juventus to sign their former player, 36-year-old Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner.Having passed a medical, secured a visa and agreed personal terms, Ronaldo said he was ready to recreate the glory years he enjoyed under former United boss Alex Ferguson."I'm back where I belong. Let's make it happen once again... Sir Alex, this one is for you," he said in an Instagram post.Real managed to bring in midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who joined on a six-year contract from French side Stade Rennes.Local media reported that the fee for the 18-year-old Frenchman was about 30 million euros ($35.41 million).(CGTN)


Science&Militarymore >>

11 (sometimes) deadly diseases that hopped across species

11 (sometimes) deadly diseases that hopped across speciesBacteria and viruses that are deadly to one type of creature can evolve quickly to infect another. While SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) is the latest example, a host of infectious and deadly diseases have hopped from animals to humans and even from humans to animals.The cross-species infection can originate on farms or markets, where conditions foster mixing of pathogens, giving them opportunities to swap genes and gear up to infect (and sometimes kill) previously foreign hosts. Or the transfer can occur from such seemingly benign activities as letting a performance monkey on some Indonesian street corner climb on your head. Microbes of two varieties can even gather in your gut, do some viral dancing, and evolve to morph you into a contagious host.Diseases passed from animals to humans are called zoonoses. There are more than three dozen we can catch directly through touch and more than four dozen that result from bites. But disease-carrying parasites are not picky about hosts. Human diseases can decimate animal populations, too, from such well-meaning activities as ecotourism.(MICROSOFT NEWS)


Hurricane Ida from space: Photos from astronauts and satellites

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, making the first hurricane of the year to hit the Gulf Coast and the first to reach the U.S. mainland. The storm knocked out power to an estimated 1 million people across southeastern Louisiana after it made landfall near Port Fourchon. By coincidence, the storm struck on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm in 2005. Weather satellites and astronauts in orbit watched Hurricane Ida as it approached, then hit, southeastern Louisiana. Click the arrows above to see their stunning photos from space. This photo shows a full view of Hurricane Ida as it appeared on Aug. 28, 2021 while still a Category 2 storm. An astronaut on the International Space Station captured this view.(MICROSOFT NEWS)


Businessmore >>

South Korean parliament committee votes to curb Google, Apple commission dominance

A South Korean parliamentary committee voted on Wednesday to recommend amending a law, a key step towards banning Google and Apple from forcibly charging software developers commissions on in-app purchases, the first such curb by a major economy.Apple and Alphabet's Google have faced global criticism because they require software developers using their app stores to use proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30 percent.In a statement on Tuesday, Apple said the bill "will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections," hurt user trust in App Store purchases and lead to fewer opportunities for South Korean developers.Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, said "the rushed process hasn't allowed for enough analysis of the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers".Experts said app store operators could assure security in payment systems other than their own by working with developers and other companies."Google and Apple aren't the only ones that can create a secure payment system," said Lee Hwang, a Korea University School of Law professor specializing in competition law.Others noted that South Korea had some of the most robust legal protections for online transactions in the world, and said app store operators should provide advanced services to bolster profits."Dominant app store operators with large platforms should by now look to profit from value-added services, not just taking a cut from apps sold on its store," said Yoo Byung-joon, a Seoul National University School of Business professor who specializes in electronic commerce.Based on South Korean parliament records, the amendment bans app store operators with dominant market positions from forcing payment systems on content providers and "inappropriately" delaying the review of, or deleting, mobile content from app markets.It also allows the South Korean government to require an app market operator to "prevent damage to users and protect the rights and interests of users", probe app market operators, and mediate disputes regarding payment, cancellations or refunds in the app market.After the vote from the legislation and judiciary committee to amend the Telecommunications Business Act, dubbed the "Anti-Google law," the amendment will come to a final vote in parliament.(CGTN)


IMF chief: $650b reserves distribution a 'shot in arm' for global economy

The IMF will distribute about $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to its members on Monday, providing a "significant shot in the arm" for global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said. The International Monetary Fund's largest-ever distribution of monetary reserves will provide additional liquidity for the global economy, supplementing member countries' foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt, Georgieva said in a statement. "The allocation is a significant shot in the arm for the world and, if used wisely, a unique opportunity to combat this unprecedented crisis," she said. The IMF underscored its concerns about diverging trends in the global economy and said the new SDR allocation would allow richer countries to help those hit hard by the pandemic, while improving the outlook for the global economy.Countries can use the SDR allocation to support their economies and step up their fight against the coronavirus crisis, but should not use the fiscal space to delay needed economic reforms or debt restructuring, the IMF said in a separate guidance document.IMF member countries will receive SDRs – the fund's unit of exchange backed by dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan – in proportion with their existing quota shareholdings in the fund.Georgieva said about $275 billion of the allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, with some $21 billion to flow to low-income countries.The IMF last week suspended Afghanistan's access to IMF resources, including this SDR allocation, due to a lack of clarity over the country's government after the Taliban retook control of capital city Kabul.A lack of clarity among the international community over official government recognition in Venezuela kept Caracas locked out of the current allocation. Though calls had been made to limit Belarusian access to SDRs, Alexander Lukashenko's hardline government has not been disavowed by enough IMF members and the Fund is allowing access.Source for added supportGeorgieva said the IMF was encouraging rich countries that receive SDRs to channel them to poorer countries that need them more.One key option is for wealthier countries to contribute SDRs to the IMF's existing Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust for low-income countries, she said.The IMF was also continuing to work on a possible Resilience and Sustainability Trust that could use channeled SDRs to help the most vulnerable countries with structural transformation, including dealing with climate change, she said.Another possibility, she said, could be to channel SDRs to support lending by multilateral development banks.The IMF's last SDR distribution came in 2009 when member countries received $250 billion in SDR reserves to help ease the global financial crisis.To spend their SDRs, countries would first have to exchange them for underlying hard currencies, requiring them to find a willing exchange partner country.(CGTN)


chinamore >>

China's first hydrogen-powered locomotive starts trial run

The first China-developed hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid locomotive recently completed its trial run on a railway line for coal transport in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region.The first China-developed hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid locomotive is in a trial run on a railway line for coal transport.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]The hydrogen energy locomotive project was jointly launched by the Inner Mongolia subsidiary of the State Power Investment Corporation Limited(SPIC), CRRC Datong Co Ltd and SPIC's Hydrogen Energy Co Ltd.The first China-developed hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid locomotive is in a trial run on a railway line for coal transport.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]The core components of the locomotive’s power system are developed by a company based in Xindu district, Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province. A train using the locomotive can run continuously for 24.5 hours at 80 kilometers per hour, with a maximum load of 5,000 metric tons.“The industrial environment nurtured by Xindu district has promoted the transformation of its modern rail transit industry from manufacturing to ‘smart’ manufacturing," said Qian Qingquan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and professor of Southwest Jiaotong University.The first China-developed hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid locomotive is in a trial run on a railway line for coal transport.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]The hydrogen-powered locomotive, with zero pollution during operations and only the emission of water, has broad market prospects for use in subways, tunnels and mines, Qian said.Xindu district, a major base for Chengdu's rail transit industry, is home to more than 60 leading companies in the field of rail transit, including CRRC Chengdu Co Ltd. The district has formed an annual production capacity of 600 subway vehicles.(亚太日报)


Xindu targets for world-class rail transit industry system

Xindu district in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, is striving to build a world-class rail transit industry system.The Xindu Modern Transportation Industry Functional Zone in Chengdu, Sichuan province is home to more than 60 leading companies in the field of rail transit industry.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]A new generation full-automatic A-type commuter train developed in Xindu recently completed trial operation on Chengdu Metro Line 18, with a maximum speed of 176 kilometers per hour.The new commuter train, jointly developed by CRRC Sifang Co Ltd, Chengdu Rail Transit Group and CRRC Chengdu Co Ltd, is the fastest of its kind in China, according to CRRC Chengdu Co Ltd. It is also the first of its kind in the world to realize fully automatic driving at a speed of 160 km per hour based on 5G vehicle-to-vehicle communication.The new train integrates the advantages of high-speed trains with those of urban rail vehicles, making it fast, comfortable, safe and able to carry large numbers of passengers.Xindu district, home to CRRC Chengdu Co Ltd, is a major base for Chengdu's rail transit industry. The Xindu Modern Transportation Industry Functional Zone has gathered more than 60 leading companies in the field of rail transit industry.“Xindu has formed an annual production capacity of 600 subway vehicles,” said an official at the management committee of the Xindu Modern Transportation Industry Functional Zone.The district has been actively promoting the research and development of rail transit equipment and the upgrade of repair services, the official said. A number of innovation platforms, including CRRC’s southwest R&D center and a State Key Laboratory at Southwest Jiaotong University, have been established in the district.Local officials said the district will adopt a series of strategic measures to gradually build an internationally competitive rail transit industry system.During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), Xindu will accelerate the development of new rail transit equipment, and will jointly build a repair and maintenance service center with CRRC and Chengdu Rail Transit Group.The district will also develop an advanced rail transit industrial park for the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, by joining hands with partners including Southwest Jiaotong University and China  Academy of Railway Sciences.(APD)


The Belt and Roadmore >>

Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)