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China selects, honours 2 most beautiful families

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(Xinhua/NAN) The All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) on Monday, made public a decision to honour the families of Zhang Fuqing and Ma Xu as the “most beautiful families’’.

Zhang was a war veteran who earned the honorary title of `Combat Hero’ twice in the Liberation War, and deliberately kept his past achievements a secret after the war.

He chose to work and devote his life to Laifeng, a poverty-stricken county in central China’s Hubei Province.

Zhang leads his family to live a simple and self-dependent life with indifference to fame and fortune, according to the decision.

Ma Xu, one of China’s first female paratroopers, devoted her life to the building of China’s airborne troops.

After retirement, Ma and her husband began to do medical research relating to paratroopers, filling the country’s gap in this field.

Leading a frugal life, the couple donated their savings of 10 million yuan (about 1.41 million U.S. dollars) to Ma’s hometown, the decision reads.

The ACWF called on the public to learn from the two families and foster good family virtues. (Xinhua/NAN)

HLM/YEE

Edited by Hadiza Mohammed

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Australia China Friendship Society calls on Aussie politicians to mend relationship with China

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The Australia China Friendship Society Ltd (ACFS) sent a letter to Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia, calling on politicians to mend the relationship between Australia and China.

The Australia China Friendship Society Ltd calls for an urgent change in the attitude and behaviour of Australian politicians before further and devastating damage is done to Australia and to our relationship with China,” said the letter.

According to the ACFS, directors and delegates from around Australia met via teleconference to attend its Annual General Meeting late last month, when they expressed their views and reiterated that the current attitude of the Australian government does not represent the views of many Australian citizens.

“Most of the statements and behaviour of Australian politicians (from all three major parties) are contrary to Australia’s national interest, in that they appear to go out of their way to insult a country with which we have built a strong friendship over a number of decades,” said ACFS. “China and Australia matter to each other.”

“We view with concern the recent comments by you and other members of the Coalition parliamentary team which quite clearly point the finger of blame at China for its alleged ‘cover-up’ and failure to act promptly in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” it said in the letter to Morrison.

“Apart from the dubious and misrepresented scientific basis upon which your government’s remarks are founded, there are further risks posed by the government’s intemperate and poorly-judged statements,” it continued.

China is not only Australia’s largest trading partner by a considerable margin, it is also the largest source of foreign students, the largest source of foreign tourists, and the ninth-largest source of foreign investment.”

The ACFS was established in 1951 with a long history in promoting friendship between Australia and China.

Robin Matthews, national president of ACFS, said that the coronavirus has provided an opportunity “for unscrupulous people to spread mistruths and fear and this should be condemned.”

“Any misinformation should be challenged and called out for what it is — racism,” she said. “We wish for and promote a peaceful and harmonious relationship with our neighbors and reject aggressive political posturing that threatens the peace of our region.”

She told Xinhua via telephone that they have not received any reply from the Australian government yet.

(XINHUA)

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Greece officials, shipowners expect closer ties with China

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Greece wants to advance the successful mutually beneficial partnership with China, Greek officials and ship owners said during a webinar hosted in Athens on Friday on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“We can leave behind the COVID-19 lockdown and further our cooperation. We want new partnerships between Greek and Chinese companies. We are sure the best of our relationship is ahead of us,” Gregory Dimitriadis, Secretary-General for International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the online discussion organized by the Hellenic Chinese Chamber.

The official suggested exploring more potential opportunities in sectors such as shipping and tourism, the two traditionally strong engines of the Greek economy, as well as many other fields.

With a strong background of excellent political relations, the two sides have made strides in recent years to deepen economic ties.

COSCO Shipping’s investment in Piraeus port over the past decade has changed its image and is praised by many as a shining example of bilateral cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative as well. Piraeus port now ranks first in the Mediterranean, 4th in Europe and 25th in the world, while expansion and upgrade works continue.

The Dragon Head of the Silk Road in Europe must continue in all sectors,” Vassilis Korkidis, President of Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

The Sino-Greek partnership was always beneficial to both, there is good communication. The only way to recover is through partnerships and this one with China is successful and can be more successful,” shipowner George Pateras, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, stressed.

“Through challenging times, we value the importance of friendship. The pandemic has shown who are the real friends and partners. Our friendship and cooperation now have even stronger foundations. We are very confident our relations will have more fruits to come,” Chinese ambassador to Greece Zhang Qiyue said.

“We all have to work together. We have to contribute to efforts to bring peace and friendship between countries. This is the only way to move forward,” Andreas Potamianos, President of the Greece-China Association concluded.

(XINHUA)

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China, Serbia sign memorandum on space technology

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China and Serbia on Friday signed a memorandum on space technology which aims, among other things, to put the Serbian national flag on co-designed spacecraft in the future.

The memorandum was signed by Zhang Kejian, director of the China National Space Administration, and Nenad Popovic, Serbian minister in charge of innovation and technological development, via a video conference.

Zhang said the memorandum is in the common interests of both countries, adding that as many scientists as possible will engage in joint space projects.

“Our goal is to put the flag of Serbia on the spacecraft that we will jointly design,” he announced.

A visitor takes a photo of a spacesuit at the provincial science and technology museum in Guiyang, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 24, 2020. (Photo by Zhao Song/Xinhua)

A visitor takes a photo of a spacesuit at the provincial science and technology museum in Guiyang, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 24, 2020. (Photo by Zhao Song/Xinhua)

Popovic noted that the space partnership will have an immense value for Serbia, saying it will help realize the country’s strategic national projects.

Popovic said Chinese partners are willing to share their knowledge and experience in space technology with Serbia.

“We deeply respect the friendship between our two countries, and we wish for the document signed today to bond China and Serbia in friendship and economic development permanently,” he said. “I am sure that our upcoming projects will pave the way for our joint vision.”

According to the Serbian government, the document envisages the “improvement of bilateral cooperation between Serbia and China in the development and use of space technology, satellite systems and the Earth Observing System, with applications in the field of smart agriculture, telecommunications, ecosystems, remote sensing systems and geolocation positioning.”

(XINHUA)

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Interview: CABI expert sees “strong commitment” in ecological conservation in China

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China, with its “strong commitment” in ecological conservation, has achieved some “remarkable outcomes” in its long-term national strategy for promoting sustainable development, an expert from Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said.

“We applaud the Chinese government for its strong commitment and increasing investment in ecological conservation in recent years,” Dr Hariet L. Hinz told Xinhua in an interview ahead of World Environment Day, a UN campaign celebrated every year on June 5 to raise awareness about the protection of the environment.

China has highlighted ecological civilization as a long-term national strategy for promoting sustainable development, aiming at achieving harmony between people and nature, and by pursuing green development and guiding the transformation of production methods and lifestyle of the entire society,” said Dr Hinz, co-director of China MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs)-CABI European Joint Laboratory.

China‘s immense efforts in fighting pollution, restoring forest land and protecting wildlife are commendable,” said Dr Hinz, who is also the country director of CABI Switzerland.

To conserve the environment, China has adopted measures including massive tree-planting and coral restoration campaigns, clamping down on illegal wastewater discharge, treating polluted rivers and launching public education activities.

“Some of China‘s national ecological sustainability and protected area programs are among the world‘s largest, and they together have achieved remarkable outcomes,” said Dr Hinz.

“What other developing countries can learn is that to make these programs succeed requires strong political will and foresight to balance economic development with environment protection, the development of a sound policy and legislation framework, substantial financial commitment, mindset change, and public education and awareness-raising etc,” said Dr Hinz.

Dr Hinz also believes that international collaboration is “of paramount importance” to the development of greener agriculture in China and beyond.

CABI, headquartered in Britain, is an international, inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

With a close partnership for over 30 years, China and CABI have achieved outstanding results through the establishment of joint laboratories in China and Switzerland and implementation of many joint research and development cooperation projects.

“In addition to those projects benefiting China directly, the joint labs have also assisted in introducing China‘s green plant protection products/techniques to developing countries under the umbrella of South-South cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative,” Dr Hinz said.

Many of these programs have helped pave the way for more sustainable crop production, as well as establishing a better environment and healthier lives for the farm households in the target region, according to Dr Hinz.

(XINHUA)

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China’s Mammoth Foundation donates COVID-19 testing equipment to Latvia

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China’s Mammoth Foundation in Shenzhen donated key laboratory equipment to a biomedical research center in Latvia on Friday.

Professor Janis Klovins, director of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center, who received the BGI Fire Eye lab equipment on behalf of the center, described the donation as a very important addition to the center’s capabilities in COVID-19 research, specifically viral sequencing.

According to Klovins, with the new equipment, the center’s capacity could be raised to over 200 samples per week from the current 32.

Klovins believed that the Chinese equipment will be highly useful in other COVID-19 research projects as well. It is expected to help with automation of nucleic acids extraction and improvement of work efficiency of Latvia’s virus detection.

Among the 115,461 COVID-19 tests performed in Latvia so far, 1,085 tests have come back positive, according to the latest data released on Friday by the Latvian Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The donation was coordinated by the Chinese Embassy in Latvia and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(XINHUA)

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Bangladesh conducts 2nd special flight to bring COVID-19 medical aids from China

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Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has conducted its second special ferry flight to bring home COVID-19 medical aid supplies from China, the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The ISPR, a department under the defence ministry, said in the statement on Thursday that the transport aircraft returned to Dhaka from China on Wednesday with medical aids.

It said the Chinese medical supplies consisted of face masks, protective gloves, face shields, electronic thermometers, medical safety glasses and goggles.

Earlier on April 19, BAF conducted its first special ferry flight to bring COVID-19 medical aids from China.

(XINHUA)

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Senior Lao official hails high-quality construction of China-Laos railway

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A senior Lao official has spoken highly of the progress achieved in the ongoing construction of the China-Laos railway.

Bounthong Chitmany, a politburo member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party‘s central committee, on Thursday visited China Railway No.2 Engineering Group (CREC-2)’s main construction sites in Lao capital Vientiane and was briefed on the project.

On behalf of the Lao government, Bounthong, also Lao deputy prime minister, noted that he was satisfied to see the high-quality and high-speed progress of the railway construction.

The senior Lao official vowed that the Lao side will, as always, provide support and convenience for the construction of the railway to ensure the the project will be completed as scheduled.

According to the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), a joint venture based in Vientiane, in charge of the railway’s construction and operation, the railway offline civil engineering has entered the final stage and the construction of the online track, the communication and signal, the M&E (mechanical and electrical) engineering and the station building have been fully commenced.

The progress of the project meets the timetable of opening to traffic in December 2021, the LCRC general manager Xiao Qianwen said on Thursday.

Participating Chinese enterprises have fulfilled their social responsibilities during construction, actively carrying out cultural exchanges, donating for disaster-hit local communities and flooded areas, and assisting localities with anti-epidemic supplies, according to Xiao.

The China-Laos railway is a strategic docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos‘ strategy to convert from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.

The 414-km railway, with 198-km tunnels and 62-km bridges, will run from Boten border gate in northern Laos, bordering China, to Vientiane with an operating speed of 160 km per hour.

The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.

The project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed and open to traffic in December 2021.

(XINHUA)

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Commentary: Despite economic difficulties, China sticks to green growth

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China‘s development faces uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a global recession, but the economic and social fallout will not derail the country’s efforts to push green development.

The Chinese government has pledged to further reduce energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product and the discharge of major pollutants this year, as declared in the government work report, showing an ability to strike a balance between development and environmental protection. Such a move is encouraging for a world grappling with climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity.

China will not allow the red line of ecological protection to be crossed or relax regulations because development is facing difficulties. Otherwise, the progress achieved over years of arduous efforts would be futile.

In its battle with pollution, China has been making changes to the industrial edifice, effecting the transformation to development with a low carbon footprint, promoting a green lifestyle, and providing the public with more eco-friendly products.

Aerial photo taken on June 4, 2020 shows the view of terraced field in Gandong Township of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Huang Xiaobang)

Aerial photo taken on June 4, 2020 shows the view of terraced field in Gandong Township of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Huang Xiaobang)

The country has also been an active participant in global climate governance, pledging 20 billion yuan (2.8 billion United States dollars) in the China South-South Climate Cooperation Fund dedicated to help other developing countries combat climate change. China is fully meeting its commitment to nationally-determined contributions on climate change under the Paris climate agreement and also helping advance green development in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Practices undertaken by China have shown that development and environmental protection are not contradictory but complementary.

The country is one in believing that clear waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and improving the environment leads to increased productivity. To put it simply, green is gold.

In the following years, China will see ramped up efforts to control air pollution, construction of more sewage and garbage treatment facilities, faster relocation and transformation of producers of hazardous chemical products in densely populated areas, and the development of energy-saving industries.

The World Environment Day is being observed Friday with the theme of biodiversity. It is a call to all sections of the global community to rally behind efforts to make the planet a better place to live in.

China, with the joint efforts of its 1.4 billion people, is definitely part of the endeavor to build a greener and better future for all.

(XINHUA)

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Economic Watch: China leverages monetary tools to channel funds into real economy

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China‘s central bank introduced two new monetary policy instruments this month to directly channel funds into the real economy, another sign that the country’s monetary policy will not slide into quantitative easing.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said that, starting this week, it would use 400-billion-yuan (about 56.37 billion United States dollars) of a special re-lending quota to purchase 40 percent of inclusive loans to small and micro businesses, issued by local banks from March 1 to Dec. 31.

Another policy instrument that the PBOC introduced allows small and micro businesses to apply for deferring their inclusive loan repayments, maturing by end-2020 to March 31, 2021, with penalty payment exempted.

Both policy instruments are aimed at helping small and micro enterprises maintain cash flow, gain easier access to loans, and lower the financing cost, the central bank said. It added that these tools are more market-oriented, inclusive and direct, compared to previous policies.

The PBOC‘s move came just days after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasized that China‘s measures of a sizable scale are designed to provide vital relief to businesses and to revitalize the market.

China‘s previous measures to recover the economy in the face of challenges brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic were seen by some as below expectations.

In response to such viewpoints, Li told a press conference after the conclusion of the annual national legislative session, that the government will not flush China‘s economy with liquidity.

China will ensure that measures taken are well-focused and effective, and the prescription is precise, said Li.

The central bank’s innovative monetary tools are an example of how China is striving to make small and micro businesses — an important part of the real economy — truly benefit from government policies, according to market analysis.

Direct purchase of inclusive loans will lower the debt costs of banks and help with replenishing liquidity, said Li Qilin, chief economist of Yuekai Securities, adding that small firms can then get more credit support.

According to the PBOC, the 400-billion-yuan funds will be offered to local banks via an intermediary special-purpose vehicle, which won’t charge interest for banks, making it effectively interest-free.

Local banks will be encouraged to issue new inclusive small and micro credit loans of nearly 1 trillion yuan, compared to over 300 billion yuan issued last year, the central bank estimated.

By offering local banks incentives equal to 1 percent of the principal to be extended, the central bank said it expected to provide a total of 40 billion yuan, at most, to support about 3.7 trillion yuan in extended loans.

Other enterprises with special difficulties, such as foreign trade companies, could discuss possible loan extension timelines with their banks, the PBOC has said.

Pan Gongsheng, vice governor of the PBOC, said the two new instruments are short-term policies created at a special time, and are different from quantitative easing in nature and scale.

Compared with some developed economies, China still has space for normal monetary policy to support the economy, Pan said.

(XINHUA)

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