World Newsletter

23 Sept 2020



China has no intention of fighting a Cold War or a hot war with any country, nor will it seek hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.


In a speech delivered via video at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Xi said that China will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.


"We do not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in a zero-sum game. We will not pursue development behind closed doors," Xi said.


The president pointed out that it is natural for countries to have differences, and it is important to address them through dialogue and consultation. Countries may engage in competition, but such competition should be positive and healthy in nature, he said.


"Major countries should act like major countries. They should provide more global public goods, take up their due responsibilities and live up to people's expectations," Xi said.


According to Xi, several COVID-19 vaccines developed by China are in Phase III clinical trials, and when they are available for use, these vaccines will be made a global public good, and they will be provided to other developing countries on a priority basis.


"COVID-19 will not be the last crisis to confront humanity, so we must join hands and be prepared to meet even more global challenges," he said.


The COVID-19 pandemic showed that all countries are in an interconnected global village, and no country can gain from others' difficulties or maintain stability by taking advantage of others' troubles, Xi said.


"We should reject attempts to build blocs to keep others out and oppose a zero-sum approach," Xi added.


The president called on all countries to pursue win-win cooperation, rise above ideological disputes and not fall into the trap of the "clash of civilizations".


"More importantly, we should respect a country's independent choice of development path and model," he said.


Economic globalization is an indisputable reality and a historical trend, Xi said.


"Burying one's head in the sand like an ostrich in the face of economic globalization or trying to fight it with Don Quixote's lance goes against the trend of history," he said.


Noting that the Paris Agreement on climate change charts the course for the world to transition to green development, Xi said that China aims to see its carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.


China will honor its commitment to provide $2 billion of international assistance over two years, and further cooperation in fields such as agriculture, poverty reduction, education, women and children, and climate change, Xi said.





China's ongoing efforts to spur new forms of consumption will help stimulate market players' vitality, boost domestic demand and support economic recovery, the country's top economic regulator said on Tuesday.


"Facing a grim situation both at home and abroad, we will come up with more targeted measures to spur consumption, such as promoting new types of consumption and creating a better consumption environment," said Gao Gao, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission.


"With booming internet, digital and other information technologies, China has attained a good development base in terms of e-commerce, new retail, mobile payment, logistics and related supporting fields," Gao said at a news briefing in Beijing.


"Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, China has witnessed growth opportunities for new internet-based forms of consumption. And a large amount of new consumption models appeared amid the pandemic, boosting online consumption of goods and services in fields such as medical care, education, entertainment, tourism, sports and fitness."


His comments came after the central authorities announced a string of measures on Monday to spur new types of consumption, including promoting the growth of online and offline consumption, to drive the nation's economic recovery.


Under the plan, the nation is set to see an improved policy system for promoting new forms of consumption in three to five years. By 2025, a group of demonstration cities and leading enterprises in new types of consumption should be formed, with online retail sales accounting for a significant share of total retail sales.


According to the National Bureau of Statistics, online retail sales of physical goods grew in the first eight months of the year by 15.8 percent year-on-year, accounting for nearly a quarter of total retail sales of consumer goods.


"China's online consumption surged significantly despite the coronavirus impact, effectively meeting the daily needs of residents and helping to promote the steady recovery of the economy," Gao added.


The NDRC will make a big push to speed up the construction of new consumption infrastructure, improve consumption policies and the consumption environment and promote the healthy and sustainable development of new types of consumption, Gao said.


More efforts will also be made to strengthen policy support in terms of taxation, finance, employment and land use, encourage companies to use new models to expand globally, boost innovation in technologies, management and markets, and deepen cooperation among government, banks and enterprises, Gao added.





China and India agreed to stop sending more troops to the border front lines at a high-level military talk on Monday.


The Chinese and Indian armed forces issued a joint media release late Tuesday after holding a sixth round of military commander talks on Monday at the Chinese side in Moldo.


According to the statement, the two sides discussed stabilizing the situation in the area of the line of actual control between China and India and agreed to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.


They have agreed to strengthen exchanges, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid any actions that may complicate the situation.


The two sides also agreed to hold the seventh round of military commander talks as soon as possible and take pragmatic measures to properly handle local problems and maintain peace in the border area.





Comprehensive bonded zones in China posted 1.7 trillion yuan ($250.74 billion) of import and export volume in the first seven months, contributing more than 30 percent to the country's total foreign trade growth, People's Daily reported on Tuesday, citing data by the General Administration of Customs.


The import and export volume posted a 14.5 percent growth year-on-year in the first seven months, 16.2 percentage points higher than the growth of the country's overall foreign trade volume and accounted for 9.9 percent of the total foreign trade volume.


"Currently, there are 144 comprehensive bonded zones," said Chen Zhenchong, a leading official in charge of the customs body, adding the zones are of the highest level of openness, with the most favorable policies, complete functions and simplified procedures in China.


So far this year, 5,452 firms have been newly registered in these bonded zones, up 13.3 percent from a year earlier, Chen said.





Innovative development of the digital economy is being promoted in Fuzhou, East China's Fujian province.


The taxation department in Fujian has launched over 11 preferential measures to support innovation and development of the digital economy and help improve mechanisms to speed up growth of high-tech companies.


These measures help to encourage enterprises increase R&D input, stimulate innovation, promote upgrading of traditional industry and provide guarantees for innovative development of the digital economy and transferring from old driving forces to new ones.






Beijing ranked as the top science city globally, followed by New York, Boston, San Francisco/San Jose and Shanghai, in the Nature Index global science city 2020 rankings released during the recently concluded Zhongguancun Forum.


Four other Chinese cities — Nanjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Hefei — ranked among the top 20 global science cities.


David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index, said a concentration of talent, funding, research institutions and other resources is crucial for the top five global science cities to maintain their leading positions.


He spoke via video at the forum, saying that cooperation between the top five cities is pretty close.


A key metric used by the index is "share" — a city's contribution to science publication with its own country. Beijing's contribution to China was 21 percent, more than double that of any other city in the top five — New York (10.3 percent), Boston (9.5 percent), San Francisco/San Jose (8.4 percent) and Shanghai (10.9 percent), according to STM Publishing News which focuses on science, technical and medical publishing professionals of the world.


Beijing is also home to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which, at the institutional level, leads the index in share and acts as a central hub of Chinese scientific collaboration.





An inspection should be conducted right away on the social environment around schools nationwide to root out any risks to students' safety, according to a warning released on the website of the Ministry of Education on Tuesday.


The warning, issued by the Education Steering Committee of the State Council, China's cabinet, said related departments should coordinate to strengthen management around schools, resolve disputes happening near campus involving students, and prevent students from becoming victims of violence.


This is the fifth warning that has been issued by education authorities since the beginning of the year. The committee said the warning was issued as violent incidents in which students were injured have recently been reported in provinces like Guangdong and Hunan.


The committee also requested schools at all levels to offer emergency training and drills to students and called on parents to cooperate with schools to ensure students' safety on their way between school and home.


Education departments will work with local public security authorities to check whether schools have hired security guards, installed surveillance cameras and the "press the button and report to the police" system. Any school leaders whose neglect of campus security leads to accidents will be held accountable, the committee said in the warning.





Shanghai's first marriage registration site located within a park was unveiled on Monday.


Located near the west gate of Minhang Culture Park, the newly relocated Minhang district marriage (adoption) registration center handled the marriage registration of 18 couples on Monday afternoon.


The center comprises areas for marriage registration, dressing rooms, waiting areas and two halls – one in Chinese style and the other in Western style – where couples receive their marriage certificates.


Located on the second floor are divorce registration services and rooms where couples can undergo marriage and family counseling.


The civil affairs bureau of Minhang district said that the center can take advantage of its scenic waterfront location to provide themed marriage ceremonies upon request. It added that museums and art galleries in the district can also contribute ideas and resources to such customized ceremonies.





China's aviation market is resuming normal operations as the COVID-19 epidemic in the country gets under control.


Based on passenger throughput data from the first eight months of 2020, the news website 21st Century Business Herald ranked the top 10 airports in the country, and said passenger throughput growth in August showed a significant rebound compared with figures from January to August.


Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport handled 4.61 million passengers in August to take the 1st spot in the ranking, followed by Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, with passenger throughput at 4.38 and 3.99 million respectively.


As the epidemic gets under control and bans were lifted on cross-province tourism that stimulated travelers flowing during the summer vacation, three airports in Sanya, Lijiang and Lhasa realized positive growth in passenger throughput in August.


The passenger throughput in Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Lijiang Sanyi International Airport, Lhasa Kongga International Airport increased 4.1 percent to 1.62 million, 3.4 percent to 752,500, and 8 percent to 496,600, respectively.


The passenger throughput average decline of the top 10 airports was 22.76 percent year-on-year in August.


Decreasing figures in Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, surpassed the average, at -60.6 percent, -49.4 percent, and -29.9 percent year-on-year respectively, due to other countries still reeling from the impact of the pandemic. This meant traffic on international routes could not return to normal.


The domestic aviation market expected to return to normal by the end of 2020 and would boom further as the epidemic gets under control, the 21st Century Business Herald said.





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