World Newsletter

24 Sept 2020



The first 10 female flight students trained by the People's Liberation Army Ground Force are expected to graduate and join operational units in 2021.


The PLA Ground Force said in a statement that the female trainees were selected from high school graduates across the country in 2017 when the Ground Force began to recruit women for flight training. They are now students at the PLA Ground Force Aviation Institute.


The students recently completed their first solo flights at a Ground Force airport in southern Shanxi province, operating the French Gazelle light-duty helicopter to carry out some simple maneuvers, a video clip published by the Ground Force showed.


They will continue taking flight training, and after their graduation in 2021, they will be assigned to Ground Force units across the nation.


Pictures released by the Ground Force showed the women in front of several WZ-19 combat helicopters, hinting that they may operate such helicopters in the future.


Compared with aviation units of the PLA Air Force and the PLA Navy that mainly deploy fixed-wing aircraft, the Ground Force's aviation wing uses helicopters that include combat, reconnaissance and transport models.


Developed by Aviation Industry Corp of China's Harbin Aircraft Industry Group, the WZ-19 is propelled by four blades driven by two turboshaft engines. It has a maximum cruise speed of 245 kilometers per hour, a maximum takeoff weight of 4.51 metric tons and an operational range of 700 kilometers, according to AVIC, which makes the aircraft.


The helicopter can carry eight missiles and two rocket launchers. To protect its pilots, it is equipped with armor plating and crash resistant seats.


The 10 women are the first to be trained by the Ground Force to become aviators. The service has had some female pilots in its aviation units, but they were former PLA Air Force pilots flying fixed-wing planes.





China never seeks ideological confrontations or decoupling with other countries, nor does it pursue hegemony, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday in a videoconference with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.


He pointed out that "what we care about the most is to help the 1.4 billion Chinese people lead a better life and make greater contributions to mankind".


However, he added, China also will not tolerate harm to its national sovereignty, national dignity or development, and the country will take a firm stance to safeguard its legitimate interests and safeguard the justice of the world.


All countries should go beyond the limitations of nationality, ethnicity, culture and ideology and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.


The outbreak of COVID-19 has amplified problems in the global governance system, and all countries should make efforts to improve the system rather than try to destroy it to create another one, Xi said.


There is only one system in the world, that is, the international system with the UN at the core, and the set of UN Charter-based norms on international relations is the only set in the world, he said.


Noting that COVID-19 is still spreading around the globe, Xi said China would like to share its experience with all countries without any reservation, and will continue to offer support and help to countries that are in need.


China firmly supports the UN system, especially the World Health Organization, to play the leading role in strengthening global cooperation and joint prevention, Xi said.


Xi reaffirmed his commitment that after the development of a vaccine is completed and it is put into use, China will make it a public good and contribute to its accessibility and affordability in developing countries.


The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the emergence of many new problems, but the fundamental problems are in regard to peace and development issues, Xi said, adding that unilateralism and hegemony will lose the support of the people.


All countries should make efforts to minimize the pandemic's impact on the economy and people's lives, mobilize the resources and strength of the whole world, help all nations take practical measures in cutting debt and increasing aid, assist developing countries with development and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.


Guterres said that facing the challenges of COVID-19 and climate change, all countries should uphold multilateralism, strengthen international cooperation and build a stronger UN.


He thanked China for the country's firm support for multilateralism and the UN. The UN will fulfill its duty better with China's support, he said, adding that China has played an important role in maintaining global peace and promoting common development.



Guterres said he greatly appreciated the measures and proposals announced by Xi at the UN General Assembly to promote multilateralism, deal with climate change and promote sustainable development.





Global experts hailed President Xi Jinping's speech at the United Nations, saying it reiterated China's long-pursued policy of peace and global collaboration and sent a clear message that China values multilateralism and has no intention to seek hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence.


In a speech delivered via video at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Xi presented to the world China's "clearly focused vision" of international relations, Robert Lawrence Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, told Xinhua News Agency.


Kuhn said his speech outlined several points: that "multilateralism, epitomized by the UN, is the only way that the contemporary world can work well"; that "big countries ... should advocate and uphold international rule of law and honor their commitments"; and that "the world should reject unilateralism, where one country exercises dominance".


Kuhn noted that Xi also highlighted China's intention not to seek hegemony and control, which "indirectly addressed the recent and increasingly public charge, especially in the West, that China has growing imperial ambitions".


Nawazish Mirza, an associate professor of finance at the Excelia Business School in France, said that Xi's speech reiterated "China's long-pursued policy of peace and global collaboration".


"Xi stressed enhancing the representation of developing countries. This is sensible as more than 95 percent of the global population resides in these countries and is the source of some critical international conflicts," he said.


"By proposing that these countries should be mainstreamed, China is not only looking forward to equity but also fostering economic, trade, scientific and trade cooperation," he added.


Wang Yanbo, an assistant professor of the Department of Strategy and Policy at the National University of Singapore's Business School, said he is impressed that Xi stressed multilateralism.





Along with the novel coronavirus pandemic, which is still raging in many parts of the world, the United Nations, on the 75th anniversary of its founding, faces many significant challenges. Even before the pandemic broke out, the UN's global role had been constrained due partly to decreasing budget and increasing workload.


In the post-pandemic world, however, the UN needs to overcome even more complicated challenges.


How the UN plans to overcome these challenges may shape the trajectory of its future as well as that of multilateralism. As for the UN's new mission in the new era, President Xi Jinping, in his speech at the UN summit meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the world body on Monday, highlighted the ways the UN can address those challenges as well as enhance the role of multilateral institutions.


First, the UN needs to prevent Western countries obsessed with ideological confrontation from disrupting its agenda. This kind of ideological rivalry has gradually evolved into a duel between two political systems, which could lead to the crippling of multilateral organizations including the UN.


As Xi said in his speech, unilateralism and monopoly of discourse in international affairs will not serve the purpose and mission of the UN. We live in a world of cultural, religious, social and political diversities. All countries, in particular non-Western developing countries, have the right to follow political and social policies which best suit their domestic conditions and can help them achieve sustainable economic growth and facilitate sociopolitical development.


Second, all countries should acknowledge and respect the UN Charter as the bedrock of international relations. History shows that maintaining international peace and security has been less demanding for the UN when all the countries complied with the basic principles and norms of the UN Charter.





The stock exchanges in Chinese mainland and Hong Kong maintained strong performance in the first three quarters of this year, said a latest report from consultancy company Deloitte China on Wednesday.


By the end of this month, 293 new firms will be listed on Chinese mainland stock market to raise 355 billion yuan, a surge of 131 and 153 percent, respectively, compared with the same period of last year.


Shanghai Stock Exchange took the first spot on the number of new issues, 179, and financing amount, 274.7 billion yuan, said the report. Moreover, Shenzhen Stock Exchange witnessed 114 new issuing to raise 80.3 billion yuan.


Hong Kong Stock Exchange is expected to issue 99 new stocks with the total financing of HK$213.8 billion by Sept 30, with the figures rising 1 percent and 67 percent, respectively, year-on-year.


Deepening reform of China's capital markets and geopolitical tensions have prompted the new issuing to return the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong although the markets have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the report.


Moreover, the rapid control of pandemic in the Chinese mainland, which makes the market optimistic about China's economic development, boosted flush liquidity to complete a number of super-large new listings, the report said.


The wrinkle factors including the registration-based system implementing on ChiNext, and the ETF Connect between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland will continue to promote firms to list on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong stock markets, said the report.


The Shanghai Stock Exchange's sci-tech innovation board, commonly known as the STAR market, will attract 140 to 170 new issuing with the financing amount hitting 320 billion yuan, or even surpassing 400 billion yuan by the end of 2020.


In addition, the new IPOs on the ChiNext are expected to reach 120 to 150 to raise 100 billion yuan to 130 billion yuan, respectively, while the new issuing on A-share market and the Shenzhen SME (small- and medium-sized enterprises) Board will be 120 to 150 with the financing amount at 130 billion yuan to 160 billion yuan, respectively.


The Hong Kong Exchange Stock will complete 140 new issuing to raise HK$400 billion by the end of this year. In the fourth quarter, two or three mega IPOs will be launched on Hong Kong market, said the report.





China is becoming increasingly innovative and is on course to meet its target of becoming a global technology leader within 15 years, according to some of the world's leading scientific experts.


Their remarks come as President Xi Jinping continues to stress the importance of innovation in upgrading the country's economy, most recently on a visit to an advanced manufacturer in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, on Sept 17.


With China also committing $1.4 trillion to new technology over the next six years as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery plan, the world's second-largest economy is moving from being a rapid basic-process innovator to one making blue-sky breakthroughs in a number of fields.


Eric Thun, Peter Moores associate professor in Chinese Business Studies at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, said the country has taken huge strides in terms of its innovative capacity.


"There can be no doubt that China is now a leading innovator. While firms operating in the digital space, such as Tencent and Alibaba, are the most high-profile, there are innovative firms throughout the Chinese economy," he said.


Peter Williamson, a professor of international management at Cambridge University's Judge Business School, said he thinks there has been a significant change in Chinese innovation.


"The capabilities in rapid innovation and improving industrial processes China has built over the past 20 years have provided an important springboard to become a genuine innovator, competing now in blue-sky research and development," he said.


"It (China) is now at the leading edge of a range of technologies, including artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum computing, renewable energy and satellites."





Miniso Group Holding, a leading discount retailer in China, filed for an initial public offering on Thursday to raise up to $100 million on the US stock market.


The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MNSO", with major outside shareholders HH SPR-XIV Holdings Limited and Tencent Holding Ltd, which own 5.4 percent of stock share each.


Goldman Sachs and BofA Securities are the joint bookrunners on the deal, according to its latest prospectus filed today.


Founded in 2013 in South China's Guangzhou, the company generated annual revenue of 8.98 billion yuan ($1.27 billion) for a fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, with gross profit hitting 2.73 billion yuan.


In 2019, Miniso's gross merchandise volume reached 19 billion yuan, making it the largest global branded variety retailer of lifestyle products, according to Frost & Sullivan, a world research and consulting firm.


Selling home decor, small electronics, accessories and cosmetics, Miniso has more than 4,200 stores across the globe as of June 30, including 129 it operates directly, around 2,500 in China and 1,680 overseas.





Running through 27 counties and districts in Shanxi, the 716-km-long Fenhe is the Yellow River's second-largest tributary.


President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of the ecological protection work on the Fenhe. He said the work must be undertaken in practical ways to ensure that clean water flows into the Yellow River, which flows for 5,464 km through seven provinces and two autonomous regions. The river basin has a drainage area of more than 752,000 square kilometers.


In 2018, residents of the provinces and regions through which the Yellow River flows accounted for 30.3 percent of China's population, while their GDP accounted for 26.5 percent of the national total.


"The protection of the Yellow River is critical to the great rejuvenation and sustainable development of the Chinese nation," Xi said last year.


An Aug 31 meeting of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, presided over by Xi, stressed that efforts should be made to improve the environment of the Yellow River Basin.


The measures should optimize the allocation of water resources, facilitate high-quality development of the whole basin, improve people's lives and promote the inheritance of Yellow River culture.


"Provinces and regions along the river will take targeted measures according to local circumstances to protect the environment in the Yellow River Basin," said Li Bin, secretary-general of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body.


She made the comments at a symposium on the protection and high-quality development of the river, held in Lanzhou, Gansu province, early this month.


For provinces on the river's upper reaches, including Qinghai and Gansu, the priority must be to protect and restore the ecosystems of lakes, glaciers, wetland and grassland to conserve water for the basin, she said.


She noted that people who live along the middle reaches must make efforts to reduce water and soil loss and control the discharge of pollutants into the river.


Provinces on the lower reaches must emphasize prevention of natural disasters, build sound ecosystems for wetland and rivers, and strengthen control of pollution sources, both industrial and domestic, she added.





Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in. Fear and resentment of what is new is really a lament for the memories of our childhood. - Peter Medawar

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