World Newsletter

26 Oct 2020



The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee opened today in Beijing.


Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a work report on the meeting, and briefed the participants about the draft proposals of the 19th CPC Central Committee on formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for Economic and Social Development and targets for 2035 — a top-level policy blueprint for China's mid- and long-term development.





The first rest station for delivery riders in commercial centers in Shanghai was launched on Oct 23.


Located in the Bund Finance Center (BFC) along the Bund, the rest station was co-launched by the center and food delivery service Eleme. It is open from 10 am to 10 pm every day.


The station is equipped with tables, chairs and sofas, hot and cold fans, and chargers. Free bottled water and packaged snacks are provided every day. The station also has a reading corner with hundreds of books spanning novels, financial management, health, language, and other categories. All the books are provided by the BFC bookstore.


"We hope the station on the Bund can make more people feel the warmth of people and the city. Although the station is named after Eleme, we welcome all takeout riders and outdoor workers to come in and take rest," said Wang Bin, the person in charge of the station.


The rest station project was co-launched by Eleme and merchants together in 2018. More than 26,000 rest stations have been established so far.





China's clean energy drive has so far replaced 60 percent of the country's buses with electric vehicles, up from 20 percent in 2015, as the world's largest market for new energy vehicles (NEVs) maintains sound growth momentum.


The figures were released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. The efforts were highlighted as part of a green transport system overhaul during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), which entailed the adoption of more clean energy-powered vehicles and the phasing out of gas-guzzling transport.


Last month, overall sales of passenger vehicles gained 8 percent year-on-year to hit 2.09 million units, while NEV sales surged 67.7 percent to 138,000 units.


Boasting the world's largest NEV inventory, China accounts for 55 percent of global NEV sales.


To meet new demand generated by green consumption, the State Council, China's cabinet, approved a plan in early October to boost the NEV industry, which underlined efforts to tackle vital technologies, consolidate the construction of infrastructure including charging facilities, and strengthen international cooperation.


China has made and upheld solemn vows to the world in response to climate change, pursuing greener development over the span of the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Non-fossil fuels accounted for 15.3 percent of the country's energy consumption by the end of last year, fulfilling ahead of schedule China's promise to the global community for 2020.





The Chinese government has launched a 100-day crackdown on illegal fishing activities along the Yangtze River, with a national campaign targeting such practices well underway, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced on Monday.


Authorities have called for efforts to detect organized fishing crimes including illegal group fishing, transportation and distribution, according to a circular jointly issued by the MPS and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.


They will also crack down on unregistered boats and the trade of illicit fishing tackle, according to the circular.


Authorities will clamp down on underground points of sale and illegal fishing tool workshops. The trade of illegal fishing gains will also be targeted to clean up the market.


A three-year campaign was launched by the two ministries in June to combat illegal fishing along the country's longest river.


Chinese police have cracked 3,978 criminal cases related to illegal fishing since the campaign began. It has led to the seizures of 1,674 fishing boats, over 28,000 pieces of fishing equipment and 100,600 kg of fish.





Baicheng city in Northeast China's Jilin province has put a fleet of 15 hydrogen fuel cell buses into service, the first of its kind in Jilin.


The hydrogen-powered, zero-emission commercial buses were developed and manufactured by Jiefang, a truck subsidiary of China's leading automaker FAW Group. They have a maximum speed of 60 km per hour and can operate smoothly in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, with a refueling time of 15 minutes.


The vehicles are equipped with smoke sensors, automatic fire extinguishers and other safety devices, as well as an intelligent public transport operation system that enables state monitoring and positioning via a mobile phone app.


"The buses operating on hydrogen can cut emissions and noise pollution, are easier to drive than standard buses and have a shorter refueling time than pure electric buses," said Lian Xiaojing, manager of the Baicheng bus company.


Several major Chinese cities including Shanghai and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, have made plans to promote the use of hydrogen-powered buses.





The COVID-19 pandemic has severely suppressed China's consumption this year. In the first half, the growth rate of consumption declined. Many people are concerned about whether consumption−it has been the driving force of China's economic growth in recent years−is still strong.


Three key factors distinguish China's consumption story today.


First, the consumer market during the extended National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holiday in early October was vigorous in some regions and industries, after recovering in an orderly manner.


According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, sales of China's major retail and dining companies reached 1.6 trillion yuan ($238.77 billion) from Oct 1 to Oct 8. Their average daily sales increased by 4.9 percent compared with last year's National Day holiday.


According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, tourist attractions across China received 637 million visits, and tourism revenue nationwide reached 466.56 billion yuan, regaining 79 percent and 69.9 percent of that in the same period last year respectively.


The film industry was hit hard by the pandemic this year and the current cinema attendance rate is still stable at 75 percent. However, total box-office receipts of films released during the holiday reached the second highest among all National Day holidays in China's history.


According to the country's film ticketing and data authority, total box-office receipts of films screened from Oct 1 to Oct 7 reached about 3.70 billion yuan. The Chinese audiences appeared to have thought that the extended holiday period was good for family reunions complete with film viewings.


Consumers have shown massive enthusiasm for spending on goods and night fairs. Consumption in culture, tourism, physical training and catering sectors is recovering.


The consumption boom during the National Day holiday has also attracted attention from across the world. Carlos Abella Picazo, secretary-general of Spanish organization Mesa del Turismo, which represents the interests of all sectors of the Spanish tourism industry, said that the Spanish government should learn from China's experience, strive to contain the epidemic as soon as possible, and rejuvenate Spain's sluggish tourism industry.


The second key factor is that four consumption trends−new forms of consumption, upgraded consumption, consumption of material goods and service consumption−will lead the market rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Owing to the impact of the epidemic, consumption in the first half of this year had been severely affected. However, China's consumption capacity and level have not changed.





China has decided to impose sanctions on US entities participating in selling arms to Taiwan including Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense and Raytheon, as well as related individuals and entities that played a negative role during the sales process, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday.





The year 2020 was supposed to be one of uninterrupted globalization and free trade-until the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a cataclysmic effect on the world's economies.


The shock wave brought about by the virus affected every facet of normal life, from our personal relationships to international relations.


Social distancing decimates human interactions and levies a greater burden on proper diplomatic interactions between countries.


What seems to be coming hand in hand with the above is a deep reflection about not only a country's role in the world, but also its ties to others.


According to the report "Transatlantic Trends 2020: Transatlantic Opinion on Global Challenges Before and After COVID-19", Germany is the undisputed leader in Europe, and the country's influence has risen since January.


The document published in June by The German Marshall Fund (in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Foundation and Institut Montaigne) found that while 63 percent of German respondents and 64 percent of French respondents viewed Berlin as the most influential European power in January, the country's esteem during the pandemic rose by 13 points and 8 points, respectively.


The same research also suggests that China's influence on the global stage has risen significantly after the first wave of the pandemic ended, with the doubling of results between January and May 2020: from 13 percent to 28 percent in France, and from 12 percent to 20 percent in Germany.


These findings seem to be part of a bigger trend as the Pew Research Center's survey (conducted in partnership with nonprofit foundation Korber-Stiftung) published in May 2020 found that although 37 percent of German respondents said they prioritized their country's relationship with the United States, 36 percent felt the same about China. A year ago, the difference was 50 percent to 24 percent in favor of the US.


Furthermore, the same can be found in Korber-Stiftung's research paper "The Berlin Pulse: German Foreign Policy in Times of COVID-19", which said that "73 percent of Germans say that their opinion of the US has deteriorated-more than double the number of respondents who feel the same way towards China".


EU-China relations are Germany's EU presidency priority. Foreign policy is concerned this year with an overall objective of "strengthening Europe as an anchor of stability in the world," as Chancellor Angela Merkel announced.





The national exam for civil servants will announce the exact number of registered candidates later today. It closed the registration process on Saturday evening.


The candidates are expected to face a rather fierce competition this year as the competitive ratio for the most preferred position hits a high of 3000:1, according to latest data from the State Administration of Civil Service.


On Oct 14, the administration announced the recruitment plan for 2021. About 25,700 vacancies are open in 79 central agencies and 23 subsidiary institutions, rising from 24,000 vacancies for 2020.


The written exam will be held in late November after the administration finishes political review of the candidates.





Logicians may reason about abstractions. But the great mass of men must have images. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to idolatry can be explained on no other principle. - Lord Macaulay

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