Archive for ‘Transport’

08/07/2019

Six dead after freak tornado tears through town in northern China

  • Homes destroyed and trees uprooted as destructive forces rips area apart in 15 minutes
Residents try to pick up the pieces after a deadly tornado destroyed homes and factories in Kaiyuan, Liaoning province, on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Weibo
Residents try to pick up the pieces after a deadly tornado destroyed homes and factories in Kaiyuan, Liaoning province, on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Weibo
At least six people died and 190 were injured when a tornado struck a city in northeastern China on Wednesday, according to police.
The freak tornado formed in Jingouzi township in Kaiyuan, Liaoning province, at about 5pm, reaching speeds of about 23 metres per second before weakening after roughly 15 minutes, state news agency Xinhua reported.
A tornado carves a path of destruction through Kaiyuan in Liaoning province on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua
A tornado carves a path of destruction through Kaiyuan in Liaoning province on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua
It tore through the township, demolishing homes, uprooting trees, and stripping factories of cladding in the city’s economic development zone, according to a Beijing News video posted online.
The Beijing Times website quoted a resident as saying that she saw at least one car tossed into the air and buildings smashed by the tornado.
Kaiyuan in Liaoning province is counting the toll of destruction from a deadly tornado on Wednesday. Photo: Weibo
Kaiyuan in Liaoning province is counting the toll of destruction from a deadly tornado on Wednesday. Photo: Weibo

“Power went off in surrounding areas as the tornado went by. About two or three minutes later there was thunder and then it hailed,” Red Star News quoted a high school student as saying.

Kaiyuan issued an emergency alert and sent about 800 police officers, firefighters and medical personnel to the area.

Two children killed as bouncy castle destroyed by tornado in China
By Thursday, about 210 people had been rescued and some 1,600 evacuated, The Beijing News said. About 10,000 people were also “displaced”.

“There are 63 people in hospital now with 15 in critical condition,” Beijing Times quoted Yu Shuxin, director of Kaiyuan’s emergency management bureau, as saying.

“Communication systems have recovered in most areas. Electricity infrastructure was severely damaged but we’ll try our best to get the power supply back up.”

The wild weather brought down power lines and cut communications in some areas. Photo: Weibo
The wild weather brought down power lines and cut communications in some areas. Photo: Weibo

Tornadoes are so rare in China, particularly the country’s north, that it does not have a specific alarm for it, according to a website backed by the China Meteorological Administration.

In 2016, 99 people died and more than 800 others were injured in a tornado in Funing county, Jiangsu province.

Source: SCMP

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03/06/2019

Indian Air Force’s AN-32 aircraft with 13 onboard goes missing

airforce,India,breaking

An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 13 people onboard has gone missing after taking off from Jorhat in Assam.

The aircraft was headed to Mechuka Advance Landing Ground, the landing strip in the eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district. The landing strip is about 30-odd km from the nearest point on the India-China border.

The transport aircraft took off from Jorhat at 12.25 pm.

It was in contact with ground agencies for the next 35 minutes. An Indian Air Force official said there had been no contact after 1 pm.

A total of eight crew and five passengers are onboard the aircraft.

News agency ANI said Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 Special Ops aircraft had also been deployed on a search mission to locate the IAF aircraft.

Monday’s missing aircraft revived memories of the AN-32 that went missing while flying from Chennai to Port Blair in July 2016.
A massive search mission had been launched to find the 29 people on the transport plane. The IAF had then carried out 200 search sorties to cover over 2 lakh square nautical miles multiple times by these aircraft. The IAF court of inquiry later concluded that it was unlikely that the missing personnel on board the aircraft survived the accident.
Source: Hindustan Times
19/05/2019

China’s top legislator visits Norway to promote bilateral ties

NORWAY-OSLO-LI ZHANSHU-NORWEGIAN KING-MEETING

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), meets with Norwegian King Harald V in Oslo, Norway, May 16, 2019. China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu paid an official friendly visit to Norway from May 15 to 18, expecting to promote the development of Sino-Norwegian ties to score more progress. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

OSLO, May 18 (Xinhua) — China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu paid an official friendly visit to Norway from May 15 to 18, expecting to promote the development of Sino-Norwegian ties to score more progress.

During the stay in Norway, Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), met with Norwegian King Harald V, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and President of the Norwegian parliament Storting Tone Wilhelmsen Troen.

When meeting with Norwegian King Harald V, Li conveyed the greetings of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the King, and expressed congratulations on the Norwegian National Day, which falls on May 17.

Li said during the King’s successful visit to China last year, the two heads of state made strategic plans for the development of bilateral relations in the new era. As this year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Norway, the two sides are expected to seize the opportunity to cement friendship and expand cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and treating each other equally, so as to realize better development of bilateral relations.

Harald V expressed gratitude to China’s friendliness to the Norwegian side, saying Norway admires China’s tremendous development achievements. He said Norway is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in such fields as winter sports, and will make efforts to help China successfully host the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

When meeting with Solberg, Li said although Sino-Norwegian relations have experienced ups and downs, friendship and cooperation has always been the main theme of the ties. As both countries share common interests on safeguarding current global mechanism, building an open world economy, the two sides should jointly support multilateralism and free trade. Moreover, the two countries have similar development concepts and share strong economic complementarities, so the outlook of bilateral cooperation is very broad.

Norway is welcome to actively participate in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. And bilateral cooperation on economy, trade, environmental protection, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges and tourism is expected to be forged ahead, said China’s top legislator.

“China hopes the Norwegian side provides a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises’ investment and operation in Norway,” said Li.

Solberg said bilateral cooperation has maintained sound momentum since the normalization of bilateral ties, expecting the two sides to push forward talks on inking a free trade deal and deepen cooperation in such areas as maritime affairs, shipping, fishery and environmental protection. She also voiced the will to advance communication and collaboration with China on issues concerning the United Nations, coping with the climate change and Arctic affairs.

When respectively meeting with Troen and members of the parliament’s standing committee on foreign affairs and defense, Li introduced China’s development path and political system.

“The reasons why China continues to make new development achievements are that we have embarked on a development path that suits our national conditions. This is the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” said Li, stressing that the Chinese people will unswervingly follow this path.

He said that the NPC of China is willing to work with the Norwegian parliament to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen friendly exchanges at all levels, enhance understanding and trust through frank dialogues, and create a favorable environment for pragmatic cooperation.

Troen said that this visit is of great significance as Li’s tour marks the first visit of a Chinese leader since the normalization of bilateral relations in 2016. The Norwegian parliament is willing to carry out all-round exchanges and cooperation with the NPC of China, and make positive contributions to the development of state-to-state ties.

The two legislators also exchanged views on jointly safeguarding multilateral trade system, sustainable development and other issues of common concerns.

On May 16, Li attended the economic and trade conference in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Norway-China diplomatic relations. He said in a speech that President Xi’s proposal of the high-quality development of jointly building the Belt and Road and the policy of China’s further expansion of opening up have provided new opportunities for the common development of all countries. The two countries’ enterprises are expected to seize the opportunity, tap cooperation potentials, so as to translate the desire for strong cooperation into more practical results.

During the tour, Li visited the Chinese skiers who were training in Norway and encouraged them to train hard and carry out bilateral friendship.

He also visited a local ecological agriculture project, an oil gas processing plant, and met with local officials in Norway’s southwestern county of Rogaland and its southern city of Stavanger.

Norway is the first lag of Li’s ten-day tour in Europe, which will also take him to Austria and Hungary.

Source: Xinhua

19/05/2019

Shanghai Bund’s historic buildings saved from demolition … for now

  • Experts win reprieve for two out of three heritage houses but fear their success is only temporary
  • Authorities plan public cultural facilities for the site
The historic buildings on Shanghai’s Bund in the 1930s. One of the three structures has already been demolished but authorities have temporarily suspended plans to knock down the other two. Photo: Handout
The historic buildings on Shanghai’s Bund in the 1930s. One of the three structures has already been demolished but authorities have temporarily suspended plans to knock down the other two. Photo: Handout
Two historic buildings on Shanghai’s famous Bund have temporarily escaped demolition after a group of experts appealed to the government to conserve the heritage sites, but the intervention was too late to save a third.
About 15 architecture, history and culture experts based in Shanghai banded together to write an article on social media app WeChat last month, calling on the city’s government to “protect the city’s memories” by preserving three houses on Huangpu Road.
A few days after the article was published one of the buildings was demolished as part of a plan to build public cultural facilities on the site. But authorities suspended work on the other two and are considering removing only the interior structure while preserving the external walls, according to the group.
The houses, which date back to 1902, witnessed the city’s boom in the first half of the 20th century when it became one of the world’s most important, and famous, ports, the experts said.
The demolition project on The Bund, Shanghai has been suspended, but not before one of the three historic buildings was demolished. Photo: Urban China magazine
The demolition project on The Bund, Shanghai has been suspended, but not before one of the three historic buildings was demolished. Photo: Urban China magazine

All three of the properties originally belonged to Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha Group and were later used as storage facilities for Japan’s military forces during the second world war, according to Yu Hai, a sociologist from Shanghai’s Fudan University.

“These buildings, along with the nearby Yangzijiang port on the Huangpu River, represented Shanghai’s wharf culture and port culture,” Yu said. “They are historically significant as they witnessed Shanghai grow prosperous through shipping and trade industries about a century ago.”

Although the two remaining buildings are safe for now, the experts argue their interiors are also worth preserving.

Liu Gang, an architecture professor at Shanghai’s Tongji University, said the properties featured big wooden beams supported by black iron pillars, which were prominent architectural features of industrial buildings dating back to the 19th century.

“We guess it was hard to move these giant beams with vehicles at the beginning of the 20th century. Quite possibly they were transported on the river. We guess that the wood was chopped down and processed in places across the Pacific [from North America] and shipped to Shanghai.”

In the WeChat article, Liu called for the protection of the interior structure of the buildings. “Without solid research, we cannot simply take them down to be replaced by new ones.”

Yu agreed, saying: “The building with a new inside structure would be a fake and this plan will destroy historical heritage.”

Experts say the interiors of the historic buildings are also worth preserving. Photo: Urban China magazine
Experts say the interiors of the historic buildings are also worth preserving. Photo: Urban China magazine

Huangpu Road, where these houses sit, is rich with history. It features the Garden Bridge of Shanghai – the city’s first steel bridge, built in 1907 – and was once home to the consulates of the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, Denmark and the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Other notable landmarks on the road include the Astor House Hotel, built in 1846, where Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw stayed in the 1920s and 1930s. The hotel is still there.

“History happened here,” Yu said. “But it’s a pity that most of the old buildings in this area no longer exist.”

Despite their success in winning a stay of execution for the two buildings, the experts are cautious in their expectations.

“The demolition work was suspended, but that does not mean they have accepted our proposals. We are not optimistic,” Yu said.

About two weeks ago as part of their effort to save the buildings, Yu and three other scholars approached officials from Shanghai’s Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, the government body behind the demolition project.

“Officials emphasised the difficulties of keeping the completeness of the old buildings and we just pointed out the damage to their historical values,” Yu said.

The Shanghai bureau did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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Appeals by the public to conserve historical buildings have generally not been successful. Shenyuli, a typical Shanghai residential community built in the 1930s, was included in the city’s protected list of historical buildings in 2004.
The listing was not enough to prevent its demolition eight years later to make way for a public green land space.
Three years ago, the Shanghai government announced it was suspending the planned demolition of a former sex slavery station used by Japanese soldiers during the second world war, following media reports and a public outcry.
However, the building was later demolished, according to Su Zhiliang, history professor from Shanghai Normal University and a researcher on sex slavery, who predicts a similar outcome for this latest conservation effort.
“I think the government is just using the same tactic to postpone their plan. After the public’s attention is over, they will continue demolishing,” Su said.
Source: SCMP
17/05/2019

Chinese police detain driver after three pedestrians are mowed down at roadside

  • Police in Shenzhen look for clues to accident in driver’s medical records
  • Motorist complains of ‘sudden attack’ at time of accident
Police in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, are investigating a driver’s medical history after a fatal accident on Thursday. Photo: Weibo
Police in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, are investigating a driver’s medical history after a fatal accident on Thursday. Photo: Weibo
Police in southern China have detained a motorist after three people were killed and seven injured in a car accident on Thursday night.
Officers said a car went out of control and struck pedestrians on a road in Nanshan district in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, at about 7.20pm. The 23-year-old driver, surnamed Liu, was taken into custody.
In a statement online, the Shenzhen public security bureau said blood and urine tests showed the driver was sober and drug-free. They said medicine for epilepsy was found in the vehicle.
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During questioning, Liu told officers he lost control of car because he had had “a sudden attack”, but did not elaborate.

Police said they were examining Liu’s medical records.

In China, people with epilepsy are not allowed to apply for a driving licence, according to regulations from the Ministry of Public Security.

Source: SCMP

11/04/2019

Chinese State Councilor calls for enhanced production safety, fire control

CHINA-BEIJING-WANG YONG-PRODUCTION SAFETY-FIRE CONTROL (CN)

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong (C, back) speaks at a meeting ahead of the central government’s tour of inspection on provincial governments in production safety and fire control in Beijing, capital of China, April 10, 2019. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) — Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong stressed Wednesday that major accidents must be prevented and contained.

Efforts should be made to stabilize and improve production safety and fire control, Wang said at a meeting ahead of the central government’s tour of inspection on provincial governments in these fields.

The tour of inspection is an important institutional arrangement that focuses on the implementation of the central authorities’ decisions and plans in production safety and fire control, Wang said.

Local governments which failed to rectify their problems and saw recurring accidents will be strictly held accountable, Wang said.

A specific inspection will be held for work related to dangerous chemical products, while checks will be made in coal and non-coal mines, transport, construction and fire control.

Local governments should live up to their supervision duties and take effective prevention measures to fundamentally keep safety accidents from happening, Wang said.

Source: Xinhua

10/03/2019

China’s wealthy families are turning to long holidays abroad as their efforts emigrate overseas are halted

  • Foreign lifestyle experiences are becoming more popular as citizens seek to escape pollution, food and medicine safety worries and authoritarian government controls
  • Citizens encountering more barriers to their dreams of travelling abroad, with severe limits on moving money overseas and restrictions on visiting foreign countries
Thailand, including the likes of Chiang Mai, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand are popular destinations for Chinese families. Photo: Shutteratock
Thailand, including the likes of Chiang Mai, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand are popular destinations for Chinese families. Photo: Shutteratock

Xu Zhangle and her husband and their two children are a typical middle-class couple from Shenzhen, and along with 60 other Chinese families, they are going on an extended holiday to Thailand in July, where they hope to enjoy an immigrant-like life experience.

The family have paid a travel agent around 50,000 yuan (US$7,473) for the stay in Chiang Mai in the mountainous north of the country, including transport, a three-week summer camp for their daughters at a local international school, rent for a serviced apartment and daily expenses.

Zhangle loves Chiang Mai’s relaxed lifestyle and easy atmosphere and wants to live as a local for a month or even longer, instead of having to rush through a short-term holiday.

“It would not be just [tourist] travelling but rather a life away from the mainland.” she said.

Recently, upper middle-class citizens have increased their efforts to safeguard their wealth and achieve more freedom by spending more time abroad.

They have invested considerable amounts of money in overseas properties and applied for long-stay visas, although many of their attempts have ended in failure.

Chinese citizens are encountering more barriers to their dreams of travelling abroad, with severe limits on moving money overseas and restrictions on visiting foreign countries.

Still, growing anxieties about air pollution, food and medicine safety and an increasingly authoritarian political climate are pushing middle class families to look for new ways to circumvent the obstacles so they can live outside China.

Among the options, there is growing demand for sojourns abroad of a month or more, to enjoy a foreign lifestyle for a brief period to make up for the fact that their emigration dreams may have stalled.

“I think this is becoming a trend. Chinese middle-class families are facing increasing difficulties to emigrate and own homes overseas. On the other hand, they still yearn for more freedom, for a better quality of life than what is found in first-tier cities in China.

They are eager to seek alternatives to give themselves and their children a global lifestyle,” said Cai Mingdong, founder of Zhejiang Newway, an online tour and education operator in Ningbo, south of Shanghai.

“First, the availability of multiple-entry tourist visas and the sharp drop in air ticket prices have made it convenient and practical to stay abroad for from a few weeks to up to three months each year.”

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Now, many well-to-do Chinese middle class families can get a tourist visa for five or even 10 years that allows them to stay in a number of countries — including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Asian countries — for up to six months at a time.

“In 2011, a round-trip air ticket from Shanghai to New Zealand cost 14,000 yuan (US$2,000), but now is about 4,000 (US$598),” added Cai.

This opens up the possibility for many middle-class families who are not eligible to emigrate, to live abroad for short periods of time.

Many wealthy Chinese middle class families can get a tourist visa for five or even 10 years that allows them to stay in several countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Asian countries, for up to six months at a time. Photo: AP
Many wealthy Chinese middle class families can get a tourist visa for five or even 10 years that allows them to stay in several countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Asian countries, for up to six months at a time. Photo: AP

Chinese tourists made more than 140 million trips outside the country in 2018, a 13.5 per cent increase from the previous year, spending an estimated US$120 billion, according to the China Tourism Academy, an official research institute under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“In [the Thai cities of] Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are more and more Chinese who stay there to experience the local lifestyle, which is different from theirs in China. The life there is very different from that in China,” said Owen Zhu, who now lives in the Bangkok condo he bought last year.

“The freedom, culture and community are diversified. The quality of air, food and services are much higher than in first-tier cities in China, but the prices are more affordable.

“In Bangkok, in many international apartment complexes where foreigners live, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom [apartment] is about 2,000 (US$298) to 3,000 yuan.”

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A one-bedroom apartment in Shenzhen in southern China is twice as expensive, with rents continuing to rise rapidly.

There are global goods, and it is easy to socialise with different people from around the world,” Zhu added

“Many Chinese people around me, really, come to Thailand to live for a while and go back to China, but then come back again after a few months.”

Both Cai and Zhu said they discovered the new phenomenon among China’s middle class and decided it was a business opportunity.

Growing anxieties about air pollution, food and medicine safety and an increasingly authoritarian political climate are pushing middle class families to look for new ways to circumvent the obstacles so they can live outside China. Photo: AP
Growing anxieties about air pollution, food and medicine safety and an increasingly authoritarian political climate are pushing middle class families to look for new ways to circumvent the obstacles so they can live outside China. Photo: AP

Zhu is in the process of registering a company in Bangkok and plans to build an online platform to service the needs of Chinese citizens living abroad who do not own property or have immigration status, especially members of the LGBT community.

Cai said dozens of Chinese families in the Yangtze River Delta had paid him to send their children to schools in New Zealand or Europe for around three or four weeks in the middle of the school year, while the parents rent villas in the area, with New Zealand and Toronto in Canada among the most popular destinations.

Last year, Zheng Feng, a single mother and freelance writer from Beijing, rented a small villa in Australia for a month for them, a friend and their children to escape Beijing’s pollution and experience life overseas.

“To be honest, I don’t have enough money to invest in a property or a green card in Australia. But it’s very affordable for me and my son to pay about 30,000 yuan (US$4,484) to live abroad for one or two months.” Zheng said.

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Zheng will join the Xu family in Chiang Mai later this year and she is also planning a similar trip to England next year.

Zheng’s friend, Alice Yu, invested in an American EB-5 investor visa a few years ago, and plans to make one or two month-long trips abroad each year until her family is finally able to move to the United States.

Demand for the EB-5 investor visa in China seems to be waning given heightened uncertainty about the future of the programme and US immigration law in general under US President Donald Trump.

Approval for the visa can now take up to 10 years, resulting in a huge backlog that has further dampened interest and led to a significant dip in investment inflows into the US from foreign individuals.

A one-bedroom apartment in Bangkok can cost around bout 2,000 (US$298) to 3,000 yuan a month. Photo: AFP
A one-bedroom apartment in Bangkok can cost around bout 2,000 (US$298) to 3,000 yuan a month. Photo: AFP

“Maybe it will soon become standard for a real Chinese middle-class family to have the time and money to enjoy a long stay at a countryside villa overseas,” said Yu.

“Regardless of whether we can get a long-term visa for the United States, I want my children grow up in a global lifestyle and with more freedom than just growing up on the mainland. So do all wealthy and middle class Chinese families, I think.”

Karen Gao’s son started studying at an international school in Chiang Mai in June, at the cost of about 70,000 yuan (US$10,462) a year, after she quit her job as a public relations manager in Shenzhen and moved to Thailand on a tourist visa.

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“A few months each year for good air, good food and no censorship and internet control, but cheaper living costs compared to Beijing, it sounds like a really good deal to go,” said Gao, who has now been offered a guardian visa to accompany her son, who has already been given a student visa.

“In Shenzhen, I wasn’t able to get him into school because I had no [local] residence permit.

“It would be the best choice for us because we feel so uncertain and worried about investing and living in the mainland.”

Last year, Gao, like thousands of other private investors mostly middle class people living in first-tier cities, suffered significant losses when their investments in hotels and inns in Dali, Yunnan province, were demolished amid the local government’s campaign to curb pollution and improve the environment around Lake Erhai.

“We were robbed by the officials without proper compensation,” Gao said.

Source: SCMP

03/03/2019

China Focus: Industrial upgrade moves fast in Xinjiang

URUMQI, March 2 (Xinhua) — Farmers at a small village in western Xinjiang hardly had any days off this winter. Production at a walnut processing factory is going full throttle to meet demand.

Yusup Tursun and his wife are walnut farmers in Kupchi Village in Yecheng County on the edge of the Taklimakan Desert. The couple has been hired by a new walnut processing facility in the village, with the husband a quality inspector and his wife working part-time cracking nuts.

As a main base for walnut production, Yecheng has over 38,000 hectares of high-quality thin-shell walnut groves.

“It used to be quite difficult to sell the walnuts. The factories, with so many products, have made it easier for the sales,” Yusup said.

Seven companies make products from the nuts — walnut milk, walnut candies and edible oil. The shells are made into coloring agent and pollutant-absorbing carbon.

Diversity in the walnut products pushed the industry output to a new high of 2 billion yuan (about 299 million U.S. dollars). Three in every five people work in the walnut industry in Yecheng, where 550,000 people live.

Across Xinjiang, processing facilities are established to add value to agricultural products. Transport and logistical services are improved to boost the sales of Xinjiang’s signature agricultural products such as Hami melons, Korla pears and Turpan grapes.

UP THE VALUE CHAIN

Xinjiang is also moving up the value chain in two of its traditional industries — cotton and coal.

As one of the main cotton production bases in China, Xinjiang holds sway in the textile industry. By making full use of its cotton resources and geographical advantages as a portal for opening up, the region no longer sees itself as just a production base for raw materials. Starting from 2014, China’s leading garment and apparel makers including Ruyi Group, HoDo Group, and Huafu Fashion Co. Ltd invested in the region and built factories.

These factories have produced added benefits and created jobs for the local people. Xinjiang produces 1.5 million tons of yarn and over 40 million ready-made garments every year. More than 400,000 people work in the industry.

In the eastern part of the coal-rich Junggar Basin, workers have found that the snow is cleaner than before. The Zhundong Economic Technological Development Park, about 200 km west of Urumqi, is home to China’s largest coal field.

A stringent environmental requirement is applied to the park, said Ren Jianpin, director of the management committee of the park. Coal enterprises are required to control coal dust, install equipment to recycle water and coal slags are processed into construction materials, he said.

The park is focused on boosting high-end industries in aluminum and silicon materials, which generate more value and have less impact on the environment, he said.

GOING HI-TECH

Last year, a large-scale bio-based plant went into operation in Usu City to turn corn into nylon. The Cathay Industrial Biotech, a Shanghai-based biotech company, is the investor.

Nylon is usually made from petroleum, and the use of crops such as corn and wheat to make recyclable and environment-friendly nylon has promising business prospects, said Wang Hongbo, vice general manager of the company’s Usu branch.

The Usu branch will have an annual output of 100,000 tons of bio-based polyamide, and it is expected to boost the development of downstream industries in the future, he said.

The oil-rich city of Karamay has also received a hi-tech boost as cloud computing firms eye the dry and cold weather in the area. Karamay is home to many key state-level projects and IT-industry leaders, including a global cloud service data center for Huawei, data centers for the China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and China Mobile.

Xinjiang is making new breakthroughs in precision machining, new materials, manufacturing and textiles.

Data from the regional statistics bureau show that the value added of the hi-tech manufacturing in Xinjiang rose by 32.1 percent year-on-year in 2018.

FURTHER OPENING UP

As a core area on the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xinjiang has maintained solid growth momentum in foreign trade. Foreign trade volume between Xinjiang and 36 countries and regions along the Belt and Road (B&R) totaled about 291.5 billion yuan (43.5 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, up 13.5 percent year on year.

Economic observers say that there is still much room for Xinjiang to scale up its processing trade to raise the level of imports and exports.

Xinjiang will further develop an export-oriented economy in 2019 and participate in economic exchanges with neighboring countries, according to the regional government’s work report released in January.

Source: Xinhua

11/02/2019

China reports over 60 mln railway trips as holiday ends

CHINA-SPRING FESTIVAL HOLIDAY-RAILWAY TRIPS (CN)

Passengers are seen at the station hall of Nanchangxi Railway Station in east China’s Jiangxi Province, Feb. 10, 2019. Railway trips in China reached 60.3 million during the week-long Spring Festival holiday from Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, data from the national railway operator showed Monday. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — Railway trips in China reached 60.3 million during the week-long Spring Festival holiday from Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, data from the national railway operator showed Monday.

On Feb. 10, some 12.6 million passenger trips were made by rail, up 4.4 percent year on year, according to the China Railway Corporation (CRC).

Hundreds of millions of Chinese went back to their hometowns to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year with their families. The annual travel rush around the festival, known as “chunyun,” often puts the country’s transportation system to the test.

This year’s Spring Festival travel rush started from Jan. 21 and will last till March 1, with railway trips expected to hit 413 million in total, up 8.3 percent.

Spurce: Xinhua

07/02/2019

Railway trips up on short-distance travel demand

BEIJING, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) — The national railway operator has predicted the number of passengers to continue to grow during the Spring Festival holiday due to rising short-distance travel demand.

The China Railway Corporation said it will add 208 trains on Wednesday to handle a total of 7.67 million railway trips expected, up 8.5 percent year on year.

Local railway bureaus have increased services in remote towns and villages, worked to help passengers transfer to buses and subways, offered better Wifi access and allowed fast security checks for the elderly and disabled.

Around 4.22 million railway trips were made Tuesday, up 9.6 percent year on year.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese go back to their hometowns to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year each year, creating an annual travel rush around the festival that often puts the transport system to the test.

This year’s Spring Festival travel rush started from Jan. 21 and will last till March 1, with railway trips expected to hit 413 million in total, up 8.3 percent.

Source: Xinhua