Posts tagged ‘Harbin’


Could a Shanghai Exodus Be in the Air? – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s effort to turn Shanghai into a global financial center came under a cloud this month—or, rather, under a choking blanket of smog that has affluent residents talking about bolting.

English: Shanghai Smog

English: Shanghai Smog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Wei Gu writes in this week’s The People’s Money column:

China’s pollution problem is spreading and growing worse, a fact on stark display last week in Shanghai, the country’s financial center. A stretch of filthy-air days in that coastal city so thoroughly shocked residents—who had largely escaped the smog that has long plagued the likes of Beijing and Harbin—that it inspired fresh talk about getting away from China.

Over the past century, migration has almost always been driven by a desire to get ahead. But today more affluent Chinese are talking about accepting a climb-down on the career ladder and a less-exciting lifestyle in exchange for cleaner air, safer food and a different education system.

via Could a Shanghai Exodus Be in the Air? – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


Beijing slashes car sales quota in anti-pollution drive | Reuters

China\’s capital, Beijing, infamous for its thick smog and heavy traffic, will slash the city\’s new car sales quotas by almost 40 percent next year, as it looks to curb vehicle emissions and hazardous levels of pollution, the city government website said.

Lines of cars are pictured during a rush hour traffic jam on Guomao Bridge in Beijing July 11, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The change in policy gives greater support for new, cleaner cars and could strengthen foreign carmakers\’ determination to accelerate growth in China\’s less crowded lower-tier cities.

In the last month alone, high levels of pollution have forced China to all but shut down the northeastern city of Harbin, a major urban center with a population of 11 million.

via Beijing slashes car sales quota in anti-pollution drive | Reuters.


* Ice train begins trial operations

China’s investment in infrastructure continues relentlessly.

China Daily: “Railway built to withstand extreme cold prepares to welcome travelers

A high-speed railway linking major cities in Northeast China began trial operations on Monday, ahead of its launch at the end of the year.

Ice train begins trial operations

The new line, which links Dalian, a port city in Liaoning province and Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, is the world’s first high-speed railway built to withstand extreme cold weather conditions, according to a statement by Harbin railway authorities.

A test train departs from the Dalian North Railway Station, a terminus of the new Harbin-Dalian High-Speed Railway, in Dalian, Nnortheast China’s Liaoning province, Oct 8, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]

A test train departed Harbin on Monday morning, arriving in Dalian three-and-a-half hours later. The journey takes nine hours on an ordinary train.

The new line will make 24 stops and connect 10 cities, including the capitals of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

Construction of the 921-kilometer line began in 2008. It is designed to reach a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour, but will travel initially at a maximum of 300 km/h, railway authorities said.

The line has to withstand extreme temperatures as low as -39.9 C in winter and as high as 40 C in summer, which poses major challenges to the trains and railway construction.

Zhang Xize, chief engineer of the Harbin-Dalian high-speed railway program, said the low temperatures in Northeast China could threaten the roadbed and rail track and ice could also disrupt the power supply and signal system.

“We researched the experiences of high-speed railway line construction in relatively cold areas of Germany and Japan and took reference from road, water conservancy and electric supply projects in frigid areas,” Zhang said.

The railway is fitted with special facilities to remove snow and ice from the line and to protect its power supply systems from the elements.

“We have used all the measures that we can come up with to ensure the safety of this project,” said Zhang.

The line could provide a boost to the tourism industry in Harbin and Dalian, both major vacation destinations.

Harbin is notable for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter and its Russian legacy, and Dalian is well known for its mild climate and multiple beaches.

“The railway comes at the right time as I was planning to take my daughter to see the ice lanterns in Harbin this winter,” said Liu Yan, a 38-year-old resident of Dalian.

The new railway is also expected to ease pressure on the current rail system during peak holiday times.”

via Ice train begins trial operations[1]|


* Authorities deny remarks relating to fatal bridge collapse

Xinhua: “Authorities in Harbin have denied that officals had previously said no contractors could be found to take possible responsiblity for a fatal bridge collapse.

A ramp on the multi-million-dollar bridge in Harbin, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang in northeast China, collapsed early Friday morning, causing four trucks to plunge 30 meters to the ground, killing three people and injuring five.

Following the collapse, there were claims on the internet that officials from the Harbin municipal commission of housing and urban-rural development said the bridge construction headquarters had dissolved and no contractors could be found.

On Saturday, Huang Yusheng, secretary general of the Harbin municipal government, denied there had been any such remarks.

Huang said the government had provided relevant materials from the designer, contractor and supervisor to the investigation team. After the investigation ends, names of the designer, contractor and supervisor will be made public, he told a press briefing.

On Friday, Huang suggested that overloading of some vehicles could be one of the possible causes for the accident. The remarks drew a fierce backlash from the public as many saw it as an attempt to shirk responsibility.

The collapse of the bridge, which cost 1.88 billion yuan (296 million U.S. dollars) and opened to traffic in November 2011, has also caused public outcry over the safety of public facilities and inadequate management and supervision by government agencies.”

via Authorities deny remarks relating to fatal bridge collapse – Xinhua |


* Robot restaurant established in China

AAJ News: “Robots bringing up food, doing dishes and preparing food, doesn’t it remind you of a cartoon from the 90s called ‘The Jetsons’? What if the very same concept is no longer fiction but something real?

A restaurant in downtown Harbin, China, Owned by the Harbin Haohai Robot Company, has 18 types of robots, each sliding out of the kitchen to serve your dish, with specialty robots including a ‘dumpling robot’ and a ‘noodle robot’.

The restaurant has become a center of attraction due to its specialty of having robots performing various tasks, from cooking to serving and even singing while you have your dinner.

Chief Engineer Liu Hasheng, said they invested 5 million Yuan (about £500,000) in doing the restaurant, with each robot costing 200,000 to 300,000 Yuan (around £20,000 to £30,000). Having costly robots serving the dinner might seem like a costly idea but that isn’t the case. The average cost of a dinner is £4 to £5, with over 30 dishes on the menu to choose from.

Liu Hasheng, comments, “Staff in the computer room can manage the whole robot team.

‘After the busy times during the day, the robot will go for a “meal”, which is electricity’. Liu added that after a two-hour charge the robot can work continuously for 5 hours.

The first robot restaurant established was also in China; in a city called Jinan, which had a dozen of robots that served food and drinks and also danced and entertained customers.”

via Robot restaurant established in China | AAJ News.

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