A SOLEMN SCENE
An honor guard carries the remains of late Chinese leader Jiang Zemin in Beijing after they were transferred from Shanghai aboard a special flight on December 1. Jiang passed away in Shanghai on November 30 at the age of 96.
Floating to New Frontiers
A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) device at its delivery ceremony in Qingdao,
Shandong Province, on November 29. The 118-meter-tall FPSO, a vessel used for the production, storage,and off-loading of crude oil, produced by the Offshore Oil Engineering Co. Ltd. for a British client, was successfully delivered that day.
Underage Internet Users
The number of underage Internet users in China hit 191 million in 2021, leading to an Internet penetration rate of 96.8 percent among Chinese minors,according to a report released on November 30.
The report, jointly issued by the Chinese Communist Youth League Central Committee and the China Internet Network Information Center, found that the gap in the Internet penetration rate of the group between urban and rural areas had been bridged in 2021.
China’s cybersecurity has continuously improved, with the proportion of cybersecurity incidents involving minors on the decline compared with 2020, according to the report,which further added video platforms have become an important source of information for minors.
The report covers students from primary, junior high,senior high, and secondary vocational schools across 31 provincial-level regions.
The culture and tourism authorities of Yunnan Province have recently rolled out six tourist routes in a bid to further boost the development of coffee-related tourism, Xinhua News Agency reported on November 30.
The routes cover seven major coffee production bases in Yunnan, including Baoshan,Pu’er, and Dali.
Tourists can learn about the whole process, from picking coffee beans to washing and drying.They can even grind the beans and make themselves a cup of coffee during the trip.
With a large multiethnic population, Yunnan is home to rich tourism resources, including its picturesque scenery and major tea and coffee production areas.
The province has accelerated the integrated development of coffee-themed agriculture,culture, and tourism.
In 2021, the plantation area of coffee in the province reached 93,333 hectares, yielding over 100,000 tons of coffee beans.The output value of the whole industrial chain reached 31.63 billion yuan ($4.47 billion).
China will enhance its capabilities in preventing and controlling invasive species to safeguard agricultural development and biodiversity, Xinhua reported on November 30.
The country faces multiple risks from invasive species due to its long land border, illegal introduction, breeding of exotic pets,and illegal release of animals into the wild, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement.
So far, the country has listed 59 invasive species for elevated management.
The statement also said China would strengthen quarantine inspection of inbound goods, means of transport,consignments and deliveries,and cross-border e-commerce to stem the introduction of invasive species.
New targeted undertakings will optimize the monitoring network and develop prevention and control measures for specific invasive species.
Rail Transit Network
A new metro line and a new section of an existing line in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province,are up and running.
The first phase of the Metro Line 6 branch started its initial operation in the city on November 28. Metro Line 12 began operating that same day.With the newly opened lines, the city’s urban rail transit network has 16 lines, with an operating length of 530 km,according to Shenzhen Metro Group Co. Ltd.
Additionally, the city’s metro operator is promoting the digitalization and informatization of the urban rail transit network.The gate machines of the Line 6 branch and Line 12 are equipped with facial recognition technology for identity authentication.
China has made progress in protecting Yangtze finless porpoises, an iconic species in the Yangtze River, the country’s longest river, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said on November 28.
Thirteen natural reserves for the Yangtze finless porpoises have been created in the Yangtze River basin, covering 40 percent of the species’ habitats, Cui Shuhong, an official with the ministry, told a press conference.
These natural reserves have brought nearly 80 percent of the species’ population under protection, Cui said.
The Yangtze finless porpoise, known as the “giant panda of the water,” is a barometer of the ecological environment in the Yangtze River basin.
In recent years, China has poured solid efforts into ecological conservation along the Yangtze River, with a 10-year fishing ban launched in pivotal waters along the river in early 2021.
In December 2020, China announced the Yangtze River Protection Law, providing a legal guarantee for the river’s biodiversity conservation.
Cargo Air Route
China’s first professional cargo hub airport in the city of Ezhou,Hubei Province, launched its first all-cargo air route on November 27, linking Ezhou with Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.
Ezhou Huahu Airport is also the first professional cargo hub airport in Asia and the fourth of its kind in the world. Since the airport went into operation on July 17, it has opened multiple passenger routes linking Ezhou with cities including Beijing,Shanghai, and Xiamen in Fujian Province.
According to the airport, the all-cargo air route is operated by Boeing 737 cargo aircraft.
The airport further said it will soon open an all-cargo air route linking Ezhou and Shanghai.
The annual cargo and mail throughput of the airport is expected to reach 3.3 million tons by 2030, with annual passenger flow reaching 1.5 million.
New Cultural Heritage Entry
China’s traditional tea-making was added to UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list in the Moroccan capital of Rabat on November 29.
The item “Traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China” passed the examination at the 17th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held from November 28 to December 3.
The move recognizes the knowledge, skills and practices around tea plantation management, tea leaf picking,manual processing, drinking and sharing, UNESCO said on its webpage introducing the inscription.
Since ancient times, Chinese people have been planting,picking, making and drinking tea. Tea producers have developed six categories: green,yellow, dark, white, oolong and black teas. Together with reprocessed teas, such as flowerscented teas, China features over 2,000 tea products.
Tea is ubiquitous in daily life in China, as steeped or boiled tea is served in families,workplaces, tea houses, restaurants and temples, to name a few. “It is also an important part of socialization and ceremonies such as weddings and ancestral sacrifices,” UNESCO added.
China now has 43 items on the intangible cultural heritage list, continuing to be the most inscribed country in the world.
The construction site of Harbin Ice-Snow World, a renowned seasonal theme park opening to the public every winter in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, on November 29.
Drilling Into Export
A tunnel boring machine is pictured before export to the Republic of Korea at a workshop of China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co. Ltd. (CREG) in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, on November 24. Tunnel boring machines made by CREG have been exported to more than 30 countries and regions for major projects.
The domestically developed C919 large jetliner received its production certificate on November 29,meaning the model can enter mass production.
Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, the C919’s developer, received the certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China East China Regional Administration.
The plane conducted its successful maiden flight in 2017.It obtained the type certificate in late September, which indicates the C919’s design meets airworthiness standards and environmental requirements.
The first C919 aircraft is expected to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines in December.
Property Market Support
The national securities watchdog rolled out five measures on November 28 to facilitate equity financing for real estate firms in the latest string of efforts to bolster the property market.
Mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, supporting financing and refinancing will resume for eligible listed companies in the property sector, a spokesperson for the China Securities Regulatory Commission said.
Hong Kong-listed real-estate firms registered on the mainland will also be able to refinance.
The country will expand the use of real estate investment trusts,especially in affordable rental housing and infrastructures like warehouses and industrial parks,the commission said.
The commission also plans to pilot property-related private equity funds to help firms mobilize real estate assets.
China will continue to exempt certain U.S. goods from additional tariffs until May next year, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said on November 28.
According to a previous statement issued in April, certain items from the U.S. were excluded from the tariff countermeasures against the U.S. Section 301 measures until November 30.
After the extension, the exemption will last until May 31, 2023, the commission said in a statement.
The China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline has delivered over 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China this year, according to PipeChina West Pipeline Co.
The pipeline transported about 120 million cubic meters of natural gas a day during the period, according to the company.
With a length of 1,833 km and a designed annual gas transmission capacity of 60 billion cubic meters,the pipeline went into service in December 2009.
The pipeline runs from the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, passes through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and links up with China’s West-to-East Gas Pipeline in Horgos, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is China’s first transnational gas pipeline.The pipeline has been operating stably and safely for 4,730 days since it went into service. It benefits over 500 million people across 27 provinces, municipalities,autonomous regions, as well as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The activities of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) picked up in October as the country’s economy has logged a stable recovery since the third quarter of this year, industry data showed.
The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Index,calculated based on a survey of 3,000 SMEs, came in at 88.2 in the month, the same as the level registered in September and reversing the contraction, according to the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
The index contains multiple sub-indices to gauge SME performances and expectations.
The sub-indices for several sectors reported stable growth in the period, with that for construction and industry climbing 0.2 points and 0.1 points, respectively, from September.
The data also showed sub-indices measuring SMEs’ confidence, market activities and profits all increased in October, reversing September’s decline.
Bond issuances in China topped 4.58 trillion yuan ($640.2 billion)in October, data from the central bank showed.
Treasury bond issuances amounted to 827.18 billion yuan($115.6 billion) that month, and local government bonds worth 668.73 billion yuan ($93.5 billion) were issued, according to the People’s Bank of China.
Issuances of financial bonds stood at 766.09 billion yuan($107.1 billion) in the same period, and issuances of corporate credit bonds neared 1.1 trillion yuan ($153.8 billion).
Credit-asset-backed securities worth 37.51 billion yuan ($5.2 billion) were issued in October, while issuances of interbank deposit certificates topped 1.17 trillion yuan($163.6 billion), the data showed.
By late October, outstanding bonds held in custody totaled 144.1 trillion yuan ($20.1 trillion), according to the bank.
China has approved the establishment of comprehensive pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce in 33 more cities and regions, in its latest bid to boost foreign trade growth.
This is the seventh batch of such pilot areas, lifting the nationwide tally to 165.
Many in the latest batch of comprehensive pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce are in central and west China as well as the country’s border areas.
The pilot zones are expected to help facilitate the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries and optimize and upgrade foreign trade.
China’s cross-border ecommerce has been growing fast in recent years. Its trade volume has ballooned nearly tenfold in the past five years, reaching 1.92 trillion yuan ($268.5 billion) in 2021.In the first half of 2022, the market registered a 28.6-percent year-onyear growth in trade volume.
The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for eligible financial institutions by 0.25 percentage points to keep liquidity reasonably ample and lower comprehensive financing costs.
The cut took effect on December 5, except for financial institutions that have already implemented a 5-percent RRR.
The reduction in the amount of cash banks must hold in reserve is expected to free up 500 billion yuan ($69.9 billion) in long-term liquidity, the central bank said in a statement on November 25.
After the reduction, the weighted average RRR for Chinese financial institutions will stand at about 7.8 percent, it added.
China’s international trade in goods and services in October amounted to roughly 3.85 trillion yuan ($538.4 billion), up 5 percent over the same period last year, official data showed on November 25.
The exports of goods came in at 1.92 trillion yuan ($268.6 billion) and imports hit 1.51 trillion yuan ($211.2 billion),resulting in a surplus of 408.8 billion yuan ($57.4 billion), the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said.
Service exports reached 180.6 billion yuan ($25.3 billion),while imports totaled 237.3 billion yuan ($33.2 billion), resulting in a deficit of 56.7 billion yuan($7.9 billion).
HEAD OF THE UN’S TOP AUDITING BODY Hou Kai, Auditor General of the National Audit Office, will hold the chairmanship of the United Nations Board of Auditors for two years starting on January 1, 2023, the board decided at its 52nd Special Session held in Santiago, Chile, on November 29.
Hou, 60, was appointed to his current post in June 2020. He is also a member of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China(CPC) and a member of the Standing Committee of the 20th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC.
The Board of Auditors was established in 1946 to independently audit the accounts and performance of the UN organization, as well as its funds and programs, and to report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.
AI Job Interviews
Qianjiang Evening News
Today, a new form of job interview, known as an artificial intelligence (AI) job interview,is becoming increasingly popular. The system requires each candidate to answer a number of preset questions in the absence of an interviewer.
The ultimate question is: Will AI interviews fully replace human interviewers?
A lack of personal interaction is just one among many features of virtual interviews that unnerve job applicants. Countdowns leading up to and during the recording process constantly remind the candidates of the daunting passage of time, which adds to the natural feelings of discomfort and shyness when the camera is turned on.
For employers, AI-powered interviews present a cost-effective method, unlimited by space and time, to efficiently source and locate top talent without the interference of an interviewer’s judgment. Yet its unhuman impartiality is both a strength and a weakness,as personal judgment surpasses computers in detecting subtle qualities and hidden potentials.
Therefore, AI interviews are in essence a form of big data collection to help narrow the talent pipelines. The final decisions should always be made by a human recruiter.
“Everyone needs respect and to be welcomed. And better sharing of technology to enable equal access to the best HIV science, especially between the Global South and North.”
António Guterres, UN Secretary General, in his message for World AIDS Day, observed on December 1
“China and Kenya are good friends,good partners, good brothers and sisters. We are working together to build a China-Kenya, China-Africa community with a shared future.”
Miao Miao, a counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, as the embassy donated an assortment of items to a charity dedicated to assisting vulnerable single mothers and children on November 29
Pet Industry Expansion
People are replacing children with pets, according to aForbesarticle written in 2018.Meant as a jocular exaggeration, this remark nevertheless reveals an enduring grain of truth: Pets have become essential members of modern families. According to statistics released by the e-commerce platform JD.com,China’s pet-keeping households are estimated to reach 100 million in 2022.
These strong numbers bespeak the growth of China’s pet market into an integrated industry with branches in breeding,training, food, beauty, vet care, insurance, accessories and even pet funeral services.
The birth of China’s pet industry dates back to the late 1980s, during which the country’s reform and opening up allowed a budding of diverse lifestyles and a more open cultural attitude toward keeping house pets. The trend of pet-keeping first began to take off in earnest in the 2000s, with the emergence of domestic pet brands and animal healthcare services.
Despite the astounding speed of growth,the domestic pet industry has not yet reached a state of maturity. Pet owners’ complaints of high healthcare expenses, nonstandard medical procedures, and a shortage of pet vaccines all beset the growth of the industry. Many domestic pet brands currently are mere manufacturers for multinational brands’ outsourced production, which denies them the possession of core technologies.
These setbacks constitute a natural obstacle that the industry must overcome.Powered by innovative marketing means,including online stores and live-streaming on e-commerce platforms, domestic brands are gaining popularity among younger generations. Yet the emphasis should always be on research and technology.
Recent years have seen the rise of professional hospital escorts, a nascent occupation that helps the sick navigate the hurdles of seeing a doctor by providing services such as making appointments, completing registrations, and fetching prescribed medicines and medical test results. In 2021, the total number of registered hospital escort service companies on Taobao, China’s largest e-commerce platform, reportedly exceeded 500.
Yet surprisingly, the major clientele for this type of service is not the elderly, but the younger generations. On the one hand, their lack of experience with intricate medical procedures results in a feeling of bewilderment.On the other hand, many young adults, trying to set foot in strange cities, often have to confront an overwhelming loneliness during solitary hospital visits.
However, the hospital escort service is currently in dire need of governmental supervision to eliminate unprofessional elements.
Therefore, all related parties should work in tandem to establish a system that integrates a clear qualification framework, uniform pricing, a set of professional standards based on customer feedback, and a content review system for online platforms.
FORMER NATIONAL HEAD COACH UNDER INVESTIGATION
Li Tie, former head coach of the Chinese men’s soccer team, is under investigation for suspected serious violations of the law, according to an announcement by the Communist Party of China Hubei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Hubei Provincial Supervisory Commission on November 26.
As a former star midfielder on the national team, Li, 45, took the reins from Marcello Lippi in January 2020. The Italian World Cup-winning coach was at the helm for the start of China’s Qatar World Cup qualifying campaign but resigned after a disappointing defeat to Syria in November 2019.
Li enjoyed some initial success as the team secured a place in the final phase of Asian zone qualifying in June 2021. He was then engulfed in a series of disappointing results and controversies that culminated in his resignation as Team China’s head coach at the end of 2021.
“The multiple global crises we are facing have led to a decline in real wages. This has placed tens of millions of workers in a dire situation as they face increasing uncertainties.”
Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director General of the International Labor Organization, in a recent statement at the UN Office at Geneva
“The U.S. should carefully listen to domestic rational voices, stop politicizing, weaponizing, and ideologizing economic, trade and sci-tech issues.”
Mao Ning, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, at a regular news conference on November 25