A yoga competition has taken place in Pu’an County, Guizhou Province, October 22, 2018. 65 yoga enthusiasts from across China have taken part in the competition.[Photo/VCG]
A yoga competition has taken place in Pu’an County, Guizhou Province, October 22, 2018. 65 yoga enthusiasts from across China have taken part in the competition.[Photo/VCG]
Candidates review materials before the national civil servant exam at a test center in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu province, on Dec 10, 2017. [Photo/VCG]
Competition more fierce than usual will characterize this year’s national civil service exam as the job vacancies shrank by almost half.
The annual recruitment effort offered 14,537 positions, compared with more than 28,000 last year.
More than 1.4 million applicants had registered for the exam as of the deadline on Wednesday, down by 15 percent year-on-year, according to Huatu.com, a leading training agency for the exam.
Applicants for civil service are competing for jobs in 75 central government agencies and 20 institutions under them, according to the State Administration of Civil Service.
“The steep drop mainly resulted from the sharp decline of taxation-related vacancies,” Li Manqing, president of Huatu.com, said during a livestream. “The big change in tax-related positions was mainly due to the institutional restructuring of taxation authorities at central and local levels.”
Taxation-related vacancies decreased to 6,046 this year from 17,701 in 2017.
Under the institutional restructuring plan approved by the National People’s Congress in March, revenue departments will be managed by central and provincial governments instead of by the central government alone.
“That resulted in the central revenue department’s reduced demand in the exam for talent,” Li said.
Wu Jiang, former director of the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science, thought another factor also might have contributed to the decline.
“All departments have natural turnover of staff, but job vacancies might not have been filled as a result of the institutional reform,” he said.
The ratio of qualified applicants to vacancies this year is higher than 87-to-1, while the ratios from 2014 to 2017 ranged from 50-to-1 to 63-to-1, according to the administration.
Since launching the annual exam in 1994, competition for civil service jobs has always been fierce, as they have long been perceived as secure, lifelong positions with stable pay, especially at the local level.
There were 4,040 applicants seeking the position of administrator for the Guangdong Meteorological Bureau, which was the most competitive vacancy. The lowest-level employee positions of the State Administration of Taxation’s branches in Shanghai and Sichuan were each sought by more than 2,000 people.
Candidates will take the national exam, which is scheduled for December across the country. The majority of the positions in Party and government agencies above provincial level require two years of grassroots work experience, the administration said.
The original fresco – Three Bodhisattvas – in the British Museum.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A copy of a famous Chinese fresco, which is on exhibit at the British Museum, is on tour in China.
The original fresco used to be in a monastery in North China’s Hebei province. It was painted by monks from Mount Wutai, a famous Buddhist mountain in North China’s Shanxi province, according to the British Museum.
The fresco – Three Bodhisattvas – was painted during the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) in Qingliang Monastery in Xingtang county, Shijiazhuang, according to Hao Jianwen, one of the major painters of the copy.
The fresco was taken away from Hebei province in 1920s, Hao said.
Started last year, Hao and his team of 26 painters spent three months to finish the painting. The copy, 4-meters long and 3.9 meters wide, is the same size as the original piece.
The copy is on display in Shanxi and will be put in the Museum of Xingtang County after its tour exhibition ends, Hao said.
China’s top court is considering raising the level of compensation for mental anguish for people subjected to wrongful legal decisions, a senior official said.
The measure would better protect the legitimate rights of those people and may be paired with changes to more strictly regulate judicial conduct, the official said.
“We’ve noticed public complaints saying the current compensation standard for mental suffering is too low to make up for the harm to people who were wrongly convicted or wrongfully detained,” said Zhu Erjun, deputy director of the Compensation Office with the Supreme People’s Court. “We’re studying how to solve the problem, such as trying to increase the standard.”
Zhu disclosed proposals on compensation for mental anguish over wrongful legal decisions to China Daily after a news conference on general compensation issues on Tuesday. He did not release details of the proposal or when it might be issued.
A current judicial interpretation states that payment for mental anguish should not exceed 35 percent of the state compensation that a person receives for damages to property or loss of personal liberty, he said. Zhu called the current standard “far from enough, especially in cases of those who are wrongly sentenced to death or other extreme penalties”.
State compensation cannot eliminate the mental pain suffered by victims and their families, “but can at least help improve their lives a little, and it’s the determination of the courts to respect human rights and regulate judicial conduct in handling cases,” he added.
From the beginning of 2013 to the end of October 2018, courts nationwide dealt with about 28,000 state compensation cases, including several high-profile ones in which defendants were paid in a timely way after acquittal, he said.
Among them, the family of Nie Shubin of Hebei province received 2.68 million yuan ($385,000) in compensation, including 1.3 million yuan for mental suffering, after Nie was found not guilty in December 2016 of the rape and murder of a woman due to insufficient evidence. Nie had been found guilty and executed in 1995 at age 21.
Also in 2016, Chen Man, who was wrongly imprisoned for 23 years for intentional homicide and arson, received 1.85 million yuan in compensation for restriction of his personal freedom as well as 900,000 yuan for mental anguish.
In February, Zhou Qiang, president of the top court, urged all courts to make efforts to review and correct wrongful criminal convictions and ensure that state compensation is implemented.
Wang Wanqiong, a criminal defense lawyer from Sichuan province responsible for Chen’s case, said she is happy to hear the standard is to be raised. She said state compensation should catch up with the country’s rapid economic development.
“The standard in the current judicial interpretation was written in 2001, and it is out of date,” she said, suggesting the top court lift the standard as quickly as possible.
JINAN – Five miners have been killed, one has been rescued, while another 16 remain trapped after a rock burst at a coal mine in East China’s Shandong province on Saturday, local authorities announced on Thursday.
The accident occurred at around 11 p.m. Saturday at Longyun Coal Mining Co. Ltd. in Yuncheng County. A total of 22 people were trapped in the tunnel after coal fell at both ends from the rock burst.
Rescue work is continuing and the accident is under investigation.
Rock bursts are often caused by fractures in rocks due to wear and tear from mining.
GUANGZHOU — There are about 80,000 foreign nationals living in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong province, according to the city’s police bureau.
As China’s major trade center, the city has been an important base for foreign nationals living in China. It is known for having a large African community.
The bureau said there are currently 15,000 Africans living in the city. Egypt, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the major sources of African expatriates. Most are engaged in trade or study in the city.
The influx of African nationals began in 2006 when Beijing Summit of the Forum on Sino-African Cooperation was held, attended by heads of state and senior officials from 48 African countries.
Official statistics show that in 2009, about 20,000 Africans lived in the city, but the real number, including illegal immigrants and overstayers, is believed to have been much higher.
The African population has decreased as police have tightened enforcement on illegal immigration. Meanwhile, the cost of living and doing business in the city has also been on the rise.
Currently, half of foreign nationals in Guangzhou are from Europe, Japan or the Republic of Korea, according to the bureau.
Niu Baozeng, an entry and exit administration official, said that the number of foreign nationals in Guangzhou has been on the rise in the past three years. Criminal cases involving foreign nationals have gone down.
The bureau said among 1,000 illegal immigrants detained last year, most were from South East Asian countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar.
Ctrip headquaters in Shanghai. [Photo/VCG]
SHANGHAI – Eight people stood trial Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse in a daycare center in Shanghai.
The court heard that during August and November 2017, seven of the suspects rubbed wasabi on toddlers at daycare center or sprayed liquids on them.
The suspects were also accused of having pushed, dragged and patted the children. Another suspect, identified by surname as Zheng, who was in charge of the center, demanded the children obey the other suspects.
Zheng also asked the other suspects to avoid surveillance, according to the Changning District People’s Court in Shanghai.
Video footage of the suspects appearing to abuse children in a Ctrip day care center went viral in November last year, leading to an intense public outcry.
Leading travel agency Ctrip established the center, run by a third-party organization, in 2016, to help employees solve babysitting problems for children under three years old, the minimum age for public kindergartens.
The court will announce its verdict at a later date.
“I’m losing my hair, which makes me pretty agitated the entire year,” says Jia Xue, a 25-year-old woman who has just become a marketing manager at an Internet company in pursuit of a more promising career.
“Baldness” became a buzzword among the post-90s generation last year, a term that is at once a label of self-mockery and a health issue growing more prevalent among young Chinese. It’s not the only tag the Nineties have given themselves. Grey hair, insomnia, and gastric distress are among the common symptoms of their generation, who cite social pressure as the main culprit for these problems.
A recent annual report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on social mentality in China reveals that 31.6 percent of respondents often feel anxious, and those who reportedly show signs of fidgeting and strain account for 42.8 percent.
Anxiety stemming from issues with housing, education, healthcare, employment, excessive exposure to social media, and identity crises, particularly for those of a lower social status, have stoked unhappiness among the Chinese.
According to the report, the post-90s generation is the least happy while those from the post-80s trail right behind. Meanwhile, those who are at either end of the spectrum – the under-20s and septuagenarians – are the most satisfied.
Yang, a media editor born in 1991, complains about the skyrocketing house prices in Beijing, which have slowed down since mid-2018. “I can never afford a house here with my meager salary, even if one day, I’m given a pay raise,” says Yang, a native of north China’s Shanxi.
For years, prohibitive property prices have been besetting a majority of young Chinese working in first-tiered cities.
“I’ve even lost the motivation to make a more decent living because no matter how hard I try, I’m still unable to buy a house of my own,” Jia Xue tells CGTN Digital. Still, she feels life is more difficult as a woman, given gender discrimination in the workplace, and even the second-child policy, which pressures women to balance family and work. “For now, I just want to stay single without a family to provide for,” she laments.
Over the past couple of decades, the Chinese economy took off. Highways, flyovers, and cloud-piercing skyscrapers seemed to have been built overnight, etching out a fascinating prosperity not only materially, but socially and culturally. The post-80s and post-90s are living in an era of greater material abundance than previous generations, so they tend to embrace more post-materialist values – independence, individuality and self-expression.
“But after growing up, they’ll easily feel frustrated as they find their values at odds with the real world while struggling to earn their bread,” says Qu Yuping, a psychology professor based in Shanghai.
The fast-changing economy quickly restitched China’s employment fabric, which created myriad chances for young people. Nonetheless, it’s easy to get lost in dizzying opportunities.
Yi Chen, a Portuguese-language major, fell into a job where she couldn’t use her skill. “I feel upset at work but I have to accumulate experience, for at least one year, to leave for another one.” She’s been suffering from insomnia upon graduation.
Scant work experience is one of the hurdles for young people in attaining their dream career. For those spending years toiling in a sophisticated environment, it’s tough to get reset with a startup.
Hopes are fading for Wang Yuan, a 35-year-old cofounder of a landscape design company which has just entered its third year. He never thought the real estate industry would decline in a short span of time and recently he enrolled in a floriculture course, deciding to expand the business in search of a silver lining. “Be careful before starting a business. There’s no way back,” he cautioned his younger peers.
While the world’s most populous country is rapidly urbanizing, its rural areas are undergoing a transformation to keep apace with the deluge of economic opportunities spilling from the cities.
Over the last few years, rural youths have swarmed to urban centers to build the modern infrastructure that has wowed domestic and international observers alike.
Among the migrant workers piling up Beijing’s tallest building – the CITIC Tower – a 22-year-old wood craftsman from south China’s Guangdong Province says that he left home for the megacity to get a taste of the economic miracle. But he cannot afford a day off to even see the city, for he would lose the day’s wages. His deepest impression of the metropolis is the high consumer prices.
The widening wealth gap and its consequent ossification of social structures – inevitable byproducts of sweeping changes – have given rise to cases of injustice. “That’s why the young people feel anxious, as they want equality and humane care,” says Qu.
But they should stay optimistic. As the central government pushes for greater opening up and continued free trade in a globalized world, opportunities are more accessible than ever.
(The names used by the interviewees, except that of the professor, are pseudonyms as requested.)
People smoke at an outdoor designated smoking area on Dongfang Road in Shanghai. GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY
XI’AN – Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, has unveiled a regulation which bans smoking in all indoor public venues.
The regulation, released on Tuesday by the city government, also prohibits smoking in some outdoor public places, such as schools, stadiums and health institutions for pregnant women and children.
Smokers who do not adhere to the regulation will be fined 10 yuan (1.5 U.S. dollars), and venue owners may be fined up to 1,000 yuan.
The regulation will take effect on November 1.
Xi’an, home to the Terra-Cotta Warriors, is the latest major Chinese city to ban smoking in all indoor public venues, following Beijing and Shanghai.
There are over 300 million smokers and 740 million people exposed to second-hand smoke in China.
The country has set a target to reduce the smoking rate among people aged 15 and above to 20 percent by 2030 from the current 27.7 percent, according to the “Healthy China 2030” blueprint issued in 2016.
Zhao Poying, 86, makes embroidery balls in Jiuzhou village of Jingxi, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, last month. Almost all of the 500 households in the village are engaged in the business.ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY
For the Zhuang ethnic group in Southwest China, embroidered balls were once keepsakes given by lovers to show their affection.
Nowadays, however, in Jingxi, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, the brightly colored, silk-striped balls are a way to grow rich.
Jiuzhou, a picturesque village 9 kilometers from Jingxi, is regarded as the home of the Chinese embroidered ball. Annual production exceeds 5 million balls, about 90 percent of the market.
Almost every one of the 500 households in the village is engaged in the business.
The history of embroidered balls can be traced to the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Girls picked up needlework at a very young age. However, for a long time the balls were not well known－mainly because locals never thought they would interest people from outside.
Huang Xiaoqin, now 73 and the cultural inheritor of the handmade embroidered ball, brought them to the world.
She took up embroidery at the age of 8 and found she had a talent for making the silk balls.
In 2005, Huang was invited to Beijing to demonstrate how to make one. Her skilled performance and the delicate handicraft made a splash.
“People surrounded me and kept asking me what is it and what is it used for. I was greatly encouraged and realized that this is an opportunity for us,” she said.
Since then she has received orders from all over the country.
A foreign trader discovered her works by chance through a local import-export company and placed an annual order valued at 100,000 yuan ($14,700).
Embroidered with images of lotus and mandarin ducks, the balls are regarded as a mascot and cultural symbol of the Zhuang people.
As overseas demand grew, Huang decided to make improvements. She replaced the traditional Chinese images with the spelling of the 12 months in English which turned out to be a commercial success and welcomed by foreign customers.
These days, thousands of tourists are attracted to the village every year and the balls have become a must-buy item. They generate 6 million yuan in annual sales.
However, with many young people leaving to work in cities, the elderly are left alone to continue the business.
What concerns Huang now is how to pass her skills on and still maintain high quality.
“Right now I offer free training for women in the countryside. The skill is, of course, important but innovation is the key to our success,” she said.
According to Yang Zhaoyu, chairman of Jingxi New Development Group, the embroidered ball industry will play a leading role in boosting local tourism. The company already has plans to dig into the potential of local cuisine to make Jingxi attractive.