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Thousands of shoes honoring Chinese laborers killed in World War II

A special exhibition focused on the tragic history of Chinese laborers is held at the “Mukden Incident” history museum in Shenyang, Northeast China’s Liaoning province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

“Don’t forget history for peace”, a special exhibition focused on the tragic history of Chinese laborers was held at the “Mukden Incident” history museum in Shenyang.

Thousands of pairs of black cloth shoes were placed neatly on the museum square, from the east side of the museum monument to an “S”-shaped walkway at the entrance of the exhibition hall. The display commemorates 6,830 Chinese laborers killed in Japan during World War II. At that time, those forced to go to Japan did not wear shoes. These shoes, denied to the victims, symbolizes their dignity by being neatly placed in the same area today.

This not only honors victims, but also reminds people from China and Japan of history and promotes peace.

Xinjiang hip-hop lovers have designs on success

A Rameyda shirt features a Kazak musical instrument, the dombra, being played by a figure in a diver’s helmet. [Photo/China Daily]

Two friends who started a clothing and accessories brand in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have hit it big by giving traditional patterns a modern twist.

Hip-hop lovers Wei Xiaojiang and Muradil Muhtar teamed up in 2015, and their Rameyda line of products, including T-shirts, hoodies, caps and bags, is helping preserve ethnic culture by promoting it among young people.

One of their earliest and most iconic designs is a modern take on the kanway, a traditional short-sleeved shirt worn by Uygur men and women featuring colorful embroidery on the neck, chest and arms.

“We want to make it a cool thing to wear kanway,” Wei said. “People only tend to wear it during traditional festivals, so we designed a T-shirt that mixes classic patterns with modern style, hoping young people will be more willing to wear it in their daily lives.”

Written on the sleeve of the black T-shirt is “Dopeway”, a combination of the word “dope” (slang for good or fashionable) and “kanway”. The design also features a goat’s head, a common food eaten by Uygur people.

“Xinjiang has many interesting and cool things in terms of ethnic culture – music, clothes and nature,” Muradil said. “It’s our pride, and we want to promote Xinjiang culture in our designs.”

Another popular product is a cap emblazoned with “65”, the two digits at the start of Xinjiang residents’ ID numbers.

“Behind each design, there is a story,” Wei said. “The design inspiration is mainly from our life experience.”

Wei, a high school dropout, was working as a gym manager in Urumqi, the regional capital, when he and graphic designer Muradil decided to branch out on their own in May 2015.

At first they provided design services to companies, creating logos, posters and uniforms, which helped them build contacts, particularly in the textiles industry.

The duo produced their first self-branded product in August that year after the demolition of the city’s Nanmen Square to make way for a subway station. An underground mall below the square had been a popular hangout for young people.

“The square was a landmark and an important place in our childhood memory,” Wei said, adding that to commemorate the event they printed 50 black T-shirts with the word Nanmen and a white triangle, representing the pyramid that once stood on the square. The shirts quickly sold out, which inspired them to do more.

Over the next year, Wei and Muradil released 10 designs – in addition to producing work for other companies – and asked local hip-hop artists to wear them at concerts.

After making a name for themselves, they registered their Rameyda brand as a company in August 2016.

They sold their products, priced from 50 to 150 yuan ($7.28 to $21.84), through WeChat and the Taobao online marketplace, and opened a store in Urumqi last year. Most customers are age 18 to 30, mainly college students, they said. Muradil said young people in Xinjiang like hip-hop culture, and the design style has a good market in the region.

“I’m happy to know that many people in other provinces across China like our designs, too,” said Wei, who added that their T-shirts flew off the shelves during an exhibition in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

The Rameyda team now includes 20 people, allowing the company to focus on organizing events for fans, such as rock climbing and motorbike riding, and activities that promote the protection of wildlife.

“It’s difficult for small brands like us to survive in the market, and many have come along and produced some items and then quit,” Wei said. “But we’re happy that we’ve kept our business going, although we never seem to make ends meet.

“It’s because we always try new ideas and expand. We’re getting used to new challenges. The bigger they are, the more excited we feel.”

China tightens passenger transport safety

BEIJING – China has released a management guideline to supervise passenger transport companies on safety and reduce risks.

The guideline was jointly published recently by the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Public security, and Ministry of Emergency Management.

The guideline has rules focusing on safety education and management of drivers, risk management and control and examination on hidden dangers.

Data shows that 55.8 percent of road accidents that caused more than 10 deaths from 2012 to 2017 involved passenger vehicles and tour coaches.

Many of the accidents are caused by irresponsible companies which did not carry out safety checks.

More than 700 kg of drugs seized in Hunan

CHANGSHA – Police in central China’s Hunan Province have busted a large drug smuggling case and arrested 223 suspects, seizing about 705 kg of drugs worth over 15 million yuan (about 2.18 million US dollars).

In October 2018, police in the city of Yueyang in Hunan uncovered a drug trafficking gang involving disabled people. The gang smuggled drugs from abroad via southwest China’s Yunnan Province to other places in China including Hunan, Hubei, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Zhejiang.

In March, police in the cities of Yueyang, Hengyang and Changsha in Hunan carried out investigations, discovering the smuggling channels and structure of the gang.

During May and June, the police arrested 135 drug addicts and seized the drugs, including heroin and methamphetamine.

It is one of the largest drug smuggling cases ever uncovered in Hunan, according to police.

World’s largest container ship docks in Shanghai

The world’s largest container vessel MSC Gülsün arrives at Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, on July 11, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The world’s largest container vessel MSC Gülsün arrived at the Shanghai Yangshan Deep-Water Port on Saturday morning.

Built by Samsung Heavy Industries, the vessel measures about 400 meters long and 61.5 meters wide and has a capacity of 23,756 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

Gülsün, which left the port later in the afternoon, was the 45th 20,000 TEU-class super large container ship the port has received.

The container throughput of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, the world’s largest automated container port, has significantly increased since it became operational at then end of 2017. In the first half of 2019, its container throughput reached more than 1.5 million TEU, increasing by 160 percent year-on-year.

Zhan Jinyao contributed to this story.

The world’s largest container vessel MSC Gülsün arrives at Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, on July 11, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

CIIE highlights new features and business opportunities

TheCIIEheldaroadshowinXi’an, Shaanxiprovince,onFriday. [Photo by Xing Yi/For chinadaily.com.cn]

The China International Import Expo held a roadshow in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, on July 19, highlighting new features and business opportunities in this year’s expo for company buyers in Northwest China.

Tang Yugang, deputy director of the department of commerce of Shaanxi, reviewed the participation of the province’s trade mission in the first expo in November.

“More than 3,000 people from 1,000 companies went to the expo in Shanghai last year — the largest trade mission of our province,” said Tang, adding that 108 deals topping 13.8 billion yuan were signed.

Zhao Jianjun, general manager of Xi’an Camelar E-commerce Co, was in the provincial trade mission. His company bought 3 million yuan worth of agricultural produce, such as honey, flour and cooking oil, from exhibitors of Kazakhstan in the import expo.

“They were transported to Xi’an through the China-Europe freight train, and are selling well in our online stores on e-commerce platforms JD, Taobao and Pinduoduo,” Zhao said.

The critical location of Xi’an has given businessmen like Zhao advantages in logistics when trading with Central Asian countries.

The city was the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, and is among the busiest land transport hubs in the modern Belt and Road Initiative — a trade, investment, and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

Altogether 1,235 trips of the China-Europe freight train, carrying 1.2 million metric ton goods, set off from Xi’an to 15 countries in Central Asia and Europe last year, according to Xi’an International Trade and Logistic Park.

“The trains carry electronic products and mechanic equipment to Central Asia, and are loaded with high-quality agricultural produce on the way back,” said Zhao, who is looking forward to making more Kazakh business friends at the second import expo.

Tang Guifa, the president of The National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) Co, who manage the venue of the expo, said this year’s exhibition area will be 300,000 square meter — up 10 percent than last year’s — and the expo will add new sections of virtual reality, augmented reality, and autonomous driving.

“Besides world’s top 500 companies, there will also be around 2,000 small and middle-sized companies from Belt and Road countries attending the second import expo,” he said.

Liu Lijia, the chief representative of world’s largest building material manufacturer LafargeHolcim in China, said the company has secured a 260 square meters exhibition area for this year expo and will showcase its sustainable biodiversity development solutions such as vegetation-growing concrete.

The registration for professional buyers is open until September 30, and while individuals will need to acquire invitation code from their local trade mission, companies can register without the code, according to the organizer China International Import Expo Bureau.

China taps mobile game to aid poverty relief

BEIJING — The Chinese government is innovating its poverty reduction campaign tactics through tailored mobile games in an effort to attract the participation of the country’s huge online population.

In the latest effort, the poverty reduction office under the Ministry of Finance and Tencent’s instant messaging platform WeChat joined hands to develop a mobile game, which is set on farmland in several poverty-stricken counties and allows players to grow and sell agricultural products.

Through the sales of the virtual products they have grown, players could earn credits on the platform, which could be then used as discount coupons on an e-commerce outlet for purchases of real goods such as rice and fruits produced by local farmers.

Yongsheng county in Yunnan province, Pingjiang county in Hunan province and Fenxi county in Shanxi province are among the first batch of pilot regions on the game’s virtual map.

As China’s fight against poverty enters a new phase that focuses on targeted, precise solutions, the government has been seeking innovative ways to make the efforts more effective.

In 2018, China lifted 13.86 million people in rural areas out of poverty, with the number of impoverished rural residents dropping from 98.99 million in late 2012 to 16.6 million by the end of last year.

China has vowed to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020.

China to ‘fight back’ on new tariff threat

China will “fight back firmly” if the United States publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday morning.

The Trump administration threatened to slap a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports on Monday, a weekend apart from announcing hefty tariffs on made-in-China products, escalating a trade dispute that has put markets and businesses on edge.

“This practice of maximum pressure and blackmail goes against the consensus reached by the two sides on multiple occasions, and has utterly disappointed the international community,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.

If the US side gets so irrational as to publish an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods, China will have to fight back firmly with comprehensive “qualitative” and “quantitative” measures, it said.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said he had asked the US trade representative to identify the Chinese products to be subject to the new tariffs, a move that he said would be in retaliation for China’s decision on Saturday to raise tariffs on $50 billion in US goods, according to a White House release.

“After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced,” Trump said.

He further threatened that he would pursue “additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods” if China responds to the fresh round of tariffs.

The Trump administration on Friday announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports, prompting China to retaliate swiftly with matching duties on American imported goods.

Wall Street has viewed the rising trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

At a Washington Post panel last week, Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, took aim at the president’s announced tariffs on steel, aluminum, and some Chinese goods, saying they could wipe out the positive boost from the tax law Trump signed in December, according to a Business Insider report.

“If you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation, and you could end up with consumer debt,” he said. “Those are all historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”

As the trade deficit is at the core of bilateral trade relations, Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Deutsche Bank, said US companies actually may have sold more to China than Chinese firms did to the US.

The bilateral trade balance may be misleading because it does not capture the sales of goods and services by foreign firms’ local subsidiaries, Zhang said. Countries such as Japan and South Korea have large businesses in China that export to the US.

Combining trade and foreign direct investment, the US actually ran a surplus against China. Deutsche Bank estimated that the US aggregate sales balance had turned into a surplus against China in 2016 and 2017.

The aggregate US sales balance with China increased to a $7 billion surplus in 2016 from a $30 billion deficit in 2015, and further increased to a $20 billion in surplus in 2017. This is because sales of major companies’ local subsidiaries in China continue to grow more rapidly than the growth of the trade deficit in the past few years, according to the research.

“Escalation of the trade war between the US and its major trading partners would be negative for US multinationals and the US labor market,” said Zhang. “China’s rising demand for US products, such as food and energy, may also help some US regions that were previously negatively affected by globalization.”

Zhang said a trade war may put US multinationals in danger, because multinationals accounted for one-fifth of total employment in the US.

Karen Reddington, president for Asia-Pacific at Memphis, Tennessee-based logistics company FedEx Corp, said the company remains committed to lowering trade barriers for its customers. She contended that imposing tariffs would slow economic growth and raise prices for its businesses and consumers.

Long Guoqiang, vice-president of the Development Research Center of the State Council, said that in terms of the production value chain, the US manufacturing sector not only accounts for the most profitable industries, but also is enjoying the highest added value and is actively allocating low-value-added segments overseas.

Ford Motor Co sold 338,386 vehicles in China in the first five months of this year, about one-third the number in the US, and had welcomed a Chinese plan to reduce tariffs on auto imports.

That may be in jeopardy as gas-powered and electric vehicles could face the border tax increase.

“President Trump is fixated with tariffs, which he believes he can wield freely, but there are grave consequences,” said American Apparel & Footwear Association President Rick Helfenbein. “Congress needs to step in now to end this dangerous obsession.”

Contact the writers at zhongnan@chinadaily.com.cn

Shenzhen to add helicopter service to urban public transport

SHENZHEN — Pressing a button to call a helicopter to a rooftop, once the stuff of sci-fi stories, could soon be a reality in China’s southern metropolis of Shenzhen.

An urban air mobility (UAM) project is expected to make the Chinese innovation hub, renowned for its “Shenzhen speed”, even faster.

The joint project between Airbus and Shenzhen Municipal Commerce Bureau will add a new dimension to its urban transport system.

“We understand the potential of Shenzhen – the innovative spirit, and the opportunity to create an additional solution for the city and a service,” said Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, head of urban air mobility of Airbus.

Tailored UAM services will be introduced in Shenzhen by the end of 2019, making it the first Chinese city with helicopters in its urban public transport.

“Airbus is collaborating closely with China on helicopters. We would like to start introducing this UAM service with existing helicopters and in parallel develop the new electronic vertical take-off and landing(eVTOL) and next-generation vehicles,” Puerta said.

A digital platform will be tailored to Shenzhen, adapted to the Chinese customer and connected to the existing transport system.

The seamless end-to-end transport solution could combine any type of ground transport and mobility with the air.

“I hope that we can prove together at the end of this year that this is not science fiction, but an existing reality and an option for people in Shenzhen,” said Puerta.

“It is going to be much more public as the price will be more acceptable to the public. Its value as a new urban transport form is far beyond business,” he added.

Multiple aftershocks triggered after Sichuan quake

Workers clean a road at Shuanghe town in Changning county of Yibin city, Southwest China’s Sichuan province, June 18, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Aftershocks are expected to continue to rock Yibin’s Changning county in Sichuan province following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck late on Monday, officials of the China Earthquake Networks Center said on Tuesday.

By 4 pm on Tuesday, 77 aftershocks above magnitude 2.0 had been recorded.

Monday night’s earthquake occurred at a secondary fault at the edge of the Sichuan Basin, not in the same area of the tectonic belt that was the origin of magnitude 8.0 earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008.

Wang Haitao, a researcher with the center, said that the aftershocks are highly active because the area lies in a geological fold where the faults are small and wide spread.

“Once a big earthquake happens, the connected faults will become active, triggering more aftershocks,” he said.

Wang Song, project management director with center, said that Changning has been relatively stable terrain historically, but has been geologically active in the past few decades.

The earthquake, which hit Changning on Monday evening, has killed 13 people so far.

People were successfully evacuated in nearby Yibin and Chengdu thanks to a warning issued by the Continental Earthquake Warning Center, which was jointly built by the Institute of Care-Life in Chengdu and Ministry of Emergency Management in 2011.

Wang Song, the director, said that the nation has also been making efforts to build a nationwide early warning system since 2015.

The system, also known as the National Seismic Intensity Rapid Reporting and Early Warning project, will warn the public within a few seconds after an earthquake and report quickly its intensity, according to Wang.

“The warning, delivered to the public, is to urge people to evacuate or take measures to protect themselves. But more importantly, the system will report the earthquake’s intensity in just 10 minutes to give more accurate information to rescue teams,” he said.

According to him, it now takes a couple of days for geologists to report the intensity after performing site investigations.

chengsi@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 06/19/2019 page4)