Modi’s visit to disputed region imperils thaw in ties

Recently, China and India were engaged in a jagged excha

nge of words over Modi’s visit to South Tibet, a mountainous region under substantial dispute b

etween the two Asian giants. Although China’s stance on the boundary issue is cons

istent and crystal-clear that it has never recognized the so-called “A

runachal Pradesh” and is firmly opposed to any Indian leaders’ presence there, it was Modi who has repeatedly touched the raw nerve.

Such exchange – though it has happened in the past during China’s Spring Festivals in February 2015 and February 2018 – is p

articularly noteworthy: Modi’s latest visit followed the in

formal leadership summit in Wuhan in April 2018 which was widely seen as the key effort

from both sides to improve diplomatic ties and rebuild trust since the 73-day-long armed standoff in Doklam.

Such actions by Modi would inevitably affect the progress

ade by both sides, further complicating the boundary issue and exacerbating mutual suspicion.

Modi’s recent presence in South Tibet was largely driven b

y electoral considerations, aimed at mobilizing support for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahe

ad of the general elections, which are due in India in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.

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Unexpected twist in Gui case embarrasses Swedish FM

There has been a new unexpected twist in the case of Gui Minhai, and this time, the Swedish Ambassador to China Anna Lindstedt is involved.

Gui Minhai was born in China and later became a naturalized Swedish citizen. He was a Hong Kong-based bookseller be

fore being sued in the Chinese mainland in 2015. That lawsuit strained relations between China and Sweden.

His daughter, Angela Gui, has recently detailed a bizarre account of her visit to Stockholm, which has

embarrassed the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Angela Gui, who grew up in Sweden, now live

s in Britain where she is studying for a PhD in history at university. She gave her account in a media interview last we

ek and made an announcement Wednesday on her blog. Gui said that Ambassador Lindstedt contacted her in mid-January, inviting her to go to Sto

ckholm to meet two Chinese businessmen, who Lindstedt trusted, to discuss a new approach to her father’s case.

Angela Gui said she went to Stockholm in late January where she met two Chinese businessmen in the presence of Lindstedt. In

her statement, she said that the two businessmen asked her to stop all media engagements and public comment in exch

ange for her father’s release or commutation. According to Gui, Lindstedt supported the plan and said t

hat if not, the relationship between Sweden and China would otherwise be further undermined.

Angela Gui said that after the meeting, she called the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for confirm

ation. “They told me they hadn’t had the slightest idea this whole affair was taking place. They hadn’t even been informed the amb

assador was in the country,” she wrote. In her account of what happened, she not only gave details of the meeting,

but also described how she was feeling threatened and how the whole arrangement seemed suspicious.

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urope needs economic cooperation, not blind suspicion

Austria’s technology ministry has called on Europe to form a joint position on whether or not to allow Chinese firm Huawei to equip 5G for next-generation mobile networks. This consideration co

mes amid the US-hyped security concerns over Huawei and Washington’s relentless efforts to thwart the 5G efforts of this leading tech company.
5G

will be one of the most critical components of the digital economy and society, not only in China but also Europe. Europe has taken significant ste

ps to lead global developments toward this strategic technology. To reposition itself as a leader in world affairs including the field of technology, Europe h

as no reason to reject cooperation with Huawei which has developed the most advanced 5G technology, disregarding u

nwarranted US claims.
Europe is caught in the middle. While the continent treads carefully between China an

d the US, what is at stake is its own interests. As China tries to offer a cooperative approach, Europe, a longtime US ally, is hesi

ant to accept. The Belt and RoadInitiative proposed by China presents tremendous opportunities in terms of trade and g

rowth, while skepticism lingers in Europe about the geopolitical ambition the initiative may harbor.
Ob

servers believe that the funds allocated by the EU will fall way short of what is really needed. The EU will allocate funding for this project in its ne

xt multiannual budget, which will stretch from 2021 to 2027, but can Europe afford to wait till then to walk out of its current plight?

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Zhai, 32, is also a postdoctoral candidate at Peking Univ

versity. He found himself in hot water last week on social media after a netizen accused him of plagiarism.

The academy launched its own investigation on Mon

day. It completed its preliminary collection of evidence and notified Zhai, adding it has zero tolerance f

or academic misconduct and will look into other matters uncovered by netizens.

In a public apology posted on Sina Weibo on Thursday, Zhai said, “I lost myself amid a mentality of vanity and good luck.”

“After I starred in a few films and TV series, I became full of myself and forgot honesty is the most important principle,” Zhai said.

“Vanity misled me, and I brought this attitude into writing academic papers. I will withdraw from postdoctoral res

earch at Peking University and I am deeply sorry to my school, teachers, fans and the public,” he wrote.

www.gutvxt.cn

It could be the number of deaths among the elderly in rur

ral areas are at their lowest in February and March after discounting for the effects of winter’s cold snaps. Currently, a

bout one-fifth of the population aged 80 and above have moderate to severe disabilities and chronic illnesses, but it is als

o a fact that happier people cope better with illness and disability, regardless of age. Several studies in China clearly show tha

t a key factor in elderly people’s life satisfaction is spending quality time with their children and close friends.

It also wouldn’t be surprising if monthly births registrations in many villages and s

mall towns show a spike around November and December this year, as a re

sult of the coming together for an extended period of millions of spouses during the Spring Festival.

Furthermore, Chinese society places a high premium on marriage and childbearing with

in marriage for young adults, and Spring Festival is the peak time

for matchmaking in rural areas. So, we may expect this year’s holiday period to have yielded above average levels of suc

cessful matchmaking of future spouses by pro-active parents. This social function of the festival should not be o

verlooked, especially with the persistently rising age of people getting married for the first time in China.

ax132.cn

Airbus to scrap production of A380 superjumboys its prowe

TOULOUSE – Europe’s Airbus announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo on Thursd

ay, abandoning its dream of dominating the skies with a cruiseliner for the 21st century after years of lacklustre sales.

The world’s largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins a

nd room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing’s legendary 747

but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets.

Airbus said in a statement that the last A380 would be delivered in 2021.

Confirming a shake-up first reported by Reuters, it said Emirates – the largest A380 cust

omer – had decided to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo and order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo models.

The European company said it would enter talks with unions in coming weeks over the 3,000-3,500 jobs potentially affected.

Airbus will produce 17 more of the planes including 14 for Emirates and 3 for Japanese airline ANA.

As part of the restructuring, Emirates placed a new order for 40 A330-900neo jets an

d 30 A350-900 aircraft, partially restoring a purchase of A350 aircraft which it cancelled in

ex177.cn

Today, the situation is radically different. Space exploration is

nger the prerogative of the US and Russia. Apart from the US, Russia and China, India too has worked out an ambitious plan to put astronauts in space by 2022.

Constantly improving manufacturing and new material technologies have remarkably reduced the cost of space launches. The pr

ivate US company Space X has successfully launched recoverable rockets, and its launch cost per kilogram payload has fallen below $2,000, one-ten

th that of a space shuttle launch. And for China and India, the cost of one rocket launch is less than $5,000 per kg.

Another major change helping space exploration is the advancement in 3D printing technology, which now allows astr

onauts to produce parts and components in the International Space Station and thus reduces the number of sup

ply vehicle launches. 3D printing will play a big role in the construction of a permanent space station on the moon.

These technological advancements have propelled a new wave of space fever ac

ross the world. While US President Donald Trump has reactivated the space ex

ploration program that aims to land humans on Mars by 2033, private space companies such as Space X and Blue Ori

gin have used advanced technologies to their full advantage to move ahead in the space race.

For China, building a permanent space station and a rocket launch platform on the moon will

be critical to advanced space exploration. Actually, China is moving closer to fulfilling that objective.

www.102xe.cn

Consumers are more willing to spend money this year

Whether it is filial piety to the elderly or rewarding children or themselves, trading volu

me has kept growing. Spending on entertainment and travel also grew fast,” said Chen Han, a data analyst at China UnionPay.

Consumption has become the biggest driver for the economy, contributing 76.2 percent of the co

untry’s economic growth last year, up 18.6 percentage points over the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

“Judging from major economic indicators, domestic demand has become a decisive force of China’s economic gro

wth,” said Wang Bin, deputy director-general of the ministry’s department of market operation and consumption promotion.

Several factors will support steady consumer spending growth in China. Residential inco

me has been increasing fast and deeper pockets facilitate more spending. The second China Int

ernational Import Expo in Shanghai will also offer more access to global products, Wang said.

Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, exp

ects more favorable policies to further boost domestic shopping this year as nationwide tax cuts continue.

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Exercise leads Lunar New Year trendsival holiday, burning

During the Spring Festival holiday, burning calories has become a new trend from an internet catchphrase, chinanews.com has reported.

In many parts of China, sports have risen in popularity, as people enjoy working out by putting their

bodies in motion, reducing the physical burden of eating and drinking while staying healthier at the same time.

Fangfang, 24, from Taizhou, Zhejiang province, ran her first 5 kilometers of the Year of the Pig on Monday, as jogging to work makes her feel full of energy.

Dozens of winter swimmers from Yuhuan, Zhejiang, gathered at the beach behind Kanmen and rushed into to the sea against the cold wind to enjoy s

wimming. “We coastal people start the new year with our unique sport,” winter swimming enthusiast Chen Zhongfang said.

In preparation for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, games on snow and ice are drawing more interest. In snow and ic

e parks in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, a number of experiential projects have been set up, such

as a snow football field, ice bumper cars, curling, ice gyro and a snow circle. Thousands of citizens take part in such activities every day.

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China improves Long March-6 rocket for growing commer

BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — China announced Monday that it is developing the modified version of the Long March-6 rocket with four additional solid boosters to increase its carrying capacity.

The improved medium-left carrier rocket will be sent into space by 2020, according to the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC), which designed the rocket.

With a short launch preparation cycle, the Long March-6 has been mainly used for the academy’s commercial launches. The rocket completed two space tests in September 2015 and November 2017, carrying 20 satellites and three satellites, respectively.

The three-stage rocket is 29.3 meters long, with a launch weight of 103 tonnes. It has a carrying capacity of one tonne for sun-synchronous orbit.

Fueled by a liquid propellant made of liquid oxygen and kerosene, the Long

March-6 is China’s first carrier rocket that uses non-toxic and non-polluting fuel.

Ding Xiufeng, executive manager of the Long March-6 project, said in response to the growing demand for commercial launches, the

y will have the rockets’ market competitiveness enhanced through technical improvements, so that t

hey can provide easier, faster and more comprehensive services to users at home and abroad.

In January, the China Great Wall Industry Corporation, affiliated wi

th the CASTC, signed a multiple launch services agreement with Satellogic to use the Long

March-6 and the Long March-2 rockets to launch 90 satellites for a private Argentine company in the coming years.

The first 13 satellites will be delivered late

r this year. It will be the first time for the Long March-6 to provide launch services for an international user.

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