Xi to initiate 'golden era' in China-UK tiesPresident Xi



Xi to initiate 'golden era' in China-UK tiesPresident Xi Jinping's UK visit starting next week will lead to the signing of agreements worth "a huge amount" and initiate "a golden era" in Beijing's relations with London, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said the president will meet with members of the British royal family, but it did not give details, such as whether Xi will see the newborn princess, Charlotte.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Xi will make the visit from Oct 19 to 23 at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.
This will be the first visit by a Chinese president in a decade. The last Chinese head of state to visit Britain was then-president Hu Jintao in 2005.

Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Chao said later on Tuesday that Xi will visit London and Manchester.

In the capital, he will attend a series of activities hosted by the queen, such as a welcoming ceremony, a review of the Blues and Royals cavalry regiment, an informal luncheon and a formal welcoming dinner.

He will also meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, Wang said at a news conference about the visit.

Xi will also address Parliament and speak at a dinner hosted by the mayor of London.

In Manchester, the president will visit research and commercial projects.

"The leaders will draw a blueprint for China-UK relations and start a golden era of the ties," Wang said.

Deals signed during the visit will cover such areas as finance, real estate, energy, healthcare and the automobile industry, Assistant Minister of Commerce Zhang Ji told the news conference.

"It (money involved) will be a huge figure, exceeding those signed during previous UK visits by Chinese leaders," he said.
The two countries also are expected to seal a major nuclear energy agreement during the visit.

Cui Hongjian, an expert on European studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said the visit will play a strategic role in future ties between Beijing and London.
"Through the visit, the two countries will seek to ensure that bilateral relations will not see major turbulence in the future and that they will operate on a healthy and stable channel," Cui said.

The queen's press secretary has said that Xi and his wife will stay at Buckingham Palace during their stay.

Prince William, the queen's grandson and second-in-line to the throne, met with Xi in March in the highest-profile visit to China by a member of the British royal family since the queen and her husband made a state visit to the country in 1986.

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Commentary: Lesson from Disqualification of Shanhai Pass to Chinese Tourism Industry

File Photo of Shanhai Pass in the Great Wall of China, located in north China's Hebei province.

According to a notification issued by the National Tourism Administration on October 9, Shanhai Pass (one of the major passes in the Great Wall of China, located in north China’s Hebei province) is disqualified from the 5A scenic spots, the highest level in tourist attraction rating categories of China, for overpriced tickets and other problems. Another six scenic spots among which were Old Town of Lijiang, Xixi National Wetland Park, Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Ming Tombs were issued “serious warning” and were required to make modifications on a deadline. Shanhai Pass thus became the first 5A scenic spot being disqualified.

As tourist amount spikes in China, the complaints and disappointments on the domestic tourist sites are accumulating. During the National Day holiday (October 1 - October 7), tourist scams and rip-offs were reported in places all over the country. For example, the huge prawn bill in Qingdao, the overpriced Chinese traditional medicine sold in Jinggang Mountains and the “Lijiang wine shills”. The poor management and service in the tourist sites are not in line with Chinese people’s increasing consumption demand in the tourism industry.


File Photo: 5A scenic spot, the Potala Palace in Southwest China's Tibet

The domestic tourist sites cared all about “titles” instead of any quality service they can provide. They strived to get the “3A”, “4A” and “5A” qualifications. Once the qualification was granted, the tourist site would rest on the title and made no effort to provide visitors with good experience. Horrible sanitation, overpriced tickets, damaged facilities and poor services are common in Chinese tourist sites. Sightseeing spots were in a business expecting no return customers. No matter the tourists enjoy their experience or not, they rarely return. This provides excuse for poor management in lots of scenic spots.

The disqualification of Shanhai Pass is no doubt a hard lesson for China’s tourism industry. Tourist management departments of all levels should realize that only great management, reasonable prices and good services could help them keep the “titles” and get more visitors.

Chinese people are caring more about the experience they get at the scenic spots. However, the terrible incidents occurred on many tourists appalled the public. Despite being called "First Pass under Heaven", Shanhai Pass didn’t fulfill its rich historical and cultural heritage. The disqualification taught a lesson to management people in other tourist sites that they can’t rest on their laurels.

Local governments are also accountable in enhancing the reputation of Chinese tourism industry. For all tourist sites, the titles are not permanent. It can be awarded and cancelled. Firing the executives after the scam got reported is not enough. Practical work needs to be done in daily administration of the tourist sites to improve the service they provide to visitors. The current profit-driven mindset shall be replaced with customer-oriented services.


File Photo: 5A scenic spot Hengdian World Studios in East China's Zhejiang province
After Shanhai Pass being disqualified, the executives were removed from the positions and wrongdoings were stopped. Tourists’ disappointment is supervisory departments’ Achilles' Heel. It shall provide incentives to push innovation and modification in management and services. Lesson shall be learnt and tourists shall be put in the center of scenic spots’ work.

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First China-made maglev line runs for test

Accompanied by the whistle sound, the first China-made low-speed maglev train left the Changsha South Station and completed a test run successfully on Oct. 6, 2015, which marks that China has made important progress on the application of the internationally advanced low-speed maglev train.
The low-speed maglev train developed by China CSR Zhuzhou company, with the highest speed of 100 km and maximum capacity of 60 passengers, rolled off the production line in January 2012.
On May 16, 2014, construction of a maglev line from Changsha South Railway Station to Huanghua International Airport was started. The line is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is a first commercial maglev line completely developed by China.
Changsha maglev line covers a total distance of 18.5 km, with an investment about 4.19 billion yuan. With the maglev line, it takes only 8 minutes for passengers to go from the railway station to the airport. Three stations including Changsha South Railway station, Langli station and Huanghua Airport station will be put into operation firstly.
"The low speed maglev with low noise can be used in the inner city, and has broad prospects," said Luo Huajun, manager of the low-speed maglev project from CSR Zhuzhou.  


Photo: Route map of Changsha Maglev project.

Accompanied by the whistle sound, the first China-made low-speed maglev train left the Changsha South Station and completed a test run successfully on Oct. 6, 2015, which marks that China has made important progress on the application of the internationally advanced low-speed maglev train.

The low-speed maglev train developed by China CSR Zhuzhou company, with the highest speed of 100 km and maximum capacity of 60 passengers, rolled off the production line in January 2012.

On May 16, 2014, construction of a maglev line from Changsha South Railway Station to Huanghua International Airport was started. The line is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is a first commercial maglev line completely developed by China.

Changsha maglev line covers a total distance of 18.5 km, with an investment about 4.19 billion yuan. With the maglev line, it takes only 8 minutes for passengers to go from the railway station to the airport. Three stations including Changsha South Railway station, Langli station and Huanghua Airport station will be put into operation firstly.


"The low speed maglev with low noise can be used in the inner city, and has broad prospects," said Luo Huajun, manager of the low-speed maglev project from CSR Zhuzhou.  

Accompanied by the whistle sound, the first China-made low-speed maglev train left the Changsha South Station and completed a test run successfully on Oct. 6, 2015, which marks that China has made important progress on the application of the internationally advanced low-speed maglev train.
The low-speed maglev train developed by China CSR Zhuzhou company, with the highest speed of 100 km and maximum capacity of 60 passengers, rolled off the production line in January 2012.

On May 16, 2014, construction of a maglev line from Changsha South Railway Station to Huanghua International Airport was started. The line is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is a first commercial maglev line completely developed by China.

Changsha maglev line covers a total distance of 18.5 km, with an investment about 4.19 billion yuan. With the maglev line, it takes only 8 minutes for passengers to go from the railway station to the airport. Three stations including Changsha South Railway station, Langli station and Huanghua Airport station will be put into operation firstly.

"The low speed maglev with low noise can be used in the inner city, and has broad prospects," said Luo Huajun, manager of the low-speed maglev project from CSR Zhuzhou.  

Accompanied by the whistle sound, the first China-made low-speed maglev train left the Changsha South Station and completed a test run successfully on Oct. 6, 2015, which marks that China has made important progress on the application of the internationally advanced low-speed maglev train.

The low-speed maglev train developed by China CSR Zhuzhou company, with the highest speed of 100 km and maximum capacity of 60 passengers, rolled off the production line in January 2012.

On May 16, 2014, construction of a maglev line from Changsha South Railway Station to Huanghua International Airport was started. The line is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is a first commercial maglev line completely developed by China.

Changsha maglev line covers a total distance of 18.5 km, with an investment about 4.19 billion yuan. With the maglev line, it takes only 8 minutes for passengers to go from the railway station to the airport. Three stations including Changsha South Railway station, Langli station and Huanghua Airport station will be put into operation firstly.

"The low speed maglev with low noise can be used in the inner city, and has broad prospects," said Luo Huajun, manager of the low-speed maglev project from CSR Zhuzhou.  

Accompanied by the whistle sound, the first China-made low-speed maglev train left the Changsha South Station and completed a test run successfully on Oct. 6, 2015, which marks that China has made important progress on the application of the internationally advanced low-speed maglev train.

The low-speed maglev train developed by China CSR Zhuzhou company, with the highest speed of 100 km and maximum capacity of 60 passengers, rolled off the production line in January 2012.

On May 16, 2014, construction of a maglev line from Changsha South Railway Station to Huanghua International Airport was started. The line is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is a first commercial maglev line completely developed by China.

Changsha maglev line covers a total distance of 18.5 km, with an investment about 4.19 billion yuan. With the maglev line, it takes only 8 minutes for passengers to go from the railway station to the airport. Three stations including Changsha South Railway station, Langli station and Huanghua Airport station will be put into operation firstly.

"The low speed maglev with low noise can be used in the inner city, and has broad prospects," said Luo Huajun, manager of the low-speed maglev project from CSR Zhuzhou.  

Accompanied by the whistle sound, the first China-made low-speed maglev train left the Changsha South Station and completed a test run successfully on Oct. 6, 2015, which marks that China has made important progress on the application of the internationally advanced low-speed maglev train.

The low-speed maglev train developed by China CSR Zhuzhou company, with the highest speed of 100 km and maximum capacity of 60 passengers, rolled off the production line in January 2012.

On May 16, 2014, construction of a maglev line from Changsha South Railway Station to Huanghua International Airport was started. The line is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. It is a first commercial maglev line completely developed by China.

Changsha maglev line covers a total distance of 18.5 km, with an investment about 4.19 billion yuan. With the maglev line, it takes only 8 minutes for passengers to go from the railway station to the airport. Three stations including Changsha South Railway station, Langli station and Huanghua Airport station will be put into operation firstly.

"The low speed maglev with low noise can be used in the inner city, and has broad prospects," said Luo Huajun, manager of the low-speed maglev project from CSR Zhuzhou.  

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Sensible strategic move by Russia to give Assad support
Russian President Vladimir Putin cups his ear to listen to a question as he departs after a summit on the Ukraine crisis at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 2, 2015. France hosted a meeting with leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine in Paris for talks about Ukraine which were likely to be overshadowed by the conflict in Syria. [Photo/Agencies]
Russia's direct military involvement in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria could have a far-reaching impact on both international anti-terror efforts in the Middle East and the political terrain in the region.

Russia began airstrikes on IS targets in Syria on Sept 30 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The move has drawn widespread suspicion and criticism from Western countries which believe Moscow is backing its long-term ally Assad and helping the latter to combat the country's rebels.
Yet, there is no denying that Moscow's military involvement is a sensible strategic move in response to the ineffectiveness of United States' strategic maneuvers in the region in the past few years.

To some extent, persistent US support to arming moderate opposition forces in the Middle East and its half-heartedness in fighting the IS group have aggravated Russia's security outlook and reduced the strategic space of its allies in the region.

The US support to rebel forces in Syria has enabled extremist and terrorist groups to flourish in the region; some tens of thousands of extremists have entered the crisis-ridden countries in the Middle East from Chechnya, Russia's North Caucus and Central Asia.

With the Syrian government losing the control of 70 percent of its territory, the fall of the Assad government may not be a distant illusion. And if such a scenario truly happens, the fledgling anti-Russia forces in the Middle East could pose a tangible threat to Russia. On Tuesday insurgents fired two shells at the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital.

As a result, for Russia, supporting Assad is tantamount to bolstering its own stability and security.

Its involvement is also helping to strengthen its image as a responsible stakeholder.

Syria has been mired in a civil war for more than four years, and the US-led international coalition has been bombing IS positions in Syria and Iraq for more than a year.
From the perspective of combating terrorism in the region, Russia's involvement, at the invitation of Assad, could make up for the ineffectiveness of the international coalition in the fight against IS extremists. With the cooperation of Syrian government ground forces, Russian strikes against the IS group could prove more efficient and precise.

However, from a geopolitical perspective, Russia's involvement signals Syria has become a venue for a power tussle between Russia and the US.

Since the civil war broke out in Syria, the US and its allies have been providing weaponry and military aid to the rebel forces in Syria while Russia has been granting military support to the Assad government.

Now that both Washington and Moscow have directly involved themselves in the fight against the IS group in the Middle East, the power struggle in the region will only be intensified. For one thing, military intervention could boost Russia's influence in the region and make it a force to counterbalance the US' clout in the region.

As the Syria crisis has dragged on, the spillover from the crisis continues to affect more countries in the Middle East and beyond.
The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe and Saturday's deadly terror attack in Ankara, the Turkish capital which claimed the lives of at least 97 people, are examples of the Syria crisis spilling out beyond the borders of that country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that the objective of the Russian operation was to "stabilize the legitimate authorities and create conditions for finding a political compromise".

Indeed, a political solution to the Syrian crisis is the best way to end the unrest in Syria. To this end, the international community should push for a third Geneva conference on Syria to be held as soon as possible.

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How hard do Chinese work?
Workers in China put in the hours.(File Photo)
Recently, foreign media reported on the Chinese work ethic, such as The Guardian article "How hard does China work?" on Oct. 6, suggesting Britons needed to pull up their socks and work hard "in the way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard". On Oct. 8, Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao cites The Guardian’s statistics, saying the average Chinese worker puts in somewhere between 2,000 and 2,200 hours each year.

The earliest survey data is published on Wall Street Journal last year. It claimed, citing official statistics that nearly 85 percent of migrants worked more than 44 hours a week, earning an average of just £270 per month.

China is one of the countries with the longest average working hours in the world, equivalent to the level of the countries such as the UK, Germany and France in the 1950s, according to data. In addition, survey data reflect the general working hours of European and American countries per capita is shorter than of developing countries.

According to figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, in 2013, working hours in Germany and France were 1,388 hours and 1,489 hours respectively, well below China’s per capital working hours at the same period. Compared to the UK average of 1,677 hours last year, the average Chinese worker put in 320 more hours last year.

Why do Chinese workers have to put in longer hours than their counterparts in European countries and the United States? Director of Research at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, Ding Li, said that China's per capita level of work depends largely on the strength of the domestic economy.

Chinese workers have to work longer hours than their peers from the more developed countries, such as the UK and US, because in China the average wage is low, while the domestic prices are relatively high, noted celebrity financial expert Larry Hsien Ping Lang in 2013.

Last year, the labor market research center at Beijing Normal University released a report, noting employees in 90 percent of industries in China work over 40 hours per week. Those working in the construction industry, resident services, repairs and other services have a working week of over 49 hours and the longest hours in China are worked by those in hospitality and catering, racking up over 51.4 hours.

For more than half of all industry sectors, including accommodation and catering industry, employees do over four hours’ overtime per week.

In recent years, Chinese people pay more attention to health problems caused by growing pressure from work, such as fatigue, obesity and insomnia.

However, long working hours will persist for a certain time as Ding Li pointed out, because China is still at the developmental stage of chasing GDP growth and increasing total production. 

Xi to initiate 'golden era' in China-UK tiesPresident Xi Xi to initiate 'golden era' in China-UK tiesPresident Xi Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 3:25 PM Rating: 5

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