George Floyd death: China takes a victory lap over US protests
China is hitting back at the US for supporting Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations last year.

Source: BBC News - China | 4 Jun 2020 | 8:12 pm

‘Street stall economy’ is reviving across the nation
“Street stall economy” has become an Internet buzz term on social media platforms as some Chinese cities loosened restrictions, allowing vendors to set up booths in designated areas on streets to help revive local economies.The number of videos of street booths posted on Kuaishou, a popular short video sharing platform in China, increased 76 percent in May compared to February, according to the Big Data Research Institute of Kuaishou.These videos garnered 1.3 billion views in May.The number of livestreaming rooms on “roadside booths” or “roadside food stalls” more than quadrupled in May compared to February on the platform, the platform said.The content of the videos on street business activities are mainly performances, sales of smartphone accessories and food stalls. Roadside vendors were banned during the coronavirus epidemic as they interrupted traffic and pressured urban environments and management.Their return is expected to help increase people’s incomes and revive local economies hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.In mid-March, the southwestern city of Chengdu started allowing people to run businesses in designated areas on streets. As of May 28, Chengdu has set up at least 36,000 such stalls as of the end of May, creating jobs for at least 100,000 people, which won the applause of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the Two Sessions this year.Such stalls do not only appear in Sichuan, but also in Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Jilin and Shanghai.The return of the vendors has brought back much-needed vibrancy that was thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Shanghai’s urban management and law enforcement authorities have given the green light to street stalls to support the city’s economy.Authorities said they will support businesses to operate street stalls and conduct refined management on the operation time and scope of such stalls.The notice also says the authorities will promote the development of a night market economy and guide businesses to conduct strict management of night operations.They will also help nighttime businesses in garbage sorting and the collection and treatment of kitchen trash and waste oil.Premier Li stressed the importance of providing relief to businesses and stimulating market vitality during his inspection tour of east China’s Shandong Province from Monday to Tuesday.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

Return of lichen proves a healthy sign
In Yaoguan Township, in eastern Jiangsu Province along the Yangtze River, lichens have begun to reemerge after being absent for over three decades.“Lichen is a symbiont of fungi and green algae. They are known as ‘environmental monitors’ as they are very sensitive to pollutants such as automobile and industrial exhausts and acid rain,” said Feng Hui, a local official. What happened in Yaoguan, Changzhou City, is a reflection of the progress made by China in recent years in restoring the biodiversity of the Yangtze River, China’s longest. The Yangtze, which stretches over 6,300 kilometers, boasts rich and complex terrains and climate along its basin and has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Towering mountains, dense forests, fertile wetlands and bustling waterways have made the Yangtze River basin a vital habitat for charismatic species such as the snow leopard, giant panda, Chinese sturgeon and Yangtze finless porpoise.Data showed that there are more than 4,300 kinds of aquatic life living in the Yangtze River basin, including more than 400 types of fish.The finless porpoise, an endemic species in China, is also an important indicator of the ecology of the Yangtze.Jiang Yi, a full-time volunteer, still vividly remembers her first encounter with the finless porpoise.“It was on January 1, 2014, when I saw over 40 finless porpoises jumping above the surface of Poyang Lake,” she recalled. Poyang Lake is China’s largest freshwater lake in the eastern province of Jiangxi.“The scene was very spectacular. This is the first time I’ve seen a real finless porpoise,” said Jiang. Since then, she has been determined to protect the rare species.Since 2016, protecting the environment of the Yangtze, rather than large-scale development, has become the focus of the country’s river development plans. The rallying call was heard as authorities across China carried out a series of measures, including preventing water pollution, restricting ship movement and patrolling the nature reserves.Research by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in 2017 showed there were 1,012 wild finless porpoises in China, of which 445 were in the main stream of the Yangtze River and 457 in Poyang Lake.In addition to its importance for environmental protection, the Yangtze River also flows through many economically developed areas.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

Beijing is getting on sorting out its garbage
In a residential community in Beijing’s northern suburbs, Cui Zhanxia was busy checking garbage bags before residents put them into different bins.Cui is one of the community workers who help with garbage sorting after Beijing began to implement the mandatory practice on May 1.“Waste sorting is not difficult. It should be a normal part of people’s lifestyles,” said Cui. “Residents have recently paid much more attention to garbage sorting. Our efforts are not in vain.”Garbage sorting has become a hot topic in China. The Chinese leadership underlined efforts to cultivate the habit of garbage classification to improve the living environment and contribute to green and sustainable development.A total of 237 Chinese cities have started to practice garbage sorting, data from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development showed in January. Of 46 large cities, 30 have issued regulations on the classification of household garbage.“It is a good way to purify the environment. We are delighted to make ecological progress,” Cui said. ChallengesThe appropriate classification of domestic kitchen garbage is one of the challenges to promote waste sorting. In 2019, Beijing produced more than 10.11 million tons of residential waste, including 194,900 tons from household kitchens.Since May, the daily average amount of sorted domestic kitchen waste in the city has reached 740 tons, up 159 percent month on month and a year-on-year increase of 37 percent.Before Beijing introduced the mandatory practice, the Lujiashan waste treatment plant in suburban Mentougou District processed about 100 tons of domestic kitchen waste every day, but the volume has increased by half since late May.“Garbage classification has brought a rather positive effect,” said Zhao Xiaodong, deputy general manager of Beijing Shougang Ecological Technology Co.Beijing law enforcement officers have investigated more than 500 residential compounds since May and most of the communities were found to have conducted promotion of sorting.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

Parents see benefits in online study
About 58.3 percent of parents of middle and primary school students are positive about the effects of online courses offered by their schools this semester due to the COVID-19 epidemic, a survey has found.However, 73.9 percent of the parents said online courses have put an extra burden on them because they have to spend more time supervising and assisting their children, according to the survey by the China Youth Daily.Parents said they need to keep a close watch on their children to ensure they stay focused during classes. Parents also had to help them with homework and sometimes provide after-class tutoring.About 70.5 percent of the 2,470 respondents complained that their children got distracted during online courses recorded in advance, with 92.8 percent attributing this to a lack of interaction they would have had in a classroom, the survey showed.The parents suggested that teachers should attempt to better understand their students’ academic performances before and after a classroom scenario and try to make recorded lessons more interesting such as adjusting tones and facial expressions.Around 76 percent of the respondents are parents of primary school pupils and nearly 75 percent live in first- and second-tier cities.Most schools have reopened, with Beijing having seen its non-graduating middle school students and sixth-grade pupils return to schools on June 1.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

One-armed basketball kid is online wonder
NBA star Stephen Curry said yesterday that he wants to locate the one-armed Chinese boy whose dazzling basketball skills have gone viral online. “Who is this kid? Help me find him! Keep doing you and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t,” the Golden State Warriors player wrote to his 4.5 million followers on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The post was accompanied by footage of the boy bamboozling opponents with his dribbling, despite his disability. The original clip of the 13-year-old Zhang Jiacheng has been viewed nearly 9 million times online in China — and rising fast. “It’s the power of basketball. So impressive and inspirational!” a netizen wrote on Weibo. Zhang later replied in a video to Curry: “I’m a big fan of you.” Zhang’s dribbling skills, and the story behind it, became a trending topic on Weibo. Born in Guangdong Province, Zhang lost his right arm in an accident at the age of 5, which was a tragedy for a little kid. But Zhang never surrendered to his fate as his love and passion for basketball grew stronger. “Heart is always the strongest part of the body,” said Yi Jianlian, former player for NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks, and current Chinese Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer. “Your right hand has been taken away in a brutal way, but you have the best left hand. You are the real star in this game,” former CBA player Wang Jing said after watching the video clip. Zhu Fangyu, general manager of defending champions the Guangdong Southeast Tigers, wrote on his Weibo account that the CBA powerhouse would like to invite Zhang to visit the team and watch home games. “This is the best kid I have ever seen playing basketball,” Zhu said, noting that as soon as this season’s CBA reopens and audiences are allowed to come and watch games, they will invite the teenager. Zhang opened an account on video-sharing app Douyin and released 15 short videos of him practicing and honing his basketball skills, which has earned him over 1 million likes in just a few days. Zhang is a fan of Kyrie Irving and he uses a poster of the dribbling master as the cover image of his Douyin account. “Give it a try, or give it up,” he wrote when releasing a video clip.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

Knife attack in school
A KNIFE-WIELDING attacker wounded 37 students and two adults at a primary school in southern China yesterday, officials said, with state media identifying a security guard as the perpetrator. The motive remains unknown. All the victims were sent to hospital but were not in a life-threatening condition, according to authorities in Cangwu County, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The incident at the Wangfu Central Primary School happened at 8:30am. The attacker, a man surnamed Li reportedly aged around 50, was “under control” while an investigation was under way, the government said. “A total of 36 students suffered mild injuries while one student and two adults suffered more severe injuries. All of them were sent to a hospital for treatment, and none of their lives are in danger,” it said. The two adults were the head of the school and another security guard.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

China relaxes international flight restrictions
CHINESE regulators said yesterday more foreign airlines will be allowed to fly to China as anti-coronavirus controls ease, after Washington vowed to bar Chinese airlines from flying to the United States. According to an online statement by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, qualifying foreign carriers, about 95 of them currently barred from operating flights to China, will be allowed once-a-week flights into one of the 37 designated cities starting Monday. Airlines can file their pre-flight plans for the period until October 24, 2020 to the CAAC, the statement said. But considering some countries are still banning international flights, it estimated the number of international flights would increase by 50 to 150 per week while the average of passengers arriving per day would rise to 4,700, up from around 3,000 now. Starting Monday, the CAAC will also introduce a reward and suspension mechanism, with detailed policies for the carriers to increase or suspend flights. If all inbound passengers of a flight test negative for novel coronavirus for three weeks in a row, the operating airline will be allowed to increase the number of flights to two per week. If the number of passengers testing positive reaches five, the flight will be suspended for a week. The suspension will last four weeks if the number of passengers testing positive reaches 10. The CAAC also said China may “modestly increase” flights from some qualified countries under the conditions of controllable risks and adequate receiving capacities. The qualified countries include those having so far exported few COVID-19 cases to China while maintaining close economic and trade ties with China. Countries with a large number of Chinese nationals who have a strong demand for returning, as well as countries that have established “fast tracks” with China to meet work and production resumption needs, are also qualified under the conditions, according to the CAAC. The announcement came after the US government said it would bar Chinese passenger carriers starting from June 16, pressuring Beijing to let US airlines to resume flights. The CAAC has slashed international flights since late March to allay concerns over rising coronavirus infections brought by arriving passengers. Mainland carriers are limited to one flight a week on one route to any country and foreign airlines are allowed to operate just one flight a week to a city in China. Carriers could also fly no more than the number of flights in a weekly schedule approved by the CAAC on March 12. US passenger airlines already stopped all flights to China at that time, meaning they were unable to resume flights to China. The US Department of Transportation has said previously it will reconsider the decision against Chinese airlines if the CAAC adjusts its policies affecting US airlines. The Chinese foreign ministry expressed regret at the US announcement and said CAAC was “making solemn complaints” to the department of transportation. “Some progress has already been made in the arrangements. China has also announced adjustments of its policies,” said ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. “We hope the United States will not create obstacles for solving the problem.”

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

China to back Hong Kong in maintaining tariff zone
BEIJING will support Hong Kong in maintaining its separate tariff zone and oppose external forces intervening in Hong Kong’s affairs, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said yesterday. “China will support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in maintaining its separate tariff zone, and consolidating and enhancing its position as an international financial, trade, and shipping center,” the spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce Gao Feng responded to Trump’s threat to end special trade status for Hong Kong. “The central government will always back Hong Kong’s prosperity and development,” he cited. US President Donald Trump announced last week that he planed to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China. Gao said the legal foundation for Hong Kong’s separate tariff zone is covered by a World Trade Organization agreement. It was agreed on by the Chinese government and affirmed by the Basic Law. “The status was established by the multilateral rule of the WTO, and approved by other members of the organization rather than one particular member,” said Gao, warning that the US is threatening to ignore the basic principles of international relations and take unilateral action. China will firmly implement the “one country, two systems” principle and oppose external forces intervening in Hong Kong’s affairs, said the spokesperson. According to Gao, the decision adopted by China’s National People’s Congress to make bational security law for Hong Kong only targets extreme behaviors that endanger the country’s safety. “It will not affect the high degree of Hong Kong’s autonomy, or Hong Kong residents’ legitimate rights and freedom, or damage foreign investors’ legitimate rights there. Instead, it will benefit China’s business and investment environment, Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability, and help the long-term stability of the ‘one country, two systems’ policy,” he added. The national security law will close legal loopholes involving national security in Hong Kong and outlaw separatism, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference. A spokesman of China’s banking regulator said separately that Hong Kong’s status as a financial hub will not be shaken by the potential sanctions. “Hong Kong’s financial market is running smoothly ... and there is no abnormal capital outflow,” said the spokesman, adding that this reflects the international market’s confidence in the city. The commerce ministry yesterday also said that China has seen a good momentum of recovery in the consumer market, with over 95 percent of major companies in the retail sector having resumed work. As of June 1, the rate of work resumption of major enterprises had exceeded 95 percent, the ministry said. Meanwhile, on 11 pilot pedestrian street malls it has decided to transform and upgrade, 94.5 percent of stores had opened for business, while passenger traffic and turnover had recovered to 80.3 percent and 81.6 percent, respectively, from the same period last year. In late May, the average daily sales of retail businesses rose 4.8 percent from mid-May. In addition, the business activity indexes of the retail sector and catering industry both exceeded 55 percent in May. The retail sector has remained above 50 percent for three consecutive months, while the catering industry index is over 50 percent for the second consecutive month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. “With regard to supporting small and micro enterprises in the field of commerce and trade circulation, we will work together with relevant departments to take the promotion of the small shop economy as the main task, accelerating their development in facilitation, characteristics and digitization,” said Gao. “We will promote the formation of a multi-tiered, multi-category small shop economy, and encourage small and micro businesses engaged in the commerce and trade sector to increase employment, expand consumption and boost economic vitality,” Gao added.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

HK LegCo approves national anthem bill
THE Legislative Council of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region approved the national anthem bill at the third reading debate yesterday. The bill was passed with the support of 41 lawmakers and one voting against. Those found guilty of intentionally abusing the “March of the Volunteers” face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 50,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$6,450). The majority in the legislature said the law is necessary for citizens to show respect for the anthem. The legislative meeting was once suspended because of the obstruction of opposition lawmakers, who repeatedly committed disruptive acts, even pouring foul-smelling liquid on the floor. The law will take effect on June 12. The legislation began in 2018 but was postponed for a long time due to violent incidents and riots last year and the filibuster by opposition lawmakers in the LegCo’s House Committee. China’s National Anthem Law came into force in the mainland in 2017 and then the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress adopted the decision to add the law to Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law. “Some people said this is a vicious law and will suppress our freedom of speech. That does not exist at all,” Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Minister Erick Tsang said.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:30 pm

Hong Kong: Tens of thousands defy ban to attend Tiananmen vigil
It comes as lawmakers approve a controversial bill criminalising insulting China's national anthem.

Source: BBC News - China | 4 Jun 2020 | 12:04 pm

Gaming 'hero' retires at 23 due to ill-health
Jian Zihao says physical and mental health problems have caused him to quit e-sports.

Source: BBC News - China | 4 Jun 2020 | 8:21 am

Hong Kong Tiananmen: ‘We may never mark the crackdown again’
A playwright and producer in Hong Kong are worried about the future of free speech.

Source: BBC News - China | 4 Jun 2020 | 3:19 am

Thousand of cinemas in China under threat of closure
Film audiences have moved online during the virus pandemic with fears they might not return to cinemas.

Source: BBC News - China | 3 Jun 2020 | 11:29 pm

HSBC and StanChart back China security laws for HK
The UK-based banks have both come out in support of China's controversial national security laws.

Source: BBC News - China | 3 Jun 2020 | 10:10 pm

BeiDou system on course for completion
The 54th and penultimate satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System has started operation in the network after completing in-orbit tests and network access evaluations, according to a statement from China’s Satellite Navigation System Management Office.The satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on March 9, is a geostationary earth orbit satellite of the BDS-3 system. It was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology.The satellite will offer users positioning, navigation and timing services, and will help improve the robustness of the system, the office said.Xi’an Satellite Control Center, based in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, provides maintenance support for the in-orbit satellite, sources with the center said.The BDS is China’s independently developed and operated global navigation system. It will be fully completed this month with the launch of its final satellite, the 55th of the BeiDou family.Both the satellite and carrier rocket have been sent to the launch site, and preparations for the upcoming launch are underway.

Source: Shanghai Daily: Nation | 3 Jun 2020 | 12:00 pm

Backlash in China after front-line doctor dies
A doctor's death has sparked angry conversations about the Chinese authorities' handling of the pandemic.

Source: BBC News - China | 2 Jun 2020 | 8:05 pm

Tiananmen: Police ban Hong Kong vigil for victims of 1989 crackdown
Authorities say the decision was taken due to public health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: BBC News - China | 1 Jun 2020 | 7:19 am

UK ex-foreign secretaries urge HK alliance
The UK should be leading the response to China's treatment of Hong Kong, seven former foreign secretaries say.

Source: BBC News - China | 31 May 2020 | 10:47 pm