Chinese President Xi Jinping sent congratulations on Sunday to new Danish King Frederik X on his accession to the throne.
Xi said that China-Denmark relations have achieved rapid growth since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 74 years ago, with bountiful cooperation results in various fields and the friendship between the peoples increasingly deepening.
He said he highly regards the development of China-Denmark relations, and is willing to work with King Frederik X to constantly elevate the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Xi also sent regards and blessings to former Danish Queen Margrethe II who announced her abdication on Sunday.
In response to some media reports about a US Navy sailor being sentenced to 27 months in jail on Monday on China-related spy charges, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said she did not know the specific situation, but added that the US is spreading China-related spy claims while launching spying activities against China.
A former US sailor was sentenced to 27 months in jail on Monday for accepting nearly $15,000 in bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for photos of unclassified private US military information, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“I don’t know the specific situation, but I have noticed that senior US intelligence officials have publicly disclosed that progress has been made in rebuilding the US intelligence network in China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Tuesday during a press briefing when asked about the spy charges.
While the US is spreading information claiming that Chinese spies are involved in the case, it is publicly orchestrating plans to launch large-scale intelligence activities against China. This approach itself is very revealing. China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national security, Mao said.
CIA director William Burns revealed in 2023 that his agency has “made progress” in rebuilding its spy networks in China. China has unveiled some US-led espionage cases against China in 2023, for example, China’s national security authority cracked a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) espionage case involving a Chinese government employee who had been managed by the Japan branch of the US intelligence agency.
China’s State Council, the cabinet, on Friday studied policy measures to develop the “silver economy,” or the elderly care industry, which is widely expected to account for one-third of China’s economy by 2050 given the country’s ageing population.
An executive meeting of the State Council noted that developing the silver economy is a crucial measure to actively respond to the aging population and promote high-quality development, and is beneficial both in the short term and in the long run, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The meeting noted the need to fulfill the government’s responsibility of ensuring basic needs and to safeguard the bottom line, strengthen basic livelihood protection for the elderly, and increase the supply of basic public services. It also called for giving the market full play to better meet the multi-level and diverse needs of the elderly, and to jointly promote the development and growth of the silver economy.
The meeting noted that relevant policy measures should be continuously improved to tackle urgent problems such as home care and healthcare for the elderly.
China has been stepping up efforts to develop the silver economy in recent years in an effort to handle the aging population, which has become a hot topic in global headlines.
In February 2022, the State Council issued a plan for the development of the country’s elderly care services system during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), which included major goals in various aspects, including expanding the supply of elderly care services and improving the health support mechanism for the elderly.
In May, China released a guideline to build a basic elderly care system by 2025, offering coverage for the entire elderly population, according to Xinhua.
China’s elderly population aged 60 and above reached more than 280 million by the end of 2022, accounting for 19.8 percent of the total population, and by 2050, the elderly could account for one-third of China’s total population, according to a report in the Economic Daily newspaper.
With the rising elderly population also comes vast potential for the “silver economy.” According to the Economic Daily report, the elderly care market could account for one-fifth of China’s GDP by 2030 and one-third of China’s total GDP by 2050.
A previous report from Fudan University in Shanghai said that the “silver economy” could reach 1.9 trillion yuan by 2035, accounting for 9.6 percent of China’s total GDP.
The Hangzhou Asian Para Games unfolded with a heartwarming opening ceremony that showcased the spirit of “optimism, harmony, perseverance and sharing” in East China’s Zhejiang Province on Sunday.
Themed “Hearts Meet, Dreams Shine,” the 85-minute opening ceremony revolved around the image of the osmanthus, the official city flower of Hangzhou. The Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, or “Big Lotus,” was turned into a spectacle of golden osmanthus flowers in full blossom thanks to digital technology.
From the 22 massive bouquets of golden osmanthus flowers that highlighted the charm of Hangzhou, the flower transformed into water and then arched bridges and eventually became a giant golden crown in the air over the packed 80,000 capacity stadium to welcome the athletes of the participating countries and regions.
More than 3,000 athletes from over 40 countries and regions across Asia will show their perseverance and pursue their dreams in Hangzhou. They will join hands to write a new chapter of harmony, unity and sharing for the Asian community.
The Chinese delegation, which consists of 723 people with a total of 439 athletes, will compete in 22 sports and 397 events at the Para Games, which are scheduled to run until Saturday.
People with disabilities were invited to participate in the ceremony to demonstrate their indomitable spirit and positive mentality toward life.
China’s national flag was carried into the stadium by four children, two with disabilities and two without. A group of performers gave a rendition of the national anthem using sign language.
A dance show featuring 36 able-bodied dancers and 36 wheelchair dancers displayed the touching scenes of athletes going hand in hand on the journey to realize their dreams, highlighting the spirit of integration of able-bodied people and people with disabilities.
Chinese Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang declared the 4th Asian Para Games open.
The flame of hope and love was lit as the last torchbearer, fitted with a robotic arm operated by a brain control system, ignited the cauldron together with the Games mascot Feifei.
Majid Rashed, president of the Asian Paralympic Committee, told the Global Times that the Hangzhou Games are the best ever Para Games and that they offer athletes across Asia the opportunity to present their talents.
“Beyond the competitions, the Games convey the message of inclusiveness and aim to raise people’s awareness about people with disabilities,” said Majid. “Over the next six days of competitions, you will see stories of determination and inspiration.”
“Hangzhou has been a great role model for hosting such a big event. The facilities and the venues are outstanding and will be one of the legacies for people of this beautiful city,” Majid noted.
“I look forward to coming to Hangzhou with my family in the future.”
Sha Xiaolan, general director of the opening ceremony of the Asian Para Games, told the Global Times that the image of the golden osmanthus crown was designed to extend the wishes of “winning laurels” to every athlete.
The Chinese character for osmanthus also means “laurels” in Putonghua (Standard Chinese).
“From a small osmanthus flower to an osmanthus crown, we hope to convey the idea that athletes’ unrelenting efforts in training will accrue accomplishments. Every little effort counts in making their dream come true,” said Sha.
The song “Our Asia,” which was used for the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, was played again to usher the athletes into the stadium.
“Using the same song is to express the notion of the integration of the disabled and able-bodied,” said Sha. The beloved song was penned 33 years ago for the 11th Asian Games in Beijing.
Cui Wei, vice director of the opening ceremony of the Asian Para Games, told the Global Times that the ceremony was dedicated to inviting everyone to Hangzhou as the city is permeated with the aroma of osmanthus in October.
“If the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games was romantic and spectacular, then the ceremony of the Asian Para Games is warm, touching and inspiring,” said Cui.
“We want to take this opportunity to show Hangzhou’s humanistic care for disabled people and reflect the country’s progress and achievements in the cause of disabled people,” Cui said.
Lü Yuan, chief writer of the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, said the osmanthus was chosen as the main image of the opening ceremony for its touching symbolic meaning in traditional Chinese culture.
“After communicating with many visually impaired people, we thought the aroma of osmanthus can be shared by nearly everyone,” Lü noted.
“We want to convey the power of community, companionship and solidarity. This small osmanthus flower does not bloom alone, but blooms in clusters. None of us walks alone. The power of love and companionship keeps us going forward,” said Lü.
Chen Weiqiang, spokesperson of the Hangzhou Para Games, said that by Sunday, over 320,000 tickets had been sold, going on to note that the Games have helped Hangzhou become a more accessible city for people with disabilities.
The historical drama Qu Yuan will be staged in Shanghai this weekend, telling audiences a story of one of the greatest patriotic poets in ancient China, as well as the splendid early Chinese culture of his time.
The play is based on the life story of Qu Yuan, a statesman and poet of the State of Chu during the Warring States Period (475BC-221BC), today the central and southern areas of China.
Witnessing the fall of Chu’s capital, its people’s displacement as well as the loss of land, Qu refused to align himself with the corrupt officials or yield to oppressive forces. He eventually drowned himself in the Miluo River in Central China’s Hunan Province, completing the magnificent patriotic anthem that he had composed with his own life.
On stage, the story is going to be told using flashbacks, starting with Qu’s last days before he drowned himself in despair. This part will be the biggest highlight of the whole play, said the play’s director Guo Xiaonan.
“Qu had a great affection for saving humanity. His spiritual realm was far beyond that of ordinary people, which brought him a unique sense of spiritual loneliness,” Guo told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
“Qu also had a deep love for his state. When his ideals and ambitions in life were shattered, he chose to end his life, which I think was not a simple suicide, but a sublimation of his soul,” Guo said.
“This spirit has influenced Chinese culture for more than 2,000 years, and also is the strongest part of the play.”
Legend has it that after his death, the Chu people were deeply saddened and flocked to the river to pay their respects. China’s time-honored Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, commemorates Qu.
Qu was listed as one of the world’s four literary celebrities by the World Peace Council in 1953, the other three being Francois Rabelais, Nicolaus Copernicus and William Shakespeare. He left many immortal literary works to later generations, such as Chu Ci, or Songs of Chu, and Jiu Ge, or The Nine Songs.
His famous literary works will be presented in the drama to create a strong emotional resonance with the audience.
Guo said he believes one line from Qu’s poetry will resonate the most with the audience: “Long as the way is, I will keep on searching high and low.”
This well-known line embodies human being’s exploration of the meaning of life, and the great spirit of perseverance and active endeavor, said Guo.
“Qu and his cultural imprint are a precious spiritual wealth not only of the Chinese nation, but also the whole humanity,” he noted.
Apart from Qu’s life and his spiritual world, the play will also highlight the culture of Qu’s homeland Chu, a charming part of early Chinese culture.
According to Guo, the play will showcase lacquerwares and bronze wares of that time through props, lighting and dances, opening a window for the audience to view the representative culture from the 800-year history of Chu.
The play is being produced by the Hubei Changjiang People’s Art Theatre and Hubei Sanxia Performance Arts Group. It is scheduled to be staged at Shanghai’s Majestic Theatre on Saturday and Sunday night, as a part of the ongoing 22nd China Shanghai International Arts Festival.
A chaotic scene unfolded at the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday afternoon as gunshots rang out near an upscale retail area, resulting in the tragic deaths of at least three people, according to Thai local media. The incident took place around 4.20pm local time.
Local police authorities reported the arrest of a 14-year-old male suspect, apprehended by police on the third floor of the nearby Siam Kempinski Hotel.
Security camera footage captured the suspect shooter, who was seen kneeling with his hands on his head as three police officers closed in on him. In a swift action, one of the officers subdued the suspect on the ground.
Several Chinese tourists near the scene of the shooting incident told the Chinese news outlet Southern Metropolis Daily that they had heard multiple gunshots, and many people were fleeing, as chaos gripped the area.
The incident occurred near a high-end handbag store on the “M” level inside the building, Chinese media learned. A Chinese tourist who was in the vicinity told the South Metropolis Daily that both the Paragon and Siam Center malls were closed in the wake of the incident. They were initially trapped inside Siam Center, but have since been allowed to evacuate.
Another Chinese tourist was quoted as telling reporters that they were shopping inside Siam Paragon when they witnessed many tourists fleeing. Subsequently, while escaping, they heard multiple gunshots.
“If I remember correctly, I heard three gunshots while I was running. I have now exited and am not entirely sure about the situation inside,” the tourist said.
Thailand recently granted visa exemptions for Chinese nationals from September 25 to February 29, 2024 to boost local tourism. The temporary waiver is expected to attract five million additional visitors, according to media reports, citing Tourism Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin also welcomed Chinese tourists at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand on September 25.
According to the latest data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), from January 1 to September 17, Thailand has hosted over 2.34 million Chinese tourists, approximately 37 percent of the same period in 2019.
One Chinese national was killed and another injured in the shooting incident in Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday, the China Central Television reported, citing information from the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has not confirmed any details as of Tuesday evening.
A number of Chinese netizens expressed their concern about whether it’s still safe to travel to Thailand, sharing their anxiety on Chinese Twitter-like Weibo platform on Tuesday, with news of the shooting incident attracting more than 32 million views on the platform.
President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, presented an ambitious vision for Kazakhstan’s technological future and advanced the deadline for the introduction of the 5G network from 2027 to 2025 during his speech at the recently concluded Digital Bridge 2023 forum in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Chinese technology companies are welcomed and expected to actively participate in the blueprint designed to support Kazakhstan in its journey to become a regional digital hub.
Tokayev emphasized the need to attract international players to the country’s venture market, leveraging their expertise and project quality assessment, as Kazakhstan is poised to enter a new era of connectivity and technological advancement with its ambitious plans for the accelerated launch of 5G wireless services.
As tech companies that actively support the construction of Kazakhstan’s digital economy, Chinese tech giant Huawei and TikTok, the popular short-video content app owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, have attracted much attention at the forum.
Bagdat Mussin, the Kazakhstani Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry told the Global Times that the country trusts the quality and safety of Chinese technology. In front of Huawei’s booth at the two-day forum, many guests gathered around the display case of its digital communications equipment and all-scenario products hoping to learn how the company’s technology could further help boost local 5G networks.
As Central Asia’s largest IT forum, the Digital Bridge this year brought together over 20,000 participants, including representatives from more than 300 IT companies and delegations from 30 countries, far exceeding previous years’ participation. This strong turnout demonstrates Kazakhstan’s leading position as a digital and fintech hub in Eurasia.
President Tokayev cited expert estimates which indicate that the potential contribution of AI to the global economy is comparable to a quarter of global GDP.
In the last decade, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China, as Kazakhstan’s neighbor, has shared its digital experience with Kazakhstan, where the Silk Road Economic Belt was first initiated, in becoming the digital center of Central Asia. China has also achieved more practical results in areas such as 5G, big data, cross-border e-commerce, and artificial intelligence.
Huawei, a prominent supplier of ICT infrastructure and smart devices, has backed Kazakhstan’s national initiatives and its 2050 Strategy in order to position the country as a digital center in the region. This support involves introducing innovative technologies, implementing best practices, and exchanging knowledge in areas such as intelligent cloud networks, 5G, and storage technologies.
The company has been serving the ICT industry in Kazakhstan since 1998 following the “in Kazakhstan, for Kazakhstan” vision.
The Global Times learned from Huawei that it is a strategic partner to all telecom operators in Kazakhstan, serving a population of over 18 million.
On June 1, 2023, Huawei and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Digital Development jointly released the Digital Hub White Paper, which explores how to make Kazakhstan a digital hub in the Eurasian region. This includes the construction of connectivity hubs, cloud hubs, ICT talent hubs, and ecosystem hubs, opening up a new future for Kazakhstan’s digital economy.
The arbitrary bans imposed by some countries of Huawei’s technology have not shaken the Kazakhstani government’s trust in Chinese technology. In a press conference on October 13, Bagdat Mussin, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry, told the Global Times that Kazakhstan welcomes Huawei and that approximately 200 educational centers in local universities have been set up to promote Huawei’s technology to the young generation.
Mussin stressed the reliability and safety of Chinese technology while noting that Huawei’s technology is included in the implementation phase of Kazakhstan’s 5G network building. He said that the country has followed the strict examination and certification processes necessary for the use of such tech to be used in the country.
Alina Abdrakhmanova, the managing director of the Astana Hub, the organizer of the forum, told the Global Times that Huawei has been a long-term partner to their technological research centers, and underscored that Huawei is establishing more infrastructure to ease access for local startups.
Huawei Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed an MOU at the International 2022 Digital Bridge Forum to cooperate with Kazakhstan’s leading universities and educational organizations to open the Huawei ICT Academy, providing more than 3,000 students with ICT-related information and courses.
During a visit to China in mid-May, President Tokayev held a meeting with Huawei Chairman Liang Hua, and welcomed the implementation of the project aimed at training highly skilled Kazakhstani specialists in the IT sphere at the Huawei ICT Academy. The president also supported Huawei’s initiatives for cultivating ICT talent in Kazakhstan and nurturing local talent, as reported by media sources.
This year, Huawei Technologies and the national Kazakhstan Temir Zholy company signed a letter of intent on the digitalization of the railway network in Kazakhstan using new technologies. On the sidelines of the Digital Bridge forum, President Tokayev held a productive meeting with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, with a focus on strengthening the partnership between Kazakhstan and the popular social media platform.
Chew also delivered a keynote address at the plenary session, saying that TikTok has been accessible in Kazakh starting from this year.
He emphasized that the mission of TikTok is to “inspire creativity and bring people joy,” and amid the rapid development of AI, the mission will remain the same.
“More than 1 billion people from 150 countries can express themselves, and with TikTok, one can explore the world. This is a kind of canvas where you can paint anything and a bridge that unites communities all around the world,” he said.
The US-led political witch hunt against TikTok hasn’t stopped the app’s rise in popularity in Kazakhstan as it has attracted over 10 million registered users in the country.
Chew discussed the TikTok StartUp Academy project, an exclusive educational program for Kazakhstani startups launched in collaboration with the Astana Hub International Technopark of IT Startups. As part of this collaboration, the TikTok Startup Valley competition has provided training to over 200 startups on leveraging TikTok for product promotion.
Foreign investors gathered at round tables at the forum to discuss global challenges related to the digital area such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and Big Data.
The Global Times also truly experienced the digitization of the city – ranging from the convenience of calling a car online within five minutes from one’s own residence to the adoption of cashless payments, from intelligent ticket purchase system of tourist attraction to the AI technology at forum venues. All of these seem to indicate that this young city is actively pursuing a more interconnected path, to create a citizen-friendly digital ecosystem.
The forum, which spans two days, offers a wide range of activities and attractions, such as more than 30 panel discussions featuring speakers from around the world, as well as special events. This showcases Kazakhstan’s dedication to innovation, digital transformation, and the integration of technology with human progress.
Shenzhou-16 crew members Jing Haipeng, Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao successfully completed all the assigned tasks and safely returned to the space research module with the support of the robotic arm after about eight hours of their first extravehicular activity (EVA), the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSA) said on Thursday.
During the spacewalk, the astronauts completed tasks including bracket installation and lifting of panorama camera B in the core module and the unlocking and lifting of panorama cameras A and B of the Mengtian lab module.
Jing and Zhu went out for the spacewalk. Zhu has become the first space flight engineer to perform an EVA.
The Shenzhou-16 crew will also carry out a number of space science experiments and conduct multiple EVAs.
The Shenzhou-16 crew is composed of three types of astronauts: commander, flight engineer, and payload expert. They have been in orbit for 51 days since they entered the space station on May 30.
According to the CMSA, the radiation biology exposure experiment is significant for ensuring a healthy long-term stay in orbit for astronauts and promoting China’s crewed lunar landing plans.
With the installation of gas cylinders in the electric propulsion system in orbit, this is the first time the “gas exchange” method has been used to complete the replenishment of electric propellants for long-term orbit maintenance of the space station, making its operation more economic and efficient.
The CMSA said the Shenzhou-16 crew are in good condition, and the space station is running stably.
China launched the Shenzhou-16 manned spacecraft on May 30, sending three astronauts to its space station for a five-month mission.
Earth sciences reporter Thomas Sumner recalls seeing the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth when he was in high school. The climate science presented in the movie didn’t surprise him too much — a science-minded student, he had already read about many of the issues. But, he says, the film started a broader dialog about global warming. “People started caring,” he says, noting that he remembers his own family talking about it (and not always harmoniously) at the time. Revisiting the dramatic predictions made in the film proved an interesting journey for Sumner. “The main criticism I heard was that the film had watered down the science,” he says. Climate science is amazingly complex, and so is modeling effects of change — from how much sea level might rise to how a warming climate could alter hurricane patterns. Even more striking to Sumner were the sheer number of uncertainties that remain. Those uncertainties are not about whether the climate is changing, but about the details of what such changes will mean for the oceans, the atmosphere and the living things on land — and when the various dominoes might fall. Telling the future is hard, especially about interrelated complex systems, but as Sumner reveals in his story, scientists have made steady progress in the last decade.
Another interesting point is the documentary’s (and Al Gore’s) role in politicizing climate science, which is fair to assume was one of the aims. “Gore was polarizing,” Sumner says. “He created a conversation about global warming, but he also cemented it as a political issue.”
Teeth and gums are neither political nor talked much about. But, as contributing correspondent Laura Beil reports, scientists studying a possible role for gum disease in what ails the body must contend with a slew of uncertainties, not unlike those faced by climate scientists. The bacteria that cause gum disease, some studies find, can travel to the arteries, heart, brain and other sites where they can cause havoc. Not all studies agree, and proving the oral bacteria–disease link beyond a doubt may not yet be within scientists’ grasp. But the fix is relatively simple, even if avoided by many: frequent flossing and regular visits to the dentist.
Keeping things simple was the underlying goal of the team of scientists attempting to build, from scratch, a synthetic organism with the least possible number of genes, as Tina Hesman Saey reports. After many tries, the effort succeeded, but not without first humbling the researchers involved. In the initial attempts, their computer-designed minimal genomes didn’t take. What ultimately worked was putting back some of the unknowns — genes with no known cellular job to do. Only then did the DNA inserted into the shell of a microbial cell yield a synthetic microbe capable of growing and reproducing.
Telling a good story about complex science, whether in a film or in a report on the latest research, requires some simplification. But sometimes the most interesting part lies in the uncertainty.
Strapping tiny trackers called geolocators to the backs of birds can reveal a lot about where the birds go when they migrate, how they get there and what happens along the way. But ornithologists are finding that these cool backpacks could have not-so-cool consequences.
Douglas Raybuck of Arkansas State University and his colleagues outfitted some Cerulean warblers (Setophaga cerulea) with geolocators and some with simple color tags to test the effects the locators might have on breeding and reproduction. This particular species globe-trots from its nesting grounds in the eastern United States to wintering grounds in South America and back each year. While the backpacks didn’t affect reproduction, birds wearing the devices were less likely than those wearing tags to return to the same breeding grounds the next year. The birds may have gotten off track, cut their trips short or died, possibly due to extra weight or drag from the backpack, the team reports May 3 in The Condor.
The study adds to conflicting evidence that geolocators affect some birds in negative ways, such as altering their breeding biology. At best, potential downsides vary from bird to bird and backpack to backpack. But that shouldn’t stop researchers from using geolocators to study migrating birds, the researchers argue, because the devices pinpoint areas crucial to migrating birds and can aid in conservation efforts.