China-Australia relation not targeted at third party, nor should be influenced by any third party: Chinese FM Wang Yi

Since the relationship between China and Australia is on the right track, we should not hesitate, deviate, or backtrack, and the development of the bilateral ties is not targeted at any third party, nor should it be influenced or interfered with by any third party, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Canberra on Wednesday.

Wang held the seventh China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue with Wong during the former's visit to Australia.

This is our sixth meeting, and each time we meet, mutual trust increases by one point, and the China-Australia relationship advances one step further, Wang told Wong.

The Chinese Foreign Minister said this is an important year that carries on the past and opens up the future. Building on the good momentum of bilateral relations so far, and both China and Australia should "work together to create the future" and, with a more proactive attitude, jointly build a more mature, stable, and fruitful comprehensive strategic partnership.

Over the past 10 years, the ups and downs of China-Australia relations have left us with lessons to learn and experiences to cherish, namely mutual respect, seeking common ground, pursuing mutual benefit, and to uphold independence and autonomy, Wang said.

Wang said China has always pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, and our policy toward Australia has been consistent. The development of China-Australia relations is not directed against any third party, nor should it be influenced or interfered with by any third party.

He noted that since China-Australia relations are on the right track, we should not hesitate, deviate, or backtrack. With a clear direction toward progress, we should strive to move forward steadily, well, and far. This is in the common interest of the two peoples and the general expectation of regional countries.

Wang also said that China is ready to work with Australia to prepare for high-level exchange between two countries and deepen cooperation on traditional field such as mineral, energy and agricultural products; also explore cooperation on new energy, digital economy, green development and coping with climate change.

He urged Australia to take concrete measures to uphold the principles of market economy and fair competition rules, and provide a fair, just, transparent, and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises investing and operating in the country.

Wang elaborated with Wong on China's stance on issues related to island of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Xizang, and the South China Sea, emphasizing that there is no historical entanglement or fundamental conflict of interests between China and Australia, and that their common interests far outweigh their differences.

According to a handout related to the dialogue issued by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wong stated that Australia and China have close historical, trade, and cultural ties, and are comprehensive strategic partners. As countries in the same region, differences should not define the relationship between Australia and China.

She said that Australia is pleased to see significant progress in bilateral relations in recent years and is willing to further strengthen dialogue and communication with China on the basis of mutual respect, to manage differences, to leverage complementary advantages, and to deepen cooperation in economic, trade, and cultural fields.

Both sides agreed to resume and establish dialogues in various fields , promote more cooperation across foreign affairs, economic, trade, science and technology, education, and law enforcement departments of the two countries, and actively consider initiating a dialogue on maritime affairs. Both sides agreed to take further measures to facilitate the exchange of people between the two countries.

National unified computing power service market needed for China's digital econo-my, AI innovation: CPPCC member

As China is making rapid progress in computing power, it is necessary to build a national unified computing power service market, a political advisor said at the annual two sessions.

China's computing infrastructure construction has reached the world's advanced level, and the total scale of computing power ranks second in the world, Yu Xiaohui, head of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) and a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In 2023, the total size of China's data center racks reached 8.1 million standard racks and the scale of computing power reached 230 EFLOPS, Yu said.

EFLOPS is a measurement unit used to determine a computer's speed and is vital for technology advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality.

China aims to boost its aggregate computing power by more than 50 percent by 2025, according to an action plan released in October 2023 to promote high-quality development of the country's computing power technology.

According to the Government Work Report released on Tuesday, a push is needed to develop future-oriented digital infrastructure and a nationally unified computational system.

A national unified computing power service market is crucial for China's digital economy and AI innovation, Yu said.

Although China ranked second in the scale of computing power globally, there are challenges such as a lack of accurate matching between supply and demand, and regional disparities in computing power resources, Yu said.

For example, there are currently over 5,000 computing power providers with different technical systems, infrastructure, and interfaces. And while China's eastern regions have strong demand but lack resources, the western regions have resources but low demand and utilization rates.

Yu suggested that it is necessary to give full play to the advantages of the large national market and the successful experience of internet development to build a large service market for computing power.

Pandas returning from overseas in good condition at Chengdu research base

In 2023, a total of 15 giant pandas returned to China from overseas after expiry of loan agreements. Among these 15 pandas, four are currently residing at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Southwest China's Sichuan Province and are in good condition, the Global Times learned during a recent visit.

On February 22, giant panda Yong Ming arrived in Chengdu from Japan with his twin daughters, Ying Bang and Tao Bang. On July 26, giant panda cub Yuan Meng, who was born in France, arrived in Chengdu and also joined the base, a staff member surnamed Liu at the research base told the Global Times.

Among all the returning pandas, Yong Ming is the oldest at 31 years old, which is about 100 years old in human terms. He is also the second oldest captive male giant panda in the world.

After arriving at the base, the pandas undergo quarantine and a period of isolation, said Liu. Once their condition stabilizes, they will be moved to open enclosures to meet the public.

During the visit, the Global Times reporter saw these pandas eating bamboo and enjoying their time at the base. All of them appeared to be in good physical and mental health, which was confirmed by the base's staff.

At the base, each panda has an outdoor activity area ranging from 500 to 800 square meters in size, which ensures that they have ample space to move around, Liu said. They also each have an "indoor apartment."

Since the return of the panda cub Xiang Xiang in February, a total of 15 pandas have returned to China in 2023 from countries including the US, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and the UK. In 2024, several more pandas are expected to return to China after their loan agreements expire. 

These pandas, who have lived abroad for a long time, have also become favorites among Chinese tourists after returning to China. The Global Times has learned that many make special trips to the breeding base to visit these national treasures.

On the same visit, representatives from Pakistani media and think tanks expressed admiration for China's panda conservation efforts and shared their expectations for cooperation between China and Pakistan in this field.

"In the past, pandas were a globally endangered species, but China has taken special measures to protect them. Here, all the pandas receive excellent care," said Faiyan Zia Bangash, a senior reporter from Pakistan's The News.

"I have always had a special love for pandas, but it wasn't until today when I saw them with my own eyes that I truly experienced their cuteness," said Fahd Gauhar Malik, editor of the Pakistan Observer. 

"I really hope that in the future, China and Pakistan can also have relevant cooperation so that the people of Pakistan can see pandas in their own zoos," Malik said.

Denmark: Opening of the Greenlandic Representation in Beijing

"The most famous classic novel of China, A Journey to the West, as a matter of fact, is one of the few that have been translated and dubbed using Greenlandic voices for our national broadcasting TV. This shows that even though we are very far away from each other, we can build a bridge and a common future with mutual understanding and efforts," said Vivian Motzfeldt, Greenlandic minister for statehood and foreign affairs, at the official opening of the Greenlandic Representation on Monday at the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing.  

The reception was attended by the Danish Ambassador to China Thomas Østrup Møller, Greenlandic Minister for Statehood and Foreign Affairs Vivian Motzfeldt, head of the Greenland Representation in Beijing Jacob Isbosethsen, as well as other ministers and ambassadors. 

"Royal Greenland has been present in Qingdao for 20 years now. Other companies, like Polar Seafood have also contributed a lot in exports and trade with China," Motzfeldt said. 

She expressed her gratitude to the Chinese government and the Chinese People's Institute for Foreign Affairs for the cooperation between Greenland and China. 

In addition, the Danish Embassy held an insightful seminar on tourism on Tuesday at the Greenland Representation in Beijing. 

In her opening speech at the event, Motzfeldt emphasized the importance of tourism to the Greenlandic economy. 

"The Government of Greenland has invested a lot in a new tourism policy and strategy. The Parliament and Government have decided to expand the runways and build three new airports in Nuuk, Ilulissat, and Qagortoq," she told the Global Times. 

Air Greenland CEO Jacob Nitter Sørensen, head of Visa and Consular Affairs at the Royal Danish Embassy Charlotte Duelund, Polar Club 66 Co Ltd director Joe Chan, and other guests also introduced Greenlandic gastronomy, beautiful Arctic Circle, and other practical travel tips. 

GT investigates: 'TIGER' task force established to promote arms sales shows US hypocrisy on Taiwan question, long-standing ills in military industry

Lai Ching-te, deputy leader of the island of Taiwan and the secessionist Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate for the 2024 regional elections, reportedly plans to stop over in the US on Saturday on his way to Paraguay, a blatant provocative act against China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Lai is scheduled to meet some anti-China politicians during his stopover in the US, and discuss topics including US arms sales to the island, Taiwan media sources reported.

Meanwhile, the White House is actively pursuing arms sales to Taiwan, with the latest military aid package worth $345 million announced to be offered to the island, the Associated Press reported on July 29. Earlier in June, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee claimed to have established a specialized task force to speed up processes of the country's military sales to its foreign clients including the island of Taiwan.

Setting aside VOA's lie in a recent Chinese-language article that "the US has been selling its most advanced equipment to Taiwan," military observers from both sides of Taiwan Straits have revealed to the Global Times that the equipment the US exported to the island of Taiwan are only single pieces of weaponry and a handful of weapon systems at least a generation behind those of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The establishment of the task force named TIGER (Technical, Industrial, and Governmental Engagement for Readiness), as well as the frequent military sales and forms of aid extended to Taiwan, have completely exposed the US' hypocrisy on the Taiwan question, said experts on military and Taiwan studies from the Chinese mainland.

The US employs multifaceted policies toward the Taiwan Straits, which all serve its own interests in the region, said Ni Yongjie, director of the Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies.

"On one hand, several senior US officials visited the mainland this summer in a hope to ease the relations between Beijing and Washington; on the other hand, the US makes provocations toward China's bottom line on the Taiwan question," Ni told the Global Times. "These moves are a part of the Biden administration's public campaign feeding into next year's presidential elections."

In an article published by the Wall Street Journal in early June, Lai hyped an alleged military threat from the mainland and emphasized the supposed need for Taiwan to beef up its so-called military dependences with the aid of the US. 

However, what may disappoint Taiwan secessionists like Lai is that evidence has shown the TIGER task force, as well as continued arms sales to the island of Taiwan, are more akin to lip-service that the US pays to the island's independence forces and a public stunt by the US government against China.

Lip service

Michael McCaul, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, announced the setup of the TIGER Task Force on June 27. 

The bipartisan move was headed by Congressmen Mike Waltz and Seth Moulton. It is built to "modernize US foreign military sales processes in several key areas," so that it is "responsive to US national security needs and those of our partners and allies," according a press release published on the committee's website.

The TIGER task force has never hidden its main goal of completing arms sales to the island of Taiwan. "Our partners, like Taiwan, order American military equipment because they need it," Moulton said. "They should receive that hardware as quickly as possible."

According to a VOA Chinese-language article published on June 28, a big reason behind the establishment of TIGER was that many Congressmen were dissatisfied with the US administration's delay in delivering the weapons that authorities in Taiwan had purchased. "Some of the weapons were even bought as early as 2019."

The Taiwan DPP authority has bought numerous "weapons-on-paper" with tax payers' money from the US. It had faced delays in arms shipments from the US of up to $19 billion by 2022, The Defense Post reported in December 2022. Although Tsai Ing-wen is reported to have repeatedly urged US lawmakers to hasten the delivery of the purchased weapons during the latter's visit to the island, the US simply didn't keep its cheap promise.

Of a batch of 66 F-16V fighter jets that Tsai authorities purchased in 2020, for instance, two were scheduled to deliver by 2023. But the DDP authority won't get the two fighter jets this year as the delivery was delayed, said VOA.

Aside from weapon deliveries being delayed, authorities in Taiwan are also far from attaining equipment and technological advantages over the Chinese mainland through weapons bought from the US. "There is a generational gap between weapons the island of Taiwan receives from the US and those used by the PLA," said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator.

"Moreover, the US has only provided authorities in Taiwan with single pieces of weaponry and a handful of weapon systems, which are not enough to support the latter in building an independent military combat system," Song told the Global Times.

The US' frequent delays in weapon delivery has embarrassed the island's secessionist authorities and enraged tax payers. On Taiwan's social media platforms, many residents have lampooned the Tsai administration for volunteering to be a cash dispenser for the US.

"The US obtains money [from Tsai authorities] fraudulently. It's a money game between two crooks," wrote a netizen who left the message on the island's media China Times. "The US doesn't have to keep its promises to its flunkey," scoffed another netizen.

And the public seldom knows what the TIGER task force has done in the days since it was set up. Its major effort is probably "to hold weekly video conferences" with Tsai authority troops, the China Times reported. 

Obviously, TIGER won't enable separatists on the island to acquire weapons from the US any sooner, considering the US' scornful attitude toward Taiwan and its own inadequacy in weapon production, said Song.

The establishment of the task force is merely a superficial conciliation of Taiwan authorities by the US, he said.

"Taiwan authorities have no bargaining power in purchasing US weapons, nor do they dare to pursue claims for the delayed or defaulted orders," Song told the Global Times. "To the US, Tsai authorities are born suckers being taken for a ride."

Long-standing ills

TIGER is not the first task force the US has set up to promote its overseas arms sales. 

In August 2022, the Pentagon established a similar "Tiger Team" to streamline foreign military sales mechanic, so as to "harness the speed and urgency of US efforts to equip Ukraine," Defense News quoted Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl as saying in September 2022.

Nonetheless, these hastily formed task forces can hardly change the US' current delays of weapon deliveries due to long-standing problems in its defense industry. 

"The ills are rooted in the US system and labor market issues," The EurAsian Times also reported in September 2022, mentioning the country's lengthy contract signing and arms delivery processes, and its labor shortage in the arms industry.

The number of employees working in the US defense industry plummeted by two thirds over the last 40 years, showed a report released by the US National Defense Industrial Association in February.

In 1985, the US had 3 million workers in the defense industry; by 2021, it had 1.1 million workers in the sector, the report said. The US defense ecosystem has suffered a net loss of 17,045 companies in the last five years, it added.

"Key industrial readiness indicators for great power competition are going in the wrong direction," commented the report.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is exhausting available weapon stocks in the US and Europe, has brought about new problems for US arms exporters, as manufacturers have to spare more time and resources in sending weapons to Ukraine, observers found.

The conflict has caused numerous delivery delays to US weapon purchasers. "In many cases accelerated delivery is not possible," stated a report delivered by the US State Department to Congress in April, according to a National Review article in June. While the Pentagon is prioritizing Taiwan arms sales to the fullest extent possible, "limited resources cause ongoing strain," the report added.

Task forces like TIGER can therefore hardly change the status quo, as Russia-Ukraine tensions keep consuming weapons, and moreover, "it's difficult to change the US' current arms sales mechanism," Song said.

A good excuse

The US House and Senate drafts authorized a record $886 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year 2024. China, frequently seen in various US budget application reports, has long been a good excuse for the US government and military to inflate budgets.

Even members of the TIGER task force repeatedly mention China. Many have found that they, along with some US media sources, together, portray China as the biggest rival to the US military industry.

TIGER's founding was predicated upon the intention to "better compete with China" and to "counter Chinese influence" in the arms sales sector. In a September 2022 article, The EurAsian Times cited a report by a Washington-based think tank as stating that "China exported conventional weapons worth around $17 billion between 2010 and 2020," attempting to exaggerate the threat of China's military industry to its US peers.

They ignore the fact that the US, as the world's largest arms exporter, earns no less than $45 billion in annual weapon sales.

The sensationalization of China's military industry threat obviously favors US arms manufacturers and other interested parties, experts said. "By hyping up the threat, the US wants to put increasing pressure on China's weapon exports, and heighten a sense of crisis among its allies," said Song.

"The US unscrupulously exports offensive weapons to maximize its economic profit, and even offers its allies [destructive] weapons that can change the situation and balance of forces in a region," Song told the Global Times.

The arms sales to Taiwan are no more than a card played by anti-China politicians and Taiwan separatist forces, said observers, noting that it enriches US weapon manufacturers while the ordinary people of Taiwan and numerous taxpayers suffer from the dirty deal.

US media’s vicious calculation to make ASEAN victim of US Indo-Pacific Strategy

Despite US President Joe Biden's well-calculated absence from the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings held in Jakarta, Indonesia, some US media outlets wasted no chance to push for US agendas in the region.

On Thursday, VOA Chinese published an article entitled "China showing off its map before ASEAN Summit forces ASEAN and India to get closer." The article cited so-called observers and claimed that China's deliberate issue of a controversial new edition of the national map would enhance security and economic ties between India and ASEAN. 

Some Chinese analysts reached by the Global Times believe that the US media intentionally stirred up tensions by exploiting the ASEAN Summit and China's launch of the new map. On August 28, China's Ministry of Natural Resources released the 2023 edition of the standard national map. China's claims haven't changed, and its stance on the South China Sea issue with certain ASEAN member states has been consistent, which is "putting aside disputes and seeking joint development." It makes no sense to claim that China's new map is a timed move to provoke ASEAN or other South China Sea claimants.

Nonetheless, the US media took it as a chance to link the issue with the ASEAN Summit, in a bid to stir up the currently peaceful South China Sea situation and incite regional countries to provoke and take a tough stance against China. This was done with the intention of pulling ASEAN into the orbit of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy to contain China. 

Ma Bo, an associate professor at the School of International Studies and the assistant director of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies at Nanjing University, told the Global Times that this is not the first time that the US has taken advantage of regional summits to bring up the South China Sea issue and exploit the disputes between China and its neighboring countries to worsen China's development environment.

Prior to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in July, the US began to smear China's law-enforcement activities, which were aimed at safeguarding China's territorial sovereignty and maritime order, after Philippine coast guard vessels intruded into the waters off the Ren'ai Reef without Chinese permission on June 30. During the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed unity with Southeast Asian nations against "coercion," in a thinly veiled reference to China. Nonetheless, ASEAN nations maintained a lukewarm attitude.

What ASEAN countries are dissatisfied with the most is the constant absence of US presidents at ASEAN summits, be it Biden or former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama. This time, Biden has skipped Indonesia but will visit Vietnam. "This will make ASEAN believe that the US is actually dividing ASEAN and viewing the Philippines and Vietnam as its agents to contain China," said Ma.

While the US hopes to woo any country possible to achieve this goal, India could be an easy pick. The US often touts its relations with India, and India is a member of the US-led Quad. But will India have the US' wish fulfilled?

Long Xingchun, a professor at the School of International Relations at Sichuan International Studies University and president of the Chengdu Institute of World Affairs, told the Global Times that compared to China, ASEAN's economic cooperation with India is very limited in scale, so is India's influence on ASEAN. India has even withdrawn from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,  which ASEAN has high hopes for. Long added that ASEAN has taken a negative and even opposing attitude toward Quad, as it believes Quad will not only divide Asia and create confrontation, but also weaken the ASEAN centrality during the process of East Asian integration. 

The US media reports are filled with vicious calculations aimed at making countries in the Indo-Pacific region cannon fodder of the US' Indo-Pacific Strategy. The US has long been trying to involve  these countries in its agenda, and it continues to do so by exploiting various opportunities. This shows that the US' previous efforts were not successful. The fundamental reason is that the US only considers its own interests without taking into account the interests of regional countries and their pursuit of strategic autonomy. There is a huge misalignment or even contradiction between US' goals and the interests of these countries.

Having suffered from Cold War, South Korea must not fall into same trap again

Editor's Note:

The China-US bilateral relationship is one of the most important in the world. The trajectory of this relationship has attracted international attention. Still, the US is stepping up its efforts to suppress China on various fronts such as politics and diplomacy, economy, trade, technology, and military security, showing the true meaning of a cold war. The Global Times invites Chinese and foreign experts to expose the US' manipulation of the "new cold war" and reveal the damage it may potentially cause to the world.

This is the fifth installment of the series.

The recent visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to Russia has raised concerns in South Korea, particularly the worry that a new cold war dynamic may be emerging in Northeast Asia, namely the northern triangle of Beijing-Moscow-Pyongyang vs. the southern triangle of Washington-Tokyo-Seoul. The reason why Western media are sparing no effort in hyping up the so-called northern triangle is because the southern triangle is taking shape. Yet it must be pointed out that South Korea still plays a crucial role in preventing the formation of a new cold war in Northeast Asia.

The deconstruction of the Cold War in Northeast Asia is undoubtedly a secondary effect of the end of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. However, South Korea had made significant contributions to this process. For instance, in June 1990, then South Korean President Roh Tae-woo held his first summit with then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in San Francisco, and diplomatic relations between the two countries officially began on September 30, 1990. In 1992, China and South Korea established diplomatic ties. It was at this time when negotiations were held between South and North Korea, and the Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-Aggression, and Exchanges and Cooperation between South and North Korea, as well as the Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula were signed. 

Since then, the relationship between the two countries has gone through fluctuations with both sides even viewing each other as the "archenemy" at one point. However, South Korea's efforts toward realizing reconciliation with China, Soviet Union and North Korea have contributed to the gradual melting of the Cold War ice in Northeast Asia. These positive changes have been made possible through the joint efforts of China, Soviet Union, and other parties, including the Roh administration's "Northern Diplomacy." Roh laid the foundation for South Korea to enjoy more than 30 years of peace dividends and created conditions for further regional integration in Northeast Asia.

Today, the US is once again sounding the horn of a new cold war on the Eurasian continent, seeking to maintain its hegemonic position through strengthening bilateral alliances and building small cliques. However, whether a new cold war dynamic will reemerge in Northeast Asia, and whether there will be a counterflow against regional integration, is not solely determined by the US. It is also influenced to a considerable extent by the choices made by major regional countries, including South Korea. Unfortunately, the current administration of South Korea seems to be going against the tide of peace. Since coming to power, the Yoon Suk-yeol government has pursued a values-based diplomacy, adopting a so-called "strategic clarity" policy that leans toward the US.

The Yoon government has shown it has no principle when it comes to improving ties with Japan, consolidating alliance with the US, and responding to the trilateral military cooperation with the US and Japan. One of its starting points is the belief that a new cold war between China and the US has already begun, and Yoon administration believes that the US, representing so-called freedom and democracy, is bound to win. 

Although the ruling power in South Korea refuses to admit it, opposition forces in South Korea and rational elites have long warned that the emerging signs of a new cold war in Northeast Asia are to a considerable extent the result of Seoul's response to the US' push for the new cold war. However, some ruling elites in South Korea resolutely refuse to acknowledge that they are accomplices in escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and instead attempt to use the improved relations between North Korea and Russia as an excuse for their country's accelerating pace down the path of the new cold war paved by the US and Japan.

The new cold war has not yet taken shape in Northeast Asia, the vast majority of the region's population does not want to see it coming either. Judging from various concerns within South Korea, it is not in South Korea's interest to rush to the forefront of confronting China and Russia on behalf of the US, regardless of what kind of subjective intentions and objective reasons. Once a new cold war is ignited in the region, it could not only inflict further damage on South Korea's economy but also potentially drag the country into an avoidable "hot war." At that point, South Korea's destiny will become increasingly beyond its control.

Having gone through the Korean War and the Cold War, the South Korean people understand that a new cold war will only lead to boundless suffering. South Korea should strive for strategic autonomy, work to prevent the emergence of a new cold war in the region, engage and cooperate with China, Russia and North Korea, and avoid following the US and Japan in military and ideological confrontations. 

The author is the director and professor of the Center for Korean Peninsula Studies at the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics.

Be wary of Japanese media's hype by exploiting these holidays

As the Chinese people enjoy the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holidays, some Japanese media outlets are hyping up the break. The Japan Times began to intensively talk up news, including "Japanese airlines' flights from China almost fully booked for holiday" and "Japan tops the list of popular overseas destinations for Chinese travelers during the vacation period," before the week-long holidays began. They also forcefully connected this with the attitude of the Chinese people toward Japan's dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea, deliberately creating misleading arguments such as that Chinese people are "forgetful" or "do not care about Japan's dumping." 

Since the beginning of the dumping, Japan has been using various means of public opinion to fool the public. This time, the Japanese media used the "Golden Week" as a pretext to mislead the public. It is necessary to use facts to further dismantle the Japanese media's public opinion warfare and even false propaganda and make the world realize better the irresponsible practice of Japanese public opinion and even officials on the issue of nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping.

First, some Japanese media outlets have deliberately blurred the distinction between ideas to confuse the public. Speaking of this "Golden Week," they linked various reasons behind the surge of  Chinese visitors in Japan, including the fact that China resumed Japan-bound group tours, the demands for business trips and visiting family members are growing, and October is when foreign students enroll in Japanese colleges. They generalized "Chinese people traveling to Japan" as "Chinese tourists," ignoring the fact that the passengers include a large number of business people and students, and even some Japanese citizens are on these so-called "packed" flights to Japan.

Second, these Japanese media outlets are using "tourism public opinion warfare" to muddle through and downplay their country's responsibility in wastewater dumping, as they link the "Chinese visitors to Japan" with the issue of Japan's dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea. Several media outlets interviewed "Chinese tourists arriving in Japan" at the airport and tried to prove that "Japan's dumping does not have a great impact on tourism" by hiding the identity and muting the voices of the interviewees. This all aims to deliberately create an impression that "the Chinese people are contradicting themselves" - Chinese people's condemnation of Japan does not really affect their willingness to travel to Japan.

But in fact, leaving aside the widespread opposition and condemnation of the international community, including China, after Japan began the dumping on August 24, if we only look at the Chinese tourism data before the "Golden Week" holidays, it reveals that many Chinese people did seek to travel abroad, but Japan is not as popular destination as the  Japanese media is portraying, with few group tours from China. This has made people suspect that the Japanese media is focusing on part of reality to distort the big picture deliberately, fabricating the "Chinese tourist boom in Japan" to dilute, muddle through, and shirk Japan's responsibility in dumping nuclear-contaminated wastewater.

Third, what Japanese media outlets wanted to create is the disinformation that "Chinese people do not care about Japan's nuclear-contaminated wastewater dumping" and that "Chinese people are forgetful." But it is obviously a baseless argument, because it is far-fetched and very dangerous to anticipate that the recovery of bilateral tourism as well as the growing desire for study, business, and other people-to-people exchanges can justify the country's wastewater dumping action.

In recent days, quite a number of Japanese media outlets also took advantage of the participation of Japanese Minister for Science and Technology Policy Sanae Takaichi in the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency last week to build up momentum for the dumping of nuclear-contaminated wastewater to push a narrative that  Japan's move is gaining general understanding and growing support from the international community, except for China's opposition. But such nonsense cannot hide the fact that Japan's dumping is not only strongly opposed and criticized by the people of many countries, such as China, South Korea, and Southeast Asian nations, but also raised concerns from other members of the international community, such as Pacific Island countries. Even in Japan, many people, including fisheries organizations, have objections and concerns about Tokyo's decision.

It must be said that some Japanese media outlets have been doing the same type of thing to provoke certain sentiments or even directly advance reporting based on disinformation. However, the Japanese government's decision to dump nuclear-contaminated wastewater into the sea has, in fact, led to a rise in marine nuclear pollution level and the occurrence of "broken windows" in international law, and Japanese people are generally worried that this will seriously damage Japan's international image. At this point, the Japanese media should fulfill the ethical responsibility of a conscientious side and urge Tokyo to face up to and correct its approach to this matter, rather than "helping it to do harm." After the first round of wastewater dumping, the Japanese government should also take into account the concerns of neighboring countries, face up to its own responsibility, immediately stop the subsequent dumping plan, and remedy the consequences which are already unfolding.  

The author is director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

China Space Station attracts more with true openness, technology advantages

Four out of the total nine of the first batch international experiments are expected to be sent to the China Space Station in 2023, according to the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Acting Director Niklas Hedman in a recent interview, who also lauded the space station as "truly international" and one that offers an "absolutely fantastic opportunity for researchers around the world."

The UNOOSA official's remarks over the weekend came following China's completion of the assembly of the country's first permanent space station and all space launch missions scheduled at the construction stage with the latest Shenzhou-15 manned spaceflight mission. 

Chinese space observers said that the country's genuine openness in sharing the use of its mega space infrastructure greatly contrasts with and offsets the current turbulence around the world, which is result of certain countries' political games of forcing countries to take a side in bloc confrontation even in space, 

According to Hedman, nine projects - including 23 research institutions and universities from a variety of countries across all five regional groups of the world - were selected. Seven of those projects are currently in development and four of those teams could deliver their experiments to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) for launch during 2023.

Headman said that "it [the China Space Station] is there and it will be open to international projects and researchers. It is truly international in that sense…therefore it is an amazing achievement for China's national space program but also internationally."

"It is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for researchers around the world to use the China Space Station," he said. 

The Global Times previously reported that the CMSA and the UN Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) announced in June 2019 that these nine international projects in aerospace medicine, life sciences and biotechnology, microgravity physics and combustion science, astronomy and other emerging technologies are from 17 countries and 23 research bodies, including Polar-2, a Gamma-ray burst polarimetry project jointly proposed by Switzerland, Poland, Germany and China, and a spectroscopic investigation of nebular gas by India and Russia. 

Projects from Italy, Japan, Peru, Mexico and Saudi Arabia were also selected as the first batch of China Space Station awardees under the UNOOSA cooperation project going by the Access to Space for All, the UN office official website shows. 

Chinese space observers said that compared with the highly exclusive cooperative mechanism of the International Space Station (ISS), the China Space Station adopts true openness under a UN framework.

For the ISS - a partnership among NASA, Russia, Canada, the European Space Agency and Japan that has been in orbit for more than two decades - laboratory resources are split among the partner nations, which then offer their scientists opportunities to send experiments to the space station. However scientists living in countries that are outside of the partnership are generally shut out of the ISS, the New York Times reported on December 4.

China's Space Station is the first of its kind to be open to all UN member states. Let us hope that greater success is still to come for China's manned space program and that China's space station will soon become a "home in space" for all, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a routine press conference on November 1.

China sends only fair and sincere invitations to the rest of the world to come on board its space station, especially for those developing countries that fail to meet the high threshold yet have great space development ambitions. China cares and hopes that experiments of these countries will yield breakthroughs in terms of livelihood improvement in sectors such as communications and agriculture, Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

The world may be challenged by uncertainties and great turbulence caused by political games staged by the US to force countries to take a side in the camp confrontation, but eventually China's true openness and inclusiveness will prevail in space cooperation, Wang predicted. 

Wang speculated that although the US-led project failed to make it to the first batch of international projects on the China Space Station, the door of future cooperation is still open. "It is a result of scientific consideration, rather than a political decision in the sense that the US has closed the way to invite China to the ISS cooperation."

Apart from the genuine openness, the technology advantages of the newer China Space Station also greatly attract researchers from around the world, Sun Jianchao, the technology manager with the Chinese team of the POLAR-2, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The China Space Station has a high-volume and high-speed data transmission capability and a powerful in-orbit computing capability provided by the supercomputer on the space station, which facilitates space experiments, Sun explained. 

During the primary stage of the selection work, 42 applications were received from scientists of 27 countries and regions in Asia, Europe and North and South America. Seventy-two international cooperation teams and 258 research fellows submitted applications.

Sun recalled that it took the four-nation applicants about one year to attain the approval to come on board in 2019. 

The POLAR-2 experiment is expected to be sent to the China Space Station by around 2025, via the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft. It will be then installed outside the cabin of the Wentian lab module with the help of taikonauts and the smart robotic arms, according to Sun.

Data will be shared among project participants in an undifferentiated manner, Sun said. 

Xi'an police urge over 20 individuals considered high-risk involved in overseas fraud to return to China

In a new campaign to combat new types of illegal activities across telecommunications networks, as well as to punish cross-border illegal activities, the Xi'an police from Northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Wednesday issued a disciplinary notice and disclosed information regarding more than 20 individuals from Chang'an district who are moving across areas such as northern Myanmar, the Golden Triangle, the United Arab Emirates, and Cambodia.

Starting from the date of the notice, these individuals who are illegally located overseas and involved in high-risk fraud are required to voluntarily return to China through proper channels before September 10, 2023. Within 14 days prior to their return, they must report to the local police station in their registered residence on their own or through their family members, the notice said.

Family members of those who are still stranded overseas and involved in high-risk fraud should actively cooperate with the public security organs, promptly contact and urge these individuals to return to China and surrender themselves. Those who voluntarily surrender and truthfully confess to their illegal activities may receive lenient or mitigated punishments according to law. Those with minor offenses may be exempted from punishment according to the law. However, those who persist in their refusal to return to China after the deadline will be subject to investigation and pursuit through legal means, the notice warned.

Xi'an police stated that the over 20 individuals involved in fraud will be publicly exposed and strictly punished according to the law. Their household registration will be frozen, and all household registration-related services, such as identity cards and driving licenses, will be suspended. Communication and banking services will be strictly controlled. All mobile phone cards will be deactivated, and non-counter services of their bank cards will be suspended. All government policy subsidies, social welfare benefits, and national assistance guarantees will be suspended. 

Moreover, when these individuals or their direct three-generation family members undergo political reviews for joining the Communist Youth League, the Communist Party of China, joining the military, or applying for civil service positions or positions in public institutions, their reviews will be strictly conducted in accordance with the law and regulations.

Furthermore, the Xi'an police emphasized in the notice that any unit, organization, or individual that provides safe harbor, financial resources, transportation, or information, or engages in forgery, cover-ups, or other facilitation to help these individuals involved in overseas illegal activities evade punishment will be held legally accountable.