Asia Pacific Daily – Breaking News, Asia Pacific, World, China, Business, Lifestyle, Travel, Special Report, Video, Photo…Asia Pacific Daily – Breaking News, Asia Pacific, World, China, Business, Lifestyle, Travel, Special Report, Video, Photo…

To download APD News app

1. Please scan the QR Code 2. Download and install APD News App

Companies in Youxian district display high-tech products at intl expo

The Youxian High-Tech Industrial Park in Mianyang, Sichuan province is home to more than 100 high-tech enterprises.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]  A total of 12 companies in Youxian district in the city of Mianyang participated in the ongoing ninth China (Mianyang) Science and Technology City International High-Tech Expo in Mianyang, Sichuan province.The four-day event, focusing on technological innovation, is sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Sichuan Provincial Government and is regularly held in Mianyang every year.More than 500 companies and organizations from 14 countries around the world participated in this year's event, exhibiting around 2,200 items through online and offline platforms.Companies in Youxian district have brought over 60 high-tech products to the expo involving high-end equipment manufacturing, new materials, energy conservation, and environmental protection.Staff members work at the workshop of Sichuan EM Technology Co Ltd, a professional global material manufacturer based in Mianyang, Sichuan province.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]  Sichuan EM Technology Co Ltd, a professional global material manufacturer, exhibited its optical polyester film products at the expo. The products, manufactured with industry-leading technology, have excellent optical, mechanical, and electrical properties.Sichuan Xingshifa Door and Window Co Ltd exhibited its self-developed infrared smart temperature measuring door, which can meet the body temperature detection needs of shopping malls, parks, schools, and other places with high traffic.The device can accurately measure the temperatures of hundreds of people simultaneously. If somebody with an abnormal body temperature is found, it will automatically raise the alarm and store thermal images and real-life images.Sichuan Kaiyuan Chuangyi Biological Technology Co Ltd exhibited its biodegradable bag products, which are made of pure polylactic acid extracted from corn and are non-toxic and suitable for packaging all kinds of food.The bags are green and environmentally friendly and can be completely degraded into carbon dioxide and water after being discarded.

Brazil-Argentina World Cup qualifier halted over COVID-19 protocols

Brazil's World Cup South American qualifying clash against Argentina was dramatically suspended shortly after kick-off on Sunday as controversy over COVID-19 protocols erupted.Amid incredible scenes at Sao Paulo's Neo Quimica Arena, the match between the two giants of South American football came to a halt when a group of Brazilian public health officials came onto the pitch, triggering a melee involving team staff and players.Argentina's players trudged off the pitch to the changing room as the fury erupted. Argentina captain Lionel Messi later re-emerged from the tunnel without his team shirt on as confusion swept around the stadium.The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said in a statement that the game had been "suspended" but did not say whether the match would resume or be replayed."By decision of the match referee, the match organized by FIFA between Brazil and Argentina for the qualifiers for the World Cup is suspended," the statement said."The referee and the match commissioner will submit a report to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, which will determine the steps to follow. These procedures adhere strictly to current regulations."The stunning intervention came just hours after Brazil's health authorities said four players in Argentina's squad based in England should be placed in "immediate quarantine" for breaching COVID-19 protocols.According to Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), Premier League players Giovani Lo Celso, Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia and Cristian Romero provided "false information" upon their entry to Brazil.Romero, Lo Celso and Martinez were all in the Argentina starting lineup that kicked off Sunday's game – triggering the intervention onto the field of officials wearing ANVISA shirts.Neymar and Messi talk with officials as the game is halted by Brazil's health authorities at Neo Quimica Arena stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 5, 2021. /CFPThe four Premier League players – Lo Celso and Romero play for Tottenham, while Martinez and Buendia play for Aston Villa – were accused of failing to disclose that they had spent time in the United Kingdom in the 14 days prior to their arrival."We got to this point because everything that ANVISA directed, from the first moment, was not fulfilled," ANVISA Director Antonio Barra Torres said on Brazilian television."(The four players) were directed to remain isolated while awaiting deportation, but they did not comply. They went to the stadium and they entered the field, in a series of breaches," the official added.A government order of Brazil dating from June 23 bans the entry into the country's territory of any foreign person from the United Kingdom, India or South Africa, to prevent the spread of variants of the coronavirus."ANVISA considers that this situation represents a serious health risk and recommends that the local health authorities (of Sao Paulo) order the immediate quarantine of the players, who are prohibited from taking part in any activity and from remaining on Brazilian territory," the agency said in a statement earlier on Sunday.Players leave the ground at Neo Quimica Arena stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 5, 2021. /CFPANVISA said Brazil's federal police had been notified so that "the necessary measures are taken immediately."Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni lashed out at Brazilian authorities following the game's suspension."It makes me very sad. We are the victims in the sense that we wanted to play the game, the Brazilian players also wanted to play it and the show was to be played," Scaloni told Argentina's TyCSports channel.Scaloni said the match "should have been a party for everyone, to enjoy the match with the best in the world."The controversy came after nine Brazilians based in the Premier League failed to travel to South America following objections from their clubs.(AFP)

After six months on Mars, NASA's tiny copter is still flying high

NASA's helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, was only supposed to fly five times, yet it has completed 12 flights and isn't ready to retire.Given its unexpected success, the U.S. space agency has extended Ingenuity's mission indefinitely.The tiny helicopter has become the regular travel companion of the rover Perseverance, whose core mission is to seek signs of ancient life on Mars."Everything is working so well," said Josh Ravich, the head of Ingenuity's mechanical engineering team. "We're doing better on the surface than we had expected."On April 19, Ingenuity carried out its maiden flight, making history as the first motorized craft to fly on another planet.Exceeding all expectations, it has gone on to fly 11 more times."We've actually been able to handle winds greater than we had expected," Ravich told AFP."I think by flight three we had actually accomplished all of our engineering goals ... (and) got all the information we had hoped to get," said Ravich, who works for NASA's famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which developed the helicopter.Since then, Ingenuity has flown as high as 12 meters, and its last flight lasted two minutes and 49 seconds. In all, it has covered a distance of about 2.6 kilometers.In May, Ingenuity flew its first one-way mission, landing outside the relatively flat "airfield" that had been carefully selected as its initial home. But not all has gone smoothly. Its sixth flight brought some excitement.After being knocked dangerously off-balance by a malfunction affecting the photos taken in flight to help it stabilize, the tiny craft was able to recover. It landed, safe and sound, and the problem was resolved.Ingenuity is now being sent out to scout the way for Perseverance, using its high-resolution color camera.The purpose is twofold: to chart a path for the rover that is safe, but also which is of scientific interest, notably in geological terms.What explains its longevity?"The environment has been very cooperative so far: the temperatures, the wind, the sun, the dust in the air... It's still very cold, but it could have been a lot worse," said Ravich.In theory, the helicopter should be able to keep operating for some time. But the approaching Martian winter will be challenging.NASA engineers, now armed with the data from Ingenuity's flights, are already working on its next-generation successors."Something in the 20 to 30 kilograms (range) maybe, able to carry science payloads," said Ravich.Those future payloads might just include the rock samples collected by Perseverance.NASA is planning to retrieve those samples during a future mission – sometime in the 2030s.(CGTN)

Top Stories

Top Newsmore >>

6-year-old girl dies at Colorado amusement park

A 6-year-old girl died at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado after riding the Haunted Mine Drop ride, according to the Garfield County coroner's office.Garfield County Coroner Robert M. Glassmire announced the death of the girl Monday, saying her name won't be released to give family members time to tell others.The child died Sunday with park employees administering first aid following her riding the Haunted Mine Drop ride.She was at the amusement park on vacation with her family.The sheriff and coroner's office are investigating the circumstances around her death with an autopsy scheduled with the coroner's office forensic pathologist this week."Out of respect and concern for all parties involved, we will not have further comment until all details have been confirmed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved," the park said in a statement on Facebook.The park closed Monday and will also be closed Tuesday.(MSN)


Taliban claim complete control of Afghanistan's Panjshir

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Monday said the group had "completely conquered" and taken control of Panjshir province, the last area in Afghanistan being held by resistance forces."Our latest efforts to bring peace to the entire country succeeded as the Panjshir province is completely conquered and came under control of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," Mujahid wrote on Twitter. Mujahid said Taliban attacked and eliminated scores of resistance forces in Panjshir on Sunday night, while dozens fled after Taliban advances in the mountainous valley. In the meantime, the opposition or the so-called National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) led by Ahmad Massoud denied the Taliban's claims of seizing the valley. "Taliban's claim of occupying Panjshir is false. The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight," a media section of the NRF tweeted.   Panjshir is the last province in Afghanistan uncontrolled by Taliban since the U.S. troops pullout from the Central Asian country in late August. (XINHUA NEWS AGENCY)


Insightsmore >>

A rare triumph of U.S. bipartisanship

After months of negotiations, the United States Senate recently passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. Passed by a vote of 69 to 30, it was an impressive display of bipartisanism at a time of deep polarization. While there are still challenges ahead – in particular, disagreement over the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint that was subsequently passed by the House of Representatives along party lines – the approval of the infrastructure bill offers a useful case study of what makes bipartisan deals possible.The U.S. has a long history of bipartisanship, from the Great Compromise of 1787 to Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society initiative in 1965 to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As the late Senator John McCain proved in 2017, when he defended the Affordable Care Act from efforts by his fellow Republicans to repeal it, even one or two defectors from a party can prove transformative.But such defections are difficult to come by in a deeply two-party system in which the two sides at times seem like they live in a different reality (as is true of climate change or voter fraud). In such a context, crossing the party line can be perceived as a betrayal, threatening transgressors' position within the party and hurting their re-election chances.A cornerstone of modern political science is that political actors behave rationally. Simply put, people will not initiate, join, or support any action that would undermine their own well-being. Given this, a policy can win bipartisan support only if it simultaneously advances the interests of both sides.So, what do America's two main parties want? Republicans tend to support unbridled competition, with the expectation that markets will naturally reward people in the ways they deserve and provide for people in the ways they need. Democrats argue that public intervention is crucial to correct imbalances and protect the disadvantaged.Public infrastructure investment is thus a more natural cause for Democrats. But while Republicans might not like the idea of large-scale public investment generally – they prefer tax cuts to spending increases, and would prefer lower social spending – they do recognize that the private sector depends on public infrastructure, from roads and bridges to internet service. They might not like entitlements, but they do want the economy to run – and their constituents to keep voting for them. That means meeting certain basic needs.A construction project to add three lanes to the I-95 Rappahannock River Crossing in Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S., April 6, 2021. /GettyThis is one way that leaders achieve what the political scientist John Conybeare called "leadership surplus." After competing with other potential leaders for ascendancy, they "maximize their surplus or profit by providing collective goods against taxes, donations, or purchases promised in the election process."Another way to accumulate a leadership surplus and pass broadly beneficial legislation is to find areas of common interest and show the other side how their priorities overlap. Moreover, leaders must sustain bipartisan buy-in while negotiating the details. For example, even if both sides see the need for modern, functioning physical infrastructure, progress can be stymied by disagreement on how to pay for it.Republicans, at least when they are out of power, express concern about the growing budget deficit, which would ostensibly increase the tax burden on future generations. But this introduces an ideological constraint that has little merit: standard economic theory holds that future generations' welfare depends on the total national resources left to them, not on their resources minus their tax obligations.Of course, Modern Monetary Theory would take this a step further, stating that a country like the U.S. can accumulate virtually unlimited amounts of debt. Of course, this remains controversial – and certainly unconvincing to U.S. Republicans. But the standard view is enough to demonstrate that investing in resources like infrastructure will bolster long-term welfare, regardless of the size of the public debt. It is the politician's job to make the case to ideological opponents in language that is most convincing to them.There are also other means of securing bipartisan support for a policy or bill. Consider so-called pork barrel politics: the practice of slipping a localized project into a budget, in order to secure a particular legislator's vote. This is often considered to be an abuse of the political system, not least because such provisions might have little to do with the legislation to which they are attached.But, while doling out pork can certainly be wasteful, it can also be a practical tool for enabling progress in delivering public goods. Rather than condemning the practice outright, we should ask whether the benefits of the main legislation are enough to justify the tacked-on provisions. One might describe this as political leadership on the ground.In an ideal world, perhaps such provisions would not be needed. But there is nothing ideal about U.S. politics, as years of congressional paralysis clearly demonstrates. The bipartisan vote for the infrastructure bill in the U.S. therefore should be commended. One hopes it serves as a reminder to both sides that, as contentious as the political climate gets, common ground can be a rewarding place.(CGTN)


The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the grave miscalculations

Although the U.S. has completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the worst ever miscalculation by the U.S. administration and policy makers has led Kabul to this fate. Since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, we have witnessed two bomb blasts in Kabul, killing 200 people, including dozens of U.S. service members.President Joe Biden has always been a proponent of ending the "endless war" in Afghanistan, but the manner in which the U.S. withdrew is terrible, and there will be repercussions for years to come. The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is the worst of all the previous ones, including Saigon 1975.Following the Kabul bomb blasts carried out by ISIS-K on August 26, the entire picture resembles more to the incident that took place in Beirut 1983, when a bomb blast killed hundreds of U.S. service members in the U.S. Marine Corps barracks just before the withdrawal.It was clear from the start that the U.S. is going to leave, but the withdrawal could have been more systematic and planned in order to avoid what's happening now. At present, its total chaos and a looming humanitarian crisis clouds the region. There are a few grave miscalculations by the U.S. administration that led the entire region into the grip of sheer uncertainty.First of all, the entire war on terror in Afghanistan lacked clear vision. United States came to Afghanistan with a vague plan, blurred objectives and strategy. It started off with a hyper-military adventurism, exaggerated data, lack of understanding of the ground realities and indigenous culture, dependence on the military power and overlooking the reconciliation signals during the initial years of this war.The counter terrorism was the focus of this war but drastically it shifted to counter insurgency. U.S. came to fight the Al-Qaeda, started fighting the Taliban and then left the country at the hands of Taliban again. As soon as the Kabul fell into the hands of Taliban, thousands of prisoners were released. This untimely and an unplanned U.S. withdrawal has created security havoc in Afghanistan and for the region, and it may witness an unprecedented amount of violence if not timely managed.The site of a bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 18, 2021. /XinhuaBesides, the ISIS-K in Afghanistan also got active even before the complete withdrawal. Al-Qaeda, ISIL and others are regional threats and somehow they nourished during the realm of the U.S. The unexpected Taliban takeover gave a huge legitimacy to the jihadi mindset, which is more violent and prone to terrorism.The recent events have stimulated the jihadist victorious narrative for generations to come, and it's not going to stop here, keeping in view the leftover high-tech weaponry and the huge security fractures threatening the entire region.Unfortunately, dozens of top policy research institutes and think tanks in the West couldn't provide one single practical solution to this dilemma in 20 years. Somehow, many Western scholars and institutes have got it quite wrong due to their inability to understand the ground realities of the indigenous Afghan society. It took two decades to realize that there is no military solution to the Afghanistan problem.Moreover, Pakistan's point of view wasn't considered and taken well throughout this time. Pakistan's stance remained the same that Afghanistan requires a political solution which should be Afghan owned, with the involvement of all the stakeholders. Somehow, Pakistan was left out of the entire withdrawal and transition phase.The over-confident Biden administration didn't consult Pakistan and other partners to maintain peace and move towards a steady withdrawal. Rather it became a clandestine operation, leaving behind a huge mess, knowing the fact that Pakistan will suffer from the consequences of this hasty pullout, more than any country.This longest war in U.S. history is an absolute failure of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan. Even after spending billions, losing thousands of lives, United States is bound to accept that this war required a thorough political solution involving all the stakeholders, which should be Afghan-owned and Afghan-backed.Two decades of war damaged regional peace and stability, and destroyed the very fabric of the Afghan society. Thousands of civilians and soldiers died for an extremely unfruitful war, innocent people will bear the brunt of the miscalculations committed by the policy makers and the repercussions of this whole misadventure will resonate for years to come.(CGTN)


World Newsmore >>

Venezuelan government signals 'partial agreements' with opposition

A top Venezuelan official signaled on Saturday that talks between the government and the opposition in Mexico City aimed at resolving the country's long-standing political crisis have yielded "partial agreements." "We have been working mainly on partial agreements, especially those related to serving the people of Venezuela," President of Venezuela's National Assembly Jorge Rodriguez, who was leading the government delegation, told reporters. But officials provided no information on the nature of the agreements and a source in the opposition delegation told AFP that "so far nothing has been agreed." Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in July agreed to enter into political dialogue in Mexico with the opposition on three conditions, including that all the participating political sectors renounce violent plans, all U.S.-led sanctions against Venezuela cease immediately, and the radical right-wing opposition recognize the authority of all Venezuelan state institutions.The government is "very attentive" to all the economic guarantees that have been "wrested, blocked, stolen, withdrawn from the people of Venezuela," Rodriguez said, adding that Maduro seeks a partial if not total lifting of sanctions in exchange for concessions to the opposition.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with members of his cabinet in Caracas, Venezuela, August 20, 2021. /CFPThe main opposition alliance headed by Juan Guaido reversed course this week when it announced that it would end a three-year election boycott and take part in mayoral and gubernatorial polls in November. Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) said on Friday that the ongoing talks are an expression of the country's sovereignty and independence."Dialogue, political understanding, peace, diversity and pluralism define these negotiations," the CNE said in a statement, noting that they are "essential values" of Venezuela's national life.Venezuela was thrust into a deep power struggle in January 2019 when Guaido, the leader of the National Assembly that was controlled by the opposition at the time, proclaimed himself "interim president" of Venezuela, arguing Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. The United States, which supported Guaido, expanded sanctions on Venezuela.Previous rounds of negotiations between the government and the opposition held in recent years have failed to resolve the crisis in the Latin American country.(CGTN)


Uganda Airlines announces tough COVID protocols

Uganda Airlines has announced new tough COVID-19 restriction measures.Beginning September 3, 2021, all travelers irrespective of vaccination status or country of origin will be required to arrive with a negative PCR test done not more than 72 hours prior to travel.The airline also announced that the travelers will "be required to undergo mandatory testing at their own cost upon arrival.”Uganda has thus far registered 120,075 positive novel coronavirus cases and 3,023 deaths.A total of 1,376,986 persons have also been vaccinated against COVID-19.(CGTN)


Breaking Newsmore >>

14 killed in jihadist attack on Nigeria military base

Jihadists killed 14 security personnel and civilians in an attack on a military base in northeast Nigeria's Borno state on Wednesday, security sources told AFP.Suspected Boko Haram fighters in trucks fitted with machine guns launched a dawn raid on the army base in the town of Damboa, sparking intense fighting.Sources said six soldiers, four police officers and two members of a government-backed militia were killed along with two civilians."We lost six soldiers in the attack while six others were injured," a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.The officer claimed 13 insurgents were killed by a fighter jet as they fled the area.The leader of an anti-jihadist militia said the civilians who died were among more than 50 local residents hit by shrapnel after rocket-propelled grenades fired by the jihadists hit nearby homes.Nigeria's decade-long jihadist insurgency has killed 36 000 people and displaced two million others inside the country, and spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.The United Nations has complained of a surge in violence in the conflict zone in recent weeks.Anger has been growing among local residents about the army's failure to stem the attacks despite repeated claims from officials that the insurgency has been defeated.(CGTN)


One dead, multiple injured shot near skate park in California

A 23-year-old male was shot dead and five others were injured following a shooting at a party near a skate park in Tulare County, California, late Wednesday night, ABC News reported citing local police.The conditions of the other shooting victims are unclear, including a 7-year-old girl who is suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said at a press conference.Police said a "solo suspect shooter" walked up to the party and fired multiple rounds.(CGTN)


Life Stylemore >>

'Breaking Through' leads China's highly-anticipated sports films

Though the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics have just ended, there are plenty of Chinese sports films on the horizon promising to keep the athletic spirit alive. One of the most anticipated productions is Breaking Through, based on China's national speed-skating team at the 2002 Winter Olympics.Directed by Wang Fangfang and produced by heavyweight actor and director Xu Zheng, Breaking Through, starring Meng Meiqi and Xia Yu, tells the story of how China clinched its first Winter Olympics gold at the 2002 Games, held in Salt Lake City, Utah.Inspired by true events, the film follows speed-skater Yang Yang, whose performance in the women's 500 meters short-track race made her the first Chinese athlete to win a gold medal at a Winter Games. It was a bellwether year for the country, which went on to achieve its historical best, bringing home two golds, two silvers and four bronzes.In preparation for her role, Meng, a renowned pop idol, spent months training as a speed-skater and had to film in some of the coldest climes of northeast China. According to co-star Xia, who plays the national team's coach, Meng went so far as to put a rock inside her ice skates, determined to embody all the pain and sacrifice of her character.Breaking Through also benefitted from a group of speed skating professionals and coaches who participated in the production, which wrapped up in May.The film's release date is set for Feb. 1, 2022, which is both the Chinese Lunar New Year – generally the start of the most profitable movie season of the year – and mere days away from the Feb. 4 opening of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.Besides Breaking Through, there are a number of other sports films in the pipeline. Some of the high-profile projects include Ping-Pong of China, set to start production early next year, and Song Haolin's synchronized swimming picture Water Boys, which was scheduled for an Aug. 13 release but has since been delayed over COVID-19 concerns. Jimmy Wan Chi-Man's Zero to Hero, a biopic about So Wa Wai, Hong Kong's first Paralympic athlete to win gold, recently announced its Chinese mainland release, Sep. 4.For years, sports films have been a popular genre in Chinese filmmaking, evidenced by Peter Chan's highly-acclaimed Leap, a multi-generational story about the struggles of the Chinese women's national volleyball team from 1981 to 2016, which went on to gross 836 million yuan.(中国网英文)


China steps up protection of intangible cultural heritage

China has rolled out new measures to strengthen the protection of the country's intangible cultural heritage (ICH).Efforts should be made to bolster the ICH census and recording system, said a guideline released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council.To this end, the country plans to carry out a nationwide census, accelerate archives digitalization, and apply modern technologies to ICH recording.China also aims to improve the system of ICH inheritors, according to the guideline. Evaluation and dynamic management are emphasized.The guideline supports a rational utilization of ICH. It encourages the integration of ICH into tourism on the premise of effective preservation.Efforts to spread and popularize intangible cultural heritage should be stepped up, according to the guideline.Efforts to promote ICH exchanges and cooperation with other countries and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan are encouraged, according to the guideline.The guideline also has stipulations about financial support to ICH protection. Governments at and above the county level are asked to include funds for ICH preservation in their budgets. Other measures include targeted subsidies, interest discounts for loans, and tax incentives.(中国网英文)


Sportsmore >>

Lang Ping steps down as head coach of Chinese women's volleyball team

"Finally the mission is accomplished. First stop, Suzhou. I'm going to sweep the tomb of my late mother, who passed away due to health issues last year."Lang Ping posted her farewell letter on Chinese social media on Wednesday, announcing her retirement from the position of head coach of the Chinese women's volleyball team.The volleyball legend, dubbed "Iron Hammer" from her days as an athlete, witnessed the Chinese team pocketing all five major titles from 1981 to 1986, including the World Championships, the World Cup, and the Olympic Games, and her successors topping the world ranking in 2018, following their crowning moment in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is widely recognized as a legend in the sport, as she was at the center of all these glorious times, as a super spiker, then head coach.The past year has posted challenge on Lang and her girls, adjusting themselves for the delay of the Tokyo Olympics caused by the novel coronavirus, whilst Lang herself suffered the loss of her mother a year back, according to the letter."My love for the sport compensates the tiredness from this bumpy road. Everything was to gain, and nothing to lose, despite all the defeats, victories, (and) ups and downs that were inevitable when one chooses such a career. As I look back on my life in volleyball, I feel content and joyous, and cherish what I have had."Team China play against Team Japan in the women's volleyball World Cup final in Osaka, Japan, November 16, 1981. /CFPLang rose to international prominence as early as 1981, when she was entitled MVP (most valuable player) at the women's volleyball World Cup, with the Chinese team winning gold.She first became Chinese women's head coach in 1995, then again in 2013, in between she coached overseas in Italy and the U.S., and won the European Championships and Olympic silver. In 1996, Lang led the Chinese team to a second-place finish at the Atlanta Olympics, but struggled to repeat the dominance she and her teammates once had.The Chinese women's volleyball team clinched Olympic gold in 2004 under Chen Zhonghe, but soon went into a phase of rebuilding, winning bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and slipping to fifth in the London edition.2015 marked the rise of Chinese women's volleyball team again, when they defeated Team Japan 3-1 in the World Cup final. One year later, the Chinese women surprised top teams including hosts Brazil to take the top spot on the podium in Rio Olympics.Team China wins the women's volleyball gold medal at the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 20, 2016. /CFPIn 2019, they reaffirmed their No. 1 status in the women's volleyball after winning all eleven matches at the World Cup.The year 2020 was much anticipated by athletes, coaches, and fans alike, but ended in dismay for many after the Tokyo Olympics organizers announced the postponement in March. The Chinese squad struggled with super spiker Zhu Ting's wrist injury which eventually partially contributed to the team's early exist in the Games.Lang, however, announced that she would retire after Tokyo games long before it happened, using up the gas in her tank in hope of a successful Olympic campaign where they finished ninth.Former Chinese women's volleyball team captain, Rio gold medalist Hui Ruoqi commented on Weibo, China's twitter-like social media platform, "Best wishes to Coach Lang. You've done your part." Such appreciation flooded Lang Ping's personal account and the official account of the China Volleyball Association.In Lang Ping's hopes for the Chinese sqaud, the spiritual heritage should last in the generations to come. "Stay forever young, Chinese women's volleyball team!" concluded Lang. (CGTN)


Mbappe stays with PSG as Ronaldo completes United switch

Real Madrid failed in their attempt to sign French striker Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint Germain (PSG) on the final day of the transfer window as Cristiano Ronaldo completed his move from Juventus to Manchester United.Multiple media reports in Spain said Real offered transfer fees ranging from 150 million euros ($177.14 million) to 200 million euros ($236.18 million) for the World Cup-winning forward, whose contract with PSG would expire at the end of the current campaign.A source close to PSG said the club had no intention of selling one of their key players in a year in which they are targeting Champions League success.Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United poses after signing for the club in Lisbon, Portugal, August 31, 2021. /CFPManchester United announced last week that they had reached agreement with Juventus to sign their former player, 36-year-old Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner.Having passed a medical, secured a visa and agreed personal terms, Ronaldo said he was ready to recreate the glory years he enjoyed under former United boss Alex Ferguson."I'm back where I belong. Let's make it happen once again... Sir Alex, this one is for you," he said in an Instagram post.Real managed to bring in midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who joined on a six-year contract from French side Stade Rennes.Local media reported that the fee for the 18-year-old Frenchman was about 30 million euros ($35.41 million).(CGTN)


Science&Militarymore >>

11 (sometimes) deadly diseases that hopped across species

11 (sometimes) deadly diseases that hopped across speciesBacteria and viruses that are deadly to one type of creature can evolve quickly to infect another. While SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19) is the latest example, a host of infectious and deadly diseases have hopped from animals to humans and even from humans to animals.The cross-species infection can originate on farms or markets, where conditions foster mixing of pathogens, giving them opportunities to swap genes and gear up to infect (and sometimes kill) previously foreign hosts. Or the transfer can occur from such seemingly benign activities as letting a performance monkey on some Indonesian street corner climb on your head. Microbes of two varieties can even gather in your gut, do some viral dancing, and evolve to morph you into a contagious host.Diseases passed from animals to humans are called zoonoses. There are more than three dozen we can catch directly through touch and more than four dozen that result from bites. But disease-carrying parasites are not picky about hosts. Human diseases can decimate animal populations, too, from such well-meaning activities as ecotourism.(MICROSOFT NEWS)


Hurricane Ida from space: Photos from astronauts and satellites

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, making the first hurricane of the year to hit the Gulf Coast and the first to reach the U.S. mainland. The storm knocked out power to an estimated 1 million people across southeastern Louisiana after it made landfall near Port Fourchon. By coincidence, the storm struck on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm in 2005. Weather satellites and astronauts in orbit watched Hurricane Ida as it approached, then hit, southeastern Louisiana. Click the arrows above to see their stunning photos from space. This photo shows a full view of Hurricane Ida as it appeared on Aug. 28, 2021 while still a Category 2 storm. An astronaut on the International Space Station captured this view.(MICROSOFT NEWS)


Businessmore >>

South Korean parliament committee votes to curb Google, Apple commission dominance

A South Korean parliamentary committee voted on Wednesday to recommend amending a law, a key step towards banning Google and Apple from forcibly charging software developers commissions on in-app purchases, the first such curb by a major economy.Apple and Alphabet's Google have faced global criticism because they require software developers using their app stores to use proprietary payment systems that charge commissions of up to 30 percent.In a statement on Tuesday, Apple said the bill "will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections," hurt user trust in App Store purchases and lead to fewer opportunities for South Korean developers.Wilson White, senior director of public policy at Google, said "the rushed process hasn't allowed for enough analysis of the negative impact of this legislation on Korean consumers and app developers".Experts said app store operators could assure security in payment systems other than their own by working with developers and other companies."Google and Apple aren't the only ones that can create a secure payment system," said Lee Hwang, a Korea University School of Law professor specializing in competition law.Others noted that South Korea had some of the most robust legal protections for online transactions in the world, and said app store operators should provide advanced services to bolster profits."Dominant app store operators with large platforms should by now look to profit from value-added services, not just taking a cut from apps sold on its store," said Yoo Byung-joon, a Seoul National University School of Business professor who specializes in electronic commerce.Based on South Korean parliament records, the amendment bans app store operators with dominant market positions from forcing payment systems on content providers and "inappropriately" delaying the review of, or deleting, mobile content from app markets.It also allows the South Korean government to require an app market operator to "prevent damage to users and protect the rights and interests of users", probe app market operators, and mediate disputes regarding payment, cancellations or refunds in the app market.After the vote from the legislation and judiciary committee to amend the Telecommunications Business Act, dubbed the "Anti-Google law," the amendment will come to a final vote in parliament.(CGTN)


IMF chief: $650b reserves distribution a 'shot in arm' for global economy

The IMF will distribute about $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to its members on Monday, providing a "significant shot in the arm" for global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said. The International Monetary Fund's largest-ever distribution of monetary reserves will provide additional liquidity for the global economy, supplementing member countries' foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt, Georgieva said in a statement. "The allocation is a significant shot in the arm for the world and, if used wisely, a unique opportunity to combat this unprecedented crisis," she said. The IMF underscored its concerns about diverging trends in the global economy and said the new SDR allocation would allow richer countries to help those hit hard by the pandemic, while improving the outlook for the global economy.Countries can use the SDR allocation to support their economies and step up their fight against the coronavirus crisis, but should not use the fiscal space to delay needed economic reforms or debt restructuring, the IMF said in a separate guidance document.IMF member countries will receive SDRs – the fund's unit of exchange backed by dollars, euros, yen, sterling and yuan – in proportion with their existing quota shareholdings in the fund.Georgieva said about $275 billion of the allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, with some $21 billion to flow to low-income countries.The IMF last week suspended Afghanistan's access to IMF resources, including this SDR allocation, due to a lack of clarity over the country's government after the Taliban retook control of capital city Kabul.A lack of clarity among the international community over official government recognition in Venezuela kept Caracas locked out of the current allocation. Though calls had been made to limit Belarusian access to SDRs, Alexander Lukashenko's hardline government has not been disavowed by enough IMF members and the Fund is allowing access.Source for added supportGeorgieva said the IMF was encouraging rich countries that receive SDRs to channel them to poorer countries that need them more.One key option is for wealthier countries to contribute SDRs to the IMF's existing Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust for low-income countries, she said.The IMF was also continuing to work on a possible Resilience and Sustainability Trust that could use channeled SDRs to help the most vulnerable countries with structural transformation, including dealing with climate change, she said.Another possibility, she said, could be to channel SDRs to support lending by multilateral development banks.The IMF's last SDR distribution came in 2009 when member countries received $250 billion in SDR reserves to help ease the global financial crisis.To spend their SDRs, countries would first have to exchange them for underlying hard currencies, requiring them to find a willing exchange partner country.(CGTN)


chinamore >>

Students experience rice harvest in Xinjin to celebrate Farmers' Harvest Festival

The students of Xinjin Huayuan Primary School experienced  a rice harvest and made scarecrows in Xinjin district, Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sep 23, to celebrate the fourth Chinese Farmers' Harvest Festival. The activity is part of the event now underway at the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park in Xinjin district. The event, sponsored by the Chengdu city government, kicked off on Sep 23 and will last until the end of October.Students of Xinjin Huayuan Primary School experience a rice harvest at the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park in Xinjin district, Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sept 23.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]The China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park is an agricultural expo and agricultural technology comprehensive service platform that serves the revitalization of Sichuan's rural areas.The opening ceremony, with the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park and rice fields as a backdrop, consisted of a light and shadow show featuring four seasons and a number of performances.The students of Xinjin Huayuan Primary School experience scarecrow making at the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park in Xinjin district, Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sept 23.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]The China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park will continue to hold a series of activities from Sept 24 to Oct 7, such as farming games, musical performances and an artistic installation exhibition.The other three branch venues in Xinjin as well as other parts of the district will also hold various forms of harvest celebration activities.The students of Xinjin Huayuan Primary School play games at the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park in Xinjin district, Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sep 23.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]Performances are held at the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park in Xinjin district, Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sept 23, to celebrate the fourth Chinese Farmers' Harvest Festival.  [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]A small fair featuring creative products is opened at the China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park in Xinjin district, Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sept 23. [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily]The China Tianfu Agricultural Expo Park is an agricultural expo and agricultural technology comprehensive service platform that serves the revitalization of Sichuan's rural areas. [Photo provided to Asia Pacific Daily](APD)


Freight trains from Chengdu's Qingbaijiang boost global trade

Qingbaijiang district in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan province, has achieved outstanding results in its support for the Belt and Road Initiative and regional economic development. It has done so by making full use of Chengdu International Railway Port.After starting operations in 2013, the China-Europe (Chengdu) Railway Express, departing from the railway port, now outperforms many of its rivals in China. It puts Chengdu at the forefront of opening-up among the country's inland regions.The port has built a Chengdu-centered international rail network that connects to Europe, Mongolia, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.According to the district's government, trains departing from the port have traveled to 65 cities overseas, including Lodz in Poland and Nuremberg in Germany, as well as 20 Chinese cities.In the first half of this year, the Chengdu route dispatched more than 2,800 freight trains. Among their cargo items, smart home appliances and electronic products contributed 68.35 percent of Chengdu's total export volume.The China-Europe freight train service is recognized as a major channel for connecting global markets thanks to its high efficiency and stability, which benefits more multinational companies than ever.Since 2016, TCL Technology Group, a home appliance producer based in Huizhou, Guangdong province, has transferred part of its production capacity to Chengdu and delivered its products to Europe through the China-Europe freight train. In 2020, TCL chartered an average of two freight trains a week to haul its deliveries to Europe, equating to a total of more than 4,000 containers of products throughout the year.In May, TCL signed an agreement with Qingbaijiang district to invest 500 million yuan ($77.3 billion) into building a processing and manufacturing base for exports."The stability of the Chengdu route gives us strong confidence," said Song Shan, general manager of Sichuan Changhong Minsheng Logistics. "We will maintain a frequency of one or two dispatched trains a month."As of last month, Sichuan-based manufacturer Changhong Group had chartered four trains to Europe, carrying smart home appliances such as refrigerators and LCD television components.At the end of 2019, China's leading television manufacturer Konka Group launched an investment project for intelligent electronic devices in Chengdu's European Industrial City, a Europe-oriented industrial establishment in Qingbaijiang district. It marked Konka's first move into the European market. On June 25, Konka's first delivery of TV sets was dispatched to Europe via the China-Europe freight train.According to Pang Shuangcheng, manufacturing director of Konka Group, its export are estimated to consist of more than 200,000 units and total output value is expected to reach more than 100 million yuan in the second half of this year.In 2020, the Chengdu route transported goods worth 150.7 billion yuan into and outside of China, strongly boosting foreign trade in Sichuan.Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the China-Europe freight train service has helped enterprises to restore operations across the country. In turn, countries and regions joining the BRI have been assisted in their fight and had an easier time recovering their economies. During the first quarter when the pandemic hit the economy hardest in 2020, the import and export value of Qingbaijiang district reached 3.61 billion yuan, up 70 percent on the previous year.To meet the foreign trade demand of local small and medium-sized enterprises, Chengdu resorted to "market procurement trade", a new development pattern featuring low logistics costs, fast customs clearance and flexible foreign exchange management. This has simplified customs clearance process for local enterprises."In the past, it used to be difficult for individual merchants to qualify for foreign trade," said an official from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce. "But now the export process through market procurement trade is smooth. And with the logistics network of the China-Europe Railway Express, it brings opportunities to merchants in small commodity businesses."A China-Europe (Chengdu) Railway Express train carrying 50 containers of locally produced consumer goods including home textiles, clothing and daily necessities valued at 40 million yuan departed from Chengdu on July 22. Its route connects Longchang in Sichuan province to countries such as Poland, Hungary and Germany. Longchang has become the second city in Sichuan to enjoy benefits from the market procurement trade model.The next focus of Chengdu International Railway Port will be strengthening its role as a key land port and improving the international supply chain.The Chengdu-Eurasia National (Commodity) Pavilion has been put into use in Qingbaijiang district to demonstrate goods from countries taking part in the BRI, and features commodity exhibitions and cultural exchanges. French wine, German craft beer, leather goods made in Italy, maternal and children's products from New Zealand, Kazakhstan carpets and other products with national characteristics are showcased there.According to an official at the port, the functionality of Chengdu International Railway Port has continuously improved. Efforts are being made to build a new generation of inland port with the integrated development of logistics, commerce, finance and information. The construction of a smart unmanned railway port is currently underway and the annual container handling capacity is set to reach 4 million 20-foot-equivalent units.The construction of Chengdu International Railway Port Economic and Technological Development Zone, a national economic and technological development zone, was approved by the State Council this June. According to the development plan, it will better serve the BRI and play an important role as a transportation hub between Chengdu and Europe.Yang Yuchang contributed to this story.(APD)


The Belt and Roadmore >>

Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Work conference held in Yiwu for China, Czech to coordinate their efforts in promoting Belt and Road Initiative cooperation

By APD Writer He Wei The conference, which jointly organized by the western development department of the National Development and Reform Commission and the second foreign policy department of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade kicked off on June 6, 2018. It is of great significance in implementing the plan for China-Czech cooperation and promoting bilateral communication and cooperation. Both sides took a review on the development of the plan and held a talk over the cooperation prospects on trade, finance, think tank and projects. The priority work of the China and Czech cooperation in the next phase was discussed during the conference.Both sides reached an agreement on enhancing the cooperation on the field of policy coordination, facility connectivity, economic and trade, investment, finance and culture aiming at boosting the economy of both countries and benefiting the people. Almost 100 people from government officials, financial institutions, think tanks  and enterprises of both countries attended the conference.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)