China’s clean energy growth to accelerate global power source transformation: FM

China's remarkable progress in the clean energy sector in recent years has provided practical resolution in tackling global climate change, and will accelerate international power source transformation, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday, calling on the world to work together in addressing challenges of climate change. 

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the FM, made the remarks during a press conference while responding to media enquiries on China's prospect of realizing scheduled wind and solar power development goal six years in advance, and that 60 percent of global electricity generated by renewable power source will come from China by 2028. 

Wang stressed that power source transformation is the only way to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement and a future of green development and sustainability. "China's clean energy sector has grown to a global leader from a follower in a short time, and made significant contribution to the world's low carbon development." 

By the end of 2023, China's capacity of renewable power generators surpassed half of total power generators. China's new-energy vehicle output and sales hit 9.587 million and 9.495 million in 2023, increasing by 35.8 percent and 37.9 percent year-on-year, respectively. The two figures both accounted for over 60 percent of global volume, and have been keeping the first place for nine consecutive years, said Wang. 

International Energy Agency's Renewables 2023 showed that China's acceleration in renewables was extraordinary. In 2023, China commissioned as much solar PV as the entire world did in 2022, while its wind additions also grew by 66% year-on-year, said the report. 

However, Wang emphasized that the world should work together in achieving the same goal by abandoning protectionism, unilateralism and para-politicization. 

In regard to this, China has actively participated in the construction of clean energy infrastructure in other countries such as solar, wind and hydro power plants in United Arab Emirates, Morocco, South Africa, and Pakistan. 

During the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties which ended in December 2023, all parties of the meeting highly agreed on China's concept and progress in low carbon transformation, and believed that China's practical solutions have important meaning in global green development, Wang stated. 

"China will stick to the strategy to foster a community of life for man and nature, conduct power source transformation steadily, and make greater contribution in tackling global climate change," said Wang. 

China-Uzbekistan economic and trade ties deepen amid presidential visit

Chinese industry insiders and experts are hailing the fruitful achievements between China and Uzbekistan as bilateral ties experience a historic high against the backdrop of the state visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to China, scheduled from Tuesday to Thursday.

There will be more potential in bilateral cooperation, as connectivity between Uzbekistan and Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is expected to strengthen under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), experts said.

"My company is increasing exports of fruits and vegetables such as apples, nectarines and grapes from Xinjiang to Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, and it is estimated that the company's export value to Central Asia climbed to $1.2 billion in 2023, almost doubling from $683 million in 2022," Yu Chengzhong, chairman of local trading agency Horgos Jinyi International Trade Co, told the Global Times.

Besides, "China's new-energy vehicle and large-scale wind power equipment sectors have expanded exports to Uzbekistan in recent years," Yu said.

Yu's booming business with Uzbekistan is expected to continue, as Xinjiang's role as a trade hub and corridor to Central Asian countries - including Uzbekistan - is being further highlighted.

On Monday, just ahead of the Uzbek president's visit, a forum for China-Uzbekistan cooperation promotion was held in Urumqi, capital city of China's Xinjiang, attracting more than 1,300 guests from both sides.

Speaking at the forum, Ma Xingrui, Party secretary of the Communist Party of China Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee, said that Xinjiang is accelerating the construction of the core area of the BRI, actively building the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone with high quality, continuously deepening exchanges with five Central Asian countries, and establishing a bridgehead for China's opening up to the West.

Chinese and Uzbek officials signed 20 cooperation agreements at the opening ceremony of Monday's forum.

Xinjiang has played an important role in strengthening connectivity with the Central Asian region, from political interactions to trade and infrastructure development, said Liu Yu, executive chairman of the Uzbek Chamber of Commerce for Chinese Entrepreneurs.

More than 2,400 Chinese companies are doing business in Uzbekistan, covering various fields including petroleum, railways, agriculture and mechanical equipment, Liu told the Global Times.

In 2023, bilateral trade stood at 98.85 billion yuan ($13.93 billion), a year-on-year increase of 53.2 percent, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed. China's exports to Uzbekistan saw a whopping growth of 76.8 percent year-on-year.

Xinjiang has become a key gateway to the Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan.

"Uzbekistan is a populous country and important economic power in the region… strengthening interactions with China under the BRI, in the growing complexity of the world situation today, has become increasingly important to Uzbekistan, especially when it comes to helping the country play a greater role in world governance," Zhang Hong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Uzbekistan is enhancing its economic and trade connectivity with China by transitioning from being landlocked to becoming land-linked. How to effectively navigate its ties with the development of Xinjiang is the key to this transformation, experts said.

Searches for hotels surge 4 times after China-Singapore mutual 30-day tourist visa-free policy is announced

Searches for hotels in Singapore on Chinese online travel platform Qunar.com surged 4 times after China and Singapore announced a 30-day mutual visa exemption arrangement for ordinary passport holders starting from February 9.

Singapore is currently among the top five of popular travel destinations among Chinese tourists ahead of the upcoming Spring Festival holidays which kicks off from February 10, data the company sent to the Global Times showed on Thursday.

According to data VariFlight sent to the Global Times on Thursday, there have been a total of 712 flights flying between the Chinese mainland and Singapore in recent weeks, recovering to 97 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels, with more than 100 flights per day.

Tongcheng Travel told the Global Times that Singapore-related searches rose by more than 340 percent on the platform within an hour after the visa-free policy announcement, with the searches for air tickets flying to and back from Singapore jumping by more than 5 times.

Data from the online travel agency Trip.com indicated a rapid surge in real-time search popularity for Singapore. Within 10 minutes of the announcement, the popularity of Singapore-related travel products saw sharp growth of over 30 percent.

On the platform, the search levels among Singaporean tourists for keywords related to China also saw a marked growth of over 20 percent month-on month. According to Trip.com, as of Wednesday, the number of orders by Chinese tourists traveling to Singapore during the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival holidays has grown up by more than 14 times compared to the same period last year.

China and Singapore are mutually significant travel destinations and sources of tourists, Qin Jing, general manager of the Public Affairs Department at Trip.com, told the Global Times in a statement on Thursday.

The people of both countries engage closely in business, tourism, and family visits, and the visa waiver will stimulate interpersonal exchanges between the two nations, promoting growth in the tourism industry, Qin said.

China to strengthen ‘toolkit of countermeasures’ to safeguard national interests: Commerce Minister

China's commerce ministry will step up efforts in five fields as part of the efforts to building China into a trading power of both quality and quantity, including upgrading cargo trade, seeking innovations in service trade, developing digital trade, deepening international cooperation and safeguarding trade security, Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said in an interview with the People's Daily published on Thursday.

Wang said China's goal of becoming a global trading power is helped by many favorable conditions. 

"We can leverage the political advantage of the CPC leadership and the institutional advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics in pooling resources behind major undertakings. That's our foremost advantage and the fundamental guarantee for building a powerful trade country," Wang said.

In addition, the country's long-term bright economic prospect, powerful production capacity, great innovation potential, ultra-large market and sound infrastructure will all provide strong support, he said.

As the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation, economic and non-economic factors are intertwined and "black swan" and "grey gray rhino" events will likely increase. Against this backdrop, China's trade development faces increasingly complex and challenging external environment, Wang said.

He said China's trade sector faces some challenges in 2024, which includes a sluggish global economy, rising protectionism and unilateralism, as well as neighboring countries' measures to attract investment. The growing spillover risks of geopolitical conflicts impact the stability and smooth operation of global supply chains. Climate change and frequent natural disasters may also increase uncertainty.

Wang said the ministry will take advantage of platforms such as the communication mechanism between Chinese and US commerce departments and export control dialogue mechanism between China and the EU as well as between China and Japan in order to narrow the differences and expand more fields of cooperation.

China will actively respond to trade frictions, improve the country's multi-party collaborative response mechanism and properly handle trade frictions, Wang said.

"Faced with unreasonable sanctions and crackdowns, we will take forceful measures to firmly safeguard our country's national interests," Wang said, adding there will be more efforts to strengthen the country's toolkit of countermeasures.

China will take legal actions such as initiating lawsuits at the WTO to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and make good use of the Unreliable Entity List, he noted.

China discovers 1-million-ton lithium mine, largest in Asia

A lithium mine with nearly one million tons of reserves was newly discovered in Yajiang, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday, a development which will help raw material supply for China's sprawling electric vehicle sector. 

The newly discovered lithium mine was the largest pegmatite lithium deposits in Asia, which was an important breakthrough in China's lithium exploration efforts and will largely assist the nation's carbon neutrality, according to China's Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). 

As a vital mineral which drives development of the new energy sector, lithium is widely used in China's "New Three" export items, new-energy vehicle, lithium battery and solar panels, which together generated 1.06 trillion yuan ($148.89 billion) of exports in 2023, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed. 

The distribution of world's lithium resources is uneven, with the metal largely concentrated in South America, Australia, the US and China. 

China's lithium reserves are believed to be scattered in various areas while exploration is still in its early stage. The national conference on natural resources held from Monday to Tuesday stressed efforts to enhance domestic lithium mine exploration, along with overseas cooperation so as to secure the material supply for China's growing new-energy sector, according to Xinhua. 

Ministry of Natural Resources has vowed to promote lithium mine transfer to increase raw material supply, in a bid to ramp up China's lithium battery manufacturing and market consumption, according to the report. 

China-donated vocational training center inaugurated in Angola to boost local industrial, tech development

The China-donated Integrated Center for Technological Training (CINFOTEC) Huambo, a vocational skills training center, was officially inaugurated in Central Angola's Huambo on January 12, and is expected to boost Angola's industrial and high-end technology development, the Global Times learned from the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) on Tuesday. 

Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço cut the ribbon to mark the official launch of the project at the inauguration ceremony amid applause and public anticipation from thousands of local residents gathered at the site. 

At the ceremony, Teresa Dias, Minister of Public Administration, Labor, and Social Security, thanked the Chinese government for its support in the creation of talent in the country and said the inauguration of the center will contribute to the improvement of training quality and help bridge the large gap in the specialization of cutting-edge technology in Angola. 

She expressed her expectation that the center would create more opportunities for the development of manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and communication industries in Angola.

Chen Feng, charge d'affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Angola, said the Chinese government has always supported capacity building in Africa. In 2023, China proposed three initiatives to assist in Africa's modernization process, including the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development.

The completion of the center will help more Angolan youth realize their dreams and provide stronger talent support for Angola's independent and sustainable development, she said.

"Over the last 10 to 15 years, China has proven to be Angola's biggest commercial and political partner, with the partnership yielding fruits in various segments, and professional training and employment have been prioritized in these last years," Secretary of State for Labor and Social Security Pedro Filipe said in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency.

At present, Angola has established cooperation projects with a number of Chinese enterprises to provide internship and training opportunities for Angolan youth.

Geraldo Pambasange, the director of CINFOTEC Huambo, said the center will train 2,400 students annually in its first phase, with the first class scheduled to start on January 15.

The project, which was designed and project-managed by the AVIC, covers an area of more than 20,000 square meters. It includes 30 laboratories, and six workshops for robotics, machining, computer science, measurement, and automotive repair. The construction of the project began on June 24, 2021, and it was completed on October 31, 2023. 

This project is another high-quality result of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation, which will further promote the development of China-Angola relations and deepen the friendship between the two peoples.

China’s central bank keeps MLF rate unchanged on Monday

The People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, on Monday added 995 billion yuan ($138.84 billion) worth of one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans to some financial institutions, but kept the policy rate unchanged.

In order to maintain reasonable and ample liquidity in the banking system, the central bank conducted 89 billion yuan ($12.52 billion) of seven-day reverse repos at an interest rate of 1.8 percent.

In addition, a total of 995 billion yuan was also injected into the market via the MLF, which will mature in one year at an interest rate of 2.5 percent, unchanged compared to the previous operation, according to a statement on the central bank’s website on Monday.

Some market analysts said the central bank is likely to keep the one-year Loan Prime Rate, unchanged too on January 20, as the LPR often mirrors the one-year MLF rate. 

Chinese, Canadian FMs hold phone talks on ties

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday held a phone conversation with his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly at the latter's request.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that both China and Canada are countries with important influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

The two countries have neither historical rows nor realistic conflicts of interests, and share many common interests and enjoy complementary advantages, he said.

Wang noted that the current challenging China-Canada relationship is not what China desires, nor is caused by China, while China is open to maintain contact and dialogue with Canada.

Wang put forward three points on improving and developing China-Canada relations:

Firstly, correct cognition. The root cause of the downturn of China-Canada relations in recent years is the serious deviation of the Canadian side's perception of China.

China hopes that the Canadian side can objectively, rationally and correctly interpret China's domestic and foreign policies. China neither exports ideology nor challenges the international order, but has consistently upheld the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law. At the same time, China must firmly safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests and never allow the Chinese people to be deprived of their legitimate rights to development, Wang said.

Secondly, mutual respect. The differences in social systems and ideologies between China and Canada stem from their respective histories, cultures, national conditions and people's choices. The two sides should respect each other, engage in dialogue on an equal footing, increase trust, dispel misgivings and strengthen communication responsibly and constructively, so as not to let differences dominate bilateral relations, Wang said.

He also urged the Canadian side to earnestly implement its commitment to the one-China policy, preserve the political foundation of China-Canada relations, and not send any wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces.

Thirdly, win-win cooperation. China will continue to expand high-level opening-up, and Chinese-style modernization will surely bring important development opportunities to Canada and other countries in the world, Wang said.

As promoters and beneficiaries of free trade, China and Canada should jointly oppose the politicization and pan-security of economic issues and create a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for business development, he added.

Joly, for her part, said that healthy and stable Canada-China relations serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples.

Despite the difficulties in bilateral relations, Canada is willing to bring bilateral relations back to the right track with a more open, practical and constructive attitude, and is willing to strengthen communication and dialogue with China, promote personnel exchanges, deepen economic and trade cooperation, and maintain close coordination and cooperation on environmental protection, biodiversity and international and regional issues, Joly said.

CCDI issues communiqué, vows to eliminate systemic corruption risks and consolidate overwhelming victory

The 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on Wednesday adopted a communiqué at its third plenary session,  pledging to continuously deepen the fight against corruption, seriously investigate and punish corruption in the financial sector, state-owned enterprises, universities, sports, tobacco, medicine, grain purchase and marketing, and statistics, as well as resolutely eliminate systemic corruption risks and hidden dangers so as to comprehensively consolidate a hard-won and overwhelming victory.

The third plenary session was held in Beijing from Monday to Wednesday with 238 attendees and 132 members of the CCDI. 

According to the communiqué, as 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and is a key year for achieving the goals and tasks of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the country will continue to do a good job in discipline inspection and supervision this year.

The communiqué stressed that this year will focus on eradicating the conditions that give rise to corruption to deepen the fight against this behavior. Ensuring that officials "do not dare, are not able, and do not want to be corrupt" is the fundamental guideline for battling corruption.

The communiqué said the country will continue to focus on key issues, key areas, key targets, new types of corruption and hidden corruption, and severely punish corruption linked with government and business as the top priority in the battle. 

China will deepen efforts to crack down on corruption in finance, state-owned enterprises, energy, tobacco, medicine, infrastructure projects, and bidding, also with focus on cross-border corruption. 

China will strengthen joint investigation into bribery as well as officials taking bribes, and improve the joint punishment mechanism for key bribe givers. Also, it will continue to promote national anti-corruption legislation, according to the communiqué.

Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi and Ding Xuexiang, all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the meeting. 

Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CCDI, presided over the meeting. The session reviewed the work of disciplinary inspection and supervision in 2023, deployed tasks for 2024, and approved the work report on promoting the high-quality development of disciplinary inspection and supervision in the new journey presented by Li.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, emphasized at the session on Monday that after 10 years of unremitting anti-graft efforts in the new era, an overwhelming victory has been achieved and fully consolidated, according to the Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday night.

However, the situation remains severe and complex. "We must have a clear understanding of the latest developments and trends in the fight against corruption, and of the soil and conditions that give rise to corruption. The Party must continuously combat corruption with tenacity, perseverance and precision, and resolutely win the tough and protracted battle against corruption," Xi said.

Before and during the three-day third plenary session, China's state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) aired the four-episode anti-graft blockbuster Continued Efforts, Deepening Progress for four consecutive days. The documentary, which came to an end on Tuesday, features 12 typical corruption cases, with implicated officials confessing their crimes on camera, including those related to the high-profile anti-corruption efforts covering Chinese soccer. Leaving audiences in shock, the documentary indicates that China's anti-corruption efforts in 2024 will be more potent and thorough, said experts.

Also, judging from the latest communiqué, Chinese experts say that in the new year China will step up its efforts in combating corruption in a deeper dimension, particularly in resource-intensive industries such as the financial and health sectors.

Tang Renwu, dean of the School of Governance of Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that an unprecedented achievement in anti-corruption was made in 2023 as the largest number of corrupt officials were arrested since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.

In the first nine months of 2023, Chinese discipline inspection and supervision agencies filed around 470,000 cases, with 12,000 individuals involved in bribery cases. A total of 45 senior officials were investigated in 2023, the highest number since 2012.

The crackdowns on corruption will further intensify, which can serve as a crucial deterrence to corrupt officials, Tang said, noting the comprehensive anti-graft drive is welcomed and supported by the people.

Although the country has gained a decisive victory in the fight against corruption, there is still a long way to go and the next step should be to improve and establish a system in which officials won't desire to commit corruption, which will be the major task for 2024, Tang said. 

CCDI issues communiqué, vows to eliminate systemic corruption risks and consolidate overwhelming victory

The 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on Wednesday adopted a communiqué at its third plenary session,  pledging to continuously deepen the fight against corruption, seriously investigate and punish corruption in the financial sector, state-owned enterprises, universities, sports, tobacco, medicine, grain purchase and marketing, and statistics, as well as resolutely eliminate systemic corruption risks and hidden dangers so as to comprehensively consolidate a hard-won and overwhelming victory.

The third plenary session was held in Beijing from Monday to Wednesday with 238 attendees and 132 members of the CCDI. 

According to the communiqué, as 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and is a key year for achieving the goals and tasks of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the country will continue to do a good job in discipline inspection and supervision this year.

The communiqué stressed that this year will focus on eradicating the conditions that give rise to corruption to deepen the fight against this behavior. Ensuring that officials "do not dare, are not able, and do not want to be corrupt" is the fundamental guideline for battling corruption.

The communiqué said the country will continue to focus on key issues, key areas, key targets, new types of corruption and hidden corruption, and severely punish corruption linked with government and business as the top priority in the battle. 

China will deepen efforts to crack down on corruption in finance, state-owned enterprises, energy, tobacco, medicine, infrastructure projects, and bidding, also with focus on cross-border corruption. 

China will strengthen joint investigation into bribery as well as officials taking bribes, and improve the joint punishment mechanism for key bribe givers. Also, it will continue to promote national anti-corruption legislation, according to the communiqué.

Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi and Ding Xuexiang, all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the meeting. 

Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CCDI, presided over the meeting. The session reviewed the work of disciplinary inspection and supervision in 2023, deployed tasks for 2024, and approved the work report on promoting the high-quality development of disciplinary inspection and supervision in the new journey presented by Li.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, emphasized at the session on Monday that after 10 years of unremitting anti-graft efforts in the new era, an overwhelming victory has been achieved and fully consolidated, according to the Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday night.

However, the situation remains severe and complex. "We must have a clear understanding of the latest developments and trends in the fight against corruption, and of the soil and conditions that give rise to corruption. The Party must continuously combat corruption with tenacity, perseverance and precision, and resolutely win the tough and protracted battle against corruption," Xi said.

Before and during the three-day third plenary session, China's state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) aired the four-episode anti-graft blockbuster Continued Efforts, Deepening Progress for four consecutive days. The documentary, which came to an end on Tuesday, features 12 typical corruption cases, with implicated officials confessing their crimes on camera, including those related to the high-profile anti-corruption efforts covering Chinese soccer. Leaving audiences in shock, the documentary indicates that China's anti-corruption efforts in 2024 will be more potent and thorough, said experts.

Also, judging from the latest communiqué, Chinese experts say that in the new year China will step up its efforts in combating corruption in a deeper dimension, particularly in resource-intensive industries such as the financial and health sectors.

Tang Renwu, dean of the School of Governance of Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Wednesday that an unprecedented achievement in anti-corruption was made in 2023 as the largest number of corrupt officials were arrested since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012.

In the first nine months of 2023, Chinese discipline inspection and supervision agencies filed around 470,000 cases, with 12,000 individuals involved in bribery cases. A total of 45 senior officials were investigated in 2023, the highest number since 2012.

The crackdowns on corruption will further intensify, which can serve as a crucial deterrence to corrupt officials, Tang said, noting the comprehensive anti-graft drive is welcomed and supported by the people.

Although the country has gained a decisive victory in the fight against corruption, there is still a long way to go and the next step should be to improve and establish a system in which officials won't desire to commit corruption, which will be the major task for 2024, Tang said.