A Chinese rocket scientist helped two superpowers reach the moon, but his story is remembered in only one of them.
CHINESE leaders met yesterday to formulate an economic blueprint for the next five years as the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China started its fifth plenary session in Beijing.
President Xi Jinping, also the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a work report on behalf of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and explained a draft document of the CPC Central Committee’s proposals for formulating the 14th Five-Year (2021-25) Plan for Economic and Social Development and future targets for 2035.
Drawn up every five years since 1953, the plan is a major feature of China’s governance system, setting growth targets and defining economic and social development policies to ensure national strategies keep pace with the times.
Its broad outlines will be announced on Thursday but the full plan won’t be released until March. Legal and regulatory changes and plans for individual industries will follow.
The 14th Five-Year Plan is expected to lay out measures to nurture a new development pattern that takes the domestic market as the mainstay while letting domestic and foreign markets boost each other, according to a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee last week.
China became the first major economy to begin economic recovery after successfully containing the COVID-19 epidemic.
Automakers and other major industries are back to normal production. Consumer spending edged back above pre-virus levels in the quarter ending in September.
Innovation will “drive China’s manufacturing industry and push it up the global value chain while strategically ensuring domestic supply,” the Global Times newspaper said.
“Achieving independence in key areas, such as scientific research and finance, is expected to be a focus.”
More than 1 million suggestions for the five-year plan had been submitted online in August, and that input had come from universities, think tanks and other official bodies.
Chinese leaders will also discuss ambitious new measures to tackle climate change after Xi pledged to make the country “carbon neutral” by 2060.
Experts say China needs to bring the share of coal in its total energy mix from 58 percent last year to less than 50 percent by 2025, and provide enhanced support for technology like carbon capture.
It could start by setting an absolute emissions cap for the first time, said Zou Ji, head of the Energy Foundation China, which has been involved in five-year plan research.
“Our recommendation is to establish a target to control total carbon emissions (by 2025),” he said at a conference last week.
He Jiankun, vice director of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change, said China must cap emissions and even achieve “negative growth” in coal consumption by 2025.
Li Tianxiao of the Development Research Center, a Cabinet think tank, predicted China would need to double wind and solar capacity to around 500 gigawatt each by 2025.
Zou said Xi’s announcement put climate firmly at the heart of China’s entire economic and political strategy, and China’s entire economic structure now faced “systematic change.”
“Climate will never be a side issue,” he said. “Its position is much, much higher than before.”
This year is the final year of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20). At last week’s Political Bureau meeting, Xi said the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan has been smooth, as the key strategic tasks and 165 major projects have all been carried out, the major indicators will be achieved as scheduled, and all targets and tasks set in the plan will be accomplished.
Over the last five years, the Chinese economy has grown close to 100 trillion yuan (US$15 trillion) with a per capita GDP exceeding US$10,000. The share of China’s economy in the world hit 16.3 percent in 2019.
China now has the world’s largest middle-income population and is set to end absolute poverty, which has haunted the nation for thousands of years.
The 14th Five-Year Plan is of significance as the period will mark the first five years of China’s new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country.
The CPC has set two centenary goals: By 2021, to celebrate the CPC’s centenary, the goal is to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects; by 2049, the centenary of the People’s Republic of China, the goal is to build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious.
CHINA will impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Raytheon and other US companies involved in Washington’s arms sales to Taiwan, a foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday.
Zhao Lijian told journalists said the sanctions were “to safeguard national interests” and would apply to individuals and entities playing a “vile role” in the process of the arms sales.
The US State Department has approved the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of US$1.8 billion, the Pentagon said last week.
Zhao said as pointed out by China on many occasions, the US arms sales to Taiwan seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiques, as well as undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests. “We stand firmly opposed to and deplore such practice,” he said.
China once again urges the US side to cease arms sales to Taiwan and any military contact with the island, Zhao said. “We will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard our national sovereignty and security interests,” the spokesperson added.
China has imposed sanctions on Lockheed Martin and other US companies in the past for selling weapons to Taiwan.
A spokesman for Boeing said that the company’s partnership with China’s aviation community had long-term benefits and that Boeing remained committed to it. China is one of Boeing’s biggest markets for commercial aircraft, but Zhao said only Boeing’s military arm, Boeing Defense, will be sanctioned.
Lockheed Martin and Raytheon also supply radar and other technology for civilian aviation.
CHINA’S foreign ministry yesterday ordered six US media outlets to report back on their operations in the country within seven days, after Washington said it would designate the US arms of six more China-based media firms as foreign missions.
The US media firms are the American Broadcasting Corporation, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Feature Story News, the Bureau of National Affairs and Minnesota Public Radio.
Kashgar city officials say around 4.7m people will be tested over a few days.
The three-day meeting comes amid speculation that President Xi intends to be "president-for-life".
EXPERTS and scholars in the fields of nature conservation brainstormed on the protection of the Yangtze River at a round table discussion yesterday.
It was a highlight of the 6th Shanghai International Nature Conservation Festival.
The theme of the discussion was “Ecological Protection of the Yangtze River: Dialogue between the Plateau and the Sea.”
The topics included “Protect the Biodiversity of the Yangtze River, Promote Sustainable and Ecological Development of the Yangtze River Basin,” “Protect the Ecological Environment of the Yangtze River through Scientific and Precise Measures” and “Strengthen the Integration of the Yangtze River in Ecology, Culture and Economy.”
Attendees shared insights into the ecological development and industrial upgrade of the Yangtze River area based on their expertise and experiences.
The State Council has issued a notice imposing a 10-year fishing ban on the Yangtze River.
“The ecological environment of the river is deteriorating, and its indexes of biodiversity keep descending,” said Pan Yingjie, former President of Shanghai Ocean University.
“The ban is very important, it is key to relieving the decline in aquatic biological resources and biodiversity of the river.”
Pan suggested the expansion of the fishing ban and a special management and control area at the Yangtze estuary where daoyu (knife fish) are active to stop irregularities.
A cooperation agreement was signed by the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and the Tibet Museum of Natural Science on the occasion. Under the deal, “The Tale of Whales,” an ocean protection exhibition hosted by the Shanghai museum, will be held at Lhasa’s Tibet museum on October 30.
“The Yangtze River, the mother river of Chinese civilization, is of great significance in the maintenance of biodiversity,” said Zuo Huanchen, honorary chairwoman of the Shanghai Science Education Development Foundation. “The protection of the Yangtze River and its ecological environment remediation is a must and pressing.”
It is hoped that the discussion can pool wisdom and contribute to a return to crystal clean water, green river banks and vigorous river species in the Yangtze River, she added.
CHINA’S government yesterday demanded the United States stop “political oppression” of Chinese media after more were ordered to register as foreign missions.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the previous day that the State Department was designating the US operations of six more China-based media companies as foreign missions, a move he said aimed at countering “communist propaganda.”
The latest measures apply to Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, Beijing Review, and Economic Daily, raising the total number of outlets affected to 15.
“China firmly opposes and strongly condemns unreasonable US actions,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said. “China urges the United States to change course, correct its mistakes and stop the political oppression and unreasonable restrictions on Chinese media.”
Zhao said the US made the decision out of Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice. “They severely undermine Chinese media’s reputation and image, severely impact Chinese media’s normal functioning in the United States, and severely disrupt cultural and people-to-people exchange between the two countries.”
“China will make a legitimate and necessary response,” Zhao added
It was the third round of US designations of Chinese outlets as “foreign missions,” which requires them to report details on their US-based staff and real estate transactions to the State Department.
Poison working environment
Controls announced earlier affect the Xinhua news agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corp, Hai Tian Development USA, China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily and the Global Times.
Earlier, the Trump administration cut the number of journalists allowed to work at US offices of major Chinese media to 100 from 160 and put them on 90-day visas. China responded by demanding US journalists working with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to hand back their press cards.
“The US has gone too far,” Editor-in-Chief of Global Times Hu Xijin tweeted after the US announcement. “The move will further poison working environment of media outlets in each other’s country. As long as Chinese media outlets suffer actual harm, Beijing will definitely retaliate, and US media outlets’ operation in the HK could be included in retaliation list,” he said.
Spokesperson Zhao went further by criticizing the gross interference the US authorities did on press freedom in recent years. According to him, 223 journalists have been attacked, 73 journalists were arrested this year, and there were 28 incidents of journalists being rejected to take part in the public events held by the US governments in 2019.
Considering the US government’s wanton interference in domestic and foreign journalists’ reporting, the United States itself is the perpetrator that blatantly suppresses media and restricts press freedom, he said.
“Its self-proclaimed image of a ‘beacon’ exists in name only,” Zhao said.
CHINA has urged the United States to cease arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan, and cancel relevant arms sales plans, to avoid further damages to China-US ties and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks when asked to comment on the United States’ newly approved plans to sell three weapons systems worth US$1.8 billion to Taiwan.
Among other weapons systems, Wednesday’s formal notifications to US Congress by the State Department were for 11 truck-based rocket launchers made by Lockheed Martin called a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System for an estimated cost of US$436.1 million.
The notifications also covered 135 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response Missiles and related equipment made by Boeing for an estimated US$1.008 billion, and six MS-110 Recce external sensor pods made by Collins Aerospace for jets, at an estimated cost of US$367.2 million.
Further congressional notifications are expected to follow including drones made by General Atomics and land-based Harpoon anti-ship missiles, made by Boeing, to serve as coastal defense cruise missiles.
Zhao said the US arms sales to Taiwan seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US Joint Communiques, especially the August 17 Communique, severely interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests.
“The move has sent deeply wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces, and jeopardized China-US relations, as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the spokesperson said.
“China firmly opposes it,” he said.
Zhao urged the US side to fully recognize the highly detrimental nature of arms sales to Taiwan, cease arms sales to Taiwan and military contact with the island, and withdraw relevant arms sales plans, to avoid further damages to China-US ties.
“China is going to make legitimate and necessary responses in accordance with the developments of situation,” Zhao added.
CHINA’S manned space program has entered the mission preparation stage with the selection of a new group of 18 reserve astronauts.
According to the China Manned Space Agency, the reserve astronauts, including one female, have been selected recently from 2,500 candidates. Among them are seven spacecraft pilots, seven space flight engineers and four payload experts.
Flight engineers and payload experts have been selected for the first time as reserve astronauts to meet China’s space station construction needs.
The mission preparation stage is not only expected to deliver more scientific research output but also boost the development of commercial space programs, international cooperation and popular science education, said Hao Chun, director general of the CMSA, at a space forum in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei Province, on Tuesday.
He noted that based on the principles of openness, fairness and justice, China will pay attention to the layout planning in fields of material supply, application payloads, micro-satellites release, in-orbit maintenance, and space tourism, and gradually establish proper models for other parties to participate.
The completion of the space station will provide a broader scope for commercial space development and commercial operation can be a beneficial supplement of the station’s functioning, he added.
China’s space station, expected to be completed around 2022, will operate in the low-Earth orbit at an altitude from 340km to 450km for more than 10 years, supporting large-scale scientific, technological and application experiments.
After the maiden flight of the Long March-5B that kicked off station construction, the core module and two lab capsules will be launched for assembly in orbit. Four manned and four cargo craft will also be launched, CMSA said.
The core module of the station, named Tianhe, is currently the largest spacecraft developed by China. Besides, two lab capsules, named Wentian and Mengtian, will be mainly used for scientific and technological experiments, as well as working and living space and shelter in an emergency.
A capsule with a 2-meter-caliber optical telescope, which will fly in the same orbit as the space station, will be launched as well. The telescope capsule, named Xuntian, is expected to provide observation data for astronomical and physical studies. It can dock with the space station for maintenance and refueling.
Chinese astronauts will shoulder multiple responsibilities in the construction of the space station. They will conduct complex extravehicular tasks, and work with mechanical arms to complete the installation, testing, adjustment and upgrading of payloads in orbit.
OVER a dozen trucks loaded with 4,000 sheep from Mongolia arrived in the China-Mongolia border city of Erenhot, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, yesterday.
This was the first batch of 30,000 sheep donated by Mongolia in support of China’s COVID-19 epidemic fight.
Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, the first foreign head of state to visit China since the COVID-19 outbreak, promised to donate the sheep to China as a token of support during his one-day visit on February 27.
China has also actively provided medical supplies to Mongolia and shared prevention and treatment experience as well as information.
Mongolian food and agriculture minister Zagdjav Mendsaikhan said the remaining sheep will be sent to China within the next 10 days.
Dozens of Chinese customs officers dressed in white protective clothing inspected sheep-carrying vehicles at the Erenhot checkpoint yesterday. The animals had undergone quarantine in Mongolia.
According to a bilateral agreement, the sheep are to be transported to Erenhot in batches, where they are slaughtered and processed before being sent to China’s Hubei Province, the former frontier of China’s epidemic fight.
Despite the impact of the pandemic, trade between China and Mongolia is still active under strict epidemic prevention and control measures. From January to October 14, a total of 1,820 China-Europe freight train trips were made through Erenhot, surpassing the total amount of last year.
As the largest China-Mongolia border city, Erenhot exported 68,000 tons of Chinese fresh fruits and vegetables to Mongolia in the first eight months of this year, up 12.5 percent year on year.
Baatarkhuu Khorloo, chairman of the Mongolian Association for Chinese History and Culture, said sheep are the best gifts in Mongolia.
“In the folk customs of Mongolia, sheep represent friendship and peace. When its neighbor was hit by the coronavirus, Mongolia sent a generous gift of 30,000 sheep to express support,” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the handover is a vivid representation of the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind as well as the long-lasting friendship between the two countries.
The arms deal is likely to further strain tensions with China, which claims Taiwan as its own.
A CHINESE soldier who had strayed across the China-India border area was returned to the Chinese border patrol yesterday, according to the news website of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
The move came after the foreign ministry on Tuesday urged India to honor its commitment to return the soldier. The soldier went astray as he responded to a request from herders to help them search for yaks on Sunday.
Corporal Wang Ya Long was found on Monday in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, according to a statement from the Indian army.
The neighbors have been locked in a months-long border confrontation in the Ladakh region, with troops killing each other in hand-to-hand combat and firing shots in the air. The countries have held a series of talks to end the standoff.
A CHINESE foreign ministry spokesperson yesterday urged the United States to stop discriminatory actions against Chinese students and academics in the country.
For some time, the US has been abusing judicial power to harass, interrogate, and even arrest and prosecute Chinese students under fabricated allegations, Zhao Lijian told a news briefing.
Many Chinese students were severely harassed at the airport by US law enforcement authorities when they were leaving the country, and their cell phones, laptops, and other items were wantonly examined and even confiscated, he claimed.
From May to early September, nearly 300 Chinese students in the US underwent harassment and searches when taking temporary flights, according to Zhao.
He said the moves severely infringed upon the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students and academics in the US and undermined the cultural exchanges and educational cooperation between the two countries.
“We have repeatedly lodged solemn representations with the United States, urging it to correct its mistakes and stop discrimination against Chinese students,” Zhao said.
CHINA’S Central Military Commission has announced a plan to reform the military’s professional sports unit to make it more military-oriented rather than contest-oriented.
The announcement came at a mobilization conference where the commission unveiled a circular on reforming the military sports unit and a work plan to reform the Military Sports Training Center under the Training and Administration Department of the commission.
Major changes will take place in the functional orientation, scale and structure, and competition participation of military sports teams, according to the document issued on Tuesday.
The military sports forces should strengthen their functions to serve the troops, help improve combat capability and be more military-oriented.
The reform will retain military sports teams with distinct military features, but will no longer keep competitive sports teams with mass participation and abundant social resources.
The armed forces will no longer participate in the nation’s comprehensive sporting events or individual sports competitions but will take part in the Military World Games and individual events organized by the International Military Sports Council.
The reform is aimed at forming sports forces that match China’s goal of building a world-class military in all respects and meet the requirements of armed forces reforms, a Training and Administration Department official said.
CHINA’S CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd yesterday rolled out a new type of high-speed train which can run on different rail systems.
The train, with a standard speed of 400 kilometers per hour, has been developed to cope with different rail systems on international routes, making international rail travel more convenient.
The company said the train can operate in temperatures between minus 50 degrees Celsius and 50 degrees Celsius, and can also operate under different traction power supply systems and railway transportation standards of different countries.
There are currently four main railway track standards around the world. When ordinary trains run between countries with different gauges, they need to replace their train compartments, which takes time and effort.
As the new CRRC train is equipped with gauge-changing bogies, it can change its rail mode during cross-border travel, greatly improving the efficiency of travel across rail systems.
Based on the prototype and technology, the company is ready to take orders for customized high-speed trains and train products according to the technical standards and operational requirements of various regions of the world.
Over the past decade, China has added over 35,000 kilometers to its high-speed rail network, with the total length that far exceeds the rest of the world combined. Train speeds have increased from a maximum of 200kph to 350kph — the fastest in the world.
The country invested 67.1 billion yuan (US$10.1 billion) in rail fixed assets in July, up 3.6 percent year on year, according to a statement on the website of China Railway Corp.
During the first seven months, 1,310km of new railway lines had been put into service, including 733km of high-speed railway, it said.
The US president, who sparked a trade war with Beijing, is critical of US firms doing business in China.
As the weather turns cold in October, swathes in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region gradually turn white, but not because of snow. It’s the harvesting season for cotton, a crop that matters a lot in Xinjiang and beyond.Ample sunshine, arid weather and large temperature differences between day and night make Xinjiang an ideal place to grow the natural fiber.Xinjiang is the largest cotton growing region in China, ranking first nationally in total output, per unit production and planting area for 25 consecutive years.In 2020, the total cotton planting area in Xinjiang reached 2.51 million hectares, nearly the same as in 2019. Xinjiang is expected to see another bumper harvest this year.Growing cotton means a lot for the far west region of China. It’s the main source of income for many farmers, especially in the poorer regions of south Xinjiang.Data by the China Cotton Association shows that more than half of Xinjiang’s farmers grow cotton. Cotton farming is the major source of local agricultural income in south Xinjiang.Xinjiang’s cotton fields not only bring income to growers, but also to many migrant workers, who would travel across places to help pick cotton in patches hard to be harvested with machinery.Nearly 4,000 people in the Aral township in Aksu Prefecture joined the migrant cotton-picking army last year, earning an average of nearly 6,000 yuan (US$895) per capita in two months, with the champion cotton picker pocketing some 23,000 yuan.Over 90 percent of north Xinjiang’s cotton fields are now harvested using machinery. The practice is also becoming popular in south Xinjiang.The increasingly modernized cotton industry also creates jobs. Zulyar Nijat, a 27-year-old college graduate in south Xinjiang’s cotton hub Yuli, made a foray into the cotton fields in early September by working with his elder brother to spray defoliants using drones for easier harvesting.“We could spray defoliants on some 13.3 hectares for an entire morning, making about 1,200 yuan. It’s quite a handsome payment,” Zulyar said.The downstream cotton textile sector is another major employment provider, offering some 600,000 local jobs.The importance of the raw material used in textiles has gained prominence this year amid the COVID-19 epidemic due to rising cotton demand for the production of protective gear and other medical supplies.Railways in Xinjiang transported 2.7 million tons of cotton between January and July, an increase of over 83 percent year on year, according to the China Railway Urumqi Group.Xinjiang accounts for about a fifth of the world’s cotton, while China’s textile and apparel exports make up about one third of global value.
The eastern Chinese city of Qingdao in Shandong Province will conduct nucleic acid testing on all imported cold-chain products to combat COVID-19, local authorities said yesterday.The city will also conduct COVID-19 tests every three to five days on workers engaged in loading, unloading, handling, and transporting of imported cold-chain food.For other workers who have direct contact with imported cold-chain food, nucleic acid tests will be carried out every seven days, said Chen Wansheng, an official with the city’s government, adding that tests will also be conducted in ports, cold storages, and other places.The novel coronavirus recently re-emerged in the coastal city, and 13 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases had been detected so far.Inappropriate disinfection in the CT room at the Qingdao Chest Hospital was believed to be responsible for the infections.The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday confirmed the detection and isolation of living novel coronavirus on the outer packaging of imported frozen cod in Qingdao during an investigation to trace the source of the recent infections.It is the first time in the world that living novel coronavirus has been isolated from the outer packaging of cold-chain food, the China CDC said, adding that contact with packaging contaminated by living novel coronavirus could lead to infection.
A FREQUENT visitor to south China’s Hainan Province, Huang Zuolin recently went paragliding for the first time.“It felt terrific,” said the 23-year-old from central China’s Hunan Province.“I felt like I was a bird flying up high, and photos taken in the air were great,” said the young woman. “During the eight minutes I spent paragliding, I had a bird’s-eye view of the sea, forests and farmland, and I was very relaxed there,” she said. “I also tried spinning in the air with the help of the coach. It was thrilling.”The Hongjiaoling aviation camp, located in the coastal county of Lingshui, was among the fifth group of aviation camps named by the Aero Sports Federation of China.Co-owner Cui Shengda, 38, is a native of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Enthusiastic about the potential of low-altitude flying tours, he moved to Lingshui in April of last year.“The take-off site at Hongjiaoling is 360 meters above sea level. Here you can have a panoramic view of the 12-kilometer coastline. The magnificent scenery of the sunset and sea view is breathtaking,” said Cui.After more than a year of operations, the Hongjiaoling aviation camp has gained popularity. “The number of visitors has been climbing over the last two months,” said Cui. “The price for a paragliding experience is 880 yuan (US$129) per person and we can facilitate about 2,000 to 3,000 visitors every month.”Although still novel in China, low-altitude flight tourism has been popular in the United States, Australia and other countries for decades.“Low-altitude airspace has been gradually developed in China in recent years, alongside the development of the economy, society and the demand for customized tourism products,” said Chai Yong, executive director of the International Hospitality Management School of Sanya University.Hainan is building a national sports tourism demonstration zone, developing international sports tourism products and exploring new growth points for sports tourism consumption.Chen Shihong, director of Lingshui’s bureau of tourism, culture, radio, television and sports, said Hainan’s unique climate and natural conditions, together with supportive policies, have provided sound growth potential for outdoor sports.
A TROPICAL depression escalated to a typhoon yesterday morning over the sea to the east of the Philippines and is approaching the South China Sea, according to the meteorological service in south China’s Hainan Province.Saudel, the 17th typhoon to affect China this year, is expected to hit the South China Sea today and bring torrential downpours and strong winds to the island province of Hainan from Friday to Sunday. The provincial meteorological department has ordered ships to port immediately and warned of flooding and landslides in mountainous areas.
The largest multipurpose “roll-on/roll-off” ship in Asia was launched at a ceremony in east China’s Shandong Province on Monday. The 25,000-ton Bohai Hengda, the ship is 189.9 meters long and 26.4 meters, and has lanes around 2,700 meters long to stow more than 300 vehicles. It can sail up to 5,000 nautical miles. The ship has been designed for multiple roles such as transporting vehicles and containers.
Four people have been killed and another injured in a gas explosion in a coal mine in north China’s Shanxi Province, local authorities said yesterday. The blast happened in the mine owned by Lu’an Group about 2am. An investigation is underway. The mine has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tons.
A TOTAL of about 60,000 volunteers have been given Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as part of phase-3 clinical trials, with no severe side-effects reported, a Chinese official said yesterday.
Four Chinese vaccine candidates have entered international phase-3 clinical trials so far, said Tian Baoguo with the Ministry of Science and Technology. All trials are progressing well, he said, with initial indications that the vaccines are safe.
According to Tian, the most common adverse reactions in phase-3 clinical trials are pain and swelling at the injection site, followed by fever, both of which are mild.
The two inactivated vaccines developed by China National Biotec Group, which is affiliated to Sinopharm, and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, have started phase-3 clinical trials in 10 countries, with more than 50,000 volunteers taking part, said Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm. “The testing is in the last kilometer of a long march.”
The drugmaker is setting up production lines in Beijing and Wuhan to supply 1 billion doses of the two possible coronavirus vaccines.
Sinovac Biotech, another vaccine developer, said that the company’s partners in Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey have established monitoring systems for adverse reactions in accordance with internationally accepted standards. So far, no severe adverse reactions related to COVID-19 vaccines have been reported.
Sao Paulo’s Butantan Institute, one of Brazil’s leading biomedical research centers, which is carrying out the phase-3 tests, said on Monday the two-dose vaccine, called CoronaVac, proved to be safe in a trial so far involving 9,000 volunteers.
Butantan director Dimas Covas said there were no severe adverse reactions to the vaccine, with 20 percent of the volunteers reporting mild pain from the injection while 15 percent reported headaches after the first dose, dropping to 10 percent for the second. Less than 5 percent reported nausea or tiredness, and even less had muscle aches, he said.
Sao Paulo state health secretary Jean Gorinchteyn said the vaccine appeared to produce protective anti-bodies. The state hopes to obtain regulatory approval for CoronaVac by the end of the year to start inoculating its population early in 2021, in what could the first vaccination programs in the Americas. Sao Paulo signed a deal with Sinovac to buy 60 million doses by the end of February.
China is expected to produce up to 610 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of this year, Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s coronavirus vaccine development task force said.
THE United States on Monday said it blacklisted two Chinese men and six Chinese entities for having dealt with Iranian shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and, in some cases, helping it to evade US sanctions.
The US State Department named the entities as Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd, Reach Shipping Lines, Delight Shipping, Gracious Shipping, Noble Shipping, and Supreme Shipping. It also said it had targeted Eric Chen, also known as Chen Guoping, chief executive of Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd, and Daniel Y He, also known as He Yi, the company’s president.
As a result of being put on the US Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals list, the assets of the entities and individuals falling under US jurisdiction are frozen.
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