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When residents in mountainous Abuluoha Village saw a minibus drive along their solitary and newly opened paved road and pull into a driveway, rapturous singing reverberated through the surrounding mountains.Located deep in a valley in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the village was once an isolated treatment center for local leprosy patients in Butuo County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in the 1960s. Years after the disease had been eliminated in the area, Abuluoha became an administrative village in 2007.With a population of merely 253, Abuluoha had long suffered from poverty and poor transport infrastructure due to the rugged mountainous terrain.It was the country’s last administrative village with the proper conditions to be linked with a paved road, according to the provincial transport department.Paved roads are the key to the development of the nation’s vast rural areas. As the Chinese saying goes, “if you want to get rich, build roads first.”Functioning as blood capillaries of the country’s transport network, rural roads provide more and more local residents with safer and more convenient transportation, helping them shake off poverty and pursue prosperity.As part of the nationwide anti-poverty efforts, Abuluoha Village started to build the road one year ago.It was not an easy task. The 3.8-kilometer road stretching along cliffs and ravines included three tunnels and a steel bridge.Since large equipment could not access the village by road, the local transport department hired a heavy transport helicopter to fly in the machinery to the village for the road construction.Amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus this year, villagers volunteered to join in the construction. On June 30, all the construction work was completed and the road officially opened to traffic.Previously, villagers had to walk more than three hours to get out of the village via a stone stairway snaking along the mountain. With the new road, the trip only takes around 10 minutes.Since November 2012, Sichuan has invested a total of 173.4 billion yuan (US$24.54 billion) to improve rural transport infrastructure, building and renovating 170,000km of rural roads. By June 30, all counties and administrative villages with the proper conditions in the province had been given access to bus service.Biji Layue, 65, a villager, was in the crowd celebrating the opening of the road last Tuesday. He said he often sat with other elderly villagers on the mountain to see the progress of the road construction.As one of the areas in deep poverty in the country, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture aims to lift 300 impoverished villages, including Abuluoha, and 178,000 poor residents out of poverty this year.
Chinese tourists born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s are still enthusiastic about travel but have changing travel preferences as the COVID-19 epidemic risks wane in China, a report shows.Generation Zers show growing interest in domestic travel and a shrinking willingness to travel abroad, according to a report by Chinese travel service and social-networking platform Mafengwo, which surveyed over 2,500 young respondents.While their travel budget has not been much squeezed by the epidemic, over 60 percent of respondents said they planned to spend more on safe and sanitary dining and accommodation.The epidemic has further strengthened young tourists’ habit of learning about and sharing tourism experiences on emerging social media platforms like livestreaming sites.Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an and Chongqing are among the most popular travel destinations for Generation Zers, the report said.
Archeologists in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province have unearthed a well-preserved, large family cemetery site of an ancient Chinese official from the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618), according to the provincial institute of archeology.The site, consisting of seven tombs, surrounded by a large square trench, was found in a village in the Xixian new area of Xi’an, the provincial capital.Measuring 147.7 meters in length and 138.5 meters in width, the site covers an area of more than 20,000 square meters, and is so far the largest and best-preserved Sui cemetery site, according to Li Ming, a researcher from the institute.The owner of the largest of the seven tombs has been identified as Wang Shao, a high-ranking military official during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 420-589) and the reign of Emperor Wendi of the succeeding Sui Dynasty.A total of 67 pieces and sets of burial objects, including figurines of warriors, tomb-guardian creatures and clay hogs and chickens, were discovered in Wang’s tomb, which had been badly raided, Li said.Archeologists also found a few fragments of Wang’s epitaph that were beyond restoration.
Zhu Lijuan has put her daughter’s safety over academic performance to prepare her for the national college entrance exam this week, with the whole semester overshadowed by the novel coronavirus epidemic.“It has been a special year. This year’s examinees in Beijing will be the first to try the reformed exam, which will be extended to four days. My daughter has neither been able to prepare for the exam in school nor in extracurricular tutoring classes due to safety concerns amid the epidemic,” said Zhu, a resident from Fengtai District.Zhu’s daughter only had classes on campus at No. 8 Middle School between April 27 and June 16, when Beijing contained its domestic transmission of COVID-19.For the rest of the semester, she could only study at home, reporting her health condition daily to the school.She will be among the 10.71 million students to sit this year’s national college entrance exam in China starting tomorrow, an increase of 400,000 over last year, according to the Ministry of Education.The ministry decided on March 31 to delay the exam by one month due to COVID-19.The exam will be the largest organized event in the country since the outbreak. More than 7,000 exam sites will be set up, including around 400,000 exam rooms, and 945,000 people will work as invigilators or service providers.Beijing will have 49,225 students sitting the exam. Each classroom designated for the exam will allow 20 students, down from 30 in the past, according to Li Yi, a spokesperson for the Beijing municipal education commission.The exam, also known as gaokao, is deemed the most important event for Chinese students. It has been hailed as a fair system to select talent and change the fate of children from poor families.All designated exam sites in Beijing have been under closed-off management.Since June 11, Beijing has seen a resurgence in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, prompting the local government to tighten containment measures.From June 11 to July 2, Beijing reported 331 confirmed locally transmitted cases, 324 of whom were still hospitalized. There are 29 asymptomatic cases under medical observation, according to the municipal health commission.“Our school has prepared 40 exam rooms and four spare classrooms in case anyone exhibits symptoms of fever and cough during the exam,” said Wang Jinjie, deputy chief of the exam site at Dayu Middle School in Mentougou District.He said staff will continue to disinfect the classrooms, arrange tables and chairs and check air conditioners.Li with the education commission said that no confirmed or suspected cases have been found among Beijing college entrance examination candidates. Beijing has not mandated all examinees to take nucleic acid tests but has required all invigilators to take the test seven days before the exam. During the exam, all people at the exam sites should wear masks throughout the exam.This year, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Shandong and Hainan provinces will join the education reform based on the revised curriculum, which will also see the gaokao extended to four days. In addition to math, Chinese and English, which are mandatory subjects, examinees will take the exam for three elective subjects.When the school semester started in February, students were restricted to their homes due to the outbreak. Schools were required to open online curriculums by using official educational websites to ensure students “are occupied with the guided study at home.”
CHINA denounced Canada’s meddling after Ottawa said it was suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong to protest a new national security law.
In a statement published on the website of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, a spokesperson denounced on Saturday what he said were Canada’s “unwarranted comments” on the new law, saying Canadian leaders had “grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.”
“Some Western countries including Canada have been meddling in Hong Kong affairs under the pretext of human rights, which seriously violates international law and basic norms of international relations,” the statement said, adding that such efforts were “doomed to fail.”
It said that the new law would “ensure social order ... and benefit Hong Kong citizens and international investors.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that his country was “extremely concerned” about the situation in Hong Kong under the new law, and would examine measures to “ensure the safety of its citizens,” as well as of the 300,000 Canadians living there.
Canada also said it was suspending exports of sensitive military materials to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong officials said on Saturday they were “very disappointed” in Canada’s suspension of the extradition treaty. Chinese-Canadian relations have been strained since the arrest in Canada in December 2018 of Meng Wanzhou, an executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, on an arrest warrant from the US.
AUTHORITIES in a city in the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region issued a warning yesterday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague.
The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system.
The alert forbids the hunting and eating of animals that could carry plague and asks the public to report any suspected cases of plague or fever with no clear causes, and to report any sick or dead marmots.
The warning follows four reported cases of plague in people from Inner Mongolia last November, including two of pneumonic plague, a deadlier variant of plague. The bubonic plague is highly infectious and is often fatal. It is spread by rodents.
After working for two decades in the Xinfadi market in south Beijing, Ma Yong, a wholesaler, saw its operations suspended for the first time.“Over the years, the market has never encountered such a big trouble,” said Ma, 40, who was in quarantine after the large farm produce wholesale market emerged as the source of new COVID-19 cluster infections in Beijing since mid-June.From June 11 to July 1, Beijing reported 329 confirmed locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases, most of them tied to Xinfadi.The market, which was shut on June 13, provided about 70 percent of Beijing’s vegetables, 10 percent of pork, and 3 percent of beef and mutton. Over 100 veteran wholesalers like Ma work in the market to supply goods across the city.Successful businessBusiness of these veteran wholesalers was affected by the new infections to different degrees, but many remain upbeat about the market’s future.“Xinfadi wholesale market has given us a chance to change our fate,” said Ma, who came from a village in central Henan Province, and over the years, started building a successful business from scratch in the market.The new infections came as surprise for Ma, one of the major vegetable wholesalers at Xinfadi. Business was interrupted, products were backlogged while his customers made countless calls urging deliveries.“Our employees were also under quarantine, so no one was around to send deliveries. It was really difficult,” Ma said.In a bid to ensure market supply, local authorities set up a temporary trading area for vegetables after the market was shut, as well as three cargo turnover stations later in the suburbs, offering Ma and other wholesalers an opportunity to tide over the difficulty.Ma used to handle 70 to 80 tons of vegetables daily before the new infections were reported. Recently, the quantity has recovered to 30 tons a day.“We just have to hang on. Nothing can destroy us,” he stated. “We cannot afford to lose customers and suppliers.”Due to the restrictions in Xinfadi, Wang Dong, a veteran wholesaler of fruits, rerouted many of his products to other distribution centers in neighboring Hebei Province.During the epidemic earlier this year, Wang donated tons of vegetables to the worst-hit Hubei Province and witnessed the local situation improve over the past few months.“We have accumulated nearly half a year of experience in fighting the epidemic, and I am confident that we will overcome this new infection,” Wang said.The epidemic control measures have dealt a blow to his business, too, but Wang supports these efforts. “They are enforced to avoid greater impact and more severe losses, and for a better future of the market,” he insisted.Li Guoqing, a staple food wholesaler who has worked in the market for 19 years, said the interruption of his business due to the new infections provided him a rare opportunity to reflect on his business.“As a wholesaler, we had to keep running; otherwise, we would be phased out,” said Li, 47. “Many wholesalers in the market feel uncomfortable due to the sudden interruption of their business, but we are finally able to have a rare break.“I hope that the market will be reborn after the epidemic, and continue to progress.”
The results of India’s Parliamentary election will reveal not just a decision on Narendra Modi, but a deeper decision on what kind of government Indians want.
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With Beijing pushing as far as it can wherever it can in the era of President Xi Jinping, Australia has become a global case study in Chinese government influence.
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The Justice Ministry said the violence broke out at a prison near the capital when militants armed with knives killed three guards and several prisoners.
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The regime has gradually cornered rebels, extremist fighters and civilians alike in Idlib Province.