Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, speaks at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing on Jan 11, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – The 19th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) adopted a communique at its third plenary session held from Friday to Sunday.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, addressed the session, while other Party and state leaders, including Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, and Han Zheng, attended the meeting.

A work report of CCDI, delivered by Zhao Leji, head of the CCDI, was passed at the session, according to the communique.

CCDI members agreed that it is an important political task for all the Party members to carefully study and implement Xi’s speech delivered at the session, the communique said.

The top priority of the CCDI’s work in 2019 remains firmly safeguarding Xi’s status as the core of the CPC Central Committee and the whole Party, as well as the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the communique said.

CCDI will work to make “greater strategic achievements” in full and strict governance over the Party and consolidate the “sweeping victory” of the campaign against corruption, according to the communique.

Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), delivers a work report titled “faithfully fulfil the obligations stipulated in the CPC Constitution and the Constitution of the country, and strive for high-quality development of disciplinary inspection and supervision work in the new era” on behalf of the CCDI standing committee at the third plenary session of the 19th CCDI of the CPC in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 11, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

The communique listed eight priorities for 2019.

— CCDI will continue to study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and upgrade the education campaign with the theme “staying true to our founding mission.”

— It will take up resolute actions against the practice of formalities for formalities’ sake and bureaucratism.

— The institution of disciplinary inspection and supervision will be innovated to enhance the effectiveness of governance.

— It aims to make breakthroughs in regular and long-term supervision.

— Inspection on the implementation of political rules will be intensified, and the strategic structure of disciplinary inspections improved.

— CCDI will direct its anti-graft actions to key projects, fields and posts, particularly departments and sectors where power is centralized and money and resources are intensive.

— The efforts to address corruption and malpractices that occur on people’s doorsteps will be continued so the people will have a stronger sense of fulfillment, happiness and security.

— CCDI will develop an “iron army” of disciplinary inspection and supervision officials who are loyal, clean and have a strong sense of responsibility.

Huo Ronggui [File Photo]

The former deputy director of the agriculture and rural affairs committee of the Gansu Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Huo Ronggui, has been expelled from Party and removed from public office for serious violations of discipline and the law, Gansu’s discipline authorities announced on Thursday.

They said Huo violated political disciplines and rules when serving as deputy director and director of the Gansu provincial government’s general office, deputy secretary-general of the Gansu government and Party chief of the city of Wuwei.

The authorities said Huo ran counter to decisions on major issues by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, operated small circles in government and business to conspire for profits, refused to implement central inspection and rectification requirements, fought against inspection by the authorities, and abused and beat up leading cadres and staff.

The 57-year-old also violated the eight-point frugality code, including occupying high-end hotel suites for long periods of time, frequently accessing private clubs, and illegally purchasing expensive gifts with public funds.

He also frequently adjusted a large number of official positions at will and took money from others in the promotion and appointment of cadres. He accepted gifts and money which may have affected the impartial performance of his official duties and also took advantage of his position to provide assistance to his relatives to gain profits in business operations.

Huo violated regulations by intervening in market economy activities and interfered with the autonomy of businesses in production and management, engaged in image projects and political performance projects, and caused heavy economic losses.

Huo also maintained long-term improper sexual relationships with several women. He was suspected of bribery, embezzling public funds, and abuse of power to commit crimes.

The authorities said Huo, a leading provincial cadres, had lost his ideals, faith and Party principles. He regarded the places he was in charge of as private domains, chasing quick success and instant benefit.

Born in 1962, Huo was appointed deputy director of the general office of the Gansu provincial government in 2001, and became Party chief of Wuwei in 2010. He took up the position of deputy director of the agriculture and rural affairs committee of the Gansu Provincial Committee of the CPPCC in 2017.

Huo was placed under investigation in July. The suspected crimes and property involved in his case have been transferred to the procuratorate for review and prosecution.

Yang Zekun contributed to this story.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development rejected a report on Thursday that said monetary compensation for shantytown renovation led to rising property prices. Instead, it said the policy has helped promote healthy development of the real estate market and will be fine-tuned in accordance with each city’s conditions.

The policy will be improved, and soon will be adjusted for cities and counties with inadequate inventories and huge upward pressure on property prices, said Ni Hong, vice-minister of housing and urban-rural development, at a policy briefing hosted by the State Council Information Office on Thursday.

However, monetary compensation is not necessarily connected with housing prices, and it has played a positive role in stabilizing land prices and market expectations in third- and fourth-tier cities, Ni said.

In 2015, some cities carried out favorable measures in monetary compensation when they had large housing inventories, he said, adding that such compensation contributed to inventory reduction and achieving a balance between supply and demand in the real estate market.

Now some cities don’t have enough inventory and need supportive policies, so targeted policies should be carried out for each city to promote shantytown renovation and a healthy development for the real estate market, Ni said.

We will adjust favorable policies in monetary compensation in line with local conditions, instead of canceling such compensation, the vice-minister added.

The briefing came after a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Monday, which decided to boost shantytown renovation across the country and complete this year’s target.

More than 100 million residents have moved from shabby houses to newly built buildings. The Government Work Report, delivered by Li in March, set this year’s target to start construction of 5.8 million apartments for shantytown renovation.

From January to September, construction began on 5.34 million apartments, 92 percent of the year’s target.

Local governments were urged to start such renovation projects, according to the three-year plan set by the Government Work Report. Meanwhile, infrastructure should be completed along with the projects, and quality and safety must be ensured.

Shantytown renovation has played a vital role in improving living conditions for the disadvantaged population and expanding demand, Ni said. This year focuses on shantytowns in older city areas, State-owned mining areas, and forestry and farming areas, he said.

Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, addresses a grand gathering in Nanning, capital of Southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Dec 10, 2018, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the region’s founding. Wang led a central delegation to attend festivities marking the anniversary. [Photo/Xinhua]

NANNING — China’s top political advisor Wang Yang on Monday congratulated South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on its remarkable achievements over the past six decades.

He made the remarks when addressing a grand gathering in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the region’s founding.

Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, led a central delegation to attend festivities marking the anniversary.

Guangxi has achieved giant leaps in economic development, big strides in reform and opening-up, great improvement of people’s living standard, notable progress in its ecological environment and strengthened ethnic unity over the past 60 years, Wang said.

Such remarkable achievements have demonstrated the great strengths of the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the strong vitality of the system of regional ethnic autonomy, Wang said.

He stressed that Guangxi should always uphold the leadership of the CPC and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, adhere to a new vision for development, be committed to deepening reform in all areas and opening up further, ensuring and improving living standards through development, and upholding and improving the system of regional ethnic autonomy.

A total of 22,000 local cadres and people of various ethnic groups and from all walks of life attended the gathering.

On Monday morning, the delegation led by Wang visited an exhibition showcasing the region’s achievements made in the past six decades, especially those during China’s 40 years of reform and opening up, including progress in economy, politics, culture, society and ecology.

Wang also heard work reports of the CPC Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee and regional government of Guangxi.

When hearing the reports, Wang said after 60 years of hard work, Guangxi has seen remarkable changes in both urban and rural areas, with the once impoverished and backward region turning into a place of prosperity and openness.

Wang attributed the progress to the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee, joint efforts by cadres and people of all ethnic groups in the region, and strong supports from people across the nation.

Wang said the region faces historic development opportunities in the new era, calling for more efforts to pursue high-quality development, eliminate poverty and strengthen ethnic unity.

How many new suns could emerge in the Milky Way in the future?

Chinese astronomers plan to use the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), by far the largest telescope ever built, to search for birthplaces of new suns so they can better understand how stars and life substances are formed.

Astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently caught the birth of a dark molecular cloud for the first time by using three telescopes of the United States and Europe. The discovery was published in the Astrophysical Journal, and introduced by the journal Nature as a research highlight.

Li Di, chief scientist of FAST, said hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe and the main raw material for star formation, exists mainly in the form of atoms in the universe.

Only after the hydrogen atoms turn into hydrogen molecules, can gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion reactions be triggered, thus lighting up new stars, Li explained.

“The key step of turning hydrogen atoms into hydrogen molecules happens on the surface of cosmic dust,” said Li.

Scientists found dark regions in the universe that are rich in atomic and molecular gases and cosmic dust, known as interstellar dark clouds, which are the birthplaces of new stars, new planets, and possibly life.

However, the interstellar dark clouds have the lowest temperature in the Milky Way, about minus 263 degrees Celsius. It is difficult to identify hydrogen atoms and molecules in the dark clouds at this low temperature.

Chinese astronomers developed a new observation method, called HI Narrow Self-Absorption. By using this method and the radio telescopes at the Arecibo Observatory and the Five College Radio Astronomical Observatory in the United States, as well as the European Hershel Space Observatory, the Chinese research team discovered dark cloud B227, which has an outer “shell” of atomic hydrogen, but a core dominated by molecular hydrogen.

“Our analysis showed the dark cloud is about 6 million years old; it’s still a baby. A new sun will be born inside that cloud,” said Li.

“Tens of thousands of interstellar dark clouds have been found previously, but this was the first time we got a look at a molecular cloud when it’s born,” Li said.

The discovery made Li very confident of finding the birthplaces of new suns with FAST in the future.

“The high sensitivity of FAST and its advantage in sky coverage will enable us to study the molecular clouds in the Milky Way, as well as in the Andromeda Galaxy, adjacent to our galaxy,” Li said.

“We also plan to cooperate with the Milky Way Image Scroll Project of the Purple Mountain Observatory to catch the dark clouds at birth, and to study how many new suns will be born in our galaxy,” said Li.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for equal dialogue based on mutual respect and adherence to multilateral trade rules in addressing economic and trade problems.

Relevant sides should never readily resort to protectionism and unilateralism, Xi said at the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia held in Tajikistan.

A woman takes pictures at a showroom in the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression on Friday which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the recovery of sovereignty over Taiwan after 50 years of Japanese occupation. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The Eight Hundred, a Chinese war epic, was withdrawn from opening the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) on Saturday due to “technical reasons,” makers of the film announced on their Sina Weibo account.

Some left-wing commentators have criticized the film for having a “one-sided narrative” of the Kuomintang’s (KMT) role in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), and some observers and net users claimed this was why the movie was withdrawn at the last minute.

Although it failed to make its debut at the opening ceremony of SIFF, the film crew appeared on the red carpet on Saturday night. As the first Chinese-language film filmed entirely on an IMAX camera, moviegoers were eagerly awaiting the film.

The film is based on a real event, the defense of the Sihang Warehouse in Shanghai in 1937. About 400 Chinese KMT soldiers, who persuaded Japanese attackers that there were actually 800 soldiers inside, managed to defend it for three months. However, their heroism ended in tragedy when all of them were killed.

Their mission was to contain and distract Japanese troops to allow thousands of Chinese civilians to escape the warzone to get to safety in the foreign settlements of Shanghai.

The KMT was the ruling party of China during World War II and cooperated with the Communist Party of China (CPC) to fight against Japanese aggression, but after the war ended, the KMT launched a civil war against the CPC which ended in defeat and the KMT’s retreat to the island of Taiwan.

According to a left-wing Chinese website, hswh.org.cn, the motivation for the film’s creation was discussed by 17 left-wing commentators during a “red culture” seminar which took place a week before SIFF’s opening night. Although left-wing commentators Sima Nan and Guo Songmin praised the patriotism and sacrifices of the KMT soldiers, they said that defeat in the Battle of Shanghai was caused by the KMT’s corruption and failed military leadership, and the film did not tell the whole picture of the history, which should not be encouraged.

The film’s official release date, July 5, was announced in April, according to Shanghai-based new portal website thepaper.com, so this suggests that the film has already received a permit to be shown in cinemas from the China Film Administration.

The memorial hall on the battlefield of Sihang Warehouse was designated as one of China’s patriotic education bases in 2015, and it is also a national-level education base for students of primary and middle schools. This means that the battle of Sihang Warehouse fought by the KMT soldiers is well-recognized by both Chinese people and the government.

As of press time, there is no confirmation as to whether the movie’s July release will go ahead as planned.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, shakes hands with delegates attending the 13th Party Congress of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in Beijing, capital of China, June 18, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday met with delegates attending the 13th Party Congress of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in Beijing.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, extended congratulations on the convening of the congress and sincere greetings to all the delegates and service personnel of the Air Force.

He shook hands and took a group photo with the delegates.

The 13th Party congress of the PLA Air Force opened on Monday in Beijing, during which the delegates discussed how to thoroughly implement Xi’s thinking on strengthening the military and the military strategy for the new era.

They reviewed the work related to the Party building and military building of the Air Force over the past five years, and drafted major plans for the next five years.

The congress is aimed at mobilizing service personnel to push forward the building of a strong and modern air force, and to accomplish the missions and tasks of the new era.

The planned Shenzhen-Zhuhai high-speed rail has been included in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao (Intercity) Rail Construction Plan, according to a www.sznews.com report Thursday, quoting an official with Zhuhai’s transport bureau.

The 80-km high-speed rail will start at Xili Station in Nanshan District and run westward across the Pearl River to Zhuhai North Railway Station. It will be connected with the Guangzhou-Jiangmen-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed rail at Hezhou Railway Station.

The Xili Station will serve as the rail’s interchange station with Shenzhen-Huizhou Intercity Railway, the Ganzhou-Shenzhen High-speed Rail and Shenzhen-Maoming High-speed Rail, the report said.

Currently, it takes nearly three hours to drive to Zhuhai from Shenzhen. The traveling time will be shortened after the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Corridor is completed.

According to Guangzhou’s overall land development plan for 2018 to 2035, which is seeking public opinions, the 210-km Guangzhou-Jiangmen-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed rail will run along the west bank of the Pearl River from Guangzhou Railway Station to Hengqin Checkpoint in Zhuhai, where it will be connected with Macao’s light rail.

The 200-km Guangzhou-Zhongshan-Zhuhai-Macao high-speed rail will start at Guangzhou North Railway Station and run through eastern Guangzhou before reaching Zhongshan and Zhuhai.

The intercity high-speed rail will connect Zhuhai, Macao and Zhongshan with Guangzhou East Railway Station, Guangzhou Railway Station and Pazhou Station.

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A woman and a child make Zongzi, a kind of rice dumpling wrapped up with bamboo leaves, as part of the traditional folk customs to celebrate the upcoming Duanwu Festival in Zigui County of Yichang, central China’s Hubei Province, May 29, 2019. Duanwu Festival is traditionally celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on Chinese lunar calendar. (Xinhua/Zheng Jiayu)