This Week In China: News, Culture And What Went Viral

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As the second-largest economy and a major power in the world, China enjoys attention from people throughout the globe on a daily basis. There are always some eye-catching news events happening there. The following is a summary of what happened this week that includes a little bit of everything — serious, interesting and fun.

News: German Chancellor Visits China to Strengthen Economic Cooperation

epa05360883 German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 13 June 2016. The German Chancellor is on a three-day visit to China from 12 to 14 June. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++Image Source: Handelsblatt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited China on June 12-14 to further her country’s economic relationship with China, meeting with both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. 

While the meeting between Merkel and Xi was basically ceremonial, Merkel had some serious discussions with Premier Li over trade issues, especially steel.

At the talks, Li said that China wants to resolve all trade disputes with Europe in an appropriate way and the Chinese government is doing its best to eradicate steel overproduction.

Li was referring to the European Union’s complaints that China is selling its excess iron and steel to the region, a topic in the spotlight during the visit by Merkel, her ninth to China.

In a joint press conference in Beijing following his talks with Merkel, Li said that China will phase out cheap and low-quality steel, which has been one of Germany’s major concerns. He said that China and Europe should collaborate constructively to resolve trade conflicts, such as excess capacity of iron and steel products.

We don’t want to fight a trade war because this will benefit nobody,Li was quoted as saying.

Merkel’s visit came amid growing worries among German companies over obstacles they face in doing business with China. “It is important to have a secure juridical environment. The secure status of law is important in a large number of fields, Merkel said at the press conference. Li responded by praising Merkel’s work in building bilateral relations. “We need to have new breakthroughs in developments in certain areas, he added.

During the visit, China and Germany reached an agreement on cybersecurity, stating that neither side would engage in business espionage for their companies or commercial sectors or knowingly support such activities.

At the end of her three-day visit on Tuesday, Merkel expressed optimism about the relationship between Germany and China. “I believe this trip strengthened Sino-German cooperation on one hand, without sweeping differences under the rug, she told reporters.

Culture: Greater China Boasts Most Top Universities in Asia

2009051914513870653Image Source: Study in China

A total of 124 universities from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao are among the top 350 universities in Asia, according to the newly released list of QS University Rankings: Asia 2016.” 

The ranking of 350 universities, announced each year by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British company specializing in education and study abroad programs, has drawn a lot of attention in China over the past few years as more Chinese universities have entered the list and improved their rankings. The list for this year includes 82 institutions of higher learning from Mainland China. Two of them are among the top ten, with Tsinghua University and Peking University ranking fifth and ninth, respectively.

Greater China, a term used to refer to Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, has the most number of universities on the list among all the Asian countries and regions, with 7 from Hong Kong, 34 from Taiwan and 1 from Macao also entering the list.

The National University of Singapore tops the ranking, followed by the University of Hong Kong and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is ranked fourth on the list.

Social Media: Chinese Police Help Argentine Authorities Destroy Chinese Mafia

184398843Image Source: Hexun

Chinese special police officers recently joined forces with Argentine authorities to destroy a Chinese criminal gang in Argentina, arresting a total of 40 people, according to a joint press conference held by police officials from both sides on Monday, June 13. 

The video that reports the operation went viral throughout China as it was carried on quite a few major news websites in China. Argentina’s Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said at the press conference that it was one of the most successful police operations in the history of this South American nation. She added that the action was important to the security of Chinese people who live in the country.

Last week, police officers from both countries carried out a series of raids against the criminal gang, called “Pixiu.” They seized a total of 14 guns, 149,000 pesos, 3,700 U.S. dollars as well as some cars and drugs in 22 locations throughout the country. At least 2 police officers were injured during the raids.

At the press conference, held at Argentina’s federal police station, Bullrich said that “Pixiu” had emerged in the Chinese community in Argentina 10 years ago. The gang had extorted protection fees from local Chinese supermarket owners by threatening their lives.

The security minister noted that the leader of “Pixiu” is Chinese, but some of its members are from Bolivia, Columbia and Peru.

Something Fun: 2-Year-Old Sister Takes 1-Year-Old Twins for a Walk

2841_701153_479308Image Source: News Sina

Three naked babies became the center of attention in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou on Monday, June 13 as they were strolling on the streets unattended.

The three adventurers, a two-year-old girl and her two younger siblings — boy-girl twins aged one, are the children of a careless mother who was sleeping when the toddlers sneaked out of their residence.

The babies had to stumble three floors downstairs before they came to a 30-meter-long terrace, according to Chinese media reports about the incident. They continued to walk down another three floors until they finally arrived at the exit of a lane.

Fortunately, a local policeman found these babies toddling on the street at around 6:00 a.m. when he was having breakfast. He took them to the police station, where they were attended with great care.

Their mother didn’t know her three babies were missing until she woke up about two hours later. She hurried to the police station after being told by nearby residents that the local police had found the toddlers.

The mom said that her husband left home for work early in the morning and forgot to lock the door when she was still sleeping. That might be how they got out of the door and walked onto the street,” she said.

Looking Ahead to Next Week: Chinese President Xi to Visit Serbia, Poland, Uzbekistan

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to Serbia, Poland and Uzbekistan from June 17 to 24, which will significantly boost China’s relationship with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Central Asia, China’s Foreign Ministry said at a press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday. 

At the invitation of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Xi will also attend the 16th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent on June 23 and 24.

The Belt and Road Initiative will be a focus of the meetings between Xi and leaders of the three countries, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. All three were among the first to respond to the China-proposed initiative.

The initiative, which is intended to connect Asia, Europe and Africa along five routes, was proposed by Xi in 2013 with an aim to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting the three continents.

CEE is an essential component of the initiative as all the 16 CEE countries are seated on a route under the action plan.

During Xi’s visit, China and Serbia will sign agreements on trade, industry and finance while China and Poland will reach deals on finance, aviation, science and education, according to media reports in China.

Xi’s upcoming visit to the two countries comes right after his state visit to the Czech Republic in April, signaling growing importance of the CEE to China.

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