A diary documenting how an NPC deputy from Xinjiang acts as bridge between the people and the government

Editor's Note:

China's widely watched annual "two sessions" kicked off on Monday this year. The "two sessions" refers to the annual sessions of National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which are known as the country's top legislature and national political advisory body respectively.

The two sessions is a grand occasion that gathers ideas and wisdom of people of all walks of life across the country. It is an important opportunity for the world to better understand China's whole-process people's democracy, in which the people engage in democratic elections, consultations, decision-making, management, and oversight according to the law. Such democracy is not only shown in the votes taking place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, but also embodied in a motion submitted by a NPC deputy coming from a remote area, or a consultative meeting held among some residents living in a city suburb. It can be felt in many details of Chinese people's daily lives.

During this year's two sessions, the Global Times is launching a series of stories to illustrate the whole-process people's democracy from some of such details. The third story is about the work diary of an NPC deputy from Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. By following in her footsteps, we see how an NPC deputy truly brings the most grounded, warm, and vivid voices from the grassroots to the two sessions.
Over 60 years ago, Rukeyamu Maitisaidi's great-grandfather rode a donkey, wishing to see Beijing. Now, Rukeyamu takes a flight from her hometown to Beijing, serving as a deputy to the 14th NPC at the two sessions.

Departing from Yutian county in the Hotan prefecture of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, it takes less than a day to reach Beijing nowadays.

Once a servicewoman on China's first aircraft carrier, Rukeyamu became an interpreter at the Kurban Tulum Memorial Hall in Yutian county after her military service.

In 2018, she was elected as a deputy to the 13th NPC, and since then, she has frequently visited fields and farmers' homes to communicate with the ordinary people to hear about their needs and wishes.

A week before the two sessions, the Global Times reporters followed Rukeyamu's steps, documenting a diary of how she performed her duties as an NPC deputy.

She expresses that although being a large responsibility, serving as an NPC deputy is an honor. She strives to act as a bridge between the people and the government, helping to convey their demands and address their difficulties, and also to share the happy stories of Xinjiang residents with the whole nation.

A solemn and sacred day

On the morning of March 5, Rukeyamu meticulously adjusts her hat for the last minute.

Dressed in a colorful Uygur long dress and a black coat, she walks into the Great Hall of the People at the heart of Beijing, hand in hand with other NPC deputies from Xinjiang region. They are ready to listen to the Government Work Report of the past year.

After the meeting, she wrote to the reporters, "The Premier mentioned in the report: 'Acting on the people-centered development philosophy, we will fulfill our responsibilities to meet people's basic needs and provide a cushion for those most in need and take more steps to deliver real benefits to the people to their satisfaction. We will make solid progress toward prosperity for all and promote social harmony and stability. By doing so, we will give our people a growing sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security.'"

"As a grass-roots NPC deputy," Rukeyamu told the Global Times, "I deeply resonate with the premier's words."

During the two sessions, the daily routine of NPC deputies is filled with frenetic work and responsibility.

"I will carefully listen to each deputy's report and sort out the beneficial policies to ensure that I can relay this information to the public at the earliest," Rukeyamu said. They adopt household visits or group meetings to ensure the spirit of the two sessions reach the people promptly.

Apart from regular meetings, NPC deputies also participate in discussions on motions and inter-provincial exchanges. "We are not only there to listen to others' speeches but also to prepare our own. It is part of our responsibility as NPC deputies," Rukeyamu emphasizes. She brings the hopes and needs of Hotan and Yutian residents to the two sessions, ensuring their voices are heard.

"In this process, our role as NPC deputies is crucial," she said. Through these actions, the deputies play an indispensable role in connecting the government with the people.

The Global Times learned that the Xinjiang delegation is composed of 60 deputies to the second session of the 14th NPC, representing 11 ethnic groups including Han, Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Tajik, Mongolian, Kirgiz , Xibe, Uzbek, Russian, and Tatar, from various sectors, embodying their region's broad representativeness.

To prepare for this session, the NPC deputies from Xinjiang engaged in intensive research on high-quality development, agricultural construction, rural revitalization, ecological protection, openness to the outside world, water resource utilization, and other important issues concerning economic and social development that the people care about before heading to Beijing.

As of March 4, the Xinjiang delegation had received six draft motions and 106 suggestions, mainly involving the formulation or amendment of laws such as the Employment Promotion Law and the Free Trade Pilot Zone Law. The suggestions mainly cover building a modern industrial system, strengthening green computing power construction, and forming a talent cultivation system, among other aspects.

Two sessions rush

On the eve of the two sessions, Rukeyamu Maitisaidi's workload became extraordinarily heavy. This was the final sprint before heading to Beijing.

With two days left before leaving Yutian, she was still discussing with local township-level representatives at 6 pm. This was the last of more than a dozen of discussions she had held over the past few days, covering residents from every township in Yutian.

The atmosphere in the meeting was fervent. Deputies raised issues they have noticed in their work, concerning livelihood, education, and healthcare, to which Rukeyamu thoughtfully responded.

Rukeyamu had discussions with other deputies in the Uygur language and took notes. Tonight, she would also discuss and study the opinions and feelings collected, refining the motions she would take to the two sessions.

When everything was concluded, everyone left the venue. But Rukeyamu's day was not over yet.

She immediately drove to Friendship village in Mugala town for household visits. Her father, Maitisaidi Aisa, a deputy to the people's congress of Yutian county, accompanied her.

Friendship village is located on the edge of Yutian county, with newly built houses lined up neatly, three-story buildings along the street, and single-story houses with courtyards elsewhere. On the straight village road, children snacking and singing walked home in pairs.
As an NPC deputy, Rukeyamu's household visits were unannounced. She walked straight into a resident's yard at the village head, telling them her purpose immediately.

Only the mistress Aminamu Wupur was at home that day. She was sweeping the yard and warmly invited her guests inside when she saw Rukeyamu.

Aminamu lived in a resettlement house in the village. Yutian, situated on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, is prone to sandstorms, yet industrious Aminamu kept her home spotless. Her son's wedding photo was displayed prominently at the household's entrance.

From 2011 to 2020, Xinjiang implemented the construction of more than 2.67 million rural resettlement houses, and over 10 million people of various ethnicity have moved into new homes equipped with utilities and designed to be earthquake-resistant.

Aminamu grasped Rukeyamu's hand, telling her that she was very happy with her life and cannot think of many good suggestions, but she hoped Rukeyamu can convey her happiness and gratitude to the national two sessions.

Next, Rukeyamu randomly selected a family in an apartment building to visit. The mistress of the house, Hairulinishahan Aizezi, 42 years old, happily told Rukeyamu that at the end of last year, she, her husband, and their three children moved into this three-bedroom apartment, while their elderly relatives live in another unit opposite their own.

"Most of the money was subsidized by the government; we only had to pay a small part," said Hairulinishahan. They previously lived in an earthen house in the village and never imagined they could live in such a beautiful, modern home.

What excited her even more was that over the past few years, through local training classes, she had learned carpentry and plastering skills and can now work outside as well. With the boom in construction development in Yutian, she has also had many job opportunities.

In today's Mugala town, women have long since shed the old tradition of staying at home to tend to their husbands and teach their children. They step out of their homes to learn skills and find work.

"As an ordinary resident in Yutian, I hope you can convey our greetings and voices to the national two sessions, letting the whole nation know about our happy and fulfilling lives," she told Rukeyamu.

Mission with significance

"My great-grandfather was a deputy to the 4th NPC, and after so many years, in 2018, I was also elected as a deputy to the 13th NPC. I was really excited," said Rukeyamu. "Becoming an NPC deputy is not only an honor but also a responsibility. I feel that my mission is even more significant, and my sense of duty has been strengthened."

Her great-grandfather Kurban Tulum is known as Uncle Kurban. In the 1950s, after the establishment of new China and receiving his own land, the grateful Kurban wanted to "ride a donkey to Beijing" to see Chairman Mao Zedong. His story became widely known across the country and influenced Rukeyamu's upbringing.

In 2012, Rukeyamu joined the navy and was assigned to the aircraft carrier Liaoning in 2013. Despite encountering many difficulties, such as seasickness and language barriers, it was these experiences that made her braver and stronger.

After her military service, she returned to her hometown in Yutian county, Xinjiang and worked at local publicity department. After the opening of the Kurban Tulum Memorial Hall, she took on the responsibility of telling the story of Uncle Kurban.

However, being an NPC deputy is an important identity she holds.

In understanding the opinions and suggestions of the people, Rukeyamu found that many, due to infrequent contact with the news, found it difficult to express themselves on some issues. Therefore, she realized the importance of face-to-face communication.
"We first listen to their opinions and suggestions, and answer immediately if we can; if not, we will discuss with the relevant departments," she said.

Delegate Rukeyamu is well aware that the difficulties and demands of the public need to be resolved through the correct channels. "Some issues can be resolved by the township government, some need to be reported to the county, region, or city level. For those that cannot be resolved, we will bring up at the national two sessions."

For example, during her household visit, Rukeyamu found that the people complained about the high price of tap water. She raised this issue at the county two sessions and it was resolved quickly. "Because this is a work that the county government level can complete," Rukeyamu said.

She particularly mentioned the construction of Yutian Wanfang Airport, which given the large geographical scope of the Hotan region, locals hoped there would be room to build another airport in the region for the convenience of the public. "We reflected this wish at the national two sessions in 2018, and it was soon met with a response from the central government, and the airport was quickly built," she said.

On December 26, 2020, Yutian Wanfang Airport commenced operations. Now, people can take a plane and reach Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang, in one hour and 55 minutes.

Yutian county, located at the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert, was once a national-level deeply impoverished county. It achieved poverty alleviation in 2020.

"With practical actions, I carry forward my family's oath of ethnic unity and the spirit of my great-grandfather 'to always follow the Party,'" Rukeyamu said.

Since 2017, her family has established a public welfare fund to reward and help students from families that have made outstanding contributions to maintaining social stability.

After the two sessions, Rukeyamu's work continues. "My wish is that the lives of Hotan residents get better day by day," she said.

GT Investigates: Australian media urged to play a more positive role in promoting cooperation, peace as they enhance sneaky maneuvers in PICs to smear China

Editor's Note:

"Cognitive Warfare" has become a new form of confrontation between states, and a new security threat. With new technological means, it sets agendas and spreads disinformation, to change people's perceptions and thus alter their self-identity. Launching cognitive warfare against China is an important means for Western anti-China forces to attack and discredit the country.

Some politicians and media outlets have publicly smeared China's image by propagating false narratives in an attempt to incite and provoke dissatisfaction with China among people in certain countries. These means all serve the seemingly peaceful evolution of the US strategy to contain China's rise and maintain its hegemony. The Global Times is publishing a series of articles to reveal the intrigues of the US-led West's China-targeted cognitive warfare, and expose its lies and vicious intentions.

In the 11th installment of the series, the Global Times exposed Australian media's deceptive tactics to stir up confrontation and misunderstanding between Fiji and China, while encouraging them to play a more constructive role in promoting cooperation, peace, and development amid recent warming signals of relations and exchanges between China and Australia.

Some Western media outlets have been sparing no effort to smear China's cooperation with South Pacific Island Countries (PICs). In a recent move, 60 Minutes Australia released a video program entitled "China's dirty tactics to control Pacific" on March 24 to further smear normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Fiji. The video alleges that behind this cooperation are China and Chinese businesspeople who are "supporting drug trafficking organizations in Fiji" and are seeking as much influence as possible in the island nation.

The video and the following reports are based on lies, speculations, and presumptions of guilt and are full of ideological bias and distortion of facts, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Fiji said in a statement on March 26. He firmly denounced the video and the subsequent reports in the statement. The spokesperson made clarifications in response to the trumped-up charges claimed in the video one by one.

For decades, Australia, the "manager" of the US in their perceived South Pacific region "backyard," has blatantly projected its expansive hegemony by treating the PICs as its vassal states.

Although the region has been "neglected" by the US and Australia for a long time, when China attempts to cultivate normal cooperation and economic exchanges there, Canberra, Washington, as well as their allies resort to unrelenting hysteric attacks against China.

In 2022, their target was the security pact between China and the Solomon Islands. Recently, they turned their focus to Fiji, which is considered the leader of the PICs, especially by Australia, which views this region as a power range that must be contested and protected.

Efforts by some Australian media sources to "spread" Western democratic values and increase their external propaganda in Fiji are increasing, the Global Times learned from some sources in Fiji, who are direct witnesses to the Australian media's sneaky maneuvers to sow discord between Fiji and China.

Reports based on a deliberate distortion of facts would not only erode the credibility of these media outlets but also threaten to destabilize regional peace and development, analysts warned. They called for certain Australian media outlets to return to the right track of playing a more positive role in promoting cooperation and regional peace rather than stirring up trouble.
Same old tricks

Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka put on hold the decade-old police cooperation between Fiji and China shortly after forming his government in December 2022, citing differences in policing, investigations, and legal systems.

After reviewing a policing cooperation deal with China for one year, Fiji decided to maintain the cooperation despite mounting pressure from the US and Australia. The Chinese Embassy in Fiji confirmed this information with the Global Times on March 17. The move reflects that such cooperation, fundamentally different from that with Western countries, stems from the strong demand of the PICs, Chinese experts said.

The above-mentioned 60 Minutes Australia video discredited the China-Fiji police cooperation as a way to conduct "mass kidnapping" and "exert power in the region."

"This allegation disregards facts in favor of a hidden agenda. It is a demonization and malicious distortion of normal cooperation between China and Fiji," the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Fiji said on March 26, firmly refuting the video's claims in the statement.

Police cooperation is just the latest excuse being used by Australian media outlets to smear China's cooperation with the PICs in their constant promotion of the "China threat" theory.

"They [Australian media] usually portray China's normal exchanges and cooperation with the PICs as a means for major powers to seek power in geopolitical competition, insinuating that China is interfering in the internal affairs of the island countries and eroding their sovereignty," a source who requested anonymity told the Global Times, referring to the negative portrayal of Fiji's participation in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a prominent example of how Australian media outlets always claim that China's infrastructure projects are setting "debt traps" for the island countries.

Another similar old trick used by some Australian media outlets and officials is to draw parallels between Western and Eastern ideologies by emphasizing Australia's Vuvale Partnership, or family partnership, with Fijians, emphasizing the shared values of "democracy and freedom." This move, as experts said, is aimed at creating doubts about or distancing from China's political system and ideology.

Some Australian media outlets have also accused China of manipulating agents - for example, Zhao Fugang, a businessman featured in the 60 Minutes Australia program - to increase penetration in Fiji, engaged in crimes with Western competitors like the US and Australia.

In a response to the 60 Minutes Australia, the Chinese Embassy in Fiji noted that Zhao is a Fijian national and his activities and operations in Fiji should be addressed to the Fijian government.

The Chinese Embassy stressed that 60 Minutes Australia's suspicion of the relationship between the Chinese government and the Chinese community in Fiji is entirely groundless.

Real dirty tactics

The above-mentioned attacks are baseless and always predicated upon unsubstantiated information and even lies, experts pointed out.

The Global Times found that, in these kinds of reports, Australian media outlets usually quote information from certain intelligence agencies whose authenticity cannot be confirmed.

Based on information from unknown sources, these media outlets take things out of context, and piece together a false news story. They then virally spread these reports via diverse channels, including television, radio, documentaries, and social media platforms.

Many Australian media outlets, such as the Sydney Morning Herald and most recently Channel 9 news, also work together to create a matrix effect by reporting on the same issue at the same period of time.

Australian media outlets also maintain close cooperation with Fiji's local media outlets to ensure that these reports spread to Fiji. Local mainstream media outlets in Fiji have signed cooperation agreements with various Australian media outlets, resulting in a wide coverage range. In addition to high-level exchanges, there are also exchanges of film and television products such as TV series and documentaries.

The world news section of Fijian media outlets mainly consists of reports from Western media outlets such as the BBC and ABC, with very little original reporting from Fijian media sources. This can lead to a lot of negative publicity in the world news section, experts pointed out.
Australian media outlets also provide a lot of assistance to Fijian media, such as purchasing equipment or exchanging film and television resources, due to lower media capabilities in Fiji. This assistance is valuable to them, and they will often publish whatever is provided by Australian media outlets. Training and exchange programs also penetrate the upper levels of Fijian media, influencing the stance of the newspapers, a local insider close to the matter told the Global Times.

Additionally, Australian think tanks and scholars often visit Fijian schools. Under the guise of neutrality and objectivity, some of them, in fact, act as spokespersons for the Australian government. They often publish articles in local media outlets, warning about "debt traps" and "loss of sovereignty" due to Chinese influence, and hold forums and lectures at universities to spread negative opinions and instigate anti-China sentiment, according to the Fijian insider.

Meanwhile, amid Australian media's intensified attacks against China, some scholars in Fiji were recently warned not to express political opinions using their academic affiliations, the Global Times has learned.

Call for positive role in promoting cooperation

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times, that the actions of Australian media outlets are not surprising due to their alignment with the Five Eyes alliance, including the US and the UK, shaping their narratives and intelligence efforts to serve US interests.

Consequently, any enhancement of China's presence, whether in the Arctic or in the South Pacific Islands, faces inevitable denigration, particularly from Australian media outlets closely linked to intelligence and security sectors, Li stated.

"The reckless discourse of Australian media has tangible adverse effects," Li noted, "not only undermining the media's own credibility but also complicating China's diplomatic relations, particularly in the South Pacific region like Fiji."

This has set up unnecessary obstacles in China's interactions with these countries, benefiting foreign political forces keen on intensifying geopolitical competition with China.

Li lamented that such media behavior fosters misunderstandings and escalates difficulties in public engagements with China, injecting harmful geopolitical narratives into the South Pacific, and posing risks of division and confrontation. He concluded that these actions serve to damage the regional interests of most countries in the area, indicating a regrettable course of conduct by the media.

He called for certain Australian media outlets to play a more positive and more active role in promoting cooperation, peace, and development, highlighting the recent warming of relations and exchanges between China and Australia.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded on March 21 his first visit to Australia in seven years with positive signs signaling that normal bilateral ties are back on track.

About one week after Wang's visit, China's Ministry of Commerce announced, on March 28, a decision to cancel anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs levied on Australian wine. The removal of the tariffs shows a pragmatic attitude on both sides to solve their trade disputes through dialogue and negotiations, Chinese experts said, anticipating more robust development in trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Xi’s letter encourages Serbian steelworkers to strive for better future, contribute to better bilateral ties

Editor's Note:

Chinese people believe that letters are as valuable as gold. For thousands of years, letters, across mountains and oceans, have been delivering the writers' sentiments and conveying friendship and expectations.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, has managed to find time to reply to some letters from different sectors of the society and different parts of the world despite his busy work schedule.

Through his letters, Xi has corresponded with international friends from all walks of life on numerous occasions, part of a series of excellent stories of China's international exchanges in the new era. The letters have also added vivid color to the diplomacy between China and other countries.

The Global Times traced and contacted some of the recipients of Xi's letters to hear the inspiring stories behind the letters and their communications with the Chinese president.

In this installment, Serbian steelworkers share with the Global Times their excitement at receiving Xi's reply letter before the Chinese president's visit to Serbia and the story of how close cooperation between the two countries revived the century-old Smederevo steel plant.
At around 8 pm on April 30, 2024, when Serbians were ready to embrace the May Day holiday and the Orthodox Easter, Nenad Cvetanovic, head of operations at the hot mill at HBIS Smederevo steel plant, or Hesteel Serbia, got a phone call asking him to stay in the plant because the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Ming would "come to share something with us."

"That was amazing," Cvetanovic and his colleagues thought when they got to know what the surprise was - Chinese President Xi Jinping had replied to their letter days before his second state visit to Serbia after eight years.

Cvetanovic first had the idea to write a letter to Xi in February 2024 when he read a media report saying that the Chinese president might be visiting Serbia again. The idea was widely embraced by his colleagues.

In the letter signed by workers from different departments at the steel plant, they expounded on the latest developments at the plant and its important role in the local economy and people's livelihoods, and they thanked Xi for his care and support for the joint venture located in Smederevo, a small city about 60 kilometers southeast of the Serbian capital Belgrade.

In his reply letter dated April 29, Xi recalled his visit to the plant in June 2016 when he deeply felt the workers' support for the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Serbia, and their high expectations for a bright future for the steel plant, according to Xinhua News Agency.

It is a great pleasure to learn that the steel plant has turned losses into gains quickly after the investment of a Chinese-funded enterprise, with the jobs of more than 5,000 employees guaranteed, and thousands of families enjoying a peaceful and happy life, Xi said in the letter.

The development of the steel plant could not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of the workers, who have been working diligently for the quick growth of the steel plant and have written a new chapter for the iron-clad friendship between China and Serbia.

I give you the "thumbs up," Xi said.

The reply letter shows that our efforts are recognized and appreciated and we feel honored and encouraged, Bojan Popovic, head of department of materials management and maintenance at the Hesteel Serbia, told the Global Times.

"It reinforced our belief that the strong bond between China and Serbia is built on the efforts of ordinary workers like us," Popovic said. "We are proud to be part of this partnership and to contribute to the growth and success of our steel plant, and thus, to the development and strengthening of our economic ties."

Rebirth of a plant

The steel plant, first established in 1913, has long been a pillar of former Yugoslavia's metal industry, but it encountered difficulties in the 1990s. The plant then entered two decades of struggle of survival and, in 2012, then owner US Steel Corporation sold the plant to the Serbian government, leaving it with more than 5,000 employees and massive liabilities.

The Global Times learned from senior workers of the steel plant that production was frequently halted at that time. The first thing they would do after waking up in the morning was to check whether smoke was rising from the plant's chimney or not. People did not dare to get married or have babies because they feared they would lose their jobs as the factory could close at any moment.

The light of hope arrived in April 2016 when China's Hesteel Group purchased the plant at a price of 46 million euros ($49.55 million), months after China and Serbia signed in November 2015 a memorandum of understanding within the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

During President Xi's state visit to Serbia in June 2016, he made a trip to the steel plant and interacted with workers in the dining room, encouraging them to work hard to bring benefits to local residents.

The purchase and Xi's visit greatly boosted the morale of all the workers; smiles returned to their faces and they started to "plan for the future."

The Global Times learned that Chinese executives from Hesteel did a thorough investigation, finding out that the factory possessed quite good industrial bases and could produce some competitive products even with its then outdated equipment; but the implemented cost control was ineffective.

Therefore they enhanced the management of the steel plant, combining Chinese experience with local practices, streamlined the production process, increased workers' salaries, upgraded equipment and expanded recruitment, and made efforts to tackle the pollution problem.

Upholding the principle of localization of corporate culture, personnel, and benefits, the 13-member Chinese executive team and 5,000-strong Serbian managers and workers' body strived in solidarity to revive the plant and raise it to new heights.

Through unremitting efforts by and from both sides, the plant turned losses into profits in just a few months by year-end of 2016, made a record production volume of 1.77 million tons in 2018, marked a best-in-history revenue of 200 million euros in 2021, and the output value reached 1 billion euros in 2022, Song Sihai, executive director of Hesteel Serbia, told the Global Times.

Joint efforts for future

Plant worker Aleksandar Duncevic recalled all the changes brought about by the takeover and the joint efforts by the Chinese buyer and local Serbian staff, which gave Duncevic "a strong sense of certainty and security," and allowed him to "make plans for the future."

Felic Nenad, who was among the crowds to welcome Xi in 2016, described the China-Serbia cooperation as a "light at the end of the tunnel."

"Now we have new production lines, higher output, and cleaner air… It made a big difference for our city and our country," Nenad told the Global Times.

The Global Times learned that after an investment of 300 million euros to enhance energy efficiency and environmental protection in 2022, the company marked a new milestone in 2023 by dropping dust pollution to 34.8 mg/Nm3, the first time in the plant's history and way lower than EU standards.

Cvetanovic was obviously excited when talking about the plant's new gasholder, upgraded furnace, and finishing mill - industry terms that are concrete evidence of Hesteel Serbia's bright future.

Stefan Nesic, head of temper mills, cutting, packaging, and shipping in the cold rolling mill, started to work at Hesteel Serbia in late 2017. But through conversations with colleagues who were there during Xi's visit, he got the impression that "the visit was of great importance for the morale of the entire factory and has kept encouraging the Serbian workers to join hands for an even better future."

Nesic also told the Global Times that he appreciates the company's comprehensive support for employees from steady paychecks and an improved working environment, to future career development, including his own pursuit of doctoral studies in metallurgical engineering at Belgrade University.

"Our expectations for the future are very positive and optimistic, as the factory shows that it cares about process improvement, new investments, environmental protection, and the quality of its personnel," Nesic said, expressing his hope that Hesteel Serbia will be an increasingly competitive entity in the European and international steel markets.

In 2016, factory workers presented a round plate with the silhouette of the steel plant to President Xi as a gift, writing the first chapter of this time-weathered factory's new story featuring China-Serbia cooperation.

Now, the success of Hesteel Serbia is an embodiment of this "ironclad" friendship and continues to tell success stories of the BRI cooperation.

"Future" is a word that appeared frequently in conversations with Smederevo steelworkers, which is in sheer contrast with the uncertainty and insecurity of the past.

The future of the steel plant is being authored by every Serbian and Chinese personnel in pursuit of a better life; the future of China-Serbia relationship is to be determined by numerous Serbian and Chinese people who have made contribution to boost the warm bilateral exchanges and stronger ties in trade, economic cooperation, culture, and beyond.

‘PV-Storage-Charging’ Integrated Microgrid Connected to the Grid Supports FAYN’s Green Development in Nanjing

On May 15, officials from the State Grid Nanjing Power Supply Company visited the Nanjing FAYN Piston Ring Co, Ltd (FAYN), Lishui district, Nanjing, to inspect the "PV-storage-charging" integrated intelligent microgrid, aiming to ensure the flawless operation of all equipment and guarantee uninterrupted production for the company.

This integrated intelligent microgrid functions akin to a small-scale power system that generates renewable power through PV equipment, regulates power with energy storage devices, and adjusts power supply and demand via charging posts with flexible loads. Thanks to an energy management system, the microgrid can achieve self-control, protection and management, securing continuous power supply within the area.

Since 2021, under the guidance of the State Grid Nanjing Power Supply Company for green and energy-saving transformation, FAYN has replaced the traditional energy sources for production and daily necessities with electricity to ensure all-electric plants. This initiative has boosted the company's production speed and efficiency by nearly 30%. Moreover, collaborative efforts have been made to create an energy efficiency management system enabling real-time monitoring of electricity, water and gas consumption data for various equipment, which supports the company in scientific energy use with higher efficiency and lower cost.
The State Grid Nanjing Power Supply Company has also recommended FAYN to construct a 4.79-megawatt PV power station, and install 10 60-kilowatt fast charging posts and two 7-kilowatt slow charging posts. Together with the energy efficiency management system, an effective energy complementary network will take shape, securing stable power supply during peak electricity consumption hours while significantly improving the safety and stability of the power grid.

In April of this year, FAYN's 2-megawatt/6-megawatt-hour user-side energy storage station went into operation. Supported by four key factors - PV, energy storage, charging posts and an energy efficiency management system, the first user-side intelligent microgrid in Lishui district was successfully established.

Since it was connected to the grid, the microgrid has provided 7.16 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, equivalent to saving 2,348 tons of standard coal and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 7,138 tons. This has led to a reduction in energy consumption costs by 2.24 million yuan($0.31 million).

Chinese lidar manufacturer Hesai sues US Department of Defense over inclusion in a list for alleged ties to China's military

Chinese lidar manufacturer Hesai Technology Co officially filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Defense on Monday over being added to a list of companies for allegedly working with the Chinese military, the Global Times learned on Tuesday.

In the complaint filed with the Washington Federal Court, Hesai stated that its inclusion on the so-called 1260H list had led to "damaged reputation, substantial stock price decline, and missed business opportunities." Hesai, which is listed on the Nasdaq, urged the court to order the US Department of Defense to remove it from the list or declare the list unconstitutional.

Hesai is known for its leading radar products, which are primarily used in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) for both passenger and commercial vehicles. It was included on the list by the US Department of Defense in January, along with over a dozen other Chinese companies including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co.

"Hesai lidars are designed for civilian use only. We have no affiliation with the Chinese military and remain committed to correcting the record and protecting our reputation," a spokesperson for Hesai told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The spokesperson added that the US government has yet to offer any meaningful response to requests from the Chinese company or made any attempts to resolve the issue outside of court.

While the list itself doesn't impose specific sanctions at present, according to the US media, the associated legislation will prevent the US Department of Defense from engaging in contracts with any of the listed companies for the foreseeable future. Observers said this also poses substantial reputational risks for Chinese companies and could potentially compel the US Treasury Department to levy sanctions against the firms.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin voiced strong opposition to the US Department of Defense's update of the "Chinese Military Company List" in February.

"China firmly opposes the US overstretching the concept of national security, setting up all kinds of discriminatory lists, going after Chinese companies and disrupting normal economic and trade cooperation between China and the US," he said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce said on May 10 that China would take all the necessary measures to defend the legtimate rights of Chinese companies in response to US abuse of export control measures.

China urged the US to immediately cease the relevant incorrect practice, which is disrupting the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains.

State Grid Dezhou Power Supply Company: Empowering the Industry with Digital Intelligence, Revitalizing the Power Supply with Full Energy

Recently, upon entering the production workshop of Roselot in Ningjin County, Dezhou City, Shandong Province, people would find 200 robotic arms and 180 intelligent machining centers independently processing. In the flickering flames, fitness equipment is gradually being assembled.
The increasingly stable power supply has given us the confidence and determination to introduce high-tech and promote 'Robots instead of Labor'. Currently, the workshop has been able to achieve 24-hour on-site unmanned automated production, saving nearly 500 workers, reducing operating costs by 30 percent, reducing product defect rates by 23 percent, and increasing production capacity by nearly 5 times compared to ordinary production workshops.

Since the beginning of this year, Ningjin County has pursued the path of "Digital Economic" development, centering on the traditionally strong local industries of "Hardware and Furniture," focusing on enterprise "Intelligent and Digital Transformation," adhering to innovation driven growth, accelerating the promotion of industrial enterprises "Going cloud-ward to empower intelligence with data."

That is to promote the transformation and upgrading of traditional manufacturing industries with "intelligence" and "digitization", and help the overtaking of county's digital economy through government attracting platforms which to empower enterprises. The upgrading of industries cannot be separated from the support of a stable power grid.

In order to fully ensure the electricity supply for production in the park, State Grid Dezhou Power Supply Company strengthens its visits to enterprises in the park, to understand their electricity needs, assist them in identifying safety hazards, and develop electricity plans based on the current production situation of the enterprise to ensure the safety and reliability of electricity supply for production.

"In order to meet the development needs of the industrial park, we have also planned ahead and increased the construction of the power grid," said Li Haimeng, a representative of State Grid Dezhou Power Supply Company. "A new 110 kV substation and 13 kilometers of 10 kV transmission lines have been built for the industrial park, fully ensuring the development and electricity demand of the industrial park."
Overlooking the industrial park, new photovoltaic panels are scattered on top of each factory building, shining brightly in the sunlight and illuminating the path of Ningjin's fitness industry to prosperity.
"After the introduction of photovoltaic power generation, the roof area of the factory has been effectively utilized, the monthly electricity expenses have been greatly reduced, and the net profit of the enterprise has also been further improved." The person, in charge of Maibaohe Fitness Equipment Co., Ltd. in Ningjin County, Dezhou City, Shandong Province, said happily.

"By implementing TOU price and cooperating with enterprises to reasonably introduce photovoltaic new energy, the average monthly electricity cost for business can be reduced by tens of thousands of yuan, helping enterprises to lower costs and increase income." said Wang Haitao, a marketing representative from State Grid Dezhou Power Supply Company.
In recent years, State Grid Dezhou Power Supply Company has implemented "fixed person, regular, and customized" services to deeply understand customer power needs. It provides one-on-one energy-saving consulting, comprehensive energy efficiency analysis and other electricity services to solve customer electricity problems, help enterprises optimize energy consumption methods, reduce energy costs, and inject sufficient electricity into efficient production. In 2022 alone, the total output value of the local fitness equipment industry was about 8.76 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.2 percent.

GT Voice: Probe of China’s shipyards sign of American peers’ bleak future

The Biden administration seems to see cracking down on the Chinese shipbuilding industry as a panacea for struggling shipyards in the US. However, isn't the idea of forcing China to take the medicine for what ails the US merely further evidence of the bleak future of the American shipbuilding sector?

A Sunday report by the Financial Times, citing industry insiders, said that the US investigation into the Chinese maritime, logistics and shipbuilding industries, which could lead to duties for Chinese-built ships calling at US ports, may help shipyards in South Korea and Japan, but will probably do little to boost US shipyards.

Professionals in the shipbuilding and maritime industries could easily see the absurdity of the US fantasy to revive its dormant shipyards by attempting to suppress China. Even if the US were to cause Chinese shipyards to lose orders through port charges, it would not benefit the struggling US shipbuilding industry. Instead, it would only lead to higher maritime trade costs for the US. 

The fact that even American shipowners are reluctant to place orders at home is sufficient evidence to indicate the lack of competitiveness of the industry. For nearly 100 years, a federal law known as the Jones Act has restricted water transportation of cargo between US ports to ships that are built by American shipyards. 

According to Clarksons Research, American shipowners own about 3,000 Jones Act vessels, with an average age of 23.7 years, compared with the global fleet average of 12.7 years. 

Due to high costs, American shipowners have been slow to update their fleets, with more than half of the vessels being more than 25 years old, and 700 vessels even being more than 50 years old.

Against this backdrop, instead of trying to improve its industrial competitiveness, the US is trying to contain China's manufacturing, a typical display of its hegemonic mindset. 

But the decline of the American shipbuilding industry cannot be reversed through protectionism or repression of others. The rise of China's shipbuilding industry is an indisputable fact, which has been verified by the market. In 2023, China's shipbuilding output climbed 11.8 percent year-on-year, accounting for 50.2 percent of the world's total, while new orders surged 56.4 percent, taking up 66.6 percent of the world's total, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

By comparison, US commercial shipbuilding capacity is only 0.13 percent of the global total, according to the US Naval Institute.

It is regrettable that the success of China's shipbuilding industry may have pricked some sensitive nerves in the US, leading to the accusation about China's "unfair, non-market policies and practices."

While there is nothing we can do about reviving the US shipbuilding industry, the fact that the decline has lasted for several decades may help relax the nerves of some people. How much worse could it be?

Let's clarify a few more facts. The decline of America's shipbuilding industry began in the 1980s, when American shipyards became dependent on government orders as the Reagan administration ended the commercial shipbuilding subsidy program in 1981. The 1980s saw the US shipbuilding industry shed 40,000 jobs, with the collapse of the commercial sector, according to Marine Link.

After that, Japan and South Korea dominated the global shipbuilding market for many years. It was not until 2010 that China's shipbuilding sector became a rising star in the global market. 

Is blaming China a tactic the shipbuilding industry uses to get government support? Don't industry players know how obsessed politicians in Washington are with the new topic of suppressing Chinese manufacturing and how evasive these people are about solving real industry problems?

This distorted attitude, which persists from the government to the industry, is perhaps the root cause of the downfall of the American shipbuilding sector. No one is willing to confront the real problems and find solutions, leading to an inevitable and self-inflicted decline in the industry.

Let's see if the US strategy of blaming China can revitalize the industry. However, it is highly likely that this will negatively affect the US shipping industry. Ultimately, the key to treating an illness lies in finding the right remedy, not in paranoia and blaming others.

Pakistan eyes green energy, technology cooperation with China in CPEC 2nd phase

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that China and Pakistan are deepening collaboration on the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with a focus on green energy and technology cooperation, among others.

Iqbal arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a visit, in the first high-level visit by a Pakistani official to China since Pakistan’s new government came to power. During the visit, Iqbal also held meetings with various Chinese officials. 

“China is a historical friend of Pakistan, and has supported us in difficult times,” Iqbal said as he arrived in Beijing, according to a press release sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

Iqbal said that in the first phase of the CPEC, Pakistan’s energy and infrastructure sectors were upgraded, and in the second phase, the agriculture, industry, green energy and technology sectors will be promoted.

In terms of green energy cooperation, Iqbal said in a meeting with China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong in Islamabad on Tuesday that Pakistan’s aim is to establish industrial zones for the manufacturing of electric cars in collaboration with China, leveraging Pakistan's competitive advantages to reduce overall production costs and create employment opportunities for Pakistani workers, according to a separate press release. 

During meetings in Beijing, Iqbal also reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the high-quality development of the CPEC, outlining future cooperation in such priority sectors as information technology, agriculture modernization, textiles, minerals and renewable energy.

Iqbal also revealed details about enhanced security measures taken by Pakistan to ensure the security of Chinese personnel, according to the press release. 

Chinese EV maker Zeekr sees share price surge 35% at NYSE debut

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Zeekr Intelligent Technology Holding Ltd (Zeekr) on Friday saw its share price soar 34.57 percent at the close of its opening day on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The surge came after a report on Friday stating that the Biden administration is planning to levy tariffs on Chinese EVs and other high-tech industries.

The US capital market response suggested that good quality and reasonably priced EVs remain in good demand, a rebuttal of the alleged "overcapacity" narrative targeting Chinese green energy products, observers noted.

Zeekr's stock price finished at $28.26 at Friday's close, $7.26 above its opening price of $21. It was reportedly the largest stock price increase among Chinese companies listing at the NYSE in three years.

Zeekr is a premium brand owned by Chinese automaker Geely which also owns Sweden's Volvo and the UK's Lotus. As of December 31, 2023, Zeekr has shipped a total of 196,633 vehicles, a majority of which are in the Chinese market, the company's file submitted to US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

In terms of US' potential tariff increase to be imposed on Chinese EVs, Wu Shuocheng, a veteran automobile industry analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday that the export volume of Chinese EVs to US market is "negligible" at present, and the export restriction may cause little impact to Chinese EV industry in short period.

And, multiple Chinese automakers are ramping up their overseas expansions in Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Chinese EV giant BYD announced in February this year that it had signed a preliminary sales and purchase agreement with the municipality of Szeges in Hungary.

In the first four months of 2024, sales of new vehicles by Chinese EV brands in Brazil market hit 48,000, jumping by eight times from the same period in 2023, according to STAR Market Daily.

Transcript on Ren’ai Jiao ‘new model’ is real; Philippines breaches commitment: source

The Philippine government has been overdrawing on its reputation and national credibility on issues related to the South China Sea, saying one thing and doing another and constantly flip-flopping, Chinese analysts said after Philippine officials accused China of "violating wiretapping law" over a phone conversation in which a Philippine navy official agreed to a "new model" for resupply missions concerning Ren'ai Jiao.

A transcript of the supposed recording of a phone call between the Chinese side and the Philippines' Western Command (WESCOM) Commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos on January 3 was revealed by media in recent days, in which Carlos agreed to a "new model" for resupply missions concerning Ren'ai Jiao. 

The transcript which documented the phone conversation between the Chinese side and Carlos on January 3 has been confirmed to be true, the Global Times has learned from a source familiar with the affair on Wednesday. Following the conversation, the Philippine side adhered to the "new model" in the subsequent resupply mission, only delivering essential daily supplies to the grounded warship, and notified the Chinese side in advance.

Based on the "new model" arrangement and humanitarian principle, the Chinese side permitted the Philippine resupply operation, said the source. 

However, thereafter, the Philippine side reneged on its promise. Not only did it fail to notify the Chinese side in advance of its resupply activities, but it also attempted to transport construction materials to the illegally grounded vessel, deliberately causing trouble and maliciously hyping up the situation. 

The China Coast Guard has firmly restricted the Philippine's illegal resupply activities, according to the source.

On Wednesday, Philippine defense chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr. told reporters that the audio recording had "violated" the country's Anti-Wire Tapping Law.

Teodoro also claimed that they are leaving the department of Foreign Affairs to find out the truth behind the incident, threatening that the person responsible for the recording will "be expelled," according to media reports. 

Teodoro's remarks sound more like chicanery when facing undeniable facts, as the transcript of the "new model" is true, said Chinese analysts.

At a press conference on May 6, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian also gave a briefing on the situation, saying that early this year, the Chinese and Philippine sides agreed on a "new model" for resupply missions concerning Ren'ai Jiao after multiple rounds of discussions through diplomatic channels and the Armed Forces of the Philippines WESCOM.

The Philippine military made repeated confirmations that the "new model" had been approved by all key officials in the Philippines chain of command, including the Secretary of National Defense and the National Security Advisor. On February 2, the Philippines carried out one resupply mission under this "new model" before abandoning it, said Lin. 

The Chinese proverb "listen to what they say, watch what they do" seems fitting when considering the recent reactions of senior officials in the Philippines. It appears that the country has habitually been overdrawing on its government's reputation and national credibility on relevant issues, saying one thing and doing another, presenting one face in public and another in private, constantly flip-flopping, Ding Duo, a deputy director of the Institute of Maritime Law and Policy at the China Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times. 

In addition to China, other regional countries and the international community have sufficient reason to believe that "political commitments" made by the Philippine government are no longer credible, and that the Philippines is perceived as an untrustworthy nation in international relations, said Ding.