Dec 05
Chengdu establishes China’s first 5G demonstration zone
5G communication technology
5G communication technology is superior to the current 4G technology in three ways - it has an ultra-low latency of one millisecond, the internet speed supported by 5G is a hundred times faster than that of 4G, and it can enable up to 1 million connections per square kilometer.
Besides Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu, 5G has been put into practice in multiple areas of the city, including a software park, a China Mobile office, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, while 5G technology will be put into commercial use around the world in 2020.
The new 5G demonstration zone is a test area for 5G communication technology. According to an employee of the Chengdu branch of China Mobile, with 5G technology, people can download a blueray-quality movie within a minute, which usually takes half an hour or longer with 4G.
Also, in the experimental area, people can witness dinosaurs strolling down the street after putting on a helmet with Mixed Reality (MR) technology, and see the adorable giant pandas in real time with the help of 5G and the 360-degree virtual reality (VR) cameras located several kilometers away.
(source: en.people.cn, December 04, 2018)
Dec 03
Chengdu's all-day snacks
Sichuan cuisine is known for its mala quality, a numbing spiciness that comes from the prolific use of its famous peppercorns. But Sichuan food is not just about heat. It includes a much broader spectrum of flavors, and this is best showcased by its vast variety of street snacks.
In Chengdu alone, you can be eating street food from morning till midnight, and you'd have just skimmed the surface of the available choices.
Chengdu's all-day snacks
chengdu cuisinedumpling
Chengdu loves a good skewer of meat or vegetables, which they call chuanchuan (above); Zhongshuijiao (above right) are dumplings served in hot oil. Photos Provided to China Daily
Let's take a trip, which begins with a leisurely cup of tea in the park, where pavilions and booths selling hot tea are a common sight. A lidded bowl of tea here is a morning ritual, and you sip it slowly, catching up on the day's news with a newspaper, or settling down as a friendly old man cleans your ears for a small fee.
He uses a bamboo sliver with a scooped edge, so tiny it looks like a caviar spoon. He would methodically clean your ears, and then brush it clean with another bamboo stick, this time tipped with a tiny clump of downy feathers.
Hot tea and ear-cleaning services - an odd but irresistible combination.
Now that you can hear perfectly, it's time to sally forth in search of breakfast.
Start with a bowl of soft, savory bean curd. The tender, custardlike curds are topped with pickled vegetables for a bit of crunch and then drizzled with hot oil.
Those with a sweet tooth can choose to eat their curds sweet, with a ladleful of brown sugar syrup. The curds are beloved in Sichuan, where they call it bean curd flower.
Or breakfast can be a bowl of noodles, if you can decide which variety you prefer.
chengdu snack
There are the famous dan-dan noodles with savory meat sauce, little bowl noodles with tailor-made condiments that include sesame paste, soy, chili oil, herbs and Sichuan peppercorns, or the "sweet-water" noodles that are served with a sugary but spicy hot bean paste.
Chengdu folks have a fondness for innards, and a popular choice any time of the day is noodles served with chunks of large intestines doused with chili oil to help mask the gaminess.
Dumplings are also popular in Chengdu, and there are two or three very famous choices.
Hongyou chaoshou are large wanton dumplings served in a vinegary sauce spiced up with chili and Sichuan peppercorns. Named after the bright red sauce, these soft-skinned dumplings are fiery favorites.
chengdu snack
Zhongshuijiao are also dumplings served in hot oil, but they're shaped differently.
Apart from noodles and dumplings, Chengdu loves a good skewer of meat or vegetables. They call these chuan-chuan.
Bamboo sticks are used to string up all sorts of ingredients and cooked in a spicy broth. These are then piled into a large basin and placed on the table. Diners pick out their favorites and then pay for what they eat.
There is also something called maocai, which is a selection of food such as fish, prawns, pork, beef, chicken or mutton cut up in slices or pieces. You choose your meat and add vegetables or tofu. The platter is then handed over to the cook, who then cooks up everything the way you want it, with the seasoning you prefer.
This stir-fry special is a city favorite for lunch, dinner or late night supper. At the same stall, you can often find another interesting off-cut - deep-fried nuggets of brain.
chengdu snack
The brain has to be carefully cleansed of any blood vessels. It is blanched to firm it up and then coated in a crispy seasoned batter before being cooked in hot oil. For those who dare, the result is a crisp crunch at first bite, followed by the custardlike texture of the brains.
Those with a taste for the even more exotic can try another Chengdu specialty, spicy rabbit heads.
chengdu snack
These skeletal tidbits are a favorite street-side snack, although it is a bit disconcerting to see pretty Sichuan lasses munching happily on a rabbit skull spotted with chili flakes.
Compared with this, the next Chengdu dish is positively tame. Granny's pig trotters are pig's feet cooked till they are fall-apart tender. They come in a thick soup, but you eat them dipped into spicy chili oil - what else?
Sometimes, the name intrigues more than the dish. "Lung slices by husband and wife" is one. It is a delicious stir-fry using beef, tongue, heart, tripe and intestines and the only organ it does not include is lung.
Still, misnomer or not, it remains one of the most popular dishes on the streets.
After the skewers and meats, Chengdu foodies love their desserts.
Glutinous rice balls are cooked in boiling syrup till they turn golden brown. They are then drained and cooled until a brittle sugar crust forms. Hongtang guozi, or brown sugar rice balls, are then sold skewered onto bamboo sticks.
They must be eaten hot, so the sugar crust crackles in the mouth, exposing the soft, hot glutinous centers.
Another dessert that Chengdu children of all ages love is something called three cannonballs, also made of glutinous rice flour.
Cooked rice flour balls are bounced onto a dough board where cymbals are placed. The balls hit the cymbals before ricocheting into a basin full of toasted soy bean flour.
Customers buy these snacks more for the acrobatic skills of the vendor than the actual dumpling, but that's where the fun lies.
chengdu snack
The candy artist also sells his skills and delights in exhibiting them. Using a special funnel, he draws with heated caramel and artfully turns out flowers, butterflies or even dragons as his customers watch.
As the caramel hardens, the candy becomes edible art.
And finally, there are the jellies.
Wobbly cakes made from bean pastes and starches are eaten with sweet or spicy sauces. Collectively known as liangfen or cool cakes, the plain white cakes are made of potato starch, and the yellow cakes from mung beans.
There is also a transparent jelly made from fig sap known as bing liangfen or iced jelly. These are served cold with brown sugar syrup.
These are just some of Chengdu's street snacks. To fully savor the whole range, you'd have to get an airplane ticket and plan for a very long, very delicious holiday.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, November 30, 2018)
Nov 29
Experts surveyed on most attractive cities
The 2018 survey for the most attractive Chinese cities for expats officially kicked off.
The annual survey, organized by International Talent Magazine and China Society for Research on International Professional Personnel Exchange and Development, has served as an important window for expatriates to learn about China. It is the only national survey participated in exclusively by foreign experts working and living in China, including Nobel Prize laureates and Chinese Friendship Award recipients. The annual survey began in 2010 and is now in its eighth year.
As of last year, Shanghai has topped the list five times in a row, having scored highest both in working and living environments. For the list of most attractive cities in western China, Chengdu has led the race two years in a row.
Chengdu most attactive citiesChengdu most attactive cities
Economic reasons continue to dominate the list of reasons why expats choose to work in China. Employment opportunities were voted as the reason to come to China by 57.2 percent of voters. More than half of respondents, 55.3 percent, took urban environment and pollution into consideration when choosing a city to work in China.
Climbing up the career ladder and enhancing working environments was a core need for expats. 39.1 percent of voters hoped to work in China in the long term. 71.6 percent were satisfied with their pay, and 36.1 percent expressed a willingness to stay in China for the long run.
This year's survey, the ninth of its kind, is more engaging and targeted. Top ten nominees were selected by Nobel Prize laureates and Chinese Friendship Award recipients, as well as renowned expats living and working in China. Four indexes will be looked at, namely policy, governmental environment, working and living conditions. Furthermore, Chinese cities with the most potential will also be selected.
The survey will also work closely with "city openness and talent recruitment" to showcase the effort China has made to attract foreign talent, as well as the preferences expats have when working or starting business in China, so as to put more emphasis on building an environment to attract more high-level expats to come to China.
This year's survey results will be released in April 2019.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, October 30, 2018)
Nov 27
Sichuan to roll out more steps for non-public enterprises
Sichuan province's efforts to attract more private entrepreneurs have got off to a good start with a substantial growth in the number of private enterprises at the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Chengdu.
The free trade zone, which was set up on April 1, 2017, has till date attracted investment from 44,400 firms with a total registered capital of nearly 543 billion yuan ($78 billion).
Among the newly established firms, 522 are foreign-funded, accounting for more than one-third of the foreign-funded firms set up in Sichuan since April 2017, according to data from the provincial government. Prominent among them is Allergan, a US-based pharmaceutical company which has set up an innovation center in the FTZ.
Accounting for less than 0.025 percent of the land area in Sichuan, the FTZ is now seen as an inland vanguard in the province's opening to the outside world, said Sheng Yi, former president of the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences.
In addition to market potential, investors attribute the influx of firms in the zone to its advantageous business environment and convenient transportation links.
Tianfu New Area
The pilot zone covers nearly 120 square kilometers, with 100 sq km in Chengdu and the rest in Luzhou. The zone's Chengdu section has advantages such as aviation and railway transportation, while the Luzhou section has a port connecting the Yangtze River to the East China Sea.
The Chengdu section will stress on development of the modern services sector, high-end manufacturing, high-tech and airport-related business, said Tang Limin, chief of the General Office of the Sichuan provincial government.
Xu Xin, the manager of a catering chain said he got a food management permit to start a new restaurant in the Chengdu part of the zone in just two days.
Since its debut in the Chengdu part of the zone in early 2017, the southwest operation center of dhgate.com, which helps small- and medium-sized enterprises in Sichuan to sell their commodities to some 130 countries and regions, has witnessed a rise of 300 percent in its business volume and a drop of around 30 percent in its logistics fees in the past 18 months.
Its general manager Zhu Rong said the growth has been largely due to the facility's proximity to the Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu. With 111 international routes, the Chengdu airport handles 5 million visitors a year.
Liu Xing, head of the Sichuan provincial department of commerce, said the approval procedure for newly established firms in various parts of the zone will be simplified further in order to attract more private entrepreneurs.
Tianfu New Area
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, November 27, 2018)
Oct 31
Chengdu to create better conditions for international students
Luo met and chatted with 60 international students from 30 countries at the meeting, talking about their study and life in Chengdu. The students came from seven universities in Chengdu, including Sichuan University, University of Electronic Science and Technology, Southwest Jiaotong University, and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.
"Apart from the current scholarships for international students, we will carry out more favorable policies and provide a better studying and living environment," said Luo.
Luo said he hoped that the international students build a bridge of friendship between Chengdu and their home cities, and he also welcomed the students to work or start a business in Chengdu for a shared future.
Veronika Krasnova, who came to Chengdu from Russia last year to study Chinese at Southwest Jiaotong University, said she had met a lot of new friends and had great experience in the city.
"Although I often miss my motherland, Chengdu has become my second hometown, and Southwest Jiaotong University is my second home," she said.
Julien Michel Turlan, who came from France three years ago to study Chinese translation, said he chose Chengdu because of its beautiful scenery and delicious food, as well as its fascinating history and culture.
According to Luo, the mayor, Chengdu is a historical and cultural city and is developing at a high speed. Last year, Chengdu's GDP reached 1.39 trillion ($199.5 billion), ranking second among the provincial capital cities and eighth among all cities in the country.
"Chengdu is also a city with openness and inclusiveness, a city with livability and vitality, and a city full of development potential," he said.
Backed by the great opportunity to implement the "Belt and Road" Initiative, Chengdu is deepening its opening up and becoming more international in an all-round way. The city is expanding international exchanges and cooperation in areas including culture and education, and is attracting an increasing number of international students.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, October 30, 2018)
Oct 26
Beautiful, liveable metropolis takes shape
Chengdu expects to become a world-class city through sustainable development by 2050, according to the Overall Urban Development Plan of Chengdu (2016-2035).
In Chengdu there is a huge "garden" — Longquan Mountain Urban Forest Park. According to the plan, Longquan Mountain will become a world-class green center and international "living room" for the city.
The forest coverage of the park is expected to reach 70 percent, equivalent to 107.6 square feet of forest for each citizen. It will give the city's residents more convenient access to recreational areas and a better quality of life. Wang Shibin, director of the park's management committee, said he feels a heavy responsibility on his shoulders to oversee the plan's implementation.
He said one of the key missions was to build more attractions and plant more green vegetation, adding that the area of newly-built green space in the Longquan Mountain park had reached 1,333 hectares.
Some 24.9 miles of mountain roads and 124.3 miles of greenway, as well as sightseeing platforms, will be finished this year in the park. The mountain roads will be constructed in late March, Wang added.
Tianfu Greenway is another major programme. The project, which began in 2017, is to be completed by 2035. By then, a greenway stretching 10,501 miles will cross the whole city, covering 3.46 million acres in area.
Ecological zones, parks, small gardens and grasslands will be connected via the greenway, transforming the metropolis into a huge garden. It will serve multiple functions, including ecological protection.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, March 20, 2018)
Lush city greenway to revitalize Chengdu
Proud of its reputation as China's happiest city for many years, Chengdu aims to develop itself into a beautiful, livable and ecologically-friendly city in the near future and a world-famous city with sustainable development by 2050.
Besides pandas and its signature spicy Sichuan cuisine, Chengdu wants to create a new brand for itself - the Tianfu Greenway.
The greenway will feature lush trees, flowers and rivers and will contribute greatly to boosting the city's ecological civilization and green development.
The project is scheduled to complete by 2035. By then, a greenway stretching 16,900 kilometers will cross the whole city covering 14,000 square kilometers, transforming the metropolis into a huge garden.
"Residents will benefit most from the project," said Gao Jing, president of the architectural landscape section of the Sichuan Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute. "It will leave a permanent green space that can be passed down from generation to generation."
The wetlands, lakes and forests dotted around the city will be connected via the greenway. It will also link urban and rural areas, Gao said.
The Tianfu Greenway will serve multiple functions, including ecological protection, encouraging more people to walk or ride a bike, casual sightseeing, rural revitalization, cultural creativity, sports, agricultural landscaping and emergency shelter.
Zhang Qiao, director of Chengdu Urban and Rural Construction Commission, said the greenway will change the way people travel around the city.
"The greenway is designed to link buses and subways so people can use it to walk to find a station easily before making their longer journeys," Zhang said.
Public service facilities and communities will also be linked by the greenway, he added.
Chengdu's unique culture, such as its close association with pandas and strong links with the ancient kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) will be integrated into the greenway.
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The Jinjiang Greenway, initiated in late 2017, will focus on the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, one of the major ancient water conservation projects of China.
Chengdu's Tianfu Hibiscus Garden, which is set to open in May, part of the Tianfu Greenway, as an ideal place for residents and visitors alike to get back to nature among an array of flower displays.
City officials expect it to become the biggest hibiscus garden with the most diverse varieties of flowers and advanced technologies in the region.
Dating back to the time of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960), colorful hibiscus petals dressed the city walls of Chengdu, with many nicknaming it The Hibiscus City. The government wants to restore that reputation.
"The aroma of flowers will never fade despite the season, due to carefully chosen flower varieties by professionals," said Tian Weilong, general manager of the southwestern region of COFCO Property.
More than 20,000 hibiscuses from about 30 varieties, together with other 300 plants have been planted in the garden, he added. It will also be equipped with commercial streets for shopping and dining, featuring local specialties such as hibiscus soup, hibiscus chicken and hibiscus tofu.
Sports facilities are also under construction with events including an international marathon and a road bicycle race to be held this year on the Tianfu Greenway.
As of the end of January, a total of 785 km of the greenway had been completed. Even though it is not yet complete, the area has become a success in attracting many people to the new landmark of the city.
A logo for the greenway was released last month featuring a sunbird, hibiscus and gingko pattern - all representative elements of Chengdu.
"The financial benefits brought by the construction of the greenway will far exceed the project's investment," said Ren Zhineng, chairman of the board of Chengdu's Better City, an investment company. "At the same time, it will bring social and environmental benefits."
By 2020, a total 840 km of regional level greenways will be completed, together with 2,400 km of city and community level greenways. By 2025, the length of regional level greenways will stretch 1,920 km and the length of city and community level greenways will increase to 8,680 km.
(source: chinadaily.com.cn, March 12, 2018)
Ancient Chengdu on track to be a global metropolis
Chengdu's spirit of innovation goes back almost as far as the city's history itself.
During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), Li Bing, a local governor, ordered to build the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
The system enabled Chengdu's people to manage the irrigation of their land and helped the region develop steadily. It eventually became known as Tianfu, or the land of plenty.
In recent years, Chengdu has drawn heavily on its cultural heritage as a promotional tool. For example, cultural blocks and towns highlighting the characteristics of ancient Chengdu have been designed to attract tourists from around the world.
The city now plans to push on with projects such as Tianfu Jincheng, a themed town; Tianfu Museum of Nature; Tianfu Culture International Centre and Shaocheng International Cultural and Creative Silicon Valley.
Tianfu Jincheng aims to recover the ancient glamour of the city's cultural urban blocks and old towns, such as Chunxi Road and the Wide and Narrow Alleys.
Two music industry parks in the Shaocheng Silicon Valley opened in December, 2017. Chengdu is well placed to build an international metropolis for music, local officials said.
Chengdu is also endowed with resources that make it an international tourist destination, the most obvious of these being its iconic panda. Just as people worldwide have come to identify the panda as an emblem of China, many Chinese regard Chengdu as the animal's hometown. The panda is one of the key attractions for tourists who descend on the city, but local officials are intent on expanding its panda culture and creating better tourism services relating to the animal.
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In addition, Chengdu will support the development of independently organized tours and medical tours, as well as study tours relating to science and technology, and old industrial bases. As the city presses on with improving its comprehensive transport network that includes airports, highways and high-speed and intercity railways, more facilities to link tourist areas are being built.
The city has also set up a convenient shopping payment and tax rebate system for overseas tourists. Visitors can exchange foreign currencies at major tourism spots, hotels and shopping centers, and payment via smartphone is ubiquitous.
In recent years, Chengdu has hosted the World Snooker Championship, the International Universities Rowing Competition and the Chengdu Dubai International Cup in horse racing, and this has added to its expertise in hosting major international sports events.
Since ancient times Chengdu and its surrounding area have been regarded as a prosperous region. Today they have become a logical choice for anyone who is keen on excellent food and having many leisure options at their disposal.
The booming local food industry is a significant brand for the city. Chengdu has been awarded the title of City of Gastronomy by UNESCO, the first city in Asia to win the honour. Chengdu will use food as a calling card to attract more people to visit, taste and start their businesses in the city.
Relying on its attractive tourism, food, culture and infrastructure, Chengdu will ramp up the development of its conference industry and build itself into a model in China for event services.
(source: www.chinadaily.com.cn, January 23, 2018)
Pandas have fun in the snow
Pandas like snow and bamboo. The recent snow is not only a New Year gift for Chengdu, a city which rarely sees snow, but also good news for the fuzzy black-and-white snow fans.
Ten pandas live at the 1.3-square-kilometer research base. They enjoy the good air quality, high hills, and deep valleys located in the upper reach of the Yangtze River and each has its own "private garden" equipped with uneven beds, trees, and various toys like balls.
(source: en.people.cn, January 9, 2018)
Oct 23
Chengdu International Freight Trains: From “economic transportation” to “transportation economy”
In 2013, the first Chengdu- Łódź freight train departed from the capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province. Few expected that within five years, Chengdu would become the hub of the New Eurasian Land Bridge, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
By September 2018, five years after the Belt and Road Initiative was first put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping, over 2,700 freight trains transported a total of $10 billion worth of goods including electronics, automobile parts, clothes, and food products back and forth from Chengdu to Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia.
The freight rail lines have become an intercontinental rail network connecting Chengdu with 20 international cities including Łódź of Poland, Nuremberg of Germany, Tilburg of Netherlands and 14 Chinese cities including Shanghai and Shenzhen.
It's different from coastal cities like Shenzhen where China's reform and opening up began forty years ago. In comparison, development and the opening up process for western China's inland cities such as Chengdu progressed at a much slower pace. However, with the outreach of its international freight train network, Chengdu has managed to break its geographic limitations and has bridged itself with the coast through its rail-sea cargo route to Southeast Asia and cities like Shanghai, Ningbo, and Tianjin, reaching even further east to South Korea and Japan.
During a research trip made by Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng to the Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area of the China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Chengdu on Oct. 9, Han said the construction of land-sea transport in western regions should advance through the Chengdu-Europe express railway service. This would achieve connectivity and lift the level of development and opening-up throughout western regions.
With a substantial boost in railway exports, tech giants like Dell and TCL have seen rapid growth in production output from their Chengdu bases, with increases of 140 percent and 99 percent respectively.
"International freight trains have opened a strategic gateway to strengthen cooperation of Chengdu and China with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative," said Zeng Yi, Director of the International Relationship Department of the Chengdu International Railway Port Committee. She continued, "Chengdu, an inland city not geographically bordering any countries or coastline, has become a forefront of China's further opening up to the south and west."
To plan ahead, Chengdu International Railway Port will work with more countries and cities to extend the reach of its freight train routes. Trains running from Bremen to Chengdu and trains running from Chengdu to Budapest will soon begin trial operations. Up north, more return trips to and from Russia are also scheduled to boost trade of wood and paper pulp.
However, Chengdu is not only focused on the business of transportation. Integrated development of transportation, ports, logistics, trade, finance, and industry is coming to Sichuan Province. Chengdu, with the surrounding Chengdu Plain historically known as the "Country of Heaven," showcases its new calling card as a modern trade hub that has transformed its international freight train network from "economic transportation" to "transportation economy."
(source: en.people.cn, October 16, 2018)