Mar 05
Kazakh singer hits perfect tune for 'I'm in China'
How does it feel for a foreigner to become famous in China? The 22-year-old Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergenov, who recently shot to fame in the country, may be the best person to provide the answer.
Kudaibergenov rose to fame in January when he first took part in "Singer 2017", a singing competition TV show. His voice instantly won hearts of Chinese audiences. Before he came to China one of his three wishes was to see pandas. And that came true on Saturday when he was named the ambassador for "I'm in China" in Chengdu in Southwest China's Sichuan province, the first stop of the "I'm in China" program.
"I'm in China" is a cultural exchanges project initiated by China International Communication Center and related institutions, in which foreign stars, online celebrities and volunteers will be invited to visit different places in China and experience local culture and custom. The opening ceremony of this event will be held in Chengdu on Friday. His other two wishes were taking part in the TV show and meeting Jackie Chan. Now all three have come true. But that's not all. He even got a chance to feed pandas, received a gift from Jackie Chan and became a household name after the contest.
"I'm grateful that the visit to Chengdu provided me with an opportunity of close contact with pandas. I hope I can travel across China to see its different landscapes," said Kudaibergenov. "I love China! I'm in China."
Apart from feeding pandas, Kudaibergenov was also invited to savor Sichuan hotpot, a famous local dish, and visit Wide and Narrow Alleys, where ancient buildings dating back to the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) are still preserved.
During the tour he also discovered the close cultural connection between China and Kazakhstan. "I was so impressed by the face changing art in Sichuan Opera and was surprised to see that costumes in Sichuan Opera share similar decorative designs with Kazakh dresses."
He said he was inspired by the tour and plans to hold a concert in Chengdu, a hometown of many Chinese pop stars and winners of talent shows. "The Kazakh people are very fond of Chinese culture, and I think people here will also enjoy our Kazakh culture."
Kudaibergenov was born in a family of singers and was the winner of the Grand Prix Slavic Bazaar 2015 in Vitebsk in Russia.
The organizer of "I'm in China" said the project is an innovative effort to introduce China to foreigners. Apart from stars like Kudaibergenov, all expats living in China are welcome to join the project and they can register through the organizer's official WeChat account.
(Source: chinadaily.com.cn, Feb. 20, 2017)
Feb 28
China's Sichuan Airlines to Deliver Boost for New Zealand Economy
WELLINGTON - China's Sichuan Airlines is to begin direct flights to New Zealand in June, providing a significant boost to the New Zealand economy, Auckland Airport officials said Wednesday.
Sichuan Airlines will operate between Auckland and Chengdu three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, using an A330-200 aircraft with direct flights taking 13 hours.
The service is expected to add 81,000 seats a year to and from China and deliver a boost of an estimated NZ$102 million ($73.1 million) to the New Zealand economy, airport acting aeronautical commercial general manager Scott Tasker said in a statement.
"Sichuan Airlines will provide the first direct flight from Chengdu to New Zealand and will cater for the growing numbers of Chinese visiting our country," said Tasker.
On average, each Chinese visitor spent about NZ$4,300 ($3,082) in New Zealand, according to government figures, and they were increasingly travelling more widely around the country, he said.
(Source: xinhuanet.com, Feb. 22, 2017)
Feb 24
Chengdu to Run 1,000 Cargo Trains to Europe in 2017
CHENGDU -- Southwestern China's city of Chengdu is expected to run 1,000 cargo trains to Europe in 2017, more than double the number last year, the Chengdu International Railway Services Company said Monday.
Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, ran 460 cargo trains to cities in Poland, the Netherlands and Germany last year -- more than any other Chinese city.
Chengdu delivered a total of 73,000 tonnes of goods worth 1.56 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 globally.
The southwestern hub has planned three major rail line services to Europe, with a middle route to Germany, Poland and the Netherlands, a southern route to Turkey and beyond, and another northern route to Russia.
This year, new routes linking Chengdu to Istanbul and Moscow will be officially launched, company chairman Fan Jun told Xinhua.
Fan said trains to Istanbul and Moscow would take about 16 days and 10 days, with each route planning to operate 200 and 150 trains in 2017, respectively.
Demand for rail cargo service between China and Europe, an alternative to slower and riskier sea freight and much costlier air cargo, has exploded in recent years.
By June 2016, trains had made nearly 2,000 trips between 25 Chinese cities and Europe, with a total import and export value of US$17 billion.
(Source: xinhuanet.com, Feb. 20, 2017)
Arts exchanges boost partnership
Chengdu has been making a name for itself in Western countries in recent years, as the city has moved to strengthen its cultural exchanges with the rest of the world.
Chengdu Week was held in Madrid in January as a major activity of the 2017 Happy Spring Festival in Spain, offering locals a feast of typical cultural elements from Chengdu.
The Happy Spring Festival is an annual event held by the Chinese embassy in Spain to celebrate the traditional Spring Festival holiday with overseas Chinese, locals and other visitors.
It was the first time that the Chinese embassy specially introduced a city to the traditional Lunar New Year celebration.
During the festival, classic regional art forms such as paper cutting, shadow plays and face changing opera performances were on display at the famous Plaza Mayor in Madrid.
"The performances are so amazing that I want to buy a ticket to Chengdu right now," said Manuela Carmena, mayor of Madrid, during the event.
Visitors could also have a taste of Chengdu's local snacks, such as Long Wonton, Zhong Dumpling, Dandan Noodle and baked egg cake.
Mayor Carmena said that the two cities share similarities in many aspects and she looks forward to deepening mutual exchanges and cooperation with Chengdu in more fields.
"Madrid is a city of tourism and arts, while Chengdu also boasts rich historical and cultural heritage. The two cities can have further exchanges in tourism and culture," she said.
Guillermo Ospina, who traveled to Madrid from New York for a vacation, was attracted by the interesting performances at the Plaza.
"It's so fascinating," said Ospina, holding a Chinese papercut in one hand and a pile of tourist handbooks in the other. "I haven't been to China before. I want to go to China this year, and Chengdu must be my first stop," he said.
Ospina said he also hoped that such activities can be held in New York some day.
Jose Alberto, a journalist from Madrid, said he was pleased to report and experience such wonderful activities.
"The traditional Chengdu arts and the giant pandas made me fall in love with the city. I would like to help more people discover the city and its charm," he said.
Alberto said he is also interested in unique Sichuan cuisine.
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Lyu Fan, Chinese ambassador to Spain, said the cooperation between Chengdu and Madrid holds great potential in fields such as tourism, the breeding of giant pandas and automobile manufacturing.
Madrid's zoo held a naming ceremony on Dec 12 for its latest baby panda, a day before the opening ceremony of the Chengdu Week festivities.
The 5-month-old female panda was named Chulina. It is the first female giant panda to be born at the zoo. Its parents came from Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in 2007.
Echoing Chengdu Week, the Madrid zoo held an art exhibition on giant pandas during the Happy Spring Festival. The exhibition displayed pictures and painted panda statues.
Chengdu has become more closely tied to Spain since a direct flight connecting Madrid and Chengdu was launched on Dec 17. A one-way trip takes about 13 hours.
(Source: China Daily, Februrary 6, 2017)
Feb 18
Chengdu to Add 100,000 Public Bikes in 2017
First introduced last November, the Sichuan capital's fleet of two wheelers will hit a quarter of a million this year, run by six different operators, including Mobike, Blue-Gogo, and Panda Bicycle.
The smart system used to operate the bikes involves users downloading relevant apps such as Mobike which locates the nearest available public bike and unlocks it. Once users have arrived at their destinations, they can lock the bike at which point payment is automatically deducted via the app.
The new fleet of bikes are currently in production, a task being carried out at the Hunan plant of Taiwan manufacturer Foxconn Hongfujin Precision Industry Co.
The tremendous increase of public bicycles goes some way, but not all, in encouraging the public to take greener forms of transport, with many residents complaining that the current fleet of 100,000 bikes is still underused.
Chengdu local Yang Tao complained that many of the bikes were just sat gathering dust.
In response, the government and its partners are seeking to increase the public's awareness of the true value and convenience of the new system.
Wang Dongquan, a spokesperson from Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike, said that the launch of public bikes is in accordance with big data research, and guaranteed that more bikes would only be introduced into the areas where they are needed.
"The key points of this system are the sharing economy which is environment friendly and greater convenience," said Lu Rongdong, deputy director of the Sichuan Economic Development Research Institute. "However, we need to be aware of preventing oversupply which could increase the city's administrative burden."
(Source: chinadaily.com.cn, February 10, 2017 )
Feb 09
Global Connections
Chengdu, a megacity in western China, is expanding its worldwide friendship circle to transform itself into an international metropolis.
A media delegation from the city made a trip to Pecs, Hungary in January, to strengthen mutual understanding between the two cities.
Chengdu and Pecs signed a memorandum of understanding in 2014 to establish friendly and cooperative relations. Zsolt Pava, mayor of Pecs, said he was looking forward to conducting further cooperation with Chengdu.
"We welcome tourists and businesspeople from Chengdu and I am looking forward to establishing a formal sister-city relationship with Chengdu," he said at the signing ceremony.
He said the city will attend the Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair in May to seek further cooperation opportunities.
Jozsef Bodis, the president of the University of Pecs, said the institution will send representatives to join the Pecs delegation in the Chengdu event.
He said that the two cities have great potential to cooperate in such fields as teaching, scientific research and the commercialization of scientific research achievements.
With its opening-up to the outside world, Chengdu has established sister-city relationships with an increasing number of international cities in recent years.
Currently it has 32 sister cities and has reached friendly cooperation agreements with another 41 cities.
Chengdu won the International Friendship-City Exchange and Cooperation Award for the third consecutive time during a recent selection by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and China International Friendship Cities Association.
The award is the highest honor in the country for cities that have contributed to friendly exchanges and cooperation between China and other parts of the world.
(Source: China Daily, Februrary 6, 2017)
Jan 31
Long Street Banquet held to celebrate New Year
The annual Long Street Banquet was held on Chengdu's Datong ancient street on Jan 19, spreading across 31 tables and feeding more than 300 people.
The banquet is held by Chengsu's tourism bureau each year for the empty-nest elderly, stay-at-home children, and sanitation workers.
Director of Yongxing community Huang Changqing said Datong County – especially its tourism – is thriving, thanks to the efforts and projects like this from the local community.
"We will keep promoting the county's tourism industry to help local residents increase income," said Huang.
Statistics show that an average of 20,000 tourists visited Datong County per month in 2016.
(Source: chinadaily.com.cn, January 22, 2017)
Jan 27
Outgoing Consul-General Brings Sichuan Delicacies Back Home
Nancy Gordon, the outgoing Australian consul-general in Chengdu, ended her tenure of over three years on Jan. 11. Before returning to her homeland, Gordon made sure to stock up on Sichuan delicacies.
Becoming the first consul-general in Chengdu in 2013, Gordon believes Chengdu is a city whose history and culture are both extensive and profound. Relations between Australia and Sichuan have improved significantly during Gordon's tenure, according to the departing official. She noted that over 130 Australian companies have invested in Sichuan, and Sichuan companies such as Tianqilithium and New Hope Group have made contributions to Australia's economic development. Bilateral exchanges in tourism, education, science and culture are expected to thrive in the coming years, she said.
Gordon disclosed that she planned to bring home several bags of Pixian bean paste, a Sanxingdui bronze sculpture replica and some green tea. She also bought 43 panda toys and table tennis paddles, which are her children's favorites.
(Source: People's Daily Online, January 12, 2017)
Jan 25
3M China West Region Technical Center completed in Chengdu
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) completed the construction of its West Region Technical Center in Chengdu on Jan. 18, Chinanews.com reported.
It's the company's fourth technical center in China, following those in Beijing, Guangzhou and Suzhou. The center covers an area of 3,600 sqm.
China is no doubt a key growth market for 3M, said Stephen Shafer, president of 3M Greater China Area. He noted that with the ongoing implementation of China's Belt and Road Initiative, together with western development strategy, 3M is surprised by the great potential and vitality shown in the western China market. 3M will seize the opportunity and accelerate its investment in this region, according to Shafer.
The completion of 3M's Western Region Technical Center will further strengthen the company's product development and research capabilities in China's western market, and help the corporation to forge closer ties with local clients.
The center will promote the development and transformation of related industry chains, and bring benefits to the economic development of China's western region, said Raymond Greene, consul general for the US in Chengdu. As one of the earliest foreign-owned enterprises to enter China, 3M has been in the Chinese market for more than 30 years.
(Source: People's Daily Online, January 19, 2017)
Jan 20
First IMAX 3D panda film starts shooting in SW China
Panda lovers can expect more spectacular views of the bear in cinemas as the first IMAX 3D panda documentary began filming on Tuesday in Sichuan.
"Return To Nature" documents the conservation, breeding and rehabilitation of giant pandas in a breeding base in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, and a research center in Dujiangyan City.
Drew Fellman is director of the film. Filming is expected to take nine months.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Canadian-based IMAX Corporation are cooperating on the film, which is funded by Global Cause Foundation, a U.S. non-profit.
Officials from the Chengdu research base said they hope the documentary can help promote protection of giant pandas as well as Chengdu's image as an international tourist destination featuring pandas.
The Global Cause Foundation has been working with the Chengdu base for years and has set up research projects to release pandas to the wild.
IMAX Corporation signed a deal with the Chengdu research base to shoot the panda documentary in October 2015.
(Source: xinhuanet.com, January 11th, 2017)