Family trees popular among Chinese








>>  U.S. should honor commitment of taking no sides

on Asian-Pacific maritime disputes: Chinese envoy

By Lin Zhifei

A Chinese diplomat on Friday of April 4 urged the United States to faithfully honor its commitment of taking no sides on maritime disputes in the Asia-Pacific and refrain from emboldening certain countries to make further provocations.

Wu Xi, minister of the Chinese Embassy, made the remarks when delivering a speech at George Mason University in Virginia on building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States.

She was reacting to statements by some U.S. officials, who groundlessly criticized China for taking “provocative and destabilizing” actions in the South China Sea and compared the situation there with the crisis in Crimea, a Ukrainian autonomous region that has recently joined Russia.

Last Saturday, a Philippine ship slipped past the blockade by Chinese Coast Guard vessels and reached the Ren’ai Reef, historically a part of Chinese territory, to deliver supplies to soldiers on a grounded Philippine warship.

Wu pointed out that maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region serves the common interests of China, the United States and other regional countries.

“Issues such as the East China Sea and the South China Sea concern China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. We hope the U.S. will approach relevant issues in an objective, just, and balanced way,” she said.

The diplomat chided Washington for sending out “misleading messages” by failing to honor its promise not to take a position on sovereignty issues through siding with the Philippines over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

She also criticized the United States for turning a blind eye to the provisions clearly stated in the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), reached by China and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) in 2002, and fabricating ones that are not in the document.

“There’s not a single word (in the DOC) that permits replenishment or building facilities on illegally occupied islands and reefs. The DOC makes it clear that disputes concerning territory and sovereignty should be solved peacefully through friendly negotiations and consultations by sovereign states directly concerned,” Wu said.

“If the U.S. sincerely wants to safeguard peace and stability in the region, it should faithfully honor its commitment of not taking sides on sovereignty issues. In particular, the U.S. side should stop making irresponsible remarks, and avoid” emboldening some countries to make further provocations.

At the same time, Wu hailed the “great achievements” in the China-U.S. ties since last June’s historic summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama at the Sunnylands estate in California.

The agreement reached by the two leaders on working together to build a new model of major-country relationship “provides strategic direction and guidance” for the development of the bilateral ties, Wu said.

However, it needs concerted efforts by both sides to achieve the goal of building a new model of relationship, which is free from conflict or confrontation, based on mutual respect, and aimed at win-win cooperation, she said.

“China and the U.S. should keep up close high-level contacts, expand economic, trade and investment cooperation, increase military-to-military exchanges, carry out positive interaction in the Asia-Pacific, and enhance consultation and coordination on international and global issues,” Wu added.







>>  China hopes Afghan election marks new start for unity, stability

By Yang Yijun

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Saturday of April 5 China hopes Afghanistan’s presidential election will be a new start for the country’ s unity and stability.

As Afghanistan’s friendly neighbor, China respects the Afghan people’ s choice, Hong said in a statement, noting that China noticed the election is generally smooth.

China hopes relevant sides in Afghanistan will properly handle differences through dialogue so as to realize broad-based and inclusive peace and reconciliation at an early date, said the spokesman.

The polling for Afghanistan’s presidential election concluded on Saturday and counting of ballots has begun, the country’s election officials said.







>>  China names 34,282 WWII slaves to Japan

By Cheng Zhuo

A list of the names of 34,282 Chinese people forced into labor in Japan during World War II was published by a Chinese museum on Saturday of April 5.

The complete list is available at the website of Beijing’s Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

According to a museum statement, the list was complied in 1964 by a Japan-based society which collected the names of Chinese war casualties.

The museum scanned the document and made a digital version open to the public for reference. The list is being made public for the first time.

Last year, the museum issued material regarding Chinese forced laborers in Japan, including 405 archives of information about 124 forced labor camps administered by 35 Japanese enterprises.

The museum received many requests from slaves’ families, who wanted to check the record and look for their relatives’ names. To avoid damage to the precious record, the museum has decided not to make the hard copy available to the public.






>>  60th anniversary of Five Principles of Peaceful

Coexistence marked in Myanmar

A public speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence was held at the Myanmar-Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Yangon on Saturday of April 5.

The event, organized by the Myanmar-China Friendship Association, was attended by Yangon Region Chief Minister U Myint Swe and officials of the Yangon region government, representatives from Interfaith Dialogue Group (IDG) and merchants from Myanmar- Chinese Chamber of Commerce totaling about 500.

U Myint Swe underlined that the commemoration of introduction of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is of very significant, commenting that although the three countries’ prime ministers — Zhou Enlai (China), U Nu (Myanmar) and Nehru (India), have passed away, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, advocated by them, still remain alive.

Chairman of the IDG U Sein Win Aung said that under then complicated international situation, leaders of Myanmar, India and China advocated the Five Principles of Peace Coexistence to prevent the outbreak of new war and conflicts, and safeguard world peace.

U Sein Win Aung, who is also chairman of the Myanmar-China Friendship Association and a retired ambassador, said the five principles have been accepted by Bandung Conference as well as the international community and become important norms of international relations.

U Hla Maung, a patron of the IDG, also a retired ambassador, held that the five principles were of grave significance for they helped to prevent, to some extent, the outbreak of World War III, and contributed to world peace.

Daw Kathleen Thein, a member of the IDG, called for safeguarding the five principles and imparting the principles to the younger generations.

Other speakers include writer Thaung Wai Oo, who is a retired colonel, and U Than Lwin, who is vice President of Kanbawza Bank and IDG member.

As early as in 1954, three countries, China, Myanmar and India jointly advocated the Five Principles for Peaceful Coexistence and in 1955 the five countries initiated the Bandung Conference.







>>  Myanmar parliament speaker vows

to safeguard friendly relations with China

Speaker of Myanmar’s Union Parliament and the House of Representatives (Lower House) U Shwe Mann vowed on Saturday of April 5 to safeguard and develop the friendly and cooperative ties with China.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Xinhua before his upcoming official visit to China, Shwe Mann recalled that Myanmar and China have as always maintained friendly relations in the past and such relations are still going on at present.

Commenting on the present status of Myanmar-China bilateral ties and future prospect, he expressed belief that the two countries’ friendly ties can get consolidated and developed.

Shwe Mann disclosed that the aim of his China visit is to promote China-Myanmar friendship and cooperation, increase exchange between Myanmar’s parliament and the Chinese People’s Congress, then enhanced friendship and cooperation will be brought about between the two governments and the two peoples.

Replying question related to Myanmar-China economic and trade ties, Shwe Mann said the two countries’ economic cooperation is good, underlining that China is still Myanmar’s top investor.

He stressed the need to maintain such economic ties to pave way for increased cooperation and investment in the future, while emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability, then such ties could be promoted.

Answering questions raised by other media, Shwe Mann spoke highly of China’s reform, saying that China has developed through reform and similarly, Myanmar needs to follow suit.

He particularly stressed that there is no reason that Myanmar’s reform changes the China-Myanmar friendly relations, reiterating that China is Myanmar’s good neighbor and good friend.







>>  EU-China relationship to enter new phase: European expert

By Jiang Li

The relationship between the European Union (EU) and China will enter a new phase based on “economic cycle,” a European expert has said, commenting on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Europe.

Against the backdrop of China’s reform and Europe’s gloomy economy, bilateral trade would grow on the basis of cyclical trend, Director of the European Center for International Political Economy Fredrik Erixon told Xinhua in a recent interview.

That means “a new phase where we are going to see trade grow at very low level,” but “economic reforms or trade deal negotiation of both sides will help the trend of bilateral trade climb up” in the future, he explained.

“It is the first occasion that they both signaled an interest to try to rekindle the relationship between the EU and China,” Erixon said, referring to Xi’s just-concluded visit to Europe.

He praised the two sides for clinching deals to end the trade disputes over European wine export to China and Chinese export of solar panels to Europe.

Negotiation and cooperation would bring benefits to both China and the EU, as long as “both sides take it step by step and make sure that they take the process forward,” Erixon said.

Talking about Xi’s wife Peng Liyuan, who accompanied her husband during the visit, Erixon said the first lady of China “tells the story about Chinese culture and expresses to the world what they are as Chinese people.”

“That is a strong soft power,” he added.

Xi concluded on Tuesday his 11-day visit to four European countries, namely the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium. He also visited the Brussels-based EU headquarters and attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.







>>  Chinese teenager seeks Botafogo contract

Brazilian giants Botafogo have invited promising Chinese teenager Tang Shi to join the club on trial with a view to securing the forward on a long-term deal.

Tang caught the eye of Botafogo talent scouts during a tour of Asia by the Rio de Janeiro club’s under-19 team last year.

The 17-year-old said he is relishing the chance to train with Botafogo’s first-team squad.

“It’s a big club, very professional and they train very hard,” he told Sportv. “Since I arrived they have treated me well and I’m happy here.”

Tang, who played in China with Shandong Luneng, has impressed his new Brazilian teammates with his pace and penchant for scoring.

He admitted to looking up to Botafogo’s Uruguay international midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro.

“I like the way he plays — he is fast and technically very good on the ball,” Tang said.

Despite having yet to play for the two-time Brazilian champions in an official match, he remains hopeful his time will come soon.

“I want to stay here at Botafogo. But I have to continue working hard to have a chance of playing,” he added.







>>  SriLankan Airlines commences direct flights to China

By Qian Chunxian and Jiang Xufeng

SriLankan Airlines will commence direct flights between Beijing, Shanghai and Sri Lanka this week after years of preparations, the airline announced.

The direct flights will allow passengers to fly directly to Sri Lanka from Beijing and Shanghai. Those heading for the Maldives will reach their destination with just one stop at either of the international airports in Sri Lanka.

SriLankan Airlines previously flew to China via Bangkok, with tourists heading for the Maldives filling many seats.

“We are excited about the direct services between Sri Lanka and China as this fortifies the future plans of SriLankan’s expansion into China, which is one of our key markets. We are looking at increasing the number of destinations as well as frequencies to more cities in China in the near future,” said Kapila Chandrasena, Chief Executive Officer of the airline.

An Airbus A330-200 will fly Colombo-Beijing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and Colombo-Shanghai on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.






>>  Malta, China commemorate ancestor festival, friendship

By Li Jia

Representatives of the Chinese embassy and the Maltese government joined together on the occasion of Chinese “Qingming” or tomb-sweeping festival on Saturday of April 5 to pay tribute to two fallen Chinese construction engineers in a wreath laying ceremony.

The commemorative activities are held by the Chinese Embassy in an annual ceremony that also symbolically marks the bond of friendship between the two countries, said Edward Scicluna, Maltese Finance Minister, while addressing at the ceremony in the archipelago’s Santa Lucija city.

Two Chinese engineers, Xu Huizhong and Gu Yanzhao, lost their young lives during the construction of the Number Six (or “Red China”) Dry Dock in the city following China’s grant of an interest-free development loan to Malta for use in the project in 1979.

The solemn occasion has become a tradition for the Chinese embassy to recognize the contribution made by the Chinese engineers to the Sino-Malta relations, China’s ambassador to Malta Cai Jinbiao said in his official remarks.

There is “No higher (mark of) friendship than shedding one’s blood to help another country,” Scicluna said, adding that the sacrifice came at a moment when Malta was changing its economy from the one based on war to on peace.

The Number Six Dry Dock has played a crucial role in Malta’s ship maintenance industry as well as the country’s economy as a whole.

Similar to Europe’s All Souls Day on Nov. 1, “Qinming” (April 5-7) is a three-day festival of remembrance of ancestors in China.

Also in attendance at the Addolorata Cemetery were the Santa Lucija Mayor, Frederick Cutajar, representatives from the Malta-China Friendship Society and other officials and guests.







>>  Family trees popular among Chinese

By Yuan Yue, Li Laifang, Sun Liangquan and Wang Jinghuai

Wang Rongduo has hosted dozens of visitors with the same surname as his over the past three years, but has not met anyone who shared the same ancestry as him.

Wang, in his 70s, lives in Binzhou City in east China’s Shandong Province. He knows the ancestors of residents in his village came from Hongtong in the northern Shanxi Province.

“Many visitors from Shandong or Hebei Province come to check their family trees with ours to see whether we shared the same ancestry,” said Wang.

A family tree includes the history of a family, names of members and family instructions passed from generation to generation.

“As people’s living standards improve, they have money and time to do such a thing,” he said.

There have been multiple migration flows throughout history. During migrations, some were separated from others belonging to the same clans.People turn to family trees to get a clue about who their ancestors are.

“This shows the increasing popularity of family trees,” said Chang Sixin, vice chairman of China Folk Literature and Art Society.

“Morally corrupt people are not qualified to be inscribed onto family trees,” Chang said. “Family trees urge people to have good virtues and behavior.”

“The concept of family can bring people some comfort as they migrate from one place to another during urbanization,” Chang added.

Electronic family trees attract the attention of the young. Some netizens put their family trees on the Internet and try to find people from the same ancestry.

This could be another direction for the family tree tradition to develop, according to Chang.







>>  Cameras prevent poaching in Tibetan reserve

By Li Laifang, Wang Jun and Liu Hongming

Four cameras at Tibet’s Mt. Qomolangma nature reserve will monitor key habitats 24 hours a day, said a senior reserve official on Saturday of April 5.

The reserve has spent one million yuan (162,000 U.S. dollars) on technology to stop poaching, said Puqung, deputy head of the reserve in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

Patrols and law enforcement in Mt. Qomolangma will also be stepped up to protect wild animals such as snow leopard, Tibetan wild ass and long-tail monkey.

The Qomolangma nature reserve, created in 1988, was recognized in 1999 by the United Nations as one of the world’s most successful examples of sustainable development. Covering 34,000 sq km, the reserve sits at an average altitude of 4,200 meters and is home to five of the world’s 14 tallest peaks.







>>  HK Customs seizes 2.49 mln HKD heroin at Shenzhen Bay Control Point

By Zhang Yashi

Hong Kong Customs Saturday said around 3.2 kg with a market value of about 2.49 million HK dollars (about 320,876 U.S. dollars) of suspected heroin were seized at Shenzhen Bay Control Point on Friday of April 4.

The customs officers intercepted an outgoing seven-seater private car at Shenzhen Bay Control Point for examination on Friday afternoon. A total of around 3.2 kg of heroin was found from the three female passengers onboard the car.

The three female passengers, aged 28, 30 and 34, claimed as university student, trader and clerk respectively, were arrested for suspected drug trafficking. The case is still under investigation.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, drug trafficking is a serious offense. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of 5 million HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.76 HK dollars)






>>  Tiger smuggler jailed in China

By Li Laifang and Zhou Jing

A Siberian tiger smuggler has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for illegally purchasing an endangered species, by a court in east China.

Wang, 31, a native of Jiangxi Province, was fined 50,000 yuan (8,000 U.S. dollars) by Lucheng District People’s Court in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province.

Wang and another man, Yang, were caught with the dead tiger on January 8 in downtown Wenzhou. Wang was captured by police but Yang fled.

Yang bought the tiger in Anhui Province on Jan. 5 for 190,000 yuan and transported it to Wenzhou, where he planned to sell it to Wang for 250,000 yuan.

The State Forestry Administration confirmed the animal, now in the refrigeration house of Wenzhou Zoo, was a Siberian tiger, but the cause of death and origin of the tiger were not specified as the seller in Anhui has not been found.

Yang, who has since been arrested, is awaiting trial in Wenzhou on the same charges.

Siberian tigers, one of the world’s rarest mammals, mainly live in eastern Russia, northeast China, and northern parts of the Korean Peninsula. Fewer than 500 Siberian tigers remain in the wild.

China puts its own number of wild Siberian tigers between 18 and 22.







>>  12 Chinese workers rescued after 85-hour tunnel ordeal

By Li Laifang, Duan Xu and Zong Wei

Twelve Chinese workers, trapped in a collapsed railway tunnel for more than 80 hours, were rescued on Saturday in northeast China’s Jilin Province.

A high-speed rail tunnel under construction in Hunchun City collapsed at about 2 a.m. on Wednesday when 12 workers were inside pouring concrete.

Rescuers made contact with the trapped workers and delivered food to them at 1:55 p.m. on Friday through a passage bored into the collapsed tunnel.









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