Archive for the Hangzhou Category

China’s new grand canal brings water to arid north [China Daily / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archive]

Posted in Beijing, China, CPC, Employment, Hangzhou, Henan Province, Mao Zedong, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives, Tianjin on March 21, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手


~ Largest project of its kind, proposed in 1952, took more than a decade to construct ~

More than 1,400 kilometers of canal and pipeline began transferring water on Friday from China’s longest river, the Yangtze, to the country’s arid northern regions, including the nation’s capital, Beijing.

Completion of this section marks major progress in the enormous South-to-North Water Diversion Project, costing an estimated 500 billion yuan ($80 billion) and the largest of its kind in the world.

President Xi Jinping sent his congratulations on Friday to workers and people “who have made contributions” to the middle route project, calling the achievement a “major event” in the nation’s modernization drive.

He said the success has come through ceaseless effort by hundreds of thousands of people since construction started on Dec 30, 2003. More than 200,000 workers participated in the construction.

Xi described the project as important strategic infrastructure that would optimize water resources, boost sustainable economic and social development, and improve people’s livelihoods.

The south-north water diversion project is another feat of Chinese engineering, in the style of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the world’s longest man-made river, constructed in the 13th century to transport grain between the south and north.

Water will eventually flow via eastern, middle and western routes along canals, pipelines and tunnels. It took eight years for engineers and workers to complete two 4,000-meter-long tunnels under the riverbed of the Yellow River, China’s second largest.

The first-stage of the project, the eastern route, went into operation last year, sending water to Shandong province. By 2050, as many as 440 million people could benefit from the diversion of 44.8 billion cubic meters of water each year.

The middle route begins at Danjiangkou reservoir, in Hubei province, and runs for 1,432 km. It will supply 9.5 billion cu m of water per year to some 100 million people in the dry northern regions, including the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, and provinces of Henan and Hebei.

The water will meet household, industrial and agricultural demand, benefiting more than 100 counties.

President Xi urged the route’s management to protect the quality of water and to save water.

Work still needs to be done to ensure the livelihoods and employment of the 400,000 people displaced by the construction, including 345,000 people whose hometown was submerged as part of the massive Danjiangkou reservoir.

Premier Li Keqiang said the project will benefit both current and future generations, and urged the project management team to ensure the security and stability of supply.

The project was conceived by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong in 1952 but only approved by the State Council in December 2002, after nearly half a century of debate.

It has been widely hailed as an example of how the Chinese people are capable of bettering their lives through hard work. But the new waterway presents fresh challenges, such as the protection of water quality from unforeseen natural risks in the future.

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China’s aviation industry to take ‘gutter oil’ as biofuel [People’s Daily]

Posted in Alternative Energy, China, Energy, Hangzhou, Transportation on March 22, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Tu Lufang (Beijing Daily)

March 01, 2012

Edited and translated by People’s Daily Online

On Feb. 28, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) began reviewing the airworthiness of the No.1 Aviation Biofuel which is China’s first independently developed aviation biofuel product.

The biofuel product is developed by Sinopec, the country’s top oil refiner.

Sinopec began laboratory research on the No.1 Aviation Biofuel in 2009, and transformed its Hangzhou Refinery into a plant with an actual annual output of 6,000 tons after key breakthroughs achieved in the research project in 2011. The plant has been in smooth operation, and produced about 70 tons of aviation biofuel since its operation on Dec. 12, 2011.

During the review process, the CAAC will conduct a series of laboratory performance tests, compatibility tests, and test flights according to international standards. The CAAC will grant Sinopec the approval to use the biofuel in commercial civil aviation, after it is proven safe for aircraft.

The No.1 Aviation Biofuel is made from a variety of animal fat and vegetable oil and oils with Sinopec’s unique hydrogenation technology, catalyst system, and production procedures. Currently, the company is actively seeking new raw materials to produce aviation biofuel, including waste cooking oil and seaweeds.

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‘Donkey-horse-fart’ phenom a case study in bribery [Global Times]

Posted in Beijing, China, Corruption, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong on November 20, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Nov. 12, 2011

by Guo Yukuan

At a high school reunion a couple days ago, I discovered a lot of my old female classmates who spent the last few years in Beijing have become conspicuously fashionable. Those who I remembered as humble and less concerned about appearances were raving on about fashion trends at the dinner table. One phrase I was completely clueless about came up quite a bit in their talk: “donkey-horse-fart.” Every time they mentioned how “everyone has to have a set of ‘donkey-horse-fart,’ otherwise it’ll be so unbearably shameful,” I grew uncomfortable, and eventually started asking my friends just what this modern-day essential “donkey-horse-fart” refers to.

“It’s shorthand for ‘Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Prada’ (via the Chinese phonetic translation) [“Lv-Ma-Pi”],” a stylish friend told me. “It’s especially popular among businessman and government officials.”

These three luxury brands nowadays can be found in numerous big cities, including capital cities of provinces and major cities along the coast. But a tiny purse of some 10,000-plus yuan is not a best buy in Chinese mainland, since the same product probably only costs half that in Hong Kong. A person who can afford Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Prada should also be able to afford a trip to Hong Kong, so I found it all more puzzling that even people in Guangzhou – a 40-minute train ride from Hong Kong – are willing to pay twice as much just to shop within the border.

Apparently a popular trend these days is giving out gift cards that carry store credit, which can range from a couple thousand to tens of thousands of yuan. Rumor has it that the former mayor of Hangzhou, Xu Maiyuan, who was sentenced to death last year for corruption, had thousands of those cards at home, even hiding them inside his shoes and filling his closets with them.

From a taste perspective, gift cards are a nice way to lavish money on someone without having to subject him or her to your atrocious fashion sensibilities. But using currency that can only be exchanged for Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Prada is not some huge price coup, since their products are still significantly pricier than in any other country. The card does not offer the value for money. Why not just give out debit cards with real cash so people can fly to Hong Kong to shop?

As if to deal with this issue, many shops offer full cash refunds, instead of just store credits, for their merchandise – allowing the luxury goods themselves to become a form of currency, especially if purchased with gift cards. This whole affair reminds me of Liulichang (a famous district in downtown Beijing, known for vendors of craftwork, artistry and antiques), which played an important role in the government corruption of the Qing era (1644-1911).

The transaction usually went like this: Government officials from out of town who came to Beijing to visit some higher-level representatives in the central government would need to first visit Liulichang to “ask for directions” from the antiques vendors. Speaking in a sort of underhanded code, the out-of-town officials would first offer up the cash with which they intend to bribe the central-government officials, as part of an offer on an antique the vendor might “suggest” that they buy. The vendor, however, won’t have the antique on hand, but would take the cash to the central official and purchase it from his palace. He would then give the piece to the out-of-towner, who would in turn return it to its original owner. Thus was the bribery accomplished without any cash actually changing hands.

Such a situation finds its modern-day equivalent in the “donkey-horse-fart” phenomenon. It’s a win-win-win for all involved: by giving a gift card to the people they’re trying to impress, one can claim immunity from any accusations of true bribery; by accepting paid card, buying a luxury good and then returning it for money, the bribed walk away with a pocket full of cash; and the stores can skim a bit off the top with their transaction fees.

And who said there’s nothing to be learned from the good old days anymore?

The author is a researcher with the Research Center for Public Policy, China Society of Economic Reform.

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Chinese leaders watch DPRK-adapted opera of renowned Chinese legend [People’s Daily / CPC News]

Posted in Beijing, Changchun, China, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), DPR Korea, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Sino-Korean Friendship on November 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Nov. 10, 2011

Li Changchun, a leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Wednesday evening watched an opera staged here [Beijing] by a troupe from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and adapted from Chinese legend The Butterfly Lovers.

Li, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, welcomed the artists from the DPRK Phibada Opera Troupe and praised the performance as an example of closer cultural communication and cooperation between China and the DPRK.

The opera, which began a three-month tour of China in the northeast city of Changchun on Oct. 25, is based on the tragic story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, whose names also form another title of the story, abbreviated as Liang Zhu. It is often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet.

Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, Li Yuanchao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Li Jinai, director of the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army, also watched the performance.

Artists integrating Korean styles of singing and dancing into their performance won applause from the audience.

Phibada Opera Troupe version of The Butterfly Lovers will now move on to other Chinese cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Wuhan, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Chongqing.


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Photo article “DPRK troupe presents opera in NE China” link:

World Heritage Sites in China – Photos of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China [Xinhua]

Posted in China, China Scenery, Hangzhou on July 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I cannot reproduce this beautiful one-page collection of thumbnail photos of China’s most famous and breathtaking scenery. All I can do is give the link and hope you check it out. This collection was made to signify the recent inclusion of Hangzhou’s West Lake on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. – Zuo Shou

Link to view “World Heritage Sites in China” page:

West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou inscribed on World Heritage List [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, China Scenery, Hangzhou, Heilongjiang Province on July 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

If you ever get to China, try not to miss the sublime scenery of Hangzhou’s West Lake. It’s truly magical, I think I love it more than any other place I’ve seen in China. – Zuo Shou

June 25, 2011

The World Heritage Committee Friday inscribed the West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou in eastern China on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a cultural property.

The 35th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee made the decision in recognition of the West Lake surroundings as an extraordinary model of cultural landscape, which clearly reflects Chinese philosophy and aesthetics and inspires park designing art profoundly in China and abroad.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the 3,322-hectare landscape is a national cultural icon enriched with beautiful scenarios and dramatic legends. After centuries of human efforts in shaping it, the area is appreciated as a marvelous combination of natural and artificial beauty.

Covered with luxuriant vegetation, the area is composed of a water surface of 5.66 square kilometers, and five territorial zones divided by causeways, dotted with numerous halls, towers, terraces, pavilions, pagodas, grottoes and temples.

According to the Chinese State Bureau of Cultural Relics, the preparatory work for the West Lake Cultural Landscape to apply for World Heritage inscription kicked off in 1990 by the Hangzhou municipality, and has been further promoted by the State Bureau since 2008.

Conforming to the requirements of preserving the authenticity, integrity and outstanding universal value of World Heritages, the Chinese government would enhance the protection and management of the West Lake Landscape with continuous efforts, said Tong Mingkang, vice director of the Chinese State Bureau of Cultural Relics.

This is the ninth consecutive year that Chinese sites were approved to enter the World Heritage List. The West Lake Landscape thus became the 41st World Heritage in China.

However, due to disputes of the panel in the evaluation process, the committee didn’t discuss the inscription of Wudalianchi National Park or Five Interconnected Lakes in northern Heilongjiang Province, the other of the two Chinese sites which applied this year.

The World Heritage Committee, responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, comprises representatives of 21 countries and has the final say on whether to add a new site to the World Heritage List.

A total of 35 nominations, including natural, cultural and mixed properties, are being reviewed by the Committee which is holding its 35th session at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Source: Xinhua

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Campaign group ‘disappointed’ with Coca Cola [ / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in China, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Labor, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives on May 9, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Sexton

December 30, 2010

A report by a student group campaigning to improve working conditions at Coca Cola bottling plants in China says there has been “disappointing” progress in fulfilling a pledge to convert temporary staff to full-time employee status.

The report from the Coke Concerned Student Group (CCSG) follows earlier highly critical reports that claimed Coca Cola’s systematic use of contract staff was a legal device to avoid providing benefits full-time employees are entitled to.  The reports also said that long-term use of contract staff is illegal under China’s labor law. Continue reading