Fashion & tradition: Taiwan youth part of hanfu revival

Zhong Min-hao, a hanfu enthusiast from Taipei who owns over 30 different sets of hanfu, has been devoted to promoting the traditional Chinese attire in Taiwan.

Every November, hanfu enthusiasts like Zhong from across Taiwan gather in Hsimenting, a popular shopping district in Taipei, to participate in the Taiwan Hanfu Festival. The event has grown significantly, from just over 100 participants in its first year to over a thousand in the fourth year.

Zhong said that Chinese culture is deeply rooted in Taiwan, and compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same Chinese characters and celebrate similar festivals. He hopes to travel around the Chinese mainland and visit historical landmarks wearing the traditional Chinese cloth.

Despite the current “de-sinicization” policy in Taiwan, he said that people are eager to understand their own history and, as a result, they seek to explore and discover it.

GAC to promote foreign trade, expand global cooperation

China will deepen its cooperation with all parties concerned to promote the role of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) agreements in facilitating both domestic and global companies’ efforts to boost their foreign trade activities, said a customs official.

The AEO program is advocated by the World Customs Organization to strengthen international supply chain security and facilitate the movement of goods, said Lin Jiantian, director of the General Administration of Customs’ Department of Enterprise Management and Audit-based Control.

Under its terms, Customs authorities from various regions will establish partnerships with industries to collaboratively cut barriers to Customs procedures and enhance international trade efficiency.

By the end of March of this year, China’s GAC had signed AEO mutual recognition agreements with 26 economies, such as the European Union and South Africa, covering 52 countries and regions.

Dozens of tornadoes strike central U.S., at least 5 killed

An image shows damage caused by a tornado in Sulphur, Oklahoma, United States, April 28, 2024. /CFP

An image shows damage caused by a tornado in Sulphur, Oklahoma, United States, April 28, 2024. /CFP

At least five people died, including a four-month-old baby, and scores were injured in Oklahoma this weekend after dozens of twisters swept the U.S. Southern Plains, while weather alerts on Sunday put more than 7 million Americans under tornado warnings.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Sunday declared a disaster emergency for the state, freeing up more money for first responders and recovery operations.

“Definitely the most damage since I’ve been governor,” Stitt said in Sulphur, one of the hardest-hit communities, on Sunday afternoon as he provided an update on fatalities and damage.

Storm warnings for high winds, heavy rain and hail also were issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) on Sunday for more than 47 million people stretching from East Texas north through Illinois and Wisconsin.

The NWS reported that 38 possible twisters hit the area and that the worst of the storms rolled through Central Oklahoma on Saturday into early Sunday morning, spreading into northwest Texas, western Missouri and Kansas.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said area hospitals reported 100 injuries. Twisters destroyed or damaged dozens of structures, including a hospital in the town of Marietta, although no injuries were reported there.

More than 25,000 homes in Texas and more than 19,000 in Oklahoma were without power as of Sunday afternoon, the website reported.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday declared a major disaster over the severe winter storms that flooded the State of Washington and Kansas, the White House said in a statement. The president ordered federal assistance to supplement recovery efforts in the areas affected by the winter storms.

(With input from agencies)

Biden, Netanyahu speak as Israel plans Rafah operation

Smoke rises in the northern Gaza Strip, April 28, 2024. /CFP

Smoke rises in the northern Gaza Strip, April 28, 2024. /CFP

The White House on Sunday said U.S. President Joe Biden had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as pressure builds on Israel and Hamas to reach a deal that would free some Israeli hostages and bring a ceasefire in the nearly seven-month-long conflict in Gaza.

Biden reiterated his “clear position,” according to a statement, as Israel plans to invade Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah despite global concern for the more than one million Palestinians sheltering there. He also stressed that progress in delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza be “sustained and enhanced.” 

Israel has agreed to listen to U.S. concerns and thoughts before it launches an invasion of Rafah, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told ABC on Sunday. Israel is among the countries U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit as he returns to the Middle East on Monday.

Aid groups have warned that an invasion of Rafah would worsen the already desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza, where hunger is widespread.

The World Central Kitchen (WCK), a U.S.-based charity, announced on Sunday the resumption of its relief work in the Gaza Strip after a nearly month-long suspension in response to the killing of its seven staff members in an Israeli air strike.

The WCK said in a press statement that despite the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, it is “resuming its operations with the same energy, dignity, and focus on feeding as many people as possible.”

It added, “We have so far distributed more than 43 million meals, and we are eager to provide millions more.”

Palestinian Minister of Transport and Communications Tareq Zaarab estimated on Sunday that the losses in Gaza’s transport and communications sectors have exceeded $3 billion due to Israeli attacks.

He made the remarks when presenting a report on the losses in Gaza’s transport and communications sectors at a session of the Palestinian government held in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

Pehr Lodhammar, a senior officer at the United Nations Mine Action Service, has said the vast amount of rubble, including unexploded ordnance, left by Israel’s strikes in the Gaza Strip could take about 14 years to remove.

No agreement if war continues

Negotiations to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas are ongoing.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official, said on Sunday in a statement that the movement “will not accept any agreement that does not include a cessation of war in Gaza.”

A Hamas delegation will visit Cairo on Monday for talks aimed at securing a ceasefire, a Hamas official told Reuters on Sunday, as mediators stepped up efforts to reach a deal ahead of the expected Israeli assault on Rafah.

Qatar, Egypt and the U.S. are seeking to facilitate a deal for a prisoner exchange and a second ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, following the first one that ended last December.

Israel estimated that there were still about 134 Israelis held hostage in Gaza, whereas Hamas announced that 70 of them had been killed in Israeli air strikes.

(With input from agencies)

Immersive smart tourism hub showcases creative spaces

Located in Guangzhou, Z-BOX New Space is a cutting-edge creative space that provides commercial services and cultural programs to promote smart tourism. It offers visitors a range of immersive experiences through the use of multimedia digital technology, including interactive light and shadow shows, a super-wide interactive 3D screen gallery, scripted shows, an interactive multimedia restaurant, online games, bars and other engaging spaces.

A file photo shows a cutting-edge space. /CFP

A file photo shows a cutting-edge space. /CFP

For example, the Light and Shadow Restaurant provides dramatic sensory experiences by drawing on elements from film and television, art, science, technology and design through the use of advanced technology. Visitors can satisfy their taste buds while experiencing new sensations of sight, sound, touch and feel in the restaurant.

In addition, Z-BOX New Space offers a wide range of innovative interactive spaces, from augmented reality (AR) graffiti spaces to original scripted shows presented on an ultra-wide wrap-around 3D screen which adapts with the content to create ever more immersive stories. By taking advantage of cutting-edge digital technology, the space has imbued a leisure spot with a futuristic sense to create a brand-new style of smart tourism hub.

China firmly rejects U.S. legislation on Taiwan region, TikTok

File photo of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian. /Chinese Foreign Ministry

File photo of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian. /Chinese Foreign Ministry

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China rejects the U.S. legislation on a foreign military aid package that contains negative articles about China.

U.S. President Joe Biden on April 24 signed into law a bill that would provide military aid to China’s Taiwan region, and force TikTok to divest from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance or face a nationwide ban in the United States, among other things.

China firmly opposes it and has lodged stern representations with the U.S. side, said Lin Jian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a regular press briefing.

The package gravely infringes upon China’s sovereignty, said Lin.

It includes large military aid to Taiwan, which seriously violates the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques, and sends a seriously wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, he added.

The legislation undermines the principles of market economy and fair competition by wantonly going after other countries’ companies in the name of “national security,” which once again reveals the U.S.’s hegemonic and bullying nature, said Lin.

The spokesperson added that the legislation advocates sanctions on China disregarding the huge amount of work China has done to help the U.S. address its fentanyl crisis.

The legislation also threatens to impose unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction over normal economic and trade exchanges between China and Iran under the framework of international law, which creates serious obstacles for China-U.S. cooperation in relevant areas, said Lin.

“We urge the U.S. to respect China’s core interests and major concerns, and not to implement these negative articles concerning China,” he said.

“Otherwise, China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests.”

China’s ‘overcapacity’ or U.S. overacts its election playbook?


Editor’s note: Recently, some Westerners have been making noises about China’s “overcapacity,” accusing the country of “flooding” the global market with cheap products and “distorting” market rules. Is the Biden administration really hyping up China’s “overcapacity” issue for the benefit of American companies and workers? Or are U.S. politicians just courting them for their sweet votes as the 2024 presidential election approaches? How could “China’s overcapacity” go from “zero to hero” exactly when U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited China? What does the good old U.S. playbook look like? Tune in to this episode of First Voice and decide for yourself.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at [email protected]. Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

Flavors unfolded: Chinese pancake vs. French pancake

Although they come from very different culinary traditions, the Chinese pancake “jianbing” and the French crêpe share many similarities in terms of their thin and flexible texture, versatile fillings, and popularity as a quick meal. Often served folded or rolled up, both snacks can be enjoyed on the go.

An undated photo shows the Chinese breakfast classic “jianbing.” /CFP

An undated photo shows the Chinese breakfast classic “jianbing.” /CFP

An undated photo shows the Chinese breakfast classic “jianbing.” /CFP

An undated photo shows the Chinese breakfast classic “jianbing.” /CFP

Originating in northern China, jianbing is a popular breakfast snack sold by street vendors. It consists of a thin pancake made from a batter of wheat and mung bean flour, often topped with spicy sauces and fried dough in the shape of twin batons or flat blistered rectangles, and topped with a freshly cracked egg.

An undated photo shows a French crêpe with fruit. /IC

An undated photo shows a French crêpe with fruit. /IC

An undated photo shows a French crêpe with fruit. /IC

An undated photo shows a French crêpe with fruit. /IC

Hailing from France, crêpes can be enjoyed as a sweet or savory treat. They are typically made from a thin batter of wheat flour, milk, eggs and butter, resulting in a delicate and tender texture. Crêpes can be accompanied by a variety of toppings such as Nutella, cheese, fresh fruit or whipped cream.

Brands from across world flex NEV muscle on stage

BYD’s Fang Cheng Bao showcases the Super 9 concept model at the 2024 Beijing auto show. [LI FUSHENG/CHINA DAILY]

After a four-year hiatus, the Beijing auto show returns with a flurry of new products, particularly new energy vehicles, presented by global automakers, who aim to solidify their position in the world’s most competitive and largest auto market.

Running from Thursday to May 4, the event is hosting the world premieres of 41 concept models and 117 vehicles, with 30 from international brands. A total of 278 NEVs are on display, surpassing the 160 from the last edition in 2020, according to the event organizers.

The proportion of NEVs surpassing gasoline cars appears to be happening faster than anticipated. Data from the China Passenger Car Association show that in the first two weeks of April, passenger NEV sales accounted for more than 50 percent of the market share, with 260,000 units sold out of a total of 516,000 passenger cars.

Premium brands BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are showcasing their achievements in electrification.

BWM’s electric i4 hatchback and electric MINI Cooper and Aceman crossover SUV are taking center stage. The BMW Vision Neue Klasse, which heralds the next generation of BMW vehicles, is on show for the first time in China.

BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse announced plans to invest an additional 20 billion yuan ($2.76 billion) in the Shenyang production base in Liaoning province on Friday. The investment will support the localization production of BMW’s Neue Klasse models starting in 2026.

Mercedes debuted the all-new electric G-Class 4×4 and the Concept CLA Class four-door coupe. Their stage fleet consists of one world-premiere model, seven China-premiere models and eight models that are ready to hit the market.

Audi CEO Gernot Doellner made his first public appearance in China at this year’s Beijing auto show. The automaker debuted the all-new Audi Q6L e-tron SUV, the first vehicle tailored for the Chinese market based on the PPE premium electric platform.

This car, along with other new models based on the PPE, will be produced at the new factory in Changchun in Jilin province, underscoring China’s strategic position for Audi, he said.

However, their customers are being poached by newcomers. When Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun toured the Nio booth, he said that 30 percent of Xiaomi’s car owners had previously owned vehicles from the German trio. Nio CEO William Li said 70-80 percent of Nio’s car owners were from BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

Lei announced that it had received more than 75,000 orders in the four weeks since the launch of its first car, the SU7 electric sedan. It aims to deliver more than 10,000 units in June.

At Huawei’s booth of HIMA, which stands for Harmony Intelligent Mobility Alliance, its Stelato brand, codeveloped with BAIC, debuted at the auto show, joining the Aito and Luxeed brands. The brand’s first model S9 sedan is expected to hit the market in the second half of this year.

The IT giant is also showcasing the Aito M5, M7, M9 SUVs and Luxeed S7 sedan, which are already on sale. According to Huawei data, as of April 22, the HIMA family has sold 105,000 vehicles this year.

Besides codeveloped models, Huawei’s Qiankun, which is called the most sophisticated advanced driving assistance system to date, has garnered attention. Seven Chinese brands including Changan’s Avatr, Dongfeng’s Voyah and BAIC’s Arcfox have installed Huawei’s Qiankun in their cars.

Nio unveiled the all-new ET7, continuing its push into the luxury sedan market to solidify its position as a premium brand. Starting at 428,000 yuan, the ET7 Executive Edition is available for pre-order with deliveries beginning on Tuesday.

The startup is maintaining its focus on advancements in charging and battery swap technologies too.

Xpeng said its software and artificial intelligence training upgrades will enter a “superfast cycle” from May, which will be upgraded with its X9 MPV, G9 and G6 SUVs as well as P7i sedan. The automaker hopes the platform will help it expand to other Asian countries and Europe.

He Xiaopeng, founder and CEO of the automaker now backed by Volkswagen, said the software will be refreshed every two months.

Chinese traditional automakers have launched NEV sub-brands, marking a significant transformation.

At the auto show, FAW’s Hongqi presented three sub-brands, including the Hongqi New Energy. Dongfeng Motor is showcasing models under its multiple brands such as M-Hero, Voyah and Nammi. Meanwhile, Great Wall Motors is presenting models under its brands of Wey, Tank, Poer and Ora with technological achievements in NEVs.

GAC Group is displaying models of its Trumpchi, Aion and Hyper brands. The automaker will integrate Huawei’s Qiankun system into flagship models under the Trumpchi brand, with the first model expected to launch in January 2025.

Hyping ‘overcapacity’ in China is the real threat to world: Global Times editorial


Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently reiterated in an interview with Reuters the “overcapacity” in China, claiming that the so-called overcapacity in China is not only a problem faced by the US, but also by Europe, Japan, India and Mexico. This kind of rhetoric has been popular in the US for some time, with American politicians and public opinion repeatedly hyping up the concept, accusing China of dumping green products such as new energy vehicles, lithium batteries, and photovoltaic products overseas at low prices, and portraying this situation as a “global threat.” However, discerning individuals can see that this is not a very clever tactic of politicization and pan-securitized, but instead revealing some real situations in the development of the world’s green industry and high-quality production capacity.

It is well known that overcapacity is relative to the demand. From a global perspective, there is actually no overcapacity in the green industry. The reason why the green industry is thriving lies in the breakthrough in related technologies. Technological breakthroughs often ignite emerging industries, manifested by strong market demand for new products. According to the International Energy Agency, the global demand for new energy vehicles in 2030 will reach 45 million units, which is 4.5 times that of 2022, and at the same time, the global demand for new photovoltaic installations will reach 820 gigawatts, which is about 4 times that of 2022. It’s clear that the new energy industry is booming, with huge market potential yet to be tapped. Green production capacity development has just started, far from saturation, so where is the “overcapacity” coming from? 

Some people in the US are hyping up the so-called overcapacity in China with the real purpose of suppressing the development of China’s emerging industries and of maintaining its long-standing monopoly position in the global industrial chain through unfair means. Yellen attributed the bankruptcy of US’ solar companies to Chinese suppliers lowering prices in the interview. Although the attribution was wrong, it also exposed the real intention. It is not difficult to see that the so-called overcapacity rhetoric in China’s new energy industry is nothing more than a copy of the “America First.” In the eyes of the US, the rapid development of China’s green industry challenges the strength and status of the US, and China’s competitiveness is “translated” into a “security threat” to the world (the US). It can be seen that the excess is not China’s production capacity, but US’ anxiety.

In fact, facing the insufficient and unbalanced development of high-quality green production capacity in the world, China is taking a path of win-win cooperation – “Appreciate the values of others as do to one’s own, and the world will become a harmonious whole.” While actively developing its domestic green industry, China is also actively engaging in practical cross-border cooperation in high-quality production capacity, providing international public goods, helping developing countries accelerate the process of industrialization, and promoting the efficient, clean, and diversified transformation of energy.

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said that “China’s provision of services and support to other countries has significantly improved the accessibility of clean energy technologies and reduced the global cost of using green technologies.” China’s green development not only benefits consumers but also enables developing countries to benefit from cooperation with China in production capacity, especially by promoting energy freedom for low-income populations in developing countries.

In contrast, the US could have worked together with China to jointly seize the opportunities brought by the development of the green industry and address the challenges of insufficient demand for high-quality production capacity. Regrettably, the US chose to wave the “big stick” at China, viewing China’s new energy industry with a zero-sum game mentality and attributing real problems to the wrong causes. Currently, the main reason for the insufficient development of the world’s green industry and the uneven distribution of high-quality production capacity is the asynchronous development and application of green technology in various countries, inconsistent capabilities, and uncoordinated interests, yet the US deliberately uses the “China threat” to explain everything, trying to solve problems by containing China. However, it is the smearing and suppression of China by the US that hinders the transnational diffusion of technology and the global flow of production capacity. The answer to who is the initiator of the global production capacity problem is clear.

With a shortage of high-quality production capacity, the world needs more cooperation. Taking wind power as an example, by 2023, the global new wind turbine installed capacity will reach 117 gigawatts, a 50 percent increase year-on-year, with the main contribution coming from China. The US, on the other hand, has encountered bottlenecks due to inadequate government policy support, insufficient investment in the supply chain, and difficulties in project implementation. However, even as China grows rapidly, there is a huge gap in global wind power, especially offshore wind power. The goal of actions by various countries should be to jointly improve competitiveness, reduce costs of technology, logistics, labor, raw materials, and transportation through supply chain cooperation, rather than baselessly accusing and shifting contradictions to countries with advantageous production capacity, and, more importantly, not bind new energy industries with protectionism and weaken the global capacity to address climate change.

Of course, no matter how the US smears China, the green industry is always the trend of world economic development, and it is also the key choice for humanity to address the challenge of climate change. Shifting contradictions, smearing and suppressing, and decoupling will only lead to a “lose-lose” situation. 

Green industries and high-quality production capacity should not become a battlefield of the zero-sum game. Hyping up “China’s new energy overcapacity” is not only detrimental to the transformation and upgrading of domestic industries, but also does not help alleviate international production capacity conflicts. In this sense, the voices and forces behind the hype of “China’s new energy overcapacity” are the ones creating problems, as well as the real threats to the world.