Hong Kong’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Limited has adopted a modern hybrid cloud architecture of Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, to deliver more efficient services and experience for its customers, Red Hat said on Monday.

Using Red Hat’s open standards-based, enterprise technologies, including Red Hat OpenStack Platform and OpenShift Container Platform, Cathay Pacific migrated from its less flexible and time-consuming legacy infrastructure to a hybrid cloud architecture that facilitate the airline to maintain a high level of performance, from its internal systems to customer-facing applications.

With its new IT architecture, Cathay Pacific is able to bring new services to market more expediently and better scale infrastructure to meet evolving application requirements, Red Hat said.

The new cloud environment adopted by Cathay Pacific improved the Hong Kong-based airline’s productivity by reducing hardware, maintenance, and operations costs.

“Red Hat solutions have enabled us to deliver value to our customers much faster, with improved performance and stability,” said Kerry Peirse, general manager of IT Infrastructure and Operations at Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific is an international airline offering passenger and cargo services to 201 destinations in more than 60 countries and territories worldwide

It is an award-winning and globally reputed airline, winning the “World’s Best Airline” award four times and consistently ranking as among the best airlines in the world.

The newest way to send freight from China to Europe involves loading it onto a train, with prices half that of air cargo and cutting two weeks off the journey time by sea.

China-Europe freight trains, passing through 28 cities in 11 European countries, have been gaining steam, as Europe seeks more convenient and affordable ways to tap into the world’s largest consumer market.

The rail routes are a key part of the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, which aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.

Rail cargo services between China and Europe have become an increasingly popular logistics option for Chinese trade with Europe and freight volume has increased substantially every year.

It took 16 days for 26 tonnes of frozen pork to travel by freight train from the Netherlands to arrive in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province earlier this month.

“The freight trains slash about 40 days off the travel time compared to shipping, and are about 10,000 yuan (1,450 U.S. dollars) cheaper per tonne air freight,” said Shu Changguo, general manager of the importer.

Last year, 460 trains ran between Chengdu, Tilburg in the Netherlands, and Nuremberg, Germany. In the first four months of this year, 91 trains have brought about 150 million dollars worth of European goods to Chengdu.

“The Netherlands is the most important logistical center in Europe, and Chengdu, in China’s west, has huge potential, which means great opportunities for European countries,” said Koen Sizoo, head of the Netherlands’ consulate in neighboring Chongqing Municipality.

Loaded with 32 containers carrying maternity products and soft drinks, the first freight train traveling from Britain to China reached its destination in eastern China’s Yiwu in late April.

The China-Britain freight service paves a safe and efficient land trade route, strengthening bilateral trade ties and better serving the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the China Railway Corporation (CRC), operator of the trains.

Multinational companies also want to take a ride on the new train routes.

Peter Tyroller, board member of the Bosch Group in Germany, said the direct freight train service connecting China and Europe enables Bosch to deliver goods faster and cheaper to markets in the Far East.

With good links between its subsidiaries in China and those in other Belt and Road countries like Myanmar, Bosch is able to react quickly and offer its solutions for new projects including new airports, harbors and highways.

Vice Commerce Minister of China Qian Keming said, with vigorous economic growth, improved infrastructure connectivity and alignment between development plans, trade will grow rapidly among Belt and Road countries.

China’s trade with countries along the Belt and Road rose 0.5 percent year on year to 6.25 trillion yuan (906.3 billion dollars) in 2016, compared with a 0.9-percent decline in the country’s overall foreign trade, official data showed.

As well as trade, Belt and Road countries have easier access to the state-of-the-art technology developed by Chinese companies.

Zhongguancun, known as “China’s Silicon Valley,” has set up the Belt and Road Industrial Promotion Association as a service platform to boost international cooperation.

Beijing’s Haidian District, home to Zhongguancun, has held various events on design and innovation, international technology transfer, energy conservation and bio-pharmaceutical, and helped companies find foreign partners for Belt and Road projects.

Yu Jun, head of the district government, said the efforts aim to benefit more countries along the Belt and Road and bring companies fresh opportunities to gain market access and grow.

Andrew Robb, a former Australian federal minister for trade and investment, said Australia needs Chinese expertise.

“China is at a stage, with not only capital, informed capital, but also expertise they can bring,” he said.

Cai Jiming, professor with Tsinghua University, said China’s continuous innovations based on national conditions may be a reference for not only other developing economies, but also developed countries.

As graduation season gets underway in June and July, graduates are departing to different destinations to celebrate the start of a new chapter in their lives.

For graduation trips, Chengdu in Sichuan province, Guangzhou in Guangdong province, Chongqing, Shenzhen in Guangdong and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province were listed as the top five most popular destinations for domestic tours. Thailand and the United States are popular among overseas destinations, according to a recent report by Qunar, a domestic rival that was acquired by Ctrip, the largest online travel agency in China, in 2016.

The agency surveyed those who were born between 1995 and 2005, and found that making trips and taking stylish photos are now standard practice to mark graduation. It is reported that the market scale of graduation tours has exceeded 15 billion yuan ($2.34 billion).

“Young people are good at using travel apps to get more information and their decision-making is quite fast. It’s possible that just because of a song, a book, a TV drama, or a chat with someone, they may decide to take a trip somewhere,” said Shao Jihong, senior director of the flight tickets department of Ctrip.

Compared with those who were born in the 1980s, and usually like to plan ahead carefully, the younger generations are deemed more free and casual. According to Qunar’s statistics, 56 percent of customers who were born after 1995 book accommodation on the day they need to stay there.

Besides, 1.12 percent of students buy plane tickets after they arrive at an airport. They have also become less price sensitive, and look for higher quality trips. Most trips involve groups of two to five people, according to Qunar.

This year, college students who traveled by air with their boyfriends or girlfriends accounted for 9.6 percent of the total, up 0.8 percent year-on-year. Those who traveled by air with friends made up 6.7 percent, edging up 0.3 percent over last year, Qunar said.

Last year, students who had just finished their college entrance examinations favored Shanghai, with many visiting the city’s Disneyland. Kunming, Yunnan province, and Beijing are also popular, the report said.

Taking an in-depth trip to one destination is the preference of the young, and those born after 1995 have abandoned group tours with travel agencies. Most of them would prefer to stay at the same hotel for three to seven days, and the number of those who stay in one place for five days consecutively rose by about 30 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, themed tours such as trips to deserts, cruises, camping, those involving cosplay or getting married, are all hot elements that the young would like to try.

On average, students plan to spend between 3,500 yuan and 7,000 yuan on their graduation tours per person, and the money comes from savings, income from selling secondhand items, part-time jobs, and support from parents, according to the report.

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevedo said Thursday there are hopes from WTO members that trade tensions will be alleviated at the G20 summit in Japan next week.

“We are seeing tensions at a very high level and they are staying there, and this is weighing down on world trade growth,” warned the WTO chief while addressing a press conference organized by the UN correspondents’ association (ACANU) in Geneva.

“Everyone is hoping world trade tensions will be mitigated,” said Azevedo.

The G20 meeting will take place on June 28-29 in Osaka and Azevedo recalled last G20 summit which took place in Buenos Aires in Argentine in December 2018 when leaders called for WTO reform.

“They believe that the trading system is vital” and “they want to see tensions easing and… the system preserved and strengthened,” he explained.

However, “leaders must do something more than repeat the call. It is imperative that we see action,” he added.

On the same occasion, he also spoke of the work of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body and said the work of its appellate body “is a very critical part of the work of the WTO and if we don’t have a solution the work will be compromised.”

The United States is currently blocking the appointment of WTO Appellate Body members.

The Appellate Body functions as the global trade body’s de facto court of appeals and is composed of seven members. However, only three of the seven members are in office since Washington has refused to initiate the process to fill vacancies.

“The moment that we experience is full of challenge and risk, but is full of opportunities as well,” said Azevedo, adding that it is up to the 164 members of the WTO to decide how trade relation issues are dealt with at the organization.

Premier Li Keqiang meets with US delegation who were attending the ninth round of the China-US CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue in Beijing. WU ZHIYI / CHINA DAILY

Investment in China benefits both sides, premier tells Chamber officials

US companies are welcome to continue investing in China and seize opportunities brought by the nation’s fast-growing service industry and efforts to upgrade the manufacturing sector, Premier Li Keqiang told a visiting US delegation on Tuesday.

By doing so, both countries can promote dynamic balance in economic and trade cooperation to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, he told 15 US representatives, who were attending the ninth round of the China-US CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue in Beijing.

The annual dialogue, jointly hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, alternates between Beijing and Washington and serves as a successful element of track-II, or informal, diplomacy. Li met with visiting US representatives attending the sixth such event in July 2014 in Beijing.

Common interests of both countries far override differences for the world’s largest developing and developed economies, Li said. The two presidents have reached consensus to boost a stable development of bilateral ties, and both nations can settle discrepancies through dialogues, he said.

Economic and trade cooperation is a vital cornerstone for China-US ties, Li said. China supports free trade and encourages bidirectional open markets as well as fair competition, he said.

“We will further ease market access and prioritize the business environment, which will increase China’s economic competitiveness and endow consumers with more choices. We would like to strengthen exchanges with leading businessmen in the US, sending a positive signal for further cooperation and projecting a stable expectation to the market,” he added.

US representatives agreed that a stable and smooth development of bilateral ties is vital to both countries and to the planet. US companies are optimistic about the prospects and opportunities of the Chinese market, paying great attention to China’s reform and development agendas in addition to its opening-up measures. They also said they will be committed to boosting mutual understanding and equal opening-up to create more chances for employment and economic growth.

Both countries share strong interests in fields such as trading agricultural goods and finance, which demands wisdom from both sides to further cooperation, Zeng Peiyan, chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, and former vice-premier, said at the event’s opening ceremony. Such a track-II dialogue can boost communication between the two countries, he said.

Myron Brilliant, executive vice-president of the US Chamber of Commerce, said some achievements have been made since the 100-day plan on trade cooperation was agreed to in April, but there is still work ahead. Both sides will assess the plan in July. He said mutual trust should be strengthened in the future.

Chinese officers and soldiers waves to say goodbye to Russian fleet during a China-Russia naval joint drill at sea off south China’s Guangdong province, Sept 19, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

China’s Ministry of National Defense Thursday announced military exchange and cooperation plans with multiple countries and organizations.

China will hold maritime military exercises with ASEAN countries in October in the waters off the city of Zhanjiang, south China’s Guangdong Province, said spokesperson Wu Qian, adding that China and the 10 ASEAN countries will all participate in the exercises.

Wu noted that the exercises mainly include the application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and maritime search and rescue operations.

China will also strengthen military cooperation with Africa in terms of personnel training, equipment, peacekeeping, health needs and other areas, Wu said.

Wu added that China will help strengthen the self-development of Africa’s security capacities and strive for a new era of China-Africa military ties.

The Chinese military will take part in the Vostok-2018 (or East-2018) strategic drills in Russia, Wu said, noting that the deployment of personnel and equipment for the drills is in progress.

Wu also said the eighth Xiangshan Forum will be held in Beijing from Oct. 24 to 26.

Liu Zhenyu, vice-minister of justice

China is expanding a pilot practice nationwide that requires administrative law enforcement officers, such as police and urban patrol officers, to record and archive their enforcement activities to be more transparent.

Audio and video recordings should be used in all enforcement actions involving personal freedom, life, health and major property rights, including property confiscation or demolition, according to a guideline made public on Thursday by the State Council, China’s Cabinet.

For actions that are prone to controversy, such as on-site investigations and evidence collection, audio and video recording should be used, and all records should be archived and documented, the guideline said.

Liu Zhenyu, vice-minister of justice, said on Friday that recording the law enforcement process is fundamental in protecting people’s rights, improving government’s credibility and creating a more transparent and standardized rule of law.

“Administrative law enforcement officers have the closest interactions with members of the public,” he said. “Any negligence or misconduct during law enforcement will seriously damage the image of the government, harm people’s interests and hinder the goal of building a government under the rule of law.”

The guideline instructs authorities to record and archive every step of the law enforcement process in the forms of text, audio or video, to ensure that everything is traceable from case initiation to investigation and decision-making.

It also urges authorities to make information public in a timely manner and to conduct legal reviews of major administrative law enforcement decisions to ensure they are in line with laws and regulations.

Liu acknowledged that problems of negligence, misconduct, violence and forced confessions still occur during law enforcement work, and several past cases have aroused wide public concerns.

To address those, the State Council launched a pilot program in January 2017 to use recordings in 32 cities. Results show promise in reducing illegal conduct and encouraging strict, regulated, fair and civilized law enforcement, according to the Ministry of Justice.

The pilot program is now being extended with the release of the national guideline, and all local governments must come up with specific implementation plans before the end of March, said Zhao Zhenhua, director of government legislation coordination for the ministry.

The ministry will closely oversee the implementation process, and those who fail to lay out clear responsibilities and show results as required will be held accountable, Zhao said.

China has stepped up its efforts to update law enforcement procedures in recent years, particularly after the controversial case of Beijing resident Lei Yang, who died in custody in May 2016 at the age of 29.

The police statement said Lei, who was suspected of soliciting prostitution, refused to cooperate and was handcuffed after attempting to escape. He appeared unwell in the police car and was taken to the hospital, it said. An autopsy by a third-party, released by Beijing’s top prosecutor, found that he had choked to death on his own gastric fluids.

The lack of video recordings of the law enforcement process in the case was a factor in triggering public suspicions over how Lei had died. Prosecutors later found that two police officers and three assistants involved had engaged in abusive behavior when apprehending Lei. One officer was fired and the four other people were removed from their posts for misconduct.

A file photo of Liu He [Photo/people.cn]

BEIJING — Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said Friday many factors have caused obvious stock fluctuations and declines in China recently, including interest rate hikes by major economies’ central banks and the Sino-US economic and trade frictions.

The global stock market has started to see fluctuations and downward movements after the interest rate increases, and the US stock market has also seen obvious corrections, Liu, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, told Chinese reporters.

“The Sino-US economic and trade frictions have also caused impact on the stock market, but the psychological effect is bigger than the actual impact, frankly speaking,” said Liu.

“China and the United States are now in contact with each other,” he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivers a speech at the central conference on political and legal work in Beijing, capital of China. The conference was held in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Xi urges law enforcement and judicial agencies to better fulfill their obligations

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has urged law enforcement and judicial agencies to better fulfill their obligations in safeguarding the country’s political security and social stability and make all-around efforts to promote justice and guarantee a safe living environment for the people.

Xi, also China’s president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the statement at a two-day central conference on political and legal work, which concluded on Wednesday.

Commending the performance of law enforcement and judicial agencies since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi stressed the importance of the absolute leadership of the Party over political and legal work and urged them to pursue a people-centered approach.

He called for stepping up law enforcement in key areas that concern people’s immediate interests to allow them to have better chances to enjoy blue skies, drink cleaner water, breathe cleaner air, eat safer food, have better transportation and live a more harmonious life.

The Party’s leadership and the strength of the socialist system must be leveraged to improve the efficacy of social management, Xi said.

Additional efforts must be made to crack down on gang crimes, with a focus on major cases involving mafialike crimes, and to destroy the financial support and shelter of wrongdoers, Xi said.

He called on political and legal agencies to push forward judicial reforms, step up optimizing the configuration of duties, and improve the quality, efficiency, and credibility of judicial work.

Since political and legal agencies bear responsibility for providing public services, they should make efforts to simplify procedures to make services more convenient and efficient, he added.

Xi demanded efforts be stepped up in building an overseas security protection system to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals and organizations abroad.

He emphasized the training of high-quality political and legal professionals. They should be fully dedicated to working as builders and guardians of the socialist undertaking. “Bad apples” in the staff of law enforcement and judicial agencies must be removed, he added.

Xi urged Party committees and leading officials to support all judicial and law enforcement agencies to perform their duties independently and fairly in accordance with the law.

Over the past year, China has made progress in reforming its judicial and law enforcement system as part of the effort to make it fairer, as well as more efficient and authoritative.

China launched the Shanghai Financial Court, the country’s first court specializing in handling finance-related cases. Two international commercial courts were set up by the Supreme People’s Court.