Shanghai China: Households sign to relocate from downtown ghetto



Households sign to relocate from downtown ghetto

Yang Jian
Households sign to relocate from downtown ghetto

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Pedestrians walk in the Qiaojia Road area on Saturday.

Over 2,400 households of residents living in Shanghai’s last remaining downtown ghetto will get relocated as most of them signed to accept the relocation deals over the weekend.

Some 92 percent of residents living in the western block of Qiaojia Road area in Huangpu District put their names on the dotted line on the first day the consultation process on Saturday.

The relocation can be begin as long as 85 percent of the residents agree. They can move to designated housing or receive cash compensation to purchase new properties on their own.

Officials with the Laoximen Subdistrict and neighborhood committees set up consultation offices to explain policies, answer question and help solve family disputes for the remaining residents who were still reluctant to leave.

Qiaojia Road is a small street in the old town, once the center of Shanghai, that covers 2 square kilometers. The road stretches for less than one kilometer. It was where Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), a scholar-bureaucrat of the Ming Dynasty, was born. His former residence is still in existence.

Painter Wang Yiting’s former residence is also on Qiaojia Road. In 1922, Wang welcomed Albert Einstein and his wife to the house.

Households sign to relocate from downtown ghetto

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Residents check the proportion of households signing to get relocated on Qiaojia Road on Saturday.

Households sign to relocate from downtown ghetto

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Residents celebrate when over 85 percent of households sign up to be relocated on Qiaojia Road on Saturday.

The condition of the historic buildings in the area has worsened and buildings that once housed only one family are now stuffed with five or six, sometimes more. Residents are still using chamber pots in the neighborhoods.

Huangpu has the largest amount of lane-style neighborhoods awaiting modernization, some 2 million square meters with shared bathrooms and kitchens. About 65,000 households in the downtown district are still using chamber pots.

The district government had planned to relocate or renovate 8,000 households each year until 2025.

It is part of a new round of face-lifting campaigns that have already been launched in Huangpu. They include the renovation of the former home of Shanghai Municipal Council and the city government near the Bund, the Chengxingli residential community and the Qiaojia Road Neighborhood.

As another key project, the nearly century-old former city government building is being preserved and renovated into offices, cultural and public space as well as commercial property. It will open to the public in 2023.

The Chengxingli neighborhood, a shikumen, or stone-gate community, on Beijing Road W., offers a new model for renovations in old neighborhoods. The project relocated some residents while renovating the living spaces of those who choose to remain.

Relocated families free up space for each remaining household. This space will be used for new kitchen and toilet facilities.


5 Cities Most at Risk With Rising Sea Levels



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5 Cities Most at Risk With Rising Sea Levels

There are 570 coastal cities that could be impacted by rising sea levels by the 2050’s, affecting some 800 million people, according to C40 Cities. Cities along the Atlantic coast in the U.S. and various parts of Asia are under the greatest threat. Here’s a look at the cities most at risk if sea levels rise significantly.

Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Credit: BackyardProduction/iStock

Located on the southeastern tip of Florida, this low-lying city will be completely inundated with flood waters if sea levels rise as some predict. With a population of over 2.7 million, the entire Miami-Dade county is only an average of six feet above sea level, making it an easy target for flooding.

The city is trying to address the problem with $500 million worth of infrastructure changes and the installation of pumps and floodgates, according to NPR.

Alexandria, Egypt

Credit: efesenko/iStock

Located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, the city of Alexandria is already feeling the effects of climate change. If sea levels continue to rise at the current rate, an estimated 3 million people would be directly affected, and millions more would eventually be displaced, according to The Guardian.

The drastic impact from rising sea levels is worsened by the Nile, the longest river in the world, which empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria. The low-lying river delta in this area continues to flood, causing the loss of much-needed crops in this heavily populated city, according to NPR. Climate change is also causing hotter temperatures and beach erosion. This is hampering tourism in the area, which is a very important aspect of the city’s economic livelihood, according to NPR. Making matters worse, the average elevation of the area is only 16 feet above sea level.

Osaka, Japan

Credit: pat138241/iStock

This large port city on the Japanese island of Honshu has been aware of the threat of climate change for a while. There has been massive coastal flooding in areas of the city, including its airport. According to The Guardian, an estimated 5 million people will be directly impacted by the rising sea levels, and an additional 6 million could be displaced in the city’s surrounding region.

Like other major coastal cities, Osaka has been updating its infrastructure in an attempt to combat the rising waters. Unfortunately, in a study by the Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science in Japan, it was found that the current designs for these walls may be insufficient against a prospective higher sea level.

Hong Kong, China

Credit: efired/iStock

The fate of this global financial hub depends on how high temperatures rise. A rise of just 2 degrees Celsius puts Hong Kong’s entire population of 7.4 million people at risk, along with many more in the surrounding coastal areas, according to The Guardian. A warm-up of more than 2 degrees could be catastrophic. The average elevation of Hong Kong varies, but it is typically only about 4 feet above sea level, worsening the situation.

Shanghai, China

Credit: chuyu/iStock

All of China’s coastal cities are at risk, according to GBTIMES. Its largest city, Shanghai, with a population of 24.2 million, is unfortunately at the forefront. Scientists have been warning the city for many years that it is already a major flood risk due to its dense population on the low-lying coast and its abundance of rivers, canals and other waterways, according to The New York Times.

According to The Guardian, 17.5 million people will be affected if sea levels rise to the current expectation. At just 13 feet above sea level, the city has been installing massive flood prevention walls in an attempt to prevent future problems. Only time will tell if these efforts help.

Ukraine, Russia agree on full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before 2019-end



Ukraine, Russia agree on full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before 2019-end

Ukraine, Russia agree on full ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before 2019-end


This handout picture released by the Ukrainian presidential press service early on December 10, 2019, shows (from left to right) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin giving a press conference after a summit on Ukraine at the Elysee Palace, in Paris.

Ukraine and Russia have agreed on a full and comprehensive implementation of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine before the end of 2019, announced leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany on Monday evening.

“The parties commit to fully implementing the ceasefire, which will be consolidated by the implementation of all necessary ceasefire support measures, before the end of 2019,” said a joint declaration issued by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Following the talks called Normandy Four Summit, the parties also agreed to hold another meeting in the Normandy format in the next four months, discussing “political and security conditions for local elections,” said the declaration.

Established in June 2014, the Normandy Four is a contact group for senior officials from the four countries to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine that erupted in April 2014.

Monday’s summit was the first of its kind in three years. The last was held in Berlin in 2016.

It was also the first time that Putin and Zelensky met face to face since the latter was elected president earlier this year. After the four-party talks, the two leaders had a separate one-on-one meeting.

China imposes ‘reciprocal’ restrictions on US diplomats: spokesperson



China imposes ‘reciprocal’ restrictions on US diplomats: spokesperson


China on Friday said it had taken “reciprocal” measures on US diplomats in the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference that the Chinese side issued a note to the US Embassy in China on Wednesday, informing it of reciprocal measures going into immediate effect.

Hua made the remarks when asked to respond to reports that China had taken countermeasures in response to the previous restrictions imposed on Chinese diplomatic and consular officials posted in the United States.

In October, the United States ordered Chinese diplomats to notify the State Department in advance of any official meetings with US diplomats, local or municipal officials and before any visits to colleges or research institutions.

Asked to confirm reports that US diplomats in China are required to notify the Foreign Ministry five working says in advance of meetings with local officials, Hua said, the countermeasures “are reciprocal to the US State Department’s restrictive measures against Chinese diplomatic and consular officials.”

“We once again urge the US side to correct its mistake, withdraw the decision and provide support and convenience for Chinese diplomatic and consular officials posted in the United States as they fulfill their official duties,” she said.

Hua said China has always supported diplomatic and consular personnel from other countries, including the United States, in carrying out normal official duties according to law.

“We will take appropriate measures in response to US actions,” she said.

China: Jing’an lights up the holiday



Jing’an lights up the holiday

Li Qian
Jing'an lights up the holiday

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A 25-meter Christmas tree has been erected in the square of the HKRI Taikoo Hui retail mall.

Jing'an lights up the holiday

Ti Gong

A “wishing ball” can be dropped by visitors to fall down twisting channels at the HKRI Taikoo Hui retail mall.

Merry and bright wintertime attractions and bustling pop-up markets are creating a lively, festival atmosphere in downtown Jing’an District.

A 25-meter Christmas tree in the square at the HKRI Taikoo Hui retail mall has become a popular place for young people to take holiday photographs.

The tree creates a romantic ambiance with twinkling fairy lights.

The mall’s second and third floors have been decorated like a fairy-tale place where little animals, including a cute blue mouse as next year is the Year of the Mouse in the Chinese lunar calendar, help Santa Claus prepare and distribute gifts. Visitors can make a wish and throw a “wishing ball” from the third floor to drop down to a “wishing box” on the second floor.

Wang Yan, deputy director of Jing’an Commerce Commission, said the event creates a fairytale world full of love on the Nanjing Road W.

A German-style Christmas fair is being held in The New Factories in the Jiangning Road sub-district, radiating warmth despite the chilly weather.

The Christkindlmarkt, which will run through December 15, featured stalls decorated as log cabins. A variety of traditional German delicacies, including baked apples, ginger cookies and grilled sausages, are on offer. The fair also has exquisite handicrafts, such as wooden Christmas trees and other holiday decorations, for sale. Santa Claus will grace visitors with his presence at weekends.

The New Factories, a creative industry park transformed from old factory workshops, is a popular destination. Nearly a third of its occupants are foreign companies.

Jing'an lights up the holiday

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Visitors take photographs of the holiday decorations at the HKRI Taikoo Hui retail mall.

China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta



China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta

China outlines integrated development of Yangtze River Delta


The mouth of the Yangtze River on Shanghai’s Chongming Island.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Sunday jointly issued an outline of the integrated regional development of the Yangtze River Delta.

The document outlined targets, requirements and measures to boost the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and build a regional cluster of high-quality development.

As one of China’s most economically active, open and innovative regions, the Yangtze River Delta boasts strategic significance in the country’s modernization and further opening-up, which makes its regional integration crucial for leading the country’s high-quality development and building a modern economic system.

The outline, mapping development for a 358,000-square km expanse that encompasses Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Anhui Province and Shanghai Municipality, consists of 12 chapters.

Tasks specified in the outline include establishing a coordinated innovative industry system, enhancing connectivity of infrastructure, strengthening environmental protection, advancing public services and building the Shanghai free trade zone under high standards.

The document detailed development goals to be achieved by 2025 and offered visions into 2035.

By 2025, the Yangtze River Delta is to see substantial development and basically realize integration in the science and innovation industry, infrastructure, environment and public services, said the document.

To fulfill integrated development in the science and innovation sector by 2025, the ratio of the region’s R&D spending to its gross domestic product (GDP) should top 3 percent, while its output of high-tech industries should account for 18 percent of total industrial output.

In the same period, connectivity of infrastructure will be represented by improvements in railway and expressway density and a 5G network coverage of 80 percent.

The outline also laid out environment standards to be met by 2025 in terms of PM2.5 density and energy consumption per unit of GDP.

By 2025, accomplishments in public services should put per capita fiscal expenditure at 21,000 yuan (about 2,987 U.S. dollars) and extend the average life expectancy to 79 years, according to the outline.

The outline also called for a unified market system marked by openness and the free flow of resources.

Looking further into the future, the outline envisioned the Yangtze River Delta as the most influential and robust driving force of the nation’s development by 2035.

China: 2020 launch for Shanghai-Deutsche Stock Connect



2020 launch for Shanghai-Deutsche Stock Connect

Preparations for a Shanghai-Deutsche Stock Connect program is well under way.

The new scheme linking the Shanghai and Frankfurt stock exchanges will be launched in 2020 with the China Europe International Exchange (CEINEX) currently in charge of its establishment.

The scheme will promote German listed blue-chip companies to issue Chinese depositary receipts on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and support certain qualified Chinese listed companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, to issue global depositary receipts on the Frankfurt bourse in order to strengthen the interconnection between Chinese and German stock markets, according to CEINEX.

“In the next step, through the issuance of depository receipts, CEINEX will make efforts to build closer links between the capital markets and the real economy in China and Germany,” Chen Han, Co-Chief Executive Officer of CEINEX.

The CEINEX is a joint venture established in 2015 by the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse Group, and China Financial Futures Exchange. It is the first dedicated trading venue for investment products related to China and the yuan outside the Chinese mainland.

The stock connect program, which first launched five years ago with a pilot project linking Shanghai with Hong Kong, has been a success in China’s progress in opening up the mainland’s equity market to overseas capital.

The program has led to sustained growth in two-way capital flow, as it enabled offshore capital to invest in the mainland market and also give a way for Chinese investors to reach overseas markets.

Data showed that by the end of October, the total cumulative northbound (to the mainland) trading turnover on stock connect was 17.41 trillion yuan (about US$2.48 trillion), bringing net capital inflows of 860 billion yuan into the A-share market.

Meanwhile, total cumulative southbound (to Hong Kong) trading turnover reached HK$8.75 trillion (about US$1.12 trillion) over the past five years, bringing net capital inflows of HK$987 billion into the Hong Kong market, according to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

China Is Concerned About HK Court Ruling



Central gov’t spokesperson expresses strong concern over HK court judicial review related to mask ban


A central government spokesperson on Tuesday expressed strong concern over the serious negative social impact of the ruling on the judicial review related to the anti-mask regulation by the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Emergency Regulations Ordinance in force in Hong Kong was confirmed to be in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law by the relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in February 1997 and adopted as a law of the HKSAR, said Yang Guang, spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.

“This shows all the provisions of the ordinance are in accordance with the Basic Law,” Yang said.

The HKSAR Chief Executive in Council invoked the power under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to put in place the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation, which was an exercise of the Chief Executive’s functions in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPC Standing Committee, he noted.

“The regulation has played a positive role in curbing violence and chaos since its implementation,” he added.

The Court of First Instance of the High Court of the HKSAR ruled that the provisions of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance which empower the Chief Executive to make related regulations under certain circumstances were inconsistent with the HKSAR Basic Law and that the main elements of the anti-mask regulation failed to meet the proportionality test.

“This is a blatant challenge to the authority of the NPC Standing Committee and to the power vested in the Chief Executive by law to govern. It will have serious negative social and political impact,” said Yang, adding that the central government will closely follow the development of this case.

The spokesperson expressed the hope that the HKSAR government and the judiciary will perform their duties strictly in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law and jointly shoulder the responsibility of ending violence and chaos and restoring order.

China moon base to aid deep space exploration



China moon base to aid deep space exploration


China is carrying out in-depth research and long-term planning for its manned lunar exploration, and has formed a consensus and a preliminary plan, a senior space engineer has said.

At the 1st China Space Science Assembly in Xiamen in southeast China’s Fujian Province, from last Friday to on Monday, Chen Shanguang, deputy chief designer of China’s manned space program, said the trend of manned space travel is to explore the moon, establish a lunar base for scientific research, gather technology and experience for going deeper into space.

“The long-term goal is to send people to Mars,” Chen said.

Manned lunar exploration will help improve humans’ understanding of the evolution of the moon, as astronauts may set up facilities to obtain scientific data and samples, Chen said.

Astronauts may carry out multi-disciplinary research in fields such as physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology, and in-situ resource utilization by taking advantage of the characteristics of the moon, such as low gravity, its weak magnetic field and high vacuum. The research could promote innovation and the development of basic science.

Solving the scientific problems of human survival on the moon could lay a foundation for humans to go further into deep space.

China: Online residence registration for foreigners



Online residence registration for foreigners

China International Import Expo

From Friday, foreigners arriving in Shanghai can register their residence online instead of going to the police in person.

The law requires people from overseas to register their residence on the Chinese mainland within 24 hours of arrival. Previously, apart from those staying in hotels, everyone had to go to a police station to register their temporary address.

Shanghai is the first city in China to introduce online residence registration. The system could benefit about 500,000 people a year, according to official estimates.

People can scan the following QR code with their mobile phone or log onto to register. So far, the only language options are English and Chinese.

Online residence registration for foreigners

To register, people need to sign up with their e-mail address, upload a picture of their passport page with personal data and picture, and give their address in Shanghai and their entry and exit dates.

An SMS message will confirm receipt of the digital registration form.

Jiang Lili, a French citizen who lives with her husband’s parents in the city, said online registration made the process much more convenient.

“While the police stations have working hours, the online registration doesn’t,” she said. “Also, previously I had to present proof of the authenticity and legality of my residence to the police, but this system doesn’t require that.”

Ye Jun, director of the foreigner administration division of the public security bureau’s exit-entry administration bureau, said online registration exempts foreigners from providing certain materials to make the process easier.

“We will have community police officers to come up to them at the registered address, and if any cheating in this regard is discovered, legal action will be taken,” he said.

More convenience at CIIE

Police said this was one of the exit-entry measures to help foreigners attending the second China International Import Expo.

“Last year, we found that a number of foreigners lived in residential communities during the expo because hotel rooms were not available, and some of them didn’t have enough time to register at police stations which are not always on their doorstep,” Ye said.

Last year, exit-entry police had a stand inside the venue which offered consultation and emergency services to foreigners attending the event. An office at the venue this year will allow foreigners to apply for or extend visas.

There is a photo booth and a visa application form printing machine. By scanning their passport and the bar code generated on their picture, applicants don’t need to fill out basic information about themselves by hand.

The office is on the first floor of the B0 office building, opposite Gate 13.

Cai Baodi, director of the foreigners’ exit-entry document administration division of the exit-entry administration bureau, said the office will likely be open during other large-scale events at the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

Online residence registration for foreigners

Shanghai police

A foreigner applies for a visa at the exit-entry police office at the expo venue, the National Exhibition and Convention Center, on Friday.