China: How my friend’s police run-in could help you if you’re ever falsely accused

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS)

 

How my friend’s police run-in could help you if you’re ever falsely accused

This week a friend had a terrifying experience: He found himself handcuffed on Nanjing Road E. after he more or less admitted to shoplifting. Problem is, he never stole anything.

It was a very valuable lesson for him in the importance of keeping a cool and level head under moments of extreme stress.

The drama began as my friend, a local who wishes not to be named, was approached by two men claiming to be plain-clothes police officers. They asked to look in his bag and said staff at H&M suspected he stole a white T-shirt from there.

He had just left H&M, so wondered if the men had been watching him and were trying to scam him.

At this point he did the right thing and refused to open his bag until the officers could prove who they really were. They did so by approaching a uniformed officer on the street to verify their identity.

That’s when things started getting heated.

My friend, who was wearing a white H&M T-shirt, had another white H&M T-shirt in his bag. The officers asked him if he just stole it, and in the heat of the moment he began to believe that maybe he did.

He had just been trying on T-shirts in the changing room at the clothing outlet and left without buying anything. That’s when he started to question himself: “Could I have accidentally put it in my bag?!”

“I didn’t take it on purpose,” he said. A huge mistake.

That’s when he was placed in handcuffs and taken to the nearest police station as he cried and tried to convince the officers that he is a good person and would never do such a thing.

They told him that, since the T-shirt was only worth 39 yuan (US$5.75), he could write an apology letter, which he did at the station, and then they’d take him back to the store to pay for the T-shirt. The important thing is that you learn a lesson from this and don’t steal again, the officers said.

It was on their way back to H&M in a police car that he had time to finally calm down and think clearly. That’s when he realized where the whole situation had gone off the rails.

The T-shirt in his bag wasn’t new at all — it was a T-shirt he had bought weeks before which he planned to wear for dance class after work. He had somehow, in the heat of the moment, forgotten and then been led down a path which ended up with him being arrested.

“Why did you admit you stole it then?” the officers asked.

And that’s the scary thing: He never really admitted to stealing anything, but under immense pressure he allowed himself to be led astray, and it could have cost him dearly.

In the end the situation was left there and, thankfully, no records were taken of the incident. But it was a good lesson for my friend, and now hopefully for others, too.

Probably a better idea would have been to first request that the store in question provide video evidence of a crime taking place, especially since nothing was actually stolen. Unfortunately, though, H&M refused to look through the video footage to vindicate my friend, claiming that they were too busy — they said that thefts occur dozens of times a day and that if they had to provide evidence each time it would be too much.

To be honest, that’s a bit slack, especially when it comes to accusing someone of stealing something.

Most importantly, though, never admit — or even allude — to having done anything you didn’t do. It sounds easy in retrospect, but it really needs to become second nature in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

This incident involved a series of people confused about an alleged crime that never actually took place. Things would have been put to bed much quicker if my friend remained calm, had confidence in himself, stuck his ground and demanded video evidence.

So that’s my advice here, however simple: Stay calm, take a deep breath, sit down if you need to, and try your best not to end up in a sticky situation.

41 People confirmed dead in plane fire in Moscow’s airport

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS NETWORK)

 

41 people confirmed dead in plane fire in Moscow’s airport

Xinhua

Video from AFP.

Russia’s Investigative Committee confirmed Monday that 41 people were killed after an SSJ-100 passenger plane en route to the northwestern Russian city of Murmansk caught fire before an emergency landing Sunday at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow.

“41 people died,” Elena Markovskaya, representative of the committee’s Moscow Interregional Investigation Department for Transport, was quoted by Tass news agency as saying.

The committee reported 37 survivors from the 78 people aboard the airliner in an earlier statement.

The plane reportedly took off from the Sheremetyevo Airport at 6pm local time (1500 GMT) and made an emergency landing after circling over the Moscow region for about 40 minutes.

It was “engulfed in flames” before the emergency landing, Tass news agency quoted a source as saying.

It was previously reported that the fire could be caused by lightening strike.

The committee has opened a criminal case on violation of safety regulations for air transport and started further investigation of the accident, according to the statement.

Investigators began to interview the victims, eyewitnesses, airport staff and the airline carrier, as well as others responsible for the operation of the aircraft, it said.

The causes and circumstances are being verified and an explicit conclusion will be made after a comprehensive study of the data and documentation is completed, the committee said.

Xinhua

An SSJ-100 passenger plane catches fire at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow on May 5.

China opposes US warships’ sailing near islands in South China Sea

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S SHINE NEWS NETWORK)

 

China opposes US warships’ sailing near islands in South China Sea

Xinhua

China on Monday expressed strong dissatisfaction over and resolute opposition to two US warships’ sailing near Chinese islands in the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said two US warships entered the waters adjacent to Chinese islands in the South China Sea without permission from the Chinese government. The Chinese navy identified and verified the US warships and warned them to leave according to law.

“The relevant moves of the US warships violated China’s sovereignty and undermined peace, security and healthy order in the relevant sea areas,” said Geng.

Geng said that at present, with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea has stabilized and been improving. China urges the US side to stop such provocative acts, respect China’s sovereignty and security interests, and respect the efforts of regional countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

China will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and security, and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, he said.

China’s energy consumption structure continues to optimize: report

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHINA’S SHINE NEWS NETWORK)

 

China’s energy consumption structure continues to optimize: report

Xinhua

China saw an optimized energy consumption structure last year with an increase of clean energy, an industry report showed.

Consumption of clean energy, including natural gas, hydropower, nuclear power and wind power, accounted for 22.1 percent of energy consumed last year, up 1.3 percentage points from 2017, China Electric Power Planning & Engineering Institute said in a report.

Coal consumption accounted for 59 percent of the total energy consumption in 2018, down 1.4 percentage points year on year, according to the report.

Total energy consumption reached 4.64 billion tonnes of standard coal, a year-on-year growth of 3.3 percent, the fastest growth since 2014, the report said.

The report also predicted that China’s energy consumption will continue the clean and efficient trend in 2019.

China: Shanghai the foreigners’ favorite

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS)

 

Shanghai the foreigners’ favorite

Shanghai has topped a list of the most attractive cities on the Chinese mainland for foreigners for the seventh consecutive year, it was revealed on Sunday.

At the 17th Conference on International Exchange Professionals, Zhang Jianguo, the deputy science and technology minister, released the latest “Amazing China — the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners” ranking.

Launched in 2010 by the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the poll required foreigners to vote in four categories — expat-friendly policies, governmental administrative capacity, and working and living conditions.

“Shanghai is becoming a very important hub for international talent,” Oscar Ramos, managing director of Shanghai-based Chinaccelerator, the first startup accelerator launched in China, told Shanghai Daily.

“On one side local companies are internationalizing more and faster than ever and that requires global teams with cultural diversity. On the other hand, there’s great potential to build new products and services in Shanghai that will have global potential.”

He added: “Shanghai citizens and enterprises are early adopters of new technology and the dynamic environment is a great ecosystem for innovation that is starting to be leveraged by both startups and multinationals.”

Ramos said that when he decided to move to China 11 years ago, his go-to destinations were initially Shenzhen or Beijing. He thought they would be perfect for his startup until a friend recommended Shanghai.

“Building a startup is a marathon and the support ecosystem is very important. Shanghai not only had a very supportive international community but in general was more welcoming for business with foreigners,” he added.

Frenchman Sebastien Gaudin released healthcare app CareVoice in Jing’an District in Shanghai in 2014.

He said: “Shanghai concentrates large successful multinational companies, Chinese private companies and fast-growing startups across sectors providing great opportunities for any foreign talent.”

He added: “The quality of life is great too. The city has been modernized while preserving its heritage. Quality of air has been drastically improved and the many outside areas make it easy to enjoy sports and other activities. Shanghai is definitely the most international city on the Chinese mainland, making it uniquely positioned to attract foreign talent.”

The ranking was based on a poll carried out among nearly 10,000 foreigners throughout China including Nobel laureates and Chinese Friendship Award and Turing Award recipients.

They included Konstantin Novoselo, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010, Edvard Moser, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014, and Leslie Valiant, winner of the 2010 ACM A.M. Turing Award.

Ranked in the top-10 list were Shanghai, Beijing, Hefei, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin, Xi’an and Wuhan. Chengdu, Nanjing and Guangzhou, which were on the previous year’s list, were replaced by Tianjin, Xi’an and Wuhan.

Currently, Shanghai has 215,000 working foreigners, accounting for 23.7 percent of the Chinese mainland’s total, and 55 of them have been honored with the Chinese government’s Friendship Award.

Since April 2017, Shanghai has issued more than 120,000 work permits, with more than 18 percent issued to high-level foreign professionals, topping the country. Last year, Shanghai welcomed more than 500 foreign professionals.

Shanghai has a number of policies designed to attract foreign professionals.

The city has streamlined procedures for foreigners to apply for visas, as well as work and residence permits. In Pudong, foreign professionals are now able to obtain work and residence permits in just five days, and they have access to a one-stop service, meaning they don’t need to visit different departments and fill in different forms with the same details.

Last month, the city government released 25 measures offering greater financial and administrative support for aspiring innovators to accelerate the city’s development as a global science innovation hub by encouraging overseas research and innovation institutes to build global innovation centers in Shanghai and cooperate with local laboratories.

Market watchdog investigates after viral Mercedes oil leak

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS PAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Market watchdog investigates after viral Mercedes oil leak

The market watchdog in northwest China’s Xi’an has launched an investigation into a customer complaint that her newly bought Mercedes-Benz sedan has engine oil leaks.

The incident has attracted wide attention after a video of a woman sitting on top of a Mercedes-Benz while weeping and arguing with salesmen went viral online.

In the video posted on Weibo by a netizen identified as “huashenfangcunshan” on April 11, the woman claimed she found an oil leak when she was driving the car home from the dealer. After she drove the car back, she was told she couldn’t get a refund nor switch to a new car. All the dealer offered was to change the engine.

The CLS300 sedan cost around 660,000 yuan (US$98,445).

The customer met with officials from the market watchdog of Gaoxin District Saturday, demanding a full maintenance history of the car and an independent test by a third-party, Shaanxi TV Station reported Saturday.

Mercedes-Benz issued a statement on its Weibo account on Saturday, saying it was sorry for the customer’s “unpleasant experience,” and has dispatched a team to Xi’an to help solve the issue.

The dealer claimed the car had passed all tests before it was sold, according to a report by Xi’an’s news portal cnwest.com on April 12.

Li Yong, an official with the market watchdog of Gaoxin District in Xi’an, told cnwest.com that they learned about the incident online. They are still investigating and will punish those responsible if any violations are discovered, the report said.

China: People Mourn Martyrs Who Died Fighting Forest Fire

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

People mourn for martyrs who died while fighting forest fire in Sichuan

Xinhua

Xinhua

A ceremony is held to receive the bone ashes of fireman Zhang Chengpeng, who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, at Jinan international airport in Jinan, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019. The ashes of fireman Zhang Chengpeng returned to his hometown of Zouping in Shandong Province on Friday.

Xinhua

People mourn for Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as their remains are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

The remains of Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

The remains of Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

People mourn for Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as their remains are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

People attend a mourning ceremony for fireman Zhang Chengpeng, who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, in Dachen Village, Zouping, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

The remains of Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

People mourn for Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as their remains are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

A ceremony is held to receive the bone ashes of fireman Zhang Chengpeng, who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, at Jinan international airport in Jinan, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

People mourn for Yang Ruilun, a martyr who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as his remains are taken back to his hometown in Majiang County, Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

People mourn for Yang Ruilun, a martyr who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as his remains are taken back to his hometown in Majiang County, Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

The remains of Xu Penglong, Zhao Yongyi, Zhang Shuai and Kang Rongzhen, martyrs who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, are taken back to their hometown in Linyi, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019.

Xinhua

People mourn for Yang Ruilun, a martyr who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, as his remains are taken back to his hometown in Majiang County, Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 5, 2019.

Xi says new substantial progress made on text of China-US economic and trade agreement

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWSPAPER ‘SHINE’)

 

Xi says new substantial progress made on text of China-US economic and trade agreement

Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message delivered to his US counterpart, Donald Trump, on Thursday that new substantial progress has been made on the text of the China-US economic and trade agreement in the past more than one month.

In the message conveyed by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at a meeting with Trump at the White House, Xi encouraged the two sides to keep up with the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and resolve issues of mutual concern so as to conclude the negotiations on the agreement text as soon as possible.

Under the current situation, a healthy and stable development of China-US relations concerns the interests of both Chinese and American people, as well as the interests of people of other countries around the world, and it needs, in particular, their strategic leadership, Xi told Trump.

Xi also said he is ready to keep close contact with Trump through various means, and believes that the China-US relations will make new and greater progress under their joint guidance.

At the meeting, Liu said the Chinese and US negotiation teams have over the past two days conducted fruitful consultations and reached new consensus on such important issues as the text of the economic and trade agreement.

Liu also said that the two sides, guided by the consensus reached by the two heads of state, will continue with the consultations to achieve greater progress on issues of mutual concern so as to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible and push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral economic and trade ties.

Trump said that the US-China bilateral relationship now sees a sound and robust development, and is at a high level in history.

The US president said that he is glad to see that huge progress has been achieved in the economic and trade negotiations, and that he hopes the two sides make further efforts and resolve the remaining issues in a bid to reach a comprehensive and historic agreement as soon as possible.

It will not only benefit the two countries but also the whole world, he added.

The US president said he looks forward to meeting with Xi after the two sides reach the agreement, and to witnessing the great moment together with the Chinese leader.

Trump also thanked Xi for China’s decision to add fentanyl-related substances to a supplementary list of controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with non-medical use, saying it is of great significance for American people and the US-China anti-drug cooperation.

Liu is in the United States for the ninth round of high-level economic and trade consultations between the two nations.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner attended the meeting.

Chinese Views On The Taj Mahal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Majestic Taj Mahal, a modern wonder and symbol of love

If Varanasi is a holy city of priests and devotees, Agra is a grand city of the emperors — and you can feel it the moment you get off the train at the Agar Fort station.

The Agar Fort, right next to the railway station, was a military base and royal residence of the Mughal Dynasty emperors until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.

The Hall of Public Audience to the right of the pathway through the Lahore Gate was where the emperor would listen to public petitions and meet state officials.

Contrary to the joyful squirrels who littered the ground, the huge pillared hall with the white marble throne in the center backstage gave all the authority and solemnity over its subjects standing down under.

As of today, most of the white marble palaces were built during the reign of the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666). However, there were earlier buildings of red sandstone with layers of decorated columns in the inner court, which were also “of great importance to the study of Mughal buildings’ architectural history,” said a teacher to a group of students on the site.

Xu Qin

The Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-i-Am) in Agra Fort

Mounted high on a rocky ridge, Fatehpur Sikri, also known as the “City of Victory,” is a palace city built primarily to afford leisure and luxury to its famous residents during the reign of the third Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556-1605), Shan Jahan’s grandfather.

The city was built massively and preferably with red sandstone.

The architecture features both the Hindu and Muslim styles, popular in India at the time, with large domes, large halls and colossal gateways.

The Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, along with the imperial complex at Fatehpur Sikri, is said to have the most delicate marble screens in India. It enshrines the burial place of the Sufi saint, Salim Chisti (1478-1572), who foretold the birth of Akbar’s son Jahangir.

Today people are often seen at the tomb praying for child birth blessings. With Sufi singers performing in front of the door to the chamber, visitors come in to pay homage to the saint while tying a thread on the marble screens to seek fulfillment of their wishes.

Standing on top of the palace walls, one can enjoy an aerial view of the green Indian countryside with small homes dotting around the rice fields on the outskirts. It is hard to believe the city, due to a lack of water, was abandoned just a few years after its construction.

Xu Qin

Mounted high on a rocky ridge, Fatehpur Sikri is also known as the “City of Victory.”

Xu Qin

The white marble tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chishti at Fatehpur Sikri

Xu Qin

Standing on top of the palace walls, one can enjoy an aerial view of the green Indian countryside with small homes dotting around the rice fields on the outskirts.

The following morning we got up early as the Taj Mahal was desperately waiting to say hello. Sitting on the south bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, the UNESCO-listed mausoleum is perhaps the finest testament to Mughal architecture.

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. According to popular legend, Shah Jahan spotted Mumtaz at the marketplace in his royal complex. It was love at first sight for the two, and he quickly made her his third wife. Mumtaz traveled with Shah Jahan throughout India, as his chief companion and beloved advisor. After bearing him 14 children, Mumtaz died, leaving Shah Jahan devastated.

Taking inspiration from the detailed description of Heaven in the Quran, Shah Jahan started building the Taj Mahal in 1632. To ensure that no one could recreate the Taj Mahal’s beauty, Shah Jahan supposedly severed the hands and gouged the eyes of the artisans and craftsmen after construction was completed in 1647.

Each year, millions of visitors come to the Taj Mahal to appreciate one of the greatest achievements in human history, and the stories of the loving couple flow from everyone’s lips like new gossip.

Looming out like a mirage in the morning fog, the harmony and balance of the Taj Mahal looks astounding from all directions. Inside the building, the marble screens, calligraphy inscriptions and floral inlays were detailed to everyone’s heart content.

Compared to Shah Jahan, those who built the Taj Mahal were classified as the insignificant others, like most of us who were visiting.

As I pressed my finger tip on the wall and felt along the swirling waves of the patterns, I could hear the sound of their chisels: chip-chip, chip-chip…

Xu Qin

Looming out like a mirage in the morning fog, the harmony and balance of the Taj Mahal looks astounding from all directions.

The inside of the Taj Mahal houses the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan

IMF cuts global growth forecasts, citing escalating trade tensions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

IMF cuts global growth forecasts, citing escalating trade tensions

Xinhua

The International Monetary Fund has cut growth forecasts for the global economy this year and next year, as escalating trade tensions could dent business sentiment and trigger financial market volatility.

In its updated World Economic Outlook report released on the IMF’s website on Monday, the Washington-based international lender said global economic growth is projected to reach 3.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, 0.2 percentage points lower than its previous forecasts in July.

“Downside risks to global growth have risen in the past six months and the potential for upside surprises has receded,” the report said, adding the economic expansion has become “less balanced” and “may have peaked” in some major economies.

The IMF maintained its growth forecast of 2.4 percent for advanced economies in 2018, while downgrading its forecast for those economies in 2019 to 2.1 percent, 0.1 percentage points lower than its July forecast.

Growth in emerging markets and developing economies is projected to reach 4.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, 0.2 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points, respectively, lower than the previous forecasts in July.

The IMF kept its growth forecast for China at 6.6 percent this year, while shaving its projection for China’s growth next year to 6.2 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from three months ago.

As the United States unilaterally imposed additional tariffs on some of its main trade partners in the past several months, the IMF warned that “escalating trade tensions and the potential shift away from a multilateral, rules-based trading system” are key threats to the global outlook.

“An intensification of trade tensions, and the associated rise in policy uncertainty, could dent business and financial market sentiment, trigger financial market volatility, and slow investment and trade,” the report said.

“Higher trade barriers would disrupt global supply chains and slow the spread of new technologies, ultimately lowering global productivity and welfare,” the report argued, adding more import restrictions would push up the prices of consumer goods, thus harming low-income households disproportionately.

The report comes as global financial ministers and central bankers gather in Bali, Indonesia, this week to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. Officials are expected to have a heated discussion on the trade tensions.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, last week called on economies around the world to “de-escalate and resolve the current trade disputes” as global economic growth outlook has dimmed.

“The stakes are high because the fracturing of global value chains could have a devastating effect on many countries,” Lagarde said, urging countries to work together to build a global trade system that is “stronger, fairer, and fit for the future.”