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An educational test for China’s #Uyghur

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Qiemo County, is in the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, China, part of the Southern Silk Route. In 2014 the Chinese government started a program that tried to ‘sinocize’  the non-Han population living in Qiemo County, by incentivising mixed marriage. The plan introduced an allowance that was issued to any mixed couples living in the region. The allowance consisted of a 10000-yuan yearly payment (1300 euros) that would be issued to each couple for five consecutive years.  This plan, like many of the other programs being operated in China, was designed to speed up the cultural assimilation of the Muslim Uyghurs and other minority groups. Despite being a meaningful amount of money for the regions standards, this program hasn’t been all that effective at promoting more mixed marriages. It should come as no surprise then that Beijing is now trying a new strategy, writes 30th President of the European Economic and Social Committee Henri Malosse.

According to 2015 statistics, almost half of the 23 million inhabitants of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), better known to the locals as East Turkestan, are Uyghurs. More than 1 million Uyghurs and other individuals who belong to different ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region have been imprisoned in internment camps established by the Chinese authorities without trial or legal representation, all in the name of unity through the assimilation, and indoctrination, of religious minorities into Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The reports coming from these “camps” are deeply disturbing. In response to these troubling stories the European Parliament recently directed the European External Action Services to investigate the deteriorating situation in the XUAR. The European Parliament stated that whilst "the EU has become increasingly vocal on the issue in recent months, the situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has continued to deteriorate, as credible reports indicate that the internment camp network arbitrarily detaining an estimated 1 million Uyghurs and other ethnic Turkic peoples has continued to expand. The camps constitute a massive effort to forcibly culturally assimilate an entire ethnic group and erode the unique Uyghur identity."

While these tactics are quite shocking, they do not seem to have had the success in consuming religious minorities into the ideal population envisioned by the CCP. In a sign of their grim determination,  China has now introduced a new policy intended to distort the education of both Han Chinese and Uyghur unless they consider inter cultural marriages.
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Certain Uyghur students, those lucky enough to not be detained, will now face discrimination when accessing university studies. Instead of allocating extra points to members of ethnic minorities (which is usually the case in China in order to balance their lower level in Mandarin), the Xinjiang administration has chosen a contrary action. It has modified its university entrance exam rules to favour children from mixed families, those from both Han and Uyghur mixed marriages.

In concrete terms, the regional government doubled the number of bonus points allocated to interethnic students (those having one Han parent) to 20, while students with both parents from the same ethnic minority will see their scored decreased by 15 points.

In 2018, around 5 million students passed the Gaokao exam, out of the 10 million who attended the test. Thus for Uyghur students already starting with a disadvantage on the final mark is more than just a handicap. For Uyghur students who want to be among the half that will have the chance to be admitted in the higher education institutes this distinction based on parentage has broad ramifications.

The Gaokao examination is taken by Chinese students in their third and final year of high school. It is the sole criterion for admission into Chinese universities. One Chinese saying aptly compares the exam to a stampede of “thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of horses across a single log bridge.”

Chinese statistics on interethnic marriages are not so easily found, but national data from a 2010-census suggests that the Han and Uyghur populations tend to marry within their own ethnic group, with only 0.2 percent of Uyghurs marrying Han people. This means that the reform will ultimately end up hurting many, if not all, Uyghur teenagers from the region. This authoritarian measure is just another step on the long road of persecution that the Uyghur population has been enduring.

The Chinese Communist Party policy towards the Uyghurs continues to steadily progress, complete with its totalitarian ideology. But with this new exam system, the CCP has also triggered the ire of the Han population. If mixed couples will benefit from this program, and if their children will be given an advantage in the Gaokao,, then families who are not mixed, be they in Uyghur or the Han communities, will be disadvantaged.

In a sense, the Chinese governments policy, which are scrambling to erase Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities from the cultural maps of China, are having quite the opposite to their intended effect as they bring discontentment amongst the Han Chinese and force the Uyghur to go to extreme length to  retain their heritage, values and families.

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#Huawei delivered a lifeline from Samsung as latest US sanctions hit

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Huawei has reportedly been delivered a helping hand from smartphone rivals Samsung as they deal with more US sanctions inflicted on them, writes Dion Dassanayake.

The P40 Pro and P30 Pro makers this week (15 September) are seeing a new set of US sanctions imposed on them. Following on from Huawei being put on the US Entity trade blacklist last year, Donald Trump's administration are ramping up the pressure on Huawei even further with a new restriction that means a company which wishes to supply parts that use any kind of American tech to Huawei needs to apply for a license. The latest sanction affects a wide range of tech used in Huawei smartphones such as chips and OLED displays from Samsung and LG.

LG has already commented about this latest round of sanctions, saying it will have little impact on its operations as the firm supplies a limited amount of panels to Huawei.

Samsung is yet to comment, but the South Korean tech giant has reportedly applied for a license to supply the P40 makers with panels.

According to a post by ZDNet, Samsung Display has applied for a license from the US Department of Commerce before the latest sanctions kick in on September 15.

If the license is given the green light then it will be great news for both parties.

Samsung Display is the world's biggest OLED provider, with Huawei their third most important customer behind Apple and Samsung Electronics.

While Huawei will be hoping the license gets approved as if it doesn't it leaves them with few alternatives.

Elsewhere, ahead of the latest US sanctions coming into force Huawei has reportedly been stockpiling Kirin chipsets.

Reports coming from China claim Huawei chartered a cargo plane to Taiwan to ship Kirin and other related chips back to them by 14 September.

Huawei has already confirmed that their upcoming Mate 40 handset will be the last to feature their own Kirin chipset.

Huawei’s consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong has confirmed the restrictions being implemented on 15 September means its Kirin chipsets "cannot be manufactured" after that date.

HuaweiHuawei have been hit by a number of restrictive US sanctions 

Huawei chips are manufactured by Taiwanese firm TSMC which use equipment sourced from the States.

Recently, Huawei chairman Guo Ping spoke about the latest sanctions coming from the Trump administration.

Staying upbeat, Guo admitted the latest sanctions would "cause certain difficulties" but said "I believe we can solve them".

Guo also said "the world has been suffering for a long time" over the power Google wields on the Android ecosystem and that the globe is "looking forward to a new open system". The Huawei bigwig added: "Since Huawei helped Android to succeed, why not make our own system successful?"

Guo, whose firm in Q2 of 2020 became the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, added that Huawei was up to the "fight" to succeed. The Huawei chairman said: "HMS must have a ‘Foolish Old Man Moving Mountain Spirit’, no matter how high the mountain is, dig an inch or less, persist and fight for a long time, we will definitely succeed".

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Competition zone for 2022 Olympic Winter Games goes deep in sports industry

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Chongli district, as a major competition zone for the snow events of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, is accelerating construction of ski resorts and relevant facilities to develop the sports industry, writes Zhang Tengyang, People’s Daily.

So far, it has built 7 middle- and large-sized ski resorts, including 169 tracks that total 161.7 kilometers.

Wen Chang, is a 56-year-old resident of Chongli, Zhangjiakou of North China’s Hebei Province. He now works at the Thaiwoo Ski Resort & Alpine Park in the district.

The location of the resort was once Wen’s home - Yingcha village. In the past, like other villagers, Wen lived in an adobe house and made a living by growing cabbages. However, due to the lack of water resources, the crop not always harvested.

A hailstorm happened in 2011, which lasted over 20 minutes, ruined all the crops, and I cried in the field,” Wen recalled.

Later, the ski resort was built in the village. Wen and his family moved away and received compensation for relocation. They bought an apartment in downtown Chongli.

Thaiwoo Ski Resort & Alpine Park, starting operation since 2015, has developed from a simple ski resort into a “small town” that gathers relevant snow and ice industries such as hotel, catering, costume and winter sports.

The prospering snow and ice industry also created abundant job opportunities for local residents. Yingcha village had 70 households, and the resort has created a job for at least one person from each of them.

Wen works at the staff canteen of the resort and earns 4,000 yuan ($586) per month with social insurance. His two daughters, after graduating from college, are also working at a local resort and a tourism investment company, respectively.

Ski tracks are common in Thaiwoo Ski Resort & Alpine Park. However, the white tracks in winter are green in summer, winding in the dark green forests on the mountain. Though it’s not snow season at present, visitors are still hustling in the resort. According to Tong Haitao, an employee of the Thaiwoo Ski Resort & Alpine Park, an outdoor off-road racing event will be held there several days later, and is expected to attract more tourists.

Relying on the opportunity of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and favorable natural scenery, Chongli has steadfastly developed skiing industry in the winter and outdoor activities in the summer, making remarkable performances in both Winter Games preparation and economic development.

Since Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Chongli has newly planted 48,200 hectares of forests, improving its forest coverage from 52.38 percent in 2015 to 67 percent. The figure stands at 80 percent in core the core zones of the Olympic games.

Since 2017, the district has also seen prosperous tourism industry. The Thaiwoo Ski Resort & Alpine Park alone had received 200,000 visitors last summer, almost the same with those seen in the winter.

The thriving tourism created huge development space for local residents. Tong, who worked in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, is one that returned to his hometown after seeing more job opportunities there. He was once an electrician when he just entered the resort, but as summer activities were more and more launched, he was promoted and took up more responsibilities. “My income doubled after I became a department chief,” he said.

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Xi encourages Chinese scientists to make sci-tech research intensive, extensive

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Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that scientific and technological development must target the global science frontiers, serve the main economic battlefield, strive to fulfill the significant needs of the country and benefit people's lives and health, writes Du Shangze, People's Daily.

Xi made the remarks at a symposium attended by scientists in Beijing on 11 September.

Fu Qiaomei, a research fellow of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) delivered a speech at the symposium. Her speech was joked to be the "oldest topic introduced by the youngest scientist," as the woman was only in her thirties.

According to her, what she does is to study the question of who we are and where we came from through ancient genomes.

To explore the long stretches of history calls for perseverance. Fu shared with the president a question that she had frequently been asked over the years - what usages her study has. She told Xi that she once considered switching to hotspot research when struggling to maintain her lab, but finally decided to stick to it. She hopes that the country can further guide the public’s opinion on basic research, saying the so-called usage is not the only criterion for evaluation.

Deeply impressed by what Fu said, Xi replied that unpopular subjects are always considered useless, but such practice might hinder the development of these subjects. He told Fu that evaluation on scientific research calls for insight, global vision and science-based analysis.

Basic research is the source of scientific innovation. That’s an issue that has been long considered by the Chinese President. He stressed the importance of enhancing basic research, saying the root cause of China's stranglehold problems in science and technology is the lack of basic studies.

He demanded necessary fiscal, finance and taxation support for progressive research units and enterprises engaged in basic studies, regardless of their types of ownership and system. He said a favorable ecology for basic studies shall be developed in an innovative manner.

The inflow of overseas returnees in the recent years indicated the attraction of China’s development, and the topic of talents was a focus at the symposium.

Academician Yao Qizhi suggested to build a complete chain of talent cultivation to foster the “blood making” capacity of China. Academician Shi Yigong reported the progress of the construction of the Westlake University, a new research-oriented private university in east China’s Zhejiang province, hoping it to become a top-notch scientific and technological incubator and a top base for talent cultivation.

Xi recorded what they said on a note book when talking with them, noting people are the source of China’s scientific innovation.

He demanded bolder practices in talent attraction and cultivation, suggesting to introduce opener and more flexible mechanisms. He stressed that China should gather first-class talents from the world and attract high-level talents from overseas, and build a competitive and attractive environment for overseas scientists working in China.

The president encouraged the spirit to seek truth in scientific research, saying scientific innovation, especially original innovation needs creative and dialectical capability and strict verification.

Scientific research shall start from the development trend of the country to make preparation in advance, Xi said, adding that the selection of research directions shall be demand-oriented and address the urgent and long-term demand of the country to solve practical problems.

The planning of the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan is being made when the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge. Recently, Xi has convened several symposiums to solicit opinions. At this symposium, he listened to speeches of 7 scientists, saying they have a broad mind and are enlightening. He also encouraged other scientists to submit advices in written forms.

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