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2017-07-04 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-06-29 14:37:40    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun









This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Over 10,000 Chinese Americans gathered downtown in New York City to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China.
The parade spaned several kilometers. Participants said American Chinese in NYC rallied exactly in the same place on July 1, 1997 when China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong.
The head of the U.S. East Coast Chinese Association Federation said in his opening remarks to the gathering at the Foley Square in Lower Manhattan that it's a touching moment that all of them will never forget.
He also praised Hong Kong's continued economic and social growth while speaking to a big round of cheers and applauses from Chinese Americans.
His remarks were echoed by all other speakers during the event including the Chinese consul general in New York, a member of New York City Council, and the assistant speaker of the New York State Assembly.
This is Special English.
More than 3,000 small-and medium-sized U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs flocked to Detroit on Monday, as they sought opportunities to reach out to millions of Chinese consumers.
The once deserted motor city came to life as people from 48 states across the country flew to attend Gateway' 17, a conference held by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
The conference featured presentations and breakout sessions aimed at educating attendees on what and how to sell to China, especially through e-commerce platforms, so that they can grow their businesses and go global.
The number of attendees tripled conference organizers' original expectation. A Marriott hotel located in downtown Detroit received more than 700 guests in a single day, most of them came for the conference.
According to Alibaba, the participants are primarily from product categories most popular among Chinese consumers including fashion and apparel, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, household products, and fresh food.
The e-commerce company chose Detroit for a reason. The small- and medium-sized enterprises there have the potential to lead cross-border e-commerce and set an example for such enterprises around the world.
Alibaba added that Michigan, traditionally a manufacturing and agricultural state, may also be able to seize the opportunity to revitalize its economy.
China is the world's largest online shopping market, with about 467 million online consumers spending about 26 trillion yuan, roughly 3.8 trillion U.S. dollars, last year, up almost 20 percent year on year.
You are listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A book on governance written by Chinese President Xi Jinping marked the 1,000-day anniversary of its debut over the weekend, setting a new record in China's publication history in 40 years with over 6.3 million copies in 22 languages already in print worldwide.
Titled "Xi Jinping: The Governance of China", the work has drawn worldwide readers to the mysteries of its popularity and left a profound impact on the world.
The book is known for being a "window" to the Chinese leadership and a "key" to China's development success. It features a selection of 79 chapters of speeches and notes made by President Xi Jinping from his election as general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in 2012 to June 2014.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen requested a digital version to read on his cellphone; Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha recommended it to cabinet members.
A Russian scholar introduced Xi's innovative reform measures to Russian readers in a recent book; and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg not only has one for himself but has bought more for his colleagues so that they would "understand Socialism with Chinese Characteristics".
This is Special English.
In the midst of mounting accusations of China's trade policies by U.S. officials, renowned experts at a leading U.S. think tank have said China's trade protection is not significantly above that in large high-income economies like the United States.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross labeled China as "the most highly protectionist of the big countries" in his recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. His China-bashing rhetoric, however, was refuted by two economists with Peterson Institute For International Economics, or PIIE.
In an online article recently published on PIIE's website, senior fellow Nicholas Lardy and research analyst Zixuan Huang argued that Ross's accusation was outdated and neglected the progress China had made over the last three decades.
The two economists said in an article that China was a highly protectionist trading nation three decades ago, before it initiated negotiations to join the World Trade Organization. But to qualify for entry and to fulfill its WTO commitments after entry, China drastically reduced its average statutory tariff from about 45 percent in the mid-1980s to only 10 percent in 2015.
The article also found that the weighted average applied tariff rate applied by China in 2015 stood at 3.4 percent, only slightly higher than that in the seven advanced industrial economies and well below rates applied in Brazil and India.
You are listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The Australian government has said it is prepared to make it legal for social media websites to hand over vital information about suspected terrorists or terrorist operations, a plan which has been applauded by the opposition and a former army chief.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he had met with leading social media websites, telling them they "cannot continue to allow terrorists and extremists to use the internet and the big social media... to spread their poison. He hinted that he would head to the upcoming G20 meeting in Germany to back a world-wide agenda which would ensure social media sites pass on dangerous information to authorities.
Australia's former army chief Peter Leahy told Sky News that governments deserved more from big social media companies when it comes to clamping down on terrorism, saying it was not only a government problem, but a social obligation for the online giants to pitch in.
He said there are many levels to this. Firstly, he thinks the tech giants deserve to show some social responsibility. They're letting terror-related content on their sites.
This is Special English.
Singapore's Second Minister for National Development and Home Affairs Desmond Lee urged local construction firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, to get in step with the times.
He said the push for technology in the building and construction sector may cause some companies to shut down or consolidate if they do not keep pace.
The minister added that the road map for the future of the construction sector, known as the industry transformation map, will be released later this year.
The Singaporean government has been pushing forward the use of new technologies in the construction sector. The technologies include offsite construction methods, which are more expensive, but can shorten building time and cut manpower needs and digital building design, which requires investment and skilled manpower.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program by logging on to crienglish.com. You can also find us on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
In the heartland of Iowa locates a small town named Tama. Of the 2,800 population in the small town, over 800 work in the Iowa Premium Beef processing plant.
The plant is a bit excited recently: it has applied to export beef to China, and is busy preparing documents required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as by China.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at their meeting in Florida in April to advance China-U.S. economic cooperation with a 100-day action plan. After intensive negotiations, and as the first results from the 100-day plan reached in May, China agreed to reopen its market to U.S. beef no later than July 16, with conditions consistent with international food safety and animal health standards.
China banned U.S. beef imports in 2003 amid concerns over mad cow disease.
The Iowa Premium food safety manager told Xinhua News Agency that the requirements are achievable.
The official said that at this point, it is basically around the approval process of getting their facility approved through the US Department of Agriculture and then likewise through the Chinese government so that the company will be on that approved plant list, and then at that point they can begin packaging, processing and moving forward with delivery of beef for China.
This is Special English.
U.S. space agency NASA has announced that its Kepler space telescope has discovered 219 new planet candidates outside the Solar System.
Of those, 10 are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone, which is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet to support life.
With the latest release, Kepler has detected a total of 4,034 planet candidates, of which 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets.
Of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.
NASA said in a statement that this is the most comprehensive and detailed catalog release of candidate exoplanets, which are planets outside the solar system, from Kepler's first four years of data.
It's also the final catalog from the spacecraft's view of the patch of sky in the Cygnus constellation.
The Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009. Its mission is to search the nearby region of our galaxy for exoplanets by detecting a transit, or the miniscule drop in a star's brightness that occurs when a planet crosses in front of it.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
Tens of thousands of humpback whales have arrived off Western Australia's coast, as their annual migration to find warmer water during the cooler months gets underway.
The 13,000 kilometer round-trip takes place around the end of May and early June, when the majestic creatures leave Antarctica and head north to Australia.
Much to the delight of whale-watchers and tourism operators, the whales usually stay until late November, making it the longest whale-watching season in the world.
Western Australia Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said in a statement that seeing whales interacting in their natural environment is, for many, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
These marine giants can sometimes be seen from the shorelines as they move from the south coast to calving grounds in the Kimberley region and back again, providing whale-watchers with memorable glimpses along the way.
For many local businesses in regional areas, the ocean visitors bring much more than their awe-inspiring beauty.
Western Australia Tourism Minister Paul Papalia explained that extraordinary natural experiences such as whale watching are great for tourism because they help draw visitors to regional areas and support local jobs through the money visitors spend during their stay.
For environmentalists, the presence of the humpbacks is a stirring symbol of remarkable progress made in marine conservation.
This is the end of this edition of Special English. To freshen up your memory, I'm going to read one of the news items again at normal speed. Please listen carefully.
This is the end of today's program. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing, and I hope you can join us every day, to learn English and learn about the world.

 
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