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2017-08-29 NEWS Plus Special English
   2017-08-25 15:00:57    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Du Lijun

This is Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. Here is the news.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked China's college students to "take root" in Chinese society to learn the situation of the country and to improve their abilities via innovation and entrepreneurial activities.
He also hoped that the students could strengthen their willpower through hard work in order to realize the value of their lives while Chinese people strive for the realization of the Chinese Dream.
President Xi made the remarks recently in a letter in response to college students who took part in the third China College Students' "Internet Plus" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.
The students visited a revolutionary base in northwest China and talked to the people there about how to lift the local people out of poverty.
The president said the students followed the footprints of China's revolutionary pioneers and integrated their own dreams with the Chinese Dream, which reflects the diligent and promising image of Chinese youth.
This is Special English.
China's Ministry of Commerce has said the country will take "all appropriate measures" to defend its legal interests in response to a U.S. trade investigation that has aroused tension between the world's two largest economies.
Without specifying those measures, the ministry said in a statement that China will keep an eye on the investigation.
A U.S. Trade Representative formally initiated an investigation into China's intellectual property practices under a rarely used trade law, despite worries about potential harm to China-U.S. trade ties.
Section 301, once heavily used in the 1980s and the early 1990s, allows the United States to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign countries. But the country has rarely used the outdated trade tool since the World Trade Organization came into being in 1995.
China has called the move "irresponsible" as it was based on domestic law and defied the World Trade Organization rules, and U.S. criticism of China's intellectual rights protection was "not objective".
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
The International Monetary Fund says China's strong economic growth so far this year has paved way for policymakers to accelerate needed reforms and focus more on quality growth.
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund made the remarks after concluding a consultation with China on the Chinese economy. The organization said China continues to transition to a more sustainable growth and reforms have advanced across a wide domain.
China's economy expanded 6.9 percent in the first half of the year, well above the government's yearly target of 6.5.
While its growth momentum will "likely decline over the course of the year", the International Money Fund expected China's growth to "remain robust at 6.7 percent" this year, due to the momentum from last year's policy support and progress on domestic reforms.
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Singapore stands ready to partner China to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by China.
Singapore's Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong said Singapore and China have agreed to carry on cooperation in three areas for the building of the Belt and Road Scheme.
These include infrastructure connectivity, financing of Belt and Road projects, and cooperation of companies of the two sides for doing projects in third countries.
Wong said the infrastructure connectivity is being operationalized through the China-Singapore Connectivity Initiative.
Both sides are now working to jointly develop the Southern Transport Corridor that will link western China to Southeast Asia, and connect the overland Silk Road Economic Belt with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The corridor is expected to offer a shorter and more direct trade route between western China and Southeast Asia. It will also lower logistics costs, enhance cross-border trade flows, and catalyze the economic development of both regions.
Speaking of the financing of the Belt and Road projects, Wong said there are large infrastructure gaps in Asia. As a major center for the financing of infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia, Singapore can play a role.
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China and Egypt have signed an agreement worth 1 billion U.S. dollars to build a light rail transit in new districts around Cairo.
The Egyptian Ministry of Transport and a coalition of Chinese firms inked the deal for the light rail, which is a fast tram expected to cover a distance of 66 kilometers. With 11 stops, the light rail will connect the new administrative capital city which is under-construction with distant districts of Greater Cairo, which covers several cities.
Construction of the project will start within two or three months. When completed, it is expected to accommodate 340,000 passengers daily, and reduce traffic on the highway by 30 percent. The new rail line is expected to save an annual 2.3 billion Egyptian pounds, roughly 130 million U.S. dollars.
The Chinese companies will sign contracts with Egyptian contractors, providing thousands of jobs for the local people.
Egypt and China enjoy strong bilateral relations that have been elevated to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership. The two countries marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations last year.
The volume of trade between Egypt and China has mounted to 11 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, making Egypt the third biggest trade partner with China in Africa.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
A group of 16 Chinese and two European astronauts completed sea survival training in waters off the coast in east China.
The 17-day joint program marked the first time Chinese astronauts have conducted survival training at sea.
Organized by the Astronaut Center of China, the program was designed to prepare astronauts with skills including survival at sea and rescue.
A trainee and astronaut from Germany said he was very happy to work with Chinese astronauts, and he hopes to have more opportunities to come to China and join the training.
He and the other astronaut from Italy were the first group of foreign astronauts to join Chinese training since China introduced its manned space program in 1992.
China has signed multiple cooperation agreements with countries including Russia, Germany and France, as well as organizations including the European Space Agency and United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
A scientist at the Astronaut Center of China said the training program has provided valuable experience for conducting international cooperation in the field of manned spaceflight.
This is Special English.
Air passengers in China had a particularly frustrating month as only half of the flights in July were on time, mainly due to extreme weather conditions.
The civil aviation authority said that of the 448,000 civil flights in July, only 51 percent operated on schedule.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China said almost 60 percent of the flight delays were caused by bad weather.
Many parts of China witnessed more thunderstorms than usual in July, and airports in many cities experienced thunderstorms for more than 10 days.
Meanwhile, China was affected by five typhoons in July, which disrupted air traffic in the country's coastal regions.
A total of 312 million passenger trips were made via planes in the first seven months of this year, up 13 percent year on year.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing. You can access the program on our Apple Podcast. Now the news continues.
China's aid to the education sector in war-torn Afghanistan has helped teachers and students enjoy a better working and studying environment.
China's Xinhua News Agency says that tangible progress made in Afghanistan's education sector after the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001. Students and teachers, however, still face a number of challenges including a lack of buildings and facilities in remote areas.
As the number of students and classes each year increase, there are not enough classrooms for students from different grades to have classes at the same time. Some schools' classes have so many students to the point that more than 60 students have to attend a single class.
In early April, a Chinese construction company began work to build a new complex for the Afghan vocational and technical institute in the capital Kabul, the latest in China's continued assistance to Afghan education.
This is Special English.
Holding top-10 positions in numerous national and international rankings, the University of Chicago attracts students in the U.S. and all over world, even if the university stands in an unsafe neighborhood at the city's southern side.
Being called "Murder Capital of America", Chicago saw a surge in gun violence in 2016 with 762 murders, which was more than New York City and Los Angeles combined. Most of the criminal incidents took place in the southern area where most African Americans reside.
However, the university manages to protect students by setting up a safety network consisting of free bus service, heavy monitoring and expanded policing.
Established in 1890, the University of Chicago is a private research university with around 15,000 students overall.
For safety concern, the university has bought the neighborhoods. Every single apartment building between 47th street and 61st street is now owned by the university.
They filled the apartments with their own students, faculty and staff. Then they make sure to fill the other spare rooms with people whose background they had checked and trusted.
Another step of the university is to hire the third largest police force in the state of Illinois, after the City of Chicago and the City of Springfield.
You're listening to Special English. I'm Ryan Price in Beijing.
An Ethiopian man who claims to be 107 years old with 108 children and grandchildren has married a 33-years-old woman.
He married his bride in a wedding ceremony recently in central Ethiopia, 250 kilometers south of the capital city Addis Ababa.
The man says he plans to have more children from his latest wife, despite his fathering 108 children and grandchildren and his advancing age.
He already has two other wives. Polygamy is common among the rural areas of the Muslim dominated central and eastern areas of Ethiopia despite recent moves by the Ethiopian government to discourage the practice.
Ethiopia has a population composed of two thirds Christian and the rest being mainly Muslims, while a tiny minority located in parts of southern and western Ethiopia still profess traditional religions.
This is Special English.
The fifth annual Run for Children in Laos will be held in October this year. The run, which is a half marathon event, will be held in a world heritage town in Laos.
CNN Travel has called the event one of "Asia's top destination races". The route weaves through the golden temples and parallels the scenic Mekong River.
Last year's event drew over 900 runners. The organizer expects even more runners this year.
The half marathon is a charity race for the Friends Hospital for Children, which is a pediatric hospital in the country. It provides free medical care for all children in northern Laos. All proceeds from this race will go towards providing better healthcare for the children of Laos.
The organizers planned to host a fun weekend with a pool party, culinary adventures and a music concert to make sure the runners enjoy the weekend after the race.
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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