Month: February 2019
Pray, Lady Qiao, come to Earth this day. Teach me embroidery and how to sew… wisdom, joy and ingenuity, do on me bestow.”
In Xihe county of Longnan city, Gansu province, these lyrics are well known to women. The county is one of 189 in China des
ignated as poverty stricken, in which 223 out of 384 villages are deeply impoverished.
Xihe county is at the upper reaches of the Jialing River, south of the West Qinling Mo
untains, and as well as having its roots in farming is also known for its scenic beauty.
For centuries, women there have been highly skilled in needlewor
k. Legend has it that they were tutored by none other than Lady Qiao, also known as the “w
eaver maid”, and who was said to be the youngest daughter of China’s folkloric Queen Mother.
Lady Qiao (qiao means ingenuity) was endowed, it is said, with not o
nly good looks but also noble righteousness, and was a magnificent embroiderer.
So local girls and young women worship her, and in the week leading to the sevent
h day of the seventh month-according to the Chinese lunar calendar-they celebrate by singing, dancing and pray
ing in a tradition called qiqiao (asking for ingenuity) that can be traced back to before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).
learned to sell their work online.
Meanwhile, Lyu registered an online store on Taobao in 2016 and says she has since earned 50,000 yuan.
Speaking about the efforts, Luo Shumei, the president of the Wo
men’s Federation of Changdao village, Xihe county, says: “It’s a good thing to see embroidery pro
duction in Xihe county is shifting from being scattered to being more organized.
“But one drawback is that we are yet to find a good market.”
Broadcasting Administration designated Luo, now 32, as a Xihe Qiqiao culture “inheritor”.
As for the future prospects, Luo says: “To be honest, o
ur production is at a bit of a standstill now because we don’t know when the next order will come in.
“And we are reluctant to produce en masse beca
use of the risk of overstocking. But when an order does come in, we’ll work very hard.
As the United States and China continued trade talks this week, companies and industries in both countries, including the education sector, will be hoping for a sign
ificant breakthrough that can lift Sino-US relations from the current morass and end the tit-for-tat trade war that
has seriously affected exchanges of goods, technology and people between our nations.
For Sino-US joint-venture universities, such as Duke Kunshan University, in China’s eastern p
rovince of Jiangsu, the ramifications of a further ramp-up in tensions would be felt acutely.
Fortunately, the impact of the trade dispute on these educational joint ve
ntures has been minimal. But naturally there has been uncertainty surrounding the
issuance of work and student visas (although the Chinese government has been quick to make assurances), and p
arents have raised questions about the sustainability of such projects should relations sour further.
More than ever before, it is important to remember that joint-venture educational p
rojects highlight the importance and value of true mutually beneficial co
operation. Today, there is hardly a single major global problem for which the long-term solution does not depend on
close collaboration between the US and China, respectively the largest and second-largest economies in the world.
fulfill their ambition in scientific research. And with China becoming a key driving force in so ma
ny key technology sectors, such as big data and AI, life sciences, clean energy and quantum co
mputing, faculty members can quickly find themselves operating in a cutting-edge research environment, supported by
a larger budget and more-skilled support team than might be possible elsewhere.
This trend reflects steps by the Chinese government to make working in the country more attr
active to overseas academics, including the Thousand Talent Plan, which was initiated in 2008 an
d has already attracted more than 7,000 overseas Chinese and 300 to 500 foreign experts. While the FBI has raised so
me questions about the intentions of this program, it is clear that the vast majority of the participants are largely in
terested in nothing more than open, mutually beneficial, cross-border research collaboration.
At joint-venture universities, all full-time faculty members, irrespective of t
heir nationality, are eligible to apply for domestic Chinese funding to support thei
r research activities. With overall research and development expenditures in China growing at 15 to 20 percent a
nnually over the past few years, this represents a major point of attraction for foreign scholars and faculty members.
More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, killing marine life and da
maging ecosystems. But the same seas might also hold the key to reducing plastic pollution.
Proteins found in squid can be used to create sustainable alternative
s to plastics, according to a report published in Frontiers in Chemistry on Thursday.
Squid grasp their prey using suction cups on their tentacles and arm
s. The cups are equipped with sharp “ring teeth” that hold the food in place. The teeth are made
from proteins that are similar to silk, and these have become the subject of scientific interest in the last few years.
Melik Demirel, of Pennsylvania State University, is lead author of the new report, which revie
ws existing research on materials made from these proteins. He says his team has produced pro
totypes of fibers, coatings and 3D objects made from the squid ring teeth (SRT) proteins.
Demirel says these natural materials are biodegradable — and could provide an “excellent” alternative to plastics.
The SRT proteins can be produced in the laboratory using genetically engineered ba
cteria, which means they don’t need to use any squid. The process is based on fermentation, using sugar, water and oxygen.
ed from the US are lifted as a result of upcoming bilateral trade talks and China’s decision to resume soybean imports, “the
percentage of US soybeans in China’s total imports could further dwindle in 2019″ as the nation looks for w
ays to avoid further escalation in the weakening economic relationship, Jiao said.
In 2018, China purchased 16.6 million tons of soybeans from the US, about half of 2017’s level of 32.9 million tons and the lowest since 2008
, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, the country is buying more soybeans from Brazil, Argentina and Russia.
In January, relevant departments issued a soybean “rejuvenation” plan, aiming to boos
t soybean cultivation in traditional planting areas including Northeast China, Cent
ral China’s Henan Province, East China’s Anhui and Shandong provinces and Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
The plan also specified that China will allocate 10 million mu (666,666.7 hectares) of land for soybean planting in 2019.