China this week: mysterious marching elephants and Huawei's big launch
Updated 02:30, 04-Jun-2021
Daniel Harries

China to support couples having third child in response to aging population

China has officially further relaxed its family planning policy, supporting couples that wish to have a third child, it was decided at a meeting of the Political Bureau of Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held on Monday.

The policy shift came not long after China's once-in-a-decade census, data from which showed a decline in births in the world's most populous country. The census showed that during the last decade Chinese population grew at its slowest rate dsince the 1950s.

Main structure of world's 2nd largest hydropower station completed

Construction of the main structure of China's Baihetan Hydropower Station, the world's second largest after the Three Gorges Dam, has been completed.

With a total installed capacity of 16 million kilowatts, the station is expected to generate more than 62 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 51.6 million tonnes.

Three Chinese players inducted into Badminton Hall of Fame

Olympic champions Zhang Ning, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng from China have been inducted into the Badminton World Federation Hall of Fame.

All three were key figures in China's formidable dominance of major badminton championships during the 2000s and early 2010s.

BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen labeled them as instrumental figures in the history of the sport, praising their stellar achievements during their careers. 

They played at an incredibly high level, which helped them win every major title in badminton
 -  Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen, Badminton World Federation President

Mount Emei's highest peak in Sichuan reopens after 15-year closure

Mount Emei, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southwest China's Sichuan Province, has reopened its highest peak, Wanfo Summit, after a 15-year closure for maintenance work.

Standing at an altitude of 3,099 meters, the summit, also known as the Summit of 1,000 Buddhas, is 20 meters higher than the famous Golden Summit, the second highest tip of Emei.

Wanfo Summit is home to Wanfo Temple, a 21-meter-tall structure dating back to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and sitting on top of Daguangming Mountain in the scenic area.

Wanfo Temple is a 21-meter-tall building dating back to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). /CFP

Wanfo Temple is a 21-meter-tall building dating back to the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). /CFP

China's non-cash payments soar in the first quarter of 2021

Chinese banks handled a jump in non-cash payments in the first quarter of 2020 with a surge in mobile transactions, according to China's central bank. 

Non-cash payments, involving bank cards, online payment vehicles, commercial papers, credit transfer, and other settlements, totaled 1,065.59 trillion yuan ($167 trillion) in the first three months, up by 21 percent year on year, according to the People's Bank of China.

Huawei launches new operating system and targets Internet of Things market

Huawei announced the launch of its proprietary Harmony operating system (HarmonyOS) for smartphones, as the company looks to recover from U.S. sanctions that have hit its handset business.

Huawei will start rolling out HarmonyOS on certain models of its smartphones from June 2, offering users the chance to switch from the current operating system that is based on Google's Android platform.

Yi Jianlian, Du Feng on Chinese men's basketball team's mission

China's men's national basketball team is currently training with 27 players behind closed doors in Beijing for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers scheduled for June 16-20 in the Philippines and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament from June 29 to July 4 in Canada.

Yi Jianlian, the team's ace for the past 10 years, was recruited for the training camp though he is still trying to recover from a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture he suffered last year.

"It's a really long process of recovery. I need to do different things on a daily, weekly and monthly basis," Yi told Xinhua News Agency.

Yi Jianlian of the Chinese men's national basketball team and his head coach Du Feng (R). /CFP

Yi Jianlian of the Chinese men's national basketball team and his head coach Du Feng (R). /CFP

World's largest solar power station uses sheep to control weeds

As China accelerates its shift toward clean energy, a photovoltaic power generation park has been built in the Tala Desert northwest China's Qinghai Province. The project has a planned total area of 609.6 square kilometers. However, weeds have started to take over the space.

Thankfully, engineers at the world's largest photovoltaic power station group have found a good way to control the unwanted plants – sheep.

Herd of 15 Yunnan elephants continue migration, leave experts puzzled

Fifteen wild Asian elephants have left their forest home in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in southwest China's Yunnan Province and started marching north and no one really understands why.


City uses reclaimed water to improve environment in central China

A sponge city is a new urban area designed with flood and water management controls as well as improving the ecological environment and biodiversity by absorbing or releasing rainwater on specific occasions.

Zhengzhou, a pilot city for sponge city construction in central China's Henan Province, has managed to both mitigate waterlogging and save drinking water at the same time with reclaimed water collection and recycling technologies.

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