Solar panels, chess and 'ancient rock and roll': China Quick Take

Six stories you may have missed from China this week – from weekend getaways to global chess domination...


Over 274 million trips made during Labor Day break

China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism revealed that a total of 274 million domestic trips had been made nationwide during the Labor Day holiday in 2023, a year-on-year increase of 70 percent. 

It was also an increase of more than 19 percent on the same period in 2019 – the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The five-day break, which started on Saturday, gave people a chance to go around the country – either to see relatives, or for a domestic tourist holiday.  


Labor Day holiday spending boom assists economic revival

The mass movement of people for Labor Day injected new impetus into the rapid revival of the nation's economy with a strong recovery of the tourism and consumer market.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said those quarter-billion visits generated revenue of around 148 billion yuan (around $21.4 billion), up almost 130 percent year-on-year.

Besides the booming tourism sector, the catering and leisure business as well as box offices also saw remarkable growth.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce revealed revenues at key food chains grew 58 percent year-on-year, and box office revenue reached the third-highest in Labor Day history. Alipay, the country's biggest digital payment app, reported a two-fold increase in online spending from 2022.

Meet the new world chess champions, DIng Liren. /CFP
Meet the new world chess champions, DIng Liren. /CFP

Meet the new world chess champions, DIng Liren. /CFP

Ding Liren becomes China's first male world chess champion

The 30-year-old Chinese grandmaster Ding Liren, who had only been granted the chance to compete at World Chess Championship after top-ranked Magnus Carlsen chose not to defend his title, outclassed Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi by 2.5 points to 1.5 in a nerve-wracking tie-break playoff. 

The hard-fought triumph came after the regulation portion of the final ended 7-7 after 14 grueling games. Ding, who never once led in the three-week finale, took advantage of Nepomniachtchi's lethal mistake in the fourth and final tiebreaker, forcing his opponent to resign after 68 moves. 

Ding's victory means China now holds both the men's and women's world titles, with current women's champion Ju Wenjun set to face her compatriot Lei Tingjie in a title decider in July.  

Foreign students learn 'ancient rock and roll' in Huayin, Shaanxi

A group of Generation Z students from seven countries worldwide have enjoyed traditional folk musical performances – including, in Weinan, the music that some call the ancient rock and roll of the East.

Organized by the China Public Relations Association, the two-week program featuring performances, exhibitions, and interactive workshops offered young people from other parts of the world an opportunity to taste some of China's vast cultural heritage.

And in Weinan they enjoyed a fully immersive music feast including Huayin Laoqiang, or 'old tune' – energetic folk music dating back more than 2,000 years, featuring high-pitched 'roaring'-type singing accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments. 

Some people call the music known as Huayin Laoqiiang 'ancient rock and roll'. /CCTV
Some people call the music known as Huayin Laoqiiang 'ancient rock and roll'. /CCTV

Some people call the music known as Huayin Laoqiiang 'ancient rock and roll'. /CCTV

9,472 meters: China starts drilling 'deepest oil well in Asia'

A Chinese oil company has launched the drilling of Asia's deepest oil well on Monday in the Tarim Basin, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The Yuejin 3-3 well, designed to be as deep as 9,472 meters, will be a significant breakthrough in ultra-deep oil and gas exploration, which will help the country boost its crude oil production.

Tarim Basin is the country's largest petroliferous basin, accounting for more than 60 percent of the nation's onshore ultra-deep oil and gas resources – but it is also one of the most difficult areas to explore in China, partly because its oil and gas reserves lie between 6,000 and 10,000 meters underground. 


Scientists predict CO2 mitigation of rooftop solar panels

Chinese scientists and their international counterparts have published an assessment of the carbon mitigation potential of rooftop photovoltaic (RPV) solar panels in China, noting that they could be offsetting about 2.72 billion tonnes CO2 in 2030.

An RPV is a solar system with electricity-generating solar panels installed on a building's roof. Researchers from Nanjing Normal University and other institutions in China, as well as those from the United States and Singapore, identified a rooftop area of nearly 66,000 square kilometers for 354 Chinese cities in 2020, representing about 3.63 billion tonnes of CO2 mitigation.

Considering urban land expansion and power mix transformation, the researchers estimated a potential CO2 mitigation of about 2.72 to 3.63 billion tonnes in 2030, when China plans to reach its carbon peak.


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