China’s 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup collapse angers, despairs netizens

With a shocking 75-96 loss to the host nation, the Philippines in the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Saturdays, team China failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, to the despair of the country's of die-hard basketball fans and netizens who regard this dismal performance as the "deepest humiliation."

This was China's first loss to an Asian rival in a major international men's basketball tournament.

Fans and netizens expressed their frustration on Sina Weibo social platform, where a hashtag about their defeats in the tournament racked up 120 million views.  

"Our performances couldn't have been any worse, that's so heartbreaking to see such an outcome, " said one comment on the Sina Weibo.

"The players don't have any hustle. Is this going to be like Chinese football?" quipped one Weibo user.

Others mocked the loss is related to the country's recent social problem. "Basketball and football are the microcosm of our society," wrote another Weibo user.

While the top Chinese performers Li Kai'er and Zhang Zhenlin collected 17 points and 13 points each in this tournament, the Chinese team nailed only five three-pointers out of 22 attempts and fell behind in rebounds (31:46). Jordan Clarkson, the star of the Philippine team, played well in the game, scoring 24 points in the third quarter and collecting 34 points.

In2019 China, was defeated by Nigeria in the FIBA Basketball World Cup, at the time the Chinese team failed to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. In this year's tournament, Chinese men's team failed again to qualify for the Olympic games, making it the first time that the Chinese men's basketball team has missed two consecutive Olympic Games.defeats

After the game, most insiders believe that the Chinese men's basketball team defeat, was wnot due to Clarkson's sudden outburst, but to a decision by head coach Aleksandar Djordjevic's that people cannot understand: abandoning  the use of Wang Zhelin even in the 8 minutes when Zhou Qi was injured and could not continue the game,, which transformed the team's advantage into a liability, according to media reports.

The Chinese famous commentator, Yang Jian, also let his tears flow freely during the post-game interview, "I'm quite upset and I felt aggrieved for our players,".  Former Chinese men's basketball coach Du Feng commented:, "This is not the real level of our men's basketball team". 

After the post-game, Djordjevic noted that "Everyone in the team is responsible for the loss of the game, and as the head coach, I should take the main responsibility, we will gradually improve the level in later training and matches. "

"China still has a lot of young players waiting to be discovered. " he said. 

After the World Cup, the Chinese men's basketball team will rest to solve injury problems to prepare for the Hangzhou Asian Games at the end of September. 

The Naturalized Chinese men's basketball player Li Kai'er is scheduled to return to the United States to prepare for the new NBA season, and he will not participate in the Hangzhou Asian Games according to media reports today.

Commitment to excellence: Xi's footsteps in sports present a genuine way to promote global people-to-people bonds, create a stronger, healthier China

Currently, a great sporting event that is distinctly Chinese, uniquely Asian, and very spectacular is being staged in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province. 

China has made history by hosting the Asia Games for the third time, bringing the country's eye-catching organizational and sporting capabilities to the world's attention.

Attending the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games and declaring it open, hosting a welcome banquet for the invited international dignitaries gathering in the scenic city, and holding bilateral meetings with leaders of six foreign countries and the heads of two international organizations, Chinese President Xi Jinping spent a period of tightly scheduled time that had witnessed substantive outcomes at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Since his youth, Xi has been an ardent sports fan. As a teenager, he played soccer and practiced skating. After he began to work, he maintained his habit of swimming and hiking, enjoyed the games such as volleyball, basketball, tennis, and wushu, and he would even stay late to watch televised sports programs.

As the leader of a large country, Xi clearly understands the constructive role sports play in global governance. From the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 to the Chengdu FISU World University Games (Chengdu FISU Games) held from July 28 to August 8, 2023, and now the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games, under Xi's guidance, China has overcome challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and presented the world with several splendid sporting events, fulfilling its commitments, demonstrating the confidence of a responsible major country, and also highlighting China's proposition in promoting the building of a global community of shared future.. 

As a sports enthusiast, Xi often takes sports as a bridge to actively promote peace, unity, and inclusivity both domestically and internationally. 

At the same time, the sentiments held by China's national leaders vis-a-vis sports have always carried the dream of national prosperity and rejuvenation. Xi attaches great importance to and care for China's sports development, repeatedly encouraging Chinese athletes to strive for excellence while paying equal attention to promoting national fitness.

Following Xi's footsteps in sports, officials of international sports organizations, his old friends, and athletes who had interacted with Xi, highlighted Xi's sporting aspirations when speaking with the Global Times. According to them, for Xi, sports are not only his personal passion but also the most genuine approach to building a common world, promoting people-to-people connectivity, and creating a stronger and healthier China.

Practitioner of Olympic Spirit

President Xi is an important partner of the global Olympic Movement, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. said in Hangzhou on the sidelines of the Games on Monday, Xinhua News Agency reported.

"His commitment, his support to sport and the role that sports and Olympics can play for the youth, for the entire society, I think, is what I would take as most important," said Samaranch Jr..

China has always attached great importance to the development of sports, and actively participated in international Olympic affairs, Xi said when meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach in Hangzhou on Friday.

In the face of severe challenges brought by the unprecedented changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic, the IOC has stayed true to its original aspirations and played a unique role in safeguarding the world peace and development and promoting unity and progress of the humankind, Xi said.

Raja Randhir Singh, acting president of the Olympic Committee of Asia (OAC), told the Global Times during a news conference on Sunday that he was extremely impressed by the Hangzhou Asian Games, especially with the opening ceremony, the coordination between the OCA and the Games organizers, and the message of peace and inclusiveness conveyed by the Games.

 "Asia is the only continent that can and is ready to host any games, anytime... It's incredible that China has hosted so many sporting events and that a city [Beijing] can host the Winter Olympics after the Summer Olympics," Singh said while answering a question from the Global Times during the news conference. 

The Hangzhou Asian Games is an event of peace and harmony; we have to continue to face the future with our hearts together, and this is a call to the world, the OCA acting president said.    

"China's interpretation and promotion of the new Olympic motto - Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together - is in line with the concept of building a global community of a shared future that Xi has proposed," said Huang Haiyan, a professor at the Shanghai University of Sport and director of the Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center of Sports and Health Industry. 

Through the decades, China has successfully overcome difficulties and hosted major international sporting events amid some hard times, in which China has also actively shared with the world the fruits of its sports development, noted Huang.

The Hangzhou Games reflects the profound cultural heritage and unique charm of Chinese culture, and further conveys China's genuine expectations for the world. 

While in response to the global expectations upon China amid an era of profound changes witnessed across the world, the support and care of Chinese leaders as well as the hosting concepts of the sporting event also convey the development concept of a city or even the country. 

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics was committed to its mission of hosting a "green, inclusive, open, and clean" Olympic Winter Games. The Chengdu FISU Games had adhered to the concept of being "green, smart, vibrant, and sharing" in its organization. And the concept of being "green, smart, economical, and ethical" has been a key element in the entire process of the preparation and hosting of the Asian Games. 

Experts noted that this series of important sporting events, from the bidding processes to the preparation and hosting stages, have shown the bright prospects of Chinese modernization to the world.

Conveyor of China's friendship and goodwill

"In the letter that President Xi sent to us, he stressed that the Chinese government and people have full confidence in hosting a splendid Asian Games in Hangzhou. When we saw this grand event as promised, we felt immense excitement and pride inside. We also passed on the wonderful moments of the Asian Games to our friends in the US," David Chong, founder and president of the US-China Youth and Student Exchange Association, told the Global Times.

"Sport is a bond that promotes friendship among peoples," Xi said in a reply letter to the US-China Youth and Student Exchange Association and friendly personages from all walks of life in the US state of Washington in August 2023.

Over the past decade, on a variety of occasions at home and abroad, Xi has often taken sports, the universal language of all mankind, as a bridge to communicate with locals and convey China's friendship and goodwill to the world.

Chong was still proud that he had witnessed a Ping-Pong table, a gift that Xi sent to the students of Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington, during his visit to the US in 2015, on prominent display at the school.

During the stop, while receiving from the students a football and a personalized jersey bearing his name and emblazoned with "No.1" on the back, Xi gave the students gifts in return and kindly invited them to visit China. "Through travel, you will know China better, and hopefully you will like China," Xi said.

"Before President Xi's visit, table tennis was not the most popular sport in Lincoln High School. After that visit, many schools in the US started to organize varsity table tennis teams," Chong said excitedly. "Currently, table tennis is becoming more and more popular in the US, and I believe this momentum will continue."

During his visit to the IOC headquarters in Switzerland in 2017, Xi presented the committee with a stunning piece of Suzhou embroidery artwork. This masterpiece depicted ancient Chinese women engaging in cuju, the earliest form of soccer. The artwork symbolizes the cultural exchange and mutual learning fostered by the universal language of sports.

During that visit, IOC President Bach said, "President Xi is a true champion, and I want to give him a set of medals because he has a clear vision about the important role of sports in society and the importance of sports for education for the young people."

The China Table Tennis College (CTTC) Training Center in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is also another vivid example of China's friendly sports exchanges with other countries as having been supported by the Chinese leadership.

In November 2018, Xi visited the training center during his visit to PNG, where he watched PNG table tennis athletes training with their Chinese coach.

"I felt so honored and appreciative," 23-year-old PNG table tennis player Geoffrey Loi later told the Global Times when recalling Xi's visit to the training centre.
Xi has paid great attention to and support sports projects, including the Ping-Pong training center in PNG, that can promote exchanges between China and other countries, said Ren Jie, executive deputy head of the CTTC. "With the foundation of Ping-Pong, we hope to further promote people-to-people exchanges, especially the exchanges between young people," Ren told the Global Times.

"Sports play a unique role in serving China's overall diplomacy," Huang told the Global Times. "They have injected a lot of new vitality into the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and have enriched China's head-of-state diplomacy."

Taking sports as a bond, China has expanded its "circle of friends" and demonstrated its strong sense of responsibility in sports fields as a major country in the world, Huang said.

Driver for building a sporting powerhouse

"Sports set the stage for a stronger and more prosperous country," Xi said during a grand gathering at the 13th National Games in August 2017.

Xi has always cared greatly about the training, growth, and development of China's young athletes. At major sporting events such as the National Games, the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games, and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Xi met with athletes from the Chinese delegation face to face, encouraging them to strive for excellence, and to support China's sports endeavors.

At the Chengdu FISU Games that concluded in August, China was at the top of the medal tally. "They deserve it because they prepared not only as an organizer, but all the Chinese student athletes prepared themselves to present the best performance in their home games," Leonz Eder, acting president of the FISU, told the Global Times in an earlier interview.

"I do believe that it's in the policy of China to promote elite sports among students as potential careers along with their conventional studies, but the government also encourages fitness among the larger population to maintain healthy lifestyles," said Eder.

In January 2022, when inspecting the preparatory work for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, Xi noted that the ultimate goal of building a sporting powerhouse and a healthy China is to enhance the public's health, fitness, and happiness. This aspiration is essential to China's wider endeavor to build a modern socialist country in an all-round manner.

In China, significant efforts have been made in recent years to promote a healthy living environment and to encourage individuals of all ages, including young people, students, and senior citizens, to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

President Xi emphasizes the importance of developing China into a leading sporting power, which covers many aspects, from the improvement of physical fitness and the overall health of people across the country, to the promotion of economic and social development of a region through hosting major sports events there, Huang noted.

By the end of 2022, China had 4.23 million sports venues covering a total area of over 3.7 billion square meters. More than 500 million people in China regularly exercise and over 90 percent of the whole population meets national physical fitness standards.

Currently, as the energetic spirit of the Hangzhou Asian Games continues to sweep across the country, observers believe that China will unleash a new era of sporting excellence following the Asian Games.

With its unwavering commitment to sports and the remarkable achievements thanks to Xi's leadership, China is poised to shine brightly as a formidable sports powerhouse on the global stage. The future of Chinese sports is undoubtedly filled with immense potential and endless possibilities.

Paddler wins first gold as Chinese delegation dominates medal table

Chinese paddler Xie Maosan claimed the first gold medal of the Hangzhou Asian Para Games in East China's Zhejiang Province as the Chinese delegation pulled off strong performances to dominate the medal table on the opening day.

Xie claimed the gold medal in the Women's KL1 canoe final on Monday morning at the Fuyang Water Sports Center, which is also the first gold of the Hangzhou Para Games.

Xie, a tailor-turned-athlete, told the Global Times after the match that sports boosted her confidence and changed her life. 

"As one of 85 million people with disabilities in China, I want to tell them to go out of their homes and explore the world. You can also fight for laurels for China like I did," said Xie. 

"I hope I can have the national flag raised again at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games."

After watching a dance performance delivered by people with disabilities at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Xie set her sights on showcasing her athleticism on a big stage, and canoeing offer her a perfect opportunity. 

Despite serious back injuries, the 37-year-old has been sticking to a rigorous training regime that sees her spending six hours a day on the water.

"Being in a canoe made me feel like I was reborn. When I paddle on the water, I feel like an able-bodied person as I can go to anywhere I want. Canoeing gave me a new life," Xie noted. "Life is about moving forward against the odds, surpassing yourself, and challenging yourself."

In athletics, Shi Yiting broke the world record to win gold at the women's 200m -T36 final with a time of 28.17 seconds at the Huanglong Sports Centre Stadium. Her compatriot Li Sishuang finished the race with a bronze.

"I'm really satisfied, for I pulled out my best performance. Because of the discomfort in my feet, my training intensity was not hight. However, I finally rose above myself at this home competition," Shi said.

"I love you all; my dad, my coach, teammates, and staff who have always been helping me," Shi noted.

Di Dongdong and Ye Tao won gold and silver medals in the men's Long Jump-T11.

Meanwhile, powerlifter Guo Lingling also set a new world record of 123 kilograms in the women's 41kg final. 

As of Monday, China topped the medal table with 31 golds, 29 silvers and 23 bronzes, followed by Iran and Uzbekistan in second and third places. 

Athletics, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, wheelchair fencing, badminton, cycling and archery are some of the events in which China excels.

The Chinese delegation topped the Para Games medal table three times with 185 gold medals in Guangzhou in 2010, followed by 174 in Incheon, South Korea in 2014 and 172 in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018.

China-US sister cities: Building ‘bridges of friendship’

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday sent a message to the fifth China-US Sister Cities Conference, saying the close cooperation between sister provinces/states and sister cities has been fruitful over the past four decades.    

The foundation of China-US relations lies in the people and the source of strength lies in the friendship between people, Xi said in his message to the conference held in Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province. The "Build Green Cities for the People" conference was co-hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Jiangsu provincial government. 

In the era of globalization, informatization, and urbanization, cities have become centers for cultural exchanges and innovation. International sister city initiatives, aimed at promoting cultural exchanges, are increasingly valued and encouraged by governments around the world. The relationship between nations thrives on the affinity between the people of those nations, which in turn is built on mutual understanding and communication. 

President Xi has repeatedly emphasized the importance of strengthening people-to-people bonds and cultural exchanges between China and the US. 

Xi stressed that the China-US Sister Cities Conference is an important mechanism for sub-national exchanges that has played a positive role in promoting development and cooperation between sister cities. He called on participants of the conference to continue to serve as a bridge for sub-national exchanges, enabling provinces/states and cities to play a greater role in promoting the sound and steady development of bilateral relations and improving the well-being of the peoples of the two countries. 

Today, sister provinces/states and sister cities are important platforms for deepening friendship and achieving win-win cooperation. They are also an important component of bilateral relations. Since the first pair between China and the US was set in 1979, 284 pairs have been formed so far. 

Local exchanges and interactions between sister provinces/states and sister cities have expanded the foundation for cooperation between the two countries and have become important platforms for people-to-people exchanges and long-term partnerships in business and cultural exchanges. Under the framework of China-US sister cities, through exchanges in the field of education, science, language, and art by means of sister city conferences, annual celebrations, administrative exchanges, and establishment of offices, numerous "bridges of friendship" have been built across national boundaries, regions, races and ages.

As an extension and supplement to official interactions between the two countries, China-US sister city exchanges have added substantial content to the cultural exchanges between the two countries. For example, since East China's Xiamen and Miami signed an Agreement on Establishing Friendly Exchange Relations, the two sides have conducted extensive exchanges and cooperation in cultural exchange fields such as tourism, education, and scientific research. Serving as a link for cultural exchanges between the two cities, Xiamen University and the University of Miami have engaged in in-depth exchanges in various disciplines in recent years, offering joint courses and holding a series of academic seminars and exchange activities for international students. The Tianjin Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School in New York have carried out high-level artistic collaborations and strengthened cooperation in arts education, adding new platforms for China-US cultural exchanges.

Sister provinces/states and sister cities interactions between China and the US have long been an essential bridge promoting the development of relationships between the two countries. The core of these exchanges is people-to-people interactions. Actively carrying out sister city initiatives positively shapes the perceptions of officials, enterprises and private individuals involved in these activities. These exchanges help enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries. In a subtle and profound way, they increase a sense of closeness and trust among people, solidifying the social and popular foundation for the stability and development of China-US relations.

To some extent, these sister city exchanges serve as a "barometer" of China-US relations. In recent years, under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth rate and frequency of interactions among China-US sister cities have declined. However, these sister cities still resiliently maintain interactions and cooperation, conducting a series of online cultural exchange activities. For example, Jingdezhen in East China's Jiangxi Province and Door county in Wisconsin held a video conference on tourism development; Lijiang, a city in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, joined hands with Roanoke, Virginia to conduct an online exchange activity themed "University Life During the Pandemic" in which university students from both cities held a cordial conversation and shared their understanding of each other's cultures.

Local exchanges and cooperation are undoubtedly a significant force and social foundation for the development of China-US relations. When China-US relations encounter difficulties, local exchanges facilitated by sister cities become even more precious and of vital importance. 

As Xi stated in his message to the fifth China-US Sister Cities Conference, sister provinces/states and sister cities have engaged in close, productive cooperation over the past four decades, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. 

Looking forward, sister provinces/states and sister cities can play a unique role, injecting new energy into the stability and development of China-US relations.

Civilizational forum aims to be ‘exchange platform’

The Inter-Civilizational Communication and Global Development Forum kicked off in Beijing on Tuesday, attracting around 150 experts from more than 30 countries. 

The three-day event, hosted by the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), takes "tradition of civilization and paths to modernization" as its theme. Politicians, entrepreneurs, think tank experts, scholars, cultural ambassadors and diplomatic envoys from China and abroad have gathered together to discuss issues concerning communication among civilizations and global development.

 "The purpose of hosting this forum is to establish an international exchange platform for various parties to participate and converse with each other, contributing wisdom and strength to promote the exchange and mutual learning of civilizations among nations and to build a community with shared future for humanity," said Xie Chuntao, vice president of the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC.

Dilma Rousseff, president of the New Development Bank gave a speech at the opening ceremony, noting that frank and respectful dialogue between different civilizations and countries will promote consensus and cooperation. She added that it is a guiding principle that the world needs to systematically follow.

 "The rich diversity of human civilizations can no longer be dismissive. The different objectives and development models followed by different nations cannot be ignored. It is not possible for a multicultural world to be forced to choose a single path. Often, they are looking with a single view of democracy, which actually leads to the weakening of democracies in many countries," she said, commenting on the significance of the forum.

Herta Daubler-Gmelin, former German justice minister, pointed out that besides cooperation in the economic and political fields, people-to-people cooperation in academic field is also very crucial.

 "We can do more. We can do better. This means information, as well as transparency in communication. And the recognition that every civilization contains dynamic elements. It's not frozen. It can open itself to converse with others," she said.

China's State Council Information Office released a white paper titled A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions in September. John L. Thornton, chair emeritus of the Brookings Institution and co-chair of the Asia Society, quoted the white paper, pointing out that the most pressing task is to find a guiding beacon for the sustainable development of human civilization.

"There is no more important topic than the one we will be discussing this morning. I think of it as discussing the world we wish to be in, the world we wish to create for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations," said Thornton.

He also applauded for the Global Civilization Initiative and Global Initiative. "The aspiration China has is admirable. If it can be achieved, it will be a step forward for mankind, for the world," Thornton told the Global Times.

Three sub-forums on civilizational communication between China and Europe, China-Central Asia modernization development and leadership building, and China-Arab civilization exchange and modernization development, as well as a round-table discussion, will be held during this forum.

Culture Beat: ‘Gravity’ exhibition displayed in CAFA

Gravity, the inaugural exhibition of the second phase of a youth experimental project, recently opened at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Art Museum. 

The exhibition showcases the personal works of Chen ­Mingqiang, a faculty member of the Experimental Art and Science and Technology Art College at CAFA. The exhibition features 14 of Chen's recent works, aiming to present the artist's creative thinking and new artistic imagery.

The inspiration for the exhibition came from a serendipitous event during the artist's creation: A bird flying over a courtyard "left a mark" on a work placed in the courtyard due to the force of gravity, which sparked Chen's creative impulse. 

Gravity is a force that humans experience at all times, and all objects are endowed with mutual gravitational influence. 

The artist's creative orientation and inspiration are no different. Everything perceivable in life guides the artist in his self-creation. 

The "Wide Angle Youth Experimental Project Space" is an experimental field for displaying the curatorial and creative work of young teachers at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. It aims to assist and promote young teachers and students to make positive responses to interdisciplinary linkage, regional cultural research, and traditional Chinese culture through diverse exhibition projects. 

New TV show decodes legends of eight ancient masters of Tang and Song dynasties

The China Media Group has recently launched a cultural variety show, Biographies of Masters: the Eight Great Masters of the Tang and the Song Dynasties. The eight great masters come to life across the passage of thousands of years, allowing audiences to explore their profound and dramatic life stories. Through these compelling stories, incisive cultural interpretations, and innovative visual presentations, audiences can delve into the creation of timeless masterpieces and feel the enduring power of Chinese culture. 

The term "The Eight Great Masters" is widely recognized in Chinese culture. It encompasses two luminaries from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Liu Zongyuan and Han Yu, as well as six notable figures from the Song Dynasty (960-1279): Ouyang Xiu, Wang Anshi, Zeng Gong, Su Xun and his sons Su Shi and Su Zhe.This phrase celebrates their unmatched contributions and prominence in the realms of Chinese art and literature.

The core challenge for cultural variety shows is to use the thoughts of ancient people to address the questions faced by people today and to cause ancient stories to resonate with today's social psyche. As the first variety show to focus on "The Eight Great Masters", it needs to present deep thoughts and life wisdom, encompassing a vast range of ideas. Specifically, it involves exploring artifacts, the heart of literature, and the pulse of culture to find answers that connect the past and present.

The primary narrative thread of the show is artifacts. These artifacts contain the cultural codes for the origins as well as the future of Chinese culture, boasting ancient wisdom which may be converted to contemporary enlightenment. For instance, the show starts with the only extant original calligraphy work of Han Yu, Eulogy to Cao'e, from the Eastern Jin (317-420). Rather than analyzing his calligraphy techniques, the show shifts its focus on the two characters at a corner of the work - Tuizhi. Many know Han Yu's courtesy name was Tuizhi, which means take a step back, but few are aware of its story. Han Yu repeatedly failed the imperial examinations, but his wife told him not to lose heart, saying, to achieve great things, one must first take a step back. Han Yu took his wife's advice to heart and eventually became a renowned figure. 

This simple wisdom derived from life and valuable experiences gained from adversity carries warmth and spirit beyond the confines of words and time. The show takes the audience through a journey which starts with a single artifact. 

How can the words and sentences written in classics resonate with the vivid life of an individual? This is the second aspect the show seeks to explore: the heart of literature. When the heart of literature resonates across ages, thoughts continue to thrive, and culture is passed on. The show not only focuses on showcasing the remarkable achievements of these masters but also how these achievements have influenced history, converse with the present and shape the future. 

In addition to their literary prowess, the show also vividly presents the masters' hobbies and interests. The show employs an immersive approach with hosts dressed in costumes staging the life stories of these masters. The show uses a format combining "immersive live-action interpretation, cinematic filming, and XR (extended reality) innovative presentation." Leveraging the visual, tangible, and immersive characteristics of mass media, the show returns to dramatic traditions, narrating stories of these figures. Meanwhile, through technology like XR, the lives of ancient figures leap to the modern screen.

The show also features a screen that marks the "significant events in the lives of the main figure" in each episode. When the hosts touch the screen, a great master is transformed back into an ordinary person undergoing trials and making choices, with key moments of their life slowly unfolding in the XR space. 

Whenever we look back at history, we always find familiar figures in the continuum of culture, their writings passed down through generations, their stories known to all households. The show elevates this "familiarity" to a level of thoughtful depiction, allowing historical figures to be understood and learned from. By focusing on the broader picture and attending to the finer details, the show marks a shining coordinate on the radiant star map of Chinese culture for these great masters, at the intersection of traditional culture and modern spirit.

The author is deputy director of the TV Research Center at Peking University.

CBUAE teams up with BIS and COP28 Presidency to launch the COP28 UAE TechSprint

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Emirates Institute of Finance (EIF) and the COP28 Presidency have launched the COP28 UAE TechSprint, a global initiative aimed at promoting innovation in scaling sustainable finance and combating climate change.

The launch of the COP28 UAE TechSprint comes ahead of the UAE's hosting of COP28 later this year.

The initiative aims to encourage the participation of financial innovators and developers from global private and public sector entities in fast-tracking innovative technology solutions to address challenges in green and sustainable finance through technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Internet-of-Things (IoT), and sensor technologies across three problem statements:

  • AI solutions for sustainable finance reporting, verification, and disclosure in the financial services industry.
  • Blockchain solutions for auditing and enhancing transparency, traceability, and accountability in sustainable finance.
  • IoT and sensor technology solutions for sustainable finance to ensure informed assessments of impact or risk.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of CBUAE and Chairman of EIF, said, "In line with the vision of the UAE's leadership, and its endeavours to address the challenges of climate change; we value the partnership with COP28 UAE and the BIS in launching this international initiative aimed at encouraging innovators across the globe to leverage financial technology in developing new green and sustainable finance solutions."

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President Designate, said, "Tackling climate change requires available, accessible and affordable finance. By introducing advanced technological solutions that support the development of sustainable finance standards and instruments, we can help to foster investor confidence and better ensure that capital reaches those who require it the most. COP28 looks forward to working with its partners to drive real solutions to scale up climate action and fast-track sustainable finance initiatives around the world."

Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the BIS, said, "Combating climate change is more urgent than ever. It calls for a profound change in the way economies operate and grow. To finance the needed transformation, investors need certainty that their funds are channeled to their intended uses. Technologies that promote the timely measurement and disclosure of climate-related information are part of the solution. The BIS Innovation Hub has explored how to apply technologies such as AI, blockchain and internet-of-things to green finance instruments and climate-related disclosure. This TechSprint in collaboration with the COP28 UAE, the CBUAE and EIF will complement these efforts to address remaining gaps in the green finance market."

The COP28 UAE TechSprint is open to technology and financial innovators and developers from around the world. To participate, please register at link and submit technology proposals to one or more problem statements by [Friday, 6 October 2023].

Shortlisted participants for each problem statement will be invited to further develop their solutions and will be eligible for a stipend of [AED 45,000 (approximately USD 12,000)].

A winner for each problem statement will be selected by an independent panel of experts. The winners will be announced at COP28 UAE in December 2023, with each winner eligible for an award of AED 220,000 (approximately USD 60,000).

Thailand aims to ensure safety, restore tourists confidence after deadly mall shooting

Thailand will take steps to ensure safety and restore confidence among tourists, officials said on Wednesday, one day after a shooting at a renowned shopping mall in downtown Bangkok that killed two people and injured five others.

The Thai government has attached great importance to this matter and will implement measures to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said after joining a one-minute silence at the mall and expressing condolences to the deceased.

He added that the government will be working on the implementation of an alert system to notify the public about emergency situations.

In a press conference, Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said that government agencies would work harder to restore confidence among tourists.

The police have encouraged shopping malls and other public places to implement stricter security screening and be constantly prepared by providing training for security personnel, Samran Nualma, Assistant Commissioner-General of the Thai Police, told the news conference.

Investigators initially pressed five charges against the suspected gunman, including premeditated murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, illegally carrying a weapon, and firing shots in a public place, Nakharin Sukhonthawit, commander of Metropolitan Police Division 6, told reporters.

China-Pakistan partnership: Bridging nations, building communities

Editor's Note:

China and Pakistan share a long-standing friendship that dates back to the early 1950s. Over the years, this relationship has evolved into a robust strategic partnership, with the two countries often being referred to as "iron brothers." In an exclusive piece penned ahead of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, highlights the deep-rooted brotherhood and ironclad relations between China and Pakistan. He not only emphasizes the strength of bilateral ties between both countries, but also commends China's significant contributions to the global community.

By Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar 

The tale of China-Pakistan relations is not an ordinary one. It is an account of brotherhood, friendship, and trust, the foundations of which were laid more than 70 years ago. The vision of the leadership of our two countries at the time laid a solid basis for a relationship, which has subsequently been carefully nurtured into a robust, vibrant, time-tested, all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. Pakistan and its people, with absolute confidence, value the relationship greatly, and proudly call China our "best friend." It is heart-warming that in China, the term "Ba Tie" (Iron Brother) is reserved only for Pakistan. 

The timeless Pakistan-China partnership and deep-rooted friendship serves the interests of both countries, being the historic choice of our people. Pakistan-China relations remain the cornerstone of our foreign policy. The close time-tested friendship with China enjoys the abiding support of the people of Pakistan.

With a time-honored history of brotherhood, our two countries have stood together, rain or shine, building an exemplary iron-clad friendship. Despite the vicissitudes of times and changes in the international landscape, the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership has grown into a towering tree with its deep roots of love in the hearts of the two peoples. The bond of love and affection that the peoples of the two countries have for each other indeed remains higher than the mountains, deeper than the sea, and sweeter than honey. 

Zhou Enlai, China's first premier, once said that "the friendly interactions between the peoples of China and Pakistan date back to the dawn of history." Certainly, Pakistan-China relations are the continuation of ancient civilizational bonds that have existed between our two nations since ancient times. The flow of trade through the ancient Silk Road and geographical proximity brought the two great Asian civilizations together. Monks and thinkers from China made their historical journeys to Taxila and other Buddhist places in Pakistan, painting a beautiful picture of the Gandhara civilization and bringing Buddhist wisdom to China, thus binding the two nations together in an everlasting bond.

The historical evolution of the Pakistan-China relationship, and its growing importance in the wake of evolving regional and global developments, is an exemplary model of inter-state relationship. The unique relationship of more than seven decades, underpinned by the rationale of strong political support, mutual trust, and all-round practical cooperation, has matured into a strong strategic partnership.

I will soon be traveling to Beijing on my first visit after assuming office, to participate in the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation - an event which will mark the completion of a decade of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the iconic and visionary project proposed by President Xi Jinping.

We pay tribute to the vision and statesmanship of President Xi who, 10 years ago, propounded the vision of building a global community of shared future, introducing a novel concept for international development partnership, a new idea for global governance and cooperation, and a fresh approach toward international exchanges, thus drawing up a new blueprint for a better interconnected world.

The core of the visionary concept is built on socio-economic development; with a focus on the elements of inclusivity, common prosperity, and win-win cooperation. It embodies the ideals of an open, interconnected, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace and sustainable security. As we delve more into this concept, it becomes clear that it draws upon ancient Chinese philosophy and wisdom. 

The concept of "tianxia datong," translated as "harmony under heaven," refers to the whole world and promotes diversity, while emphasizing harmonious and mutual interdependence as the means to enduring peace. 

As noted by the recent BRI white paper released by the China's State Council, the BRI is a key pillar of the global community of shared future. The subsequent unveiling of the concepts - including the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) - have further refined the concept of a global community of shared future.

Pakistan was among the first countries to join the BRI. As the flagship project of the BRI, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) marks a milestone in Pakistan-China relations, by placing economic cooperation and connectivity at the very center of the bilateral agenda, making the two countries more interconnected than ever before. The CPEC remains a shining example of the BRI's promise of economic prosperity and connectivity. It has transformed the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan, upgrading modern infrastructure, enhancing regional connectivity, ensuring energy security, and creating jobs.

This year Pakistan hosted a series of events and activities marking the successful first decade of the CPEC. We were also pleased to welcome Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng, the special representative of President Xi, in Pakistan to attend the Decade of CPEC celebration event.

Pakistan remains committed to jointly building the CPEC. We fully endorse China's proposal of developing the CPEC as a corridor of growth, livelihood, innovation, greenness and openness - representing our two countries' preference for a human-centric approach, inclusivity, and green development. 

Pakistan is also a pioneering member of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and has played an active role in giving it a more concrete shape. As the first priority partner under the GDI, and the first one to ink an MoU on the GDI, Pakistan stands ready to benefit from this cooperation in areas of education, healthcare, climate change, and poverty reduction, thus making meaningful contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a timely manner. 

Pakistan has also supported the Global Security Initiative and its adherence to the UN Charter and principles of multilateralism and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. Having long suffered due to unresolved disputes, conflicts, and terrorism, we also advocate for dialogue and constructive engagement based on mutual respect, to ensure regional peace in South Asia.

The Global Civilization Initiative is yet another landmark and timely initiative proposed by President Xi, promoting respect for diversity, peaceful co-existence, mutual learning, and inclusiveness. In a world marred with discord and divisiveness, dialogue between civilizations can be a means to peace and reconciliation. 

Pakistan's foreign policy objectives have always been those of "peace within and peace without," as outlined by our founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It was, therefore, all but natural for Pakistan to endorse these key initiatives put forth by President Xi.

In a world marred by multiple challenges like conflicts, economic recessions, food insecurity, social inequalities, and climate change, the salience of the Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership assumes great importance. 

It is a source of pride and comfort for our two peoples and a factor of peace and stability in the region and beyond. Ours is a relationship of the past, present, and future, and nothing can alter this reality. 

As per our long-standing tradition, we support each other on our core issues. We are grateful to China for its support for Pakistan's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and economic security, and its principled support on the issue of Kashmir. We reaffirm our commitment to the one-China principle and our support to China on its core issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xizang (Tibet), Xinjiang, and the South China Sea.

As close friends, strategic partners, and iron brothers, Pakistan and China are moving forward toward a destiny of shared future. I remain confident and convinced that our friendship will further strengthen in the coming days and attain even greater heights in the years to come.

Long live the Pakistan-China friendship!

The author is Prime Minister of Pakistan