Jan 11, 2017


Signals possibly from flight recorder

Egypt said on Wednesday that a French ship picked up signals from deep under theMediterranean Sea, presumed to be from one of the black boxes of the EgyptAir plane thatcrashed last month, killing all 66 passengers and crew on board. The development raised hopesthe plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders, known as the black boxes, could be retrievedand shed light on the aircraft's tragic crash. In Cairo, the Civil Aviation Ministry cited a statementfrom the committee investigating the crash as saying the vessel Laplace received the signals.The French Navy confirmed the ship arrived in the search area and picked up the signals.


Jewish settler freed from detention

Israel's prison service says an extremist Jewish settler has been freed from jail after a 10-monthdetention. Meir Ettinger was arrested last year following a deadly arson attack on a PalestinianWest Bank home that killed three people, including a toddler. Ettinger was released onWednesday. He has not been charged with any crime. Another man and a minor were indictedfor the arson. The 24-year-old Ettinger is the grandson of US-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, Israel'smost notorious Jewish extremist, whose ultranationalist party was banned from Israel'sparliament for its racist views in 1988. He was killed by an Arab gunman in New York in 1990.

Republic of Korea

4 dead, 10 hurt in construction blast

Four people died and 10 others were injured after an explosion at a subway construction site onWednesday near the capital, Seoul. The workers were welding iron bars 15 meters undergroundwhen the explosion occurred in the morning, said officials from the Gyeonggi Province Fire andDisaster Headquarters, who didn't want to be named, citing office rules. The cause of theexplosion wasn't immediately known.


Women sexually harassed at festival

German prosecutors are investigating claims by 26 women that they were sexually harassed at amusic festival in the western city of Darmstadt at the weekend and police have arrested threemen with Pakistani backgrounds, a police spokesman said on Wednesday. By late on Tuesday, 26 women had come forward and 14 formal complaints had been made. "The womencomplained that they were surrounded by small groups of men who then touched theminappropriately," the spokesman said, adding the matter was now with prosecutors.


Cigarettes to get plain packaging

Canada, following the lead of Britain and Australia, will make plain packaging of cigarettescompulsory in a bid to cut the rate of smoking, Health Minister Jane Philpott said on Tuesday.Although Canada already obliges firms to slap large graphic warning labels on cigarette packets,Philpott said more must be done, given that some 5 million of Canada's 36 million inhabitants stilluse tobacco products. The measures would require a uniform, standardized color and font onpackages and restrict the use of logos and trademarks.

9,As a gateway for China’s westward opening-up and a major hub along the Silk Road Economic Belt, Chengdu has greatly expanded its cooperation with European countries and accelerated its opening-up.

The city is home to the Sino-French Ecological Park and the Sino-German Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Cooperation Park.

The Sino-French Ecological Park is a national-level project the two countries set up in 2014. It is located in the State-level Chengdu Economic and Technological Development Zone, also known as CEDZ, in the eastern part of Chengdu, and covers a preliminary planning area of 8.6 square miles.

“The park focuses on strategic emerging industries such as energy saving and environmental protection, new-energy, new-materials and highend equipment manufacturing,” said Zhou Ling, director of the coordination office of the Sino- French Ecological Park.

Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile, a joint venture of French carmaker PS A Peugeot Citroen and Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Corp., chose the park as the location of its fourth factory in China with investment of 12.3 billion yuan ($1.9 billion).

Thanks to efficient government services, the factory broke ground only three months after the agreement was signed in July 2014, and it is expected to go into commercial operation this year.

The factory has a planned production capacity of 360,000 automobiles a year.

The CEDZ is expected to produce more than 1 million cars annually this year.

The project is also expected to stimulate the growth of the automobile industry chain in the CEDZ. “More carmakers and auto parts enterprises are coming after Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile, including the Francebased Faurecia, Dongfeng Motor Die and Mould Co. Ltd. and Fengshen Logistics,” Zhou said.

He said the park is negotiating with leading French companies including PS A Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Bollore for cooperation in the fields of new-energy vehicles and smart cars.

The park also wants to work closely with French and European Union companies in the fields of ecological construction, energy saving and environmental protection.

“Our goal is to build the park into a model project of green and lowcarbon development among Sino- French cooperation,” Zhou said.

The park has planned ecological belts and parks, a stormwater system and a greenway system to create a good ecological environment. The construction of the park widely uses green technology, and it will promote the use of clean energy and energyefficient vehicles.

The park is also building a platform for cultural exchanges between China and France. A French-style street and a series of projects covering culture, art, creative design, catering and tourism are under construction.

Established the same year as the Sino-French Ecological Park, the Sino-German SME Cooperation Park in Pujiang county in southwestern Chengdu has an overall planned area of 11.5 square miles.

The park, the first of its kind in western China, is seen as one of the most important ways for Chengdu to integrate into the Belt and Road Initiative.

So far, it has attracted 48 companies that engage in precision machines and related industries, including Bosch Power Tools and Bosch Packaging Technology. The Bosch Group has also set up its first Asia-Pacific R&D center for packaging technology in the park, according to Mao Yongjiu, director of the general management department of Pujiang Industrial Zone Administrative Committee.

The Chengdu plants of Bosch Power Tools and Bosch Packaging Technology have seized market share in China, and some of the products are exported to the United States, Japan and Germany.

“Through the introduction of German technology, professionals and management experience, we have greatly improved our level in the hardware industry,” Mao said.

The official said the park plans to bring in 100 more enterprises by 2020, generating a total output value of 35 billion yuan.

Under the framework of the Sino- Cuba cooperation in biotechnology, the city is building a Chengdu International Bio-tech Industry Town.

On March 14, the Chengdu Hightech Zone signed an agreement with Chengdu’s Shuangliu district to jointly build the Chengdu International Bio-tech Industry Town, which aims to be an industrial park with global influence.

According to the plans, it will focus on biomedicine and biomedical engineering, and cover an area of 17.4 square miles.

Provincial-level collaboration

Apart from the national-level cooperative industrial parks, Chengdu is also home to three provincial-level cooperative parks: the Nordrhein-Westfalen Center, the Sichuan-France Ecological and Technological Park, and the Singapore-Sichuan High-tech Innovation Park.

In April 2014, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia launched a major investment project, valued at 2 billion yuan, in the Chengdu part of Tianfu New Area, China’s 11th national-level development area approved by the State Council in October 2014.

It will become the headquarters for German enterprises in western China and serve as a major platform for economic and cultural exchanges between Germany and western China.

“Our collaboration with Sichuan was mainly in agriculture 10 years ago, but now it has expanded to hightech fields,” said Hannelore Kraft, governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, during her visit to Chengdu in April 2015 for the establishment of the NRW Center.

Kraft said both North Rhine-Westphalia and Sichuan province are faced with the challenges of industrial transformation and upgrading, and she looks forward to working with Sichuan toward Industry 4.0 via close bilateral cooperation.

Next to the NRW Center is the site of the Sichuan-France Ecological and Technological Park. A joint project of the French region of Champagne- Ardenne and Sichuan province, the park will focus on architecture, urban planning, and energy-efficiency in buildings. Construction is expected to start this year.

“The speed of construction of the Tianfu New Area is amazing,” said Olivier Vaysset, French consul general in Chengdu, when he visited the Chengdu part of the new area in February, together with consular officers from 15 consulates-general in southwestern China.

Vaysset said he is paying close attention to the construction of the Sichuan-France Ecological and Technological Park and is willing to promote more collaboration between the two sides. Other consular officers are also seeking cooperation opportunities for their own countries.

The Singapore-Sichuan High-tech Innovation Park, jointly developed by Singapore and the Sichuan provincial government, is planned to cover 4 square miles and is expected to attract total investment of 100 billion yuan from 2012 to 2020.

The park focuses on five pillar industries — biomedical sciences, interactive digital media, high-end manufacturing and assembly, environmental technologies and producer services.

“Chengdu will take advantage of the Sino-Foreign cooperative industrial parks to deepen openingup and expand international cooperation, and thus establish itself as an international hub in the region and play a larger role in the global industrial system,” local officials said.