Source: Belt and Road Initiative
China's central bank on Wednesday laid out the rules for foreign-invested payment firms over market access and supervision, in a bid to open up its payment service market and encourage competition.
Overseas companies providing e-payment services are required to set up foreign-invested businesses in China and acquire payment services licenses, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in its online statement.
These firms are required to have secure, regulated transaction and recovery systems in China with the capacity of processing payment services individually, according to the PBOC.
According to the statement, client data and other financial information originated and collected in China must be stored, processed and analyzed within the domestic area.
Foreign-invested payment firms should abide by Central Bank regulations in their corporate governance, operation and risk management, according to the PBOC.
China's payment service market has grown rapidly, with transactions processed by domestic payment firms soaring, PBOC data showed.
From 2013 to 2017, the value of transactions galloped to 169 trillion yuan (about 26.7 U.S. Dollars) from 18 trillion yuan.
Easing the market access for foreign-invested payment parties will help to optimize the industrial structure and speed up reform and opening up of the sector, a PBOC official said.
Source: Belt and Road Initiative
The Swiss government has decided to take part in the first China International Import Exposition (CIIE) later this year, as a move to further enrich and strengthen Sino-Swiss economic and trade relations.
The first CIIE will be held in Shanghai in November, which is expected to bring together thousands of enterprises from more than 120 countries and regions. More than 150,000 buyers from home and abroad are expected at the event, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said on March 11.
At a CIIE promotion event in Zurich on Monday, Christine Busser, head of Bilateral Economic Relations Asia/Oceania under Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, said the Swiss government is honored and delighted to be present at the CIIE, and is planning to send a high-ranking official delegation to the event.
Busser also said the Swiss government has been encouraging companies to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, and is expecting a strong participation of the Swiss economy at the CIIE that will further enrich and strengthen Sino-Swiss economic and trade relations.
At Monday's promotion, Gao Yanping, Chinese consul general in Zurich and for the Principality of Liechtenstein, said that the CIIE is a "China Solution" against the trends of anti-globalization and trade protectionism in recent years following a weak global economic growth.
The CIIE will "send a positive signal of China to oppose trade protectionism and to maintain an open world economy", he said, adding that the event also marks a "new round of China's opening-up policy" to further promotes the Belt and Road Initiative.
According to Gao, Swiss enterprises are not only among the first foreign contributors to China's reform and opening up, but also great beneficiaries from China's development.
Gao hoped that that entrepreneurs and exporters from Switzerland and Liechtenstein will look far beyond, take the opportunities of China's development and make full use of the CIIE platform, for mutual benefits and win-win results.
So far, a number of renowned Swiss brands have confirmed their participation in the CIIE, including Nestle, Migros, ABB and Victorinox.
Source: Belt and Road Initiative
Despite his reluctance to leave his two-month-old son, Chinese farmer Duan Lin flew to Tajikistan Friday.
It was the fourth time that Duan, one of 16 Chinese managers on a 1,670-hectare Tajik farm, had flown to the Central Asian country after the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Before being sent to Tajikistan in 2015 as a technical adviser, Duan, 30, worked as an agricultural technology promotion employee at Huangfanqu Farm, where his grandfather and father had worked.
The Huangfanqu Farm was established in 1951 based on a large parcel of land in Xihua and Fugou counties in China's central Henan Province. The land was flooded by the Yellow River, China's second longest, in the 1930s due to war and became unsuitable for farming because of high soil salinity.
After three generations of efforts, the 6,670 hectares of land became arable again. In recent years, the farm started to seek expansion opportunities along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
"The state-owned farm could hardly support its workforce of 30,000 people. New growth drivers were urgently needed," said Zhai Jinzhong, director of the farm's overseas investment department.
About 10 years ago, the farm's officials visited countries including Namibia, Uganda, Cambodia and Myanmar to seek potential investment opportunities, said Zhai.
In 2013, the same year China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, the farm established subsidiaries in Tajikistan and Ukraine. Now the farm grows wheat, corn and cotton in Tajikistan and raises cows in Ukraine.
In Tajikistan, the farm has invested more than 200 million yuan (31.6 million U.S. dollars) in improving infrastructure and building cotton processing plants. As a result, its average output of cotton reached 3.5 tonnes per hectare, 50 percent higher than local levels.
The farm in Tajikistan has achieved full mechanization and two harvests of corn and wheat per year, a shift from the country's "one harvest per year" tradition.
"When Chinese agriculture goes global, it is not just renting land. It is quite comprehensive, including exchanges in trade and technology," said Han Yijun, a professor with China Agricultural University.
As the Belt and Road Initiative pushes ahead, China is encouraging its agricultural firms to expand overseas and promote agricultural trade with countries and regions along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
Many companies and agricultural research institutes have answered the call. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences has introduced 61 agricultural products and technologies to countries along the Belt and Road.
Yangling Agriculture Hi-Tech Industrial Zone, a national-level high-tech development zone in Shaanxi Province, has established modern agricultural demonstration parks in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and signed agreements with over 20 countries to deepen agricultural cooperation.
"When we first came here, there were only two Chinese agricultural companies in Tajikistan and now there are at least five. The Central Asia region has become a hot investment destination for Chinese agricultural firms," said Duan.
"As more countries recognize the Belt and Road Initiative, I believe more Chinese agricultural firms will go out and promote agricultural technology to benefit countries and regions along the Belt and Road," said Gao Fei, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University.
Source: Belt and Road Initiative
Green development is the only way to achieve a promising future in the cooperation and social development of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, China's environmental protection minister said on Mar. 17.
A big data service platform on ecological and environmental cooperation and management will be built, providing a supporting consultancy for boosting the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Li Ganjie, minister of environmental protection.
"A green, low-carbon, sustainable road is always our principle of development. To strengthen cooperation with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative through ecological protection is our joint effort to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030," Li said.
Together with three other departments, the ministry released a guideline for building a green Belt and Road last year.
It also issued some related policies, as well as cooperative plans to promote further communication on green development with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Li said Chinese enterprises always maintain a high standard of environmental protection in their overseas construction projects.
He cited the construction of a power plant that was finished in India in 2015 as an example.
"India upgraded its environmental protection standard before the project was finished. But our project still passed the new emission standard and even gained the country's gold medal of environmental protection that year," he said.
In the future, Li said the ministry will build a better cooperative mechanism, encouraging more sharing of technology and communication on environmental protection among the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
"China also will promote a 'Belt and Road embosser plan' to share our experiences and ideas with other countries and help them to enhance ecological protection and management ability," Li said.
China will strengthen the use of artificial intelligence to solve security, health, environment and other key public issues, Wan Gang, minister of science and technology, said on Saturday.
The country also plans to soon publish a guideline and detailed regulations on AI development and breakthroughs in critical technologies, he said.
Since the 1980s, the central government has considered AI research highly significant and made it a part of the nation's science agenda, Wan said.
AI applications are now used in many industries and in daily lives, ranging from bike-sharing technologies to package deliveries, he said, adding that AI is also entering hospitals, courtrooms, city planning, public transportation and many other public services.
The key to using AI in various fields is to conduct research in core technologies and make AI open-sourced, so that innovators, entrepreneurs and others in all facets of society can add or benefit from the technology, Wan said.
In July, the State Council issued a plan on the next generation of AI. It said the AI industry should be a major growth engine and improve people's lives by 2020. The plan also set a target for China to become a leading center for global AI innovation by 2030.
The value of the country's AI-related industries is expected to reach more than 150 billion yuan ($23.7 billion) by 2020, 400 billion yuan by 2025 and 1 trillion yuan by 2030, according to goals laid out in the plan.
Wan said China will strengthen its AI research and train a new generation of experts to tackle key and frontier AI-related science issues. The nation will also accelerate the commercialization and application of AI technologies to "solve the public's concerns, such as security, health and environment", he said.
At the same time, he added, China will strengthen research into related laws and regulations in response to possible ethical and social challenges caused by AI technologies, such as privacy, employment and national security.
"AI is an international trend," he said. "We need to strengthen international cooperation and support China's AI companies and institutes to work globally with others and play roles in their key fields."
The United States and China are the world's top two AI researchers, accounting for more than 57 percent of the science papers recorded by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence last year, according to a study by the University of Toronto.
In 2017, Chinese scientists wrote 23 percent of the papers related to AI, more than twice the share of 10 percent in 2012. At the same time, the share of US papers fell from 41 percent in 2012 to 34 percent in 2017, the study said.
Liu Qingfeng, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress and president of Chinese voice recognition device manufacturer iFlytek, said China's AI technologies and innovations are on par with those from developed countries.
"Given AI technology's data-driven nature, China's massive user base and the government's ability to use new inventions, China will definitely win the future of AI," Liu said on the sidelines of the ongoing NPC session.