Global Times - 01.08.2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1
Thursday August 1, 2019 3


 Individual trips discontinued due to ties in limbo

By Wang Wenwen

A pilot program allowing residents of 47
Chinese mainland cities to travel to the is-
land of Taiwan on individual trips will be
suspended starting August 1 due to “the
current cross-Straits ties,” according to a
notice published on the website of the Min-
istry of Culture and Tourism of China on
Wednesday by the Association for Tourism
Exchange across the Taiwan Straits.
Group trips are not affected by the ban,
according to Ctrip, a leading Chinese travel
Such a policy change is a footnote on in-
creasingly tense cross-Straits ties, Chinese
observers noted, which resulted from re-
peated provocative actions by the Tsai Ing-
wen administration and secessionist forces
on the island.
Xue Qingde, a Taiwan businessman who
has been investing in Pingtan county, East
China’s Fujian Province, for more than a
decade, told the Global Times he supports
the ban even though his wife and many of
his business partners are from the main-
land and he wants more people-to-people
exchanges between the two sides.
“It is the policies adopted by the island

authorities that are causing the two sides
to drift apart,” Xue said and listed “hostile
signals” including curriculum changes at
schools that tried to sway Taiwan youth
away from reunification.
Xue also believed that the policy suspen-
sion was a countermeasure to Tsai’s court-
ship of the US.
In mid-July, Tsai visited four Caribbe-
an “allies” with two US stopovers, which
Chinese mainland analysts believed were
aimed at winning support from the US for
Taiwan elections in January 2020.
In early July, the US State Department
proposed the sale of $2.2 billion in arms to
Taiwan, which met strong criticism from
the Chinese mainland.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng
Shuang urged the US “to stay committed
to the one-China principle and the three
joint communiqués, cancel this arms sale
immediately and stop military ties with Tai-
wan to prevent further damage to China-
US relations and peace and stability across
the Taiwan Straits.”
Zhang Hua, an associate research fellow
of the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chinese
Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing,
told the Global Times that the travel policy

suspension is clearly the result of current
cross-Straits tensions.
“The separatist forces in Taiwan have be-
come more and more rampant. The recent
military exercises by the People’s Liberation
Army in waters near the island of Taiwan,
especially around the Dongshan Island
that faces Taiwan, send a strong signal to
the Tsai administration that if they do not
adhere to the 1992 Consensus, the peace-
ful and stable status quo of cross-Straits ties
cannot remain,” Zhang said. “The main-
land has the ability, confidence and lever-
age to deal with provocations from Taiwan
secessionist forces.”
Yang Lixian, a research fellow at the Bei-
jing-based Research Center of Cross-Straits
Relations, believes the ban serves more as
a tough gesture by the mainland targeting
“The mainland will not allow the Dem-
ocratic Progressive Party to destroy rela-
tions on the one hand and use economic
profits from the mainland as their political
achievements on the other,” he said.
Yang noted that how long the
ban will last will depend on the
result of the Taiwan elections
five months later.

Mainland halts Taiwan travel policy

By Ji Yuqiao

China plans to construct its first
harbor for launching rockets
from sea at a coastal city in East
China’s Shandong Province
this year, aiming to make mari-
time launches more frequent
and systematic, the project de-
veloper said on Wednesday.
After launching a Long
March-11 carrier rocket in the
Yellow Sea off Shandong Prov-
ince for the first time in June,
a project for building a harbor
especially for spacecraft sea
launches was decided upon,
according to a press release
sent to the Global Times on
Wednesday by China Aero-
space Science and Technology
Corporation (CASC).
The corporation signed a co-
operation agreement with the
government of the coastal city
of Yantai in Shandong to carry
out construction of the harbor.
The developer explained the
location choice is based on the
city’s outstanding port condi-
tions which include factors
like an already developed trans-
portation network and well-
equipped facilities.
CASC said that it is also
planning to build supporting
research centers for sea launch
missions in Yantai, including a
center to research and manu-
facture rockets, a research and
development center for sea
launch platforms and the devel-
opment center for satellite data
The construction of the base
will boost development of rel-
evant industries such as new
aerospace materials, energy
equipment and tourism.
Pang Zhihao, an expert in
space exploration technology in
Beijing, told the Global Times
Wednesday that compared with
a land launch, launching a car-
rier rocket from the sea has
many unique advantages.
Such a launch mode was
“more flexible,” as mobile off-
shore launch platforms can
meet customers’ different
needs, Pang noted.
Pang continued to stress that
launching a rocket from the
sea, far from densely populated
areas, can also lower the impact
of such missions on people’s
everyday life and property on
the ground.
The seaborne launch tech-
nology meets the growing
demand for low inclination
satellites and helps China pro-
vide launch services for coun-
tries participating in the Belt
and Road Initiative, the Xin-
hua News Agency reported in
June when Long March-11 was

China to build

first harbor for

sea launch of

space rockets

By Wang Wenwen

Atmospheric pollution has ac-
celerated the glaciers melting
in the world’s Third Pole which
covers the Tibetan Plateau and
surroundings, as high levels
of air pollutants are extending
from South Asia and accumu-
lating on the southern slope of
the Himalayas, an international
research team found recently.
The Third Pole region is not-
ed for its high rates of glacier
melt and the associated hydro-

logical shifts that affect water
supplies in Asia, the research
findings noted.
Atmospheric pollutants
contribute to climatic and cryo-
spheric changes through their
effects on solar radiation and
snow and ice surfaces.
The research team led by
research fellow Kang Shichang
from the State Key Laboratory
of Cryospheric Science under
the Northwest Institute of Eco-
Environment and Resources,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,

also found that atmospheric
pollution generated in South
Asia can be transported via
the Indian monsoon and west-
erlies, and thus reaches the
hinterlands of the Third Pole
Kang told the Global Times
that his team researched in a
number of South Asian coun-
tries and the country that emit-
ted the most air pollution was
India, given its large volume,
followed by Pakistan.
“India is well aware of the

seriousness of pollution in its
country. We hope India can
control its air pollution and
enhance international coopera-
tion, but funding is a problem,”
Kang said.
Kang noted that he has been
researching this area for more
than a decade and wants to
raise the public awareness of
environmental protection.

Air pollutants from South Asia linked to glaciers melting

A Muslim
woman holds
up a garland
of flowers to
celebrate the
passage of a
law outlawing
Triple Talaq,
or “instant
divorce,” at an
event organized
by the ruling
Bharatiya Janata
Party in New
Delhi, India on
parliament on
July 30 passed a
law against the
Muslim practice.
Photo: AFP

Divorce deal

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