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Editor's Note: China Daily is publishing a series of reports on cross-Straits relations as Taiwan's new leader takes office. As an increasing number of people from Taiwan have been taking advantage of opportunities on the mainland, Pingtan, the mainland's closest city to Taiwan, has introduced a range of tailor-made policies to attract talent from across the Straits. Pingtan, which has a population of around 420,000 and occupies about 400 square kilometers, is home to a cross-Straits free trade area.
The local government has taken several steps to attract more people from Taiwan, including acknowledging Taiwan's professional licenses and courting its leading human resources companies.
According to Wu Pinyun, an official with the district, architects and pharmacists from Taiwan can now get straight to work in Pingtan with Taiwan-issued diplomas, and law firms can set up representative agencies on the mainland. Figures from the Pingtan government show that, since 2011, the district has officially brought in more than 600 skilled workers from Taiwan, including several that work as employees in the district government and the district's government-funded enterprises. By 2030, the city expects between 200,000 and 300,000 people from Taiwan to be working there. The local government has also taken steps to make it easier for people from across the Straits to buy homes in Pingtan, said Deng Peishu, deputy director of the district government's publicity department.
According to rules released by the Pingtan district government in mid March, Taiwan house buyers can now enjoy the same beneficial policies as mainland residents, including minimum down payments being lowered from the previous 30 percent to 20. And, unlike mainland buyers who have to pay tax at a higher rate on second homes in the city, Taiwan people can get a beneficial tax rate - as low as that levied on their first apartment - if they buy a second home there. Alice Lin, 25, who is from Chiayi in Taiwan, told China Daily she would like to buy a house in Pingtan, given that the local government has put forward encouraging policies. But others have hesitated over buying a house in a small city where they fear the real estate market could cool down.
Nien Shun-jung, a Taiwan businessman who opened a gift shop in Pingtan three months ago, said he bought an apartment in Guangzhou, when he worked there for a decade.
Mu Qiufeng, a salesman with Haitan Ancient Town real estate project in Pingtan, said his company's residential apartment project, which will be unveiled in June, has attracted many people.
Officers from the inspection and quarantine bureau in Pingtan, Fujian province, check fruit from Taiwan. Taiwan people are more concerned about economic issues than aggravating social and political differences, said Ringo Ma Chen-lung, associate dean of the School of Communication at Hong Kong Baptist University. Ma said one of Taiwan's most recognized radical parties, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, failed to win a single seat in the most recent election.
Failing that, Ma said, the incoming DPP administration would face the same crises that undermined the outgoing administration of Ma Ying-jeou. He also expressed the hope that Beijing will adopt a soft approach to foster benign dialogue.
Susie Chiang Su-hui, chairwoman of the CS Culture Foundation, a prominent Hong Kong-based organizer of cross-Straits forums, cited the change in Taiwan public opinion in the wake of the deportation of Taiwan telephone scammers from Kenya to the Chinese mainland in April. According to a latest poll in Taiwan, the majority of those surveyed agreed that the suspects from Taiwan should stand trial on the mainland, since the victims were people on the mainland. Chiang said she hoped Beijing would continue its mild policy toward cross-Straits issues and apply "soft power" to win the affection of the Taiwan people.
Activists display placards reading 1992 Consensus during a protest outside the Democratic Progressive Party headquarters in Taipei on Wednesday. Tsai defeated the mainland-friendly Kuomintang in January's election, while the DPP also trumped the KMT to become the majority in the island's legislature for the first time.
But so far, Tsai has given no indication that she would acknowledge the 1992 Consensus, which agrees there is only one China.
President Xi Jinping warned in March last year that "the earth will move and the mountains will shake" if "the joint political basis across the Straits is destroyed".
Zhang Zhijun, head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said in March that Tsai should clarify her understanding of cross-Straits relations. Her view of the consensus remains ambiguous: She has said only that she is willing to "maintain the status quo". Analysts said Beijing has repeatedly asked that the new leaders accept the 1992 Consensus, which it sees as the basis for future cross-Straits interactions. Chang said that Beijing will most likely continue to constrict Taipei's ability to seek a greater international presence.
Ahead of May 20, Beijing hinted at what lies ahead with it insisted on the deportation to the mainland of Taiwan telecom fraud suspects operating in third countries, and exerted pressure on Taiwan's participation as an observer at the annual World Health Assembly summit in Switzerland.
She said Beijing's reactions to the Tsai administration could range from dissatisfaction to disengagement from established forms of communication and interaction. Yet she did not rule out the possibility of an evolving cross-Straits dialogue built on improved communication and confidence-building measures. China has the best national environment for higher education institutions in Asia, according to rankings released recently by higher education consulting company Quacquarelli Symonds.
The 2016 Higher Education System Strength rankings placed China at eighth worldwide, followed by South Korea, which ranked ninth. It was China's best performance of the past three years and is also the first time the mainland surpassed Italy and Japan in the strength of higher education systems.
The rankings represent a new attempt to put university performance rankings alongside other metrics to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a country or region's overall higher education environment, QS said. The latest QS ranking aims to measure the factors that make a nation's higher education system more likely to succeed. In addition, China has made improvements in all other metrics, including equity of education, educational investment and top universities, or flagships. Last year, the Chinese government added building world-class universities and subjects to its list of top priorities in education. With 37 million students studying at about 2,900 colleges and universities across China in 2015, the country's higher education system is one of the largest in the world. Spending on higher education has increased greatly in recent years, as has the number of educators, the amount of real estate and teaching resources, the report said. Ctrip, China's leading online travel agency based in Shanghai, said inbound tourism has regained the attention of travel agencies, thanks to the 10.9 percent growth of foreign visits in the first quarter of 2016.
China CYTS Tours started its business in 1980 by running tours for foreign tourists in China. Yu Liangbing, deputy general manager of inbound tourism for China CYTS Tours, said China saw three years of declines in inbound tourist numbers starting in 2012 because of air pollution, visa difficulties, currency exchange rates and the overall struggling global economic situation. However, the number of overseas tourists flocking to China also creates challenges for tourism attractions.
Zhu, who spoke during the first session of the Shanghai World Travel Fair, which opened on Thursday, said travelers were relying on their phones at every stage of their travel experience.
His comments were supported by a global survey conducted by Tripadvisor, the US-based company that operates the world's largest travel website. The Tripadvisor survey, which polled more than 44,000 tourists and tourism insiders in 32 countries and regions, also found that 12 percent of Chinese tourists booked their entire trip - including hotels and flights - on their mobile devices. Tourists are also increasingly relying on smartphones to deal with emergency situations while traveling, Yu said. In 2015, China counted more than 4 billion visits by Chinese travelers within the country, and more than 3.2 billion of those were tourists traveling on their own or who took road trips with their own cars, according to Li Jinzao, director of the China National Tourism Administration. Zhang Hui, 29, from Shanghai, is one of a growing band of Chinese travelers who have turned their backs on package holidays in the company of strangers and embraced a way of travel they can intimately share with their nearest and dearest. Yu Dunde, CEO of Tuniu, another Chinese travel agency, said going on their own has given tourists more choices - and that's something that doesn't cut travel agencies' business but gives them new opportunities. According to the Report on China's Tourism Development released by the tourism administration, by 2020 domestic tourists trips will reach 6.8 billion.
Beijing's top procuratorate said on Thursday that the case of a 29-year-old man who died after being taken into police custody earlier this month has been delivered to the prosecuting authority in Changping district, where the death occurred. Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate said it had accepted a criminal report from the family of Lei Yang on Tuesday, in which they were requested to investigate the district's police officers and auxiliary officers involved in the case. The Beijng Public Security Bureau also said on Thursday that it will respect any investigation and will not shield any police officers if misconduct is found.
Lei died on May 7 about an hour after he was detained on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. The lawyer, Chen Youxi, welcomed the close attention and quick response of the city's procuratorate, but said that he does not think the case is suitable for the district's prosecutors to tackle. In the report, the family accused police officers and assistants in the district of intentional injury, abuse of power and fabricating evidence, he said, adding that they hope to find out the truth as quickly as possible. In previous statements, Beijing police said Lei was uncooperative when he was stopped by plainclothes officers at a foot massage salon at 9:14 pm on May 7. He resisted arrest, bit the police and knocked down their video cameras, and he tried to escape and was later handcuffed, the police said. Results of an independent autopsy, conducted on May 13, are expected to be released within 15 to 20 days of the examination. China's property market continued to warm up in April, while first- and second-tier cities saw varied levels of new house prices surge on a month-to-month basis, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday. Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed in April, 65 saw average price increases month-on-month, up from 62 in March, while only five cities reported month-on-month price declines, down from eight in March.
On a yearly basis, 46 cities posted new home price increases and 23 reported a drop in April, compared with 40 increases and 29 drops in March, according to the NBS. A rise in the property market is also shown by more money invested in land purchases, Yan said. Average new house prices in Hefei, Anhui province, in April witnessed the highest increases among all cities surveyed, rising 6 percent month-on-month. Yan said that while the price surge in Hefei is mainly driven by increasing demand that started in December, rocketing price increases would prevent some potential buyers from making purchases. The former inmate, a 17-year-old man surnamed Xiang, told news website thecover.cn that he was assaulted several times at a detention center in the city's Lucheng district last year.
In an online statement released on Tuesday, the police said they are investigating possible violations of the law and Communist Party of China disciplinary regulations. A spokesman for the district government, who asked not to be identified, said in an interview on Wednesday that the police investigation has been hampered by the loss of video surveillance evidence inside the detention center. The police will not shield any criminal behavior or malpractice during the investigation process," he said, adding that it will not be possible to get a quick result.
He also said that he tried reporting the assault to the officer who was in charge at the detention center, but his efforts were in vain. Xiang also alleged that the officer had helped bring cigarettes to inmates in the detention center. The prisoner, Wang Dong, who has been in Nehe Prison since December 2012, used the messaging app to contact several women who lived near the prison and "established lover relationships with them" during his incarceration.
In another case, in September 2014, three prisoners escaped from Yanshou county jail in Heilongjiang.
Disputes have arisen since the resort's trial run began, Fu said, but he declined to give a number.
Court services, including mediation, case registration, submission of evidence, getting in touch with a judge, resolution of sentencing objections and judicial aid, will be all available at the center, the court said. Information about lawsuits and reported crimes will be updated frequently and shared with the police, market watchdogs and consumer rights protection councils to encourage businesses to show integrity and honesty, the court said. The center was inspired by an earlier tribunal the Pudong court established during the World Expo in 2010, said Chen Weifeng, a publicity officer at the court.
The tribunal, which existed for a year, both during and after the expo, received 185 cases altogether. More cultural spaces will be encouraged in Beijing's highly commercialized hutong, including the popular Nanluoguxiang, according to the Dongheng district government.
The district government announced a three-year plan on Tuesday to better develop the rich historic resources in the district, bringing in more cultural establishments and activities and setting a higher entrance standard for commercial entities.
The move came after the government's ban on large tour groups in Nanluoguxiang last month to reduce the impact on residents and the potential risk to historic buildings in the 740-year-old alley, which is lined with shops, restaurants and bars. Despite the regulation, more than 160,000 visitors on the May Day holiday weekend flocked to the 787-meter alley, which has eight narrower and symmetrical alleys on either side.
Under the plan, more than 60 percent of the establishments should be culturally-themed by the end of 2018. While the alley will be the focal point, similar policies will apply to many other ancient hutong, including those near Yonghegong Lama Temple, to upgrade tourism in the district.
Meanwhile, the document bans the expansion of the existing wholesale market in the district and the building of retail spaces larger than 10,000 square meters. Instead, the government will invest 25 million yuan ($3.8 million) and build at least eight comprehensive service complexes in three years, which will include grocery stores, barber shops and household management services. A document on Wednesday laid out measures to cope with China's national pediatrician shortage.
A doctor in Shaodong county died after he was attacked by relatives of a patient at a hospital on Wednesday, police said.
A tourist resort that is home to a large mangrove forest has called off a conch-collecting contest after a campaign protesting that it would have a negative environmental impact on the forest. Editor's Note: China Daily is publishing a series of reports on cross-Straits relations ahead of Taiwan's new leader taking office.
The increasing number of students from Taiwan studying on the Chinese mainland is helping to promote understanding and support stable cross-Straits relations, as possible deterioration has become a worry.
Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, which has advocated independence in the past, assumes the leadership of the island on May 20. Wang's wish seems to represent the majority view of the many students from Taiwan on the mainland. According to the Ministry of Education, the number of students from Taiwan attending mainland universities has surged from 928 in 2011 to 10,536 as of October. At the same time, the number of mainland students at Taiwan universities has also increased sharply-to 7,814 in 2014 - according to the University Entrance Committee for Chinese Mainland Students, a Taiwan-based organization. Wang said favorable policies on both sides of the Straits, due to the good relationship, helped boost the numbers.
Wang's first visit to the mainland came in 2012 when he visited Beijing for a summer camp organized by Renmin University of China, along with about 200 other students from Taiwan.
During the weeklong summer camp, he visited sites of interest and also built his own cross-Straits ties when he met his current girlfriend.

In order to maintain their relationship, Wang decided to travel back to Beijing for graduate school. The company is a startup that focuses on online and mobile third-party payments, such as WeChat payments and Alipay.
It is this sense of convenience and modernity that many students from Taiwan, like Hsieh Ning, would miss if they left. Hsieh started at the School of Journalism at Renmin University of China in Beijing in 2011. Now that Hsieh is used to life in Beijing, she says she has noticed misunderstandings back in Taiwan. Wang said most of the people in Taiwan who hold a negative view about the mainland have not visited it. Echoing Wang, Chiu Shihching, a 22-year-old senior at Xiamen University in Fujian province, said the mainland is consistently trying to help Taiwan students, and sometimes changes happen very quickly. In Taiwan, those who are perhaps most worried about post-May 20 relations are mainland spouses married to partners from Taiwan. According to the island's interior ministry, more than 400,000 Chinese mainland spouses live in Taiwan and constitute two-thirds of non-Taiwan spouses. Tian Chunmiao, head of the Chinese Spouses Association in Taiwan, told The China Post that many mainland spouses in Taiwan have concerns and fears about future cross-Straits ties.
Tian, 36, who married a Taiwan man and came to the island from Hubei province in 2003, is a sales manager in Taichung, central Taiwan, and is secretary-general of the association. Another mainland spouse, Zhan Xiuying, who is from Yunnan province and is head of the Kaohsiung New Citizen Development Association, shared the same concerns. During an interview in February, Zhan said the KMT has long had a stable communication network with the mainland. That is why many Chinese mainland spouses, like Zhan, fear that after the DPP comes to power, relations will go backward and the rights of mainland Chinese spouses will be sacrificed. When I first came to the mainland in the 1990s, I remembered that Beijing was far less developed than Taipei. As people may know, the textbooks for students in Taiwan were deliberately designed to make Taiwan's history and geography independent from those of the mainland, ignoring our common heritage. In addition, Taiwan's media are fond of heightening negative news about the mainland and less positive views about the development of cross-Strait relations, leading to misunderstandings in the younger generation.
However, the young are the main force that will sustain cross-Straits relations in the future. Chinese people are familiar with the idiom of "good timing, geographical convenience and favorable human relations", which is used to describe when conditions are ripe for a certain action. Furthermore, I think young students from the mainland and Taiwan have very similar values in life and similar demands and interests.
Zhang, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, made a high-profile appearance at the park, where more than 600 startups, 182 of them from overseas, are located. Accompanied by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Zhang heard reports about Hong Kong's innovation and technology and met heads of local universities.
Zhang said Hong Kong should strive to find new economic growth points, while maintaining its well-established pillar industries.
In response, Leung said that innovation and technology, which can make people's lives safer, more comfortable and more convenient, can be such growth points. Dennis Lo Yuk-ming, professor of chemical pathology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was one of the five entrepreneurs present on Wednesday afternoon.
Calling Zhang's visit a positive signal, Lo said the visit highlighted the central government's emphasis on innovation and technology and added that those are vital to Hong Kong's development.
The city's Secretary for Innovation and Technology Nicholas Yang explained developments in entrepreneurship and innovation, including city policies and the work of major supporting institutions, while highlighting the cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland and the city's role as a "super-connector".
Heeding the nation's call, Hong Kong entrepreneurs have begun to seek partnerships from entities on the Chinese mainland and to tap into the mainland market by advancing their technologies. Recent years have seen frequent collaborations between Hong Kong and mainland cities, including Shenzhen, when it comes to innovation and technology development. Mao Zhenhua, director of the Shenzhen Innovation and Development Institute said Hong Kong should refresh its perspective on Shenzhen, a city that has experienced huge transformation and which has been recognized as China's Silicon Valley. The company's novel technology for detecting toxic chemicals in edible oil has earned financial support from mainland authorities. The founding of the Innovation and Technology Bureau in 2015 signaled the Hong Kong government's commitment to boosting its competitiveness. Only one in 20 people who belong to a sexual or gender-identity minority in China are fully open about that aspect of their life. At the same time, the country's younger generation "is more open and accepting of sexual diversity" than their parents, a UN report said.
Half of the more than 18,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (who do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies) respondents said they were not open at all about their sexual or gender identity at school, and three quarters of them remain in the closet in the workplace, according to a report released on Tuesday by the United Nations Development Programme.
While there are no official figures about China's LGBTI population, if the numbers reflect those seen in surveys conducted overseas, they would account for 3-5 percent of the population - roughly 40 to 70 million people.
According to the report, media presentations about LGBTI people are much more common on the internet than in newspapers, radio and television. Among the total 28,454 respondents, two-thirds in the post-90s generation "don't mind getting close to" gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, compared with 56.3 percent of those born before 1970, the report said. There was no significant difference in the attitudes of LGBTI people and non-minorities answering those two questions, said Wu, the sociologist. Noncommercial consensual sexual acts between same-sex adults was decriminalized in China in 1997, and homosexuality was removed from the Ministry of Health's list of mental illnesses four years later.
A father and son were hospitalized on Monday after drinking hot chocolate containing disinfectant at a McDonald's in Chongqing. Feng Lili, 46, took his 4-year-old son into a McDonald's at noon on Monday and ordered a kid's meal, which included a hot chocolate drink. The staff admitted that the hot water bottle had been full of disinfectant while the restaurant was doing routine sterilizing, but the staffer thought it was hot water and poured it into Feng's drink. According to the Chongqing Liangjiang Food and Drug Administration, the son has recovered and the father is still in the hospital under medical observation.
The parents of a boy who died at a private children's hospital in Beijing last year want police to file a criminal charge against the doctor suspected of causing the 3-year-old's death. The incident caught public attention as several unnatural deaths recently in Beijing have raised concern whether the government's supervisory role is effective. The parents took the boy to Beijing Shouer Liqiao Children's Hospital in Shunyi district on Oct 23 for dental treatment. The mother said she heard her son yelling during the treatment and wanted to enter the medical room to have a look but was refused entry by medical staff.
A news report from Beijing Times said an autopsy found the boy had suffocated on a cotton ball.
The parents visited the criminal investigation division of the public security sub-bureau in Shunyi district on Monday and asked the police to file a criminal complaint against the doctor, based on the forensic report, but were turned down. They were told the report is not sufficient for the police to file a criminal case because it cannot tell whether it was an accident or medical malpractice, according to the news report.
The district's public health department said it would look into the matter and act in accordance with laws and regulations. The reporter quoted Wang Zhenghai, who is in charge of medical services at the hospital, as saying the hospital would allow the doctor to work unless she is found guilty. The parents have sued the hospital for compensation in a civil case, which began in December and is underway. A proposal for amending Taiwan's Referendum Act has attracted extensive attention as the island's leadership is about to change, and might sabotage current cross-Straits relations, experts said.
Proposed by the island's New Power Party and Democratic Progressive Party, the amendment would subject new cross-Straits political agreements to approval at the ballot box before taking effect. On Friday, Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the DPP, will assume leadership and deliver a speech. Li said any act that aims at undermining territorial integrity is unacceptable and will destroy the status quo of cross-Straits relations. Yang Lixian, a researcher at the National Taiwan Research Association, said the current proposal simply lowers the threshold for public votes. She said the island's former leader, Chen Shui-bian, who was also a member of the DPP, launched a few referendums in order to split Taiwan from China, but they all failed. Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the United States on Monday to "properly tackle the Taiwan question" during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry. It is hoped the US will uphold its one-China policy and firmly maintain its commitment to key joint statements released by the two countries, Wang was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.
Kerry said the US has not and will not change its position regarding Taiwan question, and it does not support Taiwan independence.
Although Tsai has talked about preserving the status quo in cross-Straits relations, she has not yet convinced people that the DPP will give up its pursuit of the island's full independence from the mainland, said Zhang Guanhua, deputy director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Tsai and the DPP have long refused to endorse the 1992 Consensus that says Taiwan and the mainland are both parts of one China, Zhang added. Bored by his course work, Yeh, 34, threw fate to the wind and started from scratch as a floor sweeper for a TV production team. With an entrepreneurial wave sweeping the Chinese mainland, an increasing number of people from Taiwan are crossing the Straits to surf new opportunities for startups and ride the tide of mass innovation that a larger market provides. In addition to high-technology entrepreneurs, some, like Yeh, are bringing a heightened sense of culture, rooted in a shared background and understanding of Chinese tradition, social customs and values.
Nearly two years after Premier Li Keqiang introduced the idea of mass innovation and entrepreneurship, there are a growing number of people unleashing their creativity, not only on the Chinese mainland, but also from the other side of the Straits.
According to the government, 4.44 million companies were set up on the Chinese mainland in 2015. In the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian province, for example, there are three incubators especially created for startups from Taiwan that have been authorized by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. Yeh, who directed the Chinese version of Duets and China's Got Talent, said the entrepreneurial wave is proving ever more popular. Born in Kaohsiung in 1985, Cheng, founded a mobile application development company in Xiamen. Coming to the Chinese mainland just seven months ago with a team of three, Cheng is now working on a barter platform that enables people to exchange used items online. Cheng said Chinese people are familiar with lyrics like "She throws a peach to me, I give her white jade" from the Book of Odes, the collection of ancient Chinese poetry compiled around 600 BC. Cheng believes another factor in his product's favor is the huge mainland market opportunity. However, entrepreneur Huang Li-min notes that market size alone is no guarantee of success. One bar of Huang's soap costs nearly 300 yuan ($46), one of the highest prices on the market. Huang said his soap also evokes a Buddhist state of consciousness, which is shared across the Straits. Yu Qiang, a leading Taiwan expert at the University of International Relations in Beijing, said the cultural and creative sector is a key emerging area selected by authorities on Taiwan for future development, but the strategy is doomed to fail without the Chinese mainland market.
The news that Baidu will participate in a citywide trial of autonomous vehicles signals the latest move in the internet giant's plans to become a major player in the burgeoning market. Under a five-year agreement between China's biggest search engine and the city of Wuhu in the eastern province of Anhui, the company's autonomous cars, buses and vans will gradually be introduced to selected roads and zones before eventually being allowed to use public highways throughout the city. The agreement has seen Baidu potentially steal a march on its rivals in the sector, which was kick-started by Google's self-driving-car program in 2009. Now, as basic self-driving technologies become more mature, companies in the world's largest auto market are anxious to deepen their involvement in the sector. In early April, the Swedish carmaker Volvo, which is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holdings - headquartered in Hangzhou, in the province of Zhejiang in East China - announced a plan to launch a self-driving experiment involving as many as 100 cars.
Chinese tech giants, such as Baidu and LeAuto - a subsidiary of Leshi Internet Information & Technology - are also engaged in self-driving technologies. The timeline accords with the plans of the major players: Google, Toyota, General Motors, and Nissan have all disclosed plans to put self-driving cars in the market by 2020.
However, there are still challenges, and right now the biggest obstacle to full commercialization is the high cost of the vehicles. Based on advanced hardware - sonar devices, stereo cameras, lasers and radar, together with complex self-driving software - the cost of an autonomous car will be $7,000 to $10,000 higher than that of a traditional vehicle by 2025, according to a report by IHS, an auto industry consultancy, which said technological developments will see the price premium drop to around $5,000 in 2030 and $3,000 in 2035. LiDAR, a laser radar system that Google installs on the roofs of vehicles to provide a 3-D picture of the surroundings, costs between $75,000 and $85,000, which means it is too expensive to be fitted in commercial vehicles. Even after the supplier, Velodyne Acoustics, introduced a cut-price, minimal system at a cost of $30,000 to $40,000 in 2014, only automakers and suppliers could afford to buy the technology for testing purposes.
In December, Baidu tested two prototypes of autonomous cars - BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo models - priced at 400,000 yuan to 700,000 yuan ($61,520 to $107,660). By using the word "substantially", Wang was making it clear that he expects the price of lower-resolution guidance models to fall by about 90 percent, not the 50 percent sugg-ested by suppliers such as Velodyne Acoustics.
In March, Wang told the media that the company is cooperating with suppliers and hopes to reduce the cost of the radar system to about 20,000 yuan - 2.85 percent of the cost of the LiDAR system used in December - in three to five years, by which time Baidu will begin mass production of driverless cars. So far, Baidu has managed to reduce the cost to less than 200,000 yuan (less than one-third of the original cost), he added. According to Yu, from ResearchInChina, although Chinese companies have no advantages in terms of the core technologies, some of the larger companies have one major edge - they have plenty of money to invest in development.
It also set itself the goal of successfully developing automatic driving technology by 2023. In February, Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp, a major auto-electronic products manufacturer in Zhejiang province, spent $1.1 billion to acquire two leading suppliers of automotive components - Key Safety Systems in the United States, and Germany's TechniSat Automotive.
On April 22, Baidu announced that it had established a self-driving car team in Silicon Valley, California.
The driving force behind the moves to develop driverless cars, irrespective of cost, is the potential profit to be made from China's massive auto market. A survey by Boston Consulting Group in April last year showed that China will soon corner more than 25 percent of the driverless car market, which is expected to hit 12 million units globally by 2035. Meanwhile, a recent report by Roland Berger, a global strategy consultancy, showed that Chinese car owners are much more open to unmanned cars than Europeans and people in the US.

As many as 96 percent of Chinese drivers stating that they would consider an autonomous vehicle for almost all everyday driving, whereas in the US and Germany, the figure was 58 percent. For Wang, who is also a driver, sitting in an autonomous car is no more stressful than driving on a road full of new drivers, because "driverless cars are definitely safer than human drivers".
Cui Rui, co-founder of Jiewo, an app that allows people to share private buses, sees plenty of opportunities in self-driving buses. Wang and Cui both believe that the commercial vehicle sector will be the first testing ground for driverless cars because cab companies are more sensitive to costs - especially labor costs - than individual car buyers. What concerns Wang is the universal problem with replacing human drivers with robots: a driverless car can avoid hitting other objects, but it cannot stop a manually driven car from crashing into it. The debate about whether manufacturers should shoulder the liability raged for several years, hindering the commercialization of driverless cars. Although the announcement cleared the air with regard to liability, an overall lack of rules and regulations for autonomous cars is frustrating industry insiders.
After years of lobbying by automakers, four US states - California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan - have decided allow autonomous vehicles to be tested on public roads. Despite being a latecomer in the field, Chinese decision makers seem to be much more active in giving green lights. In November, Shanghai opened a 3.6 km section of road for testing self-driving vehicles - the first such zone in China. At the 2016 Beijing Autonomous Driving Panel Debate in April, a senior official at the Ministry of Transport said the country is conducting preliminary studies into an intelligent transportation-control network and a pilot program will be undertaken in the near future. According to Yu, from ResearchInChina, official approval and encouragement could make all the difference for homegrown auto companies: "In China, the policy problem could be solved fairly easily if the government decided to develop the industry. Engineers watch videos on their smartphones during a test journey from Chongqing in southwestern China to Beijing in April. Recent figures have shown that the Chinese economy has generally seen stable growth with deepening supply-side structural reforms, said an article published on Monday in People's Daily. First, consumption and the services sector have served as the main engines for economic growth, said Guo.
That is a positive development of structural adjustments to the economy and industrial upgrading, he said, highlighting progress in such sectors as IT, environmental protection, housing, tourism, culture, health and sports.
Final consumption has contributed a staggering 84.7 percent to economic growth in the first quarter of this year, up 22 percentage points from the same period last year, he said. Second, streamlining government administration and the recent introduction of a value-added tax has stimulated market vitality, contributing to early signs of positive results from supply-side structural reforms, Guo said. In addition, tax reductions since last year have lessened the tax burden on Chinese firms by more than 400 billion yuan ($61.5 billion), while the introduction of the value-added tax on May 1 is expected to cut another 500 billion yuan in taxes this year. On macroeconomic policies, Guo said the stability of macroeconomic policies, despite downward pressure on the economy, has ensured economic growth within a reasonable range.
William Scrots, King's Painter to Henry VIII and his son Edward VI, was paid a salary twice as large as that of his predecessor, Hans Holbein? Thomas Stanley was an officer of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London under four monarchs—Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I? Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, a Swiss painter, toured England for twenty years leaving 2,662 sketches in the British Library -- including the only known image of the coronation of Edward VI?
Sir John Luttrell, an English soldier and diplomat under Henry VIII and Edward VI, was the subject of an allegorical portrait (pictured) by Hans Eworth celebrating peace with France and Scotland?
Edward VI of England's 1547 Injunctions mandated that a copy of the English translation of the Paraphrases of Erasmus was to be kept in every parish church?
And, with it only taking two hours to travel across the Taiwan Straits from Pingtan to Taipei on the high-speed vessel Haixiahao, it is a popular destination.
He expects incoming leader Tsai Ing-wen to abandon extreme positions on cross-Straits issues, in keeping with the mood of the island's voters. Elections cannot avoid the "pendulum theory," under which people commonly vote for opposition candidates if the economy and social development fail to meet expectations, Ma said.
By contrast, he said, the majority of Taiwan people take a more pragmatic attitude toward the mainland.
Public anxiety ran high in Taiwan, as people fear a change of policy by mainland authorities could worsen cross-Straits relations.
Otherwise, she added, radical political advocates would capitalize on every disagreement that may spring up. They demanded that Taiwan's new leader, Tsai Ingwen, promise to recognize the 1992 Consensus. If the island's new leaders refuses to accept the consensus, it is bound to face a series of challenges from Beijing, they said. The United States continued to lead the world in higher education, and four European countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, also entered the Top 10, according to QS.
Zhang said the government's commitment would not only help its universities excel internationally, but also lay a solid foundation for the country's economy to become the world's largest. One in five college students worldwide is in China, according to a quality report released by the Chinese Ministry of Education last month. The China National Tourism Administration expects more than 137 million visits paid to China in 2016, an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year. Yu of CYTS said that in the past more than 80 percent of overseas tourists came in groups, but now more than 70 percent come to China on their own. It said three in four of the tourists it deals with said their smartphones were the items they reach for first when traveling.
However, even though we are a large country, the average person made only three visits in 2015," said Li, of the tourism authority. The prisoners, including a death row inmate, had developed a friendly relationship with a guard and were allowed to visit him in his room. Shanghai Shendi Group, Disney's Chinese partner, has forecast that the mainland theme park will draw 10 million visitors annually. The document, released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Education, proposed that a ratio of 1 pediatrician for every 1,500 children be achieved by the end of 2020. Wang Jun, a doctor at the county's People's Hospital, was assaulted when he was treating an injured patient after a traffic accident, according to a government statement. Management at the resort, which is located in Golden Bay, Beihai, announced the decision on Tuesday night, The event, which was scheduled for July, was expected to attract more than 10,000 people. He was admitted to Tsinghua University and has been studying public management for a master's degree since 2014. Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party, however, does not share such common ground for cross-Straits exchanges. The number of students on both sides of the Straits has increased partly because of favorable government policies in recent years. Consequently, many young people in Taiwan are not familiar with the connection between the island and the mainland, resulting in estrangement.
The Sunflower Student Movement and the related Anti-Black Box Curriculum Movement are specific examples of such misunderstandings. As a young student, I consider it crucial to eliminate misunderstanding between younger generations from both sides of the Straits. Contrasting with decades of economic stagnation in Taiwan, the Chinese mainland's economy is growing incredibly fast.
Economic ties that have developed between the two since 2008 provide concrete evidence of geographical convenience. That could be developed into favorable human relations if the two sides can boost mutual understanding through people-to-people exchanges. After that, the founders of five HK innovation and technology startups that have excelled in different technology areas demonstrated their products, including face recognition and medical technologies. However, it is more often strengthening stereotypes than offering a balanced view, the report said. Only about half of the respondents were supportive of building transgender bathrooms or covering sex change surgery expenses with insurance.
The parents said the boy died during the treatment but the hospital didn't give any explanation for the death. It would also reduce the number of votes needed to pass a referendum and require a vote for any government decision involving territory. Quitting his university mass communication course opened up an exciting, though unconventional route, into communication. He believes a shared humor and outlook on life will enable him to make a splash in the commercial world of the Chinese mainland. By the end of 2015, there were more than 2,500 incubators for high-tech businesses and more than 4,000 innovation bases on the Chinese mainland. I think more people from Taiwan will come to the Chinese mainland to realize their entrepreneurial dreams," he said. He believes his new product will tap in to the Confucian spirit of sharing and value for money in Chinese culture.
The 46-year-old founder and CEO of Liujing Mountain House, which sells top-quality handmade soap and cleansing products, points out that huge markets bring not only potentially more customers but also greater competition.
But when it started to become well-known, many other companies started to make handmade soap," he said. But when the top-grade ingredients used, as well as the long production time, are taken into consideration, it is a good value, he said. It is our company name and more important a Buddhist term to describe people in a state free from human desires and passions," he said. But the small size of the market imposed a ceiling for the industry's development; thus investors from Taiwan have to make inroads into the Chinese mainland market," Yu said.
Since then, automobile manufacturers such as BMW, Volvo and Toyota have all become leading lights in the race to commercialize so-called robocars. China, which has a large automobile market and higher acceptance of self-driving technology, will have a competitive advantage," said Jack Yu, general manager of ResearchInChina, an auto industry consultancy in Beijing.
Ahead of the Beijing Auto Show, which ran from April 25 to May 4, Chang'an Automobile sent two driverless cars on a six-day, 2,000-kilometer test journey from Chongqing in the southwest to the Chinese capital in the north. Baidu started a research program in July 2014, and undertook its first fully automatic road test in December, while LeAuto unveiled the LeSEE, its concept driverless vehicle, on April 20.
I'm optimistic that it will only be five years or so before we will be able to buy self-driving cars," Yu said. In April, after a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company announced breakthroughs in a number of core technologies, together with a new plan for 2.3 billion yuan of additional investment.
The team includes experts in machine learning and hardware, along with software engineers across a variety of technical domains, from robotics and computer vision to onboard computers and sensors.
Just look at how smartphones swept the country overnight and you can predict what will happen to the market for autonomous cars," said Wang Yong, founder of VVpinche, a cab-hailing company in Beijing based on the model popularized by Uber and Didi Chuxing. If there were some major accidents in the first few years, it would slow down the development of the whole industry," Wang said. If an accident occurs - and it happened a lot during Google's road tests, according to the company's own accounts - it will be difficult to determine who bears responsibility.
The problem was solved last year, when Volvo, Google and Mercedes-Benz announced that they will accept full liability if their autonomous vehicles cause a collision.
A short time later, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology approved similar test areas in the municipalities of Beijing and Chongqing and in the provinces of Hebei and Zhejiang. The country is establishing a specialized testing environment," said Wang Xiaojing, chief engineer at the ministry's Institute of Highway Research.
Meanwhile, measures have been taken to expand total demand in the first four months of this year, contributing to economic indicators being within expectations, Guo Tongxin, an official from the National Bureau of Statistics, said. This, the fifth and also the last in the series, explores the measures the mainland city closest to Taiwan takes to attract talent from Taiwan, and what expectations the experts and businessmen have for the new leader. Now in Beijing, the most popular city among foreign visitors, its inbound business accounts for about 10 percent. International tourism revenue is forecast to increase by 6.5 percent, reaching $121 billion. There are currently 118,000 pediatricians in China, one for every 2,000 children, a level much lower than that of major developed nations. The quake struck at 12:48 am, causing cracks to appear in building walls, according to the provincial civil affairs department.
This, the fourth in the series, explores how young people and students from Taiwan view cross-Straits exchanges and how they have enhanced their lives.
After serving in the military in 2014, I took a long vacation and traveled from Changchun, Jilin province, south to Xiamen, Fujian province.
It is better for us to observe critically, experience honestly and avoid superficial opinions or judgments. The timing is opportune to develop cross-Straits relations based on mutual benefits, improving people's welfare and promoting common development of the economy.
After the son finished the meal, Feng found the drink almost untouched and decided to drink it himself, according to Chongqing Evening News. This, the third in the series, looks at some of those who crossed the Straits to experience the wave of entrepreneurship sweeping the Chinese mainland and embrace the challenge and opportunities of a larger market with a common history.
The company plans to expand the team to more than 100 researchers and engineers by the end of this year. The authorities have allocated 200 tents, 2,000 quilts and 2,000 sets of clothing to the affected region.
During the journey, one question kept cropping up in my mind: How can people on both sides of the Straits learn from each other and promote common development?
More important, he wanted people on the Chinese mainland to experience what he describes as southern dominated humor.

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