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China urges faster digital, green development among APEC members

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The digital economy and green development have become major trends in global economic and social transformation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged on Friday for all APEC members to enhance economic and technical cooperation, speed up coordinated digital and green development.

With a combined population of 2.9 billion, the 21 APEC economies account for over 60 percent of the world’s total gross domestic product (GDP) and about half of its trade. The region’s status is globally significant, and achieving coordinated digital and green development is of vital importance.

Relationship between digital and green economy

Digitalization and green growth are interdependent and mutually reinforcing, Wang Song, an official at the Office of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said at a press conference on November 7.

Wang made the remark when introducing a white paper titled “Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace,” which was issued by China’s State Council Information Office. The paper called for “joint efforts to coordinate the transformation towards digitalization and green growth.”

Digital technology plays an increasingly prominent role in promoting the green economy, Wang added. It is estimated that by 2030, industries in China will reduce carbon emissions by 12.1 billion tonnes thanks to advancements in digital technologies, Wang said.

China and other APEC members cooperating on digital economy

China has made the development of the digital economy a national strategy.

The scale of China’s digital economy has ranked second in the world for years, according to the State Council in a report submitted to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee for review on November 28.

Steady progress has also been made in cooperation on the digital economy among China and other APEC economies.

China’s Alibaba Group and the Thailand government signed an agreement in April 2018 in Bangkok which saw the two sides cooperate in e-commerce, digital logistics, tourism and personnel training.

The company in May 2022 launched a data center in Thailand to bolster local businesses’ digital innovation capabilities, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The Philippines and Australia, have also cooperated with Alibaba in retail and logistics, finance and fintechs, digital entertainment and public enterprise services, said the company.

Cooperation in digital payment has also been strengthened. China Unicom said in November that more than six million UnionPay cards have been issued in Southeast Asia since the beginning of this year, an increase of 40 percent year on year.

So far, over 40 million UnionPay cards have been issued in 10 ASEAN countries, among which seven are APEC members.

China’s green development

Green growth provides a practical and flexible approach for achieving sustainable development of the world economy.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China included a call for the country to accelerate the transition to a model of green development, boost green and low-carbon industries, and promote green and low-carbon ways of production and life.

China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

The country’s national carbon market covers about 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, making it the largest globally after one year’s operation, said Zhao Yingmin, head of the Chinese delegation to the 27th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on November 8 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

China’s biggest maker of electric and hybrid cars, BYD, signed an agreement in September with Thailand’s industrial estate developer WHA Group to build a new electric vehicle (EV) factory in the country with a planned annual production capacity of 150,000 units.

With an aim to grow its EV market in hope of establishing 30 percent of its auto production as EV based, Thailand has introduced a new round of investment and promotion policies to encourage investment in the whole industrial chain of electric vehicles this year, according to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in February.

BYD’s entry into Thailand will help its auto industry move closer to that goal, as well as help the country become a global hub for EV manufacturing, said WHA’s co-founder and chairman Jareeporn Jarukornsakul.

The automaker hoped its EV technology will contribute to the country’s EV industry, said Liu Xueliang, the general manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division.

China has urged its businesses to integrate green development throughout the overseas investment and cooperation, according to a guideline issued by China’s Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Ecology and Environment in 2021.

Source(s): CGTN

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UN adopts first global artificial intelligence resolution to ensure AI is safe

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The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the first global resolution on artificial intelligence on Thursday, encouraging countries to safeguard human rights, protect personal data, and monitor AI for risks.

The nonbinding resolution, proposed by the United States and co-sponsored by China along with over 120 other nations, also advocates for the strengthening of privacy policies.

“Today, all 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly have spoken in one voice, and together, chosen to govern artificial intelligence rather than let it govern us,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

The resolution is the latest in a series of initiatives – few of which carry significant enforceability – by governments around the world to shape AI’s development amid fears it could disrupt democratic processes, turbocharge fraud, or lead to dramatic job losses, among other harms.

“The improper or malicious design, development, deployment and use of artificial intelligence systems … pose risks that could … undercut the protection, promotion and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the measure states.

In November, the U.S., Britain and more than a dozen other countries unveiled the first detailed international agreement on how to keep artificial intelligence safe from rogue actors, pushing for companies to create AI systems that are “secure by design.”

Europe is ahead of the United States, with EU lawmakers adopting a provisional agreement this month to oversee the technology. The Biden administration has been pressing lawmakers for AI regulation, but a polarized U.S. Congress has made little headway. In the meantime, the White House sought to reduce AI risks to consumers, workers, and minorities while also bolstering national security with a new executive order in October.

The resolution aims to close the digital divide between rich developed countries and poorer developing countries to ensure that all are included in discussions on AI. It also aims to ensure that developing countries have the technology and capabilities to take advantage of AI’s benefits, including detecting diseases, predicting floods, helping farmers, and training the next generation of workers.

The resolution recognizes the rapid acceleration of AI development and use and stresses “the urgency of achieving global consensus on safe, secure and trustworthy artificial intelligence systems.”

It also acknowledges that “the governance of artificial intelligence systems is an evolving area” that requires further discussions on possible governance approaches and emphasizes that innovation and regulation are mutually reinforcing – not mutually exclusive.

Source(s): CGTN

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Beijing still tops Nature Index global science city rankings

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Beijing has consistently ranked first in the global science city rankings for eight consecutive years, as measured by the Nature Index, according to Yin Yong, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee and mayor of Beijing.

Nature Index tracks the authorship of articles in prestigious research journals and Beijing’s ranking has shown that the city remains the top science city in the world.

On Tuesday, China’s State Council Information Office held a press conference on leveraging Beijing’s strategic role as the national capital, initiating a new chapter in high-quality development. Yin made the remarks while he answered questions from the media at the press conference.

Yin also introduced the capital’s achievement in seeking scientific and technological innovation and attracting high-level talent in science and technology.

Beijing has 92 colleges and universities, and more than 1,000 research institutes and its numbers of national laboratories and large scientific installations are ranked first in the country.

Beijing’s investment in research and development has also been among the largest in the country. Every 10,000 people in Beijing hold an average of over 262 invention patents, ranking first in China.

The capital has a large talent pool with more than 550,000 scientific researchers. In the field of artificial intelligence, for instance, Beijing’s top talent accounts for about 43 percent of the country’s total.

An average of 337 technology-based enterprises are established in Beijing every day, and the number of national high-tech enterprises and unicorn enterprises rank first among all cities in the country.

Source(s): CGTN

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Newly operated Hydro-floating solar project showcases China-Thailand cooperation in clean energy

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KHON KAEN, Thailand, March 5 (Xinhua) — A hydro-floating solar project jointly built by Chinese and Thai companies started commercial operation on Tuesday to support Thailand’s development of clean energy.

The Ubolratana Dam hydro-floating solar hybrid power plant, located in Thailand’s northeastern Khon Kaen province, integrates floating solar panels, clean hydropower, high-efficiency energy storage systems, and smart energy management systems, according to Dongfang Electric International Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power-generating equipment that built the project with its Thai partner.

Jiraporn Sirikum, deputy governor of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), said building floating solar hybrid power plants is an important step toward the clean energy production and power stability of Thailand, praising the Chinese and the Thai companies for being able to deliver the project ahead of schedule.

“This showed a serious commitment to promoting clean energy in Thailand. We sincerely hope that the floating solar will help to promote clean energy for the community economy and local society,” Jiraporn told a commercial operation launching ceremony.

Liu Hongmei, Chinese Consul General in Khon Kaen, said she believed that the project’s commercial operation would bring greater well-being to the people of Northeast Thailand and mark a new milestone for Chinese enterprise investment in the region.

The Ubolratana Dam hydro-floating solar hybrid power plant is its second such hydro-floating solar project, said EGAT, which aims to build more such projects nationwide to promote clean energy.

Source(s): Xinhua

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