World's first 300-megawatt compressed air energy storage project to be put into commercial operation soon: political advisor

The world's first 300-megawatt compressed air energy storage project in Yingcheng, Central China's Hubei Province, will be put into commercial operation soon, Song Hailiang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of China Energy Engineering Corporation Limited (CEEC), told the Global Times. 

Song made the remarks after Chinese Premier Li Qiang announced that China will strengthen the construction of ecological civilization and promote green and low-carbon development in 2024 when he delivered the government work report on Tuesday.

As the national team and main force in energy and power and infrastructure construction in China, CEEC is dedicated to contributing more optimal energy construction solutions to building a low-carbon, smart, and harmonious beautiful world, Song noted. 

He stated that in the field of comprehensive energy storage, we have successively built compressed air energy storage power stations in Hubei, East China's Shandong Province, Northwest China's Gansu Province and Northeast China's Liaoning Province, taking the lead in technology routes, solutions and industrial ecology. 

Among them, the Yingcheng project in Hubei is the world's first 300-megawatt compressed air energy storage project, which will be put into commercial operation soon. The Jiuquan project in Gansu is the world's first 300-megawatt artificial cave compressed air energy storage project, solving the world's geographical constraints on compressed air energy storage, according to Song. 

In the process of China's all-round opening up, CEEC is one of the world's largest comprehensive solution providers in the power industry and infrastructure investment and construction contractors. Song said that currently, CEEC's business covers more than 140 countries and regions worldwide, with over 100,000 international business personnel, ranking among the top five in contract amounts among Chinese enterprises undertaking foreign projects. 

Over the past five years, the cumulative contract amount of CEEC with countries associated with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has exceeded 500 billion yuan, accounting for over 10 percent of the proportion of contracts signed by all Chinese enterprises, according to Song.

According to Song, CEEC's overseas projects have three major characteristics. First, they are large in scale, such as the Nestor Kirchner-Jorge Cepernic Hydroelectric Power Plant located on the Santa Cruz River in Argentina, which is the largest overseas power project undertaken by Chinese enterprises, demonstrating the strong resource integration capabilities of Chinese enterprises. 

Second, the advantages of the entire industry chain are well utilized, with strong integrated service capabilities from survey planning and design to investment construction and operation. Third, the technological level continues to upgrade, accelerating the transformation from traditional energy to new energy, especially in the integrated construction of wind, solar, hydro, and storage energy, he added. 

"Faced with the new pattern and trends of global energy development, we are facing a valuable window of opportunity," Song noted.

He suggested that, in the future, China should further optimize the top-level design at the national level, continue to adjust and improve the financial support system, accelerate the establishment of a large investment platform for joint development of production, finance, and technology, and jointly create joint venture platforms and alliance organizations composed of Chinese enterprises, local enterprises, and international enterprises in order to jointly promote the stable and far-reaching development of the BRI.

Solomon Islands' Malaita forms bond with China's Jiangsu, embracing development, goodwill

A memorandum of understanding to establish friendly exchange relations was signed last week between Malaita Province of the Solomon Islands and East China's Jiangsu Province in Auki, the provincial capital of Malaita. This new chapter follows years of skepticism, indicating a pivot toward cooperation and mutual growth, analysts noted.

The ceremony on April 4 was attended by nearly 40 people, including Chinese representatives, the ambassador, and provincial legislators and officials from Malaita, the Global Times learned from the Chinese Embassy in the Solomon Islands.

Cai Weiming, the Chinese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, stated that China would actively promote friendly provincial cooperation with the Solomon Islands central government and Malaita's government. This includes projects like construction of the Auki Road, broadband networks, and sustainable rural development, aiming to foster economic and social advancement locally and benefit the people of Malaita and beyond.

Jiangsu Province is renowned for its economic prosperity, ranking second in GDP in China at more than 12 trillion yuan ($1.74 trillion) in 2023.

On the same day, a ceremony for the handover of livelihood supplies from Jiangsu to Malaita took place in Auki. Ambassador Cai, on behalf of Jiangsu, delivered essential items like water tanks, solar lamps, and fishing nets to Malaita's governor, Martin Fini.

Cai said that the donation from Jiangsu to Malaita injects new vigor into their collaboration, expressing hope that it will play a positive role in the province's development. He emphasized that the cooperation between Solomon Islands and China is not about exploitation or creating debt traps, but about sharing development opportunities.

Governor Fini thanked China for its generous support, noting that the supplies would alleviate local hardships and improve living conditions. Malaita is keen to deepen cooperation with Jiangsu, fostering continuous socio-economic growth and contributing to the bilateral relations between the two nations.

During a visit to the Kilusakwalo community in Malaita Province, Ambassador Cai and China's Special Envoy for Pacific Island Affairs Qian Bo were greeted with traditional dances and songs, demonstrating the warm local welcome.

Previously, Malaita had a unique political stance within the Solomon Islands, showing skepticism toward closer bilateral ties with China. However, four years of constructive engagement with China has sparked real hope for development in the Solomon Islands.

The two countries established diplomatic ties on September 21, 2019. Half a month later, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare paid his first visit to China, during which the Solomon Islands officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative.

Currently, key initiatives include a Chinese-funded comprehensive medical center, which broke ground in December 2023 and is advancing rapidly, promising enhanced healthcare services for the locals.

In November last year, the Solomon Islands successfully hosted the Pacific Games in a stadium built with Chinese aid. Additionally, the Chinese Navy hospital ship Peace Ark provided medical services in Honiara, and the police cooperation between the Solomon Islands and China has improved local social stability.

These tangible benefits have gradually warmed the Malaitians to China, with a recent poll showing 61 percent of respondents favor maintaining the relationship after this year's elections.

Local experts said that Malaita's shift indicates a deep-rooted recognition of China.

"The China-Solomon Islands relationship, forged under very trying conditions, is now maturing," Dr Luke Mani, director of the Solomon Islands Foreign Policy Advisory Secretariat, told the Global Times. "Evidence abounds that Solomon Islanders [have now] firmly and openly embraced China."

Various infrastructure projects funded by traditional multilateral development partners such as the Munda Airport and terminal upgrades, Henderson Airport runway extensions, and East-West Honiara highway have benefited from the expertise and quality of Chinese engineering firms such as China Civil Engineering Construction Company and China Railway, Mani said.

The former premier of Malaita Province, Daniel Suidani, attracted attention for his opposition to the Solomon Islands' relations with China. His stance led to conflicts with the central government, culminating in his removal from office in February 2023, following a no-confidence motion passed by the provincial assembly.

Suidani also maintained close ties with the island of Taiwan. In May 2021, he traveled to Taipei for medical treatment, a move that was condemned by the Solomon Islands' government as "unauthorized."

These political tensions sparked demonstrations and riots, particularly in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. In 2021, residents of Malaita and other islands expressed opposition to the Solomon Islands government's decision to establish diplomatic relations with China, leading to violent incidents. Parts of Honiara, especially the Chinatown in the city center, were burned and looted, resulting in significant losses for Chinese nationals.

Days after the riots, Prime Minister Sogavare told the press that the crisis was "influenced and encouraged by other powers." He further indicated that these forces influencing Malaita, the main island of the nation, are those that "don't want ties with the People's Republic of China," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

GT investigates: Who’s the Philippine NGO that is inciting Filipino civilians to launch new round of staged provocation near China’s Huangyan Dao?

After recruiting journalists and "fisherfolk" to launch infringing activities in the South China Sea, the Philippines is about to play a new round of trick in staging another incident. Philippine media outlets recently reported that a Filipino non-governmental organization called Atin Ito, or "This is ours," is planning to rally a group of so-called Philippine fisherfolk to travel to the waters around China's Huangyan Dao (also known as Huangyan Island) in an attempt to use "fisherfolks" as "human shields, " to initiate a fresh round of provocation in the South China Sea and deliberately engage in "sadfishing" to the international community.

The Global Times noted from publicly available information that this so-called Filipino civic organization is, in fact, a "hired gun" fed by the US and long sponsored by US organizations. Atin Ito has continuously stirred up troubles in South China Sea and has been exerting its influence in the Philippine government's decision-making on the issue.

This organization's plan of direct involvement in the frontline of the South China Sea conflict further exposes the increasing interference from countries outside of the region, like the US, as they incite the Philippines to "step on the gas" toward confrontation in the South China Sea.
Upcoming publicity stunt

Multiple Philippine media outlets have recently covered the plan of this publicity stunt. Philippine news website reported on May 8 that Atin Ito, a coalition that counts fisher and farmer groups, civic organizations, fisherfolk, and youth activists among its members, will travel to Huangyan Dao from May 14 to 17.

Rafaela David, one of the lead convenors of the coalition, said in a press conference on May 8 that "this is not a sightseeing excursion to seek out Chinese marine vessels or a provocation to incite conflict." However, this coalition also invited international observers to join the voyage to monitor and document the situation in the region and "witness firsthand the challenges faced by Filipinos in those waters."

David contradicted herself in her performance art by stating, "By mobilizing civilians and engaging in peaceful activities within our EEZ, we reclaim our space and assert our territorial integrity in a manner that champions peace and diplomacy."

According to Philippine media, about 200 participants are expected to join the mission, among them fisherfolk, volunteers, journalists, and observers. They are scheduled to set out from the Philippines on May 15 and trespass into waters adjacent to China's Huangyan Dao, bring supplies to Filipino fisherfolk, and deploy "symbolic buoys" bearing a provocative message: "The West Philippine Sea is ours."

This is not the first time that the Atin Ito has conducted so-called peaceful activities in the South China Sea, as this coalition had also organized dozens of fishing ships and a marine training vessel carrying Philippine civilians to bring Christmas gifts to local Philippine military personnel on islands and reefs in the region, according to Philippine media reports.

Ding Duo, deputy director of the Institute of Maritime Law and Policy at the China Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times that Atin Ito's latest plan to stir up troubles around Huangyan Dao at a larger scale will likely first have Philippine fishing vessels staying from a distance, as they would need to coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard and journalists to take staged photos.

The coalition will likely then play the staged show of "resupply," as they could have fishing vessels coordinate with Philippine governmental ships to conduct infringing activities, Ding predicted, noting that it is also possible that civilian vessels rallied by the organization will trespass into waters restricted by China under the demand of the Philippine Coast Guard, directly disrupt law enforcement operations by the China Coast Guard, or disrupt normal fishing activities by Chinese fisherfolk.

While this scheduled infringing plan seems big under the propaganda of the Atin Ito coalition and the Philippine media, its actual scale might fall short significantly. A source close to the matter told the Global Times that while the plan allegedly rallied over 100 civilian vessels, the fact is that only about 10 ships or so will likely end up joining the publicity stunt, with most of them operating in waters not far away from the Port of Masinloc.

The source said that Philippine government ships are expected to arrive in designated waters in the early morning of May 15, then the civilian ships will hold a regatta for entertainment near the Port of Masinloc. After that, these ships will scatter, with two Philippine commercial ships carrying journalists and social activists heading toward Huangyan Dao on May 16 and return to the Philippines on the same day.

Atin Ito is expected to hold a press conference in Manila on May 17 to continue to hype this farce, the source said.

Ding said that this organization's activities often fall short of expectations and follow fixed patterns. They usually hype up their activities beforehand, make high profile forecasts on domestic media and social media platforms, and instigate nationalist sentiments. At the same time, the organization also raises donations through its website, urging for supplies to Philippine fishing ships operating around China's Huangyan Dao and Ren'ai Jiao (also known as Ren'ai Reef). In addition, this organization also makes various publicity stunts, including live shows, press conferences, and seminars in a bid to increase its political presence.
'Hired gun' by US military

Although it publicly claims to be an independent Philippine organization pursuing peace, the actions of the Atin Ito coalition are more akin to a "hired gun" serving the US strategy in the South China Sea. In fact, its ability to coordinate resources within the Philippines, as well as its intricate relationships with pro-American figures in the US military and Filipino politics, all highlight that it is far from a simple Filipino civil organization.

In a recent field interview in the Philippines, Global Times reporters noted that similar to many Western civil organizations that serve political purposes, Atin Ito excels at expanding its influence in a people-friendly manner. For example, it manufactures and sells exclusive brand accessories, handicrafts, or tourist souvenirs. Through this method, it raises funds for activities, promotes its image, and advocates its political stance.

Ding said that, "the Atin Ito coalition seems to be a so-called non-profit civil organization, as it intentionally downplays its political color in its official website introduction and propaganda campaign, but in fact, it has a certain political background. This is first reflected in the fact that the actual leader of the organization, Rafaela David, is also the chairman of the Akbayan Party in the Philippines. Although this political party is relatively small in the Philippine political arena, it has been using various political issues in the Philippines to increase its presence and influence in recent years. Atin Ito and the Akbayan Party present a complementary relationship, as the Akbayan Party provides political resources for the activities of Atin Ito, and the activities organized by Atin Ito can increase the exposure of Rafaela David, granting her more political benefits."

Philippine media reports showed that the Akbayan Party has been an active participant and organizer of many anti-China demonstrations in the Philippines, and Atin Ito was often present at these events. In return, the Akbayan Party actively gathers Philippine political figures to support the activities of Atin Ito.

Philippine media Palwan News reported in March that Philippine political figures such as Senator Risa Hontiveros, former ambassador Victoria Bataclan and civilian opinion leaders, as well as representatives from the British, Australian, Dutch, Swedish, and European Union embassies attended a photo exhibit and film screen held in Manila that month, when Altin Ito announced Huangyan Dao as a potential destination for its next mission of "delivering aid to fisherfolk." This highlighted the close ties between the coalition and the party.

In addition, the militaries of the Philippines and the US also do not hide their relations with Atin Ito. The Philippine Star, on May 3, reported that, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, a Philippine Navy spokesman, voiced support on May 2 for Atin Ito's upcoming "civilian supply mission" to Huangyan Dao. "And so long as they abide by all the guidelines given by the government, we support all activities, civic society," he said.

Philippine naval vessels or Philippine Coast Guard vessels were also often seen accompanying Atin Ito's activities in their previous activities in the South China Sea, Philippine media reports showed.

A report titled America's Project Myoushu and the Philippine's Atin Ito Coalition is gearing up for a proof of concept that may lead us to war published on the Philippine-based Asian Century Journal in December 2023 asked, "Who is funding the Atin Ito Coalition and their operations? A marine convoy like this involves a tremendous amount of logistical planning and support not to mention the financial means to undertake one." It further questioned, "Who are the people behind the Atin Ito Coalition? They claim it's a civil society group aiming to further our country's vital security interests yet they defy our National Security Council's advice."

Citing an article titled Lighting Up The Gray Zone by US Air Force Captain Benjamin Goirigolzarri published on the US Naval Institute's website, the Asian Century Journal report said that the US established a new strategy in the South China Sea called Project Myoushu, which is a derivative of the US Naval Institute's Maritime Counterinsurgency (COIN) Project tailored specifically to counter China's "dominance" in the South China Sea. The project previously hyped the China Coast Guard's law enforcement operations in the South China Sea, attempted to incite public opinion and push for governments of countries in the South China Sea to become hard on China, and damaged the peace China and other countries in the region have created.

The Asian Century Journal report deduced that the Atin Ito Coalition is indeed a joint US-Philippines effort, as the Project Myoushu is described as an independent, civil society-led initiative that maintains separation from potential public perceptions of bias and bureaucratic obstacles that can hinder government-led efforts.

Further evidence the report provided is that the Project Myoushu as a concept was presented only in Manila in January 2023 at a conference hosted by local think tank Stratbase, and the report suggested that Stratbase is funded by the US. "So, there they are hiding in plain sight where no one is looking -- America's manipulative hands still pulling the Philippine government's strings," the report said.

Underestimated China's determination

Whether it is the so-called Philippine non-governmental organizations such as the Atin Ito coalition, or Project Myoushu behind it, their operating patterns are nothing more than orchestrated shows and staged behaviors to exert public opinion pressure on China, undermine China's efforts of pursuing peace in the South China Sea, and try to force China to make concessions over its sovereignty in the South China Sea issue. However, the Philippine politicians with these calculations clearly underestimated China's determination and will to safeguard its sovereignty.

Ding said that Atin Ito's plan cannot reach its goals. Given China's ability to safeguard sovereignty and maritime rights on Huangyan Dao, no matter what form or scale the Philippines uses to infringe and provoke, it will definitely be met with strong countermeasures.

Videos released by Philippine media showed that when dealing with the Philippines' infringement actions in waters off Huangyan Dao, the China Coast Guard's law enforcement forces have rich methods. During the handling process, a series of measures including verbal warnings, navigation route restrictions, and warning shots with water cannons were used based on different situations. Such law enforcement actions were conducted in accordance with laws and regulations, and were reasonable, powerful, but also restrained. It shows that China will resolutely safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, and will not give the Philippines any space for hype from a legal perspective.

Chen Xiangmiao, director of the World Navy Research Center at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times that some fanatics in the Philippines are driven by a revanchist mentality and repeatedly stage "the Farmer and the Snake" scenarios, attempting to copy the Ren'ai Jiao model - pursuing territorial sovereignty in the name of so-called fishing boat replenishment. In this regard, China's patience definitely has limits.

The normalization of the Philippines' trespasses is seeing confrontation replacing dialogue and cooperation as the main line for China and the Philippines to resolve conflicts over Huangyan Dao. The Marcos Jr administration's tough actions may earn diplomatic applause from the US and the West, but the frequent and tense confrontations on the frontline have also restrained the huge military, police and diplomatic energy of both the Philippines and China. Other than wasting economic investment and escalating the risk of unexpected events at sea, such moves have no other valuable benefits, Chen said.

China remains engine for global growth and attractive destination for investment: FM

China's stable economic growth and opening-up will continue to make the country an engine for global growth and promising destination for foreign investment. China welcomes foreign enterprises to continue to invest in the country, deepen their presence and be successful, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

The remarks came following the European Commission recently upgrading its forecast for China's 2024 economic growth to 4.8 percent, up by 0.2 percentage points compared with its previous projection.

In the first quarter of the year, the Chinese economy got off to a strong start, with GDP growth hitting 5.3 percent year-on-year. In April, the country's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the domestic manufacturing sector was reported at 50.4. Last month, the country's foreign trade soared 8 percent to 3.64 trillion yuan, hitting a new high compared with corresponding historical period, official data showed.

The upward recovery momentum has made the international community positive on the Chinese economy and increase investment in China. Recently, international financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS have upgraded their forecasts for China's economic growth this year.

The Asian Development Bank data estimated China will account for 46 percent of growth in developing Asia in 2024-25.

Foreign investors' confidence in China is on the rise. The country improved its ranking as an attractive destination to invest over the next three years, jumping to the third place from the seventh in 2023, and continuing to lead emerging markets, according to a report recently released by consulting firm Kearney.

China seeks development amid continued opening-up, and welcomes the world to share China's opportunities, Wang said at a regular press conference. China's stable economic growth and continuous opening-up will make the country a global economic growth engine and a promising investment for companies from all countries, said the spokesperson.

GT Voice: Innovative ways needed to move China-Japan-S.Korea trilateral cooperation forward

While external forces have complicated relations among China, Japan and South Korea, the new challenges facing regional economic development have also spurred them to seek new avenues for cooperation in the current global political and economic landscape. This has been a key factor in the increasing signs of warming trilateral cooperation.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Business Federation and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade plan to co-host a trilateral business summit later this month in Seoul, the Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.

The gathering has been held since 2009 with the goal of expanding Northeast Asian economic cooperation and exchanges. Most recently, the event was held in 2019 in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Although the resumption of the gathering has not been officially confirmed, the eagerness of South Korea to advance trilateral cooperation is palpable. However, the future of trilateral cooperation will ultimately depend on the determination of Japan and South Korea to expand their cooperation and their ability to resist pressure from the US.

There is no question that China, Japan and South Korea possess the necessary foundation for economic and trade cooperation. Enhancing economic cooperation among the three countries is not only essential for regional development, but will also be crucial in promoting peace and prosperity in East Asia and globally. However, it is geopolitical factors, rather than economic considerations, that have impeded their collaboration.

As a result of the recent "decoupling" push by the US, Japan and South Korea, as key Asian allies of the US, have aligned their stance with the US on various issues, including taking a tough approach toward China in areas such as supply chains, science and technology. However, this misjudgment has had a significant impact on their own economies and trade.

For instance, South Korea's exports decreased 7.4 percent year-on-year in 2023, and it also recorded a trade deficit of $18 billion with China in 2023, its first such bilateral shortfall with China in 31 years, according to media reports.

Facing growing economic pressure and risks from following the US "decoupling" push, Japan and South Korea appear to be reassessing the significance of their relationships with China and are more inclined to enhance communication with China.

However, to achieve effective trilateral communication and cooperation, Japan and South Korea need not only to demonstrate sincerity in improving relations, but more importantly, the three parties need to find innovative ways to collaborate amid the US push for "decoupling" and "breaking chains," as failure to do so will result in consequences for all parties involved.

Enhancing mutual trust and promoting cooperation can only be achieved through the establishment of more frequent dialogue and communication mechanisms. In order to resist US pressure, China, Japan and South Korea could lessen their reliance on a single external market by enhancing cooperation within a multilateral framework. One way to achieve this is by expediting negotiations for the China-Japan-South Korea free trade agreement to broaden collaboration in trade, investment, technology exchanges and environmental protection. Additionally, cooperation could be bolstered within the ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea mechanism to promote the growth of the entire region.

In terms of mitigating risks, China, Japan and South Korea could focus on diversifying their supply chains by identifying alternative sources and improving the connectivity of their internal supply chains.

Additionally, they can address external pressures through policy coordination and information sharing, while also fostering cultural and talent exchanges to seek mutually beneficial solutions that uphold their respective national interests.

Moreover, the three can strengthen cooperation in some non-sensitive or non-strategic areas, such as environmental protection, climate change, renewable energy and public health.

Only by working together can the three countries achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. There is no alternative. Despite the challenges, it is crucial to resist the pressure by the US as a way to promote cooperation and avoid losses by the three parties. As East Asia remains the most vital engine of the global economy, the way in which these three countries collaborate will significantly influence global development.

Tagging ‘overcapacity’ on Chinese new energy products groundless; a pretext to implement trade protective measures: NDRC

Chinese economic officials have slammed the hyped “overcapacity” tag on Chinese new energy products on Friday, calling it “a carefully crafted narrative trap created by some countries with the aim of making it a pretext to implement trade protective measures.” While voicing strong objection to the action, they also warn against its dire consequences, which will disrupt the stability and smooth flow of global supply chains, hinder the global green transition and eventually backfire on the initiators of trade protectionism.

For some time, certain officials and media outlets in some countries have intensively accused China’s new energy products of “overcapacity.” These hypes are attempts to set the stage for unilateralism and the implementation of trade protection policies, according to an article posted on Friday on the WeChat account of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner.

Those allegations on China’s new energy products do not hold ground as they are neither in line with facts nor economic rules, the NDRC article said, while rebutting every piece of the fallacy with solid proof and data.

With regards to the claim that “the overcapacity of China’s new energy exports was a result of insufficient domestic market and thus have to sell to the global market at a low price,” the NDRC blasted it with a reference to the fundamental law of international industrial division and cooperation.

Take the US exports as an example, it noted. About 80 percent of high-end chips produced in the US are destined for export, and the country is also the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, while one-fifth of US agricultural products are shipped to China, however, the US has not been accused of exporting “overcapacity” in these areas. In contrast, China’s new energy vehicle (NEV) exports only represented 12.5 percent of its total output last year, showing that China's new energy products currently mainly satisfy domestic demand.

It is also key to view the global supply-demand relationship from a developmental perspective, or the demand of global market and its development potential, the NDRC said, lambasting the claim that “China’s new energy capacity has surpassed global demand, making other countries unable to absorb.”

The NDRC highlighted a bunch of data by IEA which showed that the forecasted global demand for NEVs and power battery by 2030 will be almost five times from China’s capacity in relevant industries in 2023. In terms of the cumulative photovoltaic installed capacity, the projected global demand by 2030 is calculated to be around 9 times from China’s capacity in 2023. All underscore huge room for future demand growth.

On the one hand, the advantage is built upon a vast domestic market, a complete industrial system, intense market competition and continuous technological innovation under market mechanism, the NDRC pointed out. On the other hand, individual country has been encouraging and supporting the growth of relevant industries amid global green transition, and in particular the US is providing prodigious subsidies and tax incentives to new energy industries through legislation such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

There isn't a “China overcapacity,” but a US overcapacity of anxiety stemming from a lack of confidence and smears against China, Lin Jian, spokesperson from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press briefing on April 30.

During US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent visit to China, he pointed finger at China over the so-called “unfair trade practices and the potential consequences of industrial overcapacity to global and US markets,” naming some industries including electric vehicles, batteries, and solar panels. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently reiterated in an interview with Reuters the "overcapacity" in China, claiming that the so-called overcapacity in China is not only a problem faced by the US, but also by Europe, Japan, India and Mexico.

It is indeed despicable and hypocritical for nations to proclaim that addressing global climate change is their “noble mission,” while simultaneously adopting protectionist measures under the pretext of “overcapacity” to suppress the development of new energy industries in other countries, according to the NDRC article.

Such actions not only undermine the global efforts to combat climate change but will also backfire, the NDRC warned, while citing a list of examples from the past decades that show that there’s no winner out of trade protectionism.

Also, the moves could wreak havoc on the stable operation of global new energy industry supply chains, creating “blockages,” “choke points,” and “breakpoints” that affect the efficiency of economic operations and may even trigger various potential risks, the NDRC stressed.

“Economic globalization has become a major trend. Countries are interdependent and integrated into a community of shared interests. Being open and inclusive, and pursuing win-win cooperation is the only correct choice,” the NDRC article concluded, urging countries to oppose the politicization of economic and trade issues or make them security issues, advocate for “tearing down walls rather than building them, for openness rather than isolation, for integration rather than decoupling, and promote the construction of an open world economy.”

China’s EHang completes passenger-carrying eVTOL demonstration flight in UAE

EHang Holdings, an autonomous aerial vehicle technology company based in China, announced on Monday that its pilotless electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft EH216-S successfully completed its first passenger-carrying demonstration flight in Abu Dhabi, marking the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East. 

The EH216 series pilotless eVTOL aircraft performed several autonomous flights at the Emirates Falcons Aviation Club in Al Ali, Abu Dhabi with the approval by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE. 

"After obtaining approval for the demo flights carrying passengers and completing the inaugural flight, we will closely collaborate with the GCAA and the Civil Aviation Administration of China to accelerate the commercialization of our unmanned aircraft in the UAE. This will mark a significant milestone for Abu Dhabi and the global air mobility industry," Hu Huazhi, chief executive of EHang, was quoted as saying in a statement sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

EHang's inaugural manned flight of the eVTOL in the UAE not only signifies the advancement of China's drone technology but also underscores growing international cooperation in the field of low-altitude economy.

China's low-altitude economy has been included in the new quality productive forces, according to the Government Work Report for 2024.

The EHang Intelligent EH216-S stands as the world's pioneering eVTOL aircraft to obtain all three certifications - Type Certificate (TC), Airworthiness Certificate (AC), and Production Certificate (PC). Capable of fully recharged within two hours, the EH216-S boasts a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour, with a flight endurance of 25 minutes and a designed range of 30 kilometers.

The pilotless eVTOL aircraft feature a compact fuselage, high redundancy design and intelligent cluster management, enabling safety and efficiency as well as scalable operations, in order to provide safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility.

Additionally, the EH216-F (for high-rise firefighting) and EH216-L (for aerial logistics) demonstrated their debut flights in the UAE too, showcasing a diverse range of UAM use scenarios of the pilotless eVTOL aircraft.

Chinese trade chamber in Europe deplores discriminative FSR probe on Chinese companies

The China Chamber of Commerce to the EU (CCCEU) raised deep concerns regarding the European Commission's selective transparency and potential discriminatory application of the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) against Chinese products.

The CCCEU submitted a comprehensive response on Tuesday to the EC's recent initiation of in-depth FSR investigations into Chinese companies that participated in a solar photovoltaic project tender in Romania, according to a statement released by CCCEU.

The rebuttal voiced a range of concerns about various shortcomings in the EC's actions and its potential ramifications for Chinese businesses operating in the European market.

The chamber noted the heightened scrutiny imposed on Chinese companies compared to those subjected to non-EU entities in the same tender process. "This selective enforcement of the FSR raises serious questions about the fairness, objectivity, and consistency of the Commission's approach," the chamber said.

On April 3, the EC launched two in-depth FSR investigations on two bidders involved in the tender process for Romania's 110MW solar photovoltaic park project. Afterward, the commission conducted a raid on a Chinese company's offices in Poland and the Netherlands without prior notice on April 23, following another probe targeting Chinese wind turbines which began on April 9.

The FSR has increased uncertainties for Chinese bidders, causing concern about the EU's growing protectionism and misapplication of policy tools, the chamber noted in the statement, urging the European Union to ensure Chinese enterprises' operations in Europe in "a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory environment."

Since the end of 2023, the bloc has launched a series of subsidy investigations targeting Chinese businesses in emerging sectors such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines, which has been labeled by China's Ministry of Commerce as protectionist behavior that distorts fair competition.

Top executives at BMW and Volkswagen on Wednesday warned against imposing EU import duties on electric vehicles made by Chinese automakers, saying it could upend the bloc's Green Deal plan and harm automakers that import cars made in China. The comments were in response to the bloc's probe launched in October into Chinese automakers for alleged subsidies and extra tariffs, Reuters reported.

In Thursday's statement, the Chamber also contended that the EC has not provided sufficient justification or interpretation of "foreign subsidies" under the FSR, and expressed concern about the burden placed on Chinese companies by the broad information requests and the potential disclosure of sensitive business data.

The chamber's observations follow the recent publication of EU summary notices, inviting stakeholders' feedback. Throughout the legislative and implementation process of the FSR, the chamber has been actively involved, stressing the importance of legality, transparency, and non-discriminatory application.

Generating clean power

A technician inspects an automated production line at a local new-energy technology company in Gaoyou city, East China's Jiangsu Province, on May 12, 2024. In recent years, Jiangsu has become a major production base of solar photovoltaic panels that sell well at home and abroad. Photo: VCG

Peng Liyuan visits National Museum of Serbia

Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on invitation visited the National Museum of Serbia with Tamara Vucic, wife of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade on Wednesday morning.

The two first ladies toured the museum's painting exhibition together. The museum boasts a long history and abundant collections, Peng remarked, noting that the classic paintings exhibited there feature delicate brushstrokes and rich emotions.

Peng emphasized that museums serve not only as windows for preserving and displaying cultural relics but also as halls for promoting civilization. She also expressed hope for enhanced cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and Serbia to build bridges for dialogue among civilizations.

The two first ladies also watched demonstrations of traditional Serbian women's hand weaving and warmly interacted with the artisans. Peng praised the exquisite and distinctive craftsmanship of Serbian hand weaving, considering it an important intangible cultural heritage that has been well preserved and promoted.

Highlighting the similarities between Chinese and Serbian embroidery cultures, she suggested mutual learning and encouragement for young people from both countries to actively engage in preserving traditional handicrafts from generation to generation. The two also enthusiastically participated in making Serbian wool felt balls.

Established in 1844, the National Museum of Serbia houses over 400,000 artifacts, making it the largest and oldest museum in Serbia.