China opens ten nuclear technology research facilities to the world to enhance international cooperation

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has opened ten of its nuclear technology research facilities and testing platforms, including China's new-generation "artificial sun" Huanliu-3 (HL-3) tokamak, to the world for the first time. The move will further enhance China's influence in nuclear science and technology globally, injecting strong "nuclear power" into promoting win-win cooperation worldwide, the Global Times learned from CNNC at a press conference on March 19 in Beijing during the 17th China International Nuclear Industry Exhibition.

This batch of facilities also include the world's highest-energy compact proton cyclotron accelerator the Beijing Radioactive Ion-beam Facility (BRIF), one of the "world's six major neutron sources" China Advanced Research Reactor, the Beishan Underground Research Laboratory (Beishan URL) located 560 meters underground, and the Minjiang Test Reactor for medical isotope research, among others. Many of these facilities have reached world-class level and even lead the industry globally, showcasing the hard work of Chinese researchers and demonstrating the "hardcore strength" of China's nuclear industry innovation.

The HL-3 tokamak, China's largest and most advanced tokamak, is designed to support the operation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and the development of future fusion reactors.

The Beishan URL in Northwest China's Gansu Province, China, is the country's first large underground research facility used for the safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste. It is an important research facility for the International Atomic Energy Agency and the China Atomic Energy Authority, playing a crucial role in China's nuclear fuel closed-loop technology innovation system.

The BRIF, the only operational online isotope separation radioactive ion beam facility in Asia, can produce over 60 stable nuclear beams and 55 radioactive nuclear beams. It fills the technological gap in China's medium-energy high-current proton cyclotron accelerator and high-resolution isotope separator, reaching an advanced level internationally. 

The BRIF conducts research in nuclear physics basics, nuclear physics applications, and nuclear data, promoting basic research and application transformation, achieving a number of high-level scientific achievements. Researchers from the facility have cooperated with teams from more than ten countries including Russia, the US, Germany, Japan, and Poland, attracting many top international scientists to come to China to conduct cutting-edge research.

The opening of these research facilities and testing platforms by China to the world is expected to promote the development of nuclear technology worldwide. Sumair N. Khan, Science and Technology Counselor at the Pakistani Embassy in China, told the Global Times that these open research facilities are crucial for developing countries, especially for countries like Pakistan. He highlighted the importance of facilities like China's advanced research reactor, micro-neutron source reactor, and nuclear environmental simulation facilities for Pakistan.

"Developing countries may not have the research conditions similar to China but are eager to utilize Chinese research facilities to train researchers and receive support for their research work," Zhang Libo, vice president of the China Institute of Atomic Energy, under CNNC, told the Global Times. He emphasized the importance of international cooperation in nuclear science and technology for mutual benefit and scientific progress.

Zhang also believes that CNNC's opening of nuclear technology-related research facilities and test platforms to the world will promote high-level international openness. He stated that by attracting international peers to utilize these facilities, China can understand the direction of international research, grasp the dynamics of global economic development, and integrate into the global research environment.

GT investigates: How some Western news agencies deceive Chinese people, distort truth while claiming not to have freedom

Editor's Note:

On April 8, 2024, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC), which has long attacked China and accused the country of "suppressing" the freedom of foreign journalists in China, released its 2023 annual "media freedoms report," once again accusing China of "restricting" the freedom of foreign journalists."

However, the qualifications and background of the FCCC itself are in question. On the one hand, Chinese authorities have never recognized the legitimacy of this organization or its role as a representative body for foreign journalists in China; on the other hand, the organization not only holds strong ideological biases against China, but also is deeply involved in providing cover for and whitewashing actions that harm China's national security, especially by anti-China forces in the US and the West.

Some foreign journalists who do not want to be associated with this organization have revealed that it is controlled by media organizations and individuals who uphold the Western discourse hegemony. Their focus is not on objectively reporting on China, but rather on smearing and demonizing the country.

Through investigation, the Global Times has found three solid examples that expose the real intention of the FCCC, which has nothing to do with "freedom."

I felt being used as 'pawn'

Mr Xu is a coach of an amateur women's soccer club in Beijing. In June 2023, he received a message on the Chinese lifestyle-sharing platform Xiaohongshu. The person who sent the message claimed to be from German TV station ZDF. Xu was told that ZDF wanted to interview the club in anticipation of the upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup and introduce the situation of women's soccer in China.

According to Xu, at the time, journalists from ZDF only mentioned that they were there to interview and report on his club and women's soccer in China. They said that they were also planning to do similar interviews in other countries to introduce the development of grassroots women's soccer around the world.

During the interview, ZDF reporters kept giving Xu the impression that they only wanted to report on grassroots women's soccer in China. Therefore, Xu, who was very willing to introduce China's grassroots women's soccer to the world, warmly welcomed the team of reporters to film interviews with the club's players, and he felt honored to represent China in the report.

However, when the program was officially broadcast on the official ZDF website, Xu was astonished to find that he had been deceived by the German media outlet, and felt as though he had been "used as a pawn."

The program broadcast by this German media outlet only used the interview with Xu's club and players as part of a larger project. The aired program contained a lot of politicized content, and used out-of-context quotes to smear China's women's rights issues, and by extension, attack China's epidemic prevention policies.

When viewed in its entirety, the report on Xu's women's soccer club does not seem to genuinely introduce China's women's soccer scene, but rather creates a "hell-like contrast" to suggest that the status of Chinese women is actually very low, Xu said.

Xu complained to the Global Times that he felt the complete program broadcast by the German media outlet looked "strange" and he couldn't understand whether they intended to report objectively or were set to deliberately vilify, because he felt that the portrayal of women's situation in Chinese society by this German media outlet was far from factual, and resembled the plight of women in far less developed countries.

Another reason why Xu feels he was deliberately misled is, before the program was aired, and upon request, Xu was shown a sample of the scheduled broadcast. However, after the complete program was aired, he found that the sample shown to him by the German media outlet was not the full version actually broadcast by the TV station. They also never informed Xu how the full version of the program would be edited and what other content would also be included.

Additionally, when the TV station first showed Xu the edited sample, he noticed that the Chinese map used by the TV station did not include the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea region, and there were also omissions in the Xizang Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Even after he raised this issue with the TV station, the final version still did not include the right map.

After the program was aired, Xu expressed his strong dissatisfaction at the actions of the German TV station, and protested against the map issue and the use of the club as a "pawn" in the program, demanding that the program be taken off the air. The person who initially contacted him from the TV station in China, however, passed the buck, arguing that this was a decision made by the German headquarters and that the China team could not decide on the matter.

Xu said that although this episode did not have a significant negative impact on him, the club, or the players who were interviewed, the irresponsible actions of this German media outlet have caused trouble for the club - especially for some of the players who appeared in the program, some of whom are university students, due to the misrepresentation of their opinions.

Xu's experience vividly illustrates an important reason why some Western media outlets are increasingly being rejected by the Chinese public: These media outlets do not respect their interview subjects, but instead deceive and exploit them to serve a predetermined narrative meant to demonize China.

No apology

Mr Luo is an economist from China. In July 2023, he was suddenly asked by a friend whether he had been interviewed by Bloomberg. This puzzled him because he had never been interviewed by the US-based media outlet. After a brief search, Luo found a Bloomberg article that had used a piece he had previously published on his WeChat account about the Chinese economy, in which Luo provided an analysis of the future of the Chinese economy. However, because they did not clarify that it was partly taken from the article, it gave the impression that Luo had been personally interviewed for the Bloomberg article.

But when Luo carefully examined the citation of his article by Bloomberg, he was surprised to find that Bloomberg had not accurately presented his views, but instead cherry-picked a few sentences that could easily be misinterpreted.

Luo believed that this would lead to his views being misunderstood and inadvertently mislead others, so he requested that Bloomberg correct the glaring errors. However, Bloomberg only added a note in the article stating that the views related to Luo were taken from his public WeChat account article and included a link, but did not address the accusation of using cherry-picked quotes made by Luo.

Frustrated, Luo engaged the services of a lawyer who sent a formal letter to Bloomberg's office in China and even went there in person to defend his rights, but he was turned away. In fact, a Bloomberg staffer, in a strongly-worded reply to the letter, stated that Bloomberg did not agree with Luo's accusation of selective quoting and therefore would not retract the article or issue an apology.

Bloomberg dismissed Luo's remonstrations despite giving the impression of respecting his views by quoting him, proving that Luo's opinions don't matter unless otherwise validated by the large media outlet.

Luo's situation is far from the only instance in which Bloomberg has stood accused of false reporting. On March 6, 2024, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government released a statement that strongly disapproved of and condemned Bloomberg's news headlines "HK says Telegram should be prohibited in Article 23 proposal," "HK says Signal should be prohibited in Article 23 proposal", and "HK Security Law Public Consultation Lists Facebook, YouTube Ban."

Those reports falsely reported that the HKSAR government would legislate to ban the operation of the mentioned platforms in Hong Kong, thereby generating misunderstanding and panic regarding the legislative proposals on Article 23 of the Basic Law, read the statement.

Freedom or discourse hegemony?

In October 2023, a Chinese woman surnamed Chen who had been living in Sweden for 20 years, was suddenly arrested by the Swedish security service in October and expelled by the government in Stockholm, after being accused of posing a national security threat, according to media reports.

The Global Times learned that Chen wrote several objective articles about China, especially regarding the situations in Xinjiang and Xizang, and organized some lectures to present the true situation in Xinjiang.

However, Chen's situation has become increasingly common in the recent past. From Canada to the US to Australia and other Western countries, media outlets constantly platform anti-China secessionists and widely publish distorted reports about China. Some Western media outlets even collaborate with their countries' intelligence agencies and other institutions in the private sector to weaken China's national security, analysts have pointed out.

What the FCCC really wants is not the freedom to report the news objectively, but the freedom to maintain this "distorted" discourse hegemony, experts warned.

Meanwhile, it is worth noting that trust in the media among Americans reached a historic low. According to a Gallup poll conducted in October 2023, only 32 percent of respondents expressed a high level of trust in the mass media. Another 29 percent indicated having "not very much" trust, while a record-high 39 percent stated they had "none at all."

Moreover, this situation is not unique to the US. A poll in November 2023 also showed that public trust in the mainstream news media in the UK ranked last among the 28 countries surveyed, with only 31 percent of UK respondents trusting the country's news media establishment.

Perhaps the FCCC should first consider the reasons behind this trend. They should think about why the citizens of their own countries are increasingly losing trust in them, experts warned.

New US tariffs on China seriously hurt global environmental protection: Global Times editorial

The recent increase in tariffs imposed by the US on imports from China, particularly on electric vehicles (EVs), lithium batteries, and semiconductors, has sparked criticism globally. Not only did the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson criticize the move, saying it "can distort trade and investment, and fragment supply chains," several US media, including The Washington Post, also slammed that the new tariffs raise costs for companies using green energy devices and make electric vehicles less affordable for US consumers. 

"Forcing consumers, via tariffs, to subsidize domestic clean energy companies that are far from the cutting edge of technology is an economic and environmental loser," The Washington Post article said. Colorado Governor Jared Polis also stated that the new tariffs are "a major setback for clean energy."

The concerns are far-sighted and realistic. The new tariffs represent another escalation of the US' policy to contain China in recent years, forcing its companies to restructure supply and industrial chains, and disrupting the normal global trade order. This restructuring will have a profound negative impact on the global industrial system centered around emission reduction goals, leading to serious environmental issues worldwide. 

It should be pointed out that the timing of the new US tariffs coincides with a critical moment in the global transition from traditional to new energy and the construction of a global green economy. On April 17, Dubai, a country located in a desert region, experienced a sudden downpour, with one day's rainfall equivalent to half the average annual rainfall. 

This most severe rainstorm in 75 years caused Dubai International Airport to close for three days. Extreme heat waves, severe cold, torrential rains, hurricanes, droughts and floods... the increasingly frequent extreme weather events highlight the urgency of global efforts to address climate change to a degree felt by everyone.

At the beginning of this year, the World Meteorological Organization released a report officially confirming 2023 as the warmest year on record. The report indicates that new record-high levels were set in 2023 for all three of the main greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide levels are 50 percent higher than in the pre-industrial era.

According to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme at the end of last year, predicted 2030 greenhouse gas emissions still must fall by 28 percent for the Paris Agreement 2 C pathway and 42 percent for the 1.5 C pathway.

Against this backdrop, it has become a widespread consensus in the international community to achieve effective emission reduction and build a new form of sustainable economic development for humanity by significantly adjusting the energy structure, especially by promoting the widespread use of new energy products to achieve low-carbon emissions. It is precisely for this reason that China's "new three" products have been widely welcomed in markets around the world. 

Data shows that in 2023, China contributed more than half of the global renewable energy installed capacity of 510 million kilowatts. In 2022, China's renewable energy generation contributed to a reduction of approximately 2.26 billion tons in domestic CO2 emissions, while exports of wind power and solar products aided other nations in decreasing CO2 emissions by an additional 573 million tons. 

The two figures add up to 2.83 billion tonnes of emissions reduction, or about 41 percent of the global total of carbon emissions reduction due to renewable energy. 

At the World Energy Congress held in April, Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, one of the world's largest oil companies, said that "China has made these green products so affordable, and they will help the West achieve its target of cutting carbon emissions to a net zero level by 2050." Imagine what the global energy transition would look like without China's green production capacity, and how it would impact humanity's ability to address climate change.

Especially for developing countries, it is China's progress in the field of new energy that allows them to purchase more cost-effective EVs, lithium batteries, and photovoltaic products. The report from the International Renewable Energy Agency pointed out that in the past 10 years, the average cost of wind and photovoltaic power generation projects globally has cumulatively decreased by over 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, with a large part of it attributed to Chinese innovation, manufacturing, and engineering. In this sense, the development and progress of China's new energy industry are not only accelerators of the global energy transition, but also the vanguard of humanity's response to climate change. This represents not only high-quality and advanced production capacity, but also widespread development justice.

There is only one Earth, and all countries share the same planet. Responding to global climate change and promoting energy transition in various countries is a task filled with both difficulties and hope. It requires a true spirit of "working together for the world" from all countries, as well as the joint maintenance of an open and fair international economic system. Nowadays, some people in the US, out of short-sighted and narrow political motives and fragile anxiety, are waving a big stick in the field of tariffs, undoubtedly weakening the cohesion of countries and their ability to respond to climate change, damaging the positive prospects of global green transformation. 

This will also be a "protectionist disaster" for humanity. It is hoped that they will wake up soon!

Chinese businesses optimistic about China-Russia cooperation, highlighting automotive and energy as 'hottest fields'

Around 4 am on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's plane arrived in Beijing, marking the beginning of his two-day state visit to China. According to a previous announcement from the Kremlin, Putin will visit Harbin and attend the opening ceremony of the 8th China-Russia Expo. Accompanying him is a "high-profile economic and trade delegation" that includes Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina, and Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation chief Dmitry Shugayev.

All indications suggest that economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia will be a key topic during Putin's visit.

Chen Gang, the Russian General Manager of Suifenhe Zhongsu Automobile Import and Export Co, Ltd, is one of the exhibitors at this year's expo.

He has been busy at the company's booth these past few days. "Compared to the years before the pandemic, there are visibly more companies attending this year," Chen, a Chinese businessman long focused on opportunities related to Russia, told the Global Times.

He noted that booths at this year's expo are in high demand, with some companies even offering high prices to rent space, hoping to break into the Russian market.

"There are also a lot of Russians and Russian companies in Harbin these days; they are everywhere. My impression is that various Russian industries are eagerly seeking Chinese products and partners," Chen said.

The popularity of the expo is a reflection of the rapid development of China-Russia economic and trade cooperation in recent years. According to data released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, in 2023, bilateral trade between China and Russia reached $240.1 billion, a 26.3 percent increase from the previous year, exceeding the target set by the leaders of both countries in 2019 to achieve $200 billion in bilateral trade by 2024. Of this, Russia imported $110.97 billion worth of goods from China, a significant year-on-year increase of 46.9 percent.

Chen's experience also confirms the aforementioned figures. Before the pandemic, Chen mainly engaged in exporting Russian agricultural products to China and in tourism between the two countries. However, in the past two years, as relations between China and Russia have grown closer, his business has entered a "new stage," expanding to the import and export of various products such as automotive equipment, asphalt, non-ferrous metals, engineering machinery, and liquefied natural gas.

"Especially in the fields of automotive and energy, these have been the hottest areas in China-Russia trade over the past two years, with great opportunities," Chen said excitedly when talking about his business development in recent years. "My revenue has increased by nearly 200 times compared to previous years."

Fan Yeliang is another Chinese businessman who has long been involved in the import and export of timber and furniture between China and Russia. These days, he is in Harbin negotiating with Russian businessmen visiting China.

He told the Global Times that last year his volume of furniture exports to Russia "increased by four to five times" compared to the period before the pandemic, and his timber import business "at least doubled."

Amid the booming market, many new "gold seekers" have also entered the trade with Russia. Fan told the Global Times that previously, most of the businesses involved in Russia-related trade were from Northeast China. Now, many companies from South China's Guangdong, East China's Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces are also participating.

There is a large market gap in Russia that needs to be filled, Chinese business representatives said. From the perspective of these Chinese businessmen, the rapid development of China-Russia economic and trade relations in the past two years is partly due to the withdrawal of countries such as the US, Europe, South Korea, and Japan from the Russian market, citing sanctions, leaving a lot of market space.

On the other hand, it is also because Chinese-made products are cost-effective and of good quality, making them very popular with overseas customers. Additionally, the strengthening of political trust between China and Russia has further increased Russian customers' trust in China.

Using his automotive business as an example, "sales of new and used Chinese cars have been very good in Russia in recent years. Brands like Changan, Geely, Haval, Great Wall, and Chery are particularly popular for their good quality and affordable prices," Chen said.

"Possibly influenced by political factors, Russians have become more inclined to cooperate with Chinese people in recent years. In daily interactions with them, one can clearly feel that various Russian sectors are eager to collaborate with China. Against this backdrop, the business environment in Russia's Far East has improved significantly, and local administrative efficiency in this regard has also increased," Chen said.

In the view of Chinese businessmen, there are several major challenges that need to be addressed for further development of China-Russia economic and trade relations. The first is the need for more convenient cross-border settlement.

Both Fan and Chen told the Global Times that in the past two to three months, due to increased US financial sanctions on Russia, banks have had to strengthen their review of cross-border trade settlements between China and Russia.

Many Chinese private enterprises with business dealings with Russia have encountered problems in receiving payments or settling accounts, sometimes facing rejection or delays of over two months. This increases the costs and cash flow pressure on small businesses.

They hope that China and Russia can expedite the integration of their respective payment settlement systems to meet the market demand for trade settlements between the two countries while avoiding secondary sanctions.

Also, the infrastructure level in Russia's Far East needs further improvement. Due to many European ports refusing to handle Russian cargo, the cargo throughput at St. Petersburg port in the Baltic Sea has significantly declined.

Additionally, as Russia's economic cooperation shifts toward the Asia-Pacific, ports in the Far East, including Vladivostok, are now handling a large volume of Russia's import and export maritime business.

Vladivostok port is currently operating at overcapacity, Chen said. "With the surge in China-Russia trade, there is a great need for more ports or the expansion of existing ports in the Far East. Therefore, we look forward to more cooperation between the two countries in infrastructure construction in the Far East."

Wang Xiaoquan, an expert with the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the economies of China and Russia have unique complementarities, with China being the largest economy capable of comprehensive economic cooperation with Russia.

Given the significant reduction in Russia's economic relations, particularly energy relations, with the US and the West, and the need to advance the "Turn to the East" strategy, Russia will place greater emphasis on the strategic role of the Chinese market in exporting its oil and gas products.

Russia also views China as a source of funds and technology for implementing its import substitution policy and modernizing infrastructure, aiming for comprehensive integration in areas such as energy, defense, aerospace, agriculture, finance, and technology, Wang said.

"During President Putin's new term, China-Russia practical cooperation in all fields is likely to develop rapidly, with significant breakthroughs expected in areas such as energy, agriculture and manufacturing," the expert said.

The industrial and supply chains of the two countries are expected to achieve integrated development, he noted.

In recent years, Russia has shown an increasingly positive attitude toward the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), especially in terms of connectivity, capacity cooperation, finance and trade. China and Russia are expected to implement more multilateral economic cooperation projects under the framework of aligning the BRI with the Eurasian Economic Union. Russia is also expected to provide more support for the internationalization of the renminbi, the expert added.

Apple’s Vision Pro gains 3C certification in China, paving way for its entry to the huge market

US tech giant Apple's headset Vision Pro has achieved a significant milestone before entering the Chinese market, gaining official approval from China Compulsory Certification 3C certification, paving the way for its sale on the Chinese mainland market.

According to the website of the China Quality Certification Center, the certification for Apple's Vision Pro was issued on May 13, 2024, with validity extending until May 12, 2029.

Despite being priced at $3,499 in the US market, equivalent to 25,325 yuan, Apple has yet to disclose the official pricing and localized name for Vision Pro for the Chinese mainland market. 

Notably, the trademark for Vision Pro in China has been owned by Huawei.

Vision Pro, initially released in June 2023, was not available in other regions outside the US market until today, according to media reports.

Reuters reported on May 14 that Apple plans to unveil Vision Pro in international markets following the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for June 10 -14 this year.

In addition, Apple is currently conducting training sessions for its employees in seven countries, including China, on effectively showcasing its Vision Pro products to customers in new markets. 

The introduction of Apple Vision Pro to the Chinese mainland market, coupled with potential local production, is expected to "facilitate a exchange of digital product-related technologies and research between Apple and local Chinese teams," Liang Zhenpeng, an independent tech analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Apple's fiscal second-quarter earnings report this year said the company's overall sales fell 4 percent to $45.96 billion and iPhone sales fell 10 percent year on year, suggesting weak market demand for the current generation of its smartphones. 

Apple's Vision Pro entering the Chinese market could also help the company boost its global market share and brand influence in China, as the company fends off concerns over decreasing consumer confidence in this market, Liang noted.

Healthy Life Area Expected at SPIEF 2024

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2024 will host a variety of Healthy Life events dedicated to healthcare and a Healthy Life Area thematic exhibition during which key members of the healthcare community will share cutting-edge technology projects and innovative developments. The SPIEF will also feature a series of expert discussions on healthcare.

Leading government and scientific figures will join representatives of the pharmaceutical and medical industries to hold talks on important healthcare topics in the area presentation zone.

“The Healthy Life Area has always been a place for presenting significant healthcare achievements at SPIEF. The expert discussions that take place there cover a wide range of issues facing healthcare, medical and scientific development, the accessibility of medical care, digitalization in the industry, in addition to human resources. The event’s business program has been drawn up with the support of experts from leading scientific centers to the ensure current topics are covered correctly. Experts will discuss major issues surrounding import substitution for medical and pharmaceutical products, advanced technologies for active longevity, new opportunities for medical and health tourism in Russia, corporate and social initiatives coming from Russian companies, opportunities to invest in the development of biomedical technologies, neurotechnology, digital health ecosystems, the application of artificial intelligence to new innovative products, and the development of healthcare technologies within BRICS,” First Deputy Director for Development and Head of the Healthcare Directorate of the Roscongress Foundation Anastasia Stolkova said.

The expert discussions have been organized with the support of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency of the Russian Federation, the Russian Research Institute of Health, the Center for Healthcare Quality Assessment and Control of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, and the Sechenov University Institute of Leadership and Health Management among others.

“The topics up for discussion in the Healthy Life Area at SPIEF reflect the current healthcare agenda: training for human resources, digitalization and artificial intelligence, telemedicine and innovative technologies, and disease prevention.  The Russian Research Institute of Health has always provided expert support for the event and taken an active part in the preparation of sessions for the business program,” Russian Research Institute of Health Director Olga Kobyakova said.

The Healthy Life project is an industry platform for direct dialogue between representatives of the government and the expert community and a place to share experience with innovation, discuss target benchmarks, global trends, and the outlook for healthcare system, and work on practical proposals for building a healthier society.

Official website of the event:

The 27th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be held from 5 to 8 June, 2024 at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

Potential US curbs on AI model exports 'hegemonic' action, experts say

Chinese experts said on Thursday that potential export restrictions by the US on artificial intelligence (AI) models mainly target China, and the reported move is essentially a case of self-isolation and a hegemonic action, which will hinder the swift evolution of the global AI industry and dampen previous strides in globalization.

The so-called security concerns on the use of advanced AI models are completely political rhetoric meant to stoke fears over China's development, amid the intensifying US crackdown on Chinese products, observers said.

Reuters has reported that the US government is considering a new regulatory push to restrict exports of proprietary or closed-source AI models, whose software, and the data they train on, are kept under wraps.

The action was due to concerns that "US adversaries could use the models… to wage aggressive cyber-attacks or even create potent biological weapons."

The move adds to restrictions Washington has put in place to block exports of sophisticated AI technologies to China.

As China's AI sector booms, the US government has been acutely aware of the competitive pressure exerted by its biggest rival. With AI models emerging as a new focal point of competition, the US has continuously used the "national security threat" rhetoric to stoke fears over Chinese products, in a bid to hinder China's industrial upgrading, Ma Jihua, a veteran telecom industry observer, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The US announced in April it was adding four Chinese firms to an export blacklist for allegedly aiding Chinese entities in acquiring AI chips in violation of US regulations, according to media reports. Analysts noted that the action was part of the intensifying US crackdown on China's high-tech sector in recent years.

China's Foreign Ministry said in April that "we strongly oppose the illegal US unilateral sanctions" and vowed to do "what is necessary to firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies while urging the US to stop politicizing trade and tech issues and turning them into weapons."

Regardless of the measures the US may ultimately enact, the impact on China's AI sector is expected to be minimal, analysts said. Instead, the likely move would drive Chinese users toward home-grown large language models (LLMs), which are gaining robust momentum, Pan Helin, a member of the Expert Committee for Information and Communication Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told the Global Times on Thursday.

China's LLM sector is highly competitive, with a wide array of options available for its huge market. Given the disparities between Chinese and English contexts, homegrown AI products are better suited to Chinese consumers than their US counterparts, Pan said, highlighting the vast potential of the country's high-tech sector.

The Chinese Embassy in the US responded to inquiries by denouncing the reported action as a "typical act of economic coercion and unilateral bullying, which China firmly opposes," adding that it would take "necessary measures" to protect its interests, Reuters reported.

China is stepping up efforts to boost AI development and has witnessed fruitful outcomes. As of April, 117 LLMs had been registered in China for generative AI services, according to the Cyberspace Administration of China, reflecting the fierce competition in this burgeoning sector.

This year's Government Work Report noted AI's crucial role in accelerating new quality productive forces, highlighting the country's continuous push for the high-quality development of the digital economy by stepping up R&D and application of big data and AI, and planning to launch an AI Plus Initiative.

Israel leaves Biden with few options as breach over Rafah operation grows

Israeli leaders said the army had enough munitions on hand to proceed with its plans in Rafah, despite US President Joe Biden's threat of pausing some arms deliveries. Israel, its close ally, has put the US in an awkward position, according to observers. They attribute this situation to the deep-rooted flaws in the US political system.

President Biden quoted by CNN threatened to stop the supply of specific weapons if Israeli soldiers entered populated areas of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The threat was widely interpreted as a turning point with relation to Israel in the seven-month conflict. 

Reacting to Biden's announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone." Other Israeli officials also expressed disappointment and criticism over Biden's remarks. 

On Friday, the General Assembly is scheduled to hold a vote on Palestine's bid to become a full member of the UN, a move seen by many as largely symbolic. In a surprising move, Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan spoke on behalf of the US, stating, "If it is approved, I expect the US to completely stop funding the UN and its institutions, in accordance with American law." 

Asked why before any official stance of the US has been taken, an Israeli diplomat stationed at the UN seems to have made diplomatic decisions on behalf of the US, Chinese experts said the development was not surprising. 

Earlier, the US House of Representatives surprisingly passed an "Anti-Semitism Awareness Act" aimed at addressing rising antisemitism among college students who are angered by Israel's acts in Gaza and the US' long-standing biased Middle East policy.

Ding Long, a professor from the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, told the Global Times that despite increasing pressure from the international community, the Biden administration has stood firm with Israel by providing weapons and other assistance. But this time, Biden is eager to remove the burden of Israel and doesn't want it to become a negative factor for his election campaign. 

A few days ago, during the negotiations in Cairo, the US dispatched the CIA director in hope of achieving a deal between Israel and Palestine to cool down the conflict. However, the current problem is that Netanyahu, whose position as prime minister is in peril, simply does not listen to the US, and proceeding the war is the only option for Netanyahu to continue political career, Ding noted. "Once you get on the tiger's back, it's hard to get off again."

The military possesses the required weaponry for its planned operations, including those in Rafah, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated on Thursday.

Despite conditioning its military shipments to Israel, Biden remained committed to making sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to those attacks. Li Jianmin, academic dean of the Institute of Central Asian Studies at Northwest Normal University, told the Global Times that the Biden administration cannot risk completely angering Israel. 

One reason for the Biden administration not to completely turn its back on Israel is that protecting Israel is in line with its overall policy of playing a bigger role in the Middle East, Li said. 

Israel's recent actions in Rafah has forced approximately 80,000 residents to flee their homes, with most seeking refuge in Khan Younis or Deir al Balah. These areas are lacking essential services, according to the United Nations. 

The Israeli military instructed around 110,000 civilians to leave parts of Rafah, which has become a haven for many displaced Palestinians living in inadequate conditions, media reports said. Previously, Jordan condemned Israeli settlers attacked a humanitarian aid convoy on its way to Erez crossing in northern Gaza. 

Observers warned of more humanitarian disasters as they predicted Netanyahu is determined to continue the military operation in Rafah. Lin Jian, a Chinese spokesperson for foreign ministry on Friday also condemned Israel's behavior of attacking aid convoy, urging Israel to implement international humanitarian aid law and provide guarantee for the aid.