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Economic Watch: Report highlights China's state******
BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- A report on China's state-owned natural resource assets and the management has been delivered to national lawmakers for deliberation during the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
By the end of 2020, the total area of state-owned land in China stood at 523.338 million hectares, the report said. In breakdown, land for construction, arable land, and wetland reached 17.61 million hectares, 19.57 million hectares, and 21.83 million hectares, respectively.
Some 173 types of mineral resources have been discovered in China, according to the report. By the end of last year, recoverable reserves of petroleum and natural gas reached 3.62 billion tonnes and 6.267 trillion cubic meters, respectively, while coal reserves hit 162.29 billion tonnes.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and China's claims, about 3 million square kilometers of sea area is under China's jurisdiction, said the report.
China has more than 11,000 islands and a coastline stretching about 32,000 kilometers. The country has more than 20,000 kinds of marine life, including more than 3,000 marine fish types.
China has issued a series of documents covering the reform of the property rights system of natural resource assets, the nature reserve system, the "river or lake chief" system, the "forest chief" scheme, and natural forest protection and restoration, among others.
The country has strengthened legislation on natural resources, promulgating and implementing the Yangtze River Protection Law and Biosecurity Law and completing the revision of the Land Management Law and the Forest Law. It is also making steady progress in legislating or revising laws on mineral resources, developing and protecting territorial space, wildlife and wetland protection, and national parks.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), more than 4,300 cases of compensations due to ecological damage were handled nationwide, with the compensation amount exceeding 7.8 billion yuan (about 1.22 billion U.S. dollars).
The reports said efforts are needed to strengthen the protection of natural resources, improve efficiency in using natural resources, and promote the quality and stability of the ecological system. Enditem
Tonga volcanic eruption not likely to cause global climate change, says New Zealand volcanologist******
The Tonga volcanic eruption is not likely to cause global climate change, while the volcanic ash and acid rain may damage crops and water supply, a leading New Zealand volcanologist said Monday.。
Professor Shane Cronin of the University of Auckland, who visited the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai volcano in November 2015, has explained the uniqueness of the volcanic event and its impacts.。
According to the professor, the most significant impact so far has been the tsunami generated at the beginning of the eruption.。
"Thankfully, the tsunami in Tonga was not so big," said the professor.。
All the homes on one of Tonga's small outer islands were destroyed in the massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, with three people confirmed dead so far, the government said on Tuesday in its first update since the disaster hit.。
"But mostly the damage is not so far from the coast and especially confined to a few very low-lying areas. Thankfully, most people were able to get away from those waves," he said.。
The other impacts locally in Tonga are from the ashfall. "Thankfully again, the ashes mostly fell into the ocean. On the Tongatapu island, there were reports of two centimeters of ash. This ash will impact water supply and some broad-leaf crops like corn, banana and squash, but unless there are more eruptions, this effect should allow a quick plant recovery."
Professor Cronin noted that most of the volcanic plumes from Saturday's eruption were in the troposphere or lower part of the atmosphere, below 25 km. Along with this short eruption means that there is not much aerosol to reflect sunlight and cause global cooling.。
"Most of the ash plume and gas plume that went into the air contains gases like sulpha dioxide. The rain will wash them down. There was not too large a volume of particles and aerosols high enough in the atmosphere to cause global cooling," he said.。
But the impact from acid rains for the affected areas such as Tonga and parts of eastern Fiji could be real. Should there be many more eruptions to come, and the acid rain continues, it could be more damaging for crops and water supply.。
The longer-term effects of the volcanic eruption on marine life could be significant, he said.。
On the downside, the local fishing and marine life will experience many changes as part of the volcano is destroyed. But there is some bright side along with the volcanic ashes in the longer term.。
"Because when ash falls into the ocean, it brings with it nutrients. For example, It can bring iron, which is usually quite low in the ocean. It can suddenly create a bloom of plankton, which then go through the food chain, creating a population boom later on the fish and other lives too," said Professor Cronin.。
According to the professor, a series of more minor eruptions happened in the submarine volcano in 1998, 2009, 2014, 2015 and perhaps even earlier than that. Saturday's eruption was so severe because a lot of the magma in the volcano had been building up for at least 10 years, or maybe longer.。
"The magma accumulates to a large size inside the volcaNo. The pressure of the magma, built up to a point that the top of the volcano can no longer hold it. At this point cracks start to happen, until suddenly the magma is released. The magma is full of gas and it expands extremely rapidly," said Professor Cronin.。
The central part of the Hunga volcano is about 150 meters to 300 meters below sea level. The amount of water that went into the crater was just big enough to fuel the big explosion that has sent waves of air pressure traveling around the world.。
"Also, tsunami waves were generated by the initial expansion as well as by changes in the surface on the top of the volcano," Professor Cronin said.。
"The maximum power of this eruption was very strong, equivalent to the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991 in the Philippines. However, the Saturday eruption was a very short one. It lasted less than 10 minutes for its main active phase. In contrast, the Pinatubo lasted for many hours," he said.。
The short period means that the overall amount of materials released from this eruption was relatively small. "We think around 0.5 cubic kilometers of materials was ejected into the air," Cronin said.。
The professor's best guess is the lower level of the VEI 5 range. "Which is roughly one per 10 years around the world for such a size," he said. "It may be more sort of normal mid-scale large eruption volume."
However, it is very difficult to predict what might happen next.。
"I would suggest that the eruption may be less violent from now on because the beginning of this eruption was all these pent-up magmas with a lot of trapped gas in it," Professor Cronin said.。
He also warned of future tsunami events. "This volcano is shallow and still have seawater on top. So any further eruptions or any collapse from the volcano can cause a tsunami in the local region. Probably there will be less wide-spread tsunami."
Economic Watch: Power of resilience: How China navigates changing economic landscape******
People visit the Yuyuan Garden during the week-long National Day holiday in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 2, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)。
BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The year 2021 saw almost all economies at the crossroads amid headwinds from COVID-19 to energy shortages and inflation. Yet China -- the only major economy to grow last year -- again demonstrated the power of resilience.。
Despite multiple challenges, China's economy has seen a largely steady recovery this year and is set to achieve major annual targets, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said while presiding over a recent symposium on the economy.。
Recent economic data backs the premier's remarks. From foreign trade and industrial strength to vibrant consumption and inbound investment, the Chinese economy provides abundant evidence of its tenacity.。
China's imports and exports of goods expanded to 31.67 trillion yuan (about 4.95 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first 10 months of 2021, 130 billion yuan higher than the pre-pandemic goods trade level for the whole year of 2019, official data showed.。
"Global exports are mainly supported by prices. However, volumes have made a greater contribution to China's exports than prices in 2021, suggesting China's exports are indeed resilient," said a report by China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC).。
Bai Ming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, attributed the stable foreign trade to strong external demand as China's complete industrial system continued to play a key role in stabilizing the global industrial chain.。
Industrial activities are holding up well against rising producer prices, sporadic resurgence of the epidemic and energy strain, as the government's epidemic control proved effective and efforts at ensuring stable prices and energy supply paid off.。
In October, China's industrial production beat market expectations by reporting a 3.5 percent year-on-year rise, up 0.4 percentage points from September.。
China's vibrant consumption and its lure for foreign investors also stood out, as the country's October retail sales rose above forecasts and foreign direct investment in 2021 is expected to post double-digit growth.。
While worries run high over spillover effects of major developed economies' monetary policy adjustment on emerging markets, China's central bank said the adjustment will have "limited" impact on the country.。
This resilience could be attributed to China's huge economic size, normal monetary policies, progress in market-oriented reform of the exchange rates of the Chinese currency as well as increasing attractiveness of Renminbi assets, the People's Bank of China said in its latest quarterly report on monetary policy implementation.。
A key to sustaining China's economic vitality is the government's determined focus on reforms needed for long-term development, while sound economic fundamentals in return give China leeway to pursue more sustainable growth.。
After accomplishing its "first centenary goal" of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China's leadership has put common prosperity in a more prominent position, aiming at affluence shared by everyone, both in material and cultural terms.。
On carbon reduction, China in October unveiled an overarching guideline to achieve its carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals as well as an action plan to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030.。
Also this year, China imposed intensive regulations on certain fields including tech, property and high-emission sectors to rein in disorderly expansion of capital and foster more sustainable and inclusive growth in the long run.。
The CICC report noted that real estate regulation is conducive to the healthy development of the economy in the medium and long term, just as the carbon peak and carbon neutrality initiatives will improve the quality of China's economic growth.。
Benefits of these far-reaching measures can already be felt. Morgan Stanley in a recent report forecast higher infrastructure investment growth next year driven by green investment. Manufacturing investment demand could also arise from equipment upgrades to improve energy efficiency, according to the report.。
That said, authorities are cool-headed and prepared to brace for uncertainties, with more policies in the pipeline to shore up the resilience of the economy.。
There are multiple challenges ahead for the Chinese economy to sustain stable growth from a high base, as new downward pressures emerged and domestic and external economic environment continued to be complex, the premier said during the symposium.。
Efforts should be made to roll out new preferential tax policies, guarantee stable power supply, support new business models such as cross-border e-commerce, among others, to keep Chinese economy running within an appropriate range and ensure stable employment, according to Li. Enditem。
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