China continues Sky Net anti-corruption campaign to pursue fugitives

China will continue an anti-corruption operation codenamed Sky Net to push forward the construction of an integrated mechanism for tracking and recovering fugitives, according to a decision made at a meeting on Tuesday of China’s fugitive repatriation and asset recovery office under the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The National Supervisory Commission has taken the lead in launching a special operation to track down and recover international fugitives for duty-related crimes. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) will launch the "Fox Hunt" campaign, while the People's Bank of China will team up with the MPS to tackle disguised transfer of misappropriated assets overseas, according to the meeting.

The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate will jointly wage a campaign to restore stolen assets involved in cases whose criminal suspects or defendants escaped or died. The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee will partner with other authorities to address unregulated issuance and possession of relevant documents.

The meeting noted that China has been continuously deepening cross-border corruption governance and further progress was made in 2023. According to Xinhua News Agency, the Sky Net campaign recovered a total of 1,624 fugitives last year.

The meeting also called for the campaign to be reinforced, in order to win the long-lasting battle against corruption.

China's Sky Net campaign has been deployed since April 2015. It aims to track down fugitives suspected of involvement in graft, while preventing corrupt officials from fleeing abroad and recovering illegal gains.

China to control deficit-to-GDP ratio at 3% this year to ensure fiscal sustainability: official

China has set the deficit-to-GDP ratio for this year at 3 percent. The goal not only conforms to the current conditions of the overall recovery of the Chinese economy, but also helps control the government's overall debt levels and increase fiscal sustainability in order to reserve larger policy room for dealing with possible risks and challenges in the future, an official said on Tuesday following the release of the Government Work Report.

The deficit-to-GDP ratio is an important indicator that reflects a government's fiscal policy strength and potential fiscal risks.

Generally, there is a "red line" of a 3-percent fiscal deficit ratio, but it's not golden rule as many countries' deficit-to-GDP ratio may far outpace 3 percent or even reach double digits when needed, Huang Shouhong, head of the government work report drafting team and Director of the State Council Research Office, said at a press conference in Beijing.

China's deficit-to-GDP ratio has been kept at a reasonable and appropriate level over recent years, from considerations including supporting economic development, preventing fiscal risks and achieving fiscal sustainability, Huang said, noting that the country's deficit-to-GDP ratio has stayed under 3 percent for most of the past years, except in 2020 and 2021.

Huang said the central government set a deficit-to-GDP ratio of 3 percent in the beginning of 2023, which was later raised to 3.8 percent, caused by the issuance of an additional 1 trillion yuan ($139.3 billion) in special treasury bonds.

"Although this year's deficit ratio is slightly lower compared with last year's after the issuance of government bonds, the overall level is appropriate," Huang said.

With the 3 percent planned fiscal deficit rate, the government deficit is expected to reach 4.06 trillion yuan ($560 billion) in 2024, with an increase of 180 billion yuan from 2023 levels, according to this year's Government Work Report.

It is expected that fiscal revenue will continue to resume growth this year, and the budget expenditure will likely reach 28.5 trillion yuan in 2024, increasing 1.1 trillion yuan from last year.

Earthquake death toll reaches 134

The death toll caused by the devastating earthquake that rattled Northwest China Monday night reached 134 as of Wednesday press time - 113 in Gansu Province and 21 in Qinghai Province. Rescue work is drawing to an end, and the focus will now turn to the treatment of the injured and the resettlement of those affected, Gansu authorities said at a press conference on Wednesday.

At present, more than 87,000 people have been temporarily evacuated and resettled in safe places, Gansu officials said at the press conference, revealing that 14,939 houses collapsed and 207,204 more were damaged during the quake, affecting 145,736 people.

A total of 78 trapped individuals have been rescued, with 6,653 people evacuated as of 6:00 am on Wednesday. Additionally, 360 tents have been set up, 683 hazardous areas have been cleared, and 47 tons of supplies have arrived at the disaster-stricken sites.

Several shelters were erected overnight in both Gansu and Qinghai. When the Global Times reporters visited shelters in Dahe village of Gansu Province and Jintian village of Qinghai Province, earthquake victims were living in tents newly set up.

"Every tent is equipped with electricity and stoves to keep us warm. We have food and material pouring in from all over the country. We don't need anything now," 54-year-old Li, who lives in Jintian village, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Vegetables, meat, bread and hot soup were served as lunch on Wednesday in the Jintian village shelter. When the food was ready, people in the tents waited patiently. "We let the PLA soldiers eat first. They helped us a lot," said Li.

Li Kai, an officer from the PLA's Western Theater Command, told the Global Times on Tuesday night that he helped transfer the victims and move their belongings, such as furniture and livestock. "Some of those people are not rich so we are doing what we can to reduce their losses."

After 10 hours of nonstop efforts, all damaged roads and highways leading to the disaster area, especially near the epicenter, were cleared and reopened, including all 24 severely damaged rural roads, so that relief and supply vehicles were able to access impacted communities, the Gansu transport bureau said at the press conference.

All routes within the Lanzhou Railway Bureau, which had been delayed significantly due to the impact of the earthquake, also resumed normal operations on Wednesday morning.

Damage to the main power grid in earthquake-stricken areas of Gansu and Qinghai had been fully repaired as of Tuesday evening, according to the State Grid Gansu Electric Power Company.

A total of 423 aftershocks have been recorded as of 8 am Wednesday, including 10 aftershocks measuring 3.0 magnitude or higher.

The China Geological Survey organized 33 experts to rush to the disaster-stricken areas in Gansu and Qinghai provinces on Wednesday. The working groups will cooperate with the emergency management departments and local governments to carry out on-site geological disaster investigation and surveys, aerial drone surveys, monitoring and early warning tasks, risk assessment and emergency disposal of hazardous material.

They will also conduct seismic analysis and research on the earthquake and submit materials for disaster relief use.

The strong earthquake triggered various secondary disasters. In Minhe county, Qinghai, which borders the epicenter in Jishishan county, two villages experienced sand boils shortly after the earthquake. A significant number of houses were buried and washed away by mudslides, resulting in 16 individuals going missing. Following the incident, the Qinghai Provincial Fire Rescue Team swiftly organized overnight rescue operations.

The houses of 36 families, totaling 177 villagers, were destroyed by sand boils in Jintian village, and 13 individuals are still missing, including a pregnant woman. A firefighter on-site told the Global Times that after overnight search and rescue efforts, as of Wednesday morning, four bodies had been discovered.

When asked why usually dry areas such as Jintian village, which is also far away from rivers and has seen no rainfall, suffered such a severe landslide, Wang Tun, head of a key earthquake early warning laboratory in China's Sichuan Province, told the Global Times that after a strong earthquake, due to the shaking of the Earth's crust, water-saturated sand and soil deep underground undergo a phenomenon called liquefaction. This liquefied sand layer is then forced through certain channels and reaches the surface directly.

A rescue worker at the scene told the Global Times that rescue work in Jintian village has been difficult as the mud makes it impossible for workers to walk, and a floating bridge made of wooden planks must be used to enter the location. Moreover, when excavating the soil, the mud flows like liquid. "Whenever you remove a spoonful of it, it immediately fills up again. There is simply no way to carry out rescue efforts."

The rescue worker said he and his teammate pulled an all-nighter on Tuesday night. "We switched shifts every two hours because the night was freezing at sub-zero temperatures."

Protection phase begins for China’s 800-year-old Nanhai No.1 shipwreck

Archaeologists will perform desalination on the Nanhai (South China Sea) No.1, the shipwreck of a cargo ship from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and remove caissons for permanent protection, an expert from the Maritime Silk Road Museum of Guangdong in Yangjiang, South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Starting in 2013, excavation work on the shipwreck was officially finished in November, 2023. The upcoming work marks the beginning of a new phase as the focus of efforts shifts from excavation to overall preservation, research, interpretation, use, exhibition, and academic exchanges, according to a press release the museum sent to the Global Times on Friday.

Chinese archaeological teams have transferred the ship's hull to the museum, the press release said.

After the completion of a long-term support structure for the Nanhai No.1, the plan for the upcoming years involves the removal of a submerged box that has accompanied the ship's hull for many years. This will allow the public to have a closer look at the true appearance of the ship's body, read the release.

Ye Daoyang, deputy director of the museum's Underwater Archaeology and Technology Department, told the Global Times that the National Cultural Heritage Administration initiated the comprehensive protection and excavation project for Nanhai No.1 in November 2013. 

From 2013 to 2023, Chinese archaeologists have focused on the comprehensive excavation phase after salvaging the entire ship, which involved cleaning the silt and artifacts inside the ship's body, leaving only the ship's structure. The next steps will include mapping the ship's body and performing desalination protection.

According to Ye, protecting and preserving a sunken wooden ship from the sea is a global-level challenge, and the Nanhai No.1, an 800-year-old shipwreck, is entering a critical phase in the long-term protection, research, and restoration of the ship's body and underwater artifacts. Various tasks, including the effective removal of sulfur-iron compounds and soluble salts, and dehydration and shaping, will be undertaken in the coming years to ensure the long-term and safe preservation of the Nanhai No.1 and its underwater artifacts.

In August 2023, archaeologists successfully completed the extraction of artifacts from the ship's hold. Exceeding 180,000 items, the recovered artifacts include various kinds of ceramics, gold, silver, copper, human remains, marine life, and terrestrial plants and animals, as well as glass and other material specimens. The ceramics include products from most of the ceramic kiln sites of the ship's era. The total weight of iron concretions exceeded 130 tons, CCTV reported.

Archaeologists once commented that the Nanhai No.1 archaeological project has set a benchmark for underwater archaeology in China, while providing a Chinese solution for the comprehensive protection of sunken cultural heritage worldwide. This excavation has enriched the historical records of the Maritime Silk Road, offering a clear glimpse into international maritime trade 800 years ago and showcasing the history of this important trade route to the world in the 21st century, according to CCTV.

'Mask Off' for US as it Opposes Chinese Peace Mission in the Middle East

China has dispatched its special envoy to the Middle East in a bid to bring the latest escalation between Israel and Hamas to an end. Peace activist, writer and teacher KJ Noh said the US response exposed its warmongering nature.

The US has unmasked its true nature by blocking efforts by China and other nations to bring peace to the Middle East, says a peace activist.

Chinese special envoy to the Middle East Zhai Jun said on Monday he had already visited Qatar and Egypt and would now travel to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries in the region "to further strengthen coordination with relevant parties to promote ceasefire, end violence and mitigate the situation."

More than 5,700 civilians have been killed and some 18,000 injured in the besieged Gaza Strip by Israeli Defence Forces bombing since the armed wing of the Hamas movement launched a surprise attack into southern Israel on October 7. The victims include 2,360 children, almost 1,300 women and 300 elderly people.

Last week the US blocked UN Security Council motions moved by Russia and Brazil calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian territories and for civilians to be protected. Washington has also sent two US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups and a seaborne assault flotilla to the region to back up Israel.

Peace campaigner KJ Noh told Sputnik that Washington was directly opposed to Beijing's attempts to broker a peace deal between Israel, Hamas and other states and movements in the region.

"China is using its good offices, scrambling to do shuttle diplomacy to try and de-escalate and find a peaceful resolution," Noh said. "And the United States is saying: 'Don't even dare talk about de-escalation. Nobody mention a ceasefire'."

"It only wants to make sure that whatever Israel does, it does it with a minimum of PR blowback," he added. "And so it's trying to mitigate the PR damage rather than prevent the horrific war crimes and atrocities that are sure to happen and that are already happening."

The writer said this was a "mask-off moment" when the West's true nature was exposed to the nations of the global south.

"The US could plausibly mystify many countries by pretending to be something that it was not," Noh argued. "But when it came out all in favor of Israel's violence and was ignoring the ground realities as well as international law, then at that point you can't keep up the pretence any more."

"Even the quisling leaders of US allies have had to make a conscientious statement because the outrage on the street, the outrage globally is so extraordinary that they cannot but speak up against what the US and Israel are doing," he stressed.

Western media has tried to dismiss China's peace initiatives as an attempt to position itself as a geopolitical rival to the US — a narrative which Noh called "extraordinary".

"The notion that somehow peace is nefarious, that China is being unprincipled in that it's trying to work for peace — China is on the side of peace. That much is clear because that it stands to gain from peace," he said.

"Everybody benefits from peace. It just is because China's model is win-win cooperation," Noh said. "On the other hand, the empire benefits from war. The US is built on more genocide, primitive accumulation and geopolitical oppression and bullying."

Spain: Spanish exchange festival unveiled in Guangdong

The Zhongshan and Spain Exchange Festival kicked off in South China's Guangdong Province on August 2 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Spain, and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of ties between Guangdong and the Spanish Autonomous Community of Catalonia. 

The month-long festival was co-hosted by the Consulate General of Spain in Guangzhou and Foreign Affairs Office of Zhongshan. 

A diplomat with the Consul General of Spain in Guangzhou said that cultural exchanges are the foundation, and she hoped that promoting exchanges between the two sides economically and in trade, among other fields, would be achieved through the exchange festival.

The festival hosted a series of activities to launch the "Encuentro conel Prado (Meet the Prado)" exhibition, Spain's merchandise festival, Spain's economic, trade, and tourism promotion, and food festival to further promote exchanges and cooperation between Zhongshan and Spain. Throughout the month of August, citizens in Zhongshan can sample the flavor of Spain. 

Time for the West to learn from China’s ethnic unity

In Western Canada, ground penetrating radar has unsurfaced approximately 100 suspected unmarked graves of indigenous children near a former residential school in late August. Along with the 751 unmarked graves found in 2021, more than 1,300 unmarked graves near religious educational institutions have now been recorded.

These deaths are the legacy of Canada's forced assimilation into a Euro-centric Canada where 150,000 indigenous children were taken away from their families from the late 19th century to the mid-1990s. Under this regime, native languages were not taught and children were punished for using their native languages. This has led to a devastating cultural and linguistic loss.

Official Canadian statistics show that the indigenous population comprised 1,807,250 people in 2021, of which only 237,420 were able to conduct a conversation in their indigenous language - 13.13 percent. Canada, which was founded in 1867, has in 156 years practically wiped out its indigenous culture and replaced it with European civilization.

This tragedy has been repeated across North and South America, as well as Oceania. Despite this historical fact, I have had many conversations with Europeans and those from the aforementioned three settler continents who have without a whiff of irony or self-reflection highlighted to me the danger of China's growth - "evidencing" its treatment of its ethnic minorities.

On the one hand, I can't blame them. The propaganda of the Western transnational liberal elite is so encompassing that challenging false narratives of Chinese ethnic mistreatment needs hours of research to debunk - few have the interest or the time.

However, facts on the ground show that the West has much to learn from China. Both Xizang (Tibet) and Xinjiang, which are large ethnic minority regions, have been part of China long before global European linguistic colonization -  Today the use of both Tibetan and Uygur languages in both its spoken and written form is ubiquitous. I can say this with absolute certainty as I have visited both autonomous regions for an extended period.

China's own use of boarding schools has been used to disparage China. However, there is no policy of wiping out ethnic languages - this is not a rerun of Canada's policy. China's policy for ethnic minority groups is dual language education, coupled with extra help for impoverished ethnic minorities to allow them to attend university. For some, even this is too much but all countries need to balance cultural and linguistic diversity with a lingua franca and a shared dream. History proves China does this far better than the West!

As a former university teacher in China, I know well that many Uygur parents encourage their offspring to have a strong grasp of both Mandarin and the Uygur language. This organic support may seem counterintuitive to propagandized liberals. However, those opposed to my experience would no doubt readily accept that the same Uygur parents, just as their Han counterparts, also readily encourage their children to master English so as to improve their future prospects.

As a Western citizen my experiences on the ground, between 2005 and 2019, my interactions and friendships with Chinese ethnic minorities, and as a witness to China's miraculous development - along with the consciousness of the cultural destruction on three continents, due to the expansion of the European "lebensraum" make me wince with embarrassment when those such as the ultra-woke Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau feels he has the moral high ground to lecture China on its ethnic situation, as he did in 2021, or when Britain's Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, on his recent visit to Beijing, brought up the same topic.

Perhaps to Cleverly's defense, he does know the human rights abuse claims are bogus - there has been more than enough evidence and time to disprove the hoaxes, which all lead back to Washington funding. Thus, Cleverly may be posturing to the corporate liberal press - of course, having to do this in the first place has serious implications for the health of British democracy as it indicates that the governing apparatus is captured by an outside anti-China force.

This transnational force uses its historical atrocities pragmatically to justify its own internal and international class objectives. For example, Trudeau's apology to the indigenous community is the "gild on the sword of liberal imperialism" giving the image of a system that self-corrects and works to not repeat such errors. Consequently, it imbues Western transnational spokesmen, such as Trudeau, as repentant sinners, who have the capacity to lecture China and the Global South. Even the atrocity of war is justified in the name of their sham human rights claims.

Internally, this history is used to divide the Western working class. For example, the class project of settling the Americas, including the history of genocide and transatlantic slavery (which the indigenous graves are but a footnote of), is misplaced into the embodiment of the white working class as "white guilt" when the ancestors of this section of the working class fled tyranny and poverty in Europe. 

In a clever sleight of hand, racism in the guise of woke anti-racism is disguised in plain sight. The divisions in Western societies are manifest and rather than combatting these divisions with a real leftist ideology or elitist self-correction at home, woke ideology is all they have to fortify their class position. Instead of real change, the right is set free to explain ensuing social chaos caused by division through an individualizing "pull your socks up" narrative or worse a racist ideology that justified the subjugation of the world by European powers in the first place.

Western states beset by ethnic divisions nonetheless seek to delegitimize and carve up China's ethnic unity justified by ethnic differences. In fact, all states are multi-ethnic to some extent and have their own ethnic contradictions - the trick is to balance diversity with an overarching unity, which is something Western woke elites are currently unable to do. 

China in contrast, constantly strives for unity while expressing diversity. Their dominant ideology regarding ethnic groups is not one of creating division or racial guilt. Instead, China expresses unity in a family of ethnic groups whose shared task is to develop common prosperity. It is this unity and shared purpose that the West lacks. Indeed without a major shift in their global outlook, Western transnational elites will continue to fear ethnic unity both at home and abroad.

US clearly knows what 'Global South' least wants to hear at UNGA: Global Times editorial

Starting from Monday, the high-level week of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will begin and last until September 26. Compared to previous ones, this year's UNGA has placed a greater emphasis on the "Global South" countries. Several high-level meetings to be held during the General Assembly will focus on the priorities of developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, including climate, health and financing. Countries in the South have also influenced and responded to the agendas of the UNGA with a stronger spirit of unity and cooperation as well as a sense of "being the host." The director of an international think tank believes that "this is a year when the countries of the Global South have set the agenda."

For this year's high-level week of the UNGA, Secretary-General António Guterres has long had high hopes, hoping to "help rescue the Sustainable Development Goals." The term "rescue" reveals the current difficulties faced by global development, and also reflects the unbridgeable rift between developing and developed countries. What Guterres mentioned is a fundamental change in the current international situation, that is, the collective rise of developing countries, which brings a call for a more just and reasonable international order. Meanwhile, established major powers such as the US and the West are trying hard to maintain their dominance and resorting to every possible means to discredit, attack and suppress this call. It must be said that this contradiction is the deep factor causing the current geopolitical division.

For example, what the international community, mainly developing countries, most hope to discuss at the UNGA is how to solve poverty, alleviate high inflation, cope with climate change, among other issues. They hope to promote sustainable development through multilateral dialogues. The key words of the general debate - peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all - which are generally regarded as the "highlights" of the UNGA, also fully reflect this strong desire. What these countries are most worried about is that the Ukraine crisis will once again become the dominant topic in the UNGA and shift people's attention from development issues. The endless chatter about war and overt and covert threats made against other countries, forcing them to pick sides, are the last thing these countries want to hear. However, while the US pays attention to the "Global South," it also declared that "the world cannot address one without the other," meaning the Ukraine crisis and development issues. This shows that the US is well aware of the demands of developing countries, but it insists on bringing in its own agendas at multilateral forums.

There are many similar examples, all of which strongly prove without exception that the practice of bringing geopolitical calculations into multilateral occasions has undermined global cooperation efforts and wasted many opportunities for developing countries and developed nations to reach compromises, reconciliation, and cooperation. It has also severely limited the effectiveness of previously well-functioning multilateral platforms. This is very regrettable. In this process, the US and the West have continuously demonized the legitimate and just demands of developing countries using their powerful public opinion tools. On the eve of the opening of a series of important meetings at the United Nations General Assembly, the G77 + China Summit was held in Havana, the capital of Cuba, from September 15 to 16. The participating representatives unanimously passed the Havana Declaration, which underscored the "right to development in an increasingly exclusive, unfair, unjust, and plundering international order." This became a collective call from developing countries before the high-level meetings at the UNGA. However, it remains uncertain to what extent the voices and concerns of "Global South" countries and the UN Secretary-General can be heard by the representatives of developed countries inside the UNGA in New York. 

The US and other Western countries are clearly increasing their efforts to win over the "Global South," but it is evident that this is not about granting developing countries a more equal status and development opportunities, but rather an attempt to continue to confine them to the periphery of the "center-periphery" system. The reality is that developing countries are now more awake and capable of maintaining independence and autonomy than ever before. This is not only reflected in their cautious and balanced approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict but also in their clear-headedness and calmness in the face of US instigation for confrontation against China and Russia. The UNGA is the most representative multilateral forum globally, and the US and the West should be more humble here and clearly see the mainstream direction of the international community.

Understanding China's past and future on Martyrs' Day: Global Times editorial

September 30 of this year marks the 10th Martyrs' Day in China. On the morning of that very day, in Tian'anmen Square in downtown Beijing, President Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the state presented flower baskets to fallen national heroes. Since 2014, when the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress designated September 30 as Martyrs' Day in the form of law, President Xi has participated in the wreath-laying ceremony to honor the heroes of the people each year. Just one day before the National Day on October 1, it holds profound historical and practical significance that the country commemorates the heroes and remembers history in the highest form, outlining the great journey of the Chinese nation's rejuvenation.

The People's Republic of China has been established for 74 years. The tremendous changes having taken place in China's national status, comprehensive strength, and people's living standards have made the glorious history of the revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives and shed their blood for national independence, freedom, and happiness seem somewhat "distant." For some young people, it may even feel somewhat "unfamiliar." "Forgetting history is tantamount to betrayal." The heroes revered by a nation best illustrate this point. Martyrs' Day is a kind of inheritance, passing down the heroic spirit and strength of the Chinese people, ensuring that the heroes and their deeds will not fade away with the passage of time, and inspiring the Chinese people to continue their struggle from generation to generation on the journey of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is also the true essence of not forgetting the original intention.

"Any nation with hope cannot be without heroes, and any country with promising prospects cannot be without pioneers." The great achievements that China has made up to date were created by the Chinese people and the heroes of the people, who have contributed their sweat, blood, and even their lives. Every era has seen its own heroes, and although the heroes bear the imprints of different times, their spirit of selflessness and sacrifice for the country, for the nation, and for the people is consistent. The contributions they have made are evident to all. The masses of people can often be discerned at a glance whether someone is an authentic hero. As the saying goes, "By reviewing the heroic deeds of the past and present, we draw inspiration from our predecessors to fuel our own fire," and the spirit represented by the heroes and martyrs has long been integrated into the spiritual world of generations of Chinese sons and daughters, becoming an indelible cultural imprint on the Chinese nation. Heroes of every era should receive the utmost and permanent respect in China, which should form an inviolable social righteousness.

To commemorate our predecessors is to inspire future generations. Although the eras of our predecessors have passed, their spirit is still worthy of our promotion. China is currently in a new stage and position, and the great cause that countless martyrs had fought for is facing new challenges, but at the same time also ushered in more opportunities. The internal and external environment for inheriting the red genes has undergone tremendous changes, which requires us to draw strength and direction from the predecessors and heroes of past generations, to never forget our original intentions, and to forge ahead. Chinese society has indeed entered a more diverse state, which is a reflection of the country's progress. However, the main theme of Chinese society must be filled with a heroic spirit. The main theme and diversity are not contradictory or conflicting, but complementary. The spiritual core of the Chinese people must never change, and we must resolutely fight against historical nihilism and remain vigilant, cautious, and resistant to the ideological infiltration of the West into China. To destroy a nation, one must first erase its history. The historical lessons in this regard are profound.

One more point must be mentioned: The ultimate goal of all the struggles and efforts of the Chinese people to commemorate the martyrs and heroes is to create better conditions for the peace and development of the country and the nation. Just like the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), which was fought to defend the our homeland and strive for a peaceful environment for national construction, it is essentially a pursuit of peace. This point is particularly important in the current context. With the accelerated evolution of the global situation over the past century, people remember history and pay tribute to the martyrs in order to better understand the value of cherishing peace while also remembering the principles defended by the heroes and martyrs. In other words, what we need is not only to cherish the hard-won peace but also to firmly uphold justice, as these two are dialectically unified. The inherent logic and historical inevitability of China's firm commitment to the path of peaceful development also lie in this balance.

Shenzhou-14 crew safely return to Dongfeng landing site after 183 days at China Space Station

After concluding six-month stay at the China Space Station and completing first-ever direct handover in orbit in the country’s aerospace history, three taikonauts of the Shenzhou-14 manned spaceflight mission have safely returned to the Dongfeng landing site in the Gobi Desert, North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Sunday. 

At 8:09 pm Sunday, the return capsule of the Shenzhou-14 manned spacecraft carrying three taikonauts conducted successful touchdown in the Dongfeng landing site. The medical personnel confirmed that the taikonauts were in good health, marking a complete success of the return mission, the Global Times has learned from the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Sunday. 

The Shenzhou-14 manned spacecraft successfully separated with the China Space Station combination at 11:01 am Sunday. Before their departure, the Shenzhou-14 crew, with the help of a local ground team, completed the handover with the Shenzhou-15 crew, and other tasks including downloading the experiment data, the CMSA said earlier. 

“It marked the first return mission after the completion of China Space Station’s T-shape basic structure assembly, the first after gathering of six taikonauts at the space station, and also a first that has taken place in the winter night at the Dongfeng site,” Peng Huakang, the person-in-charge of the manned spacecraft recovery team with the spacecraft developer China Academy of Spacecraft Technology (CAST,) told the Global Times.

The return of the Shenzhou-14 manned spacecraft consisted of five stages before the final touchdown, including the separation of spacecraft from the space station, the braking maneuver, the re-entry to atmosphere and decelerating before landing. 

Adopting a rapid return strategy similar to previous missions, the Shenzhou-14 craft rounded Earth only five times before making its re-entry. Then the orbiter capsule separated with the return capsule. And with the help of the propelling capsule in two braking maneuvers, the combination of the return capsule and propelling capsule then descended from 400-kilometer orbit to 100-kilometer one before their separation, the CAST explained in a statement provided to the Global Times.

The propelling capsule was burnt up during re-entry to the atmosphere and the return capsule took on a well-calculated trajectory to be headed back to Earth’s atmosphere and to the Dongfeng site.

Besides personal items, the "luggage" carried by the three taikonauts back also includes a batch of medical science experiment samples, mainly body fluid and cytology samples, which can allow the ground research team to better understand the changes inside human body during their life in space, the Global Times learned from the CMSA.

According to Li Yinghui, a researcher with the Chinese astronaut training system, the "luggage" includes astronauts' blood, urine, and saliva. Researchers can study human adaptability to the environment with in-depth, at the level of cells, molecules, and genes, which enables China to have its own genetic resource bank for environmental adaptation in orbit.

Search and rescue work for the Shenzhou-14 return capsule is of great significance in boosting China’s international image, as the task marks the conclusion to the construction stage of the China Space Station, Bian Hancheng, the deputy chief designer of the manned space project landing site system, told the Global Times.

China has signed agreements with more than a dozen countries and regions to carry out space experiment projects on the China Space Station, and this is the first time that space application system has participated in the search and rescue works at Dongfeng, according to Bian, who is also a senior engineer with the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China’s Gansu Province. The task has opened a new normal for the landing site to recover space application payload from domestic and foreign customers, he said.

The biggest challenges facing the search and rescue mission s extreme cold and night conditions that could lead to most complicated and difficult situations, according to the Dongfeng landing site authorities. 

Bian explained that it is more difficult to identify and locate the target craft at night than during daytime and it is also extra hard to arrive at the landing site, as landing a helicopter would be more difficult given the poor visibility of surroundings during the night time in remote Gobi Desert. 

Dubbed the China Space Station’s busiest crew to date, Shenzhou-14 mission commander Chen Dong and his fellow crewmembers Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe conducted three extravehicular activities or known as the spacewalks, delivered a new episode of the Tiangong Classroom space lecture sessions, carried out multiple space experiment and application projects, and above all, participated and witnessed the completion of the China Space Station’s three-module T-shape basic structure assembly.

They also greeted the incoming Shenzhou-15 crew on Wednesday, handing over the key to the China Space Station to the Shenzhou-15 taikonauts on Saturday, in addition to completing the country’s first-ever in-orbit work handover. 

Moreover, Chen Dong the mission’s commander also became the first taikonaut to have worked and lived in orbit for more than 200 days during the Shenzhou-14 mission that lasted more 183 days. He previously worked in orbit for 33 days during the Shenzhou-11 mission in 2016.