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Customs makes its biggest tusk bustuangpu Customs Distri

China’s customs officers have seized 2,748 ivory tusks weighing a combined 7.48 metric tons after cracking a major smuggling case.

It was the biggest haul of tusks ever recorded in an anti-smuggling bust conducted in

dependently by customs officers, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.

The case was solved in March after a combined operation of differ

ent customs offices lasting three months. A total of 238 custo

ms officers took part from cities around the country, including Hefei, Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou and Qingdao.

Twenty suspects were detained for further investigation, accor

ding to Sun Zhijie, director of the administration’s anti-smuggling bureau.

Sun said the tusks, illegally shipped from African countries, were imported into China labeled as wood.

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Most of the ivory was hidden in an abandoned factory

by the smugglers, Sun said. Busts were made in several locations, which were not disclosed. The case is still under investigation.

Since early this year, 182 smuggling cases involving endangered species have been investigated, the administration said on Monday.

More than 500 tons of endangered animals and animal products were seized, 8.48 t

ons of which was ivory tusks or products made of ivory. In those cases, 171 suspects were detained.

The Chinese government suspended imports of ivory and all ivor

y products in 2015 and ended commercial processing and sale of ivory at the end of 2017.

The ban has had significant positive effects, with fewer people purchasing ivory, according to a report j

ointly released last year by the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, an NGO that tracks the global trade in wild animals.

“We will strengthen our anti-smuggling efforts, continuing to work with international organizations and depart

ments and allowing no tolerance of those illegal activities,” said Hu Wei, deputy director of the administration.

www.shejio.org

Lu made the remarks in response to recent media repo

 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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schedule must not be imposed on workersschedule

Editor’s note: The “996” schedule (working from 9 am to 9 pm, six

days a week) has sparked a heated public debate, because many workers don’t get any ove

rtime pay and, worse, could end up in the “”. The “996” phenomenon is rampant in the high-tech and internet compani

es. Some internet company chiefs have added fuel to the debate by saying they want their workers to “work hard”. T

hree experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow:

Labor Law should never be violated

Given the fierce competition in the high-tech sector industries, start-

ups have to take drastic measures to survive, let alone thrive. To develop new products, and pr

oduce and market them, companies need a great deal of resources and ski

lled manpower. Perhaps this is the reason they make their employees work overtime.

But forcing the “996” schedule on the workers is illegal. To p

rotect the rights of workers, the Labor Law stipulates that employers

should not force their workers to work more than eight hours a day, or more than 44 hours a week. If emplo

www.changjiangjiaoxiang.cn

It’s time high-tech and internet companies designed a reaso

onable salary system to motivate their employees to give full play to their creativity and pro

ductivity, instead of forcing the workers to work long hours without adequate remuneration.

Chinese internet firms should learn from the managerial experiences of their foreign counterparts such

as Google and Facebook to incentivize their staff if they want them to work overtime and improve their productivity.

Huang Wei, a lawyer at Zhejiang Shenggang Law FirmWorkers’ rights and interests must not be compromised

The average leisure an average Chinese person enjoys is 2.27 h

ours a day compared with about 5 hours in developed countries suc

h as the United States, according to a research conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Due to the “996” schedule in some high-tech and internet companies, the workers have even less leisure time, which affects not only t

heir daily life but also their health. Worse, many workers don’t even get paid for the extra work they do.

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Zheng Nanning, a researcher at the Chinese Academ

 of Engineering and head of the innovation research academy of intelligent robotics at Xi’an Jiaotong Univer

sity, said the university began considering an undergraduate AI major in 2016, and it has since established an experi

mental undergraduate AI class in 2018 with 55 students taught by the country’s leading AI experts.

The university established the academy in October 2017 and an AI school in Janua

ry. The academy has 26 master’s candidates and eight doctoral candidates, Zheng said.

“Universities should aim for major breakthroughs in basic res

earch and core technology. We are still striving to achieve

revolutionary and disruptive changes in AI theories, methods, tools and systems,” he added.

The ministry issued an action plan in 2018 to promote AI educa

tion in universities. According to the plan, universities in China will improve AI discip

line and make breakthroughs in basic theories and key technology research by 2020.

Chinese universities will become core forces for building major global AI innovation centers by 2030.

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The company will not cancel social insurance and housi

sing funds for the sake of cost-cutting, Liu said, adding some staff made 80,000 yuan a

month in pilot areas for the new salary regime in southern China’s second and third-tier cities.

Earlier this year, rumors spread that China’s e-commerce giant would can

cel couriers’ basic salary and reduce welfare. The company confirmed the salary adjus

tment plan via its official Sina Weibo account on April 7, saying as the number of orders from individual clients incre

ases, the company is looking to adopt an incentive plan to reward outstanding employees.

JD will reduce its delivery staff members’ salaries by adopting a commis

sion-based payment scheme starting in June and low

er contributions to employees’ housing funds from 12 to 7 percent, Sina Finance reported.

An anonymous courier with JD Logistics said the task of getting more external delivery

orders under the new salary system would be hard to accomplish, and the new policy will reduce their salary, th

e report alleged, though the courier did not indicate an exact amount for the reduction.

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Statistics show basic monthly salaries for couriers ran

nges from 1,500 to 2,000 yuan, accounting for 15 to 20 percent of the total according to the report.

JD refuted the mass layoff rumor and said more than 10,000 positions are expe

cted to be added as JD Logistics provides services to more industry customers.

Facing tougher competition from rivals such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo, JD is eyei

ng opportunities in the consumer market, which has shown great potential, Sina Finance reported.

Driven by rapid growth of e-comm

The annual survey Amazing China — the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Expats 2018 unveiled its results at the Shenzhen foru

m of the Conference on International Exchange of Professionals on April 14 in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province.

Zhang Jianguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, announced the results.

erce consumption, China’s express delivery volume reached 50.71 billio

n in 2018, an increase of 26.6 percent over the same period last year, the report said.

www.ever-spring.org

On investment, members of the cooperation mechan

nism will provide a fair and just environment and a level playing

field for foreign companies doing business in their own countries by upholding the principl

es of mutual respect, mutual benefit and fair competition, according to the guidelines.

On the role and significance of China-CEEC cooperation, the guidelines said the mechan

ism constitutes an important part of Europe-China relationship and complements the EU-China Compre

hensive Strategic Partnership and the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

Reaffirming their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform a

nd civilization, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their support for the early conclu

sion of an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, said the guidelines.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, the participants said they recognize the importance

of the initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and welcome forging synergies between them.

www.exstorm.org

Chinese Bridge Chinese proficiency contest in Univers

Some of the winners will represent Latvia in the 2019 Chinese Bridge competition for universities

and middle school students in China where they will compete with Chinese language learners from all over the world.

Latvia has made remarkable progress in teaching and learning Chinese in recent years, with the succes

sful 16th Chinese Bridge competition taking the promotion of the Chinese language and culture to an even highe

r level in Latvia and strengthening cultural ties between the two countries even more.

The 16th “Chinese Bridge”, was organized by Confucius Institute at the

University of Latvia in cooperation with various education institutions in Latvia.

China’s last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) died on Saturday after an a

rtificial insemination at the Suzhou Zoo in East China’s Jiangsu province. Now, only three remain in the world.

An international research team carried out the fifth artificial insemination for the female turtle on Fri

day, but the animal did not recover from the procedure, even though researchers spent hours trying to save its life.

The dead female turtle is believed to be over 90 years old; Suzhou Zoo’s male turtle is over 100 years old.

lunran.cn