China-Pakistan relationship remains a source of peace and stability in region and beyond: ambassador

Pakistan takes "immense pride" in its unique and "time-tested friendship" with China. The two countries are not only connected by land, rivers, and mountains, but also by a heart corridor, founded on the shared values of mutual respect, trust, solidarity, and support, said Pakistani Ambassador to China Khalil-ur-Rahman Hashmi.

Hashmi also stressed that as Ambassador of Pakistan to China, he and his team are committed to "implementing the consensus reached between the two countries' leadership to fortify the strategic trust between the two countries, strengthen ties across multiple domains, and build an even stronger China-Pakistan Community of Shared Future in the New Era.

The Pakistani diplomat made the remarks during an event to celebrate the 84th National Day of Pakistan hosted by the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing on Monday. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong was also present at the event.

"China and Pakistan are good neighbors, good friends, good partners, and good brothers. The ironclad friendship between the two countries, deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples, remains rock solid and keeps growing from strength to strength," Sun said.

"China is glad to see that Pakistan's general election was smoothly held, and a new government has been formed. We sincerely hope that Pakistan will enjoy social stability and economic growth and open up a new prospect for national development," he noted.

According to Hashmi, Pakistan and China and the peoples of the two countries have overcome hardships and celebrated triumphs, standing shoulder to shoulder in good and difficult times, in the true spirit of the iron brotherhood.

"Our relationship remains a source of peace and stability in the region and beyond. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a crown jewel of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), stands as a shining testament of win-win cooperation," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Hashmi also paid great tribute to Pakistan's Founding Fathers, especially Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Underscoring the significant strides the country has made over the decades across multiple fields, the ambassador highlighted the resilience and ability of Pakistan to bounce back stronger in the face of challenges.

He also recalled the groundbreaking diplomatic initiatives undertaken by Pakistan on the international stage for the promotion of peace, harmony, and development. The ambassador lauded the contribution of the Pakistani community in the promotion of China-Pakistan ties, while calling for further expansion of business and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

The event attracted several senior Chinese officials, resident ambassadors, diplomats, Pakistani community members, representatives of Chinese state-owned and private enterprises, intelligentsia, and leading media figures.

A troupe of Chinese and Pakistani children also performed at the reception, symbolizing the enduring bonds of friendship between the two countries. Pakistan is the fifth-most populous country with a population of 240 million people, and a rich and diverse cultural heritage spanning over five millennia. Some glimpses of this heritage were on display at the event.

Hot job fairs in China help graduates, migrant workers, veterans seek employment

Among Chinese job seekers, the third and forth month of the year are known as "Golden March" and "Silver April," as they are the traditional peak season for both employers and employees when it comes to recruitment. Since March, job fairs have been heating up across the country.

Data shows that the post-Spring Festival job market continues to grow, with recruitment by companies increasing for four consecutive weeks. The service consumption, high-end manufacturing and new energy sectors were hotspots in the job market in the month following the Spring Festival. 

At the same time, the job market this spring has been undergoing structural changes, with industries and positions related to the development of new productive forces, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, in high demand.

A campus job fair held at Nanjing Tech University in East China's Jiangsu Province recently provided thousands of jobs, with positions related to automation engineering and data analysis in the mechanical industry attracting the attention of graduates, the China Central Television (CCTV) reported. 

In Shanghai, a job fair jointly organized by five local universities, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University and East China University of Science and Technology, attracted more than 730 companies and offered 18,000 positions covering over 10 industries, according to CCTV. 

Approximately one-third of the participating companies are in Shanghai's three leading industries - AI, integrated circuits, and biomedicine. The demand for AI talent has reportedly been significantly higher this year, with nearly 30 percent of the positions offered by the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Research Institute being new emerging positions.

Liu Honglei, a deputy director of the human resources department of the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, told CCTV that understanding of AI among participants this year was much higher compared with recruitment fairs in 2023. According to media reports, the number of college graduates in China is expected to reach 11.79 million in 2024, an increase of 210,000 compared with 2023. 

In order to help college graduates seize this golden period of recruitment, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a notice in March calling for specialized action. The action focuses on the current difficulties in promoting employment, optimizing employment guidance services and further aggregating social resources for college graduates to seek employment.

In addition to job fairs at universities, recruitment of migrant workers also started off strong this year due to factors such as the recovery of the consumer market, talent mobility during the spring recruitment season, and accelerated industrial upgrading and transformation.

According to media reports, in the first quarter of this year, driven by the New Year and Chinese Spring Festival holidays, the consumer market in various regions continued to heat up, with the most vigorous demand being for sales-related positions. Industries such as catering and manufacturing with high staff turnover have also increased recruitment efforts to meet the high demand during the peak season. 

In the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, which is known in China as the "top city of live streaming e-commerce," the demand for positions such as couriers and sorters remains high due to the high volume of deliveries. In established first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, as well as new first-tier cities like Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Wuhan, relatively high levels of economic development have led to more demand for instant delivery services.

With an increase in inbound international tourists, there is also a surging demand for foreign language tour guides. The daily income of English-speaking tour guides ranges from 400 to 600 yuan ($55-83), which is 100 to 200 yuan higher than Chinese-speaking tour guides. For some other lesser-known languages like Russian, the daily income of tour guides can exceed 1,000 yuan, according to, a news portal affiliated with the Workers' Daily newspaper.  

Xu Lixia, general manager of an international travel agency, told the website that from January to April, their agency's 10 English-speaking guides handled 240 tour groups. 

Furthermore, specialized job fairs for women, veterans or overseas students have also been held in many places to connect these groups with more suitable jobs and provide them with more precise guidance.

China has its own advantages in China-US talent competition

The recent news that Microsoft is considering relocating its China-based AI team internationally quickly became the focal point of public discourse in China. Whether this is a trial balloon or a preemptive warning, the ripples it has caused hint at a deeper narrative, signaling a structural shift in the US-China high-tech tango under the broader backdrop of decoupling from China.

From the perspective of Chinese public attention, this move is more widely seen as "the opening salvo in a larger conflict," indicating that the US' decoupling and chain-breaking attempt in the talent domain will continue to expand, with the battle for talent becoming increasingly fierce. 

Sooner or later, it will extend to American international companies, including those operating in China, which have accumulated many high-tech talents over the years.
American scholars Graham Allison and Eric Schmidt said in an article they wrote together, that "the US needs a Million Talents Program to retain its technology leadership," especially in the face of fierce competition from China.

On one hand, the US will tighten its control over domestic research and academic institutions regarding Chinese scholars while leveraging its global advantage to attract talent. On the other hand, China faces the challenge of retaining its existing talent to prevent excessive or rapid loss while also expanding its talent pool, including attracting more international experts.

Foreign enterprises have nurtured a great deal of talents for China. However, in recent years, global competition between US and Chinese companies has been intense. Chinese companies mainly rely on domestic talent, whereas top-tier US companies draw from a worldwide talent pool. Companies like Huawei in China also strive to attract more global talent, but they need help to overcome obstacles created by the US.

Chinese companies face two challenges: relying on domestic talent to meet their development needs, and better utilizing international talent. A key indicator of whether Chinese companies can stand firm globally is their ability to become the most attractive employers for global talent, on par with US companies.

Another aspect of this competition is how technological developments in the US and China will create more opportunities for future talent. The US currently leads in fundamental AI research and original algorithms, while China's original research still needs improvement.

However, China has its own advantages. According to statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization, China has been steadily narrowing the gap with the US in patent applications, particularly in the field of AI. China can capitalize on its strengths in manufacturing and AI applications, utilizing its vast market and big data to foster talent development. It should also strive to create a conducive environment for talent growth, ensuring that its workforce is a source of knowledge and a driver of innovation. 

Facing the US' technological blockade and talent flow restrictions, China needs to intensify its efforts to nurture domestic talent and implement policies to attract overseas talent, especially Chinese scientists and engineers living abroad.

As the 21st century unfolds, the race to attract the best and brightest minds will be a critical battleground between the US and China. This competition will shape the economic and technological futures of these two giants and lay the foundation for global innovation and progress. The world is closely watching as the outcome of this talent war will transcend US-China boundaries, profoundly affecting the structure of global talent flow and technological advancement.

The signal from Chinese public attention to Microsoft's personnel movement is that a significant reshuffling of talent has already begun.

Surge seen in searches for travel to Cuba following visa-free policy for Chinese nationals

There has been a sharp surge in searches for flights to Cuba, rising 30-fold month-on-month according to data from travel platform Fliggy, with direct flights between China and Cuba set to resume on Friday.

Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai are among China's top cities in terms of travelers seeking flights to Cuba, the platform said. It comes after Cuba's recent announcement of a visa-free policy for Chinese citizens holding ordinary passports.

Direct flights between China and Cuba are set to resume on Friday, operated by Air China, according to Cuba's Minister for Tourism Juan Carlos Garcia.

The flights will provide a seamless travel experience, with transit through Spain, eliminating the need for a transit visa and enhancing convenience for travelers between China and Cuba, Pan Deng, director of the Latin American and Caribbean Region Law Center of the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Xinhua reported on May 5 that Cuba's tourism industry has been creating travel products specifically for Chinese tourists since the visa exemption was announced, citing Cuba's minister for tourism.

The eagerness for travel between China and Cuba reflects the desire in both countries to promote personal exchanges and foster closer ties, Pan added.

Tesla’s mega battery plant in Shanghai Lingang obtains construction permit

US carmaker Tesla’s mega battery plant in Shanghai has obtained a construction permit, making it the first energy storage mega project outside the US. The plant is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter of 2025.

Megapack is a powerful battery that provides energy storage and support, helping to stabilize the grid supply and prevent outages. 

The new mega project was included in a new project service pack in Lingang New Area within the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, meaning the enterprises there can directly contact responsible departments for a more efficient response and problem-solving mechanism since the early start, said Min Zhiguang, an official from Lingang. 

The giant battery plant, covering a total area of 200,000 square meters and with an investment of 1.45 billion yuan ($200.27 million), plans to produce 10,000 Megapack units annually with a total energy storage scale of up to 40 gigawatt-hours. Each of the unit can store more than 3 megawatt-hours of electricity, which can be integrated into the renewable power system, peak demand management and other multi-scenario applications, local officials said.

In contrast to the US government’s stubborn efforts to suppress China’s emerging industries, the streamlined granting of the construction permit by Shanghai is just another example showcasing China’s earnest efforts to attract foreign investment. 

Thanks to China’s bid to continuously optimize business environment and high-quality opening-up, foreign businesses are confident in the Chinese economy and remain committed to expanding their operations in the Chinese market, many business leaders from Asia, Europe and North America told the Global Times at a global trade and investment promotion summit in Beijing on Monday, which drew participants from over 30 countries and regions.

As the Biden administration reportedly plans to impose additional tariffs on EVs, semiconductors, solar panels and medical supplies imported from China, experts noted that the protectionist move only reveals its defensive mindset and its struggle in competing with China's new-energy industry, and the US protectionism will backfire. 

Meanwhile, Chinese officials criticized the US government’s ill-intended smearing of China's economic growth prospects and US officials’ seeking to suppress China's leading industries with absurd claims such as "overcapacity."

Nearly 300m domestic tourist trips taken during May Day holidays with spending hitting $23.51 billion

China saw a surge in domestic tourist trips during the five-day May Day holidays, with nearly 300 million trips taken within the country, reflecting the growing momentum in the country's economic recovery.

According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, there were 295 million domestic trips reported during the May Day holidays, up 7.6 percent year-on-year and 28.2 percent higher than 2019.

Domestic tourism spending also saw a significant increase, reaching 166.89 billion yuan ($23.51 billion), a 12.7 percent year-on-year rise and a 13.5 percent increase from 2019.

The growth rate in tourism trips and spending during the May Day holidays surpassed that of other major holidays such as the Qingming Festival and the Spring Festival, indicating a strong recovery in tourism and domestic consumption, experts said.

Cross-border travel boom

In addition to domestic travel, China also saw a significant increase in inbound and outbound trips during the May Day holidays, with more than 3.67 million trips recorded. Favorable policies such as the resumption of flights and measures to facilitate international payment contributed to the rapid recovery of the tourism industry.

Popular destinations for outbound tourism from China included Singapore, Japan, Thailand, the US and South Korea, while top source countries for foreign tourists visiting China included South Korea, Japan, and the UK.

The major Chinese platforms saw a boom in inbound and outbound orders. reported a staggering 105 percent year-on-year growth in inbound tourism orders. According to Alipay, during the 2024 May Day holidays, the use of Alipay by inbound tourists with foreign cards increased by seven times compared to the previous year. reported a 190 percent rise in outbound tourism trips on the platform. Fliggy, a domestic travel platform under Alibaba, reported a doubling in overseas hotel bookings compared to last year, as well as a 15-fold increase in cruise trip orders year-on-year.

New forms of cultural and tourism consumption, such as immersive night tours and camping, also gained popularity during this year's May Day holidays. National-level night cultural and tourism consumption venues saw a total of 72.58 million visits, up 6.9 percent compared to the same period in 2023.

The national box office also saw significant growth during the May Day holidays, reaching 1.527 billion yuan with 37.77 million moviegoers, exceeding figures from the same period last year.

It is worth noting that the growth in travel and tourism spending during the May Day holidays surpassed other major holidays so far this year, highlighting Chinese people's increasing desire to travel and spend amid accelerated consumption recovery, Yang Chang, chief analyst at Zhongtai Securities Research Institute, told the Global Times on Monday.

The May Day holidays saw a significant increase in domestic travel with 295 million trips, marking a growth of 28.2 percent compared to 2019. This surge in travel surpasses the 11.5 percent growth during the Qingming Festival and the 19.0 percent growth during the Spring Festival, indicating a further recovery in domestic tourism willingness.

Domestic tourists spent a total of 166.89 billion yuan, an increase of 13.5 percent compared to 2019. This growth rate is significantly higher than the 12.7 percent increase during the Qingming Festival and the 7.7 percent increase during the Spring Festival.

The resilience of China's economy was on full display during the May Day holidays, Li Yong, a senior research fellow at the China Association of International Trade, told the Global Times on Monday. He dismissed claims from foreign media that the Chinese economy's growth has hit its ceiling.

"The improving economic outlook is giving people more confidence in their future financial situation. The significant increase in the number of people choosing to travel also reflects their confidence in China's economic growth," Li said.

Additionally, the increase in the number of international tourists traveling to China during the May Day holidays also sends a positive signal on the current development momentum of the Chinese economy, prompting their desire to come to China and experience its progress, Li said.

The tourism and consumption activities during the May Day holidays play a vital role in stimulating the economy by unleashing demand. This will further boost production in a beneficial mechanism, pushing the economy to work at full capacity, Cao Heping, an economist at Peking University, told the Global Times on Monday.

China's first-quarter retail sales jumped 4.7 percent year-on-year to 12.03 trillion yuan, underscoring stable consumption expansion after a surge in consumer spending during the Spring Festival holidays.

Following a 4.7 percent growth in the first quarter, there is still potential for further consumer spending growth, experts said, expecting the implementation of consumer product trade-ins to continue to drive consumer spending recovery and provide new impetus to propel the world's second-largest economy.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, during the 2024 May Day holidays, the sales of key retail and catering enterprises nationwide increased by 6.8 percent compared to the same period last year. Sales of automobiles, household appliances and furniture were up by 4.8 percent, 7.9 percent, and 4.6 percent respectively, as a result of trade-in campaigns.

Cao expects total retail sales of consumer goods in the second quarter to increase by over 7 percent, driving GDP growth between 5.4 and 5.5 percent.

China's GDP growth rate beat market expectations to reach 5.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, bringing a good start to the year and laying a strong foundation for achieving the annual development targets.

Major projects worth of billions of yuan kick off for Q2 as analysts eye 5% growth in fixed-asset investment

Many localities in China have recently launched major investment projects for the second quarter, with a focus on new quality productive forces, and observers believe the trend will help stabilize overall investment in the period.

Analysts said on Wednesday that the new wave of major projects, along with an emphasis by localities on developing new quality productive forces, expanding domestic demand and improving the business environment, is to inject momentum into the economic recovery in the second quarter.

South China's economic powerhouse city Shenzhen started work on 236 projects slated for the second quarter with total investment of 176.65 billion yuan ($24.45 billion). Among those breaking ground on Wednesday were 51 industrial projects and 85 infrastructure projects.

On Tuesday, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region called for further development of eight industrial clusters including oil and gas, green mining and new materials, and speeding up the development of strategic and emerging industries.

Localities including Central China's Hubei Province, East China's Anhui Province and Northwest China's Shaanxi Province have all held meetings to summarize economic work in the first quarter, and rolled out new projects for the second quarter with total investment exceeding the trillion-yuan mark.

Analysts noted the intense launch of projects will further fuel economic growth and overall investment - including foreign investment - in the second quarter.

Pan Helin, a Guangzhou-based economist, told the Global Times on Wednesday that these projects are being given special attention by local governments as they will form the nodes of regional economic development, aligning industrial chains and contributing to the build-up of industrial clusters. The overall result will be enhanced competitiveness in the corporate sector.

Pan predicted that fixed-asset investment could grow as fast as about 5 percent during the second quarter, gaining pace from the January-March period, as the industrial sector contributed much of the momentum.

In the first quarter, fixed-asset investment rose by 4.5 percent to 10 trillion yuan, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in April.

"In the second quarter, manufacturing and infrastructure will remain the ballast stone to underpin the recovery," Zhou Maohua, a macroeconomist at China Everbright Bank, told the Global Times on Wednesday. Zhou noted that consumption is still in a recovery process, while investment into the property sector has abated.

Along with the faster roll-out of special-purpose bonds for local governments and the implementation of trade-in programs for equipment upgrades and consumer goods, as well as robust automobile production and sales, it is expected that fixed-asset investment may grow at a faster pace in the second quarter, Zhou said.

The Chinese economy got off to a good start in 2024, with first-quarter GDP exceeding estimates to grow at 5.3 percent year-on-year. 

The country also recorded a brisk number of trips, spending data and box-office revenue during the just-ended five-day May Day holidays, reflecting growing momentum in the country's economic recovery.

Experts noted that efforts to further improve the business environment are equally important, as they allow for further vitality of market entities.

China allows the import of Hungarian fresh cherries that meet relevant requirements

China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced on Friday that it has allowed, effective immediately, the import of Hungarian fresh cherries that meet relevant requirements.

It is part of the achievements during Chinese top leader's state visit to Hungary from Wednesday to Friday, during which the two sides have elevated ties to all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership and reached a number of deals in cooperation involving the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), finance, green development, agriculture, tourism and culture.

As China's imports of fresh cherries jump significantly, it is expected that Hungarian fresh cherries will gradually claim a foothold in the fast-growing Chinese market, an industry insider said.

Last year, China's cherry trade reached 351,200 tons, up 77.69 percent from the reading in 2019, data from Chinese research firm Zhiyan Consultancy showed. Among which, China imported 348,100 tons of fresh cherries. And the country roughly consumes 22.7 percent of the global cherry output in 2022, the world's largest market.

In addition to Hungary, about 11 countries and regions have also obtained quarantines access qualification for cherry exports to China to date, including Chile, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

Observers also said the expanding agricultural trade could be a new growth point in driving the overall trade between China and Hungary, who are each other's major trading partners. Currently, China is Hungary's largest trading partner outside of Europe, while Hungary is one of China's main trading partners in the Central and Eastern European region. Hungary is also one of the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) with the largest number of agricultural product export permits to China.

According to the joint statement on the establishment of an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for the new era released by China and Hungary on Thursday, the two sides recognized the huge potential in agricultural cooperation between them and the sound progress made under the framework of the China-CEEC agricultural cooperation mechanism.

The two sides have vowed to utilize the China-Hungary high-level working group on agriculture and other mechanisms, in order to strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation between agricultural enterprises of both sides, widen market access, promote the cooperation of "small and beautiful" projects, and strengthen cooperation in areas such as animal health and joint research and development of deep processing technologies for agricultural products.

China's GAC has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on animal and plant quarantine for import and export with Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture during the top leader's visit.

The bilateral trade volume between China and Hungary in 2023 reached $14.52 billion, an increase of 73 percent compared with that in 2013, according to the China-Hungary Investment and Cooperation Report.

China's new ambassador arrives in India amid anticipation to improve ties

Xu Feihong, the newly appointed Chinese ambassador to India, arrived in New Delhi on Friday. With the position vacant for 18 months, the arrival of a new ambassador presents a valuable opportunity for both countries to enhance communication, minimize misunderstandings, and reduce misjudgments, analysts said, noting that Xu's assumption of office is also a positive factor toward fostering the return of bilateral relations to a path of healthy and stable development.

Officials from the Protocol Division of Ministry of External Affairs of India, Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Eritrea to India H.E. Alem Tsehaye Woldemariam and Minister Ma Jia, Minister Wang Lei, Minister Counselor Chen Jianjun from the Chinese Embassy greeted Ambassador Xu and his wife Tan Yuxiu at the airport, according to a release from the Chinese Embassy in India.

Xu is the 17th Chinese ambassador to India. Since former ambassador Sun Weidong left his position, the post of Chinese ambassador to India has been vacant for 18 months, marking the longest vacancy since the restoration of mutual ambassadorial appointments between China and India in 1976.

The official WeChat account of the Chinese Embassy in India published Sun's farewell speech on October 25, 2022. On November 23 of the same year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website announced that Sun, in his capacity as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with Mongolia's ambassador to China.

Xu is a veteran diplomat with experience in several countries. According to the website of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has served as the deputy director-general of the Department of the European Affairs, the ambassador to Afghanistan, the deputy director-general of the Department of Personnel of the Foreign Ministry, the ambassador to Romania and director of the Department of Service for Foreign Ministry Home and Overseas Offices. From 2021 to 2023, he served as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Xu's assumption of office as the Chinese ambassador to India has caught attention. Before departing for India, Xu told media about his top priority tasks after taking office, saying that he would adhere to the important consensus between the leaders of the two countries, reach out to friends from all walks of life in India, sincerely enhance mutual understanding and trust, make efforts to restore exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and create favorable conditions for the healthy and stable development of China-India relations.
Ambassador Xu's selection from among senior officials of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlights China's significant commitment to bilateral relations, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Friday.

Qian also noted that Ambassador Xu's assumption of office coincides with a crucial period in China-Indian relations. India is currently undergoing elections and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed a positive attitude toward China-Indian relations before the elections.

In an interview with Newsweek in April, Modi said that "we need to urgently address the prolonged situation on our borders so that the abnormality in our bilateral interactions can be put behind us." He also noted that stable and peaceful relations between India and China are important for not just the two countries but the entire region and world.

After the Galwan Valley conflict of June 2020, tensions between China and India escalated, and the China-India bilateral relations, which have been influenced by border conflicts, have remained at a relatively low level with multiple destabilizing factors. However, despite ongoing differences, the two countries have maintained dialogue and cooperation mechanisms, including talks between militaries and border negotiations, to prevent confrontations, analysts said.

Ambassador Xu's coming to India will help enhance communication between China and India, reducing misunderstandings and miscalculations, and promote the bilateral relations back to a track of healthy and stable development, said Qian, also urging India to seize the opportunity to work with China and jointly improve bilateral relations.