Category Archives: Indepth

China Special Series–Chinese wears better than ever before

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 12(Greenpost)–No matter you travel in the subway or in a bus, you will see beautiful boys and girls wearing beautiful clothes.

 

Even in the countryside, the free market sells various kinds of beautiful clothes and the prices are not expensive.

All the people no matter old or young, they just wear very good clothes. In other words, very new clothes.

When I was a child, we learnt from Lei Feng, a role model for youth. He said he wore a pair of socks for 9 years. Nowadays people have a lot of clothes and people begin to change a lot too.

Women change much more than men. But some men are also good at changing and buying new clothes.

Some women even go to another extreme to have too much clothes.

Children’s clothes are also in a great variety.  China’s export actually started with textile industry.

In Marx’s words, clothes, food, house and travel are not a problem now.

According to Xi Jinping’s report at the 19th CPC National Congress,  among 1.3 billion people, now there are still four percent of the total population living under poverty line. That translates into 40 million people and that is four times more than the whole Swedish population.

Xi has promised that China will wipe out poverty in three years by 2020. That is a great goal and that will really mark China to enter a new era.

I was so glad to see this when I was in China two weeks ago.

China has changed greatly and is experiencing the great transformation. Green environment is the goal people strive for.

 

 

Chinese Special Series–Chinese Housing enough for the next generation

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 12(Greenpost)– To be honest, I came from a poor farmer’s family. But now those who live in the countryside enjoy big house, bigger space.

My brother and sister both have about 100 square meters apartment.
Recently a woman from Qingdao, Shandong province told me that they live in a 150 square meters apartment just for two persons.

Many civil servants have bigger office areas and enjoy two or three apartments.

Even those who came from the countryside and later lived in the city can enjoy very big apartment, not just one.

China has built so many buildings, so many cars and so many bikes.

A great change now is that people live much better.

Beijing attracts architeks from all over the world and it is a test site for all the vanguard builders. I saw an instrument type of building in Chaoyang district.

The famous CCTV building is even more protruding.  Skyscrapers are everywhere. And in many provinces, counties and cities, there are many buildings built.

Many people in local areas even have much more houses than those in bigger cities.  Chinese people enjoy far better material enjoyment now than ever. But their time of course is much tighter than before. They work harder than before.

Solvatten–An Innovative Tool to Achieve Climate and Development Goals 

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov.7(Greenpost)– Climate change is a reality and people from developing countries – specially women and children – are suffering the most. How can technology support governments to overcome these challenges?  Getting ready for the future. Credit: Solvatten. 

Here we have an interview between Analice Martins, independent writer, activist for women’s rights and founder of Internacionalidade and David Wadström focusing on an innovation called Solvatten.  The following is the details of Q and A.

Hej, David! Thanks for having me here! Can you tell me more about Solvatten?
Hej Analice! Sure! Solvatten – which means “Sun Water” in Swedish – is a jerry can that uses solar energy to purify contaminated water. After a few hours exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, specifically UV-B, the water is free from the pathogens that cause diseases such as dysentery, salmonella and cholera. We created a durable design that stands intense heat and sunlight for many years and it has the capacity to process up to 40 liters of water per day, all we need is sunshine!

Sounds very promising! And how is Solvatten addressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change?
Billions of people still use firewood to cook, heat and boil water in order to make it cleaner. There are numerous social and environmental consequences of this practice; for instance, burning firewood causes harmful indoor air pollution, releases greenhouse gas emissions, and impact the lives of many girls and women who need to walk dozens of miles every day to fetch water and firewood.
A typical household used to spend up to three hours a day to generate energy to water needs. Solvatten saves time and allow people to pursue more economically productive activities. Additionally, decreasing firewood burns is beneficial to both the household’s members as well as the trees in the local environment.

In which ways is Solvatten supporting governments and organizations to achieve their climate and development goals?
Solvatten is both a short and long-term solution. In the short term, Solvatten is a powerful relief tool for communities affected by natural disasters. Governments and International Organizations can use Solvatten in areas suffering from water contamination. In the long-term, Solvatten has been proven to be a change maker: it empowers women, increases girls’ attendance in schools, changes hygienic behaviors, and transforms its users into true climate heroes! Families have saved thousands of hectares of forest and a million trees by using Solvatten. That is real climate Action!
 

Solvatten works with governments but also green-minded companies, please tell me more about that? 
We work in partnership with governments, local organizations and corporations to provide Solvatten to millions of people living off-grid. Since 2007, we have initiated 45 projects reaching out over 300.000 people living in more than 20 developing countries. For instance, the Solvatten CSR and Climate Project provides companies and partners an opportunity to connect social and environmental impact with their business needs. An increased use of Solvatten can also improve the way a responsible company is doing business in East Africa and other emerging markets. It can really add value to their supply chains in agro-business. 

 

Can you give me an example of a successful partnership? 
Yes, good examples are the partnerships we have with sugar and coffee grower cooperatives. Solvatten plays a key role in improving the farmer’s lives at the same time it can be a practical way to offset the carbon emissions that the business contributes to. Solvatten is also being used by corporations like Axfood, International Organization such as the UN-Habitat, and environmental foundations like myclimate. 

 

It’s really inspiring! Now, to finalize, what is your biggest dream? 

My dream is to live in a world where everyone has access to safe and clean water, just as we do here in Sweden. I also hope that Solvatten shall inspire other entrepreneurs and innovators to raise their voice and come up with great solutions to address climate change! 

A wave of discussing the 19th CPC Congress arises in Sweden

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Oct. 31(Greenpost)– A craze discussing the 19th CPC Congress has arisen in Sweden beginning with a grand seminar held by Institute of Security and Development Policy.

Gui Congyou, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden gave a keynote speech at the opening of the seminar.

“The successful convening of the 19th CPC congress has arounsed world wide attention.  The CPC national congress has analysed the domestic and international situation, made such an important judgement that China’s Socialism with Chinese Characteristics  has entered a New Era, elected a new term of leaders of the  CPC central committee and mapped out new policies and strategic deployment . It is of great significance for realizing Chinese people’s dreams of a good life and the common development together with the world people, it is a blessing for both the Chinese and world people. ”

Gui Congyou said the Communist Party of China will not forget its mission of leading the Chinese people to live a better life.  It’s first goal is to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects and the second goal is to build a modernized socialist China by 2035.

Gui Congyou said during this process, China has gradually entered the center stage of the world and China will shoulder greater responsibilities for example in peace-keeping forces, in coping with the climate change, anti-terrorism and poverty elimination.

According to the CPC’s goal, in three years, China will completely wipe out the extreme poverty of its 1.3 billion population. Currently the poor is still accounting for 4 percent of the total population or about 40 million which is about four times of the Swedish population.

Gui Congyou said China loves peace and insists on the peaceful coexisting principle and will not interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs. It also opposes  interference in other country’s domestic affairs. China will never seek hegemonism. China opposes nuclear proliferation.

Gui Congyou said his mission to Sweden is to make friends and facilitate to deepen bilateral relations between China and Sweden and China will never forget that Sweden was the first western country that established diplomatic relations with China and has always been actively developing relations with China, in which made great contribution to China’s development.

He welcomes Sweden to further cooperation with China in innovation, green economy, energy saving and environmental protection, intelligence manufacturing and many other aspects such as in the United Nations.

He said China under the leadership of the CPC is a builder of the world peace, a contributor of the global development and obeying the world order and rules.

The host of the seminar was Ambassador  Per Eklund who is a board member of the ISDP.

The panalist of the seminar was Li Junfeng, Political Counselor of the Chinese Ambassy to Sweden, Dr. Oskar Alman from Uppsala University,  Lora Daalman, director of China and Global Security Program of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute or SIPRI and Dr. Kristina Sandklef,  Director of Sandklef Asia Insight.

Dr. Alman said he was a little bit worried about the election procedures in China but after the congress he felt not that worried. On the other hand, he also felt the concentration of power might be better for implementing environmental protection policies for example, so it depends on how you look at it and there is a lot of tradeoffs.

Dr. Kristina Sandklef said she held that there will be more cooperation opportunities if China holds its promise of giving the same treatment of foreign enterprises, or as generous as Sweden in giving market access to Chinese companies.

Lora Saalman, Director of China and Global Security Program of SIPRI said she noticed China’s strengthening of combat capability and modernization of its weapons, but in general, China’s number of armed forces is not on the increase.

The panelists also discussed about gender equality issue, election procedures and many other aspects.

In the evening, Stockholm Chinese Assistance Center led By James Wang Jianrong also held a seminar discussing the 19th CPC National Congress.

Meanwhile, in Sveavägen 41 in Stockholm, ABF hosted a seminar on a book titled Mao i Sverige or Mao in Sweden–1963-1986 written by a Phd student  Ingrid.

She said she had lived in China for a few years and spoke very fluent Chinese. She found there were many Mao followers since 1963 when famous Swedish journalist Myrdal wrote a lot of books and reports about China and was received by Mao.  But by 1986, the leftists almost died out.  In fact, there are still many people who are very much interested in talking about China and caring about China.

According to ABF news, there will be another seminar titled China after the Communist Party Congress on the evening of November 9 in ABF.

Sinologists Börje Ljunggren,  former Swedish Ambassador to China and author, Torbjörn Loden, professor emeritus in Chinese language and culture and Malin Oud, chinese friend and chief of Raoul Wallenberg’s Institute’s Stockholm Office will be the panelists.

Sources say on Thursday, Chinese leaders in Sweden will also hold a seminar discussing about the 19th CPC National Congress and the Xi Jinping Thought on China entering new era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

It cannot be root out that there will be more such seminars in the near future.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has mapped out a new blue print for the next stage of development. That is to wipe out poverty by 2020 and to basically become a modern society by 2035.  By 2050, China will comprehensively become a modern and beautiful country in all aspects.


 

 

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Nobel Lareates in Physiology interviewed

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, October, 2 (Greenpost)

As usual, Nobel Laureates were interviewed by the Nobel Media right after the announcement.

 

The phone call reached Hall’s home.

“You’ve reached me where I’ve lived for many years in the middle of nowhere, Maine, rural Maine. Also known as Central Maine. In the extreme north east of this great country of ours. It is physically beautiful, including, I’m looking out the window, it’s a very beautiful day today, which is often is. Not quite yet but it’s still green as can be but it’s, because Maine is not like Arizona.

What is Hall’s reaction to the prize?

JH: Yes, correct. That was about half of our work, during my time when I was employed, had to do with circadian rhythms, indeed. That became amongst our most well-known research achievements, if any. Usually, and, relentlessly co-authored with Rosbash with whom you’ve already spoken. So he and I joined forces in the early mid-eighties and imagined that we might, or we might not as the case may be, go onward and upward doing research together in that arena. Which often involved crucially, what I call AIs – actual investigators – like students, post-doctoral supervisees, from the two labs working very closely together, even day by day. So that was enjoyable, it wasn’t that either lab was way out on its own limb. We had a lot of mutual support, I think it’s fair to say.

Hall and Rosbath were actually teaching in the same university.

JH: This was based in large part on becoming close personally at the beginning where our research interests in very general terms were in genetics, writ large. It was only after six, seven, or eight years that we started to work things together and imagine that possibly our backgrounds and our skills, if any, might be complementary. The key reason that we got into that kind of relationship was because we were personally close. We had mutual interest in low culture stuff like sports and rock and roll music and abusable substances and stuff. And so we spent a lot of time just carousing or sitting together in misery at local sports stadiums. We have also certain, many similar interests, even in the pre-rhythm research days. He as a molecular geneticist, I as a straight up fruit fly geneticist.

AS: And that brings us onto flies. We should say a word for flies on this day of all days because once again the power of the fly as a model organism has been demonstrated.

JH: That’s right, this is something I’ve always … I was taught when I was a graduate student about a phrase, it’s known as the law of drosophila. To know about the deep history going all the way back to the 1920s, and the 40s and the 90s and now the second decade of the current century. It’s just one of a zillion examples of how basic research on a supposedly irrelevant organism can have broader significance than, with regard to what’s going on in terms of that organism itself. And this has been true of fruit fly research, which has been a major contributor for decades. For well over a century actually.  The key fourth awardee here is, as some of us call them, the little fly. So the little flies deserve another tip of the hat, I think, in terms of what has happened today.

When Michael Young was interviewed, he was busy answering phone calls.

M Young: I don’t know. Somehow, somehow, it’s just all spinning around in my head that this has happened. You know about these things and you can see possibilities on the horizon but you never really…Has this really happened?! [Laughs.] I’m still at that stage.

I mean this was … You know, I had gone to Stanford to learn how to use this technology, it was brand new in the 70s. And starting up my lab at Rockefeller I had worked a little bit on this problem, circadian rhythms, thanks to these tremendous mutants that Seymour Benzer and his student Ron Konopka had found. And I just thought it was a terrific problem and maybe the toughest thing I could try to tackle because it was behaviour; you know, what could we learn about a fairly complicated behaviour that we all exhibit, which was most easily represented by sleep wake cycles. And frankly I thought we might find out maybe a little bit. I never thought we would really understand what the motor behind this was, at the time. We were very lucky, we managed to find genes that fit together like puzzle pieces to explain how this thing worked. And the techniques and the approaches kept changing and I kept … I was very lucky I kept getting students and post docs that were extremely good and just did everything right. And the other piece of this was, you know, there was sort of a race going on in the early years. My colleagues Jeff Hall and Michael Rosbash and we kind of pushed each other along because … I mean most of it was independently done but we did have to collaborate from time to time, but we worked on slightly different problems but the solutions to those problems all, as I was saying, fit together like puzzle pieces, that kind of bring the picture into view. It was, it’s been really quite satisfying. This really pushes it way, way, over the top. It’s really quite incredible. And I couldn’t … yeah, this is terribly exciting as you can imagine.

How did

 

 

World Bank research shows poor sanitation and lack of clean water cause poverty

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept.9(Greenpost)– World Bank has issued a report during the recent world water week in Stockholm titled Reducing inequalities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the era of the sustainable development goals.

The report calls for drastic change in the way countries manage resources and provide key services, starting with better targeting to ensure they reach those most in need, and tackling inefficiencies to make sure public services are sustainable and effective.

Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank speaks at the high level panel at the opening of the World Water Week. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

“Millions are currently trapped in poverty by poor water supply and sanitation, which contributes to childhood stunning and debilitating diseases such as diarrhea. To give everyone an equal chance at reaching their full potential, more resources, targeted to areas of high vulnerability and low access, are needed to close the gaps and improve poor water and sanitations services.  This report provides  a roadmap for closing that gap,” said Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank.

Offering a comprehensive analysis of water and sanitation indicators, the research spans 18countries around the world and for the first time, pinpoints specific geographic regions within countries that have inadequate WASH services. It sheds light on major disparities in water supply and sanitation services between rural and urban poor and non poor areas.

Craig Kullmann, specialist and Luis Andres, Lead Economists at Water Global Practice, World Bank. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

The research finds a particularly stark contrast between urban and rural areas. Across the 18 countries, 75% of people who lack improved sanitation live in rural areas, and only 20 % of rural inhabitants have access to improved water. This report provides policymakers with a baseline and guidance on how to better target investments to ensure that basic services reach the poorest communities and households.

In Nigeria, over 60% of the rural population live more than 30 minutes away from a working water source.

In Indonesia, only 5 percent of urban wastewater is safely treated and disposed of  and children living in communities with open defecation during the first three years of life are 11 percentage points more likely to be stunned.

In Bangladesh, there is E.coli contamination  in water in  tap as well as in pond.  In Ecuador, about a quarter of population drinks contaminated water, and in Haiti, 67 percent of people drink bad water.

Today diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under 5. thus water and sanitation services need to improve dramatically. otherwise we are risking the future of our children, says Rachid Bennmessaoud, country director of Nigeria.

The report stressed that the services didn’t go to the poor is due to poor implementation, not due to poor policy.

 

Wuxi and Södertalje celebrate 10th anniversary of sister cities

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 6(Greenpost)–Wuxi municipal government delegation and Södertalje municipality held a grand celebration of their 10th anniversary of establishment of sister cities on Aug. 25.

The beautiful figures standing by the stairs welcome the guests from China.

The delegation led by Ms Liu Ling listened to a lecture on integration in the morning. Xu Ruiyu deputy head of the delegation said the purpose of the visit is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the sister cityhood between the two cities and further deepen bilateral relations.

“We also bring ten children from middle schools to exchange cultures with Swedish children so that they will understand each other better and keep in touch.” said Xu.

The delegation also visited famous pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca.  The leader actually just came back from Wuxi.

Peter Alvarsson, Head of Operational Excellence Lean & BPM gave a brief introduction about Astra Zeneca. He said Chinese market is growing rapidly and that the company is focusing on three core therapy areas: cancer, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular & metabolic diseases.

Besim Aho, Chairman of the Södertalje Assembly said the relations between Wuxi and Södertalje are very important because there are many small and medium sized companies are also like to cooperate with China.  The students exchange is also an important part of bilateral exchanges.

Chinese students danced.

Guitar performance and singing.

The performance won a lot of applauses.

One of the Chinese students was good at calligraphy and wrote this famous poem to Swedish students to express their feelings. “If there are friends who can understand us in the world, even though we live far away from each other, it is as if we are neighbours.  ” In Chinese Hainei cun zhi ji, tian ya ruo bi lin.

The delegation had a full day program and ended up with a visit to a painting and art exhibition in the evening which is part of a big festival on the day.

2017 Stockholm World Water Week stresses values of water

Stockholm ,1 September (Greenpost)–Understanding and recognizing the many different values attached to water is the key to more efficient use – a must as more people have to share the world’s limited fresh water. This was the conclusion at the end of the World Water Week on Friday in Stockholm.  Xuefei Chen Axelsson has more. 

Over 3,200 participants from 133 countries have attended several hundred sessions, shared experiences, and discussed solutions to the world’s most critical water challenges. The number of the people has been the highest so far.

Water is the lifeline of our civilization. Without it, there is no hope of sustaining households, industries, food and energy production, or such key functions as hospitals. Access to safe water is necessary in order to implement the global development agenda, said SIWI Executive Director Torgny Holmgren, host of the World Water Week.

“With increasing scarcity, we must recognize the many values attached to water, be it economic, social, environmental, cultural or religious. I believe that by re-valuing water, we will develop a deeper understanding and respect for this precious resource, and thus be better prepared for more efficient use,” added Holmgren.

During the week, delegates discussed all kinds of issues related to water which the theme of this year is water and water, reduce and reuse.

Throughout World Water Week, links were made between the different values of water, including its monetary value.

“I believe we will see more diverse pricing structures in the future, allowing for more economical and efficient use,” said Holmgren.

A growing global population is creating a higher demand for fresh water. Climate-driven changes in weather patterns, leading to extended droughts and devastating floods, further exacerbate pressure on our common water resources.

“Efficient use, therefore, is not an option but a must to ensure availability for all of us,” Holmgren added.

Another focus of World Water Week is the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a filmed message to World Water Week, Amina J Mohamed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, pressed on the need to accelerate progress towards SDG6 on clean water and sanitation and on all the water-related sustainable development goals.

“Today, strains on water are rising in all regions and climate change is aggravating the challenge. When water is unequally shared, or perceived to be, the risk of local and national conflict increases. We are even seeing in some cases the use of water as a weapon of war.

The priority now is to harness national leadership and global partnership to scale up action. Only by ensuring the sustainability of fresh water and access to sanitation for all will we achieve the SDGs. Let us value and treasure water as we value and treasure life itself,” concluded Amina J Mohamed.

Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation in South Africa, stressed that we need to embrace new technologies which support our route towards the realization of the SDGs and that an appreciation must also be given to new world class technologies emanating from Africa. “We cannot afford to continue to do what we did yesterday and expect to see a different result tomorrow. We must be bold!” said Minister Mokonyane.

Mark Watts from C40, an organization that gathers mayors of cities worldwide, told World Water Week participants about the risks that big cities face from climate change and how water is key to mitigation and adaptation efforts.

“We see that water pattern disruption is often the first sign of serious climate impacts and 70 per cent of our member cities tell us that they are already seeing the significant and negative impacts of climate change. 64 per cent of our member cities face significant risk from surface and flash floods, Watts said, adding that water must be part of the climate mitigation programmes, but also a central part of climate adaptation.

World Water Week hosted an event taking stock of water in the implementation of both Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement. Addressing the event, Hungarian President János Áder said the world needs a more focused global effort towards tackling water challenges.

Two prizes were awarded during World Water Week. On Tuesday 29 August, Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to Ryan Thorpe and Rachel Chang, USA, for their novel approach to detect and purify water contaminated with Shigella, E. coli, Salmonella, and Cholera. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the prize. On Wednesday 30 August, the Stockholm Water Prize was awarded to Professor Stephen McCaffrey, USA, for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. The prize was presented to by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, patron of the prize, during a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall.

World Water Week 2017 was the 27th edition. The 2018 World Water Week, to be held from 26 to 31 August in Stockholm, will focus on Water, Ecosystems and Human Development

 

About SIWI

SIWI is a water institute, working to improve the way freshwater resources are governed. By combining its areas of expertise with its unique convening power, SIWI influences decision-makers, facilitates dialogue and builds knowledge in water issues, thereby contributing to a just, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

SIWI organizes the world’s most important annual water and development meeting, World Water Week, and it awards the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

2017 Stockholm World Water Week focuses on water and waste—reduce and reuse

Stockholm, Aug. 29(Greenpost)–2017 Stockholm World Water Week has been focusing on water and waste—reduction and re-use. CRI’s Chen Xuefei has attended the opening session and has details.Torgny Holmgren, Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, host of Water Week made a welcome speech on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Torgny Holmgren, Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, host of Water Week made a welcome speech on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

2017 Stockholm World Water Week has been focusing on water and waste—reduction and re-use. CRI’s Chen Xuefei has attended the opening session and has details.

Swedish astronaut Professor Christer Fuglesang made the opening remarks as the session began, noting that all water- including urine – in a spaceship is recycled and reused.

Stockholm International Water Institute Director Torgny Holmgren, host of Water Week, said the recycling practice in space described by Fuglesang perfectly illustrates this year’s theme at the conservation event.

Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly spoke at the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly spoke at the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“To advance our knowledge and learn more about managing our scarce water resources, we choose water and waste, reduce and reuse as the theme of this world water week, the theme touches the very core of our daily lives, to reduce, some drastic changes will be needed by the main water users, it could be in the industry sector, energy sector and agricultural sector…”

In that sense, Holmgren said water is not a sector, it is actually a connector of all different sectors.

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard said water is a circular resource and one has to learn how to reduce harm and reuse the resource we claim from the earth.

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard made a speech at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard made a speech at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“Access to water is the most important international issue to ensure sustainable development, peace and security. Clean water is fundamental in a health perspective and secure access to it for all people and the growing population is one of the greatest challenges for the international community.”

During the opening of World Water Week, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson also shared his reflection on the Ocean Conference held at the United Nations in New York last June and strengthened the interconnection of UN Sustainable Development Goals related to water sanitation and ocean resources.

Thomson said everything is connected and water, environment and climate change are all interrelated.

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang spoke at World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang spoke at World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“Thus we must have an inclusive and integrated approach and never fall back on the failing side of past status quos, we all have something to bring to the work ahead.”

More than 2000 government officials, water experts, researchers, non-governmental sectors and students will discuss issues relating to water and waste during World Water Week which began on Sunday.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Stockholm Water Prize, and Stockholm Industry Water Prize will be issued during the event.

For CRI, Chen Xuefei, Stockholm.

Source, CRI

World Water Week in Stockholm focuses on water and waste to reduce and reuse

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Aug. 28,  (Greenpost) – World leaders, water experts, development professionals, policy-makers and students have gathered in Stockholm for a week-long meeting focused on finding ways to better use, and reuse, the world’s increasingly scarce fresh water.

The opening plenary of the water week began with Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang telling about his stories in the spaceship.

Fuglesang said there is a very sophosticated water reuse system in the space which can treat their urin into drinking water.  Grapes can be grown there and many advanced technologies can be used to make water use more efficiently.

During this year’s water week, people talk more about the term “water scarcity” . As more countries, and cities, experience the effects of high population pressure and less available freshwater, the interest among policy-makers, businesses, and citizens grows. The realization is there. We need to become more efficient water users. We need to make some drastic changes.

“World Water Week is a key meeting place for the water and development community; it is here that we come together and make sure that the very best ideas are brought forward,” said SIWI’s Executive Director, Torgny Holmgren.

Holmgren said water is not a sector, it is a connecter linking all sectors in our daily life.

World Water Week is the world’s biggest global annual meeting focusing on water and development. It is organized by SIWI, Stockholm International Water Institute. The Week draws over 3,000 participants from nearly 130 countries, who come to Stockholm to learn about new research results, share experiences, discuss progress in the implementation of the Global Goals, and together try to find new ways to meet the world’s growing water challenges.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson, called the world’s climate and water resources the “fundament of our existence”, and said that “Without proper stewardship of that fundament the 2030 sustainable development agenda obviously goes nowhere. Because without the fundament we can’t exist.”

“Together with the Paris Climate Agreement, implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals represents the best chance our species has to achieve a sustainable way of life on Planet Earth before it is too late”, he said adding that we must take inclusive and integrated approach to involve all kinds of people and expertise together.

Sweden’s Minister for Environment, Karolina Skog said that “Sustainable and efficient management of our water and wastewater has a profound effect on all aspects of human life; economic growth, sustainable development, sustainable city planning, circular thinking in industry and in production, energy saving, good quality of our water and, last but not least, it is crucial for health and for a sustainable environment.”

Another central aspect of efficient water use, is to use less. In his welcoming speech Holmgren pointed out that it will be challenging but necessary to change large-scale water consumption patterns:

“The Week’s theme, Water and waste: Reduce and reuse, really touches the very core of our daily lives. To reduce, some drastic changes will be necessary – especially by the main water users, including industries, energy producers and the agriculture sector.”

He added that changes are also needed in how we think about reuse of water: “I think that it is very important to try and change the mind-set around waste. Rather than presenting us with a problem, we can view waste as an asset also becoming a business opportunity.”

Stephen McCaffrey, 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and a Professor in water law, spoke of the need for water cooperation and water diplomacy. He told participants that although the ingredients for potential water conflicts exist, such as higher population pressure, climate change, and much of the world’s fresh water being shared by two or more countries, studies show that water sharing is much more likely to lead to cooperation than conflict.

The grand opening plenary ends with Kevin Rudd led panel discussion on how to prioritize and financing water issue with participation of Swedish, Danish, Malaysian, World Bank, Ecuador and Ethiopian leaders.

Beginning from 1990, SIWI is a water institute, working to improve the way freshwater resources are governed. By combining its areas of expertise with its unique convening power, SIWI influences decision-makers, facilitates dialogue and builds knowledge in water issues, thereby contributing to a just, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

SIWI organizes the world’s most important annual water and development meeting, World Water Week, and it awards the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

About World Water Week: World Water Week is the largest annual meeting for water and development issues, organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The Week brings together more than 3,000 participants from nearly 130 countries representing actors from governments, private sector, multilateral organizations, civil society and academia to shape joint solutions to global water challenges. The Week strives for equal gender participation. At this year’s Week, 46 per cent of participants are female, and 54 per cent are male.

Note to Editors:

2017 Stockholm International Arts Festival Promotes China Dream, Peaceful Harmonious World

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

2017  Stockholm International Arts Festival has just concluded with its theme focusing on China Dream and a Peaceful and Harmonious World.

Wang Changning, Director of the Consulate of the Chinese Embassy said the festival presents different styles of arts from many different countries including China and Sweden. This is conducive to promoting China Dream and mutual understanding between Chinese and Swedish people and promoting the world peace.

“I think this festival is very meaningful in serving as a bridge between Chinese and Swedish people through music , singing and dancing.” said Wang.

Shuang Yan, director of the festival said this has been the fourth International Arts Festival which had been held in Australia, Spain and Russia.

This time it is held in Stockholm and jointly organized by Europe-China International Culture, Education and Business Development Association and Beijing Sunset Show Foundation.

Timothy Pillotti plays Peking Opera, Stopping the Horse. 

“The main purpose is to promote China Dream and building a peaceful and harmonious world through cultural exchange and communication.” said Shuang.

Zhu Yingying performs Xi Opera A Bird on the Branch very vividly. 

Shuang said there were four main parts of the festival including the music camp participated by Chinese and Swedish students, World Peace Day celebration concert, collectively and individual music contests and the grand closing concert.

Ruijing Voice of Arctic Choir, commander Yang Xiaoyin. 

The concert attracted a lot of famous Chinese professional artists from China, Sweden and Norway as well as art troupes from these countries.

Zou Rongmei sings Jasmine Flower. 

Zou Rongmei, Li Jia, Yang Xiaoyin and Zhu Yingying are professional singers while Shuang Yan plays piano, Wu Jing plays flutes and Jin Xinrui plays Gu Zheng. Timothy Pittli plays Peking Opera and Anders Delin plays Guitar.

Li Jia sings Glorious Future.

There are also many amateur choirs and dancing troupes performed during the concert.

Sofie Aspeqvist, Head of Cultural Affairs of Sundbyberg Municipality said it was very interesting.

“I am overwhelmed I couldn’t imagine what evening it would be.   I am overwhelmed by the participants, they are really doing their best of all ages, either professionals or amateurs, they are all doing their best , the glimpse of everybody doing their most, and it is fantastic, I think. And it is a generous feeling, I would say, it is very supportive and everybody is supporting the other.”

Layali Orientalska Dansakedemien performs oriental dance.

Aspeqvist said this concert is also very meaningful.

“It is wonderful that music and dancing and singing unites people across borders, because even if we don’t speak the same  language but we can sing and dance and perform together and that is really fantastique, ” said Aspeqvist.

The famous Chinese Yellow River Music and singing by Zou Rongmei were very well performed this time with all the participants singing in a concert.

Leo Long Lindblom became the youngest piano player during the concert.

About five hundred people including both Chinese and other nationalities audiences attended the grand closing concert and gave their constant warm applauses during the two hours and a half concert.

With almost a year of preparation and long time exercises, every one has played to their best and gave the audience a very good impression with all kinds of performances, singing and dancing.

After the concert, a grand award issuing ceremony for the afternoon contest was also held with honorary guests and artists and choirs.

More photos:

Jin Xinrui plays Guzheng.

Russian Vesna Choir sing Russian songs.

Norwegian Chinese Dance Troupe.

Voice of Arctic Choir.

Norwegian Dance Troupe.

Singer Yang Xiaoyin sings Father’s Prairie and Mother’s River.

Pianist student from Sundbybergs Stad.

Chinese women play Qipao show and umbrella dance.

Wu Jing plays flute.

Anders Delin plays Gitar.

Shuangyan, Wujing and Anders Delin play tremble.

Three men sing a Chinese song Good people have good dreams.

Swedish Chinese choir sing the Field of Dreams.

Anhui Rainbow Choir.

Award issuing ceremony.

Zhang Qiaozhen, right, Director of Sweden-Chinese Entrepreneurs Association gives diploma to Zhang Jian, Commander of Anhui Rainbow Choir.

The concert concludes.

Four hosts: Kuang Fuyang, Åsa Wretman, Deyan, Huang Sisi.

Horary guests Wang Jianrong, Wang Changning, Liushaohui and Liang jinsheng.  Reporter front, Chen Xuefei.

Photo by Tangbing. Text by Xuefei Chen Axelsson.

China’s High Speed Train, World No. 1

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 9(Greenpost)– China’s High Speed Train or Gaotie is really good.  The train number begins with capital letter G as Gaotie, High Speed Train.

High Speed Train in China means the speed is more than 300 kilometers per hour. If it is a little less than 300 kilometers, it is called Dongche or begins with capital letter D.  And if it is fast speed train which means they stop fewer stops, but the speed is still the traditional one, then it begins with K, meaning kuaiche or fast train.

But Gaotie is really another category. It is comparable to airplane.

During my visit to China this summer from June to July for more than a month, I travelled to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Suzhou, Jinzhou, Shenyang and Dalian. I took Gaotie all the time including Dongche.

They are all very comfortable, very fast, low noise, everyone has a seat and the seat is the same as in the airplane. The space is even broader.

The conductors provide good services and the sanitation is very good. It has air conditions and sometimes, it has a table too.  The comfort can be comparable to the Swedish train, but the speed is really fast.

From Beijing to Tianjin, just half an hour.  Shanghai to Suzhou just takes half an hour.  Shenyang to Dalian just takes two hours.

There are food and water supplies in the train.  You can either eat in the train kitchen or in your own seat.  Hot water is also provided.  With such a speed, people have no sense of stress, but quite relaxed.  The temperature is kept almost permanently 24-26 degrees.

Each time I even lived near the high speed train station. From there, there is often subway stations too. So it is very convenient to travel to any place in the city.

From Tianjin to Shanghai and from Suzhou to Beijing,  both take about five hours, less than half of the previous times.

Compared with airplane, people don’t need to travel far away to the airport.  It just uses public transport, one can arrive there easily.  Of course if you like to drive, you can have parking place there too.

All the high speed stations and waiting rooms are very good.  It is new, convenient and attractive.

I believe if China’s high speed train is built in other developed or developing countries, it will also greatly be conducive to their economic development and improvement of people’s living quality.

It is especially good for business people.  But for ordinary people now many began to take high speed train for their travel because it is still cheaper compared with airplane and it is more importantly comfortable.

2. Visiting my parents in Beijing

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 8(Greenpost) — My parents came to Beijing just days before we arrived in Beijing on Thursday.

The first cry of Wang Xueting was broadcast at China Radio International on the New Year’s Eve of 2003. Gaowa, a beautiful civil servant, Annie and the little boy who loves the ball from Sweden. He also drank Swedish vanling to grow to two years. 

On Saturday we decided to go to my brother’s home to see my parents.  On the way, we informed Gao Wa to come too. Gao Wa was my cousin’s daughter. My cousin Yanqiu did me a great favor by encouraging me to go to Linghai or Jinxian Senior High School. She said to me that summer, “If you succeeded in entering the No.1 Senior High School, you will have one step into any university.”

I did, and that paved me the way from Dizangsi village to Linghai county, and from Linghai county to Shenyang City and from Shenyang to Beijing, and from Beijing to Sydney, Harare, Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, Namibia, Mozambique, Canada, France, German, Spain, USA and New Zealand. Finally, Stockholm Sweden, my second hometown!

The wing of thoughts flew quickly. As the car arrived in Shiliju, we had to get off and embrace the heat again. For me, it was just wonderful to feel warmth. But my daughter kept on saying it is hot.

As we came into the 20th floor two room apartment, Ms Wang was cooking and my mother was planning what to cook.  The two and half year old boy was running around in the room and he began to talk a lot of words.

The room was filled with happy atmosphere.  Whenever you have a two to three year old child around, you will feel happy. That was the time with my niece and my daughter.  Children are the hope of our future and we feel happy to see them growing.

My mother’s back bent a little more seriously, but her spirit was high. Obviously she was happy to see us. She has been enduring all the lonely time over the year and now we came.

My father woke up since we came. He went out in the morning and in the evening as usual. He likes to dance as an exercise.  He got a few more white hair, but he still has a lot of black hair. His voice is still sonorous.  His memory is still very good and he still talks energetically.

Soon my brother came. He came with my second brother,  my sister in law and my nephew who is a driver.  They came from Tianjin, the second largest municipality in China, two hours drive from Beijing.

It was a surprise for me. I thought I would go to Tianjin to see them so that they don’t need to come here. But they came. I still feel very happy and moved.  My sister in law is still energetic.

Gao Wa came too. She also drove a car. She works as a village head assistant after graduating from university as a master degree graduate. That is called University student village official! Literal translation.  But it was a good intention.  She will become a civil servant after this service.

We took a lot of photos and we were happy together. Again, a lot of people under the wings of parents.  No matter how far away we have been, finally we have to come back to see my parents.

2017 China trip- landing in Beijing 1

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 7(Greenpost)– Seven or 7 seems to be my lucky number this year.  My husband, my daughter and I finished our China trip on 2017-07-27. And I like to have a review from today.  Please stay tuned.

London visit paves the way to China

I am a Chinese and I love China no doubt about it. But sometimes I was tired of China. That is why I can live in Sweden for 11 years now and still not too tired yet. Except the first three years, I almost went back to China every year or even twice a year for some years.

Last year, I told my daughter that we all should go to China this summer because it had been three years since they went to China last time.

She said she didn’t want to go simply because Chinese people are too warm to her. They always said she is beautiful, Pretty, Piaoliang.  Since the first time she went to China, she was like a little angel and people queued the long queue to see her.

She is a good mix of Chinese and Swedish. When I was in Harare, Zimbabwe, my German teacher married with a native Zimbabwan and their mixed child was claimed to be the best.  When I was a child, when thinking of having a mixed child, it was almost a curse. But as China opens up and we are more and more in favor of the western culture, my child is very well accepted in China.

However,  she has become a little picky about China. For example, in Beijing in winter it was actually very hot inside the room. Chinese people talked too loud compared with Swedish people and so on.  Although in my eyes it was obvious that we should go to China this summer, they had to discuss it many times. My daughter said she wanted to go to London first in stead of America or China.

I said ok, then you must go to China in the summer! I booked the tickets right after we came back from London.  To be honest, we didn’t visit too much of London. Except Crystal Palace and Queens Hotel, we didn’t go to London Tower or Big Ben. But that turned out to be good.

My daughter always mentioned her London trip and wanted to go again because she lived in Queens Hotel!

Visiting China will use the same strategy. Not visit famous tourist sites, but just stay in hotels or at home to relax. Take a walk in the park nearby and doing nothing normal.

Coming back from Shanghai, my brother in law asked whether we had been to the tallest building in Shanghai, I said please don’t ask us about the most popular place!

Eight hours flight didn’t seem to be too long because we not only ate two Chinese meals with just right amount for our stomach, but also watched films.

Jackie Chan played a professor and found a gold treasure in India.  With the shuttle of time and the beauty of actresses, especially the part when Jackie Chan was driving with the big lion, it killed all our sleepiness!

Air China is very comfortable and just after a couple of times of travelling, I decided to fix Air China as my flight because I don’t like to save some money but to travel through Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Helsinki to spend at least three or four extra hours. Once I and my daughter travelled via Amsterdam, we had to stay one night at the airport and the next day we had to travel to Heathrow Airport in order to go to Stockholm! Enough is enough.  I’d rather spend a little more money to fly direct than go round about.

Chinese girls are beautiful and nice and it is very good that they both speak English and Chinese.  As time goes by, I like to save my energy as much as possible.

Beijing Airport is the same as before.  It is large, broad and bright. It was due to the 2008 Olympics, Beijing Airport was improved. Immediately you can feel the water saving facilities in the toilet.  All the water tap used sensing devices.  Without sensing, no water comes out!

It was easy because I put a smaller suitcase inside the big suitcase just in order to use them when we went back to Stockholm.  There were so little things we could take from Sweden to China.  When coming back, we have a lot to take.

As we came out of the customs, my sister and brother in law showed up to receive us.  She just bought a BMW last summer after she came back from Indonesia where she worked for two years.  I suggested she buy Volvo, but she chose the landrover BMW in the end. She wanted to drive in the countryside or tourist sites in suburban Beijing.

I felt privileged to have them receive us.  If I were alone, I would like to take the fast train or subway to go home.

It was my brother in law who drove the car. He drove a car in Namibia when we were both working in Africa.  Later he turned out to become my brother in law.  The world was actually not big.  After going around the globe for  a whole round, I came to Sweden from New Zealand.

Arriving at home, I felt hungry. My brother in law cooked dumplings for us and we ate a lot together with dried Toffo salad.  Then we had a sleep which can be counted as 24 hours because we slept almost in a stretch to next day and next day. The room was hot and it felt like a free sauna! Sweat streams out easily out of forehead and neck.

Beijing, a warm Beijing warmly welcomed us!

A far more cleaner Beijing is waiting for us!

I feel very glad because I look forward to seeing many of my friends, classmates and most importantly my parents, my father, 84 and my mother 74! PLUS THEIR GRANDSON, 2.5 years old!