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Experts say nation at forefront of energy turn

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  Technicians check photovoltaic panels at a solar power station in Dezhou, Shandong province, in May.  China is poised to provide effective solutions to the significant challenges faced in achieving a global energy transition, as the country has been continuously accelerating energy technology innovation, said industry experts. China is already a pioneer in global energy technology transformation, as the world's second-largest economy has been vigorously promoting the implementation of advanced technologies, which is fostering the gradual maturation of related industries, said Lin Jianhai, vice-president of the International Finance Forum and former secretary of the International Monetary Fund. The vast scale of China's market and its comprehensive industrial system have enhanced the overall development level of the energy industry chain while driving the global green transition, Lin said. He made the remarks during the launch ceremony of the IFF Energy Transition and Developm

Two-handed techno-tussle

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  Technology is traditionally viewed as being naturally affiliated with the economy and military and its role as a vital variable that influences international relations in its own right is often overlooked. After decades of rapid development, technologies, especially disruptive technologies, have been embedded in every aspect of politics and economic activities, to such an extent that they have restructured the patterns of global technological competition and even spurred substantial changes in international relations. Currently, the new generation of technologies, exemplified by artificial general intelligence, exhibits the classic "Medici Effect" of innovations that appear when disciplines and ideas intersect. The combination and deep integration of various new technologies, and the technological interactivity that arises are sparking a new wave of international technological competition. The current technological competition is characterized by high entry barriers, a stro

Could this moss survive and thrive on Mars? A Chinese study points to potential

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  A team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that a desert moss species could withstand the harsh conditions of the Martian environment. A desert moss that can stand extreme drought and cold on Earth may serve as a pioneer plant on Mars and pave the way for human colonisation, according to a new study from China. A study by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found Syntrichia caninervis thrives in places like the Tibetan Plateau, the Mojave Desert and Antarctica by going into a form of hibernation that can last for years. The addition of a small amount of water saw the moss bounce back to life “within seconds” and resume photosynthesis, turning carbon dioxide into the oxygen and carbohydrates essential to human survival on any planet, the researchers wrote. “Although there is still a long way to go to create self-sufficient habitats on other planets, we demonstrated the great potential of S. caninervis as a pioneer plant for growth on Mars,” they said

Planting for the future

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  The Germplasm Bank of Wild Species in Kunming, Yunnan province, is a trove of hundreds of thousands of invaluable plant seeds.  For some, life is put on pause at the very beginning. In the basement of a four-story building in Kunming's northern suburbs, hundreds of thousands of precious plant seeds are carefully stored at — 20 C. This Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, located in Yunnan's provincial capital in Southwest China, is the largest facility of its kind in Asia. It houses more than 94,000 plant seed accessions from around 11,000 wild species, representing over one-third of China's wild seed plants. The seeds are carefully stored in specially designed glass bottles, which are lined up on rows of shelves in a concrete warehouse 30 meters underground. According to Cai Jie, head of the seed bank's germplasm collection center, Chinese researchers discovered ancient lotus fruit in the peat layer of a dried-up pond in Pulandian, Northeast China's Liaoning province,

Officials: China to intensify efforts for digital infrastructure construction

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A robot dog on display at the Global Digital Economy Conference 2024, which kicked off on Tuesday in Beijing. CHENG GONG/FOR CHINA DAILY China will ratchet up efforts to accelerate the building of digital infrastructure and leverage innovative digital technologies to bolster industrial upgrade, as part of a broader push to foster new quality productive forces and promote deeper integration of the digital and real economies, officials and company executives said. Zhuang Rongwen, head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, stressed the need to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields, nurture strategic emerging fields and develop future-oriented industries, as well as build digital industry clusters that are globally competitive. Zhuang made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the Global Digital Economy Conference 2024, which kicked off on Tuesday in Beijing. He also called for efforts to advance high-standard opening-up and expand international cooperation in the

Baidu launches advanced AI model

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  Chinese tech heavyweight Baidu Inc launches the latest version of its large language model, Ernie 4.0 Turbo. Chinese tech heavyweight Baidu Inc has unveiled the latest version of its large language model, Ernie 4.0 Turbo, which will be available to the public via web interfaces and mobile apps. The newly launched model offers faster responses and superior performance, elevating the capabilities of its previous version Ernie 4.0, according to the company. Developers can integrate the technology through Baidu's Qianfan LLM platform. So far, Baidu's AI-powered chatbot Ernie Bot has garnered 300 million users since its debut in March 2023, while Ernie API or application programming interface now handles 500 million daily queries, said Wang Haifeng, chief technology officer of the company.  The announcement came as US company OpenAI announced plans to block access to its API from China and other countries starting July 9. Baidu also announced the release of its upgraded deep learn

China's space body reveals the weight of samples collected from moon's far side

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  The returner of the Chang'e 6 lunar probe is opened during a ceremony at the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation in Beijing, June 26, 2024. The returner of the Chang'e 6 lunar probe was opened at a ceremony in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon.  A total of 1,935.3 grams of lunar samples were retrieved by China's Chang'e 6 robotic probe from the moon's far side, the China National Space Administration announced on Friday morning, as the space authority handed over the scientifically invaluable substances to scientists. The weight of the samples, the most asked question by science and space enthusiasts over the past two days, was revealed by the space administration at a handover ceremony at its Beijing headquarters. Put in a special container, the lunar dusts were handed over by Zhang Kejian, head of the space administration, to Ding Chibiao, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, at the ceremony.