China Current Affairs

China opens world’s longest and highest glass bridge

The world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge was opened to visitors in central China.

The bridge connects two mountain cliffs known as the Avatar Mountains in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province.

Key Facts

  • The glass-bottomed bridge is 430 metres long and is 6 metres wide.
  • It stands 300 metre above a canyon in the Tianmenshan National Forest Park.
  • It has been paved with 99 panes of three-layered transparent glass.
  • It has been designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan.
  • Construction of the bridge had completed in December 2015.
  • So far it has set 10 world records for design and construction.
  • Maximum 8,000 visitors will be allowed to cross the bridge every day.

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Chinese scientists discover XMU-MP-1 molecule to repair organs

Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule (new drug) named XMU-MP-1 that can regenerate tissue. It has potential to eliminate transplants of some organs.

It was discovered by team of researchers from Xiamen University and  Peking University of China. The findings were published in Science Translational Medicine.

Key Facts

  • The drug, XMU-MP-1 can promote repair and regeneration in the liver, intestines and skin.
  • It was found that it has ability to inhibit the activity of two enzymes MST1 and MST2, the central component of this pathway which normally prevent cells from proliferating.
  • By inhibiting the activity of MST1/2, XMU-MP-1 can promote cell growth in four different mouse models with acute injuries.
  • For this research purpose, researchers had specifically targeted a critical signalling molecule in the Hippo pathway, which controls organ size and growth.

Significance: This study paves the way for medicines that help to rebuild organs instead of relying on complicated therapeutic strategies such as regenerative cells to specific spots and delivering biomaterials in the body to repair and restore injured tissue.

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China, ASEAN countries agree to form South China Sea framework

China and ten member countries of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to form a framework for a code of conduct to ease tension in disputed South China Sea.

The agreement was reached between both sides during a meeting at Inner Mongolia in northern China held on August 15 and 16, 2016.

Key Facts

  • The two sides also agreed to get the framework for the code of conduct done by mid-2017.
  • They also approved guidelines for a China-ASEAN hotline for use during maritime emergencies.
  • They also agreed that a pact on unplanned maritime encounters signed by countries in the region in 2014 is applied to the SCS.

Comment

  • This decision is considered as a significant rapprochement between China and ASEAN bloc, especially after Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling against China in July 2016.
  • The PCA had ruled that China has no historical title over the disputed South China Sea and it has breached the Philippines sovereign rights. However, China had dismissed the ruling and had urged bilateral talks to resolve the issue.

Background

Since 2010, China and the 10 members of ASEAN have been discussing a set of rules aimed at avoiding conflict among rival claimants in the busy waterway in South China Sea. China based on historical assumptions has claimed almost the entire South China Sea as its part. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan (not member) also have claimed their rights in the sea through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually and is believed to be rich in energy deposits.

10 ASEAN Members: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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