Stable devt of China-Russia ties beneficial to world peace, prosperity: Global Times editorial

On May 16, Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in China on a state visit, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The two heads of state jointly met the press, signed and issued the Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era in the Context of the 75th Anniversary of China-Russia Diplomatic Relations (hereinafter referred to as the "Statement"). Under the strategic guidance of the two leaders, China and Russia have consistently developed their bilateral relations based on the principles of non-alignment, non-confrontation, and not targeting any third party, setting an example of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between major powers. This not only aligns with the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples but also contributes to regional and global peace, stability, and prosperity.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. Summarizing the notable progress in China-Russia relations over the past 75 years, President Xi said that it is attributable to the two countries' commitment to five principles. First, China and Russia are committed to mutual respect as the fundamental principle of relations, and always render support for each other's core interests. Second, China and Russia are committed to win-win cooperation as the driving force of relations, and work to foster a new paradigm of mutual benefit. Third, China and Russia are committed to lasting friendship as the foundation of relations, and carry forward the torch of Sino-Russian friendship. Fourth, China and Russia are committed to strategic coordination as an underpinning of relations, and steer global governance in the right direction. Fifth, China and Russia are committed to fairness and justice as the purpose of relations, and dedicated to the political settlement of hotspots. These "five principles" set an exemplary model for relations between neighboring major powers and will continue to guide China-Russia relations toward new successes.

The relationship between China and Russia, two major powers, is unique in the history of modern international relations. The two countries are not military-political allies, but rather represent a new model of major power relations characterized by non-alignment, non-confrontation, and not targeting any third country. The development of their relationship has its own internal logic and driving force. It is not a threat to any country, nor is it subject to any interference or discord sown by any third party. This is a summary of the extraordinary 75-year development history of China-Russia relations. Both countries respect each other's national sovereignty, security, and development interests, as well as their own chosen development path, which is the "secret" to why their relationship has become a model for the development of partnerships between major powers and neighboring countries. As President Xi said, this is not only the correct way for China and Russia to get along, but also the direction that major-country relations should strive for in the 21st century.

The close cooperation between China and Russia is a driving force for stability in the international landscape. This year, Russia assumes the rotating presidency of the BRICS countries, and China will also take over the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization within the year. The two countries work together to promote regional stability and development, strengthen the alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, and jointly promote cooperation among the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS mechanism, and countries in the Global South. Both countries uphold multilateralism, oppose hegemony and unilateralism in international organizations such as the United Nations and the G20, effectively promoting the democratization and multipolarization of the global order, as well as firmly upholding international fairness and justice.

Currently, some countries are using "national security" as a pretext to promote deglobalization and group politics, kidnapping allies to push for "decoupling" and build "small yard, high fence." This has increased the complexity and uncertainty of regional and global security situations. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia share similar security views and maintain effective strategic communication. They jointly oppose zero-sum games and Cold War mentality, group politics, confrontational blocs, dividing the world based on ideology and political systems, and confrontational policies and interference in other countries' internal affairs. This is a positive asset for the world. In the Statement, China and Russia propose that, given the current geopolitical context, it is necessary to explore the establishment of a sustainable security system in the Eurasian space based on the principles of equal and indivisible security, outlining a blueprint for achieving genuine regional common security.

In recent years, with Russia's focus on "turning to the East" in foreign economic cooperation, China-Russia economic and trade cooperation has developed rapidly. China has been Russia's largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, accounting for 32 percent of Russia's foreign trade. Russia became China's fourth largest trading partner in 2023. These achievements are not easy and have been achieved by both countries overcoming various external challenges and unfavorable factors, highlighting the solid foundation of the China-Russia relationship. This year also marks the "China-Russia Years of Culture." The two countries and their people have a strong driving force to enhance mutual understanding and continue lasting friendship through deepening cultural exchanges.

A mountain is formed by accumulation of soil and an ocean is formed by accumulation of water. After 75 years of solid accumulation, lasting friendship and all-round cooperation between China and Russia provide a strong impetus for the two countries to forge ahead despite wind and rain. In the future, guided by head-of-state diplomacy, the two countries, standing at a new historical starting point, will jointly promote the all-round development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era, create more benefits for their peoples and make a due contribution to global security and stability.

Scientific and technological exchange between China and US ‘not at a low point’: US scholar

The scientific and technological exchanges between China and the US are "not at a low point," and global universities will continue to increase personnel exchanges with China, according to officials from the University of Chicago.
Representative from the university also said the proposal by China to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on study programs in the next five years is a 'great start' for attracting American students back to Chinese colleges, which will increase people-to-people communication.
"It was relatively difficult for people to meet face to face between China and the US in the last five years, and I think that does have an impact on our ability to collaborate. But today our academics, our students and our faculty are very eager to return to China and rebuild those ties and look for opportunities for mutual cooperation," Katie Hrinyak, Associate Vice President, Global Initiatives and Strategy at the Chicago University told the Global Times in a recent interview. 
Hrinyak said that in this fall the university will have 26 students studying at the Beijing center, the first group of American students returning to China since 2019.
"We have a long history of exchange and collaboration across all disciplines with China and we've had many important relationships here, including with academic collaborators but also with alumni, parents, students and friends. We continue to welcome Chinese students to our campus and we continue to look for opportunities to bring our students here. Our Beijing Center and Hong Kong Campus, established in 2010 and 2018 respectively, have clear missions in fostering international engagement. They not only amplify the University of Chicago's global influence, but also serve as a strong signal of our commitment to deeper international cooperation, Hrinyak added.
Beijing announced in last November that China is ready to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years.
In March this year, 24 students from Lincoln High School and Steilacoom High School in the state of Washington, the US, embarked on an 11-day visit to China.
The Chicago University supports its students' career aspirations by facilitating short-term visits or summer programs in China for those seeking job opportunities. The programs offer exposure to Chinese industries through interactions with local businesses and alumni in China. The initiative to bring American students to China is a great start, she said, adding that starting with students is very important for "they are going to be our future."
"There is certainly a desire from US students to come back to China to reengage, and there's a huge pent-up demand for scholars and hospital administrators to come to Chicago and we engage in different aspects of medicine," said Michael Millis, Faculty Director, University of Chicago Center in Beijing. 
However, they admitted that level of engagement between China and the US is not as frequent ad before, which posts challenges for the personnel exchange. 
"In the past before the pandemic, there was a direct flight from Chicago to Beijing, but currently I still need to transfer in San Francisco," Hrinyak said. 
The scientific and technological exchanges between China and the US are "not in a low point," and the low point was a couple of years ago when essentially there was no travel, no exchanges of anything between US and China, Millis added.
But there are some barriers, such as shortage of funding and flights that make momentum harder than before, Millis said. 
The exchanges between the two countries are getting more frequently now. Airlines from China and the US are on a stable path to increase flights, recording the biggest jump since the outbreak of the pandemic, amid recent efforts by the Chinese and US governments to increase flights.
Starting on March 31, airlines from China and the US can operate a total of 100 scheduled round trips per week, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China on February 29.
"There are some real steps taken by them and commitments to try to break down the barriers that we talked about. I'm optimistic towards the future," Millis said. 

Global Times investment promotion event held in Beijing

China Association of Science and Technology System Reform and research fellow with China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences reviewed the development experience of China's economy over the past 40 years and proposed three opinions based on the current situation in China.

Liu Quanhong, director of Industrial Economics and Technical Economics Institute of Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said that in order to develop new quality productive forces, it is necessary to innovate the industrial development model comprehensively. 

Peng Juan, chairperson of Women's Federation in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province told the Global Times that the development of new quality productive forces cannot be achieved without the strength of women. According to Peng, the proportion of female talents in Changsha is now at 51.34 percent, and female scientific and technological workers account for 35 percent, and the net inflow rate of middle- and high-end talents to Changsha ranks among the top three in the country. 

Representatives from various cities across China also discussed their economic strength, resources, and investment promotion policies, and efforts to create a favorable business environment and achieve high-quality urban development. Cities such as Huaihua in Hunan Province, Jinan and Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province, Shishi in East China's Fujian Province, highlighted their strategic industries and development goals, inviting domestic and international investors to explore opportunities in their regions.

Suzhou Industrial Park, Lanzhou New Area, Gongshu district of Hangzhou, and Huadu district of Guangzhou also conducted investment promotion events during the conference.

Decipher China's green success: competitiveness of Chinese EV industry comes from competition, not subsidies: analysts

Editor's Note:
As China's new-energy industries rise to global prominence, US officials have started a smear campaign based on false "overcapacity" claims. The rise of China's new-energy industries is due to innovation, rather than subsidies, and is beneficial for the world, instead of posing threats to other countries. To illustrate this, the Global Times is publishing a multi-part series under the theme of "New Energy, New Opportunities." This story focuses on how the Chinese electric vehicles (EV) industry draws its competitiveness from competition, debunking the groundless narrative that Chinese EV industry's strengths came from government subsidies.

At the recently concluded Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, which drew nearly 900,000 visitors over a 10-day event, Chinese EV brands once again dominated the headlines.

Some 28,000 foreigners were reportedly on the scene, with many taking profound interest in Chinese EV brands to study the models and try to decipher the reasons behind the popularity of Chinese brands.

On account of rising smears on China's green exports "overcapacity," Chinese analysts and industry insiders pointed out that the competitiveness of Chinese EV industry comes from fierce competition, the advantage of industrial cluster and entrepreneurship.

There is no "overcapacity," as the issue of industry capacity will be balanced by the market's invisible hand given the fierce competition existed in the Chinese market, the fact that Chinese automakers are not selling their EVs at prices lower than those billed at the home market and the global gap for more EVs to realize its green development goals, analysts noted.

Industrial cluster

There are several aspects of the strengths of the Chinese EV industries, which produce about 60 percent of the world's EVs, but none are associated with subsidies, analysts noted.

The rising momentum of Chinese EV is in part fueled by the country's investment into its surrounding industries, experts noted, with the number of companies spanning the whole EV industrial and supply chain totaling over one million.

Hefei, East China's Anhui Province, has in recent years built itself into an assembly center of NEVs, with a concentration of upper stream and lower stream suppliers providing the display panel, chips, batteries and artificial intelligence applications needed for building NEVs in a cost-effective way.

In Changzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province, the local industry is closely focused around the manufacturing of power batteries. In fact, the city has 31 out of 32 major segments in the making of batteries, which means 97 percent of the total supply chain spectrum resides in the city, according to a Xinhua News Agency report in April, citing the city government.

The city has more than 30 leading companies in national and global division of labor focused on the manufacturing of electrodes, separators and electrolytes - key parts in making batteries - with an annual industrial output of over 170 billion yuan ($24.02 billion).

Qin Lihong, co-founder of Chinese EV maker Nio, told the Global Times that China's advantage in talent in the EV space is another reason. Nio has factories in Hefei.

"To develop large number of applications used in EVs requires huge amount of man power and energy and China happens to be the place in the world with the most talents skilled in application research & development (R&D)," said Qin.

"To develop a particular type of motor may need 100,000 man hours, and the West's per unit cost of R&D in EV is not in the same league with that of China. The resources of EV R&D are agglomerating toward China," Qin said.

The allocation of resources has meant Chinese EV brands are better positioned to roll out their models in a cost competitive way that their global peers could not, Chinese analysts said.

The Chinese government provides no subsidies for the exports of EVs, rending the accusation of "subsidy" groundless, Cao Heping, an economist at Peking University, told the Global Times. "The accusation is further debunked as the world actually faces a shortage, rather than excess, of EVs in its green transition."

Cao said the West has no legal nor logical ground to ask China to downsize one of its globally competitive industries, which are the result of decades of strategic vision and investment and daring undertakings. "Resolving any global imbalance of resources can be only achieved through dialogue and governance, not a unilateral smear campaign."

As a matter of fact, global auto giant such as Volkswagen is increasing their investment in cities like Hefei, to hitch a ride on China's industrial cluster.

An opinion piece in the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung on April 23 pointed out that the West's complaints about China's "overcapacity" are both hypocritical and shortsighted and the Western industrialized countries would do better to face up to the competition, benefit from good and cheap products and push for equal market access in exchange for more Chinese green energy products.

The opinion piece analyzed related data, concluding that during the period from 2023 to March 2024, China's subsidies designated for industries related to strategic competitiveness stood at $42 billion, much lower than that of the US, which earmarked $222 billion of funds during the same period.

China's vehicle market got off to a good start in the first quarter of 2024, and NEV exports reached 307,000 units in the period, up 23.8 percent year-on-year, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

In 2023, China's NEV exports totaled 1.2 million with an annual growth of 77.6 percent.

Relentless entrepreneurship

Chinese analysts pointed out that Chinese EV companies also draw their competitiveness from their relentless pursuit in innovation, despite the fact that the new-energy industry being a high-risk area, and contributed to the global transition toward green development by making NEVs cheaper and more popular around the world.

It is the entrepreneurial spirit that have formed a part of the engine driving the Chinese EV industry ahead, analysts said.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, in a recent interview with state broadcaster CCTV, revealed that the company has thrown in nearly half of its total value, at some $10 billion, into the EV-making adventure to make its SU7, only to bet on a 10 percent success rate.

Lü Xiang, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that even as Xiaomi's initial start with its SU7 is beyond expectation in terms of sales, there is no telling in the company's eventual success in the fiercely competitive domestic market.

With Xiaomi's entry into the EV game, companies such as Tesla and Li Auto has announced cut in their offerings.

Lei said he is not afraid of price wars and is prepared to take losses but aims to become the world's top five EV players in the long-run.

Global demand for NEVs far exceeds current production capacity, Peruvian FM says, defying ‘overcapacity’ rhetoric

Peru and China are pursuing green transformation and high-quality development. In this regard, there are many opportunities for enhanced collaboration in the green economy, Peruvian Foreign Minister Javier González-Olaechea Franco told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

The remarks came after his official visit to China from April 28 to 30 - his first visit to the country since he took office - with the clear objective of addressing with the Chinese government the challenges world peace faces. He also dealt with a wide variety of topics related to cooperation and investment in a significant number of priority sectors for Peru and of interest to China, the foreign minister said.

While speaking about the need for cooperation in the green sector, González-Olaechea responded to some "overcapacity" fallacies targeting China's new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

Chinese NEVs are setting trends that lead to the green transformation of Latin American countries. Regional countries such as Peru, Chile and Brazil have been among the top destination markets for Chinese NEVs.

During a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and González-Olaechea in Beijing, the two sides agreed to deepen cooperation in fields such as green development, in addition to other sectors including infrastructure construction, the digital economy and health, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Peruvian foreign minister also highlighted Peru's keen interest in Chinese NEVs. He told the Global Times that the reason for this interest is "quite simple."

Chinese NEVs have become a popular choice for many developing countries because of their cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness, González-Olaechea said.

Responding to the "overcapacity" rhetoric, the Peruvian foreign minister said that "evidence shows that, despite the rapid growth of Chinese electric vehicle exports, there remains a consistent global demand that far exceeds current production capacity. Reality and potential must drive our decisions."

"In addition, let us remember that there is a consensus on climate change and the urgent need to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030," González-Olaechea said, adding that Peru commits its words and its policy to this global goal for the benefit of humanity.

China has been Peru's largest trading partner for nine consecutive years, and Peru is China's second-largest investment destination and fourth-largest trading partner in Latin America.

In the first quarter, bilateral trade between China and Peru reached 70.97 billion yuan ($9.82 billion), a year-on-year increase of 14.3 percent, with both imports and exports expanding, according to the data from China's General Administration of Customs.

In addition to traditional sectors, new energy offers potential for cooperation in sectors where both sides can further tap into the market for win-win outcomes, Chinese experts said.

Many developing countries in Latin America, including Peru, are embracing green development to a significant extent, comparable to many developed countries worldwide, Wang Youming, director of the Institute of Developing Countries at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The demand for green transformation in the region aligns with the advantages that Chinese companies offer, not only in the NEV industry but also in the solar and wind power sectors, Wang said.

As Chinese companies expand their global presence with competitive products, Latin American countries could enhance their industry upgrades by deepening cooperation with Chinese investors in the new-energy sector, Wang said, noting that this collaboration could also reduce regional countries' heavy reliance on exporting raw materials for economic development.

Mainland resumes Matsu tourism, approving imports from Taiwan island

The Chinese mainland will take the lead in resuming tourism for residents of East China's Fujian Province to visit Matsu, and will approve certain imports from the island of Taiwan, according to the authorities on Sunday. Experts believed that by upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing "Taiwan independence," the mainland has sent "goodwill signals" to further promote cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation.

After the direct passenger sea routes between Pingtan, Fujian and the Taiwan island are resumed, the mainland will also resume group tours for Fujian residents to the island, according to Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Rao Quan, during a meeting with a visiting Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party delegation led by Fu Kun-chi, in Beijing, on Sunday.

 In August 2019, the mainland suspended issuing individual tourist travel permits for the island to residents in 47 mainland cities. 

 Also on Sunday, Zhao Zenglian, a deputy chief of the General Administration of Customs, met with Fu. Chinese mainland customs will approve the imports of agricultural and fishery products from the island of Taiwan - including pomelo - in accordance with mainland quarantine requirements and regulations,  Zhao announced. 

The 25-member KMT delegation arrived in Beijing on Friday evening and was scheduled to return to the island of Taiwan on Sunday.

These moves by the mainland including resuming tourism to Matsu are "goodwill signals," and more opening measures are expected to carry out in the future, to promote cross-Straits exchanges, cooperation and integrated development, by upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing "Taiwan independence," Wang Jianmin, a senior cross-Straits expert at Minnan Normal University in Fujian, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Administration of China both announced on Sunday that they have urged the Taiwan authorities to resume direct cross-Straits sea passenger routes and expand resumption of direct cross-Straits flight destinations.

We hope that the Taiwan authorities will fully consider the demands of people and shipping companies on both sides of the Straits, and promptly resume direct cross-Straits sea routes, and restore the opening of direct flights between the island and 30 mainland destinations, Zhu Fenglian, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Sunday.

Tang Yonghong, a professor from the Taiwan Research Center at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Sunday that the regions such as Matsu have a relatively sound political foundation for fostering economic exchanges. Opening travel to Matus is also part of the efforts to building a demonstration zone in Fujian for the integrated development across the Taiwan Straits.

Tang said that it's important to uphold the 1992 Consensus and oppose "Taiwan independence." Taiwan compatriots will benefit from cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation. However, anyone who supports "Taiwan independence" has no room and will be firmly opposed, according to Tang. 

Fujian previously heightened convenience for Taiwan compatriots holding travel permits regarding travel, finance, telecommunications and other areas.


Since the beginning of 2024, a total of 90,000 five-year travel permits have been issued to Taiwan compatriots, an increase of 56.4 percent year on year; and 11,000 single-entry travel permits have been issued, an increase of 200 percent from the same period in 2023, according to Zhu on April 24.

A pilot program for online applications and issuance of entry and exit documents has been launched across 20 mainland cities, including Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, by China's National Immigration Administration, to further facilitate the exit-and-entry services. 

Starting from May 6, mainland residents above the age of 16 in these cities are allowed to apply for renewal and replacement of Taiwan travel permits through the national immigration administration's online platform, without the need to visit the immigration office in person, according to the immigration authorities on Sunday.

S.China's Guangdong faces continued heavy rainfall; flood relief efforts carried out effectively

The latest round of rainfall in southern China was forecast to peak on Thursday, with South China's Guangdong Province being the center of the heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, most regions in northern China are expected to see significant warming, with daytime temperatures reaching around 30 C in some places, according to China's National Meteorological Center.

The meteorological center continued to issue warnings for heavy rainfall and severe convective weather on Thursday. 

Multiple rounds of heavy rainfall have occurred in southern China in April, with above normal levels of accumulated precipitation during the same period. The precipitation in South China is more than twice the normal level for the same period recorded in previous years, making it the second-highest level since 1961, according to meteorological authorities.

Chinese authorities have strengthened flood relief efforts including dispatching relief supplies, relocating flood-affected residents, and enhancing monitoring, forecasting, and early warning systems in recent days to reduce risks and prevent secondary disasters.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the People's Armed Police Force have assisted in emergency rescue and disaster relief in Guangdong. As of 8 pm on Wednesday, a total of 3,928 residents had been relocated, said Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, at Thursday's press briefing.

The Shaoguan detachment under the People's Armed Police deployed 300 soldiers to Jiangwan town, one of the most severely flood-affected areas in Guangdong. They marched for more than 30 hours to reach the town, as the region experienced heavy rainfall, and roads, communication lines, and electricity were cut off, leaving the town isolated, according to the Southern Theater Command of the PLA.

As of 7 pm on Wednesday, all the residents affected in Jiangwan town had all been transferred, as the region is expected to experience a new round of heavy rainfall to last until Friday, with a high risk of geological disasters, according to Guangdong authorities.

The Global Times has learned from the Shaoguan authorities that relevant local departments have been working around the clock in rescue and flood relief efforts.

Zheng Zhihai, chief forecaster at the National Climate Center said that the frequent rainfall in southern China is closely linked to the El Niño phenomenon. Since April, the strong subtropical high pressure in the western Pacific has been directing water vapor from the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal toward southern China, according to the meteorological authorities on Wednesday.

Experts also reminded farmers to regularly clean ditches and drains, remove excess water from fields, and avoid conducting spring sowing during the period of heavy rainfall. "The impact of the round of heavy rainfall on rice planting in Guangdong is limited," Li Guoxiang, a researcher at the Rural Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

After the heavy rain, it is important to promptly take measures such as replanting and other technical methods to reduce the impact. Also, the local farmers will strengthen pest and disease monitoring and adjust fertilization accordingly, said Li.

Record-high 500,000 runners participate in road races in one day, as ‘marathon frenzy’ sweeps China

On Sunday, the Chinese running community witnessed a near-crazy phenomenon with over 50 road marathon races and nearly 500,000 runners starting on the same day, which marked the highest number of marathon participants in Chinese history. 

Just a week prior on April 14, there were over 30 marathon races with nearly 300,000 runners, which set a new record. Just a week later, this record was surpassed.

What's more, the quality of these back-to-back "marathon weekends" did not seem to have been compromised. Alongside races like the Suzhou Marathon, Qingdao Marathon, and Nantong Marathon with 25,000 participants, there were also World Athletics Gold Label Road Races like the Shanghai Half Marathon. The enthusiasm of runners to participate in these events is a clear indication of the resurgence of marathon races.

According to The Paper, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Chinese Athletics Association Gao Shan stated that as of 2023, the number of certified races with over 800 participants has almost reached 90 percent of the number in 2019. The overall number of participants is also increasing, and their performance levels are improving.

The "2023 China Road Running Events Blue Book" published by the Chinese Athletics Association confirms that the average finish times for male and female marathon runners are 4:12:08 and 4:24:14, respectively, while the average finish time for a half marathon is 2:08:20.

Elite runners have been breaking records, with China’s top runner He Jie setting a new national men's marathon record of 2:06:57 at the Wuxi Marathon on March 24. This week, two elite runners also set new course records for the male and female categories at the Shanghai Half Marathon.

The breakthroughs of elite runners have led to an overall increase in speed, with 3423 runners breaking the three-hour mark at a recent race, ranking third globally in terms of the number of sub-three-hour finishers.

A seasoned runner Liu Juan described her participation in over a dozen races in 2024 as "crazy." She attributes her increased participation to the improved race environment and atmosphere, which has made her more willing to travel and participate in races across the country, as reported by The Paper.

Observers note that the frequent hosting of high-level marathons in China presents a "sweet dilemma" for runners and a competitive pressure for event organizers. It challenges them not only to attract runners but also to ensure the successful operation of the races. Many organizers have yet to meet top-tier standards, posing a test for the future development of marathons in China, said analysts.

In a recent scandal of a half marathon race on April 14, the winner He Jie and three African pace setters who appeared to finish as runners-up, have all been stripped of their trophies, medals and prize money, after public outrage was inflamed as footage showed that He won the race because the three African runners slowed down to let him cross the finish line first.

On Saturday, according to media reports, a trail running race in Zhaoqing, South China’s Guangdong Province, was hit by heavy rain and flash floods. Before the organizers called off the race, several participants were trapped and in danger. After the race, many participants questioned the organizers' decision-making and rescue capabilities.