A Fusion of Sci-Fi and Heavy Industry Innovation, Flagship XCMG Machinery Equipment Features in Sci-Fi Blockbuster “The Wandering Earth II”

XUZHOU, China, Jan. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A fusion of sci-fi adventure and heavy industry innovation, a flagship fleet of customized XCMG Machinery (“XCMG”, SHE:000425) equipment is featured in the China-made sci-fi blockbuster “The Wandering Earth II” directed by Frant Gwo, which opened in movie theaters on Chinese New Year’s Day, and will be released in the countries and regions including North America, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, etc. starting from today.

A Fusion of Sci-Fi and Heavy Industry Innovation, Flagship XCMG Machinery Equipment, A Fleet of 61 Units Equipment of 42 Models, Features in Sci-Fi Blockbuster “The Wandering Earth II”, which to be Released on Jan. 28th, 2023 in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, etc.

From the “space elevator” soaring across the earth and sky to the thrilling “air combat,” XCMG equipment journeys from behind the scenes to onstage in the prequel to 2019’s ”The Wandering Earth”, which became one of the highest grossing non-English movies ever. Leveraging its comprehensive product portfolio and solutions in hoisting, earthmoving, road, aerial work, sanitation, safety and emergency rescue, XCMG has provided a wide range of operational and transformable machinery equipment for the UEG (United Earth Government) in the film.

“As China’s premier company of industrial design, we came up with several product design proposals in two days after receiving the assignment and selected the best solution with the directors. As you’ll see in the film, we achieved ideal results.  These dazzling pieces of ‘equipment of the future’ were not just for cinematic show, they were inspired by our real-life products that are breaking new ground every day,” said Zhang Han, the industrial designer from XCMG.

XCMG provided 61 units of equipment of 42 models, more than 400 sets of spare parts and workshop props and 61 sets of 3D models over the course of film production, from scheduling, painting, equipment to personnel, logistics, to on-site execution and more. A total of 319 XCMG staff worked on the project.

One of the most coveted pieces of equipment from the film is the ET120 walking excavator, also known as the “steel mantis.” Designed for emergency rescue in complex terrain environments and at disaster-stricken sites, the ET120 can “walk” the plateau mountains, woodlands, ravines, swamps and alpine as if it’s on firm earth, while equipped for installing various tools to perform different tasks such as excavation, lifting, logging, fire extinguishing, crushing, grabbing and drilling at altitudes of up to 4,500 meters and temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius.

In addition, the film features dozens of innovative technologies that XCMG has developed for applications in extreme conditions, and over a third of the equipment in the film is unmanned and new energy models, including the AGV.

“The ‘steel mantis’ in the film is the ‘transformer’ of real life, and as you’ll see in the movie, XCMG brings sci-fi to reality through the wonders of our industrial engineering, so I’m very proud of what we have created,” said Gwo.

From introducing product technologies from abroad to mastering core technologies of breakthrough significance, XCMG, has established the most cutting-edge R&D through global collaboration to become one of the top three construction manufacturers in the world.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1991543/A_Fusion_Sci_Fi_Heavy_Industry_Innovation_Flagship_XCMG_Machinery_Equipment.jpg

‘He’s Close to Us’: Wheelchair Users in Africa Await Pope

GOMA, CONGO — When Pope Francis arrives in Congo and South Sudan next week, thousands of people will take special note of a gesture more grounded than the sign of the cross. Watching from their wheelchairs, they will relate to the way he uses his.

The pope, who began using a wheelchair last year, is visiting two countries where years of conflict have disabled many, and yet they are among the world’s most difficult places to find accessibility and understanding. His visit is heartening Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

“We know that it’s a suffering, but it also comforts us to see a grand personality like the pope using a wheelchair,” said Paul Mitemberezi, a market vendor in Goma, at the heart of the eastern Congo region threatened by dozens of armed groups. “Sometimes it gives us the courage to hope that this isn’t the end of the world and one can survive.”

Mitemberezi, a Catholic and a father, has been disabled since he was 3 because of polio. He works to support his family because he can’t imagine a life of begging. On the way to market, his three-wheeled chair crunches the stones of unpaved roads. Without a ramp at home, he must leave the brightly painted vehicle outdoors, at risk of theft.

Every morning, before he leaves for basketball practice, he makes sure the chair’s still there before crawling out his front door. “It is my legs, which helps me to live,” he said. He applies a bicycle pump to the wheels and is off, weaving through traffic of motorcycles and trucks.

Pope Francis is still adjusting to a life that Mitemberezi has long accepted. The pope was first seen publicly in a wheelchair in May, with an aide pushing it. The pope, at age 86, never propels himself. Sometimes he walks with a cane, but he uses the chair for longer distances and has a wheelchair lift to get on and off planes.

Francis has insisted that his mobility limitations don’t affect his ability to be pope, saying “You lead with your head, not your knee.” He has lamented how today’s “throwaway culture” wrongly marginalizes disabled people. He makes it a point to visit places serving the disabled during his foreign trips, and routinely spends time greeting wheelchair users at the end of his general audiences.

“No disability — temporary, acquired or permanent — can change the fact that we are all children of the one Father and enjoy the same dignity,” Francis wrote in his annual message for the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December. He said people with different abilities enrich the church and teach it to be more humane.

Such messages are warmly awaited by wheelchair users in South Sudan, where a five-year civil war killed hundreds of thousands of people. As in Congo, data is lacking on just how many people are disabled by conflict or other means.

While the road leading to the Vatican’s embassy in the South Sudan capital, Juba, was paved by city authorities this month for ease of travel, residents who use wheelchairs said they have long gone without easy access to schools, health centers, toilets and other public facilities.

The Vatican’s ambassador to Congo, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, said he believed the sight of a wheelchair-using pope could be a powerful teaching moment in a culture where disabilities are often viewed with suspicion and superstition.

Families often abandon their disabled children, he said.

Seeing someone like the pope suffer should make Francis more approachable for people during his visit, Balestrero said. “They identify, in a way, even more with him.”

Source: Voice of America

ICG: ‘Considerable work remains to keep things on track’ in Sudan

A statement by the non-governmental think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) recommends that signatories of Sudan’s new Framework Agreement should “work to win broader support during the current phase of negotiations, while outside actors should stand ready to offer financing if the agreement sticks.”

“Considerable work remains to keep things on track in the country’s transition away from authoritarian rule,” said the statement published on Monday.

Since October’s military coup Sudan has been stuck in political deadlock. Police and security forces frequently clash with ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations and have killed more than 100 protesters, report Sudanese medical groups.

The conclusion of the first phase of a framework agreement between the military and civilian parties on December 5, “is a major accomplishment, but is facing long odds. It excludes former rebels and others who could undermine the transitional government if not brought on board. Many of those who are against the agreement, including the resistance committees at the core of the protest movement demanding civilian rule, doubt that the generals will honour the deal’s terms.”

This week, resistance committees in Khartoum announced that they are in the process of forming Legislative Councils in the city’s districts, which is to lead to the formation of a national Legislative Council. In addition, a charter which regulates the work of the resistance committees is almost ready to be signed in its final form.

“Wider talks among civilian leaders, which began in January to address critical issues not covered by the accord and build a broader constituency for it, are thus critical if it is to garner the legitimacy it will need to succeed,” said ICG.

Following the June 3 Massacre at the sit-in at the Army Command in Khartoum in 2019, resistance committees “emerged as watchdogs.” Their role is to make sure that other opposition organisations, such as the Sudanese Professional’s Association (SPA), the FFC, and political parties, do not compromise on the ideals of the December revolution in exchange for government power, according to prominent Sudanese political scientist Atta El Battahani.

The statement notes that “on paper, the agreement unexpectedly fulfils most of the anti-coup parties’ demands.” It ends the military’s formal political role, contemplates a transitional order in which a civilian will become head of state, and gives civilians the right to appoint the prime minister, a transitional legislative council, and an eleven-member interim judicial council. Elections are to take place at the end of the two-year transition period.

In addition, the prime minister will name the cabinet and state governors and chair the Defence and Security Council. “The agreement also contains other provisions that appear intended to reallocate power away from the security forces,” said ICG, however, critics “complain about both the deal itself and the process behind it.”

With this in mind, the ICG statement made five recommendations:

The FFC leaders who stand to form the next government should urgently seek a modus vivendi with other civilian political factions.

The framework signatories need to better factor into the final agreement the concerns of the Sudanese who live in the vast rural and often restive regions outside Khartoum.

The FFC elite in particular should reconsider their cold shoulder to Islamists who are not affiliated with former President Al Bashir’s National Congress Party.

Recognising that outreach to all these groups will be a tall order, and will require a neutral facilitator, the FFC leaders should help empower the UN-AU-IGAD trilateral mediators to step in.

To create the best odds that the next transitional government will succeed where the last one failed, Phase II negotiations should develop a clear action plan designed to help it avoid the turf battles that beset its predecessor.

According to the ICG, “finding a path forward in Sudan will require a range of key actors to make compromises, work with those they do not fully trust and agree on a set agenda for pulling the country back from the brink.”

Source: Radio Dabanga

Juba carefully handles dispute over Sudan’s political process

Following a series of meetings recently held in Juba by delegations of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), Minni Minnawi, Sudan Liberation Movement leader (SLM) posted a tweet on January 26, saying he received an invitation from the South Sudanese government to evaluate the Juba peace agreement before establishing an implementation timeline for the peace agreement.

Minnawi who is opposed to the political process in Sudan was in Juba on December 14, 2022, where he discussed with President Salva Kiir – the guarantor of the peace deal – the non-implementation of the peace agreement.

After the meeting with Minnawi, Kiir directed his adviser and chief mediator for the Juba process for peace in Sudan Tut Gatluak to hold a meeting to determine what has been implemented in Juba in mid-January 2023.

Removing false impressions

Officials in Juba said the South Sudanese presidency was confused by the calls to review the Juba peace agreement. Also, they got reports saying that some peace signatories stand against the deal and support the review process which ultimately aims to cancel it.

In response, the signatories of the Framework Agreement decided to go to Juba to dissipate the misunderstanding and misconception about the review of the Juba peace agreement which is one of five issues in the final phase of the ongoing political process.

On January 21, Hadi Idris, a member of the Sovereign Council and SRF leader met with President Kiir to explain that the coalition of the armed groups, signatory of the peace agreement, does not call to cancel the Juba deal but wants to ensure its full implementation besides their support for restoring the civilian transitional government to implement democratic reforms and preparing for fair and free elections.

“In particular, we extended an invitation for South Sudan to participate in the peace review conference within the framework of the political process. The invitation was decided by all signatories to the framework agreement,” Idris told Sudan Tribune after the meeting in Juba.

South Sudanese position

Four days after Kiir’s meeting with Idris, a delegation of the FFC leaders met with the South Sudanese leader to reiterate that they have no intention to revoke the deal but their process wants to consider the best conditions for its implementation.

Further, they pinpointed that detractors of the political process supported the coup, and governed Sudan with military leaders for more than a year. So, they are in no position to speak about the non-implementation of the peace agreement. In fact, they are against the new technocratic government that would replace the current government including peace signatories, they added.

On January 25, After Kiir meeting with the visiting FFC leaders, Gatluak told Sudan Tribune that President Salva Kiir after listening to the FFC delegation decided to task him as the chief mediator with a comprehensive evaluation of the agreement before he could embark on engagement with them on key areas.

“The president has directed the conduct of a comprehensive evaluation of the agreement. This will rejuvenate a spirit in the process and stimulate the process to ensure wider acceptance by the parties and to build trust and confidence in the peace process in Sudan,” said Gatluak.

Minister Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, secretary-general for Sudan peace talks described the meeting of president Kiir with the Sudanese delegation as fruitful.

“The meeting between the president and the Sudanese parties was fruitful. It gave them the opportunity to listen to his Excellency President Kiir and for the delegation as well to raise and discuss issues of mutual concerns. So, it was a very good and fruitful meeting,” Wol told Sudan Tribune.

FFC had successful visit

Three members of the FFC delegation spoke with Sudan Tribune about the outcome of their visit to Juba. They said it was a good opportunity to reassure President Kiir and to explain their plans. All said they found that South Sudanese officials had misread the political process and particularly the review of the Juba peace agreement.

At the end of the meeting, they called on the South Sudanese government to suspend the peace evaluation meeting they plan to hold in Juba in February and to take part in the peace review conference that would begin on January 31 in Khartoum.

The coalition believes that “there is no point in convening another workshop in South Sudan to evaluate the agreement because this will mean establishing another process outside the framework of the ongoing political process,” said one of the three officials.

In their separate discussions with Sudan Tribune, the FFC delegation members disclosed the arrival of the South Sudanese mediator to Khartoum to attend the peace review conference.

For his part, the deputy Spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, Hassan Ibrahim Fadl, confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the signatories to the Juba agreement peace had received an invitation from the South Sudanese mediation for a workshop from February 10 to 18 in Juba.

Fadl added that the workshop is divided into two meetings. The first which begins on February 10, will gather the negotiators. While only the leaders of the signatory groups will participate in the second meeting on February 15-18.

Source: Sudan Tribune

UN ready to support election process in South Sudan: Haysom

The United Nations will advise and assist with best practices for technical preparations for elections in South Sudan, the head of its mission in the country (UNMISS) said.

Nicholas Haysom was speaking during the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) monthly meeting in the capital, Juba on Thursday.

“I can confirm that the United Nations received the formal invitation from the government to assist in the (election) process,” explained Haysom.

He added, “This is significant because it authorizes the United Nations to advise and assists with best practice for the technical preparation for the elections. Let me reiterate that this will not be a UN-run process but a South Sudanese-administered election with UN support.”

Haysom urged the parties to fast-tract the drafting of the new constitution, stressing that it will provide a legal framework for the conduct of elections.

The constitution process, he said, should include voices of all the citizens.

“We want to support an inclusive process that gives a dignified voice to all South Sudanese but especially including IDPs, Refugees, women, youths, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized communities,” noted Haysom.

The top UN official also appealed to the Juba government to provide arms to the unified forces and deploy them to protect civilians in the country.

“Strengthening and deployment of unified forces to better enable the protection of civilians from north to South of the country from east to west and to create a safe space for political and democratic debate,” he said.

During the meeting, Haysom confirmed that the government had approached the UN for assistance to conduct general elections next year.

For his part, the chairperson of RJMEC Gen. Charles Tai Gituai recommended the parties reconstitute the Political Parties Council as part of the operationalisation of the recently enacted laws, which will help in protecting political space and allow for the registration of political parties.

He called on the parties to harmonize the ranks of the necessary unified forces and cater to their welfare and for dialogue among parties caught in the subnational violence.

“Harmonize the ranks of the unified forces and provide for their welfare so that they can be deployed to provide security and protection for civilians caught up in subnational violence,” explained Gituai.

He added, “Initiate dialogue between the communities and parties to address subnational violence in the country, particularly in the hotspots of Upper Nile, Jonglei, the Equatorias, and Greater Pibor Administrative Area.”

Gitua called for the commencement of the second phase of training of the unified forces without further delay and provision of adequate resources to the Security Mechanisms and cantonment sites and training centers.

On August 4, 2022, parties to the September 2018 peace deal agreed to extend it for another 24 months starting in February 2023, when the original deal is expected to expire. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, who signed the extension alongside four other political groups, said that the extension would allow for unification of the armed forces, creation of a new constitution and time to prepare for elections.

Under the roadmap extending the peace deal, the country’s leaders have made commitments to create a Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) by September and a Compensation and Reparations Authority (CRA) by November. Consultations on the CTRH legislation have been finalized and a report presented to the justice minister. Similar consultations are pending on the CRA.

Source: Sudan Tribune

JEM declines to participate in Sudan’s peace review process

Juba agreement signatory groups of the Democratic Bloc declined an invitation by the tripartite facilitation mechanism to participate in a conference to review the peace deal scheduled to take place on January 31.

The Bloc rejects the ongoing political process facilitated by the Trilateral Mechanism and calls to open the framework agreement for negotiations.

Deputy Political Secretary of the Justice and Equality Movement, Mohamed Zakaria, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday that UNITAMS head, Volker Perthes extended an invitation to his movement to participate in the conference to evaluate the peace agreement.

The movement “declined to participate in the conference for several reasons, including that the meeting is being held based on the outcomes of the framework agreement, which the movement rejects.”

JEM and SLM of Minni Minnawi are the two groups that the signatories of the Political Framework Agreement say they can join them because even if they backed the coup d’état they remain signatories of the Juba peace pact.

For his part, Hassan Ibrahim Fadl JEM Deputy Spokesman stressed they are not concerned with the workshops and meetings organized by the political forces in Khartoum on January 31.

The Juba agreement clearly defined the mechanisms and parties to the evaluation process and those who organize the conference are not parties to the process, Fadl further pointed out.

“These people pretend they want to review the agreement, but in fact, they secretly intend to cancel it. Therefore, we will not tolerate any action targeting the agreement, regardless of its results,” he stressed.

Further, he confirmed they had received an invitation from the South Sudanese mediator for a two-stage workshop in Juba from 10 to 18 February to evaluate the peace implementation process.

According to the invitation extended by the mediation from February 10 to 13, a workshop would be held to determine what has been implemented and what has not been implemented, the obstacles that hindered the implementation process, and how to address this.

This first round will involve the government, the chief negotiators of the various signatories and the mediation.

During the second phase, the parties would consider the findings of the first meeting and endorse a new implementation matrix for the peace agreement.

This week, the FFC leaders held a series of meetings in Juba with the South Sudanese senior officials including President Salva Kiir. But they failed to dissuade the South Sudanese mediators from adjourning this meeting.

Source: Sudan Tribune