Can playing China card boost BJP’s chances in India’s

The upcoming general elections are posing quite a challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the situation is looking so tough that the ruling B

haratiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising just every possible issue which it thinks could work in its favor as the vote is about 60 days away.

As a last resort, the BJP is now trying hard to make an election issue of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s reported meeting with

some Chinese ministers and officials during his religious trip to Kailash Mansarovar. Addressing a rally in the eastern Indi

an state of Odisha, Gandhi had cited his recent meeting with some Chinese leaders saying India s

hould learn from the experience of China in creating jobs for youths. He mentioned China as an example to

emulate for fighting unemployment but the ruling BJP has added a new twist to his remark.

According to a government survey reported by an Indian business daily, India’s unemployment

rate stood at 6.1 percent in 2017-18 which was the highest in the past 45 years. Gandhi quickly t

urned to Twitter to hit out at the BJP dispensation, describing it as “National Disaster” but the ruling party termed it “fake news.”

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Regulator issues guidelines to make loan renewal easier

he China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Beijing Office announced on Thursday it has issued guidelines for banking institutions on re

newing micro and small business loans to shorten the financing chain and reduce financing costs.

The guidelines aim to cut unnecessary so-called “passageway business” a

nd bridging finance that “bridges” the gap between the time when a company’s m

oney is set to run out and when it can expect to receive an infusion of funds later on, under the premise that banking in

stitutions will meet the requirements on internal control and risk management.

“The loan renewal policy is actually a credit policy to incentivize lending to high-quality enterpri

ses,” said Jiang Ping, a senior official at the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Beijing Office.

“For companies that have run into temporary operational difficulties but still have enormous potential for development, banks should help them get th

rough the tough times by renewing their loans. However, banks are forbidden from covering or delaying risk ex

posure associated with lending to ‘zombie firms’, which cannot repay loans, in the name of loan renewal,” she said.

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In recent years, the world’s major economies have take

China has been positioning itself as a key competitor in the global AI sector.

“The opportunity for AI in China is on a scale that demonstrates the transformative im

pact that the technology can have on society. It will also mean a ripple effect on the global economy in terms of accelerating inn

ovation, integration and efficiencies that pass through the supply chain globally,” said Anand Rao, global AI Leader at PwC.

Stanford University’s AI Index 2018 Annual Report found t

hat 83 percent of 2017 AI industry reports on Scopus’ citation database originated fr

om outside the US. Some 25 percent of these papers originated in China, behind only Europe with 28 percent.

The number of AI papers published in China grew 150 percent between 2007 and 2017, the report noted.

The China AI Development Report 2018, released by the China Institu

te for Science and Technology Policy at Tsinghua University, highlighted the vast pote

ntial of the AI sector in China, saying the country’s AI market surged by 67 percent year-on-year to hit 23.7 billion yu

an ($3.5 billion) in 2017. It found the top three segments were computer vision, and voice and natural language processing.

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ple of foreign guests are excited to take part in the fair’s

Over 180,000 people were attracted to the grand fair, which has been listed as a National Intan

gible Cultural Heritage, and watched the square parade, the fair’s most anticipated activity.

The parade featured over 20 troupe performances included lion dances, a waist drum presentation, stilt walking and

other local folk art shows. The folk parade stretched 2.5 kilometers around Meili town, Wuxi’s Xinwu district.

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, parade

s float went along the route expressing the people’s gratitude to the country and great expectations for the future.

During the opening ceremony, the first cultural tourism brand of Wuxi Xinwu district, “Tai Bo You Li“, was launched, and product

ions of the district’s history, Wu culture, local intangible cultural heritage and travel routes were staged.

The eight-day event will last until Lantern Festival, and will feature traditional trading fairs,

demonstrations of intangible cultural heritages and folk art, and public cultural activities.

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oreigners choose Hohhot over megacities boiled lamb b

Hohhot, capital of North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region has seen an influx of foreign residents over the past few years.

Traditionally, megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai have been popular with expats, but many are now choosing lesser known cities such as Hohhot.

Thanks to the city’s rapid economic growth, Hohhot is increasingly seen as an exciting place to live and work.

“I have lived here for nearly 14 years; I love everything here,” said Vincent, an expat from the Philippines.

Vincent came to Hohhot in 2006 to work as a foreign language teacher. S

ince then, he has learnt to speak fluent Chinese and has built a successful career in the city.

Hohhot has changed dramatically over the last few years; there are new expres

sways and significant improvements to public transportation networks, he said.

Most importantly, the city is becoming more and more environmentally friendly, he added.

The local culture has also proved attractive to foreigners arriving in the city.

Jason, an Irish expat, works in the city as a foreign language teacher. He

enjoys learning the local dialect and even decorated his house with red lanterns ove

r Spring Festival, despite not knowing anything about the festival when he first arrived in Hohhot.

I’m really pleased to be working here, and hope that I can make a valuable contribution to the city, he said.

The municipal government plans to continue making the city a welcoming environment for

expat workers, with a host of new preferential policies designed to make the city an attractive place to live in.

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Another post by the same blogger claimed Zhai’s doctoral gra

aduation dissertation could not be found in the CNKI database, while all graduation dissertations written by his classmates were there.

Zhai’s studio said on Friday he obtained a Ph.D. from the Beijing Film Academy in June, and all h

is academic papers and his dissertation were written by him under the guidance of supervisors.

He has met all graduation requirements from the academy and is willing to be held responsible for any academic misconduct, the studio said.

Netizens later found Zhai’s supervisor Chen Yi, former director of the performance institute of the Beijing Film Academy, on

ly has a bachelor’s degree and has not published any academic papers. However, doctoral supervisors at the university are supposed to have a do

ctoral degree and publish at least eight academic papers and two academic monographs within five years.

Zhai posted an apology letter on his Sina Weibo page Thursday.

“After I have starred in a few films and TV series, I have become full of myself and forgotten honesty is the most important principle,” he said.

“Vanity has misguided me and I brought this attitude into writing academic papers. I will

withdraw from postdoctoral research at Peking University and I am deeply sorry to my school, teachers, fans and the public.”

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He said the buyers assumed the housing price in January wo

ie Yifeng, president of the Realty Association of Asia-Pacific Cities, said the sliding sales

in January were due to seasonal factors and should not be regarded as a market trend.

“The Spring Festival was the main reason,” he said. “Property developers were not passionate about selling new proj

ects during the holiday, and it was not very realistic for banks to release housing loans before or during the holiday.”

“A significant index was the registered sold property on the government’s website, but government employees were on

a break too and the statistics of sold property registered on the government’s website were not getting a timely upd

ate,” he said. “The real statistics from last December to January will gradually start to be updated in March.”

In fact, Xie predicted the market in 2019 would be better than last year, as he said the real market indicators were the rising land prices and the amount of land sold.

“The decisive factor is the government’s decision on the shantytown redevelopment policy,” he added, pointing

out that this was expected during this year’s session of the National People’s Congress in March.

Zhang Bo, chief analyst at the 58 Anjuke Institute, said apart from buyers being skeptical tow

ard the price, the weakening intention for speculation was another factor contributing to the slow sales in lower-tier cities.

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This year, I am issuing a challenge to men everywhere to enth

husiastically rise to the occasion to correct the misconception that they are not romantic. Take the t

ime to figure out what kind of gift would touch the heart of your woman, and buy it for her if you can af

ford it. Fight the temptation to purchase gifts that are perhaps useful but not so romantic.

Most women love it when men give them more personal gifts. A man should a

llocate enough time to create a gift that a woman may truly appreciate, such as w

riting a poem expressing his love for her, cooking a delicious meal for two, or arranging a spa treatment for her.

For some people, Valentine’s Day is the loneliest day of the year. For tho

se who have no significant other, go out to spend the evening with your peers in a bar or a ni

ghtclub, as many such entertainment establishments in cities host special events for the evening. You may be lucky eno

ugh to meet the person of your dreams. But even if you don’t, chances are you could still have a wonderful time.

Finally, I wish women and men everywhere a very happy Valentine’s Day.Sava Hassan is a Canadian-Egyptian educator.

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Yueyang Huagu Opera originated more than 200 years ago. It is

mainly popular in a dozen counties and cities in not just Hunan, but also in the adjacent Hubei province and the eastern Jiangxi province.

In its long development process, the opera has widely absorbed features of Yueyang folk tunes and artistic factors of other opera types t

o form its own style. Traditionally, Huagu Opera had no full-time performing troupes, and was only pe

rformed by amateur artists, most of whom were local farmers, during slack farming seasons on temporary stages.

In 2007, Yueyang Huagu Opera was recognized by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, as

a national intangible cultural heritage for its cultural, historical and artistic significance.

In recent years, measures have been taken by the local government to promote the art form.

The One Yuan Theater, which aims to cultivate more audience, has been a successfu

l attempt, says Yi Wen, an expert of Huagu Opera, who works at a local cultural center in Yueyang.

“Traditional culture still means a lot to the local people. Even some younger residents have shown their interest in the opera,” Yi says.

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WTO should play bigger role in global governancetate Coun

reign Minister Wang Yi has called for the World Trade Organization to play bigger role in global governance.

Wang made the statement at the 18th session of the consultations of the coordinators for the China-France Stra

tegic Dialogue with Philippe Etienne, foreign policy advisor to the president of France, in Paris on Thursday.

Wang highlighted China’s position in upholding multilateralism and the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at the core.

Noting China supports for the reform of the WTO to increase its authority and efficiency, Wang said the core value and b

asic principles of the WTO as well as the direction of trade liberalization should remain unchanged.

The WTO reform should follow the practice of decision-making by consensus, and c

annot be dictated by a few, nor decided by an exclusive small group of Members, he noted.

Wang called for safeguarding the special and differential treatment for developing members in the

WTO reform, saying France should objectively treat China as a developing country.

Priority should be given to the resolution of the issue of Appellate Body member appointment blockage, he said.

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