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Zhao added that the new consumption trend of this

year’s holiday is also an epitome of the overall consumption trend in the country this year.

“The growth has been driven by the surge in disposable incomes and the middle-income population,” she added.

Guideline calls for 80 percent of related shipping to use cleaner means by 2025

China plans to achieve ultralow emissions at most steel plants by 2025, with 80 percent of raw m

aterials and final products shipped by cleaner methods including railways, ships and pipelines, rather than trucks.

Experts believe the ambitious goal, if reached, will contribute signi

ficantly to reducing bad air in the country, as the steel industry currently pollutes more than any other.

The holiday period also triggered demand for travel-related pro

ducts. Suning reported that sales of sunblock products and sunscreen clothes grew 74 perc

ent and 107 percent year-on-year. Travel packages rose by 128 percent during the period.


A purported doctor who goes by the alias Dahanc

chengxiang recently wrote a WeChat article saying he often encountered patients who fell for the fake adverti

sements, wasted money and treatment time and thus missed the opportunity to be cured.

The netizen also strongly opposed Li’s nomination shortly after the announce

ment, saying in an article that Li was morally unqualified because of Baidu’s insufficient regulation of adver

tising. The article went viral on social media but was removed over complains of libel by Baidu.

Li would not be the first controversial engineer to become an acade

mician, which carries perks such as stipends and medical se

rvices. In 2011, the public was outraged when Xie Jianping, a chemical engineer who created less harmful to

bacco products, became an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.


NBA game highlights, original programming, and clas

sic NBA games will be offered to nearly 700 million consumers acr

oss Alibaba’s platforms, including leading B2C marketplace Tmall, social commerce des

tination Taobao, video-streaming platform Youku and browser and content platform UC.

The original programming will cover a wide range of popular basketball and cultural topics, including game predi

ctions, fashion, sneakers, and memorabilia. The content will be available throughout the regular season, NBA

All-Star, the NBA Playoffs and The Finals, bringing the latest NBA trends and news through various interactive fo

rmats, such as short videos and livestreaming by celebrities and influencers.

The NBA and Alibaba will also provide business partners with r

obust marketing solutions to promote their products and brands across Alibaba’s platforms.


Future of Sino-US ties lies in cooperationhina and the Uni

More than 40 years ago China and the United States engaged in “ping pong diplomacy”, ea

sing the tensions between the two countries ever since the founding of New China in 1949.

With the People’s Republic of China retaining its rightful seat in the Un

ited Nations Security Council in 1971 and its international status continuously imp

roving, it had become apparent that the US policy to contain New China would be fruitless.

The US, on the other hand, was mired in the Vietnam War, which was sapping its national po

wer. So the US administration realized it should establish friendly relations with China in order to end the w

ar. Against this background, on Jan 1, 1979, the two countries formally established diplomatic relations.

But even before it established diplomatic relations with the US, China launched reform and opening-up in late 1978. As the leade

r of the Western world, the US played the dominant role in the global economy, as well as the technology, invest

ment, finance and other fields, with which China had to integrate to ensure its economic development.


Over the past four decades, Sino-US economic and trade

relations have not only become more interdependent but also changed qualitat

ively. To start with, China today exports an increasing volume of high-quality goods to the US. Considered as the “wo

rld’s factory” and a country with a very high savings rate, China has built huge foreign exchange reserves and greatl

y improved its trade environment. And thanks mainly to China’s manufacturing prowess, Sino-US trade has ri

sen from $2.5 billion in 1979 to $633.52 billion in 2018, an increase of 253.4 times which is unprecedented in history.

Sino-US trade and economic relations have not been beneficial to Beijing alone, as inexpensive

but quality Chinese products have met the rising demand of the American people for affordable and relia

ble goods. Economists generally believe that Chinese products, which are good in qual

ity and low in price, help the US to keep inflation in check, and an average American family to save at least $800 a year.


nd no one outside Mueller’s circle has any idea what his

  report — expected to be delivered to Attorney General William Barr soon — will say about the President’s conduct.

  But Thursday’s events did raise some political and legal questions about the ambition of Mueller’s prosecutors, their tactics whe

n confronted by a skeptical judge and the credibility being placed in Cohen’s deeply damaging testimony against Trump last week.

  In the win-loss calculation that has characterized Trump’s life, the President can extract some advant

age from the surprising courtroom drama. Anything that be spun as a blow to the special counsel will be seized on in Trump’s co

nservative media echo chamber in the campaign to bolster the President’s standing among core GOP voters that is critical to his long-term

viability.Mueller’s team had asked for a 19-25 year jail term for a tax and finance fraud conviction arising from Manafort’s lavi

sh lifestyle as a sharp suited uber-lobbyist who spun his dark arts for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

  That would have sent the 69-year-old Manafort to jail likely for the rest of his life. But the less than four year term shoc

ked many legal observers and sparked looks of astonishment among prosecutors in Judge T.S. Ellis’s courtroom.

  The judge’s leniency does not change the fact of Manafort’s convic

tion by a jury of his peers. A judge in Washington, who has been less well exposed toward Ma

nafort, will sentence him next week in a separate case, in which he has been accused of lying to Mueller and breaching a plea deal.


he Belt and Road Initiative is a huge trade and infrastructur

  project which seeks to link China to Europe, Africa and Asia through a series of new Beijing-funded ports, railroads and roads along land and sea trade corridors.

  Neighboring economic power India has been reluctant to sign up to the initiative, but some regional partners su

ch as Pakistan and Malaysia have enthusiastically joined in, along with dozens of other countries.

  But critics, especially the US government, have claime

d Belt and Road projects impose massive debt on developing countries for little economic bene

fit. There are even suggestions China is using the project to extend its military and political reach overseas.

  The announcement of Italy’s participation would be welcome news for Beijing at a time w

hen even some Belt and Road member nations, such as Malaysia, have begun to question the benefits of its projects.

  Italy’s decision would also coincide with a debate in Europe over the role Chinese tech

nology company Huawei should play in the rollout of new superfast 5G networks. Governments incl

uding the UK and Germany are weighing whether to block mobile operators from using Huawei technology.


Yet collaboration between the two countries over the past

 several decades has already proved that their differences need not stand in the way of cooperation.

There have been ups and downs in bilateral relations over the past several decades as a result of how US politicians loo

k at China and at the way they believe the relationship should be handled. It seems that an increasing number of them now

believe that China should be considered a strategic threat to the United States.

That may be the reality. But another reality is that the more publicity the US media has give

n to presenting China as a threat to the US in certain areas and more US politicians are talking about su

ch a threat, the more it fosters an anti-China political atmosphere in Washington.

Such a political atmosphere may then grow to eclipse the substan

ce of bilateral relations — their economic complementarity and their mutual respo

nsibility to address not just their problems but also the common problems the entire world faces.


What I didn’t know about China was enough to fill a festival

What did I know about Chinese culture or festivals

before moving to Beijing? Growing up in the United States, it was m

ostly stereotypical nonsense seen in reruns of old Charlie Chan movies on TV.

As an adult, I have really enjoyed watching Jackie Chan kick the living daylights out of the bad guys i

n the world, but there hasn’t been much exposure to genuine Chinese experiences, especially in my adopted hometown of Birmin

gham, Alabama. There, in the heart of the South, Chinese are few compared with the majority white and Af

rican-American population. The total Asian population was 2,152 last year, according to the US Census Bureau.

So when I heard that Birmingham was holding a Spring Festival party this year with Beijing’s Cha

oyang district, its sister city, I was beyond thrilled. Until now, I didn’t know that the “sisters” would kick off

the holiday in Alabama’s largest city with the annual Birmingham Chinese New Year Gala.


Schwab, a Taiwan native, had hosted similar events in other cities

in the US where she lived before moving to Birmingham 13 years ago. When she arrived, different groups of Asians were celebrating

the holiday on their own, and she thought it would be great to share New Year’s traditions with the wider community.

“We wanted to share with Americans,” Schwab said. “I feel our heritage is something we need to tell others about.”

At the first gala in 2006, “we Chinese came together” and organized it wi

th help from a primary corporate sponsor, Alabama Power Co, along with the Bir

mingham mayor’s office, the public library and other city departments, which pitched in and have been involved eve

r since, Schwab said. Her employer, Alabama Power, appointed Schwab as its community liaison to the gala.

Other corporate sponsors, such as Honda and Regions Bank (major business playe

rs in Alabama), and many small businesses and individuals have added their support over the years.