stock or real estate investment, instead of investing in their main business, which is not recommended. What we should encourage is tha
t companies should finance R&D and technology, which is conducive to economic development.
Cai Fang, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
What lies behind the economic slowdown is the disappearance of the demographic dividend, which has ca
used a decline in the potential growth rate, meaning there is no longer a gap between actual growth rat
es and potential rates. Now, the natural unemployment rate has climbed from 4 to 5 percent, indicating there is no cyc
lical unemployment at present and thus excessive strong stimulus is unnecessary.
The government should focus policymaking on public employment services like
training and appropriately use macroeconomic policy tools to regulate the economy.
Lou Jiwei, chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund
Industrial policy played a certain role in the early economic developmen
t stage, but later, the actual role of industrial policy was not all positive. Take the auto ind
ustry as an example. The current “big three” private car manufa
cturers have basically broken the constraints of industrial policies to grow up.
Bilateral trade between China and Russia last year exceeded $100 billion as of mid-December, a new record, official figures sh
owed Thursday, and an analyst forecast further increases in high-technology trade and e-commerce this year.
Bilateral trade grew 27.8 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2018 to $97.24 billion,
Gao Feng, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), told a press conference on Thursday.
Projects that China and Russia have been cooperating on include nuclear power and other energy sectors, as well as the aviation industry, Gao said.
China remains Russia’s largest trading partner. In the first 11 months of last year, bilateral trade in electronic pro
ducts and the high-technology sector increased 15 percent and 29 percent, respectively, according to MOFCOM.
Trade in agricultural products increased by 31 percent, Gao said.
Cooperation involving strategic large projects achieved remarkable results. Eme
rging fields such as nuclear energy and aerospace have also increased rapidly, Gao noted.
The world has been closely watching the latest round of high-level trade
negotiations between the US and China, which took p
lace in Beijing on Thursday and Friday, for clues as to whether a trade resolution
will be reached before the March 1 deadline.
With the slowdown seen in the economies of both countries and the
world in general, the US and China have a sober under
standing of the importance of reaching a trade deal, which is reflected by the
increasing flexibility shown by both parties. Last week, US Pre
sident Donald Trump even suggested that he could extend the deadline if both
parties are making good progress and are nearing a formal agreement.
As the US and China both have the need to reach a deal, it is generally expected
that both parties will make some compromises to avoid an escalation of tra
de disputes. In this situation, China will most likely significantly increase its
imports from the US in the short term, while at the same time making s
ubstantial changes with regards to issues like market opening and technology transfer.
At present, there is much speculation about what compromises China may
make or which industries the nation will open to more for
eign investment. Last year, against the background of the unprecedented trade war, the National D
evelopment and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, published
a new version of the negative list for foreign investment. The negative list, w
hich took effect on July 28, removed foreign ownership limits for special vehicles and new energy vehicle m
anufacturing, with the ownership cap for passenger car manufacturing scheduled
to be lifted by 2022. Moreover, th
e latest list also eased or scrapped foreign investment curbs on sectors like
banking, insurance, ship and aircraft manufacturing, and power grids.
and diplomatic means alone cannot support Japan’s global ambitions. A military presence at the global level is needed if Japan is to expand its political clout.
Compared with old European powers like the UK and France, Japan’s military influence in Europe is jerkwater. But it is different after Japan signed military pac
ts with these countries – Japan’s political influence is increasing because of the support of military powers.
With the influence of the UK and France declining in the Asia-Pacific region, their military activities can get the support from Japan via the A
CSA, which will immensely boost Japan’s military clout. These European countries will not look at J
apan through the military lens, which will effectively strengthen Japan’s political might.
Meanwhile, exchange of military provisions will help enhance pe
ople-to-people exchanges between Japan and these countries, exerting Japan’s cultural influe
nce in these countries and beyond. Even if Japan fails to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it can still play a major role in th
e world. This has been part of the global strategies of the Abe administration.
We can see that Japan signing ACSAs with six countries is not just for d
efense and military purposes, it’s part of an overall plan to influence economics, pol
itics, military and culture, which is a long-term strategic mind-set of the Japanese government.
Lunar New Year’s day in hospital this year, because he was urged to drink Kweichow Moutai, the famous Chinese liquor. After recklessly guzzli
ng almost half liter, he went into a coma due to alcohol poisoning and ended up in the emergency room. My poor friend missed the entire Spring Festival.
For many foreigners, such an incident may be beyond imagination, and include a shock factor. Why do some Chinese pe
ople always force others to drink? How is drinking linked to sincerity and good faith? Well, welcome to the Chinese drinking culture.
As an old saying goes, “In wine there is truth.” Some Chinese people tend to believ
e that under the influence, people may reveal their true beliefs and feelings which would not be expressed when they are sober.
As a result, when people are urging their friends to drink, they may say: “If you don’t drink up, you are not m
y true friend!” It sounds they could only be honest and open to each other when they are dead-drunk.
In another type of situation, people who hold more power force their subordinates to drink. They would say: “Dr
ink this up, and then I will promise you your promotion.” It is more like forced persuasion or even a threat. In
China, urging people to drink is like a “game of thrones.” The domineering would force others to drink up so as to show off their
power, while the pliable tend to yield. They use empty bottles to tell the strong: “See, I keep drinking and don’t care sacrificing my health for you.”
hinese internet search giant Baidu Inc inked an in-depth partnership with China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip, in its latest efforts to drive the development of intelligent tourism in China.
Under the agreement, Baidu will deploy its cloud services and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide Ctrip with solutions tailor
ed to tourism scenarios and businesses. Baidu Cloud, the cloud unit of Baidu will help Ctrip impr
ove operational efficiency and customer experience and reduce costs in marketing and sales, customer acquisition and online traffic conversion.
The two companies will also continue to explore a variety of smart services in more scenarios
based on Baidu’s AI capabilities, such as speech technology and autonomous driving.
“The tourism industry is growing rapidly and Ctrip is the industry leader. Baidu looks forward to working wi
th Ctrip to upgrade tourism services with ‘cloud plus AI’, enhance customer experience, and ex
plore a viable path to intelligent tourism for the entire industry,” said Zhang Dongchen, vice-president of Baidu.
“With the vigorous development of tourism, consumer needs are more and more diversified. To better serve our customers, Ctrip
needs to be enabled by advanced cloud computing and AI technologies,” said Xiong Xing, executive vi
ce-president of Ctrip and CEO of air ticketing business unit and international business unit of the company.
Xiong said they hoped to collaborate with Baidu to create smarter customer service and more value for users.
This partnership is not limited to IT infrastructure. With Baidu Cloud’s capabilities, big data
analytics can be conducted on users’ interests, habits and preferences. Different tourism products can
be packaged by Baidu’s AI and machine learning technologies to offer every user customized solutions.
Over the past three years, Baidu Cloud has collaborated with more than 2,000 partners in
over 30 industries, such as finance, security, transportation and education, and created over 100 solutions.
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.
During this year’s Spring Rush (or chunyun), which started on Jan 21 and will end on March 1, Chinese people are expected to make about 2.99 billion trips. Th
is is equivalent to relocating the entire population of Africa, Europe, the Americas and Oceania in 40 days.
That China successfully manages the largest mass migration in the world shows the Chinese e
conomy remains vibrant and the country is moving toward overall prosperity. According to statistics from relevant de
partments, China’s total passenger transport capacity, including the railways, waterways and civil a
viation, during the 2019 chunyun is expected to increase by more than 5 percent over last year’s. Which means C
hina’s transportation authorities have made great efforts to optimize and improve passenger transfer services.
For passengers’ convenience, the authorities are widely applying smart and information tech
nologies to promote closer cooperation among the railways, civil aviation and road networks, and str
engthen the links among different transport modes, in order to provide the passengers with better “last-mile” services.
Hainan Island Circular High-Speed Railway has taken the lead in piloting e-ticket rail travel. The Haina
n railway project is aimed at replacing paper tickets with e-tickets, and making identity cards or certificates the travel vo
ucher, in order to establish a self-service entrance and exit, and self-service ticket change and refund mechanisms.