The explosive growth of China’s middle class has generated

m in business opportunities, and other factors such as urbanization are having a positive effect on consumer spending.

It is very likely for the government to further open the Chinese economy to foreign investment. Although the external econ

mic situation is complex, China is moving quickly to push forward a draft law amendment that supports the co

ncept of pre-establishment national treatment, which will encourage fair competition between foreign and do

mestic businesses. Such measures will give foreign investors more opportunities to share China’s growth dividend.

China is at a critical point in its economic restructuring and rising up the value chain. If foreign companies leave the country at this crucial juncture, it will be di

fficult for them to re-adapt and re-enter the market after the economy reaches a new equilibrium.

Amid the economic restructuring, only foreign enterprises that remain calm and adapt to China’s development can survive and win their place in the market.

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With many Chinese not having traveled abroad yet, raising

According to the latest data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, China’s tourism trade deficit reached $237.4 billion in 2018, an increase of $21.4 billion over the prev

ious year. While the record high figure reflects the growing scale of outbound tourism consumption by domestic residents, it remains qu

estionable whether the domestic demand is so strong that it even caused the record outbound tourism consumption.

However, by analyzing relevant reports and statistics, I believe some of the figures about China’s tourism industry may

be dodgy, which could therefore be misleading for investment decision-making and should be clarified.

According to the preliminary statistics of the China Tourism Academy, Chinese travelers made 140 million outbound trips in 2018, up 1

1 million from 129 million in 2017. To a certain extent, the steady increase in the number of Chinese o

utbound trips indicates that the consumption is still growing and not falling.

But the important question is how many people actually traveled abroad

out of the 140 million outbound trips. According to the Annual Report of China Outbound Tou

rism Development 2018, Chinese trips to foreign countries and regions accounted for about 33.3 percent of total out

bound trips in 2017. Assuming that the ratio remained unchanged in 2018, then the number of trips to foreign c

ountries and regions came to about 46.67 million. Again assuming that half of the people who went abroad on av

erage twice last year, then the number of Chinese who went to foreign countries and regions was approximately 31 million.

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Vice premier urges bolder, more effective measures imp

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday stressed to take bolder and more

effective measures to implement the proactive fiscal policy.

Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Co

mmittee, made the remarks when presiding over a meeting after an inspection of the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

At the meeting, Han studied major issues, including the launch of another round of tax cu

ts and fighting the “three critical battles” against risks, poverty and pollution.

The MOF should stick to the basic tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability, promote

high-quality development and take coordinated steps to ensure steady growth, advance reform, m

ake structural adjustments, improve living standards and guard against risks, Han stressed.

He said that larger tax cuts will be helpful in improving the co

untry’s income distribution system and the tax structure and better serve China’s current macro policy.

The MOF should relieve the social insurance payment burden of firms, strengthen the manag

ement of the fiscal revenue and expenditure and create a sound policy environment for fair competition, Han said.

Han underlined that measures should be in place to effectively prevent and handle financial risks, reinforce the

monitoring of the local government debt risk and deploy more funds to facilitate winning the battles against poverty and pollution.

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sights ranking places six Chinese artificial intelligence

ina is racing to the forefront of the global artificial intelligence sector, with six domestic companies earning their place on a recent list of the top 100 AI startups in the world.

Released by venture capital database CB Insights, the list includes 23 startups headquartered ou

tside the United States, including six each from China, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Chinese companies SenseTime, YITU Technology, 4Paradigm, Face++, Momenta and Horizon Robotics made it onto the list.

CB Insights reported Chinese startups SenseTime and Face++, which focus on facial recognitio

n technologies, are the best-funded companies, followed by California-based tech company Zymergen.

A total of 11 startups on the list are unicorns, startups valued at more than $1 billion, among w

hich five are from China. SenseTime gained the top spot among those 11 with a maximum valuation of $4.5 billion.

With the blossoming of big data, cloud computing and i

nternet technologies, AI has become a new focus of international competition.

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Hulu has a special treats on offer for Valentigy eases travSpri

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.

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Also on Tuesday, Lavrov said Russia had prepared a Uni

ted Nations Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution supporting dialogue in Venezuela, contrary to a US proposal that paves the way for an invasion.

On Jan 23, the Trump administration recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s “interim pre

sident,” a move that came after Maduro was inaugurated as president of the Latin American country earlier that month.

US President Trump has also warned that “all options are on the table” regarding Venezuela.

On Feb 1, the Trump administration announced that the United States is withdrawing fro

m the INF Treaty with Russia within six months, starting from Feb 2. In response, Russian President Vl

adimir Putin announced on Feb 2 that Moscow would also suspend its participation in the INF Treaty.

The INF Treaty was signed in 1987 between the Soviet Union and the United States on the elimination of land-based intermediate-range missiles.

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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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The Ministry of Civil Affairs has urged national-level

industrial organizations and chambers of commerce to lower membership fees and refr

ain from imposing unreasonable charges to reduce the burden on businesses.

The ministry said in a statement on Feb 3 that it will conduct the annual examination

of national-level social organizations, and such organizations are also expected to report fee adjustments in their annual reports.

The lowering of membership fees will be an important criteria for the ministry in evaluating na

tional organizations. Other criteria include whether the organizations have imposed charges against regulations or been found to have m

isused funds. Those who fail the evaluations will be disqualified, the ministry said.

Social organizations found to be engaged in activities that harm national reunification, national security, ethnic un

ity or jeopardize the national interest will also be disqualified and punished according to law, the ministry said.

A third-party will conduct random on-site verification of information submitted, it added.

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More outcomes expected from trade talksVice-Premier Liu

He will hold a new round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultations with United States Trade Re

presentative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing from Thursday to Friday.

Analysts said the two sides are likely to propose weightier measures to address economic and trade differences and to broaden overall cooperation.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, based on recent talks in Washington, China and the US will eng

age in further discussions on issues of common concern. The US delegation arrives in Beijing on Monday.

China and the US have been embroiled in trade frictions for several months. The two sides are now in the midst of a 90-day tariff truce, which began on Dec 1, wh

en President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Ex

changes, said China-US trade consultations have made “a big stride forward”.

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