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Since its establishment in 1991, the Xi'an High-tech Industrial Development Zone, one of China's top national-level industrial zones, has helped transform a sleepy suburb into the most developed area in Xi'an, the capital of China's northwestern Shaanxi province. Residents in the high-tech zone, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, have the highest average income in the city. In 2015, the zone was named a national proprietary innovation demonstration area, which is expected to accelerate its industrial restructuring and innovation-driven growth, local officials said.
The zone has been charged with maintaining an annual economic growth rate of 13 percent during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), higher than the estimated national level in the following five years. Companies registered in the zone are projected to generate 2.5 trillion yuan ($380 billion) in annual revenue by 2020, with yearly growth of 15 percent. The zone's GDP growth is expected to amount to around 13 percent by then, The budgetary financial revenue of the zone is forecast to reach 20 billion yuan by 2020 at an annual increase of 15 percent, according to the plan.
By 2020, research and development investment is projected to account for 6 percent of the zone's overall investment.
Workers operate machines to assemble new-energy vehicles at BYD's plant in the Xi'an High-tech Industrial Development Zone.
In 2015, there were 372,000 people working in the zone, of whom 78 percent held bachelor's degrees.
The zone has attracted high-end professionals with 40 working stations for postdoctoral research, ranking first in central and western China.
The zone authority said it is working on building 50 national-level engineering centers and technology development centers and labs by 2020 as innovation ability grows in the area. During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the industrial structure improved greatly in the zone thanks to its rich human resources and supportive policies. The proportion of the service industry surpassed that of secondary industry in the zone in 2015, accounting for 54 percent of the total. In particular, the revenue of the modern service sector in the zone was 380 billion yuan last year, accounting for 43 percent of the four major industries. The modern service industry covers various sectors including technology, finance and innovative design. The zone is an important industrial base for semiconductors in China and a manufacturing center of the world's smartphones, Zhao said. Xi'an has thousands of enterprises engaged in the IT industry, which has attracted many leading IT enterprises, such as Applied Materials, Qualcomm, GE, Ericsson, Micron, Walsin, Simmtech Electronics, NEC, ZTE and Huawei.
In 2015, revenue from the electronic information industry in the high-tech zone reached 199 billion yuan. In the coming years, the zone will continue to improve its internationalization level, according to its development plan. By the end of 2020, its import and export volume is expected to reach $45 billion with annual growth of 15 percent. The government has been working on improving the living conditions and natural environment in the zone, aiming to provide an ecofriendly residential environment for people working there. The local government said it would further improve the zone's public infrastructure in the following years.
More than half of the zone's residents would choose public transportation by 2020, due to improved public services, local officials predicted. In addition, the public library plan to own an average of 2.3 books for each resident and hospitals will provide no less than eight sickbeds for each 1,000 residents in the zone. Located in the Xi'an High-tech Industrial Development Zone, the Xi'an Software Park is home to 1,880 software and information technology companies, which account for more than 90 percent of such enterprises in the city. The company developed the first programmable chip with proprietary intellectual property rights in China. This fast-growing company focuses on providing file management and file wireless transfer solutions for both Android and iOS smartphone platforms. After 25 years of development, the Xi'an High-tech Industrial Development Zone has become the most popular cradle of startups in western China, attracting attention from both domestic and foreign investors.
The Chinese government has been encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in recent years, which gives the high-tech zone opportunities to become a world-class scientific technology park in the future, local officials said.
The local government aims to build the zone into an innovation hub with strong international competitiveness in the next 10 years. The authority of the high-tech zone has announced a plan that focuses on developing the zone into a national-level self-innovation demonstration locale from 2016 to 2025. The zone is expected to realize annual revenue of 5 trillion yuan ($759 billion) by the end of 2025, according to the plan. By then, the zone hopes to have a complete industrial chain for startups with a full range of services and rich human resources, capital and markets.
In terms of industrial structure, emerging industries such as information technology and advanced manufacturing will become major contributors in the zone. The Belt and Road Initiative has helped the zone participate increasingly in the global economy, which will lead to growth in international trading between the zone and foreign markets in the next 10 years, a representative of the zone said.
By the end of 2025, the zone is expected to realize $100 billion in annual foreign trade, more than quadrupling $22 billion in 2015. Currently, the zone is home to more than 40,000 enterprises and more than 80 percent of them are high-tech companies.
Investment in research and development is expected to average more than 8 percent of companies' total investment by that time. To realize the goals above, the zone has introduced policies to attract domestic and foreign personnel. The local government has provided preferential policies to encourage scientific research professionals to start up businesses. The zone would continue to improve living conditions for personnel in both infrastructure and services, and aims to become a talents center in western China, local officials said. In the financial sector, the zone would improve the investment environment by giving more choices and services for angel investors, officials said. The zone also plans to become a financial center for technology companies based on the country's Belt and Road Initiative. In addition to the 10-year plan, the zone authority has a further goal to cultivate industries that can be at the top of the world's high-end value chain by creating an advanced development mode, system and culture, which will help the zone become an influential global innovation center. The China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone, composed of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Pingtan, is a pilot area for deepening reform and opening-up, promoting cross-Straits communication and spurring cooperation with countries and regions along the maritime Silk Road. Since its establishment on April 21, 2015, it has become a strong engine for the development of East China's Fujian province. Despite an unfavorable global economy, Fujian performed well in foreign trade in 2015 with a 0.7 percent increase in exports year-on-year. According to official documents, the Fujian FTZ has developed a batch of innovative measures in commerce, investment, trade and other fields, which could be promoted throughout the country.
During the past year, 146 key pilot tasks have begun in the zone that covers an area of 118.04 square kilometers. The Fujian FTZ has also carried out a series of measures in trade, entry-exit procedures, finance and medical factors to promote cross-Straits communication. It has taken the lead in the easier and faster movement of 120 kinds of commodities from Taiwan.
The mode is recognized by the research institute of the Ministry of Commerce as the most convenient product customs clearance one for commodities from Taiwan.
Taiwan college graduates and entrepreneurs are encouraged to set up their own businesses in Fujian. Three Taiwan-funded joint venture travel agencies have been approved to organize group visits by Fujian residents to Taiwan.
Lion Travel (Fujian) Co Ltd, the first Taiwan-funded joint venture travel agency in Fujian, has more than 70 outlets in Taiwan, providing 24-hour travel services. In early April, the China (Fujian) Free Trade Zone Regulations were published and implemented.
Fujian has been an important maritime Silk Road hub for many centuries and plays an important role in the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Fujian is connected to Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Middle East countries by various shipping routes.
Many enterprises from countries and regions along the maritime Silk Road have established businesses in Fujian. Fujian's enterprises also continue to invest in countries and regions along the maritime Silk Road. Since the establishment of the Fujian FTZ, the cooperation between Fujian and countries along the maritime Silk Road, including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia continues to increase. In 2015, the total trade volume of imports and exports between Fujian and ASEAN members was $24.72 billion.
By the end of 2015, there are 3,927 companies in Fujian with investment from ASEAN members, with contract investment of $12.61 billion.
Official statistics show 223 companies in the ASEAN economies have set up their branches in Fujian capital, and total foreign investment reached $2 billion. Chinese top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng said the mainland has paid great importance to proposals from Taiwan residents for easier travel on the mainland, and will put forward measures soon. Yu also said the importance of trade, commercial and non-governmental exchanges would be positive for peaceful cross-Straits relations, especially during sensitive political moments. Taiwan's newly elected leader Tsai Ing-wen has not yet explicitly recognized the 1992 Consensus. Ma Xiaoguang, the office's spokesman, said Tsai offered no concrete proposal to ensure the peaceful and stable growth of cross-Straits relations. The cross-Straits cooperation process will only continue when the island's new leader fully endorses the one China principle, Ma said. At the eighth Straits Forum, more than 1,700 guests from the mainland and Taiwan exchanged their thoughts. Yu met mainland-based young Taiwan entrepreneurs on Saturday afternoon and wished them success in business on the Chinese mainland. He urged the creation of more opportunities for the young generation on both sides of the Straits to communicate and exchange so they could become good friends, which would be significant for the long term development of cross-Straits ties. The province will enhance trade ties with Taiwan by boosting the service and financial sectors, and facilitating the exchange of human resources.
He expects Fujian and Taiwan to enhance cooperation on the green energy, environmental protection and modern service sectors as well as accelerate folk culture exchanges. A grand performance is staged during the opening ceremony of the eighth Straits Forum in Xiamen. The eighth Straits Forum opened in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Saturday and will run through Friday, according to an official from the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office. The one-week event has the theme of "More Exchanges, More Cross-Straits Cooperation and Joint Development", said An Fengshan, spokesman with the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office. The main venue is in Xiamen and 19 related activities in four parts - conferences, youth, grassroots and trading - are being held in cities and districts of Fujian province, the organizers said. Activities aimed at promoting exchanges between youth and grassroots residents from both sides will be held.
The organizers said such activities could provide platforms for Taiwan's young people to start new businesses in Fujian province, and also provide an opportunity for young people to demonstrate their talents. Young people from diverse fields are invited to take part in skills competitions and share their experiences in technology innovation and starting businesses. Conferences and forums in fields such as think tanks, finance, startups and investment are being held in the cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Pingtan. People can share their ideas on topics such as constructing the Fujian free trade pilot zone and maritime silk road.
The two sides aim to strengthen city or county-level cooperation, and the organizers are expected to present new policies that will benefit the people of Taiwan. In addition to businesspeople, guests such as employees, female college students, farmers and villagers from different fields across the Straits are welcome. Other activities include a micro film completion, which will demonstrate very short film works directed and produced by young people across the straits. China's eastern coastal province of Fujian has introduced a range of measures aimed at improving the local environment, and has plans to implement more policies to improve conditions across the board. Unlike many northern cities that are frequently blanketed by heavy smog, Xiamen and Fuzhou, Fujian's two major cities, have already an increasing number of clear days, and in the 2015 edition of the annual air quality report released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, they ranked second and sixth respectively in terms of air quality among China's 74 major cities. Under the terms of the 13th provincial Five-Year Plan (2016-20), by 2020, at least 90 percent of days in Fujian's nine cities will register above "Good" on the national Air Quality Index, and water quality is expected to improve in the province's 12 major rivers. In addition, the plan states that over 72 percent of offshore marine regions will reach the second grade of seawater quality, meaning that they are suitable for swimming.
The city and provincial governments have also introduced a number of strict controls and measures, targeting both companies and officials, to push forward their green agenda. For example, the city of Nanping, which is home to China's stone industry, has rejected more than 100 projects that were deemed to have a high pollution risk, and shut down around 700 companies for pollution offences in the past three years. As a result, the city has seen dramatic improvements, including clearer skies and cleaner rivers.
At provincial level, Fujian has set up a monitoring and auditing system that will gauge the performance of leading officials with regard to environmental protection, and their results will form a major part of their annual assessment. Chancellor Angela Merkel visits China for the ninth time this month, bringing with her the German cabinet for the fourth round of the German-Chinese government consultations. In consultations with the top political leadership with China, Germany wants to consult on a wide range of political, economic and societal issues. After a spate of forceful statements on the future course of economic reform in China last May, it seems that economic development has climbed firmly to the top of China's agenda. When you look at trade in 2015, a difficult year for China, one is struck by the remarkable resilience of the Germany-China economic relationship.
Resilient trade figures in a challenging environment and growing investment in both directions, especially in areas which are crucial to China's plans to upgrading its industries through a digital revolution: Could anyone wish for more? Our high trade volume can only be maintained because a decrease in German exports was offset by a steep increase in imports from China.
China will again put the issue of its market economy status and implementation of commitments in its WTO accession protocol high on the agenda.
Bilateral trade has nearly tripled in the past decade, up to a volume of 163 billion euros ($182.7 billion) in 2015, a year in which China held its position as the top foreign investor in Germany in terms of the number of projects.
We have been able to do so throughout China's transition from an economy based on production and exports to one that is innovation- and consumption-led. Nowhere is this more apparent than in what we in Germany call Industrie 4.0, or the industries related to the fourth industrial revolution. The pre-conditions for synergy between the two countries in this regard could not be more complementary. This development has been built on the good foundations laid by the strategic partnership in innovation between China and Germany in 2014, a partnership that led to the creation of the German-Chinese Innovation Platform.
The similarities between 'Made in China 2025' and Germany's 'High-Tech Strategy 2020' create just as many opportunities for competition as they do for synergy.
We welcome our special relationship with China not only because it enhances both our economies, but also because it will enable us to use the knowledge, technologies and techniques we gain from each other to compete more effectively, both with our global rivals and each other. In Germany, we have tried to build an ideal platform for this coopetition, by building an industrial landscape which researches, innovates and creates value. Furthermore, we in Germany are proud of the quality of our workforce; our dual education system values role-specific apprenticeships just as much as academic study.
For all of these reasons, Germany is the perfect location to begin this process of coopetition. Christian Roedl, partner of Germany-based management consulting firm Roedl & Partner, gives his thoughts on how Chinese and German companies can more effectively do business in each other's domestic markets. Actually, I am advising our Chinese clients in exactly the same way as our German clients: "Be cautious, but don't be anxious!" Foreign investors have to understand the mentality of the people and the way business is conducted.
In general Chinese investors should not expect that decisions will be taken as quickly as they may be used to.
If you are planning for a market like China, you must hone not only your products, but also your organization to the particular needs in this special market.
How can German or Chinese companies overcome cultural differences in their cooperation or business-related cases? In our daily experience, quite often we notice that not only German, but also Chinese companies have an idealized understanding of the other's culture and business environment.

Please give an example of a successful merger and acquisition case between Chinese and German companies in which your company participated. In early 2015 Chinese electronics group Skyworth acquired the television production and distribution units of the German TV manufacturer METZ. Klaus Deller, chairman of the executive board at Knorr-Bremse AG, talked with China Daily on the company's development in China as well as the rest of the world.
How has the global development of your company's rail vehicle and commercial vehicle division progressed in recent years? Thanks to our innovative capabilities and a clear focus on creating genuine added value for vehicle manufacturers and operators, we have again extended our lead in the global rail and commercial vehicle industries, attaining new record levels in all the relevant indicators, including quality, on-time delivery, and customer satisfaction. Knorr-Bremse also benefited from the expansion of the local mass transit infrastructure, where the company was able to secure new orders to supply equipment for metro cars and light rail vehicles. Knorr-Bremse has been proactively implementing its localization policy ranging from personnel training to a wide degree of local production.
There is no doubt that Knorr-Bremse has a very strong position in the sector of onboard systems for rolling stock.
Of course, we have also put in place the means to keep our technological leadership on the market. We will go on developing rail services beyond the "traditional" spares business: training for customers, maintenance and modernization. Knorr-Bremse is one of the world's leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles, with sales totaling almost 6 billion euros in 2015. EuroEyes offers Chinese patients the same standard of care and premium treatments that are found at its European clinics.
In recent years, ties between China and Germany have made significant strides in industry, business, education, healthcare and environmental protection.
It was among the first overseas medical organizations to establish a clinic in China and currently has three clinics in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
Joergensen said all surgical procedures at EuroEyes are performed by experienced German doctors that perform more than 2,000 eye surgeries each year. Since its opening in 1993, EuroEyes has performed more than 400,000 eye surgical operations globally.
Joergensen said part of EuroEyes' success lies in its constant technological innovations and investment in advanced equipment. In 2004, EuroEyes was the first laser eye center in Germany to routinely use the AMO Inralase IFS 150Hz femtosecond laser system in refractive surgeries. In 2011, EuroEyes was among the first clinics in Germany to use the advanced image-guided femtosecond LenSx Laser for refractive lens exchange. It is also among the first centers in the world to have certification standards for laser vision correction, or LASIK TV.
Compared with European patients, Chinese patients are not very well informed on related eye treatment solutions, said Joergensen. To allow more Chinese patients to understand EuroEyes and its treatment solutions and learn more about knowledge of vision impairment, EuroEyes also organizes education activities and lectures regularly. EuroEyes organizes eye health-related lectures and education activities each month, which are given by professors and experts.
ReLExsmile, a form of Femto-LASIK and one of the safest laser eye procedures in laser correction, can be provided to patients with myopia, or nearsightedness, which is a refractive error that renders objects in the distance blurry. For patients with nearsightedness of more than -10.0 dioptres, EuroEyes provides an intraocular contact lens, or ICL, implantation.
Other solutions include eePreLex, or presbyopic lens exchange, which is for people over the age of 45 who need reading or progressive glasses to read clearly. A cataract is the clouding-over of the natural lens and is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 65. The EuroEyes Clinical Group is an association of licensed eye clinics specializing in the correction of refractive disorders, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.
With 27 eye clinics in Europe and Asia, including in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, EuroEyes is among the largest independent clinical groups for laser eye surgery in Germany. Thirty-three years ago Chen Bin decided to quit his job in a state-owned maternity hospital in the northwestern city of Lanzhou and to go into business on his own. Chen is among millions of Chinese who, after economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 that encouraged private business, decided to embark on the entrepreneurial road.
In 2002, 15 years after Chen opened his bakery business, it folded amid fierce competition, and these days there is a cafe across the road that has become a hot-spot for the young and self-employed to exchange ideas. Now, nearly four decades after China began opening up, there is a new boom in startups, but rather than selling fabrics, cheap plastic toys, cakes and the like, these ventures have a sharp technology bent and are looking to serve markets the size of which their earlier counterparts could barely have conceived of. In these fledgling companies the country sees the opportunity to give a fillip to innovation, in turn spurring domestic consumption that can help ensure the country's future prosperity.
Two years ago Premier Li Keqiang sounded a clarion call to the young to start their own businesses and take up the challenge of technological innovation, and he pledged the government's wholehearted backing. Following up on that, last year the government unveiled dozens of measures aimed at helping grassroots entrepreneurs, including giving them tax breaks and easing their path to obtain finance. Lin Nianxiu, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, says the aim is to cut red tape and help the startups solve practical problems.
China also announced an Internet Plus strategy, an initiative that promotes the adoption of advanced information technology in traditional sectors in an effort to stimulate the economy.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says plans are afoot to make it easier for internet startups to enter sectors such as manufacturing, services and logistics to increase efficiency and product quality.
To promote the growth of technology startups, industry regulators say, faster and cheaper internet service will be provided. A negative list would spell out a small number of businesses or services that are closed to internet firms, and the businesses that are not listed would provide a happy hunting ground. A plethora of antiquated industry regulations still prevent startups from providing IT services for government-backed projects and state-owned enterprises.
Liu Dong, managing director of Accenture Technology Labs in Beijing, says technology innovation is playing an increasingly critical role in China as the country looks for ways to produce products with larger added value. Zhao had been part of a team of seven in the United States that developed Google Glass, a wearable computer device in the shape of spectacles.
DeepGlint specializes in providing computer vision technology to industries such as those in the security, auto-driving and robotics fields.
Returning to China, Zhao says, has given him a bigger opportunity to work with the Chinese market, which overseas technology firms may find harder to penetrate because of a lack of understanding of local customers.
Employees talk at the thinking room of Iflytek Co, a technology startup dedicated to the research of intelligent speech and language technologies in Hefei, Anhui province. Today as China is focused on transforming itself from a world factory into an innovation hub, more and more young people are encouraged to go the startup route, and entrepreneurship is the buzz word, I'm reminded of Xiao and his short-lived enterprise. US-based research organization IdeaLab studied 200 cases to arrive at five factors - idea, team, business model, funding and timing - that determine the success of a company. At times I can't help wondering: Would Xiao have better luck if he started his company now? The business of buying or merging with overseas companies is not unlike looking for the perfect marriage partner: At times it may be OK to let your heart rule your head, but ultimately the decisions to be taken need strong doses of sober reflection.
Looked at this way you could say that over the past 15 years China's enterprises have fallen head over heels with mergers and acquisitions, have taken the plunge and are now enjoying the honeymoon. The clearest evidence of the gusto with which the country has taken to this new way of life is the fact that in the first quarter of this year it was the world's largest acquirer in terms of the value of mergers and acquisitions, based on figures provided by Dealogic, a global financial data provider. China announced a record $92 billion of overseas mergers and acquisitions deals from January to March this year, accounting for 30 percent of the world's total, Dealogic says. In February the State-owned conglomerate China National Chemical Corp agreed to buy the Swiss agricultural group Syngenta for $43 billion, making it the largest foreign takeover by a Chinese company. The value of such activities has grown six years in a row, the total last year being $107 billion, Dealogic says. In 1992 Shougang Group bought a 98.4 percent stake in Hierro Peru Co in one of the earliest overseas mergers and acquisition deals by a Chinese company, he says. However, it was not until 12 years later, after the National Development and Reform Commission streamlined rules on the management of overseas investment projects, that interest by Chinese concerns in overseas mergers and acquisitions really began to take off. As with any quest for a good suitor, Chinese enterprises have had the odd rebuff or two on the mergers and acquisitions path over the past decade or so. The failure of the Rio Tinto deal was the result of bulk commodities prices rising sharply, more than making up for a cancellation fee the company would have to pay, Xu says. Henry Cai, chairman of the Asian-Europe growth capital investor AGIC Capital, says: "There has been a huge amount of overseas investment by Chinese companies over the past 15 years, but in half the cases the result has been failure. Over the past three years private companies have emerged as one of the major players in overseas mergers and acquisitions, Xu says. Private companies are more nimble in their decision making, and they will continue to be an increasingly important force in overseas mergers and acquisitions, Xu says, citing the insurance company Anbang, the investment group Fosun and the conglomerate Dalian Wanda as examples. Of all the overseas deals Xu has studied, those of the automotive components maker Wanxiang Group in the United States have been among the most impressive, he says. Since its first acquisition of a solar energy plant in the US in 1996, Wanxiang has bought 28 plants in the US, producing auto spare parts for GM, Ford and Daimler Chrysler.
Ni Ping, president of Wanxiang Group's US company, says the way existing staff and those of a newly acquired company are integrated can determine whether the acquisition succeeds or not. Despite the impressive growth of Chinese enterprises' overseas mergers and acquisitions, the proportion of Chinese assets overseas remains minuscule compared with those of developed markets.
According to a survey by the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, Chinese companies lack translation and other language skills needed to expand overseas. These can still be counted as the early days of Chinese companies making transnational acquisitions, says Shen Danyang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.
Inter Milan Vice-President Javier Zanetti (left) and Vice-President of Suning Sports Group Gong Lei exchange shirts in Nanjing. I remember that on the first anniversary of China Daily, on June 1, 1982, the paper's Opinion Page carried a short letter from Willbur Schramm, the then director-emeritus of the Institute of Communication Research, Stanford University; and the East-West Communication Institute, East-West Center, in Hawaii.
Schramm said China Daily's potential readers would include "the millions outside China who cannot read the People's Daily and other official publications in Chinese, but nevertheless want to hear the voice and feel the pulse of China if they can". The bulk of the story was based on a talk given by Ji Chongwei, a senior economic official, upon his announcement of a newly established Foreign Investment Administration Committee under the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade (now part of Ministry of Commerce). Most young staff members like me, even though we had majored in English, had never heard of the expression "mergers and acquisitions". Soon enough, changes taught me that overseas investment was an indispensable driving force in China's modernization. Mergers and acquisitions, as a matter of course, became a daily phenomenon between Chinese and foreign companies. In 2016, the country is moving rapidly toward a balance between inbound and outbound direct investments. It was the early 1990s and Yuan was just one of hundreds of other medical personnel keen to realize a dream of broadening their professional experience in another country.
Of the few Chinese who studied overseas in the 1980s and the early 1990s, almost all did so thanks to financial support from the government.
After graduating from high school and scoring well in an English competence test, Sun enrolled at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, in 2013.
Yuan marvels at how easy it was for her son to pursue his overseas ambitions compared with those of her generation. Behind this greater freedom lie policy changes that have made China the largest source country for overseas students.
As the country started to open up and implement economic and social reform in 1978, it began to make it easier for more students to go overseas, where they could study in fields in which the country needed to catch up. In August 1978 the Ministry of Education called for more undergraduate and graduate students to study overseas, a milestone that is regarded as the genesis of sending students to study overseas at the government's expense.
However, in reality traveling overseas at one's own expense was beyond most people's means.
Chen Zhiwen, editor-in-chief of a website that publishes information about education, recalls how difficult it was to study abroad in the 1980s.
Being able to get a visa essentially came down to having government financial backing, Chen says. In the mid-1990s the policy of supporting students going overseas to study was further relaxed.
Now China has become the biggest source country for university students for more than 10 countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan and the US.
The Open Doors Report said that in the 2009-10 academic year, 127,628 Chinese students studied in the US, 31 percent of them undergraduates. Among the Chinese undergraduates in the US is Zhou Yutong, 20, who studies at George Washington University in Washington. I didn't realize until recently that a third of my young colleagues are haigui (students returned from overseas). Years of fast economic growth have produced millions of Chinese families who can now afford to send their children overseas for studies. While a little envious of their parents' deep pockets, I could not help but recall my bittersweet days studying in the United States three decades ago. One of the lucky few, I enrolled as an English major in a Shanghai university in early 1978 soon after the "cultural revolution" (1966-76). In my junior year in college, a close friend of mine, who was studying in the Beijing Language Institute which focused on teaching Chinese to foreign students, managed to get help from his American roommate and successfully sent his - and my - application to a university in Boston. But as college students, we were living on a budget of about 20 yuan per month and it was then normal for a Chinese to survive on 6 yuan per month. My first exposure to the US was three years later thanks to China Daily sending me on a fellowship to the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center. My trip marked a lot of firsts - it was the first time I took a plane, the first time I owned a credit card, the first time I went to a bar, the first time I played golf and the first time I had to cook my own meal. Boarding was free and each month I got $300 for food, which was certainly not enough for eating out, so I ended up cooking my own meals in the public kitchen shared by two dozen students from different countries.
Two months later I began to show off my skills by inviting my professors and host families to dinner. On traditional bamboo rafts, with cormorants by their side and the mountains all around, the Huang brothers set out for another day of work on Lijiang River. Huang Quande, 87, and 76-year-old Huang Yuechuang, or yuying laoren, as they are known on the Chinese internet (it means old cormorant fishermen), are among the most well-known features of Xingping, a small, picturesque county in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region that is popular with tourists from China and abroad. Huang Quande (right), 87, and his brother Huang Yuechuang, 76, fish on the Lijiang River in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
Almost every day, visitors to the area, many of them foreigners and some professional photographers, snap pictures of the brothers, who appear in the style of cormorant fishermen, with rafts, bamboo oars, palm leaf raincoats and kerosene lamps. In April last year, the Daily Telegraph in London posted a series about the Huang brothers' old way of life by Russian photographer Viktoriia Rogotneva, bringing them international attention. A British woman, who has lived in the nearby city of Guilin for more than a decade and has known the Huang brothers for many years, helps to organize photo shoots. The all-new book is designed to help entrepreneurs achieve new goals by conditioning them mentally for the challenges that come along with owning a business. The condensed self-help book is just 37-pages but offers jam-packed contents that provide concise information for quickly changing one’s mindset for reaching new goals.
Kambon was hit by a car before he began his studies at UVA and in that moment he understood how important one’s life really is.
The 5-star rated book has received high feedback from recent readers, and one recent reader commented, “The delivery of the message is as finely-honed as its meaning and purpose.
He has built several start-ups from the ground up, finding ways to optimize profits and increase market share.
We have enjoyed helping people get better health and earn extra income with the Herbalife products since May 2002. As the Chinese government attaches increasing importance to innovation and entrepreneurship, the Xi'an zone, which has helped thousands of startups grow and develop, is expected to see faster growth in the coming years.
Among them, the scale of technological services has been growing rapidly and accounted for more than 40 percent of all service businesses in 2015. It is home to thousands of software companies, providing high-quality products and services to the world. The amount is expected to surpass 300 billion yuan by 2020, with around 230,000 employees forecast to work in the sector by then.
It has invented a hands-free camera drone designed for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy capturing and sharing great moments.
Its users cover more than 200 countries and regions with an output value of 1 billion yuan.

Strategic emerging industries such as those listed are expected to account for more than 40 percent of the zone's industrial added value.
About 200 Fortune 500 companies are forecast to invest in such facilities as offices, manufacturing centers or innovation centers in the zone.
The representative predicted that the zone would have around 80,000 high-tech companies and more than 200 companies with global influence by 2025.
Many fruits are able to be picked up in Taiwan in the morning and sold in Fujian in the afternoon.
We can offer packaging and posting services to airports or railway stations for our customers from the mainland," said Gao Qing, manager of Lion Travel Fujian.
These encourage the exploration of new models of industrial cooperation between Fujian and Taiwan, building a new mechanism to promote two-way investment and promoting the free flow of goods and service elements on both sides. Upholding that political foundation, the cross-Straits relationship is able to look forward to a prosperous future," Yu said. Taiwan's young people and farmers will be invited to visit villages in Fujian that share the same names as those in Taiwan.
Visitors can sample meat products, rice noodles and sausages from Taiwan at the fair, the organizers said. This is why I expect economic, trade and investment cooperation between Germany and China to occupy a large portion of the chancellor and her cabinet's discussions.
According to German and European statistics, our trade volume in 2015 remained basically unchanged at 163 billion euros ($185 billion). This can partly be explained by difficulties in the Chinese industrial sector in 2015, which depressed demand. This is an EU matter, in which Germany, as the EU's largest member state, has an important stake. Thus we are now importing more chemicals, electrical products and machinery from China than before. In Germany we are producing high-tech solutions for machines used in the manufacturing industry, while in China there is vast potential for the use of such machines. Indeed, with the 'Made in China 2025' long-term strategy bearing more than a vague similarity to Germany's 'High-Tech Strategy 2020', it would seem that our countries intend to move down similar paths. China kept its position as Germany's top foreign investor in 2015 in terms of total number of projects with 260, with 28 percent of these being related to either machines and plants or electronics.
This ensures that we have a talented and balanced labor force filling a wide range of diverse and important roles.
As we have seen, many Chinese investors are already taking advantage of these opportunities and are creating excellent value for both countries.
When President Xi Jinping proposed the initiative he demanded improvements in infrastructure access and interconnection with China's neighboring countries. Due to their technology and engineering know-how, European companies can participate in infrastructure projects. Furthermore, European authorities are powerful but sometimes their capabilities to support investment decisions are limited. Outsource whatever is not your core business to professional partners - no matter if these are Chinese or German firms; accept that quality has its price and be sure your business plan includes spare capacity for all possible events. In this transaction we advised the Chinese side with a holistic approach from a legal, tax and economic perspective.
The economic recovery in industrialized nations contrasted with falling growth rates in developing and emerging economies. The rail vehicle markets in the region were dominated by demand from the high-speed sector in China. To further reinforce its strong market position in China, last year Knorr-Bremse expanded its plant in Suzhou and concluded a joint venture agreement with partner company Guotong.
We have operated 14 production plants in China, including group divisions and two joint ventures for train doors and train HVACs - one in Qingdao and another in Wuxi - for 10 years.
In 30 countries, some 25,000 employees develop, manufacture, and service braking, entrance, control, and energy supply systems, HVAC and driver assistance systems, as well as powertrain and transmission control solutions. After it exported its high-quality treatment solutions and services to China, many customers have received vision impairment treatment.
It performs refractive surgery, from laser to lens surgical procedures, that treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, cataracts, presbyopia and other eye afflictions.
This can ensure German doctors are always on duty at China's clinics and provide services to patients in China," he said. The technology allows surgeons to carry out precise cuts in targeted areas without damaging surrounding tissues. Its 3-D surgical platform lets surgeons execute many challenging steps during cataract surgery. The LASIK TV seal of approval testifies to a clinical organization's level of standard and can help inform a patient in choosing a professional LASIK clinic. So we help patients choose the treatment solutions that are most suitable to them," he added. We ensure that Chinese patients here can receive the same industry-leading treatment as we do in Europe, from technology, equipment to service and doctors," he said. They are among the most surgically experienced eye surgeons in Germany in laser eye and intraocular surgeries. First he sold T-shirts at a night bazaar, then owned a karaoke bar, which did not last long, and later opened a bakery on the main road. However, he says he soon found that managing a business was a lot harder than he had expected.
There were a few exceptions, such as Wang Jianlin, the real estate tycoon, and Liu Chuanzhi, founder of the Lenovo Group Ltd, who would make their mark not only in China but around the globe, and others who did reasonably well, or even better, and retired.
The central government is also considering a negative list mechanism to make it easier for startups to do business with state-owned enterprises. There has also been a lack of incentives to startups hungry for liquidity to borrow money from banks at special rates.
Preqin Ltd, a research firm in London, says venture capital firms invested in 1,555 deals in China last year, spending $37 billion (33 billion euros), more than double the sum of the previous year. To fill the long hours of the day I would seek interview assignments from editors who were short-handed. When the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping revitalized the process of economic reforms in 1992, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of government officials, university faculty members, researchers and other public sector employees gave up their "iron rice bowls" to set up private businesses. I had begun to think I wasn't too bad a reporter after all, and would have asked my boss for a transfer to the reporter's section, were it not for a senior colleague who poured cold water on my aspirations, saying I had yet to figure out what the term entrepreneur really meant. In his early 50s, Xiao quit his job in research and set up a health drink manufacturing company based on his own patented formula.
Among the many who ventured into new businesses in those years, more than half were failures. In 2005, a bid of $18.5 billion by China National Offshore Oil Corporation for control of Unocal, then a US oil and gas company, fell flat. One of the main reasons is that Chinese companies have had little knowledge of industrial systems in other markets.
Europe, the United States and Japan each have about 40 percent of their business assets overseas, and the figure for China is just 8 percent, Morning Whistle says. But a front-page lead that had appeared just three weeks earlier, on May 7, 1982, indicated who they might be. I had just joined the staff, freshly graduated from college after receiving "re-education" on farms during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76). It was not until the early years of the 1990s when the concept of market economy was written into China's top-level official document. At the age of 27 the nurse was among just a handful her hospital chose to send to study in Japan - at the Chinese government's expense.
That is hard to credit these days when you consider the international educational opportunities now available to Chinese. However, unlike his mother two decades earlier who had to rely on government funding, his family paid his way. I had the necessary qualifications, so it was relatively easy to get offers from Australian universities," says Sun, 23, who opted for Monash over Sydney University and Queensland University and is now in his last year of a bachelor's degree in journalism. Those willing to pay their own way would no longer be required to pay a fee to the government, and in the late 1990s agencies that helped with applications to study at overseas tertiary institutions were set up, and the number of those making applications began to surge. The 2015 Open Doors Report by the Institute of International Education says China became the top country of origin for students going to the US in the 2009-10 academic year. After graduating from a high school in Beijing, Zhou went to the US to pursue a bachelor of arts degree in communication and French literature in 2014.
According to official figures, there are a million Chinese pursuing higher education in other countries. Studying abroad was then beyond our wildest imagination - no channels to contact overseas universities, no idea about the application procedures and, importantly, no money. Anyway, the upshot is we both got nods from a university, promising to cover everything except the airfare. With less than $30 in pocket for emergencies, I set off, excited, expectant, and a little scared. I saved most of the food allowance to buy a camera, a tape recorder and a color TV - all luxuries then. A local newspaper even sent a reporter and a photographer on a two-hour assignment - the first hour watching me cutting and stir-frying; and the second enjoying my 10-course feast.
Each weekend, I would be invited by local friends to their homes for dinner - which I had to cook. The fishermen tie a snare near the base of the bird's throat which stops it from swallowing larger fish. Liz, the mother, says she came to China after being inspired by the photos of the two fishermen and that taking nice photos in Guilin was the sole aim for the trip. The Skye Orbit is a quadcopter drone that allows for precise auto follow tracking and instant social sharing.
China and Germany are anchors of stability and each other's most important partners in their respective global regions. On the investment side, things are even brighter: Germany's investment in China, already the biggest from Europe at around 60 billion euros, continued to climb.
In order to sustain and even accelerate present dynamics, there are some questions that need to be addressed. Another explanation could be that German goods have become less competitive in China and Chinese goods have caught up. At the same time, it has lowered domestic barriers to outward investment by Chinese companies. The relationship between our countries has developed to the stage where our economies are highly dependent upon each other, so it is of paramount importance that we maintain our excellent relationship. They form the backbone of our economy, which remains Europe's largest and most robust, even in the wake of the numerous economic shocks that have rocked us over the past decade. The initiative can also increase China's outbound investment activities to assimilate specific knowledge from abroad. This acquisition by Skyworth is a best practice example for China's going-out strategy and outlines the path of Skyworth's internationalization strategy by entering the German and European markets.
The global market environment for rail vehicles remained stable compared to the previous year. Knorr-Bremse supplied braking equipment for 521 high-speed trains in 2015, as well as a proportion of the entrance and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, to a total value of more than 500 million euros. He obtained a doctorate in computer vision from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, returned to China in 2013 and founded the company DeepGlint. After my interview with him was published in China Daily, several companies, including a South Korean conglomerate, called me.
Xiao has stayed in my memory not because of his achievements but because of his refusal to let go of his dream as long as he could. That too was the fate that Aluminum Corp of China had to accept after it offered $19.5 billion for a partnership with Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto Group, one of the two largest suppliers of iron ore in the world, in 2009. Foreigners' equity in a Chinese company was an issue subject to the universal standards of law, and no longer politically sensitive. They repaid me with a full-page feature and a huge picture of me wearing a fancy Aloha shirt, smiling broadly with a Chinese kitchen knife. There were so many invitations that it was then I learned the expression "let me check my schedule".
Soon after, he decided to write a book to help others find purpose in their life before it is too late.
Despite different political systems, our approaches to a large number of international issues are similar. Reliable aggregate data is hard to come by, but fresh direct investment into companies in China climbed to 4 billion euros.
Thus, find an advisor who is familiar with German and Chinese affairs, and who will explain to you the processes and organizational steps.
Knorr-Bremse Rail's latest joint venture with Guotong began construction in late 2015, which will produce braking, door and HVAC systems for commuter and intercity trains. The company, in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, develops technologies that allow computers to understand three-dimensional images they see and respond to constantly changing visual content. They wanted to either buy the formula or start a joint venture with Xiao and I helped set up the meetings for him. Years later I read an interview in which a top foreign business leader made the same assertion. His businesses, however, declined steadily for lack of fresh investment and went bust in two years. But I was not clear what overseas investment was and why it was so important as to deserve to be a front-page lead. Achieving consensus, not shying away from disagreements but preventing them from spinning out of control has been a hallmark of our relationship.
Chinese investment in Germany is heavily concentrated in the high-tech sector and, on top of greenfield investments, is targeting more and more companies for acquisitions, such as the leading robotics company Kuka, which just received a takeover offer by Chinese consumer products company Midea. However, in the same year, German exports to the highly competitive United States increased by almost 20 percent. Addressing asymmetries in trade and investment would certainly help to put the issue back on a rational track. Increasing truck outputs in Western Europe, North America and Japan contrasted with declining production in China and Brazil. It will also act as a regional service and maintenance hub for South China, with a plant, which is located in the Guangdong Railway Industrial Park, due to go into operation in 2017. At the time, Xiao was desperately in need of new funding to scale up, but never budged from his position. In the present global situation, this sober approach could help avoid dividing the world into rival camps.
Unlike in other countries, Chinese investment in luxury real estate and other nonproductive areas in Germany is limited. To the equally highly competitive midsized economies of South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, they increased by almost 10 percent.
We must both work hard to make sure that investment keeps flowing, hopefully with a sustained upward trend. If he did not have the funds, the "baby" wouldn't grow the way he wished, but that was not good enough reason for him to sell it off to a richer adoptive father. Openness, mutual trust and robust legal frameworks based on international laws have their rewards.
In the current global economic climate, which is shaky at best, trade conflicts between the world's top two traders are the last thing we need.
However, as there are no registration requirements for foreign takeovers of midsized companies, we do not have very reliable data. In trade, it is not just a slogan but a truth based on hard facts and figures that Germany and China work for mutual benefit. If we both intensify our efforts to achieve tangible progress on lowering the number of government and administrative licenses, more rigorous implementation of laws and reducing the parts of the economy closed to foreign investment, our economic relationship will have the potential to be second to none.

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