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Thailand has reportedly decided to solely fund the construction of a 250-kilometer high-speed railway between Bangkok and the city of Nakhon Ratchasima.
This was intended to be the first section of a planned 845-km high-speed railway running from the Thai-Laos border to Thailand's industrial seaboard, for which a Chinese loan had been agreed after nine rounds of painstaking negotiations between Beijing and Bangkok over two years. Thai Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said on March 25 that China should offer "friendship" terms on the interest rate of the loan and project costs. As part of its agreement with Indonesia, Chinese companies are entitled to develop some land along the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway through joint ventures with Indonesian partners.
Certainly, Thailand has every reason to make decisions according to its financial and economic situation. As a supplier of the world's best cost-for-performance high-speed trains and related services, China has the technology and experience to attract customers.
Introduced as a program to promote win-win cooperation, the Belt and Road Initiative is not a vehicle for different countries to strive for China's financial assistance, but is based on equal and prudent cooperation that involves uncertainties and risks undertaken by both sides. In this sense, a shrinking high-speed railway project in Thailand could be a slow but sure step forward for China's outbound endeavors.
Despite the problems, there is not enough convincing evidence to justify their downgrading of China's credit rating.
There is no need to be excessively concerned over China's economic restructuring, the debts in its real economic sector, the ongoing reforms of its State-owned enterprises and possible risks in its financial market. Admittedly, as the two rating agencies still carry global reputations, the rating indexes and standards established by Moody's and Standard & Poor's can influence the capital market. In fact, the ratings of the two agencies have often been denounced by other countries and enterprises as being non-objective in the past. It is necessary to strengthen regulation of electric bikes and tricycles because their brakes are not powerful enough to match their speed. In just 10 days, the public security department of Shenzhen put more than 800 people under administrative detention for refusing to hand over their "substandard" electric bikes or tricycles, and many of those were low-income commuters or couriers. The design, production, registration, sales, use and recycling of electric bikes and tricycles are not properly supervised.
If users cannot buy electric bikes that meet the national standards - simply because very few are available in the market - what can they possibly do?
In Japan, the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents was 4,117 in 2015, 1.5 percent the number in China.
A big difference between Japan and China is Japanese drivers have better driving habits and more strictly follow the traffic rules.
Every driving school teaches its students that bad driving habits might be fatal, yet many drivers simply ignore the rules the first day they are on the road.
When companies offering tomb-sweeping services first emerged, they initially drew attention because of their novelty.
This is a good thing in terms of preserving the tradition of tomb-sweeping, as commercializing the tending of graves and hiring strangers to show respect to the deceased do not honor their memory.
If the woman from Kunming couldn't make it home to sweep her parents' tomb herself because of her business commitments, she could hold a memorial ceremony at home to express her love and gratitude. The rituals of tomb-sweeping, whether simple or sophisticated, are intended to be a way to remember our ancestors. But all in all, the traditional rituals of tomb-sweeping are merely a formality, many young people memorialize the deceased online nowadays and people can honor the spirits in the way that suits them best. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the fourth Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, where he delivered a speech on Saturday promoting an enhanced international nuclear security system and better global nuclear security management.
In the speech Xi elaborated China's views on the construction of a fair, cooperative and win-win international nuclear security system under the new international circumstances, and introduced the progress China has made in the nuclear security field. The president said the international community should reach a consensus to build a new type of international relations centered on win-win cooperation, in order to promote international security management. Xi pointed out that China has made new achievements in the nuclear security field by incorporating nuclear security into the national overall security system and clarified the strategic positioning of nuclear security in National Security Law. China will keep its political commitments and fulfill its obligations on nuclear security issues. Despite the weakening of its leadership, the United States is still trying to capitalize on its remaining advantages and the political clout it enjoys in the world to maintain its dominant status in a fast-developing multi-polar era.
In fact, maintaining Washington's dominant status is a central diplomatic plank of US President Barack Obama.
But there are considerable disagreements within the US establishment over how to achieve a Washington-dominated equilibrium in strategic principles while handling relations with rising powers. The fact is, in the year of presidential election, the US is seriously restrained by economic difficulties and extreme socio-political polarization at home.
A peacefully rising China has become a major variable in the development of a new Asia-Pacific order.
While the US suffered serious blows in Iraq and Afghanistan and was dealt a big blow by the global financial crisis, China's peaceful rise continued almost unabated.
In order to maintain its international dominance, the US has pumped in more funds to strengthen its presence in the East Asia region, especially to bolster its military alliances with some Asian countries to counterbalance China's rise. The essence of Sino-US diplomatic and military standoff over the South China Sea issue is the conflict between the goals of a rising China committed to protecting its sovereign rights to security and development and the US efforts to maintain its dominance in the region.
The author is former president of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
The recovery in sales has boosted developers' expansionary appetite and eased their financing burden. The land market also appears to be warming up despite higher land prices continuing to put pressure on developers' expansion appetite. Apartment sales continued improving, reflecting a broad-based sales recovery, though to a lesser extent than in first-tier cities. But despite signs of recovery in housing sales, the existing inventory and new supply will continue to weigh on the market.
Developers' financing conditions appear to have improved marginally, but mainly because of the increase in sales revenues.
The developers we surveyed expect continued loosening of policy by the central government in the coming months. Our surveyed developers believe adjustments to transaction taxes and purchase subsidies, among other measures, would be the most effective way to boost sales.
The survey results on investment in the property sector were in line with published data, showing that investment remained weak entering 2016.
We expect property investment growth to remain in the low single digit this year but see momentum improving versus negative growth as of the end of 2015.
The central government will prevent local authorities from unnecessarily changing the names of roads, bridges, buildings and residential complexes, especially with capricious foreign and bizarre names, Li Liguo, the minister of Civil Affairs, said at a recent conference on geographical names. Many geographical names including names of roads, streets and buildings in various local areas are quite same, which lose regional and geographical characteristics and cultural meaning of local areas. Geographical names carry important cultural and historical meanings, thus the toponym clean-up campaign nationwide has won wide public support. The drastic change and reduction in traditional geographical names have something to do with rapid social transition, especially urbanization. Since China will further promote urbanization during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period, the authorities should realize the importance of the geographical name regulation, because there remain some loopholes in the administration and regulation of geographical names.
The Geographical Name Regulation Ordinance, issued in 1986, gives local authorities the right to name areas under their administration. To some extent, similar road names in several areas, which sacrifice the unique cultural or historical meaning of traditional toponyms, reflect local authorities' lax administration. The foreign geographical names have nothing to do with the places they are used to signify. On the one hand, people fail to realize the cultural and historical significance of traditional geographical names, which is a huge loss to our society and nation because traditional culture and history cannot be properly preserved if citizens don't cherish and protect them.
On the other hand, the reason quite a few residential compounds in China have been named after foreign places is that developers cater to consumers' impression of Western countries as more modern.
The campaign to clean up toponyms and geographical names provides a good opportunity to improve the geographical name management rules, in order to avoid arbitrary use of administrative power. But, embarrassingly, an increasing number of cadets are not interested in careers in the country's Self-Defense Forces. Cadets at the academy pay no tuition fees and receive free room and board along with monthly stipends.
Japanese defense ministry officials have tried to play down the choice of the cadets, claiming that private businesses offer more openings for university graduates.
But the truth is that those graduates are appalled by the just-executed security laws, which greatly expand the SDF's duties overseas and allow Japan to come to the aid of allies around the globe in contingencies that "gravely affect" Japan's security. Many people in Japan call the new laws "war legislation," fearing the nation will either enter, or be dragged into, military conflicts that are not of its making. Some 600 lawyers are scheduled to file a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court challenging the constitutionality of the laws this month. When US President Barack Obama met with Republic of Korea's President Park Geun-hye and Abe on the sidelines of the nuclear security summit in Washington on Thursday, some Japanese observers claimed there was a "new Cold War". Japan also plans to dispatch GSDF troops to the Miyako Island and Ishigaki Island in its Okinawa prefecture and Amami Oshima Island of Kagoshima prefecture. Drills to simulate the recapturing of a remote island have been conducted by the SDF with the US military. Japan has also supported countries with disputes with China in the South China Sea in a bid to keep China in check. The security legislation "merely lays the foundation", Abe was quoted by Japanese media as saying to those lawmakers who are close to him on the occasion of the security laws taking effect. Indeed, Japan's neighbors need to pay close heed to what the country will do in the years ahead.
The Chinese film industry has arrived and taken its rightful place on the world stage - and is set to stay.This has far-reaching consequences for Chinese consumption across numerous industries. In recent times, the Chinese film industry appears to have overtaken even Hollywood in its appeal and influence where Chinese younger generations are concerned. As we move firmly into the all-important spring and summer seasons for so many products and services, it is perhaps the fashion and luxury industries where this influence can be seen most. The entertainment industry, and film in particular, has always played a huge part in setting and changing fashion trends, styles and colors. This is a particularly important time of the year to look at this, with the "dump months" (January and February) now well and truly out of the way and the expected spike in film viewing already taking place.
European fashion brands must study the changing international film industry closely not only to gain invaluable insights into new fashion trends, but also to evaluate suitable product placement opportunities. This is because it is not only Chinese films and film stars are increasingly influential globally. It was only last year, for the first time, that the size of the Chinese film market exceeded that US market.
Proof of the arrival of Chinese films and the highest professional standards that now apply inside Chinese studios can be seen at the box office. Such is the growth of cinema in China that it has even outpaced the country's economic growth.
Clearly, international film producers and Western fashion brands cannot continue to ignore the Chinese film market. Chinese consumers, especially those born after 1980, increasingly value the appearance of Chinese film stars. At a time when sales of major Western fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel continue to struggle across the Chinese mainland, this growth in the Chinese film industry could not be more apposite. It is also a time of increased change and unpredictability in fashion trends across China, but the film industry may just provide a golden opportunity for shaping current and future fashion trends. Effective product placement of fashion brands appearing in increasingly popular Chinese films should form a key part of any market penetration strategy across China. Western fashion brands should also make great efforts at pairing their brands with attractive Chinese film stars whose influence now appears to exceed US film stars with younger generations. Western fashion brands should also focus much more on the roles played by Chinese actors, as well as their apparel and accessories, such as color schemes, textiles and design. At a time when many of the most famous fashion and luxury brands are seeking growth via younger consumers, and the majority of Chinese luxury fashion consumers are under the age of 35, involvement in and an increased understanding of the Chinese film industry is an absolute must.
The international film industry should also consider this explosive growth in the Chinese film market positively. The Chinese filmgoer, while still valuing Western influence, is highly likely to be attracted more to any Chinese creative and artistic input. Finally, it is vital for Western fashion brands and Western film industry players to appreciate the opening up of opportunities across China.
The author is a visiting professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and a senior lecturer at Southampton University.
Many state leaders are scheduled to attend at the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on March 31 and April 1 to discuss international nuclear security issues.
That Xi is also attending this year's summit in Washington demonstrates China's willingness to implement the new outlook on nuclear security and its sense of responsibility when it comes to global nuclear security. A key factor in this regard is strengthening state nuclear security, and the fulfillment of countries' responsibilities and international obligations.
To prevent nuclear terrorism, countries must abide by the principles of the United Nations Charter, support and strengthen the common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable nuclear security outlook, strive to establish a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, adhere to global governance in the nuclear field, and eliminate nuclear terrorism. Beijing not only supports the maintenance of global nuclear security; it has also taken and will take necessary actions for the purpose. Chinese leaders have taken part in every nuclear security summit and China's voice, outlook and plans have been projected to the world through the summits and welcomed by the international community. China has also implemented the decisions of these summits, fulfilled its promises, and introduced foreign capital, technology and equipment to facilitate national security and development. The nuclear security center co-founded by China and the United States, which started work on March 18 in Beijing, will help improve the nuclear security level in not only the Asia-Pacific region, but also the rest of the world.
And China hopes the countries participating in the Nuclear Security Summit will reach a new consensus on nuclear security and make efforts to build a fairer, more cooperative and universally beneficial nuclear security system, so as to promote the healthy development of nuclear energy in the world and make further contributions to international nuclear governance field.
And thanks to his state visit to the United Kingdom in October 2015, Beijing and London are set to herald a "golden decade" of strategic partnership. Xi paid a visit to the Czech Republic, his first to a Central or Eastern European country, from March 28 to 30 before flying to Washington to attend the fourth Nuclear Security Summit. Other Chinese leaders, too, have visited European Union countries several times over the past three years, with their European counterparts paying reciprocating visits to China. But despite the positive developments, European friends still ask me why Beijing is busy deepening ties with EU member states while scaling up cooperation with nonmember countries in Central and Eastern Europe. My answer is, China is doing the right thing by engaging with EU member states to help consolidate European integration. Xi made it clear during his European visit in 2014 that China is determined to forge partnerships with countries for "peace, growth, reform and civilization", which will help enhance the competitiveness of not only particular EU countries but also the EU as a whole. Europe faces challenges on many fronts, from economic growth and terrorism to immigration and integration.
Although trade between China and the EU has been affected by the global economic slowdown, two-way investment is still going strong with Chinese investors targeting Europe as their first destination for mergers and acquisitions. Many EU member states have welcomed China's initiatives aimed at exploring win-win opportunities and shouldering more global responsibilities. Also, many EU countries have supported China's Belt and Road Initiative for better connectivity of infrastructure, trade and flow of personnel, and up to 20 European countries have joined the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as founding members. Looking back on these developments a couple of years later, we can term them historic and of great strategic importance. As a Czech politician said to me recently, China and its European counterparts are helping consolidate the "economic foundation" for Eurasian and African countries by cooperating in the Belt and Road Initiative, raised by China in 2013. Perhaps, month after month, week after week, they can report only that the latest data are less than desirable, and China is still in a seemingly everlasting transition.
Just maybe, in the coming months, we'll see a new kind of competition emerge among local governments, and that may serve as an indication of China's beginning of a new growth cycle. Investors don't like transition because it's a period of low economic growth and low yields for their money. Considering all the risks involved, either process, to dump the old or to explore the new, cannot quickly yield good returns.
The governance of the A-share market is a case in point, so is the management of many listed companies. It is precisely because transition is a costly undertaking that it is important to mobilize more money from society, rather than to just have the government print money, to pave the way for its progress.
That rich people have been diverting their savings out of the country to buy real estate and residential rights abroad, and that any slight relaxation of rules can send the housing prices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen skyrocketing, are enough evidence of the amount of idle money in Chinese society.
The loss in China's foreign exchange reserves was nearly $1 trillion after the domestic stock market rout in the middle of last year. Chinese economists keep debating how to enable the country to beat the so-called middle-income trap, or the stagnation in growth that many developing countries have experienced. Keeping the middle class interested in opportunities in their homeland cannot be done by one, two or just a few state-level projects.

Liu Shangxi, a senior researcher with the Ministry of Finance, defines public-private partnerships as a key reform that China must undertake. The latest news is that, on a sporadic basis, such partnerships are being put into practice in large development projects in once-underdeveloped areas. China's rapid economic growth has brought with it serious environmental problems, so future development faces severe restrictions on resources. Second is to strengthen sustainable and low-carbon development, reduce the material consumption per unit of output, and strengthen standards to control the volume of energy and water consumption and land use. Third is to actively promote the energy-saving and environmental protection industry, making it a new growth point.
Green consumption, which refers to the behavior of saving resources and protecting the environment, such as advocating thrift, reducing waste, and choosing environmental products and services, had a clear effect during the 12th Five-Year Plan. Coal consumption, seen as a major source of pollution, fell for the first time last year, decreasing 3.7 percent compared to 2014. We should also increase the supply of green products and services and support more companies to invest in the research, design and manufacture of green products, as well as use the Internet Plus strategy to promote green consumption, encouraging e-commerce enterprises to sell directly or cooperate with offline companies to engage in green consumption. China became the biggest exporter in the world in 2010, but in the past few years it has been common to see countries, especially the developed ones, use environmental protection to set green trade barriers on Chinese products. The country should also optimize the foreign trade structure and increase its proportion of green products. The author is a research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. In the next five years, despite some uncertainties, China has the ability to maintain an annual economic growth of 6.5 to 7 percent.
Chinese people's incomes are expected to double from the 2010 levels by 2020, when the country's population is projected to reach 1.4 billion.
Domestic consumption, which has been an engine of national growth over the past five years, will enter its golden period during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20). The new growth points and models of consumption appearing in this process can improve China's consumption structure. In the future, Chinese people will spend more on education, medical care, cultural activities and products, eldercare and tourism, with farmers' consumption increasing by a large margin.
Besides, the government is likely to purchase more public services from the market in the next five years, making it a new growth point in consumption. Also, the government attaches great importance to making China a strong power in terms of the Internet, e-commerce and information and communications technologies.
China is in for five big changes: transformation from the "world's factory" to a world market, consumption-led growth replacing investment- and export-driven growth, greater economic reliance on the service sector than industries, shift in decision-makers' focus from the manufacturer-sovereignty model to the consumer-sovereignty model, and overcoming the middle-income trap through innovative technology and governance reform. And China's booming consumer market will result in obvious spillover effects and benefit consumers across the world. More than half of stay-at-home mothers wish they could go out to work but feel trapped by a lack of suitable childcare, a major UK Government study suggests.
Yet - at the same time - a third of mothers who do have jobs would rather give up work to look after their children if they could afford it, the research carried out for the UK Department for Education found. The contrasting dilemmas faced by working families are set out in an annual survey of almost 6,200 parents to help shape Government policy. It shows that almost 6.3 million children in England receive some form of childcare on a regular basis, meaning that eight in 10 families rely on it. But while two thirds of families make use of formal childcare, such as nurseries or childminders, four in 10 also rely on close family or friends. Campaign group supporting the rights of stay-at-home mothers have accused the Government of discriminating against the traditional family model, in which one parent - usually the father - works full time while the other stays at home, through childcare tax breaks for those in which both parents work. But the survey findings suggest that mothers are more likely to feel trapped by circumstances into staying at home than the reverse.
Overall just over a third (34 per cent) of the mothers interviewed for the survey were not in employment, almost a third (30 per cent) work full time and the remaining third (35 per cent) work part-time.
But 53 per cent of those not currently employed said they agreed or strongly agreed that they would prefer to go out to work if they could arrange good quality childcare which was convenient, reliable and affordable.
Significantly, a third of the working mothers surveyed already work hours classed as "atypical" - such as before 8am or after 6pm - when childcare is rarely available. And among those who had recently returned to the workplace, the common reason given for doing so was that they had been able to find a job which allowed them to combine work and childcare. However, for many families the problem was the opposite - more than a third of working mothers (36 per cent) said that they would give up work to stay at home and look after their children if they could afford to. Sam Gyimah, the education and childcare minister, said: "This survey shows that the vast majority of parents who want childcare are taking up our free childcare offer.
The findings come as separate research by the Overseas Development Institute found that the UK is one of the most equitable countries in the world when it comes to men taking their share of childcare - but that women still do twice as much. Meanwhile a third study by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, headed by Alan Milburn the Labour former Education Secretary, showed that despite a Government drive to boost the use of childcare, many parents are still in the dark about what is available. It found that almost 50 per cent of first time mothers either did not know that the Government offers financial help with childcare or, if they did, how to get it.
Mr Milburn said: "i??i??6 billion of public investment in childcare should be a poverty-busting, work-enhancing policy. No international initiative on nuclear security can produce a meaningful global solution without full Russian participation. That is why few anticipate substantial progress at the ongoing Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. Expectations are also running low because someone else will be leading the United States at future summits when President Barack Obama leaves office. There has even been speculation that this may well be the last of this Obama-proposed summit series, which he hoped would be part of his legacy. However, that is precisely why the Washington summit is of particular significance, and why President Xi Jinping's decision to attend makes good sense.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea worried about its survival has responded by threatening other countries with nuclear strikes. Pyongyang's nuclear threats have prompted calls in the Republic of Korea and Japan for the two countries to develop nuclear capacities.
Equally if not more unsettling is the specter of terrorist groups getting their hands on nuclear material that would enable them to make a "dirty bomb". So Xi and Obama have plenty to discuss and coordinate at the sole bilateral meeting during the summit. Beyond that, Xi should convey the key message that China is seriously committed to broader international nuclear security cooperation, and he should work closely with the leaders of other countries to make sure the summits continue, even if the next US president refuses to take up the mantle. Because an operational global nuclear security regime is yet to be achieved - and the world urgently needs one. The inauguration of Myanmar's first elected civilian president in 54 years on Wednesday marked the smooth power transition in the Southeast Asian nation and the start of a new era. Given that Myanmar's democratic process started from a relatively low level of social development, the handover of power without any major social disturbance is indeed praiseworthy. Since Aung San Suu Kyi will hold four ministerial posts in the new government, which puts her in a de facto leadership position, she and the new government led by the National League for Democracy will have to quickly make achievements to prove such an arrangement is reasonable.
The holding of 25 percent parliamentary seats by the military, the allocation of three important ministerial posts to the military and its actual possession of a veto over constitutional revision generally reflect an understanding on ensuring political stability and promoting economic development.
However, the military's considerable influence will also possibly limit the space for the new government to launch much needed reforms.
A crackdown on corruption to realize social equity or efforts to bring the nation under the helm of Aung San Suu Kyi as a "political strongman", may give rise to unavoidable conflicts between the new government and the military, thus damaging the political environment for the former's governance.
There has so far emerged no sign of Myanmar's new government estranging itself from China and falling into the arms of the United States. The judiciary has long been criticized for punishing bribe-takers while being tolerant of those offering bribes. Neither the law nor judicial explanations have clear definitions about what constitutes an "illicit gain". The annual waste of packaging, whether plastic or paper, has reached more than a million tons. Delivery service providers and online shop owners, for starters, should package their parcels reasonably and refrain from over-packaging the items to be delivered.
As for Chinese online shoppers, they should also have better awareness of packaging waste and not expect their purchases to come with too much packaging unless they are fragile and need extra protection during delivery.
A recent scandal has caused widespread concern over the vaccines used on the Chinese mainland, and many parents have said they will go to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, where the regulations are stricter, to get their children vaccinated.
With concerns in Hong Kong that its vaccine supplies might not be enough to meet the demand for residents if there is an influx of "vaccine tourists", the health authorities in Hong Kong have announced they will limit the number of non-resident children who can get vaccinated in public hospitals and health centers to 120 a month from April 1. She said utilization of services by non-resident children would be closely monitored and the quota adjusted or withheld as necessary.
Facing growing energy demand, ever harsher conditions pertaining to domestic resources and protecting the environment, as well as the challenges of global climate change, including the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, China has to solve a series of basic problems in its energy development. The large-scale development of nuclear energy will play a key role in freeing up China's domestic resources, guaranteeing energy security, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring that a green, low-carbon development model is adopted. Nuclear power is important to China in promoting a clean, sustainable energy system because it not only is free of sulfur dioxide emissions and carbon dioxide pollutants but also is high-power density energy with a high load factor. Nuclear power also stands out as an energy source because of its ever-improving safety and reliability, clear cost advantages over coal power and issues of transport.
China's nuclear power stations are highly reliable, all of their equipment, buildings and installations having been built and checked according to the strictest quality control regulations.
At a time when low-carbon development has increasingly become a global trend, the mastering of core energy technologies will become a symbol of a country's core competitiveness. Also, any plan for further nuclear energy development should be implemented in a scientific and orderly manner, to ensure coordinated development of nuclear power construction, and its speed, quality and economic effects. The author is an academician with the department of energy and mining engineering, Chinese Academy of Engineering. Although the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Manila's complaint will be announced later this year, a part of it has been released. For one, it falsely judges the ownership of a low-tide elevation according to the UNCLOS' definition, which refers to "a naturally formed area of land which is surrounded by and above water at low tide but submerged at high tide". Therefore, it would be inappropriate and unconvincing for The Hague-based court to make an arbitration tribunal decision before making clear the limitations of the UNCLOS in disputes over low-tide elevations. It should also be noted that the United States has intensified its security-related intervention in the South China Sea issue, although it doesn't even remotely concern its national security, to push forward its pivot-to-Asia strategy.
The US' provocative actions over the past months, including the recent intrusions by its guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen and USS Curtis Wilbur into the waters near a reef and an island of China's in the South China Sea, have resulted in serious frictions between the two countries over regional maritime issues. In response to Washington's increasing provocations, particularly its warships' "free navigation" in the waters off China's Xisha Islands, Beijing has exercised the utmost restraint to avoid an open conflict. On the one hand, Beijing has to take a prudent stance on the South China Sea issue, because the baselines of some Nansha islets and reefs remain unclear even though UNCLOS allows reclamation work on its islets and reefs. Therefore, China and the US should hold more talks, in a bid to reach a consensus on "freedom of navigation" and major security issues. To better safeguard regional peace and stability, China also needs to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to facilitate consultations over the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
The author is director of the Ocean Strategy Studies Center at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Description: VERY UNIQUE NICE TEA SET TEA POT & 5 CUPS CERAMIC OUTSIDE AND PORCELAIN INSIDE CUPS & POT WHITE BACKGROUND WITH BLACK DOTS AND BLUE HAND PAINTED FLORAL DESIGN . He suggested the interest rate should be reduced from 2.5 percent to 2 percent, the same rate China offered Indonesia last year for a high-speed rail project, and China bear the bulk of the costs as the project is of benefit to it. If this is the case, the project will be much smaller and of less significance to the Southeast Asia nation than was planned, and it is the Thai economy that will be the main beneficiary.
But the twists and turns of the project should persuade China to adjust its strategies and approach so other countries better understand its Belt and Road strategy. The market only gave a tepid response, and the renminbi's value against the US dollar even saw a rise following their moves. International rating agencies should first make an overall and thorough evaluation of China's economic and social achievements and the tangible progress it has made in structural reform in order to reach an objective and fair credit assessment of the world's second-largest economy. But that does not mean their rating results are free from any faults or the influence of ideologies and values.
The often-caustic attitude of the two agencies toward China, such as their failure to extend China a high sovereign credit rating even during its high-speed economic growth, has added to people's skepticism over the objectivity of their assessments of China. As a result, these dangerous yet convenient modes of transport are responsible for a considerable number of accidents. Some local authorities even issued a notice awarding the law enforcers 500 yuan ($77) for every person they detained.
To solve these problems, however, the authorities only target users while turning a blind eye to the designers, manufacturers, retailers and the transport watchdogs.
Some couriers can only use three-wheelers to deliver packages, because the cost of using a car is too high for them and many of them do not have driving licenses. A well-regulated electric bike industry, registration system and market will benefit all parties. One after another, surveys show that the majority of accidents in China are caused by drivers breaking the traffic rules.
They always break traffic laws whenever there is little risk of being caught by the police.
However, there was more criticism than praise for them, and most of them soon went out of business as few people wanted to use such services.
International cooperation should be strengthened to build a community of shared future on nuclear security.
His diplomatic policies have been wise in that they are meant to change the way American diplomacy is practiced, the essence of which is safeguarding the US' dominance on three fronts: as a power, world leader and key balancing factor in a new world order. The business community, led by major multinational corporations, and financial movers and shakers on Wall Street, wants to continue with the policy of pragmatic cooperation with China as a main stakeholder. Ignoring this reality, however, the US is stubbornly trying to maintain its hegemony in the world order. Sino-US competition has been on the rise in recent years, essentially because of Washington's worries that Beijing might challenge its dominant position. This change has made the existing structural contradiction in US-China ties more prominent, and points to a serious imbalance between high-level economic ties and low-level political and security relations. Strategically speaking, mutual distrust between Washington and Beijing has deepened and mutual vigilance and counterbalancing are escalating.
They have strengthened coordination and cooperation in coping with such significant global challenges as climate change and control of epidemics, and made other achievements. This suggests an improvement in housing-market sentiment and a potential property market recovery in the near future. But the latest survey indicates the slow pace of inventory digestion will continue to contain price gains. Land auctions by local governments have increased slightly, while developers' land-buying appetite is growing. The survey showed real demand-including from first-time buyers and up-graders-continues to dominate the market, accounting for 93 percent of buyers. Considering the destocking pressure, apartments' prices are likely to rise only mildly this year.
Bank and non-bank financing access does not seem to have become easier, although funding costs have reduced marginally. The central government has made destocking its key target this year, and implemented more measures to accelerate the digestion of property inventory, including adjustments to down-payment requirements and transaction taxes. At the local government level, policy divergence will likely become more obvious, with policy measures in top-tier cities aimed at managing financial risks and those in lower-tier cities aimed at expediting the destocking process. But given the sudden heat in selected top-tier cities, further loosening of policy measures may be more targeted and measured. Forward-looking indices, such as floor space of new starts and land purchases, showed signs of stabilizing at low levels by the end of 2015. Many traditional toponyms have disappeared since the reform and opening-up were launched more than three decades ago.
For instance, almost all Chinese cities have named at least one newly built residential complex after Rome or Venice. But reflecting on the reasons of the chaotic phenomenon of geographical names is as important as the campaign itself.
Social changes can often result in the change of geographical names, as many new cities are built at the cost of disappearing countless villages and towns.
The Zhangjiajie scenic spot in Hunan province changed the name of its most famous mountain to "Hallelujah Mountain" in 2010 only because blockbuster science fiction movie Avatar used the image of the mountain, and the local authorities hoped to attract more tourists using the "famous" name.
As such, the "Rome and Venice" phenomenon mentioned above reflect the cultural indifference of today's society. After more than three decades of rapid economic development, China has become a big global power which doesn't have to copy Western traits and lifestyles to be called a modern society. But making people truly understand the value and importance of history and traditional culture will need some time.

The Abe administration cites China's efforts to protect its maritime territory, along with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's nuclear and missile programs, as concrete examples of the changing regional security climate necessitating the new laws. They were thrilled to put the US, Japan and the ROK in one camp and China, Russia and the DPRK in the other. Japan's Defense Agency has stationed 160 Ground SDF personnel on Yonaguni Island, which is some 150 kilometers south of China's Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, to monitor vessels and aircraft in the area by radar. But it is only fairly recently that Chinese films and film stars have reached further into the mindset of the Chinese public than their Hollywood counterparts. It has become apparent recently that much of the entire international film industry has now set its sights on China and is moving away from the time-honored heartlands of Western Europe and North America.
Furthermore, the trend is upward for the Chinese box office which has seen double-digit growth year after year for the past few years. Last year, two of the top five best-viewed Chinese film releases were produced and directed domestically.
By some estimates, ticket sales have grown by as much as seven or eight times more than GDP growth.
A rough approximation puts the number of screens in China at around 28,000, in comparison with the US's 40,000, but by next year this 28,000 is widely predicted to rocket to around 53,000.
Moreover, it is also film content based on aspects of Chinese culture that many Chinese cinemagoers relate to closely. The Chinese film industry, despite its rapid rise, is keen to learn from the West and collaborate. Attempts at some sort of straight replication of typical Western film industry methods will more than likely lead to failure.
First-tier cities remain dominant economically, but second- and third-tier cities will receive more support now and become relatively much more attractive. President Xi Jinping put forward China's outlook on nuclear security for the first time at The Hague Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in 2014, which has become an important concept guiding the country's efforts to strengthen nuclear security. So the international community has to strengthen coordination and global governance in the nuclear field. States should have laws and supervisory mechanisms to ensure effective protection of nuclear materials and facilities, and provide all-weather institutional, technical and personnel guarantees to enhance nuclear security.
It has approved all international legal instruments concerning nuclear security, supports the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN, and is fulfilling its international obligations.
Apart from visiting four Western European countries and the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Xi also attended the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague in the Netherlands.
Xi also joined global leaders at the UN climate conference in Paris in December to help strike a deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These top-level visits have been accompanied by encouraging and diversified business deals and people-to-people exchanges. And China's proactive and pragmatic EU policy can help the bloc overcome some of them, because Beijing is not only offering proposals and ideas but also following them up with concerted actions. Add to that the growing number of Chinese tourists visiting and spending handsomely in EU countries and students choosing European universities for higher education, and you have a promising picture. For example, the UK is on its way to becoming China's "best friend" in the West and the Czech Republic has decided to scale up its ties with China to the strategic level.
China has proposed and the Europeans have echoed many progressive ideas, though some Western powers have opposed them. This should be seen as the biggest achievement of the China-EU partnership over the past two years.
As there won't be a hard crash, what can they say about the world's second-largest economy in transition? There must be some signs, like some light at the end of a tunnel, of a transition that is about to move from a low-growth cycle to a high-growth cycle, mustn't there? Transition is a costly undertaking for both the government and major enterprises because there must be two different sets of outlays. Although there was no need for the government to apply exchange controls immediately, the country obviously failed to direct that amount of capital to serve China's transition and help it generate better returns. But there is one common feature of the countries plagued by the middle-income trap: their continuous loss of capital and top human resources to countries where they can enjoy greater freedom and realize better uses. To make China an interesting and potentially lucrative investment market, there is only one thing to do: enlist private capital, on a massive scale, in the building and the maintenance of many public projects. It still cannot say it has broken the middle-income trap because it still cannot mobilize its own society's potential financial power in building itself up. Increasing energy efficiency in the new plan will not only solve ecological and environmental problems but also create room for economic development and make green industries the new pillar industries.
At present, industrial development has slowed and enterprises' profits are decreasing, so we should focus on saving energy and reducing emissions to strengthen the green transformation of enterprises that create pollution and use a lot of energy and water, especially in low-end industries with overcapacity such as steel, cement, flat glass, electrolytic aluminum and coal. Sustainable production also needs to be promoted among all enterprises to improve the nonfossil energy ratio and make the use of fossil fuels such as coal more efficient, while construction of a smart grid must be strengthened to improve the industrialization of electrical cars and to control carbon emissions.
It is one of seven strategic emerging industries that China will accelerate, providing not only equipment, products and services for green development, but also a long industry chain that can offer large employment opportunities. Moreover, the proportion of clean-energy consumption - hydropower, wind power, nuclear power, and natural gas - in total energy consumption has increased steadily, from 13 percent in 2011 to 17.9 percent last year. To speed up the building of circulation channels for green products, we need to encourage the establishment of green markets, shopping malls and supermarkets, and ask stores to set aside areas for green products, as well as expand the consumption markets for green products in rural areas.
Developing green trade and pushing forward the export of products that can meet higher environmental protection standards will increase the competitiveness of Chinese products.
It should strengthen environment protection regulations for exporting companies, to make sure they abide by the law, and perfect China's environmental standards and technical regulations to integrate international standards.
It could adjust the structure of the export tax refund rate, increase the refund rate for exported green products, and simplify its approval and tax refund processes.
The answer is China, because it has the largest population, and is set to become the world's largest economy, largest trader, largest buyer and the largest consumer market. Irrespective of whether it is calculated on the basis of exchange rate or purchasing power parity, the Chinese economy is expected to account for at least 20 percent of the world economy. Last year, the total volume of retail sales in China reached 30 trillion yuan ($4.61 trillion), which is expected to double by 2020. The Engel Coefficient, the percentage of money spent on food in urban residents' overall consumption, is less than 30 percent, which signifies a healthy livelihood structure. Last year, Chinese consumers spent more than 4 trillion yuan on e-commerce, which accounted for 13.3 percent of the country's total retail sales volume. This will help raise the contribution of consumption to China's economic growth to 60 to 70 percent by 2020.
If the government's plans are realized, China will become a power in the Internet of Things as well as a global e-commerce market. Today, China has the largest number of Internet users and is one of the most networked countries in the world. And that will be the new tangible and unique contribution of China to global economic development.
But increasing nuclear risks are a truth the international community cannot afford to underestimate.
Donald Trump, the front-runner to be the Republican candidate to succeed Obama, has also suggested Washington consider allowing the two allies to obtain US nuclear weapons. Investigations surrounding the Brussels attacks have raised reasonable suspicion that the Islamic State group, which has already used chemical weapons, is eyeing nuclear facilities and materials.
And a recent report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative just put our name on a list of countries whose nuclear reactors are vulnerable to cyberattacks. At the same time, it has a critical role to play in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The low starting point, however, also means the new government faces some arduous tasks in the years ahead.
Maintaining the neutral and balanced diplomatic policy Myanmar has traditionally adopted is in the best interests of the country. This criticism is justified, as corruption cannot be rooted out without punishing the bribers.
The Criminal Law states that any State employee who receives personal profit in some form in return for doing a "favor" is taking a bribe, and when anybody gives a State employee something in order to receive an "illicit gain", that's bribery. As a result, in judicial practice, procurators and judges decide whether a gain is illicit or not depending on whether it is obviously illegal. As long as someone offers something to a government employee in order to make some form of gain, it is considered a bribe and the court does not care whether the profit is "illicit" or not. Reports say Ma accepted 20,000 yuan ($3,093) from Liang Chengli and $10,000 from Yang Guangxin, both of whom were later promoted. The country is expected to handle 50 billion express parcels annually by 2020, according to Ma Junsheng, head of the State Post Bureau.
To curb this serious delivery-related pollution requires all parties concerned - express companies, customers, online business owners, and post service authorities - to pitch in to make a difference. Besides, they need to keep in mind their responsibility to sort their waste packaging for recycling, in accordance with the rules on waste classification, or sell it to waste-recycling stations, where such routine garbage can be made useful again.
The production of electric bicycles manufactured according to national standards and sold with the necessary permits is legal. For many people with low incomes riding an electric bike is the most feasible transport option. Decision-makers should try to understand the underlying feelings of the people at the lower end of society and recognize the hardships they face in their lives.
Non-resident children will only be able to book an appointment when there is spare capacity and will have to pay a higher fee. For example, nuclear power produces about 1 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by same-capacity coal power. All of China's nuclear power stations are distributed across its coastal area, with their generating units operating safely and securely. Apart from third-generation pressurized water reactor stations of the AP1000 and EPR types that are being built, it is also working on AP1000 technology and promoting research and development of CAP1400 technology. When every 20 million kW of nuclear power capacity is put into operation to generate 140 billion kWh of electricity on average annually, an equivalent of 42 million tons of standard coal will be saved. China must regard nuclear energy as a high-tech field that is of strategic significance and make concerted efforts to form its own nuclear industrial brands. In 2006, China exercised its right under Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to reject compulsory arbitration on the issue. In contrast, it is international law that decides whether a low-tide elevation can be owned by a relevant coastal country, particularly when it comes to territorial acquisition. To strengthen its leadership in the region and fulfill its "defense-oriented" obligations to help allies like Manila, Washington has sought to challenge Beijing's legal construction work on its own islets and reefs. The US is also likely to hold more joint military drills with some of its Asian allies and bolster its military bases in the region, in the hope of consolidating its foothold in the South China Sea. On the other hand, coastal nations reserve the right to ask foreign ships availing of the "innocent passage" provision to abide by relevant laws and regulations.
Should they succeed in their endeavor, other coastal countries can use some of the resultant rules to deal with similar disputes. Besides, it should make more efforts to implement the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative to deepen China-ASEAN cooperation as a counter-measure to the joint efforts of the US and the Philippines to muddle the South China Sea waters. This is not because of excessive market tolerance to China's economic performance, but because of the two agencies' self-evident overestimation of China's economic difficulties and their underrating of China's capability and resolve to push forward reforms and deal with possible risks. Perhaps local governments should draw a lesson from the resistance law enforcers encounter from users when confiscating the illegal bikes. For commuters living far from bus routes and subways, electric bikes are the best choice given their speed and low-usage costs.
Electric bikes will become safer on roads and couriers will not have to worry about their transport. Some pedestrians have bad habits, too, and jaywalking is quite common among them because they believe cars will avoid hitting them. Special interest groups, comprising mainly military-industrial complexes, however, on the pretext of guaranteeing US leadership and national security, advocate tougher policies against any practical or potential source of threat, and view Russia and China as the foremost strategic rivals.
It is thus unrealistic to expect the US to play a constructive leadership role in helping build a multi-polar world. A major cause of the change in Sino-US relations is that Washington has come to view Beijing as a major strategic rival.
But as the biggest stakeholder for each other, China and the US agree they should avoid confrontation, and prevent their disagreements from harming their overall relationship.
Given all these facts, one can safely say that such co-existence and interweaving of competition and cooperation will become the "new normal" in China-US ties. The sales and policy outlook improved significantly, followed by construction and financing activities. The survey shows developers' construction activity started picking up in the fourth quarter of 2015 and is set to accelerate in the first quarter of this year. Since land purchases are seen as a leading indicator of property construction activity, this bodes well for a recovery of construction in second-and third-tier cities in the near future.
This has exceeded market expectations to some extent and sent signals of a change in the central government's policy stance on the housing market. Possible policy measures that could be adopted by lower-tier cities may include mortgage loan adjustments, lower down-payment requirements, purchase subsidies, and lower hukou (China's household registration system) barriers. According to the second survey of national geographical names in 2014, more than 60,000 town names and more than 400,000 village names have been changed since 1986. Why Chinese geographical names have been arbitrarily changed over the past few decades even though they are of great cultural and historical significance? The question is: Are local authorities qualified to make such changes in geographical name at their will? Chinese people should establish a new concept of modernization based on a well-off society with Chinese characteristics, rather than simply copying from the West. However, 47 out of 419 graduates this year preferred the private sector rather than joining the SDF, double the number last year. There is the outlay for shutting old operations, such as closing down factories, relocating workers and selling machines to overseas buyers, and the outlay for exploring new opportunities, buying new technologies and setting up new teams. We could also put more emphasis on increasing the financial support for green-product exports, and increase the credit insurance scale for green products, especially the financing of exports of complete sets of technical equipment that evidently have environmental benefits such as high-speed rail. Worryingly, security watchdogs have reported pervasive "basic weaknesses" in the way fissile materials are being preserved across the world. For example, those bribing customs officers to smuggle goods are considered to have committed a crime. There have been calls for the Criminal Law to be amended to eliminate this gray area, but so far the law has not been changed. This is obviously irrational, and both Liang and Yang deserve legal and disciplinary penalties.
And because nuclear power fuel needs much less transport than does coal, this can ease pressures on transport infrastructure. No nuclear accident rated above level 2 has occurred in China, under the classification standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It should also stick to the safety-first principle in its nuclear energy development strategy and ensure that no leakage occurs anywhere. Many countries, including China and the Philippines, are yet to reach a consensus on the tidal datum, which plays a vital role in judging the ownership of low-tide elevations in the light of international law, leading to differences over delimitations in the South China Sea.
Public cemeteries in the city have stopped the service for some time because there was little demand. The total floor space of projects under construction rose 11 percent from July 2015 levels, of which floor space of newly started projects increased 29.6 percent.
However, in some cases people give State employees money for economic or political gains that are not obviously illegal.
The property market policy loosened notably early this year, compared with a relatively neutral stance in 2015, as the government made clear its intention to support the market and boost demand.
No one can be sure unless people can see them not only be given orders, but also act in their own accord to do the right thing and seek the changes expected by the reform's designers. Shipping: We ship within one business day with delivery confirmation after your payment is cleared. International Buyers: We ship worldwide but we will not be liable for any customs duties or if your item gets lost in transit. We ship by USPS international first class that does not provide tracking information , if you want to purchase tracking information please contact us.
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