A chance encounter with a captivating children's pop-up book in a Milan bookstore sent Wang Yihua on a magical journey of her own. A creative mission followed, and in the decade after that enthralling discovery in Italy, she built Lelequ, China's leading pop-up book publisher, from scratch.
These days, Wang has been busy fulfilling her promise to publish a bilingual pop-up book about Ming, the much-loved giant panda who survived the Nazi blitzkrieg and cheered British hearts during the war some 70 years ago. She attended the installation of a statue memorializing Ming, a gift from the Chinese people to the London Zoo, during President Xi Jinping's official visit to the United Kingdom in October. The text of the story is already complete, and a paper-art designer and illustrator are working to enable Ming to pop, flap and swirl as readers turn the pages.
The new company had no marketing channels, no experience, and factories able to print their products were contracted to foreign publishers. But where others saw obstacles, Wang saw opportunity, and says she found a "Blue Ocean" to explore.
Her persistence encouraged her colleagues, editors and designers, to research and create their first book on their own. In 2008, Wang expanded the company to produce other special-effect books, including some more like toys that included items such as colored pencils or origami paper. Sun Zhaozhi, vice-general manager under Wang, said the company is always pushing for breakthroughs. After months of effort in 2007, piecing together 700 parts, the team presented the first Chinese version of Robert Sabuda's recreation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as a pop-up book. In one breath-taking scene, 104 mini playing cards erupt from the book's pages, "making the book not only a good read, but also a collectors' favorite", said Taitung University's Lin Wen-Pao, a children's literature professor. In the meantime, Wang spent years trying to purchase the right to publish a pop-up version of Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), but was refused over worries that there was no market for a book priced at 60 euros ($65). Viewing the success of the Alice book, the French publisher finally authorized the endeavor, "touched by our courage and unremitting effort in presenting a deserving book to our readers", Wang said.
Wang, who has sharp memory for numbers and likes to attend public lectures, also cooks and collects calligraphy. Her next plan is to publish pop-up masterpieces that even adult readers would love, such as a new Harry Potter pop-up book, and a series of highly original paper art works by David A.
Wang also wants to publish more pop-up books that feature Chinese interests and history, as this is what she is making effort to achieve. A scene from Lelequ's version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that showcases the sophistication of making pop-up books. Pop-up and other special-effect books were first created in the 13th century by academics in Britain to illustrate scientific knowledge, said Guan Zhongping, a Beijing-based specialty book collector. It was only in the 17th century that the techniques were applied to children's books, Guan said.
Lelequ, the publishing arm of Wang Yihua's Ronshin Group, began printing its own Chinese-themed and special-effect books in 2009. To be released in 2016, the book recreates the vivid scenes from the much-loved cartoon movie of the same name. The book offers a complete interactive experience for young readers who are interested in traditional Chinese culture, or for parents who are worried about retaining fading customs. The award-winning book, complete with colored pens and paper folding devices, is geared toward early childhood education. The two-volume collection highlights a myriad of sounds from a child's environment, which they access by turning pages or flaps and pressing buttons. Like most Japanese actors who started their careers in China, he made his debut on Chinese screens by playing Japanese soldiers in China during the first half of the 20th century. Kuroki spent his undergraduate years as a Chinese language major at Osaka University of Foreign Studies from 2002 to 2007. He said he was first fascinated by China, and decided to learn Chinese, because of Jackie Chan, the famous Chinese action movie star who rose to fame in Hollywood by starring in films such as Rush Hour. Before his graduation in 2007, he took a year-long break and went to China, during which time he studied for six months at the Beijing Film Academy. After graduation, he studied writing and directing for a year, and got his first acting chance, at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. The first director he worked with was Guan Hu, who had just scored a box office triumph in the New Year, and more acting offers followed. Due to a limited budget and lack of available Japanese actors, some war dramas saw Chinese nationals act or dub as Japanese soldiers, a move that triggered many complaints. Kuroki is not the only Japanese actor working in China seeking to shift career paths as war-related roles can lead to controversy both at home and in China.
Japan-related war TV dramas and films have drawn sharp criticism back in Japan for alleged attempts to flame "anti-Japanese sentiments". Koji Yano, a 46-year-old Japanese actor and a household name in China, first impressed Chinese viewers with his portrayal of wartime army officials. Kuroki's popularity surged last year in China's cyberspace, especially social networks, after his appearance on the talk show "A Bright World". As a guest star, Kuroki, representing Japan, explained the cultural differences between China and Japan by recalling his years on the set. In the past two years, partly due to the drastic depreciation of the Japanese yen, Japan has seen a dramatic surge in the number of Chinese travelers and shoppers. This has helped foster interest in Japan but Kuroki said his online video program was first made quite apart from the travel boom. Kuroki's New Year wish is that more people, who have little knowledge of Japan, will get to know him and see the country in a different light.
Kuroki has a Chinese wife, and is looking forward to spending the Chinese Lunar New Year in her hometown.
The People's Liberation Army overhauled its regional command system on Feb 1 in an attempt to improve the military's joint operational capability.
President Xi Jinping, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, presented PLA flags to top officers from the five newly established areas of command at a ceremony at the commission's headquarters in Beijing. President Xi Jinping presents a military flag to Zhao Zongqi, commander of the newly created Western Theater Command, at a ceremony in Beijing on Feb 1. The new theater commands are for the eastern, southern, western, northern and central areas. They replace the seven regional commands named after the cities where their headquarters were located: Beijing, Shenyang, Ji'nan, Lanzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu and Guangzhou. Xi said the five theater commands are responsible for dealing with security threats in their respective strategic fields, maintaining peace, and containing and winning wars, noting their pivotal role in safeguarding the country's overall national security and military strategies. Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said at a news conference that rearranging the regional military commands would not change the PLA's defensive nature. The move is the latest step taken by Xi in a massive overhaul of the defense system and the PLA. In late November, a plenary session of the Central Military Commission announced a plan to reorganize itself and the regional military commands.
At the end of December, the PLA Army Headquarters, the PLA Rocket Force and the PLA Strategic Support Force were set up.
Last month, the PLA's central departments - staff, politics, logistics and armaments - were dismantled and their functions and duties were reassigned to 15 new agencies under the Central Military Commission. Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, says the seven regional commands had been tied to a combat mode centered on ground forces, while the new system features joint operations and information capacity. Lou Yaoliang, head of military strategy studies at the National Defense University, says the new regional commands will be responsible for performing military operations, while the headquarters of each service will take charge of managing and training troops. Heihe, a city in far northeast China, has launched a campaign to promote its many "well-being centers" as long-term holiday destinations for elderly Russians. Russian retirees sing karaoke in the Xinianhe Healthcare Center in Heihe, Heilongjiang province. Last year, the city spent 5.4 billion yuan to construct or expand 11 well-being centers, including Heihe No 2 Social Welfare Institution and Xinianhe Health Center. Wang Yongtang, deputy director of social welfare for Heihe, says the latest campaign has been accelerated with support from the government and social organizations. Located in northeast Heilongjiang province, the city is separated by a river from Blagoveshchensk, the capital of Russia's Amurskaya Oblast. Xinianhe Healthcare Center alone has welcomed more than 20,000 Russian tourists from Blagoveshchensk since 1990. Wang says the Russian-style well-being centers, which provide space for convalescence, are the most popular institutions offering care and leisure services for retirees from Russia and China. Liu Guiqing, a retired teacher and part-time interpreter from Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang, says many Chinese retirees also head to Russia for breaks at similar facilities. Zhang Enliang, the city mayor, says economic cooperation between Heihe and Russian cities has been increasing over the past 10 years, thanks largely to policies introduced to make travel easier.
Heihe is just 750 meters from Blagoveshchensk and official data show that 3 million people pass through the Chinese city's border port every year, with most arriving by ferry.
Russians have been able to visit the city without a visa since 2006, and most today come for holidays or to shop, according to Ye Hailin, exit-entry inspection and quarantine official. To handle the increase in Russian tourists, the city has expanded its immigration control center to cover nearly 8,500 square meters. In June, under an agreement between the governments of Heilongjiang and Amurskaya Oblast, work was started on a new bridge across the river. Once completed, Zhang says he expects the bridge to boost economic development in Heihe and attract more Russian tourists.
As China-Russia relations have developed, more Russians have started to see China as a top tourist destination. Heihe, which sits on the China-Russia border in Heilongjiang province, has seen a steady rise in the number of Russian tourists over the past 10 years. More Russian schools are also teaching their students Chinese, while Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University, which lies just over the river from Heihe in Russia, has opened a Confucius Institute. There are 18 Confucius institutes at major universities in Russia, and more are expected to follow.
According to Beijing Foreign Studies University, the lack of people fluent in Russian has become a problem for state-owned enterprises and research institutes. Data show that, due to gas line and military cooperation contracts signed during President Vladimir Putin's visit to China last year, as well as deeper bilateral economic cooperation and the 2014-2015 China-Russia Youth Friendly Exchanges Year, the number of graduates majoring in Russian has risen. However, although 137 Chinese universities offer courses in the Russian language, less than 20,000 students currently major in the language. Guan says the trend toward global economic integration and trade liberalization is irreversible and that foreign languages have become key to international communication and cooperation.
Dominic Ziegler, Asia editor of The Economist, believes that Heilongjiang River has had a major role in defining the relationship between two neighbors that are culturally different. Dominic Ziegler believes major geographical features can be as responsible as people for shaping history. This is one of the themes of his new book, Black Dragon River, about the 4,500-kilometer Heilonjiang River, which forms a large part of the border between Russia and China.
He believes it had a major role in defining the relationship between two neighbors that are culturally different.
Ziegler, who was speaking at the central London offices of The Economist, where he is Asia editor, says despite being the ninth largest river in the world, few pay it much attention. It is, in fact, longer than either the Congo or the Mekong and drains into a bigger basin than the Yangtze, China's largest river. This eventually involved taking a three-month sabbatical from work and starting his journey on horseback from the river's Mongolian source. His actual trip, which was done in stages, covered a distance of about 10,400 km as part of the river is out of bounds (as a result of it being a border). Ziegler says people make the mistake of thinking Russia always had its own far east, but this was largely a result of Cossack interlopers invading territory from the late 16th century onward.
On his journey, Ziegler traveled to Nerchinsk, where in 1689 a treaty was agreed between Chinese emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynastry (1644-1911) and Peter the Great, the tsar who brought Russia into the modern world.
It was the first-ever treaty China signed with a Western power and, somewhat curiously, was written in Latin, an agreed neutral alternative to Russian and Manchu.
The journalist believes that even today China and Russia have a relatively stable relationship as a result of the treaty. Ziegler, 54, went to Winchester College and read modern languages at Oxford University before eventually joining The Economist in 1984. He has held various positions, including Washington and Tokyo correspondent as well as China correspondent, based in Hong Kong and then in Beijing, in the 1990s. Ziegler will be returning to Hong Kong this year to take charge of the magazine's Banyan column on Asian affairs. Back to the Helongjiang River, he believes there is still an awareness in the Russian far east that the real engine of their economy now comes from China in the south. He says the exchanges between the territories above the river and China are now not all economic.
Music, Late String Quartets (Opus 127-135) by Ludwig van Beethoven and Argentianin tango musician Anibal Troilo.
Xue Lan, dean of the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, says there are areas in which China can strengthen its scientific structure to make even more progress and recognition possible. More gifted Chinese scientists, especially in physics, new materials and life sciences, are "very likely" in the next five years to see the type of global recognition given 84-year-old Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou, says a top science policy adviser to the Chinese government. Tu, the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, is known for discovering artemisinin, which halved the mortality rate of malaria during the past 15 years. His observations cause him to believe global recognition is likely for more than just "one or two scientists".
He also says there are areas in which China can strengthen its scientific structure to make even more progress and recognition possible. After earning a doctorate in engineering and public policy in 1991 from Carnegie Mellon University in the US and teaching at George Washington University, Xue returned to China to teach at Tsinghua in 1996. Xue also has been a visiting scholar at the World Bank and Harvard University, where he serves on the advisory board. In physics, he says a research team led by his Tsinghua colleague, Xue Qikun, in collaboration with researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Stanford University, reported the first experimental observation of the quantum anomalous Hall effect.
According to Tsinghua, this represents an important new phenomenon discovered by Chinese physicists. Also in physics, Xue cites Pan Jianwei, a 46-year-old quantum scientist at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province, as a possible Nobel Prize candidate. Xue also says Chinese scientists have made solid progress in the research of new materials science, but he did not cite any individual scientists. Xue says Yan Ning, a life sciences professor who teaches at Tsinghua University, is one of the young candidates for global recognition. Xue says China's credentials in basic sciences could turn the country into the world's second-biggest scientific power, after the US. In terms of the number of scientific papers recognized through international citation standards, Chinese scientists produce half of the total of their American peers, but that's a big increase from 2009, when the proportion was one-third. Despite such progress, Xue says China needs to take urgent measures to reform its science and technology research systems to further tap the potential of its talent. Right now, China's payment system for scientists and those in knowledge-intensive sectors are still rigid and the levels are low, he says.
Xue has urged the government to boost incomes and make sure compensation is in the form of annual salaries for those in knowledge and creative sectors, such as professionals at universities, research institutions and hospitals.
Xue says he shared his suggestions with Premier Li Keqiang at a recent meeting in Beijing, when Li invited him to join several distinguished foreign experts, including Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz and economist Jonathan Woetzel with the Shanghai office of McKinsey & Co, to offer advice on China's development programs for the coming five years. Xue has been requested to give such advice for the top leadership on several occasions, and he is also seen as a key expert in China's designated strategic industries, such as life sciences, new materials, new energy, the Internet and electric automobiles.

In the next five years, he says, China needs to work on turning its research capacity into a bigger force for improving the country's productivity, competitiveness and profit-making capabilities. The main thing most people are concerned about after they have taken a selfie is how their faces look. The 42-year-old Shanghai native has been making waves with her series of selfies that have been painstakingly executed to illustrate her jumping in a variety of locations around the world. An employee of Japanese camera maker Olympus, Ke interacts with professional photographers often and this inherently helped her gain a good eye for photography, as well as heightened her standards for the photos she takes. That inspired Ke to come up with her own series of images, and she first attempted to do so with a camera and a tripod.
The hardest part of the project, however, was overcoming the awkward feeling of knowing that someone was watching her perform her stunts.
Some of the locations that Ke frequently practices at include secluded spots around the city such as garages, neighborhoods that are awaiting demolition and small parks. When Ke was confident of her skills, she started to take her unique selfie journey to new places such as coffee shops, historical alleys, museums and even overseas landmarks. When she finally showed her images to the man, he replied: "I'd love to marry you if I were single. One of her favorite pictures was taken in India and it shows her tugging at her skirt in midair as a bird flew past in the background. Ke even went to the extent of picking up dancing in order to gain more confidence and a slimmer body shape. A self-confessed travel and photography enthusiast, Ke says that she does not take selfies simply to show people "I've been there." Rather, she wants to be the leading character in her own shot.
Air, Cassius, Phoenix and Daft Punk were just a few of the big names that were jumping the channel and charting in the top 10 (yes, kids, charts meant something back then). Tahiti 80 were perhaps not the most famous, but they were definitely on the front line of this Gallic invasion at the turn of the century.
Xavier Boyer, lead vocalist, and bass player Pedro Resende formed the band in Rouen while at university (the name was apparently inspired by a slogan on a souvenir T-shirt given to Boyer's father in 1980). The group's 1999 debut album, Puzzle, made waves on both sides of the English Channel, as well as had an impact in the United States and Asia - for the latter, this was thanks largely to a remix of the single Heartbeat by Tokyo pop star Keigo Oyamada. Clearly influenced by the rock 'n' roll and soul of the 1960s and '70s, the band are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone, following up their debut with the more-experimental Wallpaper for the Soul in 2003. After six studio albums - the last of which, Ballroom, came out in 2014 - the band are back on the road again.
For Wolfgang Kubin, studying Chinese literature sheds light not only on China, but on his inner self. Wolfgang Kubin, a German Sinologist, says that Chinese writers ought to work harder to improve their foreign language skills and nurture themselves with foreign literature. In that vein, Chinese writers ought to work harder to improve their foreign language skills and nurture themselves with foreign literature, he says. Kubin, who has studied Chinese literature and culture for more than 40 years, is renowned for his translations in the 1990s of short stories and essays by Lu Xun.
Lu Xun is the pen name of the versatile writer Zhou Shuren (1881-1936), one of the first Chinese writers to use the vernacular instead of classical Chinese to create literature, and widely recognized as one of the founders of modern Chinese literature. Ge Tao of the China-based Lu Xun Culture Foundation says: "Lu Xun's essays are often very incisive in his societal commentary.
However, Kubin has cracked this tough nut, and he has compiled six books of Lu Xun's works. Kubin also likes Li Bai (AD 701-762) of the Tang dynasty (618-907) and Su Shi (1037-1101) of the Song dynasty (960-1279), because they "have a strong ability with language, their thoughts are deep and wise and they fear nothing in life". Li Bai, one of most prominent figures as Chinese poetry, came to be called the Fairy Poet because of his romantic works; and Su Shi, a major personality and a politician, is famous for his lyrics.
In Su's political struggles one of his constant companions was failure, and he was sent into exile more than once.
However, such travails failed to dim the poet's enthusiasm and the optimism conveyed in his works, Kubin says.
Richard Trappl, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna, agrees with Kubin on the importance of mastering a foreign language.
Kubin has also compiled the History of Chinese Literature in the 20th Century (published in German as Geschichte der chinesischen Literatur im 20. He voices concern about contemporary Chinese literature, saying that writers of the era since 1949 have lacked profundity of thought and are too preoccupied with marketing. He also calls on Chinese writers to read more books, so they can convey the deep wisdom of classical Chinese literature through their own works. Although Kubin is an influential Sinologist and can write poetry and prose in Chinese, he says he was by no means a top-flight student. He then threw himself into his work, in which two of the prime elements were self-discipline and determination.
To this day Kubin has retained that work ethic, he says, and that is illustrated in one of his pastimes, playing soccer, he says. In 2011 he retired from Bonn University, but instead of settling for a quiet retirement opted to travel to China to continue teaching, writing and translating.
His work schedule is tightly planned, and after getting up at 5:30 am every day he writes, translates and does research until midnight. Every week Kubin's prose is published in the Guangzhou newspaper Yangcheng Evening News, and every month articles of his appear in the weekly magazine Southern Weekly, based in the same city. His Chinese writer friends admire him because not only can he speak Chinese, but it is also better than that of some Chinese natives.
In one piece of Chinese prose, Kubin says: "I like to eat jiangbaorou (brown sauce pork), lazi jiding (spicy chicken slices) and jiaozi (dumplings), also with some erguotou (typical Beijing strong liquor) and peanuts. The poet Wang Xin'an, a friend of Kubin, says: "You can tell there is a kind of vitality in his Chinese.
Another poet friend, Ouyang Jianghe, calls him a ghost because he always takes friends to visit graveyards. Kubin says he has visited the tombs of many Chinese thinkers and literary giants, such as Li Shangyin and Bai Juyi, poets of the Tang dynasty. Any thoughts he had of traveling to China in those earlier years were stymied by the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976), so instead he went to Japan looking for traces of the Tang dynasty.
Like Li Bai he enjoys a strong drink, to the extent that he says that only liquor with an alcohol content of more than 68 percent can truly impress him. In his office at Beijing Foreign Studies University is a glass cabinet in which stand bottles of Wuliangye, Maotai and other Chinese spirits. However, Kubin says he does not drink as he is going about the task of writing or translating; for him the job needs his full concentration. According to the former Lloyd's Banking Group chairman, recording a growth rate of just 6 percent this year would be the equivalent of recording 10 percent in 2008. Winfried Bischoff says China will continue to do well in actual growth terms despite lower growth rates.
Bischoff says his calculation is based on figures from a recent Standard & Poor's research article on China's contribution to global economic growth in 2014. In fact, he believes the country's ongoing contribution to global growth - in Asia, in particular - could have the same effect as when the United States launched its Marshall Plan in the late 1940s. The plan, officially the European Recovery Program, saw the US give $13 billion - equal to about $90 billion in today's money - to help rebuild Western Europe after World War II. Bischoff, now chairman of the UK and Ireland Financial Reporting Council, an independent regulator aimed at fostering investment, has had a long career in London's financial services industry. Over his career, he has witnessed firsthand the rapid rise of China, which has increasingly become integrated in the global economy through its investments and the internationalization of its currency, the renminbi. In November, the International Monetary Fund decided to include the renminbi in its special drawing rights basket, which was hailed as a milestone in China's efforts to make the renminbi a major global reserve currency. For Bischoff, the decision was significant because he feels it gives the renminbi an international status that reflects China's economic strength, and will help China's integration into the world financial systems.
Chinese explorer Zheng He's expedition to Africa in the 15th century is an example of the country's outward-looking mind-set, he says, but since then China has largely focused inward.
China has been seeking to rebalance its economy in recent years, moving away from relying on exports-driven manufacturing to high-value-added service sectors and domestic consumption. To ensure the transition is successful, Bischoff says maintaining social cohesion is the most important element when it comes to preventing China from falling into the so-called middle-income trap. Bischoff first visited China in 1973, stopping off in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou, as well as Shandong province.
Born in Aachen, western Germany, in 1941, Bischoff was educated in Cologne and Dusseldorf before graduating from Johannesburg's University of Witwatersrand in 1961 with a degree in commerce. He started his career in the international department of Chase Manhattan Bank and, in 1966, joined the British asset management company J.
He says he was asked to go to Hong Kong to launch the company's merchant banking division, and at first he was hesitant. Looking back, Bischoff says Hong Kong was the "greatest place" for people of his generation. He eventually became managing director of Schroders Asia Ltd, based in Hong Kong, and was later appointed group chief executive of Schroders Plc in 1984 and then chairman in 1995.
He credits Hong Kong with playing an important role in his career and believes the city and the Chinese mainland are irrevocably linked.
During the 2014-15 season at La Scala opera house in Milan, a Chinese-born conductor won over the pickiest of audiences with his precise pacing and incredible vigor while interpreting Rossini's Otello. The Milan performance has not been the only highlight for Muhai Tang, 66, who built an overseas career over more than three decades. He began his tutelage under world famous maestros like Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa after von Karajan invited him to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic. Recruited by the state-level 1,000 Talent Plan, which aims to attract leading overseas returnees to benefit China's development, Tang has served as music director at Tianjin Symphony Orchestra since 2012. One example is the Integral Symphony of Mahler and Beethoven series he initiated in January 2015.
Lu Sheng, head of the Tianjin Philharmonic Orchestra, says the orchestra is anticipating performances of Franz Joseph Haydn's music under Tang's direction next year. Western classical music is not rooted in China, but Tang believes China has soil receptive to its growth. Tang himself, born into an artistically inclined family in Shanghai, had a multitude of opportunities to get in touch with his creative side. The conductor still remembers the shocking beauty of his first experience with live music when he was a child. His life of wealth and comfort changed, however, during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76). That's how he explained dealing with the stress of conducting veteran musicians in a prestigious orchestra at such a young age. What Muhai Tang's Asian background added to his interpretation of Western classical music is sensitivity, he says.
That is also one of the reasons Muhai Tang has chosen Mahler's works for his two-year project for the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra.
In the conductor's room at Tianjin Concert Hall on Nov 22, Tang was scrawling in his music score and making last-minute adjustments to each movement. The moment he had his wand in hand, he was like another man, like a general ready to lead thousands of cavalrymen into battle.
That night a performance was scheduled for the young musicians, some of the nation's best, picked in the Little Angel Plan contest.
One thing that keeps him energized is that there are many young faces among audiences in China. Editor's note: Intertek, a leading provider of quality and safety solutions for a wide range of industries around the world, opened its first joint venture in China in 1989. A group of famous international testing and certification companies has been developing businesses in China after the country started its process of reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, including Intertek. Intertek has done business in China for 26 years and it has witnessed the inception and growth of China's testing industry. Intertek China's labs cover the fields of petrochemicals, electronic products, auto parts, food and agricultural products, minerals, energy-consumption, textiles and footwear, and toys and furniture. They are trusted by worldwide clients and also acknowledged by both related Chinese and overseas institutes, such as the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment, United Kingdom Accreditation Service and Hong Kong Accreditation Service.
For example, Intertek provided quality standards and testing to the "gold inlaid with jade" medals of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and licensed products of the World Expo Shanghai 2010. When the global financial crisis broke out in 2012, many of our clients suffered from a drop off in exports and even faced bankruptcy. Also, we developed new services targeting China's emerging industries such as new energy, food safety, life sciences and medical appliances. Corporate management should be changed based on actual needs and opportunities to help both the company and the staff achieve better development.
I always require our employees to be customer-oriented, to quickly respond to our commitments to our clients and to provide innovative services and effective solutions to help clients lower costs and reduce supply chain risks.
Export products we test are normally sold in developed areas such as Europe, the United States and Japan.
We aim to provide comprehensive solutions to our clients and also safeguard China's reputation through safe and high-quality Chinese exports. As part of the company's public welfare practices, Intertek launched a Yangtze River Project in April. We implemented the project with a focus on environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.
They intend to improve ecological protection, but lead to bad results due to their ignorance of scientific rules of those species, such as releasing migrant birds in winter in North China, when they would naturally stay in the warmer southern area.
Also, many consumers heard bad news about such things as "poisonous strawberries", "poisonous milk powder" and "toxic school uniforms".
Product quality and food safety that concern consumers most are closely related with our daily work.
The Yangtze River Project is not only a public welfare activity, but also part of Intertek's commitment to social responsibility. The project's ending ceremony was hosted in Wuhan, the capital city of Central China's Hubei province, on Dec 5. Guests at the event, including representatives from Hang Seng Bank and food company Danone's affiliate in China, talked about CRS cases and what they had gained from shouldering responsibilities as well as innovating.
Some of them had participated in Internet-based public services while some had long paid attention to ecological diversity. We hoped the event would spur people to think about the significance of their responsibilities and innovation methods. What does Intertek, as a socially responsible multinational, plan to do in terms of public services?
The Yangtze River Project is only a start for Intertek and we will take Wuhan as a pilot area to launch ITS Public Service Dreams Plus - a project to support college students' public services.
College student volunteers were the main force of water quality testing during the Yangtze River Project. College students, as one of the most vibrant and innovative groups in the society, add new thinking and passion to public service projects and help realize new dreams for the public good. The ITS Public Service Dreams Plus project will not only encourage young people to take their responsibilities and push college students to be a core group fulfilling social responsibility in the future; but also, we hope through such projects to help develop a spirit of public service in as wide a scope as possible.
We will also keep fulfilling our social responsibility in aspects such as business responsibility, personnel welfare and environmental responsibility. In May, when Andre Lacroix was at the beginning of his office as Intertek CEO, he proposed the company's concept as "helping our customers to make the world a better and safer place".

The concept that our new CEO put forward includes the idea to regard serving customers as our duty.
We launched a leading traceability program with food company DaChan, which is used for DaChan's Sisters' Kitchen products, in 2014.
Outstanding client service helps us develop good relationships with clients and attract more new clients. What are your expectations or judgments about the future development of China's certification and testing market? Also, we hope enterprises that make efforts to improve quality and safety will gain more favorable impressions and rewards. Nowadays, the world and China have too many hot issues, including the environment, climate, Internet Plus, artificial intelligence and the Belt and Road Initiative. Internal labor division at Intertek used to be based on industries and products, such as textiles, electronics and the petrochemicals sector.
But things like new energy, energy efficiency, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and large projects will make labor division boundaries related to products and sectors vague. In the past, we mainly focused on common quality and the safety of products, seldom being concerned with the environment and energy efficiency.
In the future, environmental issues will not only become our business focus but also be closely related to our social responsibility.
Focusing on ecological protection, the company's Yangtze River Project is not only a public welfare activity, but also part of Intertek's commitment to social responsibility. Ang Lee, the Taiwan-born film director, turned down many interview requests when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became the first Chinese movie to win an Academy Award for best foreign picture in 2000. Shen Jian receives the award from Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the French ambassador to China.
The television producer sent reporters to the director's alma mater, New York University, to record video messages from Lee's former teachers and then sent the tapes to the elusive director. The strategy worked, and Lee became the first big name to appear on World Film Report, a weekly show on the CCTV-6 movie channel. I just couldn't put the books down and sat there reading until the business hour was over," Wang said.
Pop-up books are priced significantly higher than regular books - sometimes 10 to 20 times higher - and require special skills.
The company was started in a warehouse in the eastern suburb of Xi'an city, Shaanxi province, in 2006. Once we decide a book is a good book, we pursue it with all we have, regardless of its market prospect," Sun said.
She started as an art editor and worked at an advertising company under a film producer in Xi'an from 1986 to 1997.
That year, she established Ronshin Group and tried to fill a gap in children's publications that she saw when she compared Chinese publishing to the industry in foreign markets.
Some rare editions, difficult to find because press runs were limited or they are now out of print, are prized by collectors. Designed by professional paper artists, the book's fanciful journey and movable Monkey King are expected to charm children. The book's many tricks help readers learn more about the year's most important Chinese festival.
Spring festival in China is something special he said and being with his wife is the perfect story line.
It began in September when the president announced that China would cut the number of troops by 300,000. The previous regional commands were formed in 1985 under a reform ordered by then top leader Deng Xiaoping. Thanks to its geographical advantage and low prices, the city is already a top holiday destination for those living in cities on the China-Russia border.
Last year, the center opened a new rehabilitation center and a clinic offering traditional Chinese massage and acupuncture. Streets in Heihe now feature advertisements in both Mandarin and Russian, while many restaurant waiters, healthcare employees and supermarket cashiers can speak fluent Russian. When I was living in China in the 1990s I was constantly in search of wild places but never got there, although I had been up to Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province - just out of reach of it. Muscovite Russians became obsessed with stories about the opening up of the American West and had an ambition to turn the Heilongjiang into the new Mississippi. This is a river that freezes half the year and is not navigable for all of its route and even at the mouth there are sandbanks," he says.
She was recognized with two other scientists, from the United States and Japan, who developed a treatment for river blindness. Xue says his prediction is based partly on his experience abroad and work tracing global scientific development. He also has been an adviser for science and technology policies for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, and Oxford University. He says it has also enabled him to pick out physics, new materials and life sciences as the areas where recognition is most likely for China. Xue Lan cited Yang Zhenning, the 94-year-old Chinese-American Nobel Prizewinner in physics as saying that this research outcome should be recognized by the Nobel committee.
Pan led a team that won China's top science award, the State Natural Sciences Award (first class) on Jan 9 in Beijing for his team's outstanding discoveries in quantum communications.
Yan got her bachelor's degree at Tsinghua in 2000 and was awarded her doctorate in 2004 from Princeton University in the US. He says Huawei, a telecommunications company, is an excellent example of one that attaches great importance to research and development. Earlier this year, three of her photos were even showcased at the Shanghai Photography Conference. Early last year, she chanced upon several creative pictures in which a Japanese woman was photographed jumping and striking different poses in the streets of Tokyo.
The way her lithesome figure was captured really showed an overwhelming yearning for freedom," Ke said. She initially thought that all she had to do was perform a jump just before the camera's shutters closed, but she soon realized that she could not get a satisfactory image even after a hundred leaps.
I usually don't wear dark colored pants as they tend to make the lower part of my body invisible in the picture. I felt like I was being mocked but I later discovered that the laughter came from people who were playing mahjong," Ke said. And no matter how hard it is to capture the perfect shot, Ke always declines for her portraits to be taken by others, saying that she needs her photos to be shot in the way she wants. She recalled the time when a Caucasian man watched her for minutes as she tried to take a photo of herself jumping at Hong Kong International Airport.
During her visit to the legendary Taj Mahal, Ke admitted that she was so obsessed with nailing the perfect jump that she did not even tour the historic site. Her images soon became very popular among her friends, who started to do the same with their own selfies.
Slapping on a pair of headphones and listening to their infectious brand of happy-go-lucky indie pop could put a spring in anyone's step. After several sell-out shows in Japan, they will be taking the stage at Beijing's Yugong Yishan on Friday.
In the summer of 2012, they played Beijing's Strawberry Music Festival and the Zebra Festival in Chengdu, Sichuan province. His periods of political frustration proved particularly fruitful for him in the exercise of his literary talents. He was lazy, procrastinated and was irresponsible until he was "enlightened" while reading the Bible when he was 16, he says. He cannot stop writing, because if he stops, he "feels ill and cannot sleep well", he says. In 1967 he read a poem by Li Bai and was so struck by it that he decided to study Chinese literature. For Chinese writers looking for level-headedness and serenity he has a suggestion: they can find it in graveyards.
As a result, as these nations recovered their citizens were more able to buy American products.
Before taking the helm at Lloyds in 2009, he held top positions with Citigroup and Schroders. He remembers the country as "very primitive" back then, and says it has since changed beyond recognition. He enjoyed exploring Asia during those years, as he found it to be diverse in terms of ethnicity, religion and geography. Now, the first Chinese-born conductor to have conducted opera at the mecca of opera houses is pouring his passion for classical music into his homeland.
In 1983, at age 34, he became the first Chinese to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to that, he had studied conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
The Guitar Concertos by Tan Dun and Christopher Rouse with Sharon Isbin and the Gulbenkian Orchestra, for Teldec, was awarded a Grammy in 2002. The idea is to perform all the symphonies written by Gustav Mahler, the prominent Austrian composer of the late Romantic era, and fabled German composer Ludwig van Beethoven in 11 concerts for Chinese audiences within two years.
Tang and the musicians of Tianjin Symphony Orchestra have rearranged different movements of the two composers using their music's inner logic. His father, film director Tang Xiaodan, winner in 1984 of China's prominent Golden Rooster Award for Best Director, exposed his son to film, opera, ballet and musicals. Muhai Tang was having dinner with his father at the diner of the Shanghai Culture Club when he suddenly dropped his chopsticks. He says his experiences gave him a healthy dose of skepticism when dealing with art and those who taught him.
It could have been fatal to his career had he been judged unqualified, especially in a business where some think a conductor's real career begins at age 60. The Song of the Earth is a symphony Mahler composed after being exposed to a volume of ancient Chinese poetry translated into German. When his assistant told him that the entire orchestra was ready for rehearsal, he apologized and hurried to the stage.
But in this case, the players were not adults but children, most between 10 and 16 years old.
He is constantly in rehearsals, sometimes having to wolf down a meal between work sessions. Unlike a capricious or temperamental artist, he is ready to raise his wand at almost any time. It now has over 9,000 employees and more than 100 labs and branches in 40 cities across the country. Starting from a branch in Shenzhen, Intertek China now has many wholly-owned subsidiaries and joint ventures, as well as over 100 labs and branches in about 40 cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Qingdao.
Given the circumstances, we were fully prepared and confident to overcome the tough period, because declining exports required companies to pursue higher product quality to survive, which was an opportunity for us. We provide training to foreign brands to help them better enter China and offer distinctive and high value-added solutions. In China, we also test and certify goods based on the standards of those developed countries. The initiative was inspired by some environmentalists' behavior of blindly freeing animals. We think it is our duty to help promote scientific quality and safety awareness, as well as rational and responsible consumption. The ceremony was a conclusion and review of the project and also a stage on which more corporate social responsibility projects were showcased. They guided other participants at the event to view social responsibility from different and innovative perspectives. We hope college students will view the world with a heart of public service no matter what industry or job they later choose. Intertek will become the most reliable brand in the industry by listening to clients' opinions every day, knowing their demands and satisfying, and even surpassing, their expectations.
We can scan the codes on some products in the supermarket, such as vegetables and fruits, and find information including where they were produced.
The move has helped DaChan take an important step in terms of conveying information about quality guarantees to its customers.
The main floor was turned into an office, and the second and third floors housed a small factory. She even partnered with a powdered baby milk producer to provide pop-up books with formula. She went to the Xi'an daily Chinese Business View in 1997 and helped improve the newspaper's performance, but felt insecure as print faced numerous challenges by Internet and new media. I also like going barefoot as it better evokes this feeling of lightness," said Ke, who is a mother to a 15-year-old boy. China is catching up with the United States, and we think 3 to 4 percent growth is fantastic for the US, so we have to get real about China's growth rate. The US economy needed countries to be able to absorb the substantial production of which it was capable. Kahn founded the Hudson Institute and was one of the preeminent futurists of the latter part of the 20th century. His electrifying work in Berlin led to repeat appearances and also invitations from many of the world's leading orchestras. The new roles have refocused his efforts on training and performances within China, to which he has brought bold creativity. Muhai Tang joined the army, and then became a factory worker before he finally was able to study composition and conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He says he thinks that only when he masters the language of so many famous operas will he understand the music and culture from which they came.
He is a strict leader, without a doubt, but not as heavy-handed as his reputation would have it.
On his busiest days, he has a concert and its rehearsal and an opera performance and its rehearsal.
Over the years, it has endeavored to help local customers increase the value of their products, gain competitive advantages and develop trusted brands by providing services ranging from auditing and inspection to testing, quality assurance and certification. Consumers care more about what ways and means of quality control have been used in each procedure, such as an examination of the production environment.
They also thought they could bring French cognac and Hawaiian pineapples through the western mouth of the river.
You don't have to learn the significance or the musicians' profiles before you are ready to listen. Bai Xueli, chief executive of Intertek China, spoke with China Daily reporters Hao Nan and Song Mengxing to share his views on the company's local practices and business strategies in the future.

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