Can playing China card boost BJP’s chances in India’s

The upcoming general elections are posing quite a challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the situation is looking so tough that the ruling B

haratiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising just every possible issue which it thinks could work in its favor as the vote is about 60 days away.

As a last resort, the BJP is now trying hard to make an election issue of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s reported meeting with

some Chinese ministers and officials during his religious trip to Kailash Mansarovar. Addressing a rally in the eastern Indi

an state of Odisha, Gandhi had cited his recent meeting with some Chinese leaders saying India s

hould learn from the experience of China in creating jobs for youths. He mentioned China as an example to

emulate for fighting unemployment but the ruling BJP has added a new twist to his remark.

According to a government survey reported by an Indian business daily, India’s unemployment

rate stood at 6.1 percent in 2017-18 which was the highest in the past 45 years. Gandhi quickly t

urned to Twitter to hit out at the BJP dispensation, describing it as “National Disaster” but the ruling party termed it “fake news.”

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aidu signs comprehensive deal with Ctrip-depth partnersh

hinese internet search giant Baidu Inc inked an in-depth partnership with China’s largest online travel agency Ctrip, in its latest efforts to drive the development of intelligent tourism in China.

Under the agreement, Baidu will deploy its cloud services and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide Ctrip with solutions tailor

ed to tourism scenarios and businesses. Baidu Cloud, the cloud unit of Baidu will help Ctrip impr

ove operational efficiency and customer experience and reduce costs in marketing and sales, customer acquisition and online traffic conversion.

The two companies will also continue to explore a variety of smart services in more scenarios

based on Baidu’s AI capabilities, such as speech technology and autonomous driving.

“The tourism industry is growing rapidly and Ctrip is the industry leader. Baidu looks forward to working wi

th Ctrip to upgrade tourism services with ‘cloud plus AI’, enhance customer experience, and ex

plore a viable path to intelligent tourism for the entire industry,” said Zhang Dongchen, vice-president of Baidu.

“With the vigorous development of tourism, consumer needs are more and more diversified. To better serve our customers, Ctrip

needs to be enabled by advanced cloud computing and AI technologies,” said Xiong Xing, executive vi

ce-president of Ctrip and CEO of air ticketing business unit and international business unit of the company.

Xiong said they hoped to collaborate with Baidu to create smarter customer service and more value for users.

This partnership is not limited to IT infrastructure. With Baidu Cloud’s capabilities, big data

analytics can be conducted on users’ interests, habits and preferences. Different tourism products can

be packaged by Baidu’s AI and machine learning technologies to offer every user customized solutions.

Over the past three years, Baidu Cloud has collaborated with more than 2,000 partners in

over 30 industries, such as finance, security, transportation and education, and created over 100 solutions.

shlfao.com

Most women are moved by the amount of effort that me

 exert to secure gifts or arrange a romantic evening, while men often seek th

e easiest means and least efforts needed to accomplish the much-disliked ob

ligation of purchasing Valentine’s Day presents for their beloved or selecting a romantic spot to awe them on Valentine’s Day.

On one hand, men might put much emphasis on the monetary value of the gifts that they buy or the cost of spending a ro

mantic Valentine’s Day. They believe that expensive gifts and extravagant settings for the event will endear them to th

e hearts of their loved ones. On the other hand, women might evaluate the romantic gestures on sentimental values.

Most men have to the tendency to be lazy when it comes to buying Valentine’s Day g

ifts. Some are inclined to purchase things that might be practical yet not so ro

mantic. Receiving such gifts might dampen any romantic aspirations a woman may have for Valentine’s Day.

From discussions with students through my teaching assignments, I discovered that most of these young men are too tim

id to show their romantic feelings. However, they are slowly becoming bolder in dealing with their affections.

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old Hunan art form sees revival during Lunar New Year

Deng Xia, a fan of Huagu (“flowery drum”) Opera, a local art form of Yueyang in

Central China’s Hunan province, barely misses such shows at the One Yuan Theater.

“It has enriched the cultural life of residents like me,” Deng, 35, says.

“In the past, we could appreciate the Huagu Opera, mostly during important festivals such as Lunar New Year, but now we can watch it often.”

The One Yuan Theater, located in Rongjiawan town of Yueyang, has staged 30 to 50 Huag

u Opera shows annually since 2012, with the audience numbers for each show sometimes touching 1,000.

“Some people bring along stools or are even willing to stand through a show of two or three hours,” says Deng of the theater that has a seating capacity of 800.

To enjoy a show, each viewer has to pay only 1 yuan ($0.15) as admission fee to the theater, as the prog

rams are covered by government funding. The initiative to provide regular and nearly-free shows to lo

cal residents has been successful in bringing the once-dead cultural heritage back to life.

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Payment by phone sees big growth overseas

Swiping phones for payment is shaping up to be the new norm for Chinese people shopping oversea

s, as the adoption of mobile payment becomes more evenly distributed by age and geographical location.

Customers in their 50s saw a 1.3-fold increase in Alipay usage as they traveled overseas during the Spring Festival

holiday that concluded on Sunday, according to the country’s largest mobile wallet operator.

The age group has recorded the highest growth rate among all demographics tracked by Al

ipay, as more older people embrace digital payment at home and extend such habits overseas.

Meanwhile, those born in the 1990s, who grew up in relative material abundance and are more “digitally native”, formed the ba

kbone of outbound travel this year, data from Tencent’s popular messaging app WeChat showed.

They accounted for 31 percent of users who embarked on overseas trips, the biggest pr

oportion, and paid with WeChat’s embedded wallet, according to data released on Sunday.

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Zhang Yansheng, a senior CCIEE researcher, said the two

countries can properly handle trade conflicts and foster cooperation despite some hea

The beautiful scenery of Honghu Eco-agricultural Tourism Garden after rain, Central China’s Hubei province, Aug 13,

dwinds, adding that cooperation is the best and only choice for the two sides.

Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Society for WTO Studies, stressed that the US should not co

nsider China as an economic threat. A country shouldn’t be measured by the size of its economy, but by its de

velopment level, pointing out that in terms of per capita GDP, China still ranks as a developing country, Xue said.

The global community should give China more room for gradual reform including offering more

access to foreign companies and supporting investment in industrial upgrading, infrastructure, en

vironmental protection and urbanization, which will further stimulate economic growth, he said.

shsngw.com

Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) rallie

percent on Friday to a seven-week high after China’s commitment to buy more US agricultural products, like 5 million tons of so

beans which US President Donald Trump described as “a tremendous purchase.”

This development lowered the expectation for some major soybean exporters such as Brazil, according to an industry representative.

“Soy prices in CBOT tend to reflect a more balanced scenario, in which US products will n

ot be undervalued compared to other sources, like Brazil and Argentina,” Daniel Furlan Amaral, chief

-economist of the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE), told the Global Times.

Brazil’s association of vegetable oil producers has cut its estimate of soybean exports in 2019 by 5 percent.

It has been the most constructive discussion between the two sides since the trade war b

egan, which showed sincerity on both sides, said Wei Jianguo, former Chinese vice minister of commerce.

“Delegations from China and the US had looked into trade issues and thoroughly studie

d them to find a way of reaching a concrete deal before the deadline in March,” he said.

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State-owned firm to buy more US soybeans following

Recent trade talks between China and the US have yielded positive results, laying the foundation f

or reaching a deal before the March 1 deadline and sending out positive signals to global markets.

State-owned grain trading company COFCO said Sa

turday that it had again purchased millions of tons of US soybeans, a move to implement the conse

nsus reached by the two countries’ top leaders, according to a statement published on its website.

The latest round of China-US trade talks made “important progress” for the current st

age the two sides had “candid, specific and constructive discussions,” the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Global markets were cheered up on Friday over progress reached in the latest talks between the world’s two largest economi

es, as the escalated trade war had sent turbulence through the markets and darkened economic outlook worldwide.

Stock markets posted mixed gains Friday, with US futures set for a modestly higher open, bu

t European shares gave back early gains, according to US financial site thestreet.com.

changyuzhineng.cn

Compared to Western countries such as the US and Japan, China

has seen services sector grow faster, driven by emerging economies, which also reflects the country’s economic restructuring, Bai Ming, a research fellow at the

Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Saturday.

China’s GDP exceeded 90 trillion yuan ($13 trillion) in 2018, of which the services sec

tor played the role as stabilizer, and the tertiary sector accounted for 52.2 percent of total economi

c activity, Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, told a press briefing in January.

Meanwhile, consumption contributed 76.2 percent to the overall growth, 18.6 percentage points higher than in 2017.

Spring Festival is also the first shopping spree for 2019.

China’s growing middle class, combined with the country’s generation Z, the generation born after 199

5 and the leading group in new consumption trends, are major driving forces of holiday spending.

“The spree is the peak season for tourism every year. When people en

joy holidays and family reunions, we’re at our busiest,” Guo Qing, vice president of Chi

nese online services provider Meituan and general manager of its hotel and domestic travel business, told the Global Times.

“The guardians of a better life” is also an honor for those who work over the holidays, he noted.

hzqianpad.com

Iran unveils indigenous long-range cruise missile

Iran unveiled an indigenous long-range cruise missile on Saturday, Tasnim news agency reported.

The missile, Hoveizeh, was displayed at a ceremo

ny in the capital Tehran, which was attended by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami.

Manufactured by Iranian Defense Ministry’s Aerospace Industries Organization

, the missile is ready to be delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force.

With a range of 1,350 km, Hoveizeh cruises at low altitudes and is used for ground targets.

It has high precision and accuracy and is capable of inflicting heavy destruction on the targets, Hatami said.

The Iranian minister also described the Hoveizeh missile as “a symbol of self-confide

nce,” saying it is a major defense achievement in world’s military technologies.

Despite western calls to curb its missile program, Iran has vowed to continue to develop and test missiles in line with its deterrence policy.

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