the middle of this century, digital villages will be compl

pletely built nationwide to advance rural revitalization.

To fulfill such targets, the country will accelerate the construction of IT infr

astructures in rural areas, upgrading rural internet facilities and information services.

More efforts will be made to boost the rural digital economy, with wider use of digital technolo

gies in agriculture and the development of e-commerce and various emerging creative industries in rural regions.

While providing more support for rural technological innovation, the co

untry will strengthen ecological protection in rural areas with digital technologies.

Moreover, the guideline stressed the significance of improving internet access in rural areas in poverty alleviation and ca

lled for enhanced information sharing to promote urban-rural integrated development.

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I’m excited about the Asian cuisine festival,” said Li Jingy

n, who came to the main venue of the festival on Thursday with four friends.

“We went to Thailand for a vacation last month. The beautiful sunshine and beaches there

are enchanting,” the 54-year-old Beijing native said. “Now, we have a second chance to experience its food.”

Yang Lin, 26, who described herself as a foodie, also went to t

he gala. “I love Korean food most, except for Chi

nese cuisine, and I’m happy that Beijing is holding such a big food exhibition.”

Xu Hejian, a Beijing official in charge of the event, said visitors can see how Asian food i

s made at the venue and sample various cuisines made by more than 200 food enterprises.

Wuyutai Tea is one of the companies.It’s a good opportunity for the younger generati

on to learn more about traditional Chinese delicacies and desserts,” said Chen Huaji, an employee. “Tea is

quite an important element of Chinese culture, and the exhibition offers a stage to show off the essence of Chinese food and Chinese culture.”

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Festival will mark 80th anniversary of popular cantata

The Central Conservatory of Music will hold a festival from May 23 to 27 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Yellow River Cantata.

Written by composer Xian Xinghai (1905–1945) in Yan’an, Shaanxi pro

vince, in early 1939, the piece was inspired by a patriotic poem by Guang Weiran, and the lyrics

were adapted for the cantata. Premiered on April 13 of the same year in Yan’an, the work became, and remains, popular.

The conservatory’s symphony orchestra, choirs and chamber music grou

ps will join in the festival with 20 concerts, including the opening concert on May 23 condu

cted by Yu Feng, president of the university. The Yellow River Cantata will be performed by young singers.

Veteran Chinese musicians and singers, including Guo Shuzhen and Wang Xiufen, will perform during the festival.

Besides concerts, masterclasses and forums will be held in Yan’an.

The music festival will also celebrate the 70th birthday of the country.

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In the past several months, China has announced and

started to implement a “negative list” program that allows foreign co

mpanies to have 100 percent ownership in investments in all areas of the economy, excep

t for a small number of areas, such as telecoms and defense, that are explicitly prohibited.

Also, foreign investment has been simplified by creating a one-stop regulatory shop and a single application process.

These new policies will lead to greater competition within China, forcing C

hina’s companies to become more efficient and to produce higher quality products.

The Chinese government has also recently announced tax cuts and financial regulations desi

gned to help private companies. This will hasten the ongoing transition to a market-driven economy.

Most Chinese State-owned enterprises are not relevant to trade negotiations. Many are in non-tradable sectors such as p

roperty development, infrastructure, or concrete. Others are basically public utilities in telecoms or power.

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population, including psychological needs, so the servi

services will aim precisely at those most in need,” she said.Shan Jixiang, former director and curator of the Palace Muse

um, has been hired as Palace Museum Research Institute chief, one month after his retirement.

Wang Xudong, current director of the Palace Museum, on Wednesday handed the offer letter, dated May 6, to Shan.

Xi Huan, vice-president of Beijing Hospital, said major medical institutions need to mak

e more efforts to improve services for the elderly, including the promotion of disease prevention educ

ation and increased follow-up visits for elderly patients who have been discharged from the hospital.

“Big hospitals should provide more help for elderly patients, and more follow-up nursing services after they leave the ho

spital, so they can get timely help if problems occur at home or at community health centers,” he said.

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All of this has inspired confidence that the Chinese eco

Chinese economy can reach its indicative growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019.

Lower growth rate may mean more room for adjustment

Most Chinese economists seem quite comfortable with this targeted range. One explanati

on is that China’s potential growth rate is 6-6.5 percent, and a target should be set accordingly. Another is that a

lower growth rate would give the economy more room for structural adjustment.

From 1978 to 2008, China averaged an impressive 9.5 percent annual g

rowth rate. Then the global financial crisis struck, causing growth to plummet from 9.7 p

ercent in the third quarter of 2008 to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009. A 4-trillion-yuan ($640 billion) sti

mulus package, introduced in November 2008, soon brought about a powerful rebound, with GDP growth rea

ching 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010. But since then China’s economic growth has been declining, partly b

ecause the government withdrew its stimulus. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent.

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It was Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem

as the capital of Israel and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that fueled the massive protests from Palest

inians and the Arab world and deepened the enmity between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The Trump administration has closely aligned itself with Israel’s right wing, and on Su

nday night, US President Donald Trump reinforced this when he tweeted his “100%” su

pport for Israel’s actions, blaming the violence on “terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad”.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group s

eized control of Gaza from Western-backed Palestinian forces in 2007, but its leader Ism

ail Haniyeh said Hamas is “not interested in a new war” and is ready to “return to the state of calm” if Israel stop

s its attacks “and immediately starts implementing understandings about a dignified life”. In the past, Hamas has hal

ted attacks in return for the easing of an Egyptian and Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza.

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The 20-year-old said she first learned about the history

The volunteer team-led by Wu Liangliang, a security guard who has gained online fame for his fluent self-taught En

glish-has also been part of the site’s efforts to provide a more personal management style, in addition to the city go

vernment’s introduction of various measures, including a mobile app, to help tourists.

Larry Goodrich, from Seattle, who has been traveling with his wife

in the Yangtze River Delta for three weeks, lauded the volunteers’ contributions.

Having worked in the computer industry since “the era of brick-si

zed cellphones”, the 65-year-old said that while technology has provided unimaginable con

venience, traveling is about being a part of the destination and interacting with local residents.

“The human connection is always better,” said Goodrich.

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In the years since, the country has continued to maint

tain a breakneck pace of economic development, which has brought booming economic prosperity.

Unfortunately, it has also brought a deteriorating environment. Seeing heavy smog, for ex

ample, many people feel that a worsening environment will destroy the happiness brought by economic growth.

Since 2012, the new leadership under President Xi Jinping has put forward a series of ecol

ogical ideas. On Sunday, Xi said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that “green mountains and cle

ar waters are indeed mountains of gold and silver, and environmental improvement means great productivity”.

This idea, dubbed the theory of two mountains, enjoys immense popular support in China.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party o

f China, urged officials at all levels never to sacrifice the environment for economic growth.

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At the botanic park, one of the core areas of the expo

more than 100 projectors were installed to digitally recreate mangrove fo

rests and the environment surrounding them: tropical seas, tides and beaches.

With sound, light and electrical effects, the exhibition shows how mangroves, one of the very few vegetation env

ironments that can survive in coastal waters, thrive in the tides and change their surroundings for the better.

Tianjin resident Li Lingyan, who visited the park on Monday, was fascinated by the mangrove exhibition.

“Looking at the exhibit, it is as though I was brought to the seashore to se

e how mangroves grow in a tough environment. It was an amazing process,” she said.

” I was totally thrilled, and I got to learn a lot about mangroves.”

Near Gate No 5 of the park, “a forest of lights and shadows” draws crowds.

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