China’s rural areas have become bright spots in the countr

ry’s e-commerce growth. Rural online retail sales reached 357 billion yuan (51.6 billion US dollars) in

the first three months of this year, up 19.5 percent year on year and faster than the national average growth.

As tours to Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region have become increasingly popular among tourists from home

and abroad, local authorities have announced a plan recently to launch as many as 100 special trains for tourists from May to October.

The local railway authorities will step up cooperation with other parts of the country to boost

Xinjiang’s tourism development, according to Huang Tingfaen, deputy general manager of Xi

njiang Railway Tourism Development Group.The trains will provide easier access to both the southern and northern par

ts of Xinjiang, said Huang. It will also be more convenient for Xinjiang residents to travel to other parts of the country.

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Liu, who turned himself in, stepped down in Janua

ary as chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, a position he kept for three years before being replaced by Yi Huiman.

The central commission said in the statement that Liu is cooperating with the probe.

hina’s housing regulator has warned four Chinese cities over price rises in the past three months, the Economic Observer reported.

Local governments of Foshan, Suzhou, Dalian and Nanning were urged by the Ministr

y of Housing and Urban-Rural Development to stabilize land and housing prices as well as market expectations.

This came a month after six other cities were also warned over similar reasons on April 19.

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than 10 million visitors each year. Architect Ieoh Ming Pei

World-renowned architect Ieoh Ming Pei, commonly known as I.M. Pei,

has died at the age of 102 at his home in Manhattan, according to multiple reports on Thursday.

Praised as “one of the most revered architects in the world” by The New York Times, Pei has le

ft the world many of its most well-known architectural designs, among many other intangible heritages.

Pei’s modern designs and high-profile projects led him to be considered one of the most high-prof

ile architects of the 20th century, with the renovation of Paris’ Louvre Museum perhaps the most famo

us project he embarked on. He was also involved in the building of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

What Pei valued most in architecture, as he put it, was that it must “stand th

e test of time”. He also valued simplicity: “The simpler the solution, the more powerful it is,” he once said.

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Quotable quotes from business leaders at 3rd WIC

Praising Tianjin’s efforts and achievements in intelligent sc

ience and technology, Liu Chuanzhi, board chairman of Legend Holdings Co Ltd, pred

icted the city will make a qualitative leap in two to three years by combining intelligent technologies with manufacturing.

Liu, also founder of Chinese computer giant Lenovo, said his company, like Tianjin, considers intelligent technology a new imp

etus. Lenovo is working on many intelligent applications and has invested in many high-tech ma

nufacturing enterprises. It uses various artificial intelligence-driven algorithms and machine learning to ana

lyze the data of its supply chain system, using it to optimize Lenovo’s new intelligent spare parts supply chain.

Liu Qingfeng, chairman and CEO of iFlytek, said the company has developed a series o

f products driven by AI applications, based on small samples over the past year.

The company’s latest technological breakthrough is for the first tim

e its machine has surpassed humans in English reading comprehension, Liu said.

He said that he believes AI in 2019 has entered the year of large-scale application.

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The move followed a State Council decision in April to es

tablish a policy framework for applying a fairly low RRR for small and medium-

sized banks in a bid to lower financing costs for MSEs.

Home prices in 70 major Chinese cities continued to stabilize despite slight increases in April, official data showed Thursday.

New home prices in four first-tier cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou — increased 0.6 percent month

on month in April, up from the 0.2-percent increase in March, said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in a statement.

New home prices climbed 0.8 percent in 31 second-tier cities, and rose 0.5 percent in 35 third-tier cities.

As for resold homes, prices in the four first-tier cities reported a 0.4-percent growth mo

nth on month, while those in 31 second-tier cities went up 0.6 percent, narrowing from the 1.2-percent increase in March.

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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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Over the years, many people have been calling for hotels

 not to provide disposable daily necessities. But some customers say not providing the items would cause them inconvenience.

A latest survey by Ctrip.com shows that more than 80 percent of clients back hotels not providing disposable daily necessities.

Beijing’s Yanqing district plans to help more than 20,000 primary and secondary scho

ol students master skiing and skating skills over the next three years, a move designed to spur enth

usiasm among the district’s residents for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and beyond.

Set to run from Feb 4 to 20 in 2022, the Winter Olympics will be held in Beijin

g and co-host city Zhangjiakou in adjacent Hebei province in less than 1,000 days.

Yanqing, 74 kilometers northwest of central Beijing, will host several events, including Alpine skiing, bobsled, skeleton and luge.

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According to a Palace Museum statement, Shan retired

April 8 and was succeeded by Wang, former director of the Dunhuang Academy.

Shan is well known for his innovative changes to the Palace Museu

m, such as the introduction of a light show during the Lantern Festival.

By the end of 2018 over 80 percent of the Forbidden City had opened to visitors, compared with only 52 percent in 2014.

The Palace Museum established the Palace Museum Research Institute in Nove

mber 2013 as an unincorporated organization for scholarly inquiry and exchange.

The institute includes Palace Museum Institute researchers, scholars in the Palace Museum, and oth

er Chinese and international scholars, all coming together in an atmosphere of open scholarly exchange.

With a sustainable approach, the academy seeks to lead in scholarly developme

nt, formulate research strategies, evaluate scholarly writings, realize Palace Museum research goals, tra

in talent, publish quality material, and conduct international academic exchange.

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The glazed tiles on the top of the China Pavilion ar

 in fact a type of aluminum alloy that can be used to imitate the shape

of traditional Chinese architecture at a low cost. It is an example of how modern technology is app

lied at the exhibition,” Li Liang, a designer of the pavilion, was quoted by Beijing Daily as saying.

By installing rainwater collection devices on the roofs and tanks beneath the pavilio

n, a mini ecological circulation has been created by gathering rainwater to irrigate the terraced fields.

Shen Yanyan, who came with her family from Jiangxi province for a visit, said that

although she didn’t know much about design, she felt the building was “very cool”.

“We saw its shiny roof upon entry to the park and we were immediately attracted,” said the 33-year-old. “The Ch

ina Pavilion is not only beautiful outside, but also inside. My mother is very happy to see flowers from so many pro

vinces and regions of the country, and all are well-trimmed and placed in the pavilion’s exhibition halls.”

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It is welcome news to hear that the National People’s

Congress has already taken steps to lay the groundwork” for implementing the new Fo

reign Investment Law, said Gupta, who brought up the possibility of China establishing “an ombudsperson’s desk” in

related government agencies to address foreign businesses’ legal concerns.

Gupta said China’s Foreign Investment Law could be a model for others looking to liberalize their foreign investment regi

mes, as China’s BRI is already delivering capital and know-how to other developing countries.

Overholt said that China’s past opening-up has been “extremely positive” gl

obally, and the BRI is a “very positive” vision that is good for China and the world.

“The key will be the implementation,” he said. “If the implementation is improved, it would be good for everyone.”

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