nside the workshop of Jilin province’s ‘last blacks

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nside the workshop of Jilin province’s ‘last blacks

Tian Hongming, 67, has been dubbed the “last blacksmith by the fire” by the people of Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province.

Having picked up the skill of forging iron at the age of seven from his grandfather, Tian has made a living from the skill for more than half a century.

In the 1990s his business reached its peak, selling more than 80,000 iron products a year, Tian said.

With increaed industsrialization and the cheaper and more intricate iron products it brought however, Tian and his workshop went into decline.

Although fewer customers now choose handmade iron products, Tian sticks to the traditional craft and takes every order seriously.

In 2015 his skill was listed among the city’s intangible cultural heritages.

“Sometimes, the flow-line productions can’t meet the special needs of custo

mers, so the craft will never be replaced,” he said. “And I will continue my business as long as the market and customers need me.”

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New regulations will target abnormal trademark filings

In a bid to improve the nation’s business environment, the China National Intellectual Property Administration will roll

out a new set of regulations on trademark filings to curb the “applications out of malice”.

The regulations draft has been publicized on the CNIPA website, soliciting suggestions and opinions from the public until March 14.

The move reflects a shift in policymakers’ focus from intellectual property quantity to quality, s

aid Li Shunde, a senior IP researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Comprised of eight articles, the new regulations target “abnormal applications”, such as trademark sq

uatting, imitating established brands and filings with no intentions for actual use in industry or business.

The regulations, once they take effect, will also come as a severe blow to tradema

rk speculators, who apply for and stock trademarks for trade rather than industrial or business use.

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education authorities monitor Zhai Tianlin probeorities in B

Education authorities in Beijing have launched an investigation into actor Zhai Tianlin, who has received high-profile plagiarism allegations.

The Education Work Committee of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and Beijing Education Commission have sent an investigative team to the Beijing Film Acad

emy, where Zhai obtained a Ph.D., to look into the case, the university said in a statement on Thursday.

Zhai, 32, is also a postdoctoral candidate at Peking University. He found himself in hot water on social media after a Sina Weibo blogger accused him of plagiarism last week.

The university launched its own investigation on Monday. It has finished prelim

inary evidence collection and notified Zhai about the investigation, the statement said.

The university has zero tolerance for academic misconduct and will look into other matters uncovered by netizens.

Zhai raised a flurry of chatter online in August when he said in a live video appearance he did not know what the China National Knowledge Infrastructure w

as. CNKI is the largest and most widely used online academic library in China for university students writing theses and dissertations.

The post by the Sina Weibo blogger claimed one of Zhai’s papers published in an acade

mic journal was uploaded to CNKI and the similarity score for the 2,783-word article was 40.4 percent.

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Judge finds Manafort lied to investigators in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has found that Paul Ma

nafort, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has breached his plea a

greement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office by intentionally lying to prosecutors.

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as his campaign manager Pa

ul Manafort looks on during Trump’s walk through at the Republican National Convention in C

leveland, US, July 21, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sa

ys in an order that there’s sufficient evidence that Manafort lied in breach of his plea agreement.

The decision hurts Manafort’s chance of receiving a reduced sentence next month.

Manafort was accused of lying about several matters including his discussions with a longt

ime associate the FBI says has ties to Russian intelligence. Mueller’s prosecutors have said the discussions be

tween Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik about a Ukrainian peace plan go to the “heart” of the Mueller probe.

Manafort was also accused of lying about sharing polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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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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Meanwhile, mobile payment is no longer confined to res

 of major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Smaller cities and even townships are capturing the fastest growth, findings from both payment providers showed.

According to Alipay, the quickest expansion rate in per capita overseas spending was logged in

Zhoushan, a port city in East China’s Zhejiang province, which surged 55 percent year-on-year. It wa

s followed by 50 percent in Weifang, Shandong province, and 44 percent in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.

In contrast, the growth rate in relatively affluent Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou r

eached 27 percent, 30 percent and 24 percent respectively, although they accounted for the greatest outbound spending by volume.

These trends “really highlight how mobile payment is taking root in China’s outbound t

ourism market”, said Chen Jiayi, Alipay’s head of business operation on cross-border business.

WeChat also saw a notable surge in the use of mobile payment in lower-tier cities, with over 40 percent transactions ma

de by residents who work in bigger cities but returned to hometowns for the weeklong annual gathering.

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Yueyang Huagu Opera originated more than 200 years ago. It is

 mainly popular in a dozen counties and cities in not just Hunan, but also in the adjacent Hubei province and the eastern Jiangxi province.

In its long development process, the opera has widely absorbed features of Yueyang folk tunes and artistic factors of other opera types to f

orm its own style. Traditionally, Huagu Opera had no full-time performing troupes, and was only pe

rformed by amateur artists, most of whom were local farmers, during slack farming seasons on temporary stages.

In 2007, Yueyang Huagu Opera was recognized by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, as a n

ational intangible cultural heritage for its cultural, historical and artistic significance.

In recent years, measures have been taken by the local government to promote the art form.

The One Yuan Theater, which aims to cultivate more audience, has been a successful att

empt, says Yi Wen, an expert of Huagu Opera, who works at a local cultural center in Yueyang.

“Traditional culture still means a lot to the local people. Even some younger residents have shown their interest in the opera,” Yi says.

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In the mean time, both Yauatcha City and Yauatcha Soho will

be paying homage to the year of the Earth pig by teaming up with celebrated design team, Isabel an

d Helen Studio to create a bespoke art installation within the restaurants inspired by the zodiac an

imal. An exclusive Chinese New Year menu will also be available featuring celebratory dishes.

The pig occupies the final position in the Chinese zodiac and encapsulates a care free nature marking the end of the cycle. It signifies

growth and contentment and encourages restoration and reflection. The Year of the Pig installation will consist of multiple ‘bio-morphic’ pigs su

spended from the ceiling using wire and created from a series of abstract shapes made from red Perspex and gold brass. The shapes will balance and slowly ro

tate in the air and when viewed at the perfect angle will reveal a Chinese New Year inspired pig.

Encasing the restaurant exteriors will be a vibrant red and gold vinyl wrap featuring an illustration of the Earth pig b

y Quentin Monge, in addition to small colored pig figurines lining the shelves of the restaurant windows.

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WTO should play bigger role in global governancetate Coun

reign Minister Wang Yi has called for the World Trade Organization to play bigger role in global governance.

Wang made the statement at the 18th session of the consultations of the coordinators for the China-France Stra

tegic Dialogue with Philippe Etienne, foreign policy advisor to the president of France, in Paris on Thursday.

Wang highlighted China’s position in upholding multilateralism and the rules-based multilateral trading system with the WTO at the core.

Noting China supports for the reform of the WTO to increase its authority and efficiency, Wang said the core value and b

asic principles of the WTO as well as the direction of trade liberalization should remain unchanged.

The WTO reform should follow the practice of decision-making by consensus, and c

annot be dictated by a few, nor decided by an exclusive small group of Members, he noted.

Wang called for safeguarding the special and differential treatment for developing members in the

WTO reform, saying France should objectively treat China as a developing country.

Priority should be given to the resolution of the issue of Appellate Body member appointment blockage, he said.

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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.

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