Baquba, told the Xinhua News Agency that “mallows spread tremendously this winter. It reminds me of Iraq from a long time ago.”

“Some valleys, close to my hometown of Mandli, 90 kilometers east of Baqub

a, are now being called mallow valleys due to the spread of the weed,” he said.

Arkan al-Nadawi, a local villager, said that “mallows spread this y

ear in wheat and barley fields, and in most of the fields of northern and eastern regions.”

“Mallows taste great and most of the people in villages and countryside love it, and it is the dish of the poor,” he added.

Monshed al-Zaidy, a government employee, who was standing close to a road in the village of Gazania, 96 kilo

meters east of Baquba, was helping his wife to harvest mallow plants and keep it in a plastic bag.

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China on Monday released a grand plan for the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, aiming to build a global economic and te

chnological powerhouse in the country’s south region that could be on par with bay areas in New York and San Francisco.

The development plan for the Greater Bay Area, which was released by the State Council, China’s cabinet, outlined China’s eff

orts to build an open community for coordinated innovation in the region, develop quality innovation and t

echnology carriers and platforms, and enhance the environment for innovation in the region.

The Greater Bay Area, which spans nine cities in South China’s Guangdong Province as well as H

ong Kong and Macao, the two special administrative regions, with a total GDP of $1.5 trillion i

n 2017, will become a new frontier for China’s fresh round of reform and opening-up, experts said.

Chen Xinxin, a research fellow at the Institute of Law of the Chinese

Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday that the development t

imetable for the area as shown in the guideline, an important outline document guiding the current and future co

operation and development of the Greater Bay Area, is in line with the nation’s economic and technological development.

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After Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning returned to the catwalks of New

York Fashion Week for the second time ever on February 12, the appearance quickly be

came a hot topic of discussion on social media in China. Several years ago, Li-Ning probably never dared imagine that i

ts products could become so popular among young people in China. However, not only has the company found great suc

cess with this demographic, it has also pushed many older Chinese brands to explore new paths to young people’s hearts.

Bumps along the way

The company gets its name from Li Ning, the pride of China. With 14 gold medals at world-class gymnastic competitions, thr

ee of them Olympic gold medals, he earned himself the title “Prince of Gymnastics.” Chinese people still talk ab

out the moving scene when he lit the torch at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. After retiring from gymnastics, Li fo

unded the sportswear brand in 1990, becoming not only a legend in sports but also in business.

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older Chinese brands, who began seeking ways to reignite their dying brands. For instance, in Se

ptember 2018, candy company White Rabbit and time-honored Shanghai cosmetic brand Maxam teamed up

to produce a lipstick that looked and tasted like traditional milk candy. According to Maxam’s official website, the

first batch of this lipstick, 960 in all, sold out in just two seconds on online retailer T-Mall.

Another example of an unusual alliance was that between bug repellent maker Liushen and Rio cocktail.

In the summer of 2018, these two companies co-produced a special cocktail drink, the gre

en color of which reminded consumers of Liushen’s mosquito repellent. While consumers were a bit hesi

tant to try it at first, this minty mixture of lemon, lime and grapefruit soon proved to be a great success.

Nong Fu Spring, a bottled water and beverage company, chose a different way to attract younger

customers. Instead of coming out with a new product, it invited an overseas design company to produce new packaging featuring the four seasons of th

e Changbai Mountains, where the company gets its spring water. Additionally, the company joined with

popular Chinese smartphone game Onmyoji and the Palace Museum to produce a limited series of water bottles.

These new marketing methods helped push sales of Nong Fu Spring bottled water to new heights.

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in strongest terms possible,” the party said in a statement by its campaign spokesman.

The statement noted that President Muhammadu Buhari “had cooperated fully with IN

EC by ensuring everything it demanded to conduct free and fair elections were promptly made available to it.

“We do hope that INEC will remain neutral and impartial in this process,” it said.

On its own part, the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the

shift in the dates of the general elections and described it as “an act of wickedness.”

In a statement, the party’s chairman Uche Secondus said a foul play was being suspected

and that it sensed the move as a means of thwarting the will of Nigerians in the election.

“The PDP leader warns that the party will not accept anything short of a well-organized electoral process devoid of manipulat

ion, harassment, and intimidation of voters and the opposition, particularly members of the PDP,” the statement said.

Tope Kolade Fasua, the presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Ren

ewal Party (ANRP), said the election postponement will have great implications for everybody.

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Lunar New Year’s day in hospital this year, because he was urged to drink Kweichow Moutai, the famous Chinese liquor. After recklessly guzzli

ng almost half liter, he went into a coma due to alcohol poisoning and ended up in the emergency room. My poor friend missed the entire Spring Festival.

For many foreigners, such an incident may be beyond imagination, and include a shock factor. Why do some Chinese pe

ople always force others to drink? How is drinking linked to sincerity and good faith? Well, welcome to the Chinese drinking culture.

As an old saying goes, “In wine there is truth.” Some Chinese people tend to believ

e that under the influence, people may reveal their true beliefs and feelings which would not be expressed when they are sober.

As a result, when people are urging their friends to drink, they may say: “If you don’t drink up, you are not m

y true friend!” It sounds they could only be honest and open to each other when they are dead-drunk.

In another type of situation, people who hold more power force their subordinates to drink. They would say: “Dr

ink this up, and then I will promise you your promotion.” It is more like forced persuasion or even a threat. In

China, urging people to drink is like a “game of thrones.” The domineering would force others to drink up so as to show off their

power, while the pliable tend to yield. They use empty bottles to tell the strong: “See, I keep drinking and don’t care sacrificing my health for you.”

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According to the latest data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, China’s tourism trade deficit reached $237.4 billion in 2018, an increase of $21.4 billion over the prev

ious year. While the record high figure reflects the growing scale of outbound tourism consumption by domestic residents, it remains qu

estionable whether the domestic demand is so strong that it even caused the record outbound tourism consumption.

However, by analyzing relevant reports and statistics, I believe some of the figures about China’s tourism industry may

be dodgy, which could therefore be misleading for investment decision-making and should be clarified.

According to the preliminary statistics of the China Tourism Academy, Chinese travelers made 140 million outbound trips in 2018, up 1

1 million from 129 million in 2017. To a certain extent, the steady increase in the number of Chinese o

utbound trips indicates that the consumption is still growing and not falling.

But the important question is how many people actually traveled abroad

out of the 140 million outbound trips. According to the Annual Report of China Outbound Tou

rism Development 2018, Chinese trips to foreign countries and regions accounted for about 33.3 percent of total out

bound trips in 2017. Assuming that the ratio remained unchanged in 2018, then the number of trips to foreign c

ountries and regions came to about 46.67 million. Again assuming that half of the people who went abroad on av

erage twice last year, then the number of Chinese who went to foreign countries and regions was approximately 31 million.

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bilateral ties were upgraded to an all-weather strategic partnership.

“We wish that our relationship could be closer and the bond of friendship will be further strengthened in the future,” the admiral said.

Abbasi also noted that the Indian Ocean is vital for the global economy. Thr

eats to this region cannot be tackled by any navy alone. The Chinese navy’s mission to en

sure maritime security in the Indian Ocean has provided a lot of security to shipping in the region, he said.

Shao Shuguang, commander of the Task Group 998, said during meeting w

ith Abbasi that “Karachi’s long history and culture, the hospitality of the Pakistani pe

ople, especially the professionalism of our counterparts in your navy, have left a deep impression on me.”

“I hope that the navies of our two countries will have further close exchang

es and cooperation to jointly maintain maritime security and stability in the Indian Ocean,” Shao said.

During the visit to Kunlunshan, the admiral also reviewed the PLA Navy’s guard of honor.

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Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday stressed to take bolder and more

effective measures to implement the proactive fiscal policy.

Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Co

mmittee, made the remarks when presiding over a meeting after an inspection of the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

At the meeting, Han studied major issues, including the launch of another round of tax cu

ts and fighting the “three critical battles” against risks, poverty and pollution.

The MOF should stick to the basic tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability, promote

high-quality development and take coordinated steps to ensure steady growth, advance reform, m

ake structural adjustments, improve living standards and guard against risks, Han stressed.

He said that larger tax cuts will be helpful in improving the co

untry’s income distribution system and the tax structure and better serve China’s current macro policy.

The MOF should relieve the social insurance payment burden of firms, strengthen the manag

ement of the fiscal revenue and expenditure and create a sound policy environment for fair competition, Han said.

Han underlined that measures should be in place to effectively prevent and handle financial risks, reinforce the

monitoring of the local government debt risk and deploy more funds to facilitate winning the battles against poverty and pollution.

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teenager rescued from seven years of alleged maltreatment at the hands of his aunt and uncle

has appeared before the court in Pingyuan county, Meizhou city, Guangdong province.

The news came from a statement released by Guangdong High People’s Procuratorate on Friday.

Xiao Ming‘s aunt was suspected to have maltreated him for more than seven years, starting

when he was seven years old, resulting in severe physical and psychological damage, the statement said.

Xiao, born in 2004, lived with his father after his parents divorced in May 2008. After his father

died in a mining accident in October the same year however, Xiao was sent to live with his grandparents.

It was in May 2011 when his uncle (his father’s older brother) an

d aunt forced Xiao to live with them that the alleged maltreatment began.

It is claimed that the family treated him so poorly that he had insuf

ficient food and clothes, and that he dropped out of school to do farm work for his aunt.

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