Japan’s ambition is to become a global political power.

and diplomatic means alone cannot support Japan’s global ambitions. A military presence at the global level is needed if Japan is to expand its political clout.

Compared with old European powers like the UK and France, Japan’s military influence in Europe is jerkwater. But it is different after Japan signed military pac

ts with these countries – Japan’s political influence is increasing because of the support of military powers.

With the influence of the UK and France declining in the Asia-Pacific region, their military activities can get the support from Japan via the A

CSA, which will immensely boost Japan’s military clout. These European countries will not look at J

apan through the military lens, which will effectively strengthen Japan’s political might.

Meanwhile, exchange of military provisions will help enhance pe

ople-to-people exchanges between Japan and these countries, exerting Japan’s cultural influe

nce in these countries and beyond. Even if Japan fails to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it can still play a major role in th

e world. This has been part of the global strategies of the Abe administration.

We can see that Japan signing ACSAs with six countries is not just for d

efense and military purposes, it’s part of an overall plan to influence economics, pol

itics, military and culture, which is a long-term strategic mind-set of the Japanese government.

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What apparently has shattered the confidence of the ruling

its poor performance in recent polls in three key Indian states.

One key factor that apparently sealed the fate of the BJP was prevailing anger among upper castes. So the first thing the prime

minister did was to grant 10 percent job reservation to the less well-off among the upper castes.

The BJP projected the move as a “game changer” which it claimed would win it the support of a certain section of society bu

t now finds itself on the back foot as the Congress came out with a proposal promising “minimum income guarantee” fo

r every poor villager if the party was voted to power. The idea has left the BJP leadership unnerved.

The head of the Pakistan Navy hailed the Chinese navy’s participation in the Aman 19 multinational maritime exercise during a visit to the

warship Kunlunshan on Sunday, saying that the Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean is vital to regional ­security.

Pakistan is holding its sixth multinational maritime naval drills, Aman 19, from Friday to Tuesday in Ka

rachi, with navies and observers from 46 countries including China, Russia and the US participating in the exercise.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy), which has participated in all

previous Aman exercises, sent two warships from the Task Group 998 for the exercise.

“The PLA Navy has always been a very big participant, we are really grateful for that,” Ch

ief of the Pakistani Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi told the Global Times during his visit.

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Xiao was rescued when procurators from Pingyuan county

visited his village during a campaign focused on protecting children’s rights in March last year.

Procurators interviewed Xiao’s grandparents, visited Xiao’s former primaryers, and contacted Xiao’s mother during their visit.

Procurators then transferred Xiao’s case to local police and suggested the detention of his aunt while they further investigated the case, having found evidence of maltreatment in his uncle’s home.

After a health examination in a local hospital, Xiao returned to live with his grandparents.

With the help of the county’s procuratorate and relevant government departments, Xiao returned to school in September.

The procuratorates of Meizhou city and Pingyuan county have jointly granted a 60,000 yuan ($8,860) relief fund to help financially support Xiao.

An open public hearing into the matter is to be launched by Pingyuan county people’s court.

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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.

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ple of foreign guests are excited to take part in the fair’s

Over 180,000 people were attracted to the grand fair, which has been listed as a National Intan

gible Cultural Heritage, and watched the square parade, the fair’s most anticipated activity.

The parade featured over 20 troupe performances included lion dances, a waist drum presentation, stilt walking and

other local folk art shows. The folk parade stretched 2.5 kilometers around Meili town, Wuxi’s Xinwu district.

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, parade

s float went along the route expressing the people’s gratitude to the country and great expectations for the future.

During the opening ceremony, the first cultural tourism brand of Wuxi Xinwu district, “Tai Bo You Li“, was launched, and product

ions of the district’s history, Wu culture, local intangible cultural heritage and travel routes were staged.

The eight-day event will last until Lantern Festival, and will feature traditional trading fairs,

demonstrations of intangible cultural heritages and folk art, and public cultural activities.

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Imax shatters Chinese New Year opening box office record

Imax box offices set a new record over the Chinese New Year period starting on Feb 5, grossing 217 million yuan ($32.3 million) across its 599 theaters in China.

Imax Corporation and Imax China said in a news release on Feb 11 that the results were driven by the

strong performances of three local-language films – The Wandering Earth, Crazy Alien and Peg

asus. The sales figures marked Imax China’s best Chinese New Year performance ever, up 40 percent year-on-year.

The Wandering Earth, China’s first big-budget sci-fi film, led the pack by grossing more than

185 million yuan in Imax theaters to become the highest grossing local-language film in Imax hi

story, surpassing Mojin: The Lost Legend. Imax screenings accounted for more than 9 percent of the film’s gross ov

erall takings. The film also set new Imax records for the biggest opening week, surpassing Avengers: Infinity War, as

well as the biggest single day and best three-day performance for a local-language title.

“We are very pleased with these record-breaking Chinese New Year results, which are particularly significant when com

pared to 2018’s record performance that was up 80 percent over the previous year,” said Imax CEO Richard L. Gelfond.

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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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More outcomes expected from trade talksVice-Premier Liu

He will hold a new round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultations with United States Trade Re

presentative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing from Thursday to Friday.

Analysts said the two sides are likely to propose weightier measures to address economic and trade differences and to broaden overall cooperation.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, based on recent talks in Washington, China and the US will eng

age in further discussions on issues of common concern. The US delegation arrives in Beijing on Monday.

China and the US have been embroiled in trade frictions for several months. The two sides are now in the midst of a 90-day tariff truce, which began on Dec 1, wh

en President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Wei Jianguo, vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Ex

changes, said China-US trade consultations have made “a big stride forward”.

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In the next stage, the two sides will still be subject to

various global pressures. However, I believe that the two sides will be able to propose m

ore weighty measures to solve differences in their further consultations,” Wei said.

Zhou Mi, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Coo

peration, said companies in the two countries definitely do not want to end their cooperation. Calling for a

stable environment, Zhou said more and more achievements may be made through cooperation at different levels.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US diplomatic ties. In 2018, trade volume between China

and the US exceeded $630 billion, and two-way investment surpassed $240 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Nicholas Burns, former US undersecretary of state, said the Sino-US relationship is “the mo

st important relationship that both of our countries have.” The US and China, though facing certain challenges in bilateral relations, sh

ould learn how to compete with each other as well as how to work together, the official Xinhua News Agency cited him as saying.

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With more and more people gathering at the lake, it became over

run with fences and nets used to trap fish. Pollutants discharged by residents liv

ing in the area went directly into the lake, and water quality went from bad to worse.

“We could drink directly from the lake at the beginning, but a few years lat

er, the water began to stink, and we had to buy bottled water onshore” Chen recalled.

Overfishing and other human activities put the lake in crisis.

Realizing the need to clean up the lake, the local government took a series of protec

tive measures including relocating all the fishermen and getting rid of all the fences and nets.

Under the government policy on relocation of fishermen, Chen got 170,000 yuan (around 25,368 U.S. dollars) of

subsidy after moving onshore. Using the subsidy, the 110,000 yuan he got from selling his boat to the g

overnment and his own savings, he bought a nice apartment not far from his workplace.

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