Moreover, in January, financial data continued its trend of

structural optimization from the previous month, which is reflected by the pickup in medium

and long-term lending and the continuous increase in bond financing. Looking ahead, such structural improvement is likely to co

ntinue, further boosting the supportive role of “loose credit supply” in “stabilizing growth.”

From the external perspective, the following three factors are expected to support the Chinese

yuan’s exchange rate to regain long-term stability, thus enhancing the autonomy of China’s monetary policy.

First, developed economies have slowed their pace of tightening. Since the end of 2018, due to the stalling global recovery and

signs of a returning crisis, central banks of various developed economies have become more cautious toward the no

rmalization of monetary policy. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and the Reserve Bank of Australia successively lowered their fo

recast for economic growth. In the US, the dovish voice inside the Fed has gradually increased. Because of this, si

nce late January, the yield inversion of short-term government bonds in China and the US has been eased. Thus, despite the

monetary policy differentiation between China and other major developed economies, the degree of d

ivergence is expected to decline, weakening the long-term pressure on the yuan’s exchange rate.

www.aishedesd.com

hooks, lines or sinkers: Cambodians go traditional in fishing

Wielding handmade bamboo baskets and nylon nets, hundreds of people waded thigh-deep into a muddy lake in eastern Cambo

dia on February 9 for an annual fish-catching ceremony where only traditional tools are allowed to be used.

The ceremony is held each year in eastern Tboung Khmum Province after the crop

harvest to commemorate the country’s proud fishing history, said local chief Uch Yoeun.

The event – held in Choam Korvean commune, about 250 kilometers

from the capital Phnom Penh – attracts hundreds of farmers from surrounding villages.

They carry weaved baskets of different shapes, eager to try their hand at tr

apping the freshwater catfish and snakehead fish in the muddy Boeung Kroam lake.

“It has been a tradition since our ancestors’ time,” Uch Yoeun told AFP, adding that only one rule applies in this mass fishing event.

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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.

www.shlfco.com

With many Chinese not having traveled abroad yet, raising

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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The amount of new loans more than doubled from 1.08 tr

The M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, ro

se 8.4 percent year-on-year to 186.59 trillion yuan at the end of January, according to the PBOC.

The M2 growth was 0.3 percentage points up from the level at the end of December.

The narrow measure of the money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand

deposits, rose 0.4 percent year-on-year to 54.56 trillion yuan by the end of last month.

New yuan loans made to households reached 989.8 billion yuan last month, while t

hose to non-financial enterprises and government institutions totaled 2.58 trillion yuan.

Newly-added social financing, a measurement of funds that individuals and non-fina

ncial firms get from the financial system, stood at 4.64 trillion yuan in January, up 1.56 trillion yuan year-on-year.

China will keep its prudent monetary policy “neither too tight nor too

loose” while maintaining market liquidity at a reasonably ample level in 2019, ac

cording to the annual Central Economic Work Conference held in December last year.

www.shlfao.com

henzhen to strengthen smoking policylayed at a shopping ma

Shenzhen is to strengthen its regulations on smoking in public places, making it the strictest smoking policy in history, Nanfang Daily has reported.

The strenghtening is to focus on five areas of the policy.

Since the implementation of the smoking policy in Shenzhen on March 1, 2014, smoking in public places has been banned, carrying a total fine of 3.745 millio

n yuan, comprising a 3.325 million yuan fine for illegal smokers and 420,000 yuan for public places that failed to control smoking.

In implementing the policy however, problems arose with excessive fines, difficulties

with law enforcement and evidence collection, and complicated punishment procedures.

Deputies of Shenzhen People’s Congress on Jan 18 jointly proposed that Shenzhen should revise the policy to make the regulations more practical and operable.

The revised draft of The Regulation on Smoking Control explicitly expands the de

finition of smoking to include the use of e-cigarettes and other lit tobacco products.

It also expands the scope of smoke-free areas, which now include outdoor p

latforms and areas featuring wait lines for public transport, such as buses, coa

ches, taxis, subways, ships, civil aircraft and other public transport vehicles.

Smoking is also prohibited within five meters of subway entrances and exits.

The draft enhances protection for minors. It stipulates that no tobacco produ

cts are to be sold within 100 meters of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and children’s activity centers.

sh419pp.com

Another post by the same blogger claimed Zhai’s doctoral gra

aduation dissertation could not be found in the CNKI database, while all graduation dissertations written by his classmates were there.

Zhai’s studio said on Friday he obtained a Ph.D. from the Beijing Film Academy in June, and all h

is academic papers and his dissertation were written by him under the guidance of supervisors.

He has met all graduation requirements from the academy and is willing to be held responsible for any academic misconduct, the studio said.

Netizens later found Zhai’s supervisor Chen Yi, former director of the performance institute of the Beijing Film Academy, on

ly has a bachelor’s degree and has not published any academic papers. However, doctoral supervisors at the university are supposed to have a do

ctoral degree and publish at least eight academic papers and two academic monographs within five years.

Zhai posted an apology letter on his Sina Weibo page Thursday.

“After I have starred in a few films and TV series, I have become full of myself and forgotten honesty is the most important principle,” he said.

“Vanity has misguided me and I brought this attitude into writing academic papers. I will

withdraw from postdoctoral research at Peking University and I am deeply sorry to my school, teachers, fans and the public.”

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Sao Paulo orchestra makes debut in ChinaState Symphony

The Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, the first South American symphony to t

our China, will hold a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on the night of Valentine’s Day.

The event also marked the first time the symphony’s female conductor Marin Alsop is involved in a performance in China.

Alsop, who is one of the most prominent students of the late US musician Leonard Bernstein, introduced the symphony’s m

usic style as “accessible with folk elements” and highly rhythmic, which is “a hallmark of the Brazilian music”.
The

concert program, she added, is perfect for Valentine’s Day as it “begins with lots of fire and ends with lots of romance”.

The concert opened with Bernstein’s Candide Overture, followed by works from Brazilian composer Heit

or Villa-Lobos and Argentine Alberto Ginastera. The second part featured Sheherazade by Russian artist Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Following its China premiere in Shanghai, Alsop and the Sao Pa

ulo symphony will go on to play in Jinan of Shandong province, Beijing and Hong Ko

ng, where the company will feature as the opening performance for the Hong Kong Arts Festival on Feb 21.

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro released from hospital after 17 days

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was released from the Albert Einstein

Hospital in Sao Paulo on Wednesday after convalescing from surgery and returned to the capital, Brasilia.

Bolsonaro spent 17 days in recovery, mainly in intensive or semi-intensive care units, but worked from his bedside for m

ost of that time, with his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, filling in for him for two of those days.

On the presidential campaign trail last year, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen by

a lone attacker. He required a colostomy and underwent surgery in late January to reverse the procedure.

The surgical procedure reportedly went well, but his recovery had some complications. Last week, he had fever and was diagn

osed with pneumonia, but his health improved and doctors said he was able to leave the hospital and return to Brasilia.

Bolsonaro commented on social networks about leaving the hospital, noting that the ma

n named Adelio Bispo who had attacked him had been a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL).

At the time of the attack, the PSOL admitted Bispo had been a member, but said he quit the political organization years ago and was never very active.

So far, investigations have not uncovered a connection between the attacker and any Brazilian political party.

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This year, I am issuing a challenge to men everywhere to enth

husiastically rise to the occasion to correct the misconception that they are not romantic. Take the t

ime to figure out what kind of gift would touch the heart of your woman, and buy it for her if you can af

ford it. Fight the temptation to purchase gifts that are perhaps useful but not so romantic.

Most women love it when men give them more personal gifts. A man should a

llocate enough time to create a gift that a woman may truly appreciate, such as w

riting a poem expressing his love for her, cooking a delicious meal for two, or arranging a spa treatment for her.

For some people, Valentine’s Day is the loneliest day of the year. For tho

se who have no significant other, go out to spend the evening with your peers in a bar or a ni

ghtclub, as many such entertainment establishments in cities host special events for the evening. You may be lucky eno

ugh to meet the person of your dreams. But even if you don’t, chances are you could still have a wonderful time.

Finally, I wish women and men everywhere a very happy Valentine’s Day.Sava Hassan is a Canadian-Egyptian educator.

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