Meanwhile, Japan continued signing agreements with

one with the UK in 2017 and another with India the following year. By exploiting the power of these regional countries, Japan aims to secure military provisions for

its SDF in the Indo-Pacific region from the US, Canada, Australia and India and in the North Atlantic region from the US, the UK, France and Canada.

This has laid the foundation for Japan to broaden its SDF activities and ensure military provision with its partners. It is a sm

all-scale bilateral military alliance system centered on Japan. This shows Japan’s long-term strategic plan.

Since the 21st century, Japan has clearly labeled China as its biggest real and potential rival. Esp

ecially since Shinzo Abe took office, he spared no efforts at containing China. During Abe’s first te

rm, the Japanese government raised the idea of the “arc of freedom and prosperity.” When he became prime mini

ster for a second time, the policies advocated by his cabinet, including the values-based alliance, the alliance of m

aritime democracies, the democratic security diamond and the freedom corridor, have all kept China in focus.

Because of the ACSAs with Australia and India, Japan can militarily c

onstrain China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. In the At

lantic, it can also exert forceful intervention in China’s policy in Europe, North Africa and West Africa.

In some areas where China’s military strength has not reached, Japan has crafted its military plan in advance by ut

ilizing its bilateral alliance system, trap-falling China’s military strategy into a passive position.

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But things are gradually changing. The number of Chinese

The Chinese drinking culture is set for a transformation. According to a survey of 109,441 Chinese conducted by the China Youth Daily’s Social Investigation Center, 84 percent said they were not fan of the drinking culture in China.

The long tradition seems to be on the wane, reflecting a change in an important aspect of China’s material culture.

On one hand, as living standards improve, Chinese people pay more atte

ntion to their health. More people are choosing tea over liquor as their daily beverage. Instead

of sitting at the table for the night, people now prefer healthier lifestyles. On the other hand, Chinese pe

ople have realized that drinking culture may provide opportunities for the undeserving who can get what they want by

pleasing those who insist that they drink. This is not only unfair to the deserving but also undermines ethical conduct.

Nowadays, Chinese people have developed more decent drinking habits.

Those who risk their lives drinking heavily are not the so-called heroes anymore, and those who alw

ays urge others to drink may be gradually isolated by their friends. More and more Chinese pe

ople enjoy having only a few drinks and chat over the cup. Taking small sips and slowly tasting liquor seems more enjoyable.

In addition, real friendship cannot be measured by how much alcohol is consumed. Neither can bottles of liquor build relations am

ong people. Instead, they only hurt people’s feelings and health. When people are sober again, the ecstasy and promises disappear.

After all, true friends are those who care about your health, not those who urge you to drink.

Take my poor friend. After he got out of hospital, he completely forgot who forced him to drink at the t

able. When he was blind drunk and almost choked on his vomit, all he remembered was those who loyally stayed by his side.

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ang Haonan, who was believed to be the heaviest man

Wang, from Laiwu in East China’s Shandong province, stood at 334 kg at his heaviest. In July

2018, he underwent a weight-loss surgery in which four-fifths of his stomach was removed.

Half a year later, his weight has dropped to 192 kg.

Liu Shaozhuang, a doctor with Qilu Hospital of Shandong University in charge of Wang’s surgery, told Beijing Youth Daily the surgery h

as not had an impact on Wang’s digestion and he only needed to chew food well before swallowing it.

Wang revealed that a philosophy of “eat less, exercise more” was also a reason for his becoming thinner. He said he did not e

at any meat during the Spring Festival holiday, a traditional time for family reunion and feasting.

Wang suffers from fatty liver, heart and lung problems due to his obesity. These conditions have i

mproved after the surgery and sleep apnea due to snoring has also been alleviated, according to Liu.

Wang now has a body mass index (BMI) of 57.3, still well above the level of 24.5 for a healthy person, Liu said.

Wang said he aims to further reduce his weight to be less than 100 kg by the end of this year

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Regulator issues guidelines to make loan renewal easier

he China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Beijing Office announced on Thursday it has issued guidelines for banking institutions on re

newing micro and small business loans to shorten the financing chain and reduce financing costs.

The guidelines aim to cut unnecessary so-called “passageway business” a

nd bridging finance that “bridges” the gap between the time when a company’s m

oney is set to run out and when it can expect to receive an infusion of funds later on, under the premise that banking in

stitutions will meet the requirements on internal control and risk management.

“The loan renewal policy is actually a credit policy to incentivize lending to high-quality enterpri

ses,” said Jiang Ping, a senior official at the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Beijing Office.

“For companies that have run into temporary operational difficulties but still have enormous potential for development, banks should help them get th

rough the tough times by renewing their loans. However, banks are forbidden from covering or delaying risk ex

posure associated with lending to ‘zombie firms’, which cannot repay loans, in the name of loan renewal,” she said.

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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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Nation’s property sector remains robustperty models in Donggu

Experts said the Spring Festival holiday was the major factor behind the significant drop in property sales perfor

mance nationwide in the first month of 2019 and did not necessarily represent a negative market trend for the industry.

According to Centaline Property Agency’s research, in January property sales declined by 38 p

ercent year-on-year in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Among the four cities, Guangzhou saw the most dramatic decrease of 65 percent year-on-year, followed by Beijing, where home sales dropped by over 40 percent.

Country Garden, one of the country’s biggest developers, sold 33 billion yuan ($4.88 billion) of prop

erty in January, a 52.2 percent yearly decline. Vanke, whose monthly sales were 48.8 billion yu

an, saw a 28.1 percent drop year-on-year, while Evergrande Group’s sales performance shrank by 32.9 percent.

Third and fourth-tier cities accounted for most of the sales, but these had also slowed down com

pared to the same period in 2018. Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline, said the lack of e

nthusiasm from buyers was caused by the overheated market during last year’s Spring Festival.

“During the Spring Festival in 2018, housing prices in first and second-tier cities suddenly increased, triggering price

rises in lower-tier ones too,” said Zhang. “Back then, buying properties in one’s lower-tier hometown became a trend.”

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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 t

o form 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 national 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 successfu

l attempt, 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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Tiantongyuan redevelopment set to improve livesnd cultural park

younger generation of residents-80 percent of them tenants and many of them migrant workers-now occupies Tiantongyuan.

At weekends, a number of community centers on one street in Huilongguan are filled with people. One of the most popular cente

rs is a children’s library called “Happy Book Kid”, whose owner, Wang Yanping, has lived in the community for more than 10 years.

As a migrant worker for more than 20 years, the 40-year-old said she always wanted a sett

led place of her own so she could get to know more people and gain a sense of belonging.

She established the library at the end of 2013 with the aim of providing a range of books that children could read and study after school.

At weekends, the library is packed as parents bring their children to participate in

a range of activities, including drama performances, poetry recitals and handicraft classes.

“If just one kid becomes interested in reading, I will have made a contribution to their life,” Wang said.

“A rising number of families treat the library as a place to gather, and they love being here.”

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France advanced to the top 10 markets where WeChat P

ay was mostly adopted for the first time since WeChat started tracking the data in 2015.

A Nielsen survey released in January suggested that 93 percent of Chinese travelers are likely to increase their spen

ding overseas if mobile payment is more widely accepted, which would consequently boost local businesses.

Alipay and WeChat Pay accounted for almost 94 percent of the count

ry’s third-party payment market, according to consultancy iResearch. The duo are ga

ining market share by making ambitious forays overseas where mobile payment is yet to mature.

Among the latest developments, Tencent is looking to work with more smart solutions and s

ervice providers this year to make the app function run as smoothly in foreign markets as it does in China, by in

corporating a variety of tools developed by third-party providers, said Fan Wei, overseas business director of WeChat Pay.

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Suning to acquire 37 Wanda department stores

Suning.com, the retail unit of Suning Holdings Group Ltd, announced on Feb 12 that it will ac

quire a total of 37 department stores of Wanda Department Store Co Ltd, to enhance its online-and-offline retail businesses.

Considered a key move for Suning to map its retail layout in the country, the acquisition is expect

ed to quickly improve Suning’s offline, or brick-and-mortar, resources and strengthen its mer

chandise supply chain to increase profits of its retail businesses, according to Suning’s statement.

The 37 Wanda Department Store locations, which have a total of more than 4 million registe

red customers, are mainly situated in central business areas in first- and second-tier cities.

The statement said the revenue of Wanda Department Store has seen a steady rise, with a continuous growth in net profits.

The new business unit will add department stores to Suning’s retail empire, which has been focusing mainly o

n home appliances and has now expanded to fast-moving consumer goods as well as maternity and baby products.

Through the deal, Suning.com is also hoping to bring its digital strengths in areas such as big data and artificial intellige

nce to Wanda, in an effort to further update the digital transformation of traditional department stores and enhance shoppers’ experiences.

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