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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PLA Rocket Force Weibo accounts take off in popularity

Hundreds of thousands of users on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like social media platform, have flocked to and followed the tw

o official Weibo accounts newly created on Thursday afternoon by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force.

PLA Rocket Force, formerly the Second Artillery Corps, was established on Dec 31, 2015, and serves as the strategic and tactical missile force of China.

It marks the first time for the PLA Rocket Force to open up official Weibo accounts, making the emergence of

two at once even more remarkable. One account shared the same name with the force, wh

ile another chose the funnier and more down-to-earth name Dongfeng Kuaidi, which means “Eastwind Delivery”.

Some netizens made a guess that the former one would be used for releasing official and formal news and the latter for communicating with the sea of Weibo users.

At the time of writing, the account PLA Rocket Force had over 82,000 follo

wers and Dongfeng Kuaidi had 180,000 fans, despite the fact that neither of the a

ccounts had posted any content yet. Meanwhile, the number of followers continues to surge wildly.

Most fans are surprised by the PLA Rocket Force’s move to “land” on a social m

edia platform with hundreds of millions of users, due to its air of mystery.

Many of them have said “welcome” to the PLA Rocket Force and could not to wait to le

arn more about and interact with it on the social media platform they often use in daily life.

The PLA is comprised of the Ground Force, Air Force, Navy, Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force.

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llegedly maltreated boy appears before court in Guangdong

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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In the guidelines, the regulator set detailed rules on

the basic prerequisites that micro and small enterprises should meet to renew their loans and on the regulatory

requirements for banking institutions to do this type of business.

The loan renewal policy does not apply to real estate companies or enterprise group head office that are not engaged in production

and business operation. Besides, qualified companies should not have delinquent loans and interests with malice, according to Jiang.

In terms of pricing, the regulator said commercial banks should adhere to market principl

es and encouraged banks to renew micro and small business loans at a lending rate no higher than the previous rate.

As of the end of 2018, the balance of micro and small business loans of the banking sector in Beijing

increased by 15.23 percent year-on-year to 1.2 trillion yuan ($176.95 billion). During the same pe

riod, the number of micro and small enterprises that received loans grew by 59,500 to 257,200.

A recent survey on 617 micro and small businesses in 200 villages in Beijing’s peripheral areas found that at the start-up phase, 13 perc

ent of the businesses obtained bank loans, 13 percent borrowed from friends and relatives, 8 percent secured funding from

microcredit companies, nearly 8 percent received loans from small lending services offered by Alibaba Group Ho

lding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, while the majority of business owners used their own money or borrowed from individual creditors, said Mo Xiugen, di

rector of research at the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion at Renmin University of China.

He advised policymakers to encourage joint-stock commercial banks and microcredit com

panies to play a bigger part in providing financing to micro and small companies, as these financial institu

tions are more flexible and experienced in serving small business clients than large State-owned commercial banks.

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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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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.

www.ash01.com

The shows at the One Yuan Theater are performed by a tro

upe that’s affiliated to the cultural center where Yi works. Currently, there are about 30 members in the opera troupe, with ages r

anging from 20 to over 60. The average age of the per-formers is 40, according to Yi. Being listed as a national int

angible cultural heritage has drawn more efforts toward protecting the art form.

“Most of the young performers were recruited after the opera was listed as national intangible cultural heritage,” Yi adds.

The local government’s support in recent years includes adding to the troupe member

s’ livelihoods and taking on costs for regular shows at the One Yuan Theater into its annual budget plan, Yi says.

Liu Liurong, 50, a leading member of the troupe, says she has witnessed the enhancement o

f the opera over the past years. Having performed such shows for more than 30 years, Liu is recognized as a p

rovincial-level inheritor of the art since 2009. She says she had dreamed of standing on stage since she was in middle school.

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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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