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ctive investment and harness the digital economy’s role in driving

le in driving China’s economic and social development.

“We need to upgrade our internet services. This is a key measure t

o boost consumption and meet the needs of our massive cellphone users,” Premier Li said.

Participants at the meeting agreed that upgrading and expanding the cap

acity of internet infrastructure should be an important area in boosting effective inves

tment. By the end of this year, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) ports relative to all broadband ports will be raised to more th

an 90 percent, 1,000M broadband will be extended to more than 300 cities, and base stations for mobile internet will be upg

raded with expanded capacity. The goal is to raise the speed of both fixed-line and mobile internet services to 1,000M.

Broadband networks will cover 97 percent of primary and middle schools nationwide this year, and dedicated inter

net services will be made available over time in hospitals and medical consortiums above the county level.

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Festival will mark 80th anniversary of popular cantata

The Central Conservatory of Music will hold a festival from May 23 to 27 to celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Yellow River Cantata.

Written by composer Xian Xinghai (1905–1945) in Yan’an, Shaanxi pro

vince, in early 1939, the piece was inspired by a patriotic poem by Guang Weiran, and the lyrics

were adapted for the cantata. Premiered on April 13 of the same year in Yan’an, the work became, and remains, popular.

The conservatory’s symphony orchestra, choirs and chamber music grou

ps will join in the festival with 20 concerts, including the opening concert on May 23 condu

cted by Yu Feng, president of the university. The Yellow River Cantata will be performed by young singers.

Veteran Chinese musicians and singers, including Guo Shuzhen and Wang Xiufen, will perform during the festival.

Besides concerts, masterclasses and forums will be held in Yan’an.

The music festival will also celebrate the 70th birthday of the country.

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Xi calls for co-existence of various civilizationselivered a key

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the Conference on Dialogue of Asia

n Civilizations. With the theme of “Exchanges and mutual learning among Asian civilizations and a com

munity with a shared future,” the conference aims to deepen cooperation among Asian countries. Here are the highlights:

Humanity needs cultural strength to address challenges ahead

Humanity needs cultural strength, besides economic and techn

ological strength, to cope with common challenges and head toward a bright future.

The intensifying global challenges humanity is facing now require concerted effort from countries across the world.

Asian civilizations write ‘brilliant chapter’ in human civilization

Asian civilizations have written a brilliant chapter in human civilization.

Being one of the earliest human settlements and a major birthp

lace of human civilization, Asia takes up one third of the total land on Earth, has two th

irds of the global population, and consists of 47 countries and more than 1,000 ethnic groups.

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Since women have “internalized the thin ideal” from soci

ial media, they develop a negative relationship with their bodies. This often leads th

em to engage in “fat talk”-resulting in much lower self-esteem, Shen added.

Ye, from Hangzhou, who works as an accountant for Silergy Corp, said more than 90 percent of her colleagues in the finance

department are women, ranging in age from the early 20s to late 40s. Some have families, while others are singl

e or just “jump into” romantic relations. But all of them have varying degrees of dissatisfaction with their body shape.

“Every woman in our office is unhappy with at least one part of her b

ody. One of them might say her face is too round, while others are unhappy with their arms when

we sit together and gossip,” said Ye, who weighs 48 kg but frowns as she looks at the shape of her thighs.

“I have often thought I would be more attractive if my thighs were thinner,” she said, a

dding that one of her colleagues had not eaten dinner for at least two years in order to stay slim.

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He says that he collected 39 different versions of Beethov

So far, the pianist has performed all of the 32 Beethoven sonatas more than 50 times.

During the China tour, Buchbinder will also be the conductor besides his role as a soloist.

Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, the Staat

skapelle Dresden is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and steeped in tradition.

In 2018, Staatskapelle Dresden, which celebrated its 470th anniver

sary, toured China, and it was the seventh cooperation betw

een the orchestra and Wu Promotion, China’s leading music tour promoter, since 2011.

Presenting pieces of German composer, Robert Schumann, the tour attracted nearly 7,000 music fans.

“China has great audiences who are passionate about classical music. There ar

e also many great symphony orchestras in the country, some of which are over 100 years old,” says Buchbinder.

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China’s pledges included shortening its negative lis

 for foreign investments, opening up more sectors to foreign busines

ses, guaranteeing fair competition and planning new free-trade zones and ports.

Sourabh Gupta, resident senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for China-American Studies, specifically praise

d the new Foreign Investment Law-passed in March by China’s national legislature and effective in 2020-which he s

aid is “a farsighted piece of legislation” that “will firmly usher in a new round of reform and opening-up”.

“Strong measures to deal with political, regulatory and administr

ative noncompliance are envisaged. A robust working mechanism to promptly address fo

reign businesses’ complaints is also envisaged,” said Gupta, who believes the prov

isions are a big step in assuring foreign businesses that the playing field is leveled in China.

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Services are growing rapidly. The value-added of th

 tertiary sector, which is mainly services, grew from 56.7 to 57.3 percent of GDP from the same period last year. The

Index of Services Production increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the growth rate of overall GDP.

Overall retail sales of consumer goods also grew at 8.3 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast gro

wth, with the highest rates concentrated in upgraded products such as cosmetics, phones and computers.

And, high-tech services grew at an astonishing rate of 21.2 percent. In prepa

ring for consumer 5G telecoms next year, the output of mobile communications base stations grew 153.7 percent.

The data also show strong movement toward the government’s goal

of creating an ecological civilization. New energy automobiles and solar cells grew by 48.2 percen

t and 18.2 percent, respectively. Sales of urban rail vehicles grew by 54.1 percent, showing the

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Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first

 quarter, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

As favorable policies are implemented at all levels of government in the sec

ond quarter, manufacturers will start seeing concrete financial benefits and industrial out

put is expected to at least maintain a steady expansion from April to June, said Qin H

ailin, a senior industrial economy researcher at the China Center for Information Industry Development.

At the news conference, ministry officials also denied market rumors that China’s telecom carrie

rs are slowing down their investments in 5G, the fifth-generation mobile communication technology.

They said 5G is recognized as a fundamental digital infrastructu

re for societal and economic development, but it will take time to build a nationwide 5G netw

ork. China’s plan is to roll out the superfast technology step by step, the officials said.

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Politburo upbeat on economic datag Motors on the assem

China’s economy grew better than expected in the first quarter and market confidence was raised in

an outstanding way, according to a statement from a meeting presided over by President Xi Jinping on Friday.

During the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central

Committee, members analyzed the current economic situation and made plans for economic work.

In the first quarter, government departments pushed forward high-quality growth, deepene

d supply-side structural reform and carried out positive fiscal policy and stable monetary policy, the statement said. Main mac

roeconomic figures were in proper range, and reform and opening-up was pushed forward continuously, it said.

The statement said lots of difficulties and problems remain in economic development, with m

ore tension in the external economic environment and downward pressure on the domestic economy. Government departments shou

ld remain steadfast and be brave in overcoming difficulties in economic development, it said.

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Zheng Nanning, a researcher at the Chinese Academ

 of Engineering and head of the innovation research academy of intelligent robotics at Xi’an Jiaotong Univer

sity, said the university began considering an undergraduate AI major in 2016, and it has since established an experi

mental undergraduate AI class in 2018 with 55 students taught by the country’s leading AI experts.

The university established the academy in October 2017 and an AI school in Janua

ry. The academy has 26 master’s candidates and eight doctoral candidates, Zheng said.

“Universities should aim for major breakthroughs in basic res

earch and core technology. We are still striving to achieve

revolutionary and disruptive changes in AI theories, methods, tools and systems,” he added.

The ministry issued an action plan in 2018 to promote AI educa

tion in universities. According to the plan, universities in China will improve AI discip

line and make breakthroughs in basic theories and key technology research by 2020.

Chinese universities will become core forces for building major global AI innovation centers by 2030.

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