According to The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Repor

eased by the World Economic Forum, global tourism revenue contributed over 10 percent of the global GDP, but China’s domest

ic tourism revenue was around 5.5 percent of its GDP, which has been the world’s second highest since 2012. C

ompared with its economic volume, the Chinese tourism industry is not very well developed, which may have something to d

o with the overall low disposable income levels of Chinese residents. For example, in 2017, China’s gross national inc

ome (GNI) per capita ranked 69th in the world, while the US GNI per capita was 6.5 times that of China during the same time period.

In recent years, various local governments have been making great efforts to promote the increase of local tourism revenue

s by building traditional towns, exploring and developing local history, local culture and other tourist resources. It is certainly justified for au

thorities to develop tourism, to expand domestic demand, to increase “green” GDP and promote an economic transformation. However, it should be no

ted that the development of a tourism industry is closely related to the growth of residents’ disposable income. As the income level of residents rises, the to

urism industry will naturally see a rapid development. In the context of the declining growth of residents’ disposable i

ncome, it is completely unrealistic to achieve a rapid growth in tourism revenues. Furthermore, as various local gov

ernments are competing to develop tourism resources, this may lead to an “oversupply” within the tourism ind

ustry, and this will result in a low efficiency of fiscal expenditure and a waste of precious resources.

In short, it is of fundamental importance to find ways to improve the disposable income level of re

sidents as well as social security and welfare, which is the prerequisite for sustainable prosperity.

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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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Vice premier urges bolder, more effective measures imp

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday stressed to take bolder and more

effective measures to implement the proactive fiscal policy.

Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Co

mmittee, made the remarks when presiding over a meeting after an inspection of the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

At the meeting, Han studied major issues, including the launch of another round of tax cu

ts and fighting the “three critical battles” against risks, poverty and pollution.

The MOF should stick to the basic tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability, promote

high-quality development and take coordinated steps to ensure steady growth, advance reform, m

ake structural adjustments, improve living standards and guard against risks, Han stressed.

He said that larger tax cuts will be helpful in improving the co

untry’s income distribution system and the tax structure and better serve China’s current macro policy.

The MOF should relieve the social insurance payment burden of firms, strengthen the manag

ement of the fiscal revenue and expenditure and create a sound policy environment for fair competition, Han said.

Han underlined that measures should be in place to effectively prevent and handle financial risks, reinforce the

monitoring of the local government debt risk and deploy more funds to facilitate winning the battles against poverty and pollution.

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He said the buyers assumed the housing price in January wo

ie Yifeng, president of the Realty Association of Asia-Pacific Cities, said the sliding sales

in January were due to seasonal factors and should not be regarded as a market trend.

“The Spring Festival was the main reason,” he said. “Property developers were not passionate about selling new proj

ects during the holiday, and it was not very realistic for banks to release housing loans before or during the holiday.”

“A significant index was the registered sold property on the government’s website, but government employees were on

a break too and the statistics of sold property registered on the government’s website were not getting a timely upd

ate,” he said. “The real statistics from last December to January will gradually start to be updated in March.”

In fact, Xie predicted the market in 2019 would be better than last year, as he said the real market indicators were the rising land prices and the amount of land sold.

“The decisive factor is the government’s decision on the shantytown redevelopment policy,” he added, pointing

out that this was expected during this year’s session of the National People’s Congress in March.

Zhang Bo, chief analyst at the 58 Anjuke Institute, said apart from buyers being skeptical tow

ard the price, the weakening intention for speculation was another factor contributing to the slow sales in lower-tier cities.

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China to establish national, regional medical centers by

China will set up a number of national and regional medical centers across the country by 2020, according to a working plan issued by the National Health Commission.

Regional medical centers will be established nationwide to provide patients in

different regions with quality medical treatment close to their homes, said the plan.

The country will also establish national medical centers aimed to carry out diagnosis and treatment of rare and sever

e cases of diseases of specific categories in the country and play a leading role in spreading advanced medical technologies nationwide, it said.

The plan proposes to build a four-level medical service system that covers medical insti

tutions at the national, provincial, prefectural and county levels by 2020, with national medical centers taking the lead.

Given different regions in China have big gaps in terms of medical service levels, so patients

often have to turn to hospitals far away for quality treatment, particularly those with severe and rare illnesses.

Experts believe the move is expected to better allocate medical resources in the country.

www.gzbbch.com

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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Spain’s govt loses budget vote, paving way for snap election

Spain’s parliament rejected the government’s 2019 draft budget on Wednesday, pushing the country to the brink of a national election.

Sources in the government and the Socialist party of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Reuters on Tu

esday that he would call a snap election if the draft was rejected, with April 14 or April 28 the most likely dates.

The Socialists hold less than a quarter of the seats in parliament and needed support fr

om smaller regional parties, including the Catalans, to get the budget proposal voted through.

But the Catalan parties, unhappy with the government’s refusal to consider or dis

cuss – amongst other issues – an independence referendum for their nor

theastern region, voted against it, as did the centre-right and the conservatives.

“This shows that the right wing in this country is intent on blocking social progress,” Bu

dget Minister Maria Jesus Montero told reporters, in the government’s first reaction to the vote.

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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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Beijing embraces first snow during lunar new year holiday

BEIJING — The wait is finally over after snow fell in Beijing Wednesday amid celebrations marking the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year.

At about 9 am, light snow started to fall in suburban districts of Beijing, such as Yanqing

and Huairou. As of 10 am, more than 10 weather stations in the city had observed snow, a c

riterion for the municipal observatory to declare the arrival of the first snow.

This winter’s snow arrived particularly late, only fi

ve days away from becoming the latest snow on record, which happened in the winter of 1983-84.

Beijing has never had a winter without snow since the capital city started keeping weather data in 1951, according to Beijing News.

A mother and her daughter are excited to see Beijing embra

cing first snow at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport, Feb

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Completing the festival lineup is The Story of Xiaoyi, an i

chodrama composed of four major sections, i.e. Dramatic Presentation, Interactive E

xperiences, Volunteer Interpretation and Hui Diji’s Heart Forum, based on real stories and psycho-social counseling cases.

All performances will be presented in Chinese with English subtitles.

The event is part of the second annual Creative China Festival (CCF), which is co-organized b

y Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (BCAF) and Creative China Center in New York.

The current CCF has been open from September 2018 to March 2019 in New York, Bo

ston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Seattle.

The CCF aims to nurture innovative creators and foster in-depth colla

borations between China and the United States in contemporary arts and culture.

Founded in 1961, La MaMa has become a world-renowned cultural instit

ution in Manhattan. The upcoming China Fringe Theater Festival is co-organized by La M

aMa, BCAF, Beijing Fringe Festival, Shanghai Huidiji Public Psychological Care Center, and The Physical Guerrillas.

www.sxyslm.cn