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Beijing-based publisher New World Press and its British partner Global China Press have signed a deal to publish 15 books on topics ranging from China's governance structure to Sino-European relations to how outside experts view Chinese theater.
At the fair, Global China Press, China International Publishing Group and New World Press launched English and Chinese versions of China's Urbanization: Migration by the Million. China International Publishing Group and New World Press also launched an English version of The Belt and Road Initiative: What Will China Offer the World in Its Rise, written by Wang Yiwei, professor at Renmin University of China. Publishers from China and the United Kingdom also marked the 400th anniversary this month of the deaths of playwrights Tang Xianzu and William Shakespeare. A specially commissioned Chinese play combining Tang's Peony Pavilion and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was performed in Chinese and English on the opening day. Performances were at a space based on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, set up at the Olympia exhibition center in London. Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the London Book Fair is a global marketplace for the negotiation of rights, sales and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Wang Jihui, a professor of English at Peking University, says the two legendary writers can help people to understand both countries' civilizations.
Wang also says there is a shortage of understanding and cultural exchanges between China and the West, and urged the latter to take a more active approach, particularly in view of a China-UK commitment to strengthen their partnership.
The Market Focus Achievement Award recognized China's efforts to showcase its publishing industry in 2012, the year it was the annual fair's focus country. Jieli Publishing House Co Ltd also won the Children's and Young Adult Trade Publisher Award, in recognition of a broad and inclusive approach to creating a catalogue that reflected high-caliber domestic and international authors and titles. Lin Liying, vice-president of China National Publication Import and Export Corp, says China had taken the opportunity of the 2012 event to adopt an innovative approach to exchanges with the global publishing industry. CPIEC is a government-owned publishing house that accepted the market focus award on behalf of China. Lin says the vast variety of publishers and books that China brought to the London Book Fair in 2012, the large collection of literary events it organized and the number of famous Chinese authors who attended were all key to making China's role as the market focus country a success.
He says the impact China made at the 2012 event boosted awareness and understanding among Western publishers and readers of China's publishing landscape. The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Chinese author Mo Yan in the same year could be seen as an indirect effect of increased understanding of Chinese literature in the West. Wang Yanchao, rights manager for Jieli Publishing, says it was an honor for her staff to receive the Children's and Young Adult Trade Publisher Award. A reading room named after China Publishing Group Corp was established on April 13 at the Bodleian K.B. A delegation from the company visited the university that day as part of the events commemorating this month's 400th anniversary of the deaths of playwrights William Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu, as well as marking the London Book Fair.
CPG provided books published by its subsidiaries for the reading room, which includes the Twenty-four Histories, History Retold as a Mirror for Rulers, Encyclopedia of China, Complete Works on Chinese Fine Art and Serial Works by Chinese Contemporary Composers.
CPG President Tan Yue and Richard Ovenden, the Bodleian's librarian, unveiled a new exhibition named Celebrating Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare on the 400th Anniversary of their Deaths: Book Exhibition on April 13 at Weston Library, one of the 40 Bodleian libraries at the University of Oxford. Books displayed include The Peony Pavilion by Tang Xianzu, The Handan Dream and Complete Works by Shakespeare.
Ovenden says Bodleian has been collecting books published in China and books written in the Chinese language for over 400 years.
He says Bodleian has collaborated closely with leading publishers from across the globe, and he believed that CPG would be a good partner. David Helliwell, curator of Chinese collections at the Bodleian Library, showed several hundred-years-old Chinese manuscripts and rare books and the restoration of old Chinese rare books at Weston Library to the Chinese delegation. Tan says the exhibition was a great opportunity to work with the University of Oxford in promoting cultural exchanges, adding that CPG and the university would find common ground and achieve concrete cultural projects. CPG and Bodleian Library then signed an agreement on publishing and building a long-term communication mechanism.
In Beijing, three-wheelers delivering cargo or hunting for passengers make for an obstacle course. But all those things form the fabric of life in a busy city and some even have their own charm.
Perhaps the most delightful cycling takes place after the sun sets and traffic starts to thin. At those times, I especially love city streets that are broad, have generous peripheral lanes and cross only minor streets or lanes for long stretches. You're hyperaware, cognizant of the need to watch more vigilantly for the car door opened suddenly in your path, the pedestrian wearing dark clothes or the fellow cyclist with no lights. At these times, especially during the bursts of energy and speed between intersections, you can sometimes feel a brief reverie in which you're transported from mere cyclist to a different reality as the nighthawk or the zephyr blowing through China's capital. You pass through centuries of history, as, indeed, at one point my favored street crosses the Yuan Dynasty Capital City Wall Site Park, including the remains of the city wall built by Kublai Khan, the grandson of Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan, starting in the late 13th century.
This is among the reasons that CNN Travel named Beijing No 2 in its list of the top five best biking cities in Asia, just behind Kyoto, Japan, in 2010. So if you're out at night in Beijing and you see a big laowai (foreigner) zipping by on a red bicycle, remember the nighthawk.
It was the day five boys, two of whom were twins, drowned while swimming in the Yongjiang River in the southern city of Nanning. He explains that most incidents involve young people or those unfamiliar with the river and its currents. Volunteers keep watch during the day and late into the evening, when swimming becomes even more hazardous.
The team does not currently receive financial support from the local government or any enterprises, with members raising their own funds. Guo says most local people who swim in Yongjiang River now regularly use flotation devices, such as life buoys.
Yongjiang River, which runs through the center of Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, is a popular swimming spot among residents, especially in the colder months.
Winter swimming has been growing in popularity along the 133-kilometer waterway ever since the late Chairman Mao Zedong took a dip in January 1958 during a Communist Party of China meeting in Nanning.
The activity reached a peak during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), when the local government organized winter-swimming contests. The 63-year-old is a member of the Guangxi Red Cross Life-Saving Volunteer Team and is among those to have received an official certificate from the regional government.
He believes winter swimming is good for the heart and vital capacity - and to prove his point he says that, in 2006, after retiring, he cycled from Nanning to the northernmost part of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the birthplace of his parents. He had been working for an international machinery company in Shanghai for two years when Zeng Guang'an, president of the state-owned LiuGong Machinery Corp, first approached him about a job in 2003. Initially, the 58-year-old American, who studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was reluctant.
US engineer David Beatenbough introduces the "wall of history" at the LiuGong Machinery Corp headquarters in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
At the time, LiuGong, a construction equipment maker based in the southern city of Liuzhou, was looking to expand overseas. The company's D series excavator, which was developed using the process, won immediate attention in the market after its launch in 2010.
LiuGong says the process has contributed to its growth in recent years, helping it enrich its product line and turn it into a full-scale manufacturer of construction equipment such as wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, motor graders and excavators. However, Beatenbough wasn't satisfied with just developing new products, as he thought most wheel loaders made in China looked the same no matter where they came from. He also played a leading role in establishing its global research and development center, which opened last year. A research unit should be a place where people sit down together regularly and brainstorm plans to get every detail right, he says.
Although the American cannot speak Chinese, he says the language barrier does not bother him. He has paid great attention to the design of the R&D center, even buying books on office decor. In the past year, Beatenbough has devoted himself to developing a new generation of wheel loaders and has helped the company launch two core products that are globally competitive. He jokes that many of his friends and colleagues describe him as the "best steak chef in Liuzhou". Sometimes, what we eat is also drawn from what the country has experienced, whether it be feast or famine.
Our nanny hails from the very heart of China's Central Plains and is very good at making noodles, buns and dumplings. However, memory runs deep in those fractions of the population who endured extensive hard times and cannot fathom what they see as wasteful spending around them these days. In early summer, she takes our dogs for their morning walks, and she always takes along a little cloth bag and a pair of scissors.
And so I was introduced to tender steamed fritters of flowers from the locust tree, and to omelets made with the fresh green coins from elm trees. My nanny's foraging skills were honed at a time, long past, when food was scarce and everything was rationed.
Not only does she bring home foraged edibles, but also she has turned our suburban backyard into a vegetable patch with summer harvests of cucumbers and gourds, and more tomatoes than we can possibly eat. The locust tree, or yanghuai, bursts into bloom in late spring and early summer and is one of the most common trees in northern China. To my nanny and sisters-in-law, though, they are both a reminder and a tribute to the hard times they have successfully survived, and so the taste is sweet. Watercress is abundant and whole bunches go into quick soups flavored by a few pork ribs and a couple of seeded Chinese red dates. Food is medicine and a plethora of brews will see us through the humid heat of summer right through the bone chilling cold of winter.
To the Chinese, different foods possess different energy levels ranging from cooling to hot, and these are consumed according to the seasons. Thus, fresh greens such as watercress, cucumbers, bitter melons, mustard greens and hairy gourds are dropped into soups that are quickly boiled to retain all their invigorating qualities.
Dried herbs may also be used, such as dehydrated Chinese yam, burdock, foxnuts and wolfberries.
Eating lighter and fresher in summer balances the burden placed on the body by higher temperatures.
The Cantonese firmly believe that soup is everything, and they know their soups are the best. In my years in Beijing, I saw the popularity of Cantonese soups grow, and the northerners seemed to enjoy imbibing as much as their southern comrades - with one difference. In the south, we mainly drink the soup, whereas in the north, they consume everything, including the meat and vegetables that go into making the soup. This recipe is for those fortunate enough to have these seasonal flowers in their backyards.
The ceremony contained many games, during one of which a bunch of guys almost threw Liu into a lake. After flying back home and realizing a storm had whipped up, Liu issued a video statement, apologizing for "causing trouble" for the Baos. For all I know, they could be telling the truth or they could be downplaying their own culpability and thus manipulating public opinion. I say this because I take into account the context of a Chinese wedding, which incorporates a strong element of a bachelor party. The ritual part is now a mix of East and West, sometimes West tagged onto East, with the bride wearing white for the Western-style portion and then red for the traditional Chinese part, or vice versa. However, for friends of most newlyweds, who tend to be young and raucous, the real fun part of a wedding is the "games" inside the bridal chamber.
A classic example is the dangling of an apple and asking the couple to eat it at the same time. Of course, things are changing to the point that few would give another look when they stumble upon a pair of young lovers locked in embrace or kissing. The apple game can have many variations, or rather, there are many games spun out of the same spirit, with some going in the direction of politeness, such as coercing the couple to recount their story of falling in love, and others in the direction of lewdness, forcing the couple to do things that border on performing a sex act.
Every region or ethnicity has its own specific rituals, and each village and even each household may have different levels of acceptability when it comes to horseplay inside the bridal chamber. In recent times, the target of the games is no longer limited to the bride and groom, but also includes the bridesmaid and the best man. The irony is, when the same people go to a wedding, many would be more than happy to jump into the frolicking and may not think twice before engaging in some of the acts they denounce. This is just like binge drinking, which most people would say they hate while filling out surveys and which they would happily go along with when the temptation arises. The video was not shot from a vantage point to show any sexual malfeasance on the part of the male guests, so I cannot conclude if anyone roughed her up that way.
The bigger picture remains that some parts of a Chinese wedding play upon the tug-of-war between the urge to comply and the one to break from the norm in terms of venting the primal forces of the libido. In the 1930s, Shanghai business executive Tony Keswick would leave a large, leather-bound book on his desk entitled Everything I Know About China. For many observers, China and the Chinese people have long been viewed as a complex puzzle; the sheer size of the nation alongside its confusing and contradictory nature prove it impossible to solve, but that doesn't stop people trying. Arthur Henderson Smith was but one of the many men who devoted a large part of his life to an attempt to understand and explain China to the world, perhaps most famously in his book, Chinese Characteristics.
An American missionary, he sailed to China with his wife in 1872 and remained there for 54 years.
If you read a book for sparkling prose and dazzling sentences, then Chinese Characteristics might not be for you. Any book that attempts to sum up and make sweeping generalizations about a billion odd people is likely to come in for a fair amount of criticism. So, later in the book, when he comes off like he knows everything and makes several broad generalizations to boot (he does this a lot), we ought to forgive him.
Added to this, most of his observations, in the absence of any hard data, are based on what he read in a newspaper, an anecdote of a friend, or something he saw on his morning walk. There is a clear weighting toward negatives when looking at these "characteristics", but regardless of what you think of Smith's opinions, it would seem that more than a few of these chapters are worth discussion. Many foreigners who have lived in China for any length of time (particularly the longer-term ones) start to develop a set of oft repeated gripes about "the Chinese". It is also worth noting here that a lot of these gripes, observations, call them what you will, often infuriate the Chinese as much as the foreigners themselves, often more so. These annoyances and irritations are almost too numerous to mention, but Smith covers a lot of them. The book is not all about anger and irritation, though, and sometimes it prefers to just marvel at a skill that the Chinese, for whatever reason, appear to have in a supernatural abundance, such as the ability to grab forty winks anywhere and everywhere at the drop of a hat: "Generally speaking, he (the Chinese) is able to sleep anywhere.
Green rice balls are available all year round, but demand spikes a few weeks ahead of the annual Qingming Festival.
It is 10 pm, and the shops along Nanjing Road West are about to close for the day, with the exception of the kitchen in Wang JiaSha, located in a five-story glass and steel building in the middle of Shanghai's famous shopping street. Rather, the chefs will work tirelessly for eight hours, making qingtuan, or green rice balls, till daybreak.
The traditional snack is an important element in the annual Qingming Festival (Tomb-sweeping Festival) when people visit the graves of their ancestors and family members. The tradition of eating green rice balls on this occasion dates back thousands of years in southern China when people deemed it as a form of tribute to their ancestors. The grave would be tidied before the rice balls were presented together with some dishes as well as wine and fruit. Founded in 1945 by Yao Zichu, a former advertising executive, Wang JiaSha started as an eatery offering typical Shanghai snacks like xiao long bao (dumplings), shrimp-filled wontons and steamed sticky rice topped with "eight treasures" that comprises different types of dried plums and nuts. It was not until the 1990s that Wang JiaSha added the green rice ball to its menu that had already spanned 300 types of snacks and pastries.
According to Liu, an average of 50,000 rice balls, priced at 4 yuan ($0.6) a piece, are sold every day at Wang JiaSha before the peak period that falls in the week of Qingming. Liu expects to sell up to 2.4 million balls this year, a 10 percent increase from last year. Indeed, it is only during this two-month period every year that the most authentic and best-tasting green rice balls are made. Apart from sticky rice and red bean paste, the most important ingredient used is the mugwort, an aromatic herb that has been used to treat asthma, inflammation and viral infections.
The leaves and buds of the mugwort plant, which are best picked right after the arrival of spring, are smashed and turned into juice that is used to give the rice balls their distinctive color.
While the rice ball filled with sweet red bean paste is the most traditional and popular one, other types have emerged over the years and people can now also buy alternatives filled with Chinese herbs and tofu, salted egg yolk as well as sesame.
In 2015, the skill of making the snack was listed as one of the 41 new Shanghai Intangible Cultural Heritage by the municipal government, alongside other crafts such as paper cutting and comic painting. But Liu, a former pastry chef, says that making the perfect rice ball requires little skill. This practice is believed to have originated in northern China because the low rainfall in that region during the start of spring means that the plant is not "juicy" enough for use. Further, using the powder speeds up the process and in turn results in the products having a longer shelf life.
When the restaurant opens at 7 am, the queue to buy rice balls at Wang JiaSha usually measures more than 100 meters.
One of those in the queue is a 56-year-old Shanghainese woman surnamed Zhao, who says she is buying the rice balls for her son and not as offerings for Qingming Festival.
The reemergence of flora and fauna in spring provides chefs with countless ingredients that serve to inspire them to flex their creative muscles and create new culinary masterpieces to attract diners. While everyone living on the southern and northern banks of the Yangtze River loves eating toon sprouts during spring, opinion of this vegetable is somewhat divided outside these regions as some have said that it reeks of a pungent durian smell. The quintessential Shanghainese way of enjoying this would be to use it with salted ham and bean curd knots to create yan du xian soup. It is the idea of China's largest fastfood hotpot chain brand, Xiabu Xiabu, which last June had a total of more than 500 restaurants in 34 cities across China, and whose restaurants can be found in almost every mall and commercial area in Beijing. After 18 years in the trade, Xiabu will soon debut a medium and high-end "hotpot plus tea brand" called CouCou, the first one opening next month in the Sanlitun area of the capital. With questions still spinning in my head about how a marriage between a hotpot restaurant and a teahouse could possibly succeed, I met Chang Chen-wei, CouCou's chief executive, a Taiwanese restaurateur who has worked in food and beverages on the Chinese mainland for about 10 years. In the understated way in which he talked about his project and aims he comes across more as a bookshop owner than a flamboyant veteran of the restaurant scene. Like the name Xiabu Xiabu, the name CouCou (the initial C's are pronounced "ts") is highly whimsical. Shuowen Jiezi, a Chinese dictionary of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), defines it as "to rendezvous on the water".
Talking about tea, Chang says that these days young people are uninterested in devoting time to studying gongfu cha, tea prepared with meticulous attention to ritual, including various vessels. Some so-called tea blends with fancy names he has seen are just a mixture of flavoring essence, milk and unknown tea, he says. CouCou is very particular in its selection of teas, such as Tieguanyin Oolong and Dahongpao for all its tea-based drinks, he says.
Unlike other drink shops that blend their bubble teas, Chang says, CouCou hand shakes them to ensure the best taste.
To get a better mouth feel in the tea, water has to go through five processes of filtration to be softened, Chang says. Chang showed me a ding, an ancient round cast-iron Chinese cauldron, which in this case had gone through 19 moldings. In hotpot dining the cooking broth is undoubtedly the most important ingredient, one that lays the foundation for the flavors.
CouCou has five broths: Taiwan-style numbing spicy, lambspine, beef shank with tomatoes, Sichuan-style numbing spicy, and mushroom. All the vegetables at CouCou come from the same sources that Xiabu Xiabu outlets rely on - their farm bases throughout China. CouCou also has some ingredients for hotpot that are generally hard to find, for example, the spinal cord of deep-ocean cod. At CouCou, you need not worry about ridding yourself of hotpot odor from clothes and hair either, Chang says. A service team has even been brought over from Taiwan, where, he says, service tends to be "meticulous, attentive and full of warmth".
After the Sanlitun opening next month, Chang says, there will be seven more in Beijing this year, with more to follow in other cities. Bearded hipsters and bespectacled 20-somethings sip pale ales and dark stouts at Garden Beer, one of Moscow's new craft beer bars serving "made in Russia" brews to an increasingly discerning clientele. While the craft beer revolution swept North America and Western Europe years ago, Russia is now catching up at a time when it is trying to shrug off a vodka-swilling reputation.
Renowned for their hard-drinking habits, Russians in recent years have started cutting down on booze as the government has tightened controls to curb rampant alcoholism. The beer market has seen overall consumption fall - but while the big brands have suffered, niche producers have started flourishing as drinkers' tastes have gotten increasingly sophisticated.
Garden Beer owner Yan Stopichev said his bar - which opened in September - serves 4,000 liters of more than 60 brands of Russian craft beer every month. Nestled in a maze of abandoned factories outside Moscow, Green Street Brewery is one of the many such establishments fueling the craft beer boom. Brewer Maxim Boroda and a group of friends make some 800 liters of beer every month at Green Street, which they rent once a month to bypass the administrative procedures required for the owners of alcohol-producing facilities.
Part of the reason for the craft beer boom is that production and sales often fall into a legal loophole - with pubs that only serve beer allowed to work without a liquor license.
Facing a rapidly-evolving beer market - which remains dominated by Baltika, owned by Danish brewer Carlsberg - the Russian government has adopted a laissez-faire approach to the craft beer industry. But the state's current absence in the business could hurt its development, she says, since the currently vague legislation could suddenly toughen up and make brewers bankrupt. Petrova also warned that the proliferation of the craft beer label - which beer-makers have liberally slapped onto new products - could ultimately undermine real craft beer producers.
For those who have led the revolution in craft beers, however, there is little fear that it will be derailed.
For the past two years, 12-year-old Cho Sung-Bin has spent nearly all his waking hours focused on a wooden board covered with black and white stones, honing the skills he hopes to translate into a lucrative career as a professional Go player. Many spend 12 hours a day practising match play with each other in the small, neon-lit, largely windowless rooms of the school named after the grandmaster they all hope to emulate.
Already well known in East Asia, Lee achieved global recognition earlier this month when he took on Google's artificial intelligence AlphaGo program in a five-match showdown. Go originated in China 3,000 years ago and has been played for centuries mostly in China, Japan and South Korea, with more than 40 million fans worldwide. The rules are simple - two players take turns placing black or white stones on a square board with a 19x19 grid.
But the strategies needed to secure victory are complex, with reportedly more possible move configurations than atoms in the universe. The game is also seen as a tool to help children improve their focus, with hundreds of private Go schools across South Korea offering after-hours tuition. For those who show a special skill and affinity for the game, Go also offers a possible career path which, in the case of top players like Lee Se-Dol, can lead to fame and fortune.
Considered one of the greatest Go players of the modern era with 18 international titles, Lee started playing at the age of five and turned pro seven years later. South Korea has around 300 professional players certified by the national Go association, and even those who don't become star names can make a decent living from tournaments and teaching. Dozens of competitions - both for individuals and "professional teams" sponsored by companies - are held in East Asia each year, with star players earning millions of dollars. Joining the professional tour requires at least a decade of tough training and the Korean Go Association, which only accepts 15 new members each year, estimates there are around 1,000 children currently studying in schools specializing in the discipline. Potential professionals are usually identified when they are very young, and then pushed hard through a relentless streaming system that quickly ejects those not considered up to the mark.
Those who have failed to break through by the end of their teenage years are generally dropped from consideration by the association.
Cho Sung-Bin says he had been on "temporary leave" from his normal school for two years, after begging his parents to let him go full-time at Lee's school.
When his parents gave their consent, he swapped his home for a school dormitory he shares with dozens of other Go-playing children. All major Go schools in the South Korean capital run their own dormitories, allowing them to attract the best students from around the country.
Cho has already taken a big step forward after being selected by the Go Association for an elite league, in which 132 students compete on a weekly basis and are ranked on their performances.
Those at the top of the table are on course for professional status, while the lower ranked players - or those who turn 19 - are unceremoniously replaced by better or younger players every two months. For Jo Min-Soo the expectation to perform was so great he almost had a mental breakdown after he joined the elite league aged 12. Even a prodigy like Lee Se-Dol suffered from the pressure - which brought on temporary aphasia when he was 12, leaving him with a high-pitched shrill voice that made him reluctant to speak in public for years. Jo has dreamed of being a professional player since he was six, dropping out of school in 2013 to focus on his training.
But at 18, time is running out - a point brought home every day by the younger kids like Cho he shares a dormitory with. The jet-black cat is one of eight that Kockafe ("kocka" being Czech for "cat") has acquired from a Prague animal shelter to help its customers feel cosy and relaxed. Already popular in Japan, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia and Europe, cat cafes are booming across the Czech Republic, with a dozen having popped up since the summer of 2014. At the Kockafe, Parizkova has taken several stray cats off the street, including a kitten she found outside her cafe on the day it opened, and allows guests to adopt its felines. Among the Kockafe's customers, Karolina Brabcova has taken a kitten home, while her friend Lucie Kubrova, a student, already has a cat but still frequents the cafe to soak up its unique atmosphere.

Herak says about 80 percent of the people who come to his cafe already have cats of their own at home. Tao Jun, vice-director of the Fahai Cultural Relics Protection Bureau, carefully examines these mural paintings. As imposing as the Fahai frescoes are, Lu Shaojie, a veteran guide at the Fahai Temple, in whose main hall they are housed, believes that the saying "The devil is in the detail" could not be more apt in this hall of saints. One particularly startling detail involves the blood vessels on the ear of a fox, painted on the hall's northern wall. The fox is half-hidden behind Sarasvati, a god in charge of wisdom, fortune and music who appears here as a woman.
Even the more ferocious lion and leopard - the lion on the left of the goddess, the leopard on her right are tamed. Lu, pointing to a six-tusked elephant that appears near Samantabhadra, the god of ethics, as his mount, says: "Each character has his or her unique personality, sometimes evidenced by the things around it, often animals.
The elephant, whose eyelashes are painted with great delicacy, has tears welling out of both eyes. Despite being painted about 600 years ago, the frescoes assume an intimacy and immediacy for those who look closely enough. In other cases, the smooth, silken skin of the goddesses - there are many of them here - is set off by the lush, brocaded fabrics of their clothing.
As its name indicates, artisans mixed stucco with natural gel before dripping it onto the pre-painted lines.
Lu lights the fresco from under, and the beam is almost parallel with the wall, hitting only the raised parts of the mural, that is, the parts with the stucco and gold. However, the most unmistakable Indian influence comes not in the form of frescoes, but in what is known as the caisson ceiling of the temple's main hall. Tao, who first came to the temple in the mid-1980s when he was 19, and who looks considerably younger than he is, says that spending more than 30 years in this small corner in western Beijing has helped make the frescoes an essential part of his life. Tao says he is grateful for the uniting power of the frescoes that temple visitors have shown him. Mo-shi-kou, where the Fahai Temple is located, is part of the flood plains shaped by the nearby Yongding River.
Lu, for her part, considers water a potent metaphor for Fahai, a place immersed in allusions.
German linguist Patrick Kuehnel says he is impressed with China's efforts in boosting cross-cultural links with the rest of the world. German linguist Patrick Kuehnel was first drawn to China by its exoticism and language, he says. As an exchange scholar sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service, Kuehnel, 46, has been teaching linguistic and cultural communication at Beijing Foreign Studies University since 2010, and he was appointed as a guest professor by the university in 2013. Fluent in several foreign languages, Kuehnel says he has also developed a "Chinese personality" that pops up whenever he speaks Chinese. Kuehnel says it was natural for him to look for languages that are highly expressive, sophisticated and exotic-all at once. Starting with Arabic and Turkish as a schoolboy and a part of college, he became courageous enough later to try Chinese-considered completely out of reach for Europeans as a language, owing to its "strangeness", he says.
In 1997, when Kuehnel first visited China, the trip turned out to be more fruitful than he had expected.
He enrolled into a monthlong language program at a college in East China's Shan-dong province to learn basic Chinese while traveling.
While he lagged behind the class, he still tried to use whatever little he could pick up in exchanges with teachers and his classmates. The following year, he successfully passed a test for high-level Chinese, a rare feat for foreigners back then.
Kuehnel also chose Chinese as a subject of his thesis on linguistics after he returned to Germany in 1998. During his time in Shan-dong, he met a Chinese woman, Gai Wenqing, whom he married in 2006.
He is following in the footsteps of many other foreigners who are coming to China for career development as the country's relevance in world affairs grows. As an expert on cross-cultural communication, Kuehnel pays close attention to related issues and says he is impressed by Chinese efforts in cooperating with other countries in the field. But biases still exist in communication between China and Western countries, he says, recalling interesting incidents from his own life. Last year, Kuehnel was invited by Chinese government officials to give recommendations on issues concerning the country's development. While he is mostly busy teaching, Kuehnel has managed to translate a number of books from German to Chinese and vice versa. He has also played an important role in boosting a student exchange program between Beijing Foreign Studies University and his former university in Germany. As tenure with the German Academic Exchange Service ends later in the year, Kuehnel says it is time for him to plan for the future. Chen Hualan wins the 2016 L'Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards for her research of the bird flu virus. Chinese women scientists have started to make their mark on the world stage more consistently. For the second year in a row, a scientist from the Chinese mainland has won the L'Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Award this year. Chen Hualan, the head of Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, an affiliate of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, received the award in Paris on March 24. Created in 1998, the awards program - jointly funded by the French cosmetics maker and the United Nations' agency - identifies and supports female scientists globally.
Chen, 47, is the second Chinese scientist to win the award - after chemist Xie Yi in 2015 - due to her outstanding research of the virus that causes avian influenza or bird flu. That year, Chen and her team from the Harbin institute in the country's northeast found out the routes of H7N9 transmission from birds or other animals to humans, lending crucial support to overall government efforts to control the spread of the disease. Hu, 63, can trace his ancestry back to more than 20 generations in an ancient village in East China's Jiangxi province. With China's modernization, ancient villages are disappearing at a fast pace as residents replace old houses with modern buildings. The top annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference are commonly referred to as the two sessions. Guo says houses in Jinxi have retained their olden-day forms as locals have great respect for their ancestors. She has helped with a conference called Digital Heritage Around China to raise awareness and money for the protection and preservation of ancient villages. In Youdian village, there are 72 ancient stone buildings with walls that are several meters high. For the few residents of the village, they recognize that their houses must be preserved as a kind of cultural heritage after the local government offered them money to help them with repairs. Separately, Huang says the local government also wants to bring in private funds to protect the ancient villages. For instance, Guo's team and the organizer of Digital Heritage Around China have promised to help fix decaying houses. But Guo says repairing the houses is relatively easy compared with convincing young villagers to return home from the cities. These villages that reply mainly on agriculture can't provide enough job opportunities like big cities do.
A young man who Guo met earlier this year told her that he realized the value of the houses in his village when he saw how ancient houses are protected in other countries.
Last week, Faberge Revealed, which displays 234 of the finest Russian objects from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, normally housed in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the United States, went on display at the Meridian Gate Gallery in Beijing's Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City. According to Alex Nyerges, director of VMFA, Peter Karl Faberge (1846-1920) is considered one of the world's most refined jewelers.
From 1885, czars Alexander III and Nicholas II commissioned Faberge to make Easter eggs as gifts every year. For instance, the Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, made by Faberge firm in 1903 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. He also says that some techniques used to make the eggs were even more demanding than what were commonly used to make Chinese royal objects. For instance, he says while in China enamel is usually used in cloisonne, and enamel painting without a metal outline is done rarely because it is difficult to execute, Faberge's company often uses the technique. Barry Shifman, a curator from VMFA in charge of decorative arts from 1890 to the present, says the picture frame is another Faberge object favored by Russian nobles.
Shifman says that VMFA has an impressive collection of Faberge items thanks to Lillian Thomas Pratt, a private collector from Virginia who donated 200 objects to it in 1947.
The Beijing event is part of a cooperation agreement between the Palace Museum and VMFA signed in 2011. Under the agreement, a landmark exhibition called Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing, was held at VMFA from October 2014 to January 2015. With the ongoing exhibition, the Faberge treasures from VMFA are outside North America for the first time, and this is also the first exhibition at the Palace Museum displaying exhibits from a US museum. Lou Wei, deputy director of the Palace Museum, says it has also begun to contact other US museums to bring their collections to the Chinese public. Exhibitions displaying royal objects from India, Germany and Spain have been held at the museum since 2005, and Lou says more will follow the Faberge show. Museum director Shan Jixiang says the Meridian Gate Gallery, which is situated by the entrance of the Forbidden City, will become a major venue hosting heavyweight overseas exhibitions in the future. Born in 1989, Zheng Jilong has become a cocktail-making wizard, starting from scratch to co-own two successful bars. A school dropout who once struggled to make a living, Zheng says an online video in which a mixologist showed his bartending flair changed his life. That was in 2009, three years after the Weihai native from Shandong province had dropped out of a martial arts occupational school, making a meager income through occasional performances. In 2009, with all the money he had saved - 10,000 yuan ($1,500), Zheng came to Beijing and took a four-month bartending course at an occupational school. It was first time he realized bartending is a respectable profession that requires systemic skills and knowledge, and it's not just about shaking cocktail shakers and being cool, he adds. It was hard for him to remember cocktail recipes, and even harder to master bartending movements with flair.
He thought all the time about tips he'd been given to develop his skills, and practiced his set of movements much more than others in the class. But four months was too short a time for him to fully acquire the skills and knowledge to become a bartender after graduation.
Everything seemed going well, until a bad decision dragged him to the lowest point of his life. He joined in a startup and contracted to run a bar, only to find he was victim of fraud, and lost more than 60,000 yuan in two months. Starting from zero, Zheng drifted from one bar to another, until in 2010, he got a position at Twilight, a popular bar in Beijing. He quickly developed his cocktail-mixing skills and theoretical knowledge, such as the characters of different spirits, and how to mix them with other ingredients, and says now that he learned more in his time at Twilight than in the past years combined. As Chinese people are increasingly getting used to drinking cocktails, people would go a long way to bar streets and hotels if they want to throw a party or socialize with others, he says.
In about a year, thanks to its location, privacy and drinks list of about 150 cocktails, it was packed every night. Then Zheng launched The Mixing House with Yang Zaigui, a chef, which means they can provide Western and Japanese food, as customers from D&M Bar had suggested. Jasmeet Singh, deputy general manager of The Taj Pavilion, says he got to know the staff, and as they talked, they decided to bring the restaurant's food to the hotel for 10 days in April. Opening night on Friday was crowded, with officials from India's embassy in attendance, as well as musicians and dancers, Singh says.
A portable tandoor oven is in operation, and chef Makhan Singh was making naan by flattening out dough and slapping it on the side of the clay oven, where it cooked into crunchy deliciousness. The rich butter chicken was my favorite - when ordered a la carte, it's the most expensive item on the menu at 80 yuan, while some entrees are just 40 yuan.
While we dined, chef Singh came out to the restaurant floor to demonstrate how roomali roti, a thin Indian bread, is stretched by being tossed in the air like a pizza.
The dinner buffet offers such delicacies as butter chicken, aloo jeera potatoes and freshly made naan flatbread. US embassy chef Michael Rosenblum will share dishes with Beijing-area gourmets from menus enjoyed by celebrity guests in a weeklong promotion at Grill 29 starting on Monday. A cultural event hosted by Beijing's suburban Badachu Park celebrated that the best time has come to drink Mingqian tea, which refers to tea leaves picked before the Qingming Festival in southern China. Beijing's first annual hot-sausage eating contest is set for May 14, with organizers promising "beers, hot sauce and love". They say wine is in Argentina's blood, and the country has even created an international festival for its famed malbec grapes.
In 2007, when Chinese photographer Lu Zhirong and his wife, Inri, established Three Shadows, they didn't expect the art center devoted to contemporary photography to flourish.
Now, the institution located in Beijing's Caochangdi arts district has evolved into a major platform for Chinese photographers to show their works and exchange ideas with peers, through exhibitions and workshops. The Three Shadows Photography Award and Exhibition has been organized since 2009 to encourage Chinese photography. Nearly 30 photographers have entered experimental works that have been judged by an international panel, including Quentin Bajac, the chief photography curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Japanese designer Satoshi Machiguchi. To Bajac, the creativity and diverse approaches of the photos, as well as the different backgrounds of their creators, show the vigor of Chinese contemporary art. Lu, 48, aka Rong Rong, tells China Daily: "The up-and-coming forces (of Chinese photography) have mushroomed. For their persistence in promoting the diversity of Chinese photography, Lu and his Japanese wife, who is also a photographer, will be honored by the World Photography Organization with an outstanding contribution award on Thursday in London.
An exhibition will show their works at London's neoclassical building Somerset House, from Friday to May 8. Before his bold step to create the independent platform, Lu had gone through years of hardships - evolving from a struggling beipiao (immigrant in Beijing) to a vanguard photographer.
For three successive years, he failed the entrance exam for an art college near his native Zhangzhou, in East China's Fujian province. He turned to photography for comfort and was deeply captivated by the images produced by a camera. His snapshots recording their lives formed the first body of his experimental works that made people from the art community notice him. Four years later he moved to Liulitun, another village in Beijing, where he worked until it was demolished for urban renovation in 2003. There, he clicked many photos exploring the city's reconstruction and the influences of the transforming landscape on its residents.
His works - many in black and white, with him and Inri as the models - present a sense of beauty and peace in a changing environment. The exhibition will also display the latest works from his acclaimed Tsumari Story series, an ongoing project that is considered a turning point in his life.
The series were produced when he and Inri first participated in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale in 2012.
When Lu first arrived in Niigata, the Japanese prefecture that hosts the festival, he was overwhelmed by the area's tranquility and people's intimacy with nature.
The artist couple and their three children modeled for the photos that merged with Niigata's scenic backdrop. Having handed over daily operations of Three Shadows to younger colleagues in Beijing, he and the family relocated to Japan in 2013, and he has since developed his Tsumari Story series. More importantly, Lu says he seldom found the time to take pictures himself when he was busy with Three Shadows.
Last year, the center opened a branch in Xiamen, in Fujian province, where a monthlong photo event was introduced in partnership with the annual Arles Photography Festival.
More than a century after Weng Tonghe (1830-1904) is said to have been sacked from office as a minister by Empress Dowager Cixi after they fell out over a campaign, his personal belongings return to Beijing in the form of an exhibition tour of the city.
Titled Specific Artifact Exhibition of Two Emperors' Tutors, Weng Tonghe, and the Weng Family, the show opened in the Beijing Stone Carving Art Museum last week as part of a four-stop tour.
More than 70 sets of exhibits, including calligraphy works, porcelain collections and a memorial to the throne, borrowed from Changshu Museum in Jiangsu province, reflect his life. Born in East China's Changshu city, Weng, an influential figure in Chinese history, was the teacher of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) emperors Tongzhi and Guangxu, and became a politician. After Weng left his office in Beijing, he returned to his hometown and focused on studying ancient Chinese calligraphy. All the exhibits on display in Beijing are original pieces rather than replicas, and some have never been seen in public before, says Qian. Most earlier exhibitions on Weng covered his calligraphy, but this exhibition presents a wider frame on him. According to Zhou Ming, deputy director of Art Exhibition China, which is an affiliate of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the event is part of its projects to introduce scattered resources in local museums to higher platforms, though the organization used to focus on Sino-foreign cultural exchange shows. On Saturday, when the competition begins, participants will be expected to create new designs based on old texts - the earliest of which date back to the Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC).
More than 50 Chinese institutions are offering their archives to contestants to come up with design works that will be exhibited in different cities in June. The best will be awarded prizes in October and the works are expected to be converted into cultural souvenirs, among other items of commercial use. Not just for college students, the contest is open to professional designers and artists as well. Huo Ruijuan, secretary-general of the Library Society of China, says the collections in libraries that are at the disposal of contestants include ancient texts, old maps, seals, calligraphy works and art pieces. Zhang Zhiqing, deputy director of the National Center for Preservation and Conservation of Ancient Books, says: "Cultural products like museum souvenirs that show creativity have become popular in the past few years.
He says traditional libraries in China have typically paid more attention to contents of ancient books and focused on developing derivatives based mostly on text. She is in charge of the June exhibition to be organized at the library's National Museum of Classic Books. For the upcoming contest, the national library will provide eight ancient books and 10 photos of collections that record China's history of writing. The pieces include a chronicle of Canton in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), a Dongba manuscript - a hieroglyph of the Naxi ethnic people in Southwest China - and oracle bones. He is also considering using the college's connections with companies to convert design works to products.
Huo, from the Library Society of China, says the competition is being organized with a larger picture in mind. As for the winning designs, putting them into commercial use would also mean developing copyright systems involving individuals, institutions and companies. A craftsman demonstrates the traditional rubbing technique at the National Museum of Classic Books in Beijing.
When 9-year-old Shi Wanchun heard music playing on an organ in his school in 1945 - the year China saw the end of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) - he could not have expected that, 15 years later, his own composition would be performed by an orchestra.
Even more surprising, 60 years later, his nation would become a big player in the world of classical music.
According to the National Center for the Performing Arts, the first symphonic score composed by a Chinese was in 1916.
It took the team, led by NCPA music director Chen Zuohuang, a whole year to collect and prepare 34 pieces by 29 composers, including Shi. On Wednesday, the Shandong Song and Dance Theater Symphony Orchestra played Shi's best-known work, Festival Overture, under the baton of Yang Youqing. Shi created the piece in 1959, when he was a senior student at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Using a Hebei folk tune usually played on the traditional Chinese brass instrument the suona, he composed a vigorous sonata with a richly festive air. The piece became popular overnight in a time when the whole country was eager to build a "socialist society".
Born in a rural area in North China's Hebei province, Shi enjoyed watching performances by local opera troupes.
He loved the sound so much that after class he often sneaked into the only music classroom, quietly opening the cover and carefully touching the keys. He started to teach himself basic music theory and some traditional Chinese instruments, such as the erhu (a two-stringed bowed instrument) and dizi (a flute). The incident left him depressed because it was very difficult to find a piano in 1950s' Beijing. Shi spent six years at the Central Conservatory of Music, learning both Western classical composition and traditional Chinese and folk music. Because of his talent, he was chosen to be the co-composer of the famous Chinese ballet Red Detachment of Women. Later he joined the National Symphony of China as the resident composer to create many symphonic works. Shi is one of 29 contemporary Chinese composers whom the NCPA is celebrating through its Symphonic Spring program. In the opening concert on April 8, NCPA music director Chen conducted the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra to play pieces by Huang Zi (1904-38), Ma Sicong (1912-87), Li Siguang (1889-1971), Xiao Youmei (1884-1940), He Lyuting (1903-99) and Lin Shengxi (1914-91). According to Chen and his team's research, the first symphonic work by a Chinese composer was Requiem by Xiao Youmei. Xiao conducted a 16-member orchestra of Peking University to premiere the piece in Beijing in 1925.
In previous editions of the Symphonic Spring program, the NCPA focused on introducing Chinese orchestras. Tan Lihua will conduct the Beijing Symphony Orchestra to play works by Ma Sicong, Wang Xilin and Chen Qigang on April 24. He says: "China now has more than 70 orchestras, and every year one or two new ones are established. He says talented youth graduate one after the other, but most of the aspiring composers don't get a chance to have their works played. Conductor Chen Zuohuang and his team with the National Center for the Performing Arts have prepared 34 Chinese works for this year's Symphonic Spring program.
Last May, organizers of the two-day event invited legendary German rock band Scorpions and US singer-songwriter Demi Lovato. US band Backstreet Boys will perform for 90 minutes on the first day with its complete lineup. In 2006, band member Kevin Richardson left to pursue a solo career, but he rejoined the group in 2012.
He also says that the band started recording their ninth album last year, and will get back into the studio in a few months. Besides Backstreet Boys, more than 30 singers and bands from China and abroad will perform at the festival, including established Chinese rock musicians Cui Jian and Xu Wei, Singapore pop singer Stefanie Sun and Hong Kong pop singer Sandy Lam. The festival has been organized since 2009 by the Zhenjiang Media and Culture Industrial Group in Zhenjiang, a small city on the banks of the Yangtze River in East China's Jiangsu province.
With a history of more than 3,000 years, Zhenjiang is known as an important transportation hub, due to economic activity along the Yangtze River. The flood of music fans from such neighboring cities as Nanjing, Changzhou and Shanghai brings lots of opportunities to the city.
To cater to the growing music market, the Zhenjiang Media and Culture Industrial Group in 2010 invested tens of millions of yuan to build the Shiyezhou Changjiang International Music Island, which is the site of the music festival. According to Tang, the two-day event was a big success last year, attracting more than 100,000 fans. US band Backstreet Boys will play at the Changjiang International Music Festival later this month in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province. In spring, Guizhou's flowering fields lure visitors to fly kites and experience its ethnic culture. Taiwan resident Ye Denggui visited the province's Tongren city for a kite competition in late March, and the 53-year-old was dazzled by Huashi village's 20,000-square-meter garden of red, pink, white, purple and yellow tulips.
Contestants came from China and 21 countries and regions, including the United States, Belgium and India.
Villagers planted tulip seedlings in December, and the tourism sector burst into bloom with them this spring. The city has integrated its natural beauty and culture to bring in visitors, who explore the area's six centuries of history and natural splendors.
While tulips are a new addition to Tongren's flower power, its rapeseed blooms have drawn sightseers to Wawu village for years. Guizhou and Zhejiang province's capital, Hangzhou, were the only two places in China The New York Times listed among its "52 places to go in 2016". The province's spring scenery enticed 9.58 million visitors during the recent three-day Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, 30 percent more than during the same period last year. Guizhou hosts a stunning natural beauty preserved in its karst formations, says the provincial tourism authority's deputy director, Tan Aiying. Some destinations, like Bijie and Zunyi cities, have taken flower-viewing to new heights - in every sense. Bijie has introduced helicopter rides to view the azaleas, while Zunyi has constructed the province's first mountain-climbing route that's expected to open in May. Guizhou's most popular sites include the Huangguoshu Waterfall, Libo and the ethnic Miao village of Xijiang.
Most trips to the province offered by China's biggest online travel agency, Ctrip, last roughly five days and cover all three destinations. As an added attraction, Guizhou offers free access to major scenic spots, and hotel and transportation discounts to visitors from Zhejiang's Ningbo, Jiangsu province's Suzhou, Shandong province's Qingdao and Liaoning province's Dalian.

The province has also signed agreements with Suzhou's travel agencies and scenic attractions.
In a related development, Ningbo will train Guizhou's tourism professionals and annually award three agencies from the city that send the most visitors to Guizhou, says the Guizhou tourism authority's director, Li Yonghui. The province may also emulate the model used at Hangzhou's West Lake, where free admission has boosted visits to the city.
But it'll take time, considering many of the province's attractions need massive investments in infrastructure and maintenance. Now, Longdongbao International Airport in the provincial capital, Guiyang, offers 13 flights to and from popular destinations abroad, including Thailand's Bangkok and Phuket, Japan's Osaka and Nagoya, and Indonesia's Bali.
Tourists can now hop onto buses to major scenic spots throughout the province from right outside train stations, says Mou. Among a raft of cooperation agreements signed during talks in Jerusalem between Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March, the new visa arrangement makes China the first country with which Israel has entered into such an understanding.
Efrat Perri, a spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Beijing, says it could take up to a few months before Chinese can apply for the long-term visas. He first visited Israel in 2014, taking a 10-day tour that cost nearly 20,000 yuan ($3,086), with a trip to Jordan thrown in.
Israelis are hospitable to Chinese also because Shanghai had sheltered many Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, says Li.
The new visa policy is part of Israel's efforts to make visa application procedures simpler since it started granting individual tourism visas to Chinese applicants in 2013, says Perri. Israel and China began to waive visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports in January.
Israel's Ministry of Tourism says the number of Chinese visitors to Israel has risen by more than 30 percent year-on-year over the past three years. Israeli tourism officials are making efforts to promote their country as a destination for Chinese tourists this year, with the aim of achieving an annual average of 100,000 Chinese visitors in the next few years.
China on its part has announced the first direct flight from the mainland to Israel by Hainan Airlines, three times a week, effective from April 28.
EL AL Israel Airlines has three direct flights from Beijing to Tel Aviv and six from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv every week. Bora Shnitman, director of the Israeli government's tourism office in Beijing, says some hotels in Israel are inviting Chinese chefs to train local staff so as to cater to Chinese tastes and also plan to offer Chinese TV channels.
Although Chinese tend to travel in groups to Israel, there are some young independent travelers as well. Lulu Kedmi, 43, a tour guide for Chinese visiting Israel for more than a decade, echoes Shnitman. Kedmi, who was born in China and is married to an Israeli, says some scenic spots in Israel have introduced Chinese subtitles in their promotional videos, and local tour guides are being trained to serve Chinese visitors.
She says that there are about 40 tour guides in Israel who speak Mandarin and several can also speak Cantonese.
Some are of Chinese origin like her and are trained to understand all aspects of Israel, ranging from geography to culture. Up to 80 percent of the tourist groups she guides are Chinese who visit Israel on pilgrimages. Kedmi says some Chinese worry if Israel is safe to visit, given existing tensions in the region. Israel draws Chinese visitors who are interested in seeing sites related to Christianity, in addition to the picturesque views and cultural features. The race route passed ancient villages of the Hui-style architecture that features white buildings capped with dark roofs, says the district's Party secretary, Cheng Hong. The route crossed major scenic spots, including the Qiankou Civil Residence built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Chengkan's ancient lanes, Lingshan's terraced fields and Hui-style houses. More than 1,800 runners from home and abroad signed up for the marathon and a 5-kilometer mini-marathon.
Runners received "Huizhou passports" that provide discounted traveling, shopping and accommodation. The district's travel-development plan released in March integrates sports, culture and industry. Huizhou will invest 5 million yuan ($770,000) to promote tourism, upgrade transportation and enhance rural guesthouse development this year.
It plans to open three five-star hotels within five years to accommodate 20,000 people in 10 years, compared with 2,000 beds available now, not counting farmers' guesthouses.
A high-speed railway line has boosted tourism, since Huangshanbei Station is now half an hour by train from the district.
While the first marathon was small in size, organizers believe it's the starting line for something huge. Considering the first three participants to cross the finish line were from abroad, it seems Huizhou has already got a head start in its race to lure visitors from afar. More than 100 countries attended the event, which attracted more than 40 Chinese publishing houses and printing works. The book is edited by Xie Chuntao, professor of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Shakespearean actors from around the world performed extracts of works in six languages - Chinese, Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Arabic and English - in recognition of Shakespeare's global influence.
She says her staff placed a lot of emphasis on the quality of new titles added to the catalog.
You also have to keep a sharp eye out for parents pushing baby carriages or relatives taking a wheelchair-bound elder out on a pretty day.
When it gets a little later and the city starts to settle in for the night, it's the witching hour for the nighttime cyclist. One that I like that's close to home in Chaoyang district is known as Yinghuayuan East Street, north of the Third Ring Road, and Hepingli East Street, south of the ring road.
The tall birch, oak and willow trees that line many such streets in Beijing zip past and you find yourself equaling the speeds of electric scooters that normally pass you with ease.
Also near my home is the Olympic Sports Center Stadium complex off Aoti Middle Road, just south of the Fourth Ring Road and west of Anding Road. The article, by Tiffany Lam, still rings true: "Asia's first city of cycling is renowned these days for its growing automobile traffic - but the infrastructure for cyclists here is still the best in Asia.
However, this dates back to before the group started; he says his first was in 1983, when he helped save a woman who attempted suicide by jumping into the river. Also, despite including the Red Cross in its name, it is not officially affiliated with the humanitarian organization.
Members organize free lessons on the riverbank for young people to learn first aid skills, as well as go into schools and community centers to offer advice on how to stay safe in and around waterways. Before he passed away, he persuaded me to swim every day, saying that staying healthy was the most important thing in life," he says.
Beatenbough's mission was to make this happen - yet the challenge was greater than he had first expected. He started work on a brand using distinctive industrial design to make it easier for people to recognize LiuGong machines. That goal will definitely come true before my retirement," he says of the company's ambition to become a world leader. Last year, he received the Friendship Award, the top honor for foreigners who make significant contributions to China's development. It is a day that indicates that the year is finally heating up, and that the fresh buds of spring are maturing into something else. That sounds like a strange skill at a time when China is luxuriating in such decadent consumerism, and when widespread logistics supply fresh greens to markets even in the depth of winter. Our favorite is dumplings filled with minced shepherd's purse that she so carefully collects along the banks of the creek near our estate.
As a child, she was sent out to seek supplements for the dining table, and it was an important mission because it meant a big difference to a family of six hungry mouths. Its pendulous blooms are a little like cream-colored pea flowers, with little purses holding the stamens and pistils. These little round pods must be collected when they are still crisp and tender, with the seeds inside unformed.
This is when the wise southern Chinese housewife cools the family down with soups that clear the heat from their bodies. Sometimes, if a young member of the family is coughing or sniffling, a handful of sweet and bitter apricot kernels is added. Lighter soups of greens or melons are cooked with just a few slices of meat to balance nutrition and flavor. 500g watercress 300g pork ribs (about four large pieces) 3-4 Chinese red dates, seededPrepare the watercress by pinching off the tender shoots and setting aside. This further infuriated the online crowd as it was seen as evidence of continuous victimization of a woman. Unlike a typical Western wedding, which is marked by solemnity and grandeur, a Chinese wedding segues from one style to another without missing a beat. In a 2014 survey by China Youth Daily, some 80 percent of respondents said they had been exposed to this practice, and 61 percent said they did not like it at all. Maybe some would stop at what they deem inappropriate, but peer pressure would drag them right in. Who hasn't lived in China for a few months and at least been tempted to theorize as to why it is like it is?
Now, if somebody is going to tell you at length about the Chinese, their habits, beliefs and thinking, all based on anecdotal evidence, personal experience and a little reading (and that's exactly what this book does), I would want to be sure it that was somebody who had spent a lot of time there, and it is reasonable to give Smith credit where it is due. Now to be fair to Smith, he wrote Chinese Characteristics back in 1894 when the Chinese population had barely hit the piffling 300 million mark, though that hardly makes his task any easier. On reading the book, my initial instinct was to say of course not, because so much of his writing comes across as, well, a bit racist: "The first impression which a stranger receives of the Chinese is that of uniformity. He was influenced by the now widely discredited eugenics ideas that where coming to fruition at the time. Some people deal with these cheerfully and locate such issues within a sociological and cultural context, seeking to understand; others become furious and whiny and aren't much fun to be around.
One of the key differences is that being more aware of the culture, the Chinese are able to make allowances and understandings for such things. But Wang JiaSha is not a supper joint, and it will not be serving any customers through the night.
Everyone is incredibly focused on what is in their nimble hands - a palm-sized piece of olive green dough that they use to wrap around a dollop of red bean paste.
The chefs here are paid according to the number of rice balls they make," says Liu Chongliang, general manager of the 71-year-old restaurant and snack shop, Wang JiaSha. Named after a small neighborhood in the same area it was in, Wang JiaSha today has seven outlets in Shanghai and five in Hong Kong. In line are people of all ages, and Liu notes that the rice ball has in recent times grown in popularity among the younger generation. Our ancestors aren't picky like my son - they will make do with those from the supermarkets or other shops. There are many seasonal plants in East China that chefs like to use in their creations, and here are some of the most popular ones you might find on menus this spring.
One of the most popular dishes featuring this vegetable is an omelet served with toon sprouts and shrimps, and it is considered by some as the Chinese equivalent of scrambled eggs with truffles that is served at Western diners. Compared wtih the toon sprout, this vegetable has a much lighter and refreshing aroma, which explains why it is more popular among people, including those who prefer eating meats over greens. The bamboo shoots are an essential ingredient as they provide a tantalizing contrast to the soft texture of the ham and the beancurd. We needed to think of how to create a different hotpot restaurant that also produces added value. The Chinese character that represents both parts of CouCou, with the three drops-of water radical on the character's left, is rarely used these days. Bubble tea, in case you don't know, is milk tea to which rice or some other starch, such as tapioca, is added. It had three distinct layers: thick milk foam on the top, then the crushed ice, and the rest tea.
I did not taste the soups, but Chang says diners will find them very different to the Sichuan-style numbing spicy usually on offer.
It also has dozens of traditional Chinese herbal medicine ingredients such as bay leaves and cardamom, he says. In addition, the ingredients of the broth are all light, free of tallow and additives and artificial flavorings, Chang says. I never get tired," says Cho, one of dozens of preteens sitting at rows of desks topped with playing boards at the Lee Se-Dol School of Go in central Seoul. The 33-year-old lost the series, but the battle gave an unprecedented boost to the ancient board game's international profile. It's an art form and a natural philosophy as much as a sport," says professional player Seo Kon-Woo. We had seven cats at home and now we have nine here," says 45-year-old Ivan Herak, a former manager, who runs one of the four cat cafes in tourist-magnet Prague. Under a magnifying glass they appear to be fork-like crimson lines, so fine that they seem to be just tapering away. The influence the goddess has exerted on those around her can be clearly felt through the enchanted look of the fox, whose eyes resemble that of a fledgling bird.
As the leopard looks expectantly toward the goddess, spellbound, the lion gazes back in a trance. The fabrics' reflective surface is further enhanced by a metallic sheen produced by a millennium-old mural painting technique called li fen dui jin, or dripping of stucco and piling of gold. Then, on top of this embossed layer of stucco the artisan then applied a mixture of gel and gold dust. The patterns of the ceiling, called mandala, are in fact a spiritual symbol in Indian religions, with their concentric circles and squares representing the universe.
You open up new horizons to express yourself and you start having ideas that you never dreamed of," Kuehnel tells China Daily in a recent interview. For example, he likes to discuss various subjects, including linguistics in conversations with people, and above all, he enjoys theorizing. After several years in Germany, the couple returned to China in 2010 and have since lived in Beijing. While his friends criticize him for "favoring" China because he lives here, he tells them they are actually "biased" because they have never been or lived in China, and their perceptions largely depend on Western media. After he finishes work in his rice fields he visits a family in Youdian village, speaking to them about the history of their house and narrating stories about their common ancestors, hoping to persuade them to repair their house, which was built hundreds of years ago. All the buildings of Hu's village in Jinxi county are ancient houses dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
All these villages have traditional houses built also in styles of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
It's rare to see ancient houses that are mostly in their original forms in such large numbers in China," says Guo Daiheng, an expert on Chinese traditional architecture. An average of 100 villages are vanishing each day in China, scholar Feng Jicai remarked during last year's two sessions in Beijing. Some are transformed into tourist attractions and the local residents are replaced by businesspeople. They may leave for the cities or build new houses near their village," says Guo, whose team has been in the area for two months now with the sole aim of studying the houses and protecting them.
The village's most famous ancestor was Hu Guifang, a senior official in the Ming Dynasty, who was then in charge of construction, transportation and agriculture. They have ancestral temples, schools and houses with similar layouts that include ponds, long and narrow stone alleys.
But the average annual income of villagers who work in the rice fields is about 10,000 yuan, says Hu. However, Guo says she sees hope when she meets young people making plans for their hometowns.
The eggs were typically made using precious metals or semiprecious stones and decorated with enamel and gemstones.
The items were mainly bought to the United States in the 1930s, when they frequently appeared in the market there following the Russian Revolution. D&M Bar opened in 2013 at a residential community near Beijing's CBD, and The Mixing House opened earlier this year.
However, the training he'd gotten in martial arts since young had made him accustomed to move his arms and hands firmly and with strength, and that helped him to learn to make cocktails with elegant but relaxed moves. So he started working as a waiter in 1949 The Hidden City, a club area in Beijing, where he got the chance to learn from senior bartenders. Most of the money had come from his parents, who even suspected that Zheng had become addicted with drugs.
He was not only encouraged to learn from its skilled mixologists, but he also was required to create new cocktail recipes every day. But if they just want to sit down to drink and talk with close friends, or simply to enjoy cocktails themselves, he believes most would prefer a bar that is quiet and not far from home. It is one of three outlets of the restaurant group, which has been serving the subcontinent's delicacies in Beijing since 1998.
We visited a little on the late side on the next night, and while things were more sedate, it still was a stimulating experience for the eyes and palate. But we chose the buffet, available only at dinner, which features a variety of Indian dishes, an array of Western items, beverages and a delectable fruit and dessert display with yummy pastries and a chocolate fountain for 188 yuan ($29) plus a 15 percent service fee. At peak dinnertime hours, there also are dancers, and artists who will apply a henna tattoo. We're not supposed to name those luminaries, though Americans will probably be able to guess who came to dinner the night "Plains Chocolate Peanut Pie" was served. Students from Peking University Elementary School, Shijingshan, who dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, obtained water from an ancient well that has a history of more than 300 years and then made Mingqian green tea for visitors in the park in a beautiful tea-making ceremony.
There's a 50 yuan entry fee (first 12 signups only), with a 500-yuan prize plus Arrow Factory beers and gift cards from Meatball Factory.
World Malbec Day, observed in Argentina on Saturday, was observed in Shanghai at tastings on Thursday and comes to Beijing this weekend, with a cambalache (bazaar) organized by Wave Club and Wines of Argentina, featuring the country's wines and foods as well as some tango fun. His residence in suburban Dongcun Village, an artists' compound, enabled him to befriend many avant-garde artists. Among Japan's largest art events, the festival, which began in 2000, is held every three years.
It made him feel familiar as he had grown up in a village surrounded by mountains, but whose appearance has changed due to industrialization. I just need to be get back in touch with the younger me who knew little about photography but always wanted to be a photographer - and restart," he adds philosophically. He was in charge of several ministries in the Qing Dynasty, including as head of a diplomatic agency and revenues. The pieces were made during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908), representing the best porcelain works of the time. That's why the NCPA is staging concerts by 12 Chinese orchestras this month to celebrate a century of symphonic music in China.
It also represents children playing in the field on summer nights and adults celebrating the harvest. Like the Radetzky March, which is always played at the New Year concert, Shi's Festival Overture has been a staple of Chinese orchestras' celebration repertoires. In 1945, he moved with his family to Beijing, where he first heard organ music in his primary school. Xiao, who was studying at the Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater (University of Music and Theater) in Leipzig, Germany, created the work to mourn the two. Though we found the spectra handwritten by Xiao, we didn't know what the original whole score was like," says Chen. It has racked up more than 145 million record sales worldwide, with a string of hits, including I Want It That Way, Show Me the Meaning Of Being Lonely and Everybody.
Fans will be able to enjoy great shows at a low price - 200 yuan ($33) a day," says Tang Xiaolei, a veteran performance manager based in Los Angeles, who is also the main producer of Changjiang International Music Festival. Traveling in a group, he and other Chinese were interested in seeing sites related to Christianity. Last year, more than 47,000 Chinese traveled to Israel, marking a 43 percent rise over 2014. There are also visitors who attend business seminars on topics like Israel's irrigation and sewage systems. The launch marked the debut of the China Urbanization Studies series, a joint project to explore the stories behind China's impressive urbanization. Herds of pedestrians include the dangerously clueless, with their faces glued to smartphones. In Beijing, with its dry climate, there's often a little nip in the air in the spring and autumn. There, if you hit the traffic lights just right, you can build up some speed in a way that is impossible earlier in the day.
That's about 200 years before Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World, and about 500 years before my country, the United States, won its independence from Great Britain. In the face of increasing globalization, food is also one of the last strong visages of community and culture. Leave the long stems uncut and rinse both in slightly salted water to make sure no unwanted visitors cling to the vegetable.Boil a kettle of water and pour over the porkribs. Then Bao Bei'er, the groom, tweeted an apology, saying there was no ill-intention on anyone's part. The participants are close friends, and a little horseplay on this occasion seemed within bounds. A full 70.7 percent of young people, according to the survey, expressed their willingness to boycott what they term "vulgarity" and "unethical behavior". It was almost a prelude to gang rape - at least in the minds of those familiar with her image. Unlike many foreigners, Keswick, it seems, was straight up about his inability to fathom China.
The size of the task has even spawned its own industry of amateurs and professionals alike: China watchers. The Chinese become a curious object of study, and the writer occasionally comes off as if he were observing a baffling species of animal as opposed to mere human beings. So you can imagine the feeling you get when you are reading him and you think a fair whack of what he is saying seems accurate.
Just as he was always likely to use terms which are now seen as disparaging (negro, coolie, etc). Housewives often shred this vegetable into flake-like pieces that are used as dumpling fillings. After hearing about the concept of a hybrid teahouse and a hotpot restaurant, whichever way I looked at it the concept perplexed and intrigued me. But there is a delicate translucence to the wall of the vessel, as well as a palpability to the flowing of blood underneath. And all of a sudden, the finely painted arm, of a pale, pinkish color, seems to be stretching out of the wall and clasping the surrounding darkness with her sword. From a warrior saint's iron armor to a waiting maid's gilt hairpin, everything that has a shimmer was allowed to shine. There are about 11,000 houses built during both dynasties in the county, according to the local government.
Well-known ancestors of today's villagers were influential scholars, writers, poets and powerful officials in imperial China. Jasmeet Singh says that while they don't adjust recipes for non-Indian palates, they have mainly chosen northern dishes that generally are less hot. In ancient times, it was fashionable for the noble and the rich to drink tea made with water from ancient wells in the park, which are now protected as culture heritage.
I could not hold back my tears when I heard Beethoven's Sixth and Ninth symphonies," he says.
When we found these old scores, we found many handwritten notes missing over time and some we realized that had never been played before based on our technical deductions. We never could have envisioned the way our journey has played out, but we are happy at the way things have turned out," Carter says, adding that the five of them are more than just a band. This will get rid of any blood and scum on the surface.Place the long stems of the watercress in a pot and the scalded porkribs on top. There is no sense of caricature or amusement, and instead we get a dry, high-minded tone, all of which is quite understandable coming from a devout missionary who believed in being scientific, but that doesn't make it exactly a fun read.
The "that's a pretty racist thing to say, but he has a point," thought pattern is an awkward one to say the least. Pour another kettle of water onto the ingredients and drop in the seeded Chinese dates.When the pot comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for half an hour to 45 minutes. Is China really so interesting that it needs a whole industry of politicians, missionaries, diplomats, soldiers, journalists, English teachers, captains of industry, and god knows who else to try to unravel the mystery? You will be able to smell the soup as it mellows.Just when the soup is ready, bring it back to the boil and add the reserved watercress shoots.

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