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Chinese Telecom Company Starts Laying Optical Fibers to Help Build "Digital Nepal"

Obor

Beijing, May 22: China Communications Services International Limited started to lay optical fibers along a highway connecting the eastern and western border of Nepal for Nepal Telecom (NT), one of the biggest telecom service providers of Nepal.China Communications Services International Limited started to lay optical fibers along a highway connecting the eastern and western border of Nepal for Nepal Telecom (NT), one of the biggest telecom service providers of Nepal.

The Chinese company is responsible for laying 555 kilometers of optical fibers out of the planned 2,179-km long fibers from Chiyabhanjyang in eastern Panchthar district to Arughat in western Gorkha district along the Mid-Hill highway.

Once completed, the optical fibers are expected to provide an access to high speed internet and mobile services to the Nepali people.
Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday participated in a ground breaking ceremony of laying the optical fibers at Galchhi Rural Municipality of Dhading District, in Western Kathmandu.

While the Chinese company is responsible of laying the optical fibers in Province 3, which lies in central Nepal, a South Korean Company and a Nepali Joint Venture Company are responsible for laying the optical fibers in eastern region of the country.

According to the NT, the main objective of laying optical fibers is to construct an Information Super Highway along the Mid-Hill highway, which would work as an essential infrastructure to promote e-governance in the areas of education, commerce and agriculture and medical sector and develop smart cities.


During the ground-breaking ceremony, Oli said the start of laying optical fibers along the Mid-Hill Highway was part of transforming the Himalayan country into "Digital Nepal" as envisioned by the Nepali government.


"This will help expanding high speed internet services and will have a role in modernization of the country," he said.


Nepal's Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota said connectivity by optical fibers would help expanding internet service to nearly half of the population who are currently deprived of internet access.


Chinese ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said that the involvement of a Chinese company in laying optical fibers in Nepal is part of the growing cooperation between Nepal and China in the areas of information technology.


The contractors are expected to complete laying the optical fibers in the next two years. The work, which is being carried out in three packages, will cover 35 districts out of the total 77 districts of the country.


Besides laying optical fibers, China Communications Services International Limited recently got another contract of installing radio access network for NT for expanding 4G service in Nepal. Another Chinese company ZTE, has bagged a contract of developing the core network for 4G service in the country.

Source; Xinhua

Silk Road International Film Festival, Xi’an, China

China

Islamabad, May 17: Young filmmakers from Pakistan came out brilliant at the 5th Silk Road International Film Festival and 2018 International Young Directors’ Festival held from October 8 to 13, 2018, in China’s Xi’an city, the starting point of ancient Silk Road.

With the theme of “New Era, New Silk Road and New Vision,” a total of 565 movies from 68 countries and regions competed for Golden Silk Road Media Awards and Trophies.

Silk Road Film Festival 2018

Pakistan’s delegation led by Jamal Shah, Jamal Sohail, Shamoon Kiani, Zafeer Butt, Farhad Riaz, M. Akram Jalla and Jawad Sharif, showcased  their cinematic works to the local and foreign cinemagoers attending the festival.

Jamal Sohail’s Taking Direction was about filmmaking where a film director goes through ups and downs of his film career. His second film Alif was about a child with special needs. Jamal Sohail’s third film Pentagram took us to a motel for eleven minutes where horror is born and breeds (the horror genre is favourite among young). Jawad Sharif’s fifty-four minute journey K2-The Invisible takes us to the snowy mountains, our precious treasure and pride up in the Northern Circuit. Shamoon Kiani was seen with two films: Let the Sun Rise which took us on the road with two innocent boys who collect trash and rags from the streets all day long and earn fifty rupees for their poor mother in the slums. Shamoon Kiani’s second short Forage is a meaningful commentary on how terrorism and violence has torn our society in bits and pieces with evil of dowry playing in the backdrop. Andkaar from Farhad Riaz, Sedentary from Akram Jalla and Loug from Zafeer Butt also received good response. Jamal Shah of Hunerkada Chief and Director General of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, lead the Pakistani delegation comprising of Rabiia Amin ,Jamal Sohail and Aijaz Gul. Jamal Shah who was wearing several caps on the occasion as distinguished actor, painter of repute, film producer, director, screenwriter and composer, was star of the night when his film Badal: Revenge of the Worthless premiered on October 10 to capacity audiences. In the post-screening session, Jamal Shah spoke of the severe challenges he had to go through filming with budget constraint as a major hassle. He advised the upcoming young film makers to open their mind to out- of- the- box options and solutions with new horizons.

Silk Road News 2019

Films from China, India, Australia, Nepal, Iran, Mongolia, Nederland, South Korea, Sri Lanka and United States also received enthusiastic response. The opening ceremony took place at the newly opened seven-star W Hotel which mesmerized the visitors with its amazing architecture and dazzling ambiance.

The 5th Silk Road International Film Festival included signing ceremony of Pakistan-China co production film venture Road to Heaven. Jamal Shah was one of the main speakers who spoke on the close relations between Pakistan and China. He spoke on how films can bind the two countries covering intimate relations of mankind and surroundings. This is the biggest gift mankind can give. Art brings this relationship to life covering our past, present and hope for the future. Film Road to Heaven revolves around a man who contributes to the society enormously with his love and understanding for humanity and life. The hero embarked upon journey on Silk Road with a purpose. The film may be based on the life of an individual but it covers more than just an individual. It is, in a way, a tribute to what CPEC holds for the future. Road to Heaven would open the gates to Pakistan-China film collaboration with warmth, sincerity and energy.

Silk Road News Film

The festival concluded with a closing ceremony in which everyone was bid farewell and was thanked for their participation and for coming to China. Jamal Sohail and Aijaz Gul also presented a copy of their book Journey Through Lens: Pakistani Cinema at the closing ceremony as a cultural gift to Mr. Ma Dong, Dean School of Media, Xi’an Polytechnic University.

Briefing on the film festival, Lu Kelun, deputy director of the Shaanxi Press, Publication, Radio and Television Bureau, pointed out that the Silk Road Film Festival has new features and highlights compared with the previous four sessions. First, introduce the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The second is to highlight the new image of Xi’an in Shaanxi in the new era. The third is to prosper and develop the Chinese film industry. The fourth is to implement more Huimin activities. This year’s film festival will be a film culture event that will lead the industry development, newcomers, new generations, and wonderful sharing.

It has added special activities such as “Young Director Exchange Forum”, “The Movie Debate World”, “Master Carnival” and “Showing Carnival”. During the festival, 147 outstanding films from home and abroad will be screened in 23 theaters, 30 colleges and universities, 10 comprehensive plazas and 100 demonstration communities in Xi’an, he added.

The festival used movies as a medium, which helped China to build a cultural bridge connecting countries along the Silk Road, promote cultural exchange and increase cultural recognition, to boost the Belt and Road construction, said the organizer.

 

By Jamal Sohail: Film Director

Iraq, PetroChina Sign 1.07-bln-USD Deal to Process Gas in Halfaya Oilfield

China

Baghdad, May  16: Iraq government and a Chinese company have signed a 1.07-billion-U.S. dollar agreement to process associated gas extracted from Iraq's southern giant Halfaya oilfield, paving way for the Chinese companies to boost cooperation with the Middle Eastern partners in the energy sector under the Belt and Road Initiative .

In the signing ceremony at the Iraqi Oil Ministry in Baghdad, PetroChina, which is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, signed a contract for gas processing plant (GPP) project with China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation (CPECC).

The contract aims to process associated gas with capacity of around 300 million cubic feet of standard gas per day from Halfaya oilfield.

Also in the ceremony, Maysan Oil Company, the owner of Halfaya oilfield, signed a memorandum of understanding with PetroChina, which is the main operator of Halfaya oilfield, to ensure the implementation of the required specifications included in the contract with CPECC.

GPP project will contribute to reducing gas flare pollution to environment, and will also contribute significantly to resolving power shortage problem by providing dry gas to power stations in Maysan province.

Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir al-Ghadhban said in the ceremony that "the GPP project signed today between PetroChina and CPECC, is one of the important and strategic projects for developing the gas industry in Iraq."

"The contract will stop the burning and waste of gas and will provide jobs for many Iraqis," al-Ghadhban said.

For his part, China's Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao said in the ceremony that "the relations between China and Iraq have seen a significant progress in all fields, particularly in oil and gas field."

"We have many companies working in cooperation with Iraq's oil ministry," he said, adding that "cooperation in the field of oil and energy is an important part of the cooperation between the two countries, as China is the biggest importer of the Iraqi oil."

Liu Haijun, president of CPECC, said that "the project of processing gas in Halfaya is of great importance for the development of Iraq's economy, and will contribute to providing sufficient dry gas for power stations."

He said that one of the priorities of CPECC is providing job opportunities for Iraqis in the project as well as transferring modern technology to Iraq.

GPP project is scheduled to complete after 30 months, making Halfaya the first oilfield eliminating gas flaring in Iraq.

Halfaya is located in east of the Maysan's provincial capital Amarah, and it is the largest oilfield of Maysan oil company, producing about 400,000 barrel per day

Scientists Agree for Cooperation to Tackle Disasters along BRI Countries

China

Beijing, May 12: More than 700 scientists from around 40 countries, regions and international organizations have agreed to support a declaration issued after a two-day International Conference on Silk-road Disaster Risk Reduction and Development, which concluded in Beijing on Sunday.

The theme of conference was: Towards Safe, Green, and Resilient Silk Roads.

The declaration recommended actions including data-sharing, investing in disaster risk reduction technologies and infrastructure, and jointly enhancing disaster preparedness and response protocols.

Scientists from China and other countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative agreed to work together to enhance scientific and technological cooperation in disaster prevention and mitigation, according to a joint declaration.

This new collaboration platform aims to make areas along the initiative safer, more sustainable and disaster-proof, according to the declaration published during the event  on Sunday, which also marked China's 11th National Disaster Prevention and Reduction Day, an annual campaign which began in 2009 after a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan and neighboring provinces on May 12, 2008, l

The conference also saw the launch of a scientific alliance on international disaster risk reduction, which included around 30 institutions and universities from countries including Italy, Belgium, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The organizers of conference said this alliance will serve as a new platform for international coordination and provide scientific support for disaster relief and sustainable development.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Association for Science and Technology, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, and international scientific partners jointly hosted the International Conference on Silk-roads Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development (SiDRR Conference 2019)

Speakers from various countries discussed issues such as hazard information detection and data sharing mechanisms and physical process, risk analysis and management, monitoring and early warning, disaster prevention and mitigation, emergency management and post-disaster reconstruction, cross-border disasters, sustainable development, milestones

Commenting on climate change effect, Bai Chunli, president of the academy, said in the conference's opening ceremony on Saturday that areas along the Silk Road are prone to various natural disasters that have resulted in massive loss of life and economic damage.

"As a result, it is paramount to use new technologies and international cooperation to jointly tackle these natural disaster risks, protect ecological security and achieve sustainable development," he said.

The academy will continue to collaborate with foreign partners to create new platforms and mechanisms to improve disaster management and ecological protection, he further added.

Mami Mizutori, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, in his remarks said in a video speech that the scale and reach of the world's largest infrastructure initiative will impact billions of people and reshape the physical world, and countries should be mindful of these projects' impact on the environment and inhabitants.

"It is encouraging that the government of China is taking proac­tive measures to ensure that the development of the Belt and Road Initiative is risk-informed and sustainable," she also added.

"Disaster-proofing the world's largest infrastructure initiative is a challenge, but achievable," she said, adding that at the heart of this challenge lies great potential for innovation and creativity, such as new disaster risk prediction and analysis, and disaster-resilient infrastructures.

Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in his comments said disaster risk reduction of natural hazards along the initiative is crucial for its success and sustainability.

Regions at the heart of the initiative, such as the Tianshan-Pamir Plateau, the Himalayas, eastern parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and South Asia, are facing serious disaster threats due to tectonic movements, fragile ecosystems and extreme weather, he said.

Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert from the UN Environment Program, in his remarks said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.

He further said it is key for scientists to communicate with government officials to create better planning and new solutions, and more interdisciplinary research into natural disasters and risk management is also helpful.

Background:

The Silk Road, beginning in the Han Dynasty (207 BC-220 AD), crosses more than 70 countries and affects some 4.4 billion people (63% of the world). For centuries, the Silk Road has played an essential role in connecting the East and the West, through the exchange of the trade, science, technology and civilization. However, due to active underlying geological structures, including rapid tectonic uplift, climate change, and natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, landslides, floods, typhoons, tsunamis, etc.) that occur frequently, these conditions place threats on both social development and livelihoods along the Silk Road.

Challenges of disaster management in BRI region

Furthermore, numerous challenges related to disaster risk reduction exist in this area, including a lack of background information and data sharing mechanism, as well as an absence of a scientific risk assessment method, and mitigation countermeasures etc. As a result of this serious situation and integrated with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, there is an urgent need.

China’s initiative for international cooperation in disaster risk reduction along Silk Road

China has taken new initiatives to promote international cooperation in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development along the Silk Road. The action will boost resilience against natural hazards must be improved and an international platform for joint research and information sharing of the field is needed.

Therefore, an international research program for the disaster risk reduction along the Silk Roads is being implemented under the umbrella of SiDRR (Silk-roads Disaster Risk Reduction) by Chinese Academy of Sciences. The implementation of this program will enhance disaster prevention and will contribute to our ability to guarantee the security of livelihood of the affected countries.

By Muhammad Arif

Boao Forum for Asia 2019 to be Held in Boao Town from March 26 to Promote Asian Cooperation

Asia

BEIJING, Jan. 17: The Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2019 will be held in Boao, a coastal town in China's southern island province of Hainan, from March 26 to 29 to promote Asian Cooperation. The theme of conference 2019 will be "Shared Future, Concerted Action, Common Development," announced BFA Secretary General Li Baodong on Wednesday.

The opening plenum will take place on March 28.

According to Li, the theme and topics of this year's event cover a wide range of issues of common interest among stakeholders. The program was finalized after several rounds of discussion among BFA's initial countries, board members, advisers, partners and think tanks.

Around this theme, the annual conference will feature approximately 50 official sessions, including the opening plenum, themed sessions, CEO dialogues and roundtable meetings. They are formatted under five topical modules -- Open World Economy; Multilateralism, Regional Cooperation and Global Governance; Innovation-Driven Development; High-Quality Development; and Critical Issues.

Speaking at the press conference, Li said that globalization and free trade are inevitable trends of economic development and that multilateralism, dialogue and cooperation are the shared aspiration of most countries. He stated that openness and innovation are natural choices to sustain economic progress and globalization. As a widely watched event, this year's conference will provide an open, inclusive dialogue platform for stakeholders and send a clear message to build consensus regarding global governance, he said.

Li added that the BFA annual conferences, hosted in China, have been attended by state leaders every year. Currently, the BFA secretariat is maintaining communication with state leaders and has received positive feedback regarding their presence at the 2019 Annual Conference. Additionally, a number of other Asian and European leaders have stated their intention to participate.

Dubbed as the 'Asian Davos', the BFA has been held since 2001in the town of Boao town of Hainan Province, China's largest special economic zone, was an experimental area to deepen Mainland’s connection with international community. The forum attracts leaders from government, business and academic institutions throughout Asia and beyond, who come together to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues in the region and the world at large.

Aiming to become an ecology-based province, Hainan has told the world that its current and future development focus has been on ecological industry, a field valued highly by Asian and international communities and meeting the world economic development trend.

China and Cameroon Vow to Deepen Pragmatic Cooperation under the Framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Africa

Yaoundé, Jan. 23: China and Cameroon have vowed to deepen pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and implement the proposals agreed at last year's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Yang Jiechi, Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative, made the remarks on Friday during a meeting with Cameroon's President Paul Biya in Yaounde. Yang is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.

He said the two nations should jointly boost cooperation under the BRI and enhance friendly exchanges at all levels. China is willing to continue to support economic development and to improve people's livelihoods in Cameroon, he continued.

Yang conveyed to Biya cordial greetings from Xi, noting that the African nation's president attended September's Beijing Summit of FOCAC and has achieved important consensuses with Xi, opening up new development opportunities for bilateral ties.

Biya said that Cameroon attaches great importance to its friendship with China and appreciates its partner's long-term support and assistance.

He stressed that Cameroon is determined to jointly implement the fruitful outcome of FOCAC, and strengthen communication and cooperation with China in multilateral affairs.

During the visit, Yang also met Cameroon's Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute and Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella.

(Cover: Yang Jiechi (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative, meets with Cameroon's President Paul Biya (R) in Yaounde on January 18, 2019. /Photo via the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry).

China Cameroon Cooperation

Cameroon and China signed five development agreements last year. These include:Cameroon and China signed five development agreements last year. These include:
1) An economic and technical cooperation agreement between the governments of Cameroon and China;
2) A memorandum of understanding on the development of human resources;
3) A protocol agreement to reinforce cooperation on infrastructural development between the Chinese Ministry of Trade and Cameroon’s Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development;
4) A capacity-building framework agreement on production between the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China and Cameroon’s Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development;
5) A Concessional Loan agreement between the Exim Bank of China and Cameroon to cover phase two of the potable water supply project in nine towns in Cameroon.

 

Chinese, Russians Swimmers Cross Heilong River to Promote Sports Exchanges, Friendship

Culture

Beijing, July 17:  More than 300 people from China and Russia swim across the "Black Dragon," or Heilong River, on July 16, 2017.

Aged between 18 and 65, swimmers from the two countries work in different fields.

The event is meant to promote sports exchanges and consolidate the friendship of between China and Russia. The activity also commemorates the 51st anniversary of Chairman Mao Zedong's famed swim across the Yangtze River.

thumbnail China and Russia Swimmers Consolidate the Friendship

The Heilong River marks the border between China and Russia along the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

Islamabad,July 14 : China Cultural Heritage week concluded in Pakistan's capital city Islamabad on July 14 , offering opportunity for Pakistani public to enjoy different kinds of Chinese artworks.

The event was organized by Embassy of China, China Culture Center in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

China Cultural Heritage Week at PNCA Islamabad in Pakistan

The exhibition was titled Inheritance and Innovation Exhibition of Dalian Jinpu New Area Intangible Cultural Heritage.Different kinds of Chinese artwork such as Jinzhou Modern Folk Painting, Chinese Paper-Cutting, Bird-Worm Seal Script, Dough Modeling as well as Ceramic Handicrafts were presented during week-long exhibitions that continued from July 7 to July 14.

 China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

In the concluding ceremony of China Cultural Heritage week, China Cultural Centre has donated some of the precious art work to the National Gallery of PNCA.

Some of the art work includes Chinese Calligraphy, a book: The art of Chinese seal script, Chinese Shan Shui Painting, Color ceramic bowl, Paper cuttings.

 China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

Director General PNCA Syed Jamal Shah was the chief guest in the concluding the ceremony.

He highly appreciated the efforts made by the China Cultural Centre in introducing Pakistan to Chinese art and culture.

China Cultural Heritage Week in Pakistan

Bishkek, (Kyrgyzstan), July 7: One Belt, One Road and Xinjiang," an exhibition of works of art on paper made from the bark of the mulberry tree opened Tuesday in Bishkek, capital city of Kyrgyzstan, featuring Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Chinese calligraphy and painting

Wei Baoshan, senior secretary of the Xinjiang Academy of Chinese Painting greeted guests and showed off his calligraphic skills at the opening ceremony.

"This is one of the oldest craft on earth, a living relic of civilization and the greatest invention on the ancient Silk Road, which spread to Central Asia and Europe," said the Chinese artist.

The form of art also serves as a witness of political, economic and cultural exchanges between ancient China and the country of Central Asia, Wei said.

Wei emphasized the excellent properties of paper made from mulberry tree bark, explaining that the antiseptic material absorbs water well, is made of high tensile and will not fade for a thousand years.

"It is extremely valuable and won great favor among ancient artists. Western scientists call the paper an outstanding creation that came from the East," he said.

In 2017, the Xinjiang Academy of Chinese Painting organized a series of exhibitions in order to publicize the culture of the northwestern Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang and to promote exchanges in the field of culture and art between countries along the Silk Road.

The organizers have held a number of events dedicated to the theme, and the Bishkek exhibition is the latest.

The exhibition is organized with material support from the Chinese National Art Foundation and with the assistance of the Xinjiang Economic Newspaper, Contimost magazine and Bishkek Humanities University.

Sourcce by news.xinhuanet.com

SANTIAGO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Since learning Mandarin became possible in Chile 12 years ago, more than 10,000 students have been introduced to the Chinese language, local daily El Mercurio reported on Wednesday.SANTIAGO, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Since learning Mandarin became possible in Chile 12 years ago, more than 10,000 students have been introduced to the Chinese language, local daily El Mercurio reported on Wednesday.

Chineselanuage

The Chinese language is taught at 16 city-run schools in five regions of the country these days, half of them in the southern region of Biobio, due to "a regional initiative to get closer to China," Karina Pina from the Education Ministry told the daily.

Apart from learning a language that many believe will be in increasing demand as China becomes a leading global power, studying Chinese has the added benefit of increasing students' cognitive and artistic skills in other areas, said Pina.

"Constructing and understanding Chinese characters promotes a high degree of creativity in students, which expresses itself beyond the level of language," she said.

What's more, students who study Chinese "achieve a degree of cultural openness," and acquire "a broader vision of the world," she said.

In 2004, when Santiago hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, Chile and China signed an agreement to promote Chinese language learning. The program kicked off in 2005 at three city schools, with the goal of having 100 Chileans speaking Chinese by 2010.

Last year, 1,704 Chilean students enrolled in Mandarin classes, and this year, China sent 18 professors to teach at schools around Chile.

Chinese-language professors are provided by Hanban, the department of China's Education Ministry in charge of promoting Chinese as a second language abroad, through its network of Confucius Institutes, two of which operate in Chile, one at the Catholic University and the other at the University of Santo Tomas.

A little more than a decade since the Chinese-learning program began, Education Ministry has established a certification program to certify students who have achieved a certain level of linguistic skill, making them eligible to apply for scholarships to study in China.

The Ministry aims to have the country's secondary school students graduate with at least an intermediate level of Mandarin, "the level required to apply for the scholarships China's government offers to study there," said Pina.
Source by: news.xinhuanet.com

KATHMANDU, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Wednesday appealed to the general public to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making Yoga a part of their lives.

PM Deuba made the remarks when addressing a mass Yoga demonstration ceremony held in the capital Kathmandu on the occasion of the 3rd International Day of Yoga.

Claiming that Yoga helps maintain peace and harmony, he asked all to be healthy and prosperous through regular Yoga practice.

"Yoga is an ancient discipline which is essential for both mental and physical health. Yoga helps to have healthy body and health mind and in overall, a balanced life," Deuba said.

Along with the general Yoga practitioners, the prime minister also attempted the soothing "Om" chanting and expressed commitment for building a healthy society. Dressed in Nepali formal dress, Deuba also demonstrated standing Yoga postures to encourage the participating Yoga enthusiasts.

This is the second year the Nepal government formally celebrated the International Day of Yoga, which was declared by the United Nations in 2015.

Ministers, members of Parliament, dignitaries and hundreds of people from different walks of life jointly performed Yoga postures despite heavy rainfall since early morning.

Yoga has been gaining wide popularity in Nepal in recent years. It is regarded as an invaluable gift of ancient tradition and most essential for a healthy life.

Yoga instructor Mohan Man Shrestha told Xinhua on the spot, "I am teaching Yoga since last 10 years. If we continued Yoga every day, we should never visit hospitals or doctors. It's good for both physical and mental health."

"I am 64 years old but I have never taken any medicines or visited hospitals. It has been possible only through Yoga," added Shrestha.

According to instructors, maximum of the Yoga practitioners in Nepal are women. They gather in local Yoga centers or available spaces every morning and practice different postures.

Since health problems like gastritis, diabetes and uterus ailments are quite common among Nepalese, they regard Yoga as a perfect medium to fight such diseases.

Source by: news.xinhuanet.com

 

ALMATY. KAZINFORM - Kazakhstani fashion designers are expected to participate in the upcoming Milan Fashion Week F/W 2017-2018, Kazinform reports.

 

Milan Fashion Week is the third week on fashion calendar. Kazakhstan will be represented by 5 fashion brands at the event. 

Kazakhstani designer Ayazhan Zhaksybai believes it is very important to create a brand that will be competitive at the global market. 

Unfortunately, in her words, many Kazakhstani designers start small. 

"They [designers] develop their brands with the focus on inner market and plan to go global in the future. However, I think this is the wrong approach. It is crucial to prepare your product for international market. This is exactly what we are doing right now. We are developing a clothing, an accessories and a jewelry brand," Ms Zhaksybai said. 

She believes that the Milan Fashion Week is a chance for Kazakhstani brands to access the global market. 

"This is of paramount importance for the development of our product," the designer added. 

In order to boost competitiveness of Kazakhstani fashion companies, the country enlisted the help of foreign specialists. One of them Pitusa Bolano delivered a workshop on how to create design popular among consumers.

"We've demonstrated Kazakhstani designers and producers how to develop collections suitable for European market. Kazakhstan stands a good chance to enter the global market thanks to excellent quality of its products," Ms Bolano said.

Source by: inform.kz

 

Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Export and Import of Food Products Sign Cooperation

Economy

Beijing, Aug 3, IRNA : Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and China Chamber of Export and Import of Food Products signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on economic cooperation for the promotion of food business between the two countries. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of international conference on dried fruits, which kicked off on Thursday for duration of 2-day in the city of Guangzhou, sprawling port and capital of Southern China's Guangdong province.
Iran and China
Head of Iran-China Chamber of Commerce Assadollah Asgar Ouladi in a speech explained economic cooperation situation between Iran, China and presented figures concerning world export of pistachio and Iran's share in this market.
 
The conference is held with the aim to improve exchange process between companies active in dried fruits and promotion, development of nuts industry in China.
It is expected that experts from different countries would share their experiences in the conference.
 
On the sidelines of the conference an exhibition will be held by companies active in dried fruits industry and among them five Iranian companies will present their products.
 
Source: IRNA

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Doing a Significant Work for the Development of the Silk Road

Silk Road Fund

Baku, July 19:  Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are doing a significant work for the development of the Silk Road.

Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan Aydin Aliyev made the remarks during the trilateral meeting of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey, with participation of First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Customs and Trade of Turkey Bulent Tufenkci on July 19, Trend reported.

Aydin Aliyev stressed that the three countries pay special attention and carry out large-scale work in the spheres of increasing freight traffic and ensuring energy security in the region.

In turn, Turkish Minister of Customs and Trade Bulent Tufenkci said that the construction of the Turkish part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, which is an important part of the historical Silk Road is planned to be completed by late 2017.

The Minister added that in the past, there were certain problems with the project implementation but they have already been fixed.

The three sides signed declaration on establishment of a permanent commission that will help improve relations between the customs structures of the three countries, as well as business and customs authorities in the region.

The customs bodies of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will jointly work on the development of transit cargo transportation, invest in the modernization of customs services, and create mechanisms for the exchange of information on subjects and goods passing through the borders of the three countries, in accordance with the declaration.

Moreover, the customs services of Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement on the creation of an electronic system for the exchange of information on transit transport by road.

The new Silk Road project, which involves over 60 countries with a population of 4.5 billion people, runs through an area of 40 million km2.

 Turkey, which is located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, is one of the leading countries participating in the Silk Road and the corridor of the Silk Road will connect Europe with Central Asia through Turkish Anatolia and will be brought to China.

Currently, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are working on the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway.

The BTK railway is being constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement. The main purpose of the project is to improve economic relations between the three countries and gain foreign direct investment by connecting Europe and Asia.
The project implementation began in 2007 and construction began in 2008.

The line is intended to transport one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the first stage. This capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo. 

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to almost $1.2 billion in the first half of 2017, between Azerbaijan and Georgia-$270.35 million, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.

China's Digital Economy Surges to 22.6 trillion yuan ($3.35 trillion) in 2016, Drives Engine of Economic Growth

Economy

Beijing, July 19: China's booming digital economy had been serving as a major engine for the country's economic growth.

China's digital economy surged 18.9 percent in 2016 to 22.6 trillion yuan (3.35 trillion U.S.

dollars), according to a white paper issued by China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The expansion was much faster than that of China's overall economy, which grew 6.7 percent in 2016.

Digital economy accounted for 30.3 percent of China's total gross domestic product (GDP) over the year, said the white paper. Taking its spillover effect into account, digital economy contributed 69.9 percent to the GDP in 2016, it added.

Digital economy, also known as the Internet economy, is based on digital computing technologies, comprising new business models such as e-commerce, cloud computing and payment services.

Technology is functioning as a driver of revenue and enabler of new business models for many Chinese companies, including China e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com.

China's digital economy grew significantly higher than the overall economy, becoming a major engine of growth, said the paper.

CAICT expects China's digital economy to be valued at 32 trillion yuan and account for 35 percent of the whole GDP by 2020, before taking up over half of the country's GDP by 2030, according to the white paper.

China has made a point of promoting digital economy as part of its measures to upgrade the economy, and the central and local governments had identified digital economy as "major development strategy."

At the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, China put digital economy high on the agenda, making it part of the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth for the first time.

In March this year, Report on the Work of the Government called for more efforts to deepen the development of "Internet Plus" and accelerate the growth of digital economy. This is the first time that "digital economy" was referred to in such a report.

And the central government is to formulate and issue a strategic plan for promoting digital economy, according to the State Council executive meeting held on July 12.

Local governments had also geared up for digital economy, with Guizhou, Jiangsu, and Anhui among others, having made provincial-level plans to make their economy more digitalized.

For example, southwestern Guizhou aims to make added value created by digital economy grow 20 percent annually and carve up at least 30 percent of the province's GDP by 2020.

Digital economy has become an area where China's economic transformation and industrial upgrading can achieve major breakthrough, said MIIT Minister Miao Wei in April.

Miao pointed to smart manufacturing, industrial Internet, sharing economy, and the digitalization of traditional industries as areas that should be boosted.

The development of China's digital economy, however, is imbalanced, with the service sector adopting the digital economy more extensively than the primary and secondary industries, said Lu Chuncong, president of Communications Policy and Economics Research Institute, CAICT.

Regulation of market access does not suit the development of digital economy, said Lu, calling for establishing a mechanism of negative list where all market players can enter digital economy on an equal footing.

Source: (Xinhua)

China's Silk Road Unlikely to Derail India-Japan Relations

Silk Road Fund

Amid speculations that Japan could jump on China’s "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) bandwagon, Indian experts project a grim possibility of such venture.

New Delhi, July 18:  A meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg, Germany this weekend triggered speculation that Japan could be joining OBOR ["One Belt, One Road"] — China’s trade and development strategy that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries via land and sea.

The Japan News quoted Prime Minister Abe as saying “It (OBOR) has potential. We hope the initiative will contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity by adopting ideas held by all in the international community. We want to cooperate in that respect.”
This statement was widely construed as an affirmation of Japan’s desire to participate in the Chinese with the intent of reaping dividends for its domestic companies as well as to gain a voice within a big-ticket project. It was also seen as Japan’s tactical pressure on the US as a key ally joining a Chinese-led initiative could force President Donald Trump to reconsider his stance on withdrawing from the Asia-Pacific region.

Earlier in March this year, China had organized a grand summit in Beijing to showcase its plans to build OBOR – a network of trade routes that will connect Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. India and Japan were also invited along with 65 other countries. While India flatly refused to participate, Japan, after initial reluctance, had agreed to send a low-key delegation to the summit. Around 60 countries have so far agreed to be part of the project, with a cumulative estimated investment of as much as $8 trillion.

Indian experts say while Japan did attend the OBOR Summit in Beijing, there still remains an open-ended debate within Japan over their level of engagement. “There is no concern for India as we still don’t know what level of engagement Japan is eyeing in the project. There is a significant domestic lobby within Japan, particularly industry people, who want to take part in the project as it makes business sense for them. But, Prime Minister Abe hasn’t committed anything so far and he is coming to India later this year where we will get a very clear idea of what’s going on. Also, even if Japan wants to get involved in the OBOR, we can’t prevent or object to it. What matters is that Japan is also involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor. We have a strategic partnership with them,” K.V. Kesavan, Distinguished Fellow at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation told Sputnik.

India’s key concerns stems from the fact that a 3,000 km stretch of the project passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region which lies in the Kashmir region over which both India and Pakistan has territorial claims. India is also threatened as it feels that China is encircling it through a web of sea and land route under the garb of commercial projects, which could be used as military facilities as well.

Nevertheless, experts say it would be premature to speculate any impact of Japan’s seemingly changed stance on OBOR on India-Japan strategic partnership which is mainly aimed at containing the military rise of China. The two countries along with the US are currently part of the ongoing annual Malabar naval exercise in the Indian Ocean.

Source: Sputnik

AIIB Receives Third Triple-A Credit Rating from S&P Global Ratings

AIIB

Beijing, July 18: S&P Global Ratings ("S&P") announced it has assigned the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) its highest possible rating and a stable outlook. According to its press release, S&P has provided its 'AAA/A-1+' long- and short-term issuer credit ratings to AIIB.

S&P stated: "The ratings reflect our opinion that over the next three-to-five years AIIB will establish a track record and significantly enhance its operational setup, supporting our assessment of its very strong business profile and its extremely strong financial profile."

The full press release announcing S&P’s decision is available here.

The document entitled "Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Assigned 'AAA/A-1+' Rating; Outlook Stable", dated July 18, 2017 is entirely the copyright of, and is reproduced with the permission of S&P.

The contents of such document are the property of S&P and subject to the disclaimers contained in such document. By accessing the above-described document, the user acknowledges the disclaimer.

AIIB makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of this document, and accepts no liability for the consequences of your placing any reliance on it.

China's New Economy Picking up Steam Amid Steady Growth

Economy

BEIJING, July 17 : China on Monday reported steady growth of 6.9 percent for the first half of 2017, though the figure was overshadowed by reform progress and performance in new economic sectors.

Consumption and service, together with the innovation-driven new economic sectors, are taking up larger roles in the economy, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

NEW ECONOMIC SECTORS

The high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors are leading the country's industrial growth, with year-on-year output increases of 13.1 percent and 11.5 percent in the first half, respectively, compared with a 6.9 percent rise in overall output.

"New economic strength is on the rise," said Xing Zhihong, a spokesperson with the NBS.

In the first six months, up to 45.6 percent of the total industrial investment went into technological improvement, paving way for future industrial upgrades, according to Xing.

Online sales of physical goods, one of China's major new business patterns, rose 28.6 percent to 2.37 trillion yuan (about 350 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 13.8 percent of the country's total retail sales.

An NBS survey into China's 40,000 small and micro-firms, crucial businesses in the country's pursuit of new and inclusive economic growth, showed that the business climate index of these firms reached a two-year high of 96.5 percent in the second quarter.

Wu Yibing, joint head of China of Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings, told Xinhua that his company wanted to increase investment in China's new economic sectors as Temasek was optimistic about China's ongoing economic transition.

He named a few new economic sectors which he described as "very attractive," including high-tech, non-banking finance, life science and consumption.

"Investment into these industries has witnessed better performance than the company's overall investment portfolio," he said.

NEW GROWTH ENGINES

Progress is also being made in the country's supply-side structural reform and growth engine shift, according to the NBS.

The service sector, already accounting for 54.1 percent of the overall economy, expanded 7.7 percent year on year in the first half, outpacing a 3.5 percent increase in primary industries and 6.4 percent in secondary industries, NBS data showed.

In the same period, the contribution of domestic demand to GDP growth reached 96.1 percent, 0.3 percentage points higher than the first quarter level, a trend much in line with China's efforts in growth model shift.

Meanwhile, industrial capacity utilization stood at 76.4 percent in the first half, up 3.4 percentage points from a year ago.

In terms of de-stocking in the property market, the floor space of unsold homes were down 9.6 percent at the end of June.

Growth in property development investment continued to decelerate to 8.5 percent in Jan.-June, down from 8.8 percent during the first five months, adding to evidence that China's property market is running out of steam amid government cooling measures to quash potential asset bubbles.

BETTER GROWTH OUTLOOK

The ongoing economic transition and structural reform sparked optimism on China's future growth outlook.

"China's economy is operating within a reasonable range, maintaining stable, coordinated and sustainable development, laying a solid foundation for achieving the annual target," Xing said.

In the second quarter, GDP growth was steady at 6.9 percent year on year, flat from the first quarter, but well above the government's annual growth target of 6.5 percent.

Looking ahead, Xing said more positive changes were on the way and that the firming would be consolidated by improvement in the real economy and expansion of both external and domestic demand.

During a two-day National Financial Work Conference that ended Saturday, China unveiled reform plans to improve the financial sector's capabilities to serve the real economy while guarding against systemic risks.

Nomura Securities said in a report after Monday's data release that given the data, it was raising the forecast for the third-quarter growth to 6.8 percent from the previous 6.6 percent, and the annual growth forecast to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent.

The forecast of a gradual growth slowdown due to a weakening property sector, possible moderation of domestic demand as well as uncertainties over external demand remained valid, the report said.

Source by: Xinhua

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Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education Held at Air University, Islamabad

Education

Islamabad, July 17: The first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education was held at Air University, Islamabad, to boost greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) which has added new momentum to the time-tested China Pakistan cooperative partnership.

Education experts, scholars,researchers, policy makers and students from China and Pakistan attended the forum, jointly organized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and China Association of Higher Education. 

 China Forum on Higher Education1

The forum started with a welcome note from the Vice Chancellor, Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by Lt. Gen. (R) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant CPEC at HEC.

Speaking at the forum Ms.Xiaomei Wang,the leader of the Chinese educational delegation, highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of China and Pakistan. She also the policy makers to boost academic exchanges and joint research projects between between Higher Education bodies of the two countries for scientific collaboration in various areas.

 China Forum on Higher Education2

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Highlighting the educational opportunities under China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) in his inaugural address,Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal said “CPEC means Pakistan’s entry into the global supply chain,”.

 Ahsan Iqbal further said that the current government is fully supportive of higher education commission aimed at capacity building of existing HEIs ( higher education institutes) to prepare suitable human resource for CPEC and promote cultural harmony between the two countries.

 China Forum on Higher Education3

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

He also appreciated the efforts of the Higher Education Commission for building CPEC University Alliance and CPEC Consortium of Business Schools. “These efforts will help build collaborative linkages and intellectual connectivity which symbolize the spirit of CPEC,” he said. The minister welcomed the Chinese Scholars to Pakistan which he hoped will explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries.

 China Forum on Higher Education4

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

Earlier, in his address, the Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized in not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The Forum focused on three areas: National Role and Contribution in Improving Quality of Higher Education; Ensuring Quality with Large-scale Increase in Access; and Balancing Quality of Higher Education in Diverse Regions. 

 China Forum on Higher Education5

Islamabad (July 17, 2017): Vice Chancellor of Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir presenting souvenir to Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on the occasion of Pakistan-China Forum, held at Air University, Islamabad.

The one-day forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” was also addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries, and attended by a large number of educationists and students.

By Muhammad Arif

China-Tech: World's First Production Line for High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Starts Mass Production

Sci & Tech

Baotou,(China), July 17: The world's first production line for high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) fuel elements has started mass production at China North Nuclear Fuel, headquartered in Baotou in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The 200,000 spherical fuel elements were made Monday, marking a transition from a test production line to an industrial one, according to Wang Shoujun, president of China National Nuclear Corporation, parent company of China North Nuclear Fuel.

China is cementing its leading position as a manufacturer of HTGR fuel elements, Wang said.

With a designed capacity of 300,000 spherical fuel elements per year, the production line will provide fuel for the demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor plant being built at Shidaowan, near Rongcheng city in Shandong Province.

China has independent intellectual property rights for the production line, which was put into operation in 2016. The HTGR is best known for its inherent safety design.

Pakistan Television to Air Chinese Cartoon Series under CPEC Cultural Cooperation

CPEC

May 17: Pakistan Television (PTV) will begin airing Chinese folk opera cartoon series titled “Three Drops of Blood, a step towards expanding horizon of cultural exchanges and media cooperation between Pakistan and China under the framework of CPEC, a flagship project of China's Belt and Road development plan.

The announcement was made at the official launching ceremony jointly organised by the National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and Pakistan Television (PTV) on Friday evening.

 Deputy Chief of Mission, Chinese Embassy, Zhao Lijian graced the ceremony as chief guest while General PNCA, Syed Jamal Shah and Chief Planner Yong Tao, Bai Zhijun were also present.

Speaking at the mesmerizing ceremony, General PNCA Jamal Shah said “Three Drops of Blood”, Chinese Shaanxi folk Opera cartoon, sheds light on the strong ties between Pakistan and China, and lauded the cultural exchanges between the two countries which he said had been of high calibre and value.

Appreciating the continuous support of China, increasing investment and cooperation in art and culture by the Chinese government, he said: “Art and culture engages people in an intimate manner, thereby transpiring several other levels of engagement. Art and culture inform individuals about themselves intimately. Intimate knowledge becomes strength making people informed decision makers.”

He further added by saying the program will be followed by a workshop of animation by inviting emerging animators from schools and media institutions. While a Chinese film festival will also be arranged.

Depicting traditional values of Chinese culture, “Three Drops of Blood” is a classical story with 500 years’ circulation by a theater genius known as Oriental Shakespeare with a long lasting performance of 100 years.

Directed by Bai Zhijun and Produced by Wang Nan, the cartoon series is a joint cultural product of Shaanxi Association of the Promotion of International Cultural Exchange, the Shaanxi Dramatists Association, the Xi’an Qinqiang Theater Co, Ltd, The Xi’an Silk Road Modern Art Center and Shaanxi Zhongshan Cultural Media Co.

The story’s themes revolve around ancient and apocryphal issues, the Emperor’s Court, interpersonal relations and textual research on the classics of the upper class, meanwhile involving folklore, anecdote, medical science, divination and astrology, and the tales of God’s, ghosts and goblins discussed among the lower classes.

According to the producers, the cartoon stories also reflect contemporary social issues, laying bare several of its contradictions besides illustrating the good and evil conduct of various social classes of the day.

The program will be screened on PTV World every Saturday for six weeks.

Since the launch of CPEC, increase in people to people exchanges and collaboration in art and culture sectors have attained significant place on the agenda of policy makers of China Pakistan strategic cooperation partnership.

By: Muhammad Arif

AwesomePakistan.Net Honored by Joomla Int'l CMS

Travel to Asia

Islamabad, July 21: Joomla an international platform for free and open-source content management system (CMS) honors AwesomePakistan.Net for incredible web design and development as well as rich content on Pakistan’s Travel and Tourism Industry. Awesome Pakistan Team is proud to present Pakistan at international forum like Joomla. Silk Road Media, Skyline Travel, Congratulate the team of AwesomePakistan.Net. We will continue our efforts to bring Pakistan’s Rich Heritage, Wonderful Natural Beauty and Amazing Diversity at World Stage.

Thank you Team AwesomePakitan.Net

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