Make homeland greenering country’s nats goals for im

President outlines goals for improving, protecting country’s natural heritage

President Xi Jinping has called for mobilization at the national level and joint particip

ation from the whole of society to move forward with large-scale campaigns to make the homeland greener.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Commit

tee, made the remark as he took part in a voluntary tree planting event in Beijing on Monday.

Working alongside students, Xi shoveled soil and emptied water buckets

before planting seven trees in a forest park in the capital’s Tongzhou district.

He underscored the importance of giving play to China’s honored tradition of loving, pla

nting and protecting trees to ensure that national forestation programs yield concrete results continuously.

He noted that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s creation of the tree planting festival on March 12 each year. Over

the past 40 years, China’s forest coverage and its net volume of timber have doubled, he said, adding that Chin

a has made the largest contribution to the world’s increase in the area of vegetation in recent times.

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The tax rate on No 2 taxable items, including some

sporting goods, textiles, electronic appliances and bicycles, will be lowered to 20 percent from the previous 25 percent, it said.

The move was aimed at expanding imports and boosting domestic consumpti

on, with tax rates lowered for many daily consumer goods, the commission said.

 Chinese singer Yi Yangqianxi on Monday shared his vision of promoting health among young

people, citing his experiences working with the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the Asia and Pacific session of the ongoing UN Economic and Social Council Youth Forum, Yi said that to bu

ild a healthier society, “we need to start with our own personal action, make healthy choices” and “we can make an effort to reach

out to those who need support, including children and teenagers.”Chinese singer Yi Yang

qianxi (front), who is a World Health Organization (WHO) China special envoy for health, attends the Asia and Pacific session

of the United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum, at the UN headquarters in New York, April 8, 2019. Yi Yangqianxi on Monday shared his vision

of promoting health among young people, citing his experiences working with the World Health Organization

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Greetings, gifts flooding firefighters after tragedy

A delivery man left several cartons of milk and rice cereal at Huaibei Road Fire Brigade in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. The gi

fts came with a note that said, “Toughest firefighters, promise me to come back safe and sound after every mission.”

An anonymous customer had placed the order for the Thursday afternoon delivery.

On the same day, Fuqiang Street Fire Brigade in Shijiazhuang also re

ceived 14 boxes of milk tea and yogurt from an anonymous person, along with a note that s

aid, “Protect yourselves and return safely. You have safeguarded people, and people will safeguard you, too!”

The public outpouring of compassion came after 31 people died in a forest fire in remo

te mountains in Sichuan province on March 31. The dead included 27 firefighters and four locals.

“When we saw the gifts and notes, everyone was deeply to

uched,” said Wei Zishuai, 32, commander of the Huaibei Road Fire Brigade.

“All our hard training and sacrifices are not in vain,” Wei added.

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Sending anonymous gifts and sentimental notes has quic

ickly spread across the country as a way to express people’s gratitude toward the firefighters and wishes for their safety.

In Tongxiang, Zhejiang province, the fire and rescue bureau even received a car key, along with a letter.

“The car has been maintained, please feel free to use it. I hope the car will be of use in your work,” it said, accor

ding to a Sina Weibo post by the Fire and Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The letter was signed by “Sichuan citizen”. The officers found the donor, a secondhand

car seller from Sichuan, thanked him and eventually talked him into taking back his car, according to the ministry.

As the gifts and heartwarming notes have become a trending topic on social media, experts said the enhancement of people’s fire s

afety and prevention awareness will help ease firefighters’ burden and better protect their safety.

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to ease permanent residency requirements in large cities

China said Monday it will ease the requirements for permanent residency in many large cities as part of its new urbanization push.

Restrictions on permanent residence permits should be scrapped in cities with populations betw

een 1 million and 3 million, according to a document outlining key urbanization tasks this year release

d by the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner.

For cities with populations of 3 million to 5 million, the qualifications for such permits should be “fully relaxed,” and the restrict

ions for certain key groups of people to get such permits should be removed, the document said.

Previously, the country has already gradually abolished permanent residency r

estrictions in small and medium-sized cities and towns with populations below 1 million.

The NDRC document also demanded cities with populations abo

ve 5 million to improve their policies and drastically expand the scale of permanent residency.

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In 2018, bilateral trade reached a historical high, surpa

ssing $682 billion, and it is only natural that the two sides should seek to consolidate their trade and economic cooperation since it provides a solid foundati

on for strengthening their overall relationship, and they have everything to gain from building on the current g

ood momentum in their relations and docking their respective development strategies.

At the 21st China-EU Leaders’ Meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Premier Li Keqiang is expected to underscore China’s resolve to deepen st

rategic mutual trust and cooperation with the EU, including on the Belt and Road Initiative that China has prop

osed as a means for improving global connectivity and shared development.

This year, Italy and Luxembourg signed memorandums of under

standing with China to jointly advance the construction of the Belt and Road, bringing to 22 the total num

ber of European countries that have signed cooperative agreements with China on the initiative.

It is not all hunky-dory of course, as two major powers, the two sides do differ on some issues, a

nd there are some disputes between them. However, their common interests far outweigh their differences.

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In Yangcao Village, Ma pushed for the establishment of a

 poverty-reduction workshop, where over 40 women from poor families found jobs. They draw on their fine craftsmanship and hand

made items such as wallets, insoles and pillowcases, which sell at places as far away as Beijing and Shanghai.

In December 2018, Shangyan and Yangcao were removed from the list of poverty-strike

n villages with eight other villages of Huanghua Township, which means poverty had dropped to 3 percent and

below, with all impoverished population included in the national basic medical insurance scheme.

Ma died about a year after she was diagnosed with lymph cancer by a Beijing-based hospital in May 2017.

Even during chemotherapy, she often thought about poverty relief work, and after five months treatment, she returned to her office.

The mountainous Guyuan City, where Huanghua Township is located, is one of the sites whe

re the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army of the Communist Party of China arrived during the epic Long

March from 1934 to 1936, which had seen a large number of officers and soldiers killed or injured.

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Xiongan New Area afforests over 1,400 hectaresngan New

The Xiongan New Area in north China have completed an afforestation project of more tha

n 1,400 hectares with several green belts built this spring, the Hebei provincial forestry and grassland bureau said Sunday.

By the end of March 29, Xiongan had planted trees covering an area of 1,466.7 hectares.

In 2018, Xiongan New Area afforested a total of 7,333 hectares, increasing the area’ forest coverage by 6 percent.

In January, China’s central authorities approved the 2018-2035 master plan for Xiongan. According to the plan, which str

esses high-quality development, Xiongan will become a modern city that is green, intell

igent and livable with “relatively strong competitiveness and human-environment harmony by 2035.”

Hebei will beef up afforestation programs. A total of 513,333 hec

tares of forest will be added in the province in 2019, increasing the forest coverage to 35 percent.

The province began a three-year afforestation campaign in 2018, planting more trees to build a “green wall” for Beijing.

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great strain on the tourist sites and limited tourigreat str

ces, including the transport system, which reduces the quality of tourists’ experience to a large

extent. So a good solution would be more paid leave on the one hand and flexibility for people to avail themselves of the holidays on the other.

Jiang Yiyi, a professor at the School of Leisure Sports and Tourism, Beijing Sport University

Too much pressure on transportation

The four-day May Day holiday would put the transport system to a se

vere test. Confronted with rising pressure on transportation facilities nationwide, the transp

ort department should intensify supply-side reforms to ensure people can travel without hassles during holidays.

Several transport sector problems need immediate attention. First, due to a lack of proper

planning, many tourist and public areas don’t have enough parking lots nearby-as a result, drivers find it extre

mely difficult to park their vehicles. In fact, some cities in Southwest China cannot receive the tourists they have tried s

o hard to woo because of the lack of parking lots near tourist sites and the ensuing traffic jams.

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The author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereot

yped, Stigmatized, and Ignored said at the same time, people start to see the positive aspe

cts of living single, such as being free to pursue their passions, enjoying solitude an

d putting the people they care most about at the center of their lives, instead of a romantic partner.

Other factors contributing to the rise of one-person househol

ds include high levels of divorce, increased education that leads to more employment and be

tter-paying career opportunities, and increased longevity and improved health at older ages.

As of 2017, the average age of a first marriage for women was about 27.5, while it was

29.5 for men. Demographers estimate that about 80 percent of Americans will marry at some point in their lives.

That’s a lot lower than the 95 percent who married in the 1950s and 1960s, and it may drop somewhat more, according to Steph

anie Coontz, a marriage historian and author of Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.

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