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More than 200 major generals of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force simultaneously took part in a recent examin
ation held across the nation, marking the Ground Force’s first large-scale test of its high-ranking commanders.
The examination was arranged by the Ground Force headquarters and was held earlier this month in seven loca
tions – Beijing, Fuzhou, Nanning, Lanzhou, Jinan, Urumqi and Lhasa. The largest test site was at the Ground Force Acade
my of Armored Forces in Beijing with 52 examinees, according to a statement from the Ground Force.
Experts from PLA National Defense University and inspecto
rs from the Ground Force’s disciplinary committee supervised the examination.
Participants were mostly made up of major generals and some senior colonels – commanding officers from
departments under the Ground Force headquarters, academies, schools, regional branches and training and test bases.
hinese and Asian art collectors have become more knowledgeable, sophisticated and are branching out for m
ore Western works, said Francis Belin, president of Christie’s Asia, who is excited about the trend.
“Chinese clients have evolved from being very dedicated to Chinese arts to gaining increasing interest
in other categories and expanding the spectrum of the type of objects that they wish to collect,” Belin told
Xinhua in an interview in New York City during Christie’s Asian Art Week held on March 19-26.
Diversity of collecting is one of three “fundamental trends” the auction house has obse
rved among the Chinese and Asian buyers, Belin said, noting the increased appetite to collect across categories.
About 10 or 20 years ago, Asian collectors focused primarily on the art that relates to their own c
ulture, he said, “we’ve seen this evolved in the past years to be much more holistic in the collecting of our Asian buyers.”
oss the period, be they old masters’ paintings, impressionist, or modern and contemporary, he said.
The second trend is that Chinese and Asian markets continue to grow and flourish
despite short-term macroeconomic challenges the world is facing, Belin said.
“We continue to see strong appetite for collecting and strong growth.
We continue to see a very strong demand and we do see (in Asian Art Week here) very stro
ng buying appetite from our clients; a depth of biding that even surprised ourselves,” he said.
The third key trend in Asia is growing number of young collectors, Belin said.
“There are more young billionaires in Asia than we have in Europe and in the U.S., and that’s also reflected in collec
ting, which is very exciting for Christie’s, because we can bring our clients much earlier on the collecting journ
ey with the best art across the world. And we can accompany them for even longer time in their journey.”
The flourishing Chinese culture market represents “fantastic opportunities” for Christie’
s and the auction house always attaches greater importance to the Chinese market, said the senior industry leader.
Being the first international fine art auction house to be gran
cated around 1 trillion pounds ($1.32 trillion) worth of assets, up from 800 billion pounds last quarter, from London to elsewhere in the EU since the 2016 Brexit
referendum, and more than 2,300 new workers have been hired locally by financial services companies in mainland Europe.
Pundits are still optimistic that Brexit will not significantly change London’s role as a global financial hub, arguing that co
mpanies are relocating in response to the wishes of their clients, not because of Brexit.
Donoghue said: “Major global financial firms, they are not abando
ning London as a consequence of Brexit. They are merely carving out the European Union side
of the business that is currently domiciled in London and relocating that element only to EU domicile because tha
t’s what the customers require and that’s what they need to do to preserve the market access to the EU.”
Catherine McGuinness, City of London corporation policy
chair, is confident that, in the long-run, London will retain its role as a leading international financial cen
ter because it has a dynamic cluster of financial and professional services that are used by the wider world, and not only Europe.
ve and have little interest in his studies, not even finishing homework. In order to change his
attitude, Gao Ziren visited his home every weekend, talking with his parents about the importance of studying.
Zhang Guangxing, Zhang Zuhao’s father, still remembered when Gao Ziren first visited
his home. Because of Gao’s insistence, the parents paid more attention to the child’s studies.
Gao Ziren said that because he walked slowly, it was too late for him to visit stud
ents’ homes after school, and therefore, he visited them on the weekends.
Now, many children follow their parents to live and study in cities, while som
e become left-behind children who live in rural areas and lack family care. Gao said it w
as important to be patient with left-behind children and pay more attention to their mental health.
Gao Xinyue, a second grade student who lives with her grandparents because her paren
ts work outside the rural area, was reticent and very timid when she first came to the school, performing poorly in her studies.
dle-income earners with higher-education backgrounds. “They are not billionaires, bu
t they can afford to buy a house and live a decent life, even without a job, for three or five years,” Chu said.
“Most important, they came to Dali with the idea of living a slow, simple, idyllic lifestyle that is differen
t to that in the big cities. Some say their dreams have already come true, but others feel they made the wrong decision.”
With an increasing number of newcomers arriving, Dali’s tourism and real estate markets have prospered since 2015. According to the local government, 24 p
ercent of property in the city was bought by new arrivals in 2015. Two years later, the number had risen to 60 percent.
Housing prices have surged from 6,392 yuan ($952 at the current rate) per square meter in December 2015 to 11,788 yuan per sq m in the same month last year.
A source at Yunnan Shili Real Estate Development Group, who requested anonymity, sai
d more than 80 percent of the commercial property on its books in Dali had been bought by nonlocals.
she opened the windows, breathed clean air, and the surroundings were often bathed in su
nshine, with beautiful flowers dotting the lake as waterfowl paddled on the surface.
However, in 2017, the local government ordered all 2,400-plus hotels, guesthouses and
restaurants around the lake to close until they had been checked and the authorities confirmed they had all the permits required.
With the tourism industry expanding rapidly in Dali, wastewater and garbage were often found being disposed of directly into
the lake due to insufficient or dilapidated facilities on the shore, creating one of the lake’s major sources of pollution.
Since October, a widespread environmental campaign has escalated and more t
han 1,800 lakeside properties within the protection zone – including 540 guesthouses – have been demolished.