Japan’s ambition is to become a global political power.

and diplomatic means alone cannot support Japan’s global ambitions. A military presence at the global level is needed if Japan is to expand its political clout.

Compared with old European powers like the UK and France, Japan’s military influence in Europe is jerkwater. But it is different after Japan signed military pac

ts with these countries – Japan’s political influence is increasing because of the support of military powers.

With the influence of the UK and France declining in the Asia-Pacific region, their military activities can get the support from Japan via the A

CSA, which will immensely boost Japan’s military clout. These European countries will not look at J

apan through the military lens, which will effectively strengthen Japan’s political might.

Meanwhile, exchange of military provisions will help enhance pe

ople-to-people exchanges between Japan and these countries, exerting Japan’s cultural influe

nce in these countries and beyond. Even if Japan fails to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it can still play a major role in th

e world. This has been part of the global strategies of the Abe administration.

We can see that Japan signing ACSAs with six countries is not just for d

efense and military purposes, it’s part of an overall plan to influence economics, pol

itics, military and culture, which is a long-term strategic mind-set of the Japanese government.

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But things are gradually changing. The number of Chinese

The Chinese drinking culture is set for a transformation. According to a survey of 109,441 Chinese conducted by the China Youth Daily’s Social Investigation Center, 84 percent said they were not fan of the drinking culture in China.

The long tradition seems to be on the wane, reflecting a change in an important aspect of China’s material culture.

On one hand, as living standards improve, Chinese people pay more atte

ntion to their health. More people are choosing tea over liquor as their daily beverage. Instead

of sitting at the table for the night, people now prefer healthier lifestyles. On the other hand, Chinese pe

ople have realized that drinking culture may provide opportunities for the undeserving who can get what they want by

pleasing those who insist that they drink. This is not only unfair to the deserving but also undermines ethical conduct.

Nowadays, Chinese people have developed more decent drinking habits.

Those who risk their lives drinking heavily are not the so-called heroes anymore, and those who alw

ays urge others to drink may be gradually isolated by their friends. More and more Chinese pe

ople enjoy having only a few drinks and chat over the cup. Taking small sips and slowly tasting liquor seems more enjoyable.

In addition, real friendship cannot be measured by how much alcohol is consumed. Neither can bottles of liquor build relations am

ong people. Instead, they only hurt people’s feelings and health. When people are sober again, the ecstasy and promises disappear.

After all, true friends are those who care about your health, not those who urge you to drink.

Take my poor friend. After he got out of hospital, he completely forgot who forced him to drink at the t

able. When he was blind drunk and almost choked on his vomit, all he remembered was those who loyally stayed by his side.

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In the guidelines, the regulator set detailed rules on

the basic prerequisites that micro and small enterprises should meet to renew their loans and on the regulatory

requirements for banking institutions to do this type of business.

The loan renewal policy does not apply to real estate companies or enterprise group head office that are not engaged in production

and business operation. Besides, qualified companies should not have delinquent loans and interests with malice, according to Jiang.

In terms of pricing, the regulator said commercial banks should adhere to market principl

es and encouraged banks to renew micro and small business loans at a lending rate no higher than the previous rate.

As of the end of 2018, the balance of micro and small business loans of the banking sector in Beijing

increased by 15.23 percent year-on-year to 1.2 trillion yuan ($176.95 billion). During the same pe

riod, the number of micro and small enterprises that received loans grew by 59,500 to 257,200.

A recent survey on 617 micro and small businesses in 200 villages in Beijing’s peripheral areas found that at the start-up phase, 13 perc

ent of the businesses obtained bank loans, 13 percent borrowed from friends and relatives, 8 percent secured funding from

microcredit companies, nearly 8 percent received loans from small lending services offered by Alibaba Group Ho

lding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, while the majority of business owners used their own money or borrowed from individual creditors, said Mo Xiugen, di

rector of research at the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion at Renmin University of China.

He advised policymakers to encourage joint-stock commercial banks and microcredit com

panies to play a bigger part in providing financing to micro and small companies, as these financial institu

tions are more flexible and experienced in serving small business clients than large State-owned commercial banks.

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sights ranking places six Chinese artificial intelligence

ina is racing to the forefront of the global artificial intelligence sector, with six domestic companies earning their place on a recent list of the top 100 AI startups in the world.

Released by venture capital database CB Insights, the list includes 23 startups headquartered ou

tside the United States, including six each from China, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Chinese companies SenseTime, YITU Technology, 4Paradigm, Face++, Momenta and Horizon Robotics made it onto the list.

CB Insights reported Chinese startups SenseTime and Face++, which focus on facial recognitio

n technologies, are the best-funded companies, followed by California-based tech company Zymergen.

A total of 11 startups on the list are unicorns, startups valued at more than $1 billion, among w

hich five are from China. SenseTime gained the top spot among those 11 with a maximum valuation of $4.5 billion.

With the blossoming of big data, cloud computing and i

nternet technologies, AI has become a new focus of international competition.

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Another post by the same blogger claimed Zhai’s doctoral gra

aduation dissertation could not be found in the CNKI database, while all graduation dissertations written by his classmates were there.

Zhai’s studio said on Friday he obtained a Ph.D. from the Beijing Film Academy in June, and all h

is academic papers and his dissertation were written by him under the guidance of supervisors.

He has met all graduation requirements from the academy and is willing to be held responsible for any academic misconduct, the studio said.

Netizens later found Zhai’s supervisor Chen Yi, former director of the performance institute of the Beijing Film Academy, on

ly has a bachelor’s degree and has not published any academic papers. However, doctoral supervisors at the university are supposed to have a do

ctoral degree and publish at least eight academic papers and two academic monographs within five years.

Zhai posted an apology letter on his Sina Weibo page Thursday.

“After I have starred in a few films and TV series, I have become full of myself and forgotten honesty is the most important principle,” he said.

“Vanity has misguided me and I brought this attitude into writing academic papers. I will

withdraw from postdoctoral research at Peking University and I am deeply sorry to my school, teachers, fans and the public.”

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro released from hospital after 17 days

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro was released from the Albert Einstein

Hospital in Sao Paulo on Wednesday after convalescing from surgery and returned to the capital, Brasilia.

Bolsonaro spent 17 days in recovery, mainly in intensive or semi-intensive care units, but worked from his bedside for m

ost of that time, with his vice president, Hamilton Mourao, filling in for him for two of those days.

On the presidential campaign trail last year, Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen by

a lone attacker. He required a colostomy and underwent surgery in late January to reverse the procedure.

The surgical procedure reportedly went well, but his recovery had some complications. Last week, he had fever and was diagn

osed with pneumonia, but his health improved and doctors said he was able to leave the hospital and return to Brasilia.

Bolsonaro commented on social networks about leaving the hospital, noting that the ma

n named Adelio Bispo who had attacked him had been a member of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL).

At the time of the attack, the PSOL admitted Bispo had been a member, but said he quit the political organization years ago and was never very active.

So far, investigations have not uncovered a connection between the attacker and any Brazilian political party.

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Wang said his department encourages companies to pr

mote scientific and technology innovation to make them more competitive.

Zhou Yawei, a member of the Standing Committee of the Guangzhou Committee of the Communist

Party of China and secretary of the Party Working Committee of the Guangzhou D

evelopment District, said the district has registered more than 20,000 science and

technology companies and took the lead in innovation among 219 State-level development zones in China last year.

It is the first time the district – which is home to Sino-Singapore Know

ledge City, Guangzhou Science City and Guangzhou International Island – has led State-level de

velopment zones in scientific and technological innovation. It ranked second in 2017.

“The district, in the eastern part of Guangzhou, introduced preferential policies to promot

e scientific and technological innovation years ago,” Zhou said. “Priority was given to the dev

elopment of the information, artificial intelligence and biopharmaceutical industries.

“Scientific and technological innovation are expected to play an even bigger role in

the district’s economic development and industrial upgrading in the years ahead.”

Zhou promised to attract more high-end talent from home and abroad t

his year to help boost the district’s scientific and technological innovation efforts.

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Yueyang Huagu Opera originated more than 200 years ago. It is

 mainly popular in a dozen counties and cities in not just Hunan, but also in the adjacent Hubei province and the eastern Jiangxi province.

In its long development process, the opera has widely absorbed features of Yueyang folk tunes and artistic factors of other opera types to f

orm its own style. Traditionally, Huagu Opera had no full-time performing troupes, and was only pe

rformed by amateur artists, most of whom were local farmers, during slack farming seasons on temporary stages.

In 2007, Yueyang Huagu Opera was recognized by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, as a n

ational intangible cultural heritage for its cultural, historical and artistic significance.

In recent years, measures have been taken by the local government to promote the art form.

The One Yuan Theater, which aims to cultivate more audience, has been a successful att

empt, says Yi Wen, an expert of Huagu Opera, who works at a local cultural center in Yueyang.

“Traditional culture still means a lot to the local people. Even some younger residents have shown their interest in the opera,” Yi says.

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In the next stage, the two sides will still be subject to

various global pressures. However, I believe that the two sides will be able to propose m

ore weighty measures to solve differences in their further consultations,” Wei said.

Zhou Mi, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Coo

peration, said companies in the two countries definitely do not want to end their cooperation. Calling for a

stable environment, Zhou said more and more achievements may be made through cooperation at different levels.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US diplomatic ties. In 2018, trade volume between China

and the US exceeded $630 billion, and two-way investment surpassed $240 billion, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Nicholas Burns, former US undersecretary of state, said the Sino-US relationship is “the mo

st important relationship that both of our countries have.” The US and China, though facing certain challenges in bilateral relations, sh

ould learn how to compete with each other as well as how to work together, the official Xinhua News Agency cited him as saying.

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Environment protection campaign revitalizes China’s Hong

WUHAN – Chen Yuxiang lived on Honghu Lake in Central China’s Hubei province f

or 40 years since his birth. He now works as a machine operator at a shoe factory.

“I used to live on Honghu Lake and made a living as a fisherman, but the water became heavily pollut

ed and we had to find another way to earn money since there were hardly any fish in the lake,” Said Chen, 41.

Now, after a string of environment protection campaigns, all the fishermen have left the waters and now live and w

ork onshore with the help of government, restoring Honghu Lake’s charm and beauty.

Honghu Lake, the seventh biggest freshwater lake in China, was “a place b

etter than paradise,” as a popular song goes, with abundant fish, lotus and ducks.

In the 1980s, a crowd of fishermen from the east of China rushed in and settled down on Honghu Lake due to its rich natural resources.

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