China’s foreign trade grows 4.1 percent in first five months


In the first five months of this year, the total value of China’s import and export of goods reached 12.1 trillion yuan, up 4.1 percent year-on-year. Exports were 6.5 trillion yuan and imports 5.6 trillion yuan, increasing by 6.1 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, according to China Customs statistics.

China’s import and export volume in May stood at 2.59 trillion yuan, an increase of 2.9 percent. Exports grew by 7.7 percent to reach 1.43 trillion yuan while imports were 1.16 trillion, down 2.5 percent.

China’s general trade rose rapidly and its proportion grew in the first five months. China’s trade volume with the EU, its largest trading partner, increased by 11.7 percent to 1.9 trillion yuan, and that with ASEAN, its second largest trading partner, grew by 9.4 percent to 1.63 trillion yuan.

The United States is China’s third largest trading partner currently. The China-US trade value went down by 9.6 percent to 1.42 trillion yuan, accounting for 11.7 percent of China’s total foreign trade.

Over the same period, China’s trade volume with countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative increased by 9 percent to 3.49 trillion yuan, 4.9 percentage points higher than the overall pace.

The volume accounted for 28.8 percent of the total foreign trade value and the proportion increased by 1.3 percentage points.

The import and export volume of private enterprises grew rapidly with a rising proportion. Exports of electro-mechanical and labor-intensive products maintained steady growth and imports of crude oil and natural gas grew in volume.

A report on China’s foreign trade recently released by the Ministry of Commerce pointed out China’s foreign trade environment has become more complicated and gained greater uncertainty since this year. But it should be noted that there are many favorable conditions to support China’s foreign trade development.

The previous five months’ statistics indicate that the foundation for high-quality development has been further consolidated and the endogenous power for foreign trade growth has continued to increase. In addition, new types of business models are becoming a new driving force for the steady growth of foreign trade.

A more friendly business environment and stronger new economic drivers in the future will better guarantee the high-quality development of China’s foreign trade.

Zhang Jianping, director of the Research Center for Regional Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce, believes that in response to the pressure and challenges, it is necessary to deepen supply-side structural reform in the financial sector, so as to provide a more favorable business environment for foreign trade enterprises.

Zhang said it is important to cultivate new growth points for foreign trade by promoting trade and investment facilitation based on the trial experience from pilot free trade zones. It is also necessary for China to strengthen cooperation with BRI countries, in a bid to build a diversified foreign trade market to accelerate foreign trade growth.

Income tax reform increases personal disposal income

The staff members of Taxation Bureau of Quanzhou, Southeast China’s Fujian Province, handling business for taxpayers on Friday. [Photo: Xinhua]

From January to April, China’s reforms on individual income tax, including raising the tax threshold and introducing additional deductions, helped cut tax by 214.3 billion yuan and exempted 99 million people from paying personal income tax.

Under the scheme, an average of 1,026 yuan per capita in tax was cut for Chinese people in Q1, according to statistics from the State Administration of Taxation (SAT).

Statistics in Q1 indicate that taxpayers aged from 36 to 50 years old benefited most from the additional deductions, said Cai Zili, an officer with SAT.

“Education, housing and elderly support are the major expenses for middle-aged people. The more they spend on these items, the more tax cuts they will get,” said Wang Yanming, director of the municipal taxation bureau of Weifang, east China’s Shandong province.

From January to April, personal income tax cuts for people aged between 31 and 50 years old accounted for 67 percent of Weifang’s total tax cuts in this area.

Li Xuhong, an expert on finance and taxation from the Beijing National Accounting Institute, pointed out that the individual income tax reform could not only lessen the tax burden for those on lower incomes, but also stimulate consumption.

Yang Wenjuan, a technician from Shengrui Transmission Corporation, who is studying postgraduate courses at Tianjin University while working, said with the new deduction on expenses for further education, she received a monthly tax cut of 400 yuan.

The individual income tax reform is also expected to increase consumer spending by 717.6 billion yuan, according to a report released by Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research.

A third of college graduates quit job within six months of graduation

About 33 percent of Chinese college students who graduated last year quit their first jobs to secure a new one within half a year of graduation, citing low salary and little space for career development, according to an annual report on Chinese college graduate employment released on June 10, 2019.

The report shows that 66 percent of those who graduated in 2018 have jobs related to their majors. Those who took jobs unrelated to their majors said this was because such roles better met their expectations for career development, or they simply had to find a job to support themselves short-term.

Ninety-three percent of graduates majoring in medicine are in careers relating to their major, the highest rate among all graduates, followed by those who majored in education; while only 57 percent of those who majored in agriculture went on to work in their field.

The report was based on a survey of 303,000 college students who graduated in 2018.

Giant panda twins set Guinness World Record

(Photo provided by China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda)

Giant panda twins He He and Mei Mei have set a Guinness World Record for being the first pair of pandas born to both captive and wild parents, reported on June 12.

The panda twins represent a breakthrough achieved by China in giant panda conservation and research, said Mark McKinley, a Guinness World Records official. The award serves as an acknowledgment of China’s contribution to giant panda protection, he added.

The certificate also means that China’s project to encourage captive pandas to mate with wild pandas has received recognition.

The project to encourage captive pandas to mate with wild pandas was initiated by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. Under the project, female panda Cao Cao was released into the wild and successfully mated with a male panda from Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve.

On July 25, 2018, Cao Cao gave birth to panda twins He He (Harmony) and Mei Mei (Happiness).

The new record will be added under the China column of this year’s Guinness World Records book.

University graduates prefer second-tier cities to first-tier ones

Pudong, Shanghai (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

Chinese university graduates are leaving first-tier cities for second-tier cities, according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by, China Youth Daily reported on June 13.

The reason for this phenomenon, according to 63.8 percent of the respondents, is that the graduates want to escape the pressure of working and living in metropolises such as Beijing and Shanghai. In second- and third-tier cities, they are more likely to live a comfortable life.

Reports confirmed that Beijing and Shanghai have experienced slow and even negative population growth in recent years, an important reason for which is the outflow of university graduates studying in these cities.

Through rolling out a slate of favorable policies to attract university graduates, such as preferential treatment for permanent residence, housing and government subsidies, second-tier cities have become popular destinations for university graduates.

China marches into international animation field

Two visitors learn to control a shadow puppet from a Chinese worker during the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. (People’s Daily/Liu Lingling)

Chinese animations introduced during the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Festival caught the eyes of publishers and investors from foreign countries and prompted them to seek cooperation.

During the festival held from June 10 to 15, China organized a promotion event to advertise domestic animations from 14 companies and institutes including China Central Television and the Beijing Animation and Game Industry Alliance.

The general manager from a Spanish animation company said his company has produced a well-received 15-episode cartoon series together with a Chinese counterpart. “We want to work with China because it’s rich in cultural heritage and features creative design and fine production.”

Arnold Boulard, founder of French animation company Gaoshan Pictures, is optimistic about the future of the Chinese animation market and is now co-filming an animation production with Chinese companies.

He mentioned that with China’s animation industry developing and its film production improving, many well-made Chinese animation works have attracted the attention of international cartoon companies.

“We could draw inspiration from Chinese stories and produce high-quality international animated cartoons together,” he said.

‘Chinese fever’ booms in Tajikistan

During the first half of this year, the number of candidates who took the Chinese Proficiency Test at the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University reached a record high of nearly 2,000 participants.

Students attend Chinese class at the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University. (Photo/Xinhua)

“Chinese fever” in Tajikistan is connected with the closer relations between China and Tajikistan under the Belt and Road Initiative framework.

Tajik people yearn to learn more about China and believe that mastering Chinese helps with their career development, said Kasimov Farruh, director of Confucius Institute at Tajik National University.

Since the Confucius Institute was founded in 2009, it has received more than 100 Chinese teachers from China, as well as teaching resources such as books and multimedia classrooms.

The institute has held more than 800 teaching and cultural activities. The educational institutions in Tajikistan expect that more Confucius institutes will be built and more Chinese cultural activities held in the future, Farruh said.

A Tajik student with the Chinese name of He Wenna said China has not only helped with the economic development of Tajikistan, but it is also providing opportunities for Tajik students to study in China.