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China’s Tibet eradicates absolute poverty

A tourist poses for a picture in front of the Potala Palace with a 50-yuan Chinese bank note on which the palace is printed, July 2. (People’s Daily Online/Wang Jianfeng)

China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has accomplished the historical feat of eradicating absolute poverty, said a recent press conference held by the country’s State Council Information Office.

The press conference, introducing the poverty alleviation efforts of the autonomous region, also briefed the policies of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on governing Tibet for the new era.

As of the end of 2019, Tibet has removed all of its impoverished counties from the poverty list, and lifted all of the 628,000 registered impoverished residents out of poverty, reducing poverty incidence to zero. The annual net income of poverty-stricken residents increased from 1,499 yuan ($226) in 2015 to 9,328 yuan in 2019, and over 99 percent of the residents were satisfied with the autonomous region’s poverty alleviation work.

Due to natural conditions and historical reasons, Tibet autonomous region was once an extremely impoverished area with the highest poverty headcount ratio, the highest cost for poverty alleviation, and the highest difficulty of poverty alleviation.

As of the end of 2015, all of the autonomous region’s 74 counties were impoverished, with an impoverished population of 590,000, leading to poverty incidence of 25.32 percent.

The CPC Central Committee has always attached great importance to the work related to Tibet, and cared about the people of all ethnic groups in the autonomous region. Since China’s reform and opening-up, the CPC Central Committee has convened seven central symposiums on work related to Tibet, aiming to promote the development of the region by issuing specially tailored measures and policies based on its actual conditions.

In recent years, Tibet has taken overall planning of economic and social development by eradicating poverty, and issued over 70 documents related to policies about poverty-alleviation after analyzing the reasons of poverty incidence.

China has adopted multiple measures of poverty reduction for Tibet, including developing featured industries, launching poverty alleviation relocation, promoting education and employment, implementing guaranteeing policies, and offering assistance to the autonomous region.

Since 2016, Tibet has invested a total of 39.89 billion yuan to implement 2,984 poverty alleviation projects, which lifted 238,000 people out of poverty and benefited 840,000 residents. The autonomous regions has completed building 965 poverty alleviation relocation sites, offering housing for 266,000 people. Over 90 percent of college graduates are employed, and 176,300 people from impoverished families have received training. Besides, 340,500 people in the autonomous region have secured a job other areas. All of the 110,000 impoverished residents in the region receive minimal living allowances, and 193,000 officials were sent to villages in 9 batches for poverty alleviation. In addition, 313 projects have been implemented to aid the autonomous region, with paid-in capital of 19.52 billion yuan.

Spillover effects of CIIE expand

Photo taken on July 25 shows the festive decorations outside the venue for the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. (People’s Daily Online/Yan Daming)

As more companies get ready for the debut of their products, services, and technologies at the upcoming 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) scheduled to kick off on Nov. 5, the spillover effects of the event continue expanding.

Exhibits at the previous expos are becoming commodities, exhibitors are turning into investors and a great number of outcomes are implemented at a faster pace.

In January, a new-generation cardiac cryoablation catheter exhibited by Medtronic, a medical technology and services company headquartered in Ireland, at the 2nd CIIE was successfully used in the surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation for the first time in Boao Super Hospital in south China’s Hainan province with the help of the green channel of Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone in Hainan.

At the 1st CIIE, Medtronic showcased its star product—the smallest pacemaker, Micra. A month later, the product was placed inside the body of a patient in China for the first time.

Since it was officially launched into the market during the 2nd CIIE, Micra has been implanted into the chests of more than 500 patients. The second-generation Micra, dual-chamber pacemaker, is going to be exhibited at the 3rd CIIE.

According to Alex Gu, Medtronic’s senior vice president and president of Medtronic Greater China, before they took part in the 1st CIIE, they weren’t quite sure of what the expo was, and when the 2nd CIIE started to enroll participants, they raced to sign up for it.

The company is going to search the bottom of its treasure chest for the best and latest products to send to the 3rd CIIE, Gu said.

What the CIIE has brought to Medtronic are not only rocketing number of orders and the opportunity to get better understanding of clients in third-and fourth-tier cities, but also a good reputation that the company didn’t quite acquire in 30 years since it entered the Chinese market, according to Gu.

The CIIE has become an indispensable platform for Medtronic’s development and cooperation with Chinese partners, Gu noted.

The contracted area of the registered enterprises for the 3rd CIIE has exceeded the planned area, and the number of Fortune Global 500 companies and industry leaders that have signed up for the upcoming event has reached the level of the previous expos, according to the China International Import Expo Bureau.

Most of the world’s well-known top ten enterprises in such industries as pharmaceutical, medical device, high-end consumer goods, and automobile have registered for the event, with dozens of enterprises applying to take part in the expo in the next three consecutive years, said the bureau.

In February, the Estee Lauder Companies Inc. announced that it would invest in China to build a world-class research and development center. The group’s net sales in the Chinese market returned to double-digit growth in March.

Over the past 27 years since its entry into the Chinese market, China has become the most important international market for Estee Lauder, said Joy Fan, president of the Estee Lauder Companies China.

The holding of the CIIE as scheduled is a vivid demonstration of China’s success in becoming the first country in the world to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and the general trend of the Chinese economy towards long-term growth, said Fan, adding that the company is optimistic about China’s development prospects.

Estee Lauder is ramping up efforts to prepare for the 3rd CIIE. In addition to expanding its exhibition area by about 100 square meters and bringing its 14 brands to the expo, the group is going to unveil multiple high-end products at the 3rd CIIE for the first time in the world.

Multinational pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) recently announced in Shanghai that it planned to add 451 million euros (about $534.3 million) into its investment in China to speed up research, development and innovation in the next five years.

The next decade is expected to witness the approval of 71 new products of the company in China, according to BI.

According to Felix Gutsche, president and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Greater China, during the 2nd CIIE, the company not only received high-value tentative deals on the purchase of drugs, but saw the approval process of multiple innovative drugs in China further accelerated.

In the end of 2019, Baize’an, a new anticancer drug jointly developed by BI and Chinese biotechnology company BeiGene, was approved to market, becoming the first innovative biological drug that was licensed in China through the model of sub-contract production.

This year, BI opened a branch of its digital lab BI X and its External Innovation Hub China in Shanghai to fully incorporate China into its global early clinical development programs and accelerate the entry of new drugs into China.

The European Commission approved an additional indication for the company’s product nintedanib in adults for the treatment of other chronic fibrosing interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) with a progressive phenotype beyond idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in July. Only a month and a half later, the indication was approved in China.

China is not only an important production base and consumer market, but also a source of global innovations in the future, Gutsche said.

When China raises the curtain for the grand event featuring the country’s higher-level opening up and efforts to promote cooperation and win-win results for the international community in the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, guests and exhibitors from all over the world will witness one more time how the country is determined to open its doors wider to the rest of the world.

TCM brings China and Ukraine closer

Former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, called on countries to value traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and apply it in the cause of health for mankind in a recent interview.

In August this year, Tymoshenko was diagnosed with COVID-19 and at one point was in critical condition. After hearing the news, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine not only sent her traditional medicines, but also contacted a TCM doctor named Cai Chuanqing to provide telemedicine services for her.

“I once falsely thought of the novel coronavirus as flu, and it was when the virus actually happened to my family and myself that I finally realized how serious it is,” she said.

“At the most difficult time, Chinese friends offered their help, which meant a lot to me,” she added.

After more than two weeks of emergency treatment, Tymoshenko recovered and later repeatedly expressed her gratitude to Cai via video and email. “TCM has played an important role in helping my family and me recover,” she said.

China is promoting TCM to the world under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which will benefit countries along the route, according to Tymoshenko, who added that she will actively facilitate the establishment of a TCM research and treatment center in Ukraine, and contribute to deepening the cooperation between Ukraine and China in this field.

TCM is very popular among the Ukrainian people. Doctors who have studied TCM are trusted in the country, and TCM has been used in clinical treatment in Ukraine, according to an associate professor of acupuncture and moxibustion at the Ukraine National Medical University and executive of the Qihuang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ukraine.

In October 2013, the Gansu University of Chinese Medicine in northwest China’s Gansu province and Ukraine National Medical University jointly established the Qihuang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ukraine to promote TCM culture and knowledge.

From 2013 to 2018, five batches of 55 trainees from Ukraine studied basic knowledge of TCM in Gansu.

Gansu boasts rich resources of TCM materials, a profound TCM culture, and a sound foundation for the development of Chinese medicine, said Yuan Ying, head of the foreign exchange and cooperation office at the health commission of Gansu province.

The province has carried out extensive and in-depth cooperation with Ukraine over the past five years, contributing to the promotion of the development of culture, medicine and friendship between the two countries, Yuan added.

China sees great progress in medical care

China has made substantial progress in medical care from 2016 to 2020, the period covered by the 13th Five-Year Plan. By the end of 2019, the country had over one million medical institutions. The number of licensed practitioners and assistant practitioners topped 3.86 million, up by 33.7 percent compared to 2014.

A medical worker at a health center in Zhili town, Wuxing district, Huzhou city, east China’s Zhejiang province, teaches children at Zhibei Kindergarten how to wash their hands, Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)

To better meet the needs of the people, the country has made remarkable improvements in its medical technologies and quality, and made continuous efforts to build a high-quality and effective medical service system since 2016, laying a solid foundation for the implementation of the Healthy China initiative.

Guo Yanhong, an official of the National Health Commission, explained that the most notable achievement in the past four years has been the increase in medical resources. As the number of medical institutions grows, more patients have been able to seek medical services. In 2019 alone, there were 8.7 billion visits to medical institutions across the country, up by 14.7 percent in 2014.

Guo added that fields that have had weak numbers such as paediatrics and obstetrics have been strengthened. Last year, there were 2.2 hospital beds per 1,000 children, an increase of 0.17 on the figure in 2015.

In terms of human resources, compared to the growth in number of licensed practitioners and assistant practitioners, the scale of registered nurses has expanded more rapidly. The figure now totals 4.45 million, an increase of nearly 50 percent from that of 2014, according to Guo.

Moreover, the country has improved the efficiency, quality and safety of its medical services, and used drugs more rationally and scientifically, with the proportion of inpatients using antibacterial drugs dropping from 61.4 percent in 2011 to 40.4 percent in 2018, Guo revealed.

Going forward, the country will continue to expand its medical resources, and address the disparity in medical resources between developed and underdeveloped areas.

Over 80 percent Chinese speak Mandarin

Bamboo slips printed with a poem are tied to a tree on a street of Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province on April 10, 2019. (People’s Daily Online/Wang Luxian)

At present, about 80.72 percent of China’s population speak Mandarin, and more than 95 percent of the literate population can use standardized Chinese characters.

The illiterate population accounted for over 80 percent when the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was just founded, but now the proportion has been reduced to less than 4 percent. The language barriers hindering the communication among Chinese ethnic groups have almost been removed.

Since the founding of the PRC, the country has greatly advanced its popularization of standard Chinese language, which tremendously promoted the construction of national economy, as well as the development of education, science and culture. It played an irreplaceable role in upholding national unity and ethnic solidarity, improving the well-rounded development of the people, and enhancing the moral and ethical standards of the society.

To vigorously promote and popularize the standard spoken and written Chinese language is the core task of the language affairs in the new era. In recent years, China has made further efforts to promote Mandarin in rural areas, remote areas and ethnic-minority areas. The country enhanced bi-lingual education and training in ethnic-minority areas and rolled diversified measures to popularize Mandarin. These efforts yielded rich results, and have greatly improved the popularity of standard spoken and written Chinese language in ethnic minority areas.

“Mandarin is a ‘road’ for me, on which I can communicate with more people and thus improve my livelihood,” said Yu Wulin, a farmer from Fugong county, Nujiang Lisu autonomous prefecture in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province. “Using Mandarin helps me better understand the outside world, achieve better development and enjoy a better life,” said Sonam Rinchen, an education worker from Gegye county, Ngari prefecture, Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

At present, the popularization of Mandarin is gaining speed in areas of extreme poverty, resulting in a constantly reducing number of impoverished residents unable to speak Mandarin, especially among the young laborers. Besides, the impoverished residents now have better communication capabilities in Mandarin, and stronger willingness to work or start businesses.

To inherit and promote the excellent language culture of the Chinese nation is a new measure of the language affairs in the new era, which is demonstrated by a series of data and projects in recent years.

The country launched a national Chinese classics recitation project, held Chinese classics contest, and distributed Chinese classics to grassroots units. The country gathered nearly 400 episodes of video resources about Chinese classics totaling 12,000 minutes, and organized online and in-person training sessions for over 10,000 teachers for recitation Chinese classics.

Language and cultural TV shows such as the Chinese Poetry Conference have been watched by over 3 billion times. In addition, China has initiated a protection program for Chinese language resources that collected and sorted Chinese dialects and minority languages in about 1,700 regions across the country.

China also built the world’s largest language source base that gathers 123 languages and over 10 million pieces of data about Chinese dialects. It launched a project to spread key concepts in Chinese thought and culture worldwide, and started studies on Chinese oracle bone inscriptions. As a result, the Chinese oracle bone inscriptions have been included on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Last year, the country commemorated the 120th anniversary of the discovery of oracle bone inscriptions with a series of high-profile events.

Meanwhile, China is continuously enhancing language and cultural communication and cooperation. The Putonghua (Mandarin) Proficiency Test, after being implemented for over 20 years, has been participated by more than 120,000 people, training more than 1,000 Mandarin teachers for Hong Kong and Macao. China and its Taiwan province have launched cooperation to compile Chinese reference books since 2010. So far, nearly 10 dictionaries have been published, and a website about Chinese language has been launched.

In 2014, Suzhou Consensus was reached at the International Conference on Language. Four years later, the International Conference “Role of linguistic diversity in building a global community with shared future: protection, access and promotion of language resources” kicked off, during which the “Yuelu Proclamation” was adopted.

As of the end of 2019, over 60 countries have incorporated Chinese language in their national education system, and more than 80,000 schools have been offering Chinese language courses for over 25 million students. There are around 110 million people studying and using Chinese language outside China.

Calendars scratch heads to seize market

As paper calendars have lost popularity, many people are turning to digital calendars on smartphones, with creative calendars featuring novel designs and Chinese cultural elements regaining popularity in China in recent years.

With the year 2021 approaching, several types of creative calendars have already hit the market.

A calendar themed on traditional Chinese poems features paintings of blooming flowers. (Photo/Liang Yuan)

The Palace Museum’s themed calendar for the next year features 365 collections of different types from various dynasties, specifically exhibiting Chinese farming culture.

The National Museum of China selected 365 collections from its over 1.4 million treasures, arranging them in chronological order for the themed calendar of 2021, using fonts originating from traditional Chinese calligraphy.

Both themed calendars of the Palace Museum and the National Museum of China introduce knowledge about China’s cultural relics, sharing cultural information along with historical dates.

Another popular calendar themed on select traditional Chinese poems in both Chinese and English, with the English versions translated by distinguished Chinese literature translator Xu Yuanchong, features works from an album of flower paintings by Italian painter Giuseppe Castiglione.

File photo: a page of the Palace Museum’s themed calendar for the year 2021. (Photo/Courtesy of the Palace Museum)

“The choice of a theme for a creative calendar is very important, requiring painstaking effort and relatively high production cost,” said Liang Yuan, an editor at the China Intercontinental Press.

The popularity of creative calendars also reflects a change in people’s consumption as they focus more on design, which is reflected in how delicate calendars will generally sell well despite their high price, Liang added.

According to data from an e-commerce platform, the latest calendar of the National Museum of China comes to the cost of 99 yuan (almost $15), while the price of the Palace Museum’s stands at 76 yuan (about $11).

China promotes common development

Photo taken on October 10 shows a dragon boat competition in Rong’an county, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. (People’s Daily Online/Gao Dongfeng)

China’s tourism sector witnessed a robust rebound during the combined Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holiday that lasted from October 1 to 8.

More than 600 million Chinese made domestic trips during the eight-day holiday, when the sales of key retail and catering firms monitored by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) totaled 1.6 trillion yuan (about $239 billion), with average daily sales rising 4.9 percent compared with the National Day holiday last year, data from the MOC showed.

Such figures mirrored the strong vitality of the domestic circulation of the country.

While global tourism is estimated to suffer from a loss of over $1 trillion this year, China’s tourism industry has almost returned to normal, said an article published on Hamburger Morgenpost, a daily German newspaper.

The whole country was on the move as hundreds of millions of Chinese visited their relatives and friends or took trips to tourist destinations during the past eight-day Golden Week holiday, a scene that was seen only 9 months after the global outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, the article described.

Many international media outlets have also made similar comments about China recently.

China has injected dynamism into economic development by making efforts to facilitate the movement of people and goods. The experience could also be helpful for other countries.

China has speeded up creating a “dual circulation” development pattern whereby domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.

It is a strategic decision made by the country in accordance with its development stage, environment, and conditions.

Facts have shown that China has continuously unleashed the potential of domestic demand and witnessed growing vitality of the domestic circulation. Meanwhile, international circulation has constantly gained new momentum as China has continued to expand opening-up.

China’s foreign trade rose 6 percent year on year in August, registering an increase for the fifth consecutive month.

The country has recently released a master plan for three new pilot free trade zones (FTZs) in Beijing, Hunan province and Anhui province, and adopted a plan to expand the pilot FTZ in Zhejiang province, bringing the number of its pilot FTZs to 21.

On October 11, China issued a plan on implementing pilot reforms in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong province, intending to develop the city into a demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the next five years.

By granting the city with greater autonomy in the reform of important areas and key links, China aims to advance higher-level reform and opening-up towards higher goals in Shenzhen.

Although economic globalization has been struck by headwinds, the world will never return to isolation, and no one can sever the ties between countries.

“We should pursue open and inclusive development, remain committed to building an open world economy, and uphold the multilateral trading regime with the World Trade Organization as the cornerstone. We should say no to unilateralism and protectionism, and work to ensure the stable and smooth functioning of global industrial and supply chains,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping at the General Debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

China has made it clear to the world that its sincerity and determination to cooperate with other countries for mutual benefits and common development have always remained the same.

By promoting high-quality development through high-level opening-up, China has brought new opportunities to the common development of China and the rest of the world, thus winning wide recognition and trust from the international community.

The country has continuously shortened its negative list for foreign investment and that in pilot free trade zones and officially cleared the negative list for foreign investment in financial sector.

The 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) has yielded rich fruits and the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in November is attracting more and more foreign enterprises.

It is widely acknowledged by the international community that joining hands with China means bright prospects for development.

It should be noted that despite the sharp decline in cross-border trade and investment, most multinational companies are still optimistic about China, and their strategy to secure long-term development in China has not changed.

From January to July, 18,838 new foreign-funded enterprises were established on the Chinese mainland, among which 415 were funded by Japanese, 860 by Americans, 849 by South Koreans, 584 by Singaporeans, 296 by British, and 245 by Germans.

About 92 percent of the respondents said that that they would continue to operate in China, according to a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai on more than 340 member companies.

Data from the European Business in China—Business Confidence Survey 2020 launched by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China suggest that about half of the members will invest 5 percent to 10 percent more of their annual revenue in China.

Nearly one-third will add more than 10 percent of their annual revenue to their investments in China, according to the survey.

A study carried out by the Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER) and Nikkei Inc., a Japanese company with newspaper businesses as its core, shows that nearly 70 percent of the respondents are confident in China’s robust consumer demand.

A majority of companies in semiconductor equipment and materials, as well as health care, are actually expanding Chinese production, said a Goldman Sachs report.

Bloomberg noted that as China’s financial sector opens wider, U.S. fund management companies are leading a new “gold fever” in China.

Numerous evidence has proved that international economic connectivity and exchanges are still the objective requirements of world economic growth, and the “magnetic effect” of openness and cooperation is objective existence driven by rules.

China today is more than the country itself; it is very much a part of the world. It is striving to achieve better quality, more efficient, fairer, more sustainable and safer development, which also represents the country’s efforts to promote the common development of all countries through open cooperation.

Proposing the new development pattern doesn’t mean that China will pursue development with its door closed. Instead, it will continue to open its door wider.

No matter how the international landscape changes, China, as always, will aim at achieving true common prosperity and following wide and open avenues for all countries so as to improve the common well-being of people in all countries and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Smart communities bring comfort to life

The application of a new generation of information technology such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence in communities across China is helping to deliver better services for residents, ensuring a more comfortable experience for them.

Staff members monitor the situation of a community through a platform based on big data in Anping, north China Hebei province on June 18, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)

A facial recognition system in place at a residential compound in Taiyuan, capital city of north China’s Shanxi province has made it easier and securer for residents to get in and out of the residential complex.

With the consent of residents, many smart communities in China have installed “contactless” facial recognition equipment, especially during the period of the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, as the equipment can reduce the risk of infection.

How to improve senior citizens’ wellbeing has become the focus of the construction of smart communities.

On June 10, a 74-year-old woman surnamed Wang living alone in a neighborhood in Tangshan, north China’s Hebei province, suddenly felt dizzy and dropped down on a bench during her morning exercise.

She immediately pressed the alarm button on her smart bracelet. Within a few minutes community workers arrived, along with doctors from a nearby health center, who saved her with high blood pressure caused by a sudden stretch and humid weather.

The neighborhood has given the seniors smart bracelets, which are connected with an intelligent community management platform, helping track their movement, monitor their health conditions and provide first aid, if necessary.

Other care services are also available in the smart community. For example, if a senior living alone does not leave their house after 24 hours, community workers will receive an alarm on their mobile phones and will then go to their residence for a wellness check.

Communities in China have also been exploring more application scenarios of smart technologies, such as installing surveillance cameras to curb high-rise littering, smart bins to assist garbage sorting, and intelligent security systems to ensure a safer living environment.

Many cities are accelerating the construction of smart communities. Qingdao in east China’s Shandong province is expected to build at least 28 pilot smart communities and 14 pilot smart blocks this year, turning 40 percent of its urban neighborhoods into smart communities in 2020.

Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province will push forward the construction of pilot smart communities in 30 residential compounds this year, while Hefei in east China’s Anhui province plans to complete the construction of 557 smart communities in 2020.

China ups support on real economy

A woman picks apples in Xizhangcun township, Shanzhou district, Sanmenxia, central China’s Henan province, Oct. 6. (People’s Daily Online/ Wang Jiandong)

During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period, China continuously strengthened its monetary policies, offering sufficient capital support for its real economy.

According to statistics, loans issued by financial institutions to the real economy increased by 12.33 trillion yuan ($1.82 trillion) in the first half of this year, reaching a historical high.

Thanks to the fast approval of a 3-million-yuan loan, the machines in a forestry development company based in Suichuan county, east China’s Jiangxi province cranked up again. Zou Shiming, general manager of the company told People’s Daily that his company faced huge capital pressure this year, which made it hardly able to deliver placed orders. It was the loan provided by the Suichuan branch of Jiangxi Bank, a product stemming from the People’s Bank of China’s relending policies supporting the development of small- and micro-sized enterprises (SMEs), that alleviated the burden of the company. The low-interest loan came with a 13.5-percent interest subsidy, according to Zou.

“We don’t have any guaranty, and it costs too much finding one,” said Li Fei, general manager of a mould technology firm based in Wenzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province. What he said is also felt by many SMEs. Fortunately, the Wenzhou branch of the Agricultural Bank of China co-established a risk guaranty fund with local government this year to help solve SMEs’ financing problems. Li’s company received a loan of 1.5 million yuan, and the interest rate was only 4.15 percent. The new financing mechanism is bringing more confidence to the growing SMEs.

The manufacturing sector is a basis of the real economy, and SMEs are an important part of the real economy. In recent years, China has constantly adjusted its flow of credit, guiding financial institutions to invest more credit in the manufacturing sector and SMEs. As of the end of July, financial institutions had extended 1.6 trillion yuan in new loans to manufacturers across the country, nearly 60 percent of which went to high-tech manufacturers. The figure was larger than the total of the last year.

At present, financial institutions have launched a number of new financial products to help SMEs relieve financing pressure. By the end of July, the country’s outstanding loans to small businesses had reached 13.7 trillion yuan, growing 27.5 percent from a year ago and making new highs for five months in a row.

June is the time for harvesting summer crops. However, Zhang Yongchao, head of a grain company in southwest China’s Guangxi province was quite worried. The company wasn’t able to repay a 5-milllion-yuan loan that was due because it failed to collect payment from lower-stream partners. After the People’s Bank of China issued policies to allow deferring loan repayment deadlines for SMEs, Zhang was immediately informed that his repayment deadline was extended by three months by the bank to which he applied the loan. It ensured him to have a smooth summer harvest.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, China has constantly innovated new monetary policy instruments, straightening its monetary transmission mechanism to finish the “last mile” of financing. The People’s Bank of China beefed up financial support for SMEs via new monetary policy instruments on June 1, allowing SMEs to apply for deferring their inclusive loan repayment and issuing a support plan of credit loans. The two initiatives are expected to save around 7 trillion yuan for SMEs and encourage local banks to issue 1 trillion yuan more of loans exclusive for SMEs.

The new instruments directly lead monetary policies to the real economy and livelihood, which is able to vitalize the entities in micro market, said Cheng Shi, chief economist with the ICBC International Holdings Limited.

This year, by lowering interest rate and reducing fees, financial department has practically alleviated burden for the real economy. In the first 7 months, more than 870 billion yuan in financial burdens were exempted for market entities thanks to the government’s supportive policies, and the whole-year figure is expected to reach 1.5 trillion yuan.

Serving the real economy is the bounden duty of the financial sector, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China. Facing severe economic situations, the financial sector shall improve their services, further enhance its support for market entities, and proactively adapt to new requirements, so as to ensure the implementation of monetary policy instruments that can directly stimulate the real economy and offer financial support for stabilizing enterprises, guaranteeing employment and developing the real economy, Yi said.

Senior citizens viral imitating classic art

Seniors at the Shanghai Yangpu Community Nursing Home in Yangpu district, east China’s Shanghai, recently went viral by dressing up as characters in some of the world’s most famous paintings.

A 92-year-old woman at the social welfare home in Yangpu district, east China’s Shanghai, dresses up as “Child Braiding A Crown” by French painter William-Adolphe Bouguerea.

In their 70s, 80s and 90s, these senior citizens imitated classic images such as “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, and “Child Braiding A Crown” by French painter William-Adolphe Bouguerea.

The nursing home made a short video of the event and released it on popular short-video platform Douyin, on Sept. 24.

An 85-year-old woman at the social welfare home in Yangpu district, east China’s Shanghai, dresses up as “Self Portrait Dedicated to Dr Eloesser” by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

“The original intention of the event was to display different sides of seniors at our home,” said Huang Rongyan, deputy director of the home, adding that they still adopt a positive attitude toward their life at the home.

A senior woman at the social welfare home in Yangpu district, east China’s Shanghai dresses up as “Lady with an Ermine” by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.

Many netizens have applauded these seniors’ reenactments of the famous paintings, hoping they can continue to have a happy and healthy life.