• Spring Festival celebrated across China , Leaders extend greetings

    Ramesh Tiwari
    February 7, 2016
    Spring Festival celebrated across China , Leaders extend greetings

    BEIJING  ( Xinhua ) – From the southernmost islands to the icebound provinces in the north, people across China are celebrating the lunar new year, or Spring Festival which falls on February 8 this year.

    Liu Chao and his wife from an impoverished village in southwest China’s Guizhou Province have been preparing for the new year’s eve dinner the whole day.The couple cooked 18 dishes for the most important meal in the year, such as home-made smoked pork and pickles, fresh vegetables they planted and ham sausage bought in a supermarket. Fruits, candies and soda were also on the table.

    Their children gathered around the table and waited eagerly for the dinner to begin. For the first time they were not scolded for sneaking food.”As life is getting better, dishes are richer than before,” said Luo Yanhong, the wife.

    After the dinner, Chang Xiaolu in Shanghai began packing for a family trip to Hainan Province in south China. “The climate there is warm and pleasant, especially suitable for my aged parents, and we set out tomorrow,” Chang said.

    While in north China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, self-driving travellers have gathered to experience the feeling of snow and ice.

    The regional tourism bureau said various options including winter sports, prairie customs performance and hot spring are offered for urban dwellers who want a city getaway during the holiday.

    For most Chinese, the new year’s eve is dedicated to the four-hour-long gala that started at 8 p.m. on the state broadcaster. This year, many of them held a smartphone in hand for “gift money”.

    Chinese Internet giants including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu gave out more than 1 billion yuan (152 million U.S. dollars) as gift money on the night to woo as many mobile payment users as possible.

    Villagers in Qingcheng Township, east China’s Shandong Province, where smartphone are not so popular, however, preferred an original gala that was staged by themselves.

    People from five villages performed dancing, opera singing, standing comedy and even magic shows in a courtyard, which was completely packed with people despite the biting cold.

    The gala in Dongdazhang Village began in 1950s and 60s, and has evolved from a local opera gathering to an annual variety show that attracts audience from nearby villages.

    In the mountainous Sichuan Province, rural residents in Qishan Village were having a house-warming time just before the lunar new year.

    The local government invested 550 million yuan last year to help 8,297 households living in dilapidated homes move into new homes.

    “A new house and brand new furniture, I have dreamed about it all my life and now it has come true,” said 70-year-old Chen Mingquan.

    Fishermen in one of China’s southernmost islands of Yongxing, Sansha City poured wine and laid out offerings at a port to worship their predecessors.After midnight, the Year of Monkey begins. It’s another year of hard work and expectation.

    Leaders extend Spring festival Greetings 

    Meanwhile,  President Xi Jinping and other top leaders extended Spring Festival greetings to all Chinese people Saturday as they met more than 2,000 members of the public at a reception in Beijing.Premier Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli were also present at the reception.

    Premier Li Keqiang delivered a speech at the gathering, greeting all Chinese in the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and at abroad.Li also sent condolences to Taiwan compatriots for the strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Kaohsiung earlier in the day and has left 11 people dead.

    “Over the past year, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the General Secretary, China’s reform and development has braved the storms and maintained medium-to-high growth despite the sluggish world economy,” he said.

    The country has kept advancing the structural reforms and created more than 13 million jobs. People’s incomes have increased in sync with GDP, according to the Premier.

    He said the government will spare no efforts to resolve issues bearing on the immediate interests of the people, fighting poverty and bringing them care and opportunities to build fortune.

    “All this will serve to deliver to the people a happier life with more secure jobs, greater confidence in the future and a stronger sense of satisfaction,” Li said.He  urged all people to unite under the CPC leadership and strive for the nation’s great rejuvenation.

    This year’s Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, falls on Feb. 8. 

    Feb. 7, 2016

     

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      Shanghai: China Eastern Airlines and other domestic airlines have begun to allow mobile phone use on their aircraft or announced plans to lift a ban. China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines began to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED), such as smartphones and tablets.China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines announced they would allow mobile phone use on all their flights this week.

      Washington:  The hottest year on record was 2017 without a warming El Nino event, revealing a clear signal of continuing, human-caused climate change on our planet. The U.S. space agency NASA found 2017 to be the second warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, while the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ranked it as the third warmest. – Agencies

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      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
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      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
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      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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