It was in the European Parliament elections five years

ago that small numbers of nationalists and far-right politicians won seats, signaling the challenges since faced by ruling parties acr

oss the EU, said Cui Hongjian, director of the department for European studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

Mainstream European political groups have tried hard to curb their

rise and haven’t coped well with problems raised by the populist and far-right parties, Cui said.

Clemens von Goetze, Germany’s ambassador to China, said at a news conference

in Beijing on Saturday that he hopes mainstream political groups that support the integration of EU will win the elections.

He said, mainstream groups in Germany are working hard to tell voters the importance of the EU and encouraging those realize the value of EU integration to

cast their ballots this week. The turnout of voters was quite low in the 2014 European Parliament elections.

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A key element of the campaign is also to prevent bureau

cratism and practicing formalism for formalism’s sake and to guide Party me

mbers to keep the Party’s commitments in mind, it added.The global eco

nomy is undergoing very large structural shifts, driven by three mega-trends. One is the digital transformation of th

e foundations on which economies are built and run. Another is the growing purchasing power and economic strength of e

merging economies, China in particular. And third, there are broad-based political economy trends, which inclu

de rising nationalism, various forms of populism, political and social polarization, and a possible breakdown of the

multilateral framework within which the global economy has functioned since the end of World War II.

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China has also recently announced a strengthened reg

gime of intellectual property rights protection. Again, this is what foreign negotiat

ors are seeking, but also is important for China’s own economy as it transitions to being a technology leader.

Trade agreements can affect the types of goods being traded and they can redirect trade toward one c

ountry, away from others. They cannot directly affect any country’s worldwide current account bal

ance. A country that saves less than it invests will have to borrow foreign funds to import foreign goods to make up that difference.

There are two ways to reduce the US trade deficit. A serious recession would reduce investme

nt, but nobody advocates that as a strategy. The only other path is to change the US financial and gov

ernment system to encourage increased savings. China has almost nothing to do with it.

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launched early last year, has contributed 257 milli

n yuan ($38 million) in sales of more than 780 types of products with the Winter Games logo as of the first quarter this year.

The Organizing Committee on Friday also unveiled its plans for volunteer recruitment and training. International recruit

ment, which will be launched in December through an online system, aims to select 27,000 volunteers to di

rectly serve the Games’ operation, while another 80,000 or so will work as city volunteers.

The Games’ official mascot will be unveiled in the second half of this year.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) of China has issued a statement

warning the country’s middle and primary schools against unauthorized selections and rankings.

The statement, made public on Thursday, was based on several lists of so-called “top

100 middle and primary schools in China” recently released by some institutions.

The MOE has never authorized any organizations or institutions to carry out such selections or rankings, according to the statement.

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The National Health Commission issued draft regulatio

ons in February for the clinical application of new biomedical technolog

ies, stipulating that clinical research that involves human trials, including gene editing, stem cells, organ tra

nsplants between species and assisted reproductive technologies, must secure the approval of the commission in advance.

Under the draft, which is yet to be adopted, violators may face

punishments including fines, revocation of business permits or criminal charges.

The commission this year will complete its revision of an existing r

egulation on ethical inspection of human-related biomedical research that was adopted in 2016.

Authorities are also considering establishing a national ethics

committee that supervises life science technologies and researchers to ensure compliance wit

h ethical standards, Huang Jiefu, former vice-minister of health, told China Daily in an earlier interview.

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US soy farmers call for cool-down of trade tensions

US soy farmers have urged Washington to work for a positive solution to the current tarif

f dispute with the world’s top oilseed buyer China, and avoid further escalation of trade tensions.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the American Soybean Association (ASA) described the t

hreat by US President Donald Trump’s administration to increase the tariff rate from 10 percent to 25 p

ercent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as the “worst case” for US soybean growers.

“This is a predicament for soy growers,” said Davie Stephens, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Kentucky.

“With depressed (soybean) prices and unsold stocks fo

recast to double before the 2019 harvest begins in September, we nee

d the China market reopened to US soybean exports within weeks, not months or longer,” he added.

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Rich Chinese parents also caught up in college admissions scandal

Paying millions of dollars to secure their children a spot at an elite college may

sound absurd to many parents, but some are willing to do this.

Nicole Shen, the Chinese mother of a high school student in Palo Alto, California, said she would be wi

lling to pay a pretty penny upfront to get her daughter admitted to a top-tier university if she could afford it. “As long as eve

rything is legal,” she added.Zhao, 52, was introduced to William “Rick” Singer, a college consultant in California and the mast

ermind behind the scandal, by Michael Wu, who worked as an adviser at the Los Angeles area branch of in

vestment bank Morgan Stanley, according to the Los Angeles Times. Wu has since been fired.

Two wealthy Chinese families have recently been in the spotlight and t

he subject of widespread discussion after media reports showed they paid huge am

ounts in a high-profile college admissions scandal. The sums they paid dwarfed the typical amount footed by US parents.

The highest-known payoff to date is the $6.5 million by billionaire Zhao Tao, president and co-founder of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals Co.

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Private counselors’ services can be extensive, from providi

iding several versions of edited application essays to setting students up with internships and volunteer opportunities.

Nicole Shen said she paid a counselor $12,000 to edit seven or eight of her daughter’s c

ollege application essays. She also regularly takes her daughter to private tutors who charge $180 per hour.

“It’s very normal (to hire private counselors and tutors) among Chinese parents (living in th

e San Francisco Bay Area),” Shen said. She is in several WeChat groups, each having hundreds of parents.

Shen said it is easy to find a counselor. “You just pst in the groups, and somebody will quick

ly respond with recommendations. I know many parents easily spend over $150,000 on the counseling or tutoring.”

The San Francisco Bay Area has a high concentration of private college admiss

ions consultants. Tutoring schools and consultancies with Chinese signs can be seen in shopping malls.

A popular consultant is IvyMax, which bills itself as the “largest, most influential US

premier college application institution serving the Chinese-American community”.

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Lan Fei, marketing center director for Guangzhou Wei

meizi Industrial Co in Guangdong province, said people in lower-tier cities have huge consumption power.

In 2016, the company’s oral care brand Saky reached customers in lower-tier cities for the first time. Mor

eover, the quality of oral care products in this market varies, so there is huge potential.

In addition to traditional sales channels such as supermarkets and stores, Saky was introduced to co

nsumers in lower-tier cities by livestreaming hosts on social media platforms. The hosts used en

tertaining methods to introduce oral care products and educate consumers about the correct way to use them.

“On Kuaishou, the host placed some sesame powder on a piece of c

orn, showing that Saky’s electric toothbrush could easily wash it away,” he said. “The host

also held a Saky electric toothbrush against a balloon (which did not burst) to demonstrate that its power could not damage teeth.”

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In the past couple of years, Dong Biyong, a mille

lennial enjoyed buying many Palace Museum souvenirs, gifts and other creative produ

cts. “I tried quite a few from makeup kits, lipstick, blush, to various creative gadgets. They are good so

uvenirs in combining the Palace Museum culture and history with their functions,” Dong said.

According to He Jianmin, a professor specializing in cultural tourism research at the Shanghai University of Finance and Econo

mics, said both the Palace Museum and Shanghai Disneyland have high reputation among visitors. Since both bo

ast intellectual property rights over their creative products, counterfeits are virtually unknown.

Shanghai Disneyland, a $5.5 billion theme park, received more than 11 milli

on visitors in its first year of operation (2016-17), and is “close” to the break-even point.

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