Li Rui’s controversial life reflects diversity of opinion

Li Rui, former deputy head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, died i

n Beijing on Saturday. His death grabbed the headlines in many Western media outlets. A report by The New York Times called Li “standard-bea

rer for liberal values in China.” But how to evaluate him divided online public opinion in China.

Li lived for 101 years. His long life span contributed to his influence.

Li’s life was a bumpy ride. He experienced almost all historic events such as the Yan’

an Rectification campaign, and himself became the subject of several political movements.

Li was imprisoned once in Yan’an before the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In the

20 years after 1959, he was either held in confinement or in labor camps. The experiences were even quite unfortunate in that historical context.

Li’s career peaked when he was appointed as the deputy head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central

Committee after the reform and opening-up. His title as the secretary of Chairman Mao Zedong remains controversial.

In general, his positions had not offered him opportunities to exercise an enormous impact on China. His influence was limited until he retired.

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Under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, investment

from China has improved local infrastructure, resolved the country’s chronic energy crisis, a

nd made Pakistan a more attractive destination for foreign investment. We cannot give up halfway. Th

e question now is how to maximize the efficiency of Chinese loans to benefit the local people and Chinese investors.

Although Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has reportedly postponed his trip to Pakistan amid heightened t

ensions between India and Pakistan, Pakistan is still likely to get an economic package from Saudi Arabia to support its economy.

China will be pleased to see the CPEC become leverage for increased economic cooperation betw

een Pakistan and the international community. Closer economic interaction will help maximize th

e efficiency of Chinese investment and promote regional economic integration. As Pakistan further integrates itself into the

global economy, foreign investment is likely to yield more employment benefits and help the country fight poverty. Prob

lems such as security concerns have also posed challenges to the CPEC. If foreign investment can help reduce p

overty and fight terrorism in the South Asian country, it will create a virtuous circle for the development of CPEC.

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Nigerians express disappointment at postponement of g

Nigerians on Saturday expressed disappointment at the electoral body’s postponem

ent of the presidential election few hours to the commencement of voting in the country.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the shift

ing of the polls until Feb. 23 at a midnight press conference, saying the scheduled proceeding of the voting was not “feasible.”

“Following a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan and

the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, the Commission came to the co

nclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible,” Yakubu said.

Likewise, the electoral body postponed gubernatorial elections in the country, earlier slated for March 2, also by one week.

Although Nigerians are used to elections being postponed, the postp

onement of this year’s presidential polls in the country was greeted by criticism.

The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council said i

t received with great disappointment and disillusionment the announcement of the postponement of the election by the electoral body.

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In his opinion, the development was beyond ridiculous

More than 84 million Nigerians have been registered to vote in the postponed elections.

Ahead of the elections, enthusiasm had been high among citizens of the most populous African country. The election had also dra

wn the attention of the international community given the position and prospects of Nigeria in the global arena.

Many netizens of the country have continued to express disappointment at the postpo

nement of the elections, each one regarding it as a huge failure on the side of INEC.

Some social media commentators even called on the electoral chief to resign.

One Facebook user Olufunmilayo Odunaike said that i

f at all there was a reason for the postponement, that should have been done a few weeks earlier.

“You don’t want to be me. Woke up, dashed to the bathroom to have my bath, m

ade sandwiches, only to learn elections have been postponed,” Odunaike queried.

Temitope Adeboye, another Facebook user, called for a thorough probe of the postponement.

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Folorunsho Amsat, a journalist, told Xinhua one of the

 of the polls postponement is that it would cause many voters to be depressed and the country might record a low turnout of electorates when the election eventually holds.

“The momentum is dying. I hope it’s not dead in one week,” he said.

According to the electoral chief, shifting the polls was “a difficult decision for the Commission to take.”

For more than seven hours, the electoral chief and the 12 nation

al commissioners of the INEC were in a closed-door meeting on Friday night.

The elections were supposed to hold at 119,973 polling units across the country while collation of res

ults was to take place in 8,809 registration areas or wards, 774 local government areas in 36 states and the capital Abuja.

Sources had hinted a possible postponement of the election due to logistic challenges in some parts of the country.

The official News Agency of Nigeria, citing official sources in the north-central state of Niger

had reported that ballot papers for two of the state’s three senatorial districts were missing as of Friday evening.

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Forcing one to drink can’t be a test of friendshipA friend of

Lunar New Year’s day in hospital this year, because he was urged to drink Kweichow Moutai, the famous Chinese liquor. After recklessly guzzli

ng almost half liter, he went into a coma due to alcohol poisoning and ended up in the emergency room. My poor friend missed the entire Spring Festival.

For many foreigners, such an incident may be beyond imagination, and include a shock factor. Why do some Chinese pe

ople always force others to drink? How is drinking linked to sincerity and good faith? Well, welcome to the Chinese drinking culture.

As an old saying goes, “In wine there is truth.” Some Chinese people tend to believ

e that under the influence, people may reveal their true beliefs and feelings which would not be expressed when they are sober.

As a result, when people are urging their friends to drink, they may say: “If you don’t drink up, you are not m

y true friend!” It sounds they could only be honest and open to each other when they are dead-drunk.

In another type of situation, people who hold more power force their subordinates to drink. They would say: “Dr

ink this up, and then I will promise you your promotion.” It is more like forced persuasion or even a threat. In

China, urging people to drink is like a “game of thrones.” The domineering would force others to drink up so as to show off their

power, while the pliable tend to yield. They use empty bottles to tell the strong: “See, I keep drinking and don’t care sacrificing my health for you.”

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Can playing China card boost BJP’s chances in India’s

The upcoming general elections are posing quite a challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the situation is looking so tough that the ruling B

haratiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising just every possible issue which it thinks could work in its favor as the vote is about 60 days away.

As a last resort, the BJP is now trying hard to make an election issue of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s reported meeting with

some Chinese ministers and officials during his religious trip to Kailash Mansarovar. Addressing a rally in the eastern Indi

an state of Odisha, Gandhi had cited his recent meeting with some Chinese leaders saying India s

hould learn from the experience of China in creating jobs for youths. He mentioned China as an example to

emulate for fighting unemployment but the ruling BJP has added a new twist to his remark.

According to a government survey reported by an Indian business daily, India’s unemployment

rate stood at 6.1 percent in 2017-18 which was the highest in the past 45 years. Gandhi quickly t

urned to Twitter to hit out at the BJP dispensation, describing it as “National Disaster” but the ruling party termed it “fake news.”

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Vice premier urges bolder, more effective measures imp

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday stressed to take bolder and more

effective measures to implement the proactive fiscal policy.

Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Co

mmittee, made the remarks when presiding over a meeting after an inspection of the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

At the meeting, Han studied major issues, including the launch of another round of tax cu

ts and fighting the “three critical battles” against risks, poverty and pollution.

The MOF should stick to the basic tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability, promote

high-quality development and take coordinated steps to ensure steady growth, advance reform, m

ake structural adjustments, improve living standards and guard against risks, Han stressed.

He said that larger tax cuts will be helpful in improving the co

untry’s income distribution system and the tax structure and better serve China’s current macro policy.

The MOF should relieve the social insurance payment burden of firms, strengthen the manag

ement of the fiscal revenue and expenditure and create a sound policy environment for fair competition, Han said.

Han underlined that measures should be in place to effectively prevent and handle financial risks, reinforce the

monitoring of the local government debt risk and deploy more funds to facilitate winning the battles against poverty and pollution.

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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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hina has become the biggest owner of AI patents, follo

wed closely by the US and Japan, the report revealed. The three countries own 74 percent of all issued AI patents globally.

The CISTP report noted that while China has the world’s secondlargest AI talent pool, it has a lower percentage of top talents.

By the end of 2017, China had amassed more than 18,000 AI specialists, behind only the US. But, Ch

ina had only 977 top-tier AI specialists, just one-fifth of the number in the US, ranking sixth globally.

“China’s strengths are mainly shown in AI applications and it is still weak on the front of core techn

ologies of AI, such as hardware and algorithm development,” the report noted. “China’s AI de

IJING – China’s new yuan-denominated loans stood at 3.23 trillion yuan ($477 billion) in

January 2019, up 328.4 billion yuan year-on-year, central bank data showed Friday.

velopment lacks top-tier talent and has a significant gap with developed countries, especially the US, in this regard.”

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