China pledges judicial protection of cultural heritage

File photo shows staff members repairing the bronze mask discoverd at the Sanxingdui Ruins site in southwest Chinas Sichuan Province. (National Cultural Heritage Administration)BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinas top court and cultural heritage authority have pledged to better protect the countrys cultural treasures through judicial means, while making several cases public.The Supreme Peoples Court, the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the cultural heritage branch under a national judicial research society, on Tuesday jointly published 15 typical judicial cases regarding the protection of cultural relics and cultural heritage.The move is expected to help courts nationwide, as well as cultural heritage authorities at all levels, to better perform their respective duties and promote the publics awareness of cultural heritage protection, according to a document issued by the three publishers.The authorities pledged severe punishments for cultural heritage-related crimes, especially those involving criminals with bad intentions that resulted in serious consequences. Such measures are also expected to deter further offenses, the document said.The 15 cases include one in which a convict surnamed Yao was found to have led a criminal ring and committed a series of tomb thefts and robberies, along with the reselling of cultural relics. The ancient tombs and cultural ruins damaged included a relics site in northeast Chinas Liaoning Province. Archaeologists had previously unearthed a large number of relics dating to more than 5,500 years ago at the site. Police caught over 200 suspects and retrieved over 2,000 items. Yao, the ringleader, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.In another case, a court urged local governmental authorities to correct illegal business activities at the death place of a Chinese war hero in a timely manner, safeguarding the honor and dignity of the countrys martyrs.Over the past decade, China&#...

UNESCO sounds alarm over quake damage to Turkey, Syria heritage

The UNs cultural agency UNESCO said on Tuesday it was ready to provide assistance after two sites listed on its World Heritage list in Syria and Turkey sustained damage in the devastating earthquake.Workers carry out restoration work in the al-Madina Souq, the worlds largest covered historic market, in Aleppo, Syria, on March 6, 2022. (File photo: Xinhua)As well as the damage to the old city of Syrias Aleppo and the fortress in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, UNESCO said at least three other World Heritage sites could be affected."Our organisation will provide assistance within its mandate," said UNESCO director general Audrey Azoulay.A statement from UNESCO said it and partners had already carried out an initial survey of the damage of the quake which struck before dawn on Monday.It said it was "particularly concerned" about the old city of Aleppo, which has been on its list of World Heritage in Danger since 2013 due to the Syrian civil war."Significant damage has been noted in the citadel. The western tower of the old city wall has collapsed and several buildings in the souks have been weakened," it said.Aleppo was Syrias pre-war commercial hub and considered one of the worlds longest continuously inhabited cities, boasting markets, mosques, caravanserais, and public baths. But a brutal siege imposed on rebels by government forces left it disfigured.Syrias directorate of antiquities had already raised concern about the damage on Wednesday, saying parts of Aleppos northern defensive walls had collapsed.Rapidly secure sitesIn Turkey, UNESCO said it was saddened by the "collapse of several buildings" at the World Heritage site of the Diyarbakir Fortress and the adjacent Hevsel Gardens.It emphasised that the entire area was an important centre of the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman periods.The pre-dawn quake hit near Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey at a d...

The Grammys ended in controversy, again. Here's what to know

A night in music brimming with shocking upsets, historic wins, tributes for artists like the late rapper Takeoff and hip-hop's 50th anniversary, the 65th Grammys were back in full swing Sunday. Once again, Beyoncé was in the running for the top honor.

Unique performances mark Lantern Festival in North China village 5 Photos

Unique performances mark Lantern Festival in North China village

In Changshanyu, North China's Hebei Province, villagers actively participated in the performance “Heshun Sheng Hui,” which attracted tourists and locals to come to watch, getting together to mark the Lantern Festival on Sunday. (Photos: Liang Zhiqing; Compiled by Lv Jinwei)Heshun Sheng Hui is a daytime performance unique to Changshanyu. It includes more than 20 folk activities, including a dragon dance, lion dance, walking on stilts, land boat dance, stilt show, yang ko dance and more.On Sunday, villagers in Changshanyu, Hebei Province, gave a performance known as “Heshun Sheng Hui.Sunday’s performance was photographed by a drone.

Lizzo wins Record of the Year at 65th Grammy Awards

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- American singer Lizzo won the award for Record of the Year with "About Damn Time" at the 65th Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday.US singer Lizzo accepts the Record Of The Year award for "About Damn Time" during the 65th Annual Grammy Awards at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 5, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Dedicating the award to the late American singer and songwriter Prince, she noted in her acceptance speech that "when we lost Prince, I decided to dedicate my life to making positive music."Record of the Year is one of the "big four" categories of the Grammy Awards night, which also include Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.The U.S. musics biggest night returned to Los Angeles this year. The show, usually held in Los Angeles and New York, relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.As the only peer-selected music award, the Grammy Awards are voted on by the Recording Academys membership body of music makers, who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, mixers and engineers.

Beyonce breaks record for lifetime Grammy wins

Pop queen Beyonce on Sunday reigned supreme at the Grammys, breaking the all-time record for wins with her 32nd prize and fourth of the night to resounding applause.US musician Beyonce accepts the award for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for "Renaissance." during the 65th Annual Grammy Awards at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 5, 2023. (Photo: AFP)The 41-year-old entered the day with the most chances at Grammy gold with nine, following the release of "Renaissance," her rich, layered ode to club music.She clinched the title by winning the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for her smash "Renaissance," thus surpassing the late classical conductor Georg Solti, who had 31 awards."Im trying not to be too emotional. And Im trying to just receive this night," Queen Bey said, wearing a shimmering, curve-hugging gown, her hair in mermaid waves as her peers witnessed the history-making moment.Beyonce thanked her family, and paid special tribute to the queer community, who she credited with inventing the genre she celebrated in her historically layered record that pays homage to pioneers of funk, soul, rap, house and disco.Beyonce remains a powerhouse contender for the nights major awards of album, record and song of the year -- but the same goes for British balladeer Adele, whose introspective album "30" earned her seven nods.The 2023 face-off has prompted obvious comparisons to 2017, when Adele swept the top prizes at the glitzy music biz gala, shutting out Queen Beys culture-shaking "Lemonade.Despite breaking record after record, when it comes to the big three awards, Beyonce curiously remains something of an underdog in those categories. She has never won Album of the Year honors and although she has the most Record of the Year nods with eight, shes never won that prize either.She only scored Song of the Year once, for 2008s "Single Ladies."- Carlile,...

"Knock At The Cabin" tops North American box office on opening weekend

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Universals horror film "Knock At The Cabin" took the top spot at the North American box office with an estimated three-day cume of 14.2 million U.S. dollars, showed figures from the measurement firm Comscore on Sunday.US filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan poses during a photocall for his movie "Knock At The Cabin" in Paris, on January 23, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the film stars Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Kristen Cui, among others."Knock At The Cabin" follows a family who are taken hostage at a remote cabin by armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse.The film holds an approval rating of 68 percent based on 217 reviews to date on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. It earned a "C" on an "A+" to "F" scale from audiences polled by the market research firm CinemaScore.Another newcomer, Paramounts comedy film "80 For Brady," opened in second place with 12.5 million dollars this weekend.James Camerons science fiction film "Avatar: The Way of Water" slipped to third place with 10.8 million dollars after staying atop the chart for seven weekends in a row. The blockbuster, distributed by Disneys 20th Century Studios, has grossed an estimated 636 million dollars in North America through Sunday for a global total of 2.174 billion dollars, including 241 million dollars from the Chinese mainland.

Beyoncé wins 2 Grammys, Viola Davis win makes her an EGOT

Beyoncé has already won two Grammys on Sunday, bringing her a step closer in her pursuit of being the most decorated artist in the show's history.

Grammys main gala kicks off

A view of a Grammy statue appears in the press room at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)The 65th annual Grammys gala began Sunday in Los Angeles with a performance from reggaeton megastar Bad Bunny, as top nominee Beyonce was poised to break the all-time record for the most awards ever.Her love letter to club music "Renaissance" propelled her to the front of the Grammy pack with nine nominations, and she won two trophies in the pre-show.She has several more chances as the main show begins, and will become the winningest artist ever if she wins two more.Bad Bunny is another A-lister up for major awards, along with Taylor Swift, Adele and Harry Styles.

Hunger for classic dishes during Spring Festival

A waitress serves food to customers during a Lunar New Years Eve dinner at a restaurant on Jan 22, 2023. (Photo: Agencies)Catering businesses in China have started to roar back to life after the country optimized its pandemic prevention and control measures in late December.The government has ended the requirement for mass testing and people do not need to show their health code when entering public places like shopping malls and restaurants.During the Spring Festival holiday from Jan 21 to 27, many restaurants in Beijing saw a surge in sales revenue compared with the same period of 2022.People celebrated the Lunar New Year of the Rabbit with strong consumer sentiments; the figures of some restaurants have even exceeded those of the Spring Festival holiday in pre-COVID-19 times.A spokesperson from catering giant Judehuatian Group said diners had swarmed into the groups time-honored brand restaurants including Hongbinlou, Kaorouwan and Emeijiujia on Jan 21, the Chinese New Years Eve. All the hall tables were occupied at around 10 oclock in the morning, with many people waiting in line for seats.Cuihualou, another time-honored restaurant in the Chinese capital, sold nearly 100 takeout meal packages on Spring Festival eve — traditionally marked by family gatherings and sumptuous dishes — an increase of 60 percent year-on-year.Wang Peixin, general manager of the restaurant, said during this years weeklong Spring Festival holiday, the turnover of Cuihualou was about 30 percent higher than the same period of 2022. The restaurant almost reached the upper limit of its seating capacity from the first day to the fifth day of Lunar New Year. The waiting time also rose to 80 minutes on average.Moreover, Cuihualou had to double the ingredients of its best-selling dishes, such as fried fish with secret sauce, Dongpo braised pork and diced chicken in bean sauce, to cope with the flow of customers during the holiday.Hotpot chain Donglaishun also saw b...

Beijing 2022 official film to be released soon

BEIJING, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The official film of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games is in the final phase of post-production and will soon be released in China, with an international release scheduled later this year, the Beijing 2022 Organizing Committee (BOCOG) announced on Saturday.File photo: CGTNDirected by Lu Chuan with renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou as executive producer, and filmmaker Zhang Heping as general consultant, the film captures the defining moments of Beijing 2022, such as the evening of February 4, 2022, when fireworks lit up the sky of Beijing during the opening ceremony.Lu revealed that the production of this official film began in 2020. According to him, the film records how various functional areas, entities and parties collaborated closely to overcome the difficulties and pressures presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to successfully deliver the Games.The film also highlights stories of athletes who constantly challenge themselves to pursue Olympic dreams and those of photographers, volunteers, medical personnel, and other Olympic participants."We shot over 700 hours of footage in multiple locations globally. There were many frustrations, but our team members pushed themselves with the Olympic spirit," said Lu. "I hope the stories we have chosen to tell and the faces we have recorded can leave a strong impression on the audience about the time of Beijing 2022."Since the early 20th century, films have been created for every edition of the Olympic Games. The Olympic film collection is comprised of more than 40 feature-length films that offer a cinematic window onto defining moments in the history of the modern Games, serving as historical archives and cultural treasures, and illustrating the Olympic motto of "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together".

Spicy treats warming up winter crowds

Photo: China DailyHot and spicy food from China has been warming up Londoners on another overcast winter day, as "Exploring Yummy Chongqing in London", part of the 2023 UK "Happy Chinese New Year" celebrations, officially kicked off on Thursday.The event is aimed to share the joy of Chinese New Year by introducing authentic Chinese food to the locals.As people swarmed into Mr. Meng, a Chongqing restaurant near Covent Garden in central London, a big screen showed a live feed of people in Chongqing enjoying the same delicacies. Meanwhile, presenters in both Chongqing and London explained the dishes.Amira Arasteh, a food journalist working in London, says the mao xue wang (assorted meats in hot sauce) and la zi ji (fragrant chicken with chilies) she tried were "very spicy", but had "lots of flavor".The famous dishes from the city of Chongqing in Southwest China are known for their ability to fight the adverse physiological effects of humidity. They also have a mood-lifting effect, since spicy food is believed to boost the production of serotonin, the "feel-good hormone"."We want to use food to attract peoples attention to Chongqing. We hope that one day they can travel to Chongqing … and taste the great food in China," says Tang Shi, organizer of the London event.In the run-up to the food-tasting event at Mr. Meng, local foodies and food bloggers were invited to explore Chongqing food in London and share their experiences on social media, Tang says.For seasoned foodies, Chinese cuisine is not just about pleasure for the palate; it also signifies sharing and companionship.Daniel, a Londoner who has been blogging about food for 10 years and has more than 43,000 followers on social media, says Sichuan province was his favorite stop when he visited China a few years ago."I love Chinese New Year because you get to share a big table with dumplings, noodles and meats," he says. "Its good to i...

A new cycle springs forth

A train of springtime tourists travel through blooming tea plantations in Longyan, Fujian province. (Photo: China Daily)Lichun, or Start of Spring, is the first of the traditional Twenty-Four Solar Terms, encompassing the beginning of all things, rebirth and heralding a new cycle.Shuowen Jiezi offers an explanation of Chinese characters and words written during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), and is considered one of the earliest dictionaries in the world. The classic text denotes that chun (spring), is originally a verb that embodies the meaning of "sprout".The explanatory notes conjure up a lively annotation of the word: The grass feels the call of the sun, vibrates in response to the time, pushes the earth away, and starts to grow.Lichun falls on Saturday this year, and was the namesake Spring Festival in ancient times. The first day of the Lunar New Year was called "yuanri (the starting day)", or "New Years Day". After China adopted the Gregorian calendar in the early 1900s, the term "New Years Day" was assigned to Jan 1, and "Spring Festival" was given to the first day of the Lunar New Year.Despite being robbed of the grand Spring Festival title, lichun, a product of an ancient farming civilization, takes on an extremely important role in the foundation of Chinas traditional culture.The first solar term has an intimidatingly long, swirling list of confusing nicknames: yingchun (greeting spring), songchun (sending spring), dachun (beating spring), yaochun (biting spring), tachun (outing in spring) and taochun (begging for spring). The different verbs in front of the word chun all reveal the joy and eagerness for the arrival of spring."I have never seen a solar term with so many descriptions as lichun. It is almost like a chorus of spring symphony," says folklore expert You Guoqing.

Notre-Dame to regain spire this year and reopen end-2024

Notre-Dame Cathedrals spire will be back in place by the end of the year, but a full reopening following the devastating fire of 2019 will not happen before next years Paris Olympic Games.This photograph taken in Paris, on February 1, 2023 shows a crane in front of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, as reconstruction work takes place following the blaze of April 15, 2019. (Photo: AFP)The reconstruction is still on track for completion by the end of 2024, the culture ministry told AFP. "The site is progressing at a good pace," a spokesperson said. The authorities have previously given December 8 -- the Feast of the Immaculate Conception -- as a likely deadline. It means the 12th century cathedral, which previously saw some 12 million annual visitors, will not be able to welcome attendees of the Olympic Games which Paris is hosting in July and August 2024. But the sharp spire, added by architect Eugene Viollet-Le-Duc during the cathedrals redesign in the 19th century and replacing a previous wooden spire that had fallen into disrepair, will be back in place by the end of 2023, the ministry said.The collapse of the wooden spire was one of the most dramatic moments of the fire of April 15, 2019. An identical version has been made from the same original materials: 500 tonnes of oak wood for the structure and 250 tonnes of lead for the cover and ornaments. There have been health concerns over the lead debris from the fire, and the use of lead in the reconstruction, with French officials having to reassure their European counterparts that adequate safety measures have been taken. Preparatory work to start reinstalling the spire began this week, with scaffolding put in place and custom-cut base stones delivered along the River Seine. Once completed the spire will reach 100 metres high. Meanwhile, the painstaking clean-up work of the cathedrals interior walls -- a total of 42,000 m2 -- has been completed, along with that of murals, ironwork, joinery...

Dancers, displays, fireworks to light up Lantern Festival 4 Photos

Dancers, displays, fireworks to light up Lantern Festival

The grand finale of the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st month of the Chinese calendar, which is February 5 this year. Lantern displays, fireworks shows, and lion dance performances are all in place to wish for a better future. (Compiled by Jiangjie, Zhang Lvewen and Wang Fengyang)

Miao people celebrate Manghao Festival in Guangxi


China's January box office exceeds 10b yuan

Driven by the robust ticket sales of the Spring Festival holiday movies, China's January box office exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion), a record high for the month, according to data from the China Film Administration.

Hit show educating public on rule of law

A poster for the TV series "The Knockout." (Photo provided to China Daily)A police drama based on real organized crime cases is helping educate the public about the value of the rule of law and their rights, experts said.A special campaign launched by the central government on fighting organized crime and legal departments rectification measures are used as much of the background for The Knockout.The drama tells the story of a police officers fight against organized crime over 20 years, and shows the rise and demise of underworld figures and corrupt officials.It has received a rating of 9.1 out of 10 on Douban, one of Chinas most-visited review platforms, and has become one of the most discussed topics on social media since mid-January. The drama began screening on China Central Television and streaming platform iQiyi on Jan 14, with a total of 39 episodes to be aired.Many viewers have applauded the shows plotlines and the actors performances, and also praised the efforts of police officers in battling organized crime.In January 2018, the central authorities launched a three-year nationwide special campaign to fight organized crime.According to the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, from 2018 to 2020, authorities busted 3,644 mafia-like gangs and 11,675 other criminal gangs, detained 237,000 suspects and investigated 89,700 cases of "protective umbrellas", a reference to officials who hide gangsters crimes.The crackdown on organized crime, which involved multiple departments including public security and discipline inspection, as well as banks, continued after the campaign officially ended.In May 2022, the Anti-organized Crime Law took effect, giving greater legal clout to fight such crimes.From July 2020 to December 2021, commissions for political and legal affairs at all levels also conducted educational rectification for officials in public security organs...

China's January box office soars to record high

Driven by the robust ticket sales of the Spring Festival holiday movies, China's January box office totaled approximately 10 billion yuan (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) as of Tuesday afternoon, a record high for the month.

Beijing releases plan for Central Axis protection ahead of world heritage list application

BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- A protection plan for Beijings Central Axis was released last weekend ahead of its application to become a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site.A view of the central axis from Jingshan Mountain in Beijing. (Photo: CFP)The plan, from 2022 to 2035, for the first time specified the heritage zone and buffer zone of the conservation area.According to the plan, the heritage zone covers an area of about 5.9 square kilometers, including 15 heritage sites such as the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The buffer zone covers 45.4 square kilometers.A local official with the office for cultural heritage application and protection said that the plan is necessary for Beijings application for its Central Axis to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The official also remarked that the plan marks a new step in the conservation work.First created in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the Beijing Central Axis, or Zhongzhouxian, stretches 7.8 kilometers between the Yongding Gate in the south of the city and the Drum Tower and Bell Tower in the north. Most of the major old-city buildings of Beijing sit along this axis.The Beijing municipal government started preparation work for the world cultural heritage application of the Central Axis project in 2011. It was included in the preliminary list of Chinas world cultural heritage in 2012.

'The Wandering Earth II' kindles sci-fi enthusiasm among audiences

The sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II" has not only raked in a whopping box office, but also aroused much attention on science and technologies that appeared in the movie, including space elevators, quantum computers, and nuclear fusions."The Wandering Earth II" poster and space suit props on display in a theater in Beijing, China, January 26, 2023. /CFPChinas movie box office revenue reached nearly 6.76 billion yuan (about $999.6 million) during the Spring Festival holiday from January 21 to 27, according to the China Film Administration."The Wandering Earth II" ranked second among six domestic titles released during the holiday, claiming a revenue of 2.16 billion yuan."Im impressed by the technologies rendered in the movie, particularly the space elevators that send people to space," said Wu Kexin, 14, after watching the movie together with her mom and sister in a theater in Hefei, capital of east Chinas Anhui Province.The key to realizing space elevators is to find a super-strong material that can be used as the elevator cable. The material needs to maintain good performance when exposed to harsh conditions in space, said Guan Qingfang, an associate research fellow at the University of Science and Technology of China, when asked about the feasibility of this technology.It might be long before space elevators could actually become reality. Still, the discussion of this technology itself reflects the ambition of, and charts the course for, mankind in the research and development of material science, according to Guan.To escape the harm of a rapidly burning sun, humans in the movie try to build about 10,000 massive engines powered by nuclear fusions to propel the earth to a place far from damaging solar flares.Nuclear fusion, the process of reuniting two light atomic nuclei to form a heavier one, can generate so much energy that "it makes sense in principle to use this energy to propel the earth,&q...

Ancient military treatise 'The Art of War' sells out thanks to hit Chinese TV show

The Art of War bamboo slips. (Photo: VCG) TV series The Knockout, which focuses on crackdowns on gang crimes and corruption, has become popular with Chinese audiences, sparking a lot of discussion on social media and boosting sales of the ancient Chinese military treatise The Art of War.The Art of War, dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) and introducing skills related to warfare and military strategy, has returned to the top of the bestseller lists for ancient books on several e-commerce platforms such as and Dangdang and some versions have sold out. Industry insiders said the sudden popularity of the book was thanks to the hit TV series.The manager of the Librairie Avant-garde bookstore in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province told the Global Times that she put the same version of The Art of War as that in the series in the bookstore and readers have been more interested.The series covers efforts by Chinese police to tackle gang crimes and corruption among officials. It features policeman An Xin (Zhang Yi) and Gao Qiqiang (Zhang Songwen) who leads a gang and cooperates with some officials in the local government to commit crimes.When the two characters first meet in 2000, they almost become friends and An recommends a series of books to Gao, who was just a poor fishmonger at the time, encouraging him to read more books and learn how to run a business. The Art of War was included in the book list.Gao researches the book carefully and some of his lines in the series are picked from the book, like “If you surround the enemy and have the certainty of victory, you must leave a gap and let him escape, otherwise he will make it a life and death struggle.” These lines attracted Chinese netizens, who found that the classic military text is full of wisdom.The Art of War is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Wu and remains the most influential text in East Asian warfare. It has influenced both Far Eastern and Western military ...

Tourists see sparks, flowers fly 4 Photos

Tourists see sparks, flowers fly

Tourists watch Dadianzi villagers perform traditional spark swinging on Thursday in Luanping county, North China's Hebei Province. (Photos: Liang Zhiqing/People's Daily; Compiled by Chen Xirui)Villagers use charcoal and scrap steel in tubes to create flower splashes and a halo effect.Spark swinging, or lunhua, was added to the national intangible cultural heritage list in 2014.

American Art Museum, Chinese Embassy celebrate Chinese New Year

Washington (People’s Daily) –Chinese Embassy charge d affaires Xu Xueyuan attended the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.Visitors learn about wood block prints, posters and paper-cuts at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday. (Photos: People’s Daily/Li Zhiwei)In her opening remarks, Xu expressed her appreciation for the unremitting efforts of the museum to carry on the tradition of presenting Chinese New Year celebration in partnership with the embassy and hosting the ninth annual event.Lion dancers at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday.She said she was glad to see art groups, cultural performances and crafts.Xu quoted rabbit officer Judy Hopps from the Disney movie Zootopia: “I implore you to try. The more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be,” and encouraged guests to experience the Spring Festival customs and appreciate the beauty of cultural diversity.Children experience traditional Chinese culture at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday.Museum director Stephanie Stebich thanked the Embassy for supporting and participating in the Chinese New Year event and looked forward to more collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in the future.The museums courtyard was lit up with red lanterns, Chinese knots, paper-cuts and posters. Art groups performed lion dances, Chinese traditional dance and diabolo tricks. Green screen photos at the 2023 Chinese New Year Celebration in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC on Saturday.Visitors to the activity zone could try green screen photo booths, clay sculpture tutorials, traditional wood-block printing, Chinese painting, calligraphy, video games, and festive cards.This is the ninth Chinese New Year Celebrati...

Ready-made dishes edging onto dinner tables of Chinese families

People enjoy a family feast on the eve of the Spring Festival in Zunyi, southwest Chinas Guizhou Province, Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)Chen Jia doesnt often cook, but she still managed to prepare a hearty meal on Chinese New Years Eve for her family without ordering any restaurant takeout."Thanks to the ready-made food I had purchased online, we enjoyed a decent Spring Festival dinner," said Chen, who lives in east Chinas Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province.The 31-year-old public servant couldnt help sharing photos of the semi-self-cooked feast on social media. Many of those were exquisite dishes such as sweet fermented rice stewed fish and mushroom casserole that require a complicated cooking process.Known as "3R food" (ready to cook, ready to heat, ready to eat) in the industry, ready-made food has gained wide popularity in China over recent years among both catering businesses and individual consumers. According to a report by consulting agency iiMedia Research, the market value of 3R food in China hit 345.9 billion yuan ($51.09 billion) in 2021 and is expected to exceed 515 billion yuan by 2023.In big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, ready-made dishes have become regular items on the grocery shopping list of those who seek culinary fun but are short of leisure time.It is especially the case for traditional festivals, for which a feast at home still outweighs restaurant dining, as shown in a survey conducted by Hema Fresh, Alibabas fresh-food chain, before the Spring Festival. Over half of the customers surveyed said they would buy ready-made dishes for their family reunion dinner.In the e-commerce shops of short video platform Douyin, sales of ready-made food during the recent holiday shopping spree have increased 248 percent from a year ago.Those with hard-to-handle materials such as big-chunk seafood and meat are more popular than other categories, said Tian Xin, the general manager of Hema 3R Comm...

National Library of China releases databases for dissemination, study of ancient books

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Two databases for the dissemination and study of ancient books were released in the National Library of China in Beijing on Wednesday, boosting cultural resource utilization with advanced technology.(File photo: Xinhua)Co-developed by the National Library of China and the Research Center for Digital Humanities of Peking University, both The Yongle Canon HD Images Database and the Knowledge Base of National Rare Ancient Book Directory are now freely accessible to the public for reference.The Yongle Canon HD Images Database aims to facilitate public dissemination and professional study of the great ancient encyclopedia, "Yongle Dadian," which was commissioned by Emperor Yongle in 1403.Based on the high-definition images, the database adopts the GIS techniques and three-dimension restoration techniques to vividly display the binding and layout of the encyclopedia, as well as the whereabouts of the existing volumes, according to Wei Chong, director of the National Library of China Publishing House.The Knowledge Base of the National Rare Ancient Book Directory collects the catalogs of the ancient books on the directory, together with a large number of images and captions.The knowledge base offers a visual display of the catalogs using digital technologies, including mapping knowledge domains and GIS techniques, through which readers may have a clearer view of the geographical distribution of the ancient books and complex relations among characters.

Top court hails legal efforts to retrieve relics

Chinese courts have successfully stepped up efforts in recent years to formulate judicial rules to assist the recovery of the nation's cultural treasures from overseas, an official from the country's top court said on Tuesday.

Once destined for export, fermented tea finds new fans

Once a niche product reserved for border trade, Chinese dark tea is now making another long and bumpy journey toward new-style beverage shops, the favorite haunts of the young sipping class.

China's sci-fi blockbuster boosted by industrial design, manufacturing

Photo: XinhuaGUANGZHOU, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of cutting-edge equipment, including intelligent quantum computers 550A and 550C, anti-drone guns, nuclear weapon keys, and triggers, pile up in Yang Xus room. These are not lethal weapons but full-scale models that starred in Chinas latest sci-fi blockbuster, The Wandering Earth II.Since being released on Jan. 22, the Chinese sci-fi action-adventure film has so far earned a box office of over 3.4 billion yuan (about 500 million U.S. dollars). Over 50 million viewers went to theaters for this phenomenon movie, according to box office tracker Maoyan.The movie was attractive for its imaginative plot and its exquisite props. In Shenzhen, south Chinas Guangdong Province, designer Yang Xu and his team created over 1,000 props for the movie.The designing and manufacturing of necessary props for sci-fi films are supported by complete, complex, and precise industrial processes, said Yang. Starting with conceptual design and structural modeling, gadgets and gizmos will go through steps including numerical control programming, machining, post-polishing and spray-painting, laser carving, and surface treatment.Yang previously worked to design conceptual cars and then began to set foot in the film industry. In 2020, he moved from Beijing to Shenzhen, set up his studio and factory, and focused on conceptual design and prop production for the films.As The Wandering Earth II started shooting in late 2021, Yang devoted himself to designing and producing props for the movie.The schedule was tight for the prop production team. It only took 20 days for Yang and his team to bring the anti-drone guns from a blueprint to the screen.All part and service suppliers for the movie props are within 10 km of the studio in Shenzhen, giving the team much confidence and ensuring that the manufacturing process and product quality are controllable.The computer numerical-control method was applied in manufacturing to ensure the props ...

UNESCO sounds alarm over quake damage to Turkey, Syria heritage

The UNs cultural agency UNESCO said on Tuesday it was ready to provide assistance after two sites listed on its World Heritage list in Syria and Turkey sustained damage in the devastating earthquake.A picture taken on May 18, 2022 shows pillars at the archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe in Sanliurfa, Turkey. (File photo: AFP)As well as the damage to the old city of Syrias Aleppo and the fortress in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, UNESCO said at least three other World Heritage sites could be affected."Our organisation will provide assistance within its mandate," said UNESCO director general Audrey Azoulay.A statement from UNESCO said it and partners had already carried out an initial survey of the damage of the quake which struck before dawn on Monday.It said it was "particularly concerned" about the old city of Aleppo, which has been on its list of World Heritage in Danger since 2013 due to the Syrian civil war."Significant damage has been noted in the citadel. The western tower of the old city wall has collapsed and several buildings in the souks have been weakened," it said.Aleppo was Syrias pre-war commercial hub and considered one of the worlds longest continuously inhabited cities, boasting markets, mosques, caravanserais, and public baths.Syrias directorate of antiquities had already raised concern about the damage on Wednesday, saying parts of Aleppos northern defensive walls had collapsed.- Rapidly secure sites -In Turkey, UNESCO said it was saddened by the "collapse of several buildings" at the World Heritage site of the Diyarbakir Fortress and the adjacent Hevsel Gardens.It emphasised that the entire area was an important centre of the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman periods.The pre-dawn quake hit near Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey at a depth of about 18 kilometres (11 miles), the US Geological Survey said.With weather conditions and the remote ...

China's cultural industry logs steady growth in 2022

People visit a shopping complex in Guangzhou, south Chinas Guangdong Province, Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinas cultural sector maintained steady growth in terms of revenue last year, with new business models becoming more resilient, official data showed on Monday.The combined operating revenue of major companies in the sector topped 12.18 trillion yuan (about 1.8 trillion U.S. dollars) last year, up 0.9 percent year on year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).Five out of nine sub-sectors, including cultural content generation and production, and news information services, registered growth during the year 2022.Emerging business models in the cultural industry continued to build resiliency, with operating revenue up by 5.3 percent from a year ago to 4.39 trillion yuan. Sub-sectors such as digital publication and recreational smart drone production posted double-digit growth.The NBS data came from a survey of cultural companies with annual revenue of more than 20 million yuan or those meeting other standards set by the NBS.

Customs worth celebrating

The "Longhorn Miao" ethnic community in rural Liupanshui, Guizhou province, is known for the womens unique hairstyle that features a headpiece shaped like a pair of long horns. (Photo: China Daily)A museum long dedicated to the cultural and natural heritage of the Miao ethnic group is eyeing tourism, report Yang Jun and Wang Jin in Guiyang.Up until the end of the last century, a group of people lived a primal lifestyle deep in the mountains at the juncture of the Liuzhi region and Zhijin county in Southwest Chinas Guizhou province.With a population of around 5,000, members of this branch of the Miao ethnic group were easy to recognize due to the unique hairstyle of their women, featuring a headpiece shaped like a pair of long horns.Even today on festive occasions, the women wrap samples of their ancestors hair and black wool around the hairpieces and secure their large buns with white yarn. Apart from the headpiece that weighs about 3 kilograms each and takes at least 30 minutes to set, the women often wear striped pleated skirts and garments that have embroidery and batik designs.The community lives a self-sufficient life through farming and weaving, yet has distinctive ethnic customs, folk instruments, songs and dances, and festivals that pay tribute to nature.In 1995, Chinese and Norwegian scholars went on a field trip to Gaoxing village, one of the 12 villages where members of this Miao branch live. Three years later, China and Norway jointly established the Liuzhi Suojia Ecological Museum, considered the first of its kind in Asia.

Brands turn to traditional Chinese culture to attract young customers

Location Zero, a renovated store in Beijings Dongcheng district opened by time-honored snack brand Daoxiangcun, offers traditional pastries with new twists. (Photo: China Daily)To celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, time-honored Beijing snack brand Daoxiangcun launched gift boxes featuring festive snacks and traditional Chinese packaging.One of the gift boxes that has been particularly popular among young customers due to its cute appearance and trendy contents, features rabbit cake with soybean cheese carrot fillings, among other items.Shi Yan, deputy general manager of Beijing Daoxiangcun, said that in addition to the brands 200 or so regular snacks, it is creating new products to tempt the taste buds of younger shoppers, in addition to launching seasonal products such as autumn red-leaf cake."For those snacks that have been lost over the years, we are trying to replicate them by checking old recipe books and materials, as well as asking folklore experts about them," she said. "The current Chinachic trend is not just about a cool appearance, it has to resonate with traditional Chinese culture."Chinese pastry brands are looking to this trend to attract young customers through inheriting traditional Chinese culture, creating stylish products, and collaborating with other domestic brands.In August 2021, Daoxiangcun launched Location Zero, a renovated store in the Chinese capitals Dongcheng district, where a variety of authentic Beijing pastries with new twists are available.

Pastry chefs master the art of innovation

Pastry resembling a pineapple made by Chen Xiaodong (Photo: China Daily)With a fluffy mane, large gleaming eyes and two layers of eyelashes, a palm-sized piece of puff pastry shaped like a lions head has attracted millions of "likes" on the Douyin short-video platform.Tens of thousands of netizens have been toiling in kitchens in attempts to replicate the item.Wu Yang, 35, a pastry chef from Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, who created the piece and has observed numerous failed efforts to reproduce it, is sharing detailed steps with his followers on how to make such an item. He gives instructions on perfecting the dough and performing specific cuts to the pastry.Wu has devoted himself to traditional Chinese puff pastry and dough sculptures for more than a decade. With his skillful hands and boundless imagination, he has created a wide range of pastry items.He gained inspiration for creating the lions head from the traditional Chinese folk art of lion dancing while watching the Wong Fei-hung film series, which began in 1991, and was centered on a martial artist who lived in Guangdong province."Traditional Chinese culture is my inspiration for making Chinese puff pastry. In the future, I hope more young people will understand the culture behind this form of pastry," Wu said.With a fluffy mane, large gleaming eyes and two layers of eyelashes, a palm-sized piece of puff pastry shaped like a lions head has attracted millions of "likes" on the Douyin short-video platform.Tens of thousands of netizens have been toiling in kitchens in attempts to replicate the item.Wu Yang, 35, a pastry chef from Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, who created the piece and has observed numerous failed efforts to reproduce it, is sharing detailed steps with his followers on how to make such an item. He gives instructions on perfecting the dough and performing specific cuts to the pastry.

Popular TV soap sends hordes of tourists Dali's way

Tourists enjoy the natural beauty of Erhai Lake in Dali, Yunnan province, during the Spring Festival holiday on Jan 23. Photo/China DailyThe appeal of country life and finding inner peace in a quiet, ancient town close to grasslands and lakes, far from vehicles and laptops, drew large numbers of tou

Chinese sci-fi blockbuster 'The Wandering Earth II' breaks into Top 10 at North American weekend box office

Photo: XinhuaLOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Despite a limited theatrical release in the United States and Canada, Chinas homemade sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II" broke into the Top 10 at the North American box office this weekend, according to studio figures released by measurement firm Comscore on Sunday.The much-anticipated prequel to Chinas sci-fi epic, "The Wandering Earth," is being released by Well Go USA in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles in some major cities across the United States and Canada.Comscore senior movie analyst Paul Dergarabedian pointed out in an email to Xinhua that the film "had a terrific weekend rounding out the Top 10 with 1.355 million dollars in just 170 locations.""The Wandering Earth II" has earned 2.71 million dollars in North America since it was released on Jan. 22, the Chinese Lunar New Years Day.Dergarabedian added that the film "had another strong showing" with 144.325 million dollars for the weekend at global box office for a worldwide cume to date of 465.95 million dollars "riding a wave of Lunar New Year momentum.""The Wandering Earth," released in 2019, is the fifth highest-grossing non-English film in the world of all time, earning nearly 700 million dollars worldwide, including nearly 6 million dollars in North America.Directed by Guo Fan and starring Andy Lau, Wu Jing and Li Xuejian, "The Wandering Earth II" tells the story of mankind building enormous engines to propel Earth to a new solar system as the sun is rapidly burning out.This week, James Camerons science fiction film "Avatar: The Way of Water" remained victorious at the North American box office for the seventh consecutive weekend with an estimated three-day cume of 15.7 million U.S. dollars.

Renowned translator Yang Yi dies at 104

Yang Yi. (Photo/Weibo account of Yilin Publishing House)Renowned litterateur and translator Yang Yi died at 8:30 pm on Friday at the age of 104, Yilin Publishing House announced via Weibo.Yang was born in Tianjin in 1919 and began publishing her translations in 1936. Huxiaoshanzhuang, the Chinese name of Wuthering Heights, was one notable example. She also wrote many original works which were translated into multiple languages and published overseas. Her efforts greatly influenced the development of Chinese contemporary literature.

2023 Spring Festival Gala reached 16.216 billion people worldwide

Spring Festival Gala promotional videos played on outdoor screen at Times Square in New York, the United States. (Photo: CMG)The 2023 Spring Festival Gala, also known as Chunwan in Chinese, which was held last Saturday, has set a new viewership record with more than 16.216 billion people reached home and abroad, according to its broadcaster China Media Group (CMG) on Friday.CMG broadcasted published reports on the Spring Festival Gala to global audiences in 68 languages, with more than 1,000 media from 173 countries and regions broadcasting the gala live on Lunar New Years Eve, which falls on January 21st this year.Cable News Network (CNN) continues to broadcast promos for the Spring Festival Gala on its regional channels and on its website and clients, reaching more than 395 million subscribers worldwide.The Japanese video platform Niconico rebroadcast CMGs Spring Festival Gala for the eighth year in a row. The total number of viewers reached over 130,000, and the programs favorable rate reached 93 percent.CMG translated and produced ten language versions of the 2023 Spring Festival Gala in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, and other languages, customizing the subtitles for global audiences, interpreting the performances and introducing relevant allusions and historical background, thoughtfully setting up questions to create engaging, interactive experiences, and strengthening the in-depth dissemination of the Spring Festival Galas content.Spring Festival Gala promotional videos were played on more than 1,600 outdoor large screens and theater screens around the world and lit up many well-known landmarks, including the World Trade Center and Empire State Building in the United States, the Colosseum in Italy, and the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.A total of 3,334 reports about the Spring Festival Gala were released by China Global Television Network (CGTN) on all its platforms, with over 479 million views worldwide....

Puxian Opera takes national stage

The Puxian Opera was performed on the stage of China Media Groups 2023 Spring Festival Gala. This marks the first time that this opera style has taken the stage of the Spring Festival Gala, bringing the long-lasting art form to a global audience. Performers present the traditional Puxian Opera "Haishen Mazu" (Sea Goddess) on stage. (Photo:CFPThe Puxian Opera has a long history and can trace its origin back to the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279) in Fujian Province. The opera was later popularized over time, and now there are more than 5,000 plays preserved in modern day times.Performers present traditional Puxian Opera "Ta San Xing" on stage, which tells the romantic story of how a young man and a young woman fell in love in ancient times. The rich tunes of Puxian Opera tell many ancient stories and folk tales, reflecting the lifestyle and values of ancient people. The opera is sung in a Fujian dialect by performers and is accompanied by stage performances inspired by puppet shows. Its long history and rich cultural values have made Puxian Opera "a living fossil of the opera of South China."Puxian Opera is performed at a culture exchange event in Thailand. Puxian Opera was listed as an intangible cultural heritage of China in 2006. With more people taking interest in the Puxian Opera in recent years, the cultural heritage is under better protection. There are hundreds of Puxian Opera troupes in Fujian, and opera fans can easily get show tickets both online and offline.

Nations celebrate historical liquor brand

Xinghuacun Fenjiu executives show their high-end product at a recent reception held in Milan, Italy, to ring in the Chinese Lunar New Year. PHOTO BY WEN ZHAOYAN/FOR CHINA DAILY Guests celebrated the historical connection between Chinese liquor and Italy at a recent reception held in Milan by the Q

Stilts walking folk art lives on in China

Stilts walking, or Cai Gao Qiao in Chinese, is a popular traditional folk performance often seen during the Spring Festival. It can be seen at circuses or parades across China, and has the auspicious meaning of having one step up in the new year, standing tall, and raising yourself to the top. Stilts walking is an intangible cultural heritage item that has a long history in the country. Its believed that the practice started with ancient Chinese people using stilts to harvest fruits on trees and fishing in ponds. The practical use of stilts was later developed into an art form with brightly-colored costumes, make-up, and even acrobatic moves.Stilts walking performance at Spring Festival celebrations at Nanjings Town Gods Temple. (Photo: CFP)As a popular folk-art form, many of the stilt walkers are not professional dancers. Instead, stilt-walking is an inherited skill they learned as it was passed on from generation to generation. Part-time stilts performers practice intensively prior to the Spring Festival and perform during the festivities, while professional performers usually require a high degree of acrobatic skill that allows them to carry out stunts, cartwheels, and even dance moves on these high stilts.Some stilt walkers perform stunts at Taierzhuang ancient town in Shandong Province. (Photo: CFP)These stilts are usually made from wood and are tied tightly to the performers calves before they stand up. There are various heights to the stilts: the lowest being less than half a meter long, and the highest can reach up to 2.5 meters long. Performers can be seen constantly waving their arms or waving fans to keep balance.Performers wave fans to keep balance on stilts. (Photo: CFP)During the 2023 Spring Festival Gala presented by China Media Group, an acrobatic show titled "Me and Grandpa Walking on Stilts" impressed global audiences with children showing off their stilt-walking skills, bringing the joyful atmosphere of the Sprin...

Lebanon's int'l fair inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List

BEIRUT, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Rachid Karami International Fair (RKIF) located in Lebanons northern city of Tripoli has been officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and List of World Heritage in Danger, Lebanons Council of Ministers said Wednesday.The Rachid Karami International Fair. (Photo: Courtesy of UNESCO)"This is a special achievement for Lebanon and all the Lebanese, and primarily for the city of Tripoli. We are proud of the presence of this architectural masterpiece on its land," the Council of Ministers said in a statement.It expressed hopes that the RKIF would receive the international attention and continued support of UNESCO, which contributes to its restoration and preservation.The RKIF was designed in 1962 by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer to house a permanent international fair capable of accommodating up to 2 million visitors a year, including a grand exhibition hall, a national pavilion and an outdoor concert stage.It is Lebanons sixth monument to enter the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Domestic animated films win applause during Spring Festival holiday

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- As the 2023 Spring Festival holiday progresses into its fifth day on Wednesday, Chinas domestic film market continues to flourish.Statistics from Chinas box office tracker Maoyan showed that, as of Wednesday morning, the total box office for new movies screened during the Spring Festival holiday had passed the 4 billion yuan (591 million U.S. dollars) threshold.Of the films opened during the holiday, the animated fantasy film "Deep Sea" had generated a total box office of nearly 217 million yuan. The family-friendly "Boonie Bears: Guardian Code" took third place on the holiday box office chart with over 417 million yuan of box office revenue.As the latest work of director Tian Xiaopeng, who in 2015 presented the beloved "Monkey King: Hero is Back," "Deep Sea" showcases the wonderful and colorful deep sea adventure of a young girl.According to the producers of the film, "Deep Sea" is the first film to fully utilize the "particle Chinese painting" technology, recreating the aesthetic of traditional Chinese painting with three-dimensional particle animation.The visual spectacles the film presents were cheered by audiences. "The effects are truly breathtaking. It felt like a tour in the colorful deep blue sea," said a movie-goer surnamed Su.Story-wise, different from previous animated blockbusters, which are mostly inspired by classic Chinese folk tales, "Deep Sea" features an original story about an ordinary girl. "I hope Chinese animations can focus on common folks like this film so that audiences can feel more related to the story," Su said.Combining cutting-edge technologies and profound storytelling, "Deep Sea" appeals more to devoted grown-up fans of domestic animations. "Boonie Bears: Guardian Code" on the other hand, aims to bring laughter and joy to the entire family."Guardian Code" is the sixth "Boo...

'Everything Everywhere' tops Oscar nominations with 11

The multiverse-skipping sci-fi indie hit "Everything Everywhere All at Once" led nominations to the 95th Academy Awards as Hollywood heaped honors on big-screen spectacles like "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" a year after a streaming service won best picture for the first time.

Chinese sci-fi blockbuster 'The Wandering Earth II' hits North American big screen

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinas homemade sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II" opened Sunday, the Chinese Lunar New Years Day, in a limited theatrical release in North America.Photo: XinhuaThe much-anticipated prequel to Chinas all-time highest-grossing sci-fi epic "The Wandering Earth," also directed by Guo Fan, is being released in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles in more than 120 theaters in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and other major cities across the United States and Canada.Starring Andy Lau, Wu Jing and Li Xuejian, the prequel tells the story of mankind building enormous engines to propel Earth to a new solar system as the sun is rapidly burning out.Also on Sunday, the film came out in China with an impressive debut of 600 million yuan (88.44 million U.S. dollars), according to Chinese movie-ticketing and film data platform Maoyan."The Wandering Earth," released in 2019, is the fifth highest-grossing non-English film in the world of all time, earning nearly 700 million dollars worldwide.

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