Tang Dynasty tombs discovered in China's Shanxi

A tea set unearthed from the tomb (Photo: The Paper)TAIYUAN, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Three tombs dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907) have been found in north Chinas Shanxi Province, according to the provincial institute of archaeology.The tombs, which are in earth-caved shapes and clearly dated, were found near a sports center in the city of Changzhi during excavations conducted between April and May 2022, said the institute.During the excavations, a total of 30 tombs were unearthed. Of the tombs, five can be dated back to the Tang Dynasty and the other 25 can be dated back to the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), said Li Hui, who participated in the excavation project.From the three clearly-dated tombs, archaeologists unearthed 48 pieces or sets of burial objects, including five well-preserved earthen figurines and a tea set featuring different textures."Based on the epitaphs of the three tombs, we know that their owners were all officials," Li said. "The findings provide new materials for the study of the ancient burial and social cultures in the region and during the period."

Intangible cultural heritage summit to kick off in Guangzhou

BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The 2023 intangible cultural heritage brand summit will be held from March 23 to 25 in southern Chinas Guangzhou, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) said Friday.Photo: VCGCo-hosted by the MCT and the Guangdong Provincial Peoples Government, this years summit has been upgraded to a national intangible cultural heritage event.During the three-day event, exhibitions will showcase the protection, inheritance, and development of intangible cultural heritage brands and relevant achievements.Other activities, including performances featuring intangible cultural heritage, theme forums, creative intangible cultural heritage interactions, and intangible cultural heritage clothing displays, will also take place during the summit.Holding the summit in Guangzhou will encourage more intangible heritage brands from Hong Kong and Macao to participate, thus jointly promoting the protection of intangible cultural heritage in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, and cultivating cultural brands in the Greater Bay Area, said Li Xiaosong, an official with the MCT.

All at once embracing multiculturalism in films

The 95th Academy Awards saw Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian of Chinese origin, becoming the first Asian woman to win the Best Actress award for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The film won six more awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor, making it a phenomenon at this years Oscars.The film uses the mother-daughter relationship in an Asian-American family to weave a sci-fi multiverse tale of a woman trying to save her familys failing laundromat, struggling with a disintegrating marriage and dealing with her always disapproving father. But its the widening gulf between the mother (Evelyn, played by Yeoh) and her daughter that threatens to unravel the fabric of existence as she learns that she is just one Evelyn in a vast multiverse of Evelyns, and the only one who can save it.Best Actress Michelle Yeoh poses with her Oscar at the Governors Ball following the Oscars show at the 95th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US, March 12, 2023. (Photo: Agencies)The movie uses sci-fi elements to address a range of issues, including ethnic cultural identity, social conflict, and even the LGBTQ community, all representative of US society. This explains why a politically correct award like the Oscars would honor a movie seemingly closely related to traditional Chinese culture.In the beginning, Everything Everywhere All at Once almost forcibly incorporates scientific and philosophical concepts such as quantum mechanics and multiverse into its narrative. The film is indeed a successful example of packaging artistic concepts and formal explorations together into a commercial feature. Thanks to the high-speed editing and a pastiche of old tropes, one can find almost every related prototype throughout the film.The film with typical postmodern features was controversial from the outset due to its too flashy collages, "copying of old tropes", and forced incorporation of scienti...

Two Chinese experts head to the US to assist caring for giant panda Ya Ya

Two Chinese experts left for the Memphis Zoo in the United States Wednesday to assist in the care of giant panda Ya Ya, the Beijing Zoo said on Thursday.Chinese giant panda Le Le eats bamboo leaves in its enclosure at the Memphis Zoo in Memphis, Tennessee, the United States, Aug. 13, 2010. (Photo: Xinhua)The two experts, both specialists in raising giant pandas, will mainly assist in the daily care of Ya Ya and treat her skin condition as well as work with the Memphis Zoo to arrange the necessary breeding and nursing work for the giant panda, said staff at the Beijing Zoo.“As soon as the specialists arrive in the US, they will try their best to take care of Ya Ya within the limited time (before she returns home) and inspect her physical condition,” the staff explained. It wasn’t clear whether the experts would stay with Ya Ya until her planned return to China.Both China and the US have been actively negotiating ways to expedite the procedures necessary for Ya Yas return to her home country. The Chinese side has completed all approvals, while the Beijing Zoo has made preparations to welcome Ya Ya back.In 2003, Ya Ya from the Beijing Zoo and Le Le from the Shanghai Zoo traveled to the Memphis Zoo in the US state of Tennessee as part of a Sino-US giant panda protection and research program. The agreement was initially for 10 years and was extended by 10 more years in 2013. Earlier in February, Ya Yas male partner, giant panda Le Le, passed away at the zoo at the age of 25.(Compiled by Liang Jiayuan)

Pigeon pair panda cubs in China's Chongqing given names

The pigeon pair panda cubs in Southwest China's Chongqing were named Yu Ke and Yu Ai on Wednesday after Internet voting.

Vietnam welcomes 1st Chinese tour groups in three years

Vietnam's tourism authority and northern provincial people's committee of Lang Son held a ceremony on Wednesday to welcome the first batch of Chinese tour groups in three years since the COVID-19 pandemic.

'First Tibetan Opera village' promotes cultural inheritance, rural revitalization

Actors perform the traditional Tibetan Opera Epic of King Gesar. (Photo: Courtesy of China Arts and Entertainment Group)Tashi Choden village in Lhoka, Southwest Chinas Xizang Autonomous Region has been listed in the second batch of national-level tourist spots. Known as the "first Tibetan Opera village," it has promoted its inheritance of the most ancient school of Tibetan Opera and Tibetan culture through its rural revitalization program.Tashi Choden village enjoys a favorable location as it is five kilometers from Khesum village, the first village of Xizangs Democratic Reform in 1959 and Yumbulagang, the first monastery in Tibetan history, which was built in the 2nd century BC. With a convenient means of transportation, it has developed into a tourist village featuring traditional Yarlung Culture.Tibetan Opera is a comprehensive art form, combining Tibetan myths, legends, folk songs, dance, narration and acrobatics as well as religious music. It is recognized as part of the first batch of national-level cultural heritage and also as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Since Tibetan Opera was founded by Thangtong Gyalpo, an eminent monk in Lhoka, the birthplace of Tibetan culture, it has provided Tashi Choden with the advantage of becoming the "first Tibetan Opera village" in Xizang.Boasting a history of 600 years, the Tashi Shiba School of Tibetan Opera is the oldest school of Tibetan Opera. All actors wear white masks (different from the blue masks in other schools). The operas are generally composed of three parts: the prelude, or Don in Tibetan language; the formal play or Shu; and the conclusion or Tashi. Since the 5th Dalai Lama (1617-1682), the Tashi Shiba School of Tibetan Opera has been prominent at festivals and events such as Tibetan New Year, the Lhasa Shoton Festival, the Wangguo Festival, the Lhoka Cultural Heritage Day, the Yarlung Cultural Festival and Yarlung Commodities Trade and Cultural Exchanges Fair.In recent yea...

Outdoor music festivals ready to rock again

Fans attend the Yangtze River Music Festival in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, in October 2019. (Photo: CHINA DAILY)Fans eager to see stars back in action at events across the country after the introduction of optimized COVID-19 measuresIn 2011, Zeng Kai, from Linfen city, Shanxi province, attended one of the best outdoor rock festivals he had ever witnessed.At the Midi Music Festival in Haidian Park, Beijing, he saw several of his favorite bands in action, including Miserable Faith, Escape Plan and Reflector. He also became a fan of groups he had never expected to like."I watched bands Id never heard of, but they really rocked that day," said the 32-year-old, who works for a company in the mining industry in Taiyuan, the Shanxi provincial capital."I went to the music festival with my classmates in 2011, when we were studying at Taiyuan University of Technology. It was one of the best trips Id ever had," Zeng said.However, for the past three years, Zeng and many other fans had to contend with a lack of these events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced numerous performances, both indoors and outdoors, to be canceled.Since China optimized its COVID-19 policies at the end of last year, a number of organizers have announced the return of outdoor music festivals, with lineups being booked, dates set, and tickets already selling out."I am already making plans to travel to some festivals, and Im asking my friends if they want to join me. I cannot wait to see my favorite artists and be surprised by acts that are unfamiliar to me," Zeng said.Several music festivals will be held nationwide in the second quarter of this year, the China Association of Performing Arts said. In addition to major holidays, the events will be staged during weekends to meet demand from fans.Zeng plans to make an early start by attending the Midi Music Festival in Evergreen Park, Haikou, Hainan province, from March 17-19.Featuring more than 40 artists ...

For Asian Americans, Yeoh, Quan's Oscar wins are theirs too

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Edward Dion Fariñas watches the Academy Awards every year but the Filipino American didnt expect to have such a visceral reaction when hearing Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeohs awards announced.Ke Huy Quan poses with his award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" at the Governors Ball after the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)“I had a squeal come out that I was not expecting,” said Fariñas, who was watching Sunday from his Austin, Texas, home, complete with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” themed pastries from a local Asian American-owned bakery.“I was surprised by how heavily invested I got. It’s not even about the acting. It really just kind of lets us feel like we can accomplish things that normally are not in our lane.”Quans best supporting actor win and comeback story from childhood star of ‘80s flicks, coupled with Yeoh’s historic win as the first Asian best actress winner ever had viewers of Asian descent shedding tears of happiness — and grinning. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-stars bring the total number of Asians who have earned acting Oscars to just six in the awards 95-year history.For many Asian Americans, the films seven Oscars, including Best Picture, feel like a watershed moment — that Hollywood is moving past seeing them only in tropes. It represents an opportunity for optimism after three years of anti-Asian hate brought on by the pandemic.Written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known as the Daniels), who won best-directing and best original screenplay Oscars, the story centers on a glammed-down Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, a frazzled laundromat owner preparing for an IRS audit. Meanwhile, she is struggling with an unhappy husband (Quan), her critical father (James Hong) and an openly lesbian daughter (Stephanie Hsu).When Yeoh said, in accepting her Oscar, that the aw...

Oscars ratings tick up again as 'Everything Everywhere' triumphs

Oscars television ratings increased for the second year in a row, as 18.7 million viewers tuned in to watch hit sci-fi "Everything Everywhere All At Once" dominate a well-reviewed ceremony, the ABC network said Monday.(Photo: AFP)With Jimmy Kimmel back as host, and a number of bona fide blockbusters among the nominated films including "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water," organizers had hoped that the 95th Academy Awards would draw audiences back.The average audience figure marks a 12 per cent increase from last years telecast -- which was mostly remembered for Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage.The Oscars all-time low came in 2021, when a stripped-back pandemic-era edition of Hollywoods biggest award show drew around 10 million.The upward trend is a welcome shot in the arm for live award shows, which have been shedding viewers more broadly as they compete for eyeballs with streamers and social media highlight clips.Still, Sundays ratings figure is the third-lowest in Oscars history.The gala, which featured big-name musical performances from Rihanna and Lady Gaga, was generally praised by critics.Following the previous years infamous slap, the Hollywood Reporter said Sundays gala -- notable for several tearful winners speeches -- was "mercifully low on drama, movingly high on emotion."Variety called the show "familiar" but "tasteful."But The New York Times said the lack of any significant upsets -- or on-stage violence -- made the show "a shrink-wrapped, anodyne exercise" which "stuck safely to the script.""Everything Everywhere," a word-of-mouth smash hit that has grossed $100 million at the global box office, won seven prizes including best picture, as its star Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win best actress.Yeoh plays an exhausted Chinese laundromat owner embroiled in a battle with an inter-dimensional supe...

China-Spain Year of Culture and Tourism events to kick off in late March

As 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Spain, the China-Spain Year of Culture and Tourism is set to open at the end of March.Photo: CFPSpeaking at a press conference on March 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning noted a wealth of related activities, including exhibitions of cultural relics, concerts, cultural displays, and other events to promote tourism will be held throughout the year.According to Chinas Ministry of Culture and Tourism, four major events will mark the curtain-raiser for the China-Spain Year of Culture and Tourism. They include a concert in Madrid involving artists from both countries; an exhibition in a Spanish coastal city highlighting the heritage of the Qin and Han dynasties (221 B.C.-220 A.D.), which will feature the iconic Terracotta Warriors of Xian, Shaanxi, at the Archaeological Museum of Alicante; a Song Dynasty (960-1279) painting-themed exhibition in Barcelona; and an exhibition showcasing Chinese tea culture at the China Cultural Center in Madrid.This artistic feast is part of the efforts to promote cultural exchanges between the two civilizations and strengthen bonds and boost friendly ties between their peoples.

Old train station photos preserve past in Tianjin

A look at Tanggu South Station (Photo: of an old railway station and a staff member recently impressed many online readers during a photo contest launched by Tianjins Binhai New Area early this month.The photos were shot by Lyu Shisen, a 73-year-old retired professor who lives in the district.Built in 1888, Tanggu South Station in Binhai New Area was the earliest and best-preserved passenger train station in China, according to the station.Because of development in the area, the station, which is located in the central business district of Binhai, closed to passenger service in 2004 and halted all business in 2019.

Nobel-winning Japanese novelist Kenzaburo Oe dies aged 88: publisher

Japanese author and 1994 Nobel Prize for literature lauriate Kenzaburo Oe. (Photo: AFP)Nobel-winning novelist Kenzaburo Oe, a leading liberal voice in Japan who challenged the conformity of modern society, has died aged 88, publisher Kodansha said on Monday."He died of old age in the early hours of March 3," the publisher said in a statement, adding that a family funeral had already been held.

China's National Center for the Performing Arts restarts international performances

Bach's six Cello Suites were performed at China's National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on Sunday evening, marking the first foreign artist’s show in this center since the start of the pandemic over three years ago.

Brendan Fraser wins best actor Oscar in career comeback

Brendan Fraser accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role for "The Whale" at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)Brendan Fraser won the best actor Oscar for "The Whale," a transformative role in which he revived a career that was once so bright."I started in this business 30 years ago and things didnt come easily to me," said an emotional Fraser, breathing heavily on stage Sunday night. "I just want to say thank you for this acknowledgement."Fraser was one of five first-time nominees in the category, the first time that had happened since 1935. Fraser beat out Austin Butler of "Elvis," Colin Farrell of "The Banshees of Inisherin," Paul Mescal of "Aftersun," and Bill Nighy of "Living."Fraser figures the role of Charlie, a 600-pound reclusive gay English teacher who tries to restore his relationship with his teenage daughter, found him at the perfect time.Any earlier in his career and Fraser has said he wouldnt have had the life experience or heartache to authentically play a character who lives with sadness, pain and life-threatening obesity."I think its a film thats going to change some hearts and minds, and that feels really good," he said backstage.Frasers portrayal earned him standing ovations at film festivals in Venice and Toronto, and the early praise continued building through the fall and winter. In addition to receiving the best reviews of his career, he earned a SAG Award for his performance. Along the way, hes given emotional acceptance speeches, unafraid to cry at times.His eyes were rimmed red as he clutched his Oscar in one hand, clearly moved by the reaction from his Hollywood peers."This has been incredibly rewarding and affirming," he said backstage, "and its given me a lesson in humility and gratitude."Its a career comeback, w...

'Everything Everywhere All at Once' dominates Oscars 2023 with seven trophies

The Asian-led multiverse adventure "Everything Everywhere All at Once" turned out to be a big winner Sunday night at the 95th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, with seven trophies.

Michelle Yeoh wins best actress Oscar for 'Everything Everywhere'

Michelle Yeoh on Sunday made history by becoming the first Asian woman to win the best actress Oscar, for her exuberant portrayal of an immigrant business owner in the sci-fi trip "Everything Everywhere All at Once.

'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' wins best animated film Oscar

Puppets from Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro are seen on the red carpet upon arrival at the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, in London, on February 19, 2023. (Photo: AFP)"Guillermo del Toros Pinocchio," a strikingly dark take on the beloved childrens book about an exuberant living puppet and his elderly wood-carver father, won best animated feature at the Academy Awards on Sunday.In an Oscars category usually dominated by lighter, family-friendly fare, Mexican director del Toro triumphed with his macabre reimagining of Pinocchios adventures, now set in 1930s Italy.

Oscars ceremony kicks off with 'Top Gun' flyover

TV host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 12, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Hollywoods biggest night, the Oscars ceremony, began Sunday with a thunderous flyover in a nod to the nominated film "Top Gun: Maverick."The off-kilter sci-fi film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was leading the pack with 11 nominations including for best picture."Thank you for inviting me to be a part of it, especially this year, when the world finally got out of the house to see the films you worked so hard to make, the way you intended them to be seen -- in a theater," host Jimmy Kimmel said in his opening.

Oscars try to snap after The Slap; Stars arrive, Gaga added

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A year after Will Smith strode on stage at the Dolby Theatre and slapped Chris Rock in the face, the Oscars are reconvening Sunday for a ceremony that will try to move past one of the most infamous moments in Academy Awards history.Stars are streaming down the red carpet — or, this year, the champagne-colored carpet — at the Dolby in Los Angeles. After several days of rain in and around Los Angeles, the sun is out again for a ceremony the Academy Awards are hoping is less stormy than last year.James Hong, co-star of best-picture favorite “Everything Everywhere All at Once” arrived with googly eyes on his tie, a reference to one of the films absurdist props.James Hong, left, and Jamie Lee Curtis arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)"It shows if you wait long enough, you’ll make it,” the 94-year-old Hong told ABC on the carpet.The telecast begins at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC. The broadcast can be streamed with a subscription to Hulu Live TV, YouTubeTV, AT&T TV and Fubo TV. You can also stream the show on and on the ABC app by authenticating your provider.Jimmy Kimmel, the show’s first solo emcee in five years, is hosting for the third time. The late-night comedian has promised to make some jokes about The Slap; it would be “ridiculous” not to, he said.Bill Kramer, chief executive of the film academy, has said that it was important, given what happened last year, to have “a host in place who can really pivot and manage those moments.”“Nobody got hit when I hosted the show,” Kimmel bragged tongue in cheek Thursday on “Good Morning America." “Everybody was well-behaved at my Oscars.”Kimmel will preside over a ceremony that could see big wins for the best-picture favorite, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s action-comedy indie hit comes in with a leading 11 nominations, including nods for Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan.Producers are giving s...

Cultural ecology reserve guards China's 'kite capital'

For many people, spring is the best season for flying a kite. As an old Chinese poem goes, "February sees grass grow and thrushes fly; Oer banks willows flick, spring mist high. After-school kids come home early, keen to fly kites while East Winds spry," the folk activity is counted as a Chinese tradition that embraces the gentle and mild season.People fly a kite measuring over 60 meters long in Weifang, Shandong, on April 22, 2017. (Photos: CFP) Located in east Chinas Shandong Province, Weifang is dubbed Chinas "kite capital" and the city not only has a long history of manufacturing and flying kites but is also endowed with a rich historical and cultural heritage.Children learn to make kites at a kite-themed museum in Weifang, Shandong, on July 29, 2022. "Since the first kite, the earliest human aircraft, took flight in Weifang 2,400 years ago, crafts and creativity have been recognized as a foundation of local development," UNESCO is quoted as saying. And Weifang was added to UNESCOs Creative Cities Network (UCCN) as a Crafts and Folk Arts City in 2021, ahead of which, the city had already seen its Zhucheng guqin (a stringed instrument) and Gaomi paper-cutting craft listed as "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.Kites are used to decorate a local bus in Weifang, Shandong, on August 11, 2022. In a bid to better develop unique and time-honored regional traditional cultures, Chinas Ministry of Culture and Tourism released a list of seven national-level cultural ecology reserves, among which is the Qilu Cultural (Weifang) Ecological Protection Zone.Kites of various designs are displayed at a kite-themed museum in Weifang, Shandong, on March 24, 2021. As the first of its kind in Shandong Province, the reserve covers the entire territory of Weifang. Serving as a specific area with the protection of local intangible cultural heritage at its core, the guardian of cu...

'Everything Everywhere' enters Oscars as unlikely favorite

"Everything Everywhere All at Once, a wacky sci-fi film featuring multiple universes, sex toys and hot dog fingers, enters Sundays Oscars ceremony as the highly unorthodox frontrunner for best picture.An Oscar statue stands on the red carpet as preparations are made ahead of the 95th Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California, on March 11, 2023. (Photo: AFP)Academy bosses hope audiences will tune in to see whether the zany $100 million-grossing hit can claim Hollywoods most coveted prize -- and draw a line under Will Smiths infamous slap at last years gala."Everything Everywhere" -- which leads the overall nominations count at 11 -- follows a Chinese immigrant laundromat owner locked in battle with an inter-dimensional supervillain who happens to also be her own daughter.Michelle Yeohs heroine Evelyn must harness the power of her alter egos living in parallel universes, which feature hot dogs as human fingers, talking rocks and giant dildos used as weapons.The film has dominated nearly every awards show in Hollywood, with its charismatic, predominantly Asian stars becoming the feel-good story of the season."Its a group of very likable people behind the movie who its impossible to not be happy for," Hollywood Reporter awards columnist Scott Feinberg told AFP.But although the quirky film is widely expected to dominate Oscars night, it could hit a stumbling block for best picture.The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences uses a special "preferential" voting system for that award, in which members rank films from best to worst.The approach punishes polarizing films.One Oscars voter who asked not to be identified told AFP that some members -- particularly among the Academys older ranks -- are "more divided about Everything Everywhere All at Once." "It was very bold and unique, but not a traditional movie... it could be further down the ballot for a lot of people,"...

Martial arts growing in popularity among young Chinese

BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Lifting a spear, Li Jinqi pulled it across her shoulders and spun it quickly. Following her example were 10 peers in two rows who wore the same Kungfu-style garments and produced the same movements.Gif: Beihang UniversityLi is a 24-year-old Ph.D. student at Beihang University in Beijing, but she is more widely known on campus as a martial arts master.Though very busy with research and coursework, the Ph.D. student said practicing martial arts has become a daily routine for her over the past five years.She has studied various styles including boxing, swordplay, and cudgel play, and won several cross-campus martial arts competitions held in the capital city.She also led the universitys martial arts club, which grew from a team of two participants to over 30 active members.Having performed at the graduation ceremony for three years in a row, Li said the club is now one of the most sought-after clubs on campus in terms of the recruitment of new members."Martial arts has seen a significant uptick on campus, and I heard that my middle school and high school have both opened martial arts courses," said Li.Gao Xiaoya, a junior student majoring in electronic information engineering at Beihang, who also joined the martial arts club, shared that she draws inner peace and strength from the sport.Gao is among an increasing number of young people who were first attracted to martial arts as a way to keep fit, but who found that their enthusiasm grew as they practiced more because they realized the benefits stemming from the traditional values and culture carried forward by this art form."You start to appreciate it more and realize that martial arts are full of philosophical views on how to combat challenges and be confident, while also being modest," said the 21-year-old.On Chinas video-sharing platform Bilibili, short videos on topics of traditional Chinese culture such as martial arts, Hanfu attire, Peking Opera, and ca...

Vocational trainer dedicates himself to educating skilled workers

GUANGZHOU — At a symposium held last month in Guangzhou, South Chinas Guangdong province, Yang Denghui, a vocational trainer, spent a few hours with vocational teachers and students, company workers and experts. The experience gave Yang a wealth of ideas and suggestions that he jotted down in his notebook. Yang Denghui, a vocational trainer at the Guangdong Machinery Technician College in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Photo/XinhuaYang works at the Guangdong Machinery Technician College, and is a deputy to the 14th National Peoples Congress. "I will grasp every chance I get to speak for the skilled workers," says the 26-year-old, who had been busy preparing suggestions for the "two sessions".Born in East Chinas Jiangxi province, Yang has had a passion for craftsmanship since childhood. After graduating from middle school, he studied at a secondary vocational school in Shenzhen, a manufacturing and tech hub in Guangdong, where he mastered the technology of computer numerical control, or CNC, mills.The technology can be used to produce components and has been widely adopted in the manufacturing industry.It has been utilized to produce various items, including aluminum alloy frames for mobile phones, molds for plastic cups and auto parts, Yang says.Upon learning that the Guangdong Machinery Technician College focuses on the cultivation of world-class technicians, Yang decided to further his study at the institute to perfect his skills.Computer-aided design and coding software demand specific skills from CNC milling operators, whose precision in controlling the machine and knowledge of the structure of the part being milled will significantly influence the accuracy of the final product. Yang examines components that his students have processed. [Photo/Xinhua]In 2017, at the age of 20, Yang participated in the 44th WorldSkills Competition and won the gold medal in CNC milling.The competition, also known as the "Olympics for techn...

Chinese stories win publishers' hearts at children's book fair in Italy

People visit an exhibition booth of China Science and Technology Press at the Bologna Childrens Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, March 7, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)BOLOGNA, Italy, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A picture book series titled "Palace Cats," depicting a few of the furry occupants of the Palace Museum, the huge national museum complex housed in the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, caught the eyes of nearly all visitors to the exhibition area of a Chinese publishing house at the Bologna Childrens Book Fair, which ran from March 6 to March 9 in the central Italian city.In its 60th edition, the annual book fair is a major international forum for publishers, authors and illustrators of childrens literature to exchange ideas, forge bonds and select partners.At the 32-square-meter stand of China Science and Technology Press, hundreds of Chinese story books and science books for children were on display. Audrey Lorenzini, an independent publisher from Padova, Italy, discussed copyright issues with the Chinese exhibitors."Its very difficult for children in Italy to access books about Chinese culture," she said while she was looking for books for Italians who want to learn about China.Publishers and licensing professionals were also drawn to the exhibition booths of other Chinese publishers, such as Beijing-based UTOP publishing house and China Childrens Press and Publication Group, to seek deals for cooperation.Popular selections from these industry insiders included "Palace Cats," which tactfully integrates information about the 24 solar terms in the Chinese lunar calendar and the imperial palace into the stories, as well as "My Hillside, My Fallen Leaves," an educational story."I like the style of the illustration. Its bright, simple but impressive," Christina Wu, principal consultant with Wellread & Boekenreis Agency commented. She said she wants to publish "My Hillside, My Fallen Lea...

Actor Zhang Songwen appears in upcoming outing as a veteran reporter

Actor Zhang Songwen at the movies Beijing premiere on March 20. (Photo provided to China Daily)On the heels of The Knockout, the countrys most popular TV series from earlier this year, actor Zhang Songwen will appear on screen again in his new outing: The Best Is Yet to Come.Under the helm of Wang Jing, the movie, also starring actor Bai Ke, revisits the golden age of printed media in the early 2000s. Han Dong, a high-school drop-out played by Bai, becomes one of numerous young aspirers, who are collectively classified as "beipiao", referring to those who struggle in the Chinese capital but dont have permanent resident status, to seek his dream in the big city.Despite facing a series of obstacles at job fairs, he occasionally obtains an opportunity to work as an intern at a prestigious daily newspaper. With the guidance of Huang Jiang, a veteran investigative reporter who becomes the leader of Hans team, he manages to get recognition for contributing to an influential coverage of a mining explosion.The success encourages him to delve into another complicated case involving many forged physical examination certificates. However, as he goes deeper into the investigation, he begins to question his angle after discovering that the many counterfeiters are hepatitis B carriers who fear losing job opportunities due to unjust discrimination.The movie held a premiere in Beijing on March 20, gathering the cast and crew members together with some celebrities such as renowned novelist Zheng Yuanjie.The film will open across domestic theaters on March 24.

What made Beethoven sick? DNA from his hair offers clues

Nearly 200 years after Ludwig van Beethovens death, researchers pulled DNA from strands of his hair, searching for clues about the health problems and hearing loss that plagued him.Dr. Axel Schmidt, co author of the study from the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital shows the genome of world famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven on a computer screen during an interview with The Associated Press in Bonn, Germany, Tuesday, March 21, 2023. (Photo: AP)They werent able to crack the case of the German composers deafness or severe stomach ailments. But they did find a genetic risk for liver disease, plus a liver-damaging hepatitis B infection in the last months of his life.These factors, along with his chronic drinking, were probably enough to cause the liver failure that is widely believed to have killed him, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Current Biology.This Sunday marks the 196th anniversary of Beethovens death in Vienna on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56. The composer himself wrote that he wanted doctors to study his health problems after he died.“With Beethoven in particular, it is the case that illnesses sometimes very much limited his creative work,” said study author Axel Schmidt, a geneticist at University Hospital Bonn in Germany. “And for physicians, it has always been a mystery what was really behind it.”Since his death, scientists have long tried to piece together Beethovens medical history and have offered a variety of possible explanations for his many maladies.Now, with advances in ancient DNA technology, researchers have been able to pull genetic clues from locks of Beethoven’s hair that had been snipped off and preserved as keepsakes. They focused on five locks that are “almost certainly authentic,” coming from the same European male, according to the study.They also looked at three other historical locks, but werent able to confirm those were actually Beethovens. Previous tes...

Young Chinese offer energy to collectibles market

Li Ruiqi, a staff member of China Guardian Auctions, works during an auction held last year by the company. She often shares her knowledge of collectibles on social media. (Photo: Xinhua)Li Ruiqi, a 28-year-old staff member at an auction company, has been sharing her daily work experience and knowledge about collectibles on her WeChat channel since the end of last year. Her subscribers have continued to grow as more people, especially the younger generation, are eager to use the platform to learn about history and traditional culture."Hello, everyone, today Ill introduce you to the unique porcelain made in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) during the reign of Emperor Daoguang," says Li, who works at China Guardian Auctions.The auction house held a themed exhibition showcasing such porcelain recently, drawing the attention of many antiques enthusiasts."We do our utmost to explore the cultural connotation behind these collectibles, whereby their value will also be increased. When the audiences see a collection, they will no longer just see an old object that looks beautiful. Instead, they will truly understand the important historical value behind it," says Li.Nowadays, young Chinese are interested in learning about cultural relics, and professionals like Li are injecting new vitality into the collectibles market, contributing to the inheritance and protection of traditional culture.Shao Tianhong, also an art market practitioner of the post-1990 generation, graduated from a British university and studied Chinese art history for her masters degree. Shao has been engaged in the auction market since graduation."I think young Chinese today have more opportunities to experience both Chinese and Western cultures, and their aesthetic and artistic perceptions are different from their previous generations," Shao says.Gan Xuejun, president of the Beijing Association of Auctioneers, says that auction promotes and publicizes traditional culture ...

More young Chinese are getting a kick out of practicing martial arts

Young people practice martial arts in Huangling village, Boai county, Jiaozuo city, Henan province. (Photo: China Daily)Lifting a spear, Li Jinqi pulled it across her shoulders and spun it quickly. Following her example, 10 peers in two rows wearing the same kung fu-style garments produced the same movements.Li is a 24-year-old PhD student at Beihang University in Beijing, but she is more widely known on campus as a martial arts master.Though very busy with research and coursework, the PhD student says that, over the past five years, practicing martial arts has become a daily routine.She has studied various styles, including boxing, swordplay, and the cudgel, and won several cross-campus martial arts competitions held in the capital city.She also led the universitys martial arts club, which has grown from a team of two participants to over 30 active members.Having performed at the graduation ceremony for three years in a row, Li says the club is now one of the most popular on campus in terms of recruitment."Martial arts has seen a significant uptick on campus, and I heard that my middle school and high school have both opened martial arts courses," says Li.Gao Xiaoya, a junior student majoring in electronic information engineering at Beihang, who also joined the martial arts club, shares that she draws inner peace and strength from the sport.Gao is among an increasing number of young people who were first attracted to martial arts as a way to keep fit, but who found their enthusiasm grew when they realized the benefits stemming from the traditional values and culture the sport embodies."You start to appreciate it more and realize that martial arts are full of philosophical views on how to combat challenges and be confident, while also being modest," says the 21-year-old.On Chinas video-sharing platform Bilibili, short videos on topics of traditional Chinese culture, such as martial arts, hanfu (a traditional costume), Peking Opera,...

A pioneering spirit

Artist and educator Fred Martin (1927-2022) was among a group of students at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in 1988.Photo provided to China Daily Arenowned artist and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area will be remembered as a pioneer in art exchanges between the Unite

Giant pandas' hometown Ya'an in SW China releases biodiversity conservation action plan

Yaan, Southwest Chinas Sichuan Province, where the giant panda was scientifically discovered, released a biodiversity conservation action plan (2023-35) on Thursday, aiming to strengthen the biodiversity protection and build a solid and beautiful ecological barrier in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.Giant panda Jing Jing plays at the Yaan base of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in southwest Chinas Sichuan Province, Oct. 18, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)The action plan sets up short-term targets for 2025 and medium- and long-term goals for 2035, and 36 actions have been formulated covering 11 priority sectors including carrying out a comprehensive survey, monitoring and assessment of biodiversity and ecological restoration, according to the Yaan local authorities.Yaan is located in the transition zone between Sichuan basin and Qinghai-Xizang Plateau, with its forest coverage rate reaching 69.42 percent, ranking the first in Sichuan Province, according to the local authorities.Due to the regions special geographical and climatic conditions, Yaan is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world, as the region has thick forests and numerous rivers, Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told the Global Times on Friday.There are 340 wild giant pandas in Yaan, which is the core region of the Giant Panda National Park, as well as the birthplace of the worlds giant panda culture.China has gained some achievements in biodiversity protection, for instance, the status of wild giant pandas has been downgraded from "endangered" to "vulnerable" in China thanks to the active efforts on ecological restoration and protection, Ma noted. The region established the first giant panda reintroduction base in 2013 in China to explore the balanced development between humans and nature.Three corridors have been built in the region for giant pandas, ...

Wedding photos for the elderly

More than 400 student volunteers have taken 50,000 wedding photos of about 650 elderly couples, who had no chance to do so when they were young. (Photo provided to China Daily)Older couples commemorate the big day decades after the fact thanks to a student project, Xu Lin and Zhou Lihua report in Wuhan.After being married for 38 years, Zhang Jianjun and Qin Shumei decided it was time to get a picture. Dressed in formal attire, they are finally ready for their wedding photos.The photographer, lighting operator and makeup artist are from the younger generation. They communicate with the elderly couple to help them overcome nervousness to ensure good photos.They are all students from Wuhan University of Engineering Science, in Hubei province, and they are taking wedding photos for those who had no chance to do so when they were young, as a form of community service."Im grateful that Ive realized my dream to wear a wedding dress," says Qin, 64, from Shijiazhuang, Hebei province. "Our love is not the intense type, but we believe its important to keep each other company."While young people today would likely travel to a picturesque destination to have their wedding photos taken by a professional photographer, the older generation kept their big day simple — newlyweds around the 1970s often only took a black-and-white photo as a memento.It was not until the early 1990s that professional wedding photo studios started to spring up in the Chinese mainland, as the economy blossomed.Based on that reality, Yu Jinwen, 35, a counselor from the university, initiated the ambitious project in 2015.It is also because of his grandfather. When he passed away in 2010, the family searched for a decent photo of him but could not find one and had to use the photo on his ID card as a photo for the funeral. It became Yus greatest regret in life."The program has pleased the elderly and helped improve the overall ability of young students," Yu...

More than a grain of determination

Zhou Lei spends most of his time in the fields doing scientific researches; and Zhou presents the rarely-seen daily routine of agricultural scientists in China in the documentary Keeping Up With the New Youth; and he takes the tricycle to the canteen after work. (Photo: CHINA DAILY)Scientist dedicates himself to developing new strains of rice to ensure food security for future generations of Chinese, Wang Xingwei reports.Chinas No 1 Central Document, which is the first policy statement released by the countrys central authorities each year, puts an emphasis on agricultural and rural development for 2023. This is also the 20th No 1 Central Document of this century to focus on agricultural and rural affairs.Dedicating himself to agricultural development, based on his scientific research, Zhou Lei, 40, aspires to make sure that Chinese people not only get enough to eat, but also eat well, echoing one of the most important tasks in the No 1 Central Document — strengthening agriculture through science and technology.A researcher at the Institute of Food Crops, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhou, also a winner of the China Youth May Fourth Medal — the top honor for outstanding young Chinese people — has made major progress in the genetic breeding of rice and application research over the years. So far he has cultivated 16 new varieties of rice, increasing grain production by more than 1.5 billion kilograms, which ensures China has sufficient grain stocks to feed its people.Zhou is working with a group of highly educated and skilled young people, most of whom hold doctorate degrees. According to Zhou, it usually takes people more than 10 years of academic training to become qualified for the research job. Zhou has been offered opportunities to go abroad and exchange experiences with peers overseas. An academic visit to the United States made Zhou realize that, even though China was playing a leading role in global rice research, its agricultural industr...

11th China Acrobatic Exhibition to open in Shandong

(File photo: Xinhua)BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The 11th China Acrobatic Exhibition will be held from March 16 to 29 in east Chinas Shandong Province, according to a press conference held on Thursday by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.This years event will feature a series of acrobatic and magic shows, with aerial acrobatics, balancing skills and flexibility stunts on display, as well as acrobatic dramas with themes such as industrial construction, revolutionary sagas and neo-classical stories.During the event, approximately 30 performances will open in six theatres in Shandong, according to the press conference.Showcasing the intricate, thrilling and entertaining elements of acrobatics, this years entries will build on past legacies and cater to the aesthetic tastes of contemporary audiences, the conference said.

Archaeologists find 570 ancient tombs in central China

ZHENGZHOU, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists discovered a cluster of 570 ancient tombs dating back to a period spanning from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Sanmenxia City, central Chinas Henan Province.(Photo: Sanmenxia city institute of cultural relics and archaeology)All the ancient tombs were situated at the Shanzhoucheng cemetery site, in the west of the city, which was under excavation from Sept. 2021 to Sept. 2022, according to Sanmenxia city institute of cultural relics and archaeology.From the tombs, archaeologists unearthed more than 3,000 burial objects, including bronze tripods, pots, and plates. Notably, three sets of bronze chimes from the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) were found for the first time since the citys establishment."Among the ancient tombs, 228 date back to the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period," said Yan Fei with the institute. "They are densely distributed, and the arrangement of the tombs is relatively orderly."Yan added that the entire cemetery layout of Shanzhoucheng is well-preserved and orderly, providing valuable archaeological data for the study of cemetery layouts and socio-political changes during the period in western Henan Province.

Baduanjin exercise a hit among young people in China

This photo shows an illustrated explanation of ba duan jin, an easy-to-learn qigong exercise suitable for the office, the home and even the ward. (Photo:, a kind of exercise regarded as an exclusive sport among the aged, has gained popularity among the young people in China.More than 1,000 videos about Baduanjin can be found on Bilibili, a video platform in China. A video released by the General Administration of Sport of China to teach the public to do the exercise has gained about 10 million views and about 6,000 comments. Most of were from college students and the young people who attach great importance to health care."After I recovered from COVID-19, I gave up aerobics and began to practice Baduanjin," a netizen commented.The exercise also becomes part of PE class at a college. "Our school asked us to do this exercise and sent a video to our PE teacher," said a comment.Some people even livestream in the morning and share their skills. Film stars and fitness bloggers also do this exercise, which has attracted a large number of followers.Originating from the Song Dynasty (420-479), Baduajin has a history of more than 800 years. It consists of eight movements, using limbs to stimulate meridians inside the body.Compared with Tai Chi and Wuqinxi (a kind of traditional Chinese exercise Qigong that imitates the movements of a bear, tiger, monkey, deer and birds), Baduanjin is more suitable for beginners with its simple and gentle movements. It doesn’t require much space.It was mentioned in the intervention guidelines for COVID-19 cases at home by Traditional Chinese Medicine to help recovery. Combining physical and mental health, Baduanjincan enhance immunity and help people relax. It is also a very low-cost social activity for the young people in China.

Xi'an to host Asian cultural heritage event

China will host a high-profile international conference next month to promote cooperation among cultural heritage administrators, conservators and researchers across Asia, the head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration said during the ongoing annual sessions of the countrys top legislature and top political advisory body.An aerial view of the Bell Tower, buildings and streets at night in Xian city, Northwest Chinas Shaanxi province. (Photo: IC)Li Qun, director of the administration and a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily that the conference, the Founding Assembly of the Alliance for Cultural Heritage in Asia, is scheduled to be held from April 24 to 25 in Xian, capital of Shaanxi province.It will also be the first offline intergovernmental conference focusing on cultural heritage collaboration to be hosted by China since early 2020."As the first international mechanism in cultural heritage initiated by China, the Alliance for Cultural Heritage in Asia is a key step in strengthening cooperation among Asian countries," said Li, who is also vice-minister of culture and tourism."Were committed to working step by step to turn the alliance into an actual international organization," he added. "Within its framework, we can make more contributions to jointly safeguarding the shared heritage of humankind."In a keynote speech at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations in Beijing in May 2019, President Xi Jinping expressed Chinas willingness to work with other countries to protect Asian cultural heritage and better preserve and sustain civilizations.Echoing his proposal, a two-day online meeting, the inaugural Asian Dialogue for Cultural Heritage Conservation was held in November 2021, during which the Alliance for Cultural Heritage in Asia was also initiated.The founding members of t...

Beijing restaurants spring into new menus

As the weather warms up and spring ingredients become available, chefs in Beijing are experimenting with fresh and flavorful dishes, particularly with tender and flavorful spring bamboo shoots.

Archaeologists in Egypt unearth Sphinx-like Roman-era statue

Archaeologists unearthed a Sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt, antiquities authorities said Monday.The artifacts were found in the temple of Dendera in Qena Province, 280 miles (450 kilometers) south of the capital of Cairo, the Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.In this undated photo distributed Monday, March 6, 2023, by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, a sphinx statue believed to be made in the likeness of a Roman emperor is uncovered from an archaeological site in Qena, Egypt. (Photo: agencies)Archaeologists believe the statues smiling features may belong to the Roman emperor Claudius, who extended Romes rule into North Africa between 41 and 54 A.D., the ministry said.It said archaeologists will conduct more studies on the markings on the stone slab, which could reveal more information to statue’s identity and the area. The statue is much smaller than the towering, well-known Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza complex, which is 66 feet (20 meters) high.The archaeologists also found a Roman-era stone slab with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.The limestone shrine includes a two-layer platform and a mud-brick basin from the Byzantine era, the ministry said.Such discoveries are usually touted by the Egyptian government in hopes of attracting more tourists, a significant source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped North African country.

Archaeologists in Egypt unearth Sphinx-like Roman-era statue

CAIRO (AP) — Archaeologists unearthed a Sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt, antiquities authorities said Monday.The artifacts were found in the temple of Dendera in Qena Province, 280 miles (450 kilometers) south of the capital of Cairo, the Antiquities Ministry said in a statement.In this undated photo distributed Monday, March 6, 2023, by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, a sphinx statue believed to be made in the likeness of a Roman emperor is uncovered from an archaeological site in Qena, Egypt. (Photo: AP)Archaeologists believe the statues smiling features may belong to the Roman emperor Claudius, who extended Romes rule into North Africa between 41 and 54 A.D., the ministry said.It said archaeologists will conduct more studies on the markings on the stone slab, which could reveal more information to statue’s identity and the area. The statue is much smaller than the towering, well-known Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza complex, which is 66 feet (20 meters) high.The archaeologists also found a Roman-era stone slab with demotic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.The limestone shrine includes a two-layer platform and a mud-brick basin from the Byzantine era, the ministry said.Such discoveries are usually touted by the Egyptian government in hopes of attracting more tourists, a significant source of foreign currency for the cash-strapped North African country.

China's Two Sessions: NPC deputy calls for better preservation of Peking Opera

Despite its great charm, Peking Opera has gradually declined and retreated from the daily lives of most Chinese. (Photo: CGTN)Despite its great charm, Peking Opera has gradually declined and retreated from the daily lives of most Chinese. CGTN meets Yang Chi, a National Peoples Congress (NPC) deputy whos planning to honor it through motions hes going to submit during the political session of the Two Sessions.Inheritance or popularization? That is the question for many Peking Opera artists. Peking Opera has never completely faded from the daily lives of the Chinese people. However, the art form has fallen out of favor with the younger generation as the internet and smartphones have emerged with other forms of entertainment. Yang thinks that without structural reform its future is at stake.Inheritance or popularization? That is the question for many Peking Opera artists. (Photo: CGTN)"As a matter of fact, some of our national class performers are working as delivery men...and bartenders. I strongly suggest that cultural system reform must be carried out with the principle of building cultural confidence. It is the motion that Im going to put forward during this years Two Sessions. For a national treasure like Peking Opera, its role cannot be market-driven," said Yang, who is also the head of Dalian Peking Opera Theatre.During the political session, topics concerning peoples wellbeing often attract the most attention from deputies to peoples congresses. As for todays Peking Opera artists, their wellbeing comes from the sense of belonging. NPC deputy Yang Chi thinks that without structural reform Peking Operas future is at stake. (Photo: CGTN)"Peking Opera plays often emphasize traditional Chinese values like patriotism and fighting injustice. As a performer, we must uphold these spiritual beliefs and responsibilities while choosing from what we should play and what the market wants us to play," Yang told ...

The Forbidden City, a shining gem on the Beijing Central Axis

The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in Beijing. (Photo: CFP)Known as one of the greatest palaces in the world, the Forbidden City sits in the heart of the Chinese capital. Serving as the royal residence of the emperors of China for two consecutive dynasties – the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911) – this palace bears a silent yet priceless testimony to Chinese civilization from the 15th to 20th century.This magnificent architectural edifice features landscaped gardens and fabled "9,999.5 rooms" – which in reality add up to a little more than 8,700 rooms, according to a research in the early 1980s. The Palace Museum was established in 1925, and remains one of the most prestigious museums in China and the world at large.One of the iconic red walls at the Palace Museum, or Forbidden City, in Beijing. (Photo: CFP)Recognized for its iconic red walls and yellow glazed roof tiles, this former imperial palace is considered to represent the culmination of traditional Chinese palatial architecture, providing an "outstanding example of the greatest palatial architectural ensembles in China." It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.A glimpse of the Palace Museum, or Forbidden City, in Beijing. (Photo: CFP)According to UNESCO, the layout and spatial arrangement of the Forbidden City "inherits and embodies the traditional characteristics of urban planning and palace construction in ancient China, featuring a central axis, symmetrical design and layout of an outer court at the front and inner court at the rear and the inclusion of additional landscaped courtyards deriving from the Yuan city layout."And this splendid complex also plays an integral part in the Beijing Central Axis, the ancient "book spine" central to the layout of old Beijings bilateral symmetry and spatial pattern, which creates a cultural "backbone" connecting numerous landmarks that demonstrate the charm and solemnity of ...

Job with strings attached

Hollow noodle craftsman Liu Laiwang stretches the noodles on a tall wooden frame at his company in Huangchuan county, Henan province. (Photo: China Daily)Liu Laiwang mass produces hollow noodles, contributing to rural vitalization, Yang Feiyue reports.Huangchuan county, in Central Chinas Henan province, is covered with rice paddies, but the residents favorite food is not made of rice. Rather, it is the Huangchuan hollow gongmian (tribute noodle), a distinctive dish that dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907).The noodles are sweet and thin, cook quickly, do not get sticky in soup, and are famous for their hollow, tubelike shape."You can stick one in the water, blow into it, and bubbles come out," says Liu Laiwang, who has made a career out of making them, founding Wangxin Hollow Noodle Co in 2006.Hollow gongmian are intimately connected with the culinary tastes of past imperial dynasties, as evidenced by the character gong in the name, which translates to "tribute".Local chronicles compiled during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1871-1908) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) record that the county had been producing hollow tribute noodles for centuries by that point, and that their popularity had spread far and wide.The noodle even made its way onto the tables of the banquet celebrating the 100th day of the Tang Empress Wu Zetians rule, hard-won as she was the only female ruler in Chinas history.It became a customary tribute offering to the royal family during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), later spreading and thriving among wider society.In late February, the hollow noodle was featured in a large intangible cultural heritage exhibition held by Henans provincial culture and tourism department and the Zhoukou municipal government. Participants got to see how the noodle is fashioned by craftsmen and taste it on site.Liang Fengming, a noodle maker who works with Lius company, explains to exhibition-goers their process: "T...

Wanning Bridge, a historical site on the Beijing Central Axis

The single-arch Wanning Bridge dates back to the Yuan Dynasty. (Photos: CFP) The Wanning Bridge is located outside of the Dianmen Gate in Beijing. It is situated on the citys central axis and has enjoyed a long history.Various sources show that the bridge was built in 1285, during the reign of Kublai Khan in the Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368). Originally a wooden structure, it was later transformed into a single-arch white marble bridge.The Wanning Bridge is a popular tourist spot. The deck of the bridge is paved with stone slabs that arch slightly in the middle. White marble guardrails carved with lotus flowers and vase patterns line both sides of the bridge.As a part of the citys ancient water network, the stone bridge spans the entrance to the Yuhe River in Shichahai, which lies at the northernmost gate of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. As part of Chinas Grand Canal heritage network, the Wanning Bridge was selected as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2014.Beneath the bridge, sluice gates could be lowered to stop the flow of water or raised to allow grain and cargo boats to pass through and proceed directly to the capital.Carvings of water-quelling beasts adorn the bridge. Carvings of "water-quelling beasts" can be found at the entrance to the bridge, which have always appealed to tourists. Named gong fu, the beasts look like dragons, but have flatter foreheads, horns on their heads and scales across all their limbs. It is said that they date back to the Yuan Dynasty and were used as drains to avoid flooding and ensure safety.Today, the stone carvings and lotus flower decorations on the bridge can still be seen thanks to the care of Beijingers and the citys cultural protection measures.The area around the Wanning Bridge is a popular tourist spot. The bridge played an important role in defining the historical upper limits of the Beijing Central Axis and continued to do so through the Yuan era and subsequent dynas...

China's sci-fi epic winning hearts overseas

The Chinese TV series adaptation of Liu Cixins Three-Body Problem, the first Asian novel to win the Hugo Award, has gained popularity overseas, according to a recent seminar held in Beijing.A poster of Three-Body. [Photo provided to China Daily]Statistics show that the series has gained a rating of 7.9 out of 10 on the foreign review aggregator IMDb and has accumulated 5 million views on YouTube, according to Tencent Video.Zhang Luyi plays a nanomaterials scientist Wang Miao in Three-Body. [Photo provided to China Daily]Gao Changli, director-general of the TV drama department at the National Radio and Television Administration, said that the popularity of Three-Body and the success of the movie franchise The Wandering Earth might signal a new era for the rise of domestic sci-fi tales in the country.He added that the drama contains a lot of thoughts and knowledge inspired by Chinas traditional philosophy and culture, offering a distinctive edge for homegrown tales in the worlds sci-fi landscape.Xia Xiaohui, the head of the TV drama department at China Media Group, said that the drama has been in preparation and production for seven years and has done a good job of bringing to life the most iconic scenes depicted in the novel.Director Yang Lei, who is also a diehard sci-fi fan, said that he started reading The Three-Body Problem when the story was serialized in Science Fiction World magazine in 2006.Actor Yu Hewei plays the police officer Shi Qiang. [Photo provided to China Daily]"Most Hollywood sci-fi movies and TV series are tightly associated with Western history and civilization. This will make you feel that Three-Body is quite unique, as it is set in a typical Chinese backdrop and features a lot of Chinese elements," said Yang.Moreover, the soaring development of Chinas sciences and technologies has enhanced the confidence of the Chinese people, laying the foundation for the rise of homegrown sci-fi works, added Yang.Producers also r...

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