If visas become a bar code or QR code emailed to

applicants, their workload will be greatly lessened,” he said during the Shanghai World Travel Fair on Thursday.

Japan Tourism Agency data showed that 8.38 million tourists from the Chinese mainland traveled to Japan in 2018, repre

senting year-on-year growth of 13.9 percent and contributing nearly 27 percent of international tourists.

China has been the world’s largest source of tourists since 2014, reac

hing nearly 150 million last year, according the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“The market potential remains huge,” said Dai Bin, director of the China Tourism Academy. “Compared to the United S

tates, where 48 percent of its citizens hold a passport, the figure in China is only around 10 percent. It’s estim

ated that the number of Chinese outbound travelers will reach 230 million in 2030.”

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Sonam was born in Jone county in Gannan Tibetan

 autonomous prefecture of Gansu province. Under China’s et

hnic policies, Sonam was able to study at a middle school in northern Hebei province.

“There were many ethnic classes in our school, and many of my classmates were ethnic min

orities,” he said. After graduation, Sonam went for further study in Britain.

“I am from a small town, but education truly broadened my horizons,” he said.

Over the past decades, favorable policies have b

rought benefits to many children in Tibetan areas.

Sonam likes watching NBA games in his spare time. Fluent in C

hinese, Tibetan and English, he is also a fan of Tibetan rap

and occasionally hangs out with friends at a bar in downtown Beijing.

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The 40-year-old Wang Xing, chairman and CEO of M

eituan Dianping, China’s leading on-demand online service provider, is the youngest among China’s 10 most powerful businesspeople, according to the list.

Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of Gree Electric Appliances, a major home appliances maker

based in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, is the only woman entrepreneur on the top 10 ranking, placing seventh.

Xu Jiayin (Hui Ka Yan), chairman of China’s property developer Evergrande Gro

up, and Lei Jun, founder of smartphone maker Xiaomi Group, also made the top 10.

The China Consumers Association said Wednesday that financial servi

ces in automobile sales should be clearly priced and forced transactions eliminated.

The association held a discussion Wednesday morning on the issues of fina

ncial service fees in automobile sales and car buyers’ difficulties defending their rights.

The discussion concluded that car dealers fabricate required ite

ms to increase consumers’ payments and fail to provide receipts or other certificates.

When disputes over quality arise, consumers often experience difficulties negotiating with dealers or lodging complaints.

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Craftsmen carve out niche with Nixing pottery

Photos have been released of China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier on its recent fifth sea trial.

The trial tested the carrier’s command and control system and battle performa

nce, with the vessel completing tests of its mooring, power, battle and security system.

Unmanned convenience stores, vending machines, mobile payment…thanks to the latest technology, shopping has become even more effortless.

But shopping experience will go further than that: an eye-catching robot in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, has hit the streets selling drinks and ice creams.

Powered by 4G networking and artificial intelligence, the human-shaped robot, Mr Doer, offe

rs ice creams and drinks on its own. The robot can also recite adapted poems or even dance to attract customers.

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Res

erve in Sichuan province said on Wednesday it had started rebuilding a fence where a visitor had touched a panda cub.

It was making the fence higher so that visitors cannot reach the pandas

and it asked visitors to keep away from the animals. It asked them to refrain from climb

ing over the fence and from feeding or touching the pandas, said Wang Jisi, an information officer at the center.

On April 7, a woman surnamed Han said in social media that she and som

ebody else had managed to touch a panda cub without the consent of the center.

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From the nine photos uploaded by Han, people could

 see three panda cubs frolicking behind a green fence and climbing the fence, along with two h

uman hands touching the nose and head of a cub. The one touching the head had red nail polish.

The post angered netizens who criticized Han for endangering the cub, fearing diseases from humans might pass to the animals.

A week later, Han deleted her posts, saying she loved pandas and would behav

e herself in the future. She also said she loved other animals and kept two dogs at home.

One netizen condemned Han for not considering the spread of the canine distemper virus to the panda cub from her two dogs.

The virus was reported to have caused the deaths of captive giant pandas in 1997, wh

en three of the bears died at the Chongqing Zoo in Sichuan’s neighboring Chongqing municipality.

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Researchers should not seek reimbursement for items

 that they are supposed to pay for themselves, and they should not embezzle funds for other purposes, it said.

Research projects that require external help should be made public at the university. If there are profits involved between

the research leader and external organizations, they should first sign a contract and submit it to the university, it said.

University administrative staff should not seek profits or advantages in applying for and allocating research funds, the ministry said.

Researchers should be held responsible for misuse of research funds. T

heir research projects will be suspended, their research funds will be recovered and th

ey will be prevented from applying for other projects within a certain period of time, the ministry added.

The management of research funds at Chinese universities is still done the traditional way,

with researchers paying the costs and then submitting a claim for reimbursement. As a result, financial staff

members often face piles of receipts, which are rather difficult to check, leaving room for loopho

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The association on Wednesday made a report on th

pute, saying netizens supported the female customer in defending her rights and called for Mercedes-Benz to compensate her.

The report also questioned the legality of the financial s

ervice fee and called for stronger market supervision in the automobile industry.

It also urged auto-dealers to respect and protect consumers’ rights, sayin

g that dealers should deliver qualified products and issue invoices, receipts and other cert

ificates, strengthen employee training, and cooperate with investigations in the event of quality problems.

The woman on Tuesday night arrived at an agreement with the dealer, w

hich included a replacement car and full refund of the financial service fee.

The company also invited the customer to visit Mercedes-Benz’s factory and assem

bly line in Germany, offered her ten years of one-on-one, VIP service, and held a belated birthday party for her.

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Revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen once suggested that

an underwater tunnel should be built to connect the railways in Nanjing

, but his dream was not realized for about 100 years. In 1929, Sun’s casket was transpor

ted to Pukou district along the Tientsin-Pukow Railway before being ferried to downtown Nanjing.

In 1930, John Alexander Low Waddell, a 76-year-old Canadian who was a

traffic consultant to the Chinese government, said the Yangtze in Nanjing was too deep and

was flowing too fast to construct a bridge, according to the Academy of Sociology.

The government launched large-scale investigations in 1936 and 1946 before dropping the pla

n. In 1956, the State Council, China’s Cabinet, proposed constructing the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.

To test the bridge’s load-bearing capacity, Xu Shiyou, who comma

nded the Nanjing Military Region, ordered an armored regim

ent to drive 118 amphibious tanks on the newly built structure at 8 am on Sept 25, 1969.

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The tanks lined up, were kept 50 meters apart and stre

ched for 10 km, making it a memorable scene for a generation.

In October 2016, the bridge was closed for repairs after being open for almost 50 years. The 100,000 vehicles it carried each day far

exceeded its designed capacity of 8,000, causing many cracks to appear in the structure. It has been repaired 12 times since 2002.

Other problems it faced included falling mortar and metal fatigue.

The government decided to spend more than 1.1 billion yuan ($164 million) on the repairs.

The structure’s original concrete deck was replaced by a steel one, which is lighter and h

as greater durability. The replacement work was carried out above the 27,000-volt railway line. Any falling mater

ial, even a screw, would have caused a power failure and disrupted services on the busy Beijing-Shanghai Rail

way. Workers had to erect scaffolding and protective nets when no trains were passing.

The diameter of the lamp bases on the bridge were reduced by 5 ce

ntimeters, making the sidewalk wider and more convenient for pedestrians.

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Broken and missing cast iron sculptures have also be

repaired and replaced. Some 202 of them, including images of sunflowers, landscapes

, workers and soldiers, have been placed on the two sets of railings on the bridge to maintain its original appearance.

Guo Jian, deputy director of the Nanjing Center of Public Project Construction, said

the bridge could be used safely for another 100 years if properly maintained.

“The comprehensive examination before the bridge was closed showed that it was in its prime,” he

said. “The bridge has been reliable for years, even after several ships collided with the piers. The flow of traf

fic and the speed of vehicles have far exceeded the original design but have not affected its solidity.”

Yang, from the Nanjing Institute for Urban and Transportation Planning and Des

ign, said the bridge will continue to serve as a major road, rail and marine structure.

“It has been a witness to and participant in the country’s 40 years of fast development. It will g

reatly help the economic and traffic development of Nanjing, the province and the country,” Yang added.

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