Honda is closing its only British factory, wiping out 3,500 jobs

  Honda has just dealt the United Kingdom’s auto industry a huge blow.

  The Japanese carmaker said Tuesday that it will shut down a major manufa

cturing plant in the English town of Swindon that employs 3,500 people. T

housands more jobs will be put at risk at suppliers and other businesses.

  Honda (HMC) has made more than 3 million cars in Swindon since its plant there opened three decades ago. The plant, which

will close in 2021, currently produces up to 150,000 Civics a year for over 70 countries.

  Swindon is the Japanese company’s only car plant in the European Union. The restructuring will also involve Honda’s busi

ness in Turkey, which currently produces 38,000 Civic sedans per year. That will cease in 2021.

  Honda said that production would shift to Japan, North America and China.

  Honda Motor Europe President Katsushi Inoue said in a statement that the restruct

uring is needed to “accelerate our electrification strategy” as the auto industry seeks to overcome “unprecedented changes.”

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Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management on Sat

turday announced its decision to expel Zhai from its post-doctoral station.

The review of Zhai’s admissions materials during the interview and recruiting process was lax, the university said in the statement.

There is no tolerance for academic misconduct which infringes on educational equality. Investigations into the cas

e should not only about one person, but extend to related working procedures, a spokesperson for the Mi

istry of Education said at a routine press conference on Friday in response to Zhai’s scandal.

The scandal broke out two weeks ago and refused to die down after angry net

izens condemned not only the academic fraud but also the damage done by renowned C

hinese universities to fair education opportunities by opening a “backdoor” to the rich and powerful.

The scandal raised alarm bells at BFA, Peking University and all higher education institutions,

which should strengthen regulations over academic management, Chu Zhaohui, a research fel

low at the National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Without giving specific names, Chu said some universities have already started internal investigations and reforms. “Conferral of illegitimately-earned de

grees has a long history in China, and some of the degree holders are in high positions in government or industry,” he said.

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Authorities guarded Boeung Kroam Lake for more

than a month before the event – to prevent illegal fishing and ensure there would be enough to catch at the annual event.

It kicked off in the early morning with hundreds of villagers racing to the lake, spo

rting straw hats and traditional scarves to shield themselves from the blazing sun.

The mood was light-hearted and many opted to grill the morning’s catch by the lake over a smoldering fire.

But for villagers who had attended the event for several years, the day’s haul proved disappointing.

“Before, there were bigger fish,” said Chin Khoung, 50.

“Now the fish are small and there’s less [of them].”

The Southeast Asian country, which boasts the mighty Mekong River and its man

y tributaries, is heavily reliant on fish as a major source of protein for its population.

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Many private enterprises pledged equity to borrow money

stock or real estate investment, instead of investing in their main business, which is not recommended. What we should encourage is tha

t companies should finance R&D and technology, which is conducive to economic development.

Cai Fang, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

What lies behind the economic slowdown is the disappearance of the demographic dividend, which has ca

used a decline in the potential growth rate, meaning there is no longer a gap between actual growth rat

es and potential rates. Now, the natural unemployment rate has climbed from 4 to 5 percent, indicating there is no cyc

lical unemployment at present and thus excessive strong stimulus is unnecessary.

The government should focus policymaking on public employment services like

training and appropriately use macroeconomic policy tools to regulate the economy.

Lou Jiwei, chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund

Industrial policy played a certain role in the early economic developmen

t stage, but later, the actual role of industrial policy was not all positive. Take the auto ind

ustry as an example. The current “big three” private car manufa

cturers have basically broken the constraints of industrial policies to grow up.

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The government should appropriately increase investm

ent in emerging infrastructure, especially in 5G and industrial internet infrastructure, in which there is much room for investment.

Li Bo, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese

The core of securities regulation is information disclosure, rather than letting the government decide or mainta

in stock indices at certain levels. Therefore it is essential to introduce registration-based IPO system reform more

quickly and comprehensively. Moreover, reform to the social security system for seniors should be swiftly enacted. If we want to increase the weight of l

ong-term stable institutional investors in the A-share market, reform to the social security system for retirees is a crucial step.

Lu Lei, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange

The development model characterized by a low factor cost and low added-value is not sustainable, w

hich is a long-term challenge for China’s economic health. Meanwhile, overdependence on liquidity,

reflected by low interest rates and leverage ratios, is the short-term challenge.

All the crises and lessons in emerging markets derive from internal imbalances, namely, that the r

eal economy lacks competitiveness and operates with high leverage. External risk management and c

ontrol may buy time, but it can only delay systemic risks if there is no effective internal structural reforms.

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ang Haonan, who was believed to be the heaviest man

Wang, from Laiwu in East China’s Shandong province, stood at 334 kg at his heaviest. In July

2018, he underwent a weight-loss surgery in which four-fifths of his stomach was removed.

Half a year later, his weight has dropped to 192 kg.

Liu Shaozhuang, a doctor with Qilu Hospital of Shandong University in charge of Wang’s surgery, told Beijing Youth Daily the surgery h

as not had an impact on Wang’s digestion and he only needed to chew food well before swallowing it.

Wang revealed that a philosophy of “eat less, exercise more” was also a reason for his becoming thinner. He said he did not e

at any meat during the Spring Festival holiday, a traditional time for family reunion and feasting.

Wang suffers from fatty liver, heart and lung problems due to his obesity. These conditions have i

mproved after the surgery and sleep apnea due to snoring has also been alleviated, according to Liu.

Wang now has a body mass index (BMI) of 57.3, still well above the level of 24.5 for a healthy person, Liu said.

Wang said he aims to further reduce his weight to be less than 100 kg by the end of this year

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New regulations will target abnormal trademark filings

In a bid to improve the nation’s business environment, the China National Intellectual Property Administration will roll

out a new set of regulations on trademark filings to curb the “applications out of malice”.

The regulations draft has been publicized on the CNIPA website, soliciting suggestions and opinions from the public until March 14.

The move reflects a shift in policymakers’ focus from intellectual property quantity to quality, s

aid Li Shunde, a senior IP researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Comprised of eight articles, the new regulations target “abnormal applications”, such as trademark sq

uatting, imitating established brands and filings with no intentions for actual use in industry or business.

The regulations, once they take effect, will also come as a severe blow to tradema

rk speculators, who apply for and stock trademarks for trade rather than industrial or business use.

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He said the buyers assumed the housing price in January wo

ie Yifeng, president of the Realty Association of Asia-Pacific Cities, said the sliding sales

in January were due to seasonal factors and should not be regarded as a market trend.

“The Spring Festival was the main reason,” he said. “Property developers were not passionate about selling new proj

ects during the holiday, and it was not very realistic for banks to release housing loans before or during the holiday.”

“A significant index was the registered sold property on the government’s website, but government employees were on

a break too and the statistics of sold property registered on the government’s website were not getting a timely upd

ate,” he said. “The real statistics from last December to January will gradually start to be updated in March.”

In fact, Xie predicted the market in 2019 would be better than last year, as he said the real market indicators were the rising land prices and the amount of land sold.

“The decisive factor is the government’s decision on the shantytown redevelopment policy,” he added, pointing

out that this was expected during this year’s session of the National People’s Congress in March.

Zhang Bo, chief analyst at the 58 Anjuke Institute, said apart from buyers being skeptical tow

ard the price, the weakening intention for speculation was another factor contributing to the slow sales in lower-tier cities.

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Sao Paulo orchestra makes debut in ChinaState Symphony

The Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, the first South American symphony to t

our China, will hold a concert at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on the night of Valentine’s Day.

The event also marked the first time the symphony’s female conductor Marin Alsop is involved in a performance in China.

Alsop, who is one of the most prominent students of the late US musician Leonard Bernstein, introduced the symphony’s m

usic style as “accessible with folk elements” and highly rhythmic, which is “a hallmark of the Brazilian music”.
The

concert program, she added, is perfect for Valentine’s Day as it “begins with lots of fire and ends with lots of romance”.

The concert opened with Bernstein’s Candide Overture, followed by works from Brazilian composer Heit

or Villa-Lobos and Argentine Alberto Ginastera. The second part featured Sheherazade by Russian artist Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Following its China premiere in Shanghai, Alsop and the Sao Pa

ulo symphony will go on to play in Jinan of Shandong province, Beijing and Hong Ko

ng, where the company will feature as the opening performance for the Hong Kong Arts Festival on Feb 21.

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Valentine’s Day: Yes, men can be romanticong the trees at H

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I felt compelled to write an article to share my thoughts about the misconception that men in

general are unromantic. I hope that I can motivate members of the male gender to rise to the challenge of cor

recting that misconstrued assumption about their romantic notions or inclinations being nonexistent.

During research for my first book, I received a consensus from most of the women I talked to that the majority of m

en are unromantic by nature. As a man who considers himself to be more romantic, I went on a continuous journey to d

iscover the truth behind that misconception in an attempt to understand and rectify it.

I realized from my discussion with members of both genders that men and women tend to deal with romance in slightly different ways. Many women perm

it their hearts to control their perspectives when it comes to romance, while many men use their minds to deal with

the issue of romance. For many women, romantic gestures must touch their hearts deeply enough to awe them. M

any men, meanwhile, tend to evaluate those gestures based upon the impact that they have on their brains.

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