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Economic Watch: China's import expo bolsters Belt and Road cooperation******
SHANGHAI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- One week before the fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE) kicked off, a China-Europe freight train arrived in Shanghai from Hamburg, Germany, completing its first roundtrip on the new route.
It was also the first time that CIIE exhibits had been transported via the freight-train service for inclusion in the event. Thirty-five containers weighing some 460 tonnes in total were assembled from Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany and Malaszewicze in Poland, before traveling to China.
In honor of the freight's special destination, the train was dubbed "Jinbo," which is short for the CIIE in Chinese. The variety of exhibits being transported was impressive, and included machines with an intelligent jet-washing system and electrical machinery parts. The containers were properly disinfected to meet the Expo's epidemic prevention requirements.
According to Wang Jinqiu, chairman of the train's operating company in Shanghai, making use of the train rather than the traditional sea route cut the transportation time by half.
With over 70 routes, the freight-train service has provided transport support for the economic and social development in countries and regions along the Belt and Road. The new route linking Hamburg and Shanghai provides a fast-track option to enterprises from those countries participating in the CIIE, highlighting the growing influence of the event and cementing connectivity along the Belt and Road.
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has grown into the world's largest international cooperation platform. Data shows that China's accumulated trade volume in goods with BRI countries reached 9.2 trillion U.S. dollars between 2013 and 2020.
As the world's first national-level dedicated import Expo, the CIIE has also evolved into a global public good for trade promotion. Among the nearly 3,000 enterprises attending the event, over 600 companies are from 50 countries along the Belt and Road.
On Saturday, the national pavilion of Sri Lanka was crowded with Chinese buyers who fancy the south Asian country's signature Ceylon tea, though the booth is not in a central spot within the huge venue.
"Apart from tea, we have also brought here Sri Lankan spices, coconut oil, biscuits, chocolates and the kithul jaggery, something I don't think that most Chinese people have tasted before," said Kavisha Lokuhitige, secretary-general of the China-Sri Lanka Association for Trade and Economic Cooperation.
He explained that jaggery is a traditional Sri Lankan natural sweetener that is often served with yogurt. Based on his experience as a four-time CIIE attendee, he believes this product will conquer some taste buds in China.
"China is a very huge market and people love to taste different things," he said.
Lokuhitige noted that over 60 Sri Lankan companies wanted to join the national pavilion this year, but due to limited space, only the best products could be chosen and displayed at the Expo.
"We're absolutely willing to attend the fifth CIIE, and hopefully we can get a better location for our pavilion next year," he said.
In the auto exhibition area, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is attending the CIIE for the second time. By the third day of the Expo, its high-end lubricating oil had already won the recognition of many Chinese purchasers and secured some new business partnerships, said Wu Weigang, sales manager of the company's Chinese agent.
According to Wu, during the second CIIE in 2019, the company established good relations with China's COSCO Shipping. Since the beginning of this year, COSCO Shipping has overcome the impact of COVID-19 and ensured the smooth shipment and delivery of oil products to China.
"The BRI has brought ADNOC closer to China, and the CIIE has provided a broader stage for the company to deeply explore the Chinese market," said Wu.
Abikunda Samuel, the commercial counselor at the Embassy of Rwanda in China, said that previous participation in the CIIE has helped Chinese consumers learn more about Rwanda's famous products, such as chili oil and coffee, which he said is "the best coffee of the world."
Some Rwandan brands have caught up with China's e-commerce trend in collaboration with well-known live-streaming hosts. "Once, we sold some 3,000 packs of coffee within one second, and we hadn't even prepared that much stock," he recalled with laughter. "That was a huge surprise."
In addition to introducing commercial products, Samuel said that attending the Expo has another mission. "We take this opportunity of the CIIE to create more awareness about our country in China," he said, pointing to the posters on the pavilion's walls showing mountain gorillas, a national treasure of the East African country.
"Many people say that gorilla-trekking in Rwanda is actually a life-changing experience, something you can never forget," he added.
Long-term business ties established between China and Rwanda through the CIIE have created many job opportunities for Rwandan farmers, and thus benefited the country's economy as a whole, said Samuel.
In May, Shanghai set up a CIIE market on the Nanjing Road, a commercial hub, with the aim of helping create a lasting spillover effect from the CIIE to benefit exhibitors. Expo participants who find that six days a year is not enough to promote their goods within China can keep doing business in the market.
Many of the shop owners in the market come from BRI countries, including Turkish businessman Ramazan Tuzen, who has lived in China for 12 years selling Turkish handicrafts, porcelain, jewelry, carpets, lamps and even ice cream.
In early November, ahead of the fourth CIIE, Tuzen was busy making preparations, as well as packing and mailing parcels to customers he met at last year's event.
He said the Expo experience has helped him build a successful career with annual revenue of millions of U.S. dollars, and the new market is expected to bring his business even more prosperity.
"I would like to tell business people around the world that China is the place to be," he said. Enditem
Domestic comedy "Be Somebody" stays atop Chinese box office******
BEIJING, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Domestic comedy-suspense film "Be Somebody" remained atop the Chinese mainland box office chart on Thursday, figures from the China Movie Data Information Network showed Friday.。
The film, which follows a group of frustrated filmmakers who gather to plan on a new film about a notorious criminal case, raked in 21.76 million yuan (about 3.41 million U.S. dollars) on Thursday, its eighth day of screening.。
It was followed by "Anita," a biopic that recounts the life story of legendary Hong Kong singer and actress Anita Mui. The film netted over 5.54 million yuan on its seventh day of screening.。
War epic film "The Battle at Lake Changjin" ranked third with a daily revenue of 3.31 million yuan, raising its total box office to over 5.64 billion yuan 50 days after its debut. Enditem。
Fan and Moregard set up men's singles final, women's top seed Chen bows out at table tennis worlds******
HOUSTON, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Top seed Fan Zhendong of China stormed to the men's singles final after beating compatriot Liang Jingkun convincingly in the semifinals of the 2021 Houston table tennis world championships on Sunday.。
Fan showed why he is the world's top player as he defeated Liang 4-1 (11-5, 11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 13-11).。
Fan raced to a 3-0 advantage early, winning the first three games 11-5, 11-4, 11-9. Liang managed to take a game off Fan in the fourth game, but his fightback fizzled out as the number one seed clinched the fifth game 13-11 to seal his passage to the final.。
Fan will battle against Truls Moregard of Sweden in Monday's final, who shocked German evergreen Timo Boll in the semifinal.。
The 19-year-old Swedish has underlined his growing credentials with sterling performances all week, stunning his more illustrious opponents, including Ahmed Saleh, Chuang Chih-Yuan, Patrick Franziska, Lim Jonghoon and Quadri Aruna.。
On the women's singles part, Sun Yingsha is set to take on Wang Manyu in an all-Chinese women's singles final after she defeated Wang Yidi 4-1 whilst Wang Manyu showed she could match up to the might of her compatriot and world No. 1 Chen Meng as she rallied from two games down to oust Chen 4-3.。
In the men's doubles, the Swedish combination Mattias Falck and Kristian Karlsson, who overcame Fan Zhendong/Wang Chuqin in Saturday's quarterfinal clash, defeated top seeds Lin Gaoyuan/Liang Jingkun in straight games 3-0, dashing China's hopes of a fourth consecutive men's doubles title on the world championships stage.。
There were mixed fortunes for China's two pairs in the women's double semifinals.。
Wang Manyu and Sun Yingsha were indeed too strong for Luxembourg's Sarah De Nutte and Ni Xia Lian to brave as the 2019 champions opened the semifinal in devastating fashion.。
De Nutte and Ni's best moments came in the third game and managed to hold a game point opportunity, but Wang/Sun kept their cool to win 3-0.。
Later in the day, Chen Meng/Qian Tianyi, another Chinese female pair, lost to Japanese opponents Mima Ito/Hina Hayata 3-2 in a nail-biting semifinal battle. Enditem。