Month: February 2019

Agamemnon’ amazes audiences in Beijingmnon premiered

  The bilingual drama Agamemnon, a co-production of the National Theater Company of China a

nd the National Theater of Greece, represents a refreshing innovation for Chinese theater lovers.

  The play by ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus, often called the “father of tragedy”, is the first part of his only extant tr

ilogy. It is a story about patriarchy, matriarchy, revenge and justice. In the story, Agamemnon s

acrifices his daughter to win the Trojan War. After his triumphant return, the king is slain by his wife and her lover.

  Directed by Stathis Livathinos, artistic director of the NTG, Agamemnon embodies a pr

ofound cooperation between China and Greece. “To have a bilingual presentation of a play means yo

u hear two languages, two kinds of actors, two schools. Of course it’s a very big risk. But it’s better to go with a risk t

han with safety. Because I really believe the National Theater should always be the avant-garde,” he said.

  ”Agamemnon is a part of something bigger that doesn’t belong only to Greece. This

is a theatrical and artistic meeting of two civilizations on stage,” Livathinos added.

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Du Zhenqing, the actor playing the title role, said this play

  has been the biggest challenge in his over-40-year acting career. “I need to ful

ly grasp the Greek co-actors’ lines to keep the plot flowing. The director is very cre

ative and actively thinking. He integrates a lot of physical movements into the performance – It’s like nothing yo

u have seen in China, which creates a very unique experience for our audience.”

  ”Agamemnon shows remarkable directorial skills. Language, movement and

music, all the elements come together perfectly. It’s a joy to watch,” sai

d Luo Jinlin, renowned theater director and professor at the Central Academy of Drama.

  The production design and choreography also left a deep impression on the audience. “Co

mbining modernity and tradition creates a beautiful effect. I think the play is a successful introduction of

the Greek classic to Chinese people,” Song Shikun commented on Damai, the Ticketmaster of China.

  Performances will be staged at the National Theater of China through March 2.

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An announcement by Alibaba Pictures said the Beijing

based company decided to invest in Green Book in July, as the decision-maker

were attracted by its heartwarming theme, positive values and quality narrative.

Following the decision, the Paper said, Alibaba Pictures recommended the film to Hu

axia Film Distribution, and both sides agreed to introduce Green Book to Chinese audience.

Only four days after the film was announced, Chinese audience could watch it in the nearby theaters. Yu said af

ter watching Green Book on Monday that the cooperation between Alibaba Pictures and Huaxia Film Distribution m

akes the fastest release in China for an imported movie, which is also attributed to the country’s reform and opening-up.

As of the publication time, Alibaba Pictures shares increased 1.39 percent to HK$1.46 on Tuesday in Hong Kong.

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In a major scandal last year, Changchun Changsheng Life

Sciences, a vaccine producer in Changchun, Jilin province, faked production records and used expired material for the production of rabies vaccines over the past four years.

The company was ordered to suspend production, and senior executives

were detained and face criminal charges. The company was ordered to pay fines of 9.1 bi

llion yuan ($1.3 billion) for violations, one of the heaviest fines imposed on a pharmaceutical company over the past few years.

Following the revelations, top officials vowed harsh penalties and reform of the vaccine super

vision system to eliminate loopholes. A new law on the management of vaccines was drafted for review.

Fang Laiying, former head of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, said he has faith in the overall safety of drugs in Chi

na, but individual cases involving violations of the law can tarnish the image of the whole pharmaceutical sector.

“The government is intensifying its efforts in cases involving violations of drug safety laws, including severely puni

shing criminals and setting up strict accountability systems to improve supervision of the sector,” he said.

Gao, the CDC head, said major infectious diseases such as dengue fever and AIDS will continue to be the priority in disease prevention and control this year.

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Premier financial magazine bullish on Chinese stocks market

Chinese stocks market surged on Monday with benchmark indices in Shanghai and Shenzhen jumping over 5 percent, mak

ing daily turnover break through 1.04 trillion yuan ($155.5 billion), a new record since 2015. The Barron’s, a fin

ancial weekly published by Dow Jones & Company, said the performance of Chinese stocks is much better than the S&

P 500. Global investment management corporation BlackRock also suggested lasting gains of the bull market.

Barron’s said the CSI 300 index, which tracks the largest stocks traded in the Shanghai and Shenzhen

stock exchanges, rose 6 percent on Monday, with a year-to-date gain of nearly 24 percent, twice the gai

n in the S&P 500, making the CSI 300 index one of the best performing indices globally in 2019.

The ongoing finance sector reforms and further industry open-up could also help boost the Chinese economy and the stock market, the Barron’s report said.

China’s financial system has great potential in helping stabilize the economy, a previous China Daily report said, adding that the co

untry will deepen supply-side structural reform in the financial sector and strengthen the sector’s ability to serve the real economy.

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The same tactic has also been used within the United State

  said Van Jackson, a former Defense Department official in the Obama administration.

  ”Historically, there have been many — I know of half a dozen instances myself personally — where senior North Korean officials were brought around and shown what capi

talist industrialism looks like. They were shown what the stock market floor looks like on the New York Stock Exchange, or they were brought out to so

me tech lab in Silicon Valley,” said Jackson, author of “On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War.”

  ”We’ve shown them what capitalism looks like … the idea that they will see something in Vietn

am physically that triggers something different than what we’ve shown them before is kind of non

sense.”There’s something for both Washington and Pyongyang to like when studying the US-Vietnam relationship.

  For North Korea, it’s an example of a single-party communist country that reformed its economy without democr

atizing. For the United States, it’s an example of how to redefine a relationship and make a buck at the same time.

  In 1995 — the year Hanoi and Washington normalized relations — US exports to and imports from Vietnam were

worth just $252 million and $199 million respectively. However in the first 11 months of 2018, the US exported more th

an $8 billion worth of goods to Vietnam and imported goods worth $45 billion, according to US Census figures.

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Some with extensive experience inside North Korea

  worry about overzealous use of the Vietnam comparison.

  Jean Lee is one of the few Western journalists who has worked in North Korea on a consistent basis. She opened the Associated Press’s bureau in Py

ongyang in 2012 after extensive haggling with the government, spending a total of three years on the ground in the country.

  She says that while Vietnam does boast options that “Kim Jong Un wants to show his people,” North Korea still sees itself as a superior nation.

  ”They will go into this discussion saying exactly that — hey, there’s no comparison here, we’re a nuclear power. And they’re goi

ng to be busting out this image of North Korea as a nuclear state as much as they can because it gives No

rth Korea much more leverage and a much stronger place at the table than if they were just another poor country,” Lee said.

  Andrei Lankov’s assessment is more blunt.

  ”Donald Trump and many other people in Washington essentially say if North Korea s

urrenders nuclear weapons and accepts foreign investment — like China did — it will become a very ric

h country, and the North Korean leaders will enjoy a lifestyle they cannot even dream of now,” Lankov said.

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Critics of the Trump administration’s unconventional North

  Korea policy have assailed the President and his advisers for failing to get the North to agree to anything specific at

their June meeting — the first between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president — in Singapore.

  The US contends that talks have brought the two sides back from the brink of war and created an unprecedented opportunity to cut a deal.

  A handful of analysts believe there is an agreement to be had but question whether either side has the flexibility to compromise.

  Trump touts trust with Kim in TV interview

  ”So far, the negotiations have reduced tensions for a year and slowed the advancem

ent of the arsenal marginally. The trick now is to make those limits permanent and to make th

em strict limits,” said Adam Mount, an expert in nuclear deterrence at the Federation of American Scientists.

  Lee, the former AP Pyongyang bureau chief, likens Trump and Kim’s next meeting to a chess match. The first su

mmit helped establish a “leader-level relationship,” but Hanoi will be time to move beyond smiles and pleasantries.

  ”They (US) need to go into this next summit prepared and having done their homework,” she said.

  ”I know how tough the North Koreans are, and if you don’t understand the history and the motivations of the No

rth Koreans, it’s very easy to be swayed by the propaganda and the drama of the moment.”

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Controversial Serena Williams cartoon ruled not to have br

  A widely criticized Australian newspaper cartoon showing tennis legen

d Serena Williams jumping up and down next to a broken racket and a pa

cifier which she had spat out was not racist, according to the country’s media watchdog.

  The Australian Press Council ruled that the drawing, published by Murdoch group newspaper the Hera

ld Sun, did not breach Australia’s press standards and instead was capturing Williams’ “on-co

urt tantrum” at the 2018 US Open final “using satire, caricature, exaggeration and humor.”

  The cartoon was published shortly after the bad-tempered final, in which Wi

lliams had a dispute with the umpire over his allegedly sexist treatment. The pr

ess watchdog received a number of complaints about the image, which drew international condemnation.

  The press council said the newspaper “was depicting the moment when, in a high

ly animated tantrum, Ms Williams smashed a racquet and loudly abused the ch

air umpire, calling him a thief, a liar and threatening that he would never umpire her matches again.

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It’s all about Huawei. World’s biggest mobile tech show g

  Over the next four days, about 100,000 people in Barcelona are expected to traipse through the halls of Mobile Worl

d Congress, one of the tech industry’s biggest events. All the biggest players in the world use it to showcase new products.

  One company really stands out this year: China’s Huawei. Walking

out of the Barcelona airport, there’s a Huawei hospitality stand. The company’s bran

ding dots the city. The lanyards conference attendees wear around their necks are decorated with the Huawei name.

  There’s a good reason everyone is focused on Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecom equipment.

  Huawei is a crucial part of China’s efforts to advance superfast 5G wir

eless networks and today is caught in a life or death battle with the US government.

  The United States claims that Huawei poses a potential national security threat. Last month, US prosecutors revealed cri

minal charges against the company, alleging that Huawei stole trade secrets and worked to skirt US sanctions on Iran.

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