Book of Xi’s anecdotes a best-seller

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By LI XIAOKUN (China Daily)    08:27, June 16, 2017

Book of Xi's anecdotes a best-seller

  The cover of Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jingping

Volume presents stories president has used in speeches and articles

A new look at President Xi Jinping’s style and thoughts about China will open a fresh window on his leadership as a book of anecdotes and sayings he has mentioned in his speeches and articles is already gaining widespread interest from bookstores and the public just days after publication.

The book, Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jinping, is also winning over literary critics with its informal look on the challenges facing 21st century leadership.

“President Xi Jinping’s public speaking style has two characteristics — it is highly persuasive and has a strong cultural appeal. Reading this book, I’m reminded of his unique charisma,” said Kang Zhen, a professor at the School of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University.

The book, with 109 stories, was edited by the Editorial Department of People’s Daily and was published on June 8.

To facilitate understanding, editors wrote a short article after every story with the background and the context in which Xi used it.

The book ranked second on Friday’s daily best-seller list in the category of political and military books on Jingdong, one of China’s largest online retailers.

Lu Xinning, deputy editor-in-chief of People’s Daily, said bookstores are waiting in line at the printing plant for the book.

Li Chunsheng, deputy chief of People’s Publishing House, the publisher of the book, said though it has been just one week since the book’s issue, some foreign publishers have contacted them about overseas circulation.

Kang said he was especially impressed by the way Xi told the storyConstant Dripping Wears Away a Stonein an article written in 1990, when Xi was secretary of the Ningde Prefectural Committee of the Communist Party of China in Fujian province, a place known for poverty at that time.

In the article, Xi said he witnessed a stone worn away by dripping during his young adulthood. “Applied to humankind, it is the perfect embodiment of the personality that rises to fight, one after another, and to sacrifice bravely,” Xi wrote.

He said in the long process of developing a poor region, people should not seek their own high station but to strive for drips of progress and be willing to become a steppingstone to final success.

“Like almost every child, I was told about the story of perseverance,” Kang said. “But Xi told the story in a creative way, and I think that is because he was already thinking about local development from an overall viewpoint at that time.” Kang added that the book includes many examples of Xi turning old stories into something new.

A seminar on the Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jinping is held in Beijing on June 15, a day that marked the 69th anniversary of the founding of the flagship newspaper of the CPC. Yang Zhenwu, president of the People’s Daily, speaks at the seminar. (Photo/haiwainet.cn)

Yang Zhenwu, president of People’s Daily, wrote in the book’s preface that it is a tradition and outstanding ability of leaders of the Communist Party of China to tell stories. He cited Chairman Mao Zedong, one of the founders of the Party, as an example.

“One story beats a dozen arguments,” Yang wrote. “Theory is gray, but stories are colorful.”

The purpose of the book is to help readers understand the way to manage state affairs, and to write new stories of China together, Yang wrote.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

 

Source  :  China Daily

Qatar sees 7% rise in visitor arrivals

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16 Jun 2017 – 1:50

Qatar sees 7% rise in visitor arrivals

Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar (Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons)

The Peninsula

Qatar has witnessed a 7 percent increase in visitor arrivals between January and May 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to the latest figures from Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
The largest contributors to the growth were visiting nationals of the Americas and Europe – whose numbers increased by 9 percent and 14 percent respectively.
Further data breakdown by visa type shows a 27 percent increase in leisure visitors, demonstrating the increasingly diverse leisure options for tourists seeking family-friendly entertainment and authentic hospitality.
Qatar also witnessed a 40 percent increase in stopover visitors thanks to the introduction of a free 96-hour transit visa, combined with the success of the +Qatar campaign. Top nationalities attracted by stopover packages are nationals of the USA, UK, India, South Africa, and Pakistan.
According to Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, targeting stopover passengers and the introduction of the transit visa form part of QTA’s strategy to diversify Qatar’s tourism offering and source markets.
“We continue to work towards launching the Next Chapter of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy (QNTSS) and implementing it in pursuit of a thriving hospitality and tourism sector,” he said. “The strategy’s main pillar is diversification: of products, of services and of source markets to guarantee the sustainability of the sector and its continued growth in spite of any changes in the world around us,” he said.
Despite the ongoing GCC dispute, QTA officials expressed confidence in the tourism sectors ability to maintain strong performance.
“Qatar has kept its skies and ports of entry open, Qatar Airways continues to fly to and from more than 130 destinations globally, and GCC currencies are still accepted at all tourism establishments,” continued Al Ibrahim. “We will always keep our doors open to visitors and stand ready to welcome them wherever they are coming from.”
Regional promotional efforts this summer are focused on targeting visitors from Kuwait and Oman through marketing, as well as partnerships with on-the-ground tour operators in those countries.
“The largest contribution to growth in GCC visitor arrivals to Qatar during the period January-May 2017 came from Kuwaiti nationals, whose numbers increased by 7 percent. Evidently the time is ripe for us to refocus promotional efforts elsewhere in the GCC, and we look forward to welcoming our brothers and sisters from Kuwait and Oman in their home away from home,” said Al Ibrahim.

 

Source  :  thepeninsulaqatar.com

Qatar Stock Exchange index gains 67.92 points

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16 Jun 2017 – 1:37

Qatar Stock Exchange index gains 67.92 points

The Peninsula

Qatar Stock Exchange’s (QSE) main index gained 67.92 points, or 0.72 percent, when the bourse closed trading at 9,257.90 points yesterday.
The volume of shares traded increased to 26.66 million from 16.32 million on Wednesday and the value of shares increased QR644.42m from QR349.94m on the previous day.
From of 44 companies listed on QSE, shares of 42 saw trading yesterday. Of these, 21 companies gained; 20 closed lower; and one remained unchanged. Indices of five sectors ended in the green zone and two sectors ended in red zone yesterday. QSE Total Return Index gained 0.74 percent to 15,524.95 points. QSE Al Rayan Islamic Index increased 0.23 percent to 3,663.43 points and QSE All Share Index topped 0.47 percent to 2,630.83 points, reports QNA.
When compared on weekly basis, the index gained 20.22 points, 0.22 percent last week.
Trading value during last week decreased by 34.09 percent to reach QR1.92bn compared to QR2.92bn.
Trading volume decreased by 21.16 percent to reach 82.32 million shares, as against 104.41 million shares, while the number of transactions fell by 30.69 percent, to reach 21,494 transactions as compared to 31,011 transactions.
Market cap rose by 1.07 percent to reach QR500.65bn as compared to QR495.34bn at the end of previous week.
Banking and Financial Services sector led traded value last week with 45.74 percent of the total traded value. Telecoms sector accounted for 16.43 percent. Real Estate sector accounted for 10.51 percent and Consumer Goods and Services sector accounted 9.58 percent.
Banking and Financial Services sector led traded volume this week with 37.94 percent of the total traded volume. Telecoms sector accounted for 33.82 percent. Real Estate sector accounted for 16.31 percent and Transportation sector accounted 4.97 percent.
Banking and Financial Services sector led traded number of transactions this week accounted for 36.98 percent of the total number of transactions. Real Estate sector accounted for 16.60 percent. Telecoms sector accounted for 12.34 percent and Transportation sector accounted for 11.78 percent.
From the 44 listed companies, 26 ended last week higher, while 15 fell and three remained unchanged.
QNB led trading value during last week accounting for 13.56 percent of the total trading value. Vodafone Qatar accounted for 11.34 percent and Masraf Al Rayan accounted for 8.80 percent.

 

Source  :  thepeninsulaqatar.com

Exclusive – U.S. expands presence in Syrian desert, rebels say

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Exclusive - U.S. expands presence in Syrian desert, rebels say

FILE PHOTO: Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad ride on pick-up trucks mounted with weapons in the Badia, in the southeast Syrian desert, in this handout picture provided by SANA on June 13, 2017, Syria. SANA/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) U.S. troops based in Syria’s southeastern desert have expanded their footprint, rebels there say, increasing the risk of direct ground confrontation between the Americans and Iran-backed pro-government forces.

U.S. special forces have been based since last year at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq, where the Americans have assisted rebels trying to recapture territory from fleeing Islamic State fighters.

The U.S.-backed Syrian rebels in the area are in competition with pro-government forces who are also trying to recapture territory from Islamic State.

On several occasions in recent weeks, warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition have struck pro-government forces to prevent them advancing, in what Washington has described as self defence.

Abu al-Atheer, military spokesman for the U.S.-backed Maghawir al-Thawra rebel group, told Reuters U.S. forces had spread from their initial location at Tanf to set up a second base at Zakf, around 60-70 km (40-50 miles) to the northeast.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting against Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, denied troops had set up a new base. But he said sometimes coalition forces conduct patrols and training with rebels at locations outside Tanf that could be maintained for days or weeks.

“We have that garrison in al-Tanf that is a temporary base and location for us to train our partner forces to fight to defeat ISIS, but that is the only base in southern Syria or location where we have coalition forces,” Dillon said.

Abu al-Atheer said the U.S. special forces were now patrolling distances of up to 100 km from Tanf. He said more U.S. special forces were arriving at both the original base at Tanf and the new base at Zakf, and more weapons had been delivered to rebels.

“The (new) base was being studied for months but now it’s an official base. It has been built and expanded and God willing will be in the next few days like the Tanf base,” he told Reuters.

Video clips purportedly of the Zakf site, sent to Reuters by another rebel in the group, showed a convoy of military vehicles travelling on a paved road lined by long walls, a communications mast and a hut. Another showed three men in uniform next to two small military vehicles, firing a mortar in otherwise empty desert.

U.S.-backed rebels are fighting to oust Islamic State fighters from their last two major bastions — Mosul in Iraq and the Euphrates River valley near Raqqa in Syria — in battles which Washington hopes could crush the group this year.

The Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, also wants to reclaim the territory in Syria. Pro-government forces have taken up positions north of Tanf, potentially cutting off the U.S.-backed rebels from advancing.

Muzahem Saloum, a rebel official close to Maghawir al-Thawra, said the Zakf location would back up Tanf and was expected to be a “first line of defence” against any attack by Iranian-backed Syrian pro-government militias.

RIVALRY

Tanf is located near a Syria-Iraq border crossing on the main Baghdad-Damascus highway, and the U.S.-backed rebels took it from Islamic State last year, partly to stop Iran from using it in future to send arms to the Syrian government.

The U.S.-backed rebels also want to use it to take more territory along the border and to push towards Deir al-Zor, a large city on the Euphrates where the government has an enclave surrounded by Islamic State fighters.

However, Syria’s army has declared winning back control of the desert and relieving its besieged Deir al-Zor enclave a military priority and has advanced swiftly from Palmyra with troops and dozens of tanks.

Aided by allied militias backed by Iran, it also hopes to join up with Iraqi forces advancing against Islamic State across the border to secure a land route from Damascus to Baghdad.

Iranian news sites have published pictures of Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite extra-territorial arm the Qods Force, visiting militia fighters at an undisclosed area on the border.

Recent Syrian government advances to the Iraq border northeast of Tanf and Zakf mean the U.S.-backed rebels would have to fight the Syrian army in order to march on Deir al-Zor.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday said air strikes against pro-government forces near Tanf in recent weeks had been in self defence, to prevent them from attacking its troops at the base.

Rebel spokesman Abu al-Atheer said the goal of the government forces was “to cut our advance towards Deir al-Zor. But we are moving towards a plan to take us to Deir al-Zor even if they enter,” Abu al-Atheer said.

“The battle is not over and we will not allow the Iranian Shi’ites to occupy our land. Our response to those who stand against us will be cruel,” he added.

 

Source :  syrianews.media

 

Spirits high among Kurds in Syria as coalition battles for Raqqa

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Spirits high among Kurds in Syria as coalition battles for Raqqa

(Reuters) Kurdish fighter Habun Kamishli proudly recalled the cat and mouse game she played with an Islamic State suicide bomber in the Syrian town of Raqqa, where the militant group is likely to make its last stand.

“I was standing on a rooftop yesterday as our forces advanced. I noticed he was trying to sneak from one street to another to get into the building and kill us,” she said.

“Then I took a picture of his body with my phone. We are avenging the deaths of our fellow Kurds.”

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, made up predominantly of Kurdish fighters, has seized territory to the north, east and west of Raqqa. The city of about 200,000 has been the base of operations for Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks on civilians across the globe.

The assault on Raqqa is likely to be a defining moment in the U.S.-led war on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Along with the Iraqi army’s campaign to drive out Islamic State in Mosul, the other center of its self-proclaimed caliphate, it threatens to deal a major blow to the militants.

Spirits were high among Kurds on Thursday, as they identified Islamic State targets on an iPad and fired mortar rounds toward them.

Nearby, a Kurdish fighter listened to communications on a radio. Coalition aircraft had spotted militants in a car and were about to attack.

The mood along a Raqqa street was a far cry from the fear that took hold when the extremist Sunni militants group declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria and moved towards building a self-sufficient state.

Kurdish YPG militia flags hang on the walls of buildings beside names of fighters and women sang patriotic songs.

Shops taken over by the militants were abandoned, with just a few empty chocolate boxes left. Large billboards with the group’s original name Islamic State in Iraq and Syria felt like part of a bygone era.

Kurdish women commanders seemed confident of victory in the next few months.

“We have them surrounded on three sides and many can’t escape anymore,” said Samaa Sarya. “Some manage to escape on wooden boats along the river at night.”

The number of car bombs, a favorite Islamic State weapon, has fallen from about 20 to 7 a day. Coalition air strikes are exerting heavy pressure on Islamic State.

Still, dangers persist. Minutes later, Sarya received word that a drone operated by Islamic State dropped a bomb on Raqqa, wounding 12 of her comrades.

Some Kurdish fighters estimate there could be as many as 3,000 militants left in Raqqa, where buildings are pockmarked from fighting.

The Syrians left, but foreign fighters stayed and were busy planting landmines and booby trapping houses, Kurdish fighters said. Islamic State snipers were highly effective, they said.

“Today our movements were delayed by snipers,” said Kurdish fighter Mostafa Sirikanu.

Gunfire could be heard as Kurdish militiaman Orkash Saldan pointed to a wall about 500 meters away.

“Daesh are just beyond that point,” he said, walking past a rocket Islamic State fired two days ago.

In a nearby building, where Islamic State had left behind mattresses and clothes, he pointed to a small teapot.

“You never know they could have put a bomb in that teapot or that television,” he said.

 

Source  :  syrianews.media

Uzavtosanoat to implement projects for US$834.9 million by 2022

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Uzavtosanoat to implement projects for US$834.9 million by 2022

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — Uzavtosanoat (Uzbek Automobile Industry) will implement 51 projects for total sum of US$834.9 million in 2017-2021.

On 1 June 2017, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a resolution “On measures on further improving management and accelerated development of the automotive industry for 2017-2021”.

With his resolution, the Uzbek President approve the programme on development of automobile industry in Uzbekistan for 2017-2021. The programme includes a list of investment projects, which will be implemented in the industry.

In particular, in the reporting period, seven projects will be implemented to develop production of new models of vehicles and equipment. The total cost of these projects will be US$433.7 million.

Nine projects worth US$ 157.1 million are aimed at modernizing and re-equipping the enterprises of Uzavtosanoat.

It is also planned to realize 35 projects on localization of auto components and base materials. The cost of these projects is US$244.1 million.

The projects will be financed at the expense of the enterprises own funds for US$172.1 million, commercial banks’ loans – US$138.9 million, resources of targeted sources – US$381.8 million and foreign investments and credits – US$142.1 million.

 

Source :  UzDaily