But it doesn’t mean marriage is dead. It just means

 that marriage is no longer the only place where people make all their

major financial and personal decisions, or incur obligations to others,” Coontz said.

“First of all, I haven’t met my Mr. Right. Also, I’m extremely responsible with my own finances – I have to pay my rent and my stud

ent loans every month,” said Michelle Yu, a recent graduate of the University of Southern California, who just s

tarted her first job at a publishing company in Los Angeles. Yu has been single for more than four years.

“So, if my partner also has a ton of student loans or is in a bad financial situation, I’d r

ather be alone,” said Yu. “Now, I can well manage my own money and I’m saving the down payment for bu

ying an apartment in my neighborhood. I like to do that on my own pace.”

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Guns, tanks are modified to fight forest firesguishing guns h

Fire departments across China are on high alert each spring, when forests are prone to erupt in flames.

At least eight forest fires have occurred since the start of this year, with the deadliest killing 30 people who were fighting it.

In an attempt to improve the efficiency of firefighting operations and reduce safety risks, fire depa

rtments have begun to adopt machines such as specially modified artillery guns and tanks.

According to China North Industries Group Corp, commonly kn

own as Norinco, eight long-range fire-extinguishing guns designed and built by the com

pany arrived in Guojiaping village in Changzhi, Shanxi province, on Sunday at the request of provincial auth

orities to help quench the fire that had raged on a nearby mountain for several days.

The guns were used on Monday to launch shells containing fire-exti

nguishing agents onto the hill. With their assistance, firefighters were able to put out

the blaze by afternoon, the State-owned defense conglomerate said on Wednesday.

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The water cannon on the vehicles can spray water up t

Experts said that injuries to firefighters are mainly caused by close contact with flames or explos

ions, or by buildings collapsing as they enter a scene that fire engines have difficulty accessing.

Russia and Germany have also transformed old tanks into firefighting vehicles.

China’s poverty-relief achievements have contributed more than 70 percent to global pover

ty alleviation in the past four decades, a feat acknowledged by the United Nations and the World Bank.

China lifted 740 million people in rural areas out of poverty be

tween 1978 and 2017, or about 19 million people each year, according to the National Bureau of Statis

tics. The country had another 30 million people to lift out of abject poverty, according to the figures.

In 2018, official data showed that 13.86 million people were lifted out of poverty. The go

vernment aims to help another 20 million people in the next two years, in order to eradicate poverty in the country.

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No other country in the world has managed to impr

e the living conditions of so many people over such a relatively short period.How did China do it?

In 1978, the leadership embarked on reform and opening-up to take the country forward. “Poverty is not socialism,” late

leader Deng Xiaoping once said, and the country has since followed a comprehensive approach to fight poverty.

The gradual opening-up of the economy to external investments for exp

ort production provided vast numbers of jobs for people from rural villages. These work

ers gained new skills and sent money home. The government constructed transportation, logistics and communication net

works that made China the “factory of the world”. This part of the story is probably the best known outside China.

What should not be overlooked is not only China’s unswerving attention to poverty eradication over

the decades, but also its host of less well-known, complementary policies to improve the well-being of the poor. Examining those p

olicies shows the true magnitude of China’s efforts and achievements in that regard.

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The author is a former undersecretary for the environm

Rising registrations and better technology improve prospects of quicker availability

When Zhao Xueming, a middle school math teacher in Beij

ing, knew he had late-stage liver cancer in February last year, he felt despair.

“I was scared to the soul, and I thought about death every day,” he said.

By then, Zhao, who was 36 at the time, had received various treatme

nts at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital for four months. However, he believed he had s

ome other liver disease, since his parents, in order to avoid frightening him, never told him the truth.

“The treatments didn’t work well,” he said. “At l

Zhao was lucky. He waited for just around two weeks for an available organ, which was distributed through a national compu

terized organ sharing system, and had an operation that lasted for more than 10 hours in March last year.

He later learned that the organ donor was a young person who died in a car accident

in Hubei province, more than 1,000 kilometers away, but he doesn’t know further details.

In March, a year after the surgery, Zhao enrolled to become an organ dono

r at an organ-donation promotional event held at Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital.

ast my doctor decided to have a liver transplant surgery for me to save my life.”

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children and allocate more resources to the eyesi

ight examinations, and counselling services, he said.

Education departments will supervise schools to take concrete measures and eval

uate their performance, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said at the meeting.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, said Wednesday it was necessary to amend laws and sup

porting regulations and policies to ensure the implementation of the foreign investment law.

Draft amendments for administrative licensing law, trademark law, construction law a

nd electronic signature law were passed Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

It was also decided at the meeting to submit the draft amendments to the Standing Committee of th

e National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, for deliberation, according to a statement after the meeting.

Suggestions for revisions include adding the principle of “non-discrimination” in administrative licensi

ng, substantially raising the amount of compensation for infringing exclusive rights to use trade

marks, and cutting approval time for applications for qualified construction permits.

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There has always been a fixation on Chinese economic grow

growth-and with good reason. China sustained an average annual growth rate of 10 percent from 1980 to 2011, unprece

dented for a large economy. Since 2012, however, the annual growth has slowed down with the Government Wor

k Report presented recently by Premier Li Keqiang setting a growth target of 6-6.5 percent for 2019.

For China doubters, this is a “gotcha” moment. After all, the premier’s grow

th target implies a 40 percent deceleration from the “miracle” trend. This seems to vin

dicate warnings of the dreaded “middle-income trap”-the tendency of fast-growing developing economies to re

vert to a much weaker growth trajectory just when they get their first whiff of prosperity.

The early work on this phenomenon was precise in terms of what to expect: as per capita inco

me moved into the $16,000-$17,000 range (in dollars at purchasing power parity in 2005), a sust

ained growth deceleration of around 2.5 percentage points can be expected. With China having hit that income thr

eshold in 2017, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, its post-2011 slowdown looks all the more ominous.

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But one of the first things taught to economics gradu

 students, even back in my day, is to be wary of the perils of data mining. And the middle-income tra

p is a classic example of the pitfalls of endless number crunching. Give me a database and a po

werful computer, and I can “validate” almost any economic relationship masquerading as an analytical co

njecture. There are five key reasons to dismiss the widespread diagnosis that China is ensnared in the middle-income trap.

First, a middle-income trap may not even exist. That is the conclusion of a rigorous empirical stud

y by Lant Pritchett and Lawrence Summers that covers a broad cross section of 125 economies from 1950 to 20

10. The best they could come up with is a strong tendency for growth discontinuities and mean reversion. At the recent China Development Forum in Be

ijing, Summers went further in assessing likely outcomes in rapidly growing developing economies, dubbing any

mean-reverting slowdown as merely a tendency to close a “post-miracle gap”. Needless to say, the statistical regularity of s

uch periodic growth gaps is very different from the permanent quagmire of a growth trap.

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But the underlying trend for the past five years is enc

ncouraging: annual TFP growth of about 3 percent, with especially strong growth in the tertiar

y sector. So, notwithstanding the recent slowdown in aggregate GDP growth, services-led Chi

nese rebalancing is imparting meaningful productivity leverage to the economy as a whole.

The question now is: Can China sustain its recent TFP trajectorya dist

inct possibility in light of an increasingly powerful shift to indigenous innovation and

the sustained services-led productivity of a growing cohort of well-educated knowledge workers-as well as rea

p the benefits of continued upgrading of its capital stock? If it can, the new Chinese study concludes that China’s potential GDP growth rate could hold aro

nd 6 percent over the next five years. Such an outcome would conform quite closely with China’s longer-term ambitions.

So, despite the days of 10 percent Chinese growth being over, which w

as inevitable, there is good reason to believe that the real story is China’s shift from qua

ntitative to qualitative growth. Which suggests China will defy yet again widespread fears of a looming middle-income trap.

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Besides, most of the steel firms in the region still

use blast furnaces that are more polluting than electric furnaces, which res

ults in huge energy consumption and pollution discharge burdens, according to Lyu.

To better protect the environment, it is not enough to relocate the production capacity f

rom one place to another within a province as some local governments have done, he added.

Lyu made the remarks at the 2019 China Iron and Steel Develo

pment Forum, which was jointly held by the China Metallurgical Industry Planning & Res

earch Institute and the Chinese Academy of Engineering in Beijing over the weekend.

Since 2016, China has made remarkable progress in reducing overcapacity in the sector, fulfilling th

e upper overcapacity reduction goals for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) two years in advance. The util

ization rate of crude steel capacity has risen from 70 percent in 2015 to more than 80 percent now, according to Lyu.

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