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An inferno that destroyed the spire and a large portion of the wooden roof structure of the 12th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Pa
ris on Monday reinforced a cautionary message to Chinese authorities about the need to better protect vulnerable heritage sites.
The National Cultural Heritage Administration held a staff meeting on Tuesday night at wh
ich officials discussed the Paris fire and six major fires that have taken place at Chinese cultural heritage sites this year.
“The fire at Notre Dame in Paris rang the warning bell for us,” Song Xi
nchao, deputy director of the administration, said in an interview on Tuesday.
“The safety of cultural heritage sites is a red line that can never be crossed. It’s a global issue,” he said.
The six fires were in Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces, officials said.
On Jan 6, a hall at Yunyan Temple in Jiangyou, Sichuan province, burned down. On
Feb 2, a wooden family temple from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was destroyed by fire.
Guests like Austrian ambassador to China Friedrich Stift, p
erformances from the Strauss Festival Orchestra Vienna, and reality TV star Allen Wu as
host have made the event the most talked-about on Beijing’s April social calendar.
The dapperly attendees and the venue at the Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, a lux
ury hotel in downtown Beijing, will make April 13 a night of waltz, high fashion and haute cuisine.
With tickets priced 1,500 yuan ($224), the ball has sold out every ye
ar during its five-year history in Beijing, according to organizer, the Kempinski Hotel.
In this video interview with China Daily’s website, both the ambassador and Brice Péan, mana
ging director of the Kempinski Hotel, give a preview of what to expect at this year’s ball.
development in China, and the EU welcomes China’s willingness to share its development opportunities.
Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in European countries, said the European leaders, adding that they will not adopt restrictive measures against specific com
panies, and are willing to provide a fair, open and transparent business environment for all foreign enterprises.
During the visit, Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife, also attended a number of events aimed at deepeni
ng cultural and educational exchanges between China and the European nations.
As a special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the advanceme
nt of girls’ and women’s education, Peng was invited to visit the headquarters of the UNESCO in Paris.
Wang said Peng’s visit highlighted China’s image of a hardworking, responsible maj
or country that actively participates in international education, gender equality and other affairs.
such an attitude. Any nation with very strong and rapid growth is always in a very difficu
lt position in public opinion because we are afraid about the strength of others,” he said.
“For example, we were afraid of cultural pressure from the United States in the 1960s, and 20 ye
ars later, we had the same feelings against Japan with its technological projects. Now, China is bac
k around the table of big nations. I think we have to accept that and not be afraid, but to discuss.”
Raffarin said the two countries are expected to close contracts and announce new projects. He also
said the dialogue between France and China could be very useful in forming a new vision for multilateralism in a changing world.
In addition to strong existing collaboration between France and China, including in the automotive, aviation and healthcare sectors, Raffarin said the most
important thing for the future of Sino-French relations is to identify third-country projects, such as the Hinkley Point C nu
clear power plant in the United Kingdom, which is jointly financed by China and France, as well as opportunities in Africa.
Based on the individual income tax differentials between the Chinese mainland and
Hong Kong, overseas high-end talent and professionals in short supply that work in the Greater Bay Area will g
et subsidies from Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality to offset the differentials, according to the MOF.
The subsidies will be exempt from paying individual income tax.
The policy, effective from January 2019 to the end of 2023, applies to nine cities in Guangdo
ng — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, the ministry said.
It said the move aimed to encourage the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Consisting of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the nine cities in
Guangdong, the area covers 56,000 square km. It had a combined population of about 70 million at the end of 2017.