More than 40 years ago China and the United States engaged in “ping pong diplomacy”, ea
sing the tensions between the two countries ever since the founding of New China in 1949.
With the People’s Republic of China retaining its rightful seat in the Un
ited Nations Security Council in 1971 and its international status continuously imp
roving, it had become apparent that the US policy to contain New China would be fruitless.
The US, on the other hand, was mired in the Vietnam War, which was sapping its national po
wer. So the US administration realized it should establish friendly relations with China in order to end the w
ar. Against this background, on Jan 1, 1979, the two countries formally established diplomatic relations.
But even before it established diplomatic relations with the US, China launched reform and opening-up in late 1978. As the leade
r of the Western world, the US played the dominant role in the global economy, as well as the technology, invest
ment, finance and other fields, with which China had to integrate to ensure its economic development.
grower in Laixi of Qingdao, East China’s Shandong province, has been able to grow peach trees into the shapes of tab
les and chairs. The price of one of his peach branch chairs has now reached more than 20,000 yuan ($2,987).
In a farm in Jimo district of Qingdao, Zhang, 65, says that he plans to grow the tables and chairs at a ratio of four to one: four chairs to each table.
Zhang said that he started planting peach trees 15 years ago. He used to be a carpen
ter and often made wooden furniture, so, when planting peach trees, he liked to collect the roots of va
rious materials and use them for making ornaments, tables, chairs, figures, flowers, birds, and other root carvings.
As the raw materials became scarce however, Zhang had another idea, asking, “Can I p
lant tables and chairs myself?” Although his family were initially skeptical, Zhang persisted.
Still, presidential vetoes occur more often than you might think. Every president since Garfield has vetoed at least
one bill. The younger Bush was the first president since John Quincy Adams to go a full four years without a veto, acco
rding to the Congressional Research Service. The House, which was Republican-led for Bush’s entire first term,
was protecting him from bills he opposed. Barack Obama, similarly, had help on Capitol Hill for most of his pr
esidency, just as Trump has. But Obama did veto two bills even when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress.
The President with the most vetoes was Democrat Roosevelt, wi
th 635, although he also served the longest in the White House (12 years). All those vetoes cam
e even though Roosevelt enjoyed Democratic majorities for his entire time in the White House.
If you plot vetoes alongside how closely aligned Congress is
to the president, it used to be quite common for a president to veto bills from a House and Senate ali
gned with him. This data comes from The American Presidency Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
South Korea, according to the Ministry of Environment.
In theory, all waste produced in the country is handled in one of three ways: it is either rec
ycled, processed into fuel, or incinerated. But a series of events in recent years have disrupted this system.
In 2017, a surge in smog levels prompted the governmen
t to tighten regulations on waste-to-energy plants and waste incineration facilities which wer
e blamed for belching out polluting fumes, says Sung Nak-kuen of the Korea Waste Association.
Consequently, the number of incineration facilities fell from
611 in 2011 to 395 last year. And with the waste-to-energy plants feeling the squeeze, dem
and for solid recovered fuel — non-recyclable plastic and paper burned for heat and energy — has collapsed.
But in late 2017, China banned the import of 24 types
of solid waste, including paper and plastic, extending it in April last year to include dozens more type
s of recyclable materials, including steel waste, used auto parts and old ships.
Exports of plastic waste from South Korea to China fell by ove
r 90%, according to the Korea International Trade Association. Trash overflowed on the
streets of Seoul as the waste management companies refused to collect it.
As tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan simmer, some people — mostly youths — ar
e trying to build bridges and dialogue between the two neighboring countries.
The #SayNoToWar campaign on Twitter comes shortly before Pak
istan announced that the captured Indian pilot, who was shot down over Kashmir, w
ould be released Friday in an attempt to defuse the gravest crisis in the disputed border region in years.
It is unclear who launched the hashtag on Twitter, but Kashmiri journalist
Sagrika Kissu was one of the first to promote it on Tuesday, a check by CNN shows.
”Let’s trend the hashtag #SayNoToWar. We don’t want more lives to be snu
ffed out. We want peace. War has never solved any problem. It never will. Thanks,” she wrote on Tuesday.
After being picked up by celebrities from both countries, politicians, rights group and common users, the hashtag began t
rending worldwide and was among the top trends in India and Pakistan before becoming a Twitter moment.
The Dataminr social discovery platforms shows that more than 128,500 tweets were published using the hashtag in the
past two days, with peaks of 2,000 tweets every 10 minutes on Wednesday at noon, CNN analysis shows.
Swiping phones for payment is shaping up to be the new norm for Chinese people shopping oversea
s, as the adoption of mobile payment becomes more evenly distributed by age and geographical location.
Customers in their 50s saw a 1.3-fold increase in Alipay usage as they traveled overseas during the Spring Festival
holiday that concluded on Sunday, according to the country’s largest mobile wallet operator.
The age group has recorded the highest growth rate among all demographics tracked by Al
ipay, as more older people embrace digital payment at home and extend such habits overseas.
Meanwhile, those born in the 1990s, who grew up in relative material abundance and are more “digitally native”, formed the ba
kbone of outbound travel this year, data from Tencent’s popular messaging app WeChat showed.
They accounted for 31 percent of users who embarked on overseas trips, the biggest pr
oportion, and paid with WeChat’s embedded wallet, according to data released on Sunday.