Cargos are unloaded from a container ship at the container terminal of the Lianyungang Port in East China's Jiangsu province, on Jan 14, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]
>Foreign trade sustains growth momentum
China's foreign trade sustained growth momentum in the first eight months of the year as external demand continued to pick up and the economy maintained stable development.
In the first eight months of the year, the country's total imports and exports expanded 23.7 percent year-on-year to 24.78 trillion yuan, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released Tuesday. The figure marked a 22.8 percent increase compared with the level registered during the same period in 2019.
Both exports and imports logged double-digit growth in the January-August period, surging 23.2 and 24.4 percent from a year earlier, respectively.
The trade surplus increased 17.8 percent year-on-year during the same period to 2.34 trillion yuan.
Passengers step out of a China Southern Airlines aircraft at Dalian International Airport, Liaoning province, on July 15. [Photo by Liu Debin/For China Daily]
>Gatherings, parties discouraged during holidays
Gatherings and parties will not be encouraged during the upcoming Chinese holidays, an immunization expert said Tuesday. "Large gatherings are not allowed," Wang Huaqing, an expert with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference organized by the State Council inter-agency task force for COVID-19 response.
People need to learn the risk levels of their destinations before travel and avoid those with medium or high risk of coronavirus exposure.
People still need to follow personal protection measures, including wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing, during their trips, Wang said.
As of Monday, China had cleared all its high-risk areas for COVID-19 and only three regions remain on the list of medium-risk areas, according to Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission.
The sun rises in Beijing, capital of China, on July 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]
>Beijing to become international consumption center
Beijing on Sunday unveiled measures in the next five years to build itself into an international consumption center. In an implementation plan for this goal, issued by the Beijing Commerce Bureau, the city said it will carry out specific projects including those focusing on new consumption landmarks, new brands, digital consumption and the development of cultural, tourism, sports, education and medical consumption.
Over 3,000 flagship stores of brands from at home and abroad are expected to open by 2025 in Beijing.
The capital will also build about 10 cluster areas featuring domestic time-honored brands and incubate more than 100 new consumption brands.
Through five years of efforts, Beijing will basically become an international consumption center with global influence, competitiveness and reputation, said Yan Ligang, head of the Beijing Commerce Bureau.
In July, China approved Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing to take the lead in building themselves into international consumption centers.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks at a press conference in Kabul, Sept 7, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]
>Taliban announces formation of caretaker govt
The Taliban announced on Tuesday night the formation of Afghanistan's caretaker government, with Mullah Hassan Akhund appointed as acting prime minister.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a press conference the move was aimed at carrying out necessary government functions, stressing it was an "acting" government. He did not elaborate on how long the caretaker government will serve.
The formation of the caretaker government was announced after the Taliban said on Monday it had completely captured Panjshir, the last holdout of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.
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