The Ministry of Education said on Feb 2 that it will contin

ue to boost support for private kindergartens and encourage them to provide inclusive services.

The ministry said media reports that the country will no longer allow the development

of private kindergartens were misleading, and it will continue to encourage investment in kindergartens.

As of 2017, about 63 percent of kindergartens nationwide were run by private entiti

es, among which 43 percent were deemed to be providing inclusive services, the ministry said.

It added that it will encourage more private kindergartens to provide inclusive servic

es. In the meantime, private kindergartens will be allowed to remain profit-oriented to meet public demand.

Chinese authorities have decided to grant a three-year tax benefit to encourage self-employment and hiring by small businesses.

The decision was jointly announced on Feb 2 by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and two other government departments.

According to the decision, people in need who start a business can have 12,000 yuan ($1,790) a year deducted from their families’ annual taxes over three years.

The preferential treatment will target four groups: those registered as members of pov

erty-stricken groups; people who have been jobless for more than half a year; those living on su

bsistence allowances; and recent graduates from higher education institutions.

Businesses that have hired individuals from the four groups and paid social insurance for

them can also enjoy tax deductions of 6,000 yuan per person a year for three years.

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He also noted that China and Australia see strong people-to-people

connections through education and tourism.

“Currently there are around 185,000 Chinese students studying in Australia and we welcome over 1.4 million Chinese visitors to o

ur shores every year,” he said. “China is also an attractive destination for many Australians, with more than 400,000 visiting in the last year.”

“I have every confidence that the relationship between Australia and China will continue to

prosper in 2019 and well beyond,” he said.The New York Philharmonic on Wednesday presented its eighth edition of Lunar New Year c

oncert, featuring the U.S. premiere of Chinese composer Tan Dun’s violin concerto Fire Ritual.

Opening the celebration with Spring Festival Overture, a well-known piece in C

hina, the orchestra instantly kindled an air of festivity in the David Geffen Hall at Li

coln Center, as audience, mostly from local Chinese community, started to nod and hum the jubilant melodies.

South Korean violinist Bomsori Kim then entered the stage from among the audien

ce, playing the core role as a oracle in Fire Ritual, a violin concerto created by Oscar Winner Tan Dun.

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As the Spring Festival is approaching, many Chinese are bu

ying lots of goodies like fruit, but many can’t afford cherries.Tagged at almost 120 yuan per kilogr

am, boxes of cherries are seen as high-end fruit in terms of price compared with other seasonal fr

uits, according to a Global Times reporter’s observation at a Jingkelong Supermarket in Beijing on Friday.

“Almost all the boxes of cherries are sold out every day,” a worker at the s

upermarket surnamed Liu told the Global Times. “Even though cherries are ve

ry expensive, many people still buy them as gifts for relatives and friends during the Chinese New Year.”

The price of cherries rose 30 percent year-on-year in Hefei, East China’s Anhui P

rovince, the Anhui Business Daily reported in January. Even so, inspired by hype

on Chinese social media and the festive season, many people have posted online videos of the cherries they bought.

“It proves that Chinese consumption is upgrading,” said Dong Dengxin, director of

the Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.

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