The common interests of our two countries far exceed

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BEIJING Luis Montes Mexico Jersey ,?June 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Micro-blogging site has 500 million users — not all of them from China.

Many Chinese people turn to sina weibo for heated debates or simply to air their views and grievances — and some expats are turning to China's most popular micro blog to get involved in Chinese society.

"I didn't really follow any discussions at the beginning, it was all too confusing, but weibo has become a window to Chinese society," said Christoph Rehage, a 32-year-old graduate student from Germany who majored in Mandarin at the Beijing Film Academy.

Rehage started using weibo in the winter of 2011. He now spends a substantial amount of time surfing the site — which he describes as a "battlefield for debate and argument".

"It doesn't make sense to me why people dispute with each other over things that barely matter," he said.

"I'm called a picky laowai when I say China is not perfect Jurgen Damm Mexico Jersey , but when I say China is developing on the right path, people call me a foreigner hired by the Chinese government to write posts in favor of those in power."

Rehage finds the discussions on weibo more lively than those on Twitter, particularly when it comes to political news.

"A comment by some random user can get picked up by a celebrity and forwarded tens of thousands of times, along with the comment by that celebrity," he said. "I think weibo is a tool for many Chinese people to get firsthand news, comment on and sharpen their political thinking Julio Dominguez Mexico Jersey , as well as vent anger."

Weibo offers a platform for people to ignite a heated debate or topple an official by posting comments and photos. Its capacity to gauge, sway and give voice to public opinion has attracted more than 500 million users.

"Weibo doesn't seem to be a place where soft-spoken, carefully weighed standpoints are widely heard — and you have to speak loudly and sometimes even sound radical in order to make a point," Rehage said.

"You don't see people abusing each other on the street, yet it's everywhere on weibo. To adopt the provocative humor of the site, I think that many people who bark loudly on weibo are actually tame in real life Juan Carlos Valenzuela Mexico Jersey ," he said.

His views were echoed by Steven Weathers, a TV host for Shanghai Media Groups International Channel Shanghai.

"While Twitter is a platform to express and encourage individual views, weibo seems to be more of a collective space for large-scale interactions and exchanges of ideas," he said.

In response to the mob on weibo, Weathers said he would stop following those people and instead follow those who brought insight to his life.

Besides gaining insight into Chinese culture, connecting with fans and boosting their popularity Juan Carlos Medina Mexico Jersey , some expats on weibo are trying to clear the air between two different cultures.

Hiro Yamashita, a 43-year-old Japanese scholar in Beijing, said he first joined weibo mainly to catch up with popular trends in China that he could not learn from his everyday conversations.

However, as he noticed many misunderstandings about Japan spreading on micro blogs, he started correcting them whenever he saw one.

"Once I saw a post saying how popular nyotaimori (the practice of eating sushi off a human body) is in Japan, but it's too exaggerated Jose de Jesus Corona Mexico Jersey ," he said. "I have seen Japan being praised and scolded, sometimes to extremes."

Jeremy Goldkorn from South Africa kicked off his weibo journey in August 2009. He said China's micro blog has introduced friends to him, including Shen Yuting, a Chinese man who lives in East Africa and is producing his own Chinese-Swahili dictionary.

Goldkorn said his favorite activity on weibo is watching debates between different ideological camps.

"I'm interested in China, Chinese people and the Chinese language, and weibo is a good place to discover societal trends Jorge Torres Nilo Mexico Jersey ," he said.

(Source: China Daily)

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Trade volume between China and ASEAN countries hit a record high in 2017, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Bilateral trade totalled 514.8 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 13.8 percent year on year, the fastest growth pace between China and any of its major trading partners.

China's exports to ASEAN countries reached 279.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 9 percent year on year Jorge Torres Mexico Jersey , while imports grew 20 percent year-on-year to stand at 235.7 billion U.S. dollars.

China registered a trade surplus of 43.4 billion U.S. dollars with ASEAN countries, narrowing by 27.4 percent from 2016.

Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand were China's top trading partners in the region last year. Vietnam was China's biggest export destination while China imported more goods from Malaysia than other ASEAN countries.

China saw robust foreign trade in 2017, which ended the drops of the previous two years by gaining 14.2 percent year on year.

by Hummam Sheikh Ali

DAMASCUS, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Just days ahead of the Russian-backed Syrian talks in Sochi, the U.S. camp attempted to derail the Russian efforts to find a solution to Syria's long-standing conflict by shaking the ground ahead of the Russian-supported talks.

Russia has for some time been preparing for the Syrian talks in Sochi slated for 29-30 of this month Jesus Molina Mexico Jersey , inviting 1,600 people to the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi for the Congress of National Dialogue aimed at resolving the years-long crisis in the Arab country.

Last December, Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed to hold the congress in Sochi. At the time, the Syrian government was quick to accept to take part in the congress Jesus Manuel Corona Mexico Jersey , which is expected to tackle issues such as the constitution and elections in Syria.

Ahead of Sochi, the UN special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, called for a meeting in Vienna for the opposition and government sides to discuss constitutional issues.

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