A Taiwan delegation headed by Han Kuo-yu (C), mayor of Kaohsiung, visits Xiamen, East China's Fujian province on March 26. [Photo/VCG] Trade deals worth more than 1 billion yuan ($149 million) have been signed during Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu's first visit across the Taiwan Straits, selling the city's agricultural and fishery products to mainland cities. These achievements reflect that the two sides belong to one family, fully demonstrating that on the basis of adhering to the 1992 Consensus and one-China policy, city exchanges across the Straits have broad prospects, An Fengshan, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Wednesday. Han, a rising star in Taiwan's Kuomintang party, arrived in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Friday, leading a delegation of about 30 officials and business executives from Kaohsiung. The weeklong visit by Han, who assumed office in December, includes the Hong Kong and Macao SARs, Shenzhen in Guangdong province and Xiamen in Fujian province. The trip is scheduled to conclude on Thursday. Han and his group signed agreements worth 400 million yuan during their stay in Shenzhen and Xiamen, over 500 million yuan in Hong Kong and about 160 million yuan in Macao, according to the spokesman. The agreements on selling Kaohsiung's agricultural and fishery products to mainland cities were signed in accordance with the market-oriented operation mechanism, An said at a regular news conference. Kaohsiung was also invited to join trade and culture exhibitions held in Xiamen every year, including the Straits Forum and China International Fair for Investment and Trade to boost economic ties. Xiamen will hold cultural activities, including a South Fujian dialect chorus show, in Kaohsiung, according to An. In addition, Shenzhen will provide 200 internships and jobs for young people in Kaohsiung every year. Xiamen Air will visit Taiwan again this year to recruit 200 flight attendants, and 100 spots will be set aside for Kaohsiung, he said. Travel agencies in Shenzhen and Xiamen will be encouraged to organize tours to Kaohsiung under the market mechanism, and 8,000 tourists are expected to travel to Kaohsiung in groups, An said, adding Xiamen-to-Kaohsiung cruises will be arranged as soon as possible. The spokesman said that through the trip, a consensus was reached on building a cross-Straits city exchange mechanism, showing bright prospects for strengthening cooperation with Kaohsiung. We support more cities on both sides in strengthening exchanges on the basis of the 1992 Consensus and working together for development, so our compatriots in Taiwan will have a greater sense of gain, he added. Speaking of the criticism from the Democratic Progressive Party and some Taiwan independence forces on the visit, An said that the DPP administration's obstruction and interference in cross-Straits city-level cooperation exposes their true motive, to damage Taiwan compatriots' interests and well-being for their own ends. Only when cross-Straits relations are good will Taiwan be better, he said. We hope that compatriots on both sides will oppose 'Taiwan independence' and actively promote the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. Xinhua contributed to this story. purple rubber bracelet
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Wang Ningli answers questions on March 3, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua] The increasing prevalence of nearsightedness, or myopia, among students in China has been a public health concern in recent years and has now come to discussion at one of China's most important meetings, at which national political advisers have called for intensified efforts to remedy the situation. There is some indication that vision issues, especially among the young, will be alleviated down the road. Rates of myopia among young people in some areas are drastically high, and the ages of people who first develop myopia keep falling, said Wang Ningli, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, at the annual session of the CPPCC on March 3 in Beijing. Doctors and technologies alone cannot control and prevent myopia. A national strategy and joint efforts from all of society are key, said Wang, who is also director of the Ophthalmic Center at Beijing Tongren Hospital. Myopia is particularly common among Chinese students, he said. In many medical colleges, about 90 percent of students wear eyeglasses, he said. And the number of people with severe nearsightedness is increasing, which should be dealt with properly, as such conditions can result in blindness, he said. Feng Danli, another CPPCC National Committee member and the chairwoman of Beijing Radiant Children's Eye Hospital, said more than 80 percent of college students in China wear glasses, and in recent years more kindergarten students have also developed myopia. In recent years, screening provided for more than 62,000 children in Beijing found that about 23 percent of those between the ages 4 and 6 did not have 20/20 vision, she said. The declining eyesight among minors has many causes, including overuse of electronic devices, heavy academic workloads and poor dietary practices, she said. Myopia not only affects the healthy growth of children, but also has a significant impact on national economic development, she said. In recent years, recruitment campaigns in some industries with higher vision requirements, such as aviation, have encountered increasing difficulty in finding enough qualified people due to the prevalence of myopia, she said. In addition to reducing homework loads for students and building vision-friendly classrooms, special laws or regulations should be made to ensure children and teenagers can have adequate rest for their eyes, Feng said. Feng also suggested establishing vision records for students, and that primary and middle schools and kindergartens conduct at least one vision checkup for students a year to give timely treatment to those with eyesight problems. He Wei, also a member of the CPPCC National Committee, said more attention should be given to children under age 6 to prevent and control myopia, as the first few years after birth are crucial for the development of vision. Children in rural and especially impoverished areas are less likely to get proper treatment for myopia, and greater efforts should be made to improve equipment and treatment in vision departments at local hospitals and clinics, said He. Wang, from Beijing Tongren Hospital, said the joint efforts of various parties, including health and education authorities, are crucial in preventing and controlling myopia among students. Parents should pay more attention to children's eyesight and encourage them to take part in sufficient outdoor physical activities after school, he said. The myopia rate among young people in China is expected to noticeably decline by 2030, with the percentage of myopic middle school students falling to below 60 percent, under a plan jointly released by eight ministries and central government departments last year. According to a report released by the Ministry of Education last year, myopia has become a prominent problem for Chinese students, with the rate of myopic eighth-graders standing at more than 65 percent.
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