From the Expats

Reducing income disparities and alleviating poverty are noble goals that China has the economic vitality and political will to take on.

Brussels has sent a strong message to China's new leadership in which the EU says it expects Beijing to boost their strategic partnership and continually be "a key source of growth and stability" for the world.

Rick Larsen, the Democratic congressman for Washington state, has his own take on US-China relations. He is optimistic about this relationship and has a unique and fitting analogy.

Soft power, the ability to influence, is a hard thing to carry off. The wording may be new, but it is not a new phenomenon. China's influence had already spread far and wide, long before the phrase emerged. But this happened before copyrights were ever thought of. Fireworks, table tennis and chopsticks all enjoy overseas appeal without any compensation.

China's new leadership should prioritize Europe as an economic partner as it is more open than the US, said veteran European politician Romano Prodi.

There is no specific cure-all to the health system's ills. The problems are vast and wide, from training doctors to hospital budgets over-reliant on prescribing pills and procedures just to generate enough money to pay hospital staff.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Some of the veteran expats I meet yearn for the good old days when the spidery network of hutong in Beijing defined the capital city.

One of Harvard University's top China scholars, Ezra Vogel, has been keeping an eye on the annual two sessions. This year's NPC is especially important because it is selecting new government leaders for the next decade.

Last September in the Portico Rooms of London's Somerset House, Huishan Zhang watched as models donning his creations paraded at London Fashion Week. A show at one of the world's top fashion weeks was not bad for a designer who only launched his label a year before.

The West is expecting China to play a greater world role as Beijing's involvement is essential in resolving the economic downturn and creating new order for the global financial system.

Many gaps between urban and rural schools could be bridged by fostering the nonprofit sector's development, especially in the area of grassroots initiatives.

China's new leaders, who will be formally appointed during the two sessions, will continue to deliver on the nation's "impressive work" in boosting bilateral ties with Europe, said a senior European Parliament official.

Since moving from Edinburgh to Beijing last June, I have become a regular traveler on China's high-speed rail network, being bulleted from the capital at up to 300 km per hour to cities including Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan and Xi'an.

A shift by China from an investment and export-driven economy to a consumption-led model is viewed by a European economist as a move that could help revive the continent.

Now men quarrel because they don't understand each other, and are suspicious because they do not share a common language, culture or skin color.

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