Agreed Zhang Lanmei, 57, a retired Shanghai local

 “I go on trips twice a year. I usually do not buy souvenirs on the road, because they are q

uite similar and less creative, which I can easily find at the stalls of Shanghai’s Town God Temple.”

Netizens in China joke online Yiwu’s residents need

not buy souvenirs at other places as all such articles originate in their hometown.

As Shi sees it, there is immense scope to reinvent the concept of souvenirs in general and Chinese souvenirs in particular.

Souvenirs, he said, should be made in various formats-a local snack, curries from In

dia, black tea from Sri Lanka, dried apricots from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, or Spanish Iberian ham.

They could also be in the form of a delicate little gift of a key ch

ain, handicraft or fridge magnet, but a special local product would be ideal.

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Among his precious collection are Tibetan incense

and hada from Tibet autonomous region, shawls from Kashmir, hangs of cloisonnéenam

el from Beijing, Yengisar dagger from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and a CD of exotic music.

“My favorite souvenirs are unique and distinctive objects. Stereotyped souvenirs at diffe

rent destinations will fail to attract visitors and even dampen the impression of a special attraction,” said Shi.

Zhou Weihong, deputy general manager of Spring Tour, a part of the Shanghai-based Spring Group, sai

d the cultural and geographical values of local souvenirs are neglected in many cases, adding that the expe

rience of overseas travel-related products can be a benchmark for Chinese souvenirs.

“In Japan, tourism souvenirs have a strong geographic characteris

tic, and they are made at a particular place, and can be bought only there, nowhere else. In

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In the past couple of years, Dong Biyong, a mille

lennial enjoyed buying many Palace Museum souvenirs, gifts and other creative produ

cts. “I tried quite a few from makeup kits, lipstick, blush, to various creative gadgets. They are good so

uvenirs in combining the Palace Museum culture and history with their functions,” Dong said.

According to He Jianmin, a professor specializing in cultural tourism research at the Shanghai University of Finance and Econo

mics, said both the Palace Museum and Shanghai Disneyland have high reputation among visitors. Since both bo

ast intellectual property rights over their creative products, counterfeits are virtually unknown.

Shanghai Disneyland, a $5.5 billion theme park, received more than 11 milli

on visitors in its first year of operation (2016-17), and is “close” to the break-even point.

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Shanghai alone generated 509.2 billion yuan in touris

m revenue last year, up 13.5 percent year-on-year. Out of it, 447.7 billion yuan was contributed by 340 million passenger trips by domestic travelers.

Shanghai’s abundant cultural and tourism resources, its high lev

el of internationalization, convenient public transportation, fine public service, rapi

dly improving level of intelligent urban infrastructure are attracting travelers from home and abroad, said He.

Last year, 135 products sought official recognition to be sold as city souvenirs. Only 43 made

it to the shortlist, out of which 24 were eventually selected as they featured distinctive Shanghai elements.

Many of the products are made by time-honored brands including White Rabbit creamy candy, Park Hotel’s butterfly cooki

es, local patisserie Xing Hua Lou’s sweetened bean paste moon cake, Bee & Flower sandalwood soap, Liushen Fl

orida Water, as well as Shanghai Museum’s creative jewelry box, silk scarves, teacup sets and table flags.

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Chen is a professor of immunology at the Yale Sch

ool of Medicine. He was the first scientist to reveal the function

of the PD-L1/PD-1 immune escape pathway in a tumor’s microenvironment.

The programmed death ligand-1/programmed death-1 (PD-L1/PD-1) signaling pathway is a key component of tumor immu

nosuppression, which can inhibit activation of T lymphocytes and enhance immune tolerance of tumor cel

ls, leading to tumor immune escape, according to a study published in January on biomedcentral.com.

Chen, along with four other scientists, was awarded the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for 2017 for the break

through in tumor immunology, which made him the third Chinese recipient of the prize.

Chen said the research environment in China also has improved in terms of govern

ment funding and talent compared with when he was in China three decades ago.

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daily entry, exit trips expected for May Day holiday

The upcoming May Day holiday is expected to see an averag

e of 2.2 million inbound and outbound trips made by Chinese and foreign tourists per day, up 5.9

percent year on year, according to the National Immigration Administration (NIA) Friday.

This year’s holiday, from May 1 to 4, is a day longer than previous years and suitable for outbound long-distance trips, said

the NIA, adding that passenger volumes at major airports in places such as Beijing and Shanghai would increase notably.

It anticipates that the average daily tourist flow at the Beijing Capital Interna

tional Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport will reach 79,000 and 107,000 respectively.

The ports at different ends of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge a

re expected to see a daily average of 105,000 entry and exit trips during the holiday.

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Guangdong earned 1.36 trillion yuan ($203 billion) fro

 tourism in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 13.5 percent. The province attracted more than 37.47 million tourists who stayed in

the province at least one night in the previous year, up 2.8 percent compared to the year before.

Qi Yaoming, a senior executive from Guangzhou Baiyun Internation

al Airport, said the 144-hour visa-free policy will help attract more international passe

ngers in the months to come and fortify its status as one of the major international aviation hubs in the world.

The airport, one of the busiest in the mainland, handled more than 70 million passenger visits last year. The

figure is expected to reach more than 80 million in 2020.

More than 80 airlines from around the world have opened 222 domestic and inter

national flights to link the southern metropolis with the rest of the country and around the world.

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The e-card, which applies across the country as a n

tionally unified social security card, can be used as a recognized form of ID and

contains functions such as information reco

rds, self-service enquiries, medical insurance settlements and payments, and financial payments.

Each electronic social security card corresponds with an actual social security card. Therefore, card holders can get t

hings done by scanning the QR code of the e-card even if they forget to bring the actual social security card.

The first electronic social security card was issued in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong pro

vince, in April 2018, and the e-card has been rapidly growing in popularity because it is easy to obtain and use.

An official from the ministry said that more than 25 percent of the social security card holders will have e-cards nex

t year, and a nationwide unified social security card system will cover the payment and settlement.

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Emperor Akihito abdicates, Japan embraces end of era

Japanese Emperor Akihito, in his final remarks as his three-decade reign drew to a close

on Tuesday, thanked the people for their support and expressed hope for a peaceful future.

Akihito, 85, was the first Japanese monarch enthroned unde

r a post-war Constitution that defines the role of the monarch as a merely a “symbol of the State.”

“To the people who accepted and supported me as a symbol, I express my heartfelt thanks,” Akihito, wearing a Western

-style morning coat, said at a brief abdication ceremony in the Imperial Palace’s Matsu no ma, or Hall of Pine.

“Together with the empress, I hope from my heart that the new Reiwa era that begins tomorrow will be peaceful and fru

itful, and pray for the peace and happiness of our country and the people of the world,” said a solemn Akihito, refer

ring to the new imperial era, standing flanked by Empress Michiko, who wore a long white and grey dress.

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Regulators seek source of illegal HPV vacciSecurity

Drug regulators in Hainan province are investigating the suspected sources of HPV 9-valent vaccines that were illegally admi

nistered at Boao Yinfeng Healthcare International Hospital, whose business license was revoked as a result.

If a crime is found to have been committed, the case will be handed to public s

ecurity departments, according to a statement jointly issued on Sunday by Hainan’s Health Commission, Market Supe

rvision Administration, Drug Administration and Public Security Department.

It said the four departments will form a working group to supervise the investigations and legal enforcement.

The working group will contact people who received the vaccines at Y

infeng hospital, listen to their opinions and take action to safeguard their rights.

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