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Putin meets Macron to discuss Ukraine, European security******
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron give a joint press conference after meeting in Moscow on February 7, 2022.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday to discuss the Ukrainian crisis and the security issue in Europe.
The meeting was businesslike and useful, Putin said at a joint press conference with Macron following their hours-long talks in the Kremlin.
Russia's core concerns on security were ignored by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), while the military alliance attempts to lecture Russia on where and how to place its armed forces, Putin said.
He told Macron that Kiev refuses to comply with the 2015 Minsk agreements on a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian issue and even aims to dismantle the deals.
Putin reiterated Russia's opposition to NATO's eastwards expansion.
During the briefing, Macron said that he believes there is still opportunity to find a peaceful path for Europe, where new mechanisms are needed to ensure security and existing pacts should be preserved at the same time.
He said that there is no alternative to a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis and the Minsk agreements remain the basis of it.
As for Moscow-proposed security guarantees between Russia and the US-led NATO, Macron said that negotiations should continue, although it won't be easy to reach a consensus.
Putin and Macron agreed to talk over phone after the latter's visit to Kiev on Tuesday.
Viktor Axelsen, Tai Tzu Ying named badminton players of the year by BWF******
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying were named the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) Male and Female Player of the Year respectively in recognition of their stellar runs this season.。
Denmark's Axelson was rewarded for his extraordinary run starting from the Barcelona Spain Masters in Feburary 2020, and made 10 finals in 11 individual tournaments, winning seven of those, including gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the world governing body of badminton announced during its awards ceremony on Friday.。
Tai won the All England 2020 and then struck a rich vein of form at the three-tournament Asian Leg in January 2021, making all three finals, and clinching the BWF World Tour Finals 2020.。
The Chinese Taipei player then made the final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, being defeated in a thrilling match by Chinese shuttler Chen Yufei.。
Due to the disruptions caused to the sport's tournaments by COVID-19 over the last two years, the period of consideration for the BWF Player of the Year awards was from November 2019 until 31 October 2021.。
Olympic champions Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei were named the Most Improved Player of the Year, while Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu were named the Pair of the Year.。
Chinese shuttler Qu Zimo was named Male Para Badminton Player of the Year, and Leani Ratri Oktila of Indonesia won the Female Para Badminton Player of the Year. France's Lucas Mazur/Faustine Noel were honored with the Para Badminton Pair of the Year award. Enditem。
Feature: Outpouring of enthusiasm vindicates Chinese publishers' presence at Frankfurt Book Fair******
FRANKFURT, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- People in the Chinese publishing industry might need to have a second thought when weighing sending their books and staff to Frankfurt Book Fair this year because the downside was palpable.
The surging transportation costs, lengthened and possibly overdue delivery are among the factors that make it an odyssey for Chinese books to travel to Frankfurt. In addition, cross border travel restrictions further complicated the picture at a time when the pandemic is still wreaking havoc.
"We met a lot of hardships in the process of planning and preparations for the exhibition of Chinese books," said Rei Lei, head of the German representative office of China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Co. Ltd., which acted as the organiser for a group of 51 Chinese publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
They managed to bring around 1,500 Chinese books and dozens of events to the book fair, the largest of its kind in the world.
It has been a while since Frankfurt, a European transportation hub that used to be proud of its exhibition economy, hosted an international event at this scale, given that the number of daily new infection cases are still hovering around 20,000 in Germany.
"The desire for in-person interactions is once again bringing the international book and publishing industry together in Frankfurt. The 73rd Frankfurter Buchmesse puts the focus on an industry that has shown itself to be resilient, creative and innovative during the pandemic," said Juergen Boos, President of Frankfurter Buchmesse, at the press conference opening the book fair on Tuesday.
"'Back to business', however, does not mean things are now 'back to normal': the book fair will look different this year from what we've known in the past," he said.
The annual event was forced to go online in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. With a heightened priority on safety of participants, the organiser limited the number of visitors for the five-day fair that kicked off on Wednesday.
Visitors find the fair much less crowded: the number of exhibitors has come down to around 2,000 from 7,400 in 2019. Exhibitors have to cope with downsized booths. The 51 Chinese publishers share a 56-square-meter booth.
Meanwhile, the outpouring of enthusiasm for Chinese books at the Frankfurt Book Fair makes the ordeal of Chinese publishers worthwhile.
"It is very cool to have the Chinese books at the fair," Sarah Skalischus, a university graduate, said.
Skalischus has never been to China but is no stranger to the Chinese language. With keen interest in the Chinese language and culture, she hopes to get to know more about China by reading Chinese books.
"Some my friends' children are learning Chinese and I hope to get some exquisite Chinese books for them as a gift," she said.
As a sinologist and chief of a German publishing company named Drachenhaus Verlag, Nora Frisch believes the hostility stories run by western media about China hamper people from getting to understand China.
"We have to stay in contact and we need the dialogue," she said and added that the need to communicate with and talk to China was the reason behind her decision to set up a publishing company.
Frisch has published several works from a Chinese children's literature author Cao Wenxuan in the past few years. Ostensibly it seems difficult for German readers to understand the Chinese literature, but it turns out that "once they start reading, they can not stop," she said.
A German girl wrote in her blog that she finished reading a book of Cao Wenxuan overnight and said she was immersed in it, Frisch said, adding that she plans to translate and publish more Chinese books in the future. Enditem