Flourishing cultural exchanges between China and India

People-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and India are flourishing.

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“Practicing yoga, drinking Indian black tea and watching Bollywood movies have become the fashion among Chinese youth. Chinese movie stars such as Jackie Chan are household names in India. People in India enjoy acupuncture, martial arts and Chinese cuisine,” said Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong.

Paintings of oil lamps create illuminating show in Sydney

Lighting up Generations: Theme Exhibition of Oil Lamp by Contemporary Chinese Artists, a show of 50 Chinese paintings with oil lamps from famous contemporary artists, opened on Friday at the China Cultural Center in Sydney, Australia.

The Chinese oil lamp has accumulated a rich cultural heritage in its 5,000-year development and represents an important part of traditional Chinese culture. Chinese oil lamps feature various shapes and materials across different historical periods. These objects embody the wisdom and creation of skilled craftsmen of past dynasties, showing regional cultural differences and reflecting the diversity of Chinese culture. The oil lamp burning itself to illuminate others is the gentleman’s character that Chinese have extolled for generations.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Zhang Yingbao, cultural counselor of the Chinese Consulate-General in Sydney, said that the oil lamp has witnessed the rapid development of China. This is an exhibition of history and memory, art and personality. Australian people can not only understand the splendor of Chinese oil lamp culture, but also appreciate the unique charm of the art of Chinese ink paintings.

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Fujian boy supports disease-ridden mother

Teachers and students from the No.2 Experimental Primary School in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province, found themselves deeply moved a few weeks ago by the story of Huang Sikai, a sixth-grade student at the school.

On Sep 2, the second day of the new semester, Huang was invited to a special public class to share his story.

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Twelve years ago, Huang’s mother brought him into the world despite a life-threatening disease. Now, the boy has made the ties between them even closer, supporting his mother against illness.

In 2002, Huang’s mother was diagnosed with a malignant lymphoma. It was predicted she would survive for only two months. Yet, she battled with the disease tenaciously and successfully brought Huang to the world.

Knowing the great pains his mother must have suffered, Huang grew to be sensible and considerate despite his young age, often cooking meals and washing the dishes at home so his mother can rest.

In 2015, another disease befell the poor mother – an atrophy in her eyes’ blood vessels. The doctors at the local hospital suggested an implant surgery to cure the disease.

Hearing this, Huang, 8 years old at the time, fell into despair. He asked whether it could be delayed until the summer vacation, so he could make sure he was there to accompany her through the difficult period. The doctor agreed to his request.

A half month later, the surgery was arranged as scheduled. During the seven days before and after the operation, Huang stayed at the hospital for six nights.

Dutch striker reveals turning down Liverpool offer

The Rijnsburg Boys forward had been a promising talent, but rejected the opportunity to go to Anfield and his career has tailed off

Dutch striker Dani van der Moot has spoken of his regret at turning down an offer from Liverpool as a youth.

The 22-year-old now plies his trade for Rijnsburg Boys in the third tier of Dutch professional football.

However, he turned out for the academies of AZ and PSV and revealed that he even had an offer from Liverpool while with the former.

“If I regret something, it is that I let Liverpool go,” Van der Moot told Elfvoetbal.

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“There were more clubs from abroad with interest, but Liverpool was the most concrete. I visited [with] my parents for a day and was given a tour of the stadium, complex and city. They showed me what I could expect if I started playing soccer and living there. A beautiful day and a wonderful memory forever.”

Instead, the forward chose to join PSV at the age of 15 and his promising career tailed off, being loaned out to Utrecht in the 2016-17 season before leaving the club on a free a year later.

He joined Volendam in January but moved again to Rijnsburg Boys last month and has found form, hitting four goals and recording three assists in just five league appearances.

“I was a great talent in my youth. It’s hard to say why I didn’t make it,” Van der Moot continued. 

“It has been coincidental. I have had injuries at nasty moments, and I have also played 40 games for Jong PSV, but only scored six or seven goals. I didn’t do that well either. They were mentally difficult years, which luckily lie behind me. In retrospect I might have stayed at AZ but switching to PSV was the best option for me with the knowledge and feeling of the time. So I don’t regret it.

“I will probably follow a Spanish course. A language that I can use a lot later. Maybe even for my football career, because if I have learned something in recent years, a career can go crazy.

“I have learned that you cannot plan in football. You are as good as your last game and I have to make sure that I stay as consistent as possible.”

Man Utd would be 'naive' to sack Solskjaer – Ferdinand

The former Red Devil says he’d be shocked if they parted ways with their coach even after a horror start to the season

Rio Ferdinand doesn’t believe that Manchester United are naive enough to think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could turn the club around overnight and will give him time as a result.

Manchester United are in the midst of their worst start to a season in 30 years and take in the international break having won just two games this campaign, sitting in 12th place and just two points above the relegation zone.

It’s a far cry from the perennial champions that Solskjaer and Ferdinand played for, but the former centre-back wants to see the Norwegian given time.

“There’s no way the club would have thought this would be rosy straight away, they’re not naive enough to think that it was going to be a situation where he just changes it overnight,” he told talkSPORT.

“This is definitely something where there is going to be early pain, there is going to be a situation where the results are not going to go our way, especially with the new recruitment that they’ve started to go with younger players.

“That’s why I don’t see there being a change straight away, I’d be very surprised if I wake up, open a paper or an app and see that he has gone so quickly.”

Ferdinand identified 21-year-old Daniel James as possibly United’s best player this season.

Although he was fulsome in his praise of the former Swansea youngster, the 81-cap England international said his prominence was evidence that United will need time, and stability, to return to prominence.

 “They’ve got some good young ones, I don’t think they expected what they have got from Daniel James so early, he’s been very good and probably their most influential so far,” he added.

“What does that say about the squad? When you’re buying someone from Swansea who was probably brought as someone who could flourish at a later date, who has now been forced into the forefront as the main man in the team at the moment.

“That says where United are at this minute and I think time is something that is needed. It’s not afforded to too many people in the game at the moment.

“Ole probably needs another window to get more people in, shuffle the pack and get more out, then you can really start to judge him on that.”

United resume their Premier League campaign with a visit from Liverpool on October 20.

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England not good enough in surprising Prague loss – Southgate

The Three Lions went down to their first qualification defeat in a decade and their coach gave an honest assessment of their display

Gareth Southgate accepted England were not good enough in a 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifier loss away to the Czech Republic on Friday.

England topped Group A ahead of the clash at Eden Arena having taken a maximum 12 points from four games and victory would have secured their place at the finals.

Southgate felt his side were poor at the back, while a lack of quality on the ball was also highlighted as a factor in the loss.

“We’ve had a lot of credit in the last two years but we didn’t do enough to win,” he told ITV Sport .

“The performance was not good enough, simple as that.

“We probably should have got a draw but the goal we conceded was typical of chances we conceded

“I think there were things we can look back on, collectively we have to accept there were not enough good performances.”

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The Three Lions made a positive start when captain Harry Kane converted an early penalty, but the lead lasted less than five minutes as Jakub Brabec punished sloppy defending to score from a corner.

Jaroslav Silhavy’s side moved level on points with England when Zdenek Ondrasek came off the bench to fire home the winner on his international debut.

England had scored at least four times each of their previous matches in the campaign to date but fell to a first qualifying loss since 2009, ending a run of 43-game run without defeat.

Southgate said his team, who had won 14 consecutive European Championship qualification games before Friday, had struggled to adjust to a tactical tweak.

They made a switch at half time but were still sloppy in the second period, according to their coach.

“We tried to change shape in the first half and it didn’t work as well as we hoped, so we changed it and we started better in the second half and had good chances to win the game,” he added, soon after the final whistle.

“But we conceded too many poor chances and conceded possession too often.

“We knew we’d have to be at full tilt to deal with the Czech Republic, but we should have been strong enough to deal with them.”

Nations League semi-finalists England resume their qualifying campaign away to Bulgaria on Monday.

Arsenal fans rage over Mike Dean refereeing North London Derby

News of the appointment of the official for this weekend’s clash has frustrated the Gunners faithful, who believe he is biased against them

Mike Dean has been named as the referee for this weekend’s North London Derby in the Premier League, and Arsenal fans are less than thrilled with the selection.

The Wirral-born Dean, who is set to officiate the game between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates on Sunday, has gained an infamous reputation with Gooners who believe that he may have an agenda against them.

In the last 14 games that Dean has officiated Mauricio Pochettino’s team, 11 of those were Spurs victories, the Lilywhites were awarded five penalties during that time.

He has earned a notorious legacy with Arsenal fans who have accused him of committing high-profile mistakes in recent outings.

Despite Dean having been in charge of the high-intensity derby last season that the Gunners won 2-0, Arsenal fans will be keen to not forget an instance in 2015 when the referee appeared to have celebrated a late Tottenham goal against Aston Villa.

As the ball hit the back of the Villa net, Dean ran towards the goalscorer with his arms outstretched – before quickly running away and dismissing his gesture as a “play on” gesture following contact with Mousa Dembele in the build-up to the goal.

Arsenal will head into this weekend’s derby on a fine run of 17 games unbeaten, but their belief in the conspiracy that Dean is a secret Tottenham supporter has already begun to anger them following news of the referee appointment.

Gooners took to social media to vent their fury to voice their insistence that Dean carried a bias against their team.

Arsenal currently sit three points adrift of their North London rivals heading into the weekend, having registered two wins in their last five games.

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Meet Lee Kang-in – Valencia’s South Korean starlet with an €80 million release clause

The teenage attacker is creating a major impression in Spain and he is soon expected to make his mark in La Liga

Already rated at €80 million (£71m/$91m) by Valencia, South Korean teenager Lee Kang-in is on his way to becoming a big star for club and country.

Recent months have seen the 17-year-old left-footed forward or attacking midfielder step up towards the adult ranks, with a senior debut in La Liga – and lots more global attention – likely in 2018-19.

Incheon-born Lee had an early start in football celebrity, achieving national prominence in Korea after starring in reality TV football show Shoot Dori at the age of just six. Valencia brought him to Spain in 2011 to join the youth set-up at the Liga club’s Paterna facility. Lee settled quickly in his new country, impressing as Valencia’s Alevines [U-12] side reached the final of a prestigious youth tournament, scoring with a direct free-kick that helped defeat Borussia Dortmund to sow the seeds for international attention.

The seemingly laid-back kid moved seamlessly up through the age groups, making his debut for the Valencia Mestalla B team aged just 16 in December 2017. Eased into the adult set-up by coach Miguel Grau, he featured in a further 10 Segunda B (third tier) games last term, scoring his first senior level goal in a 2-0 win versus Sabadell. His impressive performances led Valencia first-team coach Marcelino Garcia Toral to regularly invite Lee to train with the senior squad through the final months of the campaign.

“He’s got ambition and talent,” said Grau. “It’s hard to find a player with talent that still works so hard but that’s Kang-in. Those of us that know him have no doubt that he’ll go all the way.”

Throughout this time Lee has also been progressing at international level, making his debut for the South Korea Under-18 team in 2017. Last May, he was fast-tracked into the Under-20 set up for the prestigious Toulon Tournament, where ex-La Liga stars Thierry Henry and James Rodriguez, and current Valencia frontman Kevin Gameiro, first came to global prominence. Although South Korea exited at the group stage, superb long-range goals against Scotland and Togo saw Lee named in the official team of the tournament despite being considerably younger than most opponents and team-mates. This brought further fame back in his home country, where many of his 60k Instagram followers live.

Growing excitement around such an emerging star led Valencia president Anil Murthy to offer Lee a senior contract in July 2018, including an eye-opening €80m release clause. Pre-season then saw Lee become the first Asian player to wear a Valencia shirt in a senior game, as he made his debut against Swiss Super League side Lausanne, and feature in warm-up matches versus European heavyweights PSV, Everton and Leicester. He went on to score in his very first senor game at Mestalla, a fine strike in a 3-0 victory over Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen in Valencia’s traditional ‘Trofeo Naranja’ curtain raiser.

Through the opening stages of 2018-19, Lee has mixed training with the seniors with representing the club’s youth sides. Left footed, with an eye for a pass and a nose for goal, Lee is best positioned as an attacking midfielder or second striker. These skills were on show when he made his UEFA Youth League debut in September, hitting the crossbar twice in a narrow defeat to Juventus.

With Marcelino having brought the likes of Carlos Soler and Ferran Torres, both homegrown talents, through into the first team, it’s perhaps only a matter of time before Lee makes his La Liga, Copa del Rey or Champions League bow.

Lee is already being celebrated in both Valencia and South Korea. La Liga fans worldwide will soon know his name too.

It’s do or die for Project Neymar as PSG risk Champions League humiliation against Liverpool

Failure to secure a win against the Reds on Wednesday is bound to push the world’s most expensive player towards the exit door at Parc des Princes

There may be no prize greater than three points at stake, but it would be no exaggeration to say that Wednesday’s Champions League meeting with Liverpool is the biggest in Paris Saint-Germain’s history.

Win and the Ligue 1 champions will be on the cusp of the knockout phase, but lose and the very fabric of the club will threaten to unravel.

Even in the event of a humiliating elimination, president Nasser Al Khelaifi will likely be safe, as will head coach Thomas Tuchel, whose excellent work on the domestic front ensures he is untouchable for now. However, sporting director Antero Henrique would be among the casualties. 

His departure, however, would pale into insignificance alongside that of Neymar, whose position as one of the world’s biggest stars would become untenable at the heart of a failed project in which he was the keystone.

Ahead of Wednesday’s fixture at the Parc des Princes, the build-up has centred on the 26-year-old’s thigh injury and whether he will be fit to play. If he does not, the French club could get an unwelcome and concerning vision of what the future would be like without the Brazil international.

Neymar has been inextricably linked to PSG’s quest to dominate in Europe since the summer of 2017, when a lavish transfer campaign saw them land the Brazilian for €222 million from Barcelona in a deal that stunned world football. Not only was the game’s transfer record broken, it was utterly obliterated.

A mere three weeks later, Kylian Mbappe followed from Monaco, arriving on a deal of almost equally preposterous figures, though the teenager was signed with one eye on the future. Neymar was expected to make an immediate impact, the ready-made superstar capable of leading PSG to Champions League glory and, in turn, put himself in a position to win the Ballon d’Or. 

But ambition and ability are two very different matters, and just as previous iterations of PSG had succumbed in the Champions League knockout rounds, so too would this highly expensive version.

Admittedly, by the time they crashed out at the hands of last season’s eventual winners Real Madrid, Neymar was laid up with a broken metatarsal, but just as the club’s Qatari owners had not paid record sums for a mere last-16 place, neither had the Brazilian moved to Paris simply to pick up an incredible pay cheque.

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He was sold the dream of winning both the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or, yet the reality has proven different.

Clarence Seedorf, a four-time victor of the competition, believes it was predictable that the move would turn out this way.

“He has to play with players better than him,” he told Globo Esporte. “Not technically, but those who have already won big prizes, who can talk to him and who he can respect. 

“He’s still young; he’s not been in Europe for so long. It was a sin to leave Barcelona so quickly. Two more years there and it could have been different for him.”

But instead of Camp Nou, he finds himself at Parc des Princes, where there is a track record of failure and unfulfilled potential in the Champions League.

With one win, two draws and a defeat in Group C, Tuchel’s men are now threatening to crash out at an even earlier and infinitely more humiliating juncture than they ever have before during QSI’s seven-year ownership.

Another loss to Liverpool, whose 3-2 victory over the Parisians at Anfield was far more comprehensive than the scoreline suggests, would likely consign the most expensive attacking line-up ever assembled to the ignominy of the Europa League.

But the long-term consequences would be greater; it would act as the catalyst to bring Neymar’s time in France to an end.

Ballon d’Or winners do not play Thursday night football, and Goal understands that Barcelona are plotting a road map to re-sign the former Santos star, who has scored 41 times in 46 matches since moving to France.

One of the conditions for the deal is that they need him to publicly admit his regret at moving to PSG. What better excuse than an early Champions League exit?

Such talent deserves to be showcased on the greatest stage, and even if the South American is not willing to bury the hatchet to move back to his former club, the continent’s other giants would undoubtedly enter the fray should he decide to leave the French capital.

Without Champions League football, PSG retaining their greatest star would suddenly become a task even more difficult than signing him in the first place.

While an instant domino effect at Parc des Princes would be unlikely – Mbappe would remain to take up the mantle of figurehead – the long-term message would be clear: PSG are no longer among Europe’s elite.

“Individually, you don’t win anything in team sport,” Dani Alves has argued in the build-up to the big midweek clash, but equally, without world-class talent, that task of winning the game’s biggest prizes becomes undoubtedly more complicated.

After years of careful but expensive building, it is a slip that even the big-spending Parisians simply cannot afford. 

PSG’s European history has been dominated by their inability to perform at the clutch moments. On Wednesday, they will have to learn that skill against a club that has been one of the masters of the art over the years. 

Should they fail, a venture long in the making could come crashing rapidly down.

Who would Liverpool get if Klopp leaves? Rush questions trophy claims

The Reds legend is not buying into the belief that the man in charge at Anfield needs to land a trophy this season in order to be considered a success

It has been suggested that Jurgen Klopp needs silverware in order to back up his ongoing presence at Anfield, but Liverpool legend Ian Rush does not share that opinion.

Various figures with strong ties to the Reds, including a number of former players, have suggested that a major trophy is a must for the current man at the helm.

Klopp has passed the three-year mark on Merseyside and, despite reaching three finals, is still waiting to hit the top step of the podium.

The German has, however, built steadily during his tenure and now has Liverpool in contention for the Premier League title and chasing down domestic cups and European glory.

It is for that reason that Rush believes there is nobody better suited to a demanding role, with the iconic Welshman telling PA Sport: “He said three years [to win a trophy] and he’s in his third year now.

“But if he leaves who are you going to get?

“Everyone loves him, the supporters love him, and there’s no better manager in my book.

“We need to see progression, and last year we were looking at the top four. This year we’re looking at the top two, so we are progressing with him.”

Liverpool are still unbeaten in English top-flight competition this term, with 13 games delivering an impressive 33-point haul.

Last season’s Champions League runners-up have found the going a little tougher in Europe, but they remain in contention for a last-16 berth heading into crunch clashes with Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli.

Rush added on the Reds’ continental campaign: “We did enough at Napoli but they scored in the last minute.

“Maybe we underestimated Red Star a little bit.

“Paris Saint-Germain need to beat Liverpool but it could come down to the Napoli game, that’s like a final now and the atmosphere will be electric at Anfield.

“I’d like to see us progress in the Champions League and still put Man City under pressure in the Premier League.

“Last season it was too easy for them. This time if they lose a game we need to be there to overtake them.”

Liverpool will head to the French capital to take on PSG on Wednesday, before returning to domestic action on Sunday with a derby date against old adversaries Everton.