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Trade, online education and AI among key areas addressed

Zhang Yue
Updated: Apr 17,2018 7:27 AM     China Daily

Trade volume growth remains strong

Exports increased by 7.4 percent year-on-year to 3.54 trillion yuan ($5.63 billion) in the first three months while imports surged by 11.7 percent to 3.21 trillion yuan, Huang Songping, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs, said at a news conference on April 13.

He announced that foreign trade volume registered a hefty growth of 9.4 percent year-on-year to 6.75 trillion yuan in the first quarter of the year, buoyed by the steady recovery of the global economy and solid domestic demand.

China’s trade performance has gotten off to a strong start this year, thanks to the stable recovery of the world economy, sustained demand in the domestic market and advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative, Hang pointed out.

Users of online education grow

The number of online education outlets in China will continue to grow by around 5 percent a year, according to a report released on April 13.

The report, the 2017 White Paper on Online Education in China, complied by the Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University and Baidu Education, said that the online education market will grow at over 20 percent annually. It was said in the report that the number of online education users has reached 144 million, 120 million of whom use mobile phones, according to the report, based on the study of more than 200,000 cases.

More than 53 percent of Chinese parents have purchased online classes for their children, 31.2 percent of them on more than one occasion.

Ministry to push AI development

The Ministry of Education said it will push forward artificial intelligence development in universities.

The ministry issued a detailed action plan saying that Chinese universities should have optimized systems that fit both scientific innovation, especially new-generation AI development and disciplinary growth, by 2020. By 2030, they will be the core of the world’s main AI innovation centers, capable of providing China with technical support and professionals. The plan asks for interdisciplinary links of AI with subjects like computer science, mathematics, physics, psychology and sociology. It also calls for strengthened fundamental research, the establishment of more AI centers, a high-level think tank as well as international cooperation.