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Feature: "I live with Chinese language and culture every day, all the time"******
by Yang Shilong
WASHINGTON, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Seventy-year-old American Stephen D. Allee's total immersion in the Chinese language and culture reminds people of a famous Confucius quote: "I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge, I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there."
"I can read at this point almost any kind of text and most styles of script. I can read a lot of handwriting because at the museum I have to decipher and translate Tiba -- inscriptions on paintings -- works of calligraphy, and collector seals," Allee, who is now associate curator for Chinese painting and calligraphy at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington DC, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"I study the techniques and practice of painting and calligraphy, and I transcribe and punctuate, as well as translate and annotate, the texts that appear on the paintings in our collection," he said.
"This has not been just a job for me. It has been a life. Indeed, I live with Chinese language every day, all the time, and it is wonderful," he added.
Allee started learning Chinese in 1966, and when he was 16 years old, he challenged himself to translate "Shu Dao Nan," a masterpiece by Li Bai, a great poet of Tang Dynasty, into English with a dictionary.
"I still read classical Chinese poetry as often as I have a chance ... my classical Chinese I feel is fairly solid after all these years, though I still have a lot to learn," said Allee.
Allee was among the first group of U.S. students who studied in China from 1979 to 1980.
"We were the first ones to cross the bridge that we all hoped would grow and strengthen between our two countries over time. We took that role seriously," he said.
During the journey on the flight headed for China, Allee chose for himself a "very Chinese" Chinese name, An Mingyuan. He adopted the family name "An," which has a good meaning of peace or tranquility.
Allee selected Nanjing University for further study.
It was a very different time in China where the trains were slow, Allee told Xinhua, but now, "it is almost faster to take a train than it is to fly to many places. It's a great improvement for people, really wonderful."
Allee said when he was there in 1979-80, few Chinese on the street could have conversation in English freely, but for now, customers in a store who could speak English perfectly are quite common.
"So when I look at what China has accomplished on so many things, since that time, it is truly remarkable and truly something to be proud of," he said. "The lives of ordinary people have improved, they have gotten better ... The achievement to me is really astounding when I look at it from the perspective of 1979."
In his observation, Allee said China has undergone dramatic transformation physically in the past decades but culturally "China has always been China, and it will always be guided in some way by the fundamental core principles enunciated by those ancient philosophers."
"Ren (benevolence), Yi (righteousness), Li (manners), Zhi (wisdom), and Xin (trustworthiness), these are principles that are worth defining and defending," he said, noting those principles "have every application to today."
Noting he was glad to see China has become "one part of a larger matrix of cultural information," Allee told Xinhua that he has worked very closely with Chinese specialists at National Palace Museum, Shanghai Museum and other places like that.
"We talk and confer and send each other questions and images and discuss things that have to do with our research and collections," he said. "The more we can communicate with each other, the better we will be."
As to the current relationship between the United States and China, Allee noted what could be done on the individual level are "to continue to do our jobs, honestly, to the best of our ability and to be open with each other as much as possible, to establish and sustain real communication."
The elder views the 1979-80 bi-national education exchange programs he was a part of as "an extremely positive experience."
"They brought Chinese to America and Americans to China. I'm still in touch with many foreigners who were in China at the time that I was there and beyond," he said.
"All of us benefited from the experience and I believe all my friends and colleagues would agree that the experience changed their lives, led them into new and different directions, and that for most of them those directions were positive," he continued.
Healthy competition between the United States and China helps both sides improve, said Allee. "I hope the competition includes collaboration, cooperation, and other positive dimensions."
"I'm over 70 now. Retirement will come, certainly there are more years behind me at the museum than there are in front. Perhaps there will be opportunities in China where my knowledge and experience might be useful to someone, and we can spend a couple months, or even longer in the country," he said. Enditem
(Xinhua correspondents Hu Yousong, Liu Jie in Washington also contributed to the story.)
Monchengladbach stun Bayern to enter German Cup last 16******
BERLIN, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Bayern Munich were knocked out of the second round of the German Cup for the second successive year, after a faultless Borussia Monchengladbach side whitewashed the German giants 5-0 on Wednesday.
The Foals established a three-goal lead within 21 minutes before a quickfire second-half brace from Breel Embolo put the game to bed.
Borussia made a fairytale start in front of their home crowd as Kouadio Kone latched onto Embolo's assist from close range to beat Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with less than two minutes played.
The hosts should have doubled their advantage in the ninth minute, but Jonas Hofmann missed the target with only Neuer to beat. Two minutes later, Neuer was called into action once again as he had to tip Embolo's dangerous effort over the bar.
Bayern were visibly shocked and had to suffer another setback with 15 minutes gone as Ramy Bensebaini slotted home following a combination with Hofmann to make it 2-0.
To make things worse, Bayern conceded a penalty in the 21st minute when Lucas Hernandez fouled Embolo inside the box. Bensebaini stepped up and made no mistake to make it 3-0 from the spot.
Bayern first clear-cut chance came 35 minutes into the game as Leon Goretzka's long-range attempt forced Yann Sommer into action for the first time.
After the restart, Bayern tried to take the upper hand, but things went from bad to worse in the 51st minute as Embolo had enough space to control a long ball between Bayern defenders Hernandez and Dayot Upamecano before nutmegging Neuer from the edge of the box.
Embolo remained in the thick of things and wasn't done with the scoring after Luca Netz's through-ball allowed the Swiss international to overcome Neuer for the second time in the 57th minute.
Bayern tried to respond but was never able to do any damage to Monchengladbach's well-positioned defense. The Foals stood firm for the remainder of the game to inflicted a heavy defeat.
"This is one of those nights you will never forget. We played very, very well and outplayed Bayern. And that is, something very special. I think we really impressed Bayern tonight. They really had no answer over 90 minutes," Monchengladbach's sporting director Max Eberl said.
With the result, Bayern Munich can now fully focus on the UEFA Champions League and the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, Borussia advance into the last 16.
Elsewhere, Bayern Leverkusen also crashed out of the German Cup after losing 2-1 to second division outfit Karlsruhe.
Bochum booked a place in the last 16 after beating league rivals Augsburg 5-4 on penalties.
Union Berlin needed extra-time to see off resilient third division side Waldhof Mannheim 3-1, and Anthony Modeste's second-half brace secured Cologne a 2-0 win over Stuttgart. Enditem
Morata's late goal books Spain's ticket to World Cup finals******
MADRID, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Alvaro Morata's 87th-minute goal assured Spain's place in the World Cup finals in Qatar at the end of 2022 as Spain beat Sweden 1-0 in the Estadio de la Cartuja on Sunday night.。
The goal calmed Spanish nerves at the end of a match where once again they controlled the ball but left their rivals with a chance of springing a surprise until the closing moments.。
It was also a sweet moment for the striker who had been booed by a section of the fans after missing chances in the 0-0 draw between the same teams on the same ground in this summer's European Championships.。
Spain coach Luis Enrique made six changes to the team that won 1-0 in Greece on Thursday, with defenders Pau Torres, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta coming into the team along with Sergio Busquets, Dani Olmo and Carlos Solar.。
Despite only needing a draw to qualify directly for Qatar, Spain started aggressively and looked to take the game to the Swedes with Pablo Sarabia going close, while at the other end Emil Forsberg fired just wide after being given space to run at the Spanish defense.。
As usual Spain controlled most of the ball, but (as usual) failed to turn possession into chances and in the 39th-minute, Forsberg had the home fans' hearts in their mouths when his volley at the far post went inches wide of Unai Simon's goal.。
The second half kicked off without changes but with Azpilicueta giving the ball away on the edge of his area, with only Torres' rapid intervention forcing Alexander Isak to shoot well over the bar.。
Morata had the first shot between the posts for Spain in the 83rd minute, but his effort was straight at keeper Robin Olsen, who looked as if he had pulled a muscle in his side a couple of minutes earlier.。
Just two minutes later Morata assured Spain's place in the final with a close-range finish after Dani Olmo's 25-yard shot rebounded to him off the Swedish crossbar and his celebrations said how much the goal meant to Spain, and to him. Enditem。
Backgrounder: Digital Economy Partnership Agreement******
BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- China has filed a formal application to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), the Ministry of Commerce announced Monday.。
The DEPA, signed in June 2020 by Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, is a new type of trade partnership agreement seeking to bolster digital trade by regulating issues related to the digital economy, including digital inclusion, data flows and protection, and artificial intelligence.。
It is designed to complement and support the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on e-commerce, and to build on the digital economy work underway within Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other international forums.。
The DEPA is divided into modules which cover topics such as business and trade facilitation, data issues, business and consumer trust, innovation and the digital economy, etc.。
The DEPA is an open plurilateral agreement to which other WTO members are eligible to join if they are able to meet its standards.。
The agreement has since attracted interest from Canada and South Korea, with Seoul formally applying to join the pact last month.。
The application to join DEPA is in line with China's direction of further deepening domestic reform and expanding high-level opening-up, and will help the country strengthen digital economy cooperation with other members and promote innovation and sustainable development under the new development paradigm, the ministry said. Enditem。