In order to help you better understand China, from now on, we are happy to occasionally share some articles with you:

The first day of the first lunar month is Spring Festival, the beginning of a new year for China. Spring Festival is China's biggest extravaganza and a day for family reunion. Being around family members at the turn of the year is a vital ritual for the Chinese people. You can read the rest of the article HERE .

1. One hundred years ago, a steamship left Shanghai carrying the first group of eager Chinese students headed to work and study in France. The program, which left lasting impressions on participants including future Chinese leaders such as Deng Xiaoping, continued a rich tradition of exchange between China and Europe that goes back to Silk Road ties between the Han Dynasty and ancient Rome:

Steeped in history, China and Europe look to the future

2. During my early days in Beijing, I would ask friends to "meet me at Wangfujing". It was one location widely known by locals and visitors alike. More specifically I would suggest "outside the bookstore" or sometimes "the French-style coffee shop" in a recently opened mall:

'Meet me at Wangfujing': Tales from a Beijing neighborhood

3. BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- A promotional event for north China's Tianjin municipality was hosted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Tuesday. As the 18th presentation of the MFA's Chinese provinces initiative, the event in Tianjin was themed "China in the New Era: a Dynamic Tianjin Going Global."

MFA hosts Tianjin promotional event

4. The Belt and Road Initiative has brought new and important opportunities for Tianjin to stand at the forefront of reform and opening up, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday."Tianjin is a place where land and maritime Silk Road meet, as well as an important city along the New Eurasian Land Bridge Economic Corridor," Wang said.

Tianjin is at the forefront of reform, opening up: FM

5. Tianjin Binhai New Area has become a major hub to absorb the non-capital functions of Beijing and promote the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.Official statistics show that an increasing number of Beijing-based companies have launched operations in Binhai New Area since 2015. A total of 1,699 projects in the area have been initiated by companies from Beijing over the past four years, amounting to an overall agreed investment of 392.06 billion yuan ($58.35 billion). Companies such as China Communications Construction Company have launched production centers in the area.

Favorable environment attracts companies, talent

Thanks to the Chinese Consulate General in Calgary for the articles.

A note from Sheila Foster:

This brought back a funny memory of one of the first times Ted and I went to Beijing. We used to stay at the Taiwan hotel just around the corner from Wangfujing, which is now a business hotel and not frequented by tourists. We asked the concierge where was a good place for seafood and she directed us to Wangfujing at the end of our road, then just north. We duly sat down at a table in the restaurant. The whole back wall was glass fish tanks full of fish big and small and other sea creatures. There must have been a menu with photos because we had picked out a fish dish and ordered.

As we sat waiting, a guy came by our table with a white plastic grocery bag. I was appalled that people were allowed into the restaurant to try to sell you something, and said to Ted, “Ignore him, don’t look....” He sort of shrugged and off he went. As we still sat, I noticed that, after the people at the next table had ordered, a young man came up with a tray of live shrimp crawling about and with another white plastic bag, out of which a big fish promptly jumped and was put back in the bag! The diners nodded to him and off he went.

Oh, the embarrassment of not knowing the local customs. The diners were being reassured at the freshness of their meal by being introduced to them live before they were cooked!

I will never forget that gaffe.