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Premier’s visit promotes innovative culture in Chengdu’s ancient street

Updated: Jan 3,2017 10:24 PM     english.gov.cn

Premier Li Keqiang visits Kuanzhai Ancient Street in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on April 25, 2016.

Kuanzhai Ancient Street, a traditional cultural hot spot located in downtown Chengdu, Sichuan province, is taking on a new look after Premier Li Keqiang’s visit in April 2016.

Premier Li visited the Jianshan Bookstore in the alley, and bought a book and two postcards, which have become the best-selling items in the bookstore.

Liao Yun, founder of the bookstore, praised the Premier for his care of local culture and encouragement for increasing innovation.

“I remember that Premier Li said the black-and-white postcard represents the past, while the colorful one represents the future. He also encouraged us to focus more on cultural innovation and creativity”.

Premier Li Keqiang visits Kuanzhai Ancient Street in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on April 25, 2016.

Over the past six months, her bookstores have launched “literature and art collection of Chengdu”, and a series of cultural products featuring famous local historic collections along with Chengdu Museum.

The courtyard, where the bookstore is located, is one of the 45 core yards in the Kuanzhai Ancient Street. The alley has become the “name card” of Chengdu, with more than 150 entered enterprises, including more than 30 cultural innovative ones. Every year, more than 3,000 jobs were created here, and the consumption reached 300 million yuan. Last year, the alley attracted 17 million tourists.

Not far from Jianshan Bookstore is a cafe named Lonely Ding’s Coffee, which also became well-known after Premier Li’s visit.

Ding Zhi, the owner of the coffee shop, originally came to Chengdu to join the rescue work during the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.

Later, he settled down here and opened the coffee shop. And according to Ding, he met the Premier three times, once in his shop in April last year and twice at the rescue scene during Lushan and Ludian earthquakes, in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

The owner recalled that during the third time they met, Premier Li suggested the coffee producers should introduce domestic brand coffee to the world, such as Yunnan Arabic coffee beans.

In this regard, Ding said his coffee shop will open a chain store in Japan, using Yunnan Arabic coffee beans by this March.

And he also introduced his public welfare project, opening libraries in rural areas, to the Premier. Premier Li has spoken highly of the project and asked him to keep building such libraries.

Premier Li Keqiang visits Kuanzhai Ancient Street in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on April 25, 2016.

Over half year, four such libraries have been built with the total number reaching 28, said Ding.

Ding added, after Premier Li’s visit, business in the coffee shop has skyrocketed with monthly revenue reaching 400,000 yuan, doubling previous years.

Premier’s visit to the alley shows his concern for the individual economy and the implementation of replacing business tax with value-added tax.

The Premier also further explained the specific policy to some private business owners and was informed the policy has relieved the tax burden for private business owners, especially in the food and drink industry.

“Our tax rate has now lowered from 5 percent to 3 percent, saving 30,000 yuan. And I am also inspired by Premier’s speech on combining culture and business industry needs, innovation and new ideas,” said Wang Hong, a restaurant owner who plans to integrate traditional culture elements into her daily business.

“The alley can be narrow but not the idea of benefiting the people”, said Premier Li, during his visit to the alley.

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