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In 2016, 328 marathon events were organized in 30 provinces and municipalities across China, up from 22 events in 2011, drawing over 28 million participants.

Official statistics showed that China’s fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew 8.9 percent year on year to 4.14 trillion yuan (US$600bn) in the first two months of 2017, up from 8.1 percent in 2016.

After 2014 when a massive crackdown on prostitution was launched in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, the once thriving underground sex industry in the city was rooted out, forcing many “entertainment” venues and hotels to close overnight.

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The series of political ‘black swans’ in 2016, including Britain’s planned withdrawal from the EU after a referendum and Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections, stem from a resurgence of populism.

Over the years, heavy industry, the relentless growth of dams and irrational land use have made the Yangtze River, China’s longest waterway with a length of over 6,000 kilometers, one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

From the end of 2016 to early 2017, many cities across China were hit by severe air pollution.