Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong (C) has discussions with Turkey's Sinologists and teachers and students from the Confucius Institutes in Turkey Authentic Takkarist McKinley Jersey , during a tour of the Confucius Institute at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, April 19, 2017. (XinhuaHe Canling)
ISTANBUL, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong Wednesday urged Confucius Institutes in Turkey to facilitate people-to-people exchanges and serve as bridge linking diverse cultures and civilizations.

Liu made a tour of the Confucius Institute at Bogazici University in Istanbul and had discussions with Turkey's Sinologists and teachers and students from the Confucius Institutes in Turkey.

She said it will have a far-reaching and lasting effect to deepen cultural exchanges and advance people-to-people bonds, as envisioned under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The initiative, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, aims at developing cooperative partnerships with countries along and outside the routes of ancient Silk Road.

It also aims to build a community of shared interests, destiny and responsibility featuring mutual political trust, economic integration and cultural inclusiveness.

Liu urged to improve Chinese teaching and vocational training by adopting teaching methods more acceptable to local people and making the Confucius Institutes integrate more into Turkey for their sustainable development.

She called it a mission of Sinology research and Sinologists to relate to the world about China and advance mutual respect and understanding between various civilizations, thus contributing to the establishment of a cultural structure that will make the world more harmonious.

The Confucius Institute has been set up in more than 140 countries and regions in the world, with more than two million students of all kinds enrolled.

Ever thought of taking up diving? There are plenty of public swimming pools for kids to learn to swim and adults to keep in good health, but when it comes to diving the options are more limited. The Government has recently been criticised for a severe lack of diving facilities open to the public. This is particularly concerning in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012, which should be encouraging more people to participate in sport.

According to the Great Britain Diving Federation, in the 1970s there were up to 300 diving boards around the country available to the public. Now there are around 80. Another 90 in the country are not generally accessible. Many of these are in private schools, others in private clubs and some on military bases. We run the risk of making diving an elite sport rather than something anyone can have a go at.

A proper diving pool is usually square and deeper than a normal swimming pool. An Olympic diving pool is usually around 5 metres deep. Diving boards are set at different heights - the lowest just above the water and the highest at 10 metres. That's the height needed for Olympic training and the UK has only nine of these, two of which are not currently open for use. Crystal Palace is the only one in London with 7.5 metre and 10 metre diving boards, but it's closed for renovation. This means that keen divers have to travel huge distances to train, and that includes some of our Olympic hopefuls.

UK's current diving star, 13 year old Tom Daley has just been picked for the Beijing Olympics. He will be Britain's youngest male Olympian since 1960, competing at the age of 14 years and 94 days on 23 August 2008. In 2007 he won a silver medal in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival and was the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year. Luckily for him he lives in Plymouth, home to a 10 metre diving facility, but we could be missing other potential diving talent where no facilities exist.

To be an Olympic diver is not just a question of diving off a 10 metre board and dropping into the water. Diving is a discipline that takes a huge amount of skill, courage and training. Divers leap off platforms and springboards and during their fall they perform spins, flips and twists before hitting the water at up to 55 km per hour. Judges award points for how well they perform, multiplied by the technical difficulty of the dive.

The Amateur Swimming Association's (ASA) Chief Executive David Sparkes has added to the debate by highlighting the shortage of dry land facilities for divers. 50% of a diver's training is away from the pool in gyms and sports halls using trampolines, harnesses and crash mats to practice those twists and turns mid air. The ASA wants diving pools to have these facilities on site so that divers can be fully trained in one place.

So, with the European Diving Championships in Eindhoven in March and high hopes for our 13-strong Olympic diving squad in Beijing this summer it seems right to look to the future - to 2012 and beyond. Planning good provision of diving pools and dry land diving training facilities is a must if we are to produce more Tom Daleys and help them achieve their Olympic dreams. And for those of us with more modest ambitions, diving pools can provide a great place to develop a new, healthy, challenging skill.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work everyday and it will help you lose as much as 10 pounds a year. Taking the extra 5 minutes out of your day to take the stairs means you will not have to force yourself to exercise later when you will be easily distracted.

It may sound strange, but cleaning your house thoroughly once a week can help you achieve your weight loss goals. When you deep-clean your kitchen or bathroom, you burn a lot more calories than you think. A half-hour scrub session can burn up to 120 calories, and cleaning your house will take much longer than that. Your elbow grease can go a long way!

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