Huang contributed items from

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KIEV Sterling Shepard Giants Jersey , Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank on Tuesday downgraded its expectations for Ukraine's gross domestic product (GDP) performance this year, saying the Ukrainian economy remains in uncertain conditions.


In its newly released Global Economic Prospects report, the bank projected that Ukraine's GDP would contract 2.3 percent in 2015, worse than its October forecast of a 1 percent decline.


The bank attributed the downward revision mainly to the uncertainty over the conflict in the country's eastern regions, which has harmed its industrial production and disrupted economic activities.


"Ukraine's economy is facing high levels of uncertainty. In the baseline scenario, which assumes no further escalation, we expect a slowdown in 2015 and the recovery in the 2016 and 2017 years," the report said.


The situation in eastern Ukraine is making revenue collection difficult, adding pressure to the country's balance of payments, it added.


Besides, the report said, Kiev is expected to experience a rough year in 2015 due to its heavy external debt and high budget deficit.


The bank also said the weak economic performance in 2015 would be followed by positive growth of 3.5 percent next year and 3.8 percent in 2017.


According to a budget bill approved by the Ukrainian parliament on Dec. 29, the country's GDP would contract by 4.3 percent to 109 billion dollars in 2015.

Artist Huang Liaoyuan A visitor watches the items on display at Serve the Rock show in Beijing.

The retrospective seeks to tell the story of the rise of indie bands in China. Chen Nan reports.


Serve the Rock, billed as the first major exhibition to review the history of rock music across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, opened on Oct 25 at Asian Art Works gallery in Beijing's 798 Art Zone.


The exhibition, curated by Huang Liaoyuan from Beijing, Chang Yiping from Taiwan and Flora Kwong Man-wai from Hong Kong, looks at the rock scene in the regions over the past three decades.


The show includes personal items and collections, that have never before been publicly displayed, says Liang Long, the lead vocalist and songwriter of indie rock band Second Hand Rose, who initiated the idea of holding such a rock retrospective earlier this year.


Among the items on display are a guitar used by Cui Jian, known as the "godfather" of Chinese rock music, and his concert posters from the early 1990s; Second Hand Rose's stage costumes from its 2013 Beijing concert; and videos and photos from the first Hohaiyan Rock Festival in 2000 and the 1994 Chinese Rock Power concert held at the Hong Kong Arena. The 1994 concert stunned Hong Kong audiences and created a momentum for the wave of rock that then washed over the mainland.


"To have progress, we should look at the past and learn from it first," says Liang, 36, who recently returned from his band's first US tour.


He says that unlike today's young music lovers, who have wide access to information via the Internet, most rock musicians on the Chinese mainland during the 1980s and '90s were introduced to rock music via cassette tapes and CDs smuggled in from the West.


"I hope that the exhibition will help remind today's young audiences of what the established rockers achieved and how much they went through while pursuing their rock dreams," Liang says.


When he had the idea for such a show, Liang first approached Huang, who has managed Second Hand Rose since 2001 and is also a veteran music critic and contemporary artist.


Huang contributed items from his personal collection amassed over 30 years, such as handwritten letters seeking permission from the government to hold live concerts, and a red flag with all the participants' signatures from the first Helanshan Mountain Rock Music Festival.


Huang started the festival in 2004 in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. It was the first outdoor music festival on the Chinese mainland that both made a profit and attracted more than 200,000 audience members for the three-day event.


"From a music festival ticket to a staff card, I kept all the items as a mementoes that witnessed rock music's development in the country," says Huang, 49, who now works as a consultant for Modernsky Records, the largest indie label on the mainland, which publishes Second Hand Rose.


"Without much information, the old generation of Chinese rock musicians accomplished their own styles with their pure passion for rock 'n' roll," Huang adds. "They used rock music, a Western music genre, to tell Chinese stories, which deserves respect from the young generation."


As fellow curators, Huang invited Chang from Taiwan and Kwong from Hong Kong, two important figures who have witnessed and participated in the development of rock music in those regions.


Kwong, who launched the Hong Kong-based record label Wow Music in 2007, contributed the songwriting manuscript of Hong Kong rock band Beyond, and a pair of drumsticks used by legendary drummer, Donald James Ashley, who passed away on Oct 19, at the age of 58.


Chang, 46, who is better known as Chang43, founded Taiwan's indie music label, Taiwan Colors Music, in 1998. He also started the annual Taiwan rock music festival, the Hohaiyan Rock Festival, in 2000, which has become one of Taiwan's biggest celebrations of indie music and offered a platform to local indie bands to display their talents, including the bands Mayday and Sodagreen.


Of the items on display, Chang considers an entry permit for Cui to visit Taiwan in 2007 as the most important one. That year Chang had invited Cui to perform at the Hohaiyan festival.


"I have been watching the Chinese mainland's rock scene since the early 1990s and it had been a longtime wish to bring my idol, Cui Jian, to the festival," he says.


That wish was not fulfilled until 2007. "When I received his entry permit, I almost cried, so . Cheap New NBA Jerseys   Wholesale Shirts   Cheap Shirts   Cheap Hoddies   Cheap NCAA Jerseys Wholesale   Cheap Soccer Jerseys China   Cheap NHL Hoddies   Cheap NFL Hats   Cheap Baseball Shirts   Cheap Hats China