hina boosts measures to open economyivers the keyn

China will further open up to foreign investors and offer them treatment equal to that of domestic companies with firm prote

ction of their legitimate rights, Premier Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will fully adopt pre-entry national treatment and negative lists for overseas

investment, Li said at the opening ceremony of the forum’s annual conference in Hainan province.

By the end of June, China will release the amended negative lists for foreign investment ac

cess, he said. “The negative lists will only be shortened. … We will ensure fair competition and common deve

lopment for Chinese and foreign companies with fair supervision,” Li told more than 2,000 participants.

A negative list shows areas where investment is prohibited; all other areas are presumed to be open.

The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to supp

ort implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, adopted two weeks ago, Li s

aid, adding that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan 1.

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Much work’ awaits new Sino-US trade talksnited Stat

hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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Elwell defended the agency’s reliance on experts from ma

anufacturers and said the current system had produced an unprecedented safety record i

n the US. He said the FAA was “fully involved” in the certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8, including “133 of the 297 flight tests”.

Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned the FAA’s oversight of the Boeing 737 Max jet, argu

ing that reliance on the manufacturer put “the fox in charge of the henhouse”.

Blumenthal said Boeing rushed to get the 737 Max in the air to compete with Europe’s Airbus and disregarded critical safety features.

“There needs to be rigorous reform so the FAA is put back in charge of safety,” he said. “The

fact is that the FAA decided to do safety on the cheap, which is neither safe nor cheap,” he said.

Senator Jerry Moran asked what it would take for the FAA on its own to certify airc

raft. Elwell said: “Ten thousand additional FAA employees and $1.8 billion” per year.

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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

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But some were unmoved and the Northern Irish party cruc

rucial to getting the agreement through said it would reject the deal again.

Britain was supposed to leave the bloc on Friday but Brussels agreed last week to put back the

divorce date until April 12 to give it a chance to resolve a three-year crisis that has split the country down the middle.

However, it still remains uncertain how, when or even whether the United Kingdom, the wo

rld’s fifth-biggest economy, will leave the EU. The possibilities that it will leave with no deal to so

ften the shock to its economy, or delay the departure date to hold a general election, have increased as other options fade.

While May’s deal continued to stumble, an attempt by parliament to take control of the proc

ess by holding a series of indicative votes on other options produced no immediate way through the impasse.

None of the proposals, many of which involved closer alignmen

t with the EU than May envisages, won the support of a majority of lawmakers.

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This year marks the 55th anniversary of China-France

diplomatic ties. During their meetings, Xi agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to f

orge a more solid, stable and vibrant China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, and continue to explore the way for major countries to get al

ong with each other, which should feature independence, mutual understanding, foresight, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, Wang said.

In the joint statement issued by China and France on jointly safeguarding multilateralism and improving global governa

nce, the two sides pledged to build international relations of mutual respect, equality, justice, and win-win coop

eration on the basis of respecting international laws and the basic principles of international norms, Wang said.

Speaking of Xi’s visit to Monaco, Wang said leaders of the two cou

ntries have agreed to firmly stick to the correct direction of bilateral relations, adhere to open

ness and cooperation, and pursue more win-win results so as to jointly elevate the China-Monaco relations into a new era.

During Xi’s talks with Prince Albert II, head of state of the Prin

cipality of Monaco, the Chinese president said both sides should adhere to openness and cooperation a

nd pursue more win-win results, adding that China welcomes Monaco to actively participate in the joint development of the Belt and Road.

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According to the 2018 International Energy Agency re

port, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33 gigatonnes last year, the highest level since

2013. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for one-third of the total increase.

The fact that most of the increase in coal use comes from coal power plants in developing Asia points to the harsh reality that greenhouse gas emissions are the cost be

ing paid for development. That the majority of coal power plants in Asia are only 12 years old on average, decades short of the

average life span of around 50 years, shows how challenging it is to cut CO2 emissions and maintain economic growth.

That the developing countries obtain help from their developed co

unterparts in both funds and technologies is essential to the fight against global warming.

It is high time that countries appreciated the urgency of this comm

on challenge and how important it is for concerted efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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Ceremony held to mourn E China blast victims victims in Yanch

A memorial service was held on Wednesday for victims who died in a chemical plan

t explosion seven days prior in Xiangshui township, Yancheng city, East China’s Jiangsu province.

More than 200 officials, police officers, firefighters, bereaved families and volunteers attended the serv

ice at 7:30 am. The cars at the site honked their horns and attendees presented flowers to pay tribute to the victims.

To date, the deadly explosion of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co in Yancheng’s Xiangshui county has claimed 78 lives.

According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death marks the height of the mourning period.

subsidies continue gradual phase-out

China will whittle down subsidies on new energy vehicles as the industry develops and cost drops, aiming to boost high-quality development in the NEV sector.

The newest measure will lower subsidy standards for new energy passenger cars, buses and t

rucks, taking factors such as industry growth, cost reduction and subsidy phase-out policies into consideration, the

Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement Tuesday, adding the move was set to bring more competition in the industry.

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It has formulated a set of support plans, such as brand coop

eration, network traffic distribution, packaging and promotion. And it will provide exclusiv

e agent for every super partner on the platform to help the super partner make decisions and amplify the effect of their contents.

In April 2017, JD for the first time launched the shopping c

ircle function, which allows users to join online interest groups of beauty products, maternal and chi

ld products, fashion, photography and food, and share recommended products and their shopping experience.

In November 2018, the mini program for WeChat based on the shopping circle function was launched.

As new e-commerce players such as Xiaohongshu taste success from social shop

ping, online celebrity and fan economy, JD also noticed that besides the traditional “sea

rch for products” mode, for an e-commerce platform there are new opportunities in community building and user-generated content.

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Opponents of Brexit feel the political tide may be turnin

 in their favor. Hundreds of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday calling for a new referendum on whether to leave the EU or remain.

But with the deadline for a Brexit decision less than three weeks away, British poli

ticians remain divided, and increasingly despairing about the country’s political gridlock.

“Brexit is like the Death Star of politics,” Conservative legislator George Freeman said. “I always fea

red it would be like this. It’s destroying and soaking up all the prime minister’s room for maneuver and political goodwill.

“I’ve never known this country so divided, so angry and in such a dangerous state,” he said.

France is willing to support the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with the best way forward

being to work together on a project-by-project basis, former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told China Daily.

In an exclusive interview ahead of the state visit of President Xi Jinping to France

on Monday and Tuesday, Raffarin said it is in France’s national interest to be part of the BRI.

“We also want our companies to propose projects which are good for the BRI, but also go

od for our enterprises,” said Raffarin, who served as prime minister from 2002 to 2005.

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