At a meeting held in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, on

n Tuesday afternoon, Xi called for efforts to make new advances in the development of the countr

y’s central region. Xi presided over the meeting, at which he was briefed by the Party secretaries of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, He

nan, Hubei and Hunan provinces, as well as He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Promoting the rise of the central region is an important strategic decis

ion made by the CPC Central Committee, Xi said, adding that it has great significance in ac

hieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi said that although China is still in an important period of strategic opp

ortunity for its development, the country faces an increasingly complicated international situation.

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Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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From January to March, government tax income inc

creased by 5.4 percent year-on-year, 11.9 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter 2018.

Individual income tax decreased by 29.7 percent, the largest drop among three major tax item

s. Value-added tax growth has already slowed to 10.7 percent, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Local government income from land sales fell 9.5 percent in the first three months, the Ministry of Finance said.

As the central bank has taken a pause in monetary easing, fiscal policy should remain pro

active to stabilize economic growth and ensure the recent rebound is not just a seasonal fluke, said economists.

Xu Xianchun, a former deputy director at the National Bureau of Statist

ics, said that fiscal policy should be implemented “with proper intensity and at the right time”, t

o prevent large fluctuations in the investment growth rate and negative impact on economic stability.

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People-to-people contacts, as a non-ignorable compon

ent of the Belt and Road Initiative, are boosted by China and Azerbaijan

via linking people of the two countries in cultural exchange, education, human

itarian dialogue and tourism cooperation. China and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding to stim

ulate tourism between the two countries. “Data from 2018 shows 15,000 Chinese tourists visited Azerbaijan last year, w

hich is not enough of course, and we aim to do more to attract more visitors in the coming years,” Hajiyev said.

He also highlighted education exchanges between the two countries, as China has sent students to study language in Azerba

ijan and viceAs Azerbaijan has a favorable political and geographic location, the country aims to become a tran

sport hub connecting Europe and Asia under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. “The point of the transp

ortation network is to integrate it with the original countries,” Hajiyev said, adding Azerbaijan has built a network of transp

ortation including seaports, airports, railways and land roads.-versa. “We are looking forward to increase the numb

er of (students) because we see they can play the role of a humanitarian bridge between our countries.”

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The two countries should walk in the same direction and

d further enhance border management to safeguard the safety and stability of the border region, Xi said.

China-Myanmar relations have developed well in all areas, Xi said, add

ing that the two countries have made new progress in jointly building the Belt and Road.

Cooperation between the two countries and the two armies has maintained sustainable and healthy dev

elopment, Xi said, adding that the visit is expected to bring new progress in their defense and military cooperation.

Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar and China have a long history of traditional friend

ship, and the two countries and two armies have maintained good development.

Myanmar is grateful for China’s support for the development of the country and the ar

my, he said, adding that Myanmar appreciates China’s support of its domestic peace process.

Myanmar welcomes and supports the building of the Belt and Road, and the country wo

uld like to take effective measures to maintain the stability of the border region, he added.

Min Aung Hlaing is making his fifth visit to China since becoming Myanmar’s commander-in-chief of defense services in 2011.

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being of the public, improve governance at the prim

 level and provide basic social services.Premier Li Keqiang met with the participants of the national conference on Tuesday.

He appealed to the civil affairs authorities to prioritize efforts to meet the basic needs of the people, extend assist

ance to those most in need and build an even more tightly woven safety net for the public’s livelihood.

It is also important for them to better meet the needs of the elderly, those with disabilities, the sick, and children living in difficult circ

umstances, he said, adding that basic social services should be better developed to help the public better address their problems.

The reform to streamline administration, enhance compliance oversight and improve governmen

t services should be deepened so that the public can more easily access administrative services, the premier said.

He also highlighted the importance of giving more play to the role of the private sector

so that services such as eldercare and nurseries can blossom to enrich the supply of social services and create more jobs.

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Take C919, a narrow-body twinjet airliner developed by

mmercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), for example. At the earliest, COMAC will get the airworth

iness certificate for C919 in 2021. Besides, just obtaining the certificate does not reduce even a bit of the difficulty in making and delivering the aircraft.

As the history of aircraft manufacturing shows, it is almost impossible for manufacturer

s to obtain airworthiness certificate and deliver aircraft to the purchasers on time. More often than not, aerospace companies ta

ke several years more than the promised time to deliver the aircraft. For instance, both Boeing 787 Drea

mliner and Airbus 380 were delivered years behind schedule. Which means delayed delivery is a norm in the aerospace industry.

In short, it would take decades for Chinese manufacturers to mass-produce airplanes irrespective of the rise and fall of other aircraft makers.

China has made great strides in industrialization during the 40 years of reform and opening

-up, but for that it learned from developed countries’ experiences and put its own experiences to good

use. The complete system of research, development, safety, production, supply chain and service that took Boein

g and Airbus decades to establish should be what Chinese aircraft manufacturers should strive for. With continuo

us efforts, C919 could earn its place in the civil aviation industry-perhaps 10, even 20, years later.

 

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Environment officers have also begun to process the pollut

ution in the Xinfeng River – the most polluted water body in the park after the explosion –

to prevent it from contaminating waters outside the park, according to the release.

The construction of the pipeline connecting the river and the Yulang chemical sewage treatment plant was completed on Thursday night, it said.

“The priority in the team’s work is to handle the wastewater resul

ting from the explosion and to closely monitor nearby rivers and other water bodies to ensure th

at not even a single drop of untreated water will be discharged into the external environment of the park,” the release said.

According to the work plan, all polluted water would be temporari

ly stored at the Yulang chemical sewage treatment plant before being processed to meet national standards.

In addition to 50 environmental experts, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment has also di

spatched more than 200 environment monitoring officers to the site, according to the ministry.

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spoke of the things that remain unchanged in the face

found changes in the international situation and bilateral relations.

He said the importance China attaches to its relations with France has not changed. China has always regar

ded France as a priority partner of cooperation, and the two peoples keep a special friendship, he added.

“This is a valuable asset that we must inherit and carry forward to keep China-France relations at the forefront of the times,” Xi said.

 went on to say that the common pursuit for peace, development, fairness and justice has not changed.

He said both China and France uphold the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and

principles of the UN Charter while practicing multilateralism and opposing protectionism and unilateralism in international affairs.

Both countries are committed to building an open world economy and working together to meet th

e common challenges facing humanity, Xi said, adding that China and France have cooperated su

ccessfully on many occasions in the field of climate change, playing a positive leading role in the world.

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effort in loss to Thailand sparks plenty of reaction from frustra

Winning the opening match of the China Cup proved to be a mission impossible for the ho

st national team, which fell 1-0 to Thailand on Thursday night in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

While spectators at the sold-out 60,000-seat Guangxi Sports Center loudly vented their anger a

s the home squad left the pitch, within minutes hundreds of millions of netizens expressed their dis

appointment online, making the loss one of the hottest topics trending on Chinese social media.

By Friday morning, related topics had been viewed more than 10

0 million times on Weibo, generating waves of criticism from fans and media.

“Team China was suppressed by the Thailand squad throughou

t the whole match,” said Han Qiaosheng, a well-known sports commentator and TV anchor.

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