ational Cooperation, to be held in Beijing on Thursday through Saturday, S
ong said the ministry will help deepen economic and trade cooperation with other coun
tries. “China will build more free trade zones with countries that are willing to do so,” Song added.
“As for the existing free trade zones, we will reduce administrative barriers in trade
and investment and push the formation of a big Belt and Road marketplace.”
While some critics have argued that the initiative will lead countries i
nto debt traps, Song said debt can be solved through joint efforts to promote the devel
opment of BRI economies. “Even though some countries may have high debt levels, as their pace of indus
trialization, urbanization and modernization accelerates, their debts will gradually decrease.”
Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG, said, “If an initiative like the BRI unifies more than two-thirds of the global
population, it will create massive infrastructure and economic movement that will build its own rules.”
tment, and it could also leverage on more bank lending and attract private funds to increase investment, said Xu.
In the meantime, allowing retail access to local government bonds will help diversify the
investor base and increase market liquidity, said Amanda Du, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.
The analyst expected access for retail investors to widen to encompass all local government bonds in 2020.
hina’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first qua
rter, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
The growth was unchanged from that registered in the fourth quarter of last year.
The country’s industrial output posted steady growth in the same period, up by 6.5 percent
year-on-year, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, official data showed.
Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first quarte
r, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, according to the NBS.
Retail sales increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year in the same pe
riod, compared with 8.2 percent in the first two months, the data showed.
The city of Shanghai has become the first local government to answer the call of the central gove
rnment to promote automobile consumption by providing subsidies, since 10 mi
nistries and commissions of the country released six major methods of promoting car sales in January.
The official WeChat account of the Shanghai Municipal Government announced yesterday it will launch a car trade-i
n program, encouraging car owners to trade in their vehicles for new gas-powered cars complying with State-VI emi
ssions standards or new energy vehicles, according to a report by the 21st Century Business Herald.
The government will provide a subsidy of 10,000 yuan ($1,489) for a trade-in gas-powered
vehicle and 15,000 yuan for a trade-in new energy vehicle, the announcement said.
China’s automobile market saw a sales decline in 2018 for the first time
in 28 years, with passenger vehicle sales slumping for 10 consecutive months from last y
ear to March, according to the China Passenger Car Association. As the central government halved subsidies for new energy
vehicles this year, the promotion of car consumption depends more on local governments and enterprises.
After 40 years of high-speed growth, China’s economy ha
s entered a high-quality development phase. Starting today, China Daily will feature a series of reports to sh
ow the new landscape across the country. This is the first installment of the series.
Beijing’s municipal government has been making efforts to develop high-end industries suc
h as 5G, artificial intelligence and the industrial internet in order to build the city into the nation’s scientific and innova
tion center, which is a core strategy of the capital’s high-quality growth plan, a senior officials said recently.
Lin Keqing, executive vice-mayor of Beijing, said the city is aimin
g to make new information technology and medical health twin drivers of the municipality’s growth.
“Beijing will make better use of resources to develop the biomedical indus
try and extend its value chain,” Lin said. “We have unveiled an international medical-use ro
botics innovation center in Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, and a group of companies in the sector.”
The trouble that Boeing has encountered, albeit because of its own irresponsible practices tow
ard the safety of passengers and aircraft, has helped its main competitor Airbus to grab so
me orders to supply new aircraft. Airbus’ gain and Boeing’s loss in stock market since the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on March 10 re
flects a duopoly market’s sentiment, and demand and supply relations. Yet it would be too farfetched, as well as in
humane, to say Boeing’s loss would benefit China, which lost eight of its nationals in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Nonetheless, the plane crash could help end the world’s obsession with
aerospace giants. Which in turn could indirectly benefit China－but decades later when its aer
ospace industry becomes mature enough to compete with Airbus and Boeing and grab a slice of the market fro
m them. Also, China should learn a lesson from the 737 Max crash to focus more on passengers’ safety.
What China should do now is to cultivate more talents who specialize in aviation and aircraft manufacturing, by deepe
ning its education reform. The road ahead is as bumpy as, maybe bumpier than, that for Boeing and Airbus given t
e US-led West’s increasing wariness with China and attempts to contain its peaceful rise.
domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link
ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re
cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.
In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor
t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi
on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.
In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la
rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.
Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin
g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym
akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.
the compulsory hijab were defiant. “By creating fear and putting people in prison or forcing th
em to leave the country and live in exile, or threatening them, they cannot stop the compulsory hijab
protest in Iran,” New York-based Iranian activist Masih Alinejad, who has previously been represented by Sotoudeh, told CNN.
In January, Sotoudeh’s husband, who is also a human rights lawyer, was convicted of security-related charges and sent
nced to six years in jail. He has appealed while waiting to serve his prison sentence.The inventor of the world
wide web has called for global efforts to tackle state-sponsored hacking, criminal behavior and abusive language on t
he internet, in an open letter marking the 30th anniversary of the revolutionary technology.
Tim Berners-Lee acknowledged that “many people feel afraid and unsure if the we
b is really a force for good,” in a letter published for his World Wide Web Foundation on Monday.
”While the web has created opportunity, given marginalize
d groups a voice, and made our daily lives easier, it has also created opportunity for scam
mers, given a voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit,” the letter added.