nitiative is a challenge, but achievable,” she said, adding that at the heart of this challenge lies great potenti

al for innovation and creativity, such as new disaster risk prediction and analysis, and disaster-resilient infrastructures.

Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said dis

aster risk reduction of natural hazards along the initiative is crucial for its success and sustainability.

Regions at the heart of the initiative, such as the Tianshan-Pamir Platea

u, the Himalayas, eastern parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and South Asia, are facing serio

us disaster threats due to tectonic movements, fragile ecosystems and extreme weather, he said.

Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert from the UN Environm

ent Program, said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.

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, and supported by diverse interest groups will prevent conflicts among stakeholders in the South China Sea,” Santarita said.

China is in the midst of implementing a host of reforms, which are focused on opening up its economy to foreign compet

ition and strengthening its private sector. They are needed to upgrade its industries and avoid the dreaded middle-income trap.

Many of these reforms are exactly what the United States is asking for in the trade negotiation

s, but China is actually pursuing these reforms primarily to achieve its own long-term internal economic goals.

He said Asia’s emphasis on “respect for authority, respect for the environm

ent and the discipline to control the use of resources” will also see Asian leaders purs

uing a more eco-friendly development path and honor their commitments to the Paris climate agreement.

“If there is harmony, discipline, stability and the primacy of family and com

munity over the individual, then any problem can be easily addressed,” Santarita said.

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There is no winner in a trade war, and China hopes to solve the issue through dialogue rather than unilateral mea

sures, said Gao Feng, Commerce Ministry spokesperson at a news conference on Thursday.

The two countries should meet each other halfway and resolve problems through cooperation and discussion, Gao said.

Qin Guangrong, former Party chief of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, is being investigated for suspe

cted serious violations of Party disciplinary rules and laws, according to the country’s top anti-graft body Thursday.

Qin is being investigated by the Communist Party of China Central Com

mission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission.

He voluntarily surrendered.The peaceful resolution of Sino-US tra

de tensions is the expectation of the whole world, the spokesman added.

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After a disappointing performance in 2018, China’s economy appears to be stabiliz

ing. In the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth, at 6.4 percent year-on-year, matched that of the previous quarter. But grow

th in industrial production exceeded expectations, expanding by 6.5 percent year-on-year (and by 8.5 percent in Mar

ch). Even exports growth was positive, albeit weak, despite the ongoing trade frictions with the United States.

Moreover, fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew by 6.3 percent-0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous quar

ter. Investment in real estate grew the fastest (11.8 percent), followed by manufacturing (4.6 percent) and in

frastructure (4.4 percent). The growth of investment both in real estate and infrastru

cture was stronger not only sequentially, but also year-on-year. As usual, consumption growth was stable.

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 question whether the US is really trying to improve the DPRK-US relationship and it is wondering whe

ther its previous steps to promote engagement with Washington were the right thing to do.

In what was the most comprehensive review of Pyongyang’s recent i

nteraction with Washington, the DPRK leader put the ball decisively back in Was

hington’s court after the US president floated the idea of a third summit on Thursday.

Washington maintains unabated zeal for a deal of some sort, because ot

herwise the engagement with Pyongyang since last year

would be regarded as failure. So, more likely than not, it will try to find a way to keep the possibility of a summit alive.

But the “correct manner” Pyongyang demands is Washington forsaking its “max

imum pressure” and demonstrating sufficient goodwill by relieving, or completely rollin

g back, sanctions, putting an end to the state of war, or, even better, offering economic incentives.

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China and the European Union have committed to achieving major progress this year in negotiations for a high-level bilateral in

vestment agreement with a view to concluding the ambitious accord next year, according to a joint statement.

The two sides pledged to widen market access, eliminate discriminatory requireme

nts for foreign investors and establish a balanced investment protection framework, according to a joint statem

ent issued after the China-EU leaders’ meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday.

Premier Li Keqiang, European Council President Donald Tusk and Eur

opean Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker co-chaired the annual meeting and reach

ed consensus on a wide range of issues, including bilateral ties, global challenges and governance.

They committed to building an economic relationship based on openness, nondiscrim

ination and fair competition, ensuring a level playing field, transparency and mutual benefit, the statement added.

Two-way trade between the EU and China reached more than $682 billion last year. The E

U is China’s biggest trading partner, and China is the EU’s second-largest trading partner.

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sident Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday at the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital.

The leaders of the two sides will exchange views on China-EU relations and major international

and regional issues of common concern. A number of agreements are to be signed after that.

This is Li’s fifth time attending the China-EU leaders’ meeting as prem

ier, and his sixth visit to a Central and Eastern European nation to attend the China-CEEC

meeting, with the previous five being in Romania, Serbia, Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Chao, who oversees China’s relations with EU

nations, said at a briefing last week that the EU is a highly integrated regional bloc an

d a vital strategic force in the international community. China and the EU share broad com

mon interests in pragmatic cooperation and have a common stance regarding multilateralism and free trade, he said.

The EU has been China’s biggest trading partner for 15 consecutive years and Chin

a is the regional bloc’s second-largest trading partner after the United States, with bilater

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 Lagos–Kano standard gauge project, the first standard gauge railway in Nigeria and West A

frica, was officially inaugurated and started commercial operation on July 26, 2016.

The railway, constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is the first overseas railway fully adopting the Chinese r

ailway standard. Spanning 186.5 kilometers, it alleviates traffic tension, improves the investment envir

onment and promotes the coordinated development of regional economy and society.

By Jan 11, the train service had delivered 1.23 million passengers and had safely operated for 900 days without any major accident recorded since its inception.

The China-funded Colombo Port City, the largest project between C

hina and Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative, completed land reclamation of 269 hectares in January.

In addition, hydro-structure construction will be completed by the middle

of this year. The port city’s municipal facilities construction is expected to be completed in J

uly 2020. At the same time, investment promotion of the city is also being carried out.

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whose annual net income was less than 200 yuan ($30) were defined as living below the p

overty line in China in 1985. The line was raised to less than 2,300 yuan by 2011.

Second, how are policies designed to help the poorest people? Chinese policies aim to give the poor a roof over their heads, guarantee

food, clothing and basic medical services, and provide their children with nine years of compulsory education.

Funds and resources have been made available for agricultural subsidies and cheap loans to rural far

mers. Funds also went into rural revitalization, to integrate regional development and build infrast

ructure connecting villages to markets so that farmers could sell their products more easily. Villagers have been enco

uraged to be innovative, with incentives and loans for them to become self-employed and to set up micro-businesses.

Moreover, teams of officials have been traveling to faraway and isolated rural areas to help individual

s and families with individualized plans that target specific problems, such as whether there is ill

ness or disability in the household. In other words, China has not taken a “one-size-fits-all” approach for the tough cases.

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 students, even back in my day, is to be wary of the perils of data mining. And the middle-income tra

p is a classic example of the pitfalls of endless number crunching. Give me a database and a po

werful computer, and I can “validate” almost any economic relationship masquerading as an analytical co

njecture. There are five key reasons to dismiss the widespread diagnosis that China is ensnared in the middle-income trap.

First, a middle-income trap may not even exist. That is the conclusion of a rigorous empirical stud

y by Lant Pritchett and Lawrence Summers that covers a broad cross section of 125 economies from 1950 to 20

10. The best they could come up with is a strong tendency for growth discontinuities and mean reversion. At the recent China Development Forum in Be

ijing, Summers went further in assessing likely outcomes in rapidly growing developing economies, dubbing any

mean-reverting slowdown as merely a tendency to close a “post-miracle gap”. Needless to say, the statistical regularity of s

uch periodic growth gaps is very different from the permanent quagmire of a growth trap.

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