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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Besides, the blasts in Sri Lanka indicate terrorists coul

ld also target areas that until now were considered terror-free, especially Asian tourist destinations such as the Maldives and Thaila

nd, because they attract a large number of Western people, as well as investments and interests. To prevent such

terrorist attacks, all countries have to make joint efforts to not only strengthen their security but also impr

ove their coordination so they can more effectively combat the common threat of terrorism.

Even though there is no evidence to show social media played a role in the attacks in Sri Lanka, all countries should strengt

hen supervision of the internet because it is being increasingly used to spread terrorism and plan terrorist atta

cks. The IS group’s online tyranny could be more dangerous compared with its actual presence in a country as a ban

ned organization, because its online propaganda could prove more effective in leading people astray.

Therefore, governments — with the active help of internet companies — have no choic

e but to play a bigger role in containing the spread of terrorism online.

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Unlike the second version, the latest one included rule

on the new science and technology innovation board, which will pilot the registration-based IPO system, according to Xinhua.

To accommodate the progress of reforms and development of the capital market, other modifications have also been made, cov

ering public issuance of securities, securities trading, and the protection of investors’ rights and interests, Xinhua said.

Dong expects the latest version to legitimize registration-based IPO systems not only

on the new board, but also across China’s whole A-share market. “Once the system achieves success on the n

ew board, it should be adopted on other submarkets as soon as possible,” Dong said.

President Xi Jinping announced in November that China will launch the S&T innovation board and pilot the registr

ation-based IPO system. Analysts expect the new board to begin trading around the middle of this year.

“The latest draft is expected to make comprehensive revisions, and it could go a long way

toward restoring public investors’ confidence and modernizing the regulation and governance of the ca

pital market,” said Liu Junhai, director of the Business Law Center at Renmin University of China.

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China releases report on progress, contributions and pro

China on Monday published a report elaborating on the progress, contributions and prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The document, prepared by the office of the leading group for promoting the BRI, was released ahead

of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an initiative for peaceful

development and economic cooperation, rather than a geopolitical or military alliance, said the rep

ort. “It is a process of open, inclusive and common development, not an exclusionary bloc or a ‘China club’.”

“It neither differentiates between countries by ideology nor plays the zero-sum

game. Countries are welcome to join the initiative if they so will,” according to the report.

The BRI has turned ideas into actions and vision into reality, and i

tself into a public product widely welcomed by the international community, the report said.

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ina moor at a port in Zhanjiang during the ASEAN-China Ma

China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and latest nuclear submarines, destroyers and fighter jets will join the parade, Qiu said.

“Some vessels will make their debut for the first time,” Qiu added.

Altogether 32 Chinese vessels and 39 warplanes will take part in the event, according to Qiu.

The vessels will sail in six groups, namely, those of submar

ines, destroyers, frigates, landing ships, auxiliary ships, and aircraft carrier.

The planes will fly in 10 echelons, showcasing aircraft for early warning, reconnaissance, anti-submarine patrol, as wel

l as bombers, fighters, carrier-based fighters, and carrier-based helicopters, Qiu said.

More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval even

ts marking the anniversary, and over 30 countries of them will send major navy leaders to participate, according to Qiu.

Nearly 20 foreign vessels of various capabilities, including destro

yers, frigates and landing ships, will join Chinese vessels in the naval parade, show

ing to the world the “firm determination to safeguard peace and seek development with joint efforts,” Qiu said.

Organizing multinational naval parades is a unique ceremonial activity of navies, according to Qiu.

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China has always maintained that its trade disputes wi

th other WTO members should be properly handled according to the WTO dispute settlement proc

edures. It not only takes the initiative to file claims in order to safeguard its legal interests and the authority

of the WTO rules, but also actively responds to charges, and respects and enforces WTO rulings.

The WTO’s ruling on this dispute over shows that the orga

nization has an important role to play in safeguarding the multil

ateral trading system. It’s not simply a matter of one side tallying up a victory against the other.

The multilateral trading system, with the WTO as its core, has been a mainstay in promoting glo

bal economic development and building an open world economy. The WTO dispute settlement system is the org

anization’s court for settling trade disputes. It maintains a balance between the WTO members’ rights and oblig

ations, and also ensures the effective implementation of WTO principles and rules.

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Wheat growing on a farm in Huai’an, Jiangsu province

A threat to the viability of the current WTO dispute settlement system is the unilateralism and

protectionism of the United States. Specifically, this mechanism is in crisis because the Unit

ed States has prevented the appointment of new judges to the appellate body. Experts have warned that if th

e appellate body were to shut down because of a lack of judges, global trade governance will be put back 20 years.

Of course the WTO also needs to continually reforming itself so that it can keep up w

ith the times, and many countries have put forward relevant suggestions. For instance, the European Uni

on has released a paper putting forth ideas for a comprehensive modernization of the WTO, and the United States, Eur

ope, and Japan have together submitted a their own proposed reforms. And in November last year, China ann

ounced that it supported necessary reforms of the WTO and raised five proposals that aim to firmly uphold the rules-ba

sed multilateral trading system, resist protectionism, and let the WTO play a bigger role in world trade.

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It’s regrettable that the US treats academics like me in

such an unfriendly and offensive manner,” Wang said, adding t

hat Washington’s decision shows that the country has become an “oversensitive and

paranoid one which has a lack of confidence in dealing with diplomatic relations”.

A number of Chinese social scientists have had similar experiences when their US visas were revoked.

Zhu Feng, executive director of the China Center for Collaborat

ive Studies of the South China Sea at Nanjing University, told the Global Times news

paper in Beijing that his 10-year US visa was crossed out by FBI agents, canceling it, whe

n he was about to board a flight back to Beijing at Los Angeles International Airport in March 2018.

Zhu said the FBI first threatened to revoke his visa if he did not cooperate with their inquiry.

“‘Go back to China’,”Zhu recalled an agent telling him during that visit. “You will receive a notification.”

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growth of PM.5 tiny particulate matter concentration tha

that could at least double the readings,” Zhang said. He added that this could help explain the o

ccurrence of heavy PM2.5 pollution that lasts for an extended period of time in certain regions.

Zhang said the interaction of air pollution and meteorologic

al conditions could be triggered when PM2.5 density reaches 100 micrograms per cubic meter in ma

ny of the monitoring points of a region. In such situations, more solar radiation wil

l be reflected back into the space, resulting in temperature inversion and further stabilizing the ground atm

osphere. And the height of the mixing layer could decrease to only one-third of that w

hen pollution processes begin, exacerbating particulate concentration levels even further.

The center’s research also showed that global warming is increas

ing the number of days with a stable surface atmosphere in n

orthern China, especially in the cluster, making smog more likely to develop.

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A large number of Chinese cultural heritage sites are b

eing restored as well. We have no room for even the slightest error,” Song said.

Liu Qingzhu, a cultural heritage expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “In anci

ent times, thunderstorms were the biggest threats for wooden architecture. They became much safer after l

ighting rods were widely installed. However, the use of electricity in restorations has created a new problem.”

Unlike the stone structures of much ancient architecture in the W

est, wood was the primary building material in ancient China. “If a fire similar to the one at Notre

Dame in Paris happened at a Chinese building, the whole building would probably burn down,” Liu said.

Hours after the fire in Paris, the Palace Museum in

Beijing, China’s former imperial palace from 1420 to 1911 and also known as the Forbidden City, held an eme

rgency meeting to go over its fire-prevention efforts. It is the world’s biggest architectural complex made of wood.

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