Not only are there missing links on the causality chai

 between long-term structural factors and actual economic performance, it is also unclear how long those factors would take to constrain GDP growth to a part

cular level. In fact, 20 years ago, the same long-term factors were used to warn of a possible fall in Chinese GDP growth.

Because of the complexity of China’s growth trajectory, many economists seem to base their assessments of potenti

al on performance. After every drop in China’s GDP growth since the second quarter of 2012-when growth fell be

low 8 percent-economists have emerged to declare that performance was in line with potential.

Difficult to determine potential growth rate

To be sure, there are various estimates of China’s potential growth rate, ranging from 5 perc

ent to 8 percent. But it is difficult to determine which is reliable. For one thing, there is reason to believe that

most estimates fail to discount cyclical factors adequately when calculating the long-term trend.

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Apart from proposing to build a community of shared

future for mankind in his speech at the headquarters of the United Nation

s in September 2015, and in his report for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Part

y of China in October 2017, Xi has pledged on different occasions to build a peaceful, safe, prosperous, open, incl

usive, clean and beautiful world to let the sunshine of a community of shared future for mankind illuminate the world.

The world, which is going through a phase of adjustment that features huge development and fundamental changes, faces

great and unfamiliar turbulent situations — the overall trends of peace and development are irreversible, while ins

tability and uncertainty are prominent. Some problems and challenges are unprecedented, and the interna

tional community faces crucial choices concerning the future of the world and the fate of humanity.

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lopment and prosperity, we need to promoEquality

te exchanges among civilizations and dialogues based on harmony in

diversity and inclusiveness. We need to undertake the cultural responsibility of int

ernational communicators, and let exchanges of culture and among civilizations, as well as mutual learning, con

stantly serve as bridges for people’s friendship, the impetus of international cooperation and bond of world peace.

Second, we should become builders of world peace and development. The wheel of humanities’ development is uns

toppable. Peace, reconciliation and harmony are historical trends. Equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation are hi

storical necessities. Yet, as international conventions are attacked and multilateral mechanisms are cha

llenged, the anti-globalization tendency rises, and unilateralism and trade protectionis

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China welcomes financial institutions around the worl

 to participate in financing Belt and Road projects, Xi said, adding that multiple participants will bring common benefits.

Xi announced that China will support 5,000 people from innovative sectors in Belt and Road

countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research in the next five years.

Xi called for joint efforts to facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectio

nism, saying that the flow of products, funds, technology and people can propel forces for economic growth.

According to Xi, more than 150 countries and internat

ional organizations have signed cooperation documents to jointly build the Belt and Road.

The BRI has opened new space for global economic growth and

built a new platform for international trade and investment, Xi said.

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The book includes 42 articles drawn from speeches an

 public remarks made by Xi from September 2013 to July 2018.

Since Xi proposed the BRI in 2013, he has spoken about the initiative on many occasions.

The discourses have provided guidance for the country to develop international cooperation, i

mprove global economic governance and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Russia – There is no alternative to the peaceful solution of nuclear and

other issues on the Korean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, follow

ing a meeting with top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un.

Russia, for its part, is ready to continue cooperation to reduce tensions on the peninsu

a, and to strengthen security in Northeast Asia as a whole, said Putin at a reception in honor of Kim.

Putin said he was convinced that with active participation of the international community and all inte

rested states, the goal of ensuring lasting peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula can be achieved.

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Govt plans slew of policies to boost consumption

A slew of new policies aimed at encouraging consumption

in key sectors will be unveiled soon, China Securities Journal reported.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.3 pe

rcent year-on-year to 9.78 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in the January-M

arch period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In March alone, retail sales went up 8.7 pe

rcent to 3.17 trillion yuan, quickening from the 8.2-percent rise seen in the first two months.

In recent years, the government has, on the one hand, frequently intro

duced policies to promote opening-up, increase import and improve consumer welfare. On

the other hand, it has reduced and scrapped import tariffs on some consumer goo

ds. This has played an active role in consumption, Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Comm

unication said, adding that consumption still is the key driver for economic growth.

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China’s trade with the US amounted to 815.86 billi

on yuan ($121.7 billion) between January and March, a decrease of 1

1 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

In March, Sino-US trade climbed 0.1 percent to 291.35 billion yuan, the administration said.

Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the customs authority, said trade tensions between the two cou

ntries have had certain impacts on companies’ operations, but the impact is “generally controllable”.

Li said economic and trade cooperation remains the ballast of Sino-US re

lations, and he is hopeful that China and the US will achieve mutually beneficial results.

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in 2019, and the country

has the confidence to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the nation’s top economic regulator.

Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission, said the

first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for annual growth.

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At least 2 killed in aircraft collision in Nepal’s Lukla airport

At least two people were killed after an aircraft of Summit Air collided with a helico

pter at Lukla Airport in Nepal on Sunday morning, according to local authorities.

Locals said a Summit Air plane with call sign 9N-AMH collided with a helicopter of Manang Air, which was parked within the airport premise.

“At least two persons have been dead, while few others are injured,” local media rep

orted. It has been reported that the Summir Air plane was en route to Kathmandu from Lukla.

The detail of casualties has yet to be ascertained.

Lukla airport is the nearest airport to the world’s highest peak Mou

nt Qomolangma, while April-May is the peak climbing season in the Himalayan country.

In the springtime, domestic airline companies conduct over 50 flights everyday to Lu

kla, known as Tenzing Hillary airport, featuring vibrant terrains and harsh weather patterns.

Due to the extreme wind pressure, all round-trip flights are usually operated in the morning

www.asrunde.cn

When he took up residence inside the Ecuadorian Em

mbassy in 2012, it was to avoid answering the sexual allegations against him in Sweden, which had sought his extraditi

on for questioning. He also sought refuge because of fears he would ultimately be extradited to the US

Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into Assange af

ter two women accused him of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

Some of the sexual misconduct accusations are no longer viable because their time ran out. But Swedish prosecutors

have said a rape case could be reactivated before the statute of limitations ends in August 2020.

After Assange’s arrest, Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson was tapped to look

into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers to find out whether the case can be pursued.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported bei

ng raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she w

ould “do everything” to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted.

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Thanks to the extension of the subsidiary policy of new e

energy vehicles (NEV), sales of NEVs reached 111,000 in March, up 100.9 percent year-o

n-year, with NEV wholesales accounting for 254,000 units in the first quarter.

CPCA predicts a 40 percent increase in NEV sales to 1.7 million

units in 2019, based on these first quarter figures.

As China began to cut manufacturing sector VAT from 16 to 13 percent on April 1, som

e imported and high-end vehicle brands lowered prices to boost sales nationwide.

As the industrial chain of domestic-made goods are comparatively longer than that of imports howe

ver, most domestic manufacturers have not lowered prices for goods, including automobiles.

“Consumers should not expect too much on price cuts of automo

biles, but choose vehicles based on demand and affordability,” CPCA said.

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