Huawei has said that it is willing to sign a “no-spy” agreeme

nt with countries that commit to its equipment. And this may po

nt to a reasonable solution as it offers a way out for international partners in the West, which h

ave been caught in the middle of the US-waged campaign against Huawei, to cooperate with the Chinese company.

The security of 5G networks is a technical issue, and it should be addressed as such. Security prin

ciples should be based on verifiable facts and technical data rather than ideology or a vendor’s country of origin.

However, judging by its ill treatment of Huawei since last year, t

he US will continue with its persecution and has no intention of changing its ways.

The victimization of Huawei shows the world’s largest economy no longer wants to uphold the core values that govern free trade

and fair market competition. And it is willing to use its superpower status, so that, by hook or by crook, it can obstruct co

mpetitors that might challenge its competitive edge in science and technology.

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In the past several months, China has announced and

started to implement a “negative list” program that allows foreign co

mpanies to have 100 percent ownership in investments in all areas of the economy, excep

t for a small number of areas, such as telecoms and defense, that are explicitly prohibited.

Also, foreign investment has been simplified by creating a one-stop regulatory shop and a single application process.

These new policies will lead to greater competition within China, forcing C

hina’s companies to become more efficient and to produce higher quality products.

The Chinese government has also recently announced tax cuts and financial regulations desi

gned to help private companies. This will hasten the ongoing transition to a market-driven economy.

Most Chinese State-owned enterprises are not relevant to trade negotiations. Many are in non-tradable sectors such as p

roperty development, infrastructure, or concrete. Others are basically public utilities in telecoms or power.

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All of this has inspired confidence that the Chinese eco

Chinese economy can reach its indicative growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019.

Lower growth rate may mean more room for adjustment

Most Chinese economists seem quite comfortable with this targeted range. One explanati

on is that China’s potential growth rate is 6-6.5 percent, and a target should be set accordingly. Another is that a

lower growth rate would give the economy more room for structural adjustment.

From 1978 to 2008, China averaged an impressive 9.5 percent annual g

rowth rate. Then the global financial crisis struck, causing growth to plummet from 9.7 p

ercent in the third quarter of 2008 to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009. A 4-trillion-yuan ($640 billion) sti

mulus package, introduced in November 2008, soon brought about a powerful rebound, with GDP growth rea

ching 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010. But since then China’s economic growth has been declining, partly b

ecause the government withdrew its stimulus. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent.

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Using a variety of advanced technologies-augmente

 reality, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and human-computer interaction-scenes are create

d based on ancient Chinese classics, such as the Classic of Mountains and Seas, in which mythical an

imals appear in forests, lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, wind blows and rain pours.

Visitors can experience primeval nature in a part of the exhibition developed by the Beijing World Horticultural Expo Co

ordination Bureau and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Automation.

In addition, visitors can experience what it’s like to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Three driv

erless vehicles developed by Baidu-two with eight seats and one with four seats-offer rides in the park.

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Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first

 quarter, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

As favorable policies are implemented at all levels of government in the sec

ond quarter, manufacturers will start seeing concrete financial benefits and industrial out

put is expected to at least maintain a steady expansion from April to June, said Qin H

ailin, a senior industrial economy researcher at the China Center for Information Industry Development.

At the news conference, ministry officials also denied market rumors that China’s telecom carrie

rs are slowing down their investments in 5G, the fifth-generation mobile communication technology.

They said 5G is recognized as a fundamental digital infrastructu

re for societal and economic development, but it will take time to build a nationwide 5G netw

ork. China’s plan is to roll out the superfast technology step by step, the officials said.

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The meeting called for expanded investment in comp

ulsory education, basic medical care, housing, drinking water, eldercare and ch

ild care, in addition to addressing other pressing issues for some groups in society.

Social security mechanisms to help those most in need will be furthe

r refined, with subsistence allowance systems set to be optimized, the statement said.

The meeting also called for full implementation of requirements set in the Ce

ntral Economic Work Conference, the annual policymaking meeting held in December.

The meeting urged an even more proactive fiscal policy and full implementation of tax and fee cuts.

Monetary policy will be eased or tightened to the right degree, and

it will be adjusted in accordance with economic growth and real-time inflationary and pricing

scenarios, the statement said, adding that financial support for the real economy will be bolstered.

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Meanwhile, massive rescue operations are underway at

the explosion sites, the police said.Television footage showed ambulances r

ushing the injured to the Colombo National Hospital, the Batticaloa Hospital in

the east and the Negombo Hospital on the outskirts of the capital where the explosions took place.

There has been no claim of responsibility so far for the multiple blasts.

In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north o

f Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters.

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Fa

cebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddh

ist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 cen

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Much work remains in Sino-US trade negotiations

China and the United States have made new progress in negotiating the text of an econom

ic and trade deal, but much work remains to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Negotiating teams from the two countries are hashing out the text of the deal, including

an enforcement mechanism, on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Gao Feng, ministry spokesman.

The remarks came as the world’s two biggest economies have been i

ntensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the most recent round of trade consultations, the negotiators discussed technolo

gy transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, nontariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, tra

de imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, according to earlier reports.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a recent white paper that the US business commu

nity in China, long an advocate of good bilateral relations, can no longer be relied on to be a positive anchor.

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Paris fire sends alarm on relics protectionhedral in Pa

An inferno that destroyed the spire and a large portion of the wooden roof structure of the 12th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Pa

ris on Monday reinforced a cautionary message to Chinese authorities about the need to better protect vulnerable heritage sites.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration held a staff meeting on Tuesday night at wh

ich officials discussed the Paris fire and six major fires that have taken place at Chinese cultural heritage sites this year.

“The fire at Notre Dame in Paris rang the warning bell for us,” Song Xi

nchao, deputy director of the administration, said in an interview on Tuesday.

“The safety of cultural heritage sites is a red line that can never be crossed. It’s a global issue,” he said.

The six fires were in Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces, officials said.

On Jan 6, a hall at Yunyan Temple in Jiangyou, Sichuan province, burned down. On

Feb 2, a wooden family temple from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was destroyed by fire.

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mental protection, science and technology innovation,

end manufacturing, finance, sharing economy, medical care and elderly care indust

ries,” Osuga said, adding Japan and China will push forward cooperation in more areas this year.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the dialogue on Sunday that Ch

ina hopes the two sides can make steady headway in promoting bilateral investments and trade coope

ration, and actively explore third-party market cooperation as well as local cooperation.

Osuga said the Japanese government’s position on the Belt and Road Initiative remains unchan

ged, as it expects to conduct cooperation with China in a third market, promote trade and invest

ment liberalization and facilitation and uphold a business environment of fairness, justice and non-discrimination.

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