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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China is an important stakeholder in Arctic affairs,” Wang

“The country has always adhered to international treaties, such as the Charter of the United Nations, the United Natio

ns Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Spitsbergen Treaty, as well as other international laws and upheld the p

rinciple of respect, cooperation and common winning and sustainability when actively participating in Arctic affa

irs and contributing Chinese wisdom and power in the sustainable development of the Arctic region,” he said.

The annual Arctic Circle Forum, established in 2013 and initi

ated by Iceland’s then-president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, is a platform to help the inter

national community care for, understand and protect the Arctic and discuss Arctic governance.

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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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China’s pledges included shortening its negative lis

 for foreign investments, opening up more sectors to foreign busines

ses, guaranteeing fair competition and planning new free-trade zones and ports.

Sourabh Gupta, resident senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for China-American Studies, specifically praise

d the new Foreign Investment Law-passed in March by China’s national legislature and effective in 2020-which he s

aid is “a farsighted piece of legislation” that “will firmly usher in a new round of reform and opening-up”.

“Strong measures to deal with political, regulatory and administr

ative noncompliance are envisaged. A robust working mechanism to promptly address fo

reign businesses’ complaints is also envisaged,” said Gupta, who believes the prov

isions are a big step in assuring foreign businesses that the playing field is leveled in China.

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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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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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Vehicle sales in China continue to drop, NEV sales rise

hinese sales of passenger vehicles, MPVs, SUVs and minivans in March dropped 12 percent on a yearly basis to 1.78 million units.

This is the 10th consecutive monthly decrease, according to the C

hina Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Changjiang Times reported.

The MPV sector saw the largest sales decline, 20.2 percent to 130,000 units in the pas

t month, while SUVs and sedans dropped 10.7 and 12 percent, respectively.

The decreases in 2019’s first quarter are mild compared with those at the end of the last year, CPCA said.

As the State-VI emission standards will be implemented from July 1 this

year, some Japanese brands have launched corresponding products ahead of their co

unterparts, and performed well in sales and consumer confidence, CPCA said.

“Automobile sales in North China, and those in the county and township level, are still weak,” the association added.

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he introduced measure is to “offer convenience for the pub

and greatly improve our work efficiency”, according to a released statement at a news conference held by the administration on Tuesday.

In the past, the residents in Chinese mainland could only apply for permits in their house

hold registration places with relevant documents, including identification card, hukou and application form.

National Immigration Administration holds a press conference on March 26, 2019.

Under the new measure, the residents will provide the same documents to apply for th

e passports and travel permits in their nearby exit and entry management departments, it said.

With the rapid development of China’s economy and society, a growing

number of people have been living, stuadying and working away from their hometown, and th

ere has been a strong demand for them to apply for the passports or travel permits in different places.

Data provided by the National Immigration Administra

tion show, this year, an estimated 21 million people will apply for passports and travel permits in di

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North Korea has yet to issue any direct public statement on

  the decision to withdraw. Chad O’Carroll, an analyst and chief executive of the K

orea Risk Group, said the move was to be expected following the failure of the Hanoi summit.

  ”North Korea’s pull-out Friday from the Kaesong Lias

on Office has been on cards since Hanoi, given recent no-shows there,” he said on Twitter.

  He added that the move was designed to send a message that from

Pyongyang’s perspective “Seoul has insufficient influence” over the US-North Korea rela

tionship and that intra-Korean talks are increasingly pointless, “when sanctions prevent practical cooperation.”

  Following the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, the US and South Korea canceled major war ga

mes that have long been a source of tensions on the Korean Peninsula in order to “support diplomatic efforts” with Pyongyang.

  Speaking on Thursday, Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was “absolutely confide

nt” that smaller exercises held in place of the traditional war games enabled the US and South Korean forces to “maintain readiness.”

olyfwg.cn

Extra pilot averted disaster on previous Boeing 737 Max 8 flight

An off-duty pilot in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet jumped in to help

crew disable a malfu

nctioning flight-control system as it experienced difficulties in October, according to Bloomberg.

The next day, with a different crew, the same plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

On doomed Lion Air Flight 610, pilots searched in a handbook f

or a way to stop the plane from nosediving, according to an exclusive Reuters report.

Reuters cites the information from three people with knowledge of the contents of the cockpit voice recorder that has never been made public.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has refused to comment to CNN on the content of the voice r

ecorder as the investigation is still ongoing. Boeing also refused to comment to CNN on the matter Wednesday.

Indonesian authorities found the cockpit voice recorder in the Java Sea on January 14 and said it could take up to a year to publish a full report into the crash.

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