Balancing growth with structural reformting perform

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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Firefighter and ambulances have arrived at the scene for

It was reported that the fire could be caused by lightening strike.

Moscow’s transport prosecution office is investigating into the incident and it will check i

f there were violations of the flight safety legislation, according to Sputnik news agency.

Sarah Daley, a student at the University of Virginia, has deep connectio

ns with China. She spent the summer of 2018 teach

ing English in Hebei province and has a younger sister who was adopted from China in 2009. Both experiences left

her with positive impressions of Chinese people and long-lasting friendships.

Those connections led to Daley being honored by the Chinese embassy

in the United States during an award ceremony in Washington on Saturday, after she sha

red her stories with the world through an event hosted by the embassy and China Daily.

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Well-tuned steps urged for poverty eradicatio

President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the need to shore up areas of weakness and carry out more targeted pove

rty alleviation efforts in building the country into a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chair

man of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while presiding over the fourth meeting of t

he Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs. Xi is head of the committee.

The meeting stressed the importance of achieving targets for poverty alleviation across the boar

d and focusing efforts on areas of extreme poverty, according to a statement released after the meeting.

It is important to tackle the remaining difficulties faced by people still confronting hard

ships in terms of their access to education, medical care, quality housing and safe drinking water after ens

uring that their basic needs for food and clothing have been met, the statement said.

It added that solving prominent environmental pollution probl

ems must be prioritized to ensure periodical targets can be achieved before 2020.

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On the basis of the four China-Japan political documen

s and in the spirit of seeing history as a mirror as well as facing the future, the two nations sho

uld continue to work toward the long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral relations, he said.

As major economies in the world, China and Japan both support free trade and obey WTO rules, Li said.

He also welcomed Japanese businesses to expand investment in China

as the country will continue to unwaveringly deepen reform and expand opening-up.

China stands ready to move forward with talks with Japan and other rel

ated parties to further the negotiations regarding the Regional Comprehensive Econo

mic Partnership as well as the China-Japan-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, he said.

Li also voiced China’s support for Japan’s hosting of the G20 Summit, which is slated this year

to be held in Osaka, and he hoped it would inject fresh impetus into global economic growth.

Kono expressed his appreciation for efforts made by the Chinese premier in helping return bilateral relations to the right track.

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The Abuja–Kaduna Railway, as the first segment of the

 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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But one of the first things taught to economics gradu

 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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Cooperation is the best choice for China and the US,” Ga

 said. “This is not only beneficial to the two countries and their peoples, but also conducive to the entire world.”

The words came as the US Department of Commerce reported that the US trade deficit with China narrowed by 6.4 perce

nt to $34.5 billion in January. US goods exports to China dropped 22.3 percent to $7.1 billion, the lowest since Sep

tember 2010, and Chinese imports dropped 9.6 percent to $41.6 billion, the Commerce Department said.

The trade imbalance has been at the center of monthslong tensions between China and the US. Other iss

ues at the top of the list for their consultations include technology transfers and protection of intellectual property rights.

Gao said guaranteeing that companies can pursue technical cooperation based on voluntary principles and business rules is cond

ucive to creating a fair and competitive business environment and promoting high-quality economic development.

“It is in line with China’s need to further deepen reform and opening up,” he said.

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China, Italy agree to expand legislative exchanges

ROME, March 22 — Visiting President Xi Jinping met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti

Casellati here Friday on expanding exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative institutions.

China and Italy have enjoyed a traditional friendship, with the ancient Silk Road closely linking the two peoples, Xi said.

Since they established diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago, the China-Italy ties have seen healthy and stable devel

opment, and the two countries have become important partners who trust each other and work together, Xi said.

The visit is meant to consolidate the stability and strategic nature of the China-Ita

ly relations in the long term, and comprehensively elevate the level of their mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi said.

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Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel on Saturday also

extended her condolences to the victims and their families and people who are affected by the attacks.

“Our thoughts go to the victims and their families and everyone that being affect,” Dalziel said

. She also acknowledged the extraordinary response from the police and first responders.

“An attack on the Muslin community is an attack on us, on Christchurch and on New Zealand,” Dalziel said.

She believed that Christchurch people will go thro

ugh this together by “looking after each other … in many diverse communities in our city.”

Calling the event “an unspeakable tragedy,” the mayor told Xinhua, “We need to make

sure that everyone feels safe, everyone feels welcome and everyone feels a part of the city.”

Major public events during the weekend have all been cancelled across New Zealand a

fter the attacks. Flags were flown at half-mast in government buildings to mourn the victims.

The Chinese Consulate General in Christchurch has confirmed there was no casualty of Chinese citizen in the mosque attacks.

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Mocking O’Rourke’s gestures might seem a frivolous at a time

  of national political angst and with a heavy duty policy debate already under way. But Trump is an expert at trivializing and belittling opponents, to de

tract from the gravity of their arguments and to feed the conservative media machine.

  His diagnosis of Jeb Bush’s “low energy” four years ago established a narrative about the former Florida gove

rnor’s campaign that hinted at a grain of truth. The one-time GOP front-runner could never recover.

  Trump vs. Brexit — and Obama

  At one point in the meeting Tump, said he wasn’t going to “comment on Bre

xit,” but characteristically unable to constrain himself, could barely leave the topic alone.

  At the start of his meeting, Trump welcomed Varadkar, and poin

ting out that his visitor was in a difficult position over Britain’s tortured attempts to comp

lete its withdrawal from the European Union, which could harm Ireland’s peace and prosperity.

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