Archive March 2019

The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

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Information contained on flight recorders for the Indones

sia and Ethiopian planes has not been released, but analysts say the pilots may not have known h

ow to turn off the anti-stall device after it pointed the nose of the plane down, and that may have been a factor in the crashes.

On Wednesday, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice-president, said he doesn’t see the need to overhaul its development of aircraft. He c

alled the new Max software “more robust” but also said the upgrade does not mean the original design was inadequate.

The upgraded MCAS will be activated by input from two sensors rather than one.

The system’s power will be limited so that the pilot can pull back on

the control column to override the system if the plane’s nose is pointed down.

Sinnett said a new training system for pilots on upgrades to the MCAS has been “provisionally approved”.

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Retail sales of local government bonds attract eager

Chinese local government bonds worth 1.4 billion yuan ($208.5 million) were snapped up by retail investors within a single day, after counter sales in banks we

re made available for the first time. The fundraising will help supplement a broader fiscal deficit this year, analysts said.

On Monday, individuals in China were able to purchase bonds issued by t

he Zhejiang provincial government (five-year term, 3.32 percent coupon rate) and the N

ingbo city government (three-year term, 3.04 percent coupon rate). Proceeds from the sales will be used for land purchases (300 million yuan) and shantytown renovations (1.1 billion yuan), acc

ording to a notice on the website of China Central Depository and Clearing, a clearinghouse under the central bank.

The minimum investment amount for retail investors is 100 yuan, lower than most wealth management products issu

ed by commercial banks. Previously, individual investors could only purchase bonds issued by the central government, kno

wn as treasury bonds. And before Monday, local government bonds were traded mainly in the interbank market.

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She would also become the fourth Conservative prime min

ister in a row to have fallen foul of divisions over Europe within her centuries-old party, following David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

Most voters think the Brexit negotiation has been handled badly and there may now be a slight majority for staying in the EU, rec

ent polls suggest. Many Conservative MPs say May herself has caused the chaos by not negotiating harder with the EU.

“It was inevitable and I just feel she’s made the right decision. She has actually read the m

ood of the party, which was a surprise,” said Conservative lawmaker Pauline Latham.

Over two decades since her debut appearance at Wimbledon, Chinese legend Li

Na still remembers her awkward introduction to the iconic London tournament.

Li first competed there in the girls’ singles in 1998, and was tripped up by the switch f

rom hard courts to grass, not to mention the All England Club’s famous sartorial etiquette.

“I had no clue at all on how to play on grass,” Li recalled at Tuesday’s The Road to Wimbledon junior training camp in Beijing.

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Five Chinese women are ranked in the world’s top 50, spear

headed by No 18 Wang Qiang, who this week reached the Miami Open quarterfinals to

become the first Chinese to go that far at the premier mandatory event since Li’s run to the final in 2014.

Li is delighted to see her compatriots mixing it with the world’s best, but said she expects more.

“It’s good to have a group of girls in the top 50, but the resources they enjoy today make me believe they could do better,” she said.

With more advanced coaching and training methods, WTA

CEO Steve Simon reckons China will unearth the next Li sooner rather than later.

“The chances of finding the next Li Na are very bright; it’s just a matter of time,” he said earlier this month in Shenzhen.

The return of The Road to Wimbledon, a tailor-made tournament for under-14 players, f

or its fourth year in China is part of the latest effort to deepen the domestic talent pool.

It began on Monday with a weeklong trial camp overseen by Dan Blox

ham, head coach of the All England Club. The best performers will be picked to compete at a nat

ional tournament in Nanjing in May, which will decide China’s representatives at the global final at Wimbledon from Aug 11-17.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first overseas visit in 2019

  levated China’s ties with Italy, Monaco and France to a new level, and injected new impetus into China-Europe compreh

ensive strategic partnership, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

  When the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi’s Europe tour, hailed b

y the international community, is dedicated to deepening partnership for cooperation, improving global governance, and uphol

ding multilateralism, which shows China’s sense of responsibility as a major country, Wang said.

  In six days, the Chinese president attended over 40 events during his visit to five cities including Rome, Palermo, Monaco, Nice a

nd Paris, Wang noted, adding that it is a trip of friendship, cooperation and exploration that has delivered fruitful results.

  FRIENDSHIP & MUTUAL BENEFIT

  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic

partnership, and next year will witness the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations.

  At meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Xi agreed with them to further i

ntensify high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations, Wang said.

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Wang hailed Italian government’s forethought and pragmatis

gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed

that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.

Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre

ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.

France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa

rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem

onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.

At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron

said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align

its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.

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In agreeing to the postponement, European leaders

 hoped Britain’s deadlocked politicians would find a solution to the crisis. But the EU isn’t counting on it. The European Comm

ission said Monday it had completed planning for a no-deal Brexit, calling that outcome “increasingly likely.”

The EU said its members would be able to cope with a no-deal departure, although more remained to be done on ensuring an open border betwee

n EU member Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland — something both sides have agreed to. Checkpoints there were a soaurce of tensi

on and a target during the decades of sectarian violence before Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace accord.

An EU official said the bloc was in “in intense discussions with the Irish authorities about these matters.”

May stands little chance of getting the deal she struck with the EU approved unless she can win over Brexit-backing lawmakers in her Conservative Party and its Nor

thern Irish ally, the Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP said Monday that the party’s “position remains unchanged.”

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May has come under intense pressure to quit the prime minis

 minister’s post as the price of winning support for the deal.

At a meeting Sunday at the prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers,

prominent Brexiteers told May they might back the deal — if she agreed to step d

own so a new leader could take charge of the next phase of negotiations, which will

settle Britain’s future relations with the EU.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who attended the meeting and is likely to be a conten

der in any future Conservative leadership race, accused the government

of lacking “gumption” and chickening out on delivering Brexit.

Britaina’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, put a call on its front page for the

prime minister to resign under the headline “Time’s up, Theresa.”

May is hanging on, hoping she can persuade Brexit-backing lawmakers that

rejecting her deal means Britain may never leave the EU.

She told lawmakers that Britain would not leave the EU without a deal unless

Parliament — which has already rejected the idea — voted for it.

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It is not the first time in our European history to have suc

 such an attitude. Any nation with very strong and rapid growth is always in a very difficu

lt position in public opinion because we are afraid about the strength of others,” he said.

“For example, we were afraid of cultural pressure from the United States in the 1960s, and 20 ye

ars later, we had the same feelings against Japan with its technological projects. Now, China is bac

k around the table of big nations. I think we have to accept that and not be afraid, but to discuss.”

Raffarin said the two countries are expected to close contracts and announce new projects. He also

said the dialogue between France and China could be very useful in forming a new vision for multilateralism in a changing world.

In addition to strong existing collaboration between France and China, including in the automotive, aviation and healthcare sectors, Raffarin said the most

important thing for the future of Sino-French relations is to identify third-country projects, such as the Hinkley Point C nu

clear power plant in the United Kingdom, which is jointly financed by China and France, as well as opportunities in Africa.

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