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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.