Omarion

The mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China

France cooperation has not changed, Xi said.

“The history of China-France cooperation shows that bilateral ties are not ‘a zero-sum game.’ The strong com

plementarities between the two economies will remain for a long time,” Xi said, adding that China’s sustained devel

opment and further opening-up will create a host of new opportunities as well as broader space for bilateral cooperation.

Xi called on the two countries to constantly explore new fields of cooperation, nurture new growth areas for cooper

ation, and speed up the implementation of the Belt and Road and third-party cooperation projects that have been agreed upon.

“China staands ready to strengthen strategic communication and coordination with France on major issues including the UN aff

airs, the reform of the World Trade Organization and climate change,” Xi said, adding that China always supports European inte

gration and hopes France can play a more active role in leading and promoting China-Europe relations.

Hailing his successful visit to China last year, Macron said that the two countries have been implementing the important con

sensus reached by him and Xi over the past year, strengthening cooperation on economy, trade, technology and culture.

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He recalled the concerns that the United States expressed

ssed in 2015 when the United Kingdom tried to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a China-initiated multilateral financial institution, and said

it was only when all other European countries signed up for it that those concerns began to dissipate.

“I expect the same thing to happen now (about the BRI),” he said.

Sun Zhaolong, a researcher at the Academy of Contemporary China and World Stud

ies, wrote in an article that Italy’s involvement in the BRI will play an exemplary role in attracting more cou

ntries to the platform for international cooperation while allaying concerns of some countries over the initiative.

Former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi also said in an interview with China N

ews Service that Italy could be a protagonist in Belt and Road cooperation with China.

During their talks, Xi and Conte also agreed that the two countries should jointly up

hold multilateralism, promote free trade and cement ties between China and the European Union.

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That means China would move closer to the standards

for a “high-income country” — above $12,736 in per capital GDP — set by the World Bank in 2015.

However, a productivity slowdown, aging population and unbalanced regional developme

nt could be among the “bottlenecks” that constrain China in becoming a high-income country, economists said.

Given the pressure of the slowing global economy, a high degree of leveraging maintains the top risk for China’s econ

omy, thus measures should continue to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio “in proper order”, said Lou Jiwei, chairman of

the National Council for Social Security Fund and a former finance minister.

It is necessary to build a long-term and efficient mechanism for financial regula

tion and fiscal supervision, and to prevent potential risks in the property sector, Lou said.

The three-day China Development Forum has a guest list of more than 150 international delegates, including global industry leaders.

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The Italian side looks forward to enhancing cooperati

tion with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, She said.

Noting that the history of Italy-China exchanges for the past 50 years has been a history of dia

logue and friendship, the speaker said the Italian Senate is willing to facilitate exchanges between the two cou

ntries’ legislative institutions, and continue to make contributions to deepening Italy-China friendly cooperation.

Xi arrived in Rome Thursday for a state visit to Italy, the first stop of his three-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Monaco and France.

hinese authorities have unveiled detailed measures to implement valu

e-added tax reform, a key step to boost market vitality and stabilize economic growth.

Starting April 1 this year, the 16 percent VAT rate that applies to manufa

cturing and other sectors will be lowered to 13 percent, while the rate for construction, tran

sport and other sectors will be reduced from 10 percent to 9 percent, said a joint statement released on Th

ursday by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and the General Administration of Customs.

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The welder spent another three hours on Friday morning but

had to quit again as he had to pick up his son from primary school at noon. He joined the line again

after lunch, but he didn’t have any idea about when his turn will come when

China Daily interviewed him at 4:30 pm.

There were so many donators that the organizers brought dozens of stools to

the site so that people could rest after waiting a long time.

Many people also came to Xiangshui

People’s Hospital to offer free food and medicine fo

r those hospitalized. Chen Yueru, a member of local volunteer association, said they have received 2,177 boxes of packed

food for lunch, more than 10,000 bottles of water, 24 boxes of ham sausage and 14

boxes of instant noodle and 500 breads at the hospital.

She said clothes are in demand for many of the injured as the belongings of many

have been buried in debris and stained with blood and dirt.

Gao, the red society volunteer, said a company has donated about 600 bottles of a s

pecial medicine for wound sterilization and has also sent medicine for the injured.

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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.”

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From Israel to Brexit to France: Trump dips into allies’ politics

  He’s trashed the British Prime Minister. He’s cheered protesters in France. And now he’s handed Israel’s embattled leader a win days before a re-elect

ion. When it comes to other countries’ domestic politics, President Donald Trump hasn’t hesitated to put his thumb on the scale.

  When he first met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office weeks after his inau

guration, Trump heard out the Israeli prime minister’s appeal to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

  But Trump didn’t immediately deliver. Instead, he waited until less than three weeks before the most consequential election of Netanyahu’s polit

ical career to announce “it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

  Combined with the warm embrace Trump will offer Netany

ahu in Washington next week and the White House’s silence on the timing of the annou

ncement, experts quickly identified Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as a brazen attempt to boost Netanyahu’s re-el

ection chances, giving him a foreign policy achievement to tout in the final stretch of the campaign.

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With the Israeli elections approaching and Netanyahu da

  amaged by a pending indictment stemming from a corruption investigatio

n, it became increasingly clear that Trump would look to bolster one of his closest international partners.

  Netanyahu in recent weeks had begun to renew his push for the US to recognize the Go

lan Heights as part of Israel. Earlier this month, he brought US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, to the Israeli-occupied territory, touting its strategic imp

ortance. Graham, a close ally of the President’s, promised Netanyahu he would personally lobby Trump to deliver.

  The Israeli ambassador’s visit was a precursor to Trump’s announcement on Thursday, a sen

ior administration official told CNN. The Golan Heights recognition had been in the works for sev

eral weeks, the official said, and culminated in a series of meetings between the President and his senior staff this week.

  US officials have offered no explanation as to w

hy Trump decided to take this step now, rather than wait until after Israel’s April 9 elections.

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EU ready to grant Brexit delay if UK parliament backs dealpe

LONDON – The European Union could grant Britain’s request for a short Brexit delay if parliament vote

s next week in favour of a stalled departure deal, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union to allow Britain to delay its de

parture date by three months to June 30, and EU leaders are expected to discuss the matter at a summit on Thursday.

Tusk said it would be possible to grant Britain a short postponement if parlia

ment next week backs May’s divorce agreement, which it has already voted down twice.

Should that happen, Tusk said no extraordinary EU leaders’ summit would be need

ed next week before the current Brexit date of March 29. Otherwise, he might call another summit.

“I believe that a short extension will be possible, but it will be conditional on a positive v

ote on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons,” Tusk told journalists.

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The situation in Beira, a low-lying port city on the Indian

  Ocean, was described by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cre

scent Societies (IFRC) as “terrible” following an aerial assessment conducted by the agency Monday.

  IFRC spokesman Jamie LeSueur said that up to 90% of the ar

ea had been destroyed. “The scale of devastation is enormous,” said LeSueur.

  On Sunday, a dam burst cutting off the last road to the city, which aid workers are now struggling to reach.

  A former Portuguese colony, Mozambiq

ue gained independence in 1975 and suffered a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992. Today, despite recent eco

nomic growth, about half the population remains below the poverty line.

  Cylone Idai has caused destruction on such a large scale because of that poverty and lack of infrastructure.

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