Bioethics experts call for more oversightand

Four leading ethics scholars in China are urging government authorities to intensify their supervision over scientific resea

rch to reduce the chances of unethical use of biomedical technologies involving gene editing and stem cells.

The appeal, published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, referen

ced a major ethical scandal in November, when a Chinese scientist announced he had pro

duced the world’s first twin human babies whose genes were altered to make them immune to HIV.

Hundreds of Chinese scientists voiced opposition and questioned the safety and effectivene

ss of the procedure following the announcement by He Jiankui, 35, who was an associate professor at So

uthern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

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Xi stressed the importance of fulfilling bilateral and

 multilateral trade agreements, saying that Chinese people value a promise as much as tons of gold.

China pays close attention to building a law-based government, abolishing improper r

ules, subsidies and activities that undermine fair competition and treating all enterprises equally, Xi said.

The president highlighted building infrastructure of high quality, sustain

ability, risk resilience, reasonable pricing, inclusiveness and accessibility under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Infrastructure is a bottleneck in the development of many nations

, Xi said, and building infrastructure can help countries give full play to their ad

vantages in resources and better integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains.

Xi called on countries to uphold multilateralism, promote green devel

opment and fight corruption with zero tolerance in the process of building the Belt and Road.

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Lu made the remarks in response to recent media repo

 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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Four public holidays in 2018, namely the Spring Fest

ival, Tomb-sweeping Day, May Day and Dragon Boat Festival, all saw a marked increase in the number of domestic tourists.

During the three-day Tomb-sweeping Day holiday that ende

d on April 7, the number of domestic tourists reached 112 million, a 10.9 increase year-on-year.

Apart from sightseeing, more Chinese tourists now opt to exp

erience the cultural essence of their destinations by visiting local museums.

Over the past three years, visitors to Chinese museums have been growing by about 100 mi

llion each year, Liu Yuzhu, head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, told reporters earlier this year.

During the week-long Spring Festival Holiday in 2019, more than 40 percent of the 415 milli

on domestic tourists visited museums, a report from the China Tourism Academy showed.

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Once completed, Tianqin will become an important

 tool to search for and detect black holes of all sizes and wavelengths in the n

ext two decades,” Wu Qingwen, a professor at the School of Physics of Huazhong Uni

versity of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province, said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Event Horizon Telescope, a global array of e

ight ground-based radio telescopes, revealed the first-ever image of a black hole.

Wu was one of the more than 200 astronomers worldwi

de involved in the EHT collaboration, which captured the first vi

sible representation of what are considered the most extreme objects in the universe.

International collaboration is vital for astronomical observations, Wu said.

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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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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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India’s richest man put his brother out of business. Now he’s

  India’s richest man just helped his cash-strapped younger brother avoid months in prison by paying off debts worth tens of millions of dollars.

  The gesture by Mukesh Ambani to bail out his brother, Anil, is the latest twist in a sibling saga that has gripped India’s t

elecommunications industry. A price war started by Mukesh in 2016 nearly put Anil out of business a year later.

  Last month, India’s top court ordered Anil Ambani and his company, Reliance Communications, to pay a 5.5 billion rupe

es ($80 million) debt to Swedish mobile firm Ericsson (ERIC) by Wednesday or face three months in jail.

  READ MORE ON INDIA

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  By Monday, the deadline was looming and the debt remained unpaid. Then Mukesh Ambani, who’s estimated to be worth more than $50 billion, stepped in.

  Reliance Communications said in a statement late Monday that it had made the paym

ent to Ericsson in full, with Anil Ambani thanking his brother and sister-in-law for their help.

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Economist offers insights on China’s global growth

When the whole world is searching for a therapy to calm the anxiety arising from economic slowdown, China, the most important global growth engine, provides its

routes to maintain vitality – through supportive macro policies and technology-driven innovation.

That point of view was shared by Zhu Min, an influential Chinese economist and a former deputy managing director of the Intern

ational Monetary Fund. He sat down for an exclusive interview with China Daily, when international media desi

re to learn the reasons for China’s 2019 economic performance at the ongoing annual two sessions in Beijing.

“We did a study that estimated China will continue to have more than 6.3 or 6.4 percent growth this year,” he predicted.

Even if the pace of growth moderates from last year’s 6.6 percent, China is able to m

aintain the strongest economic engine and contribute more than 30 percent of the worl

d’s GDP growth, said Zhu, who is now the chair of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University.

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i said preventing and defusing financial risks, especially

  systemic financial risks, are the fundamental tasks of financial work, calling for accelerated construction of the fina

ncial market infrastructure and advanced efforts to nationalize key information infrastructure in the sector.

  He also urged solid statistics in the financial sector and improvement in the warning system and rules on information disclosure and management.

  Education and supervision of senior officials of financial institutions and regulators sh

ould be enhanced, and more should be done to fight corruption in the financial sector, Xi said.

  He called for dynamic supervision of domestic and cross-border capital flow to enable financial watchdogs to fully monitor all flows.

  Xi said tasks for the reform and opening-up of the financial sector should be well implem

ented, calling for the preparation and the rolling-out of new reform and opening-up measures based on

the latest development of global economy and finance as well as the strategic needs of China.

  Reforms including revamps on market access system and trading regulations should be deepened, and regulators should take a two-pronged appr

oach of enforcing both macro-prudential management and micromanagement of behaviors, he said.

  He said those causing major financial risks due to their breaches such as lax regula

tion, cover-ups or decision-making failures must be held accountable and face serious punishment.

  Efforts should be made to address the current situation where the costs of legal and

regulatory breaches in the financial sector, especially capital markets, are too low, Xi said.

  Xi urged enhancing the global competitiveness of China’s financial sector, elevating the two-way opening-up to a highe

r level and beefing up capabilities of financial management and risk prevention and control amid greater opening-up.

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