China has exercised great restraint and goodwill in

trying to maintain stable relations with the US,” he said.

Li Haidong, a professor of US studies at China Foreign Affairs Universi

ty, said Washington has pushed a hard line in relations with Beijing in recent years.

“The Taiwan question is much more complicated and nonnegotiable,” Li said.

“If the US side continues to misinterpret the one-­China policy, it will irreparably damage Sino­-US ties,” he warned.

The US Senate will have to vote on the act before it can become law. The time of the vote is unknown.

“The consensus among US officials is to be tough on China, and room for rational option

s is rapidly shrinking as overconfidence and rash actions become the new norm,” he said.

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The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, whic

will be held later this month following the proposal of President Xi Jinping, demonstrates China’s deep thinking and resp

onsibility for promoting the development of civilization in Asia and the world. The conference will have great and

far-reaching significance to the construction of a community of shared future for mankind.

The history of humanity is one of the coexistence and joint development of multiple civilizations. In his article on excha

nges among civilizations and mutual learning, published by the Qiushi journal on May 1, Xi wrote that “civiliz

ation becomes colorful because of exchanges, and abundant because of mutual learning”. He urged nations to “seek wisd

om, absorb nutrition from different civilizations, provide the people with spiritual support and comfort for thei

r soul, and join hands to resolve common challenges of various kinds confronting human beings”.

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Those involved in the BRI will strengthen synerg

y in development plans and initiatives of various countries and international organizations and in

tensify bilateral and the third-party market cooperation to help more countries raise their level of connectivity, Xi said.

He added that participants agreed that Belt and Road forums are an important platform for multilateral co

operation and should be held on a regular basis.

President calls for countries’ joint efforts in building Belt, Road in forum speech

President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday to take strong measures such as easing market

access for foreign capital and increasing imports to promote the higher-level opening-up of the country.

While delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the

Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Xi said that the p

urpose of building the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

China will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale, and it will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.

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Overall, the country’s industrial output grew 6.5 percent

year-on-year in the first quarter, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The ministry said more than two-thirds of enterprises it surveyed received ample orders to

keep factories busy after the Spring Festival break, also signifying an upward trend.

Qu Xianming, an expert at the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, s

aid the sound performance in the first quarter is the result of improved market expecta

tions and it mirrors the resilience and sustainability of the country’s manufacturing sector.

“The central government said in March that it would slash the value-a

dded tax rate of 16 percent in manufacturing to 13 percent. Such an aggressive cut sends a strong

positive signal to companies, which has motivated them to accelerate production and intensify investment,” Qu said.

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Azerbaijan sent a delegation to the first China Intern

ational Import Expo in Shanghai last November. “This kind of expo is extrem

ely important, and provides a chance for Azerbaijan to reach out to the Chinese ma

rket and establish contact with Chinese companies,” Hajiyev said, adding last year’s event was extremely helpf

ul to Azerbaijan and helped traders to understand the requirements and demands of the Chinese market.

Almost 50 percent of China’s trade with the Caucasus region are from

Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan has invested $1.7 billion in Chinese securities. Current trade volu

me between China and Azerbaijan is above $1.5 billion, and Hajiyev believes there is sti

ll more to do to promote bilateral trade, as the two countries have very good relations.

Companies from the two countries are engaged in projects for the

petrochemical industry, and the two countries can touch upon o

ther strategic areas such as energy and communication, the foreign affairs head added.

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Digital trade enabled up to 3.2 trillion yuan of econo

omic value in the domestic economy in 2017, equivalent to nearly 4 percent of China’s 82.08 trillio

n yuan GDP that year.This is significant, considering the economic value estimated for other Asia-Pacific economi

es ranges between 1 and 3 percent, said the Hinrich Foundation’s Director of Public Affairs and Strategy Berenice Voets.

The potential economic value of digital trade is expected to be the equivalent of 22 percent of China’s projected GDP in 2030, accor

ding to the report, outlining an optimistic outlook for digital trade development in China in the following years.

Li is scheduled to have talks with EU leaders, attend high-level meetings

Premier Li Keqiang touched down at Brussels Airport on Monday, beginning a five-day trip aimed at sending a clear signal to t

he world of the growing mutual trust and deepening strategic cooperation between China and European nations.

Li is in Belgium for the 21st China-EU Leaders’ Meeting. He will also make an official visit to Croatia and at

tend the eighth Leaders’ Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in the coastal city of Dubrovnik.

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Much work’ awaits new Sino-US trade talksnited Stat

hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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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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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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Amnesty International in a statement on Tuesday calle

  d on foreign governments and international aid agencies to”ramp up” resources and assistance for thousands of pe

ople that have been displaced, and those that are still trapped in the aftermath of the disaster.

  The international human rights organization urged authorities in Mozambique and Malawi, countries that are p

rone to flooding to adopt climate change policies that could reduce the impact of such occurrences.

  ”As the effects of climate change intensify, these ext

reme weather conditions can be expected to revisit us more frequently. The devastation wro

ught by Cyclone Idai is yet another wake-up call for the world to put in place ambitious climate change mitigation me

asures,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa.

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