Xi meets Macron on maintaining sound China-France ties

NICE, France – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday stressed the importance of maintaining a sound China

-France relationship to both countries’ long-term development and its potential impact on the world.

Xi, who is paying a state visit to France, made the remarks when meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in the southern French city of Nice.

Recalling the history of friendly exchanges between China and France, Xi noted that Franc

e is the first major Western country to establish official diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

France, he added, also is the first country to form a strategic partnership and conduct stra

tegic dialogue with China and the first to carry out civilian nuclear-energy cooperation with China.

He pointed to the special significance of his visit, which came at a special year that marks both the 70th anniversary of the foun

ding of the PRC and the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations.

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More European countries expected to follow its lead as h

With Italy becoming the first of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to

sign on to the Belt and Road Initiative during President

Xi Jinping’s state visit to the country, the China-proposed connectivity plan might gain more participants, observers said.

Xi and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte witnessed the signing of the intergovernmental me

morandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road after they held talks in Rome on Saturday.

The two sides realize the huge potential of the BRI in promoting connectivity, and stand ready to strengthen the alignment of th

e BRI and the European Union’s Trans-European Transport Networks and deepen cooperation in ports, logistics, mar

ine transportation and other areas, according to a joint communique issued by the two countries.

During his talks with Conte, Xi said China’s and Italy’s historical status as nati

ons at either end of the ancient Silk Road made it natural for them to cooperate on building the Belt and Road

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State Council orders nationwide inspection as chemical pla

An additional 14 people were found dead in the latest search and rescue operation after an explo

sion in East China’s Jiangsu province, bringing the death toll to 78, local authorities said on Monday afternoon.

A total of 56 dead have been identified, local authorities said at a news conference, leaving 22 unaccounted for.

Among the 28 missing, 25 have been confirmed to be dead via DNA, with three confirmed safe.

A total of 566 injured people were still receiving medical care in the hospital on Monday, inclu

ding 13 in critical condition and 66 seriously wounded. Thirty-eight were discharged on Monday, according to the news conference.

Medical monitoring at hospitals near the blast site shows no cases of chemical poisoning, the rescue headquarters said on Monday.

In a notice released on Monday, the State Council has ordered a national inspection on poten

tial hazards of dangerous chemicals and safety assessments on all chemical industry parks across the country.

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Charles is an artist and an academic. He is someone who I thi

 both of our country should be very proud to have a friend, a representative like him,” he said.

 

At present, there are more than 800 13- 18-year-old students at the S

chool, including nearly 60 Chinese students, most of whom are from Hong Kong.

Uppingham school was founded in 1584. The famous British educator Edward Thri

ng (1821-87) used to be its headmaster and took the lead in proposing the concept of “all-around education”.

Thring opened the first school gymnasium in England, introduced wood and metal workshops, and prov

ided a swimming pool. In academic matters he stressed sound training in mathematics, the classics, and music. In 1869 he foun

ded the Headmasters’ Conference, an organization that had a great influence in English school education.

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Researchers have unearthed a trove of well-preserved

fossils representing more than 50 previously undescribed animal species dating back 518 million years.

The soft tissues of their bodies, including muscles, organs, eyes and mouths are still visible in some

of the 4,351 fossils discovered in Yichang, Hubei province, according to a new study published in the journ

al Science on Friday. The excavated fossils represent 109 species, including known jelly fish, arthropods and algae.

Fu Dongjing, associate professor at Northwest University in Xi’an, Shaanxi, also the first author of the paper, said the research g

roup started exploring the ancient ruins in the summer of 2007, in Changyang Tujia autonomous county. It was lo

cated on the bank of Qingjiang River where a representative insect from the Cambrian period was first found.

The new trove of fossils called the Qingjiang biota-the living organisms of a region-ha

ve the potential to greatly inform the understanding of early animal evolution, according to the study.

About 542 million years ago, life on earth diversified at an extremely rapid pace, known as t

he Cambrian explosion. Almost all present animal categories appeared at that time. Many creatures wen

t extinct in the process of evolution, but others became the initial form of future organisms.

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In the second half of 2018, total deal number and value

 in all sectors fell back to low levels, and PE/VC investors turned more cautious. Although TMT secto

rs saw a big drop in deal numbers and value compared with the first half amid the lackluster PE/VC inves

tment market, they remained the leaders among all sectors,” Gao Jianbin, PwC China TMT leader said.

The report also said similar to the first half of 2018, the num

ber of PE/VC deals involving startups was the biggest among all categories in the second half, while compan

ies in the expansionary period received the largest investment in terms of deal value. Investors adopted a strate

gy to avoid risks by mainly investing in mature projects that had survived market competition and were in stable development.

“As China officially launched an innovation initiative for the integrated circuit industry an

d a government IC industry fund raised 150 billion yuan ($22.4 billion) in second-phase financing, a number of IC inn

ovation enterprises have been established in the second half of 2018,” said Charline Ni, PwC China technology leader.

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The Italian Senate warmly welcomes Xi for his visit, Casell

llati said, noting that the Italian and Chinese peoples have always trusted each other and

maintained profound friendship, with close ties in such fields as economy and trade, and culture.

The Senate speaker said she agrees with Xi on his remarks about the traditional friendly exchanges between the two cou

ntries dating back over 2,000 years, published in leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of his visit.

China and Italy are major countries that boast a rich culture, she said, adding that Italy is willing to boost communication and c

ooperation with the Chinese side in such fields as culture, art, language, heritage protection, tourism, science and tec

hnology, and innovation, and encourage their youths to increase exchanges and mutual understanding.

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The 10 percent deduction rate, which applies to buyers of ag

ricultural goods, will be cut to 9 percent, said the statement.

“The VAT reform is not simply lowering the tax rate, but focusing on the integration with the overall tax reform. It has continued to ma

ke progress toward the long-term goal of establishing a modern VAT system, and it also leaves room for cutting the number of VAT brac

kets from three to two in the future,” said Wang Jianfan, director of the department of taxation under the Ministry of Finance.

To implement the statutory taxation principle, China will also accelerate legislation to deepen VAT reform, Wang said.

The joint statement came after Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that China will imp

lement a series of measures to cut VAT rates and ease the tax burden in almost all industries.

Earlier this month, Li said in his 2019 Government Work Repo

rt that VAT reform was key to improving the tax system and achieving better income distribution.

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Volunteers inundate blood donation center near explosion site

After an explosion at a chemical plant killed 47, residents of Xiangshui county in Ji

angsu province have flooded centers to donate bolod for the severely injured survivors.

There were so many people coming in to donate blood that the organ

izers at one center ran out of application forms, China Daily discovered Friday afternoon.

“On average, people have to wait for at least five hours for their turn,” said Meng Xiangh

ua, a member of the local labor union that has been assisting in the drive to build up blood supplies following the blast.

He said one of his neighbors came in at 8 am Friday and had to wait until 1:30 pm to d

onate. “There are so many people coming that we failed to count how many people have donated so far,” he added.

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And if parliament *actually* says what it wantsad to ask, didn’t yo

  It’s very likely that any consensus that could be reached across the Commons would be a softer Brexit than the one May is currently pursuing.

  That, I am afraid, is still a fairly open-ended answer. It might mean the need to renegotiate, which would mean a longer exten

sion, which would mean being in the EU elections, which could mean a second referendum, ultimately.

  The key point here is that cross-party consensus might soun

d nice, but on an issue as divisive as Brexit, it’s as likely as anything to blow up both main parties.

  While things are far from rosy and three weeks is not enough t

ime to sort much, it’s worth noting that while Brexit might not be going terribly well, the last thr

ee years have been a huge learning curve for the entire UK. We know more now than we did.

  So while the next bit of the Brexit process might look crunchy, the decisions made in the coming days will not be made lightly.

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