The conference also saw the launch of a scientific alli

lliance on international disaster risk reduction, which included around 30 institution

s and universities from countries including Italy, Belgium, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The alliance will serve as a new platform for international coordinati

on and provide scientific support for disaster relief and sustainable development.

The conference was co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Association for Science and Technology, the U

nited Nations Environment Program, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Alliance of Int

ernational Science Organizations, a group created to connect the scientific communities of BRI participants.

Bai Chunli, president of the academy, said in the conference’s opening ceremony on Saturday that areas along the Si

lk Road are prone to various natural disasters that have resulted in massive loss of life and economic damage.

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They cited a report in February from Trade Partnership World

wide as saying that increasing tariffs on $200 billion of goods to 25 percent, coupled with tariffs already in place — as well as expect

ed Chinese retaliation — would reduce US employment by more than 934,000 jobs and push down the US GDP by 0.37 percent.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs, two-way trade between China and

the US declined 11.2 percent year-on-year to 1.1 trillion yuan ($162.5 billion) in the period from January to April.

The fact that Beijing is still sending a delegation to the US for the trade talks is “very wise on China’s part”, said Gary Hufb

auer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Douglas H. Paal, vice-president of the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for Internat

ional Peace, said it “makes sense to continue the talks because the alternative would be a drastic signal to markets”.

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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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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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He said that from a long-term perspective, populat

ion determines economic growth. Even though it will take some time, the large number of people i

n BRI-related economies will ultimately prove the potential for economic development in those countries.

Ma Yu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperatio

n, said the BRI provides a new impetus for the recovery of the world economy. The improvement in infra

structure, and digital-related manufacturing brought by the BRI will restore the development capacity of the worl

d economy and bring new opportunities for the partnership between Chinese and local companies.

Also on Monday, the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative

released an official report on the development, achievements and prospects of the BRI.

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Remaining poverty alleviation tasks are quite arduou

s, and government departments must make continuous efforts to ensure tasks are completed. Off

icials of poverty-stricken counties must keep a close eye on problems to ensure people can escape poverty.

The Party’s publicity work was also discussed. It’s the top political task to learn and publi

cize Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the statement said. A

ll Party committees must pay great attention to publicity work and ensure the implementation of regulations.

A draft amendment to the Securities Law was submitted Saturday to a bimonthly session of

the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature, for a third reading.

The latest revisions to the law include rules on the newly-devised science and technol

ogy innovation board, which will pilot a registration-based initial public offering (IPO) system.

Under the current IPO system, new shares are subject to approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission before being listed.

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Wang, the Chinese think tank member, said many of

nternational relations scholars of his generation think of the US

as an example of the value of “freedom, democracy, fairness and human rights”.

“But those words are no longer applicable to describe the US today,” he said.

Wang said that for him, cancellation of the visa is nothing m

ore than a short-term absence from US academic activities, and “it is the US’ loss, not ours”.

He also said the decision would not affect the Chinese think tank he leads in continuing aca

demic exchanges with the US, and he suggests that China should not take countermeasures over such matters.

“No matter how petty the US becomes, China should still stick to its open attitude rather compete for who’s worse,” he said.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is not a geopolitical tool or a debt trap for particip

ating countries, but a platform for cooperation, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.

Wang made the remark at a press conference ahead of the second Belt and Road F

orum on International Cooperation, which will be held in Beijing next week.

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Innovation links with Japan encouragedForeign Minis

Premier Li Keqiang called on China and Japan to boost cooperation in innovation to see more pra

gmatic outcomes, and to further work together in areas including finance, third-party markets and tourism.

The two countries should also create a fair and unbiased business environment for each other’s en

terprises, Li said in a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Beijing on Monday.

The meeting came after a China-Japan high-level economic dialogue,

co-chaired on Sunday by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kono. The dia

logue, also attended by ministers of agriculture, industry, commerce and environ

mental protection from both countries, was also the first to be held in China between the two nations since 2010.

Li congratulated attendees on the successful hosting of the dialogue in his opening remarks, noting that bilateral relation

s are back on the right track and have seen new progress thanks to joint efforts of the two sides starting last year.

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They are willing to conduct cooperation using the

rtunities provided by the initiative and the strategy, which for the EU me

mber states would also complement relevant EU initiatives, said the guidelines.

Announcing that 2020 will be the Year of China-CEEC Agricultural Diversity Cooperation, the p

articipants said they support expansion and deepening of cooperation in sustainable agriculture through

academic discussions, project docking, talent training and exhibitions as well as forums.

More Chinese people take trips during holidays compared to 10 years ago, according to official statistics and academic reports.

Both the number of domestic and outbound tourists have seen

a steady increase from 2008 to 2018, with the number of domestic tourists rocketing from

merely 1.71 billion in 2008 to a stunning 5.54 billion in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.

Tourists in China have become more active in spending their public

holidays on traveling, according to a report from China Tourism Academy.

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No other country in the world has managed to impr

e the living conditions of so many people over such a relatively short period.How did China do it?

In 1978, the leadership embarked on reform and opening-up to take the country forward. “Poverty is not socialism,” late

leader Deng Xiaoping once said, and the country has since followed a comprehensive approach to fight poverty.

The gradual opening-up of the economy to external investments for exp

ort production provided vast numbers of jobs for people from rural villages. These work

ers gained new skills and sent money home. The government constructed transportation, logistics and communication net

works that made China the “factory of the world”. This part of the story is probably the best known outside China.

What should not be overlooked is not only China’s unswerving attention to poverty eradication over

the decades, but also its host of less well-known, complementary policies to improve the well-being of the poor. Examining those p

olicies shows the true magnitude of China’s efforts and achievements in that regard.

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