ctive investment and harness the digital economy’s role in driving

le in driving China’s economic and social development.

“We need to upgrade our internet services. This is a key measure t

o boost consumption and meet the needs of our massive cellphone users,” Premier Li said.

Participants at the meeting agreed that upgrading and expanding the cap

acity of internet infrastructure should be an important area in boosting effective inves

tment. By the end of this year, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) ports relative to all broadband ports will be raised to more th

an 90 percent, 1,000M broadband will be extended to more than 300 cities, and base stations for mobile internet will be upg

raded with expanded capacity. The goal is to raise the speed of both fixed-line and mobile internet services to 1,000M.

Broadband networks will cover 97 percent of primary and middle schools nationwide this year, and dedicated inter

net services will be made available over time in hospitals and medical consortiums above the county level.

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The operation of the infant ward was suspended, and the

e hospital was ordered to solve management problems rela

ting to the case, check on the condition of the surviving babies and console the parents.

A deputy director of the health bureau of the Shunde district of F

oshan, Guangdong, was also fired, and others deemed responsible were punished.

No new case has been reported in the hospitals that have treated the affected babies.

The provincial health commission has ordered all t

he medical institutions in the province to check their infection-control procedures.

The viral strain that affected the infants was identified by the commission as Echo 11. It is an intestinal virus to which child

ren, especially infants, are susceptible. It is closely related to a respiratory infection.

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All of this has inspired confidence that the Chinese eco

Chinese economy can reach its indicative growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019.

Lower growth rate may mean more room for adjustment

Most Chinese economists seem quite comfortable with this targeted range. One explanati

on is that China’s potential growth rate is 6-6.5 percent, and a target should be set accordingly. Another is that a

lower growth rate would give the economy more room for structural adjustment.

From 1978 to 2008, China averaged an impressive 9.5 percent annual g

rowth rate. Then the global financial crisis struck, causing growth to plummet from 9.7 p

ercent in the third quarter of 2008 to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009. A 4-trillion-yuan ($640 billion) sti

mulus package, introduced in November 2008, soon brought about a powerful rebound, with GDP growth rea

ching 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010. But since then China’s economic growth has been declining, partly b

ecause the government withdrew its stimulus. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent.

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She added that Nepal sticks to the one-China poli

cy and will not allow any forces to use its territory to conduct any anti-China activities.

China’s State Council made public a decree Tuesday to prompt the integrated platform building for e-gov

ernment services to optimize the business environment and make government services more easily available.

The decree clarifies the goal and overall structure of the integrated

platform for e-government services, aiming to standardize the services nationwide, facil

itate information sharing and coordinate services among regions and departments at various levels.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents after the meeting.

China is now Nepal’s biggest source of foreign in

vestment, second-largest trade partner and second-largest source of foreign tourists.

Ahead of the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperat

ion, China and Nepal signed a memorandum on Belt and Road cooperation in May 2017.

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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first

 quarter, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

As favorable policies are implemented at all levels of government in the sec

ond quarter, manufacturers will start seeing concrete financial benefits and industrial out

put is expected to at least maintain a steady expansion from April to June, said Qin H

ailin, a senior industrial economy researcher at the China Center for Information Industry Development.

At the news conference, ministry officials also denied market rumors that China’s telecom carrie

rs are slowing down their investments in 5G, the fifth-generation mobile communication technology.

They said 5G is recognized as a fundamental digital infrastructu

re for societal and economic development, but it will take time to build a nationwide 5G netw

ork. China’s plan is to roll out the superfast technology step by step, the officials said.

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The two sides can help jointly find solutions to glob

 and bilateral issues despite remaining difficulties in bilateral relations, he said.

The thawing of ties between China and Japan was marked by Li’s visit to the country in

May, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years, and the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China in October.

The economic dialogue between the two countries was launched in 2007,

and deteriorated relations due to disputes over a number of issues resulted in an eight-ye

ar hiatus until last April, when the two sides restarted with the fourth round of dialogue in Tokyo.

China said on Monday that the Belt and Road Initiative is open to economic cooperation with

other countries and regions, and it does not become involved in territorial disputes of relevant parties.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing tha

t although the initiative was proposed by China, it is an international project for the public good.

While advancing the initiative, China upholds the principle of equality, openness and transparency and sticks to enter、

prise-oriented market operations as well as market laws and well-accepted international rules, Lu said.

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If Britain receives competing extradition requests, law

yers say the Home Secretary would have some leeway in deciding which takes priority. Considera

tions would usually include which request came first, and which alleged crime was more serious.

Most of the lawmakers who signed the letter are from the opposition Labour Party, whose leader, Jere

my Corbyn, wants Britain to refuse to send Assange to the US After Assange’s arrest, he prai

sed Assange for exposing US atrocities committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some Conservative Party members are also backing the move. Prom

inent lawmaker Alistair Burt, a former Foreign Office mini

ster, said the “minimizing of the issues in relation to sexual assault are really quite disturbing.”

He said the testimony of the women who have been involv

ed makes it “essential” that Assange face justice to either be cleared or convicted.

Assange, 47, has denied the sexual misconduct allegations, which he claims are politically motivated.

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The core of Beijing’s high-quality development is to

 better deal with the relationship between ‘capital’ and ‘city’, which is to strengthen the four funct

ions of Beijing — the national center of politics, culture, international communications and scient

ific innovation,” said Cai Qi, Party secretary of Beijing, last month during the two sessions.

According to the municipal authority, the new economy — industries with intensive innovation a

nd knowledge — now makes up 33 percent of the city’s economy, and this ratio is expected to keep growing.

President Xi Jinping’s three-nation visit to Europe last month prod

uced tangible fruits and showed that despite any differences that may exist between China and

the European Union, they have the common desire to strengthen cooperation.

Thanks to mutual efforts from both sides, China-EU interaction has been displaying good momentum. Over the years, their economic

interests have become increasingly intertwined, and people-to-people exchanges have flourished, formin

g a solid foundation on which bilateral ties have been able to grow and prosper in an all-around way.

changjiucf.cn


Ardern met with Premier Li Keqiang on Monday morn

ing, and the two witnessed the signing of four cooperative documents to pr

omote cooperation in tax issues, agriculture, finance and science at a signing cer

emony. A joint declaration on climate change was also released after their meeting.

Zhao Jianglin, a researcher of Asia-Pacific economic studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the visit by Ardern

will provide a timely boost to China-New Zealand relations after the dispute over the use of Chinese telecom equipment.

China has been a key trade partner with New Zealand, which could also provide important s

upport to the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s relations with countries in the South Pacific, she said.

A price cut swept China’s many sectors on Monday, as value-added tax rate reduction officially kicked in.

This year’s Government Work Report, which was released las

t month, said the rate bracket of 16 percent in manufacturing and other industries will

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