Tracie

As a prominent expert on China-US studies for decade

 Zhu also was twice denied single-entry visas to the US.

“This shows how the US is trying to block normal social exchanges bet

ween the two countries, an important channel for mutual understanding and trust,” Zhu said.

Besides scholars in social sciences, the US also began last year to make it harder for Chinese graduate students to get visas if they stud

y in “sensitive research fields”. It warned biomedical researchers at US universities to beware of “Chinese spies

trying to steal information from their laboratories”, according to The New York Times report.

Jon Taylor, a professor of political science of the University o

f St. Thomas in Houston, said the decision is “both absurd and exceedingly shortsighted”.

“These scholars and researchers are social scientists with a long history of interactin

g with their American counterparts as well policymakers in both countries,” he said.

“They are scholars teaching and researching what I teach and research. What are they going to steal?”

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The country will host over 5,000 participants from mor

than 150 countries, including 37 heads of state or government, for the thre

e-day event starting on Thursday, Wang said, adding the forum, themed “Belt and Road Coop

eration: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”, aims to bring about high-quality cooperation under the initiative.

President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech at the op

ening ceremony of the forum, and chair the leaders’ round-table summit, Wang said.

Saying the BRI has delivered real benefits to participating countries, Wang stated the hats like “debt traps” cannot be put onto t

he head of the Belt and Road, and this is not something any participating country would recognize.

He added that international communities should base their understandings and comments about the BRI on the facts.

Trade volume between China and the countries participating in the B

RI has exceeded $6 trillion, the number of investment is over $80 billion and arou

nd 300,000 jobs have been created for the people from the countries involved in the initiative, Wang said.

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The economy has stayed on the track of steady gro

owth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to mee

t the projected targets for economic and social deve

lopment this year,” Yuan told an NDRC news conference on Thursday in Beijing.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at a faster-than-e

xpected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, remaining at the to

p end of the government’s projected growth range of 6 to 6.5 percent for this year.

The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Zhang Chenghui, former director at the finan

cial research institute of Development Research Center of the State Cou

ncil, said despite the downward growth pressure, China will see many positive factors in the economy this year.

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The eastern area and central China region are accele

rating the push for economic upgrading, which offers strong impetus for the growth. Despite the pressure, we still can see gr

owth momentum,” Zhang said during a macroeconomic seminar earlier this month in Beijing.

“Recently, the government has introduced a series of su

pportive policies which will gradually help grow the real economy,” Zhang added.

NDRC said a further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in t

he first quarter, with surveyed unemployment ra

te remaining at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in March. And consu

mer prices registered a moderate rise of 1.8 percent in the first three months of this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was maintai

ned, and China’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded $3 trillion, Yuan added.

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Economic structure was further improved during the sa

me period. The value-added high-tech sector’s out

put rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, the NDRC approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly in th

e fields of energy, transportation and high-tech. The total investment hit 370.3 billion yuan ($55.3 billion).

The NDRC reportedly is considering a slew of new measure to boost spending on automob

iles, home appliances and consumer electronics products. People close to the NDRC said it has sent a draft plan to

encourage consumption in the three sectors, according to a report in the National Business Daily.

The news caused shares of home appliance companies traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen to increase

by 1.47 percent on Thursday, according to Shanghai-based information provider Wind Info.

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D’s stock tumbled after the student first accused Liu in A

August, and its shares have slowly crawled back since Decembe

r. Hong Tao, an analyst from GF Securities, said the tech heavyweight has faced troubles. JD’s adv

anced logistics system, which is its core strength, has been overtaken by Alibaba’s Cainiao Logistics.

JD is in the spotlight as it is reducing salaries for its delivery staff and seeing a round

of shake-ups in its management team. Its chief technology officer Zhang Chen, chief lega

l officer Long Yu, and chief public affairs officer Lan Ye, all announced their resignation within just one month.

The company said in February that it would lay off 10 percent of its senior executives above vice-president level this year.

The 7-coin set contains two gold coins and five silver coins, with a variety of shapes. Designs i

nclude traditional Chinese ornamentation, dragon, phoenix, flowers and bird. All are legal tender.

The coins are made by Shenzhen Guobao Mint, Shenyang Mint and Shanghai Mint.

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Amazon to end local 3rd-party sales in Chinaon offices in Ne

US-based tech giant Amazon.com Inc plans to shut down its third-party seller services on its Chinese online marketplace

in July, as it shifts its focus to offering Chinese mainland consumers overseas products rather than goods from local sellers.

Starting July 18, customers logging in to Amazon’s Chinese web portal will only see a selec

tion of goods from its global store, rather than products from local third-party sellers.

Amazon said it will keep running its other businesses in China, inclu

ding the cross-border shopping business Amazon Global Store; Global Selling, which helps Chin

ese merchants sell products abroad; its cloud service platform Amazon Web Services; and Kindle e-book devices and content.

“Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly

emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we’ve seen a very strong response from Chinese customers.

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From January to March, government tax income inc

creased by 5.4 percent year-on-year, 11.9 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter 2018.

Individual income tax decreased by 29.7 percent, the largest drop among three major tax item

s. Value-added tax growth has already slowed to 10.7 percent, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Local government income from land sales fell 9.5 percent in the first three months, the Ministry of Finance said.

As the central bank has taken a pause in monetary easing, fiscal policy should remain pro

active to stabilize economic growth and ensure the recent rebound is not just a seasonal fluke, said economists.

Xu Xianchun, a former deputy director at the National Bureau of Statist

ics, said that fiscal policy should be implemented “with proper intensity and at the right time”, t

o prevent large fluctuations in the investment growth rate and negative impact on economic stability.

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In early April, the US increased military interactions

with the island by officially acknowledging that military personnel have been posted in the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan since 2005.

US weapons manufacturer Raytheon was also granted a $9 million contract to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system.

Senior Colonel Liang Fang, a professor at PLA National Defense Universit

y, said the recent drill will test and enhance the PLA’s joint operating capabilities.

“It will increase the PLA’s ability to protect national sovereignty, and warn thos

e who are trying to undermine it to abandon their illusions,” she said. “Similar drills

will be more common in the future, with increasingly sophisticated equipment and training methods.”

Xiu Chunping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social

Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies, said the recent drill serves to warn the US and separati

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We will rebuild this cathedral all together and it is un

tedly part of the French destiny and the project we will have for the coming years … a national subscription will be launched, and well beyon

d our borders we will appeal to the greatest talent, and there are many who will come to contribute and rebuild,” Macron said.

We will rebuild Notre Dame, because that’s what French people e

xpect, because it’s what our history deserves and because it’s our deep destiny,” he added.

Already, two of France’s wealthiest men have pledged large donations. Billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Ke

ring group, which owns fashion brands including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, pledged 100 m

illion euros ($113 million) toward rebuilding Notre Dame, Agence France-Presse reported.

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of the LVMH group, which owns fa

shion labels including Louis Vuitton and Bulgari, said he would donate 200 million euros.

Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame, which has rece

ived about 13 million visitors each year-more than the Eiffel Tower-is regard

ed as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and sits at the heart of the nation’s history.

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