With all expressway lanes capable of offering ETC servic

vice by October, an increase in the number of China’s ETC users will make the 90 percent passage via ETC

a reality by year-end, the action plan said.

Starting from July 1, 2019, the country will strictly implement the poli

cy of granting a discount of no less than 5 percent off expressway tolls for ETC use

rs. By the end of the year, the number of ETC users is expected to top 180 million, the action plan said.

The plan calls for increased investment in building the ETC infrast

ucture to increase the proportion of ETC lanes, which should be no less than 70 percent by

the end of October for big and medium-sized cities, new towns and sites near scenic spots.

Given that some vehicles may not have installed ETC devices by yea

r-end, expressways will still offer some manned lanes, accepting mobile payment.

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It is the first time in eight years that a Chinese defense

 minister has participated in the event.Building a community with a shared future for mankind is the right path forward and the

trend of the times amid growing uncertainty and instability around the world, he said.

“No approaches to regional issues should resort to military blocs, nor should they undermine the interests of others,” Wei said.

He called out the United States for its military support to Taiwan and naval operations in

the South China Sea, saying they have undermined China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China resolutely follows the path of peaceful development and this commitment is en

shrined in the constitutions of both the Communist Party of China and the People’s Republic of C

hina, Wei said. “If this is not convincing enough for some people, nothing will be.”

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Measures to stimulate consumption in Guangdong province

Guangdong Provincial Government issued the Implementation Plan for the Improvement of the Consump

tion System in Guangdong Province, which proposes 29 specific measures in nine aspects in response to the current outs

tanding problems of restricting consumption. The Implementation Plan aims to improve consumer expectations, creat

e a good consumer environment, and promote the formation of a strong unified market.

According to the plan, the optimization and upgrading of automobile consumption will be promoted. The provin

ce will focus on promoting the application of new energy vehicles, speeding up the construction of charging site

s and replacing infrastructure, and making clear requirements for the construction of charging facilities in the pr

ovince’s expressway service areas, urban new public parking lots, and communities.

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At a meeting held in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, on

n Tuesday afternoon, Xi called for efforts to make new advances in the development of the countr

y’s central region. Xi presided over the meeting, at which he was briefed by the Party secretaries of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, He

nan, Hubei and Hunan provinces, as well as He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Promoting the rise of the central region is an important strategic decis

ion made by the CPC Central Committee, Xi said, adding that it has great significance in ac

hieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi said that although China is still in an important period of strategic opp

ortunity for its development, the country faces an increasingly complicated international situation.

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the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Alliance of

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 Silk Road are

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

“As a result, it is paramount to use new technologies and international cooperation to jointly tackle these nat

ural disaster risks, protect ecological security and achieve sustainable development,” Bai said.

The academy will continue to collaborate with foreign partners to create new platfor

ms and mechanisms to improve disaster management and ecological protection, he added.

Mami Mizutori, head of the UN Office for Disaste

r Risk Reduction, said in a video speech that the scale and reach of the world’s largest infrastructure initiative will impact billi

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The aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 from Aeroflot Russ

sian Airlines, was bound from Moscow for Murmansk in Russia’s far north.

It made an emergency landing at the airport shortly after takeoff with 73 passengers and five crew members aboard.

The aircraft circled before making a hard landing back at the airport after the crew issued a mayday alert.

As seen in CCTV footage, the plane touched down hard and skidded along the runway, spewing out plumes of black smok

e and nearly completely afire. The plane’s undercarriage collapsed as it slowed to a halt on the tarmac.

Yelena Markovskaya, spokeswoman for the Moscow interregional tr

ansport investigation department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Fed

eration, said on Monday that 37 people survived, including four crew members.

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Services are growing rapidly. The value-added of th

 tertiary sector, which is mainly services, grew from 56.7 to 57.3 percent of GDP from the same period last year. The

Index of Services Production increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the growth rate of overall GDP.

Overall retail sales of consumer goods also grew at 8.3 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast gro

wth, with the highest rates concentrated in upgraded products such as cosmetics, phones and computers.

And, high-tech services grew at an astonishing rate of 21.2 percent. In prepa

ring for consumer 5G telecoms next year, the output of mobile communications base stations grew 153.7 percent.

The data also show strong movement toward the government’s goal

of creating an ecological civilization. New energy automobiles and solar cells grew by 48.2 percen

t and 18.2 percent, respectively. Sales of urban rail vehicles grew by 54.1 percent, showing the

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China to support 5,000 people for BRI innovation excha

China will support 5,000 people from innovation sector in Belt and Road countries i

n conducting exchanges, training programs and joint researches in the next five years.

Sustainable development under BRI stressed

China will work with other parties to promote a coalition of sustainab

le cities and an international coalition for green development under the Belt and Road Initiative.

China to invite 10,000 representatives of political parties, think tanks, NGOs from B&R countries

A total of 10,000 representatives of political parties, think ta

nks and non-governmental organizations from count

ries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative will be invited to China for exchanges in the next five years.

China to allow foreign businesses in more sectors with controlling or full stake

China will allow foreign investors to operate businesses in more sec

tors with controlling or full stake. China will roll out a new batch of pilot free trade zones.

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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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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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