The central bank will eliminate that interest rate margin

sooner or later, and guide commercial banks to lower lending rates closer to a market-determined level, Sun said.

“Theoretically, there is room for rate cuts of 1 percentage point,” said Zhang Tao, a

n analyst in the financial market department of China Construction Bank.

China has enacted both monetary and fiscal policies to offset downward pressure on eco

nomic growth this year. Some economists have predicted the growth rate may slip in the first quarter be

low the 6.4 percent of the past three months of 2018 because of factors such as trade tensions.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell decided on Jan 30 to shelve a plan to keep raisi

ng interest rates because of possible risks to US growth. The European Central Bank stopped exp

anding quantitative easing and warned about the negative results of Brexit.

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Talks can produce fresh progress toward a dea ina Daily editorial

It is encouraging that after the deputy-level meetings on Monday and Tuesday

to work out the technical details for an agr

eement — including a mechanism for enforcing any deal — the face-to-face discussions being conducted between d

ecision-makers from both countries are being held amid a general air of optimism.

The negotiations are being led by Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secr

etary Steven Mnuchin, whose cordial discussions in Washington on Jan 30 and 31 raised hopes that the two s

ides are genuinely doing their utmost to reach an agreement ahead of the March 1 deadline when US tariffs on $

200 billion worth of imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent.

But there are still obstacles to be overcome, and no one should underestimate how daunting a task the two s

ides face trying to resolve all the differences that have long existed between them in one clean sweep.

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He anticipated that the plan would further connect the

echnology sectors of Hong Kong and the mainland, facilitating more career opportuniti

es for Hong Kong local talent as well as offering a larger market for knowledge transfer.

Tam Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislat

ure, estimated that the plan would lay out development priorities for the area, and the key tasks each city should carry out.

Hong Kong will thus have a clearer direction for future development, and better understand how it can fully contribute, Tam said.

The Greater Bay Area encompasses Hong Kong and Macao, as well as nine cities in Guangdon

g province: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhongshan, Foshan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen.

In 2017, the 11 cities produced one-eighth of China’s gross domestic product while containin

g only 5 percent of the nation’s population and only 0.6 percent of China’s total landmass.

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hina refutes report of contact with Venezuelan opposition

BEIJING – China said on Wednesday that it hoped relevant media would report news abiding by principles of being objective and fair.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked for comments on The Wall Street Jou

rnal reporting that Chinese diplomats had contact with Venezuelan opposition representatives in Washington.

“Recently, some media have been cooking up fake news. I don’t know what the purpose is,” said Hua at a press br

iefing. “We hope relevant media will report news abiding by principles of being objective and fair.”

As for the current Venezuela issue, China advocates seeking a political settlement through dialogue and consultation, Hua said.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled to launch a US Air Force navigation satellite, sits on Launch Complex 40 after the

launch was postponed after an abort procedure was triggered by the onboard flight computer, at Cape Canavera

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Mentality of US poses biggest threat to humanity from space

Forget asteroids, it is the United States and its pathological need to maintain its he

gemony at any cost that pose the biggest threat to humanity from space.

In its latest Defense Intelligence Agency report, the US claims that Russia and Chi

na have taken steps to challenge the US in space technology, blatantly ig

noring the fact that space does not belong to it, and every country has the right to peacefully explore it.

The report says that “long-standing technological and cost barriers to

space are falling, enabling more countries and commercial firms to participate in sa

tellite construction, space launch, space exploration and human spaceflight”.

But from the way it talks about what China and Russia or other countries have a

chieved in their development of space technology, it seems as if the US believes th

at when it planted a flag on the moon it staked the claim to have the sole use of space.

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Despite China’s reiteration about it being committed to pea

ceful exploration of space and its openness to cooperation with any country in its development of space technology, the US will not give up its desire to hav

e dominance in this domain, and it is devoting a great deal of effort to presenting China and Russia as threats to serve this purpose.

Its huge investment in the development of a “Space Force” will, as a result, inevitably give rise

to an arms race off the Earth, which will shatter the human dream of the peaceful exploration of space.Be

ijing’s environmental watchdog is considering adopting the National VI (B) emission standards ahead of the cou

ntry’s scheduled time, aiming to reduce vehicle emissions and enhance air pollution control in the capital.

According to a draft plan published by the Beijing Municipal Ecological Environment Bureau on Monday, the new st

andard would come into effect first for diesel-powered trucks in public transportation and environmental sa

nitation industries and heavy-duty vehicles powered by gas in July, and then extend to other vehicles beginning in 2020.

Sales of these vehicles would be banned after the respective deadlines, but owners could

still register vehicles that meet the current standard one month after these deadlines, according to the draft.

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Space a new realm for Sino-US cooperationational Space Ad

After the successful landing of the Chang’e-4 lunar probe on the far side of the moon on Jan 3, Ch

ina is planning to launch Chang’e-5, a more advanced lunar probe, later this year to collect samples from the moon.

The Chang’e-4 mission, the first such mission in history, was an important m

ilestone in the lunar exploration program of not only China but also the wo

rld. About 50 years ago, the United States’ Apollo 11 landed the first humans on the moon, marking a critical step in spa

ce exploration. But no human has landed on the moon after 1972. Since Apollo 11, according to the US, effectively en

ded its space race with the Soviet Union, the Americans abandoned all ambitions to further explore space.

“Project Apollo” did not prompt other countries to join the space race because no country ot

her than the US and the Soviet Union could afford the huge costs. Even the US found it extremely difficult to s

ustain the project. For example, the cost of launching the Saturn V rocket, the carrier of Apollo 11 in 1969, was nearly $40

0 million, almost equal to the total budget of the US National Science Foundation that year.

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Consumers are more willing to spend money this year

Whether it is filial piety to the elderly or rewarding children or themselves, trading volu

me has kept growing. Spending on entertainment and travel also grew fast,” said Chen Han, a data analyst at China UnionPay.

Consumption has become the biggest driver for the economy, contributing 76.2 percent of the co

untry’s economic growth last year, up 18.6 percentage points over the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

“Judging from major economic indicators, domestic demand has become a decisive force of China’s economic gro

wth,” said Wang Bin, deputy director-general of the ministry’s department of market operation and consumption promotion.

Several factors will support steady consumer spending growth in China. Residential inco

me has been increasing fast and deeper pockets facilitate more spending. The second China Int

ernational Import Expo in Shanghai will also offer more access to global products, Wang said.

Wang Jun, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, exp

ects more favorable policies to further boost domestic shopping this year as nationwide tax cuts continue.

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“I can spend more time with my family and pay much less

for a house than in a big city,” he said. “I attended the first job fair to be held in my hometown on Sunday. I’m considering some job interviews and the salaries offered.”

Ningbo, Zhejiang province, will hold 44 job fairs from Tuesday to late March-42 percent more than last year.

Among them are eight large job fairs starting on Feb 16. More than 900 companies are ex

pected to attend each of the fairs, which will be held on Saturdays and Sundays for a month.

Starting in March, Ningbo will organize more than 2,200 compa

nies and government-affiliated institutions to attend 100 job fairs in 40 cities across Ch

ina, including Hangzhou, Zhejiang province; Xi’an, Shaanxi province; and Changchun, Jilin province.

Cities such as Taizhou, Zhejiang province; Heze, Shandong province; and Nantong, J

iangsu province, will also hold many fairs for job hunters and employers in February and March.

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Some conservatives in South Korea voiced concerns over a we

akening alliance with the United States at the same time as negotiations with North Korea to deprive it

of its nuclear weapons hit a stalemate. They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back so

me U.S. troops in South Korea as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Feb. 3 that he has no plans to withdraw troops from S

outh Korea. During his election campaign, Trump suggested he could pull back troops from South Korea a

nd Japan unless they took on greater a share of the financial burdens of supporting U.S. soldiers deployed there.

South Korean media earlier reported that Trump demanded South Korea double its spe

nding for the U.S. military deployment, before his government eventually asked for 1.13 trillion won ($1 billion).

Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. had called for a sharp increase in South Korean spending but didn’t elaborate.

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