Thanks to the integration of its online-and-offline bus

inesses, McMillon said brick-and-mortar stores have become hybrid, and forward fulfillment centers.

He said Sam’s Club has been gaining strength in the country. The high-end m

embership store that was launched in China in 1996 has about 2 million members nati

onwide. By 2020, there will be 40 such clubs either in operation or in construction in the country. The format ha

s 23 stores currently in 19 cities stocking quality fresh food and membership products.

Globally Walmart has 11,300 stores, with a third of them large stores.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, in 2018 Walmart’s market share was 5.4 percent, an improvement from t

he 5.2 percent in 2017. Last year it opened 33 new stores, including 21 hypermarkets, four Sam‘s Club and eight compact stores.

Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said Walmart has to roll out

more innovations to further improve its operational efficiency and achieve growth through

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Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council’s Taiw

wan Affairs Office, said in a statement on Tuesday that the exercise aimed to protect national sover

eignty and territorial integrity, as well as protect the common interests of people from both sides of the straits.

Taiwan’s administration, led by the Democratic Progressive Party, used the drill as an opport

unity to “deceive and mislead the residents of Taiwan and to provoke and escalate a cross-Straits confrontation,” Ma said.

“Its goal of undermining cross-Straits relations and the peace and security of the region will not succeed,” Ma said. “Nobo

dy should underestimate our adamant resolve and ability to protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

On Tuesday, Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen said she will not be intimidated by the military d

rill, calling the exercise “a threat to Taiwan” and an act of “coercion”, the island’s media reported.

Tsai also thanked the United States for considering a deal with Taiwan to renew a $500

million training program in the US for Taiwan F-16 pilots and maintenance crews.

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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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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

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EU gives PM May ‘flexible’ Brexit recess to Oct 31

European Union leaders gave Theresa May a new Brexit deadline of Oct 31, four months longer than the p

rime minister asked for, in a move the EU summit chair said would let Britain resolve its domestic deadlock on the issue.

“EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October,” European Council Pres

ident Donald Tusk tweeted after eight hours of talks that went into the early hours of Thursday.

“This means (an) additional six months for the UK to find the best

possible solution,” Tusk added on the eve of what would otherwise have been the day Britain

crashed out of the bloc with no deal to smooth the departure for businesses and citizens.

Britain, he stressed, could still leave earlier if May secures parlia

mentary backing for her Brexit treaty, or it could amend what it wants from a future trade pact. “Until t

he end of this period, the UK will also have the possibility to… cancel Brexit altogether,” Tusk added.

The agreement gives May more than the three months to June 30 that she asked for to bui

ld a parliamentary majority behind the withdrawal treaty she negotiated with the EU last year.

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Flight systems, however, typically are built with a

 backup system so there can be no single point of failure. Since the crashes of Max jets in Indonesi

a in October and Ethiopia last month, Boeing has modified design of the anti-stall device to include two sensors on all aircraft.

The FAA allows airlines to make minor modifications in previously certified

aircraft to meet their operational needs, a rule Boeing followed in building the 737 Max for

foreign carriers. Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia’s Lion Air — involved in fatal crashes five months apart — repo

rtedly declined to buy two add-on safety devices that might have helped the pilots keep the doomed planes in the sky.

Neither airline purchased the “angle of attack” system display for readi

ngs of two sensors rather than one and a “disagree light” to be activated if the sensors prod

uce conflicting readings. The Lion Air crash in October killed 189 passengers and crew.

Airlines around the world, including China and the US, have flown the 737 Max, introduced in 2018, without incident.

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Wudang Mountain attracts foreign martial arts ap

About 20 Chinese martial arts schools in the Wudang Mountain region have tra

ined about 30,000 kung fu enthusiasts from around the world.

Yuan Xiugang, a member of the Wudang Martial Arts Association, has taugh

t over 60 foreign students since 1995. One of his apprentices, Jack, a 29-year-old from Ill

inois in the US, first arrived in Wudang 10 years ago. Now Jack has become a kung fu coach.

“My goal is to open a school in the US, letting more Americans appreciate authentic Chinese martial arts,” he said.

Thomas, another of Yuan’s students, is from France and explores tea culture. He leases about

two acres of a tea garden at Wudang Mountain. After mastering the technique of processing tea leaves, Th

omas decided to sell his products to European countries, like France and Austria.

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Instead of solely emphasizing high yields, the Green Su

 Super Rice project is geared to guarantee stable yields while beefing up crops’ resistance against drought, flooding and diseases,” Li said.

“Thus, farmers are able to save a large amount of resources, such as fertilizers or irrigation water, to fight those issues,” he added.

The sustainability of the approach is welcomed by Philippine agricultural researchers and farmers, according to Jose

Yorobe, a consultant with the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. He attended a meeting in Beij

ing on Tuesday, along with dozens of representatives from participant countries, that marked the project’s conclusion.

“Because of climate change and population growth, developing countries are now pressured to increase rice prod

uctivity,” he said. “Some high-yield modern varieties are still vulnerable to inclement weather, pests and disease.”

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The terraced fields are where my roots are. They are the

 golden rice bowls passed down from our ancestors,” said Lu, 61. “We cannot afford to lose them.”

The local terraced fields have been in existence for about 1,300 years when

the Hani people built a complicated channel system to direct water from the forested hillto

p to nurture paddies on mountain slopes. The natural and cultural wonder was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2013.

It has not always been plain sailing. In the 1960s, a blight caused for

est coverage to drop to just 17 percent, threatening the terraced fields with a devastating drought.

The situation improved in recent decades after China tightened its crackdown on illegal lumb

ering and returned marginal farmland into forest, breathing new life into the local forests as well as terraced paddies.

But as economic takeoff swept across China, the Hani villages faced new trouble, as their old w

ays of farming and the limited output failed to keep young laborers from leaving for better-paying jobs in the cities.

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hina will continue to suspend extra tariffs on

The State Council said on Sunday that China would continue to suspend additional tariffs on US

vehicles and auto parts after April 1, in a goodwill gesture following a US decision to delay tariff hikes on Chinese imports.

In December, China said it would suspend additional 25 percent tariffs on US-made vehi

cles and auto parts for three months, following a truce in a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, said the move was aimed at “continuing to create a good atmosphere for the ongoing trade negotiations between both sides”.

elt and Road Initiative serves to promote multilateral cooperation: China Daily editorial

t is natural for such a big international project as China’s Belt and Road Initiative to be ta

ken by some with a grain of salt. But the fact that 129 countries and 29 international organizations

have so far signed cooperation documents with China on the initiative shows that such views are in the minority.

The most common charges laid at China’s door are the Belt and Road is a debt trap and it is all about Chi

na’s strategic objectives. It has also been called a “scheme to split European Union”. And other labels will certainly appear.

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