Last month, China has set its GDP growth target for this

year at a range of 6 to 6.5 percent, according to the 2019 Government Work Report.

A further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in the first quarter, and the survey

ed unemployment rate remained at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in

March. Consumer price registered a moderate rise by 1.8 percent in the first three months this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was m

aintained, and China’s foreign exchange reserves remain more than $3 trillion.

Economic structure further improved during the same period. Value-added high-tech se

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

In the first quarter, NDRC has approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly i

n the fields of energy, transportation and high-tech sectors. The total investment hit 370.3 bill

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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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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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The World Economic Outlook noted that Chinese autho

orities have responded to the slowdown in 2018 by limiting the e

xtent of financial regulatory tightening, injecting liquidity through cu

ts in the reserve requirement ratio, and reducing personal income taxes and corporate value-added taxes.

The overall outlook for emerging Asian economies rem

ains favorable, with China’s growth projected to slow gradually towa

rd sustainable levels. It predicts the country’s growth will moderate to 6.1 percent in 2020.

“China’s growth is set to stabilize,” said Cheng Shi, chief economist at ICBC International.

“As China increased its growth stabilization policy efforts, its economy has shown sig

ns of stability in the first quarter and may further consolidate in the second,” Cheng told China Daily.

China’s business activity revived and beat market expectations

in March, with the manufacturing purchasing managers index return-ing into expansion territory aft

er three months of contraction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

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The panda house at the Copenhagen Zoo, designed by

 Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group, is inspired by the Chinese yin and yang symbol. The facility allows the male and fe

male pandas to live apart most of the year, yet in proximity and with easy access to a common area when the female is in heat.

Copenhagen Zoo CEO Jorgen Nielsen hailed the impending

arrival of the two pandas as one of the biggest events in the zoo’s 160-year history.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jin

ping nearly six years ago, has made practical progress, with 125 countries and 29 inter

national organizations having signed 173 cooperation agreements under the initiative framework as of March 27.

Under the initiative’s five cooperation priorities of policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, finan

cial integration and people-to-people bond, there are a batch of projects, such as transportation const

ruction and industrial infrastructure, in full swing or already having yielded fruitful results.

Here are some of the amazing projects achieved worldwide under the initiative.

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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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Crude steel production capacity in Hebei, Tianjin to be

Crude steel production capacity in Hebei province and Tianjin will be capped at 200 million metric tons

and 15 million tons by 2020, as part of China’s efforts to optimize the iron and steel industry, a senior government official said.

“There is too much capacity in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and

the surrounding areas, as well as the Yangtze River Delta region,” said Lyu Guixin, an ins

pector with the raw material department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

“The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region takes up only 2.2 percent of

China’s territory, but accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s crude steel output.”

Although official figures from the Chinese authorities are not av

ailable, Zeng Jiesheng, chief analyst with steel e-commerce platform Ouyeel.com, told Chi

nese media earlier that the iron and steel capacity of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region stood at about 280 million tons.

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The government has ruled out holding another referendu

um on Britain’s EU membership, but could change its mind if there appeared no other way to pass a Brexit deal.

Britain voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the EU in 2016. Since then, polls sugge

st the “remain” side has gained in strength, but it’s far from clear who would win a new referendum.

The new vote could leave Britain just as divided over Europe as it is now.

The Chinese aid team sent to cyclone-stricken Mozambique provided medical services to about 1,30

0 people and food to more than 1,000 on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

The first squad offered medical services to more than 500 people in a shelter 10 kilomete

rs away from its Beira city camp, and also disinfected an area of almost 10,000 square meters.

Having received information from an unmanned aerial vehicle, the seco

nd squad visited another shelter more than 70 kilometers away from the Chinese tea

m’s camp, carrying food and medicine, the ministry said in a statement late Thursday.

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Since 2015, more than 100 foreign experts and students fr

om countries involved in the BRI have visited Hainan annually to study agricultural technology, including Nanf

an’s breeding program, which is “playing the role of Silicon Valley for the country’s seed industry”, Wang said.

Hainan’s climate and biological resources have made Nanfan an important nati

onal center of seed propagation. Every winter, more than 7,000 domestic agricultural scientists and

workers are busy at the Nanfan centers. More than 70 percent of the country’s 7,000 crop varieties have been cul

tivated in the tropical island province, which is building a global resources center, National Business Daily reported.

“With good stress resistance and higher yields, hybrid rice seeds developed by Nanfan’s cen

ters are being welcomed in Southeast Asian countries,” said Xie Zhenyu, an assistant research fellow at the R

esearch Institute of Tropical Crop Germ Plasm under the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences.

“We have sent farming experts to hybrid rice growing areas overseas, and we give local farmers guidance, training and planni

ng for future development,” said Xie, who has worked as an expert in Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Gambia.

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The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

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