Provincial growth tops expectationsroducts at a mach

Figures show faster Q1 development, signaling a healthy start for industries

Most provinces in China achieved faster-than-expected growth in the first quarter of 2019, reflect

ing the resilience of the country’s sprawling industrial economy, the country’s top industry regulator said on Tuesday.

Huang Libin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a news conference that 22 p

rovinces’ industrial growth rates from January to March were higher than their targets for the whole year and driven

partly by central and local governments’ favorable policies to accelerate supply-side reform.

Industrial output in Zhejiang province grew 8.9 percent year-on-yea

r in the first quarter, compared with the 7.3 percent it recorded for all of 2018 and faster

than its 2019 target, Huang said, without specifying the province’s growth goal.

“We are in the critical stage of industrial upgrading and seeking high-quality development. The upb

eat readings will continue boosting market expectations and confidence,” he added.

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Zhang Huoding, one of the most popular Peking Opera

 stars in today’s China, will take the opera makeover to the stage of the Chang

‘an Grand Theater on May 25, as the closing show of this year’s Meet in Beijing inte

rnational arts festival. Celebrated Peking Opera artist Gao Mukun will star as Xiang Yu.

For 48-year-old Zhang, it’s a dream come true.

“It’s always been my dream to play concubine Yu since I was learni

ng Peking Opera in Tianjin in the 1980s, but I didn’t get the chance,” Zhang said at a news conf

erence in Beijing on Tuesday. “I look forward to it very much and I hope the audience will like it.”Zhang is an inh

eritor of the “Cheng School” of Peking Opera, a performing style founded by Cheng Yanqiu (1904-58), one of the great Pe

king Opera masters of the 20th century. While Mei Lanfang’s “Mei School” is fam

ous for his smooth, moderate and poised style in playing elegant female roles, Cheng style is kn

own for interpreting tragic women with frequent changes in sounds and rhythm.

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Though Farewell My Concubine has long been a master

piece of the Mei School, Wan Ruixing, renowned Peking Opera composer and player of the jingh

u (a high-pitched two-stringed fiddle used in Peking Opera), said the Cheng School’s sorrowful tunes a

nd slow rhythm also could be a decent interpretation of concubine Yu’s tragic fate.

“There are more tragedies in the Cheng School’s plays and the characte

r of Yu and her deep sorrow in the legendary story meet very well with the featu

res of the Cheng School,” said Wan, who is also responsible for the new play’s method of singi

ng tunes.A former actress from the China National Peking Opera Company, Zhang has performed in sellout shows acros

s China, including a solo show at the Great Hall of the People in 2007. In 2015, Zhang made her US debut at Lincoln Ce

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Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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He said that from a long-term perspective, populat

ion determines economic growth. Even though it will take some time, the large number of people i

n BRI-related economies will ultimately prove the potential for economic development in those countries.

Ma Yu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperatio

n, said the BRI provides a new impetus for the recovery of the world economy. The improvement in infra

structure, and digital-related manufacturing brought by the BRI will restore the development capacity of the worl

d economy and bring new opportunities for the partnership between Chinese and local companies.

Also on Monday, the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative

released an official report on the development, achievements and prospects of the BRI.

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The meeting called for expanded investment in comp

ulsory education, basic medical care, housing, drinking water, eldercare and ch

ild care, in addition to addressing other pressing issues for some groups in society.

Social security mechanisms to help those most in need will be furthe

r refined, with subsistence allowance systems set to be optimized, the statement said.

The meeting also called for full implementation of requirements set in the Ce

ntral Economic Work Conference, the annual policymaking meeting held in December.

The meeting urged an even more proactive fiscal policy and full implementation of tax and fee cuts.

Monetary policy will be eased or tightened to the right degree, and

it will be adjusted in accordance with economic growth and real-time inflationary and pricing

scenarios, the statement said, adding that financial support for the real economy will be bolstered.

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Govt plans slew of policies to boost consumption

A slew of new policies aimed at encouraging consumption

in key sectors will be unveiled soon, China Securities Journal reported.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.3 pe

rcent year-on-year to 9.78 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in the January-M

arch period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In March alone, retail sales went up 8.7 pe

rcent to 3.17 trillion yuan, quickening from the 8.2-percent rise seen in the first two months.

In recent years, the government has, on the one hand, frequently intro

duced policies to promote opening-up, increase import and improve consumer welfare. On

the other hand, it has reduced and scrapped import tariffs on some consumer goo

ds. This has played an active role in consumption, Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Comm

unication said, adding that consumption still is the key driver for economic growth.

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Besides, the blasts in Sri Lanka indicate terrorists coul

ld also target areas that until now were considered terror-free, especially Asian tourist destinations such as the Maldives and Thaila

nd, because they attract a large number of Western people, as well as investments and interests. To prevent such

terrorist attacks, all countries have to make joint efforts to not only strengthen their security but also impr

ove their coordination so they can more effectively combat the common threat of terrorism.

Even though there is no evidence to show social media played a role in the attacks in Sri Lanka, all countries should strengt

hen supervision of the internet because it is being increasingly used to spread terrorism and plan terrorist atta

cks. The IS group’s online tyranny could be more dangerous compared with its actual presence in a country as a ban

ned organization, because its online propaganda could prove more effective in leading people astray.

Therefore, governments — with the active help of internet companies — have no choic

e but to play a bigger role in containing the spread of terrorism online.

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Xi’s remarks will guide younger generations in taking his

tory as a mirror, and combining their personal ideals with the dream of national rejuvenation, Hu Xianzhong, a senior re

searcher at the China Youth and Children Research Center, said in an article published by China Youth Daily on Sunday.

Since the movement began nearly a century ago, the country’s youth

has been collectively marching with the times and the people under the leadership of the C

PC-whether in periods of revolution, construction, or in the nation’s campaign of reform and openingup, Hu said.

As the centenary of the movement draws near, a good understanding of its history will make yout

hs know more about why their futures are closely connected with the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation so that

they will find their niches and play bigger roles in the country’s socialist cause, he added.

Chen Yuhao, a postgraduate student at the U

niversity of International Business and Economics, said the spirit of patriotism, progress, democracy and s

cience is still the core value of Chinese youth, and should be upheld and carried forward in the new era.

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The first draft also improved rules on developing a m

ulti-layer capital market system, strengthening investor p

rotection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to

improve regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclos

ure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO syst

em reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language “Commentaries on International Affairs”.

On Thursday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) release

d a panel report on the case the United States lodged in December 2016 against China for its

use of tariff-rate quotas for wheat, rice, and corn. The WTO panel ruled that China’s administration of tariff-rate quo

tas violated its commitment to administer them transparently, while rejecting

the appeal by the American side which demanded that China release the information on tariff-rate quotas.

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