hina promises to counter US tariffsay urged tes to c

China’s Ministry of Commerce on Thursday urged the United States to correct its use of tariffs, and vo

wed to take necessary countermeasures if the US’ new tariff plan targeting $300 billion in Chinese imports takes effect.

The US government’s bullying behavior and maximum pressure regime on China violate mu

ltilateral trade rules, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular news conference.

The office of the United States Trade Representative proposed to take further action by imposing 25 percent of addition

al tariffs on Chinese imports with an annual trade value of approximately $300 billion. The USTR is seek

ing comment and will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed modification on June 17.

Gao said the impact of US tariffs imposed on Chinese products starting last year was “completely controllable.”

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Govt should accelerate tax cuts to invigorate economy, pre

Premier Li Keqiang urged government departments to speed up the implement

ation of tax reductions to invigorate the country’s economy, amid rising uncertainties about growth on Friday.

Li was speaking with entrepreneurs from the manufacturing, constructio

n and service sectors at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.

The businesspeople said they have received benefits from the tax reduction measures in t

he past months, after the measures were introduced by Li in the Government Work Report in March. Th

ey also offered advice on how to further ease the tax burden on businesses.

After hearing their opinions, Li called tax reduction a great decision

made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. It has boosted

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teps aimed at helping further develop countryside opt

hina will undertake key measures to further integrate the country’s rural and urban areas

and encourage the transfer and free flow of people and resources throughout the nation.

Measures include relaxing hukou (household registration) barri

ers, reforming zoning regulations for rural and residential land, marketing collective land

in rural areas for development purposes and increasing infrastructure spending in the countryside.

Experts said the new plan, announced by the Communist Party of China Ce

ntral Committee and the State Council late on Sunday, is aimed at helping realize steady progr

ess in rural revitalization, driving up the process of urbanization and further boosting the economy.

China has a three-step plan. First, it will initially build a framework an

d mechanism for integrated development of urban and rural areas, and gradually rem

ove limits on hukou registration in cities by 2022. Second, it will bring about an improved framewo

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Investment high on Sino-Swiss agendalcoming cerem

China and Switzerland should make joint building of the Belt and Road into a new highlight of bilateral cooperation and firm

ly safeguard economic globalization and trade liberalization, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Xi spoke during a meeting with Swiss Confederation President U

eli Maurer, who is to conclude his eight-day state visit to China on Tuesday.

Noting that China’s establishment of a bilateral innovative strategic pa

rtnership in 2016 with Switzerland was the first ever created with another country, Xi said

that China is ready to work with the European country to further strategic cooperation.

Xi also underscored the importance of following a pioneering spirit, recalling that Swiss busines

ses began to explore the Chinese market soon after the country’s reform and opening-up began.

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delivers keynote speech at second B&R forum

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt

and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday. Here are the highlights.

Belt and Road opens up new space for global economic growth

Joint building of the Belt and Road has opened up new space for the world’s economic grow

th. It also created a new platform to boost international trade and investment, expanded new practices to optim

ize the global economic governance, and made new contributions to improving people’s well-being of all countries.

High-quality development of Belt and Road stressed

The principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits should be uphel

d. The open, green and clean approaches should be adhered to. The goals of high-standard, livelihood-impro

ving and sustainable development should be achieved.High-quality, sustainable infrastructure under BRI highlighted

Infrastructure is the cornerstone of connectivity

and a bottleneck of development confronting many countries. Bui

lding infrastructure with such standards can help countries give full play to their advantages in resources and b

etter integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains for interconnected development.

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Seven arrested as Sri Lanka bombings death toll rises to 207

The death toll from a rash of bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka rose past 200, police and local media said.

“Altogether we have information of 207 dead from

all hospitals. According to the information as of now we have 450 injured peop

le admitted to hospitals,” Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera told reporters in Colombo.

Altogether eight explosions have ripped through the country so far, with six blasts hitting in t

he morning and two in the afternoon. The curfew has been imposed from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Morning explosions occurred when hundreds of worshipe

rs gathered at churches to commemorate Easter Sunday, the police said.

Police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said two explosions were reported fro

m St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in capital Colombo and another church in Katana on the outsk

irts of the capital; a third explosion was reported from a church in Batticaloa in the east.

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Top economic planner bullish on reaching annual growth

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in the first quarter of 2019, and the country has the confide

nce to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country’s top economic planner.

“The first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the an

nual growth,” said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditio

ns and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year.”

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 perce

nt year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

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The meetings on Thursday and Friday are all part of

f the 8th Summit of Central and Eastern European Countries & China.

At the China-CEEC economy and trade forum before the leaders meeting, Li called for strengthening trade facilitation and exp

anding two-way opening-up of markets. China is willing to expand imports of goods from CEE nations, particu

larly agricultural products that cater to the demand of Chinese consumers, he said. Trade of farm goods, machine

ry and electric devices should be further boosted and logistics sped up between the trading partners, he said.

Li said trade between China and the 16 CEE nations rose by 21 percent to a record high, de

spite a global trade slowdown. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with CEE nations in infrast

ructure based on market rules and following European Union rules and standards, he said.

Li advocated the great potential for trade and economic cooperation between China a

nd the 16 countries. China-CEEC cooperation is a helpful addition to China-EU ties, he said.

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BRI winning hearts and minds in Azerbaijanative to

“The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 has touc

hed the hearts of the Azerbaijani people, as the restoration of the ancient Silk Road i

s for the benefit of the entire world, and the development and prosperity of all countries,” Hajiyev said.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is not imposing anything on anyon

e, it just provides a framework for mutually beneficial cooperation,” he added. The fundam

ental features of the Belt and Road Initiative are that every country knows how to de

velop in their own way. As China and Azerbaijan have a strong traditional friendship, Hajiyev believes the init

iative will provide immense opportunities to bring China and Azerbaijan closer.

According to Hajiyev, Azerbaijan fully supports the initiative, and

is building new bridges of cooperation and frien

dship. “We are looking forward to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Co

operation at the end of this month, and Azerbaijan will actively participate in this high-level event,” he said.

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He called on both countries to fully carry out consen

nsuses that have been reached to make new progr

ess in their all-around partnership of friendship and cooperation.

China is willing to import more high-value-added Belgian produ

cts that cater to demand in the Chinese market, and Bel

gium is welcome to participate in the second China International Import Expo this year, Li said.

In the meantime, the world’s second-largest economy will work with Belgium to fully implement t

heir memorandum of understanding for third-party market cooperation to enhance their cooperation in Africa, the premier added.

Michel said Belgium has attached great importance to its relations with China and will d

eepen bilateral cooperation in trade, agriculture and shipbuilding. He said he hoped the Ch

ina-EU leaders’ meeting would be successful, safeguard multilateralism and promote trade.

In October, Li visited Belgium while attending the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit.

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