He clarified that the total government debt ratio stood at

percent of the national GDP at the end of 2018, a little higher than the

36.2 percent for 2017, but still much lower than the globally accepted warning level of 60 percent.

Given that the ratio is more than 200 percent for Japan and aro

und 100 percent for other major economies such as the United States and France, it is hard to un

derstand why China, with a much higher economic growth rate, is so often identified as cause for concern.

Some might point to China’s growth-obsessed local governments, which have long been criticized for their opaque ways

of raising funds to invest in massive infrastructure projects, often using financing institutions known as “local gove

rnment financing vehicles”. Much of the so-called hidden debts have been raised through such vehicles.

Yet thanks to deleveraging, the curbing of irregularities and the st

andardizing of government financing, among other measures that have been taken to rein in the hi

dden debts and prevent systemic debt risks, China’s local government debts are under control.

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That means Trump may not be able to bank on high perso

  nal popularity during the most dangerous political moments of his presidency.

  His scattershot approach to the office suggests he lacks the discipline that sustained Clint

on. And Trump’s incessant claims that he is the victim of “hoax” investigations and attempts to tear d

own the guardrails surrounding his office often give the impression that he has something to hide.

  And for all the years of controversies and scandals that plagued Clinton, the 42nd President was never the focus of so many c

redible civil and criminal investigations as are bearing down on Trump.pressured his then-chief of staff John

Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump a security clear

ance against their recommendations, three people familiar with the matter told CNN.

  The President’s crusade to grant clearances to his daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, rankled West Wing officials.

  While Trump has the legal authority to grant clearances, most instances are left up to the White House personnel securi

ty office, which determines whether a staffer should be granted one after the FBI has conducted a ba

ckground check. But after concerns were raised by the personnel office, Trump pushed Kelly and McGahn to mak

e the decision on his daughter and son-in-law’s clearances so it did not appear as if he was tainting the process to fa

vor his family, sources told CNN. After both refused, Trump granted them their security clearances.

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Zhang said a reasonable and moderate rise in military

expenditure is to meet the need of safeguarding national security and facilitating military reform with Chinese characteristics.

“Starting in 2016, the increases in our defense budget have been sta

ying inside single digits each year, as opposed to double-digit rises in the five consecutive years be

fore that year,” the spokesman said. “Compared with other countries, our defense spending in 2018 accounted for

about 1.3 percent of our GDP for that year, while some developed nations maintained a 2-plus percent proportion.”

China raised its defense budget by 8.1 percent in the fiscal year of 2018.Escaping the stre

ss of work and social bustle and finding yourself in a winter wonderland is a magical feeling. Although some people are most conv

ersant with summer vacations and destinations, there are a number of winter destinations that you need to visit. We h

ave taken the liberty to pen down some of the best winter locations in the world that are not so known by the lot. Th

ese locations have the capacity to keep you spellbound for the rest of your life! Endeavor to

make any of these destinations your target in the coming summer vacation and you will be happy you did!

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Xi stresses role of finance in serving real economyBEIJING

general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, underscored that China should deepen supply-side

structural reform in the financial sector and strengthen the sector’s ability to serve the real economy.

Xi made the remarks when presiding over a group study session of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau Friday afternoon.

The country should keep a fine balance between maintaining growth and forestalling risks and deal with risks in key areas

in a targeted and effective manner, he said, adding that China should deepen opening-up of the financial sector.

Xie Duo, Party secretary and chairman of Silk Road Fund Co., Ltd, briefed on the issue and made suggestions.

Xi pointed out that finance is a core competitiveness of a country, financial security is an im

portant part of national security, and the financial system is a major fundamental system in the process of economic and social development.

ezgpui191.cn

hey say they were sexually abused by sts, then silence

Lucie was just 16 when she became involved with a Catholic religious community after attending a holiday camp in Switzerland. At the time, she told CNN

,she was “very, very, very alone” and looking for friends and affection.
What she found at first was “really like a family

,” she said. But two years later — by which time she was preparing to become an “oblate,” a lay person affiliated with a rel

igious order — she says a pattern of sexual abuse by a charismatic priest who she considered her spiritual father began.

It took 15 years for Lucie — a pseudonym used at her request to protect her family — to realize that what she says she experienced over several months in the 1990

s was abuse. At the time, just 18 years old, she felt “disgusted” by the physical intimacy she says the priest for

ced on her but also wracked by guilt and powerless to stop him.
“It was like automatic you know. He wan

ted to go to the end — to ejaculation — and I was just like an object for him and I had a feeling he did this a lot of times,” she said.

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The 67-year-old princess, the eldest daughter of the late King

Bhumibol Adulyadej and sister of the present King, married an American and relinquished her title in 1972. After returning to Th

ailand in 2001 following her divorce, she resumed royal duties and enjoyed prestige among the Thai people, although her royal title has not yet been restored.

Around 20 military coups have taken place in Thailand since the country became a constitutional mo

narchy in 1932. The Constitution was also amended in 2017 during the military government’s rule.

In this context, the Thai Raksa Chart party (Thai Save The Nation, or TSN) tried to break the v

icious circle in Thailand’s politics by nominating Ubolratana as the prime ministerial candid

ate. The probability of her winning the election would have been high if she were allowed to contest. Her victory would have brought back political sta

bility to some extent. TSN is linked to former Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, who enjoys popular appeal in the country. Thaksin carried out several pol

icies that benefited the grass roots and won him their support. Even though he was ousted in 2006, his influence remains strong.

In the upcoming election, I believe pro-Thaksin parties can still have high public app

roval ratings. But considering the latest military-drafted constitution which gives considerable

rights to bureaucrats and military, it is still not known whether a pro-Thaksin politician can be elected prime minister.

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Both sides had specific discussions about a memorandum

of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues, Xinhua reported. The two sides said they will step up their work

within the time limit for consultations set by both heads of state, and strive for consensus.

Vice-Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin headed the talks.

After tit-for-tat exchanges of hefty import tariffs, China and the US agreed in December to halt new ta

riffs for 90 days to allow for talks. Since then, the world’s two largest economies have conducted i

ntense negotiations on a wide array of topics, such as trade and structural issues.

Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Ex

changes, said China and the US have maintained close contacts in recent m

onths, which reflects their positive desire to solve genuine problems and foster cooperation.

Wei, a former vice-minister of commerce, underlined the importance of conducting rule-based negotiations and seeking win-win solutions.

Diao Daming, associate professor at Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies, said the world’s two la

rgest economies can deliver positive results in future trade talks to allay global concerns.

hdflower.net.cn

Five more lunar locations get Chinese nameson data

Five more geographical entities on the moon have been given Chinese names,

based on discoveries from China’s latest Chang’e 4 mission, according to a news conference on Friday.

The China National Space Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Internatio

nal Astronomical Union held a joint news conference Friday to announce the five names approved by the IAU on Feb 4.

The landing site of the Chang’e 4 probe is named Statio Tianhe, and three annular pits around the landing site are called Zh

inyu, Hegu and Tianjin. The central peak in the Von Karman Crater is referred to as Mons Tai.

The five places are clearly shown on high-resolution images based on data from the Chang’e 2 and Chang’e 4 missions.

China’s Chang’e 4 probe, launched on Dec 8, landed on the Von K

arman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan 3.

www.ex187.cn

hina refutes report of contact with Venezuelan opposition

ina 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 Jo

urnal 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.

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Exercise leads Lunar New Year trendsival holiday, burning

During the Spring Festival holiday, burning calories has become a new trend from an internet catchphrase, chinanews.com has reported.

In many parts of China, sports have risen in popularity, as people enjoy working out by putting their

bodies in motion, reducing the physical burden of eating and drinking while staying healthier at the same time.

Fangfang, 24, from Taizhou, Zhejiang province, ran her first 5 kilometers of the Year of the Pig on Monday, as jogging to work makes her feel full of energy.

Dozens of winter swimmers from Yuhuan, Zhejiang, gathered at the beach behind Kanmen and rushed into to the sea against the cold wind to enjoy s

wimming. “We coastal people start the new year with our unique sport,” winter swimming enthusiast Chen Zhongfang said.

In preparation for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, games on snow and ice are drawing more interest. In snow and ic

e parks in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, a number of experiential projects have been set up, such

as a snow football field, ice bumper cars, curling, ice gyro and a snow circle. Thousands of citizens take part in such activities every day.

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