Month: March 2019
hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons
ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.
Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre
ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh
thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.
To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b
een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.
Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw
een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.
Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F
rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela
tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:
Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations
Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the
signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th
e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.
The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with
China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp
ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.
domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link
ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re
cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.
In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor
t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi
on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.
In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la
rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.
Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin
g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym
akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.
ons has voted against remaining in the EU and every version of leaving the EU,” tweeted James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman.
Nevertheless, some proposals fared better than May’s deal had done two weeks ago, and parlia
ment was due to hold more indicative votes on Monday after refining the options most likely to secure a majority.
Many Conservative eurosceptics had made clear they would only c
onsider supporting May’s deal if she gave a firm commitment to resign, hoping a new leader
would be more sympathetic to their views when negotiating the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers (MPs).
“I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new lead
ership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”
But within hours of May’s offer, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority gov
ernment, said it would vote against the deal if May brought it back a third time.
ister in a row to have fallen foul of divisions over Europe within her centuries-old party, following David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.
Most voters think the Brexit negotiation has been handled badly and there may now be a slight majority for staying in the EU, rec
ent polls suggest. Many Conservative MPs say May herself has caused the chaos by not negotiating harder with the EU.
“It was inevitable and I just feel she’s made the right decision. She has actually read the m
ood of the party, which was a surprise,” said Conservative lawmaker Pauline Latham.
Over two decades since her debut appearance at Wimbledon, Chinese legend Li
Na still remembers her awkward introduction to the iconic London tournament.
Li first competed there in the girls’ singles in 1998, and was tripped up by the switch f
rom hard courts to grass, not to mention the All England Club’s famous sartorial etiquette.
“I had no clue at all on how to play on grass,” Li recalled at Tuesday’s The Road to Wimbledon junior training camp in Beijing.
diplomatic ties. During their meetings, Xi agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to f
orge a more solid, stable and vibrant China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, and continue to explore the way for major countries to get al
ong with each other, which should feature independence, mutual understanding, foresight, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, Wang said.
In the joint statement issued by China and France on jointly safeguarding multilateralism and improving global governa
nce, the two sides pledged to build international relations of mutual respect, equality, justice, and win-win coop
eration on the basis of respecting international laws and the basic principles of international norms, Wang said.
Speaking of Xi’s visit to Monaco, Wang said leaders of the two cou
ntries have agreed to firmly stick to the correct direction of bilateral relations, adhere to open
ness and cooperation, and pursue more win-win results so as to jointly elevate the China-Monaco relations into a new era.
During Xi’s talks with Prince Albert II, head of state of the Prin
cipality of Monaco, the Chinese president said both sides should adhere to openness and cooperation a
nd pursue more win-win results, adding that China welcomes Monaco to actively participate in the joint development of the Belt and Road.
came to Europe again in his first overseas trip this year, manifesting the great importance China attaches to Europe, Wang said.
In a world of unprecedented transformations, Xi noted that a stable, strategic and reciprocal China-EU relationship is urgently needed.
Wang said during his visit, Xi had in-depth communication with the European leaders to discuss cooperation in internation
al issues and reached important consensus of adhering to multilateralism, and discarding isolationism and unilateral moves.
He also said Xi and the European leaders agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation wit
hin the UN system, give full play to the constructive role of global and regional multilateral mechanisms s
uch as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and Group of 20 and the EU, and
actively contribute to solving international conflicts, combating climate change and promoting sustainable development.
In his keynote speech at the global governance forum, Xi raised “four deficits” in global affairs including governance deficit, tru
st deficit, peace deficit and development deficit. To address these deficits, he proposed a four-pronged approach of fairness and reas
onableness, consultation and understanding, joint efforts and mutual assistance and mutual benefit and win-win results.
port, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33 gigatonnes last year, the highest level since
2013. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for one-third of the total increase.
The fact that most of the increase in coal use comes from coal power plants in developing Asia points to the harsh reality that greenhouse gas emissions are the cost be
ing paid for development. That the majority of coal power plants in Asia are only 12 years old on average, decades short of the
average life span of around 50 years, shows how challenging it is to cut CO2 emissions and maintain economic growth.
That the developing countries obtain help from their developed co
unterparts in both funds and technologies is essential to the fight against global warming.
It is high time that countries appreciated the urgency of this comm
on challenge and how important it is for concerted efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
ddress climate change, the loss of biodiversity and environmental
protection in a joint statement issued on Tues
day, after visiting President Xi Jinping met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
The two countries stressed that public and private funds should be directed to invest more to fight climate change and for biodiv
ersity protection, and there should be sustained financial support for the climate change actions of developing countries.
What is frustrating is the fact that solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace in 2018, with solar alone increasing by 31 p
ercent, but that was still not fast enough to meet the higher electricity demand around the world that has driven up coal use.
China remains the leader in both solar- and wind-generated energy followed by Europe and the Uni
ted States. But despite being on course to meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, sourcing 20 percent of it
s energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date is a tougher challenge for China. However, the addit
ional benefits of energy security and reduced pollution provide extra incentives for resolute efforts to achieve this goal.
later this week and was working to build support for the deal, which sets out the terms of withdrawing from the EU and the outline of future relations with the bloc.