Under a pilot scheme, the first group of six provinces and cities sold 6.8 billion yuan in bonds
at commercial bank counters to individual buyers between March 22 and early April.
The coupon rates are between 3.01 percent and 3.33 percent, higher than treasury b
onds issued by the central government as well as bank deposits with the same maturity.
Gross local bond issuances hit 1.18 trillion yuan in the first qua
rter, compared with only 219.5 billion yuan in the same period last year.
The total quota for 2019 local government bond issuances is 3.08 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance.
“About 60 percent of the bonds were issued for ongoing construction, especially
for shantytown renovation projects, railways and roads,” said Hao Lei, head of the ministry’s Budget Department.
While debt financing continues to grow, the government is experiencing sharp declin
es in fiscal revenue growth, especially from tax and land sales, official data showed.
principles including that of the most favored nation and national treatment. If the US gets its way and introdu
ces the “American First” policy to the WTO as part of the reform, the WTO system would suffer a deadly blow.
It is imperative therefore that the WTO reform strengthens its dispute settlement mechanism, which is at the heart o
f the multilateral trade system, to overcome its existen
tial crisis. Besides, the principle of starting the reform from the least complicated areas should be adopted to carry o
ut deep and far-reaching WTO reforms so that it can accommodate the new trends in international trade.
As the largest developing and developed economies, China and the US generally represent the collective interests of the develo
ping and developed worlds. If the two countries make a breakthrough in the ongoin
g talks to resolve their trade disputes, they could join hands to drive the WTO reform forward.
And, as James Carafano, director of foreign policy studies at the Washin
ains into service. It said residents in the city would likely make about 340,000 trips by train on Friday.
Other branches of the railway system have also launched more runs to handle the increase of holiday passengers.
Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, fell on Friday this year. It i
s a traditional Chinese day on which people pay tribute to deceased family members,
friends and national heroes. Chinese people have used the day for spring outings since ancient times.
In recent years, the number of Chinese travelers, to both domestic and foreign destinations, d
uring the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday has increased annually, and most of them travel by rail for some or all of the j
ourney. For destinations within China, railways offer lower prices and more choices than airlines.
At present, China operates more than 131,000 kilometers of tracks. That fig
ure includes more than 29,000 km of high-speed rail, two-thirds of the global total.
Last year, China invested more than 338 billion yuan ($50 billion) in the construct
ion of 26 new railways and opened new lines totaling 4,683 km, most of them high-speed.
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.
going to be very severe economically,” Trump said. “We’re going to tariff a lot of their products coming in.”