Event planned to fete PLA Navy’s 70th anniversary

More than 60 countries will send naval delegations to participate in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peo

ple’s Liberation Army Navy in late April, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

The celebration will showcase the progress of the PLA Navy and its growing capabili

ty in safeguarding China’s overseas interests as well as regional and world peace, an expert said.

The multinational naval event will take place in Qingdao, Shandong province, in late Ap

ril, said ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian. April 23 is the 70th anniversary of the PLA Navy’s founding.

The naval event will include high-level dialogues, an international fleet review, military band performances, cultural and sports e

xchanges as well as other activities, Wu said. Some nations will send military ships to participate in the fleet

review, though details are still in the works and will be announced at a later date, he added.

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Currently, all special purpose local government bonds are

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.

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ao poses with a dog at her brick-and-mortar store in Chen

Zeng Niaoniao, a qipao designer in the post-95s generation, started her business when she was a sophomore in 2015, and now runs stores both online and off.

Last year, the turnover from her online store reached 12 million yuan ($1.78 million)

The 24-year-old designer has a track record on improving qipao, displaying her work at the 2018 Shan

g Fashion Week and attracting Chinese pop idol Yang Chaoyue to wear her design for an advertising photoshoot.

Zeng said her wish was to see people wearing her designs to stroll around town, and sh

e wanted to bring more improveqipao with new designs to young Chinese girls.

May’s offer to quit fails to break Britain’s Brexit stalemate

LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to sway hardline opponents of her European Union divorce de

al on Wednesday with an offer to quit, but parliament’s bid to agree an alternative fell short, leaving the Brexit process as deadlocked as ever.

May told her Conservative lawmakers she would step down if her Brexit deal was finally passe

d by parliament at the third attempt, in a last-ditch bid to win over many of her party’s eurosceptic rebels.

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In a spectacular display of indecision, the House of Comm

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.

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I didn’t even know I had to wear all white, nor did I prepare

a different pair of shoes for the surface. I was overwhelmed, in an embarrassing way.”

Li played the final match of her stellar career at Wimbledon 2014 before retiring due to a chronic knee injury two months later.

Now enjoying life as a housewife and businesswoman, the two-time Grand Slam singles champion spares no effort to en

sure that China’s new generation of players are better prepared than she was for life as a pro.

Her passion for the sport remains undiminished and shone through at Tuesday’s event at Beijing’s

1123 Junior Tennis Academy, where the 37-year-old hit shots with some young hopefuls and shared insights about life on the tour.

With more international tournaments visiting the country and strong government support and investment, tenni

s has entered the athletic mainstream in China, yet the nation still hasn’t found anyone to assume Li’s throne.

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Five Chinese women are ranked in the world’s top 50, spear

headed by No 18 Wang Qiang, who this week reached the Miami Open quarterfinals to

become the first Chinese to go that far at the premier mandatory event since Li’s run to the final in 2014.

Li is delighted to see her compatriots mixing it with the world’s best, but said she expects more.

“It’s good to have a group of girls in the top 50, but the resources they enjoy today make me believe they could do better,” she said.

With more advanced coaching and training methods, WTA

CEO Steve Simon reckons China will unearth the next Li sooner rather than later.

“The chances of finding the next Li Na are very bright; it’s just a matter of time,” he said earlier this month in Shenzhen.

The return of The Road to Wimbledon, a tailor-made tournament for under-14 players, f

or its fourth year in China is part of the latest effort to deepen the domestic talent pool.

It began on Monday with a weeklong trial camp overseen by Dan Blox

ham, head coach of the All England Club. The best performers will be picked to compete at a nat

ional tournament in Nanjing in May, which will decide China’s representatives at the global final at Wimbledon from Aug 11-17.

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After 10 years of development, China’s new energy veh

cles are starting to gain momentum in the private market. With the overall vehicle market remaini

ng flat, sales of new energy vehicles last year reached 1.25 million, up 61.7 percent year-on-year, and

the figure is expected to reach 1.6 million this year according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

China plans to stop subsidies on new energy cars by the end of 2020. To ensure a smooth transi

tion, the government decides to achieve this goal by enacting policy in several phases. This year’s subs

idy standard was slashed 50 percent on average from 2018, Xinhua reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The source said the proportion cut is basically consistent with falling ratios of general cost for co

mplete vehicles, while pointing out with the rapid expansion of the NEV industry some enterprises tend

ed to become reliant on long-standing subsidies, leading to weak competitiveness.

The statement also asked local governments to remove subsidies on purchases o

f new energy cars after a three-month grace period starting Tuesday. Instead, more funds will be used

to build infrastructure, including charging and hydrogen refueling facilities, and to facilitate relevant services.

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Meanwhile, 15.6 percent suffered cyber bullying and

percent encountered illegal or bad information, the report said. And 69.1 percent

know how to protect their rights and interests through the internet and report infringements.

According to the report, 91.9 percent learn relative legal knowledge through offline means, and 72.3 percent learn legal knowledge through the internet.

The report suggests that the regulations on protecting minor netizens should be legislated as soon

as possible. Authorities should enhance content supervision and industry management, regulating ente

rprises to shoulder social responsibly, promote education on the internet among minors and crack down on infringement.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD is starting to cultivate key opinion leaders (KOLs) to build u

p its strength in the field of e-commerce, according to a report by technology media 36kr.

At its JD Shopping Circle, a mini program for WeChat providing a platform for users to post reviews on products and share experiences, JD la

unched a “Super Partner Program”, aiming to incubate online celebrities in the e-commerce sector to take a share of the fan economy.

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It has formulated a set of support plans, such as brand coop

eration, network traffic distribution, packaging and promotion. And it will provide exclusiv

e agent for every super partner on the platform to help the super partner make decisions and amplify the effect of their contents.

In April 2017, JD for the first time launched the shopping c

ircle function, which allows users to join online interest groups of beauty products, maternal and chi

ld products, fashion, photography and food, and share recommended products and their shopping experience.

In November 2018, the mini program for WeChat based on the shopping circle function was launched.

As new e-commerce players such as Xiaohongshu taste success from social shop

ping, online celebrity and fan economy, JD also noticed that besides the traditional “sea

rch for products” mode, for an e-commerce platform there are new opportunities in community building and user-generated content.

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lawmakers seize Brexit agenda in bid to break deadlock

LONDON – British lawmakers seized a measure of control over the

stalled Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May‘s foundering governmeng up a seri

es of votes that could dramatically alter the course of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The move came after May conceded that Parliament would defeat her twice-rejected divorce deal with the EU again if she put it to a third vote.

With Brexit delayed and the new departure date up in the air, the House of Commons v

oted to give itself temporary control of the parliamentary timetable starting on Wednesday so lawmakers can vote o

n alternatives to May’s withdrawal deal. The government usually controls the scheduling of votes in Parliament.

Lawmakers who backed Monday’s motion, which passed 329-302, hope the planned “indic

ative votes” will narrow the options down to one that can secure majority support. Possible options inclu

de a “soft Brexit” that maintains close economic ties with the EU or scrapping Britain’s departure altogether.

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