investment in environment-friendly urban mas

 transit. According to NBS preliminary estimates, the share of consumption of clean energy such as natural gas, hydropo

wer, nuclear power and wind power in total energy consumption in the first quarter was 1.5 percentage points hi

gher than that of the same period last year. Energy consumption per unit of GDP went down by 2.7 percent year-on-year.

Total investment in fixed aassets grew by 6.3 percent, with private invest

ment growing at 6.4 percent, slightly faster than the overall number. This is es

pecially significant in the light of last year’s fears that private investment in the econo

my might collapse. So, the government’s efforts to strengthen the private sector appear to have borne fruit.

Investment in high-tech manufacturing rose by 11.4 percent and investme

nt in high-tech services rose 19.3 percent, both far higher than overall investment gro]

wth. This shows that the shift toward advanced manufacturing and services is well underway.

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Chinese firms ideal partners on Belt and Road Initiative

Firms from China and the UK are ideal partners in many countries along t

he Belt and Road Initiative, a China-Britain Business Council official said in Beijing.

“The UK has taken a very positive view on seizing these opportunit

ies for UK businesses, particularly our banks, our large consultancy firms and our infr

astructure companies,” said Jeff Astle, managing director of China operations at the council.

British expertise in areas of financial services, banking, legal services, consulting services around engineering pro

vides a broad range of opportunities for UK firms to collaborate with Chinese firms in other countries, Astle said.

“We benefit from many English legal jurisdictions in many

of these countries, the English language and our businesses have long history and experiences in these coun

tries. That means we are a great ideal partner for Chinese firms in many of these Belt and Road counties,” said Astle.

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The BRI originated in China but its opportunities an

 outcomes belong to the world, Xi said, adding that the second forum sen

ds a clear message to the world: The BRI will have a brighter future as the circle of its

supporters expands, as good partners increase and as the quality of cooperation improves.

Around 5,000 people from some 150 countries and about 90 international organizations attended the forum.

Participants hailed the BRI as a great initiative for economic cooperation, saying it is conducive t

o promoting connectivity and enhancing international cooperation in fields such as trade, investment and sustainable development.Calling Belt and Road con

struction a path to common prosperity, Xi said that early results from the BRI op

en up more space for global economic growth, build a platform for international cooperation and make new co

ntributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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Noting that China has the world’s biggest middle-incom

income population, Xi said that China would open up its market continuously and welcome quality products from around the world.

China does not pursue a trade surplus intentionally, and it would like to import more com

petitive farm products, finished products and services to promote the balance of trade, Xi said.

China will promote greater openness in modern services, manufacturin

g and agriculture, allow foreign capital to hold the controlling share in more areas and buil

d some new free trade pilot zones to further ease market access for foreign capital, he said.

China will speed up making relevant rules and regulat

ions and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, Xi said, adding that the cou

ntry will push forward supply-side structural reform through fair competition and international cooperation.

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Jon Taylor, a professor of political science at the Uni

versity of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, in the United States, said Xi

wants to convey a specific message: that China sees the BRI as a method by which it can make

a substantial and permanent contribution to lasting peace, common security and global prosperity.

“While some Westerners may scoff at the impact they think the BRI m

ay have on these issues, Xi genuinely sees the BRI as a global development project and will cont

inue to wholeheartedly put China’s money, resources and energies into this project,” he said.

Chen Weihua in Brussels, Bo Leung in London, Zhao Huanxin in Washington, Edith Muteth

ya in Nairobi and Chen Yingqun in Beijing contributed to this story.The profits of China’s major indu

strial firms surged by 13.9 percent in March, a drastic rebound compared to the 14-percent decline in January-Febru

ary period, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Saturday.

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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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ent Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony of the

hina will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale. China will further lower its tariff rates.

China not to adopt beggar-thy-neighbor currency devaluation

China will continue to improve the exchange rate formation mechanism of its curren

cy, the renminbi, and keep the exchange rate generally stable on a reasonable and balanced level.

China establishes mechanism for fulfilling international agreements

China attaches great importance to the establishment of a constrain

t mechanism for the fulfillment and implementation of international agreements, and the modi

fication and improvement of laws and regulations in accordance with the need of further opening-up.

Fair treatment to Chinese enterprises, students, scholars abroad called for

All countries should create a sound investment environment, and treat Chinese e

nterprises, students and scholars abroad as equals. All countries should provide a fair and friendly envir

onment for them to carry out normal international exchanges and cooperation.

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Also, the UNOOSA just signed a framework agreeme

 with China, allowing UN member states to participate in its scientific missions for the exploration of the solar system. It will bri

ng scientists from all over the world to work together, which will bring a lot of innovation,” she added.

The meteorological satellite jointly designed and constructed by

Chinese and French scientists has already started to send back data on the wind and ocean wave

s after it was sent to orbit by a Chinese rocket in October. The data can help scientists learn more about climate chan

ge, said Lionel Suchet, chief operating officer of the National Centre for Space Studies of France.

“In 2021, France and China plan to jointly launch an astronomical satellite to help the world deepen

its understanding on the gravitational wave,” Suchet said. “Space is our future, we need to step into it together.”

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China looks to strike a balance between meeting finan

ancing needs, sustainable development and debt sustainability, according to Finance Minister Liu Kun.

“We will build a high-standard and high-quality financing system to s

upport long-term and sustainable BRI investment while preventing debt risks,” Liu said.

He suggested promoting financing cooperation for projects in

third-party countries, equity investment and attracting more private funding.

Enhancing debt and risk management is a key consideration for deepening BRI financi

ng cooperation, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

“The debt issue in developing countries should be treated objective

ly. If debt growth is accompanied by infrastructure improvement, enhancement of people’s liveliho

ods and productivity and poverty reduction, it will be beneficial for the sustainability of long-term debt,” Yi said.

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Only a united global community can uproot both th

terrorist cells and the soil that breeds them. Countries with different political and so

cial systems should overcome any biases and abandon any double standard so as to form a united front against global terrorism.

The atrocities in New Zealand and Sri Lanka show even countries th

at seem to have a low risk of becoming the target of terrorists cannot remain immune to the scou

rge. To win a battle against terrorism, the world needs to address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism.

In the end, instead of pointing fingers, it is essential that countries enhance both the effect

iveness and efficiency of their cooperation with real coordinated actions.The much anticipated Russia-DPRK

summit is seen as a possible chance to break the deadlock in denuclearization talks, ease Pyongyang’s sancti

ons pressure and catalyze a new drive for economic development in the region, analysts said.

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