Govt should accelerate tax cuts to invigorate economy, premi

Premier Li Keqiang urged government departments to speed up the implementation

of tax reductions to invigorate the country’s economy, amid rising uncertainties about growth on Friday.

Li was speaking with entrepreneurs from the manufacturi

ng, construction and service sectors at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.

The businesspeople said they have received benefits from the tax reduction measu

res in the past months, after the measures were introduced by Li in the Government Work Report in March. They

also offered advice on how to further ease the tax burden on businesses.

After hearing their opinions, Li called tax reduction a great decision made by the Communist Party of China Central Comm

ittee and the State Council. It has boosted market confidence in outstanding ways and promoted the stable

growth of the economy, he said, adding that the positive factors for economic growth are increasing.

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The aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 from Aeroflot Russ

sian Airlines, was bound from Moscow for Murmansk in Russia’s far north.

It made an emergency landing at the airport shortly after takeoff with 73 passengers and five crew members aboard.

The aircraft circled before making a hard landing back at the airport after the crew issued a mayday alert.

As seen in CCTV footage, the plane touched down hard and skidded along the runway, spewing out plumes of black smok

e and nearly completely afire. The plane’s undercarriage collapsed as it slowed to a halt on the tarmac.

Yelena Markovskaya, spokeswoman for the Moscow interregional tr

ansport investigation department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Fed

eration, said on Monday that 37 people survived, including four crew members.

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Those businesses have become the first beneficiaries in

China’s new round of opening-up, Xi said, adding that Switzerland

has also led European Union nations by signing a free-trade agreement with China.

He called upon both sides to give play to the opening-up spirit, which features cooperation and win-win outcomes.

He also pledged that China will continue to create an open and fair b

usiness environment for foreign enterprises, including those from Switzerland.

Maurer said both the Chinese and the Swiss are endowed with a hardworking, reliable and innovative character.

He said Switzerland welcomes investment from Chinese businesses and will not im

pose restrictions. Switzerland is ready to enhance exchanges with China in winter sports, he added.

Maurer also said he is greatly in agreement with speeches de

livered by Xi during the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

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The two countries should take the opportunity to join

intly build the Belt and Road, deepen mutual political trust and pragmatic cooperation and pr

omote the development of the China-Chile comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, Xi said.

The two countries should promote the upgrading of bilateral tra

de and investment and enhance cooperation in such areas as minerals, clean energy, infor

mation technology, e-commerce, innovation and scientific research on the Antarctic, he said.

Xi called on the two countries to make joint efforts to celebrate the 50th anni

versary of China-Chile diplomatic ties next year and promote people-to-people exchanges.

China supports Chile’s hosting of the United Nations climate change confere

nce and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economic leaders’ meeting this year, Xi said.

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Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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Xi shared some of his personal life. He said he has a dee

 interest in philosophy, history, literature, culture, music and sports, and that he first cul

tivated many of these interests back in middle school and they have stayed with him ever since.

His job is serving the people, and he works hard with a busy schedule, but takes great pleasure in his work, Xi wrote.

The Niles North students also inquired whether Xi likes the US.

Xi answered in the letter that he has visited their country many times and is impressed with the “beautiful landscape, hos

pitable people and diverse culture”, and he made a lot of friends, including some young people.

He said the students are “wonderful” and expressed hope that they will make greater progress in studying Chinese.

Learning Chinese will help them better understand China, a

d get acquainted with more Chinese friends and Chinese-speaking friends across the world, Xi said.

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yers do need their staff to work extra hours to meet pro

 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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US zoo holds farewell party for giant pandas Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo in the US state of California held a special ceremo

ny on Saturday to kick off a three-week farewell event for two giant pandas.

Twenty-seven-year-old female giant panda Bai Yun and her son, six-year-old Xiao Liwu, will leave the zoo in late April and b

e sent back to China, as the zoo’s conservation loan agreement with China has ended.

According to the zoo, their staff are working with their colleagues in China on future panda conservation and research.

The zoo’s giant panda program is the first joint research program established between Chi

na and the United States as early as in 1994, said China’s Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping.

“Like other joint giant panda research and conservation programs in the United States, t

his program has not only promoted the friendship and understanding bet

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Those criticizing the initiative may seek to present themse

lves as having more sense or greater perspicacity and thus able to see the “truth” of the Belt and R

oad. But those who seek to portray it as ill-intentioned are those who habitually speak ill of China.

Those countries and organizations which choose to join the initiative have a mind of thei

r own. They realize the initiative is not an endeavor that has been planned down to the finest detail, it

is a cooperation framework that is being given substance and significance through the collaborations of countries.

Just as China’s veteran diplomat Yang Jiechi said in an interview on the weekend, the Belt and Road Initiative has created ne

w areas for international cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect, justice, equity and win-win outcomes for all.

Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and director of the Office of the Central Commissi

on for Foreign Affairs, rightfully pointed out that the initiative provides a platform for fostering closer ties between countries, and i

t has created new impetus and opportunities for the development of the world economy by helping many of the cou

ntries involved remove development bottlenecks and implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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endees take photographs of an Oppo 5G smartphone model at a

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is making a strong push into overseas markets, after it strengthened its position as the second-largest player on its home turf.

The Guangdong-based company believes that its 10 years of experience in explorin

g foreign countries, and its growing pool of patents and international talent, will help it to go global in a better way.

Two days ahead of the Feb 25-28 Mobile World Congress Barcelona, the

largest annual telecommunications gathering in Spain, Oppo unveiled its first 5G sm

artphone and announced that four foreign telecom carriers are to be among the first to sell the 5G model.

Oppo said its 5G handset will use the United States semicond

uctor giant Qualcomm Inc’s Snapdragon 855 chipset and X50 modem to latch onto 5G networks.

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