China has to walk a fine balance between local govern

nment debt management and stable economic growth, especially at a time when trade te

nsions with the United States have imposed more downward pressure, said economists.

More financial resources and investors will be involved in the debt resolution process, said Qiao Baoyun, head of the Acad

emy of Public Finance and Public Policy at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

The last round of local government debt swaps started in 2015 and ended in August 2018, w

hich saw 14.34 trillion yuan ($2.08 trillion) of local government debt being swapped into bonds.

Local governments are set to face more debt burden in the next three ye

ars, as many of the previously issued bonds are set to expire, income from land sales has

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True, the first quarter of 2019 yielded better-than-expe

ted results. But the higher rate of FAI growth was to a large extent driven by a strong increase in investment in real estate, which is l

ikely to weaken sooner or later owing to the government’s commitment to cooling China’s “real-esta

te fever”. And, given the trade frictions with the US, China’s export performance for the rest of 2019 is highly uncertain.

To compensate for declining investment in real estate and weakening exports, China must maintain reasonable growth in inf

rastructure investment. To that end, the government should pursue higher spending (taking advantage of a strong fis

cal position), supported by accommodative monetary policy (amid very low inflation).

Fiscal and monetary expansion may be out of fashion among China’s mainstream economists, who insist that struct

ural adjustment must be the priority. But it could go a long way toward bolstering China’s economic per

formance in 2019, without impeding structural reform. The challenge is to strike the right balance.

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No quick fix for decades-old Israeli-Palestinian enmity

Concern over the recent escalation of tensions between Palestinians and Israelis have been temporarily relieved after Palestin

ian leaders in Gaza agreed a cease-fire with Israel early on Monday. Right now, nothing is more important than u

pholding the cease-fire as the atmosphere between the two rivals has not been so combustible since 2014.

Since Friday, militant groups in Gaza have fired more than 600 rockets a

nd other projectiles at southern Israeli cities and villages, killing four Israeli civilians, wit

h Israel retaliating with air and artillery strikes, killing 27 people, including 14 civilians, in Gaza.

The latest border clashes, the most deadly since 2014, have occurred against the backdrop of the changing Middle East po

licy of the United States, which has seen the US drop any pretense of impartiality and make clear its support of Israel.

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need to promote exchanges among civilizations and

 dialogues based on harmony in diversity and inclusiveness. We need to undertake the cultural responsibility of inter

national communicators, and let exchanges of culture and among civilizations, as well as mutual learning, co

nstantly serve as bridges for people’s friendship, the impetus of international cooperation and bond of world peace.

Second, we should become builders of world peace and development. The wheel of humanities’ de

velopment is unstoppable. Peace, reconciliation and harmony are historical trends. Equality, mut

ual trust and win-win cooperation are historical necessities. Yet, as international conventions are attacked an

d multilateral mechanisms are challenged, the anti-globalization tendency rises, and unilateralism and tra

de protectionism are becoming increasingly fierce. We must adamantly safeguard the contemporary interna

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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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Specifically, the draft likely will and should feature key

 reforms to foster an investor-friendly legal system, represented by strengthened information disclosure, prot

ection of investors’ rights and interests, and crackdown on legal breaches, Liu said.

China must promote the healthy development of the capital m

arket through key institutional innovations, the Political Bureau of the Communist Part

y of China Central Committee, the Party’s core leadership, said a statement released after a meeting on Friday.

Dong said the revised law is likely to be adopted by the end of the first half of the ye

ar, adding it is imperative and possible to expedite rolling out the revised version.

“Previously, controversies over the registration-based IPO system reform ha

ve prolonged the revision process, but now this factor has been largely lifted,” he said.

“As foreign investors are set to play a bigger role in China’s capital

market development, the revised law should also consider clarifying the rights and oblig

ations of overseas investors, to help them form a stable policy expectation,” said Xue Yi, an associate p

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The first draft also improved rules on developing a m

ulti-layer capital market system, strengthening investor p

rotection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to

improve regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclos

ure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO syst

em reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language “Commentaries on International Affairs”.

On Thursday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) release

d a panel report on the case the United States lodged in December 2016 against China for its

use of tariff-rate quotas for wheat, rice, and corn. The WTO panel ruled that China’s administration of tariff-rate quo

tas violated its commitment to administer them transparently, while rejecting

the appeal by the American side which demanded that China release the information on tariff-rate quotas.

www.exdkjp.cn

Four-day May Day holiday offers best of both the worlds

Editor’s Note: The May Day holiday this year would be extended to four days. When Premier Li Keqiang was asked at a news con

ference during the recent second session of the 13th National People’s Congress whether China would res

ume the May Day golden week holiday, he said relevant departments were studying the issue and would serio

usly consider the public’s opinions before making a decision. What effects will a four-day holiday have on the people and

the economy? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow:

Holiday answers people‘s appeals

The four-day holiday will, to a large extent, meet Chinese people’s require

ments for a better life, including the growing desire to enjoy quality longer vacations both at home and abroad.

There have been calls for longer holidays ever since the May Day golden

week holiday was reduced to three days. And the extension of the May Day holiday to four

days this year suggests the government has been taking public opinions into serious consideration.

riuy8.cn

British lawmakers reject all four Brexit options in sec

British lawmakers on Monday voted to turn down all the four proposed Brexit options on the ta

ble, the second time since Friday that none of MPs’ proposed Brexit options wins clear backing in the House of Commons.

MPs voted down all the four Brexit proposals chosen by House Speaker John Bercow in a bid to break

the current Brexit deadlock. The British government has until April 12 to decide how Britain will leave the European Union (EU).

None of the four alternatives to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Br

exit deal receives support from a majority of MPs in the second round of “indicative vote,” whi

ch kicked off at around 20:00 BST on Monday and whose results were announced at around 22:00 BST.

MPs voted 261 to 282 to reject the proposal that the United Kingdom stays in the single market and negotiates the customs union with the EU.

The customs union proposal means Britain’s close trading relations with the European Union after Brexit.

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If the US Congress continues to send the wrong signals

to the “pro-independence” DPP, it will embolden the Tsai authorities to take more risky acti

ons, and thus damage cross-Straits ties further, harming the interests of Beijing and Washington both.

US Congress members are elected by American voters as their representatives and, ther

efore, they should always put the interests of their people and country first. And instigating the Tsai authorities to fu

rther damage cross-Straits ties certainly doesn’t serve the interest of either American voters or the US as a country.

The author is a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University. The views don’t necessarily repre

sent those of China Daily.President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (both seated), witness the

signing of a memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road between He Lifeng, head of the N

ational Development and Reform Commission, and Luigi Di Maio, Italian deputy prime minister, in Rome on Saturd

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