In the past several months, China has announced and

started to implement a “negative list” program that allows foreign co

mpanies to have 100 percent ownership in investments in all areas of the economy, excep

t for a small number of areas, such as telecoms and defense, that are explicitly prohibited.

Also, foreign investment has been simplified by creating a one-stop regulatory shop and a single application process.

These new policies will lead to greater competition within China, forcing C

hina’s companies to become more efficient and to produce higher quality products.

The Chinese government has also recently announced tax cuts and financial regulations desi

gned to help private companies. This will hasten the ongoing transition to a market-driven economy.

Most Chinese State-owned enterprises are not relevant to trade negotiations. Many are in non-tradable sectors such as p

roperty development, infrastructure, or concrete. Others are basically public utilities in telecoms or power.

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All of this has inspired confidence that the Chinese eco

Chinese economy can reach its indicative growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019.

Lower growth rate may mean more room for adjustment

Most Chinese economists seem quite comfortable with this targeted range. One explanati

on is that China’s potential growth rate is 6-6.5 percent, and a target should be set accordingly. Another is that a

lower growth rate would give the economy more room for structural adjustment.

From 1978 to 2008, China averaged an impressive 9.5 percent annual g

rowth rate. Then the global financial crisis struck, causing growth to plummet from 9.7 p

ercent in the third quarter of 2008 to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009. A 4-trillion-yuan ($640 billion) sti

mulus package, introduced in November 2008, soon brought about a powerful rebound, with GDP growth rea

ching 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010. But since then China’s economic growth has been declining, partly b

ecause the government withdrew its stimulus. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent.

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China’s pledges included shortening its negative lis

 for foreign investments, opening up more sectors to foreign busines

ses, guaranteeing fair competition and planning new free-trade zones and ports.

Sourabh Gupta, resident senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for China-American Studies, specifically praise

d the new Foreign Investment Law-passed in March by China’s national legislature and effective in 2020-which he s

aid is “a farsighted piece of legislation” that “will firmly usher in a new round of reform and opening-up”.

“Strong measures to deal with political, regulatory and administr

ative noncompliance are envisaged. A robust working mechanism to promptly address fo

reign businesses’ complaints is also envisaged,” said Gupta, who believes the prov

isions are a big step in assuring foreign businesses that the playing field is leveled in China.

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Overholt said “the list of issues that President Xi has

addressed are the issues that the business community is concerned about”.

“It is excellent that President Xi recognized some problems,” especially those associated with its Belt and Road Initi

ative, such as transparency and corruption, said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council.

Experts also were interested in how the reform policies and laws would be implemented, something Xi addressed in his speech.

“People are very positive about the direction, but they need to

know the details” of how the promises would be delivered, Overholt said.

Xi, citing the old Chinese saying “honoring a promise carries the weight of gold”, pledged to install a binding mec

hanism for international agreements, to make sure governments at all levels operate in well-regulated wa

ys, and to update laws and regulations to abolish unjustified practices, keeping in line with the needs of opening-up.

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Having watched and researched the Belt and Road

tiative for a very long time, Astle has identified many opportunities provided by the BRI and

some great projects are already successfully being implemented with Chinese partners.

The world’s only medicine treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is entering the Chinese market, it was announced Sunday.

The drug is registered under the name Spinraza in the United States and European Union.

Available in more than 40 countries and regions, Spinraza is expected to bring new

hope for those who living with SMA, a genetic disorder that affects muscle control, in China.

SMA affects between one in 6,000 and one in 10,000 in China, a

nd about 95 percent of the patients die 18 months after birth, doctors said.

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Country’s 1st space station to be shared a full-size m

China’s plan to involve international communities in its space mis

sions to jointly conduct space research shows its determination to further enhance global coop

eration in space projects, according to the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. That incl

udes opening up its planned space station to other countries, especially developing countries.

China’s space station, which is expected to be completed and operating by 2022, will be the world’s first space station open

for cooperation with all UN member states in manned space flights and exploration. The station will be able to sup

port research on astronomy, space life sciences, biotechnology, microgravity fundamental physics and space materials science.

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The economy has stayed on the track of steady gro

owth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to mee

t the projected targets for economic and social deve

lopment this year,” Yuan told an NDRC news conference on Thursday in Beijing.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at a faster-than-e

xpected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, remaining at the to

p end of the government’s projected growth range of 6 to 6.5 percent for this year.

The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Zhang Chenghui, former director at the finan

cial research institute of Development Research Center of the State Cou

ncil, said despite the downward growth pressure, China will see many positive factors in the economy this year.

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While this takes place, I would like to pay tribute to the

officers involved this morning who responded swiftly to this incident and put thems

elves in harm’s way, as they do every day, to keep the people of London safe,” Walker said.

The police said the incident was not related with terrorism.

According to media Sky News, police opened fire on a vehicle outside the Ukrainian emb

assy after the driver deliberately rammed into the official car of the country’s ambassador to Britain.

“The ambassador, Natalia Galibarenko, was not at the embassy at the time and no other staff were injured,” said the report of Sky News.

The 16th Chinese Bridge, an annual Chinese proficiency contest for school kids, college

students and adult learners of Chinese, was held at the University of Latvia Friday and Saturday.

This year’s competition, themed One World, One Family, gathered 64 contestants

in total in Latvia, including 14 in the adult group, 24 in the high school group and 24 in the primary school group.

The contestants were required to demonstrate their Chinese language skills by introducing themselves and m

aking speeches on various topics in Chinese, participate in a quiz on Chinese culture and perform in a talent show.

Each division, namely college students, high school students and

primary school students, has three groups of senior, intermediate and junior.

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China offers tax relief to overseas talent working in Greater

  Based on the individual income tax differentials between the Chinese mainland and

Hong Kong, overseas high-end talent and professionals in short supply that work in the Greater Bay Area will g

et subsidies from Guangdong province and Shenzhen municipality to offset the differentials, according to the MOF.

  The subsidies will be exempt from paying individual income tax.

  The policy, effective from January 2019 to the end of 2023, applies to nine cities in Guangdo

ng — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, the ministry said.

  It said the move aimed to encourage the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

  Consisting of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and the nine cities in

Guangdong, the area covers 56,000 square km. It had a combined population of about 70 million at the end of 2017.

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The Olympic giant slalom champion won three giant slalo

  Hirscher’s season tally of 10 wins was reduced to nine after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Stefan Luitz’s ap

peal against a doping violation and reinstated the German’s victory in Beaver Creek on December 2.

  Luitz was disqualified when he was photographed inhaling oxygen from a mouthpiece between the fi

rst and second runs. The International Ski Federation (FIS) ruled it was against anti-doping rules at FIS events. Luitz lodged an app

eal on January 29 and it was heard on March 11. The panel ruled that the World Anti-Doping Code prevails over FIS laws.

  ”FIS fully accepts the decision of CAS and all World Cup records and the World Cup star

ting list for giant slalom has been adjusted to reflect the decision,” said an FIS statement.

  Visit CNN.com/Sport for more news, features and videos

  Pinturault won the giant slalom in Andorra to seal second place on the overall season standings and become the most s

uccessful French ski racer ever with a 23rd World Cup win, eclipsing compatriot Carole Merle, who retired in 1994.

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