Archive March 2019

The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

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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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But some were unmoved and the Northern Irish party cruc

rucial to getting the agreement through said it would reject the deal again.

Britain was supposed to leave the bloc on Friday but Brussels agreed last week to put back the

divorce date until April 12 to give it a chance to resolve a three-year crisis that has split the country down the middle.

However, it still remains uncertain how, when or even whether the United Kingdom, the wo

rld’s fifth-biggest economy, will leave the EU. The possibilities that it will leave with no deal to so

ften the shock to its economy, or delay the departure date to hold a general election, have increased as other options fade.

While May’s deal continued to stumble, an attempt by parliament to take control of the proc

ess by holding a series of indicative votes on other options produced no immediate way through the impasse.

None of the proposals, many of which involved closer alignmen

t with the EU than May envisages, won the support of a majority of lawmakers.

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The Belt and Road Initiative is set to promote cooper

globally — not for China only, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun said on Wednesday.

Jin made the remarks in response to questions over whether the BRI only involves C

hinese projects prior to the Boao Forum for Asia, which will officially begin on Thursday.

“It was a misunderstanding,” Jin said, adding any country or investor can do a BRI project

anywhere, so long as it promotes global and regional economic cooperation, peace and development.

“The so called ‘China strategy’ is simply to promote global cooperation,” he added.

Joint efforts essential to fight global warming: China Daily editorial

Record low temperatures in winter and record high temperatures in summer in many parts of the

world year after year and more frequent natural disasters caused by extreme weather events prov

ide strong evidence that global warming is not just an alarmist theory as some claim.

Yet striking a balance between the effective control of human activities that are contr

ibuting to climate change and economic growth is proving a hard nut for countries to crack.

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Livestreaming to vitalize cross-border e-commerce

Zhang Ying, 32, a white-collar worker in Beijing, is a jewelry lover. She prefers watching lives

treaming videos via some cross-border e-commerce platforms to buy foreign products in her spare time.

“Pictorial representations are not exactly the right way to purchase commodities online, I had som

e problems as the products did not match up to the expectations promised on the onlaine platform advertisements.”

Zhang said daigou (overseas shoppers who buy foreign products for customers on the Chinese mainland) can dem

onstrate details of products like jewelry in accordance with what the buyer wants through the livestreaming method.

“I can take a good look at the design, material, color, size and even every angle of the jewelry. It feels like that I can pick out the

products on my own. After comparing various necklaces and bracelets, I can decide which one fits me the best.”

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France pays high attention to the Belt and Road Initiative

regards China as an important strategic cooperation partner, and appreciates China’s im

portant role in and contribution to climate change and other international affairs, Macron said.

The French president pledged to further strengthen strategic communication and collaboration

with China, and bring into full play the leading role of the France-China comprehensive strategic part

nership, so as to jointly safeguard multilateralism and promote world peace and prosperity.

France is the last leg of Xi’s three-nation Europe tour that has taken him to Italy and Monaco.

his year marks the 40th anniversary of the Joint Communiqué on the Estab

lishment of Diplomatic Relations signed by Beijing and Washington that acknowledges t

here is only one China and Taiwan is part of China. It is also the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act the US Congress passed to permit u

nofficial relations with Taipei to continue and the US to sell arms and military equipment to the island.

For 40 years, US administrations have frequently used the Act as a political card to influence Sino-US ties and interfere in China’s internal aff

airs, as well as to provide “spiritual” support for the island authorities that seek “security” guarantees from the US.

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As if that was not enough of a provocation, Christensen

 said the first consultation will be held in September when a US delegation, led by a senior official fr

om the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, is expected to visit Taipei.

The US has been using one pretext or the other to provoke Beijing and violate the 1979 Joint Commun

iqué. But for the sake of Sino-US relations and regional peace, Washington should realize that instead of gain

ing anything, it would suffer huge economic and political damage by interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Xi’s message of peace and reunification

Delivering a speech to mark the 40th anniversary of the Message to Taiwan Compatri

ots on Jan 2, President Xi Jinping said that, on the basis of the common political foundation of uph

olding the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence”, political parties and people across all sectio

ns of society on both sides of the Straits can recommend their representatives to hold in-depth dem

ocratic consultations and establish institutional arrangements for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

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The Congress members have also demanded that the US adm

inistration put into practice the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, both passed last year, to fulfill its promise to the Tsai authorities. In their

letter to US President Donald Trump, some Congress members have said the Taiwan Relations Act will help mai

ntain peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and suppress Beijing’s so-called aggression.

Moreover, to seek the US’ protection and contain Beijing, the Tsai authorities have been hyping up

the island’s strategic value for Washington. But the fact is, the empty promises given by the Congress me

mbers cannot guarantee any safety to the Tsai authorities and, instead, could put them in danger.

Ahead of the 2020 elections on the island, some US Congress members are incitin

g the Tsai authorities to provoke disputes with the mainland by supporting those seeking “Taiwan ind

ependence”. But since any attempt to split Taiwan from the motherland would lead to a conflict, it will be in the interest of neith

er side of the Straits nor the US. Worse, such a conflict would destroy peace and stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region.

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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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