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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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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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Well-tuned steps urged for poverty eradicatio

President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the need to shore up areas of weakness and carry out more targeted pove

rty alleviation efforts in building the country into a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chair

man of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while presiding over the fourth meeting of t

he Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs. Xi is head of the committee.

The meeting stressed the importance of achieving targets for poverty alleviation across the boar

d and focusing efforts on areas of extreme poverty, according to a statement released after the meeting.

It is important to tackle the remaining difficulties faced by people still confronting hard

ships in terms of their access to education, medical care, quality housing and safe drinking water after ens

uring that their basic needs for food and clothing have been met, the statement said.

It added that solving prominent environmental pollution probl

ems must be prioritized to ensure periodical targets can be achieved before 2020.

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He is scheduled to meet with European Council Presi

sident Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday at the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital.

The leaders of the two sides will exchange views on China-EU relations and major international

and regional issues of common concern. A number of agreements are to be signed after that.

This is Li’s fifth time attending the China-EU leaders’ meeting as prem

ier, and his sixth visit to a Central and Eastern European nation to attend the China-CEEC

meeting, with the previous five being in Romania, Serbia, Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Chao, who oversees China’s relations with EU

nations, said at a briefing last week that the EU is a highly integrated regional bloc an

d a vital strategic force in the international community. China and the EU share broad com

mon interests in pragmatic cooperation and have a common stance regarding multilateralism and free trade, he said.

The EU has been China’s biggest trading partner for 15 consecutive years and Chin

a is the regional bloc’s second-largest trading partner after the United States, with bilater

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The Abuja–Kaduna Railway, as the first segment of the

 Lagos–Kano standard gauge project, the first standard gauge railway in Nigeria and West A

frica, was officially inaugurated and started commercial operation on July 26, 2016.

The railway, constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is the first overseas railway fully adopting the Chinese r

ailway standard. Spanning 186.5 kilometers, it alleviates traffic tension, improves the investment envir

onment and promotes the coordinated development of regional economy and society.

By Jan 11, the train service had delivered 1.23 million passengers and had safely operated for 900 days without any major accident recorded since its inception.

The China-funded Colombo Port City, the largest project between C

hina and Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative, completed land reclamation of 269 hectares in January.

In addition, hydro-structure construction will be completed by the middle

of this year. The port city’s municipal facilities construction is expected to be completed in J

uly 2020. At the same time, investment promotion of the city is also being carried out.

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Cooperation is the best choice for China and the US,” Ga

 said. “This is not only beneficial to the two countries and their peoples, but also conducive to the entire world.”

The words came as the US Department of Commerce reported that the US trade deficit with China narrowed by 6.4 perce

nt to $34.5 billion in January. US goods exports to China dropped 22.3 percent to $7.1 billion, the lowest since Sep

tember 2010, and Chinese imports dropped 9.6 percent to $41.6 billion, the Commerce Department said.

The trade imbalance has been at the center of monthslong tensions between China and the US. Other iss

ues at the top of the list for their consultations include technology transfers and protection of intellectual property rights.

Gao said guaranteeing that companies can pursue technical cooperation based on voluntary principles and business rules is cond

ucive to creating a fair and competitive business environment and promoting high-quality economic development.

“It is in line with China’s need to further deepen reform and opening up,” he said.

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ao poses with a dog at her brick-and-mortar store in Chen

Zeng Niaoniao, a qipao designer in the post-95s generation, started her business when she was a sophomore in 2015, and now runs stores both online and off.

Last year, the turnover from her online store reached 12 million yuan ($1.78 million)

The 24-year-old designer has a track record on improving qipao, displaying her work at the 2018 Shan

g Fashion Week and attracting Chinese pop idol Yang Chaoyue to wear her design for an advertising photoshoot.

Zeng said her wish was to see people wearing her designs to stroll around town, and sh

e wanted to bring more improveqipao with new designs to young Chinese girls.

May’s offer to quit fails to break Britain’s Brexit stalemate

LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to sway hardline opponents of her European Union divorce de

al on Wednesday with an offer to quit, but parliament’s bid to agree an alternative fell short, leaving the Brexit process as deadlocked as ever.

May told her Conservative lawmakers she would step down if her Brexit deal was finally passe

d by parliament at the third attempt, in a last-ditch bid to win over many of her party’s eurosceptic rebels.

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Before the start of the China Cup, Cannavaro said that fans

 and media need to focus on long term development of Chinese soccer instead of what happens at the tournament.

“It’s like building a house-the first job is to build a solid foundation,” he said

“Based on that, we can have success. Compared to Japan and South Korea, their plans started decades ago.

“They are 20 to 25 years ahead of China in terms of their soccer development.”

Another factor was that Cannavaro did not recall China’s best striker, Wu Lei, who is now playing for Espanyol in La Liga.

Other experienced veterans, such as captain Zheng Zhi, were passed over in order to make way for younger players.

Cannavaro said he sought out the opinion of Lippi, who now serves as an adviser, including player selection.

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China, Italy agree to expand legislative exchanges

ROME, March 22 — Visiting President Xi Jinping met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti

Casellati here Friday on expanding exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative institutions.

China and Italy have enjoyed a traditional friendship, with the ancient Silk Road closely linking the two peoples, Xi said.

Since they established diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago, the China-Italy ties have seen healthy and stable devel

opment, and the two countries have become important partners who trust each other and work together, Xi said.

The visit is meant to consolidate the stability and strategic nature of the China-Ita

ly relations in the long term, and comprehensively elevate the level of their mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi said.

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Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel on Saturday also

extended her condolences to the victims and their families and people who are affected by the attacks.

“Our thoughts go to the victims and their families and everyone that being affect,” Dalziel said

. She also acknowledged the extraordinary response from the police and first responders.

“An attack on the Muslin community is an attack on us, on Christchurch and on New Zealand,” Dalziel said.

She believed that Christchurch people will go thro

ugh this together by “looking after each other … in many diverse communities in our city.”

Calling the event “an unspeakable tragedy,” the mayor told Xinhua, “We need to make

sure that everyone feels safe, everyone feels welcome and everyone feels a part of the city.”

Major public events during the weekend have all been cancelled across New Zealand a

fter the attacks. Flags were flown at half-mast in government buildings to mourn the victims.

The Chinese Consulate General in Christchurch has confirmed there was no casualty of Chinese citizen in the mosque attacks.

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