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“Learning to work together in an orderly, high trust

level, and supported by diverse interest groups will prevent conflicts among stakeholders in the South China Sea,” Santarita said.

Scientists from China and other countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative will work together to enhance scientifi

c and technological cooperation in disaster prevention and mitigation, according to a joint declaration.

He said Asia’s emphasis on “respect for authority, respect for the environment and the discipli

ne to control the use of resources” will also see Asian leaders pursuing a more eco-friendly dev

elopment path and honor their commitments to the Paris climate agreement.

“If there is harmony, discipline, stability and the primacy of family and com

munity over the individual, then any problem can be easily addressed,” Santarita said.

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Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert fro

m the UN Environment Program, said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.

He said it is key for scientists to communicate with government officials to create better planning and new solut

ions, and more interdisciplinary research into natural disasters and risk management is also helpful.

Guanxi, compadrazgo and bapakism. Three words from China, the Philip

pines and Indonesia that encapsulate the same values of the vast continent through the ag

es-a shared belief in the importance of the family and the community over the individual.

These values, rooted on Asia’s culture and history and centered on consens

us, social harmony, stability and discipline, are more important and relevant than ever i

n the face of challenges-such as protectionism and terrorism-confronting the world today.

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The Information Technology Industry Council also w

arned against further raising tariffs. “Increasing tariffs will only continue to harm America

n consumers and businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, as well as threat en American econ

omic growth and leadership in innovation,” said Naomi Wilson, the council’s senior director of policy for Asia.

US chemical manufacturers also called for sensible trade policy solutions.

Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, said on Monday he believed t

he risks of continuing to use tariffs as a negotiating tactic with China are simply too high, and potential benefits remain unclear.

Several organizations, including Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — the national campaign compose

d of more than 150 of the largest US trade organizations in retail, technology, manufacturing and agric

ulture — have in recent days highlighted the negative impact of tariff increases on the US economy and job market.

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Boosting rural areas will help solve dilemmas of ove

rcrowding and rampant construction plaguing cities, and the development of cities will also offer unique ways to bring about rural revitalization,” Chen said.

“As restrictions on hukou will gradually be removed, cities need to be well-prepared to offer

accommodation and employment opportunities, and allow children of migrant workers to have equal access to education,” Chen added.

China has made steady progress in urbanization, as the ranks of permanent urban r

esidents stood at 831 million at the end of 2018, up 17.9 million from the previous year, said the National Bureau of Statistics.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission said it

plans to increase the urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year.

Shen Chi, vice-director of the China Center for Urban Development, said the government’s new

plan will help foster high-quality and sustainable economic development across the nation.

“Relaxing the hukou policy will be a key step in promoting the free flow of labor across

the nation,” Shen said. “A systematic consideration and arrangement of the integratio

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The volunteer team, having stayed in Lunar Palace

an environmentally contained research facility where occupants simulated l

ong-duration self-contained missions with no outside inputs for 200 days — broke the previous

record of 180 days set by researchers in Russia. The team recently won a China May Fourth Medal.

“President Xi has called upon young people to overcome hardships, and that is what our team has been doing,” Yi said.

Qiu Shuiping, Party secretary of Peking University, said the learning institution is pro

ud to be part of history. The university has chosen May 4 as the day to celebrate its founding.

“The choice of the date indicates our resolve to move forward along the path set by the movem

ent to realize national rejuvenation,” he said. “Our teachers and students will work harder to accelerate the

pace of building Peking University into a world-leading academic institution.”

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Xi added that the two countries should jointly prom

mote the building of the Asia-Pacific free trade zone and maintain the multilateral trading system.

He said China and Latin American countries should support each other, make full use

of their complementary advantages and achieve win-win cooperation. The two sides should pursue comm

on development and jointly build a community with a shared future for China and Latin America, Xi added.

The Chilean president said the Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi, has show

n the glorious history of the ancient Silk Road and promoted exchanges between different cultures in the new era.

Chile supports the building of the Belt and Road, and it hopes t

o learn from China’s experience in innovative and green development, he said.

Pinera said Chile, which is dedicated to maintaining multilateralism and the multilateral t

rading system, would like to enhance coordination with China on regional and multilateral affairs.

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Regarding the second Belt and Road Forum for Intern

ational Cooperation, to be held in Beijing on Thursday through Saturday, S

ong said the ministry will help deepen economic and trade cooperation with other coun

tries. “China will build more free trade zones with countries that are willing to do so,” Song added.

“As for the existing free trade zones, we will reduce administrative barriers in trade

and investment and push the formation of a big Belt and Road marketplace.”

While some critics have argued that the initiative will lead countries i

nto debt traps, Song said debt can be solved through joint efforts to promote the devel

opment of BRI economies. “Even though some countries may have high debt levels, as their pace of indus

trialization, urbanization and modernization accelerates, their debts will gradually decrease.”

Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG, said, “If an initiative like the BRI unifies more than two-thirds of the global

population, it will create massive infrastructure and economic movement that will build its own rules.”

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Taylor said the US will ultimately “pay the price for

this”, in the form of an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of China by barring scholars wh

o have great familiarity with US politics and policymaking and have the ear of Chinese officials.

Douglas H. Paal, vice-president of the Asia Program at the Carn

egie Endowment for International Peace, said it appears that the scholars who best unders

tand the US and communicate well with China’s leaders are being denied visas or threatened with denial.

“I don’t see how this is in America’s interest,” Paal said.

Some US media have mentioned that China also denies visas to

US academics, but Taylor and Paal said that has not been

their experience when applying for Chinese visas to visit China for academic exchanges.

In a news conference on Thursday, when asked if China rejected a visa application fr

om an adviser to US President Donald Trump, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang

said Chinese embassies and consulates overseas always handle visa applications according to law.

China welcomes cultural exchanges between China and the US an

d will actively promote mutual understanding between the two countries, Lu said.

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China’s foreign direct investment up 6.5% in Q1

China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled 242.28 billion yuan in the first quarter of t

his year, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

FDI in China from non-financial sectors reached $35.8 billio

n in the first three months, up 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Investment from South Korea, the United States and Germany in China m

eanwhile increased 79.6 percent, 71.3 percent and 86.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Foreign capital flowing to the country’s high-tech manufacturing s

ector surged 14.8 percent year-on-year to 25.97 billion yuan during the same period.

March’s FDI amounted to 95.17 billion yuan, up eight percent year-on-year.

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Fiscal spending can directly influence fixed-asset inves

tment, and it could also leverage on more bank lending and attract private funds to increase investment, said Xu.

In the meantime, allowing retail access to local government bonds will help diversify the

investor base and increase market liquidity, said Amanda Du, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

The analyst expected access for retail investors to widen to encompass all local government bonds in 2020.

hina’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first qua

rter, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The growth was unchanged from that registered in the fourth quarter of last year.

The country’s industrial output posted steady growth in the same period, up by 6.5 percent

year-on-year, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, official data showed.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first quarte

r, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, according to the NBS.

Retail sales increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year in the same pe

riod, compared with 8.2 percent in the first two months, the data showed.

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