Month: March 2019

hina boosts measures to open economyivers the keyn

hina boosts measures to open economyivers the keyn

China will further open up to foreign investors and offer them treatment equal to that of domestic companies with firm prote

ction of their legitimate rights, Premier Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will fully adopt pre-entry national treatment and negative lists for overseas

investment, Li said at the opening ceremony of the forum’s annual conference in Hainan province.

By the end of June, China will release the amended negative lists for foreign investment ac

cess, he said. “The negative lists will only be shortened. … We will ensure fair competition and common deve

lopment for Chinese and foreign companies with fair supervision,” Li told more than 2,000 participants.

A negative list shows areas where investment is prohibited; all other areas are presumed to be open.

The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to supp

ort implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, adopted two weeks ago, Li s

aid, adding that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan 1.

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The country will further open up its financial sector and

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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Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, director of the Center for Secur

Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, director of the Center for Secur

Cooperation at the ministry’s Office for International Military Cooperation, said that comp

ared with other branches of the military, the PLA Navy plays a relatively larger role in protecting China’s overseas inter

ests and maintaining security in key sea lanes such as the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia.

“The PLA Navy is at the forefront of proving that the Chinese milita

ry is an open, cooperative and competent force for peace,” he said, adding that the PLA Navy has f

requently participated in humanitarian rescue missions, naval escorts, joint exercises and exchanges in past years.

“Through these non-war military operations, the Chinese Navy has also improved its capability and operability in dis

tant waters,” Zhou said. “Many security issues around the world require global efforts, and as its capability impr

oves, the PLA Navy can play a bigger part and contribute more to global maritime security.”

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Currently, all special purpose local government bonds are

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

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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Following his visits to Spain and Portugal in late 2018, Xi

Following his visits to Spain and Portugal in late 2018, Xi

came to Europe again in his first overseas trip this year, manifesting the great importance China attaches to Europe, Wang said.

In a world of unprecedented transformations, Xi noted that a stable, strategic and reciprocal China-EU relationship is urgently needed.

Wang said during his visit, Xi had in-depth communication with the European leaders to discuss cooperation in internation

al issues and reached important consensus of adhering to multilateralism, and discarding isolationism and unilateral moves.

He also said Xi and the European leaders agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation wit

hin the UN system, give full play to the constructive role of global and regional multilateral mechanisms s

uch as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and Group of 20 and the EU, and

actively contribute to solving international conflicts, combating climate change and promoting sustainable development.

In his keynote speech at the global governance forum, Xi raised “four deficits” in global affairs including governance deficit, tru

st deficit, peace deficit and development deficit. To address these deficits, he proposed a four-pronged approach of fairness and reas

onableness, consultation and understanding, joint efforts and mutual assistance and mutual benefit and win-win results.

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Opponents of Brexit feel the political tide may be turnin

Opponents of Brexit feel the political tide may be turnin

 in their favor. Hundreds of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday calling for a new referendum on whether to leave the EU or remain.

But with the deadline for a Brexit decision less than three weeks away, British poli

ticians remain divided, and increasingly despairing about the country’s political gridlock.

“Brexit is like the Death Star of politics,” Conservative legislator George Freeman said. “I always fea

red it would be like this. It’s destroying and soaking up all the prime minister’s room for maneuver and political goodwill.

“I’ve never known this country so divided, so angry and in such a dangerous state,” he said.

France is willing to support the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with the best way forward

being to work together on a project-by-project basis, former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told China Daily.

In an exclusive interview ahead of the state visit of President Xi Jinping to France

on Monday and Tuesday, Raffarin said it is in France’s national interest to be part of the BRI.

“We also want our companies to propose projects which are good for the BRI, but also go

od for our enterprises,” said Raffarin, who served as prime minister from 2002 to 2005.

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It is not the first time in our European history to have suc

It is not the first time in our European history to have suc

 such an attitude. Any nation with very strong and rapid growth is always in a very difficu

lt position in public opinion because we are afraid about the strength of others,” he said.

“For example, we were afraid of cultural pressure from the United States in the 1960s, and 20 ye

ars later, we had the same feelings against Japan with its technological projects. Now, China is bac

k around the table of big nations. I think we have to accept that and not be afraid, but to discuss.”

Raffarin said the two countries are expected to close contracts and announce new projects. He also

said the dialogue between France and China could be very useful in forming a new vision for multilateralism in a changing world.

In addition to strong existing collaboration between France and China, including in the automotive, aviation and healthcare sectors, Raffarin said the most

important thing for the future of Sino-French relations is to identify third-country projects, such as the Hinkley Point C nu

clear power plant in the United Kingdom, which is jointly financed by China and France, as well as opportunities in Africa.

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According to iiMedia Research, a market consultancy, cross-

According to iiMedia Research, a market consultancy, cross-

-border online shopping in China grew by 20.6 percent year-on-year to 7.6 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in sales in 2017.

The nation is encouraging cross-border e-commerce transactions by easing the annual cap

on cross-border online purchases and adding categories of imports to the duty-free list, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Starting from this year, the annual duty-free quota for cross-borde

r e-commerce purchases for individual buyers will be lifted to 26,000 yuan from the current 20,000 yuan.

“The livestreaming form, as a new operation model for online marketplaces, could settle

the problem of information asymmetry,” said Chen Tao, an analyst with internet consultancy Analysys in Beijing.

Both Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao and its rival J

D, two of China’s biggest online shopping sites, have launched their own livestreaming platforms.

Shop owners hire livestreamers with large fan bases to help promote their products, and meanwhile, a link to the purchasing page hovers on the streaming screen.

Monica Zhang, who lives in France with her husband, opened an online store on Taobao. She became a livestreamer last year.

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The mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China

The mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China

France cooperation has not changed, Xi said.

“The history of China-France cooperation shows that bilateral ties are not ‘a zero-sum game.’ The strong com

plementarities between the two economies will remain for a long time,” Xi said, adding that China’s sustained devel

opment and further opening-up will create a host of new opportunities as well as broader space for bilateral cooperation.

Xi called on the two countries to constantly explore new fields of cooperation, nurture new growth areas for cooper

ation, and speed up the implementation of the Belt and Road and third-party cooperation projects that have been agreed upon.

“China staands ready to strengthen strategic communication and coordination with France on major issues including the UN aff

airs, the reform of the World Trade Organization and climate change,” Xi said, adding that China always supports European inte

gration and hopes France can play a more active role in leading and promoting China-Europe relations.

Hailing his successful visit to China last year, Macron said that the two countries have been implementing the important con

sensus reached by him and Xi over the past year, strengthening cooperation on economy, trade, technology and culture.

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