icts appear to have a religious or ethnic basis, some scholars believe their root cause may be economic, with ethnic divisio

s serving as a way to exclude other groups from access to scarce resources and opportunities. Whatever its so

urce, inequality of opportunity has a highly disruptive effect on governance and hence growth.

But these obstacles are not insurmountable. For one th

ing, developing countries now have huge potential export markets in middle-inc

ome countries, and no longer depend entirely on advanced economies for access to global markets.

Belt and Road can play vital development role

There is also a renewed awareness of the importance of infrastructure in e

nabling growth. In addition to roads, railways and ports, electricity and digital conn

ectivity are crucial. In this regard, the rapid expansion of cellular wireless technology, combined with the install

ation of high-capacity undersea broadband pipes around Africa, represents major prog

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roject, including Russia, Egypt and Algeria, and 17 domestic research teams, including on

e from University of Science and Technology of China, have started research on the site, Zheng noted.

The site will “offer research teams with observation equipmen

t, support for outdoor observation and data sharing services”, he said.

Wu Zhongliang, director of the administra

tion’s Institute of Earthquake Forecasting, said the experimental site will help for

m a “united front” at the national and international level to work on earthquake forecasting.

Referring to earthquake forecasting as a hard nut to crack, Wu said the work can

not see marked progress just in a few days, but forecasting capability will be improved a

s technology develops. “If it’s a war between humans and earthquakes, it’s us that will finally win,” he said

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and external shocks from the long-term trend and to conclude that China’s potential growth rate really is 6-6.5 percent.

Many Chinese economists cite long-term supply-side structural factors-such as demographic agi

ng, environmental degradation, and a lack of progress on reform-to argue that China has simply en

tered a new stage of development, characterized by significantly lower potential growth rates.

Structural factors don’t explain falling growth rate

While this may be true-everyone in China agrees that 9-10 perce

nt annual growth rates are a thing of the past-there is no clear indication of how much Chin

a’s growth potential has actually declined. Long-term supply-side structural factors do not explain, for exam

ple, why the growth rate fell from 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 to 7.4 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

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ent. External critics of China don’t appreciate that Chinese themselves realize there

are issues to be addressed. They are doing so. These developments should be encouraged.”

President Xi Jinping, who spoke at the Second Belt and Road Foru

m for International Cooperation in Beijing recen

tly, listed areas in which China will improve the environment for foreign investment.

The president said the nation will work hard to create a business environ

ment that respects the value of intellectual prop

erty, will improve the legal system for IPR protection at all levels, will strengthen law enforcement and pr

otection for the legitimate rights and interests of foreign IP owners and will bar the

forced transfer of technology, improve protection of trade secrets and crack down on infringement.

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e charge of the task, according to the decree signed by Premier Li Keqiang.

All government services, unless otherwise specified by laws and regulations or involving state secrets, shall

be processed online in line with the procedures determined by the State Council, the decree noted.

Government service providers must not require enterprises or ind

ividuals to submit information that is already acces

sible through information sharing. Neither are they allo

wed to put the submitted information to other uses.

The decree also confirms the legal validity of electronic signatures, seals, certificates and archives.

The decree came into effect the day it was made public.

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ons has voted against remaining in the EU and every version of leaving the EU,” tweeted James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman.

Nevertheless, some proposals fared better than May’s deal had done two weeks ago, and parlia

ment was due to hold more indicative votes on Monday after refining the options most likely to secure a majority.

Many Conservative eurosceptics had made clear they would only c

onsider supporting May’s deal if she gave a firm commitment to resign, hoping a new leader

would be more sympathetic to their views when negotiating the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers (MPs).

“I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new lead

ership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”

But within hours of May’s offer, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority gov

ernment, said it would vote against the deal if May brought it back a third time.

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ith so many applications in different parts of industry and the economy, and we want agreements, project by project.”

Raffarin was appointed special envoy on China affairs by French President Emmanuel Mac

ron. He pointed out that it is not pragmatic to have an agreement about every industrial sector, because, as sovereig

n states, both countries need to protect the interests of their own businesses and industries.

“It’s easier to go project by project, and, after some experience, we can add a larger vision,” Raffarin said.

His comments came after Italy signed a BRI memorandum of understanding with China during

Xi’s visit to Rome last week to become the first G7 country to join the global infrastructure plan.

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, from January to November 2018, China’s direct investment in France reached $330 mil

lion. China’s growing investment in Europe has prompted concerns in the West, which Raffarin thinks are misplaced.

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China will implement a group of measures to cut value-added ta

x rates, ensuring that the tax burden on all industries will only go down, according to a

decision made by the State Council’s executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The Government Work Report this year set out a plan for l

arger tax cuts, including lowering the VAT rate in manufacturing and other industries from 16 t

o 13 percent and the VAT rate in transportation, construction and other industries from 10 to 9 percent.

A number of concrete measures were decided upon at the

Wednesday meeting to achieve the targets, which will be enacted on April 1.

Input VAT eligible for deduction will be expanded and will cove

r passenger transportation services. Taxpayers will be able to get their input tax on real esta

te payments deducted in full on a one-time basis, instead of on two occasions in two years.

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repair roads, bridges, schools, communication lines and provide healthcare to

those affected. The country is in poor shape to withstand the financial impact of a disaster: Zimbabwe is cur

rently in the grip of a deep economic crisis.
The Zimbabwe Information Ministry shared pictures of some pupils who had been res

cued from a boarding school in Chimanimani District, one of the worst-affected areas in the east of the country. Br

idges were swept away, and power and communication lines in the area have been cut off.

St Charles Lwanga School children are now safely in Chiping

e and currently receiving medical attention. pic.twitter.com/Ad9LSC7WhS

— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) March 18, 2019

This cyclone follows a week of heavy rains and flooding across southeast Afri

ca that affected 1.5 million people in Mozambique and Malawi, killing at least 120 people in both countries, UN

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The blueprint for the massive economic development that will turn the Guangdong-Ho

ng Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into a global economic powerhouse will be made public within days.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor did not disclose the exact date for the rele

ase when speaking to reporters before Hong Kong’s weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. S

he did, however, announce that a conference on Feb 21 will begin poring over details of the project.

Lam said the blueprint would lay out broad guidelines after which local go

vernments in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao will work together wi

th the support of central government departments to pull the project together with concrete planning.

Cross-sector heavyweights in Hong Kong welcomed the upcoming development blu

eprint, saying it could lead the city’s different sectors into a stronger growth phase.

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