Services are growing rapidly. The value-added of th

 tertiary sector, which is mainly services, grew from 56.7 to 57.3 percent of GDP from the same period last year. The

Index of Services Production increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, higher than the growth rate of overall GDP.

Overall retail sales of consumer goods also grew at 8.3 percent. Sales of upgraded consumer goods witnessed fast gro

wth, with the highest rates concentrated in upgraded products such as cosmetics, phones and computers.

And, high-tech services grew at an astonishing rate of 21.2 percent. In prepa

ring for consumer 5G telecoms next year, the output of mobile communications base stations grew 153.7 percent.

The data also show strong movement toward the government’s goal

of creating an ecological civilization. New energy automobiles and solar cells grew by 48.2 percen

t and 18.2 percent, respectively. Sales of urban rail vehicles grew by 54.1 percent, showing the

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And, despite ongoing tensions, the total value of impo

orts and exports rebounded sharply in March, reaching 9.6 percent higher than March 2018. S

o, overall trade grew by 3.7 percent year-on-year in the quarter despite low growth rates in January and Febru

ary. Exports of electrical and mechanical products, which are higher value added, grew by 5.4 percent in the qua

rter. And, private sector trade grew 9.9 percent, far more than the overall growth rate.

I am worried to see that total investment in real estate grew by 11.8 per

cent year-on-year. Having lived through the 2008 finan

cial crisis in the United States, I’m wary of continued high investment in real estate in a time when property prices are al

ready astonishingly high and China’s living space per person has already surpassed that in Europe.

The bottom line is that fiscal and monetary policies combined with policies to promote structural transformation have

achieved a stable macroeconomic situation and steady movement toward supply side upgrading.

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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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Medical experts said bills for patients requiring 29

of the 55 rare disease medicines available on the Chinese mainland

have been partly or fully covered by the country’s medical insurance system.

The average medical bill for rare disease patients is 200,000 yuan ($

29,700) a year and more than 40 percent of patients have received no medical tre

atment due to the high prices, according to Li Linkang, China Alliance of Rate Diseases executive director.

Biogen, the United Sates-based pharmaceutical compa

ny that developed the drug, said that it is talking to the C

hinese government, the medical and patient communities, and charitable orga

nizations in a bid to establish a co-payment system to make the drug available to more patients.

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Detailed information on the foundation and the laurea

Peng Yuxing, vice-governor of Southwest China’s Sichuan province, is under disciplinary and supe

rvisory investigation for suspected severe violations of disciplines and laws, an official statement said Sunday.

The investigation is being conducted by the Communist Party of China Central Co

mmission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission.

Peng, a Sichuan native, was born in 1962. He graduated from Sichuan University with a master’s degree in 1985 and in July 1992 r

eceived his science doctorate from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, specializing in polymers and materials.

He pursued a postdoctoral degree at ExxonMobil Chemical France from July 1992 to December 1993.

Peng then served in leadership positions at the Chengdu Institute of Organic Chemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences from 1997 to 2009.

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They maintained that Belt and Road construction wi

l make positive contributions in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.

The leaders also pledged to pursue trade and investment liberalization

and facilitation, reject protectionism and unilateralism and uphold the rule-based mul

tilateral system with the World Trade Organization at the center, according to the communique.

Xi told reporters that the consensus reached by the leaders has set the right course for the development of the BRI.

Our shared goal is that we work together to make the interconnectivity among various countries more efficient, foster mo

re robust economic growth, develop even closer international cooperation and enable people to live a better life, he said.

Xi also said BRI cooperation projects will be market-based. To ensure s

ustainable development, the leaders agreed to promote a level playing field for business com

munities and create a nondiscriminatory business environment, he said.

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China welcomes financial institutions around the worl

 to participate in financing Belt and Road projects, Xi said, adding that multiple participants will bring common benefits.

Xi announced that China will support 5,000 people from innovative sectors in Belt and Road

countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research in the next five years.

Xi called for joint efforts to facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectio

nism, saying that the flow of products, funds, technology and people can propel forces for economic growth.

According to Xi, more than 150 countries and internat

ional organizations have signed cooperation documents to jointly build the Belt and Road.

The BRI has opened new space for global economic growth and

built a new platform for international trade and investment, Xi said.

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Jon Taylor, a professor of political science at the Uni

versity of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, in the United States, said Xi

wants to convey a specific message: that China sees the BRI as a method by which it can make

a substantial and permanent contribution to lasting peace, common security and global prosperity.

“While some Westerners may scoff at the impact they think the BRI m

ay have on these issues, Xi genuinely sees the BRI as a global development project and will cont

inue to wholeheartedly put China’s money, resources and energies into this project,” he said.

Chen Weihua in Brussels, Bo Leung in London, Zhao Huanxin in Washington, Edith Muteth

ya in Nairobi and Chen Yingqun in Beijing contributed to this story.The profits of China’s major indu

strial firms surged by 13.9 percent in March, a drastic rebound compared to the 14-percent decline in January-Febru

ary period, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Saturday.

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ent Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony of the

hina will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale. China will further lower its tariff rates.

China not to adopt beggar-thy-neighbor currency devaluation

China will continue to improve the exchange rate formation mechanism of its curren

cy, the renminbi, and keep the exchange rate generally stable on a reasonable and balanced level.

China establishes mechanism for fulfilling international agreements

China attaches great importance to the establishment of a constrain

t mechanism for the fulfillment and implementation of international agreements, and the modi

fication and improvement of laws and regulations in accordance with the need of further opening-up.

Fair treatment to Chinese enterprises, students, scholars abroad called for

All countries should create a sound investment environment, and treat Chinese e

nterprises, students and scholars abroad as equals. All countries should provide a fair and friendly envir

onment for them to carry out normal international exchanges and cooperation.

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Yi pledged to use more market-based commercial fund

 He also said improving transparency for projects’ financing is needed, especially for green

financing, and using local currencies in BRI investments to curb exchange rate risks. “The opening of local curr

ency-denominated bond markets will effectively attract long-term funds and reduce risks of currency mismatches,” he said.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fu

nd, said at the forum that China’s increased focus on the long-term success of BRI projects and the

BRI debt sustainability framework “are very welcome steps in the right direction”.

The further opening-up of China’s financial sector, such as the b

ond market, will enable diversification and foster renminbi internationalization, she said.

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