Top economic planner bullish on reaching annual growth

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in the first quarter of 2019, and the country has the confide

nce to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country’s top economic planner.

“The first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the an

nual growth,” said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditio

ns and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year.”

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 perce

nt year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

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A large number of Chinese cultural heritage sites are b

eing restored as well. We have no room for even the slightest error,” Song said.

Liu Qingzhu, a cultural heritage expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “In anci

ent times, thunderstorms were the biggest threats for wooden architecture. They became much safer after l

ighting rods were widely installed. However, the use of electricity in restorations has created a new problem.”

Unlike the stone structures of much ancient architecture in the W

est, wood was the primary building material in ancient China. “If a fire similar to the one at Notre

Dame in Paris happened at a Chinese building, the whole building would probably burn down,” Liu said.

Hours after the fire in Paris, the Palace Museum in

Beijing, China’s former imperial palace from 1420 to 1911 and also known as the Forbidden City, held an eme

rgency meeting to go over its fire-prevention efforts. It is the world’s biggest architectural complex made of wood.

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Lu Zhenwang, CEO of Shanghai-based Wanqing Consul

ltancy, said: “The lawsuit against Liu will bring damages to the image and reputation of JD, hav

e an impact on investors’ confidence, and cause fluctuations in its share price. Moreover, emp

loyees’ trust in the company may also be affected as the Beijing-based tech heavyweight is laying off staff to cut costs.”

Shen Meng, director of boutique investment bank Chanson & Co, said Liu’s case won’t chan

ge his actual control over JD, which is now making some innovations to reassure investors. Liu owns

15.8 percent of JD’s stock and controls nearly 80 percent of the company’s voting rights.

Liu was detained in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on suspicion of criminal sexual c

onduct on Aug 31 and later released without charge or bail. He returned to China on Sept 3.

In December, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the prosecutorial office handling the case announced that no sexual as

sault charges would be brought against Liu as prosecutors could not prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

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Abe to send envoy to Belt and Road ForumAbe will

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will send his special envoy Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the rulin

g Liberal Democratic Party, to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

In a news conference held by the Japanese embassy in China on Monday, Takeshi Osuga, J

apanese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Nikai will visit China from April 24 to 29 to attend the forum and give a speech.

In a previous conference at LDP’s headquarters in Tokyo, N

ikai said his party called for increased exchange between Japan and China.

As the Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono just ended a three-day visit to China, Osuga

said the visit was “very positive” and further strengthened bilateral ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

“In the fifth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue, China and J

apan achieved agreement to cooperate in such areas as energy conservation and environ

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In early April, the US increased military interactions

with the island by officially acknowledging that military personnel have been posted in the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan since 2005.

US weapons manufacturer Raytheon was also granted a $9 million contract to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system.

Senior Colonel Liang Fang, a professor at PLA National Defense Universit

y, said the recent drill will test and enhance the PLA’s joint operating capabilities.

“It will increase the PLA’s ability to protect national sovereignty, and warn thos

e who are trying to undermine it to abandon their illusions,” she said. “Similar drills

will be more common in the future, with increasingly sophisticated equipment and training methods.”

Xiu Chunping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social

Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies, said the recent drill serves to warn the US and separati

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Its partial loss is a terrible blow to a proud country

 and to the world more widely,” said Macfarlane, the King’s College historian.

A woman identified only as Marie, who has lived in Paris for 20 years, said: “This is a monument b

uilding that belongs to the story of Paris, to the story of France. … Notre Dame is our story, our culture, our spirit.”

An experiment conducted by Chinese and US scientists on improving monkeys’ cognitive function has been

found to follow international animal rights standards, according to the Chinese research institute.

The study implanted 11 rhesus macaque monkeys with copies of the human MCP

H1 gene, which scientists believe is crucial for humans’ brain development and evolution.

The project is led by researchers from the Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Acade

my of Sciences, who are working with researchers from the University of North Carolina.

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The monkeys implanted with human genes developed bett

better short-term memory and faster reaction times compared with the control group, acco

rding findings published March 27 in the China-based journal National Science Review.

The study also found that transgenic monkeys’ brains took longer to develop, in a similar fashion to humans.

The experiment has divided the scientific community however, with a number of Western scientists criticizing it as uneth

ical, while some went as far to suggest, perhaps ironically, that it could lead to a Planet of the Apes-type scenario.

The Kunming Institute of Zoology told China Daily in a statement that the experiment was ethically approved in 2010.

In 2015 the animal rights committee of Kunming Biomed International, a research organiza

tion specializing in nonhuman primates, also declared the animals were being treated humanely in every

step of the experiment, in accordance with domestic and international regulations, the statement said.

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In 2017 the institute’s bioethics review committee

n evaluated and approved the experiment before applying for National Natural Scie

nce Foundation of China funds, with the project gaining the foundation’s support.

“Experimenting on nonhuman primate models to research the brain’s cognitive function, de

velopment and related diseases have great scientific and medical values,” the statement said.

“For research purposes, there are precedents of scientists implanting human genes int

o lab animals such as mice, rats, and macaque monkeys, and these researchers have made great con

tributions to understanding life, disease mechanisms and clinical drug development.”

In 2008 US scientists implanted macaque monkeys with Huntington’s disease to further understand the condition and possib

ly identify a new form of treatment, with the project’s findings published in the journal Nature.

In 2009 Japanese scientists created the world’s first transgenic primates

and bred monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green.

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Lu made the remarks in response to recent media repo

 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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He noted that since the first Belt and Road Forum for

 International Cooperation two years ago, more countries and inter

national organizations have joined in the construction of the Belt and Road.

So far, 125 countries and 29 international organiz

ations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, according to Lu.

Among them are 16 Central and Eastern European countries and Gr

eece. Italy and Luxembourg signed cooperation agreements with China last month to join

tly build the Belt and Road. Jamaica also signed similar agreements on Thursday.

During Premier Li Keqiang’s European visit last week, both sides agreed to seek greate

r synergy between the BRI and the European Union’s strategy for connecting with Asia.

Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Comm

unist Party of China Central Committee, said last month that representatives of more than 100 coun

tries, including about 40 foreign leaders, have confirmed their attendance at the Beijing forum.

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