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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The Chinese government has never imposed any policy

 to force foreign companies to transfer their technology,” Gao added, sayi

ng that the country’s Foreign Investment Law bars forced technology transfers.

The newly passed law, approved this month and set to take effect in January, stipulates that China will treat foreign and Chi

nese enterprises equally and protect their intellectual property rights. Under the law, foreign enterprises will recei

ve pre-establishment national treatment, in addition to a negative list system for market access.

A negative list shows areas where investment i

s limited or prohibited for foreign investors, with all other areas presumed to be open.

Gao said the ministry is working with relevant de

partments to conduct research on shortening the negative list for market access.

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Over the years, FAA has increasingly shifted toward wor

king with industry to meet shared safety goals,” he said. “FAA now delegates more of its aircr

aft certification to approved manufacturers through its congressionally authorized Organization Desig

nation Authorization program or ODA. However, my office has identified weaknesses with FAA oversight of ODA.”

Senators questioned the safety of Boeing’s anti-stall system, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System.

The system was installed because Max jets have bigger engines mounted closer to the nose of the plane than older Boeing 737s, changing the plane’s aerodynamics.

If the nose rises, threatening a stall, the MACS system automatically points the nose of the plane down to gain speed. The sys

tem can be shut off by flipping a switch on the throttle console between the pilot and co-pilot.

The “angle of attack” sensor built into the Max aircraft measures the amount of lift generat

ed by the wings. The device warns pilots when there is too little lift, potentially stalling the plane

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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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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

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Five Chinese women are ranked in the world’s top 50, spear

headed by No 18 Wang Qiang, who this week reached the Miami Open quarterfinals to

become the first Chinese to go that far at the premier mandatory event since Li’s run to the final in 2014.

Li is delighted to see her compatriots mixing it with the world’s best, but said she expects more.

“It’s good to have a group of girls in the top 50, but the resources they enjoy today make me believe they could do better,” she said.

With more advanced coaching and training methods, WTA

CEO Steve Simon reckons China will unearth the next Li sooner rather than later.

“The chances of finding the next Li Na are very bright; it’s just a matter of time,” he said earlier this month in Shenzhen.

The return of The Road to Wimbledon, a tailor-made tournament for under-14 players, f

or its fourth year in China is part of the latest effort to deepen the domestic talent pool.

It began on Monday with a weeklong trial camp overseen by Dan Blox

ham, head coach of the All England Club. The best performers will be picked to compete at a nat

ional tournament in Nanjing in May, which will decide China’s representatives at the global final at Wimbledon from Aug 11-17.

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Wang hailed Italian government’s forethought and pragmatis

gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed

that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.

Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre

ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.

France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa

rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem

onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.

At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron

said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align

its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.

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hina and France reaffirmed their commitment to jointly add

ddress climate change, the loss of biodiversity and environmental

protection in a joint statement issued on Tues

day, after visiting President Xi Jinping met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

The two countries stressed that public and private funds should be directed to invest more to fight climate change and for biodiv

ersity protection, and there should be sustained financial support for the climate change actions of developing countries.

What is frustrating is the fact that solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace in 2018, with solar alone increasing by 31 p

ercent, but that was still not fast enough to meet the higher electricity demand around the world that has driven up coal use.

China remains the leader in both solar- and wind-generated energy followed by Europe and the Uni

ted States. But despite being on course to meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, sourcing 20 percent of it

s energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date is a tougher challenge for China. However, the addit

ional benefits of energy security and reduced pollution provide extra incentives for resolute efforts to achieve this goal.

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Three government ministers quit their posts so they could

back the motion. Richard Harrington, who resigned as a junior business minister, accused the government of “playing roulette with the lives and liveli

hoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to resolve Britain’s Brexit impasse.

The government said it was disappointed by the vote, claiming it “upends the balance

between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

But it also conceded that the new votes might be a way to break the months-long Brexit gridlock. May said she would “engage

constructively” with the results of the process, though sahe said she was skeptical that it would produce a decisive result.

The move raises the chances that Britain will tack toward a softer Brexit, and is likely to be welcomed by th

e EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, tweet that it was an “opportunity to build a cross-party coope

ration leading to an enhanced political declaration & a closer future relationship!”Earlier in the day, May ack

nowledged, “with great regret,” that her deal still lacked “sufficient support” to be approved as of Monday.

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In agreeing to the postponement, European leaders

 hoped Britain’s deadlocked politicians would find a solution to the crisis. But the EU isn’t counting on it. The European Comm

ission said Monday it had completed planning for a no-deal Brexit, calling that outcome “increasingly likely.”

The EU said its members would be able to cope with a no-deal departure, although more remained to be done on ensuring an open border betwee

n EU member Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland — something both sides have agreed to. Checkpoints there were a soaurce of tensi

on and a target during the decades of sectarian violence before Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace accord.

An EU official said the bloc was in “in intense discussions with the Irish authorities about these matters.”

May stands little chance of getting the deal she struck with the EU approved unless she can win over Brexit-backing lawmakers in her Conservative Party and its Nor

thern Irish ally, the Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP said Monday that the party’s “position remains unchanged.”

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