Govt should accelerate tax cuts to invigorate economy, premi

Premier Li Keqiang urged government departments to speed up the implementation

of tax reductions to invigorate the country’s economy, amid rising uncertainties about growth on Friday.

Li was speaking with entrepreneurs from the manufacturi

ng, construction and service sectors at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.

The businesspeople said they have received benefits from the tax reduction measu

res in the past months, after the measures were introduced by Li in the Government Work Report in March. They

also offered advice on how to further ease the tax burden on businesses.

After hearing their opinions, Li called tax reduction a great decision made by the Communist Party of China Central Comm

ittee and the State Council. It has boosted market confidence in outstanding ways and promoted the stable

growth of the economy, he said, adding that the positive factors for economic growth are increasing.

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The aircraft, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 from Aeroflot Russ

sian Airlines, was bound from Moscow for Murmansk in Russia’s far north.

It made an emergency landing at the airport shortly after takeoff with 73 passengers and five crew members aboard.

The aircraft circled before making a hard landing back at the airport after the crew issued a mayday alert.

As seen in CCTV footage, the plane touched down hard and skidded along the runway, spewing out plumes of black smok

e and nearly completely afire. The plane’s undercarriage collapsed as it slowed to a halt on the tarmac.

Yelena Markovskaya, spokeswoman for the Moscow interregional tr

ansport investigation department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Fed

eration, said on Monday that 37 people survived, including four crew members.

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Politburo upbeat on economic datag Motors on the assem

China’s economy grew better than expected in the first quarter and market confidence was raised in

an outstanding way, according to a statement from a meeting presided over by President Xi Jinping on Friday.

During the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central

Committee, members analyzed the current economic situation and made plans for economic work.

In the first quarter, government departments pushed forward high-quality growth, deepene

d supply-side structural reform and carried out positive fiscal policy and stable monetary policy, the statement said. Main mac

roeconomic figures were in proper range, and reform and opening-up was pushed forward continuously, it said.

The statement said lots of difficulties and problems remain in economic development, with m

ore tension in the external economic environment and downward pressure on the domestic economy. Government departments shou

ld remain steadfast and be brave in overcoming difficulties in economic development, it said.

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Last month, China has set its GDP growth target for this

year at a range of 6 to 6.5 percent, according to the 2019 Government Work Report.

A further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in the first quarter, and the survey

ed unemployment rate remained at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in

March. Consumer price registered a moderate rise by 1.8 percent in the first three months this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was m

aintained, and China’s foreign exchange reserves remain more than $3 trillion.

Economic structure further improved during the same period. Value-added high-tech se

ctor’s output rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, NDRC has approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly i

n the fields of energy, transportation and high-tech sectors. The total investment hit 370.3 bill

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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

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However, Xi said the country still has a lot to do to mak

ke up for the environmental arrears of the past, and its lack of forest c

over and vulnerable ecology remain problems requiring substantial efforts to conquer.

He called on officials at different levels to lead the public in making unwavering efforts to continue with tree planting programs.

It is also important to act on the understanding that clear w

aters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, promote the high-quality development of forestati

on programs and continue to promote the development of forested cities and rural areas, he said.

He also called for greater efforts to improve the living environm

ent, develop the green economy and step up the management and protection of forests.

Environmental protection has long been a priority for Xi, who has called on several occasions for efforts to protect the natu

ral environment “the way we protect our eyes”, and cherish it “as we cherish our own lives”.

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The draft amendment to the patent law has been sub

The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to support implementation of the Foreign Invest

ment Law, adopted two weeks ago, Li said, adding that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan 1.

The draft amendment to the patent law has been submitted to China’s top legisl

ators. It sharply increases compensation for infringement to a cost that violators will not be able to afford, he said.

Forced technology transfers are prohibited and violators will receive harsh penalties, Li said. The complaint mecha

nism for foreign-invested companies will be perfected to improve exchanges and coordination between the gover

nment and investors, making it an effective way to protect the legal rights of foreign companies, he said.

China will not resort to massive economic stimulus to boost

growth, but will continue to open up and innovate to energize market players, Li said.

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effort in loss to Thailand sparks plenty of reaction from frustra

Winning the opening match of the China Cup proved to be a mission impossible for the ho

st national team, which fell 1-0 to Thailand on Thursday night in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

While spectators at the sold-out 60,000-seat Guangxi Sports Center loudly vented their anger a

s the home squad left the pitch, within minutes hundreds of millions of netizens expressed their dis

appointment online, making the loss one of the hottest topics trending on Chinese social media.

By Friday morning, related topics had been viewed more than 10

0 million times on Weibo, generating waves of criticism from fans and media.

“Team China was suppressed by the Thailand squad throughou

t the whole match,” said Han Qiaosheng, a well-known sports commentator and TV anchor.

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Mattarella said that Italy supports the Belt and Road Initiati

 that was put forward by Xi, and the initiative is expected to promote the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent.

The BRI is also a road of cultural exchanges, he said, adding that Italy would like to enhance cooperation with China in tourism and culture. Italy ad

mires China’s achievements in economic development, and it appreciates China’s opening-up policies, he said.

Both Italy and China are ancient civilizations, and the people of the two countries have sufficient wisdom to deal with

challenges nowadays, he said, adding that China’s rejuvenation will bring new contributions to peace and prosperity.

China will take a solid step toward becoming a high-income country this year,

reating more space to deepen reform and expand opening-up, economists said on Friday.

A more balanced growth pattern will help the world’s second-largest ec

onomy pass the “middle-income trap”, with consumption and high-tech man

ufacturing leading growth, they said at a Beijing seminar leading up to the 2019 China Development Forum, which starts on Saturday.

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If Nyusi’s estimated death toll is confirmed, Tropical Cyclon

  clone Idai would be the deadliest tropical cyclone on record to have hit southern Africa.

  Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said there was no power in Beira and surr

ounding areas, and nearly all communication lines had been destroyed.

  ”Main roads leading into Beira have been cut off, buildings have been submerged and se

verely damaged, and all business has been shut down,” said the aid agency, adding that “medical acti

vities in Beira hospital, in local health centers, and throughout the community have ceased completely.”

  Though the cyclone hit Mozambique on Thursday, the extent of

the damage has taken days to come into focus due in part to the country’s poor infrastructure.

  The scale of #CycloneIdai in Beira, Mozambique, is truly heartbreaking. Initial assessments from @ifrc estimate at le

ast 90% of the area is completely destroyed. Read what IFRC aid workers are witnessing in the ar

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