The bond pricing mechanism will be further improv

Under a pilot scheme, the first group of six provinces and cities sold 6.8 billion yuan in bonds

at commercial bank counters to individual buyers between March 22 and early April.

The coupon rates are between 3.01 percent and 3.33 percent, higher than treasury b

onds issued by the central government as well as bank deposits with the same maturity.

Gross local bond issuances hit 1.18 trillion yuan in the first qua

rter, compared with only 219.5 billion yuan in the same period last year.

The total quota for 2019 local government bond issuances is 3.08 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance.

“About 60 percent of the bonds were issued for ongoing construction, especially

for shantytown renovation projects, railways and roads,” said Hao Lei, head of the ministry’s Budget Department.

While debt financing continues to grow, the government is experiencing sharp declin

es in fiscal revenue growth, especially from tax and land sales, official data showed.

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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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mental protection, science and technology innovation,

end manufacturing, finance, sharing economy, medical care and elderly care indust

ries,” Osuga said, adding Japan and China will push forward cooperation in more areas this year.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the dialogue on Sunday that Ch

ina hopes the two sides can make steady headway in promoting bilateral investments and trade coope

ration, and actively explore third-party market cooperation as well as local cooperation.

Osuga said the Japanese government’s position on the Belt and Road Initiative remains unchan

ged, as it expects to conduct cooperation with China in a third market, promote trade and invest

ment liberalization and facilitation and uphold a business environment of fairness, justice and non-discrimination.

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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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Chinese people are deeply sad about the fire, just as th

He said he believes that with the efforts of the French people and supp

ort from the international community, Notre Dame will be repaired and regain its glory.

The fire broke out around 6:30 pm on the roof of the cathedral, which was covered in scaffoldi

ng. The blaze spread quickly and destroyed the wooden interior before causing the spire to collapse.

It took more than 400 firefighters over 12 ho

urs to put out the fire, and the main structure and two bell towers remained standing.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, though officials said it could be linked to renovation work. Investigators were eag

er to question the workmen in an effort to determine the cause of the fire, according to media reports.

Visiting the scene of the fire in Paris, Macron vowed an immediat

e fundraising effort to rebuild the landmark, calling for international contributions.

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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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Most of the ivory was hidden in an abandoned factory

by the smugglers, Sun said. Busts were made in several locations, which were not disclosed. The case is still under investigation.

Since early this year, 182 smuggling cases involving endangered species have been investigated, the administration said on Monday.

More than 500 tons of endangered animals and animal products were seized, 8.48 t

ons of which was ivory tusks or products made of ivory. In those cases, 171 suspects were detained.

The Chinese government suspended imports of ivory and all ivor

y products in 2015 and ended commercial processing and sale of ivory at the end of 2017.

The ban has had significant positive effects, with fewer people purchasing ivory, according to a report j

ointly released last year by the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, an NGO that tracks the global trade in wild animals.

“We will strengthen our anti-smuggling efforts, continuing to work with international organizations and depart

ments and allowing no tolerance of those illegal activities,” said Hu Wei, deputy director of the administration.

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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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The plan calls for integration of AI with mathematics, st

, statistics, physics, biology, psychology and sociology, among other disci

plines. It promotes the “AI + X” interdisciplinary approa

ch in universities and aims to set up 100 majors that combine AI and other subjects by 2020.

Many Chinese universities have set their sights on improving AI education and nurturin

g more AI talent and have established new AI departments and research institutes.

Tsinghua University established an AI institute in 2018 as p

art of its efforts to advance AI research and education.

Aiming to become a globally influential AI research institution, the institute focuses on the basic theory of AI and activ

ely promotes cross-disciplinary AI research as well as the integration of academia and industry.

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JD Logistics responds to criticism over courier pay cuts

JD Logistic, the logistics arm of the Beijing-based tech heavyweight JD

.com, will cancel the basic salary for delivery staff , CEO and Chairman Liu Qiangdong said i

n response to arguments on the company’s salary adjustments in an internal email sent on Monday.

JD Logistics lost over 2.3 billion yuan ($342.9 million) in 2018, its 12th consecut

ive year to lose money. If the situation continues, Liu said, the company would only last for two more years.

If internal settlements are deducted, JD Logistics lost more than 2.8 billion yuan last year.

The main reasons for the loss are few external delivery orders and high internal costs, Liu said.

The company has only two choices, according to Liu: one, increase external delivery orders to promote external inco

me growth; the other, reduce staff members’ well-being to the level of other express companies.

Reducing fund ratios to average levels and canceling the basic salary a

ims to encourage couriers to get more external delivery orders and increase revenue.

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