hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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 said. “This is not only beneficial to the two countries and their peoples, but also conducive to the entire world.”

The words came as the US Department of Commerce reported that the US trade deficit with China narrowed by 6.4 perce

nt to $34.5 billion in January. US goods exports to China dropped 22.3 percent to $7.1 billion, the lowest since Sep

tember 2010, and Chinese imports dropped 9.6 percent to $41.6 billion, the Commerce Department said.

The trade imbalance has been at the center of monthslong tensions between China and the US. Other iss

ues at the top of the list for their consultations include technology transfers and protection of intellectual property rights.

Gao said guaranteeing that companies can pursue technical cooperation based on voluntary principles and business rules is cond

ucive to creating a fair and competitive business environment and promoting high-quality economic development.

“It is in line with China’s need to further deepen reform and opening up,” he said.

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sia and Ethiopian planes has not been released, but analysts say the pilots may not have known h

ow to turn off the anti-stall device after it pointed the nose of the plane down, and that may have been a factor in the crashes.

On Wednesday, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice-president, said he doesn’t see the need to overhaul its development of aircraft. He c

alled the new Max software “more robust” but also said the upgrade does not mean the original design was inadequate.

The upgraded MCAS will be activated by input from two sensors rather than one.

The system’s power will be limited so that the pilot can pull back on

the control column to override the system if the plane’s nose is pointed down.

Sinnett said a new training system for pilots on upgrades to the MCAS has been “provisionally approved”.

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More than 60 countries will send naval delegations to participate in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Peo

ple’s Liberation Army Navy in late April, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

The celebration will showcase the progress of the PLA Navy and its growing capabili

ty in safeguarding China’s overseas interests as well as regional and world peace, an expert said.

The multinational naval event will take place in Qingdao, Shandong province, in late Ap

ril, said ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian. April 23 is the 70th anniversary of the PLA Navy’s founding.

The naval event will include high-level dialogues, an international fleet review, military band performances, cultural and sports e

xchanges as well as other activities, Wu said. Some nations will send military ships to participate in the fleet

review, though details are still in the works and will be announced at a later date, he added.

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Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F

rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela

tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations

Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the

signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th

e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.

The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with

China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp

ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.

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rucial to getting the agreement through said it would reject the deal again.

Britain was supposed to leave the bloc on Friday but Brussels agreed last week to put back the

divorce date until April 12 to give it a chance to resolve a three-year crisis that has split the country down the middle.

However, it still remains uncertain how, when or even whether the United Kingdom, the wo

rld’s fifth-biggest economy, will leave the EU. The possibilities that it will leave with no deal to so

ften the shock to its economy, or delay the departure date to hold a general election, have increased as other options fade.

While May’s deal continued to stumble, an attempt by parliament to take control of the proc

ess by holding a series of indicative votes on other options produced no immediate way through the impasse.

None of the proposals, many of which involved closer alignmen

t with the EU than May envisages, won the support of a majority of lawmakers.

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 title at the 2011 French Open, warned that increased funding and exposure for the sport does not guarantee Grand Slam champions will follow.

“After the US Open (in August), players don’t need to travel overseas with tournam

ents held at home one after another,” said Li, who is an ambassador for her hometown Wuhan Open in Hubei province.

“However, for the younger players nowadays they are likely to squander the opportuni

ties that we had to fight hard to earn, because everything comes easier and more frequently.

“They have to focus on the game itself rather than the exposure or expectations off

the court to really improve one event at a time and benefit from the momentum.”

When Li turned pro in 1999 China had only two entry-level tournam

ents. Now the Women’s Tennis Association calendar features nine Chinese tourn

aments, including the premier mandatory China Open in Beijing and year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

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port, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33 gigatonnes last year, the highest level since

2013. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for one-third of the total increase.

The fact that most of the increase in coal use comes from coal power plants in developing Asia points to the harsh reality that greenhouse gas emissions are the cost be

ing paid for development. That the majority of coal power plants in Asia are only 12 years old on average, decades short of the

average life span of around 50 years, shows how challenging it is to cut CO2 emissions and maintain economic growth.

That the developing countries obtain help from their developed co

unterparts in both funds and technologies is essential to the fight against global warming.

It is high time that countries appreciated the urgency of this comm

on challenge and how important it is for concerted efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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A memorial service was held on Wednesday for victims who died in a chemical plan

t explosion seven days prior in Xiangshui township, Yancheng city, East China’s Jiangsu province.

More than 200 officials, police officers, firefighters, bereaved families and volunteers attended the serv

ice at 7:30 am. The cars at the site honked their horns and attendees presented flowers to pay tribute to the victims.

To date, the deadly explosion of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co in Yancheng’s Xiangshui county has claimed 78 lives.

According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death marks the height of the mourning period.

subsidies continue gradual phase-out

China will whittle down subsidies on new energy vehicles as the industry develops and cost drops, aiming to boost high-quality development in the NEV sector.

The newest measure will lower subsidy standards for new energy passenger cars, buses and t

rucks, taking factors such as industry growth, cost reduction and subsidy phase-out policies into consideration, the

Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement Tuesday, adding the move was set to bring more competition in the industry.

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netizens in 2018 and the internet penetration rate was 93.7 percent, according to a report published on Tuesday.

The report was jointly published by the youth rights and interests protection departme

nt of the Communist Youth League of China Central Committee and the China Internet Network Information Center.

Minor netizens covered by the report are students at different levels under 18 years, but not including children under 6 years and non-student youths.

According to the report, 92 percent of minor netizens use mobile phones for internet ac

cess, and the percentages of minors using other devices for internet access are all less than 50 percent.

The report shows that 77.6 percent of minor netizens have their own internet access devices, and 69.7 percent have mobi

le phones. Data shows 52.2 percent connected to the internet less than one hour a day, and 24.2 percent between 1 and 2 hours.

Up to 87.4 percent use the internet for study, 68.1 percent listen to mus

ic and 64.2 percent play games for major leisure and recreational activities on the intern

et. Chatting online is the major communication activity for 58.9 percent, and 40.5 percent use short video apps, according to the report.

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