ending by banks surges in Januaryasures fend off nega

hina’s credit growth surged unexpectedly to a record pace in January, strengthening production in the real econo

my and easing overall downward pressure, People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, said on Friday.

Bank lending in domestic currency increased by 3.23 trillion yuan ($476.8 billion) last month, the fastest single-month growth

since the figure was first tracked in 1992. It increased by 2.9 trillion yuan in January 2018, the bank said.

Total social financing, a broader measure comprising all money the real economy receives from the fi

nancial sector, including off-balance-sheet financing activities, rose by 4.64 trillion yuan in Ja

nuary, which was also the fastest monthly growth ever, according to the central bank.

The month’s rapid credit growth was a result of a series of precauti

onary measures to ease the negative effects of slowing domestic demand and external h

eadwinds, according to Sun Guofeng, head of the bank’s monetary policy department, at a news conference.

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Both sides had specific discussions about a memorandum

of understanding on bilateral economic and trade issues, Xinhua reported. The two sides said they will step up their work

within the time limit for consultations set by both heads of state, and strive for consensus.

Vice-Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin headed the talks.

After tit-for-tat exchanges of hefty import tariffs, China and the US agreed in December to halt new ta

riffs for 90 days to allow for talks. Since then, the world’s two largest economies have conducted i

ntense negotiations on a wide array of topics, such as trade and structural issues.

Wei Jianguo, vice-president of the China Center for International Economic Ex

changes, said China and the US have maintained close contacts in recent m

onths, which reflects their positive desire to solve genuine problems and foster cooperation.

Wei, a former vice-minister of commerce, underlined the importance of conducting rule-based negotiations and seeking win-win solutions.

Diao Daming, associate professor at Renmin University of China’s School of International Studies, said the world’s two la

rgest economies can deliver positive results in future trade talks to allay global concerns.

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He said it’s important to keep a historical perspective on

cting the outlook of China-US bilateral relations, saying that the two economies became deeply integrated over the past 40 years despite some headwinds.

“In the next four decades, China and the US can further promote mutual understanding while properly handling differences,” he said.

January marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-US diplo

matic relations. Bilateral trade grew from less than $2.5 billion 40 years ago to more tha

n $630 billion in 2018. Over the same period, two-way investment rose from practically nil to more than $240 billion.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said at a recent event that China an

d the US need to develop even stronger ties in the future despite some differences.

“We need to develop an even stronger relationship on the basis of coordination, cooperation and stability” between the two countries, Cui said.

He said it was important for the two sides to have a much better mutual understand

ing on each other’s intentions and policies and identify common ground to stabilize the relationship.

China’s exports to the US climbed 1.9 percent year-on-year to 252.11 billion yuan ($37.21 billion) last month, according to official figures. During the peri

od, foreign direct investment from the US into the Chinese mainland recorded a 124.6 percent year-on-year growth.

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urope needs economic cooperation, not blind suspicion

Austria’s technology ministry has called on Europe to form a joint position on whether or not to allow Chinese firm Huawei to equip 5G for next-generation mobile networks. This consideration co

mes amid the US-hyped security concerns over Huawei and Washington’s relentless efforts to thwart the 5G efforts of this leading tech company.
5G

will be one of the most critical components of the digital economy and society, not only in China but also Europe. Europe has taken significant ste

ps to lead global developments toward this strategic technology. To reposition itself as a leader in world affairs including the field of technology, Europe h

as no reason to reject cooperation with Huawei which has developed the most advanced 5G technology, disregarding u

nwarranted US claims.
Europe is caught in the middle. While the continent treads carefully between China an

d the US, what is at stake is its own interests. As China tries to offer a cooperative approach, Europe, a longtime US ally, is hesi

ant to accept. The Belt and RoadInitiative proposed by China presents tremendous opportunities in terms of trade and g

rowth, while skepticism lingers in Europe about the geopolitical ambition the initiative may harbor.
Ob

servers believe that the funds allocated by the EU will fall way short of what is really needed. The EU will allocate funding for this project in its ne

xt multiannual budget, which will stretch from 2021 to 2027, but can Europe afford to wait till then to walk out of its current plight?

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Hopefully, the discussions over the past three month

hs have helped both sides to better understand each other’s concerns and fostered greater mutual trust.

That the feel-good atmosphere that has prevailed since the January discussions in Washington has been mai

ntained by this round of talks was evident as the negotiations are to continue in the US capital next week. This welcome dev

elopment was confirmed by Xi, who said he hoped the discussions would carry forward the positive momentum as i

t conformed to the interests of both countries to strengthen their cooperation.

Although it is probably too hasty to interpret from this that a deal is imminent given s

ome of the US demands, it is to be hoped that the just-concluded negotiations have laid the groundwork for

next week’s discussions to establish a framework for a resolution to the trade dispute, so that a meeting between Xi and T

rump, which is regarded as necessary to finalize any deal, can be scheduled for this purpose as soon as possible.

New progress on the outstanding difficult issues is imperative as the trade frictions have not been good for either country, despite claims to the contrary.

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tal transformation”, there is already a victory sign coming fro

The country generated about 7.6ZB data last year, around 0.7ZB more than the US, the report said.

In addition, it said data created and replicated in China is expected to outpace the global average by 3 percent annually.

Chinese tech companies, such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd, h

ave set an example in using data to improve customer service in the financial sector.

The report said Chinese digital payment platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay are able to provide personalize

d financial services tailored to customers’ specific behaviors and preferences with the help of massive user data.

The report also mentioned the use of personal information has raised concerns as data may be utilized to build beh

aving or responding models of users that can be taken advantage of by advertisers or for other purposes.

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Which is why US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks

that the negotiations have been progressing “very well” and he might reportedly even let the March 1 deadline “slide for a little while” — have been taken as portents that progress is being made and a positive result may well be on the way.

Especially as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has raised the possibility of Trump meeting with Pres

ident Xi Jinping at the US president’s personal retreat at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, sometime in March — The White Ho

use has previously said the two leaders would have to meet to strike the final bargain.

The market never lies, as the saying goes. Let’s hope that’s true, because the stock market has already

cast a vote of confidence in China and the US being able to reach a deal. The bench mark S

hanghai Composite Index has rebounded more than 10 percent, and the Dow Jones industrial average, more than 15

percent, from their lows in December when Sino-US trade tensions were running high.

It is apt that melting snow symbolizes a new beginning, as positive progress in the talks would m

ean a convergence of expectations for bilateral relations and help ensure the Sino-US relationship has a s

olid foundation of mutual trust and good momentum for positive interaction at the start of its fifth decade.

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Blueprint for Bay Area to be revealedanticipate greate

The blueprint for the massive economic development that will turn the Guangdong-Ho

ng Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area into a global economic powerhouse will be made public within days.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor did not disclose the exact date for the rele

ase when speaking to reporters before Hong Kong’s weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. S

he did, however, announce that a conference on Feb 21 will begin poring over details of the project.

Lam said the blueprint would lay out broad guidelines after which local go

vernments in Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macao will work together wi

th the support of central government departments to pull the project together with concrete planning.

Cross-sector heavyweights in Hong Kong welcomed the upcoming development blu

eprint, saying it could lead the city’s different sectors into a stronger growth phase.

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Jonathan Choi Koon-shum, chairman of the Chinese Gener

Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said he believes the blueprint will demonstrate ho

w to achieve mutual development without vicious competition among the participating cities.

He also noted that Hong Kong enjoys an advantage in attracting international talent and providing world-class pro

fessional services. That’s what Hong Kong can contribute to the development of the Greater Bay Area, Choi remarked.

Choi’s chamber is one of the leading business chambers in H

ong Kong, with nearly 6,000 members from business and trade circles.

Zhang Mingjie, a professor at the Division of Life Science at the Hong Kong U

niversity of Science and Technology, expressed high expectations for the out

line, saying it would open the door to brighter prospects for Hong Kong’s scientific and technological development.

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Film academy probes PhD actor accused of academic plag

The Beijing Film Academy is investigating actor Zhai Tianlin, who has been the target of plagiarism allegations, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.

The academy organized an investigative team to look into Zhai’s case and has zero tolerance for academic misconduct, the newspaper said, citing the academy.

Zhai, 32, has a PhD from the academy and is a postdoctoral candidate at Peking University. He

found himself in hot water on social media recently after a Sina Weibo blogger accused him of plagiarism last week.

Zhai, who is said to have the highest academic qualificat

ions in China’s entertainment industry, has frequently flaunted his academic achievements in his

social media posts, which have detailed the difficulties he said he had while working on his papers.

He raised a flurry of chatter online in August when he said in a live video appearan

ce that he did not know what the China National Knowledge Infrastructure was. CNKI is the largest a

nd most widely used online academic library in China for university students writing theses and dissertations.

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