Besides, the blasts in Sri Lanka indicate terrorists coul

ld also target areas that until now were considered terror-free, especially Asian tourist destinations such as the Maldives and Thaila

nd, because they attract a large number of Western people, as well as investments and interests. To prevent such

terrorist attacks, all countries have to make joint efforts to not only strengthen their security but also impr

ove their coordination so they can more effectively combat the common threat of terrorism.

Even though there is no evidence to show social media played a role in the attacks in Sri Lanka, all countries should strengt

hen supervision of the internet because it is being increasingly used to spread terrorism and plan terrorist atta

cks. The IS group’s online tyranny could be more dangerous compared with its actual presence in a country as a ban

ned organization, because its online propaganda could prove more effective in leading people astray.

Therefore, governments — with the active help of internet companies — have no choic

e but to play a bigger role in containing the spread of terrorism online.

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Unlike the second version, the latest one included rule

on the new science and technology innovation board, which will pilot the registration-based IPO system, according to Xinhua.

To accommodate the progress of reforms and development of the capital market, other modifications have also been made, cov

ering public issuance of securities, securities trading, and the protection of investors’ rights and interests, Xinhua said.

Dong expects the latest version to legitimize registration-based IPO systems not only

on the new board, but also across China’s whole A-share market. “Once the system achieves success on the n

ew board, it should be adopted on other submarkets as soon as possible,” Dong said.

President Xi Jinping announced in November that China will launch the S&T innovation board and pilot the registr

ation-based IPO system. Analysts expect the new board to begin trading around the middle of this year.

“The latest draft is expected to make comprehensive revisions, and it could go a long way

toward restoring public investors’ confidence and modernizing the regulation and governance of the ca

pital market,” said Liu Junhai, director of the Business Law Center at Renmin University of China.

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China has always maintained that its trade disputes wi

th other WTO members should be properly handled according to the WTO dispute settlement proc

edures. It not only takes the initiative to file claims in order to safeguard its legal interests and the authority

of the WTO rules, but also actively responds to charges, and respects and enforces WTO rulings.

The WTO’s ruling on this dispute over shows that the orga

nization has an important role to play in safeguarding the multil

ateral trading system. It’s not simply a matter of one side tallying up a victory against the other.

The multilateral trading system, with the WTO as its core, has been a mainstay in promoting glo

bal economic development and building an open world economy. The WTO dispute settlement system is the org

anization’s court for settling trade disputes. It maintains a balance between the WTO members’ rights and oblig

ations, and also ensures the effective implementation of WTO principles and rules.

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Gao cited data to rebut that view and urged AmCham Chi

ina to evaluate China’s market access and business environment for foreign investors in a “comprehensive, objective and fair” way.

The ministry’s data showed that US investment in China jumped 71.3 percent year-on-ye

ar in the first three months of this year. In 2018, US investment increased 7.7 percent year-on-year.

Gao said expansion of the investment figures fully demonstrates that US compan

ies continue to be optimistic about the market and accelerate the pace of investing in China.

Gao cited another survey published in February by AmCham China that showed that most US

companies with operations in China said they have continued to see their revenues grow there.

Gao said the ministry will maintain close contact with foreign enterprise

s and business associations, and continuously improve China’s business environment.

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French officials said the EU faced “blackmail” by hardli

ine pro-Brexit potential successors to May, such as Boris Johnson. They might try to sabotage decision-making, they said.

However, Merkel has urged the bloc to do all it can to avoid such disruption. She said before leavin

g Berlin that she favoured a delay of “several months” for May, who has pledged to quit if hardcore Brexi

t supporters in her own Conservative Party drop objections to her “soft Brexit” and help ratify the deal.

Keen to ease tension, Merkel had broken the ice as talks began by showing May a photomontage on a tablet of both wearing similar jacket

s when addressing their parliaments earlier in the day. It provoked mutual laughter as other leaders joined in.

As talks wore on beyond midnight, with May patiently waiting elsewhere in the buildin

g for word on her nation’s fate, Macron rallied support for his concerns about a long extension.

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On the China-CEEC leaders’ meeting, Chen said the

mechanism has made good achievements in economic cooperation over the past several years, including freight trains running between C

hina and Europe. The mechanism should continue focusing on concrete projects in infrastructure and other key areas, she said.

People-to-people exchanges, including education and tourism, should also be stren

gthened to improve mutual understanding between their people, Chen added.

China will take key measures in a new push to improve its cities through boosting the urban pop

ulation and bolstering the nation’s high-quality and stable economic growth, the country’s top economic planner said.

Measures include relaxing residency curbs, promoting investmen

t and financing mechanisms and increasing infrastructure spending in cities.

The National Development and Reform Commission issued on Monday key tasks for 2019’s new urbanizatio

n boost, which will help maintain the country’s sustainable and healthy economic growth and overall social stability.

China aims to increase the urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year, accordi

ng to a document posted on the NDRC’s website. The proportion of urban population to total population reached 59.58 percent in 2018.

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Former Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat was

 convicted of incitement to commit public nuisance.

Judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng handed down the verdicts. The court will h

ear defendants’ petition in the afternoon. The date for sentencing has not yet been revealed.

According to the Crimes Ordinance and the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, each charge carries up to seven years’ imprisonment.

The illegal Occupy protests saw massive sit-ins on Tim Mei Avenue and Fenwick Pier Street – major thoroughfares linking Wan Cha

i and Central – between Sept 28 and Dec 11 of 2014. It put the city in a standstill for 79 days.

China will lower the tax rates on a range of goods brought or mailed b

y individuals into the country, including food, medicines, textiles and information technol

ogy products, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced Monday.

Starting Tuesday, the tax rate on inbound articles included on the No 1 taxable

item list, which includes books, computers, food, furniture and medicines, will be reduc

ed to 13 percent from the previous 15 percent, the commission said in an online statement.

Some medicines that are currently subject to a 3-percent import value-added tax r

ate, including anti-cancer drugs and medicines for rare diseases, will enjoy favorable tax rate.

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The capital will carry out supportive policies on finan

 land and talent recruitment to attract companies and people engaged in high-end industries to settle down in the city, he added.

Furthermore, Beijing will guide districts to cultivate different industries to avoid repetition and overlap.

Beijing’s Haidian district focuses on high-tech development and innovation. It realized a GDP of 648 billi

on yuan ($96 billion) in 2018, eight times the average district’s level in the city. GDP per capita in the

district reached $28,000, or eight times the standard of moderately developed countries.

At present, the tertiary sector has become the biggest contributor to Haidian’s economy, whic

h now makes up around 90 percent of the total and is similar to levels in New York and Tokyo.

Innovative and capital-intensive industries such as information technology, finance and education provide

the bulk of Haidian’s GDP. The district has attracted several well-known domestic and overseas companies inclu

ding 31 unicorn enterprises — startups worth more than $1 billion — and 933 listed enterprises.

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Minor earthquake in Beijing “normal, isolated event”

A 2.9-magnitude earthquake at a depth of 17 kilometers was detected at 1:25 pm on Sunday in Be

ijing’s Haidian district, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

Two earthquake experts said the minor quake was a normal activity in the

earth’s crust caused by changes in crustal stress, and th

ere is no need for the public to panic, according to a report on huanqiu.com.

“It is a normal and isolated event,” said Guo Xun, dean of the Civil Engineering

School at the Institute of Disaster Prevention.

“As Beijing is at the junction of the earthquake zones of Shanxi province, the

Hebei Plain and Yanshan Mountain, the city will e

xperience one to two earthquakes at around magnitude-3 degree every year,

according to past exper

ience,” Sun Shihong, a researcher at the

China Earthquake Networks Center, added.

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The water-delivering trains are a special service on the Hu

unbai Railway, a scenic line with diesel trains. They were launched to address the limited access to drin

king water in the area, where the underground water is undrinkable due to complex mineral components.

“Water coming out of the wells used to render us with Kaschin-beck disease, and we treated ev

ery drop of (safe) water like it was oil,” said Zhou Aiqin, another resident at Huojugou.

Running the train all year around is no easy task, especially in winter when temperatures easily dro

p below minus 20 degrees Celsius. Some of the fuel is spent heating the water during the journey to prevent freezing.

“Water often drips onto our clothes and instantly freezes. We cannot bend our arms or legs

and have to move like a gorilla,” said Jia Lin, a veteran worker at the line’s Quanyang station.

Train crew and station workers, like residents along the line, have been attached to

the delivery missions, even as demands have greatly shrunk due to improved water infrastructure and relocation o

f villagers. The trains now run three times a month, down from three times a week, to serve only 300 residents.

“But as long as the demand exists, our small train will keep on running,” said Xin Yuehong, head of Quanyang station.

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