The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

pristinefood.org

Elwell defended the agency’s reliance on experts from ma

anufacturers and said the current system had produced an unprecedented safety record i

n the US. He said the FAA was “fully involved” in the certification of the Boeing 737 Max 8, including “133 of the 297 flight tests”.

Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned the FAA’s oversight of the Boeing 737 Max jet, argu

ing that reliance on the manufacturer put “the fox in charge of the henhouse”.

Blumenthal said Boeing rushed to get the 737 Max in the air to compete with Europe’s Airbus and disregarded critical safety features.

“There needs to be rigorous reform so the FAA is put back in charge of safety,” he said. “The

fact is that the FAA decided to do safety on the cheap, which is neither safe nor cheap,” he said.

Senator Jerry Moran asked what it would take for the FAA on its own to certify airc

raft. Elwell said: “Ten thousand additional FAA employees and $1.8 billion” per year.

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He said the European equivalent of the US agency deleg

gates more authority to a manufacturer’s employees when certifying the safety of Airbus.

Elwell said the FAA conducts strict oversight of all manufacturers.

Senator Ed Markey demanded a “yes” or “no” answer from Elwell on whether two safety options that airlines could decline to bu

y should have been mandatory on the Max aircraft. Elwell declined to answer with a single word.

Some airlines chose to purchase the “angle of attack” system display for readi

ngs of two sensors and a “disagree light” to be activated if the sensors produce conflictin

g readings while others did not. Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air reportedly declined to buy the two add-on safety devices.

Scovel, inspector general of the Transportation Departme

nt, said his office plans to revise its oversight of aircraft development by July.

www.huawaii.cn

isit shows EU seeks deeper cooperationuropean Commiss

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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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

www.qiuLuhuang.cn

ao poses with a dog at her brick-and-mortar store in Chen

Zeng Niaoniao, a qipao designer in the post-95s generation, started her business when she was a sophomore in 2015, and now runs stores both online and off.

Last year, the turnover from her online store reached 12 million yuan ($1.78 million)

The 24-year-old designer has a track record on improving qipao, displaying her work at the 2018 Shan

g Fashion Week and attracting Chinese pop idol Yang Chaoyue to wear her design for an advertising photoshoot.

Zeng said her wish was to see people wearing her designs to stroll around town, and sh

e wanted to bring more improveqipao with new designs to young Chinese girls.

May’s offer to quit fails to break Britain’s Brexit stalemate

LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to sway hardline opponents of her European Union divorce de

al on Wednesday with an offer to quit, but parliament’s bid to agree an alternative fell short, leaving the Brexit process as deadlocked as ever.

May told her Conservative lawmakers she would step down if her Brexit deal was finally passe

d by parliament at the third attempt, in a last-ditch bid to win over many of her party’s eurosceptic rebels.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first overseas visit in 2019

  levated China’s ties with Italy, Monaco and France to a new level, and injected new impetus into China-Europe compreh

ensive strategic partnership, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

  When the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi’s Europe tour, hailed b

y the international community, is dedicated to deepening partnership for cooperation, improving global governance, and uphol

ding multilateralism, which shows China’s sense of responsibility as a major country, Wang said.

  In six days, the Chinese president attended over 40 events during his visit to five cities including Rome, Palermo, Monaco, Nice a

nd Paris, Wang noted, adding that it is a trip of friendship, cooperation and exploration that has delivered fruitful results.

  FRIENDSHIP & MUTUAL BENEFIT

  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic

partnership, and next year will witness the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations.

  At meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Xi agreed with them to further i

ntensify high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations, Wang said.

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The Belt and Road Initiative is set to promote cooper

globally — not for China only, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun said on Wednesday.

Jin made the remarks in response to questions over whether the BRI only involves C

hinese projects prior to the Boao Forum for Asia, which will officially begin on Thursday.

“It was a misunderstanding,” Jin said, adding any country or investor can do a BRI project

anywhere, so long as it promotes global and regional economic cooperation, peace and development.

“The so called ‘China strategy’ is simply to promote global cooperation,” he added.

Joint efforts essential to fight global warming: China Daily editorial

Record low temperatures in winter and record high temperatures in summer in many parts of the

world year after year and more frequent natural disasters caused by extreme weather events prov

ide strong evidence that global warming is not just an alarmist theory as some claim.

Yet striking a balance between the effective control of human activities that are contr

ibuting to climate change and economic growth is proving a hard nut for countries to crack.

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Ceremony held to mourn E China blast victims victims in Yanch

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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Opponents of Brexit feel the political tide may be turnin

 in their favor. Hundreds of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday calling for a new referendum on whether to leave the EU or remain.

But with the deadline for a Brexit decision less than three weeks away, British poli

ticians remain divided, and increasingly despairing about the country’s political gridlock.

“Brexit is like the Death Star of politics,” Conservative legislator George Freeman said. “I always fea

red it would be like this. It’s destroying and soaking up all the prime minister’s room for maneuver and political goodwill.

“I’ve never known this country so divided, so angry and in such a dangerous state,” he said.

France is willing to support the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with the best way forward

being to work together on a project-by-project basis, former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told China Daily.

In an exclusive interview ahead of the state visit of President Xi Jinping to France

on Monday and Tuesday, Raffarin said it is in France’s national interest to be part of the BRI.

“We also want our companies to propose projects which are good for the BRI, but also go

od for our enterprises,” said Raffarin, who served as prime minister from 2002 to 2005.

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