As a prominent expert on China-US studies for decade

 Zhu also was twice denied single-entry visas to the US.

“This shows how the US is trying to block normal social exchanges bet

ween the two countries, an important channel for mutual understanding and trust,” Zhu said.

Besides scholars in social sciences, the US also began last year to make it harder for Chinese graduate students to get visas if they stud

y in “sensitive research fields”. It warned biomedical researchers at US universities to beware of “Chinese spies

trying to steal information from their laboratories”, according to The New York Times report.

Jon Taylor, a professor of political science of the University o

f St. Thomas in Houston, said the decision is “both absurd and exceedingly shortsighted”.

“These scholars and researchers are social scientists with a long history of interactin

g with their American counterparts as well policymakers in both countries,” he said.

“They are scholars teaching and researching what I teach and research. What are they going to steal?”

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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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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.”

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Mattarella said that Italy supports the Belt and Road Initiati

 that was put forward by Xi, and the initiative is expected to promote the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent.

The BRI is also a road of cultural exchanges, he said, adding that Italy would like to enhance cooperation with China in tourism and culture. Italy ad

mires China’s achievements in economic development, and it appreciates China’s opening-up policies, he said.

Both Italy and China are ancient civilizations, and the people of the two countries have sufficient wisdom to deal with

challenges nowadays, he said, adding that China’s rejuvenation will bring new contributions to peace and prosperity.

China will take a solid step toward becoming a high-income country this year,

reating more space to deepen reform and expand opening-up, economists said on Friday.

A more balanced growth pattern will help the world’s second-largest ec

onomy pass the “middle-income trap”, with consumption and high-tech man

ufacturing leading growth, they said at a Beijing seminar leading up to the 2019 China Development Forum, which starts on Saturday.

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inister of Commerce Zhong Shan attends a press conference

Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said a slew of measures will be taken this year to boost China’s social consumption, such as improving urban consumption, to promote

consumption upgrades, expand rural consumption, and develop service consumption while optimizing service supply.

The country will upgrade a number of pedestrian streets, optimize the layout of convenience stores, and encourage brand development and franchising.

The country will promote “selling agricultural products to the cities, while selling industr

ial products to the countryside”.hina’s investment environment is expected to become more stab

le, open and transparent, as the draft foreign investment law stipulates foreign enterprises will receive pre-established nati

onal treatment plus a negative list management system, according to the Ministry of Commerce on Saturday.

The foreign investment law is expected to help establish an environment where foreign co

mpanies can compete fairly in China, and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, Wang

Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce, said at a news conference during the two sessions.

Wang also cited that the law will protect the intellectual property rights of foreign investors an

d encourage technology cooperation based on voluntary principles and commercial rules.

yeaste.cc

Debt iceberg’ is only in minds of ill-wishers: China Daily editorial

t seems to be a commonly held view in the West that China’s economic success heralds misfor

tune. Year after year, voices are heard claiming that the country’s good fortune is built on reckle

ss and irresponsible borrowing that presages collapse — a catastrophe that is forever imminent.

As part of this false analysis, Western rating agencies have been sounding the alarm ove

r what they interpret as mounting credit risks in China’s financial sector for many years.

The worry they spark each time they warn that China is supposedly going to hit a “debt iceberg

” necessitates top Chinese government officials explaining to the world what the country’s debt level is,

how it is likely to affect China’s overall economic well-being and what they are doing to address the risks.

That’s why, at a news conference held on the sidelines of the top legislature’s ann

ual session on Thursday, Finance Minister Liu Kun addressed the topic once again.

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Main goals for economic and social development in 2019

Premier Li Keqiang delivered the government work report at the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress that opened in Beijing on Tuesday.

Here are the main 2019 goals for economic and social development from the report.

— GDP growth of 6-6.5 percent

— Over 11 million new urban jobs, a surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 5.5 percent, and a registered urban unemployment rate within 4.5 percent

— CPI increase of around 3 percent

— A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments, and stable, better-structured imports and exports

— A macro leverage ratio that is basically stable, and effective prevention and control of financial and fiscal risks

— A reduction of over 10 million in the rural poor population

— Personal income growth that is basically in step with economic growth

— A further improvement in the environment

— A drop of around 3 percent in energy consumption per unit of GDP

— Continued reductions in the discharge of major pollutants

www.ecimy.cn

You put the wrong people in a couple of positions and

  they leave people for a long time that shouldn’t be there, and all of a sudden, they’re trying to take you out with bullshit, OK,” he added.

  The President lambasted Mueller as an unelected prosecutor running unchecked a

nd accused the special counsel’s team of investigators of being stacked against him.

  ”Robert Mueller never received a vote and neither did the person t

hat appointed him,” Trump said in an apparent reference to Deputy Attorney Gene

ral Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump and named Mueller as special counsel in May 2017.

  ”Robert Mueller put 13 of the angriest Democrats in the history of our country on the commission,” Tru

mp said, adding, “One of them was involved with the Hillary Clinton Foundation, running it. Another one has perhaps the worst re

putation of any human being I’ve ever seen — all killers. In fact, it would have been actually better for them if they put hal

f and half and Mueller can do whatever he wants anyway, which he’ll probably do.”

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Du Zhenqing, the actor playing the title role, said this play

  has been the biggest challenge in his over-40-year acting career. “I need to ful

ly grasp the Greek co-actors’ lines to keep the plot flowing. The director is very cre

ative and actively thinking. He integrates a lot of physical movements into the performance – It’s like nothing yo

u have seen in China, which creates a very unique experience for our audience.”

  ”Agamemnon shows remarkable directorial skills. Language, movement and

music, all the elements come together perfectly. It’s a joy to watch,” sai

d Luo Jinlin, renowned theater director and professor at the Central Academy of Drama.

  The production design and choreography also left a deep impression on the audience. “Co

mbining modernity and tradition creates a beautiful effect. I think the play is a successful introduction of

the Greek classic to Chinese people,” Song Shikun commented on Damai, the Ticketmaster of China.

  Performances will be staged at the National Theater of China through March 2.

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Vietnam’s path from a mortal enemy to a friendly partn

  United States is particularly appealing to North Korea, who believes a good relationship with the United States can h

elp create the right environment and necessary conditions for achieving North Korea’s new strategic drive toward ec

onomic development,” said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.

  The concept isn’t new, of course. During his time as an Asia expert at the State Department in the Clinton administration, Evans Revere said negoti

ators working with North Korea were even then trying to point them to Vietnam, which was beginning to reap t

he benefits of market reforms and becoming a member of good international standing.

  ”We thought, somewhat naively back then, that this would appeal to the North Koreans gre

atly and that our commitments to work with them on bringing about a modernized economy w

ould be so attractive … that they would stand down from their nuclear weapons program. We were wrong,” Revere said.

  ”If all of these incentives or this incentive-based approach to coaxing North Korea do

wn a new path did not work when they didn’t have nuclear weapons, and it didn’t work to prevent th

em from developing nuclear weapons, why will it work now that they are in effect a nuclear weapons state?”

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