Balancing growth with structural reformting perform

After a disappointing performance in 2018, China’s economy appears to be stabiliz

ing. In the first quarter of 2019, GDP growth, at 6.4 percent year-on-year, matched that of the previous quarter. But grow

th in industrial production exceeded expectations, expanding by 6.5 percent year-on-year (and by 8.5 percent in Mar

ch). Even exports growth was positive, albeit weak, despite the ongoing trade frictions with the United States.

Moreover, fixed-asset investment (FAI) grew by 6.3 percent-0.2 percentage points higher than in the previous quar

ter. Investment in real estate grew the fastest (11.8 percent), followed by manufacturing (4.6 percent) and in

frastructure (4.4 percent). The growth of investment both in real estate and infrastru

cture was stronger not only sequentially, but also year-on-year. As usual, consumption growth was stable.

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Cooperation is the best choice for China and the US,” Ga

 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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But by allowing Tsai Ing-wen, the island’s “pro-independe

ence” leader, to stop over in Hawaii on her way back to the island after an eight-day tour of thr

ee Pacific island nations this week, Washington is breaching all established protocols and violating the 1979

Joint Communiqué. Beijing lodged “stern representations” with Washington on Thursday against Tsai’s transit in Hawaii.

“We have consistently and resolutely opposed the United States or other countries which

have diplomatic relations with China arranging this kind of transit,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ge

ng Shuang said in Beijing. Beijing has urged Washington not to send “Taiwan independence forces any wrong signal”, Geng said.

The method behind fluctuating policy of US

When the US intends to maintain good relations with the mainland, it significantly reduces the

use of or even refrains from mentioning the Taiwan Relations Act. But when Washington wants to put pressure on Beijing to fina

lize a deal or sign a trade agreement in its favor, it promptly resorts to using the Act. At times, even the island’s a

uthorities stir up trouble, prompting the US to use the Act to try and browbeat or incite the mainland.

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Before the start of the China Cup, Cannavaro said that fans

 and media need to focus on long term development of Chinese soccer instead of what happens at the tournament.

“It’s like building a house-the first job is to build a solid foundation,” he said

“Based on that, we can have success. Compared to Japan and South Korea, their plans started decades ago.

“They are 20 to 25 years ahead of China in terms of their soccer development.”

Another factor was that Cannavaro did not recall China’s best striker, Wu Lei, who is now playing for Espanyol in La Liga.

Other experienced veterans, such as captain Zheng Zhi, were passed over in order to make way for younger players.

Cannavaro said he sought out the opinion of Lippi, who now serves as an adviser, including player selection.

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China, Italy agree to expand legislative exchanges

ROME, March 22 — Visiting President Xi Jinping met with Italian Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti

Casellati here Friday on expanding exchanges and cooperation between the two countries’ legislative institutions.

China and Italy have enjoyed a traditional friendship, with the ancient Silk Road closely linking the two peoples, Xi said.

Since they established diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago, the China-Italy ties have seen healthy and stable devel

opment, and the two countries have become important partners who trust each other and work together, Xi said.

The visit is meant to consolidate the stability and strategic nature of the China-Ita

ly relations in the long term, and comprehensively elevate the level of their mutually beneficial cooperation, Xi said.

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Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel on Saturday also

extended her condolences to the victims and their families and people who are affected by the attacks.

“Our thoughts go to the victims and their families and everyone that being affect,” Dalziel said

. She also acknowledged the extraordinary response from the police and first responders.

“An attack on the Muslin community is an attack on us, on Christchurch and on New Zealand,” Dalziel said.

She believed that Christchurch people will go thro

ugh this together by “looking after each other … in many diverse communities in our city.”

Calling the event “an unspeakable tragedy,” the mayor told Xinhua, “We need to make

sure that everyone feels safe, everyone feels welcome and everyone feels a part of the city.”

Major public events during the weekend have all been cancelled across New Zealand a

fter the attacks. Flags were flown at half-mast in government buildings to mourn the victims.

The Chinese Consulate General in Christchurch has confirmed there was no casualty of Chinese citizen in the mosque attacks.

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Mocking O’Rourke’s gestures might seem a frivolous at a time

  of national political angst and with a heavy duty policy debate already under way. But Trump is an expert at trivializing and belittling opponents, to de

tract from the gravity of their arguments and to feed the conservative media machine.

  His diagnosis of Jeb Bush’s “low energy” four years ago established a narrative about the former Florida gove

rnor’s campaign that hinted at a grain of truth. The one-time GOP front-runner could never recover.

  Trump vs. Brexit — and Obama

  At one point in the meeting Tump, said he wasn’t going to “comment on Bre

xit,” but characteristically unable to constrain himself, could barely leave the topic alone.

  At the start of his meeting, Trump welcomed Varadkar, and poin

ting out that his visitor was in a difficult position over Britain’s tortured attempts to comp

lete its withdrawal from the European Union, which could harm Ireland’s peace and prosperity.

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The White House’s argument defies the Constitutional separ

  ration of powers, decades of precedent before this Committee, and

just plain common-sense,” Cummings said in a statement.

  A White House official, however, told CNN’s Jim Acosta that the Maryland

Democrat was demanding documents he was not entitled to under the law.

  The swift escalation of the dispute left the committee to consider whether to issue subp

oenas to get information, a step that could spark a legal scenario that could be

repeated scores of times in the coming months.

  Prolonged legal tussles will not just frustrate Democrats. They will take

months, churn all th

way through the court system and delay any final accounting for the President —

possibly until the heat of the 2020 campaign.

  Executive privilege — the idea that the President has a right to confidential counsel from top officials — has not been widely litigated

in the courts, meaning that legal cases might eventually make their laborious way all the way to the Supreme Court.

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denounced May’s “disastrous” handling of Brexit, conde

  mned the Conservative Party’s shift to the right and warned it was in danger of being taken over by extremists.

  Their announcement was timed for maximum impact, dropping just before the weekly s

ession of Prime Minister’s Questions. In a move freighted with symbolism, the three ex-Conservative MPs

joined the eight former Labour lawmakers on the opposition benches in Parliament on Wednesday.

  The move could mark the start of a reshaping of British politics as the clock continues to tick down to March 29, when the U

K is due to leave the European Union. With 37 days to go, Parliament has still not approved a Brexit deal.

  In a joint letter to May, Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston blamed their departure on the government’s “dismal failure to stand up to

the hard line ERG [European research Group],” whose members advocate a no-deal Brexit. The three lawmakers, who have

been vocal anti-Brexit campaigners, said that Britain’s exit from the EU had “re-defined the Conservative Party — undoing all the efforts to modernize it.”

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Modi’s visit to disputed region imperils thaw in ties

Recently, China and India were engaged in a jagged excha

nge of words over Modi’s visit to South Tibet, a mountainous region under substantial dispute b

etween the two Asian giants. Although China’s stance on the boundary issue is cons

istent and crystal-clear that it has never recognized the so-called “A

runachal Pradesh” and is firmly opposed to any Indian leaders’ presence there, it was Modi who has repeatedly touched the raw nerve.

Such exchange – though it has happened in the past during China’s Spring Festivals in February 2015 and February 2018 – is p

articularly noteworthy: Modi’s latest visit followed the in

formal leadership summit in Wuhan in April 2018 which was widely seen as the key effort

from both sides to improve diplomatic ties and rebuild trust since the 73-day-long armed standoff in Doklam.

Such actions by Modi would inevitably affect the progress

ade by both sides, further complicating the boundary issue and exacerbating mutual suspicion.

Modi’s recent presence in South Tibet was largely driven b

y electoral considerations, aimed at mobilizing support for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahe

ad of the general elections, which are due in India in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.

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