Air tickets, homestays sold out for May Day holiday

A travel rush is expected for the upcoming May Day holiday, a

s air tickets and high-speed railway tickets on multiple routes were sold out, while ho

mestay hotels at destinations including Beijing and Shanghai were fully booked.

While only one week away, the May Day holiday this year is extended to fo

ur days – one day more than last year – and will see a travel craze comparable to that  ty

pically seen during China’s Spring Festival, a traditional holiday for family reunion.

According to Qunar, one of China’s largest online travel agencies, quite a few people chose to take a few days off before or af

ter the May 1 to 4 holiday, so that they can enjoy a journey lasting upwards to nine days.

The travel rush is expected to come as early as April 27, and will reach a climax on April 29 and 30.

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Top economic planner bullish on reaching annual growth

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in the first quarter of 2019, and the country has the confide

nce to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country’s top economic planner.

“The first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the an

nual growth,” said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditio

ns and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year.”

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 perce

nt year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

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Shanghai, China’s financial hub, prevailed as expats’ fa

favorite city to work and live in for the sixth year in a row, followed by Beijing, Hefei, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, S

uzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin, Xi’an and Wuhan.

The campaign also looked at cities with the most potential to attract expats, naming X

iamen, Nanjing, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Xuzhou, Haikou, Kunming, Jinan, Dalian and Chengdu.

In recent years, China has implemented a work permit system for foreigners to come to Chi

na and a visa system for expats. This has promoted the government affairs, policies, work and living

environment of Chinese cities, allowing more expats to live and work better in China.

The survey has been conducted for nine years, starting in 2010. The A

mazing China 2018 poll took place from November to December. Results were anal

yzed from 239 signed votes from top expert panels, 2,815 votes from foreign experts, and 94,849 votes from internet users.

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From the film, the audience will get a sense of the indo

mitable spirit of the Chinese people and their attachment to the homeland. The audienc

e will also feel the profound historical friendship between the Chinese and Kazakh people,” s

ays Wang Zhi, deputy secretary-general of the festival’s organizing committee.

Jonathan Shen, the producer of The Composer, reveals that the crew spent five months shooting scenes in China, Russ

ia and Kazakhstan, and how the team used many special effects to re-create the wartime sequences.

Saturday, the festival’s opening day, marks the 80th anniversary of the debut performance of Yellow River

Cantata in Yan’an, the headquarters of the Red Army after the Long March which lasted from 1934 to 1936.

“We hope the film will comfort the soul of Xian,” says Shen, who is also the founder and CEO of Beijing-based Shinework Pictures.

Shen says he hopes The Composer, which was jointly financed by Kazakhst

an, will become a commercial success and encourage more foreign studios to produ

ce films with China. The film is scheduled to go on general release in China and Kazakhstan in May.

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On Tuesday afternoon, he had talks with Tusk and Jun

ker. A number of cooperative agreements were signed after that.

Li flew to Croatia late on Tuesday to begin his first visit to the Central and Eastern Europe

an country, which also is the first by a Chinese premie

r in the 27 years since the two countries established diplo

matic ties. He will also attend the eighth China-CEEC leaders’ meeting in Dubrovnik.

In a signed article published on Tuesday by several Croatian newspap

ers, Li said China will open up further to unlock the potential for trade in goods and promote two-way t

rade and investment liberalization and facilitation. More competitive goo

ds from CEE countries are welcome in China, which is committed to working for more balanced trade.

Li also called for more opportunities in the new economy and new growt

h drivers in the digital economy, e-commerce, financial technology and smart cities.

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Ma said priority would be given to young stude

nts, and health departments would assist schools in measures such as in

creasing outdoor activities, as well as reducing electronic device use and homework.

Health departments will also carry out a special monitoring program on the eyesight of

school-age children and allocate more resources to the eyesight examinations, and counselling services, he said.

Education departments will supervise schools to take concrete measures and ev

aluate their performance, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng said at the meeting.

China to revise laws, regulations related to foreign investment law

The State Council, China’s cabinet, said Wednesday it was necessary to amend laws and sup

porting regulations and policies to ensure the implementation of the foreign investment law.

Draft amendments for administrative licensing law, trademark law, construction law and electronic signature law were

passed Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

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Under the Boao Forum framework, Hainan has create

 of subforums, such as the ASEAN-China Governors/Mayors Dialogue, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Island Economy subforum, the South China Sea subfo

rum, the Roundtable Discussion for Overseas Chinese Business Leaders and Chinese think tanks, Wang said. “These diplo

matic platforms serve as new bridges to promote practical industrial cooperation between BRI countries.”

Activities at the Boao forum this year will highlight land and sea interconnectivity between BRI count

ries. Invitations will be sent to overseas participants to share in building a pilot free trade zone in Hainan.

Hong Kong youth groups will be invited to Hainan to see space satellite launch facilities, deep-sea science

and technology, seed breeding and other fields. Invitations will be extended to young people from ASEAN countries, Lan

cang-Mekong river nations and BRI countries to promote people-to-people understanding, Wang said.

“Hainan will ensure that the Boao Forum for Asia continues to promote greater coope

ration in healthcare, tourism, education, technology, tropical agriculture and the seed industry,” Wang said.

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Detailed analysis of the fragment indicated that the

 bird’s reproductive system was not behaving normally. The eggshell consists of two layers instea

d of one as in normal, healthy bird eggs, indicating the egg was retained too long inside the abdomen, Bailleul said.

This condition occurs in living birds as a result of stress. Unlaid eggs may be coated with a second laye

r, or sometimes more, of shell. This abnormality has also been documented in sauropod dinosaurs, and in fossil and living turtles.

In addition, the eggshell was extremely thin, thinner than a sheet of paper, and did not have the proportions of a healthy egg, Bailleul said.

hina’s civil aviation regulator has temporarily stopped issuing airworthine

ss certificates for Boeing 737 Max 8s because of safety concerns, a move an expert said will bring huge economic losses to Boeing.

Two Boeing 737 MAX 8s have crashed in the last five months. All 157 pa

ssengers and crew members of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines died on Mar 10, includi

ng eight Chinese nationals. In October, the same model of plane, operated by Lion Air, went down over the Java Sea, killing 189.

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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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According to iiMedia Research, a market consultancy, cross-

-border online shopping in China grew by 20.6 percent year-on-year to 7.6 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) in sales in 2017.

The nation is encouraging cross-border e-commerce transactions by easing the annual cap

on cross-border online purchases and adding categories of imports to the duty-free list, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Starting from this year, the annual duty-free quota for cross-borde

r e-commerce purchases for individual buyers will be lifted to 26,000 yuan from the current 20,000 yuan.

“The livestreaming form, as a new operation model for online marketplaces, could settle

the problem of information asymmetry,” said Chen Tao, an analyst with internet consultancy Analysys in Beijing.

Both Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao and its rival J

D, two of China’s biggest online shopping sites, have launched their own livestreaming platforms.

Shop owners hire livestreamers with large fan bases to help promote their products, and meanwhile, a link to the purchasing page hovers on the streaming screen.

Monica Zhang, who lives in France with her husband, opened an online store on Taobao. She became a livestreamer last year.

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