Disaster-proofing the world’s largest infrastructure ini

nitiative is a challenge, but achievable,” she said, adding that at the heart of this challenge lies great potenti

al for innovation and creativity, such as new disaster risk prediction and analysis, and disaster-resilient infrastructures.

Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said dis

aster risk reduction of natural hazards along the initiative is crucial for its success and sustainability.

Regions at the heart of the initiative, such as the Tianshan-Pamir Platea

u, the Himalayas, eastern parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and South Asia, are facing serio

us disaster threats due to tectonic movements, fragile ecosystems and extreme weather, he said.

Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert from the UN Environm

ent Program, said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.

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Learning to work together in an orderly, high trust lev

, and supported by diverse interest groups will prevent conflicts among stakeholders in the South China Sea,” Santarita said.

China is in the midst of implementing a host of reforms, which are focused on opening up its economy to foreign compet

ition and strengthening its private sector. They are needed to upgrade its industries and avoid the dreaded middle-income trap.

Many of these reforms are exactly what the United States is asking for in the trade negotiation

s, but China is actually pursuing these reforms primarily to achieve its own long-term internal economic goals.

He said Asia’s emphasis on “respect for authority, respect for the environm

ent and the discipline to control the use of resources” will also see Asian leaders purs

uing a more eco-friendly development path and honor their commitments to the Paris climate agreement.

“If there is harmony, discipline, stability and the primacy of family and com

munity over the individual, then any problem can be easily addressed,” Santarita said.

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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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Chinese firms ideal partners on Belt and Road Initiative

Firms from China and the UK are ideal partners in many countries along t

he Belt and Road Initiative, a China-Britain Business Council official said in Beijing.

“The UK has taken a very positive view on seizing these opportunit

ies for UK businesses, particularly our banks, our large consultancy firms and our infr

astructure companies,” said Jeff Astle, managing director of China operations at the council.

British expertise in areas of financial services, banking, legal services, consulting services around engineering pro

vides a broad range of opportunities for UK firms to collaborate with Chinese firms in other countries, Astle said.

“We benefit from many English legal jurisdictions in many

of these countries, the English language and our businesses have long history and experiences in these coun

tries. That means we are a great ideal partner for Chinese firms in many of these Belt and Road counties,” said Astle.

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Well-tuned steps urged for poverty eradicatio

President Xi Jinping underlined on Monday the need to shore up areas of weakness and carry out more targeted pove

rty alleviation efforts in building the country into a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chair

man of the Central Military Commission, made the remark while presiding over the fourth meeting of t

he Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs. Xi is head of the committee.

The meeting stressed the importance of achieving targets for poverty alleviation across the boar

d and focusing efforts on areas of extreme poverty, according to a statement released after the meeting.

It is important to tackle the remaining difficulties faced by people still confronting hard

ships in terms of their access to education, medical care, quality housing and safe drinking water after ens

uring that their basic needs for food and clothing have been met, the statement said.

It added that solving prominent environmental pollution probl

ems must be prioritized to ensure periodical targets can be achieved before 2020.

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On the basis of the four China-Japan political documen

s and in the spirit of seeing history as a mirror as well as facing the future, the two nations sho

uld continue to work toward the long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral relations, he said.

As major economies in the world, China and Japan both support free trade and obey WTO rules, Li said.

He also welcomed Japanese businesses to expand investment in China

as the country will continue to unwaveringly deepen reform and expand opening-up.

China stands ready to move forward with talks with Japan and other rel

ated parties to further the negotiations regarding the Regional Comprehensive Econo

mic Partnership as well as the China-Japan-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, he said.

Li also voiced China’s support for Japan’s hosting of the G20 Summit, which is slated this year

to be held in Osaka, and he hoped it would inject fresh impetus into global economic growth.

Kono expressed his appreciation for efforts made by the Chinese premier in helping return bilateral relations to the right track.

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This so disappointed and frustrated it that it has begun

 question whether the US is really trying to improve the DPRK-US relationship and it is wondering whe

ther its previous steps to promote engagement with Washington were the right thing to do.

In what was the most comprehensive review of Pyongyang’s recent i

nteraction with Washington, the DPRK leader put the ball decisively back in Was

hington’s court after the US president floated the idea of a third summit on Thursday.

Washington maintains unabated zeal for a deal of some sort, because ot

herwise the engagement with Pyongyang since last year

would be regarded as failure. So, more likely than not, it will try to find a way to keep the possibility of a summit alive.

But the “correct manner” Pyongyang demands is Washington forsaking its “max

imum pressure” and demonstrating sufficient goodwill by relieving, or completely rollin

g back, sanctions, putting an end to the state of war, or, even better, offering economic incentives.

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Growth resilience may surprise on the upside in more

 aspects,” he said, adding that besides a growth rate withi

n a reasonable range, the economy is likely to register accelerated prog

ress toward higher-quality development this year amid a new round of reform and opening-up.

“Structural opportunities (in the capital market) may con

tinuously emerge from the development of the new economy and mass co

nsumption upgrades, fueling the long-term inflow of international capital,” he said.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde sai

in a recent interview with China Central Television that China’s economic d

evelopment now allows for “a focus on quality growth”, rather than necessarily quantity growth.

“And China’s development is clearly at the stage whe

re it can afford and should afford to do that,” Lagarde said.

Over the past year, amid the escalation of US-China trade tensions, credit tighten

ing took place in China, macroeconomic stress was seen in Argentina a

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He is scheduled to meet with European Council Presi

sident Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday at the European Union headquarters in the Belgian capital.

The leaders of the two sides will exchange views on China-EU relations and major international

and regional issues of common concern. A number of agreements are to be signed after that.

This is Li’s fifth time attending the China-EU leaders’ meeting as prem

ier, and his sixth visit to a Central and Eastern European nation to attend the China-CEEC

meeting, with the previous five being in Romania, Serbia, Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Chao, who oversees China’s relations with EU

nations, said at a briefing last week that the EU is a highly integrated regional bloc an

d a vital strategic force in the international community. China and the EU share broad com

mon interests in pragmatic cooperation and have a common stance regarding multilateralism and free trade, he said.

The EU has been China’s biggest trading partner for 15 consecutive years and Chin

a is the regional bloc’s second-largest trading partner after the United States, with bilater

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The Abuja–Kaduna Railway, as the first segment of the

 Lagos–Kano standard gauge project, the first standard gauge railway in Nigeria and West A

frica, was officially inaugurated and started commercial operation on July 26, 2016.

The railway, constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is the first overseas railway fully adopting the Chinese r

ailway standard. Spanning 186.5 kilometers, it alleviates traffic tension, improves the investment envir

onment and promotes the coordinated development of regional economy and society.

By Jan 11, the train service had delivered 1.23 million passengers and had safely operated for 900 days without any major accident recorded since its inception.

The China-funded Colombo Port City, the largest project between C

hina and Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative, completed land reclamation of 269 hectares in January.

In addition, hydro-structure construction will be completed by the middle

of this year. The port city’s municipal facilities construction is expected to be completed in J

uly 2020. At the same time, investment promotion of the city is also being carried out.

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