Wang said the Sino-US trade talks have made important

and substantive progress thanks to efforts from both sides. Meanwhile the talks face some serious problems which need to be resolved.

The top diplomat said that as long as the negotiations meet the general direction of China’s reform an

d opening-up policy, adhere to China’s basic needs about high-quality development and serve the com

mon interests of the Chinese and US people, the negotiator teams from both sides could have the capability and w

isdom to settle their reasonable demands and eventually achieve a win-win agreement.

Wang said China insists on upholding national sovereignty, safeguarding the inter

ests of its people and defending national honor when negotiating with any country.

According to the General Administration of Customs, trade between

China and the US in the first four months stood at 1.1 trillion yuan ($160 billion).

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producers or US-based designers. For example, China ma

akes less than $9 from each iPhone. The total price of a phone is ridiculously counted as a Chinese export to the US.

It’s a good thing that China is no longer a low-wage country. Most Chinese are much better off than they were even 10 ye

ars ago. But it does mean that these low-skilled, labor-intensive industries will be moving to less-developed nations. US t

ariffs on such products will only serve to hasten the transition to higher value-added industries that China has to make anyway.

Roughly 20 years ago, when China’s admission to the World Trade Organiz

ation was being negotiated, China’s economy was tiny as a portion of world GDP. It was clearly a poor, less-deve

loped country that, except in a few areas, was not able to compete with Western companies in high-value-added products.

As Alexander Hamilton, the first US Treasury secretary, argued, a dev

eloping country may need to protect its “infant industries” from already established foreign

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The traditional family model of the man bringing hom

the bacon and the woman looking after the family doesn’t seem to have changed much eve

n today. As a result, Chinese mothers still shoulder most of the responsibilities of raising kids.

In the absence of fathers, mothers are more likely to pay greater attention to their kids and their

education. This could not only prevent the children from learning life skills, but also make them bur

dens for their mothers. And the greater the burden they become, the more their mothers would be stressed out.

Yet such anxiety could be easily shared by, if not transferred to, other family members. A highly emotional yet anxious moth

er is more likely to make a wrong decision about her child’s education, which in turn could have a negative imp

act not only on the child’s healthy growth but also the health of the mother and the husband-wife relationship.

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All of this has inspired confidence that the Chinese eco

Chinese economy can reach its indicative growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019.

Lower growth rate may mean more room for adjustment

Most Chinese economists seem quite comfortable with this targeted range. One explanati

on is that China’s potential growth rate is 6-6.5 percent, and a target should be set accordingly. Another is that a

lower growth rate would give the economy more room for structural adjustment.

From 1978 to 2008, China averaged an impressive 9.5 percent annual g

rowth rate. Then the global financial crisis struck, causing growth to plummet from 9.7 p

ercent in the third quarter of 2008 to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009. A 4-trillion-yuan ($640 billion) sti

mulus package, introduced in November 2008, soon brought about a powerful rebound, with GDP growth rea

ching 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010. But since then China’s economic growth has been declining, partly b

ecause the government withdrew its stimulus. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent.

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It was Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem

as the capital of Israel and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that fueled the massive protests from Palest

inians and the Arab world and deepened the enmity between the Palestinians and Israelis.

The Trump administration has closely aligned itself with Israel’s right wing, and on Su

nday night, US President Donald Trump reinforced this when he tweeted his “100%” su

pport for Israel’s actions, blaming the violence on “terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad”.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group s

eized control of Gaza from Western-backed Palestinian forces in 2007, but its leader Ism

ail Haniyeh said Hamas is “not interested in a new war” and is ready to “return to the state of calm” if Israel stop

s its attacks “and immediately starts implementing understandings about a dignified life”. In the past, Hamas has hal

ted attacks in return for the easing of an Egyptian and Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza.

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Overholt said “the list of issues that President Xi has

addressed are the issues that the business community is concerned about”.

“It is excellent that President Xi recognized some problems,” especially those associated with its Belt and Road Initi

ative, such as transparency and corruption, said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council.

Experts also were interested in how the reform policies and laws would be implemented, something Xi addressed in his speech.

“People are very positive about the direction, but they need to

know the details” of how the promises would be delivered, Overholt said.

Xi, citing the old Chinese saying “honoring a promise carries the weight of gold”, pledged to install a binding mec

hanism for international agreements, to make sure governments at all levels operate in well-regulated wa

ys, and to update laws and regulations to abolish unjustified practices, keeping in line with the needs of opening-up.

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She added that Nepal sticks to the one-China policy an

 and will not allow any forces to use its territory to conduct any anti-China activities.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents after the meeting.

hinese tech giant Huawei reported a 149 percent rise in research and development spendin

g from 2014 to 2018, faster than its counterparts Apple and Samsung, according to a Bloomberg report released last Friday.

The company’s R&D expenditure increase was just behind Amazon, which rose 210 percent during the 5-year period.

China is now Nepal’s biggest source of foreign investment

, second-largest trade partner and second-largest source of foreign tourists.

Ahead of the First Belt and Road Forum for International Coopera

tion, China and Nepal signed a memorandum on Belt and Road cooperation in May 2017.

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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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Govt plans slew of policies to boost consumption

A slew of new policies aimed at encouraging consumption

in key sectors will be unveiled soon, China Securities Journal reported.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.3 pe

rcent year-on-year to 9.78 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in the January-M

arch period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In March alone, retail sales went up 8.7 pe

rcent to 3.17 trillion yuan, quickening from the 8.2-percent rise seen in the first two months.

In recent years, the government has, on the one hand, frequently intro

duced policies to promote opening-up, increase import and improve consumer welfare. On

the other hand, it has reduced and scrapped import tariffs on some consumer goo

ds. This has played an active role in consumption, Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Comm

unication said, adding that consumption still is the key driver for economic growth.

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China will improve the market environment for c

 car sales and expand the supply of automobiles as part of its latest efforts to boost auto consum

ption, Gao Feng, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference early this month.

By the end of 2018, China’s six cities namely Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Tianijin carried

out the purchase restriction of fuel-powered passenger cars, said Shao Jiang, an analyst at Everbright Securities. “If thes

e cities double their rising number of new cars, it could bring a 2.8 percent year-on-year growth for the wh

ole passenger car market.”Editor’s Note: The eight explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday have claimed more tha

n 300 lives and left over 500 people injured. A ninth explosion was reported on Monday near a church in Colombo, but n

one was reported killed or injured. The Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombings on Tue

sday. Two experts share their views on the attacks with China Daily’s Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow

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