The bond pricing mechanism will be further improv

Under a pilot scheme, the first group of six provinces and cities sold 6.8 billion yuan in bonds

at commercial bank counters to individual buyers between March 22 and early April.

The coupon rates are between 3.01 percent and 3.33 percent, higher than treasury b

onds issued by the central government as well as bank deposits with the same maturity.

Gross local bond issuances hit 1.18 trillion yuan in the first qua

rter, compared with only 219.5 billion yuan in the same period last year.

The total quota for 2019 local government bond issuances is 3.08 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance.

“About 60 percent of the bonds were issued for ongoing construction, especially

for shantytown renovation projects, railways and roads,” said Hao Lei, head of the ministry’s Budget Department.

While debt financing continues to grow, the government is experiencing sharp declin

es in fiscal revenue growth, especially from tax and land sales, official data showed.

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Economic data for March have beaten market expectat

ons in many aspects, and based on those data, China’s year-on-year GDP gr

owth rate in the first quarter may reach 6.3 percent or a bit higher,” said Liu Chun

sheng, an associate professor of economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Improved market expectations resulting from progress in the Sino-US trade talks and Beijing’s tax and

fee cut plan, as well as eased liquidity, have helped to offset negative effects of the traditional Spring Fes

tival holiday and downside pressure that continued from the end of last year, Liu said.

China has set this year’s GDP growth rate target at 6 percent to 6.5 perce

nt, after registering full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in the fourth

quarter. The NBS is scheduled to announce the country’s first-quarter economic growth data on Wednesday.

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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

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The US’ move poses a challenge to the WTO and its basic

principles including that of the most favored nation and national treatment. If the US gets its way and introdu

ces the “American First” policy to the WTO as part of the reform, the WTO system would suffer a deadly blow.

It is imperative therefore that the WTO reform strengthens its dispute settlement mechanism, which is at the heart o

f the multilateral trade system, to overcome its existen

tial crisis. Besides, the principle of starting the reform from the least complicated areas should be adopted to carry o

ut deep and far-reaching WTO reforms so that it can accommodate the new trends in international trade.

As the largest developing and developed economies, China and the US generally represent the collective interests of the develo

ping and developed worlds. If the two countries make a breakthrough in the ongoin

g talks to resolve their trade disputes, they could join hands to drive the WTO reform forward.

And, as James Carafano, director of foreign policy studies at the Washin

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storage, collection and transportation of hazardous

les in the storage, collection and transportation of hazardous waste. Paper documents are still used in ma

ny areas as certificates for the transfer of hazardous waste, which could be easily forged and altered, he said.

Wang also said the country faces serious shortages of personnel fo

r hazardous waste supervision, especially at the county-government level.

Qiu pledged to take a series of measures to enhance processing capac

ity. Facilities for hazardous waste treatment will be included in local environmental infrastru

cture development plans, and the treatment of such waste will be included in the central environmental inspec

tions led by ministerial-level officials. Research aimed at overcoming technical bottlenecks for treatment will be enhanced as well, he said.

Qiu said the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will coop

erate with the NPC to revise the Solid Waste Law, and make efforts to build a n

ational information network to enhance monitoring, treatment and risk prevention capabilities.

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In Nanjing, the local railway authority has put more tra

ains into service. It said residents in the city would likely make about 340,000 trips by train on Friday.

Other branches of the railway system have also launched more runs to handle the increase of holiday passengers.

Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, fell on Friday this year. It i

s a traditional Chinese day on which people pay tribute to deceased family members,

friends and national heroes. Chinese people have used the day for spring outings since ancient times.

In recent years, the number of Chinese travelers, to both domestic and foreign destinations, d

uring the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday has increased annually, and most of them travel by rail for some or all of the j

ourney. For destinations within China, railways offer lower prices and more choices than airlines.

At present, China operates more than 131,000 kilometers of tracks. That fig

ure includes more than 29,000 km of high-speed rail, two-thirds of the global total.

Last year, China invested more than 338 billion yuan ($50 billion) in the construct

ion of 26 new railways and opened new lines totaling 4,683 km, most of them high-speed.

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Hainan also announced an islandwide housing quota

regarded as the strictest in the country-to curb speculation. The new rules required tho

se who do not live on the island but want to buy houses to provide local tax records for the past 60 months from

at least one member of the applicant’s family-making it impossible for nonnative residents to buy a home there.

“The latest move to help newcomers buy a home will make talented

people feel more at ease and work more wholeheartedly,” said Xia Feng, director of the e

conomic research department of the China Institute for Reform and Development.

“The government should also promote the rental housing market for those who cannot afford

to buy, and cultivate more diversified business platforms to attract talent from outside the island,” he said.

Wang Lu, chairman of Jincheng Consultancy, a Haikou-based real estate information p

rovider, said that because of the province’s small population base and weak economic and industrial foun

dation, investment and talent attraction are two urgent issues for the development of the FTZ.

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If they don’t talk to us, we’re going to do something that’

  going to be very severe economically,” Trump said. “We’re going to tariff a lot of their products coming in.”

  Most leaders go out of their way to avoid antagonizing their counterparts and wading into their delicate domestic politics.

  Not Trump.

  The exchange also revealed another one of Trump’s political tools: his fervent effort to inject an

appeal to his base — in this case on a signature issue, trade — into almost every political situa

tion.Trump also launched a mini-campaign rally, seizing on the Senate vote undoing his emergency declaration, to s

pell out his hardline policies on immigration and the wall — always with an eye on his most loyal voters.

  In an interview published by Breitbart News this week, Trump revealed another aspect of his character — a sense

that he is being persecuted unfairly — that helps him identify with voters who feel neglected by political elites.

  Complaining about Democratic investigations, the

President made a jarring comment that hinted at the possibility of political violence.

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Harrison’s 19-year-old son, Zin South, heard reports that a gun

  at the mosque. He remembered his mother was at their property waiting to meet a contractor. He texted her. She was safe.

  Then he saw the video broadcast live from a camera fixed to the gunman’s helmet. It

showed the gunman using the family’s driveway as a base to store his loaded weapons.

  ”I couldn’t believe it, that the guy had literally parked in our driveway and walked into the mosque, walked back to our driveway and back into the mosque,” South said.

  When police arrived they helped Harrison get out of the house and over the back fence. “She wa

sn’t allowed to leave (by the front) because there were literally bodies lying in the driveway,” her son said.

  The family says there’s no way that house can be their home now.

  Amid the flowers at the roadblock on Saturday was a homemade sign printed on a piece of A4 paper, titled “#No to hate and terror.”

  ”If New Zealand is like a vessel of milk filled to the very brim, then consider immigrants

as a pinch of sugar. We’ll not bring the vessel to overflowing but make the milk sweeter,” the sign said.

  The author, Deepak Sharma, was standing nearby holding an identical copy. He moved from India to New Zeal

and 10 years ago, and with tears in his eyes told CNN, “This is not the country we chose to immigrate to.”

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