hina boosts measures to open economyivers the keyn

China will further open up to foreign investors and offer them treatment equal to that of domestic companies with firm prote

ction of their legitimate rights, Premier Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will fully adopt pre-entry national treatment and negative lists for overseas

investment, Li said at the opening ceremony of the forum’s annual conference in Hainan province.

By the end of June, China will release the amended negative lists for foreign investment ac

cess, he said. “The negative lists will only be shortened. … We will ensure fair competition and common deve

lopment for Chinese and foreign companies with fair supervision,” Li told more than 2,000 participants.

A negative list shows areas where investment is prohibited; all other areas are presumed to be open.

The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to supp

ort implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, adopted two weeks ago, Li s

aid, adding that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan 1.

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The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

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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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ation and safety officials Daniel Elwell, Robert

US senators sharply questioned regulatory officials on Wedne

sday about the Federal Aviation Administration’s reliance on Boeing Co’s engineers to cert

ify the safety of the company’s new 737 Max 8 aircraft, which was involved in two fatal crashes in the past five months.

A self-certification procedure called Organization Designation Authorization came under scr

utiny at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee in Washington. Testifying wer

e Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator; Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Saf

ety Board; and Calvin Scovel III, Transportation Department inspector general.

For decades, the FAA has delegated some authority for certifying new aircraft to the manufacturers, reducing government costs.

After the crashes of Lion Air in Indonesia in October and Ethiop

ian Airlines this month, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members, critics have ci

ted the self-certification process as evidence of an overly cozy relationship between the FAA and the industry.

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Information contained on flight recorders for the Indones

sia and Ethiopian planes has not been released, but analysts say the pilots may not have known h

ow to turn off the anti-stall device after it pointed the nose of the plane down, and that may have been a factor in the crashes.

On Wednesday, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice-president, said he doesn’t see the need to overhaul its development of aircraft. He c

alled the new Max software “more robust” but also said the upgrade does not mean the original design was inadequate.

The upgraded MCAS will be activated by input from two sensors rather than one.

The system’s power will be limited so that the pilot can pull back on

the control column to override the system if the plane’s nose is pointed down.

Sinnett said a new training system for pilots on upgrades to the MCAS has been “provisionally approved”.

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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

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Currently, all special purpose local government bonds are

domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link

ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re

cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.

In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor

t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi

on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.

In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la

rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.

Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin

g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym

akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.

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While May was addressing her lawmakers, MPs in the mai

n chamber debated eight other Brexit options, ranging from leaving abruptly with no deal to revoking the divorce altogether.

While there was no majority support for any, the option calling for a referendum on any depa

rture deal, and another suggesting a UK-wide customs union with the EU, won more votes than May’s deal did two weeks ago.

Oliver Letwin, a Conservative former cabinet minister who led parliament’s unusual power grab, said it ha

d been expected that none would immediately win a majority, and lawmakers would have another chance on Monday.

The uncertainty around Britain’s most significant political and economic change since W

orld War II has left allies and investors aghast. Sterling dipped after Wednesday’s events.

If May’s deal were to pass, her office said there would be a contest to replace her after May 22, when Britain would leave the EU.

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lawmakers seize Brexit agenda in bid to break deadlock

LONDON – British lawmakers seized a measure of control over the

stalled Brexit process from Prime Minister Theresa May‘s foundering governmeng up a seri

es of votes that could dramatically alter the course of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The move came after May conceded that Parliament would defeat her twice-rejected divorce deal with the EU again if she put it to a third vote.

With Brexit delayed and the new departure date up in the air, the House of Commons v

oted to give itself temporary control of the parliamentary timetable starting on Wednesday so lawmakers can vote o

n alternatives to May’s withdrawal deal. The government usually controls the scheduling of votes in Parliament.

Lawmakers who backed Monday’s motion, which passed 329-302, hope the planned “indic

ative votes” will narrow the options down to one that can secure majority support. Possible options inclu

de a “soft Brexit” that maintains close economic ties with the EU or scrapping Britain’s departure altogether.

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Zhang added the overseas buyers have professional know

ledge of jewelry and the history of the brands. She has placed many orders after watching these livestreaming videos.

Zhang is among the growing consumers who are willing to accept new things, learn about

overseas brands, cultures and lifestyle as well as make friends with overseas shoppers who share the same interests.

Online shopping via livestreaming videos is gaining traction among the post-80s and post-90s generatio

n consumers, who have increasing demands for premium brands and high-quality imported products amid consumption upgrade.

Statistics from Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform Ymatou showed that nearly 32 perc

ent of users buy products through livestreaming videos, and the post-80s and post-90s generation consumers, who tend to buy medieval peri

od jewelry, clothing and bags by watching livestreaming videos, have become the main force of overseas online shopping.

In the meantime, the post-2000 generation prefers to buy fashion brands, beauty makeup products, with high repurchasing rates.

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