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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The Chinese government has never imposed any policy

 to force foreign companies to transfer their technology,” Gao added, sayi

ng that the country’s Foreign Investment Law bars forced technology transfers.

The newly passed law, approved this month and set to take effect in January, stipulates that China will treat foreign and Chi

nese enterprises equally and protect their intellectual property rights. Under the law, foreign enterprises will recei

ve pre-establishment national treatment, in addition to a negative list system for market access.

A negative list shows areas where investment i

s limited or prohibited for foreign investors, with all other areas presumed to be open.

Gao said the ministry is working with relevant de

partments to conduct research on shortening the negative list for market access.

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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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isit shows EU seeks deeper cooperationuropean Commiss

Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F

rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela

tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations

Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the

signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th

e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.

The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with

China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp

ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.

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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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Li, who inspired the boom after winning Asia’s first major

 title at the 2011 French Open, warned that increased funding and exposure for the sport does not guarantee Grand Slam champions will follow.

“After the US Open (in August), players don’t need to travel overseas with tournam

ents held at home one after another,” said Li, who is an ambassador for her hometown Wuhan Open in Hubei province.

“However, for the younger players nowadays they are likely to squander the opportuni

ties that we had to fight hard to earn, because everything comes easier and more frequently.

“They have to focus on the game itself rather than the exposure or expectations off

the court to really improve one event at a time and benefit from the momentum.”

When Li turned pro in 1999 China had only two entry-level tournam

ents. Now the Women’s Tennis Association calendar features nine Chinese tourn

aments, including the premier mandatory China Open in Beijing and year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

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Following his visits to Spain and Portugal in late 2018, Xi

came to Europe again in his first overseas trip this year, manifesting the great importance China attaches to Europe, Wang said.

In a world of unprecedented transformations, Xi noted that a stable, strategic and reciprocal China-EU relationship is urgently needed.

Wang said during his visit, Xi had in-depth communication with the European leaders to discuss cooperation in internation

al issues and reached important consensus of adhering to multilateralism, and discarding isolationism and unilateral moves.

He also said Xi and the European leaders agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation wit

hin the UN system, give full play to the constructive role of global and regional multilateral mechanisms s

uch as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and Group of 20 and the EU, and

actively contribute to solving international conflicts, combating climate change and promoting sustainable development.

In his keynote speech at the global governance forum, Xi raised “four deficits” in global affairs including governance deficit, tru

st deficit, peace deficit and development deficit. To address these deficits, he proposed a four-pronged approach of fairness and reas

onableness, consultation and understanding, joint efforts and mutual assistance and mutual benefit and win-win results.

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It is advisable to pursue an innovation-driven, well-coordi

inated and inter-connected, and fair and inclusive approach and forge a growth

model of vitality, a cooperation model of openness and win-win results, and a developm

ent model of balance and common benefits, so that people from across the world could share the benefits of economic globalization, Xi said.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Wang said.

During his visit, Xi, based on China’s just-concluded Two Sessions earlier this month, illu

strated to the European leaders the fine performances of the Chinese economy which had overcome multiple challenges in 2018.

Wang said Xi also introduced the newly-adopted foreign investment law, emphasizi

ng that it is necessary to use legal means to better protect intellectual property rights and attract foreign investment.

Xi pointed out that China will continue to push forward all-round reform and opening-up, promote trade and investment

liberalization and facilitation, so that European friends can better share China’s development opportunities.

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The Belt and Road Initiative is set to promote cooper

globally — not for China only, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun said on Wednesday.

Jin made the remarks in response to questions over whether the BRI only involves C

hinese projects prior to the Boao Forum for Asia, which will officially begin on Thursday.

“It was a misunderstanding,” Jin said, adding any country or investor can do a BRI project

anywhere, so long as it promotes global and regional economic cooperation, peace and development.

“The so called ‘China strategy’ is simply to promote global cooperation,” he added.

Joint efforts essential to fight global warming: China Daily editorial

Record low temperatures in winter and record high temperatures in summer in many parts of the

world year after year and more frequent natural disasters caused by extreme weather events prov

ide strong evidence that global warming is not just an alarmist theory as some claim.

Yet striking a balance between the effective control of human activities that are contr

ibuting to climate change and economic growth is proving a hard nut for countries to crack.

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According to the 2018 International Energy Agency re

port, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33 gigatonnes last year, the highest level since

2013. Coal use in power generation alone surpassed 10 Gt, accounting for one-third of the total increase.

The fact that most of the increase in coal use comes from coal power plants in developing Asia points to the harsh reality that greenhouse gas emissions are the cost be

ing paid for development. That the majority of coal power plants in Asia are only 12 years old on average, decades short of the

average life span of around 50 years, shows how challenging it is to cut CO2 emissions and maintain economic growth.

That the developing countries obtain help from their developed co

unterparts in both funds and technologies is essential to the fight against global warming.

It is high time that countries appreciated the urgency of this comm

on challenge and how important it is for concerted efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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