Investment spurs BRI countries’ growthTwo-way investment

tween China and economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative ex

ceeded $130 billion between 2013 and 2018, injecting new growth momentum into BRI-rela

ted countries and contributing to recovery of the global economy, senior Chinese officials said on Monday.

China’s direct investment in BRI-related countries grew by 5.2 percent a

nnually on average to surpass $90 billion between 2013 and 2018, Song Lihong, an officia

l in the Ministry of Commerce’s Comprehensive Department, said at a news conference.

Song said that in the same period, China had received a total of

$40 billion in inbound investment from BRI countries as two-way investment deepened.

Within the five years, the value of the projects completed

by Chinese companies in BRI economies amounted to $400 billion, Song said.

The value of trade in goods between China and BRI-related economies exceeded $6 trillion in the same period, an av

rage annual growth of 4 percent, higher than the overall growth of China’s foreign trade, he added.

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yers do need their staff to work extra hours to meet pro

 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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Plenkovic said CEE countries’ exports to China rose f

 fivefold in the past few years, which helps reduce trade disparities with developed

economies. He called on all CEE nations to take the opportunity to deepen economic and trade cooperation with China.

Zhong Shan, minister of commerce, said over 1,000 people participated, the most since the event started nine yea

rs ago. “It demonstrates the increasing confidence in the forum and cooperation with China at large,” he said.

In recent years, China’s trade with CEE nations has seen rapid growth. According to the Ministry

of Commerce, China’s imports from the countries have risen by 24.6 percent to $23 billion. Chinese compan

ies have invested over $10 billion in CEE nations, which in turn have injected more than $1.5 billion into China,

focusing on machinery, auto components, the chemical industry, financing and environmental protection.

After the forum, Li and Plenkovic attended an exhibition of Chin

a-CEEC education cooperation and a dialogue mechanism to boost cooperation among small an

d medium-sized enterprises from both sides. Before leaving for Beijing, Li also had separate

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Qian is one of 47 teachers who arrived on the southweste

rn plateau in 2015 from Jiangsu, whose students regularly post some of the best exam result

s in China. Some members of the original teaching group have left and been replaced by new arrivals.

As experts in teaching methods and education theory, they we

re keen to bring their experience and knowledge to Tibet, where education was once exclusive to the ar

istocracy. Their efforts are paying off, as both students and local teachers are benefiting from their presence.

The school, a secondary boarding establishment, was establ

ished by the Jiangsu government in 2014 with an investment of 263 million yuan ($39 million).

It is home to 2,890 students, more than 90 percent of whom are Tibetan, and the 316 teachers provide 63 classes. Exc

uding the 47 educators from Jiangsu, the teachers are locals of both Han and Tibetan ethnicity.

The students, from juniors to seniors, said the Jiangsu teachers ar

e more patient and softer-tempered than those at their old schools and the classes are more interesting.

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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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Xi added that he is glad that US President Donald Trump

also voiced his support for bilateral exchanges and cooperation in education during their meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina in December.

The rising level of education has been a major contributor to

China’s rapid development in its 40 years of reform and opening-up, he said.

China remains committed to advancing the modernization of its education, making

itself an education powerhouse and developing education that people are satisfied with, he added.

During this process, China is willing to conduct broader exchanges and cooper

ation with education and research institutions including Harvard University, he said.

Bacow, who last year became the 29th president of Harvard U

niversity, said he is glad to make China his first overseas stop since his inauguration.

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Friendly’ walk away suggests there is more talking to be don Ch

After his meeting in Hanoi with Democratic People’s Repub

lic of Korea top leader Kim Jong-un was cut short on Thursday, United States President Don

ald Trump said that “sometimes you have to walk”, and that “this was just one of those times.”

Although “it was a friendly walk”, he added.

Certainly the two leaders greeted each other with warm smiles and handshakes whe

n they met on Wednesday, and they exchanged friendly words over dinner that evening.

But Trump said that Kim wanted too much by demanding a complete lifting of US-led int

ernational sanctions in exchange for the closing of the DPRK’s Yongbyon nuclear facility.

This gets to the heart of the matter concerning their diffe

rent approaches to the DPRK’s denuclearization: Washington sees the sanctions as tools of coer

cion, and has demanded that Pyongyang do something “meaningful” to denuclearize before it offers sanctions relief.

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Brexit on the brink of being delayed as Cabinet ministers split

  Brexit could be on the brink of being postponed.

  Three senior UK ministers have issued a warning to Theresa May that Britain’s depa

rture from the European Union should be delayed if there is no breakthrough on her deal in the next few days.

  Writing in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, cabinet members Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clark signaled th

ey would support a vote in Parliament to have the Article 50 process extended in order to prevent Britain leaving the EU without a deal.

  ”If there is no breakthrough in the coming week, the balance of opinion in Parliament is cl

ear — that it would be better to seek to extend Article 50 and delay our date of departure rather than cra

sh out of the European Union on March 29,” the trio wrote in the article published Saturday.

  They added that if a parliamentary compromise is not found soon, there won’t be enou

gh time to agree a deal and pass legislation before March 29, the date when Britain is set to exit the bloc.

  The senior ministers’ warning comes just days after three Conservative lawmakers quit the party over what they called The

resa May’s “disastrous” handling of Brexit, and the Conservative party’s shift to the right. They joined eig

ht former members of the opposition Labour party who quit a few days earlier. The former Labour MPs left their party in p

art over its handling of Brexit, but also the wave of anti-Semitism that has engulfed it.

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This photo was taken in a restroom in an airport during a

  ”Good girls” do what they’re told, are quiet, don’t argue or risk embarrassing their families. Reem and Rawan say they had turned being “good girls” into a fine art.

  ”In our house, we (were) always the good girls they wanted us to be. So, if they want us to

clean, we will clean. If they want us to cook, then we will cook,” 18-year-old Rawan says.

  ”The last two years it was really bad, because I just forget who I am, I am just pretending (to be) like an Islamic girl,” says her 20-year-old sister, Reem.

  They went to school, studied hard and avoided confrontation. Of course, the same rules d

idn’t apply to their brothers. Beat your sisters, the siblings say their brothers were told, it’ll make you better men.

  Reem and Rawan are reluctant to talk about the abuse at the hands of their family. They say it

didn’t happen all the time, just enough to remind them of the rules. And enough to fill them with terror ab

out what might happen if anyone found out about their plan or, worse still, caught them carrying it out.

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We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s aske

ed us to state that he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very

, very important and very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying that he cherishes their good wor

king relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.
Cooperation based on fully respecting mutual interests is the best way for the two c

ountries to renew their trade and economic relations with a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries. If that has been the shared und

erstanding during this week’s talks, and it is carried forward in the negotiations in Washington next week, hopef

ully the two sides will be able to narrow the differences between them sufficiently so that the two leaders can pe

ncil in a date for a meeting at which they can shake hands on a deal that sets the right course for future relations.

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