Thai election commission to rule on princess running for PM

Thailand’s election commission will consider on Monday the surprise nomination of a Thai princess as a prime ministeria

l candidate for March elections after her brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, called it “inappropriate” and unconstitutional.

The commission will also consider a complaint seeking to ban the populist party that stunn

ed the nation by nominating Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, 67, for the role.

The election on Mar 24 is the first since a military coup in 2014.

Thailand has been a constitutional monarchy since 1932, but the royal family wields great influence and commands the devotion of millions.

Ubolratana’s nomination last week was a shocking move by the Thai Raksa Chart party, made up of supporters of ousted ex-pr

emier Thaksin Shinawatra, and broke with a longstanding tradition of members of the royal family staying above politics.

She gave up her royal titles after marrying an American and she has starred in soap operas and an action movie.

But in a statement read out on all television stations within hours of her can

didacy, King Vajiralongkorn said it was “inappropriate” for members of the royal family to enter politics.

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China and UK celebrate icebreakers, laud even closer ties

China and the United Kingdom should break the ice of protectionism and build an open an

d inclusive world economy, China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said in London on Thursday.

“China will continue to embrace the world with open arms and stands ready to work with oth

er countries. We hope the rest of the world would respond in the same spirit,” he said. “In a time when op

enness and inclusiveness are irreversible, protectionism has no future because it is against the trend of history.”

The remarks were made before 400 business, political, and cultural leaders at

tending a Chinese New Year celebration in London that was hoste

d by The 48 Group Club and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Britain.

The year 2018 marked the 65th anniversary of an “ice-breaking trip” to Chi

na in 1953 that was made by a group of farsighted people from the British business community.

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There are currently more than 5 million mutual visits between

the two countries every year,and China and the US have become each other’s largest and second-largest sources of international students.

“The year 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Over these decades, there has been a ma

rvelous growth in people-to-people contacts and ties between our two countries. As we now look forward to the co

ming decades, the friendship between our two peoples will continue to be the very foundation of relations between our tw

o great countries. That’s why we invite you, invite all our friends all over the United States to come and share with us y

our most memorable stories with China. Together we will build stronger ties between our peoples. And with your per

sonal stories, you will help make history,” said Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US.

“People are the most interesting stories behind a sound bilateral relationship, and picture

s are a strong testimony to such relations,” said Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily. “At

China Daily, especially with our newly launched Global Edition, we are committed to bridging the gap of u

nderstanding through powerful people stories. I believe when we see your photos and hear the stories which go with th

em, we will better understand the essence of China-US relations, which is really about people,” Zhou said.

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Chinese state councilor meets senior Japanestrackinjected

 Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Japanese Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori Saturday in Beijing.

China-Japan relations have returned to a normal track due to frequent interactions between the two count

ries’ leaders last year, Wang said, noting that “positive energy should be injected continuously” to maintain the hard-won momentum.

Calling 2019 a vital year for both China and Japan, Wang said China was ready to work wit

h Japan to promote the healthy and smoothy development of bilateral relations along the right track.

“Stable relations are also helpful for the two countries to coordinate and cooperat

e in international and regional issues as China and Japan are neighbors and major global economies,” he added.

Mori, who is in Beijing to attend a regular China-Japan diplomatic consultation and a sec

urity dialogue on Friday, said Japan “treasures the improving and developing momentum of its relationship with China.”

The Japanese side is willing to make efforts for further development of bilateral ties and for regional peace and stability, he said.

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China clean energy industry develops fast in 2018

China accelerated the development of clean energy last year, with the installed capacity of renew

able energy exceeding 700 million kilowatts, the National Energy Administration said.

China will continue to boost the growth of the oil-and-gas industry this year, increase efforts in oil and gas exploration and d

evelopment, and build more pipelines and gas storage facilities, according to the administration.

China has adopted a slew of measures to encourage the development of clean energ

y, including building vast solar and wind farms, wi

th aims to make non-fossil energy meeting 20 percent of its energy needs by 2030.

To reach this goal, China is investing heavily in renewable energy, pledging to invest 2.5 trillion yuan (about 373 billion US d

ollars) in renewable power generation – solar, wind, hydro and nuclear – by 2020.

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ump unwilling to commit to making Mueller report

In an interview with CBS News that aired Sunday, US President Donald Trump refused to commit to making special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report public.

During the interview, Trump said the decision would be made by his attorney general.

“Totally up to the attorney general,” Trump said. “I don’t know. It depends.”

“I have no idea what it’s going to say,” the president said of the Mueller report. “There was

no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no nothing. (It) doesn’t implicate me in any way, but I think it’s a disgrace.”

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said last week that the Russia investigatio

n led by Mueller is “close to being completed,” although there has been no confirmation of this from the special counsel’s office.

The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department, William Barr, until Feb. 7.

During his confirmation hearing last month, Barr said that Mueller’s findings in the Russ

ia investigation will be confidential but that he supports their release to the public.

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cadres, residents in Beijing ahead of Spring Festival

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits residents’ homes in Qian

men area in central Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 1, 2019. Pr

esident Xi Jinping on Friday visited residents and primary-level officials in Beijing and exte

nded Lunar New Year greetings to Chinese people of all ethnic groups. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping on Friday visited Beijing’s primary-level ca

dres and residents in downtown neighborhoods ahead of the Sp

ring Festival and extended Lunar New Year greetings to Chinese people of all ethnic groups.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Milit

ary Commission, also inspected the preparation work for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

When inspecting the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, Xi stressed the cit

y’s glorious mission and weighty responsibility to safeguard the social stability of the national capital as 2019 ma

rks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

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iu comes from Russia’s Far East region. She fell in love with h

 her husband Liu Xiaolong, a Chinese man from Tianmen City, in Hubei Province, when she was a student at St. Petersburg

State University in Russia. They got married in Wuhan in 2014, and settled in the city.

As she is in charge of trade in her company, Liu often travels to Russia on business, negotiating with Russian companies. So far, she has helped intro

duce wine, dairy products, grain and oils from many Eurasian countries to Chinese consumers.

Liu is proud that she can contribute to the econ

omic and trade ties between China and Russia. Working and living in China for man

y years, Liu has gradually adapted to the local life in Wuhan. She said that she found interesting Chinese cu

stoms in the city, such as the local tradition of giving milk as a gift during the Spring Festival.

Her professionality enabled her to discover new business opportunities. Liu s

aid that “before this year’s Spring Festival, milk from Russia was brought to Ch

inese stores by the China-Europe freight trains, diversifying the gift options for Spring Festival.”

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China achieved 6.7 percent GDP growth year-on-year in the firs

quarter, and the second quarter’s growth will be stable as expected, he said.

With increasing urbanization, China has great potential demand for such things as ir

on and steel products, providing room for investments from Europe, Li added.

The premier said the EU’s investment in China only accounted for 2 percent of its overall outbound investment, while Chines

e investment to EU countries was just 1 percent of the union’s inbound investment last year.

Last year saw a 7 percent year-on-year increase in EU companies investing in China, and the i

ncrease surged to 22 percent during the first five months of this year, Li said. This indicated that E

uropean companies are optimistic about China’s economic prospects and the improving market, he added.

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Local railway operation companies have also experienced the local

growth of CR Express.Some 1,305 CR Express services have been carried out by Chengdu

Railway Corp, gradually forming an international logistic gateway in southwestern regions. A “s

ingle window” service serving CR Express was established in May. Customers can handle al

l paperwork related to the freight train service, such as customs clearance, at one window.

In China’s northern Erlianhaote border, the railway department built a fast pass lane. The time a CR Express train must stop

in Erlianhaote has been reduced by five hours to build the China-Mongolia-Russia economic gateway.

 Road Initiative,” Li Wenxin, deputy general manager of China Railway Corp, said at the launch ceremony.

Measures to be taken include establishing transfer hubs to assemble co

ntainer cars for a train trip as needed, launching an international inf

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