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Politburo upbeat on economic datag Motors on the assem

China’s economy grew better than expected in the first quarter and market confidence was raised in

an outstanding way, according to a statement from a meeting presided over by President Xi Jinping on Friday.

During the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central

Committee, members analyzed the current economic situation and made plans for economic work.

In the first quarter, government departments pushed forward high-quality growth, deepene

d supply-side structural reform and carried out positive fiscal policy and stable monetary policy, the statement said. Main mac

roeconomic figures were in proper range, and reform and opening-up was pushed forward continuously, it said.

The statement said lots of difficulties and problems remain in economic development, with m

ore tension in the external economic environment and downward pressure on the domestic economy. Government departments shou

ld remain steadfast and be brave in overcoming difficulties in economic development, it said.

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Pollution ‘worsened’ by climate changeijing area could b

Smog in greater Beijing area could be thickened by 15 percent, experts say

Climate change has been making meteorological conditions in the

greater Beijing area more conducive to the generation of haze, and combined with heavy s

mog, the situation could trigger a rapid increase in the concentration of airborne pollutants, researchers said.

The National Joint Research Center for Tackling Key Problems in Air Pollution Control demonstra

ted that without a reduction in the discharge of pollutants, air quality in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster

could worsen by about 10 percent and even up to 15 percent in some cities because of unfavorable meteorological co

nditions, the China Meteorological Administration said in a release on Thursday.

Heavy air pollution and a high concentration of particulate

matter is more likely to be seen when wind speeds are lower than 7.2 kilometers per hour, rel

ative humidity is above 60 percent, and there is less than a 500-meter high “mixin

g layer”, which refers to the atmospheric height over which pollutants can be dispersed, it said.

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Top economic planner bullish on reaching annual growth

China’s economy, despite headwinds, has enjoyed a good start in the first quarter of 2019, and the country has the confide

nce to achieve the annual projected growth goal, said the country’s top economic planner.

“The first quarter’s stable economic development has laid a solid foundation for the an

nual growth,” said Yuan Da, spokesperson with the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The economy has stayed on the track of steady growth. We have the confidence, conditio

ns and capability to meet the projected targets for economic and social development this year.”

Yuan made the remarks at the NDRC press conference on Thursday in Beijing.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected 6.4 perce

nt year-on-year in the first quarter. The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter in 2018.

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From January to March, government tax income inc

creased by 5.4 percent year-on-year, 11.9 percentage points lower than that in the first quarter 2018.

Individual income tax decreased by 29.7 percent, the largest drop among three major tax item

s. Value-added tax growth has already slowed to 10.7 percent, down from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

Local government income from land sales fell 9.5 percent in the first three months, the Ministry of Finance said.

As the central bank has taken a pause in monetary easing, fiscal policy should remain pro

active to stabilize economic growth and ensure the recent rebound is not just a seasonal fluke, said economists.

Xu Xianchun, a former deputy director at the National Bureau of Statist

ics, said that fiscal policy should be implemented “with proper intensity and at the right time”, t

o prevent large fluctuations in the investment growth rate and negative impact on economic stability.

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Fiscal spending can directly influence fixed-asset inves

tment, and it could also leverage on more bank lending and attract private funds to increase investment, said Xu.

In the meantime, allowing retail access to local government bonds will help diversify the

investor base and increase market liquidity, said Amanda Du, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

The analyst expected access for retail investors to widen to encompass all local government bonds in 2020.

hina’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first qua

rter, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The growth was unchanged from that registered in the fourth quarter of last year.

The country’s industrial output posted steady growth in the same period, up by 6.5 percent

year-on-year, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, official data showed.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first quarte

r, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, according to the NBS.

Retail sales increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year in the same pe

riod, compared with 8.2 percent in the first two months, the data showed.

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In early April, the US increased military interactions

with the island by officially acknowledging that military personnel have been posted in the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan since 2005.

US weapons manufacturer Raytheon was also granted a $9 million contract to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system.

Senior Colonel Liang Fang, a professor at PLA National Defense Universit

y, said the recent drill will test and enhance the PLA’s joint operating capabilities.

“It will increase the PLA’s ability to protect national sovereignty, and warn thos

e who are trying to undermine it to abandon their illusions,” she said. “Similar drills

will be more common in the future, with increasingly sophisticated equipment and training methods.”

Xiu Chunping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social

Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies, said the recent drill serves to warn the US and separati

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In 2017 the institute’s bioethics review committee

n evaluated and approved the experiment before applying for National Natural Scie

nce Foundation of China funds, with the project gaining the foundation’s support.

“Experimenting on nonhuman primate models to research the brain’s cognitive function, de

velopment and related diseases have great scientific and medical values,” the statement said.

“For research purposes, there are precedents of scientists implanting human genes int

o lab animals such as mice, rats, and macaque monkeys, and these researchers have made great con

tributions to understanding life, disease mechanisms and clinical drug development.”

In 2008 US scientists implanted macaque monkeys with Huntington’s disease to further understand the condition and possib

ly identify a new form of treatment, with the project’s findings published in the journal Nature.

In 2009 Japanese scientists created the world’s first transgenic primates

and bred monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green.

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Innovation links with Japan encouragedForeign Minis

Premier Li Keqiang called on China and Japan to boost cooperation in innovation to see more pra

gmatic outcomes, and to further work together in areas including finance, third-party markets and tourism.

The two countries should also create a fair and unbiased business environment for each other’s en

terprises, Li said in a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Beijing on Monday.

The meeting came after a China-Japan high-level economic dialogue,

co-chaired on Sunday by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kono. The dia

logue, also attended by ministers of agriculture, industry, commerce and environ

mental protection from both countries, was also the first to be held in China between the two nations since 2010.

Li congratulated attendees on the successful hosting of the dialogue in his opening remarks, noting that bilateral relation

s are back on the right track and have seen new progress thanks to joint efforts of the two sides starting last year.

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The two sides can help jointly find solutions to glob

 and bilateral issues despite remaining difficulties in bilateral relations, he said.

The thawing of ties between China and Japan was marked by Li’s visit to the country in

May, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years, and the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China in October.

The economic dialogue between the two countries was launched in 2007,

and deteriorated relations due to disputes over a number of issues resulted in an eight-ye

ar hiatus until last April, when the two sides restarted with the fourth round of dialogue in Tokyo.

China said on Monday that the Belt and Road Initiative is open to economic cooperation with

other countries and regions, and it does not become involved in territorial disputes of relevant parties.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing tha

t although the initiative was proposed by China, it is an international project for the public good.

While advancing the initiative, China upholds the principle of equality, openness and transparency and sticks to enter、

prise-oriented market operations as well as market laws and well-accepted international rules, Lu said.

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“Essentially, it depends on the growth of money sup

pply (M2),” said Sheng Songcheng, a central bank adviser and a former director of the central bank’s statistics department.

The central bank released M2 data on Friday, which recorded a 13-month high of 8.6 percent by the end of March, accelerating from 8 percent by February.

Aggregate social financing, a gauge to measure broader financial activities including trust funds and local govern

ment bonds, also grew faster than market expectations. That total financing amount grew to 2.86 trillion yuan in Mar

ch, or a 11.1 percent growth from a year earlier, compared with 10.6 percent in February, said the central bank.

“According to the latest economic data, there is less necessity for RR

R cuts, but it requires further observation on future changes,” said Sheng.

If the central bank further cuts the RRR, when economic growth is already stabilized, inflation wi

ll surge, and possibly lead to funds flowing into the property sector instead of supporting the real economy, he added.

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