Archive March 2019

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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In a spectacular display of indecision, the House of Comm

ons has voted against remaining in the EU and every version of leaving the EU,” tweeted James Cleverly, the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman.

Nevertheless, some proposals fared better than May’s deal had done two weeks ago, and parlia

ment was due to hold more indicative votes on Monday after refining the options most likely to secure a majority.

Many Conservative eurosceptics had made clear they would only c

onsider supporting May’s deal if she gave a firm commitment to resign, hoping a new leader

would be more sympathetic to their views when negotiating the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers (MPs).

“I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new lead

ership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.”

But within hours of May’s offer, the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up her minority gov

ernment, said it would vote against the deal if May brought it back a third time.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first overseas visit in 2019

  levated China’s ties with Italy, Monaco and France to a new level, and injected new impetus into China-Europe compreh

ensive strategic partnership, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

  When the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi’s Europe tour, hailed b

y the international community, is dedicated to deepening partnership for cooperation, improving global governance, and uphol

ding multilateralism, which shows China’s sense of responsibility as a major country, Wang said.

  In six days, the Chinese president attended over 40 events during his visit to five cities including Rome, Palermo, Monaco, Nice a

nd Paris, Wang noted, adding that it is a trip of friendship, cooperation and exploration that has delivered fruitful results.

  FRIENDSHIP & MUTUAL BENEFIT

  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic

partnership, and next year will witness the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic relations.

  At meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Xi agreed with them to further i

ntensify high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations, Wang said.

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Wang hailed Italian government’s forethought and pragmatis

gmatism over its decision of endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), saying Xi and Mattarella agreed

that China and Italy, which are at the two ends of the ancient Silk Road, are natural partners in constructing the Belt and Road.

Conte, according to Wang, said the BRI will bring great opportunities to Italy. He also agre

ed to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in Beijing next month.

France is one of the earliest European countries that have expressed the willingness to take pa

rt in the BRI cooperation. During Xi’s visit to France, the two countries signed agreements on the third round of the BRI-related dem

onstration projects in third-party markets and kicked off a third-party market fund, Wang said.

At the closing session of a global governance forum co-hosted by China and France, Macron

said the BRI is significant and can play an important role in world peace, stability and development, adding that the EU could align

its development strategy with the BRI in an innovative way and jointly promote Eurasian connectivity.

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The European leaders said they are glad to see a greater

?development in China, and the EU welcomes China’s willingness to share its development opportunities.

Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in European countries, said the European leaders, adding that they will not adopt restrictive measures against specific com

panies, and are willing to provide a fair, open and transparent business environment for all foreign enterprises.

During the visit, Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife, also attended a number of events aimed at deepeni

ng cultural and educational exchanges between China and the European nations.

As a special envoy of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the advanceme

nt of girls’ and women’s education, Peng was invited to visit the headquarters of the UNESCO in Paris.

Wang said Peng’s visit highlighted China’s image of a hardworking, responsible maj

or country that actively participates in international education, gender equality and other affairs.

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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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hina and France reaffirmed their commitment to jointly add

ddress climate change, the loss of biodiversity and environmental

protection in a joint statement issued on Tues

day, after visiting President Xi Jinping met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

The two countries stressed that public and private funds should be directed to invest more to fight climate change and for biodiv

ersity protection, and there should be sustained financial support for the climate change actions of developing countries.

What is frustrating is the fact that solar and wind generation grew at double-digit pace in 2018, with solar alone increasing by 31 p

ercent, but that was still not fast enough to meet the higher electricity demand around the world that has driven up coal use.

China remains the leader in both solar- and wind-generated energy followed by Europe and the Uni

ted States. But despite being on course to meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, sourcing 20 percent of it

s energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date is a tougher challenge for China. However, the addit

ional benefits of energy security and reduced pollution provide extra incentives for resolute efforts to achieve this goal.

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Ceremony held to mourn E China blast victims victims in Yanch

A memorial service was held on Wednesday for victims who died in a chemical plan

t explosion seven days prior in Xiangshui township, Yancheng city, East China’s Jiangsu province.

More than 200 officials, police officers, firefighters, bereaved families and volunteers attended the serv

ice at 7:30 am. The cars at the site honked their horns and attendees presented flowers to pay tribute to the victims.

To date, the deadly explosion of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co in Yancheng’s Xiangshui county has claimed 78 lives.

According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death marks the height of the mourning period.

subsidies continue gradual phase-out

China will whittle down subsidies on new energy vehicles as the industry develops and cost drops, aiming to boost high-quality development in the NEV sector.

The newest measure will lower subsidy standards for new energy passenger cars, buses and t

rucks, taking factors such as industry growth, cost reduction and subsidy phase-out policies into consideration, the

Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement Tuesday, adding the move was set to bring more competition in the industry.

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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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