Weaker economic growth puts at risk essential invest

ments in areas such as education, health, climate change adaptation and sustainable infrastructure.

The growth outlook in all major developed economies and most developin

g regions has weakened due to a confluence of both domestic and external factors, the report said.

Following an expansion of 3 percent in 2018, world gross product growth is now projected to moderat

e to 2.7 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020, reflecting a downward revision from the forecasts released in January.

The report identifies several downside risks that could trigger a sharper or more prolonged growth slowdown, potentially infl

icting significant damage on development progress. Those risks include a further escalation in trade te

nsions, a sudden deterioration in financial conditions, and the accelerating effects of climate change.

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In contrast, the US seems to take it for granted that tarif

s are a weapon it can employ to bring China to its knees and extract one-sided

concessions, apparently ignorant to the fac

t that China is not what it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the country was forced into signing humil

iating treaties, which resulted in the opening of trading ports and paying of indemnities to Western powers.

Perhaps the blame for the breakdown in the talks should be laid at the door of the mind-set o

f the West, which sees only winners and losers, rather than a holistic whole in

which all benefit from each other.

That Eastern viewpoint explains why

China still hopes that the US will meet it halfway for

the benefit of both countries and both

peoples as well as the development of the world economy.

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Opening up of film market leads to vibrancy

the 22nd film of Marvel Cinematic Universe, has made more than $2 billion globally wit

h over $576 million, nearly a third of the total, being contributed by the Chinese market.

The percentage of Hollywood films contributing to China’s box office has witnessed a gradual decline in recent years

thanks to the rise of successful Chinese films including The Wandering Earth and Dying to Survive.

Due to its explosive growth in third-and fourth-tier cities, the Chinese movie market is certainly poised to become the larg

est in the world in the not too distant future. Last year, China’s total box office exceeded 60 billion yuan ($8.9 billion), gra

dually closing the gap with the United States whose box office was about $11.6 billion. China has become such a form

idable force in the global film industry that international film producers cannot afford to overlook it.

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Government pledges more red tape cuts of items requiri

China will further cut the number of items requiring certificatio

n and refine the procedures through institutional inno

vation to improve government services and foster a more enabling business environment.

The decision was made at the State Council’s executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday.

Participants at the meeting agreed that the government’s efforts in recent years to repeal unwarranted certification requ

irements and deepen the reform of government functions have produced notable results.

“These are crucial steps benefiting both companies and individuals

,” Li said. “At a time when the economy still faces uncertainties, removing these unjustified cer

tification requirements will help boost market vitality and improve the business environment.”

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hina’s growth a source of hope for allong proclaimi

With Chairman Mao Zedong proclaiming the founding of the People’s Republic of China on

Oct 1, 1949, the Chinese people began leaving behind a century of colonial humiliation and building a new life.

What remains poorly understood by the wider world even seven decades later is how dire were

the conditions in China during those days. While China sustained its triumph, Chinese people’s living stan

dard 70 years ago was barely 5 percent relative to their counterparts in the United States.

It was a dire starting point.

Transitions that raised China’s living standard

In the late 1970s, Deng Xiaoping introduced “reform and opening-up” policies

and established special economic zones, which ultimately facilitated China’s entry int

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Xi’s speech on opening-up is well receivedpolicies

President lays out proposals to encourage foreign investment, guarantee fair competition

The measures that President Xi Jinping recently proposed to encourage foreign investment and further opening-up in Ch

ina are welcome developments that address the international community’s concerns, according to experts.

“The promises made are very positive, and all of them are helpful,” William Over

holt, senior research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, said of Xi’s keynote speech at the

opening of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

Xi brought up a series of reform and opening-up measures, including expanding market acce

ss for foreign investment in more areas and working harder to ensure the implementation of opening-up policies.

China’s pledges included shortening its negative list for foreign investments, opening up more sect

ors to foreign businesses, guaranteeing fair competition and planning new free-trade zones and ports.

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Medical experts said bills for patients requiring 29

of the 55 rare disease medicines available on the Chinese mainland

have been partly or fully covered by the country’s medical insurance system.

The average medical bill for rare disease patients is 200,000 yuan ($

29,700) a year and more than 40 percent of patients have received no medical tre

atment due to the high prices, according to Li Linkang, China Alliance of Rate Diseases executive director.

Biogen, the United Sates-based pharmaceutical compa

ny that developed the drug, said that it is talking to the C

hinese government, the medical and patient communities, and charitable orga

nizations in a bid to establish a co-payment system to make the drug available to more patients.

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AI major now available at universitiesigence-powered

Universities in China will welcome the first group o

f undergraduate students majoring in artificial intelligence in September.

According to a list issued by the Ministry of Education, 35 universities received approval to establish th

e four-year undergraduate AI-related majors amid the country’s drive to build a strong AI talent pool.

They include many prestigious universities such as Beijing Jiao

tong University, Beihang University, Nanjing University and Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Lin Youfang, vice-dean of the School of Computer and Information Technology at Beijing Jiaotong University, said the scho

ol plans to enroll about 30 undergraduate students majoring in AI in September.

There might be more students majoring in AI who transfer from other m

ajors through a selection process if the new major proves to be successful, he said.

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When he took up residence inside the Ecuadorian Em

mbassy in 2012, it was to avoid answering the sexual allegations against him in Sweden, which had sought his extraditi

on for questioning. He also sought refuge because of fears he would ultimately be extradited to the US

Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into Assange af

ter two women accused him of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

Some of the sexual misconduct accusations are no longer viable because their time ran out. But Swedish prosecutors

have said a rape case could be reactivated before the statute of limitations ends in August 2020.

After Assange’s arrest, Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson was tapped to look

into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers to find out whether the case can be pursued.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported bei

ng raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she w

ould “do everything” to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted.

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Flight systems, however, typically are built with a

 backup system so there can be no single point of failure. Since the crashes of Max jets in Indonesi

a in October and Ethiopia last month, Boeing has modified design of the anti-stall device to include two sensors on all aircraft.

The FAA allows airlines to make minor modifications in previously certified

aircraft to meet their operational needs, a rule Boeing followed in building the 737 Max for

foreign carriers. Ethiopian Airlines and Indonesia’s Lion Air — involved in fatal crashes five months apart — repo

rtedly declined to buy two add-on safety devices that might have helped the pilots keep the doomed planes in the sky.

Neither airline purchased the “angle of attack” system display for readi

ngs of two sensors rather than one and a “disagree light” to be activated if the sensors prod

uce conflicting readings. The Lion Air crash in October killed 189 passengers and crew.

Airlines around the world, including China and the US, have flown the 737 Max, introduced in 2018, without incident.

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