Separately, on the same day, the US Commerce Department

said it would be adding Huawei and its 70 affiliates to an Entity List, which will ban the compan

y from buying parts and components of US companies without prior government approval.

Gao Feng, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a briefing that the con

cept of national security “should not be used as a tool for trade protectionism”.

“China strongly opposes other countries imposing unilateral sanctions on Chinese entities,” Gao said.

He called on the US to stop its wrongful behavior and make more efforts to create conditions for normal international trade cooperation.

Huawei has been increasing its 5G commercial contracts worldwide, with more countries giving the com

pany a vote of confidence. But it is facing security allegations from the US, which Huawei has said are unfounded.

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Winter Games: 1,000 days to gontdown activity unfolds in Be

With 1,000 days to go before the 2022 Winter Olympics, pr

eparations are well underway for a successful and sustainable event.

Built for the 2008 Summer Games, Olympic Park in Beijing’s north

ern downtown area entered the spotlight again on Friday as the country began its cou

ntdown. The 2022 Winter Olympics, will be held in Beijing and co-host Zhangjiakou in adjacent Hebei province.

As the symbolic “1,000” flashed on a digital clock on the park’s Lin

glong Tower, a broadcasting facility for the 2008 Games, expectations were heig

htened for the winter sports extravaganza, which will run from Feb 4 to 20 in 2022. Three zones will feature athl

etic events — downtown Beijing, the city’s northwest Yanqing district and Zhangjiakou’s mountain district Chongli.

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The Information Technology Industry Council also w

arned against further raising tariffs. “Increasing tariffs will only continue to harm America

n consumers and businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, as well as threat en American econ

omic growth and leadership in innovation,” said Naomi Wilson, the council’s senior director of policy for Asia.

US chemical manufacturers also called for sensible trade policy solutions.

Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council, said on Monday he believed t

he risks of continuing to use tariffs as a negotiating tactic with China are simply too high, and potential benefits remain unclear.

Several organizations, including Tariffs Hurt the Heartland — the national campaign compose

d of more than 150 of the largest US trade organizations in retail, technology, manufacturing and agric

ulture — have in recent days highlighted the negative impact of tariff increases on the US economy and job market.

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Boosting rural areas will help solve dilemmas of ove

rcrowding and rampant construction plaguing cities, and the development of cities will also offer unique ways to bring about rural revitalization,” Chen said.

“As restrictions on hukou will gradually be removed, cities need to be well-prepared to offer

accommodation and employment opportunities, and allow children of migrant workers to have equal access to education,” Chen added.

China has made steady progress in urbanization, as the ranks of permanent urban r

esidents stood at 831 million at the end of 2018, up 17.9 million from the previous year, said the National Bureau of Statistics.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission said it

plans to increase the urbanization rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year.

Shen Chi, vice-director of the China Center for Urban Development, said the government’s new

plan will help foster high-quality and sustainable economic development across the nation.

“Relaxing the hukou policy will be a key step in promoting the free flow of labor across

the nation,” Shen said. “A systematic consideration and arrangement of the integratio

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The company will consider adding employees, resear

rch and field development resources to expand in the Chinese market over the coming years, he said.

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said last month that the t

wo countries’ negotiating teams are hashing out the text of a deal, including an enfo

rcement mechanism, based on mutual respect and benefit. Both countries, the world’s two biggest eco

nomies, have been intensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the ninth round of trade consultations, negotiators discussed tec

hnology transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, non-tariff measures, the servi

ce sector, agriculture, trade imbalances and enforcement mechanisms.

Trade between China and the US amounted to 815.86 billion yuan ($121.7 billion) i

n the first quarter of the year, an 11 percent year-on-year decline, according to the General Administration of Cus

toms. In March, Sino-US trade climbed 0.1 percent to 291.35 billion yuan, according to the administration.

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He said seeing is believing and he welcomes the stude

nts to visit China in the future.Kendra Le, a Niles North freshman, was thrilled about Xi’s response letter, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“I was surprised, very surprised,” Le was quoted in the report as say

ing. “It was an honor to receive a letter from him. It was really nice getting a letter from him.”

The report also said that Zhao Jian, the Chinese consul general in Chicago, personally

delivered the letter to a gathering of students enrolled in Chinese classes at Niles North on April 3.

Serena Meyers, a Niles North senior taking her first year of Chinese after thr

ee terms of Spanish, was not only happy to receive the response, but also ple

ased at how the Chinese leader made an effort to answer the questions her classmates posed.

“I was absolutely surprised,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “He has a lot to do and it was a

n honor he wrote back to us.”The Niles North High School began offering Mandarin courses in 2008.

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Two Chinese nationals were confirmed killed, the

Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.The embassy is verifying the number of Chinese injured in the attacks.

Earlier information from the embassy said that four Chinese nationals were injured

in the multiple church and hotel explosions that ripped through the island nation on the Easter day.

The Chinese Embassy has activated an emergency response mechanism immediately a

fter the blasts, and embassy officials have visited the injured who were in hospital for treatment.

Curfew and ban on social media imposed

The government has imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Sri Lankan government has also imposed a temporary ban on social media to prevent the spread of false information.

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The meeting highlighted the importance of implementi

ting the spirit of December’s Central Economic Work Conference.

Macro policies should be stable, micro policies should be flexible and social policies should guarantee the basic needs of the grassroots

people, the statement said. Macro policies should focus on promoting high-quality growth and stimulating market vitality.

The importance of manufacturing’s high-quality development in stabilizing economic growt

h was stressed. Traditional industries should be guided to upgrade, and new industries should grow stronger.

The development of small and medium-sized companies and private businesses should be supported through measures like s

peeding up the supply-side structural reform of finance and providing better loan services, the stat

ement said. It also reaffirmed that houses should be used for living rather than for profit.

Reform should be further deepened and opening-up boosted, and forei

gn capital should have bigger access to the Chinese market. Poverty reduction is a key meas

ure of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which must be achieved by the end of next y

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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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On investment, members of the cooperation mechan

nism will provide a fair and just environment and a level playing

field for foreign companies doing business in their own countries by upholding the principl

es of mutual respect, mutual benefit and fair competition, according to the guidelines.

On the role and significance of China-CEEC cooperation, the guidelines said the mechan

ism constitutes an important part of Europe-China relationship and complements the EU-China Compre

hensive Strategic Partnership and the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

Reaffirming their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform a

nd civilization, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their support for the early conclu

sion of an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, said the guidelines.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, the participants said they recognize the importance

of the initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and welcome forging synergies between them.

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