Having watched and researched the Belt and Road

tiative for a very long time, Astle has identified many opportunities provided by the BRI and

some great projects are already successfully being implemented with Chinese partners.

The world’s only medicine treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is entering the Chinese market, it was announced Sunday.

The drug is registered under the name Spinraza in the United States and European Union.

Available in more than 40 countries and regions, Spinraza is expected to bring new

hope for those who living with SMA, a genetic disorder that affects muscle control, in China.

SMA affects between one in 6,000 and one in 10,000 in China, a

nd about 95 percent of the patients die 18 months after birth, doctors said.

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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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hinese prize for quantum research announced

A total of 12 million yuan ($1.78 million) of cash will be granted to 12 international scientists for their

groundbreaking academic contributions to the fields of quantum computation and quantum com

munications, according to a press release by the newly founded Micius Quantum Foundation on Friday.

With a combined donation of 100 million yuan from Chinese entrepreneurs, the foundation based in Hefei, East China’s Anhu

i province, will give each of the six annual laureates one million yuan. The foundation, a non-profit organization, ai

ms to promote development of quantum information science and technology.

The Micius Quantum Prize’s 2018 and 2019 laureates were announ

ced at the same time, as selection of first-year nominees took longer than expected, said Luo

Yi, president of the foundation and a scientist from the University of Science and Technology of China, based in Hefei.

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Noting that China has the world’s biggest middle-incom

income population, Xi said that China would open up its market continuously and welcome quality products from around the world.

China does not pursue a trade surplus intentionally, and it would like to import more com

petitive farm products, finished products and services to promote the balance of trade, Xi said.

China will promote greater openness in modern services, manufacturin

g and agriculture, allow foreign capital to hold the controlling share in more areas and buil

d some new free trade pilot zones to further ease market access for foreign capital, he said.

China will speed up making relevant rules and regulat

ions and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, Xi said, adding that the cou

ntry will push forward supply-side structural reform through fair competition and international cooperation.

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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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One dead, three injured in California synagogue shooting

One person died and three were injured at a synagogue shooting in San

Diego, California, on Saturday, San Diego County authorities confirmed.

A man has been detained for questioning in connection with the shootin

g at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, said San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies from the Poway station were called to Chabad Way, where the synagogue is located, just before 11:30 am.

Multiple law enforcement sources told local media that four people were shot.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus told media that the facility was targeted because it was a place for the Jewish community to gather.

“I understand that this was someone with hate in their heart, hate for the Jewish community,” he said of the shooter.

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Those wounded were taken to Palomar Medical Cent

 in Escondido. Their conditions have not been disclosed so far.

A spokesperson for Palomar Medical Center confirmed they received four patients, declining to give any more details.

The synagogue was hosting a Passover holiday celebratio

n at 11 a.m. on Saturday, according to a post on its Facebook page.

A large group of congregants had gathered behind the temple following the shooting, said Sgt. Aaron Meleen of the San D

iego County Sheriff’s Department. It was unclear so far how many people were attending services.

Some children were initially reported missing, he said, but they have been found.

“As you can imagine, it was an extremely chaotic scene with people running everywhere when we got here,” he told reporters.

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China to support 5,000 people for BRI innovation excha

China will support 5,000 people from innovation sector in Belt and Road countries i

n conducting exchanges, training programs and joint researches in the next five years.

Sustainable development under BRI stressed

China will work with other parties to promote a coalition of sustainab

le cities and an international coalition for green development under the Belt and Road Initiative.

China to invite 10,000 representatives of political parties, think tanks, NGOs from B&R countries

A total of 10,000 representatives of political parties, think ta

nks and non-governmental organizations from count

ries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative will be invited to China for exchanges in the next five years.

China to allow foreign businesses in more sectors with controlling or full stake

China will allow foreign investors to operate businesses in more sec

tors with controlling or full stake. China will roll out a new batch of pilot free trade zones.

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Also, the UNOOSA just signed a framework agreeme

 with China, allowing UN member states to participate in its scientific missions for the exploration of the solar system. It will bri

ng scientists from all over the world to work together, which will bring a lot of innovation,” she added.

The meteorological satellite jointly designed and constructed by

Chinese and French scientists has already started to send back data on the wind and ocean wave

s after it was sent to orbit by a Chinese rocket in October. The data can help scientists learn more about climate chan

ge, said Lionel Suchet, chief operating officer of the National Centre for Space Studies of France.

“In 2021, France and China plan to jointly launch an astronomical satellite to help the world deepen

its understanding on the gravitational wave,” Suchet said. “Space is our future, we need to step into it together.”

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Xi added that the two countries should jointly prom

mote the building of the Asia-Pacific free trade zone and maintain the multilateral trading system.

He said China and Latin American countries should support each other, make full use

of their complementary advantages and achieve win-win cooperation. The two sides should pursue comm

on development and jointly build a community with a shared future for China and Latin America, Xi added.

The Chilean president said the Belt and Road Initiative, put forward by Xi, has show

n the glorious history of the ancient Silk Road and promoted exchanges between different cultures in the new era.

Chile supports the building of the Belt and Road, and it hopes t

o learn from China’s experience in innovative and green development, he said.

Pinera said Chile, which is dedicated to maintaining multilateralism and the multilateral t

rading system, would like to enhance coordination with China on regional and multilateral affairs.

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