Mired in Brexit deadlock and forced to delay Britain’s M

 March 29 exit from the EU, May’s Conservatives suffered major losses in local election

s this month and are trailing in opinion polls before May 23 European Parliament elections.

With Labour and Brexit-supporting rebels in the Conservatives p

lanning to vote against her deal, it is unlikely to be approved as things stand.

Pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers were unimpressed with May’s failure to set a firm date to quit. One, who declined to be na

med, described it as “yet further procrastination which is causing appalling damage to the Conservative Party.”

Another, Andrew Bridgen, said May was “an increasingly beleaguered and isolated prim

e minister who is desperate to salvage something from her premiership and is prepared to drive thro

ugh an agreement that would fatally hamstring any future prime minister in negotiations with the EU.”

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Now that it has reached middle-income status, China’s eco

nomic strategy will focus on creating a highly competitive domestic market that forces com

panies to produce high-value goods so they can pay high wages to highly skilled people.

Because of its long experience in manufacturing, much of tha

t push will be focused on higher value-added production, using the new technologies of r

obotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and 5G. This is the only way to avoid the middle-income trap.

The reform and opening-up policies are exactly the kinds of market-driven reforms

needed to make this happen. The Chinese government is investing heavily in research and development, but it sho

uld be noted that the R&D spending as a percentage of GDP is still lower than that of the US.

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Not only are there missing links on the causality chai

 between long-term structural factors and actual economic performance, it is also unclear how long those factors would take to constrain GDP growth to a part

cular level. In fact, 20 years ago, the same long-term factors were used to warn of a possible fall in Chinese GDP growth.

Because of the complexity of China’s growth trajectory, many economists seem to base their assessments of potenti

al on performance. After every drop in China’s GDP growth since the second quarter of 2012-when growth fell be

low 8 percent-economists have emerged to declare that performance was in line with potential.

Difficult to determine potential growth rate

To be sure, there are various estimates of China’s potential growth rate, ranging from 5 perc

ent to 8 percent. But it is difficult to determine which is reliable. For one thing, there is reason to believe that

most estimates fail to discount cyclical factors adequately when calculating the long-term trend.

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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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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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The book includes 42 articles drawn from speeches an

 public remarks made by Xi from September 2013 to July 2018.

Since Xi proposed the BRI in 2013, he has spoken about the initiative on many occasions.

The discourses have provided guidance for the country to develop international cooperation, i

mprove global economic governance and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Russia – There is no alternative to the peaceful solution of nuclear and

other issues on the Korean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, follow

ing a meeting with top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un.

Russia, for its part, is ready to continue cooperation to reduce tensions on the peninsu

a, and to strengthen security in Northeast Asia as a whole, said Putin at a reception in honor of Kim.

Putin said he was convinced that with active participation of the international community and all inte

rested states, the goal of ensuring lasting peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula can be achieved.

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The core of Beijing’s high-quality development is to

 better deal with the relationship between ‘capital’ and ‘city’, which is to strengthen the four funct

ions of Beijing — the national center of politics, culture, international communications and scient

ific innovation,” said Cai Qi, Party secretary of Beijing, last month during the two sessions.

According to the municipal authority, the new economy — industries with intensive innovation a

nd knowledge — now makes up 33 percent of the city’s economy, and this ratio is expected to keep growing.

President Xi Jinping’s three-nation visit to Europe last month prod

uced tangible fruits and showed that despite any differences that may exist between China and

the European Union, they have the common desire to strengthen cooperation.

Thanks to mutual efforts from both sides, China-EU interaction has been displaying good momentum. Over the years, their economic

interests have become increasingly intertwined, and people-to-people exchanges have flourished, formin

g a solid foundation on which bilateral ties have been able to grow and prosper in an all-around way.

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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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The announcement was a rare move for Apple, known in

the electronics industry for keeping tight wraps on product plans until it publicly launches them at

splashy events in Silicon Valley. The early announcement of AirPower, along with a wirelessly char

ed version of its AirPods headphones, was a break in that tradition. Apple released the updated AirP

ods last week, heightening speculation that the accompanying charging mat would come soon.

Daring Fireball, a website that covers Apple news, previously reported that Apple engineers h

ad issues with devices overheating on the AirPower pad. Apple declined to comment beyond its statement on the project.

Apple offered wireless charging in the iPhone in 2017, after many of its

rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd had offered the feature for several years. Whil

e rumors circulated that Apple might create its own unique wireless charging technology, the company instea

d chose to use a system that works with Qi, an open industry standard already in use by Samsung and others.

Apple shares did not move on the news, and shares of NXP Semiconductors and STMicro

electronics, two major suppliers of chips used in Qi systems, appeared to be unaffected also.

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