Archive March 2019

Much work’ awaits new Sino-US trade talksnited Stat

hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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isit shows EU seeks deeper cooperationuropean Commiss

Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F

rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela

tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations

Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the

signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th

e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.

The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with

China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp

ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.

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But some were unmoved and the Northern Irish party cruc

rucial to getting the agreement through said it would reject the deal again.

Britain was supposed to leave the bloc on Friday but Brussels agreed last week to put back the

divorce date until April 12 to give it a chance to resolve a three-year crisis that has split the country down the middle.

However, it still remains uncertain how, when or even whether the United Kingdom, the wo

rld’s fifth-biggest economy, will leave the EU. The possibilities that it will leave with no deal to so

ften the shock to its economy, or delay the departure date to hold a general election, have increased as other options fade.

While May’s deal continued to stumble, an attempt by parliament to take control of the proc

ess by holding a series of indicative votes on other options produced no immediate way through the impasse.

None of the proposals, many of which involved closer alignmen

t with the EU than May envisages, won the support of a majority of lawmakers.

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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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The government gave itself the option of bringing May’s dea

back to parliament on Friday, although speaker John Bercow repeated his warning that he

would not allow a third vote unless the motion had changed substantially since its last defeat.

May, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, had already promised to step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Her deal, defeated in parliament by 149 votes on March 12 and by 230 votes on Jan 15, mea

ns Britain would leave the EU single market and customs union as well as EU political bodies.

But it requires some EU rules to apply unless ways can be found in the future to ensure no bor

der posts need to be rebuilt between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

Many Conservative rebels and the DUP object to this “Irish backstop”, saying it risks binding Britain to the EU for years.

To succeed, May needs at least 75 lawmakers to come over to her side.

After the ERG met, a spokesman said: “There is no way enough votes are

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She would also become the fourth Conservative prime min

ister in a row to have fallen foul of divisions over Europe within her centuries-old party, following David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

Most voters think the Brexit negotiation has been handled badly and there may now be a slight majority for staying in the EU, rec

ent polls suggest. Many Conservative MPs say May herself has caused the chaos by not negotiating harder with the EU.

“It was inevitable and I just feel she’s made the right decision. She has actually read the m

ood of the party, which was a surprise,” said Conservative lawmaker Pauline Latham.

Over two decades since her debut appearance at Wimbledon, Chinese legend Li

Na still remembers her awkward introduction to the iconic London tournament.

Li first competed there in the girls’ singles in 1998, and was tripped up by the switch f

rom hard courts to grass, not to mention the All England Club’s famous sartorial etiquette.

“I had no clue at all on how to play on grass,” Li recalled at Tuesday’s The Road to Wimbledon junior training camp in Beijing.

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Li, who inspired the boom after winning Asia’s first major

 title at the 2011 French Open, warned that increased funding and exposure for the sport does not guarantee Grand Slam champions will follow.

“After the US Open (in August), players don’t need to travel overseas with tournam

ents held at home one after another,” said Li, who is an ambassador for her hometown Wuhan Open in Hubei province.

“However, for the younger players nowadays they are likely to squander the opportuni

ties that we had to fight hard to earn, because everything comes easier and more frequently.

“They have to focus on the game itself rather than the exposure or expectations off

the court to really improve one event at a time and benefit from the momentum.”

When Li turned pro in 1999 China had only two entry-level tournam

ents. Now the Women’s Tennis Association calendar features nine Chinese tourn

aments, including the premier mandatory China Open in Beijing and year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

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Meanwhile, 15.6 percent suffered cyber bullying and

percent encountered illegal or bad information, the report said. And 69.1 percent

know how to protect their rights and interests through the internet and report infringements.

According to the report, 91.9 percent learn relative legal knowledge through offline means, and 72.3 percent learn legal knowledge through the internet.

The report suggests that the regulations on protecting minor netizens should be legislated as soon

as possible. Authorities should enhance content supervision and industry management, regulating ente

rprises to shoulder social responsibly, promote education on the internet among minors and crack down on infringement.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD is starting to cultivate key opinion leaders (KOLs) to build u

p its strength in the field of e-commerce, according to a report by technology media 36kr.

At its JD Shopping Circle, a mini program for WeChat providing a platform for users to post reviews on products and share experiences, JD la

unched a “Super Partner Program”, aiming to incubate online celebrities in the e-commerce sector to take a share of the fan economy.

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Three government ministers quit their posts so they could

back the motion. Richard Harrington, who resigned as a junior business minister, accused the government of “playing roulette with the lives and liveli

hoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to resolve Britain’s Brexit impasse.

The government said it was disappointed by the vote, claiming it “upends the balance

between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

But it also conceded that the new votes might be a way to break the months-long Brexit gridlock. May said she would “engage

constructively” with the results of the process, though sahe said she was skeptical that it would produce a decisive result.

The move raises the chances that Britain will tack toward a softer Brexit, and is likely to be welcomed by th

e EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, tweet that it was an “opportunity to build a cross-party coope

ration leading to an enhanced political declaration & a closer future relationship!”Earlier in the day, May ack

nowledged, “with great regret,” that her deal still lacked “sufficient support” to be approved as of Monday.

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She said she hoped to hold a third vote on the agreement l

later this week and was working to build support for the deal, which sets out the terms of withdrawing from the EU and the outline of future relations with the bloc.

May warned opponents that continuing to reject the deal could lead to a “slow Brexit” that postpones the country’s departure indefinitely.

With the March 29 Brexit day set almost two years ago days away and the withdr

awaal agreement lacking Parliament’s approval, European leaders agreed to a postponement last week to avoid a ch

aotic cliff-edge departure that would be disruptive for the world’s biggest trading bloc and deeply damaging for Britain.

However, the EU granted a shorter delay than May sought. It said if Parliament approves

the proposed divorce deal, the UK would leave the EU on May 22. If not, the government has until April 12 to tell the

27 remaining EU countries what it plans to do – leave without a deal, cancel Brexit or chart a path to a new option.

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