Wang, the Chinese think tank member, said many of

nternational relations scholars of his generation think of the US

as an example of the value of “freedom, democracy, fairness and human rights”.

“But those words are no longer applicable to describe the US today,” he said.

Wang said that for him, cancellation of the visa is nothing m

ore than a short-term absence from US academic activities, and “it is the US’ loss, not ours”.

He also said the decision would not affect the Chinese think tank he leads in continuing aca

demic exchanges with the US, and he suggests that China should not take countermeasures over such matters.

“No matter how petty the US becomes, China should still stick to its open attitude rather compete for who’s worse,” he said.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is not a geopolitical tool or a debt trap for particip

ating countries, but a platform for cooperation, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.

Wang made the remark at a press conference ahead of the second Belt and Road F

orum on International Cooperation, which will be held in Beijing next week.

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Much work remains in Sino-US trade negotiations

China and the United States have made new progress in negotiating the text of an econom

ic and trade deal, but much work remains to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Negotiating teams from the two countries are hashing out the text of the deal, including

an enforcement mechanism, on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Gao Feng, ministry spokesman.

The remarks came as the world’s two biggest economies have been i

ntensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the most recent round of trade consultations, the negotiators discussed technolo

gy transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, nontariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, tra

de imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, according to earlier reports.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a recent white paper that the US business commu

nity in China, long an advocate of good bilateral relations, can no longer be relied on to be a positive anchor.

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China’s foreign direct investment up 6.5% in Q1

China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) totaled 242.28 billion yuan in the first quarter of t

his year, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.

FDI in China from non-financial sectors reached $35.8 billio

n in the first three months, up 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Investment from South Korea, the United States and Germany in China m

eanwhile increased 79.6 percent, 71.3 percent and 86.1 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Foreign capital flowing to the country’s high-tech manufacturing s

ector surged 14.8 percent year-on-year to 25.97 billion yuan during the same period.

March’s FDI amounted to 95.17 billion yuan, up eight percent year-on-year.

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The lawsuit accused Liu and JD on six counts of false im

prisonment, civil assault and battery, as well as sexual assault or batter

y, seeking damages in excess of $50,000, according to a report from Reuters.

The court filing said JD is “vicariously liable” for Liu’s behavior as his alleged actions happened while

he was “seemingly” at work-related activities, and the assault and battery began in the presence of two other JD employees.

“We have not yet reviewed the complaint and are not going to comment on pending litigation, but based on the Hennepin County A

ttorney’s declination to charge a case against our client and our belief in his innocence, we feel strongly that this suit

is without merit and will vigorously defend against it,” Liu’s attorney Jill Brisbois said in a written statement.

Peter Walsh, an attorney for JD, said in a statement while it was not prepared to com

ment at this time, the company would vigorously fight against these “meritless claims”.

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The bond pricing mechanism will be further improv

Under a pilot scheme, the first group of six provinces and cities sold 6.8 billion yuan in bonds

at commercial bank counters to individual buyers between March 22 and early April.

The coupon rates are between 3.01 percent and 3.33 percent, higher than treasury b

onds issued by the central government as well as bank deposits with the same maturity.

Gross local bond issuances hit 1.18 trillion yuan in the first qua

rter, compared with only 219.5 billion yuan in the same period last year.

The total quota for 2019 local government bond issuances is 3.08 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance.

“About 60 percent of the bonds were issued for ongoing construction, especially

for shantytown renovation projects, railways and roads,” said Hao Lei, head of the ministry’s Budget Department.

While debt financing continues to grow, the government is experiencing sharp declin

es in fiscal revenue growth, especially from tax and land sales, official data showed.

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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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“Essentially, it depends on the growth of money sup

pply (M2),” said Sheng Songcheng, a central bank adviser and a former director of the central bank’s statistics department.

The central bank released M2 data on Friday, which recorded a 13-month high of 8.6 percent by the end of March, accelerating from 8 percent by February.

Aggregate social financing, a gauge to measure broader financial activities including trust funds and local govern

ment bonds, also grew faster than market expectations. That total financing amount grew to 2.86 trillion yuan in Mar

ch, or a 11.1 percent growth from a year earlier, compared with 10.6 percent in February, said the central bank.

“According to the latest economic data, there is less necessity for RR

R cuts, but it requires further observation on future changes,” said Sheng.

If the central bank further cuts the RRR, when economic growth is already stabilized, inflation wi

ll surge, and possibly lead to funds flowing into the property sector instead of supporting the real economy, he added.

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Index results bode well for quarterly GDPprise mark

hina’s economic growth will remain stable in the first quarter, and is expected to land at 6.3 percent or even higher year-on-year when it is released this week, e

conomists said after some economic indicators for March surprised the market on the upside.

“Downside pressure began to ease in the first quarter, as signaled by the r

ather substantial recovery in various economic indicators in March,” said Yao Jingyuan, form

er chief economist at the National Bureau of Statistics and a researcher for the Counselors’ Office of the State Council.

Chinese banks’ lending in yuan, a leading indicator for the real economy

, surged in March by 1.69 trillion yuan ($252 billion), up 52 percent from a year earli

er, according to the People’s Bank of China, the central bank. The manufacturing purchasing managers inde

x for March, which was back into expansion territory, may be a sign of accelerating industrial activities.

Exports in March also picked up, rising 14.2 percent in US dollar ter

ms from a year ago, versus 0.1 percent for the January-February period, customs data showed.

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Zheng Nanning, a researcher at the Chinese Academ

 of Engineering and head of the innovation research academy of intelligent robotics at Xi’an Jiaotong Univer

sity, said the university began considering an undergraduate AI major in 2016, and it has since established an experi

mental undergraduate AI class in 2018 with 55 students taught by the country’s leading AI experts.

The university established the academy in October 2017 and an AI school in Janua

ry. The academy has 26 master’s candidates and eight doctoral candidates, Zheng said.

“Universities should aim for major breakthroughs in basic res

earch and core technology. We are still striving to achieve

revolutionary and disruptive changes in AI theories, methods, tools and systems,” he added.

The ministry issued an action plan in 2018 to promote AI educa

tion in universities. According to the plan, universities in China will improve AI discip

line and make breakthroughs in basic theories and key technology research by 2020.

Chinese universities will become core forces for building major global AI innovation centers by 2030.

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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

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