Asked whether China will retaliate by targeting certain US co

 companies, Lu said that as for foreign enterprises operating in Chi

na, there is no need for them to worry as long as their businesses are law-abiding.

S President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Wednesd

ay in which he declared a national economic emergency and banned the technology and

services of “foreign adversaries” deemed to pose “unacceptable risks” to US national security.

The US intention is so obvious that media outlets around the world have without exception interpr

eted this as targeting Huawei, by excluding the Chinese telecommunications giant from US networks.

Washington has repeatedly claimed that Huawei’s equipment poses a security threat, but for all the sound and fury, it sign

ifies nothing, as it has never produced any credible evidence, indeed any evidence at all.

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They cited a report in February from Trade Partnership World

wide as saying that increasing tariffs on $200 billion of goods to 25 percent, coupled with tariffs already in place — as well as expect

ed Chinese retaliation — would reduce US employment by more than 934,000 jobs and push down the US GDP by 0.37 percent.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs, two-way trade between China and

the US declined 11.2 percent year-on-year to 1.1 trillion yuan ($162.5 billion) in the period from January to April.

The fact that Beijing is still sending a delegation to the US for the trade talks is “very wise on China’s part”, said Gary Hufb

auer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

Douglas H. Paal, vice-president of the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for Internat

ional Peace, said it “makes sense to continue the talks because the alternative would be a drastic signal to markets”.

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Australia and Canada remain the third and fourth most p

popular destinations for overseas study, accounting for 18 percent and 1

6 percent respectively, followed by Hong Kong, Germany and Japan, the report found.

The report was based on a survey conducted by Vision Overseas Consulting Co, a subsidiary of New Oriental Education and Technolo

gy Group and Kantar Millward Brown in January and February. The survey covered 6,228 students who plan to go to school ove

rseas or have returned to China after graduation, and their parents. It is the fifth consecutive year the report was released.

Sun Tao, president of Vision Overseas Consulting Co, said: “More students chose to go to the UK for overseas study b

ecause of its high-quality higher education institutions and relatively lower costs compared with the US.”

Many UK universities now offer one-year master’s program, which can

greatly decrease the students’ cost, he said, adding that the UK government has also im

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He called on the two countries to deepen all-aroun

 cooperation and build the comprehensive strategic par

tnership between China and Portugal to a higher-level, with broader vision and greater vitality.

Xi said the two countries should strengthen high-level exchanges and value th

eir respective core interests and major concerns based on mutual respect and understanding.

Saying China views Portugal as a significant partner in jointly building the Belt and Road, Xi called for the stren

gthening of bilateral cooperation in fields such as trade, investment, energy and infrastructure.

He also urged the two nations to strengthen coordination on major inter

national issues, firmly uphold the multilateral system and build an open global economy.

Xi added that China stands ready to work with the European nation

to advance more productive cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

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Overall, the country’s industrial output grew 6.5 percent

year-on-year in the first quarter, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The ministry said more than two-thirds of enterprises it surveyed received ample orders to

keep factories busy after the Spring Festival break, also signifying an upward trend.

Qu Xianming, an expert at the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, s

aid the sound performance in the first quarter is the result of improved market expecta

tions and it mirrors the resilience and sustainability of the country’s manufacturing sector.

“The central government said in March that it would slash the value-a

dded tax rate of 16 percent in manufacturing to 13 percent. Such an aggressive cut sends a strong

positive signal to companies, which has motivated them to accelerate production and intensify investment,” Qu said.

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rime scene officials inspect the explosion area at Shangri-La

Of the dead in the blasts, there are 35 foreigners, the police confirmed. Hospital sources

had earlier said nine foreigners were among those killed while 13 others have been injured.

Airline says flights continue despite curfew

SriLankan Airlines is telling passengers boo

ked on flights out of the country that they will be able to fly despite the curfew imposed.

The carrier says in a statement that travelers on all airlines operating out of Bandaranai

ke International Airport can access the airport by showing their tickets and passports at checkpoints.

The airline says security has been tightened at the airp

ort, and it advises passengers to arrive four hours before their scheduled flights.

Both Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Mi

nister Ranil Wickremesinghe have condemned the attacks and appealed for calm.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said t

he tri-forces and the police are conducting a thorough probe into the explosions.

In a special statement, the police urged the publi

c to stay indoors and not gather at the explosion sites which had been sealed off.

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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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Finance Minister Liu Kun said at a forum on Sunday tha

t the government plans to accelerate local government bond issuance this year. “We are tryi

ng to complete the issuance of the new bond quota of 3.08 trillion yuan by the end of September.”

“We will urge local governments to inject funds into projects quickl

y in order to stabilize investment and expand domestic demand,” said Liu.

In the first two months, issued local government bonds totaled at 782.1 billion yuan. Among this, 326.1 bil

lion yuan was raised through special purpose bonds, a type just like United States municipal bonds, the ministry said.

hina will further facilitate foreign enterprises’ venture ca

pital investments in Chinese companies, said Premier Li Keqiang at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will also improve the regulations on foreign investors’ strategic invest

ment in mainland-listed companies as well as on their mergers and acquisitions with domestic enterprises.

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North Korea withdraws from DMZ joint liaison office after new US

  North Korea is withdrawing from a joint liaison office near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with Sout

h Korea, a key symbol of the rapprochement and ongoing peace process between the two countries.

  The move comes after the US slapped two Chinese firms with sanctions for doing busin

ess with Pyongyang, the first action taken by Washington against North Korea since the second summit bet

ween North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi ended early with no agreement.

  South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced the move Friday, say

ing the decision had been taken by the North on “instructions from the superior authority.”

  In its communication with the South, Pyongyang said it would not mind Seoul’s representatives “remaining in the office,” whi

ch is based in Kaesong, a part of North Korea near the de facto border between the two countries.

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Xi made the remarks in a signed article published in the

Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday ahead of his European tour, with visits to Italy, Monaco and France.

Though far apart from each other, China and ancient Rome were linked by the old Silk Road over 2,000 years ago, Xi said in the ar

ticle, mentioning the cultural exchanges between the two countries in the distant past.

He said Beijing is willing to deepen cooperation with Rome in such areas as land and marine transportation, avia

tion, aerospace and cultural exchanges to build the Belt and Road in the new era.

“I’m willing to avail myself of this visit to work with Italian lea

ders on the blueprint of Sino-Italian relations and lead the ties into the new era,” Xi said.

He called on the two sides to tap more potential for partnership

in port logistics, shipping, energy, telecommunications and medicine, and encourage enterprises fr

om both countries to develop third-party cooperation to seek mutual benefit and win-win results.

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