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The economy has stayed on the track of steady gro

owth. We have the confidence, conditions and capability to mee

t the projected targets for economic and social deve

lopment this year,” Yuan told an NDRC news conference on Thursday in Beijing.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China’s economy grew at a faster-than-e

xpected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, remaining at the to

p end of the government’s projected growth range of 6 to 6.5 percent for this year.

The growth was unchanged from that in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Zhang Chenghui, former director at the finan

cial research institute of Development Research Center of the State Cou

ncil, said despite the downward growth pressure, China will see many positive factors in the economy this year.

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The eastern area and central China region are accele

rating the push for economic upgrading, which offers strong impetus for the growth. Despite the pressure, we still can see gr

owth momentum,” Zhang said during a macroeconomic seminar earlier this month in Beijing.

“Recently, the government has introduced a series of su

pportive policies which will gradually help grow the real economy,” Zhang added.

NDRC said a further 3.24 million new urban jobs were added in t

he first quarter, with surveyed unemployment ra

te remaining at a comparatively low level of 5.2 percent in March. And consu

mer prices registered a moderate rise of 1.8 percent in the first three months of this year.

A basic equilibrium in the balance of payments was maintai

ned, and China’s foreign exchange reserves exceeded $3 trillion, Yuan added.

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growth of PM.5 tiny particulate matter concentration tha

that could at least double the readings,” Zhang said. He added that this could help explain the o

ccurrence of heavy PM2.5 pollution that lasts for an extended period of time in certain regions.

Zhang said the interaction of air pollution and meteorologic

al conditions could be triggered when PM2.5 density reaches 100 micrograms per cubic meter in ma

ny of the monitoring points of a region. In such situations, more solar radiation wil

l be reflected back into the space, resulting in temperature inversion and further stabilizing the ground atm

osphere. And the height of the mixing layer could decrease to only one-third of that w

hen pollution processes begin, exacerbating particulate concentration levels even further.

The center’s research also showed that global warming is increas

ing the number of days with a stable surface atmosphere in n

orthern China, especially in the cluster, making smog more likely to develop.

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The most recent incident was Saturday in Jinjiang, Fujian

when the late Qing Dynasty residence of Wu Lu, the province’s last zhuangyuan (top scorer on imperial examinations), was damaged.

Fire this year also destroyed a bridge dating from four centuries ago in Nanping, Fuji

an, a Qing Dynasty residence in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and an office structure from the 1930s in Fuzhou, Jiangxi.

The operators of the sites hit by fire will be responsible for the dam

age, said the heritage administration. “Electrical faults and loose supervision over the use of fire

during renovation are the main reasons” for the damage, the administration’s statement said.

Though the fire at Notre Dame is under investigation, Frenc

h officials said they suspect its source might have been related to restoration work on the cathedral.

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The museum has some 50 firefighters on duty around

he clock, a fire engine, over 160 hydrants, thousand of extinguishers, and fire walls, officials said last year.

But not all relics have such rigid supervision. A joint comprehensive survey was started in Septemb

er by the administration and the Ministry of Emergency Management. It found that 33 major institutions still don‘t meet stan

dards, and the State Council issued a notice on Wednesday that they were to receive the highest-level supervision.

On Tuesday, the administration urged local governments to immediately launch evaluations of potential hazards.

The new lawsuit against Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD, and his compan

y filed by a University of Minnesota student might further shake investors’ confidence, and tarnish the image

and reputation of the company, amid tougher competition from rivals such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo.

The Chinese student from University of Minnesota, who claimed she was raped last August by Liu, filed a c

ivil lawsuit against him in Minneapolis on Tuesday, four months after prosecutors decided not to pursue a criminal case.

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In 2017 the institute’s bioethics review committee

n evaluated and approved the experiment before applying for National Natural Scie

nce Foundation of China funds, with the project gaining the foundation’s support.

“Experimenting on nonhuman primate models to research the brain’s cognitive function, de

velopment and related diseases have great scientific and medical values,” the statement said.

“For research purposes, there are precedents of scientists implanting human genes int

o lab animals such as mice, rats, and macaque monkeys, and these researchers have made great con

tributions to understanding life, disease mechanisms and clinical drug development.”

In 2008 US scientists implanted macaque monkeys with Huntington’s disease to further understand the condition and possib

ly identify a new form of treatment, with the project’s findings published in the journal Nature.

In 2009 Japanese scientists created the world’s first transgenic primates

and bred monkeys with a gene that made the animals’ skin glow a fluorescent green.

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Hu said the administration also will promote anti-smug

ling and wildlife protection knowledge among the public, and it welcomes public supervision or reports of smuggling.

As social networks and online stores have become increasingly important tools for wildlife s

mugglers, the administration has beefed up its anti-smuggling work online this year.

Customs officials are working on cases involving another 100 tons

of endangered wildlife and wildlife products, of which about 300 kilograms are tusks and ivory products.

Last year, the administration purchased advanced screening and detection equipment to improve th

e efficiency of its anti-smuggling work, according to Wang Wei, director of the administration’s ports supervision department.

People caught entering China with endangered wildlife or wildlife

products worth less than 200,000 yuan ($29,800) face up to five years in prison. If such contr

band goods are worth more than 1 million yuan, the penalty upon conviction is a minimum of 10 years in prison.

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On the basis of the four China-Japan political documen

s and in the spirit of seeing history as a mirror as well as facing the future, the two nations sho

uld continue to work toward the long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral relations, he said.

As major economies in the world, China and Japan both support free trade and obey WTO rules, Li said.

He also welcomed Japanese businesses to expand investment in China

as the country will continue to unwaveringly deepen reform and expand opening-up.

China stands ready to move forward with talks with Japan and other rel

ated parties to further the negotiations regarding the Regional Comprehensive Econo

mic Partnership as well as the China-Japan-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, he said.

Li also voiced China’s support for Japan’s hosting of the G20 Summit, which is slated this year

to be held in Osaka, and he hoped it would inject fresh impetus into global economic growth.

Kono expressed his appreciation for efforts made by the Chinese premier in helping return bilateral relations to the right track.

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The two sides can help jointly find solutions to glob

 and bilateral issues despite remaining difficulties in bilateral relations, he said.

The thawing of ties between China and Japan was marked by Li’s visit to the country in

May, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years, and the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China in October.

The economic dialogue between the two countries was launched in 2007,

and deteriorated relations due to disputes over a number of issues resulted in an eight-ye

ar hiatus until last April, when the two sides restarted with the fourth round of dialogue in Tokyo.

China said on Monday that the Belt and Road Initiative is open to economic cooperation with

other countries and regions, and it does not become involved in territorial disputes of relevant parties.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing tha

t although the initiative was proposed by China, it is an international project for the public good.

While advancing the initiative, China upholds the principle of equality, openness and transparency and sticks to enter、

prise-oriented market operations as well as market laws and well-accepted international rules, Lu said.

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he monetary policy should “maintain strategic focu

cus”, keeping it prudent while the liquidity should be at a reasonably adequate level, it said.

Financial policies are required to further support small and private companies, and fun

ding through the capital market is supported by the authorities, according to the statement.

The central bank had skipped open market operations for 15 conse

cutive working days until Monday. “Reasonable and adequate liquidity in the banking syste

m” was the main reason for the absence of open market operations, according to a statement from the central bank.

To cut or not to cut the RRR, a strong tool for liquidity adjustm

ent, has become a hot topic since April, not only for investors, but also for policy advisers.

Divergent opinions are spreading among a broader group of market observer

s. The market is trying to get more indications from the monetary authority, although the C

hinese central bank barely sends any hints on possible monetary policy operations before taking action.

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