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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Its partial loss is a terrible blow to a proud country

 and to the world more widely,” said Macfarlane, the King’s College historian.

A woman identified only as Marie, who has lived in Paris for 20 years, said: “This is a monument b

uilding that belongs to the story of Paris, to the story of France. … Notre Dame is our story, our culture, our spirit.”

An experiment conducted by Chinese and US scientists on improving monkeys’ cognitive function has been

found to follow international animal rights standards, according to the Chinese research institute.

The study implanted 11 rhesus macaque monkeys with copies of the human MCP

H1 gene, which scientists believe is crucial for humans’ brain development and evolution.

The project is led by researchers from the Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Acade

my of Sciences, who are working with researchers from the University of North Carolina.

www.milkingmachines.cn

Customs makes its biggest tusk bustuangpu Customs Distri

China’s customs officers have seized 2,748 ivory tusks weighing a combined 7.48 metric tons after cracking a major smuggling case.

It was the biggest haul of tusks ever recorded in an anti-smuggling bust conducted in

dependently by customs officers, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday.

The case was solved in March after a combined operation of differ

ent customs offices lasting three months. A total of 238 custo

ms officers took part from cities around the country, including Hefei, Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou and Qingdao.

Twenty suspects were detained for further investigation, accor

ding to Sun Zhijie, director of the administration’s anti-smuggling bureau.

Sun said the tusks, illegally shipped from African countries, were imported into China labeled as wood.

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Lu made the remarks in response to recent media repo

 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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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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Premier Li signs revised regulation on gov’t informati

Premier Li Keqiang has signed a revised regulation on the disclosure

of government information to better respond to public concerns.

The revision, based on the 2008 version, is aimed at increasing openness of government

affairs and resolving prominent problems in government information disclosure.

It also represents the headway and achievements made in this field over the past years and clarified the scope of governm

ent information disclosure, calling for constantly expanding information disclosure.

Stressing the need to improve the legal rights and interests of the a

pplicants and related parties when applying for information disclosure in accordance with pr

ocedures, the revision also made necessary stipulations on the improper exercise of application rights by a small num

ber of applicants affecting the normal conduct of government information disclosure.

Efforts should be made to improve the effectiveness of government information disclosure by using information techn

ology, to enable government information to play its due role in serving the people, it added.

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They are willing to conduct cooperation using the

rtunities provided by the initiative and the strategy, which for the EU me

mber states would also complement relevant EU initiatives, said the guidelines.

Announcing that 2020 will be the Year of China-CEEC Agricultural Diversity Cooperation, the p

articipants said they support expansion and deepening of cooperation in sustainable agriculture through

academic discussions, project docking, talent training and exhibitions as well as forums.

More Chinese people take trips during holidays compared to 10 years ago, according to official statistics and academic reports.

Both the number of domestic and outbound tourists have seen

a steady increase from 2008 to 2018, with the number of domestic tourists rocketing from

merely 1.71 billion in 2008 to a stunning 5.54 billion in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.

Tourists in China have become more active in spending their public

holidays on traveling, according to a report from China Tourism Academy.

exstorm.org

Man arrested after incident in west London: British police

A man has been arrested after an incident in west London on Saturday morning. Police f

irearms and Taser were discharged, according to a latest statement released by Metropolitan Police.

According to the statement, police were called at around 8:30 am local time on Saturday, with reports o

f a car in collision with a number of parked vehicles near the Ukrainian Embassy in Holland Park, west London.

“As part of the protective security arrangements for London, armed and unarmed officers were

deployed to this incident,” said the statement, adding that “on arrival at the scene, a vehicle was driven at police officers.”

Police confirmed that firearms and Taser were discharged, the vehicle was stopped and a man in his 40s was arrested, not injured.

Andy Walker, chief superintendent in the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command, said: “as is st

andard procedure, an investigation is now ongoing into the discharge of a police firearm during this incident.”

asrunde.cn

Chinese Bridge Chinese proficiency contest in Univers

Some of the winners will represent Latvia in the 2019 Chinese Bridge competition for universities

and middle school students in China where they will compete with Chinese language learners from all over the world.

Latvia has made remarkable progress in teaching and learning Chinese in recent years, with the succes

sful 16th Chinese Bridge competition taking the promotion of the Chinese language and culture to an even highe

r level in Latvia and strengthening cultural ties between the two countries even more.

The 16th “Chinese Bridge”, was organized by Confucius Institute at the

University of Latvia in cooperation with various education institutions in Latvia.

China’s last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) died on Saturday after an a

rtificial insemination at the Suzhou Zoo in East China’s Jiangsu province. Now, only three remain in the world.

An international research team carried out the fifth artificial insemination for the female turtle on Fri

day, but the animal did not recover from the procedure, even though researchers spent hours trying to save its life.

The dead female turtle is believed to be over 90 years old; Suzhou Zoo’s male turtle is over 100 years old.

lunran.cn