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President says gathering sets stage for more Belt and Road progress, cooperation
More than $64 billion in deals were signed during the Second Belt a
nd Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping told members of the me
dia from home and abroad in Beijing after the three-day event concluded on Saturday.
In addition, Xi said, during the preparation and holding of the fo
rum, parties reached 283 pragmatic outcomes, including intergovernmental cooperation agre
ements, cooperative projects and the launch of multilateral cooperation platforms.
The outcomes fully demonstrate that joint building of the Belt and Road conforms to the trend of the times, wi
nning the hearts of the people, improving livelihoods and benefiting the whole world, he said.
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.
was “extremely unlikely” any of the 27 countries would veto a delay.
AP”If one country was to veto an extension and, as a result, impose hardship on us, real problems for the Dutch and Belgians
and French as neighboring countries (to the UK)…they wouldn’t be forgiven for it,” he told Ireland’s RTE radio.
magnitude earthquake at a depth of 17 kilometers was detected at 1:25 pm on Sund
ay in Beijing’s Haidian district, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.
Two earthquake experts said the minor quake was a normal activity in the earth’s crust caused by chan
ges in crustal stress, and there is no need for the public to panic, according to a report on huanqiu.com.
“It is a normal and isolated event,” said Guo Xun, dean of the Civil Engineering School at the Institute of Disaster Prevention.
“As Beijing is at the junction of the earthquake zones of Shanxi province, the Hebei Plain
and Yanshan Mountain, the city will experience one to two earthquakes at around magnitude-3 degree ev
ery year, according to past experience,” Sun Shihong, a researcher at the China Earthquake Networks Center, added.
domestically rated “AAA”, the safest level. The sale to individual investors is mainly of project-link
ed special-purpose bonds, a type of local government bond vigorously promoted by the government in re
cent years. The cash flows generated from the underlying projects will be used as the primary repayment sources.
In China, there are two types of local government bonds: general bonds and special purpose bonds. According to the country’s 2019 budget repor
t, which was approved by the top legislature earlier this month, the budgeted deficit for local governments is 930 billion yuan, up 100 billi
on yuan compared with 2018, and this fund gap will be supplemented by general bonds.
In the meantime, 2.15 trillion yuan of special purpose bonds will be issued to support la
rge infrastructure projects, such as shantytown renovation projects and railways, said the ministry.
Letting individual buyers invest in local government bonds is a way to narrow the government’s financin
g gap, said Hu Yijian, a tax professor at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The gap is expected to expand, as policym
akers decided to cut about 2 trillion yuan in taxes and fees this year while at the same time increase spending on investment.