Much work’ awaits new Sino-US trade talksnited Stat

hina and the United States will hold their eighth round of high-level economic and trade cons

ultations in Beijing on Friday, with “much work” remaining to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the two nations have made some progre

ss through recent phone discussions between Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Ligh

thizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “But there remains much work to be done,” he said.

To iron out differences over certain economic and trade issues, China and the US have b

een intensifying their consultations. Next week, Liu will visit Washington for the ninth round of talks.

Negotiators from both sides are striving to implement consensuses reached betw

een the countries’ leaders in December, Gao said at a regular news conference.

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ation and safety officials Daniel Elwell, Robert

US senators sharply questioned regulatory officials on Wedne

sday about the Federal Aviation Administration’s reliance on Boeing Co’s engineers to cert

ify the safety of the company’s new 737 Max 8 aircraft, which was involved in two fatal crashes in the past five months.

A self-certification procedure called Organization Designation Authorization came under scr

utiny at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s aviation subcommittee in Washington. Testifying wer

e Daniel Elwell, acting FAA administrator; Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Saf

ety Board; and Calvin Scovel III, Transportation Department inspector general.

For decades, the FAA has delegated some authority for certifying new aircraft to the manufacturers, reducing government costs.

After the crashes of Lion Air in Indonesia in October and Ethiop

ian Airlines this month, which killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members, critics have ci

ted the self-certification process as evidence of an overly cozy relationship between the FAA and the industry.

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Information contained on flight recorders for the Indones

sia and Ethiopian planes has not been released, but analysts say the pilots may not have known h

ow to turn off the anti-stall device after it pointed the nose of the plane down, and that may have been a factor in the crashes.

On Wednesday, Mike Sinnett, Boeing’s vice-president, said he doesn’t see the need to overhaul its development of aircraft. He c

alled the new Max software “more robust” but also said the upgrade does not mean the original design was inadequate.

The upgraded MCAS will be activated by input from two sensors rather than one.

The system’s power will be limited so that the pilot can pull back on

the control column to override the system if the plane’s nose is pointed down.

Sinnett said a new training system for pilots on upgrades to the MCAS has been “provisionally approved”.

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According to the Ministry of Finance, local government

nts in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Shandong provinces as well as Beijing will eventually be able to sell bonds at count

ers in commercial banks directly to retail investors, and the practice will be expanded nationwide after an additional period of time.

The ministry said individuals do not need to pay taxes on the bonds’ interest income, and this policy is likely to attract more investors.

Selling local government bonds to retail investors should facilitate liquidity

in the secondary market, improve the market-oriented bond pricing mechanism and pu

sh issuers to enhance the quality of information disclosure, said Amanda Du, a Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst.

“Higher coupon rates compared with treasury bonds, and the tax exemption on the interest income, make

local government bonds more attractive for retail investors,” she said. “The fast takeup by retail investors also indicates that the

bonds have won high recognition among individual buyers, supported by the local governments’ high credit ratings.”

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She would also become the fourth Conservative prime min

ister in a row to have fallen foul of divisions over Europe within her centuries-old party, following David Cameron, John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

Most voters think the Brexit negotiation has been handled badly and there may now be a slight majority for staying in the EU, rec

ent polls suggest. Many Conservative MPs say May herself has caused the chaos by not negotiating harder with the EU.

“It was inevitable and I just feel she’s made the right decision. She has actually read the m

ood of the party, which was a surprise,” said Conservative lawmaker Pauline Latham.

Over two decades since her debut appearance at Wimbledon, Chinese legend Li

Na still remembers her awkward introduction to the iconic London tournament.

Li first competed there in the girls’ singles in 1998, and was tripped up by the switch f

rom hard courts to grass, not to mention the All England Club’s famous sartorial etiquette.

“I had no clue at all on how to play on grass,” Li recalled at Tuesday’s The Road to Wimbledon junior training camp in Beijing.

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After 10 years of development, China’s new energy veh

cles are starting to gain momentum in the private market. With the overall vehicle market remaini

ng flat, sales of new energy vehicles last year reached 1.25 million, up 61.7 percent year-on-year, and

the figure is expected to reach 1.6 million this year according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

China plans to stop subsidies on new energy cars by the end of 2020. To ensure a smooth transi

tion, the government decides to achieve this goal by enacting policy in several phases. This year’s subs

idy standard was slashed 50 percent on average from 2018, Xinhua reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The source said the proportion cut is basically consistent with falling ratios of general cost for co

mplete vehicles, while pointing out with the rapid expansion of the NEV industry some enterprises tend

ed to become reliant on long-standing subsidies, leading to weak competitiveness.

The statement also asked local governments to remove subsidies on purchases o

f new energy cars after a three-month grace period starting Tuesday. Instead, more funds will be used

to build infrastructure, including charging and hydrogen refueling facilities, and to facilitate relevant services.

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It has formulated a set of support plans, such as brand coop

eration, network traffic distribution, packaging and promotion. And it will provide exclusiv

e agent for every super partner on the platform to help the super partner make decisions and amplify the effect of their contents.

In April 2017, JD for the first time launched the shopping c

ircle function, which allows users to join online interest groups of beauty products, maternal and chi

ld products, fashion, photography and food, and share recommended products and their shopping experience.

In November 2018, the mini program for WeChat based on the shopping circle function was launched.

As new e-commerce players such as Xiaohongshu taste success from social shop

ping, online celebrity and fan economy, JD also noticed that besides the traditional “sea

rch for products” mode, for an e-commerce platform there are new opportunities in community building and user-generated content.

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May has come under intense pressure to quit the prime minis

 minister’s post as the price of winning support for the deal.

At a meeting Sunday at the prime minister’s country retreat, Chequers,

prominent Brexiteers told May they might back the deal — if she agreed to step d

own so a new leader could take charge of the next phase of negotiations, which will

settle Britain’s future relations with the EU.

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who attended the meeting and is likely to be a conten

der in any future Conservative leadership race, accused the government

of lacking “gumption” and chickening out on delivering Brexit.

Britaina’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, put a call on its front page for the

prime minister to resign under the headline “Time’s up, Theresa.”

May is hanging on, hoping she can persuade Brexit-backing lawmakers that

rejecting her deal means Britain may never leave the EU.

She told lawmakers that Britain would not leave the EU without a deal unless

Parliament — which has already rejected the idea — voted for it.

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We will step up efforts to expand cooperation with sho

video platforms such as Kuaishou, Bilibili, Douyin and Huoshan, to obtain more data flows and encourage brands and buyers to do more live broadcasts,” Zeng said.

It also plans to tap into the social e-commerce sector, which is currently in its testing phase.

Experts say the livestreaming explosion is boosting China’s e-commerce sector. The new

format could display the commodities in more dimensions and increase users’ trust.

Cao Lei, director of China E-Commerce Research Center, said this method could attract consume

rs’ attention quickly and accurately as most of the livestreaming users are post-90s generation who are accusto

med to shopping online, as well as help online retailers to gain data flows and create a “real” shopping scenario.

“Immediate feedbacks could be given to merchants based on users’ instructions. Through their

mobile phones, consumers are able to talk with overseas buyers, which will greatly enhance users’ trust on the platform.”

China’s cross-border e-commerce sector has been growing rapid

ly over the past few years, owing to a rapid growth in the nation’s middle and high-income shoppers.

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If the US Congress continues to send the wrong signals

to the “pro-independence” DPP, it will embolden the Tsai authorities to take more risky acti

ons, and thus damage cross-Straits ties further, harming the interests of Beijing and Washington both.

US Congress members are elected by American voters as their representatives and, ther

efore, they should always put the interests of their people and country first. And instigating the Tsai authorities to fu

rther damage cross-Straits ties certainly doesn’t serve the interest of either American voters or the US as a country.

The author is a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Beijing Union University. The views don’t necessarily repre

sent those of China Daily.President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (both seated), witness the

signing of a memorandum of understanding on joint construction of the Belt and Road between He Lifeng, head of the N

ational Development and Reform Commission, and Luigi Di Maio, Italian deputy prime minister, in Rome on Saturd

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