The conference also saw the launch of a scientific alli

lliance on international disaster risk reduction, which included around 30 institution

s and universities from countries including Italy, Belgium, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The alliance will serve as a new platform for international coordinati

on and provide scientific support for disaster relief and sustainable development.

The conference was co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Association for Science and Technology, the U

nited Nations Environment Program, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Alliance of Int

ernational Science Organizations, a group created to connect the scientific communities of BRI participants.

Bai Chunli, president of the academy, said in the conference’s opening ceremony on Saturday that areas along the Si

lk Road are prone to various natural disasters that have resulted in massive loss of life and economic damage.

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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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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.

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Kim, while stressing the importance of solving prob

lems through dialogue and negotiations, also underlined that he does not accept “the American style of

dialogue” which imposes the United States’ unilateral demands upon its dialogue partner.

Kim said the United States is hinting at holding

a third DPRK-US Summit, but what happened in Hanoi “is not inviting” to the DPRK.

However, Kim also mentioned his good relations with Trump. “As P

resident Trump keeps saying, the personal ties between me and him

are not hostile like the relations between the two countries and we still maintain good relations.”

At the end of the speech, Kim said he hoped that the United

States would decide wisely and that the confrontation betw

een the two countries will be brought to a complete stop.

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Azerbaijan sent a delegation to the first China Intern

ational Import Expo in Shanghai last November. “This kind of expo is extrem

ely important, and provides a chance for Azerbaijan to reach out to the Chinese ma

rket and establish contact with Chinese companies,” Hajiyev said, adding last year’s event was extremely helpf

ul to Azerbaijan and helped traders to understand the requirements and demands of the Chinese market.

Almost 50 percent of China’s trade with the Caucasus region are from

Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan has invested $1.7 billion in Chinese securities. Current trade volu

me between China and Azerbaijan is above $1.5 billion, and Hajiyev believes there is sti

ll more to do to promote bilateral trade, as the two countries have very good relations.

Companies from the two countries are engaged in projects for the

petrochemical industry, and the two countries can touch upon o

ther strategic areas such as energy and communication, the foreign affairs head added.

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Initially, it was not easy for the Jiangsu teachers

udents’ trust. Upon arrival, they were not only faced with the high altitude and thin

ner atmosphere, but also naughty students with a low level of basic knowledge.

Wang Qiming, a history teacher from Huai’an city, Jiangsu, said he experienced some friction when he taught his first class in 2015.

“The students knew less than those in Jiangsu. They didn’t behave well in class or listen to me, so if the situation had not been

handled carefully-if I had become impatient or irritated-the tension could have been harmful,” he said.

Wang decided to proceed slowly and adjust his schedule to match t

he students’ poor skills. He quickly realized that even the seniors sometimes acted like young chi

ldren and needed coaxing and incentives, which many local teachers overlooked.

“Many local teachers have problems. For example, when they teach a class, they may think th

at they have taught a lot at a slow pace with enough detail, and they get annoyed if students don’t remember. In

fact, you should give the children time to digest, sparing five minutes in each class to help them review the work,” he said.

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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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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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In agreeing to the postponement, European leaders

 hoped Britain’s deadlocked politicians would find a solution to the crisis. But the EU isn’t counting on it. The European Comm

ission said Monday it had completed planning for a no-deal Brexit, calling that outcome “increasingly likely.”

The EU said its members would be able to cope with a no-deal departure, although more remained to be done on ensuring an open border betwee

n EU member Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland — something both sides have agreed to. Checkpoints there were a soaurce of tensi

on and a target during the decades of sectarian violence before Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace accord.

An EU official said the bloc was in “in intense discussions with the Irish authorities about these matters.”

May stands little chance of getting the deal she struck with the EU approved unless she can win over Brexit-backing lawmakers in her Conservative Party and its Nor

thern Irish ally, the Democratic Unionist Party. The DUP said Monday that the party’s “position remains unchanged.”

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That means China would move closer to the standards

for a “high-income country” — above $12,736 in per capital GDP — set by the World Bank in 2015.

However, a productivity slowdown, aging population and unbalanced regional developme

nt could be among the “bottlenecks” that constrain China in becoming a high-income country, economists said.

Given the pressure of the slowing global economy, a high degree of leveraging maintains the top risk for China’s econ

omy, thus measures should continue to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio “in proper order”, said Lou Jiwei, chairman of

the National Council for Social Security Fund and a former finance minister.

It is necessary to build a long-term and efficient mechanism for financial regula

tion and fiscal supervision, and to prevent potential risks in the property sector, Lou said.

The three-day China Development Forum has a guest list of more than 150 international delegates, including global industry leaders.

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