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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trying to maintain stable relations with the US,” he said.

Li Haidong, a professor of US studies at China Foreign Affairs Universi

ty, said Washington has pushed a hard line in relations with Beijing in recent years.

“The Taiwan question is much more complicated and nonnegotiable,” Li said.

“If the US side continues to misinterpret the one-­China policy, it will irreparably damage Sino­-US ties,” he warned.

The US Senate will have to vote on the act before it can become law. The time of the vote is unknown.

“The consensus among US officials is to be tough on China, and room for rational option

s is rapidly shrinking as overconfidence and rash actions become the new norm,” he said.

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popular destinations for overseas study, accounting for 18 percent and 1

6 percent respectively, followed by Hong Kong, Germany and Japan, the report found.

The report was based on a survey conducted by Vision Overseas Consulting Co, a subsidiary of New Oriental Education and Technolo

gy Group and Kantar Millward Brown in January and February. The survey covered 6,228 students who plan to go to school ove

rseas or have returned to China after graduation, and their parents. It is the fifth consecutive year the report was released.

Sun Tao, president of Vision Overseas Consulting Co, said: “More students chose to go to the UK for overseas study b

ecause of its high-quality higher education institutions and relatively lower costs compared with the US.”

Many UK universities now offer one-year master’s program, which can

greatly decrease the students’ cost, he said, adding that the UK government has also im

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ion determines economic growth. Even though it will take some time, the large number of people i

n BRI-related economies will ultimately prove the potential for economic development in those countries.

Ma Yu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperatio

n, said the BRI provides a new impetus for the recovery of the world economy. The improvement in infra

structure, and digital-related manufacturing brought by the BRI will restore the development capacity of the worl

d economy and bring new opportunities for the partnership between Chinese and local companies.

Also on Monday, the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative

released an official report on the development, achievements and prospects of the BRI.

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Of the dead in the blasts, there are 35 foreigners, the police confirmed. Hospital sources

had earlier said nine foreigners were among those killed while 13 others have been injured.

Airline says flights continue despite curfew

SriLankan Airlines is telling passengers boo

ked on flights out of the country that they will be able to fly despite the curfew imposed.

The carrier says in a statement that travelers on all airlines operating out of Bandaranai

ke International Airport can access the airport by showing their tickets and passports at checkpoints.

The airline says security has been tightened at the airp

ort, and it advises passengers to arrive four hours before their scheduled flights.

Both Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Mi

nister Ranil Wickremesinghe have condemned the attacks and appealed for calm.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said t

he tri-forces and the police are conducting a thorough probe into the explosions.

In a special statement, the police urged the publi

c to stay indoors and not gather at the explosion sites which had been sealed off.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will send his special envoy Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the rulin

g Liberal Democratic Party, to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

In a news conference held by the Japanese embassy in China on Monday, Takeshi Osuga, J

apanese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Nikai will visit China from April 24 to 29 to attend the forum and give a speech.

In a previous conference at LDP’s headquarters in Tokyo, N

ikai said his party called for increased exchange between Japan and China.

As the Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono just ended a three-day visit to China, Osuga

said the visit was “very positive” and further strengthened bilateral ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

“In the fifth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue, China and J

apan achieved agreement to cooperate in such areas as energy conservation and environ

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orities have responded to the slowdown in 2018 by limiting the e

xtent of financial regulatory tightening, injecting liquidity through cu

ts in the reserve requirement ratio, and reducing personal income taxes and corporate value-added taxes.

The overall outlook for emerging Asian economies rem

ains favorable, with China’s growth projected to slow gradually towa

rd sustainable levels. It predicts the country’s growth will moderate to 6.1 percent in 2020.

“China’s growth is set to stabilize,” said Cheng Shi, chief economist at ICBC International.

“As China increased its growth stabilization policy efforts, its economy has shown sig

ns of stability in the first quarter and may further consolidate in the second,” Cheng told China Daily.

China’s business activity revived and beat market expectations

in March, with the manufacturing purchasing managers index return-ing into expansion territory aft

er three months of contraction, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

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 them for the past 20-odd years,” she said.Currently, the zoo is busy preparing for the pandas’

travel back to China and trying its best to make them feel comfortable during the trip, Thomas added.

Many zoo visitors lined up to say goodbye to the pandas, and wrote down their best wishes on cards

and posted them on a friendship wall set up in front of the panda exhibition halls.

The farewell celebration will run through April 27.

The San Diego Zoo is globally recognized and a San Diego ic

on by hosting more than 4 million guests each year.

Late civil servant on ‘long march’ fighting poverty

Female civil servant Ma Xinjuan died, at the age of 39, only a

few months before Shangyan Village was lifted out of poverty in 2018.

“She was like the peach blossoms,” said Ma Caiqin, a villager of Shangyan. Peach blossoms are common during spring scene

ry at this once impoverished village in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

But when Ma Xinjuan, former Party secretary of Huangh

ua Township, first came to the village, she received antipathy from some villagers.

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cting the Indonesian capital Jakarta with Bandung, is now under construction, after China and

Indonesia signed an agreement in October 2015 to establish a joint venture to build and operate it.

As a part of the Belt and Road Initiative projects in Indonesia, the high-speed railway is th

e first to use China’s high-speed railway standards, technologies and equipment on a foreign line.

It being constructed and operated by a China-Indonesia consortium of firms led by China Railway Corp an

d Indonesian state-owned PT Wijaya Karya Tbk, and is to be funded mainly by loans from China Development Bank.

The high-speed rail, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, will have a maximum design speed

of 350 km/h and is capable of transport passengers and goods within 45 minutes between Jakarta and Bandung.

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regards China as an important strategic cooperation partner, and appreciates China’s im

portant role in and contribution to climate change and other international affairs, Macron said.

The French president pledged to further strengthen strategic communication and collaboration

with China, and bring into full play the leading role of the France-China comprehensive strategic part

nership, so as to jointly safeguard multilateralism and promote world peace and prosperity.

France is the last leg of Xi’s three-nation Europe tour that has taken him to Italy and Monaco.

his year marks the 40th anniversary of the Joint Communiqué on the Estab

lishment of Diplomatic Relations signed by Beijing and Washington that acknowledges t

here is only one China and Taiwan is part of China. It is also the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act the US Congress passed to permit u

nofficial relations with Taipei to continue and the US to sell arms and military equipment to the island.

For 40 years, US administrations have frequently used the Act as a political card to influence Sino-US ties and interfere in China’s internal aff

airs, as well as to provide “spiritual” support for the island authorities that seek “security” guarantees from the US.

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