According to the guideline, such new-generation hig

in information, biology, advanced manufacturing and new materials will grow into core industries in the area. Several key projects in f

ifth-generation (5G) networks, genetic testing, intelligent robotics, 3D printing and the BeiDou navigation system will be cultivated.

Whether the Greater Bay Area can become an international technology and innovation hub is the key

to the area’s success, according to a research report recently issued by the China Silk Road iValley Research Institute.

The region boasts the most complete manufacturing industry chain and has world-class technol

ogy talent from prestigious universities. Moreover, the favorable location offers convenience an

d benefits to enhance technological and innovation exchanges and cooperation with countries and regions al

ong the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative and other major countries in the world, said the research report.

By comparing the Greater Bay Area with the New York bay area and San Fran

cisco Bay Area in the US, Liang Haiming, chairman of the institute, told the Global T

imes on Monday that balancing the interests of traditional and emerging industries, and helping multiple

industries share the work while cooperating are two things that could be learned from the two US bay areas.

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As the West steps up its criticism of Myanmar over the Rohin

Rakhine issues, the country’s relations with the West have deteriorated. China is one of the few powers

Myanmar can rely on. There is vast cooperation potential between the two countries. China and Myanmar can a

dvance industrial cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, the China-M

yanmar Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor. How to unleash M

yanmar’s huge development potential with the help of China should be placed on the NLD government’s planning agenda.

As Myanmar’s largest neighbor, China will continue to play an active role in promoting Myanmar’s nat

ional reconciliation and addressing the Rakhine issue as well as build mechanism for talks. It will assist My

anmar as much as it can. When investing in Myanmar, Chinese ente-invested projects, driven by nationalism an

d so-called environmental concern, are of no help in improving the country’s investment environment, and have hijacked economic development. Res

pecting the spirit of the contract is a basic requirement for modern states and their peoplrprises should pay attention to th

eir social responsibility. They should also address local people’s suspicions and misunderstandings on Chinese-inve

sted projects. We have reasons to believe that the prospect for China-Myanmar cooperation under the Belt and Road framework is promising.

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Leveling the playing fields for domestic and overseas compa

The world has been closely watching the latest round of high-level trade

negotiations between the US and China, which took p

lace in Beijing on Thursday and Friday, for clues as to whether a trade resolution

will be reached before the March 1 deadline.

With the slowdown seen in the economies of both countries and the

world in general, the US and China have a sober under

standing of the importance of reaching a trade deal, which is reflected by the

increasing flexibility shown by both parties. Last week, US Pre

sident Donald Trump even suggested that he could extend the deadline if both

parties are making good progress and are nearing a formal agreement.

As the US and China both have the need to reach a deal, it is generally expected

that both parties will make some compromises to avoid an escalation of tra

de disputes. In this situation, China will most likely significantly increase its

imports from the US in the short term, while at the same time making s

ubstantial changes with regards to issues like market opening and technology transfer.

At present, there is much speculation about what compromises China may

make or which industries the nation will open to more for

eign investment. Last year, against the background of the unprecedented trade war, the National D

evelopment and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, published

a new version of the negative list for foreign investment. The negative list, w

hich took effect on July 28, removed foreign ownership limits for special vehicles and new energy vehicle m

anufacturing, with the ownership cap for passenger car manufacturing scheduled

to be lifted by 2022. Moreover, th

e latest list also eased or scrapped foreign investment curbs on sectors like

banking, insurance, ship and aircraft manufacturing, and power grids.

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In his opinion, the development was beyond ridiculous

More than 84 million Nigerians have been registered to vote in the postponed elections.

Ahead of the elections, enthusiasm had been high among citizens of the most populous African country. The election had also dra

wn the attention of the international community given the position and prospects of Nigeria in the global arena.

Many netizens of the country have continued to express disappointment at the postpo

nement of the elections, each one regarding it as a huge failure on the side of INEC.

Some social media commentators even called on the electoral chief to resign.

One Facebook user Olufunmilayo Odunaike said that i

f at all there was a reason for the postponement, that should have been done a few weeks earlier.

“You don’t want to be me. Woke up, dashed to the bathroom to have my bath, m

ade sandwiches, only to learn elections have been postponed,” Odunaike queried.

Temitope Adeboye, another Facebook user, called for a thorough probe of the postponement.

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nside the workshop of Jilin province’s ‘last blacks

Tian Hongming, 67, has been dubbed the “last blacksmith by the fire” by the people of Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin province.

Having picked up the skill of forging iron at the age of seven from his grandfather, Tian has made a living from the skill for more than half a century.

In the 1990s his business reached its peak, selling more than 80,000 iron products a year, Tian said.

With increaed industsrialization and the cheaper and more intricate iron products it brought however, Tian and his workshop went into decline.

Although fewer customers now choose handmade iron products, Tian sticks to the traditional craft and takes every order seriously.

In 2015 his skill was listed among the city’s intangible cultural heritages.

“Sometimes, the flow-line productions can’t meet the special needs of custo

mers, so the craft will never be replaced,” he said. “And I will continue my business as long as the market and customers need me.”

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Nation’s property sector remains robustperty models in Donggu

Experts said the Spring Festival holiday was the major factor behind the significant drop in property sales perfor

mance nationwide in the first month of 2019 and did not necessarily represent a negative market trend for the industry.

According to Centaline Property Agency’s research, in January property sales declined by 38 p

ercent year-on-year in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Among the four cities, Guangzhou saw the most dramatic decrease of 65 percent year-on-year, followed by Beijing, where home sales dropped by over 40 percent.

Country Garden, one of the country’s biggest developers, sold 33 billion yuan ($4.88 billion) of prop

erty in January, a 52.2 percent yearly decline. Vanke, whose monthly sales were 48.8 billion yu

an, saw a 28.1 percent drop year-on-year, while Evergrande Group’s sales performance shrank by 32.9 percent.

Third and fourth-tier cities accounted for most of the sales, but these had also slowed down com

pared to the same period in 2018. Zhang Dawei, chief analyst at Centaline, said the lack of e

nthusiasm from buyers was caused by the overheated market during last year’s Spring Festival.

“During the Spring Festival in 2018, housing prices in first and second-tier cities suddenly increased, triggering price

rises in lower-tier ones too,” said Zhang. “Back then, buying properties in one’s lower-tier hometown became a trend.”

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The Ministry of Civil Affairs has urged national-level

industrial organizations and chambers of commerce to lower membership fees and refr

ain from imposing unreasonable charges to reduce the burden on businesses.

The ministry said in a statement on Feb 3 that it will conduct the annual examination

of national-level social organizations, and such organizations are also expected to report fee adjustments in their annual reports.

The lowering of membership fees will be an important criteria for the ministry in evaluating na

tional organizations. Other criteria include whether the organizations have imposed charges against regulations or been found to have m

isused funds. Those who fail the evaluations will be disqualified, the ministry said.

Social organizations found to be engaged in activities that harm national reunification, national security, ethnic un

ity or jeopardize the national interest will also be disqualified and punished according to law, the ministry said.

A third-party will conduct random on-site verification of information submitted, it added.

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The Ministry of Education said on Feb 2 that it will contin

ue to boost support for private kindergartens and encourage them to provide inclusive services.

The ministry said media reports that the country will no longer allow the development

of private kindergartens were misleading, and it will continue to encourage investment in kindergartens.

As of 2017, about 63 percent of kindergartens nationwide were run by private entiti

es, among which 43 percent were deemed to be providing inclusive services, the ministry said.

It added that it will encourage more private kindergartens to provide inclusive servic

es. In the meantime, private kindergartens will be allowed to remain profit-oriented to meet public demand.

Chinese authorities have decided to grant a three-year tax benefit to encourage self-employment and hiring by small businesses.

The decision was jointly announced on Feb 2 by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and two other government departments.

According to the decision, people in need who start a business can have 12,000 yuan ($1,790) a year deducted from their families’ annual taxes over three years.

The preferential treatment will target four groups: those registered as members of pov

erty-stricken groups; people who have been jobless for more than half a year; those living on su

bsistence allowances; and recent graduates from higher education institutions.

Businesses that have hired individuals from the four groups and paid social insurance for

them can also enjoy tax deductions of 6,000 yuan per person a year for three years.

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Suning to acquire 37 Wanda department stores

Suning.com, the retail unit of Suning Holdings Group Ltd, announced on Feb 12 that it will ac

quire a total of 37 department stores of Wanda Department Store Co Ltd, to enhance its online-and-offline retail businesses.

Considered a key move for Suning to map its retail layout in the country, the acquisition is expect

ed to quickly improve Suning’s offline, or brick-and-mortar, resources and strengthen its mer

chandise supply chain to increase profits of its retail businesses, according to Suning’s statement.

The 37 Wanda Department Store locations, which have a total of more than 4 million registe

red customers, are mainly situated in central business areas in first- and second-tier cities.

The statement said the revenue of Wanda Department Store has seen a steady rise, with a continuous growth in net profits.

The new business unit will add department stores to Suning’s retail empire, which has been focusing mainly o

n home appliances and has now expanded to fast-moving consumer goods as well as maternity and baby products.

Through the deal, Suning.com is also hoping to bring its digital strengths in areas such as big data and artificial intellige

nce to Wanda, in an effort to further update the digital transformation of traditional department stores and enhance shoppers’ experiences.

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Retail, catering sectors break one trillion yuan mark in sales

China’s domestic retail and catering sectors posted sales of 1.005 trillion yuan ($149.05 billion) during the week-long Spring F

estival holiday that ended Sunday, an annual increase of 8.5 percent, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

China’s consumption upgrade is continuing, the ministry said, adding that some emerging consumption such as internet consumption, customized con

sumption, experience consumption and smart consumption were the highlights during the holiday.

Green food, intelligent home appliance, new digital produ

cts and local special products maintained rapid growth, according to the ministry.

Emerging service modes such as shopping malls and outlets encompassing ca

tering, shopping and amusement became more popular during the holiday.

Sales in seven major shopping malls and outlets monitored by the Shanghai government ro

se more than 20 percent year-on-year, while in East China’s Anhui province, sales in some malls jumped 11.6 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, experience consumption, including leisure tourism, film and expo, folk activities, rose.

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