Figures show faster Q1 development, signaling a healthy start for industries

Most provinces in China achieved faster-than-expected growth in the first quarter of 2019, reflect

ing the resilience of the country’s sprawling industrial economy, the country’s top industry regulator said on Tuesday.

Huang Libin, a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a news conference that 22 p

rovinces’ industrial growth rates from January to March were higher than their targets for the whole year and driven

partly by central and local governments’ favorable policies to accelerate supply-side reform.

Industrial output in Zhejiang province grew 8.9 percent year-on-yea

r in the first quarter, compared with the 7.3 percent it recorded for all of 2018 and faster

than its 2019 target, Huang said, without specifying the province’s growth goal.

“We are in the critical stage of industrial upgrading and seeking high-quality development. The upb

eat readings will continue boosting market expectations and confidence,” he added.

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ctural reform and consolidate outcomes in its efforts to cut overcapac

ity, reduce excess inventory, deleverage entities and lower costs, the statement said.

More efforts will also be made to strengthen the dynamics of micro-entities, im

prove industry chains and ensure unimpeded flow of goods and services in the national economy.

The meeting also pledged major new outcomes through enhanced reform and opening-up.

More work will be done to seize new opportunities, improve scientific

and technological innovation capacity and speed up green development, said the st

atement, which also stressed the need for the country to take part in the reform of the global economic governance system.

It is also important to resolutely guard against the practice of forma

lities for formalities’ sake and excessive bureaucracy, as well as prevent fraud to ens

ure implementation of requirements set in the Central Economic Work Conference.

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A slew of new policies aimed at encouraging consumption

in key sectors will be unveiled soon, China Securities Journal reported.

China’s retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.3 pe

rcent year-on-year to 9.78 trillion yuan ($1.46 trillion) in the January-M

arch period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). In March alone, retail sales went up 8.7 pe

rcent to 3.17 trillion yuan, quickening from the 8.2-percent rise seen in the first two months.

In recent years, the government has, on the one hand, frequently intro

duced policies to promote opening-up, increase import and improve consumer welfare. On

the other hand, it has reduced and scrapped import tariffs on some consumer goo

ds. This has played an active role in consumption, Lian Ping, chief economist at Bank of Comm

unication said, adding that consumption still is the key driver for economic growth.

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service consumption accounting for 47.7 percent, up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year

. Meanwhile, sluggish auto consumption dragged the whole consumption growth.

The continuous decline of auto consumption has become

a key for stabilizing this year’s consumption, said Liu Xiaoguang, a resear

cher at the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China.

Mao Shengyong, spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics, recently said t

hat based on March data, auto production fell, however, the drop was narrowing.

The National Development and Reform Commission was reportedly considering a sl

ew of new measure to boost spending on automobiles, home appliances and consum

er electronics products. It has sent a draft plan to encourage consumption in the three sectors.

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ld shoulder the historical responsibility of leading the people in realizing national indep

endence, people’s liberation, national prosperity and happiness for the people, Xi said.

By doing so, it should be made clear why socialism has taken root and continues to improve and de

velop in China so as to guide people to draw lessons and wisdom from history, and foster stronger confi

dence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, he added.

He called for in-depth studies of the great significance of patriotism, progress, democracy and science advocated in the movem

ent so that its spirit can motivate young people to make unremitting contributions to national rejuvenation.

Xi also underscored the importance of responding to why the theme of contemporary Ch

inese youth movements should be to strive to achieve the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, require all aspects of socie

ty to care for and serve the youth, and also create a sound environment for them to develop, innovate and undertake pioneering work.

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tory as a mirror, and combining their personal ideals with the dream of national rejuvenation, Hu Xianzhong, a senior re

searcher at the China Youth and Children Research Center, said in an article published by China Youth Daily on Sunday.

Since the movement began nearly a century ago, the country’s youth

has been collectively marching with the times and the people under the leadership of the C

PC-whether in periods of revolution, construction, or in the nation’s campaign of reform and openingup, Hu said.

As the centenary of the movement draws near, a good understanding of its history will make yout

hs know more about why their futures are closely connected with the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation so that

they will find their niches and play bigger roles in the country’s socialist cause, he added.

Chen Yuhao, a postgraduate student at the U

niversity of International Business and Economics, said the spirit of patriotism, progress, democracy and s

cience is still the core value of Chinese youth, and should be upheld and carried forward in the new era.

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Country may soon adopt revision to pave way for capital market reform

The top legislature deliberated on the draft revision of the Securities Law over the weeke

nd, signaling China may soon adopt the revision to pave the way for key capital market reforms, experts said.

On Saturday, the draft revision was submitted to a bimonthly s

ession of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for a third reading, Xinh

ua News Agency reported. The session began on Saturday and continues through Tuesday.

Revision of the fundamental law governing the capital market h

as lasted for six years, with 2015 and 2017 having seen readings of two draft versions.

“The latest draft version is of great importance because it will provide legal grounds for the registration-based initial pub

lic offering system-a key reform that China’s capital market has been awaiting for years,” said Dong Dengxin, director of th

e Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.

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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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the explosion sites, the police said.Television footage showed ambulances r

ushing the injured to the Colombo National Hospital, the Batticaloa Hospital in

the east and the Negombo Hospital on the outskirts of the capital where the explosions took place.

There has been no claim of responsibility so far for the multiple blasts.

In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north o

f Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters.

Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.

One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.

St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Fa

cebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.

Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 percent are Buddh

ist, 12.6 percent Hindu, 9.7 percent Muslim, and 7.6 percent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 cen

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Qiu Yanpeng (middle), deputy commander of the PLA Navy, attends a press confer

ence for the upcoming multinational naval activity to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liber

ation Army Navy at the press center in Huanghai Hotel in Qingdao, Shandong province, Ap

ril 20, 2019. About 200 journalists from home and abroad attended the press conference.Chinese Navy

will send 32 warships and 39 aircraft to take part in a joint sea parade in waters near Qingdao.

Nearly 20 ships from about 10 countries will participate in t

he sea parade on Tuesday, deputy commander of the PLA Navy Qiu Yanpeng said.

A Singapore Navy frigate arrived on Friday in Qingdao, Shan

dong province, becoming the first foreign warship to arri

ve ahead of a grand event to honor the 70th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

The PLA Navy will hold multinational naval activities in Qingdao and nearby waters from

Monday to Thursday to celebrate its founding anniversary. They will include a joint sea parade, high-level sympo

siums, public tours of ships, military music performances and other cultural exchanges.

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