The country will further open up its financial sector and

accelerate the process to fully lower the market access threshold for foreign investments in

banking, securities and insurance, the premier said. Service sectors, including medical care and educ

ation, will be opened up along with transportation, infrastructure and energy, he said.

Li said China will further make it easier for foreign companies to set up a venture capital presence and will improve regulati

ons on foreign investors’ strategic investments in listed companies and their mergers with and acquisitions of domestic enterprises.

Also, preferential policies for investments from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan w

ill remain unchanged, and greater development opportunities will be offered for them, Li said.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Center for China and Globalizaton, said he was impressed by Li’s speech to cl

ean up rules and regulations inconsistent with the Foreign Investment Law as well as to launch a more streamlined negative list.

“It shows China’s attitude of further opening-up, which is a higher-level and more concrete commitment of China,” he said.

Leif Johansson, chairman of global biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, said

Li’s speech reflects the determination to create a more open, fair and transpare

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Cooperation is the best choice for China and the US,” Ga

 said. “This is not only beneficial to the two countries and their peoples, but also conducive to the entire world.”

The words came as the US Department of Commerce reported that the US trade deficit with China narrowed by 6.4 perce

nt to $34.5 billion in January. US goods exports to China dropped 22.3 percent to $7.1 billion, the lowest since Sep

tember 2010, and Chinese imports dropped 9.6 percent to $41.6 billion, the Commerce Department said.

The trade imbalance has been at the center of monthslong tensions between China and the US. Other iss

ues at the top of the list for their consultations include technology transfers and protection of intellectual property rights.

Gao said guaranteeing that companies can pursue technical cooperation based on voluntary principles and business rules is cond

ucive to creating a fair and competitive business environment and promoting high-quality economic development.

“It is in line with China’s need to further deepen reform and opening up,” he said.

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isit shows EU seeks deeper cooperationuropean Commiss

Editor’s Note: President Xi Jinping visited Italy, Monaco and F

rance from March 21 to 26. Why is the visit important for China-European Union rela

tions? Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Pan Yixuan. Excerpts follow:

Visit sets positive tones for China-EU relations

Xi’s visit to the three European countries has yielded substantial fruits of cooperation, the most significant being the

signing of a memorandum of understanding between China and Italy paving the way for Italy to participate in th

e China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to promote mutual development.

The cooperation deals in fields such as trade and infrastructure that Italy has signed with

China will help the Italian government to boost the country’s economic recovery. For instance, the exp

ort of Sicily’s red oranges to China by air will be a small but important step toward boosting bilateral trade.

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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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Ceremony held to mourn E China blast victims victims in Yanch

A memorial service was held on Wednesday for victims who died in a chemical plan

t explosion seven days prior in Xiangshui township, Yancheng city, East China’s Jiangsu province.

More than 200 officials, police officers, firefighters, bereaved families and volunteers attended the serv

ice at 7:30 am. The cars at the site honked their horns and attendees presented flowers to pay tribute to the victims.

To date, the deadly explosion of Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co in Yancheng’s Xiangshui county has claimed 78 lives.

According to Chinese tradition, the seventh day after a death marks the height of the mourning period.

subsidies continue gradual phase-out

China will whittle down subsidies on new energy vehicles as the industry develops and cost drops, aiming to boost high-quality development in the NEV sector.

The newest measure will lower subsidy standards for new energy passenger cars, buses and t

rucks, taking factors such as industry growth, cost reduction and subsidy phase-out policies into consideration, the

Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement Tuesday, adding the move was set to bring more competition in the industry.

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Meanwhile, 15.6 percent suffered cyber bullying and

percent encountered illegal or bad information, the report said. And 69.1 percent

know how to protect their rights and interests through the internet and report infringements.

According to the report, 91.9 percent learn relative legal knowledge through offline means, and 72.3 percent learn legal knowledge through the internet.

The report suggests that the regulations on protecting minor netizens should be legislated as soon

as possible. Authorities should enhance content supervision and industry management, regulating ente

rprises to shoulder social responsibly, promote education on the internet among minors and crack down on infringement.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD is starting to cultivate key opinion leaders (KOLs) to build u

p its strength in the field of e-commerce, according to a report by technology media 36kr.

At its JD Shopping Circle, a mini program for WeChat providing a platform for users to post reviews on products and share experiences, JD la

unched a “Super Partner Program”, aiming to incubate online celebrities in the e-commerce sector to take a share of the fan economy.

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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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As if that was not enough of a provocation, Christensen

 said the first consultation will be held in September when a US delegation, led by a senior official fr

om the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, is expected to visit Taipei.

The US has been using one pretext or the other to provoke Beijing and violate the 1979 Joint Commun

iqué. But for the sake of Sino-US relations and regional peace, Washington should realize that instead of gain

ing anything, it would suffer huge economic and political damage by interfering in China’s internal affairs.

Xi’s message of peace and reunification

Delivering a speech to mark the 40th anniversary of the Message to Taiwan Compatri

ots on Jan 2, President Xi Jinping said that, on the basis of the common political foundation of uph

olding the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence”, political parties and people across all sectio

ns of society on both sides of the Straits can recommend their representatives to hold in-depth dem

ocratic consultations and establish institutional arrangements for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

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“If Thailand had not missed several good opportunities, the

 Chinese squad would be in an even more embarrassing position.

“Chinese soccer is no longer among the best in Asia … for a long time now, we have been in the sec

ond tier. Although we call our league the Chinese Super League, the word ‘super’ only exists in the name.”

Retired Chinese international Li Yi, who helped Shenzhen win the 2004 CSL title, also expressed his concern online.

“The current Thailand national team players are all in their prime, and they will be strong opponents for Team China for the next few years,” said Li.

“Now the old generation of Chinese players is retiring, but the young guns still cannot

shoulder the responsibility. The qualifying games for the next World Cup are coming. We must try harder!”

Fans have now seen the home side lose its opening game of the China Cup in three c

onsecutive years-2-0 to Iceland at the inaugural edition in 2017, and 6-0 to Wales last year.

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Researchers have unearthed a trove of well-preserved

fossils representing more than 50 previously undescribed animal species dating back 518 million years.

The soft tissues of their bodies, including muscles, organs, eyes and mouths are still visible in some

of the 4,351 fossils discovered in Yichang, Hubei province, according to a new study published in the journ

al Science on Friday. The excavated fossils represent 109 species, including known jelly fish, arthropods and algae.

Fu Dongjing, associate professor at Northwest University in Xi’an, Shaanxi, also the first author of the paper, said the research g

roup started exploring the ancient ruins in the summer of 2007, in Changyang Tujia autonomous county. It was lo

cated on the bank of Qingjiang River where a representative insect from the Cambrian period was first found.

The new trove of fossils called the Qingjiang biota-the living organisms of a region-ha

ve the potential to greatly inform the understanding of early animal evolution, according to the study.

About 542 million years ago, life on earth diversified at an extremely rapid pace, known as t

he Cambrian explosion. Almost all present animal categories appeared at that time. Many creatures wen

t extinct in the process of evolution, but others became the initial form of future organisms.

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