Other commonly used disaggregated growth meas

ures are consistent with the top-line measured GDP growth number. For example, production and

supply of electricity, thermal power, gas and water increased by 7.1 percent in the quarter. Pl

us, value-added index of transport, storage and post increased by 7.3 percent.

A closer look at the highest growth sectors shows that the economy is moving toward the long-term goal of shif

ting away from a development strategy based on heavy investment in industry and

infrastructure to one based on services and domestic consumption. Also, more productive industries that tur

n out higher-value added goods are growing at a much faster rate than traditional heavy industry.

Among large companies, State-owned enterprises grew 4.5 percent yea

r-on-year while shareholding enterprises grew almost twice as fast, at 7.8 percent. So, stro

ng progress is being made toward the goal of promoting private enterprise, which was re

inforced by many policies announced at last month’s meeting of the National People’s Congress.

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And, despite ongoing tensions, the total value of impo

orts and exports rebounded sharply in March, reaching 9.6 percent higher than March 2018. S

o, overall trade grew by 3.7 percent year-on-year in the quarter despite low growth rates in January and Febru

ary. Exports of electrical and mechanical products, which are higher value added, grew by 5.4 percent in the qua

rter. And, private sector trade grew 9.9 percent, far more than the overall growth rate.

I am worried to see that total investment in real estate grew by 11.8 per

cent year-on-year. Having lived through the 2008 finan

cial crisis in the United States, I’m wary of continued high investment in real estate in a time when property prices are al

ready astonishingly high and China’s living space per person has already surpassed that in Europe.

The bottom line is that fiscal and monetary policies combined with policies to promote structural transformation have

achieved a stable macroeconomic situation and steady movement toward supply side upgrading.

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The annual report estimates that total electricity cons

umption in 2019 is expected to grow 5.8 percent. Demand for coal is expected to hit 3.95 billion

tons, with the power sector still playing a significant role in the consumption of coal.

Consumption of oil is predicted to reach 620 million tons, up 1.6 percent year-on-year, while

the growth rate for natural gas consumption is expected to slow, with an annual consumption of 310 billi

on cubic meters in 2019, up 10.4 percent year-on-year, it said.The 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Ex

hibition (Expo 2019 Beijing) opens to visitors Monday, and will showcase a wide variety of flowers, fruits, vegetables and

herbs from across the world, including more than 300 rare and endangered plant species.

Nearly 20,000 volunteers across media, translation and giving directio

ns will work at the 162-day event, running April 29 – Oct 7. Click to watch their greetings in s

even languages: Chinese, English, Russian, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.

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Noting that China has the world’s biggest middle-incom

income population, Xi said that China would open up its market continuously and welcome quality products from around the world.

China does not pursue a trade surplus intentionally, and it would like to import more com

petitive farm products, finished products and services to promote the balance of trade, Xi said.

China will promote greater openness in modern services, manufacturin

g and agriculture, allow foreign capital to hold the controlling share in more areas and buil

d some new free trade pilot zones to further ease market access for foreign capital, he said.

China will speed up making relevant rules and regulat

ions and ensure the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, Xi said, adding that the cou

ntry will push forward supply-side structural reform through fair competition and international cooperation.

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Xi stressed the importance of fulfilling bilateral and

 multilateral trade agreements, saying that Chinese people value a promise as much as tons of gold.

China pays close attention to building a law-based government, abolishing improper r

ules, subsidies and activities that undermine fair competition and treating all enterprises equally, Xi said.

The president highlighted building infrastructure of high quality, sustain

ability, risk resilience, reasonable pricing, inclusiveness and accessibility under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Infrastructure is a bottleneck in the development of many nations

, Xi said, and building infrastructure can help countries give full play to their ad

vantages in resources and better integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains.

Xi called on countries to uphold multilateralism, promote green devel

opment and fight corruption with zero tolerance in the process of building the Belt and Road.

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China welcomes financial institutions around the worl

 to participate in financing Belt and Road projects, Xi said, adding that multiple participants will bring common benefits.

Xi announced that China will support 5,000 people from innovative sectors in Belt and Road

countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research in the next five years.

Xi called for joint efforts to facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectio

nism, saying that the flow of products, funds, technology and people can propel forces for economic growth.

According to Xi, more than 150 countries and internat

ional organizations have signed cooperation documents to jointly build the Belt and Road.

The BRI has opened new space for global economic growth and

built a new platform for international trade and investment, Xi said.

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Pledges at forum draw overseas experts’ praise

The international community has hailed President Xi Jinping’s call on Friday to ease market

access for foreign capital and increase imports so that opening-up reaches a higher level.

Xi said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the S

econd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing that the purpose of buil

ding the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

China will increase its imports of goods and services and will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.

Francis Chua, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commer

ce and Industry, noted Xi’s emphasis on quality imports and state-of-the-art products.

“China will keep its commitments,” said Chua, who was attending the forum as a member of the Philippine business delegation.

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delivers keynote speech at second B&R forum

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt

and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday. Here are the highlights.

Belt and Road opens up new space for global economic growth

Joint building of the Belt and Road has opened up new space for the world’s economic grow

th. It also created a new platform to boost international trade and investment, expanded new practices to optim

ize the global economic governance, and made new contributions to improving people’s well-being of all countries.

High-quality development of Belt and Road stressed

The principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits should be uphel

d. The open, green and clean approaches should be adhered to. The goals of high-standard, livelihood-impro

ving and sustainable development should be achieved.High-quality, sustainable infrastructure under BRI highlighted

Infrastructure is the cornerstone of connectivity

and a bottleneck of development confronting many countries. Bui

lding infrastructure with such standards can help countries give full play to their advantages in resources and b

etter integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains for interconnected development.

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China to support 5,000 people for BRI innovation excha

China will support 5,000 people from innovation sector in Belt and Road countries i

n conducting exchanges, training programs and joint researches in the next five years.

Sustainable development under BRI stressed

China will work with other parties to promote a coalition of sustainab

le cities and an international coalition for green development under the Belt and Road Initiative.

China to invite 10,000 representatives of political parties, think tanks, NGOs from B&R countries

A total of 10,000 representatives of political parties, think ta

nks and non-governmental organizations from count

ries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative will be invited to China for exchanges in the next five years.

China to allow foreign businesses in more sectors with controlling or full stake

China will allow foreign investors to operate businesses in more sec

tors with controlling or full stake. China will roll out a new batch of pilot free trade zones.

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Last year, we issued an announcement offering op

portunities for all UN member states to propose experiments they want to conduct using China’s space station,” said Simone

tta Di Pippo, director of the UNOOSA. “We have received more than 40 proposals before the deadline for sub

mission. We will announce the winners probably by the end of June after evaluation.” Di Pippo said these on the sideli

nes of the fourth China Space Day on April 24 to mark the anniversary of the country’s first satellite launch in 1970.

Moreover, Pakistan intends to send one of their astronauts to China’s space station by 2022, A

mer Nadeem, chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in Pakistan, said after

the opening ceremony of China Space Day in Changsha, Hunan province, on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, the agreement on the matter will be signed very soon. We will select the candidates based on the agreement. Also, they

will come to China for some parts of the training,” Nadeem said. He added that Pakistan and China will furth

er enhance cooperation on several space projects focusing on satellite networks in future.

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