Fiscal spending can directly influence fixed-asset inves

tment, and it could also leverage on more bank lending and attract private funds to increase investment, said Xu.

In the meantime, allowing retail access to local government bonds will help diversify the

investor base and increase market liquidity, said Amanda Du, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

The analyst expected access for retail investors to widen to encompass all local government bonds in 2020.

hina’s economy grew at a faster-than-expected 6.4 percent year-on-year in the first qua

rter, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

The growth was unchanged from that registered in the fourth quarter of last year.

The country’s industrial output posted steady growth in the same period, up by 6.5 percent

year-on-year, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, official data showed.

Fixed-asset investment growth was 6.3 percent in the first quarte

r, compared with 6.1 percent in the first two months, according to the NBS.

Retail sales increased by 8.3 percent year-on-year in the same pe

riod, compared with 8.2 percent in the first two months, the data showed.

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Abe to send envoy to Belt and Road ForumAbe will

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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Military drill near Taiwan ‘necessary’sman for the State Coun

Mainland slams response by island’s leader, who called exercise ‘a threat’

A spokesman for the Chinese mainland said a military drill by Chinese bombers and warships around Taiwan on Monday was routin

e and slammed the island’s administration for misleading the Taiwan people and hyping tensions.

On Monday, various warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircr

aft of the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command conducted “necessary train

ing” around Taiwan as a means to test the joint assault capability between different branches of the military, Senior Colone

l Zhang Chunhui, the theater command’s spokesman, said in a statement on Monday.

The exercise took place in waters east of Taiwan and was part of a scheduled PLA exercise, he said.

“It is completely within the normal legal rights of a sovereign cou

ntry, and it’s beneficial for maintaining peace and security in the Taiwan Straits,” Zhang said.

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He noted that since the first Belt and Road Forum for

 International Cooperation two years ago, more countries and inter

national organizations have joined in the construction of the Belt and Road.

So far, 125 countries and 29 international organiz

ations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, according to Lu.

Among them are 16 Central and Eastern European countries and Gr

eece. Italy and Luxembourg signed cooperation agreements with China last month to join

tly build the Belt and Road. Jamaica also signed similar agreements on Thursday.

During Premier Li Keqiang’s European visit last week, both sides agreed to seek greate

r synergy between the BRI and the European Union’s strategy for connecting with Asia.

Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Comm

unist Party of China Central Committee, said last month that representatives of more than 100 coun

tries, including about 40 foreign leaders, have confirmed their attendance at the Beijing forum.

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Premier Li signs revised regulation on gov’t informati

Premier Li Keqiang has signed a revised regulation on the disclosure

of government information to better respond to public concerns.

The revision, based on the 2008 version, is aimed at increasing openness of government

affairs and resolving prominent problems in government information disclosure.

It also represents the headway and achievements made in this field over the past years and clarified the scope of governm

ent information disclosure, calling for constantly expanding information disclosure.

Stressing the need to improve the legal rights and interests of the a

pplicants and related parties when applying for information disclosure in accordance with pr

ocedures, the revision also made necessary stipulations on the improper exercise of application rights by a small num

ber of applicants affecting the normal conduct of government information disclosure.

Efforts should be made to improve the effectiveness of government information disclosure by using information techn

ology, to enable government information to play its due role in serving the people, it added.

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On investment, members of the cooperation mechan

nism will provide a fair and just environment and a level playing

field for foreign companies doing business in their own countries by upholding the principl

es of mutual respect, mutual benefit and fair competition, according to the guidelines.

On the role and significance of China-CEEC cooperation, the guidelines said the mechan

ism constitutes an important part of Europe-China relationship and complements the EU-China Compre

hensive Strategic Partnership and the EU-China 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

Reaffirming their commitment to deepening their partnership for peace, growth, reform a

nd civilization, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their support for the early conclu

sion of an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, said the guidelines.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, the participants said they recognize the importance

of the initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and welcome forging synergies between them.

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They are willing to conduct cooperation using the

rtunities provided by the initiative and the strategy, which for the EU me

mber states would also complement relevant EU initiatives, said the guidelines.

Announcing that 2020 will be the Year of China-CEEC Agricultural Diversity Cooperation, the p

articipants said they support expansion and deepening of cooperation in sustainable agriculture through

academic discussions, project docking, talent training and exhibitions as well as forums.

More Chinese people take trips during holidays compared to 10 years ago, according to official statistics and academic reports.

Both the number of domestic and outbound tourists have seen

a steady increase from 2008 to 2018, with the number of domestic tourists rocketing from

merely 1.71 billion in 2008 to a stunning 5.54 billion in 2018, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.

Tourists in China have become more active in spending their public

holidays on traveling, according to a report from China Tourism Academy.

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At least 2 killed in aircraft collision in Nepal’s Lukla airport

At least two people were killed after an aircraft of Summit Air collided with a helico

pter at Lukla Airport in Nepal on Sunday morning, according to local authorities.

Locals said a Summit Air plane with call sign 9N-AMH collided with a helicopter of Manang Air, which was parked within the airport premise.

“At least two persons have been dead, while few others are injured,” local media rep

orted. It has been reported that the Summir Air plane was en route to Kathmandu from Lukla.

The detail of casualties has yet to be ascertained.

Lukla airport is the nearest airport to the world’s highest peak Mou

nt Qomolangma, while April-May is the peak climbing season in the Himalayan country.

In the springtime, domestic airline companies conduct over 50 flights everyday to Lu

kla, known as Tenzing Hillary airport, featuring vibrant terrains and harsh weather patterns.

Due to the extreme wind pressure, all round-trip flights are usually operated in the morning

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Military aircraft exhibition opens in Xi’an display at the

Aviation Industry Corp of China, the country’s leading aircraft manufacturer, on Sunday launched an ex

hibition park in Xi’an, Shaanxi province.The park is located in an aviation industry compound in Xi’a

n’s northeastern suburb and showcases 16 aircraft used in flight testing.The exhibits represent prototypes of the Chinese military’s major aircraft down

through the years, including the CJ-6 basic trainer, J-7 fighter jet, KJ-2000 early-warning and control plane, as well

as the Z-10 attack helicopter.A J-8II fighter jet is on display at the exhibition park that opened to the public on Sunday in X

i’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province. Photo by Zhao Lei/chinadaily.com.cnThese aircraft contri

buted significantly to China’s aviation industry and flight test endeavors, and highlight the growth of the co

untry’s aviation sector, according to an Aviation Industry Corp of China statement.In addition to the aircraft, the par

k also features relief sculptures depicting the histories of Chinese planes’test flights.

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When he took up residence inside the Ecuadorian Em

mbassy in 2012, it was to avoid answering the sexual allegations against him in Sweden, which had sought his extraditi

on for questioning. He also sought refuge because of fears he would ultimately be extradited to the US

Swedish prosecutors opened an investigation into Assange af

ter two women accused him of sexual offenses during a 2010 visit to Sweden.

Some of the sexual misconduct accusations are no longer viable because their time ran out. But Swedish prosecutors

have said a rape case could be reactivated before the statute of limitations ends in August 2020.

After Assange’s arrest, Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson was tapped to look

into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers to find out whether the case can be pursued.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported bei

ng raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she w

ould “do everything” to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted.

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