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Facts and figures: Belt and Road Initiativetive, proposed

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims at building a

trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the an

cient trade routes of the Silk Road to seek common development and prosperity.

Let’s take a look at some key figures about the initiative.

A new remake of Peking Opera classic Farewell My C

oncubine is expected to premiere for opera lovers in Beijing in late May.

A representative opera piece of the late Chinese theater

mogul Mei Lanfang, Farewell My Concubine tells a love

story based on the legend of Xiang Yu – the warlord of the ancient Chu Kingdom – an

d his beloved consort Yu. Xiang lost a battle for the throne, and Yu committed suicide with his sword.

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However, the consumption structure has changed, with

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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Specifically, the draft likely will and should feature key

 reforms to foster an investor-friendly legal system, represented by strengthened information disclosure, prot

ection of investors’ rights and interests, and crackdown on legal breaches, Liu said.

China must promote the healthy development of the capital m

arket through key institutional innovations, the Political Bureau of the Communist Part

y of China Central Committee, the Party’s core leadership, said a statement released after a meeting on Friday.

Dong said the revised law is likely to be adopted by the end of the first half of the ye

ar, adding it is imperative and possible to expedite rolling out the revised version.

“Previously, controversies over the registration-based IPO system reform ha

ve prolonged the revision process, but now this factor has been largely lifted,” he said.

“As foreign investors are set to play a bigger role in China’s capital

market development, the revised law should also consider clarifying the rights and oblig

ations of overseas investors, to help them form a stable policy expectation,” said Xue Yi, an associate p

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The drafts were presented by the NPC’s law committ

tee to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee during a bimonthly session that began on

Saturday. In August, the Standing Committee began a preliminary review of all six parts and 1,034 items of the civil code.

Another health related item added to the code addressed human testing for new drug

s or treatments. It provides that all activities involving human testing must protect the subject’s health.

These activities include developing new drugs, medical equipment and prevention and treatment methods. They now

require approval from an ethics committee, as well as by competent authorities.

The draft amendment to the Drug Administration Law said the nation should encourage the development of new

drugs, according to Cong Bin, a forensic expert and a senior legislator on the law committee.

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Meanwhile, massive rescue operations are underway at

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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hinese Navy to send huge fleet to take part in sea parade

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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Viewpoint Adding gene-editing in draft civil lawnceptual art

On Saturday, a new item was added to China’s draft civil law, which put

s all medical and scientific research related to human genes and embryos under stricter re

gulation. Two experts shared their views with China Daily’s Zhang Zhouxiang:

One major change this time is that embryos are clearly included in the draft regulation. Actually,

gene-editing of embryos deserves more attention than gene-editing of adults or children.

First, gene-editing of embryos might more easily get out of control an

d pose more risks to the society. The safety of gene-e

diting for embryos remains unknown and the availability limit of the technology needs to be confirmed.

The birth of the twin gene-edited babies in November 2018 sounded an alarming bell to all. If the embr

yos with edited genes are born, how should we protect their rights as citizens? Will they suffer fro

m discrimination? Who will be responsible if the gene-editing causes health problems?

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Thanks to the integration of its online-and-offline bus

inesses, McMillon said brick-and-mortar stores have become hybrid, and forward fulfillment centers.

He said Sam’s Club has been gaining strength in the country. The high-end m

embership store that was launched in China in 1996 has about 2 million members nati

onwide. By 2020, there will be 40 such clubs either in operation or in construction in the country. The format ha

s 23 stores currently in 19 cities stocking quality fresh food and membership products.

Globally Walmart has 11,300 stores, with a third of them large stores.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, in 2018 Walmart’s market share was 5.4 percent, an improvement from t

he 5.2 percent in 2017. Last year it opened 33 new stores, including 21 hypermarkets, four Sam‘s Club and eight compact stores.

Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said Walmart has to roll out

more innovations to further improve its operational efficiency and achieve growth through

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Much work remains in Sino-US trade negotiations

China and the United States have made new progress in negotiating the text of an econom

ic and trade deal, but much work remains to be done, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Negotiating teams from the two countries are hashing out the text of the deal, including

an enforcement mechanism, on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Gao Feng, ministry spokesman.

The remarks came as the world’s two biggest economies have been i

ntensifying their consultations and aiming to break the deadlock in a timely manner.

In the most recent round of trade consultations, the negotiators discussed technolo

gy transfers, protection of intellectual property rights, nontariff measures, the service sector, agriculture, tra

de imbalances and enforcement mechanisms, according to earlier reports.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in a recent white paper that the US business commu

nity in China, long an advocate of good bilateral relations, can no longer be relied on to be a positive anchor.

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Economic structure was further improved during the sa

me period. The value-added high-tech sector’s out

put rose by 7.8 percent, higher than the country’s value-added industrial output.

In the first quarter, the NDRC approved 50 fixed asset investment projects, mainly in th

e fields of energy, transportation and high-tech. The total investment hit 370.3 billion yuan ($55.3 billion).

The NDRC reportedly is considering a slew of new measure to boost spending on automob

iles, home appliances and consumer electronics products. People close to the NDRC said it has sent a draft plan to

encourage consumption in the three sectors, according to a report in the National Business Daily.

The news caused shares of home appliance companies traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen to increase

by 1.47 percent on Thursday, according to Shanghai-based information provider Wind Info.

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