hina’s energy consumption hits five-year record

Growth in China’s energy consumption remains robust while the forms

of energy continued to diversify in 2018, according to an annual report on China’s energy devel

opment released Sunday by the China Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute.

Total energy consumed last year reached 4.64 billion metric tons o

f standard coal, a year-on-year growth of 3.3 percent – a five-year record, according to the report.

Consumption of clean energy, including natural gas, hydropowe

r, nuclear power and wind power, accounted for 22.1 perc

ent of energy consumption last year, up 1.3 percent compared with the same period in 2017.

Non-fossil energy accounted for 14.3 percent, up 0.5 percentage points year-on-year, the report said.

China produced 3.77 billion tons of standard coal last year, up 5 percent year-on-year, a seve

n-year high. It has also become the world’s largest natural gas importer, with a heavier reliance on energy imports.

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Those involved in the BRI will strengthen synerg

y in development plans and initiatives of various countries and international organizations and in

tensify bilateral and the third-party market cooperation to help more countries raise their level of connectivity, Xi said.

He added that participants agreed that Belt and Road forums are an important platform for multilateral co

operation and should be held on a regular basis.

President calls for countries’ joint efforts in building Belt, Road in forum speech

President Xi Jinping pledged on Friday to take strong measures such as easing market

access for foreign capital and increasing imports to promote the higher-level opening-up of the country.

While delivering the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the

Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, Xi said that the p

urpose of building the Belt and Road is to achieve win-win cooperation and common development.

China will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale, and it will further lower its tariff rates, Xi said.

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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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Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institut

e of International Affairs, noted Xi’s emphasis on high-quality development, free t

rade and people-to-people bonds, “all of which are sorely needed around the world”.

“The shift toward high-quality development is a natural extension of what China has been doing for the past few ye

ars. Now that the BRI is five years old, it’s about time to upgrade quality joint development,” he said.

“China is trying to address the concerns that have been raised sinc

e the last Belt and Road Forum two years ago. One of these concerns is the need for infr

astructure projects to be more responsive to the local circumstances of BRI member countries.”

Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the EU-China Research Centre at t

he College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, said infrastructure is important for economic gro

wth, so building infrastructure and building connectivity and efficient infrastructure are important.

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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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China looks to strike a balance between meeting finan

ancing needs, sustainable development and debt sustainability, according to Finance Minister Liu Kun.

“We will build a high-standard and high-quality financing system to s

upport long-term and sustainable BRI investment while preventing debt risks,” Liu said.

He suggested promoting financing cooperation for projects in

third-party countries, equity investment and attracting more private funding.

Enhancing debt and risk management is a key consideration for deepening BRI financi

ng cooperation, said Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

“The debt issue in developing countries should be treated objective

ly. If debt growth is accompanied by infrastructure improvement, enhancement of people’s liveliho

ods and productivity and poverty reduction, it will be beneficial for the sustainability of long-term debt,” Yi said.

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The death toll of the multiple explosions which ripp

 through Sri Lanka on Sunday has risen to 359, according to a police report released

on Wednesday. While mourning alongside Sri Lankans, the world community needs to shore up greater reso

lve and build a broader consensus to counter extremism and terrorism worldwide.

The terrorist attacks in various locations in the South Asian country o

n the same day must have required a lot of planning, and i

t is believed they were the result of collaboration between domestic and overseas extremists.

This series of terrorist attacks follows the attacks on two mosques in Christc

hurch, New Zealand, and both tragedies should not only sound the alarm but also rally the

international community to eliminate the terrorist and extremist elements in civil societies.

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he bill establishes a technical assistance mechanism bet

tween law enforcement departments, intelligence agencies and

private institutions. In short, it authorizes Australia’s national law enforcement to issu

e mandatory “Technical Assistance Notices”, “Technical Capability Notices” and “Computer Access and Assistance Ord

ers” to all communication providers. Upon receiving the notification and instruction, the communication provider mu

st undertake a number of activities, for example, decrypting specific communications, installing specific softw

are on the network, modifying or replacing services, providing assistance in accessing facilities, and providing sour

ce code, third-party provider profiles, network device encryption schemes, and more.

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As President Xi has said, the initiative originated from

China, but it belongs to the world. China has put forward the idea of boosting global development vi

a infrastructure connectivity, and is working zealously to translate it into reality. This is based on wha

t the country learned from its own rags-to-riches story, its own experience of the benefits of free trade and inte

rnational cooperation, and on its understanding of the role a responsible major country must play.

The forum’s growing list of distinguished guests is credible testimo

ny that more and more countries appreciate the initiative‘s win-win nature and long-term pote

ntial. With 126 countries and 29 international organizations signing cooperation agreements with China und

er the Belt and Road framework, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank now boasting 97 members, it is m

ore appropriate to call the initiative a global development mechanism than a Chinese one.

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reviews naval parade on 70th birthday of Navy

Xi reviewed 18 vessels from 13 countries invited to participate in a naval parade on Tuesday afternoon.

The foreign vessels in the waters off eastern China’s coastal city of Qingdao saluted

Xi, who was on board the destroyer Xining, in their traditional manners as they passed by.

The destroyer Xining sounded its horn to ret

The vessels whistled and officers and soldiers stood in a ceremonial formation, saluting Xi as they passed by.

“Salute to you, comrades,” Xi called out to the officers and soldiers.

“Hail to you, chairman,” they replied.

Xi alternated the greeting with “Comrades, thanks f

or your hard work,” to which the officers and soldiers replied “Serve the peop

urn the salute, and Xi waved to the naval officers and soldiers aboard the vessels

i onboard the destroyer Xining gave an order to commence the naval parade on the sea off Qingdao at about 2:30 pm Tuesday.

A total of 32 vessels of the People’s Liberation Army Navy sailed in six groups, and 39 warplanes of the navy flew in ten echelons.

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