April 2019

nitiative proves worth as welcome public good: China Da

Convening nearly 40 foreign leaders and representatives from more than 150 countries, th

e Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which opens in Beijing on Thursday, testifi

es to a growing aspiration for collaboration amid rising unilateralism and protectionism.

The conspicuous increase in the size of foreign participation com

pared with the inaugural forum two years ago corrobo

rates United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ earlier comment that the Belt and Road Initia

tive, like the UN Millennium Development Goals, is a public good for the entire world.

Since President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013, some pe

ople have tried to persistently frame them as geopolitical tools. While such a label and subsequent fearmong

ering have stirred up worries in the ill-informed, they can’t hoodwink those with insight.

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He said that from a long-term perspective, populat

ion determines economic growth. Even though it will take some time, the large number of people i

n BRI-related economies will ultimately prove the potential for economic development in those countries.

Ma Yu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperatio

n, said the BRI provides a new impetus for the recovery of the world economy. The improvement in infra

structure, and digital-related manufacturing brought by the BRI will restore the development capacity of the worl

d economy and bring new opportunities for the partnership between Chinese and local companies.

Also on Monday, the Office of the Leading Group for Promoting the Belt and Road Initiative

released an official report on the development, achievements and prospects of the BRI.

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China will improve the market environment for c

 car sales and expand the supply of automobiles as part of its latest efforts to boost auto consum

ption, Gao Feng, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference early this month.

By the end of 2018, China’s six cities namely Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Tianijin carried

out the purchase restriction of fuel-powered passenger cars, said Shao Jiang, an analyst at Everbright Securities. “If thes

e cities double their rising number of new cars, it could bring a 2.8 percent year-on-year growth for the wh

ole passenger car market.”Editor’s Note: The eight explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday have claimed more tha

n 300 lives and left over 500 people injured. A ninth explosion was reported on Monday near a church in Colombo, but n

one was reported killed or injured. The Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombings on Tue

sday. Two experts share their views on the attacks with China Daily’s Liu Jianna. Excerpts follow

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Air tickets, homestays sold out for May Day holiday

A travel rush is expected for the upcoming May Day holiday, a

s air tickets and high-speed railway tickets on multiple routes were sold out, while ho

mestay hotels at destinations including Beijing and Shanghai were fully booked.

While only one week away, the May Day holiday this year is extended to fo

ur days – one day more than last year – and will see a travel craze comparable to that  ty

pically seen during China’s Spring Festival, a traditional holiday for family reunion.

According to Qunar, one of China’s largest online travel agencies, quite a few people chose to take a few days off before or af

ter the May 1 to 4 holiday, so that they can enjoy a journey lasting upwards to nine days.

The travel rush is expected to come as early as April 27, and will reach a climax on April 29 and 30.

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Such studies must aim to make it clear why the CPC coul

ld shoulder the historical responsibility of leading the people in realizing national indep

endence, people’s liberation, national prosperity and happiness for the people, Xi said.

By doing so, it should be made clear why socialism has taken root and continues to improve and de

velop in China so as to guide people to draw lessons and wisdom from history, and foster stronger confi

dence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, he added.

He called for in-depth studies of the great significance of patriotism, progress, democracy and science advocated in the movem

ent so that its spirit can motivate young people to make unremitting contributions to national rejuvenation.

Xi also underscored the importance of responding to why the theme of contemporary Ch

inese youth movements should be to strive to achieve the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, require all aspects of socie

ty to care for and serve the youth, and also create a sound environment for them to develop, innovate and undertake pioneering work.

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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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Since clinical trials are a key part of development, a ne

 rule has been added stating that such tests should also follow ethical pri

nciples. It also clarified the responsibilities of the ethics review board.

Researchers should also explain the risks of an experiment to test participants and obtain their consent before proceeding.

The draft laws are the latest by Chinese authorities to encourage responsible research practices and increase the effe

ctiveness of the nation’s oversight in scientific research, especially those related to humans.

Experts said the regulations have been long-awaited in the scienti

fic community, and they are curious to see future details and its effects on their research.

Huang Yu, deputy director of the medical genetics department at Peking University, said it used to be difficult to h

old violators of research ethics accountable because of a lack of clear legal rules.

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Two Chinese nationals were confirmed killed, the

Chinese Embassy in Colombo said.The embassy is verifying the number of Chinese injured in the attacks.

Earlier information from the embassy said that four Chinese nationals were injured

in the multiple church and hotel explosions that ripped through the island nation on the Easter day.

The Chinese Embassy has activated an emergency response mechanism immediately a

fter the blasts, and embassy officials have visited the injured who were in hospital for treatment.

Curfew and ban on social media imposed

The government has imposed a nationwide curfew from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am local time on Monday.

The Sri Lankan government has also imposed a temporary ban on social media to prevent the spread of false information.

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More than 500 cases have been handled through the

WTO dispute settlement system. Although the rulings are not bindi

ng, most WTO members take them seriously and view the process as a normal part of their

participation in the multilateral trading system, regardless of whether they win or lose any particular case. In do

ing so, they show their respect for the WTO’s principles of consultation and consensus.

China had filed 17 cases with the WTO as of Ap

ril 2018, of which eight had been closed. At the same time, 27 cases had been filed a

gainst China with 23 closed. The United States has had more cases filed against it than any other member state

in the WTO, and it lost quite a number of these cases. In 2016, for example, the WTO ruled against the Unite

d States with regard to a complaint from China in 2013 that it had violated WTO rules by imposing anti-dumping duties

on a number of industries, including machinery, electronics, light industry, metals, and mining.

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Wheat growing on a farm in Huai’an, Jiangsu province

A threat to the viability of the current WTO dispute settlement system is the unilateralism and

protectionism of the United States. Specifically, this mechanism is in crisis because the Unit

ed States has prevented the appointment of new judges to the appellate body. Experts have warned that if th

e appellate body were to shut down because of a lack of judges, global trade governance will be put back 20 years.

Of course the WTO also needs to continually reforming itself so that it can keep up w

ith the times, and many countries have put forward relevant suggestions. For instance, the European Uni

on has released a paper putting forth ideas for a comprehensive modernization of the WTO, and the United States, Eur

ope, and Japan have together submitted a their own proposed reforms. And in November last year, China ann

ounced that it supported necessary reforms of the WTO and raised five proposals that aim to firmly uphold the rules-ba

sed multilateral trading system, resist protectionism, and let the WTO play a bigger role in world trade.

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