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Wang stressed if one side is trying to place extreme press

extreme pressure on the other, it will cause a legitimate counterattack.

“The measures from us are not only to safeguard China’s own rights, b

ut to protect the basic rules of the current multilateral trading mechanism,” Wang said.

Wang made the remark in a joint news conference with his Russian

counterpart Sergei Lavrov during his visit to the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi.

Experts warned that the rising US tariffs on Chinese imports risks a full-blown trade war, which will bring harm to both sides.

Major Wall Street stock indexes declined more than 2 percent on Monday, followi

ng China’s announcement of countermeasures in response to Washington’s latest tariff move.

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Disaster-proofing the world’s largest infrastructure ini

nitiative is a challenge, but achievable,” she said, adding that at the heart of this challenge lies great potenti

al for innovation and creativity, such as new disaster risk prediction and analysis, and disaster-resilient infrastructures.

Huang Runqiu, vice-minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said dis

aster risk reduction of natural hazards along the initiative is crucial for its success and sustainability.

Regions at the heart of the initiative, such as the Tianshan-Pamir Platea

u, the Himalayas, eastern parts of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and South Asia, are facing serio

us disaster threats due to tectonic movements, fragile ecosystems and extreme weather, he said.

Henrik Slotte, a senior disaster management expert from the UN Environm

ent Program, said poorly managed infrastructure projects can damage the ecosystem.

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The Organizing Committee on Friday also unveiled its

 plans for volunteer recruitment and training. International recruit

ment, which will be launched in December through an online system, aims to select 27,000

volunteers to directly serve the Games’ operation, while another 80,000 or so will work as city volunteers.

The Games’ official mascot will be unveiled in the second half of this year.

hina expects to participate in more international assessments of t

he impacts of climate change and human activities on Arctic ecosystems, a senior official said.

Protection of Arctic species and the natural restoration of ecosystems can be a key in such cooperation, said Wang Hong,

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ent Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony of the

hina will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale. China will further lower its tariff rates.

China not to adopt beggar-thy-neighbor currency devaluation

China will continue to improve the exchange rate formation mechanism of its curren

cy, the renminbi, and keep the exchange rate generally stable on a reasonable and balanced level.

China establishes mechanism for fulfilling international agreements

China attaches great importance to the establishment of a constrain

t mechanism for the fulfillment and implementation of international agreements, and the modi

fication and improvement of laws and regulations in accordance with the need of further opening-up.

Fair treatment to Chinese enterprises, students, scholars abroad called for

All countries should create a sound investment environment, and treat Chinese e

nterprises, students and scholars abroad as equals. All countries should provide a fair and friendly envir

onment for them to carry out normal international exchanges and cooperation.

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The origins of modern surveillance states can be trace

 back to the US government’ s military occupation of the Philippines in the 1890s. Christ

opher J. Coyne, a professor at George Mason University in the United States sai

d in the book Tyranny Comes Home that under the leadership of Ralph Van Deman, the father of US military int

elligence, the American occupier established an advanced monitoring agency at the time to suppress rebels and dissidents.

In May 1917, Vanderman took charge of the Military Intelligence Section (

MIS), a similar surveillance facility in the United States, and which would eventually evo

lve into the US National Security Agency (NSA). In 1955, the United States further launched an intelligence gat

hering and analysis network consisting of five English-speaking countries: the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Thi

s is the so-called “five-eye alliance.” As a result, the five countries can globally intercept and monitor telephone exc

hanges, faxes, mails and other information transmitted by satellite communications.

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Overall, the country’s industrial output grew 6.5 percent

year-on-year in the first quarter, compared with 5.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The ministry said more than two-thirds of enterprises it surveyed received ample orders to

keep factories busy after the Spring Festival break, also signifying an upward trend.

Qu Xianming, an expert at the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee, s

aid the sound performance in the first quarter is the result of improved market expecta

tions and it mirrors the resilience and sustainability of the country’s manufacturing sector.

“The central government said in March that it would slash the value-a

dded tax rate of 16 percent in manufacturing to 13 percent. Such an aggressive cut sends a strong

positive signal to companies, which has motivated them to accelerate production and intensify investment,” Qu said.

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The two nations should also further exchanges and

cooperation in areas including education, culture, science and technology as well as ensuring the success of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism events, he said.

Ardern expressed her appreciation for Xi’s condolences and support foll

owing the terrorist attack in Christchurch, adding that her choice to proceed with the vi

sit despite the event “does reflect the value New Zealand places on its relationship with China”.

She called the bilateral relationship “one of our most important a

nd far-reaching relationships”, a point she said she has made in speeches over the past year.

She said she hopes that through the visit, the two nations can strengthen their bilateral co

mprehensive strategic partnership and deepen cooperation in trade and people-to-people exchanges.

She also reiterated New Zealand’s adherence to the one-China p

olicy and its independent foreign policy, as well as its firm support for multilateralism and free trade.

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In recent years, some US Congress members have been trying

trying to foment trouble across the Taiwan Straits. The US has already made a highly provocative move by

introducing the Taiwan Travel Act a year ago, as it allows high-level diplomatic exchanges between the US and the island. And now som

e in the US say Tsai, who doesn’t acknowledge the 1992 Consensus that there is only one China, should be invited to visit the US Congress.

By suggesting such an outrageous idea, these people are playing with fire, because if Tsai were

to visit the US, Sino-US relations would suffer a serious blow, and the security and stability across the Straits would be damaged.

US must not worsen already tense situation

To make matters worse, last week the US and Taiwan announced the launch of a new “dialogue

mechanism” to achieve closer “bilateral cooperation” and to defend and promote “shared values”. Titled

the “Indo-Pacific Democratic Governance Consultations”, the new “dialogue mechanism” is aimed at “exploring” way

s to increase “US-Taiwan exchanges” and pursue joint projects, said Brent Christensen, the highest-ranking US official posted in Taiwan.

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New cross-border bridge to boost China-Vietnam trade

The Second Beilun River Bridge opened to traffic on March 19. It connects the Chinese city of Dongxing with the Vietn

amese city of Mong Cai, two important trade cities along the border between the two countries.

The new bridge spans 549 meters across the border river between China and Vietnam and is built to the first-class high

way standard. Construction started in 2014 and was completed in late 2017, costing a total of 220 million yuan ($33 million).

The bridge will greatly alleviate traffic burden on the First Beilun River Bridge three kilometers away, whi

ch was previously the only means of shipping personnel and cargo to or from Dongxing Checkpoint.

Statistics from immigration authorities show that 12.19 million people and 47,05

6 vehicles passed over the old bridge in 2018, far beyond its maximum capacity.

The new bridge is now designated for freight vehicles, while the First Be

ilun River Bridge is reserved for personnel. This could save 30 minutes or more in custo

ms clearance time for each consignment, according to Huang Xiong, deputy chief of Dongxing Customs.

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cel Hirscher has won eight straight World Cup overall titles but

  On the men’s circuit, Marcel Hirscher is arguably the greatest ski

racer there has ever been, but he hinted in Andorra his stellar career could be nearly over.

  The Austrian great has sealed an unprecedented eighth World Cup season

overall title as well as a sixth giant slalom season crown and fifth in a row.

  But the 29-year-old was unimpressed with his lackluster sixth place in the final

World Cup giant slalom of the season Saturday.

  ”If I ski further I have a lot of work to do,” he told Eurosport in the finish area in Soldeu.

  ”Before I have to have a clear mind and maybe as well I have to make the

right decision for the future what are my plans for the upcoming season.”

  Hirscher, whose wife Laura gave birth to the couple’s first child last year, has won 67 Wo

rld Cup races to sit third on the all-time list behind American Lindsey Vonn (82)

and Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark (86).

  The Austrian star, who has also wrapped up a third straight slalom crown and sixth in to

tal, admitted at last month’s World Championships in Sweden that it could

be his last appearance at the biennial event.

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