President hails US high school students’ roles

Mandarin learners encouraged to play parts in fostering bilateral friendship

President Xi Jinping encouraged a group of United States high-school students to boost

friendship between China and the US as he replied to their letter written to him in Chinese.

“I hope you will make the best of your time, study hard and contribute y

our part to a deeper friendship between the people of our two countries,” Xi wrote in th

e letter, saying the young generations represent the future of the Sino-US friendship.

Over 40 students from Niles North High School in the state of Illinois who are studyi

ng Mandarin Chinese recently wrote to Xi, asking about his work, life and hobbies.

They told the Chinese leader in the letter that they are studying Mandarin, and they love the Chinese language, music and cuisine.

In his written response, Xi expressed gratitude to the students for their letter, and said he

can feel from the letter their love of the Chinese language as well as their interest in Chinese culture.

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China releases report on progress, contributions and pro

China on Monday published a report elaborating on the progress, contributions and prospects of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The document, prepared by the office of the leading group for promoting the BRI, was released ahead

of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an initiative for peaceful

development and economic cooperation, rather than a geopolitical or military alliance, said the rep

ort. “It is a process of open, inclusive and common development, not an exclusionary bloc or a ‘China club’.”

“It neither differentiates between countries by ideology nor plays the zero-sum

game. Countries are welcome to join the initiative if they so will,” according to the report.

The BRI has turned ideas into actions and vision into reality, and i

tself into a public product widely welcomed by the international community, the report said.

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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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rime scene officials inspect the explosion area at Shangri-La

Of the dead in the blasts, there are 35 foreigners, the police confirmed. Hospital sources

had earlier said nine foreigners were among those killed while 13 others have been injured.

Airline says flights continue despite curfew

SriLankan Airlines is telling passengers boo

ked on flights out of the country that they will be able to fly despite the curfew imposed.

The carrier says in a statement that travelers on all airlines operating out of Bandaranai

ke International Airport can access the airport by showing their tickets and passports at checkpoints.

The airline says security has been tightened at the airp

ort, and it advises passengers to arrive four hours before their scheduled flights.

Both Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Mi

nister Ranil Wickremesinghe have condemned the attacks and appealed for calm.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said t

he tri-forces and the police are conducting a thorough probe into the explosions.

In a special statement, the police urged the publi

c to stay indoors and not gather at the explosion sites which had been sealed off.

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The first draft also improved rules on developing a m

ulti-layer capital market system, strengthening investor p

rotection, promoting securities industry innovations and enhancing regulation.

New revisions were submitted for a second reading in April 2017 to

improve regulation on such areas as stock trading, acquisitions of listed firms, information disclos

ure and investor protection. The second draft also demanded the State Council to gradually advance the IPO syst

em reform in accordance with authorization granted by the top legislature.

Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language “Commentaries on International Affairs”.

On Thursday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) release

d a panel report on the case the United States lodged in December 2016 against China for its

use of tariff-rate quotas for wheat, rice, and corn. The WTO panel ruled that China’s administration of tariff-rate quo

tas violated its commitment to administer them transparently, while rejecting

the appeal by the American side which demanded that China release the information on tariff-rate quotas.

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The settlement of the dispute over agricultural product

ts between China and the United States is nothing out of the ordin

ary – it is a normal part of China’s engagement with the rules-based trading syste

m. As Mr Pascal Lamy, a former WTO director general put it, “China has delivered an ‘A-pl

us performance’ since its WTO accession,” and no WTO member has been

a perfect performer when it comes to WTO rules as each country has its own interpretation of the rules.

China will regard every dispute settlement within the WTO framework as an opportunity to cont

inuously adjust and improve its trade practices. Through the process, China will consult extensively with oth

er WTO members in order to promote reforms of the WTO that enhance the organization’s authority and effe

ctiveness so that it can better safeguard free trade and the multilateral trading system.

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The meeting highlighted the importance of implementi

ting the spirit of December’s Central Economic Work Conference.

Macro policies should be stable, micro policies should be flexible and social policies should guarantee the basic needs of the grassroots

people, the statement said. Macro policies should focus on promoting high-quality growth and stimulating market vitality.

The importance of manufacturing’s high-quality development in stabilizing economic growt

h was stressed. Traditional industries should be guided to upgrade, and new industries should grow stronger.

The development of small and medium-sized companies and private businesses should be supported through measures like s

peeding up the supply-side structural reform of finance and providing better loan services, the stat

ement said. It also reaffirmed that houses should be used for living rather than for profit.

Reform should be further deepened and opening-up boosted, and forei

gn capital should have bigger access to the Chinese market. Poverty reduction is a key meas

ure of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which must be achieved by the end of next y

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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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All these questions need answers. The draft amendment

comes in time because, if passed, it will provide better regulations of the gene-editing activities over embryos.

Besides, the draft law did not list clearly the definition of gene-edited em

bryos. Technically speaking, if a fertilized egg is genetically edited and grows into an embr

yo, the total process should be considered gene-editing of embryo and put under the regulation of the law.

Zhang Dake, an associate researcher at Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

In the past, “health rights” mainly referred to the right to stay healthy and free from injuries. T

he draft amendment this time follows the latest progresses in genetic technologies by extending its defin

ition to cover genetic resources, and will be a guiding principle for relevant disputes in the future.

More importantly, the civil code is a guiding law for all laws in the ci

vil sector. If the draft amendment passes, more related laws, regulations as well as sta

ndards will be amended or drafted in the future, which is a major progress in legislation.

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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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