Medical experts said bills for patients requiring 29

of the 55 rare disease medicines available on the Chinese mainland

have been partly or fully covered by the country’s medical insurance system.

The average medical bill for rare disease patients is 200,000 yuan ($

29,700) a year and more than 40 percent of patients have received no medical tre

atment due to the high prices, according to Li Linkang, China Alliance of Rate Diseases executive director.

Biogen, the United Sates-based pharmaceutical compa

ny that developed the drug, said that it is talking to the C

hinese government, the medical and patient communities, and charitable orga

nizations in a bid to establish a co-payment system to make the drug available to more patients.

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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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They maintained that Belt and Road construction wi

l make positive contributions in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.

The leaders also pledged to pursue trade and investment liberalization

and facilitation, reject protectionism and unilateralism and uphold the rule-based mul

tilateral system with the World Trade Organization at the center, according to the communique.

Xi told reporters that the consensus reached by the leaders has set the right course for the development of the BRI.

Our shared goal is that we work together to make the interconnectivity among various countries more efficient, foster mo

re robust economic growth, develop even closer international cooperation and enable people to live a better life, he said.

Xi also said BRI cooperation projects will be market-based. To ensure s

ustainable development, the leaders agreed to promote a level playing field for business com

munities and create a nondiscriminatory business environment, he said.

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Xi said China’s moves to boost opening-up follow from

 an independent choice based on the objective need of the country’s reform and development.

This is helpful in promoting high-quality growth, meeting the people’s need

s for a better life and promoting peace, stability and development of the world, he said.

China also hopes that other countries will create a good investment environment, treat Chinese enterpris

es, students and scholars equally and create a friendly environment for their normal international exchange activities, Xi said.

Xi pledged to take stronger measures to promote international cooperation in protecting intellectual pro

perty, which he said is not only crucial to protecting the legal rights of companies but also to promoting high-quality growth.

China will enhance policy coordination with the world’s major economic entities and j

ointly promote the robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the global economy, he 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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delivers keynote speech at second B&R forum

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt

and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday. Here are the highlights.

Belt and Road opens up new space for global economic growth

Joint building of the Belt and Road has opened up new space for the world’s economic grow

th. It also created a new platform to boost international trade and investment, expanded new practices to optim

ize the global economic governance, and made new contributions to improving people’s well-being of all countries.

High-quality development of Belt and Road stressed

The principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits should be uphel

d. The open, green and clean approaches should be adhered to. The goals of high-standard, livelihood-impro

ving and sustainable development should be achieved.High-quality, sustainable infrastructure under BRI highlighted

Infrastructure is the cornerstone of connectivity

and a bottleneck of development confronting many countries. Bui

lding infrastructure with such standards can help countries give full play to their advantages in resources and b

etter integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains for interconnected development.

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Last year, we issued an announcement offering op

portunities for all UN member states to propose experiments they want to conduct using China’s space station,” said Simone

tta Di Pippo, director of the UNOOSA. “We have received more than 40 proposals before the deadline for sub

mission. We will announce the winners probably by the end of June after evaluation.” Di Pippo said these on the sideli

nes of the fourth China Space Day on April 24 to mark the anniversary of the country’s first satellite launch in 1970.

Moreover, Pakistan intends to send one of their astronauts to China’s space station by 2022, A

mer Nadeem, chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in Pakistan, said after

the opening ceremony of China Space Day in Changsha, Hunan province, on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, the agreement on the matter will be signed very soon. We will select the candidates based on the agreement. Also, they

will come to China for some parts of the training,” Nadeem said. He added that Pakistan and China will furth

er enhance cooperation on several space projects focusing on satellite networks in future.

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Leveraging private funds prioritized in BRI projects

China’s financial minister and central bank governor vowed to strengthe

n debt management and leverage more private funds for infrastructure construction un

der the Belt and Road Initiative, suggesting a new framework to assess debt risks for partner countries on Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance published a debt-sustainability analysis framework for the BRI’s participating economies at the start of t

he Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, a three-day event in Beijing.

Financial institutions of China and other BRI economies are encouraged to use the “nonmandatory” policy t

ool for rating debt risk before making lending decisions. The analysis method is based on in

ternational standards provided by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, according to the ministry.

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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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The two countries should take the opportunity to join

intly build the Belt and Road, deepen mutual political trust and pragmatic cooperation and pr

omote the development of the China-Chile comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, Xi said.

The two countries should promote the upgrading of bilateral tra

de and investment and enhance cooperation in such areas as minerals, clean energy, infor

mation technology, e-commerce, innovation and scientific research on the Antarctic, he said.

Xi called on the two countries to make joint efforts to celebrate the 50th anni

versary of China-Chile diplomatic ties next year and promote people-to-people exchanges.

China supports Chile’s hosting of the United Nations climate change confere

nce and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economic leaders’ meeting this year, Xi said.

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