market confidence in outstanding ways and promoted the stab

le growth of the economy, he said, adding that the positive factors for economic growth are increasing.

Noting that the uncertainties in the global economic environment are also rising and there remai

n downward pressures on the domestic economy, Li called for both attention and confidence from the entrepreneurs.

Related departments should follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Though

t on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, invigorate the market thro

ugh deepening reform and opening-up and ensure the stable growth of the economy, Li said.

He said that tax reduction is the key to improving the business environm

ent and invigorating the market, which will not only stabilize growth and employment bu

t also encourage companies to invest more in innovation for long-term development.

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Those businesses have become the first beneficiaries in

China’s new round of opening-up, Xi said, adding that Switzerland

has also led European Union nations by signing a free-trade agreement with China.

He called upon both sides to give play to the opening-up spirit, which features cooperation and win-win outcomes.

He also pledged that China will continue to create an open and fair b

usiness environment for foreign enterprises, including those from Switzerland.

Maurer said both the Chinese and the Swiss are endowed with a hardworking, reliable and innovative character.

He said Switzerland welcomes investment from Chinese businesses and will not im

pose restrictions. Switzerland is ready to enhance exchanges with China in winter sports, he added.

Maurer also said he is greatly in agreement with speeches de

livered by Xi during the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

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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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Xi shared some of his personal life. He said he has a dee

 interest in philosophy, history, literature, culture, music and sports, and that he first cul

tivated many of these interests back in middle school and they have stayed with him ever since.

His job is serving the people, and he works hard with a busy schedule, but takes great pleasure in his work, Xi wrote.

The Niles North students also inquired whether Xi likes the US.

Xi answered in the letter that he has visited their country many times and is impressed with the “beautiful landscape, hos

pitable people and diverse culture”, and he made a lot of friends, including some young people.

He said the students are “wonderful” and expressed hope that they will make greater progress in studying Chinese.

Learning Chinese will help them better understand China, a

d get acquainted with more Chinese friends and Chinese-speaking friends across the world, Xi said.

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As a prominent expert on China-US studies for decade

 Zhu also was twice denied single-entry visas to the US.

“This shows how the US is trying to block normal social exchanges bet

ween the two countries, an important channel for mutual understanding and trust,” Zhu said.

Besides scholars in social sciences, the US also began last year to make it harder for Chinese graduate students to get visas if they stud

y in “sensitive research fields”. It warned biomedical researchers at US universities to beware of “Chinese spies

trying to steal information from their laboratories”, according to The New York Times report.

Jon Taylor, a professor of political science of the University o

f St. Thomas in Houston, said the decision is “both absurd and exceedingly shortsighted”.

“These scholars and researchers are social scientists with a long history of interactin

g with their American counterparts as well policymakers in both countries,” he said.

“They are scholars teaching and researching what I teach and research. What are they going to steal?”

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Most of the ivory was hidden in an abandoned factory

by the smugglers, Sun said. Busts were made in several locations, which were not disclosed. The case is still under investigation.

Since early this year, 182 smuggling cases involving endangered species have been investigated, the administration said on Monday.

More than 500 tons of endangered animals and animal products were seized, 8.48 t

ons of which was ivory tusks or products made of ivory. In those cases, 171 suspects were detained.

The Chinese government suspended imports of ivory and all ivor

y products in 2015 and ended commercial processing and sale of ivory at the end of 2017.

The ban has had significant positive effects, with fewer people purchasing ivory, according to a report j

ointly released last year by the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, an NGO that tracks the global trade in wild animals.

“We will strengthen our anti-smuggling efforts, continuing to work with international organizations and depart

ments and allowing no tolerance of those illegal activities,” said Hu Wei, deputy director of the administration.

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yers do need their staff to work extra hours to meet pro

 deadlines or fulfill other tasks, they can ask them to work overtime – but not than 36 hours a month and only after consulti

ng and reaching an agreement with the labor union and the workers. More important, empl

oyers have to pay at least 1.5 times the usual salary to the employees for overtime work.

This is to protect the rights, interests and health of the workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has added fuel to the debate, by saying that empl

oyees who get the “opportunity” to work according the “996” schedule are the luc

ky ones, because in many companies employees don’t get the chance to work long hours.

But the fact is, if employers do not meet the two essential requiremen

ts to make employees work overtime – consulting wo

rkers and restricting the amount of extra work – and force the “996” schedule o

n their workers and make them work for more than 60 hours a week, they violate the Labor Law.

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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

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The two countries should walk in the same direction and

d further enhance border management to safeguard the safety and stability of the border region, Xi said.

China-Myanmar relations have developed well in all areas, Xi said, add

ing that the two countries have made new progress in jointly building the Belt and Road.

Cooperation between the two countries and the two armies has maintained sustainable and healthy dev

elopment, Xi said, adding that the visit is expected to bring new progress in their defense and military cooperation.

Min Aung Hlaing said Myanmar and China have a long history of traditional friend

ship, and the two countries and two armies have maintained good development.

Myanmar is grateful for China’s support for the development of the country and the ar

my, he said, adding that Myanmar appreciates China’s support of its domestic peace process.

Myanmar welcomes and supports the building of the Belt and Road, and the country wo

uld like to take effective measures to maintain the stability of the border region, he added.

Min Aung Hlaing is making his fifth visit to China since becoming Myanmar’s commander-in-chief of defense services in 2011.

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Bolstering high-end sectors part of capital’s plan to see

After 40 years of high-speed growth, China’s economy ha

s entered a high-quality development phase. Starting today, China Daily will feature a series of reports to sh

ow the new landscape across the country. This is the first installment of the series.

Beijing’s municipal government has been making efforts to develop high-end industries suc

h as 5G, artificial intelligence and the industrial internet in order to build the city into the nation’s scientific and innova

tion center, which is a core strategy of the capital’s high-quality growth plan, a senior officials said recently.

Lin Keqing, executive vice-mayor of Beijing, said the city is aimin

g to make new information technology and medical health twin drivers of the municipality’s growth.

“Beijing will make better use of resources to develop the biomedical indus

try and extend its value chain,” Lin said. “We have unveiled an international medical-use ro

botics innovation center in Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, and a group of companies in the sector.”

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