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At a meeting held in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi, on

n Tuesday afternoon, Xi called for efforts to make new advances in the development of the countr

y’s central region. Xi presided over the meeting, at which he was briefed by the Party secretaries of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, He

nan, Hubei and Hunan provinces, as well as He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Promoting the rise of the central region is an important strategic decis

ion made by the CPC Central Committee, Xi said, adding that it has great significance in ac

hieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

Xi said that although China is still in an important period of strategic opp

ortunity for its development, the country faces an increasingly complicated international situation.

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Weaker economic growth puts at risk essential invest

ments in areas such as education, health, climate change adaptation and sustainable infrastructure.

The growth outlook in all major developed economies and most developin

g regions has weakened due to a confluence of both domestic and external factors, the report said.

Following an expansion of 3 percent in 2018, world gross product growth is now projected to moderat

e to 2.7 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020, reflecting a downward revision from the forecasts released in January.

The report identifies several downside risks that could trigger a sharper or more prolonged growth slowdown, potentially infl

icting significant damage on development progress. Those risks include a further escalation in trade te

nsions, a sudden deterioration in financial conditions, and the accelerating effects of climate change.

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Footwear makers: cut and run from tariffsrtment at the

US sneaker giant Nike and fancy shoemaker Allen Edmonds have joined the chorus of busines

s groups calling for the White House to hit the brakes on its move to raise duties on Chinese shoes an

d other products, further challenging President Donald Trump’s claim that China is paying for the tariffs.

A week after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of goods imported from Chi

na, more than 100 American shoe and sneaker companies, brands and retailers signed an open letter to the president saying the p

olicy “would be catastrophic” for consumers, businesses and the US economy.

“Your proposal to add tariffs on all imports from China is ask

ing the American consumer to foot the bill,” said the letter, dated on Monday and signed by

the companies. It was posted on the website of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA).

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On behalf of our hundreds of millions of footwear cons

sumers and hundreds of thousands of employees, we ask that you im

mediately stop this action to increase their tax burden,” the group said.

The group’s reasoning echoes an earlier comment from David French,

senior vice-president for government relations at the Nat

ional Retail Federation, who said, “Saying that China is paying these tariffs doesn’t hold water.”

About 99 percent of all shoes sold in the US are imported. Last year alo

ne, it imported 2.5 billion pairs, nearly 70 percent of which came from China, ma

king the Asian country the largest source for US shoe imports, according to statistics provided by the FDRA.

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Mainstream will prevail in EU electionsballoon depicting the

Mainstream political groups will continue to dominate in elections to the European Parli

ament this week but probably will lose some seats to nationalist and far-right parties, analysts predict.

“There is no fear for the solidity of the EU-decision-making system”, said Sven Biscop, director of the Euro

pe in the World Program at the Egmont-Royal Institute for International Relations, a think tank based in Brussels.

But he urged “those who favor the European project” to not be complacent, as the rise of

populist and far-right parties has already become a major concern for the EU and its member states.

About 400 million people from the EU’s 28 member countries – includi

ng for now the United Kingdom – are eligible to vote in polls to be held from Ma

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There are signs that the central government will not cha

ange its resolution to control house prices, Zhang said, adding that in the future the real estate market will continue to crack down on speculation.

On May 11, Suzhou tightened housing policies further, China Daily ea

rlier reported. The down payment ratio for a family’s first home purchase has been rais

ed from 20 percent to 30 percent.China may grant official 5G licenses, instead of the interim licenses prev

iously planned, to telecom carriers this year and is likely to start commercial use of the superfast wireless technology nat

ionwide in the near future, possibly as soon as October, according to people familiar with the matter.

Newly built property in certain parts of the city cannot

be traded for a three-year period after purchase, and for five years in the case of pre-owned property.

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nd information technology, had confirmed at the Boao Fo

oao Forum for Asia, that China will grant 5G licenses this year, but didn’t disclose a specific date.

“5G, industrial internet and the internet of vehicles are among the country’s top development priorities

in the telecommunications industry,” Zhang Feng, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, sa

id on Friday during the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Zhang called for accelerated efforts to set standards in key areas, including 5G, to expedite the com

mercialization of this forefront technology and bolster the nation’s core competitiveness.

Major Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co has already unveiled its first 5G chip and first 5G fold

able smartphone, the Mate X, which is expected to hit the market in June, despite challenges involving the United States.

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For example, in March, China provided a remote-sens

sing monitor report on flooding in Iran via Fengyun. The analysis estimated the coverage and

terrain characteristics of the flooded area, which greatly assisted the country’s evacuation efforts.

China has launched 17 Fengyun series meteorological satellites, of which seven are currently operational.

The World Meteorological Organization has included China’s Fengyun se

ries of meteorological satellites as a major element of its global Earth observation system.

ountries should work together for a better future in today’s world that is globaliz

ed and multipolar, Javier Solana, former secretary-general of NATO, said in an interview with China Daily.

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In particular, we need to strengthen international coop

peration in AI governance including laws and regulations, ethical norms and international rules,” Wang said.

The State Council issued a plan in 2017 that set benchmarks for China’s AI sector, with the value of core AI indu

stries predicted to exceed 1 trillion yuan ($145 billion) and make the country the global leader of AI innovation by 2030.

In December, Tianjin unveiled a three-year plan to boost the innovative development of seven AI-related indust

rial chains including independent and controllable information systems, smart security, big data, advanced co

mmunications, intelligent connected vehicles, industrial robots and intelligent terminals.

According to the plan, the government will build Tianjin into an AI in

novation center and a hub of AI industries and innovative applications by 2020.

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China has to walk a fine balance between local govern

nment debt management and stable economic growth, especially at a time when trade te

nsions with the United States have imposed more downward pressure, said economists.

More financial resources and investors will be involved in the debt resolution process, said Qiao Baoyun, head of the Acad

emy of Public Finance and Public Policy at the Central University of Finance and Economics.

The last round of local government debt swaps started in 2015 and ended in August 2018, w

hich saw 14.34 trillion yuan ($2.08 trillion) of local government debt being swapped into bonds.

Local governments are set to face more debt burden in the next three ye

ars, as many of the previously issued bonds are set to expire, income from land sales has

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