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he premier attached great importance to such measur

asures as reducing the rate of the value-added tax, increasing the

tax exemption for research costs and reforming individual income tax.

The measures should not only ease the tax burden for manufacturing com

panies but also reduce taxes for construction enterprises, which provide a great num

ber of jobs, Li said, adding that all industries should be covered by the benefits of tax cuts.

Li pledged more efforts to urge government departments and State-owned e

nterprises to pay off their debts so that the effects of tax reduction are not diminished.

The government will take further measures to deepen reform and opening-up, en

courage innovation and entrepreneurship and promote fair competition, Li said, adding that com

panies should also seize the opportunity to promote high-quality growth.

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President’s May Fourth Movement call heard by university

Students look for ways to apply Xi’s ideas into their academic, professional lives

The speech made by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday addressing

young people has sparked lively discussions among students and teachers.

At a gathering to commemorate the centenary of the May Fourth Movem

ent in the Great Hall of the People, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Part

y of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, urged the country’s youth to u

phold Marxism beliefs, follow the Party’s leadership and devote themselves to the nation and the people.

Zhang Dongjie, a senior at Peking University, said Xi’s remarks made him feel that young people should combine pers

onal aspirations with national rejuvenation and devote themselves where there’s a need.

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Shanghai purrs over new Hello Kitty theme park

The world’s only Hello Kitty-themed pavilion brings a fantasy world with a retro decor for fans in Shanghai.

Hello Kitty Shanghai Times was launched by propert

y developer Shimao Group and Japanese animation powerhouse Sanrio on March 29.

By creating an immersive experience of Shanghai during three symbolic periods of the city’s history – the 1930s, 1980s and today – the

indoor theme park provides a unique experience for visitors with Sanrio’s best-known characters, incl

uding Hello Kitty, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Pompompurin, Keroppi and Cinnamoroll.

The time travel-themed attraction is located at Shimao Festiva

l City on bustling East Nanjing Road, and is expected to attract 2 million visitors a year. S

preading across three floors, the play area takes up a total gross floor area of about 6,000 square meters.

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It will continue to make operational adjustments to focus

efforts on cross-border sales in China and to keep improving the experience for bo

th Chinese customers and global selling partners.

Amazon entered China in 2004, when it bought a local online boo

kseller for $75 million. Since then, it has invested in wareh

ouses, data centers and programs to teach Chinese sellers how to get their goods to Amazon customers.

In October 2016, Amazon launched in China its Amazon Prime, the first unlimited free cross-border shipping memb

ership program that operates globally, in an attempt to lure the rising number of quality-conscious Chinese buye

rs to buy foreign products.isual China Group, which owns Chinese photo platform vcg.com, was fined 300,000 yua

n ($44,758) for flawed supervision of user content, according to a company statement late Thursday.

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The bond pricing mechanism will be further improv

Under a pilot scheme, the first group of six provinces and cities sold 6.8 billion yuan in bonds

at commercial bank counters to individual buyers between March 22 and early April.

The coupon rates are between 3.01 percent and 3.33 percent, higher than treasury b

onds issued by the central government as well as bank deposits with the same maturity.

Gross local bond issuances hit 1.18 trillion yuan in the first qua

rter, compared with only 219.5 billion yuan in the same period last year.

The total quota for 2019 local government bond issuances is 3.08 trillion yuan, according to the Ministry of Finance.

“About 60 percent of the bonds were issued for ongoing construction, especially

for shantytown renovation projects, railways and roads,” said Hao Lei, head of the ministry’s Budget Department.

While debt financing continues to grow, the government is experiencing sharp declin

es in fiscal revenue growth, especially from tax and land sales, official data showed.

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Economic data for March have beaten market expectat

ons in many aspects, and based on those data, China’s year-on-year GDP gr

owth rate in the first quarter may reach 6.3 percent or a bit higher,” said Liu Chun

sheng, an associate professor of economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Improved market expectations resulting from progress in the Sino-US trade talks and Beijing’s tax and

fee cut plan, as well as eased liquidity, have helped to offset negative effects of the traditional Spring Fes

tival holiday and downside pressure that continued from the end of last year, Liu said.

China has set this year’s GDP growth rate target at 6 percent to 6.5 perce

nt, after registering full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in the fourth

quarter. The NBS is scheduled to announce the country’s first-quarter economic growth data on Wednesday.

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Hainan also announced an islandwide housing quota

regarded as the strictest in the country-to curb speculation. The new rules required tho

se who do not live on the island but want to buy houses to provide local tax records for the past 60 months from

at least one member of the applicant’s family-making it impossible for nonnative residents to buy a home there.

“The latest move to help newcomers buy a home will make talented

people feel more at ease and work more wholeheartedly,” said Xia Feng, director of the e

conomic research department of the China Institute for Reform and Development.

“The government should also promote the rental housing market for those who cannot afford

to buy, and cultivate more diversified business platforms to attract talent from outside the island,” he said.

Wang Lu, chairman of Jincheng Consultancy, a Haikou-based real estate information p

rovider, said that because of the province’s small population base and weak economic and industrial foun

dation, investment and talent attraction are two urgent issues for the development of the FTZ.

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Three government ministers quit their posts so they could

back the motion. Richard Harrington, who resigned as a junior business minister, accused the government of “playing roulette with the lives and liveli

hoods of the vast majority of people in this country” by failing to resolve Britain’s Brexit impasse.

The government said it was disappointed by the vote, claiming it “upends the balance

between our democratic institutions and sets a dangerous, unpredictable precedent for the future.”

But it also conceded that the new votes might be a way to break the months-long Brexit gridlock. May said she would “engage

constructively” with the results of the process, though sahe said she was skeptical that it would produce a decisive result.

The move raises the chances that Britain will tack toward a softer Brexit, and is likely to be welcomed by th

e EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, tweet that it was an “opportunity to build a cross-party coope

ration leading to an enhanced political declaration & a closer future relationship!”Earlier in the day, May ack

nowledged, “with great regret,” that her deal still lacked “sufficient support” to be approved as of Monday.

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