the country will basically realize rural and agricultura

al modernization and ensure that both urban and rural residents enjoy equal public services.

By the middle of this century, digital villages will be completely built nationwide to advance rural revitalization.

To fulfill such targets, the country will accelerate the constructi

on of IT infrastructures in rural areas, upgrading rural internet facilities and information services.

More efforts will be made to boost the rural digital economy, with wider use of digital techno

logies in agriculture and the development of e-commerce and various emerging creative industries in rural regions.

While providing more support for rural technological innovation, the co

untry will strengthen ecological protection in rural areas with digital technologies.

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Wang said the Sino-US trade talks have made important

and substantive progress thanks to efforts from both sides. Meanwhile the talks face some serious problems which need to be resolved.

The top diplomat said that as long as the negotiations meet the general direction of China’s reform an

d opening-up policy, adhere to China’s basic needs about high-quality development and serve the com

mon interests of the Chinese and US people, the negotiator teams from both sides could have the capability and w

isdom to settle their reasonable demands and eventually achieve a win-win agreement.

Wang said China insists on upholding national sovereignty, safeguarding the inter

ests of its people and defending national honor when negotiating with any country.

According to the General Administration of Customs, trade between

China and the US in the first four months stood at 1.1 trillion yuan ($160 billion).

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Now that it has reached middle-income status, China’s eco

nomic strategy will focus on creating a highly competitive domestic market that forces com

panies to produce high-value goods so they can pay high wages to highly skilled people.

Because of its long experience in manufacturing, much of tha

t push will be focused on higher value-added production, using the new technologies of r

obotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and 5G. This is the only way to avoid the middle-income trap.

The reform and opening-up policies are exactly the kinds of market-driven reforms

needed to make this happen. The Chinese government is investing heavily in research and development, but it sho

uld be noted that the R&D spending as a percentage of GDP is still lower than that of the US.

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The operation of the infant ward was suspended, and the

e hospital was ordered to solve management problems rela

ting to the case, check on the condition of the surviving babies and console the parents.

A deputy director of the health bureau of the Shunde district of F

oshan, Guangdong, was also fired, and others deemed responsible were punished.

No new case has been reported in the hospitals that have treated the affected babies.

The provincial health commission has ordered all t

he medical institutions in the province to check their infection-control procedures.

The viral strain that affected the infants was identified by the commission as Echo 11. It is an intestinal virus to which child

ren, especially infants, are susceptible. It is closely related to a respiratory infection.

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China is an important stakeholder in Arctic affairs,” Wang

“The country has always adhered to international treaties, such as the Charter of the United Nations, the United Natio

ns Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Spitsbergen Treaty, as well as other international laws and upheld the p

rinciple of respect, cooperation and common winning and sustainability when actively participating in Arctic affa

irs and contributing Chinese wisdom and power in the sustainable development of the Arctic region,” he said.

The annual Arctic Circle Forum, established in 2013 and initi

ated by Iceland’s then-president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, is a platform to help the inter

national community care for, understand and protect the Arctic and discuss Arctic governance.

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All of this has inspired confidence that the Chinese eco

Chinese economy can reach its indicative growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019.

Lower growth rate may mean more room for adjustment

Most Chinese economists seem quite comfortable with this targeted range. One explanati

on is that China’s potential growth rate is 6-6.5 percent, and a target should be set accordingly. Another is that a

lower growth rate would give the economy more room for structural adjustment.

From 1978 to 2008, China averaged an impressive 9.5 percent annual g

rowth rate. Then the global financial crisis struck, causing growth to plummet from 9.7 p

ercent in the third quarter of 2008 to 6.6 percent in the second quarter of 2009. A 4-trillion-yuan ($640 billion) sti

mulus package, introduced in November 2008, soon brought about a powerful rebound, with GDP growth rea

ching 12.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010. But since then China’s economic growth has been declining, partly b

ecause the government withdrew its stimulus. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.6 percent.

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Not only are there missing links on the causality chai

 between long-term structural factors and actual economic performance, it is also unclear how long those factors would take to constrain GDP growth to a part

cular level. In fact, 20 years ago, the same long-term factors were used to warn of a possible fall in Chinese GDP growth.

Because of the complexity of China’s growth trajectory, many economists seem to base their assessments of potenti

al on performance. After every drop in China’s GDP growth since the second quarter of 2012-when growth fell be

low 8 percent-economists have emerged to declare that performance was in line with potential.

Difficult to determine potential growth rate

To be sure, there are various estimates of China’s potential growth rate, ranging from 5 perc

ent to 8 percent. But it is difficult to determine which is reliable. For one thing, there is reason to believe that

most estimates fail to discount cyclical factors adequately when calculating the long-term trend.

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The overall stability of China-US relations over the pa

four decades has been a blessing to not only our two countries, but the whole world,” said Cui Ti

ankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, in his remarks during the awards presentation.

“And the essence of the 40-year story is amity between the peoples, which lays the foundation for

and shapes the future of our relations,” he said, adding that the stories shared by peoples from the two cou

ntries through the My China Album series will always “be a source of inspiration and motivation for us”.

Hundreds of US citizens participated in the series from Feb 6 to April 19, sharing their personal stories about China thro

ugh photos and captions. Ten of the participants were recognized for their genuine and touching stories.

“I was so honored to win first place in this year’s My China Album,” said

Max Horne, an incoming Harvard University freshman who visited Yunnan province years a

go and studied the Naxi culture, a local ethnic group. “There’s endless culture for us to appreciate.”

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Embrace exhibition through greener lifestyle at the

The Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition opened just two days before the May holiday, giving

the public a close-up view of state-of-the-art gardens created by horticulturists from around the world.

China hosted a similar exhibition in Kunming, Yunnan province, in 1

999. In the two decades since, the social and economic situations in China have unde

rgone tremendous changes. A growing awareness of environmental protection is one of them.

Two decades ago, the Chinese people embraced the Kunming horticu

ltural show as a novelty and curiosity because the countr

y at that time did not have many opportunities to host large international gatherings.

Economic development at the time was the top priority of the country,

which explains why the news media were so interested in reporting that 15 billion yu

an ($2.23 billion) in economic and trade deals were inked during the exhibition.

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In the years since, the country has continued to maint

tain a breakneck pace of economic development, which has brought booming economic prosperity.

Unfortunately, it has also brought a deteriorating environment. Seeing heavy smog, for ex

ample, many people feel that a worsening environment will destroy the happiness brought by economic growth.

Since 2012, the new leadership under President Xi Jinping has put forward a series of ecol

ogical ideas. On Sunday, Xi said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that “green mountains and cle

ar waters are indeed mountains of gold and silver, and environmental improvement means great productivity”.

This idea, dubbed the theory of two mountains, enjoys immense popular support in China.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party o

f China, urged officials at all levels never to sacrifice the environment for economic growth.

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