Mattarella said that Italy supports the Belt and Road Initiati

 that was put forward by Xi, and the initiative is expected to promote the interconnectivity of the Eurasian continent.

The BRI is also a road of cultural exchanges, he said, adding that Italy would like to enhance cooperation with China in tourism and culture. Italy ad

mires China’s achievements in economic development, and it appreciates China’s opening-up policies, he said.

Both Italy and China are ancient civilizations, and the people of the two countries have sufficient wisdom to deal with

challenges nowadays, he said, adding that China’s rejuvenation will bring new contributions to peace and prosperity.

China will take a solid step toward becoming a high-income country this year,

reating more space to deepen reform and expand opening-up, economists said on Friday.

A more balanced growth pattern will help the world’s second-largest ec

onomy pass the “middle-income trap”, with consumption and high-tech man

ufacturing leading growth, they said at a Beijing seminar leading up to the 2019 China Development Forum, which starts on Saturday.

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The Italian side looks forward to enhancing cooperati

tion with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, She said.

Noting that the history of Italy-China exchanges for the past 50 years has been a history of dia

logue and friendship, the speaker said the Italian Senate is willing to facilitate exchanges between the two cou

ntries’ legislative institutions, and continue to make contributions to deepening Italy-China friendly cooperation.

Xi arrived in Rome Thursday for a state visit to Italy, the first stop of his three-nation Europe tour, which will also take him to Monaco and France.

hinese authorities have unveiled detailed measures to implement valu

e-added tax reform, a key step to boost market vitality and stabilize economic growth.

Starting April 1 this year, the 16 percent VAT rate that applies to manufa

cturing and other sectors will be lowered to 13 percent, while the rate for construction, tran

sport and other sectors will be reduced from 10 percent to 9 percent, said a joint statement released on Th

ursday by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and the General Administration of Customs.

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North Korea has yet to issue any direct public statement on

  the decision to withdraw. Chad O’Carroll, an analyst and chief executive of the K

orea Risk Group, said the move was to be expected following the failure of the Hanoi summit.

  ”North Korea’s pull-out Friday from the Kaesong Lias

on Office has been on cards since Hanoi, given recent no-shows there,” he said on Twitter.

  He added that the move was designed to send a message that from

Pyongyang’s perspective “Seoul has insufficient influence” over the US-North Korea rela

tionship and that intra-Korean talks are increasingly pointless, “when sanctions prevent practical cooperation.”

  Following the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, the US and South Korea canceled major war ga

mes that have long been a source of tensions on the Korean Peninsula in order to “support diplomatic efforts” with Pyongyang.

  Speaking on Thursday, Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was “absolutely confide

nt” that smaller exercises held in place of the traditional war games enabled the US and South Korean forces to “maintain readiness.”

olyfwg.cn

From Israel to Brexit to France: Trump dips into allies’ politics

  He’s trashed the British Prime Minister. He’s cheered protesters in France. And now he’s handed Israel’s embattled leader a win days before a re-elect

ion. When it comes to other countries’ domestic politics, President Donald Trump hasn’t hesitated to put his thumb on the scale.

  When he first met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office weeks after his inau

guration, Trump heard out the Israeli prime minister’s appeal to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

  But Trump didn’t immediately deliver. Instead, he waited until less than three weeks before the most consequential election of Netanyahu’s polit

ical career to announce “it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

  Combined with the warm embrace Trump will offer Netany

ahu in Washington next week and the White House’s silence on the timing of the annou

ncement, experts quickly identified Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as a brazen attempt to boost Netanyahu’s re-el

ection chances, giving him a foreign policy achievement to tout in the final stretch of the campaign.

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And while it was perhaps the most blatant attempt by the

  ministration to wade into a foreign contest, it was not the only time the President or his tea

m has weighed in on the domestic politics of other countries. From undercutting British Prime Minis

ter Theresa May during a visit to the United Kingdom to calling attention to protests against French President Emm

anuel Macron, Trump has repeatedly sought to influence the internal affairs of the US’s closest allies — in full public view.

  ”It’s not without precedent that United States leaders have said things that affect politics in other countries, but it is without prece

dent for them to do it as brazenly as Trump has done,” said Joseph Nye, the former dean of Harvard Uni

versity’s Kennedy School of Government. “His style and the degree to which he intervenes are both unprecedented.”

  American administrations have long sought to quietly sway the domestic politics of other countries, whether throu

gh covert influence campaigns or military support. But rarely has a US president so eagerly voiced his opinions or

taken steps to influence another country’s internal affairs, particularly among close US allies.

  Instead — even when an administration’s preferred outcome was widely known or assumed — the White Hou

se maintained an officially neutral stance. A country’s internal affairs were off-limits, at least as a matter of stated position.

zrwrgz.cn

I would have done it much differently. I actually told

  Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me,” Trump told the tabloid. “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one people voted on.”

  Trump apologized in private to May, one of the rare times he‘s admitted wrong. And tho

ugh he’s expressed a desire to remain diplomatically impartial — “I think we will stay right in our lane,” he sa

id last week when questioned about Brexit — he has nevertheless bemoaned May’s handling of the issue over and over.

  ”I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation,” he said in the Oval Office last week, mome

nts after suggesting he wouldn’t offer an opinion on the issue. “I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to n

egotiate it. And I think you would’ve been successful. She didn’t listen to that, and that’s fine.”

  A few weeks before, Trump spoke briefly with one of the UK’s most visible pro-Brexit campaig

ners, Nigel Farage, on the sidelines of a conservative conference outside Washington. And he’s ma

intained close ties to the hardline conservatives who have bemoaned May’s handling of the matter.

  Trump wasn’t alone in his criticism. Two of his top confidants — son Donald Trump Jr. and national security adviser John

Bolton — both offered critical views this week of May and her plan to try and delay Britain’s exit from Europe.

shidaikangfuyiyuan.cn

talian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he may sig

  a series of memorandums of understanding on Belt and Road infrastructure investments during Xi’s upcoming visit to Italy, Reuters reported. If the

y are signed, Italy would be the first one of the Group of Seven industrialized nations to participate in the BRI.

  Speaking at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday, Vice-Foreign Mi

nister Wang Chao said the country appreciates Italy’s active involvement in the BRI.

  ”We believe the signing of relevant cooperation documents conforms to the common interests of both countries,” Wa

ng said, adding that Belt and Road cooperation aims to generate mutually beneficial and win-win results.

  Regarding skepticism about the BRI, Wang said practice will prove that the initia

tive will have positive effects on countries’ economic development and bilateral cooperation.

  He added that the infrastructure investment of Chinese companies in Europe is purely business practice and will ab

ide by market rules and business principles on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and transparency.

shlfapp.com

Vice-Premier Liu to hold trade talks with US officials in Beijing

  Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will hold a new round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultation with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer a

nd Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing from March 28 to 29, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

  Liu will visit Washington in early April for further cons

ultation, the ministry said.The Government Work Report released on March 5 has charted a co

urse for China’s economic development for this year. By setting fairly robust growth targets, the country is s

et to be the locomotive pulling the world economy amid global economic headwinds. A number of pro-growth eff

orts have been unveiled to spur innovation and continue opening-up. The country has also released the Foreign Inv

estment Law to better protect the rights of foreign businesses in China. China Daily polled senior executives from mul

tinational corporations to understand their positioning, perception and predictions of the Chinese market.

  Q1: The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. What in your opini

on are China’s biggest achievements to date? What are the biggest achievements made by your company so far?

ashbb.com

Short Brexit delay possible, but conditionalonald Tusk has said

short delay to Brexit is possible, but will be conditional on the House of Commons passing the Withdrawal Agreement.

“The question remains open as to the duration of such an extension,” Tusk, the President of the European Council, said.

Tusk said he spoke to Theresa May on the phone earlier this afternoon.

“May’s proposal of the 30 June, which has its merits, creates a series of questions of a leg

al and political nature,” he added. “Leaders will discuss this tomorrow.”1 hr agoDona

ld Tusk speaking nowThe President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is giving a press conference in Brussels.

1 hr 9 min ago
MPs surprised by “downright reckless” strategy, Starmer says
Labour’s Sha

dow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has opened the emergency debate into the Brexit delay by quoting Ther

esa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington, who said last week that if May’s divorce deal was not passed by parl

iament, seeking “a short and, critically, one-off extension would be downright reckless.”

Starmer says those statements led MPs to believe that May would reques

t a long extension if she hadn’t passed her plan — but May has asked for a delay only until June 30.

He adds that the confusion is symptomatic of May’s Brexit strategy to date — to “put parliament as far away as possible from the process.”

chinaherb.cc

Extra pilot averted disaster on previous Boeing 737 Max 8 flight

An off-duty pilot in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet jumped in to help

crew disable a malfu

nctioning flight-control system as it experienced difficulties in October, according to Bloomberg.

The next day, with a different crew, the same plane crashed into the sea off Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.

On doomed Lion Air Flight 610, pilots searched in a handbook f

or a way to stop the plane from nosediving, according to an exclusive Reuters report.

Reuters cites the information from three people with knowledge of the contents of the cockpit voice recorder that has never been made public.

Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has refused to comment to CNN on the content of the voice r

ecorder as the investigation is still ongoing. Boeing also refused to comment to CNN on the matter Wednesday.

Indonesian authorities found the cockpit voice recorder in the Java Sea on January 14 and said it could take up to a year to publish a full report into the crash.

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