Innovation links with Japan encouragedForeign Minis

Premier Li Keqiang called on China and Japan to boost cooperation in innovation to see more pra

gmatic outcomes, and to further work together in areas including finance, third-party markets and tourism.

The two countries should also create a fair and unbiased business environment for each other’s en

terprises, Li said in a meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Beijing on Monday.

The meeting came after a China-Japan high-level economic dialogue,

co-chaired on Sunday by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kono. The dia

logue, also attended by ministers of agriculture, industry, commerce and environ

mental protection from both countries, was also the first to be held in China between the two nations since 2010.

Li congratulated attendees on the successful hosting of the dialogue in his opening remarks, noting that bilateral relation

s are back on the right track and have seen new progress thanks to joint efforts of the two sides starting last year.

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JD Logistics responds to criticism over courier pay cuts

JD Logistic, the logistics arm of the Beijing-based tech heavyweight JD

.com, will cancel the basic salary for delivery staff , CEO and Chairman Liu Qiangdong said i

n response to arguments on the company’s salary adjustments in an internal email sent on Monday.

JD Logistics lost over 2.3 billion yuan ($342.9 million) in 2018, its 12th consecut

ive year to lose money. If the situation continues, Liu said, the company would only last for two more years.

If internal settlements are deducted, JD Logistics lost more than 2.8 billion yuan last year.

The main reasons for the loss are few external delivery orders and high internal costs, Liu said.

The company has only two choices, according to Liu: one, increase external delivery orders to promote external inco

me growth; the other, reduce staff members’ well-being to the level of other express companies.

Reducing fund ratios to average levels and canceling the basic salary a

ims to encourage couriers to get more external delivery orders and increase revenue.

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Kim, while stressing the importance of solving prob

lems through dialogue and negotiations, also underlined that he does not accept “the American style of

dialogue” which imposes the United States’ unilateral demands upon its dialogue partner.

Kim said the United States is hinting at holding

a third DPRK-US Summit, but what happened in Hanoi “is not inviting” to the DPRK.

However, Kim also mentioned his good relations with Trump. “As P

resident Trump keeps saying, the personal ties between me and him

are not hostile like the relations between the two countries and we still maintain good relations.”

At the end of the speech, Kim said he hoped that the United

States would decide wisely and that the confrontation betw

een the two countries will be brought to a complete stop.

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Azerbaijan sent a delegation to the first China Intern

ational Import Expo in Shanghai last November. “This kind of expo is extrem

ely important, and provides a chance for Azerbaijan to reach out to the Chinese ma

rket and establish contact with Chinese companies,” Hajiyev said, adding last year’s event was extremely helpf

ul to Azerbaijan and helped traders to understand the requirements and demands of the Chinese market.

Almost 50 percent of China’s trade with the Caucasus region are from

Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan has invested $1.7 billion in Chinese securities. Current trade volu

me between China and Azerbaijan is above $1.5 billion, and Hajiyev believes there is sti

ll more to do to promote bilateral trade, as the two countries have very good relations.

Companies from the two countries are engaged in projects for the

petrochemical industry, and the two countries can touch upon o

ther strategic areas such as energy and communication, the foreign affairs head added.

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Former Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat was

 convicted of incitement to commit public nuisance.

Judge Johnny Chan Jong-herng handed down the verdicts. The court will h

ear defendants’ petition in the afternoon. The date for sentencing has not yet been revealed.

According to the Crimes Ordinance and the Criminal Procedure Ordinance, each charge carries up to seven years’ imprisonment.

The illegal Occupy protests saw massive sit-ins on Tim Mei Avenue and Fenwick Pier Street – major thoroughfares linking Wan Cha

i and Central – between Sept 28 and Dec 11 of 2014. It put the city in a standstill for 79 days.

China will lower the tax rates on a range of goods brought or mailed b

y individuals into the country, including food, medicines, textiles and information technol

ogy products, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced Monday.

Starting Tuesday, the tax rate on inbound articles included on the No 1 taxable

item list, which includes books, computers, food, furniture and medicines, will be reduc

ed to 13 percent from the previous 15 percent, the commission said in an online statement.

Some medicines that are currently subject to a 3-percent import value-added tax r

ate, including anti-cancer drugs and medicines for rare diseases, will enjoy favorable tax rate.

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The capital will carry out supportive policies on finan

 land and talent recruitment to attract companies and people engaged in high-end industries to settle down in the city, he added.

Furthermore, Beijing will guide districts to cultivate different industries to avoid repetition and overlap.

Beijing’s Haidian district focuses on high-tech development and innovation. It realized a GDP of 648 billi

on yuan ($96 billion) in 2018, eight times the average district’s level in the city. GDP per capita in the

district reached $28,000, or eight times the standard of moderately developed countries.

At present, the tertiary sector has become the biggest contributor to Haidian’s economy, whic

h now makes up around 90 percent of the total and is similar to levels in New York and Tokyo.

Innovative and capital-intensive industries such as information technology, finance and education provide

the bulk of Haidian’s GDP. The district has attracted several well-known domestic and overseas companies inclu

ding 31 unicorn enterprises — startups worth more than $1 billion — and 933 listed enterprises.

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The China-Belarus Industrial Park, located 25 km from Mi

insk and covering an area of 91.5 square kilometers, is the first special economic area in Bela

rus and the largest intergovernmental cooperation project between China and Belarus.

The industrial park is stepping up efforts to attract more global investors, with 43 companies registered by the end of February.

Among the 43 companies, 26 are from China, 10 from Belarus, and seven from other countries, like the United States and Ru

ssia. The companies have signed agreements to make total investments of more than $1 billion in the park.

The China-funded Djibouti International Free Trade Zone, which started construction in January 2017, opened on July 5, 2018.

Covering an area of 48.2 sq km, the zone is operated by a join

t venture with investment by Chinese enterprises, including China Merchan

ts Holdings and Dalian Port Corp Ltd, as well as the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority.

More than 20 enterprises from the commerce, logistic, processing sectors have signed letters of intent to re

gister with the FTZ, as infrastructure in the first phase of the FTZ, which covers an area of 6 sq km, has been basically completed.

The FTZ is expected to become a crucial junction linking other African countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and

make Djibouti, the small northeast African country, a marine logistics hub linking Africa, Asia and Europe.

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But a customs union would ensure UK businesses can cont

ontinue to trade with the EU, and would solve many of the problems that bedevil May’s deal. In partic

ular, it would remove the need for customs posts and border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

There’s a good chance a withdrawal agreement that included a

customs union pledge would be approved by Parliament, and welcomed by the EU.

But some hard-line Conservative Party lawmakers have written to May, insisting that she not agree to a Brexit extension beyond M

ay 22, which would force the U.K. to take part in the next European Parliament election, the Sun newspaper reported.

The letter urged the prime minister to bring her Brexit deal back to Parliament for

a fourth vote, with the threat of a general election if it is rejected again, the Sun said.

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hina boosts measures to open economyivers the keyn

China will further open up to foreign investors and offer them treatment equal to that of domestic companies with firm prote

ction of their legitimate rights, Premier Li Keqiang said at the Boao Forum for Asia on Thursday.

The country will fully adopt pre-entry national treatment and negative lists for overseas

investment, Li said at the opening ceremony of the forum’s annual conference in Hainan province.

By the end of June, China will release the amended negative lists for foreign investment ac

cess, he said. “The negative lists will only be shortened. … We will ensure fair competition and common deve

lopment for Chinese and foreign companies with fair supervision,” Li told more than 2,000 participants.

A negative list shows areas where investment is prohibited; all other areas are presumed to be open.

The government has started formulating matching regulations and rules to supp

ort implementation of the Foreign Investment Law, adopted two weeks ago, Li s

aid, adding that supporting regulations will take effect along with the law on Jan 1.

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The government gave itself the option of bringing May’s dea

back to parliament on Friday, although speaker John Bercow repeated his warning that he

would not allow a third vote unless the motion had changed substantially since its last defeat.

May, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, had already promised to step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Her deal, defeated in parliament by 149 votes on March 12 and by 230 votes on Jan 15, mea

ns Britain would leave the EU single market and customs union as well as EU political bodies.

But it requires some EU rules to apply unless ways can be found in the future to ensure no bor

der posts need to be rebuilt between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

Many Conservative rebels and the DUP object to this “Irish backstop”, saying it risks binding Britain to the EU for years.

To succeed, May needs at least 75 lawmakers to come over to her side.

After the ERG met, a spokesman said: “There is no way enough votes are

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