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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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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Li, who inspired the boom after winning Asia’s first major

 title at the 2011 French Open, warned that increased funding and exposure for the sport does not guarantee Grand Slam champions will follow.

“After the US Open (in August), players don’t need to travel overseas with tournam

ents held at home one after another,” said Li, who is an ambassador for her hometown Wuhan Open in Hubei province.

“However, for the younger players nowadays they are likely to squander the opportuni

ties that we had to fight hard to earn, because everything comes easier and more frequently.

“They have to focus on the game itself rather than the exposure or expectations off

the court to really improve one event at a time and benefit from the momentum.”

When Li turned pro in 1999 China had only two entry-level tournam

ents. Now the Women’s Tennis Association calendar features nine Chinese tourn

aments, including the premier mandatory China Open in Beijing and year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

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Xi meets Macron on maintaining sound China-France ties

NICE, France – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday stressed the importance of maintaining a sound China

-France relationship to both countries’ long-term development and its potential impact on the world.

Xi, who is paying a state visit to France, made the remarks when meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in the southern French city of Nice.

Recalling the history of friendly exchanges between China and France, Xi noted that Franc

e is the first major Western country to establish official diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

France, he added, also is the first country to form a strategic partnership and conduct stra

tegic dialogue with China and the first to carry out civilian nuclear-energy cooperation with China.

He pointed to the special significance of his visit, which came at a special year that marks both the 70th anniversary of the foun

ding of the PRC and the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations.

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