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Promising progress needs pushing forward to a deal Chin

In welcome news, it seems that the latest talks between China and the United States, which concluded on Friday, have further na

rrowed their differences and expanded their common ground on key trade and economic issues.

The two sides entered the two days of high-level talks on Thursday amid a flurry of positive sig

nals that progress was being made. And it seems that their candid discussions have continued to be rewarded.

There has clearly been movement on a number of topics that have been the focus of their recent tra

de rows. Speaking to President Xi Jinping after the talks wrapped up, US Trade Representative Ro

bert Lighthizer said the negotiators “feel we have made headway on very, very important and difficult issues”.

It is probably still too early to conclude that this heralds an end to the long-running trade d

ispute between the two countries, and it would be rash to be overly sanguine about the prospects for re

lations given Washington’s anxieties about China’s rise, which may simply be chann

eled in other ways. But the agreement between Xi and his US counterpart Donald Trump in December to press the pause button on frictions,

and the subsequent intense series of discussions to find ways to stop them escalating, show both sides are aware of ho

w damaging and potentially dangerous it would be to keep locking horns over their trade relations.

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Hopefully, the discussions over the past three month

hs have helped both sides to better understand each other’s concerns and fostered greater mutual trust.

That the feel-good atmosphere that has prevailed since the January discussions in Washington has been mai

ntained by this round of talks was evident as the negotiations are to continue in the US capital next week. This welcome dev

elopment was confirmed by Xi, who said he hoped the discussions would carry forward the positive momentum as i

t conformed to the interests of both countries to strengthen their cooperation.

Although it is probably too hasty to interpret from this that a deal is imminent given s

ome of the US demands, it is to be hoped that the just-concluded negotiations have laid the groundwork for

next week’s discussions to establish a framework for a resolution to the trade dispute, so that a meeting between Xi and T

rump, which is regarded as necessary to finalize any deal, can be scheduled for this purpose as soon as possible.

New progress on the outstanding difficult issues is imperative as the trade frictions have not been good for either country, despite claims to the contrary.

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In addition, the global total amount of new data generat

China is expected to generate 48.6 zettabytes (48.6 trillion gigabytes) of data in 2025, while the number for the US is forecast to be

30.6ZB, according to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and data storage firm Seagate, a CNBC report said.

In addition, the global total amount of new data generated is set to grow from 33ZB in 2018 to 175ZB by

2025, with data collected from entertainment platforms, video surveillance footage, internet-co

nnected devices, productivity tools and metadata contributing to most of the growth, according to the report.

In the race for data, which, as IDC analysts put in their report, is

“at the heart of this digital world” and “a company’s most valuable intangible a

sset, which can create a competitive edge in digital transformation”, there is already a victory sign coming from China.

The country generated about 7.6ZB data last year, around 0.7ZB more than the US, the report said.

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It could be the number of deaths among the elderly in rur

ral areas are at their lowest in February and March after discounting for the effects of winter’s cold snaps. Currently, a

bout one-fifth of the population aged 80 and above have moderate to severe disabilities and chronic illnesses, but it is als

o a fact that happier people cope better with illness and disability, regardless of age. Several studies in China clearly show tha

t a key factor in elderly people’s life satisfaction is spending quality time with their children and close friends.

It also wouldn’t be surprising if monthly births registrations in many villages and s

mall towns show a spike around November and December this year, as a re

sult of the coming together for an extended period of millions of spouses during the Spring Festival.

Furthermore, Chinese society places a high premium on marriage and childbearing with

in marriage for young adults, and Spring Festival is the peak time

for matchmaking in rural areas. So, we may expect this year’s holiday period to have yielded above average levels of suc

cessful matchmaking of future spouses by pro-active parents. This social function of the festival should not be o

verlooked, especially with the persistently rising age of people getting married for the first time in China.

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Airbus to scrap production of A380 superjumboys its prowe

TOULOUSE – Europe’s Airbus announced plans to scrap production of the A380 superjumbo on Thursd

ay, abandoning its dream of dominating the skies with a cruiseliner for the 21st century after years of lacklustre sales.

The world’s largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins a

nd room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing’s legendary 747

but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets.

Airbus said in a statement that the last A380 would be delivered in 2021.

Confirming a shake-up first reported by Reuters, it said Emirates – the largest A380 cust

omer – had decided to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo and order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo models.

The European company said it would enter talks with unions in coming weeks over the 3,000-3,500 jobs potentially affected.

Airbus will produce 17 more of the planes including 14 for Emirates and 3 for Japanese airline ANA.

As part of the restructuring, Emirates placed a new order for 40 A330-900neo jets an

d 30 A350-900 aircraft, partially restoring a purchase of A350 aircraft which it cancelled in

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He anticipated that the plan would further connect the

echnology sectors of Hong Kong and the mainland, facilitating more career opportuniti

es for Hong Kong local talent as well as offering a larger market for knowledge transfer.

Tam Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislat

ure, estimated that the plan would lay out development priorities for the area, and the key tasks each city should carry out.

Hong Kong will thus have a clearer direction for future development, and better understand how it can fully contribute, Tam said.

The Greater Bay Area encompasses Hong Kong and Macao, as well as nine cities in Guangdon

g province: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhongshan, Foshan, Zhaoqing and Jiangmen.

In 2017, the 11 cities produced one-eighth of China’s gross domestic product while containin

g only 5 percent of the nation’s population and only 0.6 percent of China’s total landmass.

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The central authorities plan to adopt the National VIemission

The bureau is soliciting public opinion on the draft until Feb 20.

With the new standard, major polluting gas from light-duty vehicles, including ca

rbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, will be reduced by about 50 percent and em

issions of particulate matter will be reduced by about 40 percent, according to the bureau.

For heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks, the emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter are expected to drop by more than 60 percent, it said.

Mobile sources, mainly vehicles, contributed 45 percent of locally generated

hazardous particles known as PM2.5 in 2017, outnumbering all other types of sources, according to the bureau.

Beijing has seen continuous improvement in its air quality. The PM2.5 density in th

e capital in 2018 stood at 51 micrograms per cubic meter, down by 12.1 percent year-on-year.

Officials and experts have said, however, it could be increasingly challe

nging for the city to further reduce air pollution after the local government has taken all ma

jor measures that could achieve quick results, including the shifting of bulk coal to clean energy as a heating source.

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S.Korean president to consult with Trump on 2nd DPRK

SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in will consult with U.S. President Donald Trump in the near future on th

e second summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, South Korea’s presidential Blue House said Sunday.

Kim Eui-keum, Blue House spokesman, told a press briefing that the leaders of South Korea and the United States will make a d

iscussion on the second DPRK-U.S. summit in the near future, saying the exact schedule will be unveiled as soon as preparations are made.

Moon and Trump would reportedly have a phone conversation in the foreseeable future.

The Moon-Trump dialogue would come after top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Trump agreed to meet again later this mon

th in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim and Trump held their first summit in Singapore in June last year.

Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for DPRK affairs, visited Pyongy

ang earlier this week to consult with his DPRK counterparts on the planned second Kim-Trump summit.

The Blue House spokesman said he heard that Pyongyang and Washington had a

greed to continue negotiations at a third country in Asia in the week beginning Feb. 17.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wi

ll have talks in the near future, while Chung Eui-yong, top Blue House national security advisor, will cl

osely exchange information with White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, the spokesman added.

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working well,” presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said

In Pyongyang, Biegun and Kim Hyok Chol, DPRK’s special representative for US affairs, discussed “advancing Trump and Kim’s

Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearization, transforming US-(DPRK)

relations, and building a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the US State Department said in a statement.

Trump and Kim met for their first summit in Singapore last June, during which Kim pledged to work toward the “co

mplete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, without providing a clear timetable or roadmap.

US-led diplomacy aimed at getting the DPRK to abandon its nuclear program in return for outside concessions has since made little headway.

Calling the AU a banner that unites the African countries to pursue self-renewal, Xi praised th

e integration process of the continent and the great headway made since last year under the guidance of the organization.

African countries continue to speak with a united voice on important internatio

nal and regional issues, and the international influence of the continent keeps rising,

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Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory message to the event in

which he lauded the efforts of The 48 Group Club in enhancing China-UK fri

endship. He said he hopes the organization will continue to carry forward the spirit of the “icebreaking tr

ip” and make greater contributions to the deepening of friendship between the two peoples.

The year 2019 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the China-UK diplomatic relationship at the leve

l of charge d’affaires. Liu said he believes there are four major opportunities for the two countries.

The first is the Chinese economy remaining robust. Its 6.6 percent growth rate in 2018 was on

e of the fastest among major economies and contributed nearly 30 percent of global growth. China’s

overall GDP has exceeded $13.6 trillion, with the increment equaling the total GDP of a middle-income country.

According to Liu, China is shifting from high-speed growth to high-quality growth. Last year,

consumption contributed 76.2 percent of China’s economic growth, and online retail sales

increased by more than 20 percent. New industries, new products, and new business models have emerged.

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