Most of the ivory was hidden in an abandoned factory

by the smugglers, Sun said. Busts were made in several locations, which were not disclosed. The case is still under investigation.

Since early this year, 182 smuggling cases involving endangered species have been investigated, the administration said on Monday.

More than 500 tons of endangered animals and animal products were seized, 8.48 t

ons of which was ivory tusks or products made of ivory. In those cases, 171 suspects were detained.

The Chinese government suspended imports of ivory and all ivor

y products in 2015 and ended commercial processing and sale of ivory at the end of 2017.

The ban has had significant positive effects, with fewer people purchasing ivory, according to a report j

ointly released last year by the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, an NGO that tracks the global trade in wild animals.

“We will strengthen our anti-smuggling efforts, continuing to work with international organizations and depart

ments and allowing no tolerance of those illegal activities,” said Hu Wei, deputy director of the administration.

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Lu made the remarks in response to recent media repo

 reports that India decided not to send a delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for Internati

onal Cooperation later this month in Beijing. The reports said the initiative undermines the South Asia

n nation’s sovereignty via the BRI-related China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Lu said that, “If this decision about whether to participate in building the Belt and Road

was possibly made through a misunderstanding”, China firmly and sincerely advances the constr

uction of the Belt and Road on the basis of consultation and contribution for shared benefits.

He added that the initiative is open to all parties that are inter

ested in and willing to join in win-win cooperation.

It will not exclude any party, he said, adding that China is willin

g to wait if relevant parties need more time to consider their participation.

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“Essentially, it depends on the growth of money sup

pply (M2),” said Sheng Songcheng, a central bank adviser and a former director of the central bank’s statistics department.

The central bank released M2 data on Friday, which recorded a 13-month high of 8.6 percent by the end of March, accelerating from 8 percent by February.

Aggregate social financing, a gauge to measure broader financial activities including trust funds and local govern

ment bonds, also grew faster than market expectations. That total financing amount grew to 2.86 trillion yuan in Mar

ch, or a 11.1 percent growth from a year earlier, compared with 10.6 percent in February, said the central bank.

“According to the latest economic data, there is less necessity for RR

R cuts, but it requires further observation on future changes,” said Sheng.

If the central bank further cuts the RRR, when economic growth is already stabilized, inflation wi

ll surge, and possibly lead to funds flowing into the property sector instead of supporting the real economy, he added.

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Economic data for March have beaten market expectat

ons in many aspects, and based on those data, China’s year-on-year GDP gr

owth rate in the first quarter may reach 6.3 percent or a bit higher,” said Liu Chun

sheng, an associate professor of economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

Improved market expectations resulting from progress in the Sino-US trade talks and Beijing’s tax and

fee cut plan, as well as eased liquidity, have helped to offset negative effects of the traditional Spring Fes

tival holiday and downside pressure that continued from the end of last year, Liu said.

China has set this year’s GDP growth rate target at 6 percent to 6.5 perce

nt, after registering full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in the fourth

quarter. The NBS is scheduled to announce the country’s first-quarter economic growth data on Wednesday.

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schedule must not be imposed on workersschedule

Editor’s note: The “996” schedule (working from 9 am to 9 pm, six

days a week) has sparked a heated public debate, because many workers don’t get any ove

rtime pay and, worse, could end up in the “”. The “996” phenomenon is rampant in the high-tech and internet compani

es. Some internet company chiefs have added fuel to the debate by saying they want their workers to “work hard”. T

hree experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow:

Labor Law should never be violated

Given the fierce competition in the high-tech sector industries, start-

ups have to take drastic measures to survive, let alone thrive. To develop new products, and pr

oduce and market them, companies need a great deal of resources and ski

lled manpower. Perhaps this is the reason they make their employees work overtime.

But forcing the “996” schedule on the workers is illegal. To p

rotect the rights of workers, the Labor Law stipulates that employers

should not force their workers to work more than eight hours a day, or more than 44 hours a week. If emplo

www.changjiangjiaoxiang.cn

Employees have been working according to the che

edule in some companies, including some well-known internet enterprises. Earlier this year, Youzan, an e-commerce compa

ny based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, triggered controversy by introducing the “996” schedule in its annua

l meeting. The move even prompted the labor authorities to conduct an investigation against Youzan.

Workers have been working overtime in many industries for yea

rs. But now, many programmers in internet companies are opposing the “996” schedu

le because the extra work does not come with any compensation or bonus. To reduce the labor cost, many high-tech and int

ernet companies are laying off workers. That means, there are fewer people left to shoulder the extra work. Tha

t’s a reason why the overloaded IT programmers have now burst out with complaints.

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma has said that only by working harder

and longer than others can an employee achieve success in life. He h

as also said that those who want to join Alibaba should be prepared to work for 12-hour work a day. This not only goe

s against the Labor Law but also violates the rights and interests of the employers, and could harm their health.

www.changhaisheng.cn

Zheng Nanning, a researcher at the Chinese Academ

 of Engineering and head of the innovation research academy of intelligent robotics at Xi’an Jiaotong Univer

sity, said the university began considering an undergraduate AI major in 2016, and it has since established an experi

mental undergraduate AI class in 2018 with 55 students taught by the country’s leading AI experts.

The university established the academy in October 2017 and an AI school in Janua

ry. The academy has 26 master’s candidates and eight doctoral candidates, Zheng said.

“Universities should aim for major breakthroughs in basic res

earch and core technology. We are still striving to achieve

revolutionary and disruptive changes in AI theories, methods, tools and systems,” he added.

The ministry issued an action plan in 2018 to promote AI educa

tion in universities. According to the plan, universities in China will improve AI discip

line and make breakthroughs in basic theories and key technology research by 2020.

Chinese universities will become core forces for building major global AI innovation centers by 2030.

shoppingfair.org

Statistics show basic monthly salaries for couriers ran

nges from 1,500 to 2,000 yuan, accounting for 15 to 20 percent of the total according to the report.

JD refuted the mass layoff rumor and said more than 10,000 positions are expe

cted to be added as JD Logistics provides services to more industry customers.

Facing tougher competition from rivals such as Alibaba and Pinduoduo, JD is eyei

ng opportunities in the consumer market, which has shown great potential, Sina Finance reported.

Driven by rapid growth of e-comm

The annual survey Amazing China — the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Expats 2018 unveiled its results at the Shenzhen foru

m of the Conference on International Exchange of Professionals on April 14 in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province.

Zhang Jianguo, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, announced the results.

erce consumption, China’s express delivery volume reached 50.71 billio

n in 2018, an increase of 26.6 percent over the same period last year, the report said.

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Underscoring the increasingly important role of railw

way in social and economic development, leaders from China and the CEECs voiced support fo

r moving forward practical cooperation in the development of the China-Eur

ope Land Sea Express Line and making use of European Union (EU)-Chin

a Connectivity Platform to promote development of intermodal freight transportation.

Taking note of the Three Seas Initiative, the participants to the leaders’ meeting expressed their welcome to port cooperat

ion between China and the CEECs, including the opportunities deriving from inland waterways and the interm

odal connections to further enhance the cargo transportation between Asia and Europe.

Leaders from China and the CEECs also expressed their willingness to explo

re the possibilities of establishing a China-CEEC Customs Information Center in Hungary and

their support for the holding of the 5th China-CEEC Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2020 in Croatia.

www.suiyincoin.cn

After making a couple of reconciliatory gestures, suc

ch as freezing nuclear and missile tests and demolishing some test sites, Pyongyang want

s something in return. Which is not unreasonable, but so far has not been forthcoming.

Washington should not anticipate Pyongyang denuclearizing in a wholesale, one-off mann

er. After all, its nuclear missile programs are the sole bargaining chip it has in its hands.

Rather than surrender its nuclear arsenal in a wholesale manner, it is in Pyongyang’s best inte

rests to turn its engagement with Washington into an arms control regime between two nuclear states.

It may be that a third Trump-Kim summit happens. But meaningful hea

dway in denuclearization entails more than what the two sides appear ready to offer at the moment.

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