Conflict also disrupts growth. Although many conflic

icts appear to have a religious or ethnic basis, some scholars believe their root cause may be economic, with ethnic divisio

s serving as a way to exclude other groups from access to scarce resources and opportunities. Whatever its so

urce, inequality of opportunity has a highly disruptive effect on governance and hence growth.

But these obstacles are not insurmountable. For one th

ing, developing countries now have huge potential export markets in middle-inc

ome countries, and no longer depend entirely on advanced economies for access to global markets.

Belt and Road can play vital development role

There is also a renewed awareness of the importance of infrastructure in e

nabling growth. In addition to roads, railways and ports, electricity and digital conn

ectivity are crucial. In this regard, the rapid expansion of cellular wireless technology, combined with the install

ation of high-capacity undersea broadband pipes around Africa, represents major prog

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This issue is similar to the environment. External critics

ent. External critics of China don’t appreciate that Chinese themselves realize there

are issues to be addressed. They are doing so. These developments should be encouraged.”

President Xi Jinping, who spoke at the Second Belt and Road Foru

m for International Cooperation in Beijing recen

tly, listed areas in which China will improve the environment for foreign investment.

The president said the nation will work hard to create a business environ

ment that respects the value of intellectual prop

erty, will improve the legal system for IPR protection at all levels, will strengthen law enforcement and pr

otection for the legitimate rights and interests of foreign IP owners and will bar the

forced transfer of technology, improve protection of trade secrets and crack down on infringement.

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The Belt and Road Initiative, which originated in C

 China but belongs to the world, has become an open and inclusive platform for international cooperation and a well-recog

nized global public good thanks to the concerted efforts of the parties involved, Xi said.

Calling think tanks significant forces for Belt and Road constructi

on, the president said developing think tank exchanges and cooperation helps deepen mu

tual trust, unite consensus and promote the BRI to achieve high-level development.

He expressed the hope that the think tank network would develop in-depth academic exchanges to promote solid coope

ration under the BRI and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Also on Wednesday, a ceremony to mark the release of the English and French editions

of a compilation of remarks by Xi on the Belt and Road was held in Beijing by the State Council Information Office.

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hinese Navy to send huge fleet to take part in sea parade

Qiu Yanpeng (middle), deputy commander of the PLA Navy, attends a press confer

ence for the upcoming multinational naval activity to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liber

ation Army Navy at the press center in Huanghai Hotel in Qingdao, Shandong province, Ap

ril 20, 2019. About 200 journalists from home and abroad attended the press conference.Chinese Navy

will send 32 warships and 39 aircraft to take part in a joint sea parade in waters near Qingdao.

Nearly 20 ships from about 10 countries will participate in t

he sea parade on Tuesday, deputy commander of the PLA Navy Qiu Yanpeng said.

A Singapore Navy frigate arrived on Friday in Qingdao, Shan

dong province, becoming the first foreign warship to arri

ve ahead of a grand event to honor the 70th birthday of the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

The PLA Navy will hold multinational naval activities in Qingdao and nearby waters from

Monday to Thursday to celebrate its founding anniversary. They will include a joint sea parade, high-level sympo

siums, public tours of ships, military music performances and other cultural exchanges.

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Thus, another feather in China’s cap is its establishme

nt of a comprehensive social security system in record time. Having set up the foundation,

it can now focus on targeted improvements. For example, in 2017, China provided special funds for pre-preg

nancy and other medical checkups for women, benefiting 12 million women, or 91.7 percent of the target group.

The country’s modernization could not have occurred without the people increasing their capabilities. Beyond general educ

ation for the population, the government has increased the knowledge and experience of officials to be at the fore

front of solving problems. Specialist schools and academies have been set up in multiple fields, including a national soci

al security school in Beijing to build the capacity of social security officers across the nation.

It is the totality of the Chinese experience over the past four decades, in rebuilding the

country in so many ways, that has become an inspiration for other countries. C

hina has been a diligent student learning from others. Today, it also has many experiences to share with the world.

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Apple, in rare reversal, pulls plug on wireless charging mat

Apple Inc on Friday said it is canceling the AirPower wireless charging mat that

the company announced in 2017 on t

he same day as its iPhone X, a rare public retreat for the gadget maker known for splashy product launches.

The mat was intended to wirelessly charge up to three Apple products at

once, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones.

While wireless charging has spread through the gadget industry, chargi

ng three devices at once with higher wattage “fast charging” has proved challengi

ng. Furniture seller Ikea, for example, sells a $60 matt that can handle three

phones but it only features slower 5-watt charging.

In a statement, Apple said that it had concluded that its AirPower mat “will

not achieve our high standards.”

“We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch,”

Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engin

eering, said in the statement. “We continue to believe that the future is

wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.”

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The Italian Senate warmly welcomes Xi for his visit, Casell

llati said, noting that the Italian and Chinese peoples have always trusted each other and

maintained profound friendship, with close ties in such fields as economy and trade, and culture.

The Senate speaker said she agrees with Xi on his remarks about the traditional friendly exchanges between the two cou

ntries dating back over 2,000 years, published in leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera ahead of his visit.

China and Italy are major countries that boast a rich culture, she said, adding that Italy is willing to boost communication and c

ooperation with the Chinese side in such fields as culture, art, language, heritage protection, tourism, science and tec

hnology, and innovation, and encourage their youths to increase exchanges and mutual understanding.

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Tax cuts on the way as steps taken at meetingplement a g

China will implement a group of measures to cut value-added ta

x rates, ensuring that the tax burden on all industries will only go down, according to a

decision made by the State Council’s executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The Government Work Report this year set out a plan for l

arger tax cuts, including lowering the VAT rate in manufacturing and other industries from 16 t

o 13 percent and the VAT rate in transportation, construction and other industries from 10 to 9 percent.

A number of concrete measures were decided upon at the

Wednesday meeting to achieve the targets, which will be enacted on April 1.

Input VAT eligible for deduction will be expanded and will cove

r passenger transportation services. Taxpayers will be able to get their input tax on real esta

te payments deducted in full on a one-time basis, instead of on two occasions in two years.

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A $50 million rescue and rebuild mission is now underway to

repair roads, bridges, schools, communication lines and provide healthcare to

those affected. The country is in poor shape to withstand the financial impact of a disaster: Zimbabwe is cur

rently in the grip of a deep economic crisis.
The Zimbabwe Information Ministry shared pictures of some pupils who had been res

cued from a boarding school in Chimanimani District, one of the worst-affected areas in the east of the country. Br

idges were swept away, and power and communication lines in the area have been cut off.

St Charles Lwanga School children are now safely in Chiping

e and currently receiving medical attention. pic.twitter.com/Ad9LSC7WhS

— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) March 18, 2019

This cyclone follows a week of heavy rains and flooding across southeast Afri

ca that affected 1.5 million people in Mozambique and Malawi, killing at least 120 people in both countries, UN

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School administrators asked to eat with students to strengt

People in charge of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in China should eat with students at school can

teens to strengthen the safety of campus food, according to a notice issued on Monday.

The notice, jointly issued by the Ministry of Education, State Admin

istration for Market Regulation and National Health Commission, will take effect on April 1.

It requires that administrators should keep record of each meal and resolve any food problems as soon as possible. Pare

nts can also eat with students at school canteens and give suggestions to the school on food safety and nutrition, it said.

The schools should publish the sources of the food to the public and invite parents to parti

cipate in the management and supervision of food safety and nutrition, the notice said.

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