Both sides have showed their strength and volition in

 unprecedented trade war: The US didn’t easily stop and China was not that fragile to be defeated. How

ever, it has proven no empty talk that in a long-term trade war, both sides would eventually lose.

President Xi and President Trump reached consensus on December 1 and put the two countries back onto the win-win track. Th

e consensus has responded to the situation, conformed with people’s wishes and reversed the pessimism of the market.

Starting December 2018, rounds of consultations resolved a large n

umber of divergences. The outcome has been sufficient to outline a new face of China-US econo

ic and trade cooperation and to bring an incalculable impetus to both sides’ economic development.

In the final phase of the talks, both sides must keep calm, treasure the already-made ach

ievements and promote smoother and fairer China-US trade cooperation.

US demand for China’s structural reform must stay in line with China-US trade coo

peration and coordinate with China’s reform and opening-up. The talks must not tr

y to force Beijing to change its economic governance or even its development path.

The final deal should attend to the interests of nongovernmental organizations that ultimately carry out economic and trade cooperation.

China and the US must sign an agreement that will inspire their peo

ple,  heralding accelerated economic development. Only such deals can withstand the test of history.

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Sci-fi blockbuster showcases Chinese vision of cooperation

China’s sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth broke Chinese film’s five-year box office record on th

e North American market. Based on the novel by Liu Cixin, the movie is said to usher in China’s sci-fi blockbuster era.

Does this film resonate simply because it is a good sci-fi film made by Chinese? Of course not. It is mainly because the story reflects the co

mmon concern of people of different color, belief and nationality in the world. That is: the fate of the Earth. We

share a common destiny because we are living in the same global village. The movie has struck a responsive chord in the hearts of its audiences.

American sci-fi filmmakers have a prolonged enthusiasm about the fate of the Earth from the early stage to recent years.

From The Day of the Earth Stood Still in the 1950s to Armageddon (1998) and MegaFault (2009), a long list can be m

ade. Of course, the heroes who saved the planet were all Americans without exception. But this time it is Chinese.

The Wandering Earth shows that Chinese people are sentimentally attached to their mother pl

anet and foreigners feel the same. Indeed, Chinese people offered their own solution in the film. But in fact, the

success of The Wandering Earth is not who saved the planet, but people resolving a severe problem faced by mankind.

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Modi’s visit to disputed region imperils thaw in ties

Recently, China and India were engaged in a jagged excha

nge of words over Modi’s visit to South Tibet, a mountainous region under substantial dispute b

etween the two Asian giants. Although China’s stance on the boundary issue is cons

istent and crystal-clear that it has never recognized the so-called “A

runachal Pradesh” and is firmly opposed to any Indian leaders’ presence there, it was Modi who has repeatedly touched the raw nerve.

Such exchange – though it has happened in the past during China’s Spring Festivals in February 2015 and February 2018 – is p

articularly noteworthy: Modi’s latest visit followed the in

formal leadership summit in Wuhan in April 2018 which was widely seen as the key effort

from both sides to improve diplomatic ties and rebuild trust since the 73-day-long armed standoff in Doklam.

Such actions by Modi would inevitably affect the progress

ade by both sides, further complicating the boundary issue and exacerbating mutual suspicion.

Modi’s recent presence in South Tibet was largely driven b

y electoral considerations, aimed at mobilizing support for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahe

ad of the general elections, which are due in India in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.

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There is a twin motivation behind his presence in the regio

one hand, Modi wanted to push forward the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in South Tibet where it may help New Delhi assimilate local

population and convert it demographically into a more “Indianized” one; on the other, Modi sought to pacify irritated and alienated local comm

unities by introducing more developmental projects and pro-growth schemes. In addition, by sending out a strong signal that China’s fierce protests woul

d not deter him from visiting the frontier region, Modi also sought to appeal to nationalistic voters before the election.

Following the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, South T

ibet had been hit by waves of protests across the region. A large number of Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh have been sent into South Tib

et since the 1950s, but have no citizenship. However, if the Bill is enacted, these refugees would likely get Indi

an citizenship, which poses a threat to the local community as their swelling population in the long run may well crowd out and eat up the indigenous pop

ulation. For example, Hajong people – a Hindu group originally residing in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) which fled to India  due to religious persecu

tion – have been migrating to South Tibet since the 1960s, but their presence since then has been a constant source of conflicts.

It was against this backdrop that Modi trod on the soil of South Tibet. Signaling that his governm

ent gives a lot of importance to the region which has been neglected by previous governments, Modi sought to

pacify annoyed locals by giving them a long list of gifts. The Indian prime minister laid the foundation stone of several developme

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Let’s reap potential of China-Myanmar cooperation transitio

Since Myanmar embarked on its political transition, political elites in the country have championed that peace is the premise for econo

mic and social development. In the first two years of the government led by National League for Democracy (NLD), Nay Pyi Taw devoted a lot

of efforts to promoting national reconciliation with the hope of making a major breakthrough and consolidating public su

pport. Regrettably, results are not satisfactory. The NLD government is currently locked in a stalemate over national reconciliation.

It has also performed poorly in boosting the economy and improving people’s lives. Main economic in

dicators suggest that since the NLD government assumed power, Living standards haven’t su

bstantially improved, and more economic problems have surfaced to plague the country. One of the main rea

sons why the NLD lost seats in the 2018 elections is the government’s lackluster economic performance. If the ec

onomy doesn’t improve, it will inevitably affect the NLD’s potential for victory in the 2020 election.

Therefore, the NLD government is now attaching increasing importance to economic and livel

ihood issues. It has issued a string of policies to attract foreign investment. Take the new Mya

nmar Companies Act. Under the law, foreigners are permitted to take up to a 35 percent stake in local companies and bu

sinesses with foreign stakes of more than 35 percent will be classified as a foreign company, which facilitates co

operation between foreign investors and local businessmen and will help attract more foreign investment.

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We bring the best wishes of President Trump. He’s aske

ed us to state that he also places great importance on his personal relationship with you,” Lighthizer said.

“We have had two very good days of negotiations. We feel that we have made headway on some very

, very important and very difficult issues,” he said. “We have additional work we have to do but we are hopeful.”

Xi asked Lighthizer and Mnuchin to extend his sincere greetings to President Trump, saying that he cherishes their good wor

king relationship and would like to keep in contact with him.
Cooperation based on fully respecting mutual interests is the best way for the two c

ountries to renew their trade and economic relations with a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries. If that has been the shared und

erstanding during this week’s talks, and it is carried forward in the negotiations in Washington next week, hopef

ully the two sides will be able to narrow the differences between them sufficiently so that the two leaders can pe

ncil in a date for a meeting at which they can shake hands on a deal that sets the right course for future relations.

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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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Demographic data on births, deaths and population mov

ements may appear boring, but they matter a lot. They are important to understanding how humans function as individuals and as members of society.

China’s development is now more focused on the quality of economic growth, including

spreading its benefits to all citizens irrespective of their life circumstances. This emphasis aligns well wi

th the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of leaving no one behind, and putting the furthest behind first.

However, without greater attention to the collection, disaggregation and utilization of data

on key aspects of population trends, this quest will be more difficult to accomplish.

Developing sound social and economic policies and making smart infrastr

ucture investments require a full understanding of the key features of the population at ev

ery level-its size, gender and spatial distribution, and age structure-now and in the future.

The author is the resident representative for China of the United Nations Population Fund.

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Reportcan extenChina has the capacity to extend local governm

ment bond issuance or implement more tax cuts, Economic Information Daily reported Wednesday, citing the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

A total of 2.61 trillion yuan ($386.46 billion) of bond quota was unused by the end of 2018, accounting for 14.1 percent of total local debt, the academy said in a report.

This means China can extend bond issuance, or undertake 14 percent of tax and fee cuts.

The debt balance stood at 18.39 trillion yuan at the end of last year, well below the official ceil

ing of 21 trillion yuan, and accounting for 109 percent of total fiscal revenue of local governments.

In 2018 local authorities raised a total of 4.17 trillion yuan through bond issuance, down from 4.36 trill

ion yuan in 2017, according to the Ministry of Finance. The local debt ratio was 76.6 percent last ye

ar, significantly lower than the international warning line of 100-120 percent.

Last year local governments’ implicit debt risk was controlled effectively, however, the total debt level was still huge, the academy said.

In 2018 new explicit debts rose 13.5 percent to 2.18 trillion yuan, while the in-balance-sh

eet interest payment reached 734.5 billion yuan, with a 17.1 percent growth rate, about 2.75 times that of fiscal revenue.

A rapid increase in interest payments put pressure on future fiscal guarantees and service capacity, the academy added.

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Some conservatives in South Korea voiced concerns over a we

akening alliance with the United States at the same time as negotiations with North Korea to deprive it

of its nuclear weapons hit a stalemate. They said Trump might use the failed military cost-sharing negotiations as an excuse to pull back so

me U.S. troops in South Korea as a bargaining chip in talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Feb. 3 that he has no plans to withdraw troops from S

outh Korea. During his election campaign, Trump suggested he could pull back troops from South Korea a

nd Japan unless they took on greater a share of the financial burdens of supporting U.S. soldiers deployed there.

South Korean media earlier reported that Trump demanded South Korea double its spe

nding for the U.S. military deployment, before his government eventually asked for 1.13 trillion won ($1 billion).

Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. had called for a sharp increase in South Korean spending but didn’t elaborate.

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